|Halo Nation has a walkthrough guide to this level, Keyes. See Keyes/Walkthrough.|
Stage a one-cyborg assault on a Covenant ship and bring back the Captain.
Keyes is the ninth campaign level of Halo: Combat Evolved. In this level, John-117 returns to the Truth and Reconciliation to rescue Captain Jacob Keyes. John-117 fights his way through the ship and on the ground while trying to survive the bloody engagement between the Flood and surviving Covenant forces. At the end of the level, John-117 discovers a horrifying truth: Captain Keyes has been completely overwhelmed by a Flood Brain Form. With no other choice, John physically removes the Captain's implants from the form which contain the access codes to the UNSC Pillar of Autumn. He then hijacks a Banshee and escapes.
Under New ManagementEdit
Opening cinematic-Camera flies through a canyon filled with pools of reactor coolant, under the Truth and Reconciliation. The CCS-class battlecruiser is resting on the top of the canyon, heavily damaged. Flood and Covenant forces are fighting all throughout the region.
- Cortana: "The Covenant network is in absolute chaos! From what I've been able to piece together, their leadership ordered all ships to abandon Halo when they found the Flood, but they were too late. The Flood overwhelmed this cruiser and disabled it. The Covenant are terrified the Flood will repair the ship and use it to escape from Halo. They've sent in a strike team to neutralize the Flood and repair the ship for immediate departure. I've got a good lock on Captain Keyes' CNI transponder signal! He's alive! And the implants are intact! There's some interference from the cruiser's damaged reactor. I'll bring us in as close as I can."
John-117 teleports into the end of a corridor in the cruiser. The camera view flips over, upside down, and John-117 falls on his head; he was teleported upside down.
- Cortana: "Ohh... I see, the coordinate data needs to be— "
John-117 whacks the side of his head with his fist as he stands up.
- Cortana: "Right. Sorry."
After walking down the hallway several meters.
- Captain Keyes (COM): (weakly) "Chief... Don't be a fool...Leave me..."
- Cortana: "Captain? Captain?! I've lost him..."
After walking around a bit, trying to find a way into the bridge:
- Cortana: "The damage caused by the crash and the Flood have sealed-off all nearby access ways to the control room. We should find another way in."
After getting to a hangar, with a large hole in the floor just past the door, blocking your progress:
- Cortana: "Analyzing damage... This hole was caused by some kind of explosive. Very powerful if it tore through a ship's hull. All I detect down there are pools of coolant. We should continue our search somewhere else."
After the staying in that corridor for a few moments, Flood begin dropping out of a hole in the ceiling behind you, cutting you off.
- Cortana: "Warning! Threat level increasing!"
After fighting off the increasing horde of Flood for a few more moments.
- Cortana: "That jump into the coolant is looking better all the time, Chief!"
More Flood arrive.
- Cortana: "Trust me! It's deep enough to cushion our fall!"
After continuing to hold your ground.
- Cortana: "Chief, we need to jump now!"
Flood continue to pour out the hole, and from down the hallway, seemingly never ending, forcing you into the hole.
After falling into the hole.
Master Chief falls into a large pool of coolant, which breaks his fall. Camera view begins under-coolant. Covenant and Flood are heavily engaged around the pool.
- Cortana: "Let's get out of here, and find another way back aboard the ship."
While walking down a narrow canyon.
- Cortana: "We should head this way, towards the ship's gravity lift."
Continuing farther down the canyons.
- Cortana: "The crash did more damage than I suspected. Analyzing. Coolant leakage rate is significant. The ship's reactor should already have gone critical."
Farther along in the canyons.
- Cortana: "Power source detected. There's the gravity lift. It's still operational! That's our way back in!"
Once you take the gravity lift back inside the ship:
- Cortana: "We should be able to get into the ship's control room from here."
Upon finding an unlocked door:
- Cortana: "The Covenant Battlenet is a mess. I can't access the ship's schematics. My records indicate that a shuttle bay should be... here."
Cortana marks the spot with a nav point.
Upon reaching the nav point, it turns out to be a cargo bay.
- Cortana: "Look, in the corners. The Flood are gathering bodies here."
Continuing on, entering a shuttle bay.
- Cortana: "Looks like another shuttle bay. We should be able to reach the control room from the 3rd level."
- Captain Keyes (COM): "I... gave you an order, soldier! Now pull out!"
- Cortana: "He's delirious! In pain! We have to find him!"
Upon reaching the door on the 3rd level.
- Cortana: "The control room should be... this way."
She assigns another nav point.
Nearing the Control Room:
- Captain Keyes (COM): (screams of agony) "Waahhhh... Ahhhh... Ohhhh gaahhhhh..."
- Cortana: "The Captain! His vitals are fading! Please, Chief, hurry!"
Once in the bridge of the cruiser:
A Proto-Gravemind sits on the command center in the bridge. The Captain's face sticks out of it, with his body dangling below, deformed.
- Cortana: (horrified) "No human life-signs detected. The Captain! He's one of... them. We can't let the Flood get off this ring! You know what he'd expect... (quietly) What he'd want us to do."
Master Chief punches into Keyes' skull, sticking his hand inside. He pulls out the neural implants, shakes the Flood biomass off of them, and inserts them into his helmet.
- Cortana: (quietly) "It's done, I have the code. We should go."
- Cortana: "We need to get back to the Pillar of Autumn. Let's go back to the shuttle bay and find a ride."
Side doors open and a horde of Flood charge into the bridge. At the same time, the doors you entered through open up to reveal a Covenant Spec Ops team. A huge fight ensues.
Once you reach the shuttle bay, a Covenant dropship enters the hangar, dropping off more troops, escorted by two Banshees.
- Cortana: "Perfect. Grab one of the escort Banshees, and we'll use it to return to the Pillar of Autumn."
Once John gets in one of the escort Banshees, he flies out of the hangar, being fired on by the Covenant. The Banshee quickly flies out of range.
Fades to black.
- Strangely, the Grunt with the Fuel Rod Gun in the Spirit dropship will always die upon impact with the ground. Even more strangely, the Fuel Rod Gun's subsequent explosion does not kill any of the nearby Grunts.
- At the beginning of the level when playing on Normal Difficulty, at the first turn to your left, an Assault Rifle can be found standing upright rather than laying flat on its side. Oddly, the weapon cannot be collected for ammunition. In Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary, the Assault Rifle is not only still present, but when viewed using the new graphics, its flashlight is activated.
- By abusing a glitch known as the "shield bump" one can bypass most of the level. To do this, start the level from the beginning on any difficulty. When the player encounters the first stationary shield, he/she should break the shield. By standing in a very specific spot (videos found here (PC) and here (Xbox)), one can travel to the area with the proto-gravemind much more quickly and easily. Many speedrunners have used this glitch to complete the level.
- Strangely, the escort Banshee with the Nav point is actually an ally on the player's motion sensor. This probably is due to Cortana wanting the player to use an “ally’s” vehicle. For example, if the player boards a vehicle, drive fast, and bail out with it still moving, it will indicate a large yellow dot on the player's motion sensor, even if there is no one inside. However, when an enemy is in a vehicle, they are shown as big red blips.
- When the escort Banshees enter the Truth and Reconciliation their canopies are in the open position, despite being airborne and piloted by Elites.
- When the player gets to Captain Keyes, look a bit to the right off the ramp and there should be a tentacle with Captain Keyes' pipe, which has the Marathon logo on it.
- The sentence "Chief...leave me", was added by Marty O'Donnell, to explain why the player is looking for Captain Keyes in that particular location, as revealed on the Halo 3 Legendary Edition bonus disc.
- In the cutscene, "The Captain", where John-117 retrieves Captain Keyes' neural implants, John-117 was meant to burn Keyes' skull out of the Proto-Gravemind with the Flamethrower and retrieve the implants. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, the Flamethrower was removed from the final game. Bungie had Robt McLees do research on what burned skulls looked like. When he had finished, he said "he'd done his work too well", as the burned skull was too gruesome.
- The Banshee that the player commandeers at the end of the level, for some reason, makes the same flying sounds a Pelican does, and flies just as fast.
- The crashed Banshee next to the lift is the only Banshee wreckage to appear in the entire Halo trilogy until Halo 3: ODST. In addition, the crashed Banshee has its own model in the games files, which was made specifically for the level.
- It is more than likely that the Covenant managed to repair the controls for the Truth and Reconciliation after they were disabled by Cortana due to the fact that the ship is in a completely different location. In addition, the ship could have been moved to an area near a Flood containment facility. Thus, explaining how the ship became once again stationary under extensive damage.
- If the player looks through a grille in a corridor at the beginning of the level, the player will see the room where the brain form is found. This also explains on how Captain Keyes was able to contact him.
- The scenario of Keyes is almost identical to that of the level, Sorry Don't Make It So, from Marathon 2: Durandal. Both of the levels require the protagonist to fight his way through a captured and heavily damaged alien ship during a heated battle between two opposing forces being the Flood against the Covenant in Keyes and the Pfhor against the UESC in the level from Marathon.
- It's possible to trigger the cutscene on the bridge without first defeating all the Flood. If this happens, then all surviving Flood will transfer over to the cutscene and will continue to attack and eventually "kill" John-117. The scene continues to play as scripted with Cortana speaking and the Captain's face exploding. When gameplay resumes, the player's still alive as though nothing happened.
- This is probably the reason: in the cutscene "The Captain" in addition to John pulling out Keyes' neural implants there is a "second" Chief biped under the platform. This is only viewable through flycam. The reason for this may be an easy way for the playable character to be hidden for the cutscene.
- If Flood Infection Forms get to the player in the Gravity Lift cutscene, John's blood will spray and the forms will still float in the place. However, when the player gains control of John-117 again, the player's health and shield is unaffected.
- If the player manages to skip all the battles with the Flood and the Covenant after the player gets in the Cargo Bay, the player will get to the Proto-Gravemind before the chapter "The Captain" can be triggered.
- The Wraith and Ghosts aboard the Truth and Reconciliation can not be driven, however they can be destroyed with grenades or gunfire. This differs from the drivable Ghosts in the game, which cannot be destroyed or even damaged unless they are being driven. In addition the Ghosts aboard the ship remain completely stationary regardless of any explosions nearby; drivable Ghosts will be flung by nearby detonations.
- If the player grenade jumps over the hole in the ship at the beginning of the level, the player will find that the hanger bay is the same as the one in Truth and Reconciliation except that all the doors on the ground floor are locked.
- There is a "hard-to reach" health pack across the hole.
- At the part where the player can obtain the sniper rifle and the first health pack there is a large pool of coolant that seems to spawn unlimited Flood Carrier Forms. They will continue to spawn until the player jumps off the ledge and into the coolant.
- At the beginning of the level a Grunt can be seen fleeing from a Flood Combat Form despite the fact that it always has no arms and can't harm the Grunt (or the player) in any way.
- When the player reaches the part with the two Grunts and the Elite in the Shade turret the Flood will come around the corner and attack. If the player manages to kill the two Grunts before the Flood attack, the Elite in the Shade turret will focus all of its attention on the Flood instead of the player, forming a small alliance. However, if the Elite manages to survive the attack it will again attempt to kill the player.
- If you are quick enough and fly out of the Truth and Reconciliation and fly to the left you can that the ship is in half and only the Hangar Bay is seen