NMPD HQ is the seventh campaign level of Halo 3: ODST. It is played from Romeo's point of view. Completing this level on Normal or above unlocks the NMPD HQ achievement as well as the Romeo character for Firefight mode.
Chronologically the fifth flashback level, NMPD HQ begins at 19:14, three hours after the squad's insertion into the city. Buck and Romeo have made their way to the top of the NMPD Headquarters building for pickup by an NMPD Pelican dropship. With Dutch and Mickey already on board, the Pelican is shot down by Banshees and crashes on another landing platform. Buck and Romeo must make their way across the upper floors and rooftops of the city's tower blocks to reach their squadmates at the crash site. Once there, they defend the downed Pelican from oncoming Covenant Phantoms and Banshees. Finally, a Brute Chieftain drops from the last Phantom and severely wounds Romeo before the rest of the squad manages to kill it. Lacking air transport, Buck decides to evacuate the squad through subterranean train tunnels leading to the old city, and the squad heads for Kikowani Station.
3 HOURS AFTER DROP
The cutscene begins with a door in the NMPD Headquarters opening. Buck immediately takes point while Romeo watches his back.
- Buck: "Clear?"
- Romeo: "Yeah."
View changes to one of the Superintendent's cameras as he watches Buck and Romeo exit to the outside landing pad.
- Romeo: "We're good."
- Buck: (Activates his comm.) "Hey Rookie. You out there? Respond. That's an order!"
- Romeo: (Following Buck.) "Give it up, Gunny. Even if he ain't dead he's lost in that soup. Our comms can't cut through that."
Buck stops and turns to Romeo.
- Buck: "Oh, give up, huh? What if it were you down there?"
- Romeo: "Just sayin', (Shrugs.) I ain't dead."
Buck shakes his head at Romeo as he walks past.
- Buck: "Oh, you're a piece of work, Romeo."
- Mickey: "Welcome aboard, ladies! First stop: anywhere but here!"
Just as the Pelican Dropship prepares to land, two Banshee fighters come into view and open fire on the Pelican.
- Buck: "Banshees on your six! Hit the deck!"
Buck and Romeo drop to the floor and cover their heads while the Pelican takes a hit from a Banshee's Fuel Rod Cannon.
- Dutch: "We're losing her! Watch out!"
The Pelican spins out of view as Buck and Romeo fire at the attacking Banshee fighters.
- Mickey: "Raaaaaaaggh!"
Romeo looks around for any other enemy aircraft while Buck activates his comm.
- Buck: "Mickey! Dutch! Status!"
Buck de-polarizes his visor, and puts his hands on Romeo's shoulders.
- Buck: "Alive or dead,"
The camera switches to Romeo's perspective.
- Buck: "We're pulling them out! You hear me?"
Turns away from Romeo and pulls the charge handle on his Assault Rifle.
- Buck: "Make some noise. I got your back."
The two go back indoors.
- Buck: "Back inside! Let's find that Pelican!"
- Romeo: "What about all those Covenant we side-stepped on the way up?"
- Buck: "Now we get to kill them."
- Romeo: "Thanks for picking such a tall building. I'm really digging all these stairs."
- Buck: "Do you ever get tired of bitching, Romeo?"
- Romeo: "You ever get tired of busting my balls?"
- Buck: "Point taken."
Romeo and Buck sneak outside to the first courtyard.
- Buck: "They haven't seen us. Pick a target, take it out."
- Buck: "That did it! Shoot and scoot!"
After a moment of fighting, a Phantom flies overhead.
- Buck: "Romeo! Phantom landing on the pad!"
After another moment of fighting,
- Buck: "C'mon, Romeo! Push through these doors!"
Romeo and Buck fight their way to the second courtyard.
- Buck: "Jackals with Carbines up top. Watch yourself!"
If Romeo delays with the Jackals,
- Buck: "C'mon, Romeo. We gotta kill those Jackals."
After another firefight, the two make their way inside again.
- Dutch (radio): "We're down, Gunny. On a rooftop north-east of your location."
- Buck: "Stay put Dutch. We'll come to you."
Inside the next room, there is spare ammo and Med-Packs laying around, as well as several dead NMPD officers.
- Buck: "Grab some ammo, Romeo. These boys won't need it."
Romeo grabs some more ammo and heals up if needed, then rejoins Buck outside in the third courtyard.
- Buck:"Sniper. Up high. Make your first shot count."
After the first shot is taken,
- Buck: "More of 'em! Romeo, get to work!"
After the two make their way further into the courtyard,
- Buck: "Jet Pack Brutes! Don't let 'em get behind us!"
After the firefight,
- Buck: "Keep pressing, we gotta get to that crash site!"
The two make their way into the fourth courtyard and dispatch all of the Covenant forces and get back indoors.
- Mickey (radio): "Gunny, we've moved one of those construction cranes — made a bridge to our location."
- Buck: "Affirmative. We're almost there."
Romeo and Buck fight their way to a landing pad, Mickey's and Dutch's Pelican can be seen on the rooftop of a nearby skyscraper. There is a bundle of long girders being held up by a crane that appears to be the only way across.
- Romeo: "That's the bridge?! You have gotta be kidding me!"
- Buck: "What? You afraid of heights? Get going."
If Romeo stalls:
- Buck: "C'mon Romeo, follow me."
Romeo progresses over the make-shift bridge, two Banshee fighters fly low overhead and shake the bridge.
- Romeo: "Banshees!"
- Buck: "Let's get the hell off this thing!"
Buck and Romeo get off of the make-shift bridge and rejoin Mickey, Dutch and a couple NMPD Officers on a rooftop littered with various heavy weapons.
- Buck: "What's our situation?"
- Dutch: "Bird's wasted. Lost the pilot on impact. Rest of us are okay."
- Mickey: "Not for long, Phantoms inbound!"
- Romeo: "Why am I not surprised?"
- Buck: "Pick a turret, Romeo! Conserve your ammo. This is gonna get hot!"
- Dutch: "Look out! Banshee!"
- Buck: "Phantom coming in left!"
The squad fights a few waves of enemy aircraft consisting of Banshee fighters and Phantom dropships. One Phantom drops off infantry.
- Buck: "Hostiles on the lower levels! Clear 'em out!"
After the enemy infantry is dispatched and a couple more waves of enemy aircraft are fought off,
- Buck: "Phantom! Dead ahead!"
More waves of Banshees and Phantoms are fought off.
- Buck: "Step back! Take 'em down!"
More waves are fought off.
- Buck: "Pour it on boys, we're almost through this!"
The final waves of enemy aircraft are fought off. Only one Phantom Dropship remains.
- Dutch: "We got one more Phantom, Gunny!"
- Buck: "Look out! Chieftain!"
The Phantom dropship swoops down and drops a Hammer wielding Brute Chieftain.
- Buck: "Scatter!"
The chieftain kills an NMPD officer with his hammer and Romeo fires at the chieftain with his Sniper Rifle, collapsing its shield. A shockwave from the hammer sends the sniper back into a barrier and the chieftain, using its hammer's bladed end, brings it down on Romeo's chest. Romeo attempts to shield himself using the sniper rifle, but the blade easily bends it, and pierces Romeo's armor and chest. Romeo cries in pain, and starts gasping for breath. The sniper rifle (Mission Beacon) gets caught on the chieftain's hammer and it throws it off, sending the mangled weapon to the streets below.
Giving out a victorious roar, the chieftain prepares to finish Romeo, but Buck jumps on its back and stabs it in the neck with his Combat Knife. As the chieftain chokes and gurgles while stumbling around the landing pad, Mickey tries to get a clean shot on it with his shotgun, but is unable to. Thus, he tackles the chieftain to the ground, manages to knock off the chieftain's helmet/headdress and Dutch shoulder-charges it, finishing the Brute.
Dutch cocks his fists as if boxing while Mickey gets back up. Buck, who is still under the dead Chieftain, waves his hand out.
- Buck (Muffled): "Get. This. Thing. Off. Of. Me."
Dutch and Mickey exchange looks and help Buck with the dead Brute. Buck takes his combat knife out of the Brute's neck, shakes some blood off, which hits Dutch, and cleans it off on his arm. Romeo begins to cough and wheeze and Mickey immediately tends to him.
- Buck: "How bad?"
Romeo de-polarizes his visor and takes his hand off the wound.
- Romeo: "Ahh, not good." (On Legendary, blood sprays out of Romeo's injured chest as he says this.)
- Mickey: "We're gonna get you outta here."
Dutch gestures towards the crashed Pelican.
- Dutch: "Not by air, we're not."
- Buck: "It's alright."
Buck helps Romeo up and uses himself as support for him.
- Romeo: "Ahh!"
- Buck: "I know another way."
Switches to the Superintendent's camera, who is watching the ODSTs help their injured squadmate.
Fades back to the Rookie.
- You can also get the Dome Inspector achievement by scoring 15 direct headshots on this level.
- If you activate this level's beacon with subtitles on, the flashback conversation between Dutch, Mickey, and the NMPD officer contains a minor typo. The NMPD officer says "Affirmative," but the subtitle identifies him as a Marine.
- Another subtitle error is observed during the cutscene when the NMPD Pelican is shot down and chased by the two Banshees. While Buck and Romeo fire their weapons, the subtitles say Buck is yelling, but in actuality, it is really Mickey.
- The beginning of this level is shown in the ViDoc: Desperate Measures.
- Some display screens on this level show a seismic survey of the Great Rift Valley authored by Daniel Endesha, Sadie Endesha's father. This is referenced in Sadie's Story, in which her father tells Sadie about an unusual object discovered by Vergil below the region.
- Romeo may be afraid of heights, an ironic quality for an ODST sniper, as revealed by dialogue between him and Buck when you are about to cross the construction crane to reach the crash site.
- The crashed Police Pelican contains a ridiculously large amount of ordnance, including turrets and their cases, Spartan Lasers, and even racks of Rocket Launchers with spare ammo. How the NMPD obtained heavy weapons is unknown, although it is possible that the Pelican was carrying munitions meant for UNSC forces elsewhere in the city. Alternatively, the weapons may be simply available for gameplay balance.
- Occasionally, a Banshee will fly into the crashed Pelican during the last fight and become somewhat lodged there. You can melee its Brute pilot out, but it still cannot be flown.
- Just before the level ends, Buck will announce the arrival of the final Phantom by yelling "Chieftain!" In the Theater, however, you can use free-roam mode to go near the Phantom for a few seconds. At the right angle, you can see that the inside of the Phantom is actually empty.
- The end cutscene shows Romeo with a Sniper Rifle no matter what weapon you were using at the level's end.
- Also, during the cutscene the NMPD officer thrown into the air by the Brute Chieftain's Gravity Hammer has a Battle Rifle, even though you cannot obtain it in the game.
- This cutscene is the first instance in a Halo game of a Brute using the blade side of the Gravity Hammer, although the first time this is ever seen occurs in Halo: Landfall. Likewise, the scene also shows the first usage of a combat knife in any Halo game.
- Buck's stabbing of the chieftain in the neck may have also inspired the standard Spartan assassination of an Elite in Halo: Reach.
- On Legendary difficulty, a comically large amount of blood squirts out when Romeo moves his hand away from his wound after Buck asks him how bad it is.
- When standing before Romeo's broken sniper rifle in Mombasa Streets, you cannot tell from where it fell, though The Rookie looks up at one extremely tall building, seemingly knowing where it fell from. None of the surrounding buildings are as tall as they were in the NMPD HQ mission, and the construction crane you use to reach the Pelican crash site cannot be seen.
- However, if the building is as tall as it appears the Sniper Rifle may have travelled some distance horizontally on the way down, either due to wind or the throwing of it by the chieftain.
- The Firefight map Windward is based on this level.
- If you look closely at the scenery outside of the level, you can spot the remains of ONI Alpha Site in the distance.
- Atlas Communications Corporation's communication terminals can be found on this level.