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ONI: Sword Base (level)

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For other uses, see Sword base (Disambiguation).

Covenant are attacking a vital ONI base. Drive the bastards off."

ONI: Sword Base is the third campaign level of Halo: Reach.


The level begins on July 26, 2552 near Sword Base, an Office of Naval Intelligence research facility. The facility is located on the Babd Catha Ice Shelf in Eposz, near one of the poles of the planet Reach.


Noble Team is deployed to Sword Base after a Covenant corvette begins attacking the facility. Due to the sensitive nature of the facility, orbital rounds are prohibited, forcing Noble Team to go groundside to defend the facility.

Two Falcons drop Noble Team around Sword Base. After Kat-B320 and Noble Six clear the courtyard outside the facility, they are ordered by Sword Control to proceed to the main gate. However, they are stopped by a pair of Wraiths, which Noble Six eliminates with a Target Locator.

A Pelican then drops off a Warthog, which Kat and Noble Six ride to reactivate a COM array to contact Command and an anti-air gun to help clear the skies. After completing their task, they meet up with the rest of the team at Sword Base.

They fight their way up through the atrium to the top floor. There, Noble Six helps Emile destroy several Phantoms and Banshees over the airbase making it possible for a pair of Longswords to move towards the SDV-class heavy corvette, lock onto it, and have it destroyed by a MAC round from orbital defenses.

Noble Team is called back into Sword Base by Dr. Halsey, who reprimands Carter for not pursuing the Sangheili at the Visegrád Relay. She explains that the Sangheili were most likely part of an artifact retrieval strike team, and that the notes stored at the Visegrád Relay held very important information. Kat then hands over the data module she retrieved from the station. Carter and Halsey exchange barbs, and Noble Team leaves as Dr. Halsey examines the data module.



Screen fades into Babd Catha Ice Shelf, two UH-144 Falcons, callsigns Kilo 33 and Kilo 34 head toward the coast, Noble Two is shown slipping a chip into a data pad and typing something.

Sword Base, Babd Catha Ice Shelf, Eposz

July 26, 2552, 11:26 Hours

  • Sword Control (COM): "Be advised, Kilo-Three-Three and Kilo-Three-Four, your current LZ is too hot."

The Falcons pass a large island. A SDV-class heavy corvette holding position comes into view.

  • Auntie Dot: "Yes, Commander... Coordinates received. Initiate immediate course correction. The Office of Naval Intelligence Sword Base is presently under siege from a corvette-class Covenant vessel. Due to the sensitive nature of this facility, use of orbital rounds has been, for the moment, prohibited. Regrettably, my efforts to obtain relevant data on enemy forces have been unsuccessful. However, current defensive forces are insufficient. ONI has requested Team Noble's direct intervention to help secure Sword Base."
  • Carter-A259: "Alright, people, we're stuck with that ship for the time being. Let's focus on the hostile infantry - give those troopers a hand."

A base security camera shows Covenant ground forces engaging UNSC Army troopers as the Falcons fly overhead.

  • Carter-A259: "Kat, Six - you're out here. Jorge, Emile - you're next, get prepped."
  • Catherine-B320: "Let's move, Lieutenant."

The Falcon lowers close to the ground. Kat and Six jump out.


The Best Defense...Edit

  • Carter-A259 (COM): "Kat, Six: push back the attack on Sword Base, find out what we're dealing with."
  • Catherine-B320: "Roger that. We're your strike team."

Kat, Six, and a few troopers engage and eliminate some Covenant troops on an upper walkway.

  • Sword Control (COM): "Spartans, hostiles north."

The two Spartans head north to a courtyard, where they engage a significant number of Covenant troops.

  • Catherine-B320: "Let's knock some heads, Lieutenant!"
  • Sword Control (COM): "You got three new contacts, Spartans."

After clearing the courtyard, the Spartans head down a ramp where they engage several Skirmishers, eventually making it down to a gate.

  • Catherine-B320: "Noble Two to Sword Control: courtyard is clear, over."
  • Sword Control (COM): "Head to the main gate to the east, I'll brief you as you go."

The two Spartans enter the main gate, coming across several ordnance packs.

  • Catherine-B320: "Sword Control, I see a Target Locator. Any artillery support in the area?"
  • Sword Control (COM): "Limited, but we'll prioritize whatever you need, ma'am."

Get the Hell Off My Lawn!Edit

Noble Six takes the Target Locator, and the Spartans then head out of the base. The Covenant Corvette opens fire on the base. A damaged M831 Troop Transport is seen attempting to escape from two enemy Wraiths.

  • 3 Echo 57 (COM): "Three Echo Five-Seven heading back to base, but we got enemy tangos on our six. How copy?"

The Warthog is soon destroyed by one of the Wraiths.

Using the Target Locator, Noble Six calls in artillery to destroy the two Wraiths.

  • Catherine-B320: "Outstanding!"
  • Catherine-B320: "Pelican inbound with transport, Six."

A Pelican is seen coming towards them with a Warthog.

  • Catherine-B20: "AA gun is to the west, comms array to the east. Let's roll."

If Noble Six heads west:

  • Catherine-B320: "I agree, go for the gun."

If Noble Six heads east:

  • Catherine-B320: "Good call. Let's get comms first."

After heading further west, they are engaged by Covenant forces, soon eliminating them.

  • Catherine-B320: "I'm picking up a power source, we're close to the AA gun."

They arrive at the base to find it under Covenant control.

  • Trooper: "Contacts!"
  • Catherine-B320: "That's the gun over there. Should be a reset control somewhere - get it online."

After eliminating the Covenant in the area, Noble Six heads into the two-floored building next to the AA gun. He/she finds the reset control on the roof of the building, and activates it. The AA gun immediately opens fire on the Banshees and Covenant dropships around the Corvette.

  • Catherine-B320: "That did it, Six. AA gun is online."
  • Sword Control (COM): "Nice work, Spartans. Get to Farragut Station and get that comms array up and running."

Minimum Safe Distance Edit

A Pelican delivers a Gauss Warthog, facing the direction the Spartans must go to next.

  • Sword Control (COM): "Spartans, this is Sword Control. Thought you could use some mobile firepower."
  • Catherine-B320: "Always. Take that Hog, Six.

The Spartans head toward the comms array, encountering various Covenant troops.

  • Catherine-B320: "We need to get that comms array online."

The Spartans soon arrive at the station.

  • Catherine-B320: "Hope that comms array has a working generator."

The station is also occupied by Covenant forces, including a Revenant.

  • Catherine-B320: "Let's search the area for a generator switch."

Noble Six searches the buildings, eventually finding the switch, and activating the generator.

  • Catherine-B320: "Okay, generator is up and running. Find that comms array, should be up high."

Noble Six soon finds the comms array in an adjacent building and activates it.

  • Carter-A259 (COM): "Noble Strike, this is Noble Leader. Get back to Sword Base ASAP."
  • Catherine-B320: "On our way, Commander. Six, let's go."
  • Sword Control (COM): "Good work, Spartans. Return to Sword Base, the rest of your team is inbound, imminent."
  • Carter-A259 (COM): "Noble, be advised: Covenant corvette moving into position. Kat, Six, get here quick. We need you inside."

The SPARTANs arrive back at the gate to find it under attack by several Covenant forces, including more Revenants, soon eliminating them.

  • Catherine-B320: "Opening the gate now."

Once inside, Kat and Six head back up the courtyard, which is once again occupied by the Covenant.

They find a few troopers under attack from more Covenant troops, including a Mgalekgolo pair. Kat and Noble Six engage the Hunters and other Covenant troops, neutralizing them.

  • Catherine-B320: "Let's get to the atrium, we have to go through the elevator, Lieutenant. Take it."

Noble Six activates the elevator to take them to the security office. Midway up, an explosion rocks the elevator.

  • Emile-A239 (COM): "Corvette's hittin' this base hard."
  • Catherine-B320: "Where's our orbital support? Got to be four platforms that could take it out with a single MAC round."

Office of Naval IntelligenceEdit

The elevator soon reaches the security office, Kat and Noble Six are immediately engaged by Covenant forces.

  • Catherine-B320: "I doubt that very much."

Kat and Six soon move into a multi-level room, where Noble One, Three, and Five are engaging Covenant troops.

  • Jorge-052: "Hold it! Everybody, move up!"
  • Carter-A259: "Six, head upstairs and assist Emile. Jorge, make sure he/she gets there."
  • Jorge-052: "Depend on it."

Six and Jorge make their way upstairs, engaging various Covenant forces as they go.

  • Sword Control (COM): "Corvette's gonna eat this base apart. What's the situation, Noble?"
  • Emile-A239 (COM): "Can't do this on my own! Need another Spartan up here!"
  • Carter-A259 (COM): "Six, get to the top floor and assist Emile."

Jorge and Six make it up to the top floor, which is in ruins from an explosion.

  • Sword Control (COM): "Commander, this base won't survive another salvo from that corvette. Kill those Banshees!"
  • Carter-A259 (COM): "Upstairs, Lieutenant. We need those Longswords in the air."

Six goes through a doorway to the top floor, where there is a massive hole in the building. The Covenant corvette is holding position just outside.

  • Emile-A239: "About time."

Noble Four, Five, Six, and other Army troopers engage several Banshees, and a Phantom, which drops off a pair of Sangheili.

  • Emile-A239: "Noble Six, watch down low."
  • Emile-A239: "Are you havin' fun yet?"

The Covenant air and ground troops are soon eliminated.

  • Emile-A239: "Yeah, clear. That's the way we get it done, Spartan! Clear."
  • Sword Control (COM): "Noble Team, Longswords are inbound and ready to push. Orbital defense is standing by to take the shot."


Two Longswords fly towards the corvette, which is attempting to flee. Noble Six watches as the Longswords follow the corvette for a distance, but soon break off. A MAC round suddenly penetrates the corvette from above. Its engines flicker, and it loses altitude. The view changes to Six. Jorge emerges from the shadows, approaching Six.

  • Jorge-052: "Beautiful, ain't it? Someone should take a picture."

The corvette crashes into the lake.

  • Jorge-052: "Nice work, by the way."
  • Noble Six: "I aim to please."
  • Carter-A259 (COM): "Five, Six... Get down to the science wing. Doctor Halsey wants a debrief, and Command's saying we're all hers."
  • Jorge-052: "Repeat? Sounded like you said 'Halsey'."
  • Carter-A259 (COM): "I did."
  • Jorge-052: "Copy that, on our way. Don't need Command to tell me... Been all hers half me life."

Jorge, Emile and Six walk away. The corvette is shown in the background sinking into the lake.

They soon arrive at the science wing, where Carter is talking to Dr. Halsey, who is behind a shield door.

  • Halsey: "I requested your assistance, Commander, and do not need a report on events that occur on my own doorstep. What I do require is a detailed account of your previous engagement—"

Halsey pauses mid-sentence as she notices Jorge entering the room.

  • Halsey: "Jorge. It's been too long."
  • Jorge-052: "Ma'am."
  • Halsey: "What have you done with my armor?"

Jorge and Noble Six look at his armor.

  • Jorge-052: "Just some... additions I've made."
  • Halsey: "Indeed. Visegrád Relay. Its data center was home to one of my xeno-archaeologists, Professor Laszlo Sorvad. Perhaps you could shed some light on his death."
  • Carter-A259: "If he was a civilian male in his mid-sixties, he died with a Covenant Energy Sword through his abdomen."
  • Halsey: "Elites, then."
  • Jorge-052: "They engaged us as well. It was just, uh... just after we found your scientist's daughter, ma'am. She was hiding in the, uh-"
  • Halsey: "Irrelevant. The Elites. Tell me more about them."
  • Jorge-052: "Three. Zealot class. One got by us. The leader, from the looks of him."
  • Halsey: "Zealots? You're certain?"
  • Jorge-052: "Their armor configuration matched."
  • Noble Six: "Shield strength, too."
  • Carter-A259: "I gave the order not to pursue. Our primary objective was to get the station's relay back online."
  • Halsey: "Your primary objective? Commander, are you a puppet or a Spartan?"

Emile and Jun look up at Dr. Halsey.

  • Carter-A259: "Ma'am?"
  • Halsey: "There are those at ONI, myself included, who believe the Covenant dispatch Elite advance teams to hunt down artifacts of value to their religion. Survivor accounts suggest such teams are small, nimble, and almost always Zealot-class. No doubt they came to the station for the abundance of ONI excavation data stored there... And you let them get away."
  • Carter-A259: "Data retrieval was not a command directive. Even had we known, we had other, more urgent matters to attend to."
  • Catherine-B320: "Like warning the planet."
  • Halsey: "Professor Sorvad's final entry in his field notes made reference to 'a latchkey discovery'. Latchkey... Not a word he would use lightly. So let's hope that the data module your Lieutenant Commander stole... contains it."
  • Carter-A259: "Kat?"
  • Halsey: "Before you ask, I was alerted the moment you attempted to access its contents, as I am with any unauthorized tap."

Kat walks over and places the module in a container in the shield door.

  • Halsey: (to Kat) "That data is classified Tier One... I could send you to the brig for interfering with my work."

Halsey pulls the container towards her side of the shield door and retrieves the module.

  • Carter-A259: "Maybe you'd like to join her."
  • Halsey: "...I'm sorry?"
  • Carter-A259: "We're currently under emergency planetary directive, WINTER CONTINGENCY. I'm sure you're familiar with the punishment for civilian interference with a Spartan deployment."
  • Halsey: "Are you threatening me, Commander?"
  • Carter-A259: "Just making a reading suggestion, ma'am."

Carter and Kat start to leave, while Halsey begins to examine the module.

  • Carter-A259: "Let's move, Noble Team."
  • Jorge-052: "Ma'am?"
  • Halsey: (examining the module) "That... will be all, Jorge."

Fade to black.

Level ends.


Album Cover Soundtrack Song Name Soundtrack Number
Reach OST Halo: Reach Original Soundtrack ONI: Sword Base 3


Icon Name Description Value
Reach Achievement 42 Protocol Dictates Action Complete the level on Normal, Heroic, or Legendary difficulty. 10G
Reach Achievement 22 Two Corpses in One Grave Destroy two enemy vehicles at once with the Target Locator. 25G


  • The portions following the initial courtyard encounter can be made very simple to the player with the use of a simple trick. After exiting the main gate, two Wraiths are encountered and the player is equipped with a Target Locator to destroy them. However, the player has the ability to commandeer a wraith, and use it in the following parts of the mission to pass through them with ease. In the case of tougher difficulties, it is recommended that the player begin by using the Target Locator to destroy strictly one of the two wraiths. Then it is recommended that the player use a DMR to kill the turret gunner in the remaining wraith. In the event that this turret gunner is Sangheli, a Sniper Rifle can be acquired earlier in the mission in the courtyard on the platforms just above the garage entrance into the base. Following the turret gunner, a plasma pistol can be used to EMP the wraith and immobilize it while the player jumps on the wraith (doesn't board it), and operates the plasma cannon. The operator of the wraith (a Sangheli) will exit the wraith. After the player kills the operator, there remains an undamaged wraith that can be commandeered by the player for use in the level. Kat-B320, or any general Marine can also operate the plasma turret on the wraith.
  • Gauss Warthog is acquired by the player to assist the player after activating the Anti-Air Gun. Depending on the player's initial choice, this can be to assist in activating the comms relay, or returning to Sword Base. When returning to the base, this warthog is brought to the garage before it must be abandoned due to immovable Jersey Barriers that prevent driving the warthog up to the courtyard of Sword Base. However, if the gauss turret is utilized to shoot two adjacent corners of two separate jersey barriers each twice, the warthog can be forced through and over this new gap with enough effort. This can be done by picking up some speed and ramming the gap created, or with the help of a fragmentation grenade that can flip the warthog over the barriers. Once done, it can assist in defeating Covenant troops, including a pair of Mgalekgolo, that the player must encounter in Sword Base.
  • This level can be played on the Co-op Campaign playlist.

Transcript ErrorEdit

  • Just after being told of Dr. Halsey's involvement, Jorge comments "Been all hers half my life." This is erroneous because Jorge was born in March of 2511 and conscripted into the SPARTAN-II program in 2517 at age 6. Reach fell in July/August of 2552, making Jorge 41 years old, and meaning that he has been in the SPARTAN program (and therefore "all hers") for 35 years; significantly longer than "half [his] life." However, Jorge could mean that he has not been directly in contact with her for many years now, and that he was only under her observation for the years he spent training (roughly "half [his] life").


  • The Reach Racer easter egg can be found on this level.
  • At the first part of the level, If you finish a whole clip of the Assault Rifle, the ammo stored will appear as '343'. This is a reference to 343 Industries.
  • It is possible to bring a Ghost into Sword base, and use it up to the end of the level. The road blocks at the gate can allow vehicles to pass if one positions a makeshift ramp up against two damaged adjacent blocks. However, only a Ghost can fit in the elevator, a Warthog will be crushed if one should attempt to activate the elevator. For the Ghost to ride the elevator, one has to occupy the Ghost, otherwise it will vanish.
  • There will be a Phantom loitering around Airview Base for the AA gun to destroy when activated. If destroyed by the player it will be replaced. A Wraith can continue to kill the Phantoms for safe easy points since they will not fire back.
  • This place is one of the places where a player can do credit farming. All you have to do is be online(regardless if it is gold or silver account) and go to the area where the Target Locator is at (run past all the enemies). After you get the target locator, hide behind the box near the TL until "Checkpoint Saved" pops up. Then fire at the crowded enemies with the target locator. After the first series of missiles, go to the main menu and revert to last checkpoint, and do it several times. If done right, you ought to accumulate, or "farm" credits up to the five digits if done for a period of time.
  • On this level there are two separate BOB locations on this level but only ONE BOB per play through, it can be every Elite variation possible.
  • This is the only campaign level to include the Target Locator.
  • A small squad of Unggoy can be seen wielding plasma rifles inside of Sword Base. This is very similar to the Jackal wielding a plasma rifle on the Pillar of Autumn. Whether this is an easter egg or a mistake is unknown. However, in Firefight on certain difficulties, "Grunt Heroes" can be seen holding a Plasma Rifle in a holster as their secondary, and in turn can be picked up by the player. This may simply be an uncommon gameplay component that only happens in Sword Base, rather than a deliberate easter egg.
  • This is the only mission where players are given the M381 Troop Transport Warthog in game-play. This can only be done when there are 3 or 4 players playing in the level. The location of the Warthog is where near the pond, near the crash site of the other Warthog, although overturned.
  • With the IWHBYD skull on, a trooper can be heard saying "Spartans, you guys are huge!"
  • With the IWHBYD skull on, if you kill a trooper, another one can be heard saying "You want me to teabag you!?"
  • After destroying the two Wraiths just outside of Sword Base, a Pelican comes to drop off a Warthog for you. If you stand under the area the Warthog is supposed to be dropped, the Pelican will stay there until you get out of the way.
  • At the start of the level on singleplayer there are four Army Troopers that assist you and Kat: One with a Shotgun, two more with DMR's and a Radioman with an Assault Rifle, however on Two Player Co-op another Trooper with a shotgun helps out, but when there are three or four players the Troopers never appear.


  • At the end of the level when you must destroy all the Banshees, it is possible for one to get stuck behind the courtyard wall near where you started the level. You can commit suicide in hopes that it will be free, but if the previous checkpoint happened since it got stuck, the level cannot be completed.
  • It is possible to EMP the escaping Troop Hog. You can constantly EMP it. Once you reach the driver, you can drive it and therefore, save the marines in the Hog. You can bring all the troopers as well for a part of the level.
    • A similar glitch can happen with 3 or 4 players. In order to do this, at least one player needs to drive a Warthog, preferably the M12 LAAG or M12G1 variants, to the part where the player(s) have to activate an elevator. The player(s) then have to park the Warthog in the elevator, but one player has to pilot the turret of the vehicle, while the other two player remain in the elevator. As the elevator is about to ascend, the player in the turret of the Warthog has to get off of the turret and stay as far as possible from the elevator, but still remaining in the room. The other two players will eventually die from the explosion of the Warthog and will teleport/respawn in the area where the third player is at. If one shall remain to stay, a checkpoint may occur and the mission cannot be completed.
  • It is only "one in a million" chances that the Covenant Corvette over Sword Base will shoot at the playing area of the players. This is EXTREMELY unlikely.



Concept artEdit


Preceded by
Winter Contingency
Halo: Reach Campaign Missions
ONI: Sword Base
Succeeded by

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