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The map is described as "the stepson of Prisoner and Boarding Action". It is a small, asymmetrical slayer map with three gravity lifts and a series of bridges and walkways leading over a central atrium.
The following are locations on the map that are so named on the player's HUD during gameplay:
- High Bridge
- Low Bridge
- Server Room
- Corner Vent
- Break room
- High Vent
- Operations Hall
- Yellow Lift Room
- Medium Bridge
- Damaged Hall
- Lift Exit
- Sword Base is based on the building on the Campaign level, ONI: Sword Base.
- The version of Sword Base in the final game was changed from the Beta version of the particular map. For instance, there are burn marks on the walls, walls that have seemingly been broken open, more lighting effects, and other visual changes to the map that were not in the Beta version. Also, the Gravity Lift in the center of the map is weaker in the final game than it was in the Beta, by way of a jetpack was not required to get onto the bridge above the lift in the Beta, but in the final version, if the player does not have a jetpack, they can't get on to the bridge.
- This map includes the first known example of a human-made gravity lift. As the atrium of the map contains a Covenant gravity lift on display, it is likely that it was created by reverse-engineering the Covenant version. It glows green, as opposed to the typical blue. In addition, there is a sign on the side of the lift stating that the lift emits harmful radioactive waves(a sign that the gravity lift may have not been perfected).
- It was originally possible to reach a high ledge on the map by sprinting onto the gravity lift. This glitch was mainly used in infection gametypes until Bungie had gotten complaints by numerous players. This intern caused them to put an "out of bounds" area on the ledge (only in matchmaking). It is still possible to reach a ledge lower than this one but with a greater risk of being killed in infection gametypes.
- Using the turret glitch on doors, it is possible to get outside of the map.
- This map looks like a more compact hybrid of Prisoner and Boarding Action because two sides of the map resemble Boarding Action and the "box" and ramps share a resemblance to the ones found on Prisoner.
- The gold/bronze plaque engraved along the edge of the complexes first interior pond states that the artifact within it was salvaged from the campaign on Jericho VII. However, a Covenant gravity lift sits in its place. There is a possibility that the artifact was either stolen by the Covenant, stored prior to the Covenant attack, or destroyed to make way for the lift. However, it is very unlikely that ONI would mistake the gravity lift as an artifact. Note that they give the artifact the designation code "NOYFB", meaning "None Of Your F-BLAM!-ing Business".