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Uplift Reserve is chronologically the second flashback level of the game. The level opens 30 minutes after the drop, as a UAV observes Dutch walking on the beach of Uplift Reserve. He watches the aircraft fly overhead toward New Mombasa before proceeding to move out of the park through heavy Covenant resistance, including Wraiths and multiple other vehicles. Several Marine platoons are also present in the area, and at one point Dutch is tasked with finding one of them. While driving into the last section of the park, Dutch witnesses the collapse of the Orbital Elevator. In the end, he manages to drive out of the park through a large gap in the perimeter wall caused by falling elevator debris and right into the streets of the city.
Uplift Nature Reserve
30 minutes after drop
Two Drone Fighters fly toward the city over the Uplift Nature Reserve, one of the Drone's cameras zooms in on an SOEIV on the beach, and an ODST walking away from it. The ODST is Dutch who watches the Fighters fly overhead. View then switches to Dutch's perspective.
- Dutch: "Good hunting, boys... I'm keepin' my boots on the ground."
Dutch heads up a hill to a clearing where Marines are engaging Covenant armor and infantry, a group of Marines are taking cover near an overturned Warthog, one of the Marines spots him.
- Marine #1: "Trooper, over here! Help us secure this vehicle!"
Together they take out the enemy infantry.
- Marine #1: "Thanks for the assist, trooper! Get this Warthog movin', our CO needs us to clear this sector."
- Dutch: "Affirmative."
They engage heavy Covenant armor, including Wraiths, Choppers and Ghosts.
- Marine #1: "Watch that Chopper! Hit it head on, and it'll tear us to pieces."
- Marine #1: "Keep movin'! Don't let that Wraith take a shot at us!"
- Marine #1: "Swing behind the Wraith! It's got less armor in back!"
After defeating the first Wraith, another moves up and a Phantom arrives dropping off reinforcements; those are soon defeated as well.
- Marine #1: "Colonel! Sector's clear, and we found some backup!"
- Dutch: "ODST reporting for duty, sir!"
- Colonel: "Nice of you to drop in, trooper. Head to the next section of the park, to my second platoon's location! They're taking heavy casualties, need immediate assistance."
- Dutch: "Roger that, I'm Oscar Mike."
- Marine #1: "Where's the rest of your team, trooper?"
- Dutch: "Scattered, dead. I don't know."
- Marine #1: "That's too bad. We're gonna need all the men we can get."
- Brute: "Warn the Chieftain! The enemy has breached our lines!"
A Brute tries to escape on a Ghost.
- Marine #1: "Take out that Ghost! Before it raises an alarm!"
- Colonel: "Trooper, you're almost at second platoon's location. Give 'em a hand and push toward the primary objective!"
- Dutch: "What is the objective, Colonel?"
- Colonel: "You know the Covenant Carrier that slipped away from the city? We need to secure its old LZ. Snatch a Tier One asset."
Dutch arrives at second platoon's location. They are under heavy fire from more Covenant armor and infantry.
- Marine #2: "Trooper, this is second platoon! See what you can do about those Wraiths!"
- Dutch: "Where's the Colonel?"
- Marine #2: "He's near the Covenant LZ! Once we take out this enemy armor, we can roll across the bridge to his location."
- Marine #2: "Trooper, drive toward the Space Elevator, it'll lead you to the bridge."
If Dutch takes too long:
- Marine #2: "Move your ass, trooper! Get across the bridge, now!"
As Dutch and the Marines cross the bridge, the Space Elevator, already weakened from the Slipspace rupture, implodes in different sections and collapses, sending debris flying for miles.
- Marine #2: Look, the elevator! INCOMING!!!
A part of the elevator crashes into the building Dutch and the Marines are driving to.
- Dutch: "What the hell just happened?"
- Marine #2: "Slipspace rupture! Must have weakened the support rings."
- Colonel: "All units, (coughs) target assets are...on the move. Everyone clear the area...before more debris comes down. (coughs)"
- Marine #2: "Colonel? Sir? Damnit, he's gone. Trooper, head up the hill! We gotta find a way outta this park."
If the player stops:
- Marine #2: "Keep driving uphill, trooper. It's the only way out!"
Dutch soon arrives at the Assault Carrier's old LZ, where a group of Marines are pinned down by more Covenant troops.
If Dutch drives over to the Marines, one of them has broken his ankle. Although a Medic is tending to him, the first Marine has lost his mind.
- Crazed Marine: "No, no, no! You're not listening! It's a zoo, okay?"
- Medic: "Well, technically it's a corporate-funded wildlife reserve."
- Crazed Marine: "Semantics! This whole place is one...big...cage!"
- Medic: "Listen, Marine. You're wounded, you need to try and relax."
- Crazed Marine: "Except we, we're the zebras. All fenced in...and ready for the slaughter!"
- Medic: "And the Covenant?"
- Crazed Marine: "They're the lions...RAAAR!"
- Medic: "Careful. I think you just strained a metaphor."
- Crazed Marine: "Oh, oh god! Is that...serious?"
- Medic: "Only if you keep it up."
Dutch finally reaches the top of the hill, and is faced by one final Wraith, a War Chieftain and many Covenant forces.
- War Chieftain: "Let no humans escape, to say what they have seen!"
- Marine #2: "Find a hole in the wall, trooper! Drive right through it!"
If Dutch stalls:
- Marine #2: "Trooper, there's a hole! Floor it!"
If Dutch further stalls:
- Marine #2: "Make the jump, now!"
Dutch drives off the cliff, into the streets below.
Dutch's Warthog/Ghost/Chopper flies off the cliff and lands on the streets below, bouncing once, then crashes into a building. Dutch falls out after the bounce, and his helmet falls off.
- Dutch: "Uh, Lord? I didn't train to be a pilot. Tell me I don't have any more flying to do today."
The view switches to a Superintendent camera that is watching as a Drone Fighter crashes into a monument. The Superintendent's avatar shows the "sad face" image. The optics detaches from the fighter and crashes to the ground, where the Rookie later finds it. Dutch gets up, helmet in one hand.
- Dutch: "So...was that a yes or a no?"
The vehicle Dutch was driving previously explodes behind him. He turns around to face it.
- Dutch: "Amen."
Fades to black.
- The Wraith Killer achievement is unlocked if you destroy every Wraith encountered in the level.
- This is possibly the easiest level to get Vidmaster Challenge: Classic by getting in a Ghost or Chopper and boosting until the end of the level.
- This is the only level in Halo 3: ODST to have Brute Choppers.
- Despite the mission occurring 30 minutes after the drop, Dutch is shown just leaving his Drop pod. This could be because the landing left Dutch briefly unconscious, or his pod was briefly stuck shut like Dare's. The half-hour delay explains why the sky is not filled with the glowing blue clouds and particles, as seen by Buck immediately after the Slipspace rupture during the Tayari Plaza level.
- In Sections A and B of the reserve, which have open beaches, Old Mombasa can be seen across the water, with barrages of anti-air fire coming from an unknown point of origin within the city.
- While moving into Section B of the park, just before the second major fight, allied Warthogs may stop either near the Ghost on the rock or drive around the front of the connecting tunnel. You can move them forward, but they may drive right back to the starting area. This is probably an AI navigation error in the game code; similar idling can also occur at other narrow parts of this level.
- When you first encounter Shade Turrets in Section B, if you turn left towards the shore you can find a dead zebra without eyeballs. Two more zebras are located near the entrance to this section.
- An audio glitch occurs when you get a certain Checkpoint marked by a UAV passing overhead. If you die or revert to that particular Checkpoint, the UAV no longer makes any noise.
- Near the Covenant landing zone with the gravity lift base in Section C, a crazed Marine with a broken ankle is among the group of Marines taking cover behind a ridge. Another Marine tries unsuccessfully to calm him down. This is a reference to the AWOL Marine in Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 3's suicidal marine.
- The Covenant landing zone appears to be an aesthetically upgraded version of the one encountered on The Truth and Reconciliation in Halo: Combat Evolved.
- At the level's end, whatever vehicle you use - a Warthog, a Ghost, or a Chopper - to make the dramatic jump will appear in the ending cutscene. All will have the same speed when crashing into the wall and will explode at the same time. If you make the jump without a vehicle, the Warthog cutscene plays by default.
- Wraiths in this level self-destruct if the pilot is killed, much like the Anti-Air Wraiths in Halo 3. However, they can be commandeered using the same method. Because Wraiths were not intended for you to use in this level, if you drive one over the cliff using the aforementioned method, it will transform into a Warthog, a Ghost, or a Chopper.
- Even if you have a vehicle with Marines when jumping at the level's end, the end cutscene shows an empty vehicle except for Dutch. Interestingly, if you stop your vehicle before the cliff, the marines will wisely exit.
- You can see a section of the New Mombasa Coastal Highway while on the suspension bridge where you witness the collapse of the orbital elevator. The bridge itself can be spotted on a certain section of the Coastal Highway level.
- The Firefight level Lost Platoon is based on this level.
- The Optics Package for the Drone that crashes, can be seen in the end of the game being toyed with by Vergil.
- Dutch's line "I didn't train to be a pilot" is referenced in Halo: Reach as the name of an achievement.