James Cutter

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James Cutter
JG Cutter.jpg
Biographical information




June 12th, 2479 [1][2]






185 centimetres (6 ft 1 in) [3]

Hair color:

Black (greying)

Eye color:


Political and military information





Notable info:

Commanding officer of the UNSC Spirit of Fire.


Captain James Gregory Cutter was a senior officer in the UNSC Navy, serving as an officer during the Insurrection and early into Human-Covenant War.[4] He would later serve as the commanding officer of the modified colony ship, the UNSC Spirit of Fire.[5] Cutter is known to have had a wife, Mary Cutter, and a daughter on Reach.[6]


Early career[edit]

Before joining the UNSC, Cutter earned respect for standing up to terrorists in the Epsilon Indi system. Over time, he became the captain of the Spirit of Fire, and is known to walk the ship at night to check on the crew. He is so well respected that coffee houses give him free coffee beans to take with him on long trips.[7]

James Cutter entered the UNSC School of the North Star on September 15th, 2500, where he studied astro-navigation and political science. He was then sent to the Officer Candidate School on June 19th, 2504 where he was taught in Command and Navigation. There, he entered naval service as a Lieutenant and Junior Navigation Officer on the UNSC Brilliant Shores on November 16th, 2507. He was later transferred to the UNSC Final Summit on January 9th, 2514, where he became the Chief Navigation Officer.

He achieved the rank of commander upon his transfer to the UNSC Glasgow on August 8th, 2519, a post he stayed at until his transfer to the Spirit of Fire on the sixth anniversary of his transfer to the Glasgow. He was given the rank of captain upon his arrival aboard the Spirit of Fire.

On May 22th, 2524, he received a Bronze Star for his actions aboard the UNSC Glasgow.[8]

Before the Harvest campaign, Cutter was offered command of the Marathon-class Cruiser, the UNSC Prophecy, though he turned it down.[9]

Harvest Campaign[edit]

Main article: Harvest Campaign

With the outbreak of war with the Covenant, Cutter was handpicked by Admiral Preston Cole to command the Spirit of Fire in her new role as center of repair, supply, and forward deployment operations for Battlegroup D. Cutter participated in the Harvest Campaign in 2531.[10] He developed a close relationship with the ship's AI, Serina, but was suspicious as to the presence of Professor Ellen Anders, suspecting that there was more to her than met the eye.[11] After making a log on the "five years of hell" that led to the reclamation of the planet[12], Cutter and his ship still remained within the system. Cutter believed that although Harvest had been reclaimed by the UNSC, it was unlikely that the Covenant would simply back down. His belief was vindicated in a sense, considering that Sergeant John Forge alerted Cutter that the Covenant had uncovered something in the planet's northern polar region, with Professor Anders giving further proof of this claim. Cutter thus ordered that Alpha Base be brought online and the site be taken.[13] Upon discovery of the Forerunner starmap beneath Harvest, Anders was convinced that the map pointed to the human colony world of Arcadia, and managed to convince Cutter to set course for the planet. In the aftermath of the Harvest 'field trip', Cutter's level of trust towards Anders increased, impressed by the bravery she'd demonstrated down on the planet. This may have been a deciding factor for Cutter's decision to plot a course to Arcadia.[11]

Battle of Arcadia[edit]

Main article: Battle of Arcadia

Upon arrival at Arcadia on February 9th, 2531, Serina reported to Cutter that the colony had come under attack by the Covenant prior to their arrival, and was in the wake of a full invasion. Cutter ordered forces down onto the planet to evacuate civilian population centers. After evacuating Pirth City, Cutter was informed of a Covenant energy dome on the surface of the planet, protecting Covenant forces searching for Forerunner artifacts and concealing their activities. Cutter ordered Anders down to the surface with Forge and UNSC forces for protection in order to deactivate the energy dome using plasma-based Rhino artillery tanks. After clearing out Covenant forces under the dome, Anders was captured by Arbiter Ripa 'Moramee and brought aboard a Covenant ship. Forge was in strong favor of rescuing Anders, with Jerome-092 referring to Anders capture as a "significant security breach", suggesting that the Covenant ship be destroyed. Cutter made the decision to pursue the Covenant ship, tracking Anders' signal.

Battle of the Shield World[edit]

Main article: Battle of Shield 0459

Following the Covenant ship where Anders was being held captive brought the Spirit to a Forerunner installation, where Anders' signal was found emitting from the "planet's" surface. Cutter sent Forge down to the surface, where a parasitic lifeform was found to have infested the installation. After much battle with Covenant forces on the interior of the Shield World, Anders was eventually found by Sergeant Forge after she had escaped. She had gained knowledge of a fleet of Forerunner warships that the Covenant planned to use against humanity. Anders soon devised a plan to use the Spirit of Fire's FTL reactor to cause the artificial sun inside the Shield World to go supernova, to destroy the ships before the Covenant could make use of them. Forge and SPARTAN Red Team defeated 'Moramee and his guards, although the reactor core was damaged. Forge stayed behind to manually overload the reactor. Cutter, using a dangerous slingshot maneuver around the expanding sun, managed to escape the explosion of the sun, after which the Spirit of Fire began a long journey home. Two weeks later, Cutter forced Anders into cryo-stasis, stating that she "..got all of [them] out of there alive." As the pod closed, Anders reminded the captain that not everyone had survived.[14]


In March 2558 the freighter, Pilgrims Pride, was carrying several AC-220 Vultures and AV-22 Sparrowhawks that were previously attached to the Spirit of Fire. By 2558, Spirit of Fire had arrived within Covenant-controlled territory; it was eventually attacked by Shipmaster Vata 'Gajat's forces. UNSC Infinity was dispatched to rescue Spirit of Fire and her crew. However, Captain Cutter's past with Fleet Admiral Terrence Hood's threatened to jeopardize the recovery mission.


In-game information[edit]

HWguide Cutter.png



  • Base Bonus - New bases start as Stations and the starting base is a Fortress.
  • Super Unit - ODST. Final upgrade for Marines.
  • MAC Upgrades - Medium MAC Blast (fires two rounds) - Large MAC Blast (fires three rounds) - Super MAC Blast (fires four rounds).

Strategic tips[edit]

  • The cost for his Super Unit upgrade is 1800 resources. This upgrade allows the player to use the Hot Drop Ability, which deploys ODSTs to the selected area.
  • Cutter's leader power is the slowest and most noticeable of the three (Cutter's MAC Blast, Sgt. Forge's Carpet Bomb, and Anders Cryo Bomb). It is smart to use Cutter's leader power against a Scarab, or an enemy base.
  • Cutter's main advantage is that he can gain an early foothold in any Skirmish since his starting base is a Fortress, which makes him very good at rushing the enemy.
  • It is preferred to send a scout Warthog to see what the opponent foe is doing at the early stages of a Skirmish. However, since Cutter can produce Elephants, it is common to send an Elephant to an enemy base and continuously harass the foe with infantry while a larger force is assembled at the player's base.


Main-Superintendent.png Browse more images on this article's gallery page.
  • Captain Cutter is the only person in Halo Wars that can order an Elephant to be transported down to the combat zone, as well as being able to initiate Magnetic Accelerator Cannon strikes, although in game these are incorrectly referred to as "Mass Accelerated Cannon".
  • Cutter's original concept art closely resembles Emperor Palpatine from the Star Wars universe, played by Ian McDiarmid.[17]
  • He sometimes refers to ships in old nautical terms, although he has never seen an actual waterborne naval vessel.[18]
  • Cutter is voiced by Gregg Berger.
  • James Cutter is also the real name of Captain Spaulding from House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects.


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ Halo Wars: Official Strategy Guide, page 20
  2. ^ Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 43
  3. ^ Halo Wars Leader Cards
  4. ^ Halo Wars Collectors Edition Leader Cards
  5. ^ HaloWars.com - Spirit of Fire facts
  6. ^ Everyone makes sacrifices to fight the Covenant. Game Daily. Accessed on 2009-01-29
  7. ^ Give the man some coffee. Game Daily. Accessed on 2009-01-29
  8. ^ Halo Waypoint - Today in Halo
  9. ^ http://www.gamedaily.com/articles/galleries/halo-wars-character-profiles-captain-cutter-and-the-brute-chieftain/?page=7
  10. ^ HaloWars.com - Spirit of Fire facts
  11. ^ a b Every Captain needs a well-trained crew. Game Daily. Accessed on 2009-01-29
  12. ^ 2008-14-07. E3 2008: Five Long Years Cinematic. Ensemble Studios. Accessed on 2008-14-07
  13. ^ Halo Wars, Field Trip To Harvest
  14. ^ Halo Wars
  15. ^ Halo Waypoint - Today in Halo
  16. ^ Halo Wars: Genesis
  17. ^ early concept art
  18. ^ Halo Wars Leader Cards