|Halopedia has a walkthrough guide to this level, Keyes. See Keyes/Walkthrough.|
|“||Stage a one-cyborg assault on a Covenant ship and bring back the Captain.||”|
Keyes is the ninth campaign level in Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary. In this level, the MCPO John-117 returns to the Truth and Reconciliation to rescue Captain Jacob Keyes. The Master Chief fights his way through the ship and on the ground while trying to survive the bloody engagement between the Flood and surviving Covenant forces. At the end of the level, the Master Chief discovers a horrifying truth: Captain Keyes has been completely taken over by the Flood. With no other choice, the Chief physically removes the Captain's implants which contain the access codes to the UNSC Pillar of Autumn. He then hijacks a Banshee and escapes.
In Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, upon completion of this level on any difficulty, the player will unlock the achievement "Keyes", which is worth 25 Gamerscore points. If the player managed to kill every Sangheili in this level on Heroic difficulty or higher, they are awarded by the "Tying Up Loose Ends" achievement and 10 Gamerscore points. Furthermore, players who managed to kill 100 Flood infection forms in this level on Heroic difficulty or higher are rewarded by the "Popcorn.gif" achievement, worth 25 Gamerscore points.
 Under New Management
View flies through a canyon filled with pools of reactor coolant under the Truth and Reconciliation. The CCS-class battlecruiser is resting on the top of the canyon, heavily damaged. The Flood and Covenant forces are fighting all throughout the region.
- Cortana: "The Covenant network is in absolute chaos! From what I've been able to piece together, their leadership ordered all ships to abandon Halo when they found the Flood, but they were too late. The Flood overwhelmed this cruiser and disabled it. The Covenant are terrified the Flood will repair the ship and use it to escape from Halo. They've sent in a strike team to neutralize the Flood and repair the ship for immediate departure. I've got a good lock on Captain Keyes' CNI transponder signal! He's alive! And the implants are intact! There's some interference from the cruiser's damaged reactor. I'll bring us in as close as I can."
John-117 teleports into the end of a corridor in the cruiser. The view flips over, upside down, and the Master Chief falls on his head; he was teleported in upside down.
- Cortana: "Ohh... I see, the coordinate data needs to be— "
The Master Chief whacks the side of his head with his fist as he stands up.
- Cortana: "Right. Sorry."
The Chief begins to walk down the hallway.
- Captain Jacob Keyes (COM): (weakly) "Chief... Don't be a fool. Leave me..."
- Cortana: "Captain? Captain?! I've lost him..."
If the player stalls around on the corridors outside the starship's bridge:
- Cortana: "The damage caused by the crash and the Flood have sealed off all nearby access ways to the control room. We should find another way in."
The Chief encounters a small Covenant lance fighting the Flood; they are soon overwhelmed. The Chief eliminates the Flood, continues down the hallway, and gets to one of the hangar bay. A large hole in the floor is just past the door, blocking the Chief's progress.
- Cortana: "Analyzing damage... This hole was caused by some kind of explosive. Very powerful if it tore through a ship's hull. All I detect down there are pools of coolant. We should continue our search somewhere else."
After staying in that corridor for a few moments, Flood begin dropping out of a hole in the ceiling behind the Chief, cutting him off.
- Cortana: "Warning! Threat level increasing!"
The Chief fights off the increasing horde of Flood for a few more moments.
- Cortana: "That jump into the coolant is looking better all the time, Chief!"
If the players lingers for too long, fighting the Flood:
- Cortana: "Trust me! It's deep enough to cushion our fall!"
If the player still continues to hold his/her ground:
- Cortana: "Chief, we need to jump now!"
Overwhelming Flood forces continue to pour down the hallway, forcing the Chief into the hole.
The Master Chief falls into a large pool of coolant, which breaks his fall. View begins under-coolant. Covenant and Flood are heavily engaged around the pool.
- Cortana: "Let's get out of here, and find another way back aboard the ship."
The Chief navigates the area, interrupting fights between Covenant troops and Flood forms.
- Cortana: "We should head this way, towards the ship's gravity lift."
- Cortana: "The crash did more damage than I suspected. Analyzing. Coolant leakage rate is significant. The ship's reactor should already have gone critical."
The Chief finally reaches the gravity lift, which is lightly guarded by Covenant troops, who are fighting off the advancing Flood forms.
- Cortana: "Power source detected. There's the gravity lift. It's still operational! That's our way back in!"
Once the area is cleared, the Chief takes the gravity lift back inside the ship:
The Chief, standing in the gravity lift, looks up and flies up into the Truth and Reconciliation.
 Upstairs, Downstairs
The Chief arrives at the gravity lift bay, dead Covenant troops and blood splatters scattered around. A few Infection Forms wander around.
- Cortana: "We should be able to get into the ship's control room from here."
The Chief finds an unlocked door and walks through it.
- Cortana: "The Covenant Battlenet is a mess. I can't access the ship's schematics. My records indicate that a shuttle bay should be... here."
Cortana marks the spot with a navigation point.
Upon reaching the nav point, it turns out to be a cargo bay. Flood forms walk around the area, guarding the corpses of dead Covenant troops in the corners.
- Cortana: "Look, in the corners. The Flood are gathering bodies here."
After fighting through hordes of Flood, the Chief returns to a Covenant troops-occupied area in the ship. He continues on, reaching the shuttle bay.
- Cortana: "Looks like another shuttle bay. We should be able to reach the control room from the third level."
- Keyes (COM): "I... gave you an order, soldier! Now pull out!"
- Cortana: "He's delirious! In pain! We have to find him!"
The Chief ascends through the corridors and reaches the third floor.
- Cortana: "The control room should be... this way."
She assigns another navigation point. The Chief follows the navigation point, venturing deeper into the chaotic hallways.
 The Captain
Keyes screams over the COM channel in agony.
- Cortana: "The Captain! His vitals are fading! Please, Chief, hurry!"
The Chief eliminates both Covenant troops and Flood forms around the bridge.
The Chief aims at the Proto-Gravemind sitting on the command center in the bridge as he walks up to the raised platform. The Captain's face sticks out of it, with his body dangling below, deformed.
- Cortana: "No human life-signs detected. The Captain! He's...one of them!
- Cortana: "We can't let the Flood get off this ring! You know what he'd expect- What he'd want us to do."
Master Chief punches into Keyes' skull, sticking his hand inside. He pulls out the neural implants, shakes the Flood biomass off of them, and inserts them into his helmet.
- Cortana: (quietly) "It's done, I have the code. We should go."
- Cortana: "We need to get back to the Pillar of Autumn. Let's go back to the shuttle bay and find a ride."
Side doors open and a horde of Flood forms charge into the bridge. At the same time, the doors the Chief entered through open up to reveal a Covenant SpecOps team. A huge fight ensues.
Once the Chief returns to the shuttle bay, a Covenant Spirit dropship enters the hangar, dropping off more troops, escorted by two Banshees.
- Cortana: "Perfect. Grab one of the escort Banshees, and we'll use it to return to the Pillar of Autumn."
The Chief, after fighting through Covenant troops and Flood forms, eventually reaches the lowest level of the shuttle bay and pilots one of the Banshee.
The Chief, onboard the Banshee, flies out of the hangar. Multiple Covenant infantry and a Shade turret laid down heavy fire, but the Banshee quickly flies out of range.
Fades to black.
- If Flood infection forms get to the player in the gravity lift cutscene, the Chief's blood will spray and the forms will still float in the place.
- If the player manages to skip all the battles with the Flood and the Covenant after he/she gets into the Cargo Bay, he/she will get to the Proto-Gravemind before the chapter "The Captain" can be triggered. The chapter title and the dialogue between Cortana and Keyes will be triggered after the player gets back to the Cargo Bay.
- It's possible to trigger the cutscene on the bridge without first defeating all the Flood. If this happens, then all surviving Flood will transfer over to the cutscene and will continue to attack and eventually "kill" the Master Chief. The scene continues to play as scripted with Cortana speaking and the Captain's face exploding. When gameplay resumes, the player will still be alive as though nothing happened.
- It's also possible to trigger the cutscene on the bridge without defeating both the Covenant and Flood; this can be easily done on the Easy difficulty. If this happens, then all the surviving Covenant and Flood will continue fighting when the cutscene begins as the Master Chief can hear the fight between the Covenant and Flood during the cutscene.
- When piloted, the escort Banshees can fly through walls.
 Easter eggs
- In Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, the ninth terminal, represented as a red holographic panel, can be found in the bridge's right sunken crevice, specifically to the side of the raised platform.
- The scenario of Keyes is almost identical to that of the level, Sorry Don't Make It So, from Marathon 2: Durandal. Both of the levels require the protagonist to fight his way through a captured and heavily damaged alien ship during a heated battle between two opposing forces being the Flood against the Covenant in Keyes and the Pfhor against the UESC in the level from Marathon.
- When inside the bridge, look a bit to the right off the ramp and one could see a tentacle with Keyes' pipe, which has the Marathon logo on it.
- If analyzed, the route the Chief took in the beginning of the level is wrong. Since players can see the bridge through the grille in the beginning of the level, it indicates that the player is on the third floor. However, once the player reaches the hole created by coolant, he/she is located on first floor of the shuttle bay. The corridors that lead the player from the beginning of the level to the hole are obviously too short to travel such a high and long distance. This is obviously an oversight by Bungie's mission designer.
- The route the Chief takes the second time he enters the ship also seems to be wrong. The first Cargo Bay's general layout has changed (the big doors though which the Marines came out in the previous level now leads the other way, the corridor on the right side leads down instead of up to the second floor of the Cargo bay, and that place is now taken by the corridor on the left side), the Hanger Bay's highest platforms have doors that switched places (the first time the Chief enters the ship, the route to the Control Center was at the last door on the platform while this time it's at the first door) and the Control Center's entrances are also changed.
- Sometimes, when the player reaches the Shuttle Bay in the last part of the level, if the player walks up to the edge of the disabled energy barriers, Cortana may start to repeat the quote about the ship's crash and it leaking coolant.
- The player can see the proto-Gravemind inside the bridge by looking through the grill in the beginning of the level.
- The sentence "Chief... leave me," was added by Martin O'Donnell to provide an explanation for why the player is looking for Captain Keyes aboard the ship.
- The waves of Flood which force the player to jump are not endless, but can in fact all be killed if the player expends sufficient ammunition. This is far easier if the player utilizes the Bandanna Skull in Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary.
- The crashed Banshee next to the gravity lift is the only pre-placed Banshee wreckage to appear in-game until Halo 3: ODST. The crashed Banshee has its own model in the games files.
- The Wraiths and Ghosts aboard the Truth and Reconciliation can not be driven, though they can be destroyed with grenades or gunfire. This differs from the drivable Ghosts in the game, which cannot be destroyed or damaged unless they are being driven. The Ghosts aboard the ship remain completely stationary regardless of any explosions nearby; drivable Ghosts will be flung by nearby detonations.
- Strangely, the Grunt with the fuel rod gun in the Spirit dropship will always die upon impact with the ground. Furthermore, the fuel rod gun's subsequent explosion does not kill any of the nearby Grunts. On rare occasions, the fuel rod gun-wielding Grunt will survive the explosion and will be left with no weapon. He will act as if he is holding a weapon and if the player gets close he will scream out as if throwing grenades, although he does not actually throw them.
- In the cutscene "The Captain", a second Master Chief biped can be seen under the platform with the use of a flycam. This was done in order to have the player character's biped out of sight while the cutscene is acted out.
- In the cutscene, "The Captain", when the Master Chief retrieves Captain Keyes' neural implants, he was meant to burn Keyes' skull out of the proto-Gravemind with a flamethrower and then retrieve the implants. Due to time constraints, the flamethrower was removed from the final game. Bungie had Robert McLees do research on what burned skulls looked like. When he had finished, he said "[He'd] done [his] work too well", as the burned skull was too gruesome.
- The escort Banshee with the navigation point is tagged as an ally on the motion tracker. This probably is due to Cortana wanting the player to use an “ally’s” vehicle. For example, if players board a vehicle, drive fast, and bail out with it still moving, it will indicate a large yellow dot on their motion tracker, even if there is no one inside. However, when an enemy is in a vehicle, they are shown as red blips.
- When the escort Banshees enter the Truth and Reconciliation, their canopies are in the open position, despite being manned and airborne.
- The Banshee that the Master Chief commandeers at the end of the level makes the same flying sounds a Pelican does and flies at the same speed.
- In Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, a very faint whispering can be heard coming from the proto-Gravemind even after Keyes' skull has been crushed.
- ^ Halo: The Flood, page 288
- ^ Bungie.net: Jason Jones Interviewed by You ("[...] the Flood's galactic joyride in the Truth and Reconciliation...")
- ^ Halo 3 Essentials
- ^ The Art of Halo, page 140
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