343 Guilty Spark
From Halopedia, the Halo wiki
This article is about the level in Halo: Combat Evolved. For other uses of the term, see 343.
In the swamps near a Flood containment facility on the surface of Installation 04, John-117 is dropped from Echo 419 to search for Captain Jacob Keyes who has been out of contact for over 12 hours. Soon, the Master Chief stumbles upon a structure and ventures within it, only to find out that the Marines accompanying the Captain have been slaughtered by an unknown force. After realizing the fate of the Marines, John fights his way out to the swamp and encounters a questionable ally.
Well Enough Alone
View flies over a group of Kig-Yar and Unggoy running through a swamp, panicky and obviously in retreat. As it pans over them, the outline of a Pelican dropship can be seen through the fog and rain, which further materializes as the view draws closer.
NOTE: In the Anniversary subtitles, Rawley adds, "...and we've been unable to reestablish contact with the Captain or his team."
In certain parts of the level, the player can hear a radio transmission coming from a crashed human dropship and a Covenant communications terminal. As it repeats, static pervades the transmission, and the signal fades in and out of clarity.
John-117 quickly finds the crashed dropship sending the message. There are weapons and supplies piled nearby, but no signs of life. An explosion in the distance throws the bodies of an Unggoy and a Kig-Yar through the air. He heads off to investigate and finds a crashed Covenant Spirit.
The Chief also encounters a small group of Unggoy and Kig-Yar, which he quickly eliminates, before crossing a log bridge. As he moves across the bridge, he sees several shadowy figures running around on the top of the cliff to the right. Also, his motion tracker shows seemingly friendly units in the swamp not too far from his location, but they suddenly disappear off radar.
When he reaches the other side, he hears assault rifle fire nearby. He investigates and sees a mob of Unggoy and Kig-Yar fleeing from a large entrance. A frag grenade explosion throws a Shade turret through the air. The fleeing Covenant regroup nearby and attack him out of fear.
John-117 kills the Covenant and hurries to the entrance, but finds no one there. A lift arrives for him. He takes the lift down into the depths of the structure.
John-117 passes through several large rooms and many smaller ones inside the structure, filled with Unggoy, Kig-Yar, empty Shade turrets, discarded weapons, and dead bodies - both Marine and Covenant. Curiously there is no sign of any Sangheili, alive or dead. In some rooms, Kig-Yar and Unggoy gather at the doorways as if expecting an attack. In one room, the Chief discovers a strange green-yellow substance falling from the ceiling.
As the Chief comes into an area blasted with gunfire and scorch marks, there is the sound of shattering glass. A lone Marine sits leaning against a wall, M6D magnum pointed at him. The Marine shoots at the Spartan if the Chief comes too close, while screaming at the top of his lungs the following phrases. He also fiddles around with his pistol a lot, checking to see if the magazine is full.
John-117 leaves him, and makes his way into the room, which is covered in dead Covenant bodies, blood, bullet holes and plasma scoring. Some areas of the floor are blackened with blasts from explosions. In some areas, small flecks of a greenish substance are found on the floor. The Chief finds a partially shattered walkway and ascends to the second floor. An assault rifle lies on the ground, pointing like an arrow towards the entrance of a room marked with ominous red Forerunner glyphs. The door appears to have been forced open. The Chief goes in, passes a dead Marine, and walks down a ramp.
John-117 approaches the door cautiously and listens for any movement inside. Just as he is about to type a command into the spoofer, there is a noise behind him. He turns around, gun ready to shoot, but sees nothing. After a moment, he turns back to the door, places his gun on his shoulder and opens the door. When it opens, the body of a Marine falls into his arms. He advances a few paces, places the body on the floor gently while making sure nobody follows him through. He sweeps his assault rifle about the room.
The floor is covered in human blood. Discarded UNSC weapons litter the floor. John-117 also notices a helmet lying on the floor, and, crouching, moves swiftly towards it. Once there, he surveys the room one more time, places his rifle on the floor, and picks up the helmet. The name "JENKINS" is stamped across it. There is a large, jagged hole punched through the top of it. The Master Chief shakes his head. He then examines the helmet more closely and notices that the Helmet Recorder, near the Heads-up display, is still intact. He retrieves the Recorder Chip and inserts it into a socket in his helmet.
> OPEN RECORD VIEW [2522.214.171.124:52:56 L]
> Pvt. Jenkins, Wallace A.
> PLAY >
The view switches to a night vision-enabled recording. Jenkins looks around the inside of a Pelican. There are several other Marines seated in the dropship with him. Flip music, Johnson's favorite genre, blares over the cabin speakers.
The Pelican descends to the ground.
Fade to black.
> FFW >>
> PLAY >
The Squad advances through the swamp towards the same structure the Chief is in.
They reach the entrance and sweep their weapons across it, wary.
Mendoza advances in a crouch, gun at the ready.
Jenkins look behind the squad.
The fireteam heads into the structure.
Fade to black.
> FFW >>
> PLAY >
Inside the room where John-117 encountered the Paranoid Marine, the squad stands around a Sangheili carcass. Its chest is torn wide open. Private Mendoza is examining a similar corpse on the left hand side of the screen.
Bisenti prods the Sangheili with his foot.
NOTE: In the Anniversary subtitles, Kappus says, "Something tore open its chest and scrambled the insides."
Captain Keyes approaches the squad.
Keyes looks down at the dead Sangheili.
Fade to black.
> FFW >>
> PLAY >
The squad, along with Captain Keyes and his own squad, stand outside a locked door - the one the Chief has just come through.
Kappus removes a spoofer from his pocket and sticks it to the door. He punches a few keys, and the door opens. He waves the squad through. Bisenti takes point through the door, Jenkins close behind him, and the rest of the squad fans out around him. An odd rumbling sound is heard.
The same hissing noises can be heard in the background.
No response is given.
The same noise that John-117 heard before entering the room is heard.
The odd hissing noise grows louder and louder. Everyone scans the room, trying to find the source of the strange sounds.
Mendoza points to a nearby door, which has just exploded outwards. Small squid-like creatures swarm from it.
Riley lies on the ground, one of the Pod infectors attached to his chest. Kappus tries to pull it off him.
Kappus pulls the creature off of Riley, who goes limp. Kappus struggles with the creature, which is now trying to infect him.
The Marines and Captain Keyes open fire, to little effect. Pod infectors swarm them with overwhelming numbers.
As the chaotic firefight continues, Mendoza dashes for the exit, abandoning his fireteam.
The Marine squad is overtaken, still firing, while their blood sprays as Pod infectors continue to crawl onto them. Another group of infectors drop from the ceiling, right between Johnson, Keyes and Jenkins.
Several infectors attack Jenkins, blocking out his helmet cam. The screen cuts to black.
> END RECORD VIEW [25126.96.36.199:39:23 L]
John-117 removes the chip from his helmet, shakes his head, and tosses the chip to the ground. The noises begin again. He readies his assault rifle.
The door John-117 came through is now locked. Three doors holding dozens of Pod infectors break open one at a time, their inhabitants attacking him.
The entrance breaks open. Massive amounts of infectors skitter inside, followed by unarmed Sangheili combat forms.
John-117 escapes the facility, encountering Flood forms and some Covenant infantry struggling to survive.
John-117 tries to take the elevator he entered with, but while he waits for it to come down, it suddenly falls down and crashes down to the bottom of the facility.
After some fighting, John-117 arrives at another elevator, but it goes deeper underground and Unggoy blood is seen painted on the elevator's shaft. At the bottom of the shaft, he's attacked by armed combat forms - both infected Sangheili and humans. This detour forces him to fight his way back up.
John-117 eventually sees two (three on Easy/Normal difficulty) Marines armed with shotguns and assault rifles fighting the Flood.
Although their weapons give them a distinct advantage, a single Pod infector or a single combat form attack can kill them.
If they survive, they hold their position inside the room, saying the following in random order:
John-117 reaches the final elevator and rises to an exit from the structure.
John-117 reaches the top where a trapped group of 10 Marines are holding out.
It is obvious they used a lot of ammo to escape, and it is all stacked in a pile. Most Marines hold shotguns and assault rifles, one or two have plasma rifles.
The Marine squad eagerly follows John-117 outside, where the Flood close in from all sides. Some Marines are attacked by Pod infectors, and their allies are forced to shoot them.
As John-117 comes near the tower Rawley was speaking of, an odd blue object and a flotilla of floating robotic automatons descend from the mist. The robots begin to slice away at any nearby Flood with built-in energy beams, avoiding the Marines. After a few seconds of fighting around the base of the tower, the screen fades to white.
343 Guilty Spark
John-117 suddenly finds himself enveloped in a bright gold light, and then appears on top of one of the legs of the tower. The blue object hovers in front of him. The Chief instinctively points his weapon at it.
The Chief slowly lowers his assault rifle. Gunfire is still heard below, and bright beams slice through the dark swamp. The Chief and the Monitor ignore the commotion.
John-117 and the Monitor vanish in another series of gold flashes.
Fades to black.
The following achievements can be unlocked on 343 Guilty Spark across the Xbox 360 and Halo: The Master Chief Collection editions of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary. The original Xbox and PC and Macintosh releases of Halo: Combat Evolved did not contain achievement unlocks.
The design of 343 Guilty Spark was initially developed by Bungie designer Paul Bertone, but it was eventually given to fellow designer Jaime Griesemer, who also addded splattered blood decals and the barricaded rooms. Artist Justin Hayward was responsible for the external environment.
There was an idea for the Paranoid Marine earlier in the development of this level in which he will stay alive, and when the player walks a distance away from him there was going to be a loud bang. If the player comes back, he would be found dead on the floor.
According to Director of Cinematics Joseph Staten, the creation of the mid-level cinematic was very time-consuming, as he needed to record every character's movement separately. The music playing during the Pelican ride with Sergeant Johnson and the Marines is known as "flip music", titled Shreddin', from the game Marathon: Durandal, another Bungie creation rather than their previously planned licensed song which was going to be "Paint it Black" by the Rolling Stones. The pilot of the Pelican was voiced by Lorraine McLees. The dead Sangheili seen in the recording was specifically made for the cutscene due to it having its own file and model. Similarly, there is a unique Flood Pod infector used for Jenkin's recording cutscene. In the game's code, it is called a "nopop" and is specifically designed not to pop in the cutscene.
The events of the level were later expanded in the novel Halo: The Flood:
Avery Johnson's escape from the facility was depicted in Breaking Quarantine from the Halo Graphic Novel, while The Last Voyage of the Infinite Succor briefly depicted John-117 in the swamp during the events of this level.
Halo: Combat Evolved
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary