Arbiter (Killer Instinct)

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This article contains information about a non-canonical subject that, while official, is not part of the established Halo universe.
This article is about the Killer Instinct guest character. For other articles including "Arbiter", see Arbiter (disambiguation).

Killer Instinct - Arbiter.png
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Is an amalgamation of Thel 'Vadam with traits from other Arbiters.


"I have faced the Flood and silenced Truth. I will quell your thunder and douse your flame."
— The Arbiter's intro quote

The Arbiter is a guest character in the third season of the 2013 fighting game Killer Instinct.[1]


"I have fought with honor, endured the brand of shame, dealt out vengeance, even at the threshold of oblivion, I stood against false Truth and the all consuming flood, but now new foes have arisen"
— This Arbiter shares the same history as Thel Vadam[2]

Though Killer Instinct's developers regard the character as an amalgamation of themes and traits from various Arbiters,[3] he is clearly intended to be a stand-in for Thel 'Vadam, the Arbiter introduced in Halo 2. His default and alternate skins are recreations of 'Vadam's Halo 5: Guardians and Halo 2: Anniversary appearances, respectively. The Arbiter claims to have encountered the Flood and killed the Prophet of Truth, both key elements of 'Vadam's history. In his reveal trailer, he even uses 'Vadam's Halo 3 catchphrase, "Were it so easy."[4]

Regardless of the skin used, the Arbiter is equipped with a Covenant carbine, an energy sword (the Prophets' Bane, the Domotos-pattern energy sword, or the unidentified energy sword pattern) and Anskum-pattern plasma grenades, and active camouflage. Using the default Halo 5: Guardians Kaidon skin arms the Arbiter with Thel 'Vadam's personal energy sword, Prophets' Bane, though the Halo 2: Anniversary skin uses a standard Type-1 energy sword. The player can also outfit the Arbiter with the combat harness from Halo 2: Anniversary, the Ascetic armor from Halo 3, the Ranger and Zealot harnesses from Halo: Reach, and the Storm and Commander armors from Halo 4.[5]


Similar to Nicole-458 from Dead or Alive 4, many of the Arbiter's moves and traits are named after elements of the Halo franchise.


Combo Trait - Combat Evolved: After performing a throw or any Ender, the Arbiter can follow up by sticking a plasma grenade to the opponent or firing his carbine to deal additional damage and extend the combo slightly.

Instinct Mode - Judge and Executioner: The Arbiter summons an energy shield that extends his health meter slightly and has unlimited armor against projectiles. The shield fully recharges once its been broken after having not attacked for a while. Additionally, the Arbiter can Parry (HP+HK) similar to the Street Fighter 3 series, blocking all damage and ignoring an oncoming attack completely. Parries can be performed midair as well.

Command Attacks[edit]

  • Step-Kick - (Forward+MK) - The Arbiter performs a large straight kick. Can cause wall splat.
  • Type-51 Carbine - (HK) - The Arbiter fires up to three consecutive shots from his carbine. The carbine holds 18 rounds; once the ammo is depleted, the Arbiter instead performs a melee bash attack. Can be performed midair. Ammo cannot be regenerated, so once all 18 rounds are used, the move is no longer available. Pressing (Forward+HK) will make the Arbiter do the melee bash, even with ammo available.
  • Plasma Grenade - (LP+MP+HP) - The Arbiter throws a sticky plasma grenade. Detonates after three seconds, which can harm both the opponent and the Arbiter and causes stagger. Holding Forward will make the throw arc larger, while holding Back will make the throw arc smaller. Can be performed midair. Holding down will cause the Arbiter to instantly detonate a grenade at close range, causing a hard knockdown on both him and his opponent. Up to three grenades can be held at once, and they automatically regenerate over time once used.
  • Throw - (Forward or back+LP+LK) - The Arbiter grabs the opponent and then slashes them twice. Acts as a launcher.

Special Moves[edit]

  • Mercy's Demise - (QCF+P) - The Arbiter charges and performs an uppercut with his energy sword. Button strength determines distance traveled. Works as a Knockdown Ender.
  • Truth Seeker - (QCB+P) - The Arbiter spins around with an overhead energy sword slash. Hits overhead, button strength determines attack speed. Works as a Ground Bounce Ender.
  • Prophet's Bane - (QCB+K) - The Arbiter activates active camouflage and appears elsewhere, stabbing the opponent through the chest and then throwing them away. Button strength determines distance traveled. Works as a Launcher Ender.

Shadow Moves[edit]

  • Shadow Mercy's Demise - (QCF+P+P) - The Arbiter slashes wildly with his energy sword five times.
  • Shadow Prophet's Bane - (QCB+K+K) - The Arbiter activates a cloaking device and appears behind the opponent, stabbing them through the chest and then throwing them away. Tracks the opponent's location. The kick can be held in order to delay the attack for better timing.
  • Energy Shield - (QCF+K+K) - The Arbiter uses some Shadow Meter to summon an energy shield. Can knock the opponent away on activation, but deals no damage. Functions identically to the Instinct Mode shield, but does not recharge on its own and does not enable Parry.


  • I have fought with honor, endured the brand of shame, dealt out vengeance - even at the threshold of oblivion, I stood against false truth and the all-consuming Flood. But now, new foes have risen, and I have become their prey. Strange in appearance, these warriors hunt me. I see courage and conviction in their eyes, but also questions - the same questions I ask myself. In a lifetime of war, is this the end? My final battle? Will this hunter be the end of me? Were it so easy. — reveal trailer narration
  • I have faced the Flood and silenced Truth. I will quell your thunder and douse your flame. — intro
  • Another victory, yes, but ... there is always another battle. — victory
  • Cleansing flame! — throwing plasma grenade
  • Pathetic. — performing throw


Main article: Arena of Judgment

The Arbiter's stage is the Arena of Judgment, a long-abandoned structure on Sanghelios. The stage background features a battle between the Swords of Sanghelios and Jul 'Mdama's Covenant. As the match progresses, the battle destroys the statues and other structures constituting the arena. Vehicles such as Phantoms and Scarabs occasionally crash into the scenery.

STAGE ULTRA: During a Stage Ultra Combo, the victor knocks their opponent back onto the ground, just as a Scarab bursts through the wall. As they slowly lift themselves up, an out-of-control Banshee falls from the sky in a tailspin through the hole opened by the Scarab. The opponent turns to face the sounds of destruction just in time to see the Banshee hit the ground at an angle, flip up into the air, and land on top of the opponent, crushing them.

ULTRA Combo: 31 Hits

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