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Behold a Pale Horse

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Behold a Pale Horse


Halo 3: Original Soundtrack


Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori




Farthest Outpost


Edge Closer


Behold a Pale Horse is the fourteenth track (Disc 1 Track 14) included in Halo 3: Original Soundtrack, and plays during the Halo 3 campaign level The Ark. It is composed of Behold a Pale Horse (0:00-1:28), Reconciled (1:28-3:10), Overcome (3:10-4:54), and Small Victory (4:54-5:38).


Behold a Pale Horse[edit]

Behold a Pale Horse (1:28) is a full rearrangement of the track On a Pale Horse (from Halo: Original Soundtrack). It starts out much the same way the original starts, with steady, accented chords voiced by the strings along with low string pizzicato. The first difference from the original is when the strings are joined by piccolo and choral when the ensemble plays a melody-variation of the monk chant from the Halo Theme in the accented chords. A heavily accented part follows with the addition of brass, finishing out the piece. The piece plays when John-117 leads Marines on the assault to clear a landing zone for UNSC Forward Unto Dawn.


Reconciled (1:42) is another rearrangement of a piece from Halo: Combat Evolved, featuring the theme heard in the first section of the track Truth and Reconciliation Suite. The piece begins with low strings and brass on a low note as the rest of the brass play an epic sounding theme. This is then joined by more strings, the violins playing arpeggios while the low strings and brass play phrases similar to what they play in the Halo Theme. A more peaceful section follows, mainly played by strings with the addition of chorus; the theme is a variation on the A Walk in the Woods theme. The piece plays when UNSC Forward Unto Dawn arrives at the landing zone.


Overcome (1:44) contains two sections: it begins with the mysterious-sounding melody of Lost from the track Brutes. This effect is synthesized to create a distant like ambiance. Heavy percussion join in, and the motif repeats. Gradually, the section becomes more minor and gloomy, yet with a faint air of hopefulness about it. The piece plays when John-117 leads the UNSC convoy to the wall in the dessert and encounters Zurdo-pattern Wraiths defending the position. The second section features vocals, strings, and a harp, playing an ethereal ambiance. It plays softly in slight variations. This piece plays when John-117 is inside the wall, then again when he enters the spire containing the Cartographer, and continues into the cutscene in which he activates the Cartographer. The heavy percussion was incorporated into the later tracks Edge Closer and Escape (from Keep What You Steal). It also plays during Firefight in Halo 3: ODST. The choir of the second section was later featured in the track From the Vault from Halo: Reach Original Soundtrack.

Small Victory[edit]

Small Victory (0:44) interrupts the previous piece with a rapid melody, much more stimulating than the previous sections. It is based mostly off of the Halo Theme, with strings, drums, and choir. It stops as suddenly as it started. The piece begins during the cutscene in which a Ru'swum-pattern Phantoms interrupts the discussion between John-117 and 343 Guilty Spark at the Cartographer.

Production notes[edit]

Just like On a Pale Horse, the name of the track references Revelation 6:8, how the English translation reads: "And behold, a pale horse, and he who sat on it, his name was Death. Hades followed with him. Authority over one fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword, with famine, with death, and by the wild animals of the earth was given to him.", referring to the end of the world.