Real World

Birth of a Spartan

From Halopedia, the Halo wiki

Birth of a Spartan
Augmentation Begins April 28th.jpg

Directed by:

Noam Murro[1]

Release date(s):

April 28, 2010[1]

Running time:

2 minutes, 30 seconds[1]

Available in:



Birth of a Spartan is a live-action short made exclusively for the launch of Halo: Reach.[1] The trailer was directed by Noam Murro.[1]

The short showcases the SPARTAN-IIIs, members of a project to create economical and expendable super soldiers and successors of the SPARTAN-IIs. It depicts the transformation of Carter-A259 from a teen trainee to a superhuman Spartan supersoldier.[1]

Production notes[edit]

The muted colors and the lighting in the short were intentional design choices, to make the world feel realistic despite the sci-fi setting. The shot of the surface of Onyx was shot at a coal mine, although the truck driving through the scene was filmed in a different location and added to the shot digitally, as the filming team could not get the truck into the coal mine. The cliff and the monolithic UNSC base were both added digitally, and the base's design was inspired by architecture in Prague. The Pelican dropship, as well as the model of the UNSC Hopeful, were re-textured higher-resolution models of Halo: Reach in-game assets. The planet Onyx seen from the windows is a matte painting.[2]

The operating room featured real, working Mitsubishi robot arms with moving drills. It was noted that the team spent some time rehearsing the use of the robotic arms, and that the needle that is shown going into Carter's arm was retractable. The camera that follows Carter during the augmentations, as well as the view screens in the operating room, were digitally inserted. The shots of the augmentation liquid going through tubes in Carter’s skin and the resulting vein effect were achieved digitally, with the interior of the vein being a matte painting. The needle was actually a live action element that was punctured through "some fleshy material". The final overhead shot of Carter waking up also involved matte painting work of the environment beyond the bed.[2]


  • According to Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, the SPARTAN-IIIs, (at least those of Gamma Company), were unconscious during Project: CHRYSANTHEMUM and the drugs were slowly administered over the course of a week.[3] In the short, Carter is awake and the procedure seems to take only minutes. However, the short is meant to reflect the augmentation process in a condensed timeframe,[4] explaining why the procedure seems to take so little time to perform and perhaps suggesting that Carter was anesthetized for most of the operation. The short also shows Carter's eyes changing color to bright blue, a side effect never mentioned in any other Halo media.
  • The Director's Cut of Birth of a Spartan features extended scenes that are absent from the finalized commercial version.[5] Significant changes from the finalized version include alternate scenes of Carter waking up after his augmentation procedure, the appearance of De Guzman, and the inclusion of UH-144 Falcons.
  • Carter's Spartan tag is printed on the left side of his prototype armor,[4] while it was printed on the right side of the final version of his suit.
  • In Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary and Halo: The Master Chief Collection the player earns the "Birth of a Spartan" achievement for completing the game on Normal difficulty.



Related links[edit]