Crow's Nest/Walkthrough

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Halo 3


Sierra 117


Tsavo Highway

Crow's Nest
UNSC Underground Facility Crow's Nest.PNG
Level overview




  • Defend the Base from incoming Covenant troops
  • Rearm the bomb and escape the base


UNSC Underground Facility "Crow's Nest"

Gameplay overview

Default weapons:





Recommended Skulls[edit]

The recommended skulls for this mission are Tough Luck, Fog, Famine and Thunderstorm. Tough Luck is not much of a nuisance, especially with the 1.5 multiplier. The only consequence is the absence of easy grenade sticks. As with Fog, crowded battles like the one in the motor pool and Barracks could be a little fraught, but in this mission, being ruthlessly attacked from behind without beforehand notice is quite rare. Famine is a curse for all EMP/Headshot bonus lovers, with Plasma Pistols never at full charge, conversing the plasma weaponry is a great and desperate benefit. Although the Barracks are littered with Marine weapon dispensers, using human firearms are not affected that much by this skull. And finally, Thunderstorm. There are many Brutes in this level, each dominant with their new promotions, beating them might be a challenge, but there's not too much Thunderstorm changes in this level. However, the player must be careful when facing Brute Captains.

Starting Weapons[edit]

Player V
Starting Point >
Mission Start Rally Point Alpha Rally Point Bravo Mission Start
Rally Point Alpha
Rally Point Bravo
Master Chief Primary Weapon
None MA5C Assault Rifle MA5C Assault Rifle N/A N/A N/A
Master Chief Secondary Weapon
None BR55HB SR Battle Rifle BR55HB SR Battle Rifle N/A N/A N/A
Master Chief Grenades
None None None N/A N/A N/A
Master Chief Primary Weapon
None MA5C Assault Rifle MA5C Assault Rifle BR55HB SR Battle Rifle BR55HB SR Battle Rifle BR55HB SR Battle Rifle
Master Chief Secondary Weapon
None BR55HB SR Battle Rifle BR55HB SR Battle Rifle MA5C Assault Rifle MA5C Assault Rifle MA5C Assault Rifle
Master Chief Grenades
None None None N/A N/A N/A
Thel 'Vadam Primary Weapon
N'tho 'Sraom Primary Weapon
Usze 'Taham Primary Weapon
None Type-51 Carbine Type-51 Carbine Type-51 Carbine Type-51 Carbine Type-51 Carbine
Thel 'Vadam Secondary Weapon
N'tho 'Sraom Secondary Weapon
Usze 'Taham Secondary Weapon
None Okarda'phaa-pattern plasma rifle Type-25 Directed Energy Rifle Type-25 Directed Energy Pistol Type-25 Directed Energy Pistol Type-25 Directed Energy Pistol
Thel 'Vadam Grenades
N'tho 'Sraom Grenades
Usze 'Taham Grenades
None None None N/A N/A N/A


Ops Center and South Hangar[edit]

Exit the Operations Center, collecting a Battle Rifle and Magnum on your way out. Your rifle is very effective against Grunts; a single, precise headshot could immediately topple any type of them. The Magnum is for duel-wielding with either a Plasma Pistol or a Plasma Rifle. Leveling an opponent's shield before making a one last headshot is a recommended way to eliminate Brutes. The Black Eye skull is somewhere in the Ops Center, visit Halo 3 skulls for details.

Once you reach the road tunnel, an initial group of Grunts and Jackals will attack, keep your distance and pick them off with your Battle Rifle, any Fragmentation Grenades picked up is also a good choice against this type of enemy. If you're feeling like ammunition is necessary to preserve (like when activating Famine), you can wait for the enemies to near the Fusion Coils, and then force them to explode with gunfire. Take care of the Brute hanging behind the first squad, and cautiously move towards the South Hanger. Grunts, backed up by Jackals with Covenant Carbines, will charge around the corner at the end of the corridor. If you're feeling confident, spring into their line of sight, and nail then in turn with headshots. Yet again, if ammo is only to be spent when necessary, duck behind cover and use Frag Grenades to disable incoming forces. You can also pick up an SMG in the water to the right-hand side, but swap it back for your previous weapon when you proceed from this battle.

Battling Covenant forces in the South Hangar takes a considerable amount of consideration to a good systematic approach. Use your Battle Rifle to take out the Grunts and Jackals that ascend the stairs. Be quick, or else they may be able to eliminate some of your Marines, and make the following battle much more difficult. Ensure that you have a full supply of grenades before dashing over to the room upstairs before the Phantoms arrive. Collect more ammunition here, and, if possible, a Plasma Pistol. Break the window with melee attacks, and then leap through to rapidly return. You can carry the Machine Gun Turret on the second level down, but this is risky, with hordes of Covenant forces pressing down onto you, mobility may be more important than raw firepower.

The first two Phantoms will drop off a number of Grunts, Brutes and Jackals. Take cover behind the closed weapons cabinet, this provides safety against both Brute Shots and probably grenades, not to mention giving you a clear view of incoming enemies. Drop your Plasma Pistol in a memorable spot, and then start neutralizing the Grunts and Jackals. The attack force won’t have much cover on the landing pad, not that they actually plan to use it, but this gives you an advantage over almost all enemies you are pitted against. The Brutes generally stand out in the center of the pad, exposed to all gunfire, and just left of your position at the weapons cabinet. Attempt to clear out the Grunts on both the left and right-hand sides of your position, or you will be surrounded.

Despite their valiant lack of cover, dealing with the Brutes is a somewhat challenging task. Pick up that dropped Plasma Pistol and start executing the EMP/Headshot technique against all the Brutes. The Magnum pistol is a weak weapon unless accurate, so choose your shots carefully. This is not the time you’d want any berserk Brutes. If your Marine allies are still alive and ready, they’d be able to contribute vital kills, consider this a reward for conserving your teammates. Enemy fire will also most likely be directed to them, whilst this decreases their chances of survival, it gives you the opportunity to pick off enemy units while they’re distracted.

Before the final wave of adversaries arrive, make your way up and pick up supplies (ammunition, grenades etc.). Stay near the Machine Gun Turret as the Phantom arrives, but cling onto your Battle Rifle for the time being. Then the Grunts drop in, take them out in turn with your weapon, and then, one they’ve been neutralized, hop onto the turret and sweep up any remaining troops.

Pick up that Machine Gun Turret and make your way back to the Ops Center, the journey back is faster if you drop the turret, but if you don’t, it’ll be useful for later.

The small cave that you must pass through before reaching the Operations Center is an ambush point for an entire swarm of Drones. Position yourself beside the small corner wall to the right as quick as you can, the Covenant will arrive very soon. As they flood out of the ceiling, stay behind the fence wall and keep your turret at the ready. Keep firing and avoid incoming fire from the insectoid beings. Your first targets should be the small force of Drones that attack from the right, but if you move further along, you could also be able to wipe out a great amount of the enemies at the center of the cave. Keep ducking in and out of cover to unleash small, controlled bursts of Machine Gun fire as you eliminate the Drone force. Use common sense to only stroll out when it’s safe, and this frenzy may not be as hard as expected.

When the battle finishes, your turret should be nearly out of ammo, so go to the left-hand side of the cave, climb the big rock, and detach another one there.


Sewers and Motor Pool[edit]

The room beyond the Ops Center is a death trap for those who are not careful and preservative. It’s a showdown against a Chieftain, accompanied by approximately a dozen Brutes, and no checkpoints. But, fortunately enough, this battle might not be as fraught and difficult as fear might suggest. The correct technique is sort of a cat-and-mouse chase with your opponents; hiding from the enemy until they draw near to investigate, and then striking when the time comes. It is also recommended that you detach a turret found in the area that you fought the drones, as this allows you to kill the brutes much quicker.

Enter the room, look to your left-hand side; you should see a parking bay, and a trailer in that bay. The trailer has a set of back wheels that you should take cover behind, do that and hold your position. Operate from here for the majority of the battle; it’s a suitable, almost impenetrable piece of cover and provides some escape routes if necessary. Although there are still things to be aware of, first of all, the Brutes use Spike Grenades, you should retreat to the slope behind you to avoid these. But this position gives Brutes the choice to shoot through the gap beneath the trailer. The second danger is, due to the large number of Brute Shots, any explosions can dislodge the containers on top, exposing more of you. Stand closer to the wheels if this happens to avoid any incoming projectiles, another option is to take point on the wall further along and abandon the trailer. Lastly, Brute Shot blasts might come pummeling at you, even if they miss their target, the blast damage may lower your shielding, leaving you even more vulnerable.

The alternate idea is to enter with a Bubble Shield (optional but helpful).When you run, in make sure you have a Shotgun and an SMG with full magazines each. SMGs can be found in the weapons area at the beginning of the level. The Shotguns are next to the door to the barracks. In the motor pool, close to the door you came in are some Gravity Lifts. Deploy a Bubble Shield if possible and grab one. Activate it so you can get to the second level. Then, go to the room on the right with a dead marine with some Assault Rifles, a Shotgun, and some Frag grenades. Now get to the wall against the way that the Brutes are coming. Watch your motion tracker and use your Shotgun to neutralize them. Even if on Legendary, a Shotgun burst then a melee will be enough to execute one of the Brutes. When there are only a few of them left, get out your SMG and take out the Brute Chieftain. Then, go back to the Ops Center and get full ammunition for each weapon. Continue on with the level.

The Brutes here would run down the slope ahead in teams of either two or three, but not always, the opposing team will suggest retreat once you start opening fire. Not unlike many other experiences in the rest of your campaign, patience is the key to success. Wait until the Brutes dare to move forward, then inch out and take them out in turn with your dislodged Machine Gun Turret, ducking back into cover when required. This method should stick with you throughout the first part of the battle, hide in wait until the curiosity of the Brutes forces them to investigate your location, then strike swiftly in order to dispatch as many adversaries as possible, before retreating back into the shadows for the next attack. However, if the catch skull is on, the kind brutes might decide to give you a nice helping of spike grenades, which will hurt when they richocet off the ceiling and into your face. To prevent that, please dispatch the brutes before they do so.

Keep an eye on your turret’s ammo count, when it drops to 50 bullets, rest it somewhere safe and pick up a Plasma Pistol to dual wield with your Magnum. You can find one right behind your position by the trailer. Concentrate on both taking down incoming Brutes, and killing any that wield Brute Shots, even at range, they are a threat to consider about during this part of the battle. After the end of the battle draws closer, your targets would attack in smaller groups, like pairs or even solo sometimes. When this happens, your ammunition and plasma energy could run low, so use grenade sticks to take care of the remaining Brutes, but beware of potential chain reactions, the lower garage area would’ve been littered with dropped Spike Grenades by now.

If you are completely out of ammo, grab a gravity lift and levitate to the top level, but be careful. The enemy will bombard you with grenades and the Chieftain is hard to avoid from up here. BR ammo is on the left, so go there.

It is by their nature that Chieftains generally charge when most of his allies have been taken out already, this one is no exception. When the number decrease below three or four, the Chieftain will attack and come straight at you. Consider this the most dangerous part of the confrontation, as there is little room the maneuver and dodge hammer strikes. Collect the turret you dropped earlier, and open fire as the Chieftain just about lumbers into range. You should have enough ammunition to at least blow his helmet off. If not, use Frag Grenades and headshots to wear him down before his deadly Gravity Hammer is close enough to knock you out of commission. If things don’t go as planned and the need of an escape route seems inevitable, go to the small pile of Gravity Lifts in the center of room, use one to boost yourself up to the higher level. This is sometimes your only option when the Chieftain activates his invincibility unit, which he’ll be driven to do when attacked.

Overconfidence kills when facing the last few Brutes, they can still be a threat, and some could be waiting behind Deployable Cover shields. The tactic is the original, wait somewhere safe, and then lure the opposition to you. Once you’re absolutely positive that the area is clear of Brutes, stock up on Battle Rifle and Magnum ammo, plus picking up a few Spike Grenades, they would be useful later. Leave this place, and continue on.

Another tactic is to not enter the motor pool at all and stay in the hallway, so that the door behind leading to the ops centre does not close. From this, one can go back for ammo, have more cover, and more importantly, lure the chieftain, should he charge, into the ops centre, then run back into the motor pool, so the door behind will close on the chieftain.

The next very short battle is with a couple of Drones flying through the sewers, it is quite minor, but drains your ammunition supply unless a tactic like the given one is used. Approach slowly, turn to the first pipe, the first Drone will appear, then fire at it and make sure it’s dead before it flies away. Another two will emerge from either side, deal with them, then repeat the process for the next two pipes, then pick up a Plasma Pistol to duel wield with your Magnum. If you want the Grunt Birthday Party Skull, it is somewhere in, or near, the sewage area that you just visited, go to the Halo 3 skulls page for details. If you already have gotten the skull, drop down and meet Thel 'Vadam below.

You can avoid the Drone battle by simply killing the first one and dropping off the edge. They will not follow.

Barracks and Landing Pad Bravo[edit]

You have the right to be a little afraid when you know that this upcoming fight can be slightly tricky, with almost no checkpoints and a large number of Brutes. Plus the fact that there are no Needlers here and very short supply of Plasma Pistols, except the one that you picked up during the previous Covenant encounter. But what really can make this battle very fraught is the absurd presence of Jackals and Brutes on the upper walkways.

A suitable rule about fighting here is to always stick to the ground floor; a surprise attack from an unseen Brute is imminent unless you do so. The Arbiter and any surviving Marines would help by drawing the opposition’s attention whilst you strike stealthily, the Arbiter’s dual Plasma Rifles are also excel at lowering the Brutes’ shields, leaving them vulnerable to headshots. Your grenades are equally as useful; lob them into the midst of the enemy to disable each of their shields by a considerable amount. The Spike Grenades you collected after killing the Chieftain would prove deadly against the Brutes when used properly, the slain victims also drop a number of them to constantly replenish your supply.

First of all, target the Brutes nearest to you, employ charged Plasma Pistol blasts followed up by well-aimed headshots to finish them off. Then switch to your Battle Rifle and kill the two Jackals on the upper walkway, this gives you two additional Plasma Pistols to use. But use your original one for now, you can either open fire with the Battle Rifle as you near the corner rooms, or fight at close range, using you EMP/Headshot combo against the Brutes. Move cautiously to the corner, there still might be Brute(s) hiding in the showers, check to your right before heading up the stairs to investigate.

The second long corridor is home to not as many opposing troops as the first, and fortunately there are no Jackals here to worry about. Although this place is an arguably riskier battlefield than the previous one. You had the luxury of a checkpoint before, but now you don’t, until you’ve cleared this corridor. The most deadly obstacle here is the Brute wielding a Brute Shot, who positions himself outside the second shower area. Use a charged Plasma Pistol blast to disable his power armor as fast as possible then finish him off with a properly aimed Magnum shot.

There is a way to take the enemy by surprise and remain in good cover, especially from grenades. From the shower block, jump across to the upper walkway in the second corridor. There is a ladder to your right that will let you into the vents above, with several holes to shoot through. Spike grenades will not make it up into the vent with you, but the shrapnel still hurts so when one is thrown back away. You can follow this for a fair while, strategically picking off brutes.

Turn around the final corner you’ll encounter a group of Brutes, accompanied by yet another Chieftain, this time, he’s wielding a powerful Plasma Turret, with, as always, an infinite supply of plasma battery. Make sure you dive back into cover once a single plasma blast hits you, the rapid fire rate of the turret means about a dozen following shots that could easily end your life on harder difficulties. The door on the right just before the corner is vital to winning this fight; you can use the short corridor behind it to ambush the Brute force whilst your allies draw their fire away from you. Plasma Pistols and Spike Grenades can deliver destructive force when used properly against these enemies. A number of charged EMP shots could vastly lower his power armor, when the helmet is off, a headshot from your Battle Rifle should do the trick.

Grab more Battle Rifle ammunition and swap your Magnum for a Carbine once the fight is over, then collect the dropped Plasma Turret prior to departing.

Descend the elevator, and enter Landing Pad Bravo, a place where Pelicans used to land to deploy troops, but is now the place where Jump Pack Brutes land to make another feeble attempt to kill the Master Chief. To the left of the elevator exit,there is ammunition for both the Assault Rifle and the Battle Rifle which can help on higher difficulties. Everyone should know that, unless you’re on Easy or Normal difficulty and you’re a skilled player, a heroic march straight onto the landing pad could be problematic. In other words, the safest technique is to plan this operation carefully. There’s very little here and the Jump Pack Brutes could be a massive problem. They are mobile and can hover in the air, but with a price, when you melee a Brute when he is landing, the results are deadly, when you melee a Brute’s Jet Pack when he’s landing, the results are both explosive and deadly. The second reason to not be in a frenzy with a group of Jump Pack Brutes is their unpredictability and habit of using equipment, such as Radar Jammers and Trip Mines.

Once you have engaged the first group of Brutes, reinforcement will drop down from the control room and land on the pad. Later in the battle, about half a dozen more will join the fray and make things even more difficult. If the amount of grenades is still in your favor, you can position some at the middle of the pad as a little welcoming gift for the new arrivals. Be patient throughout this fight, not another checkpoint will present itself until every last Brute has been struck down.

It is an encouragement to try making your stand anywhere in the lower level beneath the landing pad, although the safest spot is by the large metal crate directly outside the elevator door. This is exactly why it was useful to bring along the turret with you, just take point in a safe place until the Brutes near you, and then fire controlled plasma bursts at them until their power armor fails, and then either switch to the Battle Rifle for an instant headshot, or simply continue shooting it with the turret. If you did not bring it along, the battle is much more difficult, but there is a free supply of Battle Rifles on the wall dispensers to the right of the elevator.

The metal crate isn’t perfectly safe, despite being the best cover there is in the area. Although it’s a flank-less spot where Brutes located to the left and right can’t hit you. Some Brutes also try to jump onto a position at the bottom of the nearby steps, where they’d be a sitting duck against your high-powered Plasma Turret. Though, through an unlucky and unfortunate turn of events, a Brute might, just might, land directly on top of the crate, and/or just beside you. Although this happens less frequently as you might expect.

When you finally reach the checkpoint, stock up on Battle Rifle and Carbine ammunition before you move on.


Ops Center and South Hangar II[edit]

The two indoor roads that lead to the motor pool are now crawling with dozens of Grunts backed up by shielded Jackals. There are also a several planted Plasma Turrets manned by Grunts, though they are less dangerous as one might presume, you can usually kill the operator with a couple of shots. Just simply use all cover you can, only exposing yourself to wipe out all visible enemies as you proceed.

Although, once you turn the corner and battle your way to the motor pool entrance, become more aware of the potentially annoying Jackals with Beam Rifles. There are two of them, and even one is bad enough. Their elevated position allows them to spot you a few seconds before your gaze of disgust even falls upon them. In other words, you must be extremely cautious to not be unexpectedly sniped. The recommended technique is to simply take care of all the Grunts and turret operators before attempt to kill the marksmen.

Collect all the grenades you can, and stock up on Battle Rifle ammunition, there’s plenty in the upper level of the Motor Pool. Swap your Carbine for a Beam Rifle and grab a Plasma Turret prior to entering the Ops Center.

Inside the Operations Center, all the Covenant forces, including the Chieftain, are faced towards the hologram of the Prophet of Truth; apparently, he threatens to forfeit the Chieftain’s place in the Great Journey if success is not committed. Put down your turret in a safe spot and be ready for combat. Now, it’s time for an ambush, it may be tempting to start whacking Grunts in the head, but you should focus on sticking one of the two Brutes directly in front of you, if you’re lucky, them might both end up stuck and deceased before the first shot is taken. Use your Battle Rifle to take out the Grunts as the third Chieftain in the mission, carrying the third Chieftain weapon, starts firing at you. These are Fuel Rod Gun missiles, perfectly able of wiping you out without even a direct hit. If luck is in your favor, the Chieftain might even commit friendly fire with misguided missiles.

Dealing with this kind of Chieftain in confined spaces is difficult and risky, not to mention mostly depending on his behavior. Whilst the tactic of hitting a Chieftain to death is fine with most close-quarters Chieftain encounters, it is quite unsuitable when he is holding a Fuel Rod Gun and is pointing it right at your position. If he’s still at range, use Beam Rifle shots to wear him down and blow his helmet off before the finishing shot. If he’s close, rush to your Plasma Turret and pummel him with volleys of shots.

Kill the Brute manning the planted Plasma Turret and re-arm the bomb in the middle of the Ops Center and proceed to the cave for the third time en route to the South Hangar. You’ll find that it is more wrecked than before. A panicked group of Grunts populates this area and also two Jackals with Carbines on the slope to your right. This fight tends to be simple, but the rumbling and occasional blackouts caused by numerous explosions throughout the base of Crow’s Nest make aiming pretty hard. Activating your flashlight may make the loss of lights less disorienting.

In the road tunnels, a large group of fleeing Grunts will be encountered, kill these quickly, for they might retaliate and fight when you least expect it. The small swarm of overhead Drones might cause some alarm, but they actually do not stop to fire their weapons.

You return trip to the South Hangar is actually not as dangerous as your first. The remaining Covenant are a scurrying bunch of Grunts and Jackals, easy prey for the Battle Rifle. There is additional ammunition in the upper level room, but you can just simply fight your way to the elevator and escape the ensuing chaos.


New Enemies: Jump Pack Brute, Drone

New Veichles:--------

New Items: Radar Jammer, Grav Lift, Deployable Cover, Regenerator, Power Drain, Cloaking

New Weapons: Plasma Turret, Machine Gun Turret, SMG, Plasma Rifle, Spike Grenade,

This level promotes a lot more weapons and, most notably, more items, than the first. You should learn to get used to them and maybe start taking advantage over the different weapons, possessing knowledge of their weaknesses and strengths; you might want to warm up with them if you’re already a veteran of the Covenant war and completed at least one of the previous Halo games.

Demon Achievement Milestone: 15,000 points

Recommended Multipliers: 4+ (Fog (1.5) + Famine (2) + Thunderstorm (1.5) + Tough Luck (1.5))


0-20 min – 3×

20-25 min – 2.5×

25-30 min – 2×

30-40 min – 1.5×

Preceded by
Sierra 117
Halo 3 Campaign Walkthrough for:
Crow's Nest
Succeeded by
Tsavo Highway

Video Walkthrough[edit]