Midnight

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This article is about the Halo 4 level. For the Halo 4 achievement, see Midnight (achievement).

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Composer

Next:

Midnight
Midnight.png

Game:

Halo 4

Player:

John-117

Date:

July 25, 2557

Location:

Onboard Mantle's Approach, over Earth

Objective(s):

Stop the Didact by destroying the Composer.

Main-Legendary.png
 
With the Composer in the Didact's possession, Chief and Cortana must destroy the device before he turns it on his next target.

Midnight is the eighth and final campaign level of Halo 4. Completing the level on any difficulty awards the player the Midnight achievement. Killing three Promethean Crawlers with the gravity hammer in one hit in the level unlocks the Chief, Smash! achievement.[1]

Transcript[edit]

{Cutscene}

Fade in to Ivanoff Station's hangar, where an F-41 Broadsword is being moved by an overhead conveyor belt, stopping once it reaches the open doorway. A floor panel opens up underneath, revealing a gravity lift that floats a missile carrying a HAVOK nuke up to the fighter. Once it reaches its underside, the fighter's clamps lock around it. The conveyor belt releases the Broadsword, letting it float on its own. The fighter slowly turns, activates its thrusters, and blasts forward into space. Fade to black.

Fade in on the Mantle's Approach. A few moments after it passes the camera, Master Chief's Broadsword speeds by in pursuit. Cut to inside the Broadsword's cockpit.

  • Cortana: "Approaching the Didact's ship in two hundred kilometers! Once we get onboard, we'll find the bridge."

A slipspace portal opens in front of the Mantle's Approach.

John-117 pursues the Didact's ship through slipspace aboard a Broadsword fighter.
  • Cortana: "The fighter's shields aren't rated for slipspace!"
  • John-117: "No. But the Didact's are."

John pushes the throttle. The fighter boosts forward and approaches the Didact's ship. As it nestles on the top, the shields of the Mantle's Approach activate, and the enormous ship and Broadsword pass into slipspace together.

ONE LAST SHOT[edit]

{Gameplay}

The Broadsword flies forward through an enormous chasm in the Forerunner ship. Streaks of stars can be seen in the sky from their slipspace travel.

  • Cortana: (mildly cracking from rampancy) "Broadsword's hull integrity is stable. We'll be safe as long as we stay below the Didact's shields."
  • John-117: "Where's the Composer?"
  • Cortana: "Close. I should be able to guide us to it."
  • Didact (COM): "You have not been Composed. Such inoculation should not have been possible."
  • Cortana: "Locking onto his transmission... he's at the Composer. We can take them both out at once."

The Broadsword encounters its first obstacles: large moving walls, and Forerunner anti-air turrets. The Broadsword fires at them and at an orange beacon to unlock a gate.

There is a loud crackle and the streaked sky above returns to normal. Earth can be seen overhead.

  • Fleetcom Watch (COM): "At current velocity, hostile will achieve Earth orbit in approximately 4 minutes."
  • Cortana: "Infinity must have warned them!"
  • John-117: "Sierra 117 to UNSC Infinity. Captain Del Rio, do you read?"
  • John-117: "Affirmative, Sir. Where's the Captain?"
  • Lasky (COM): "FleetCom didn't take too kindly to his abandoning you on Requiem. I'm afraid I'll have to do."
  • John-117: "The Didact's got the Composer. We're in a Broadsword carrying a HAVOK-grade payload, on approach to deliver it."
  • Lasky (COM): "Let's see if we can grease the wheels for you. All ships! Prepare to engage!"

The Broadsword maneuvers through a tight tunnel filled with spires. Walls inside shift to block its path. Outside, the Broadsword must unlock further gates and clear anti-air defenses.

  • Lasky (COM): "Chief, the Battle Group's moving forward to engage, but at the rate the Didact's ship is advancing, he'll reach the wire in T-minus two minutes."
  • John-117: "Commander, direct all your ships to the Composer."
  • Lasky (COM): "Copy that, Chief."
The Broadsword in a trench of the Mantle's Approach.

The next tunnel is larger, but has more anti-air turrets. The Broadsword clears these and moves on.

  • Orbital Defense (COM): "This is Earth Orbital Defense! MAC defenses ineffective against enemy vessel! It's still approaching!"

The Broadsword flies through a series of laser gates, which move up and down and are lethal to touch.

  • Lasky (COM): "Infinity to FleetCom: Battle Group has reached Didact's ship."
  • Fleetcom Watch (COM): "Captain Lasky, you are clear to engage."

The Broadsword clears a chain of gates, then reaches a tunnel whose interior grows smaller and smaller. After flying through it, it arrives at the Mantle's Approach's main weapon.

FROM THE CRADLE...[edit]

The new area is round and surrounded by larger anti-air cannons. In the distance, the Infinity and several other UNSC ships can be seen approaching the Didact's ship.

A tunnel at the center leads down to the interior of the ship, but begins to close off.

  • Cortana: "There it is... No, wait!"
  • John-117: "Infinity, the Didact just closed off our entrance to the Composer."
  • Lasky (COM): "We could try punching a hole in that hull plating, but Infinity won't be able to get a clear shot with all that flak."
  • John-117: "We'll take care of the guns."

In the distance, one of the UNSC ships explodes after being hit by a beam from one of the cannons.

The Broadsword destroys a beacon at the center of the arena, which shuts off the lasers forming hazards on the floor. It then destroys the energy inside one of the cannons.

  • Lasky (COM): "Whatever you're doing's working! Clear up the approach and Infinity could drop in to punch a hole for you."

The Broadsword shuts down the second gun.

  • Cortana: "Two cannons neutralized. Two to go!"

The Broadsword takes out the third cannon.

  • Cortana: "Only one gun left."
  • Lasky (COM): "Copy, Cortana. Weapons, prepare firing solution! We promised to get the Chief inside that ship, and I am not about to let that man down!"

The Broadsword destroys the final cannon.

{Cutscene}

John and Cortana's Broadsword zooms out of the firing area.

  • John-117: "That's the last one. Infinity, you're clear."

Cut to the Infinity, positioning itself to face the Didact's ship.

  • Lasky (COM): "Roger that, Chief. You might want to back up a little. Main battery, fire!"

The Infinity fires its twin fore weapons, which strike the front of the Mantle's Approach and create a neat hole leading to the interior. The Chief's Broadsword flies back to enter the ship.

  • John-117: "Clean hit. We're proceeding to insertion."
  • Lasky (COM): "Acknowledged. We'll be on station if you need us. Make sure you give the Didact our regards. Infinity out."

The fighter curves around and dives inside the still-burning hole. Inside it's dark and a tight fit. A wall tries to close to block the Chief's way.

The Infinity confronts the Mantle's Approach.
  • Cortana: "Chief, look out!"

The Broadsword spins out of the wall's way. More walls start closing in to stop their fighter. Cut to the Broadsword's cockpit. John can see the tunnel growing tighter and tighter.

  • Cortana: "I don't think this is going to end well!"

Cut to black as the fighter crashes. Fade in and pan back to it, as John jumps out.

  • Cortana: "Now what do we do?"

John turns around and carefully removes the warhead from the missile. He then locks onto the back of his armor and grabs his assault rifle.

  • John-117: "Plan B."

As John walks away, cut to black.

...TO THE GRAVE[edit]

{Gameplay}

John heads down a tunnel; moments later his HUD tints purple and begins to flicker with static. Cortana's image appears on a side screen. Multiple waypoints are listed on John's HUD

  • Cortana: (voice squeaking and distorted) "Chief, I know I'm supposed to know what to do, but..."
  • John-117: "We'll have to deploy the warhead manually. How and where?"
  • Cortana: "I always know what to do. I always know what to do! ...Just give me a second."
  • John-117: "Keep scanning for the Composer. We'll figure it out along the way."

John's HUD turns back to normal. He then engages several enemies. Promethean Knights are encountered in the next room.

  • Didact: "Where reason does not stop you, perhaps force can at least delay you."

More Knights are fought in a room with two doors.

  • Cortana: "I recommend entering the doorway to your left."

John jumps down a shaft, his descent slowed by a gravity lift.

  • Cortana: "I won't leave you! I promise! (in the background simultaneously) I will always take care of you."

John lands and Cortana's face returns to his HUD.

  • Cortana: "Still good for something, I guess. I detected an energy signature up ahead. I think it's a transit system like on Requiem. Find a way to access it."

John goes down the hallway to find a room with a large chasm. The platform at the end has an activation port. John's visor flickers purple again.

  • Cortana: "I'll try to route us to the Composer. Put me in the system."

John plugs her into the system. Cortana briefly appears then fades to a glowing sphere, flickering white and red.

  • Didact: "Is this the secret you've kept from me? This... evolved ancilla?"
  • Cortana: "Didact knows I'm in the system. Hurry! Go!"

John passes through the opened portal to another room. This hallway is filled with Crawlers.

  • Cortana: "Portal..."
  • Didact: "I sense your malfunctioning companion, Human. And yet, she eludes me."

John passes through the portal at the end to another room with several portals.

  • Cortana: "Can't fight... Didact... and... myself... si-mul-ta-neously! Opening another portal..."

John travels higher up into the room until he reaches it. The next room is an armory. A whispering Cortana can be heard in the background. For a few seconds the incoming transmission, instead of having the name "Cortana", has "Dr. Catherine Halsey".

  • Cortana: "I'm sorry, I can't control what my processes are doing. The stronger threads keep reprioritizing themselves over me. (in the background simultaneously) John, our mother needs us!"
  • John-117: "What about the Didact?"
  • Cortana: "I can't hide much longer... I'll try to move you to the Composer again."

After stocking up, John passes through the portal and arrives at the previous room.

  • Cortana: "Portal open! Far side of the room!"

John reaches the portal, but the next room is not at the Composer.

  • John-117: "Where are you?"
  • Cortana: "The Didact's cloaking the Composer from me!"

Promethean troops arrive.

  • Cortana: "Reinforcements! Hold them off while I locate the Composer."

An infinite wave of Crawlers charges the player from the bridges.

  • Cortana: "I'm taking control of the local defense turrets."

Two beam turrets slowly charge and fire at the Crawlers. Cortana finishes and her image appears for the player to reclaim her.

  • Cortana: "I've got it. I locked him out of the system but I don't know for how long!"

If John stalls:

  • Cortana: "Pick me up and I'll take us to the Composer."

If John stalls further, Cortana will repeat these lines at random:

  • Cortana: "Over here! Come get me!"
  • Cortana: "I just want to help you. Please!"
  • Cortana: "You think I'll just let you go off all by yourself?"
  • Cortana: "Please don't leave me!"
  • Cortana: "You can't do this alone. Not this time."

John retrieves Cortana and runs down a bridge to the portal at the end. Turrets lining the bridge assist him.

  • Cortana: "The Composer's on the other side of this portal."

John teleports and walks into a gravity lift, which takes up several stories. His HUD flickers purple again.

  • John-117: "How do we get over there?"
  • Cortana: "Conveyor lift, end of the ramp. If we time it right, our momentum should carry us through the low gravity."

OLD FRIENDS[edit]

At the end of the platform is a man cannon. John runs into it, and he shoots forward through a tunnel to float into a large room with Forerunner Escorts and Aggressor Sentinels. In its center is the machine channeling the Composer. John's HUD flickers during the trip.

  • Cortana: "Chief, once that warhead is primed, the window for getting out of here is going to be pretty slim."
  • John-117: "I know."

The room's roof opens up, revealing Earth in the sky above. An enormous slipspace portal forms in the chasm below the machine.

  • Didact: "And so, you come at last."
  • Cortana: "Activity! Significant slipspace event, building under the Composer."
  • John-117: "He's powering it up."

John lands on a platform with a hallway leading further in. After he passes through the door, he sees an orange energy shield now surrounding the Didact and his machine. The shield is projected by two beams at opposite ends of the room.

  • Cortana: "The Didact's shielded himself inside the Composer. The nuke won't do us any good unless we can disable that barrier. Find me a terminal."

{Cutscene}

John plugs her into a terminal at the end of the platform. Cortana's image appears, now flickering badly.

  • Cortana: "I've got to do something you're not going to like."

Cortana screams and her body contorts in pain. Each time she steps to the side, another Cortana comes out of her and disappears into the terminal. John then retrieves her.

{Gameplay}

  • John-117: "What did you just do?"
  • Cortana: "I ejected my rampant personality spikes into the system. If I do that at each of those beams, the copies can overwhelm the Composer's shielding."

John rides a man cannon to another platform.

  • Cortana: "Get ready!"

After fighting through many Prometheans, John reaches the platform's terminal.

  • Cortana: "Now! Before the Didact sends reinforcements."

John plugs her in and Cortana splits herself again.

  • Cortana: "That's it. It's working."

One beam powering the shields shuts off. John rides to another platform.

  • Didact: "You humans sought the Didact; you will have him."
  • Cortana: "Chief, his ship's in range! Once the barrier's down, you need to get the nuke in there fast!"

More Prometheans pour in to stop the two of them.

  • Cortana: "Hurry, run, go! Merge me into the vessel!"

John plugs her into the terminal. Cortana splits herself one more time, then turns to see the shield disappear.

{Cutscene}

The shield around the Composer flickers out, but the beam of the weapon itself is active. Cut to the Didact, fully armored and floating inside of the beam.

The Composer is activated.
  • Didact: "And yet, still you fail."

With a wave of his hand, the Composer activates and fires at Earth, seen in the slipspace portal above. The beam strikes in the North American southwest.

Didact rises into the beam itself, while enormous energy from it is seen surging below the machine.

Cortana turns to face John. John tries to retrieve her but the terminal suddenly disintegrates, knocking John away and draining his shields.

  • John-117: "Cortana!"

{Gameplay}

John stands up and retrieves his weapons. As he runs down the platform, he can hear Cortana whispering in the background. The phrases play at random.

  • Cortana: (whispering) "Save me."
  • Cortana: (whispering) "Destroy it."
  • Cortana: (whispering) "Take it to the core. Destroy it."
  • Cortana: (whispering) "I always take care of you."
  • Cortana: (whispering) "We will light this."
  • Cortana: (whispering) "Place the bomb in the core."

John returns to the original platform via a man cannon and fights off more Prometheans. Midway through, his HUD flickers more violently than more.

The current objective notice appears on John's HUD, but rather than an objective, it is a message from Cortana: "It's alright. But you must hurry…" John reaches the gravity lift at the end and is lifted to the light bridge. He runs down it to reach the machine at the end.

  • Cortana: [rampant] "Prime the nuke... Sa-a-a-ve them. Destroy the Composer."

{Cutscene}

John cautiously walks down the bridge, keeping an eye out for the Didact. Looking into the beam, he sees the Didact inside vanish. He continues to walk forward, then turns and aims his weapon when he hears the Didact speak.

  • Didact: "You persist too long after your own defeat."
The Didact and John-117 facing each other.

John levels his weapon, but can't see the Didact anywhere. Seemingly alone, he cautiously backs away, then continues down the bridge. Behind him, the Didact floats down.

  • Didact: "Come then, Warrior. Have your resolution."

John turns to fire on him, but the Didact telekinetically bats him away. John's battle rifle falls off the bridge and the nuke falls toward the end of it.

John skids to a stop, turns to look at the Didact, then at the nuke. He charges toward the latter, but the Didact again telekinetically stops his lunge. The Forerunner lifts him midair and floats John towards him, removing his own helmet as he does so.

  • Didact: "So misguided."

The Didact floats John off the edge of the bridge. John is unable to do anything to free himself. His shield flickers from the constraint.

  • Didact: "Humanity's imprisonment is a kindness."

He tightens his fist, and John begins to choke. Hearing a strange whispering, the Didact looks and sees multiple Cortanas rising from his light bridge.

  • Cortana(s): "In that case, you won't mind if we return the favor."
  • Didact: "Your compassion for mankind is misplaced."
  • Cortana(s): "I'm not doing this for mankind."

The seven Cortanas leap into his armor and form chains of hard light that hold down his arms and legs. The Didact loses his grip on John, who falls and manages to catch the edge of the light bridge. He looks up.

{Gameplay/quick time event}

John-117 faces the Didact.

John struggles to climb up the edge. His shields are down and don't recharge. After looking down at the Composer's energy below, he pulls himself up and pulls out a pulse grenade. The Didact is still struggling to free himself.
(If the player fails to climb up in time, the Didact breaks loose from his restraints and telekinetically pushes John off the bridge, and the game reverts to last checkpoint. If the player does not even attempt to climb, John automatically dies after a certain amount of time and the game resets.)

John dashes toward the Didact and plants the grenade in his chest. The Didact breaks free and punches him away at that moment. The Didact again telekinetically strangles John, and the Spartan is about to lose his breath when the pulse grenade detonates. The Didact reels from the blast, loses his balance and falls off the bridge, dropping into the swirling energy below.
(If the player fails to plant the grenade on the Didact, the grenade falls and rolls onto the bridge as Didact telekinetically restrains John and then throws him off the bridge, and the game reverts to last checkpoint).

John watches the Didact vanish into the vortex, then groans as he crawls to the HAVOK bomb. He tires and eventually can only pull himself with his arms. Grabbing the nuke and priming it, he looks up at the beam firing on Earth and decides there's no time to escape. With a loud cry, John punches the bomb to make it immediately explode. Fade to white as the nuke detonates.
(If the player fails to reach the bomb or detonate it after a certain period of time, John will automatically die and the game resets to the last checkpoint.)

{Cutscene}

John comes to inside a purple bubble, which seems to be made out of hard light. He looks around him then stands on his feet.

  • John-117: "Cortana? Cortana, do you read? Cortana, come in."

Johns turns around and sees Cortana striding towards him. Her body is made out of hard light, and she's now as tall as a real human being. The two of them walk towards each other.

  • John-117: "How...?"
  • Cortana: "Oh, I'm the strangest thing you've seen all day?"
  • John-117: "But if we're here-"
  • Cortana: "It worked. You did it. Just like you always do."

Cortana smiles. John looks around the bubble curiously.

  • John-117: "So how do we get out of here?"

Cortana looks down at the floor a little gravely.

  • Cortana: "I'm not coming with you this time."
  • John-117: "...what?"
  • Cortana: "Most of me is down there. I only held enough back to get you off the ship."
  • John-117: "No. That's not-! We go together."
  • Cortana: "It's already done."
  • John-117: "I am not leaving you here."
  • Cortana: "John..."

Cortana walks up to him and touches his breastplate. The spot glows in response.

  • Cortana: "(sighs) I've waited so long to do that."

John looks away.

  • John-117: "It was my job to take care of you."
  • Cortana: "We were supposed to take care of each other. And we did."
Cortana bids John adieu.

John looks up. Cortana sadly smiles.

  • John-117: "Cortana- please..."

Cortana begins to back away, out of the bubble.

  • John-117: "Wait."
  • Cortana: "Welcome home, John."

Cortana steps out of the bubble and vanishes. Cut to John, staring at where she was as the Didact's ship crumbles around him. Fade to white, then cut to black.

Trivia[edit]

Behind the scenes[edit]

  • The Didact had the following lines cut from his confrontation with John: "You have challenged my authority, and for what? A child race unfit to bear the Mantle of Responsibility for the galaxy." His model still mouths the words, but this is hidden by the camera angle of the shot.[2]
  • During the recording of Midnight's ending scene, a line spoken by Cortana was removed from the final version. The line was: "I used to love watching you sleep. Waiting for you to wake up made me feel like anything could happen next."[3]
  • Jen Taylor remained unaware of Cortana's fate until just after the last recording she did with Steve Downes.[4]

Glitches[edit]

  • If the player destroys the particle cannons before destroying the shield generator, the cutscene and dialog caused by their destruction will not start. Destroying the generator will cause the dialog to play with several seconds between lines; after the last line the cutscene will start. This can be accomplished by shooting through the hole that the energy beam goes through toward the particle cannons. To get a sightline and survive,the player must be just below the cannon and fire as soon as the target is about two meters wide, then pull up.

Miscellaneous[edit]

  • This is the only level in Halo 4's campaign in which the Covenant are not encountered.
  • It is possible to leave the playable area in the beginning section of the level.
  • This level features the first playable section in the Halo series to take place in slipspace, which is depicted as a bright haze of luminous, predominantly blue-tinted streaks reflecting various colors across the visible spectrum, a departure from the general description of slipspace as pitch-black emptiness. A similar effect is seen when the UNSC Infinity is seen traveling through slipspace in first episode of Spartan Ops. Although this may be an instance of artistic license to make slipspace more visually appealing and to convey the movement of ships traveling within, the effect may also be produced by Forerunner slipspace drive architecture or other trait different from previously observed human and Covenant ships. It is known that dimensions exist within the range of slipspace that have a visible appearance of bluish fog; a Forerunner crystal caused the Ascendant Justice to transition into such an alternate slipspace.
  • The Didact is defeated through a quicktime event, similar to how the player must defeat the Sangheili in the elevator shaft in Dawn. In this sense, the very first and very last enemies in the game are defeated through quicktime events. Both events end with the enemy falling down from great heights.

References[edit]

  • The Broadsword sequence is clearly inspired by the trench run on the Death Star in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Like Luke Skywalker, John-117 must pilot a one-man fighter through a system of narrow chasms, (dodging point-defense fire along the way), to destroy a superweapon. He cannot travel above the surface of the trench because the Broadsword cannot survive in slipspace, much as Luke must stay below the minimum angle of the Death Star's surface guns. Both protagonists receive timely assistance from allied ships, clearing a path to their objectives, which allows them to destroy their respective targets. Both John and Skywalker are greeted by honor guards after rendezvousing with their peers.
  • The scene in which the Composer is fired on New Phoenix resembles the Narada's attacks on Vulcan and Starfleet Academy in the 2009 film Star Trek. The camera angle in this sequence is nearly identical to the establishing shot of Narada's drill platform over San Francisco, albeit mirrored. The continous orange beams fired by the Composer and the Narada also look very similar.
  • The scene in which the Didact falls into the slipspace portal is reminiscent of the death of Emperor Palpatine in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.
  • The man cannon that launches John into the final section of the level is reminiscent of the end of the level High Charity from Halo 2. In that level, John enters a gravity conduit to board the Prophet of Truth's Keyship.

Mistakes[edit]

  • While this level takes place in July, the northern URNA, primarily Canada, is clearly covered in snow. This is likely a developer oversight as Earth's terminator line is inconsistent with the summer months. In July, the terminator runs northwest to southeast across North America in the morning, with the northernmost regions experiencing 24-hour sunlight. In-game the terminator runs northeast to southwest with the North Pole bathed in shadow, a phenomenon which occurs only in winter.
  • At roughly 30 miles (48.3 km) long,[5] the distance from the level's starting point near the top of the ship to the Composer's location near the bottom is far shorter than the vessel's canonical height (371 kilometers) would entail.[6] This is likely because the ship was not intended to be so large prior to the official establishment of its size, as evidenced by its scale against other vessels in the game's cutscenes.
  • In the cutscene in which Master Chief crashes the Broadsword, he picks up an assault rifle after attaching the warhead to his back. When gameplay begins, however, he is wielding a battle rifle and a SAW. There are also no assault rifles in this mission, and this is the only mission in Halo 4 where he does not start with an assault rifle.
  • FLEETCOM is written as "Fleetcom" in subtitles when spoken, but as "FleetCom" when being spoken to.
  • In the Master Chief Collection version, a glitch randomly causes the prompt for planting the grenade in the Didact's chest to read "Press RT to fire machine gun."[7] The correct (default) control is LT to throw a grenade.

Gallery[edit]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ Halo Waypoint: The Halo Bulletin - 22/08/2012
  2. ^ YouTube: Halo 4 - Playable Cinematics
  3. ^ YouTube: Missing dialogue from Halo 4 - Midnight cutscene
  4. ^ Youtube: Exclusive Interview with Jenn Taylor (the voice of Cortana) at E3 2013
  5. ^ Polycount: The Environment Art of Halo 4
  6. ^ Halo 4: The Essential Visual Guide, page 193
  7. ^ YouTube.com, PRESS RT TO FIRE MACHINE GUN
Preceded by
Composer
Halo 4 Campaign Missions
Midnight
Succeeded by
Epilogue