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Investigate Covenant Structures, Neutralize Hostiles
Szurdok Ridge, Viery, Reach, Epsilon Eridani System
This is a walkthrough for the Halo: Reach level Nightfall. It is written for play at the Legendary difficulty, but contains notes for lower difficulties. This is the fourth level of Halo: Reach. For this mission you are joined by Jun-A266. Your mission is to investigate the Covenant Presence, report on any Covenant Structures or devices, and pacify all hostiles in the area. Your initial loadout for this mission is your Sniper Rifle System 99 Anti-Matériel an M6G Pistol and 2 M9 Grenades. This mission places a heavy reliance on both Stealth and Ranged shooting. It is important to note that as this walkthrough is on the Legendary difficulty, all strengths of enemies reflected are at the Legendary level. Also of note on this Mission is that this is the first mission where your choice of equipment will actively effect how you approach this mission.
...Too Quiet (Mission Start)
Silent. But Deadly.
As you start this mission, you're on a cliff side ledge with Jun advancing stealthily (as stealthily as a SPARTAN in a half ton of MJOLNIR armor can be). Arm your pistol, you will not need your Sniper Rifle here. You will encounter an Elite Major with his back to you. Slowly advance and assassinate him. For reference, the jump assassination seems to be the quietest of the available assassination animations; the others have a chance of waking the nearby Grunts. If you'd rather not take a chance, use the standard melee to instantly and silently kill the Elite. Assassinate as many Grunts and Jackals as you can. Leave the Elite Ultra for last. Jun will help a little thinning out the enemies, and his sniper fire will force the Ultra back into the rocks. This is your cue to move down the hillside. quickly step up and grab the Active Camouflage. Activate it and slowly move around the rocks until you are behind the Ultra and assassinate him. This takes a bit of work, but is well worth it, since you're going to need every round in your Sniper Rifle that you can get. Before you advance here, let your active camo recharge. It's going to come in very handy in the next section.
Peek-a-Boo! I Shoot You!
Once your active camo is recharged, move forward. When you see the rocks, you want to be right of them, but behind them. Activate your camo and edge forward, bringing up your Sniper Rifle and peek over the crest of the ridge you and Jun are on. Across the way, on the roof of one of the structures, you will see several Elite Rangers and a Spec-Ops Elite with a Focus Rifle. Take out the Spec Ops Elite with a head shot, then as many of the Rangers as you can before they start to Jetpack away. Make sure you kill the Spec Ops Elite! If he survives, he'll cloak and be much harder to take down. The Rangers can all be taken down with one headshot; wait until they stand still for a clean shot unless you're very confident with your sniping. Bring out your Pistol and start clearing all the Grunts and Jackals from the lower area. There are also a couple of Elites on the floor, a General and a Major, but you can leave those for a bit as Jun will keep them distracted as long as you move out of sight. Stay cloaked. The Covenant troops will concentrate on Jun, giving you time to line up shots. Make sure you switch off the cloak to check your motion tracker occasionally; kamikaze grunts have a nasty tendency to sneak up on you once you've taken out a few Elites. Checking the motion tracker will help you catch them before they get close enough to strike. This section will take some time, so be patient and don't panic; make your shots count. Just as importantly, take note of your surroundings! There are some fuel tanks in the central ground area. Rather than waste sniper ammunition dropping the shields of the General, keep an eye on him. If he moves close to the fuel tank, shoot the tank with your Sniper Rifle; the explosion will severely weaken him even if it fails to kill. Once you've sanitized this area, move into the building and go upstairs. Find your way to the next oven area. You will see a cylindrical tower in the center and a circular space with some interiors surrounding it. Take out the Elite Major on the tower. It will take 2-3 shots, but you can't have him shooting at you as you run and gun this area. There is a Plasma Turret on the left side upper floor of the building on the far side. Use a sniper round and take it out. Pull out the pistol and take out the Grunts and Jackals. The remaining Elites will hopefully be distracted and a little weakened by Jun. Try to get up high and finish them off with the Sniper Rifle, or you can sneak around and try and assassinate them. Keep in mind that on Legendary Elites will spot you when you are cloaked if you're close enough to them and in their sight line; sneaking up behind them or sniping is still safe. Once you've cleared all the enemies, you can see run up to the plasma battery and look right. A couple of Jackal Majors and a Grunt or two will be trying to sneak up along the path. Use your pistol to finish them off. Grab the turret and remove it from the mount. Head out where those Jackals came from.
Let Sleeping Dogs Lie (Rally Point Alpha)
A Whole New Kind of Ugly
As you advance here, you are going to see two very large creatures. These are Gúta, and they are indigenous to Reach. They are assaulting a squad of Covenant, so sit back and watch the carnage. Grunts and Jackals flying about like ragdolls is amusing, but once the Gúta are done with the Covies, they will turn their attention to you. You can outrun them if you have Sprint, but if you don't (and you shouldn't, Active Camo is more useful on this level) they can catch you and smack you across the area with their very powerful melee attacks. Hop up onto the low rocks to your left where they can't get you and use your Plasma Cannon to take them down. If you have plasma grenades, sticking the Gúta will kill them instantly. Move forward again. You're going to be greeted by the sounds of gunfire. Civilians are under fire from Covenant forces, a mixed group of Grunts, Jackals, Skirmishers, and Elites. Find a high perch, bring up the Sniper Rifle and start downing targets. Focus on the Elites, but take any targets of opportunity that come into view especially the Skirmishers. Once you've downed the Elites, (there should be three or four Elite Majors, maybe an Ultra or two) finish off any remaining Covenant with the Magnum or Sniper Rifle.
Man, And I Thought Things Just Couldn't Get Any Worse
Head to the center of the area; the civilians (if any survived) and Jun will gather here. There will be ordnance here including DMRs, Rocket Launcher, sniper ammo and most importantly a Drop Shield. Swap your now nearly empty pistol for the DMR, grab the Drop Shield and head up to a roof. Keep Active Camo if you prefer it, but keep in mind this is a long fight and you will probably have to regenerate your health more than once. If you have civilians left they will most likely die here, though on lower difficulties you may be able to save them. At this point in the level the Sniper Rifle isn't completely essential. If you're talented with it, hang onto it, it's very useful, but if you can't use the Sniper Rifle well you can get through this section with the DMR without too much trouble. The first Phantom Dropship is going to let out a pair of Elite Majors and a bunch of Jackal Majors and Grunts. You are mostly going to play hit-and-fade here, moving into position killing a few enemies then moving to cover to recharge. Use the DMR to pick off the Jackals and Grunts and snipe one of the Elites if you get the Chance. The second dropship will come near the bridge, and will drop more Grunts and Jackals and a couple of Elite Ultras with Concussion Rifles. Take out as many Jackals and Grunts as you can and if you get a clean shot at the Ultras take it. Eventually Jun is going to displace. You should too. Head towards the bridge as fast as possible, pick up some DMR ammo and pick a good place to Snipe. The third dropship is going to come in and drop a couple more Ultras and their entourage. Snipe the Ultras, the best method seems to be to pick one, kill it and displace, rinse, lather, repeat. Use the DMR to finish off any minor enemies that remain. Once you've pacified this area Jun is going to call you to the riverbed so you can follow up on Kat's theory. Before you go, swap the Rocket Launcher for your Sniper Rifle and load your DMR with all the ammo you can find.
I'll Just Leave This Here... (Rally Point Bravo)
See, And Everyone Said This Was Going to be Hard
Follow the riverbed. You'll eventually take cover from a Phantom that flies overhead. Move slowly into the next area. You'll be directed towards the Covenant Stealth Pylon on the other side. You may be asking why you left your Sniper Rifle behind. There's plenty of turrets and you can see at least one Elite Major with a Plasma Launcher. Move towards the bridge slowly. All the Grunts are asleep and the one Elite Major near them hasn't noticed you yet. If you get noticed just revert to the last checkpoint and try again. Sneak up and assassinate the Elite, then the Grunts on the bridge. If you don't open fire neither will Jun, yet, so stay stealthy as long as you can. Head over to the pylon and kill the Grunts on it to prevent them from using the Plasma Cannons. You will probably get spotted at this point. You can pick off a lot of Covenant from the pylon's upper platform with your DMR. There's plenty of Skirmishers and Grunts to keep you busy. Deal with the Elites however you see fit (the Noob Combo is a good option). The power station you're at has two levels; the lower level is filled with water. On the far side of the power station is a rocket launcher, leaning against the wall of a narrow water channel (where it is in the Powerhouse multiplayer map. Drop down into the water and pick up some ammo for the Rocket Launcher then head back towards the Stealth Pylon. Two Phantoms are going to fly in. The first will drop two Hunters, the second will drop two cloaked Spec-Ops Elites. Watch your motion tracker in case the Elites get too close for comfort, but the Hunters are your priority. Use the Rocket Launcher to blow off their back armor and then use the rest of your rockets to do some damage. You probably won't kill them but you'll do enough damage that a couple of shots from Jun or a quick Shotgun blast will finish them off. Once you've cleared them out, pick your weapons for the next section. There is a Sniper Rifle lying on the roof of a small shack (looking from the pylon towards where you got the rocket launcher, it's on your left) and some ammo for the DMR under the structure where you got the Shotgun. Advance to the fence and prepare to finish your romp through the countryside.
Run, You Covenant Scum. You'll Only Die Tired.
When the fence opens, you will immediately be confronted with a Shade that can shred you in seconds on Legendary. Adding to your complications, a Phantom will pop on your left to drop off some Grunts and Jackals, so hang back until it leaves. Pick off the gunner on the Shade with your DMR. An ordnance pack on the ground to your left contains another Sniper Rifle. Pick it up if you like, but it's not that helpful for the next area. Head up the right side of the track and keep an eye out. There are a couple more Shades in this area. Pick off their gunners with the DMR, but check periodically to make sure another Grunt isn't sneaking up to the guns. Follow the cliff on the left to get shots at the remaining Jackals and Grunts. Kill enough of them and you'll trigger two Elite Rangers with Focus Rifles. Kill them with single shots from the sniper rifle if you have it and withdraw from the top of the hill. There are three more Elites, two Majors and an Ultra. The two Majors can be killed by a combined effort from you and Jun. The Ultra is near a Shade, so he's a bit tougher to take out. Get the gunner on the Shade first. If the Ultra hops onto the Shade he's an easy target. Use the last of your Sniper Ammo to kill him. Keep advancing. If you are out of ammo grab a needle rifle and finish off the last wave of Grunts and Jackals that approach you then move forward out of the valley and into another cutscene.
- Range is of the utmost importance on this mission. You cannot play at close range here, unless the enemy is either unaware of your presence or distracted by Jun. Make the most of both opportunities.
- Elite Majors and Ultras all take several hits to bring down their shields. Don't go fancy and try and headshot them all the time. Work the body to drop shields, then headshot when the opportunity arises.
- Jackal Majors are by far the most annoying enemy on this level. Their penchant for overcharged plasma rounds will leave you shieldless and wounded. When faced with multiple threats, they should be right under anything that has a ranged weapon, and first otherwise.
- You can easily do this mission without ever exposing yourself to danger, but it will take a long time. Use your judgement on when you think you will be able to handle enemies in close range without too much risk.
- There are times when sniping will not be to your advantage, and assassination is far less risky overall. Don't be afraid to risk a little to gain much.
- Good Skulls here are Iron, Thunderstorm and Catch. If you're sneaky and you can shoot, you're rarely going to be at risk, and increasing the ranks of your enemies just makes it that much sweeter when you defeat them. And, well, Catch is never a bad skull to have on. Unless you really, really don't like plasma grenades.
Notes for Lower Difficulties
- Most Elites on this level can be downed with a single round through the head. Take advantage of that fact to practice your sniping skills.
- The enemy AI is less aware of their surroundings, so as assassinations are silent, you can kill far more enemies with it if you can get the first few undetected.
- If you can get the armor off the Hunters, you can let Jun deal with them and wander off into a corner and do nothing until it's over. It just takes a while.
- There don't seem to be any Spec-Ops Elites on easy, nor are there replacements for them.
ONI: Sword Base
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