ONI: Sword Base

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This article is about the level. For the music of the same name, see ONI: Sword Base (music).


Winter Contingency



ONI: Sword Base
Level - Oni.jpg


Halo: Reach




July 26, 2552


Sword Base, Eposz, Reach


Defend Sword Base from the Covenant

Halopedia has a walkthrough guide to this level, ONI: Sword Base. See ONI: Sword Base/Walkthrough.
Covenant are attacking a vital ONI base. Drive the bastards off."

ONI: Sword Base is the third level in the campaign of Halo: Reach. Upon completing this level on Normal, Heroic, or Legendary the player will unlock the "Protocol Dictates Action" Achievement and 10 Gamerpoints.

This is the first and only level the Target Locator can be used, the only level on Reach to feature the Gauss Warthog, and the first level to feature the Revenant, Mgalekgolo, and the Fireteam gameplay mechanic.


The level begins on July 26, 2552 near Sword Base, an Office of Naval Intelligence research facility. The facility is located on the Babd Catha Ice Shelf in Eposz, near one of the poles of the planet. NOBLE Team is deployed to Sword Base after a Covenant corvette begins attacking the facility. Due to the sensitive nature of the facility, orbital MAC rounds are prohibited, forcing Noble Team to go groundside to defend the facility.

Two Falcons drop Noble Team around Sword Base. After Kat and Noble Six clear the courtyard outside the facility, they are ordered by Sword Control to proceed to the main gate. After Six eliminates two Wraiths outside the gate, a Pelican drops off a Warthog, which Kat and Noble Six ride to reactivate a COM array at Farragut Station to contact Command and an M71 Scythe anti-air gun at Airview Base to help clear the skies. After completing their task, they meet up with the rest of the team at Sword Base. They fight their way up through the atrium to the top floor, where Noble Six assists Emile in driving off several Phantoms and Banshees. A pair of Longswords are then able to push through and chase off the corvette. As the corvette distances itself from Sword Base and begins to climb, the Longswords break off and the corvette is brought down by a slug from an Orbital Defense Platform.

Noble Team is called back into Sword Base by Dr. Halsey, who reprimands Carter for not pursuing the Sangheili Zealots at the Visegrad Relay. She explains that the Sangheili were most likely part of an artifact retrieval strike team, and that the notes stored at the Visegrad Relay held very important information. Kat then hands over the data module she retrieved from the station. Carter and Halsey exchange barbs, and Noble Team leaves as Dr. Halsey examines the data module.



Carter in a Falcon, looking at the Covenant corvette.

Screen fades into Babd Catha Ice Shelf, two UH-144 Falcons head toward the coast. Noble Two slips the chip taken from Visegrad Relay into a data pad and activates it.

Sword Base, Babd Catha Ice Shelf, Eposz

July 26, 2552, 11:26 Hours

The Falcons pass a large island. A Covenant corvette holding position comes into view.

  • Auntie Dot (COM): "Yes, Commander... coordinates received. Initiate immediate course correction. The Office of Naval Intelligence Sword Base is presently under siege from a corvette-class Covenant vessel. Due to the sensitive nature of this facility, use of orbital rounds has been, for the moment, prohibited. Regrettably, my efforts to obtain relevant data on enemy forces have been unsuccessful. However, current defensive forces are insufficient. ONI has requested Team Noble's direct intervention to help secure Sword Base."
  • Carter-A259: "All right people, we're stuck with that ship for the time being. Let's focus on the hostile infantry - give those troopers a hand."

A base security camera shows Covenant ground forces engaging UNSC Army troopers, as the Falcons fly overhead.

  • Carter-A259: "Kat, Six - you're out here. Jorge, Emile - you're next, get prepped."

Cut to Noble Six's point of view. Kat, sitting opposite of him/her, cocks her pistol as the Falcon approaches its landing zone.

The Falcon lowers close to the ground. Kat and Six jump out. Kat scans the area with her pistol and holsters it.


The Best Defense...[edit]

  • Carter-A259 (COM): "Kat, Six: push back the attack on Sword Base, find out what we're dealing with."
  • Kat-B320: "Roger that, we're your strike team."

Kat, Six, and a few troopers engage and eliminate some Covenant troops on an upper walkway.

  • Sword Control (COM): "Spartans, hostiles north."

The two Spartans head north to a courtyard, where they engage a significant number of Covenant troops, including several Elites.

  • Kat-B320: "Let's knock some heads, Lieutenant!"
  • Sword Control (COM): "You've got enemy contacts, Spartans."

After clearing the courtyard, the Spartans head down a ramp where they engage several Skirmishers, eventually making it down to a gate.

  • Kat-B320: "Noble Two to Sword Control: courtyard is clear, over."
  • Sword Control (COM): "Head to the main gate to the east, I'll brief you as you go."

The two Spartans enter the main gate, coming across several ordnance packs.

  • Kat-B320: "Sword Control, I see a Target Locator. Any artillery support in the area?"
  • Sword Control (COM): "Limited, but we'll prioritize whatever you need, ma'am."

Get the Hell Off My Lawn![edit]

Noble Six takes the Target Locator, and the Spartans then head out of the base. The Covenant Corvette opens fire on the base. A damaged M831 Troop Transport is seen attempting to escape from two enemy Wraiths.

  • 3 Echo 57 (COM): "3 Echo 57 heading back to base, we got enemy tangos on our six. How copy?"

The Warthog is soon destroyed by one of the Wraiths.

  • Kat-B320: "Six! Use the Target Locator on that Wraith!"

Using the Target Locator, Noble Six calls in artillery to destroy the two Wraiths.

  • Kat-B320: "Outstanding!"
  • Kat-B320: "Pelican inbound with transport, Six."

A Pelican arrives and drops off a Warthog. Six and Kat get onboard.

  • Kat-B320: "AA gun is to the west, comms array to the east. Let's roll."

If the player heads east:

  • Kat-B320: "Good call. Let's get comms first."

If the player heads west:

  • Kat-B320: "I agree, go for the gun."

Farragut Station[edit]

The Spartans head east to the comms array.

  • Kat-B320: "We need to get that comms array online."

The Spartans soon arrive at the station.

  • Kat-B320: "Hope that comms array has a working generator."

The station is occupied by Covenant forces, including a Revenant. Six and Kat eventually neutralize all resistance.

  • Kat-B320: "Let's search the area for a generator, Six."

Noble Six searches the buildings, eventually finding the switch, and activates the generator.

  • Kat-B320: "Okay, generator is up and running. Find that comms array, should be up high."

A Spirit moves in and drops off a group of Skirmishers and Unggoy to prevent Six from reaching the comms array. Six and Kat eliminate them. Noble Six soon finds the comms array on the roof of an adjacent building and activates it.

  • Kat-B320: "You did it, Six! Comms array up and running."

If the AA Gun hasn't been activated yet:

  • Kat-B320: "Now let's head for Airview Base and get that AA gun online."

A Pelican delivers a Warthog, facing the direction the Spartans must go to next (also happens if the player went to Airview Base first).

  • Sword Control (COM): "Spartans, this is Sword Control. Thought you could use some mobile firepower."
  • Kat-B320: "Always. Take that Hog, Six."

If the AA gun has not yet been activated:

  • Sword Control (COM): "Nice work, Spartans. Get to Airview Base and get that AA gun up and running."

The Spartans head to their next objective, approaching a cliff. A Spirit drops a lance of Covenant to support the two patrolling Ghosts before flying away. The Covenant ground forces are eliminated.

If the player stalls:

  • Sword Control (COM): "Spartans, what's the ETA on that comms array/AA gun?"
  • Kat-B320: "On our way. Let's move, Six."

Airview Base[edit]

After heading further west, Airview Base can be seen. If Airview Base is their first objective, two Ghosts and a few Unggoy hold their position outside Sword Base's wall. They are soon eliminated. However, if the Spartans had been to Farragut Station first, said Covenant forces will not be encountered until the Spartans return to Sword Base.

  • Kat-B320: "I'm picking up a power source, we're close to the AA gun."

They arrive at the base, to find it under Covenant control. A Sangheili Ultra (a General on higher difficulties) with a Plasma Launcher commands the Covenant group. If the Spartans went to Farragut Station first, a Warthog is abandoned near the AA gun.

  • Kat-B320: "That's the gun over there. Should be a reset control somewhere, get it online."

If the player stalls:

  • Kat-B320: "We need to activate the AA gun, Lieutenant. Go get the reset control."

After eliminating the Covenant in the area, Noble Six heads into the two-floored building next to the AA gun. The Spartan finds the reset control on the roof of the building, and activates it. The AA gun immediately opens fire on the Phantom that just deployed two Ghosts, and then on the Banshees and Covenant dropships around the corvette.

  • Kat-B320: "That did it, Six. AA gun is online."

If the comms array has not yet been activated:

  • Sword Control (COM): "Nice work, Spartans. Get to Farragut Station and get that comms array up and running."

Minimum Safe Distance[edit]

The corvette draws closer to Sword Base, and continues to fire its plasma turrets at the ONI facility. Three Phantoms, carrying Revenants and Ghosts, fly by. Distant explosions from Sword Base can be heard.'

  • Carter-A259 (COM): "Noble Strike, this is Noble Leader. Get back to Sword Base ASAP."
  • Kat-B320: "On our way, Commander. Six, let's go."
  • Sword Control (COM): "Good work, Spartans. Return to Sword Base, the rest of your team is inbound, imminent."

If both objectives have been achieved, a Gauss Warthog will be dropped by Pelican for the return trip to Sword Base.

  • Carter-A259 (COM): "Noble, be advised: Covenant corvette moving into position. Kat, Six, get here quick. We need you inside."

The Spartans arrive at the gate, to find it under attack by several Revenants and a small group of infantry, which are subsequently eliminated. They get to the gate and open the reinforced doors.

  • Kat-B320: "Opening the gate now."

Once inside, Kat and Six head back up the courtyard, which is once again occupied by the Covenant.

After clearing the courtyard, they find a few troopers in the nearby garage besieged by more Covenant troops, including a Mgalekgolo pair. Kat and Noble Six neutralize the Mgalekgolo and other Covenant troops.

  • Kat-B320: "Let's get to the atrium. We have to go through the security office. Elevator, Lieutenant. Take it."

Noble Six activates the elevator to take them to the security office. Midway up, an explosion rocks the elevator. The elevator stops briefly before continue its ascent.

  • Warrant Officer Emile-A239 (COM): "Corvette's hitting this base hard."
  • Kat-B320: "Where's our orbital support? Got to be four platforms that could take it out with a single MAC round."

Office of Naval Intelligence[edit]

The elevator soon reaches the security office, Kat and Noble Six are immediately engaged by Covenant forces.

  • Sword Base Automated PA: "Welcome to the Office of Naval Intelligence. An ONI representative will meet you shortly."
  • Kat-B320: (dryly) "I doubt that very much."
  • Sword Base Automated PA: "Thank you, Lieutenant. You have been cleared for access."

Kat and Six soon move into Sword Base's main atrium, where Jun, Jorge, and some Army Troopers are engaging Covenant troops.

  • Chief Warrant Officer Jorge-052: "Spartan! Over here!"
  • Carter-A259 (COM): "Six, head upstairs and assist Emile. Jorge, make sure he/she gets there."
  • Jorge-052: "Depend on it!"

The Spartans and the Troopers clear out the lower level.

  • Trooper: "We're clear. Squad up!"

Six and Jorge make their way upstairs, engaging various Covenant forces as they go, including a Sangheili General armed with a concussion rifle (a Fuel Rod Gun on higher difficulties).

  • Sword Control (COM): "Corvette's gonna rip this base apart! What's the situation, Noble?"
  • Emile-A239 (COM): "Can't do this on my own! Need another Spartan up here!"
  • Carter-A259 (COM): "Six, get to the top floor and assist Emile."

If the player stalls:

  • Carter-A259 (COM): "Keep moving up, Noble Six."

Jorge and Six make it up to the top floor, which is in ruins.

  • Sword Control (COM): "Commander, this base won't survive another salvo from that corvette. Kill those Banshees!"
  • Carter-A259 (COM): "Upstairs, Lieutenant, we need those Longswords in the air."

Six goes through a doorway to the top floor, where there is a massive hole in the building. The Covenant corvette is holding position just outside. Banshees are swarming all around. Emile stands on a ledge, firing his rocket launcher at the Banshees. Six assists.

Six firing a Rocket Launcher.
  • Emile-A239: "About time."

Noble Four, Five, Six, and some Army troopers engage several Banshees, and a Phantom dropship, which drops off a pair of SpecOps Elites.

  • Emile-A239: "Keep shootin', Noble Six, watch down low."

They continue to clear the area.

The Covenant air and ground troops are soon eliminated.

  • Emile-A239: "That's the way we get it done, Spartan!"
  • Sword Control (COM): "Noble Team, Longswords are inbound and ready to push. Orbital defenses standing by to take the shot."


Emile drops his Rocket Launcher and walks away into the debris. Two Longswords fly towards the corvette, which is attempting to flee. Noble Six watches as the Longswords follow the corvette for a distance, but soon break off. A Super MAC round suddenly streaks down from the sky above and smashes right through the corvette. Its engines flicker, and it loses altitude. The view changes to Six. Jorge emerges from the shadows, approaching Six.

  • Jorge-052: "Beautiful, ain't it? Someone should take a picture."

The corvette crashes into the lake. Jorge gives Six a congratulatory pat on the shoulder.

  • Jorge-052: "Nice work, by the way."
  • Spartan-B312: "I aim to please."
  • Carter-A259 (COM): "Five, Six...get down to the science wing. Doctor Halsey wants a debrief, and Command's saying we're all hers."

The two Spartans turn around, heading back into facility's interior.

  • Jorge-052: "Repeat? Sounded like you said 'Halsey.'"
  • Carter-A259 (COM): "I did."
  • Jorge-052: "Copy that, on our way. Don't need Command to tell me... Been all hers half my life."

Jorge and Six walk away, back into the base. The corvette is shown in the background sinking into the lake.

They soon arrive at the science wing, where Carter is talking to Dr. Catherine Halsey, who is behind a glass wall, separating NOBLE Team from her.

  • Doctor Catherine Halsey: "I requested your assistance, Commander, and do not need a report on events that occur on my own doorstep. What I do require is a detailed account of your previous engagement-"

Halsey pauses mid-sentence as she notices Jorge and Six enter the room.

  • Halsey: "Jorge. It's been too long."

Jorge takes off his helmet.

  • Jorge-052: "Ma'am."
  • Halsey: "What have you done with my armor?"

Jorge and Noble Six look at Jorge's armor, which has been customized, just like the armor of the rest of Noble Team.

  • Jorge-052: "Just some... additions I've made."
  • Halsey: "Indeed. Visegrad Relay. Its data center was home to one of my xeno-archaeologists, Professor Laszlo Sorvad. Perhaps you could shed some light on his death."
Halsey talking to Carter-A259.
  • Carter-A259: "If he was a civilian male in his mid-sixties, he died with a Covenant Energy Sword through his abdomen."
  • Halsey: "Elites, then."
  • Jorge-052: "They engaged us as well. It was just, uh, just after we found your scientist's daughter, ma'am. She was hiding in the-"
  • Halsey: "Irrelevant. The Elites. Tell me more about them."
  • Jorge-052: "Three. Zealot-class. One got by us. The leader, from the looks of him."
  • Halsey: "Zealots? You're certain?"
  • Jorge-052: "Their armor configuration matched."
  • Spartan-B312: "Shield strength, too."
  • Carter-A259: "I gave the order not to pursue. Our primary objective was to get the station's relay back online."
  • Halsey: "Your primary objective? Commander, are you a puppet or a Spartan?"

Emile and Jun look up at Dr. Halsey, indignant.

  • Carter-A259: "Ma'am?"
  • Halsey: "There are those at ONI, myself included, who believe the Covenant dispatch Elite advance teams to hunt down artifacts of value to their religion. Survivor accounts suggest such teams are small, nimble, and almost always Zealot-class. No doubt they came to the station for the abundance of ONI excavation data stored there. And you let them get away."
  • Carter-A259: "Data retrieval was not a command directive. Even had we known, we had other, more urgent matters to attend to."
  • Kat-B320: "Like warning the planet."
  • Halsey: "Professor Sorvad's final entry in his field notes made reference to a "latchkey discovery". Latchkey... not a word he would use lightly. So let's hope that the data module your Lieutenant Commander stole contains it."
  • Carter-A259: "Kat?"
  • Halsey: "Before you ask, I was alerted the moment you attempted to access its contents. As I am with any unauthorized tap."
Kat drops the module.

Kat walks over and places the module in a container in the shield door.

  • Halsey: "That data is classified Tier One... I could send you to the brig for interfering with my work."

Halsey pulls the container towards her side of the shield door and retrieves the module.

  • Carter-A259: "Maybe you'd like to join her."
  • Halsey: "...I'm sorry?"
  • Carter-A259: "We're currently under emergency planetary directive, "WINTER CONTINGENCY". I'm sure you're familiar with the punishment for civilian interference with a Spartan deployment."
  • Halsey: "Are you threatening me, Commander?"
  • Carter-A259: "Just making a reading suggestion, ma'am."

Carter and Kat start to leave, while Halsey begins to examine the module.

  • Carter-A259: "Let's move, Noble Team."

Noble Team departs, with the exception of Jorge, who lingers briefly.

  • Jorge-052: "Ma'am?"
  • Halsey: (examining the module) "That... will be all, Jorge."

Fade to black.

Level ends.


Easter Egg[edit]

  • The Reach Racer easter egg can be found on this level.
  • This is the only level to feature the M831 Troop Transport in gameplay.
  • A data pad can be found near Farragut Station. Climb up the rock wall near the comms building, and follow the rocks leading to the ocean.
  • Two BOBs can be found on this level, though usually only one will spawn. The first will spawn in the courtyard when the player returns to Sword Base and flee to the area where the level began. The second BOB will be on the second floor of Sword Base's west wing, underneath where the Elite General appears. Both BOBs will dual wield plasma rifles. Curiously, these Elites will have random armor painted white unlike all other BOBs.


  • The Miniature Spartan Glitch can be performed in this level.[1]
  • While it is scripted to be destroyed, occasionally 3 Echo 57's M831 Troop Transport Warthog will survive. It is fully functional, and the player can drive it and marines will board the back, marking the only time the player can use the Troop Transport Warthog variant in Reach. It is also possible to save it by quickly disabling or destroying the attacking Wraiths, although this is very difficult.
  • Dropping a weapon near the edge of the elevator floor or on certain sections of Sword Base's gate threshold may cause the weapon to fall into the floor and become inaccessible.
  • The Revenant dropped by the icy path (if the player goes to Airview Base first) has a tendency to drive into the ocean and drown itself as soon it's deployed.


  • Since the beginning cutscene is not a pre-rendered cutscene, the battle on the courtyard during the cutscene is different every time the level is played. Any activated skulls are already in effect, and any AI-controlled characters in the cutscene are invincible until gameplay begins.
  • Once inside Sword Base, the player can find several Unggoy Heavies wielding Plasma Rifles for the first time in-game as starting weapons (Players are able to switch weapons with Grunts in Halo 2 to give them Plasma Rifles, but they never spawn with them). This corroborates John-117's witnessing Unggoy with Plasma Rifles in other battles.
  • Originally, the ending cutscene has the female version of Noble Six saying a different line from the male Noble Six reflecting her response and altitude to Jorge putting his hand on her shoulder, this was removed, however, for no apparent reason.[2]


  • This is the second of the four levels (the others being Winter Contingency, Tip of the Spear, and The Pillar of Autumn) in which the assault rifle Six starts with has more than the usual rounds. In this case, it starts with 375 in reserve. This may be a reference to the number 343, as after one entire clip the player will have 343 rounds in reserve.


Preceded by
Winter Contingency
Halo: Reach Campaign Missions
ONI: Sword Base
Succeeded by


  1. ^ YouTube, Halo Reach Trick - "Mini Spartan" on ONI Swordbase
  2. ^ Halo: Reach, Legendary Edition Developer Commentary