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One Final Effort

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One Final Effort


Halo 3: Original Soundtrack


Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori




Black Tower




One Final Effort is the eighteenth track (Disc 2 Track 3) included in Halo 3: Original Soundtrack, and plays in the Halo 3 campaign level The Covenant, when John-117 faces the two Scarabs.


The piece begins with a low strings note, which is followed by the piano playing the five-note E Dorian melody (from the later track Finish the Fight) and two variations of the phrase to answer the melody as percussion joins in. Single piano notes and high strings slowly build in tension, and the piano breaks into a more prominent rendition of its part from Unyielding (in Halo 2: Original Soundtrack). High strings join in with a rearrangement of the third section of the track Truth and Reconciliation Suite (itself a variation of the Halo Theme). The piano accompanies the melody throughout, and takes over the low strings ending with the five-note E Dorian melody. A full rearrangement of the original Truth and Reconciliation Suite section was featured in the later track Greatest Journey, which was played in the final level of Halo 3. That version also uses the iconic choir chant used for the main menu, during the piano climax when the theme is in full swing.

Production notes[edit]

  • The title of the track likely alludes to the dialogue said by Lord Hood at the end of the level Tsavo Highway. He tells the Marines that "one final effort is all that remains." He is referring to the final defeat of the Covenant. Incidentally, this soundtrack plays during the battle outside the Ark's Citadel, regarded as the Covenant's last stand. As such, this track plays during humanity's "final effort" to defeat the Covenant.
  • At the end of the level High Charity, the Prophet of Truth can be heard saying "If you are to falter know this: One final effort is all that remains."[1] This line originates from dialog recording sessions conducted pre-Halo where Jaime Griesemer is directing Jason Jones in a painful attempt at a Scottish accent. The recording is available on[2]
  • One Final Effort was covered by the London Philharmonic Orchestra in their 2011 album The Greatest Video Game Music.[3]