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This article is about the Halo 4 cinematic. For the Halo 2 music piece, see Prologue (music).



Covenant assault - Aftermath.png


Halo 4

Catherine Halsey is interrogated deep within a secret ONI facility.

Prologue is the first level of Halo 4's campaign. Rather than featuring gameplay, it is a cutscene depicting Dr. Catherine Halsey and her thoughts on the SPARTAN-II Program.



Open on a line of beds. They are made of plastic, with no sheets, and are enclosed by glass walls. Children inside them are sleeping. Pan to a boy sitting on one of the beds. His head is shaved and he wears a gray uniform that reads "JOHN". He looks up at his viewer, his eyes grave.

Halsey's memory of a young John.

Fade in to a closeup of Halsey's eyes. She seems tired and grave.

  • Interrogator: "Tell me about the children."

The interrogator, who is framed in shadow, sits at the other end of their table.

  • Interrogator: "Dr. Halsey?"

Halsey looks at her speaker defiantly.

  • Doctor Catherine Halsey: "You already know everything."
  • Interrogator: "You kidnapped them."

Cut to John-117, now wearing a breath mask, lying down on the bed as machines prepare to operate on him.

  • Halsey (voiceover): "Children's minds are more easily accepting of indoctrination, their bodies more adaptable to augmentation. The result was the ultimate soldier."

Cut to John, now fully armored and being inspected by technicians. He towers over all of them.

John fully armored.
  • Halsey: "And because of our success, when the Covenant invaded, we were ready."

Cut to a CAS-class assault carrier hovering over a human city. Dozens of aircraft fly out of its launch bay.

Cut back to the interrogation.

  • Interrogator: "Dr. Halsey, you're bending history for your favor and you know it. You developed the Spartans to crush human rebellion, not to fight the Covenant."

Banshees strafe and bomb the city as civilians runs for their lives.

  • Halsey (voiceover): "When one human world after another fell..."

A Sangheili drives his energy sword through a fleeing civilian.

  • Halsey (voiceover): "When my Spartans were all that stood between humanity and extinction..."

From up in the sky, a dozen Spartans drop from Pelicans, using thruster packs to slow their descent.

  • Halsey (voiceover): "Nobody was concerned over why they were originally built."

The Spartans land. A Sangheili snarls at them. The Spartans take cover and shoot down some of the Sangheili who return fire, flaring the shields on the Spartans' armor, while the lead Sangheili calmly steps forward and fires back. Cut to the Spartans advancing, still firing.

The Spartans fighting the Covenant.
  • Interrogator (voiceover): "So you feel in the end that your choices were justified."

Cut to Halsey, who sits forward calmly, clasping her hands.

  • Halsey: "My work saved the human race."
  • Interrogator: "Do you think the Spartans' lack of basic humanity helped?"

Halsey looks at him worriedly as the interrogator, now standing, backs away from the table.

  • Halsey: "What are you after? The others before you were Naval Intelligence but you - you're something else."

Cut to John sitting alone in a hangar. His head is drooped and he is speaking to no one. Marines walk past him.

John sitting alone.
  • Interrogator (voiceover): "Records show Spartans routinely exhibited mildly sociopathic tendencies, difficulty with socialization. Furthermore..."

Cut to a Spartan fighting a Jiralhanae Chieftain. He leaps agilely, dodging every blow. Dead Sangheili cover the ground.

  • Halsey (voiceover): "The records show efficient behavior operating in hazardous situations. I supplied the tools to maintain that efficiency."

Cut to John as Halsey hold up a data crystal chip projecting Cortana's avatar.

Cut back to the interrogation.

  • Interrogator: "Do you believe the Master Chief succeeded because he was, at his core, broken?"
  • Halsey: "What does John have to do with this? You want to replace him."
  • Interrogator: "The Master Chief is dead."
  • Halsey: "His file reads 'missing in action'."

Cut to John's foot stepping into a puddle. He leads a crowd of military personnel and civilians. The fighting has stopped but dust clouds cover the city.

  • Halsey: "Your mistake is seeing Spartans as military hardware. My Spartans are humanity's next step..."

Halsey stands up from her chair in determination.

  • Halsey: "Our destiny as a species. Do not underestimate them. But most of all, do not underestimate... him."

Cut to black.

Production notes[edit]

  • The Spartans' Mjolnir armor (despite representing the Mark IV and Mark V) resembles the upgraded Mark VI version that Cortana devised for John-117; however, Dr. Halsey was not aware of the existence of this suit at the time of her interrogation. Josh Holmes has confirmed that the appearance of John's unique armor in the cutscene is not canon. The development team recycled the existing Mark VI geometry because they had insufficient time to create canonically accurate models.[1] The suits are shown to possess energy shields; while this may represent the field testing that began in 2531, it is more likely an example of artistic license of Halsey's imagination.[2]
  • According to Halo: The Fall of Reach, John met Cortana when her chip was inserted into his neural interface for the first time. This occurred just after he received his second-generation Mark V Mjolnir armor and took place inside a large tent. However, the cutscene shows Cortana being introduced in holographic form outside his suit, which is depicted as the aforementioned Mark VI; the meeting seems to take place inside a bunker (likely inside CASTLE Base) rather than a surgical tent. The comic Halo: Fall of Reach also shows John being introduced to Cortana via her avatar, although John is correctly depicted as wearing his new Mark V suit.


  1. ^ Twitter (Josh Holmes: We didn't have time to build S-II armor just for intro so we used the S-IV armor in its place. Canonically incorrect I know. :()
  2. ^ Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 119
Preceded by
Halo 3 credits
Halo 4 Campaign Missions
Succeeded by