Lieutenant SPARTAN-B312 was a Spartan-III supersoldier attached to Special Warfare Group Three of the UNSC Army. During the Fall of Reach in summer 2552, he served as a member of NOBLE Team under the call sign "Noble Six". Although unknown to most of the UNSC military and humanity in general due to the classified nature of his operations, Dr. Catherine Halsey stated that B312 shared a "hyper-lethal" rating with only one other Spartan[note 2] and served just as essential a role in securing humanity's victory in the Human-Covenant War.
Because his file was heavily redacted by the Office of Naval Intelligence, much of SPARTAN-B312's early life is unknown. The Spartan was originally a Beta Company candidate whose performance so impressed his superiors that he (along with a small number of his peers, designated "cat 2") was reassigned immediately after training before the inevitable bloodbath of Operation: TORPEDO. As one of the few remaining contemporary Spartan-IIIs, B312 was repurposed as a counter-terrorist operator, performing black operations. After several years of being fielded against Insurrectionists, B312 was transferred from his ONI handlers to Spartan NOBLE Team, where he took the deceased Thom-A293's place as "Noble Six". B312's transfer to NOBLE came immediately at the start of the Fall of Reach, placing the Spartan in a new territory of teamwork against the Covenant.
Though initially viewed with resentment by some of his teammates, Six's skills eventually proved themselves as the fight for Reach began failing and NOBLE Team took losses. On August 30, Six delivered a fragment of the AI Cortana to the UNSC Pillar of Autumn in the hope that the data she carried could defeat the Covenant. With the aid of his team, Noble Six delivered the AI intact, but chose to remain behind to secure the Autumn's escape from the Covenant. Though the Spartan was killed hours later, his sacrifice allowed humanity to discover the Halo Array, ultimately bringing about the dissolution of the Covenant and the end of the war.
Born in Damask on Jericho VII, B312 was one of the 418 candidates claimed in 2537 by ONI's Beta-5 Division for training in Beta Company of the SPARTAN-III program. Like the others, 312 was a child orphaned by the Covenant and subsequently recruited with the promise of revenge. During their training, B312 and a few other Spartan-IIIs (designated "cat 2") outshone their teammates well enough that these select few were handpicked by Lieutenant Commander Kurt Ambrose to be assigned to separate special force units outside the general population of Beta Company. Thus, these Spartans did not participate in Operation: TORPEDO, the suicide mission that resulted in the deaths of almost all of Beta Company. Because of the concealed nature of his survival, B312's existence became classified and the Spartan was deployed as a black operator and assassin under the Office of Naval Intelligence.
Over the course of B312's career, the Spartan gained a reputation as an efficient lone-wolf assassin, having single-handedly broken terrorist organizations and made entire rebel groups disappear. He was also a test pilot in a top-secret UNSC project, the Sabre Program, which resulted in the development of the YSS-1000 Sabre space fighter. B312 used these skills to great effect in a counter-insurgency operation on Mamore on May 10, 2552, thus gaining the approval of Colonel Urban Holland and resulting in the Spartan's assignment to NOBLE Team. Despite his hardened combat record 312 had never witnessed a glassing prior to the Fall of Reach.
B312's former superior allegedly used the Spartan as "his own private grim reaper"; because of this he was reluctant to have B312 assigned to NOBLE Team. Several of NOBLE were also resistant to receiving a new teammate, due to the recent loss of the previous Noble Six Thom-A293 just two months earlier. Regardless, the Spartan's reassignment went forward, and on July 24, 2552, SPARTAN-B312 was presented to NOBLE Team under the callsign "Noble Six".
The Fall of Reach
The new Noble Six, having recently arrived on Reach, joined the team just in time to participate in an operation to investigate a communications blackout at the Visegrád Relay, a mission which led to the first confrontation with Covenant forces on the planet. When arriving at the downed relay, Noble Six discovered a dropped data chip shortly before a close encounter with the Devoted Sentries, who had been sent to retrieve it. Six and Jorge-052 killed most of the Zealots, while the chip was taken by Kat-B320.
During the weeks before Reach's eventual glassing, Noble Six partook in multiple operations against Covenant forces on Reach along with the rest of NOBLE Team, including a counter-offensive operation to retake the Office of Naval Intelligence's SWORD Base near the Babd Catha Ice Shelf on July 26. Six and Kat cleared the courtyard of enemies before being tasked with reactivating both Farragut Station, a communications outpost they could use to get into contact with command, and Airview Base, where they needed to activate an M71 "Scythe" anti-air battery to eliminate hostile aircraft. The Spartans moved into SWORD Base and Noble Six assisted Emile-A239 in driving off several Phantoms and Banshees. After the skies had been cleared, the attacking Covenant corvette was destroyed by one of Reach's orbital defense platforms. Following the mission, NOBLE Team was debriefed by Dr. Catherine Halsey, who questioned them about what had happened at the Visegrád Relay two days earlier. Six confirmed that the Elites fought there were Zealots, and the data chip was turned over to Dr. Halsey.
On August 11, Noble Six and Jun-A266, operating as Recon Team Bravo, were sent to perform a nighttime reconnaissance mission into the Covenant "dark zone" in the Viery Territory. After stealthily eliminating guards at multiple outposts, the two Spartans met a group of civilian militiamen who led them to a hydroelectric power plant farther within the dark zone; there, the team discovered a Covenant stealth pylon. After planting an explosive charge on the pylon, the team moved deeper into the dark zone, where they discovered a massive Covenant invasion force. Kat then ordered them back so they could prepare for the attack on the next day.
Battle at Szurdok Ridge
On the morning of August 12, Noble Six joined a massive UNSC joint assault force assembled to mount a counterattack on the Covenant-occupied Viery Territory. Auntie Dot, NOBLE Team's coordinating artificial intelligence construct, explained that the Covenant had infiltrated to the region in force, deploying ground forces and installations, including several monumental spires. NOBLE Team's objective was to destroy one of these spires, designated "Spire One". After pushing through Covenant forces at Szurdok Ridge destroying several Covenant Tyrant anti-air batteries, and killing another of the Devoted Sentries, Noble Six was deployed to the spire in a UH-144 Falcon alongside Jorge-052. However, the aircraft crashed after being disabled by the electromagnetic field created by the spire's shield.
Despite crashing, the pair proceeded toward the spire, soon discovering that the structures housed teleporters used to transport Covenant forces to the surface, linked to an unknown source. After infiltrating the spire, Noble Six disabled the structure's shield. Noble Six was flown away from the tower by a Falcon containing Carter-A259 — NOBLE Team's field commander — and Jorge. The UNSC Grafton, a heavy frigate, destroyed the spire with a single MAC round. But seconds later, a Covenant supercarrier uncloaked and destroyed the Grafton, forcing all UNSC forces in the area to flee.
Operation: UPPER CUT
With the UNSC fleet not due for days to deal with the supercarrier Long Night of Solace, NOBLE Team made their own plan to destroy the ship using an improvised bomb made from a slipspace drive and escorted by Sabre fighters, one of which would be piloted by Noble Six. As the plan, codenamed Operation: UPPER CUT, was put in motion on August 14, NOBLE Team first helped UNSC ground forces repel Covenant invaders from the secret Sabre Program Launch/Research Range, then launched Six and Jorge into orbit aboard a Sabre. The pair joined UNSC forces in defending the repair and refit station Anchor 9 from Banshee and Seraph fighters. After the station's defenses were brought back online and the Covenant attackers retreated, 312 and the other Sabres in the group followed the UNSC Savannah, whose crew had committed their slipspace drive to the operation, toward Ardent Prayer, a Covenant corvette that was scheduled to refuel with the supercarrier. Soon, 312 and several other boarders infiltrated the craft, proceeding toward the vessel's bridge.
During the operation, the makeshift slipspace bomb was damaged and became incapable of automatic activation. Jorge, volunteering to activate the bomb manually and thus sacrifice his life, forced B312 off the corvette just before it docked with the supercarrier. At first, the operation was a success, as Ardent Prayer was completely destroyed and Long Night of Solace was split amidships, crashing to into a mountain range on the planet below. Unfortunately, a far larger Covenant fleet arrived moments after both ships' destruction, and promptly resumed the Covenant invasion.
Siege of New Alexandria
After returning to Reach via reentry, Noble Six headed to New Alexandria, the trek taking him nine days. After arriving on August 23, he assisted UNSC Army troopers in repelling Covenant forces from the city and evacuating the civilian population. In particular, Six helped the Bullfrogs clear Traxus Tower of Covenant and aided Sergeant Major Duvall in severely damaging an SDV-class heavy corvette to enable the launch of evacuation ships with thousands of people on board.
After helping with the evacuation, the Spartan managed to establish radio communication with NOBLE Team and participated in the removal of Covenant communication jammers to allow the evacuation of ONI personnel. The same evening, Six reunited with NOBLE Team and reported the details of UPPER CUT. After clearing the jammers, NOBLE Team was hailed by Colonel Holland and was ordered to destroy SWORD Base. During the hailing, though, the Covenant began glassing their sector of the city, forcing the team to flee to a radiation bunker. Kat was killed en route to the bunker, Six catching her body. Using her pistol, the Spartan attempted to shoot down her killer, but ran out of ammunition and was forced to retreat. NOBLE remained trapped in the bunker for three days while the Covenant burned down the city before they finally emerged and were picked up by a search and rescue Pelican.
On August 29, SPARTAN-B312 and the remaining members of NOBLE Team proceeded to Sword Base, under supposed instructions to destroy the base as the Covenant had taken control of it. Leading a fireteam of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers, Noble Six cleared a path into the base, destroying multiple anti-air guns with an M808 Scorpion tank. The rest of NOBLE Team then took to their Falcon to the ground, regrouping and then fighting their way into the facility. Upon arriving at their destination, though, the team's demolition was abruptly canceled, as their directives were suddenly revised by an unknown UNSC AI. As the team was escorted to their revised location, they encountered Dr. Halsey once more, who had interpreted the data held in the chip and the Forerunner artifact it led to. Her laboratory was under attack by an incoming army of Covenant troops, who were also after the sacred treasure. Using the wealth of weaponry available at the lab's entrance, Six and his teammates battled the Covenant hordes; they were allowed inside only once all of the hostiles were dead.
Once inside, Halsey urged Six to become the courier of a fragment of the AI Cortana, who had translated ancient knowledge held in the artifact that the doctor hoped could end the war. With the AI stored in an armored matrix on Six's back, the Spartan was tasked with delivering her safely to the UNSC Pillar of Autumn before it fled the planet. NOBLE Team was then split in two: Jun escorted Dr. Halsey to ONI CASTLE Base, while the others headed for the Autumn aboard a Pelican dropship.
After arriving within a few kilometers of the Pillar of Autumn's drydock at Asźod the next day, NOBLE Team's Pelican was attacked by Covenant Banshees. Six and Emile evacuated from the Pelican while Carter kept their pursuers distracted, eventually sacrificing his life to protect the two from an incoming Scarab. The surviving Spartans continued on foot, through the ship breaking yards, with the aid of the Autumn's Marine complement. After arriving at the launch platform, Six battled the numerous Jiralhanae defending the area while Emile cleared the skies of Covenant aircraft with an "Onager" mass driver. The commanding officer of the Pillar of Autumn, Captain Jacob Keyes, then came to receive the Package, and Noble Six would join him aboard the ship while Emile covered their escape. However, the Devoted Sentries assaulted the Onager and killed Emile, while a CCS-class battlecruiser emerged to destroy the Autumn. Rather than let the ship face the cruiser alone, Noble Six chose to remain behind and secure their vessel's safe passage. After killing the Zealots and Field Marshal guarding the mass driver, Six commandeered the gun and shot down the battlecruiser when it attempted to glass the area, allowing the Autumn to depart safely into space. Three weeks later the starship would arrive at Halo Installation 04, with Spartan John-117 and Cortana aboard, and so turn the tide of the war.
With the Covenant having overwhelmed Reach's defenses, SPARTAN-B312 was among the few surviving UNSC troops left fighting the Covenant forces on the ground. Stranded on the Covenant-occupied planet, he escaped the drydocks on foot, moving toward nearby hills, but was surrounded by Covenant ground forces. After taking on an enormous force of Sangheili and Unggoy, he was eventually outnumbered and mortally wounded by plasma fire, yet continued fighting even after being disarmed. Noble Six was finally pinned to the ground and killed by a group of high-ranking Sangheili. His helmet, which had been dropped shortly before his death, was left in the glassed wasteland and remained alone there for 37 years, by which time the surrounding area had been re-terraformed.
Jun-A266 mentioned SPARTAN-B312 while trying to recruit Edward Buck into the SPARTAN-IV program in February 2553, with both soldiers reminiscing about how they fought alongside Noble Six on Reach. Jun remarked, "Noble Six was a good man".
At some point following the Human-Covenant War, Dr. Halsey recited a eulogy to the Spartan, commending his determination, courage, and sacrifice, which had let the UNSC find Installation 04 and, with that, let humanity survive and win the Covenant War.
Despite some recognition for his team's achievements, B312's existence was apparently kept classified from the public by ONI. When a statue in honor of NOBLE Team was erected in Hősök tere in 2610, Noble Six was not included on the monument or on its 1:53 scale replica kept in the Museum of Humanity.
Personality and traits
SPARTAN-B312 was regarded as a skilled assassin and "... more of a hyper-lethal vector than a soldier," evidenced by his heavily redacted personnel file. Noble Six had a tendency to "go solo" during missions, much to the dismay of his superiors. Despite having an obscure past, highly potent skills, and a reserved, "lone wolf" personality, 312 showed care and compassion for his fellow humans; he often undertook life-threatening actions to assist soldiers, civilians, and the other members of NOBLE Team. Although Six became fairly close to the other members of NOBLE Team, he shared a great deal of camaraderie with Jorge, and the two soon became friends. This inspired Jorge to give his life in Noble Six's place, and may have, among Noble's other sacrifices, inspired Six to do the same when allowing the Autumn to escape. Six's bond with Jorge is noted by the fact that Jorge gave Six his dog tags before sacrificing himself and Emile later refused them when Six offered up the dog tags, telling Six that Jorge chose to give them to Six so Six should keep them. Dr. Halsey and Cortana considered him to be of equal ability and trustworthiness to the Master Chief himself, despite the doctor's initial distaste for the Spartan-IIIs.
During the defense of SWORD Base on July 26, 2552, SPARTAN-B312 wore a standard Mark V [B] suit and helmet. At some point after joining NOBLE Team the Spartan requested a RECON-class helmet. Although this request was granted, whether he received the helmet before his death is unclear.
SPARTAN-B312 is the protagonist of Halo: Reach. To integrate player relation with the character, the player can choose whether Noble Six is male or female: the Spartan's male and female incarnations are voiced by Philip Anthony-Rodriguez and Amanda Philipson, respectively. However, 312's gender was established as male in Halo: The Essential Visual Guide; both Bungie and 343 Industries regard the ability to use a female Noble Six as a non-canonical gameplay mechanic.[note 1] The Spartan is explicitly referred to as a man in Halo: New Blood.
Armor and equipment
Players can customize Noble Six's armor using a vast selection of armor permutations (including a robotic arm), colors, and emblems; the player's chosen character model is used in the campaign, multiplayer, and Firefight, allowing players to better integrate themselves with the character. The version of Noble Six seen in early media was male, wearing a Mark V [B] helmet with an Up-Armor plate, no shoulder pauldrons, no chest attachment, a wrist-mounted UGPS, no leg attachment, FJ/PARA knee guards, and colored steel. As it became apparent that Noble Six's appearance and gender would be entirely customizable, the Spartan's armor was changed to fully default armor in most promotional material afterwards. When displayed in most promotional material dated shortly before the game's release, SPARTAN-B312 is portrayed as wearing the default MJOLNIR Mark V armor with the Mark V[B] helmet and steel coloration. In addition, the Spartan's emblem is customized as the first emblem with the first background on their respective lists in the Armory: steel-colored Seventh Column with no background. This is done to avoid portraying Noble Six as a character outside the player's control, as Noble Six's appearance depends on the player's armor customization and gender choice. The only exceptions to this are when a screenshot was released to prove that cutscenes would display player customization, and in various concept art wallpapers, where Noble Six is shown with a plethora of armor combinations. However, the Noble Six action figure was not redesigned with fully default armor.
In the Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, the main render image of Noble Six on the Noble Six page is equipped with a never-seen-before armor combination: UA/Base Security [W] chest plate with FJ/PARA shoulder pauldrons and knee guards.
In Halo: Reach, none of the members of NOBLE Team can be fully imitated in terms of armor coloring and configuration. This is likely (in part) to prevent confusion by allowing the player character to appear nearly identical to NPC teammates in the campaign.
List of appearances