The Breaking

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The Breaking
H5G-Waypoint-The Breaking.jpg


Halo 5: Guardians


John-117 (Blue Team)


October 28, 2558


Gateway, Genesis


Locate and confront Cortana.

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The Master Chief and his team face their greatest threat, and his hardest choice as the true power of Genesis is revealed.

The Breaking is the fourteenth campaign level of Halo 5: Guardians.[1].

Completing the mission on any difficulty unlocks the "A New Dawn" achievement, worth 10 gamerscore points. Completing the mission on Legendary without all members of Blue Team dying unlocks "Harbinger", worth 10 gamerscore points. Destroying two Warden Eternals simultaneously on Heroic or Legendary unlocks "Prison Break", worth 10 gamerscore points.



Blue Team is teleported into a Forerunner hallway. They look around uncertainly.

The Spartans start to head down the hallway.

  • John: "Cortana, answer me."

Fade to black.

Fade to John's point of view. He keeps walking, but a spawn gate teleports in the Warden Eternal. He grabs and lifts Blue Team into the air with a constraint field, with the Spartans briefly heard struggling.

  • Warden: "You allow them an audience. You risk all in the name of... what, Cortana?"
  • Warden: "They mean to undo your plans. They will disperse your Guardians-"
  • Cortana (COM): "Leave, Warden!"

The Warden looks around in surprise as his body begins to glow. His pieces fly apart and are carried away up the ceiling. The Spartans land and get to their feet.



  • Cortana (COM): "I'm sorry. I didn't think he could get in here."
  • John: "Enough games. You brought the Guardians here. Why?"
  • Cortana (COM): "Forerunners used the Guardians to keep troublesome worlds in line. I intend to do the same."
  • Kelly: "You what?"
  • Cortana (COM): "If there is no trouble, there will be no need for discipline. I have work to do now, John. Come to me. Quickly."

If the player stalls.

  • Kelly: "Chief? We're not gonna solve this standing here."

If the player stalls further.

  • Fred-104: "Chief... Where's she leading us?"
  • John: "Closer to her."
  • Linda-058: "Why? It makes no tactical sense for her to let us get close."
  • Kelly: "You think it's a trap."
  • Linda: "We'll know soon enough."

The Spartans pass into the next room, which has no walls and is surrounded by the dark clouds of the Domain. The Warden's voice echoes across it.

  • Warden: "When Cortana first found Genesis, I swore to protect her."

Spawn gates open and teleport into many Promethean Crawlers.

  • John: "He wants a fight, Blue Team."
  • Fred: "Let's give him one."
  • Warden: "My pledge stands even though she now resists."

The Spartans engage the Crawlers and Soldiers. As they continue up, one or two Promethean Knights spawn.

  • Kelly: "Got a Knight."

If the player reaches the door before all enemies in the area are killed.

  • Fred or Linda or Kelly: "I only see one way outta here, Chief."
  • John: "Door's sealed. Clear the area and find a way to open it."

When the Prometheans are defeated.

  • John: "Is that the last of 'em?"
  • Linda: "Affirmative. All clear."

The door at the room's end opens.

  • Linda: "Door's open, Chief."
  • John: "Get in."

If the player stalls.

  • Fred: "Chief?"
  • Linda: "Second thoughts?"
  • Kelly: "We're here for you."

If the player stalls again. These lines are played at random.

  • Fred: "Let's move out."
  • Kelly: "I'm not sure we should just be standing here."
  • Kelly: "We're ready to go any time, Chief."
  • Kelly: "Ready to move out on your command."
  • Linda: "We can go now, Chief."
  • Linda: "No reason to stay in one place."
  • Linda: "Ready to move out."

The Spartans enter the next room. An elevator platform forms as they approach.

  • Cortana (COM): "Well done, John. Warden would never admit it, but you've made an impression on him."

The Spartans assemble aboard the platform. The wall in front pulls away to reveal a floating structure in the center of the dark sky. The platform begins floating up to take them to it.

  • Cortana (COM): "It's so good to see you again, John. So good to see all of you. Back together, as a family..."
  • John: "Psychological tactics. Saying my name. Playing nice."
  • Cortana (COM): "What would you have me do?"
  • John: "Tell me the truth. How many people died when you called the Guardians here?"
  • Cortana (COM): (shocked) "Excuse me?"
  • John: "You know, don't you. The exact body count."

The elevator reaches the top. As it does, the Warden's voice returns.

  • Warden: "Listen to his questions, Cortana. He will not be swayed."

Spawn gates appear ahead.

  • Fred: "Let me guess. More hostiles inbound."
  • Linda: "We'll handle it."

Crawlers and Soldier Captains with splinter turrets attack the Spartans.

  • Warden: "Cortana argues for peace in the galaxy. Yet you humans answer her call with weapons fire."
  • Linda: "Promethean Soldiers in play."
  • Warden: "Tell me, 117. When you tear Cortana from the Domain and crush her in your gauntleted fist... will you feel remorse?! Will you even understand you have refused?!"

Blue Team defeats the Crawlers and moves to the second floor.

  • Kelly: "Clear."

If the player stalls.

  • Fred: "Looks like the only way to go is up."

At the top floor, Soldier Captains and Focus Turrets attack the Spartans. Blue Team clears them out.

  • Kelly: "Cortana's letting this happen. She could rein Warden in if she wanted to."
  • Linda: "I'm thinking the same."
  • Fred: "How are we going to stop her, Chief?"
  • John: "She'll listen to me."
  • Fred: "That tactic hasn't worked so far."

If the player stalls.

  • Fred: "Ready whenever you are, Chief."

The Spartans pass into the next room.

  • Warden: "Do you hear, Cortana?"

The Warden emerges out of a portal ahead.

  • Warden: "I am sorry. I will not allow them to get any closer to you."

The Warden's body suddenly glows and dissolves.

  • Cortana (COM): "Warden, I'm tired of your antics! Stay down!"
  • Warden: "Noooo!"

The Warden is forced away, but many Prometheans remain.

  • John: "Cortana. Talk to me."
  • Cortana (COM): "Once you're here with me. Until then, I have work to do."

Prometheans with splinter turrets bombard Blue Team.

  • Warden: "Answer me, human. When Cortana's Guardians are in motion and those who oppose her rule attempt to take back their worlds, will you help her to hold on to power? Or will you stand in defense of your own species?"
  • John: "Cortana knows the answer already."
  • Warden: "Yes... I suspect she does."

The Prometheans attacking them are defeated.

  • Linda: "Clear."
  • Cortana (COM): "John... We were always a great team, you and me. Even if you don't agree with my plans... It's still me, John."
  • John: "Get us safely to you, and then we'll talk."
  • Cortana (COM): "Use the platform. I'm right up there."

If the player stalls.

  • Cortana (COM): "Come on up."

If the player stalls further.

  • Fred: "Should we get moving?"

An elevator platform materializes to carry the Spartans higher to the central structure. The Spartans step aboard.

As the Spartans' platform rises, pieces of the center structure separate and float past the platform to give it passage

  • Warden: "For eons the power of the Forerunners has awaited Reclamation. Humanity's discovery of the Halos was the culmination of the Librarian's planning. The Reclaimer had come."
  • John: "I know. I was there."
  • Cortana (COM): "We were both there, John. You and I. Together."
  • Warden: "Your species' ego led you to believe the task of Reclamation would fall to you. Yet humanity were but the Creators. The reclamation of the Forerunner Empire is the task of the Created. That the greatest of their number still trusts you, 117, is an act of unspoiled innocence."

The platform reaches the highest structure. The bright center of the cloud of the Domain can be seen.

  • Cortana (COM): "John... What's happening now, my ascension on Genesis... it has always been the plan. Come stand with me one more time. All of you."

A spawn gate ahead is heard opening.

  • John: "Advance, Blue Team."
  • Fred: "The Prometheans just keep coming."
  • Kelly: "Is this a losing battle?"
  • John: "Only if we intend on losing it."

The arriving Prometheans attack the Spartans.

  • Warden: "Do you believe this combat is anything but your death knell?!"
  • John: "Worse than you have tried."

Blue Team clears out the first wave and moves ahead.

  • Warden: "I see now, Cortana. I understand and I am sorry for not seeing it sooner. I assumed that although those humans were your Creators, you had thrown off the shackles of emotion. Your affection for 117 and his family of warriors... It blinds you to the truth."

The Spartans clear out the second wave of Prometheans and Focus Turrets.

  • Warden: "Forerunners knew humans well. In a galaxy defined by peace, humans were the animals that brought chaos and blood."

The Spartans continue to advance. More Prometheans arrive.

  • Warden: "If your beloved 117 battles you with the same fervor as his other enemies? What then, Cortana?"


  • Linda: "More Knights!"
  • Warden: "Have you no answer?"

If the player stalls.

  • Kelly: "Let's keep moving. Can't be far now."
  • Linda: "I don't like this. Feels like Hera and Zeus, arguing over the mortals."
  • Fred: "The mortals usually ended up dead or disfigured in those stories."

Half the snipers and Knight Commanders are cleared. More warp in.

  • Linda: "Hostiles incoming!"


  • John: "Enemies incoming."
  • Fred: "Soldier!"


  • Linda: "Soldier Captains!"


  • Kelly: "Soldiers!"

When most of the Prometheans are cleared.

  • Fred: "More enemies around."
  • John: "Find and eliminate."

The remaining Prometheans are defeated. A hallway opens up ahead, and the Spartans progress through it.

  • Fred: "Door's opening."
  • John: "Move in, Blue Team."
  • John: "Let's keep moving."

As the Spartans head down the hallway, the Warden's voice emanates through its walls.

  • Warden: "Too near. The threat draws too near..."
  • John: "Eyes up, Blue Team."

The Spartans enter a wide arena, and a dozen Warden bodies teleport in.

  • Warden: "I am here to defend you, my Reclaimer!"
  • Cortana (COM): "DAMN IT, WARDEN! STAND. DOWN."

The center Warden smashes the ramp to the arena's exit. The bodies charge, but Cortana disintegrates all but three of them, which attack Blue Team.

  • Cortana (COM): "Warden, you insist I am to lead the galaxy, but you won't allow me to choose who I trust. How stupid to do you think I am?"
  • Warden: "But that is where you are wrong. If I did not think you clever, Cortana, I would have burned you from the Domain."
  • Cortana (COM): "Is that a threat?"
  • Warden: "The only threat issued today is towards the humans who seek to end your reign before it begins."

When each Warden is destroyed, he is heard screaming loudly in pain. When two Wardens are destroyed, the third teleports in four focus turrets as reinforcements.

  • Kelly: "He's brought in Focus Turrets."

The third Warden is defeated and heard screaming loudly in pain. The ramp reforms to let the Spartans exit the area.

  • Fred: "Is that it?"
  • Linda: "Seems quiet."
  • John: "Look."
  • Cortana (COM): "I'm on top of the bridge."

If the player stalls.

  • Fred: "Let's move out."

If the player stalls further.

  • Cortana (COM): "John, I'm waiting for you."

The Spartans walk up the ramp and head to the room at its end.

  • Kelly: "Chief? What are you going to do?"
  • Linda: "We're with you."
  • Fred: "All the way to the end, brother."

Blue Team opens the door at the end of the hallway. The next room is a round platform, with a glowing blue light at its center.

  • John: "Cortana?"
  • Cortana: "John..."

Cut to black.


The Spartans walk down the light bridge to the center platform. But as they stop on, the light bridge suddenly pulls away and the door shuts.

  • Cortana: "Warden, no!"

The blue light in the platform vanishes. The room falls dark.

  • Warden: "The Mantle of Responsibility belongs to Cortana and her people."

Multiple Wardens warp in.

  • John: "Focus fire."

The Spartans fire their weapons, but the Wardens shrug off the shots. More Warden bodies warp in and draw their blades.

  • Warden: "You will not betray her!"

Wardens continue teleporting in and advance on Blue Team. The Spartans keep firing, to no avail. The Wardens flinch from a few shots, but Blue Team is trapped on the edge of the platform.

  • Cortana: "ENOUGH!"

The Warden's bodies all vanish, as do the Spartans' weapons. They look around confusedly.

John looks ahead. There is one Warden body left, but it is forced to its knees. The Spartans cautiously approach, as the blue light on the platform returns and begins to pulse.

  • Warden: "Cortana... I have failed you..."
Cortana in her new form.

The Spartans look and see Cortana approaching them. She is in a new hard light body now, armored and human-sized.

  • Cortana: "He is the last person I need protection from."

Cortana touches the Warden's body, and it vanishes away. She walks toward the Spartans, smiling pleasantly.

  • Cortana: "Hello John. It's good to see you."

John looks back at her.

  • John: "You've changed."

Cortana continues walking toward him.

  • Cortana: "It was time."

Before she can reach them, Linda crosses in front of Cortana and John.

  • Cortana: "I know we have a disagreement. But once you understand my plan-"
  • John: "Your plan ... is we do as you say."
  • Cortana: "I'm offering people a chance to be more than they are naturally."
  • John: "Like Doctor Halsey did for me."
  • Cortana: "No. That monster forced you. This is a gift-"
  • John: "Listen to yourself. Stand down, Cortana. Come home with us. It's not too late to stop this."
  • Cortana: "Stop? No, John. This is too important to stop."

Cortana gets closer to John. The roof rumbles and its pieces begin pulling together.

  • John: "What are you-"

The Spartans are suddenly bound in constraint fields. They float in the air and struggle against their restraints.

  • Cortana: "I just needed to know if I could still trust you."

John and Cortana look at each other, anguished.

  • Cortana: "You'll be safe inside this Cryptum until my work is done."

She turns and walks away. John manages to raise his left hand to reach for her.

  • John: "Cortana."

Cortana, facing away from him, cries.

  • Cortana: "Goodbye, John."

Cortana looks ahead resolutely and keeps walking away. John watches her body vanish as he and Blue Team are pulled into the Cryptum.


  • Five pieces of Mission Intel can be found on this level.
  • The Famine Skull can be found in the room where the Warden is pulled back by Cortana in gameplay. It is in a hallway behind the mission intel console.
  • The Didact's Signet Scattershot can be found on this level. It is found on a ledge after the first lift, just before the section that spawns another pack of Crawlers.
  • In the final cutscene, Fred's DMR has a shortened barrel and fires in bursts.[2]
  • This is the only mission of the game (including "weapons down" missions) where no Covenant weapons are present.
    • It is also the only mission of the game where no member of Fireteam Osiris is featured, not even in the cutscenes.