The Silent Cartographer

From Halopedia, the Halo wiki

This article is about the Halo: Combat Evolved campaign level. For other uses of "Cartographer", see Cartographer (disambiguation).


The Truth and Reconciliation


Assault on the Control Room

The Silent Cartographer
HCEA TheSilentCartographer Loadscreen.png


Halo: Combat Evolved (Anniversary)
Halo Trial

Map file name (?):



Master Chief


September 20, 2552


On the surface of Installation 04


Find and access the Cartographer

Par Time:

00:15:00 (Master Chief Collection)

Par Score:

18,000 (Master Chief Collection)


Halopedia has a walkthrough guide for this level; see The Silent Cartographer/Walkthrough.

Search for the map room that will lead you to the secrets of Halo.

The Silent Cartographer is the fourth campaign level in Halo: Combat Evolved.

The Covenant believe that Halo's map room, the Silent Cartographer, is located somewhere under an island, with multiple structures concealing the installation. The Master Chief leads the UNSC Marines in an assault on that island in order to locate the Control Room.


The Silent Cartographer[edit]

{Original Cutscene} {Anniversary Cutscene}

Echo 419 (front) and Bravo 022 (back) approach the island.

Two Pelican dropships, Echo 419, in front, and Bravo 022, in back, approach an island, low over the water. The Master Chief is inside Echo 419.


  • Cortana: "The Covenant believe that what they call the "Silent Cartographer" is somewhere under this island. The Cartographer is a map room that will lead us to Halo's control center. The island has multiple structures and installations. One of them contains the map room."

The Pelican dropships descend on the beach's corner. Covenant troops begin firing at them.

  • Flight Captain Carol Rawley (COM): "We're approaching the LZ, it's gonna be hot! Get set to come out swingin'. Touchdown! Hit it, Marines!"


  • Gunnery Sergeant Waller: "Pile out people, let's move!"


  • Marine #1: "Pile out! Go, go, go!"

The UNSC forces move forward, and eventually the beach is cleared of Covenant hostiles.

  • Marine #1: "Area's secure. All hostiles have been eliminated."


  • Cortana: "Area's secure."
  • Rawley (COM): "Affirmative. Echo 419 inbound. Somebody order a Warthog?"
  • Marine #2 (COM): "Hey, I didn't know you made house calls, Foehammer!"


  • Marine #1 (COM): "Music to my ears, Foehammer!"
  • Rawley (COM): "You know our motto: We Deliver."
A Forerunner structure on the beach.

As the Chief boards the driver seat of the Warthog, two Marines occupy the passenger seat and the turret.

  • Cortana: "Okay, let's move out. Let's go find the map room that will show us the location of Halo's control center."

The Warthog proceeds to drive off around the island, encountering Covenant resistance. The vehicle approaches a structure protruding out of the cliff wall. A Spirit dropship beside it takes off.

  • Cortana: "There, in the cliff wall; I'll bet the Silent Cartographer is somewhere inside that facility."

On Heroic or Legendary:

  • Cortana: "They're already inside! We need to get in there quick, before they discover the location of Halo's control center!"
  • Marine: "Anyone else see what I see? How are we supposed to get around that, huh?"

They eliminate the patrolling troops outside the structure.

  • Cortana: "The Covenant are putting up a real fight! The Cartographer must be here. My analysis indicates that the map room should be at the bottom floor of this facility. Let's keep going inside."

The Chief enters the structure and reaches the top of a slope that leads to an open door. A group of Covenant stand guard at the door, with a Sangheili Zealot blocking the way in.

  • Cortana: "Don't let them lock the doors!"

The doors close as the guards, except for the Zealot, are eliminated.

  • Cortana: "Interesting... I underestimated the Covenant's understanding of Halo's subsystems. They've locked the doors, and we don't have enough firepower to get through them."
  • Cortana (COM): "Cortana to Keyes."
  • Captain Jacob Keyes (COM): "Go ahead, Cortana. Have you found the control center?"
  • Cortana (COM): "Negative, Captain. The Covenant have impeded our progress. We can't proceed unless we can disable this installation's security system."
  • Keyes (COM): (slight pause) "Understood. We're still en route to the objective. I may be out of contact when we get there. (pause) Here are your orders. I want you to use any means necessary to force your way into the facility and find Halo's control center. We have to get to the center before the Covenant, and failure, people, is not an option."
  • Rawley (COM): "Echo 419 to ground teams. I'll stay on station and keep an eye out for Covenant bogies."
  • Waller (COM): "Second squad, ready to roll! Soon as everybody's topside!"
  • Marine #3 (COM): "LZ looks secure, Sir, nothing moving."
  • Keyes (COM): "Good luck, people. Keyes out."
  • Cortana: "We need to find the security override to get this door open."
The Cartographer's security facility.

The Chief returns to the surface and explores the island on the Warthog. He eventually passes the substation, which juts out of a cliff.

  • Cortana: "Well, there's the entrance to the security substation, but it looks like we'll have to look for another way up."

They come across a path guarded by Covenant leading up into the island.

  • Cortana: "It looks like there is a path leading to the interior of the island."

The Chief makes his way towards the security substation, fighting past multiple Covenant troops including a pair of Mgalekgolo. Eventually, he reaches the substation. Once inside, he has to deal with another pair of Mgalekgolo.

He proceeds into the facility, meeting the security override panel.

  • Cortana: "Use the holo-panel to shut down the security system."

If the Security Station is entered before going to the auto-locking door to the Cartographer:

  • Cortana: "This isn't the map room. Analyzing... (pause) This is a security override station for the main facility, located somewhere else on this island. Shut the system down so the Covenant won't be able to lock us out."

The Chief shuts down the system.

{Original Cutscene} {Anniversary Cutscene}

As the door is unlocked, the Zealot guard charges out, sword at the ready.

The previously locked door opens to reveal the Sangheili Zealot, who dashes out of the door in surprise, his energy sword at the ready.

  • Cortana: "Good. That should open the door that leads into the main shaft."

It's Quiet...[edit]


The Chief moves down the hall from the security substation, towards the exit.

  • Bravo 022 Pilot (COM): "Mayday, mayday! Dropship Bravo 022 taking enemy fire! Repeat! We are under heavy fire and are losing altitude!"
  • Cortana (COM): "Understood. We're on our way."

A group of Stealth Sangheili attempt to ambush the Chief. The Chief defeats them and heads back up.

The Chief exits the substation and sees Bravo 022's wreckage on the beach below. Marine bodies and Covenant forces can be seen around it.

  • Cortana: "Chief, Bravo 022 was bringing us some heavy weapons. After I saw we were up against Hunters, I thought you could use them. Let's move down the beach. Keep an eye out for any cargo we can salvage."

The Chief returns to the entrance to the Cartographer which is now guarded by another pair of Mgalekgolo. The Chief defeats them and enters the structure again. He enters through the now-unlocked door leading to the shaft. The Zealot is not present.


{Original Cutscene} {Anniversary Cutscene}

The Master Chief walks out onto the platform overlooking the shaft and kicks a loose piece of debris (an Unggoy methane mask in Anniversary) down into the seemingly bottomless shaft. No sound is heard back. The Chief looks up and around.


The Chief moves farther down into the facility, wiping out any Covenant resistance. He moves into the third of four levels.

  • Rawley (COM): "Foehammer to ground teams, you got two enemy dropships coming in fast!"
  • Gunnery Sergeant Waller (COM): "Dammit! Okay, people, we got company comin', let's set the table. Engage enemy forces on sight!"
  • Cortana (COM): "It'll be easier to hold them off from inside the structure. Can you get inside?"
  • Waller (COM): "Negative! They're closin' in too fast, negative! (pause) Chief! You gotta find the Cartographer! We'll keep 'em busy as long as we can!"
  • Cortana (COM): "Give 'em hell, Marine."
  • Cortana: "We'll be in a tight spot if we don't get out of here before additional reinforcements arrive. Let's find that map."

The Chief finally reaches the Cartographer, which is guarded by multiple Sangheili. The Chief soon takes them out.

  • Cortana: "There. That holo-panel should activate the map."

The Chief activates the holo-panel.

{Original Cutscene} {Anniversary Cutscene}

John-117 activates the Cartographer.

The Cartographer hologram display begins to spin, and the diagram of Halo begins to break into sections.

  • Cortana: "Analyzing... Halo's control center is located there. That structure appears to be some sort of temple or shrine, if I've interpreted this correctly. (pause) Interesting. A shrine is an unlikely place to put such a significant installation."


  • Cortana (COM): "Cortana to Captain Keyes."

No response.

  • Rawley (COM): "The Captain has dropped out of contact, Cortana. His ship may be out of range or having equipment problems."
  • Cortana (COM): "Keep trying. Let me know when you've reestablished contact, and then tell him that the Master Chief and I have determined the location of the control center. We'll be heading there as soon as we're topside."
  • Rawley (COM): "Affirmative. Foehammer out."

Covenant reinforcements, including the Sangheili Zealot seen previously, have retaken the upper levels of the facility, forcing the Chief to fight his way back up.

The Chief reaches to the exit of the facility. Any Marines on the Warthog will have been killed by a squad of Stealth Sangheili, who the Chief quickly deals with.

  • Cortana (COM): "Cortana to Echo 419. The Chief and I are topside, requesting pickup."
  • Rawley (COM): "Roger. On my way."

The Pelican arrives. The Chief boards it.

{Original Cutscene} {Anniversary Cutscene}

Echo 419 lifts off from the platform and rises quickly, circling the center of the island.

  • Cortana (COM): "Let's get moving. Foehammer. Here are coordinates and a flight plan I've worked up."
  • Rawley (COM): "Uh, Cortana - these coordinates are underground!"
Echo 419 descends into the depths of Halo.
  • Cortana (COM): "The Covenant did a thorough seismic scan. My analysis shows that Halo is honeycombed with deep tunnels - which circle the whole ring."

The structure where the first pair of Mgalekgolo appeared lifts up, revealing a vertical underground tunnel; Echo 419 lowers into it as the structure returns to its original position.

  • Rawley (COM): "I hope your analysis is on-the-money, Cortana. This Pelican won't turn on a dime."
  • Cortana (COM): "Look on the bright side, Foehammer. The last thing the Covenant will expect is an aerial insertion...from underground."

Echo 419 continues to lower through the structure. The top closes with a crash.

Fade to black.

Level ends.


The following achievements can be unlocked on The Silent Cartographer across the Xbox 360 and Halo: The Master Chief Collection editions of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary. The original Xbox and PC and Macintosh releases of Halo: Combat Evolved did not contain achievement unlocks.

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary (Xbox 360) Halo: MCC (Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S) Halo: MCC (Steam) Title Unlock requirement Games
HCEA Achievement The Silent Cartographer.png
HTMCC HCEA Achievement The Silent Cartographer achievement art
Steam Achievement Icon for the Halo: The Master Chief Collection - Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary achievement The Silent Cartographer
The Silent Cartographer
Beat The Silent Cartographer on any difficulty.
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
Halo: The Master Chief Collection
HTMCC HCEA Achievement Beachhead achievement art
Steam Achievement Icon for the Halo: The Master Chief Collection - Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary achievement Beachhead
Storm The Silent Cartographer beach with no Marine casualties on Heroic or Legendary.
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
Halo: The Master Chief Collection
Escape the map room in The Silent Cartographer without firing a shot on Heroic or Legendary.
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
HTMCC HCEA Achievement Pacifist achievement art
HTMCC HCEA Achievement Pacifist.jpg
Finish The Silent Cartographer without shooting, grenades, melee, dying or restarting.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection
HTMCC HCEA Achievement Hit The Beach achievement art
Steam Achievement Icon for the Halo: The Master Chief Collection - Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary achievement Hit The Beach
Hit The Beach
Beat the par time on The Silent Cartographer.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection
HTMCC HCEA Achievement Charted achievement art
Steam Achievement Icon for the Halo: The Master Chief Collection - Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary achievement Charted
Beat the par score on The Silent Cartographer.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection
HTMCC HCEA Achievement Idle Hands achievement art
Steam Achievement Icon for the Halo: The Master Chief Collection - Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary achievement Idle Hands
Idle Hands
Find the Terminal on The Silent Cartographer.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection
HTMCC HCEA Achievement Skulltaker Halo: CE: Bandana achievement art
Steam Achievement Icon for the Halo: The Master Chief Collection - Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary achievement Skulltaker Halo: CE: Bandana
Skulltaker Halo: CE: Bandana
Find the Bandana Skull on The Silent Cartographer.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection
HTMCC HCEA Achievement Skulltaker Halo: CE: Famine achievement art
Steam Achievement Icon for the Halo: The Master Chief Collection - Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary achievement Skulltaker Halo: CE: Famine
Skulltaker Halo: CE: Famine
Find the Famine Skull on The Silent Cartographer.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Production notes[edit]

Main article: Development of Halo: Combat Evolved

Known as "B-30" during development, the level geometry for The Silent Cartographer went through multiple design iterations by Bungie employees, including Art Director Marcus Lehto and Environmental Artist Paul Russel.[2] As one of the first levels constructed, it was originally a testbed sandbox where Bungie tested lighting, graphics, weapons or vehicles.[3]

The level geometry was given to designer Jaime Griesemer, who then led the design on level objective and combat encounters.[2] The wave-advancing artificial intelligence for the opening beach assault, in particular, became one of the two AI scripts Griesemer and programmer Chris Butcher developed for the game, the other being the defensive AI seen throughout other levels.[4] The original objective of the level was to assassinate a Covenant Prophet who was searching for the Cartographer. This early iteration of Prophet was described as "an Elite with a funny hat". The idea was partly reused in Halo 2 campaign level Regret.[3] The Huragok were meant to appear on this level, but were removed from the game, though their tags remained in the map file.

The level was first showcased by Project Lead Jason Jones and Director of Cinematics Joseph Staten during the gameplay demo of Halo Combat Evolved at Microsoft Gamestock 2001. In the demo, John-117 arrived at the island on a Banshee, and drove a Warthog to the Cartographer facility. The Spartan ventured deeper into the facility, defeating Covenant defenses before reaching the Cartographer. When activated, the Cartographer displayed the spinning hologram that became the one at the security override station in the final game. The demo did not feature any cinematics or scripted dialogue. Instead, Staten narrated the game’s premise as an introduction while the track Truth and Reconciliation Suite plays in full as background music.[5][6]

By Halo: Combat Evolved Beta 1749, the general level design has been completed. Minor changes and additions were made prior to the final release: for example, Assistant Art Lead Steve Abeyta added a unique sitting animation for the Marine sitting opposite of John-117 in the Pelican at the beginning of the level, and artist Shi Kai Wang animated the holographic Halo ring breaking into pieces when the Cartographer was being accessed by John-117.[3]

A level was supposed to take place between this level and Assault on the Control Room, however it was cut. Instead, it was replaced by the cinematic in which Echo 419 enters the tunnel to explain the drastic change in setting from a tropical island to a snowy canyon.[3]

The events of the level were later expanded in the novel Halo: The Flood, including the appearances of two ODSTs (Hosky and an unidentified corporal) while the two Mgalekgolo at the Cartographer’s entrance were given the names Ogada Nosa Fasu and Igido Nosa Hurru.[7] The appearance of Gunnery Sergeant Marcus Stacker was substituted by Sergeant Waller.

The remastered The Silent Cartographer was the first level revealed for Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary in 2011.[8] In Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, the stone at the end of the platform during the "Shafted" chapter cinematic has been removed. Instead, the Master Chief kicks an Unggoy methane mask over the edge.

The Silent Cartographer would be repurposed or referenced in the later Halo games. The level geometry became the basis for the Halo PC multiplayer map Death Island. In the Halo 2 campaign level The Great Journey, the landing pad of the Bastion of the Brutes heavily resembled the entrance to the Cartographer. In Halo 3, the layout of the two rooms immediately following the locked door inside the Cartographer facility were recreated by Paul Russel for the Cartographer of Installation 00 in the campaign level The Ark. Additionally, a similar shaped island can be found in the final level of Halo 3, depicted as an unfinished island that is a major feature of the landscape as the player drives along the collapsing Installation 08. The island, like the rest of the visible landscape, is still snowy, surrounded by metal structures and unfinished, but from above it is nearly identical in shape. John-117 drives around it just before the final jump into the UNSC Forward Unto Dawn. In Halo 5: Guardians, the Warzone map Raid on Apex 7 was designed as a spiritual successor to The Silent Cartographer, featuring a similar tropical island with Forerunner structures.[9]


The following tracks from Halo: Original Soundtrack and Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Original Soundtrack play at different sections throughout the mission:



  • If the player doesn't move from the very beginning of the level until the Marines have cleared the beach and the Warthog is down, the normal dialogue will start with Cortana saying to move up the beach, without you being there to start it by getting in the driver seat of the Warthog.
  • The Zealot in the first part of level who stands behind the door can be killed using several Magnum magazines or a lucky plasma grenade; however, he will still appear later in the level.
  • It is possible to get on top of the island by grenade jumping, or via a Mgalekgolo melee boost.
  • It is also possible to drive the Warthog into the door before it locks near the beginning of the level. The door will close through the midsection of the Warthog, with the driver and passenger seats on the other side of the locked door. The person driving is able to get out of the Warthog at this point and stay on the other side of the doorway, skipping a large chunk of the level. If done, the Zealot on the other side will not move or act, and can be killed easily, though he will appear again upon coming back up when exiting the Cartographer. This glitch is quite hard to do, requiring that the Warthog be driven at full speed and with perfect accuracy into the doorway, and requires a bit of luck and knowledge of the path. The trick also can be done as player can dismount quickly before the door closes without having a Warthog get past through the door.[2]
  • A Warthog can be driven down into the main structure to where the locked door is. If the Marines in the Warthog stay in the tunnels they will survive the Covenant attack at the end of the level. If the player manages to get the Warthog even further into the tunnel, where they first met the Zealot, and get inside, the Marines will freeze.
  • All Marines inside the tunnel that leads to the main structure will survive regardless of whether they are riding the Warthog or not at the end of the level. The player can save as many Marines as they can, although one should make sure not to let the Marines mount the Warthog again when dismounting them inside the tunnel.

Easter eggs[edit]

  • In Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, the fourth terminal can be found against the Marathon-symbol-shaped structure where the first pair of Mgalekgolo is fought, on the circular part and beneath the horizontal column.
  • In Anniversary, the Famine skull can be found on the small plateau where the Pelican Bravo 022 crashed into. The skull is right on the corner in between three bushes.
  • In Anniversary, Bandanna skull can be found at the end of the tunnel, on the ceiling in the security console chamber. The player needs to use explosive jump to reach the column. An alternative method is for the first player to crouch on the window strip in the tunnel below the skull, then having a second player kill himself and subsequently respawn on top of the first player. The skull would then be instantly acquired.
  • In Anniversary, the image for the level features an Arbiter in the top left corner.


  • The beginning of the level resembles the beach landings, or D-Day, from World War II, with the Marines and Master Chief landing on a beach, pushing forward into enemy fortifications.
  • The level was recreated in the Halo Mash-Up: Minecraft Evolved.[10]
  • Captain Keyes' quote "failure, people, is not an option" is a reference to the original quote by Ed Harris in the movie Apollo 13.


  • This is the only level in Halo Combat Evolved to feature an ocean. Players will not drown if they drive a Warthog out into the sea, which extends out roughly half a kilometer in every direction from the shore before abruptly ending at an invisible wall. At these distances, the Warthog will be fully submerged, and underwater, there are odd effects on lighting, in that the flashlight has no effect and everything is pitch black, including most of the player's arm and gun. This lack of a kill-area also applies to NPCs; enemies lured out into the sea will not die, and any marines riding on the Warthog will not only survive being submerged, they can even freely speak underwater. This curious feature of ocean exploration remains fully intact in Anniversary.
  • Interestingly, Sergeant Waller can be brought into the facility as a passenger in the Warthog. However, he will still talk on the radio to Cortana and Echo 419 as though he is back at the Landing Zone.
  • At the flipped Warthog at the interior path there are four dead Marines, one more than the Hog can carry. This may have occurred through a similar circumstance to when Corporal Harland had one of his soldiers lie under the LAAG during the Battle of Sigma Octanus IV.[11]
  • On Easy and Normal difficulties, in the initial Pelican ride, the Chief sits next to Sergeant Waller on Echo 419; however, on Heroic and Legendary difficulties, the Chief sits next to an Asian Marine.
  • This level is the most popular to perform Warthog jumping on, due to the large number of Marines, Warthogs, and the presence of rocket launchers. Its popularity lead to the creation of the flash game called Pelican.[citation needed]
  • If the player returns to the circular open area where the pair Hunters are confronted before boarding Echo 419, there will be a landed Spirit dropship with a lance of Grunts and Jackals guarding it. These lances were probably part of the forces that overwhelmed the Marines guarding the beach.
  • When entering the chamber of the unlocked door in the Cartographer building, there is a large locked vent-like installation in the wall of the first room with sleeping Grunts. This vent-like component may be some sort of inactive Sentinel launcher.
  • In Anniversary, the beginning of the level during the ride on the Pelican is treated as a cutscene. On cooperative play, the screen will remain as one HUD until the Pelicans land. This is similar to the Halo: Reach campaign level The Package, although the second player has no control of the HUD in this case.


Halo: Combat Evolved[edit]

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary[edit]


Preceded by
The Truth and Reconciliation
Halo CE Campaign Missions
The Silent Cartographer
Succeeded by
Assault on the Control Room