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Winter Contingency is the second track (Disc 1 Track 2) included in Halo: Reach Original Soundtrack. It is composed of The Battle Begins (0:00-3:10), Lone Wolf (3:10-5:33), Distress (5:33-7:12), Blood on the Ground (7:12-8:05), Noble Mission (8:05-9:20), Bait and Switch (9:20-10:39), Free Fire Zone (10:39-11:17) and Discontent (11:17-12:09).
The Battle Begins
The Battle Begins (3:10) open with a drumroll and a male choir. After another drumroll and a brief bass section, a tribal percussion enters in repeat, accompanied by strings and vocals invoking the Halo Theme. The melody repeats in variation before percussion instrument changes but plays the same rhythm. The piece ends with strings and vocals playing the melody in repeat before fading out. The piece plays in the first campaign level Noble Actual and in the The Battle Begins trailer. The tribal percussion has reprises in Belly of the Beast (from the later track Long Night of Solace) and Special Delivery (from the later track The Pillar of Autumn).
Lone Wolf (2:23) fades in with low strings and muted percussion. Brass and guitar join in with a slow melody, which pauses briefly before the instruments enter a heavy melody together. They build up to a climatic ending followed by a solemn finish by the strings. The piece first plays in the Halo: Reach Video Games Awards Trailer, and its variations play at various points of the game. It first plays in the opening cinematic of the level Winter Contingency. Parts of the piece also play during Invasion, whenever Spartans enter the next phase and when they win the round.
A version (featuring only electric guitar and percussion from the first melody) plays in the level Nightfall, when Jun-A266 plants an explosive on the Stealth pylon. The second melody (featuring only electric guitar and percussion) plays in the main menu of Halo: Reach and again in Nightfall, when Recon Team Bravo pushes deeper into the dark zone past the gate at the hydroelectricity plant.
A second version (featuring only electric guitar and muted percussion with a piano solo ending) plays in the level Exodus when Noble Six and Evacuation Team 7 defend an elevator from the Covenant. The full version plays in the level The Package, when Noble Team first arrives at the cavern outside Catherine Halsey's lab under SWORD Base.
A third version (featuring only strings from the second melody) is featured as Noble Six (in the track The Pillar of Autumn), and it plays in the level The Pillar of Autumn during the first wave of Ru'swum-pattern Phantoms attack Platform Delta at the Asźod ship breaking yards.
Distress (1:38) features soft male choir and strings playing in ambiance. Percussion enters with rhythm of The Battle Begins, with its rhythm becoming more complicated before fading out. The piece plays when Noble Team arrive at Visegrad and finds a distress beacon. The percussive section plays when they run towards the farmhouse where they find the bodies of civilians and army troopers.
Blood on the Ground
Blood on the Ground (0:53) features a crisp melody on strings, brass, and synth notes, accompanied by soft percussion and short piano cues. A version without piano plays when Carter-A259, Jorge-052, and Noble Six fight the first group of Covenant in the east valley. A full version with piano plays when they fight the second group of Covenant. Alternate versions are later featured as Keeping What I Steal (from the later track Nightfall).
Noble Mission (1:15) features strings and brass playing a heavy melody with rhythmic percussion in the background. The opening phrases of the piece first plays in loop during Noble Team's initial encounter with the Covenant. The piece then plays in full when Noble Team head towards Visegrád Relay, and plays in loop as they defend the entrance of the outpost.
Bait and Switch
Bait and Switch (1:19) opens with synth effects playing in ambiance. An electric guitar suddenly enters with two-phrase riff section in repeat. Strings fade in and the piece ends with a dissonant chord. The piece when Noble Team has entered the outpost, and continues into the cinematic in which they are attacked by the Devoted Sentries. The guitar riffs continue into gameplay sequence following the cinematic. The guitar riffs reprise in Displacement (from Long Night of Solace).
Free Fire Zone
Free Fire Zone (0:38) features short synth notes and crisp percussive beats. The rhythm plays in variation before ending. The piece plays when Jorge-052 and Noble Six venture into the facility where they encounter Special Operations Unggoys and the last Sangheili Zealot. It also plays in the later level Exodus, near the end of the opening cinematic, and continues into the gameplay sequence afterwards. An alternate version, featuring more prominent percussive beats, plays in Howling Dark (from the later track Nightfall).
Discontent (0:52) opens with an eerie ambiance before fading out, replaced by a piano solo playing the main melody of the later track Ashes. The eerie ambiance returns for a brief ending. The piece plays in the ending cinematic.
- This is not only the longest track on the Halo: Reach: Original Soundtrack, but also the longest track of any Halo soundtrack created to date.
- The track shares its name with not only the campaign level, but also the official United Nations Space Command emergency plan.
- The name Lone Wolf alludes to SPARTAN-B312's personality.
- The name Free Fire Zone is a direct quote of Emile-A239 after the team's initial skirmish with the Covenant, "Cheer up, big man: this whole valley just turned into a free-fire zone."
- After its appearance in the Reach VGA 09 trailer, the piece entitled Lone Wolf was released as a down-loadable MP3 file on Bungie.net.