Gravemind Legendary FAQ: 5 Marines to Freedom
Written by Steve Timmons aka Javelina (GFAQs)

Copyright 2005 by Steve Timmons aka Javelina. You may not use or post any part
of this guide anywhere without my express permission.

This guide is for Halo 2- US version from Bungie Studios for Microsoft XBox


Version History

1.00:--~01/02/05
1.01:--~01/06/05 mainly punctuation and oganization
1.02:--~04/09/05 A few corrections and additions. 


//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

Introduction:

Although this FAQ can be used as a general guide to Gravemind in Halo 2, and
is written for those who play it on the legendary setting, the real reason I
wrote this FAQ is to show how to get all five of the marines to freedom.

This is not really just some exercise or a random challenge. If you are
playing a game, and you are told that you are supposed to free some marines,
I figure that you are really meant to try and do it! Most people make at least
some effort at doing this, but the marines will usually die in the Detention
Center. If you work at it hard, and then finally get them out of the Detention
Center, most people arrive at the Hall of the Hunters, only to watch the
Hunters bash their marines to oblivion.

When I first started trying to free the marines on the legendary setting in
earnest, I was able to get 4 of them past the Hunters and then on to
freedom. I did this without the use of crates or any other trick. I then began
my quest to get all 5 out. During this attempt, I began to master the use of
crates, and discovered that by using them, ANYONE should be able to accomplish
this task, and I wrote this FAQ to explain exactly how you might do it.

Freeing the marines, and keeping them with you, is the most fun I have had in
this game.  The marines are great company and there are several different
marine characters. My favorite is the Aussie, who says all kinds of funny
things while he is with you, but it is very rare to actually find him in your
marine line-up. There are marines with other accents, and there is one guy
who talks so softly you can barely hear him. That marine is very slow and can
give you fits when trying to coax him to follow you. After I submit this FAQ
for the first time, I plan to go back and show how to tell which marines are
accompanying you.  That will hopefully be added to a later version.You can get
a better look at a marine's face by shooting them once in the helmet. It will
pop off from their head and then they will be much easier to tell apart. Shoot
them twice in the head and they are dead, so use care! 

By the way, the marines do have shields, although they are not apparent. I
have tested this. Their shields are a bit weaker than yours. It takes
7 Carbine quick shots in the chest to kill a marine. Give them about 15
seconds to recharge after 6 shots and they can take another 6 shots
without dying. 

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

GRAVEMIND:

Cut-scenes play out before the Gravemind levels are actually fought. They
involve Gravemind talking to various ensnared characters: Cortana, Master
Chief, the Arbiter, and the Prophet of Truth. Master Chief is then sent to
begin his quest to help retrieve the index.

The scenario itself really has little or nothing to do with Gravemind, the
life form.

“Inside Job” 

This is the only name that officially appears in this level. It is in the
bottom right of the screen at the outset. All other names in this FAQ are my
own names. Several people refer to the room that I call the 
"Breaking Benjamin Room” as “that room where Breaking Benjamin plays that
guitar song”. This room is actually the Mausoleum of the Arbiters.

I think that the names I use here reflect the impressions of the players who
tread the halls of Halo on the legendary setting. It is very easy to recall
the levels I am describing by reading the name.

Let me set the scene:

Have you checked out the “legendary” hooded black T-Shirt on the Bungie
Store web-site? Wear that, and then sit back in a nice big beanbag. Pick up
your controller, move your look sensitivity to at least 5 or above, and
prepare to take the marines to freedom!

Gravemind Levels Summary and Index:

“Inside Job”
[AREA 1] Brute Lift Room: the beginning.
[AREA 2] Lift balcony anteroom
[AREA 3] Reversed Lift Balcony
[AREA 4] Dropping in on the Jackals unexpected
[AREA 5] Reversed  sub-balcony Anteroom
[AREA 6] Clockwise Curved Hallway  with raised side corridor
[AREA 7] Counter-Clockwise Curved Hallway  with raised side corridor
[AREA 8] Detention Lift Room- Entering
[AREA 9] Detention Center
[Area 10] Detention Lift Room- Exiting
[Area 11] Counter-Clockwise Curved Hallway with raised side corridor
[Area 12] Clockwise Curved Hallway with raised side corridor
[AREA 13] Hall of the Hunters 
[AREA 14] Valley of the Arches
[AREA 15] Sky Outpost 1: Domes (2) with connecting concrete bridge
[AREA 16] Dome of the Rock Prophet (Sky Outpost 2)
[AREA 17] Sky Outpost 3: Domes (2) with connecting concrete bridge
[AREA 18] Hall of the Brute Shot Trio
[AREA 19] Koi Pond Gardens
[AREA 20] Hall of the Invisible Elite
[AREA 21] Grenade Factory Entrance Hall
[AREA 22] The Grenade Factory
[AREA 23] Blitzkrieg Bridge
[AREA 24] Mausoleum of the Arbiters (The Breaking Benjamin Room)
[AREA 25] Liberty Bridge


//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

GRAVEMIND WALKTHROUGH:


“Inside Job”- Displays at the lower right of the screen at the outset.

///////////////////////////////////////
[AREA 1] Brute Lift Room: the beginning.
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

Description:

You are standing in a large room with many entrance doors along the sides.
A lift rises before you carrying Brutes. Behind you, at the back of the room,
are two columns on each side for cover. Above you on each side of the room is
a balcony. You can reach these balconies for hiding by jumping from any of the
many permanent 7 foot steel fixed pillars. I will describe using the
balconies in this walkthrough, since it is a much more organized method than
the usual method of using the pillars to hide behind.  Using the balconies was
suggested by thermopylae (GFAQs).

If you choose to stay on the floor, it is usually best to stay near the
pillars at the end of the room where you will eventually exit, opposite from
the side where the large lift is located.The enemy approaches you slowly in
this area, and if you can avoid the grenades from the grunts, and the barrage
of brute shot grenades, you can pick away at the enemy ranks, finishing off
the berserking brutes with needlers. If you save one grunt in each wave to
the last, you will be able to run out and pick up ammunition before killing
this grunt to trigger the next wave.

~~~~~~~~~~~
First wave:
~~~~~~~~~~~

* 2 Brutes (each with 1 Brute Plasma Rifle)
* MC- equipped with one Needler, a second one is on the floor about 3 yards
behind and 1/2 yard to your right.

Cortana: “The sooner you can kill those Brutes the better” 

Backpedal to pick up the Needler and dodge behind a pillar. Wait for your
shield to recharge, then peak around and isolate a Brute to needle him.
As soon as you kill a Brute you hear

Cortana: “They don’t have shield generators, so take them out before…. 
It’s berserking!”

Suggested Play (Balcony Method):

QUICKLY jump up on a pillar and, while the brute berserks beneath you,
decide if you wish to hide on top of the balconies to make your stand or
if you wish to take the more dangerous spot: back by the large columns at the
end of the room. 

I choose the balconies:
The second Brute is now berserking below you. Avoid him by jumping up on the
balcony and wait till he rumbles off away from you.Jump back down and grab the
2 Brute Plasma Rifles and make sure you also have the two needlers.
Stockpile them on top of the balcony. Go back down and stand on top of a
pillar where you can easily kill the second Brute. He is beating his arms
against the base of your pillar by now. Quickly jump back up to the same
balcon where your weapons are stashed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~
Second wave:
~~~~~~~~~~~~

* 4 Grunts (each with one Plasma Pistol)
* MC stockpile: 2 Needlers, 2 Brute Plasma Rifles.

Side note:
[Most of the waves of enemy come out of the doors arranged along the sides
of the room. You can actually open these doors yourself. The middle doors are
opened by standing against the wall next to the door (about 2 yards away).
The doors at the edge of a wall can be opened by moving behind the door,
along the wall to its side. The doors on the balconies cannot be opened
as far as I can tell, unless you run inside when a brute comes out of the
door (this happens at only one time on this entire level). I wanted to check
all of these corridors for possible skulls or other interesting finds,
but so far I have entered only the bottom corridors and one of the top
corridors. I have found nothing so far.]

Back to the game:
These little guys are pushovers, so you can just jump down and kill them
off by charging them. Save one Grunt to delay the next checkpoint.
Leave him alive while you pick up a few of the Plasma Pistols (PPs), and
stockpile them on top of the  balcony. Kill the Grunt. QUICKLY get your
behind back up on top of a balcony! If you are lucky, you will have picked up
some plasma grenades from the dead Grunts.

There is a double checkpoint as the next wave enters. 

Tartarus’ voice growls “The demon has entered the Council Chamber. Protect
the hierarchs! Seal the entrance!’ 

Cortana quips “Oh, I don’t think so.”

----------
CHECKPOINT---> Do not save. The carbines seem preset from here already.
----------
----------
CHECKPOINT---> SAVE ONLY IF you get a covie Carbine in the next wave of Brutes.
----------

The chances of a covie carbine in this next wave is fairly low, but you can
keep playing from the beginning of the level until you get them. It really is
just a short bit of playing. Just choose start level over and try again until
you get at least one carbine carrying Brute. It is worth your while. 

~~~~~~~~~~~
Third wave:
~~~~~~~~~~~

* Two Brutes, each with a randomly generated weapon: Brute Plasma Rifle
(BPR) or Covenant Carbine (Carbine), Four Grunts: also carrying  a randomly
generated set of weapons: PP or Needler.
* MC stockpile: 2 Needlers, 2 Brute Plasma Rifles, 2 PPs. 
(+/- a few plasma grenades)

As I said, if you see that a Brute has a Carbine, SAVE. If not, restart your
XBox and play from the beginning.

When using the balconies, it is a long, wait and snipe type of battle till
you get your covenant carbine, but definitely much easier to pass through
without dying several times. 

To kill the enemy from this high up, you basically wait till they stop moving,
then you shoot a burst of 4 to 6 Brute PR shots or 3 rapid PP shots at a
lone enemy. If you zoom in, and place an enemy just under the center of
the viewer, you can shoot him without moving and the bursts will hit 
the target. Just keep it up on each target until he dies. Sometimes when
you kill a Brute, it causes the other one to berserk. Sometimes it does not.
Make sure you note where the Carbine was dropped. Using one BPR at a time is
more accurate than firing both at once.

Again, make sure that your last enemy is a Grunt with a PP.  Let him live and
go collect your weapons and ammo.  Keep a close eye on that last Grunt.
He is very capable of taking you out.  If he is close, he will throw plasma
grenades at you. Go up top and kill him to trigger the next wave.

----------
CHECKPOINT -->SAVE
----------

~~~~~~~~~~~~
Fourth wave:
~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
* 2  Brutes and 4 Grunts with random weapons.
* MC stockpile. I added 2 Needlers, the Carbine, and 2 plasma grenades.
 stock: 4 Needlers, 2 Brute Plasma Rifles, three PPs, one Carbine (2 plasma
grenades). There is plenty more out there if you want it. I was a little
greedy.

Do the same as before, except now this is like shooting ducks in a pond.
Using the Carbine, you can take them out with one shot! The Brutes can be
killed with less shots if you clip them in the face/neck just below their
helmet edge (in case you hadn’t discovered this yet). You will probably end up
with one berserking Brute, and one PP wielding Grunt. Just  jump down and
needle the Brute as far away from the Grunt as possible.  Go and gather any
ammo you want, focusing on Carbine ammunition, then kill that last Grunt.

----------
CHECKPOINT -->SAVE
----------

~~~~~~~~~~~
Fifth wave:
~~~~~~~~~~~

Cortana: “Watch out for the captain, he’s got a Brute Shot!”

* 3 Brutes (up the lift). One carries a Brute Shot. 

~ Watch out for fifth wave reinforcements- 2 more Brutes from the balcony doors
that join the fray just when you start to win.

* MC- I suggest the use of Carbines and Needlers. 

Guess what? The sitting ducks just got mad, and now you have a mighty duck
shooting at you with the Brute Shot. Take him out as soon as possible. The
other way to get rid of him is to kill the other two Brutes, at which point
the Brute with the Brute Shot will start berserking, dropping the gun. Once
you get down to two remaining enemies from this wave, you will get a surprise,
especially if you are up on the balcony! 

Two more Brutes come out, and this time from the balcony doors. They come out
randomly from either balcony, including the one that you might be perched in,
so be prepared. If you are lucky, they will pop out on the balcony across from
you. Take them out as soon as possible. Remember that they probably have
Carbine ammo, so do not forget to collect it if you need it. You can collect
the Brute Shot now orlater.

Crossing to the other balcony is no big deal, but once you are there, that
little Grunt gets very pesky, and as you jump to cross back to your stash of
weapons he will let the grenades fly like there is no tomorrow. 

Well, I’ve got news for him: there is no tomorrow! Once you are back to your
side, pop him in the snout with a round of plasma from your Carbine. 

It’s not over yet....

----------
CHECKPOINT --> SAVE
----------

~~~~~~~~~~~
Sixth wave: 
~~~~~~~~~~~

* Two Brutes and four Grunts.
* MC- Carbine  and lots of other trinkets. 

Kill them as usual. If you want ammo, save a Grunt and do the usual thing. 

----------
CHECKPOINT (SAVE)
----------

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Seventh wave:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

* Two Brutes and four Grunts.
* MC- Carbine and Needler.

Standard duck shoot.

This time when you are done, the fat lady sings! Err… well at least

Cortana says “Put me down on one of the pedestals near the door.”  

If you wander over near the grav lift: 

Cortana: “They’ve blocked it from below. There’s a door at the other end of
the chamber” 

Collect your ammo and head to the exit door, where Cortana sits on a pedestal.

Cortana: “That prophet, Truth. He has the index. He’s got it in the chamber
somewhere below. Go and get it from him. It will be easier to track Truth if
I stay in the network. Don’t worry, you can pick me up later.”

----------
CHECKPOINT --> SAVE
----------

//////////////////////////////
[AREA 2] Lift balcony Anteroom
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

* 2 Brutes, 5 Grunts.
* MC- Full Carbine, Needlers, Brute Shot.

As you leave the large lift chamber, the door into the next room will open and
2 to 4 Grunts will come toward you.

This next room is the balcony anteroom. Outside of it is the lift balcony.
Inside there are around 5 Grunts and two Brutes. They are carrying pretty
standard equipment. They tend to stay at the far end of the room, shooting
from the turrets. The brutes have to be chased down in the end. Carbine shots
to the head are of course the method of choice for Grunts. A grenade helps
for the Brutes and you can needle the berserker.

When you have cleared them and approach the end of the room,


Cortana says “Right this way”.

(After this small antechamber room, you will be outside on a “lift veranda”.
Once you go into the lift at the other end of it you are limited in weaponry
to what you are carrying, but don’t bother collecting any weapons right now.
You can come back for them before leaving the veranda.) 


----------
CHECKPOINT---> SAVE
----------

//////////////////////////////
[AREA 3] Reversed Lift Balcony
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

* 2 Brute Elites, 4 Brutes standard gear, 1 Brute with Brute Shot, 2 Shielded
Jackals, at least 4 Grunts.

Standing just outside the door should be two Brute Elites: One with a Carbine,
the other with a Brute Plasma Rifle. They are facing you, a perfect spot for
lobbing a plasma grenade onto one of them. Change to your Needler(s) and kill
the berserking Brute.

Out on the balcony are two shielded Jackals with PPs, and two more Brutes.
After killing a couple of these, more reinforcements will arrive: 3 more
Brutes, one with a Brute Shot. 4 more Grunts. You can pick off the Grunts as
they pop out of the lift or after they scatter. Kill the Brutes with the
Carbine or the Needlers if berserking.

I use the Carbine for the enemies on the lift veranda, and the Needlers for
the berserkers. I also pick up the Brute Shot since I like to have it around
building up ammo. I usually take it down the lift, but I do not use it until
the Detention Center. When you pick it up, it will usually contain
4 to 8 shots. This is not dependent on how many shots the Brute has taken at
you. Get you weapons ready and then move to the far side of the veranda.

Upon approaching the grav lift at the far end of the balcony,


Cortana: “Truth is heading to the lower levels of the tower. I’ll reverse this
grav lift. Drop Down. Maybe you can cut him off.”

----------
CHECKPOINT----> SAVE with your choice of weapons- I use a Carbine & Brute Shot.
----------

Cortana continues from the save with
“... It’s safe really, step in....After that stunt on the Cairo, I know you’re
not afraid of heights.... Fine I won’t watch. Meet ya at the Bottom ok?......”

///////////////////////////////////////////////
[AREA 4] -Dropping in on the Jackals Unexpected
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

* One shielded Jackal with PP, one Jackal Sniper, 2 Grunts, one with a needler
* MC I chose a full Carbine and the Brute Shot

Nag Nag Nag. Just for that Cortana, I think I will get down there without the
lift! It is quite simple to jump down onto one of the supporting curved
concrete braces that hold the lift area up in the air. To do this, just jump
from one side of the lift down. If you land on the brace it will hold you
nicely. The benefit of this is that you can wait for the two Grunts and the
Jackals to walk out unaware below you. You will also get a 

----------
CHECKPOINT
----------

while standing on the lift brace. Or if you jumped down like a good boy, you
get the checkpoint on the way down.

If you are way up on the lift brace as I suggest, just wait for the Jackal
with the Beam Rifle to walk out and then shoot him in the head, alerting the
others. Pick them off from your perch and then jump down.

Either way, clear them out.  Proceed into

////////////////////////////////////////
[AREA 5]- Reversed  sub-balcony Anteroom
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

* Empty of enemies
* MC stockpile: Brute Shot (4+3), Carbine: full clip+68, Needler, PP,
4 PGrenades

As you enter, 

Tartarus’ voice growls: “Reinforce all approaches for the holding pens. Slay
the demon on sight!”

As you near the other side of this room, 

Cortana: “They’re beefing up their patrols. Stay sharp!”

----------
CHECKPOINT----> SAVE
----------

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
[AREA 6] Clockwise Curved Hallway with raised side corridors
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

~~~~~~~~~~~
First Wave:
~~~~~~~~~~~

3 Shielded Jackals run by. You might throw a grenade and then shoot them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~
Second wave:
~~~~~~~~~~~~

* Brute with BPR (Brute Plasma Rifle). Jackal Sniper, often to the left and
behind the sidewall
* MC stockpile- unchanged
* Weapons rack- two Needlers- full clips +120

I like to melee the first Brute you see from behind if he does not see you.
Turn around the first corner to the left and you may see a Jackal Sniper.
Give him a head shot with the Carbine. 

----------
CHECKPOINT
----------

~~~~~~~~~~~~
Second wave:
~~~~~~~~~~~~

* Brute with Brute Shot, Brute with BPR, shielded Jackal, 3 Grunts.
* MC stock- unchanged

Kill them all.

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
[AREA 7]- Counter-Clockwise Curved Hallway with raised side corridors
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

~~~~~~~~~~~
First wave:
~~~~~~~~~~~

Upon approaching the door to this next area you will have 2 shielded Jackals
run out from a side corridor and attack. While you kill them you hear

Cortana:  “Wait a minute. I am reading two marine RNF? transponders. The
signals are originating somewhere below your position.”

----------
CHECKPOINT---->SAVE
----------

Kill the Jackals- I always use the Carbine unless I say otherwise.

~~~~~~~~~~~~
Second wave:
~~~~~~~~~~~~

* 2 Brutes, one with a Brute Shot. 5 Grunts
* MC stockpile- two full Needlers, Carbine, Brute Shot, Beam Rifle, 2 BPRs,etc.
* Weapon Rack- Covenant Carbines- about 72 rounds.

Take out the Brute with the Brute Shot as soon as you can, and
any Grunts with needlers. When you are done, Cortana stands on the pedestal
near the end of the room waiting for you. When you approach her she says

Cortana:  “There’s another lift in the next room”.

----------
CHECKPOINT----> SAVE
----------

//////////////////////////////////////
[AREA 8] Detention Lift Room- Entering
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

This is a double-tiered circular room with a circular outer balcony on the
upper tier. The center has a lift that brings you (or a berserking Brute for
that matter) from the Bottom to the top tier.

* 5 Brutes, one of these with a Brute Shot. Two shielded Jackals.
* MC stockpile- A little of  everything
* Weapons Rack- Needlers (Upper tier), Weapons Rack- Beam Rifles (Upper Tier),
Weapons Rack Carbines (Upper Tier) Weapons Rack- Brute Plasma Rifles(BPRs)
(Lower tier).

If you run into the room and quickly turn left, you can give a headshot to
the Shielded Jackal and then spin to take out the other Jackal before running
back out of the room to recharge your shield. Now go back and kill the Brutes.

When they are cleared, you will have your choice of weapons before going down
the lift into the Detention Center. Choose your weapons and fill them up. A
Carbine is a must. Brute Shots are also your friend in the Detention Center,
so I take a full one along, but the Beam Rifle isn’t a bad second weapon
either. There is a weapon rack of Brute Shots at the Bottom of the lift in the
Detention Center, but I like to use that one to stock up on ammo when taking
the marines out.

Before leaving this room, make sure you killed that last berserking Brute.
He is usually on the bottom level near the back of the room, about ten yards
from the lift entrance. Once in awhile he seems to disappear, and if you do
not find him and kill him, he will be there later when your marines come out
of the detention center ahead of you. He will then proceed to kill one or two
of your marines before you can get back up the lift to help them. This is why
you should search this room carefully for enemies before jumping into the
lift. Once the entire room has been cleared and searched for stragglers,
proceed to approach the lower lift, at which point 

Cortana says “Here Chief, Jump in.” 

If you are standing on the lift when she says it, you go up and have to go
back down to meet her again after she has reversed the lift. She will then be
standing on a pedestal next to the lift. This time, you have to do as Cortana
says, unless you have another way to teleport down! Alright, jump in, and
now the real point of this FAQ begins: Freeing the marines and taking them to
safety!

If you like to orient yourself in a certain direction when you hit the bottom
of the lift, and if Cortana Stands at 9 O’clock on a watch dial, it is
the 1 O’clock position that sets you down facing directly between the 2 Brutes
at the Bottom of the lift. 

As you are falling down the lift, 

Cortana says: “There are two sets of marines in the detention block, I’ll
reveal their locations, you neutralize the guards…quietly.”

----------
CHECKPOINT- DO NOT SAVE UNTIL
----------

you have landed safely on the ground! You have at least a 1 in 4 chance of the
alarm being set off as you land. If this happens, restart the Xbox without
savin gand clear the entire room above again. 

When you get a quiet landing----> SAVE

There are levels that you pass on the way down to the Detention Center that
appear to have enemies in them, but I have found no way to exit the lift to
explore these regions.

/////////////////////////
[AREA 9] Detention Center
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

This is a three-tiered  circular room, perhaps the most fun area in the game.
Directional compass point: When facing directly between the two guards in
front of you, you are also facing the lifts that take you between the levels.
Directly ahead toward these lifts I will call 12 O’clock high (on your level-
the top one). The first tier below (the middle one) I will call 12 O’clock.
The Bottom tier I will call 12 O’clock low. Got it?

~~~~~~~~~~~
First wave:
~~~~~~~~~~~

This is extremely variable as the AI gives you a somewhat random set-up.

When no Jackals are on your level (the Upper level) at the beginning, you can
choose the complete stealth method. If Jackals are on the upper level and you
take them out, the Brutes will notice you and sound the alarm. If you take
out the Brutes, the Jackals will set the alarm.

I will describe what happened to me when there were no Jackals and I could
go ahead and use complete stealth: 

* This time through I had two Brutes in front of me. 5 sleeping Grunts on the
upper level, 2 at 4 O’clock high, 2 at 8 O’clock high, one at about
11 O’clock high. 1 sleeping Grunt at about 10 O’clock (middle level), one
already dead Grunt at 2 O’clock (middle level). 3 shielded Jackals: 1 walking
between 9 and 11 O’clock (middle level), two on the lower level (1 walking
between 9 and 11 O’clock low, 1 walking between 1 and 3 O’clock low)
* MC weapons: Brute Shot 4 +12, full Carbine.

Melee the two Brute guards next to you first. Yes, you CAN do it, but it will
take several tries. If you had a set up with Jackals on this Upper level, you
will definitely set off the alarm. If you are angled slightly toward the
second Brute while you melee the first, then immediately run over and melee
the second and crouch, they will Both be dead, and if you are lucky
you will not set off the alarm! Go over and melee the sleeping Grunts on the
upper level.. Go back and stand in the center where you started and look
around. 

Always remember to stealth walk, just in case someone would hear you running
and then catch you in their radar. It is very difficult to explain why it is
that sometimes when you melee a sleeping Grunt it sets off the alarm, and
sometimes it does not. To minimize the chance that there will be an alarm,
be in a crouch walk, train your reticle directly at the Grunt’s head. Hit him
when you know it will kill him, do it right in the head, but be standing as
far away as possible at the time of the stroke. You must make sure that you
are close enough to hit him, but you don’t want to hit any walls or metal
objects at the same time, and you should have that reticle on his head.
Whether he squeaks or not does not seem to be a factor.

Watch your radar. Drop to the next level when there are no Jackals walking
near the lift position. The radar will pick up guards on both levels below
you. I dropped down and got behind a crate to spy on the one Jackal that was
on this middle level. He was walking between about 11 O’clock and 9 O’clock.
There was a sleeping Grunt at about 10 O’clock. My guess is that if you melee
a Jackal in the back and there is no one in a level above or below you that is
within your small central circle of radar, they will not hear it. I counted
his patrol in seconds. He turned every 17 seconds, so I came out behind him
as he was walking away and meleed him out near the end of his walk at
8 O’clock. I turned and meleed the sleeping Grunt I had passed at 10 O’clock
as soon as the Jackal below (at about 12 O’clock low) was well outside of my
central radar and into my outer radar. Middle level cleared.

I waited at the lifts on this level, (12 O’clock), through several cycles of
the two Jackals below me coming in and out of my radar till they both met near
me at the 12 O’clock low position. Then as they were both walking away, I
jumped down the lift to the lowest level and meleed the first Jackal at
about 9 O’clock low. I quickly hid behind a box. I waited and carefully
peeked at the other Jackal. When the coast was clear, I made my way back to
the lift and rode back up to 12 O’clock (the middle platform). I waited till
the Jackal below cycled under me and began to move away. I dropped and
followed him to melee him also and cleared all the guards without an alarm!

Usually, I am not so lucky, and I have to kill off this first wave after the
alarm sounds. This is sometimes a pain, but you will make it through. There
are several methods to do this. In general, you will be shooting with the
Carbine or shooting groups of enemy with the Brute Shot. A grenade here and
there is also a very good idea.

- You can run toward the lift and jump the rail after killing the two Brutes
with melees or with a grenade and a melee. Jump down both lifts to the lower
level and run back to the 4’Oclock position and just take all Grunts and
Jackals out with quick headshots. Plasma Grenade or Brute Shot or use a
Carbine on the Brute that finally comes for you.

- You can run off the back of the Central lift area angling off the bridges
into the back pocket of the Middle level (8 o'Clock) or all the way down to
the lower level if you do it just right. No need to jump, just run and you
will land OK. Now make your stand.

- Try some other method. Whatever you do, when you are done with this first
set of guards....

----------
CHECKPOINT----> SAVE
----------

Cortana says “Come to the middle level chief. The marines are just inside.
Careful of the guards.” 

She might say “Come to the lower level” first. This is a random thing.
The lower level has 3 marines and the middle level has 2. Sometimes Cortana
releases the 3, then the 2. Sometimes she releases the 2, then the 3.

*************************

The easiest plan I know of for freeing the marines and keeping them safe:

1. Kill off the first waves of guards
2. On whichever level (lower: 3 marines, Middle: 2 marines) that Cortana
unlocks the first Cell Block to set your marines free do this:
Knock a crate flat and place it in the Hall that approaches the door to the
marines cells.  (You can arm the marines at the very end of this level so do
not bother with this now.) 
3. Jump the crate and kill all BUT ONE guard in the marines cell block.
4. Push the crate about 10 feet further into the hall to block the marines'
exit and keep them well out of enemy fire. Here is a little diagram of a
crated Cell Block. The crate is best placed in sideways:

.........................
.........................
.......Balcony area......
.........................
********[-Door-]*********
********........*********
********[--C---]*********
********..M.....*********
********.....M..*********
********..M.....*********
********[-Door-]*********
******............*******
******............*******
***Cell............Cell**
******....CELL....*******
******...BLOCK....*******
******............*******
******............*******
*************************
*************************

[C]= Crate
M= Marine

5. Kill the last guard and run toward the lifts---> CHECKPOINT(S)--> SAVE
6. leave the marines without worrying about arming them and kill the next wave
or waves of enemy.
7. Repeat the above for the second set of marines.--> CHECKPOINT(S)-->SAVE
only after checking on your first set of marines to make sure they didn't get
killed by some wayward Jackal or Grunt.
8. Leave this second set of marines without worrying about arming them and
kill the last wave or waves of enemy.
9. ARM all of the marines the way you want them. I give them Carbines if
possible but plasma rifles will come in useful for killing the Bots soon
enough.
10. Free the lower set of 3 marines by knocking the crate back out of the
hallway. They will run off and jump up the central lift. Let
them go.
11. Free the middle set of marines and follow them up the Central Lift.
12. There will then be a
 
----------
CHECKPOINT--> DO A HEADCOUNT!-->SAVE
----------


DETENTION CENTER WEAPON RACKS:

These are a bit variable, but here is one set-up:

Weapons Rack- Carbines at 2 O’clock high (Upper Level)
Weapons Rack- Brute Shots at 7 O’clock high (Upper Level-near where you first
dropped down into the detention center)
Weapon Rack- Carbines at 3 O’clock (Middle Level)
Weapons Rack- Needlers at 12 O’clock (Middle Level)
Weapons Rack- Carbines at 12 O’clock low (Lower Level)
Weapons Rack- Brute Shots at 12 O’clock low (Lower Level-in the recess of the
lift area itself)
Weapons Rack- Needlers at 1 O’clock low (Lower Level)
Weapons Rack- 4 Brute Plasma Rifles (BPRs) at 9 O’clock low (Lower Level)
Another rack of 2 BPRsnext to this one.

..............................................................
..............................................................
..........................12..................................
................11.......LIFT(S)......1.......................
..............................................................
.........10................................2..................
..............................................................
......9..........Central Lift (Upper Tier).....3..............
..............................................................
.........8.................................4..................
.......................7.(Upper Tier).........................
..............................................................

There is one set of Carbines between the 12 and 4 O'clock position on every
level.

The exact numbers of waves of Covenant and when they are triggered is very
confusing, and it is best to take them out however you see fit.
 
Some interesting ways I have found to kill the enemy waves that hit you
between freeing the marines:

What I do is abandon the middle set of marines down in their cell
(who are blocked by a crate) immediately upon freeing them, and run as the
CHECKPOINT passes, fighting my way to the Upper level and to the Main Central
Grav lift before Cortana says:

“Call for reinforcements, coming down the lift.”

What she means is that enemy reinforcements will be coming down the large
main Central lift on the upper level, the same one through which you arrived.

I set myself up with a Brute Shot and a Carbine, facing the main lift, and I
am looking through it toward 12 O’clock. By the time Cortana makes her
statement I am in position. Coming down this main lift will be 2 Jackals,
then 4 Grunts, or the reverse: 4 Grunts then 2 Jackals. Use the Brute Shot
or Carbine on the Jackals. Use the Carbine on the Grunts. You can shoot the 
Grunts with a head shot easily when they are slowing for landing at about
6 feet off the ground. One of the Grunts always has Needlers, and he always
throws grenades like mad, usually while still in the air. Kill him while
dodging the grenades.

Right after the Grunts and Jackals will come two Brutes, one with a
Brute Shot. If you really have your wits about you, you can load your Brute
Shot and throw a grenade onto the first Brute. Run across a bridge and
turn to kill the berserking second Brute with either Carbine headshots, a
plasma grenade, or the Brute Shot.

Now you can get back to killing off whatever remains of the other wave of
enemy. For some reason they leave you alone as long as you are at the central
grav lift fighting the “call for reinforcements” group.

You certainly do not have to clear the enemy in this way, but it is the only
spot in the game where you can sit and shoot as if you had a shotgun picking
off clay pigeons! To bad the shotgun isn’t around! At this point, the main
lift is clear for you to leave through, but you still need to get your
buddies!


Another interesting point: Sometimes the enemy coming down this main lift
will just fall dead on the central disc. I think this happens if you are
riding the smaller lifts at the time they use the main lift. Perhaps alien
technology cannot run these two lifts at the same time?! 

Lift management:

You can control who goes where, if you want to, by placing crates over the
lift entry spots. Sometimes, if I am about to free the middle set of marines,
I place a crate over the upper tier DOWN entrance at 12 O’clock high, and
over the lower tier UP entrance at 12 ‘O clock low. This will delay or stop
the enemy from dropping in on me, so I can clear them out at a more leisurely
pace. To cover a lift it is best to topple a crate and place it over the
lift beams on its side. 

Out of the lift/Leaving the Detention Center: Unless you are very unlucky,
all will be quiet at the top of the lift. If you are unlucky and you find
dead marines or enemy right at the top of the exit lift from the Detention
Center, turn off your Xbox and start up from your last save.

//////////////////////////////////////
[Area 10] Detention Lift Room- Exiting
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

* Weapons Rack- Carbines next to lift. Weapons Rack: Plasma Rifles just
outside lift dome.
* 5 Marines armed with Carbines

Voice  of  Prophet “It was Tartarus and his Brutes who took the icon from the
flood. For that they have our thanks.”

Cortana: “Excellent. Truth is broadcasting on the move. It’ll make it much
easier to track.”

----------
CHECKPOINT---> HEAD COUNT--->SAVE
----------

There should be no enemy here if you cleared the room completely before
entering the Detention Center.

Count your marines. SAVE if they are all here and you are not under fire.
Grab the Carbine from the rack and step toward the door.

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
[Area 11] Counter-Clockwise Curved Hallway with raised side corridors
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

(This is really not the same corridor you came through earlier. Actually,
it is the corridor 180 degrees from the one you used to approach the Detention
Center. Although the halls may appear similar, they are not the same halls, at
least not if you were to map this area.)

* MC- Carrying full Brute Shot and Carbine.
* 5 Marines armed with Carbines (Plasma Rifles are also good here for the
Bots)

~~~~~~~~~~~
First wave:
~~~~~~~~~~~

* Three Silver Elites with Plasma Rifles will come running out the door,
followed by a bevy of pursuing Bots. The Bots are actually their enemy.

The easiest thing to do is to grenade 1 or two of the Elites and start
shooting. With a little luck, the marines will clean the rest up for you.

Upon entering the hallway itself you will get a 

----------
CHECKPOINT
----------

~~~~~~~~~~~~
Second wave:
~~~~~~~~~~~~

* The checkpoint is immediately followed by another swarm of Bots from above.

Help your marines survive this and then pull them back into the lift room.
Back in the hallway some Covenant are fighting. This is the 

~~~~~~~~~~~
Third wave:
~~~~~~~~~~~

* 2 Brutes and 2 Elite Guards with variable weapons are fighting with each
other. The Bots are on the Brute team if any are left.

It is a bonus if the Brutes have the red BPRs, since they are a great help
in a few minutes. Watch the fight and finish off the stragglers. Do a head
count on your marines.

~~~~~~~~~~~~
Fourth wave:
~~~~~~~~~~~~

* Swarm of Bots

Grab the two Plasma Rifles, draw the marines back, then run toward the door
to exit the hallway. Drawing the marines back is just a way to keep them a
little more safe when a checkpoint hits. As you near the exit door the door
will open. Past it, the door to the next hallway will open and out will pour
another swarm of Bots. If you have duel Plasma Rifles and let them rip as
soon as you see the Bots, you will kill most of them while they are bunched
and before they have a chance to harm your buddies. Just remember to duck out
of the way quickly or you will be the main serving in this bloody feast. The
marines will do a great job of picking off the straglers.

HEADCOUNT!

As soon as you exit the hallway and the door to the next hall is opened, you
will hear

Prophet: “The Elites have failed to protect the Prophet, and in so doing, put
all our lives at risk.  Let no warrior forget their oath: Thou in faith will
keep us safe whilst we find the path.”

Cortana: “I’ve got a fix on Truth just outside this tower, Chief. There’s an
exit nearby. Hurry!”

You will probably kill a few enemy during this speech.

----------
CHECKPOINT--> HEADCOUNT--> SAVE
----------

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
[Area 12] Clockwise Curved Hallway with raised side corridor.
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

* 4 shielded Jackals, 3 Elite guards, 2 Brutes. One ALWAYS dead Hunter.
* MC weapons stockpile: You have many options, but I bring the Brute Shot and
the Carbine along.
* Weapons Rack: BPRs just prior to the entrance door.
* 5 Marines armed with Carbines

The enemies pretty much kill each other, but go ahead and help them
“find the path”.

** Note, when you leave here, you will turn left and enter the “Hall of the
Hunters” (my name). This is one of those small rooms with a couple of small
sloping ramps in it, with lots of obstructions. There are two Hunters in here,
and, after several tests, I would strongly suggest you go back before the next
checkpoint, and crate the marines behind the door next to the Brute Plasma
Rifle rack. Knock the rack on its side with your Brute Shot, drive it back
behind the door and draw the marines back through this door. Then plug it.
You will find that the marines need to be coaxed and that they do not like to
walk past crates that are too far into a doorway. Now you can clear the
Hunters in the next section without worrying about the marines. You can even
leave them here while you clear the Valley of Arches. If you come back to peek
at them after clearing the Hunters, the crate will magically move and release
them, so NO PEEKING! And no SAVING till you go back to do a HEADCOUNT later
on. You may need to push the marines around a bit by walking into them.

/////////////////////////////
[AREA 13] Hall of the Hunters 
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

* Two Hunters
* MC weapons: I use dual wielded Brute Plasma Rifles and a Brute Shot in
reserve. If I gave all the BPRs to the marines, I use regular Plasma Rifles.
* Weapons rack: Carbines, Weapons Rack” Needlers, Weapons Rack: Brute Plasma
Rifles (red)
* 5 Marines suggested equipment if you insist on bringing them to this room
rather than crating them off: all 5 with BPlasma Rifles but keep
the Carbines around for re-armament.

If you use the BPRs you just run into the room. The Hunter on the left is
fairly close and walking away with his back to you. Blast the heck out of him
from behind, avoid his backward swing, then move around past him as he turns
and keep blasting him. If you have them with you, the marines may get his
attention. If they do, you blast the Hunter again in the back. If he turns
toward you, the marines will blast him. I like to give all of the marines
BPlasma Rifles. After the Hunters are dead, I arm them all with Carbines
again. By the way, you can kill one Hunter with a full duel blast from the
BPRs you are wielding, but you have to hit with the full plasma burst,
tracking the sweet spot on its back.

All the while, you must avoid the Plasma Cannon bursts from the Hunter at the
end of the room and from the Hunter you are working on. After he is dead, take
care of the second Hunter in the same way. Concentrate on not letting a
Hunter charge the marines. You must have some luck to get the marines through
this, but you will do it! Alternatively, just leave them back behind a crate
where I told you too!

As you finish off the Hunters you will hear…

Prophet.”With my blessings, the Brutes now lead our fleets. They ask for your
allegiance, and you shall give it!

Cortana “You wouldn’t believe the number of kill systems the Covenant are
throwing down around me. Not to worry, it’s pretty sloppy stuff.  I guess they
never expected a hostile intelligence to penetrate the network  from the
inside.”

As soon as Cortana finishes her dialogue, you will get a 

----------
CHECKPOINT--> HEAD COUNT(unless the marines are crated)--> SAVE
----------

Don’t worry, you will get another checkpoint when you near the door at the end
of the room. Arm yourself and your marines the way you like them
(if the marines are not crated). Secure a weapons stash if you want, but there
are several racks out in the next area, the “Valley of Arches” (my name). 
Pat yourself on the back, you have finished half of the most difficult levels.
Get ready for more fun!

Approach the exit door quickly, then backpedal for a 

----------
CHECKPOINT
----------

//////////////////////////////
[AREA 14] Valley of the Arches
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

* Outside is the Valley of Arches, full of Covenant fighting each other.
4 Sniper Jackals, Bots and 4 Brutes versus 3 Elites, 2 Flying Elites,
2 Hunters, the Angry Skull Grunt.

* Weapons Racks abound. Some of them are these: Beam Rifles in Both the right
and left clearings and near the exit from the valley. Carbines in the right
clearing and in the far right clearing near the exit. Brute Shots down in the
valley on the left (marines will get lost sometimes and end up here). 

* MC- I use the Carbine, hold the Brute Shot, pick up Needlers if I need them,
and occasionally I use a Beam Rifle. The Brute Shot is the weapon of choice
for bashing crates!

Let them fight for awhile. The reason I call it the Valley of Arches is
because there are tons of rock arches throughout the valley and not much else.
The smooth path goes to the left, then down into the central valley, then up
to the middle right. But I would not recommend taking the marines this way.

So....

Wait for the Covenant to fight each other, but you will probably have to take
out some of the 4 sniper Jackals, and they are annoying. If looking straight
out the door is 12 O’Clock, one is to your left at 9 O’clock, straight down
the path. I save this one for last. One is at 10:30 or so on a ledge that
appears to be a cave from where you are standing.  One is at 12 O’clock,
straight across the entire valley from you. One is at 2:30 in a beam tower.
These last three can be shot from inside your door. The marines are real
squirrely here, and I have lost them even after I have cleared out the enemy
and was trying to draw the marines across. 

You are not finished when the Valley is apparently cleared. You still need to
draw out a Brute with a Brute Shot that waits behind the door at the far end
of the valley. Do NOT go up the path the normal way. Instead, when you enter
the valley from the door, go right, to a clearing with many weapons crates.
On the right side of this clearing is a mild V in the rocks (not the
jagged V) which you can run and jump up on, and then jump again to get
up on the rocks. Go way up following the ridges. Go up all the way to the
metal spine/wall that surrounds the valley, then walk on it to the door.
Do not jump to the other side. Instead jump down just on the valley side of
the door and prepare to use your Brute Shot (or whatever) on the Brute that
will now be triggered to come out of the next room in a second or two.
Do not let him kill you or get lost from site! Once he is dead, you can free
the marines from their crates way back in the hallway. 

[I found the Angry Skull on the top of the metal spine back at the far right
corner of the valley- 4 O'clock). It is guarded by a Grunt with a Plasma
Cannon. If you want the Cannon, get it after the checkpoints by sniping the
Grunt quickly when he appears, but I would not suggest taking the skull. I am
not a “skull user” yet, but it was a neat surprise to find it here on my own!]

The marines will not follow you without drawing them along. Take them right,
NOT left, or you might lose one permanently. When you get them in the clearing
to the right, (ALL of them), then jump down from here and keep counting them
and drawing them up from the valley floor to the right along the easy slope.
Arm a couple with Beam Rifles if you wish from the crate just outside the exit
door. Lost marines might turn up near the Brute Shot rack, back down in the
valley. Push them if needed. Get them all near the door and walk through.
Turn around and do a 

HEADCOUNT

Walk further and you will get a 

----------
CHECKPOINT
----------

during this speech:

Cortana: “The Covenant has destroyed two of their own ships, and I’m hearing
reports of small arms fire throughout their fleet.”

Prophet: “Creatures of the Covenant, the path is long and we shall walk it
side by side.”

When you walk out to the 

Energy Transport Bridge 1

you will get another

----------
CHECKPOINT--> HEADCOUNT--> SAVE
----------

Some more garbled talk comes from the Prophet and Cortana. Some of it is this:


Cortana: “Slipspace rupture, its In Amber Clad. Hailing, no response. She’s
crashed into another tower ahead of our position. I’ll keep trying to make
contact but I’m not registering any human vital signs.”

There are Carbines on the other side so I usually take the Brute Shot and the
Beam Rifle.

Walk onto the energy bridge and take the marines over to

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
[AREA 15] Sky Outpost 1: Domes (2) with connecting concrete bridge
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\


Near side first dome:

* Two Elites, 2 Grunts versus 1 Brutes and a Sniper Jackal.
* MC- I usually take the Brute Shot and a Beam Rifle.
* Weapons Rack: Carbines, Weapons Rack: Plasma Rifles (grey)

Kill them. Count your troops.

Go around either side of the dome, drawing the marines

Concrete Bridge Area:

* 3 silver Elites and 3 Brute Guards (Orange flag helmets!). 
* Lots of weapons racks including Swords, Needlers, BPRs, Beam Rifles

Let them beat each other down and kill them. Walking out halfway onto the
bridge triggers a

----------
CHECKPOINT--> HEAD COUNT--> SAVE
----------

* A couple of flying guards will make it to you in about 30 seconds or so.
Kill them with a beam rifle quickly, and head around the second dome, slowly,
drawing the marines.
About halfway around the dome is another

----------
CHECKPOINT---> HEADCOUNT----> SAVE
----------

Far Side second dome:

* 2 Elites, 3 Grunts versus 2 Brutes and 2 Jackals who come across the bridge
and have at it
* More Weapons Racks including Carbines

Kill the last one standing

HEADCOUNT--> Jump on the

Energy Transport Bridge 2 and travel to

Sky Outpost 2

When you reach the far side you get a 

----------
CHECKPOINT
----------

and you can listen to some more conversation:

Prophet: “At this moment the council has gathered on Halo to see the icon to
safety.”
Tartarus: “Rise my brothers, cast down the Elites”
Prophet: “There are those who said this day would never come. What are they
to say now?”
Tartarus: “Once the towns are clear. We’ll drive them from the lower
districts”

You are now at

/////////////////////////////////////////////////
[AREA 16] Sky Outpost 2: Dome of the Rock Prophet
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

You enter the Dome and immediately 3 Bots go flying by from right to left
disappearing down a curved tunnel to your left. Take a couple of pot shots
at them. If you are lucky, your marines will pick them off. No Matter, they
won’t go far. Enter the next room and you are looking into the 

Dome of the Rock Prophet itself.  I call it this because there is a two-tiered
circular room with a very high ceiling. In the center of the room is a grav
lift that connects the upper and lower tier. This lift is built under, and
into, a huge rock formation that looks like an X, or perhaps the body of one
of the Prophets without its head? 

* Bots and Brutes vs Silver Elites and Flying Elites and Grunts
* Weapons Racks: Multiple, including Carbines and Beam Rifles
* MC- I use the Carbine and carry the Brute Shot

Let them fight, and try to help even things out while the fight goes on. Exit
the room. Go through a curved hallway and turn left to exit the dome. 

----------
CHECKPOINT--> HEAD COUNT--> SAVE
----------

Jump on the 
Energy Transport Bridge 3
And you will reach

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
[AREA 17] Sky Outpost 3: Domes (2) with connecting concrete bridge
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

You will hear this conversation upon leaving the energy bridge: 

Prophet: “I have listened to the Oracle, and it confirms our duty. The Great
Journey to freedom begins at last.”

Tartarus growls: “The Elites are falling back to the Mausoleum….. Fools! What
can the Arbiter do for them now?”

Prophet: “Who would doubt the Prophets? What have the Prophets foretold that
has not come to pass?”

There are Weapons Racks around, including Swords, Carbines, and Plasma Rifles.

Take your marines halfway around the corner to the concrete bridge and a 

----------
CHECKPOINT---> Headcount---> SAVE
----------

Concrete Bridge:

Weapons Racks: Several, including Carbines, Swords, Needlers, Plasma Rifles.

On this Bridge, 2 berserking Brutes are chasing several Grunts around. Watch
the fun or finish them off.

Around the next corner is the next 

Energy Transport Bridge 4

There are Weapons Racks here including Beam Rifles if you want some. I just
keep carrying the Carbine and Brute Shot, Both full.

My marines might have the following: Plasma Cannon (from the Grunt at the
Angry Skull spot), 2 Carbines, and two Beam Rifles.

Jump on the energy disc and cross to

/////////////////////////////////////
[AREA 18] Hall of the Brute Shot Trio
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

* 3 Brutes with Brute Shots 

Kill them with head/neck shots from afar if possible with your Carbine. You
will soon be entering Koi Pond Gardens. Before you run up the sloping Hallway,
consider the 

Easy Method: I have taken all of the marines out without using any crates,
except later in the Grenade Factory, but to protect your marines, you can wall
them off on the outside before this Hall where you came on the energy bridge.
Knock the Carbine crate back down into the entrance door opening with your
Brute Shot. Get it about 1/3 of the way across the opening, pull the marines
outside the entrance of the hall, then carefully go to the end of the crate
and knock it across the entrance, inserting it almost to the door from the
inside. 

........Energy Bridge..........
...............................
........M..M..M...M..M.........
...............................
********[---Door----]*********
********....[C]......*********
******.................*******
******......MC.......*********
******.................*******
******.................*******
******.................*******
******....................****
******......Hall.....*********
******.......of.........******
******......Brute.......******
******......Shot........******
******......Trio.......*******
*******...............********
******.................*******
********[---Door----]*********
..............................
..............................
........************..........
......Koi Pond Gardens........
.............SJ.......EASY-->.

M=Marine
C=Crate
MC= Master Chief
SJ= Sniper Jackal
Easy= Easy way to play is to jump up on the dirt wall here.

Wave “bye bye” for now and run up the hall, making sure the marines are not
following. After opening the door at the end of the hall, you will get another
 
----------
CHECKPOINT---> go back and do a HEADCOUNT again--> SAVE
----------

Now go and clear the next area which is

//////////////////////////
[AREA 19] Koi Pond Gardens
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

I call this area the Koi Pond Gardens because of the large goldfish (Koi) in
the central pond.

*Weapons Racks: Multiple, plus a Plasma Cannon from a Grunt.
* Elites, Grunts, Flying Elites versus Brutes, Bots, Jackals

Without the marines around to babysit this is a cakewalk. It is nothing
compared to the times I have actually taken them through it. Run right and you
will pass an Elite and Brute who are fighting each other. A Sniper Jackal is
on the platform just outside the door and through the large steel barrier
wall.

Watch them fight (waiting safely inside if you wish), then quickly kill them
off. 

As soon as you have killed them, you will trigger 3 silver Elites and a Plasma
Cannon wielding Grunt to enter the Valley from the far side, where the exit
door is. Kill the Grunt with your zoomed Carbine and note where he dropped
the Plasma Cannon. Kill off what is left of the Elites, who are probably
fighting with 4 Brutes who have emerged from a door down near the Koi Ponds. 

Remember to hurry because if you wait too long, the plasma cannon will 
disappear 

The easiest thing to do, (if you want easy), is to instead go to the spot to
the left of the door you entered into the valley. Get up on the crate near
the dirt slope to the left of where the Sniper Jackal was, and crouch-jump up.
You are now totally above the fighting, and can wander around killing Brutes
or Elites. Usually you will have one berserking Brute left, so you can go
down and blow him away with your Brute Shot if you like. You can now exit the
Koi Pond area by passing the pond and going to the left. 

Take the 

----------
CHECKPOINT---> Do NOT SAVE
----------

That hits you on the left path, even though your marines are still way back
behind the Hall of the Brute Trio, but DO NOT save until later when you see
the whites of ALL of their eyes. For now, just run ahead and you will plow
straight  into a charging group of Covenant: 2 invisible Sword Elites with
3 Grunts following them. Kill them. Beam Rifle shots to the head work wonders
on invisible elites.... 

Go and pick up and drop the Plasma Cannon and any other weapons you will want
later, or they will disappear.

Continue into the next room for a 

----------
CHECKPOINT--> DO NOT SAVE
----------

//////////////////////////////////////
[AREA 20] Hall of the Invisible Elite.
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

* An Invisible Elite is walking away from you, and 3 Grunts are in the room.

Kill the elite with a plasma grenade or melee him in the back. Kill the Grunts
who come running in.

The next room is the 

///////////////////////////////////////
[AREA 21] Grenade Factory Entrance Hall
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

* An Invisible Elite crouching behind some crates.

Kill him. DO NOT walk forward! (or you will get a checkpoint you do not want
yet)

Now this is important. The Grenade Factory is coming up, and it is
unbelievably hard to keep marines alive in there if they are participating
in the fight (I have taken 4 this way- HARD!), so before you go back for your
marines, you should go ahead and clear the grenade factory too!

Go forward to the

----------
CHECKPOINT at the door to the next big room--> DO NOT SAVE and enter the
----------

/////////////////////////////
[AREA 22] The Grenade Factory
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

* Lots of Silver Elites and Grunts with an ENDLESS number of GRENADES!
* There are Carbines and Needlers and the enemy will drop grenades, but you
will not have time to use the Weapons Crates since you fight mostly at the
doorway to avoid the grenades.


The Grenade Factory itself is a two-tiered round room with a lift. You will
die a few times here. Kill everyone one at a time from the doorway, making
sure you know the path for backpedaling because, believe me, you will need to
run back to avoid many many grenades. Stick Plasma Grenades to the Elites if
you can, or if you have a Beam Rifle, you can use it. You can use up all of
your Brute Shots here too since you will not really need them again. The next
area requires only a Plasma Cannon and Carbine to get through easily enough.

When you run out of grenades, make a run just past the door to pick more up.
They will probably get exploded if you don’t get them.

The Elites and Grunts hide mainly on the upper tier to either side. Going
deeperinto the room will trigger more of them, and if you can trigger the door
on the other side of the room, a few Brutes and Jackals will come out and
fight with the remaining Elites and Grunts. Kill the last Jackals and Brutes
and you are finished.

Stockpile some weapons near the exit door but do not go through it. There is
a checkpoint when the second exit door opens, and a huge fight will be going
on out there. This fight is dangerous for your marines. It is time to go back
for your marines after you place a crate in front of the first of the double
doors.

To repeat: You should crate off this exit door right now, before going back
for the marines. That way you can actually clear the bridge alone. Crate off
the first door, but try not to go near the second or you will hit a 
checkpoint. Leave the crate in front of the door but not where it could get
smashed if the door closes while you are gone.

Go ahead and free the marines from back before the grenade factory. Check the
next crated door to make sure it is in place.

The marines may be running toward you when you find them. Search for them and
push them along if they get snagged behind a crate or in some other
obstruction. 


Make damn sure you have a Plasma Cannon at this point.
You must have a Plasma Cannon with at least 5 or 6 rounds.

[When you are ready to exit the room and trigger the next checkpoint,
if you have not crated off the marines, you should draw the
marines way back before the Grenade Factory itself and then rush through
ahead of them]

Running up to the second door will trigger a

----------
CHECKPOINT--->Backpedal just before the checkpoint hits.HEADCOUNT---> SAVE 
----------

and then go ahead and take some peeks at the fighting outside on the next
area which is

///////////////////////////
[AREA 23] Blitzkrieg Bridge
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

* Brutes,Jackals, and Bots versus Elites and Grunts
* Lots of Weapons Racks including Beam Rifles and Carbines, etc.

Once the mayhem has dissipated, go out and finish off the Bots and stragglers.
Do not go out more than 1/4 of the way onto the bridge or you will trigger a
checkpoint. When you have some ammo, and you are carrying a Plasma Cannon
with as much ammo as possible, make sure your marines are safe in their
crated position then make a run at the Bridge.  

You must do the real work ahead. Make sure the Bots are all dead.

As soon as the

----------
CHECKPOINT is passed 
----------

prepare for a Blitzkrieg attack of at least 3 Elites, several Grunts, and
Two Hunters. One of the Grunts has a Plasma Cannon. Sometimes this attack is
broken up into two waves. Sometimes they all come at you at once!

If some bots appear behind you you should probably just run back to where
your marines are and wait for the fighting to slow down.

If no Bots, I have done this battle several ways but you might just want to
start by running at them and throwing a grenade. Immediately start in with
your Plasma Cannon and pound them incessantly. When they are all dead, go
back to your marines and do a do a HEADCOUNT. If you are missing a marine,
kill yourself and start again from the last saved checkpoint.

Pick up the weapons you want, arming your marines with Beam Rifles (just a
suggestion). You should have a Carbine and a Beam Rifle, but you should keep
one Plasma Cannon nearby or arm 1 marine with it. Again, draw the marines back
and then go up and exit the bridge through the door. As you open the second
door into the Mausoleum of the Arbiters, you will get a 

----------
CHECKPOINT--> HEADCOUNT-->SAVE 
----------

This is the last time I save, because I like to play this "Breaking Benjamin
Room" over a few times to listen to the guitar....

Cortana will say “You might want to sit this one out.” 

Then Breaking Benjamin’s guitar instrumental will begin, the best music in the
game in my opinion. But, then again, I loved Dynasty Warriors 3, in no small
part because of its great rock guitar music. 

You are now entering the Mausoleum where the Arbiter was created. This
is what I call

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
[AREA 24] Mausoleum of the Arbiters- The Breaking Benjamin Room
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

~~~~~~~~~~~
First wave:
~~~~~~~~~~~

*Brutes versus Hunters and Elites. One of the Elites has a Plasma Cannon. 

I use a Beam Rifle and a Carbine. I arm the marines with Beam Rifles if
possible. Do not let more than one of them have a Plasma Cannon here unless
you like to see marines dying as a result of friendly fire. Just stand in the
doorway and pick off whichever enemy you want to. It is fun to take turns with
the marines, focusing on one Elite at a time, and using Beam Rifle headshots. 

At some point you will get a

----------
CHECKPOINT
----------

It seems that there is another one after the Hunters are killed. When the
coast is clear, get your Plasma Cannon (just a suggestion).Soon Cortana says

Cortana: “Hold on, I’m picking up two transponders. It’s the Commander and
Johnson. They’re closing on Truth’s position, Chief. They’ll need your help!”

This is triggered by getting into the room about 2/3 of the way. I believe
it is also triggered by clearing the room and just waiting. Immediately
run back to the entrance door with your marines if you are out on the floor.

Do not charge the far door since a few Ultras, Invisible Elites and Elite
Guards will charge out, and you risk the marines lives this way. Don’t worry,
the enemy will come to you!

~~~~~~~~~~~
Second wave:
~~~~~~~~~~~ 

About 7 Elites: Ultras, Elite Guards, and usually 2 invisible Elites come
running out of the far door. Aren’t you glad you stayed back?

When you don’t have marines to save, you can even run and leap over this
group to safety if you had rushed the far door.

Your first step is to kill the two charging invisible Elites. After that, it
is just a duck shoot. These invisible elites will throw grenades at you 
and their range for throwing grenades is about an entire football field...
Basically just be ready with your Beam Rifle to hit them with Headshots.

When you are done and you approach the door, Cortana materializes on the
pedestal to say “This way, Chief”. She beckons you to Liberty Bridge and
freedom...

////////////////////////
[AREA 25] Liberty Bridge
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

When you go through the doors you take the marines out onto a bridge where
you hear

Cortana: “This isn’t good.  I’m getting confirmed reports of Flood leaving
In Amber Clad’s  wreckage. Let’s find the index and get out of here before
things get really ugly.”


Darn! We would rather just keep fighting if that’s OK with you, Cortana!

Here is a pic of me and 5 marines, just a few feet from freedom, standing
on Liberty Bridge on legendary setting:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v172/javeewutugu/5FreeMarinesGravemind.jpg

Then follows the cut-scene where the Brutes lead Johnson out in bondage, and
a Brain  Flood attaches to the jugular of one of the Prophets (Mercy?). 
The next level is for Arbiter to travel...... Too bad that you don't even 
get a thank you for saving the marines, but if you succeed you are truly a
legend, at least in my mind! You are granted my medal of honor and your
heroic escapades will long be sung in cantines from the Halls of Montezuma
to the shores of Tripoli!


Acknowledgements:

The idea of using the balconies in the first room of Gravemind I owe
completely to thermopylae (GFAQs). I have played it through on legendary many
times without using the balconies, but I really enjoyed this idea, and I tried
it several times to get it perfected before using it in my FAQ.

It was Auburn (GFAQs) who gave me the idea of managing the marines with crates
Once, when he was playing in Gravemind, the crates fell over and walled off
the marines by accident and he noticed that he could play the Grenade Factory
while the marines were safe behind the crates. After he told me this, I
developed the method for using crates most efficiently, not only at the
Grenade Factory, but also in the Detention Center and at the Valley of Arches
and the Koi Pond Garden Areas. I also used the crates for impeding the enemy
flow up and down the lifts in the Detention Center, just for fun.

I have also filled in some of the conversations of Cortana and Truth using the
FAQ by Ferrik_Grey (GFAQs), especially the name of the allied ship,
“In Amber Clad”. I could not hear this name clearly. I believe my versions are
actually more accurate than his for the most part, although he has a few I
don’t even remember hearing. No Matter, the meanings of the conversations are
pretty clear. His FAQ is excellent and a MUST READ for understanding this
game’s meaning, since the fighting engages our minds while we are actually
playing and makes it very difficult to concentrate on the story.

Other than that, I discovered everything myself, including the Angry Skull.
Although I later found it was a known Skull, I ran into it on my own. I also
named the levels myself, and you will notice that other FAQ writers have used
other names in other FAQs. My names are supposed to be descriptive of the
place or the action at the place so that the names will remind you of the
location. There are no official names that I know of, but then again I did
not purchase any written material from Bungie or Microsoft. Perhaps they
actually made up their own names. Oh well!

Of course, a big Thank You to Bungie and to Microsoft for making this game
possible!

If you have any corrections, suggestions, or comments on this FAQ, please
email me at scrupocellaria@yahoo.com. I will try to incorporate your
suggestions into later versions of this FAQ. Please put Halo and Gravemind
in your subject line so that I know I am not just getting junk mail.

I make no claims to be the best or even one of the best players of Halo 2.
I am just a player who enjoyed freeing the marines so much that I did it
several times, and it is the most fun I have had in this game so far. If you
free the marines and usher them to safety, I think it will expand your
enjoyment of Gravemind immensely. I also believe this to be the best level of
the game, although there are many other good ones. I often play the game
starting at Gravemind on legendary, then play the rest of the way through.
These later stages are just great!