->''"From the beginning, you know the end."''

[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/halo-reach_1608.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[BadassBoast Spartans never die]], they're just [[InsistentTerminology "Missing-In-Action"]]]]

''Halo: Reach'' is a FirstPersonShooter which also happens to be the final {{Creator/Bungie}}-produced ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' game, released September 14, 2010. It is a prequel to the original trilogy, dealing with the events described in the ExpandedUniverse novel ''Literature/HaloTheFallOfReach''. It follows a group of SPARTAN-[=IIIs=] (and one [=SPARTAN-II=]) called NOBLE Team. You take on the role of the newest addition, Noble Six, as you fight through the fall of the eponymous human colony. It has a completely new engine (unlike ''VideoGame/Halo3ODST'') and is DarkerAndEdgier (700,000,000 people die on Reach, [[DoomedByCanon and you can't change that]]). The game is also structured more as a war film, as opposed to the SpaceOpera-esque original trilogy.

Like ''ODST'', the gameplay harkens back to the days of ''VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved''; there is no DualWielding, and health (unlike shields) will not fully recharge without a health pack. However, weapons have received an extensive overhaul, and a major new feature is the Armor Abilities, individual upgrades that allow you to access specific abilities such as [[InvisibilityCloak Active Camouflage]], [[SprintShoes Sprint]], [[UnnecessaryCombatRoll Evade]], [[StoneWall Armor Lock]] and a {{Jetpack}}. There is also a great deal of customization; the cosmetic changes you make to your personal Noble Six will transfer into the campaign, and you have direct control over almost every aspect of a potential multiplayer match (including a heavily revamped Forge mode).
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!''Halo: Reach'' provides examples of:
* AdaptationalAttractiveness: In the books written by Eric Nylund, it is stated that it was impossible for outsiders to tell a female Spartan from a male one in full MJOLNIR armor (this is backed up by both Red and Omega Teams in ''VideoGame/HaloWars'' and guest fighter Nicole-458 from ''VideoGame/DeadOrAlive 4''). Then ''Reach'' comes along and gives Kat and Female Noble Six HartmanHips and shapely figures; this seems to have been the first step in a full-out {{Retcon}}, judging by the physiques of Spartans in post-''Reach'' media. [[WatsonianVersusDoylist From a Doylist perspective]], it's also because there'd be little point in having customizable player gender if one could not tell guy and girl apart. From a Watsonian perspective, it's been stated that Noble Team wore heavily modified MJOLNIR armor which came from a somewhat different group of manufacturers than the [=Spartan-IIs'=] own armor.
* ADayInTheLimelight: When you play the co-op campaign, player 2 is absent from cutscenes and technically [[CanonForeigner doesn't exist]] in ''Halo'' canon. But [[spoiler: if at the [[LastStand Lone Wolf]] level, player 2 survives longer than player 1, (s)he gets the [[DyingMomentOfAwesome final death scene]] instead... Of course if you're playing over Live, this is where [[GameBreakingBug the game glitches out]], picks a white helmet at random, and shows it on everyone else's Xboxes in the final cutscene.]]
** (S)he also gets an [[http://kotaku.com/5587509/theres-a-seventh-member-of-halo-reachs-noble-team action figure]].
* AlienSky: Almost every view from the surface of the planet makes it clear that this is not Earth, as it features ''two'' moons and a very hazy blue fog. Because it is a human colony and the place you are trying to defend, it is atypically "friendlier" than most uses of this trope.
* AliensSpeakingEnglish: Averted. This is a throwback to ''VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved'', where the aliens ''didn't'' speak English (not even the PluckyComicRelief Grunts), making them much scarier as a result. Even the Grunts are scary little creatures.
** Exactly one alien, the [[EasterEgg Dreaming Grunt]], has any English lines at all. It's only for a joke, obviously.
* AllThereInTheManual: The Limited and Legendary Editions of the game come with Dr. Halsey's journal (co-written by ExpandedUniverse godfather Eric Nylund), which is a goldmine of information on the specific details and adds plenty of additional fuel for WildMassGuessing; the evolution of the MJOLNIR armor, the progress of the Spartan Program (including the differences between SPARTAN-[=IIs=] and [=IIIs=]), key figures of the modern UNSC meeting for the first time, development of AI technology, newspaper articles on other battles in the Covenant war, examination of Forerunner ruins... the works.
** One key detail from the game itself that the journal expands upon: [[spoiler:the Cortana that Six took to the ''Pillar of Autumn'' was in fact a fragment of the original Cortana, a sub-divided incarnation who had been spending months translating Forerunner text while the main Cortana was with Master Chief. They were merged back together shortly after the game ends. In addition, it's implied that Cortana had specifically translated information on the location of the first Halo ring and she took the ''Autumn'' there on purpose[[note]]While the original ''The Fall of Reach'' had already revealed that Cortana took the ''Autumn'' to Halo's location deliberately, the book had her using data obtained from a Sigma Octanus IV artifact instead; presumably, Cortana found Halo's location by combining the data from both Reach and SO IV.[[/note]]]]
* AmbiguousSituation/AmbiguouslyEvil: It's not made clear exactly ''who'' the militia members that Jun and Noble Six team up with are (are they legit Colonial Militia, an informal citizen defense force, random gun nuts, or straight up [[LaResistance Insurrectionists]]?). What ''is'' clear is that they disobeyed an evacuation order to protect their turf from the Covenant and that they are somehow in possession of some '''EXTREMELY''' high powered (and illegal) military-grade weapons.
* AndThisIsFor:
** Emile will say this for [[spoiler: Kat and, less commonly, Jorge]].
** Soldiers will occasionally say "This is for [[Literature/HaloContactHarvest Harvest]]!" in combat.
** An achievement for avenging a teammate's death is called "This is For Jenkins!"
* AndYourRewardIsClothes: Doing just about anything gets you Credits to spend on armor pieces/effects, as well as new combat commentary in Firefight.
* AntiGrinding: There is a cap on the number of Credits you can earn per day, and the "cR" earned by a specific action go down the more it is done, based mostly on the rank of the Commendation(s) it relates to. The first time the Credit cap was hit (repeatedly by numerous people in the same way), one of the Bungie forum mods implied the guys hitting it were cheaters. Turns out they were playing Gruntpocalypse. Cue rumors of Bungie saying repeatedly playing the same gametype is cheating up until one of the Bungie staff members said that repeatedly playing your favorite gametype '''or checkpoint''' was perfectly legal.
** If you're playing completely offline, you can ignore the above, as you gain around 1.1 Credits per second of gameplay (and nothing you do affects this rate), and it is truncated at the end of a session. When you take your Spartan online, however, you will be ranked down to a predetermined cap (if you're over it).
** The initial online level cap was Lt. Colonel Grade 3, but the cR you earn continues to count towards your next rank despite the fact that you can't see your progress. Players jumped several ranks once the cap was lifted.
* ApocalypticLog: The whole game, to a certain extent. The bonus materials in the Legendary Edition presents it exactly as such.
* ArtifactTitle: There isn't a Halo ring in sight for the main campaign; however, one does appear in Forge World, [[spoiler:and the ''Pillar of Autumn'' is shown flying toward Installation 04 right before the credits]].
* ArtificialLimbs: Kat's right arm is actually a robotic replacement. You can also get one for your own Spartan, once ranked up enough, by buying one of 3 chest pieces.
* AscendedMeme: In response to friendly fire, some Troopers will yell, "Don't make me teabag you!"
* AwesomeButImpractical:
** People who paid for the pimped out Legendary Edition of ''Reach'' got a bonus "Flaming Head" armor effect for bragging rights... and discovered how a flaming helmet is synonymous with a bulls-eye.
** Really, all the armor effects have this problem, as running around electrified or announcing your death with birthday confetti does wonders for the enemies' kill scores. Does cheer you up, though. Yay!
** The assassinations may look cool, but they can be cancelled if you're killed, and you can have your kill stolen in the middle of performing one.
* AxeCrazy: Emile, mildly.
* BackStab: While basic Assassinations remain[[note]]though technically they're now called Beatdowns, which previously referred to ''all'' melee kills; general melees now get you a Pummel award[[/note]], if you hold the melee button behind an enemy, [[RuleOfCool a short animation actually shows you stabbing (or otherwise killing) the target]]. You're not invincible while doing so, and other players can kill you to cancel it [[note]]("Showstopper!"), or, alternately, kill your helpless victim mid-animation ("Yoink!")[[/note]], which makes successfully performing a fully executed Assassination a bit of a humiliation move.
* {{Badass}}:
** How badass is Noble Six, even among other Spartans? Despite being a Spartan-III who's theoretically weaker than the original Spartan-[=IIs=], Six is the only Spartan aside from the Master Chief to have the combat rating 'Hyper-Lethal', and has erased entire insurrectionist groups from existence single-handedly. [[spoiler:When when he/she is run out of ammo during the final scene on Reach, ''he/she is taking on multiple Ultra and General-class Sangheili in hand-to-hand combat''. He/she is finally killed by a ''Zealot'' Elite from behind with an Energy Dagger.]] If that doesn't say badass...
** One of Emile's quotes during a round of firefight is: "And you thought ''you'' were the badass."
** Jorge barely edges out Emile, due to his actions during "Long Night of Solace": [[spoiler:With no other way out, Jorge sacrifices himself to active the warp drive smuggled aboard a Covenant ship, annihilating himself and half the cruiser. How does he get you out? By tossing you out of an airlock and letting gravity do the rest.]]
* BadassBoast:
-->'''Emile:''' Sir, you don't have the firepower.
-->'''Carter:''' ''(calmly)'' [[RammingAlwaysWorks I have the mass.]]
* BeehiveBarrier: The Drop Shield Armor Ability, based on a similar item from ''VideoGame/{{Halo 3}}'', except now it recharges your shields and health, but isn't 100% impervious to damage while active.
* BigDamnHeroes: The entire campaign is about a team of six elite cyborg soldiers running around a doomed planet pulling progressively Bigger and more Damned Heroics until [[spoiler:sacrificing themselves so Master Chief can be the Big Damn Hero for the rest of the war]].
* BittersweetEnding: The game is DoomedByCanon since it takes place during the Battle of Reach. Also because [[spoiler:no one on Noble Team, except Jun, survives the game]]. The ''only'' thing that keeps this from being an outright DownerEnding is the fact [[spoiler:you got Cortana offworld, and Reach itself becomes a pristine, green world again... 34 years after the events of ''Halo 3'']].
* BlackSpeech: The Covenant species no longer play the AliensSpeakingEnglish trope straight anymore (not even the Grunts) and this trope is in effect in its place. A canny player might pick out a few recognizable words that are used in other contexts. Particularly, the proper names of various Covenant species and their respective homeworlds can be heard in the enemy combat dialogue. For an example, [[http://downloads.bungie.net/audio/speech.wav this is a]] RousingSpeech given by an Elite commander during the "Deliver Hope" commercial.
* BlackDudeDiesFirst: Inverted, [[spoiler:as Emile is the last of the non-playable members of Noble Team to die]].
* BlatantLies: Kat uses this, dripping with sarcasm, when she says she wouldn't know anything about where to find the resources necessary for the plan she just thought up, the secret program denied by three successive administrations, or whatever experience Noble Six may have had in said program. See SuspiciouslySpecificDenial below.
* BookEnds:
** [[spoiler: The credits sequence is of [[VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved Captain Keyes talking to Cortana as the Pillar Of Autumn flies towards an alien ring...]] Makes you wish they'd [[UpdatedRerelease re-render the whole game for the 360]], doesn't it? [[http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-US/Product/Halo-Anniversary/66acd000-77fe-1000-9115-d8024d5309b1 Well...]]]]
** [[spoiler: Noble Six's damaged helmet is the first and last thing seen in the campaign.]]
** [[spoiler: The player's control of Noble Six begins/ends with the respective donning/removal of his/her helmet.]]
* BorderPatrol: This game introduces boundaries that give you ten seconds to return to the level before killing you. Height boundaries, too, where the warning appears if you fly too high in a Jetpack, and also while standing on the rooftops of some buildings in multiplayer/Firefight, most likely to stop campers with Sniper Rifles.
* BoringButPractical:
** The Covenant Plasma Pistol, due to its commonness and a slight retool, gains its greatest affinity with this trope since the first game; see TookALevelInBadass. Most classes of Elite in multiplayer will spawn with one.
** The Assault Rifle has been given a small but nice boost in power and especially accuracy, and an [[RuleOfCool awesome new look]]. At times, you may find yourself turning down the shotgun or magnum for the assault rifle.
** The Sprint armor ability is arguably the default armor ability, as it is the one players always spawn with in campaign mode, and is present in virtually every multiplayer mode, including those which disable other armor abilities. It simply gives a player some additional running speed for a short duration, and recharges in a similar short amount of time. While it might lack the flash and uniqueness of other armor abilities, the option to quickly close to point-blank range, move swiftly between cover, or beat a hasty retreat makes it arguably one of the most versatile and useful abilities. In fact, Sprint was the most commonly used armour ability; when people turn down jet packs so that they can run faster, you know this trope is what's happening. This is the reason why subsequent ''Halo'' games have Sprint as a default ability that doesn't need to be specifically equipped, because Creator/ThreeFourThreeIndustries knew the same thing would happen otherwise.
* BossInMookClothing:
** Elite Generals. The Elite Field Marshal seems to be an outright boss seeing as how he only appears in the final battle. Zealots might count as actual bosses too, since there are only three encounters with them in the game (one of which has them backing up the Field Marshal).
** Brute Chieftains.
** Hunters, as usual, count too; in fact, they're even more powerful than they were in the original trilogy.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: One of the Firefight voices is the Master Chief. If you preview his voice, one of the phrases the Chief says is "Did ya miss me?"
* BrokenBridge: A literal example is in the mission "Tip of the Spear". Once completing the local objective, a [[{{Dropship}} Pelican]] flies by and drops a temporary spanning platform across said bridge, allowing the player to continue with the mission. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in that said local objective was to take down a Covenant anti-air cannon that was preventing your air support (like the Pelican that fixes the bridge) from getting close.
* BrokenFaceplate: A few examples:
** [[PlayerCharacter Noble Six's]] helmet is shown as a InMediasRes opening cutscene, half buried in the dirt, [[ForeShadowing lying alone and abandoned on a charred battlefield]].
** [[spoiler: When Kat gets shot through the head by a Covenant sniper.]]
** [[spoiler: [[InterfaceScrew Seen from first person]] when Noble Six is making a LastStand against the Covenant, and we learn why the helmet was discarded as shown in the opening.]]
* CanonImmigrant:
** A spiritual version with Armor Abilities, which were actually first seen ''years'' ago in ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'' (the ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}'' era), of all places, where each Freelancer operative had a unique special ability permanently integrated into their armor. Tex had invisibility, York had regeneration, and Wyoming had the GameBreaker power of space-time manipulation. These Armor Abilities and the [=AIs=] used to run them were what distinguished Project Freelancer from its rival, the SPARTAN programs. However, neither Bungie nor Creator/RoosterTeeth have claimed ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'' as the inspiration for the feature.
** Dr. Catherine Halsey features significantly in the ''Halo'' ExpandedUniverse as the creator and director of the [=SPARTAN-II=] program and is one of the leading human experts on the Forerunners. ''Reach'' is the first time she's ever appeared in any of the games.
** Likewise, the idea that Cortana is an AI clone of Dr. Halsey, never contradicted in-game but first established in ''The Fall of Reach'', is finally confirmed by having the same person do voice-acting for both of them (as well as by Halsey's journal).
** Most of Noble Team's members are themselves technically this, as the SPARTAN-III program was originally introduced in the 2006 novel ''Literature/HaloGhostsOfOnyx''.
* CallBack: Most of the achievements reference quotes from the rest of the series.
** Hell, most of the level chapter names reference quotes and chapters from other games. For example:
*** The second chapter of "The Silent Cartographer" in ''Halo'' is called "[[ItsQuietTooQuiet It's quiet...]]" The first chapter of "Nightfall" in ''Reach'' is called "...too quiet."
*** Two of the chapters from "Long Night of Solace". The first, "First Floor: Aliens, Beaches, [[spoiler:Secret Launch Stations]]" references "The Library" from ''Halo'', which used a variation of it, "Fourth Floor: Tools, Guns, Keys to Super Weapons". The second, "And The Horse You Flew In On", references the first chapter of "The Maw", "And The Horse You Rode In On".
*** The second chapter of "The Package": "This Cave Is Not a Natural Formation". [[CaptainObvious "... Someone built it,]] [[VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved so it must lead somewhere."]]
** If you demo Sgt. Johnson's Firefight voice in The Armory, he'll start his infamous "I woulda' been yo' daddy" line before stopping himself.
** In fact, 90 percent of what the returning characters' Firefight voices say is callbacks.
** Occasionally, if you are killed by an Elite in Firefight or Campaign, they will let loose their infamous victory yell from ''Combat Evolved'': "WORT WORT WOOOOORT!"
** In the mission "New Alexandria", you can run into a terrified Trooper, who thinks the aliens are [[WasOnceAMan former humans]]. This is eerily similar to the Marines [[DrivenToMadness traumatized to insanity]] by [[OurZombiesAreDifferent the Flood.]]
* CallForward:
** One that doubles as a CallBack: Allied troopers will sometimes say "[[AndThisIsFor That was]] for [[Literature/HaloContactHarvest Harv]][[VideoGame/HaloWars est!]]" Before Reach, the battle at Harvest was the the most notable human defeat of the war (since it was the first). In the main trilogy, you can hear characters saying "[[AndThisIsFor That was for Reach!]]"
** Depending on the playthrough, Buck from ''VideoGame/Halo3ODST'' may need you to escort him between evac points in "New Alexandria". It was established in ''ODST'' that Buck had fought at Reach. ''The Essential Visual Guide'' establishes that Buck was indeed escorted by Noble Six for an undisclosed operation, making this scenario canon.
** [[ImprobableAimingSkills You can now snipe Banshee drivers out from the gap between the cockpit and body]], just like Linda-058 will do in ''Literature/HaloFirstStrike''.
* {{Cap}}: The initial release had a level cap of Lt. Colonel Grade 3 online, while offline had no limit. Gamers of higher ranks were teased with armor they couldn't buy until the entire ''Reach'' community completed 117 million Challenges. While there were bragging rights involved, this was partially an AntiGrinding test by Bungie, as they wanted to become aware of any exploitable credit glitches before offering the whole armory.
** On a more persistent level, there are different limits to how many Credits you can earn in a day, either online or off, to prevent players from abusing the system.
* CaptainObvious: Your NPC allies, especially Noble Team, like pointing out the obvious.
-->'''Militiaman:''' They're shooting at us!
* CastOfSnowflakes: In terms of equipment permutations, this is much more true in this game compared to other titles in the series. This is not limited to Noble Team either, as Army Troopers, despite all having nearly the same basic uniform, have many variations on the basic kit for different battlefield roles and situations, combined in several semi-randomized ways for each instance (though all such things are purely cosmetic in gameplay terms). Justified, particularly for Noble, who use a variation of the same armor permutation system that was developed to allow the player to [[SpecialSnowflakeSyndrome customize their armor]].
* ChainmailBikini: Averted, as the female MJOLNIR armor is as covering as the male's. That said, while the female breastplate is the same as the male's, the female MJOLNIR armor ''does'' emphasize the hips and butt (especially for Kat) compared to the male model. Understandable, as the MJOLNIR armor is really bulky and there's little else Bungie could have done to differentiate the female Spartan model from the male's, with the only other real difference being that the female model is noticeably thinner than the male one.
* CharactersDroppingLikeFlies: [[spoiler: One by one, Noble Team dies (or just disappears, if they're Jun), including [[TheHeroDies Noble Six]].]]
* ChargedAttack: The new Plasma Launcher, in addition to series staples Spartan Laser and Plasma Pistol.
* CherryTapping: The extended Assassination animations work like this: A simple melee attack will kill the enemy instantly, same as it always has, but holding the button slightly longer gives you a full neck snapping / kidney puncturing / Energy Sword impaling / drop-kicking kill sequence. You aren't invincible for the 2-3 seconds it takes, and your target can be saved by a teammate (or an opportunistic enemy) by killing you before it's finished. An ally can even steal your kill! "Yoink!"
* ChillyReception: You're informed at the beginning that you're being brought in to replace a well-liked member of the team who the others would have preferred to honour by leaving the spot empty. This doesn't have much of an effect on gameplay, but in a couple of early cutscenes some characters are dismissive or just ignore you. Except [[NiceGuy Jorge]]. By the end of the game this is of course entirely gone.
* CitadelCity: Reach itself, being the main military stronghold of the UNSC. It's heavily guarded by a fleet of 100-150 warships at any given time, twenty orbital defense platforms (each capable of destroying a Covenant ship with one shot), a nuclear minefield, and enormous quantities of soldiers. [[spoiler: Then the Covenant show up with an ''even larger'' invasion force.]]
* CommandRoster:
** TheCaptain: Carter
** NumberTwo / WrenchWench: Kat
** Security Officer: Jorge, who's the team "Tank" and carries excess supplies.
** The Marine: Emile
** ColdSniper: Jun
** SixthRanger: Noble Six
** MissionControl: Kat and Jun (Kat has more of the technical VoiceWithAnInternetConnection, while Jun at several times takes a vantage point and surveys the location, relaying information over the comms.)
* ContinuityNod:
** Because the game takes place in the same timeframe as ''Halo: Combat Evolved'', many of the gameplay elements are a callback to that game:
*** Your armor now has separate shield and health meters, and the shield recharges more slowly than in ''Halo 2'' or ''Halo 3''.
*** Elites dodge and strafe like crazy, just like they did in the first game.
*** Hunters fire explosive bolts instead of a continuous energy beam.
*** The pistol functions similar to how it did in the first ''Halo''. In other words, it is ''[[HandCannon awesome]]'' (and yet still [[CompetitiveBalance balanced]] by having a smaller magazine and closer range, making it '''doubly''' ''awesome'').
*** Allied troopers are no longer MadeOfIron, sadly, being reduced to near their (relatively low) ''Halo: CE'' levels of health (although [[EliteMooks ODSTs]] are now noticeably tougher than regular soldiers). They can actually drive okay now, though. That said, you still might see a few capable of eating [[MadeOfExplodium fuel rods]] for breakfast!
** Brutes behave like they did in ''Halo 2'' (no shields, but increased health and vulnerable to headshots if you knock off their helmet). Fortunately, they're still not as insanely durable as they were in ''Halo 2'', and their berserker mode from that game hasn't returned either.
** [[spoiler: Cortana]] resembles her appearance in Halo: CE, with short hair and a very *ahem* child-like body.
** In the mission "New Alexandria", one of your potential objectives is to escort [[VideoGame/Halo3ODST Sergeant Buck]].
** [[spoiler: In the epilogue, look closely at the bodies on the ground. They're other Spartans.]]
** Halsey's journal has nods to almost every other bit of ''Halo'' media, from ''VideoGame/HaloWars'' to ''Anime/HaloLegends''.
* ContinuitySnarl: This game takes place in the same timeframe as the tie-in novel ''Literature/HaloTheFallOfReach''. The two don't always agree (the fact that Bungie [[BroadStrokes deliberately played fast and loose]] with continuity doesn't help things). The biggest difference is that in ''The Fall of Reach'' the battle of Reach seemed to take place over the course of maybe a few days, with only two main attack waves, while in the game it is about 2 months of fighting, with an initial surprise ground force followed by an out-and-out slug fest for weeks. But Bungie ''has'' stated that any new information [[RetCon overwrites]] any previously-existing information.
** Bungie has stated the problem lay in them being a bit too specific with stuff like dates in ''Literature/HaloTheFallOfReach''. Justified in that they never expected the first game would be as successful as it was, so the possibility of a prequel never entered their minds until years later.
* TheComputerIsACheatingBastard:
** No matter what weapons the enemy AI fires, they all seem to have some degree of homing capability.
** Dual-wielding was removed for the player, but some Elites will still do it. Not as bad as it sounds; they only dual-wield the Plasma Rifle, two of which is the equivalent of a Plasma Repeater.
** Got those Elite Zealots, Field Marshals, or Generals in your sniper scope? While they're facing the wrong way? Well, they screen-watch. You read that correctly. The higher ranking Elites on Heroic or Legendary refuse to be sniped, even if they're not "aware" that you are present. Aim at one, and they'll begin to inexplicably strafe and dive for cover, while not attempting to shoot, and while no other enemies react.
** Even the Grunts become psychic at high enough difficulties, vastly preferring to suicide-run you with Plasma Grenades if you even ''think'' about activating Active Camo near them.
** Of course, none of these compare to the worst and most blatant aspect - the enemies on Heroic and Legendary ''fire their weapons faster than normal''. On Heroic it's noticeable, but on Legendary it's borderline RefugeInAudacity. Watch in horror as the Covenant turret that spots you starts firing about 20-30 shots at you in the span of 2 seconds, and you get hit with every single one of them when you already die in 3 shots to begin with.
** Along with the enemies firing faster on Heroic and Legendary, they aren't susceptible to the handicaps of certain weapons, most notably the plasma pistol. Enemies can overcharge a plasma pistol in about half the time a human player can, and are not subjected to the overheat that accompanies a released overcharge. They may resume firing instantly after an overcharge.
* CosmeticallyAdvancedPrequel: Inherent in that the game came out years after the original and video game graphics jumped significantly in that time. The armor of Noble Team looks more functional than Master Chief's in ''Combat Evolved''. On the strict canon side, much of it is explained as the ''Pillar of Autumn'' being a single ship with limited supplies and stock crew complement[[note]]The ship was actually meant to implement a top secret mission utilizing the entire Spartan-II corps, with the ''Autumn'' itself retrofitted from an older model cruiser into an AceCustom, but the Battle of Reach changed everything and they were left with a mishmash of crew and equipment[[/note]], while Reach had some of the most advanced military research facilities in the entire UNSC.
* CosmeticAward: Takes the customizable armor of ''VideoGame/{{Halo 3}}'' UpToEleven, with dozens of parts for many different parts of the armor available for Credits earned by doing pretty much anything. Upon launch the degree of customization was revealed to be even bigger then previously thought, to the point to where you can edit your character's voice in Firefight.
* CosmeticallyDifferentSides: Played straight in Spartan vs. Spartan multiplayer, but averted in the Spartan vs. Elite Invasion gametypes for the first time in the series; Elite shields regenerate slightly faster, their health will return to full given time, and they can dodge-roll, while the Spartans can take more damage.
* CutscenePowerToTheMax: Noble Team's ability to kill Covenant in cutscenes is remarkably greater than in actual gameplay. Particularly the AI members of Noble Team, who for balance reasons tend to not do more than draw fire.
* CutsceneIncompetence:
** [[spoiler:Kat, with shields inexplicably down,]] is killed by a shot to the head while running through an open area. While the description of [[spoiler:the Collar/Breacher variant worn by Kat ("Too bad they don't make artificial situational awareness")]] suggests carelessness, an earlier point in the game [[spoiler:has her mention that her shield generator was acting up]], possibly suggesting instead that [[spoiler:the Covenant glassing going on at the time took out ''everyone's'' shields]], which would turn this into a subversion.
** Emile focuses so much on killing an Elite Zealot in front of him that [[spoiler:he's caught completely off guard when he gets stabbed in the back by another Zealot that was slowly sneaking up on him in order to foil his motion tracker]].
* DamnYouMuscleMemory:
** Reach changes the control scheme considerably from ''Halo 3'' to accommodate Armor Abilities and the removal of dual-wielding. Many accidentally used their Armor Abilities instead of switching grenades, or switched their grenades instead of meleeing.
** Thankfully, the "Recon" control scheme is extremely similar to ''Halo 3''[='s=] default, while "Bumper Jumper" is identical to ''Halo 3''[='s=] version.
** Bungie overhauled the Banshee's controls in addition to its appearance. Tricks have been moved to the left bumper, and the Fuel Rod Cannon is now a separate weapon you have to switch with Y - but good luck figuring this out if you're playing on anything higher than Normal.
* DarkerAndEdgier: You thought ''Halo 3'' was bleak? You'd be surprised.
* DeathFromAbove:
** Using a Target Locator you can align [[KillSat orbital bombardment]] into a designated zone, basically the ''Halo'' version of the [[VideoGame/GearsOfWar Hammer of Dawn.]]
** The achievement [[ThatOneSidequest "If They Came To Hear Me Beg..."]] is for assassinating an Elite by jumping to it from a sufficient height to kill you.[[invoked]]
** [=ODSTs=] from the jetpacking "Bullfrog" squad have a tendency to quote the trope verbatim.
* DeathSeeker: From one interpretation, Emile. It's officially stated that Emile cares about almost nothing but killing Covenant, and his whole life has been nothing ''but'' that, save for watching his family be killed and homeworld be glassed.
-->'''Emile-A239:''' I'm ready! How 'bout you?!
* DeflectorShields: In addition to the traditional recharging shields, one Armor Ability gives you unbreakable shields temporarily, but immobilizes you, while another creates a breakable BeehiveBarrier that recharges the health of anyone inside it.
* TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything: It's ''Bungie'', what did you expect?
** Since your Spartan is customizable for campaign as well as multiplayer, the helmet shown at the beginning and end of the game is the helmet your Spartan wears. Out of all these helmets, by far the craziest looking is the [[http://www.halopedia.org/File:GUNGNIR_helmet.jpg GUNGNIR helmet]], which eschews a visor for a teeny little camera nestled in a massive armor plate. Start a campaign wearing it and you'll realize that the hole in Six's helmet (no matter the make) is where it is because ''that's where the camera is on this one helmet''.
** When you first get the Jetpack, you can actually bypass having to use the elevator to get to the top of the building. Instead, you can use it to get to a point where ''you can hijack in midair one of the ambient Banshees'' and ''fly'' to the top, saving yourself a whole lot of hurt and ammo. And you can use a charged shot from a Plasma Pistol to short out a Banshee's engines (one of them will actually try to dive right ''near'' you) to make this much easier.
** Whip out the pistol for the first time, Noble Six will cock it. Pull it out again after that, he/she merely flips the safety off. And this happens until you pick up a new pistol or respawn. The Covenant pistol works similarly, with Noble Six flicking a switch on the side the first time and just pulling it out every time after that.
** Firing the assault rifle until the magazine's empty will result in Six pushing the firing bolt forward when reloading, chambering a round. Reload before you run dry, and Six will simply stick a new magazine in. A similar thing happens with the pistol and its slide. The sniper rifle has had a mechanic like this since [[VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved the first game]].
** Because Forge World is ''one'' map and is only being customized from Forge, it means that Bungie was able to introduce entirely new maps to the online playlist without the need for a DLC update. That's right, new online maps for free!
* DifficultButAwesome: The Grenade Launcher in a nutshell. Most online players completely ignore the weapon due to its very bouncy projectiles, and by doing so, never learn that the grenades can double as EMP bombs ''and'' impromptu trip mines. The regular mode isn't anything to laugh at either; you can become extremely lethal with the launcher if you're already good at bouncing your frags. Due the skill required of it, the developers nicknamed it the "Pro Pipe".
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: The live-action commercial "Deliver Hope" features the previous Noble Six (Thom-A293) using a jetpack to fly up to an enemy battlecruiser floating above a city in order to destroy it with a bomb with a visible, beeping digital timer counting down that he had picked up off the ground. Unlike [[Franchise/GIJoe Duke]] though, [[DyingMomentOfAwesome he doesn't make it out alive]].
* DoomedByCanon: No effort was made to hide the fact that Reach falls before the ''Halo'' Trilogy even begins. Regardless if any character in the game survives, Reach itself is doomed.
* DoppelgangerSpin: The Hologram Armor Ability creates a copy of you that moves in a straight line towards a point (or spot) you designate. It's designed as a decoy and can be a sniper's worst enemy. This creates some funny videos where players behave the same way a hologram does (running in a perfectly straight line, bouncing off of scenery and not firing) and are [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vRxIjntynU ignored by the enemy team while they run behind them...]]
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: [[spoiler: Whereas most of the team go out with epic {{Heroic Sacrifice}}s, Kat gets unceremoniously nailed in the back of the head by a Covenant sniper.]]
* DroughtLevelOfDoom: Some levels follow this trope, especially on Legendary difficulty. For example, in "Exodus", you start out with only a pistol against Suicide Grunts, Skirmishers and Brutes, and ammo for it and the DMR is extremely sparse. Then the game starts throwing armored Brute Chieftains into the squads, coupled with HoldTheLine sequences. Suitable Covenant weapons such as the Needle Rifle are also lacking. The worst is probably the part of the "Pillar of Autumn" where you have to HoldTheLine for about 15 minutes against multiple waves of Brute Captains and Chieftains, with almost no ammunition for your good weapons.
* DualWielding: While the player can no longer do this like in previous ''Halo'' games, some Elites can. Cheaters.
** [[spoiler:During the final cutscene, Noble Six uses this for a moment when holding off Elites in his/her LastStand with a pistol and an Assault Rifle]].
* DullSurprise: The troopers you are looking for in the first mission don't seem too shocked to encounter the Covenant at all, despite that usually meaning you are quite screwed.
* DummiedOut: [[InvertedTrope Inverted]]/"dummied-in", as some of the features added into ''Halo: Reach'' were things that Bungie planned to add to previous ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' titles, but got dummied out back then. For example, both low-gravity levels and the sprint feature were [[WordOfGod discussed in a magazine interview]] by Bungie prior to the release of ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}'', but they never made it into that game; with ''Reach'', they were finally able to add those features in without having to cut them out later.
* DyingMomentOfAwesome:
** [[spoiler: The player is allowed to give Noble Six a death worthy of any Spartan: having gotten Cortana to the ''Pillar of Autumn'' while watching the rest of Noble Team die, Six stays behind, and finally dies surrounded by dead Elites, fighting first with guns, then with his/her fists, to the very end.]]
** [[spoiler:Jorge sacrifices himself by activating a UNSC warp drive in the middle of a Covenant ''super-carrier'', tearing it apart.]]
** [[spoiler:Emile, after blowing up a heavy Covenant ship with an AA MAC cannon, gets a sword jammed through him, but simply turns around and stabs the offending Elite in the neck while falling off the sword.]]
** [[spoiler:Carter rams his Pelican into a Scarab.]]
* EasterEgg: It's a Bungie game, so there are plenty of them:
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxuLOpuKTPw Dance the night away, Covies!]]
** The cowardly Trooper seen in WrongGenreSavvy below.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRrv6rcu90Y Hello again for the first time, Master Chief]].
** Then there's the whole business about the Data Pads, which are strewn about most of the levels, sometimes only on Legendary. Each Pad can be read to shed some... interesting light on the backstory of the ''Halo'' series.
** There's also a few hidden switches that do a few neat things, like a pair on "The Package" that spawn [[spoiler:four Banshees for the players if pressed simultaneously]]. Another neat switch lets players [[spoiler:fly Pelicans (and Phantoms). Yep, that vehicle that everyone's wanted to fly since ''Halo'' 1. Thank you, Bungie]].
* EleventhHourSuperpower: At the end of the game, you must defend the ''Pillar of Autumn'' from a fleet of Phantoms and Banshees using, for the first time in the games, a MAC Cannon.
* ElitesAreMoreGlamorous: Noble Team isn't the [[RedshirtArmy average Spartan-III group]]; it's comprised of a specially selected few equipped with MJOLNIR armour and counts a Spartan-II amongst them. Noble Six him/herself has an impressive pedigree in the backstory. And Noble has the two of the highest ranking Spartans in the entire corps with Commander Carter and Lt. Commander Kat.
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: Near the end of the first level, Noble Squad gets ambushed by Elites with Energy Swords. Your character gets tackled by one (really emphasizing how big they are compared to you), avoids a stab to the stomach, and then punches the enemy in the jaw. Of course, it only serves to piss it off and you get saved by Carter, but it does demonstrate Noble Six's DefiantToTheEnd personality.
** Most of Noble Team have their own establishing moments as well within the first two levels; [[CuriosityIsACrapshoot Kat has a very possessive attitude toward the data found on Lazlo Sorvad's corpse, seizing it from Six immediately]]; Jorge takes his helmet off to make a civilian feel more secure and comfortable, setting off Emile's own moment where he shows his [[WhatMeasureIsANonBadass contempt toward civilians]]; Carter [[TheMenFirst defends Kat against Halsey]], who gets her own moment by [[JerkAss showing contempt to almost all of the Spartan-IIIs of Noble Team]], [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold while showing a soft side toward Jorge, one of her Spartan-IIs]].
* EvenTheSubtitlerIsStumped: Apparently whoever was making the subtitles had trouble understanding Jun in the beginning cutscene of "Tip of the Spear":
-->'''Jun:''' Det charge link is loud and clear!
-->'''Subtitles:''' Time to bake that cake we made last night!
** According to a [[WordOfGod developer commentary video]], the euphemistic line about baking a cake was part of the original script, before they decided to change the line. Apparently this subtitle just never got corrected when that happened. Perhaps THAT'S why Jun can be heard saying [[MakesJustAsMuchSenseInContext "What, you don't like my cooking?"]] in "Nightfall".
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: Noble Six is never referred to by name, only by "Six," "Lieutenant", and the more generic "Spartan." The only thing given in supplementary materials is the Spartan code B312 (the codes effectively function as last names for Spartans, with Master Chief's being 117).
* {{Expy}}:
** The new Concussion Rifle fires explosive shots from a six-round magazine that fall slightly as they travel. [[http://halo.wikia.com/wiki/Brute_shot Sound familiar?]]
** The Needle Rifle handles exactly like the Covenant Carbine, save that it shares the Needler's capacity to create supercombine explosions.
** A badass NPC ally with a skull design on his headgear, which he is never seen without. [[VideoGame/ModernWarfare Remind you]] [[VideoGame/Halo3ODST of]] [[Machinima/RedVsBlue anyone?]]
* FamousLastWords:
** [[spoiler: Carter-A259, just before ramming his Pelican into a Scarab:]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Emile:''' Hit 'em hard, boss.]]\\
[[spoiler:'''Carter:''' You're on your own, Noble. Carter ''out''.]] ''(boom!)''
** [[spoiler:Emile-A239: I'm ready! How 'bout you?!]]
** [[spoiler:Jorge-052: Tell them to make it count.]]
** [[spoiler:Noble Six: Negative. I have the gun. Good luck sir.]]
* FanNickname: Or rather, Developer Nickname. The GrenadeLauncher can be used in two modes, both of which require careful aim and timing to use properly. The skill required for effective use has earned it the moniker "Pro Pipe", in contrast to the so-called "Noob Tube" grenade launcher in ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare''.
* FeaturelessProtagonist: Even on the official records, Noble Six's full name, date of birth, place of birth, and gender are redacted.
* FictionalDocument: Halsey's journal, shipped with the Limited and Legendary Editions of the game. Full of juicy tidbits about the Spartans and Halsey herself, including the fact that [[spoiler: ''Miranda is her and Capt. Keyes' love child'']].
* FissionMailed: Noble Six's last objective is to [[spoiler: survive. (S)he doesn't]].
* FiveManBand: Noble Team:
** Carter: TheHero
** Kat: TheLancer, TheSmartGuy
** Jun: ColdSniper
** Jorge: TheBigGuy, TeamDad
** Emile: PsychoForHire, TheBigGuy
** Noble Six: TheSixthRanger
* FiveTokenBand: Noble Team, whose members all appear to have different ethnic backgrounds. It's justified given how diverse UNSC colonies are.
* FlingALightIntoTheFuture: In a small-scale sense, the ending is [[BittersweetEnding bittersweet]] because [[spoiler: you successfully got the Package to the ''Pillar of Autumn'', and cleared an escape route for it to leave Reach. That Package, in turn, led to the discovery of Halo, the Covenant Civil War, and humanity's ultimate survival when the war ended with the Battle of the Ark]].
* ForegoneConclusion: "From the beginning, you know the end."
** An InvokedTrope, as the point of the game is pretty much to experience first-hand the tragedy that was previously only alluded to.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: [[spoiler: Kat when getting hit by enemy fire will sometimes remark that her shields failed for a moment.]]
* FromBadToWorse: First the missing patrol turns out not to have been captured by rebels, but killed by Covenant troops. Then you find a mysterious structure [[spoiler:that is some kind of teleportation and cloaking device, so you disable the shields and a UNSC frigate is send in to destroy it. While debris is still coming down, the frigate is shot to pieces by a colossal supercarrier that was just decloaked right above it. One level later the carrier is successfully destroyed, but not even ten seconds after that a massive Covenant fleet arrives that starts to completely wipe out all life on the planet...]]
* GameplayAllyImmortality: Noble Team is invulnerable in gameplay. Unfortunately for them, [[CutsceneIncompetence cutscenes exist]].
* GameplayAndStorySegregation: Several things, notably Emile, who in promotional background material is portrayed as a particularly bold Spartan (bordering on berserker level aggression) who specializes in close combat assaults. In gameplay, his AI is much more timid, almost never purposely closing to the effective range of his shotgun and even falling back without firing a shot whenever he does move into that range.
* GentleGiant: Jorge, the huge SPARTAN-II member of the team, is also the nicest and most amicable member of the group, especially towards civilians. Played with in that he's still [[BewareTheNiceOnes a killing machine]].
** Stands also as a commentary on the differences between Spartan-[=IIs=] and [=IIIs=]. While Jorge is clearly regarded as the most dangerous and toughest soldier in Noble, he is also the most clearly emotionally stable, and shows the most humanity. The Spartan-[=IIIs=] are all a little off, especially Emile, for whom it's stated that he doesn't actually care as much for Reach's survival as he does for killing Covenant.
* GilliganCut:
-->'''Catherine-B320:''' All we need is a green light from Holland.
-->'''Carter-A259:''' Good luck with that.
-->'''Catherine-B320:''' You're the one asking him.
-->'''Carter-A259:''' Oh, there's no way in hell he's gonna go for this.
-->''(later)''
-->'''Jorge-052:''' Still can't believe Holland said yes to this.
* GodzillaThreshold: The event that required the GilliganCut example, which was [[spoiler: the appearance of a Covenant Supercarrier. Disposing of it required a ship's Slipspace Drive, which is stated by Carter to be the "single most expensive piece of equipment made by man"]]. Of course, much worse happened immediately after....
* GoodNewsBadNews: Played with at the end of "Long Night of Solace". [[spoiler:Your Pelican is completely broken and now the only way you can get off the titular supercarrier is to literally jump out? That's the ''good'' news. The ''bad'' news? The bomb's timer is fried and someone is going to have to stay behind to activate it manually.]]
* GoodScarsEvilScars: All Noble Team members who remove their helmet are shown to have at least one significant scar, evidence that they have had a long career of combat.
* GoombaStomp: Performing an aerial Assassination on an Elite will sometimes result in this. It doesn't look like much until you remember that a fully-armored Spartan weighs about ''1,000 pounds''. This is essentially dropping a shipping container on someone's head.
* GoOutWithASmile: While we do not see the actual moment of death, [[spoiler: the last we see of Jorge is him smiling at Noble Six before throwing the latter off the supercarrier so they're a safe distance away when it's destroyed, telling them to "make it count"]].
* GoryDiscretionShot: We never explicitly see the killing blow on [[spoiler: Noble Six]].
* GratuitousForeignLanguage: Justified. Reach was originally settled by Hungarians, with the majority of the inhabitants in the first area we visit being of Magyar descent, explaining why Hungarian is the local lingua franca there.
* GravityScrew: There are three multiplayer maps that show the Heavy Zone/Light Zone dynamic: "Zealot" has a low gravity zone above the map, "Anchor 9" has one along one side, and "Condemned" has one in the middle. There is also a section of the campaign mission "Long Night of Solace" where you fight through a Covenant Corvette in the same low gravity environment.
* TheGreatestStoryNeverTold: Implied by Halsey at the end. While not as anonymous as the Rookie's role in ''VideoGame/Halo3ODST'', Halsey laments that Six never got to see the battle won, and that her/his role is overshadowed in the grand scheme of history. His/her story will remain a relative footnote in the Fall of Reach, and thus Halsey vows to never forget his/her efforts. That said, the Limited/Legendary edition materials indicate that Noble as a whole did eventually achieve posthumous renown, to the point where they eventually got an entire public memorial dedicated to them in one of Reach's rebuilt cities (with the Legendary Edition Noble Team sculpture stated to be a miniature replica of said memorial). Additionally, several MJOLNIR variations in ''VideoGame/Halo5Guardians'' are stated to have been created and named in honor of Noble Team.
* GreenHillZone: In effect, of all places. "Winter Contingency" allows you to get used to the controls and fight several of the common enemy types, with a "boss fight" consisting of a few Zealots at the end. The area before the Visegrad Relay is even full of [[SceneryPorn lush vegetation]].
* GroundPunch: Anyone using the Armor Lock ability enters this pose, becoming temporarily invincible and potentially deadly to any vehicles trying to ram them.
* GuideDangIt: There's a ton of easter eggs hidden in the game, but most are nearly impossible to find without looking them up. The [[spoiler:drivable Pelican and Phantom on "New Alexandria"]] are especially tough. Of course, none are necessary to finish the game.
* GunsAkimbo: [[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard Some higher-ranking Elites]], and [[spoiler: Noble Six during the ending]].
* GunshipRescue: Sometimes you are the one doing the rescuing, other times you're the one being rescued. And it's subverted just as often. In the "Invasion" gametype, if you manage to hold off the enemy from getting your Data Core, the game ends with your faction arriving with air vehicles and killing the enemy team.
* HarderThanHard:
** According to Bungie, Reach's Legendary difficulty is harder than any other ''Halo'' game. And of course, you could always turn on all the "Gold" skulls and go for the semiofficial "Mythic" difficulty.
** Officially, there's also LASO (Legendary All Skulls On), which includes you having to use the Blind skull (no HUD or weapon displayed onscreen). Bungie felt so bad about this one that when they started including the mode in online challenges, they edited the requirements to exclude Blind.
* HartmanHips: It may just be the armor, but it's still noticeable for female Spartan soldiers.
* HeroicSacrifice: The team is called ''Noble'' team for a reason.
** [[spoiler:Jorge. He thought he was saving the planet. [[HopeSpot He didn't.]]]]
** [[spoiler: Carter. [[RammingAlwaysWorks Crashes his Pelican into a Scarab]] to allow you to get to the ''Pillar of Autumn''.]]
** [[spoiler: Subverted with Emile. Initially he's manning the MAC gun, and is going so stay behind to cover Six's escape. If not for the backstab from the Zealot, he'd be the one going out in a Blaze of Glory instead of...]]
** [[spoiler: Noble Six, who stays behind on Reach to fire the MAC gun and cover the ''Pillar of Autumn's'' retreat. Of course, you play this all out...]]
** [[spoiler: It was heavily implied for Jun (i.e., to get Dr. Halsey to safety) in the dialogue during his last appearance, but it's ultimately averted due to Bungie's WordOfGod that he lives, which was further confirmed by his appearance in ''ComicBook/HaloInitiation'', which takes several months after ''Reach'']].[[invoked]]
* HopeSpot:
** Even though [[DoomedByCanon you know what's going to happen]], the [[spoiler:destruction of the ''Long Night of Solace'']] seems like a major victory for the UNSC that at least slows the Covenant invasion down considerably. But a mere thirty seconds after the initial victory, Reach's automated orbital sensors begin announcing an endless stream of alerts about new enemy ships jumping out of [[SubspaceOrHyperspace slipspace]]:
-->*Slipspace rupture detected.* *Slipspace rupture detected.* *Slipspace rupture detected.* [[OhCrap *Slipspace rupture detected.*]] [[BolivianArmyEnding *Slipspace rupture detected.*]]
** [[spoiler: At the PlayableEpilogue after the credits roll, when Noble Six is standing alone in the shipbreaking yard as the Covenant move to consolidate their hold on the area. Six seems calmly observant, as though considering what to do. The chapter title reads "There'll be another time..." and the player is assigned a new objective: "Survive" (with the detail text "Spartans never die..."). One might be forgiven for thinking that maybe, just maybe, Noble Six will make it out of this. [[DownerEnding They do not]].]]
* IWorkAlone: Noble Six's rep. S/he's even referred to as the former Trope name "Lone Wolf".
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: Assassinations with the Energy Sword, which happens many times throughout the campaign too.
* InjuredPlayerCharacterStage: Downplayed: in two levels the player starts out with less health than usual because of crash-landings in the previous cutscene. On the final level [[spoiler:it overlaps with InterfaceScrew; the player character's visor becomes cracked, preventing the player from seeing how much ammo they have left]].
* InsufferableGenius: Halsey is presented like this initially (and she is known to be like this in the ExpandedUniverse). But her journal sheds light on her verbal altercation with Carter in the game. She was under the impression that the Spartans she personally trained (the Spartan-[=IIs=], which include Jorge and Master Chief) were the only Spartans in the UNSC. It wasn't until after Noble Team's first mission that she discovered the ''existence'' of Spartan-[=IIIs=], which means she was actively deceived by her peers for years. By her second interaction with Noble Team they appeared to have earned her respect.
* InterfaceScrew: [[spoiler:In the post-credits level, when you take damage, cracks appear in your visor/HUD. The first time this happens, it also takes away your ammo counter, which makes the fight even more difficult.]]
* InterfaceSpoiler: Some of the achievement names are fairly subtle spoilers to the fact [[spoiler:Noble Six dies at the end of the game]]. The most egregious one is "Send Me Out...with a Bang," which were [[spoiler:Sgt. Johnson]]'s last words from ''Halo 3''.
* {{Irony}}:
** At one point in the level "Long Night of Solace", when you're making your way to the launch facility, the AA guns are shooting at the dozens of Seraphs buzzing overhead. The AA guns' purpose is to protect the building from airborne damages. Well, the guns hit a Seraph, and it goes spinning down out of control in flames... crashing into the facility at high speed. Oops.
** A huge bit of irony is called up when the individual deaths of Noble Team are scrutinized:
*** [[spoiler:Carter, the leader of Noble Team, died by crashing a Pelican into a Scarab; essentially the leader went down with the ship.]]
*** [[spoiler:Kat, the tactician of the group, died from a single Needle Rifle shot through the brain. This is also due in part because she was not paying attention as a Covenant Phantom flew overhead. It's also implied that the cruiser came to the area because of the radio transmission Carter just sent. The transmitter she repaired.]]
*** [[spoiler:Jorge, the heavy weapons expert, died in a giant explosion.]]
*** [[spoiler:Emile, the CQB expert, died from being stabbed in the chest.]]
*** [[spoiler:Jun, the stealthy one, lives.]]
*** [[spoiler:Noble Six was told in the very first level that he/she was to stop acting as a "lone wolf" and be part of a team. He/she dies alone.]]
* IsThatAThreat: When Halsey threatens Kat with the brig for attempting to access Sorvad's data module, Carter responds thus:
-->'''Carter:''' Maybe you'd like to join her.
-->'''Halsey:''' ...I'm sorry?
-->'''Carter:'' We're currently under emergency planetary directive, "WINTER CONTINGENCY". I'm sure you're familiar with the punishment for civilian interference with a Spartan deployment.
-->'''Halsey:''' Are you threatening me, Commander?
-->'''Carter:''' Just making a reading suggestion, ma'am.
* ItHasBeenAnHonor: At the end of the game:
-->[[spoiler:'''Emile:''' It's been an honor, sir.]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Carter:''' Likewise.]]
* JetPack: One of the Armor Abilities. Both the ODST Bullfrogs and the Elite Rangers have these too.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSong: "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QDl2XTAPvE Ghosts and Glass]]" bears more than a passing resemblance to "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InvY9JXyVW8 Fairytale]]" from ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}''.
* KilledMidSentence: [[spoiler:Kat.]]
* KillEmAll: Most of Reach; see DoomedByCanon.
* KillSat: The Covenant and UNSC both have these, though the Covenant's version is far more destructive and widespread.
* LampshadeHanging: If you use Emile's voice for Firefight, it seems like he's perfectly aware that he was built up to be the team badass in the game. I.E. his quote: "And you thought ''you'' were the badass."
* TheLastDance: [[spoiler: The post-credits mission shows Noble Six remaining on Reach and battling an endless horde of Covenant.]]
-->Objective: Survive.
-->Description: ''Spartans never die.''
* LastStand: [[spoiler:This is how Noble Six goes out. According to WordOfGod, their resistance against the Covenant lasted for ''hours'', and even drew the attention of Wraiths and Phantoms, before Six finally died.]]
* LethalJokeItem:
** The forklift is a drivable vehicle. It has no weapons and moves slowly, but [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LA_ij2Kuq-I it's possible to run over enemies with it]].
** [[GolfClubbing The golf club]], available by customizing a load out in Firefight. It's essentially the gravity hammer in the shape of a monster golf club.
* LeeroyJenkins: Thom-A293, the previous Noble Six, died prior to the game. The PlayerCharacter is there to replace him, and Carter and Kat both feel personally responsible for his death. While [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOKeOYqa8Xw this trailer]] shows that the explosive (actually a nuclear weapon) he threw into the Covenant ship ''was'' going to go off in two minutes (and you can see him try to run away after he throws it), the official profiles on the main website have their commanding officer consider his death a blatant example of this trope.
* {{Leitmotif}}: While many of the game's themes evoke ''Halo'', the soundtrack mostly avoids direct call-outs to any past themes, given that the game is not a galaxy-spanning SpaceOpera like the rest of the series, but a more narrow MilitaryScienceFiction shooter. However, there are a few exceptions:
** A few snippets of the classic ''Halo'' theme can be heard during the large battle at the start of one level.
** When [[spoiler:Cortana is introduced, her 'Rescue' theme]] from ''Halo 3'' is played.
** During the last cutscene, [[spoiler:the same music from ''Halo: CE''[='s=] opening is heard, as the ending is a shot-for-shot match to the start of the first game]].
* LevelGrinding: Playing Gruntpocolypse on the Score Attack gametype (single-player Firefight) was noticed as the most efficient method of credit farming. Assuming you can finish the round in the alloted time, it is almost a guaranteed 2,000 cR for about 10 minutes worth of playing.
** Also averted in a sense: the amount of credits you get scales upwards the higher your rank becomes--while you get around 60 cR max for custom games as a Captain, you get 165 when you're a Colonel.
* LevelInReverse: "The Package" borders between this and RemixedLevel for "ONI: Sword Base". The geometry is altered, yes, but you also start in different locations in each level.
* LightningBruiser:
** Elites in general, particularly the high-ranked ones.
** The highest-ranked Skirmishers have as much health as Brutes, and move around faster then Drones. Thankfully, it still only takes one headshot to kill them.
* LonelyPianoPiece: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_cF8UlwOZE "There Will Be Another Time..."]]
* LuckBasedMission: On higher difficulties, [[spoiler:the final bit firing the MAC gun]] has a good chance of being impossible to complete on your first attempt. And if the Mythic Skull is on, the [[spoiler:CCS-class battlecruiser you have to shoot down will gain double health as well, needing '''TWO''' MAC shots to take down]]. Even Tyrant, the legendary Mythic speedrunner, admitted this portion on Mythic difficulty is virtually entirely based on luck.
** And you better finish off that squad of Elite Zealots before you move on, or you will get [[{{Unwinnable}} screwed by the autosave]], getting caught between trying to shoot down incoming enemy ships and Elites shooting you in the back.
* LudicrousGibs: Drones now [[BoomHeadshot explode when headshotted]], and Engineers will erupt into a blue goo when killed, leaving some armor plating behind.
* MaleGaze: The camera angles in cutscenes take particular care to focus on Noble Six and Kat's behinds, made all the better when playing as Female!Six. {{Lampshaded}} in the Legendary Edition Commentary:
-->'''Marcus Lehto:''' Another patented butt shot.
-->'''Marty O'Donnell:''' You see, this is why I think it's more fun to play as the female.
* ManlyTears: Evoked by Bungie's love letter to ''Halo'' fans before the credits roll.
* MauveShirt: You can recruit allied soldiers into your squad, and now their names appear right next to your radar.
* MeaningfulName: [[spoiler:Kat is very ''curious''. Guess what happens to her?]]
* MeaningfulBackgroundEvent: If you look off into the distance on some maps, you can see battles going on.
* MeaningfulName: As stated above, Noble Six is NOBLE Team's SixthRanger.
* {{Mordor}}: Reach itself begins to look like this towards the end thanks to the glassing. It becomes a barren wasteland, dark with no sunlight at all, with storms going on all the time.
* MultiMookMelee: Firefight can be this, if you so choose. [[spoiler: The campaign ends like this.]]
* MythologyGag:
** The Focus Rifle's beam is very similar to the one [[VideoGame/HaloWars Locusts]] fire due to its range and sound effect. It also closely resembles the beam fired by Forerunner Sentinels, which makes sense when you remember that [[FridgeBrilliance Covenant technology is largely reverse-engineered from that of the Forerunners]].
** Emile bears more than a passing resemblance to ''[[Machinima/RedVsBlue The Meta]]''. It's not just his EVA helmet, but also the color of his armor and his use of brown CQB shoulder pauldrons. He's also not ''quite'' as [[AxeCrazy sane]] as the other members of Noble Team, and prefers close-range/physical combat over anything. It's gotten to the point where fans have decided that Emile's helmet would be what the Meta would wear, if he were rendered in the ''Reach'' engine.
** Bungie once again loves playing with numbers, especially the number 7. The game begins in 2552 (2+5 = 7, 2+5 = 7, or 7/7, Bungie Day) and ends on July 7 - 7/7 (again, Bungie Day) - 2589; the year is 2+5 (7)-8-9.
** Names of recruitable soldiers include not only members of the game's development staff, but, in at least one instance, creators of ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'' ([[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjh_JQwzWwI "PVT G. Sorola"]] at about 1:00).
*** Geoff has one too,([[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brQnxmoHO_E&feature=relmfu "His Character Ramsey"]] Mentioned around 4:13).
*** There's also ones for Burnie and Matt.
** Watch the Grunt Assassinations. They are identical to the ones used by Cal and Dutch in ''Anime/HaloLegends'' during ''The Babysitter''. Also, take three guesses what happens in the level "The Package". [[spoiler: You rescue Halsey from the Covenant, just like ''Anime/HaloLegends'' short of the same name.]]
** ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'' fans thought that [[spoiler:the damaged helmet in the opening was one to Tex's helmet from ''Revelation'']]. However, when Rooster Teeth first saw Reach's opening cutscene, the company actually changed the series' title card because they thought [[spoiler:Noble Six's damaged helmet]] would become a plot point in ''Reach'' (just like [[spoiler:Tex's helmet]] did in ''Revelation'') and wanted to avoid being ''too'' similar to Bungie's magnum opus.
* NeckSnap: A few of the Assassination animations.
* NegatedMomentOfAwesome: The Covenant just love doing this to you, with perhaps the most brutal being when [[spoiler:Jorge [[HeroicSacrifice sacrifices himself]] to take out the supercarrier... and less than one minute later, a massive fleet of Covenant reinforcements arrive]].
* {{Nerf}}: Allied human soldiers are noticeably less durable than they were in ''Halo 2'' and ''Halo 3''. However, [[EliteMooks ODSTs]] are actually noticeably tougher than normal soldiers this time around, and can take about as much damage as human soldiers in ''Halo 3'' could (in other words, roughly on par with a shielded Minor Elite).
* NighInvulnerable: As per tradition, the Hunters. Their armor is invulnerable to nearly any attack (you can see the more visible ammunition like Needlers and Spikers completely bounce off). They only have a few [[AlienBlood orange colored]] weak points in the neck, torso and back where you can deal damage. The armor on their back will break off if you do enough damage, but they still have a large amount of health. They can take several rockets and several Plasma Grenades to the face, or upwards of six Needle Rifle supercombines before they go down.
* NintendoHard:
** '''[[http://www.xbox360achievements.org/game/halo-reach/achievement/42323-A-Monument-To-All-Your-Sins.html A MONUMENT TO ALL YOUR SINS]]'''. You thought Legendary was horrible in Co-Op? '''Try beating it alone'''.
** Additionally, the unofficial Mythic difficulty, which is legendary with all skulls on.
* NoFairCheating: Everyone that deliberately performed the "Challenge Credit exploit" had their cR and unlocks completely reset. Bungie also set up a system to automate this and perform such resets (and possibly further bans) automatically.
* NoOneCouldSurviveThat: Occasionally said word for word by [=NPCs=] if the player character dies in gameplay.
* NoSell: The Elites, especially Generals and Zealots, absolutely ''love'' this on the highest difficulties. Spartan Laser to the face? Nope. Three headshots with a Sniper Rifle? Try again. Shotgun blast to the head? So what?
** Of course, whacking them in the back of the head will make them die quickly, as will stabbing them in the face with a combat knife.
%%* NoodleIncident: Liberty Ridge.
* TheOmniscientCouncilOfVagueness: The hidden Data Pads reveal [[spoiler: that many of the events of the ''Halo'' universe were caused indirectly by a group of [=AIs=] who have been secretly guiding the course of humanity's progress as a species]].
* OneBulletClips: This trope is in effect, as per usual. Notably, when using some of the game's weapons (like the sniper rifle), the player will actually be punished for reloading from an empty clip with a longer reload animation.
* OutOfGenreExperience: To a certain extent, the entire game (along with ''VideoGame/Halo3ODST'') is a genre swerve. The "traditional" ''Halo'' experience has you playing as a OneManArmy {{Cyborg}} SuperSoldier surrounded by RedShirt allies; you kick ass while they cheer you on. In ''Reach'', you're finally in the company of equals, because your allies are Spartans (in ''ODST'', it's because ''you'' are a RedShirt too, though an [[EliteMook elite one]]).
* PaletteSwap: [[AvertedTrope Averted]]. Previous titles (excluding the Brutes in ''VideoGame/{{Halo 3}}'') had different ranks of the same Covenant species distinguished almost solely by the color of their uniforms. Now, every different rank and role, even within the same Covenant species, has a custom uniform in addition to a unique color.
* PlayableEpilogue: [[spoiler:Although the only point to it is to see how long you can last against the endless waves of Covenant forces.]]
* PrettyLittleHeadshots: As usual for the series, given the absence of gore beyond blood splatters. Parodied with the Grunt Birthday Party skull, which, when active, makes headshots on the weakest enemy species cause their heads to explode... into confetti, accompanied by the sound of a cheer from ''VideoGame/VivaPinata''.
** You can purchase an armor effect for 100,000 Credits that makes ''you'' explode into confetti with cheers when ''you'' get killed in multiplayer. Beware, as this could make you a more attractive target, and give away your nearby teammates' positions.
* PurelyAestheticGender: It doesn't matter what gender you make Noble Six.
* PyrrhicVictory: For the Covenant who lost 2/3 of their massive fleet trying to attack and occupy Reach. And they didn't even [[spoiler: manage to get the Forerunner tech there]].
* RammingAlwaysWorks: [[spoiler:Carter rams his Pelican into a Scarab.]]
* RankInflation: In each of Reach's three playable modes (Campaign, Firefight, and online multiplayer), you can earn "Commendations" for continually doing particular feats, such as murdering leader-class enemies, performing Assassinations, or just driving an ally while he mows down the opposition. Each mode has its own Commendations, all of which can be upgraded to a max of five ranks (Iron to Onyx) and serve no purpose other than to award you some bonus Credits and the right to brag.
* RealIsBrown:
** Poked fun at in Forge; the "next gen" effect lights everything through a distinctly brown filter.
** In the campaign, in keeping with [[DarkerAndEdgier the game's tone]], Reach has a very bleak and washed-out feel compared to previous ''Halo'' games. The color pallete has a hazey look to it, even in space. That said, the game is still much more colorful than most uses of this trope.
* RealityEnsues: [[spoiler:The death's of Noble Team. Carter and Jorge both have a HeroicSacrifice, but it doesn't stop or deter the Covenant. Emile kills a Zealot, and is then quickly impaled from behind. Noble Six remains on the planet, and is finally overwhelmed and killed by the endless forces. Kat's death is the most brutal version of this. She may a genius Spartan, but if her shields are down and she's not paying attention to her surroundings, she can be killed by a sniper round to the head like everyone else.]]
* RecurringBoss: The Elite Field Marshal is first fought in a cutscene near the end of the first mission, then fired upon after [[spoiler: Kat's]] death in New Alexandria, only to escape again, then is finally taken down in a proper battle on "The Pillar of Autumn".
* RecycledINSPACE: The Battle of Thermopylae IN SPACE! Or the ''Film/SevenSamurai'' IN SPACE!.
* RedShirtArmy: In a slight change of pace, the Red Shirts this time are literal Army Troopers, instead of Marines like in the previous games. You do get to fight alongside actual Marines in the final level, though (they're the ones in dark armor wearing full-face helmets with depolarized visors).
* RememberTheAlamo: "Remember where it all began. Remember Reach."
* ReportsOfMyDeathWereGreatlyExaggerated:
** Dr. Halsey says this to the Spartans when Carter says the casualty reports had listed her as K.I.A.
** Deliberately invoked by UNSC propaganda: Spartans are never reported dead. They are only listed as missing in action. Because, [[NeverFoundTheBody you'll never know for sure...]]
* {{Retcon}}:
** The entire game is essentially a rewrite of the latter part of ''Literature/HaloTheFallOfReach'', which had portrayed the Covenant attack as a complete and utter surprise (no advance attack force as depicted in-game), made no mention of the [[spoiler:Forerunner excavation ]], and had [[spoiler:the ''Autumn'' already on its way out of the star system with a complete Cortana well on board when the battle began]].
** Certain aspects of Covenant tech got revamped as well. Among the most radical changes are the ones to the design of the Elite Zealot armor (now a vibrant maroon instead of gold) and the layout of the Banshee (the characteristic engine pods have been removed or "hidden from view", to avoid the FridgeLogic of how the craft could fly with the pods shot off). Most of these have since been justified as being aesthetic choices specific to the Covenant forces attacking Reach (in fact, WordOfGod is that the Covenant deliberately eschew standardization).[[invoked]]
* TheReveal: [[spoiler: Sword Base is sitting on top of a Forerunner structure, and the Covenant want it ''real'' bad.]]
* RocketlessReentry: The protagonist makes a fall from orbit (with the aid of a re-entry pack) after their escape ship has its thrusters too damaged for flight.
-->'''Jorge''': Well, I've got good news and bad news. [...] The only way off this slag heap is gravity.
-->'''Six''': And the good news?
-->'''Jorge''': That was the good news.
* RuleOfDrama: People have pointed out inconsistencies with [[spoiler: Kat's death]], although justifications have been pointed out as well.
* RunningGag: Almost once every level, Noble Six gets knocked down (via enemy, explosion, atmospheric freefall...) in a cutscene (sometimes with a first person perspective) and has to grab the nearest weapon available.
* SaveThisPersonSaveTheWorld: [[spoiler: Cortana holds all the data the UNSC have on Reach's Forerunner artifacts; Reach ''will'' fall, but any chance for humanity to survive the Covenant War rests on Noble Team getting her to the ''Pillar of Autumn'' and off Reach.]]
* SceneryPorn / SceneryGorn: Reach, before and after. Early in the game, before the Covenant arrives in force, you get a lot of nice-looking scenery, with the Sabre launch scene in "Long Night of Solace" looking especially ''gorgeous''. Afterwards (especially in "Exodus", "New Alexandria", "The Package", and "The Pillar of Autumn"), most of the scenery is in ruins, there are fires everywhere, and in "The Autumn" there's this really freaky looking black cloud on the left side of where you are, almost like the big cloud in "The Storm" in ''Halo 3''. [[spoiler: The epilogue shows that Reach returns to its natural beauty in the future, at least by July 7, 2589.]]
* SenselessSacrifice: [[spoiler: Jorge's HeroicSacrifice is turned into this. It is just as depressing as it sounds.]]
* SerialEscalation: Forge World was originally five separate maps designed for Forge mode set in similar environments. During development, one concept artist combined them all into a single map several times the size of any normal map, all seamless, playable, and massively customizable.
** Lampshaded at their Comic-Con panel, where it turns out that the team member building those 5 maps was building them in one file for simplicity's sake at the time, as they all used the same resources. When he was nearing the end, he just asked why they were bothering to break it up. The answer? They never even considered the possibility of making a map that big. And neither did the fans.
* ShootTheShaggyDogStory: Two of the missions:
** [[spoiler:"Tip Of The Spear": Noble Team leads a UNSC assault against the Covenant forces, beating them back and lowering the shield around the pillar. A frigate comes in and blows it up, and then it is destroyed by a Covenant Supercarrier. The entire mission has been rendered moot, due to that thing's appearance.]]
** [[spoiler:"Long Night of Solace": Noble-Six and Jorge lead a Sabre battle against the Covenant and then hijack a Covenant corvette in order to use it to take down a supercarrier. Most of the soldiers with you die, and then Jorge sacrifices himself to destroy the supercarrier. And then ''another'' Covenant fleet shows up...]]
** Hell the only reason the entire freaking game doesn't qualify is the fact [[spoiler:you got Cortana offworld, and Reach itself becomes a pristine, green world again... 34 years after the events of ''Halo 3''.]]
* ShoutOut:
** Noble Six is the third and second to last words in [[Creator/AlfredLordTennyson Tennyson's]] "The Charge of the Light Brigade". The poem fits the game's plot pretty well.
** Reach wasn't the only planet with an apocalypse dated [[Franchise/{{Terminator}} August 29]]...
** In the armory, one of the emblems is the [[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}} Star of Chaos]].
** 90 percent of the Achievements are {{Shout Out}}s to dialogue from the previous games. The other 10%...
*** "[[Film/TopGun You can be my wingman anytime!]]"
*** "Cool file, bro".
** One of the UNSC taunts to the Covenant: "[[Film/{{Predator}} You are one, UGLY mother...]]"
** Watch how the female Noble Six walks [[spoiler: during her last stand]]. It is identical to a motion from the end of ''Firefly'' made by Zoey, gun pose and all. May have been unintentional, but given that Bungie are known fans of the show...
** The frequent use of grainy security footage during cutscenes seems like an homage to Creator/NeillBlomkamp, the director whose ''Halo'' shorts and original feature-length films (''Film/{{District 9}}'' actually evolved out of the [[DevelopmentHell failed attempt at a]] full-length ''Halo'' movie) both frequently uses this style.
** Most of the Daily and Weekly Challenges are shout outs. For instance, the one for killing a certain amount of people with an automatic weapon is [[Film/DieHard I Have A Machine Gun]]. Another, for killing a certain amount of opponents, is [[Franchise/StarWars Aggressive Negotiations]].
** The Office of Naval Intelligence, AKA ''VideoGame/{{ONI}}''. Considering Bungie's habit of referencing previous titles, the odds of this being a coincidence are rather slim, though it may be both, as the US Navy maintains a RealLife Office of Naval Intelligence, established in 1882.
** The achievement "I See You Favor a .45" is a reference to ''Series/TheWire''. In fact, Jamie Hector, who played the ruthless drug kingpin Marlo Stanfield in ''The Wire'', voices Emile.
** The achievement "That's A Knife" is a reference to of all things, ''Film/CrocodileDundee''.
** When fatally wounded, Elites will sometimes clearly yell [[Machinima/RedVsBlue "Blargh!" or "HONK!"]] Which, weirdly enough, isn't as narmy as you'd think.
** One of the random voice sets used by the troopers in the game is provided by Greg Grunberg from ''Series/{{Heroes}}''. A few of his lines make reference to that show, including several jokes about mind reading.
** A Living Dead gametype option is called [[Fanfic/HalfLifeFullLifeConsequences Zombie Ghosts]]. It involves invisible zombies who are on fire and attack with golf clubs, so... fitting.
** The guta are just like [[VideoGame/{{Fallout}} deathclaws]].
* ShownTheirWork:
** Possibly overlapping with FridgeBrilliance; in [[spoiler: one mission, the player is thrown out of a Covenant ship by Jorge into space. He/She seemingly shakes off the re-entry with only a mild sprain or two. One would think "Hey, the Master Chief dropped from in atmosphere, and was messed up for a while! What gives?" Well, if one pays close attention to the cutscenes, you can spot an armored pack on Noble Six's back, just before he/she's flung from the ship, labeled 'Re-Entry Unit'.]]
** Halsey's Journal manage to reference and tie together so much of the extended universe, from the supposed inconsistencies between this game and ''The Fall of Reach'', the Spartan-III program from ''Literature/HaloGhostsOfOnyx'', the Orion program, etc.
** In the extended "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKRlWLDWhGI Deliver Hope]]" trailer, sharp eyes can spot everyone from Noble Team in the video; besides Kat and Thom, there's:
*** 0:35: Jorge
*** 0:36: Emile (left of explosion)
*** 0:53: Jun (HUD)
*** 1:00: Carter (at bottom)
** When the ''Pillar of Autumn'' takes off, look closely. Those booster rockets are just that - booster rockets. After they've expended their thrust, they fall off individually.
* TheSiege: With the entire planet of Reach placed under one by the Covenant.
* SnipingMission: "Nightfall", the third real mission (fourth in literal terms) of the game, is a sniping mission with Jun.
* SoleSurvivor: [[spoiler:Jun is the only member of Noble Team to survive, though this wasn't officially confirmed until his appearance in ''Halo: Initiation'', roughly ''three years'' (in real-life time) after ''Reach'''s release.]]
* TheSquad: Noble Team.
* TheSquadette: Kat and, potentially, Noble Six.
* TheStinger: [[spoiler:You fought bravely, Noble Six...]]
* StockScream: Wilhelm variety.
* SuperWristGadget: Carter has a datapad on the vembrace of his armor. Players can unlock similar options for their characters, which reveal the datapads are detachable; the vembraces in question include docking ports for them so they can be stored in an easily accessible manner.
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial:
-->'''[[TheSmartGuy Kat]]:''' A good place to look might be... I don't know, the nearest nonexistent launch site in the nonexistent Sabre Program, dismissed by three administrations as preposterous rumor... And in which our newest member was certainly never a pilot.
-->'''[[BadAss Emile]]:''' You're [[{{Irony}} scary]], you know that?
* TakeUpMySword: [[spoiler:The ending states this is what happened in spirit. Which means it's implied that Noble Six could have been one of the heroes/heroines of the original trilogy had he/she chosen to evacuate along with everyone else.]]
* TeamDad: Jorge.
* TeamMom: Dr. Halsey to Jorge, and eventually the rest of Noble Team. Her initial hostility is understandable due to the BackStory, but eventually, she comes to care for her "adopted" Spartans, including and ''especially'' Noble Six.
* TheWarSequence: "The Pillar of Autumn", which features you in the middle of a giant UNSC vs. Covenant battle while you blast your way through to get to a shuttle for evacuation, and "The Package", which has a sequence at the end where you have to defend Halsey's lab against a bunch of Covenant infantry, tanks, and Banshees. Also, Firefight mode.
* TookALevelInBadass:
** The A.I. and combat skills of the entire Covenant roster has been noticeably improved. Most notably, Elites are now much more agile and intelligent and play a lot like multiplayer opponents some even use Armor Abilities like Hologram and Armor Lock. Higher ranking Grunts can now fire overcharge shots. And Hunters no longer have any easily exploitable weakness ''at all'' now that they can use the shields on their arms to deliberately block attacks.
** Unlike most NPC allies in the series, all of Noble Team are [[StoryAndGameplaySegregation invicible during gameplay]], since there is no real need to escort highly trained soldiers.
** The Pistol has been restored to be comparable to its ''Halo: Combat Evolved'' glory. It does the same amount of damage as the DMR, and can fire almost as quickly as its shield-eating ''Halo 2'' counterpart. Fortunately these factors are balanced by a smaller clip and more reticle bloom relative to the DMR.
** Likewise, the Plasma Pistol's power has been significantly increased, even more so than it originally was in ''Halo: Combat Evolved''. Granted, its rate of fire still pales in comparison to the first game's incarnation, but it still does as much raw damage as the DMR or Pistol.
** In ''ODST'', the Spiker was completely useless because you couldn't dual wield it. Now, it has bite. A LOT of bite.
** The Sniper Rifle is ''actually'' an anti-materiel weapon now![[note]]The AM for "anti-materiel" has been in the various rifle models' designations since the first game, but their shots always inexplicably bounced off vehicles.[[/note]] Who woulda thunk? You can now take out a tank by shooting it in the treads/thrusters ([[SnipingTheCockpit or its driver by shooting off the cockpit canopy]]), and the gun can generally three-shot most light vehicles, including Banshees.
* ThereAreNoTherapists: Averted; several members of Noble Team have undergone treatment for PTSD, though Kat refuses it. [[EstablishingCharacterMoment Jorge even recommends]] a full psychatric workup for a civilian survivor of a brutal Covenant attack.
* TragicKeepsake: [[spoiler: Jorge's dogtags.]]
* UnplannedManualDetonation: [[spoiler: The Slipspace drive used to blow up the supercarrier.]]
* UnexpectedGameplayChange: Part of "Long Night of Solace" is a space flight simulator similar to ''Videogame/WingCommander''.
* UniqueEnemy: The Gueta in "Nightfall".
* UnwinnableByDesign: [[spoiler: The PlayerCharacter's post-credits LastStand against the Covenant.]]
** [[spoiler: Though with some help in co-op from a friend running around the level while you fight, you can technically go on forever.]]
* UnwinnableByMistake: A bug with the elevators can cause you to get stuck in a tower in "New Alexandria".
* UselessAccessory: Armor customization lets you add extra armor, [[BadassBandolier bandoliers]], pouches, and other unusual things that are purely asthetic and don't affect gameplay in the slightest.
* VideoGameCrueltyPunishment:
** Killing a civilian results in your character's instantaneous demise. Fortunately, civilians have a crazy amount of health and are completely immune to explosives to prevent this from happening by accident during the "Exodus" mission. Unless you accidentally land a headshot.
** However, this is completely averted with regards to your fellow troopers. In all the previous ''Halo'' games, you took significant extra damage when shot by a marine, which was implemented to make sure you lost if you decided to be a jerk and turn against them. This is no longer the case in ''Reach'', allowing you to slaughter entire platoons of human forces if you choose to.
* VirtualPaperDoll: There are '''lots''' of armor options.
* WarIsHell: Surprisingly, considering the subject matter, the game drives it home without getting {{Anvilicious}} about it.
* WeAllDieSomeday: [[spoiler: During Jorge's HeroicSacrifice.]]
-->'''Noble Six:''' That's a one-way trip.
-->[[spoiler:'''Jorge]]:''' We all make it sooner or later.
* WeWinBecauseYouDidNot: [[spoiler: The Covenant never got their hands on the Forerunner artifact Halsey was studying, with the information Cortana translated making it to the ''Pillar Of Autumn''.]]
* WeaponOfChoice:
** Carter: [[BoomHeadshot Designated Marksman Rifle]]
** Kat: [[HandCannon Magnum]]
** Jun: SniperRifle
** Emile: [[ShortRangeShotgun Shotgun]], [[KukrisAreKool Kukri]]
** Jorge: [[MoreDakka Heavy Machine Gun]]
** Noble Six: Varies between the Assault Rifle and Designated Marksman Rifle, and for one level, the Pistol.
* WatchingTroyBurn: Toward the end of the conflict, it becomes clear to even the protagonist that humanity is not simply losing the battle of Reach, but have already lost. Several sectors of the planet are already being glassed at that point, the weather is becoming more extreme due to the added energy, and the sea level is rising with the melting ice caps.
* WaveMotionGun: You eventually take control of a Mass Driver cannon, which is the most powerful weapon any player can personally control in any ''Halo'' game.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse:
** [[spoiler:The game leaves Jun's fate unresolved; his absence from the reprint of ''Literature/HaloFirstStrike'' would imply he died defending CASTLE with Red Team, but both WordOfGod and Creator/ThreeFourThreeIndustries-era media have indicated that he actually survived Reach.]]
** Sara Sorvad, the young woman you rescue at the end of the first mission, has a unique character model and gets just enough screen time that you suspect she could have a role later on in the plot. She's never seen again, and is dismissed as "irrelevant" by Halsey in her only other mention. Word of God is that she was originally intended to have become Noble Team's science adviser.
** Colonel Urban Holland, Noble Team's C.O. just drops off the face of the planet after ordering Noble Team to revisit and demolish Sword Base at the end of "New Alexandria". No one ever says anything even hinting towards his fate.
* WhileRomeBurns: Club Errera in "New Alexandria", after you hit a hidden switch, has a Brute DJ playing "Never Surrender" from the ''{{VideoGame/Halo 2}}'' OST, a;; while the city is under siege, with the Grunts dancing to it as well. As an additional EasterEgg, there's a switch on the roof that changes the song to "Siege of Madrigal".
* WorthIt: An achievement in this game for getting a Double Kill from the grave is called "Totally Worth It".
* WrongGenreSavvy: In the "New Alexandria" mission, there's a panicking trooper hiding in a corner (a homage to similar characters seen in ''VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved'', ''{{VideoGame/Halo 3}}'', and ''VideoGame/Halo3ODST''). If you stop to listen to him, he goes on about how he's heard that if a Grunt bites you, you turn into a Grunt (the marines in ''Combat Evolved'' and ''3'' at least were referring to the Flood, who ''would'' turn you into one of them if they killed you).
* YankTheDogsChain: Noble Team simply ''can't'' catch a break.
* YouAreNumberSix: You're primarily referred to as Noble Six, and the other members of Noble are often referred to by their team number as well.
* ZergRush: Starting off slowly, the game soon features more and more Covenant arriving on Reach to the point where there is nothing any player can do to stop the onslaught. In more than one section all you can do is hold a position for a time and then run away.
----

''Spartans never die...they're just waiting to respawn.''