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We trade one villain for another.
High Prophet of Truth: I. Am. Truth! The voice...of the Covenant!
Arbiter Thel 'Vadam: And must be silenced!
Halo 3

Whether it's fighting the bad guys, listening to the dialogue, or just staring at the background, Halo is filled with awesome.


  • The final levels of Halo and Halo 3 in which you're desperately driving your Warthog as the entire ring is disintegrating around you - especially in Halo when you have the Covenant and Flood fighting each other all around you.

Halo: Combat Evolved

  • Turns out Keyes can ride Covenant Dropships (albeit with assistance from Cortana), and fairly good at it too! As demonstrated by flattening two Hunters just after un-docking.
  • The beach assault on Silent Cartographer. Charging up the beach with a dozen Marines behind you, gunning down the Covenant while the Halo theme blasts in the background....awesome.
  • Johnson is the king of CMOA quotes. One favorite is from Halo: Combat Evolved, when he's briefing his Marines on Legendary difficulty:
    Johnson: Men, we led those dumb bugs out in the middle of nowhere to keep them from getting their FILTHY claws on Earth. But, we stumbled on to something they're so hot over, that they're scrambling over each other to get it! Well, I don't care if it's God's own Anti-Sonuvabitch Machine, or a giant hula-hoop, we're not gonna let 'em have it! What we will let 'em have is a belly full of lead and a pool of their own blood to drown in! AM I RIGHT MARINES?!
    Marines: Sir, yes sir!
    Johnson: Mmh-hmm! Damn right I am. Now move it out!
  • From the Anniversary edition, the terminal in "Keyes". We already knew from The Flood that Keyes was resisting the Flood's efforts to take the data from him, but the terminal shows Keyes' resistance, it shows the pain and fear and sheer Body Horror of being integrated into the Flood, and it features the Gravemind taunting Keyes over and over about how the Flood have all the knowledge they need....but Keyes does not break.
    • Bit of a subversion in that while Keyes managed to keep a lot of data from the Flood and Gravemind, he did not keep them from obtaining Earth's location as he and we believed. "The Forerunner Saga" reveals the Flood/Gravemind knew the location of Earth well over 100,000 years prior to the events of the first game. Still no less awesome though.

Halo 2

  • "To give the Covenant back their bomb."
    Cortana: One question. What if you miss?
    Chief: I won't.
  • Everything Avery Johnson does during the last mission. Teaming up with the Arbiter is cool enough, but the best moment has to be when he opens the Temple door with repeated blasts from a hijacked Scarab, while sardonically commenting in between giant laser blasts, "KNOCK! KNOCK!".
    • To a San Antonio Spurs fan, even his name is a CMOA.
  • In the real-time demo: Chief and Cortana are battling their way through a war-torn city. They evade several patrols of grunts and Jackals, survive a drop-attack of Brutes, and manage to out-race a Phantom troop carrier. They come to a halt in sight of their target, a damaged Covenant cruiser. Suddenly pods rain down around them, and out pop five black-clad Special Ops Elites, each armed with one-hit-kill energy swords. Chief surveys the odds and drops one of his SMGs.
    Cortana: Betcha can't stick it.
    Chief pulls out a plasma grenade and primes it.
    Chief: You're on. (Fade to black)
  • The anniversary addition gives us a beautiful cinematic of a group of soldiers shot down in the city, and are approached by a Covenant ground team. Cue these seemingly-normal soldiers giving them an utter thrashing, taking no losses beyond the initial crash... Well, except for one of the soldier's helmets.
    • This squad's sergeant is Peter Stacker, who commanded the Marines who helped the Master Chief attack the Silent Cartographer in the first game and escaped Halo without any help from anyone else, simply showing back up as In Amber Clad's chief NCO during the Battle of Cairo station. Before that, he also escaped Reach.
  • What about Johnson's best quote in reply to 'Regret, regret...'
    Cortana: The message just repeats... 'Regret, regret, regret'.
    Miranda Keyes: Catchy. Any idea what it means?
    Johnson: "Dear humanity, we regret being alien bastards, we regret coming to earth, and we most definitely regret that the corps just blew up our raggedy-ass fleet!"
    Marines: OORAH!
    • To top it off, the title of the next chapter, which begins with your ship being knocked down, is "They'll Regret That Too".
    • Don't forget this gem on Legendary:
      Johnson: Usually, the good Lord works in mysterious ways. But not today! This here is 66 tons of straight-up, H.E-spewing dee-vine intervention! If God is love, then you can call me 'Cupid'!
      Cortana: Thanks for the tank. He never gets me anything.
      Johnson: Oh I know what the ladies like.
    • Same scene, different line on Heroic:
      Johnson: When I joined the corps, we didn't have any fancy shmancy tanks! We had sticks, two sticks! And a rock for the whole platoon! And we had to SHARE the rock! Buck up, boy! You're one lucky Marine!
    • Of course the section titles for that level are CMOA material, a good nomination being "Ladies Like Superior Firepower".
      • Johnson has a skull named after his badass quoting.
        Johnson: I would have been your daddy, but a dog beat me over the fence!
      • Of course, another shining example would be this quote:
        Johnson (in a Scarab in front of the core): Hey, bastard! Knock knock!
        Scarab: (tries to annihilated him with it's laser)
  • Not to mention getting onto the Scarab in the third level... Of course, they let you grab an effin' sniper and a rocket launcher first.
  • In "The Great Journey", the Arbiter comes across of group of Brutes stationed next to a group of holding cells. Inside of the cells are a couple of Hunters and a couple of Elite Councilors. The Arbiter has the option to quietly shoot out the force fields. You can guess what happens next.
    • Basically that whole level was a CMOA just for having friendly Hunters in it. As everyone knows, Hunters are a royal pain to kill when you're against them, so naturally it feels good to let the enemy be on the receiving end of that pain for a change. And one simple line seals this chapter as one of the greatest moments in gaming of all time.
      "The Hunters have come to our aid, Arbiter! They will fight by our side!"
  • That cable, I'm going to cut it. Apparently one of the three lines Halo 2 was framed around, the other one still in the game being I am a monument to all your sins. Also, very awesome.
    • It establishes the Arbiter as both Crazy Awesome and a foil to the Chief: rather than leave a deactivated bomb on his ship, the Chief goes into space and hurls it back at the enemy. Rather than go the long way around to try to catch a fugitive, the Arbiter sends the space station he's on into freefall.
    • When the soon-to-be Arbiter was about to receive the Mark of Shame:
      Tartarus: You seem to have drawn quite a crowd.
      Arbiter: If they came to hear me beg, they will be disappointed.
  • The closing lines just before the game's credits sequence:
    Lord Hood: Master Chief, you mind telling me what you're doing on that ship?
    Master Chief: Sir...finishing this fight.
  • Used both ingame and in the tech demo showed at a pre-release showing of the game, the awed statement of a pinned down Marine upon seeing who had come to back him up.
    When I asked for reinforcements... I didn't think they'd send a Spartan.
  • Cortana gets one of her own at the very end. As the Gravemind slithers aboard High Charity, flood forms filling the halls to the brim, he begins monolouging to Cortana, coming to a close when he basically tells her he will torture her for information in a very intimidating and scary way. And Cortana isn't impressed in the least.
    Gravemind: I will ask...and you will answer!
    (Cue Cortana appearing in the middle of the Floodmatter and tenticals, looking determined and not at all afraid)
    Cortana: (Sarcastically, but utterly calm) Alright...shoot.
  • Towards the end of "Gravemind", you stumble upon a huge fight between a group of Ultra Elites, Hunters and the Brutes. Cortana advises that you might want to sit this one out so they can kill each other, but you'll find it hard to sit still and not join the fray once an instrumental version of Breaking Benjamin's "Blow Me Away" starts playing. Sadly, the track got replaced in the Anniversary edition, but with the press of a button you can get the original experience by switching to the original Xbox version.

Halo 3

  • Taking down the Prophet of Truth, while fighting side-by-side with the Flood.
    "I am Truth! The voice....of the Covenant!"
    "And so, you must be silenced."
    • And before that, sighting the Flood and having a green targeting reticule. Pure. Awesome. To put into perspective, this is the very last push to stop Truth, and the Gravemind forges a truce with Chief and the Arbiter to stop the Rings from firing. Cue an entire section consisting of you slaughtering the last of Truth's forces, with the Flood as your allies!
  • What about the fight between the TWO SCARABS? You get to ride in the little-used Hornet, drop into the Scarab, shoot out the energy core, and watch as it blows up fantastically...and THEN, you do it again. And all the while, some of the games most awesome music is playing, leading to pure, gut-wrenching awesome.
    • What makes it even more awesome is when you enter the hornets just as the music reaches its climax. Two huge war-machines slamming into the ground just as "One Final Effort" takes its most spectacular turn: "Dun, dununa, dundundunununa...". Heck, one even roars at you (they're basically giant hunters, really, which makes it even more amazing).
      • It's also the ways you can take down the Scarabs that add. Either jump in a Hornet's cockpit and shoot the Scarab's power core, jump on as a passenger and airdrop in, or grab a ground vehicle and jump from a ramp onto the Scarab.
      • But there are other options... I heard of one story about a guy who took down a Scarab by shooting it with a Hornet, but was badly damaged, and being pursued by two Banshees. What does he do? Slam the Hornet into the second Scarab's power core, taking out the shield. The Banshees fire their FRG's, and they blow up the Hornet, destroying the core. Then before he hits the ground, he hijacks a Ghost and goes to town on the stragglers.
      • Following this, the players get to find out what is Cortana's plan to defeat the Flood once and for all. As Chief and Arbiter follow an image of her and activate a terminal, they look as a familiar ring structure rises from the centre of the Ark and a rendition of the main theme plays. It becomes clear to Chief what is Cortana's plan is and after spending most of the trilogy preventing the firing of a Halo, players get to fire one now and since the Ark is located at the edge of the galaxy, the other arrays will not be activated.
      • It should be noted that the entirety of the level "The Covenant" counts as this. This is the Covenant's Last Stand against humanity. It is the final major land battle in the Human-Covenant war, and the Covenant throw everything they have left at you, with the crew of Forward Unto Dawn doing likewise. Appropriately, it has more total forces and more variety of vehicles than virtually any other battle in the series. The music "One Final Effort" plays, and then as aforementioned, the Covenant send two scarabs against you.
  • "Now the gate has been unlatched, headstones pushed aside. Corpses shift and offer room, a fate you must abide!" You knew it was coming, you knew he would turn on you just as soon as Truth was dead but the speech, the Arbiter and the Chief going back to back and the massive evil tentacles raising up from the bottomless pit just completed it so much.
  • Any time you get to kill a Scarab is CMOA material.
  • The Gravemind gets a crowning moment of its own in the Terminals on Legendary difficulty, which include transcripts recorded by Mendicant Bias, a Forerunner AI built specifically to eliminate the Gravemind. The transcripts show how, through simple and basic logic, the Gravemind made the AI programmed to kill it switch sides and try to wipe out the Forerunner.
    • Offensive Bias gets one shortly (storyline-wise) thereafter when he lures Mendicant into a perfect trap. He mentions throwing around battleships like fighters, and doing things to the laws of physics that would drive his crews mad if they were still alive. Please note that Mendicant's first move in the battle is a Zerg Rush.
    • Mendicant Bias gets one himself in the final terminal, only accessible on Legendary:
      "You don't know the contortions I had to go through to follow you here, Reclaimer. I know what you're here for. What position do I take? Will I follow one betrayal with another?"
      "You're going to say I'm making a habit of turning on my masters. But the one that destroyed me long ago, in the upper atmosphere of a world far distant from here, was an implement far cruder than I. My weakness was capacity - unintentional though it was! - to choose the Flood. A mistake my makers would not soon forgive. But I want something far different from you, Reclaimer. Atonement."
      "And so here at the end of my life, I do once again betray a former master. The path ahead is fraught with peril. But I will do all I can to keep it stable - keep you safe. I'm not so foolish to think this will absolve me of my sins. One life hardly balances billions. But I would have my masters know that I have changed. And you shall be my example."
  • One simple exchange:
    Elite Major: Brute ships! Staggered line! Ship Master! They outnumber us three to one!
    Shipmaster Rtas 'Vadum: Then it is an even fight.
    • That one line proves beyond any and all doubt just how badass the Elites are (in case you're guessing, the Elites completely thrash the Brutes).
    • To put it in context, though, it had been the Sangheili's job to fly and command the Covenant fleets for thousands of years. The Sangheili Commander was just delighted the battle was more even this way - without the numerical advantage it would have been just a mere Curb-Stomp Battle against the less experienced Brutes.
  • Even a comparatively minor character like Gunnery Sgt. Reynolds gets one, telling a Brute interrogating him, under heavy torture, to "Kiss...My...Ass". Of course, he is voiced by Nathan Fillion. Reynolds was being held in the air by that Brute... by his throat. The fact that he was able to breathe is impressive in and of itself.
  • One moment that's not really attributed to one character - Miranda's frigate coming in to land after you clear out the LZ on the Ark. Watching Forward Unto Dawn grow from a speck on the horizon... and keep growing... very fast... until the thousands of tonnes of metal grinds to a halt hovering above your head, and the turbulence from it's passage sends your Warthog rolling like tumbleweed. It can even pick up a Scorpion tank. The music that accompanies the scene really ties it up together. Triumphant doesn't even begin to describe it.
    • Then, immediately afterward, when you get to mount up on a Scorpion tank:
      Marine: Tank beats Ghost...tank beats Hunters....tank beats everything! I could do this all day!
      • That scene is made even more awesome if you manage to give the four marines riding your tank Fuel Rod Guns.
  • Master Chief. Upside down tank. The ability to right any flipped vehicle. Not only is it a CMOA for Master Chief, but also both the player (for flipping the tank in the first place), and the tank. (It bounces around hysterically after Chief throws it some 10 yards.
    • Flipping a tank apparently isn't that big a deal in the Halo universe, as many types of characters can do it. However....see below.
    • "Press RB to...Wait. What? How did you do that?!" -If you use a glitch to flip over the LARGEST MOVING VEHICLE IN THE GAME, the ELEPHANT.
  • Multiplayer, Sandtrap map. Make the Elephant fly.
  • Towards the end of Cortana, after just rescuing Cortana, she asks the Chief his plans to get off of High Charity. Which, need I remind you, is wall-to-wall Flood. Chief's reply:
    Thought I'd try shooting my way out. Mix things up a little.
    • Even better when Cortana decides to get a bit of revenge on the Gravemind by talking the Chief through blowing up High Charity.
    • Equal part Awesome and Nightmare Fuel is how the Gravemind has an epic Villainous Breakdown where it just roars in anger after you recover Cortana and it realizes you have the mean to end it forever. You just beat an Eldritch Abomination on its own turf.
  • The end cutscene of "The Storm". Expecting, like most things by the UNSC in the games, a little piddly assault by some Longsword fighters, but no, not just Longswords... three fricking starships rumble over your head!. That was unexpected, to say the least. We'll overlook the fact that really they did bugger all damage and merely served to activate the shiny portal of doom in favor of the sheer awesomeness. The music certainly helps.
  • Whether you like Guilty Spark or not, you have to admit that his ability to take on Master Chief without any problem was just awesome.
  • Miranda Keyes' rescue of Johnson. It doesn't work, but that it does not make it any less awesome.
  • The beginning of the the mission "The Covenant" which shows both UNSC and Elite dropships in formation to make one final strike against the Covenant. The music only makes it better.
  • If you manage to pull it off, having Johnson ride along with you during the final escape, especially if he manages to man the machine gun.
  • This is incredibly understated, but at the end of Floodgate, in the cutscene where the Elites and the UNSC are prepping to move to the Ark, you get a bit where a squad of Elites and a mix of Marines and ODS Ts are staring each other down. Johnson casually walks up to the Elite squad with an armful of covenant weapons, grabs another one right under them, and doesn't even flinch when the Elites take offense with it and stand up. The part that's awesome is that the Marines instantly stand up in response, fully ready to take on the physical equal of a Spartan in hand to hand combat to back up one of their own.

Halo Wars

  • Captain Cutter and Serina at the conclusion, flying the Spirit of Fire to safety. As Serina says, "Threading a needle while accelerating around an exploding star while inside a planet that's falling apart? Sure, why not?" She may have been sarcastic, but she then proceeded to do just that.
  • In the cutscene "Monsters". Just Watch it:
    • The fight between the Spartans and Honor Guards playing out while the music provides even more awesomeness.
    • Also a CMOA for Forge when you consider that Elites are as strong as Spartans.
    • One for Red Team as well when you consider that those Elites were probably Honor Guards.
  • One of the Spartans has a victory quote that drips with pure awesome.
  • The ultimate infantry upgrade on the UNSC side in Wars if you're playing as Captain Cutter? I'll let the announcer say it:
    ODST, researched.
    • It must be said, ODST in Wars are awesome in their own. Mainly due to the ability to drop them to any point of the battlefield you have line of sight to from freaking orbit. When one lone Warthog can effectively spawn a Zerg Rush of regenerating infantry... yeaaahhh...
  • You've seen how unstoppable Scarabs can be in Halo 2 and 3. And now you can turn the tables whenever you're playing the Covenant. If you can get one of these on the field, the match is pretty much over.
  • Many of Forge's actions, but the most memorable is when he wanted to talk with the Arbiter as "man to freak" twice. The second time he talked The Freak to death.
    • To clarify, he takes on an Arbiter man-to-man and wins. By stabbing the Arbiter with his combat knife so he can impale him with the guy's own energy sword. Badass Normal doesn't even begin to describe John Forge.

Halo 3: ODST

  • Three words, one ad: "We Are ODST".
    • The trailer is a short 2 minute 30+ second video detailing a single man's journey, named Tarkov in the trailer, from recruit to soldier. The music in the background, now called The Politics and the Life just adds to the intensity and harshness Tarkov went through.
    • Meta-Awesome: It is directed by Rupert Sanders, who later went on to direct Snow White and the Huntsman and Ghost in the Shell. Not bad.
  • Officer Branley gets one in his opening appearance. At first, just some cop driving the commissioner. Then when Kinsler starts trying to rape Sadie he pulls the car over, gets out, walks around to the back, and drags Kinsler out of the car when he punches the bastard, twice! An Establishing Character Moment if there ever was one.
  • The final battle. An insane three-versus-a-metric-buttload killfest with rockets, hammers, and an engineer providing you with energy shields.
    • Look at it this way: you are not playing an augmented Supersoldier, nor a Proud Warrior Race Guy. You are a fragile human. A human that is part of an elite group of soldiers, but a human nonetheless. Compared to the Chief and Arbiter, your melee attacks aren't as strong, and you can't take as much damage. It's nightfall, and you're on your own, relegating most of your tactics to sneak attacks and hit-and-run battles. But once the Engineer is by your side, all that goes out the window. With energy shields, and two more allies, now the shoe is on the other foot.
  • An Engineer lighting the cigar of none other than Sergeant Johnson in the epilogue cutscene.
  • When the gravity hammer-wielding Brute Chieftain is about to finish off Romeo, the rest of the squad kicks its ass just in time. This includes Buck leaping onto its back, the other two tackling it, with Buck finally stabbing it in the neck with his knife. Quickly followed by "Get this thing off of me." Awesome.
    • This deserves reiterating. In a series where Puny Earthlings is in full effect, Buck killed a Brute Chieftain by stabbing him in the throat. AWESOME.
      • Stabbing doesn't really express what he did. He was up there carving it's throat out for a good 9-10 seconds with a pretty sizable bowie knife.
    • The Stand just before this deserves a mention also. Just five dudes (Romeo, Buck, Mickey, Dutch and some NMPD guy) with the heaviest weapons in the entire game against wave after wave of banshees, phantoms and infantry. Even better when watched at a slight distance in theater mode. And when that scene starts, Autobots, Rock Out! comes into full effect. Hell yes.
      • Also, props to the NMPD guy. Generally, police officers are a step below normal soldiers in the Red Shirt department, but this guy manages to keep up with one of the most badass ODST squads known, and survive the hellish onslaught of Covenant troops and air power. If he hadn't been caught off-guard and killed when the Hammer Chieftain dropped down right next to him at the battle's end, who knows how much farther he could've made it?
  • "Well, what can I say? It was a hell of a night."
  • A Brute Captain gets one: "Courage, warriors! Take this hill or die upon it!"
    • Usually interrupted halfway through by a hail of 7.62mm from the stationary turret aimed right at its face.
  • The Rookie gets one. A lone, regular human, surviving on their own in a Covenant-infested city for the whole game, in the process killing hundreds of Covenant troops (including dozens of Brutes) in just a few hours? Even Dare says that he's good.
  • A regular NMPD officer gets this. She's in the headquarters talking to Dare, who wants her to get some people into the Superintendent's data center. The woman replies that she can't do that, and Dare apparently threatens to have her fired. The woman laughs and says the following.
    Woman: (laughs) There's a Covenant ship hovering outside my office window, there's a sniper in my lobby, and you're threatening to have me fired? Good luck! (slams phone down).
  • Jonas is a Badass Normal. One CMOA has him sitting on a car to stop it. Keep in mind the man is 6'10" and 500 pounds.
  • Kinzler getting his long-due comeuppance when Branley (per Sadie's instructions) successfully rallies the crowd, allowing them to overpower the corrupt cops guarding Kinzler's train, with Vergil ensuring the train doesn't leave, and Sadie simply telling Vergil to open the doors, a fierce glare in her eyes.

Halo: Reach

  • Jorge's and Emile's Dying Moments of Awesome - manually detonating a slipspace bomb that annihilates a Covenant Supercarrier, and killing an Elite right after it impaled him, respectively, and Noble Six using a mass driver to one-shot a Covenant Battlecruiser.
    • Actually, given Carter's kamikaze Pelican run into a Scarab and Noble Six's final moments against all those Elites, EVERY member of Noble Team has a Dying Moment of Awesome - except Kat and Jun.
  • The beginning of Tip of the Spear. You are probably embarking on one of the largest UNSC offensives in the games! AND IT IS AWESOME, especially when a pair of ships come in after you destroy an anti-air turret and start shooting down at the larger battle below you.
  • Another one, but this time with a random Marine: at the beginning of Long Night Of Solace (the space level) when you get in the base you see a dead Ultra Elite with an energy sword. An Army Trooper kicks the body, and it's implied he killed it.
    • Catherine-B320's role in Long Night of Solace is way, way underrated. For the SPARTANs to go from the surface to orbit, blow some shit up and get back down in just a few hours must be one hell of military maneuver. It goes to show that being a SPARTAN is also about using the brain alongside the muscles.
  • The Package. Possibly NOBLE Team's finest moment; What started as a straightforward torch-and-burn op deep under ONI Sword Base's remains by a four man team turned into a massive slugfest against attacking Covenants, with help from four automated turrets, to protect what NOBLE Team are struggling so hard and dying on Reach for: Dr.Halsey, Cortana and the information regarding Forerunner technology. This battle, this single moment in time, ultimately allows humans to turn the tide of the war.
  • Objective: Survive. Mission Briefing: Spartans Never Die.
    • At that point it seems like THE ENTIRE COVENANT get down there just to kill Noble Six. Hyper-lethal indeed.
  • Emile: At the end, when he yells defiantly at any Covenant attackers, then gets stabbed in the back by an Elite with an Energy Sword - this doesn't stop him, as he angrily turns around and stabs the Elite back in the neck.
  • Carter-A259. The curt, stoic NOBLE leader is so darn cool and collected even when Reach is tearing apart all around him and NOBLE members not being particularly nice to each other. Case in point...
    After Jorge's Heroic Sacrifice
    Noble Six: Sorry I came alone.
    Carter-A529: Make him proud, son. *Walks off calmly*
  • Several of the dialogue characters get in "Firefight" also count. Sergeant Stacker, the easiest character to unlock, has some real gems.
    *Kills an enemy with a headshot* "Closed casket for you."
    [Kills an Elite with a headshot] "all those years of braces for nothing..."
  • The "If They Came to Hear Me Beg" achievement is automatically going to be this. A reference to the above line from Halo 2, it requires the player to survive an otherwise lethal fall by landing on top of an Elite and killing them with their knife using the game's new melee kill mechanic. One video on Rooster Teeth's Fails of the Weak series (originally intended to showcase people doing stupid or awesome things in Reach but later expanded to the entire Halo series and then any game) features a Spartan having a Banshee shot out from under them and surviving the resulting free fall by landing on an Elite who just happened to be running past and killing them. The best part? This was during an "Invasion" multiplayer match, and that Elite was another player.
  • The hidden radio conversations on several of the multiplayer maps cover the last stand of Beta Red, a team of Spartan IIs that managed to hold off two Covenant armored divisions. until they are caught in the blast radius of a MAC barrage. Doubles as a Tear Jerker, as only a handful of people will ever remember their sacrifice.
  • At the ending of the "Sword Base" mission, Noble Team is called to speak to Dr. Halsey after they've seen the Covenant off. After Winter Contingency and everything else, Halsey decides to be an Ungrateful Bastard due to every member of Noble being a SPARTAN-III except Jorge. After she threatens to have Cat arrested for accessing classified information without permission, Carter shuts Halsey up immediately by threatening to toss her in the brig along with Cat, as interfering in the defense of a UNSC world where Winter Contingency has been declared is a crime.

Halo 4

  • The Master Chief has said a lot of badass things: "Finishing this fight", "I need a weapon", "To give the Covenant back their bomb". And yet, these all pale in comparison to his response to a superior officer ordering him to hand over Cortana for termination:
    Del Rio: ordering you...TO SURRENDER THAT AI!
    (Chief looms over Del Rio)
    Chief: No, sir.
    • The crew of the Infinity, Lasky in particular, deserve one for unanimously pulling a Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right! on Captain Del Rio. The guards who are supposed to be guarding a Pelican and arresting you? They wave you on, direct you to some heavy weaponry and telling you to kick some ass. Fleetcom then gets one for recognizing what an idiot Del Rio was, and locking him up for it.
  • The awakening of the Didact, if for nothing else than for sheer scale.
  • A villainous one, the Didact with the flick of a wrist reducing the bloody damn Master Chief himself to a helpless sob at the mercy of the Warrior-Servant... granted, he was employing the use of a constraint field to telekinetically lift him, but still remains significantly badass.
    Didact: Time was your ally, human. But now it has abandoned you. The Forerunners have returned. This tomb is now yours!
  • Cortana pinning down the Didact allowing Chief the opportunity to finish him off with a grenade to the chest.
  • The entire first half of the final mission. This doesn't do it Justice. The Entire Level is just one big long CMOA for the game itself. You fly a Broadsword Fighter (Which is basically a souped up Saber), fly it along the Diadact's ship gunning down all the Defenses he can throw at you, then you reach the end of the trench run segment. The level then opens up into a nice circular area and above you is the Infinity, all the while you have Neil Davidge's score blasting out the most hopeful and awesome score.
    • The second half ain't something to forget about either, for that matter.
  • After eleven years of pleading and begging from the fans, the Pelican is finally legitimately playable. (only in campaign however)
  • At the end of the Shutdown level, featuring the aforementioned Pelican, the Didact escapes from Requiem, along with several Liches. Chief hitches a ride on one of them by skydiving onto it, and slamming his knife into the side. The Lich he's on flies out of the portal, and he's told to get below deck because of an imminent slipspace jump. What does he do? He says that there's no time, and fires his thruster pack to get behind a part of the Lich. In essence, Chief is the only character who has entered and exited slipspace while OUTSIDE a ship. Badass at it's finest there.
  • The Gravity Hammer's sole appearance in the campaign, and wielding it to ruthlessly massacre entire scores of enemies like they had been made of paper.
  • The Didact's Badass Boast in the Epilogue, also doubling as a Motive Rant for why he was so bent on targeting humanity.
  • At the beginning of the second level, Requiem, you walk from the wreckage of the Dawn and several Covenant ships into a small cave system. A little ways in, you see an opening with light streaming through, walk through it... and you find yourself standing on a cliffside, greeted with the sight of a Forerunner world in all its glory, massive, shining towers floating over huge complexes covering the ground, shifting and extending miles into the air, where a roof covered in glittering blue lines is just visible between the clouds, all backed with the most glorious music ever heard in a game. Just... perfect.
  • Usually in Halo games, getting to ride the Scorpion is nothing but awesome, since you can utterly go to town on the hapless Covenant. Getting it in Infinity is no exception, when John not only gets that, but an entire Spartan-IV assault team under his command to stage a supersolder assault to save the Infinity, complete with music blazing, and the tanks firing nose sounding so much more like someone trapped an artillery piece to your back. The AI Spartans are no slouches either, even on Legendary! It doesn't stop once you reach the Infinity, when you get to jump into a freakin Mantis, and mow down the Covenant inside the ship itself!
  • In the mission "Midnight", the Infinity facing off against Didact's warship Mantle's Approach. The epitome of each species' military might and technological strength, facing off to determine the fate of earth.
  • For anyone who disliked Del Rio, he gets a passing mention by Lasky in Midnight:
    John-117: "Sierra 117 to UNSC Infinity. Captain Del Rio, do you read?"
    Thomas Lasky (COM): "Chief, it-it's Lasky. Is that you?"
    John-117: "Affirmative, Sir. Where's the Captain?"
    Lasky (COM): "Fleet Com didn't take too kindly to his abandoning you on Requiem. I'm afraid I'll have to do."
    John-117: "The Didact's got the Composer. We're in a Broadsword carrying a HAVOK-grade payload, on approach to deliver it."
    Lasky (COM): "Let's see if we can grease the wheels for you. All ships! Prepare to engage!"

Spartan Ops

  • At one point the Infinity exits slipspace in the middle of a Covenant fleet. It plows through a Covenant Cruiser, blowing its shields and ripping it in half.
    For too many years, humanity was on the backfoot. Reacting to threats, rather than preventing them. Rest of the galaxy was bigger than us. Stronger than us. We were mice, hiding in the shadows, hoping the giants would not see us. No more. Humanity is no longer on the defense. We are the giants now.
    • Immediately afterward, it drops not just a fighter wing or two, but an entire damn fleet from it's hangars and immediately goes to town on the Covenant. Why is this so awesome? Because for the entire Human/Covenant war the UNSC was routinely slaughtered in space combat. Now the shoe is on the other foot, and damn is it awesome.
    • Two words describe the size and awesomeness of the Infinity in this scene: underslung frigates.
  • During the third chapter of episode one Crimson and Majestic are both attacking similar structures, and Palmer proposes a race to see who accomplishes their objective first. If Fireteam Crimson wins DeMarco complains that Crimson didn't meet the same sort of resistence they did; Palmer says that Crimson actually had more Prometheans to fight. You can even do this alone.
  • Crimson playing Big Damn Heroes multiple times in Episode 2. First for some scientists and later for a squad of marines. Too bad about Gagarin.
  • Sarah saving the Infinity by kicking the artifact.
  • Episode 3, Chapter 4 ends on the player equipped with a Mantis standing on the beach of Valhalla fending off wave after wave of Phantoms and Banshees pouring from a cruiser until a missile strike can take it down. With four players, it is simply incredible.
  • Episode 5, Chapter 5. You have to try and fine Spartan Thorne, who was transported down to Requiem in the same manner as Dr. Glassman. After killing half a Covenant platoon, you find he's not there. Next thing you know, the other half of a platoon drops down to kill you. Shrug-worthy? Not really. Roughly 80% of the platoon are HUNTERS.
  • Thorne holding his own while unarmed and only partially armored against a contingent of Elites sent to capture him. About seven greet him. Only two are carrying him to the Elite's FOB.
    • Glassman having the cajones to run while the Elites are distracted, and knowing full well that he's wearing a vest full of explosives.
    • Thorne beating off the two Elites he hadn't already killed, ripping off Glassman's grenade-vest, and chucking it at the horde of Elites rushing them.
  • All of Episode Seven for Crimson. They basically take back The Infinity alone.
  • Thorne and Gek's impressive throw down match. Majestic Team killing Gek and saving Thorne is one for them as well.
  • Episode 9 shows that DeMarco can be quite the badass with an energy sword - with Majestic covering him, he cuts down at least three Elites and a few Knights with little effort.
  • Halsey keeping half of a map to every piece of Forerunner technology in the galaxy from falling into Jul M'dama's possession, and throwing it to Majestic Team while being carried away by Jul.

Forward Unto Dawn

  • An Elite Zealot corners the remaining Hastati members. It laughs, draws back its sword... then gurgles and slumps to the ground, Chief behind him with a blood-covered knife. Best Big Damn Heroes in the series.
  • In Part 5, Chief confronts a massive Hunter alone with an Assault Rifle while Hastati flees. Minutes later, Chief quietly appears. His only comment on the encounter is to ask for ammo, as he wasted his on the Hunter. Minutes later, the Hunter's partner tracks down the squad. While Lasky distracts it, Chief leaps onto its shield, climbs onto its back, jams a grenade deep into the cluster of eels in its midsection, and backflips off. Seconds later, the Hunter blows apart. A surviving Lekgolo eel squirms pitifully on the ground, before Chief's boot smashes it into a pulp.
    • Lasky's distraction shouldn't be discounted, either. This is a kid who had one foot out the door on a potential medical discharge for a severe allergic reaction to the chemicals used in cryosleep, something he has to deal with his entire career. When the Chief needs a distraction, he comes up with a plan on the spot while holding Silva's tags, then psyches himself up by yelling "Axios!" and willingly running into the line of fire to buy the Chief some time. Tough kid.
  • Silva gets one. She picks a Carbine rifle, and despite not knowing how to use it, snipes a Jackal. She is the first of the cadets to kill a member of the Covenant.
    • She later manages to kill two Jackals by shooting through that little hole in their shields, while on a moving Warthog.

Halo 5: Guardians

  • In a pre-release gameplay trailer, The introduction of the Warden Eternal. Declaring itself the "keeper of the Domain and her secrets" after teleporting in front of Fireteam Osiris, Jameson Locke orders his Spartans to take the Warden down. Not only does the Warden No-Sell Fireteam Osiris' weapons, but the Warden also floors four Spartan-IVs with relative ease with a hardlight blade. When the Warden says that "your passage is denied", he means it.
  • The opening cutscene shows the havoc four trained SPARTANs can do on a battlefield, highlighted by Vale casually taking on two energy sword-wielding Elites and eliminating them effortlessly. Bad. Ass.
    • To wit, Vale not only boards the Phantom, near effortlessly kills the crew - she hijacks the damn thing, ramming it into a Forerunner fighter, jumps off the crashing phantom and mows down the Forerunner soldier. All of this, and she isn't even out of breath! There's also Buck and Tanaka's frequent use of well-placed ground-pounds and Locke jumping over a Ghost, literally ripping the pilot out and letting the thing crash into the snow. All while in a full sprint, and towards the end, continuing combat while they were outrunning a crashing cruiser. Not bad for the 'new model' is it, Halsey?
    • Hell, the entire damn scene in general encapsulates everything the Spartans are. Powerful, fast, efficient, and nigh unstoppable Juggernauts. From drop to engagement, the above happens in under two minutes. And doubles as pretty much Halo's direct answer to the opening of Avengers: Age of Ultron.
  • Meanwhile, Blue Team's cinematic shows off Master Chief's Guile Hero tendencies by shooting through a Human spaceship's window, and allowing the Explosive Decompression to take care of the several energy sword-wielding Elites without lifting a finger (Blue Team using mag boots and thruster packs to prevent them from being spaced.)
    • The entire rest of the mission counts as well, with Blue Team never once freaking out or raising their tone beyond professionalism except when concerned about the Chief falling down a hole and having a brief episode from Cortana's visions. Not even when staring down Hunters. Which is topped off by wiping out a Covenant fleet via causing the ship they're on to have a meltdown when there's no way to recover the ship due to enemy numbers. And escaping just like the Chief escaped the Pillar of Autumn so long ago.
  • In mission 3's opening, Halsey begins flipping out when she realized Cortana was somehow still alive after Halo 4, and even more so when she finds out John knows about it somehow. Roland, the AI of the UNSC Infinity, keeps trying to get a word in and keeps getting cut off, until he finally shouts out and then verbally backhands Halsey over her sudden accusations that Cortana should be kept away from the Chief and trying to throw her own creation under the bus.
    Roland: Why is Cortana the problem? Because she didn't die when she was supposed to?!
  • After the massive buildup in the marketing of the confrontation between Chief and Locke, we finally get to see a short but sweet brawl between the two. Chief wins, but not without Locke cracking his visor and leaving a scar that sticks around.
    • Before that, the Chief had simply considered Fireteam Osiris a distraction not worth fighting. The reason the fight happened? Locke inadvertently pressed the Chief's one Berserk Button: he threatened Cortana. Cue Locke suddenly being designated a threat. Locke should honestly consider himself lucky that the Chief wasn't trying to kill him.
  • Thel 'Vadam, aka the Arbiter, is back. And he's still kicking as much ass as when we controlled him:
    • During the mission "Swords of Sanghelios", Fireteam Osiris is on a mad dash to extract Arbiter Thel 'Vadam from a losing battle with the Covenant remnant. By the time you reach the Arbiter, it turns out his own guards are simply standing down, as he wasn't in any danger. He had been dealing with the Covenant himself.
    Arbiter: For Sanghelios! *Stabs Covenant Elite*
    • Which he one-ups during the Battle of Sunaion, by taking on a Promethean Knight solo, tackling it and jamming the Prophet's Bane into its head. Then standing up and greeting Osiris with a casual how-do-you-do "Spartans".
    • And then he helps you plow through dozens of Prometheans troops, capped off with a battle against the Warden, ending the level. After Osiris leaves on the Guardian, you see him kill an Elite, and then he turns to his gathered troops and delivers a line, signifying that, yes, the Covenant is done.
    Arbiter: Hunt them to the last! Today, we extinguish the Covenant's light forever!
    • It's actually possible with the right AI for Arbiter to go mano-a-mano with the Warden and win.
  • In Halo 4, 343 allowed players to finally pilot the Pelican in combat during the campaign. How do they intend to top this in Halo 5? Simple:
    Locke: We are airborne in Forerunner Phaetons.
  • In previous Halo works, Monitors were either an annoyance who only provided the barest of help, or an active threat. But Halo 5 introduces Exuberant Witness, the first female-personality Monitor. Not only is she noticeably saner than Guilty Spark, not only does she immediately make it abundantly clear she intends to side with the humans against the Big Bad's plans to subjugate organic life, but she makes her first impression even better by warping in a Scorpion tank for you to use against the plentiful enemies of her introductory level.
  • The finale, where the only thing standing between Cortana getting away with a Cryptum that has Blue Team trapped inside and Spartan Jameson Locke is a measly relay node, smaller than the gravitational cores that Fireteam Osiris has been destroying for the past half an hour. According to 031 Exuberant Witness, all Osiris has to do is disrupt the energy field. Easy, right? Not when Cortana's Getaway Guardian is priming its Slipspace jump sequence, which involves a crescendo of shockwaves that have been known to destroy ENTIRE CITIES, and even bring a SPACE ELEVATOR to the point of critical damage. And Osiris braves the walk with each blast, their armor straining from the repeated blows, as Locke's armor readouts fizzle and almost seem to go NEGATIVE, until he finally manages to PUNCH the relay in the nick of time, giving Exuberant control back of the Genesis installation and letting her steal back the Cryptum from Cortana. BAD. ASS.
    • Exuberant doesn't simply steal back the Cryptum, she summons millions of Constructors from within Genesis itself to remove it - watching the ground beneath Cortana's Guardian collapse as these machines swarm towards it is awesome in itself.
      031 Exuberant Witness: I have control again!
      Cortana: What?! What are you doing? What happened?
      031 Exuberant Witness: Do you hear me?! I! HAVE! CONTROL AGAIN!
      Cortana: It is too late, the slipspace drives are activated. You can't-
      Vale: (as hordes of Constructors swarm towards Cortana's Guardian) Exuberant? What...
      031 Exuberant Witness: Constructors! This is a Builder facility after all. And I was installed by the Builders. I serve the Builders!
      Cortana: No. Stop it!
      031 Exuberant Witness: You took my installation! I will take something of yours! (the Cryptum detaches from the Guardian and begins to descend)
      Cortana: (as her Guardian disappears into slipspace) JOHN!
  • Halo 5 brought the Weapon Launching technique back from Halo: Combat Evolved. Basically, you throw a grenade in a manner that the explosion launches a weapon (like power weapons or an energy sword) straight across the map towards you. You are awarded a medal if you manage to pull it off.
    • Some players, especially Halo CE veterans, have practiced to the point that they can do this consistently.

Expanded Universe

  • That's not even counting how much awesome is in the novels. Anyone else remember Linda sniping Banshee pilots with ricochets off the inside of their own cockpits from kilometers off....while hanging upside down....and shooting one-handed?
    • The above example? The day after she is brought back to life.
    • Anytime Linda is sniping, it is a CMOA. She is never shown to miss a target, and generally nets one shot kills. Not to mention the fact that she apparently prefers to snipe from impossible positions. During the assault on the Unyielding Hierophant in Halo: First Strike, Linda gets into a hidden position, so that she can snipe without being found. Given the existence of thermal scanners, infrared scanners, and other high-tech gadgets, this seems difficult. So Linda suspends herself between a blazing white lighting fixture and a pitch-black thermal exhaust vent, masking both her visual image (trapped between blazing-white and pitch-black) and her thermal image, hanging in mid-air with very little to brace herself on... and then she snipes the Banshee pilots by bouncing bullets into their cockpits without destroying the Banshee itself.
    • And Kelly-087 luring several Sentinels into a trap, and stopping to flip one of them off. Even her teammates are impressed. This is after she dodges a laser blast.
      • And Will walking up to that Hunter and PUNCHING it to death... Nice.
    • The S-II's get a collective one in First Strike when they have to jump out of their Pelican in mid-flight, and basically survive what amounts to a skydive at five thousand feet without any parachutes. Also in 1,000 pounds of armor that was definitely NOT designed for that kind of use (this would bring their terminal velocity to about a third of the speed of sound).
    • It bears repeating; flipping off a Sentinel. That is all.
  • Marvin Mobuto in the novel The Flood. He was detached from his squad on the original Halo and Guilty Spark used him as the Reclaimer before the Master Chief, and he got far before he was killed. Doesn't sound impressive? He was a regular Marine wearing only the standard UNSC-issued ballistic body armor, and he was going through the Library. When the Flood finally killed him, his body was so thrashed and mangled they couldn't infect it. Hell, when the Master Chief himself finds what's left, he says (and I quote): "I didn't know you, Sarge, but I sure as hell wish I had. You must have been one hard-core son of a bitch."
  • Fall of Reach: a wounded Marine shoots down two Banshees with a rocket launcher from the back of a moving Warthog.
  • In Contact Harvest, the planetary A.I.s get a CMOA for using the defunct ground-to-orbit mass driver to take out a Covenant ship. Bear in mind that this is a FIXED mass driver.
  • In Ghosts of Onyx, The Elite commander comes up to a mortally wounded Kurt and says "One last fight demon. Then you will die and we will reopen to silver path." Kurt just laughs and says "Die? Don't you know, Spartans never die." Then he detonates the nukes.
    • In the same book, Will-043 took on two Hunters by himself and managed to rip one of them apart with his bare hands. He was unfortunately not as lucky in dealing with the second one.
  • Travelling back to the early days of Halo, the famous Keyes Loop of Fall of Reach: a puny UNSC Destroyer (485m) manages to, with one of the most brilliant, most balls-out ship maneuvers in the entire series, take down three Covenant ships (two frigates - 1000m - and a destroyer - 1500m) and scare a fourth (a light carrier - 1455m) into escaping. This is the move that got Jacob Keyes promoted to Captain and single-handedly boosted the morale of the entire local UNSC force.
    • Don't forget about the second space battle. A few hours later, a UNSC fleet arrived in time to face off against Covenant reinforcements. The lineup was 48 UNSC ships against 24 Covenant. Thanks to a refit and repair station absorbing a Covenant plasma torpedo volley, the UNSC fleet was able to divert all engine power to recharging their MAC guns. This allowed them to fire two volleys in rapid succession, destroying two-thirds of the Covenant fleet in one fell swoop. The two fleets then engaged in earnest, and after an eight hour battle, the Covenant retreated. The final casualty count was 18 Covenant ships destroyed vs 25 UNSC. While that may not sound impressive, one must consider that, due to the Covenant's vastly superior technology, the UNSC usually requires a three-to-one numerical advantage to even equal a Covenant fleet. For the UNSC to not only win the battle, but lose only seven more ships than the Covenant, is essentially a curb stomp battle.
  • Halo: Evolutions probably wins points for the most audacious moment towards the end. Admiral Cole goes to his (possible) not-quite death by luring a 200+ Covenant Fleet in close and then igniting a brown dwarf by nuking it repeatedly.
    • Or even earlier when Cole was still a junior officer, the fleet he was with had been ruined via nuke and everyone else on the bridge was killed. He sent a message to the insurgent Corvette offering to surrender his Destroyer, then right as they docked he fired a nuke from inside his hanger-bay into the open hanger-bay of the Insurrectionist ship. He then opened up the side missile ports aimed right at them and ordered the INSURGENTS to surrender, pulling off a metaphorical dramatic gun cock in the process. Bonus points for having forward thinking not seen since Ender.
  • Fall of Reach. The Cradle. When it blocks Covenant plasma salvos from hitting the UNSC battlegroup. And they don't launch any escape pods. The entire UNSC force there is stunned, then they really go to town on the Covenant. To clarify, the Cradle is a unarmed space station.
  • From the Landfall live-action videos. One involves a Marine tearing a spike grenade (which, in the video, is the size of a baseball bat) out of a wall, then chucking it into the air, hitting a Banshee in mid-flight as it passes by, blowing it away. There's also another with a Marine fearlessly facing down a charging Chieftain with a hammer, then firing a rocket launcher and blowing the Brute to pieces. Another gets pinned through the arm to a wall by a shot from a Brute Spiker and keeps fighting while he's being cut down, covering his squadmates and the medic who's trying to saw him off the wall.
  • In The Fall of Reach, the roughly eight-year old Spartans are dropped individually across a large wooded area. They manage to group up and take out a team of Marines and steal their Pelican dropship. Using rocks.
  • In The Fall of Reach, the Master Chief slaps away an anti tank missile in his first outing in with Cortana and the Mark V armor.
  • In First Strike, the Spartans that meet up with Dr. Halsey. They all have extensive injuries, and yet they were still on their feet and fighting. Let's put this in perspective- and keep in mind, these were all people who were up, walking, and actively engaging in combat while in these conditions:
    • Fred: Torn Achilles tendon, three cracked ribs,and contusions on both kidneys. And was deemed "fine".
    • Will: Cracked tibia and internal bleeding.
    • Vinh: Torn deltoid muscle, three broken fingers, and a herniated disk.
    • Isaac: Internal contusions, and both shoulders were dislocated and re-inserted incorrectly.
    • Kelly: Low blood pressure, high body temperature, moderate bleeding in her liver, and a completely collapsed right lung.
  • From Glasslands: Lucy punching Halsey full on in the mouth and speaking for the first time in years after getting fed up with Halsey's inability to act decently to the Engineers that treated her kindly and were the group's only chance to escape the Dyson sphere.
    • Dr. Halsey not frakking dying after getting punched in the face by an armored Spartan (or even getting seriously injured). Granted, Lucy was probably more frustrated than murderous (or Halsey would have lost her head), but this is still a genetically enhanced, cyborg Supersoldier punching a senior citizen in the face.
  • First Strike, when Admiral Whitcomb and Lieutenant Haverson lure an entire Covenant armada into getting blown up, using themselves as bait, which probably ended up being the only thing saving Earth from being overrun in Halo 2. For the record, they lured in over 500 ships, twelve survived.
  • Ghosts of Onyx, when Admiral Whitcombs Nova bomb explodes and destroys an entire Covenant fleet, and the planet below. The recording on the bomb:
    " This is the prototype NOVA bomb, the fusion of warheads encased in lithium triteride armor." When detonated, it compresses its fissionable material to neutron-star density, boosting the thermonuclear yield to hundredfold.I am Vice Admiral Danforth Whitcomb , UNSC military base Reach To the Covenant, you may be listening, you have a few seconds to pray to your damned heathen gods."
  • The Didact executing the Primordial. Bonus points for the method in which he does it: he causes something made to live forever to die of old age. Even more bonus points when it's pointed out that he basically just killed his own god.
    • Slight subverted given that we later find out the Primordial survived due to transferring it's essence into the Gravemind but still awesome.
  • We don't see Miranda do much Naval asskicking in the games, but Halsey's journal mentions that in her first engagement, she destroyed a Covenant destroyer while commanding an outdated and unarmed science vessel. By ramming it through the atmosphere of a nearby planet and into its surface while setting the engines to explode.
  • In First Strike, the Spec Ops Elite who decloaks and challenges the Master Chief to a duel. It shows the monumental amount of respect the Elites have for the Chief, even while cursing him as the "Demon."


Alternative Title(s): Halo Reach, Halo Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo Wars, Halo 3 ODST, Halo 4


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