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- The Halo theme. Now with face-melting guitar solos. Or a full orchestra and chorus.
- And then Unyielding came along to prove this theme did not require any of the above to ROCK.
- And then it got cranked up to eleven by Reclaimer, or "What happens to you take a kickass rock song playing to a battle, remix it, and then play to the second, larger battle immediately afterwards."
- "Greatest Journey", the most epic complete rendition of the Halo theme, serves as the background music for the final run of Halo 3. (It gets bonus points for throwing in "Under Cover of Night", a criminally underused piece from the first game, and some creepy Flood-type music.) It has a rival for the title of most "complete" rendition.
Halo: Combat Evolved
- "Devils... Monsters..." With an odd, irregular percussion beat that sounds as if someone derived it from the twitching spasms of a modern-day film zombie, and a panic-inducing violin composition that complements the unnatural drum beat, throwing in a few unexpected Scare Chords into the mix, there's a reason why this is played when you first encounter the Flood in combat.
- "Covenant Dance". The track itself mostly consists of percussion instruments played to a beat reminiscent to that of a tribal procession. The beat itself loops twice, the second loop adding a catchy electronic tune that is representative of the Covenant's technological superiority, and both loops end in the signature Halo theme's Ethereal Choir.
- "Drumrun". A rhythmic drumbeat that plays exclusively during The Maw. Most notable for being the track that plays during the first half of the iconic Warthog run.
- "The Long Run". Another rhythmic percussion beat that uses multiple instruments, both percussion and synthetic. This one being notable as it first plays on Assault on The Control Room, during the underground tunnel run with you leading a squad of marines on a Scorpion Tank.
- "Dust and Echoes", when the Halo is destroyed, depicted as an inhuman wail, then two mournful renditions of the Halo theme.
- "Unforgotten", which plays over the credits and occasionally in the menu, has become one of the most enduring songs from the game. There's just something about that piano and those strings. There is also a Reality Subtext to the theme, as the first thing that appears when the piece begins is an obituary for Dion Arroyo, the brother of one of the developers who was killed on September 11, 2003 in a car crash. Unforgotten, indeed.
- Heavy Price Paid. Just have a listen.. Very few songs really hit home how desperate the situation has become, and how everything is on the line. The title is very fitting; a heavy price has been paid, with many Elites being slaughtered, and a heavier price remains to be paid: the annihilation of every sentient being in the galaxy.
- "Peril" is a nice, calm piece which plays while the Master Chief is exploring Delta Halo.
- Earth City. An absolutely awesome piece that closes out the level "Metropolis" as In Amber Clad races to follow the Prophet of Regret's ship through a slipspace rupture that ends up engulfing New Mombasa.
- Though it doesn't have an actual name, the "Arbiter's Theme," which first plays when his armor is shown in an early cutscene and is used to signify the Elites doing heroic things throughout the rest of the game. It also plays during Halo 3's level "Floodgate" when the Arbiter's Special Forces team from the previous game returns to lend a helping hand.
- The soul-soothing In Amber Clad from Halo 2.
- Blow Me Away by Breaking Benjamin, at the climactic battle scene in one of the later levels. After a gameful of sweeping orchestras and choirs, it decided to ROCK OUT.
- That's the equally-impressive vocals version, but this is the version you hear as you're running the gauntlet of, oh, dozens of aliens doing their best to splatter each other into little chunks of goo.
- The best part of that song is how it crops up as you enter the room to a bunch of elites and brutes fighting, and then launches into the insane rock as two hunters join the party. At that point, all ideas of hanging around until the groups destroy each other goes pretty much out the window. (And with that, we have the answer to how to stop the player sitting out of your huge battle scene - invoke Autobots, Rock Out!.)
- The version including the vocals was also used as the theme tune for Major League Gaming's coverage of their 2006 Halo 2 season.
- The Epilogue Suite. Those guitar riffs during the first minute especially.
- Wage from the Delta Halo Suite. When you listen to it, whatever you are doing becomes epic by association. Putting it with the entire suite just takes it Up to Eleven for bonus points.
- For whatever reason, they couldn't get "Blow Me Away" and "Follow (1st Movement of the Odyssey}" for the 10th anniversary remake of Halo 2. But that's okay, because 343 Industries went ahead and composed brand-new guitar-shredding rock tracks for their respective scenes: "Breaking the Covenant" and "Follow In Flight".
- "One Final Effort" from Halo 3.
- To Kill a Demon, played during one of the more ridiculously fun vehicle sections.
- Tribute. A fitting end to the original trilogy, with easily one of the most beautiful, tear-jerking melodies in the whole series. It perfectly encapsulates the loss and emotion felt throughout the trilogy, and brings it to a somber, yet hopeful close.
- "Follow Our Brothers". A beautiful, uplifiting reprise of "Brothers in Arms" from Halo: Combat Evolved, that plays over an inspiring scene of the UNSC and Covenant Separatists gearing up to go through the Portal, united against a common foe.
- "This Is Our Land". Made all the more awesome because that's playing as you are rolling into an invaded human city with every intention of driving those Covenant bastards back out.
- "This Is The Hour". Really, there is no better music to end the world on.
- "Finish The Fight". Instead of the previous song's ending, imagine instead the UNSC fleet dishing out one last MAC volley, and Truth's ship falling to the ground with a huge, glorious explosion. Truly awesome heroic music.
- Halo 3's version of "On A Pale Horse" topped the original, as the first part of the piece "Behold a Pale Horse". A lot of Halo 3's work were new versions of themes from the first and second.
- "Reborn", the overture of the final level of Halo 3.
- The entire Covenant suite is one big Moment of Awesome for Awesome Music.
- The main menu theme of Halo 3, Unforgotten/Never Forget. It's really a beautiful piece. Probably a Tear Jerker / Award-Bait Song if there ever was one. "Unforgotten", indeed.
- The reprise of "Under Cover of Night" (from Halo: CE) going into the final level of Halo 3 is a standout moment from that game. To know that the two biggest badasses of the humans and Elites were about to go to their potential deaths...breathtaking. "We'll head for the Portal...and then we'll all go home."
Halo 3: ODST
- The Overture sets the mood perfectly, starting with the sound of rain, and a slow, wistful rendition of the Rookie theme, before moving on to a medley of the rest of the music to come in the game.
- Now, with Halo 3: ODST, we can add Menagerie and Skyline. Menagerie gets special mention for reappearing in Halo: Reach, playing as Noble Six helps escort a certain Gunnery Sergeant while the Covenant glass New Alexandria in the background.
- An excellent track also from Halo 3:ODST, Special Delivery, that closes out the final mission in the game. Starts out somber and melancholy, but slowly builds to a beautiful rendition of the main theme as the Squad's Phantom escapes New Mombasa and the camera pans out over the Artifact.
- Traffic Jam. Has a driving rhythm, makes an orchestra sound as awesome as an electric guitar's power chords, and has an actual electric guitar soloing on top of that. Played during Mickey's mission where you roll through the enclosed city streets of New Mombasa in a Scorpion tank.
- During the final level, you have Mercy Plea. So somber yet heroic; evoking the feeling of soldiers going off to face their final battle with honor.
- The ad for the game, "We Are ODST", featured a cover of Light of Aidan's "Lament" that captured in Gaelic the tragedy and courage of war.
- Finale plays on the final mission and contains a triumphant version of ODST's main melody. Deference for Darkness is a soothing rendition of the same theme that plays during the final mission.
- With Halo: Reach, ashes (a real Tear Jerker to rival Unforgotten or the Halo 3 remix Never Forget) and the indescribably awesome Walking Away.
- "We Remember", which is an awesome combination of Combat Evolved's rock and Halo 3's choral tunes.
- From Reach, we have a track that plays during the beginning of Tip of the Spear, and caps off the game credits: Unreconciled. So chilling.
- Also from Reach is The Pillar of Autumn. The Reach overture loses instruments as your teammates die, and by "Pillar of Autumn" it has been condensed down to just a cello section. All your friends are dead, and you're on your own, but you still have a job to do.
- And Epilogue, one of the biggest tear jerkers of the series, on par with "Heavy Price Paid", "Unforgotten", "Heroes Also Fall", and "Ashes".
- Plus the Lone Wolf variant from the beta.
- With Halo 4, Neil Davidge proves himself a worthy successor to O'Donnell (who is contracted to Bungie, not 343 Industries), with "Arrival", an epic piece that plays during the final battle of the Campaign.
- "Belly of the Beast". It plays during the first level of the game, but it wouldn't be out of place in a monster movie or an epic reveal. A slow buildup to pounding drums, it is the epitome of "something big and ominous is coming, and there is nothing you can do to stop it".
- On the note of Halo 4, we have the very first title in the soundtrack, "Awakening", an ungodly mix of electric guitars, choir, and violins.
- Also, the Infinity's/UNSC's Leitmotif in Halo 4, "To Galaxy". A slow build-up leading to a sweeping, heroic, but serious-sounding piece. The build-up section is used as background music for the multiplayer menu, but other segments are used in Spartan Ops and of course, in the UNSC's "We are the giants now" Badass Boast intro. There's also a cover of "To Galaxy" by violinist Taylor Davis and pianist Lara de Wit.
- Another awesome Halo 4 track is "Faithless", an awesome track with a pounding beat that plays while carving through Covenant on Ivanoff Station, and in a few Covenant-themed Spartan Ops missions.
- Revival starts off with an ethereal chant that ends with a surprisingly good bass drop, and plays when you first meet the Didact to great effect.
- Green and Blue. John and Cortana. Earth and sky. Life and sadness. Whatever you read into the title, this song is a powerful, compelling dirge, and it was cut criminally short in the actual game. The Remix version by KOAN Sound, while different in style and tempo (and only half the length), is equally beautiful.
- Arrival, Revival, and Nemesis all received top-notch dubstep remixes for Halo 4's weaponry trailers. "Nemesis" is fast paced, with some good drops. "Arrival" focuses more on the original's violin work with a new beat, and "Revival" is a bit calmer, focusing more on the original's singing.
- Another two great pieces are Push Through, which plays when the Chief's driving a tank to clear the Covies attacking the Infinity; and Convoy, the thumping track which plays when the Chief boards the Mammoth.
- Armour, an eclectic electronic mix for the concept art trailer.
- Co-composer Kazuma Jinnouchi created some of the best action themes in the game. Jinnouchi's compositions are much more familiar to Halo fans than Davidge's atmospheric themes: impressive scale, bombastically orchestral and clearly influenced by Marty's works.
- Atonement, the main menu theme. One section stands out is a powerful build of strings, the climax of which ends with a quiet reprise of Keep What You Steal (more or less Cortana's theme) from Halo 3.
- Mantis, which plays when you're piloting the Mantis.
- Lasky's Theme.
- 117, the Master Chief's Leitmotif. An absolutely beautiful piece that plays over the Chief's Broadsword assault on the Didact's ship, before segueing into a chilling theme as the UNSC deals with the aftermath of the Didact's attack before the piece slowly builds in intensity as the "117" leitmotif plays over the Master Chief walking onto S-Deck on the UNSC Infinity and removing his armor for the first time in five years. It basically screams "the story is just beginning, and a greater storm lurks on the horizon."
- Sacrifice, the heroic crescendo played during the Chief's entry into the Didact's ship.
- Never Forget (Midnight Version), an excellent remix of the classic Halo 3 composition of the same name.
- Majestic, the incredible theme song for Spartan Ops.
- Technically, it's not originally from Halo, but it appears in each game: Siege of Madrigal, one of the most forlorn, haunting, and awesome Lonely Piano Pieces ever. It's pretty much Bungie's official theme. So much so that it continuously loops in the hidden tribute room easter egg on the mission "The Package" in Halo: Reach, which contains farewell messages to the community.
- From Halo Legends, "Machines and Might", a short but very sweet tune, heard in the equally sweet short, "Prototype" among other episodes."Oh my God. It's the Prototype suit.""But who the hell's piloting it?"
- Sacred Icon Suite 2 - basically the Arbiter's theme meets Unforgotten meets Sacred Icon Suite 1, except on steroids, on fire, and dual-wielding Rocket Launchers. That's how awesome it is.
- A motion comic of the story The Return, from Halo Evolutions, was recently made. The first bit of music from it, a One-Woman Wail piece, is absolutely amazing.
- Not official music, but these two fanmade remixes take the original Halo theme and reinterpret it. They really are something that will make your skin crawl with the epic.
Marty O'Donnell is God, but Neil Davidge, Tom Salta and Kazuma Jinnouchi are worthy successors.