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Video Game / Halo Wars 2

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Spoilers for all Halo works preceding this one, particularly Halo 5: Guardians, will be left unmarked. You Have Been Warned!
Know your enemy.

"Twenty-eight years, Professor. Let's see what kind of galaxy we woke up to."

Halo Wars 2 is a Real-Time Strategy game set in the Halo universe, developed by 343 Industries and Creative Assembly for the Xbox ONE and Windows 10. It is a sequel to 2009's Halo Wars.

Set in 2559 (twenty-eight years after the original Halo Wars and about a year after Halo 5: Guardians), the story begins with the UNSC Spirit of Fire's crew finally waking up after being in cryo-sleep for nearly three decades, only to find themselves at an ancient Forerunner installation known as "The Ark" (the very same one that the second half of Halo 3 was set on). However, it turns out they aren't the only people there; a hostile Brute-led Covenant splinter faction called "The Banished" have already set up shop, and are seeking to use the Ark for their own nefarious purposes. Despite having completely missed the events of the last twenty-eight years, Captain James Cutter of the Spirit of Fire must now match his wits against Atriox, the Banished's terrifying powerful and brilliant leader.

Like the original Halo Wars, the multiplayer allows the player to choose which side to take command of, with both factions (the UNSC and the Banished) each having multiple unique leaders who each provide their own special bonuses.

The game was officially released on February 21, 2017, with those who bought the Ultimate Edition getting it on the 17th.

A Downloadable Content campaign titled "Awakening the Nightmare" was released on September 26th, 2017. In it the player takes control of the Banished for a single-player campaign, specifically two Banished Brute brothers Pavium and Voridus, as they deal with a Flood infestation originating from the space station High Charity, which had crash-landed on the Ark.

Previews: Announce Teaser, E3 Trailer, Launch Trailer.

Tropes of Halo Wars 2:

    open/close all folders 

  • And the Adventure Continues: The game doesn't end with the Banished taking a decisive defeat, and the ending cutscene shows Atriox to still have substantial forces left to him. The Spirit of Fire is still left stranded above the Ark, and the new Halo Anders' is riding on is hijacked by a Guardian.
  • Arc Welding: The story makes use of elements from Halo 3, the Ark being the most notable one.
  • Ascended Extra: Red Team in the previous game had little characterization other than being the best soldiers aboard the Spirit of Fire. With Sergeant Forge's death, they take center stage as Captain Cutter's main field leaders, with Jerome-092 receiving the most focus.
  • Big Bad: Atriox, the terrifying chieftain of the Banished, is the main antagonist.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • After it looked like they would be left in eternal canon limbo after the end of 2009's Halo Wars (Aside from a tease in Halo: Escalation that went nowhere and heavily implied a Bus Crash had happened), the Spirit of Fire's crew are back in the fight.
    • The Brutes themselves are also this, with their last outing as a major antagonist being all the way back in Halo 3 nearly nine years ago before being Demoted to Extra in Reach and being Put on a Bus for the entirety of the Reclaimer saga.
    • Joining the Brutes in returning after a long absence from the games are the Brutes' signature attack vehicle the Chopper (missing since Halo 3), and the gigantic siege-breaking Scarab walker (last seen in Reach).
  • Bus Crash: As set up in Halo: Tales From Slipspace, Serina, the Spirit of Fire's AI from the previous game, died six years into the ships' 28-year voyage. The game opens with her last transmission, giving her farewell before she self-terminated.
  • Call-Back: Remember how Guilty Spark in Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary started launching chunks of his Halo into space to kill time? Anders uses the same function to dispatch the attacking Banished near the end of the game.
  • The Cameo: While Captain Cutter's Elephants have been removed from the UNSC unit roster, they do appear as the central structure for UNSC bases.
    • Sergeant Forge returns as a multiplayer commander, and has several unique lines referencing the fact that he died in Halo Wars.
  • A Commander Is You: Broadly, the UNSC are Elitist Brutes and the Banished are Spammer Guerilla/Technical, but individual commanders add to or change their faction's role:
    • Captain Cutter: Unit Specialist: Infantry with unique ODST from his power wheel. Ranger with a passive movement speed bonus to his infantry. Gimmick via his heavy use of unit drop powers.
    • Isabel: Unit Specialist: Vehicles with an emphasis on the Scorpion tank. Guerilla due to her holographic decoy powers and ability to hijack enemy vehicles.
    • Professor Anders: Unit Specialist: Aircraft and especially Sentinels. Research with her R&D passive making unit improvements cheaper and faster to research.
    • Atriox: Turtle with plentiful mines to defend strategic points, cheaper bases and Fortify research, and multiple healing and invulnerability powers to keep his army in the fight.
    • Decimus: Brute, unusually, with his power wheel providing his whole army with Boring, but Practical passive bonuses to attack speed and Life Drain. Decimus wants to get his army buffed with passives then steamroll over the enemy with an unstoppable wave of Banished.
    • Shipmaster: Ranger with movement speed increases from Banished Raid. The epitome of Guerilla with a strong emphasis on cloaking and teleportation. Technical due to the micromanagement required to use his teleports to their fullest potential.
    • Sergeant Forge: Unit Specialist: Vehicles with unique access to the Grizzly tank. Industrial due to his passives allowing him to get his economy to full speed faster than anyone else except Pavium and reduce the build time of vehicles.
    • Kinsano: Plays more like a Spammer than usual with passives that reward rapidly losing and replacing units with Redline speed increases and Hellcharge death explosions for a powerful rush.
    • Colony: Elitist and Brute for a Banished leader with a strong focus on vehicles and aircraft empowered by Skitterer drones for additional health and damage. Turtle with aforementioned additional health as well as Combat Repair granting them mapwide passive regen and the powerful healing tool of Engineer Swarm.
    • Sergeant Johnson: Unit Specialist: Vehicles with unique access to Mantis and Colossus mechs and several powers that exclusively buff them. Turtle with bunkers and a Siege Turret drop to lock down key locations. A very powerful late game Economist with Digging In Deep making all base buildings free.
    • Arbiter: Technical, relying on stasis to divide opposing forces, powerful buffs from using his hero powers to shore up normally weaker Banished troops, and his hero unit requiring more micromanagement than most.
    • Sergeant Jerome: Brute with Time for Heroes and Inspiration from various abilities making already powerful UNSC troops even more so, and Elitist with Omega Team alone taking a fourth of his supply in three Spartans.
    • Yapyap the Destroyer: Spammer with free Cannon Fodder giving him incredibly strong map control and more units than anyone else. Technical due to the need to manage three hero units and their abilities at once.
    • Serina: Gimmick with a heavy focus on freezing enemy units and shattering them quickly for massive damage. Turtle with freezing auras around captured points and her turrets.
    • Voridus: Economist, strangely, due to the ability to get resources by attacking enemy structures to sustain his rush. Gimmick with many units and powers generating and benefiting from infusion pools, which also passively damage enemies.
    • Pavium: Industrial and Economist in one due to Burnout boosting the production of his buildings. Turtle supreme with Mega Turrets allowing him to bombard enemies from afar, the ability to passively repair buildings as well as make them invulnerable for a time, and the Lich letting him lock down a key location.
  • Cool Bike: The UNSC Jackrabbit, a three-wheeled scout vehicle.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The Brutes and their strength has been something of note since their first appearance all the way back in Halo: First Strike, where one surprised even the Master Chief himself by managing to overwhelm and nearly kill him. It comes as no surprise that Atriox, who's powerful even for a Brute, was able to deliver a curb-stomp to the ill-prepared Red Team.
    • The scrap on the Ark that the Banished salvage is described by Isabel as coming from a battle near the end of the war where "the Master Chief saved us all", clearly nodding to Halo 3.
    • Isabel was stationed at the Henry Lamb research outpost, which is explicitly named after a UNSC scientist from the novel Halo: Hunters in the Dark.
    • Several of the Phoenix Logs are all but outright stated to be from the perspective of 000 Tragic Solitude, aka the Ark's Monitor and main antagonist of Hunters in the Dark, with several of the logs combining to serve as something of a prequel to said novel.
    • Red Team is limited to driving around in a Warthog in the first mission, and close examination reveals that their armor is identical to what they wore in the first Halo Wars. After Jerome and Douglas return to the Spirit of Fire with Isabel, their armor is upgraded to the most modern Mjolnir spec, including jump jets and other advancements though Alice's upgraded armor remains a plot hole, since she was cut off and isolated for most of the campaign.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Atriox delivers an impressive one to three Spartan-IIs rather effortlessly.
  • Cruel Mercy: Atriox lets Red Team live as a way of humiliating them. This turns out to be a serious mistake as they spend the rest of the game hammering his forces, partially driven by revenge.
  • The Dragon: Atriox's main lieutenant and muscle is Decimus, a Brute powerful enough to take on multiple Spartans and armies in gameplay, and even able to call down orbital bombardment on his own position fearlessly (with the survival aid of an extra strength energy shield.)
  • Dragon Ascendant: Let 'Volir, after Decimus is killed.
  • Doomsday Device: A backup Halo features prominently in the plot. The final mission revolves around holding the line until it can be disarmed.
  • The Dreaded: Atriox, hands down. The Covenant used him and his clan as cannon fodder, and turned him into a legend, a rebel so terrible he was at least as big a threat as the entire human race. The biggest difference? The Covenant almost beat humanity. They never came close to beating Atriox.
  • Elite Mooks:
    • ODSTs make their glorious return to the games.
    • The Sangheili (aka Elite) mercenaries serving in the Banished are implied to be this relative to the rest of the faction.
    • While not considered Mooks at all, the Spartan-I Is (along with other "Warlord/Hero" type units) are certainly elite, and wade into battle with nearly disturbing ferocity and effectiveness.
  • Enemy Chatter: Like in the original Halo Wars, units have a diverse array of context-sensitive lines.
  • Enemy Exchange Program: Like in Halo Wars 1, Spartans can hijack enemy vehicles.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Atriox and the Banished consider the Brute vs Elite Fantastic Racism that tore the Covenant apart to be a pointless distraction.
    • ...but if you're in the Banished and you're not one of those two races, you're in for a rough time.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Atriox is introduced by having him single-handedly defeat three Spartan-IIs at once (establishing his strength), saying that the one he defeated was "just a man", as he suspected, and then letting them flee so his forces can follow them to their base (establishing his cunning) while taunting them with a "run, little demons" (establishing his sadism).
  • Eviler than Thou: The Banished; the Covenant not only feared them, but couldn't even curb them even in their prime.
  • Expy:
    • The Protector Sentinels in this game resemble the Super Sentinels from Halo Wars.
    • Likewise, the Controller Sentinels in Operation: Spearbreaker are similar to the Enforcers from Halo 2, due to the shields protecting them from the front.
  • Fear Is the Appropriate Response: Isabel's initial advice to Red Team and then Cutter boils down to run the hell away from Atriox.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: After the Enduring Conviction is destroyed, the Banished are still able to make use of glassing beams in the game's remaining levels.
  • Genius Bruiser: Atriox is the strongest Brute we've seen since Tartarus (possibly even stronger), but is also extremely intelligent to boot. This throws everyone for a loop, since most Brutes are usually, well, Brutes.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Considering the timeline of the game, Cortana and the Created play a role in the game despite not appearing in the game. Isabelle mentions that the portal from the Ark to Earth had been shut down without warning, referring the Created subjugating Earth and cripping the USNC, putting the remaining humans on the Ark at the mercy of the Banished. At the end of the game, Anders leaves the Ark to find help only to be halted by a Guardian.
  • Here We Go Again!: A bleak and depressing example, as the Spirit of Fire finally gets somewhere only to immediately be thrust into conflict with Covenant races once again. The E3 trailer and accompanying song (I Know You by The White Buffalo) play up the tragedy element of the fight for all it's worth.
    • The Ark itself and its usage in creating another Halo, presumably another copy of Installation-04, serves a heavy role similar to that in Halo 3 as both the main battleground between a human and a Covenant-divergent force as well as a potential refuge away from the possible firing of the Halo Array.
    • In the Awakening the Nightmare expansion, the Flood re-emerge on the Ark.
  • Hold the Line: As with many Real-Time Strategy games, Halo Wars 2 has many of them. Hell, there's even a mission named "Hold The Line" which involves doing just that.
  • Hover Tank: In addition to the Wraith, the Banished also have the Marauder, which is sort of the Brute version of the Revenant.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Captain Cutter and Professor Anders have been redesigned to look like their new voice actors Gideon Emery and Faye Kingslee.
  • Last Chance to Quit: In the penultimate mission, Atriox gives Cutter an ultimatum, saying he will let the Spirit of Fire live and all humans leave in safety if they leave the Halo and the Ark to him. Cutter shoots back that the Ark now belongs to the Spirit of Fire, and that Atriox can piss off. Isabel then reports that Atriox has never been so mad.
  • Late to the Tragedy: When the Spirit arrives at the Ark, it discovers that the UNSC garrison there has already been completely wiped out by the Banished, with the only survivor being a traumatized logistics AI.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Isabel does this to cripple the Banished by staging an opportunity to hijack their flagship and make it attack the Ark itself, instigating the installation's defenses to retaliate against the Enduring Conviction and take it out.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: The Spirit's crew awaken with zero idea of what's been going on in the last twenty-eight years (sans the distress signal Anders picked up, which lets them know that either the war is still going on or the UNSC won). However, they do quickly find a UNSC logistics AI who fills them in on some of the details, in addition to providing updated specifications for improved equipment developed while they were out. This causes some confusing consternation in The Stinger, when Anders runs into one of the Guardians.
  • Killer Space Monkey: Unlike Jul 'Mdama's Covenant, the Banished is primarily run by Brutes instead of Elites.
  • Kill It with Fire: UNSC Hellbringers make their return from the original Halo Wars.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Courtesy of the UNSC's Wolverine anti-air tank and Vulture gunship, and the Banished's Blisterback Spider Tank and Reaver Chicken Walker. The new Grizzly tank also has some missile pods that can launch a barrage of missiles as a special ability, making it into even more of a Mammoth Tank Expy than it already was.
  • Magnetic Weapons: In addition to Gauss Cannon-armed Warthogs, the UNSC also has snipers equipped with M99 Stanchions, coilgun sniper rifles originally introduced in the Expanded Universe.
    • One mission also sets up a Sentinel counter: the Spirit Of Fire using their MAC* to essentially fire blanks, generating an EMP pulse to drive off or destroy the Sentinels.
  • Marathon Level: Several levels are lengthy ones, but "Under The Dark" takes the cake; on Legendary, it can take over two hours to complete.
  • Mini-Mecha:
    • The UNSC Cyclops makes its return, except this time it's an anti-vehicle unit equipped with a gun, instead of an anti-structure melee unit like in the original. Its ability to heal friendly vehicles and structures has been removed.
    • The Banished have the Reaver, an anti-aircraft Chicken Walker.
  • Mundane Utility: The Spirit of Fire's crew intend to use a Halo, one of the most advanced weapons in existence, as a radio relay.
  • My Greatest Failure: Isabel is clearly haunted by her inability to do anything to stop Atriox from massacring her previous crew: she's nearly catatonic when found by Red Team, and panicked for several missions afterward. She summons these memories for additional, rage-driven strength when she's trying to destroy the Enduring Conviction. The memories of their screams nearly drive her to tears.
  • No Ending: The main campaign ends with the USNC and the Banished continuing their campaign over the Ark, now currently on a stalemate. Any hope for the Spirit of Fire lies on Professor Anders who uses a newly built Halo to travel to the Soell system, where she is able to call for help. Unfortunately, the ring unexpectedly dropped out of slipspace and Anders is confronted by one of Cortana's Guardians.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • The reaction of Red Team to Atriox during the first mission, after he effortlessly disables and nearly cripples Douglas.
    • The Shipmaster has this reaction when he sees a fully-completed Halo emerge from the Ark's foundry.
      Let 'Volir: But how?
  • One-Man Army: The members of Red Team, Spartans Jerome-092, Alice-130, and Douglas-042, are almost unstoppable on their own: Jerome and Douglas use powerful, single-shot weapons (Spartan Laser and Missile Launcher, respectively) while Alice carries a minigun, and they can destroy anything short of a Super Unit given enough time to do so. Anything they can't kill, they can hijack and turn against their enemies, and if the unit they've commandeered is destroyed, the Spartan survives to continue fighting on foot. It's not until halfway through the campaign that you get to control more than one in a mission, but until then, one is more than enough. The last two missions in the campaign let you control all three simultaneously for glorious carnage. Averted on higher difficulty levels, where they are quite a bit squishier, but still formidable.
  • Orbital Bombardment: The Spirit of Fire can launch several different weapons and defenses to support ground units, including Archer missiles, Lotus mines, and a turret.
    • Decimus' favored tactic when he's being overwhelmed is putting up a very powerful energy shield, and then having ships in orbit bombard his position with anti-capital-ship beam weapons.
  • Pride: Atriox's only real flaw and it is Pride Before a Fall given how much damage the Spirit of Fire does to his forces. Subverted as Atriox survives.
  • Put on a Bus: The Elephant, Cobra, Hawk and Vampire from the first game aren't usable in this one, though the Elephant does appear as the new central structure for UNSC bases.
  • Ragnaroof Proofing: The Spirit of Fire has been out of action for almost 30 years after one hell of a skirmish against both the Covenant and the Flood in the previous game and yet, they still have the resources to fight another war without refueling their supplies and staff first.
  • Ramming Always Works: The Warthog's special ability involves hitting the gas and running into (or over) something.
    • How the Banished flagship Enduring Conviction is taken out of the picture, with an absolutely massive Zerg Rush of Aggressor Sentinels literally cutting the ship in half with suicide runs, thanks to Isabel invoking a Let's You and Him Fight situation.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Atriox and the Banished have apparently existed for a while, long enough for the Covenant to be fighting both them and the UNSC at the same time, but have never been mentioned previously. Phoenix logs eventually establish that Atriox has zero love for anyone not Banished, and ONI (human spies) actively conspired to avoid provoking him during the Human-Covenant War.
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: Due to how long the Spirit of Fire was missing after sacrificing its Slipspace Drive twenty-eight years ago at the end of the first game, official UNSC Reports declared that the ship was "Lost With All Hands". Lampshaded by Isabel and James Cutter when the two of them first meet.
    Isabel: "James Cutter. Captain of the Spirit of Fire. You're supposed to be lost with all hands."
    James Cutter: "Not so lost, it seems."
  • Revisiting the Roots: With regards to the art design: both sides have aesthetics that are more reminiscent of Bungie-era Halo as opposed to 343 Industries-era Halo. Justified on the UNSC side, since their gear is (at least initially) twenty-eight years out of date.
  • Rousing Speech: Captain Cutter gives one after being introduced to the threat of Atriox, defying Isabel's cynicism and openly standing his ground and deciding to face the Banished head on to stop them.
    Cutter: We are just one ship, and an old one at that... but here we are. Thirty years past what anyone could ask of us. Our war is gone, the lives we had are gone, the worlds we knew have moved on. And now, all that we may have left are those standing beside us and the duty that defines us, battle after battle fighting side by side, together. Where you see half a crew Isabel, I see family. Courage. And a thousand heroes who swore to fight their way through hell before they ever, ever turned their backs and run. And where you see one old ship, I see home... and that is always worth fighting for!
  • Scavenged Punk: The Banished equipment looks like they are ram-shackled together with whatever parts they can find.
  • Siege Engines: The UNSC Kodiak, which is basically Halo's version of the Siege Tank.
  • Spider Tank: Besides the Locust (making its return from Halo Wars) and the Scarab, the Banished also have the Blisterback, a six-legged mobile missile battery that can also fly to get around.
  • Spikes of Villainy: The Banished have this to an even greater degree than Halo 3's Brute-dominated Covenant; their vehicles all have a spiky aesthetic to them, and they seem to favor spiked helmets for their Brutes.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Due to the standard lives of UNSC AI being limited to seven years, Serina, the Spirit of Fire's snarky shipboard AI, spent her remaining life fixing up the ship before terminating herself, leaving the ship without an AI until Red Team brings back Isabel.
  • Super-Soldier: The Spartan-IIs of Red Team make their return.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The Banished are effectively this, at least gameplay-wise, for the Covenant.
  • Tactical Superweapon Unit: Halo Wars 2 introduces the Condor Gunship, a VTOL craft equipped with laser cannons and a Mini-MAC, as well as the Retriever Sentinel, a massive Forerunner construct meant for mining operations now deployed at Professor Anders' behest.
  • Trapped-with-Monster Plot: Though it goes unmentioned in favor of the Rousing Speech above, the Spirit of Fire doesn't really have a choice about fighting Atriox. Since they used their slipspace drive as a bomb in the previous game, they can't leave the area even if they wanted to.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Atriox, for all of his skill and genius, doesn't take a single half-spent human ship very seriously. The Spirit of Fire proceeds to run a guerilla war against him that kills one of his favorite generals, devastates a super-carrier, and delivers Atriox's first real defeats. Let's just say he really probably came to regret not killing the Spartans he encountered earlier.
  • Undying Loyalty: Decimus, and a majority of the Banished in general, are shown to be extremely loyal to Atriox as a result of his strength, his genius, and his legend, leading to them finding the courage to abandon the Covenant altogether as they followed him.
  • Unknown Rival: The Banished, a breakaway rebel faction that even the Covenant deemed a threat, never came into the knowledge of the UNSC both before and during this game, which led both the Ark teams and Spirit of Fire being under-prepared to deal with them. Phoenix logs indicate that ONI was aware of The Banished, and Atriox in particular, prior to his appearance here, but didn't get a chance to confirm much of anything about him, and found him so overtly hostile to everyone, including humans, that they made zero attempts to capitalize on an Enemy Mine situation for fear of getting destroyed.
  • The Usual Adversaries: Subverted. The Banished do not consider themselves a continuation of the Covenant; in fact, they originated as an anti-Covenant rebellion. However, they do by and large field Covenant weaponry with aesthetic differences.
  • What a Piece of Junk: A lot of the Banished's equipment look to be largely scrapped together from salvaged parts (including extra layers of armor visibly bolted onto most of their vehicles), but that doesn't make them any less deadly.
  • The Worf Effect: John-117 or not, Spartans are always renowned for being the USNC's best soldiers, with Red Team easily took on a squad of Honor Guards. Right at the beginning of the game, Red Team is ambushed by Atriox and all three Spartans get their assess beaten, with Douglas-042 receiving critical injuries, to established how big of a threat Atriox and his army are.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Towards the end, it appears as though riding through a Halo's portal will allow the Spirit of Fire to get back to human space and contact them. Unfortunately, the Halo heads through the portal too quickly for the Spirit of Fire to follow through, leaving them stranded once again. As for Anders, just before the ring can reach its destination, it is yanked out of slipspace and hijacked by a Guardian under the control of Cortana.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Pretty much Isabel's reaction to Red Team asking what the strength of the Covenant force that attacked her outpost was.
  • Zerg Rush: Suicide Grunts, en masse.

    Awakening the Nightmare 
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: The entire plot kicks off thanks to one Banished commander believing the Flood to be a work of propaganda/fearmongering by the Covenant.
  • Affably Evil: Voridus and Pavium appear to be all round decent guys, the former's stupidity not withstanding, who happen to be working for the Banished.
  • Brick Joke: Voridus jokes early that the next time the Covenant lose a war, they should pick up after themselves. After defeating the proto-Gravemind, Atriox tells him and his brother to clean up their mess.
  • The Bus Came Back: After being presumed destroyed since the end of Halo 3, the Flood have returned to the Halo franchise. Narrowly subverted with the Gravemind; the proto-gravemind discovered in the final mission is destroyed before it completes its final metamorphosis.
  • Attack of the Monster Appendage: One Flood unit is simply a tentacle that bursts from the ground to attack units (Type 1), and at various points absolutely colossal tentacles emerge to block off pathways (Type 2).
  • Body Horror: Naturally, the victims of the Flood end up this way, rapidly mutating into misshapen monsters upon infection. The first combat-form witnessed in a cinematic is a brute covered in pulsating green tumors that have seemingly overtaken his eyes, and he was infected offscreen only a few scant minutes before being shown.
  • Combat Tentacles: The Flood sprout large tentacles from the ground attacking enemies around it.
  • The Dreaded: The Banished are just as frightened of the Flood as the Covenant, except for Voridus, but he quickly changes his tune when he actually sees them.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The Banished have their goals of conquest, but the last thing they want is the Flood devouring the galaxy.
  • Evil Versus Oblivion: The Banished against the Flood. Atriox even abandons positions he was setting up against the Spirit of Fire because the Flood posed a much bigger threat.
  • Expy: Some of the new Flood forms are similar to certain Flood forms from previous games:
    • The Flood Infester Form is similar to the Flood Stalker Form in appearance and role(as a scout unit capable of moving quickly), though the former is built to take on vehicles.
    • The Flood Spawner Form is basically an upgrade to the Flood Ranged Form, but with the ability to spawn Infection Forms like the Flood Tank Form.
    • The Abomination is explicitly an evolution of the Flood Juggernaut, a Flood form cut from Halo 2, but featured in Halo: Fireteam Raven.
  • Final Boss: An immense proto-gravemind on the verge of its final transformation is battled in the final mission.
  • Genre Blindness: Voridus hears about the Flood, is ordered by Atriox not to break through the quarantine around High Charity, but ignores him and his brother's warnings, believing the Flood to be a work of propaganda by the Covenant.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Done to a squad of brute scouts entering High Charity; the camera cutting away just before they're devoured by the reawakened Flood. We see the aftermath, however.
  • Happy Ending Override: Awakening the Nightmare does this to the third game: The Flood infesting High Charity are revealed to have survived both the reactor overload and the activation of Installation 04B in vast numbers, and the Banished accidentally free them from a quarantine enforced by the Sentinels.
  • Non-Player Character: While the Flood have an extensive roster of units (more extensive than what they had in the previous game, at the least), they are an AI-only faction that only appears in the DLC's campaign.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Whatever the Sentinels did to get the Flood quarantined into High Charity, if the events of Halo 3 didn't do the job.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Voridus disregards the danger of the Flood, but once he spots someone who is actually infected by them he does a complete 180 and takes them seriously.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Atriox: (to the idiotic Voridus) Clean. Up. Your. Mess.
  • Room Full of Zombies: High Charity. When the Banished cut open a single, tiny hole in the protective dome erected by the Sentinels, a nigh-unstoppable horde of Flood pours from the gap within minutes, overrunning the surrounding landscape and devouring everything they see.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: High Charity is intact and is still completely infested with the Flood, though the Sentinels of the Ark have constructed a solid dome around the ruins to contain the infestation, and keep the surrounding landscape under heavy guard. Unfortunately, the Banished destroy most of the defenses in order to salvage loot from the debris field, and Voridus' greed leads him to cut open a tiny part of the shield in search of further treasures within the city itself. Within mere minutes, tens-of-thousands of Flood start pouring through the breach.
  • Tentacle Rope: Employed by a number of pure-forms during the initial outbreak to incapacitate Banished soldiers, binding their arms or dragging their feet out from under them so infection forms can latch onto their bodies unhindered.
  • Tempting Fate: Vorius dismisses the rumors of monsters lingering in the wreckage of High Charity, believing the Flood to be merely Covenant fearmongering. Even the level name he does this in is called "What could go wrong?"
  • Too Dumb to Live: Voridus, who dismisses the Flood as Covenant propaganda and sees no problem with tearing open the obvious sentinel quarantine around High Charity. While Voridus himself survives, his actions unleash the Flood and nearly result in the extinction of all life on the Ark and the return of the Gravemind. Atriox briefly chews him out over it.
  • Trapped-with-Monster Plot: With the Enduring Conviction destroyed during the events of the main campaign, the Banished have no way of actually escaping the Flood, which are well-known for devouring entire planets in days if not opposed.
  • Villain Shoes: The Banished are the protagonists of this expansion pack, while the Spirit of Fire crew is nowhere to be seen, beyond a small reconnaissance force in the first mission.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Nearly quoted by Vordius himself, and directly quoted by the name of the first mission.
  • You Don't Look Like You: A very mild example, but in cutscenes the Flood are portrayed with their typical green pallor, while in-game they're instead colored in fleshy shades of pink and red. Various pure-forms have also taken to sporting glowing orange pustules/tumors, which aren't present in other installments.
  • Zerg Rush: The Flood have this tactic as central to their gameplay, as their infection forms come in large unit sizes and can infect slain enemies and vehicles into units they control. Their introduction in Awakening the Nightmare is to swarm out of High Charity as a hundreds-strong swarm of infection forms, easily overrunning the Brutes outside the entrance.


Video Example(s):


Captain James Cutter's Speech

After hearing about the threat posed by Atriox and The Banished, Isabelle informs that the crew of the UNSC Spirit of Fire cannot hope to fight back against them. Only for Cutter to give her an example of the gumption and determination that had seen Humanity through the Human-Covenant War.

How well does it match the trope?

4.89 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / RousingSpeech

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