The Maw

So, this is it. The Maw is the final level in Halo: Combat Evolved. This is where it all comes to a head. Having been unable to save Captain Keyes, Cortana and the Master Chief retrieved the neural implant from his body and now intend to use it to set off a reaction on The Pillar of Autumn that will destroy the Halo ringworld, rendering it useless as a beacon to set off the weapon that would destroy the Universe. So, on a rickety Banshee and with an irritated Cortana shouting in his ear, Master Chief arrives back where it all started, in a blaze of glory, to now finish it.

[edit] ... And the Horse you rode in on.

So, when the Chief crashes the Banshee into the side of the Pillar of Autumn, you will find yourself back in the familiar hallways you fought your way out of on the first level. A lot of things have changed since. Most notably, the Pillar is no longer in orbit. Most dangerously, however, it is now a veritable Flood hive. The Flood have taken up residence in the one place the Master Chief needs to get to the heart of to save the universe. Your first objective is to get to the bridge of the ship so you can use the captain's implant to start the self destruct sequence on the ship.

As I said, the familiar narrow access ways of the ship are were you're going in this level. Head left at the start of the level and go into the small access way that's lit up with a red light. Just how Flood-infested the ship now is is about to become apparent. As you round the corner, you will be greeted by a flood of Infection Forms, as well as a group of Carrier Forms at the bottom of the ladder. Wait until you hear all of the Carrier Forms exploding before you go down. There will also be 4/5 Sentinels doing their job by fighting the Sentinels. Take cover behind the large iron beam in the room and use it as a hold point against the Sentinels.

Continue past the Sentinels and trigger the checkpoint. Around the next corner you will find Combat forms holding Shotguns. I would recommend taking the Shotgun, as it is a very useful tool for dispatching Flood forms. Around the next corner you will see a locked door. As you round the corner it will unlock and more flood will attack you. Grenades and Plasma weapons are good tools against the flood if you did not find a Shotgun from the Combat forms. Following this hallway will lead you out at the Canteen area. A good tactic for this level is to use the corridors that you just came from as cover. Run out, shoot at the flood, then run back in. This will leave you in a fortified position at a bottle neck, so you can focus your fire and grenades for maximum effect. Once you've killed the Carrier and Infection forms, you will find 2 Hunters. This is why you want to keep your Magnum. Even on Legendary, the magnum will take down the Hunters with 1/2 shots in the back. As an added bonus, if the Hunters have infection forms latching onto them, they will spin in a circle, making it easy to time your shot and take them down.

Enter the Canteen and use your Magnum to thin the ranks of the Elites and Grunts in there. Take the Grunts out first, then retreat and grab a Plasma Pistol in exchange for your Shotgun. Combo the Elites, meaning hit them with a fully charged gas of the Plasma Pistol, then get a headshot with the Magnum. As you get to the back of the canteen, throw some grenades at the back door. This will kill or injure the Elites that come in through the back door. Finish them, along with any grunts that are there. Go back and retrieve your Shotgun if you want to be prepared as best you can for any Flood you will encounter. There will be ammo, grenades and health packs on either side of the Canteen, so leave through the back when you're ready. Now you've arrived at the Bridge. There will be an Elite, and as long as you know he's there, he's easy to stick when you come around the corner, as he's pretty oblivious. On Legendary, there will also be a lot of gray Grunts with Fuel Rod Cannons in the bridge. Try to take them out with one shot each to stop them getting a Fuel Rod off, as it would probably spell certain death.

Once you arrive in the Bridge, a cutscene will trigger. Cortana will start a 20 minute countdown to self destruct, using Captain Keyes' neural implant. Just as you thought things were going well, our old friend, The Monitor will show up, just to throw a spanner in your works. He's in the Engineering deck and he's taking the core offline and shutting down the self destruct timer, so even if Cortana got the countdown running again, the core would be shut down, so no explosion.

So, Chief's solution? Extreme firepower. You'll need to go to the Engineering deck and break the shell casing of the cores, then "manually" overload each core to start a reaction.

A few Sentinels will then spawn outside the windows. You can either run from them or take them out. It's your choice. After leaving through the opposite side to where you came in, you will come into an armoury style room. Use cover to grenade the entrance door because there will be Flood coming through it. When you've taken them out, deal with the Flood inside the room, then go to the back door. Do not open the back door, because there will be Flood and Hunters fighting out there. If you wait, they will kill eachother off then you can clean up the stragglers. Alternatively, you could bypass them. You are only going out the door and straight across the hallway, so you can slip past unnoticed. When you continue across into the next room, follow the hallway, and yet again, you will see more Infection form Flood running past the door. Open the door and kill them as they go past, then go out into the Hallways and use one of the big iron girders again for cover against the Sentinels. Another group of Infection Flood will spawn, so take them out and continue around the corner. The next room is tricky. Go up the ladder before you interfere in the battle between Flood and Sentinels. When you're up there, kill the Flood on the landing, then go into the room on the landing. Go out of the room on the left and fire back into the room on the Sentinels. There will be a lot of Flood pushing from the corridor directly across from you, which is where you need to go. The best plan is to use a Shotgun to push through the Flood. Grenades and Shotguns until you get through them all. Be careful for Carrier Forms hiding around corners as they can strip you of your shield easily. There's also an Overshield in this corridor and a Health Pack back in the command room you just came from if you need it.

Following the corridor will lead you into an open area. There will be an open door to another tiny walkway. Turn on your flashlight and go in. The access way will be teaming with Grunts and Infection Forms. Take them out and continue out of that access way into a room. On the left there will be a large door which has glitched glass in it. You can't shoot through with plasma weapons, but your pistol and shotgun rounds will pass right through it. Don't, though. There is a Sentinal in a battle with some Elites, Grunts and a Hunter. Let them fight it out. Another access way will lead you through to where the you can access the fight. Use the doorway to shoot out a bit. This will lure enemies towards you, giving you a bottleneck as well as a helping Sentinel, if the Covenant were in cover. Once the Sentinel dies, a group of Flood will spawn. When the battle has been fought, continue through the Hallway until you come to a fork in the hall. One way will point towards "Engineering", and the other will point to the "Armoury". I recommend you go to the Armoury first, stock up on Rocket Launcher and Shotgun ammo, then head back to the Engineering path. Be careful though. On your way back through the Armoury, you will encounter something strange. The only place in the entire game where you will find Invisible Flood. Take them out and head back to Engineering.

[edit] Light Fuse, Run Away

So here it is, The Engine Room. When you go in, you will hear the familiar hum of the Monitor as he flies around the Engine room. You will see him at various points, but don't bother shooting him. You'll need to preserve the ammo if you want to do the 4 cores in one room. Head up the ramp on the right as you enter the room, grab health form the wall if you need it. Go in the door on the left and follow the path up to Level 3. When you get to the top, after dealing with a hallway full of flood, head to the furthest one away. Out past the first two, turn left, then go to the one on the left of the two in front of you. This is the best one to start with. Hit the button on the console, then immediately jump down onto the shaft that starts retracting. Turn around and fire a rocket into the core that's exposed when the shaft pulls back. One down. I chose this one first because you can jump right back down onto the platform at Level 3 from there, so you can be right back up to do the next one after dealing with some more Flood resistance.

Sgt. Johnson and an Elite share a tender embrace in their last moments.
This is pretty much a rince and repeat process. From each of the manifold covers, it's possible to jump right back onto that 3rd level landing, so jumping across them in some cases will get you back to the platform. Run back up each time, trigger another manifold, jump down, rocket it, then find your way back to the 3rd floor landing and do it again. On the 4th round, you can let the manifold go back in, then crouch-jump back up onto the 3rd level. When you blow up the 4th one, a door at the top of the engine room opens, and jumping back onto the landing where the consoles are will lead you right to it. Go through the doorways and you will find an elevator. As it comes down, grenade it. There will be some Grunts and Elites on it. Once you've taken them out, board it and you're on your final run.

[edit] Warning: Hitchhikers May Be Escaping Convicts

So this is it. The Autumn's engines have been destabilised and it's time to leave before the planet gets blown up. When you get into the lift, you will get a checkpoint, and on your way up, you will hear a conversation between Cortana and Echo 419. Evac is on the way, but you have to escape first. At the top of the lift, enter the large room and jump straight into one of the available Warthogs to start the, now world famous with regards gaming, Warthog run. As you exit to the left, Cortana will inform you that you now have 5 minutes to drive 2.1 kilometers to your extraction point. You better get moving, so go out the door and up the large ramp on the left.

Halo, as The Pillar of Autumn explodes
At the top of the ramp you will encounter a huge room, so burn rubber through it. Take the route down the middle, through the tunnel, then around the large pillar, then right down the center for the rest of the room and into another big tunnel. Follow the tunnel into the next room and stick to the left wall. There are a couple of things to think about during the Warthog run. Keep your Warthog straight when you're jumping. This will stop you from going off the side of a ramp or flipping over. Keep the blue cursor in the middle of the screen and aimed at wherever you want to go at all times. This will stop you from fishtailing and losing speed. Don't stop for anything, and stay away from any fires. The fire usually notates somewhere that's going to explode, which will flip your Hog and cause you to lose precious time. Follow out of the next room and into the tunnel. Avoid the pillars, powerslide around them and keep going through any fire you encounter. The next room, you should keep to the side again. Whichever side you prefer, but don't go down the middle. The side will see you through with ease as long as you follow the points I outlined. Another tunnel after this room will lead you to a fourth room. Take the center line down this room. You can't make the jump in the middle of it, so veer to the side a bit and hit the ledge, as long as you don't flip, and keep driving down the middle at ground level. Use powerslides into the barriers to force you around and into the correct positioning to keep going forward, then when you're finished this room, you will come to a bridge.
Halo, the aftermath of the Pillar of Autumn's destruction.

You don't have to stop on this bridge, but you will see what happens if you do. Echo 419 arrives, being chased by 2 Banshees, and is shot down, so there goes your ride and a friend you've had through the entire game. Cortana calculates an alternate route, so now you're only 1.4 kilometers away from salvation.

Continue off the bridge. The rest is pretty much an easy run. Continue across the grid at full speed and Cortana will tell you about a large gap coming up on the bridge. Keep going full speed ahead and you will clear it easily. Then go through the last winding tunnel. Take the sides of the pillars that have no ramp on them, and avoid trying to run over the enemies, because it will just cost you time. Once you come out of this tunnel, you come to the Shuttle bay. Bail out of your Warthog for the last time and make your way down through the cinematic exploding debris and Flood to get yourself and Cortana into the Longsword Fighter and off Halo just in time to watch it explode.

Congratulations, you've just finished Halo: Combat Evolved. ;D

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Last edited by Lesley Pro_04 on 14 June 2012 at 20:33
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