"The Commander of the Covenant turns his attention to the Flood as he investigates the Silent Cartographer"
The Commander is a mission in that is available in Halo SPV3. It was originally cut from the mod until it finally saw a release in the SPV3.2 update in 2019 along with the missions The Commander: Evolved, None Left Behind and the Lumoria campaign. The Commander: Evolved is an alternate retelling of the same events shown in this level.
In this mission and The Commander: Evolved, the player takes control of Thel 'Vadamee, the Supreme Commander of the Fleet of Particular Justice during the Battle of Installation 04, and also the Sangheili who would become The Arbiter in Halo 2.
Overview & Background
This mission is a spinoff of Halo SPV3 and reuses the level design from The Silent Cartographer. The Commander: Evolved mirrors its counterpart level, reusing the level design from The Silent Cartographer: Evolved. Supreme Fleet Commander Thel 'Vadamee, along with Rtas 'Vadumee and Usze 'Tahamee, personally travel to the Cartographer island to investigate after contact was lost with the pack of Brutes that was sent there to retake the island. The trio assume that the pack encountered the Flood during their mission.
Upon arriving, there is no sign of any humans, but remnants of the Brute pack are soon found and they immediately turn on the Commander and his companions, having gone insane due to their fear of the parasite. The Chieftain, Lapidus, left them on the beach and went ahead alone, since he was the only one wearing power armor. Thel, Rtas and Usze realize that the Flood has completely taken over the island, killed and infected all the Marines stationed there and are in control of the Cartographer to learn more about Installation 04 and how to leave the Forerunner ring world. Sentinels and Enforcers also swarm the island.
This mission takes place at the same time as The Maw.
In this mission, players are in control of Thel 'Vadamee before he becomes The Arbiter, effectivley playing as an Elite Zealot. Two other Elites accompany the player for the majority of the mission: Rtas 'Vadumee, the Spec-Ops commander from Halo 2 and Halo 3, and Usze 'Tahamee, the player 4 character from Halo 3's Co op campaign. The squad mechanic from Halo 5 is echoed here as the players allies can be knocked down and revived by the player. However, the player cannot be revived.
Health packs are unavailable in this mission and The Commander: Evolved, due to a function where the player will regain full health when Thel's shields are at full power and there are no enemies present, no matter how much has been lost. Thel's shields are also stronger that John-117's, since all Elite Zealots have very powerful shields.
Although UNSC weapons are used by the Flood, they are unusable to the player, despite still being dropped by enemies. Covenant and Sentinel weapons are still usable. To balance this, two weapons unique to this mission and The Commander: Evolved have been added: the Needle Grenade and the iconic Energy Sword.
The Needle Grenade replaces the Frag Grenade and works similar to the Spike Grenade of Halo 3, except, when it explodes, it releases a flurry of needles in all directions that rebound off any surface and detonate if an enemy is hit. It will also detonate several times if the grenade itself is stuck to an enemy, though it will not fire needles if this happens. This grenade also appears in the Lumoria campaign, replacing the Cluster Grenade.
The Energy Sword works differently to its other appearances in the Halo franchise. Rather than a weapon that can be picked up from the field, it is equipped as a permanent armor ability, like the Master Chiefs VISR, HEALTH REGEN, SPRINT and RADAR abilities. It is available from the start of the mission and has infinite ammo, but it can only be used for a short time before it needs to recharge. It can be disengaged at anytime during use and also works as a light for dark areas. The lunge function from other games has been removed.
The HUD has also been changed, being made to look more Covenant themed. The charge level of the Energy Sword can be monitored in the upper right corner of the screen. There is also no motion tracker or radar of any kind. The locations of Rtas 'Vadumee and Usze 'Tahamee are shown via markers shaped like Elite helmets at all times they accompany the player, turning into red crosses when they have been knocked down.
- The shield power, health bar and Energy Sword charge display for the new HUD resembles the Marathon logo, a homage to Bungie who developed Halo: Combat Evolved.
- In this mission, it is explained that only Brutes were sent to the Cartographer island. In The Commander: Evolved, an entire Covenant task force was sent, consisting of Grunts, Jackals and Hunters. The task force was led by the Brute pack, with Chieftain Lapidus in command for both missions.
- Lines of dialogue for Thel 'Vadamee and Rtas 'Vadumee have been taken from other Halo games and even mixed together in certain instances to ensure continuity. Voice actors were used for the renegade Brutes and Usze 'Tahamee, meaning, Usze adds more exposition than Thel or Rtas.
- This is the only level in SPV3 where datapads must be found and interacted with to proceed with the mission.
- The Commander features large barricades made of Flood biomass that are not featured anywhere else in the mod.
- Thel is an honor-bound Sangheili at the time this mission takes place. He, like his fellow Elites, would rather die than use the humans weapons. This is why UNSC weapons can't be used in the level. This sense of honor is lost to him after he becomes the Arbiter in Halo 2.
- Although The Commander and The Commander: Evolved share basically the same setting and mission objectives, both levels play out quite differently from each other. The main differences being that while the story of what happened to the Brutes sent to the island is featured in both missions, in the normal version it is mostly explained in exposition, is less plot driven than the evolved version and, other than 2 brief instances, the only enemies fought are the Flood, the Sentinels and Enforcers. Brute Chieftain Lapidus, in the normal version, is a mostly unseen character, his story explained in the Covenant datapads found in the level. Compared to The Commander: Evolved, he is portrayed in a much more sympathetic light. Lapidus is encountered at the end of the mission as an enemy, after having been infected by the Flood, whereas in the evolved version, he is found alive in the level and is fought as a boss enemy.
- The A.I.'s for Rtas 'Vadumee and Usze 'Tahamee are vulnerable to minor glitches including rolling for no reason (even off a cliff), not following the player when they should be and even freezing altogether. None of these bugs are game threatening and even resolve themselves in time, but as such, it is advised not to rely on their support entirely.
|v • d • e||Levels in SPV3|
|The Pillar of Autumn • Halo • The Truth and Reconciliation • The Silent Cartographer (The Silent Cartographer: Evolved) • Assault on the Control Room • 343 Guilty Spark • The Library • Two Betrayals • Keyes|