Halo 4 Mythic Difficulty Guide - MISSION 1: Dawn
The Tru7h about "Mythawn"
Are you ready to get your Mythic feet wet? Good! It's too bad you picked the wrong mission to start with. If this is your first go at Mythic Difficulty or even just Halo 4 Mythic, stop right here and fast forward to either Reclaimer or Shutdown as those missions are far better suited for beginners. "No," you say? Alrighty then. Let's carry on, shall we?
Dawn certainly isn't the easiest mission in the game. Personally, I'd rate it as a "medium mission" in terms of overall difficulty. It's not that the enemies you'll be facing are really all that challenging, rather it's the weapons you have at your disposal with which to deal with them. Your main opposition will be comprised of Grunts and Elites with a few Jackals thrown into the mix. All three species are far easier to contend with than their Reach predecessors in terms of combat, but the Elites have received a rather high boost in health while the Plasma Pistol has trickled down in the opposite direction. Great. Fear not, though, my brothers (and sisters)! We'll get through this together.
Since Dawn is considered to be a "prologue" to the game, it doesn't have any actual chapters. Fortunately, yours truly has sectioned things off into three very distinct sections.
So now, at last, we enter the "Dawn" of Halo 4 Mythic. I know. You're laughing on the inside...
I imagine that if the technology had existed back in 2001 that this is what it would have been like to see Master Chief awaken from cryo-sleep and emerge to find himself up against an invading alien force. The graphics here are beautiful, you feel as though you are actually encased in the Chief's armor, and the world around you seems completely surreal. This was an excellent tribute to the first game!
Grab your bearings, and when Cortana gives the command, look up and hit the action button to release the lever along with the Chief. The game will automatically retrieve Cortana for you and return the controls to you once she's back in your head... for better or worse.
Most people tend to miss the Magnum laying on the floor to the left, so don't forget to pick it up before exiting the cryo-chamber. Yes, there are more of them ahead, but it's always best to be prepared ahead of time.
Make your way through the corridors. Eventually you'll find yourself (and your ship) being violated by a mysterious, orange sensor scan. Well, if it's not purple, then it can't be Covenant! Head through the door once it opens and to towards the closed elevator doors. Upon Cortana's command, tap the action button against the center door repeatedly to pry it open—wait... WHAT?!
Timeout for a second here.
Apparently 343 Industries answered the long-awaited cries for the concept of quicktime events to be introduced into the Halo series (NOT!). Allow me to briefly editorialize this new concept. I'll agree that it most definitely makes the player feel more like they actually ARE the Master Chief rather than simply controlling him, and it gives a much deeper sense of immersion. And if you heard a "but" coming along, you'd be dead on. Quicktime events tend to slow the game down and give the player a lack of overall control.
The concept was originally introduced in Halo Reach with the idea of "assassinations". Sure, they look pretty (and I like feeling pretty), but they also leave you vulnerable. This sometimes even applies even if you merely tap the melee button with no intend on going into full assassination mode, and this "flaw"—for lack of a better term—has been carried over into Halo 4. Worse, it has been further expanded.
Quicktime events in Halo 4 range from simple things like pressing switches all the way up to boss battles. Not only are these actions more time consuming, but you are even left open to attack while performing them! That's right, folks. The Master Chief, icon of the series, can meet his demise by simply pressing a switch and suddenly being attacked by the enemy.
343 Industries, if you're listening, I understand WHY you did it, but in future Halo games, please at least make them optional in some way, shape or form.
Moving on. Once you pry the doors open, a sudden gush of air will hurl you into the elevator shaft and you'll literally be left hanging. Cortana makes some remark about the ship's deterioration. Well no duh! It was split in HALF at the end of Halo 3! I'm pretty sure the market value went down just a bit...
Using the joystick, begin your climb up the shaft. From here to the top, you'll notice the Chief briefly glancing in either one direction or the other. This is your queue to move the joystick in that direction to avoid being pulverized by plunging debris. As you reach the top, you'll noticed a cloaked figure slowly sliding towards you. It's an Elite! Quickly mash your melee button to grab his face and chuck him down into oblivion. At last the quicktime event is over (for now), and you can proceed forward into your first major battle.
This first room is initially occupied by a single Elite and several Grunts. Fortunately, the Elite has his back turned. As tempting as it may be to run in for an assassination, settle for a back-smack instead, and proceed to use the Magnum to begin picking off Grunts one by one. It only takes a single headshot with a precision weapon to kill each one individually. If you prefer, it also only takes four non-assassination melees to kill a Grunt. Use this to save the final Grunt for getting back any shields you may have lost during the skirmish.
Now take the time to examine the room before triggering the next wave of enemies. Below the stairs leading up to the console is a small room with three points of entry. You'll be utilizing this room when dealing with the upcoming Elites. There are also weapons crates on either side of the room containing both Magnums and Assault Rifles. You won't need the ARs, but now is the time to load up on Magnum ammo if you haven't already. Just for kicks, pick up a Plasma Pistol too. You likely won't need it for this particular battle, but it's the best secondary weapon you can have at the moment just in case, and you will most certainly need it later on in the mission.
Collect yourself. Then run to the top of the stairs and activate the panel. The blast shield will rise and reveal that Forward Unto Dawn is being attacked by an entire Covenant fleet! Crap! A swarm of Banshees will fly by the Dawn in formation followed by a pair of space-outfitted Phantoms. They'll begin to flank the room on either side which is your cue to run over to the window on the left side of the room to prepare for their entry. Why the left? Because when they smash through the glass, you'll be dealing with far less debris and can easily back-smack them as they drop out of the Phantom.
The second the Phantoms bust through the glass, the room will depressurize momentarily and send objects whipping around. Each Phantom will drop out four Grunts and one Warrior Elite. As they exit the vessel one at a time, deliver a final blow to each of their fragile spines. This will allow you to cut your opposition in half. Then immediately rush back up the stairs and to your original point of entry to deal with the remaining Covenant. They'll never enter this corridor, making it a safe place to retreat.
Focus on the Grunts first. The first rule when you're dealing with Elites is to try and get them alone when possible. This applies double if you plan on going in for melee combat, which is the case here. You'll also want to wait until they're in an optimal "mode". "What is this mode I speak of?" you ask. Let's break it down. Elites have three primary modes.
Now that we've got that covered, what makes this Elite so dangerous (as well as the first had you not assassinated him) is they tend to already by in Berserk mode. Wait for this guy to approach the threshold of the room. Hide out of sight to encourage him to go back into Patrol mode which will usually keeping him pacing from one side of the walkway to the other. Don't worry. This only takes a few seconds. When you're ready, use Sprint to charge for the door. If you're lucky, you may even be able to turn and assassinate him straight away. Otherwise, follow these instructions.
Sprint to the left of the stairs and immediately turn left to enter the small room and out the back door. Turn back around and move to your left. At this point the Elite should be searching for you. Typically, he'll patrol just outside the door that you used to enter the room and end up with his back to you. If you're stealthy and quick, you'll be able to land an assassination and end the fight. Otherwise, you'll want to use a combination of Sprint and the doors of the bottom room to lose the Elite and take him off guard as shown in the video at the bottom of the page.
The battle is over! Before you proceed forward, though, load up on Magnum ammo from the crates, and if you used your Plasma Pistol at all, grab a fresh one. Head out of the room and towards the elevator shaft to begin the next section of the misson.
Cortana mentions that the only way to go on the offensive with the Covenant fleet is to manually activate the ship's Hyperion missiles located on the outer hull. Sounds easy enough, but we'll have to get there first. Personally, I had more trouble in this part of the mission than anywhere else, so take it slow!
Head left when the elevator doors open. You'll come to a second door which will open automatically. On the other side will be the first of three menacing Elites accompanied by two Grunts. The second the door opens, Sprint to the opposite end of the room. The Elite will be in Normal mode giving you an easy opening for an assassination. The second he's dead, the surviving Grunt pair will either run around frantically, or they'll stick themselves and kamikaze in your direction. Either way, put them down with Magnum headshots.
The next door will open behind you. Again, rush in and back-smack the Elite before he has a chance to retreat. If he succeeds, things will get much more complicated for you. Mop up the Grunts with your Magnum, and take note of where they drop their Plasma Pistols. You'll need them.
Move toward the stairs. Keep your eyes focused on the end of the corridor for the third Elite. You won't be able to run at this one, so we'll rely on the Plasma Pistol to take him down from a distance. Much like the technique used against the Zealots at the end of the Halo Reach mission "Winter Contingency," position yourself so that you can only see his legs. This will cause him to move FAR less. Begin peppering him with the Plasma Pistol.
Note that it takes at least two dropped Plasma Pistols to lower the shields of a Warrior, and that's only if you manage to land almost every shot. This is due to how quickly bolts drain the weapon's battery. The further you are away from your target, however, the less accurate the shots will be, so be prepared to retrieve your next Plasma Pistol the instant your current one depletes. Don't wait too long! Otherwise his shields will recharge, and you may not have enough ammo available to you to bring them down again.
The instant his shields are down, pop him in the dome with the Magnum and end his reign of terror. Advance forward and slay the frantic Grunts with ease. Feel free to pick up one of their Plasma Pistols if you wish, but you likely won't need it. The worst is now behind you!
Move down the stairs to left. There you'll find another ammo crate to replenish your Magnum. The room ahead contains one single Elite and several Grunts. Whatever you do, DO NOT enter the room just yet. Lure the Grunts to you and take them out one by one. Entering the room will trigger the rear doors to open and two Jackals to emerge. We aren't quite ready to deal with them.
If you're confident that all the Grunts are now taking a long dirt nap, move into the room to engage the Elite who should be in Normal mode. Run around him as he chucks grenades fiercely in your general direction and laugh when you send him head-first into the floor with a single back-smack. Take this opportunity to run back to the room's entrance to avoid the pair of Jackals emerging from the auto-opening doors. Stay in cover. One of these evil bird-spawns has a Needler, and in Halo 4, the enemy can easily use this weapon to super-combine the player. I swear, whoever decided at 343 Industries to give Jackals in this game Needlers is nothing short of EVIL!
Use your cover to examine their movements. At least they tend to remove their shields from their faces quite frequently, making them easier to headshot than in Reach. If you get tired of waiting, you can also use grenades to force them to dodge. Either way, landing headshots on them should be relatively simple as long as you're using cover to your advantage.
With the Jackals down, you're ready to enter the final room of this chapter. Remember to grab some ammo from the previous crate, though, before proceeding! Some consider this room to be more challenging than the first encounter, but you have a few advantages at your disposal. First off, the three Elites you'll be dealing with will all typically be in Normal mode. Assassinations against them should be a breeze. Second, you can control their timing in which you'll have to deal with them. And third, you have quite a bit of space to move around should you need it.
Your enemies here are comprised of two groups of Grunts, two Jackals, and three Elites. The Grunts will all be in the glass room, a Jackal will be stationed on either side, and for now, only two Elites are lingering around in the back area. The third one will arrive later.
Exit the corridor and enter the arena. Take note that this is basically one very large room encasing a smaller glass room with unbreakable glass. Before you do anything else, as soon as you enter, headshot the Jackal over there on the right. He should be within view and surprised to see you. This will cause him to temporarily lower his shield and expose his beak. One Jackal down. One to go!
Take this opportunity to clear out the initial Grunts using the right door as your means of cover. Don't worry. They'll come to you. When it's safe, move toward the door and keep your eye on the opposite entrance of the glass room for the second Jackal. Like the first, you'll usually take him off guard to land a perfect headshot. This will completely remove the Jackal factor from the equation. Step back to your point of entry to deal with the second wave of Grunts, but save the final one for melee to ensure you have full shields before going after the Elites.
After you've completed your slaughterfest, drop back into the outer-ring of the room and start heading towards the exit. The first Elite will emerge. As soon as he starts grenade-chucking, dash straight at him and finish him off with either a back-smack or a series of melee attacks (if you miss the assassination). Backtrack to the original entrance. If you go around the exit side to get to the second Elite, you'll inadvertently trigger the third. Remember, Rule #1 with Elites is always get them alone whenever possible. Rule #2? Make sure those shields are at or near 100%.
Move up to trigger the second Elite and use the same technique you did on the first to send him to his grave. With the room cleared, you can finally move toward the exit to trigger the third and final Elite. Be careful. Unlike the other Storm Rifle-armed Elites, this one wields a Concussion Rifle. Be quick to close the distance regardless of whether he's in Normal or Berserk mode. If the former, again circle around him when he tosses a grenade and land the assassination. If he's in the latter mode, continuously chase him in circles while meleeing for shields until he's down for the count.
Breathe a sigh of relief. You've earned it! That was the final enemy you had to kill to get through the mission! Don't worry about scavenging for ammo or grenades at this point. Simply move forward. If you wish, you can grab a Battle Rifle off of one of the hidden wall panels on your way out to the final area, but again, it isn't necessary. Still, it never hurts to upgrade when you can and be prepared for anything and everything.
Welcome back to space combat! Well, sort of. It's more like Zero-G combat with the Death Star looming in the background, but still, 343 Industries did wonders with this. You'll find yourself in a large, open area surrounded by upper platforms. The left-most side is occupied by dozens of foes comprised of Ranger Elites (the only ones in the game), Grunts, Shielded Jackals, Marksmen Jackals, and a single Sniper. The weapons here are plentiful, and if you really wanted to, you could try and battle at least some of them before moving on using the Battle Rifles just to the right of the door as well as the Carbines further down. Just be aware that a Phantom will be dropping off reinforcements in the dead center of the zone if you hang around too long. Otherwise, if you're ready to be done with Dawn, proceed as shown in the video at the bottom of the page.
Sprint along the outer right edge of the flat-zone to stay out of range of the Covenant on the opposite side. Even the Sniper won't be able to hit you from that range! And don't worry. Even if he could, you can survive up to TWO beam rounds on Mythic provided you have full shields and health—a merciful move by 343 indeed.
Tracing the outer edge, move around to the control panel on the other side of the zone, and use the series of beams to crouch-jump your way up to the top. The panel is extremely easy to access but take notice of the Elite guarding the other end of the platform. Normally he'll notice you but not until after you activate the panel. Once you do, that will trigger the missile to rise up from the ship's hull. Waste no time in Sprinting left (back the way you came), and gun it straight for the missile. Again, be quick about this, because a Phantom is about to show up and drop off a pair of Rangers and a cluster of Grunts. Race to the missile's manual override and hit the action button to set it into motion. The cutscene here can't be skipped, but don't worry. The second you activate the override, all of the enemies in the area will despawn entirely.
Cortana makes a smartass remark about whether or not we should be worried about being tractor-beamed into Forerunner world. My response is "only if it's about to fire the Ion Cannon..." Wheel back around and gun it for the exit (Cortana paints the way with a nav point). Definitely watch out for debris that's being vacuumed into the planet's pull as it can most certainly kill you if you aren't careful. Reenter the ship and you'll be welcomed to an exit sequence very similar to the end of Halo 3's "Crow's Nest" mission. The ship will be tearing itself apart around you. Again, use caution here! Ceilings will collapse and bottomless pits will open up. Use the video below to carve out the right path and to know what to avoid. On the bright side, the Covenant will ignore you completely as long as you leave them alone and focus on your own escape. At this point they're just as terrified as you are.
You'll reach the final door which will be ripped from its hinges, and you'll be sent flying right along with it. Don't worry. The game is in full control at this point. The mission is complete! Just sit back and enjoy watching Covenant ships colliding with each other and zipping through large amounts of space debris as you're pulled into world that will become the setting for the majority of the game... the Forerunner shield world Requiem.