After reading some of the Game Informer editor’s best moments in games, I decided to try out a series of my own. I will be covering some of my favorite moments in gaming history, and I hope to write about moments that the G.I. crew hasn’t covered yet. Oh, and this has spoilers for Halo: Reach. With that out of the way, let’s get started.


Reach was doomed from the start. In previous Halo games, Reach has been mentioned and hinted at as a planet that was wiped out by the covenant. The books seem to love this setting, and most of them are about Chief fighting off covenant menace on the planet and his escape on The Pillar of Autumn. But one game went a step ahead.


Halo: Reach shows that Chief wasn’t the true hero of this planet. No, the true hero was a spartan named Noble Six. During Halo: Reach, every member of Noble Team was dispatched in some grand fashion. After defending the Pillar of Autumn so that Chief and co can get off the planet, only Noble Six was left on the wasteland. The final mission of Halo Reach has you in control of the doomed warrior as he fights against the hordes of covenant invaders.


Both you and Noble Six both know that help isn’t coming. You both know that you aren’t making it out alive. But you both know that Spartans fight to the end. Armed with a DMR and Assault rifle, you control Noble Six in an endurance match against fate. You use guns, grenades, and plasma weapons to hold the line while all sorts of covenant attackers try to take Noble Six down.


And they do.


Noble Six loses his helmet, and you keep your helmet view as you watch him attempt to hold off against grunts, elites, brutes, and jackals. You have no control over Six as he gets mauled by elites. He falls to his knees and gets stabbed by an energy sword before falling limp onto the ground.


Moments like these make this game special. The intense fights and spectacular character deaths defined the game for me, and when it is your turn to face your fate you know what you must do. Noble Six died a hero’s death, fighting until he stopped breathing. The game then flashes back after the planet is glassed, and Noble’s helmet is still there. Every Spartan had a story to tell on Reach, and you got to experience one of the grandest tales.


But did Noble really die? His story lives on, and the residence of the UNSC controlled planets all know the story of the Spartans who defended Reach and gave humans a future. After all, Spartans never die. They are just missing in action.