HaloRuns record page: http://haloruns.com/records?lb=507 (click the timestamps for video links)
- 1 Easy and Legendary
- 1.1 General Info
- 1.2 The Main Objectives
- 1.3 The Side Objectives
- 1.3.1 Helping Marines
- 1.3.2 3 Enemies
- 1.3.3 Covenant Causing Trouble
- 1.3.4 Buck Escort Missions
- 1.4 The Final Objective: ONI Tower
- 1.5 The Ideal Route
Easy and Legendary
New Alexandria is arguably the worst speedrunning mission in all the Halo shooters. It's not because the mission is difficult, it's because the mission is random. Completely random. Everything from the objectives to their order is determined by pure RNG. Fortunately, the mission itself is very easy compared to some others in Reach. The infamy comes from the fact that the amount of time it takes to complete the mission is based solely on your luck. This guide is intended to assist you in overcoming the randomness factor and becoming consistent at such an inconsistent level (this is the best NA guide you will find!). So, without further ado, let's talk about the mission. Since there is no specific route here, I will just go over the objectives individually and go from there.
Before I start, here is some very basic info. The way this mission works is there are 5 objectives assigned to you before the final fight at the ONI Tower. Three of them are "main objectives" that you will always receive when playing this mission. They are the objectives that require you to enter a building and overload a jammer in the midst of a bunch of enemies. Their order is completely random on Legendary, but on Easy for some reason the Hospital is always first. The other 2 assignments you receive are known as "side objectives." These are what can vary completely when you play through NA. Each one is chosen at random from a pool of 12 options (divided into 4 groups of 3--see side objective section below). They can range from helping Marines to escorting a Falcon to disabling a fourth jammer. If you can memorize the locations, dialogue, and other telltale signs for each main and side objective, then you can really cut down time on this level. The sequence of objectives you obtain is Main Objective - Side Objective - Main Objective - Side Objective - Main Objective - ONI Tower.
Banshees are scattered throughout the entire city, usually in pairs. They spawn at the very beginning of the mission and stay flying around the whole time. If you kill some, more will spawn to take their places. Where do they spawn, you ask? Take a wild guess. Yes, it's random like the rest of the mission. As you play through NA, there will be a pretty large group of them following you everywhere. While this may seem like a concern on Legendary, they don't pose much of a threat as long as you keep moving. Your Falcon can easily outrun them at full speed. If absolutely necessary, you can meander around buildings and drop altitude to shake them off. If you happen to land on a rooftop, the Banshees will circle around above you like vultures, but they never shoot unless you're flying the Falcon.
Also randomly distributed throughout the city are special Shade Turrets that shoot large, long range plasma bursts. They look like ordinary Shade Turrets, but instead of a driver, these turrets have a bright blue "screen" around the cockpit. If you see one on Legendary, stay away or kill it immediately. They will destroy an unharmed Falcon in mere seconds if they hit you directly. It is recommended to either fly out of their radius or underneath the rooftop on which they are located. If you decide to kill one, do it quickly so it doesn't have time to shoot back.
Other vehicles flying around include Pelicans and Phantoms, but they are pretty uncommon. Phantoms usually fly too low to pose a threat anyway, so don't mind them. If you do come across a Phantom during a side objective or the ONI Tower, know that the Grunts on the side turrets are far more dangerous than the Concussion turret in the front. Kill them and keep moving to dodge the concussion shots.
The Main Objectives
These are the three objectives you are guaranteed to get in each playthrough of this mission. Each one involves you fighting through some enemies in order to overload some communication jammers. Fortunately for you, the "fighting" part is optional. Their order is random, except the Hospital is always the first objective on Easy only. You can tell where to go before seeing a waypoint by the dialogue that precedes it.
Kat: "Standby Six. One of our trooper squads went silent after the Hospital got hit. I'll mark the location. Complete their mission and take out the jammer."
The Hospital is the tall building in the northeast corner of the area. It is easily identified by the small blue sign on it. On Easy, this objective is as easy as running in, overloading the jammer, and running out. On Legendary, however, things aren't so simple. There are tons of enemies in the first staircase room and the long hallway to the jammer, and there are lots and lots of Elite Rangers that arrive on the way out. All of this can be skipped, however, with the help of the famous Banshee skip. Note that the Banshee skip is the fastest approach to this area, so it should always be used in an IL run of this mission, even on Easy.
The Banshee Skip
Step one of the Banshee skip is the hardest by far: obtain a Banshee. There are two main methods of doing this. The faster and very risky method is to perform a midair hijack directly from your Falcon. The safer method is to shoot one down. Start by killing the two Marines on your Falcon's side turrets. You'll get new ones after the Hospital, and you don't want them shooting your Banshee while you're trying to hijack it. Next, locate the Banshee you'll want to take. This seems obvious, but the randomness of their spawns can make it harder than you might think. If you're performing this trick at the very beginning of the mission, look around the edges of the map. Your Falcon's radar has exceptional range so watch it carefully. If you're looking for a Banshee midway through the mission, the best place to look is behind you. Chances are, there are five or six of them following you. Now comes the hard part.
Rule number one of skyjacking is to always approach the Banshee from the front. You can technically go from behind, but the Banshee almost always swerves around a lot, especially on Legendary. If you're in front of the Banshee, it flies toward you to try to shoot you, giving it much more predictable behavior. Just make sure to watch out for the occasional Banshee bomb. Rule number two: stay above the Banshee. Try to stay a good 100-150 meters above as you approach the Banshee. You don't want to drop down below it during the hijack. Now, as you near the Banshee, start slowing down your Falcon and beginning the descent. Try to make it so that the cockpit of your Falcon lands on one of the wings of the Banshee. Just before you "land" on it, look toward the side of the Banshee and get out of the Falcon. Time your dismount so that you're out just as the Falcon makes contact with the Banshee. Now hope and pray that luck is with you and allows you to board and jack the Banshee. Voila! This technique takes a lot of practice and you will mess up many times before getting used to it. Until then, I recommend using the other method of obtaining a Banshee.
The easier way to get a Banshee is to land on a rooftop and shoot down a Banshee with a PP or jack one using a jetpack. Besides the obvious fact that it's slower, this method requires you to have gone through a different main objective before the Hospital in order to obtain your PP or Jetpack and gather a group of Banshees to follow you.
So, now that you have a Banshee, you can fly to the Hospital and land it by the door. Get out and immediately press down on your D-Pad to call for evac. You won't be teleported to the start, but a Falcon will now begin flying to the Hospital so that you have a vehicle to fly after you get out. Next, either punch or shoot the right wing off your Banshee. Get back in the Banshee and position it right in front of the entrance, slightly to the right of center (so you fit through). Since the door won't open while you're in a Banshee, you have to get out again, approach the door so that it opens, then get back in and fly into the building. There is a pretty large risk that your Banshee can get stuck in the doorway then crushed by the closing doors, so make sure to line it up well before attempting to enter. Now fly down to the bottom of the room by circling around it counterclockwise in the small walkways. Now fly through the small doorway into the long hallway that contains the jammer. Make sure to fly through to the right of the plants in the doorway (this is why you broke your wing off). Now fly all the way to the jammer and disable it. Note that the hallway is completely deserted. After disabling the jammer, get back into the Banshee and fly into the wall behind the jammer. Keep an eye on the 2 jetpack AA's on the ground. They will despawn after a few seconds. When they do, get out of the Banshee and wait. After a few more seconds, you suddenly teleport to the exit of the Hospital! This skips having to fight through the Rangers and walking to the exit. Assuming you called for evac before entering the Hospital, a Falcon should be just now arriving for you to take with a new pair of Marines. And the Hospital is done! The Banshee trick may seem long and difficult in text O_o, but a quick glance at a speedrun reveals the trick's actual simplicity.
IMPORTANT!!!!! This trick will only work if the Hospital is the first or second main objective you receive. If it is the third one, DO NOT get back into the Banshee after overloading the jammer! You will not teleport outside, and the door to exit will lock, trapping you inside. You can still fly into the building, but stay out of the Banshee after disabling the jammer. Even if you end up receiving it last in a full game Legendary run, it is highly recommended to snag a Banshee and fly inside as it allows you quickly reach the jammer and skip a large number of spawns in the process, including the Rangers that normally arrive.
7D19: "Mayday, mayday, 7 Delta 1 Niner to all UNSC forces."
Kat: "What's your status 1 Niner?"
7D19: "We found the jammer, but we're getting hit. Request immediate assistance. Sinoviet Center is *augh!*"
Kat: "You still with me 1 Niner? 7 Delta 1 Niner, do you copy? Six, I'm uploading coordinates now. Get to Sinoviet Center. Help those troopers if you can, but get that jammer offline either way."
Sinoviet Center can be found to the south of the area. It is the large building with the big green arrow pointing down on the sides.
This is the easiest main objective of the three. Normally, you'd have to fight off a couple of Shade turrets on the building's landing pad and then several enemies to reach the elevators, but you can instead go to the back left corner of the building and fly up into it. There is a large opening big enough for a Falcon to fit through underneath the elevators there. Simply fly into the building, land right in front of the elevators while ignoring the enemies, and wait for the elevators to open if they aren't already. When you come back, the enemies will be gone.
Take the left elevator to the top of the tower. Sprint to the jammer and overload it. Suddenly, a bunch of Drones will appear. Ignore them and sprint immediately back to your elevator before they even have time to be aware of your presence. Even on SLASO, sprinting to the elevator is perfectly safe. After that, fly the Falcon out of the building the same way you came in and move on.
4C27: "4 Charlie 27 to command. Request immediate assistance."
Kat: "Go ahead 27."
4C27: "We're at the Vyrant Telecom Tower. Got Hunters between us and the jammer."
Kat: "Copy 27, help is on the way. Noble Six, I'm sending you coordinates for the Vyrant Tower. Go get those troopers un-stuck."
The Vyrant tower is located to the north of the city. It is easily identified by the big orange sign near the top. The landing pad is located on the side of the building, guarded by a pair of FRG Shades.
The easiest way to enter the tower is to kill the Shades, fly the Falcon directly toward the door without landing on the pad, and run straight into the building. The enemies will be gone when you return, and they will not shoot the Marines on your Falcon while you are gone. The only way the Falcon could be destroyed when you return is if they threw a grenade at it as you were entering. If you arrive before the enemies even spawn, you can shoot all of them while they pour out of the building; the doors inside take a while to open. Inside, there are about 4 Hunters fighting some Marines. The jammer is in the back, guarded by 2 of them. Run around the right or left side of the room (depending on the side you entered) and up the stairs to the jammer. Watch out for the Hunter at the top; he will try to melee you or shoot you on your way up. Hit the jammer and immediately run and jump down to the bottom of the room before the 2 Hunters can shoot you. Sprint past the Hunter at the bottom. Try to induce it to melee attack, but dodge it. This will buy you enough time to be well on your way to the exit before it can try to shoot you. Get back in your Falcon and fly out the same way you flew in.
The Side Objectives
Two of these are chosen at random for you to complete in each playthrough. There are a total of 12 side-objectives, divided into 4 groups of 3 based on what they are. For example, the helping Marines group involves saving Marines from some enemies, and the Buck group has all the escort missions. In an individual playthrough, you cannot get 2 side objectives within the same group. As I detail each side mission, I will state the fastest approach to each.
As the name suggests, these missions tell you to go assist some Marines in killing enemies. For all 3 of thee missions, the fastest way to complete them is to actually kill the Marines instead of the enemies. If you kill the enemies, you'll have to wait for a Pelican to slowly fly to the building, pick up the Marines, and fly away. This process can cost more than 30 seconds. So make sure to kill the Marines.
1A3: "1 Alpha 3 to Command. Covies got us pinned down on a roof top. We need help pronto. Uploading the waypoint, over."
Kat: "Copy 1 Alpha 3. Noble Six, proceed to waypoint and give those Troopers a hand."
This objective is located NE of the ONI Tower, just outside the ring of structures that Shades are put on at the end. There are bright blue lit up signs with a very faint DEK on them. Note that this objective can be detected before the dialogue starts if you spot the Phantom that drops off the Brutes. It comes up from the bottom of the map next to the building.
F21: "This is Foxtrot 21 on the DNBM Financial Tower, is anybody out there?"
Kat: "Copy 21, go ahead."
F21: "We got Hunters tearing us a new one!"
Kat: "Hang on. Noble Six, uploading coordinates."
This building is located immediately east of the Vyrant Tower. You can't miss it. Since it begins almost immediately and ends immediately if you kill the Marines, this is one of the fastest side objectives in the mission. There are no Phantoms that drop off the Hunters.
7C40: "7 Charlie 40 to HQ, we've got incoming hostiles on top of the Maines-Traiger building. Requesting immediate assistance."
This objective is located on the purple-lit tower to the west of the Hospital. There are several Jackals with PPs and Needlers, so be on watch for EMP shots. This is also an objective that has a Phantom dropping off the enemies before the dialogue starts, so check here if a side objective is taking a while to begin.
These side objectives all require you to kill three enemies. They are pretty quick for the most part if done well. None of them begin with a Phantom dropping off enemies, so they commence quickly.
W39: "Whiskey 3-Niner requesting immediate assistance."
Kat: "Copy 3-Niner. Go ahead."
W39: "Just picked up some evacuees, but we're surrounded by long range shade turrets."
Kat: "Solid copy 3-Niner. Lieutenant, proceed to the waypoint and eliminate those shade turrets."
This is a really good objective to receive as it is located right in the center of the 3 main objectives and goes very quickly. The FRG Shade Turrets are each located on one of three damaged towers surrounding a smaller one NE of Sinoviet and SW of the Hospital. Simply kill each one with the chain gun and fly away. Marine support also helps a lot to take them out.
G27: "Golf 27 to HQ. We're on the Jonto building. Got Banshees all over us."
Kat: "Lieutenant, I'm sending you Jonto's coordinates. neutralize those Banshees."
The Jonto building is located to the north of the holy building (the large ring-shaped one). There are 3 Banshees circling the rooftop with Marines down below. You have to kill the Banshees whether the Marines survive or not. However, I recommend killing the Marines anyway before targeting the Banshees so that you don't have to wait for a Pelican to pick them up afterwards.
O18: "Oscar 18 reporting. Just took out a jammer and we're waiting for evac but taking sniper fire."
Kat: "Understood 18. Six, clear that LZ."
The buildings you are looking for here are located at the far southeast corner of the city. You are more likely to see the Focus Rifle beams than the Jackals themselves, so aim for their sources. They will target you once you start shooting them or if the Marines all die, but they are not too threatening.
Covenant Causing Trouble
These missions have you killing a group of Covenant enemies on a single rooftop to halt their plans. These are overall kinda slow, especially on Legendary, but they are still better than some other objectives. It is best to have both of your Marines on your Falcon to assist in shooting.
Elites and Engineers
Kat: "Noble Six, we're getting reports of Elites and Engineers trying to break into the Misriah Complex. Take them out."
The Misriah Complex is the purple-lit building directly in front of the south end of the Vyrant Tower. A Phantom drops off the Elites before the dialogue begins. The best approach to this one is to target all 3 of the Engineers first so that the Elites are not so menacing. Then finish the rest. The Elites carry Needle Rifles and FRGs, so watch out for those green fuel rods coming at you.
Kat: "Noble Six, we've got an evac op being harassed by a Covenant Shade Turret. Neutralize it so we can get those people out of there."
There are 2 FRG Shade Turrets, 3 FRG Grunts, and a Concussion Rifle Brute to kill on top of the ring-shaped holy building. This objectives goes by quickly, but can cost some time due to the fact it is so high and far away from everything else. Target the Shades and then the infantry. If you keep moving, you really shouldn't take any hits at all.
Kat: "Six, Covies brought out a mobile jammer to mess with our short range. Sending you the waypoint. Go deal with it."
The jammer can be found just west of Sinoviet. A Phantom drops it off along with the enemies before the dialogue starts. You have 5 Brutes carrying Needle Rifles and Concussion Rifles with 3 Grunts, one with a FRG. Overload the jammer like the others: get out and activate the button. While you might think you can just overload the jammer without killing enemies to complete the objective, you actually have to kill the enemies as well. So, target the Brutes and then the Grunts with your chain gun while the Marines help. The large number of needles being shot at you can deal a surprising amount of damage, so if you need to recover, descend below the rooftop so they can't get an angle on you. Then take out the jammer and get on your way.
Buck Escort Missions
These are the side objectives you don't want. The 3 escort missions require you to follow an invincible Falcon through the city for a considerable distance and time while a large swarm of Banshees shoot you. If you ever hear Buck's voice in a full game run, revert immediately. You will almost always have a CP just before the side objective is chosen, so a new one will be given to you. It is worth the revert to avoid these 1.5-2 minute missions that are extremely dangerous on Legendary.
In the event you are forced to do these side objectives, the best you can do is just stay close to the Falcon and fend off the Banshees. Don't worry about your ally; it is invulnerable. Know that there are specific locations or "checkpoints" the Falcon pauses at and stops moving unless you are within 100 meters of it. Otherwise, you can get pretty far away from it between "checkpoints."
There will inevitably be quite an army of Banshees coming at you during these missions, so use the advice I give at the beginning of this guide to deal with them. Shoot them at a distance and circle around buildings to avoid their fire. You can also lure them close to the Falcon you're escorting, and it will start to shoot them with the grenade launchers mounted on the sides.
Buck: "Command, this is Gunnery Sergeant Buck of the 11th ODST, over."
Kat: "Copy Gunnery Sergeant. Go ahead."
Buck: "Phantom's got one of my squads pinned. I need to take it out and evac my troopers."
The Falcon spawns north of Vyrant Tower, circling the building there. There is one checkpoint when the Falcon is NW of Sinoviet. Your destination is a building SSW of Sinoviet. When you arrive there, you have to blow up the Phantom to finish the objective. Once it is dead, you can leave.
Buck: "Command, this is Gunnery Sergeant Buck of the 11th ODST, over."
Kat: "Copy Gunnery Sergeant. Go ahead."
Buck: "My guys got caught in a fire fight in the Nobolose Tower; roof collapsed. I gotta get over there to get them out."
Kat: "Solid copy. Noble Six will escort your Falcon to the Tower."
The Falcon is found in the southeast corner of the city on a tall building with struts in the center. The first checkpoint is in front of Sinoviet. The second checkpoint is at the Misriah Complex (purple-lit building in front of Vyrant). Then it flies to the destination.
Buck: "Command, this is Gunnery Sergeant Buck of the 11th ODST, over."
Kat: "Copy Gunnery Sergeant. Go ahead."
Buck: "Need escort on a classified op. Send someone who knows how to fly a tight formation."
The Falcon spawns on a tower SE of the ONI Tower. The first checkpoint is right next to the same building after it takes off, so just stay close to it until then. The second checkpoint is between 2 buildings in Sinoviet's direction. Finally, it goes to a tower in the southeast corner of the city (right next to the starting point in the "pinned squad" objective above). Then it flies out of the map.
The Final Objective: ONI Tower
Kat: "Noble 2 to Noble Leader, all jammers are down."
'Carter: "Solid copy Noble 2. New orders: all personnel are to be evacuated from ONI HQ. Say 'confirm."
Kat: "Confirm. ONI Tower evac is... *ugh*"
So, once you finally complete all 3 main objectives and 2 side objectives, the final objective commences. There are 3 Phantoms that ascend from the bottom of the map next to 3 buildings around the tower. Each one carries 2 AA Shade Turrets. They each drop off one shade on the building next to which they came up, then the other Shade on an adjacent building. They spawn as soon as you enter your Falcon coming out of the last main objective. I recommend memorizing the order in which the Shades are dropped off so that you waste no time in taking them out. There will be a ton of Banshees flying around as you fight the turrets, so you need to be fast enough that they don't kill you.
If your final objective was Vyrant or Sinoviet, you can actually blow up one of the Phantoms before in even drops off either of its turrets. This allows you to kill 2 turrets early and still follow the regular sequence of turrets as they are dropped. Target the one coming up next to the building SE of the ONI Tower (between the ONI HQ and Sinoviet). Fly close to it so that both of your Marines can also begin shooting. It should blow up just before dropping its first turret. Then, look to the other side of the ONI Tower to catch another Phantom dropping off the very first turret. Shoot it from a distance, then turn left to see the second turret. Fly towards it while you shoot it. Then turn right to see the third one. Fly toward it and shoot. Finally, turn around and begin to descend to the final turret. As mentioned before, it is important to be fast to prevent the Banshees from killing you. As soon as every turret is dead, all the enemy air vehicles will begin to fly away. The Banshees stop shooting you, but be aware that Grunts on a Phantom's side turret will shoot you, so keep your distance from them. Fly up to the highest landing pad on the southeast side of the tower (marked by flashing red lights) to finish the mission.
The Ideal Route
Okay, so now you know all the objectives from their locations to the best approach to each one. But in an IL, what is the most ideal set? Well, after considering lengths of side objectives and their locations in respect to the main objectives, here is the best route I came up with thus far:
Hospital 3 Shades Vyrant Tower Marines vs. Hunters Sinoviet ONI Tower
The Hospital is first for multiple reasons. One, it is closest to the start of the level. Two, since this is the very beginning, you can manipulate Banshee spawns so that they appear in predictable locations. Three, this is the best opportunity to get rid of your Marines. Right after skipping the cutscene, bounce a grenade off the side of the Falcon and immediately get in and take off. The Marines that try to get in the Falcon with you will be too busy evading the grenade. So, you can easily take off without them. Then, turn right and fly over the building toward the Hospital. You want to manipulate a pair of Banshees to spawn there so that you can jack one and fly straight to the Hospital (see below for tips on Banshee manipulation). If you're really good, you can boost into a wall and damage your Banshee enough for it to lose its wings so you don't have to punch the right one off for the Hospital skip. Perform the Hospital skip and take off in your Falcon toward the 3 Shade turrets at about 1000 m altitude. On Legendary, I recommend waiting for the Falcon's pilot to enter the left turret before taking off. On Easy, the 2nd Marine isn't as important (though still helpful).
You want the Shade turrets second because the side objective activates almost immediately, ends immediately, and is super easy. Start by flying over the nearest of the 3 towers to the Hospital. Shoot the turret a couple of times and let your Marines finish the job. Try not to slow down too much. Kill the other two and fly straight to Vyrant.
When you reach Vyrant, destroy the 2 Shades at the landing pad and fly to the door, get out, and enter. Ideally, you want to get there before the inner doors even open. Then just follow the directions above.
I chose the Marine vs. Hunters side objective because it is fast, easy, and literally right next to Vyrant Tower. That is also why Vyrant is my desired second main objective. When you get in your Falcon, immediately start ascending up the tower before the side objective is even announced. You can reach the top just after the Marines and Hunters spawn. Quickly kill the Marines with the Hunters' help and beeline to Sinoviet.
Sinoviet is the third main objective partly because Marines vs. Hunters is closer to Vyrant, but also because you immediately have a line of sight on one of the Phantoms with Shade Turrets at the end. You can blow it up much earlier than you could coming from Vyrant.
Finally, finish up ONI and bask in your glory of being one of the few people crazy enough to IL New Alexandria for an ideal route!
You can see this route in action in the Easy IL record of this mission.
You might think "oh, I can be patient enough to IL this mission" at first glance. But trust me, luck manipulating the objectives is extremely difficult. The likelihood you will get all these objectives in the proper order is 1/648 on Legendary and 1/216 on Easy (since Hospital is always first on Easy but not on Legendary). You will get very frustrated with this mission unless you have impressive patience. You have been warned :P
When doing IL attempts, you need to know how to manipulate Banshee spawns so that they are consistent in your attempts and allow you to remove a major variable in the mission. When you first start the mission from the Campaign menu, get in your Falcon and fly a little to the right of the Hospital. Look for a pair of Banshees flying around near its entrance. If they are not there, save and quit, change a setting to delete your saved progress, and try again. If they are there, you can do attempts! The trick is to reset your attempts by selecting "Restart Mission" in the pause menu rather than saving and quitting and deleting the save. By restarting from the pause menu, the Banshee spawns remain exactly the same as before instead of being shuffled. This also wastes less of your time because there is less time between resets! :D The only negative of this is you'll have to go back into Theater Mode and record your run afterwards in a long film. You can alleviate this by periodically saving and quitting and then resuming without deleting your progress. Then restart the mission right away from the pause menu and keep doing attempts.
Congratulations! You survived to the end of the guide! Wow! Very impressive! And thanks for reading! You are officially an expert of New Alexandria! This guide may seem overly complicated and confusing at first, but you'll understand this mission more once you start playing it a lot like me. If you have questions about New Alexandria, you can ask me (Auraxade) via Twitch PM, Haloruns PM, or in a Halo stream's chat. I will do my best to answer and update this guide accordingly.