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Installation 04: Misc



Up to date as of February 08, 2010

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"Whoever controls Halo, controls the fate of the Universe."
Captain Jacob Keyes
The destruction of Installation 04.
Installation 04 / Alpha Halo
Background Information

Soell System, in orbit around Threshold


343 Guilty Spark


Destroyed by overloaded fusion cores

Date of Construction

98,665 BCE

Date of Destruction

September 23, 2552


25,000 light years

Firing Record

1.2 trillion simulated, 1 actual


10,000 kilometers (6,210 miles)


Installation 04, famously known among fans as Alpha Halo, was one of a series of gigantic ring worlds (the Halo Array from which the series gets the name) left behind by the enigmatic, technologically-advanced, and apparently extinct Forerunners. The Covenant reverentially described Installation 04 as either the First Holy Ring, or the First Sacred Ring. It is the main setting of Halo: Combat Evolved, the first game in the Trilogy. After its destruction at the end of the Battle of Installation 04, the Ark started to construct a replacement Installation 04.



The purpose of Installation 04, along with its brethren, was to preclude and thwart the parasite forms known as the Flood from consuming all sentient life in the galaxy. In the event of a Flood outbreak, one of the seven installations could be triggered to annihilate all sentient life within 25,000 light years. Once one ring is set off all remaining rings would activate. All seven rings could be fired at once if need be.

Installation 04, until its destruction by the Master Chief, was controlled by the Forerunner artificial intelligence construct (Monitor), 343 Guilty Spark.

The climate of Installation 04 is very similar to Earth's climate. There have been hurricanes over the oceans on the ring.[1] The weather is, however, extremely unpredictable - rain and snowfall can occur at random, leading some to wonder if the weather is intentionally irregular, or if it follows a pattern such as snow being deliberately made at the control room to slow the Flood.[2][3]


Halo with Threshold in the background.
Part of the wreckage of Installation 04.

Ancient History

Installation 04 was built by the Forerunners over 100,000 years before the Battle of Installation 04 (It was 101,217 years old in 2552 A.D., but this is measured in "local time").

The Installation was activated sometime thereafter and all Forerunner and most of the Flood were killed. Installation 04 lay dormant for a hundred thousand years, with 343 Guilty Spark and his Sentinels ready to keep the Flood confined in the Flood Containment Facilities and keeping the infrastructure of the Halo in perfect working order.


"Halo... It's finished..."
"No, I think we're just getting started.
Cortana talking to the Master Chief after the destruction of Installation 04.
Halo, as it explodes.

The Covenant discovered the location of Installation 04 after the Covenant Fleet of Particular Justice followed the single UNSC cruiser, the UNSC Pillar of Autumn, which was fleeing from the Battle of Reach through slipspace. It is assumed that the Covenant knew about the Ring prior to the events of The Battle of Installation 04, as the Prophets all have a holographic representation of them on their headdresses and Cortana stated previously that she used the coordinates received by the beam in Halo: The Fall of Reach. Due to the Covenant's faster Slipspace capabilities they arrived before the Pillar of Autumn.

The Pillar of Autumn arrived around September 19, 2552 and was promptly shot down by the warding Covenant space forces. At around the same time, the Covenant ground forces on Installation 04 accidentally unleashed the Flood from captivity. The ensuing four-day battle that took place all over the ring was called The Battle of Installation 04. Humans, Flood, and the Covenant fought massive battles against one another as the Forerunner Constructs tried to control the outbreak by activating Halo. The ring's AI, 343 Guilty Spark, also known simply as The Monitor, tried to convince the Master Chief to activate Halo. Not knowing the truth of what it did, he attempted to light the Ring but was stopped by his AI friend and companion Cortana who was in The Core. She informed the Master Chief of Halo's true purpose and stashed the Index in her memory banks. The Monitor betrayed the two and tried to kill the Master Chief and retrieve Cortana, but the two escaped and started plotting against him. In the end the Master Chief detonated the Pillar of Autumn's fusion reactors which destroyed the Halo ring.

Only a handful of humans and Covenant survived the battle. 343 Guilty Spark floated through space until he was rescued by a group of Covenant near Threshold. Inspired by his words, they began a Heretic rebellion against the greater Covenant. Installation 04's destruction is seen as the first step in the chain of events that led to the Covenant Civil War. The Heretics were quelled by The Arbiter who silenced their leader, but the seeds of a rebellion were planted. The Monitor was then captured by the loyal Covenant and later defected to the humans' side until he was destroyed on the replacement Alpha Halo by Spartan-117 with the help of Sergeant Johnson.

Installation 04 was the first Halo installation encountered by Humans and first to be destroyed. Its destruction triggered the activation of a portal leading to a Micro Dyson Sphere on Onyx and also caused the Ark to start building a replacement ring.

There is now a large field of debris where Installation 04 was, though a few large chunks of the ring remain. Some smaller pieces of the Installation 04 have landed on Basis and others have burnt up in Threshold's atmosphere upon entry. The remaining large chunks are molten and unlikely to be capable of supporting any kind of life and are thus likely free of Flood.


Main Article: Installation 04B

Shortly after the destruction of the Halo, the Ark began to automatically construct a new Halo to replace Installation 04. This exact copy of the first Halo ring was nearing completion only a few months after the first ring was destroyed, but was also subsequently destroyed when it was fired before it was ready by the Master Chief and Cortana. 343 Guilty Spark attempted to prevent this, but was finally destroyed by the Master Chief with the help of Sergeant Johnson in this new ring's Control Room.


See full article: The Halos

The "Ringworld" of Halo is much smaller than Larry Niven's Ringworld, by a magnitude of 300,000. While the diameter of Niven's ring world is close to the diameter of Earth's orbit of 300,000,000 km, the 10,000 km diameter of Halo is much closer to the diameter of Earth itself, which is 12,756 km. The ring world has a star similar to our sun in its center, and Halo is orbiting a planet, but does not encircle it.

Circumstantial evidence from Bungie indicates that Alpha Halo may be located in the Iota Horologii System, only 50 Light years from Earth.[verification needed]


A size comparison between Alpha Halo, Threshold, and planets in the Solar System

It is unclear why the gas giant Threshold was specifically chosen to be the planet which Installation 04 orbited, but it is supposed that the large number of Forerunner machines already operational in Threshold (explicitly the network of Gas Mines), may have played a role in their decision. It could also be because it was the only planet in the system that had enough gravity to hold Halo in place.

Another common theory is that it was placed there mathematically in order to cover the whole of the galaxy with the spread of the Halos main weapon. It is probable that the Forerunner had chosen Threshold as the staging point for constructing Installation 04 in a fail-safe to attempt to isolate any major Flood outbreak. It may have been as simple as its proximity to the Gas Mine stations on Threshold, which the Forerunner may have used for power.

Survivors of Installation 04

After the destruction of Installation 04, Spartan-117 and Cortana, who were responsible for the ring's destruction, fled the installation in a Longsword. Shortly afterward, they reunited with four other survivors on a Pelican. The survivors of the Battle of Installation 04 were as follows:

On a Longsword

On a Pelican



The following two Marines have been seen after having a part in the Battle of Installation 04, but it is unknown how they made it off Halo before the explosion. Note that there may have been other survivors.

It should also be noted that Spartan-II Linda-058 survived the destruction of Halo, even though she was in cryosleep the entire time.

The Survivors of the Human-Covenant War

Not all these Marines survived the remaining war. Corporal Locklear was killed when a Slipspace Crystal (a crystal that warps slipspace) starts to open. He died when he destroyed the crystal with foam C-7. Lieutenant Haverson, along with Admiral Whitcomb, took a wounded Covenant flagship, Ascendant Justice, and waged a one-ship attack on the Covenant Fleet gathered around Unyielding Hierophant in order to distract them long enough to be caught in the explosion of the station. When the Unyielding Hierophant was destroyed it destroyed about 500 other ships in the surrounding vicinity. Sergeant Johnson was killed during the Raid of Installation 04 (II), and Master Chief and Cortana were MIA after that same battle.

Pete Stacker and Chips Dubbo participated in the 21 gun salute at the end of the war.


  • Alpha Halo is where Humanity first comes into official and recorded contact with the Flood. But Humanity's first true contact with the Flood was actually 21 (21/3=7) years earlier, when the UNSC Spirit of Fire sent troops to the surface of an unknown Shield World like planet, though the ship was lost in space, not allowing for it to notify anyone about the parasite.
  • Johnson describes it as "God's own anti-son-of-a-bitch-machine" and a "giant hula-hoop".
  • The numbering of the rings concerning the IWHBYD ring sequence is the opposite to the rings' actual installation numbers and should not be confused.
  • The land of Installation 04 is very much like Earth.
  • It is possible to see falling debris from Installation 04 on Burial Mounds.
  • Installation 04 was monitored by 343 Guilty Spark, the only Monitor to look over two Halo Rings.
  • It is possible that other races came to Alpha Halo before Humans and Covenant, as was stated in Conversations from the Universe.[4]
  • This is the only known ring to be destroyed and thus to be rebuilt.



  1. Halo: The Flood page 14
  2. Halo: The Flood, page 107
  3. Assault on the Control Room
  4. Conversations from the Universe, 343 Guilty Sparks Log

This article uses material from the "Installation 04" article on the Halo wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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