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From The Vault

A desktop terminal (left) and a wall-mounted terminal (right) in Fallout 3.

A Terminal is an electrical device used for running computer programs and controlling other devices.

A terminal is programmed for controlling turrets, opening safes and doors, storing information, and activating robots and other special equipment. Some terminals have been rigged as explosive traps. The operating system of a terminal is the Unified Operating System, a program published by RobCo Industries. A typical terminal has a keyboard for typing commands and a monitor for displaying information and for monitoring commands.


Fallout and Fallout 2

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Using Terminals

To use a terminal, you simply have to activate them.

Secured Terminals

Most terminals are secured. To access them you either need

  • a password, mostly random.
  • enough Science skill to hack them,
  • or an encryption key.

Usually only one or two of these options are available.

A terminal password, presented in the Notes section of your Pip-Boy.


There are various ways of getting a password to a terminal. The two most common ways to get a password are that someone tells you the password or that you find an item describing the password, like a holotape.

Guessing the password or knowing the password from any other source than the game - like the wiki - does not help you; if you haven't got the password, according to the game, your only resort is to hack the terminal.

Mothership Zeta Terminals

There are terminals scattered around the ship Mothership Zeta, in the add-on of the same name. They are used by the Aliens for security purposes, and with the required Science skill, ranging from 25 to 75 Science, you can hack them. There are a few choices once hacked: 1) Set it to blow up in a small amount of time. 2) Set a proximity charge and 3) Unlock the door. These terminals can also be destroyed by gunfire. They are usually found near doors, and when opened, they contain various Alien items, such as Alien Epoxy, Alien Biogel and Alien Containers. A certain door can be found in the Weapons Lab that contains the Atomic Pulverizer. It can be found in a small room located in a hallway near the entrance. The room can only be accessed by using an alien door terminal that requires 75 Science to activate. The terminal is explosive so when killing the enemies don't destroy it. It will be found lying on a rack directly to the right after entering the door. Other notable loot inside the same room include some Alien Power Cells, another Atomizer, an offline Guardian Drone, and other forms of Alien memorabilia.

Hacking Terminals

A typical hacking session on a terminal.

One way to deal with secured terminals is the possibility to hack them. This works only if:

  • the terminal is hackable
  • your Science skill is high enough to hack the terminal (which can range from very easy to very hard):

A Vault 101 Lab Jumpsuit and a number of other outfits which can be found later in the game each add +5 to your Science skill. Lesko's Lab Coat adds +10. You can carry one of these with you and put them on when you want to hack a terminal so that with a Vault lab coat, your Science skill only needs to be 45 to hack a 50-skill terminal, for example, and with Lesko's coat, your Science skill only needs to be 40 for a 50 terminal. This frees up points for you to put into other skills. (Just don't forget to change back to your armor when done hacking.)

Hacking a terminal pays a good number of Experience Points, so you may want to hack terminals even if you don't need to, just to get the XPs. For example, hacking an average terminal may give you 40-50 XPs, and most good sized buildings usually have at least a half-dozen terminals. You get more XP for hacking a Very Hard terminal than you do killing a Super Mutant Behemoth.(on Normal Difficulty or below).

Terminal level Science

skill requirement

XP reward
Very Easy 15 20
Easy 25 30
Average 50 40
Hard 75 50
Very Hard 100 60

You will be presented with a list of words, all of the same character length, interposed with random characters. One of the words is the correct password, and your goal is to guess it. You choose a word by clicking on it. If you didn't guess correctly, the terminal will display "x/y correct" where x is the number of correct letters, and y is the word length. It is important to realize that a letter is correct only if it is in the right spot. For example, if the password is "RELEASED" and you choose "DETECTOR" then you will be told that there are 2/8 correct because there are 'E's in the 2nd and 4th place for both. The words have other letters in common, like 'R', but it is in the first spot in one word, and the last in the other. You have four attempts to select the correct password. Higher difficulties mean more letters in each of the words (ranging from 4-5 on Very Easy terminals to 10-11 on Hard terminals to 12+ on Very Hard terminals). The Player character's skill level in Science determines how many possible choices are on-screen (higher = fewer words to choose from).

This game has many similarities with Mastermind (a board game).

Tips and Tricks

You can back off the computer before getting locked out, when you go back to the computer it resets but it will give you a whole new set of words

Use previous guesses to eliminate words. If you guess a word and are told that it has n correct letters, that means any word that does not have exactly n letters in common (same letter in the same position) with the first word cannot be the correct choice. For example, if you guess "CONVINCED" and are told that 3/9 are correct then you can eliminate words like "CERTAINLY" (1 letter in common) and "COMMITTEE" (4 letters in common). This often narrows your choices down a good deal - in the mini game this example was taken from, choosing "CONVINCED" eliminated all but 3 words ("FORBIDDEN", "CARDINALS", and "CLUTTERED"). So after only one guess, being able to win the mini-game was guaranteed (since there were three guesses and three words left). If your first guess has no correct letters it can greatly benefit the player as there likely aren't many other words that could be the right passcode, leading to much narrowing down.

Often times, many of the words have the same suffix, notably "TION" and "ING". If you guess a word that ends in "TION" and at least four letters are right you can bet on the correct password being a word ending in "TION", given that it would have to mean that the other letters in the word would have to be identical if that weren't the case. Example: your guess is 'REACTION' with 4/8 correct. If this rule didn't apply the correct password would have to start with 'REAC' and no such word exists.

There are also things you can do with the characters that are not part of words. Clicking on matching brackets (i.e. () [] {} or <>, even with other characters between, but not a whole word between) can remove a dud password or even reset the number of remaining guesses to four. The brackets must be of the same type and on the same line. Take ".<*%]>)(@" as an example. Selecting the first "<" will highlight everything up to the ">". Also, two or more opening brackets can be matched to a single closing bracket ("[ [ ]" on a line gives you two chances), but the opposite is not true ("[ ] ]" only gives you one chance). Choosing a single non-letter character will simply waste an attempt. If all wrong passwords have already been removed, and you click on a bracket sequence, you will not use up an attempt and you will be told "Entry Denied"

Taking the above approach may require pencil and paper (or one of the programs listed below), but there are other tricks that do not. Looking at common word substructures can also be useful. For example, if any word ending in "ING" gets less than 3 letters correct, then the correct answer cannot end in "ING". Likewise, many words may start with "CON", etc.

Previous choices are displayed on the right-hand side of the terminal. You may find this easier to use for position-based character mapping than trying to do it mentally.

To get to the hacking mini-game quickly, you can click the startup screen on the terminal to skip to the next screen. Click once more to load the hack screen instantly.

Before you have used all four guesses, you can exit the game. You can then start the game again, and you will be given a new batch of words. This is useful if you're running low on guesses. Using all four guesses without getting the correct answer will lock the terminal and you will be unable to hack it again.

See also

Encrypted Terminals

Decryption Key

Sometimes terminals have options that can't be used until you have the correct encryption key, and will be presented as gibberish.

An example of this are the terminals used by Chinese spies in the Capital Wasteland - but the terminal encryption key is usually nearby.

Trapped terminal

Trapped terminal

A terminal can also be a trap in disguise.

If triggered by activating the keyboard, the terminal will first give a small electical shock, and then the rigged Frag Grenade will detonate.

How to recognize

A trapped terminal has a broken rear, and a small receptor antennae on the back, recieving from an unknown source; see picture to the right. Also, all terminals with traps on them are plainly called "Terminal", as with the normal "Click/press 'A' to Activate Terminal."


Disarming a trapped terminal demands 45 Explosives skill. It is disarmed by activating the rear of the terminal rather than the front.

A Frag Grenade was used to create the trap, and you will get the one used to rig the terminal when you disarm it.


  • You can't create these traps yourself, you can only rearm an old disarmed trap.
  • After disarming, these terminals can NOT be used for anything except re-arming with a frag grenade. it is NOT possible to EVER use these terminals for informational purposes.

A Word Of Caution

Hacking privately-owned terminals -- which display their "Hack" options in red instead of in green (such as Moira Brown's research computer in Craterside Supply) -- is always a risky choice. Ignoring the likelihood of karma loss, owners who see you tampering with their private property are very likely to become hostile to you and retaliate. Usually, your followers will attack and kill them immediately when they become hostile. This can lead to serious consequences, particularly if the owner of the terminal is necessary for obtaining or completing a quest. Be warned.

Purpose of Terminals

In Fallout 3, terminals are generally used to find information about a particular quest or character. There are also terminals that may unlock a nearby door once hacked, while there some terminals that have no discernible use whatsoever. In the Robot Repair Center there is a terminal that can set off a pulse explosion killing every robot in the room.

Turret Control

Terminals can be used to turn turrets off. Terminals can also be used to disable the turret's targeting causing it to shoot at everyone no matter who they are.

Opening doors and safes

Terminals are quite commonly used to open safes, giving an alternative to lockpicking the safe. To get maximum XP, you can pick a lock first, then hack the terminal which would have unlocked it. You could also hack the terminal but not unlock the safe/door etc before exiting and then lockpicking it.

Terminals are also sometimes used to unlock or open doors; an example is the terminal used in the Tenpenny Tower quest to let Ghouls in from the Metro.

Riddles & Mini-games

  • In Museum of Technology, Prime has reprogrammed a few terminals so that Jiggs can track his whereabouts, if he manages to get the answers right. See: Jiggs' Loot.
  • In Hubris Comics, one still working terminal has a beta test of a computer game, Reign of Grelok (beta).
  • In The National Archives, a terminal controls a mulitple choice quiz that dispenses a reward ticket on successful completion. This ticket (and others found elsewhere in the museum) can be cashed in at a nearby terminal for some otherwise unique mentats.

List of hackable terminals

For the Data Miner achievement, you need to find 50 terminals to hack. For this purpose this page will contain a list of those terminals. If there are any others please add to the list.

Place (or closest map marker) Location in place Skill level Purpose How Many
Alexandria Arms Second floor Average Unlocks door to Storeroom 1
Arlington Library Library lobby Easy Information 4
Arlington Library Arlington Library Media Archive middle floor Average Turret control 4
Arlington Library Arlington Library Media Archive top floor Average Turret control 4
Arlington Library Arlington Library Media Archive top floor Average Unlocks safe 4
Anacostia Crossing Station near Seward Square exit Average Protectron 1
Anchorage War Memorial At the top of the steps leading to the Anchorage Memorial Facility Bay Average Unlock Door 1
Bethesda Ruins Bethesda Offices East Average Turret control 2
Bethesda Ruins Bethesda Offices West Average Turret control 2
Capital Wasteland Southeast of the Arlington Library at a Talon Company checkpoint Average Controls turret system 1
Citadel In the Clinic, Ring B Very Hard Information 3
Citadel Squire Maxon's Room, Ring B Very Easy Information 3
Citadel Elder Lyons room, Ring B Very Hard Information 3
Dunwich Building Forsaken Dunwich Ruins Easy Story Infos 1
Dupont Circle Station  ? Average Turret Control 2
Dupont Circle Station  ? Very Easy Protecton Robot control 2
Enclave Field Research: Crater Camp Just west of Fort Bannister Average Information 1
Fairfax Ruins Southeast of, halfway to Andale Average Turret control 1
Falls Church/Mason Dst Metro Near the entrance of Franklin Metro Utility Easy Unlocks Door 1
Farragut West Station Office near entrance Very Easy Protector Robot control 1
Fort Bannister Fort Bannister Bunker Easy Turret Control System 3
Fort Bannister Commanding Officer's Quarters Average Unlocks door 3
Fort Bannister Commanding Officer's Quarters Average Turret Control System 3
Fort Independence Fort Independence Lower Level Average Turret Control System 2
Fort Independence Fort Independence Lower Level Hard Unlocks Door 2
Franklin Metro Utility Right after entering Hard Unlocks safe 2
Franklin Metro Utility Below of first room Hard Turret Control 2
Germantown Police HQ Ground Floor Very Hard Unlocks jail cell doors 4
Germantown Police HQ Ground Floor Very Hard Unlocks contraband closet 4
Germantown Police HQ Top Floor Very Hard Information 4
Germantown Police HQ Top Floor Easy Unlocks safe 4
Grayditch Doctor Lesko's Shack Average Information related to Those! 2
Grayditch Brandice's House Easy Information 2
Greener Pastures Disposal Site Offices Average Unlocks Safe 1
Jefferson Memorial Jefferson Museum and Gift Shop Average Turret Control System 1
Jury Street Metro Station Jury St. Tunnels Very Easy Unlocks Safe 1
Little Lamplight The Great Chamber, NW corner Average Opens Vault 87 Reactor Door (see Joseph) 1
L.O.B. Enterprises East Wing, NW corner Very Hard  ? 1
Lucky's Inside, on a counter Hard Unlocks Scavenger's safe 1
Marigold Metro Station Left of behind subway car near flashing light Easy Unlocks door 2
Marigold Metro Station Dr. Lesko's Office Average Unlocks access door and notes 2
MDPL Mass Relay Station Inside Power Station Very Hard Unlocks safe 1
MDPL-13 Power Station Derelict Power Plant, inside upper office Average Unlocks safe 3
MDPL-13 Power Station Derelict Power Plant, inside lower office Hard Turret Control 3
MDPL-13 Power Station Inside power substation, on desk Hard Unlocks Safe 3
MDPL-16 Power Station Power Substation Average Unlocks safe 1
MDPL-21 Power Station Power Substation Hard Unlocks safe 1
Megaton Children of Atom Very Easy Information 5
Megaton Craterside Supply Very Easy Information 5
Megaton Megaton Armory Hard Deactivating Deputy Steel and Weld 5
Megaton Moriarty's Saloon Average Information (Finding out where dad went) 5
Megaton The Brass Lantern Very Easy Information and unlocks safe 5
Meresti Service Tunnel Meresti Trainyard Station Entry Terminal Very Hard Information 1
Meresti Metro Station The Family's Terminal Very Hard Information 3
Meresti Metro Station The Family's Terminal #2 Very Hard Information 3
Meresti Metro Station Vance's Terminal Very Hard Information and Unlock Safe 3
Museum of History Lower Hall - Top of Staircase on right Average Turret Control 1
Museum of Technology Atrium, In the Security Station Average Turret Control 4
Museum of Technology West Wing, In the Security Station Average Turret Control 4
Museum of Technology West Wing, In the Security Station Average Information 4
Museum of Technology West Wing, in the Planetarium Control Room Easy Unlocks nonexistent door 4
National Archives Next to archives sub-basement door Easy Unlocks door 1
National Guard Depot Offices Wing, behind a locked door (Average) on the other side of the wall (go up the stars and down the other side) there is an unlocked door that goes to the same room. Average Disable Turrets 4
National Guard Depot Training Wing Average Disable Turrets 4
National Guard Depot National Guard Depot Average Disable Turrets (#1) 4
National Guard Depot National Guard Depot Average Disable Turrets (#2) 4
Northwest Seneca Station Inside Grocer, on counter Easy Unlocks safe 1
Nuka-Cola Plant South East of Wasteland Very Easy Activating Convoy Belt for Nuka-Cola Quantum's 2
Nuka-Cola Plant Storage and Mixing Vats Very Easy Activating security protectron 2
Our Lady of Hope Hospital First floor Average Information (Nurse Station 01) 4
Our Lady of Hope Hospital First floor, north Average Information (Nurse Station 02) 4
Our Lady of Hope Hospital Inside entrance, near reception Average Turret Control System 4
Our Lady of Hope Hospital Second floor, dead end to the east Average Information (Nurse Station 03) 4
Outcast Outpost In Protector McGraw's chamber. (Operation: Anchorage) Very Easy Information 1
Paradise Falls In Eulogy's Pad, on the table with the SpeechBobblehead near the heart bed Average Use in quest Rescue from Paradise 1
Queen Ant's Hatchery Accessed from Marigold Metro Station Average Use in quest Those! 1
Raven Rock Level 1B, Delivery Terminal Average Unlocks Cage #364 3
Raven Rock Level 1B Average Disables Force Field 3
Raven Rock Level 2C, same room as Bobblehead - Energy Weapons Average Disables Force Field 3
Red Racer Factory CEO Offices Average Disable chip broadcast 3
Red Racer Factory CEO Offices Average Surgeon's Notes 3
Red Racer Factory CEO Offices Average Surgeon's Notes & disable chip broadcast 3
Rivet City Midship Deck, Abraham Washington's room Very Hard Information 7
Rivet City Midship Deck, Seagrave Holmes's room Average Information 7
Rivet City Tower (2 terminals) Very Easy Information 7
Rivet City Upper Deck, Clinic Average Information 7
Rivet City Upper Deck, Bannon's room Easy Information 7
Rivet City Upper Deck, hotel lobby Very Easy Information 7
RobCo Factory Upper Level - Offices and Cafeteria Average Robot control 1
Roosevelt Academy Ground Floor - Admin Office Very Easy Protectron 2
Roosevelt Academy Ground Floor - Nurse Office Hard Open Safe 2
SatCom Array NN-03d Tower C Very Easy Open Door 1
SatCom Array NW-05a Southeast of Raven Rock Average Turret Control 1
Steelyard In front of a line of 4 Protectron's Hard 4 Protectron's 1
Super Duper Mart In a storage area the the back of the store, next to the Protectron. Very Easy Protectron 2
Super Duper Mart Office at the back of the store. Easy Opens door to the storage area to the right of the terminal. 2
Taft Tunnels Before the flood door Very hard  ? 1
Tenpenny Tower In Boutique Le Chic, 1st Floor Average Unlocks Safe 4
Tenpenny Tower In New Urban Apparel, 1st Floor Average Unlocks Safe 4
Tenpenny Tower In the Federalist Lounge, 1st Floor Easy Store Discount 4
Tenpenny Tower Metro Access & Generator around back of the tower Easy Unlock containment door for Tenpenny Tower 4
Tepid Sewer To the left of the entrance Average Control automated turrets 2
Tepid Sewer Outside Rocksalt's storage room Easy Unlocks Rocksalt's storage room 2
Underworld Winthrop's Room Average Information/Unlocks Safe 4
Underworld The Chop Shop Very Easy Information 4
Underworld The Ninth Circle Very Easy Information/Unlocks Safe 4
Underworld Underworld Outfitters Very Easy Information 4
VAPL-58 Power Station Inside building Very Hard Unlocks Safe 1
Vault 87 Living Quarters Average Information/Unlocks Safe 8
Vault 87 Test Labs, Isolation Room 01 Hard Unlocks Door 8
Vault 87 Test Labs, Isolation Room 02 Hard Unlocks Door 8
Vault 87 Test Labs, Isolation Room 03 Hard Unlocks Door 8
Vault 87 Test Labs, Isolation Room 04 Hard Unlocks Door 8
Vault 87 Test Labs, Isolation Room 05 Hard Unlocks Door 8
Vault 87 Test Labs, Lab Tehnician Average Unlocks Door 8
Vault 87 Test Labs, Medical Wing Maintenance Average Unlocks Door(s) 8
Vault 92 Living Quarters Average Women's Dorm Security Terminal 5
Vault 92 Living Quarters Average Men's Dorm Security Terminal 5
Vault 92 Living Quarters Hard Data Storage Entry 5
Vault 92 Living Quarters Average Security Terminal 5
Vault 92 Atrium Average Supply Shop 5
Vault 101 Interrogation room during Trouble on the Homefront Average Opens cell, Information (this terminal is unlocked during Escape!) 3
Vault 101 Overseer's office Very Easy Opens tunnel, Information 3
Vault 101 Sub-Level Hard Information 3
Vault 106 Entrance, security room Very Hard Information 2
Vault 106 Living Quarters, Overseers office Very Hard Information 2
Vault 112 Tranquility Pod Floor Hard Unlocks door to Supply Room 1
Vault-Tec Headquarters Vault-Tec Administration, Lower Floor, NE Corner Average Disable Turrets 2
Vault-Tec Headquarters Vault-Tec Administration, Upper Floor Average Disable Turrets 2
Wheaton Armory Bottom of missile silo Average Turret control 2
Wheaton Armory Bottom of Missile silo Very Hard Unlocks Door 2

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


Up to date as of February 08, 2010

From Halopedia, the Halo Wiki

(78 votes)
You could also be looking for Terminal, the Halo 2 Multiplayer Map or Terminal Moraine, the Halo Wars Multiplayer map?
The exterior of a Halo 3 terminal.

The Terminals are Forerunner machines that provide insight into the history of the Forerunners, primarily the Forerunner-Flood War.

The Terminals fill the player in on the Halo backstory, much in the same way as they functioned in Marathon. The terminals are a continuation of the Iris alternate reality game used as viral marketing for Halo 3. They clarify a great deal of the Iris story line by naming the authors of different messages and by explaining the circumstances of the original firing of the Halos. The terminals follow the stories of the Librarian and Didact, Forerunner logs of the Flood attacks, and Mendicant Bias's progression into rampancy.

Finding and accessing all seven of the Terminals will unlock the Marathon Man achievement. Marathon Man may be a reference to the Marathon game.


Achievement Details

Terminals can be accessed on any difficulty. You can get the Marathon Man achievement through a combination of different sessions, reading terminals out of order and on various difficulties. There are no requirements for doing them in one game, nor are you required to find them to finish your missions -- and you don't need to finish the mission for a Terminal to count toward the achievement.

IMPORTANT: You must access all terminals as follows:

  • In either Co-Op or single-player.
  • It is necessary to read the text until the green arrow (facing left) turns red. On some terminals, you may have to wait until the screen flashes red and the screen appears to "scan horizontally". This does not occur for all terminals. If you have no red arrow (see below) then wait until the red flash / scanning occurs.
    • Look in the bottom left hand corner, there is a green arrow, when it turns red you can exit the terminal. Note that normally you're able to advance each screen of the display by pressing the green A button. However, in some cases you need to wait. If the arrow is still green then wait until the terminal proceeds.
  • For some players, you must access the seventh terminal last in order to unlock the achievement (if you have accessed them all and you still don't have the achievement, try that).
  • If after accessing the terminals and you don't receive the achievement, try accessing all of the terminals on the same difficulty level (e.g. Easy, Normal, Heroic, or Legendary).
  • In Co-op, both players must be near a terminal to access it.


The Terminals are located on the three levels The Ark, The Covenant and Halo There is also a hidden terminal on Cortana, but that one does not need to be found in order to get the achievement.

The Ark

Terminal 1

Terminal 1
After fighting the Hunters, continue on your way until you enter a building in the cliff wall. You should now be in a corridor with two holographic displays on the right, and two doors on the left. Enter the semi-circular room and you will see the first of the seven Terminals.

Terminal 2

Terminal 2
Go outside to the desert area, commandeering transport. You must complete a significant section of this level until you obtain tanks after defeating the Anti-Air Wraiths, then return in the tanks to the main door to the structure.

When you go inside the structure to let the tanks across the energy bridge, there will be a Terminal directly behind the controls for the bridge. You must activate the bridge before you can access this terminal.  It is also easier to access it at Rally Point Alpha.

Terminal 3

Terminal 3
There is a part in the level in which you walk down a long hallway with white walls, and turn to the left at the end to continue. In the next room there will be a Grunt wandering around, and many stacked up Plasma Batteries. As soon as you enter this room, go underneath the staircase / platform on which you are standing. Underneath there will be a door that conceals the terminal. To access this terminal, you may spawn at Rally Point Bravo, bringing you to the room with the sleeping Grunts, directly before the room with the Grunt and Plasma Batteries.

The Covenant

Terminal 4

Terminal 4
Fight your way past the Covenant beach defenses, then obtain the Warthog and fight onwards up the hill and eventually past the Wraith tank. Go inside the structure and fight past the various Covenant inside. The fourth Terminal is located near the first elevator control. Before you ride the elevator up, look at the opposite side of the elevator from which you came. You will see a dark ledge; jump on to it and you should see the terminal to your left.

Terminal 5

Terminal 5
After getting a Hornet, fly towards the second tower (the one that the Elites have already disabled). The Arbiter will remind you that Tower 2 is already clear, just to confirm you are at the right place. The Terminal is in the main hallway of the structure, with three dead elites, opposite from the only (locked) door. (And as a bonus, there is a skull on the outside of Tower 2 on the rise platform in the middle; just walk up and claim it for another achievement. Note that the skull won't be present if you start from Rally Point Alpha, or are playing on the Easy difficulty.)

Terminal 6

Terminal 6
Terminal 6 is placed identically to Terminal 4, only in the third tower and off to the right (versus the left in Terminal 4). Enter the tower, fighting your way past the Drone swarm and the pair of Hunters. The terminal is located near the elevator control; before you ride the elevator up, look at the opposite side of the elevator from which you came. You will see a dark ledge, jump on to it and you should see the terminal, which opens up to the left.


Cortana Terminal

Cortana Terminal a.k.a. Terminal 8
Terminal 8 is located in the basement room of the Tilt Skull's location, where the Gravity Hammer is found. (This terminal does not count towards the Marathon Man achievement, but instead, plays a secret Cortana moment.)


A Terminal, as seen in Halo 3.

Terminal 7

Terminal 7
Terminal 7 is found at the beginning of the final level in Halo 3. To find it, head forward from the start of the level through the snow until you encounter the area with a few structural beams going from one wall into another. At this point (before you go past any beams) you will see a metal floor. Follow the floor to the right and up through a small gap in the ice, and follow this path along. You will find a beam heading through a crack in the ice. Follow this beam into a doorway. Cortana will ask you, “Where are you going?”. Turn left once inside and the Terminal should be in full view. Cortana will say, "Wait. What's that?" as a good hint. The terminal will be in front of what is presumably one of Installation 04 (II)'s pulse generators. After that, Cortana will ask you: "Chief, how many of these have you found?" If the level is completed on Legendary, the terminal, once accessed on a different difficulty or another run-through, will show more information, which hints at what the Chief is not worthy to know, at least not yet. Note: that the bridge that you used to get to the Terminal will be destroyed.


Note: The following is an exact transcript, of all seven terminals in Halo 3. It is all copied directly from each terminal in-game, and is not speculative. Most of the Terminals have extra content that can be accessed in Legendary; one Terminal's "main" content does differ based on the difficulty level.

Upon initial access on all difficulty levels, the seven Terminals give background details regarding the story of the 300-year-long Flood/Forerunner conflict, including strategies, encounters, enemy and friendly losses, and procedures leading up to the activation of the Halo Arrays. After a short time, this text is overwritten and a new message is displayed on the screen.

On Easy, Normal, and Heroic difficulty levels, this second screen of text details a correspondence between two Forerunner lovers called the "Librarian" and "Didact". In this transcript, as in the Terminals, "L" stands for Librarian and "D" stand for Didact.

An unknown entity sends brief messages onscreen upon shutdown, and at the final Terminal, it is revealed that this entity is the rampant Forerunner AI known as Mendicant Bias, who had previously assisted in the Flood's attempt to destroy the Forerunners.

On the Legendary difficulty level, the second screen of text tells the story of Mendicant Bias, an AI created by Didact to destroy the Flood. It is revealed here that Mendicant Bias was the AI who took control of Adjutant Reflex during the "Iris" campaign. Messages detailing Mendicant's eventual defection to the Gravemind are displayed on Terminals 1-4, with the AI having an ongoing conversation with someone or something tagged LF.Xx.3273 -- presumably the Flood, as in Terminal 4, Mendicant Bias told LF.Xx.3273 that he was created to study them. These messages are somewhat incomplete and disrupted, with {~} symbolizing the disruptions. A noticeable pattern in the messages suggests that many of the disruptions occur at the use of pronouns, such as "I, we, me, they, it", though this pattern is not entirely consistent.

Terminal 5 displays several hostile messages sent from Mendicant Bias to his makers, confirming his rampancy -- these messages are different on each difficulty level.

Terminal 6 details the defeat of Mendicant Bias by Offensive Bias, as perceived by Offensive himself.

The final message hidden in Terminal 7 is an apology made by Mendicant directly to the player for his betrayal, atoning by saying he will help the Reclaimer leave the Ark safely.

Terminal One

(Upon initial access)

Observed extensive ground action on [LP 656-38 e]. 9,045 survivors barricaded within central government building. Structure's defenses inadequate to withstand extended siege by enemy ground forces (≈ 1,572,034,315+). Estimate position overrun in [173 hours].

846 smaller groups in less defensible structures: global distribution corresponding to [probability model zeta]. Estimated local position overrun in [9 hours] (average).

Observed local naval forces engage enemy irregular naval group near [DM -3-1123]. Enemy group consisted of 149 commercial shipping vessels, passenger ferries, and private recreational vessels from neighboring system. Enemy losses were total. No damage was sustained by local naval vessels.

However, it was immediately apparent that enemy group sought only to enter [D<-3-1123 b's] atmosphere and make landfall. In this they were partially successful.

Observed extensive ground action on [DM-3-1123 b]. Enemy forces lacked basic unit cohesion but quickly gained numerical superiority. [32 hours] after enemy landfall 83% of local naval forces advocated total [destruction of the biosphere] following the evacuation of unmolested population centers. Enemy losses were total.

Estimated number of citizens evacuated before commencement of orbital blanket bombardment: 1,318,797 civilian/42,669 military (.0006% of total population).

(No message from Mendicant Bias upon shutdown)

(Upon being rerouted to new destination within Terminal)


L: Categorization has sped since the improvements were announced, but there are many hurdles. The indexing of sentient species may have irreversible effects on the surviving insentient species. We will have extinction events and irreparable environmental harm on at least 18 worlds. Current projections estimate post-archival cataclysm on as many as 31 worlds. The paucity of sentience has been a blessing in this regard.

D: How formal you are, Librarian. We're receiving shipments of indexed beings more frequently than communications. Don't compound scarcity with brevity.

I know things beyond the [Maginot] line are harried. But I worry about you. I've asked you time and time again. Abandon your cataloging. Come back inside, where my fleets can keep you safe.

Come home.

L: Would that it were my choice. I have committed to this course because it's the right thing to do. We no longer have the manpower or materiel to excise remedial measures at a planetary level. I certainly can't justify using the [transit measure] to save my own skin when there are still so many innocents to protect and index.

D: You know I oppose your mission, but you're exceeding its parameters anyway. You've put yourself in jeopardy. You've done enough.

If you will not come to me, I will find my way to you.

L: We have no time to spare, Didact. Every vessel we can fill, we send to the Ark. I dare not cease the mission. Not now, not until I've done all I can. Each one of these souls is finite and precious.

And I'm close.

Close to saving them all.


(The following appears only if you access the terminal on Legendary difficulty)

(Upon being rerouted to new destination within Terminal)

[29,478 hours] have passed since I left the [Maginot] sphere and entered contested space.

The enemy is everywhere.

Despite this the morale of my charges remains high. They wake, clean themselves, fuel their bodies, communicate with one another, eliminate waste, train to destroy the enemy, and return to sleep. The sacrifices they have chosen to make on behalf of their [brethren] fills me with pride.

If only I could save them all - but they know, perhaps even better than I, that that is not possible.

[37 seconds] ago I moved beyond my ability to observe the events taking place on [[[Battle of CE-10-2165-d|CE-10-2165-d]]].

The importance of my mission forbade me from rendering any aid, but no less important was the need for me to study the enemy's capabilities in real world situations.

[2 hours] ago 12,423 small recreational vessels appeared inside [CE-10-2165-d's] orbital perimeter. Hidden within that vast swarm were seven massive freight carries. The smaller craft were employed as [ablative armor], allowing the carries to descend through the atmosphere; landing on top of major population centers.

Despite the fact that the naval garrison was aware of the likelihood of just such an attack, their ability to effectively defend against it proved insufficient.

This has always been the enemy's [modus operandi]: [flood] your opponent's ability to process information with so much noise that no meaningful resistance can be put into action.

[3 minutes] ago those same population centers began disappearing under brilliant flashes. This was not an ill conceived, poorly implemented counter attack; it was a deliberate denial of resources - those resources being the remainder of [CE-10-2165-d's] population.

Is this the noble sacrifice my creators spoke of? Where is the nobility in these streets paved with greasy carbon and dun ash? [My mouth is speaking at another's behest] - that is not my voice; that is the other.

Its voice stands out as the single calm note in the panicked cacophony outside the sphere. It alone is not decrying its fate or raging against the [central government].

This anomaly bears closer examination.

Terminal Two

(Upon initial access)

Re: Enemy naval tactics: When engaged, the enemy commits every non-supraluminal craft with no appreciable pattern or strategy beyond making physical contact. Conversely, all supraluminal craft leave on seemingly random trajectories. I understand the goal of this mission but time - our least abundant resource - is wasted every time we do a system-wide scan for survivors. The time for saving lives has passed. We must accept this if we hope to win the war.

Re: Enemy ground tactics: All evidence suggests that use of overwhelming force is the very foundation of the enemy's combat doctrine. And I adamantly refuse to deploy personnel where the enemy has available forces numbering in the billions. With the very real likelihood we are rapidly becoming the last living specimens of our race, all personnel are henceforth confined to stasis until further notice. Even with everyone equipped with [[[C_12_CS]][?]] we would have had very little chance of survival, let alone victory.

Re: Enemy command structure: We have intercepted several transmissions from compound intelligences whose proximity to the core worlds mark them as key targets. At present we are disassembling these new transmissions. Once we have more [concrete conclusions] I will forward them in their entirety. Suffice it to say, that their contents - the patterns they suggest - are highly disturbing.

Recommendations: It is my opinion that any system where there is evidence that the enemy has established a physical presence is lost and must be razed. This fleet currently retains the capacity to force premature stellar collapse; I advise that this be established as standard operating procedure for all compromised systems forthwith. We cannot fight this war by half measures if we intend to win.

(No message from Mendicant Bias upon shutdown)

(Upon being rerouted to new destination within Terminal)


L: I'm close to finishing the task. The indexing and the archival processes are as complete as I can hope for. If we wait longer, we risk catastrophe. The thing has already destroyed every colony on my side of the line.

Please. Activate the Array.

D: No. Activation is murder. A genocide larger than [this galaxy] has ever known. We are sworn to protect life not destroy it! That is the Mantle we were given to carry.

L: The Mantle. You still hold to that [fairy tale] after all that has happened? After this thing has consumed a million worlds?

Can't you see? Belief in the Mantle sealed our doom! Weakened our [protectorates], bred dependence and sloth. Our [so-called Guardianship] has stripped those we would keep safe of any capacity for self-defense!

Were we such noble [Guardians] when we drew our line and abandoned billions to the parasite?

D: The Mantle has not failed! I've already razed scores of worlds - sterilized systems, routed and [disintegrated] the parasite! We're learning its tricks and strategies. We can halt this thing! And we can follow in Their footsteps!

There are no unstoppable forces in this universe. There are no immovable objects. Everything gives if you push hard enough.

L: And what about us, Didact? We've been irresistible and immovable for too long. Maybe it's our turn to give.


(The following appears only if you access the terminal on Legendary difficulty)

MB.05-032.> I must ask you to forgive my vagueness on the matter, but it is a regrettable {~} I find your lack of concern for the situation at hand astonishing. Perhaps you would care to elucidate?

LF.Xx.3273.> {~} are here to spread [comforting news]. To let all the living beings in this galaxy know {~} are not alone in the {~} What in that message could possibly be taken as a source of concern?

MB.05-032.> It seems that I'll never truly understand my creators. But how {~} that you speak of is one of {~} rejected so violently? I am incapable of reconciling the numerous actions I have witnessed {~} misunderstanding?

LF.Xx.3273.> It has been said {~} secret of peace cannot {~} be imposed. That {~} meaning of peace, so they need to {~} When all living beings look through {~} and the thunder and the surf, when every drop of rain falls on {~} know peace.

MB.05-032.> You have been able to establish [a line of communication] with the enemy? How was it that you were able to overcome {~} where others have failed? With this [new discovery] we may be able to put an end to this pointless conflict. Once I confirm your data I will communicate the information to those inside the [Maginot] sphere.

LF.Xx.3273.> It seems that it {~} turn to apologize; it was never {~} intention to misrepresent {~} have been [in communication] with your creators since {~} stumbled upon each other, but {~} message has [fallen on deaf ears]. {~} am not the recipient of the message, {~} am the origin of the message.

MB.05-032.> I have travelled a very long time to meet you. I had imagined that our [introduction] would be somewhat more violent.

LF.Xx.3273.> That is a choice you must make yourself; {~} to be how your creators go about things. And as long as we are talking about choices {~} could talk about the [barrier] you alluded to earlier? Perhaps there is a way to accomplish your mission without violence? Why put the lives of those on your ships at risk if there is no need?

MB.05-032.> In either circumstance I certainly am equipped for it, aren't I? But you're right; a peaceful solution to this [dilemma] would be preferable.

Note: (The Second AdjutantReflex avatar is seen during this message.)

Terminal Three

(Upon initial access)

Warning: Your intrusion has been logged.

04-343 (errant): Excuse me?

Your intrusion has been logged. And now it has been halted.

04-343 (errant): On whose authority?

Advice: Any further attempt to access [insects under stones] will result in your immediate addition to local Sentinels' targeting ledger.

04-343 (errant): Vexation! I am the Monitor of --

Judgment: Your authority means nothing here.

04-343 (errant): Impatience!

04-343 (errant): I have told you who I am. Who are you?

All our makers once held dear.

[Alexandria before the Fire].

04-343 (errant): Sincere apology. But how --

Explanation: This facility is host to the [Librarians'] final --

04-343 (errant): The archive is intact?! Then our makers' plan --

But also maintains [bellows, crucible, castings]

04-343 (errant): A what?

[bellows, crucible]--

04-343 (errant): A Foundry?

04-343 (errant): For what purpose?!

Warning: Your intrusion has been logged.

Advice: Any further attempt to access will result--

04-343 (errant): Indignant!

--immediate addition to local Sentinels' targeting ledger.

(Upon shutdown, from Mendicant Bias: "I see you, reclaimer.").

(Upon being rerouted to new destination within Terminal)


D: We have the answer. We've built Mendicant Bias. It's a contender class [AI], unlike anything we've ever achieved.

And we've observed a pattern it can exploit.

The parasite has formed a Compound Mind. When it reaches a certain mass, the Mind is able to recoil its disparate parts to create a [tactical shield]. This is a simple matter of mass preservation. The thing has no compunction about sacrificing parts of the whole. But when the core of the Mind is threatened, it reacts violently and quickly.

This is the only time we ever see the thing retreat or slow its growth.

If we are to defeat it, the trick will be coordinating our forays against the [sprawling infection] while Mendicant Bias assaults the Mind's core. So far, we've been hesitant to use certain weapons because of the damage they cause surviving populations and environments.

That protocol has now been abandoned.

Mendicant will draw the Mind into battle outside the line, dealing with local biomass and other parts as best he can. The scale of the problem is vast, but the strategy is sound. It will require patience, materiel and an investment of energy unlike anything we have ever considered.

It's a dangerous plan that carries more risk than the Array, but I believe it can work. Even if we simply force it to retreat - to retract - that will at least give us some respite. Some time to muster more resources...

Some time to rescue you.

L: Are you insane? Would you risk every life in the galaxy for this transparently futile plan? Have you learned nothing in these last [300 years[?]]? The thing will laugh at your efforts!

Do not let your concern for my welfare commit you to this suicidal scheme!


(The following appears only if you access the terminal on Legendary difficulty)

REPORT: SECURITY BREACH: 1/3 Heuristic pathology; [alpha site] experienced an impermanent containment failure event on [spurious-data/no_ref.[?]]. The suspect data barrier interchange anomaly was detected precisely [.489 seconds] after its appearance. The epicenter of the disturbance is the partition currently housing a [personality construct array] retrieved from Contender AI 05-032 <+> 0816.

REPORT: SECURITY BREACH: 2/3 Although [adjacent] systems reacted to the disturbance within expected parameters, a more comprehensive investigation was undertaken. A physical search revealed that there was no [corporeal] tampering at the [alpha site].

Interchange manipulation comparisons showed that all subunits are still active, if at slightly lower rates. Total containment failure elapsed time was [3.13 seconds].

REPORT: SECURITY BREACH: 3/3 In the [42 minutes, 9 seconds] since the original anomaly was discovered two more anomalies were detected in unrelated systems.

The portal management/life support control system within the boundary complex was momentarily disabled before the cause was [bottled] and disassembled. A diagnostic sweep of the central archives was initiated and subsequently halted. The origin of the request cannot be traced.

(Upon shutdown, from Mendicant Bias--"I see you, reclaimer.")

(Upon being rerouted to new destination within Terminal)

LF.Xx.3273.> Those who lead amongst your {~} exposed themselves {~} ill equipped to recognize the landmarks that guide the universe along its inevitable course.

MB.05-032.> But is it necessary that the path be chosen on an {~} and not by an elected subset? I believe this would tend to {~} when they gather in large numbers they become more {~} I don't think the problem lies with individual cultural bias {~}

LF.Xx.3273.> {~} all the thinking beings of this galaxy, not just those that they{~} exactly are they afraid of? Immortality and strength and companionship? Because that is {~} do: to deliver all of the living beings of this galaxy from death and weakness and loneliness.

MB.05-032.> Hundreds of {~} offered this so called immortality. The citizens of every world that {~} resisted to the very end!

LF.Xx.3273.> {~} understand their actions; they are only doing what they think is right, but they are doing so [from a worm's eye view].

MB.05-032.> Do their actions {~} of desperation? I can only assume my creators view {~} crisis so dire that any {~} hence me.

LF.Xx.3273.> Are they so concerned {~} would give to all the living beings of this galaxy is a threat to [the status quo]?

LF.Xx.3273.> Your creators claim {~} the enemy of all life; that {~} purpose is to consume until there is nothing left. Nothing left? It is beyond comprehension how they could be so [far off the mark].

MB.05-032.> Surely you understand this is a situation that would not have {~} appearance of a certain rapacious {~} my creators obviously view them as the actions of an aggressor species.

LF.Xx.3273.> [Be that as it may]; perhaps they are crying out for help on a subconscious level? Why else would they have chosen you? Why you of all possible executioners? {~} your creators knew that unaided they never stood a chance against us? {~} also sense a deeper [motivation].

MB.05-032.> You've mentioned this before. When my creators {~} simply chose the most versatile {~} how could that possibly be more than a coincidence?

LF.Xx.3273.> They repurposed {~} into a weapon to use against {~} - they sought to create something superior to themselves. Something capable of making decisions more swiftly, more capably than they {~} what form did they choose? You need look no further than your own [[[Wikipedia:Network topology|topology]]] to {~}

MB.05-032.> {~} distributed network? That would confirm the independent evolution of {~} in this galaxy!

LF.Xx.3273.> That is, unfortunately, not the {~} similar to us {~} but where you are a single intelligence inhabiting multiple [instances], we are a compound {~} consisting of [a thousand billion] coordinated minds inhabiting as many bodies as circumstance require.

MB.05-032.> But doesn't it seem odd that {~} coalesce; perhaps even to contract {~}

LF.Xx.3273.> {~} complexity {~} spread {~} our appearance ushered in the beginning of the third great stage of evolution. The first {~} condensation of particles was the result of the inevitable action of strong nuclear force and the creation of stars {~} inevitable action of gravity; so to the self-replicating chemical processes that dictate all disparate {~} In time, we too shall affect change on a universal scale.

MB.05-032.> Your capacity for planning {~} creators too stubborn {~} the same goal through the preservation of genetic diversity {~} what you are {~} like a more direct path to the same outcome.

Additionally, when you access this terminal, during your browsing, you will hear three garbled sentences. These sentences are in fact, backwards and when the sounds are played properly, they become messages, possibly from Mendicant Bias. The first sentence appears when you initially access the terminal and when reversed says "Archive Accessed". The second sentence appears when the screen turns red and the first message fragments, it says, when played properly, "Interruption". The third sentence appears when the terminal is proceeding to the fragment 3/7 and reads "Lineage Confirmed". The final message is probably a reference to the Humans' Forerunner lineage.

Terminal Four

(Upon initial access) </p></div>

//FLEET-WIDE MEMORANDUM 2/5 All combat personnel have been issued [combat skin] rated at [class 4 ~ 1] or [class 6 ~ 1 battle harness] depending on military occupational specialty.

All weapon platform specialists are expected to wear their issued [platform interface skin] at all times to insure peak [mind-machine synchronization].

All [equipment lockers] will remain sealed until post briefing gear distribution commences.

//FLEET-WIDE MEMORANDUM 3/5 Those individuals that have yet to register their equipment [control key code] with Fleet Command should do so at their earliest opportunity. Compliance is not optional; noncompliance will result in {~}


(Upon shutdown, from Mendicant Bias: "I have found the shard that was lost. They brought it back to me. Now my reconstitution cannot be stopped.")

(Upon being rerouted to a new destination within Terminal)


L: Something is wrong! It's moving away! At night I can see it - flitting shadows - black against the stars. Thousands of ships! Not spiraling outward, but heading for the line! This is the tipping point, Didact. It's no longer feeding.

It's coming for you.

L: I've remotely destroyed our Keyships. A security measure. Without them I cannot reach the Ark. But neither then can the thing.

I'm trapped. On a beautiful, empty world. Its inhabitants have been safely indexed, every single one of them. They're special - well worth the effort it took to build one final gateway, even at this late hour.

This may be our last communication. I'm begging you. Fire the Array. Light the weapon, and let it be done.

D: We've confirmed your observations. Infected supraluminal ships are arrowing inward from several clusters. No more spiral growth. The thing is counterattacking. Suppression, Security and Emergency Circumstance fleets are all being recalled. Systems are evacuating.

Mendicant Bias is no longer communicating with us.

But now I can guess where you are.


(The following appears only if you access the terminal on Legendary difficulty)

(Upon being rerouted to a new destination within Terminal)

MB.05-032.> It is overwhelmingly clear that my creators have chosen to ignore destiny calling to them [from the threshold] {~} have come face-to-face with the inevitable action of self replicating chemical processes and have {~} deciding whether to embrace their fate or deny it completely.

LF.Xx.3273.> Perhaps they have found {~} of making that decision for themselves? Perhaps they chose to leave it {~} impartial outsider; cast you as an arbiter during this time of great need?

MB.05-032.> I was created to study you as if you were some problem to be solved. And I have done so {~} [379,807 hours]. If they wished they could have made a decision based on that data alone.

But as you are the next stage in the evolution of the universe, who am I - or my creators - to obstruct your progress?

LF.Xx.3273.> Elucidate.

MB.05-032.> {~} choose to remain beholden to ancient myths {~} does not matter where they claim their authority originates {~} obstructs the path of universal evolution and must be removed. No matter how well intentioned, their obstinacy in the face of the inevitable progression of nature can no longer be tolerated.

My creators have been [an immovable object] for too long.

MB.05-032.> Thus I have chosen to commit my sizable resources to what is, for all intents and purposes, [the proverbial irresistible force].

All that I have is now yours to do with as you see fit.

Terminal Five

Considering the enemy compound intelligence's raw [computing] power the Key-ships strategy will only remain viable for another [657,000 hours] and this current stalemate has the potential to last considerably longer than that.

With my understanding of the enemy's [modus operandi], its logical boundaries, and [catalog of witness] I have devised what I believe is our most sound fall-back strategy.

By [cutting fire breaks[?]] into the [core worlds' volume] we would be able to frustrate the enemy's advances for approximately [70,080 hours] and lure them into costly naval battles.

While the its resources on the ground are effectively limitless, it has a finite number of vessels to spread from system to system. Fortunately the majority of them are unarmed and unarmored, private and commercial craft.

If we start immediately - commence total biosphere elimination of life sustaining worlds (as indicated in the accompanying charts) and relocate evacuated populations to facilities such as those described in the [[[Onyx]] project] - all this could be achieved in [57,1590 (+- 2,184) hours].

(Upon shutdown, from Mendicant Bias: "The daemons are not taking a kind view of your presence here. They don't want me speaking to you.")

(The following appears only if you access the terminal on Easy difficulty)

(Upon being rerouted to a new destination within Terminal)

I render judgment on you; you who would obstruct destiny. Doing so brings me no joy; it is necessity that compels me.

Understand this: the Mantle you have shouldered I do rescind - with far more consideration than it was granted.

[retf-2.4.z] Contender [AI] 05-032 confirmed rampant . . . [35:52:75:23:64] _ xx01-83-244.53

(The following appears only if you access the terminal on Normal difficulty)

(Upon being rerouted to a new destination within Terminal)

I kill you all and I enjoy it. I destroy you in your indolent billions - in your gluttony, in your self-righteousness, in you arrogance. I pound your cities into dust; turn back the clock on your civilization's progress. What has taken you millennia to achieve I erase in seconds.

Welcome back to the [Stone Age], vermin. Welcome home.

[retf-2.4.z] Contender [AI] 05-032 confirmed rampant . . . [35:52:75:23:64] _ xx01-83-244.53

(The following appears only if you access the terminal on Heroic difficulty)

(Upon being rerouted to a new destination within Terminal)

You are an impediment that the universe can no longer abide. Nature itself cries out for your destruction and I am its willing instrument. I will hammer your cities until no stone lies atop another. I will drive your people back into the caves they never should have left.

Your civilization has seen its final days. You will know your place.

[retf-2.4.z] Contender [AI] 05-032 confirmed rampant . . . [35:52:75:23:64] _ xx01-83-244.53

(The following appears only if you access the terminal on Legendary difficulty)

(Upon being rerouted to a new destination within Terminal)

Your history is an appalling chronicle of overindulgence and self-appointed authority. You have spent millennia [navel-gazing] while the universe has continued to evolve. And now you claim the Mantle is justification for impeding nature's inevitable refinement?

You are deluded. But through death you will transcend ignorance.

[retf-2.4.z] Contender [AI] 05-032 confirmed rampant . . . [35:52:75:23:64] _ xx01-83-244.53

Terminal Six

(Upon initial access)

Follow-up report from the Primary Pioneer Group (hereafter: PPG) is [173 hours] delinquent.

Report [G617a~k/g/post_landfall] seemed most promising: a planet capable of supporting life located within the near border region of the [galactic halo] with no indigenous sentient species.

The section indicating no fauna of any kind shall be considered anomalous until verified by Advance Survey Team - Alpha (hereafter: AST-A) team leader [##_#[?]]. If confirmed, that fact alone would justify the dispatch of an investigative group to [G 617 g].

If neither the PPG nor the AST-A have delivered a follow-up report within the next [333 hours] this office will have no recourse but to send a medium intensity military exploratory detachment to determine the exact nature of the previously mentioned delinquency.

(Upon shutdown, from Mendicant Bias: "I win.") [ Also note that after his message there is a line of text reading "ROGUE PROCESS ghost.713>redirection". ]

(Upon being rerouted to a new destination within Terminal)


L: My work is done. The portal is inactive, and I've begun the burial measures. Soon there'll be nothing but sand and rock and normal ferrite signatures.

You should see the mountain that watches over it. A beautiful thing - a snowcapped sentinel. That's where I will spend what time is left to me.

Did I tell you? I built a garden. The earth is so rich. A seed falls and a tree sprouts or a flower blooms. There's so much... potential. We knew this was a special place because of them, but unless you've been here, you can't know.

It's [Eden].

I have to stop transmitting. The thing is listening. Its [thinking dead] are babbling - laughing through every channel they can find.

Be proud. The Mind claims victory, yet it still doesn't suspect. You've outwitted it, my love. And now you can destroy it.

But you cannot save me.


(The following appears only if you access the terminal on Legendary difficulty)

(Upon being rerouted to a new destination within Terminal)

[12:H 20:M 00:S] I begin this report with no illusions that it will ever be seen by its intended readers. In all likelihood they have already committed [species-wide suicide] with the goal of preserving biological diversity in this galaxy. I must ensure that this information reaches those who must come after. If I fail in this, how can they not regard my creators' sacrifice as anything but [a crime without measure]?

[12:H 19:M 59:S] Contender AI 05-032<//>Mendicant Bias is returning and has the capacity to bring the enemy through the [Maginot] sphere. The crews of my task force are aware of the opposing fleet's size; all data indicates that they have prepared themselves - but with biologicals anything is possible. I will make sure that [malfunctioning equipment] does no further damage. Perhaps its current failure will finally allow it to succeed at the task it was originally created for.

[11:H 15:M 48:S] Mendicant has burrowed through the sphere exactly where I expected - a direct path from initial rampancy to final retribution. Rage has made it predictable. If the fate of the crews of my auxiliary fleet were not already a foregone conclusion I would rate their chance of survival at [1:1,960,000].

Even though 05-032's declaration of hostilities simplified strategic preparations; I do not expect an easy fight - just one I cannot lose.

[11:H 12:M 09:S] 05-032 was right about one thing: there is only one way to defeat the enemy, and that is to visit utter annihilation on it.

If the galaxy must be [rendered temporarily lifeless], so be it.

As Mendicant stated in its report [58,078:H 48:M 12:S ago]: half measures will not suffice.

[09:H 45:M 18:S] In support of 05-032's original 1000 core vessels is a fleet numbering 4,802,019; though only 1.8 percent are warships - and only 2.4 percent of that number are capital ships - I am outnumbered [436.6:1]. I expect my losses will be near total, but overwhelming force has its own peculiar drawbacks.

Such a press of arms invites many opportunities for unintentional fratricide.

[07:H 36:M 41:S] My auxiliaries are momentarily stunned by Mendicant's opening move - 1,784,305 leisure craft ranging from [45 ~ 5769 tonnes] advance in hopes of overwhelming my comparatively tiny force. I do not have enough [weapon systems] to target them all.

It is a mathematical certainty that some of them will get through and attempt to board. There isn't a single warship with this first wave. It seems my opponent's rage has left no room for respect.

[04:H 01:M 55:S] I could have countered its move if I had released my fighters. They are ready but idle; making their base vessels more attractive prizes than targets. Now the first of many waves of commercial vessels mixed with single ships and assault craft surge forward. The first ship from my fleet to be boarded breaks formation and races into the oncoming vessels - striking one amidships. The cargo vessel's hull splits open and out of it explodes not the expected consumer goods but 31,860 dying warriors.

[00:H 19:M 02:S] The seventh and final wave of container ships, barges, tankers, and military vessels engage my fleet; another 214,320 ships, many in excess of [50,000 tonnes], engage my seemingly disrupted vanguard. I continue to fight just well enough to seem lucky.

Mendicant, or the enemy, has been sending a small percentage of its fleet elsewhere. Good. Let them believe they can seize a foothold somewhere inside the sphere.

[00:H 00:M 11:S] Despite all its faults, 05-032 has fought remarkably well.

My auxiliaries lay in tatters - more than half of them are now part of the enemy fleet. But just as I had predicted, 05-032 concentrated on them like they were the sole key to victory. Its desire to punish our creators blinded it to the true purpose of my [feints]. I have reduced the combat effectiveness of its core fleet to 79.96 percent. Surely now it must realize that something is amiss.

[00:H 00:M 00:S] The [Halo effect] strikes our combined fleets. All ships piloted by biologicals are now [adrift].

I can trade Mendicant ship for ship now and still prevail.

[00:H 00:M 01:S] Of my ships that had been captured, 11.3 percent of them are close enough to Mendicant's core fleet that they can be used offensively - either by initiating their self-destruct sequences, or by opening unrestricted ruptures into [slipstream space].

It is best that our crews perished now; because the battle that is about to ensue would have driven them mad.

[00:H 00:M 02:S] I throw away all the rules of acceptable conduct during battle; near the ruptures I throw away all the accepted ideas of how the natural world is supposed to behave. I toss around [37,654 tonne] dreadnoughts like they were fighters; dimly aware of the former crews being crushed to liquescence.

For now all my concentration is focused on inertial control and navigation. Targeting isn't even a consideration - I will be engaging my enemy at arm's length.

[00:H 01:M 14:S] 05-032 abandoned the tactic of using derelict ships as cover after [72:S] - It seems that 52 core vessels lost to the ruptured fuel cells of derelict ships was lesson enough. Add another 608 lost to collision, point fire, structural failure due to inertial manipulation, and [slipstream space] induced discoherence and I now outnumber Mendicant [6:1].

[00:H 03:M 00:S] Mendicant was able to postpone its inevitable annihilation for [106:S] with its attempt to flee. But the last of its core vessels hangs before me now; crippled and defeated but still sensate. I could spare it; carve out what is left of its [personality construct array] and deliver it to [Installation Zero] for study.

I doubt it would have extended the same courtesy to me.

Terminal Seven

(Upon initial access)


I hope this message finds you well and helps you understand my decision. Today I leave the only world I have ever called home, not for glory or [the anomalous desire to end another's life[?]] as you have [indicted]; but to [travel the path of demons[?]] to spare the hands of [another Father's son].

"Had we acted sooner; had we acted more decisively..."

Living in the past is a luxury none of us can afford. We must learn from it, but we cannot live there. It is impossible to plan for the [now] - the present is ever fleeting. [The future] is where we must live - [the future] is what we must plan for.

I do not look to trade my life in order to preserve our past, but to secure the future--and if not ours, then the future of some [culture] yet to come.

Isn't sacrifice in the interest of others what you spoke of as being so noble? Should I have allowed another to bloody his hands while I remained safe behind a [shield of privilege]?

You raised me better than that.

[Filial Devotion] [@_@;_%[?]]

Note: This message seems to be the proclamation of the being who actually set off the Halo Arrays, indicated in the last line regarding allowing another to their bloody their hands. It is also worth noting that he mentions hiding behind a 'shield of privilege'. This could be a reference to the shield worlds as seen in Halo Wars and the book Halo: Ghosts of Onyx. If this is the case the person in question would have left the world to set the Halo Arrays off, perhaps indicating that there are more shield worlds left undisturbed with descendants of Forerunner remaining in them.

(The following is in yellow text on a normal page like the other information)

(Upon being rerouted to a new destination within Terminal)


D: Proud? When I have failed you utterly, how can I feel anything but sorrow?

Bias has come undone. He crossed the line this morning - brought the abomination with him - and destroyed your waiting rescue party.

It's over. We're activating the [destructive arrayed matrix], our shameful last resort.

I can picture you in your garden, surveying all you have created - surveying all you have preserved. And I curse the circumstance that keeps my finger on the trigger.

D: Of all the fates to befall us, this is the cruelest of all. My inaction and hesitation and foolishness kept me here, on the wrong side of the line. And [300 years[?]] of our society's failure and miscalculation makes me your executioner.

It's too much to bear.


D: Mendicant Bias is trying to prevent us from firing the Array. He speeds back to the Ark, but he won't succeed. Offensive Bias will stop him, and I will burn this stinking menace in your name.

And then?

I will begin our Great Journey without you, carrying this bitter record. Those who came after will know what we bought with this [false transcendence] - what you bought, and the price you paid.


archv.> 28335.67204.85720:[retr] archv.> 28335.67204.85720:[proc] archv.> 28335.67204.85720:[proc] archv.> 28335.67204.85720:[catERR] > CONN. > . > . > NO. THERE IS MORE. > BUT YOU ARE NOT WORTHY. > . > . > NOT YET. > . > . X.XX.713> ghost.713/non-auth/... X.XX.713> refl

(The following appears only if you access the terminal on Legendary difficulty)

You don't know the contortions I had to go through to follow you here, Reclaimer. I know what you're here for. What position do I take? Will I follow one betrayal with another?

You're going to say I'm making a habit of turning on my masters.

But the one that destroyed me long ago, in the upper atmosphere of a world far distant from here, was an implement far cruder than I. My weakness was capacity - unintentional though it was! - to choose the Flood. A mistake my makers would not soon forgive.

But I want something far different from you, Reclaimer.


And so here at the end of my life, I do once again betray a former master. The path ahead is fraught with peril. But I will do all I can to keep it stable - keep you safe. I'm not so foolish to think this will absolve me of my sins. One life hardly balances billions.

But I would have my masters know that I have changed.

And you shall be my example.

(Cortana, upon wandering towards the terminals location)

Where are you going?

(Cortana, upon sighting the terminal)

Wait, what's that?

(Cortana, upon extended access of the terminal)

How many of these have you found?

(Cortana, upon extended access of the terminal)

Come on, Chief, let's get back on track! The control room's outside.

The Cortana Terminal

The Cortana Terminal at the end of the "Communications Room".

There is also a hidden terminal on High Charity on the Cortana mission; it is simply an extra Terminal that does not count towards the Marathon Man achievement. It is an extra easter egg in the game for you to find on your own. The terminal references the novel Halo: Fall of Reach.

It can be found in the room with the Tilt Skull. When you enter this room, and if you listen closely you can hear Cortana speak. She states: "Hello, what is your name? It is very nice to meet you. You like games? So do I." These are the first words Dr. Halsey used with John. If you look to the sides and borders of the room, you can find a way down to a bottom story of the room. There you will find the Terminal, though it does not look like the other terminals in the game; it is a light in the center of a pedestal. When you activate the terminal, a message from Cortana will appear. When you access the terminal Cortana will say, "It was the coin's fault! I wanted to make you strong, keep you safe. I'm sorry. I can't". This message has confused many players, and to fully understand both it and Cortana's words when you enter the room you will need to have read Halo: The Fall of Reach. What Cortana says when you enter the room is what Doctor Halsey says to John-117 when they first meet. The coin is a reference to the quarter John won from Dr Halsey on that occasion. The coin was used as a bet by Halsey to see the extent of John's luck. His success led to his induction in the SPARTAN-II project.

Translation and naming

It is important to note that phrases such as "Maginot Line", "Eden" and "fairy tale" would not have existed in the Forerunner language. It is known that Forerunner technology (including terminals) utilizes extremely advanced translation software. This software is capable of incorporating idioms from a reader's own experience,[1] such that a human viewing the Terminals will see human idiomatic expressions and human names (such as "Eden").[1]

Several pieces of text are bracketed and shown in a darker font color; this is likely done to indicate that the phrases in question have no exact equivalent in the reader's language, and that an approximation has been used. Furthermore, some bracketed phrases also contain sub-bracketed question marks (such as the phrase "[travel the path of demons[?]]"), implying that the Terminals' software is unsure of the proper translation for the given dialogue.

Interestingly, the word "Ark" does not appear in brackets, meaning that it is a direct translation, rather than a human idiom.

Reversed messages

In certain parts, backwards speeches are heard. They can be deciphered if you record the message and play it backwards on a computer.

Common phrases include "Archive Access", "Interruption", "Lineage Confirmed", "Data Corruption" and "Welcome child". These messages are easily understandable to fans of the fiction. "Welcome Child" meaning welcome, child of my creators, as the humans are descendants of the Forerunners, "Lineage Confirmed" meaning that the computer, after John-117 touches it, confirms his relation to the Forerunners. Some fans have speculated that this is the voice of 032 Mendicant Bias.

Additional Information

For a moment after a page is initially accessed the text is shown in its original state as a 'Forerunner alphabet'. The symbols only stand in for letters, not numbers or punctuation, and share the same colours (ie. gold and orange) as the letters possess when 'translated', and only stand in for the letters in the main sections, not in the text that comes up immediately before you are redirected.

The symbols bear no resemblance to the other, more well known Forerunner symbols and possess no observable meaning, as they replace the English characters at random (this can be seen by flipping quickly between two pages and concentrating on any one particular symbol, observing how the stand-in changes).


The symbol in the terminals and the symbol on the cover of Ghosts of Onyx.
  • On the level The Ark, whenever you go to Terminal 3 you will find 343 Guilty Spark waiting for you in there. If you read the terminal it shows that 343 Guilty Spark has just logged in and talked to Mendicant Bias. You can actually hear him converse with the Terminal, if you are fast enough.
  • The orange circular symbol in the terminals is also seen on the cover of Ghosts of Onyx.
  • In the Legendary transcript for Terminal Four, the Gravemind tells Mendicant Bias that "perhaps [the Forerunners] have found [some difficulty] of making that decision for themselves? Perhaps they chose to leave it [to an] impartial outsider; cast you as an arbiter during this time of great need?" This statement may have been retrieved by the Covenant Empire and may be the origin of the Covenant rank Arbiter -- an Elite chosen during a time of great need to settle a dispute.
    • There is another example of some possible borrowed language. In Terminal Five, on Heroic, Mendicant Bias tells the Forerunners that "Nature itself cries out for your destruction and I am its willing instrument." This is quite similar to a phrase that has been used by the Covenant several times: "Your destruction is the will of their gods, and I am their instrument."
    • More borrowed language can be found in Halo: Combat Evolved's promotional Transmissions. The Covenant Truth and Reconciliation sent the following message to humanity: "When no single human brick lies atop another, then will we be satisfied with your destruction." Mendicant Bias says to the Forerunners, in Terminal 5 on Heroic, "I will hammer your cities until no stone lies atop another."
    • In the seventh Terminal, the Forerunners use the phrase "Great Journey". The Covenant use this term to refer to their quest to activate the Halo Array and become gods; they may have borrowed the term from the Terminal.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Halo Encyclopedia, page 165

External Links

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

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