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Zealot
Species and equipment information
Species

Sangheili

Weapons
Equipment
Political and military information
Mission types
Role
  • Commander
    • Field Commander
    • Naval Commander
Notable members
Affiliation

Covenant/Covenant Separatists, (Jackal Zealots are associated with Covenant Loyalists)

  [Source]
"A Zealot! So much for a stealthy advance."
—A Spec Ops Elite during the Battle of Installation 05.

The Zealot is a Covenant command rank associated primarily with the Sangheili.[1] However, other species have been given this rank such as the Kig-Yar, Zhar.[2] The Councilors and Imperial Admirals are above the Zealots in rank. They are extremely skilled in combat, but take a more political role. Zealot is also a generic term for an Elite with official command responsibilities. Zealots hold the command offices of Fleet Master, Ship Master and Field Master.

While some Zealots are strictly deployed to non-combat Fleet or Field Command posts, they often operate on the front lines and are greatly experienced and skillful at combat, having killed countless enemies of the Covenant before attaining their post.

Contents

Combat

Zealots are significantly more challenging to fight than other Elites. In Halo: Combat Evolved, Zealots are known to wield Energy Swords and Plasma Rifles. They are much tougher than regular Elites as they shoot faster and tend to actually pursue, hunt and kill their target, rather than shoot at the closest one. They also have extremely strong shields that are twice as strong as those of a Major Elite, (In Halo: Combat Evolved, they can take a rocket head-on and live). They are much faster than lower ranking Elites and can jump farther as well. They are much harder to hit and they duck behind obstacles to avoid fire. When found with Energy Swords they are extremely dangerous and should be dealt with quickly and preferably while they are still reasonably far away due to their extensive experience with melee combat. They are a powerful, smart and very dangerous foe to be reckoned with, especially on higher difficulties.

A Zealot from Halo 2.

The best way to deal with a Zealot is to either use a Plasma Grenade or to attack it from long range, as they are deadly in hand-to-hand combat because of their Energy Sword (and in Halo: Combat Evolved can kill the player with one hit from an Energy Sword in anything higher than Easy difficulty). Also, due to their strong shields, it is advisable to use heavy weaponry, such as the Sniper rifle and rocket launcher, if they are available. The M6D pistol is only moderately effective, taking 16 head shots to kill a fully shielded Zealot on Normal difficulty. The Needler is both common and extremely effective, due to the fact that seven rounds will kill most enemies and the weapon's large magazine. However, it should be noted that this weapon takes too long to work to be of use against a nearby or charging Zealot, and that if the Elite is too close you may take serious damage from secondary explosions or detonating grenades. One needle explosion is not enough to kill one on heroic or legendary. A tactical flaw that only works in Halo: Combat Evolved is that enemies have certain invisible 'boxes' they cannot leave, and if they do they will walk back to it immediately. These are needed to stop them from wandering all over the place and make them seem organized. When you find the 'box' of a Zealot, stand about 5 feet outside of it. When a Zealot approaches you, its programming will prevent it from leaving its box, and since its weapon is short range only, it will not be able to hurt you and merely stand there swiping air the whole time. You may then finish it off whenever or with whatever you want. However, if you enter the predetermined field of view, it will instantly leap at you, which can kill an unwary player.

If you are forced into close quarters combat with a Zealot, you should use a Shotgun. If a Shotgun is not present, using a Plasma Rifle to take down the Elite's shields and an M6D Pistol or Assault Rifle to finish it off is also an efficient tactic at medium to close ranges. Or a combination of a Plasma Pistol and a human weapon, normally called the "noob combo", is effective.

It is also possible to dodge the attack by jumping over him or moving very quickly to the left or right before he hits you. If you are quick enough, turn around swiftly and melee him while he is looking away; melee attacks to the back will always result in an instant kill. Note that this is difficult to do and may result in death if other Elites are present.

However, the player must exercise extreme caution and have very good timing, as it takes several blasts to kill a Zealot, and they can run faster than you can backpedal. The Plasma Pistol is also effective, as it can completely disable their shields with a single overcharged shot. Like any other Elite, a Zealot will be briefly stunned after the overcharged shot disables their shields. The player should use this opportunity to quickly switch to another weapon, preferably one capable of making head shots (e.g. the M6D), and finish off the Zealot. Finally, another tactic is to stick the Zealot with a Plasma Grenade while it is charging, but make sure you have cover or he will explode near you, killing you both if you're too close.

In Halo 2, they do not use Overshields and their shields are just a little bit stronger than those of a Major Elite and Special Operations Elite, but they are a lot smarter and tougher. They are still very deadly in close-quarters, so the player should keep their distance. Their armor without Energy shields are much thicker (although it makes it slower) than that of Major and Minor and can sustain more damage. In addition to the tactics mentioned in the preceding paragraph, dual M6C Magnums can be very effective at close ranges so long as you stay outside of their sword's reach. Dual Needlers are also effective. Also, Zealot AI is noticeably different in Halo 2; Zealots are always found wielding Energy Swords, ceremonial weapons befitting their high rank. If, as the Arbiter, you give them another weapon, they will not fire it; instead, they will use it as a makeshift melee weapon. Another fact that should be known is that Zealots will never, under any circumstances, ride in or drive a vehicle for religious purposes; they do not believe it is honorable to kill enemies with vehicles instead of hand to hand combat. If you try to give them a chance to get in one, such as in Uprising, their animation will glitch and they will start to walk toward the vehicle and turn around, they will then keep doing this. They will continue following you, once you keep going.

A Zealot pointing out a hiding enemy to his soldiers.

In Halo: Combat Evolved, Zealots had a "flaw" that made killing one slightly easier. It would do some form of roaring animation (similar to the Elite berserkers in Halo 2), or pointing out the player and yell. This animation makes the Zealot's body more open and gives the player a precious few seconds to snipe, fire a rocket at, or damage the shields of the Zealot.

Zealot Titles

A Zealot From Halo: Combat Evolved wielding his Energy Sword.

Zealot is the highest military rank for a Sangheili can achieve with the exception of the Arbiter, Councilor and Imperial Admiral. The Special Operations Commander of the Covenant is lower than higher Zealot ranks such as Supreme Commander[3], but probably higher than lesser ones such as Field Master. The ranks a Zealot can be all are a part of the Zealot Offices. Known examples include:

  • Fleet Master and also, possibly another name for De Facto Commander: This rank normally acts as the normal Ship Master and controls only one ship, but when a Fleet needs to do a special objective, the Fleet Master acts as the commander for the ships participating in that objective (normally called Task Force). Voro Nar 'Mantakree was a Fleet Master/De Facto Commander and was in charge of leading a task force to Onyx to pursue the Bloodied Spirit. You could compare this rank with a real life 'Vice Admiral' or 'Admiral'.
  • Ship Master: This rank is equivalent to the UNSC Navy's Captain rank. Ship Masters command Star ships within the Covenant but they still fall under the command of their Fleet's Supreme Commander and De Facto commander/fleet master. An example of this is Orna 'Fulsamee, who was the ship master of an unknown destroyer. Many believe that Orna Fulsamee commanded a CCS-class Battlecruiser, though he actually commanded a destroyer. It mentioned it at the opening pages of Halo: The Flood. The title of Ship Master is not exclusive only to the Zealot rank. This is supported by the fact that before the Battle of Voi, the Covenant's Special Operations Commander, Rtas 'Vadum was promoted to the Ship Master of the Assault Carrier, Shadow of Intent. [4] He seemed to still be an Ultra Sangheili. This is the best compared with a real life 'Commander', 'Captain' or even a 'Rear Admiral'.
  • Field Master: This rank is equivalent to the UNSC Army and Marine Corps numerous General ranks. Field Masters command entire armies, legion strength or greater. Unlike Human Generals, Field Masters take a much more active role in combat, as in charging into the battle with their troops rather than giving orders from a HQ miles away from the ongoing conflict. They are in charge of all warriors of any race within that army, as well as all armor, air support and material utilized by that army. An example of this is Noga 'Putumee, who led the Covenant forces against the Human-held Alpha Base during the Battle of Installation 04.

Appearances

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Halo: Combat Evolved

A Zealot in the level the Truth and Reconciliation.

In Halo: Combat Evolved, Zealot Elites appear with about the same frequency on all settings, although their strength on each difficulty increases significantly in a direct proportion with the difficulty level. They are difficult to kill on Normal mode and even more so on Heroic or Legendary. They first appear in the stage Truth and Reconciliation on Legendary difficulty, Zealots will replace the usual Stealth Elites encountered in the ship's Gravity Lift bay.

On Legendary, they always have highly enhanced energy shields (four times more powerful than standard MJOLNIR Armor shields) and most also wield Energy Swords (however, on at least three occasions in the level Two Betrayals and once in Assault on the Control Room, Zealots are seen with Plasma Rifles also). Zealots are also almost always accompanied by a vanguard group of lesser ranking Elites. The ranks of these Elites vary depending on the difficulty, with Minor Elites making up the vanguard on Normal mode and Major Elites and Stealth Elites making up the vanguard on Heroic and Legendary difficulty. However, one Zealot in Two Betrayals led a squad of about six Jackals and two other Elites.

Appearances:

A Zealot standing over a dead Flood Combat Form on Installation 04.
  • Truth and Reconciliation - On Legendary, 4-6 Zealots will spawn in the Grav Lift bay, leading the groups of attacking Covenant. On any difficulty, there will also be a Zealot at the control center or bridge that is thought to be the Ship Master and one guarding Marine prisoners. This is the first appearance of the Zealot.
  • The Silent Cartographer - Behind the locked door that you are supposed to open, and sometimes by a spot close to the door.
  • Assault on the Control Room - The first Zealot is on the first bridge, the second is in a room commanding two other Elites and the third is near the Control Room.
  • Two Betrayals - Zealots are scattered all throughout the level, about 7-10 of them in all, most of them commanding large battle groups of Covenant attacking the Flood.

Halo 2

A Halo 2 Zealot.

On the Level Uprising in Halo 2 a Zealot emerges from an Orbital Insertion Pod. Unlike in Halo: Combat Evolved, Zealots rarely appear as enemies in any difficulty other than Legendary, with few exceptions.

Zealots are always seen with groups of subordinate Elites, as seen in Halo: Combat Evolved. They have strong energy shielding, which are roughly equivalent to that of Elite Majors, and will continually charge their enemies until killed. It appears their stronger shields were traded to the Ultra and Councilor Elites. They also exclusively wield Energy Swords, unless given a different weapon by an allied player.

The following is a list of Zealot appearances in Halo 2.

  • The Heretic -The Arbiter is the Zealot in this appearance. He is convicted of Heresy and is being sentenced to be stripped of his Zealot rank.
  • Cairo Station (Legendary only) - In Hangar B-01 (the second Hangar Bay), a Zealot armed with an Energy Sword along with 2 Ultra Elites lead the fifth Covenant wave out of the boarding craft to fight the player-controlled Master Chief.
  • Outskirts (Legendary only) - At a point in the level where a Covenant Phantom dropship approaches and drops off troops, it will drop one Covenant Zealot off, along with the rest of the units. The Zealot will then normally charge toward and attack the player and any remaining Marines. Another example is a section of the same level near the Hotel Zanzibar, after Sniper Alley. There is always a Zealot in the half collapsed building, which will jump down and attack if the player walks down the streets near it.
  • Metropolis (Legendary only) - As one gets to the service tunnel at the end of the Highway tunnel, a sword-wielding Zealot will emerge from there.
  • Gravemind - At the end of the level, the Honor Guard Councilor, which is supposed to be a Zealot but appears differently due to a programming error, will appear regardless of difficulty.
  • Uprising - The Arbiter always gains one Zealot ally in the early part of the level Uprising, regardless of difficulty.
  • The Great Journey - In the final battle with Tartarus, an infinite amount of Zealots with Energy Swords will be generated to aid you, either before or during the fight. Their usefulness is limited however, as Tartarus' shield protects him from Energy Swords and melee attacks. Since these are a Zealot's primary methods of attack, the Elites simply deal no damage and are left open to a close range attack from the Fist of Rukt. They can cause him to be slow, giving Johnson time to snipe Tartarus and for you and your allies to kill him quickly after the shots are fired.

Halo 3

Zealots did not appear in Halo 3. Their lack of appearance is not explained; however, Bungie's changing the Sangheili species from enemy to ally may have had some part in it. Zealots would have been present at the Battle of The Ark, but were probably on their Ships rather than on the ground. They might have been on the ground as well, but had been deployed to other places. Considering the Arbiter was leading the forces seen in unison with the UNSC, the dispersal of Zealots elsewhere seems likely. It is possible, however, that soon after the Sangheili broke away from the Covenant the rank of Zealot was abandoned, because they are no longer particularly religious. In many areas throughout the game where Zealots would normally appear, they may have been replaced by Brute Commanders, as many of the former Elite positions were awarded to the Brutes when the Prophets replaced them.

Halo Wars

A Halo Wars Zealot.

While they make no noticeable in-game appearance, several Zealots are in a few cutscenes, most often accompanying the Arbiter, only to be insulted or knocked down by him.

Known Zealots

Fleet Masters

Ship Masters

Field Masters

Physical Appearance

Zealots wear idiosyncratic gold armor with a Forerunner glyph on the back, often with tan lining and their shields are (in Halo: Combat Evolved) much more powerful than those of their subordinates. Their gold armor gives them away in some situations. In Halo: Combat Evolved, they wield one of two weapons: an Energy Sword or a Plasma Rifle (They fire the latter much faster than other Elites and with great accuracy). If you encounter a Zealot accompanied by Grunts, killing the Zealot will mean that the Grunts will abandon the fight. In Halo: CE they have blue lights on different parts of their armor. In Halo 2, Zealots have orange lights on different parts of their armor, as does every other Elite encountered in the game.

How a Zealot probably would have looked in Halo 3.

Trivia

  • The Zealots featured thus far have not had a black secondary color like lower-ranking Elites. In Halo: Combat Evolved, they are solid gold. In Halo 2, they have a tan secondary color.
  • In the book, The Art of Halo, they show the Zealot as the only Sangheili enlarged. This image depicts a Halo 2 Zealot but this time, unlike in the game, it has a black secondary color. This was clearly removed, possibly because the colors are too different together.
  • On the level Gravemind there is a Councilor/Honor Guard. It was originally supposed to be a Zealot but an error in the programming changed its appearance.[verification needed]
  • If you offer any type of vehicle to a Zealot, they will never ride or drive in it, nor will they board an enemy vehicle if one is nearby the elite.
  • The Plasma Rifle-wielding Zealots of Halo: Combat Evolved will not melee. This is due to the fact that they are programmed to berserk when they see you, and have no provisions to melee while in berserk mode.
  • On the Legendary difficulty in Halo: Combat Evolved, it takes two to three Plasma Grenades to kill a Zealot.
  • Thel 'Vadamee appeared before the Council in the golden armor of a Zealot, although he apparently wore ceremonial armor while commanding his fleet.
  • In Halo: Combat Evolved Zealots are only seen using the Energy Sword and Plasma Rifle.
  • Some Zealots in Halo 2 have glitches, including running back and forth, teleporting from one spot to the other, disappearing, and saying two things at once.[verification needed]
  • A good trick for the Halo: Combat Evolved Zealots (or any Elite, for that matter) is to throw a grenade next to them when they are next to a ledge. They will usually jump out of the way to avoid the grenade and will fall to their deaths. However, on Legendary, the Zealots will sometimes charge through the blast and try to kill you.
  • Many players consider the Zealot to be the most feared non-boss enemy in Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2, but their position was taken over by the Brute Chieftain in Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST.
  • The Zealot is the third highest ranked (Non-Heretic) Elite that the player gets to fight in any Halo game, the second and first being the Arbiter and Councilor, and even then, only if player betrays his or her allies.
  • Zealots only have the shields of a Major Elite in Halo 2, but what they lack in shields they make up in body strength.
  • On Legendary, in Halo: Combat Evolved, it takes 21 shots from a pistol just to remove their shields.
  • Strangely, the color of the Zealot gauntlets are blue in Halo: CE, but in Halo 2, they are the usual orange gauntlets. The same applies for Stealth Elites in Halo:CE.

Sources

  1. Halo 2, level Uprising
  2. Halo: Contact Harvest
  3. Halo Graphic Novel
  4. Halo 3, level Floodgate
Sangheili Ranks
High Council Councilor
Temporary/Prominent OssoonaArbiter
Fleet Commander Fleet MasterSupreme CommanderImperial Admiral
Zealot Officers Field MasterShipmasterFleet MasterSupreme Commander
Special Operations Spec-OpsSpec-Ops OfficerSpec-Ops Commander of the Covenant
Honor Guard Sangheili Honor GuardsmanHonor Guard UltraLight of Sanghelios
Specialists StealthRangerAscetics
Regular AristocratMinorMajorUltra
Civilian KaidonOracle Master
Heretic Heretic Sangheili MinorHeretic Sangheili MajorHeretic Leader

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

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