Halo Wars 2 Walkthrough

10. DLC: Awakening the Nightmare: Campaign

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Legendary: What Could Go Wrong?Fighting RetreatLight the FuseThe ArchiveManifestation
Easy: What Could Go Wrong?Fighting RetreatLight the FuseThe Archive


Welcome to Awakening the Nightmare. This is Halo War 2's biggest DLC, which can be thought of as a miniature version of the base game. It consists of five new campaign missions, in which you now play as the Banished. It also adds a new game mode called Terminus Firefight. Finally, it has a few more Skirmish based achievements. This page will cover the campaign related achievements.

This guide assumes that you have unlocked all skulls in the base game. If you have not, then you may struggle with the Legendary playthrough.

As with the base game campaign, all directional instructions (north, south, east, west) are given respective to the map's starting position, not the north arrow!

Just like the base game, this can technically be completed in one playthrough. However, it is once again considerably easier to complete the gold medal achievements separately from the Legendary completion achievements. This walkthrough is structured so that you play a mission on Legendary, then immediately replay it on Easy before proceeding to the next. The rationale behind this choice is that the mission will be very fresh in your mind this way. If you prefer, you can instead play through the full campaign on Legendary, and then replay the necessary missions on Easy afterwards.

There are two campaign logs to collect in every mission, which will be collected on Easy difficulty where possible. Generally speaking, I found the Awakening the Nightmare missions to be slightly more difficult than the base game ones on Legendary, even with the help of all skulls.

Beneficial skulls:

  • Pain Train: All player units train 50% faster.
  • Bountiful Harvest: Supplies from supply buildings arrive 25% faster.
  • Emperor: All player powers recharge in half the time.
  • Total Annihilation: Spartan special ability slams create an even more powerful explosion upon landing.
  • Sugar Cookies: All player units have 50% more hitpoints.
  • Shadow: Player core infantry units start cloaked.
  • Things that go Boom: Hero units unleash a nuclear explosion on death.
  • After Party: Any time a Firebase is destroyed, the player who owned it gets a tank and infantry unit. This is helpful if you ever control a base that can be turned into a Wraith production line by spam build/recycling it. Remember that it works for enemy bases too!

What Could Go Wrong? (Legendary)

This mission is the most suitable opportunity to get the Banished Prowess achievement:

  • Beat any level on legendary in par time with a scoring skull active (AtN only)

Activate the Nightmare skull in addition to all the beneficial skulls. This means you can't save, but that shouldn't matter. This mission is difficult to fail or go over par time in. You can completely ignore optional and bonus objectives. Only go for them if they are otherwise beneficial, such as capturing Power Nodes.

From the start of the mission, follow the only path available. Eventually, you will reach a deactivated light bridge and must activate it by jumping to the other side with your Reavers. Destroy the barricade on the other side and continue down the path. You will encounter a number of supply silos that you should destroy for resources. You will also encounter Sentinels that you need to destroy. Focus them down one at a time and don't worry if you lose some units.

At the end of the path, you will reach a Banished base suffering from a Sentinel attack. You'll get access to a new Leader Power and be told to use it on the nearby sentinel launch bay. Do so immediately to stop the sentinels coming out, then clear out any other Sentinels. Build turrets in the slots next to the launch bay.

Throughout the rest of this mission, you will encounter a number of similar launch bays that you must disable with this Leader Power. The Leader Power is temporary, however, and you will need to replace them as they run out. Build anti-air turrets in every available slot, both to provide vision for the Leader Power, as well as to kill any Sentinels that spawn if you forget to replace the Disruption Emitter.

Build two Harvesters and one Power Extractor at the base, while also upgrading the base to level 2. Built turrets in every available slot and upgrade them to anti-air. Prioritize the Power Extractors though. After the enemies are defeated, capture the Power Node south of the base.

For the next few minutes, sentinels will continue to attack from the south. Soon, you will head over there to disable the launch bay that is at the end of the path, but for now you should just upgrade your base.

Once the base is level 2, build an Apex and a War Council. Start training Banshees and Engineers. You want 3-4 Engineers and as many Banshees as fit in the remaining population. Once you have a couple of Banshees, gather up your army and head south down the path, killing Sentinels as you pass them. You'll come to another launch bay, as well as two turrets, all of which can be disabled with a Disruption Emitter. Clear the area out, build turrets of your own, then head back to base and continue to train Banshees.

Once the preparation timer runs out, a friendly Scarab will arrive. You have no control over this unit and it will slowly make its way through the level. You must help it in combat, while keeping it alive. With a fully army of Banshees and a few Engineers, this should be no trouble at all. For now, it will start working on the first pile of rubble. It will be attacked by occasional Sentinels, but no major threats will show up.

Directly on the other side of the rubble will be two Forerunner turrets. Disable them with a Disruption Emitter, then destroy and replace them. Next, continue on ahead of the Scarab to the launch bay in the center of the next area. Do the usual here, then go northeast of it to find another launch bay and a minibase slot for you to build on. Both launch bays here have more turret slots for you to build on.

With all that taken care of, go back to helping your Scarab. Grab the Power Node that is nearby too.

Through the next pile of rubble, you will encounter Humans. They should be no issue with your by now fully upgraded Banshee army, but if you are struggling, the Scarab will catch up eventually and make things easy. You can build a base here after clearing the Humans out.

There is one more rubble pile, then the final stretch. Fly ahead of your Scarab, disabling the nearby launching bay as you pass it. You'll reach a lightbridge switch. Activate and cross it and you can skip some boring Scarab walking time and begin the final section.

The final part is a matter of defending the Scarab and Voridus from progressively larger waves of Sentinels. This should be no struggle at all. Use Disruption Emitter if you must. Eventually, a Retriever sentinel will show up and you will be able to complete a puzzle by rotating some rings on the Forerunner device. Just constantly click the rings and move them in whatever way. Once you accidentally get one right it will lock it in. After you complete the puzzle, the mission will end.

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What Could Go Wrong? (Easy)

Par time: 35:00
Gold medal threshold: 77,000+
Optional objectives:

  • Expand to all 3 base plots
  • Rescue the Reavers
  • Build on all 5 turret slots near the launching bays

Bonus objectives:

  • Capture all 4 power nodes
  • Salvage all 10 Covenant resources

Time for round two! Disable all your skulls. Nightmare should not be necessary to hit the gold medal threshold for any of the next three missions.

This mission will play similarly to on Legendary, but we have to complete a few extra tasks in the form of the optional and bonus objectives. The backbone of your gameplay will be identical. Train and upgrade an enormous Banshee army to protect the Scarab. A noteworthy difference is that the lack of the Emperor skull means you will not be able to rotate Disruption Emitters on every single launch bay. The ability will not be available often enough. The fact that you're on Easy will more than make up for this though.

Play as on Legendary to begin with. While fighting your way down to the base, you will see a fork in the path that leads to the west. Head down here to collect the first campaign log of the mission:

What Could Go Wrong logs 1 & 2

While fighting down this path, you will also find the first and second Covenant resource silos. Rescue the base as before. Make sure to grab the Power Node again and build up a small group of Banshees. While they are training, send a few units up the canyon west of the first launching bay, where you'll find the third Covenant resource silo.

Once your army is ready, go take care of the southern launch bay. Explore behind it to find the fourth Covenant resource silo. The Scarab will show up once again around this time. Remember to once again build turrets in every available slot.

The next objective can occasionally bug out, so I would suggest saving here just in case. Gather your army and head down the canyon south of the Power Node you grabbed. Here, you will encounter some Reavers under attack by Humans. Defend them to complete that objective. If it doesn't complete, reload the save you made earlier.

Next to the humans is the fifth Covenant resource silo. Further along the canyon is also the second Power Node that you need to capture.

The next section of the mission is identical to your Legendary run. Destroy the rubble as before and take out the launching bays as before, making sure to replace their turrets with yours. Don't skip out on building on the minibase slot. Just north of it, on a ledge, is the sixth Covenant resource silo. Note that you do not need to gather the resources. You can just destroy it with the Banshees and move on.

Wait for the Scarab to punch through the next bit of rubble, then take out the Human base. Build your own in its place and build a Raid Camp. Explore up the hill south of this area to find the seventh Covenant resource silo, as well as the second campaign log of the mission.

What Could Go Wrong logs 1 & 2

Check the ledge north of where the Human base was for the eighth Covenant resource silo. Train a Jump Pack Brute at the Raid Camp you built. Head west with your army to the rock islands. On one of them is the ninth Covenant resource silo. On another is the fourth Power Node. Jump to the Power Node using the Jump Back Brutes and take it. Head a little further west to find a launch bay and the final pair of turret slots.

By now you should have completed two optional objectives and one bonus objective. The next section contains the final resource silo and base plot.

Once the rubble has been destroyed, head through to find the final base plot just south of the light bridge. The tenth and final resource silo is on the island just north of it. You should now have completed every objective in the mission and can complete the rest of it in an identical manner to your Legendary playthrough.

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Fighting Retreat (Legendary)

This mission consists of a series of four holdouts against incoming Flood. Throughout the mission, the route that the next wave of Flood will take will be marked on your minimap, so you can position your troops accordingly.

The first island has no base on it. You only have what you start with. Immediately destroy all the resource silos on the island, then hold out until the next section starts. This won't be very long.

As soon as you reach the second section, you can start to abuse the After Party skull. Destroy the base you start with, then repeatedly queue a new one up and recycle it until you have a maxed out population of Wraiths. Spend any spare resources on building turrets and walls in the corresponding plots. Destroy all resource silos while you are producing Wraiths. After you have maxed your population with Wraiths, let the minibase build again properly, then build a Harvester and a Power Extractor on it.

Split your army into two halves, one will deal with the east, one with the west. Put Pavium in the western group, since it has two ramps instead of one. The rest of this section is trivial. Just wait until the timer reaches zero.

The second section will proceed in an identical manner to the first. You have a third base building slot here, so you can build a Foundry and upgrade your vehicles. Other than that, do the same as before in two groups. The flood waves will be a little stronger and contain vehicles, but will still be no match for the Wraiths. Occasionally, you will be attacked by Flood Bursters in the rear. Pavium can easily deal with these by himself.

This is a good spot to save, so that you can fall back on it if you feel like you messed up the next part.

The third and final section is the only one where you may struggle. You now have access to a fully functioning base, but you do not have access to Banshees from the Apex. Instead, use Marauders and Wraiths from the Foundry and an Honor Guard from the War Council. Build: three Harvesters, two Power Extractors, one Foundry, one War Council. Send Pavium to each of the three Blisterback crews that have been marked on your map to gain their assistance. I would suggest ignoring the rest of the objectives here and just defend your base.

Gather your entire army around your base. Build and upgrade all turrets and walls that are available. Remember that Banished are not limited to one upgrade type per turret, but can put all three on each one. Defend here from the Banished, wrapping round your base as necessary to the side that is being attacked the most heavily. Once the timer runs out, you will have to retreat further south and up the path. Do so and you're home free.

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Fighting Retreat (Easy)

Par time: 43:00
Gold medal threshold: 125,000+
Optional objectives:

  • Recover 3 Blisterback Crews
  • Rescue the 4 salvage teams

Bonus objectives:

  • Recover 3000 resources
  • Build 20 defenses
  • Kill 1200 Flood Pod infectors

The first section of this will play identically to your Legendary run, but should be more manageable due to the Easy difficulty. Make sure to grab all the resource silos on the island before you get pushed to the next bit!

The second section will deviate a little, because you obviously can't abuse the After Party skull here. Instead, train Grunt Squads and Choppers from your main base and split them into two groups. Build turrets and walls in every available slot and once again collect all resources. This should still be a pushover, due to being on Easy difficulty. Head east from the base to find the first campaign log of the mission:

Fighting Retreat logs 1 & 2

Once again, the third section will deviate due to not having a Wraith army. You also must complete part of an optional objective here! Head east from your base to find and defend the first group of Locusts (salvage teams) from the Flood. Free them, then collect all the resources available from resource silos in this section. Defending follows the same principles as on the previous section. Pavium does a lot of heavy lifting by himself. Once again, build turrets and walls in every available slot.

In the final section, we will complete both the optional objectives, as well as two of the bonus objectives. The bonus objective for killing Flood Pod infectors will complete itself by the end of the mission, so you can forget about it.

Gather resources with the bulk of your army until that objective is complete. Next, select all your units and visit all three Blisterback crews that are marked on the map. Next to the western group of Blisterbacks is the second campaign log of this mission:

Fighting Retreat logs 1 & 2

Follow the path leading towards the Power Node from here to find your second Locust group. Free it and capture the node. The third group is east of your base, by the other Power Node. After grabbing them, activate the lightbridge and cross it to find the fourth and final Locust crew.

By now you should have completed every optional objective, as well as the bonus objective for gathering 3000 resources. Once you build turrets and walls in every available slot in this section (don't forget the ones behind your base!), you should complete the objective to build 20 defenses. Play the rest of the mission as on Legendary, training Wraiths from your Foundry and sticking together as one group around the base.

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Light the Fuse (Legendary)

This mission is a little different from other missions, since it contains a unique way to gather energy. Instead of building Power Extractors, you have to destroy crystal formations throughout the level and gather the drops they leave behind. Your primary mission goal is to activate the three drills in center of the map (just north of your base). They cost 8,000 energy each or 24,000 total. I would suggest saving up 24,000 to activate them all at once instead of doing them one at a time.

The difficulty, therefore, comes from balancing the need to save up energy for the drills with the need to spend it on upgrades and units. Don't worry too much though. There is more than enough energy present on the map and it even respawns eventually. Your first move will be to build a Mega Turret in one of your base slots, then an Apex and a War Council in the other two. Build Sensor Towers in all of the turret slots next to attack paths. Build three turrets and a shield generator around your base, making sure that the shield generator is in one of the two southern slots. Finally, build turrets in the two slots just north of the drills.

Send your starting units around the central area to collect the crystal formations within it. Do not yet head out of the central area.

As soon as you have the necessary energy, upgrade your base twice. Build two more Harvesters in the new slots and upgrade them along with your original two. Upgrade the Mega Turret with Lingering Death.

You'll be attacked by Flood a little way into the mission. Send Pavium over to hold them off. The Sensor Towers give the Mega Turret vision and it should take care of a lot of them by itself. Pavium can finish off what remains, while the rest of your army continues to gather the energy near you.

After defeating the first wave of enemies you should also have finished collecting all the energy that starts around the drills. Now it is time to start the mission proper. A counter will have appeared at the top of your screen. This will slowly count up to 100%, at which point your base will be attacked by waves of Flood. After you fend them off, it will drop to 0% and start counting up again. Your goal is to make excursions out from your central base while it is counting up. Return to base once it is around the 90-95% mark (or sooner if you are far away).

This is a good spot to save, so that you can fall back on it if you feel like you messed up the next part.

Your first excursion can be done with your starting troops, but start training what will become the core of your army: Banshees and Engineers. You will want 4-5 Engineers and as many Banshees as you have population for. Your first excursion can honestly be in whatever direction you like. I started by heading southeast to the burster that is there, then began looping around the map counter-clockwise. The trips will become easier and easier as your army of Banshees grows. Make sure to be thorough as you pass through each area. You do not want to just gather some energy from one section of the map, you want to gather all the energy from that section of the map before moving on.

These are the upgrades that you want to spend energy on. Anything additional is unnecessary, but that doesn't mean you can't build other upgrades if you want:

  • Upgrade all Harvesters
  • Upgrade Air Level as many times as you can and research Plasma Torpedos
  • Reinforcements and Fortify Base upgrades at the War Council. Logistics is unnecessary due to the skull bonuses you have.

After upgrading those, stop spending spare energy. Continue the cycle of heading out, then retreating to your base. The are some Flood bases that you can destroy while out there, but keep in mind that these are optional objectives and don't need to be done on your Legendary playthrough.

Continue your excursions until you have 24,000 energy, then bring your entire army back to the center and activate all three drills. They will briefly calibrate, then start drilling. You now need to protect them until the new progress bar you get fills up. From now on, you can spend any more energy you have on Leader Powers. Around this time, the energy in the central area respawned, so you can re-gather it while fending off Flood. Upgrading turrets to anti-infantry is another good way to spend spare energy.

This is a good spot to save, so that you can fall back on it if you feel like you messed up the next part.

The Flood assault will get bigger and bigger until you are attacked by pairs of Abominations, Flood super units. Focus all your power on one at a time. You'll fail a bonus objective if they reach the drills, but that doesn't matter for now. The mission should end shortly after you defeat the second Abomination pair (fourth Abomination in total).

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Light the Fuse (Easy)

Par time: 35:00
Gold medal threshold: 119,000+
Optional objectives:

  • Discover each of the 3 Giant Bursters
  • Destroy the 4 Flood bases
  • Prevent any Abominations from reaching the salvage drills

Bonus objectives:

  • Fight back 10 Flood tentacles
  • Destroy 30 Flood forms with the Mega Turret

There's some good news for you here. This is the last mission you need to care about a gold medal on and the last mission you need to play twice in full.

The really is almost identical to your Legendary playthrough. You now need to complete some extra objectives, but the way you go about them is identical to how you went about collecting energy in the Legendary run anyway. All upgrades and army compositions are identical.

First, two of the objectives will likely take care of themselves. Fight back 10 Flood tentacles and Destroy 30 Flood forms with the Mega Turret. The Flood tentacles have considerably less health on Easy and will drop like flies to your Banshee swarm while you collect resources. If you reach 24,000 energy collected without 10 tentacle kills, you can just fly around killing them before starting the last phase. The second objective seemed closer, since I was killing things so fast that the Mega turret didn't really have to help much, but you will still make a lot of progress in the final phase. I entered the final phase at 16/30 and still completed it.

There are three Giant Bursters. They are southeast, southwest and north of the central area. So long as you go near each one while collecting energy, you will complete that objective. There are four Flood bases. They are northeast, northwest, southeast, and southwest of the base. Each of them is a little further away from your than the Bursters.

If you start southeast by the Flood Burster and go counter-clockwise again, you will encounter them in this order:

  • Flood Burster #1 (southeast)
  • Flood base #1 (northeast, with this mission's first campaign log just behind it)

Light the Fuse log 1

  • Flood Burster #2 (north)
  • Flood base #2 (northwest)
  • Flood Burster #2 (southwest)
  • Flood base #3 (southwest, with this mission's second campaign log just behind it)

Light the Fuse log 2

  • Flood base #4 (southeast)

Once you collect 24,000 energy, the final phase starts again. Here is the only potentially challenging objective.

Save before you start the final phase. The last bonus objective is easy to fail, and you do not want to have to restart.

You need to make sure no Flood Abominations ever touch the drills. This includes having their aura overlap with them. Knowing their attack routes and using Stasis on one while you kill the other is key here. Unfortunately, there is no good way to predict the routes they attack from, so I would suggest waiting to find out, then reloading a save and heading over there to spawn kill them. While killing the first, use Stasis on the second as mentioned above. This will give you time to reach it and take it out too.

I would suggest saving after each pair of Abominations and separating your Banshees and Engineers from your ground units, so that they are not slowed down when responding to incoming Abominations.

Once again, the mission should end shortly after the second pair of Abominations.

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The Archive (Legendary)

This mission starts you off with a small group of units and until you find a reinforcement teleporter, this is all you have. For this reason, you want to let Voridus go first wherever possible and kill things by himself. You will fail the mission if you run out of Jump Pack Brute units.

Throughout the mission, you will encounter sets of lasers that you need to deactivate via a control panel. You need to make sure no unit dies to these lasers. This isn't particularly difficult, but I would nonetheless suggest saving before each one.

Immediately after you head out, you'll be blocked by the first set of lasers. Use the nearby control panel to deactivate them. Send Voridus forward by himself to take out the Flood spawner and the units around it. He should be able to take them out without even running out of shields. After they're dead, bring up the rest of your units and jump over to the control panel with the Jump Pack Brutes to activate the lightbridge.

Head forward with Voridus once again to take out the Flood units up ahead, then jump back over with your Jump Pack Brutes and rejoin Voridus with them and the Elite Rangers. There is a Flood spawner standing by the next lightbridge switch. Take it out from this side with your Elite Rangers before leaping over to activate the switch.

On the other side of the lightbridge is another Flood spawner and behind it is the first set of laser defenses that you need to navigate.

This is a good spot to save, so that you can fall back on it if you feel like you messed up the next part.

Head down the laser corridor with Voridus and deactivate the switch at the other end. If you get hit by the lasers, I would suggest reloading. The achievement text states that it only fails if you lose units, not if you get hit, but there have been reports of people not getting the achievement after being hit, despite not losing any units.

Just past these laser defenses is the first somewhat challenging section. You gain access to Voridus's ability, Salt the Earth, and must defeat some incoming waves of Flood. There really are a lot of Flood units here, so I would suggest buying and upgrading Rain of Fire to use as well. If you must, you can run away mid combat and kite the units until Voridus's ability returns. Salt the Earth causes Voridus to leave incendiary gel on the floor wherever he goes. Use it and cover as much ground as possible once the Flood units show up, then kite them through the gel.

This is a good spot to save, so that you can fall back on it if you feel like you messed up the next part.

From now on, I would strongly suggest waiting for Salt the Earth to come off cooldown after every fight.

Just up ahead is a teleporter. You can use it to call in one unit of your choice as reinforcements. Call in the Honor Guard as suggested, then send it down the southwest path by itself. When you reach some Flood blisters, use the Cloak ability to become invisible. Carefully navigate your way through this next section, taking care not to set off any of the blisters.

Head into the circular thing where the control panel is and activate it. Sentinels will show up and annihilate the Flood. You can now bring the rest of your units forward to join the Honor Guard, but you should still be careful while navigating the blisters.

From now on, you can make slow but steady progress by sending Voridus ahead alone to fight whatever is up there until he dies, then cloaking the Honor Guard once Voridus's resurrect timer has counted down and sending him in range to revive Voridus. Then back the Honor Guard out again and repeat.

Don't head down the larger path, head down the smaller one south of it first. Kill the Flood spawners at the end of it, then head back down the path and up the main one. You may die to the explosives in the secondary path. If so, use the Honor Guard to revive Voridus as described in the previous paragraph.

At the end of the main path is a barricade you should now destroy. You can bring the other units up to help after you've killed any Flood units nearby, but Voridus does kill it quite quickly by himself.

This is a good spot to save, so that you can fall back on it if you feel like you messed up the next part.

Up ahead is another section where you will fight incoming Flood waves. Use the nearby teleporter to call in some extra Elite Rangers before sending a single Jump Pack Brute over to activate the lightbridge. As soon as you do, the Flood will attack. Use Salt the Earth and Leader Powers here as necessary. Infusion Wake is pretty great. As soon as the lightbridge is activated, beeline across it. Once you reach the other side, it will deactivate again.

Up next is the second laser defense system. Save before attempting it, then send Voridus through by himself again.

This is a good spot to save, so that you can fall back on it if you feel like you messed up the next part.

The next section has you defending against incoming Flood waves until a timer reaches zero. When that happens, laser defenses will kick in and kill the remaining Flood for you. You may wonder how to reach the campaign log you see in the center here. You do that by killing all the Flood before the timer reaches zero. This is very difficult on Legendary, so don't worry about it.

Continue down the path and you'll see a Flood Abomination. Don't worry, it won't be an issue to take care of. Use a Jump Pack Brute to jump to the control panel that should be just north of you as you enter this area. Turn on the Sentinel defense system and then start using Voridus to lure Flood into it, including the Abomination. If the Abomination doesn't die to this (it sometimes kills the Sentinel defense system), then start to repeatedly suicide Voridus into the Abomination, exploding on death every time. Use the Honor Guard to revive each time.

Once you pass this section with the Flood blisters everywhere, you'll encounter the final laser defense system. You know the drill by now. This one is the most challenging, but it still is very manageable.

This is a good spot to save, so that you can fall back on it if you feel like you messed up the next part.

The final section is a wave defense. You now can train as many units from the teleporters as you have resources for, including a new type of unit, the Brute Grenadier. Spend all your resources, then clear the Flood out and destroy the Flood growths. Elite Rangers are notably effective here against most of the flood, but build a few Grenadiers too. This section is not particularly difficult; don't worry.

You need to hold out until the percentage at the top of your screen hits 100%. Flood waves will arrive and attack the Forerunner machinery. If they destroy a lock, it will become Flood growth covered once more. If that happens, you just need to destroy the growth again and it will be back to full health. You will have constant resource generation during this section, so remember to keep training units whenever you can, and use Leader Powers to help out. The teleporters train units instantly.

Whenever Abominations show up, focus all your fire on them immediately. If you think you're being overrun by the end, just start running circles around the area and kill the growths. So long as you do that, the drills will still tick up in progress, and you will eventually win.

Once progress reaches 100%, a puzzle will become available in the center that is similar to the one at the end of What Could Go Wrong? So once again just spin the things in every which way until it works.

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The Archive (Easy)

The goal for this mission is now to gather the two campaign logs, while reaching the final room without using the teleporters to call in for defenses. This means no Honor Guard revive tactics, but the fact that it's on Easy should make up for that. You can leave every beneficial skull enabled, because you don't care about score!

Everything up to the first teleporter will be the same as on Legendary, but you don't need to be anywhere near as cautious or conservative with your units. Avoid using any Leader Powers and still make sure to collect resources though.

When you reach the teleporter, head northwest of it to find the first campaign log of this mission, behind a barricade:

The Archive log 1

You will obviously not be able to use the Honor Guard for the next section, but Voridus can do it just fine by himself. The mission continues for a while in the same way as it did on Legendary. Finally, you will reach the quarantine section again. Make sure you have Rain of Fire and Infusion Wake unlocked and at least partially upgraded, then save and activate the quarantine.

It is not particularly difficult to clear it out on Easy before the timer reaches 0, especially with all beneficial skulls still enabled. Once the dome in the center vanishes, send Jump Pack Brutes over to grab the log:

The Archive log 2

That's both logs out of the way, but we're not quite done yet. Continue the mission, playing the same way as you did on Legendary, once again luring the Abomination into the Sentinels. Finally, when you reach the final room of the mission, you will unlock:

We Got This in Halo Wars 2
Reach the final room of The Archive without calling in reinforcements from the teleporters.
  • Unlocked by 1,281 tracked gamers (17% - TA Ratio = 4.07) 7,423

You do not need to complete the final part again and can just resign instead.

Manifestation (Legendary)

This mission only needs to be played once. Both campaign logs can be collected while on Legendary, and the mission's secondary achievement can be completed:

  • Complete 'Manifestation' without the Proto-Gravemind exceeding 50% critical mass

If you do slip up, then don't worry. You can replay on Easy afterwards to have an easier time of it.

At the start of the mission you will be under attack. Immediately queue up two more Harvesters and a Power Extractor. Build a War Council and finally destroy the Raid Camp to build an Apex in its place. You now want to build up your army until you have the standard Banshee swarm, fully upgraded, with Engineer support. The constant Flood attacks are irritating, but not a genuine threat. You are under no time pressure here, so don't worry about that either. Built three turrets and one shield generator around your base as well.

Once you have a few Banshees, you can head north along the only available path, and then turn east to find a minibase slot and a Power Node to capture. Build a minibase here and put a Mega Turret on it. Continue building and upgrading your army at your main base.

Once the Mega Turret as been built, do not go near the Flood tentacle/barricade until you are fully ready to go. Once the Mega Turret gains vision on it and destroys it, you will be on a timer.

Directly north of the minibase slot with your Mega Turret is the first campaign log of the mission:

Manifestation log 1

Once your army is fully built and fully upgraded, it's time to go.

This is your final opportunity to save. Throughout the next section, the ability to save the game is disabled.

From now on, remember to continuously reinforce lost units from your base.

Head down towards the marked Flood tentacle and the Mega Turret will destroy it. Head through to meet this mission's primary objective.

Kill nearby Flood units for a while and eventually the Proto-Gravemind will come up out of its hole. You are now fighting the first of four sections that you need to destroy in an identical manner. First, you need to destroy a carapace. After destroying it, it will vanish and reveal some sacs that you need to destroy too. Finally, the Proto-Gravemind will open itself up and you'll be able to attack it and take 25% of its health off. After you do that, it will retreat underground.

The Proto-Gravemind will now begin to gather mass. This is indicated by a percentage counter at the top of your screen. If this passes 50%, you will fail the secondary achievement. You can lower the Proto-Gravemind's mass by attacking it, which is possible only after finding and setting up a Mega Turret. You need to do this a total of three times.

The tentacles around the Proto-Gravemind will have retracted, allowing you to to head north. Head north until you reach a T junction, then turn east. The next Mega Turret site is here. Destroy the Flood minibase and build your own in its place. Defend it until it is complete, then build and upgrade turrets around it and send your army back the way you came towards the Proto-Gravemind.

Now repeat the process that you undertook previously. Destroy the carapace, then the sacs, then attack the boss itself until it retreats. It can be quite difficult to target the sacs here, due to the map orientation. Rotate it if you need to, to get a better angle, but remember to rotate it back again afterwards or any directional instructions will not make sense.

Once the tentacles retract again, head west. There is a path leading northwest away from the boss. Head up this path, and immediately take the fork west to find the next Mega Turret spot. Wait for it to finish, build and upgrade both turrets, then head back to the boss. Repeat the same process here.

After beating the boss back once more, head directly west from it. You will reach a T junction. Here, you want to split off Pavium and send him north with two Engineers. The rest of your troops should head south instead. At the end of the northern path is the final campaign log of the mission:

Manifestation log 2

You have now collected every campaign log in Awakening the Nightmare and should unlock:

The Brute Side in Halo Wars 2
Collect every Phoenix Log collectable in 'Awakening the Nightmare'
  • Unlocked by 1,238 tracked gamers (17% - TA Ratio = 4.14) 7,423

Head south, then east with the rest of your army and you'll find the final Mega Turret slot. Send Pavium back down to join them in defending it. After it is complete, head north again to fight the boss once more. An Abomination will spawn now, so focus fire that down first.

After the boss has been defeated a fourth time, it will become apparent that you need a little something more. Head southwest to the marked Sentinel lock as instructed, and free it of Flood growths. After you do, you'll get given a Retriever Sentinel.

Head back to the Proto-Gravemind with everything you have, including your new Sentinel. When the Sentinel arrives, use its ability on the Proto-Gravemind. Once you do, it will rise up and be attackable once more. This is the final stretch so throw everything you have at it, including every offensive Leader Power. Remember to use the Retriever's powerful ability whenever it is available.

When it dies, the mission will complete and with that, you will have completed all the campaign related achievements in Awakening the Nightmare! If you failed to keep the boss from going above 50% mass, then you can retry the mission on Easy with all beneficial skulls still active. Follow the same strategy and it should be a pushover.

Clean up your Mess in Halo Wars 2
Complete 'Manifestation' on any difficulty
  • Unlocked by 4,274 tracked gamers (58% - TA Ratio = 2.22) 7,423

Before This Gets Out of Hand in Halo Wars 2
Complete 'Manifestation' without the Proto-Gravemind exceeding 50% critical mass
  • Unlocked by 2,563 tracked gamers (35% - TA Ratio = 2.88) 7,423

Awake in Halo Wars 2
Awake67 (30)
Complete the 'Awakening the Nightmare' campaign on any difficulty
  • Unlocked by 4,264 tracked gamers (57% - TA Ratio = 2.23) 7,423

Again with the Tentacles in Halo Wars 2
Complete the 'Awakening the Nightmare' campaign on Heroic or higher
  • Unlocked by 1,557 tracked gamers (21% - TA Ratio = 3.69) 7,423

The Ancient Enemy in Halo Wars 2
Complete the 'Awakening the Nightmare' campaign on Legendary
  • Unlocked by 1,339 tracked gamers (18% - TA Ratio = 3.98) 7,423

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