Sidewinder is an ice planet, designated Simulation Outpost 9 by Project Freelancer. This location is used as a backdrop for several major events over the course of the series, including the battle of the Reds and Blues against O'Malley/Doc midway through Season 3, the rise of the Meta in Season 10 and his eventual demise towards the end of Revelation.
Role in Plot
In Party Crasher, it's shown that during the Freelancer Break-in, the Mother of Invention crash lands into Sidewinder when Tex meets the Alpha. After the crash, the Meta throws Carolina off a nearby cliff before Tex leaves the area. To cover up the events that resulted in the crash of the ship, Project Freelancer turned the area into a simulation outpost. In Season 1, Church has memories that Tex killed all of the Sidewinder Blue Team soldiers when stationed there, only sparing him because of their history together, but this never happened. When the Blood Gulch Red and Blue Teams returned to Sidewinder, they found that the Sidewinder Red Team was still there despite there being no Blues. Grif and Church were captured by the Sidewinder Reds, who confused them with the enemy. The Sidewinder Reds were eventually killed by Wyoming.
Wyoming stumbled onto Grif and Church, and, after mocking them a bit, left them to starve. However, another version of Church from the future freed the two. To stop O'Malley, Simmons teleports the Zealots from Battle Creek and tells them that O'Malley had their flag. The Zealots massed on O'Malley, knocking him down, and beginning to teabag him (O'Malley was visibly disturbed by this). When the bomb in the stomach of Church's robot body went off, it sent the Reds, the Zealots, Tucker, and Caboose into the future. Church, however, was thrown into a temporal loop. Much later, Church possessed Caboose, and accidentally sent Caboose's mental image of Sister (whom, Caboose had thought was Church's twin brother) into the real world, which was then accidentally thrown into the temporal loop when he walked too close to a malfunctioning Wyoming armor suit.
Much later on, in Revelation, Epsilon and Tex return to Sidewinder. Tex reveals that the Alpha was taken to Sidewinder after the Freelancer break-in, and that the real reason she spared Church when she obliterated the "Blue Team" soldiers was that the stress of Omega and Gamma's constant combat scenarios had broken the Alpha down too far, so far that he didn't even recognize her anymore. Tex goes on to disable Epsilon in the middle of the snow fields with a single gunshot. She then leaves to "get a few things ready." In the ensuing fight between her, Washington, and the Meta, Sidewinder itself suffers extensive damage - remote-detonated explosives planted by Tex blow up Washington's Warthog, create a massive avalanche of ice, and finally break off an entire, vast section of the battlefield to plummet into the frigid water below (nearly taking Washington and the Meta with it).
Sidewinder's landscape is altered further when a Pelican, piloted by Grif and carrying Simmons, Sarge, Tucker, and Caboose, crashes into the battlefield before being dropped off the cliff by little more than a halfhearted kick from Sarge. When the Reds and Tucker face against the Meta, Sarge is able to connect the Warthog's tow hook to the Meta's armor as Simmons and Grif push it off Sidewinder's cliff, taking the Meta as well, killing him. After being interrogated by the UNSC Police, the Reds, Blues, Doc, and (a disguised) Washington leave the area.
In Season 15, Dylan Andrews and Jax Jonez visit Sidewinder and investigate the wreck of the Mother of Invention, where they discover from the ship's personnel files that the agents of Project Freelancer are either dead or missing after the Blues and Reds, who were publicly mistaken for the Reds and Blues, began their crime spree against the UNSC. They soon have a near-fatal encounter with the Blues and Reds before being saved by Spencer Porkensenson. After engaging in a firefight with Spencer, the Blues and Reds quickly abandon Sidewinder. The event makes Dylan realize that the Reds and Blues are not responsible for the crimes and continues her investigation to Chorus.
From the surface, Sidewinder appears to be a never-ending expanse of snow and ice, punctuated by mountains and surrounded by frigid seas. From space, the surface of the planet appears to be several continents of land locked together by ice, surrounded by a near continuous, frozen looking ocean. Surrounding the planet is a tentative ring system of ice crystals and stellar dust.
Although not part of the planet's appearance itself, it is shown orbiting what appears to be a blue star. As blue stars are some of the hottest stars, this suggests that, in order to be perpetually frozen, Sidewinder either orbits fairly far out from its parent star, or has a relatively small parent star.
- In the episode A Shadow of His Former Self, the Blue Team refer to Sidewinder as "the Ice Planet". In Revelation though, Sidewinder is treated as a location on the same planet as Valhalla and Blood Gulch, rather than a separate planet. However, in Party Crasher, it's once again shown to be its own planet and has been shown as such ever since.
- The Red base at Sidewinder is represented by the Halo: Combat Evolved map, Longest. Also, in the Halo 3 engine, Sidewinder is represented by the map Avalanche. In Halo 5: Guardians, it is represented by Glacier.
- Sidewinder is not only the location of Maine's rise as the Meta, but also his end. Maine's first victim as the Meta was Carolina who he threw off a cliff after stealing her A.I. Years later, his fate was the same, as Meta would also be thrown off a cliff by the Reds after Epsilon-Tex was removed from his armor, killing him.
- Sidewinder has the second most appearances in the series, with Blood Gulch being first and Zanzibar being third.
|Project Freelancer: 1-Blood Gulch: 1A 1B · 9-Sidewinder · 17-Valhalla: 17A 17B · 25-Rat's Nest: 25A 25B · 48-High Ground: 48A · ?-Desert Gulch|
|Federal Army of Chorus: 22-F.A.C. Outpost 22 · 37-F.A.C. Outpost 37|
|Unnamed: Battle Creek · UNSC Wind Power Facility · Danger Canyon · Timberland|