Halo is without a shadow of any doubt a global sensation. Easily one of Microsoft Studio's more popular titles and a lot of FPS gamer's go-to game for Xbox - I know it's mine! The legacy behind Halo is rich and flavourful. This Xbox/PC exclusive has been going strong since 2001 and with the upcoming release of Halo Infinite, what better way to celebrate than by checking out this list of the craziest about Halo facts - that only true fans will know.
Halo: Combat Evolved went on to be the game that redefined the first-person experience. Halo 2 then solidified that. Halo 3 brought us one of the best campaigns ever. Halo Wars and Halo Wars 2 shows us Halo from an RTS perspective. Halo Reach gave us enhanced gameplay with an even better forge. Halo 4 had mixed reviews as 343 take over from Bungie, but some improvements were made. Halo 5 stands as a divider for the community but offered us so much in the end.
Whether you are new to the Halo Franchise, A Halo Lore expert, or you consider yourself to be a true fan, this list has something for you. The Halo timeline is a rather lengthy and intricate tapestry of events. Luckily for you, I've been out on the frontline, hunting down some of the craziest facts. From a Jackal's hand of choice to an Egyptian Queen, it's all here!
40 It Was Supposed To Be Single Player ONLY!
Halo almost didn't have a multiplayer mode included in Halo: Combat Evolved. It doesn't take a genius to calculate Halo's success without the multiplayer mode included. Halo was renowned for its multiplayer prowess and without it, there's a good chance the game would have sunk - despite its great story. The featured multiplayer mode we know and love was whipped up in a couple of weeks and was added to the game at the very last minute! Good shot Bungie!
39 It Was Going To Be A Mac Game (Believe It, Or Not!)
The Halo franchise started its life as an RTS, just like the Halo Wars games, only it was going to be a Macintosh exclusive. That is, until 1999 when Bungie sold the rights to the franchise to Microsoft - thus making it an Xbox exclusive.
Halo went through many changes from its earlier development.
It was becoming more likely that the Halo game was going to be a third-person shooter. Eventually, after a while in development, the game became recognizable as the very first Halo we know and love - Combat Evolved.
38 The Developers HATED The Name
Halo: Combat Evolved was the first in a hefty list of Halo titles that would blow us away. However, not many people know, Microsoft added the title Combat Evolved to compete with other military shooters. This comes from an interview for Edge Magazine with Jaime Griesemer - who worked on the first three games - he and the rest of Bungie... hated it. He went on to say that naming Halo "Combat Evolved" is like naming a Metal Gear Solid: "Sneaking Rediscovered".
37 How 'Halo' Works
It may shock you some fans and boil the blood of others, not everyone knows what the Halo Rings are! In layman's terms, think of them as an ancient super-weapon - floating in space, a giant ring world - created by an ancient race of beings. The weapon is capable of wiping out all life in the galaxy if they are all fired at the same time. Each ring can reach around twenty-five thousand lightyears. Including the Omega Halo, there have been 10 Halo rings made.
36 Halo 3 Was Censored
Halo 3 actually had an achievement planned called "Cheynemania". The player would have to defeat ten opponents in a row with a shotgun without been defeated themselves. The achievement was renamed to "open season" after various debates.
You can't blame Microsoft for playing it safe with this one!
The achievement was making a nod to the time that Dick Cheney shot his friend with a shotgun in the leg by accident and his friend went on to apologize.
35 Elite Language: Wort! = Go!
The development of Halo has presented us with countless acts of innovation. One such act of innovation was the use of speech for the Elites in Halo: Combat Evolved. The team took English phrases then reversed and speeded up the recordings for the Elite language. "Go! Go! Go!" is remixed into "Wort! Wort! Wort!" and "Azuda" is thought to mean away, as it's grouped with "Wort! Wort! Wort!". They also did this for the Jackal species, carefully considering the species evolutionary restraints as they go along.
34 The Deleted Levels (And Story) Of Halo 2
Halo has had many cuts and changes throughout its life. From weapons to levels and even characters. The Grvemind was initially going to be unveiled to the player through a level known as "Forerunner Tank" in Halo 2. Interestingly, the Forerunner tank was going to be a vehicle that the player could use in Halo: Combat Evolved as well as a level from Halo 2. The level would have helped fill in gaps at the end of the Quarantine Zone cinematic and would have appeared after the level Regret. Instead, Gravemind was introduced through the cinematic at the end of Regret.
33 The Little-Known Change To The Arbiter
In Halo, it is a common thing for the Covenant soldiers to refer to Master Chief as "Demon". This isn't much of a surprise to us because we are aware of the countless number of Covenant plans we've thwarted. One thing that might surprise you is that Thel Vadam (Arbiter), refers to the Master Chief as "Spartan" rather than "Demon". This goes to show the Arbiter's faith in Master Chief and also the Arbiter's disbelief in the actions and words of the Covenant.
32 The Were Already Planning "Destiny"
It may come as a surprise to Bungie fans that Destiny was teased as far back as Halo 3: ODST. Found on various billboards and posters throughout the city of New Mombasa in the ODST game, Bungie teased "Destiny Awaits". Hidden in Halo, nobody really thought anything about this because the poster fits the Halo universe and its lore, but also because Destiny was but a twinkle in a gamers eye at this point. This is one easter egg that lets us reflect as Halo fans about what happened to our game creators and where they left to.
31 Weird Things About Hunters' Bodies
The Hunter's body is not an actual single organism. instead, it is made up of dozens of orange, eel-like creatures. Once one of these colonies becomes too big, it splits to form two new Hunters.
It makes you wonder? Why do we never see different sized Hunters?
Apparently, they usually stand between twelve and thirteen feet tall, however in Halo: Legends episode - The Duel - we see Hunters at least fifty-feet tall. Frank O'Connor commented on this saying the Hunter's shape changes based on the planet's gravity
30 Yes, A Real Warthog Was Made
The real-life version of the Warthog from Halo is very real and very much working. The first time I saw one of the real working Warthogs was during an article for Official Xbox Magazine. It was during the time Peter Jackson was supposed to be working on a Halo film. There are more than one of these vehicles in the world too! One fan even built his own! Despite the speed that you think you're going in-game, its top speed is only 60MPH.
29 There Are 25 Halo Books... That's A Lot Of Halo Books
Halo has a series of novels out there that are actually extremely popular, among readers and gamers alike. Currently, there are 25 novels out there! These novels go deep into the Halo lore - given how juicy that is - there's really something for everyone. They cover various sections of the Halo timeline, from Forerunners to the Flood and everything in between. The novels are often the works of various writers, between them all, they have many awards - combine that with the experience of the games themselves, and you get the Halo supergiant.
28 Flood Logic Is Godly
The Flood from Halo actually holds some reference to "The Great Flood" from mythology. The story behind Noah's Ark is one most of us are familiar with, God tells Noah to build an Ark as he will be starting over on Earth. So Noah goes ahead and builds his Ark ready to leave the world behind at the fate of "The Flood". It's just that in our story, the Flood are an alien species who want wipe everyone one, and the Prophets great journey eradicates not just the Flood but the rest of life in the galaxy!
27 Pre-Order For The Minstrel Chief (Fable 2)
Halo has its fair share of cameos inside and outside of the Halo universe. One of the most notable goes to Hal from the game: Fable II. Books and scriptures foretell of a hero who had a mighty blade and armor, the game then edges its players to find these said items.
The armor of Hal is uncanny to that of Master Chief.
Given that Fable was also an Xbox exclusive it comes as no surprise to find the Chief in the Fable world. The people of Albion also refer to Hal as the minstrel chief, another play on the name Master Chief.
26 The 8 Different Kinds Of Covenant
The Covenant stars in pretty much every Halo game and is usually seen as the main antagonist by players. The Covenant is actually made up of eight individual species, all led by the Prophet race. Grunts make up the cannon fodder and numbers of the Covenant. The Jackals are the sniper race. The Elites are seen as the Prophet's hands, who were used for carrying out their doing. Then we have the Brutes who make up the muscle. Drones are your bug-eyed, flying, pest race. Hunters are the living tanks. Engineers are the docile race who bestow protection on their troops. Finally, there are the Prophets, the leaders of the Covenant.
25 Huh. Secret Stealth Is Awesome
If you were lucky enough to experience Halo 2's campaign with a friend, you may have noticed this interesting quirk. Whenever the player controls the Arbiter, the eyes of the Arbiter are not actually invisible when he activates camo. This tiny bug was discovered when two players played the Arbiter based missions in Halo 2 and looked at each other in the camo state. Camouflage was introduced in Halo 2 as a unique power of the Arbiter, to heighten the player experience and make the character slightly more appealing.
24 BBC And The UNSC...
One boo-boo the internet won't let the BBC forget anytime soon is when they featured the UNSC logo from Halo instead of the United Nations Security Council logo. All be it a simple mistake, it's one that us Halo fans will always remember. In 2012, presenter Sophie Raworth was talking about Amnesty International's criticism of the UN for their actions in Syria. Behind her was shown the UNSC logo from Halo rather than the real-life UNSC logo. It was probably a simple Google search gone wrong as Google shows Halo's UNSC logo more frequently than the United Nations Security Council logo.
23 Forge Nation Is Totally Bonkers...
The Halo Forge community is without a doubt one of the best things to come out of the Halo experience. Hundreds of players, dedicated to building maps. Some, show initiative in their creations and some show promise - all capable of becoming future level designers.
What would Halo be without the Forge experience?
The Forge has gone through many changes from forge 1.0 in Halo 3 through to Forge 5.0 in Halo 5. The Bungie team actually wanted to feature weather effects in Halo Reach but time restraints stopped this, luckily we have the power to do so now in Halo 5.
22 There Are Over 39,000 Lines Of Dialogue In Halo 3 — Ridiculous!
It's estimated that Halo 3 has around 39,000 lines of dialogue. I can only imagine the job the writers had! From iconic one-liners to less notable battle-cries and dialogue-heavy sections. Halo's voice is definitely full of variety. Some of these lines are actually hilarious, most notably is the grunt dialogue. This is a massive increase from Halo 2's 14,000 lines of dialogue, that seems miniature in comparison to its little brother, Halo 3. Bungie found a place in the Guinness Book of World Records Gamer's edition for the amount of dialogue in the game.
21 The Voice Of Cortana Also Does Princess Peach (Woohoo!)
Did you know that Princess Peach has the same voice actor as Cortana! Jen Taylor is a successful voice actor who has many games under her belt. She voiced the damsel in distress from the Mario series: Princess Peach. She also voiced our beloved AI Cortana. Jen has done a small bit of TV work but is most renowned for her gaming voices. She started out by voice acting for the game: Backyard Baseball. Her other notable voice skills can be found in Aliens vs. Predator 2, EverQuest II, The Matrix: Path of Neo and Left 4 Dead 2.
20 Installation-04c Might Have A Serious Secret...
It's theorized that the lesser ark (installation-00), where Halo Wars 2 is set - created the Halo ring (Installation-04c) that Cortana is seen on at the end of Halo 5. The story of Halo Wars 2 was epic without a doubt, but the ending was the best part. Were this theory to be true, Halo Wars 2 practically ends where Halo 5 does, leaving many things wide open. Hopefully, we get a chance to experience where these two stories left us with Halo Infinite!
19 Conan O'Brien Makes A Cameo
Halo 4 actually featured a cameo appearance with Conan O'Brien & Andy Richter appearing in the game as Marines. Conan and Andy are best known for the various late night TV shows they host. The two were confirmed to be lending their voice talents for Halo 4. This was reported in the build-up to Halo 4 in 2012. I don't know about you guys, but they will always have this going for them, I can't see Jay Leno voice acting in Halo any time soon. They appear in Shutdown, Halo 4's sixth mission.
18 Fan Theories About Master Chief's Real Name
Little is actually known about John-117's life outside of the battlefield or before he was taken for the Spartan-II programme. Fans theorize that because his Surname takes up less space than those of Rolla Hedegaard and Hirayama Tatsuyuki that it is likely his Surname is less than nine letters long. This theory comes from analyzing the Eridanus II census record. Hopefully, one day, before I am very old, we will learn everything about Chief, such an amazing backstory makes him a gaming legend right from the get-go.
17 This Is How It All Began...
The war between the Human and Covenant factions began 27 years before the first game. Halo: Wars is set at the start of this conflict and is great fun if you want to experience the war's beginning for yourself.
You can pick up Halo: Contact Harvest for more information on this period.
Halo: Reach is set after Halo: Wars but it won't matter which of these you play first as they both offer something different. Halo isn't really a chronological series, but if you are interested in chasing the Halo franchise in a linear order, you should check out the order of the Halo books and games.
16 They Didn't Want To Make Halo 2 — Microsoft Forced Them
What would the world of gaming have been like without Halo 2 or Halo 3? Well, that was the plan. Bungie never intended to carry on the Halo franchise. They put intense effort into the first Halo game then fell behind creating Halo 2 and Halo 3 because of demand. The team recalls months and months of negative tone as they tried to hit a Christmas 2004 release date for Halo 2. Many of the staff agree that the game could have used a few more months of refinement.
15 The Small Details Of Halo 3's No Drone-Zone
Halo 3 was a game of many things, one that wanted to be so much more. This initiative and drive always shined within Halo, even down to the smallest detail. Bungie was far from a one trick horse, but ambition was their biggest selling point for Halo. Even the Drones had unachieved plans. They wanted an animation where the Drone would fly away with a Marine. Attempts of this can be seen in Crow's Nest where a Marine is carried away by a Drone. Although sometimes they're a pest or swarming nightmare, the Drones will always have a place in my heart.
14 Frozen In (Wax) Time...
Madame Tussaud was born in Strasbourg in 1761. Her inherited legacy has gone on to create waxworks of stars from across the world. In September 2007 a waxwork of Master Chief was unveiled, set to go with the Halo 3 launch event. The waxwork was created by a team of 10 artists in London - Chief was the first ever video game character to be erected from the wax by Madame Tussauds. Madame Tussauds has many galleries across the globe, be sure to check their site if you're looking to see some of their work for yourself.
13 Cortana-Rama Hidden Away
The Halo franchise wouldn't have been the same without Chief's AI companion, Cortana. Back in Halo 3, before Cortana's "good-bye" and when we all still liked her, she featured in her own little easter egg. Those of you who have played with the first Forge or who have paid attention during the campaign will have noticed this one. Cortana's face can be seen on a UNSC computer screen at the bottom left. It will flicker and flash up for a couple of seconds and flash off.
12 The Truth About Building Spartans
The Spartan-II programme was one that shocked gamers as they uncovered ONI's dark secrets about the programme. Although many people think of Master Chief as a man in a tin suit, it runs far deeper than that.
The Spartan-II's were taken as children and genetically altered to become super soldiers.
This was all down to the workings of Doctor Catherine Halsey who the AI Cortana was modeled from. If you're dying to sink your teeth into this particular section of the Halo universe, you may want to try Halo: Reach, Halo Legends, and the Halo novels.
11 Yes, You Can Disarm A Banshee
The Banshee is without a doubt one of Halo's more iconic vehicles. The primary focus for air-based combat in all the Halo games has always belonged to the Banshee. There are actually many odd twerks and perks you should remember when coming face-to-face with someone riding a Banshee. With a well-aimed sniper shot, you can actually shoot between the crack on the Banshee's canopy, taking out the driver but rendering the Banshee undamaged. You can even fire a rocket through the crack between the cockpit and the hull, without damaging the Banshee! Skyjacking a Banshee in Halo: Reach's campaign als0 gives you the "Banshees, fast and low" achievement.
10 Legendary Logic
The "Unggoy" or the Grunts are one of the most if not then THE most iconic enemy from Halo ever. We all go through that rollercoaster of emotions when we beat a Grunt who is trying to hurt us, only to see his friends mourn his passing. Well, you won't be so sad after your a few hours into the Legendary campaign of Halo: Reach only to get blown to pieces by a Grunt's out of control gas tank! Shooting or punching the methane tank of a grunt in Halo: Reach can spiral him out of control before exploding, in Legendary mode, this can be a one hit obstacle for you to avoid.
The United Nations Space Comand (UNSC) was initially going to be called the United Nations Space Force (UNSF). I'm glad they decided to go with UNSC personally because the Space Force sounds a little over-fictitious as a title for the main Human faction of the series.
United Nations Space Force reminds me more of Buzz Lightyear?
Besides, if they never called it UNSC the BBC wouldn't have featured the logo in the news. I hear the patriotism behind the whole Force route, but Command makes the word sound more universal and logical.
8 Lol — You Can't Unsee This Box Mistake
The Hunters are one of the most feared opponents to the Halo Legendary gamer. These hulking adversaries have been the backbone of Covenant assaults in every Halo game, except two. In Halo: Spartan Assault we see Hunters appear on its cover. This, however, turns out to be nothing more than a tease for us Halo fans. The twin-stick shooters, Halos: Spartan Assault & Spartan Strike, didn't feature Hunters. The fact they appear on the cover is either a nasty lure to increase the game's initial revenue - making us think we will see the hunters - or it's a simple continuity error.
7 Steve Vai, Rocking It Out!
Guitar legend Steve Vai actually appeared in Halo 2. He worked with Michael Salvatori and Martin O'Donnell in the production of the music and also played the guitar on the Halo theme. Most notably credited for his work in Reclaimer and the Halo Theme MJOLNIR Mix. Apparently, Vai was already a huge fan of Halo: Combat Evolved so it wasn't hard persuading him to work on Halo 2. Steve also came back to work on the Halo 2 Anniversary. It's no wonder that the Halo 2 theme was so memorable with one of the best guitarists in the world working on it.
6 Yeah, The Ending Was Slapped On Last Minute
Not many people know this, but the iconic ending of Halo 2 actually wasn't planned. The actual Halo 2 experience was scaled back due to limitations, time and working prototypes of the game not been around up to a year after development started. This led to the game featuring its infamous cliffhanger that left some fans upset and others with tingles on the back of their neck. This fact comes from ex-Bungie writer, Joseph Staten who went on to say that "the cliffhanger wasn't part of the plan" but he also commented on the over-ambition of the team with Halo 2.
5 ODST Was Supposed To Be DLC (Until It Became Its Own Game)
I can remember when Halo 3: ODST was going to be DLC for Halo 3; then it getting announced as a purchasable standalone game! I was one of the fans who played Halo on split screen in the times of Halo: CE, 2, and 3. Because of this, I got to experience all of Halo 3's DLC for myself, despite not having the internet at home. The Orbital Drop Shock Trooper story was memorable and the new forge maps were inspiring! I'm glad Bungie & Microsoft made the decision to release ODST with all the Halo 3 DLC, very appreciative.
4 They Got This Legendary Pro Tip All Wrong In ODST
The Beam Rifle is one of the most iconic weapons in Halo, the Covenant Sniper is the preference of many a Spartan in multiplayer. The usual score is that a body shot takes out your shield and a headshot wipes you.
The Elites and the Jackals should be feared at the end of that rifle.
Those of us who have tackled the Halo legendary campaign will know that a beam rifle can be a one-shot elimination; however, in Halo 3: ODST this is not so. This always strikes me as odd because the Spartans have the better gear.
3 The Energy Sword's Awesome Origins
The Energy Sword weapon has to be the most renowned Halo weapon hands down. You could probably write a list out of a thousand words or more about why it's so cool. The weapons iconic dual-blade design was actually inspired by the dagger from South India, the Katara or Katar. A weapon from the 14th-century, some of these daggers would feature a dual-blade design. It looks like something the character Voldo would wield in Soulcalibur.
2 Cortana Is Based On Nefertiti (Yeah, The Famous One)
The original Cortana was actually modeled after an Ancient-Egyptian Queen, Nefertiti. The was-then character modeler for Combat Evolved, Chris Hughes, modeled her face off of Nefertiti. This changed in Halo 4, Cortana was then modeled from the face of international model Paisha Coffey and her body, after Frances Ingraham and Katrina Le. In the game, Cortana is supposed to resemble Doctor Halsey, her creator. Halsey was the lead brain behind the Spartan-II programme.
1 Fun Fact: Ambidextrous Jackals
The Jackal is without a doubt one of the most formidable foes in Halo at a distance and from afar. Up-close, their portable hand shield offers them more than adequate protection from your fire. From a distance, they have their dead-eye precision that would put a hawk to shame. You could always hit them with a grenade, use plasma weaponry on the shield or even keep firing through the shield. Or, you can shoot their weapon hand and make them flinch, opening them up for the finishing blow. In all of Bungie's Halo titles, the Jackal shoots from the left hand. This was changed in Halo 4, making Jackals shot right handed, this was to make it harder to hit the weapon hand - because all player characters in Halo are right handed.