DemoThe end of the PC demo features a 49 second infomercial-style video, narrated by Sgt. Johnson, which extolls the virtues of buying the full version. "Buy one! Heck, buy two!"
DevelopmentHalo went through many changes during its development. As originally conceived, it was a real-time tactical game for Windows, something like a sci-fi version of Myth. The focus shifted toward direct control of one of the individual units and it became a third person shooter and work began on a Macintosh version as well. This is how the game was originally announced.
After Microsoft bought Bungie, Halo was shifted to being an Xbox exclusive. Around the same time, it became a first person game, with Bungie saying there wasn't any way to get precise aiming to work in third person. Many of the art assets changed too, with the Master Chief's armor in the game as shipped looking quite different than the original trailer. Eventually, Halo was ported back to its original platforms of Windows and Macintosh bearing no resemblance to how it started.
EndingBeat the game in Legendary difficulty and you get an additional funny cutscene at the end.
EngineerHalo has a strange enemy hidden in the game code called the Engineer. You can only access it using a mod chip. It's a pink, blobby thing that just sort of floats around. It's the same creature as seen in one of the earliest videos of the game, the one with the marines going into the huge building.
- If you look closely at the shotgun shells taken out when Master Chief reloads, you'll see there are hippo heads pictured on them.
- If you highlight the "Edit Gametypes" section in the multiplayer section of this game, you come across an image of Master Chief with text that, to the reader, seems to be schematics for each of his body parts. If you look closely, some of the text aren't schematics, but text: Text on Head/Gun: "UV Protectant Sun Visor for Protection from Elements". Text on Upper Right Leg: "Sometimes I give myself the creeps, sometimes my mind plays tricks on me" (lyrics from the Green Day song "Basket Case"). Text on Lower Right Leg: "Hydraulic Suspension Thigh Pads with cool Kevlar crap". Text on Left Leg: "Directional Locks MJOLNIR cyborg dealer parts". Text on Arm: "Action/Reload see may flexible joint system". Text on Torso: "All your base are belong to us".
Halo: Custom EditionOn May 5th, 2004, Halo: Custom Edition was released for free. It is a multiplayer only, 170MB standalone version of Halo PC which enables gamers to play user created content created with the halo editing kit. It requires the original cd and a valid key to play. Download it here.
MachinimaHalo is used to film the machinima web series Red vs. Blue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles, which is currently in its second season with Season 1 released on DVD.
NovelAs of June 2005, there are a total of three Halo tie-in novels: Fall of Reach (prequel), The Flood (novelization of the game), and First Strike (successor).
RatingHalo was originally rated T for Teens.
- At the center of the Halo logo, you can see the Marathon logo (Marathon being the FPS series Bungie was previously famous for). The Marathon logo can also be seen in several places throughout the game, including on the hull of the human battleship, on Captain Keye's uniform, and on several of the doors found around Halo. The character design of 343 Guilty Spark, one of the game's pivotal characters, also strongly resembles the Marathon logo.
- The cyborg Master Chief wears a suit of Mjolnir battle armor. The hero of the Marathon series was a Mjolnir class cyborg.
- The alien grunts sometimes scream out "They're everywhere!" in combat. The human civilians from Marathon would also scream the same thing during the alien invasion.
- Certain weapons have similar names and appearances in both games, such as the SPNKR rocket launcher.
- Both games have very whimsical chapter names, like "Wait! It Gets Worse!" or "Fourth Floor: Tools, Guns, Keys to Superweapon" in Halo or "Kill Your Television" or "You Think You're Badass? You're Going to Die Badass!" in Marathon.
- Rampancy, or "When AIs go nuts and rebel against humanity", played a major part of Marathon's story. If you kill the command crew in Halo's opening level, Cortana will complain that you've gone Rampant and will sic the Marines on you.
- The hero of the Marathon series spend most of his time taking orders from Durandal, a megalomaniacal A.I. named after a mythological sword who had few qualms about breaking a few eggs (using humans as expendable pawns) to make an omelet (liberating a slave race). The hero of Halo spends most of his time taking orders from Cortana, an A.I. named after a mythical sword who's beginning to show signs her ego is expanding, and who has few qualms about breaking a few eggs (destroying Halo and killing the marines on it) to make an omelet (saving Earth).
- Much of the dialog of the "Grunt" characters is taken from the Human characters in the first Marathon: "Thank God it's you" was spoken by characters called "Exploding Bobs", which were sythetic Humans who would run at the player and explode. The line "They're Everywhere" was spoken by frightened Humans the player would come across.
- The architecture in Halo is very similar to Jjaro architecture - the Jjaro were an equally ancient race in Marathon.
ReferencesSome of the dialogue spoken by the marines, comes directly from the film Aliens.
- As of 2005, Halo is the best-selling Xbox game of all time. It has sold three and a half million copies.
- On August 31, 2003 has Halo (Xbox) won the Gold-Award from the German VUD (Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland - Entertainment Software Association Germany) for selling more then 100,000 (but less then 200,000) units in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
TimelineMany people believe that Halo takes place during a one-hundred-and-thiry-nine year gap in the Marathon timeline, in which the creators wrote "This century intentionally left blank. Seriously, nothing really happened."
Voice actingMuch of the dialogue spoken by the Covenant Elites is in fact dialogue by the human Sergeant, reversed, with some pitch alterations.
Windows and Macintosh versions
- Gearbox took over programming of Halo PC and discovered that they can't use much of the existing networking code (for the XBox). They had to rewrite that entire section, delaying the title for PC by several months.
- The PC version (and probably Mac, too) of Halo adds a few bonus features for the multiplayer mode, these include two weapons: a Flamethrower (which was scrapped from the game at the last minute) and a Fuel Rod Gun (the weapon that the Hunters use in the main game) as well as allowing you to use the Banshee and a rocket-launcher version of the Warthog.
- Computer Gaming World
- March 2004 (Issue #236) – Year's Biggest Letdown
- Electronic Gaming Monthly
- April 2002 - Game of the Year
- 2001 – Xbox Game of the Year (Readers' Choice)
- 2001 – Xbox Action/Adventure Game of the Year
- 2003 – #6 PC Game of the Year
- GameStar (Germany)
- Issue 12/2008 - One of the "10 Coolest Levels" (for the level "The Silent Cartographer". It combines all fun elements from the first person shooter genre into one level.)
- Interactive Achievement Awards (Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences)
- 2002 - Game of the Year
- 2002 - Console Game of the Year,
- 2002 - Console Action/Adventure Game of the Year
- 2002 - Outstanding Achievement in Visual Engineering
- PC Powerplay (Germany)
- Issue 03/2005 - #1 Biggest Disappointment
- Issue 12/2006 - #9 Hype Disappointment (was no longer impressive when it was ported two years after the console version)
- Retro Gamer
- October 2004 (Issue #9) – #18 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)
- Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland (VUD)
- August 31, 2003 - Gold Award
- Walk of Game
- 2005 - Member