Halo was released on November 14th, 2001 as a launch title to the Xbox. It immediately gained priase from numerous sources, but others simply wrote it off as a rip off of other shooters in addition to its repetitive level design. Nonetheless, being an early game on a new system it contains many glitches and almost no boundaries holding you back, making it very well suited for speedrunning.
Best time on legendary difficulty: 1:20:51 by Scott 'slYnki' Angus and Chris 'scurty' Wasnetsky on 2010-09-22, done in 121 segments appended to one file.
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- Everyone at High Speed Halo and High Impact Halo
- The High Speed Halo staff
- The entire SDA staff
- Everyone who verified our run
- nate for his assistance with the technical madness that was our video
- Mike Wuyma for his patience and working with us through the submission process. Thanks for everything, Mike!
Below are our comments for the run, or in other words, all the answers to all the questions you may have. They've been tailored to work with the full video on this site, not the individual levels. If you're interested in watching the individual levels, you can find streaming and download links over at, "http://www.highspeedhalo.net", along with all the back story to this project, which is of course peppered with our quick-witted, generally dry humour. Here the comments are all serious business. Boo!
Backpack Reloading: If you press X twice then switch weapons, the weapon will reload in your pocket while you're free to use your current weapon. You'll see this technique being used frequently throughout the run.
Stacking: If you throw a plasma grenade at a wall, then another plasma grenade at the ground at the same time the first one hits the ground, they will explode at the same time, giving you more of a boost. It can also be done with frag grenades.
Overshield Jumping: When you pick up an overshield, you are invulnerable for a few seconds. Combine this with say, the stacking technique and you can get some serious air.
Pillar of Autumn
01:10 - 1:20: This trick is known as the cryotube bump. How it works is, you jump back inside the tube before it can close. Stand in the right spot when the door closes on you (don't crouch or you get stuck), then you just run in the right spot(s) and it'll force you into the ceiling. I run into the bottom left corner, then strafe left. This doesn't put me all the way into the ceiling, so I tap crouch, which forces me up. When you're up top, you have to jump on light fixtures or thin ceiling rafters to stay up there, or else you fall through. I do the bump to skip the door, which only saves a second, but hey, a second is a second. Also, it looks cool.
01:50 - 01:53: If you run part way into the bridge, then run back out, the cutscene triggers. No idea how it works exactly. But after the mini-cutscene, the grunts that normally spawn outside the bridge don't load, so neither does your pistol.
02:30 - 02:39: In semi-rare cases, the marines outside this lifeboat drop frag grenades when they die. Thanks to the beauty of segmenting, I was able to luck manipulate myself two frag grenades.
02:40 - 02:48: I need to kill these two covies in order to get a checkpoint for the next couple fights.
03:05 - 03:14: I need all the covies to be dead here as well so I get a checkpoint for the next fight.
04:15 - 04:25: This is a nifty little trick that no one knows about. After you kill the three grunts, you get a checkpoint. If you're at a certain point down that corridor when you get the checkpoint, then revert to save (or in this case, start a new segment), you skip a little chunk of dialog and the door to the access ways opens faster than usual.
05:17 - 05:27: All enemies beyond the little barrier need to be dead in order to end the level.
06:36 - 06:41: This grenade jump is faster than taking the bridge, and also skips the trigger for the two banshees, and the first little group of covies that would normally appear infront of you.
07:48 - 07:55: I need to talk to these marines in order to trigger the first dropship.
- The only dropship you need to worry about handling quickly is the final dropship in the first area. For the rest, you usually just have to kill a couple covies and the next dropship is triggered. However, the pelican won't arrive until all the enemies are cleared, so you do need to kill everything, just not quickly.
- For the second half of the map, you have to visit three areas. Normally you have to clear out all the enemies, then a pelican arrives to pick up the marines. What I do is eliminate all the marines in two areas. This skips having to clear out all the covies, and you can just proceed through the level. You can only do this in two of the three areas, though. When you visit your chosen final area, you have to kill everything so the level can end. The route I take is the fastest route through the second half of the map.
15:00 - 15:09: I only need to take out the three marines on top of the cliff. Then I drive closer to the rocks to trigger the rest of the marines and covies and drive away. In Easy runs you'd have to kill the marines yourself, but on Legendary, the covies are strong enough to handle that for you. They can't take care of the marines up top though, which is why they need to be sniped.
15:51 - 15:55: I have to get one of the marines to talk to me in order for the final covie dropship to trigger.
Truth and Reconciliation
18:42 - 18:54: I don't charge into the first area, because by standing on the ledge I am, the covies stand virtually still. If I charge in, they run everywhere, which makes things a little annoying.
19:04 - 19:12: I have to run a decent way up the path to trigger the enemies in the next area, otherwise, after I get on top of the map, the rest of the level doesn't load and I can't get inside the ship.
19:20 - 19:30: Shade launch! How this works is, you set off an explosion of some kind near a vehicle, then you press X a bunch as the vehicle is about to hit you. What this does is flip the vehicle, and it sends you flying. Alive too, which is nice.
19:40 - 19:45: I drop down on the tree branch, then to the ground so I can load the enemies in the next area, and of course, survive the fall.
19:55: I take a direct route to the camoflage. You can muscle your way through, but with the camo it's a lot easier to deal with the enemies surrounding the gravity lift.
21:06: The gravity lift fight looks sloppy, but it's a very difficult fight to get perfect on legendary. I decided to stand a little ways away from the lift itself so I could see the whole thing and snipe the elites easier. What this also does is keep the marines right next to me. I need to keep the marines alive, because if they die, I have to wait for another squad to get dropped off which wastes about 30 seconds. If I had charged onto the lift, the marines would have all died.
22:58 - 23:06: If I snipe a certain marine after entering the ship, it skips a few seconds of dialog and triggers the first elite immediately.
25:33: If you don't disturb any enemies in this area, which can only be done by using camo, sometimes there's a grunt that's asleep near the far right door leading to the next area, skipping a lot of fighting.
26:27 - 26:37: This huge jump to the top of the hangar also results in the level ending early.
27:45 - 27:50 - After killing the two jackals, I fire off a quick burst from my assault rifle, which alerts the enemies inside the prison. The invisible elites always go to the same spot when you do this, which is handy.
28:46 - 28:52: I shoot two marines to get the remaining marine and Keyes angry (they turn red on my radar) to end the level faster. As I already mentioned, the level is going to end early thanks to the hangar jump, but when you get the marines angry before you eliminate the three invisible elites in the final room, the level ends immediately. If I didn't get the marines angry, I would have had to sit through a fair bit of dialog before the level ends.
29:06 - 29:15: I fire my assault rifle a bit to alert the invisible elites in the final room so they're all nicely lined up for me. Then I decided to be a little fancy, just for show. I had to up my sensitivity from 3 to 7 in order to do it, which was allowed.
32:16 - 32:20: There's an invisible wall preventing you from just jumping out of the window, so you need the help of the warthog to get through it. This technique is called "bumping", or "clipping" if you prefer. There's a lot of different ways to perform a bump, which also means there's a lot of ways to define it, so I'll just explain what I did. Very simply, I have the warthog give me a little push through the wall. Don't ask me exactly how it works, we'd be here all week :D
32:21 - 32:24: To survive the fall on to the overshield, I need to just barely touch the side of the box beside it, then land on the shield so I don't take any fall damage. In addition to cancelling out the bulk of the fall damage, touching the side of the box also cancels out the fall timer. You can't just fall straight on to the overshield, because the fall timer kills you a frame before you touch it, so you have to hit the box first.
Assault on The Control Room
36:12 - 36:43: This series of falls skip a series of triggers that essentially trigger every enemy on the entire map. You can still end the level normally, there's just no enemies.
39:16 - 39:22: Normally an elite spawns in this banshee, but as the level is empty, free banshee for me. Haha, owned.
343 Guilty Spark
44:00: For the flood room, I have to throw grenades in certain spots by the doors to take out all the little popcorn flood. I only do this for the first two doors, because I couldn't find a spot to throw a grenade at the third door to kill all the popcorn flood. It's quick enough to just run in there with the assault rifle.
46:27 - 46:32: This grenade jump skips the trigger for the flood that normally spawn before the final elevator.
46:50 - 48:08: The final area to this map is very confusing, and can make or break a run of this level. If you run to the structure, the cutscene to end the level is on a timer, so the level will end eventually. However, there are ways to end the level faster. It's incredibly random though, and I've never been sure what to do. I used to just kill a bunch of flood then wait by the structure, and sometimes the level would end quickly, and other times I'd stand around waiting for an extra minute.
Then I discovered that if you get the marines angry and jump back and forth on certain parts of the structure, after killing a certain amount of flood, the level will end almost immediately. Even with this method, ending the level quickly was still fairly random, especially on legendary. This was the fastest I managed to do it.
49:34 - 49:41: You'll notice I move a little towards the entrance to the next area, then grenade jump over the wall. I walk to that spot so Guilty Spark will move into the next area (which is also the reason why I don't just grenade jump into the index chamber right off the bat). If I don't, he'll just stay floating in that spot and I can't trigger the first door to open. The grenade jump can only be done if you jump at pretty well the last possible moment before the grenade goes off so you get the maximum height. The jump also skips the trigger for all the enemies in that area, which is handy.
52:55 - 53:00: I don't grenade jump through this door because I never got a checkpoint when I did, and I needed one for the next few fights.
55:55 - 56:03: If an explosion goes off near a carrier flood, which in this case is another carrier flood, it will go flying. In rare cases, you can have the carrier flood land right infront of you for a neat little boost out of the underground tunnel.
1:02:07 - 1:02:14: When you grenade jump through this door quickly, you can sneak through before the flood spawn in, saving you a lot of grief.
64:35: This part of the level was very difficult. Normally you play cautious and defeat most of the enemies so you can run towards the banshee without too much trouble. However, just simply running to the banshee without taking time to kill enemies is incredibly risky. I grenade the banshee closer to me so that I don't have to run as far to it. Also, you don't take bodily damage when inside of a banshee; only the banshee gets harmed.
65:40: I kill that blue elite for a plasma grenade. Grenades play a HUGE part in this run which is why I try to get as many as I can. I could have cut the corner a bit closer by not killing the blue elite, but I needed the plasma.
65:51: This segment was frustrating because I needed to manipulate the grunt to drop a plasma grenade for me. I throw five plasma grenades within a short amount of time (and you can only carry four at a time). The first and third grenades thrown are for diversion techniques. If you throw a grenade and the enemy doesn't see you, the enemies eyes will follow the grenade so you can sneak by. I need enemies to be looking away from me when I perform the grenade jump. Then the third grenade is thrown because my shields are completely down and need time to recharge. The fourth and fifth grenades thrown are to kill enemies (the fifth one kill two elites for me). Also, whenever an elite is killed, all of the lesser enemies in that group will run away from you in fear for a few moments. Elites on Legendary normally drop anywhere from 2 to 6 plasma grenades, depending on their rank.
66:25: One of the few areas in the level where I need to wait for enemies to be killed. Simply rushing in never works out. Then, once I pick up frag grenades, I need to kill more enemies with grenades. It's impossible to run through this area without killing some enemies first. Also, great care was taken to retain as much health as possible. Health packs are scarce in this level.
67:30: This is the only room in the entire level where the path differs from the fastest possible route. This room is the home to close to 30 flood. If you get noticed by one of them, all the rest will swarm you until they are all killed. This is why grenades were used to take them out. Grenades don't alert enemies to your presence. Going through the middle and not being seen by any flood is impossible. Going to the right takes too long and is actually quite hard. The only option left is going to the left, which turned out to be quite reliable. The only major issue was my one bar of health. This segment took much longer than it should have because of my low health. My two grenades need to take every flood out before I proceed, otherwise I'll get noticed if I get too close. I jump through the cubby-hole to avoid being seen by flood through the window to the right.
68:05: Waste of a grenade.
68:15: I need to kill all the small flood in order to get a checkpoint before the next area.
69:28: Falling off a moving platform will cause your speed to change in mid air. You'll see what I mean when you watch this part of the video. A similar effect can be noticed when slYnki runs off of the elevators on 343 Guilty Spark.
70:22: I failed to pick up rocket ammo here making the next few segments more difficult than they should have been.
71:11: Second hardest segment in the level. Speed is the main priority, so you can't take your time killing all the enemies. When activating the pulse generator, your shields go down. That combined with the many flood around shooting at you makes this segment incredibly difficult. Also, you'll notice there is a jackal standing in the doorway near where I left my banshee. This made it hard to get a checkpoint in the hallway because an enemy was nearby.
71:45: Simply letting go of your analog stick (WSAD for Halo PC) will cause the banshee to fall down faster than if you flew it down normally.
72:25: Worst part in the entire run, not just this level. I have no grenades, which are normally used in getting the ghost through this door. I need to use only rockets which was incredibly tough. My first thought when the ghost got stuck in the wall was that I could maybe just flip it and continue on. Flipping it didn't work so I had to back away and use a rocket. It wasted time but this was a tough segment.
72:49: Normally you are supposed to be on foot for this part of the level. Therefore, if you drive across the bridge too fast you will skip enemies. Unlike Assault on the Control Room, skipping enemies in this level will make it unable to end the level.
73:28: This is likely to be the most confusing part of the run for those not very familiar with how this level works. Again, I am driving in a ghost, so I get to a point where enemies would normally be but I got there too fast. There is a crucial trigger for the rest of the level: 4 or 5 enemies must die in this area, triggering the flood in a nearby cave to appear. You cannot drive the ghost past this area until that happens. When walking up on foot, those enemies die by the time you run past the area. In a ghost, you need to wait around for a long time; or you can take things into your own hands. I use two rockets to kill the necessary amount of flood in the area and then continue on. The flood spawn is random enough that I can't fire my first rocket so it hits the flood as soon as they appear. NOKYARD is given full credit for figuring out the trigger for this area.
76:02: This trick is known as a shield bump. If you stand in a very specific position on the shield, when the shield regenerates it will teleport you into the ceiling. This specific spot never changes, even when you load up the level again or try it on different Halo CDs. This makes the trick absolutely recreate-able. Normally I use a grenade to take down the shield in single segment runs of this level, but using a plasma pistol burst is much faster. You need to aim it well though, because plasma pistol bursts gravitate towards close enemies. You can delay the shield from regenerating by shooting at it with a weapon in order to position yourself, but that obviously wasn't done here. I'v done this shield bump probably over 5,000 times in my life, so it's not as frustrating as you would think. Jumping up to position yourself is much easier than simply moving while you are standing. You can move in much smaller amounts by jumping.
When teleported correctly, you will be in the ceiling above the level. In Halo, when you are outside the game boundaries the only graphics you will be able to see are those graphics from the room you just teleported out from. In this case the only graphics visible are those in the room with the shield. My destination is the blob room which is a straight shot from the shield. Normally you get to this room by dropping out of the ship and re-entering it. Doing this trick skips the need for that. Once again, there are certain spots you must be running and jumping from in the ceiling, otherwise you either fall back into the level or fall out of the level and die from the fall timer.
76:33: This is the earliest possible moment you can turn around at in order to get the cutscene to activate.
77:36: Another example of enemies following your grenade. The AI doesn't kick in until a second after you open the door. If you throw a grenade within this window, enemies will follow it.
77:51: This is something only I would notice (not even slYnki would) but I feel like it needs mentioning. There is a flood behind this pillar, usually with a shotgun. I like to jump here to avoid taking damage. However, this causes the banshees to come a second later than they normally would because there is a trigger for them on the ground. I delay the trigger by jumping. This is why I do something you would totally expect me to do anyway: just run through the door. >_>
78:00: Shield bump for fun, it serves no purpose.
78:15: These banshees fly at super speeds and can go through walls! The level end is on a timer so I just kill time by going through walls.
80:03: I need all of the enemies here to be dead in order for me to get a checkpoint. This is why I turn around and make sure all are dead.
80:16: I don't waste time getting the pistol, the hunter bursting out of the door is on a timer. This is another case of teleporting out of the game world. My goal is to activate the graphics in the cafeteria so I can see clearly. To do this I need to get a checkpoint outside of the game world. Then, if I drop down into the room I want graphics in and revert to saved, those graphics will be loaded. Going this route skips the bridge cutscene.
81:13: The overshield is taken for some grenade jumping coming up soon.
81:50: Really tough segment. This route is all slYnki's idea. The first grenade jump isn't hard at all, and is in fact seen in all of the Maw speed runs. The second one is the hardest however. You must jump at the last possible frame in order to get maximum height. Then you must rush immediately to open the first two reactors and rocket them. If you are even .5 seconds too slow, one of the reactors will not register as being blown up. The explosion animation doesn't even appear for the first two because Cortana is still talking. There isn't even time to take the next two reactors out at the same time, so each is taken out separately. All of the flaps to the reactors are on a timer, so it never varies.
82:53: You can run underneath the elevator as it is hollow when descending. As soon as you go through the elevator doors they start closing, it doesn't matter how fast you kill the enemies.
83:40: Switch to 10 sensitivity for the driving segments.
General driving comments: This run was done on the Xbox and therefore the driving leaves much to be desired. Even with 10 sensitivity (the highest possible), the Xbox is no match against a mouse in terms of precision. The Halo PC record for this driving segment is a whole 7 second faster than what I drive it in. It just simply cannot be helped.
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