New Halo 2 Strategy Could Shave Minutes Off Speedruns

In the world of speedrunning, saving frames is good, but saving whole minutes is even better.

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A new take on an old trick is shaving several minutes off of Halo 2 speedruns. Known as “butterflying” back in the golden days of Halo 2 multiplayer, the trick has been adapted for use in the single-player campaign by the ‘runners at HaloRuns.com.

How the trick worked in multiplayer was ingenious. When a player was within a certain range of an enemy, a melee would cause the player to lunge at the enemy in order for the hit to connect. But, with a timely press of the X button, the attack would be cancelled though the lunge would continue. When the enemy was on your head continually jumping, and you continually melee-cancelled, you and the other player would begin to float into the air.

Jump to 2018 and the trick has crossed over into the campaign, though the most glaring issue is that AI combatants are not as obedient as human players. At the moment, this trick is being applied to the mission, High Charity, where Master Chief must fight through the Covenant city in order to board a Forerunner ship. Though the mission is relatively short, there is a lot of fighting, which makes Legendary attempts (the game's notorious maximum difficulty) extremely challenging.

In the above clip, Mister Monopoli shows the button coordination needed to make this trick work. In essence, a Flood combat unit is baited to the edge of the map, and then the player falls off the lip and immediately begins the “butterfly” glitch. With precise controlling, this allows Master Chief to float around the outside of the map and hit the trigger that ends the level, without having to step foot inside the enemy-filled corridors.

At Awesome Games Done Quick 2014, Monopoli showed everyone why he’s often considered one of the best ‘runners around. With excellent gameplay and commentary, he created an exciting experience for even those who are speedrun illiterate. The level High Charity takes roughly 7 and a half minutes for him to complete, with a similar time being recorded at AGDQ 2017 by speedrunner cryphon.

This is a good ballpark figure for how fast ‘runners are typically able to finish the level, but thanks to the new applications of the butterfly trick in campaign, speedrunners like Ranabundana have been able to bring the time down to an impressive 2 minutes. This could potentially bring the full game run down to a sub 1 hour 30 minutes. Breaking through these time barriers is often an exciting moment, especially when a game was considered fairly well done and dusted.

All that’s left now is to optimize the strategy, because although it has the potential to save a lot of time, the problem comes with setting it up and pulling it off. Sometimes the riskiest strategy – like fighting through hordes of enemies – is often the fastest.

Guides Editor

Hailing from the land down under, Sam Chandler is relatively new to the industry, getting his start a few years ago as a writer-for-hire. After bouncing round a few universities, securing a bachelor degree, and finding his feet, he's found his new family here at Shacknews as a Guides Editor. There's nothing he loves more than crafting a guide that will help someone. If you need help with a guide, or notice something not quite right, you can Tweet him: @SamuelChandler 

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  • reply
    February 14, 2018 11:10 PM

    Sam Chandler posted a new article, New Halo 2 Strategy Could Shave Minutes Off Speedruns

    • reply
      February 15, 2018 7:42 AM

      I like this, definitely down for seeing more speedrunning news and content.

      • reply
        February 15, 2018 7:44 AM

        I've noticed IGN posting speedruns. I don't normally look for speedruns but I have been watching them when they're posted.

      • reply
        February 15, 2018 7:59 AM

        Thanks for the feedback! I'm definitely a massive fan of speedruns, and while I can't keep up with them all, I have my finger on the pulse of a few favorites.

    • reply
      February 15, 2018 8:50 AM

      It's great to see speedrunning being covered