The Halo franchise has been around for a very long time across quite a few games and other media, and in that time, it can be expected that not everything that has ever been created for Halo made it to the full games. That said, some of that content is still available in bits and pieces and it looks like current Halo devs 343 Industries are looking to rebuild it for use by modders, including a remake of the Halo 2 Earth City demo that was shown at E3 2003.
343 Industries shared its plans for rebuilding the Earth City E3 2003 Halo 2 demo and other cut Halo content in a “Cutting Room Floor” blog on the Halo Waypoint website. According to the post, the team is recreating the demo with various documentation and files left over from the original project. The original demo was quite a stunner when it was shown, featuring lighting and other visual effects that never made it to the final game. Simply put, the demo was smoke and mirrors and, at the time, it would have been impossible to make a full game of it.
Turning this demo that was never meant to be played into a fully playable thing is no easy task, nor are other projects the team is undertaking, such as a cut full mission from Halo 2 called Alphamoon.
“This was NOT a trivial process, and we should probably layer on a whole page of caveats that come with taking a demo map for an engine that no longer exists and getting it to not blow up the current lightmapper (among other issues that come from letting people go into areas that were never intended to be seen),” wrote senior franchise writer Kenneth Peters.
The goal of this isn’t so much to pack these things into Halo: The Master Chief Collection so much as it is to assist modders with future projects. 343 Industries has actually been working with modders on tools to for Halo 1 through 3 to make them all more accessible to modding. With these things, we could see some very interesting cut content from the Halo franchise make a return in future mods. Stay tuned as we continue to follow for updates on the Halo 2 Earth City demo and more.
TJ Denzer posted a new article, 343 Industries is rebuilding a playable version of Halo 2's E3 2003 demo