Halo: Combat Evolved celebrated its 21st birthday last week. Twenty-one years old and still as awesome as the day it came out. For a lot of us Halo fans, this was what kicked off our love of the franchise (though Halo 2 saw the love soar to new heights).
I still remember the first time I played the game, feeling tense and worried as I fought into the Truth and Reconciliation, the looming dread of 343 Guilty Spark, or the emotional farewell at the conclusion of The Maw.
While I was tricking and doing all sorts of odd bits and pieces in Halo back then (thanks primarily to the efforts of posters on halo.bungie.org), I really wanted to net all of the Achievements in the game when it eventually came to Steam in the Master Chief Collection. One of these is finishing the game in under three hours on Legendary. This requires a whole lot of speedrunning tricks. I even recorded my successful tricks. Take a look!
Here’s me using the “recently” discovered Banshee grab trick on Assault on the Control Room. This trick manipulates the AI of the Elite in the Banshee so that it flies into the wall. In Halo 1, if you flew into a wall at the right angle, you’d fall out. This trick ensures the Elite hits that angle. You have to stand in just the right spot and crouch at just the right time, holding it for just a moment, in order to have the Elite de-aggro and then lock back on.
And here’s me performing the iconic Scurty shield bump on the level, Keyes. This one requires pixel accuracy, more so than the Banshee steal. The position looks slightly different based on your monitor’s resolution, which further complicates it. Master Chief also has greater finesse of movement when he’s in the air, so repositioning requires jumping and tapping the movement. You’ll also want to keep one Flood Combat Form alive so that, when you’re in position, you can kill it to proc a checkpoint, allowing you to retry the bump a number of times if you fail. Then you have to navigate, backwards, along the top of the hollway structure, jumping over gaps in order to reach the bridge where Keyes is located.
Perhaps I might dig a bit more deeply into my thoughts and memories of Halo: Combat Evolved. I absolutely adore the game and cannot believe it’s already over two decades old. I hope the franchise sticks around for another twenty years, and ultimately continues to improve.