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‘Halo 1.5’ gives modders a treasure trove of long-lost maps

Master Chief holds a battle rifle in Halo: The Master Chief Collection.
Microsoft

Halo: The Master Chief Collection modders just got a huge gift. A post on the Halo Waypoint blog published Thursday details a ton of design artifacts that have been dug up and are now available to peruse.

The maps, assets, and design notes from the development period between Halo and Halo 2 — affectionately called Halo 1.5 — are a great insight into how Bungie was working on and experimenting with new features during this time period.

The biggest aspects involve maps that have never been accessible for players before; only for press demos in 2002 and 2003 to show off specific features. For example, the map called “M1 — Defensive” was used for its AI systems, while “M1 — Exploration” was a prototype for a single-player level. In the case of “M1 — Assault,” many mechanics were explored for Halo 2, like stealth, but were never implemented into the full release.

And because these levels were never meant to be played as a regular player would, the post goes into all the encounters players can expect while going through the levels and how they can work with it to have a cohesive experience. These were all dug up and streamlined from the actual design documents from original development.

Unfortunately, there are many maps that are listed in those documents but don’t actually exist. Details are in the post, though, if you want to read it.

Beyond Halo maps, the developers have provided assets for modders to play around with. The most interesting is the broken ring seen in early Halo maps, but other maps that are now available include the swamplands from some very early Halo builds, Missile Beach (a concept from Halo 4), and a Sunken Temple — because every older video game needs a water level with a temple.

Carli Velocci
Carli is a technology, culture, and games editor and journalist. They were the Gaming Lead and Copy Chief at Windows Central…
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