Skip to main content

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

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

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…
The Cybertruck is coming to Fortnite, so let’s hope it’s better at off-roading there
The back of a cybertruck towing something with a chain. It's in a desert with a bright blue sky.

Fortnite is no stranger to real-world crossovers, and the Tesla Cybertruck's arrival to the game on Tuesday is just the latest.

Epic Games teased the collaboration on Sunday with just the image of a tire tread and a cutoff Cybertruck logo. Then the studio released a small trailer on Monday with Fishstick successfully towing other in-game vehicles.

Read more
Warner Bros. is doubling down on Multiversus
Bugs Bunny holding a pie in Multiversus.

Warner Bros. Games is making its continued collaboration with MultiVersus developer Player First Games official, announcing that it's acquired the studio for an undisclosed sum on Monday.

The two companies have been working together on the live-service Warner Bros.-inspired Smash Bros. competitor alongside Warner Bros. Games San Diego, which is providing production support. The game just relaunched in May after going offline following its open beta period in 2022.

Read more
Nintendo World Championships turned me into a Super Mario Bros. god
Box art for super mario bros shows fire Mario running.

The newly released Nintendo World Championships: NES Edition is all about mastery. The retro microgame collection takes 13 NES classics and breaks them down into bite-sized speedrunning challenges that beg players to replay them over and over to lower their best time. That process all leads to the package's big event, the titular Nintendo World Championships. Every week, players all submit their best times for five specific challenges and fight for a top ranking come Monday morning.

I had no idea how I'd fare against hundreds of thousands of people in the game's first week. While I'd been sharpening my skills during the review period for the game, I still didn't have much confidence that I could make a splash in games like Super Mario Bros. that have been mapped out to perfection already.

Read more