Recommended number of players:
|“||The Quick and the Dead.||”|
Blood Gulch is a multiplayer level in Halo: Combat Evolved. It is set in an enclosed, symmetrical canyon with a base at either end and an open field between. The level supports vehicles and is recommended for 4-16 players. The map is almost entirely void of life, save some sparse grass and bushes. Blood Gulch is easily the most famous multiplayer level from Halo: Combat Evolved, and while its simplicity and size have contributed much to its popularity, the biggest factor to Blood Gulch's fame is the fact that the popular machinima series Red vs. Blue is set in this level.
Blood Gulch was remade as Coagulation for Halo 2, and served as a major inspiration for Valhalla in Halo 3. It was also remade as a multiplayer map in Halo Wars, and made its return as the Hemorrhage sub-map for the Forge World map in Halo: Reach, with a new and hugely expansive playable area outside of the main canyon, and is a main section of Forge World. Although Blood Gulch was not remade for Halo 4, the game does feature a remake of Halo 3's Valhalla map, known as Ragnarok.
Blood Gulch's layout is quite simplistic; it is set in a vast canyon, with two bases, a huge open field with hills and ditches, and caves and cliffs along the rock walls. In addition, there are Teleporters located on each base's roof; each will transport players to the center field. Blue Team has the advantage of utilizing a ledge near Red Base which is an ideal spot for sniping while Red Team has the advantage of surprising the Blue Team via tunnel access located on the side of the map.
- Once you get better at sniping, try sniping on the large hill next to the red team's teleporter in the middle of the map.
- The Banshee (Halo PC only) can kill very effectively in three ways: with the Fuel Rod Cannon, Plasma Cannons and ramming (being hit, no matter how hard, with ANY vehicle, results in an instant kill in Halo: Combat Evolved).
- Driving a Warthog into the base and remaining on the Warthogs turret is a sound defense strategy; however, this will leave you vulnerable to enemy fire.
- Having a pair of Warthogs with three players on board, with a Rocket Launcher in the passenger seat, can be used in two ways. Have both Warthogs go through the cave systems to the left of the Blue base, taking care not to be hit by a grenade by any hostile infantry in the caves. The first Warthog should drive down, with a second Warthog above supporting it by bombarding the base. Drop off the side rider/gunner and drive in circles to avoid being bombed or sniped while the carrier is getting the flag. A Ghost can be used instead of the Warthog. One or two Spartans should accompany a Warthog to the base on foot. The Warthog will then circle the enemy base while one Spartan gets the flag. The Spartan and his gunner will then get in a Warthog and go up the cliff or simply go in a straight line back to the base.
- If you're on your own, a simple "run in, grab the flag and get in a warthog" strategy is quite effective if the enemy is engaged in combat. However, if you are noticed and the enemy has vehicles, the other tactic may be less risky. This tactic is not recommended for the Scorpion, due to its slower speed. Vehicles that make this work best are Ghost, Warthog or Banshee (Halo PC only). If you are doing this with a Warthog, you can just drive the hog into the entrance, grab the flag, and drive back, while the other team has to go through the other entrance to get you.
- Have some teammates drive around the enemy base while you exit out of the passenger seat of a Warthog. While your teammates cause mischief around the enemies, you could grab the flag and then escape while your other enemies are distracted. A very effective plan when you are you are using two full Warthogs. Avoid this tactic if the enemy has a powerful vehicle like a Scorpion, as it could result in your entire team being wiped out, allowing enemies to make a counterattack.
- Park a Warthog/Ghost/Banshee (Halo PC only) at the relevant teleporter, walk into the enemy base, grab the flag, run through the teleporter and drive/fly away for a quick escape.
- You can hide in a small crevice behind the Blue base with a sniper rifle to take out enemies from behind. Just be aware of the visible vapor trail of the sniper rifle and take care not to be seen by crouching. Be prepared to run when a grenade is thrown into the crevice.
- If your team has control over the middle part of the base the fuel rod cannon can help a lot. Hide behind the hills in the middle and use the fuel rod cannons ability to ark to bombard the enemy with fuel rod blasts.
- If you are in the Red Team, there is a large hill with some rocks for defense behind the red base. One tactic is driving a rocket hog up there and keep shooting rockets at the blue base's roof. The view is excellent and you should get a few kills before the enemy recognizes you. This is not recommended for Team Snipers.
- Another useful hill tactic is to go up there with a sniper rifle (usually found on top of either bases) and shoot the enemy. The sniping view is perfect for a couple of quick headshots before the enemy locates your position. This is unwise in all snipers games.
- This tactic should be used only for taking out enemy Banshees: Take a rocket or chaingun Warthog up the hill, and shoot at the enemy Banshee (chaingun recommended) or if the enemy Banshee is flying straight towards you, use the rocket to easily blast it out of the sky. However, the chaingun is recommended for taking out any aircraft. Do not use this tactic in all-snipers games.
- It is advised to pick up a sniper rifle and a shotgun for beginners. You can dispatch enemies in sniping spots shown and deal with other threats with the shotgun.
- Try to guard the opposing teams' teleporters in CTF. This will help your team a lot when you have the flag and are being pursued.
Blood Gulch was remade into Coagulation for Halo 2, with the bases excavated to provide more room, as well as a number of other minor differences, such as the addition of a Banshee to each base, but it still very much remains the original map. The Blood Gulch concept was later reworked into Valhalla for Halo 3, featuring a similar size and layout, but with dramatic changes in the terrain and the base structures. Standoff has been called another Blood Gulch successor, given its similar terrain, but features a different layout. A more direct remake of Blood Gulch is a popular request as a Halo 3 level, though Bungie have stated repeatedly that because Valhalla is the successor to Blood Gulch, there will not be a direct remake in Halo 3. A map called Blood Gulch was included in Halo Wars, and is somewhat accurate to the original, though it lacks the caves, since it would be hard to implement, as the game is a real-time strategy game.
Blood Gulch has also been remade for use as a multiplayer map variant for Forge World in Halo: Reach. It was revealed in a special episode of Red vs Blue. The bases are ported from Blood Gulch, while the terrain geometry is a direct port from Coagulation, and the general setting of the Forge World map resembles Valhalla.
In Halo 4, Valhalla was remade into Ragnarok.
- This map is easily the most well-known multiplayer map in the entire Halo series.
- In contrast to most of the buildings on Forerunner-themed multiplayer maps, the red and blue bases have different textures.
- Blood Gulch is the only multiplayer map available in the Halo Demo, and is featured in one form or another in every Halo game except for Halo 3: ODST, where the dual base setting would not work well with the wave-based survival mode known as Firefight, the only exclusive multiplayer mode introduced in ODST.
- Blood Gulch and Coagulation are the setting for most of the first five seasons of Rooster Teeth's popular web series Red vs. Blue, hence the subtitle of the first five seasons, The Blood Gulch Chronicles.
- The occasional chirping of birds can be heard.
- A few plants from the campaign level 343 Guilty Spark are scattered around the map.
- If the player takes a standard Warthog and drives it backwards into the entrance of either base, they can get into the gunner seat and shoot through the wall behind the flag.
- Inside the caves, there is a strange substance on the walls which has a vague resemblance to Flood biomass.