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Map overview


Halo 2

Map designation:

War Games Map_Set/: 098-8[1]


Installation 05



Gameplay overview

Recommended number of players:


Recommended gametype(s):

There are strong indications that beneath the shroud of mist drowning this swamp on Delta Halo lies a powerful intelligence.

Backwash is a multiplayer map featured in Halo 2. It was added to Halo 2 as part of the Maptacular Pack.


Backwash is one of the most unplayed maps on Halo 2. It is a mid sized multi-player map in Halo 2, resembling the Halo: Combat Evolved campaign level 343 Guilty Spark, taking place in a large swamp set on Delta Halo. Proof of the map's location on Delta Halo can be found in the form of 2401 Penitent Tangent floating around and humming to himself, and the architecture of the buildings differing from that of Alpha Halo (as all of Delta Halo does). It is actually stated by the developers of Halo 2 that Backwash was originally set on Alpha Halo and based directly on 343 Guilty Spark. It is also stated that they originally had 343 Guilty Spark floating around but decided to change him to 2401 Penitent Tangent because the blue glow of 343 Guilty Spark's eye could too easily be mistaken for a plasma grenade flying through the air.

Matchmaking removal[edit]

Backwash was removed from Halo 2 Matchmaking in the April 2006 Matchmaking Playlist Update (NOTE: Not an Auto-Update), due to problems with the Xbox loading the fog covering the map. Backwash was the only map to ever be removed from Halo 2 Matchmaking.

Hidden message[edit]

There is a way to get out of the level, but it requires super-jumping or a Spectre. With a person, get him/her to Superjump over the invisible wall on the hill, then get them to stand on top of the base (red or blue). Get them as close as possible to the wall and then sword cancel up onto a small spot on top of the base. You can now sword cancel (try it a lot) through the wall. Then, walk through something that looks like a large amount of roots (surrounds the outside) and look for edge of the level. Then walk around until you find red ground. The message is very large, written in blood, and says: IT'S LOOKING A LITTLE ROUGH OUT HERE. (Possibly because of the mold, fog, etc.) Also, go to the far right and there is a message that simply reads, "HERE."

To do it with the Spectre, go to blue base and jump on a small ledge that is right next to the invisible wall. Have the driver put on a severe handicap (if you don't have an overshield) then ram into you. If done correctly you will be smashed through the invisible wall.


Try to limit use of all Covenant weapons on this map, as the fog shows the plasma bursts quite distinctly. In particular, this means that you should either not use the energy sword at all, or keep it hidden until right before you attack. Using Active Camo up on this level will not solve this problem, as the energy sword is still visible under Active Camo in Halo 2.


  • If you listen closely, telephone ringing can be heard in a distance of the map, though it could be the sounds emitted by the Monitor as it hovers around the map.
  • Though the sounds made by 2401 Penitent Tangent on this level are similar to sounds from 343 Guilty Spark's files, they were recorded by a different voice actor and are therefore distinct.
  • Flood gurgles can be heard around the place. They are easiest heard in the bases on the sides of the map.
  • Backwash was used as the Great Swamps in Red vs Blue.
  • Along with Desolation, this is the only level in the Halo trilogy to spawn a Sentinel beam by default.
  • There was a gametype called Predator that was designed for use on this map. It was a variant of Juggernaut in which the Juggernaut was fast, invisible, had radar, had an energy sword and was only supposed to use melee based attacks. The other players were only allowed to use the Battle Rifle and had no radar and therefore required a lot of teamwork to take down the Predator. The fog made it almost impossible to see the Predator (at least from a distance) meaning that the other players had to stick together. Also, neither the Predator or the other players had energy shields. The name is likely reference to the movie Predator, as the alien in that movie had very similar traits to the Juggernaut.
  • There is an easter egg called the Hidden Gargoyle on the map.
  • The plants that are seen on the level resemble those seen on the level 343 Guilty Spark, mainly because of the environment being a swamp. The plants are also seen aboard High Charity during the levels Gravemind and High Charity in the outdoor areas.