Cut Halo: Combat Evolved weapons

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This page discusses elements of deleted material and cut content. Some information on the page is sourced from game files and may not be verifiable through external sources. Where possible, such information should be clearly-marked and replaced with a proper external source as soon as one is available.
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Halo: Combat Evolved cut content

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"At that time we were just like "what if we did this?" and we built it, got it in the game and it just sat there. Some of them made it into the final game, some of them sat there and withered on the vine."
Marcus Lehto discussing the weapons found in 2000-era builds of Combat Evolved.[1]

During the development of Halo: Combat Evolved, the game went through many different styles including a strategy game, a third-person shooter and a first-person shooter. Throughout these iterations, many different weapons were cut from the game, some of which presenting notably different design styles from those found in the final 2001 release. Most known cut weapons are from the 1999-2000 era builds of Combat Evolved, during which time the game was intended to be a third-person shooter. However, a small handful from the FPS era are known.[2]

At the time of the game's development, Bungie had a creative attitude to weapons creation - weapons were often designed with a question of what could be done, with details of how it might work in-game left to be figured out later. Due to this, there is no guarantee most of these weapons would have ever made it into a final build.[1] However, the ideas or designs for many of them would later make their way into subsequent Halo entries, in particular Halo 2.


Anti-air rocket launcher[edit]

Referred to in-game as the SPNKR 108 SAM[3], this weapon was described as being a rocket launcher intended for use against aircraft, while the standard rocket launcher was intended for anti-vehicle usage.[2] A similar design was later concepted for Halo 3 as the G4H-DuSH, though was similarly cut. The M57 Pilum would later debut in Halo 5: Guardians, bearing some broad similarities to this rocket launcher.


The chaingun is a tri-barrelled rotary cannon that could be held with two hands by the player. It was frequently seen in promotional material for the game including the first-ever screenshot released, though was ultimately cut. The concept was later revived with the AIE-486H machine gun in Halo 3.

Bolt-action sniper rifle[edit]

Referred to in-game as the SWS99C-S2[3] and jokingly by developers as the "old shovel", this weapon was to be a bolt-action rifle featured in Halo.


Labelled in-game as the Pattern-2 Composite Sword[3], the machete was to be a human counterpard to the Covenant energy sword.[4] Early revisions of John-117's armour had a port for the Machete to slot into.[5] Althought the weapon was modelled and animated, it was never made functional as a weapon in-game.[6] Although the machete was cut, it did live on in-game and in-lore as the Machete - a UNSC bladed weapon for use in jungle environments and found on all variations of the difficulty sigils for Normal, Heroic and Legendary difficulties.

Spear gun[edit]

Labelled in-game as the Lamprey Sub-Ed, the spear gun was intended for underwater combat against sea creatures.[2] When fired, its projectiles would stick into enemies akin to those of the Needler and Spiker in later games.[8] The concept was revived in Halo Infinite with the Skewer.

Submachine gun[edit]

The SMG (referred to in UI as the 12.7mm MP-99 Para[3]) is an SMG originally slated to appear in Halo. The weapon's concept was later revived in Halo 2 as the M7 SMG.


Concussion gun[edit]

The c concussion gun is another weapon found in the 2000-era builds of Combat Evolved. The weapon appears to have a charge up before firing, and uses the Shotgun sound effect for firing (presumably as a placeholder).[9] In later discussions, the weapon was jokingly referred to as the "drumkey".[2]

Energy shield[edit]

While not strictly a weapon, Sangheili wielding arm-mounted shield-generating gauntlets akin to those employed by Jackal infantry can be observed in concept art and screenshots. A similar device lives on in Halo canon.


The c excavator is another weapon found in the 2000-era builds, and jokingly referred to as the "boring device".[2] The has a tilted, rotating magazine near the front. The Excavator would eventually form the basis for the design of the Mauler in Halo 3.[10] Although labelled in-game as a Covenant weapon (using the c_ prefix) and visually reminiscent of the alien designs, the weapon is claimed in The Art of Halo 3 to have been intended for use by the UNSC.[10] It is unknown whether this was actually the case, or simply the case of the developers misremembering the facts in the intervening seven years.

The texture for the Excavator went on to be used as a placeholder texture for the Gravity Rifle and the Microwave Gun.

Gravity rifle[edit]

The gravity rifle can be found in the files for released builds of Combat Evolved, though lacks textures, first-person models, animations or projectiles. The weapon can be enabled on some maps in Halo Custom Edition by using the command cheat_all_weapons. When firing, the weapon emits a bright light and produces flames on its target, and is extremely accurate.

Data gathered from the game files of Combat Evolved reveal a few more details about this weapon;

  • It has the maximum rate-of-fire possible in Combat Evolved - essentially acting as a beam weapon similarly to the sentinel beam.
  • The weapon has a magazine set up, with a 200 round capacity before needing to reload, and capable of carrying 200 spare rounds.
  • The weapon has no additional properties such as spread or magnification set up.

In this manner, the gravity rifle appears to be somewhat of a spiritual successor to the microwave gun featured in the 1999 builds, and somewhat of a precursor to the Disintegrator later cut from Halo 2.

Gravity wrench[edit]

Appearing to function akin to a grenade launcher, the gravity wrench features two prongs which charge up and generate an energy ball between them, which is then launched on a projectile arc.[2]

Microwave gun[edit]

The weapon labelled c microwave gun is found in the 2000-era builds of Combat Evolved. The weapon is held in two hands akin to holding the turrets found in Halo 3-onward, and emits an orange beam-like particle effect while firing.[9] When asked about this weapon, Marcus Lehto indicated he did not remember what purpose the weapon had, or if it had even been given one when it was first implemented.[1]

Particle beam rifle[edit]

Found in the 2000-era builds and labelled c particle beam rifle (also referred to as the "alien sniper rifle"[2]), little is known of this weapon.[9] It presumably fulfills a role of a Covenant sniper rifle, and presumably evolved into the particle beam rifle weapons later included in Halo 2 and subsequent entries.

Unknown rifle[edit]

This weapon appears in a handful of promotional screenshots. Almost nothing is known about it. The presence of fairly final-looking Forerunner architecture and Elite model suggest it was present in the later-era FPS builds of the game.


  1. ^ a b c YouTube - HiddenXperia, TALKING TO MARCUS LEHTO (Co-Creator of Halo) ABOUT HALO INFINITE, joining 343, Bungie's Halo 4 +MORE
  2. ^ a b c d e f g YouTube - ForumsExtremeDotCom, Evolution of Halo Part 2: Pre-Xbox 1999 Version to 2000 Demo
  3. ^ a b c d Twitter, Marcus Lehto (@game_fabricator): "Some were asking about all the weapon names in this old #Halo PC build." (Retrieved on Jul 17, 2021) [archive]
  4. ^ Twitter, Marcus Lehto (@game_fabricator): "Here's an old one. Early Halo build. Did you know that the hilt on the back was originally a retractable sword?" (Retrieved on Jul 17, 2021) [archive]
  5. ^ Twitter, Marcuus Lehto (@game_fabricator): "Some of you wanted to see a closer look at the early Master Chief's back design. He used to have a single hump backpack and lower back retractable sword. Also thought I'd run into the Macworld early Forerunner building." (Retrieved on Jul 17, 2021) [archive]
  6. ^ Twitter, Marcus Lehto (@game_fabricator): "It was never built as a real functional weapon, but was intended to be a good option for close melee combat." (Retrieved on Jul 17, 2021) [archive]
  7. ^ Twitter, Marcus Lehto (@game_fabricator): "Here's a simple gif of the early Halo build" (Retrieved on Jul 17, 2021) [archive]
  8. ^ Twitter, Marcus Lehto (@game_fabricator): "Here's a human weapon I forgot we prototyped in the 2000 Halo PC build. The Spear Gun. I like how the spears stick into targets! And wow, the early Elite was almost naked back then." (Retrieved on Jul 17, 2021) [archive]
  9. ^ a b c Twitter, Marcus Lehto (@game_fabricator): "I found these Covenant weapon prototypes in my old 2000 Halo PC build that you might like. c concussion gun, c excavator, c particle beam rifle, c microwave gun. I like the meter cooldown on the concussion gun. The microwave gun would have been hilarious." (Retrieved on Jul 17, 2021) [archive]
  10. ^ a b The Art of Halo 3, page 61