Real World

Cut Halo: Reach levels

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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.
Early campaign layout ideas for Reach.
An early "map" of the planned campaign structure for Reach.
Image of a cut Kodiak to use in Halopedia templates. Do not add to pages.

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Halo: Reach cut content

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During the production of Halo: Reach, many levels were cut or otherwise massively re-worked.

Lehto's original plan[edit]

Early in the game's production, game director Marcus Lehto came up with an early draft for the game's campaign, which he later shared on Twitter.[1][2][3]

Mission 0 - Training[edit]

Mission 1 - Infantry battle[edit]

Mission 2 - Ground vehicle battle[edit]

Mission 3 - Boat level[edit]

Named in the Halo: Reach DLC test builds as 40_boat, this level was planned to employ the UNSC motorboat vehicle. The mission's name coincides with the final game map files numbering m35 (for Tip of the Spear) and m45 (for Long Night of Solace), with an apparent lack of an "m40" to fill the gap.

Outlined in Marcus Lehto's original game plans, this level was to involve the player attacking an "oil rig"-like structure in the ocean, with an approach similar to Navy SEAL operations. The level was to have the target of the attack consist of a large, moving structure - a challenge for the engine and lighting due to a lack of ability to use BSP level geometry. A rough prototype was created based on the concept of boat combat.[4] According to Lee Wilson, the mission was to additionally have a mechanic which would see players able to "ride torpedoes" in the water combat.[5]

Lehto's documentation notes on the level were noted as the following;

"4 - covert training -Seals type approach -boat attack -night -sink ship -off shore[3]"

"3 - large moving platform. -ship at sea - sink it - have it slowly sink and pitch during mission. (challenge - lighting interiors of non-bsp geometry)!!![3]"

"Covert "Seals" boat attack
-Sink Ship[1]

Footage of the boat's in-game prototype were later shown at PAX 2010, alongside some of the wave technology developed presumably for the prototype.[6]

Mission 4 - Aircraft level[edit]

Named in the DLC tag builds as 45_fightertown, this level was seemingly intended to be the predominant aircraft mission in the game. Interestingly, the mission name shares its 45 numeration with m45 - the final game level Long Night of Solace.

Notes provided by Marcus Lehto indicate this mission was to involve the player using an aircraft of some variety to engage in aerial combat and clear out Covenant forces from a number of small towns to allow friendly forces to deliver supplies. It is unclear whether this would have involved the UAV-like drone aircraft cut from the game, or would have been intended as a Falcon mission.[3][1] At this time, no other levels in the game were described as having similar air combat segments (and initially, the final game level New Alexandria was intended to involve a player driving a Scarab), indicating this may have been intended to be the game's Falcon mission.

Ultimately, this level was scrapped and the Falcon moved to New Alexandria; the 45 designation was reused for Long Night of Solace. Lehto's documentation notes on the level were noted as the following;

"5 - Air attack - clear out area from above - provide route in through for supplies (segment to 5-7 small towns)[3]"

"Air attack
-Clear out area from above[1]

Mission 5 - Sniper level[edit]

Mission 6 - Hold the line[edit]

Mission 7 - Space level[edit]

Mission 8 - Supply convoy attack[edit]

Mission 9 - City level[edit]

Mission 10 - Last Great Battle[edit]

Production levels[edit]

Driving a Scarab[edit]

While the Deutoros-pattern Scarab did ultimately make its way into the final game as a low-poly background entity on the levels Tip of the Spear and The Pillar of Autumn (with the latter level also featuring a more detailed, non-interactive setpiece Scarab at one point in the mission), early ideas for the game's campaign were to have the player character able to drive the Scarab. Early ideas for the level New Alexandria would have seen the player drive the Scarab in the remains of the post-glassing city. Prototypes for the Scarab were made and the physics involved was described by Chris Ophdal as "sweet", though the Scarab was ultimately considered unsustainable - especially with the high engine cost needed to run the level. Ultimately, the drivable Scarab was scrapped and New Alexandria was transformed into an aerial mission focusing on the Falcon instead.[7][8]

Cut dialogue for the missions Tip of the Spear and Exodus shows that early plans for these levels were for both to feature Scarab encounters similar to those featured in Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST, though all were cut.


  1. ^ a b c d Twitter, Marcus Lehto (@game_fabricator): "This was a very early campaign layout I made for Reach. Space combat. But it took brave people like @tipul [Mike Tipul] who made it a reality." (Retrieved on Sep 11, 2021) [archive]
  2. ^ Twitter, Marcus Lehto (@game_fabricator): "These are very early Reach mission progression ideas and adrenaline maps. Water craft were functional at that point." (Retrieved on Oct 25, 2021) [archive]
  3. ^ a b c d e Twitter, Marcus Lehto (@game_fabricator): "Found this very early mission plan for Halo:Reach and campaign. Most of the sentiment made it into the final game - except water combat!" (Retrieved on Oct 25, 2021) [archive]
  4. ^ Twitter, Marcus Lehto (@game_fabricator): "Yes, we had a very rough mission prototype around some kind of oil rig type structure in the ocean. Shooting enemies while jumping waves." (Retrieved on Feb 9, 2022) [archive]
  5. ^ Twitter, Lee Wilson (@dangerousonion): "It was such a pity the riding of torpedoes during water combat didn't make it into the game #rememberreach" (Retrieved on Feb 9, 2022) [archive]
  6. ^ a b c d YouTube - Halo, PAX 2010: Bungie Halo: Reach Panel (Part 3)
  7. ^ Eurogamer, Tech Interview: Halo: Reach - Page 3 (Retrieved on Sep 11, 2021) [archive]
  8. ^ Halo: Reach: Legendary Edition developer commentary