Real World

Cut Halo 2 vehicles

From Halopedia, the Halo wiki

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.

During the development of Halo 2, a number of vehicles were cut from the final game release.

UNSC vehicles[edit]

Anti-air Scorpion[edit]

An anti-air equipped variant of the Scorpion tank was included in the early Halo 2 design documentation. This variant bears a striking descriptive resemblance to the M808B2 Sun Devil vehicle included in the Halo Encyclopedia, and may have even inspired this canon vehicle.[1]

Falcon[edit]

While discussing the "strike fighter" (see below), the developers at Bungie also mentioned the need for a "Black Hawk-type vehicle", which was later cut from the game. This seems to correspond with the prototype Falcon aircraft seen in very early beta builds of Halo 2, which had been prototyped in 3D shortly after the release of Halo: Combat Evolved.[2] The vehicle in these builds is untextured and un-animated, simply appearing as a low-poly blockout model. The vehicle has a single pilot with a nose-mounted machine gun at the front of the aircraft and two side-mounted seats for passengers.[3] The Falcon is additionally included in a rough state in map files for the Halo 2 build seen in Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and can be spawned in via modding.[4]

Notably, a vehicle of the same name was concepted for, and cut from, the real-time strategy game Halo Wars, though in that game was to appear more akin to a UNSC jet fighter and appears to have little resemblance to the Halo 2 vehicle. The Halo 2 Falcon was intended by Marcus Lehto to be a smaller cousin to the Pelican dropship, for small-unit deployment.[5][6] Following the cutting of the Halo 2 Falcon, Marcus Lehto continued to work on the idea, producing sketches between the production of Halo 2 and Halo 3 that later became Halo 3's aerial craft the Hornet.[7][6] However, Lehto wasn't satisfied with the Hornet and eventually the Falcon would finally be realised in 2010's Halo: Reach as the UH-144 Falcon, a tiltrotor helicopter bearing little visual resemblance to the original Halo 2 design but filling the same "Black Hawk" gameplay role.[6]

Mongoose[edit]

Main article: Mongoose

The Mongoose was originally intended to be a vehicle useable in Halo 2. The vehicle was fully built and animated, with gameplay of the ATV shown by Bungie in the Halo 2 Limited Collector's Edition documentary. In the build shown, the Mongoose uses the same driving sounds as the Warthog and has the aiming reticule of the Magnum. During development, the Mongoose was difficult to integrate into gameplay, with the designers trying out front-mounted guns and no weapons. Ultimately, the vehicle was cut as it interfered too much with the Warthog and Ghost.[8]

Notably, the Mongoose was brought back almost wholly unchanged in Halo 3 and has since remained a series staple; in Halo 3 and subsequent titles, the Mongoose is a two-person vehicle with no armaments. A second player can mount the back of the vehicle and fire their handheld weapons in third-person or carry objectives (such as a flag). The idea of the Mongoose with weapons was later revisited in Halo 2: Anniversary, with the game's multiplayer introducing the Gungoose - exactly the same as the regular Mongoose but with two front-mounted and driver-fired M67 LMGs.

Strike fighter[edit]

Marcus Lehto: "I think it was the Strike Fighter, right? It was like a defensive fighter for the... the... uh..."
Robert McLees: "Earth Space."
Marcus Lehto: "Well, it just didn't fit into our game play, either. We didn't have any kind of purpose for this thing"
Shi Kai Wang: "Unless it's cinematics."
Robert McLees: "Yeah it'd be a cinematic-only thing, and there wasn't enough time to add it in."
— Staff at Bungie discussing the strike fighter.[8]

The strike fighter was intended as a defensive space fighter for use by the UNSC during the Battle for Earth. The vehicle would have little place in actual gameplay, and instead be a cinematic-only vehicle, similar to the Longsword seen in the final game. For gameplay, the designers needed more of a "Black Hawk-type vehicle", likely referring to the cut Falcon UNSC aircraft detailed above.[8] Early storyboards for the levels Cairo Station and the cut level Covenant Ship show some more usage of the strike fighter; in the cut sections of Halo 2's early story, the strike fighters would have filled the role shown by the Longsword in the final game - performing an attack run on a Covenant carrier.[8]

The strike fighter notably bears a strong resemblance space fighters designed by Bungie in their later titles; specifically the FSS-1000 Sabre in Halo: Reach and the jumpships of the later Destiny.

Orca[edit]

The Orca is a vehicle mentioned in Halo 2 design documentation. It was intended to be a troop-carrying watercraft. The documentation additionally details a variant known as the Mortar Orca, appropriately equipped with mortars as weapons.[1]

Piglet[edit]

Found in the files for Halo 2, the Piglet is seemingly a static prop object intended to populate the level and visually resembles a scaled-down version of the Warthog. The model has no collision, animations and other info markers required to be useable as a vehicle in-game. The Piglet was notably featured in a breakdown by Kenneth Peters in an MCC Flighting Update on the Halo Waypoint forums, where he made the vehicle driveable in Halo 2 via modding.[9]

Warthog variants[edit]

These Warthogs were created by artist Marcus Lehto shortly after the release of Halo: Combat Evolved.[10] An image of them was later released on Bungie.net as part of their Halo 2 project page.[11]

In later media such as Bungie.net news, the Halo Encyclopedia and the Halo Waypoint universe section, several vehicles have been described with very similar traits to these cut vehicles, namely being the (from left to right, as per the image and not including the standard Warthog) M868 Tropic Warthog, M862 Arctic Warthog and M914 Recovery Vehicle. This was later confirmed by Jeff Easterling,[12] with the note that it can change later if 343 Industries needed.[13]

Halo 2 design documentation also references a number of other Warthog variants including a desert camo Warthog and a "night mission" camo Warthog.[14]

Covenant vehicles[edit]

Brute Chopper[edit]

Referred to in documentation as the "Brute cycle", early Halo 2 intended to feature the vehicle introduced in subsequent games as the Chopper for the Brutes.[1] The vehicle was concepted by Eddie Smith, and ultimately later fairly faithfully realised in Halo 3.

Brute mounts[edit]

Early Halo 2 design documentation references the desire to have Brutes able to ride animal mounts into battle.[1]

Covenant artillery[edit]

Main article: Type-48 Weevil

In the Halo 2 E3 demo, the city of New Mombasa is depicted as under siege by a massive Covenant artillery cannon. During the demo, a flight of Longswords is called in to bomb the gun. While this massive artillery piece does not appear in the final game, a smaller version of it known as the Type-48 Weevil does appear in the beach section of the level Outskirts - though inactive. Through modding, the guns are found to have turning and firing animations[15], indicating they may have been intended to be seen firing on the city of New Mombasa in-game.

Covenant fuel truck[edit]

Early Halo 2 design documentation references a vehicle called the "Covenant fuel truck". No further details are known.[1] A similar vehicle exists in Halo canon, though is likely unrelated to this concept.

Command shuttle[edit]

Seen only in early storyboards for the level The Arbiter, the command shuttle appears to be a large Covenant dropship similar in scale to the Lich. The vehicle would have been used to transport the Elite strike team to the Threshold gas mine, before being replaced by three Phantoms in the final game. The command shuttle reappears in storyboards for the game's epilogue cutscene, having been taken over by the Flood.

Ghost variants[edit]

Early Halo 2 design documentation references a vehicle called an "Excavation Ghost", alongside "VTOL" and "Special Forces" Ghost variants. No further details are known.[1]

Excavation Shadow[edit]

Early Halo 2 design documentation references a vehicle called an "Excavation Shadow" - presumably a variant of the existing Shadow vehicle. No further details are known.[1]

Shadow troop carrier[edit]

Main article: Ruwaa-pattern Shadow

The Shadow troop carrier is a troop carrier. In-game, the vehicle is only featured in the level Outskirts, driving along the Mombasa highways. These vehicles carry Ghosts in their underbelly compartments; however, a troop carrier variant exists in the files unused, and is shown in the Halo 2 Manual. This vehicle is found in the shared map content in the Halo 2 component of The Master Chief Collection[4], and despite being unused the troop transport variant was even retextured for the visually updated campaign of Halo 2: Anniversary.[16]

Phantom door gunner variant[edit]

Finalised storyboards for the level The Arbiter showcase a Kez'katu-pattern Phantom with door-mounted gunners. This Phantom design ultimately was discarded for the final game, instead preferring to use three larger plasma cannons. This design for the Phantom was later employed for Halo 3 and subsequent Halo games.

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Halo 2: Artifacts, Episode 4 - The Cutting Room Floor: 13:25
  2. ^ Twitter, Marcus Lehto (@game_fabricator): "Yes! I was playing around with 3D concepts of it right after HaloCE" (Retrieved on Dec 17, 2020) [archive]
  3. ^ YouTube - Gamecheat13, Halo 2 Beta - Falcon Prototype
  4. ^ a b YouTube - Lord Zedd, Halo: MCC - Flying The Falcon in Halo 2 And More!
  5. ^ Twitter, Marcus Lehto (@game_fabricator): "Here's a sketch of the proto-Falcon dating back to Halo2. I always wanted a smaller cousin to the Pelican." (Retrieved on Jan 7, 2021) [archive]
  6. ^ a b c Twitter, Marcus Lehto (@game_fabricator) (Retrieved on Jan 7, 2021) [archive]
  7. ^ Twitter, Marcus Lehto (@game_fabricator): "Just found this old sketch idea from one of my books between Halo2 and Halo3. Falcon design brainstorm I believe. Trying to cram the Warhog in there somehow." (Retrieved on Dec 17, 2020) [archive]
  8. ^ a b c d YouTube - Bungie, Cutting Room Floor Weapons Vehicles and Characters: Official Bungie upload of the BTS video from the Halo 2 Collector's Edition (Retrieved on Dec 17, 2020)
  9. ^ Halo Waypoint Forums, MCC Development & Flighting Update (Retrieved on Feb 20, 2022) [archive]
  10. ^ Twitter, Marcus Lehto (@game_fabricator): "Right after Halo CE, I was inspired to build some variants of the Warthog. Different tires, camo netting, troop carrier, and my fav wa the SnowHog." (Retrieved on Dec 17, 2020) [archive]
  11. ^ Bungie.net, Halo 2 project page (Retrieved on Feb 28, 2021) [archive]
  12. ^ Twitter, Jeff Easterling (@GrimBrotherOne): "Seems about right." (Retrieved on Dec 17, 2020) [archive]
  13. ^ Twitter, Jeff Easterling (@GrimBrotherOne): "Seems to all fit, and we can always change it if we need." (Retrieved on Dec 17, 2020) [archive]
  14. ^ Halo 2: Artifacts, Episode 4 - The Cutting Room Floor: 9:44
  15. ^ YouTube - Generalkidd, Halo 2 - The Secret AA Turrets That Were Never Used
  16. ^ YouTube - Generalkidd, Halo 2 - The Secret Troop Transport Variant Of The Shadow