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Cut Halo 3 enemies and NPCs

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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 3 cut content

Cut content


To check out cut content for other Halo games, see here!

During the production of Halo 3, a number of enemy designs were concepted for inclusion in the game - with a handful implemented in some fashion but ultimately cut.


Female civilians[edit]

Accessible via the files of the Halo 3 Editing Kit, a number of female civilian models can be found. These civilians wear industrial jumpsuits like the male civilians found in the campaign level The Storm. Unlike their male counterparts, the female civilians do not share their face models with the female Marines, possibly due to being a leftover from an earlier stage of development.[1]


Brute Tracker[edit]

The Brute Tracker is an unused Brute enemy rank found in the files and early builds of Halo 3. The version seen in the Halo 3 Alpha builds is green in colouration, without the blue colour overlay present in the final game's shaders. The Tracker uses a helmet model look similar to the Stalker, with armour and shoulder pauldrons reminiscent of the infantry and captain Brute ranks featured in the game.

Internal Halo 3 production documentation written by Bungie and included for use in the Halo 3 Editing Kit elucidates further on the Brute Tracker's intended gameplay role:[2]

"The Brute Tracker has an uncanny sense of smell, and has the ability to perform long distance, relentless searches for his target. When guarding or otherwise idle, he will be seen to periodically sniff the air or check the ground for tracks. Should he detect an enemy within a certain range, visible or not, he will alert the pack and launch a search for the target. While the Tracker is searching no other characters in that group will be searching, instead leaving the Tracker and his heightened detection skills to hunt down the target.[2]

While searching the Tracker will sometimes pause to redetect the scent of his target, again indicated by some animation. He will relay this information to the rest of the pack, and then continue with his search. When a Tracker is present, it should be virtually impossible flank an encounter, the pack should be waiting for the target wherever they emerge from cover.[2]

Killing the Tracker early in an encounter will be key to a player's survival. With a Tracker on their heels they will be unable to seek cover and recharge their shield for a significant amount of time, and they will be unable to surprise a group of characters and attack from the rear or a flank.[2]

Early Brute designs and colours[edit]

Seen in early Halo 3 Alpha footage and included in some final-game publications are variations of Brute enemies, sporting a much more vibrant armour colour scheme when compared to the final game. The most prominently-seen of these variants is a variant of the Brute Captain enemy - seen sporting a red-coloured power armor design. For reasons unknown, in the final game the shader implementation for this enemy type has the colour overlayed with a strong blue, though images of this enemy can be found in the Halo 3 manual and the Bestiarum booklet included in the Halo 3 Limited Edition. The comic series Halo: Uprising used the red design of the Captain for the character of Lepidus.

Early revisions of these Brutes also have some fur on their arms more akin to their Halo 2 counterparts, though the fur clips through any armour present on the forearms.[3]

Stealth Elites[edit]

Stealth Sangheili are an NPC type found in the files for Halo 3, though go unused. The files feature two ranks; Stealth Minor and Stealth Major, both of whom wear the combat harness with no shoulder plating. The Stealth Major has its colour set to brown, but due to the shader configuration ultimately ends up looking grey.

The Stealth Minors do make an appearance in the Halo 3: ODST level Tayari Plaza, wherein their dead bodies can be found littering the streets of New Mombasa - having been killed by Brute forces prior to the level's start.

Halo 2 leftover Elites[edit]

A number of leftover Elite characters can be found in the files of the Halo 3 Delta build. These consist of all of the Elite enemy rank types featured in the prior game, though updated with some early and unfinished Halo 3 character models (all using the standard combat harness). Most of these were never intended to appear in the final game, though are listed below.[6]

  • Elite Minor - blue harness with dark blue secondary
  • Elite Major - blue harness with red secondary
  • Elite Ultra - blue harness with white secondary
  • Elite SpecOps - light blue harness with dark blue secondary
  • Elite Zealot - gold harness with white secondary
  • Elite Stealth - light blue harness with dark blue secondary
  • Elite Stealth Major - same as the regular Stealth
  • Elite Honour Guards - same as the Stealth Elites, but lacking a helmet
  • Shipmaster - the Rtas 'Vadum character from Halo 2, though lacking his signature "Half-Jaw". White harness with grey secondary
  • Elite Councilor - same as Shipmaster, but with no helmet

Weapon Elites[edit]

Found alongside the Halo 2 leftover Elites in the Delta build are a series of Elites that spawn holding specific weapon loadouts. It is unclear why these Elites exist, and it may simply be character bipeds used for testing features. Alternatively, they may be a remnant of a weapon loadout system considered for Halo 3.[6] The weapon Elites are as follows;

All of the weapon elites additionally have a frag and a plasma grenade attached to their chestplates.



The "banger" is a variant of pod infector found in the files for the Halo 3 mission Cortana, found as a tag in the pathway objects\characters\flood_infection\flood_infection_banger. In the files, the banger has no associated model and the tag is never loaded, though some contextual clues within the files (such as using the same nodes/markers and texture files) indicate it would have used the same model as the infection forms.[7]

In gameplay, the banger was to perform as an infection form that would explode on death in a manner similar to the Plasma Grenade.[7]

Concept pure forms[edit]

These concepts for pure forms of the Flood are featured in The Art of Halo 3, pages 26–27, though it is unlikely they were ever seriously prototyped in-engine or developed in 3D.[8] They are as follows;

Infector form
Described as a "3-limbed flood infection/ attack form w/3 regenerating spore projectiles", the Infector is a major Flood enemy type that would have seen major interaction with the vehicle sandbox. The Infector has three legs and three large, bulpous pores on its main body. These pores are each capable of firing off a "spore" at enemy targets, which itself is capable of using a single tentacle to try and latch onto targets should it miss. When it comes into contact with infantry they are converted as normal, while contact with vehicles sees the spore take control of the driver and gunner stations - allowing the Flood to infect enemy vehicles and use them against their creators.[8] This is an expansion on the idea of Flood-controlled vehicles first seen in Halo 2's Quarantine Zone mission, with Flood combat forms driving vehicles in the level. While the Infectors were ultimately cut, similar ideas were later introduced into Halo Wars 2: Awakening the Nightmare in the form of the Flood infester form.
Stealth form
The Stealth form has two images featured in the Art of Halo 3. The images both depict a similar design; a mass of tentacles holding a plasma rifle. Little is known of the stealth form's intended direction, other than this.
Transport form
The Transport form was to be a massive flood form. The form was a four-legged huge form similar in scale to a Scorpion tank, with a large maw and several sweeping tentacles that can grab enemies and force them into the maw. After a short period of ingestion, a series of "boo-bags" would glow on the creature before it hurls out a cocoon of flood biomass at enemies. The cocoon then births a fresh combat form. Alongside this, the transport form would be able to have several other Flood forms ride atop its back.[8]

Flood Arbiter[edit]

While developing the originally-planned level highcharity, one planned encounter for the player was to involve travelling through the Mausoleum of the Arbiter and fighting an army of Flood-infected Arbiters that had been entombed in the Mausoleum. Some prototyping was done on these Arbiter enemies - with tags internally named flarbiter. 343 Industries investigated resurrecting these tags for use in the Floodfight update for Halo 3: ODST, but found the tags had been discarded too early in the process to be useable.[9]


Enforcer Sentinel[edit]

Early design documents for the cut level Guardian Forest suggest that in early production, Enforcers were to return as enemy combatants following their introduction in Halo 2.

Guardian Sentinel[edit]

Main article: Guardian Sentinel

The Guardians have a storied history with the Halo series, with their core idea dating back to the development of Halo 2. Notably, the Guardians were heavily developed for Halo 3, with many pieces of concept art created for their design. The Guardians were to feature in the eponymous level Guardian Forest as enemies, with a model and animations being created for them, and the in-game character in iteration. In the level, the player would have been able to rip out the Guardian's "eye" and use it as a laser weapon.[10][11] Unfortunately, the level and the Guardian enemy had to be cut, with the level being repurposed as the Guardian multiplayer map and the Guardian enemy model itself used on Epitaph in holographic form. The Guardian was intended to be similar in size to the similarly-cut Strato-Sentinels.[12] While not seen in the final game, their design was later used in Origins for two Forerunner constructs seen escorting a Keyship to the Portal at Voi.[13] The Guardian hologram reappears in Halo Infinite.[14] The Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition) reveals that the holograms of the Guardian Sentinels were repurposed as in-universe holographic representations of Offensive Bias.

According to Art of Halo 3, "The Guardian evokes memories of Compilers (from one of Bungie's previous games, Marathon) and the robes of a High Court Judge - which is fitting because, as anyone who has encountered them can tell you, their judgments are swift and final, and their logic utterly alien."[15]


The Strato-Sentinels were a concept heavily explored in Halo 3's development, with multiple variations of concepts explored. Some of these were later reintroduced into canon as the Assembler, Excavator, Extractor, Retriever and Steward Sentinels.

Ambient life[edit]


A number of bird ambient creatures can be found leftover in the Halo 3 files. These include the Cockatoo, Guira, Hornbill and a small flock.[16]


  1. ^ YouTube - Generalkidd, Halo 3 - Never Before Seen Cut Female Civilian Workers
  2. ^ a b c d Microsoft Learn, Halo 3 AI Brute Variations (Retrieved on Mar 17, 2024) [archive]
  3. ^ YouTube - Generalkidd, Halo 3 - Early Brute Prototype Versions
  4. ^ Halo Encyclopedia (2009 edition), page 137
  5. ^ Halo Encyclopedia (2011 edition), page 145
  6. ^ a b YouTube - Generalkidd, Halo 3 - Early Prototype Versions Of Elites
  7. ^ a b YouTube - Lord Zedd, Halo 3 - Cut Enemy: Flood Infection "Banger"
  8. ^ a b c The Art of Halo 3, page 26-27
  9. ^ Twitter, Dana Jerpak (@The_Psycho_Duck): "The tags for the cut Flood Arbiter are called the "flarbiter". 😁 We looked into resurrecting the flarbiter (pun intended) for Flood Firefight, but it was cut early enough that there was nothing usable." (Retrieved on Mar 29, 2024) [archive]
  10. ^ GDC Vault, Building Your Airplane While Flying: Production at Bungie (Retrieved on Jun 1, 2020) [archive]
  11. ^, Building Your Airplane While Flying: Production at Bungie: Original presentation download (Retrieved on Jun 1, 2020) [archive]
  12. ^ Twitter, Vic DeLeon: "Fwiw this is almost exactly what the Guardians looked like back when they were first imagined on Halo 2, only they were much larger, almost like the Strato-Sentinel." (Retrieved on Jun 1, 2020) [archive]
  13. ^ Halo Legends: Origins
  14. ^ Halo Waypoint, Inside Infinite - April 2021 (Retrieved on Apr 30, 2021) [archive]
  15. ^ The Art of Halo 3 - With Friends Like These, page 31
  16. ^ YouTube - Generalkidd, Halo 3 - Secret Unused Birds (Cockatoos & More)