Cut Halo 3 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.|
This article is part of a series on
Halo 3 cut content
- Cut content
To check out cut content for other Halo games, see here!
The Falcon was a vehicle envisioned by Marcus Lehto during the production of Halo 2, but ultimately unrealised. Bungie continued their interest in the Falcon in the production of Halo 3 with a handful of concepts being produced by Lehto and Isaac Hannaford. Ultimately, these concepts resulted in the creation of the Hornet gunship, with the Falcon later fully-realised in Halo: Reach as a helicopter.
An early sketch for Halo 3, by Lehto. Note the introduction of the Hornet's silhouette.
In the original first-draft script produced for Halo 3, a number of frigates were to be featured in the game's campaign. Due to the early phase of development, the script calls them out as Stalwart-class light frigates (the same a UNSC In Amber Clad from Halo 2), but they were ultimately redesigned for the final game as the Charon-class light frigate.
In the early script, a frigate named UNSC Providence replaces UNSC Forward Unto Dawn as the main ship featured in the game's plot. In addition, a number of other frigates are namedropped; UNSC Madrid, UNSC Ningbo, and UNSC Ophir. Unlike the final game, seven frigates in total are featured in the campaign, with three kept in hiding by Lord Hood over the Arctic circle on Earth, and another four in the Atacama Desert. These seven frigates are used in the attack on the Keyship at the end of The Storm, and accompany the Elites' Fleet of Retribution to the Ark later on. In that battle, most of the frigates are destroyed with the exception of Providence and Ningbo.
Several pieces of concept art were produced for Halo 3 depicting these frigates in combat, with the Providence prominently featured. The artwork featuring Providence is featured in the 2009 and 2011 Halo encyclopedias.
While Halo 2's Stalwart-class frigates were redesigned for Halo 3, a concept revision produced by Isaac Hannaford ultimately went unused - and was later used again in Halo: Reach as the Paris-class heavy frigate. The ship depicted in this concept art, UNSC Andraste, is featured in The Art of Halo 3 and the aforementioned Halo encyclopedias.
In the final Halo 3 release, three Charon-class frigates can be seen at the end of The Storm, with two going unnamed and the Providence renamed Forward Unto Dawn. A fourth frigate is featured on Sandtrap, UNSC Aegis Fate.
Medical Troop Warthog
A Medical Troop Warthog was a variant of the M831 Troop Transport Warthog that was to appear in Halo 3. It was cut from the game during development; however, its files remained in the game's code and can be accessed through modding. It was first discovered in the files of the Halo 3 Beta and is present in the final game as well, although it was never used. Interestingly, Marines will sit on the stretchers like they would do on a normal M831 Troop Transport Warthog, suggesting that it was never fully completed.
Presumably, this vehicle's role would have been to transport wounded troops off of the battlefield to an aid station. It was therefore likely intended to be used during cinematics rather than during gameplay.
The Warthog modded into The Pit.
Early anti-air Wraith
In an early beta build of Halo 3 dated March 2007, a very early version of the Anti-Air Wraith can be found. Unlike the version found in the final game, this early AA Wraith is covered in a purple sheen like the regular Wraith, and lacks its fuel rod armaments. Instead, the early AA Wraith boats a pair of top-mounted automatic plasma cannons, though they share the same design as what would become the fuel rod cannons. The vehicle can be found on the map Snowbound in this beta build.
The Deutoros-pattern Scarab is featured in the final Halo 3 game as an AI enemy which can be fought in the levels The Storm, The Ark and The Covenant. However, mission design documents for the level Forerunner City showcase a planned encounter in which the player would be able to drive the Scarab and fire its focus cannon. In the level, the player was to emerge from a Forerunner structure to find a Flood-infected Scarab blocking their path. With the aid of Guardian Sentinels, they were to destroy the Scarab and take it over - using it to destroy some gates keeping the Scarab locked in a courtyard before proceeding to drive the Scarab and use it to fight two other Scarabs.
While this segment was ultimately cut, the premise of fighting two Scarabs was preserved in the final game in the battle outside the Citadel on The Covenant. Another attempt would later be made to feature a drivable Scarab in Halo: Reach, though this was also ultimately cut.
Mantis/ walker Shade turret
Referenced only as a physics model within Halo 3's code, the "Mantis" (not to be confused with the Mantis AA gun from the campaign or the Mantis mech from Halo 4) appears to have been a design for a cut mech of some kind. The physics model present within the Halo 3 code references parameters for walking and manipulating legs. It is likely that these entries correspond to the early cut version of the Shade turret found in the March 2007 beta for Halo 3. This early model Shade can be spawned in Forge on the map High Ground, and resembles a walker with six legs, a seat and a plasma cannon. The plasma cannon has a very high rate of fire and can quickly destroy a Mongoose, though the overall movement speed for the Shade is slow, and it cannot climb stairs very well.
According to designer Dan Miller, these Shades were intended to walk slowly to allow them to dodge incoming fire. The feature was ultimately cut as the turrets "looked stupid" and the design "didn't make sense". Jaime Griesemer later elaborated on this, explaining that the Mantis was to have been "entirely physics driven" and posess the ability to jump - further agreeing that the concept was "ridiculous".
- Main article: Guardian Sentinel
Much like the Enforcer in Halo 2, the cut enemy Guardian Sentinel was to work - behind the scenes - as a vehicle with AI. As such, properties for the cut Guardian enemy remain in the game files for Halo 3 as a vehicle - the enemy was planned to be present on the cut level Guardian Forest.
- 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 Jul 18, 2022) [archive]
- Halo Encyclopedia (2011 edition), page 64
- The Art of Halo 3, page 45
- Halo 3 early script PDF
- Halo Encyclopedia (2009 edition), page 262-263, 302-303
- Halo Encyclopedia (2011 edition), page 259, 274-275, 314-315
- ArtStation, Halo 3 Spaceship designs and discards (Retrieved on Jul 21, 2021) [archive]
- Isaachannaford.com: "Halo 3 manual/promotional sketches and the Frigate Andraste" (Retrieved on Jun 2, 2011) [archive]
- The Art of Halo 3, page 37
- YouTube - Gamecheat13, Halo 3 Beta - Early Warthogs and Anti Air Wraith
- Reddit, r/Halo - Halo 3 Medical Troop Hog (Retrieved on Sep 20, 2021) [archive]
- YouTube - Generalkidd, Halo 3 - Never Before Seen Cut Weapons, Vehicles & Equipment In The Beta
- Twitter, The Vengeful 'Vadam (@vengeful_vadam): "Shade turret was going to be able to walk, holy crap." (Retrieved on Sep 20, 2021) [archive]
- NeoGAF, Halo - OT14 - They call it Halo: "Developer Insight #11 Shade turrets, like the one next to the Wraith, originally had legs, like miniature version of a Scarab's legs. The legs slowly moved the turrets so they could avoid incoming fire. This idea was tossed because the turrets looked stupid, and it didn't make any sense for them to have legs." - Dan Miller (Retrieved on Oct 10, 2021) [archive]
- Twitter, Jaime Griesemer (@32nds): "Horses, cats, walking turrets. They’re all hard. I think that thing was called the Mantis and it was entirely physics driven and it could jump and it was ridiculous." (Retrieved on Mar 18, 2023) [archive]