|There is more information available on this subject at Cutscene on the English Wikipedia.|
In the Halo series, a cutscene, often spelled cut scene, is an in-game cinematic movie in which the player(s) temporarily loses control over their character(s). Cutscenes, often used to show storyline events, are usually played between campaign levels. They are sometimes played at a midpoint of a level.
Cutscenes in the Halo shooter games are not pre-rendered movies; instead, they are rendered in real time, using in-game assets. Because of this, cutscenes can sometimes be altered by moving objects into the locations where the cutscenes are about to take place. In several cases, cutscenes are rendered in hidden areas that are (usually) totally inaccessible to players; the Secret Room On The Ark is an example of this. The Pan Cam in Halo 3's Theater mode can be used to "break into" some of these areas. In Halo 3: ODST, the first cutscene "Prepare to Drop" is accessible through the Firefight lobby by means of a glitch. This will allow players to free roam around the entire area where the cutscene takes place. In Halo 3's theater mode when watching the player's pre-made campaign game when a cutscene plays the viewer will not be able to watch it but simply will experience a flash and will continue from the view of the player.
Halo 2 cutscenes feature the ability where the playable characters will hold the weapon the player used before the cutscene. This is not seen in other games except for Halo 3, but this situation usually appears in cutscenes that take place in the middle of the level, notably only "Sierra 117"'s Quid Pro Quo cutscene and "Floodgate"'s Shadow of Intent cutscene will do so.
In Halo 3: ODST, scenes called "signets" by Bungie employees are introduced. Signets are cutscenes played in first person point of view. They are usually played after cutscenes and before gameplay. Bungie used signets to lead players and show what is going on. Signets are also present in Halo: Reach, albeit without the character's HUD.
In Halo: Reach, the armor permutation that the character is wearing in the campaign also shows up in cutscenes.
While most cutscenes in the Halo series are not pre-rendered, there is one cutscene in the original trilogy that is pre-rendered. This cutscene, which appears after the credits in Halo: Combat Evolved, shows 343 Guilty Spark flying around in space. This cutscene is part of the Halo credits video file which is entirely pre-rendered using Bink Video.
Halo Wars uses both pre-rendered cutscenes, which were created by Blur Studios, and in-game "vignettes". Halo 2: Anniversary would also receive similar treatment from the studio. Portions of Halo 4 are also pre-rendered, including the entire level Prologue.
- In Halo 3, on "The Covenant", going into the tower after the Scarab fight with a ghost and boosting will combine the Cortana moment with the scene that follows (the ghost must be meleed in as there is a barrier but it is easy to do.)
- Sometimes the music in a cutscene may not load or may become out of sync with the video. This is usually caused by lag.
- If the player places an object right where a character will walk during a cutscene, that character will walk through the object when the cutscene plays. Some other times however, for example in the Halo: Combat Evolved level "343 Guilty Spark", the cutscene before the second part of the level, The Flood, if the player places a Shade turret where Private Mendoza will walk to, the marine will be seen walking against the turret. It is unknown why this is so.
- In Theater Mode, if one fast forwards during a cutscene, the dialogue will be cut short or overlapped with other lines, and nearly all non-dialogue sounds will not play.
- In Halo: Combat Evolved, it is possible to manipulate enemies and relocate them in the areas where cutscenes play; they can also be modded into such positions. When this happens, the enemies will frequently interfere with the playback of the cutscene, performing such actions as pushing characters out of their scripted paths, blocking their scripted paths, or even killing the characters. Sometimes, this interference will pause the cutscene, as the characters involved wait for an action to be performed; other times, the cutscene will continue as if no error ever happened. Examples of such anomalies can be seen here; the Shafted Cinematic Glitch also involves this phenomenon. In some cases, if the character gets killed immediately after the cutscene begins, the game engine may still try to animate the dead body causing the body to stand up in a strange position but not move completely.
- In Halo 3, certain cutscenes can be altered by other glitches, such as the Time Travel Glitch.
- If the player skips certain cutscenes early during a campaign level, the events in the cutscene will still continue in-game. This can be observed in Halo 3's level "The Covenant" when the player is deactivating the Barrier towers. If the player skips the cutscene right away, the player can still see the towers deactivating when gameplay resumes.
- On Halo 3's campaign level "Halo", Auto-Turrets can be deployed right before triggering the Control Room cutscene. The Auto-Turrets actually turn on the Master Chief before the fight with Guilty Spark; during the cutscene, they will fire on the Chief, Arbiter, and Johnson. (They will only manage to drain the Arbiter's shield and damage the Chief's.) Apparently, deployed equipment is not removed before a cutscene.
- In Halo 3, in single player, it is possible to duplicate the co-op cutscene that plays when the Flood arrive, and retain the Arbiter in the cutscene and level. On the level "The Covenant" inside the third Barrier Tower, the player can melee Arbiter into the elevator, kill all the Brutes, and finally push or melee the Arbiter to the window. Surprisingly, the Arbiter will not be removed from the cutscene and the level.
- If Halo 3: ODST's "Prepare To Drop" cutscene is accessed in Firefight over Xbox Live, the player's status will show that he/she is playing a Firefight match on an unknown map.