From Halopedia, the Halo wiki
Epitaph is a multiplayer map featured in Halo 3. Situated in an enclosed Forerunner "cathedral", this asymmetric map is best for free-for-all gametypes, such as Slayer, King of the Hill, and Oddball, and small team games, such as Team Slayer and One-Flag.
Universe and lore
Epitaph is set in an enclosed, cathedral-like Forerunner structure that is over a mile tall(at about 5,385.64 feet), with a ceiling vaulting nearly 200 feet into the air. The structure is the same structure that houses the map Citadel, set on The Ark. In the distance, other towers can be seen.
The structure's blue-green glowing "windows" are actually made up of holographic Forerunner text symbols. Additionally, Quadwings fly around the outside of the map.
Epitaph is lined with corridors, gravity lifts, and shield doors, forcing rapid-paced, corridor-based combat. It towers above a virtually endless wasteland, although careful inspection will reveal metallic-like ribs jutting through the sands below. Though not featured in Team Slayer, Epitaph is played primarily in Team Doubles, Lone Wolves, and SWAT variants, where the primary gametypes include Slayer and the occasional Oddball gametype. The map is semi-symmetrical, modeled in the relative shape of a cross or plus sign (or possibly a tombstone cross, which would be suitable with its name), with a "base" at either end. These bases are essentially enclosed, with a spacious gap in the center that forms the primary cathedral area.
To either side of the bases are stairways that lead to a pair of raised tunnels, one on each side of the cathedral area. However, they are separated from the open space by a wall, preventing players in the tunnels from overlooking the cathedral space. Situated in each "base" is a gold-colored lift, similar to the main lift on Construct. One of the lifts ejects players into the air, toward the center of the cathedral area, where a floating platform with a rocket launcher wobbles. This platform is reminiscent of the platform on the Halo 2 map Midship, though much smaller in shape and size. Only two pieces of equipment exist on this map: the power drain (found by the main gravity lift) and a bubble shield (found on the opposite side of the map).
The interior of the cathedral is split into five sections, each section having multiple levels, with access to the ramps and walkways outside. Of the five sections, four form the "spokes" of the interior with two of the sections being identical. From each of these sections, players may travel to the walkways on the outside of the level, and back into the interior of the cathedral.
The main hallway in Epitaph is split into two bases, one of which bears a large golden hologram of a Guardian construct. On one end of the level, a gravity lift propels players to the rocket launcher platform, while the opposite lift only carries players to the upper level. Two smaller gold-colored gravity lifts (one on each side of the main section) also send players to the upper levels of the cathedral. A plethora of weapons and grenades can be found on the upper and lower levels of this main section, including Maulers, needlers, and Spikers.
On the lowest level of the interior, in the center rests a gravity hammer, which is often a contested weapon between players and teams alike. Directly above the gravity hammer, resting on a floating platform, players can find the rocket launcher, another hotly contested weapon. The identical sections of the map are adjacent to the gravity hammer and rocket launcher, and can be accessed from a number of directions. The lowest level of these two sections holds a battle rifle, while the upper part contains a magnum on one side, and a plasma pistol on the other. Players can jump to access the platform where the rocket launcher rests from the ramp on the upper level of this section. Players can also find an overshield on the lowest level of the main hallway.
A series of catwalks and ramps exist on either side of Epitaph's outdoor section. These catwalks run parallel, and perpendicular to the main hallway section of the Inner-Cathedral, and thus exist on the "light side" and "dark side" of the map. Since this map is semi-symmetrical, the catwalks on either side are similar, but not identical. The commonality shared between these two sides is that they all connect to the Inner-Cathedral through a series of doorways and shield doors. While technically not a power weapon, the shotgun exists on a ledge of the "dark side" catwalk, beside a gravity lift leading into the map's interior. This section, known as the "corner of death" is a common place for players to camp. Players will wait just out of view around the corner for an unsuspecting player to come looking for the shotgun.
On a lower ramp on the "light side" catwalks, players can find active camouflage power-up, offering a clear advantage in the cramped spaces of Epitaph. Players can also find Maulers on the ramps, as well as plasma rifles. This map also features spike grenades, and a number of them can be found on both the interior and exterior of the map. It is interesting to note that the spike grenade does adhere to the shield doors in this level. In addition to quickly accessing the upper and lower levels of the map, players can drop down onto the lower catwalks from the top, by carefully jumping down. There is also a small opening on the upper ramp on the "dark side" that allows players to drop down onto the lower level.
Epilogue is a map variant released to improve the gameplay balance in any team-based gametype. It was due to be released on September 16, 2008, but was delayed until the 23rd. Notable changes include removed shield doors and a tweaked weapon set-up, similar to the changes made to Snowbound for the new map Boundless. The following is a list of changes made;
During production, Epitaph was known as "Salvation". The map's inspiration came from Chartres Cathedral in France, when designer Chris Carney downloaded a floor plan of the cathedral. The map was featured in the Halo 3 internal beta and revealed in the US magazine Gamepro.
Epitaph was slightly altered for Matchmaking. After the December 11, 2007 update, both of the Maulers that spawned in the top portion of the map were removed, and replaced with SMGs. The small triangular ledge behind the wall near the shotgun spawns now has an invisible wall over it, making it impossible to get to.