Halo 3 ViDoc: Et Tu, Brute?

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Halo 3 ViDoc: Et Tu Brute, released on December 20, 2006[1] was a behind the scenes look at Halo 3 with a focus on the Brutes. This 7:03 min (7:00 excluding the Xbox 360 logo and slogan) clip interviews various Bungie employees about the Brutes and their development, how they were created in Halo 2 and how they would be expanded upon in Halo 3. Its name, "Et Tu, Brute?" is Latin for "You too, Brutus?" (more literally "And you, Brutus?"), either a pun on the name or origin of the name of the Brutes. These are also said to be the last words spoken by Julius Caesar.


0:10 - Camera opens up on cutscene of Tartarus holding Miranda Keyes, Halo 2.

0:25 - Shi Kai Wang: Halo 3 is all about the things that we wanted in Halo 1 and 2. The Brutes were ... they were added in a little too late, I think. We didn't have a chance to really flesh them out and so that's what we're doing for Halo 3!

0:43 - Jaime Griesemer: Nailing the flavor for a character is often very difficult. You sort of have to feel it out as you go. The Brutes in Halo 2 were meant to be more like the barbarians in Rome. We wanted the Brutes to typify that abusive, evil, invader...

1:06 - Chris Butcher: Right from the start the design of the Brutes was not consistent about reinforcing that they are made to be worthy adversaries for the player.

1:16 - Jaime Griesemer: Now that the Elites have left the Covenant, it gave us a problem for Halo 3.

1:23 - Shi Kai Wang: For the Brutes to behave kind of similar to the Elites they have to be totally redone, 'cause ... they're not interesting to fight.

1:32 - Paul Bertone: He was just a damage sponge. There were no interesting reactions; there wasn't an interesting death.

1:38 - Chris Butcher: The only tactic the player has is to just pump them full of lead until they fall down.

1:45 - Shi Kai Wang: It doesn't really turn to out to be really good game play.

1:47 - Curtis Creamer: Going back and trying to recreate a character like this is one part art and one part science, and the art part is very difficult to understand just exactly how long it's going to take.

2:00 - Isaac Hannaford: The concept artist tries to communicate through composition what the idea is trying to get across. A lot of times the direction just gets narrowed down to, 'can you just make it look cool'. The Brutes originally looked a lot like Chewbacca: like they were just big hairy guys with a Bandoleer. I looked at a lot of animal reference, rhinoceros, and some gorilla. Their natural body plating was Brutish! This was our way of, like, kind of pulling them into the fold of the Covenant. They've got kind of ancient looking buckles and gauntlets, and leather straps holding all that stuff together. Making them a little more serious bad guy... I hope.

Camera opens on a table with four Bungie staff being Interviewed. From left to right: Nathan Walpole, John, Bill O'Brien, and Jeremy

2:42 - Nathan Walpole: Everything the character does, whenever the character moves, we've created an animation for it.

2:52 - Bill O'Brien: In which way the character moves, that kind of makes him unique.

3:00 - John: These days now we've got our animation reference area upstairs. We just take it upon ourselves to go film us doing each individual motion and then work that into our animation.

3:14 - Nathan Walpole: If a Brute is punching the face off a Marine, we're going to embellish that. We're going make him punch the jaw off, too. We're going to make him just punch straight through that Marine.

3:25 - Shi Kai Wang: God damn, that looked like f*Warthog horn*ing real life. That is just like Jesus *Warthog horn*, that was awesome.

3:32 - Bill O'Brien: When I look over and see Jeremy doing something, I'm like, 'Oh that's really cool! How can I work something like that into his move set?'

3:36 - Nathan Walpole: It's exciting to see what Jeremy does tomorrow, and what Bill does the next day. It's always a new...

3:44 - Jeremy: Not John.

3:45 - Nathan Walpole: No.

3:46 - John: Not so much me.

3:48 - Nathan Walpole: Nobody likes John.

3:53 - Jaime Griesemer: Players who are familiar with the Brutes from Halo 2 will notice that these Brutes are fully armed, fully equipped, and are not going to be pushovers.

4:20 - Shi Kai Wang: For the game to be interesting, like the guys you'll be playing against have to be fun to play. Does the profile of the character create an interesting look from afar? Is it fun to shoot at him? When he runs around do you see his limbs moving up and down because there are things are jutting up from his sides?

4:40 - Chris Butcher: Rather than make them look like they're dumb apes, we want to make them very brutal and pragmatic warriors, and that's really informed a lot of the visual design.

5:00 - Paul Bertrone: Visually, through the art, we defined the different classes. The standard Brute has just it's normal armor with a very standard helmet. The Brute Captain has a much bigger headdress, and then the Brute Chieftains have very elaborate head dresses and very elaborate shoulder pads and armor on 'em. The interesting thing with some of the ideas that we came up with is not only do we need to figure out how the Brutes interact with the other Covenant, but also how Brutes interact with Brutes, and we developed the idea of the Brute Pack.

5:39 - Damian Isla: What makes you feel like two characters are aware of each other? Deciding to do the same thing at the same time.

5:44 - Curtis Creamer: Maybe you're going to come around a corner and see them doing some sort of an activity that has nothing to do with fighting but is going to give you sort of more insight into what the Brute Pack mentality is like.

5:56 - Damian Isla: We have this really brutal behavior now which is just the Chieftain saying, 'Everybody throw a grenade!', and as a result a second later you have grenades flying in your face.

6:06 - Chris Butcher: That's always going to give the player a little bit of an adrenaline rush, that, 'Oh my God, now this guy is right up in my face! I've to back up and hit him hard!'

6:18 - Paul Bertone: When the players kill him, they're like, 'Oh man, I had to kill that guy!' and then they go around a corner, and there's like four more of them standing there, and they're like, 'Sh*Warthog horn*t!'

6:30 - Jaime Griesemer: I think that the Brutes bring out sort of the indignant, self righteous aspect of a lot of players. So I'm hoping to hear a lot of, 'Take that!' and 'I can't believe that you have invaded my planet and I'm going to throw you off!' and we hope to really bring people really into the character and the drama of the situation by putting them up against these really brutal characters.


The new armor of a Brute Chieftain, wielding a Gravity Hammer model that looks like the Fist of Rukt.

The clips of gameplay show that the Brute race underwent a complete redesign from Halo 2 to Halo 3. The ranks of the Brutes were streamlined; Brute Minors and Brute Majors were converted into a single armored class, and Brute Captains and Brute Chieftains were given completely new elaborate armor. Chieftains, which appeared in Halo 2 only in the character of Tartarus, were shown to have a combat role in Halo 3, becoming the rough equivalent of Zealot Elites in their appearance throughout the game.

In addition, the video demonstrates some of the new actions Brutes would have been taking. Their combat styles were shown to be far more aggressive and brutal than Elites, and several potential moves were shown, including a Brute ripping a Marine's arms off, a Brute ramming a Marine into a truck trailer, a Brute tipping a Warthog over and a Chieftain smashing a Marine's head with a Gravity Hammer. Brutes also demonstrate pack mentality, interacting with one another in both combat and non combat actions, attacking as a team, and taking orders from commanders. Also, it showed an Elite dual-wielding two energy swords to slice off the legs of a brute who looks strikingly like Tartarus, then doing a coup-de-grace on the falling brute. They were seen commanding groups of Grunts in battle, suggesting a commanding style different from the Elites. Also, a designer's screen revealed the fourth grenade for the first time.


  • In Latin Et tu, Brute? translates to "And you Brutus?", "Even you Brutus", and "You too, Brutus?". It was used prominently as Julius Caesar's final words in William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar as a Latinization of his believed final words, the Greek "Kai su, teknon", as he was murdered by the senate including one of his closest friends, Marcus Junius Brutus. Additionally, Et tu Brute is commonly used as the epitome of betrayal and as a figure of speech the ultimate betrayal by one's closest friend(s).
  • Many of the animations featured in this ViDoc never made it into the final game.
  • One video clip shows a Brute Chieftain wielding an Energy Sword, something which was not shown in the final game, and to date has never been seen in the Halo series. Brutes can also be seen wielding Halo 2 versions of weapons such as Plasma Cannons and Gravity Hammers.
  • Based on this ViDoc, Brutes were originally to have lime green blood, yet when the game was released their blood was red much like that of a human. In Halo 2, their blood was instead purple.