Honor Guard Councilor

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The Honor Guard Councillor

Honor Guard Councilor is a fan-derived title for a particular glitched Elite model that serves as the final opponent in Halo 2's campaign level Gravemind. This glitch can be attributed to the game's programming due to an incorrect coding; the Elite model was meant to be a Zealot.


The Honor Guard Councillor, who appears at the fore of the bridge between the Mausoleum of the Arbiter and the Far Tower, is flanked by two SpecOps Elites wielding Okarda'phaa-pattern plasma rifles or Carbines (and a pair of Ultra Elites on higher difficulties). The Honor Guard Councilor is extraordinarily powerful and on Normal difficulty or higher requires at least two Fuel Rod Gun hits to kill, or multiple Energy Sword slashes to defeat. The Honor Guard Councilor is programmed to have the power and skills of a Zealot. It always wields an Energy Sword.

Though the armor is always white with Honor Guard pieces, there are some variations, mostly with the helmet. In addition to the helmet variations below, there are occasions where the glitched Elite has Rtas 'Vadum's face - that is, where the Elite is missing two mandibles. The Elite can appear with the following permutations:

  • Councilor helmet, standard blue lights on body armor
  • Councilor helmet, Rtas 'Vadum's face, red lights on body armor
  • Honor Guardsmen helmet
  • An untextured Councillor helmet


The Honor Guard Councilor's appearance results from the usage of a missing tag.[1] In Halo 2, every enemy in the Campaign has variations, which increase the game's realism. The variations would be chosen at random each time a level was played; they determined that enemies would act and sound differently. This differs from Halo: Combat Evolved, where some enemies, like Elites, always used the same lines.

Each Elite tag was suffixed with an underscore and a three-letter code denoting the Elite's voice actor. Tags whose name ended in _dog ("dogmatic"), for example, were voiced by Norm Woodel; tags ending in _scl ("Scully") were voiced by David Scully. So in most maps, there are two tags for each Elite rank, with the tags having differing voice actors. This can be seen in many levels, including The Oracle, in which you come across several dead Flood bodies, and an Elite will say either:

  • "We should have brought weapons to burn these bodies. Every one is a potential vessel for the Flood." in a calm and steady voice, or:
  • "We should have brought weapons to burn these bodies! Every one is a vessel for the Flood!" in a fast and energetic voice.

So these are all the Elite tags in Halo 2:

  • Minor_dog
  • Minor_scl
  • Major_dog
  • Major_scl
  • Stealth_dog
  • Stealth_scl
  • Stealth_Major_dog
  • Stealth_Major_scl
  • Ultra_dog
  • Ultra_scl
  • etc.

On most levels, all a programmer has to do is code the game to produce one Minor Elite, for example, and the game itself will randomly choose between the Minor_dog and Minor_scl variations. Programmers do have the option to force the game to use a particular variation.

However, not all levels have both sets of tags for all enemies. In Metropolis, for example, all Grunts sound the same, because the tags voiced by Brian Posehn were omitted from the map's code, leaving only the Grunts that were voiced by Joseph Staten. Bungie decided to use only one of the two Grunt variations in the game.

This was also done on Gravemind: Elites' _dog tags were omitted from the level, such that only _scl Elites could be used. Because of this, the programmers would have to manually add _scl onto all the Elite tags. Unfortunately, the game's programmers accidentally coded the game to spawn a "zealot_dog"—they had used the wrong variation suffix. Since this variation was not in the map, the game could not find it.

At this point, the game knows to spawn an Elite with the power and weapons of a Zealot, but it does not know what the armor is supposed to look like. It automatically chooses the default armor color, white, but there is no default helmet. The game thus chooses between the available helmets (or lack thereof). The face is also randomized, sometimes causing the glitched Elite to have Half-Jaw's face and eyes. And for unknown reasons, the game always enables the "Honor Guard" armor—all Elite tags have a setting that gives them Honor Guard armor, but it is supposed to be disabled on most Elites, including Zealots.


  • Sometimes, but very rarely, this Elite appears as a normal Honor Guard Ultra, or even more rarely, a simple Ultra Elite.
  • In Halo 2 for Windows Vista, the error is partially corrected; the Elite's shields are normal.
  • This glitched Elite was entered as an entry in the Halo Encyclopedia (2009 edition) as one of many ranks within the Sangheili society.
  • In Halo 2: Anniversary, all of its variations except for the untextured helmet, which shows up as a normal Councilor helmet in remastered graphics. Additionally, the head model of Rtas 'Vadum translates into a regular Ultra Elite in remastered graphics.



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