The Lost City

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An exterior view of the city's final iteration. This design was recycled for the Cartographer in Halo 3 and a structure in Origins.

"The Lost City" was a concept for a gameplay space to be featured in Halo 3. It was cut during the development process, as the space had grown so immense that "it could be a game in itself".[1]

The final iteration's exterior appears to have influenced the design of the final game's Cartographer: the forward half of the city, especially its spire, is virtually identical to the map room's exterior structure. A building identical to the final concept was also featured in the Halo Legends episode Origins.

Development and design[edit]

Built by Bungie Environmental Artist Paul Russel, the level was to be based around a massive Forerunner city. At first, Russel started exploring the idea by designing different types of skyscrapers based on Forerunner aesthetic,[2] gradually adding detail until discarding the idea of a conventional, human-like city in favor of a more solid and defined arcology design.[3]

Russel then built several architectural components, stacking them together to form a single, massive structure which he then flipped on top of itself.[4][5]

However, this design was also discarded and replaced by a single building covered in an ornate, extremely detailed cantilever pattern.[6] The final design incorporated a variation of the repetitive cantilever structure based around a massive arcology structure, featuring an expansive interior space with complex structural elements nestled within the superstructure.[7]