From Halopedia, the Halo wiki

Tombstone, a Halo 2 multiplayer map.
Map overview


Halo 2

Map file name (?):


Lore information


UNSC munitions testing complex, New Mombasa[1]

Gameplay overview


Decommissioned UNSC munitions facility

Recommended number of players:


Recommended gametype(s):

The UNSC decommissioned this munitions testing complex after safety concerns came to light.

Tombstone is a multiplayer map in Halo 2. It is a remake of the map Hang 'Em High from Halo: Combat Evolved. The map was created by video game company Certain Affinity alongside Desolation for the Blastacular Pack.


Main article: Unnamed UNSC munitions testing complex

Tombstone is set in a decommissioned munitions testing complex in the middle of an industrial wasteland, on the outskirts of a now-ruined New Mombasa.[1] The city's skyline can be seen in the background of the map. As a remake of Halo: Combat Evolved's Hang 'Em High, Tombstone has several slight tweaks to the original game's layout to suit the updated gameplay of Halo 2. Differences include Fusion Coils, the inclusion of background objects such as street lamps and soda machines, a human aesthetic style, certain tweaks to account for Halo 2's jump height, and of course a major graphical overhaul.


Tombstone features a similar weapon set as Hang 'Em High. Tombstone spawning weapons are unique in two ways; It is the only map where the primary spawning weapon is the BR55 battle rifle, and it is the only map to have two starting weapons, the battle rifle and the M7 SMG. The map features two overshields, both of which are located on adjacent locales on the map, one in the canal at the bottom of the map, and the other across the map from the first, inside the control room. An M41 SPNKR lies in the canal, opposite of the overshield.

An energy sword spawns on a platform at the top of the map, and the only way to reach it is by running across a long bridge that is completely exposed to sniper fire from almost anywhere on the map. Despite its power, the sword often spends entire matches untouched simply because it is too risky to retrieve.

The large crane in the middle and center of the map sports an SRS99C-S2 AM sniper rifle on top of it. Also, very clever players will get the sniper rifle and the energy sword, making them even tougher. There are also far more shotguns scattered across the map than there are in Hang 'Em High.

Production notes[edit]

Hang 'Em High was chosen to be remade in Halo 2 due to its fan-favourite status in the original game. It was originally planned to be remade for the base game, alongside maps like Blood Gulch and Battle Creek, but the changes from Halo: Combat Evolved to Halo 2 such as the removal of fall damage, changed weapon sandbox and bizarre geometry from an art perspective, alongside fan demand and expectations made working on the map a "minefield". The map was experimented with in early Halo 2 development but didn't feel good to play, and the relatively tiny multiplayer development team ultimately scrapped it to work on other maps. It was later considered for the map packs, but the art team had just finished working on the hellish development of the Halo 2 campaign, and nobody volunteered to work on it.[3]

Development on the map started after Max Hoberman moved to Austin, and began blocking out a version of the map while experimenting with the vertical scale. Following the startup of Certain Affinity, the map was chosen as one of 5-6 maps to remake for Halo 2, and given the codename "High Plains". At this point, it was still too literal a port of the original Hang 'Em High, and thus designer Peter Marks - responsible for the original map - was brought on board to start over from scratch, changing the layout where needed to create the final product.[2] Later on, the map was described as "90% Hang 'em High".[3]


Easter eggs[edit]

  • There is a soda machine that has BLAST soda inside.
  • A picture of the original Hang 'Em High is seen on the main screen in the control room.
  • A box with a picture of the M6D magnum can be seen on a crate that's behind the right side of the fence, stretched over the water trench in the middle of the map. There is also an M6D pistol out of the box, but it cannot be used as it is out of the playable area and it is a model without proper weapon settings.[4]


  • The destroyed city of Mombasa can be seen in the distance, and the map itself feels similar to the area of Voi. Thus, this map seems to be set in the time period of Halo 3: ODST.
  • Tombstone is the only map in Halo 2 to have 8 territories, which is the game's limit. This includes Sword spawn, blue base, red base, red bunker, blue bunker, center, command center and the section of blue base that includes a ramp with a large piece of sheet metal covering it.
  • Tombstone is exclusive to the Xbox version of Halo 2 which is backwards compatible on Xbox 360. It was not officially available for Halo 2 for Windows Vista, but modders were able to port Tombstone to Halo 2 Vista. The map, like all Halo 2 maps, is included in the port for Halo: The Master Chief Collection.
  • This map was used to represent Caboose's mind in episode 100 of the popular machinima series Red vs Blue (Caboose's mind had previously been depicted as Hang 'Em High in earlier seasons). Church commented that "Man, this place has REALLY gone to hell..." and it also reappears in Reconstruction chapter 11 where Church meets Agent Washington and a message from Delta.
  • Hang 'Em High was originally a Forerunner burial site, which matches up with the name Tombstone, which also references Hang 'Em High's description "Tombstones For Everybody".
  • Subtle hints of the howling ambient sound effects from Hang 'Em High cam be heard on this map, alongside the creaking of the cranes.
  • It is possible that Tombstone was named after the Arizona city of Tombstone, where in 1881 Wyatt Earp, his brothers, and Doc Holliday participated in the most infamous shootout of the North America's Wild West, the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. This would also keep with the western theme of the name of Tombstone's predecessor, Hang 'Em High.
    • Another possibility is that Certain Affinity saw that Hang 'em High was the name of a western film, and chose another western film as the remake's name.



  1. ^ a b An Affinity for Art - The moody lighting is dictated by the idea of an industrial waste on the outskirts of a ruined New Mombasa.
  2. ^ a b A Certain Affinity: Mapmakers to the Stars
  3. ^ a b Bungie Weekly Update 30/03/2007
  4. ^ Youtube - Halo 1 M6D Pistol in Tombstone halo 2