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Halo 2 E3 2003 Demo Playthrough

OP James060394

For those of you who may have missed it, Frankie, Sketch and Scoops recently demoed the infamous Halo 2 E3 2003 build that was shown to the public. They were also kind enough to explore the build, discuss the build in further detail and more. Full Stream of the build is available here: https://mixer.com/Halo?vod=65957556

Few highlights to note that were not previously known:

- Dual wielding SMG's are actually a secondary weapon, Joe Staten did not actually get the 2nd SMG from Sgt. Banks.
- Heavily scripted encounters. Missing certain triggers can prevent progression of the demo though you remain free to explore.
- A large portion of New Mombassa actually has geometry i.e you can actually go and explore a large area of the map that you can see and not 'fall off the map'.
- The Warthog encounter when triggered automatically places you in the Gauss turret. Attempting to leave the turret before the scripted sequence ends immediately places you back on the turret.
- The Warthog is drivable but the camera is not third person and the 'horn' is not functional.
- Infinite ammo and health due to being a demo build.
- Some Marines can be killed but most appear to be invincible.
- Back button 'rewinds' back to the beginning of the last scripted event trigger.
- No HAVOK physics engine. The game appears to simply use an updated Halo CE engine and the 'feel' of the game reflects this (character and vehicle movement).
- No boost for the Ghost.
- Surprisingly, this build did not crash anywhere near the amount of times we were lead to believe, though you could miss some script triggers which would lead to being unable to progress.

Sadly, it does not appear that 343 have any plans to make the build public for us to play around with. For now, we'll just have to wait and see but it may appear eventually, as the Halo 2 Alpha and Halo 2 Beta did.

Thoughts on the new information and playthrough?

Finally, there was talk of doing a similar stream for some of the really early Halo 3 builds but they said 'maybe in a few years when it's relevant'.
That’s some really cool info :-) I have yet to watch it, but did they make any mention of Cortana saying, “Betcha can’t stick it”? Halo 2’s campaign is still my favorite so any additional information they release about its development and marketing is something I’ll eat up. Thanks for posting this!
tuhin94 wrote:
That’s some really cool info :-) I have yet to watch it, but did they make any mention of Cortana saying, “Betcha can’t stick it”? Halo 2’s campaign is still my favorite so any additional information they release about its development and marketing is something I’ll eat up. Thanks for posting this!
There were certainly a few jokes regarding that line just before the first 'as close to E3 as possible' playthrough where they tried to replicate the E3 demo footage we have all seen online. Beyond that, it wasn't really discussed too much later on, with Frankie and Sketch discussing some memories regarding Halo 2, the build and how Joe basically said no one else can get this right but him (or something along those lines) to which, humorously Frankie and Sketch said they could do too (as the build didn't crash once!).

As a little extra, they also showed off some footage of another extremely early build. The framerate was incredibly low (sub 10fps), alot of the areas were untextured etc. They were effectively early versions of Delta Halo, Delta Control (I think in final Halo 2 it's called Regret), Gas Giant (Early Oracle), a moon mission set around the time of Arbiter/Oracle and a very early version of the Metropolis Wraith encounter just before the Scarab shows up. There was not a lot of detailed footage and it was very short since it was incredibly unfinished and basically unplayable at such a low framerate.

I'd say if you get the time, it's a fun watch.
tuhin94 wrote:
That’s some really cool info :-) I have yet to watch it, but did they make any mention of Cortana saying, “Betcha can’t stick it”? Halo 2’s campaign is still my favorite so any additional information they release about its development and marketing is something I’ll eat up. Thanks for posting this!
There were certainly a few jokes regarding that line just before the first 'as close to E3 as possible' playthrough where they tried to replicate the E3 demo footage we have all seen online. Beyond that, it wasn't really discussed too much later on, with Frankie and Sketch discussing some memories regarding Halo 2, the build and how Joe basically said no one else can get this right but him (or something along those lines) to which, humorously Frankie and Sketch said they could do too (as the build didn't crash once!).

As a little extra, they also showed off some footage of another extremely early build. The framerate was incredibly low (sub 10fps), alot of the areas were untextured etc. They were effectively early versions of Delta Halo, Delta Control (I think in final Halo 2 it's called Regret), Gas Giant (Early Oracle), a moon mission set around the time of Arbiter/Oracle and a very early version of the Metropolis Wraith encounter just before the Scarab shows up. There was not a lot of detailed footage and it was very short since it was incredibly unfinished and basically unplayable at such a low framerate.

I'd say if you get the time, it's a fun watch.
Nice, yeah I’ll definitely check it out later today :-)
A blast from the past! I caught the tail end of it, the SMG having the same crosshairs as the BR made me laugh out loud. Good times!!
I just hope that they make the build available. Granted, there's not much to see but it would be extremely exciting to play around with, especially with the Halo 1 physics engine.

Granted, you would need a modded Xbox or a debug Xbox to run the code so I imagine Microsoft may not be too pleased.
I just hope that they make the build available. Granted, there's not much to see but it would be extremely exciting to play around with, especially with the Halo 1 physics engine.

Granted, you would need a modded Xbox or a debug Xbox to run the code so I imagine Microsoft may not be too pleased.
I think that’s probably why. It’s understandable though since allowing one game that sort of freedom would create more demand for demos and modded Xboxes. But it would still be cool if they released the demo as-is and with a disclaimer that it will probably crash for no discernible reason.
I wish!
Pdyz wrote:
A blast from the past! I caught the tail end of it, the SMG having the same crosshairs as the BR made me laugh out loud. Good times!!
It brought back some fond memories of watching the demo, live, back in the day.
I just hope that they make the build available. Granted, there's not much to see but it would be extremely exciting to play around with, especially with the Halo 1 physics engine.

Granted, you would need a modded Xbox or a debug Xbox to run the code so I imagine Microsoft may not be too pleased.
me too
I really liked that stream! I thought it was cool! Just seeing things differently. Also thanks for those highlights!
I really liked that stream! I thought it was cool! Just seeing things differently. Also thanks for those highlights!
You’re welcome!

Hopefully we can get to play the build ourselves one day!
I really liked that stream! I thought it was cool! Just seeing things differently. Also thanks for those highlights!
You’re welcome!

Hopefully we can get to play the build ourselves one day!
I know! It would be awesome if it came over to the MCC or something! It would be cool to play that build.
It has always been a dream of mine to play the early Halo 2 demo, even though it was really short. It was awesome to see new gameplay of that demo again.
I really liked that stream! I thought it was cool! Just seeing things differently. Also thanks for those highlights!
You’re welcome!

Hopefully we can get to play the build ourselves one day!
I know! It would be awesome if it came over to the MCC or something! It would be cool to play that build.
Imagine if in Halo 2 Anniversary in the mission Metropolis, there was a secret button or switch you could find. When you hit it, it ends your current mission and lets you play the demo.

Or 343 could just put the option to play it in MCC's main menu.
I really liked that stream! I thought it was cool! Just seeing things differently. Also thanks for those highlights!
You’re welcome!

Hopefully we can get to play the build ourselves one day!
I know! It would be awesome if it came over to the MCC or something! It would be cool to play that build.
Imagine if in Halo 2 Anniversary in the mission Metropolis, there was a secret button or switch you could find. When you hit it, it ends your current mission and lets you play the demo.

Or 343 could just put the option to play it in MCC's main menu.
I think I would rather just have be a selection at the main menu.