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Reflecting on 10 Years of Halo 3

OP ske7ch

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I remember being a little late to the game--

2010. My brother had gotten a reach Xbox when Reach came out, it was awesome. Got to play reach, at least campaign wise-- then came 2011.

I found I had high functioning autism, and got into a autism group locally. That's where I met my halo buddy-- who I'm still in contact with today. He loved the series, and of course had halo 3. I was outright amazed-- we sat/stood in front of his Xbox and splitscreened throughout the entire campaign in one go when I went over to his house one day. We laughed, got frustrated.

I absolutely fell in love with it.

Even convinced him to let me borrow it, and i played it a WHOLE lot, played through the campaign a bunch.

Glorious, glorious times. <3
Halo 3 for me, is a bigger game than any of us could've imagined. Halo 3 was the very first Xbox game I had ever played (and certainly wasn't my last). I started playing Halo 3 ten years ago, not long after it's initial release. It was the first time I had ever played a shooter, which at the time was a big thing for me because I was a pretty sheltered kid and was told the usual "shooters will make you violent" crap. But I was at my best friends house and he asked me to play, and after awhile of trying to talk me into it, I finally agreed! From the moment I picked that game up, I was immediately sucked in. It was magical, and alien, unlike anything I had ever seen before. And I didn't want to stop. Every time I went back to that friends house I would always beg to play Halo 3. I loved it! The music and the sounds, the atmosphere and the world, everything that I saw and felt playing Halo 3's campaign was just fascinating to my 4th grader mind. Halo 3 didn't just suck me into the world of console games, it changed who I was, it made me who I am today. Without Halo 3, the friends and values I have today would be totally different. Who I am today and what I want to do with my life all started with that game. That one, magical game. And three years later, the Christmas after the launch of Halo Reach, I would get my own Xbox 360 and I would never look back. These past 10 years have been the best years of my life. I owe my current relationships, values, interests, and career goals to Halo 3. So thank you, Halo 3, for an amazing 10 years. And most of all, thank you to the Bungie team for creating an unforgettable franchise; and touching not just my heart, but millions of others as well.
Love the stories and memories! Keep 'em coming.
I build LEGO gaming weapon replicas. The most massive Halo build I've done was Halo 5's SPNKr, but I wouldn't have gotten to that point without my start during the Halo 3 days, replicating a far less detailed M6G Magnum. Campaign and multiplayer alike, I was inspired by Halo 3 to become the creator I am today.
2007 was when I moved to the Seattle area, and so I attended the Halo 3 launch event in front of the Best Buy in Bellevue. This was my first time attending a launch event for a video game. Bill Gates was there, and I will always remember the sight of him standing next to the Master Chief, who of course made him look quite diminutive. Then later a big bus drove into the parking lot with Bungie banners on either side, and the Bungie folks piled out and started working the crowd like rock stars. The entire experience was quite surreal. I've been to plenty of launch and community events since, but my first will always be special.
Halo 3 represents not only the pinnacle of Halo but also the pinnacle of the Halo commmunity. It was truly huge back then. We thought that it would carry on like that forever. Little did we know that by 2012 Halo would cease to exist as the juggernaut it was.
Hi, Brian.

It was my 21st birthday. I basically had nothing planned because I was dealing with a horrible medical condition that left me depressed and often alone -- and because a lot of friends had graduated from college the year before. Over the years before this moment, I got to know a couple of people at Bungie, most notably one of their designers, Dan Miller. It was 2013, so it had been a couple of years since I had last played with him as far as I can recall at the moment. Seeing as how my plans for my birthday were so pathetic, I contacted Dan and asked if he would be able to play some Halo 3 with me. Halo 3 wasn't just my favorite Halo game; it was my favorite game ever. It still is!

Gratefully, he said yes (Dan, obviously, was deep in development of Destiny, along with the rest of Bungie).

As I was on the east coast and he was on the west coast, I had to stay up late. But what followed wast the most fun and delightful memory I have of Halo 3. We played through four campaign levels together (and maybe "Floodgate" too, can't remember for sure): "Tsavo Highway," "The Storm," "The Ark," and "The Covenant." We played for about three and a half or four hours. We probably could've finished up everything sooner but we were taking our time. See, Dan was giving me some behind-the-scenes look into Halo 3's development.

I'll share some of his most interesting tidbits with below:
  • The folks at Bungie knew they weren't shipping the best mission with "Cortana." One of the reasons "Cortana" turned the way it did was because there wasn’t a specific level designer for it, and one of the reasons for that was because "Cortana" was originally going to be the second half of “Floodgate.” Can’t remember exactly why, but because of time constraints and other things, what became "Cortana" got separated and made into its own level.
  • The idea of an ODST campaign did not originate with Dan, but he did suggest at one point, when the idea was to get a one-year project out the door, that players experience prior Halo campaigns from the perspective of an ODST. They would take missions from prior Halo games and redesign them.
  • Everyone here remembers the concept work done for Forerunner City, right? Bungie cut that partly because, when they went through the concept art, they felt like they would have to give away too much about the Forerunners. Dan was originally assigned to this level and Guardian Forest.
  • Speaking of, Guardian was what remained of "Guardian Forest," which was cut. Here’s a couple more details about it. The level was supposed to come after “The Ark” – Bungie didn’t like the idea of you taking down the Covenant in two levels – and it was going to be like New Alexandria. You had to go to three areas and activate a Forerunner device in each of them. When all three devices were primed, they’d release Forerunner sentinels (the ones that lined up like a train from Halo 2 and Halo 4) that acted as the Ark’s defense system. These sentinels were going to destroy the remainder of Truth’s fleet in space. Remember what the Elite said at the beginning of “The Ark”: “Brute ships, staggered line. Shipmaster, they outnumber us three to one.” Truth had a lot of ships.
  • A troop-transport ‘Hog with a full complement of Marines, who each had a flak cannon, was internally called a "death blossom" – a reference to The Last Starfighter.
  • There’s motion blur on the elevators in "The Covenant." That was supposed to be turned off.
  • The level in which you rescued Cortana wasn't supposed to be "Cortana." Here’s what was originally planned. You were supposed to, or rather the idea was that you were going to, fight the Gravemind, but not in a way you might think. You were going to retrieve Cortana, and a little after that you two were going to come across an abandoned Scarab with its hind legs ripped off. Seeing no other options, you were going to board the Scarab and insert Cortana so she could pilot it. After that, the Gravemind was going to appear, and Cortana was going to duke it out with him in the damaged Scarab while you were on board. You were going to help out by killing any Flood forms that made their way onto the Scarab, and shoot off any of Gravemind’s tentacles that tried to latch on.
That night with Dan was the happiest I had been for a while -- would be the happiest I would be for a long time to come. I will never forget it. I'm crying a little just writing about it here. I even remember myself crying after we had finished "The Covenant", and before we said goodbye for the night, because I had been so happy and I felt so lucky. I still feel a great sense of luck when I think about it.

Happy birthday, Halo 3. And thanks, Dan. Much love!
Finally getting the Two for One achievement after a year and a half of trying - Lone Wolves on Construct with a spartan laser as two people came out of the yellow grav lift! Last achievement I needed from the base game.

On Standoff, getting into the driver's seat of enemy Warthogs, driving my passengers off the edge of the cliff and jumping out at the last second! :D
My fondest memory of Halo 3 is probably finding the Jason Jones Easter egg on Halo. Took my brother and I almost 2 hours of badly jumping on eachothers head’s to get across, but the result was pretty amusing.
I've actually always found Halo 3 to be my least favorite game in all of the series, still enjoy it but nowhere near as much as the other games. That being said, Halo 3 rekindled my love for the franchise. Life got in the way after CE / CE for PC and I skipped over 2, picked up Halo 3 a few months after launch when I finally bought my first Xbox 360. Spent most of the time trolling 4v4's on Lockout split screening with friends - on a 14inch TV haha.

Thinking back, I sucked so bad at the campaign. Had to co-op finish it legendary and basically got carried all the way, t this day I don't think I've ever finished it solo. Still have nightmares about getting lost on Cortana, thanks Vic :|
Halo 3. The reason that drove me to buy an Xbox 360, I remember finishing the campaign from start to finish almost every single day of my life. My best friend would come over and we would grind the campaign from start to finish finding all the easter eggs and skulls then go into forge to 1v1 or we would start 1v1s on valhala and just keep playing eachother. This game has inspired me in so many ways and motivated me to be who I am today. - Never Make A girl a promise if you know you cant keep it. Words that will forever be held dear to my heart.

Forgot my favorite part: Starting Sierra 117 and finishing it by only killing people with the skull till I Found the second one then swapped skulls. This was basically every campaign mission that followed.
ske7ch wrote:
I'd love to include some community reflections and fond memories! I can't include everyone but I'd love to hear your story - sound off below and let me know what Halo 3 meant to you. I'm looking for your favorite memory, a great story, a funny anecdote, etc.. - anything to help us tell the story of how Halo 3 has impacted so many of us.
Getting out of Valhalla with the Banshee in the Halo 3 beta, and seeing the sky slowly change from sky blue to starry black.
how I love this game, it was the first halo I played, I am totally sure that I am not the only one that this would be a good best seler
Halo 3 is my favorite Halo game by far, and my all-time favorite game over any other. Having played nearly 12,000 multiplayer games, naturally there are countless memories and experiences which have helped shape my entire being. I played Halo 3 since the day it came out, offline. It was one of my first games of the 'online era', and so when I realized months later how much more of the game there was with Xbox Live, I instantly fell in love.

It would be a fool's errand to try and fetch from way back my absolute favorite memories on Halo 3 because there were just too many good ones, in every facet of the game. With that said, the moment I was destined to forever care deeply about this franchise was my first match. It was a special... almost type of magic. I had spawned on the Overshield side of Guardian. I remember an intense, emotional response to seeing the monstrous, probably ancient trees surrounding me, and then noticing the Quadwing creatures naturally flying about.

After what was probably minutes of essentially AFK, and my team probably hated me, I regained composure and started up the sniper ramp to then gaze upon an unexpectedly beautiful map, with mysterious holograms and architecture -- and other Spartans fighting each other! It was a new, living, breathing world, and was seemingly better and more interesting than the real world around me. Certainly more fulfilling at the time! While I played my fair share of the Halo: CE and Halo 2 campaigns, I was very young and un-involved. This moment is where my lifelong emotional attachment to Halo solidified.

From there, I'm sure there are millions of stories and memories with nearly infinite deviations and intricacies similar to the ones I've been graced with. I love Halo, I love what Bungie created, and I love that 343 has taken on the daunting task of following up such a spectacular game like Halo 3. Ever since playing Halo 3, and hearing Marty's beautiful music, my dream job has never deviated from being a sound designer for Halo. One day!

Thank you, Ske7ch, everyone else at Bungie (circa 2001-2010), and 343 Industries.
The life Is vas, but iwe stronges
It was weird, I never really heard of Halo before I jumped into the internet.
I stumbled upon this particular video about 8 years back,
and my 10 year old self thought it was the funniest thing in the world.

So after that I'd watch Halo videos on Mahcinima, and Red Vs Blue (of course), and at that point I knew I needed to get this game.
Now as a 10 year old, I didn't have the money to get an xbox just quite yet, but my birthday and Christmas was around the corner so I decided to use the money from that.

My first actual experience of Halo 3 was at a neighbor's house, playing one life in a custom game on Valhalla. The amount of time I played was disappointing but I knew I wanted more.

We had a Family Video near us that we would rent video games for the Ps2, and I noticed they had a 360 for rent as well. For my birthday that year, my mom let me get a rental of the 360, because she still wasn't completely onboard with the purchase.

I remember putting in the disc, launching the game, and filled with wonder. I didn't know what this flying camera through a blue burnt landscape was showing me, but that, along with the music, was all I wanted to take in for the next 5 minutes.

My first game was a custom slayer game on Narrows. I won't forget it. My and my brother played for hours trying each map out. Finally we played the campaign, and although I don't think I knew what was going on at all, I loved every second of it. The enemies, the scarab fights, the nightmarish flood, Johnson(of course!). It was a dream come true.
Sadly I had to return the system after a bit, and actually never finished the campaign at that point, but I got there when I finally got my own Xbox.

When I first got my 360, it was the basic arcade version. I didn't have internet or live or anything. It took me till the end of elementary school (2010, I know right?) to get Live, and boy it was an experience.

I fondly remember playing a match of Snowbound with other people across the world, and I was so happy. The only issue was though, you should never give a mic to a 10 year old. It never works out. I kept my mic on the entire match, while talking to my mother, brother, and all my childlike banter of playing for the first time.
Unexpectedly to my 10 year old self, when the match ended I got some rather profound and rude messages from my teammates, telling me to shut my mouth, but with a bit more foul language that a 10 year old wouldn't usually hear.
It was pretty funny.

For the entire summer, that year was divided between playing Halo 3 online and going to Tae Kwon Do. Within that time I met a long list of people who invited me to play customs with them. Fat Kid, Halo, ghostbusters, all those gametypes have given some of the fondest of gaming memories I'll ever have.
Sad to say that most of the people I met back in the day are no longer on my friends list, or haven't been online in years. Maybe they don't remember me since I changed my gamertag from the I C O N I C name I gave myself of, "HALOMANIACALEX" haha it was horrible.

Halo 3 means a lot to me, not only as a Halo fan, but as a gamer. So glad that the series I've grown up with is still going strong, and that I can finally go back to playing one of my favorite games on my Xbox One.

my first ever Xbox live experience was on a match of Griffball in Halo 3, on foundry. it was all tied up, my team had explained the gamemode to me but I was still new to Halo Multiplayer. but for the game winning play, for some odd reason the enemy split up to either side of the map and engaged my team. leaving the center wide open, so while the enemy team was distracted by my team. i ran straight down the middle, grabbed the ball and scored the game winning point.
that game was also where i made my first Xbox live friend. so many more awesome Memories from Halo! Halo 3 was my first experience into the amazing Halo and Xbox live community. I spent hundreds of hours with my friends i met over Xbox live on Halo 3 forge and custom games. Doing the Vidmaster Challenges are some of the best memories I have with Halo 3. and I have some great stories about those as well. My time with Halo 3 was some of the best times of my young life, and im so happy to be a part of the Halo community.
Back when i was around 11 and my mother and father was separated my father was very busy and I didn't get to see him all that often so it meant a lot playing online with him.

it was also fun building nonsense on forge with my cousin, we had no goal at all and no games or anything came from it, just stupid bases and towns but it was so much fun,I remember learning to phase objects in the ground and I thought I was a genius. The best was a small town I built on Foundry with teleporters in front of doors so it was like a real door, the town had a bathroom with tripmined and other weird nonsense but my friends would overload the bathroom with tripmines and pretend we were "destroying" the bathroom if you will.

Kind of dumb but I was 12 and it was a very fond memory of mine.

I remember opening forge for thr first time with my cousin it absolutely BLEW our minds when we could put whatever the hell we wanted on the maps.

I forge a lot now, but with actual goals and gametypes in mind so thats cool.
This memory will always stick with me.

It was Bungie Day '09. The beautiful Maption Sack playlist which included like 40 Forge maps. I grinded that playlist out. Bungie offered Recon armor to anyone who got a statistic that was divisible by 7. If you had 16,807 deaths, then you got Recon. Stuff like that.

Well, a week goes by after that day, and my sister and I are playing splitscreen. She points how the reason she wears EOD chest on her Spartan is because it looks like your Spartans has breasts. So, of course I wondered what my Spartan would look like with breasts. So when I go to customize my Spartan's chest, I'm flipping through the armor...

And there it is... In all of its glory. It says: RECON. I couldn't believe it. I didn't get any messages. I have no idea what I did to get the armor, which statistic I ended up being divisible by 7. But I got the armor. I was beyond happy. And it was so surreal.

I went to bed, and the next day after school I jumped on Halo 3 to see if I still had the armor. And sure enough I did. And that's when it really hit me that I did in fact haz Recon.

The next two months until ODST came out with the Vidmasters, I was "famous". Messages every game. People offering 1600 Microsoft Points for my account. Asking how I got the armor. Or just saying cool armor. Or inviting me to play games with them.

Definitely one of my favorite Halo memories.
For me Halo 3 was the foundation of the competitibe player i would become. I grew up watching the MLG tournaments, always wanting to be like the pros. My favorite moment for me in Halo 3 started on the first "Bungie Day" exclusive playlist. I was 16 or 17 at the time and i had just gotten home from my drivers ed class. I hopped into the playlist to see the fuss. About three or four games in, i was matched against four bungie employees. I remember to this day screaming at my tv (i broke my mic prior to that day) for every kill my team and i were getting against the employees. We won 50-33 with me racking up 17 kills. Fast forward a few weeks later when Recon armor was released to those who had either won their matches against employees or had the best stats on that specific playlist, i found an enormous community of friends. The armor made me and many others popular because of its exclusivity, but more importantly it exposed me to players who had incredible knowledge of the game. They got me much, much better. I remember coming home some days from school and playing the game mode "leech BRs" against kids who had LAN experience, it was a training ritual i loved. I uploaded the video of playing on bungie day and it had also reached 80,000 views. It was a surreal and amazing experience to learn and be supported by thousands who didnt even know me just for winning a random game. Fast forward to the future, i'm currently a very avid and competitive top 500 overwatch player on PC. I always credit my tedious mechanic warm ups and mindset based on the lessons i received 8 years ago from halo 3. Though i literally no longer keep in touch with anyone from that era, there comes times when i'll be doing something in another game and i'll think to myself "what would havoc do?" "Would keegs do this?" "Cody would be impressed if he were around." Halo 3 truly changed my life and my gaming experiences and it was an incredible journey to be a part of. (Wish i went MLG pro btw).
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