The one-stop shop for all of your Halo needs


    My Adventures with Halo 2 SLASO (sorta)

    Share
    avatar
    Devil Mingy

    Posts : 410
    Join date : 2010-08-16
    Age : 28
    Location : East Coast USA

    My Adventures with Halo 2 SLASO (sorta)

    Post  Devil Mingy on Sun Feb 06, 2011 7:28 pm

    The other night, I had an interesting idea; an idea that would test my patience, skill, and my body's capacity for acute sleep deprivation. Starting at 8 PM EST on Friday, February 4, I went through Halo 2's single player on Legendary, collecting each skull as it was presented to me. In order to achieve the full effect, I had to play through the game in one sitting, which didn't bother me one bit. Of course, this means that I only played the final boss in true SLASO, but I don't have save files for every skull (nor would I even want to experience that on a level like Sacred Icon). However, as anyone can guess, Halo 2 is rather difficult on Legendary. The addition of skulls only serve to make a frustrating experience worse. Therefore, I allowed myself a few cheats to assist me in the game.

    First of all, I modified the game so that my allies would not die. It was an invaluable cheat for a while that helped me as I regained my element through Cairo Station. Plus, if it's any consolation, it became all but useless after I picked up the Assassin skull in Regret. Secondly, any advantage that I could use would to used. Glitching for infinite Energy Sword? Done. Glitching through the worst of Quarantine Zone? Done. Glitching for infinite camo (which still didn't make this game easy) in Chief levels? Done. Third, for the level Outskirts, I also turned on invincibility for myself. I did this not because of the Sniper Alley (which I all but skipped anyway), but to save myself from frustration while I triggered the IWHBYD skull, as well as to survive the encounter that it triggered). On the third time through Outskirts, I managed to make it spawn.

    I began my journey by recapping the cutscenes. While the textures are dated and the Covenant dialogue is as stilted as it ever was, I am still in awe at Halo 2's presentation. After a nice cutscene and a terribly long time waiting in Armory for the skull to trigger, I was ready to begin the game proper.

    The Armory's unnamed skull (whose data calls it everything from Whuppapotamus to Cowbell to "That's just... wrong") heightens the player's sound effects significantly, nullifying any hope of stealth attacks in the entire game. It's a bad skull to have placed on you for the duration of the game. Thankfully, invincible Marines are all over in Cairo Station, so this level wasn't too bad if I fell back on Reach tactics of letting invincible allies do all the work. Halfway through Cairo Station, I picked up the Thunderstorm skull. Now, just about every Elite and Grunt I have to fight is an ultra and almost all Brutes are Captains. On the good side, sword ammo is no longer in short supply. However, the n00b combo is now even more essential than it already was. I also learned that, unlike I originally thought, Master Gunns is not scripted to die. If you make him invincible, he will survive and eventually kill the Elites fighting him. Afterwards, he will stand straight still. Curiously, he does have a unique comment if you swap his shotgun for a worse weapon.

    Outskirts was supposed to be a breather level, since I turned on invincibility for myself so I could get the IWHBYD skull with ease. Unfortunately, my ability to trigger the checkpoints in this level failed me. I had to repeat the level three times before the IWHBYD skull triggered for me. To add insult to injury, I also picked up the Blind skull. The good news is that Halo 2's blind skull doesn't hate me nearly as much as Halo Reach's skull. However, it still leaves me at an even larger disadvantage.

    Going into Metropolis, I was astounded at how much four skulls changed the game. The Blind and Unnamed skull were bad enough. However, Thunderstorm also made the tank completely ineffective. Since vehicle health is tied to the driver in Halo 2, I found Ghosts and Banshees taking up to 4 hits from the tank before dying. The number of rounds needed to finally destroy the Wraith tanks escapes me, but it was much more. How many hits from the Wraith tank could I take? Two. I love fair games. Thankfully, my invincible allies made the rest of the level more merciful. The Catch skull is pretty risky, but it's not nearly as dangerous as some of the later skulls. I even brought some invincible Shotgun marines with me to the Scarab to help kick ass.

    The Arbiter and Oracle didn't possess me any real challenge. I couldn't gauge how long my camo lasted, but it didn't matter. Thanks to Unnamed, they knew I was there almost immediately, which triggers my allies to start shooting up the place. Invincible Elites and Grunts made short work out of the Heretic Elite Majors and their Grunt helpers. The Banshee section, however, was an absolute nightmare. Banshees under the Thunderstorm skull, even Heretics, take a ridiculous amount of punishment. I did pick up the Grunt Bday skull, a full FRG, and an empty Energy Sword before departing the level. The Oracle, by comparison, wasn't a walk in the woods. The elevator was much smoother with invincible grenade-happy allies and an infinite Energy Sword. The Heretic Leader also did have any significant change to his lifebar. The skull, Famine, didn't hurt me one bit for this level, though its effects were seen through the rest of the campaign when ammo became scarce.

    Back in the Chief's shoes, Delta Halo gave me the tank again (so I could spend 5 minutes continually blasting a Wraith before it dies), some invincible ODSTs (and Sergeant Stacker later), and the Envy Skull. The Envy skull is unique for being the only skull in Halo 2 that actually helps the player. With some appropriate glitching, the remaining three Chief levels are not too bad (though they still take a lot of time).

    Regret is when we get another bad skull. The Assassin skull not only makes the enemies invisible (as if Legendary Jackal Snipers wasn't bad enough), but it also means that any future invincible allies are now completely useless except for distractions. I definitely wasn't happy about this. Hell, had the Envy glitch not been used, I don't think I could have ever beaten this level. Hell, even with permanent camo, they still noticed me from time to time, leaving me dead in the blink of the eye from a quick-draw Jackal Sniper. It's freaking insane. I had heard rumors that Halo 2 PC had an exclusive skull hidden above the giant Regret hologram. While I found a nice cache of grenades up there, I did not find a skull, nor did I find any evidence of this new skull in the map's code.

    Back in with the Arbiter, Sacred Icon with invisible Sentinels is just annoying. Appropriate usage of the active Camo managed to get me to the Flood area, where Assassin's true terror kicked in. Because all enemies were invisible, three way battles didn't happen unless they saw each other. Therefore, instead of hiding while the Sentinels and Flood killed each other, I was forced to fight as both of them concentrated on me and my poor, useless allies. Thankfully, getting the Flood to appear takes only a few shots, but Famine had cursed me before I even got out of the first encounter. I couldn't run through that open shutter fast enough. Stopping halfway through the level, I picked up the Mythic skull. As if I didn't have enough trouble with enemy vehicles...

    Quarantine Zone, which in theory should've been a nightmare, is actually not too bad. To this, I owe the Sputnik skull. While Thunderstorm and Mythic have made Flood controlled vehicles all but impervious to my stolen Scorpion, the tank's concussive shots are plenty enough to fling any vehicle into one of the level's many pits. The source of the level's challenge came from the Enforcers, who could easily destroy my vehicle before I destroyed them (7 direct shots, 11 if you hit the shield). The final gauntlet on the gondola was easy enough to hide in. I just stayed at the top while I watched my invincible allies wonder who was shooting and punching them. A quick dash through the Library and I was out of that level and back to something I could glitch some help through.

    Gravemind, even if infinite camo, is a nightmare. Mythic Thunderstorm Brutes are a pain in the ass whose only weakess is that sputnik allows me to turn them around with a melee so I can do a quick assassination. Without three way battles and Unnamed keeping the focus on me and my allies, I took any advantage I could get. After all of this, the effects of the level's Angry skull seemed inconsequential. I also modded something else for this level: I fixed the glitched Elite at the end of the level. It is now a Zealot as it should have been.

    Uprising is a level with a bad beginning that gets better. The beginning is nightmarish, but extra allies make it a much more endurable level. Sputnik also allowed me skip larger engagements. I also discovered an interesting event in this level that I wasn't aware of. If you kill all but one Brute in the first indoor area after you get your Grunt allies (where Drones make their first appearance of the level), the final Brute will, instead of berkserking, run ahead and alert the Brutes in the next room, leading to a different (ergo, you can't stealth it) encounter. The Ghost skull, which removes the effects of the melee attack that the Sputnik skull graciously gave me, will only serve to make the final Arbiter level much more difficult. Thankfully, I was able to sequence break the final area and didn't have to fight anything.

    High Charity is the final Chief level. It's dark, gloomy, and Brutes (for some reason) will attack the Flood even if they can't see them. It's an odd occurrence, but I didn't complain. Other than the Iron Skull, which didn't affect me in the least, there's not much to say about this level.

    The final level, The Great Journey, was a breather compared to the worst of Uprising. Since the AI can see an enemy vehicle even when they can't see the enemy, Half-jaw made short work of the invading Brutes (which manages to take 3 mortar shots to die) while his companion and I used the Spectre to flee from as much plasma fire as we possibly could. The Hunters, while useless against the invisible Brutes, provided enough of a distraction to allow me skip through most of the bad parts of this level. The Banshee run was achieved through the same technique that helped me through on vanilla Legendary: bomb the Wraiths from afar and hiding in the Scarab. Once the run was over, I carefully dropped from the Scarab down to where the Heretic Banshee usually is. I learned something curious: the Heretic Banshee isn't just spawned in. It is brought in by an Elite who is dealt enough damage to die and leave the Banshee there. Since the Elite was invincible, the Heretic Banshee was flying around the Scarab, harassing the Wraith Tanks. Thankfully, another Elite gave me a Banshee so I could grab the Black Eye Skull and face Tartarus in SLASO action. Tartarus, which Mythic's glory, was a bitch. My Banshee disappeared so I had to do it on my own. A well placed Plasma grenade and help from Sputnik allowed me to take care of Tartarus' guards before they got a shot off. My invincible allies were quick to home in Tartarus' extremely visible shielding while Johnson sporadically fired to bring it down. Within minutes, my invincible allies were down below the level, still alive (which means more wouldn't respawn) and I was out of Carbine and Brute Shot Ammo. With only a few plasma grenades, I decided I needed some help. I got Miranda down there to distract Tartarus, thankfully getting her to land right near Johnson. Tartarus, so focused on killing Keyes, ignored me while I waited for Johnson to drop his shields so I could melee him to death. Finally, after 20 minutes, Tartarus fell and I was took a sigh of relief, glancing at the clock to reveal that it was 5:30 in the morning.

    As usual, there was no extra scene or reward. However, I do have some bragging rights, cheating or no.


    Last edited by Devil Mingy on Sun Feb 06, 2011 11:27 pm; edited 1 time in total


    _________________
    Fatum Iustum Stultorum
    Only Blood...
    avatar
    Matrix

    Posts : 145
    Join date : 2010-08-17
    Age : 23
    Location : New York

    Re: My Adventures with Halo 2 SLASO (sorta)

    Post  Matrix on Sun Feb 06, 2011 11:03 pm

    Cheating or not that is still amazing. Contests Mingy.
    avatar
    DarkReign2021
    Admin

    Posts : 398
    Join date : 2010-08-11
    Age : 27
    Location : Indiana

    Re: My Adventures with Halo 2 SLASO (sorta)

    Post  DarkReign2021 on Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:32 am

    *Whistles* That's a doozy there. One thing to do that when the game was still fresh, but it's another to do it after so much time spent with Reach and H3. Did you include the Blind Skull in your list? Back in the day before Halo 3 was released I played Halo 2 SLASO start to finish (utlizing all of the same glitches of course), but that one skull was left off of my list for reasons I don't feel like repeating. Nontheless, congrats on your run. Sucks there was no extra scene, but alas that doesn't come as a surprise. If there was an extra scene I'm sure it would've been found in the code. Especially once H2 Vista was released.


    _________________

    [QUOTE=Scooter; Borderlands]Smokin' Jesus Titty Cinnamon! That thing's a MONSTER![/QUOTE]
    avatar
    Devil Mingy

    Posts : 410
    Join date : 2010-08-16
    Age : 28
    Location : East Coast USA

    Re: My Adventures with Halo 2 SLASO (sorta)

    Post  Devil Mingy on Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:46 am

    Yep, blind skull, too. It's not as bad as it is in Halo Reach. At least it will tell me whether I can pick up a weapon or not.


    _________________
    Fatum Iustum Stultorum
    Only Blood...

    Sponsored content

    Re: My Adventures with Halo 2 SLASO (sorta)

    Post  Sponsored content


      Current date/time is Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:36 am