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Halo 2/Unused Text

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This is a sub-page of Halo 2.

This article is a work in progress.
...Well, all the articles here are, in a way. But this one moreso, and the article may contain incomplete information and editor's notes.

These are all grabbed from a fresh install of Halo 2 Vista, so some might differ from the base Xbox release.

Unused Strings


in ui\screens\game_shell\settings_screen\extras\extras_enabled_dialog, there is a list of seven "Arcanus", the initial unlockables that would eventually become the Skulls of the final game:

Arcanus Name Description
ASSASSINS Watch your back, the Covenant are having a sale on Active Camo.
JUGGERNAUT Brace yourself for baddies with overshields and boomsticks.
NOSFERATU Sure you're tough, but now you must suck to survive.
SAY WHAT? Be poised if other emotional scenes tend to errupt.
HUDLESS Go commando! Clear your screen of pesky status indicators.
DISEMBODIED SOUL Experience the miserable existence of the Disembodied Soul.
MAKEOVER Who says the Masterchief always has to wear green?

Assassins seems to have made it unchanged into final, Nosferatu became Black Eye, Say What? became IWHBYD, and Hudless became Blind. Direct correlations to the others are uncertain.

"Disembodied Soul" is a reference to a long-running recurring character/emotional support bot on Bungie's website. Exactly how this would be expressed in-game is unknown.

Early Skull List

ui\screens\game_shell\settings_screen\extras\extras_settings contains an infamous list, an early version of the 15 skull list, without any descriptions:

  • Envy
  • Grunt Birthday Party
  • Assassins
  • Thunderstorm
  • Famine
  • I Would Have Been Your Daddy
  • Blind
  • Ghost
  • Black Eye
  • Catch
  • Sputnik
  • Ice Cream
  • Mythic
  • Angry
  • Whuppopotamus

This is not the list of skull names used when unlocking them, as Iron still has its early Ice Cream name, and Cow Bell likewise has its early name of Whuppopotamus - the final list of 16 is in the global strings.

other stuff

The emblem primary and secondary pattern pickers both have an unused string resource "blah".

The "ui\global_strings\errors_beta" string resource populates a handful of prompts and is unused in the final release, as the name suggests. The strings are:

String ID text value
feature_disabled_title FEATURE DISABLED
feature_disabled Sorry, this feature is unavailable for the Halo 2 Beta.
network_connection_required_title NETWORK CONNECTION REQUIRED
ok Ok
network_connection_required You need an active network connection in order to play the multiplayer beta.
xblive_service_qos_report_title QOS REPORT
xblive_service_qos_report Probes: <_qprs/>/<_qprr/> Ping Min/Med: <_qpimi/>/<_qpime/>

Bandwidth Down: <_qbwd/> kbps Bandwidth Up: <_qbwu/> kbps (NAT: <_qnat/>) Max Host: <_qebw/> kbps / <_qmaxm/> machines

On Halo 2 Vista, "ui\global_strings\errors_other" still has a string informing players that Halo 2 will quit to load Xbox game demos.

ui\global_strings\errors_settings contains strings about the cut Films functionality:

String ID text value
error_confirm_delete_saved_film Are you sure you want to delete this film?
error_saved_film_name_must_be_unique Sorry, you've entered a film name that's already taken. Try going back and entering a different name.
error_no_free_slots_saved_film We've run out of space! Delete unneeded players, variants, or films within the game.
error_need_more_space_for_saved_film We've run out of space! Delete unneeded players, variants, or films within the game.
error_cant_delete_default_saved_film We're experiencing some problems deleting your film. Sorry about that. Delete it from the computer.
error_saved_film_name_must_have_alphanumeric_characters Sorry, you have to use at least one letter or number to save your film. Please go back and try again.
yes_delete_film Delete Film

"ui\global_strings\gametypes" has string resources naming the cut Warfare, Headhunter, and Race gametypes.

"ui\global_strings\global_strings" contains the above gametype names, the race GUI messages leftover from Halo: CE, as well as the clan member tiers which go unused in Vista.

"ui\hud\hud_messages" contains the hud strings for the cut Disintegrator weapon, the Sentinel Grenade Launcher, a prompt to use the Covenant gun tower, a prompt to use the Pelican turret, a prompt to ride in a Shadow, a prompt to ride the Scorpion treads leftover from Halo: CE, as well as a few unused tutorial messages: "Training Complete\nJoin Sgt. Johnson on the elevator", "<_button_verb1/> <_button_touch_device/> to activate motion tracker station", "<_button_verb1/> <_button_touch_device/> to activate targeting station". <_button_verb1/> <_button_touch_device/> resolves to "Hold X" on default controls. There's also a string with ID "playtest_raisehand" and value "Please stop playing and raise your hand".

"ui\hud\hud_messages" also contains the mission objective texts for the levels Outskirts, Metropolis, Uprising, and The Great Journey, as well as twelve strings for "unlocked extra"s, the skulls - the final two go unused: "Cow Bell" and "That's Just... Wrong" (the skull in The Armory). At the end are hud strings for the Silenced SMG, the Sentinel Needler, as well as another weapon using the Sentinel Grenade Launcher icons, instead called the GPMG.

There are also audio dialogues for hardware 3D audio, EAX, and sound quality that as far as I know go unused.

"ui\screens\game_shell\settings_screen\player_profile\button_settings" has an unused entry for "Jumpy" control scheme ("For those who like to bounce around like bunnies, we made it easier by mapping jump to the left trigger."), as well as input labels for Lean Left and Lean Right, a scrapped mechanic.

"ui\screens\game_shell\settings_screen\video_settings\aspect_ratio" are strings for an unused aspect ratio selection menu, and ui\screens\game_shell\settings_screen\video_settings\resize_hud has strings for an unused HUD Scale menu.