This page details one or more prototype versions of Halo 3.
The Multiplayer Beta of Halo 3 was released on May 16, 2007...and is pretty much the only reason people purchased Crackdown.
- 1 Hidden Map Names
- 2 Access Restrictions
- 3 Hidden Lobbies/Game Modes
- 4 Hidden Armor
- 5 Debugging
- 6 Unfinished Mauler
Hidden Map Names
At this point in Halo 3's development, the engine still mostly used Halo 2's method of listing maps through the globals\globals.matg tag. In addition to the 3 playable maps everyone saw, the globals tag includes the names of other levels which were not included in this build.
Every level has a parallel with the final release, so nothing particularly interesting here. Slots 3/4 are identical.
|Level Index||Level Title||Level Description||Final Level Name|
|0||Jungle||Halo 3 - 010 Jungle||Sierra 117|
|2||Outskirts||Halo 3 - 030 Outskirts||Tsavo Highway|
|3||Voi||Halo 3 - 040 Voi||The Storm|
|4||Voi||Halo 3 - 040 Voi||Floodgate|
|7||High Charity||Halo 3 - 110 High Charity||Cortana|
A tad more interesting. Some levels have a full description which could mean a variety of things, and there is even an unused map! A bold title denotes a level that was included in the beta.
|Level Index||Level Title||Level Description||Final Level Name|
|0||Chill||Halo 3 Chill||Narrows|
|1||Construct||Halo 3 Construct||Construct|
|2||Cyberdyne||Halo 3 Cyberdyne||The Pit|
|3||High Ground||A relic of older conflicts, this base was reactivated after the New Mombasa Slipspace Event.||High Ground|
|4||Guardian||Halo 3 Guardian||Guardian|
|5||Isolation||Halo 3 Isolation||Isolation|
|6||Valhalla||The crew of V-398 barely survived their unplanned landing in this curious gorge.||Valhalla|
|7||Epitaph||Some believe the Forerunners preferred desolate places. Others suggest that few other sites survived the Flood.||Epitaph|
|8||Shrine||Halo 3 Shrine||Sandtrap|
|9||Snowbound||Hostile conditions did not prevent the Covenant from seeking salvage on this buried Forerunner construct.||Snowbound|
|10||Warthog Inc.||Halo 3 Warthog Inc.|
|11||Last Resort||Remote industrial sites like this one are routinely requisitioned and razed as part of Spartan training exercises.||Last Resort|
The beta can operate in three different "states" of usage which can be manipulated by changing the value of long 0x828C49A8 while the game is running, or replacing each reference to that offset to always load the chosen value into the given register.
- Value 00. This is what you will see if you were to boot up an unmodified beta today. All function is disabled including the start menu, and the only menu choices are PLAY THE BETA which brings up an error message and QUIT TO DASHBOARD.
- Value 01. This was likely used internally for testing purposes. Everything is exposed in this state, including the Campaign, Custom Games, and Blam! (Forge) Lobbies, along with a slightly broken armor menu under Appearance in the start menu.
- Value 02. This state was seen by everyone while the beta ran its course. Menu choices are PLAY THE BETA which brings up the Matchmaking Lobby, VIEW A FILM which brings up the Theater Lobby, and QUIT TO DASHBOARD.
Hidden Lobbies/Game Modes
In the unlocked state, one can see all the lobbies the beta has to offer. They all normally require an Xbox Live connection to function, but setting the li instruction at 0x820E29C0 (non-update) or 0x820E29B8 (update 2) to load 0001 instead of 0000 this requirement can be bypassed.
Quite useless since there are no available maps, but at least it looks cool.
Custom Game Lobby
For some, this lobby may be familiar, as there was a glitch discovered which allowed access into it. Once unlocked this lobby is fully functional, with the ability to change gametypes and tweak settings. Saving is supported.
Every mode is featured in the beta, with a few predefined flavors and/or settings only seen in the beta. These can be seen in the multiplayer\game_engine_settings.wezr tag.
- Setting; All 3 powerups can be customized from the UI. Final release only allows Yellow to be modified from the UI.
- Setting; "Observers" - "If enabled, players my choose the Observer Team and simply watch the game."; This setting doesn't quite work, at least locally. Requires a minimum of 2 non-Observer teams to even get in-game. This setting exists in every later Halo game, but there is no UI setting and the engine always forces it off.
- Variant; "Escort Elimination" - "Only one team has a VIP, and they need to get him to the extraction point. Opposition needs to stop him to end the round."
- Setting; "Leading Team Traits" - "Traits applied to an entire team that is in first place, or tied for first."
- Variant; "Underdogs" - "Leaders are weaker, but more agile."; Likely removed when the Leading Team Traits setting was cut.
- Variant; "Tankball" - "Team Game where the ball carrier is a tank. Get points for killing ball carrier as well as holding."
Capture The Flag
- Variant; "Ninja Flag" - "Flag carriers are lightning fast but weak, game is to 25. Touch return, flag at home to score."
- Variant; "Tag" - "Only the Juggernaut can score points. When you're killed by the Juggernaut, you become him."
King of the Hill
- Variant; "King" - "Standard King of the Hill."
- Variant; "Team Crazy King" - "Team King of the Hill where the hill moves."
- While no predefined variants exist, the beta is still capable of playing Infection.
The beta hides an early version of Forge! The name "blam" is a placeholder, and is seen in other areas like the armor menu. As seen by the image, there is also no icon for Forge, instead having the text MAP EDITOR [FPO IMAGE].
All 3 included maps are supported, with each map having a different palette. A big difference in the beta Forge is that every and any object can be manipulated, and is not limited to palette objects like the release Forge.
While there are 7 palette categories, the engine is only set up to use of 4 of them. The summary menu is drawn overtop the palette menu, making it hard to read.
The monitor has a strong light pointing forward over the reticule, and there are no controls for moving vertically. Spawning objects results in the new object falling to the ground rather than being automatically grabbed. Maps can be saved.
- High Ground has the most populated palette with all the weapons, vehicles, and equipment available on the map included plus a fusion coil. The map budget is 0, and every object has a cost and limit of 0.
- Snowbound doesn't have much in its palette, only a Battle Rifle ($43.00), Sniper Rifle ($67.80), and vehicles Ghost ($25), Wraith ($127.60) and Banshee ($50). The map budget is $500, and each object has a set cost and limit.
- Valhalla has an empty palette and 0 budget, pretty boring.
Unknown to the public, the beta did support armor variants. Every string in the menu is blam, and the preview window never updates, making it hard to navigate.
There are 5 sets of armor available, with 2 extra variants of the standard Mark VI helmet. During the original run, all players were stuck with Mark VI.
There are a handful of debug functions within the beta that still work. All can by activated in memory by setting the appropriate value.
Network Debug Text
Activated by setting bytes 0x8291CC36 (first line) and 0x8291CC37 (rest) to 01.
The first line shows various bandwidth information when in a networked game. The second line shows info about you, mainly the date and profile name/gamertag. The third and fourth lines display information about your party.
Activated by setting byte 0x8293DCDF to 01. Prints text to different areas of the screen and spams the killfeed with medals and text.
Display Bounding Boxes
Activated by setting byte 0x8291CB49 to 01. This draws every object's bounding box in yellow.
Activated by setting byte 0x8291CB12 to 01. Bungie took great pride in the water systems of Halo 3. This will redraw water as wireframe for better visualization.
An unfinished Mauler can be found on Snowbound. It is untextured with a simple firing effect and lacks a reloading animation. Can be dual wielded like in the final game.
The Halo series
|Xbox||Halo: Combat Evolved (Prototype) • Halo 2 (Prototype)|
|Xbox 360||Halo 3 (Prototype) • Halo 4|
Halo: Reach • Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
|Xbox One||Halo: The Master Chief Collection|
|Windows||Halo: Combat Evolved • Halo: The Master Chief Collection|