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Welcome to Lunabean.com's "Halo 2" Walkthrough and Strategy Guide. The guide was written based on "Normal Difficulty" level. Each objective and chapter title is highlighted so that you can easily find where you are stuck. Due to the amazing amount of weapons and vehicles in the game, a lot of choices regarding how to arm yourself are up to you. Some, for example, may prefer the Beam Rifle while others may prefer dual-wielded Plasma Rifles. In the walkthrough, there are recommendations for how to arm yourself, but ultimately, it is your choice. For more information regarding weapons, see the "Weapons" category in this Intro. Otherwise, everything else is straightforward. Enjoy.
The controls in "Halo 2" are very basic and highly customizable. If you want to see what each button does, hit the "Start Button" to enter your menu and then choose, "Controller Settings." Here you can see what each button does and you can change your controller settings if you wish. Throughout the walkthrough, if there is a reference to a button it will be in quotes and is based on the default button configuration. Bungie.net has put up a Halo 2 Manual in PDF if you need futher assistance.
"Halo 2" automatically gives you checkpoints as you progress through the game. If you die, you are never very far back. However, before you turn off your Xbox, be sure to save your game! To do so, go to the pause menu and choose, "Save and Exit." Be sure to do this or you'll be sorry. Also, if you feel that you are in a particularly bad battle or situation you can go to the pause menu and choose, "Restart from Last Checkpoint," or "Restart Level." I don't recommend restarting the level except for extreme circumstances, but restarting from the last checkpoint is no big deal, so use it to your advantage.
As stated above, this guide is based on the "Normal Difficulty" setting. On the more difficult settings, enemies are smarter, quicker, more reactive to your moves, and harder to kill. If you complete the game on Legendary Difficulty, pay close attention to the credits for the message, "Coming February 9th." What this means is anybody's guess. Hopefully, something awesome will be released like extra maps or levels.
Meters, HUD (Heads Up Display), Radar
As you will discover, there is no real "health" in "Halo 2". What you have is your Armor, which is indicated by the horizontal bar above your radar in the lower left of your HUD. As you take damage, your Armor will start to weaken. When it's gone, you'll hear an audio warning and the meter will flash. This means you need to take cover ASAP. Your shield will regenerate in a matter of seconds, but until it does, you are very vulnerable.
You will also notice the Radar in the lower left of your screen. The radar shows you the position of enemies (Red) and friendlies (Yellow). However, the Radar only picks up objects in motion, therefore an enemy could be hiding somewhere and the radar will not pick it up.
Also on your HUD, you'll see your weapon indicators. You will always have one in the upper right of the screen and if you are dual-wielding a weapon, you'll also have one in the upper left of the screen. The upper right shows you what weapon you currently have equipped, how much ammo is left, and, next to the ammo meter, a silhouette of your other weapon.
Another feature of your HUD is the ability to give you warning indicators. There are six different indicators, all small circles that appear near the bottom of your screen. The blue arrow circle is warning you to reload. The yellow bullet is telling you that your ammo is low. The yellow battery is telling you that your armor is low. The red bullet is telling you that you are out of ammo and the red battery telling you that you have no armor left and it needs to recharge. The red grenade shows you that you are out of grenades.
There are a ton of weapons, both human and alien, in "Halo 2". One unique feature of "Halo" games is that you can only carry two weapons at a time (except with dual-wield). This adds depth to the game in the sense that you constantly have to think about what weapons you have, if you need to switch out weapons, and how much ammo you have left in any particular weapon.
As a general rule, you're going to want to have a very powerful weapon like an Energy Sword, Rocket Launcher, or Fuel Rod Cannon, as one weapon and then a decent rifle such as the Beam Rifle, Carbine, or Plasma Rifle as your other weapon. This way, you can use the rifles to pick off enemies at a distance and, if needed, can pull out the heavy artillery to do some serious damage.
New to "Halo 2" is the ability to "Dual-Wield" certain weapons. You can only dual-wield weapons that are hand weapons, so, for example, you can have two Plasma Rifles, a Plasma Rifle and an SMG, or two Pistols. When you are dual-wielding you will not be able to throw grenades. To fire the left weapon you pull the left trigger, to fire the right weapon you pull the right trigger. Again, as a general rule, you'll want to be dual-wielding as much as possible. It simply makes sense to pump enemies full of twice the amount of fire power. If you feel that you need to chuck grenades, you can simply drop one weapon, do your grenade tossing, then come back to your weapon and dual wield it again. Same goes when you need to switch to your alternate weapon. Simply go back and grab the other weapon to dual-wield again when you are done using your alternate weapon. Please remember, this is a general rule and it's really up to you to decide how you want to wage battle.
Weapons are categorized as Human and Covenant. Human weapons fire conventional ammo (bullet, rockets) while the Covenant weapons tend to fire plasma bolts or beams of some kind. When fighting the Covenant, especially those with energy shields guarding them, it is best to use plasma weapons. Conventional weapons tend to bounce off the energy shields while the plasma will break them down. Just be smart about it. Does it make sense to use a Shotgun from a distance? No. Should you use a Rocket Launcher at close range? No, it'll blow you up too.
Most weapons are self-explanatory. You'll find what works for you. Remember, if you can shoot somebody in the head, do so. Also, many weapons have a zoom feature activated by clicking down on the Right Control Stick. Utilize this to your advantage. The Rocket Launcher is the one weapon that has a Lock-On feature. It is a little confusing. You can't lock-on unless you get the message below your reticle saying, "To Lock-On, Hold the R-Trigger". If you get that message, hold down the R-Trigger while the reticle is red and you'll get a beep and arrows confirming your are locked-on. Release the R-Trigger to fire. The Energy Sword is a weapon you should become adept at using. It provides many one-hit kills and on more difficult enemies it will kill them in three to four slashes. To use it, you need to get right up in the face of an enemy. The only other thing you need to know is that Plasma Grenades stick to enemies. When throwing one, try to get it to land on an enemy. In most cases, it will destroy the enemy. You can also utilize this technique while playing as the Arbiter. He has camouflage which makes him invisible. This way you can sneak up on enemies and plant a Plasma Grenade right on them, then run away. Quite fun. There are many weapons that overheat. Use them wisely (burst fire) to avoid the cooling-off period required if they get too hot.
There are many vehicles in "Halo 2". As a general rule if you can hop into a vehicle, do so. It provides you with unlimited ammo and heavy fire power. Many levels are designed with this in mind. Usually you'll have several options. Be aware that there may be other vehicles of the same type in one area so that if yours becomes damaged you can run and hop into another one; like Ghosts, for example. Also, as much fun as it is to drive the Warthog and the Spectre, it is best to hop into these vehicles as the rear Turret Gunner. This way, somebody else does the driving (and knows where he is going) and you control a potent weapon to do a lot of damage quickly. Speaking of doing a lot of damage quickly, if you find a Scorpion Tank, get in. It is by far the best vehicle in the game. Your left trigger fires a machine gun while your right trigger fires the cannon. Enemies don't stand a chance when you're in this vehicle. The Ghost and Banshee are pretty self-explanatory. Keep in mind the Banshee can do aerial tricks. To do so, hold down "A" while moving the control stick in any direction to do rolls and flips. The Wraith Tanks are also fun, but I found the Scorpion to be more effective so I rarely used any Wraiths.
No matter who you're playing as, Master Chief or the Arbiter, your enemies will be Covenant (aliens) or Flood (mutants). Most every enemy is vulnerable to head shots, so aim well and keep your distance. When it comes to the slashing mutant enemies your best bet is a Shotgun or a Sentinel Beam. They are very vulnerable to those two weapons. Otherwise, most enemies die in the same way...shoot them a ton, try to aim for the head while doing so, and don't relent until you see them go down. Obviously, larger enemies require better weapons or grenades. Try to save your grenades for those situations.
In this mode, you and a friend can play through the game together.
"Halo 2" offers the gamer several multiplayer options. First, there is Split Screen where you and up to three others can play against each other on the same TV using the same Xbox. You can also use the System Link to connect up to 16 Xboxes for a great multiplayer battle. There is also, of course, Xbox Live. See the category below for that information.
A great resource for info on medals, matchmaking, etc. can be found on Bungie.net's FAQs Page.
At the time of this writing, there are 7 options for online play. Each is listed below with a brief description. If you're new to "Halo 2" online or online games in general, don't be shy about asking other players what the heck is going on. We were all new to this at one time or another. Generally, fellow players are very helpful.
In all of the various modes you'll want to quickly learn how to distinguish between a friend and an enemy. Above each players head you'll find either a red or blue arrow. If you're on the red team, the blue arrows are you enemies and vice versa. Most of the modes take a bit of teamwork, so stick close to your friends, especially if new to the game, and provide cover fire and back up. Once you learn the maps and the objectives, well then, go nuts.
If you simply want to jump right in to a random game with random people, choose Quickmatch. If you want a specific type of game, choose Optimatch, then choose the type of game you want to play.
Here are the seven game types:
Rumble Pit: Put your skill and wit to the test against up to 7 opponents. This is a free-for-all...no teams.
Team Skirmish: This is a two team game of up to 8 players. Mostly capture the flag.
Head to Head: You vs. one other person in a straight up kill or be killed game.
Big Team Battle: This is a two team game of up to 16 players.
Minor Clanmatch: Grab your clan of 3 to 4 players and challenge another clan.
Major Clanmatch: Grab your clan of 6 to 8 players and face another clan.
Training Ground: A good place to start. It's the same as the Team Skirmish but unranked.
Story - From bungie.net
The epic saga continues with "Halo 2," the much anticipated sequel to the highly successful and critically acclaimed game "Halo: Combat Evolved." In this sequel, the battle comes to Earth, and Master Chief, a genetically enhanced super soldier, is the only thing standing between the relentless alien Covenant and the destruction of all humankind.
Pushing the Xbox hardware to its very limits, "Halo 2" will expand on everything that made the original game great, plus add a wealth of technological and gameplay advances. Significantly improved graphics, enhanced AI, destructible and interactive environments, and an advanced real-time lighting engine are just a small part of Halo 2?s evolution of design and technology. Every improvement in Halo 2 is designed to take gameplay to a new level, and in the end, to tell a better story.
The closely guarded plotline of "Halo 2" will feature new vehicles, new weapons and new environments as well as new enemies, allies and surprises around every corner. Players will wield dual weapons, board opponents' vehicles, and in multiplayer mode you can even switch sides and take the role of a Covenant Elite.
Working in concert with Xbox Live to redefine broadband gameplay, Halo 2 delivers superior online multiplayer action. Whether joining your clan on a new multiplayer map, customizing the look of your armor, or checking player stats in-game and on Bungie.net, Halo 2 will bring Halo's unique social experience to a higher level with Xbox Live.
Released in November 2001, "Halo: Combat Evolved" became recognized as one of the greatest achievements in video game entertainment. To date, "Halo" has sold more than 4 million copies worldwide and continues to be a top-selling title.
The ilovebees.com Phenomena
In a brilliant "viral" marketing ploy, the folks behind "Halo 2" have stirred a lot of web savvy users into a tizzy over the "mystery" of the ilovebees.com website. You can read up on some background here and here. The pay phones are still ringing and there are new updates on http://ilovebees.blogspot.com/.
Allison and I found it quite fun to track down the original GPS location here in our Portland, OR location. It's amazing how many people know about this stuff.