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Let's Play Halo SPV3: SPV3.1 Comparison Episode 2
Posted By: Lion O CyborgDate: 7/5/21 2:31 p.m.

Continued from Part 1

Stage 6: 343 Guilty Spark Ė Mystic Ruin: White Jungle

The lens flares that simulate lightning flashes arenít in this build, but itís still as atmospheric as SPV3.2. The swamp is unchanged apart from the missing lightning, but unless this was in the later build too and I forgot about it, I swear thereís more vines and creepers connecting all the trees together in SPV3.

See, another instance of the Halo 2 mistake: the brutes call themselves brutes instead of their species name. SPV3.2 corrected this mistake, too bad it made a whole bunch of more serious mistakes on this level: the covenant and Forerunner terminals are all wrong except this one.

Mystic Ruin: Lost World

Inside the containment labís entrance, I can show what the first Forerunner terminal is supposed to say.

WHY DID THE DEVS OF SPV3.2 FUCK THIS UP? I hope the terminals are restored to the ones in this build for SPV3.3. The wrong messages displayed in the SPV3.2 ones here was fucking awful and ruined an otherwise great level.

Inside the main labs, it goes more or less the same, except now I notice the alarms on the doors reflecting off the space crate in the terrified marine room. They are there in the later build but I forgot about them. As before, he commits suicide when you leave.

Unlike SPV3.2, SPV3.1 gets Mendozaís first name correct.

The rest of this sequence plays out the same, including them using Paint it Black like Bungie intended for Jenkinsís video. Now, I thought Iíd never heard it before playing this game but I was mistaken: I had played Guitar Hero 3 years before I even heard of SPV3 and Paint it Black is one of the songs in that game. I knew it sounded familiar but I had completely forgotten I had actually heard it before.

As stated in the Tour of Duty at this same point, because SPV3 is a mod that you can download for free and the creators have no intention of selling, they can use Paint it Black if they damn well please as it falls under Fair Use laws. Itís not just SPV3 either: Brutal Doom Extermination Day does the same thing with Half Life, Quake, Quake 2 & Doom 4 music and possibly others. Quake 1.5? Ripped monsters straight from Quake 2 and late game sounds from Half Life. Tomb Raider: 10th Anniversary Edition (Core Designís cancelled game)? An alpha build was leaked onto the internet last New Yearís Eve so the fans could make it playable and finish TRAE themselves as a fan game like Iíve wanted for so long. Letís not forget the ton of Mario asset mods for A Hat in Time, from music to playable Mario and even ported Sunshine, Galaxy & Odyssey levels. You can bet your ass that none of them asked permission: thereís no need to unless youíre selling something. That is a fact which greedy, out of touch, stop-having-fun-guys, corporate wankers and their legal teams fucking seriously need to learn.

The people who leaked TRAE did ask permission but when months went by without receiving an answer, they did it anyway because they rightly decided enough was enough. Thankfully Crystal and Square Enix werenít stupid: instead of hitting them with a DMCA strike, they endorsed the leak and thanked the people who did it, recognising it for the dedication it was.

Mystic Ruin: Death Chamber

The first difference here is that like vanilla but unlike SPV3.2, the upper doors in the first glass tank room are broken so Iím forced to descend to the lower level to get back to the entrance. The correct message is shown in the next Covenant terminal down the second anti-grav lift.

In the second room with burning walkway debris, the flugs are contained in the glass tank but they wonít stay that way: flood growth pods on the ceiling break the glass and let them out.

At the exit, I show the correct message off in the last Forerunner terminal.

The remainder of the level seems to use the vanilla fog and lighting though it seems oddly darker.

Stage 7: The Library Ė Security Hall

The camera judders during the opening cutscene. You may notice microstutter plaguing this mod in general, but it may or may not be worse in this build, especially with those too many objects glitches. Jackal carrier forms still have their demonic yowling and creepy strangling sounds, making them even scarier. Guess I was wrong when I warned about how hard SPV3 gets: Assault on the Control is fun on Legendary but merely a bigger slog than the Pillar of Autumn. This level is the one where it gets unforgiving on Legendary. In vanilla, The Library is fun on Heroic and only a nightmare on Legendary if you donít know the necessary Flood fighting tips to make it easier. SPV3ís Library on Legendary is just a nightmare, full stop.

The main differences I notice are that thereís either no Flood spores in the air or the effects are a lot weaker, the lighting seems to be stuck on full bright (likely in answer to the vanilla level being notoriously dark) and the constant Flood attacks are even worse than normal, though that last one may be related to the difficulty setting as well as the modís default difficulty overall. The only wrong terminal (SPV3.2) on this level shows the correct message in this build, like all the others.

Other than that, I notice that the plasma banks have a weird sheen on them that I donít recall being there before.

Security Hall: Mad Space or lack thereof

Youíre going to be switching your shotgun for a brute plasma rifle, both sentinel beams, and whatever else feels appropriate at the time when you inevitably run out of ammo. Get the flamethrower in the first hive like I did: you need it. Legendary here is that tough. Whenever you find a charging column and have a brute plasma rifle or brute plasma pistol, exploit it. When the flamethrower runs out of fuel, replace it with either a shotgun or an assault rifle, keeping a plasma weapon you can recharge if you can. This is especially important for honour guards, both living and infected.

Never underestimate the power of the brute plasma pistol: the fire from its charged shots not only makes torching groups of Flood easy, but when used on grunt carriers, it turns any flugs inside them into popcorn immediately, allowing you to save precious shotgun shells & plasma grenades. If you canít recharge or replace it, switch it out for a shredder. These are not only better at tracking enemies, but they are more accurate, the needles travel faster and require less to supercombine explode.

Having to fight the Covenant as well as the Flood in this level may make sense from a story perspective but from a gameplay one it was a dumb idea. The Flood are hard enough as it is especially with their SPV3 upgrades, the extra flugs in grunt carrier forms and the fact they love to swarm you more than usual in this mod, often getting in cheap shots with a shotgun blast or having their grenades explode in your face for no reason when you kill them, not knowing if you were using something to set them off or not. That or itís because they destroy sentinels which fall on your head, which did happen a couple of times.

I also notice that the terminals here in SPV3.2 -while mostly being correct- do suffer from grammar errors and missing information.

Other than those besides this floor being aggravating on Legendary, it goes more or less the same as before.

Security Hall: Iron Gate

For the most part, nothingís changed, though this is where the too many objects glitch happens a lot more often, really getting on my nerves: brute plasma rifle shots fizzling out, live grenades simply vanishing on explosion and gibbing Flood disappearing with a small visual squelch like a cardboard balloon being popped. Swarms of flugs seeming not to die to anything either, unless you use cluster grenades. Even without this bug, cluster grenades are made for dealing with infection forms if/when you canít spare the ammo. I try to brave the duel door trap like I did in the Tour on Heroic but it doesnít go well, even with the reflex enhancer and extra medipacks so I run out of patience and resort to my usual Legendary tactic of hiding in the corner without alerting them, then taking the reflex enhancer afterward so I can just run away more easily once the doors open.

The last floor hardly has any changes except for one: The inside of the tractor beam/Index shield on the main anti-grav elevator is animated on the outside, but not on the inside, not that you can tell from a still image:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MDwKzH4ez8&t=1286s

Stage 8: Two BetrayalsĖ Crazy Gadget: Sky Chase

Right away, I notice that the control roomís red hell lighting and rust effects on Guilty Spark are not present in this build. However, they are there in all other indoor areas.

Outside, the marineís cache up the ramps is still missing but there is another one under some debris on the first tier below the top.

Down the foothills on the bridge where the banshees are, I show off the old banshee models from a different angle and recharge my carbine: the charger column actually works in this build, whereas itís bugged out and does nothing in SPV3.2.

Yep, thatís the AA Wraiths I know and love. Get a good look and get practice in with those things in this mod because this near exact model gives you hell in both Halo 3 & Halo 3 ODST.

Now this is Halo air combat at its fucking peak! UNSC Gunship, Leondias from Halo 2ís Regret level and AA wraiths prolonging the fight & awesome music. It was a tad less enjoyable when I did the Tour of Duty because that build had the shit shade cannon AA wraiths, so it was easier to dodge their flak shots and make the music play less since I got through it faster. Say what you will about the new areas (Wren certainly did), you canít deny this part is pure awesome, even the hive below despite its difficulty on Legendary.

Crazy Gadget: Pumpkin Mine

Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here. When I first played this build of the game long before I did the Tour of Duty, my craft was too damaged so I had to hoof it on foot all the way down those spiral ramps. I canít remember if when fighting the AA Wraiths I had to go back for the banshee or not. Since it was also Legendary, it was hell. Winning this level made me feel like a survivor and simply reaching the main areas again felt like the second coming of Christ, as I also said in the Tour.

Never did I make it this far in the Sparrowhawk or banshee whenever I played before. Iím very proud of myself, especially as Iím playing on Legendary so either I got really lucky or Iím very good at SPV3 on Legendary now, despite the Library still being too hard.

Hereís the proof about the charging columns. Back then, I was able to score a brute plasma rifle and carbine in this section on Legendary to deal with the creeps both in the tunnel and outside it in the ringworldís bellybutton, then keep running back here to recharge. WHY DID THEY BREAK ALL THE CHARGING COLUMNS IN THIS LEVEL IN THE LATER BUILD?! I hope theyíre also fixed in SPV3.3, otherwise Iíll really be pissed off. Yes, I will be playing that build on Legendary too.

Thereís no rocket Flood in the growth pods covering the light bridge junction but one of the brutes near the sparrowhawk has one, so watch out. The rest of this area plays the same apart, except now I can run back to recharge my plasma weapons. I swap the carbine for the bruteís RPG though.

Crazy Gadget: Cosmic Wall

No changes to the first of the vanilla areas after taking the long anti-grav elevator back up. Once I take the anti-grav elevator to the canyon floor down, I find a voidís tear carried by a combat form in lower patrol roomís hive: the pod with the combat form in it hatches when you approach the medipack on the floor next to it. And yes, as I find out, the larger pods exploding do hurt you. This is not the case when they appear in Halo 3. As the electric gong and onscreen text said in Assault on the Control Room, the grizzly is right where I left it in the small grotto with the iced over pond. Itís overturned like the warthog thatís normally here is but it makes dealing with the enforcers, banshees, hunters, brutes, snipers and AA wraith around the mesa easier.

Itís a space disco!

Itís a little trickier with the canon AA Wraiths but manageable. The terminals in this fjord donít seem particularly different aside from the human one having an extra sentence. The voidís tear comes in handy for the pulse generator room. Watch out as thereís another AA Wraith on the mesaís landing pad once you leave as well as an enforcer and sentinels so it will pay to use your banshee to destroy the other two before hijacking the AA wraith and using it on the sentinels. Then get the sparrowhawk for the tunnel. The tunnel itself is virtually unchanged between versions.

Crazy Gadget: Final Rush

Not much is different here either. Boarding one of the wraiths below the first bridge is harder but manageable after several frustrating tries. Thereís more enforcers waiting outside the third pulse generator than the 2 I saw in the Tour, but thatís likely due to the difficulty.

Stage 9: Keyes Ė Final Egg: Smeg Carrier Redux

The opening part now has the added horror of the jackal carrier forms gurgling and screaming behind the steamy grate into the bridge. Donít bother going for the active camo before diving into the coolant pool because itís missing. I canít remember if it was missing in SPV3.2 as well, but it certainly is here.

I knew Keyesís terminals on this level were creepy but somehow SPV3.2 left out some of the text in the first one. Depending on who you ask, it might be for the best: I forgot this thanks to the missing text but the original first Keyes terminal is even creepier.

Some people (or was it just one guy?) I saw on the comments sections for SPV3 videos who played this build failed to read between the lines about how the Flood and their Graveminds operate, so when they read this terminal, they assumed Keyes was having incestuous vore fetish fantasies, blaming Masterz (the head SPV3 developer) and accusing him of forcing vore fanfiction into Halo. They made a habit of bringing that nonsense up too often too. That said, I can see why they might come to that conclusion. I mean, just look at this. However, anyone whoís played any Halo game that isnít Reach or the non-remake 343 games and whose brain works properly can tell the Flood donít reproduce or eat that way. If anything, the Flood reproduce asexually going by the carrier forms, growth pods and Flood spores. Thatís like calling The Thing or bodily dismemberment fetish material: nobody thinks like that, unless theyíre either very stupid or really want to get arrested & sent to a maximum security insane asylum for being potential serial killers.

Tangential rant aside, it certainly makes the Flood even scarier than they appear in the vanilla game, much like the CEA terminal on this level. I heard a rumour that this one at least was removed in SPV3.3 but I hope it wasnít. EDIT: No, it wasnít and itís identical text wise to its SPV3.2 version.

The view of the coolant down the hole still sucks, but at least itís been moved over a bit so itís easier to see the pools.

Final Egg: Hot Shelter

More like Cold Shelter going by the coolant and the ice. The coolant has the same lame sheen on it as the water in Alpha Baseís mill pond, making it look radioactive. Compare the SPV3.2 coolant:

The other problem is that the ice canyons are too bright, suffering from a similar issue to the Library.

Navigating the canyons, I see that the ice walls are quite clearly the original desert mountain ones recolored white. This has the odd effect of some parts now looking like they been sprayed with spunk.

At the gravity elevator, I see now how they must have achieved the effect of the glow replacing the original hole in SPV3.2: they didnít. Itís still there, but they simply made the light object larger so it obscures the original entrance.

Final Egg: Haijo suru!Haijo suru!(Exterminate! Exterminate!)

The opening parts of the second time inside the Flood infested Truth & Reconciliation arenít any different, though itís worth pointing out that the charging column in the muster bayís upper level is glitched. If itís meant to be deliberately broken, then they should have a different model to reflect that. Iím just going to assume itís the same bug as SPV3.2ís Two Betrayals.

In the shuttle bay, Keyesí next terminal has an extra sentence where he wonders if the Autumn is still spaceworthy. Also, if Iím not mistaken, I think I can actually see the mountains outside the shuttle bay doors. Maybe when I played SPV3.2 I just didnít see them the first time round, as I thought there was a pitch black skybox again.

Final Egg: Perfected Chaos

Thereís no changes for the most part except for a big shootout on the bridge before confronting the proto-gravemind. Like SPV3.2, it resembles the one from Halo Anniversary using the classic model, except itís mostly red and seems to be bleeding hunter blood instead of the Floodís tell-tale pus.

The run to the banshee goes the same too. I also see for certain that the mountains are there. Maybe the lighting was screwed up in SPV3.2ís shuttle bay exterior.

As you know, the final version difference to note for this level is that the 2 Special Stages, None Left Behind and The Commander didnít exist yet. So instead, like vanilla we go straight to The Maw.

Stage 10: The Maw Ė The Scream of Perfect Chaos

Unlike SPV3.2, we still use a banshee since None Left Behind didnít exist yet. I think using the banshee is better: the pelican that replaces it in SPV3.2ís version of this cutscene looks corny as hell when it crashes. You can just hear the cartoonish bonk sound. The banshee still explodes when it hits the ship, unlike the pelican.

The first terminal goes into more detail about the fire that barbecued the Pillar of Autumnís insides on re-entry.

The way to the bridge is unchanged. As before, thereís no grunts with handheld fuel rod cannons. I also learn that the shade hunters can still be fought with their own weapons but unlike SPV3.2 they can take many more hits from them.

Itís still weird seeing Cortanaís model without translucency effects. After the sentinels are destroyed I notice that the picture of the evilly grinning serpentís face in the cliffs is just as easy to see as vanilla. In SPV3.2, itís harder to make out but itís still there. Itís gone in Anniversary however.

The Scream of Perfect Chaos: OK, Who Else Wants Some?

Thereís some different wording in the second human terminal though Cortanaís terminal is the same, only this time itís the Legendary message. You already saw all the messages in the tour itself but Iíll record it here anyway as proof I found it.

The dark Flood hive in the new areas on Legendary when I originally played this build is where I originally got my thoughts on it, which you may remember from the Tour. Thereís not much else to say about it since itís the same as before, albeit harder because Iím on Legendary. I do say that I donít remember the alive enemies in the crushed hallways after the elevator though. The terminals here have extra wording but not much else to speak of. I notice a nice lighting effect from my flashlight on the way into the engine room.

The Scream of Perfect Chaos: Graduation

Like in the Tour, the flamethrower and rocket launcher are the way to go for the engine room. Not much is different here either. In fact, destroying the fusion reactors is a piece of cake, followed by killing Zamamee in the service elevator.

Once I get in the warthog and drive on my way, I get to show you the difference with Legendary only giving you 5 minutes to escape.

Once I beat the game, I can show you the disappointment I saw when I first played of the Johnson ending on Legendary being removed in SPV3:

Seriously, WHY DID THEY REMOVE THE LEGENDARY ENDING?! I hope SPV3.3 puts it back in, but I somehow doubt it. To finish off, I note that the Halo ring in this build (and possibly the others?) uses the exact same textures as Halo Anniversary except on the classic model.

After the ending cutscene, just like SPV3.2 it kicks you out back to the main menu with nary a credits screen in sight. And on that terrible disappointment, itís time to end. Tune in next time in the future, whenever that may be for the comparison writeup of SPV3.3. Until then this is Lion O Cyborg signing off.

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