Let's Play Halo SPV3: SPV3.1 Comparison Episode 1
Posted By: Lion O CyborgDate: 7/5/21 2:26 p.m.

Bonus Episode: SPV3.1

Heís gonna take you back to the past, to play the older build thatís a blast

Welcome back after a year since the end of the Halo SPV3 Tour of Duty. Before I move on to doing Doom write-ups if I find the time (I became a Koronesuki & Onigiriya recently so the girls and my Japanese studies take priority), I intend to play through all of SPV3.1 again and then cover SPV3.3 that came out earlier this year (I think), showcasing the differences between versions. The latter of those two has rendered SPV3.2 which I did the Tour on obsolete so it replaces that version. I still keep SPV3.1 around to play as well because not only does it have terminals actually working properly in all levels (except the ones that glitch away into the ether if you use any in that section of the map, that bullshit bug is still there), it does a couple of things I like better compared to the later builds, even though things from later I liked are missing from it.

Your mileage may vary on a few of them but thatís what this is for. Iíll be comparing what I see in-game to my Tour of Duty screenshots if I detect something different.

SPV3.1 is the version of SPV3 I first played and that same playthrough was on Legendary. While I did initially vow not to touch it on Legendary again like with Halo 2 (except I did beat this mod), around June last year a combination of SPV3.2 on Heroic feeling too easy for some reason, getting Rebalanced for both my PC versions of Halo 2 (Original and Anniversary) so I could finally beat that on Legendary, plus deep dreams that mixed Thundercats 2011 and Halo 2 (that involved racing a warthog down a highway, ramping off over a broken grating where the road used to be, falling several stories and crashing through the roof of a cylindrical skyscraper) gave me enough confidence to play this version on Legendary again, just like old times. Starting off thereís one major difference right away though you need to be in-game to see it:

Skulls were removed from SPV3.2 but that is one of several changes for the better: ALL of SPV3ís skulls suck. In most Halo games starting with Halo 2 (where skulls were introduced), only most skulls were shit while others either benefited you or at least had a quirk that made the game behave in a funny way. Others still were better suited for co-op than single player campaign. You can see the descriptions for the SPV3 ones in the screenshot.

Four Eyes makes the game play like COD or most modern military shooters with regenerating health (as Halo is unfairly compared to) though I donít know if the blurriness goes away when they recharge. It reminds me of the main gamesí Black Eye skull, where melee attacking enemies recharges your shields.

Captain Took My Keyes (now known as simply Keyes in this build onward) prevents you from driving vehicles. As this would render the game unwinnable, areas where you need to drive vehicles instead have teleporters to skip ahead, such as The Mawís final run, which also turns off the time limit.

The antithesis of the Famine skull, (weapons dropped by AI have half their usual ammo while starting & cache weapons are fine) Drought makes the game play like Marathon in that all AI donít drop weapons, forcing you to use ammo caches. Imagine Marathon Evil if every monster with droppable weapons were coded in the physics model to only use hard death animations, preventing you from taking their guns. Thatís what this skull sounds like.

Spite really ups the COD comparisons and makes them worse: firing your gun resets your shield recharge timer as it says above. Itís just plain dumb.

Angry is named after a Halo 2 skull but the effect is completely different: In Halo 2, the Angry skull makes enemies fire faster, like Marathonís version of the AI berserk effect. In SPV3, everyone is against you. Human, Covenant, whatever. Theyíre all equally pissed at you. Basically it turns them into Shadow the Hedgehogís ďenemy/allyĒ AI from the second level of that game onward. The comparison considering the name isÖtroubling. Especially since Shadow is a good game; the best 3D Sonic game next to both Dreamcast Sonic Adventure games & Sonic P-06 in fact and anyone who says otherwise deserves to have a live Flood Infection form rammed up their ďSacred RingĒ.

Without further ado, we begin the new segaÖerm, saga.

Stage 1: The Pillar of Autumn Ė Arrival

Thereís are a lot less lens flares and bloom effects so lights and particle effects like the engines there look more like the originals. Itís quite subtle, looking at the Tour Episode 1 screenshots so I wonít show the Episode 1 version.

Hereís a closeup of Johnsonís face I didnít show in the actual Tour. Iíll leave it up to you whether he looks better or worse than Halo 1 Xbox & CEA. I donít mind his model myself though it does look like heís made of chocolate.

The game opens up pretty much the same as SPV3.2, up until you get to the billboard by the bridge:

It seems to mostly be developer notes while the game was being made. Iím glad they changed it for SPV3.2; this one is boring and hard to read. Later they copied and pasted the exact same board but now itís in red instead of green and easier to read. I guess it was just a placeholder.

That note in the corner refers to something from SPV2 or SPV1. The Impaler was basically the Needle Rifle from Halo Reach but thatís all I know about it. In SPV3.2 the board looks like this:

You remember the Marvel Universe joke in the headlines area? I made a Destiny joke in the Tour at this point by comparing Destiny to Guardians of the Galaxy.

Over by the main view screen, Cortana looks slightly different compared to SPV3.2: sheís not translucent and her animations are more or less identical to Halo 1. This means in her Halo 4 model here, her smile in this cutscene looks both funny, weird and a little off at the same time.

Captain Keyes looks a little less polished compared to the later version, which is probably why the developers complained as such in the bulletin board. The lighting seems a little different too.

SPV3.2 version.

In the mess hall near the red bulletin board, I like how the menus in this version are closer to the original but I like the new ones too. The old build is the upper image:

Terminals are less organised and have the odd spelling or grammar error here and there, plus a different font. Itís a small price to pay. If I showed comparisons like the one below of every single terminal difference, weíd be here all day so Iíll have to pick and choose the ones I deem most fit. Not that we wonít be here all day anyway what with 10 levels to go: the Special Stages didnít exist yet except for The Silent Cartographer Evolved. Iíll save that level for SPV3.3 Iíve decided.

ĎMdama and Sigma Octanus IV are not mentioned here in SPV3.2: This is because the latter is brought up in a later terminal, but the elite is omitted. This one also gets the planetís name wrong: ďCote díAzurĒ is the city. Said removed Elite appears to be related to Jul ĎMdama, antagonist on the Sangheli side of the Kilo Five trilogy books who later appears in Halo 4ís Spartan Ops and Halo 5, being the leader of the Covies we fight in Halo 4.

Unlike the later version, SPV3.1 makes the same mistake Halo 2 & Halo 3 do and has the Covenant refer to their own speciesí with the humansí names for them as opposed to the actual species name. ďBrutesĒ are actually Jiralhanae. Granted, brutes in SPV3.2 still refer to Unggoy as grunts at one point, paraphrasing a line from Halo 2.

A bit further on, we get a slight difference in how Keyesí terminal mourning Dr Halsey is worded. Iím not showing the SPV3.2 one.

In the second cargo hold, we get a reference to us using needlers against the covenant that was changed to simply say that John has no qualms about using any weapon he finds.

By the time I reach the downstairs vehicle tunnels, I get to finally demonstrate more clearly the blood explosions I was trying to show before with the black hole grenades. Theyíre best seen when the shipís gravity goes low for the best effects.

That second one is a bug: I donít know if later versions have this but sometimes weapons fire fails to appear if thereís a lot of objects but the effects may or may not still happen. A black hole grenade was subject to this glitch and its vortex effects were permanently stuck on in this area, creating what Iíll call ďThe Warthog Orgy glitchĒ. One of them even buggers the poor elite dogpiled at the bottom:

Still screenshots canít do it justice, but I have potentially no way to record video. I say ďpotentiallyĒ because I have OBS now and I donít know if it can be used to record and edit regular video besides streaming. (Gotta learn the latter sometime when my Japanese gets a lot better if I want any hope of joining my personal heroes of 2021) EDIT: Found out recently that yes. OBS can record video as well as stream. Just gotta read the manual PDF.

By the lifepod I take off the ship, the last terminal in this level has an extra line where when Captain Keyes mentions contacting his daughter Miranda on her frigate In Amber Clad, warning her to stay away from Reach. She must have heeded his plea because she and the frigate in question appear in Halo 2.

Stage 2: Halo Ė Mystic Ruin: Windy Plateau

I thought Johnson met you at the beacon complex like in vanilla and only appeared at the start in SPV3.2. Turns out I misremembered that. The difference is that he doesnít start in a KO position for you to revive, but it plays more or less the same. The textures in the older build are slightly different to SPV3.2, being more in-line with the vanilla game or possibly a representation of Halo Anniversary geometry as flat textures. Maybe both.

Iím using a video walkthrough for the first beacon complex as when I did a preliminary run of this game on Legendary last year to gather initial screenshots, I used that LP to not only survive the new Legendary waves but save the marines. I was so proud of myself that once I knew what to do, I was actually able to do it.

The trick is to get a focus rifle off one of the elites on the hills near the crash site and either take a carbine or keep your assault rifle. Refresh the former two from elite, brute and jackal corpses at the beacon complex. The first order of business when the phantoms swoop in is to snipe the jackal snipers on the side hatches so they donít bother you when dealing with the main waves. Unlike vanilla, thereís a sniper rifle up top to make dealing with the final two ones easier but itís still no picnic so you will die plenty of times. I fucking hate this part even in vanilla. Predictably enough, the banshees that gave me trouble on my first playthrough of SPV3 (using this version) show up just before the third phantom arrives.

This is why you want the focus rifle and assault rifle: they are your best weapons for dealing with banshees short of a rocket launcher in Halo 1. Unlike Halo 2 onward, you canít skyjack them despite SPV3 allowing hijacking other vehicles. I think an extra wave of brutes shows up out of nowhere during the final two waves or perhaps the first lot simply circle around the complex while youíre distracted.

In this playthrough, Cortana responds to Foehammer as normal unlike in the SPV3.2 writeups though a different marine to Johnson tells the others to get to the pelican. Johnsonís first terminal has a different line where he says the Covenant didnít allow them the time to admire the beauty of this place. In SPV3.2, it was changed to instead say they didnít give them time to ďthrow the lucky charms out of our MREs.Ē I also manage to hear Polaski more clearly, with her reference to a ďshrine towerĒ actually referring to a transceiver.

The covenant by the dry wash gully have killed the blind wolves there again and Guilty Spark doesnít refer to those who damaged the covenant ships in battle being uncouth. After the light bridge, I can show the terminal that didnít work properly before as it shows the correct message:

In SPV3.2, it repeats the previous forerunner terminalís message. No idea why the devs fucked it up.

Mystic Ruin: Dry Lagoon

I have to say, I like the SPV3.1 graphics better than SPV3.2 for the most part and the lagoon where you rescue captured marines is a good example why. Itís just missing the helmet HUD and certain graphics effects. The terminals here have slightly different wording to SPV3.2 but the messages are the same. As before, some of the marines have trouble getting on Polaskiís pelican when she arrives.

Having trouble are we, marines? Iím pretty sure theyíre all named Bob.

The battle to take Alpha Base goes more or less the same, though Polaski thinks itís safe to approach before I finish dealing with all the wraiths. Johnsonís terminal in the bailey building actually namechecks the Circumference, which as you might remember from the Primer to the main Tour was the ship from near the end of Halo: The Fall of Reach. You can see it yourself in one of Halo Reachís multiplayer maps, hull breaches and all, complete with low gravity.

Inside the motte, since the terminal by the light bridge in the tunnel is working properly in this build, the message here is instead one we saw later in the SPV3.2 level, albeit with less tidy wording.

Up on the motteís landing pad is the main major difference that leads me to keep this version of the game to play too: the drivable AA Wraiths function exactly as they do in Halo 3!

In SPV3.2 and SPV3.3 they suck ass, having replaced their quad fuel rod cannons with shade turrets. When 343 Industries retroactively made AA Wraiths drivable in Halo 3 via Forge mode (this was not in the original 360 Halo 3 Forge), they functioned almost exactly like this, with the differences being the Halo 2 Wraith based plasma turrets are gone and you can use the boost.

Hereís a reminder of the shit versions:

OK, criticism of the older versionís graphics where itís due, the water in the grottoís pond is garbage.

The water textures here look like someone used a picture of the sky with a fog filter photoshopped in and called it a day. In SPV3.2 the water in this pond is some of the best in the game, strongly resembling the water in Sonic Adventure for Dreamcast:

Mystic Ruin: Wild Canyons

Not much to say about the opening areas as other than mostly subtly different graphics itís all the same.

The bit about Halo being a blessed garden was cut from SPV3.2 as well, so the new version of this terminal reads a bit more awkwardly at that part. In this build, it makes the comparisons one could draw to the garden of Eden clearer. The final Forerunner terminal by the cliff edge now shows the correct message since there isnít an earlier one hogging its spot.

I noticed earlier on in this level that I was slightly mistaken about the warthogís healing functions: you get to heal twice per warthog regardless of whether itís damaged or not, matching the medipacks you can see between the seats. This also heals anyone riding with you, which is especially helpful on this difficulty.

By the head of the river, I do another perfect 360 spin in my warthog like before though I also couldnít screenshot it. However, I canít tank wraith mortars and land perfectly on my wheels like I could in the Tour of Dutyís build; now they just blow up my ride like I expected. Maybe it was a difference between the two builds, could be because I was on Heroic at the time but on Legendary now, I donít know. Some more bowling fun at the rockslide before I continue on to the next level.

Stage 3: The Truth and Reconciliation Ė Icecap

I do the same as I did when I covered this stage before, keeping the same loadout. Just like SPV3.2, the skybox is horrible: itís exactly the same.

Iíve heard that the lighting in SPV3.3 has been greatly improved, which may make the skybox here more visible. Iíll see when I cover that build later. For my Legendary sniping tactic by the big basin of blind wolves, I use a focus rifle alongside my sniper rifle, saving my carbine battery. After a couple of tries, I manage to kill everything around the gravity lift. I notice that the top of the gravity elevator is the same as vanilla but with the purple glow from Halo CEA around it, as opposed to simply recreating the latter.

As he says in this terminal in SPV3.2, I guess 4 jaws will get you names like that.

Smeg Carrier: Weapons Bed

I couldnít think of a decent Halo themed Egg Carrier pun so Iíve gone with a Red Dwarf reference instead (because the Truth & Reconciliation is filled with smegheads).

It takes a few tries to survive the ambush in the loading bay/foyer, but I get to show off a weapon I donít think I ever got to show you in SPV3.2: The Voidís Tear. Itís carried by I think Spec Ops elites, Zealots and Ultras who draw it when angered. I got this one from a sword elite, but I couldnít tell what rank it was.

Itís a deep purple plasma pistol, the charged shots of which open black holes from the gravity grenades. Was this gun cut in the later build? I remember it well from my 2 original playthroughs (Legendary and Heroic respectively) of SPV3.1 back then: it came in especially handy on the later levels. Bear in mind the voidís tear cannot be recharged at charging columns so when itís out you have to replace it.

The brutes in the muster bayís tank hallway take a black hole grenade and some brute shot grenades to finish off and I keep the marines alive.

I see why they changed ďoracleĒ to ďthinking machineĒ in the new build: Oracle is an AI title reserved only for Forerunner ancillas, such as Mendicant bias on High Charityís Forerunner dreadnaught, and 343 Guilty Spark. Something Iíve noticed all through this level and the last is that the sniper rifle acts like the vanilla one in that it doesnít have recoil. This makes lining up multiple consecutive shots a lot easier.

Smeg Carrier: Sky Deck

The shuttle bay is the same as you may remember it. William Blakeís first terminal is darker than it is in SPV3.2.

Why did they cut the part about the Covenant using hallucinogens? There was absolutely no reason to. I take a stealth Battle Rifle (red scope) as I fight my way to the main sky deck where the bridge is.

Smeg Carrier: Prison Lane

Not much to say here. You know the jackals in the first brig eating dead marines? I knew I hadnít seen them here before: they werenít in this version of SPV3.

Grunts and Hunters as discussed in the primer are the most prominent species glassing was used on to get them to join. Why was this part also cut out from the later version? It doesnít sound redundant. Captain Keyes keeps his needler from vanilla unlike SPV3.2 where he uses a brute shredder instead. Other than that, heís still invincible so donít you worry: no escort mission for us.

Stage 4: The Silent Cartographer Ė Emerald Coast

If I may say so, the island at the start is looking especially beautiful in this build, even without the sunshine lens flares. It really brings out the water. Unlike SPV3.2 and SPV3.3, you cannot select The Silent Cartographer Evolved from a menu before the loadout screen. If you want to play it in SPV3.1, you have to choose it from the level select screen. I did after I first beat the game on Legendary, albeit I chose Heroic. Itís really fun, and a fresh take on this still awesome level. As I said before when I cover SPV3.3, I will be playing that version. I canít cover it in SPV3.2 because I donít have that one anymore, sorry. From what I hear, the Evolved version of The Commander is expanded significantly compared to the regular cartographer level version, though I never saw it in SPV3.2. If thereís differences in that one compared to SPV3.3, Iíll need to watch a video to see them.

Hereís a fun tip: donít drive ghosts underwater. They get stuck on the seabed for no reason, refuse to budge and are lost forever. Awesome!

Emerald Coast: Green Hill

The ocean floor in this build is just as foggy as the original game, making it impossible to see where the boundary is by the invisible wall without the rock stacks to guide us. I use the mongoose again and read the Covenant terminals in order this time. At the one on the mesa below the Starship Enterprise shaped security station entrance, Cortana uses a line Iíve never heard before where she recognises the entrance but notes we need to look for another way up. I think this line does exist in vanilla but in all my 19 years of playing Halo, Iíve never done the steps to trigger it: thereís been no reason to. Either I go to the cartographer first and get locked out or I disable the security first, passing by the mesa without Cortanaís line triggering as we arenít supposed to go there yet.

The way to the security station is uneventful. While I donít remember if they were here on Heroic or are replaced by brutes on lower difficulties, the jackals near the vent plug in vanilla are replaced in SPV3 by stealth elites. I forgot to mention that before. The rest of this section is more or less the same as SPV3.2. As I return to the Cartographer, something I didnít notice in the Tour and I donít remember it from playing this build before is the floating rocks on the beach: they arenít aligned with the ground properly.

Emerald Coast: My world is Holo and I descend the rabbit hole with the end goal of becoming a God like the Holomen before me

As with SPV3.2, the bug with the terminal that disappears is in this older build too. Cortana doesnít warn me about the honour guards this time but theyíre still everywhere. The ďgravity lift beamĒ in the first crypt room seems to have a strange DNA double helix look to it compared to the later build.

Descending the Holo rabbit holeÖer, Halo vent shaft, I discover that shade hunters are immune to even explosives unless you hit them in their exposed areas. This takes a few tries and several wasted rockets before I figure this out. I also make a note that the active camo in at least this build of SPV3 is almost useless. I canít remember if SPV3.2 does it too, but unlike vanilla, itís highly possible for enemies to still detect you when using it and be just as accurate with their shots, making stealth a pain. If I wanted to play a shooter with invisibility that doesnít hide you for shit if the baddies so much as smell your farts, this would be either a Marathon 2 Win 95 WAD writeup, a Far Cry 1 PC series or the beginning of my future Doom ones. Hardly much else has changed on this level. Map room activated, topside reached, I take the irrevocable plunge into the rabbit hole in search of my new god, their spirt buddy and godhood of my own. All of them gifts from Solaris in theseÖtroubled times.

Stage 5: Assault on the Control Room Ė Eternal Engine

Compared to SPV3.2, the end of the vent shaft really does look like a water tank: the blue beyond the hexagonal grid pattern looks like an iced over ocean or at least an aquariumís representation of one. The later build tries to replicate the vanilla on Xbox Classic, which looks like some kind of strange fountain.

Eternal Engine: Snow Ocean

I was overjoyed to discover this: despite it being impossible to skyjack banshees in SPV3, you can still hijack them by a more complicated method: the plasma pistols EMP effects only affects Covenant vehicles in this mod (in the main games starting with Halo 3, it effects all of them) and overturning the fighter when it lands ejects the pilot like all other vehicles, including you. Armed with this knowledge, itís entirely possible to sequence break this whole section in SPV3 by using a charged plasma pistol shot on the banshee that attacks you on the first bridge.

Be careful, as the marines may shoot homing rockets at it from Fireteam Zuluís pelican which destroy it in 1 hit. If you disable the fighter in such a way that it lands on the bridge upside down, then quickly kill the elite pilot, you can flip it the right way up and take it for your own.

As you can see, the banshees seem to use their regular look in SPV3.1 as opposed to the weird fat look they had in SPV3.2.

The enemies, marines and grizzly tank donít spawn if you exploit the plasma pistol like this. I thought it would be smooth sailing.

No tanks here either. I get to admire the scenery from a birdís eye view. Terminals and most doors still work at least, so you can backtrack to the bottom of the elevator in the first sleeping grunt patrol room.

This is as far as I got. The panel doesnít work if you fly down here for some reason. Probably to discourage sequence breaking?

Something I noticed recently about Halo 1 Xbox is that it has that exact same blue mirror effect on ice as a bump map. PC & CEA do not. Until now that is for the latter: 343 Industries have finally updated Halo Anniversaryís MCC version so its classic mode now matches the original Xbox, from the effects I showed you guys in the SPV3.2 Tour of Duty using Halo Refined, to the missing bump maps which Refined may also lack. I tested this after installing the update and I confirmed it to be true.

Why did they cut out the part about the liquid metal stream in SPV3.2?

This is a better look at the bansheeís cockpit than SPV3.2 offers, since this one is more faithful to the original banshee design.

Thereís no-one here. The aliens donít spawn simply by entering the lower canyon door like I thought they would.

Nada. Zilch. Not a soul to be found. That changes as soon as you backtrack through the legit entrance: as soon as you enter the hall to the bridge, the enemies in the patrol rooms spawn in without crossing the loading zones.

Back outside, I use the spectre with the marines to deal with most foes and distract the AA Wraith before hijacking it. Now I can finally do the AA Wraith justice!

Now this is awesome! Stealing a proper AA Wraith and using it to (try to) save the marines by the grizzly/scorpion. I succeed in trying by the way. Now just for shits and giggles, I take the AA Wraith through the canyon and the tunnel, blasting everything that dares come close. For the banshees in this area, the Anti-Aircraft Wraith tank sure lives up to its name. NOT SO TOUGH NOW THAT THE BOOT IS ON THE OTHER FOOT NOW, EH COVENANT?! AA Wraiths become a pain in Halo 3 where they debuted, especially a particular late game level so finally being able to drive them and get revenge on the covies is a godsend. I hope this type of AA Wraith appears more often in SPV3.3 than the SPV3.2 version. I learned from a video I saw of SPV3.3 that both this AA wraith and the crappy shade ones appear in that version.

While this terminal is also still bugged like its SPV3.2 counterpart, my sequence break earlier didnít trigger the bug. Maybe the version of the canyon with the tunnel exit not working wasnít technically the same map chunk? Not complaining, as it means I can avoid this bug if I cheat. After viewing this terminal, I go back to read the Covenant one and fetch the grizzly for the next bit. I donít need to but I want to give both tanks equal billing.

Eternal Engine: Hidden Base

Tank beats hunter! Tank beats shade! Tank beats spectre! Tank beats wraith! Tank beats EVERYTHING! Man, I could do this all day!

This area is virtually unchanged in the later build.

At the end of the Scorpion/Grizzly run, this is where I first noticed the ice reflection maps on the Xbox Classic original and SPV3 still does have them. Now that MCC Halo Anniversary has been updated to fix Gearboxís fuck ups, Classic Mode in that game should have them now too. Go ahead, see for yourselves.

Oh now I remember this! SPV3.2 doesnít have this text appearing here, mainly because a loud, ďelectric gongĒ plays when the text appears, making it rather jarring, especially when it pays to be stealthy in here. Careful: one or two of the grunts may wake up if one of the two elites sees you kill the other while invisible.

I berserk a zealot up top so he draws a Voidís Tear, then use his gun to kill the grunts, elite ultra and jackals by the exit, saving the final 12% battery for the elites on the first bridge. I manage to kill the elites in the patrol room before the first connecting hallway without being seen at all, just like in SPV3.2. Still didnít record it as this is a text LP and Iíve yet to read the OBS manual.

The rest of this part goes more or less unchanged.

Eternal Engine: Pyramid Cave

The ďringworldís bellybuttonĒ cave was just as amazing when I played back then and itís amazing now regardless of SPV3 build.

I also forgot to showcase the massive dam in the light bridge cavern that 343 Guilty Spark mentions in Two Betrayals terminals. According to him itís a Flood defence: the dam holds back water from the control room waterfall. It can flood the canyon above and drain down here, as well as be frozen into a glacier to prevent the Flood from reaching the control room.

The Spectre turret really feels like the Halo 2 one crossed with the actual Shadow from that game. Itís great! Itís just missing co-op so you can use the spectre properly. I donít think SPV3.3 supports co-op if installing via a Halo MCC installation. As before, I hijack the wraith in the junction but this time I do hijack the AA Wraith by the exit tunnel, because as shown before, now I have a reason to.

See SPV3 team? THIS is the AA Wraith you should be using in all versions of your game! The SPV3.2 AA Wraith with the shades fucking sucks! Hopefully the fuel rod AA wraith appears more often in SPV3.3 than the shade one. I know for a fact all three of them appear in None Left Behind in that build, balanced in such a way that itís very hard to hijack one to take out the others.

Unlike the Halo 3 AA Wraith as stated before, this one uses the wing plasma turrets from the Halo 2 wraiths and itís better for it. Be careful: the regular wraith has no firing limitations but the fuel rod cannons on the AA Wraith overheat if fired too long, indicated by a ring around the crosshair filling up. The plasma turrets on both covenant tanks can fire indefinitely but the AA Wraith ones wonít fire if the fuel rod cannons are overheating, so watch out. Additionally, itís possible for at least one of the plasma turrets to be destroyed if the wings of both wraiths take enough damage, reducing their firepower.

The tunnel is a cakewalk, even on Legendary now that we have proper firepower.

Outside on the foothills below the Silver Pyramid, I remember that unlike in any of the main games, marines can ride on wraith tanksí forewings just like the scorpion & grizzly. I gather up two marines, one with a rocket launcher, and go to town.

Now this is what I call an awesome battle! Using the True AA Wraith to nuke a path uphill with rocket launcher marines riding on the wings. Halo 2 SPV3 if someone ever makes one should have something like this too; both with AA Wraiths, Shadows and even a Halo 2 model Scarab Mech. The former two could appear in new Earth levels based on the E3 demo for New Mombasa and even some Halo 3 ODST areas, between the bridge and the city centre from Halo 2 itself. Shadows could also be hijacked in Outskirtsí highway tunnel with marines riding in the turret and middle seats.

Shadows could also appear in Quarantine Zone. The Scarab Mech should appear drivable in both Master Chief levels and Arbiter levels but I donít know exactly where. One such location could be Forerunner Tank if they are unable to implement that cut levelís the titular war machine. Maybe some new Delta Halo areas and/or High Charity city streets as well.

Also, we need something like this in Infinite too, both AA Wraiths and all of the above to some degree.

Without the ďHDĒ textures of SPV3.2 muddying the ice, the waterfall is just as gorgeous as Halo 1 Xbox/Halo PC Refined.

Who needs the banshee in this area from vanilla when I can do this? Itís smooth sailing up to the control room. Leaving my ghost at the top, I return to the buttress pit to heal but I already used the medipack there, so I descend the foothills and get one by the crashed pelican. Then I drive up in style using the gungoose quadbike. I also notice that for an all-terrain vehicle, the gungoose doesnítí handle the ice very well despite handling it a lot better than the warthog does.

Once I kill the enemies inside the control room entrance, I notice during the end of level cutscene that Cortana being opaque in this build and giant in the Control Centre terminal may well mean sheís hard light now.

Continued in part 2

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