Halo Alpha
Halo Alpha


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“Finish the fight.”
Halo 3 tagline

Halo 3 is a first-person shooter video game. It tells the fictional events and settings in the Halo universe at the end of the Halo trilogy. It was developed by Bungie Studios and published by Microsoft. Halo 3 was released on September 25, 2007 in Australia, Brazil, India, New Zealand, North America, and Singapore; September 26, 2007 in the UK and Europe; and September 27, 2007 in Japan all exclusively for the Xbox 360.

The game is rated "M" for Mature for blood, gore, violence, and mild language by the ESRB. Europe's PEGI rating system gave the game a "16+" rating, which serves as a guideline rather than as a rule. It is rated "15" by the BBFC for UK release and rated "M" by the OFLC for it's Australia and New Zealand release.

Upon its release, Halo 3 grossed US$300 million in its first week. More than one million people played Halo 3 on Xbox Live in the first twenty hours. By January 3, 2008, Halo 3 sold 8.1 million copies, and was the best-selling video game of 2007 in the U.S.. Overall, the game was very well received by critics, with the Forge and multiplayer offerings singled out as strong features. According to Bungie as of March 2012, Halo 3 collectively with Halo 3: ODST, more than 11.5 billion games have been played.

Along with Halo: Combat Evolved AnniversaryHalo 2: Anniversary, and Halo 4Halo 3 was released on Xbox One as part of Halo: The Master Chief Collection on November 11, 2014.

On July 14, 2020, Halo 3 was added to Halo: The Master Chief Collection for PC, available on Xbox Game Pass for PC, Steam and the Microsoft Store.


The campaign consists of ten levels, of which nine are playable, and they tell the story of Halo 3

Image Mission Description
Arbiter Jungle2 Arrival "Brace for impact." (Cutscene, tutorial on single player)
Grunt Jungle Sierra 117 "Rise up. Start the fight."
UNSC Underground Facility Crow's Nest Crow's Nest "Clear the base, whatever it takes."
65745272-Full Tsavo Highway "Mount up. Get to Voi."
Covenant Anti-Air gun The Storm "Reclaim the city. Make a hole."
H3 Floodgate Preview Floodgate "Stop the infestation. Find Cortana."
Ark The Ark "Search the waste for the Cartographer."
Chiefarbiter The Covenant "Breach the barrier. Stop Truth."
High Charity Infested Cortana "Cleanse High Charity. Save Cortana."
Soiark Halo "Light the ring. Destroy the Flood."


Master Chief & The Arbiter

John-117 and Thel 'Vadam in the East African jungle featured in the level "Sierra 117."

On November 17th, 2552, two weeks after the events of Halo 2, John-117 plummets through Earth's atmosphere using a fragment of the Forerunner 'Dreadnought' he was last seen on in Halo 2. He crashed into an east African jungle, soon after being found by Sergeant Major Avery Johnson on a rescue mission to collect the "Chief." Sergeant Johnson, Thel 'Vadam and a handful of Marines, head toward the extraction point. Covenant forces are sighted in the area and Johnson splits the group to reduce their chances of getting spotted. John-117 and Thel 'Vadam continue on their way to the extraction zone with the second squad, fighting off numerous Covenant troops in the process, but upon reaching the extraction zone, Avery Johnson's Pelican group consisting of two Pelicans, are ambushed and shot down by Banshees. Johnson and his men are then captured and taken prisoner by a number of Brutes led by a Brute Chieftain. John-117, Thel 'Vadam, and company fight their way through hordes of Covenant and eventually rescue them, after which a Pelican piloted by "Hocus" arrives and picks them up.

UNSC Underground Facility Crow's Nest

UNSC Underground Facility "Crow's Nest."

The Pelican brings them to Crow's Nest which is used as a local base of operations by the UNSC. Here, Commander Miranda Keyes and Lord Hood plan a last-ditch effort to stop the Covenant from activating a Forerunner artifact known as the Ark, uncovered outside the ruins of the city of New Mombasa. If activated, this artifact will activate the Halo Array and wipe out all sentient life in the galaxy. Their plan is to have John-117 and a small group of marines punch a hole in Truth's anti-air defenses, so that Lord Hood can initiate a low level air-strike on the artifact. Their planning is quickly interrupted when power is cut and the High Prophet of Truth broadcasts an announcement to all surviving human forces that their doom is inevitable. Soon after that, the Covenant Loyalists discover the facility and mount a heavy assault. After a brief struggle, the outpost is lost and is destroyed by a bomb activated by John-117. Deep underground, John-117 regroups with the surviving Marines and makes his way into the African City of Voi, Kenya via the Tsavo Highway. Sometime afterward, John-117 along with a handful of Marines destroy the Covenant anti-air defenses, Lord Hood leads the last of Earth's military ships against Truth and the artifact. As Hood mounts his attack on Prophet, Truth activates the artifact and creates an enormous slipspace portal, into which all the Covenant ships retreat.

At the same time, a Covenant cruiser controlled by the Flood arrives suddenly via slipspace and crashes in Voi, the parasite quickly spreads throughout the entire city. As the Human forces attempt to fight the infestation, many are infected by the Flood. The Fleet of Retribution division within the Covenant Separatists, lead by Shipmaster Rtas 'Vadum, arrives at Earth and assists the struggle against the infestation. The Elites inform Commander Keyes that a UNSC construct is aboard the crashed Flood ship, and identified it as Cortana. After retrieving Cortana, John-117 returned to the Shadow of Intent to oversee the repairs made by 343 Guilty Spark. However, it is only a recorded message from her. Cortana's message says that the Gravemind is coming to Earth with an army of Flood, and that on the other side of the portal is a solution to the Flood infestation, without having to fire the rings. Lord Hood questions Cortana's plan, assuming that it could be a Flood trap, but John-117 firmly tells Hood that he trusts her.

544px-Floodship listmajor

The Flood-infested Covenant ship crashing towards Earth.

Lord Hood and his UNSC forces remain on Earth to defend it against the incoming Flood invasion while Commander Keyes, John-117, and the Elites journeys through the Portal. Arriving at the Ark, the Covenant Separatist engages the Covenant Loyalist fleet while the UNSC launches a ground campaign. After landing on the Ark, 343 Guilty Spark helps lead John-117 and UNSC forces to the Ark's Cartographer, the map room of the Ark, to locate the Control Room of the Ark. In order to access the Control Room, the UNSC and the Covenant Separatists must deactivate three shield generators which are inside three separate towers. While SPARTAN-117 and the Arbiter succeed in deactivating the first and second towers, Johnson radios Keyes, telling her that he must retreat due to the heavy enemy assault. When John-117 and the Elites arrived to the third tower, Johnson and his men are nowhere to be seen. After the final shield barrier protecting the Control Room deactivates, the Flood-infested High Charity arrives via slipspace and crashes onto the Ark, releasing many Flood dispersal pods and flood-infested rocks as it falls, causing the Covenant to be even more prone to lighting the rings.

After handling the nearby infestation, John-117 leads the remaining UNSC and surviving Sangheili forces via armored vehicles in an assault on the Citadel containing the Control Room, which is heavily defended by Covenant Loyalist forces. Once inside the Citadel, Truth broadcasts his sermon and reveals the captured Johnson to his followers. Just as Truth is about to force Johnson to activate the rings, Keyes crashes into the Control Room using a Pelican. Knowing she can't kill all of the Brutes, Keyes realizes that she must kill Johnson and herself to stop the rings from being activated. From behind, Truth kills Keyes with a Spiker, and then forcing Johnson's hand on the nearby terminal, activates all of the remaining Halos in the galaxy.

Just as John-117 and Thel 'Vadam reach the top, two Flood Tank Forms confront them. The Gravemind, communicating through the two Flood forms, urges the two to join forces in stopping the initiation of the Halos and Truth. The Flood help John-117 and Thel 'Vadam reach Truth, taking out the Covenant defenses. With the Flood's help, John-117 and Thel 'Vadam slaughtered all the Covenant forces defending Truth. Upon arrival to the Ark's Control Terminal, they find Johnson mourning over the loss of Keyes, and Truth partially infected. Thel 'Vadam, after a short confrontation with Truth over the true purpose of the Halos, executes Truth with his energy sword, claiming he is too dangerous to be kept alive, just as John-117 deactivates all the Halos. Shortly after the deactivation of the Halos, the Gravemind betrays them and prevents the duo from escaping, although Johnson manages to escape using Keyes' crashed Pelican.

John-117 and the Arbiter manage to escape from the Citadel via an access tunnel near the elevator they used earlier. John-117 then experiences a hallucination of Cortana and follows the figure to a control panel. He then activated the panel, surprised to see that the Ark was manufacturing a replacement Halo after the destruction of the previous one. Knowing that the threat of the Flood is undeniably apocalyptic, John-117 decides he will activate the new Halo. Needing an Index in order to fire the ring, SPARTAN-117 journeys into the crashed High Charity to retrieve Cortana, keeping his promise and knowing that she still has the Index she acquired from the original Installation 04. Once retrieved, Cortana instructs the SPARTAN to overload High Charity's engines in order to destroy the Gravemind. Thel 'Vadam arrives via Banshee to assist the SPARTAN in fighting the Flood. The two escape from High Charity before it explodes using a damaged but still flyable Pelican.

The surviving Sangheili and UNSC personnel return to Earth, leaving only Sergeant Johnson, John-117 with Cortana and the Arbiter to make their way to the new Halo. As they make their way to the new Halo's Control Room, Flood forms arrive via Flood Dispersal Pods to prevent the activation of the Halo. From here, they quickly discover that Gravemind is attempting to reconstruct itself on the new Halo. As Sergeant Johnson tries to activate the ring, 343 Guilty Spark fires his defensive laser at him, mortally wounding Johnson, after realizing that it will destroy the installation. The Monitor then turns against John-117 and the Arbiter, blasting the Arbiter out of the Control Room, leaving the SPARTAN to destroy Guilty Spark by himself. John-117 successfully destroys the Monitor with the Spartan Laser and tries to mend Johnson. Mortally wounded, Johnson urged the SPARTAN to send him out "with a bang."

With the Halo activated, John-117 and Thel 'Vadam race towards the frigate Forward Unto Dawn using Johnson's Warthog. With no time to reach the cockpit, John-117 uploads Cortana into the frigate to start taking off before the Arbiter is able to take the controls. The front half of the Dawn, containing the Arbiter, makes it through the portal. However, as Halo shakes itself to pieces during its firing sequence and damages the Ark, the portal deactivates as the other half of the Dawn containing Chief and Cortana enter it. This causes them to rip off from the other half of the ship and be sent to an unknown area of space far enough from the Halo's blast, however, since they didn't come out of the other side of the portal, they never made it back to Earth.

576px-Legendary Planet

John-117 and Cortana in the back-half of the Dawn, floating towards Requiem.

Back on Earth, Lord Hood holds a memorial service in honor for those who died in the Human-Covenant war, with the Arbiter and many Marines in attendance. With Truth dead, the Covenant defeated, and the Flood wiped out, the long and devastating war is finally over. Though he says he can never forgive the Arbiter for what the Covenant did to the human race, Lord Hood sincerely thanks him for standing by John-117 until the end. After the service, the Covenant Separatists returned to their home planet.

After the credits, it is revealed that John-117 and Cortana are still alive aboard the rear section of the Dawn, which had apparently torn off before going through the other side of the portal. The SPARTAN floats to a cryotube and as he climbs in, Cortana comments "I'll miss you." He replies "Wake me, when you need me." If the last level is completed on Legendary difficulty, the section of Forward Unto Dawn that Cortana and John are aboard is seen drifting towards Requiem, the Shield World encountered in Halo 4.


Major Characters


Covenant Separatists

Covenant Loyalists



Minor Characters




Covenant Loyalists





These are the weapons in the game:

United Nations Space Command















Standard Maps

Val ext3

The map Valhalla

On release, Halo 3 was shipped out with 11 multiplayer maps that could be played over Xbox Live. Halo 3 had the smallest number of multiplayer maps released on launch, as Halo: Combat Evolved had 13, and Halo 2 had 12. To combat this lack of maps, many players customized the maps using the new feature, Forge.

The maps Epilogue, Sand Tarp, Boundless and Pit Stop are official re-edited maps by Bungie, which include small changes like the removal of shield doors, weapon spawns and vehicle spawns.

Image Map
Constructfrontview Construct
Epitaphh Epitaph/Epilogue
H3 MP Guardian Env4 Guardian
High Ground Sniper-Gate View High Ground
Halo3Isolation Isolation
Halo 3 Last Resort3 Last Resort
Narrows01 Narrows
Sandtrap1 Sandtrap/SAND TARP
Sb landscape2 Snowbound/Boundless
Thepit 1 The Pit/Pit Stop
Val ext3 Valhalla

Heroic map pack

Main article: Heroic map pack

The Heroic map pack is downloadable through Xbox Live Marketplace or playable from the Halo 3: ODST second disk. The maps included in this map pack are:

Image Map
H3 DLC Foundry Environment-EMPTY Foundry
Rat's Nest Rat's Nest
Standoffoverview Standoff

Legendary map pack

Main article: Legendary map pack

The Legendary map pack is downloadable through Xbox Live Marketplace or playable from the Halo 3: ODST second disk. The maps included in this map pack are:

Image Map
Avalanchedlc Avalanche
Blackout brtowerview Blackout
Ghosttownoverhead Ghost Town

Cold Storage

Main article: Cold Storage

Cold Storage is downloadable through Xbox Live Marketplace or playable from the Halo 3: ODST second disk. It was released on 07/07/08, Bungie Day, as a gift to the entire Halo 3 community around the world.

Mythic map pack

Main article: Mythic map pack

The Mythic map pack is downloadable through Xbox Live Marketplace or playable from the Halo 3: ODST second disk. As part of the title update to Halo 3, the Mythic maps include three new skulls to find within the maps. The maps included in this map pack are:

Image Map
H3 MP Assembly ENV-02-1- Assembly
Orbital bnet Orbital
Sandbox msblog Sandbox

The Mythic II map pack, was released in the Halo 3: Mythic Disc and on Xbox Live Marketplace for 800 Microsoft Points. These maps also contain hidden skulls for achievements and one Vidmaster Challenge. The maps included in the package are:

Image Map
H3ODST Citadel env-01-1- Citadel
H3ODST Heretic env-01 Heretic
Longshorepic Longshore


Service Tags

The Service Tag is how players can be identified quickly on the battlefield, instead of the long names and complex number combinations which are not suitable for battle situations that require quick tactical orders or communication. The service Tag consists of a letter followed by two numbers. A few examples of Service Tags are K90, C27, A12, S86, D17, and D21.

Certain Service Tags are disallowed, and entering them will yield the error message "This Service Tag is currently in use by the UNSC." Generally, tags that identify Halo characters, trademarks, or offensive words are disallowed. Such tags include: "I17," "N64," "P52," "A55," "P00," "J00," "F49," "A23," and "T17." "O00" is blocked due to its usage in Temporary Profiles. Anything ending in 00 is blocked.

According to Bungie, as of March 14 the most used Service Tags by players of Halo 3 are, in descending order, O07, M16, I69, P26, S80, N99, F18, H20, I87, and D13.[citation needed]

Armor Permutations

Main article: Armor Permutations

There are two player models which players can choose from, the standard SPARTAN model or a Sangheili model. Each model has several armor permutations which can be combined. All armor permutations do not have any effects on gameplay.


Main article: Multiplayer emblems

An Emblem is a highly customizable image that appears on the right arm of a Spartan and the back of an Elite during multiplayer matches, they are there to give a player an identity for themselves. Halo 3 introduces several new emblems for the player to use along with new backgrounds to further customize that emblem.


There are ten base and primary colors, each with three shades of one another that are used to customize your multiplayer color and emblem. On the armor detail color, there is a small painted VI,https://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2015/01/comprised-of-vs-composed-of-a-test.html0 most noticeable on Mark VI shoulder.

  • Steel, Silver, and White
  • Red, Mauve, and Salmon
  • Orange, Coral, and Peach
  • Gold, Yellow, and Pale
  • Sage, Green, and Olive
  • Teal, Aqua, and Cyan
  • Blue, Cobalt, and Sapphire
  • Violet, Orchid, and Lavender
  • Crimson, Rubine, and Pink
  • Brown, Tan, and Khaki
  • Black can still be used but, only in Forge or Custom gametypes, as a forced player color under general settings.
  • Zombie a slightly more yellowish version of Green to make players look like zombies. Only available in Forge or Custom gametypes as a forced player color under general settings.


Main article: Matchmaking

Matchmaking is where people can play with and against each other through a specially designed search system and multiple playlists. In matchmaking, EXP and Skill can be earned to raise ranks. Also, on some maps like "Guardian" and "Narrows," various equipment such as the Flare and Radar Jammer have been removed due to balance changes.


Main article: Playlist

Playlists are lists of different game variations from free-for-all to team games. They are split into Ranked, Social, Hardcore, Community, DLC, Tournaments and Double EXP Weekends.


The Veto system is a new addition to Halo 3. In a game, after the map and game type loads for each player, a 10 seconds countdown starts. If the majority of players in the match decide to veto, by pressing the (X) button, before the countdown ends, a different map and gametype from the playlist will be selected to be played on.

If a map and gametype is vetoed by a majority of players, the option to veto will be lost during the next countdown. In some cases, players will see the map and gametype change, but players still get the veto option. This is just because the host's connection cannot support the map, or if anyone in the party cannot play the map. When this happens, you still have the right to veto the next map and game type.


Main article: Rank

The ranking system is based on real military ranks. To progress in rank, players must earn the required amount of EXP. For Officer ranks, players must also reach a certain skill level in a ranked playlist. If a player earns a certain amount of experience, but does not reach the required skill level to reach the next officer rank, they will instead be promoted to a higher grade of their current rank (For example, A Major who earns 200 EXP but does not have a skill level of 35 will be promoted to Major, Grade 2 upon earning 300 EXP).

Each Officer rank has a "final" grade which is represented by a unique name instead of a number. Gunnery Sergeant also has this feature. Many players judge others that have the grade 4 rank or "gold bars" as a sign of lack in skill, though not necessarily always true. Halo 3 uses the Trueskill system created by Microsoft to determine skill level in ranked playlists.

Enlisted Ratings

Officer Ratings

  • Lieutenant (grades 1, 2, 3, and First Lieutenant) 10 Highest Skill Required
  • Captain (grades 1, 2, 3, and Staff Captain) 20 Highest Skill Required
  • Major (grades 1, 2, 3, and Field Major) 30 Highest Skill Required
  • Commander (grades 1, 2, 3, and Strike Commander) 35 Highest Skill Required
  • Colonel (grades 1, 2, 3, and Force Colonel) 40 Highest Skill Required
  • Brigadier (grades 1, 2, 3, and Brigadier General) 45 Highest Skill Required
  • General (grades 1, 2, 3, and Five Star General) 50 Highest Skill Required

Custom Games

Main article: Custom Games

In the Custom Games Lobby, players are given the option to choose the gametypes and maps players have made and want to play with their friends, these include Custom Game types and Map Variants. Unlike matchmaking, custom games do not give EXP.

Standard Game Types

  • Slayer - Kill your enemies. Kill your friends' enemies. Kill your friends.
  • Oddball - Hold the skull to earn points. It's like Hamlet, with guns.
  • King of the Hill - Control the hill to earn points. Earn points to win. It's good to be king.
  • Capture the Flag - Invade your opponent's stronghold, seize their flag, and return it to your base to score.
  • Assault - Carry your bomb to the enemy base, plant it, and defend it until it detonates.
  • Territories - Defend your territory and control the land. Teams earn points for territories they control.
  • Juggernaut - If you meet the Juggernaut, kill the Juggernaut.
  • Infection - The timeless struggle of human versus zombie. If you die by a zombie's hand, you join their ranks.
  • VIP - One player on each team is Very Important. Take down the enemy's VIP for points, but take care of your own.

Custom Game types

In Halo 3, there are a number of options that can be changed for custom games. By pressing X in the pregame lobby the host can change the default options, to whatever the player chooses and can save the changes when finished by pressing X again to save as custom game type.

Options that can be changed:

  • Damage resistance
  • Shield multiplier
  • Shield recharge rate
  • Immune to headshots
  • Grenade counts (Grenade Regeneration, on or off)
  • Infinite ammo
  • Weapon pickup (Enabled, Disabled)
  • Player speed
    • (25%, 50%, 75%, 90%, 100%, 110%, 125%, 150%, 200%, 300%)
  • Player gravity
    • (50%, 75%, 100%, 200%)
  • Vehicle use (Full Use, Passenger only, None)
  • Motion tracker (off, friendlies only, normal, enhanced)
    • Range (10m, 25m, 75m, 100m, 150m)
  • Indestructible vehicles (On, off)
  • Player forced Colors (Like Black or Zombie)
    • Meaning all players in game will be forced to the color of your choice.
  • Over shields and active camouflage can be given to a certain team/player or everyone on spawn or re-spawn.


Main article: Forge

Forge is an "object editor" that can be used to edit multiplayer maps. It does not allow as much freedom to edit/make maps as a PC map editor, such as the Halo Custom Edition and Halo 2 Vista editing kits. Players can, however, edit objects, spawn points, weapons, teleporters and properties of objects on the map, etc. While in a forge map, players may start editing maps by press up on the D pad; when a player goes into edit mode they take on the appearance of a Forerunner Monitor similar to 343 Guilty Spark. The player now obtains the ability to spawn weapons, vehicles and objects in-game, as well as move and adjust them. New DLC maps like Sandbox and Foundry will allow a player to make their own map using the amount of objects included in the map. While the forge may not allow as much freedom as other map editors, it makes it easier for a player to make a map with "simple" objects.


The Theater mode allows players to save films from the Campaign, Multiplayer, and Forge, and also get film clips and screen shots. This feature of Halo 3 has been exploited for making Machinima videos and Montages.


Saved Films allow a player to view any game, campaign or multiplayer, from any angle. It uses game data to re-create the games, which makes file sizes very small (5 MB for a 15-minute multiplayer match). In the film, players can either watch themselves play through an entire mission or match, or use a bird's eye view to see the bigger scope of how the match or mission plays. Players can go anywhere they want, within the limitations of invisible barriers, so that players cannot fly as high as possible or go very far from their character. In multiplayer matches, players can fast forward or rewind the film. Campaign films cannot be rewound for technical reasons. Only the previous 25 games will be saved under the recent films category on the Xbox 360 console. Older films will be deleted.


When playing a film, players can record a particular part of the film from any angle they want. Doing this allows players to look back at their saved clip without having to watch the entire film. Players, however, cannot record clips of campaign films due to unknown technical reasons. If players are in a party viewing a film, they will not be able to record clips, nor take screenshots. Also, players may find that when viewing a film clip in a party, the film will not load until there is only one player left in the party.


Screenshots can be taken in any sort of film; all screenshots taken by Xbox Live players are sent to Bungie.net via the Internet. You must be in single-player theater or film to take a screenshot. Screenshots that are favored by many or impress Bungie employees may be uploaded to Bungie Favorites.


Main article: Halo 3: Original Soundtrack

The Halo 3: Original Soundtrack was composed by Martin O'Donnell with the help of Michael Salvatori and was released on November 20, 2007. It is a two-disc set featuring all the music heard in-game, in order of appearance.

Marketing Promotions and Release

Viral Campaigns

Beta and Epsilon

Main articles: Halo 3 Beta and Halo 3 Epsilon

The Halo 3 Beta was a phase in the development of Halo 3, produced by Bungie Studios and organized by Microsoft. A public version of the beta was released to the public for three weeks to give people an early chance to play the game and to test amounts of stress on the servers.

Several months after the Beta was closed down, Bungie released Halo 3 Epsilon, an internal-only Halo 3 build, to Microsoft employees. The Epsilon featured Campaign (both single-player and cooperative gameplay) on the level Tsavo Highway, as well as Forge and multiplayer on six maps: Epitaph, High Ground, Last Resort, Sandtrap, Snowbound, and Valhalla.


Main article: Iris

On June 11, 2007, at 10:26AM PDT, the viral marketing campaign for Halo 3 started, with a believed "hacking" of Bungie.net's forums throughout the next several months fans followed the various clues and hints to unlock "servers" which would reveal the final moments of the Forerunners. Cradle of Life: The Cradle of Life is a short flash animation web comic, and is one of the first parts of the Iris campaign.


Main article: Believe

Believe was the marketing slogan and campaign for Halo 3 developed by both Bungie Studios and Microsoft. The word "Believe" appears to be honoring the legacy of SPARTAN-117, citing him as a hero of Humanity whose brave actions inspired other servicemen of the United Nations Space Command during the final days of the Human-Covenant war. Its been noted that the Believe trailers took place about 50 years after Halo 3's storyline.



Main article: Halo 3 Announcement Trailer

Halo 3 was officially announced via a cinematic trailer rendered in real-time, on May 9, 2006 during the Microsoft press conference. The reveal utilized real-game assets, fiction and locations. The trailer shows John-117 walking through wreckage of the New Mombasa space elevator with Cortana appearing at several intervals. He then stops at the edge of a cliff where the Covenant forces are hovering over a Forerunner structure. The trailer ends with the structure opening and firing a beam of light.

Starry Night

Main article: Starry Night

The Starry Night trailer was released on December 4, 2006 during Monday Night Football on ESPN. It shows two children staring at the stars talking about whether there is life out there in the universe, before switching to a dazed John-117 recovering from some form of blast. Once back on his feet, he picks up his helmet and then uses a Bubble Shield to defend himself from an incoming Wraith's plasma mortar. He then quickly charges forward, eventually jumping over a cliff into a swarm of Covenant Loyalists. It is speculated, yet left to interpretation, that the two children are John-117 and Kelly-087 when they were young.

ViDoc: Et Tu, Brute?

Main article: Halo 3 ViDoc: Et Tu, Brute?

The Et Tu Brute ViDoc was released before the end of 2006 and was a behind-the-scenes look at the development of Halo 3, specifically focusing on the Brutes in Halo 3. This 7:03 min clip interviews various Bungie employees about the Brutes, their development and flaws in Halo 2, and how they were expanded upon in Halo 3.

ViDoc: Is Quisnam Protero Damno!

Main article: Halo 3 ViDoc: Is Quisnam Protero Damno!

The Is Quisnam Protero Damno ViDoc was released several months before the release of the Halo 3 Beta. The video focuses on the multiplayer in Halo 3. This 7:12 minute clip interviews various Bungie employees about the development of the various multiplayer aspects of the game.

ViDoc: Cinema Paradiso

Main article: Halo 3 ViDoc: Cinema Paradiso

Cinema Paradiso is the third and final ViDoc released by Bungie before the release of Halo 3. Released on September 20, 2007 the 7:13 video interviews various Bungie employees about the development of the theater and forge features of the game.

E3 2007 Trailer

Main article: Halo 3 E3 2007 Trailer

Revealed at the end of Microsoft's E3 press conference on July 11 this trailer was the final trailer to show off the actual game itself and unlike the previous trailers, the Halo 3 E3 2007 trailer focused on showing various gameplay and cinematic clips. While the trailer did little to further knowledge about the Halo 3 plot, it confirmed many speculations about the game, the least of which was that the Arbiter and John-117 will fight alongside one another in the game.

Halo: Landfall

Main article: Halo: Landfall

Halo: Landfall is a trilogy of short films that were designed to promote the release of Halo 3. Directed by Neill Blomkamp with props and costume design by WETA Workshop Landfall tells the story of two ODSTs on a mission to coordinate Master Chief's rescue.

Merchandise and Promotions

Features Standard Limited Collector's Legendary
Image of contents Halo 3 Standard Halo 3 Limited Halo 3 Legendary
Game disc & manual Yes Yes Yes
Interactive Xbox 360 disc No Yes Yes
Bestiarum No Yes (Book) Yes (DVD)
Legendary DVD No No Yes
Master Chief helmet case No No Yes

Halo 3 was released in three separate versions. The Standard Edition contains the game disc, manual, and a small poster with the game's control-map and artwork. The Limited Edition, contained in a metal case, contains the game disc, manual, poster, interactive Xbox 360 bonus disc with several featurettes, and a hard cover bound "Bestiarum," which is a collection of information and art covering the species, cultures, and civilizations of Halo 3. The final version was marketed as the "Legendary Edition," which contains the game disc, manual, poster, interactive bonus disc, Bestiarum (on one of the DVD discs), Legendary DVD containing special content exclusive to the Legendary Edition, and a scale replica of John-117's helmet as a case for the three discs.

The launch of Halo 3 also coincided with the release of various games, action figures, collectibles and marketing promotions. Which included a Halo 3 Spartan Edition Controller and Halo 3 Covenant Edition Controller that features Halo 3 themed artwork from renowned artist Todd McFarlane. The controllers included a Master Chief figurine. While previous Halo action figure series were produced by Joyride Studios, the company's closure in 2007 allowed Todd McFarlane's McFarlane Toys to release Halo 3 Action Figures. On September 18, 2007, Wizkids released the Halo ActionClix collection. The tabletop game features miniature characters and vehicles from the Halo universe. Microsoft also collaborated with Pepsi-Cola to release the first promotional soft drink for a video game. Mountain Dew Game Fuel was a soda which was released on August 13, 2007 and was available for 12 weeks to promote the launch of Halo 3. 7-Eleven sold a Slurpee version of the drink along with several collectible cups. On September 16, 2007, Microsoft released a Halo 3 edition of the Xbox 360. The console includes various Halo 3 themed items including a Halo 3 headset, and special exclusive gamer pics and themes only available to those who purchase the console. As part of the Halo 3 marketing assault Microsoft also released a Halo Trilogy-theme Zune media player. It features Halo content in many media formats including exclusive artwork from the critically acclaimed Halo series and a special Red vs Blue episode. Master Replicas also released ornament Halo 3 scale replica weapons. Burger King also announced a Halo 3 Promotion from a Microsoft press release on August 9, 2007, the promotion which started September 24 including limited edition FRYPODS and 42 oz drink cups featuring Halo designs and characters on food wrappings.

Reviews and Reaction

Gaming Websites
IGN [2] 9.5/10
GameSpot [3] 9.5/10
GameTrailers [4] 9.8/10
GamesRadar [5] 5/5
1UP [6] A+
Joystiq N/A
Polygon N/A
Gaming Magazines
Official Xbox Magazine [7] 9/10
GameInformer [8] 9.5/10
Compilation Websites
GameRankings [9] 93.53%
Metacritic [10] 94/100

Halo 3 was called the most sought-after video game of 2007.[11][12] and to be one of the most hyped video games of all time.[13][14][15] Prior to its launch, Halo 3 was expected to be one of the biggest entertainment events of the year,[16] and among the biggest entertainment releases of all time.[17][18][19][20] Additionally, Halo 3 was expected to stir the sales of the Xbox 360 console[21][22] - being a "killer application."[23][24] The craziness of the Halo 3 launch was compared to the madness of the iPhone, Harry Potter books and Star Wars movies releases.[13]

Exactly like its predecessors, Halo 3 was a very prosperous, record-breaking game. Accompanied by its record-breaking 1.7 million preorders in the U.S, few expected it not to break any records. 24 hours after release, however, Halo 3 had generated a record-breaking $170 million in the U.S, beating the $155 million that Microsoft was expecting. Although Microsoft never released a 24-hour sales figure, it is estimated to have sold in the region of 2.4 - 2.5 million copies within 24 hours of availability in the U.S. - approximately 1.8 million units after 8 hours - with that number increasing to 3.3 million units, 12 days after release. Within 24 hours, over 1.1 million gamers had played Halo 3 on Xbox Live. One week after release, over 2.7 million players - nearly one-third of the total Xbox Live members at that time - had played it on Xbox Live. As of November 17, 2008, Halo 3 had reportedly sold 8.8 million copies worldwide.

Halo 3 has received mainly positive reviews from both the online gaming sites and country specific magazines. Each review has praised it, stating "the winning formula is still apparent" with "multiplayer constantly surprising and engaging", while new features of Forge and Saved Films were singled out as particularly interesting new features. Halo 3 has also gone on to win a number of awards from:

  • Spike TV Awards: Best Multiplayer Game, Most Addictive Video Game Fueled by Dew.
  • TIME: Game of the Year.[25]
  • Geezer Gamers: Geezer Game of the Year, Multiplayer Game of the Year.
  • Gametrailers: 2007's Best Xbox 360 Game of the Year, Best Multiplayer of the Year, Best First Person Shooter
  • X-Play Presents "G-Phoria": Game of the Year.
  • EDGE: The Edge Award For Interactive Innovation.
  • IGN: Xbox 360 Best Online Multiplayer, Xbox 360 Most Innovative Design.

Other Games

Halo 3: ODST

Main article: Halo 3: ODST

Halo 3: ODST was originally intended to be campaign extension that covered the events of the Battle of Earth, and ends roughly one month before Halo 3 begins. However, during its development, ODST quickly evolved into what was essentially a full game in its own right. In ODST, the player takes control of an Orbital Drop Shock Trooper as he navigates though the Covenant occupied New Mombasa trying to discover the fate of his fellow squad members.


File:Halo 4 E3 2011 Exclusive Trailer

Trailer of Halo 4 from E3 2011.

Main article: Halo 4

In an E3 Conference during mid-June 2011, a sequel was revealed, previewing the trailer of Halo 4.

Showing the ending of Halo 3 after the credits, showing Master Chief is lost in space with Cortana in a ship, thus placing himself in a Cryo Chamber, and asking Cortana to wake him when she needs him. The trailer continues from the ending, beginning with Master Chief's heart, with its beat not really intact. Cortana calls to him to wake up, that she needs him. His heartbeat seems to get back to beating regularly, then Chief disperses from the Cryo Chamber, assuring Cortana he's there for her. Suddenly, an explosion tears through the ship. Chief quickly goes the front of the disintegrating ship to see what's going on, while grabbing a weapon along the way. Cortana and Chief then realize that they are drifting onto Requiem. Halo 4 was released on November 6, 2012.


Concept Art



  • At precisely 6:36pm PST on the 28th of February 2009, in a three-minute and nineteen second game of Infection on Foundry, four players participated in Halo 3's one billionth match.[26] In comparison, Halo 2 had 800 million games played at the time.
  • As of 1 March 2009, the total amount of online Matchmaking time accounted to 2,023,153,340,764 seconds, equal to 64,109 years of playtime.[26]
  • For Christmas 2006, Microsoft and Bungie gave U.S. Troops in Iraq a chance to play the Halo 3 multiplayer alpha build of the game.[27]
  • On the Cops & Robbers commercial for the Xbox 360 at the Xbox Live Marketplace, one of the license plates says HA LO307, or Halo 3 07.
  • The game has 39,377 lines of dialogue, most of them randomly triggered during game play.[28]
  • Halo 3 before the Auto-Update 2 patch contained 49 Achievements, which is a reference to seven.
  • Argos, a UK retail store, started accidentally selling copies of the game one week prior to the actual release date. All Halo 3 products were removed from shelves when the store realized its mistake. However, a number of copies still made it into the hands of the public and a video showcasing the ending made it onto YouTube.
  • Halo 3 multiplayer was shown at the Penny Arcade Expo as the final round of the Omegathon and showed the level Guardian before its release date.
  • If you've played on this game with your current LIVE account, you will unlock the Halo 3 nameplate in Halo: Reach.
  • Halo 3 was released for free on the XBLM, from the 16th through the 31st of October 2013. 


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