The M312 Heavy Recovery Vehicle, sometimes referred to as the Behemoth-class Troop Transport and commonly known as the Elephant, is a heavy UNSC Marine Corps Mobile Assault, Support, and Recovery Platform. It appears exclusively in Halo 3's multiplayer map Sandtrap, as a civilian variant in Halo 3: ODST and as a unit in Halo Wars.
The Elephant is a mobile command base and repair vehicle and is able to pull an entire Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engine by itself. It is armed with a forward M41 LAAG on the top right and a AIE-486H Heavy Machine Gun on the mid left. It is a three-level vehicle with the bottom level, the respawn locale that opens out into the rear cargo tray, the second level, a walkway around the cargo ramp and leads onto the driver's cabin, then a small elevated third level where the M41 LAAG is assembled. It features a crane, numerous firing ports and elevated positions for defending it. It has four tracks set up on each side of the chassis. Its chassis is as high as they are wide, providing stability. The Elephant can house a Mongoose in its lower bay, and can hold up to an additional three Mongooses in the front with two in the back with two Warthogs.
The Elephant appears exclusively in the Halo 3 multiplayer map Sandtrap. There are two of them, located on both ends of the map. They are indestructible, and they are open-roofed since the Elephant was made as a service/repair station. There are turrets placed on the Elephant that can be taken off, and a stationary, stronger turret that's ideal for engaging an enemy Elephant. The vehicle has three levels, the first one with a data screen and a parked Mongoose. The second floor holds the breakable turrets and the cockpit. The third level is a small deck with the stationary turret placed on it. Should a player capture an Elephant, it will become a mobile spawning area. Taking over one of these giant vehicles can be tricky. If you try to come up behind the pilot, he/she could notice you in 3rd person view. It's a good idea to snipe the pilot from behind, or use a Banshee. To overwhelm the troops inside the Elephant, surround the vehicle with Warthogs or Choppers. To defend an Elephant, put some Warthogs in the first floor to drive out to engage incoming vehicles, and use Battle Rifles to snipe ground troops. It is also useful to have someone on board with a Spartan Laser or a Rocket launcher. In objective based games, the elephant also serves as a mobile bomb plant/spawn site and flag stand.
Halo 3: ODST
The Elephant appears in Halo 3: ODST and is referred as the Olifant by the citizens of Mombasa. The Olifant is a civilian version of the Elephant that has been modified for the purposes of waste management. New Mombasa Waste Management owned and operated these vehicles, using them as garbage trucks. Olifants are seen several times in Mombasa Streets. Veronica Dare and Vergil use an Olifant as an APC in the level Coastal Highway. This particular Olifant moves very fast and features shields, unlike other Elephants/Olifants, because of Virgil's modifications. It is however not indestructable like in Halo 3. It was used as a transport by the two to reach shipyards at the end of the New Mombasa Waterfront Highway where a stolen Phantom waited to extract them. The Olifant was covered by Sergeant Edward Buck and the Rookie in various Warthogs and a Scorpion, but after it was severely damaged by a Scarab's main cannon and the rest of the highway was destroyed, it was abandoned in favor of waiting in front of the Uplift Nature Reserve for pickup from the rest of the squad and was presumably destroyed when a Covenant Assault Carrier glassed the area. Using a platform and forced jump, it is possible to get on the roof. Death will come almost instantaneously if you get run over.
In the meta-game Sadie's Story, Vergil used one to save Sadie Endesha from Police Commissioner Kinsler by slamming it into his Pelican, then proceeding to dump its payload of garbage on him. The Olifant was then used by Sadie and Mike Branley to move through Covenant-occupied New Mombasa, in an attempt to rescue Sadie's father. It was later destroyed by a Wraith after a salesman, who was also hiding in the Olifant, opened the top hatch and attempted to surrender.
The Elephant also appears in Halo Wars as an armored personnel carrier and mobile infantry barracks, capable of creating troops in the field and/or deploying them while defending itself from enemy attacks. To operate as a barracks, the vehicle must first deploy. This unit can be only used when the player chooses Captain Cutter as their Leader Character in online play or skirmish.
Like other Halo Wars units this vehicle has been dimensionally altered, particularly as the bay on the rear has been shrunk (two people high to one person high) and the bogeys are now the same size. Similar to Halo 3's design, the Elephant still retains its crane, though the vehicle looks ill suited for repair and recovery. However, there are several design changes made in Halo Wars. The Elephant mounts three M41 LAAG weapons, one on the top of the driver's cabin and two at the rear on each side of the troop bay. It will also, if upgraded, sport a roof mounted cannon (similar to UNSC base defense turrets). The troop bay is enclosed and features a rear dropping ramp. The front also has an enclosed ramp along with deployable support struts.
Halo: Spartan Assault
During the Battle of Draetheus V, several Elephants were used to evacuate wounded Marines.
- E-2073 46833-S - UNSC Elephant stationed on Sandtrap (it is interesting to note that both Elephants on the level Sandtrap are almost completely identical, including having the same identification numbers). They both have nicknames: one is called the Behemoth and the other is called the Leviathan. Both have different insignias painted on their sides. Another means of identification is that below the M41 turret at the front is the number 3 for the Behemoth and a number 5 for the Leviathan, also on the Leviathan is another number 5 on one of the panels at the top of the outer left hand side of the cargo tray.
- Recon Team Lima - Commanded by Sergeant Forge in 2531, took part in the Battle of Shield 0459.
- Recon Team India - Accompanied Lima onto the surface of the Shield 0459, before being captured by the Flood and rescued by Forge and Red Team.
- Recon Team Echo - Accompanied Lima onto the surface of the Shield 0459, before being captured by the Flood and rescued by Forge and Red Team.
Halo Wars Gameplay
An Elephant is a prime tool to use in performing the rush technique commonly used in real-time strategy games. What one must do is build 1-2 reactors and devote the rest of their building slots to supply pads. The next step is to build turrets and an Elephant, it generally helps to research the upgrades for the elephant and lock the base first, so the Elephant is garrisoned inside and will be safe until needed. When the upgrades have been researched, unlock the base and lock the Elephant down next to the base, then train three Spartans and fill the rest of the army with Marines and Hellbringers. This tactic generally assures victory, if all of the steps are performed accordingly. When playing as Captain Cutter deploy the Elephant for an early start and upgrade it as quickly as possible so it is effective and you can push back the enemy (this is good against the Brute Chieftain). An alternate, and much faster way is to build the reactor needed for the elephant to be built, start the construction of supply pads, deploy the elephant, buy as many marines as possible, and when the first squad is out, direct it to the enemy base, assigning the other squads to go there too when they are deployed. This strategy was mentioned in the Jaws of Victory ViDoc.
- Costs: 400 Resource units and requires two Population Cap and zero energy units
- Capable of training SPARTAN-IIs and other infantry.
- Twin Engine: Increases the Elephant's speed by about 30%.
- Defense Turret: Adds a M247 GPMGT Autocannon that defends the Elephant when it's deployed.
- Ceramic Armor: The Elephant can now take 25% more damage.
- If by some chance the player does manage to flip over an Elephant, the usual "Hold RB to flip [vehicle name]" script dialog is replaced with "Hold RB to flip...wait, what? How did you do that?"
- On the left hand side of the Red Team's Elephant there is a spray-paint graffiti with text that reads "BEHEMOTH" and a red cartoon picture of a woolly mammoth. On the Blue Team's Elephant it says "LEVIATHAN" and has a picture of a blue, whale-like sea creature sporting a mean grimace and wearing a comically tiny golden crown. The Behemoth and Leviathan are two scriptural creatures that are enormous in stature and girth.
- There are many methods of achieving the flight of an Elephant on the multiplayer map Sandtrap in Halo 3. The first, is the well known technique of filling the hull with explosives set to instant respawn and setting them off. This is a trial and error method, and achieves minimal Elephant flight, in which the player lacks control of the flight and trajectory of the vehicle.
- If you place a Covenant hover vehicle like a Ghost or Prowler on top of the cockpit and then drive to the center of the Elephant, the vehicle will stay floating as if there were an invisible floor on top of the Elephant. This same glitch (or a similar one) is present in Halo 2, although with the Scarab instead of the Elephant.
- Despite being a vehicle, the Elephant is not powered down by the effects of the Plasma Pistol, for obvious reasons.
- Lag from standbying can allow a player to directly manipulate an Elephant in Forge.
- Placing multiple drop pods inside the Elephant can cause an "anti-gravity" effect, this effect will cause any vehicle driven inside an Elephant to lose traction, float, or be launched into the air, the power of this effect depends on the number of drop pods used. This effect will only affect vehicles and will often cause the Elephant to sink into the ground up to the bottom deck.
- The windshield in front of the driver is capable of protecting him from any kind of attack (except Spartan Lasers) without damage.
- The Olifant that is driven by Vergil on the level "Coastal Highway" in Halo 3: ODST (along with all others in the game) have the number 49 printed on their sides. This is another reference to Bungie's favorite number, as the square root of 49 is seven, or 7² is 49.
- If you manage to lift an Elephant into the air on Sandtrap, and if you try to take it out onto the elevated sand dunes a barrier will block it from moving.
- ↑ File:Jotun-Oliphant.jpg
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 The Art of Halo 3, page 41
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Halo Encyclopedia: page 236
- ↑ Halo 3: The Official Guide, page 192
- ↑ Halo 3: In-game operation display underneath the driver's section
- ↑ Halo Wars, Reactor
- ↑ Halo 3 Epsilon
- ↑ EGM Magazine, September 2007 issue
- ↑ YouTube - Halo 3 - Invisible Floor On "Sandtrap" Glitch
- ↑ YouTube - Halo 3 Picking Up Elephant Forge Tutorial