Halo: Combat Evolved
The Speed Demos Archive hosts Halo competition. Halo runners compete on a variety of different levels and difficulties; the current combined time for Legendary on Single Player is 1 hour, 35 minutes, and 57 seconds.
Speed Run Strategies
When you have to (or want to) reload your gun, press X, X, then Y (or equivalent). This will result in you being able to switch weapons, but your gun will still reload. This lets you fire your other weapon while the other one is reloading in your pocket.
Simply throw a grenade on the ground, stand over it, and jump when it explodes and it will propel you higher than a normal jump. Very useful for getting to high places. Rocket jumping works the same way and gets you higher than just a grenade, but you need to put more distance between you and the explosion (by jumping off a small ledge or something) because it does more damage.
Simply press melee, grenade, and melee in rapid succession. This will allow you to punch twice in a row incredibly fast; very useful for situations in which you need to dish out a lot of damage in a short amount of time. The one drawback to this trick is that you end up throwing a grenade, so make sure you run out of there quickly.
The Pillar of Autumn
Triggering the Bridge Cutscene Early
Walk straight into the small-ish hallway leading to the bridge, and just before you have to turn left, simply walk backwards and the cutscene will trigger.
Shortcut in the stair room
About 2/3 of the way through the level, there is a room with a set of stairs. Normally, you have to walk up both flights of stairs and around the room to exit. You can, however, toss a grenade (preferably plasma) on the platform halfway up the stairs, then jump off of it onto the ledge above you, and proceed into the next room. Note: If you are having trouble getting the grenade on the stair platform from the bottom of the stairs, try aiming up at the ceiling so the grenade falls down onto the platform. This method can be seen in Condorman's Pillar of Autumn run for the Going Nowhere Fast contest.
Shortcut to the Light Bridge Switch.
In the light bridge room bridge in the large tunnel, you normally turn right and go through a small hallway to get to the light bridge switch. This shortcut isn't much faster in that it doesn't cover less distance, but it definitely reduces the number of enemies you have to fight, which is something you will need if you're on the higher difficulties. Instead of going for the small ramp/hallway to the switch, drive past it, almost to the edge of the cliff, and position your hog next to the large ramp on your right. Get out of the hog and hop on top of it. From there, you can jump up to the large ramp and proceed to the switch without having fought any enemies.
Truth and Reconciliation
Shortcut, no enemies, and finish the level early (Co-operative)
When you enter the loading bay inside the T&R, (Large room where dropships can fly in/out), head to the opposite side of the room, and look for a stack of purple boxes that is two boxes high. Put one player on top of the top box, then with the other player jump on top of the first player. Now toss a plasma grenade on his head, and jump when it explodes. If timed correctly, you should be able to jump up to the ledge above. Now proceed to your right, and you will notice a number of effects. You will have skipped a significant chunk of the level, there will be no enemies for a while, and the level will go to the cutscene before you actually complete it.
Shortcut, no enemies, and finish the level early (Single Player, Heroic-Legendary)
This is the same trick as above, but accomplished in Single Player mode. When you first enter the room, turn hard right and look for a small, raised, slanted, platform. Hop on the purple box near it, then hop on top of the platform. (Note: You may have to clear out the room of enemies before doing this trick). Here comes the tricky part. You will notice a small gap in the wall a foot or two above the ledge you are on; keep that in mind. Now toss a plasma grenade on the lower platform in front of you, then a frag grenade into the gap on your left. Place yourself about 5 feet away from them, and jump just as they go off (You will need to start off with full health). If performed correctly, you will be pushed up to the second floor. Proceed through the closest door and complete the level. You can see an example of this trick in Cody Miller's T&R Run for GNF.
The Silent Cartographer
Skipping the beach battle
When you exit the dropship at the very start of the level, simply turn to your left and run around the edge of the island instead of going through the battle on the beach. This will get you to the Cartographer installation quicker than fighting the beach battle.
Skipping the Security Room
There are a number of ways to accomplish this; all involve using a warthog to get yourself through the door that locks when you first descend into the map room shaft. Drive the warthog you found while doing the first shortcut mentioned in this section down into the silent cartographer structure. As you come up to the door that the Covenant lock on you, get as decent a speed as you can in the cramped space provided and turn the warthog to the right and hop out. If you angled it right, the momentum of the warthog should push you through the door before it closes. Similarly to the trick mentioned above, take the warthog down into the cartographer structure. As you approach the locking door, gain as much velocity as possible and position the hog to be as straight as possible relative to the door. If aimed right, the hog will go at least partway through the door as it closes. Now you can just hop out and you will be past the door. Hopping from the top of the cartographer shaft to the bottom (Easy mode) The first step to this trick takes place out on the beach, right outside the cartographer structure; grab the overshield there and proceed into the installation. When you first pass the locked door on your way to the map room, turn right and fire your assault rifle as you walk out onto the platform (this stops the cutscene from starting, saving you precious seconds). Now simply run (don't jump) off the edge of the platform in the direction of the map room. If you still have a decent amount of overshield left, and you crouch right as you land, you will survive the fall and can proceed into the maproom.
Hopping from the top of the cartographer shaft to the bottom (Normal-Legendary mode)
Doing this on higher difficulties is different, because you do not have the same amount of health to survive the fall. Get to the platform as mentioned above. This time, however, when you jump down and look for the yellow-goldish ledge/ramp. Aim for the very corner of the little ledge so you will bounce down onto the ramp. Proceed in the direction of the map room, hop off the ledge you're on and land on the overshield below, right next to the map room.
Teleport from the bottom of the map room shaft to the top (Co-op only)
Normally, when you activate the map room in co-op mode, both players are teleported down to the map room. FrogBlast, however, found a way around this. Put one player at the top of the shaft by the platform, but don't activate the cutscene yet. Bring the other player down to the map room. Activate both the map room, and the "Shafted" cutscene up top at the same time. Because of the way cutscenes behave, both players will end up top in the end. Click here to read more about this, and see videos of it actually happening (He does the trick mentioned here at the bottom of the page).
Note: You can see all of these tricks except for the Easy mode shaft hop in goatrope's Silent Cartographer run for Going Nowhere Fast.
Assault on the Control Room
Hopping the first bridge and erasing all enemies in the level (Single Player)
At the start of the level when you come out onto the first bridge, turn left and jump off as far as possible. You should land on a ledge below with little to no damage. Now turn around and jump down to the cliff below so as to land in the sort of "V" shaped crevice in the cliff edge. Now proceed along this ledge, hop down to the rocks below and land on a slanted part so as to reduce damage taken. This is illustrated in Sean Oehrle's AotCR run.
Hopping the first bridge and erasing all enemies in the level (Co-operative) As stated above, get onto the ledge to the left of the first bridge. Now have one coop player jump off and die. With the second player (who is on the lower ledge), jump off the ledge right before the other player respawns, jump to the right so he lands on the V-shaped formation on the cliff. Watch the movie here for a better demonstration of the the whole trick. (Source: HBO Tips & Tricks)
343 Guilty Spark
Quick way to the installation When you first exit the dropship the the start of the level, turn left and head down the path to the left of the crashed dropship. Keep going until you get to the end of this pathway, hop on the rock and then up to the ledge above. Turn left and you're at the installation. This saves time and skips a number of enemies.
Quick way to the Flood room When you enter the third room (not counting the elevator room) you normally turn right and go through a door. Instead, turn left, throw a plasma grenade at the base of the purple crates, then quickly hop on top of them and jump at the ledge above. The grenade should propel you up onto the ledge. Proceed forward through the door in front of you and you will be at the flood room early.
Sneaking through doors early
Throughout the Library, there are a number of large doors that the player often has to wait in front of as the monitor goes and opens it. Some of these doors, however, are opened a bit, revealing a small gap in the center of the door. Normally you can't get up to the hole, but with a bit of trickery it is possible. If in co-op mode, have one player stand next to the door, then the other guy hops on his head then up to the space in the door. If in single player, toss a grenade at the base of the door and jump off of it onto the edge of the door and hop through the gap.
Getting a ghost past the broken door
After you trigger the second beam, you go down into a tunnel and eventually encounter a large door that breaks and leaves a space too small for a banshee, and too small for a ghost to simply drive through. You can get a ghost through here in a decent amount of time. To do this, hop out of your banshee at the bottom of the large downward-sloping cavern grab the ghost there, proceed to the door ahead and hit the switch. Now back the ghost's tail into the door as far as it will go. Now toss a plasma grenade on one of the wings of the ghost so it starts to flip, and when the ghost is almost completely vertical, fire a rocket at it and it should pass through the door. Click here to see a short movie if this. Note: After taking the ghost through the door, many load points are a bit wonky, so you may have to slow down and wait for them or else critical things might not load, most notably the banshee needed for the final beam.
Skip almost the entire level
This is a very complex trick; almost too complex to pull off and save time, but it skips such an enormous part of the level, we are including it in here. Since this is a very complicated trick, we will let the movies do the talking. Click here for a video on how to get on top of the level, and here to get from there to the Keyes room.(Source: Utfoo) Note: This is theoretically possible on Single Player, but people have successfully completed this trick (Link to a video of this preformed on Legendary)
Grenade jump to the gravity lift
As you may or may not know, while an overshield is charging up (right after you first pick it up), you are completely invincible. This exploit can be used to quickly jump up to the gravity lift at the end of the below-the-ship part of the level instead of running all the way back around it. As you approach the area with the gravity lift, hang right and look for the overshield (it's right next to the big pool of coolant). Now throw a plasma grenade, then immediately after throw a frag, then grab the overshield and jump. If done correctly, both grenades will go off at the same time, and with the added force of your jump, you will be propelled up to the top of the gravity life. Warning: On the higher difficulties, there are a large number of very powerful, very angry enemies up there, and this may not be the best route to take.
Skipping the Maw bridge
Like the Keyes trick mentioned above, this is a complicated trick involving hopping around on top of levels, so I will simply show you an instructional video made by yours truly. (Source:HBO). This trick, too, is very difficult and will only save time if practiced a lot and perfected to a point where the player can perform it smoothly and quickly.
Text Version Provided by Cody Miller
As you approach the cafeteria, head to the right and put yourself against the left edge of the door on the right. If you jump as the hunter busts through, you will be jettisoned into the ceiling. The rafters trick can save about 45 seconds, but is rather difficult. From your position inside the ceiling, you must jump from light fixture to light fixture. The first is directly ahead of the door. The second is forward and to the left a bit. I prefer to look back to line up my reticle between the door and the void, and jump backwards onto it. From here, you will need to get the game to fill in the void so you can see where you are going. The easiest, but more time consuming method is to wait for a checkpoint, drop down to the floor then revert to save. You should then be in the ceiling, able to see the floor. The harder way, is to continually crouch and walk slightly, until the game fills in the void. This will enable you to proceed without waiting for a checkpoint, but it's also extremely random, and rather rare to accomplish. When you can see where you're going, hop from fixture to fixture and exit over the wall at the northeast corner of the cafeteria. The fixtures are invisible, except for their end points. Just jump between them. If you've skipped the bridge, there won't be any enemies until you see a group of sentinels. You can slip by these, as they will be busy with the infection for flood. Make your way into the cryo chamber.
General Walkthrough (Legendary) Provided by Cody Miller
Begin the by running out of the escape pod bay to the left, and enter the maintenance way. When you reach the ladder, drop down as quickly as you can, and ignore the carrier flood. The sentinels will attack the carrier flood instead of you, enabling you to slip by. Around the corner is usually a group of enemies. Get out a frag grenade, and toss one right at the corner. As they round the corner, the grenade will explode killing most. If you practice, you can use the grenade to blow the flood carrying the shotgun right at you. Simply hold 'X' (or equivalent equivalent) to grab the gun out of the air. A great and stylish timesaver. As you hear the flood begin to bust down the door, lay down a plasma grenade as close to the door as you can. After the door opens and it explodes, bounce a frag into the corridor taking out most of the flood. Watch out for the flood carrier, and proceed only after he explodes.As you approach the cafeteria, head to the right and put yourself against the left edge of the door on the right. If you jump as the hunter busts through, you will be jettisoned into the ceiling. (This is the rafter trick, which is described in detail above). If you've skipped the bridge, there won't be any enemies until you see a group of sentinels. You can slip by these, as they will be busy with the infection for flood. Make your way into the cryo chamber. Quickly toss a grenade to your right just as you enter, and jump up to the ledge above. Grab the health pack, and continue, grabbing the rocket launcher. As you exit the maintenance shaft, try to make a run for the engine room. Don't stop, and be sure to stick the first elite if you can. Be sure you have enough health for a few more grenade jumps. Enter the engine room on the left side, and grenade jump onto the second ledge. From there, ascend to the third floor, and grenade jump onto the retracting platform covering the engine. Make your way to the switch, and hit it. Now run to the other switch on the same side and hit it. Hop onto the platform, and aim at the other engine opening, since its platform should now be retracting. Shoot a rocket into it, then another into the remaining opening. Make your way to the other side and repeat.
Fastest way to drive to the Longsword Fighter Provided by Endofwho The fastest way through the final section is illustrated by the current Maw Unique run, but it's pretty difficult. I would recommend going over the top on the first open area, and around the pillars in the third. It's not as fast, but much easier. When you reach the final run, you shouldn't have any rockets. You can try grenading the warthog over the barrels, or try to squeeze through. Both are hard to do, and take mere seconds off the run. But it's worth it to practice. Link to the current Maw run for a demo.