As any Halo fan will tell you, every Halo game has a lot more to it than just gunfights with aliens. One of the deepest aspects to Halo is its Easter Eggs, and the series has played host to several widely known Easter Eggs, both legendary and infamous. However, there is a specific category of Easter Egg that particularly peaks my interest, and that is creepy Easter Eggs that are there to freak players out. Bungie didn’t hold back when it comes to secrets to hunt down in the Halo campaigns, and thanks to their love of all things mysterious and (at times) bizarre, Halo boasts a wide variety of really weird things to find if you take the time to look hard enough.
10 – Hidden Marine on 343 Guilty Spark
If you thought the insane screaming Marine that you find inside the Forerunner structure was bad enough, you are not prepared for this guy. He can be found using a glitch whereby spamming the grenade button at the start of the mission 343 Guilty Spark will prompt Chief to forget to get out of the Pelican, allowing you to ride it outside the level boundaries until it lands in an indent. You can then dismount and after about a minute of walking you will come across this poor soul, with his head planted firmly against a tree. If you aren’t paying attention and then you turn around and see him it can be quite startling. In the classic graphics its even spookier, as the trees are not there and he instead slowly appears out of the shadows as you approach, standing and staring but saying absolutely nothing.
9 – Standoff Dish Operator
This Easter Egg is so tiny that its almost impossible to notice unless you’re looking for it. But on the map Standoff in Halo 3, if you zoom in really close to the Radio Telescope that is closest to you with a Sniper Rifle or Beam Rifle scope, you can find this man – he cannot be killed, or interacted with in any way, and he is apparently a joke inserted by the programmer who rendered the model for the dish, the Halo wiki rather simply and rather spookily states: “This man is Travis Brady”, whoever he is. The reason why he is particularly creepy is that he just stands there – no matter how long you stand there looking at him, he will stand and stare right back at you. And he doesn’t even have a scope to see you properly, but he knows you’re there.
Interestingly enough, this map has another real person’s face utilised for the skybox texture as the man in the moon, so clearly the designers had quite a bit of fun designing Standoff.
8 – Megg Easter Egg
Megg is an Easter Egg that involves performing a very specific set of steps on the first mission of Halo: Combat Evolved on Legendary, including jumping on and off a yellow barrel and murdering Captain Keyes. Once you find the Easter Egg however, you will be filled with pride at knowing that you sacrificed humanity’s best hope for survival to get a look at a letter ‘M’ made out of blood splatters and bullet holes. Seriously though, why is this here? It seems very incongruous, and quite creepy if you think about it – perhaps there is a violent murder loose about the Pillar of Autumn, and the letter ‘M’ is his calling card? Who knows…
This Easter Egg is referenced in a similarly complicated trial in Cairo Station, the first mission of Halo 2, as if the player manages to complete the mission without taking a single hit on Legendary, they will unlock a hidden announcement from Lord Hood which mentions the elusive Megg.
7 – Skulls
Although the concept of Skulls as objectives or gameplay modifiers is now firmly ingrained into the consciousness of the Halo lexicon thanks to Oddball and the inclusion of the Skulls as Easter Eggs, with many players simply seeing the skulls as game modifiers that are implemented in a fun and intriguing way, but if you think about it, the Skulls are creepy in their own way. They are just lying there, scattered around UNSC bases and Forerunner installations and even the African Savannah and the depths of High Charity, but why? Whose skulls are these? Am I thinking to deeply into this?
6 – Why Am I Here? Easter Egg
It is always fun to find those hidden messages that programmers leave in seemingly random terrain shapes, but this message suggests a deeper meaning that could simply be a Red vs Blue reference but could also be a sign that one of the people working on Halo 2 really didn’t want to be at his desk that day. Considering the nightmare development that Halo 2 had, I don’t blame him, but in-universe this message represents the possible last words of a former occupant of Beaver Creek, who was trapped there and scrawled his last message before his body was consumed by nature.
5 – Cortana on High Ground
This Easter Egg is prevalent throughout several missions of Halo 3, but is most prominent on the multiplayer map High Ground. If one stares long enough at the live security camera footage of a hangar in Crows Nest that can be found on all portable UNSC computers in Halo 3, eventually an image of Cortana staring blankly at the player will appear for a few seconds. Creepily, if one uses theatre mode to observe a control panel in a game that is in progress, you can see that Cortana does this every so often whether players are looking or not. That means that every time you play Halo 3 near a UNSC computer, Cortana can periodically drop in to take a look at what you’re up to…
4 – Microsoft SAM Easter Egg
This is a funny but still rather creepy Easter Egg that can be found in The Covenant in Halo 3. To find this Easter Egg, one must start the level on Normal or higher from the beginning and take a Hornet to the end of the outer rail of the Citadel on the left hand side. Going to the right hand side will trigger the song ‘Siege of Madrigal’ to play, a whole different Egg entirely. When you reach the end of the prong, wait about 2 or 3 minutes and eventually, out of nowhere, the voice of Microsoft SAM will breathe down your neck, saying:
Sam: "OMG (Oh My God) this game needs more guitar wank. Am I right?"
Sam: "Happy Easter Marty."
Sam: "I am a monument to all Marty's sins lololol."
Sam: "J and C Paul, you are so totally fired."
3 – Halo: Reach Radio Conversations
Throughout Halo: Reach, in both campaign and multiplayer, the player constantly encounters these tiny radios that often loop nothing but static – although some of them contain hidden messages or conversations. Most of them are fairly routine, some are calls for help, some are military personnel giving orders, and some are even just casual conversations about zombie plans. What makes this Easter Egg really creepy, though, is the thought that in several hours from when the game is set, every voice you hear on the radio represents the voice of someone who dies on Reach…
2 – The Halo 3 Cavemen
As strange as it may seem, Halo 3 has a resident population of cavemen. Each of the diminutive monkey people has the face of Marcus R. Lehto, the former Creative Arts Director of Bungie Studios who left in 2012. This Egg is as confusing as it is disturbing – where did the monkey men come from? Why do they have a bear? Why is the largest member of the family holding the bear, and why is it bigger than the smallest child? Most importantly, in the final cutscene of Halo 3: ODST, why does Edward Buck pick an insect off one of these creatures and eat it before your very eyes?
1 – Reversed Messages in the Soundtrack
We have already published an entire list on how good Halo’s soundtrack is, but one aspect of it that wasn’t mentioned in that list was the Hidden Messages that can be found within certain songs of the soundtrack. Halo 2 has ‘Destroyer’s Invocation’, the first movement of the ‘Mausoleum Suite’ ,which has a very deep and underlying guttural vocal melody that is totally indecipherable unless played backwards. If you are able to listen to the song backwards, the voice is revealed to be possibly that of Mendicant Bias, an A.I. trapped within High Charity. Regardless, the voice says as follows:
“…I have walked among men and angels for three thousand years.
Time has no end… no beginning… no purpose.
I wander the earth, seeking forgiveness for my horrible crimes against God and man.
I live to see death and destruction, evil… over the light, but the light cannot be extinguished.
I live in a prison of my own demise.
I am lost…in time.”
Halo 3 has ‘Black Tower’, there is another reversed message that appears to frequently reference T.S. Elliot’s The Hollow Men, which is interesting since several aspects of Halo 3’s marketing campaign also referenced that poem. The backwards messages appear to say:“Eyes from Death’s dream kingdom, Appear as sunlight on a broken column. There in Death’s other kingdom walking alone, Trembling lips form prayers to broken stone.In death’s dream kingdom. These do not appear: There, the eyes are sunlight on a broken column, Waking alone at the hour when we are, Trembling with tenderness, Lips that would kiss, Form prayers to broken stone.”
Finally, ‘Dread Intrusion’ from Halo 3 has perhaps the most interesting reversed message of them all, since this message seems to attempt to give us an insight into what goes on inside the minds of the Flood as they further their onslaught:“Side by side, we march as one, Humans and Elites will die, The Earth will fall if we strike together, So forth shall all of life.”
So what are your thoughts?
What did you think of this list? Do you agree? If you can think of any other spooky Halo Easter Eggs, feel free to leave them in the comments, and look down below for more Halo related content!