Two Towers: How two Halo obsessives landed the ultimate jump

"No one believed it could be done..."

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Both men agree about who had the better landing - "I don't want to sound cocky, but I think I did," says Marnell. "Yeah, he did," agrees Laskey. "But I don't know - what's the 'better landing' anyway? I guess not taking any damage, and he did that. I guess the next challenge for me is to do it in the new Halo game..."

In November, Halo Anniversary will introduce a new generation of players to the first Halo. Identical to the original in every way, the same glitches and tricks exploited by Marnell and Laskey in Combat Evolved will be possible in Halo Anniversary, even with the new HD models turned on.

"I think it'll get a whole group of people interested in Halo 1," says Marnell. "Right now there's a bunch of people who never experienced Halo 1 and 2 and they think Halo 3 and Reach are the best. And honestly, I don't think they're very good games production-wise or glitch-wise. Halo was this open world but now there's bouncy elastic barriers which keep you in and force you to go in one direction the whole game."


Laskey agrees. "I don't think Halo 1 had any obvious barriers or killzones at all, or not any that mattered anyway. I understand Bungie didn't want anyone to use glitches to their advantage in multiplayer, but in campaign they put a lot of barriers in and it's really hard to get around that stuff."

It seems wrong to complain when Halo was never built for this, of course, but the tricking scene is so vital, so necessary to the new game's authenticity that Microsoft's team at 343 and Saber are building the new game with all the old tricks and glitches in mind.

"Every jump we've tried so far has worked," says 343's Frankie O'Connor, speaking to Halo.Bungie.org. "One of the big tests is the Tower to Tower jump - we hadn't thought that was possible, so we didn't try it out; but now that we've seen it, we're going to give it a shot. We understand that a significant chunk of our audience for this product will be using it for these kinds of tricks, and we made sure that they'd be able to do most, if not all, the things they could do on the original."

Halo defined the Xbox but it was the players who defined Halo. Ten years after it first hit shelves, the game's final, most difficult challenge was invented and accomplished by players who created a new way to play. "It's truly amazing to me how this game that was just designed for shooting enemies and driving vehicles can also be used for so much else," says Laskey. "I love seeing what I can do with that - doing things the game designers didn't intend."

For Marnell, it's even simpler. "I like that you actually have to try," he explains. "Some games you just play on autopilot and nothing really matters. Glitching involves actually making the decision to do something. People think glitches are random but it's very rare we do something randomly. We set out to do something, we know what we're gonna do, and we get it done."

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