Right off the bat, here is a link to the Halo Runs website records page. Just click on the Halo 2 MCC tab and you can individually view a playthrough of each level's current world record time. They also have a forum and a wiki with various resources to help you become more familiarized with speedrunning. I'll try to lay out as much info as possible here, even though it's mostly generalized. Since most speedrunners tend to follow the same methods, this guide should work well alongside any video that can claim the WR title. You can also check your current cumulative legendary time in the MCC by going to Career >
> Halo 2>
> and then scroll down.http://www.haloruns.com/records
Each legendary speedrun achievement is named after the full game world record holder for the original version. In this case that would be Mr Monopoli, whose original record is 1:43:11 and MCC record is 2:27:39, both as of 12/12/14.
The primary differences between the the original versus the remastered editions is that superbouncing, sword flying and canceling, and the envy skull exploit will not work. Don't fret though, there are still methods present to compensate for this, which you can see demonstrated individually in each WR video. I will also explain each notable one further below. Legendary mode in Halo 2 also has the Iron skull's co-op effect built in, so you won't be able to exploit the checkpoints by sending one player out as a rabbit to draw the enemies' attention. You can still make decent times on some levels in co-op, but be prepared to go solo as most strategies will become impossible with two players.
One thing to keep in mind is that even though the current WR as of 12/1/14 sits at 2:21:14, the actual most efficient time achievable right now is 1:51:43 if you add each level's WR time individually. I say this to show that your actual allowance for inefficiency is about 1 hour and 10 minutes, rather than 40 as the full game record may appear. So even if a single level like Gravemind takes you over 45 minutes alone to do, you still have some wiggle room left with the other levels. I'll now briefly touch upon each level's more consistent strategies while assuming you'll be following the video records as well.Cairo Station:
The very first thing you'll have to learn for this challenge, is that confrontation should be avoided whenever possible. Follow the paths in the video to avoid the first waves of enemies, but be sure to acquire a plasma pistol in order to perform noob combos throughout the level. In Halo 2, your plasma pistols charge to release much faster and do not deplete energy while holding an overcharge, so feel free to hold the charge down well before confronting a pack of elites. The auto-aim's best impact on gameplay is with guiding your charge shots, so you can easily target an elite, switch to a precision shot, and return to cover. Other than that, the only other quirk of this level are the 2 segments where you are prompted to look out at the exploding stations. When the dialogue starts, stare at the explosion and it will speed up the trigger for the next sequences.Outskirts:
If you want a more consistent run, grab Johnson's sniper rifle at the very beginning. Now a good run of this level absolutely requires the grenade jump at the beginning. I found this to be quite difficult, but easily handled by activating the Sputnik skull beforehand. Once you reach the ghost, the highest chance for failure begins. On legendary, a single shot from a plasma weapon can destroy your ghost if it hits the round tank on the left side, so always try to drive to the right of your enemies. Here is where you can either drive to the far wall between the pillars and snipe the Jackal sniper, or take the much riskier route of just trying to pass right through them. Either way, a good tip for stabilizing the Ghost is to hold the
button when going off a ramp, since it slightly raises the nose. Once the tunnel has been reached, trigger the load zone first and then take command of the warthog. Your gunner will take most of the heat from the enemies, but be sure to give them an extra wide berth, since the Sputnik skull will increase the turrets' physics impact on your warthog, making it harder to steer.Metropolis:
Follow the guide by commandeering the warthog and attempting to bring it throughout the rest of the level. There is no easy way to get through the tunnel portion without extreme practice, patience, and luck. You can attempt to go through on foot, but it will be a significant increase in time. Once you manage to get through (with the warthog) continue past all the enemies until you reach the area with the 2 wraiths and jackal snipers. Some guides attempt to dispatch the snipers from far off, but I found myself at risk from the nearby ghosts and wraith mortars. I instead drove all the way to the left of the tanks into the small grotto between the 2 buildings. If it goes well, the snipers will be unaware of your presence as you dispatch them, and you can then board the furthermost back wraith. After cleaning up the rest of the situation, you can attempt the extremely risky grenade jumps in the guide, or tackle the scarab normally. I opted for the latter, with only about a 5 minute increase in time. Be aware that jackal snipers will spawn on the scarab, so use the rocket from afar until you feel safe.The Arbiter:
This level gave me extreme trouble. At the beginning, go straight and hop down to your comrades. If you betray them quickly, you can save a small amount of time through skipped dialogue. Follow the video as close as possible, but be prepared to hide and fight when the spawns become unfavorable. The only real change I made with my run was after the hangar fight, I used the fuel rod cannon to clear the enemies that spawned from the hallway, rather than run past them all.Oracle:
At the beginning there are 2 methods which can save a minor amount of time by killing an ally grunt and targeting the infection forms by climbing up to a high vantage point. I ignored both methods as they required too much effort with consideration to the constant retries. When fighting the flood, it is best to destroy the bodies by either using explosives or the energy sword, to prevent infection forms reanimating the corpses. You can also easily dispatch almost any flood by using a precision weapon on the right side (from your position) of their chests, to kill the lodged infection form. Never turn your back to the flood, as they can one hit melee you in almost any circumstance. Follow the video until the elevator begins to move again after a certain checkpoint, you can then jump to a hidden ledge and then down to the docking platform. Proceed to take out the waves of enemies. As the videos show, the heretic elites were not properly programmed to cause melee damage to your front side, but I would advise keeping your distance to further avoid any potential threat. Just follow the rest of the video, keeping in mind the random nature of the spawns.Delta Halo:
Follow the guide EXACTLY as shown until you reach the bridge area. Here you have a choice of either moving behind the building to activate the switch through the wall (slow), or you can attempt to grenade jump the gap to the right while in your ghost (fast). This is a much riskier strat, but is doable with practice (and the Sputnik skull in my case). Once across, follow the guide as closely as possible, with extra emphasis on the ghost mountain climbing. You'll notice towards the end that he lingers at the very precipice of the cliff before the 'Nothin' but Jackal' title appears on the screen. You MUST do the same or else the final enemies will not spawn for you to trigger the mission end. I bit my tongue in anger, cursed the heavens, and divorced my wife during the ordeal.Regret:
Regret. Regret. Regret! REGRET! REGRETREGRETRGRETREGRET...
Okay, I would recommend following Hockeyfan's video in particular for this one. When you get to the part where you have to slide jump across the broken gap, try to hit it on the very edge with full momentum while crouched. Jump at the moment of impact and release crouch. With practice it becomes much easier. Once across, I would recommend doing a grenade jump to easily scale the ledge, since I was never able to make the apparent perfect jump required to proceed. The next part is the single worst part of the level, do exactly as the guide does, and pray that the god of madness is in your favor. If you get past relatively unscathed, then cheese for everybody. If not, continue to attempt it until you've breached the 4 minute mark. At that point it would better to just restart the level to reset your time. The rest of the video is fairly doable as long as you follow the exact strategies shown. Any deviation here will cost you significantly. As for Regret himself, there will be 5 punchy cycles. These are best handled by approaching him from the sides, to avoid his insta-death beam, while also manipulating the surrounding enemies to safely trail you.Sacred Icon:
The video shows the best strategy possible, but you must be able to adapt on the fly since the flood will always spawn with random weapons. The shotgun flood can and will insta-kill you like a sniper from all the way across a room, so make smart use of your cloak and be prepared to restart often to combat the un-luck factor. Again, make sure to fully destroy the corpses during the final battle if possible. You may also want to destroy your allies' turrets. They do minimal damage to the flood, are easy targets for hijacking or rocket flood with nasty splash damage, and once destroyed will allow your invincible white ally to use his sword very effectively to your advantage.Quarantine Zone:
Follow the route shown and remember to guard your ghost's fuel tank on the left and to raise the nose by holding down
for better balance and assistance when climbing. Be aware that you can be sniped instantly at any time during the first portions of the level due to a scorpion tank being transported by a pelican. It's uncommon, but you won't escape. No one escapes the Peliscorpion. Once you've reached the auto-scrolling section of the level, follow the video to reach the otherwise inaccessible area of the platform. Just wait here and take a nice poop or something. Some videos show strategies for jumping off the platform early, but they save minimal time and carry a heavy 5 minute penalty for failure, so just jump off when it naturally reaches its destination. Due to the long wait time, it may be tempting to mess around here, but I implore you to not jump early whatsoever during this section. It will cause the only un-fun super bounce in history, and make you Regret
not taking that poop I suggested earlier.Gravemind:
Well you've done it now, you did all the other levels first and dared to have hope for a better tomorrow. Gravemind is here to crush that hope within the first 2 seconds of starting the level, but don't give up. With immense trial and error, you can pull of the strategies shown in Hockeyfan's video. Just keep trying and keep a level head. For the enemy wave skip trick, you'll want to position yourself exactly in the spot shown in this picture.
The next notable section is the prison break area. Even if you follow the video properly, there is a chance that the waves of enemies and which doors open first will be in a different order, so watch your back. At the end of the segment, Cortana will announce that enemy reinforcements will be arriving. Immediately head up to the top level of the small elevators, and then head right back down to the bottom. This will deactivate the enemy elevator, causing them to fall to their deaths like a waterfall of meat. Again, follow the video until the open segment right before the climax room at the end. Here I deviated from the guide after dispatching the initial wave of enemies. Instead of eliminating the two drones that spawn up above, I retreated to the back of the room with the sniper rifle and let the 2 factions duke it out. I then sniped what remained and fuel rod rushed the hunters. After the final battle, I stayed close to the left wall in front of the door where the elites enter at the end. Just like the video, I sneaked past them. It was extremely tedious and not nearly as smooth as Hockeyfan, but it was still a more preferable outcome than fighting at that point. For reference, my best time for this level was about 45 minutes, but I still had enough room time-wise to account for it.Uprising:
Follow the guide exactly as shown. My only difference was that I couldn't make the pixel perfect jump at the beginning of the cave section. I went the long way instead and used cloaking as necessary to avoid detection. If you are detected on the long way before encountering the jackals, I would recommend just restarting. At the end after you've scaled the mountainous region, go to the ledge in the video and crouch walk as close to the edge as possible. It may take a moment, but you should be able to activate the cutscene trigger.High Charity:
The beginning flood here must be taken down with the noob combo since it has an overshield. It will either be carrying a carbine or a plasma sword. Only continue on if you can acquire the sword from it. For the next section, don't stress if you can't hop over the barriers properly. It does make things easier, but I was unable to do it myself. The video as always shows the best path. The final elevator will have a skull falling down that you can catch for an additional achievement if you so choose. In the final chamber, the videos show the possibility to jump on top of the cable that runs through the center top of the room. This jump is actually much harder than it looks, so I would recommend just making a mad dash towards the end after taking out the snipers positioned on the back edge.The Great Journey:
Follow the video exactly all the way through. At the very beginning, commandeer the spectre, while making sure to betray the previous pilot so he doesn't board it again. Before hijacking a ghost, safely park the spectre right outside the action to you can reclaim it again. When the runner backtracks with the ghost after touching the locked door's load zone; hitting the new load zone and firing at the ground causes the enemies to de-spawn due to too many projectiles being on screen at once. At the ghost jump in the midst of the brutes, try to be as far left as possible before boosting across with the
held. This part takes much practice and luck, but eventually becomes much less of a hindrance than it appears. When in the room with jail cells, it may appear that the runner is just shooting at the cell shields themselves, but the actual target is a small node at the center bottom of the shield. After meeting up with Johnson, make sure to backtrack into the hallway to de-spawn the wraith drivers up ahead. If you followed the video properly and have luck on your side, the spectre should be right where you left it. Pilot it off the cliff, but try to gently graze the leftmost wall so you don't activate the fall counter by simply boosting off. Most videos then have the spectre drive up the right side of the mountain. I consistently had issues with this route, so I instead went up the left side. Hover onto the Forerunner structure's flat surface that connects with the mountain at an almost level angle. Hug the wall to the left and then boost up and around until you go down the ramp onto the opposite flat surface that the runner would have normally boosted onto by starting from the right side. This route is much longer that what is usually shown, but I guarantee that it is much safer. Then follow the video to activate the early boss room. As your spectre falls down with you, try to time it exactly with your own descent. Additionally, make sure it has as little momentum as possible before falling down, as it could very likely explode on impact with the floor as it is transported with you to the final room. If any of the friendly AI other than Johnson attempt to enter the vehicle, splatter them, or betray them in a way that doesn't damage the vehicle. Then just wait in the spectre where you initially spawned and soon two more Johnsons will spawn and enter the passenger seats. Once your loins have been sufficiently girded, boost into the left side of the arena and immediately disembark. Tartarus will kill you ASAP, so you need to cloak and back off to a safe distance. Then destroy the spectre to
You can only cause damage when his shield dissipates after a few Johnson shots. The window is short, so try to do as much damage as possible before it reactivates. I recommend using dual brute plasma rifles as they do the most damage-per-second in the game. If all goes well, you can defeat him before any brute minions spawn. If they do though, be aware that even if you kill Tartarus, the brutes can still kill you, even for a few seconds after the cutscene begins (happened to me), so find cover if you're in that situation.
It can be a soul crushing grind at points, but it is doable. Half of it is practice, the other half is patience, and lets throw in another half being luck because I'm not good at math, but that's never stopped me and neither should it stop you. Good luck Spartan.