2. General hints and tips
This page will serve a two-fold purpose. The first is to serve as a warning. Unlike previous Halo titles (Halo: CEA specifically), this collection does not allow you to use 'easy mode' skulls and gain CERTAIN achievements. So for those of you thinking of running through CE and 2 with the Bandana skull, or Halo 2 with the Scarab skull, to get those Legendary Speedrun achievements, think again.
Certain skulls disable Par Time and Par Score, as well as Legendary Speedruns and Leaderboardss. Any skull with a 0.00x multiplier does this (think Scarab, Bandana, Envy). However, these skulls can still be used to get collectibles, level specific achievements (like not killing any Grunts on an entire level in Halo CE), and most importantly Easter Eggs! Megg and Return to Megg are much easier now. Also, due to a patch changing it (perhaps unintentionally), you can get the level-completion and campaign-completion (including Legendary completion, just not the speedrun) with these 'easy mode' skulls. If the achievements don't unlock right away, back out to the main menu, then go back into the campaign menu for that game to unlock them. This has reported to be spotty, but don't sweat the level and campaign completion achievements. You'll get them while going for Par Time, Par Score, or Legendary Speed Runs anway.
A Note About LASO
I won't be writing a step-by-step guide for the LASO playthroughs. It would be mind bogglingly cumbersome, and to be honest a lot of the LASO runs rely on good old RNG to get past certain portions. My best advice is to follow along with the videos inch by inch, mile by mile. Co-op can make some of these, particularly Halo 3 and 4, immensely easier. Speed run tricks like the bridge drop despawn in AOTCR in Halo CE and the pressure launch/god launch in The Oracle in Halo 2 will also help, and such tricks have been described within those specific levels. I have removed the individual LASO videos because if you're going to go through each and every level LASO, you may as well just go to the playlist and follow along, since each level may take hours, or longer.
While TECHNICALLY there is still a semi-workaround to have someone pop the achievements for you, which can be found in HERE, it is hit or miss and may not work for you. Also, if you visit that thread in the hopes to get the LASO achievements, READ THE RULES. Don't post in the thread asking for help. Look for replies to the thread about help sessions that have been created and join those, or just search for sessions. Again, DO NOT ASK FOR HELP IN THE THREAD, as it will likely be ignored. Look for sessions to join. Either way, there's a good chance, now that the checkpoint sharing has been patched, that you will have to slog through each full game on LASO (co-op preferably, of course). This is totally doable in CE, 3, ODST, and 4. Good luck getting through Gravemind LASO on Halo 2, though, even co-op. Pingy's and videos should help for H2 LASO, but they can't improve your aim or trigger finger, unfortunately.
Warning: The checkpoints in LASO have been very sketchy ever since 343i patched out checkpoint sharing. The reason I say that is because even people who have played through the entire LASO playlist from start to finish together have lost their checkpoints midway through after quitting out. What's more, some have even had the LASO achievement not unlock if they weren't host. Keep this in mind, and try to only quit out after a mission is over/between missions if you have to stop for the day.
Now on to the tips.
- NOOB COMBO. Learn it, love it, live it. If you're new to Halo, the noob combo is using an overcharged EMP shot from the Plasma Pistol to drop an enemy's shields, followed by a quick Magnum/BR/DMR/Carbine headshot to kill the enemy. If you don't use this combo on Legendary when facing off against lots of Elites, you will die. A lot.
- Don't always assume your grenades have to kill enemies. Sometimes, especially for speed running, you'll want to use a grenade to flush enemies away from an exit and distract them so that you can run past them to the next checkpoint.
- Speaking of grenades, learn how to grenade-jump. It's a very useful tool for getting to hard-to-reach areas, and is even 100% necessary to get a few of the skulls. It helps bypass enemies at times, too. There's a particularly awesome grenade jump in the Library on Halo: CE that let's you skip a large area.
- For Halo CE, 2, and 3 - when fighting large groups of enemies, try to take out the leader first (Brute or Elite). This sends the Grunts into disarray and allows you to pick them off or run past. For Halo 4, focus on the Watchers first since they shield the enemies, then Knights, and lastly Crawlers.
- Don't expect to do everything in one go. This collection is massive. You're very likely looking at 300 hours or more to get all 6,000 gamerscore, if it ever even happens. Try to enjoy it. In fact, ignore this guide for now. Close this window and play through the game once without any crib notes. Seriously. What are you still doing here? Sigh.... fine. Have it your way.
- For multiplayer achievements (500 wins, gungoose aerial kill, etc.), if the achievement doesn't specifically state 'in matchmaking', it can be done in customs, local split-screen, whatever you like. Keep that in mind before you ruin someone's ranked matchmade game because you're trying to ramp your gungoose off every ledge on the map to get an aerial kill in it.
- For Par Times (and Legendary speed run) - get a partner (or three if doing Halo 3, ODST, & 4). You may not even have to take the specific route the speed runners do, because they have a tendency to do solo runs. Also, experiment with skulls. For instance, Grunt Funeral and Boom make Cairo Station much, much easier to speed run, especially with a partner. The So... Angry... skull makes some of the Brute-fighting levels in Halo 2 (such as Gravemind) much easier. Sputnik can make jumping out of the levels easier, which is helpful for some of the speed runs in Halo 2. Just don't use any of the afore-mentioned 0.00x multiplier skulls if going for par time, par score, or legendary speed runs.
- For Par Scores, once again experiment with skulls. If you're playing in standard 'Score' mode, you get a time bonus multiplier at the end, and it is based on the Par Time. It's up to 3.00x multiplier if under Par Time, and drops to 1.00x if you reach more than double Par Time. If you're playing in 'Competitive Scoring' mode, it factors in this time multiplier when awarding points for each kill, so the score you see is your TRUE score if you were to complete the level at that time. In Competitive Scoring mode, consequently, your score will start going DOWN after you pass more than double Par Time. The score requirements for the Par Scores have been greatly reduced for Halo CE, 2, and 3 with a recent patch, making them extremely easy to accomplish. Heroic difficulty with 2 or 3 scoring skulls on should be more than enough to reach most of them, but as stated just experiment with what works for you.
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