Find the Skulls
First up, Halo 2’s biggest Easter egg: a number of ridiculously hard-to-find skulls hidden all throughout single player. Finding them can be tough—you need to be playing on Legendary difficulty, and as you’ll see, they are often way, way, way off the beaten path. (Did we mention they are ridiculously hard to find?) But as a reward for your troubles, most of them will grant you (or your enemies) special powers. Special magical powers. Ooooh! Some of the skulls found so far…
SKULL: No name
WHAT’S IT DO? No one is sure yet, actually…
After you take control of Master Chief, Sgt. Johnson will call to you to follow him into the elevator—don’t go just yet. Wait around for a bit until you hear Sarge say, “Would it help if I said please?” Now follow him.
As you walk into the tram car at the top of the elevator, stay facing the Earth and press against the glass doors on that side. As the tram begins to move, you’ll be looking at the interior of the station. Hold X and you’ll pick up the skull off a stack of crates, just after Johnson says, “Covenant capital ship.” Not so hard, eh? Just you wait…
LEVEL: Cairo Station
WHAT’S IT DO? Promotes all Covenant troops to their toughest possible incarnations.
A little into the level, in the section titled “Priority Shift,” you’ll come upon this long room with platforms in the middle and two grunts manning turrets on the end.
Jump onto this little piece of metal, then jump up onto the diagonal girder above. Walk up the girder and make a crouch jump (crouch at the top of your jump to pull your legs up) to get up on the tram tracks.
Follow the tracks to the end and look for a trash can on the left. Walk up to it and hold X. Booyah! Why would anyone throw that away?
WHAT’S IT DO? Your HUD and weapons disappear from view.
At the very start of the level, just inside the flashing doorway you see when you come to, look up and you’ll see this. Crouch-jump onto that light and then again to get on the roof to see…
…this. Now move over to that long, dark hallway and follow it all the way down to the end to find…
…the skull and some mysterious objects. Is this Bungie having fun, or a hint about something else? Hmm…
WHAT’S IT DO? Enemies have more grenades and use them more often.
Once you finally exit the tunnels, you’ll find yourself in this giant open area with a bunch of jackal snipers. Kill all the bad guys and head to this beam.
Now do a grenade jump (toss a grenade to the ground and jump just as it’s exploding—it’s easier than it sounds, really) to get on top of the beam, then walk all the way down.
Jump over to the left tower and head to the end, and there it is!
WHAT’S IT DO? You can keep this skull for use as a melee weapon; also, grunts shoot faster when you have it.
As soon as you come to the outdoor section of this level, look to the right. Use the crates to jump up to the ledge.
Jump up until you’re looking back at the door that looks like this. Now go down the long metal path—watch out for an invisible grunt with a fuel-rod gun near the end. Sneaky!
Just past him, you’ll find the skull floating in the air. Not so hard, eh? Just you wait…
LEVEL: Delta Halo
WHAT’S IT DO? Gives the Chief active camouflage just like the Arbiter’s.
Go through the level until you come to this big area with the giant structure in the middle. Head over to the back left corner…
…where you’ll see this block. Jump up on it and then up to the ledge above it. Grenade-jump up from there to find…
…this steep incline you can walk up. Then fall down on the other side, where you’ll find two invisible Elites celebrating your finding the skull! Who’s envious of the Arbiter now, huh?
LEVEL: Quarantine Zone
WHAT’S IT DO? Makes certain objects (vehicles, etc.) lighter, so explosions and melee attacks move them further.
At the very start of the level, turn around and look for this tunnel. Head into it and go straight until you come out on the other side.
Keep going straight until you see this green pit with a small ledge running along the side of it.
Head down that ledge (careful now!) to the end, and there it is!
WHAT’S IT DO? No one really knows…yet…
Later on in the level, pilot a Ghost inside to this hallway, just past the room with all the weapons lying around on the crates (pictured here). Now get off the Ghost and do a grenade jump…
…off the hood to get up here where the skull is. The jump might take you a few tries, so just be patient. Now, if you can figure out what the hell this skull does, we’d love to know.
WHAT’S IT DO? All enemies have active camouflage. Yikes!
After the long ride on the giant tram, you’ll find this building with two turrets on an upper level. You’ve got to get up there.
Head into the building and use the stone just inside the door to get up and outside.
Now jump to get on the ledge on the outside of the building and follow it around to the back (use a grenade jump if you need to at the end).
Keep going this way and you’ll find a back balcony with two invisible Elites and the skull!
LEVEL: Sacred Icon
WHAT’S IT DO? Sorry, no one is sure about this one, either.
Remember this part of the level, where you’re fighting the Flood and the giant sentinel robot? Open the piston and fall down.
Find this stack of boxes. Jump up them to the ledge above and walk down a bit.
The skull is hiding in this dark alcove on the right.
LEVEL: The Oracle
WHAT’S IT DO? Makes all weapons you pick up have less ammo.
In this room with the breakable windows and the giant Flood battle, jump up onto this spire and look around…
…it should look like this. Now jump to the ledge on the opposite side from where you came in. Through the broken window (you did break it, right?) and down the hallway to the left you’ll find some Flood coming alive and the skull.
SKULL: Black Eye
LEVEL: Great Journey
WHAT’S IT DO? Your energy shield will not recharge unless you use your melee attack. (You can even double the effects like an overshield if you do it enough.)
Land your Banshee just above the doorway of the giant building where the final showdown takes place and get out.
Head off to the left side and go up the slope until you reach the rocky area. Now…
…keep going straight, around to the “back” of the structure. You’ll see a giant diagonal beam heading upward. Jump on and follow it up to the top, where you’ll find your skull on that white stripe.
There are plenty more skulls out there. Poke around and see if you can find any others, or just check highimpacthalo.org for more details.
Copyright © 2005 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in Xbox Nation.