Secrets of Zanzibar
Posted by Frankie at 5/20/2004 2:03 PM PDT

Secrets of Zanzibar


This is a quick look at some of the secrets found in the E3 demo version of Zanzibar . Now, here's a huge caveat before we begin this entire level might and probably will change. It could change its name. The beach could be turned into a giant trampoline, and the fan structure might become a huge peach with a house in its center. Anything could happen between now and November 9 th . This is really just a sample of the kinds of things to expect on this Zanzibar , and a detailed overview of our E3 map for the curious. So enjoy, but don't take it as gospel.


The Beach

The beach on Zanzibar has a couple of cute little secrets, but nothing too astonishing. Head up to the signs protruding from the water, and you'll see that they proclaim 'No Swimming" thanks to an alleged preponderance of futuristic sharks. Possibly known as Shiz-arks.

When running back with the flag, and heading through the arch to the beach turn hard right and you'll see a smaller, narrower gap. On foot, this is the best way along the beach, since the narrow aperture protects you from chasing vehicles and infantry. Of course, you're still wide open on the beach. So jump a lot so the flag flies closer to your return point when you do get shot.

If you get atop the narrow, uppermost ledge of the seawall, and head away from the beach flag standard, you can hop and climb up to an imposing concrete edifice. It's a fantastic sniper spot for last minute flag-return preventions. But if anyone spots you, you're doomed. And it's a long way down.

The Outer Courtyard

Not too much to report here. A good hiding place in the shape of a buried structure we call Chu-Chu Rocket. Basically it's designed to be open and dangerous, but if you're smart, you can park a Warthog near the arch shaped doorway - you can then jump up and through for a rapid escape with the flag.

The Windmill

Wow. It's all going on here. The huge fan structure you see on Zanzibar , is probably some cool, dangerous power generating structure. But who cares? It's basically an awesome place to fight, flee and fiddle around. You can drive vehicles through to the inner courtyard on the right hand side (as you face the inner base) but there's lots more to it. If you park a vehicle within the turning mechanism of the blades, and can be lifted 60 or 70 feet in the air and then dumped, unceremoniously to the ground. Since vehicles can explode, that basically makes them bombs.

Players can also hitch a ride on the fanblades. This is a quick way to get up to the access gantry, which requires an easy, but well-timed jump. And when you get up there, you can blast the access gantry linchpin. This drops a bridge of sorts in front of the fanblade's hub assembly. Players can then run through it to gte to the base, or drop down into an alcove under it - to get the Covenant Energy Sword. That's the safe way to get the sword. The tricky way is to grenade or rocket it out of there.

The Inner Base

Sure, it's got the flag in it, but it has plenty of other surprises too. The main gate to the base can be found on its left hand flank. This gate can be opened by accessing a control panel on the second floor, directly above the flag. The gate mechanism is old and decayed. Once open, it stays open. This allows attackers to enter and leave the base with ease.

Windows around the inner courtyard of this base can be smashed, either with bullets or with melee attacks. Smashing windows can benefit either attackers or defenders, and opens the inner courtyard to all manner of skirmishes.

Windows on the left flank of the building have corrugated steel storm canopies. The supporting struts can be shot out, causing the canopies to swing closed. Since they are still on hinges, players can push them out to throw grenades or take potshots, but are essentially protected from sniper fire. For that reason, this method is of greater use to the defenders.

The base also has ramps, up which vehicles can be driven, and a number of ways in and out, most crowded and difficult to escape through on foot. And remember, in the E3 demo, you can't drive while holding the flag.

Now, down in the flag courtyard, almost everything blows up. Four huge metal-clad columns can be destroyed, gradually shedding metal plates, steam pipes and masonry. Eventually they're reduced to skeletons, with rubble and rebar everywhere. This not only looks cool, but opens up the arena for firefights. No longer can you cower behind a column, peeing yourself and shaking.

As you're facing the base, the far left hand side of the courtyard has a raised platform. Here lies the sniper rifle. No it's pretty straightforward, duck and snipe to take out anyone you see (especially the left-hand turret guy) but if you look to the left of that sniper spot, you'll find a dirt hill leading up to the cliff face. Nobody looks here, so it's a better sniping spot than the concrete platform.

The Inner Courtyard

Lots of exploding vent cores here, so be careful where you shoot. Above you though, is where the cool stuff is. Two turret emplacements (both are destructible) and lots of destructible concrete shields. The platforms above are also one of the best routes for escaping with the flag - there's lots of cover, and since radar isn't height specific, defenders often assume you're escaping on ground level, and give chase that way.

And if you're manning a turret gun, as unintuitive as this sounds, it's sometimes smart to blow away the adjacent concrete barriers, to give you a slightly wider arc of fire.

Vent Cores

These "exploding barrels" are actually the mini-cores of fusion reactors, abandoned after the Covenant attack (probably) and left at Zanzibar for you to roll them into super dangerous piles. The most we've legitimately rolled together on Zanzibar is 14. Park a Warthog next to the pile, roll a grenade and BLAM. Mega destruction.

Now, cores explode when shot they'll start to glow and pulse before they go off, but you can also use them as bombs. Roll them from a great enough height and they'll explode when they hit the ground. Naturally it is funnier when they land on or near a vehicle.


They don't do anything, but they look cool when they go flying in explosions, and they can be an irritating obstacle to flag carriers when rolled into narrow doorways. Same thing applies to chunks of masonry, crates and other debris, but only barrels make you think of Donkey Kong.



Top 10: Online Multiplayer Console Games 

Posted by urk at 11/3/2010 9:21 AM PDT

ScrewAttack shows us some love.

If you're not familiar with what ScrewAttack does, it's about time you got acclimated. And what better way to introduce yourself than with a video where they sing our praises? Bam!

Cover your ears if you aren't into naughty language. Thanks to HBO for pointing us in the right direction.

Tags: Halo 2 (Xbox)


Backwards From Dawn, Part 1 

Posted by urk at 4/20/2010 9:17 AM PDT

I Hardly Knew Thee...

Forward Unto Dawn is taking a look back at Halo 2 with a fresh perspective. Get your own eyes on at the jump below. Thanks to HBO for the heads up (and the bandwidth).

I Hardly Knew Thee...

Tags: Halo 2 (Xbox)


One Final Effort 

Posted by urk at 4/16/2010 1:51 PM PDT

There are those who said this day would never come...

Read Full Top Story

Tags: Halo 2 (Xbox)



Posted by urk at 4/15/2010 10:10 AM PDT

Halo 2 is still going strong!

Looks like the Xbox LIVE team has yet to flip the switch. Halo 2 is still online and operational. If you're looking to get some last minute games in, now's the time - there's no telling when it's going down!

Tags: Halo 2 (Xbox)


Walshy's 2nd - Halo 2 Montage 

Posted by urk at 4/15/2010 9:19 AM PDT

Goodbye to you.


"This is the amazing Walshy's second montage on youtube. No description needed, but I'll give one anyway. Walshy is an amazing Halo 2 player, and is on one of the best teams, Final Boss, with players like him, Ogre 1, Ogre 2, and Strongside. This montage is a very honest montage with great editing and gameplay. Many snipes, sticks, multikills, and no scopes etc. I hope you enjoy it and leave a comment for me to read!?"

YouTube - Walshy - 2nd Halo 2 Montage

Tags: Halo 2 (Xbox)



  • Careers

    Help us achieve World Domination.

  • Breaking In

    Find out more about Bungie’s Top Men and Women.

  • Publications

    Insight into building games the Bungie way.

  • Community

    Juicy gossip from or about the Bungie Community.

  • FAQs and Info

    You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers.