Haranded’s Weblog

{August 19, 2008}   Halo 3 Cheats
Unlockable: Special Ending

If you beat the game on Legendary mode, you will get a special, extended ending. Keep in mind that you only have to beat the final stage on Legendary mode, and not necessarily the rest of the game, in order to unlock this ending.

Unlockable: Elite Armor Permutations
Unlock the following Elite armor permutations by fulfilling the requirement listed…

  • Ascetic (Body) – Get the Up Close and Personal Achievement
  • Ascetic (Head) – Get the Steppin’ Razor Achievement
  • Ascetic (Shoulders) – Get the Overkill Achievement
  • Commando (Body) – Get the Triple Kill Achievement
  • Commando (Head) – Get the Overkill Achievement
  • Commando (Shoulders) – Get the Killing Frenzy Achivement
  • Flight (Body) – Complete Tsavo Highway (on Heroic or Legendary)
  • Flight (Head) – Complete the campaign mode (on Legendary or Heroic)
  • Flight (Shoulders) – Complete The Ark (on Heroic or Legendary)
Unlockable: Spartan Armor Permutations
Unlock the following Spartan armor permutations by fulfilling the requirement listed…

  • EOD (Body) – Complete Tsavo Highway (on Legendary)
  • EOD (Head) – Complete the campaign mode (on Legendary)
  • EOD (Shoulders) – Complete The Ark (on Legendary)
  • EVA (Body) – Complete Tsavo Highway (on Normal, Heroic, or Legendary)
  • EVA (Head) – Complete the campaign mode (on Normal)
  • EVA (Shoulders) – Complete The Ark (on Normal, Heroic, or Legendary)
  • Mark V (Head) – Get the UNSC Spartan Achievement
  • ODST (Head) – Get the Spartan Graduate Achievement
  • Rogue (Head) – Get the Spartan Officer Achievement
  • Scout (Body) – Get the Too Close to the Sun Achievement
  • Scout (Head) – Get the Used Car Salesman Achievement
  • Scout (Shoulders) – Get the We’re in for Some Chop Achievement
  • Security (Head) – Get 1,000 Gamerscore Points
  • Security (Shoulders) – Get 750 Gamerscore Points
Unlockable: Silver Skull Locations
Blind (Located: Sierra 117)

The arms of the player and the motion tracker disappear.

Cowbell (Located: The Ark)

Your explosives increase in strength.

Grunt Birthday Party (Located: Crow’s Nest)

If you manage to get a headshot on a Grunt, the Grunt will explode.

I Would Have Been Your Daddy (Located: The Covenant)

Unlocks new dialogue for the campaign.

Unlockable: Gold Skull Locations
Black Eye (Located: Crow’s Nest)

When activated, you will have to battle enemies with melee tactics to regain shield energy.

Catch (Located: The Storm)

When activated, enemies will throw more grenades.

Famine (Located: The Ark)

When activated, dropped weapons will hold less ammunition.

Fog (Located: Floodgate)

When activated, the motion tracker disappears.

Iron (Located: Sierra 117)

When activated, you will be sent back to the beginning of the stage you’re on when you die instead of to the last checkpoint.

Mythic (Located: Halo)

When activated, all enemies will have twice as much health.

Thunderstorm (Located: The Covenant)

When activated, enemies will be of a higher rank.

Tilt (Located: Cortana)

When activated, enemies will become more resilient to your attacks.

Tough Luck (Located: Tsavo Highway)

When activated, enemies are skilled at getting away from projectiles such as grenades.

Unlockable: Katana

To unlock the Katana, which is a non-usable item that is essentially the fourth piece of Hayabusa Armor, get all thirteen Skulls in the game, and achieve a gamerscore of 1,000 (complete all achievements).

Hint: Skull Collecting
While collecting skulls, keep in mind that you have to start the stage from the beginning (not from a checkpoint), but once you acquire the skull you’re seeking, you can save and quit at any time without finishing the stage. This will allow you to collect skulls without having to worry about finishing the stage successfully.
Hint: Terminal Locations
You will unlock a secret achievement by finding all seven terminals listed below…

Terminals: The Ark

Go left through a door once in the very first building of the stage. The terminal is located beyond a curving passage.

A terminal is located right near the device that activates the bridge on this stage.

There’s a secret room in the third building which holds the third and final terminal on The Ark. After you come across and kill a group of sleeping Covenant enemies, head down the nearby corridor. You’ll reach a door that is locked if you do. To the left of the locked door is an open door. Head through the door, and then turn around to find the terminal.

Terminals: The Covenant

Head to the stage’s first tower and stand on the elevator. Face the control panel, and then turn left. Jump over the obstacle, and find the terminal you seek.

Head to the stage’s second tower and walk towards the entrance. When you come across a locked door, turn around to find the second of three terminals here.

Head to the stage’s third tower and stand on the elevator. Face the control panel, and then turn right. Jump over the obstacle, and find the third and final terminal on the stage.

Terminals: Halo

Traverse the first cave, and then head right until you come across a building. Walk along the passageway towards the building. Once inside, run left to find the terminal.

Scarab Mangling
Having trouble with a Scarab? Or maybe you don’t want to get on board (and abandon your bright, shiny Scorpion). Try this strategy instead: on the back of every Scarab, there is a circular glowing spot you can shoot to do damage (it is similar to the glowing spot on the back of Wraiths).

Locate the spot on the Scarab’s rear armor that is below its rotating anti-air “ass” (or abdomen) turret. A few shots from Hornet missiles or Scorpion tank shells and the armor will fall off and reveal the critical system you normally need to board to wreck. Don’t forget that shooting the Scarab’s legs will stop it from turning.

Plasma Burnout
If you don’t have an Energy Drainer item, the plasma pistol’s charged shot can be used to stop vehicles (but doesn’t stop vehicle mounted weapons). Pack a plasma pistol when there are vehicles around; it’s the next best thing to a rocket launcher.
Hint: Custom Power-up Usage
The custom power-up you can add in the Forge will greatly make or break your game (depending on how many you put in your map and how fast they respawn). Since you can only adjust the custom power-up just before a match, be sure to jot down what effects you are looking for in a custom game.

Custom power-ups can only be used in Custom Games. Press BLUE to edit the match options in a Custom Game. Go into Weapons and Vehicles, then locate the Custom Power-up Traits. Have fun!

Easter Egg: Funny Conversation
On the second level of the campaign, when you’re escorting characters to their ships, you can head the wrong away from where you’re supposed to go to complete your mission. If you do, you’ll run into two characters (separated by a door) having a humorous conversation.
Easter Egg: Cavemen
On the Sierra 117 mission, the Pelicans will crash. After that, you should clear the area like you normall would. As the area narrows as you proceed, there are some rocks on your left that you can jump on. Continue along a ledge thereafter. Once it heads down, you’ll pass a large boulder on your left. After you do, turn around and take a look where the wall and the boulder intersect. You’ll see a family of primitive cavemen-like people!
Easter Egg: Spartan 117
When you beat the game, you will be shown a memorial for the men and women that died in-game. Spartan 117 is one of those considered KIA, but if you wait for the credits to end at the end of the game, you will see that Spartan 117 is very much alive (this only applies if the game is finished on any difficulty but Easy).

Easter Egg: Elephant Flipper
In the Forge, edit the Sandtrap map and create a Scorpion. You can use the tank to lift and flip the Elephant (the large Sandcrawler vehicle). Once the Elephant is upside down (or undrivable), approach it to flip the vehicle and get a humorous message.

Thanks GameSpy


{March 13, 2008}   Xbox ‘540’ coming in 2009?

Taipei (Taiwan) – News about refreshed Xbox 360 consoles are trickling, which is about time given the fact that the console will celebrate its third birthday later this year. The Taiwan Economic News is reporting that first wafers with 65 nm GPUs are leaving the production lines, joining the 65 nm Xenon CPU. Rumors about a Blu-ray Xbox 360 remain alive and we are hearing first information about a possible mid-cycle refresh for the console, which will include the ‘Valhalla’ SoC.

It has been almost a year since Chartered has begun taking the Xbox 360 Xenon CPU from 90 nm to 65 nm and it really was just a matter of time until other hardware would follow. According to the Taiwan Economic News, TSMC has initiated first wafer starts of the 65 nm Xenos GPU and Northbridge. Microsoft apparently has ordered 10,000 300 mm wafers from TSMC at this time.

As it is the case with any die-shrink, Microsoft should see substantial economic advantages from this move, supporting the company’s ongoing strategy to reduce the production cost of the console (the reduction of the Xbox 360 production cost has been one of the key reasons why Microsoft’s entertainment division has been able to notably increase its profits over the past seven quarters). If the 65 nm Xenos “v2” scales down linearly from 90 nm, the new die size should be around 125 mm2, while the eDRAM chip will remain at 70 mm2. The new production process should yield about 35% more GPUs per wafer than before.

TSMC will continue to be in charge of the wafers, while Nanya will be delivering the flip-chip packaging substrates. ASE combines the silicon and substrate and is responsible for QA.

Quite honestly, we were a bit surprised to hear that Microsoft did not decide to die-shrink both the CPU and GPU at the same time, especially because two different foundries are manufacturing the chips. However, our sources at TSMC explained that Microsoft has the same production philosophy as Nvidia: Wait for a manufacturing process to mature and then run the initial wafer order. Apparently, the transition was simulated in detail by ATI and the tapeout happened without problems, at least according to our sources close to ATI. Keep in mind that ATI is only a contracted partner for Microsoft: Both the CPU and GPU are officially Microsoft parts, and the Ballmer-Gates company is the only one in the console segment following through with such a strategy.

The Xbox 360 is scheduled to ship in an “all 65 nm” package (Jasper platform) this August. Consumers won’t notice the refresh, unless Microsoft decides to put a Blu-ray drive into the Xbox 360. We were not able to receive a confirmation either way, and we keep digging to find out if the Asustek subsidiary Pegatron will manufacture regular Xbox 360’s or units with an integrated Blu-ray drive. In any case, Celestica, Pegatron and Wistron will have a busy summer cranking out millions of refreshed Xbox 360 consoles.

A more dramatic and perhaps visible change will happen next year: TSMC plans to begin producing the Valhalla chip, which will be the foundation of the mid-cycle refresh of the Xbox 360, thus called ‘Xbox 2.5’ or simply ‘Xbox 540’ (360+180), in fall of 2009. We learned that this new chip is apparently much more than a die-shrink and end up as a system-on-a-chip design. This change is likely to enable to redesign the Xbox 360 casing and go towards a slim-design, much like what Sony did with the Gen1 and Gen2 PS2. We believe that TSMC will use a 45 nm process for this Multi-Chip-Module package (CPU+GPU+eDRAM).

There are also some interesting pieces of information that Microsoft is shopping for a more efficient cooling solution – efficient in more ways than just one: Several people close to the cooling industry told us that Microsoft approached them and asked for better and cheaper cooling than what is used in the Xbox 360 right now. Some may claim that the current Xbox 360 cooler design is already as cheap as it gets, but we have no doubts that Microsoft will find a way to drop the cost once again.

et cetera