“You were supposed to go back to Earth City”: Original Halo 2 Ending Made The Game Way Better By Erasing The Controversial Conclusion We Got

Halo 2's storyboards hint at an ending where you do much more than "finishing the fight."

halo 2

SUMMARY

  • Halo 2's original ending featured Master Chief and Arbiter working together to save humanity.
  • Storyboards reveal a grand finale with showdowns, teamwork, and a shocking secret for the Arbiter.
  • Fans who felt the final game's ending was rushed are likely justified.
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Halo 2‘s iconic ending, where Master Chief defiantly declares his intent to “finish the fight,” is undeniably memorable. However, it fell short of many fans’ expectations, as the epic journey through the game built to a crescendo, only to abruptly cut off without a satisfying conclusion.

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The awkward gap has led many to believe the ending was rushed, a victim of development time constraints. However, more recently revealed information suggests a different story – Halo 2 originally had a much more fleshed-out finale.

Halo 2‘s Original Ending Featured Earth And A Tense Face-off

The scrapped ending of Halo 2 was much more exciting.
The storyboards reveal a scrapped ending for Halo 2 that was much more exciting.

Thanks to the release of Halo 2 storyboards by the game’s storyboard artist, Lee Wilson, we now have a glimpse into what could have been. Following his escape from High Charity, the Master Chief would have returned to Earth, a pivotal location in the fight against the Covenant.

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There, he would have joined forces with besieged Marines battling near the newly unearthed Ark, setting the stage for the exhilarating convergence of the Arbiter arriving with reinforcements to tip the scales in favor of humanity.

The storyboards then delve deeper, showcasing a confrontation within the Ark’s control room. The tension as the Chief, the Arbiter, and the mysterious 343 Guilty Spark face off against the Prophet of Truth would be heavily palpable. Justice would have been served as the Arbiter takes revenge, delivering a fatal blow to the Prophet.

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Master Chief And The Arbiter, Side By Side

Both the iconic Halo characters would've fought side by side before heading off their own ways.
Both the iconic Halo characters would’ve fought side by side before heading off their own ways.

However, there would’ve been more to the fight, as the ultimate goal of preventing the activation of the Halo rings and the destruction of countless lives remained. The storyboards depict the Chief and the Arbiter working together, utilizing the Ark’s control center to deactivate all five Halo rings.

This act of heroism would have cemented an uneasy alliance between the two and delivered a truly epic payoff for players. However, victory comes at a cost. The storyboards show the Ark, having served its purpose, beginning to crumble and laying the foundation for a desperate escape.

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While the Chief fights his way out to a hero’s welcome on a human space station, the Arbiter embarks on a different path. His journey takes a shocking turn as he uncovers a potentially game-changing secret about the Forerunners and humanity’s origins within the collapsing Ark.

Leaving the story on the tease about the Forerunners makes so much more sense.
Leaving the story on the tease about the Forerunners makes so much more sense.

The revealed storyboards depict of a vastly more satisfying conclusion for Halo 2, one that would’ve offered closure, character development, and a sense of accomplishment after a grueling campaign, and not simply a gaping hole that the next game has to fill.

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While the reasons for the original ending’s removal remain unclear, it’s safe to say that the fans who felt shortchanged by the game’s final moments were right. Halo 2 could have been a masterpiece of storytelling, not just a memorable cliffhanger.

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Written by Viraaj Bhatnagar

Articles Published: 232

A lifelong gamer, lover of cars, and Master's student of Automotive Journalism, Viraaj Bhatnagar is a gaming writer at FandomWire who aims to be one of the greats. When he's not hunched over on his laptop typing out copy, he can be found lapping circuits in Gran Turismo or slaying draugr in God of War.