Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary is finally out! This fantastic HD-fication of a game that was released 10 years ago is by far one of the best that I have seen. It speaks volumes about the amount of love that was put into this game by the folks of 343 Studios as well as Certain Affinity to bring this game to the future.
Among the tons of new stuff the game has, the addition of Skulls to search for during the campaign is a welcome new feature that will keep you looking trough every nook and cranny on each level. Not only have skulls been added, but the terminals are back with a twist, as they are now videos.
I am going to make things easier for you, since most of the skulls are very hard to find or in places you’ll never think of looking. So let’s start with the hunting!
Chapter I: Pillar of Autumn
Iron Skull: After exiting the cryo chamber, go to the back of the room. You’ll see canisters stacked up high. Behind the one on the left, you’ll find the Iron Skull.
Terminal: As you enter the bridge, right before you talk to Keys, on the left side of the room there will be an empty terminal flashing red. On it it reads an incoming message, and the option to activate will be available. This will open the achievement “What Have We Here?” for 10 G. This terminal is not like the previous ones in the series: it’s a video terminal. A very familiar voice will narrate and explain.
Chapter II: Halo
Mythic Skull: As soon as you start the next mission, you’ll see a beautiful waterfall. Walk towards it. Behind a rock to the right of the waterfall you’ll find this skull.
Boom: After you get the Warthog, before entering the cave, go all the way to the right. Jump on the rocks and keep moving forward. After passing a few trees, you’ll see the skull on the floor.
Terminal: Enter the cave and do not skip any ramps. After going down for a bit, you’ll see a ramp going up and then down. Keep on the path and go down. The terminal will be to your right inside a hallway, blinking.
Chapter III: Truth and Reconciliation
Foreign Skull: This one is tricky. Once you get to the hangar, make sure that you clear the area and head to the back of the room. Cortana will eventually tell you that she’s going to try to open the doors. Make sure at this point you are at the back, right door. Two hunters will emerge from the door.
Bypass them and head to the left. The skull will be there. I found it by being knocked into the room by the Hunters. Thus, the photo does not show the skull.
Terminal: After you finish with that area, Cortana would have opened the doors, and you’ll go up a level. On that level, you’ll see the platforms where the Grunts where shooting at you from earlier. The middle console is the terminal.
Chapter IV: The Silent Cartographer
Famine Skull: As you start this stage, head to the left and keep going until you see a small mount with trees on the top. Go sea side and look left; you’ll see a path to go up. Follow the trail and get to the top. At the end, a la “Pride Rock” style, you’ll find this skull.
Terminal: Keep going through the game until you find a platform with two Hunters waiting for you. You’ll also see some overshields to help you. Defeat the two hunters, and the terminal will be right under the structure.
Bandana: Forget about it! This is one of the toughest skulls to get. Once you get to the security room, turn right and go outside. Then using your pistol, look towards the right, zoom, and you’ll see this guy. How do you get up there? Well, you have to grenade jump. Crouch, toss a grenade to the floor to make it stick. The rest is all about timing. Jump at the right time, and it will propel you over. If you are doing this co-op, just ask your partner to die, and they will spawn on the top with you.
Be patient with this one, as it is definitely one of the few skulls you really want to have on. Activate this skull as soon as you get it, as it does not seem to affect whether you get achievements or not. Trust me, not having to deal with looking for ammo is a fantastic thing.
Chapter V: Assault on the Control Room
Fog Skull: This one is yet another “let’s jump on the grenade” collectible. Oh, how I love them [sarcasm]. Once you get to a hallway that is golden and has Grunts on each side…
…you are in the right location. Kill everyone and get to the center of this room. Walk on the side of the walls, and you’ll see a platform that you can jump to…but you can’t. Get a little help from your grenades by tossing them at your feet and jumping up. It will put you on the platform, where you can jump again to get into the room…
…and as soon as you land on the platform, you’ll see this skull.
Terminal: This terminal is also a bit tricky. As you come out and Cortana tells you that you should get into a Ghost, head towards the center. There is a hole in there. Fall in.
Not only will you get the terminal, but you’ll also have ammo for your rocket launcher and sniper rifle.
Malfunction Skull: Once you reach a huge area with a bridge to the left, head right and you’ll see a Grunt on a turret. Walk towards the edge, and you’ll see the skull right below you.
Jump down and pick it up. There is no way back up, so just fall to your death.
Chapter VI: Guilty Sparks
Rescession Skull: As soon as you start this chapter, just keep walking and you’ll see these structures.
Instead of going into them, turn left and keep walking until you see the covenant turrent. Look left and down untill you see the skull at the bottom.
Simply slide down and go grab it.
Terminal: This one does not happen until almost the end of the chapter. You’ll have to go up on the elevator. Trigger the elevator, look behind you really quickly, and jump off. It’s going to be on top of the doorway. Once you get it, just head back to the panel and activate the elevator again.
Chapter VII: The Library
Blackeye Skull: As soon as you start The Library, you’ll be greeted by the Flood. Relax, kill them all, and head towards the back of the room. As soon as you see wall and the only way out is to go right, where the monitor talks to you, you are in the right place. For this one, you have to grenade jump again, something I dislike doing a lot. After tons of trials, and after I activated the next check point so I didn’t have to kill the Flood over and over again, I called in a friend. Everything is better with a friend! And this skull proves it.
Make your friend stand next to the pillar. Jump on top of him/her, and then jump to the pillar. Once there, the second vent with the air coming out of is where the Blackeye skull is. You don’t have to call a friend, as you can always grenade jump to it, but this is a much faster and easier way to achieve it.
Terminal: You should have noticed by now that the stages keep looking the same. It’s a lot easier to get lost in this thing. You’ll be going up the elevators for a while. When you see on your screen “but I don’t want to ride the elevator…” you are on the right floor. Keep killing the Flood until you’ll come into a room where one will shoot you with a rocket launcher. On the right is a big circle, and a blinking light will be right across it. It’s hard to miss. Just head right and jump around until you get to the terminal.
Eyepatch Skull: Once you reach the fourth floor, you’ll be greeted by…yeah, you guessed it…more Flood. There is a big circular ring, just like the ones on the previous floors, but this one has a light and a bridge. Kill all the Flood, and once you are done, head towards the left. You are going to have to jump on the side like you did with the terminal. It will be between two small platforms on the left.
Terminal: Cortana and the Arbiter get into a fight about who is right and who is wrong. After the cutscene, you have to fight some of the Sentinels. Once you are done, head left and you’ll see the terminal.
Chapter VIII: Two Betrayals
Piñata Skull: Once you get out of the tunnel with the landing lights on the outside, the skull is right above it. The bad news is that you are going to have to go all the way to the other end of the map, grab and Banshee, and fly all the way back in order to get this skull.
Chapter IX: The Captain
Terminal: So you now are going back to save Captain Keys, and everything is infected by the Flood. You don’t have to worry about looking for terminals or skulls until later. Your screen will go all cinematic, and it will say The Captain. Turn left and fight your way through the mob of Flood that will be waiting for you. Get inside the room, and to the left will be a blinking red light.
This is the terminal you are looking for. It contains one of the most interesting, yet disturbing messages of all. Do not go up to where Keys is, since that will trigger a cinematic video showing you the monstrosity that he has become. Now, do not worry if you decided to go up instead. Once you have cleared the room, to which end I recommend you stay on top of the platform for the mobs of enemies you’ll be facing, you can still activate the terminal once you are done fighting.
There will be two Sentinels waiting for you and wave after wave of Flood. In that room, blinking red, just like the first terminal that read “incoming message,” will be the final one. This terminal, if you have followed this guide in order, will give you the “Dear Diary” achievement for 50 G.
Chapter X: The Maw
Grunt’s Birthday Party Skull: The last skull and one of my favorites happens at the end of the game. You’ll get on a Warthog (make sure you pick up the nearby health found on the right side of the Warthog parking area) and head out. You’ll have to drive, and those of you that have played Halo: CE before will remember how awesome it was to drive a Warthog when it didn’t bounce all over the place and took skill to drive. After a while, you’ll hear Cortana say “STOP!” because this is where they will be picking you up. If you look to the right, you’ll see the skull clear as day.
You’ll need to back up the Warthog to the pole on the right so you can use it to get on top. Make sure that you are fast! (I had to pause so I could take the pictures, and one of the Banshees dived in and killed me; I had to do the whole thing over again.) Once you get the skull, you’ll receive the “Head Hunter” achievement.
Congratulations! Twelve skulls, ten terminals, and you did it! Turn Bandana and Grunt’s Birthday Party on, and let’s beat this one on Legendary!