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August 24, 2004 Link to this post

Zanzibar Gameplay - in Hi-Res Glory
In the past few days, many sites have put up shakeycam video of public Halo 2 play - and many sites have been shut down by the demand. The sad thing is... quality has been HORRIBLE on almost every single released movie. Demand is still huge, because people want to see how this game plays... but it's like trying to enjoy the dance by rubbing a clear spot in the glass on the outside of the barn. Dolbex managed to grab almost 20 minutes of direct-feed footage of an 4v4 at last weekend's MLG-hosted Downpour event in Seattle, and he's shunted it over to us for release to the masses. Before you get a link, there are a few things you should know:

  • This is NOT the final version of Halo 2; this is the E3 build of the map Zanzibar, created 4 months ago, and VASTLY altered since that point. If you see something that you don't like, chances are Bungie saw it also, and fixed it.
  • There is no public demo of this level; this event wasn't even on the list of public Halo 2 showings. It was not mentioned beforehand because Bungie wanted it to be a surprise for the MLG guests, and because they didn't want people coming to the tournament SPECIFICALLY for Halo 2. In other words; this was a one-time deal, don't expect to see another showing like this.
  • The game depicted here is mostly MLG staff and volunteers; the screen you're watching is mrsmiley, of Halo Babies.
  • If you like this stuff, there is about an hour and half MORE footage at MLGpro.com and is primarily pro players playing Halo 2 in the world's first Halo2 tourney. Players like Ogre 1, Strangepurple, Darkman, Ogre 2, and Zyos. You can view it by becoming a member of Video On Demand ($20 to help support HaloTV/server costs).

All that said, I've taken Dolbex's footage and encoded it to a not-server-crushing 123 mb, and we're releasing it via BitTorrent. If you don't have a BitTorrent client, you can grab one here. Once you've got that, point it to our Seattle Halo 2 Footage seed, and don't forget to leave the window open when you're finished, to share the bandwidth love! The demand for this file is going to be huge; you can make it less painful to everyone involved by chipping in. (Later today, I'll release a smaller segment for bandwidth-challenged folks... please be patient.) Update: A lot of people seem unfamiliar with BitTorrent, and are complaining about slow download speeds. An explanation of exactly why this is happening and how BitTorrent works is beyond the scope of this post. However, the reason we are inflicting BitTorrent on you is that given the size of this movie and the tremendous demand for it, this is the only way we (or anyone short of, say, FilePlanet) could afford to host this movie. Bandwidth costs money- lots of bandwidth costs LOTS of money, way more than any fansite can afford. Just remember, when you finish downloading, please don't close the BitTorrent window. Think of it as a favor to the community that has brought you this movie- you just downloaded it from all the people who didn't close their windows either, and everyone who downloads it later will be able to do so thanks to you. Every little bit counts, so please help us justify posting more movies like this in the future. (Updated by CZ) (Louis Wu 15:58:41 UTC)

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