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"Honor Guard Councilor" is a fan-derived term describing a strange Sangheili that serves as the final opponent in the Halo 2 Campaign level Gravemind. He appears to be wearing the gauntlets and greaves of an Honor Guard Ultra, with the helmet of either a Sangheili High Councilor, an Ultra Sangheili, or an Honor Guard Sangheili. The Sangheili's appearance can be attributed to a flaw in the game's programming due to a programmer typing incorrect coding; it was meant to be a Zealot.
The Honor Guard Councilor, who appears at the fore of the bridge between the Mausoleum of the Arbiter and the Far Tower, is flanked by two SpecOps Sangheili wielding Plasma Rifles or Carbines. The Sangheili High Councilor is armed with an Energy Sword, and can be dangerous if a player does not know how to dodge his attacks.
Though the armor is always white with Honor Guard pieces, there are some variations, mostly with the helmet. In addition to the helmet variations below, there are occasions where the glitched Sangheili has Rtas 'Vadum's face—that is, where the Sangheili is missing two mandibles.
- Sangheili High Councilor helmet, standard blue lights on body armor
- Sangheili High Councilor helmet, Rtas 'Vadum's face, red lights on body armor
- Red Honor Guard helmet
- Ultra Sangheili helmet
- Mysterious helmet
- A helmet that resembles the Sangheili High Councilor helmet in form, but has a different texture and some small differences in shape.
- No helmet
- Some Sangheili corpses in the level lack a helmet, which is why this is possible.
The Honor Guard Councilor is extraordinarily powerful and on Normal difficulty or higher requires at least two Fuel Rod Gun hits to kill, or multiple Energy Sword slashes to defeat. The Honor Guard Councilor is programmed to have the power and skills of a Zealot. It always wields an Energy Sword.
The Honor Guard Councilor's appearance results from the usage of a missing tag.
In Halo 2, every enemy in the Campaign has variations, which increase the game's realism. The variations would be chosen at random each time a level was played; they determined that enemies would act and sound differently. This differs from Halo: Combat Evolved, where some enemies, like Sangheili, always used the same lines.
Each Sangheili tag was suffixed with an underscore and a three-letter code denoting the Sangheili's voice actor. Tags whose name ended in
_dog ("dogmatic"), for example, were voiced by Norm Woodel; tags ending in
_scl ("Scully") were voiced by David Scully. So in most maps, there are two tags for each Sangheili rank, with the tags having differing voice actors. This can be seen in many levels, including The Great Journey; when you exit your Spectre/Wraith, there is an Sangheili saying either:
- "The Arbiter? I thought he was dead. Hold your fire! The Mgalekgolo have come to our aid, Arbiter. They will stand by our side." in a calm and steady voice, or:
- "The Arbiter? I thought he was dead. Hold your fire! The Mgalekgolo have come to our aid, Arbiter. They will fight by our side." in a fast and energetic voice.
So these are all of the Sangheili tags in The Great Journey.
- (and so on.)
On most levels, all a programmer has to do is code the game to produce one Minor Sangheili, for example, and the game itself will randomly choose between the Minor_dog and Minor_scl variations. Programmers do have the option to force the game to use a particular variation.
However, not all levels have both sets of tags for all enemies. In Metropolis, for example, all Unggoy sound the same, because the tags voiced by Brian Posehn were omitted from the map's code, leaving only the Unggoy that were voiced by Joseph Staten. Bungie decided to use only one of the two Grunt variations in the game.
This was also done on Gravemind: Sangheili'
_dog tags were omitted from the level, such that only
_scl Sangheili could be used. Because of this, the programmers would have to manually add
_scl onto all of the Sangheili tags. Unfortunately, the game's programmers accidentally coded the game to spawn a "zealot_dog"—they had used the wrong variation suffix. Since this variation was not in the map, the game could not find it.
At this point, the game knows to spawn an Sangheili with the power and weapons of a Zealot, but it does not know what the armor is supposed to look like. It automatically chooses the default armor color, white, but there is no default helmet. The game thus chooses between the available helmets (or lack thereof). The face is also randomized, sometimes causing the glitched Sangheili to have Half-Jaw's face and eyes. And for unknown reasons, the game always enables the "Honor Guard" armor—all Sangheili tags have a setting that gives them Honor Guard armor, but it is supposed to be disabled on most Sangheili, including Zealots.
- Sometimes, but very rarely, this Sangheili appears as a normal Honor Guard Ultra, or even more rarely, a simple Sangheili Ultra.
- In Halo 2 Vista, the error is partially corrected—the Sangheili's shields are normal.
- This could be (although maybe not thought of completely during the game's design) a Halo 2 version of a BOB, as these types of enemies appear as future reference to Halo Reach and Halo Anniversary.
- YouTube: Halo 2 Sangheili with mixed armor An Honor Guard Councilor in combat.