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Emblems were first introduced in Halo 2. They are small designs that are associated with a Character Profile and used to represent a player's identity in multiplayer games and online play. They consist of a two-colored design or pattern overlaid upon a background (typically a geometric shape), with a user-selected color scheme applied to the result. The feature was later carried on into Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Reach, Halo 4, and Halo: The Master Chief Collection.
Halo 2 Emblems
In Halo 2, when a Character Profile is created, there is an option to make an Emblem for your character. Emblems are the primary means of identifying players in multiplayer games and online play; they also appear in the game type Territories, where they are displayed on the flags that denote captured territories. The color and background of the emblems are usually determined by the primary and secondary armor colors. In-game, a player's emblem can be seen glowing on their back and shoulders.
Halo 3 Emblems
Emblems also appear in Halo 3. All of the designs from Halo 2 (except for Sergeant, Waypoint, Cleave, and Race) are available, along with numerous new designs unique to Halo 3. The background shape's color is now determined by a third, user-selected color, as opposed to Halo 2, where it took on the same color as the player's armor. Also, in Halo 3, a design can be "toggled" — the secondary Emblem color can be hidden.
Emblems in Halo 3 are less prominent than they were in Halo 2; in Halo 3, a Spartan player's emblem is only shown on their right shoulder, whereas in Halo 2, it could be seen on both shoulders and the player's back. Elite players' emblems are shown on their right shoulder and upper back. Emblems are no longer used to uniquely identify a player; that job has been taken on by a new, user-customizable call sign composed of a letter followed by two digits.
Some clans encourage their members to use the same emblem to signify unity; in such cases, the emblem functions similarly to a US Army Shoulder Sleeve Insignia.
The 80 primary emblem designs, the 80 "toggles" of those designs, the 48 possible emblem backgrounds, and the 30 possible colors for each of the above all allow for a combined total of 7,680 possible Emblems in Halo 3.
Halo 3: ODST Emblems
Emblems are also featured in Halo 3: ODST's Firefight mode. All Emblem designs from Halo 3 are available, along with 16 new designs unique in Halo 3: ODST, bringing the total to 96. Emblem designs appear on the player's chest plate.
Halo: Reach Emblems
Emblems return in Halo: Reach. They were also featured in the Multiplayer Beta. Once again there are 80 different emblems; 15 new emblems are available, while 31 of the emblems available in Halo 3: ODST have been removed. Notable among the deleted emblems are several which date back to Halo 2, including "Mark of Shame", "Snake", "Hawk", "Marathon" and "Trident." Three of the new designs featured in Halo: Reach were selected after Bungie held a contest where players could send in their ideas for emblem designs, similar to the contest that was held before Halo 3 was released.
Emblems are far less prominent on player armor in Halo: Reach than in previous games. Very small emblems appear on the upper right side of the player's chest piece; a UNSC logo in found in a similar position on the left side of the chest piece. In addition some of the unlockable chest pieces obscure the emblem entirely. Halo: Reach also marks the first appearance of multiplayer emblems in campaign, being found on the player-customized SPARTAN-B312. The emblems are not present on Elite armor variants.
Halo 4 Emblems
Emblems return in Halo 4. Unlike the previous Halo games, players can earn extra emblems by DLC, earning commendations, or by completing certain accomplishments.
List of Emblems
|Halo 2||Halo 3||Halo 3: ODST||Halo: Reach||Halo 4|
|Arrowhead Ver. 1||No||No||No||Yes||No|
|Arrowhead Ver. 2 (PR)||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|Arrow on Target (WK)||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|Cup of Death||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Evil Stare (SK)||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|Eye, The (SK)||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|Fleur de Lis||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Hog Tire (OP)||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|Infected Ver. 1||No||No||Yes||Yes||No|
|Infected Ver. 2||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|Keep it Clean||No||No||Yes||No||No|
|Killer Bee (WK)||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|Mark of Shame||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|On Your Shield||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|Power is On||No||No||No||Yes||No|
|Recon Bot (PT)||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|Trail, The (TK)||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|Unicorn Ver. 1||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Unicorn Ver. 2||No||No||No||No||Yes|
- In the Halo: Reach Multiplayer Beta, emblems were not visible on the players' armor.
- You can "toggle" a design by pressing X while modifying your emblem's design, background, or colors; doing so hides all portions of the Emblem that use the secondary emblem color.
- Some players have formed unique emblems by toggling the designs. As an example, toggling the Grunt design and using the Arrow background makes "The Bat". On a similar note, a chicken can be created by using a Bullseye with the Ball of Fire.
- Toggling the Seventh Column design makes it completely invisible, as the entire design is shown using the secondary emblem color. This, in combination with the Blank background, makes it possible to have a completely transparent emblem.
- The Bubble Shield and Trip Mine emblems return in Halo 3: ODST, despite the player not using Equipment in ODST while playing as an ODST. These emblems probably returned due to the fact that Brutes can still carry and use them.
- The Marathon symbol is available as an emblem in Halo 2, Halo 3, and in Halo 3: ODST.
- Prior to Halo 3's release, Bungie held a contest in which people could send in their ideas for Emblem designs. The Pirate Emblem was the winner, and can be used in Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, and Halo: Reach.
- The three Spartans from Red Team in Halo Wars have emblems from Halo 3 and are also the first characters to use emblems in Campaign.
- Emblems, when shown on a player's armor, are most prominent on a Spartan CQB Right Shoulder armor part.
- In Halo 3: ODST, one of the many new emblems added is the seal of the rampant UESC AI Tycho. Tycho's seal is the second emblem to be added to the list that makes reference to Bungie's previous game, Marathon.
- Every player on Live that played a Halo 3 or Halo 3: ODST game on the 21st/22 January with the "Hearts" icon colored red and white, Bungie donated $100 for every 1,000 players, up to $77,000, to Red Cross for Haiti earthquake relief efforts. The campaign was called:Be a Hero! with the slogan: Help us help Haiti.
- The new Halo: Reach emblem that is a human skull with a bullet hole through the head was designed by a fan in an emblem contest Bungie held. The emblem has since been made into a T-shirt available on the Xbox Live Avatar Marketplace.
- The "Triad" emblem looks just like the Triforce from the Zelda games.
- In Halo: Reach, the "4 Diamonds" background is a duplicate of the "4 Plots" background, unlike in previous games where it has been its own design.
- An exclusive in-game emblem was included with the Halo 4 Limited Edition.
- Three exclusive emblems were available for those who pre-ordered Halo 4 at GameStop, though the person was required to have a PowerUp Rewards account in order to obtain the emblems.