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Halo 3 Skulls are human skulls hidden in Halo 3's Campaign. The Skulls resemble those in the Multiplayer game variant Oddball and can be used as weapons in the same way. However, they lack the information text (i.e. "Press RB to pick up...") to pick them up. They are differentiated on the selection screen by their color, but are identical in-game. They are usually hidden and out of the way.
To unlock a skull, you must be playing on Normal or higher and start from the beginning of the level. You do not need to carry the skull all the way to the end (with the exception of the IWHBYD skull). The Mythic Skull is the only skull available on Easy, but you will not receive the achievement for it. All Skulls except for the Famine Skull are affected by physics, which means that they can be moved by explosions and other forces.
Once a Gold or Silver skull is unlocked, you can activate it from the Campaign Lobby. Simply press X while in the Campaign Lobby and then select a skull with A to activate it. Multiple skulls can be activated at once.
There are nine Gold Skulls which affect the difficulty of gameplay and add multipliers to your Campaign Meta-game score. Each Gold Skull has an achievement that unlocks when you find it.
|Skull Name||Multiplier||Short Description|
|Iron||3x||If a solo player dies, the level is restarted. If a co-op player dies, the last checkpoint is loaded.|
|Black Eye||1.5x||Shields only regenerate by melee attacking enemies.|
|Tough Luck||1.5x||Grenades, weapon projectiles, and vehicular splatter attempts are evaded more effectively by the AI. Jiralhanae will berserk more often and Unggoy will kamikaze more often.|
|Catch||1.5x||All AI units throw many grenades more often and will always drop two grenades after dying.|
|Fog||1.5x||The motion sensor is disabled.|
|Famine||2x||Dropped weapons have much less ammunition/charge.|
|Thunderstorm||1.5x||All enemies are promoted to the highest available ranks.|
|Tilt||2x||Enemy defensive resistances and weaknesses are doubled.|
|Mythic||2x||All Covenant enemies have twice the amount of health.|
Death carries a heavy price...
Level: Sierra 117
Icon: A skull marked with a hammer.
Effect: If you die while playing solo, you will respawn at the very beginning of the level and the "Revert to Last Checkpoint" option is no longer available. If any player dies while playing Co-op, all players will be reset to the last checkpoint.
Point Multiplier: 3x
- At the point where you must rescue Sergeant Johnson and his team, snipe as many enemies as you can and then jump down and cross the bridge.
- Keep to the right of the bridge until you see a blocked line with some pipes. Hop onto this block and continue.
- When you reach the end of this raised block, jump up into the balcony.
- Follow this balcony to the end. The skull is hidden behind a pillar jutting out from the building tucked into the corner.
Bash your way to better health.
Level: Crow's Nest
Icon: A skull marked with a smaller skull that has a bruise under one eye.
Effect: The player's shields will only regenerate by performing melee attacks. The Energy Sword and Gravity Hammer's RT attacks, the shockwave created by the Gravity Hammer's swing, and hijacking also count as melee attacks and will recharge your shield.
Point Multiplier: 1.5x
- At the beginning of the level, walk to the door leading to the barracks and then turn around.
- Walk to the green metal rack and jump on top of it.
- Turn to the right, look up to the red metal beam, and jump on it.
- To the direct right again is a much larger grey-black pipe. Jump on it.
- Walk along the pipe and you will see the skull at the end.
Your foes always make every saving throw.
Level: Tsavo Highway
Icon: A skull marked with a three-leafed clover.
Effect: Enemies will more often successfully dodge grenades, weapon projectiles, and vehicle splatter attempts.
Point Multiplier: 1.5x
- At the point where you must fight a group of Jiralhanae and two Choppers, kill all the enemies, destroy the shield, and continue until you reach a long, winding bridge. At this point, a Covenant CCS-class battlecruiser should fly overhead.
- To your left, you will see a series of yellow ladders. Go to the very last one which has a Regenerator at the top.
- Jump over or around the large metal bar on the right and then turn to the left.
- Look down and you will see a large, black support below you. Jump down onto it. Note that when you jump, you have to be standing on the part of the pipe that sticks out slightly with the bolts going through it. Otherwise, you'll take too much fall damage and die.
- Walk along to the end of the support and then turn to the left again.
- Now you should be able to see the skull on a cliff across a gap. Jump across the gap on to the cliff to get the skull.
Note: This Skull and Famine seem to increase the likelihood of encountering Suicide Unggoy.
Pull pin. Count to three. Throw.
Level: The Storm
Icon: A skull marked with a Plasma grenade.
Effect: All AI-controlled units, friend or foe, throw grenades more often and have unlimited grenades. Even scripted grenades are affected: on the level Crow's Nest, the Warthog will be destroyed by up to four Plasma Grenades. The Skull has no effect on Flood.
Point Multiplier: 1.5x
Do not destroy or physically damage the normal Wraith in any way (though the plasma turret operator can be sniped safely) or the skull will disappear.
- At Lakebed A where you fight an Anti-Air Wraith, a handful of Ghosts, and a standard Wraith, you should see a silo-like building (see image). On top of this is the skull. Look for the ramp that leads over to the platform where the normal Wraith is dropped.
There are multiple methods which can be used to get onto the building.
- Grenade jump.
- Drive the Warthog at the foot of the silo and Crouch jump onto it. Make sure that the Warthog is at the Wraith-side of the silo before attempting the crouch-jump.
- Drive the Warthog between the silo and the wall so that it is turned on its side. Jump onto the red wall, then jump onto the silo.
- Park a Ghost below, then jump from it onto the building. Use a grenade jump if necessary.
- Park one Ghost on the Wraith-side, then get another Ghost and park it on top. You should be able to jump on top of the Ghosts and then onto the silo.
- Take a Deployable Cover and use it between the red wall and the building. Move out of the way and you can use the cover as a stepping stone.
- In Co-op, one player can jump onto the other player's head and then onto the building.
- Hijack the Anti-Air Wraith and maneuver it so the back touches the base of the silo where the ground rises slightly, then get out. The only problem is that this will cause an NPC Hornet to fire upon the standard Wraith, and the Wraith may focus its fire on you, so you will need to work a little quickly. The Anti-Air Wraith should remain still while you jump on the back and onto the top of the silo.
You'll miss those eyes in the back of your head…
Level : Floodgate
Icon: A skull marked with a swirl of fog.
Effect: Your motion sensor is disabled.
Point Multiplier: 1.5x
- As soon as you enter the destroyed city of Voi, there is a building with an ICBM launcher on the right. Move to the middle of the road that leads in and left.
- Take out a weapon with a scope (preferably a Battle Rifle) and look up and to the right (to the top of the right hand building). Wait for a Marine to say over the radio, "All squads, report."
- You will see a Flood Combat Form on the roof of the building to the right. It will jump across the street above you as a Marine replies, "There, over there!" You can either kill the Combat Form or shoot off its right arm. You can also either kill it while it is still on the first roof or try to shoot it while it is in mid-air. The skull will fall to the ground between the two buildings.
Trust us. Bring a magazine.
Level: The Ark
Icon: A skull marked with a smaller skull which has a horizontal line through its center and three dots underneath.
Effect: All weapons that are dropped by enemies or are scripted to spawn on the ground (e.g. near a crashed Pelican or group of dead bodies) have reduced ammunition or charge. However, weapons found in cases still have the normal amount of ammo.
Point Multiplier: 2x
- At the point where you are directed into a fork in the road, go straight, which leads you to a giant bowl-like valley.
- Go to the right and drive directly ahead until you hit the rock wall.
- When you get underneath the platform structure, you will notice some climbable rocks on the right that will lead you to the platform itself. Climb up them.
- You will notice several beam-like supports alongside the platform. Go to the very last one at the end of the platform. If you jump up, you can see the skull at the end.
- Align yourself right up to the support. You need to get to the crevice of it, sticking out and away from the platform. There are several methods to obtain this skull:
- Stick a Plasma Grenade right where the beam-like support and incline meet (on the bottom edge of the incline). Back up, run and jump, aiming a little higher than the skull. You should be just over and a little forward of the grenade when it explodes giving you enough of a boost to reach the skull.
- Pick up a Deployable Cover and place it in front of the pillar with the skull and use it as a step to the ledge. It may take a few tries to place it exactly at the perfect spot, as it may slide off and fall off the ledge. The best way to do this is stand back and then take a run towards the skull and then jump whilst pulling slightly right.
- In cooperative mode, stand on your friend's head and have them run and jump towards the skull. At the highest point of their jump, jump over to the ledge. If performed correctly, you should land on the platform.
- Deploy a Bubble Shield so that the edge of it is near the edge of the structure and use a grenade jump to reach the skull. The Bubble Shield will keep the grenade you throw inside it. Jump right after you throw and the grenade should give you a sufficient boost.
- Take a Brute Shot and aim it downward but still on the building. Take a leap, and as you jump, fire downward and you will be able to launch yourself to the skull.
- If you saved the Rocket Launcher from the downed Pelican, you can rocket jump by positioning yourself a suitable running distance from the platform with the skull, running at it backward, jumping as you reach the slanted floor and firing a rocket. The blast should be sufficient to propel you to the platform. In order to do this without killing yourself, do it on Normal and with an Overshield obtained by using the Black Eye Skull.
- Find a few Ghosts and use the boulder and a boost/A-button combo to get them onto the platform. Then stack them near the spot with the skull and you should be able to jump from on top of them to the skull.
- On the way back through this canyon, after getting the Scorpions from the Forward Unto Dawn, as you pass under the arch and blow up the Phantom, there is a wall to the left of the part where the canyon narrows that you can drive a tank up. If you drive one up, then wedge it in the area where the Forerunner structure comes closest to the cliff you're on, you can take a second tank up the cliff and drive it across the bridge made from the first one onto the Forerunner structure. Then, with some careful positioning, use its turret as a platform to jump to the skull.
- Follow Johnson's Pelican to the landing site. Before you go through the rock tunnel to confront the Wraith, destroy the Covenant troops near the Chopper. Take the Chopper and ride it up the ridge with the boost. Similar to the Ghost method, leap the chopper onto the ledge from the mountain range with the boost and roll it to the pylon with the skull on it. Put the Chopper as close as you can to the pylon and slowly roll it forward until the big wheel is at the edge. Get out of the Chopper, jump on the wheel, and then jump up to get the skull.
Field promotions for everyone.
Level: The Covenant
Icon: A skull marked with a lightning bolt.
Effect: All enemies and allies are promoted to the highest available rank. The number of shielded Flood Sangheili Combat Forms and shielded Sentinels is increased.
Point Multiplier: 1.5x
- When you hop into a Hornet to fly to the third tower, the title If You Want It Done Right will be displayed. If it doesn't, then no skull will appear.
- On your way to the third tower, you will see the second tower which was disabled by the Sangheili. Fly over to it.
- There is a long, flat, semi-enclosed part of the tower that extends out over the ocean. There is a very tall ramp that leads up to it. At the end of the extension you will find the Thunderstorm Skull.
What was once resistance is now immunity.
Icon: A skull marked with a smaller skull that has a hole in it.
Effect: All enemy weaknesses and resistances double. For example, Jiralhanae armor is twice as weak to plasma weapons and twice as strong against projectile weapons.
Point Multiplier: 2x
- The skull is at the top of the large circular room where Cortana says, "It was the coin's fault! I wanted to make you strong, keep you safe." When you enter this room you will fall out of a hole in the ceiling and land next to a dead Sangheili. To the left of the room will be some small, somewhat fungal, growths on the walls. Near this is a rounded pillar.
- Stand on the pillar and jump to the thin growth outcrops to the left. If you are not careful, you may hit your head on an obstruction above, spoiling the jump.
- After the first two to the left, turn around and look away from the rock wall. Then look left for another one with a longish extrusion of Flood material. This one is difficult to jump to as your head will hit the wall with jumps from many of the obvious positions. One jump that works is at the tip of this pillar, back up about two feet from the edge and jump slightly left of the tip of the target pillar. Or, when you get on the upper outcrop on the left, facing the other outcrop you are jumping to, move as far as you can to the left. Then jump toward the other outcrop with the extension of Flood material.
- Underneath the platform you usually walk on are two to three Deployable Covers near the Terminal with Cortana's message. These can be placed on the pillar and the ledge to make the jumps easier and help you avoid things that can cause your jumps to fail.
- Walk up the extruded Flood tentacle onto the roof of the area where you will find the Skull in a small pile of blood and bones.
Coverage under the Covenant Health Plan.
Icon: A skull marked with a circle that has a smaller circle in it.
Effect: All Covenant enemies have twice the amount of health.
Point Multiplier: 2x
- At the beginning of the level, move forward, hugging the right wall and curving slowly left in the cave up ahead.
- After a short amount of time, you will see a tunnel opening to the right. Move through this, but still hug the right wall.
- Part of the way along, you will see a cave opening. Move inside and turn on your flashlight.
- The skull will be found on the ground among the rocks at the dead end.
There are five Silver Skulls which affect the gameplay, but do not necessarily make it more difficult.
Shoot from the hip.
Level: Sierra 117
Icon: A skull with an eye that has a crossed-out pupil.
Effect: Your entire Heads-Up Display is disabled. You can't see your weapon, shield meter, motion sensor, or ammo/grenade count.
- Go to the area where you first encounter the Covenant. There should be a Jiralhanae Captain Major and a few Unggoy.
- Face the large body of water and look for the protruding rock. Jump onto this rock.
- You will see another rock. Jump on this rock.
- Walk to the end of this rock and pick up the skull.
Grunt Birthday Party
Light a match…
Level: Crow's Nest
Icon: A skull marked with a candle.
Effect: If an Unggoy is shot in the head with any headshot-capable weapon (such as the Battle rifle or Sniper rifle), a popping sound plays, a sound of children cheering plays, and colorful confetti explodes out of the Unggoy. The confetti explosion causes minor damage to nearby enemies.
- On your way to the barracks, you will come across a section in the level where you are required to drop down into a shaft. At the bottom are several pipe entrances where Drones fly out of. Reaching the bottom will initiate a Cortana Moment.
- Before you drop down, at the end of the corridor, there is another large drop (purple pipe with a rotating fan). Look down at the drop and you will notice a small ledge protruding out a little bit with a green sign containing a white arrow in the middle.
- Approach the edge very slowly, and as soon as you drop, start moving backwards. You should land on the ledge.
- The skull will be located at the end of this passage.
- After the battle with the Chieftain and Jiralhanae, grab a Gravity Lift.
- Continue on until you are in the shaft with the Drones.
- Walk down the corridor and go down the large drop.
- Turn around and throw the Gravity Lift. Try to lay the lift as near to the pipe as possible. Laying it in the middle won't always work.
- Go through it and you'll enter the passage with the skull at the end.
More bang for your buck.
Level: The Ark
Icon: A skull marked with a cowbell.
Effect: Explosions and melee attacks launch characters and objects farther, but the damage is not affected.
- After defeating the Scarab, take a Gravity Lift from the small structure in the center (to the right of the entrance up the large slope).
- Continue on until you pass the room with a lot of explosive Plasma Batteries. In the hallway after this room, there is a tall section with openings above the turning point of the hall. The skull is in the top one of the highest of these. There are several methods to obtain this skull:
- Method A: Use the Grav Lift to get there. The ideal place to deploy it is about three-fourths of the way down the ramp, and a little to the left of the center, while facing up-ramp (facing up-ramp will ensure the Grav Lift doesn't slip farther down). Run down the ramp and jump such that you reach the peak of your jump while directly over the Grav Lift. You should also be running towards the tall section, aiming towards the middle of the top shelf on the section. If your Grav Lift expires or is destroyed, you can always revert to last save since the room containing the skull is a checkpoint. If you have difficulty getting there, crouch while being Grav-Lifted. This may take a few tries.
- Method B: If you are having too much trouble placing the Grav Lift, it is possible to drive a Brute Chopper into the building. You can then drive the Chopper to the bottom of the ramp, jump onto it, and deploy the Grav Lift, which will go through the vehicle. You should be elevated to the opening with the skull.
- Method C: If you are playing cooperatively, have two of the players grab a Grav Lift. One player (Person A) should drop their Grav Lift before the platforms, use it to go up to the fourth level (one below the skull), and wait for his partner (Person B) to join them. Person B should stand right on the edge of that platform and deploy their Grav Lift while facing straight down. If Person A placed the first one right, then the two Grav Lifts should line up, with one hovering above the other. Person A should then walk backwards off the edge and onto the Grav Lifts. A will end up being suspended above the platform with the skull, at which point they should just keep holding the left thumbstick forward until they move onto the platform. If they can't move forward, they should keep pushing forward anyway, because when the lower Grav Lift breaks, they will drop onto the platform.
IWHBYD (I Would Have Been Your Daddy) Skull
- Main article: IWHBYD
But a dog beat me over the fence!
Level: The Covenant
Icon: A skull marked with a double helix.
Effect: Unlocks new and often humorous dialogue for the AI.
- After you and the Arbiter fight through the Covenant to stop Truth from firing the Halo rings, the Flood will turn against you. Fight your way back to the elevator, but do not drop through the vent at the end.
- Turn around and face the seven holographic rings. From here, the closest ring is 1 and the farthest away is 7.
- Jump through the rings in this sequence: 4 6 5 4 5 3 4.
- The humming noise of each holographic ring corresponds to one of 7 notes on a musical scale. The sequence of notes produced follows the tune of the last seven notes of the Halo Theme.
- Head all the way back to the control console and the skull should be on the floor just in front of the light-bridge.
- When you pick up the skull, the rings you jumped through will light up in the same sequence you followed, playing the last seven notes of the Halo Theme. At the end, the final note will sound, then rise in pitch, and all the rings will glow brightly.
Unknown Skull (Second Blind Skull)
Shoot from the hip
Icon: A skull marked with an eye with a crossed out pupil. The skull’s eyes are shaded white.
Effects: Same as Blind Skull.
- In the reactor room, kill all of the Flood.
- Grab one of the Deployable Covers and climb one of the pillars that extend from the upper floor.
- Deploy the cover and climb it. Then jump to the upper floor. If you can't do it with the Deployable Cover, throw a grenade on the end of the pillar and grenade jump.
- When you're up, search around the surface and look down. At some point, you should find the Blind Skull among some bones above the main door.
Note: Carrying it throughout the level will make you start the next level with a Spartan Laser and your current secondary weapon. Also, obtaining this skull before obtaining the Blind Skull will also unlock the Blind Skull.
Icon: A skull marked with the emblem of the Quito Space Tether.
Directions: Above the pit between the two pathways, go up until you see the skull on the ledge. Exit Edit Mode and crouch on the ledge beside it to get it.
Icon: A skull marked with Lekgolo worms.
Directions: Near the middle between the two pipes connecting the middle to the building. Use Edit Mode in Forge to fly up there.
Icon: A skull marked with a Monitor.
The skull is located between two of the Guardian towers at the right of the sun. The towers fire upon the player on sight and are one-hit kills, so to reach the skull, a player has to use scenery items to protect themselves. An easy way to obtain the skull is through the following steps:
- In Forge, overload the map.
- Locate the skull and construct a Tube Y-Intersection surrounding the skull. This will serve as your protection against the towers' deadly beams.
- Place two two-way teleporter nodes, one inside the tube and the other within the map's safe zone.
- Start a new round and simply walk into the teleporter and obtain the skull.
- Locate the skull in Theater mode.
- Place a corner piece of movable corridor with one opening facing in the direction of the skull and the other opening facing the sky.
- Position yourself within the piece of corridor looking out towards the skull.
- Pick up the corridor and move towards the skull. The corridor should move with you, protecting you from the Guardian Towers' beams.
- When you reach the skull, simply turn back into a Spartan, crouch down, and pick it up.
- Before starting, edit both the editor and player traits to give both maximum overshields. This allows both modes to withstand a single blast from a tower.
- Locate the skull.
- Create a bubble shield in edit mode and pick it up in player mode.
- Fly to the skull in edit mode.
- Enter player mode and quickly drop the bubble shield over the skull, giving you time to retrieve it.
Icon: A skull marked with the Mark of Shame.
Directions: Standing on the sword platform, face the windows. The skull is 90 degrees to the right of the sword under the vents.
Icon: A skull marked with a harpooned fish.
Directions: Head for the aircraft carrier and then turn right. The skull is on the top of a large ventilation shaft beside a "Fronk's" sign.
Icon: A skull marked with the symbol of the Covenant citadel.
Directions: Find the overshield on the blue side and then look for the wall with the blue triangular shapes on it. There should be a pillar in-between the shapes. At the top of this pillar, to the right in an alcove is the skull.
- The Mythic Skulls have gold teeth.
- A Skull's melee power is the same as a regular melee rather than an instant kill with the Oddball.
- Halo 3 Skulls also have neural interfaces in the back of them, like those used by John-117, Captain Keyes, and Lord Hood.
- "I Would Have Been Your Daddy" refers to the name of the first chapter of Assault on the Control Room in Halo: Combat Evolved.
- On any level with the Arbiter, if you kill the Arbiter in a safe spot and drop the skull very close to him, he might grab it and use it as a weapon.
- The "Grunt Birthday Party Skull" is the only skull that appears in all six of the Halo games that feature Skulls: Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo Wars, Halo: Reach, and Halo 4.
- Halo 3 skulls are generally easier to get than in Halo 2 because they can be found on the Normal difficulty and are often hidden in more simple places.
- In cooperative mode, if any of the players pick up a skull, the skull and any associated achievements will be unlocked for all players.
- Hackers were able to find the Cortana Blind Skull by opening the
mainmenu.mapfile in a hex editor and finding a hint. The hint given was, "Interred deep within her tomb."
mainmenu.mapfile refers to the Sierra 117 Blind Skull as the Assassin Skull. Its hint was, "Interred where heroes fall."