The infamous "The library"

I genuinely don’t understand how people say Cortana is difficult but are fine with The library? I recently beat Halo 3 on legendary for the first time with 0 guides or tips and Cortana was pretty easy along with the rest of the game with a small number of annoying moments. The library has you run through the same hallway over and over and over again while throwing 20-40 flood at you at once with multiple using shotguns, magnums, rifles/plasma rifles, and thankfully a rare rocket launcher, especially the part where 343 guilty spark has to unlock a door and locks you in a tiny room with flood constantly spawning giving you only a single health pack and 2 grenades… with multiple flood constantly shooting and hitting you melting your health in seconds while having 0 cover or room. I’m genuinely confused how anyone did this on Legendary or how the devs thought this was a good level? Ive run through the game on heroic and normal before but Jesus, I forgot how god awful this level was. Yes, I am aware this is beating a dead horse but tell me how you played through it on legendary or how you can possibly think what was stated in the first sentence.

I understand your concerns about the mission. As a child, it was literally a nightmare. ;D Meanwhile, I’m even one of the said library advocates. Just today I did play the mission two times on legendary to unlock a few things for halo cea. At some point, while I was hunting achievments, I dealt with the legendary Speedruns and look. There are countless tips and tricks to master the mission. For example, in the room in which there is only one health pack plus two frags, you can hide in the corner and nobody will look at you. I recommend you to visit Youtube to beat the library on legendary. I even became a hobby speedrunner because it’s really fun to destroy those old games! :slight_smile:

Cortana’s not a difficult mission on Legendary since The Flood are generally weak to almost all weapons with the exception of ranged forms but even then there is an abundance of Energy Swords, Plasma/Spike Grenades and Heavy Weapons to prevent them from being an issue. Furthermore, in one of the trouble sections (near the ODST with Flamethrower), you can just active camo past the entire thing and in a later section near the conduits that need to be cut, half the AI for the pure Flood forms doesn’t even work, so you can walk right by them.

What Cortana has in common with The Library however, is that it’s not clear where to go and is a generally bland environment for newcomers, making it easier to get lost and dull to playthrough. Once you know your way, it’s not that bad but I still find both levels boring. The Library however, can be overwhelming at times on Legendary, particularly one of the last ‘hold here’ sections (the one where it’s extremely enclosed) where even though you can hide, it doesn’t always work and you may end up having to try to fight, which can be difficult. The Library overall feels more difficult thanks to The Flood’s weaponry compared to Cortana but regardless, I think most will agree the levels are just dull.

Keep in mind that Halo: Combat Evolved was the first game so everything was a first try. No one really knew how things were going to play out.

The Library, on Legendary, is easier to beat than Cortana, on Legendary, simply because you have more room to maneuver. The Library has tons of space to roam and there are various ways you can completely bypass huge sections of the level. You’ll still have to find tons of Flood but you’ll have the space to move around and kill them from a distance. Cortana is difficult because you only have one option and the little room it provides you to kill Flood and progress through the level. You are funneled into small, cramped hallways where you can be shot at from countless angles with very little cover.

Halo: Combat Evolved Legendary difficulty isn’t as hard as most think. Halo 2 Legendary difficulty is the most rage inducing campaign experience in the Halo series. Halo 3 Legendary difficulty found the middle ground between the two.

You have to also remember the time at which Halo CE was released. It was very common for games to spawn enemies behind you or open up “monster closets.” The Library was probably meant to be a departure from the skill based combat of The Covenant for a more old-school zombie horde vs shotgun DOOM style play. To me The Library feels very DOOM inspired (minus the lazy level design.). The reason that I say this is because how you play suddenly wildly changes. Halo is largely a cover based shooter game, you go out, kill some enemies, then duck under cover to get your shields back, this is how most modern games work. At the time though, there were still games like Quake where circle strafing was the best strategy, and that’s exactly what you are supposed to do in The Library. Throw what you learned fighting the Covenant out the window and learn how to dance. This both helps alleviate the never ending string of bullets coming at you, but also allows to to hit multiple enemies in the same shot. If you have two enemies in front of you, make sure you hit them both, lest one jump at you in between.

It’s honestly my favorite level though. On Legendary it’s about quick trigger with the shotgun and killing enemies in specific places knowing that they’ll drop grenades which can be chain reacted. It probably would have worked better as three levels instead of four, because it does become a grind after a while.

I definitely recommend looking up the trick that HILTI dc se 20 mentioned, since that room in the only on in the level that I would really consider “hard.” In that room simply run to the door that you’ll go through once it’s done and hide in the corner to your right. It’s completely foolproof and I even set my controller during this part. Also, I’m not sure which graphics setting you’re on, but I find it significantly easier to see with the classic mode.

Oh and for god’s sake, backpack reload. In this mission you never want to have to stop putting out bullets and the shotgun takes so long to reload if you have it out.

There are basically 2 ways to get through the Library on legendary. You can take your time and clear out all the enemies in each section, and yes they do eventually stop spawning, or you can suicide run to check points. There are also certain sections you can skip portions of. I didnt like Cortana in Halo 3 because of the claustrophobic areas you fight in. It’s really difficult to navigate with the narrower FoV and instead of level surfaces like in the Library, in Cortana, you’re going up ridges, falling through holes, and trying to navigate a blur of rocks and surfaces that all look the same. I hated Cortana. Might be my least favorite halo level of all the campaigns. The Library is far more enjoyable to me. It’s possible to be methodical if you have the patience.

I don’t find Cortana terribly difficult, but the constant interruptions were certainly a lot more annoying.


I feel like The Library is worse than Cortana because I find The Library so long and tedious!

They both had issues, but ultimately I enjoyed them.

The Library was long and repetitive. It was one cut and pasted hallway after another with a few twists and turns thrown in. On the plus side, each hallway was very wide and gave you the option to move around the map a bit more. You could engage at long range in a few parts, but still get close in when needed.

Cortana was shorter, but thankfully not very repetitive. However, the tight spaces and constant level changes can get confusing on the first run through. They also made it very linear in some parts. On the plus side, the more open sections gave you multiple routes to get through to the next checkpoint.

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> I don’t find Cortana terribly difficult, but the constant interruptions were certainly a lot more annoying.

Agreed, the interruptions throughout the game were pretty annoying, im pretty sure they did it to somewhat pad the length since the game is already kind of short.