A $20,000 Halo 2 challenge launched by streamer and YouTuber MoistCr1tikal has finally been completed, with the streamer Jervalin claim the bounty.
Earlier this summer, MoistCr1tikal offered $5,000 to anyone who could complete what they called “the toughest challenge in all of gaming.” This challenge? Complete Halo 2 in single player, on Legendary difficulty, with all in-game difficulty skulls enabled, without dying once. While the feat has surely been accomplished by someone, somewhere, since the game launched in 2004, there are no video recordings of it, which is why MoistCr1tikal’s challenge also stipulated that any the event had to be broadcast live on YouTube or Twitch to qualify. When no one intervened for three weeks, MoistCr1tikal increased bounty up to $20,000 for the first person to perform the act.
While it’s certainly up for debate whether a Halo 2 “LASO” deathless run (legendary, all skulls on) is the “toughest challenge in all of gaming,” it’s certainly up there. Halo 2 on Legendary difficulty is already notoriously difficult. There are more high-ranking enemies (and just more enemies in general), for starters. Enemies deal vastly increased damage, have better weapons, throw more grenades, and are much smarter. Melee attacks from Elites and some forms of Flood will kill in one hit. And that’s all without even mentioning the game’s infamous Jackal Snipers, which spawn more often and are much more accurate and deadly on Legendary difficulty.
All this before activating the difficulty of the game to modify the skulls. With various skulls activated, Halo 2 on Legendary becomes a whole different ball game. The Assassin’s skull, for example, gives enemies permanent invisibility. Mythic gives enemies even more health and shields. Black Eye causes player shields to not automatically recharge and can only be recharged by killing enemies with melee attacks. Famine causes all weapons dropped by enemies or allies to have half ammo. Any mistake, no matter how small, almost certainly results in instant death. The only skull Jervalin didn’t have was Envy, which gives the Master Chief the Arbiter’s active cloaking ability and actually makes the game easier, not harder.
It is, to put it lightly, absolutely brutal. Completing the challenge would have been difficult enough even without the undeath stipulation. But Jervalin, who finished the race using an original Halo 2 disc and made a name for himself by completing various Halo-related challenges over the years, won gold in style, finishing his run in just under half past six. He also wasn’t above using a few tricks to emerge victorious. For the game’s final boss fight against the Brute Chieftain Tartarus, Jervalin introduced a flying Banshee vehicle into the boss arena to make short work of the encounter. After his victory, his family ran to give him a hug.
“You couldn’t script a healthier finale here,” says MoistCr1tikal in a video congratulating Jervalin. According to MoistCr1tikal, around 2,000 people have actively tried to complete the challenge over the past 40 days. Only 25 people passed the first level, says MoistCr1tikal.
Jervalin himself said on-air that he once thought a Halo 2 LASO run without death was “impossible”. Now he is $20,000 richer and his achievement will go down in history.
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