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Neutral Host Edition

WHAT IS NEUTRAL HOST EDITION?

Neutral Host Edition is a version of Halo 1: Final that allows for a dedicated Xbox to host games between two joining Xboxes on LAN. This allows for players on two separate Xboxes to play against each other without one Xbox having the advantage of being on host (i.e., both Xboxes are essentially playing on a dedicated server).

 

WHAT EQUIPMENT DO I NEED?

Neutral Host Edition requires three modded Xboxes (each with NHE loaded), one Ethernet switch, and three patch cables (crossover cables will not work). A third TV for the host Xbox is recommended but not required as it can be connected to a second input on one of the TVs already in use.

For optimal NHE performance, we recommend using an unmanaged CAT6 switch. Example – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008PC1FYK/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

HOW DO I PLAY GAMES WITH IT?

Run NHE on the host Xbox and start a system link game. Then run NHE on the other two join Xboxes and join the system link game. Use the host Xbox to choose the map and game type. You can play 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, and 4v4.

 

HOW DOES IT WORK?

At the start of a Neutral Host Edition game the player on the host Xbox will instantly teleport to a spot on the map that does not affect spawns, usually at the top of each map. This “hostman” is enclosed at the location and cannot be killed since the script makes him not able to take health damage.

Download Beta v7 Here!

View the readme.txt included in the download for NHE toggle instructions.

Download Beta v7 Gametypes

—- Beta v7 Features/Updates —-

Build #: 01.10.12.2296

20 Working NHE maps

– All maps are compatible with NHE, and some retail maps have been brought back. Many thanks to Ben Zeis (Mintograde) for cracking the impossible-to-crack 13-map limit. A new-to-the-community map, Atlas by Dylan Smith (stunt_man), is also included.

Feature/Mode Toggle in Main Menu

Pre-game Countdown (feature is turned off in Vanilla mode)

Training Mode (can be toggled on and off with gametype)

– A focus has been placed on developing visual training features for the community-made maps, to speed up the learning process for players that are new to these levels. Understand that Training Mode is a work-in-progress, but the list of features is as follows:

—- Previous Beta v6 Updates —-

Build #: 01.10.12.2295

Dual Screen Timer:

– A screen timer that counts up to 30 minutes and repeats, coinciding with the talking timer, has been added. Due to halo’s built-in limitations, the timer can only appear in one place at a time. Through some clever positioning and blank lines, it became possible to have a second timer on bottom screen, but this could not be replicated for 3v3 and 4v4. As a result, top left and bottom left will not have their own timers, but the timer does appear bottom right of top half and bottom right of bottom half for 2v2, 3v3, and 4v4 games.

Cortana Timer:

– The in-game Cortana audio timer has been tweaked slightly. Announcements have been kept to a minimum per community request, and are now more intuitive as a result. As the screen timer counts up during the first minute, you will hear the following at these times:

00:20 – [beep]

00:30 – [beep, “30 seconds left”]

00:40 – [beep, “20 seconds”]

00:50-59 – [“10″,”9″,”8″,”7″,”6″,”5″,”4″,”3″,”2″,”1”]

01:00 – [beep, “1 minute”]

Quotes denote words spoken by Cortana, and this sequence repeats every minute, announcing each minute after it passes, until 30, and then repeats. The announcement of the upcoming minute at 20 and 40 seconds has been removed due to the addition of the screen timer.

13 Working NHE maps, Most Renamed, All Reorganized:

– Every map is now compatible with NHE, and filenames represent the actual map name.

After much community discussion, the map order in the menu has been modified, and is as follows:

Chill Out, Hang ‘Em High, Prisoner, Damnation, Derelict, Downrush, Battle Creek, Decidia, Double Take, Redshift, Outbound, Exhibit, Hotbox

Hostman Location Update:

– Hostman now enters a ghost, teleports to a point hundreds of meters above the map, is frozen and rendered invincible, all in a 30th of a second. This eliminated the need to rebuild stock maps in 3ds Max, restoring peace of mind that every stock map and all respective gametypes work as they did originally, with the added bonus of all the NHE mods.

Credits Screen:

– Hostman’s screen now displays the NHE team credits.

Damnation Crate Flash:

– The large visual flash (or spark) on the “computer” crates in Damnation have been fixed.

Postgame Carnage Report:

– The name of the map that was just played now appears in the bottom left of the Postgame Carnage Report

HUD Message Feed:

– Many of the HUD message events have been shortened, including every powerup, weapon, and ammo pickup. Also, in an effort to normalize the kill messages and match the audio announcement, “You are on a killing spree!” has been shortened to simply “Killing Spree!”.

Prisoner Bots Campaign Map

Included is an updated beta version of the Prisoner Bots campaign map.
* New in beta v6, the score/kills now go up to 50. There is a simple “spawn system” set up for the bots so that the area you are in will affect whichever area they will spawn in. They will not spawn right on top or right behind you anymore.

NHE Early Beta Gameplay Videos:

Missingno & Devilman vs Sn1pySn4p & ixq1k Chill Out NEUTRAL HOST

Missingno & Devilman vs Sn1pySn4p & ixq1k Prisoner NEUTRAL HOST

 



Neutral Host Edition Time Line

Feb, 2017 Beta V7 is released.
Jan, 2017 Mintograde reverse engineers Halo to break the 13 map limit and increases it to 20 maps. Insidious implements a pre-game countdown at the beginning of each game which nullifies the unfair advantage created by the varying render speeds of different Xboxes. He also further optimizes the hud timer script and redoes the lighting on Imminent. DDS creates a newer version of Decidia and Dsalimander redoes the lighting on Downrush and Exhibit. Stuntman releases Atlas.
Dec, 2016 Beta V6 is released. Shortly after Insidious discovers a way to toggle different NHE modes piggy backing off of the vehicle selection menu options. He also figures out how to create a training mode that includes spawn markers, random zones, powerup announcements, and powerup waypoints. Mintograde reverse engineers the Halo executable to confirm the spawn influence distance in game (which is used to display the random zones in training mode).
Oct, 2016 Many players notice holes in Derelict on BetaV5 and the NHE team confirms that the holes are inadvertently and unavoidably created whenever a map is rebuilt in 3DS Max (which is required for the hostman box). This issue is resolved when Dsalimander joins the NHE team and discovers a new way to teleport hostman outside the map using a ghost. This method requires “all vehicles” or “ghosts” to be turned on for each gametype until such time Cluis can find a way to inject a hostman box into a completed map. DDS discovers a way to add an onscreen timer using campaign cut scenes and Insidious develops it.
Aug, 2016 NHE BetaV5 is used on all stations at Beach LAN 5.
Apr 2016 Cujjer and NTG Fr33 test nearby subroutines and find the one that affects each issue. Insidious re-codes a new talking timer script that is flawless and on a 30-minute loop cycle. Stuntman joins the NHE team for map creation/editing support. DDS figures out a much more precise & quicker method for re-compiling the new NHE and talking timer scripts into maps, and rebuilding them back 100% accurate. DDS attempts to replace all the physical “.sound” tag files in the maps for rebuilding, but runs into a major error that was affecting the talking timer script to not function properly. Insidious devises a way to properly remove the necessary sounds (teleporter, power ups, etc.) by removing all references in the necessary tags. Halo 1: Final previously loaded blank sound files, which actually corrupted the map for importing/exporting back to tags (but still works in game on the xbox). Insidious’ and DDS’ theory on back engineering a map and adding new geometry (hostman box), starts to come alive in full effect. The hostman can now be put very high above the map which makes the green arrow much less conspicuous. DDS Succesfully remakes Chillout and Derelict 100% accurate from 3ds Max – Full complete rebuild. With Insidious’ help, the NHE team hires cluis, the creator of ‘Arsenic’, to provide Xbox tags which auto load in Arsenic and makes map upgrades error free and considerably less time consuming. Cluis also starts working on a new way to add a hostman geometry box way above the map without needing to fully rebuild the map in 3DS Max.
Mar 2016 Devilman reattempts to translate the Halo PC nade fix to the Xbox version and finds success! The fix only corrects the nade count on spawn. Further testing is needed to correct the other issues affected by the event handler.
Feb 2016 Devilman determines the Yelo Debug Communication Library created by xbox7887 and kornman00 can be used to set a breakpoint. Using the library, which is written in C#, one should be able to create an app that will connect with a debug Xbox using xbox7887’s modified xbdm.dll and then find values and set breakpoints. Progress stalls until such time the NHE team finds someone who can create this app.
Jan 2016 Devilman successfully establishes a debug connection using the b2276 release of Halo running on the ram upgraded original Xbox (flashed with a debug bios and using xbox7887’s modified xbdm.dll). Memory dumps are successful using the Yelo Debugger App created by grimdoomer. The values for nades are found however attempts to set breakpoints in visual studio fail as this requires debug symbols which are unattainable for Halo.
Dec 2015 Devilman successfully reverse engineers Halo PC to start with 4 nades on spawn instead of 2 nades. Attempts to use IDA Pro to translate the changes to the Xbox version fail. Devilman purchases an RGH modded Xbox 360 and converts it into a Dev Kit. A debug session is established with Halo running and the value for nades is found. The values can be poked in real time however a breakpoint could not be set in Visual Studio as the values fell into the dynamic memory range. Values in that range will not breakpoint.
Nov 2015 Insidious finds the solution for Damnation and Downrush. The scripts had increased the map file size larger than the game would accept. Insidious finds a fix previously done by ViperNeo that allows for a larger map to be loaded and solves the problem. Work on fixing the 2 nades resumes. NTG Fr33 and Mudbone ask for assistance from old Bungie employees that worked on the multiplayer for Halo. They respond but are of no assistance.
May 2015 DDS runs into a problem with Damnation and Downrush. The maps will not load after adding NHE scripts. The work on fixing the 2 nades comes to a halt until this problem can be corrected.
Apr 2015 Devilman purchases a ram upgraded Xbox and flashes it with a debug bios to assist in establishing a debug session with Halo. Progress is very slow.
Feb 2015 DDS and Devilman start work on fixing the 2 nades problem. DDS determines that the problem cannot be fixed using scripts. Research into trainer creation begins and attempts to use the evox remote debugger and a debug bios loader fail.
Jan 2015 DDS is successful in creating an NHE beta on the map Prisoner and starts work on other maps. It becomes apparent there are only 2 nades on spawn for 2v2 games instead of the normal default of 4.
Nov 2014 DDS releases Halo 1: Final v1.0 which is created using scripts. He then starts using scripts to create what would become NHE. The biggest challenge is finding the hostman and teleporting him to a location inside the map that does not affect spawns.
May 2013 McDick proposes the concept of NHE to DDS over a conversation on Facebook.

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