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A screenshot of GamerHelper’s YouTube video about the Halo 3 map Guardian, which asks, “Was Bungie On Weed?” Image: Bungie/Microsoft Game Studios via GamerHelper/YouTube

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Have you ever wondered if Halo 3 has weed in it? This person has

More like Master Kief

Maddy Myers has run Polygon’s games section since 2020 as deputy editor. She has worked in games journalism since 2007, at Kotaku, The Mary Sue, and the Boston Phoenix.

Ever since I first saw it a month ago, I’ve become obsessed with a video titled, “Since When Does Halo Have Weed ?” It’s the perfect time capsule from late 2007, when Halo 3 had just come out. Its Theater mode and Forge level editor made it possible to easily record in-game footage and explore every last detail in the game’s environments. There is no weed in Halo 3, but for some reason, YouTube user GamerHelper seems convinced otherwise, as the video makes clear.

GamerHelper’s video, which is inexplicably accompanied by “Dire, Dire Docks” from the Super Mario 64 soundtrack, features a slow exploration of Halo 3’s Guardian map. In particular, the video focuses on the beautiful, fernlike plants growing on the walls of various structures in the level. Crucially, GamerHelper’s video kicks off with a title card instructing the viewer what they should be looking for: “On The Map Guardian did you ever noticed that there was weed in it?”

As the camera view zooms in on the ferns, GamerHelper’s accompanying title cards take on a tone of increased bafflement and consternation. First, a question: “Was Bungie On Weed?” Then: “What was bungie thinking?” Later: “Bungie is Messed Up,” and, finally: “Who Knows Why Bungie Did That?”

At long last, I can answer GamerHelper’s question, and I don’t even need official comment from Microsoft or Bungie to do it. There is no weed in the Halo 3 map Guardian (although, fun fact, there are several fictional recreational drugs in the Halo universe).

Those are ferns in that video. This is weed:

A photograph of two people kneeling in a cannabis field in the outskirts of Kandahar, Afghanistan Photo: Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images

I can’t blame GamerHelper for their confusion, and I certainly hope they’ve made some important discoveries since 2007 about this topic. (I found GamerHelper’s old Xbox Live profile and sent them a message about this video, but I did not hear back. Sadly, I do not expect to ever hear back, since their profile appears to have been unused since 2008.) Speaking for myself, I didn’t know much about weed in 2007, either, and it wasn’t exactly easy to find out more about it.

Back in 2007, recreational marijuana hadn’t yet been legalized anywhere in the United States, which is where I live, and also where GamerHelper lives, according to their Xbox Live profile. It wasn’t until 2012 that Colorado and Washington legalized recreational marijuana, with other states slowly following suit in the years since then. Although attitudes had changed somewhat by 2007, with medical marijuana becoming increasingly accepted in the early 2000s, many people were (and still are) in prison for marijuana possession.

In 2021, that has changed, with people across the political spectrum in the United States agreeing that cannabis should be legalized. It has become more socially acceptable to talk about partaking in weed while playing video games, too — two great tastes that have always tasted great together. That’s how a friend of a friend of mine ended up rediscovering this video.

It all started when Sullivan shared several screenshots of GamerHelper’s video on his Twitter account on Oct. 9. That’s how I first saw it, and it’s since become a joke among my friends to ask, “What was Bungie thinking?” I reached out to Sullivan to ask him how he even found this video, since it only has 1,443 views at the time of this writing.

“We were goofing around in voice chat, and I cannot for the life of me figure out what came up, but I searched ‘halo weed’ into YouTube,” he explained via Twitter DM. “It was like the third result, and I thought it was extremely hilarious. I opened it assuming there had to be some astonishing content inside it.” (I responded: “Which, of course, there is.”)

I’ve since watched this video dozens of times, and have shared it with several friends, co-workers, and now, Polygon readers. I’m as charmed by it today as I was when I first saw it. I can only hope that its creator comes forward to acknowledge their work.

Sullivan also hopes that GamerHelper will emerge from the mists of time to look back on their past creation, but he has another wish, too: “They should put weed in Halo Infinite — for them.”

I don’t disagree. Times have changed, Microsoft, and it wouldn’t be “messed up” of you to put weed in Halo Infinite. It would be very cool, actually. Master Chief has been under a lot of pressure for a very long time, and he deserves to relax.