Save for the imposing Scarab heavy assault walker, the Elephant is the largest of the land vehicles in the Halo universe and has a driver's cabin on the top level, at the front and a long back end. It moves using four sets of caterpillar tracks and is highly armored.
The Behemoth-Class Elephant which appears in Halo 3 has a crane on the right side, an opening at the front and an exposed top and back. It has a ramp at the back and two ramps leading up the internal sides of the vehicle. The entire bottom level of the Elephant is a vehicle/troops bay. It is armed with a M41 LAAG (the type of turret that is mounted on the back of Warthogs) on the top, to the right of the driver's cabin and a AIE-486H Heavy Machine Gun half-way along the chassis, mid-way up its left side. A Mongoose spawns in the lower bay, there are player spawn points within the vehicle and in objective gametypes it will also hold important points such as the flag capture point, flag spawn point and bomb set point. The vehicle is indestructible and so the pilot cannot be attacked from the front but is highly exposed to attacks from behind due to the open back and top. By driving two Elephants into each other at top speed and continuing to move forward or by placing large amounts of explosives under the Elephant and detonating them, the Elephant can be flipped.
Two Elephants appear in the game, both on the map Sandtrap. One of them is nicknamed the Behemoth and the other, the Leviathan, although both have the identification number E-2073 46833-S. Elephants cannot be spawned, deleted or moved using forge, but Bungie released an edited version of Sandtrap called Sand Tarp which did not include the Elephants.
A variant of the Elephant can be deployed in Halo Wars when Captain Cutter is selected as the leader character. Like most Halo Wars units it has been scaled down in size, but it also has a shorter troop bay in relation to the rest of it and the bay has also been raised further from the ground. It is completely armor-plated but can be locked down to drop a ramp at the back and front. When locked down it is capable of deploying Spartans and other infantry. It has a crane, similar to the one on the Behemoth-Class Elephant but it has been moved up to the front of the vehicle. The driver's cabin has also been switched to the right side of the vehicle. It is armed with an M41 LAAG on top, to the left of the driver's cabin and two additional M41s at the back, on top of the caterpillar tracks. The Elephant costs 4000 resources to build and takes up 2 population cap. It can be upgraded with a twin engine to increase its speed, ceramic armor which allows it to take more damage and a M247 GPMGT Autocannon can be mounted on the roof. A popular tactic in the game involves building multiple Elephants early in the match and using them to rush the enemy.
Elephants feature prominently in the mission Anders' Signal which revolves largely around the use of Elephants and involves the rescue of two Elephants which have been captured and are being attacked by the Flood.
Halo 3: ODST
The Olifant (from the Afrikaans word for Elephant) variant of the Elephant which appears in Halo 3: ODST, is very different from the versions which appear in Halo 3 or Halo Wars. It is actually a waste management vehicle and has no crane or weaponry and the back has been entirely converted into a garbage skip. It also has a larger driver's cabin and the only visible entry point is through a hatch on the roof. The Olifants are owned by the New Mombasa Waste Management company.
The vehicle was used by Vergil in Sadie's Story (the story told in the audio logs) to save Sadie from Commissioner Kinsler, by slamming it into his Pelican and then dumping its skip of garbage on him. It was then used by Sadie and Mike to make their way through Covenant-controlled New Mombasa to try and rescue Sadie's father. However, when a salesman who had been hiding in the Olifant opened the top hatch and attempted to surrender to the Covenant, it was destroyed by a Wraith.
In the main storyline the Olifant can be seen several times throughout the city of New Mombasa, but its main appearance is in the level Coastal Highway where Dare uses one to protect Vergil as they, The Rookie and Buck make their way out of the city.
- The Derricks in Gears of War 2 bear strong resemblance to the Elephant.
- In the book Empire of the East, the protagonist defeats an oppressive government in a futuristic nuclear-powered tank called the Elephant. Halo's Elephant could be a reference to this.
- The Elephant has a similar basic shape to the Jawa Sandcrawler from Star Wars.
- If an Elephant is flipped over in Halo 3, when a player approaches it the usual message that prompts the player for flipping a vehicle is replaced with the message "Hold RB to flip... wait, what? How did you do that?".
- In Halo 3, if an Elephant is flipped over and then teleporters are placed on its underside the Elephant cannot be flipped and so it can be exploited in such a way that if objects are placed inside and the player hits RB near it, the objects will experience a powerful physics glitch and often be launched out of it at high speed. This exploit has been dubbed 'the Elephant cannon'.
- In Halo 3, the Elephant is the only vehicle which cannot be immobilized by a Plasma Pistol shot to its engine.
- In Halo 3, a screen can be seen in the lower bay of the Elephant which claims that the vehicle has 2 mobile (detachable) turrets, when it only has 1.
- When a player is driving the Elephant in Halo 3, they become immune to damage from rockets and grenades.
- A well-known trick in Halo 3 is to exploit the game to make the Elephant continuously fly over the map. This is usually done by filling the Elephant with explosives which immediately respawn.
- In Halo 3, when a player dies in the Elephant their body can often glitch through its floor and walls.
- In Halo 3, Covenant hover vehicles that have been driven onto the center of the Elephant or objects that have been placed into the Elephant and had objects under them deleted, can be made to float on or inside the Elephant as it drives along.
- A bug exists in Halo Wars where once the Elephant is given the Defence Turret upgrade, it will only use the quotes "right away" and "firing" from then on.
- The Olifant Dare drives in Halo 3: ODST has the number 49 printed on the side. This could be a reference to Bungie's ongoing obsession with the number 7, as the square root of 49 is 7.
- In the five and a half years that passed between the events of Halo 3 and Halo 4, the Elephant was retired from active service by the UNSC, and replaced by its successor, the even-more-enormous Mammoth battle tank.