Hidden thirsty Grunt

Posted May 27th 2007, expanded April 25th 2020

Associated movies

  • BCM423 - Easy; Hidden thirsty Grunt (7:38)

Do you know about the thirsty Grunt? It's an 'Easter egg' I read about long ago. As you drive to make your getaway, there's an unusual Grunt hidden away down a side passage. And judging by the number of Flood bodies scattered around, it looks like he's been pretty busy!

If you want to see that food nipple again you better start running!

When he sees you he'll shout an alert line such as "More enemy!". But if you approach, he'll eventually jump in surprise and then deliver a special line in a quavery voice which seems a bit different from normal: "Good thing that food nipple's waitin' for me at the starship, 'cause, man, have I worked up a big grunty thirst!" There's also a small exhalation at the start, and an odd little squeak after the word "man".

Trigger details

His reaction namely comes about six seconds after you cross a trigger line on the ramp which starts the side passage. As indicated in my movie BCM423, the line is about level with the end of the splash of green Flood goo on the ramp.

Reanimation bug

However, the trigger programming is a bit dodgy because he reacts even if he's dead by the scheduled reaction time! Aside from delivering his line, the reaction appears to depend on the state of his body. There are various cases as follows.

Back from the dead, in frozen pose

If the body is settled (totally motionless), he goes into a frozen pose from his jump animation (see pic). Specifically it seems to be the first pose of that animation.

If the body is moving (e.g. flying through the air, or bouncing around on a surface), he actually does the jump animation, and then the body settles. It's spooky because it's as if he suddenly returns to life - albeit rather briefly.

I've also seen a mixture of those two cases. He was settled and went into the frozen pose for a fraction of a second, but then a fizzing plasma grenade went off and sent the body flying, and the jump animation occurred. So it looks like you can get the animation if the body is set in motion soon enough after his reaction begins.

Jump animation in mid-air

One final case. If the main part of the body is settled but his limbs have yet to do so (there's a brief 'relaxing' phase), he goes into the frozen jumping pose but then his limbs settle, as if continuing the relaxing phase that was under way. As such, the pose gets distorted and he ends up looking quite weird.

As demonstrated in my movie, the reanimation bug occurs even if you've first of all blasted the Grunt out of his side passage. It makes no difference, as far as I can tell.

Idling behaviour

The Grunt seems to have no interest in shooting you. Aside from his special reaction, he stands around amiably, sometimes doing a spot of exercise. Tag him or drop a grenade next to him, and there's no reaction. His state seems similar to that of the inactive hillside covies you can get in level 2, except for a few differences. Firstly, he tries to keep facing you to some extent, turning his head and torso though not adjusting his stance. And secondly, if you hurt him he's able to deliver pain lines, such as "Hot hot hot".

Optimal clarity

If you want to hear the line as clearly as possible, hold off on triggering until the loud music is a few seconds from the end of a climax near tbe one minute mark on the timer, after which there's a brief quiet phase. Specifically, there are two close cymbal crashes at the climax. Wait for the second one, then trigger.

Yep, that's a cyborg on your head

Twitching potential

If you stand on his head, which tends to cause him to look up, he may go into a 'twitching' fit, alternating between different directions of facing from frame to frame while his basic animation continues. Two striking examples are seen in my movie, but it's rare. Both times that I got it, he was delivering his line, but maybe that was just a coincidence. I made further attempts but couldn't find a way of reliably initiating twitching. It seemed frustratingly random, but there could be more to learn here.

Nasty crick in the neck!

Two other things about standing on his head. Firstly, each time he lands a jump, he shifts a bit when you come down on top of him. As such, his position slowly changes. Secondly, after you get down or fall off, he often has an unnatural head angle, which looks like he has a bad crick in his neck. But it tends to clear up after further head movements, e.g. if you move around him a bit.

Absent Grunt bug

The Grunt could be absent at the time he's scheduled to speak; namely if (1) you killed him and the game removed him as part of its normal cleaning up, or (2) the game was overloaded and he never spawned at all. Either way, you still hear his line (whoops!), but the voice is disembodied. It has no particular location. It just comes out of the ether and moves with you. There's one example in my movie, and another at the start of BCM162 in which he hadn't spawned.

Location, and checkpointing

If you want to have the fun of finding him for yourself, be my guest and stop reading now. But if you want directions, here they are. Not long after continuing on from the Pelican rendezvous point, there's an octagonal opening in the wall on the right, which is actually a shortcut (there was another such shortcut earlier in the drive), and you'll also see a special ops squad running off (a squad I talk about in another article). Go into the shortcut and you'll find the Grunt up a side passage.

For repeatedly playing around with him, you'll want to've got the post-rendezvous checkpoint deep into the ship. If you drive straight past the rendezvous area, you'll hopefully indeed get the checkpoint deep, and will be able to reach the shortcut in around 12-15 seconds. For fooling around with him it'll be useful to have a rocket launcher, as well as plenty of grenades.