Valley heights fun

Posted October 25th 2019

Associated movies

  • BCM381 - Heroic; Valley heights fun via Warthog catapulting (8:03)
  • BCM382 - Heroic; Invisible ground (6:30)
  • BCM383 - Heroic; Outer ledge (6:34)
  • BCM384 - Heroic; Dropship 4 spawning (6:50)
  • BCM385 - Heroic; On top of a dropship (8:22)
Heading for a landing

In the second half of the level, it's possible to reach a huge high expanse on the right hand side of the valley, which I'll call the 'valley heights'. It's basically the upper ground along the whole of that side. It envelops both the rockslide survivor area and hillside survivor area, and also includes a whole lot of invisible ground, eventually blocked off by invisible walls. It's great for exploring and getting novel views, and there are some other activities to enjoy there too.

Reaching the heights

It's definitely possible to get yourself launched up there with a conventional Warthog launch, powered by a pile of frags, but I haven't actually done that myself yet. The way I got there was via Warthog catapulting with a Pelican, as seen in BCM381 (also, see pic). An advantage of Warthog catapulting is that you potentially end up with a Warthog there, which will be highly useful in getting around, bearing in mind the size of the area.

Great view with some nice targets!

Exploration basics

My first movie BCM381 gives you a basic tour of the visible part of the valley heights. From there you can get spectacular views down into the rockslide and hillside survivor areas and the waterfall area in between, and also into the valley.. Among the interesting sights to see on the ground itself is the top of the waterfall and a lot of 2-dimensional trees above the hillside survivor areas.

The invisible ground briefly features in that movie but is explored more fully in BCM382. It extends way out from the visible ground and is ultimately boxed off by three invisible walls, meeting at two right angles. On the valley side you have fatal drops into sketchy coastal scenery. In essence, it's like you're falling off an invisible cliff edge.

Part of the outer ledge

The outer ledge

From the heights above the hillside survivor area, you can drop down onto a long ledge running parallel to the stream at the top end of the valley. So, you have yet more novel territory to explore and get nice views from! This is covered in BCM383 - in which I also take the opportunity to attack a lonesome Grunt.

You can also descend from the ledge to the ground in various ways. I should mention that the various drops seen in that movie are quite easy on PAL Xbox, but some of them may not be viable on NTSC/PC, as MC is a lot more fragile when it comes to falling.

Attacking ground troops

One rather obvious thing you can do from the valley heights is to have fun attacking any covies down below (long-range tags are particular enjoyable). You might have some in one of the survivor areas, but there's also a possibility of having a few covies out in the valley, dropped there after handling certain survivor areas. The relevant dropships may still be present too.

Tagged Elite goes flying

Dropship spawning and vanishing

Depending on your set-up, you can potentially see various dropships spawning, flying around, and eventually vanishing (literally). In the basic save I used for my movies, my checkpoint was the one associated with the spawning of the second rockslide dropship, thus enabling me to subsequently see the spawning of dropships 3 and 4.

By getting a delayed checkpoint near where a dropship spawns, you can have fun repeatedly attempting a quick kill of one of the occupants. You can use a sniper shot, a pistol headshot, or a tag. The latter provides the most fun, and is especially spectacular with an Elite because his dropped grenades will detonate too (see pic).

In BCM384 you can see plenty of all this with the final rockslide dropship (after I'd delayed ship 3's checkpoint suitably). On the right hand side of the ship there are four Jackals, which make the easiest targets. On the other side you've got one more Jackal plus an Elite. Those guys are harder to target because of the inconvenient angle you'll have, stationed down the hill. However, the targeting is actually still not terribly hard, despite how difficult it looks. You'll need quite precise timing though, for your shot or throw.

I do like to work with purple

Fun with invisible ground

One amusing thing you can do with invisible ground is fire an AR and watch the ejected shells collect on it or slide down slopes. This can also help reveal the geometry. A pistol or sniper rifle can be used too, but an AR is much better because of the massively greater shell output. In my case I was able to get an AR from Stacker, who made the trip across the valley with me (catapulted in the hog).

Another way of revealing invisible ground is to use the blood of a dead covie. In BCM384 for example, I do that with an instantly killed dropship 4 Jackal. Of course, you have to get your covie to the invisible ground first. With that in mind, it's good if you're well stocked with grenades.