Banshee assisted Warthog stunting

Posted February 6th 2013

Associated movies

  • BCM66 - Legendary; Banshee assisted Warthog stunting (8:43)
One triple front flip coming right up

In the second part of the level, two Banshees spawn in the valley after the game deems a first survivor area dealt with. If things are set up nicely, you can potentially use their fuel rod blasts to do Warthog stunts such as front flips and back flips. What you want is one or both Banshees trying to blast you shortly after a checkpoint, ideally at a place where the terrain offers good potential for stunting. That way you can conveniently keep on reverting, trying again and again to get nicely boosted for a stunt.

The best option is to use an exit checkpoint for the rockslide area and to try and get boosted as you pass over the big mound just outside in the valley. That mound is great for jumping off even without Banshee blasts; so when you add a blast or two, things can get really spectacular.

Initial set-up work

I suggest using Legendary so the Banshee pilots will be at their most aggressive and accurate, eager to blow you off the map as soon as they see you. I haven't actually tried things on lower difficulties but I suspect it would be significantly harder to get yourself boosted.

Exit checkpoint line plus Banshee reactivation line (dotted)

Drive into the rockslide area and start killing covies. Sometime before the Banshees are triggered, save a 'safety checkpoint' in case you need to get back to it (you'll see why later). You could save the one which comes with the fourth and final dropship, but for maximum convenience I'd suggest saving an exit checkpoint when there are only a few covies left.

Finish off the the covie attack to get the Banshees triggered, and preferably get one or two passengers if you haven't already, because they'll add to the noise and atmosphere in your stunting fun. A sniper will make plenty of noise as he'll fire more than someone with only an AR. Stacker and Johnson are other prime options, and you could potentially have them both (it's random whether you get Stacker or Johnson in the rockslide, but you could've brought a Johnson with you from earlier in the level). Complete the initial work by getting an exit checkpoint a short way into the exit passage which leads into the valley.

Hey, stop that circling!

Modifying for a good checkpoint

Let's call an exit checkpoint 'good' if it's fairly easy to get boosted as you pass over the mound when you drive out without much dawdling. Your initial exit checkpoint probably won't be good. Usually the Banshees would still be circling when you emerge into the valley, and that's not great for boosting you promptly, or from the best angle. But if you briefly let yourself be spotted, they'll break off from the circling. You can then return to the rockslide area and get a new exit checkpoint (as long as at least 17 seconds have passed since the last one), and maybe that one will be good. If not, you can modify things again by letting them fly about a bit and then getting another exit checkpoint. You can keep making such modifications, and eventually you may get a good checkpoint.

However, another possible outcome of making successive modifications is that the Banshees wander far away, making things seem like something of a lost cause. In that case you can eject the disc and reload to start again from the safety checkpoint you saved earlier. That's what you wanted it for.

In undertaking the process, avoid tempting a pilot into firing a blast, as that may make him less prompt about blasting you when you want him to. Don't let a chain-gunner open fire either. Also, bear in mind that each time you return to the rockslide area, the Banshees effectively freeze outside in the valley, and they only reactivate as you reach a line near the big rock in the exit passage (dotted line in earlier pic, which I worked out by listening for the resumpion of flying sounds). When you want to let the Banshees fly about a bit, you merely need to reach the reactivation line (though going out into the valley is an option of course).

Tip: Prior to starting the modification process, I recommend waiting clear of the exit passage for two minutes (after getting your initial exit checkpoint). By doing this you'll avoid two potential irritations which would otherwise commence after a while. Namely (a) the appearance of an indicator arrow indicating the way to the hillside survivors and (b) Cortana saying "We need to find the other two lifeboats". I've mentioned this anti-irritation measure before in my Banshee battling article.

Hah, missed me!

Having your fun

There are lots of stunts you can do, many of which are demonstrated in BCM66. Obviously you don't have full control over the Banshee blasts, but by executing a particular driving pattern it can be possible to encourage a particular Banshee firing pattern to try and exploit. Try different things to see what works best. There are many subtleties to this, and probably you'll start tuning in to them after a while, like I did while recording for the movie.

You're considerably aided by the mound's proximity. If you don't dawdle much there's relatively little time for variation to build up in the Banshee flight patterns, and for a given driving pattern you might get roughly the same firing pattern 50-80% of the time or something like that. If it's a good one you can thus get usefully boosted quite often - though landing on your wheels will largely be a roll of the dice.

Get outta my airspace!

Of course, a major factor in the stunting potential will be the initial configuration of the Banshees as you head out (more specifically, as you cross the Banshee reactivation line mentioned and shown earlier). Some configurations will be more amenable to a particular stunt than others. If you can't seem to get a particular stunt going, you could always try modifying things again. Some stunts such as the triple front flip really need two Banshee blasts arriving at almost the same moment, to give you strong enough boost. You may need to persevere with modification work before you get a checkpoint with such potential.

Note: I didn't cover everything in my movie, and bear in mind that you can also leave the mound at other angles rather than trying to head straight over to the hump feature near the stream. And by the way, I think a quadruple front flip is possible, because a couple of times I was shy by only half a rotation. If the Banshee blasts and timing had been a touch better, I might've managed it. I expect to try again later.

Further remarks

I latched on to this fun in the course of recording for my Banshee battling movie BCM65. I happened to get a save in which my Warthog tended to get blasted as I drove over the mound (on my way to the cliffside hilltop where I'd arranged my squad), and in the movie you see it doing a back flip. After releasing that movie I got busy exploring the stunt potential more fully, thinking it might make a nice movie, and BCM66 was the result.