Platform attack

Posted April 2nd 2006

Setting up

In the main facility, you can have great fun attacking lots of bypassed enemies from the 'cutscene platform' after dealing with the gold Elite. Here's the set-up work first; I'll chat about battle tactics later.

Creating a good save

Bring a rocket launcher and pistol into the main facility, and be fully loaded with grenades. Don't use any frag grenades in the work that follows; save them for the later fun. Likewise, save your launcher and pistol.

Clear the first room. You can bash the Elite with his back to you, and take his weapon. A plasma grenade lobbed from near the doorway can take out the inner Elite. Leave the launcher and pistol behind to pick up later. Bypass just about everyone on your way down to the Silent Cartographer and back up (see tips below). Back at the first room again, kill the new enemies that have spawned there, then kill the gold Elite (e.g. with a plasma pistol). To make your save as flexible as possible in regard to weapon selection, form a handy pile of Covenant weapons near where the gold Elite was, to potentially use during play. Pick up your launcher and pistol again, and make sure you're loaded with plasma grenades. Approach the platform (for the first time) to get the cutscene and a checkpoint, then save to finish.

Tips on bypassing enemies

Here are a few words on all that bypassing you wanted to do, to maximize the number of targets for later.

On the way down you might like to use a few shortcuts. For example you could drop through the hole in the floor to land outside the Hunter chamber, then go to the edge at the supplies and make a few jumps down to arrive at the Silent Cartographer with no damage to health or overshield (if you've got one).

Although it's quite possible to activate the Cartographer without disturbing the Elite guards, they won't be visible from the platform later, so feel free to kill them. Up a ramp nearby, there's also an Elite with some Grunts. If you leave that squad intact, they seem to stay indoors and won't be visible later, which isn't much good. However, if you kill enough, the others will go down the ramp outside, where you'll be able to see them later from your platform. On Heroic, killing four Grunts seems to do the trick. On Legendary it's five.

On the way up, the active camouflage will let you bypass most enemies, but on the higher difficulty levels you may need to kill a few Jackals that get in your face on the way to it. Once you're invisible, you can get back to the first room without incident. Of course, you can also use an overshield to help soak up any fire prior to going invisible.


From the platform you can get a nice view of most of the enemies you bypassed. There may not be many to start with, but others will soon be attracted. Throw down grenades, fire rockets, wreak a little havoc with a needler, whatever; there's plenty of comedy value here. Enjoy seeing enemies blasted off the edge into the void. When you throw grenades down, they'll often jump off to get clear, which is even funnier. You can even make a game of all that: see how many enemies you can send over the edge. If you like, you can also jump down from the platform to dish out some pain up close and personal.

You get more enemies on the higher difficulty levels. On Legendary, the amount of fire that heads your way when you stick your head over can be tremendous, particularly from a swarm of Jackals outside the Hunter chamber. Then again, that makes it all the more satisfying to send in those rockets or grenades and blow them to kingdom come.

After you've had your fun, you can revert to do it all again, unless you got another checkpoint part way through, which sometimes happens. In that case you'll need to eject and reload, to restart the attack.

Warthog distraction

If you leave a manned Warthog in the small chamber near where the gold Elite appears, the enemy on the floors below tend to get distracted by it. Apparently they can see through the floor! In particular, the Jackals outside the Hunter chamber take up defensive crouched postures, plasma pistols angled up. This leaves their gnarly hides nicely vulnerable to sticky plasma grenades or explosive streams of needles, or whatever you like. Another amusing aspect of these Jackals is that they tend to be quite synchronized, varying their postures all at once. You'll see what I mean.