Frozen Hunter method

Associated movies

  • BCM57 - Heroic; Descent via frozen Hunter and gold Elite (5:42)

In this method you get the gold Elite onto the far ledge and get a Hunter frozen in mid-air to land on as a stepping-stone so you can then continue down and get stopped by the Elite. From there you can move along and drop down at a safe spot. Suitable only for PAL.

Now for some sword dodging

Full description

At the far end of the bridge, kill everyone except the gold Elite who emerges from behind the exit door, and lead him down to the lower deck. Get him near the end and dodge a sword swing fairly close to the bridge support so he falls off and settles on the ledge almost directly under the bridge (or at least not too far out). Preferably do that on the right of the bridge end, rather than the left.

Hunter at the edge, before his fall

Head back up and into the next room. After killing enough enemies to make things safe, lead a Hunter out onto the lower deck of the bridge. Near the far end where the Elite went off, dodge a swipe then quickly run off so he's left standing close to the edge (the closer the better), not pursuing.

Go back up and into the exit passage. Cross the loading point, then quickly run back over the reverse loading point. When you crossed the first loading point, the Hunter started falling (because the bridge was no longer there to support him, I assume), and he continued on down until you crossed the second loading point, at which time he froze in mid-air and became your 'stepping-stone' to the Elite. You didn't want him to fall too far though, because you'll need to survive a fall onto him. That's why it was important to get back across that second loading point pretty fast. Obviously you can control his height by how fast you get back over.

Stepping-stone here I come

Get to the edge where he was and you should see him below. Fall down onto him, crouch-landing to soften the impact. You'll need to use a bit of drift to reach him, the degree of which depends on how close he was to the deck edge when he fell. I suggest trying to come down vertically onto his head or left shoulder. Ideally you want to retain perfect health, but the ease of doing so will depend on his height.

Next, fall down to get stopped on the ledge by the Elite. It's probably best if you're against the cliff wall as you near him, as that'll probably soften your fall best. Even so, there's a chance you'll be killed by the impact, assuming you hit him well enough to get stopped on the ledge at all. It may be best to try and get a glancing blow off him, rather than getting stopped instantly, as that may help further cushion you. Quickly kill him, and you're now safe on the ledge.

Safe drop down

From there it's easy to reach the ground. I recommend going along to the right (i.e. towards the Marines), and soon you'll be above a place where the base of the cliff juts out nicely with a good slope, cushioning you well when you drop down. Well enough that you shouldn't lose any health.

Among the variations of the set-up work, you could lead the Hunter merely to the upper deck rather than the lower, and in that event you'd let him fall a bit longer. If he was positioned appropriately it could then be viable to make your fall to him from the bridge support rather than the lower deck, and that would be potentially advantageous because you'd be starting your difficult double fall from lower down than the lower deck. However, I haven't investigated using the upper deck.

Note: While standing on the frozen Hunter, don't kill him or he'll cease to support you. You'll fall straight through, as seen at the end of BCM57.

Checkpoint advice

Getting the Elite onto the ledge and in a suitable position can easily take multiple tries, so it's good to get a checkpoint just beforehand. For that, keep the bridge checkpoint delayed until you've got him standing around on the lower deck. You can get him down there quite easily by luring him onto a glass panel and shattering it, as seen in BCM57.

Consolidation checkpoint, before triggering the lift checkpoint

After that it's good to get a checkpoint to consolidate. Use the exit passage checkpoint, but preferably delay it so the task of getting a Hunter standing near the edge of the bridge will be minimized (because that could take multiple tries). Specifically, I recommend delaying it until after you've led your Hunter to somewhere near the door and then gone to where you'll be ready to trigger the lift checkpoint, which is namely triggered at the start of the ramp leading up to the lift. When you get this checkpoint, save it in case you need to get back to it for any reason (e.g. if you inadvertently get the next delayed checkpoint early).

Ready for the double fall

Falling successfully to the Hunter and then the Elite is likely to take a lot of tries, so get a checkpoint on the edge of the deck where you're about to fall. For that you can use the lift checkpoint after delaying it extensively, again as seen in BCM57. To continue the delay while the Hunter falls, you might like to throw a grenade as soon as you cross the first loading point, so you can dispense with jumping for a while and just concentrate on getting to the second loading point fast (so he doesn't fall too far). That's what I opted for doing in BCM57 and it enabled me to turn around fast. But it's doubtless also viable to do without a grenade throw there if you do things right.

Difficulty and system differences

This method is way too hard to be of practical use. I was pretty much expecting that and only pursued it for the novelty and amusement of using a Hunter frozen in mid-air. It's not rediculously hard, but it has multiple difficult phases.

For starters, getting the Elite onto the ledge could take a while, partly because sword dodging isn't terribly easy and partly because he doesn't always go off the edge when swinging. Getting your Hunter stood suitably close to the edge of the deck can take a bit of effort, and then there's the matter of getting him to fall a suitable distance. The overall Hunter operation could take multiple tries.

However, I think the most difficult phase is the double fall to reach the ledge. The relative difficulties of the two falls will I imagine depend on the Hunter's height, but I suspect that the fall to the Elite will usually be harder. When making attempts for BCM57 the fall to the Hunter was relatively easy, usually taking no more than a handful of tries to land there with perfect health. The fall to the Elite was much harder. It was hard to hit him well enough to remain on the ledge, and often I was killed by the impact. Eventually I tried for glancing blows rather than square-on arrival, and that worked. If the Hunter had been a little lower down, perhaps I would've been able to survive direct hits with the Elite, but I haven't checked that out.

I suspect the method is impossible for NTSC and PC due to the lower tolerance for falling, but I haven't had any feedback on that from people using those systems.

History and links

After developing my gold Elite stop method which uses the near right ledge, it was natural to wonder if he could likewise stop me on the far ledge. It was easy enough to get him onto it (there were a couple of ways), but when falling from the bridge support - the lowest place available - I could never survive the impact with him. It seemed that I was going too fast, from falling too far. When I found that you could get a Hunter frozen in mid-air however, I realized it could serve as a mid-air stepping-stone. If it was at the right height, I could maybe survive the fall to the frozen Hunter and then also the fall to the Elite. I left the idea for later though, finally carrying it out for BCM57 released on November 3rd 2012, which shows my first successful descent with the method.

Incidentally, I wasn't the first to find out about getting a Hunter frozen in mid-air. WLT (aka 3rd Person) knew about it already, but I don't know if anything ever got posted about it.

Note: I don't completely rule out the possibility of getting stopped on the far ledge by the gold Elite after falling from the bridge support, but it may take a freakily favourable impact. I may give it another go sometime just in case, or perhaps try a Hunter instead.