BCM106 - Augmented ascent fight

(9:05) Level 4 ('The Silent Cartographer') on Legendary. Relating to my Augmented ascent fight article, the basic idea of which is to bypass covies on the way down into the main facility so there are more to tackle on the way up, this shows an augmented ascent fight in which I do lots of needling, having moved 13 full needlers into position for potential use, plus 10 other weapons. I've also moved two Hunters down into the bottom room, bolstering the Grunt squad there. There are 77 covies in all (32 more than usual) and I'm out to kill the lot. I start from a checkpoint at which I've got all six weapon types available. Also, the usual loud escape music has been eliminated (see the article) so I can tackle things without it.

Released June 20th 2014, gameplay recorded June 15th 2014.


00:02 (Bottom room) After picking up a needler and plasma rifle, I head up the ramp into the room. On the left there's a Grunt, Elite and Hunter standing with their backs to me, and I get things off to a start by whacking the Elite on the head. The Hunter takes a swipe at me but I dodge, then tag the Grunt who leaps in surprise when he sees me.

00:18 Around the corner there are more Grunts, and I sort two of them out with tags after stunning them. After a quick bit of mopping up including a spot of melee, I head back and start needling the Hunter, but I also attack some Grunts who are heading for the ramp. They're retreating because of squad depletion.

00:54 I've got a special end planned for the Hunter. After some needling and dodging, I lead him through the door and dodge his swipe, causing him to head down the shaft; and just to embarrass him further, I tag him as he goes. That just leaves two Grunts. One gets needled as he throws a grenade, and I finish the other with a whack.

01:14 Swapping the plasma rifle for my rocket launcher, which I'm planning to keep handy during the ascent, I head back into the room and fire a first stream of needles at the second Hunter, who's in a position very similar to the Jackal seen in BCM105. With two of my subsequent streams I also use a plasma grenade for fun, and his demise is fairly explosive.

01:48 (Camo Jackals) After picking up a plasma pistol, I head up the ramp to get beneath the three Jackals guarding the active camouflage. A frag bounced off the ceiling takes out all three; nice!

02:19 (Ramp Jackals) Next up are four Jackals who come down a ramp. Sometimes, some or all of them have gone back up; but on this occasion they're all still on the ramp. With rocket launcher ready, I take aim at a Jackal near the middle and the blast takes out all four, which is fairly rare. With all seven of the lower Jackals now dead, that triggers a checkpoint (one of several you might get on the way up, though I wish there were none so I could just revert to play again).

02:32 (Arriving Jackals and Grunt squad) As I reach the top of the ramp, another five Jackals are starting to head into the room along a platform over yonder, but I'm not going to dawdle here. Instead I head left, up to the next level. A few of the Jackals are still visible 'outside' and I throw a plasma grenade their way to keep them occupied. A red Elite runs out and gets quickly taken down with plasma fire and a whack. Surprisingly this doesn't panic the Grunts. One runs out and I take him down with plasma fire. I also realize that there's a Jackal close; looks like my plasma throw wasn't as effective as I wanted. I suspect it landed a bit short. It's easy to get quickly killed here, so I don't mess around. I send a frag his way, then kill a second Grunt to get some breathing space.

02:52 With no Jackals in sight at present, I take the opportunity to pick off another Grunt; but then I go back out to deal with Jackals. They can be murder here and I've been too complacent many times. But this time I manage to retain full health, with the aid of another frag plus more work with plasma pistol and needler. I use one of the needlers positioned in advance. It was there primarily for dealing with these Jackals.

03:24 After picking up my launcher again, and getting a fresh plasma pistol, the remaining two Grunts are no trouble at all. During this time you can hear the sound of at least one Jackal, but that's actually coming from the next level up, from four bypassed Jackals. I'm pretty sure I got all five of the recent ones.

03:38 (Descending Jackals) Heading onwards, I pass three more of the fourteen weapons I placed around the facility (in this case a needler, pistol and AR), but I stick with my plasma pistol and launcher. There are four Jackals ahead, who'll potentially come down along the walkway. The first gets taken by surprise with a killing whack. The second doesn't go down right away but a bit of plasma finishes him off. The other two are on the slope, making a nice target for a rocket.

03:59 (Hunter chamber area) In the next room, the usual enemies would be three Jackals and two Hunters, plus four Grunts and an Elite. However, I moved the Hunters to the bottom room. I also bypassed four Jackals here, so I'm actually up against seven Jackals now, starting with the four bypassed ones. I can hear some close to the edge as I look up, so I bounce a plasma grenade off the ceiling and it kills two, making a nice start. I do like bouncing grenades off ceilings! On the way up I temporarily leave my launcher behind, grabbing a strategically placed needler instead.

04:06 Heading into the room, I do some decent work on the rest of the Jackals, using plasma balls, needles and a few grenades. The two remaining bypassed guys are seen immediately, while the three others enter from the left when I advance far enough. I misjudge the amount of incoming fire slightly and lose two health bars before getting to cover down the ramp, but it's not too serious. I eventually lob a plasma grenade towards the Grunt squad, and it causes damage. Quite often you can kill the Elite that way, but this time he escapes.

04:44 Returning with launcher in hand, I leap over a bit of wall, ready to fire. But the squad has retreated so I switch to a plasma pistol, which is much safer than trying to use a rocket in this next confined area. I zap the remaining Grunt, then stun the Elite with a plasma ball. As I pass him I make a tag attempt, not realizing that I've run out. He gets a frag instead - oops! - but things still end badly for him when the frag detonates some loose plasmas. Around the corner I kill the final Jackal then make use of the supply area, grabbing a pistol for a bit of variety.

05:10 (Top room) Heading for the ramp to the top room, I've got the launcher ready to blast any of the three Jackals which got bypassed. However, they've gone up into the room, so I don't get that satisfaction today. On entry into the room, there are eleven more covies here than usual, and I throw a plasma to try and help reduce the amount of fire I take as I go left into cover. No health lost; a relief! Sometimes I've lost almost all my health getting to cover in this room.

05:26 After a nice pair of zoomed headshots on Grunts, I throw a frag and advance to cover at the end of the room. A red Elite arrives, and when I pop out from cover to fire a rocket, I see that there are actually two. The rocket is damaging and I hope to finish them off with a second, but a pesky Grunt gets his face in the way. Arrgh! For a moment I'm worried that I'm about to have a disaster, but I improvise with a hasty frag and fortunately it does the job, clearing things nicely.

05:57 Leaving cover, I throw a speculative plasma grenade through the open doorway, then kill a Grunt I missed. Above are some Jackals on a walkway, but I hurt one with a grenade bounced off the ceiling. Next I lob a few plasmas into the hall, tagging first a Grunt then an Elite. Circling around to the other entrance, I'm ready to send in a rocket, but there are no covies immediately in evidence so I go inside. At this point I was thinking "Why on earth did I walk in here with a rocket launcher? I'm liable to kill myself!". However, I stick with the launcher and carefully pick a shot, clearing a couple of Jackals and a Grunt. That still leaves some Jackals though, and the covie communication device gives me some cover while I finish them off.

06:47 (Gold Elite) When it comes to the gold Elite, I get a bit of the "Wort wort wort" treatment and a growl, whereas the Elite gets a plasma grenade stuck to his person. Cyborg wins!

07:04 (Camo Elites) Near the top of the ramp, I turn back and realize that there's a camo Elite behind me. This is a poor bit of scripting by Bungie, having an enemy impossibly materialize behind you (even allowing for the fact that he's cloaked). I've been unfairly taken by surprise that way plenty of times, but nowadays I'm wise to it and often look back - or sometimes I hear him spawning behind me (there's the sound of his plasma rifle being handled). I kill him with my pistol while he's still dozy. As for the other five guys, I get one with the pistol, then the rest with a few rockets which I'd been saving specially. I throw a few plasmas after the rocket bangs, just to make sure I'm not going to get a nasty surprise.

07:39 (Hunters outside) I want to do lots of needling on the Hunters, so I turn into one of the cubicle areas to pick up a needler I positioned; and there are another three needlers outside too! Heading outside though, I misjudge the amount of room I've got and take a whack, which is annoying. But never mind. I get busy needling the second Hunter, and deliberately lead him over towards one side to get the three Jackals drawn closer, for a more compact fight. The Hunter dies pretty quickly, then I get to work on the other. I get slightly too close to a plasma bang at one point (I realized the danger and was bracing myself for it), but recover with only a little health lost. I'm quite wary of the Jackals though; those guys can ruin your day with long-range fire.

08:36 (Jackals to the side) With just the Jackals left, I advance. A plasma ball sails my way but I send one back, followed by a whole clip of needles - and that's one Jackal down. I lob a plasma grenade towards the next. It's a bit short but still makes him dive, and I dish out much the same treatment as I did to the first. As for the final Jackal, he gets my last frag.

Closing remarks This is the fun I was working on when I cottoned on to the phenomenon of wandering camo Jackals, one of which was seen in BCM105. Interestingly, and perhaps significantly, one of my two Hunters is standing where my Jackal was. Apparently it's a spot covies get drawn to.

I created three saves I could've used for this movie, but with this third one I got both Hunters down into the bottom room. That turned out to be a lot of fun, so I concentrated on using this save. It was also nice how that Grunt, Elite and Hunter were in a line with their backs to me, allowing various amusements at the start. I think they got that way because the covies last had sight of me at the far end of the room, namely when I got spotted during the triggering of the Jackals and music.

I did a load of plays for this movie, and decided on this one as the best overall, in terms of entertainment and technique. It was also one of my shortest plays, for the general tactics I'd settled on. I could've gone much faster with other weapon choices, but that wasn't the goal. I wanted to have a lot of fun needling, having gone to the trouble of moving 13 full needlers into place. The movie showed the majority of the spare weapons I positioned, but there were also a few others which I could've used on different routes. I spent quite a while thinking about where best to put them all. Nine of the needlers were down beyond the level of the gold Elite, while three were outside for use against the Hunters and Jackals, and one was for picking up on the way outside, as seen in the movie.

For the sake of the movie, I did my best to have my flashlight on most of the time in the darker areas, letting it recharge when things were lighter.