BCM136 - Bridge descent via Shade stop

(6:17) Level 5 ('Assault on the Control Room') on Heroic. This shows how you can descend from the first bridge by using a Shade to stop you on the ledge. The method was pioneered by FrogBlast in 2002, but what you see here is my version of things with various differences, including the use of a double grenade throw to stop the Shade (I find that better), and the use of delayed checkpoints to ease the work. I'm using PAL Xbox as usual but the method is also ok for NTSC and PC. See here in my bridge descent guide for an account of the method.

Released March 15th 2015, gameplay recorded March 7th-9th 2015 plus a bit from January 31st 2011.


00:02 (Preparing for grenading) After being gratuitously mean to the final Grunt, I head along the passage to the bridge, jumping to delay the checkpoint triggered in the second of of the five sections. On the bridge I rely on enemy threat to continue the delay for a while, as I make things safe without health loss. In regard to the Elite, I favour taking him by surprise as you can see. With covies cleared, I throw a grenade to delay the checkpoint a little longer while I hop onto the bridge rim (I like to use that corner) and take aim with a frag. When the checkpoint comes, I'm ready for the tricky part.

01:27 (Getting the Shade onto the ledge) Happily my frag aim is good (guided by past experience), ideal for sending the Shade down to the ledge, so I don't need to spend time tweaking it. Stopping it on the ledge is quite another matter however. Here I show only two failures, but there were actually about 70 before the success shown. The location of the Shade is excellent, near the centre of the chevron area.

02:10 (Preparing for reaching the Shade) Next I get a delayed checkpoint on the V, ready to run off. I dallied longer than necessary with some covies and didn't actually need to bother with the Grunts on the lower deck at all, but I couldn't resist shooting that floor panel to fall through and give them some attention. Near the end I throw a frag to continue the checkpoint delay, but then decide I want a bit more time to be on the safe side, so I also pick up some plasmas and throw one. As such, my final delaying was clumsily wasteful. But I'm not going to need any grenades to move the Shade, so it doesn't really matter.

02:49 (Reaching the Shade and continuing down) On my first attempt at reaching the Shade, I mess up, being a little out of practice. I fail to get the cushioning of the friendly sloping chevron feature, and die. The fall is actually rather easy though, and the next clip shows a good example of how it should be done. From there, I take the safest route down.

03:19 (Saved by boarding) Here's an example where I don't get fully stopped by the Shade. I'm about to go off the edge but I hit X to board the Shade, which saves me.

03:31 (Direct hits) FrogBlast survived a direct hit with the Shade, but I think he was pretty lucky. Survival is a rather fickle business, and most usually you can expect to suffer the kind of fate I do in the first clips. The subsequent two clips show a couple of survivals, via friendly bounces. Indeed, on the second one I don't even take shield damage!

03:48 (Using a single grenade to stop the Shade) Bearing in mind that FrogBlast used only a single grenade to stop the Shade (a plasma in fact), I thought I'd devote a bit of time to covering that option. The disadvantage is, it's barely strong enough to do the job, and even if it does, it won't send the Shade back far. That's liable to leave you with a Shade which is hard to reach. In my example here, it ends up close to the end of the chevron. That's only just in range for me, but I was able to reach it, doing a jump to get a bit of extra distance. On the second of the two failures shown, I got the distance but failed to hit the chevron, which is very narrow at its end, making it harder to target.

After nailing it, I take a different but relatively safe route down, including a jump at the bottom for fun, sending me speeding out over the snow. Then I have a bit of fun with Johnson, one of the four Marines who ran out of the Pelican and entered a special inactive state (the game was planning to remove them before I ever reached the area).

05:02 (Moving the Shade closer) Instead of trying to reach that distant Shade, I could've grenaded it closer, such as seen here. It's something you're more likely to need to do if you only use a single stopper grenade, which is why I'm covering it within this section of the movie. FrogBlast did his Shade adjusting from the bridge, so that's another option.

05:22 (Shade clinging to the edge) In this second example the Shade is beyond the chevron, too far to reach. I grenade it closer but it ends up clinging to the edge. That can still be enough to stop you though, as shown. But there's a danger too, as illustrated by the subsequent clip with another clinging Shade. These two clips are from 2011 when I recorded footage in an aborted attempt at a movie.

05:52 (Arriving in style) To end the movie, I came up with this bit of fun. By placing a grenade in a certain position, I'm able to survive the blast and take a spinning ride down to the Marines; and for effect I fire plasma as I go, plastering the scenery. There's a bit of Marine comedy at the end.

Closing remarks What, you thought I'd finished with bridge descent movies? No, not yet. This is one of two movies I've been meaning to do for a long time. Actually, I recorded footage for a potential movie on this topic back on January 31st 2011, but although I got down (as mentioned in the closing remarks for my BCM27 commentary), I didn't do the best of jobs with the technique, so I wasn't really satisfied, and I ended up putting the project aside for possible resumption later on. For this movie however, I decided to start over; and I'm glad I did because it led to an improvement in the method. Namely the use of a double throw for stopping the Shade. I did use some of my 2011 footage after all though; the two clips involving Shades clinging to the edge of the ledge.

You may've noticed that there was a cut after I got my first checkpoint, ready to blast the Shade off the bridge. There's a reason for that. To start with, I was trying to stop the Shade with a single frag, which is what I'd settled on back in that 2011 work. But after umpteen failures with a blast which is barely strong enough, frustration led me to try using two grenades. I soon decided that was much better; so it became the method I wanted to prioritize in the movie.