BCM152 - Grunt-Jackal spawning trick, fun with externals

(5:38) Level 3 ('The Truth and Reconciliation') on Normal. In connection with the Grunt-Jackal spawning trick, this shows assorted fun with 'external' covies - guys who've ended up in the ceiling or walls due to pressure of numbers in the spawning area. There were some seen briefly in earlier movies but I figured it was time to give them a better showing using several of my saves, most of which involved very large hordes.

Released July 28th 2015, gameplay recorded July 23rd-27th 2015.


00:02 (Three Grunts blasted) To get things off to a start, I give the covies a shock with my AR, causing three Grunts to lose their footing in the ceiling, and then I throw a frag which sends them flying. The guy on the right started to run my way and could've got too far from the blast, so I gave him a round to hold him in check. From a save with 131 covies.

00:11 (Grunt on my head) This clip start about 13 seconds after I'd started agitating the Grunt with a bit of plasma fire at the ceiling. He'd started rotating, which you get occasionally but not very often. His feet were already a good way below the ceiling, and it's not long before he falls through onto my head. It's not often you have a Grunt on your head eh? I let him try to shoot me for a while before smacking him dead. I later made quite a few more attempts to get similar plays with this Grunt, partly to try and get a slightly shorter clip but also because it would've been nice if another Grunt had cried out a line such as "Casualty!" to add to the comedy. But he never did that cute rotation business again, so I kept with the original clip. From a save with 123 covies.

00:35 (Jackal in the right wall) After charging down the passage and killing the final covies near the spawning area, I turn to face a blue-shielded Jackal in the right wall. A very nice example. I could easily dislodge him or kill him outright, but instead I enjoy bouncing bullets off his shield for a while, and also demonstrate how he's unaffected by a close grenade blast (I knew he'd be ok). But eventually he does a roll and predictably loses his footing, falling into the void outside the level. From a save with 45 covies.

01:09 (Jackal followed) When I shock the covies, a yellow-shielded Jackal falls from the ceiling. I quickly get around behind him, and follow as he heads for the muster bay. A Grunt calls out the warning "Right behind you!", which was spot on and made for great comedy. That made the decision of including this clip easy. As we reach the door I tag the Jackal to finish off. Actually I was aiming for his rear end, but caught a foot instead. Still plenty funny though. From a save with 125 covies.

01:26 (Falling Grunt needled) A slow-sinking Grunt eventually falls through the ceiling and seems to think he's got the drop on me (ho ho), but he hasn't bargained on my needler. This was the final clip I used for the movie. Previously I'd had a different clip of needling this guy, but I thought it was a bit below par so I made more attempts. This one had much more bang, plus the comedy of the Grunt saying "Can't hide from me", which made quite a difference. From a save with 115 covies.

01:35 (Jackal tag mishap) When I shoot a Jackal on the foot, he falls through the ceiling and I tag him while he's recovering from the fall. Noticing the abundance of loose grenade, I decide I'd better get clear, but he runs my way and I'm killed in a chain reaction. From a save with 128 covies.

01:46 (Grunts whacked) Melee isn't the most spectacular way of dealing with externals, but it's fun nevertheless. Here I deal with half a dozen Grunts, the last of which settles into an amusing position just below the ceiling. Incidentally, I could've whacked the Grunts along the grille without even jumping, but jumping makes things feel more aggressive. From a save with 131 covies.

02:05 (Jackal pointing on my head) Shooting a Jackal on the foot, he falls through the ceiling and onto my head where he does a bit of pointing in the wrong direction (that animation takes no account of vertical displacements), before moving down to the ground. When I eventually find him I do a stun 'n tag. This Jackal was same one I followed up the passage earlier. From a save with 125 covies.

02:22 (Grenade trap) The idea for this bit of fun was to throw a grenade into the spawning area, give the covies a fright to make some fall into the area, then enjoy the subsequent chain reaction. I did lots of tries and this one was the most pleasing. From a save with 131 covies.

02:32 (Grunt sniped) Watching with a sniper scope, I wait for a slow-sinking Grunt to fall to the ground, then shoot him. Could've shot him in mid-air of course, but I wanted to let him get his comical alert line out. From a save with 129 covies.

02:44 (Left wall Jackal tag mishap) After grenading the grunty remnants of a stack, I move into the area to find a yellow-shielded Jackal in the left wall. I tag him on his exposed hand but get killed in a chain reaction when I don't back off far enough. From a save with 123 covies.

02:57 (Grunt running in the wall) Occasionally you may see an external trying to move off to the muster bay, if he's along the side. This Grunt in the wall is a good example, going nowhere fast. When I make him jump, he loses his footing of course. From a save with 131 covies.

03:13 (Ceiling Jackal tagged) I tag a Jackal along the grille, and the blast also kills a Grunt. The dead Jackal settles into an amusing pose, and a plasma pistol makes a racket moving down the sides. From a save with 125 covies.

03:26 (Jackal followed at the side) Remember the Jackal pointing on my head, who I earlier followed up the passage? This is the same guy, but this time I follow by his side. After a while he notices me and seems to realize he's in trouble. He gets me with a plasma ball but I give him one back, heh heh. From a save with 125 covies.

03:42 (Grunt tagged) In this simple clip I shock the covies and a Grunt pops out of the ceiling, to then get tagged. I found it kind of amusing how the Grunt pops out almost sideways. I made a number of attempts to get a good clip of that, and he did it regularly. From a save with 125 covies.

03:49 (Grunt tagged & needled) After getting a Grunt down from the grille area, I briefly try to crowd him but he gets clear and starts running off to the muster bay. Switching to a needler which I'd grabbed from the boarding room just beforehand, I tag him from distance then send in a stream of needles. The thing that makes this clip for me is that you get an amusing second needle bang after the door has closed behind him. From a save with 125 covies.

04:11 (Two Jackals blasted) Two Jackals fall from the ceiling and get blasted. There's a nice spray of Grunt bodies and I also liked the "Bad bad cyborg" line. From a save with 125 covies.

04:20 (Jackal in the left wall) Another Jackal in a wall. This guy charges up his plasma pistol when I shoot his shield, but he never fires. Can't see me. Eventually I shoot him, causing him to lose his footing. From a save with 125 covies.

04:50 (Grunt tag mishap) Remember the slow-sinking Grunt I sniped? This is the same fellow, but this time I wait underneath and collect him on my head. I subsequently tag him, but a chain reaction reaches out and gets me. From a save with 129 covies.

05:09 (Jackal followed with Grunt) When I shock the covies, a Grunt drops down and I start crowding him, but then I hear an overcharged plasma pistol behind me. Evidently a Jackal has dropped too. I give the Grunt a whack and start following the Jackal, but the Grunt survives and joins in. I deliberately let him continue firing, hoping he'll hit the Jackal, and he does. As he overtakes he comically apologises, and then I get an idea. If I whack the Jackal at the right time, his inevitable plasma ball release will kill the Grunt. Works like a charm! A good clip on which to end. From a save with 129 covies.

Closing remarks The character of this movie changed somewhat as I worked on it. Originally I'd envisaged a general illustration of externals, perhaps starting with a complete clearance of all externals in one particular save, and then showing various other examples and ways of killing them. But with more and more play I started to get more interesting and memorable clips with higher comedy content, so I decided to try and make all the clips like that, rather than showing the more routine sort of stuff; and I abandoned the idea of showing a complete clearance altogether. The resulting movie is definitely a lot more entertaining than it otherwise would've been.

Seven saves were used, all of which I'd created during my investigation work on the spawning trick. They mostly featured very large hordes - ranging from 115 to 131 covies to be exact - which is when you tend to get a higher number of externals. The one exception was the save I used for the blue-shielded Jackal in the right wall, which featured a mere 45 covies. That save was the easiest to work with as it had no slowdown and the non-externals could be quickly eliminated. With the other saves there was heavy slowdown, making gameplay quite painful until I got rid of the majority of covies, done chiefly through the use of well placed grenades. I had to do that every time I wanted to try and get some good action with the externals, so it was rather laborious!

One thing you didn't see was a Jackal on my head for a prolonged period. I tried to get such a situation but they kept moving off, unlike Grunts who seem happy to stay there. After getting the movie into its final form, I did finally manage it, but decided not to use it in the movie - partly because I tagged him which was similar to what I'd done with a Grunt. Still, at least I know it's possible now.

This movie completes my video coverage of the basics regarding the spawning trick. There was a tutorial for the standard routine, some spawn watching to show how what actually goes on, a movie about getting larger and larger hordes, and now some coverage of externals. So now I feel freed up to get to various other aspects I've been looking forward to spending some time on, especially the business of serious combat.