BCM167 - Maw Banshee snatch

(6:16) Level 10 ('The Maw') on Easy. This shows a freaky Shade Elite you can encounter in the hangar after snatching a Banshee, courtesy of overloading. As well as his weird behaviour, he has a rather special and impressive ability as you'll see!

Released January 5th 2016, gameplay recorded October 31st 2015 - January 3rd 2016.


00:02 (Basic behaviour down below) When I arrive at the Shade, something you'll notice is that the Elite doesn't track me. He would've swivelled around after a few more seconds, but basically he's just being incredibly slow to react. He was always like that, which I think relates to the overloading. After shunting the Shade off to try and get him safely down to the ground, I briefly make him dive a few times to get him well into the light for the sake of the movie. When I finally dismount and get in front of him, he starts with his dodging around and sitting.

00:55 As I slowly move around towards his rear, he snaps to a standing posture. He adopts that posture when you're not sufficiently in front. When I get back in front again, he resumes the dodging and sitting. I crouch for a low view, and give him a zap and a whack.

01:23 This short clip is from a different play and features a crouched view of more dodging and sitting. I inserted it to replace play from the earlier clip, because it was better footage.

01:36 We're back with the original play now, and I get around behind to jump up on top of him. He remains stationary because I'm still not in front of him, I assume. After zapping him from above, I edge forward slightly and he moves - presumably because I became in front of him. After a whack and a zap, I get out my launcher and send him flying with a blast to the side.

02:12 (Blast resistance and grenades) This guy has some rather surprising blast resistance when sitting, and here's a first clip on that. Two direct rocket hits? No problem. He dives clear of my first frag but sits patiently through the blast of the second. As for myself, I slightly misjudge my distance and get killed. Oops!

02:35 Despite his resistance to grenades, they often still spook him. After diving clear of two plasmas in this clip, he sits still for the third, then takes two frags and two rocket hits. Not a scratch!

03:01 Here's a clip which I had to include for the comedy. I land a plasma next to him while he's sitting, and he gets up. He's just about to sit back down when he changes his mind and tries to dive clear, but he's a fraction late and gets caught by the blast. He goes flying and then gets deflected up by the raised edge of the depression (despite making no visible contact with it).

03:08 Here's another example of him trying to get clear of a grenade and failing. A frag this time. This clip is only "more of the same", but I partly included it for the sake of musical continuity. There's another reason though: an unrelated point of interest. See that red line? The redness has a way of colouring other things, notably the dust raised when a Banshee scuffs it (seen a few times in the movie), and here you can see the Elite's normally purple blood become red. His armour is reddish for a while too.

03:21 Having noticed the general blast resistance, an obvious question was: can he even resist the blast from a tag, when sitting? Well, I've never seen that happen, despite tagging him many times. In the first of these three examples, he twitches and sits back down, but dies from the blast. Actually he always seems to move at some point after being tagged; and usually he's on his feet at the time of the blast - as in the other two clips. In regard to his unusual position at the start of the third, that's how he ended up after I shunted his Shade down.

04:00 (Behaviour up top) I also spent time with this guy up top, and in the opening clip of this section I show how I was ejecting him; a simple matter of pushing the Shade over from the side. In the subsequent clip from a different play, you can see that he seems rather twitchy, compared to how he behaved at ground level. Indeed, his behaviour seems a bit different up here. He still appears to have that blast resistance though, as I find out at the end while standing slightly too close to him. Ouch.

04:29 After a dodge, he ends up on the steep slope below and does a spot of flickering - which he doesn't normally do on that slope. I subsequently join him, but I need him to stop me because I don't have the traction he does. When I kill him with a plasma ball, I lose my support and head down (it wasn't fatal).

04:56 This clip is from later after the opening clip of the section. Just a spot of comedy really. I do a tag and he ends up in the air, coming down towards me - so I give him a smack for good measure.

05:08 One way his behaviour differs up here is that he tends to twitch even when you're not in front, whereas he'd be motionless if down at ground level. You can see a few such twitches at the start of this clip, though not very well. He'd been twitching for a few seconds earlier but I wasn't too fussed to show that aspect, preferring to get good musical continuity instead. When I give him a second zap, he's propelled off the edge and dies on impact. On the way down you can hear him utter a grenade throwing cry. He does that sometimes when you're a suitable distance away. But because of the overloading, no grenade actually gets thrown.

05:31 (End clip) To finish off, a bit of play which turned out with an amusing ending. Initially I blast him with the Banshee a few times, and he's unaffected because of his sitting. When I dismount, I decide to tag him. The action fades out but then the ship explodes. That was some freaky powerful grenade huh? Well, not really of course. When I threw it, I'd been well aware of the countdown, and decided to leave it until the last few seconds just to see what happened.

Closing remarks It was October last year when I realized this Shade gunner could be quite an odd fellow when weaponless. He briefly appeared in BCM162, but all I did there was blast his Shade down. I deliberately omitted coverage of his weirdness because I knew there was potential for doing a whole movie about him.

It's been an arduous movie to make though. Each time I wanted to try and get some good footage, I had to make a laborious flight to the hangar, but about half the time the Shade wasn't even manned. When it was, there was the touchy business of getting the Elite down to the ground without killing him (I eventually settled on the method seen here), but sometimes he turned out to be armed, which was no use. And then of course, there was the question of whether my footage was good enough to use. In practice, this all meant that it often took lots of flights just to get one bit of footage worth considering. To avoid going nuts from the repetitious slow journey to the hangar, I had to space out a lot of my gameplay, doing short sessions only. But in total I'm pretty sure I flew to that hangar over two hundred times. So it's safe to say that I'm quite familiar with the route by now.

As for the structure of the movie, that gradually evolved, becoming three sections plus an end clip. Actually, it was only in the course of making the movie that I realized about the Elite's blast resistance. That then became a major topic to include of course (the second section). I've done my best to join clips so the music flows reasonably well. With some of the transitions I was able to get 'exact' music continuity, rather than just some beat continuity. It all depended on what footage I had available.

One thing I wanted to check was the behaviour of the Elite when raging. I wondered if he'd charge at me. However, I was never able to get him to rage. My plasma pistol seemed too clumsy, so I wanted to try using an AR instead, which has the advantage of being able to dish out smaller chunks of damage, bullet by bullet. But whenever I was able to acquire an AR along the way to the hangar (there was occasionally an AR Flood), there was no weaponless Shade Elite to test. I did that lots of time but eventually had to give up.

Almost all the footage for this movie is from December 21st to January 3rd. The only exception is the clip in which the Elite gets blasted across the hangar by a plasma grenade. That was from October 31st.