BCM179 - Oblivious muster bay covies, Grunts on the prowl

(5:00) Level 3 ('The Truth and Reconciliation') on Normal. Here's one for the Grunt fans: a five-minute montage of Grunts prowling around in the muster bay, with the game music providing ideal accompaniment. They're oblivious to me, an overloading glitch due to my having done the Grunt-Jackal spawning trick beforehand to build up a large horde. The glitch enables you to watch covies at leisure without cloaking, and you can have your flashlight on too. See my new article Oblivious muster bay covies for details.

Released May 4th 2016, gameplay recorded April 30th - May 1st 2016.


00:02 (Clips 1 and 2) This close view of a red Grunt seemed like a good way to open the movie. It includes a Wraith in the background, so it immediately clues you in to the location in case you forgot. It's good musically too, making a nice precursor to clip 2 when a drumbeat starts up.

00:23 (Clip 3) This is the first of eight clips involving four Grunts on this side of the bay. They gave me a lot of good footage (see my closing remarks), and in this example you see three Grunts prowling at once. Musically this clip follows on perfectly from the last (it's an exact match), and for the first time there's the cymbal sound.

00:33 (Clips 4 and 5) Quite a few of my clips include Grunts striking a pose before or after some prowling, and here are the first two examples. The orange fellow in clip 4 poses before, and the red guy poses after.

00:52 (Clips 6 and 7) Clip 6 is a nice 'duo' clip, featuring two orange Grunts with synchronized footsteps. Clip 7 was with the same batch of Grunts, about a minute later.

01:11 (Clip 8) I think the music tends to mask a lot of the quieter Grunt noises, but in this short clip you can hear some quite well.

01:16 (Clip 9) In this clip I move around the Grunt as he prowls. You'll see some of that in other clips too. This clip is actually a continuation of the footage seen in clip 29; it was about 13 seconds later.

01:28 (Clip 10) If you listen carefully you can briefly hear the sound of a fuel rod joker clanking his non-existent cannon. I deliberately kept any such guys out of this movie though, as they don't prowl. Eventually I adopted a policy of killing them off, because I didn't want the clanking to distract. In this case it was only faint though.

01:36 (Clip 11) At the start of this clip I like the view of prowling Grunts going in opposite directions. There's also a nice Grunt snort.

01:43 (Clip 12) No comment.

01:54 (Clip 13) Nice duo clip, and I love how another Grunt comes charging through. Seems like he's on an important grunty mission!

02:04 (Clip 14) That Grunt in the background seems to be very interested in the side of the Wraith. Maybe he has an engineering qualification?

02:11 (Clip 15) That's it grunty, check around that Wraith. You never know where a cyborg may be hiding! In this clip I also like the background Grunt who goes running across the bay.

02:20 (Clip 16) No comment.

02:30 (Clip 17) Very nice duo clip, with Grunts going the same way.

02:41 (Clip 18) Observant viewers may spot the red Grunt in the background, doing a spot of ground watching.

02:49 (Clip 19) Almost a collision here? One of the Grunts appears to take avoiding action.

02:57 (Clip 20) Here's quite a nice duo clip with Grunts going in opposite directions, but I also liked how an orange Grunt charges across at the start.

03:06 (Clip 21) No comment.

03:15 (Clips 22 and 23) Grunts sometimes go part way up the passage then come back. This orange Grunt is coming back, and the next clip is like a continuation, although it was actually recorded with a different Grunt the next day.

03:25 (Clips 24 and 25) At the end of this side-view I slowly orbit left as the Grunt strikes a pose, and there's quite a nice transition into the next clip where I'm likewise orbiting left slowly on a static Grunt. This double dose of posing makes for a sort of pause before the music picks up again.

03:47 (Clip 26) This clip got added, removed, then added again in a new place. Musically it follows on really nicely from the previous clip, which was the reason I put it here.

03:54 (Clip 27) In this clip (quite a late addition though not quite the last) the red Grunt in the background is initially looking at the ground amusingly, and then they start prowling close together with footsteps synchronized. So, two good aspects.

04:02 (Clip 28) My earliest duo clip.

04:11 (Clip 29) This Grunt was coming away from the door, and as it closes he appears to briefly look back at it. After that, I get a very close view from the side.

04:23 (Clip 30) This clip makes me chuckle at the start, with the unusual view of two Grunts prowling in opposite directions; one very close, one far; plus a Grunt snort. Their footsteps are fairly synchronized too.

04:29 (Clip 31) I thought it would be good to have at least one clip showing the area with the supplies, and this is quite a nice one. Musically, it sets thing up for the finale. It's without a drumbeat, and settles into a tone at the end.

04:38 (Clip 32) …and then this next clip starts and the drum beat kicks in. I really like that transition, and then there's a cymbal sound too. The clip itself is nothing special but it works well with the final clip, in regard to the music.

04:45 (Clip 33) So, how to end the movie? I thought it could be nice to have a Grunt prowling off into the distance, and this clip fitted the bill rather nicely, continuing the beat from the previous clip and culminating with a cymbal sound and some drumbeats. The one shortcoming of this clip is that you never get to see what weapon the Grunt is holding. But just so you know, it was a plasma pistol. I think he's the guy in clip 18.

Closing remarks Doing this movie was a deliberate effort to get away from that AOTCR bridge for a while, bearing in mind that my previous seven movies have revolved around either bridge descents or Banshee grabbing. It's a movie I've been waiting to make since about July 14th last year. I'm pretty sure that's the day I realized the movie potential in the muster bay, because I recorded a lot of footage then, mostly of Grunt prowling, using the sort of crouched camerawork seen here (crouching gives the most appealing view). However, I was too busy with the Grunt-Jackal spawning trick, so I left doing a movie until later. Now that I've got around to it though, I've started afresh, partly because the old footage had been done with a plasma rifle, whereas a plasma pistol is less intrusive on the screen.

I used the save which was used in BCM152 featuring a horde of 129. I'd already triggered the muster bay to get my save checkpoint, and no covies had spawned in the bay. Moreover, the game was so overloaded that if I immediately went to the bay, there would be no reinforcement waves either, and the game would quickly open the exit doors. Using a copy of my save, what I did was this. I quickly advanced and killed a few of the leading Jackals (I think it was three), picked up a plasma pistol, then went to the muster bay. The game quickly gave me the checkpoint for the reinforcement waves, and I saved it. That's the save I used for all this footage.

I did multiple plays. The reinforcement waves were randomized and I typically ended up with only five or so covies (due to how overloaded the game was), but that was fine. I was only interested in Grunts, but there was no trouble getting them of course. Quite often the first wave comprised four Grunts, and then maybe I'd get a fifth. If I got any Jackals or Elites, I'd just kill them off. I amassed plenty of good footage of prowling Grunts and started picking out the best bits, gradually building up the movie.

When I'd put together most of a movie and just needed a last clip or two, I happened to get an excellent situation involving four Grunts prowling around on the side of the muster bay with the switch (there was a fifth Grunt elsewhere). It gave me a lot of excellent footage with a different look to most of what I had, due to the new territory, so I ended up cutting several clips to make way for newer better ones. Most of those clips are fairly easily identified in the movie. There are nine out of the 33, and in particular there's a red Grunt with a needler who's the main subject in five of them. The other guys were orange. The situation was especially good for giving me 'duo' clips, prominently featuring two Grunts prowling.

This being Normal, orange Grunts were more prevalent than red, but in the movie the split is fairly balanced, for the sake of variety. That said, you'll see quite a few clips in which there are multiple orange guys, but there's not a single clip with multiple reds. I don't think I ever got two reds.

I put a lot of work into the editing; in fact it's one of my most editing intensive movies ever. There were various considerations, but in particular I wanted to keep the camera viewpoints changing, and I paid careful attention to continuity issues at clip transitions. The music was a key issue and I tried to get clips to go together reasonably well. With a few transitions there's actually 'exact' continuity of the music, but I was never trying to get that all the way through, which would've taken way more time and effort (and possibly been a recipe for going mad). It was a bit like making a new five-minute piece of music out of snippets. It's a bit of a patchwork of course, as elements of the music come and go, but hopefully you can enjoy it as a whole. I also did my best to preserve the clip-clop rhythm of footsteps across transitions, which helps continuity.