BCM191 - Bridge Banshee grab, arch method breakthrough

(8:06) Level 5 ('Assault on the Control Room') on Legendary. This is a tutorial for my radically improved 'arch method' of grabbing the bridge Banshee. My old version often needed a lot of tries to get the pilot ejected, but now it's very routine. In fact I've been able to get a success rate as high as 85%, measured over 20 tries from a checkpoint before the loading point. The two critical things are the crouch timing to get the Banshee into the arch, and a subsequent countermove which strains the Banshee as it starts to come down after you, causing ejection. See my article for a full account. I'm using PAL Xbox here but the method seems viable for all platforms and versions of the game, based on reports from other folk since I released the movie.

Released July 19th 2016, gameplay recorded July 10th-16th 2016.


00:02 (Setting up, and first grab) In this opening clip I start by setting things up for some grabbing. Getting the delayed checkpoint before the loading point means enemy configurations will vary, as the spawning hasn't occurred yet. In my subsequent play a Grunt arrives after I do the crouch, but I'm ready for him because I glanced at my tracker a few seconds before the crouch business. I let him board the Shade then headshoot him. I subsequently grab the Banshee and blast the pilot in making my escape.

01:24 (Three grabs in a row) To help demonstrate the relative ease of the new method, I wanted to include an unbroken sequence of grabs, so here are three in a row, using the set-up just created (most of the rest of the movie uses that set-up too). As the play unfolds, I elaborate on the method. In particular, at 1:31 I do a freeze-frame to show the down-aim target. Notice that the Banshee lands in pretty much the same place each time. That's the usual landing place. On the third grab I demonstrate why you might want a plasma pistol handy. It's the best thing for dealing with the pilot close up. No Grunts arrive on any of the three plays, but you can see some handling of Grunt arrivals in some of the other clips.

03:45 (Alternative body angling) In the course of making the movie, I tried out this alternative body angling, demonstrated in three clips. Possibly you might prefer it in regard to doing your countermove, because it'll just be a simple forward motion. After the first grab I miss the pilot with a plasma ball and swipe (he unexpectedly ducked down after starting to rise), but get him with a tag instead, dodging clear of his swipe. On the second play (4:05) he lands in the passage, giving me a nasty surprise; but again I use a tag. By leaping over him, I improve my safety margin because he'll have to use a bit of time turning around. As for the third play (4:22), really the main reason I included that was because of the fuel rod strike on the falling Jackal. Of course, I've had quite a bit of fuel rod practice on falling targets lately - see BCM184 - but I was still quite surprised I scored the hit. Difficult shot.

04:43 (Ejections without arch entry) These three clips show another type of ejection you can get, namely when the Banshee doesn't fully enter the arch gap. This is the sort of ejection I used to get with my earlier versions of the method. Needs a bit of luck, and doesn't happen very often compared to the usual ejections. In the first clip a Grunt arrives while I'm focused on my crouch timing. After crouching I take him out with a quick frag, but even so, he almost kills me. I'm pretty laid back about handling the blue pilot when he lands on top of his Banshee, but I pull through with one health bar left. The third clip (5:18) illustrates how a pilot can get squashed right after he's out. Fairly rare though.

05:29 (Early boarding for speed runs) You can board early by jumping up and mashing X, though it only saves about half a second on average, according to my testing. In the first clip I notice from my tracker that a Grunt is arriving, and I elect to throw a frag even before he's in sight. The blast gets him as expected. With early boarding there's a risk of getting squashed, as illustrated by the second clip (5:47).

05:56 (Some issues) Lest you get the idea that it's all plain sailing, I thought I'd better show some things which can easily go wrong. These clips show four flaws in technique. Crouching too early or too late (the clips show typical Banshee flight paths for such events), and countermoving prematurely (Banshee backs out) or too slowly (Banshee escapes).

06:37 (Setting up with a late checkpoint) Finally, here's a demo of setting things up with a late checkpoint for faster tries (and fixed covie arrangement). Moreover, I get the checkpoint after Cortana's line has started, so it won't repeat on retries - as you see on my second try. This set-up wasn't ideal, because there are two Grunts to shoot. Tries would be less work if there were fewer. To close the movie, I have a bit of fun with a Jackal who survives an initial blast.

Closing remarks In the set-up created at the start of the movie, the pilot always seems to be red - which is a situation I've had before, so I don't think it's anything freaky. That set-up was used for most of the subsequent clips, which is why you didn't see many blue pilots. Only one in fact, which involved another set-up. Two other clips used another set-up: the one where a pilot ejects into the passage, and the one where a pilot gets squashed high up, right after ejection.

I used Legendary for this tutorial partly because that's the difficulty level speedrunners will be interested in, and partly to show that even on Legendary, Grunt handling is very little trouble - though you definitely don't want a Shade firing at you for long.