BCM192 - Harlequin Grunt

(8:04) Level 5 ('Assault on the Control Room') on Legendary. Some Grunts are red and some are orange, but this one looks like he wanted to jazz things up a bit! Check out this ultra-freaky finding in the cavern, which happened when I was attempting a zero-hit kill 'em all run.

Released July 31st 2016, gameplay recorded July 26th-30th 2016.


00:02 (Introduction) This opening clip is pitched like I'm making the discovery, but actually I hadn't been recording originally. This enactment was done after I'd already explored things a bit, and is just a playful way of introducing you to the oddity. The oddity apparently being a Grunt who's both red and orange, in a mix which dances about as I pan my view and move around. Very pretty too! Originally I'd been carrying a sniper rifle, but here I've got a pistol which is less obtrusive.

01:00 After a while I blast him clear of the Shade and take another look. He's still got flickering colours, though red seems more prevalent on his left, and orange on his right. When I blast him again however, there's a much more obvious change. Apart from a bit of flickering here and there, he's basically red on one side and orange on the other. Quite a mysterious chappie!

02:04 Finally, I resolve the mystery by tagging him - and suddenly you can see that there were two Grunts. Due to earlier investigation, I knew tagging would separate them.

02:20 (Clarification) To clarify, what we've got are two Grunts who each got sniped out of the Shade and who happened to land the same way. Not exactly the same I think, but at least extremely close. They also have the same body model (curl-backs with helmet-style rebreather), and the result is that they appear as just one Grunt, colouring aside. Notice the two plasma pistols - a clue that two gunners were killed here. Actually, another clue is the number of dropped plasma grenades; three would've been too many for only one Grunt.

02:33 (Tagging) You've already seen the Grunts get separated by a tag, but now I show some more examples. In the final one I send them into the chasm for variety and fun. Of course, there was also a ground blast involved there too, but the tag certainly had the main separating effect.

I think the reason a tag always works is this. Only one of the Grunts gets tagged (you can aim for a specific colour if you like), and that guy gets a randomized shunt, while the other guy gets a deterministic shunt. The effects are almost certain to be quite different - leading to separation.

03:20 (Ground blasts) Ground blasts can gradually separate the Grunts, each blast tending to increase separation. In this example you can clearly notice separation after only two blasts. Another two make the separation complete.

03:57 (Needle bangs) As you might expect, needle bangs can do the job too. Here I keep things limited to just one bang at a time. After four bangs the separation is noticeable; then I do more to complete the job.

04:47 (Rocketing - ground blasts) Now I try some rocketing, starting with ground blasts. On the second blast I misjudge Johnson's distance and send him into the chasm. Whoops! The Grunts still appear merged after three blasts, but that changes with the next blast.

05:36 (Rocketing - direct hits) Direct hits work gradually too, as seen in the first of these clips, or in some cases immediately, as seen in the subsequent three. In those clips the blast is occurring when the Grunt is in flight. The Grunts seem to temporarily move apart in flight, which I think is why a strike at that time can be so effective at separating them; they're more susceptible to being affected differently.

06:37 (Faster needling) Ok, back to some needling, but this time vigorously! It's a bit of a comedy clip because things go badly for Johnson, who hasn't yet grasped the concept of moving clear of imminent explosions. A lot of Marines have that problem actually.

07:00 (Going red) There's one more thing I wanted to show. It's possible for the harlequin Grunt to go completely red! That was most unexpected. The first time it happened, he'd bounced off the wall, but here I show it getting started with a bounce off a nearby rock. If I rocket him into the rock like this, he occasionally goes either almost red or completely red. Here it's a case of 'almost', but then after I blast him, he goes completely red. A tag reveals that the orange guy is indeed still there - just in case you wondered if he'd somehow got lost. I'll come back to this mysterious state in a later movie.

07:50 (Final look) To close, here's a spot more observation, just for the prettiness of the flickering patterns. It's also a chance for me to hint that I'm not done with this guy yet, movie wise. Not by a long way actually.

Closing remarks My discovery was on July 24th. There are three Grunts on the near left and I could only remember having sniped two, so I went over to check for a third (it turned out Sarge got him), and that's when I spotted the 'harlequin Grunt'. I immediately suspected I was actually looking at two Grunts in freakishly coincident postures, because that seemed the natural explanation. After saving a checkpoint I was free to start investigating and my suspicion was soon confirmed, though I'm not sure if that came via tagging or just repeated blasting. This movie provides an introduction to the oddity but I've got more to say and show, so watch out!