BCM231 - Force-launching set-up evolved

(5:31) Level 5 ('Assault on the Control Room') on Heroic. At the end of BCM230 I showed an example of what I call force-launching, in which you use the barrier force to get launched up the shaft, initially in a Banshee but you can then bail and try to stick a landing somewhere, or whatever. This movie shows how I went on to get a much better set-up for launching - so it serves as a tutorial if you fancy trying this activity yourself. It includes a few launches but see BCM232 for a proper showing.

Released April 25th 2017, gameplay recorded March 15th and April 15th-22nd 2017.


00:02 (Launching frustration) With my initial set-up, each time I wanted to launch I had to rocket my Banshee down and then descend. But the rocketing often took a few tries, and even when it succeeded, that work was often wasted because my descent failed. The usual way it failed was by death on impact, but another danger was that I bounced off the Shade and over the edge, as seen in this clip from a month ago.

00:21 (First improvement) By way of improvement, I had the idea of getting a separate Banshee into the alcove, so I'd no longer have to rocket mine down each time. So that's what I did, checkpointing for each new phases of the work, much as I did in BCM230 when getting the Shade down. In the final phase I rocket the Banshee into the alcove then try to adjust it so it'll be relatively convenient for launching. I could've checkpointed before the adjustment attempt, but I elected to continue without, and it pays off. After two rockets it settles upright, close to the edge and facing outwards. Looks ideal!

After that, I get a final delayed checkpoint ready to descend. I've swapped my pistol for a plasma pistol, in anticipation of needing to whack the Banshee. A plasma pistol is better for whacking.

01:57 (Using the new set-up) My first descent attempt to the Shade failed as seen here, and I soon began trying the Banshee instead. It seemed to give better odds of success, so at that point the Shade became redundant. Here you see two plays using my new cushion. The first launch is the higher, but both of them are rather pedestrian compared to the launching I'd get into later with better technique.

02:58 (Descent still fickle) Although the Banshee made a better cushion than the Shade, surviving was still quite fickle, even when trying to hit a frustratingly elusive sweet spot. At the time, it felt like my success rate wasn't much better than 20% - so it was usually taking quite a bit of effort to get to the point of launching. Here you see two typical failures in a row. So I thought, how about getting a checkpoint in the alcove, ready to launch? Definitely viable, but it would require nailing a descent while delaying a checkpoint, after a long journey since triggering it. Could take quite a while before it worked, but I thought it was worth investing the time. So, let's do it!

03:12 (Second improvement) After ascending and reaching the bridge, I switch to a Banshee kept there for checkpoint triggering. After triggering a tunnel checkpoint, I keep it delayed long enough for it to be re-triggerable (which is about 73 seconds on PAL), then get it and save. Playing from there, I re-trigger, and get back to my original Banshee, keeping the checkpoint delayed. Heading down the shaft, I fire a fuel rod shot and it goes into slo-mo, causing a convenient long delay. That frees me up to concentrate on my descent, and to my surprise I make it - and with the full health I wanted. I then give the Banshee a few whacks to get it straightened up a bit and closer to the slope, for quicker launching. I knew how much to whack it because I'd tested earlier. With my adjustment, launching can now be initiated with just one whack, though I sometimes use more.

As to why I was jumping after descending, it's mainly because I wasn't sure if I was going to hear the fuel rod shot hitting, and I didn't want to risk getting the checkpoint before I was ready for it. The jumping guaranteed checkpoint delay. I stopped when I was ready, and by coincidence the fuel rod shot hit right afterwards.

One other detail. You might notice that I now have a fully charged plasma pistol. I got that from a dead Shade gunner on my way to doing the checkpoint triggering. Wasn't important, but I'm never averse to a little extra charge.

04:50 (Using the final set-up) The luxurious new checkpoint - which I saved of course - really paid off. With launching now being easy, it freed me up to rapidly experiment and improve. The first launch you see here was from about half an hour after creating my save. Not very high, and I get killed. The second is from four days later when I'd had a lot more experience. I board later than in the first launch and get extra height, passing the middle ring then falling through a gap.

Closing remarks Originally I was going to do an all-in-one movie, covering both the evolution of my set-up, and then a load of launching. But even with the set-up work condensed, that would either have made for an uncomfortably long movie, or considerably less launching than I wanted to show. So I decided to split things into two movies. Definitely a good idea, and it allowed me to expand on the set-up work a bit, showing how I got the final checkpoint.

The opening clip is from March 15th when I was having the 'barrier adventure' seen in BCM230, but the rest of the play began on April 15th when I got back to the topic of force-launching, which I'd put aside as I had lots of other entry chamber stuff to deal with first. I finished my first set-up improvement on the 17th, and made the final improvement the next day. And I've been busy using it ever since!

In regard to the first improvement, I mentioned that my success rate in using the Banshee for cushioning didn't feel much better than 20%, at the time. Actually I later did a test with that save, and after practice I eventually managed a rate of about 38%. But even if I could've done it with 90% success rate, my alcove checkpoint was still a very good idea.