BCM248 - Bottom of the entry chamber, dead Grunts

(6:29) Level 5 ('Assault on the Control Room') on various difficulties. When I got to the bottom of the entry chamber in BCM242 there didn't seem to be much to see, but actually you can find something rather surprising in the mist. Dead Grunts! I'm not sure when they were first reported, but it goes back to at least 2003. Here's my movie treatment, based on getting the Grunts ten times (three times on Heroic and Legendary, twice on Normal and Easy), to see what combinations turned up.

Released June 29th 2017, gameplay recorded June 26th-27th 2017.


00:02 (First case, using Heroic) In this Heroic play I make it to the bottom in a Ghost as usual (see BCM242 for a demo of the preceding work, though this was a different set-up), and soon find the Grunts. It looks like we've got a red Grunt and an orange Grunt - both curl-backs - but a tag separates the front guy into two. There were actually two reds there, merged so they appeared as one! Nearby, there are three plasma pistols and three plasmas.

01:41 This short clip gives another example of tagging to separate the two front guys instantly, then there's a clip showing gradual separation using ground blasts.

02:20 (Second case, using Normal) In this example on Normal, again we have two front guys merged - except they're of different type, obviously.

02:49 The weaponry layout here differs from the previous play, and I put together this alternating sequence so you can see how. One pistol and one plasma have moved.

02:57 (Third case, using Legendary) When I used Legendary I was rewarded with an exotic sight. This time, the front two guys were red and orange curl-backs, combining to make another 'harlequin Grunt'! See BCM192 and more, for movies on that. To isolate this jazzy duo, I blast the rear guy away with a plasma at just the right distance to affect only him. Using markings on the ground, I'd established earlier where to aim.

04:30 (Three combinations) Those are the only three combinations I got in my ten plays. On Heroic I always (three times) got the first, on Normal and Easy I always (twice each) got the second, and on Legendary I always (three times) got the third. Of course, I can't be sure this is the general situation; but that's my suspicion.

04:53 (Finding the Grunts) The usual way I find the Grunts is to follow the wall until I spot the pistols (the Grunts are much harder to see). Going clockwise, it'll be the wall where you're heading north. If you have an AR, you can make use of the compass, and an option is to head west from the column. However, bear in mind that the game can clear stuff away, just like with other bodies and dropped weaponry; so there might be nothing there, or the scene may be incomplete. My advice for avoiding that: preferably avoid triggering the two-Wraith area.

05:45 (Why are they here?) As for whether the Grunts are some sort of Easter egg, it didn't get admitted into HBO's Easter egg list, and I've seen people express the view that the Grunts are some sort of junk - e.g. akin to the lone Marine you can find on top of 343 Guilty Spark. A Halopedia page says "If one looks at the relevant scripts in HEK (Halo Editing Kit), one will see that these Grunts are the same ones that appear in the beginning cutscene: They are killed and teleported down there." But I have to question this, because it's counter to simple observation. For example, on Easy and Normal one of the dead Grunts is (or can be) a fin-backed red, yet there are none in the cutscene (which in any case features five Grunts, not three). Also, on Heroic and Legendary two of the dead Grunts are (or can be) curl-backed reds, yet the cutscene has only one.

However, even if Bungie didn't mean these guys as an Easter egg of sorts (which I think we don't know), they're still a nice reward for reaching a remote area.

Closing remarks When I did BCM242 - my tutorial for reaching the bottom - I didn't know about the dead Grunts, and nor did I see any. In fact there were none present. During my gameplay I'd accidentally triggered the two-Wraith area when flying too low (heading to trigger and delay a tunnel checkpoint), and had to pass the next loading point to get the music stopped. I now believe that the three Grunts got cleared away as a result of all that. The early areas (LZ, passage, first room) got cleared as well. Any time they're cleared, I expect the dead trio will be gone too. But if the early areas haven't been cleared, I suspect the three dead Grunts will be there.