BCM274 - Wraith at the bottom of the cavern

(8:22) Level 5 ('Assault on the Control Room') on Legendary. Here's a trick I've been waiting to show for ages: getting a live Wraith to the bottom of the cavern. You can play about with it down there (it's a novel setting), but getting it down is a lot of fun too! More movies on this topic later.

Released February 24th 2018, gameplay recorded February 21st-22nd 2018.


00:02 (Wraith moving prep) At the start here, I'm in a stolen Banshee. It's the platform Banshee, but any would do. I've just finished making the cavern safe by killing everyone, though it would've sufficed to just kill the two entrance guards. I mostly used a sniper rifle because I wanted to keep the Banshee undamaged. I've topped up the rifle with ammo and I also have a full rocket launcher. Backtracking, a tunnel checkpoint is triggered, and for efficiency's sake I keep it delayed until almost outside.

00:24 (Wraith moving) Now I start trying to get the high Wraith down (I wiped out everything else here earlier). It's not terribly hard but there's an obvious hazard of getting blown up, plus the pilot might fall out, which is why I wanted the handy checkpoint of course. My first try ends with explosive disaster and there were a few more failures after that which aren't shown, but before long I've got it down.

01:05 From there, pushing it to the cavern doesn't take long, and you can speed the process by getting underneath to 'carry' it some of the way. If all this seems familiar, that's because I also showed this process in BCM54, in connection with getting a crazy-firing Elite. I also shifted the high Wraith in BCM80. I suggest putting the Wraith approximately where I do, just inside the cavern. It's pretty convenient, and seems to be close enough to the entrance that the pilot doesn't have time to fire when you're approaching for descent attempts.

01:28 (Checkpoint for descent attempts) I subsequently set myself up with a new delayed tunnel checkpoint, ready to make attempts at getting it down. Partly for safety reasons, I recommend you save it, which is what I did. Basically that's a safeguard against getting an unexpected checkpoint later, preventing you from being able to get back to this starting point. There are certain details about that which I won't go into, but they relate to the triggering mechanism for tunnel checkpoints. If you end up having a problem, e.g. getting an unwanted checkpoint when the pilot dies (which I experienced with an earlier set-up), you can modify your save by waiting for another checkpoint in the tunnel, and saving afresh. That should fix the situation.

Actually, I made sure to avoid any problem by briefly flying into the cavern to let a bit more time elapse. That way, I could be pretty sure that when I then re-entered the trigger zone for tunnel checkpoints, a new one would be triggered pronto (because at least 73 seconds had elapsed since I last triggered one, at about 1:27).

01:52 (Descent attempts) Ok, now the descent fun begins. Push the Wraith into the chasm and try to slow its fall so the pilot doesn't die in mid-air. That's the key part of the trick - the slowing. In this first example I get underneath and give the Wraith an early knock, but I never manage another, and the pilot dies.

02:17 If the Wraith gets below you, freefalling can enable you to catch up to get underneath. But here it gets too far away. I can't get under in time, and the pilot dies. This clip also shows that the Wraith is able to fire in mid-air, which surprised me. Also notice that the Wraith strangely makes no noise when hitting the ground.

02:40 I do much better this time, staying somewhere below it and giving it two good knocks. It gets down ok but the success is short-lived. The pilot quickly gets his bearings and I'm promptly blown out of the air. Welcome to Legendary.

03:08 Here's another example where the Wraith fires in mid-air. A lot closer to me than last time! I freefall and get underneath for a knock, but it feels too weak, and sure enough the pilot dies.

03:33 One approach is to try and stay fairly close underneath the Wraith, to make successive touches to slow it. It's not easy, but here I do a pretty good job and get the Wraith down - though it also gets some slowing at the end by dragging against the chasm wall. Unfortunately though, I underestimate how quickly the pilot can recover and get a shot off. Ouch!

04:02 I do a decent job of staying underneath here, but the Wraith drifts into a pillar and tumbles against it, causing pilot ejection. He's dead before I get him back in view. For fun I blast the falling Wraith.

04:24 Here, I initially stay close under the Wraith very nicely. I think I was starting to get the knack. But it's a long time before I actually start trying to slow it; and when I do, it gets away and the pilot dies just before reaching the ground - before which the Wraith fires a shot which travels downwards!

04:51 This time I'm rather clumsy pushing the Wraith into the chasm. It quickly gets away from me, and after briefly freefalling I give up and watch it go. I also start giving it some parting fire, but the pilot has had the same idea and blows me out of the sky! That really took me by surprise, how fiendish his targeting was.

05:05 This is another rather clumsy start. I never get properly underneath and the Wraith drifts away, also starting to invert. When it hits the far wall, the pilot is ejected and instantly splattered.

05:25 This descent seems to be going well. I get nicely under the Wraith and give it a knock, then a heavier one, which I thought was going to be enough. But just as the Wraith passes me, the pilot unexpectedly strikes with his mortar. He's a devil with that thing! Quite impressive, you have to say. As it turns out, he dies before reaching the ground; so my slowing wasn't quite enough anyway.

05:50 (Success and play) Finally, here's a success. Or more specifically, a success in which I don't get instantly blasted. The descent starts in a rather scruffy manner with the Wraith quickly falling away from me, but I manage to overtake and get underneath in time to give it a firm boink, which is enough to keep the pilot alive. Then I have some fun flying around and blasting it, and living dangerously by dodging plasma balls. Of course, once you get the Wraith down, you could get a new tunnel checkpoint before playing about. For having fun on foot, I recommend having a sniper rifle (for zoomed light-amplified viewing) and rocket launcher.

Closing remarks I'm glad to finally get this trick shown. I've been sitting on it since mid May 2012. That was shortly before announcing the cavern megabattle, so I think I probably discovered the trick while exploring whether I could add a Wraith to the megabattle.

But I'm not done with the trick yet. I've got a ton of additional footage on my hard-drive, and some of that will be going into further movies. There are also some related ideas I plan to explore, such as seeing if I can get Marines in a Warthog down, by slowing the descent like I did for the Wraith.

I don't know if anyone got a Wraith down before. It's not all that hard though.

The descent attempts shown here aren't in chronological order. They're just examples I put together from a few sessions of play. But six of them - namely the first five and the the eventual success - were from my earliest session, done right after the set-up work. I'd already had a few successes with a few trial set-ups the same day.

I'll probably write an article on this trick, once I've done a few more movies on it.

UPDATE: The article is here.