BCM29 - Bridge descent via patrolling Elite

(5:33) Level 5 ('Assault on the Control Room') on Heroic. For PAL Xbox this shows how you can descend from the first bridge by using the patrolling Elite to stop you on the near right ledge, something I tried after releasing BCM28. It won't work on NTSC or PC, as the Elite will die before hitting the ledge. It starts with a checkpoint routine for easing the work, then there's some fun with the Elite once he's on the ledge. See here in my bridge descent guide for an account of the method.

Released February 21st 2011, gameplay recorded February 13th-19th 2011.


00:02 We start with a routine I developed, using two delayed checkpoints to ease the work. It involves some covie slaying, and in the interests of making the footage brief and exciting I try to do the killing fast, but you can take all the time you like. I'm beginning from a slightly delayed entry passage checkpoint saved just before the loading point, so I can always restart from here if things don't turn out well enough.

00:06 The first task is to fight my way to the bridge checkpoint trigger line, eliminating enemies except for the red Elite initially patrolling below (it always seems to be a red, regardless of difficulty level). Him you want to leave unharmed. I give the four sleeping Grunts a few nasty wake-up calls and frag the blue-shielded Jackal. The other Jackal dives clear and I try to open him up with rapid plasma fire, but it's not working so I switch to a plasma ball then smite him with a good whack. Suddenly I'm conscious of plasma fire coming from behind. The red has come up top quite quickly today! I improvise cover by diverting down a ramp - then up again and into cover between two deck braces. That's enough for the Elite to switch his attention to the Pelican, and now I pause a moment to take stock of things. I'm looking for an opportunity to tag the Banshee but it's not coming for me just yet.

00:31 Thanks to my sheltered position, the Jackals have focused on the Pelican as planned. I send a frag over to take care of them - you can subsequently hear the screams - then go through a glass panel for a quick spell of Grunt extermination. The little critters don't even score a hit on me, hah! Back up top, one of the two further Grunts makes a nice target for my pistol (you don't really need to bother with these guys yet), then I look for the Banshee. It's coming in to attack, and I see my chance for a tag. Quite a long-range one, and I can't move into cover too soon else he'll veer off before the grenade sticks. I manage to keep my shield intact though, and I add a few pistol shots to make sure the tag destroys the Banshee - which it does.

00:58 I move past the lights on the nearby deck braces to trigger the bridge checkpoint, but keep it delayed with a grenade while I sneak back past the Elite without him noticing. I drop down through a glass panel to hide behind the end-most ramp and wait for the checkpoint - which soon comes. With this sneaking back, it's best if the Elite is on the lower deck because that's ideally where you want him for the next phase. If he's not already on the lower deck, you could always tempt him down beforehand. You'll notice that I also turn my flashlight on at this point. That's nothing important; it's just to provide better illumination for the movie as things get a bit murky over here.

01:21 Now to get him down onto the ledge (this wasn't my first try, incidentally). I fire a shot to draw him my way, then step out when he's close and give him a plasma ball followed by two whacks. On Heroic and also Normal, this almost always induces rage mode, which is what happens here. On Legendary you'd need an extra whack, while on Easy, one fewer. Before he's even started growling, I'm running into position on the very edge of the deck, slightly short of the corner. You need to be fairly precise about this to get him heading off in the right direction. When he comes into view he's only got time for a quick pulse of plasma before taking a swipe. I dodge - which is pretty easy - and watch him sail down to the ledge. He hits near the apex of the nicely sloped chevron feature as desired, and stops on the edge.

01:46 Now I want a delayed checkpoint at the bottom of the V for making attempts at getting stopped on the ledge by him, so I head for the exit passage. As I arrive, it's clear that the enemies who start behind the door still haven't emerged yet. That's probably because there wasn't any combat outside to alert them when they got triggered with the bridge checkpoint. I throw a plasma grenade to hopefully decimate them, and meanwhile I kill the Grunt left over from earlier, who's hopped into a Shade. The grenade does a fair bit of damage but there are two Grunts to finish off, and I also cut things a bit fine with the gold Elite, smacking him down just as he's about to swing his sword. I swap my pistol for a needler because I can have more fun with the latter. I trigger the exit passage checkpoint and keep it delayed with jumping and a couple of grenades until in position on the V.

02:38 On this my second go at dropping down, I hit the apex of the chevron and collide with the Elite, saving me from a nasty death below. He gets a good thump and a dose of plasma for his trouble. You can't say I'm not grateful eh? And hey, that plasma rifle will do nicely thanks very much! From here on it's plain sailing as I take a quick and safe route down to the Marines.

03:03 (Fun clip 1) Now for some fun with the Elite, courtesy of that handy checkpoint on the V. To get things going, how about a plasma grenade on the head? He also gets nudged off by my arrival. I found that if I collided with him on the right, that tends to happen. Maybe it's partly to do with him altering direction to keep facing me, losing his support as a result. He's already partly off the ledge, which is fairly common.

03:12 (Fun clip 2) A plasma ball stuns him then I deliver a right cross as I arrive, sending him flying off with plasma rifle firing wildly. You have to be a bit careful when doing this. If you whack him too soon you could cause his death before you've actually collided, in which case his body provides no resistance and you'll fly off to your death. Most of time I find that I stay on however. Sending him off with a good whack is very satisfying I have to say.

03:17 (Fun clip 3) As I arrive I generously equip him with a plasma hat - they're very popular this year - then quickly back off to avoid his swipe. He doesn't seem too happy with his hat though. There's just no pleasing some folk.

03:23 (Fun clip 4) Time to put my needler to good use. I pile a clip into him as I fall, and deliberately collide on the right so I get deflected along the ledge, clear of the forthcoming bangs. You could just pile straight into him as a less elegant alternative. The needle bangs might damage you, but as long as you get clear of any chain reaction you should be ok.

03:31 (Fun clip 5) More grenade work. Going one better than before, I tag him with two plasmas then get clear. The first throw is the tricky one of course. You have to do it while still up high, else there won't be time for the second.

03:39 (Fun clip 6) I give him a thump and he goes off the ledge - more due to the fact that I collided with him on the right I think. As he starts to drop, I save him from a nasty death below by killing him with plasma fire. Tin-plated and benevolent - that's me.

03:45 (Fun clip 7) You can blast the Elite off the ledge with a plasma ball fired just as you arrive (not too soon else he won't be there to collide with). But for added spectacle tag him beforehand as shown here, so he explodes in mid-air!

03:52 (Fun clip 8) Now the first of three clips of unplanned freakiness. Here I was trying to tag him and bounce off along the ledge, but I was a bit too far to the right and took only a glancing blow which sent me off. However, I was close enough to the cliffside to get cushioned to the ground - and meanwhile the Elite was left with a grenade fizzing on his person. Made some nice footage I thought. You could actually try to do this deliberately. It would be hard, but not diabolically so. You just need to get that glancing blow right.

04:01 (Fun clip 9) I zap him with a bit of plasma as I descend, then give him a thump. A super-thump apparently! Geez, I never knew I had it in me. He goes flying off an amazingly long way. The Marines open fire as he sails in, but with his shield gone and almost no health (from when he was put into rage mode), he's killed by the impact. I've seen Elites get sent backwards extra far from a thump before, but never as spectacularly as this.

04:09 (Fun clip 10) As I fall, I pepper the Elite with plasma. I'm planning to smack him off the ledge, but my gunfire causes him to move and I end up sailing off myself! However, when I look down I realize that I'm on a pretty good trajectory for getting cushioned by the rock below. I'm already used to that - see the second half of BCM12 - so I crouch as I hit the side and… ta-dah! My shield bleeps like crazy but I'm down without health loss. And I smacked the Elite dead on the way, so it's completely win-win, am I right?

04:19 (Fun clip 11) Now for a longer bit of fun in which I get the Elite down to the ground and sneak around behind him, courtesy of a nice drop-off point I found. I start by getting him off the ledge without taking down his shield, which he needs to survive the fall. I do it mainly by colliding with him on the right, but I also give him a pip of plasma just as I arrive, something which I'd noticed seems to help. Down he goes, and I throw a grenade off the ledge to cause a subsequent distraction - I'll say more about that later.

I run along the ledge to a place where you can barely stay on if you're right on the edge. There's a very slight bend here which is my drop-off point. Down below there's a small section of cliff base which is sloping at about thirty degrees. I carefully drop to it, drifting in towards the cliff face on the way, and crouch as I hit, getting a perfect landing. Approaching the Elite, I switch the flashlight off else he'll be alerted. He's eyeing the Marines, probably due to the grenade I threw. If you don't throw a grenade, he tends to be looking up at where he last saw you on the ledge. I wanted him facing the Marines because it makes for better and brighter movie footage as I approach. I get up close then switch the flashlight back on, causing him to turn around. Yes that's right squid-face, I'm right here! He swipes but I back off while letting him have a clip of needles. He goes flying from the multiple explosions and I take the opportunity to smack him as he's coming down. One cyborg surprise delivered!

04:57 (Fun clip 12) Final clip now, and again I get him down to the ground for some fun. A simple collision on the right does the job. No pip of plasma this time; this was before I noticed that it seemed to help. I slide down the cliffside and do a jump as I reach the snowy cliff base, causing myself to go flying beyond the Marines. That little kick-off is something I only cottoned onto while working on this stuff, and it's a fun thing to do! Circling and closing on the Elite, I send in two plasma grenades and a clip of needles, and he ends up quite near the Marines. Near enough that one of them runs out to offer a spontaneous appraisal of the vanquished foe's character. And it's not too favourable!

Closing remarks I thought it was going to be tough to get the patrolling Elite to swipe at you in the right place and in the right direction, but it turned out to be pretty straightforward. Easier than with a Hunter in fact (and much easier than with the gold Elite), as you get more time to get into position. The ability to use two checkpoints in the routine is another thing in favour of the method compared to descent via Hunter, where you could only utilize one checkpoint. It's also not too hard to do without checkpoints and get down fast, something you can see in BCM30 which I've released concurrently.

Although there's plenty of fun you can have with the Elite once he's on the ledge, I don't think you're going to get the Marines into much action. In order for him to survive a fall to the ground, he'd need his shield intact (unless you could arrange for him to get cushioned by the cliff face, which would be difficult), and this limits how you can get him down. In the movie you saw me getting him down by colliding on the right. But even if he lands within shooting distance of the Marines (which was very rare with my Elite), he'd likely be killed almost immediately because his shield would be either gone or badly damaged, and his health is already minimal from when he got put into rage mode.