BCM290 - Body merging, crewmen at the first structure

(7:32) Level 2 ('Halo') on Heroic. Having merged crewmen on the Autumn in BCM288, I went down to the ring to see what I could do at the first structure, and it turned out to be a great place! Certainly the best place for merging crewmen, who spawn in various colours, but also great for merging Marines if you want. Here I indicate the very easy set-up work and show several colour combinations, particularly in regard to the jazzy harlequin effect I like ('z-fighting').

Released June 8th 2018, gameplay recorded June 3rd-7th 2018.


00:02 (Setting up) The movie starts as I complete my saving of the survivors, blitzing the final dropship. You can read more about tactics in my old article on evac prevention; but avoid using up any frags, and make sure to end with maximum grenades (for the merging work, obviously). There's a checkpoint afterwards, and I quickly block the survivors by standing on the centre-line of the ramp. I could've done with standing a bit closer to the corner, but never mind.

00:57 Eventually I hear "Foe Hammer out". I switch on my flashlight (it makes things stand out better for the movie) and there's a second checkpoint, which completes the set-up. If you like, the checkpoint can be delayed a few seconds by jumping on the spot until Cortana has spoken and Johnson starts answering. That will save you having to hear those lines over and over as you revert. That's normally what I'd do, because those lines do get mighty repetitive, but for the tutorial I kept things basic.

A few seconds after Johnson's line there's also a Marine who says "Ready to roll!", but you can't delay the checkpoint that long. Like some others in the game, it's only briefly delayable, after which it gets cancelled.

01:04 (Yellow & blue) I go straight into a play, getting the two crewmen merged. Yellow and blue, as you can see. One guy is already right in front of me, which is not uncommon with these set-ups, but it could've been a Marine instead. After I headshoot him I let some Marines go by. The yellow crewman almost goes by too - I was a bit sloppy there - but I stop him just in time and do another headshot. In my haste to get busy with grenades, Johnson gets himself killed. But don't worry folks, he'll get better.

Soon I've got a jazzy harlequin effect, and after a few more blasts the appearance settles to yellow. Overall, super-merging typically takes 5 or 6 blasts. It's quick and easy, and you've even got three spare frags nearby! I blast the merging around a bit, getting spare plasmas along the way (there are usually plenty around if you were careful not to let loose grenades get detonated), and I eventually separate the crewmen with a tag.

One thing to notice: both guys retained their pistols when killed. Curiously, retention seems to occur when death is via headshot (including with a plasma weapon or AR). I can't recall noticing pistol retention before, though I surely have seen it. It's oddly different from Marines and covies, who always drop their weapons.

03:16 (Red & brown) The rest of the movie shows play from other set-ups, showcasing various colour combinations as harlequins. Here's red and brown for starters. Note the pronounced body separation when I blast the merging off the ramp. Despite this, there's no visible separation after they've settled; and indeed, we've still got an excellent harlequin.

03:49 (Yellow & brown) Now here's a full play with yellow and brown. Unlike with the earlier set-up, I've delayed the checkpoint to eliminate the Cortana and Johnson lines. I kill the crewmen in a well controlled manner - a better example than my opening play. When I kill the yellow guy a Marine shouts "Right on!" as if I've killed an enemy. Evidently there's a flaw in the programming somewhere. Four blasts give a harlequin, and I subsequently separate the bodies with a tag going off in mid-air.

04:41 (Blue & teal) Blue and teal make an attractive combination I think. This time I separate using a mid-flight frag blast. I was trying to get a good amount of variety into the movie - and more boom.

05:03 (Yellow & red) Red and yellow seems to be one of the rarest combinations (e.g. I got blue and teal six times more often). Not very pretty perhaps, but you've got good contrast.

05:35 (Yellow & teal) Yellow and teal go together nicely, and here I do a tag separation trick. Incidentally, these crewmen had the same character model. You get that occasionally. Likewise, faces can be dupicated among the Marines; you may've noticed three identical guys in my opening play!

06:11 (Red & teal) Finally here's a full play with red and teal, and this is another good demonstration of killing the crewmen in a nice controlled way. When I move off the centre-line, everyone starts heading down and I simply wait to gun down the crewmen. However, it gets me declared a traitor (the Marines oddly seem to take more offence with body-shot kills, compared to headshots). Johnson throws a frag but I'm ready for it, and I use it to help the merging along. When I shoot him, he breaks off his evac run and later comes gunning for me, but I set him straight with a needler.

Closing remarks This really was a great place to do merging. Possibly the most convenient set-up in the whole game, if you ever want to try some of your own.

I included two additional 'full plays' (i.e. from the set-up checkpoint), to give more examples of ways you might kill the crewmen. It can take a bit of care because (a) they're pretty good at slipping past if you go off the centre-line of the ramp, and (b) you want their bodies to be conveniently placed for blasting into the corner. You'll soon find out about these aspects if you create your own set-up to play with.

In pursuit of colour combinations I did a whole lot of plays on Heroic. I count six colours, but strangely two of them are very similar shades of brown. So similar that I only noticed when I happened to get both together. One is slightly paler, that's all. Perhaps that one could be called 'tan' in distinction to brown, but in the movie I've just used 'brown' as I'm not too sure which of the two shades I had (assuming there really are two intended shades and this isn't just some technical issue that creates slight differences). The other colours are blue, teal, red and yellow. There's no orange or grey, despite those colours being seen on the Autumn.

You can also merge crewmen at the cliffside survivor area. Maybe I'll do a movie on that later, but for now I've got crewman merging fatigue!