BCM321 - Blue beam zapping

(8:08) Level 2 ('Halo') on Legendary. Following on from the arc of death, here's a spectacular phenomenon you might see in that scenario, and for which I've now got a dedicated recipe, enabling you to see it with ease. Yep, it's time for some blue beam zapping! Note: contrary to a caption here, I find that you don't actually need to keep the pile in sight to stop stuff being removed; you just need to keep it in the three-dimensional 'view volume' extending out in the direction you're pointed (even if your sight of it is being blocked). Also, the plan mentions doing "3 or 4 quick jumps", but that's geared for PAL Xbox. On NTSC/PC I'd estimate that 1 or 2 would be best, to account for the tower's firing period being only about 15 seconds compared to PAL's 18.

Released November 25th 2018, gameplay recorded November 18th-23rd 2018.


00:02 (Examples in the arc of death) This all started with the arc of death, so I'm opening with three examples of that by way of introduction. They all use a save in which I've just got Grunts and Jackals. It's actually the save mentioned at the start of my article, though here I'm using it a bit differently, doing a quick bit of combat before launching the bodies. In the first clip an Elite and a Grunt get zapped. In the others a Grunt is zapped. But of course, it's a pain that I'm being attacked while trying to watch.

01:10 (Setting up specially) Now here's a demo of setting up specially to make things far more convenient - something I only recently came up with. You can read details in my article so I won't go through that here. Things go fine, but I later found that I only got 9 plasmas which is on the meagre side. In regard to checkpoint timing, I did 4 auto-jumps after hearing the tower fire, and that ended up giving my set-up a delay time of about 8.3 seconds.

02:40 (Using that set-up) The next six clips use that save, and demonstrate the three ways of setting off a bang (plasma grenade, frag, needling). First a Grunt gets zapped (I was a bit near the chain reaction there!), then an Elite (good blood streak), then a Grunt who goes across the moon, then an Elite who does an amusing cliff skim, then a Grunt who you don't actually see getting zapped, but he clearly does because he shoots out the other side of the tower at high speed, quickly dwindling into a dot. The final clip is just a comedy warning about needling.

03:49 (Other set-ups) In this 4-minute section there are 18 clips using four other saves, identified as Z1, Z2, Z4 and Z5 - my previous save being Z3. They each have 14 plasmas except for Z4 with 22, which became my favourite. I'll comment on each clip and list which save was used. This first clip used Z2. An Elite zap, in which I move in close to the tower for a closer view.

04:01 Z5. An Elite gets hit fairly low up the channel and doesn't go far.

04:11 Z2. Good speed with this Elite, who heads across the moon.

04:24 Z4. Eight bodies go high and at least two get hit: an Elite and a Jackal. The Elite is on the left, with the thicker blood streak.

04:35 Z5. Getting a side view like this isn't easy. There's at least one Elite zapped here. There's a blood streak and you can see an Elite shooting off to the right. My aim actually tracks a different Elite though. That guy may have been zapped, but if so, he didn't get much speed.

04:47 Z1. No blood streak with this Jackal. The blood splashes onto the tower instead.

04:59 Z1. Same save, same Jackal. I was able to get him zapped quite regularly. Throwing my plasma and moving in towards the tower, I jump over most of the pile to avoid picking up a new plasma.

04:58 Z4. Six bodies get hit: an Elite, a Jackal (whose blood goes on the tower), and four Grunts.

05:20 Z5. Tagging your zap victim can be fun. Here I do it on a red Elite, having identified him previously from similar launches.

05:29 Z5. Same save, same Elite victim tagged, but this time he becomes a high-flyer, going up almost vertically. I had a few other high-flyers while making the movie, but they're fairly rare.

06:01 Z4. This Elite shoots off practically horizontally, which I think indicates just a glancing zap.

06:16 Z1. Here's the same Jackal featured twice with Z1 earlier. Shoots away from the tower really fast.

06:26 Z4. But wait, this looks even faster! Rediculously fast in fact, and the blood streak is strangely curved. Incidentally, an Elite gets zapped too.

06:38 Z4. Three Grunts in formation, sort of. Grunty airborne squadron! Actually one guy falls short and doesn't make it over the hill. Low on fuel?

06:51 Z4. Two Elites zapped, close together.

07:01 Z5. Another Elite double.

07:10 Z4. One last Elite double, and this time they sail above the tower before getting hit and parting ways.

07:22 Z5. A 3-stage grunty moonshot to finish (launch, tag bang, zap). He's just a tiny dot when he passes across the moon. I showed victim tagging twice earlier with an Elite, and here I'm actually using the same save.

07:43 (Wrap) I could've ended quite nicely with that last clip but I had this other idea for a comedy ending, just blasting the covies and letting them fall, and getting a picturesque view at the end. Did quite a few takes. I chose this one because of the two covies who amusingly fall into shot after quite a delay. Must've gone pretty high.

Closing remarks Yay, another big topic finally covered in my movie series! As with the arc of death, I've been waiting to get to this zapping business for a long time. But the really good thing about getting to it, was that I had that idea for setting up specially, making zaps massively easier. Previously I'd essentially just been using arc of death set-ups (albeit relatively convenient ones, which I'd talked about), and watching while getting shot at. I'm surprised I didn't think of it before. Maybe my thoughts were just too focused on the arc of death at that time.

In selecting the clips, I had to restrict myself to footage where zapped bodies could be seen easily enough. There were some zaps I might've included, except it turned out that the victims could barely be perceived in the footage, or sometimes not at all. That especially goes for zaps which occurred extra high up, with bodies being or becoming dot-like. My capture device just didn't have enough fidelity for that sort of stuff. If you do some zapping of your own however, you'll doubtless see some extreme examples of the type I'm talking about. One particular thing I was unable to show due to the image quality issue, was bodies bouncing off a distant invisible wall to the left of the moon. They're just faint dots when they hit that wall.

Saves Z2 to Z5 were produced from a base save in which I'd finished killing the dropship 4 troops. The eventual piles were comprised mainly or entirely of the troops from ships 4 to 6. I was doing multiple set-ups to try and get some good ones. There were a few set-ups I discarded, as they weren't giving me zapping often enough.