BCM322 - On top of the first tower

(8:12) Level 2 ('Halo') on Legendary. I had an idea for getting on top of the first tower using a pile of plasmas built up like in the previous movie and a Warthog parked over it, nicely checkpointed. The movie tells the eventful story with clips from the two set-ups I was using. One with 27 plasmas and featuring a Marine on the chain-gun, the other with 23 plasmas and no Marine. Took countless tries, not helped by my being new to this sort of launching, but I made it. Later I may be able to do it better and give a proper tutorial. Should be able to reach other places too! By the way, now that I got up, I've learnt that people have been up this tower in single-player before, so this wasn't a first. Dang, thought it might be!

Released November 30th 2018, gameplay recorded November 26th-27th 2018.


00:02 (Early disasters) These clips are from relatively early on. Not being used to this sort of launching (pioneered by pete_the_duck), I was trying various things and getting killed a whole lot. I've deliberately gone for comedy in this opening section. Wasn't hard! All but one of the clips used my 27-plasma save, which I'll refer to here as S1. The one clip from the other set-up - S2 - is where I get amusingly and freakishly blasted through the gap in the tower. In all these clips I'm using a plasma to set off the pile. But ultimately I focused on using a frag.

01:07 (Progress) Four clips representing some modest progress now. Just some low landings, but at least I made it to the tower! In the last clip you can see an Elite get zapped, leaving a big splash of purple blood on the wall. I used a frag there, and from here on it's mostly frag work (there are only four more plasma throws).

01:52 (Going through) I went through the gap quite a few times, often surviving the landing. Good fun! I could easily have included more clips on this, but I've kept to just three as it's a bit of a side-theme. The second shows an impressively long flight - the furthest I went. The third features a higher trajectory and a rock-cushioned landing, but the real reason I included it was for the comedy of the Marine arriving afterwards. That only happened once, out of maybe 40-odd passages.

02:26 (Gun riding) There's something I neglected to say until now. When jumping up behind the hog, I was usually mashing the X button. I need to investigate this, but maybe it gives you some resilience against knocks, thus allowing you to get propelled away at speed. But also, if the hog is empty you might end up on the chain-gun. Sometimes I was trying for that on purpose. These three clips show examples of ending up on the gun (intentional or not), and there's a comedy ending. But getting a gun ride didn't feel promising, so I mostly preferred to avoid it.

03:02 (Getting some height) Ok, now we're getting some height at last. In the third clip I find myself stopped in the recess on the side of the tower. A complete surprise, as I thought you'd always bounce or slide off it. I try to get down, thinking to maybe cushion myself by clipping the edge of the tower wall, but I miss entirely. Doh!

04:13 (Zapping) While getting some height I occasionally got a good view of covies getting zapped (see BCM321). The first clip shows a pair of Grunts getting zapped. When I turn in mid-air and zoom my pistol, there's at least one Grunt in sight, but only as a faint dot which is barely perceptible. Next there's an Elite who leaves an excellent blood streak. But continuing the theme, you also then see the hog getting zapped - which was the only time I saw it happen. Hog zapping was actually the topic I would've been covering if I hadn't got up the tower first; see my closing remarks. Finally there's a clip of getting zapped myself! That was the only such time I was zapped hard, but there was also one time when I got a tickle nearer the deck. In that case there was vibration feedback briefly, like you feel when going too near fire.

04:56 (Got high) Now here are five clips where I got major height. The first one shows the first time I got up to around the level of the top of the tower, though I was well off target (there was quite a problem of skewing left). So that was a bit of a breakthrough. The other four were all done with S1. One around tower-top level, the next a good bit higher, then two crazy high! You can also enjoy spotting some covies flying through the air. Incidentally, these clips are almost in chronological order, but the final clip actually occurred fourth.

06:06 (Got close) I got tantalisingly close a couple of times, and here are two such. I was too far left on the first, and probably also a tiny bit short. Much too short on the second, but on target at least. Valuable encouragement to keep going!

06:32 (Success) Finally I sailed up and it was looking good, and… touchdown! Made it at last. A great relief, because I'd been a bit worried that it might take many hours more, especially in view of the tendency to skew left. But there was a surprise. I hit the melee button for a victory melee but there was no response, and I quickly realised that I also couldn't move. In fact all the controls were dead, except for being able to look and zoom; and zooming was oddly silent. It was disappointing not to be able to move and peer down over the edge, and maybe lob some grenades, but I still had a great view. When the beam fired, I was relieved that I wasn't killed, as that may be a possibility (see here for some FrogBlast stuff involving a later tower, on co-op).

The music ended after about five and a half minutes and I continued looking around. With the music gone you can hear the birds better. However, I decided not to use any of that footage. It seemed better to stick with the music, and I've ended on a picturesque view.

Closing remarks Forming a movie from my extensive footage was daunting. From my hours of gameplay I'd kept about 85 minutes of failing plus the eventual success, so I had a lot to trawl through and somehow condense into something presentable. I actually started with the success part; that was the easy bit. As for the rest, I started by trawling through and picking out about 23 minutes worth of failure clips, and worked from there - although I later did a second trawl and ended up using at least one bit I'd overlooked (the comical clip ending the gun riding section).

I decided to organise the movie into themed sections (reflected in the above commentary), which I think worked out well. As such, the clips aren't fully in chronological order. But naturally there was an overall progression, and I've tried to reflect that. I also made an effort to keep the music beat across transitions.

This movie is a bit out of sync development wise. I was planning to do a movie or two on hog zapping before tackling the tower. But when I got itchy to try the ascent, and actually succeeded, I wanted to get that achievement out while it was hot. So: tower movie first, hog zapping later (coming soon).

A hog zapping movie would've set the scene for getting up the tower, because a hog zapping set-up can be used. That's actually what S1 was. S2 was roughly similar but created specially for ascent tries, part way through my tries with S1. I used it for a while but it wasn't working as well as I'd hoped, so I returned to S1. One difference with S2 is that I tried to have fewer plasma grenades near my location at the back of the hog, where with S1 I was so often getting killed by the chain reaction. But I can't say I noticed any improvement.