BCM40 - Two or three extra Marines and a hog

(5:28) Level 5 ('Assault on the Control Room') on Heroic. This shows how to get two or three extra Marines and an extra hog early in the level, and includes some sample battling with two extras. There's also a nice bridge descent via Shade (a quick method for PAL Xbox).

Released September 6th 2011, gameplay recorded August 31st - September 3rd 2011.


00:02 (Set-up work for two extra Marines and a hog) The footage starts as I head out of the first room. A couple of grunty reinforcements get a nasty shock as the door opens. They never expected to meet a seven foot cyborg in the passage! Just around the corner I trigger a checkpoint but delay it with jumping until at the exit, giving a handy checkpoint for descent attempts. A detail here is that I made the delay long enough that Cortana had already started her "Interesting…" line. That way, it won't play when I revert. It can get on your nerves hearing it over and over.

00:22 I opt for a Shade ride - the quickest PAL method. By now the Banshee is getting close and I take the opportunity for a bit of mid-air firing. I think I actually scored a hit on its left leg, though it's not noticeable unless you look at individual frames. The firing may have helped draw the Banshee after me, because it actually follows me down which is unusual. I get a perfect bounce of the ledge, and the Shade lands on a large rock. Realizing the Banshee is coming down at a steep angle, I back off to try and get underneath so it can't get a bead on me. As it starts to fly off I throw a plasma at where it's going, and score a nice hit; but I give it a few pistol rounds too, to make sure the grenade bang will seal the deal.

00:57 Stacker arrives with three buddies and a Warthog. You might notice one of the back two guys seeming to vanish. He didn't get removed from the game, he just got bumped to a spot nearer the Pelican's tail after getting knee-deep into the ground. That's fairly common. The four Pelican Marines soon go inactive but I don't want them anyway. I pick up two of the originals and swerve to a stop at the door. After briefly dismounting to open it, I back up to the end of the long middle section of passage, then I'm off to the lift.

01:50 The key thing here is to not fall down the lift shaft like a complete fool. Gotta bring the lift down first! In the passage past the room up top, I go far enough to trigger a checkpoint (the caption says "Get a checkpoint past the room", but to be more precise you only need to trigger it; you don't need to then wait for it). Enemies have already materialized, and now it's basically a case of resuming normal play, except that you're going to have that hog waiting for you downstairs. Quite often you'll find a few enemies facing it through the wall, such as the Jackal I bash. Evidently they can sense it. There's a checkpoint triggered in the short section of passage just before the hog; your usual battle start checkpoint.

02:51 (Sample battle with the two extras) I did quite a few plays of the battle as far as the Wraith, and here's my favourite. Taking a left, I drive straight at the Shade to send it airborne. Good fun, but you've got to hit it just right. At the trees I pick up a rocket launcher while the chain-gunner is busy finishing off the Shade Grunt. The usual three Marines and overturned hog are here. The Marines and hog I drove in with are the 'extras'. Pistol work takes care of two Jackals, and a third gets a frag for a bit of variety. By the time I spot the distant Grunt I've already switched to the launcher in anticipation of the Ghost. For a moment I consider rocketing the little fella, but then I think better of it. Best to have both tubes available when you've got a Ghost heading your way, just in case your first shot misses. Rather than switch back to the pistol I just throw a quick frag to deal with the Grunt, while the Ghost gets rocketed as planned - and that's all the close enemies taken care of.

03:27 If you didn't already notice that the Shade is suspended in mid-air above the rock, here's a good look at it. There's no mystery here. When I drove back across the loading point on my way into battle, the rock got re-randomized from among a handful of designs and just happened to come out as one of the smaller ones. The Shade remained exactly where it was though. I could've boarded the Shade and fired, and it still would've stayed there. Whacking it would make it fall though.

03:38 At this point in the movie I take the opportunity to mention that unlike the usual hog (found lying on it's side), Marines stay aboard the original, i.e. they don't dismount of their own accord. The hog is Marine-retaining, as I say. That can be useful for getting continued support when you leave it - either from a chain-gunner or a sniper in the side seat. The chain-gunner soon gets busy as I head up the battlefield to tackle the Wraith. I was hoping to squash that yellow-shielded Jackal but the gunner gets him first, even though his gun is pointing in the wrong direction. Two rockets take care of the Wraith while the gunner enjoys slaughtering the other Jackal, and then I get a good view of the gunner finishing off the high Shade Grunt - a nice ending that served as a demonstration of getting chain-gun support.

04:13 (Set-up work for three extra Marines and a hog) In this last short section of the movie, I quickly show how to modify the initial arrangement work in the passage so you'll end up with three extras. This is mostly quite self-explanatory but I'll mention a few details. To get the Ghost up over the step at 4:17, you should raise the nose with the A button. When you dismount the Ghost in the passage, be careful not to inadvertently kill yourself. In this regard my first dismount wasn't the safest ever (I didn't leave much room between the Ghost and the wall), but as you can see, I do move clear quickly while the Ghost settles. One other thing. When you're driving the Ghost or hog near that first Marine, go slow to avoid making him dive.

Closing remarks I should point out that my battle tactics weren't particularly aimed at doing the best possible job of keeping the five Marines in the best health, though that should already be evident from the way I hung around looking at the Shade suspended over the rock while Wraith shots sailed in overhead. I was more interested in getting some entertaining footage here. It's a pity this battle didn't feature any satisfying Jackal squashing in the hog - I had some lovely meaty impacts in some other runs - but it did feature an especially nice hog-assisted Shade launch at the start with the Grunt going "Aieee!", which is part of why I favoured it.

One thing not mentioned in the movie is that after the battle in this first area, you may need to ferry one or more Marines over the 'step' into the crashed Pelican area, as they may not all run over of their own accord. It's mentioned at the start of my article, which contains much more information than in the movie.