BCM491 - Rising needler

(6:37) Level 5 ('Assault on the Control Room') on Heroic. So, why did I have my Xbox running non-stop for over twenty-four hours? For the sake of making this darned movie, that's why! All to do with a freaky needler I came across. See the written commentary if you want the full explanation. Otherwise, just enjoy the weirdness.

Released May 18th 2024, gameplay recorded May 14th-15th 2024.


00:02 (Checkpoint) At the start of the movie, I've just had a passage checkpoint after crossing the rock bridge. But let me take a moment to explain the context and the consequences.

I was checking something out, unrelated to the movie's topic, and for convenience I'd used one of my twin bridges megabattle saves, just because it gave me a convenient starting location. Normally I woudn't use a valued save like that. I'd instead make and use a copy of it, so that if I encounter something interesting, I'll be free to save a checkpoint (I won't be losing my valued save). However, on this occasion I was only planning a short outing, so I hadn't bothered with my standard good practice. Bit lazy!

Well, fate struck, because I did encounter something interesting, and that left me in a fix. I couldn't save this passage checkpoint and lose my megabattle save. So to build up movie footage, I was going to have to let the Xbox run until I had all I needed (plus I'd need to be careful not to get any new checkpoints, or this passage one would be lost). And that's why my Xbox ended up running for over twenty-four hours.

Along the way, I gradually built up an initial draft of the movie (refinement would come later). The initial part of it comprised footage from this early play, with which we now continue.

00:12 (Needler rising) Here's the thing of interest then. Part way across the bridge I'd seen a floating needler. As I suspected, it was slowly rising. The rise was perceptible with the naked eye, but it's highlighted here with some speeded-up footage, followed by a time-lapse segment which spans about 30 minutes.

Incidentally, before doing the time-lapse I briefly backtracked into the previous room to top up my pistol, which had initially been on only one round. Just in case you were wondering how it suddenly became full.

01:03 (Spinning sport) As you probably know, if you shoot a weapon on the ground, it spins. Well, this needler did the same even though off the ground. A sequence of nine clips illustrates some of my play, shooting it with various weapons including even my own needler! Along the way you also get some very close views of the needler, enabling you to admire its beautiful polished surfaces and other details. There's a lot of aesthetics going on here, both visually and aurally, which is why I make no apologies for showing over two minutes of leisurely shooting. Probably it would bore some folk, but personally I really like this stuff.

The clips are in chronological order except that clip 7 here actually occurred 5th (I moved it to make for better variation). Eventually I crouch and go underneath the needler (this was the first time I'd done that), getting a rather novel view. Very nice I thought!

Shooting the needler seemed to stop the rising, and one of the clips provides a close view for a few seconds. The needler appears marginally agitated but doesn't seem to be going anywhere. It was just staying there at eye level, as far as I could tell. Incidentally, I estimate that it had done about 40 minutes of rising since being dropped (by whoever).

03:26 (End of the play) All the footage so far was from a single play lasting about 50 minutes. The end is seen here. Having had enough sport with the needler at its current height, I give it a send-off with a plasma grenade. The rest of the movie comprises footage from later plays.

03:35 (A higher rise) In this later play I let the needler rise for much longer. I think it was around 95 minutes since the time of the checkpoint, but the needler had been rising for maybe a minute before the checkpoint, so that would make about 96 minutes' rise in all. As you can see, I can now walk underneath without crouching.

After some spinning sport, I throw a plasma at the needler and the grenade bounces off, falling to the ground almost directly below. The needler is blasted up high and I manage to catch it when it comes back down. None of that was planned. I just thought to throw a plasma at it, and things went from there.

04:25 (Melee and more spinning) Melee seemed to have no effect on the needler, as seen here in a clip where I also enjoy some spinning using AR fire. The AR was my favourite weapon for doing spinning, and I liked the view I was getting.

04:51 (Giving off rubble) Amusing to note, the needler gave off rather a lot of rubble! Here I use plasma weapons (across a few different plays), which were good for this.

05:19 (Way up high) In this play I let the needler rise way up high, over the course of around six and half hours, much of the rise occurring while I slept. I thought it would be worth doing this just for the novel sight. Some plasma pistol use demonstrates that a good deal of rubble can still hit the ground.

05:46 (Shooting it causing new motion) On some occasions when I was shooting the needler, I noticed new motion starting. Here's a nice example (including some x4 speed-up) from when I was using a sniper rifle, a weapon which along with the rocket launcher in the next clip, was problematic to bring along without the needler being removed by the game in the meanwhile (see my closing remarks).

I had some earlier footage I could've used to illustrate this, in which I'd been shooting with a plasma pistol and the needler was still quite low down. It was actually from my earliest recorded play, when I was trying to get some idea of what I'd need to cover in the movie. However, when I eventually got a sniper rifle to the scene, I happened to get this footage, and it was visually nicer so I used that instead.

06:09 (Rocketed) I was wondering what the needler would do if rocketed. I was picturing it staying in place like when I shot it with other weapons, but when I eventually managed to bring a launcher along, I found that the needler got shunted away, and amusingly trailed smoke for a while. In this example, which was my fifth rocket launcher play out of seven, I manage to keep sight of the needler to its final resting place below, which gave me a nice ending for the movie I thought.

Of course, my caption "Especially if you use THIS!" was just for humour. Rocketing the needler most definitely causes motion! Not really the kind I was talking about though.

Closing remarks I should say, I don't recall encountering such a perceptibly rising weapon before. I may've seen weapons a small way off the ground (though I really can't remember), but at any rate, I never got a case which prompted me to make a movie. Nevertheless, the footage may've reminded you of some earlier movies I made. One was BCM112 concerning a spinning plasma pistol, because that's another weapon I had fun shooting. There was also BCM93 featuring some wandering weapons in the twin bridges area, and BCM91 concerning a rapidly rising plasma grenade in the same area.

At some point in my work with the needler, I decided it would be nice to use a sniper rifle on it, and also a rocket launcher. Both of those weapons would provide additional material for the movie, I thought. But I didn't have those weapons. When I backtracked to the twin bridges area I was able to obtain them. There was a spare launcher where I'd penned up the Marines, and I found a sniper rifle back near the underpass. However, when I got back, the needler vanished, just as I feared it might. Because of this clean-up behaviour, I thought my sniping and rocketing plans were going to be thwarted.

However, I later gave it a last try, backtracking a different way to some extent, and this time the needler was still there! I was very happy about that, and set about getting some footage using the new weapons. But each time I rocketed the needler, I had to revert and re-fetch the launcher if I wanted to try it again. That was a laborious trip, and consequently I only had seven goes with the launcher. Would've liked to do more, but I was getting fed up of making the trip. So after the seventh rocketing (trying to get a good final clip on which to end the movie) I finally turned off the Xbox, giving it a well-earned rest and freeing myself from further recording pressure. The rising needler was lost for good - but it was fun while it lasted!

In the initial play shown, I mentioned that shooting the needler stopped the rise. I can't be sure that would happen every time (with weapons other than the rocket launcher), as I didn't do systematic testing, but I never noticed a counterexample at least. But as I also said in the movie, shooting it can start motion. Again, that's not something I properly investigated. For that I would've wanted a more convenient checkpoint. for making repeated tests. Perhaps I'll be able to do it with a later rising weapon, if I encounter one. Maybe I'll do some repeated covie slaying on the bridge, to see if I can get one!