KSR3 - The Pillar of Autumn

This shows a kill 'em all speed run of The Pillar of Autumn on Legendary in 8:46, on PAL Xbox. Restrictions: Pistol and AR only. The run time starts exactly 13 seconds into the movie when the prompt "Find Captain Keyes on the Bridge" appears (prior to which the controls have been left alone as per the rules), and ends when the whiteness appears for the final cutscene. The run is slower than my 8:29 with plasma weapons (see BCM22), but that's pretty much what I was expecting, although I do hope to make an improvement later. Coming next though, a new run with plasma weapons, beating that old 8:29!

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Released March 29th 2015, gameplay recorded March 27th 2015.


00:02 (Reaching the bridge) My run to the bridge is reasonably efficient; not much else to say. Indeed, in the course of this commentary I'll sometimes be briefer than I was with BCM22, since I already talked about various tactics there and I'm often using the same approach on this run.

01:14 (Mess hall) The three Grunts are quickly dealt with, and in the mess hall a Marine frag causes early damage. The Grunt is killed and one of the Elites goes down soon after, weakened by my pistol fire. I've seen also that the other Elite is in a bad state, and I leave him for the Marines to finish off (you can subsequently hear him growling on the point of death), enabling me to get close to the exit doors to hopefully tackle covies before they get far into the room. That was the strategy I'd planned in advance. When I headshoot a Grunt, he drops a plasma which I quickly stick to an Elite. Just want I wanted. Then I mostly use the AR. After killing the final Grunt I do a sideways jump over a table to move on to the Elite. I liked that bit.

02:08 (First airlock) After whacking the lone Elite and topping up my plasmas, my performance at the first airlock is rather slow. After my first plasma throw I should've immediately thrown another into the covie mob, like I did in BCM22. But I'd somehow forgotten about that strategy, so on these new runs I was waiting for the first plasma to go off before adding the other. That loses me a good few seconds, and I'm also a bit slow checking the airlock for survivors (which you quite often get). Just past the airlock, I lose a few more seconds when I have to wait for a tagged red Elite to die. All told, I lost around 9 seconds in this airlock section, compared to BCM22. Something I plan to fix when I improve my time later!

02:49 (Corridor skirmish 1) Now a tough section with four blue Elites and a mass of Grunts. Four throws, four tags! The second tag was somewhat lucky of course, when an Elite turned up and promptly got tagged on the foot. My performance is a little on the slow side - it could've been significantly faster if I'd advanced to try and stem the flow of covies, but it's still about 5 seconds quicker than in BCM22.

03:24 (Corridor skirmish 2) I'm not sure if I tagged one of the two Elites, but at any rate the blast kills both, which is all that matters. My pistol work on the two close Grunts is rather laboured. Could've done with a few headshots there!

03:38 (Second airlock) Another tough section this, and once more I get busy with grenades. Two plasmas take out a whole mess of covies but my third seems to be a dud. Doesn't go off! Not sure what happened there. When I throw my final plasma, I see the targeted Elite moving clear to the left, so I make the decision to nip back and get a few more, having earlier noted that there were a few not far away. I lose seconds doing that, but on some of my runs I'd been slowed up badly here through lack of plasmas. As it turns out, the blast does good work and there are only a few Grunts left when I return, so my trip wasted time really. Also lost a few seconds by closing in on those final two Grunts with the AR, when pistol fire would've surely been better. Overall my work is about 8 seconds slower here than in BCM22.

04:11 (Before the stairs) My plasma throw takes out one of the Elites at the door, and meanwhile I ambush the blue Elite down the side passage. I was planning to tag him, but actually he's out of sight and then when I approach, all he needs is a whack. The red Elite turns out to be still alive, which is a serious danger of course, but I get him with AR fire.

04:38 (Stairs) Here's where I drop the most time compared to BCM22. About 25 seconds worth! For starters it was probably a mistake to throw that first plasma, because I think it makes a blue Elite dive off, and I have to get him later. There's a nice tag 'n hop move at 4:50 - that's the best part - but afterwards I fail to get a grenade sent down to the reinforcements below, before they get through the opening door (whereas in BCM22 I tagged the Elite). Instead I'm busy with the reinforcements up top, using two throws where I potentially could've used just one (the first throw was an attempted tag but it missed). I subsequently have to jump down to clear things up below. Slow!

05:37 (After the stairs) Marines have already been attacking the next lot of covies - you heard Johnson dying. I've only got two plasmas, but at least the first one tags a Grunt and kills the red Elite. With a bleeping shield I'm careful about the blue, but finally he goes down from pistol fire and I can safely advance. I briefly pause to look for plasmas but there's a distressing shortage. When it comes to the next two Elites, my plasma throw is poor and bounces off the shield. I would've wanted it to land near the base but the Grunt spotted me quick, which kind of hurried me. Nevertheless, it kills the blue Elite; in fact I think it tagged him on the ankle! As for the dangerous red, I'm fortunate. Just as I charge in with the AR ready to tough it out, he's killed by my second grenade, which he apparently forgot about.

06:28 (First access way) Pistol fire kills the three Grunts before they can run out of sight, and I end up gaining about 11 seconds here compared to BCM22, where I suffered an unusually long delay before the access way door opened.

06:53 (First access way exit) Here I gain another 11 seconds or so compared to BCM22, with a fairly perfect high-risk exit. I whack the Grunt and tag each of the first two Elites, then throw a plasma to help clear things up, then one down the exit passage. Nothing living after that! If only it always went this well!

07:23 (Second access way) After tagging the distant Elite I quickly wipe out the Grunts, and also the dozy pair in the access way itself. Pistol fire could've taken those two out slightly faster if I'd scored headshots, but I played safe with the AR.

07:47 (Second access way exit) I tag the red Elite as desired and it looks like I'm on for a good speedy exit, but after the bang I hear a Marine throwing a frag. The last thing I want to do now is walk into a chain reaction, so I hold back a few seconds. When the bang does come, it's off to the right among the Marines. Silly fools are fumbling frags again! Sheesh. Anyway, I'm finally able to charge out and clean up with the AR.

08:06 (Penultimate covies) Around the corner I use pistol fire to gun down four Grunts, then two more down a side-passage. My work on those two is slow and one of them gets a grenade off. Yikes! At that point I was thinking "Do not get tagged!". I'm ok though, and I clear the dangerous corner area with grenade work. Those Elites can really hold you up if you're short of grenades.

08:38 (Third airlock) I try to start this last part by tagging a red Elite, but it misses. Well, never mind; his group is soon wiped out with frags and a bit of AR fire. As for the distant Grunts I use frags to save me going up there. Actually the third frag wasn't needed, something I realized even as I was throwing it. Only lost me a couple of seconds though.

Closing remarks After watching a Legendary CEA run of POA by FuzzleHC, I got into the mood for some shipboard action myself, so I got back to my kill 'em all speed runs. I'd long wanted to see how using a pistol and AR would compare to using plasma weapons, so that's what I went for. Of course, you have to get really close for the AR to be effective, and accordingly I adjusted some of my tactics, such as in the mess hall. Initially I got a time of over 11 minutes, but after a while I was down to 9:35, then I gradually squeezed things down to 8:46 over many hours of play. Closer than expected to my plasma combo time of 8:29 (see BCM22).

Because of a few mistakes along the way, I'm actually hopeful of being able go faster by at least 30 seconds, but I thought I'd put this run down as a marker to be going on with, as it already took a lot of effort and there was some good entertainment. You can expect a new faster plasma combo run too.

I haven't made previous KSR movies available for download as they'd be so big, but for POA they're a more manageable size so I've provided a download version. Needless to say, it has much better image quality than the blurry YouTube version - so go download it! It's encoded with the same quality as for my BCM download versions.