Spotlight 2: Press X to deploy moose

Posted April 29th 2007

So, it looks like our favourite tin-plated hero will be getting some newfangled X-button deployables to help him see off those nasty covies in Halo 3. Folk in the HBO forum have been speculating on possible options besides the bubble shield and tripmine, and I've got an idea or two myself. But I do hope Bungie keeps a lid on this gizmo business, else things could just get plain silly…

Suzie: Nice to see you again Master Chief, and it's good of you to take a moment off from your busy schedule of rampaging carnage to speak to me, here in this battle-scarred cityscape.

Chief: No trouble Suzie, but you'd better make it fast - there are some covies somewhere around here that have an appointment with the pointy end of my assault rifle. Not that they know about that yet, but I still don't want 'em to be late.

Suzie: You paint a vivid and delightful picture Chief. I'm sure they'll be glad to see you, and hopefully bang on time. Bang-bang-bang on time, in fact.

Chief: That's pretty much the picture I was thinking of, yes.

Suzie: Ok then Chief, straight down to business. Rumour has it that the UNSC boffins have given you a few new gizmos to play with since the last campaign. Any truth in that?

Chief: You betcha. Just watch this for starters. BLAP!

Suzie: Wow, that's a mighty big bubble you just deployed about yourself. Can you breathe in there?

Chief: Sure. Actually it's lemon scented - very refreshing. But that's not the best of it. Just try hitting me with your microphone.

Suzie: You want another whacking? Are you sure you should tempt me? You remember what happened last time.

Chief: How could I forget - I never did get the dents out of my old helmet. But don't worry short-stuff, this time I'm ready.

Suzie: Ok you asked for it. Boing!… Boing!… Hey, not fair, my microphone just bounces off!

Chief: Cool huh? And that's not all that bounces off. Plasma, needles, you name it. I could sit out a small nuclear explosion in here. Wish I'd had one of these babies last time - would've made my job a lot easier. Excellent for sunbathing too - focuses the sunlight real nice.

Suzie: I was wondering what you had that deckchair for.

Chief: Never without it nowadays. Heh, you should see those covies get mad when I've got the bubble up. There they are blasting away at it with everything they've got, and meanwhile there's me sitting back giving them a nice wave from my deckchair while I sip a cocktail and browse the latest issue of Cyborg Hero Monthly. I tell you Suzie, combat was never so restful.

Suzie: I'm not sure the UNSC really intended you to use it like that.

Chief: Well nuts to them. Figure I deserve a bit of a rest after those last two campaigns. Hold on a minute, I'll take it down. BLAP!

Suzie: Welcome back Chief. Boink!

Chief: Ow! Hey what was that for?

Suzie: Oh right, have we stopped with the whacking now?

Chief: Jeez lady, you're gettin' a real pain with that thing.

Suzie: There there, rub it better bubble-boy. Brings back old times though eh? So have you got any other new tricks?

Chief: Plenty. See what you think of this. PSSSSSSHHHHH!

Suzie: Cough cough! It's suddenly… cough… rather smoky!

Chief: Pretty neat eh? Smoke bomb for emergencies. Now you see me, now you don't.

Suzie: Quite. It would be lot harder to whack you with my microphone now if I wanted to.

Chief: Glad to hear it - maybe I should keep one spare for next time I bump into you. Anyway, it's great for confusing the covies and making a quick getaway if things get nasty.

Suzie: Stings the eyes something rotten too, but I don't suppose you'd notice that behind your visor. This is just payback for the whacking thing, right?

Chief: Hey, you wanted gizmos, you're getting gizmos, what can I say?

Suzie: Yes, silly me, I did have to ask. Cough!… Seems to be clearing up now… ah, there you are again.

Chief: Gotta be bit careful though. Once I set one off by accident in the back of a Pelican. I was not the most popular cyborg with the Marines after that. Especially with the guy who stumbled around and fell out the back.

Suzie: Yes, I can see how that could annoy him. Was he ok?

Chief: Well, being as how we were a few hundred feet off the ground at the time, I'm guessing not.

Suzie: Oh dear. So much for the smoke. Anything else to show me? Preferably something that doesn't involve retinal burning this time.

Chief: You better believe it. The boffins really let themselves go with this next one. Stand back now Suzie, you'll like this. THWUMPPP!

Suzie: Whoa! That is one heck of a large moose.

Chief: Quite something isn't he? Special issue UNSC attack-moose.

Suzie: An attack-moose?

Chief: Oh yes. Trained to go for the covies like you wouldn't believe. I call him Frankie. Check out those antlers!

Suzie: Ah yes, with the yellow and black caution-striping on them. Was that strictly necessary?

Chief: Just helps you remember to avoid the business end.

Suzie: Gotcha. Yes, looks nasty.

Chief: That's very much how the covies see it too Suzie. You should see him go after those suckers. Grunts and Jackals getting tossed everywhere, it's great. Those Grunts are scared witless of him - can't run fast enough.

Suzie: That always was their main problem. Of course, you realize I'm going to have to call you Mooster Chief from now on.

Chief: Very funny - maybe I should get some antlers of my own. But I'm telling you Suzie, this guy really knows how to party. Any time I need a bit of help, I'll just deploy the big fella and I can pretty much sit back and watch him clean up.

Suzie: Impressive, and it's amazing how you managed to deploy him out of thin air like that. How do you manage to keep him concealed about your person?

Chief: Well it's not easy, I can tell you that. What you need to do is… Uh-oh, look out, he's getting a bit jumpy. Must be those covies I was talking about - he can smell 'em a mile off!

Suzie: Another handy trick.

Chief: Sure beats my motion tracker. Steady boy… yeah he's definitely got wind of something.


Suzie: Hey, he's off!

Chief: Here Frankie!… Aw nuts, that's torn it.

Suzie: Can't you just un-deploy him with your mysterious cyborg voodoo?

Chief: If only it was that easy. But no, he's too far away now. This happened once before you know - didn't find him for days. I really must get him better trained. Guess I'm gonna have to chase after him again.

Suzie: That's going to be a bit hard with the speed he shot off at.

Chief: No trouble Suzie, my boots have had something of an upgrade too. Check out these little deployables. SCHPOINK!

Suzie: Hey, nice roller-skates!

Chief: Yep, there's no stoppin' me now. See you later! Whoosh…

Suzie: So long Master Chief - and say goodbye to Frankie for me! Well listeners, there you have it. Gizmo city! Bubble protection, smoke on demand, Frankie the attack-moose, and a cyborg on wheels; and that's just the stuff he showed me. The Covenant could be in for a pretty rough ride this time around. Let's just hope they don't have too many new gizmos of their own!

And if you missed Suzie's earlier meeting with MC in the original Frontline with Suzie series, check out Mr Rechargeable.