Hog method

Associated movies… BCM11

In this method you run off the far end of the bridge from either the bridge support or the lower deck, and bounce off the ledge then the Warthog. Suitable only for PAL.

Checkpoint… done. Ready to go!

Full description

There are two possible run-off spots but I'll focus on the best one first. Go to the far end of the lower deck and jump onto the support, i.e. the thing sticking into the wall. It's a fairly easy jump once you've practiced it a bit. You don't need grenade assistance; you just need to make sure you hold your nerve and jump from the very edge of the deck, then perhaps use a bit of drift to make sure you get onto the support. Face right, parallel to the cliff, and run off.

That hog seems like an awfully small target from here

Making sure to be against the cliff as you near the ledge, hit it at the back just the right distance along (I'll say more about that in a moment). The ledge is quite gentle there and crouching isn't needed for survival, but I recommend crouching anyway to slow you up a bit, else you'll tend to overshoot the hog and end up lifeless on the snow.

Sail over to the hog and bounce off it. Surviving the impact is rather fickle, but the best place to hit the hog seems to be the back half of the side, so you may like to aim for that. Surviving off the front side is also quite viable, though it seems harder to aim for. With an extreme glancing blow on the front, you can get sent shooting across the snow. Likewise if you hit the hog's back left rear, in which case you can end up near the Marines and they'll likely comment on your arrival. Should you crouch as you hit the hog? I did some testing but found no obvious advantage.

Woo-hoo! Didn't even dent it

To hit the hog at all, you'll need to hit the ledge at just the right distance along it. Too far and you'll go left of the hog; too short and you'll go right of the hog. The right spot is within the shadow projected by the bridge. At the back of the ledge there are two relatively dark patches in that shadow; one like a spot and one like a crescent facing left, with a thin white band between. Or at least, that's how things appear as you close in on the ledge. Aim for the white band, or thereabouts. Give things a go and you should soon identify the features I'm talking about.

As well as the lateral aiming problem, there's also the problem of overshoot or undershoot. I've already recommended a crouch to try and prevent overshoot. However, that can lead to a small amount of undershoot, which is just as lethal! So what I try to do is delay my crouch very slightly, so I'm not going to slow myself up by quite so much. You may take a small amount of shield damage sometimes, but that's ok. One other tip. If you see that you're going a bit long to hit the side of the hog, it may be worth rotating yourself as you head in, so you remain facing the hog. Perhaps that will improve your survival chances if you manage a blow on the far side? I'm not sure, but it's what I do.

An alternative run-off spot is the end of the lower deck of the bridge, just like in the tree and rock method except on the other side. It seems much harder to get on target for the hog though, and you may want to vary your technique a little in regard to where and how you bounce off the ledge. Even if you're on target however, you tend to be coming in on the hog from a steeper angle, making survival much less likely.

Checkpoint advice

To make things as easy as possible for repeat attempts, get a delayed checkpoint once you're on the bridge support and ready to run off (assuming you're using the bridge support as your run-off spot of course). The last thing I do before jumping to the support is to lob a plasma grenade out over the battlefield to keep the delay going for several seconds, giving me time to carefully make the jump to the support and prepare to run off. I stand a bit further back than the mid-point of the support, to make sure I'll have enough distance to achieve full speed. Tip: It's best to kill all bridge enemies first. If you don't bother with some of the ones that emerge from the far door, their presence above you can cause your checkpoint to be delayed indefinitely.

Tip: As you jump to the support, you get near enough to the door above to make it open, but once you're on the support it'll soon close again. If you've thrown a grenade to keep the checkpoint delay going, make sure the door will have enough time to close before you get your checkpoint. Otherwise, each time you revert to retry the descent, you'll hear the door closing and it can get on your nerves.

Difficulty and system differences

For PAL I'd say this method is actually relatively easy. You do need a very precise bounce off the ledge to get yourself on a good trajectory for hitting the hog way out in the snow, but after some practice I felt I was getting a reasonable sense of control there. The method has a simple feel and you're also not going to get continually killed when you hit the ledge, something unpleasant you get with descent methods on the near ledge. It gave me around a 10% success rate when I tested myself, and one time I even managed five survivals in a row.

Sadly, with NTSC or PC the game will probably kill you before you reach the ledge, even if you use the bridge support for your run-off spot. And even if you somehow managed to bounce off the ledge ok, I suspect you'd be killed before reaching the hog.

History and links

You can see me bouncing off various parts of the hog in BCM11, after setting things up with a checkpoint at the bridge support. There's also an example using the lower deck of the bridge.

For a while I was wondering if maybe I'd found a new method here, but no, it was known about a lot earlier - which didn't really surprise me as the Warthog does make a rather obvious target to try and reach. In a High Impact Halo forum thread from late August 2004, someone asked about how to descend without using a Shade, and grenadesticker replied "You have to hit the first ledge and than a tree or the warthog". So, it was evidently known that you could survive by reaching the hog. It probably goes back a few years earlier however, as 3rd Person (aka WLT) thinks he saw it on an Xbox magazine disc sometime in 2002. Whether the method was actually ever 'announced' somewhere, I don't know; this is all the information I've got.

I actually found this method for myself by accident, a short while after releasing BCM7. I was doing some more exploring with the far ledge and realized I'd be able to bounce off it and reach the hog. I wondered if I'd be able to spontaneously board it as I arrived, to prevent myself being killed by the impact. I started trying but it wasn't working. But then I managed to actually survive an impact anyway! After that I refined things, determining the best place to hit the ledge, and realizing that the crouching was critical for preventing overshoot. I demonstrated things in BCM11, advertised in the HBO forum here.