Plateau base rock method

Associated movies… BCM61

In this method you bounce off the near left ledge from the top of the V, then get cushioned by a sloping part of the Shade plateau base then a rock. However, the later similar method using a lower run-off point is easier. Suitable only for PAL.

Ready on the edge

Full description

Fall or jump off the left of the start of the bridge to land on the top of the V. Stand on the edge near the sharp corner where the flat part of the V starts, and look down towards the ledge.

Along the ledge there are some dark markings which make out a sort of smiling clown face with a big bobbly nose. The face was pointed out by Sligfantry in his original video and provides a handy guide for what to target. Move off the edge and drift down to hit somewhere near the left end of the mouth (the left as you see it).

See the smiling clown face?

As to the exact detail, I recommend staying very close to the cliff face as you go down (you'll need to drift inwards a little to get around a slight protuberance) and hitting at the very back of the ledge (where it meets the cliff face slightly to the left of the mouth), potentially also getting a tiny bit of contact with the cliff face there. Compared to hitting near the left end of the mouth away from the cliff face, I find that this aids control, more reliably sending you bouncing off with the appropriate direction and speed.

Double-cushion arrival

If you get your bounce right, you'll be sent towards the base of the Shade plateau near two rocks. Part of the base is nicely angled there, and if you bounce off that area and then get further cushioning off the nearest rock, you can survive - potentially without any health loss. Doing a crouch as you hit the rock (with the hope of further softening the landing) isn't necessary, and when I did some testing I found no clear benefit to doing so. Perhaps that's because of the sort of angles at which you're hitting it. So you may be better off just concentrating on getting a good incoming trajectory.

…and we're down

Normally you'll bounce away from the rock somewhat, but sometimes it can be very minimal and you stop within a few metres. Occasionally I've been pretty much stopped dead, ending up standing on the rock itself or right next to it, without even taking any shield damage! The bounce dynamics (and your survival chance) will depend on the randomized rock type though. There are five different rocks you can get, shown in BCM61 at 2:45. The pointy fellow shown here in the picture is the tallest and possibly the most friendly.

If you find that you're overshooting the desired area, it may well be because you got too much contact from the cliff face at the ledge bounce. If you get some bounce off the cliff face, that gives you extra speed and readily causes overshoot. So be careful about that. Another possible cause is that you may be hitting the ledge slightly too far along, which can easily result in more speed.

Incidentally, you may actually be able to survive just by hitting the rock alone (like you can with a few rocks on the right of the bridge), but I think that would be pretty fluky and I'm sure you'd need a crouch to stand any chance. As yet, I'm not sure if it's possible.

Checkpoint advice

To make things as easy as possible for repeat attempts, get a delayed checkpoint when ready to fall from the V. On Heroic or Legendary you'd probably want to eliminate the Banshee before leaving the bridge. If you were to jump straight down to the V after coming through the door, the Banshee would delay your checkpoint and attack, putting you in serious trouble. On Normal or Easy there's no Banshee so that's not a worry. However, on any difficulty level you could be unlucky and get spotted by the Elite patrolling on the lower deck, and this would likewise delay your checkpoint; so you might want to eliminate him first.

Difficulty and system differences

The manoeuvring is fairly easy but success seems rather fickle. Bouncing at the back of the ledge as recommended for best control, I typically got success rates of 3-5% starting from a checkpoint on the edge, though I once managed 8% measured over 100 tries. Your success rate will partly depend on the rock involved however. Its geometry will have been randomized at the last loading point, and there are five types you can get. Survival is possible with each, but the smallest rock seemed noticeably worse than the others, giving me a success rate of only 2%. My 8% record was with the largest rock, which I used in BCM61 and which is pictured above. It may well be the best of all.

Doing a ledge bounce at the end of the mouth (away from the cliff face), my success rate was never above 1%. The bounce seems very sensitive to the precise point you hit, and I found it harder to target the desired area.

With NTSC or PC the game will probably kill you before you reach the ledge, making the method suitable only for PAL.

History and links

This method was shown by Sligfantry in a his video Halo - AOTCR - New Way To Descend From The Bridge on December 8th 2012, though he'd apparently found the method years ago. In regard to specific technique there, he seems to be hitting near the left end of the mouth but staying clear of the cliff face. In this guide however, I've recommended hitting at the back of the ledge as I found that to make the bounce more reliable, boosting my success rate. You can see me doing that in BCM61, my follow-up on Sligfantry's video. You'll also see that in contrast to Sligfantry's style, I prefer to rotate near the ledge bounce so I'll be facing where I'm going, rather than heading for the rock sideways.

Fastest for speedrunning

This method is now the fastest possible for PAL speedrunning. Previously that distinction was held by the V-clip Shade ride method, but Sligfantry's method could save you something like four seconds if you hardly bounce away from the rock at all. See BCM61 for an example of that, in my 'PAL speed run showdown' starting at 4:17. More typically however, the gain might only be one or two seconds, and if you get bounced back a long way you could be slower than a Shade ride.