Cavern wall anomaly

Posted February 28th 2019

Associated movies… BCM334, 335, 336

Not as solid as it looks!

The cavern features three large holes in the rocky wall, which you can access with a Banshee and each of which provides a nice ledge from which you can enjoy long-range mischief with covies, sniping them or whatever. There's one up on the near right as you enter, one opposite that on the far side, and a strikingly deep one on the far left.

When playing around after releasing BCM333 (featuring a Grunt on the rim of the bridge), I was up in the far right hole when I found myself falling through the wall! The hole is backed by synthetic brown wall which looks solid enough (and reacts to weapon fire as normal; see pic), but there's actually a hidden gap there. A big gap, in fact. And later I found a similar sort of gap in the opposite hole too, albeit much narrower.

So, two hidden gaps in the cavern! They're also present in Two Betrayals, by the way. I don't know if they've been mentioned anywhere before, but it wouldn't surprise me if they have, bearing in mind how big that first one is. In fact, I'm a little surprised I didn't fall through that one a lot earlier! You can see the width indicated in BCM334, the first of my three movies about the gaps (mainly the big one). It was big enough that I thought a Banshee might be able to get through, which would've been very interesting. Alas, the best I could do was get the nose through.

Frozen green illumination from an overcharged plasma pistol

Odd freezing

There's some fun you can have by falling through, and in BCM334 I included the best aspect of this, mostly involving the bigger gap (tip: get a delayed checkpoint at the gap for easy experimenting). If you die as you reach the exit passage wall (it's easy to get that far using drift), there can be some odd freezing, though it only lasts a few seconds before you're reverted. In a typical case MC is frozen partly embedded in the wall, and his weapons are frozen too, though he may no longer be holding the weapon he had. Sometimes the weapons might be absent though, and sometimes you might have weapons but no MC.

One special thing to try is overcharging a plasma pistol. If it freezes, the humming sound may continue, which is kind of fun. On rare occasions you may get some frozen green illumination in the vicinity (see pic).

Late plasma throw, frozen

Another thing to try is a late grenade throw. You can get a frozen throwing posture, and in the case of a plasma grenade, the grenade may be present and audibly fizzing. With a frag you can get a frozen yellowish glow. You can time your throw by the beat of the music, assuming you have the normal music playing. Count beats after leaving the ledge, and throw on a certain count, which you can establish by experimenting.

See BCM336 for some additional examples of freezing, including a freaky case where MC is up near the ceiling. Freezing can also be obtained with the other gap, though it's harder to make the requisite distance to the nearby passage (or at least, it was for me on PAL Xbox).

Hitting stuff when falling

Aside from falling toward the passage to see some freezing, you can try falling in other directions, a topic covered in BCM335. I found myself mysteriously hitting things in mid-air, but figured out what they were.

Settled on the overhang base

One thing was the base of the rocky overhang; or at least, part of the base. It seemed like there was only a line which gave support. Hitting it usually results in instant death or bouncing off, but it's possible to land on it, and from there you can fire down on covies - who can't see you because you're inside the rocky wall.

Another thing was the brown wall. When you're heading down into it, you can get bounced away or even end up dead and suspended in the wall. Perhaps you're hitting the top edge of a wall segment (various wall segments), but I'm not sure how the collision business works. Hitting the wall can slow you and help you reach the platform alive (see BCM335). You may need further cushioning though, from a low pipe.

Passage landing

You can also try surviving a fall to the exit passage. That's possible on PAL Xbox at least, as seen in BCM336. But don't expect a high success rate. I was never able to get any significant feeling of control. What I can say is that all my successes used a jump take-off. I had the suspicion that the key to success was to be coming down on the slope (along the passage edge) at a relatively steep angle - so that's what I was trying for. Achieving a passage landing doesn't have any notable payoff, but it does present an amusing consequence. You can actually complete the level without ever having opened the cavern's exit door!