Johnson's hidden all-clear speech

Posted July 21st 2006 (originally as part of my article on getting seven extra Marines), updated later

Associated movies… BCM8, 174

If you do the seven extra Marines trick and your Pelican Sergeant is Johnson (there's a 50% chance of getting Stacker instead), there's a great little bonus to enjoy, namely the following 16-second all-clear speech you can hear from him when you polish off the enemy, as long as you're not too far away from him when the last covie bites the dust:

"That's the last of 'em - area secure. Stand down team! (pause) They did their damnedest that's for sure. This is all that's left of my platoon. The Covenant are down here in force, and they brought plenty of toys. I wouldn't have given us a snowball's chance until you showed up Chief."

It was a quite a surprise when I suddenly heard him launch into that speech the first time. I thought I'd stepped into the Twilight Zone or something! You can hear it at the end of BCM8, but I also made a recording of it for the HBO Dialogue Databank in a carefully controlled situation so you can hear it as clearly as possible. I was right next to him and he was inactive.

"Stand down team!"

Because this line exists, it suggests that maybe Bungie originally hadn't planned for the Pelican guys to automatically be dead, and that Johnson would potentially be the one to announce the all-clear. Somewhere along the line though, the Pelican guys became doomed (maybe Bungie didn't want the Xbox to strain itself), and hence you normally only get something from a standard Marine. Also, instead of you meeting up with Johnson in the first snowfield, that encounter was switched to the crashed Pelican area where you find him with a sniper rifle. That's my theory anyway.

Controlled method, with handy pre-speech checkpoint

Here's a nice controlled method of hearing his speech repeatedly. He'll probably be inactive, but actually that's best if you want to hear it as clearly as possible, because he won't be running around while talking. The method is shown in BCM174, and I suggest using Easy because it minimizes the possiblity of Johnson getting killed by a Wraith blast - plus it's easiest of course.

A spot of clearing work

After descending from the bridge and checking that you've got Johnson, trigger the battle in the hog, then switch to a Ghost and briefly go up past the ice patch to trigger covies into coming after you (they withdraw from attacking the Marines). This also triggers a checkpoint which you need to keep delayed via enemy threat and Ghost fire. Wipe out all covies (don't forget a lone Elite at the far end), except leave a single Shade Grunt. Then join the Marines and get the checkpoint; you may need to hide so you're not under threat from the Shade.

This should come in handy

Now all you need to do is kill the Grunt, and as long as you're not too far from Johnson, he'll give his speech. You may like to have the rocket launcher handy, so you can fire then focus on Johnson, waiting for him to start up - which he does very promptly.

When I say "not too far" from him, certainly I'd expect to get the speech if within 20 metres. It's actually possible to hear it even up to about 45 metres away; but it looks like if you get much past 25, some other Marine may give a victory line instead.

Incidentally, the only reason for choosing a Shade Grunt is that it seems the most convenient, because he's a distant fixed target you can rocket. You could leave a different covie alive instead if you prefer - and snipe him perhaps, or just wait for him to reach the Marines and get killed.

But nothing from Stacker?

Sometimes you'll get southern-talkin' Stacker instead of Johnson, but sadly I haven't heard any all-clear lines from him. Therefore I've decided to imagine my own, heh heh:

"Nice job men - all clear! Whew, those guys just never give up! These are all the men I got left Chief. This place is crawling with Covenant and they brought all kinds o' nasty to play with. I thought we were in for a real whuppin' till you showed up."

No trouble Sergeant.