Marineless first snow battle

Posted July 21st 2006 (originally as part of the seven-extras piece), expanded later

Here's a little novelty you can arrange by doing something a bit different at the end of the trick for getting seven extra Marines. After triggering the battle by going through the door, continue inside to the lift. The fledgeling battle meanwhile gets frozen at the loading point I think. As you reach the lift the third room gets populated. If you now return to the battlefield, you'll find that the Marines have gone. There are just covies mulling around. Often they didn't even spot the Marines before the battle got frozen, so they're still completely casual.

Instead of coming straight back when you get to the lift though, I suggest that you first ride up in it. That causes normal checkpoint structure to be resumed, and as such you'll trigger a checkpoint in the passage leading outside when you come back down. Good for replaying, if you want to have some fun with the situation. You could head out to battle as usual of course, but I give some other ideas below.

What happened?

Why did the Marines disappear? Here's my understanding. When you triggered enemies in the third room, the game also did what it usually does along with that, namely remove any Marines from outside. The game is expecting that you're on your way down and out, and that three new Marines will be created later as you trigger the battle. However, the battle has already been triggered, so no such creation gets done.

Blam! No more Ghost

Long-range mischief

If the Elite on the far side didn't get into his Ghost earlier, you can watch him pacing around peacefully. He walks a long way over towards the door before turning back, something you'd normally never see. There's scope here for a nice spot of plasma pistol sniping. Even if he subsequently boards the Ghost, he tends to just hover there if you remain in the passage. From way over here you can destroy it with plasma pistol fire; see my picture capturing an explosion after switching to a zoomed pistol. See what else you can do from the passage or near the door. Among the possible targets are some covies moving in from the right, and you can get the Wraith with long-range fire.

First of many missed swipes

Step right this way

Something else I did was to weaken an Elite until he got mad and came after me. When he reached the passage he initially just stood there, but by making him continually swipe at me I was able to lead him though the passage and the room and into the lift. It was surprisingly easy but it probably helped that he was only a blue. We started going up but I accidentally fell down the lift while dodging a swipe. Who the heck designed those stupid lifts? So I got another blue and had another go. This time the lift section went ok and I started getting him towards the next room, but his behaviour seemed to have changed. He was more hesitant about swiping and I had to give him a lot more opportunity, during which he often used his plasma rifle and did sideways dodges. So my progress was a lot slower and I had to be careful about my health (this was on Heroic). After maybe ten minutes I got him out onto the bridge, and it was there that I wished I hadn't shattered all the glass panels on the upper deck, because the holes were clearly going to make progress even slower! I'd had enough by then, but with a bit more work maybe you can get him back to the start of the level? Go try it out if you're up for it.

Fun from the bridge

Instead of returning to the passage (after triggering the battle and going to the lift), you could head on up to the bridge, from where you can lob grenades and use the tremendous range of the plasma pistol to destroy the Wraith and kill some ground troops - just for a bit of mischief. Retreating up to the bridge is something you can do also with a normal battle incidentally, in which case it'll still be raging below. But you'd have more fun up here with a sniper rifle and rocket launcher of course.