Prolonged grunty panic

Posted April 30th 2007

Fellow cyborg Raptor alerted me to an oddity in the final part of the level when you reach the pyramid structure up to the control room. You can make a Grunt go into a prolonged panic near the entrance to the second tunnel along the path.

There's an Elite and a few Grunts in the vicinity, including one on a Shade back near the corner. By killing the Elite, or sometimes even just the Shade gunner, you can panic the Grunts. When you do that, one of them tends to retreat to the entrance of the tunnel and panic indefinitely, running back and forth across the path. That is one mighty spooked Grunt! Tapbrat suggests sitting back with a bag of popcorn and enjoying the laughter show.

I think any difficulty level will do, but you might as well use Easy. Save the checkpoint you get just before emerging out into the snow, to ensure that you'll be able to repeat things and play around.

What's going on?

Why does poor grunty keep panicking? I suspect it's related to the confined surroundings. His movement programming tends to make him keep stopping and turning around, and he never gets chance to run forwards very far. Perhaps a Grunt normally needs a free run of at least a few metres before panicking can end of its own accord. If so, that would explain why his panic continues.

You can snap him out of it though. One way is to crowd him out of his corner, disrupting his movement pattern. Alternatively, if you go through the tunnel and let the next Shade gunner start firing at you, that seems to do the trick. More generally I think he'll often be prompted to join in with an attack once another covie targets you (e.g. maybe the Elite if you actually left him alive).

And if you enjoyed that…

Incidentally, there's a completely different situation where you can witness prolonged panicking, but this time it's a whole load of Grunts and Jackals that get the heebie-jeebies, to hilarious effect. Check out Weird panicking at the hillside in level 2.