BCM11 - Bridge descent duo, far side

(4:06) Level 5 ('Assault on the Control Room') on Heroic. This shows two methods of descending off the first bridge using the far right ledge; but you'd want a PAL Xbox to be able to survive to the ledge. In the first (see here in my bridge descent guide) you bounce off the ledge then the Warthog, preferably starting from the bridge support. I set things up with a handy checkpoint for making repeat attempts and I show multiple descents, then one from the lower deck of the bridge instead. In the second (see here in my bridge descent guide), which is far harder, you bounce off the ledge then a rock, preferably starting from the lower deck of the bridge.

Released March 22nd 2010, gameplay recorded March 17th-20th 2010.

Commentary

00:02 To start with I'm going to set things up with a handy checkpoint for making repeat attempts at the hog descent from the bridge support. This also gives me an excuse to include some covie slaying in the movie, which I think is always a good thing! With pistol at the ready, I'm straight into it. The first dozing Grunt gets a headshot, two rounds take care of the next, then I gun down the others before they can get away. No running! I back off to get cover from the incoming Banshee and tag it with a plasma (thrown a little short, but hey, as long as it sticks). BOOM! Hah, I bet that Elite's not feeling so smug now.

00:28 I switch to my plasma pistol, which is unusually low on charge. Must've forgotten to swap for a better one earlier! Scouting left, I peer around the wall. Uh-oh, red Elite up top! I see him coming and move around to the other side of the wall, surprising him with a plasma ball then tagging him to finish the job. No doubt about it, the covies are having a bad day. A yellow-shielded Jackal sends a few shots my way but quickly forgets about me. Not a great idea, as he soon finds out. I then move in on his blue-shielded buddy and deliver a plasma ball that kills him outright - which is actually disappointing because I would've liked to smack him in the face. Maybe I can find another beaky freak to smack later.

00:55 More dozing Grunts. Turning to the first one on the right, I fire a shot past his ears to wake him, then fire another to push him off the edge. Actually I think he was already in the process of falling off from his leap of shock, but you get the idea. It's a lot of fun to send them off the edge like that, though it didn't show up well here. A bit more plasma work takes care of his buddies and the first Jackal, then I stun the second and get some satisfaction with two nice whacks to the beak. A final squirt of plasma finishes him off and I swipe his weapon before it even hits the ground. Thanks a lot beaky, I'll take that!

01:18 Unlike what I did for BCM7, I want to kill all the bridge enemies before getting a delayed checkpoint. I'm going to end up on the bridge support, and any enemies alive above near the door would tend to keep the checkpoint delayed; so it's best to get rid of them. As I move in on the Grunts, the checkpoint is triggered a few metres short of the final pair of glass panels. For the time being it'll get delayed due to enemy threat. I take down the Grunts, and you see me fire a shot at nothing just after that, which was just a precaution to try and make sure the checkpoint delay continued (I thought there was a small chance the game might have given me the checkpoint there otherwise). I get the gold Elite with a plasma ball and headshot, and finish off the remaining Jackals.

01:38 Now all the enemies are dead, I have to keep the checkpoint delayed by other means. I start off by jumping, but then lob a grenade instead so I can concentrate on reaching my run-off spot. The delay will continue while any grenade is waiting to go off. I like to be holding the pistol while doing descents, as it doesn't block much of your view and the small reticle is nice for aiming yourself. So I switch to that. It's not a difficult jump to get onto the bridge support, but you do have to hold your nerve! After I land you see me take a slight backwards step, but frankly that was unnecessary. I actually landed perfectly and could've just stayed there. You do want to be in the rear half of the support though, to give yourself some space to get up to full speed. I pause, then the plasma grenade goes off and I get my checkpoint.

02:03 You now see a sequence of twelve descents to the hog, chosen from among many attempts to show you a range of landings (one of which doesn't go quite according to plan - just a spot of comedy I thought I'd add). Hit the ledge at the back and preferably do a late crouch to take a bit of speed off, else you tend to overshoot. When I say late, I mean do it slightly too late for it to take full effect; otherwise it tends to take too much speed off and you fall short. In most of these descents I'm aiming for a specific spot along the ledge, namely a patch of white between two dark patches (a blob on the left, and a left-facing crescent shape on the right) - or very close to that white patch. You need to be fairly precise to end up heading for the hog. You don't need to crouch as you hit the hog, and I'm not doing it here; I've done testing but couldn't see any advantage to it. My first two landings are textbook stuff without even a flicker of my shield. The back half of the hog's side seems the best area to aim for, but as you'll see from the examples, you can survive with hits elsewhere (but probably not as easily).

03:09 The hog method can also be done from the lower deck, but it's far harder to survive the hit. Here's a freaky example for you in which I seem to strike a glancing blow on the hood, sending me flying across the snow without even a flicker of my shield. It's quite a while before you even hear any footsteps!

03:21 Now for the second method, in which you get cushioned by the large rock near the hog. It's something I found after the hog method, but it's a lot harder to survive. This time I think it may be best to start from the lower deck of the bridge, so my first four examples are for that (you can set things up with a checkpoint much like before, or as in BCM7). The landings aren't pretty but they're the best I could manage during the filming, despite considerable effort. The first three use a big dome-like rock, which is the one I had the most success with (the rock gets randomly chosen from among five designs when you cross a loading point). The fourth uses a smaller and somewhat elongated rock. Some other rocks I had to give up on. While recording footage for the movie, I couldn't survive when hitting the front side of any rock, but I think I may have managed it a few times when I was first exploring.

03:52 The rock method can also be done from the bridge support. In my final descent I do that and get a freaky glancing blow which leaves my health intact. Originally I thought this was a significantly harder run-off spot to use, but I feel less sure about that after my addition experience while recording for the movie. It could do with more testing, but I think I've had enough of this trick by now! The bottom line is, it's hard to survive from either run-off spot, so I doubt anyone's going to be too interested in the details.

Closing remarks I found these methods for myself but it seems like people must have at least got down via the hog before, as I subsequently found a passing reference to that in the High Impact Halo archives, from August 2004. Someone asks about how to descend without using a Shade, and grenadesticker replies "You have to hit the first ledge and than a tree or the warthog". I don't know if the rock method is new - but probably not. In retrospect it's a fairly obvious target to go for, so I think some folk must have tried it, in which case some probably managed it. If you know anything about the history of these methods, I'd really like to hear from you!

I was pretty amazed when I realized the hog could cushion your fall. I discovered it while exploring what I could do from the bridge support. That was just after the release of BCM7, when I realized the bridge support could be used as an alternative run-off spot. My idea with the hog was to see if I could spontaneously board the passenger seat as I arrived, and thus avoid dying. I gave it a go and it wasn't working, but when I bounced off the hog and found myself still alive one time, it didn't matter! My success with the hog encouraged me to try my luck with the rock as well. Lo and behold, that worked too. But it was much harder to survive, so the main focus of this movie was on the hog. I put both methods together here because they're in the same area and have obvious similarities, plus I found them at roughly the same time.