BCM28 - Bridge descent via Hunter

(5.29) Level 5 ('Assault on the Control Room') on Heroic. For PAL Xbox this shows how you can descend from the first bridge by using a Hunter to stop you on the near right ledge, something I did the day after managing it with a gold Elite as seen in BCM27. It won't work on NTSC or PC, as the Hunter will die before hitting the ledge. It starts with footage of how things went, then shows an alternative routine which is better for having descent fun such as getting the Hunter into action with the Marines, some of which is featured. See here in my bridge descent guide for an account of the method.

Released February 10th 2011, gameplay recorded February 2nd-8th 2011.


00:02 As the movie starts, I'm leading one of the Hunters out of the room after killing everyone else there except his buddy who was further back. I've only just remembered to start capturing video - oops! I meant to start earlier but it's easy to get immersed in the action and end up forgetting. At least I switched things on in time to catch a swipe. Things are briefly a little dark because my capture set-up isn't good with dim lighting. I could've done with switching on my flashlight, but never mind.

I've been delaying the passage checkpoint, and now it's being delayed by enemy threat. I lead him out onto the bridge (the music continues because there's still a covie inside) then get him down onto the lower deck with a fall through a glass panel. Handy things those panels! From there I lead him to the end, but my technique is a trifle rusty which results in him taking a few swipes along the way. I should've been going faster so he'll run non-stop (as long as you keep him close enough), but you'll see me doing a better job of that later in the movie. At the end I give him the slip by dodging a swipe, then I get the delayed checkpoint. As with the gold Elite I end up getting it in the entrance passage, but you could potentially get it somewhere more convenient (this was only my first time remember).

01:12 On my fifth go at getting him down onto the ledge, I succeed. After a glancing blow against the cliff face, he hits the apex of the chevron then slides to the edge, just like my gold Elite. It's weird how they stop so suddenly like that. From further experience, it's become clear that this spot on the edge is the place a Hunter or Elite will most likely end up.

01:35 It would be nice to now get a delayed checkpoint on the V for the drop to the Hunter, but if you were to go back to trigger the lift checkpoint (at the start of the narrow passage leading up to it), you'd find the Hunter gone when you return. I'd already found that out, and it's to do with having taken him out of his loading zone. However, it doesn't matter too much because he makes a pretty big target for colliding with. I get to the bottom of the V - slightly mistiming my crouch-landing and taking minor shield damage - and nail the drop to the ledge. The Hunter is initially still looking up at the corner of the lower deck but he's quick to come after me. I could finish him quick with a pistol shot, but instead I let him give chase as I head around to drop down to the Marines. I was thinking he might follow like the gold Elite, but he's not as gung-ho. To get him down you'd need to make him swipe. He remains up top, and when I sight him with my zoomed pistol I fire a speculative shot and unexpectedly kill him, to the approval of my Marines: "That's how you do it amigos!". Not a bad ending.

02:18 In this next section I show an alternative routine for setting things up, in which you end up getting a checkpoint on the V. That's what you want if you're interested in having lots of descent fun, fighting alongside the Marines or whatever (another idea: see how far you can lead the Hunter along the ledge). The footage starts with me facing the lift passage, having just saved a checkpoint I delayed from the bridge exit passage. All enemies except my Hunter have been killed, and he's already near the room's exit. This preparation is designed to minimize the amount of time it'll take to try and get him onto the ledge. That's worth doing because it could take you multiple tries of course. The way I've prepared things, a typical try takes only around 75 seconds if the Hunter is lead efficiently.

I step into the narrow lift passage, triggering a checkpoint near the base of the ramp, but I keep it delayed with grenades until approaching the Hunter, at which point the delay gets automatically continued by enemy threat. I used grenades rather than jumping because that left me free to move fast and I knew I could replace them. Plus, throwing grenades about the place is more fun anyway. I give the Hunter a free shot with his fuel rod gun; thought I'd let him show it off for the movie. It would've been easy to close in too fast for him or briefly dodge out of sight, but hey, he'll be dying soon enough - let the poor fellow have a go with his gun. Heck, he's been lugging the darned thing around long enough! His swipe is easily dodged of course.

02:44 Now to get him to the end of the bridge's lower deck. As I take him through the passage, notice how I curve around quite widely at the corners to draw him around them smoothly. As long as he's close enough to you, something you can tell by the loudness of the clanking, he should follow non-stop. With a touch of practice it's easy. When you get to the door he tends to take a swipe as you get a little held up, but even if so, the door opens in time for you to move clear. He needs a bit of help to get around the wall ahead. It would help if you'd got rid of the Shade beforehand to clear the way, but here I hadn't done that. Still, it's fun to dodge a swipe here and make him knock it off the bridge - though he occasionally gets killed by it! In this case his swipe also sends a dead gunner on an amusing grunty face-slide.

Picking up a needler on the way and making sure to subsequently get it fully loaded, I lead the Hunter over a glass panel and shatter it so we both go down. Sometimes he takes a moment to recover from the fall, but here he's straight into a swipe which I dodge. I then lead him along, maintaining the right speed to keep him close so he'll keep running. For a spot of amusement I turn to face him as I go. He's not giving up!

03:24 By the time I near the end of the deck, I'm deliberately leading him along the right hand side. I curve right and then left, ending up just to the left of the corner, to try and guide his approach line appropriately. I think this may be the best way of lining him up. I look down to see where I'm going, and I dodge his swipe by moving along the diagonal edge, giving me maximum clearance. I didn't see his swipe, but you don't need to. I was going by sound and anticipation. You get a feel for the timing after a while. As he heads off I throw a plasma to make sure the checkpoint delay continues, now the enemy threat is rapidly receding. When I see that he's stopped in an acceptable position, I quickly get to the bottom of the V and let the delayed checkpoint come (note: if you mistime your crouch-landing and take shield damage, just extend the delay a little longer to allow recovery). We've now got an ideal set-up for having fun.

Mind you, there's a nice refinement you can arrange if you like. Much earlier on, you could've thrown one or more alternative weapons down onto the bottom of the V from the lower deck, so you'd now have a wider variety available for your fun. Throwing a weapon onto the V can take quite a few goes because they can easily bounce off, so do it after getting a delayed checkpoint at your throwing spot. Also, try to make them land directly, rather than bouncing off the dark brown wall first.

03:45 He's slightly past the middle of the chevron, so as I head down I'm aiming past the middle accordingly, for my bounce off it. Things would've been easier if he was dead centre where I can get something like a 95% success rate in getting myself stopped, but this is almost as good - I just have to concentrate a bit harder. Notice that he's looking away. That was because of the grenade I threw earlier; the blast took his attention away from the lower deck. I back off from a swipe then stand at the edge waiting for another, dodging by sound. Over he goes, and I follow. It's a relatively safe way down here; the way I found when playing about with my gold Elite, as seen at the end of BCM27. The battle doesn't last too long - not with all those needles I'm drilling into him anyway - and he's soon down. A Marine gets taken out by the final needle bang and another guy gets stung by a stray needle - "Cut it out!" - so I'm not exactly flavour of the month with the boys. But hey, I figure I'm just keeping them on their toes!

04:25 A quick couple of one shot kills now. First a shot in the back. He never even has time to turn, and he makes an excellent gurgling noise as the bullet hits. Then a shot from the front, after backstepping from a swipe. Dodging swipes can be quite awkward on the ledge, and the slope can really put you off your aim, but here I was on a relatively flat bit.

04:40 There are other things you can do with the Hunter, just like with the gold Elite. Direct arrival, freaky bounces and so on. But I've skipped all that in favour of giving you round two with the Marines. Yay! I drop to the Hunter and he instantly gives chase as I back off. Running along the ledge backwards may seem like a crazy idea but it's actually safer than it looks, and you do get a nice view of your pursuer. We did something like this on the bridge didn't we spiky? But when it comes to getting him down, I turn so I can see the edge. It's hard to get him heading for the edge at anything but a small angle, so it's all the more important to be right on it or he could easily fail to go off. As he falls I give pursuit, firing a clip of needles as I go. Most of them fail to find his orange flesh - I'm gonna have to refine my technique there - but enough of them dig in to give me a bang. After that it's a case of piling needles into his back with merry abandon, earning me a rebuke towards the end: "Clean your visor!". My visor is fine thanks Mr Bozo; have you ever considered the idea of getting clear of a bang?

Closing remarks Using a Hunter is certainly easier than using a gold Elite. It's easier to guide his approach to the edge of the lower deck - getting him well aimed so to speak - and it's easier to dodge his swipe, which is way slower than that of a sword. He also makes a wider target for subsequently colliding with. Mind you, if he's facing roughly your way when you collide, he can be very quick to swipe, so you'll want to get clear quick. My second Hunter was looking away, thanks to that final delaying grenade I threw. Obviously that's something you could also do with the first routine, just to make your subsequent arrival a bit safer.

I'd like to've shown you more of the fun you can have with a Hunter once he's on the ledge, but I try to keep most of my movies around five minutes or under, so I limited the main recreation here to just a few short battles with Marines - short because of my aggressive needling. But you can always set things up for yourself of course; it's really not so hard.

If you're interested in having descent fun, you'll probably want your Hunter to be as strong as possible so he lasts longer in any combat. As part of that, you'd want him to land on the ledge nice and softly. If he hits at the apex of the chevron that's ideal, but an impact elsewhere can leave him seriously weakened. So watch where he hits. But there's something else to bear in mind. As you may know, Hunters come in two types: strong or weak, so you'd want to be using a strong one. On Heroic, probably one of the two Hunters will be strong, the other weak (I don't know if this is always the case). If you're going to be using my 'alternative routine', you could select as follows. Save a checkpoint before leaving the bridge - ideally as late as possible via delaying. Inside, get one Hunter separated and kill him in a way which tells you what type he is. If he's strong, eject the disc and reload to start over. If and when you eventually find that you've killed a weak one, you can expect the remaining Hunter to be strong - so continue with the rest of the work. In the movie, both of the Hunters I used were strong. the first by chance, the second by selection.

In regard to giving the Marines some combat, they stand a much better chance against a Hunter than a gold Elite, and the hostilities can go on for quite a while, which is good for watching. Strangely, the Hunter tends to have very little interest in you while he's got Marines to fight, so it's pretty safe to watch things up close. Incidentally, when trying to get a Hunter onto the ledge, I often saw him slide off and survive the fall to the ground, ending up near the Marines (or even near the Warthog!) and getting into a fight. You could watch with a zoomed pistol.