BCM31 - Right behind you

(4:21) Level 5 ('Assault on the Control Room') on Heroic. This shows a play of the situation described in my article Right behind you, in which a Grunt's Shade has been moved in advance so he'll later run back through the level. In this play I follow close behind all the way to the windy tunnel, with music stopped for maximum clarity of Grunt sounds.

Released March 15th 2011, gameplay recorded March 9th 2011.

Commentary

00:02 Having eliminated covies along the way, my footage starts from just after a bridge checkpoint. This checkpoint could be considered the start of the fun if you like, or you could get a subsequent checkpoint after ejecting the Grunt, which is what I'll show.

00:10 Weaving my way through the tunnel, the Shade comes into view and the Grunt has spawned in it as expected. I'm greeted with a comically chirpy cry of "Enemy!". Nice to have a welcome eh? For this play I want to stop the tunnel music so you'll hear every last snort and clip-clop with maximum clarity. All it needs is for me to briefly cross the loading point, which also triggers a checkpoint. I circle back around and eject the Grunt with a well aimed plasma blast, then make a quick forward motion and dismount so the Banshee comes to rest on the top of the hump. This way I can get a nice view of the Grunt while being hidden from him; he can't seem to see through the gap. After a spot of creeping he starts running. The checkpoint I triggered got delayed for a while due to enemy threat, but now that I'm hidden from him and not too close, the checkpoint finally comes. You can use such a checkpoint as the starting point for your pursuits.

00:32 As the Grunt comes past the Banshee I move to the side to try and stay undetected, then I advance to latch on behind. I actually moved out from cover a touch early and could easily have got spotted - you can see his head turned left quite a way at that point - but I got away with it. By the time he's down at the first control panel, the music has stopped and I've moved up close behind, a position I'll be endeavouring to maintain. By the way, I'm deliberately holding a plasma pistol because it's small and offset to the right of the screen, leaving the Grunt relatively unobscured for the movie. In earlier runs I'd been holding a pistol, but then I realized that it tended to obscure his right leg (and also, the circular reticle seems to grab the eye's attention more than the less distinct reticle for the plasma pistol).

00:51 Entering the cavern, there are signs of my recent clearing work, including a blue Elite lying dead to the right. Actually you won't see all that many bodies because I used plenty of Banshee blasts here, sending quite a few covies down into the chasm. On the bridge itself there's only the body of a Hunter, who'd charged up it in rage mode. The deserted nature of the place can't be terribly reassuring to the Grunt, but he seems to be taking it in his stride. His head turns left and right as he goes, putting me under constant risk of being spotted if a head movement happens to be relatively extreme. On many of my attempted runs for the movie, I got spotted like that. But not this one.

01:26 At certain places the Grunt does a sort of semi-pause to re-establish his footing, and if you're following as close as I am here, you have to get to know those places so you don't inadvertently bump into the back of him - which would alert him to your presence. As you can see when we re-enter the tunnel, the start of a hump is one such place. There are also places where he seems to briefly speed up a bit, such as over the top of that hump and down the other side. I try to speed up to match. But you don't have to be as close as I am here. I just wanted to be nice and close for the movie so he fills a good deal of the frame, and so his footsteps and other sounds are relatively loud. Nice snort at about 1:45!

02:05 Onto the snow at last, and up ahead there's a Shade I blasted down from above. Oh, and there's the gunner too. Hey grunty, there's one of your mates! Huh… he's not worried at all. Then again, he doesn't know what's following him! At the top of the slope he heads left and runs straight over a dead Elite - one of the Ghost pilots. What sort of respect is that for the hierarchy? I pause and give the Elite a good smack. Ok so it wasn't strictly needed, but I couldn't resist. And you have to admit, that snow looks really nice once it's gone purple.

02:43 My unknowing companion goes down into a bit of a divot and does a brief crouch. Not a lot of spring in those stumpy little legs I imagine. Up the other side he goes, and does a cute landing past the top. On past the tree, and his destination comes into sight: a place I've come to refer to as the windy tunnel, due to the sound effects there. When he heads for this he seems to go for a particular spot, at which he usually turns left to look back the way he came. Anticipating this, I carefully move around to stay undetected. Journey over, but we're not quite finished yet. After all, he's still breathing! That'll never do.

03:08 He's not going to stay still for long, so I only pause a few moments before initiating the final phase of my plan for how to play things. A shot past his ears makes him leap in surprise and sets him off on a panic, initially exclaiming "Here it is!". Yes that's right grunty, here it is. One shiny 7ft cyborg, right on your doorstep. Aren't you pleased to see me? I chase him about a bit and give him a spot more plasma. This panicking could go on for quite some time! I let things play a while longer, then wind things up with a double-tag launch. Not that he's got very high to go in this tunnel! He descends my way, and naturally I take the opportunity to give him a good smack to finish off. Yay grunty! Didn't we have fun? See you again in the next movie!

Closing remarks There are other places your Grunt may run to - it's not always the windy tunnel - but you can read about that in my article. You can also read about all the other fun you can have with him, but here I kept things simple, just wanting to be right behind a Grunt for a long way - including some panicking at the end - highlighting his comical animation and sound effects. In my book the Grunts are brilliant work by Bungie, and one of the best things about the game.

At the end of the movie you may have noticed me getting a checkpoint. That was a tunnel checkpoint triggered much earlier, which had been getting delayed due to the Grunt's proximity while he was still alive. Once he was dead I could've kept it delayed manually by throwing grenades or jumping (so I could revert to the start of the fun when ready), but I didn't want to do that in the movie.