BCM33 - Five bridge descents via Shade riding

(5:07) Level 5 ('Assault on the Control Room') on Heroic. This shows five descents of the first bridge via Shade riding (on a PAL Xbox), to illustrate methods described in my recently released Bridge descent guide. Includes Banshee tagging and nasty wake-up calls for a few Grunts! The first two descents are unsuitable for NTSC and PC. I think the ones on the left can all be done on PC, but I'm not sure about NTSC.

Released April 5th 2011, gameplay recorded April 2nd-4th 2011.

Commentary

00:02 (Standard shade ride) First up, a standard Shade ride all the way down to the snow. I turn my flashlight on, but that's just to make the movie footage brighter in the shadow. A dozy Grunt gets a boink on the head with my pistol, then I hop up onto the rim of the bridge, with my back to the wall. I aim a careful plasma then edge forward a little. A touch too far really, but it doesn't matter. The grenade has woken up a Grunt and I can't resist going for a tag as he runs off panicking. Got him! It's best to concentrate on boarding the Shade of course, but I thought a little extra entertainment was in order for the movie. As the Shade flies my way I hit X to flip it, then X again to board it - and my ride begins. Good bounce at the ledge - no damage - and then down to the snow. Very often you land partly upside down and the camera briefly goes underground such as seen here. But I'm still in one piece, so who's complaining?

I take a few shots at the incoming Banshee then throw a plasma, but he does a slight jink to his left which helps it miss. Not to worry; I've got another up my sleeve. I let loose, throwing at where I think he's going to go. Obligingly he curves around and picks it up on the left side. BOOM! Cyborg 1, Banshee 0. All safe for the arriving Pelican.

00:53 (Dismount version) Now here's the dismount variation. There's a dozing Grunt by the Shade again and this time I vary my boarding routine, just to show another way of doing things. A headshot takes care of him and I throw a plasma from near the left of the Shade, then hop up onto the bridge rim and catch my ride as usual. Wish I'd reloaded beforehand though, to avoid the bogus reload animation from my press of X for flipping. The Shade rotates as it falls, but ends up just right for a dismount, so I take my chances and step out. No damage at all, woo-hoo! I take the short route to the ground and get a kick-off from the cliff base, sending me out into the snow (see here in my guide).

The Banshee is up high and I try a few zoomed shots but realize it's out of range, so I quit and reload, then open up again as it dives. Nine shots, nine hits - then as it gets close I switch to the AR to finish it off. I do like a bit of AR against a Banshee. BOOM! Cyborg 2, Banshee 0.

01:46 (V-start Shade ride) Now we switch to the left side of the bridge, for the V-start Shade ride method. A snoozing Grunt gets roused by my carefully placed plasma, and dies in the explosion which sends the Shade sailing over the rim of the bridge. I know where it's going and I'm already waiting for it as it lands upside down and partly off the edge. With a flip it starts going over, then I flip it again as it starts pointing down. The front comes back up and I let it start tilting down again before boarding, so it rotates as it falls. Ideally you want the Shade to hit the ledge with a leg. In this case the rotation is only just enough, but I bounce off safely as desired. The subsequent landing on the snow goes fine and I dismount as the Shade rolls.

With the Banshee heading my way low across the ground, I switch to a plasma rifle and give it a light toasting, then go for a tag. The grenade manages to sneak inside the Banshee - you do see that occasionally - and now there's just the waiting. BOOM! Cyborg 3, Banshee 0.

02:34 (Dismount version) Next up is Juggetrout's dismount variation. For this I use a frag because a plasma doesn't seem to have quite enough power for sending the Shade over the rim as desired. I'm quickly past the Shade before it squashes me, and over the edge for a crouch landing. Down comes the Shade and lands where I wanted it, near where the slope starts. I give it a few whacks to make it start to topple over the edge, and meanwhile the patrolling Elite opens fire. You could make him back off by sending a plasma ball his way, but I don't bother here as it looks like I'll be getting off quick. I flip it and board, and find myself floating down very nicely with barely any rotation. It's perfect for a dismount, and I step off without any observable damage. I wish I'd subsequently turned to see the incoming Banshee and maybe gone for a tag as it got close, but I was kind of stunned from having managed the dismount - which I really wasn't expecting to - so all I did was concentrate on staying on the ledge as I ran along. I take the short route down but mess it up. My line wasn't too good and I don't think I timed the crouch properly either. Annoying, but there's more embarrassment to come!

As I get through the trees I search for the Banshee but I'm looking too high. I lower my gaze as a fuel rod blast sails in, closely followed by plasma fire. The Marines are not enjoying that! Zeroing in on the Banshee's trajectory, I let loose with a plasma grenade and… Arrgh! Wrong grenade! I was still so stunned from having managed the dismount that I completely forgot to switch my grenades back to plasmas ready for the Banshee. That's my excuse anyway. Throwing frags at a Banshee eh? Boy do I feel like a Marine. I just hope they didn't notice it or I'll never live it down. The really annoying thing is that my throw was good. See that frag bounce off the side? Darn it, that would've been a nice tag! Angry with myself, I settle for doing the job with simple pistol fire instead. BOOM! Embarrassed Cyborg 4, Banshee 0.

03:31 (V-clip Shade ride) My final descent is another rather hard one, namely the V-clip Shade ride method. It's a method I saw in a video by 3rd Person except that here I use a plasma rather than a frag. I aim it carefully and board the Shade. Yep that's right, in this method you board a Shade with a grenade underneath. Fun huh? I retain five health bars though - not too bad. It sails over the edge and clips the V perfectly with its rear leg, so it then falls down and bounces off the ledge. It had to be very close to the cliff face for that. Quite often it misses, even if you managed a decent clip and didn't get jolted out. The landing in the snow is kind of unusual for its sideways attitude. I hop out with plasma rifle at the ready.

The Banshee has been pursuing all the way down, and as it dives I let loose with a bit of plasma then a grenade. Thankfully not a frag this time. Tagged him on the undercarriage, ha ha! BOOM! Cyborg 5, Banshee 0. After that I mosey over to watch the arrival of Johnson and the Pelican boys. See that rock I hop onto? You can jump on top of the Pelican from there when the tail comes down - but sadly you just skim off when it flies away. I track the reinforcements as they run over and then go inactive. Yo Johnson! How's it going? Died much lately?

Closing remarks In regard to the first descent method, originally I was going to use a clip in which the Shade landed upright and I then used it to destroy the Banshee. I pretty much never use a Shade in normal play because they're basically death traps, inviting either a fuel rod blast or plasma grenade or a plasma ball from a Jackal, but here it's kind of amusing to land in a Shade and then start plastering the Banshee straight away. Towards the end of my gameplay for that method however, I started trying a bit of Grunt tagging on the bridge, just for extra fun, and I got a clip featuring a nice Grunt tag plus an amusing tag on the Banshee. So I used that clip instead. More memorable.

As for the clip showing Juggertrout's dismount variation, in which I messed up my drop from the ledge and then tried tagging the Banshee with a frag (doh!), I made a load more attempts at that to see if I could produce something a touch less embarrassing. But after more than 150 during which I rarely even got close enough to attempt a dismount, I had to give up and move on. That method is hard!