BCM37 - Twin bridges megabattle

(5:37) Level 5 ('Assault on the Control Room') on Heroic. The movie starts with a short twin bridges megabattle against 46 covies using the left side defence plan with a 15-man squad behind a well advanced blockade. As you'll hear from their almost constant cries however, the Marines seem to spend most of their time shooting each other! The second half is a comedy action montage of their masterful combat technique, which I think you'll enjoy.

Released July 5th 2011, gameplay recorded Jan 6th (the initial battle) and July 1st-3rd 2011 (the montage).

Commentary

00:02 Into battle we go, starting from an aerial checkpoint I'd got. As I fly towards the gathered mass I fire a blast at the Shade left there for mischief, and it squashes two Grunts I think. One who never saw it coming, and one who runs toward the impact zone. It also makes a Grunt and Jackal dive clear. I arc around the cliff face then head off to the defence location where my squad is held back by a 7-Ghost blockade with a rock in the middle. Sergeant Johnson is manning a chain-gun, though for some unfortunate glitchy reason he doesn't call out chain-gun lines in this save. But the other Marines are going to do plenty of hollering, believe me.

00:31 After dismounting I swap my sniper rifle for a needler. Also I turn my flashlight on as it's a little murky around the blockade. I fire a clip towards the charging Elites who often run straight onto the needles, but it doesn't have the desired effect this time, and my plasma grenade seems likewise ineffective. My second clip does rather better and takes out a first Elite, but there's no luck with the frag. I'd probably have done better throwing that to the left where a mass of further Elites is arriving. As you can see and hear by now, there's quite a bit of framerate slowdown in this battle, which I think is as much to do with the large number of Marines as with the mass of covies. It only clears up towards the end.

00:53 Another clip and a frag. Much of the clip goes into an Elite who's already about to be finished off by the Marines, but it looks like the bang takes out another. Just as that happens, I dodge a plasma ball which comes sailing my way from long distance. Gotta watch out for those things; it's easy to get caught in the heat of battle. Later I dodge more, plus a few needles. My frag kills one Elite and gives another a nasty jolt, sending him over to the large rock on the platform. I try to finish him with needles but he moves left so I use another frag which does the job. Moving across behind the Marines now, I jump up to fire a rocket which sends an Elite flying.

01:10 Switching to my needler, I fire half a clip in the general direction of the enemy, then throw my last frag in the vicinity of a Grunt and a panicking Jackal. There are quite a few bodies around and I may've been hoping for a chain reaction. Right after I throw, the Grunt yells "Down in front!". Uh-oh. He gets his grenade away but my frag diverts it in the nick of time. Phew! Grunts are a major threat in this battle, often decimating the blockade and Marines with their plasmas. Of course, the other threat to the blockade is that of Marines fumbling their frags - a not uncommon occurrence! Fortunately there are no major mishaps today though, and the blockade survives right to the end.

01:17 I hop up onto the rock for a quick bit of rocketing and needling, but it's pretty exposed up here so I don't hang around long. A first rocket only takes out a Grunt. Reloading, I switch my attention to matters rather closer at hand and send a red Elite flying. Nice! My next rocket kills a Grunt and takes an Elite to the verge of death, so I don't bother sending many needles his way. The rest I just fire out into the advancing horde, then throw a plasma and back off. I get down just as another plasma ball comes my way. Hah, missed me again you beaky fools!

01:38 Moving back across to the right, I fire some needles then see two Jackals heading for the rock at the end of the platform. A couple of plasmas give them something to think about. The first lands too short but the second has a nice effect. Meanwhile my shield has finally started bleeping - not that it's easy to hear over all this racket - so I back off a little to fire a fresh clip of needles, taking out a Grunt explosively.

01:57 With shield recharged and launcher freshly loaded, I jump up on the pipe block and send a Grunt and Jackal flying with successive rockets. Hee hee! Jumping up there is a nice tactic to use - especially if any Elites are trying to recharge behind the rock. I pile needles into a running Jackal while the Marines finish off another.

02:07 At this point I thought things were over, but then there's a bit of Marine firing and I soon spot the problem. One last Jackal left near the rock in the middle of the blockade, running back and forth with shield aloft. I leap over the blockade and finish him off with a rocket, deliberately trying to avoid disrupting any Ghosts else I could easily kill some Marines.

02:18 With the covie horde defeated, Cortana initiates some communication with fire team Zulu, and a few seconds later Johnson finds his vocal chords again. First of all he shouts "Floor it!", a somewhat belated exclamation from when he boarded the hog ages ago, then "School is now in session". Yes Johnson, it's a pity you didn't get your voice back earlier! There are 14 guys left at the end. Not bad! I wouldn't be surprised if the casualty at around 1:16 was from friendly fire. As you probably noticed, there was a whole lot of that. Just look at the state of that snow!

02:37 I found the Marines so amusing with their friendly firing that I decided to get some close-up footage. So I did a load of extra playing during which I took the role of cameraman and left the Marines to fend for themselves, though in many cases I'd eliminated a portion of the covie mass beforehand to give the guys more of a chance. I made this 3-minute montage of some of the best action featuring friendly fire, fumbled frags, tagged Marines and more, from a variety of positions while crouched. Enjoy!

Closing remarks Over the 90 seconds or so during which the Marines were firing in the initial battle, I count maybe 62 lines relating to Marines getting in the way of each other, plus a few that seemed to start but then get quickly curtailed for some reason. Congratulations men - I think you set a new world record!

I recorded that battle about six months ago, but hesitated to use it because of the relatively severe framerate slowdown which didn't show the megabattle in the best light. I think I was wondering about setting up a similar blockade battle at some later date with fewer Marines, to try and reduce the slowdown. But I've decided to use this old footage after all, as the near-constant cries relating to friendly firing are so funny. I had the idea of mixing in some close-ups of Marine chaos with the main footage, but quickly decided it would be better to have a separate montage afterwards.

Strangely, in some plays of the battle (none of which were used here) the Marines didn't do their friendly fire lines, though they'd still give groans and suchlike when hit. It's also a pity that Johnson doesn't yell stuff when chain-gunning. There are definitely a few glitches in the game's speech programming.

As I fly in, you'll notice that there's a Banshee overturned on the ground. That's unusual and I'm not sure when or why I left it there (it's in good shape though not pristine). It was a pretty old save.

Another oddity of this save is that a Marine with a plasma rifle has got himself slightly stuck. Seen from behind the blockade, he's just to the right of the central rock, and it looks like the fin of the adjacent Ghost is stopping him from running clear. He can be seen in several of the montage clips, including good views in the final two (see 5:14 onwards). In the initial battle he remains there almost all the way through. His eventual extrication was probably due to doing a roll. In some battles I've seen him end up on the other side of the blockade (or at least, I think it was him). I've also seen either him or other Marines roll up onto a Ghost, ending up standing on the blockade. Not a good place!