BCM64 - Spore herding

(5:53) Level 7 ('The Library') on Legendary. Relating to my Spore herding article, this shows a chasm shoot with a herd of about 120 spores, though another 18 spawn near the end. There's more than just shooting though; I also dwell a while on the sheer weirdness of the spectacle.

Released January 24th 2013, gameplay recorded January 23rd 2013.

Commentary

00:02 (Teaser footage) This opening section gives you a taste of the weird spectacle to come; I thought it would make a nice teaser. Eventually a spore nibbles me and I lose the zoom, giving you a wider view which should help you get your bearings.

00:32 (Full play) So, now let's see what was going on there. At the start here, I've got a large herd of spores closing in on me just after I saved a checkpoint, triggered part way towards the exit tunnel of the Index chamber. The herd comprises almost all the ones available since the start of the level. I did a careful job and lost only a few along the way, ending up with about 120. I get the majority down a chasm between two teeth by leading them onto a tooth then jumping across to the other and tempting them to leap at me. When most are down I run for the middle bit and quickly wipe out the few remaining up top before they damage me too badly. Then, standing right on the edge, I look down and the weirdness begins.

00:56 For a while here I just dwell on the weird spectacle. Spores climb up three sides trying to get at you, but usually they leap before reaching you and fall back down a way. Basically they don't seem able to deal with the vertical attack angle well. Those that make it up often fail to get a nibble, merely passing around you and falling down into the chasm again.

01:47 Time for some shooting now, starting with the pistol. Good fun, especially when zoomed. Occasionally there's some chain-reaction popping - which would be stronger if I was using a lower difficulty level. Later I switch to the plasma rifle, which is likewise good for this shooting.

03:26 When my spore numbers drop low enough, another 18 spawn in the depths. You can see a fresh influx of red on the motion tracker when that happens at 3:37. It would be nice if they spawned in your chasm, but a good number seem likely to spawn off to the side and hence end up attacking from the side. They're not much threat though, unless they happen to reach you in a concentrated bunch. I get attacked by a few at 4:05 but don't bother to look their way as it didn't sound like many were approaching. A few seconds later I do look up though, and shoot a few.

05:21 When a lone spore jumps off from the right, you can see him come to an easy stop on the left side of the chasm. Grippy little chaps huh? Not much chance of a Spartan doing that. A few shots later, I'm down to the last few spores and there's something of a lull, so I wind up the movie.

Closing remarks This chasm shoot business goes back to late June 2007 when I latched on to it just after posting the original version of my spore herding article. At the time it struck me as being maybe the weirdest spectacle I'd seen in the game. Still can't think of anything weirder even now!

For once I didn't need to do many plays to get my movie footage. In fact the play here was only the second I recorded. It showed things reasonably well (including getting most of the herd into the chasm efficiently), and as a bonus the Monitor happened to say a few things in places where I was able to make it seem like he was reacting to a caption. Did you notice at all? With my caption "then enjoy the weirdness" he says "Ooh that's a good idea", and with my caption "Time for some shooting!" he says "Ahh!" as if welcoming the main order of business. Well, it amused me at any rate. Also he gave a laugh just after the lull near the end when there were hardly any spores left, which I thought would make a nice ending.