BCM65 - Banshee battling

(5:47) Level 2 ('Halo') on Legendary. Relating to my Banshee battling article, this shows some battling on the cliffside hilltop assisted by 9 Marines including a sniper. As with earlier Banshee battling movies, there's a full play then a montage of clips from other plays with various squad arrangements.

Released January 30th 2013, gameplay recorded January 25th-29th 2013.


00:02 (Full play) My chosen route to the battle location includes an enjoyable sequence of four jumps, the first of which is off the big mound. Just as I'm leaving it, a blast from the second Banshee sends the front right of the hog up and we do a full 360 before coming down safe. Woo-hoo! Jump 2 takes us to the stream, and jump 3 is just past the lifeboat. The final jump is at the left entrance to the cliffside area - my preferred entrance for this fun. Any one of these jumps is big enough to get a reaction out of a passenger, and my sniper vents some approval on the fourth. He also enjoys it when I squash the Jackal.

Up on the hilltop I get a "Wort wort wort" from a Banshee pilot as I reach my squad. I deliberately passed along the edge of the hilltop to try and get spotted, inviting a relatively quick attack. The first Banshee is upon us just a few seconds after I'm back on two feet. I give him some AR treatment then a plasma, and that takes care of things. Meanwhile the Marines have been busy setting a new speed record for wiping themselves out. I expect a frag bounced off the Banshee and settled quick. The first blast sends a bunch of bozos flying, and a second finishes the rest. Good work guys! Guess it's up to me to deal with the last Banshee then. Another tag does the trick.

01:30 (Clip 1) In the first of various 'cameraman' clips interspersed with the usual ones to add variety and entertainment and to showcase the Marines, Johnson and friends give a Banshee a good peppering with their assault rifles.

01:38 (Clip 2) Marines escape the fuel rod blast which lands short, but then the Banshee comes down low and scythes a few of them off the edge. He leaves with my plasma grenade attached though.

01:49 (Clip 3) One of the most enjoyable aspects of fighting Banshees on the hilltop is that you can destroy them with a frag grenade, such as seen here. It's just a pity the Marines don't do this! They just lob theirs into the air. Bunch of idiots.

01:55 (Clip 4) A Banshee comes in low and gives one of the Marines a hard time, but I give him a plasma grenade to think about. The wreckage goes sailing down rather nicely to the covies below. You can see a few Jackals.

02:05 (Clip 5) I don't usually let Marines use the chain-gun because it tends to end the battle in just a few seconds, but for the sake of nice movie footage I let them clamber aboard a few times, such as here where the gunner almost collects a Banshee on the head.

02:13 (Clip 6) This incoming Banshee gets tagged, and possibly the pilot then dives to try and scuff it off. But whatever, the blast kills a Marine and I get the blame. Not fair!

02:20 (Clip 7) On the far left of the hill, a Marine gets amusingly blasted off the slope by an ascending Banshee, but I wreak cyborg vengeance with my AR.

02:29 (Clip 8) After a spot of AR fire I let fly with a plasma grenade. The tagged Banshee curves around and the blast sends the Warthog onto Sergeant Stacker. Oops!

02:38 (Clip 9) Marines enjoy a spot of frag throwing on a sloping part of the hill's edge, facing out to the valley. Good work men - really effective! There are a few other cameraman clips in this location too.

02:44 (Clip 10) After a spot of pistol work I drop a frag to send the Banshee sailing overhead and beyond. Nice! Good job that Marine dived away from the frag though; I was a bit worried I'd landed it too close to him.

02:52 (Clip 11) Very interesting clip here! Previously I've suspected that a plasma grenade is able to pass through a Banshee and tag the pilot - which is when you might get a scream. Well, this clip seems to confirm it. The pilot gets ejected after spinning and clipping the ground, and you can see that he's tagged - and growling in mid-air. Very pleased with that clip!

02:59 (Clip 12) Banshees attack Marines along the cliff top, and while Stacker is lobbing a frag for no good reason, I tag the underside of the nearest machine. Looks like the other Marines got scuffed off the edge though.

03:11 (Clip 13) Along the same sloping cliff edge as just seen, Johnson and pals dish it out to the attackers against a picturesque background.

03:17 (Clip 14) The Banshee pilot chuckles after scything down my sniper, but departs with a plasma grenade attached. Watch him sail across the sky after the explosion.

03:24 (Clip 15) This Banshee is engaged in some typical squashing behaviour, but it goes into a bit of a spin when it picks up a plasma grenade on the tail.

03:35 (Clip 16) A cluster of Marines takes a nasty fuel rod blast and then the Banshee swoops down for extras. By the looks of it, the sniper dives clear just in time.

03:40 (Clip 17) I assume this is another example of a plasma grenade getting through to the pilot. He screams and the grenade goes off, but it doesn't quite destroy the Banshee. AR fire from the Marines finishes it off. Come to think of it, shouldn't the blast have killed the pilot? He would've died if he was on foot, but evidently things aren't working like that when he's piloting.

03:47 (Clip 18) Another case of the cyborg getting the blame when the plasma bang from a tagged Banshee goes off. Two killed. Johnson just managed to dive clear, and he's not best pleased.

03:55 (Clip 19) A Banshee mows down a Marine who thought he was providing covering fire, but it receives a plasma on the tail and goes into a spin. The pilot gets ejected but is almost immediately killed by the blast. There was a second plasma which I added for good measure, but it wasn't needed of course.

04:04 (Clip 20) A weakened Marine gets finished by a plasma bang and I get the blame as usual. I partly included this clip for the comedy of Stacker's admonishment.

04:13 (Clip 21) Poor old Stacker eh? He doesn't even manage to get his line out. Where the heck is a cyborg when you need one? Right there actually, but he was too busy playing with his camera.

04:19 (Clip 22) Johnson threatens an aerial attacker: "Try that with me!" I put this after the Stacker clip to make it seem as if it was connected, though it wasn't of course.

04:24 (Clip 23) A Banshee picks gets tagged on the tail and goes into a spin, then the blast sends it earthwards, reminding me of a similar outcome in BCM26 around 4:20 (in clip 19).

04:30 (Clip 24) In this clip Johnson's hopped up to man the chain-gun. I fire on the first Banshee with my plasma rifle and it curves around and pushes the hog down the slope before exploding. Johnson lets the second Banshee have it, and the resulting blast wipes out half the squad. Excellent work Sarge!

04:44 (Clip 25) Here's a nice shot of a cluster of Marines on the far left of the hill, firing on a Banshee and bringing it down - though not without collateral damage.

04:50 (Clip 26) A Banshee pilot laughs as he kills Marines, initially with plasma fire and then by squashing, but I tag the underside and he's toast.

04:57 (Clip 27) One last example of wiping out a Banshee with a frag, and it goes shooting off rather nicely. Marines, please pay attention!

05:04 (Clip 28) "Fire in the hole!" Twice. This was the last clip I added to the movie. I wanted to squeeze it in because of the appealing look. I like the angled ground and the lens effect with the sun.

05:09 (Clip 29) This clip's for the comedy. Johnson starts to rebuke me for causing the death of yet another Marine, but gets abruptly cut off when the Banshee gets flipped and lands on him. Hee hee!

05:16 (Clip 30) One more pilot ejection for luck. I tag the tail and the pilot pops out when the Banshee spins. He's briefly upright but then gets shunted upwards by the plasma grenade.

05:23 (Clip 31) And finally, a freaky tag - though not without an element of skill. Just out of the hog, I miss with my first throw but go for something ambitious with the second. From experience I've got a rough idea of where I'm expecting the Banshee to fly, so I let loose at a point way down the prospective trajectory - and score a hit! Seems like a good way to end the movie.

Closing remarks There's a bit of a story behind the full play the movie starts with. Originally I had a different play lined up; it was actually the one from which clip 8 is taken, where the hog gets amusingly flipped onto Stacker. However, in the course of trying out various squad arrangements, I found myself with a save in which I was about to exit the rockslide area for the drive to the hilltop, and the Banshees were in an unusual configuration (normally they'd be circling). Thanks to that, they tended to try and blast the hog when it was near the big mound. That would occasionally put the hog into a spin, and sometimes it would land on its wheels. That was way more entertaining than the drive in my earlier play, so I kept replaying my save, hoping to get a nice spectacular spin (landing on my wheels) plus an acceptably good battle on the hilltop. I got quite a few such candidate plays, and then took my pick. There was actually one time when the hog did a double somersault, but annoyingly I fouled up on the hilltop, getting squashed almost as soon as I disembarked; so that play was no good. However, I've kept the footage and expect to show it in a later movie.

I let this movie go on a bit longer than my earlier Banshee battling movies because the opening full play was quite a bit longer and I didn't want to skimp too much on the subsequent clip montage.

The squad used here is the same one I used in BCM47, created to be more visually varied than the squad I had in my original Banshee battling movie BCM26.

As you probably noticed, the Halo ring is actually incomplete (there's a missing segment), which is evidence that Bungie wasn't expecting you to be up on that hilltop. It's a bit unsightly but never mind. You tend not to notice it much when you've got a couple of Banshee buzzing you!

You may have noticed that in deep blue areas of sky, the movie exhibits some rather unattractive flickering and blockiness. You can blame iMovie 09 for that. When you crop footage, as I need to do to eliminate a thin border of black which comes with the raw image, iMovie 09 introduces a nasty posterization effect which logically shouldn't be there. It's a major and crazy defect; possibly a bug, I don't know. The unsightliness tends to be especially pronounced in dark areas and can be very noticeable in areas of gentle gradation such as this deep blue sky. As it looks so bad, I tried to at least minimize the amount of footage which features it, though that wasn't easy because the Banshees were often approaching from the deep blue part of the sky. There was one clip featuring a pleasing tag which I eventually cut from the movie because I thought the horrid posterization was too ugly and distracting. So, iMovie's shortcomings have affected me quite badly on this movie. I still have the raw footage though. If at some future point I find myself with better software, I'd consider producing re-processed versions of my movies to do better justice to the game's graphics.