BCM45 - Crazy-firing Grunts
(7:52) Level 5 ('Assault on the Control Room') on Heroic. This shows how to get a crazy-firing Grunt, in a bit of a trance firing his Shade and needler continuously.
Released December 16th 2011, gameplay recorded December 9th-13th 2011. Thanks to Louis Wu for the HBO download versions and the streaming version in the viewer.
00:02 (Setting up) With this movie I decided to demonstrate the set-up work before the actual fun; possibly the start of a new trend but I'll take things case by case. First thing is to move the Shade, which I do with a speedy 'blast and ram' method. The initial five clips are actually from various runs, being chosen to show some of the best examples of ramming. My first bit of ramming takes the Shade a good long way with continued contact, and there's another very long shunt in the two-Wraith area. Crossing the bridge you'll notice that I let the Shade come down before ramming it. Don't want to lose it over the edge! Across the loading point I perform the final placement of the Shade, as seen later in the movie.
01:32 Back at the first bridge I resume normal play the fastest way, skipping the indoor section. You may've already seen this method in BCM41 for getting seven extra Marines. Here I'm not interested in the extras though. I just head off back to the Shade, blasting a Jackal as I go. Hard to resist those guys. I skip the trigger for the crashed Pelican area by flying high enough to go over it. Consequently, nobody spawns there and the two-Wraith area doesn't trigger either. It all helps minimize the potential risk to the Banshee - though even if you did trigger those areas, it would be pretty easy to avoid serious damage.
02:37 At the cavern you can be cautious if you want to minimize Banshee damage (see my article for tips), but here I opt for something that provides more entertaining footage. I blast the patrolling red Elite and catch him with the leg, then perform an evasive corkscrew manouevre around the bridge, rising up finally to blast enemies on the far side and smear another red Elite over the ground. Nice.
02:57 Heading over the loading point I make sure to keep the associated checkpoint delayed with Banshee fire when not under enemy threat. The Shade Grunt fires for a moment but then goes passive as I cross (he was either going to do that or start crazy-firing). I blitz the covies beyond to make things safe. There's an amusing dive from the dozing Grunt on the left, who gets a nasty wake-up call when he sees a Banshee heading his way! I clumsily clatter the wall as I turn around and fly back, because I was making sure to avoid damaging the Shade Grunt with accidental fire (note: the Grunt's presence wouldn't be enough to keep the checkpoint delayed; he's passive and the game considers him no threat to me). When I head back around the corner to end the delay, I meant to be tighter in to the corner, but here I didn't keep thing as well controlled as I'd like. However, I'm still out of sight of the Shade, so it didn't really matter. The checkpoint marks the conclusion of the set-up work.
03:20 (Crazy-firing initiation and fun) My first two attempts at getting the Grunt crazy-firing fail, but on my third crossing I succeed. As you see from my subsequent play, he can still react to my shots, even though he remains fixated on a long-gone target. I use the plasma pistol to shoot him because that gives the funniest cries. I give him three shots in all, which makes him pretty weak because he'd die on a fourth. When I dismount from fooling around on top of the Shade, I deliberately let a bit of plasma hit me, just so he'll say something; in this case "Shoot you".
04:56 Ok, now phase two; get him ejected. I do it with a plasma grenade and he pops out nicely - and he starts up with his needler before he even hits the ground! With flashlight on for best visibility, I do my best to show him in action. Cute little fella. He's really into his needling eh? I've got a curvy-backed yellow here, but it's random as to what appearance your Grunt spawns with when you trigger the first ground battle.
06:02 Having cut several seconds of footage to speed things along, I've now boarded the Banshee to give a first demonstration of the remarkable fact that the needle direction is guided by where the Shade is pointing. When I give it a blast, the needles spray around as the Shade tumbles. My second blast doesn't actually change the direction much, but they end up heading my way.
06:19 I blasted the Shade three more times after that, but the movie cuts to where I man it to continue the demonstration of needle control. In the first such clip I just point in two different directions, but in the next two clips I get the needles spraying around; first in the general direction the Grunt faces, then behind him. Those two clips are actually from other plays (from the delayed checkpoint), and so is the subsequent clip where I'm up on the hump having needles fly past - and getting hit by a few. I wanted to add extra footage to what I'd captured in my main play.
07:01 I'm back to that main play now. This was about four and a half minutes after I first boarded the Shade. Since then the Grunt has been moved a bit by nudging him with the Banshee's nose, and the Shade has been moved too. This clip starts with some more needle spraying (I like seeing needles ricocheting around), but then I switch to another activity - making the Grunt needle himself to death! You can read about that in my article, but basically you have to get the aim just right so the needles hit his rear half (probably his foot). You see me moving the Shade's aim around trying to get the needles to hit him, and eventually I find the sweet spot. Over the course of four needle clips he gives two cries then dies. It was important that I'd weakened him severely with my plasma shots, otherwise it would've taken a lot more needle hits to kill him and you might've got bored. As mentioned in the article, he seems to have considerable resilience against his own needles.
Closing remarks While making this movie I learnt that on 25 fps PAL Xbox, the Grunt's animation cycle for firing a clip and reloading takes 117 frames (4.68 seconds). I decided to piece together the various needling clips so the rhythm is maintained throughout. Thought it might be nice that way.
There's more I want to show in regard to crazy-firing Grunts, so watch out for further movies. Originally I was planning to release a pair, but this first one took quite a bit of time and it's long too, so I decided to just release it alone.