Factory rescue challenge
Posted March 9th 2008
After destroying the Scarab, you re-enter the factory complex to encounter Marines and workers struggling against the Covenant. Spartan-1138 emailed to mention his rescue challenge: try to rescue them all. More generally of course, you can just see how well you can do with various weapon combos.
If it's real performance we're talking about, let's take it for granted that there's no dying or reverting allowed; you have to do it in one go, else it really isn't anything to be proud of. On the other hand if you're just interested in saving folk to form a large squad for later, ok that's different; that's more like a job of engineering and it makes sense to do any reverting necessary to work through each section of the battle as well as you can.
There are 16 lives involved: 6 Marines and 10 workers. My best effort so far has been to save 15 on Heroic, using a full rocket launcher and full sniper rifle (both carefully preserved from earlier).
When you get indoors from the Scarab there are two adjoining rooms, the second of which includes a radio that relays some chatter if you care to hang around and listen. You get a checkpoint in that room, just after one of those annoying Cortana interruptions that make your motion control go out of whack. Thanks a lot, honeybunch! That checkpoint makes a good starting point for saving, and you'll still be able to swap weaponry if desired. There's another checkpoint coming up just as you're entering the first skirmish area though, if you prefer to save that instead.
Unfortunately you get a few checkpoints during the factory battle, which means you won't be able to simply revert to get back to the start. You'll need to exit to the dashboard and reload, which is a pain. I really wish Bungie had been more thoughtful about checkpoints and not have them part way through battles, nor have them immediately at the end. That makes things so unfriendly for replaying. Still, we're stuck with it now soldier, so let's press on.
Battle flow, and a few tips
The first skirmish is against 4 Brutes, some up on a catwalk though they may jump down. A rocket or two can resolve this conflict in a couple of seconds if the Brutes aren't too spread out. I particularly like slamming one up into the catwalk to take out the Brutes up there; that's a really satisfying shot. If you see them about to jump down, you can instead rocket them as they land. There are 2 Marines up at the other end of the catwalk, plus 2 back at the sandbags. Incidentally, some Marines will have followed you from the last room but just seem to stay back behind the door. Fat lot of use they are! I guess they've had enough fighting for one day, after that nasty business with the giant steel bug.
When you near the catwalk, 3 more Brutes come into view ahead pursuing 2 Marines, and there are another 3 Brutes off to the sides. A sniper rifle can be a big help in saving the new guys, as long as you've got the nerve to whistle a brace of shots past their ears to get the pursuers. You've now had your full complement of 6 supporting Marines. After dealing with this second skirmish, 3 factory workers come out of hiding and rush into the next area in a typically idiotic "Yay! Let's find more covies to kill us!" sort of way. Tell me again why I'm trying to save these overalled fools?
Around the corner there are 4 more Brutes and 3 workers. You can save the one being manhandled if you're quick. I usually try some quick sniping, but you have to be careful not to hit the worker; e.g. you could go for the Brute's leg or something. There's also time to run up and smack the big bully on the head, but running in may be too dangerous on the higher difficulty levels. A spike grenade in the back or leg can also do the job, but sometimes kills the worker. Spartan-1138 suggests dropping a bubble shield between the two crates that form a bottleneck as you head in. It can help protect approaching friendlies, and you can also use it yourself if you need to recharge.
As you approach the factory exit, the door rises and 4 workers run in, but they're in grave danger from a pair of Hunters, and also from the proximity of a bunch of fusion cores which some lunatic has left hanging around waiting to cause an industrial accident! If you care to take a tip from Spartan-1138, you can actually set those fusion cores off before the workers materialize, to nullify that threat. Sound advice I think. I did a bit of experimenting and found that you can set them off using blast damage from a rocket fired before you even enter this last area; but you'd need to do it quick, before earlier workers start running into your line of fire. Alternatively, just run in and fire accurately with another weapon as soon as you get a glimpse of them; but if you hear a lot of screams when the bang goes off, that means you were too late! If you don't set off the cores in advance, you'll just have to cross your fingers that they don't go off and blow the workers to kingdom come. All I can say about that is, I hope those guys have got health coverage. When you get closer, a rocket launcher is the best thing for taking out the Hunters fast. On a good day they won't even make it through the door.
Further outside is a motley assortment of Grunts, Jackals and Brutes, including a Chieftain with a gravity hammer and one of those handy invincibility gizmos. For an oversized monkey with a funny hat, that guy sure has some nifty kit eh? Try to wipe out the biggest threats quick. I'd recommend a few more rockets for openers, especially to take care of that Chieftain before he fires up his invincibility and starts charging. If he does charge, you'd better be ready to draw him away from your squad. If only there was a button for saying "Get back, you idiots!". Sadly they'll be only too happy to close in and get themselves killed. Ah well, back to the drawing board…
After reaching the exit, you may find that a few Marines have failed to keep up with you and are hanging around back in the preceding area. Occasionally workers too. Seems like a shortcoming in their navigational abilities. If you barge them towards the final area, they'll eventually take the hint and run to join everyone else at the exit. Also, sometimes a Marine has taken over the chain-gun back on the catwalk; but if you get him off it and rip the gun off, he'll leap off the catwalk (nice animation) and head for the exit. Time for a headcount I think! How did we do? Everybody still equipped with 1 head?