Nice way to start your day
This level gets off to a very messy start. You’re faced with a literal up-hill battle against about a dozen Covenant troops, including an Elite Ultra, as well as a pair of Fuel Rod Turrets (FRTs). Just remember what I always say: “Why fight when you can run like a sissy!” Sprint forward and to the left, and carefully move along the very edge of the cliff. Don’t move slowly here; your head is exposed, and you can draw fire as you go if you take too long. Move along the cliff edge until you come to the gap between the 2 big boulders.
From here, if you look over the boulder on the cliff edge, you can get a good view of both FRTs. Our goal here is to kill both Grunts controlling the Turrets within a couple seconds of each other. Having both Turrets empty at the same time will trigger the Pelican to swoop down and deliver our ticket out of here: a Rocket Warthog.
You are now beside the FRTs, but the moment you make yourself visible over the rock, both Turrets will turn and open fire on your position. So you need to be quick. Headshot the Grunt out of the Turret directly in front of you, then turn to the right and take out the 2nd Grunt in the distant Turret. As soon as both guns are empty, start moving left along the road, towards the point where the Pelican will drop the Hog. As you move into position, use your Grenade Launcher to lay suppressive fire onto the FRT closest to you. This will prevent the nearby Grunts from climbing into the Turret and wasting you while you climb into the Hog. As soon as the Hog hits the ground, jump into the driver’s seat and take off down the road. DO NOT wait for Kat.
Don’t expect to make it through this first encounter in one shot. There are a lot things that can go wrong between the start of the mission and the Warthog delivery, including the possibility of getting crushed by the Hog itself… you laugh now, but just wait until it happens to you! Be prepared to retry this section MANY times.
Once you’re in the Rocket Hog, drive down the road ahead of you until the first Anti Air Gun comes into view. Park your hog at the base of the hill that leads into the clearing. From here, you have a clear view of the AA Gun, and are safely out of range from all Covenant troops in the area. Get out of the Hog, and use your DMR to kill the Marine controlling your rocket turret if he’s still there…. he’ll only get in the way. Take control of your Rocket Turret, and open fire on the AA gun. It will take 16 full rounds to destroy the gun.
As soon as you’ve fired your 16th shot, jump out of the turret and get back into the driver’s seat. Move forward into the clearing, and turn right into the narrow tunnel ahead. You might draw a little fire from a few Skirmishers at this point, but they will retreat without doing any serious damage. As you move through the tunnel, it curves left and opens up into another clearing. Park your Hog where the path turns, and wait. There is a Ghost patrolling the clearing ahead of you, and another one in the clearing behind you. Move too far forward, or not far enough forward, and you will draw fire from one of the Ghosts. If you stay right at the ‘elbow’ of the turn, neither will see you.
This is just about the only time in Halo Reach that you’ll want to listen to what Kat says. She’ll come over the intercom and announce that a “Pelican is inbound with a portable bridge”. As soon as she’s finished saying the word “Bridge“, hit the gas and move forward into the clearing. Stay on the road that hugs the left wall. At this point, 2 different drop ships are flying into the area: the first is the bridge-carrying Pelican that Kat mentioned. The other is a Spirit carrying a Wraith. If you time this just right, you will make it through the clearing just before the Wraith gets deployed, and hit the gap in the road just as the bridge gets dropped into place. You’ll take fire from the Ghost as you move through the clearing, so don’t slow down until you’re about to hit the bridge itself. Ease off the gas slightly as you move on to the bridge, otherwise the bump will launch you into the air and potentially flip your Hog directly in front of the freshly deployed Wraith. Ouch.
You’re now driving through a narrow canyon. The only enemies between here and our next major encounter are the 3 Skirmishers clustered on the road. You can drive right past them without much trouble (unless you flip your warthog like I did). There is a health pack on the ground just past the Skirmishers, so I will sometimes park my Hog and use it for cover while I pick up the health. Use your discretion there.
A Leap of Faith
We’re now approaching the BXR station. You know, the one with the Zealot, and the plasma turrets, and the boat-loads of Grunts, Jackals, and Skirmishers? Gosh, wouldn’t it be great if we could just skip all those enemies? ……….. 🙂 …………
As you exit the canyon and see the BXR station for the first time, there is a path to your left that leads to a group of Marines attempting to push across a bridge to assault the station. DON’T go that way. Drive to the right, around the gap. There is a small pile of rocks against the cliff-wall that you can use as a ramp for your Warthog. Make it over these rocks, and you will find yourself perched on a bolder behind the Covenant troops that are fighting on the bridge, and the Plasma Turret that is providing covering fire. From here, you have 2 options: Safe, or Fast.
Option 1: Safe
With your Warthog parked on top of the large boulder, simply jump into the Rocket Turret and use it to clear out all enemies in the area. Hit the Plasma Turret first, since it is the only thing that can attack you directly from this range. Also make sure to keep an eye open for any Grunts trying to move within grenade distance. Once all enemies are cleared out, you’re safe to get out of the Warthog and head to the staircase that leads into the facility itself.
Option 2: Fast
This is the method I use in my video guide, and it is risky. Jump out of your Hog, and start moving towards the staircase on foot. As you rotate behind the Plasma Turret, hit it with a few rounds from your Grenade Launcher, and throw a frag at it as well. The goal is to destroy it so that it can’t shoot you in the back as you climb the stairs. Using the loading dock for cover, continue moving towards the staircase. By this point, you will have earned the attention of every Jackal and Grunt in the are, who will begin to open fire in your direction. Throw a grenade their way. You probably won’t kill any of them, but you will cause them to scatter and dive for cover. This gives you the time you need to sprint up the staircase without taking too much fire from behind. On the landing at the top of the staircase is a pair of health packs. Grab one, and continue around the corner.
Around the next corner is a pair of Skirmishers weilding needle rifles. If you took the safe approach to the landing, then the area behind you should be clear. Carefully look around the corner, and pick off the Skirmishers as they approach you. If you took the fast way to the landing, then you can’t afford to stop moving at this point. Run around the corner, straight at the Skirmishers. Try to headshot them as you go past them, but don’t stop to engage them if you miss.
As you move around the corner and past the Skirmishers, you will see another staircase ahead of you that moves up to the left. Run at the stairs, but not up them. Take a deep breath here…. we’re going to take a leap of faith.
You need to jump over the guardrail in front of you, towards what looks like certain death. In fact, you are aiming for one of the steel cross-beams that make up the support structure for the platform above you. The beam you are aiming for is just slightly below your platform, directly beside the bottom of the staircase you ran towards. Once you land on the beam, you will see another cliff edge ahead of you on your right-hand side. Jump from beam to beam to reach this cliff edge, then run along the edge, with the chain fence to your right. As you reach the end of the chain fence, turn right and you will find yourself back on solid ground, in the courtyard at the center of the BXR station. There is another health pack on the floor here, if you need it.
Take the staircase up to your left. When you reach the top, turn right and you’ll see 2 Jackals. Fire a rounds from your Grenade Launcher at them, causing them to dive for cover, and sprint past them and jump down through the hole in the floor. Thanks to our detour along the cross-beams, none of the Grunts in this area have loaded in, so you can catch your breath for a moment. Next to the building’s exit is a crate with a Plasma Launcher. Pick it up, leaving your Grenade Launcher behind. You should now have the Plasma Launcher and a DMR. There is another health pack on the wall here as well. Move outside, and jump into the Revenant.
Drive along the road and move straight past the Elite and his Grunt companions. If you like, you can fire a shot at the Elite as you go. This will cause him to evade, sometimes straight into your charging Revenant for an easy splatter. Even if you don’t hit him, he’ll be too busy rolling to shoot at you. Continue forward until you reach the short cliff edge that drops into the box canyon containing the 2nd AA gun. Before driving off the cliff, get out of the Revenant and use your elevation to score some easy headshots on the group of Jackals moving below you. Once they’re down, get back in the Revenant and drop down into the canyon.
There’s too many of them!
This is where things get complicated. There are many different ways that the battle around the 2nd AA gun can go, and how you deal with the situation depends greatly on a few random elements. The canyon you are in is basically a giant circle, with an elevated plateau in the center. On the top of this plateau is the AA gun itself. There is a path that leads from the lower outer ring of the canyon, up on to the plateau. Guarding this path is a cluster of Covenant troops, including an Elite Ultra, and 2 Wraiths. Next to the AA gun itself is a pair of Hunters, and a swarm of Drones.
If you watch Tyrant’s Mythic Guide over at halo.bungie.org, he explains a loading glitch that can sometimes be used in this area. It involves strafing your Revenant back and forth between 2 loading points, which for some reason can cause the Wraith pilots to completely give up on life and drive their Wraiths straight off the cliff. Sounds great, right? It is…. when it works. After more than 20 attempts, I still haven’t been able to get the glitch to work consistently. Sometimes it works great and both Wraiths drive off the cliff. Sometimes only one of them does. Sometimes neither one of them falls for your trick, and you’re forced to deal with them both the difficult way.
My best advice for this area is to become familiar with a few different strategies, so that you can react to the events as they unfold. Learn Tyrant’s loading glitch, but go in assuming you are going to need to fight the Wraiths just in case the glitch doesn’t work.
Using my video guide as an example, I try to use the loading glitch as soon as I drop down into the canyon. It partially works, causing the Wraith on the right-hand side to throw its own life away. I drive around to the right side of the plateau, where the Wraith would have been. From here, you are able to use the Revenant’s boost to climb the plateau wall, bringing you right up next to the back side of the AA gun itself. From here you can fire into the AA Gun’s core, destroying it with only a few shots. This is the technique show by RC Master in his speedrun video. It’s also how I attempted to deal with the gun in my playthrough, except I failed miserably.
Firing into the AA Gun core will draw the attention of the Drones. Unfortunately for me, I took so long fighting them off with my Revenant, that the Hunters had time to rotate around and open fire on me. The moment I saw the Hunters heading my way, a backed up off the plateau, back down to the outer circle. It was a nice thought, but I’ll need to take out the gun another way. Driving back to the rear side of the canyon (where we first dropped into the area) there is a broken bridge with a Warthog parked on top. Using your Revenant as a stepping stone, you can jump up the rubble to reach the Warthog. Jump into the gunner seat and use the Chain Gun to destroy the AA Gun. It will go down surprisingly quickly.
With the AA Gun destroyed, I decide to give Tyrant’s loading glitch one more try. I get lucky yet again, and manage to get the 2nd Wraith to drive off the cliff. Nothing left to deal with now except for about 2 dozen Covenant troops, an Elite Ultra, and those 2 Hunters. Drive over to the small hill with the ammo crates and the Drop Shield armour ability on it. From here, use your DMR to thin the herd of Grunts, Jackals, and Skirmishers across the clearing. Once you’ve cleared out some of the cannon fodder, switch to the Plasma Launcher that we picked up back at the BXR station. From this hill-top you can bomb the Hunters with the Plasma Launcher without any threat of them returning fire. Once your Plasma Launcher is drained, go to the ammo crate and pick up the second one. Use it up on the Hunters as well. You probably won’t have killed either of them at this point, but you’ve softened them up a bit.
Remember the Warthog we used to destroy the AA gun a few minutes back? Go back to it, jump in the driver’s seat, and bring it back over to the hill with the ammo crates on it. Park the Hog, and use its Chain gun to bring down the Hunters. From this distance, they won’t return fire. It will take a long time to kill them both (about 1-2 minutes of continuous fire each), but it is by far the safest approach to dealing with them.
Now, there’s one more random element to worry about in this area. At some point around now, Jorge will show up with a Falcon. This Falcon is your one and only ticket out of the canyon. Luckily, it is also invincible before you climb into it. Well, almost invincible. Once the Falcon lands, it will sit there and draw fire from all remaining Covenant in the area. That’s ok, they can’t hurt it. Except for the Elite Ultra. He will slowly move closer and closer to the Falcon while he fires at it. If you leave him alive for too long, he will grow sick of waiting and hijack the pilot out of the Falcon. If this happens, you’re completely screwed. The moment the Falcon get’s hijacked, it loses its invincibility and will get blown up. That’s it. Fubar. You simply can’t progress. This is bad enough on any Mythic run, but it’s especially frustrating after a 20 minute battle against 2 Wraiths (if the loading glitch doesn’t work for you).
So, the moment you see Jorge land with his Falcon, the clock is ticking. To make life even more difficult, the timing of Jorge’s arrival is somewhat unpredictable. Sometimes he shows up after you kill the Hunters. Sometimes he decides to land while your still fighting them. Either way, the pressure is on.
The one bonus to Jorge’s arrival is that he tends to draw the attention of all enemies in the area. This is particularly important, since we need to recharge our shields before leaving the canyon, and the only way to do that in this area is with a melee attack. So, we have an Elite that needs dealing with, and we need to recharge our shields with a melee….. let’s hit 2 birds with 1 stone! Slowly approach the Falcon, making sure to keep out of view from the remaining Covenant. You’ll probably want to use your DMR or a needle rifle to take out any Grunts, Jackals, or Skirmishers from a safe distance. You want nothing between you and your ride except for that Elite. While he’s focused on the Falcon, slowly sneak up behind him and assassinate him. Epic win.
So, we’re all ready to move on to the next area. Jump into Jorge’s falcon. Make sure you get into the seat on the right hand side. The seat on the left is impossible to survive on Mythic. Take some warm-up shots with the grenade launcher to get a feel for how it targets. This section of the mission is actually quite simple, as long as you have memorized where the various enemies appear, and in which order to shoot them. Your priority targets are always the Plasma Turrets, as they can do the most damage from the farthest range. Next priority is the Wraith, with any foot soldiers being the least critical. I recommend watching this section of the video several times, until you’re familiar with the position of every Turret. Basically, you should be destroying each Turret the moment it comes into view. Otherwise, you’re screwed. Once the Turrets and the Wraith are down, put pressure on the Elites. They’re surprisingly resistant to your grenades, but as long as you’re hitting them they will be too busy bouncing around to return fire. Once your through, it’s time to move on to the Spire.
You want me to go in there?!
C’mon Jorge, did you really think flying the Falcon through an EMP dome would work out well? We’re now on the ground, equipped with a DMR and an Assault Rifle. Pick up the health pack from the wreckage in front of you, and swap out your Sprint for the Jetpack armor ability. Between us and the Spire is yet another uphill battle against hordes of enemies. Once again, we can skip it all.
Move to the right-hand side of the hill, and start walking forward. There’s a bunch of Grunts and Skirmishers to your left, but the rocks and pipes between you and them will give you cover to move past safely, as long as you’re quick. Before you make the dash up the hill, use your DMR to pick off the lone Grunt directly ahead of you in the distance. If you’re lucky, he will drop a Plasma Pistol that you can pick up as you run by. If he doesn’t drop one, don’t worry about it too much…. there are plenty of them at the top of the Spire.
Run straight up the hill along the right hand side. Drop your Assault Rifle for the Plasma Pistol on the ground (if it’s there) then use your Jetpack to fly over the short rock wall in front of you at the top of the hill. When you land, you will see a car in front of you. Get in the driver’s seat, and drive down the road that curves towards the Spire’s side-entrance. Park the car at the doorway, run inside and go straight up the Grav-Lift, ignoring all enemies in the area.
When you reach the top of the Spire, very slowly ease your way out of the center lift room and turn to the right, looking down the inner hallway. A small group of Grunt’s will come towards you from this side. I like to hit them head on, nailing them with headshots as they come around the corner into view. If you didn’t manage to pick up a Plasma Pistol yet, grab one from one of these Grunts. You should still be roughly in the doorway to the center lift room. Move outside through the large door surrounded by a pair of explosive cores. Turn right, and make your way around the outer platform towards the side door that leads back in. To the left through this side door is the Spire control station. In this control room is a pair of Fuel Rod wielding Grunts, and an Elite Ultra with an Energy Sword.
Very, very, very carefully peek around the corner into the control room. You will see the Elite standing at a terminal with his back to you, but ignore him for now. Keep leaning in until the first Fuel Rod Grunt comes into view. Headshot him the moment you see him. If he gets a chance to open fire on you, quickly rotate back outside, using the doorway itself as cover from the explosive rounds. Repeat this tactic until he’s toast. The moment the first Fuel Rod Grunt is dead, the Elite will decide to come and introduce himself.
Unfortunately for the Elite, you’ve already switched to your Plasma Pistol, and are peppering him rapid fire even as he’s turning to face you. From this moment, he might decide to rush you, or he might throw a grenade. If he rushes, back up and keep firing as you go. He will close the gap quickly, so be ready to fly up and over him with your Jetpack before he gets within striking distance. If he throws a grenade, use the angle of the doorway for cover, the same as you did for the Fuel Rod Grunt. Keep nailing him with the Plasma Pistol until his shields pop, then switch to the DMR and take him out with a headshot.
With the Elite out of the way, embarking on his great journey, there is nothing left between you and victory except for one last Grunt. He has a Fuel Rod cannon, in a small room with no cover. You would be completely screwed, if only he were facing the right direction 🙂
Slowly crouch-walk your way into the control room. The last Grunt is to the right, facing the other door that leads into the room. There is also a crate directly between you and him. Keep the crate directly between you and him as you draw closer, just to make sure he doesn’t catch a glimpse of you as he shuffles around. Once you’re within a few steps of him, rush in and beat him down. Then press the button. Boom. Ending.