The past week has seen me digging into the massive pile of shame. I’ve rattled off the last level of my solo Legendary campaign on Halo Reach, finished off my Modern Warfare 3 Veteran run, and even had another dabble at the infamous Mile High Club. Thankfully, all of the damage was covered by our insurance and I never really liked that vase anyway.
Sick of the risk to our flatscreen television, the Marital Unit has packed me off into a corner with the miniature idiot box from our bedroom. This may have something to do with my tendency to wing controllers at the screen, or it may just be that she’s missing her stories. Either way, I have been safely tucked away in my gaming corner, beavering away at achievements which I should have finished long ago.
I could offer you tips for Reach on Legendary (keep your head down and don’t die), I could advise you on the best way to survive Modern Warfare 3 on Veteran (learn to love cover, don’t die), and I could give you the number of my very understanding insurance company in case you fancy trying Mile High Club. However, none of these little dalliances quite match the horror which befell me most recently.
I received a text message from a friend, asking if I would like to join him for an attempt at “That Just Happened” in Halo Anniversary. This achievement requires completion of level “The Library”, on Heroic or higher, without dying.
Completing a level in Halo at this difficulty without dying is, generally speaking, a lot like Mario finding Princess Peach in the first castle he checks. Bloody unlikely. So, I grabbed my controller, caffeinated myself thoroughly, and dived once more into the world of Anniversary.
The conversation that followed between myself and my amigo, codename “AMIGO”, was as follows:
ME: “Righto skip, shall us ‘ave a dabble at this cheevo then?”
AMIGO: “What the hell are you talking about?”
ME: “Are you ready to start?”
AMIGO: “Why didn’t you just say that? Yes, yes I am”
ME: “OK. Let’s take it on steady, conserve ammo and…”
AMIGO: “Conserve ammo? I’ve got infinite ammo on!”
ME: “Doesn’t that feel like cheating to you?”
AMIGO: “Yeah, but who’s going to know? It’s not like we’re ever planning to tell millions of readers of a popular gaming website or anything.”
ME: “I suppose you’re right. Well, in that case, rain of grenades?”
AMIGO: “Capital idea!”
What followed was one of the most explosive runs in Halo history. Sending a constant wave of fragmented death before us, we moved cautiously through the level amidst a tangle of body parts. T’was soon that I realised the horribly frustrating element of this achievement. My natural clumsiness.
Having just heard the words “Watch out for the holes” from my grenade lobbing chum, I promptly fell into said hole and hit the ground with a sound like…well, like a Spartan falling from a great height and splashing on the steel work below.
The thing is, in the midst of all the gunfire and swarms of infection forms, it’s apparently very easy to become a little disorientated. This leads to much falling down holes, wandering into exploding carrier forms and on notable occasion, delivering a fatal shotgun blast to the chest of a co-op partner and then blaming it on the Flood. Sorry pal.
After I’d tripped, fallen, and died for the seventeenth time, it’s fair to say that my long suffering buddy was somewhat sick of restarting the level simply because I had all the co-ordination of Donkey Kong with an ear infection, so we hit upon a plan. Mr Amigo ran on through the level, a-shootin’ and a-pummelin’ everything in sight. I, meanwhile, was bravely…hiding at the start, trying not to get killed by stray Infection forms.
You see, this achievement says that YOU have to stay alive, but doesn’t say anything about not having an expendable buddy along for the ride.
While me old mucker battled his way through the Flood, I crept forward, keeping myself well out of harms way. I popped this achievement while eating a punnet of cherries and winning $35 in online poker, who says men can’t multitask. Turnabout’s fair play, of course, so once my cheevo went bloop, we fired up the level again and it was now my turn to dive into the action. There’s a very simple process to this:
1) Run forward until group of flood appears
2) Run backwards, winging grenades at large group
3) Continue to throw grenades until the Flood are naught but paste
4) Move on
5) Get caught out by leaping Flood form who punches your face clean through the back of your head
6) Respawn and go again
It’s not that hard to make it through this level on Legendary, not when you’re co-op partner is tucked away three miles back to make respawning easy and you’ve got the Bandanna skull on allowing to throw a constant stream of explosive death at the enemy.
Without these things it’s going to be a sight trickier, of course, but if you take your time, try to skirt round some of the larger groups where possible and keep your head down during sections where Sentinels can thin them out for you, you’ll eventually get there. Probably.
My advice would definitely be to bring a friend, an infinite supply of ammunition and a good book.
Check out Jamie’s previous Achievement Punting escapades as he puts his sanity to the test each week by clicking here.