December 21, 2010

Anya Stroud: The Cortana of Gears of War

anya stroud gears of war
The titular character of Gears of War, Anya.
So Gears of War 3 is about to hit the Xbox 360 and the other lesser platforms and I thought it would be rude to not do a focus piece on shall we say the titular character of the Gears series, Anya Stroud.

Who the hell is Anya? you may well ask? Anya is the Coms person for G.O.W. She's the lady who tells Marcus Fenix and Dom that there is a courtyard free some where for them to fire cannons in. Boom!

Lieutenant Anya Stroud was a Gears of War officer in the COG Army and the daughter of Major Helena Stroud. Our heroine Anya joined the COG army to follow in her mother’s footsteps, but unlike her mother, she did not serve as a frontline Gear soldier. Anya Stroud instead became a communications officer and served in her mother's unit during the Pendulum Wars. It was during that time met soldier Marcus Fenix and formed a love interest with him, and also became friends with Dominic Santiago.

anya stroud gears
Stroud is proud...
The release of the demo for Gears of War 3 showed two things: 1: it looks awesome and 2: Anya looks set to break free from her communications role and break out into a combat role.

So why is this Anya character important? Two words come to mind: Marcus Fenix. Despite his daddy issues, he's been through a shit storm. Why shouldn't he fall for one of the last remaining beauties? What's suggested in Gears 1, is intimated in in Gears 2. I'm fully expecting conception in the third adventure of Gears of War 3... unless of course Marcus makes a boob of himself!

anya rifle gears 3
Come hither....

My pick is somehow Marcus Fenix has to rescue her and in doing so declares his undying love. Something you'll never see the Master Chief do... and in that vein, Anya is just as popular a gaming heroine as the Chief's digital love, Cortana.
It's gettin' hot in here!
Gears of War has captured the hearts and minds of many people. Including those who like to dress up. Of course, people who like to dress up as characters from video games prefer to call it costume play:

anya stroud cosplay gears
Anya appears to be missing 28 GOG tags...
But it is not just the cosplay fans that want to keep abreast of all the Gears of War issues. Some artists just have too much spare time and are happy to come up with their own interpretations of the Anya character:

Come hither Part II...... (apparently this is not Anya)

December 15, 2010

Without New Zealand, there would be no Halo

New Zealand. Best country in the world and that's a fact. Without New Zealand's Chris Butcher on the programming job, Halo would not have made Halo as totally freaking awesome as it originally was and still is. And that's a fact too.

In an article about NZ economic growth and creativity, prominent media commentator Russel Brown had this to say:

"We've sent at least one star to the global industry in Halo lead developer Chris Butcher. Might we conceivably have an industry that could employ a prodigy like Butcher in his home country? Iceland managed it with Eve Online developer CCP, which has survived and prospered through that country's financial meltdown."

Why am I posting this? In an article about the New Zealand economy, it's nice to see Halo get a mention. 

Halo FTW!

Fans may like to recall the time I actually met Chris Butcher

October 14, 2010

Meet Bob, the Golden Ranger

I simply just had to steal this post from the HBO forums cos like well, it was just awesome and I've got nothing else to do.... does Bob the Golden Ranger remind you of Bumblebee from Transformers?

The Blue Ninja writes:

Ever since I heard of Elites scouring the countryside of our beloved Reach, I've been travelling all across the planet, trying to document and study the creatures. While ONI tries to depict them as brainless lizards, I've discovered they're actually very clever, very fierce and very proud warriors, who wouldn't hesitate to snap my neck and eat my elbows. This knowledge, however, has not stopped me: after all, I've had some training to deal with problematic and armored situations.

As I traveled and documented, I began hearing tales of a mysterious type of Elite. These mandibled enigmas look a lot like their lesser Ranger brethren, with one key difference: they have Gold armor. I was intrigued, to say the least. Occasionally, I came across one of these Bigfoots of the Sangheili species, and quickly discerned a pattern: they would always appear in the same place, and when they spotted any human presence nearby, would make a break for it, eventually disappearing alltogether. Curious behavior for an Elite, to say the least.

So imagine my surprise when, as I was traversing the Covenant-infested landscape of Utzkotet, one of these so-called 'Bobs' (as the population of Reach have come to calling them) not only appeared appeared in a place it had never appeared before, but also proceeded to attack me. Not having anticipated this attack, I was quickly overwhelmed, and forced to retreat.

The Elite, while more aggressive than his colleagues, was still less aggressive than a "normal" Sangheili, however. As I made my second foray into its territory, it just stood there, and watched: undoubtedly waiting for me to get close again.

In the end, my survival instincts took over, and I decided I'd kill first, and investigate later. In an impressive display of gravity-defiance (even if I do say so myself), I pushed the Elite down to my level, where I'd be able to tango with him on a much more intimate distance.

I don't like dancing, though, and quickly decided to cut our téte-à-téte short. Literally.

Here's a video of one of the instances of the Golden Rod appearing:

September 28, 2010

Make four Banshees Spawn on The Package Level

Make four Banshees Spawn on The Package Level 

Halo Reach is awash with Easter Eggs, here’s the newest one. Two players can trigger the appearsance of four banshees near the start of the Reach level, The Package.

The Banshees have been found by pressing two secret switches on "The Package".

When you press both switches the "return to battlefield" message also disappears (Gosh, I hate that message, what a KILLJOY Bungie). You do need at least two people to get the banshees to spawn, as the second switch will disappear if not pressed within a few seconds of the first.

The Reach pundits are wondering if there is something out there Bungie want you to find…

Here’s a pretty sweet video which shows you how to find the banshees.

How do people figure this stuff out? Don’t they have jobs? Or homework? ;)

Extra for Experts: Check out the Master Chief in Reach Easter Egg

September 19, 2010

Master Chief in Halo Reach Easter Egg

So, the Master Chief does make an appearance as a GIANT EASTER EGG in Halo: Reach after all. You have to do some shenanigans during a cut scene but one can find the Chief aboard the Pillar of Autumn, all hushed in his casket...

Chief in Reach: Slumbering on the Autumn
Rooster Chief explains how to find the  Master Chief in this amusing video:

So what do you need to do to find Master Chief in Reach?

  • From the Main Screen, Select Normal
  • Select Pillar of Autumn Level
  • Choose Rally Point Bravo
  • Fight though the game
  • After you cleared the Mac Cannon segment, the cut scene starts
  • Hold the right stick (as in strafe) during the cut scene
It's no save the day style cameo, but hey at least we can say that Master Chief does indeed make an appearance in Halo Reach. 

It's a nice easter egg and I say well done Bungie. As I first finished the game and I saw that ship taking off, it bugged me greatly the Chief was on there and I hadn't see him at all!

September 18, 2010

Hints and Ticks: for Halo; Reach

"There will be order in this Council!"
Here's some hints and ticks on defeating the Covenant as supplied by Bungie via USA Today:

  • The Covenant Elites have strong energy shields that make them relatively immune to human ballistic weapons. Keep the trigger held down on the Plasma Pistol to launch an "overcharged" blast that will immediately drop their shields, leaving them vulnerable to the Spartan's Assault Rifle or Pistol
  • The Covenant Jackals hide behind shields that are nearly impervious to damage. Use an accurate weapon such as the DMR (designated marksman rifle) or Pistol and aim for the small notch on the side. A successful hit will cause the Jackal to temporarily lower his shield, exposing him for a finishing blow.
  • The Covenant Hunters are essentially walking tanks that can laugh off most forms of attack while dishing out significant damage. Aim for the exposed orange fleshy parts of their bodies. They are also weak on the back side and, after taking enough damage, the armor will break off, exposing vulnerable organic tissue. (Bonus Pro Tip: If you happen to have the "Hologram" armor ability, it's a great means of getting a Hunter to turn away from you and expose its back.)
  • All the Armor Abilities offer different strategies and opportunities throughout the campaign, but the "Drop Shield" could end up being your best friend for a lot of the more intense battles. This bubble temporarily protects and HEALS any Spartans inside of it.
  • Take advantage of the expertise of the Noble Team Spartans– they are quite competent on the battlefield, and they can't be killed during the course of battle. When all else fails, fall back and let your fellow Spartans take the brunt of the assault.
  • Always be on the lookout for better weapons and always keep yourself well stocked with ammunition. Ideally, you'd like to have a long-range weapon and a short-range weapon at all times so you're prepared for anything around the next corner.
  •  If you see a powerful weapon such as a Rocket Launcher, don't waste it on easy enemies like Grunts or Jackals. If a designer has placed Rockets in the mission, chances are you will need them for a more challenging enemy ahead.
  • Your base health doesn't fully recharge in Reach. You'll need to find a health pack -- plentiful throughout the campaign -- or use the "Drop Shield" armor ability.
  • You can exchange weapons with other friendly soldiers in your squad. Friendly troops have unlimited ammunition, which can be extremely useful when you hand them something like a Rocket Launcher. (They can also be invaluable as a well-armed passenger in your Warthog.)
There you have, some sweet tricks and hints on how to gain the advantage over the AI - what do you have up your sleeve? Leave some wise advice in the comments!

September 17, 2010

Guide to find the Data Pads in Halo Reach

Yup, as I thought, no secret datapad under the hood...
There are a total of 18 Data Pads to be uncovered in Halo: Reach. This guide is meant to help players looking for hidden Halo reach Data Pads located at different locations within the game's levels. 

Data Pad's are the replacement for the previous Halo game's Skulls - Halo 3 made the Skulls pretty much a feature of Halo as to find them meant rewards such as the Grunt Birthday Skull and ways to make the game interesting and challenging. 

Datapads don't have that actual role in Reach as Bungie has provided Skulls from the start - the datapads are kind of like Halo 3's Terminals - the reward is info about the wider game. Dr Halsey anyone?

To make things a little interesting, Bungie have made it so that Data Pads 1-9 can be located and acquired on any difficulty and Data Pads 10-18 can only be located when playing in Legendary difficulty mode.
Below is the full list of Hidden Data Pads in Halo: Reach
Winter Contingency Data Pad - Data Pad 1
ONI: Sword Base Data Pad  - Data Pad 2
Nightfall Data Pad  - Data Pad 3
Tip of the Spear Data Pad - Data Pad 4
Long Night of Solace Data Pad - Data Pad 5
Exodus Data Pad - Data Pad 6
New Alexandria Data Pad - Data Pad 7
The Package Data Pad  - Data Pad 8
The Pillar of Autumn Data Pad - Data Pad 9

Available on Legendary Mode:
Winter Contingency Data Pad  - Data Pad 10
ONI: Sword Base Data Pad  - Data Pad 11
Nightfall Data Pad  - Data Pad 12
Tip of the Spear Data Pad - Data Pad 13
Long Night of Solace Data Pad  - Data Pad 14
Exodus Data Pad - Data Pad 15
New Alexandria Data Pad  - Data Pad 16
The Package Data Pad - Data Pad 17
The Pillar of Autumn Data Pad  - Data Pad 18

Now for the cheat's amongst you, or for those too busy spend hours hunting every nook and cranny of Reach, here's a video guide to helping you find the datapads:

1 - 9 

Halo Reach Data Pads 10-19

September 16, 2010

Weapons Guide for Halo Reach

Shake Appeal has done a handy guide to using some of the weapons in Reach: I've borrowed it to help you get your kill /death ratio up higher.....

1. Melee
It's your fist. You punch them. You can always do this, unless you are dead.

How to use:
Punch them. Make sure to do it up close, though there's a slight lunge to it. A punch always knocks down a shield, if they have one, but unlike Halo 3, that's all it does if they have any shield left -- whether it's 100% or 10% -- so have something ready to finish them (the stylist in me hopes it's a precision headshot). A punch to an unshielded enemy is always an instant kill, however, so you can just punch them twice, where possible. Also, a melee to an enemy's rear (now called a 'beatdown') causes instant death no matter how much shield they have, and you can add flair to this by holding down the melee button to perform an assassination animation. Melees are best used in conjunction with other weapons, but they are an essential part of your armament nonetheless.

Watch out for:
The close-range power weapons like the shotgun and sword are your worst nightmare; don't go for melees against opponents carrying these unless you are very sure of what you are doing. And everything that works outside melee range (read: everything in the game) likely has you beat, though a combination of Sprint and two quick punches will still take some enemies by surprise. Importantly, because of the changes to how the shield works (i.e. you have to 'break' it as detailed above, with no damage carrying through), you'll want to think your melee attempts through a little more than you did in Halo 3. The old-fashioned 'AR-charge-with-closing-melee' will leave you dead, more often than not.

2. DMR
One of the most flexible weapons in the game, and the go-to midrange gun; you'll probably want to grab one whenever available, though it is the default weapon for many slayer types and in the Arena.

How to use:
Four shots anywhere on an enemy will drop a full shield. A fifth shot will kill, provided it is to the head. Reticle bloom is very manageable; at reasonable ranges, you can spam or close-to-spam the first four shots, then pause for a moment before bagging the essential headshot. You also have a scope for long range, and the gun works surprisingly well even at extreme distances.

Watch out for:
It simply doesn't fire fast enough at very close ranges, especially against enemies who are better equipped (packing shotguns, ARs, pistols, etc.). It also won't kill fast enough at any range to match up consistently against properly-used power weapons.

3. Pistol
Perhaps the most flexible weapon in the game, and you will almost always have one when spawning as a Spartan.

How to use:
It does the same damage and behaves similarly to the DMR; they fire the same round, in fact. However, the pistol suffers more from bloom, meaning you will have to pace your shots at range. On the upside, it can fire much faster, so at close ranges you can spam it at the body to drop shields, and then either melee or pause for the killing headshot. Has a scope, too.

Watch out for:
At mid-to-longer ranges, a decent DMR user will shred you because of their relative lack of bloom. Also, the clip is pretty shallow (only eight rounds, and it takes five to kill a healthy enemy), so facing down multiple enemies at once with it is inadvisable.

4. Assault Rifle
While you will often spawn with one of these, it's use at range is questionable, and against decent players this should usually be the weapon you dump when you find something better.

How to use:
Fire it in bursts at close or medium ranges. As with all human, bullet-based weaponry, it is more powerful against enemies witohut shields. The classic 'AR charge' still works, but remember that you have to take down an enemy's shields in Halo Reach before you can do any damage to their health.

Watch out for:
Skilled pistol users will dong on you if you charge straight at them holding down the trigger. Half-decent DMR users will dong on you at range. And the close-quarters power weapons (sword, shotgun) will dong on you too.

5. Needle Rifle
The Covenant's answer to the DMR, this fires faster and suffers less from bloom, but takes more shots to strip a shield.

How to use:
The Needle Rifle is actually automatic, unlike the DMR and pistol, meaning you can hold down the trigger to fire constantly, though again it's best to pause and wait for the reticle to settle before going for a headshot, which kills just the same as if fired from a DMR. Reload time seems comparatively lengthy to me, but I don't have a list of times, so it may just be my perception. The NR also has a hidden bonus in that three rounds to an unshielded body will 'supercombine' and explode, killing the enemy. The rounds don't have to come from the same gun, either, so this gun is even better in the hands of coordinated teams. Also has a scope.

Watch out for:
The same things that will beat out a DMR beat out a Needle Rifle. The DMR is also arguably the more efficient weapon in the hands of a skilled users. I say "arguably" because as far as I know, nobody has run the numbers on time to kill at various ranges yet, and so whether the DMR is preferable to the Needle Rifle is sort of open to debate.

6. Grenades
You usually spawn with a couple of these, and they are useful in any number of situations. Despite a post-beta nerf, they are still very powerful in Reach, and it's worth learning where they spawn on the map.

How to use:
With frag grenades, try to throw them to feet, or anywhere enemies might be. They worth great to deny service to areas, to buy time when retreating with shields down, to ambush a guarded position, to clear out unshielded enemies, etc. Bounce them off walls to hit people around corners! Bounce them off the ground in front of you so they explode in charging enemies' faces! Bounce them beside you just before death, hoping to kill onrushing foes: it's just like Martyrdom! With plasma grenades, you'll want to 'stick' your enemies where possible (i.e. peg them directly), as the resulting explosion brings (almost) unavoidable death. They work well when thrown on the ground, too, and sometimes their lack of bounce makes them more useful in a given situation. Because you don't have to switch weapons to use them, both grenade types work best in conjunction with melees and your actual weapon.

Watch out for:
Armor Lock is your nemesis, as a skilled user will simply shrug off your grenades. And because betrayal bootings are so rampant right now, watch out for your teammates, too.

7. Sniper Rifle
What you would expect. This is a grade-A power weapon, and if you can use it at all you will want to take it wherever you find it, if only to deny it to the enemy.

How to use:
A headshot will always kill, no matter the target's shield. If you hit an enemy anywhere else, you'll drop their shield instantly, if they have one. If they don't, a single shot anywhere on the body will kill. Even if you hit them in the toe. It has reticle bloom, though, so pace your shots. You can also 'no-scope' enemies by using it like a pistol, but this should be considered an 'advanced' technique.

Watch out for:
Getting hit with anything will knock you out of your scope, so weapons that are serviceable at long range (DMR, Needle Rifle, even the pistol) will make your life difficult. And if you get caught out with the sniper at close range, just about anything will likely beat you unless you can pull out a no-scope. Remember, also, that you are very vulnerable to ambush while scoped.

8. Rocket Launcher
Self-explanatory. It's really powerful. Don't leave it lying around for the enemy.

How to use:
Don't necessarily aim at the target; it's easier to aim at the surfaces around them and rely on splash damage to kill. Rockets are a grade-A vehicle killer, by the way, and you should be aware that you can 'target lock' flying vehicles like the Banshee or Hornet by holding your reticle over them for a few moments before firing.

Watch our for:
Rockets fly slowly, so targets at range will often dodge and destroy you, especially with precision weapons. Also, the reload time is lengthy, so it's usually better to switch to your other gun if you miss with both rockets. Timely Armour Locks and even timelier Drop Shields will deny you kills, too.

9. Shotgun
A close-range power weapon, seemingly beefier than it was in Halo 3.

How to use:
Fire at extremely close distances. If you are at point-blank range, you should always follow up with a melee to make sure the job is done. Like all weapons save the 'precision' ones (DMR, Needle Rifle, pistol, sniper) the shotgun makes no distinction between head and body, so aim centre-mass for best results.

Watch out for:
Just about everything outside your fairly short effective range.

10. Sword
The other close-range power weapon, slightly neutered in Reach.

How to use:
When your reticle is red, the sword will dramatically lunge you toward an enemy with right trigger (as if you were 'shooting' it), killing instantly no matter their shield or health. The exception is if they time a countering melee to block you; get around this by attacking from the side or back where possible. If you press the regular melee button instead of pulling the trigger, the sword will give a quick slash (without the lunge), which is particularly useful in sword duels.

Watch out for:
Your nemesis is the shotgun; you will typically die when lunging at a shotgun user head-on. The melee block mentioned above is also a danger. Otherwise, at close range you trump just about everything. Outside that range, everything trumps you.

11. Plasma Pistol
A very useful supplementary gun. It's default firing mode, while seemingly improved in Reach, should be rarely used. The real meat is the plasma overcharge.

How to use:
Hold down the trigger to charge up a glowing green bolt of energy, and then release the trigger to fire. If your reticle is red (over a target, inside the right range) this bolt will home slightly. If it hits an enemy, it drops their shield instantly. If it hits a vehicle, that vehicle is immobilised for a precious few seconds. You can actually use a plasma pistol as a makeshift shotgun at very close ranges, releasing the shield-dropping bolt and then following up with a killing melee.

Watch out for:
The gun by itself is not very effective; it is only in combination with other weapons, notably the precision headshot guns, that it becomes a danger. Consequently, just about everything beats a plasma pistol by itself.

12. Plasma Repeater
New to Reach, this is the Covenant answer to the Assault Rifle, and works just like the Plasma Rifle of the earlier games, only on steroids.

How to use:
Same as you would the Assault Rifle, but with concessions for the travel time of the projectiles. As you fire, the gun overheats and the projectiles start to slow. Pressing the 'reload' button vents this heat and restores the rate of fire. As with the plasma pistol and the needler, you will see a 'ghost' reticle while firing this at an enemy that shows you where best to aim to hit them. As with all plasma-based weaponry, it is better against shields than against flesh, so often you should use this to strip shields before switching to something else to finish the kill.

Watch out for:
Same as the Assault Rifle, above.

13. Needler
Everyone's favourite wacky pink death machine returns in Reach.

How to use:
Try to use it within its optimal range, and only when your reticle is red; like the plasma pistol, it homes slightly when used in the right way. The actual needles themselves do little damage; what you are aiming for is to get enough of them into an enemy that a 'supercombine' occurs and kills them instantly. Unlike the Needle Rifle, the needles stick into shielded targets too, so this thing is near-instant death to unsuspecting targets.

Watch out for:
Aware targets will simply strafe out of the way of the needles, and the further out you get, the more likely you are to be donged on by someone with a 'proper' weapon like the DMR. Use this knowledge when facing needlers yourself: don't ever stop moving, and get to cover where possible. Most people will empty their needler vainly and then you can punish them, but your first priority is to dodge, not to counter. Curiously, the needler is also pretty useless at close range, too, unless someone charges you head-on, in which case you will melt their face. But at the right distance, it's a beast.

September 15, 2010

Dr Halsey Easter Egg: The Package


Watch this video for a pretty awesome Halo Reach Easter Egg that shows Dr Halsey's lab in action.\

In a blatant steal from the forums at HBO, here’s what user korman00 has discovered – basically it’s Dr Catherine Halsey’s secret lab:

This cave is not in natural formation...and neither is a certain control found hidden away in a remote part of The Package.

Film Clip

What is this control I speak of you ask? Bungie's last hoo-rah towards some of the major highlights in Halo's community over the past decade. It's a shrine I guess you could say, and it's kind of hidden in plain view.

To get to this magical control and shrine yourself you'll need to follow a couple of steps.

1) Have two players. Yourself and someone else, or just a second controller.
2) Play "The Package" on legendary. You *can* start the game at Rally Point Bravo, don't worry.
3) Defeat all of the AI which gets thrown at you until the very end. At which point the control should magically appear. Note: It may appear earlier, but I only found it after I had killed all of the AI so that's all I know. It's easier to explore when no one is shooting at you :P
4) Grab a jetpack. It may be possible to pull it off without one...but I wouldn't try it.
5) Watch the video and see for yourself where the magical control spawns at. Follow my steps and you should be able to activate the control too. You'll see why you need a second person too :P.

Now, once you make your way into the shrine you'll find seven terminals. Just like the datapads you can find all through out the game, you activate them and up pops a little display plus a couple of pages of information. Since the game doesn't capture the terminal view, you'll have to view them via the image captures I took.

Image captures folder


Nice work Bro, nice work.

August 11, 2010

List of Easter Eggs found in Halo Reach

Halo Reach Easter Eggs

As with all the Halo the games, Bungie have thrown some new eggs into the Halo omelette. But what is an easter egg? An Easter egg is an intentional hidden messagein-joke or feature in a video game. The practice draws a parallel with the custom of the Easter egg hunt observed in many Western nations as well as the last Russian imperial family's tradition of giving elaborately jeweled egg-shaped creations by Carl Fabergé which contained hidden surprises. How's that for a history lesson?

The DJ and the Disco at Club Errera

After you go to the Hospital in Mission Never Surrender but after you load the next checkpoint you can backtrack to the Hospital to a platform which has two tall slender trees. Land your Falcon on this platform, flip a switch that's present on the wall then head back to Club Errera, where you’ll find that your switch-flicking has just opened up a cool Easter Egg featuring a raging discotheque, full of some grunts doing their best John Travolta impressions to “The Siege of Madrigal.” There's even a DJ rocking some block rocking beats!

Then if you go back outside and fly to the roof  of the same building there will be another switch behind some pipes. Flipping it will change the song in the club to a remix of "the siege of madrigal", which has been featured as an easter egg in every Halo game thus far. If you choose to  kill the DJ brute, the record scratches and the music stops and the party is over.

Long Night of Solace: Marty O'Donnell Reference 

On this level, when you are in the Covenant Corvette, a group of marines should join you. If you look at their names in the lower left of the tv screen, one of their names should be presented as one "M.O Donnell". His service tag is MRTY. This is a direct reference to thee Marty O' Donnell, the composer of  Halo series' music

New Alexandria: Dialogue

When flying in the Falcon as you attempt to rescue prisoners or maybe taking town jammers across the city, you may hear a gunner say "Just like shooting swamprats back home". This is a reference to Luke Skywalker in Star Wars when talking about womprats and  plans to destroy the Death Star.

Catherine Halsey's Secret Lab

Here's the video that accompanies the below guide points!
  • Have two players. Yourself and someone else, or just a second controller. 
  • Play "The Package" on legendary. You *can* start the game at Rally Point Bravo, don't worry. 
  • Defeat all of the AI which gets thrown at you until the very end. At which point the control should magically appear. Note: It may appear earlier, but I only found it after I had killed all of the AI so that's all I know. It's easier to explore when no one is shooting at you :P 
  • Grab a jetpack. It may be possible to pull it off without one...but I wouldn't try it. 
  • Watch the video and see for yourself where the magical control spawns at. Follow my steps and you should be able to activate the control too. You'll see why you need a second person too...
  • Now, once you make your way into the shrine you'll find seven terminals. Just like the datapads you can find all through out the game, you activate them and up pops a little display plus a couple of pages of information.

Master Chief in Reach Egg

So after a lot stress about whether the Chief was going to be in Reach, the final answer is that Master Chief does make an appearance as a GIANT EASTER EGG in Halo: Reach after all. You have to do some shenanigans during a cut scene but one can find the Chief aboard the Pillar of Autumn, all hushed in his casket...

Oooh look! A hushed casket. Shall we wake it?

The Reach Racer Easter Egg

To find the egg, be on the Oni: Sword Base map. Attempt to locate and activate two invisible switches that jump start the race. Then hop in a Warthog and race to the finish! Sounds like a bunch of nonsense? Watch this video and the egg will be revealed!

Make four Banshees Spawn on The Package Level 

Halo Reach is awash with Easter Eggs, here’s the newest one. Two players can trigger the appearsance of four banshees near the start of the Reach level, The Package.

The Banshees have been found by pressing two secret switches on "The Package".

When you press both switches the "return to battlefield" message also disappears (Gosh, I hate that message, what a KILLJOY Bungie). You do need at least two people to get the banshees to spawn, as the second switch will disappear if not pressed within a few seconds of the first.

The Reach pundits are wondering if there is something out there Bungie want you to find…

Here’s a pretty sweet video which shows you how to find the banshees.

These are the cool eggs that have been found so far by keen Halo fans (and wow, how do they figure this stuff out?) - have you got any good ones or fave lines? Leave a note in the comments!!

May 10, 2010

You trip and the coroner records suicide...

BS Angel finds all the cool shit eh?

May 7, 2010

Classic War quotes rewritten from the Halo perspective

Normandy Invasion
Wars are horrible beasts. They bring out the worst in mankind, yet also the best. At times, the Leaders of Men and Women make great, inspirational speeches.

I was playing the Reach Beta's Invasion game type and when we won, some voice over guy told us we Spartans did a great job... I thought I'd heard better rallying speeches. So looked some up. I stumbled across a speech by General Dwight D. Eisenhower and on a whim, gave it a Halo spin:

"You will bring about the destruction of the Covenant war machine, the elimination of the Prophet's tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Earth and beyond, and security for ourselves in a free galaxy. Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped, and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely....The free men of the galaxy are marching together to victory. I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory. Good luck, and let us all beseech the blessings of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking."

Originally spoken by General Dwight D. Eisenhower giving the D-Day order on June 6, 1944.

What about some more Halo war quotes?

"Spartans, Lead The Way!"

Originally said by Colonel Francis W. Dawson on the occasion of the Normandy Invasion, 1944

"We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in The Library,
we shall fight on the Delta Halo,
we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Silent Cartographer, whatever the cost may be,
we shall fight on the beaches,
we shall fight on the landing zones,
we shall fight in the fields and in the streets of Mombassa,
we shall fight in the Bloody Gulches;
we shall never surrender!"

That was a cut from Winston Churchill's most famous rallying cry known as the 'We shall fight them on the beaches' speech.

Winston C.
Roosevelt's Day of Infamy Speech

"Yesterday, April 20th, 2525. -- a date which will live in infamy -- the Planet of Harvest was suddenly and deliberately attacked by Alien forces we know to be called the Covenant.

This speech was given by the American President, the day after Japan attacked American soil it what many people simply refer to as the bombing of Pearl Harbour.

USS Arizona in Pearl Harbour
USS Arizona in Pearl Harbour

"Joint Resolution Declaring that a state of war exists between the Covenant and the Unified Earth Government and the people known as Humanity making provision to prosecute the same.

Whereas the Covenant has committed repeated acts of war against the UNSC and the people of the Contact and Reach; Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the Unified Earth Government, that the state of war between the United States and the Imperial German Government which has thus been thrust upon mankind is hereby formally declared; and that the President be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to employ the entire military forces of the United Nations Space Command and the resources of the Earth and its Colonies to carry on war against the Covenant; and to bring the conflict to a successful termination all of the resources of our planets are hereby pledged by the Unified Earth Government."

This declaration of war came after the U.S. President Woodrow Wilson outlined the case for declaring war upon Germany in a speech to the joint houses of Congress on 2 April 1917. 

"The death of one Spartan is a tragedy. The death of hundreds is a statistic."

Originally spoken by Josef Stalin.

These quotes were born of human history's desperate and dark times. You might question their application to a bloody xbox game, and suggest that's a disrespectful use. It's not. It's a reflection on the thing that inspired me me today. This is my way of sharing what I found.

April 24, 2010

Halo Haiku

Here's my Haiku to try and win an early code to the Reach Beta:

Planet scorched
Men found to be wanting
Spartans FTW

WTF Jimmy? A haiku? Well it's seems a legit competition is being run as Halo Waypoint Retweeted it..

RT: @CraveNGN Want an early access code to the Halo: Reach Beta? RT this message, follow @CraveNGN and @ them with a Halo Themed Haiku.

So get onto your own Haiku and maybe I'll see you in the Beta!

Here's some of the entries so far:

SzrZx @CraveNGN
 one more For the win, flawless game is my middle name, hell yeah, KILLTASTIC

Dee_Cazo @CraveNGN This Submission sucks, but I like playing Halo,Here is my entry

Chenmeister @CraveNGN Halo Reach Beta / They say it's super awesome / I need to try it

Sycomikey91 @CraveNGN we are surrounded// brutes, elites, jackals, and grunts// we will destroy them!

SzrZx @CraveNGN driving through the map, just stalking for a splatter, double kill it is

Gamer0309 @craveNGN Hiakus are so lame. But Halo is terrific. Hiakus just got cool

Sycomikey91 @CraveNGN I will stand and fight// my Spartan brothers with me// we all stand and fight

Gamer0309 @CraveNGN Party time in May. But Thursday is in April. Halo in April?
AJD2 @cravengn Oh Battle Rifle How I love a good 4 shot You majestic beast

FlashKwonDo @CraveNGN halo reach beta//jet packs stickys and needlers//rag doll explosions!!!!

bonzai1888 @CraveNGN Darkness falls on reach UNSC prepares for contact Fall of reach begins

This exercise reminded my of a Halo poem I wrote a while back.

April 17, 2010

Space Invaders

This is post 242 on Halo Reach Game News - I can't believe it, I thought I'd struggle to a hundred before the release of Halo Reach. So what does 242 bring us today?

Gametrailers news on the multiplayer.

After some intro fluff using game play from the Vidoc, Brian Jarrad (Bungie's GO TO GUY) talks to Geoff Keighly about how the Halo Beta will include the use of recorded video ala Halo 3 and ODST with game reports being loaded to Brian said the Beta will run as long as it can, which probably means a few weeks.

There's also plenty of new game play footage to watch - players running riot in ghosts and wraiths etc... trainspotters can leave any details they saw in the comments below!

Here's the link to the vid

April 6, 2010

Steinlager. It's what the Chief drinks when on leave

Steinlager clone beer is the best beer in the world. It's a fact. Therefore, there is no point arguing with me. If you wish to raise an issue, go see Austin Power's daddy, he's got you a clean tissue.

All good Kiwi lads are raised on Steinlager, in fact it's a legal requirement that all boys who show signs of leadership potential are given the liquid ambrosia in their school lunches from the age of 7 onwards and are taught how to home brew nice and hoppy beers with high ABV. In my case, such were my leadership qualities, I was given nothing but Steinlager for lunch from the age of 4 years and 3 months. This explains a lot clearly.

Such is the rich culture of New Zealand that we produced Chris Butcher. He single handedly wrote some of the code of a small game I refer to as Halo: Combat Evolved while hungover after drinking a boat load of Steinlager. I understand he woke up in a field somewhere with dribble on his collar and a new design for the flux capacitor. Indeed, check out my interview with Chris that I managed to score last week. He's very good at bottling beer and brewing with lupulin powder.

What I am slurring on about Steinlager?

Well, it's a fact that Chris influenced the Bungie Studio so much that when they made Halo 3, they drank nothing but Steinlager and doughnuts and paracetamol. Again, this is fact, do not even attempt to haggle on the point, dear readers.

So it was no surprise when I played a round of Firefight on the Rally Point ODST map and I spied this:

What is it? It's a lion. King of the Jungle. Oh wait, it reminds me of something else. Could it be the brand logo of Lion Nathan, that blessed company that brews the best beer in the world (and that's a fact)? It might just be, dear Halo Reach Game News fan, it might just be...

So what does this mean for my sober readers? Is this a hereto undiscovered ODST Easter Egg? An Easter egg in a Halo game that refers to little old New Zealand's finest beer?

What does this mean for my drunk readers? It means this has all been a huge fantasy. 

Ahem, I seem to have woken up from this post with a terribly parched throat and a hangover the size of the Death Star. Would you be a dear and get me some paracetamol? Or maybe some replacement lawn mower oil? If you're mowing lawns, think about an electric grass cutter!