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Let's Play Halo SPV3 Stage 5A
Posted By: Lion O CyborgDate: 3/23/20 7:02 a.m.

Stage 5: Assault on the Control Room

Original: Defend the Control Room against wave after wave of Covenant troops

SPV3: Lead the marines in an all-out offensive on the Control Room

Hey guys itís LOC and welcome back to more Letís Play Halo SPV3. In todayís stage we finally make it to the control centre tucked away in the mountains. Itís a long way to get there however and SPV3 makes the journey even longer. This is where my Legendary run in SPV3.1 really started taking its toll after the second level, with the final chapter being the hardest part. Thereís another missing terminal glitch on this level too and the glitch will be triggered when I find it if I go to the first human and Covenant terminals first, due to the whole first outdoor section and underground tunnel sharing the same map chunk. So when I find the bugged one, Iíll have to backtrack after reading it to find the others so you wonít miss out. Iíll spare you the return journey however and call out where they are as I go past them the first time. Itís either that, or read the others first then restart the whole stage like before. Not this time.

Act 1: I would have been your daddyÖ

ÖBut a dog beat me over the fence! This is taken from an exceedingly rare line spoken by Sgt Johnson and Stacker both. However, I never heard it in-game nor have I seen a Johnson dialog video that includes the line so it was lost on me at first. As the line is uncommon enough that you may never hear it despite playing Halo 1 for 20 years, it became the name of a skull in Halo 2 onward that makes rare and/or funnier dialog common and vice versa. Too bad Halo Anniversary never got it retroactively added in like the other skulls.

https://youtu.be/0MDwKzH4ez8?t=928

That Unngoy screams and runs away when Echo 419 flies us up out of the vent shaft onto the big ledge. She canít go any further due to that water tank thing on the ceiling but Cortana assures her we can take it from here. As soon as you jump out of the pelican, itís possible to quickly climb back in by pressing X as you start falling. Then you get to ride the dropship back down the vent shaft past all the spinning rings. Whee!

Itís possible to climb into spirits and pelicans as they take off elsewhere but you arenít meant to do that and you just fall out after a bit. This time however, you actually do get to ride it but once you enter an area full of blue fog, it kicks you out anyway, though itís handled oddly in SPV3. Thereís an Easter egg here thatís the reason why you can climb back in the pelican in the first place: if you look toward the cockpit door (the right hand first aid kit beside the door in vanilla) and press X to flip the pelican as soon as it boots you out, you end up standing on top of it and can walk on one of the ledges below all the spinning rings.

Standing in a certain spot makes Siege of Madrigal from Myth play, which I only knew about as a bonus track on the last song in Halo 1ís OST CD. This is one of two spots in the game where Siege of Madrigal plays, both on this level, but itís impossible to reach the main one in SPV3 for reasons weíll get to later. However, this secondary one is MUCH harder if not almost impossible to get. Iíve only done it at least 3 times, but no more than 5 or so. This is because the pelican might not align right to put you on the ledge even if you do everything right. SPV3 is very bad for that so I was lucky to get screenshot evidence when I could, around the time I finished writing Stage 4.

Halo PC vanilla and Anniversary seem to have moved the kill box higher up the shaft than in Xbox, making it even harder to get here. SPV3 removes the kill box entirely so unless you fall far enough to make it still count as a falling death, itís entirely possible to reach the bottom of the vent shaft where you can find a couple of strange things.

Iíd tell those guys to get a room but we arenít meant to be able to get down here anyway so I guess they have me there. Still, not when thereís guests!


What is this thing? It looks like it could be used as a puzzle in an episode of The Crystal Maze.

Reloading the level, I deal with the grunts and elites who show up properly. Normally you use frag grenades and a pistol or Assault Rifle but with the benefit of loadouts, I chose an ODST silenced SMG and a Battle Rifle with a grenade launcher. Itís harder to vid Halo than it is Marathon due to being set up differently but I ainít shooting here when I can use a grenade launcher again. >:)

Inside the door down a small S shaped hallway is the first of many ďpatrol roomsĒ as the Anniversary guide calls them. They are circular rooms with perimeter hallways marking the transitions between the three giant fjords that make up this part of the mountains. The perimeter hallway may have barricades forcing you to go one way, but other than that they are more or less the same. The middle bit has several different varieties to get less boring.

This one has a salmon pink, misty pit with small bridges similar to the one under the second beacon complex back in Stage 2 but with no beacon. Grunts, jackals and brutes are here so I use up my SMG ammo to conserve the Battle Rifle before taking a brute needler. As many of the patrol rooms and their S-shaped entrances and exits look the same, thereís arrows on the floor that point the way to the control room so you donít get lost. The first Forerunner terminal is near the pit.

Spark found that out the hard way. We will soon see exactly howÖ

Through the door is a bridge outside, high above the first canyon. Cortana notes that the weather patterns seem natural instead of artificial. She hazards that either the environmental regulators are malfunctioning or the designers wanted this area to have inclement weather. Itís the latter: While it doesnít stop them outright, cold areas around sensitive facilities on the ring can serve to deter the Flood a little bit by starving them of plant life or wild animals to convert to biomass and combat forms respectively. That is why the Library in Halo 2 is inside a shielded bowl surrounded by snow, just like the ARK control room ďCitadelĒ in Halo 3. Doesnít explain why the Halo 2 control room is just offshore from a rainy beach though.

Thereís grunts sleeping on the bridge so you need to be quick with your melee attacks or else they will wake up soon after Fireteam Zulu swoops down from overhead in their pelican. SPV3 adds a single awake grunt however, which is a minor annoyance. Sometimes heís in one of the shades flanking the door, other times heís running about. I remain undetected with only 2 checkpoint reloads required.

The bridge has 2 levels joined by ramps, so you can smash the glass and fall through to the lower level, providing a way to sneak past the aliens up top. If you smack the sleeping grunts at the end hard enough, you can send them flying off the edge. I also notice that my visor frosts over a little when I enter the outdoor map. Thatís a nice touch.

A banshee shows up to ruin my day but a direct grenade launcher hit destroys it immediately. Thereís also a zealot with an energy sword who comes out of the door on the other side of the bridge. Another grenade to soften him up and a shredder explosion deal with him.

Inside the next patrol room is a pair of large metal things and jackal snipers on small ledges where you find grunt lookouts in vanilla. Stealth elites and hunters can be dealt with by the shredder and grenades, but the first hunterís assault cannon gets stuck in a metal pillar so I canít pick it up. I manage to get the second one though.

Instead of an exit hall, thereís a ramp down to a small block with a deep sloping shaft under glass next to it.

Where do all those slides go? They just continue deeper into the darkness. Iíd like to think they go to a ball pool and human 3D mouse maze of tubes like you get in themed pizza restaurants or Funky Forest in the Cockett Hat pub in town. I had lots of fun in those places, so being able to return to them in computer games now that Iím too old and big for them IRL is a godsend, which is where some platformers or FPSs with platforming in them like Hot Lava, Rise of the Triad, Build engine games, Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog and Mirrorís Edge come in.

Past the slide and the sloped block is a set of the triangular doors from Alpha Base leading to an anti-gravity elevator. At the bottom is the Sleeping Grunt Patrol Room: the outer hall has small passages past windows and more glassed over chutes in the corners. Sleeping grunts are everywhere and thereís a couple of patrolling elites and jackals to keep you on your toes. I like to sneak through the glassed passages on lower difficulties, but donít do this on higher ones as you get spotted easily that way.

Melee every sleeping grunt you see and hide from patrolling elites before striking when their backs are turned, using the walls and blocks for cover. The motion tracker will save your life here.

I can make it through these rooms without being seen just fine in vanilla and Anniversary but things donít go quite as planned this time: the brute replacing one of the patrolling elites seems to have eyes in the back of his head as he does an instant 180 as Iím about to punch him in the back of the head. Iíve able to prevent that happening after a couple of reloads but skirmishers see me quickly soon after. I just make a mad dash to the exit and make it past the level load without losing all my shields.

The bottom of the canyon from before is very tough in vanilla on Legendary: Some of fireteam Zuluís marines are pinned down by an overturned rocket warthog by ghosts, a shade on top of a hill and a wraith tank, encountered for the first time in vanilla. Getting to the hog and making them climb in is like trying to herd a group of Bobs during an earthquake. Thankfully I donít have any trouble this time so I wonder if itís due to SPV3 improving their AI or something. Thereís a sniper rifle and SPNKR by the hog but I have an assault cannon from the hunters so Iím good.

I use the rocket hog to blow up the tank and the other aliens with ease. Besides the ghosts, thereís now a banshee and a new vehicle among them, the Spectre from Halo 2 i.e. the Covenant warthog. Unfortunately, the bloody marines destroyed it before I could take it for us to drive once the crew was dead. >:(

The game calls it a Shadow but thatís wrong. The Shadow is a different vehicle altogether and looks like this:

Thatís one of my favourite vehicles in the game next to the Spectre and Banshee, but Iím miffed that you canít drive this one without hard to pull off glitches or by hacking the game. However, you can at least operate its turret.

The shade turret on top not only resembles the vanilla Halo 1 shade without the blue fire holding it up, but itís the best version of the shade turret in any halo game as it fires at the speed of sound and tears through everything. Itís basically a covenant army truck but you wonít see the troop carrier seats in-game without hacking as they were left out of the levels for some reason, meaning you only see the ones carrying Ghosts.

The SPV3 Spectre is only called the Shadow as originally thatís what the spectre was called when its prototype model was cut from Halo 1. Now that we actually have a Shadow, it wouldnít have hurt the SPV3 developers to call the Halo 1 shadow by its canon name for consistency. I was actually looking forward to driving the Halo 2 Shadow in this mod back in my Legendary SPV3.1 run but I was left disappointed.

The first human terminal is by an overturned gungoose behind a rock below the hill. Coming back later, itís a real pain in the butt to get as I have to leave my tank below the ridge and I decide not to try the hog again. I do take the bike back to my tank however.

Once again, I savour how Marathon style terminals make the world building that much better, especially when it shows just how nasty the Covenant and Pfhor are, though the Pfhor are played for laughs sometimes like in Infinity.

Anyway, I carry on over a frozen pond and I am reminded how much I despise the ice physics in this game. Ice physics are slippery at the best of times but theyíre even worse in Halo 1 as not only do they make it hard to turn and you slide uncontrollably, but they still seem to have friction at the same time, making driving on the ice much slower than going around, which youíd think would be the opposite, barring turning troubles. Thereís a lot of frozen lakes and ponds in Assault on the Control room so youíll want a scorpion tank and/or a ghost or spectre. Good thing the former is just ahead.

A small squad of Covenant is attacking the other Fireteam Zulu marines by the crashed dropship with a tank next to it. Iím barely able to kill them with a ghost and destroy another ghost before it destroys my own. Even then, one little bugger tosses a grenade at the enemy vehicle I just destroyed and misses, so it blows up in my face once I get off my ride, wiping out my shields again. No health loss barring before I got on the ghost so itís fine.

Unlike Halo 1 where this is the first and only level you drive a Scorpion tank, you instead now drive a Grizzly tank from Halo Wars, which is the same but has two artillery cannons and machine guns instead of one each. Through a short tunnel is the entrance to a larger, underground tunnel similar to the ďnot a natural formationĒ one in Stage 2. A pair of wraiths and spectres guard it but a phantom airlifts in an anti-air wraith. They still have their awful shade cannons instead of the fuel rod cannons.

Banshees show up too as does a pair of hunters from the snowy slope leading into the tunnel. All of them are a cakewalk with this tank. ďLooks like that armour wasnít so tough after all!Ē a marine passenger yells. ďLetís mop up the rest of Ďem!Ē Wren and I always used to yell ďMONTO PERESTAMO!Ē whenever we kicked ass on this level as kids, which was made up by distorting the marineís line. What does it mean? Not a fucking clue, but itís still a cool saying.


No, no! Wait! Go back! Why are there 6 pedals when there are only 4 directions?!

https://youtu.be/1_wVq4AE2Xg?t=224

Joking about this being a remodelled scorpion aside, the scorpion does handle differently to the later games as it only drives where the turret is pointing. The grizzly is the same but faster than the scorpion, about as fast as the Halo 3 one. Something I love about the Halo 1 & 2 scorpion is that you can use the secondary machine gun instead of having an ally control it.

I always hated how they took that out of Halo 3 though I did like how at least it meant that co-op buddies could ride in the tank with you again: in Halo 1, you can ride on the tread guard seats in co-op like everyone else but they removed the ability for players to ride shotgun on tanks entirely in Halo 2 for some stupid reason. Only marines can ride on the treads in that game. Because of this, they added the turret to the Halo 3 scorpion and wraith but thereís no reason tread seats couldnít have been brought back. I think they indeed were in Halo Reach at least.

The next terminal is to the right of the tunnel, among an ammo cache by an active camo.

The tunnel is different to the Halo one in that it has huge doors blocking the way, so you have to get out of the tank and open them using holo panels. Ahead is a large underground cavern with a deep chasm in the middle. One of the bridges over it has been destroyed and thereís shades all over the place. Hunters wait with elites on the other side. The grizzly seems to behave itself more often in SPV3 but this room in vanilla is the most likely place where you learn that both the Scorpion and Grizzlyís main cannons are as accurate as trying to take a piss with an erection.

The glitched terminal is at the far end of the huntersí side of the gap to the far right of the door, partially clipped inside a rock wall so it may be hard to see even without the bug triggered.

Hang on, this terminal and Forerunner terminal 1 are meant to be the other way around from the look of it. https://youtu.be/0MDwKzH4ez8?t=1167

Sure enough, the terminal disappears as soon as I exit it, just like last time. After coming back when I find the first 2 terminals in this map, I open the door to the second half of the tunnel and proceed ahead to the next chapter.

Act 2: Rolling Thunder Ė Eat it, Vid Boy!

Thereís a ghost here in vanilla and what I like to do in the lower difficulties is ditch the tank and take the ghost uphill. On Legendary however, I stay in the tank as itís safer that way. However, as this is a tour of duty, I fall back into old habits just so I can show off the Spectre in all its glory. I am on Heroic after all so itís not so bad.

The Spectre is one of three vehicles from Halo I wanted as a kid IRL, the others being the Shadow and the Banshee. 4 if you count the warthog. All the driverís cab needs is a full roof to protect you from the rain and enemy fire and weíll be in business. This is what this same vehicle looks like in Halo 2:

Unlike the warthog, you can carry a crew of 4 instead of 3: a driver, 2 passengers and a gunner. If it doesnít despawn, Iíll come back for the grizzly after this next bit. Itís safer to snipe the jackals on the snowy cave slope from below as charged shots WILL disable your spectre with EMP like in Halo 3, and the snipers with focus rifles can strip away the armoured hull very quickly once your shields are down.

A phantom deploys a pair of ghosts at the exit of the tunnel and more covenant come out of the structure built into the large mesa in the centre of the second canyon. An enemy spectre and wraith tank wait on the other side of a small hill with a shade on it.

The same wraith is the one in vanilla on Xbox where I found out that wraiths were undrivable: I beat the elite pilot to the tank but it still wouldnít let me climb in. I bet it would if I tried to hijack it in SPV3, but Iíll stick with the spectre for now. Thereís also more ghosts, a banshee and a pair of hunters with shade cannons. Inside the structure in the mesa, I find the next terminal up a ramp on a small balcony. Thereís a stealth elite in here so watch out.

I love snow too, but weíve been missing out on it here all winter, except down in the capital. Now that thatís over, I head back into the tunnel to get my tank and drive into the next part of the canyon. I blow away grunts and jackals at the top of a steep drop-off and bomb some shade turrets on an ice ledge across the gap. Here is where Iíd normally do a daring stunt jump off the edge in my ghost or a spectre, but I need the tank for the hunters at the bottom in order to save the marines trapped down there. A phantom shows up too after I trundle down the curved snowy slope.

Tank beats hunter! Tank beats shade! Tank beats wraith! Tank beats EVERYTHING! Man, I could do this all day! I thank god you can actually destroy phantoms in SPV3, but I forgot you could until the anti-air wraith on Alpha Base, namely the old version from SPV3.1 with the canon fuel rod cannons. Ahead is a rocket launcher and ammo for it by an active camo. Stealth elites hide in the small icy tunnel to the final part of the second canyon and grunts wait beyond. High above are 2 bridges almost identical to the first one. I was annoyed as a kid how you couldnít break the glass on those ones as it was inconsistent, but given those ones have no lower level, thatís probably a good thing.

The marines warn that the covenant is dug up in those rocks above this ridge, with shades, ghosts and banshees. Theyíve got them pinned down here.

Cortana tells them to hold their position while we handle those guns. She tells me to scale the ridge and get below the shades, presumably referring to the metal lined dip with the pipes that looks like a second tunnel entrance. (other than the footpath doors down there, itís not) The marines usually donít listen to her and charge ahead anyway while Iím trying to thin the alien ranks using the active camo. The banshees and ghosts are the most dangerous threat so the fuel rod assault cannon and rocket launcher is the way to go. Alternately you can use the grenade launcher on the battle rifle, but your mileage may vary if you picked a different loadout at the start of the level.

Sure enough, the marines ignore Cortana and follow me, blowing my chance at stealth just after I deal with the first elite and brute. Iím able to destroy the first shade with a plasma grenade before the ghosts show up but the marines all get slaughtered.

Once the canyon is clear, I go back for the rocket launcher and head to one of the doors in the not quite a tunnel entrance in the middle of the area. The next terminal is in one of those footpath tunnels. Turns out I was wrong as some marines did indeed stay put this time and come out when I get my rockets.

This must have been just before I reached the first bridge. ďCortana to fireteam ZuluĒ Cortana says once the area is clear and I go to the doors. ďIíve sent a distress call tagged with your current position. Hold position and await evac. The Master Chief and I are going to continue on ahead.Ē ďRoger! OK people, evac birdís on its way!Ē the commander yells to his men. Now, thereís something about the canyons both in this level and a slightly later one that needs covered now: Thereís a large layer of fog covering the top of the canyons in order to hide the white void at the top as thereís no actual skybox on this stage; it doesnít need one so why waste the resources? The fog also adds to the atmosphere of the mountains. However, the PC version of Halo 1 removes the fog, making the top of the canyons look like arse.


Original (via Halo PC Refined)


Side by side comparison. https://youtu.be/zPBKVnSv1Uc?t=433 Couldnít find the actual Gordon Ramsey clip so I used the next best thing.

Halo Anniversary does add a skybox in the remastered graphics, though I only remember the full moon in the sky when we come back here later at night.


SPV3 version.

Through the door is the next sleeping grunt patrol room. I manage to kill everything here without being seen this time. I even get the jump on a stealth elite with a sword who wasnít paying attention, though the minor eliteís pathfinding glitches out so I need to backtrack for the second active camo near the last terminal in order to remain unseen.

I still have no idea what those things are. They look like mini versions of the phase pulse generators weíll see later. While all the machines inside the canyon walls and caverns are Haloís firing mechanisms, itís never explained what all the machines over than the pulse generators actually do. The next terminal is on the side of the mini pulse generator.

Sentinel constructor factories and constructors appear in Halo 2: the latter are small, plasma pistol shaped things with long range welding torches. In the same level they appear in Halo 2, you see one such aforementioned factory get shot down by wraiths toward the end, and then you travel through the burning wreckage in the next level. Drones or Aggressors are the normal ones weíre used to from Halo 1. Thereís also golden versions of the drones called Sentinel Majors, which fire blue sentinel beams instead of red.

All of them appear in SPV3 except constructors which were cut. All the rooms of this design connect to anti-grav lifts and the next one goes up to the bridges above.

Now, Iíd taken a break and was planning to come back here, but there is a bug with the ďcontinue gameĒ option in the main menu: it tried to start me back at the beginning of the pillar of autumn and a checkpoint triggered, overwriting my progress before I could exit out, meaning I had to do the whole level up to this point again from the level select screen, which is normally the only way to continue where you left off reliably. https://youtu.be/zPBKVnSv1Uc?t=452

Thereís a silver lining however, as I managed to hijack a spectre in the first canyon Halo 2 style and I even fought the first Anti-air wraith there with it. I used the grizzly for the second canyon that time (still hitting the terminals that I did the first time), meaning I could destroy the phantom outside the tunnel before it had a chance to drop its load.


SURPRISE!

Thereís more in the glass topped chute room surrounded by an ammo cache. The patrol room here has a sword zealot and a glass pipe spewing steam, whatever itís meant to be used for.

Itís possible to grenade jump into the small space at the top of the pipe. In fact in Anniversary, one of the glass steam pipe patrol rooms has a skull hidden in just such a place.

The first of the 2 bridges above the pipe tunnel thing with the previous human terminal has more sleeping grunts than the first one but no shades on our side, being an expert repeat of before but without the lower level and you now have guys shooting at you on the second bridge (third in total). Instead of a zealot, thereís either one or two stealth elites waiting at the end. After clearing away the trolls trip-trapping over my bridge, I go back for ammo and continue on.

Iím able to kill all the enemies in the next patrol room without being spotted. In Halo Refined, I managed to do this once without even trying, but I didnít (and still donít) have any way to catch it on tape. The patrol rooms by the 2 bridges have a particular setup: after the first bridge are two patrol rooms to the second one, connected by a long hallway with a sunken shelter. After the second bridge are two more patrol rooms with a sunken shelter hallway, except the other hallway has glassed chute rooms at either end like the anti-grav lift lobbies.

The next terminal is in an ammo cache to the left of the first shelter hall on a shelf.

Hmm, sounds exactly like how the Marathonís lava cycle works. ;) Well, except itís for a Rama style foundry instead of the Deimos reactorís waste molten stone providing cheap but dangerous central heating. Unlike Marathon 1 and Redux however, we donít get to see the foundry so thereís no lava in Halo 1, just as they say in Spy Kids 3. (until they get proven wrong by Halo 4) It seems the foundry must be in this area somewhere, but what it constructs is a mystery. Perhaps itís a sentinel constructor factory? I think we see Guilty Spark fly through a skybridge over that same crater in the Silent Cartographer CEA terminal.

Both shelter halls are guarded but weíve got it good just now: only grunts and jackals. The following patrol room is guarded by brutes and is one of my favourite types: it has a raised ganghut in the middle like some sort of metal treehouse.

I always thought that would be a good place for a small cafť. Elgin swimming pool used to have exactly that upstairs overlooking the ice rink, but itís gone now: the cafť is now downstairs by the turnstiles and the old cafť is an extension of the gym. The next covenant terminal is in the ganghut.

Never thought Iíd feel sorry for a covenant individual that isnít a Huragok but then again, thereís Dadab in Contact Harvest and Yayap in the book of this very game. Sure he killed some people, but Balho did have more guts than the other grunts and only fled when he had to, especially if he intended to set an ambush. If he survived until the end of the war, heíd have made a fine scout for human policemen.

Also, throughout all the indoor areas on this level except the vent shaft at the start and the underground cavern, you can hear the machinery working as you pass through. The Truth and Reconciliationís mountain had creepy wolf howls (the blind wolves perhaps?) at times which I forgot to mention, but the machines in the mountain fjord walls sound like mechanical animal breathing, almost as if something is sleeping in the walls!

Atmospheric sounding horrors hiding in the metalwork aside, the rocking music from the last level starts up on the second bridge: the gloves are off now and we have brutes assaulting us from ahead and hunters on the bridge we just left. This is why we saved the rocket launcher from before and restocked rockets whenever we could. On both bridges, you can use the small islands the hard light suspension cables connect to as cover from attacks on the opposite bridge.

The patrol room before the second shelter hallway has another deep, pink, misty pit. The next forerunner terminal is on the other side.

Normally when fighting the Flood in this game, I stick to a shotgun and assault rifle or a shotgun and plasma rifle for when Flood and Covenant are encountered at the same time. Now I get to use brute plasma rifles all the way! And the brute plasma pistol is no slouch either. >:)

The second shelter hallway has stealth elites in it: 2 with energy swords and at least 2 with plasma rifles. I forgot about this earlier but it seems that Sword elites in SPV3 take after their Halo 4 counterparts and now their sword is invisible like the rest of them, which isnít the case in the original trilogy. The song The Lost Muse plays here, and itís unique in that they forgot to put it on the soundtrack CD. Even Siege of Madrigal made it on as a bonus track, but not this one. The Anniversary soundtrack includes The Lost Museís remastered version as Aurora Above and the SPV3 soundtrack has it by default.

Now, when youíre playing vanilla and Anniversary this is very important. See that active camouflage? You need it. As soon as you grab it, RUN LIKE HELL TO THE EXIT AND NEVER STOP FOR ANYTHING. Take a shortcut through the middle of the final patrol room and jump over the grunts and jackals in the hallway before the exit. You can jump to go faster but donít bunnyhop as jumping too frequently and/or at the wrong time may have the opposite effect of bunnyhopping and slow you down. Youíre going to want to do all this, trust me. However in SPV3, the reason you had to do all of that has been removed so donít bother in this mod. Iíll get to that in a second.

The final patrol room has hunters around another mini pulse generator. The 4th human terminal is among the health and ammo on the floor here. I originally tried snagging it and rushing ahead with the active camo anyway back in my Legendary run, but I quickly learned thereís no point.

Maybe she was the one who provided the tanks besides the one back at the start? Now, in vanilla and Anniversary, the door to the control room is past the hunters and you come out on an ice bridge overlooking the silver pyramid with the giant shuttle shaped tower on top. Normally you cross the bridge and take 2 final, final patrol rooms and an anti-grav elevator down before using a ghost to protect you as you climb. Why then, did I say to bum rush the place while invisible? Hereís why:

That banshee is waiting on the bridge for you. Normally an elite beats you to it but with the active camo (or whatís left of it) to hide you from his view and the odd jump to make it there faster, you can get to it first. Not only does it give you an early go of Halo 1 and Anniversaryís best vehicle, but itís the only way to reach the main Siege of Madrigal Easter egg: itís on the right side of the second piece making up the shuttle tower.

By using strategic airstrikes on the covenant and wraiths below as well as quickly dogfighting another banshee, you can also find the CEA terminal easily here and in both games, fly straight to the exit, using the bansheeís fuel rod cannon to deal with the initial wave inside the giant doors to the control room at the top of the pyramid, this ship being the only way to use a fuel rod cannon in Halo 1 vanilla outside of the PC versionís multiplayer. I always take this way to the control room. The normal way sucks and I prefer flying.

However in SPV3, you donít get a choice: instead of the exit to the third canyon with the pyramid, you get an anti-grav lift down to a brand new area and this one is a doozy. This is why Assault on the Control room is a slog as the new area drags on for quite a while and itís much harder than The Pillar of Autumn or Alpha Base, at least on my original Legendary run. I seem to still be passing with flying colors on Heroic, which is honestly surprising. This means maybe either they toned the difficulty for Heroic down in SPV3.2 or the difference between Legendary and Heroic in SPV3 really is night and day.

I go back and take the camo anyway but I know I wonít need it this time. The grunts and jackals in the glass topped slide room donít suspect a thing.

Had to split this one in a couple of parts as it's a bit of a doorstopper for the Story Forum's messenger. Two Betrayals might be a similar case, that's how long this level is.

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