Sunday, December 12, 2010

Reaching Forward – Stunt Kills from Halo 2, 3 and Reach Beta

Just finished all achievements for Reach, even the new ones...  I'm half way to the "Inclement Weather" armor effect, and holding off on stunts until I can include that effect in them. 

In the meantime, enjoy some stunt kills and strangeness from Halo 2, 3 and Reach Beta.  It includes core kills, surfer beats banshee, a Reach power-flush kill, the waving Reach corpse and other unusual things.

Lenses and cameras were provided by Bungie.   Music includes a live cover of Jimmy Hendrix’s “Hey Joe” and my own version of the Halo theme.

Warning: there is some particularly upsetting footage in the scene on Isolation, so when you see that clip begin, I urge you to fast forward past it.  

Send in links of your own rendered stunt videos… I would love to feature them.  I know there are some way talented soldiers out there and  I would love to see some creative, unusual stuff.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Second First Rube Goldberg Machine on Halo: Reach

On Sept 26th, xFEAR the DEERx released the second First Rube Goldberg Machine on Halo: Reach (or as he calls it, The First Legit Rube Goldberg Machine on Reach. 

In many ways, I think his is way better than the one I posted 12 days earlier, and I think it’s worth looking at.
While mine was definitely legit, I understand of course why he wanted to qualify his own.  But to be accurate he should have called it, The First Rube Goldberg Machine on Halo: Reach That Used More Than Two Dominos or The First Rube Goldberg Machine on Halo: Reach Other Than Ones That Just Barely Qualify As Rube Goldberg Machines or something like that.

Either way, having the Second Rube Goldberg Machine on Halo: Reach is a great achievement, and his set up is very elaborate and inventive.  It is pretty long but worth the patience required as it ends with an unexpected message that I really liked.

But all comedic opportunism aside, he did a fantastic job!  Excellent work, xFEAR the DEERx

His film is very cool.  I hope he does more and would be glad to feature them here.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bionic Core Kill

This is the first Core Kill I pulled off in Halo: Reach, after getting the fabled “Robotic Arm” upgrade, as well as the black helm visor and other armor upgrades you have to reach Lt. Colonel to get.  The robot arm showed up after getting all the achievements for Halo: Reach, but it may also have been from reaching that rank.  Not sure…

It’s a fun stunt too…  it was a hover land from a jet pack onto a core and then the kill was actually a beat down/melee punch and it was pretty cool and lucky.  

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The First Rube Goldberg Machine on Halo: Reach

Today the new Halo Game, Halo: Reach released, and my wife and I have been shooting up the co-op campaign.   


Haven’t yet done matchmaking or any stunts but I did decide to see if I could create a fully operational Rube Goldberg Machine on the first day of Reach being out.  

From my file search online, it seems this is the very first Rube Goldberg Machine for Halo: Reach in existence.  I’m confident others will surpass mine in complexity, but I hope it has some artistry some will find enjoyable.  

I feel many will resonate with the message of human kind’s yearning contained in this video.     

Monday, September 13, 2010

BS Angel News and a Look at Her Corpse Alphabet

It's September 13th and there is one thing on every Halo enthusiast's mind:

BS Angel has accepted a position with 343 Industries (including working directly with Halo Waypoint, future Halo releases and Master Chief himself).

Congradulations, Angel!  How amazingly cool!

BS Angel is the creator of a VERY well known and followed, crazy blog about Halo and gaming in general.  She also manages a killer virtual photography website focused on Halo screen shots.  Being a virtual photographer myself, I really love that site as well.

Now I am going to smoothly, subtly segue into the blog post content I had ready to release about Angel, just a day before she announced her position with 343 Industries, and leave it as is, so that people will fully believe this was all one fully informed, current, coherent post featuring her.

* * *    

Back in 2008, BS Angel created the Halo Corpse Alphabet.  Every letter in it is produced by the shape of a player's corpse from Halo 3.

It’s an amazing, morbid concept, and can be found here:  Halo Corpse Alphabet   

It was a seriously fulfilling, wonderful moment when my letter “Y” submission made it into the corpse alphabet.  I spent days talking excitedly about it on the phone to friends and relatives, who were mostly non-gamers but who still politely congratulated me.

It cannot be confirmed whether BS Angel is currently working on an actual, real-life corpse alphabet, but a friend of hers (who insisted on anonymity) said that BS Angel has quite a few mortuary phone numbers on her cell phone address book.  You may want to email her and grant permission for the eventual use of a photograph of your own corpse.  It might be good to include the state you live in, just in case she needs to send the necessary forms.   

I decided to make some virtual greeting cards using her alphabet, including a Mother's Day, Birthday and 2 Baby Announcement cards (special thanks to Dr. Thomas Dendril for providing the ultrasound of a baby --who somehow had an X-Box controller in the womb-- for the Baby Announcement cards).  

Feel free to use these and please let us know about any responses from loved ones you send them to.  The actual font is more readable since it has the letter backgrounds removed, but I love the images so much I thought I'd do the cards this way. 

With Halo: Reach coming out soon, it is hard for me to imagine BS Angel not doing a Halo: Reach Corpse Alphabet.  You know it will be cool. 

BS Angle has huge amount of incredible content on her blog and her other sites, and she recently had an interview on Halo Waypoint on X-Box live.  It's all totally worth checking out if you haven't already seen it.

Halo Corpse Alphabet

Thanks BS Angel!

(and like, total congratulations!)

P.S. In other news... Halo: Reach comes out at midnight tonight.  There's been almost no coverage of this release, so you may want to let your Halo playing friends know about it.  It looks like a really neat game and I'm way psyched to play it before I sleep next.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

In the Belly of the Beast

We learned a few posts back, that AnGeLiNeItOr lost his life in an “Elephant” Marine War Vehicle, which had been blown high into the sky.  It had been packed with continually resetting explosives.

Good news… his family recently cleared for public viewing the footage recovered from within the vehicle, and for a price much lower than we actually would have paid them.

Here's a previous promotional/awareness flier:

The “Exploding Elephant Effect” demonstration is still not allowed in military air shows, but progress has been made in that direction and as soon as any are scheduled we will release dates and locations. 

This film shows AnGeLiNeItOr’s death close up, and is not recommended for people who don't have a troubling sense of morbid curiosity.  We dedicate this film to AnGeLiNeItOr’s short, brave life and his contribution to the public’s entertainment in general.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Halo: Reach Beta - Stunt Kills

Earlier this year I played in the beta test for Halo: Reach.  Of course, I looked for stunts to do while playing this great new game.  I didn't know the movie files would only be temporary unless finalized and downloaded, so I lost most of my footage.  But I did get a few films saved and luckily, some were of my favorite stunts.

Reach will have fusion cores, but the beta only had smaller gas tanks-- and they were great to do stunts with.  They are hard to balance on and not tip over (especially while holding a cumbersome chain gun that took forever to haul all the way to that spot).

There are also now jet packs in this new game.  They have limited use and require constant momentum adjusting; it takes practice to get the jet pack working for you instead of against you.

It occurred to me it may be possible to jet pack hover down onto a gas tank without tipping it and do a stunt kill.  It took me at least 40 tries before I landed one, and then many more landings before I finally got a kill from one.  I think I got about 14 hover landing kills, but only have 4 or so on video.

Luckily I do have footage of my trickiest ones:  one hover land with a headshot kill, and one hover land with an alien grenade stick.  These are both in the video here.  There are also some good comedy/fluke kills.  I have more and they’ll be out before the release as well.

Halo: Reach releases in less than a month (on Sept. 14th).  Since rarity of context makes a stunt possess more coolness, I will be trying the following challenge on it’s release:

Get a kill in a legit match, standing on a fusion core, and have it be my first kill ever while playing the released Halo: Reach game, including multi-player and campaign.

To make it better, I’ll try to also have it be my first actual shot/shots fired in the release of the game; we’ll see how it goes.

Hopefully I won't blow my shot at this kind of stunt... I'll have to wait for the next Halo (or Marathon) game release for another try.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Exploding Elephant Core Kills

Naturally, many of you know this… some smart guy discovered that it makes a cool effect when you pack respawning explosives into an elephant (which is a huge military vehicle, not an actual elephant since that would seem questionable).

The effect is amazing and it has been described as a "Satanic Pinata".  The explosives are programmed to reset within the vehicle (which is indestructible) shortly after they blow up, and so it's an ongoing chain reaction once set off.  It’s not something one would normally expect to see at a military air show, at least not until safety regulations are relaxed a little.

I joined a game once where they battled (humans vs. high-speed zombies) on such a level and I tried to do some core kills.  It was a custom match, so I don’t call these legit stunt kills.  But they didn’t know me or my stunts, and they were definitely trying to kill me…

It was fun to do and watch.  Thanks to my nephew, Tyler, for inviting me to the match.

The real stunt man in the clip is AnGeLiNeItOr: the guy in red who actually rides in the elephant high in the air and whose corpse eventually falls out.   I imagine him to be a maintenance guy at the air show who snuck a ride in the elephant display, or -even better- who fell asleep on the job before the show.

In this post is the video of the Core Kills on an Exploding Elephant level.  I'm also hearing positive things about the negotiations to release disturbing footage recovered from within the elephant.

Let's keep our fingers crossed. 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

N+ Don't Do Anything

About a year ago my mother stopped by and I asked her to play a video game level I'd made.  I put the controller in her hands and told her she would survive if she did nothing until I gave her exact instructions.

She was terrified the whole time, waiting for instructions that would never come.  In the end we all cheered and congratulated her for getting all the gold and surviving.  She was relieved and laughing and still nerved out; she had really taken success seriously!

I explained that this level (made for the recent remake of the classic game N+) was called a DDA level.  DDA stands for Don't Do Anything.  In a DDA level you don't move at all and your character flies around doing impressive things, pretty much.  They are sort of like Rube Goldberg set ups.

The level she passed faithfully is the first one in the video here.

As soon as technology permits, I plan to recreate these levels in reality so people can actually fly around on them.  I feel within 20 or 30 years these could be made to carry real people with a 93% to 98% survival rate if rigorously maintained.

In time we may see DDA amusement parks... but then, I guess a roller coaster already is a DDA device for humans.  Wow!  Imagine amusement parks in 100 years!  Maybe they'll be like what we see in this video.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Honoring a Fallen Banshee Pilot

I’ve had some negative reactions to the final stunt in last week’s video montage (Unusualer Stunts than Before), and I would like to apologize. 

A brave pilot indeed lost his life while I was setting up that stunt a few years back and, yes, I could have prevented his death. This sort of thing is bound to happen, but there is no justification for this and I won’t try to dodge responsibility.

I am contacting the pilot’s gamer-tag, fatc0bra, to formally apologize and invite them to say anything they need to in order to gain closure.  I am also contacting the enemy pilot who shot him down (the greatly feared Betty Skeddi) to let her know the incident is being brought to light and to ask her to join us in honoring fatc0bra.  I will put up any responses from them and welcome any posts they submit; they deserve to be heard.

Well known deadly pilot, Betty Skeddi:

I visited fatc0bra’s grave site and took some photos. I submit the image at the start of this post to commemorate this great pilot's efforts in the war, as well as his unknowing, involuntary contribution to

We salute you, fatc0bra. Many consider you one of the most spirited and ubiquitous pilots known to have braved the skies.

Below are some click-able images documenting fatc0bra's death as Betty Skeddi's plasma cannons from her Banshee carve his body right out of his aircraft (also a Banshee).  You can see me in the river setting up the fusion core for the stunt. 

After those, I have posted the original complaint from Jive Control that prompted this entire post.  While I find his comments on innocent animals and plants somewhat off topic, I can only admit his words about me are correct.   I offer my sincere apologies.

Complaint/comment from last week's post (Unusualer Stunts than Before): 
Jive said... 
"Mr. Groove Hunter, 
The final stunt in this video post just happens to photograph the death of a well loved and revered pilot, fatc0bra. He was shot down by the enemy pilot, Betty Skeddi. Many are glad you shot down this very feared enemy, but you could have killed her much sooner, rather than setting up your stupid stunt. 
You could have saved fatc0bra and his blood is on your hands. 
You had the anti-aircraft missile pod the whole time and Betty Skeddi was in range many times. You are as bad people who kill innocent animals and innocent plant life just to consume their flesh, when there are ALWAYS moral options available for sustenance.  
Out of respect for the family of fatc0bra, I demand you take down the video in this post."
You may visit Jive Control's site, "Moral Eating" at  
But be warned... it's not for everyone.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Unusualer Stunts than Before

I'll usually feature just one or two stunts, but since I'm just now launching this web site,  I thought I'd put up another montage.  The last one dealt with straightforward fusion core kills.  They are cool but comparatively not that difficult.  This collection has some more of the trickier stunts... some of these took countless tries to get.  I'll discuss a few in the video:

Sky Surfing on a Magic Fusion Core...

The Magic Fusion Core I drop onto was an interesting discovery.  During a normal match I was pushing cores down from my small perch so others wouldn't shoot them... common to do.  I then thought, "did I just hear a total lack of explosion?".   So I looked down and saw it had landed without exploding- on the invisible floor used when making sky maps.  I just HAD to do a Core Kill on one like that!

It took forever.  I found about 1 in 20 cores will land unexploded from that height, and it's a difficult jump to land.  Once I did land one right,  I was so nervous I almost couldn't even aim for a kill.  I just focused best I could and waited for the opportunities.

Aircraft Kill on a Core in Water...

Many times I'll set a goal with new, complicating variables, (getting the core over water, over glass or a cliff edge etc...).  In the case of the aircraft shoot down stunt in this video,  it was very difficult to pull off.

The core usually explodes going down the base front so I had to roll it just right.  The flowing water here makes the core very hard to stop.  When the core is finally ready to jump on, it's hard to land it right (when you are carrying that anti aircraft gun, it is so big you can't really see if you are on fusion core... you just hope and find out later in playback).  Then there is all the live fire around you in set up and while you wait for the kill opportunity.

I just love how all the chunks of aircraft land in the water all around me when the Banshee goes down.

Here's the video of these and other higher difficulty stunts...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Fusion Core Kills

One day during an online Halo 3 match, I thought of an interesting and kind of funny challenge: to stand upon a fusion core (these are highly explosive and one shot sets them off) and kill another competitor.  My first successful core kill (shown above) was a very close call, but I lived and he didn't.  My heart was pounding (I know that's stupid and funny, but it really was).  It amazed me just how passionate I became about achieving this kind of challenge in many different forms.  I'm not all that great a player, compared to some of the amazing gamers out there, but I really worked hard at these stunt kills.  A lot of unexpected comedy, social strangeness and spectacle arose from this endeavor. 

From there I was obsessed with collecting these self imposed achievements on every core (that was possible to reach) in all the Halo 3 maps.  I did get them all, and as new maps were released to the public, I was always eager to see what new core kill opportunities were forthcoming.

In later posts, I'll later talk more on ethics, and history of challenges which led to this (starting with the Atari 2600) and deeper psychological insights (yes, kind of funny that it can get deep), but for now I'll merely introduce the fusion core kill concept.

Many rules and variations emerged as to how cool or high ranking the stunt would be considered.  Here are some variables that improved the status of the stunt:

The weaker the weapon used.
The more exposed the fusion core (and you).
The greater the battle traffic in the area of the core.
The more cores (or other explosive types) combined or next to each other.
The rarer the armor/outfit/accessories worn during the event (by killer and/or victim).

The more difficult the kill type (single head shot kill, sticking with an alien grenade).
Special status of victim (Flag CarriersVIP, Juggernaught etc.)
Any medals earned during the kill (double, triple kill etc., bull true kills, beat downs, killing sprees ended or fully achieved, and so on).
Multiple medals earned during the kill.
Victim is not moving due to using the bathroom during match (known as a Potty Kill - low points for difficulty, but made up for by high points for opportunity seizing and comedic magnitude).
The more elaborate or precarious the set up. 
The funnier the situation in any way.
The stranger the situation.

Any flukes that luckily caused an unusual spectacle (killing someone on accident or who wasn't the target, chain reactions... all kinds of other effects and sights.)
Greater difficulty landing on a core (in Halo: Reach Beta test, hovering down onto one using a jet pack... which I didn't think possible until after tons of practice).
The core being moved to a specific area or type of terrain (into water, extending over a ledge, or over transparent surfaces etc).
The destruction of a vehicle, or better yet, an air craft.
The stunt happening in a rare map or match type (such as during the 2 week Halo: Reach beta test, or custom maps, which only appear a few days in a month etc.)
The more dramatic and artistic the screen shot or video made of the event. 

and so on...

There were also rules established for stunt to be considered valid:

It had to be in a real, randomly set up, online match. 
You couldn't tell anyone from any team what you were doing, or explain in any way.
No modding or hacking.
The victim can't be on your team. 
You had to survive the encounter with the one you killed (though it's okay when they, often would angrily return and get revenge with a simple, distant shot to the fusion core).
You had to stay on the mine and maintain stability for at least some moments after the kill (so naturally the core couldn't explode from the victim's last thrown grenade or anything they did).
And, generally, it was best to capture at least one screen shot showing the kill labeled in text format by the game system.   "GrooveHunter killed PastryDestroyer85!" etc.

It was odd just how addictive it became to achieve these, as well as other kinds of stunt kills that evolved or presented themselves.  I even ended up going back to Halo 2 to do some of these, but that was even far trickier to get, film and validate (as we'll see in a later post).

Reactions of others in battle to core kills can be really interesting.  They say all kinds of things into their headsets to me and each other trying to figure out just what my motives or subtle strategies are.  Sometimes, the confusion and/or proximity to the explosives gets them to hesitate just enough for me to take them out.  Occasionally, others will even get on fusion cores as well to try to see what the deal is (like the guy in the foreground of this next picture).

I've even had a few enemies approach me without firing to take a look (and I hold my fire when they do... until they finally shoot).  I also get the core shot out from under me by my own team mates quite frequently (I deserve it and it is really just another element of the challenge).

Standing your ground is so hard to do on these stunts;  I just try to stay calm and focused for the shot, and it can really test your patience as you wait for an opportunity in a match.  It is just a really fascinating and fun thing to do, but it's of course controversial as it is usually done at the expense of your team mates (which is never my goal, but a side effect).  That being said... I welcome any of you to try this, and tell me how you liked it, and send some images and vids.  They would be fun to put up here.

Originally, I wanted to create images for the various medals earned for different types, and may still do so.  "Double Core Kill over Water",  "Pterodactyl Hunter - Core Kill" (shooting down an aircraft on a core), etc.  It would be fun to do that, but for now, the general challenge is out there.  If you want to be on the site, send me at least one artistic image of the stunt kill, one verifying image and someway to link the game so I can see it's not a staged/custom match, but an online, random match with strangers.  Feel free to send a video as well.  The good email address will be for now.  

There are some ridiculously talented players out there and I'd love to see the legit stunt kills you could come up with.  It would be cool to feature your images and videos on this site.

While my blog will go into other directions very different than this type of event, it is a very central and solid starting point for many of the more unusual psychological experiments and phenomena that will be discussed.

Below is a small collection of Fusion Core Kill videos.  I really like the 2nd one.  Can't believe that all the explosives went off except the ones I was standing on.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Counting Coup, Stunt Kills and Inexplicable War Zone Behavior

The Plains Indians of North America held a tradition of counting coup on one’s enemy, by touching them in battle with a hand or a coup stick.  There were many other variations of this act, with sets of rules as to how much honor one gained in the execution.  The greater the display of bravery and the more unusual the steps to show up one’s enemy, the more honors visited upon the warrior… and the more scorn brought down on the victim.  Being injured while counting coup brought even greater honor to the warrior and qualified him to paint his hand red, or place a red hand on the hide of his horse. 

It is said there was one brave who took this too far.  Others were greatly disturbed when he perpetrated many bizarre countings, thefts and unusual killings in his obsession to fully cover a second horse in red hands (his first horse, now redder than its original buff color, had been vandalized by a jealous peer by adding turkey beaks, eyes and legs to each red hand).

The obsessed brave routinely blindfolded himself in battle to achieve “sightless kills”, snuck into enemy camps leaving charcoal mustaches and spectacles on the faces of tribal leaders (symbols to mockingly portray them as pale-face-friendly) and would occasionally impose severe tickling upon a sleeping enemy, whose laughter upon awakening brought them life long shame and dishonor within their own tribe.

His second horse was never fully covered in red hands, for the brave was killed in an attempt to perform a controversial T’Chail Taek  (roughly translates “stunt kill” or “risk kill”).  He called out his enemy while standing upon a gun powder keg stolen from Fort Atkinson.  After emerging from his dwelling and a short exchange of words, the confused enemy was pierced by an arrow, some reports say in the belly, some say the right thigh.  This victim, it is said, was so enraged with dishonor that he, with his bare hands, grabbed hot embers from his camp fire and threw them at the power keg, injuring himself further and sending his offender high into the air. 

Both tribes officially pronounced the act a failed T’Chail Taek attempt since the victim died weeks later than the attacker (from infection in the wound). 

Though most historians discount the existence of this warrior, it is quite telling that children across North America still routinely stamp their paint-dipped hands onto paper and proceed to draw turkey beaks, eyes and legs upon the image.

Stunt Kill Video - Head Shot Standing on Explosives