Can You Beat Halo: Reach Without Taking Any Damage?
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Can You Beat Halo: Reach Without Taking Any Damage?


It’s been said that from the beginning,
you know the end. And that it’s not about the destination,
it’s about the journey. In this case, it’s about neither of those
things. It’s about how much pain a 9 year old game
can cause you. Can You Beat Halo Reach Without Taking Any
Damage? Reach begins with a cutscene showing the blue
and green guy arriving at an outpost or something and listening in on a conversation between
Carter and Holland. There’s some foreshadowing, an air ride,
and taking Call of Duty back to its roots with boots on the ground gameplay. I was almost immediately bothered by the fact
that the crosshair is not centered on the screen. But like one of the holes in my sock, I eventually
stopped being a bitch and got over it. Unparalleled destruction was revealed, nobody
knew what forces of evil were responsible for such reprehensible actions. After meeting with the civilians and attempting
to murder them, we encountered the Covenant for the first time. The way this run works is rather simple: any
time I take damage, I reload the last checkpoint. This forces me to get through any situation
without taking damage since I can’t save-scum my way through it like I could in Fallout
or Skyrim by making a new save every 7 seconds. Also, something new you’ll notice on the
screen is a timer and death counter. The timer is self-explanatory and the death
counter isn’t necessarily for deaths, it’s for the number of times I took damage and
had to reset. I try to approximate how long certain difficult
portions of a game take, but this provides more content. And if you’re wondering, yes, it was a nightmare
to add the death counter. I regretted it almost immediately. Carter and I rode off a cliff when I tried
to send him and Jorge to their death, it worked the 2nd time, we fought more Covenant, and
rode to another area. The aliens beat us there. This revealed one of the annoying parts of
Reach that would be present throughout the rest of the game, the unfortunate placement
of checkpoints. In this instance, the checkpoint is when you’re
still in the air, so failing means you wait until you land over and over and over again. It doesn’t seem like it would be that bad,
but when you fail here you’re waiting 25 seconds just for the chance to try again. The upside to combat in general is that everything
your facing fires plasma based weapons. The projectiles are fast, but not so fast
that they’re impossible to dodge. In close quarters it’s a fruitless endeavor,
like putting the pieces of a broken coffee mug back together. When there’s some distance though, it’s
more than possible to evade their shots. We had to wait a bit for Pussy to hack her
way into the door controls, you can tell she’s the hacker because she has a robot hand. I took damage multiple times here. After several failures, I decided to just
sit back and let the other Spartans do most of the work. They’re Spartans, they can’t die. Another cutscene advanced the story and had
me almost get stabbed in the chest with an energy dagger. Potential damage from cutscenes doesn’t
count. The patented forklift technique failed me
inside this place. I’m gonna go ahead and say that this was
343’s fault. There’s no reason why this should haven’t
have worked. I continued fighting my way through the Grunts
and Elites without too much of an issue. One Elite had a Concussion Rifle. They’re usually the ones you wanna take
out first as the it doesn’t have to hit you directly to do damage. In some other game, perhaps one made by a
developer that loves cliches, they’d have had this lady who just lost her father become
a part of the team. Thankfully that didn’t happen, Carter told
the big holographic cheese what the name of this mission is, and we’re onto ONI: Sword
Base. Due to the sensitive nature of Sword Base,
those in charge of nuking the planet decided that destroying the base and starting fresh
isn’t an option. You’ve gotta punch down trees and mine for
cobblestone it’s a whole thing, nobody wants to do that. There are a not insignificant number of Grunts,
Jackals, and Elites here that need to be safely removed from the premises before we can proceed. In theory, this shouldn’t have been difficult. Go slow, don’t take risks, attack from a
distance. All great strategies that didn’t really
work out for me. I didn’t finish adding the death counter
to the video before I started this script so I have no idea what the actual number is
for how many attempts this took. But it was more than one which makes it too
many. Eventually I got through it, picked up the
Target Locator, and was flooded with memories of using this to farm medals and experience
back when Reach released 9 years ago. I got hit by Wraith projectiles a few times,
tried to take out the big ship in the sky with the Target Locator, failed, took out
my rage on this guy’s head, and managed to destroy two Wraiths and a friendly Warthog
with one bombardment. There was something here that needed to be
activated to help defend Reach. I spent a considerable amount of time here. There weren’t that many enemies here, certainly
fewer than I faced at the beginning of the mission, but I just kept failing. Primarily because I had to immediately flee
from where I’d gotten the checkpoint due to a Covenant ship dropping off enemies soon
after the checkpoint reloaded. I also only had 5 shots with a Sniper Rifle
at my disposal to get me inside the building where there are DMR’s. I got the anti-air gun activated, picked off
the remaining forces, and pressed onward. I was given a Warthog to drive to my next
objective and it was here I made a decision, potentially a pretty stupid one. The side of the screen sorta lights up when
you’re in a vehicle and an enemy bullet hits you. Your health bar doesn’t decrease, but it’s
still technically damage. I think in other Halo’s I ignored that,
I said that because your health isn’t decreasing it doesn’t count or something, but I didn’t
do that here. Had I known what was in store for me later
in the campaign, I would’ve done things differently. This domesticated human living perimeter wasn’t
that bad. The Jackals with Needle Rifles are always
a concern, the Needle Rifle is one of the few Covenant weapons that you can’t really
dodge shots from. I got startled by 2 Grunts and jumped off
a building which sprained my left ankle. I consulted a doctor who flunked out medical
school and took his advice by killing myself. With a Gauss Hog freshly picked from a Warthog
tree, my team of disposable marines rode towards combat. On the other side of the Hyperion barge were
more Covenant including Hunters that I fought for the first time. The only real problem with Hunters is that
they exist, one even had the nerve to knock over the Forklift. Their attacks can be dodged easily enough
if you’re careful and a few shots in their orange gunk with a shotgun can kill them. Up in the ONI building, I Brute forced my
way through the three kinds of enemies inside until I found the breach. I spent longer here than I should have. A Phantom is hovering nearby but the real
bitch is the invisible Elite. I figured my best chance at taking him out
was to just shoot rockets at the box while also trying to knock it down into the darkness
below. Once we took out the Phantom, the boys upstairs
did their part in destroying the big ship, and the sneaky stealth mission began. There wasn’t anything crazy in this mission. Covenant were held up in an area called the
dark zone. It’s kinda like Chalk Zone but there was
no chalk to be found, so they called it the Dark Zone. Seeing as this is an infiltration and recon
mission, there aren’t massive numbers of Covenant to deal with. There were these giant Elephant Sloth monsters
that were unfriendly towards me, probably because I had just chucked a grenade their
way. They’re aliens, they don’t understand
that that’s what friends do to each other on Earth. Several checkpoints later, we arrived at the
Hydro Plant where, despite what I just said, a solid amount of enemy aliens were located. Skirmishers on the rooftops were among the
first to go, you don’t fuck around with Needle Rifles unless you have to. More Elites and such showed up, I died a few
times, and we found the pylon which was powering the dark zone. I paid the ultimate price for trying to knock
a forklift off a cliff, cautiously fought through the enemy forces, defended Jun while
he planted explosives on the pylon, pressed deeper into the dark zone, and finally found
the heart of darkness: a Covenant landing zone. Tip of the Spear was next. The one armed robot was driving which was
the first sign things would go wrong. The very beginning of this mission could’ve
been bad had I missed the almost hand-holding the game does to show you that you can stun
vehicles with the Grenade Launcher. As usual, I ditched the Rocket Hog because
it’s just a big ol’ target painted all over my spine. I did, however, use that hog’s turret to
do surprisingly little against the Covenant guarding this bird beak-looking turret. Destroying the energy thing inside the gun
building was child’s cake, but I had a bit of a problem rounding this corner. There was a Ghost to deal with, Skirmishers
with Needle Rifles, a Phantom was floating around somewhere, and a Wraith. Wraith’s by themselves aren’t All That
which Nickelodeon rebooted in 2019 because the dead can’t be allowed to rest in peace. The wraith gunner can still shoot when the
wraith itself is stunned. And just like in the ghost of Halo’s past,
the turrets fire so quickly that avoiding their shots is near impossible. After ditching a truck in mid-air and letting
it splatter a marine, I began securing the Mining Facility. Most of what’s on the glorified scaffolding
are Grunts and Jackals. Precision weapons make them a joke, but the
Elites that did gymnastics as kids are frustrating as fuck to kill. Especially this red prick. He was a General or something, a high value
target I guess. He used our own technology against me, could
give an unnamed olympic swimmer a run for their money, and was a considerable bitch
to kill, to the point where I don’t know if I even killed him. I blasted someone with something but I never
found his body. Another AA gun sent me a postcard requesting
to be destroyed, and I happily obliged. My attacks were borderline worthless, I got
lucky that I had two shots left in the Grenade Launcher. Friendly forces were dropped off to help. The implication that I couldn’t handle things
on my own was insulting, so I ran them all over, spent a few lives killing everything
around this rock, took to the skies with a grenade launcher in an on-rails shooter section,
and got blasted out of the sky. The Spire is one of the Covenant’s [clear
throat] “teleporter and shield-generator arrays”, whatever the fuck that means. I don’t care for this sci-fi shit, I’m
not a nerd. My health is somewhat depleted but it was
already depleted when the mission started therefore it doesn’t count since I can’t
do anything about it. I got my claws on a Ford Focus Rifle that
reminded me of that big turret from earlier. Getting into the Spire took a bit of trial
and error, then I rode up to the top, accidentally wasted one of my grenades, took out the world’s
toughest Grunts, did the cliche’d jump to the chopper even though I literally have a
fucking jetpack. Then UNSC ship Grafton took damage. Good, it deserved it. Grafton is a dumb name. Everyone but me took off their helmets to
show how desperate the situation is, I can’t take off mine because my face doesn’t technically
exist. Our objective is space. To get to space, we’d either need more drugs
than you can imagine or we’d need to fight through the Covenant to get to the ship birthing
yard. This marine disrespected the dead so I made
him dead, and I was in space. I’m gonna be real with ya, this was horrible. Easily the worst part of the game. There are a couple problems. The first is entirely my fault. I thought the missiles that lock-on to enemy
ships were more effective than the cannon. They were not, and I wouldn’t discover that
until I suffered a whole lot. The other problem stems from the nature of
the mission. You’re in a ship fighting other ships in
space, in a ship in space. Basically, the issue is that you have no way
of dodging attacks. You can dodge them if they’re coming at
you from the front, but if they’re coming from the sides or the rear, you’re fucked. Constantly boosting and using evasive maneuvers
helps, but it doesn’t eliminate the problem entirely. You also have no health bar, so I just assumed
that any time the red arrows appeared on-screen, I took damage. After spending more time than I thought was
humanly possible, I swapped to the cannon which changed everything. It was amazingly effective, still not at all
easy though. Eventually the Banshees were destroyed and
Seraphs took their place as the enemies over the planet. Far fewer of them existed, but they had energy
shields that needed to be depleted before you could damage them, making them far more
time consuming to destroy. After the first wave were dealt with, a combination
of Banshees and Seraphs stormed the atmosphere like Normandy. I’d guess that there were more ships this
time around than the first two waves combined. I can’t even begin to describe how much
I hated this part of the game. I hated it so much that I eventually just
gave up. If you fly as low as possible, you don’t
die or have a timer or anything like that, you’re just sorta pushed back up. Get into a corner as low as possible, and
with the help of a pair of headphones wrapped around your controller, you can fly down indefinitely
and wait for the battle to come to its natural conclusion. After a brief cutscene, our target revealed
itself. A Covenant ship had defenses that needed to
be destroyed before we could get inside. I spent a while trying to destroy all the
ships flying around, gave up, and started Round 2 of the waiting game. This time I did flips, it was a fun time. Once all the ships were gone, I could spend
far too long trying to find the engines that needed to be damaged before I could land on
the ship and never have to pilot a Sabre in Halo Reach again. Once inside the ship, several Elites were
waiting for me and increased my death counter more than a few times. This area realistically should’ve been over
quicker than it was. Surprisingly, the low gravity was more of
a hinderance than a handful of help. The marines and I, one of which was probably
a reference to RoosterTeeth but I was and still am too lazy to look it up to see if
that’s true, ravaged the Elites on our way to the Bridge. They sunk another one of our battleships,
so we had to do things the old fashioned way. The map room bothered me. Quite a few Elites spread all over the place,
several could be taken out stealthily but the screaming alerted the others who were
not thrilled about watching their friends and brothers be stabbed to death by a metal
man wielding a shotgun. But metal man prevailed, the landing room
was retreated too and secured with a shockingly few amount of deaths, and Jorge sacrificed
himself so that Reach may survive. Spoiler alert Jorge sucks and died for nothing. Exodus takes us back to a simpler time, when
suicidal Grunts were killing innocent civilians. My health was low again here for the same
reason it was low in the Spire mission, nothing could be done about it. Tradition dictates that I get stuck in a spot
where damage is inflicted the second I respawn. Thankfully it wasn’t very far into the mission
since I had to restart it. I had the option of restoring my health but
I kept taking damage shortly after doing it so I pussied out and started using everyone’s
favorite armor ability: Armor Lock. Brutes are here and are were attacking citizens. Their inefficiency was bothering me so I killed
them myself. The Brutes can be tough but just like Donkey
Kong they can be killed in 1-2 headshots after their helmet is shot off. I got an achievement for something, used a
Needler for the first time in this game, rode an elevator, and traversed the cargo port
with a jetpack. Marines did a lot of the work while I picked
off Brutes from a distance, missed multiple point-blank plasma grenade throws, several
of my marines died while I was busy not caring whether they lived or died. A little ways up ahead I gave a rocket launcher
to one and a sniper rifle to another, they would have infinite ammo with them and those
two were the only ones who respected me enough to be not dead. Securing the landing pad was not in any way
difficult, thanks in part to Rocket Launcher guy. Then, once again, things got terrible. Any on-rails section is going to be a nightmare,
ignore that one from earlier in the game just pretend it didn’t happen. The issue here is Banshees. There are several of them and taking them
out before they have a chance to attack you is difficult. Sometimes their shots hit the bird but don’t
tear through its wings, but only sometimes. The only way to know for sure what they’ll
do is to destroy them before they can do anything. I spent somewhere around 10 minutes here which
makes it seem like it wouldn’t be that bad. It was, don’t let the numbers fool you. Algebra is a lie. Write that on your test and tell the teacher
I said they’re wrong. Next came the batteries that had to be charged
or rigged to explode. In theory, this would be easy. Ammo is plentiful and it’s a wide open area
that can be approached any number of ways. Yeah I kept trying to charge head-first into
a couple Brutes. I don’t remember how many times I failed. It was quite a few. Then I ignored both them and the wraith, got
a checkpoint on the bridge, armed the 2nd battery, pushed in the alien brains with my
bullets, fired the missiles, and we’re onto New Alexandria: another mission that involves
flying. This mission started off strong when I couldn’t
figure out how to fly and almost fell out of the sky. Once I got a handle on it, the falcon turned
out to be far superior to the Sabre. Bashees are a complete joke as long as you’re
moving. Inside the hospital, an Engineer was constructing
additional pylons for the Covenant infesting the multiple floors I forced my way through. The Brutes guarding the orange activate triangle
proved annoying to kill without a precision weapon. Elites with jetpacks were pretty annoying
too. These Falcon sections are hardly even worth
talking about given how easy they are. Another Covenant Jammer was hiding out at
Sinoviet, not sure if that’s a real word but whatever. Just like most other open spaces, I kept taking
damage here. I refuse to accept that this could be my fault. The Jammer was deep in a building which was
supposedly a trap. There were like 2 things that came after me. If it was a trap it was a shitty trap. Some rooftop turrets were destroyed, the city
looked a little weird, and I entered Club Errera to destroy the 3rd jammer. Four Hunters were the bosses inside this one
and didn’t put up much of a fight. One startled me and bopped me with his plasma. Not much else happened in there. I left, destroyed more roof shit, another
cutscene happened, Kat was careless, got shot in the head, and the Package was next. There are multiple Covenant Anti-Air towers
that must be destroyed. The initial area was handled with minimal
issues. There were multiple… uh.. hover tower things
on the path to the towers. This entire mission took longer than it had
any right to. At first I didn’t use the tank. I had a Fuel Rod Cannon, who needs a tank. That mindset didn’t last very long. Now you’d think that with a tank this would
be easy. But I have a knack for making things harder
than they should be. If any shot hit the tank, I counted it as
damage. Imagine for a second what kind of problem
that would present. You’re in the slowest moving vehicle in
the game that is also a massive target for enemy fire. You see a Ghost and it fires, you’re so
slow that even if you shoot it the second you see it, you don’t have enough time to
evade its shot. It took me almost 20 minutes just to get to
the first tower. I looked up a Legendary playthrough just as
a comparison. It took this Hokiebird428 guy not even 5 minutes
to get to that exact same spot. The towers themselves took a real pounding
from the scorpion but couldn’t fight back, so death was inevitable. Remember what I just said about ghosts? I was preparing you for this part. There’s like 4 Ghosts and they were not
fun. But after many, many, many resets, I failed
to put the tank in Sword Base, met up with Elmo and Quarter who were already taking the
fight to the Elites, proceeded up the wheelchair accessible ramps leading up to the upper levels
of the buildings, that’s usually how buildings work, when you go up you go up, and got deja-vu
from this area. This one Elite in particular took a ridiculous
number of headshots to die. Right after the all is lost moment, a secret
passageway opened up, we rode the trolly down into the iceberg, and played Tower Defense
5 with Catherine Halsey. What’s weird is that I remember playing
this mission on Legendary with my friends and it was a real bitch to complete. I wouldn’t call it easy, but it really wasn’t
difficult either. The automated turrets made their daddy proud
and once I perched myself on top of one of the buildings, I could pick off Covenant forces
as they showed up. Down in her hole, Halsey revealed that The
Package in this mission’s name references Cortana. For plot reasons and to make the player feel
special, Cortana chooses me to be her transportation vessel. Skelington and I dropped from the ship to
let Carter die in peace, and The Pillar of Autumn begins. In the Xbox 360 version of Reach, I’m like
60% certain that there’s an achievement for landing on this Elite and assassinating
him. I couldn’t be bothered to see if there’s
one for the Master Chief Collection, but by God I was going to throw my body off the cliff
to my death until I got it. I never got it and gave up. I remember being annoyed at my antics when
I was adding the death counter. What I don’t remember is how many times
I killed myself. More than 10, less than 30, probably. I gave up and killed them the old fashioned
way, rode a mongoose through a canyon and watched as the Covenant threw everything they
had at us. And of course when I say “us” I’m excluding
me. I was playing Janitor and cleaned up all the
grunts that landed. Emile and I jumped a gap, and by the time
we found an alternate route through the caves, I could spell “This Town Ain’t Big Enough”
backwards. I can’t do it now, though. Stop smiling idiot I’m not doing it. After Carted played Sudoku with the Scarab,
what remained of Noble Team was swarmed by Drones. You might expect this to have been difficult. I called you an idiot for a reason, because
this wasn’t hard at all. I didn’t take damage once here. Continuing towards the Pillar of Autumn didn’t
get very much harder than that canyon. I had a Sniper Rifle and was so far away that
the enemies gave as much of a shit about me as Bethesda does about making another good
Fallout game. That’s right, I can’t go one video without
mentioning them. Farther on up the road, I contemplated jumping
into the orange sludge to see if I’d die, but instead decided to be mildly annoying
by not satisfying my own curiosity, got double spanked by a pair of Hunters, eventually murdered
them for hurting my bubble, and the final assault began. I’ve known since the beginning that this
ending portion of Reach would be a nightmare, but not any nightmare. It would be like one of the nightmares I had
when I was little that was basically just a fucking kaleidoscope but every time I had
it I would get sick the next day. What does that mean? I’ll tell you what it means. I don’t know what it means. Regardless, the Covenant sends pretty much
everything after me. A dozen or so Brutes and countless Grunts
right at the start. At one point I blew my own mind with my strategy
of sitting on top of a tower with my defense bubble. I took damage about a second after it popped. A little while later, after I missed my jump
and died, I noticed that the game had fucked me. A bunch of DMRs in their crate thing had been
knocked into the void, out of reach. My 15 or so DMR shots were all I’d have
to work with. The Grenade Rifle was not as effective against
anything as I would have liked. After dying multiple times, I once again played
it safe by hiding in a corner. I stayed in that area for about 15 minutes
and soon discovered that it would not be like the space mission, I would have to get off
my ass and take care of business. I got myself stuck behind a rock when I tried
to hide again. There were two high-ranking Brutes nearby. One just up the stairs with a Fuel Rod Cannon
and the other up the stairs to the right with a giant magnetic hammer. The Brute with the gun was a tough motherfucker. It took like 3 headshots to bring him down. But because I suck at landing headshots, I
opted for the Grenade Launcher which was arguably worse than a Plasma Pistol. Several minutes of dying later, I retreated
to the left with a group of marines who were being exceptionally worthless. From there, I made my way inside the central
building and eventually found shotguns and magnums. I held out in there for a while, camping near
the doors with the shotgun, killing anything that came near me. One Brute dropped a Fuel Rod that I picked
up and put to good use. Soon, all that remained were Jackals. Somehow these Jackals took 10 grenades and
still didn’t die. Then I took damage and the Brutes were back. The Shotgun did enough damage to stun them,
allowing for a 2nd shot. And after so much suffering, the end was in
sight. The Pelican arrived. Captain Keyes took my package, I agreed to
stay behind against my will, Emile got stabbed a bunch, and I had to fight my way to the
big gun. This Red elite was tricky. Even with the homing shots from this plasma
thing, he could dodge them most of the time. Eventually he and his grunts died, I dealt
with the other Elites inside who weren’t much easier to be honest, respected Emile’s
corpse, and entered the MAC Cannon. I quickly realized that due to the number
of Phantoms and Banshees trying to stop me, it would be impossible to destroy them all
without taking damage. I reset once, but there was no point in doing
it more than that. I destroyed a few Phantoms and whatnot until
I got the signal to shoot down the Covenant Cruiser, Keyes and the Pillar of Autumn take
off into space, a cutscene reveals that they arrived at the Halo, and I was given an impossible
task: Survive. No matter how good you are, no matter how
long you avoid damage, the game doesn’t end until you take enough damage to die. Just like with the Cannon, I reset once but
it didn’t matter. I took damage and ignored it. At this point the challenge is over. I survived for as long as I could, about 8
minutes, but I eventually fell before the might of the Covenant, and did not beat Halo
Reach Without Taking Any Damage.

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