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LONG BLOG

The epic end to my Halo 3 Achievement journey

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As you may recall, I have had a bit of a bone to pick with the Halo 3 Achievements; specifically, some of the online-only Achievements were driving players to kind-of-sort-of cheat just to get them.

And yet, I'm a completionist at heart. I get such a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment from seeing 100% next to my save file (or even 200.6%). So when Halo 3 came out, I was determined to get 1000 Achievement Points from it, to really do all there is to be done in the game.

It was smooth sailing until about 980.

The last four Achievements I had to get (each worth only a measly 5 Achievement Points) were Killing Frenzy (ten kills without dying), Overkill (four kills within four seconds of one another), Steppin' Razor (three kills within four seconds of one another using only the Energy Sword), and Two for One (two kills with a single Spartan Laser shot). The catch? All of these had to be done in ranked free-for-all matches, so while some are easy to come by in team games, it is just difficult to even find four people within four seconds of one another, let alone kill them all.

I figured that one of the easiest ones to get would be Two for One. All it really required was to be in the right place at the right time. Well, that happened to me on October 21st, although it was not quite the right time. Barreling through the bunker in High Ground with my laser charging, I rushed to the broken entrance and fired my laser straight through two men duking it out. They died, but the problem was the omnipresent voice that said "Game Over," just a second before. Had he just extended the game by mere seconds, the Achievement would have been mine.

The first Achievement I would actually get kind of just came to me one time. I found myself in a match with some people lacking any sort of sense, allowing me to repeatedly hide around corners with a Mauler or a Shotgun. Ten kills without dying came easily enough, and I took it as a sign that my journey would be over soon. That was over a month ago on October 22nd.

With three Achievements left, I got wind that Bungie would be releasing a Halloween-only playlist full of zombies. What this meant was that in every single game, there would be swords, lasers, and thirteen people playing. And it still counted as ranked free-for-all, so those of us who didn't cheat to get Achievements would have a fighting chance.

After playing a few rounds, I even messaged Sheir, telling him that Achievements were as good as mine. Countless times through the evening I got only a Double Kill with the sword, or I nearly missed the double with a laser shot. I did end up getting the Overkill (actually, I got a Killtacular--five kills within four seconds of one another) Achievement on the night of All Hallow's eve, but after five hours playing and only having that to show for it, I was beginning to get pretty demoralized with my quest.

Of course, I soldiered on, and with the most recent playlist update, Bungie added another player to Lone Wolves, upping the number of people to kill (while also upping the people trying to kill you). After weeks of toiling away, I found myself in a perfect setup. Crazy King on The Pit, with the hill in the middle and me with the sword. I sliced a guy, grabbed the Overshield, and then went only to slice four people in a row, netting an Overkill with the sword. I eagerly awaited my little *blip* telling me that I done good.

Nothing.

WHAT!? I just got an Overkill with the Sword, and you didn't give me credit for the Triple Kill?! Naturally, I was irate. I even went so far as to post on Bungie's forums, telling them how hard I had been trying to get the Achievement, and that I not only earned it, but I surpassed it, and I still didn't get credit for it.

The people there didn't seem to care about my plight, as the thread got a total of zero replies, which I took as a sign to STFUAJPG. So I got back to it. Later that night (November 18th, now), I found myself in another excellent Steppin' Razor opportunity. It was Oddball on Construct, and I killed the ball carrier near the top of one of those goofy gravity lifts. The opponents just keep coming at you when you're near the ball, so all I had to (skillfully) do was wait there with the sword and let them come to me. Again, I managed an Overkill with the sword, but this time, I heard the soothing blip of a task accomplished. I only had one Achievement left: Two for One.

Naturally, as I'm writing this now, you can assume that I did eventually get two kills with the Spartan Laser. But the point of this post is to illustrate just how painstaking the process was. It took two months from when I started playing, and about one month from when I started actively trying for it. Below are some pictures of my near misses, with descriptions.


This was the closest I got to hitting two zombies with one laser shot on Halloween. If you ask me, that looks like it should have killed both of them, but alas, it only got one. October 31st.


A lot of my time going for this was spent in the caves on Snowbound. Here's a miss that was frustratingly close. November 4th.




These three were all in the same game. The second and third are not that close, but the first one was another "I can't believe he's still alive" moment. Note that the huge blue explosion in the first picture is where somebody used to be, before I vaporized him. November 17th.


This one doesn't look that close, but just a half second earlier, both guys were alive and in my crosshair. The one guy killed the other, and only he was met by my laser. November 18th.



These two were also from the same game, on Construct. In the first, there is a dead body lying in front of me. Had I fired just a bit sooner, both men would have been hit by my red beam of doom. The second picture is the absolute closest I had gotten at that point (not counting my "after the buzzer" Double Kill from a month before). Had I just aimed slightly up, or had the second guy not jumped, he would have been hit. It's a bit tough to see from the image, but he is literally directly above my laser shot. November 18th.



Two more from the same game. The first is not so impressive, and just demonstrates my M.O. on Snowbound: grab the laser and camp the tunnels. The second photo is another super frustrating one where the one guy who is already dead in the picture hasn't even finished falling to the ground before my laser hits the two of them. That is how close I was, temporally. November 18th.


This one was frustrating, but not because of timing. I was lined up perfectly for the shot, I just blew the aiming. After seeing this in the replay, I was angry with myself because it could have been mine with a slight tweak of the right thumbstick. November 26th.


Oddball on Snowbound. Seems like a perfect opportunity. And here it is, my laser hitting two people (with a third very nearly getting caught in it). But wait, why are those names blocking the view? Oh that's right. The game ended not a second before this shot. Why do I have zero points? Because I was going for the laser, not the ball! November 26th.

And finally, nearing the end of my play session tonight, I came to this:

This one had my heart skipping a beat, because the notification that I had earned the Achievement did not show up for a good two or three seconds after it happened. I was half expecting it to pull another "you did this but we're still not giving you credit for it like the Steppin' Razor thing," but luckily, I got what I deserved. I got the last Achievement I needed. But let's take a look at the laser hit...




...Wait a minute, what? That second guy isn't even close to my laser! All I can imagine is that they were both low on shields from beating each other up, and he was just close enough to be killed by the invisible laser radius. You know what? I'll take it. I worked long and hard for this Achievement, and I earned it.

All in all, I've probably spent the majority of my time playing Halo 3 in Lone Wolves, despite the fact that I greatly prefer Team Objective games. From all of this, I managed to get my level in Lone Wolves up to 42. That's right, I almost hit the level cap of 50 just because I wanted to actually earn my Achievements.

Now check out my guy at the top of this page. Yeah, he looks goofy. But that's because he's got on the Marathon helmet and the Hayabusa katana. While I know they don't really mean much since most people set up the Achievements to get them, they mean a lot to me because they represent two months worth of hard work and perseverance. And from now on, I'll be wearing them proudly.
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About Darren Nakamuraone of us since 2:29 AM on 11.06.2006

Darren is a scientist during the day. He has been a Destructoid community member since 2006, joining the front page as a contributor in 2011.

While he enjoys shooters, RPGs, platformers, strategy, and rhythm games, he takes particular interest in independent games. He produced the Zero Cool Podcast for about four years, and he plays board games quite a bit when he can find willing companions.

FULL DISCLOSURE: Darren Nakamura knows several people in the video game industry, most of whom are Destructoid alumni. These include:

Anthony Burch, former writer for Gearbox Software
Ashly Burch, notable voice actor
Nick Chester, publicist for Harmonix Music Systems
Chad Concelmo, writer for Golin Harris
Aaron Linde, writer for Gearbox Software
Jayson Napolitano, publicist for Scarlet Moon Productions
Brad Nicholson, former publicist for Uber Entertainment
Alex Ryan, publicist for Kalypso Media
Jim Sterling, notable voice actor

Darren backs a lot of Kickstarter campaigns! If you want to see what he has backed, you can go here. If he ever reviews a game that he backed, that will be explicitly disclosed in the review.

Darren invested in Psychonauts 2 on Fig.
Xbox LIVE:Dexter345
PSN ID:Dexter345
Steam ID:http://steamcommunity.com/profil
Mii code:1257 7687 3747 6405


 

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