The Pillar of Autumn Continued
--== Begin Enemy Units ==--
(1) Grunts -- Low-level blue and red grunts; grenades and plasma pistols.
(2) Elite -- Medium-level blues; effectively utilize cover / Plasma SMG.
(3) Red Elite -- Higher-level red; effectively utilize cover / Plasma SMG / Harsh Melee.
After you speak with the Captain and then you are introduced to Cortana -- man it feels weird to think of this as being the point where we meet her for the first time... I mean considering the major role that she has played in our life up to now with our adventures in the previous games -- I am just saying...
After Captain Keyes finishes his reflections and issues you the orders that he has for you, Cortana is removed from the Pillar of Autumn Mainframe and inserted into the empty and waiting main computer storage for your armor -- and she settles right in!
-- New Primary Objective: Escape from the Pillar of Autumn Alive with Cortana
At this point in spite of the size of the ship there really is only one path that we can eventually follow, so proceed along and, now that we have a weapon thanks to Captain Keyes, who gave us his personal sidearm, a Model M6C Personal Defense Weapon System (his pistol in other words) -- all that we need to do is locate ammunition for it.
Yeah, seriously -- he keeps a weapon in the holster on his uniform but no ammunition in its clip! Lucky for us finding ammunition will not be that difficult as we actually cannot help but stumble upon a clip or two in the passageways. Now that we are armed it is time to kill some Covenant to make Mommy proud! And while we are about it, re-purpose a Battle Rifle or better yet an SMG while you are about it! Of course to do that you need to find a dead Marine...
You can also grab a weapon off of a dead Covenant -- it is really up to you -- but having something in addition to your sidearm is not only a really good idea, it adds to your efficiency. I am just saying...
As you progress through the ship working your way around obstacles and killing the Covenant you encounter you will also encounter Marines (living and dead) with the former helping you take out the bad guys and the latter making you sad.
Escaping the Pillar of Autumn
A Blue Elite
Cortana actually helps to guide you, and when you reach the main Lifeboat Deck you will notice that while there are no Lifeboats for you to take here, there are some boxes here and there with red lights on them that you can collect. These contain a device called an "Overshield" that will double your main shield capacity temporarily. Basically they turn your shield meter green (to let you know it has doubled) from the regular blue, but when this extra level is shot away it does not recharge.
You will also notice that scattered throughout the level are a handful of first aid kits -- white boxes with the universal symbol for first aid on them -- some on the ground but mostly bolted to the bulkheads. You can pick those up to recover health when you need it.
I bring this up because IF you are playing the game on Legendary and you do NOT pick up an Overshield or a First-Aid Kit (FSK)up throughout the entire level you can unlock the Achievements "Overshields are for Sissies" (10 GS), and "Walk It Off" (25 GS) respectively.
If you decided to play this level of the game in cooperative mode and you are on Legendary (or lower but the difficulty-based Achievements all stack so anything at or below your current difficulty level is also unlocked -- and in this case that would include the Achievements:
-- "Bro Hammer" (50 GS) Complete any level cooperatively on Legendary Difficulty
-- "Brovershield" (20 GS) Complete any level cooperatively on Heroic Difficulty
-- "Standard Operating Brocedure" (10 GS) Complete any level cooperatively on Normal Difficulty
If you are playing on Legendary you unlock all three of these, on Heroic just the last two, and on Normal just the third...
If you are playing on Heroic or higher and somehow manage to get through the level without taking ANY health damage (you can get shield damage as long as your actual health level is not affected) you can unlock the Achievement "He's Unstoppable" (20 GS).
When you reach the end of the area you trigger a CS in which you enter the Lifeboat chamber -- pulling another Marine in with you and basically rescuing them -- immediately after you kill the Red Elite (should be the first of these you have encountered) which is a type of Elite that is a tad bit stronger and a bit more capable than the Blue Elites with respect to melee skills...
As the CS plays out you unlock any of the difficulty-based Achievements from above as well as the Main Achievement for this level: "Pillar of Autumn" (25 GS) for completing it. Well done! Good on ya! That is ONE Level down, and just 9 or so go go!