Welcome to the first in a series of guides for Halo: The Master Chief Collection! These guides will cover every game in the collection individually, and will help you with getting the Par Times and Par Scores for every level in Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Because we’re nice. Now, without further ado, your guide to beating the Par Times and Scores of every single level of Halo: Combat Evolved!
The Pillar Of Autumn
Ah, the beginning of something special. Here’s how we’re going to do this – there’s going to be separate pieces of advice for Par Time and Par Score, as some things that help one do not necessarily help the other. Like, for example, this mission and its 15 minute long tutorial. The temptation is to, when going for Par Time, play on a higher difficulty to skip the tutorial and gain a little time. However, in order to skip the tutorial, you must play on Heroic difficulty or higher – which will make a speed run exceedingly difficult.
Also, it is worth mentioning that it is recommended you beat each of the single player campaigns at least a couple of times before attempting these runs. It will help with knowing the areas of the levels I’m talking about and mapping them out in your head ahead of time.
The handy thing about this level is that a lot of the tactics count for both Time and Score runs. Both getting the highest score and the fastest time require mastering a handy set of skills. You have to get a handle on the magnum, first off; this thing is a handheld Death Star if you know how to use it. Make use of Halo’s judicious auto-aim to peg headshots on Grunts, both to chain up multipliers and clean up the easy enemies quickly. Thankfully, this first level is only Grunts and Elites, the two simplest enemies in the game. The problem is, Elites are still dangerous. And no matter if you’re gunning for Time or Score, you have to combine the magnum with another weapon; the plasma pistol. The infamous “noob combo”; hold down the fire button with the plasma pistol to charge up a shot, then let it loose at an Elite to drain their shields, and finish the party with one headshot. Honestly, skip the assault rifle you can pick up in the mess hall at the beginning – just keep this combo for the whole mission.
There’s one area that requires a different strategy depending on which achievement you’re trying to get. There will be an area where the Covenant are on a landing above you, with a staircase in the center of the room. If you’re going for time? Blitz it, ignore the enemies, and keep on trucking (you also should do this at the mission’s end – ignore the enemies and just run for the lifepod). For score, however, you need to slowly cap as many of the Grunts with magnum headshots from the ground as you can before heading upstairs. Then, try and crowd as many enemies into groups as you can to pick up point multipliers and medals. Don’t be afraid to jump down (beware fall damage!) to dodge grenades – Heroic Grunts friggin’ love those things.
That said, this level is simple. Play it on Heroic for Score, Normal for Time, and keep your head down, there’s two of us in here now, remember?