|A Hard Place|
|Season 1, Episode 1|
Niblick and Crackshot are stranded in the ocean on Forge World.
|Air date||April 2, 2012|
|Written by||x Master Rob x|
|Directed by||x Master Rob x|
Point of View (Chimera Team Alpha)
A Hard Place is the first episode of the first season of the action/comedy Halo machinima series Chimera Team Alpha. It was written and directed by x Master Rob x and serves as the pilot episode for the series. It was featured on the 343icommunity Youtube Channel and has been generally well-received.
- Admiral Jim Tyrell - Abnormacus
- Crackshot - Master Jackosan
- Niblick - Master Jackosan
In the opening shot, we see Niblick and Crackshot trapped on a small rock island on Forge World. The episode then flashes back to Forge World, 48 hours earlier, where two scientists are killed by mysterious Elites. On Earth, Admiral Tyrell re-recruits Crackshot and Niblick to work for him; Crackshot had previously been playing Minor League Grifball, whereas Niblick was operating a criminal empire from a nightclub ("Club Niblique") in Tokyo.
After convincing the two to work for him once more as Team Alpha, the team reconvenes at Spife Base in Washington, D.C., where Tyrell explains the discovery of Forge World, aka Installation -01, a prototype Halo. Tyrell shows Team Alpha a special teleporter the UNSC has been using to access Forge World, and sends the team to Forge World to investigate the disappearance of several scientists. Upon arriving at Forge World, the team is ambushed by Sangheili variants whom Niblick (a Sangheili himself) recognizes as Wendigos. Wendigos, he explains, are tribal barbarians who were exiled from Sangheili long ago and presumably settled on Forge World. After a battle with the Wendigos goes terribly wrong, Team Alpha plummets from a cliff and barely survives, now trapped on a small island, as seen in the opening shot.
Since their equipment doesn't allow Team Alpha to swim, all seems lost until Crackshot realizes that the nearby teleporter can carry a phone signal to Earth. Using Crackshot's wrist-phone, Team Alpha contacts Tyrell, who sends them a Falcon and rocket launchers to escape the island and destroy the Wendigos.
The episode was well-received by machinima fans and especially the 343 community. While Niblick's voice did receive some criticism, the overall consensus was that the episode was very good. Particular praise was given to the Wendigos teabagging their victims and to the final scene, where the Halo "Double Kill" and "Killing Spree" voiceovers were humorously kept in when Team Alpha launches an onslaught of rockets against the Wendigos.
- The name of the episode is an obvious reference to the saying "caught between a rock and a hard place," and describes Team Alpha being trapped on the small rock island as well as the dilemma they are in when deciding with Tyrell whether or not to escape first or take out the Wendigos first.
- The Forge World scenes take place on the level Asylum, which is revealed to be the UNSC Designation for a research colony of Forerunner ruins on Installation -01.
- According to the screen in the Spife Base command center, A Hard Place takes place in 2553, some time after the end of the Human-Covenant War.
- In explaining the mechanics of the teleporter, Tyrell mentions Forge World's "teleportation grid," a function of Halos previously seen in the Halo universe.
- Interestingly, the first time we see Crackshot, he's not in his standard green-and-red armor but is instead in full blue armor because he is taking place in a game of Grifball.
- Filming for the Grifball scene involved mixing an actual recording of Grifball footage and a separate recording of Tyrell, Crackshot, and the Falcon in the same Grifball court level.