June 14, 2011, 7:02 p.m.
posted by ostin
Throw a Grunt Birthday Party
You will find this skull on The Arbiter level. When you reach the mission objective "Pursue the heretic leader," you will know that you are close to the skull. Once activated, the skull will cause the text "Grunt Birthday Party" to appear on your screen.
This is a fun skull—and useful. When the Grunt Birthday Party skull is active, a headshot will cause your foes to explode. Along with the Envy skull [Hack #13], I like to have this one whenever I need to move quickly through a level. I've used this skull so often that I've almost memorized the script for the level: "We are the arm of the prophets, Arbiter, and you are the blade…"
The headshot effect will only work for weapons that feature a headshot bonus (i.e., Magnum, Battle Rifle, Covenant Carbine, Sniper Rifle, and the Covenant Beam Rifle). This sounds like a fantastic advantage but headshots are already fatal. In addition, the headshot bonus does not work through shields, so you'll still have to fight to make a shielded attacker vulnerable. To make the most of this skull, you need to score headshots while enemies are close to one another. Instead of getting just one frag, you may be able to take out a group.
When active on Master Chief levels, the skull's power also applies to any Marines who are fighting on your side. This means that there are plenty of explosions happening during battles; you'll have to be careful how close you get to any targets.
Midway through The Arbiter level, you will need to grab a Banshee from an outdoor platform. In Figure, the Banshees are on the other side of the large windows.
Your ride is waiting outside
As soon as you take off, fly down toward the far side of the large structure. Your path will take you down and to the right (see Figure).
Heading down to the party. The skull is under the structure on the right
There is enough space to land under the large support structures. When you investigate the far support, you should be able to see the glowing methane tanks of a group of Grunts. After you land, it will be clear that—in the darkness—there is actually a circle of dancing Grunts. In the middle of the circle is the Grunt Birthday Party skull (see Figure). Pick it up and let the party begin!