- "Speed is the only protection this vehicle provides; it is unarmored, noisy, and prone to roll-over. It demands a level of skill from its operator that is impossible to expect...during combat conditions."
- —Anonymous E2-BAG/1/7 serviceman
The M274 Ultra-Light All-Terrain Vehicle (abbreviated M274 ULATV), commonly known as the Mongoose, is a United Nations Space Command light ground reconnaissance vehicle. The Mongoose lacks weapons, but can carry a driver and a passenger. The passenger can fire their weapon, but they will not be able to zoom in.
The M274 Mongoose ULATV is one of the fastest and most maneuverable ground vehicles in the arsenal of the UNSC Marine Corps. It is a highly effective vehicle for reconnaissance, rapid transportation, swift tactical versatility, and for shooting between positions. A smaller cousin to the ubiquitous M831 Troop Transport, the Mongoose is a small ATV capable of carrying a driver in the middle of the vehicle, and features a rear platform that can be used to carry one additional passenger. Because it carries no armament of its own, having a passenger is usually essential if engaging in a combat zone. Due to its smaller size, the Mongoose is a difficult target for both slow and fast moving enemy weaponry, as opposed to the Warthog, whose size is somewhat substantial. However, one should note: It's a common misconception that this ULATV is faster than any other ground vehicle in Halo 3, when the M12 LRV Warthog is actually faster (this is due to the different camera angle between the two, as well as the Mongoose's better acceleration).
The Mongoose's high speed, light mass, and practically non-existent armor make it unwieldy and difficult to control at high speeds and/or over unstable terrain, making the ULATV vulnerable to destabilization, crashes, and flips. To make matters worse, the design of the vehicle and it's lack of armor leave both the driver and passenger completely exposed. Furthermore, the Mongoose does not incorporate any offensive or defensive capabilities, making the Mongoose's only practical defenses an armed passenger and it's speed. Thus, the standard UNSC Marine Corps operating protocol in engagements against Covenant forces is to place a M41 Rocket Launcher-armed Marine in the passenger position to fire rockets against slow-moving hostile vehicles, while the driver uses the Mongoose's superior speed to evade enemy return fire. In a last resort situation, the Mongoose can be used to run over nearby enemies. Yet, attempting a splatter is usually an ineffective plan: The low width and height of the vehicle, combined with the aforementioned instabilities when driving, make it very difficult to successfully score an impact on an opponent.
For quick and practical deployment, the Mongoose can be transported by the Pelican dropship or the Behemoth-class Troop Transport (Elephant). Additionally, the AV-14 Attack VTOL appears to have a winch capable of transporting the ULATV, but it is not seen used during gameplay.
Finally, this vehicle is considered to be analogous to the Covenant Type-32 "Ghost" Rapid Assault Vehicle, despite the offensive, defensive, and performance differences.
The Mongoose is operated by a single driver, situated in the middle of the vehicle. Once a driver is in place, the ULATV accelerates rapidly, and can reach a top speed of 60 MPH. The high acceleration and high top speed available on the vehicle proves a vital advantage while trying to "splatter" enemies. However, the Mongoose's excessive maneuverability often makes it quite difficult to splatter enemies: A head-on, full-velocity impact on a shielded enemy is needed to deliver sufficient force to kill.
The lack of weaponry mounted on the Mongoose makes the presence of an armed passenger often essential in combat zones. Engagements with enemy infantry or vehicles are often inadvisable in the absence of a passenger armed with heavy weaponry; the Mongoose's extreme speed and maneuverability makes it best zoom through enemy lines. The Mongoose's speed and acceleration makes it almost impossible to hijack.
The Mongoose's lack of personnel-protective armor, however, makes the driver, and especially the passenger, vulnerable to enemy fire, especially from medium-long range weapons such as the BR55HB SR Battle Rifle. Although the Mongoose's maneuverability makes it difficult to destroy with heavy weapons such as the M41 Rocket Launcher, the Mongoose is vulnerable to the Spartan Laser; despite the Mongoose's high speeds it is extremely easy to track with the Spartan Laser since the Mongoose cannot reach speeds to make tracking difficult. The Brute Shot is also very effective, if you hit the Mongoose, it will send it about two of three meters flying the direction you shot at. Furthermore, in close-range engagements against a Mongoose, it is easy to stick or melee the operators.
Despite the Mongoose's acute vulnerabilities, its light mass and small profile give it interesting applications: it is possible to launch the Mongoose safely off of a man cannon (albeit with mixed results), and the Mongoose can allow a driver "lowride" in one; to drive by balancing on the back two wheels.
Unfortunately, this light weight can also be the player's downfall. Explosives as weak as the explosion from some equipment are strong enough to flip it, and when fighting Flood Infection Forms, the Mongoose isn't heavy enough to pop them (the Mongoose will simply drive over the Infection Forms, leading to a bumpy ride that usually flips the player).
- Due to its high speed, and unreliability, it is usually not the best idea to take one for use. The only time this is suggested is if a marine is found wielding a Rocket launcher. Then you will have a defense and offense capability for use against your enemies.
- If the player is having difficulty using the mongoose in The Storm, take a Marine's Rocket Launcher and let him drive. He will drive erratically, but he will probably be better than your weaving and unstable movement.
- In ODST, look for supply caches unlocked by obtaining audio logs. These will appear as the Superintendent's avatar on your VISR's NAV. Some of these supply caches contain Mongooses, which will greatly increase your travel speed and could turn 5 minutes of on-foot combat to one minute of speedy cruising through the streets of New Mombasa.
- Due to the high-speed and compact nature of the Mongoose, it is a very useful and effective vehicle for objective-based games, such as Capture the Flag or Assault. It is entirely possible in Assault for the attacking team for one player to drive a Mongoose while another player rides as the passenger with the bomb in-hand. It is also possible to use the Mongoose for rapid tactical transportation as well, to relocate players to critical areas, to reach weapon spawns before opposing players, or to prevent enemies from scoring a flag.
- As aforementioned, the Mongoose is extremely vulnerable to explosives: grenades, or even the Brute Shot can effortlessly flip over this low-mass vehicle.
- The Mongoose is an obvious target for snipers and gunners, and, even at close range, players can easily disable the Mongoose with a charged plasma pistol shot. Additionally, use of sufficient suppressive fire can be effective in killing the highly vulnerable operators.
- On the map "Sandtrap", you can use this vehicle to drive through the minefield around the perimeter: its speed is great enough to outrace the mines triggered by the towers. While opponents are usually concentrating on the center of the map, you and a buddy can grab a sniper rifle or another power weapon by traversing the exterior of the map, and dipping in for the weapon.
- Another advantage of the Mongoose is the weapon load out: a smart team can use one Mongoose to disable a Wraith, or Warthog with a plasma pistol, while a second or third Mongoose will use grenades against the downed vehicle, or will use some kind of anti-vehicle weapon. But one must not forget that an overcharged plasma pistol bolt can and may shortly disable your vehicle too.
- The Mongoose is the main vehicle used when a player makes a Forge race map: Because of the Mongoose's small size, the player can forge small quarters where any other vehicle wouldn't fit. For example, players can easily drive a Mongoose through an open container, while other vehicles might be more awkward or too large in such a space.
- A Mongoose, coupled with a passenger carrying a heavy weapon and a Brute Shot, can make the tiny vehicle a veritable force on the battlefield. Using the Brute Shot to make the Mongoose fly into enemy territory, allowing the driver and passenger to catch enemies off guard. With a power weapon, such as a Spartan Laser or a rocket launcher, the two could potentially take out any vehicles before they had the chance to get mobile. Offsetting this is the amount of skill required, as the Brute Shot grenades can often be detrimental if used improperly, and the Spartan Laser can be hard to operate in the passenger seat.
- A good team tactic in CTF gametypes is to place the Mongoose on top of where the flag spawns. This is helpful because players may accidentally get into the Mongoose instead of grabbing the flag. This is a small distraction that can easily be avoided by the other team by moving the Mongoose or by throwing a grenade and send it flying. It will, however, still cause a delay, letting your teams defenders have a better chance. Note, however, that if no one is there to take advantage of the lost time, this distraction will be nothing more then a free getaway vehicle back to their base.
- If you find yourself doing an out of control barrel roll on a Mongoose, pressing the jump button makes the Mongoose stop flipping and eventually land on its' wheels. Do not get it mixed up for when you are sliding upside down in a Mongoose. This skill is highly effective in explosive games, such as Rocket Race. It also works effectively on bumpy maps like "Valhalla".
Behind the Scenes編集
The Mongoose was originally intended to be put into Halo 2, but was eventually canceled. The Mongoose prototype did not fulfill Bungie's expectations for Halo 2, and although Bungie attempted to add dual coaxial machine-guns to it or an armed passenger, it remained unbalanced and didn't fit into the gameplay. Bungie at the time could not figure out a way to implement it into the campaign, and had trouble getting the physics for it right, stating that the whole thing had a tendency to flip very easily, and gameplay wise, had no purpose as it couldn't be driven with the flag and became virtually useless. The addition of the passenger seat gave rise to whole new possibilities and lead to its inclusion in the third game. Other Warthog-related vehicles proposed in Halo 2 were also not featured in the final game.
Red vs. Blue編集
The Mongoose was also featured at the end of the 100th episode of the popular machinima series Red vs. Blue. Sarge called over Simmons and Grif to help him name the new ATV he created from "old Warthog parts we had lying around", which happens to be a Mongoose. This is mainly notable because this episode was shot using Halo 2, where the Mongoose did not appear legitimately. This was done by a silhouette picture put in the background, a common special effect in machinima. It is also used in Reconstruction as the vehicle of choice for Recovery 6 and Recovery 9, as well as Agent Washington, Church, and Caboose.
- "(The M274) is pretty nimble for its size; add to that the fact that it can do ninety plus kilo papa hotel over uneven terrain and you’ve got the ultimate commando hot rod."
- "Speed is the only protection this vehicle provides; it is unarmored, noisy, and prone to roll-over. It demands a level of skill from its operator that is impossible to expect from the rank and file during combat conditions. Those not qualified as expert need not apply."
- "That thing will go from zero to thirty in three seconds on anything short of snow-covered ice."
- "The M274 doesn’t have a radio of its own, isn't equipped with GPS, it doesn't even have any gauges. The only piece of equipment more primitive is the crate it ships in."
- "The first thing everybody does is yank the front cargo cage – if you were to carry anything on it your forward visibility would be obstructed out to about six meters – that and less weight equals more speed… anyway it's the first thing everybody does."
- "It's a super versatile ATV in the tradition of the Sperry FCMMagLEV and Willys Jeep; without the former’s vulnerable drive train or the latter's innards-rupturing suspension."
- "If they're not gonna give us armor they should at least give us a mounted weapon. And you should be able to tow a trailer with it. And, God forbid, you try to ford bodies of water more than seven feet deep."
- "The M274's range is excellent, and that's even before you consider that you can double or triple its range that without severely impacting its max load – just a couple of jerrys of slop¹ and a carbon feeler."
- "Some fellas piss and moan about the M274's lack of offensive capability, but it's not meant to be an AFV! Still; with a brave fella riding pillion you should be able to put out enough discouragement to break contact with all but the most bloodthirsty bravo kilo."
- "The (M274) is definitely the most Buddhist land-based motive system in the UNSC's arsenal...I'll just let that sit with you for a while."
- Its first appearance in a book was in The Cole Protocol during the Battle of Metisette. This is also its first appearance chronologically, meaning that the Mongoose entered UNSC service sometime prior to 2535. Adriana-111 thought of the Mongoose as "useless" as it "just meant you were a biking target"; instead she used the vehicle as a melee weapon against several Grunts.
- If the player manages to splatter an enemy player with the Mongoose in a ranked free-for-all Xbox Live playlist in Halo 3, the player will earn the Mongoose Mowdown achievement, Scout shoulders, and five gamerpoints.
- Due to its susceptibility to explosions and even the smallest bumps and obstacles, the Mongoose often flips, rolls, etc. Through a basic knowledge of vehicle movement and some luck, players can earn prestige by being the few who "almost never flip over".
- Like other UNSC vehicles, the Mongoose closely resembles the animal of its namesake. "Ears" jut out on each side of the front and "eyes" are in the windshield. Its agility, speed, and small size are also characteristic of the real-life mongoose mammal. Despite the Mongoose being touted as "the fastest UNSC land vehicle", this description, ironically belongs to the M12 LRV Warthog. Despite being three times heavier, it is faster overall.
- The Mongoose has a yellow instruction sticker on the deployable passengers seat, stating the maximum weight for the driver and passenger. It is interesting to note that the driver can weigh about 500 kilograms, the average weight for an actual SPARTAN-II soldier. The passenger can also weigh up to 450 kilograms. A SPARTAN weighs around a half-ton, which translates to around 454.5 kilograms, so carrying around another SPARTAN-II soldier as a passenger is possible; however it would seriously damage the Mongoose's suspension under hard acceleration or braking and even the smallest bump or drop would render the Mongoose useless.
- Fans often refer to multiple Mongooses as "Mongeese" or "Mongi", although the correct collective noun for mongoose is mongooses.
- Some early renders showed the Mongoose in many forms: three-wheeled, more heavily armed, or with slightly larger seats. The final version of the Mongoose was chosen before the beta version of Halo 3 was released, despite its numerous makes and models.
- If you hold RT long enough, you will eventually wear out the horn, making it silent for a while.
- Although never said in the game, a Mongoose would be small enough to bring on a boarding party for light vehicle support and troop transport, for Covenant halls are slightly wide enough for one or two Mongooses to go through in single file. Their maneuverability would also help them in a fight in a large corridor that can be seen multiple times in Covenant cruisers.
- A sticker right about where the driver sits, warns the driver of it's pressurized fuel inside of it. The sticker is slightly worn off at the bottom, but it still can be read.
- In Halo 3: ODST, there are several times at which you have access to Mongooses, all of which are found in caches in the New Mombasa Streets. There are no reload, weapon switching, or melee animations for the ODSTs when sitting on the back, because there are never any friendlies to do so. On another note, the Mongooses goes much faster because you are playing as an ODST who doesn't weigh nearly as much as a SPARTAN.
- ↑ Top Story of Mongoose on Bungie.net
- ↑ Top Story of Mongoose on Bungie.net
- ↑ [http://forums.xbox.com/7661336/ShowPost.aspx - Xbox Forums 10-27-2006, 2:12 PM
- ↑ Halo 3 Beta Vehicle Guide
- ↑ Mongoose "lowride" video
- ↑ Mongoose "lowride" screenshot
- ↑ Halo 2: Collector's Edition DVD
- Ghost - The Covenant Separatist and Loyalist equivalent of the Mongoose.
- Brute Chopper - The Covenant Loyalist equivalent of the Mongoose.