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- "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 designed by AMG Transport Dynamics. 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, tactical versatility, and as a highly mobile weapons platform. 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 an armed 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 the 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 its 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 its 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 Ghost, 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 on the seat, 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 the best choice to 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. A slightly interesting trait is that if a player on a Mongoose attempts to ram another player who is wielding an Energy Sword, the sword-wielding player can actually lunge over the low windscreen of the Mongoose and kill the driver, provided their timing is right.
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 to "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 splash damage from a fusion coil detonation 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, and commonly leads to a quick death, perhaps to the Infection forms on higher difficulties).
- 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.
- In Halo 3: 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 cruising through the streets of New Mombasa.
- Because of its unique attributes (compared to other vehicles), it is best used for "rushed" transport and escaping the enemy, rather than attempting to attack or defend.
- It's most common use is to carry players with objective based objects, like flags.
- Never use the mongoose for combat. It is weak and frail. Not recommended to drive, unless you have a teammate with a power weapon, like the Rocket Launcher or Spartan Laser, though if your teammate has a Plasma Pistol it can become a powerful anti-tank weapon.
- 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.
- It is advised to not go over hilly terrain because it might flip or lose control. This may happen because of its high speeds and bad handling.
- 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 another player can grab a Sniper Rifle or another power weapon by traversing the exterior of the map, and dipping in for the weapon. The only thing you need to remember is to keep driving no matter what.
- 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 competent 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 than 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".
- In Halo 4, a useful tactic can be to use the SAW while on the back of a Mongoose, as it can quickly kill enemies, and allows you to quickly escape.
Behind the ScenesEdit
Involvement in Halo 2Edit
- Main article: Halo 2
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. BlueEdit
- Main article: Red vs. Blue
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. In Recreation, in Sarge's version of how he, Simmons, and Grif, eliminated the Blue Team from the Red Team's data files, after Sarge kills Grif, he tells Simmons to "transform to motorcycle mode" when Simmons transforms, the "motorcycle" is a Mongoose, spoofing the popular toy series Transformers.
Changes from Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST to Halo: ReachEdit
- The Mongoose handles better over rough terrain than its incarnation from Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST .
- The chassis is more detailed and is slightly larger.
- The windshield is absent, being replaced by a metal plate which features a mirror on either side.
- When the Mongoose makes jumps, there is an effect of making the Mongoose appear as if it is traveling through the air very fast.
- It is now possible to hijack a Mongoose.
- In Forge mode, it is now possible to give the Mongoose red, blue, green, brown, yellow, pink, or purple decal.
Changes from Halo: Reach to Halo 4Edit
- It now makes a slightly different sound while driving, similar to a real world ATV.
- Like most vehicles in Halo 4, it has a slight graphical change, giving it more detail and texture look.
- The color cannot be changed during forge
- "[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 slop 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 during or prior to 2535. Because Adriana-111 was surrounded by Covenant infantry on rocky terrain, she thought of the Mongoose as "useless" given her then-current situation, 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.
- 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.
- You can change the color of the Mongoose as well as other certain objects in Halo: Reach Forge. The Mongoose and the Shade turret are the only vehicles that you can do this with. Though the Shade is more Turret than Vehicle
- 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 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.
- The Mongoose was first revealed to appear in Halo: Reach when modders found the vehicle hidden in the Halo: Reach Multiplayer Beta code.
- The Mongoose has achieved a cult following in Halo 3 with 100+ players having over 500 Mongoose kills and one player reaching over 9000 Mongoose kills. (Reference to the OVER 9000! meme)
- The Halo 3 Mongoose resembles a racing quad, while the Reach variant resembles a utility. It's possible that it's either an older model, or the Halo 3 variant is a scout model, and the Halo: Reach variant is a supply carrier model.
- In Halo: Reach, if you are to correctly position a small barricades on top of the mongoose it is possible to create an armored version of the Mongoose. This is sometimes called the "Hyena" by fans. The "Hyena" gives the driver much more protection than the usual Mongoose and gives the passenger a small shield of protection under the chest. This could also be done with a Warthog in Halo 3 and was sometimes called the "Armadillo". See picture at right. It has also been dubbed the "Noodle Pot" (Mongoose) and "Rice Bucket" (Warthog)
- Interestingly, in Halo: Reach, the Mongoose will explode if it falls from a great height unless you are able to position it in mid-air so that the rear wheels face downward and the front of the vehicle is tilted upward at a 30 degree angle. On rare occasions, the Mongoose will sometimes bounce incredibly far and high, usually resulting in the vehicle exploding once it hits the floor.
- In Halo: Reach, it is possible to be the flag carrier while driving a Mongoose. The flag will just end up being holstered onto the player's SPARTAN's back, much like a normal weapon. This is the only vehicle so far to allow a player to carry the flag while driving a vehicle.
- In Halo: Reach, it is possible to launch the Mongoose for a considerable distance by getting the passenger to shoot the ground just behind the mongoose with a Concussion Rifle. The same thing could be done in Halo 3 with the Brute Shot. These methods are good for getting across larger maps, however they do take down shields and health, and are not recommended to be used in multiplayer often.
List of appearancesEdit
- Ghost - The Covenant equivalent of the Mongoose.
- Brute Chopper - The Jiralhanae equivalent of the Mongoose.