The G79H-TC/MA Pelican, more formally known as the Gunship 79 Heavy-Troop Carrier/Mobile Armory, is a more-heavily armed variant of the D79-TC Pelican dropship used by the United Nations Space Command that entered service by at least 2556.
The G79H-TC Pelican is essentially the formalization of various improvisations and modifications to the standard Pelican dropship. The G79 is based on the redesigned fuselage of the standard D79 Pelican, featuring a similar twin-bubble canopy akin to that of the 21st century Mi-24 Hind gunship/attack helicopter. The gunship is armed with one nose-mounted autocannon and an M8C Grindell/Galilean Nonlinear Cannon, a larger version of the infantry-issued "Spartan Laser". Its dorsal surface features a large turret-mounted cannon similar to that of a bomber, controlled through the gunner seat. A railgun turret is externally mounted on each side of the fuselage. Doubling as a mobile armory, the variant is also equipped with external racks allowing it to carry an abundance of weapons and ammunition.
The G79H-TC Pelican is only operable during the Halo 4 campaign mission Shutdown. Currently, Shutdown is the only level in the Halo series that allows the player to pilot a Pelican—other than a hidden Easter egg from Halo: Reach.
The Pelican gunship is piloted from third-person view, similar to other vehicles in the Halo games. The heads-up display of the Pelican shows the weapon currently in use, thruster percentage, a motion tracker, and the hull integrity of the Pelican. A hitmarker is displayed around the aiming reticle every time the player damages a hostile target. The player can exit and enter the Pelican through a hatch on the dropship's canopy. The sides of the Pelican, fulfilling the "Mobile Armory" part of its title, are stocked with numerous infantry weapons and armor abilities for the player to use—including jetpacks, assault rifles, DMRs, railguns, SAWs, and frag grenades. Every time the player finishes the objectives and returns to the Pelican, the weapon racks are refilled on both sides so the player can resupply before heading to the next objective.
In co-op mode, a player can pilot the Pelican, while two other players can man the heavy machine guns, and a fourth can control the turret on top of the Pelican. Pitch and direction change is controlled by the right thumbstick. The left trigger controls the Pelican's boost. The Y button is used to switch between the Pelican's autocannon and its Spartan Laser cannon. Holding down the A button is used to "raise" the Pelican, while the X button lowers it. Throughout the level, the player must pilot the Pelican to different facilities and land nearby to complete the objectives. The Pelican gunship's autocannon is very efficient and powerful. It is quite capable of facing off against several Phantom dropships without taking any significant amount of damage. The Phantom's heavy plasma cannon is not very effective against the Pelican's hull. Additionally, the gunship's autocannon is a lot more accurate than the Phantom's cannon. The Pelican's Spartan Laser cannon is also very powerful. It can destroy a Phantom with only a few direct hits. It has unlimited ammunition, but it draws power from the gunship itself.
There is a glitch in the Halo 4 Spartan Ops mission Clean Up, where a player can ride in the Pelican for a few seconds. At the end of the level, run to the Landing Zone, just before the Pelican comes to land. As soon as the Pelican comes, fly up to the slanted door. If you get to the right position, it should say "hold x to ride in Pelican". If you do this in time, you will teleport inside the Pelican, until the level ends properly. The view from here is a black screen, with light around a bit of the edges. This may be possible with other Pelicans in levels.
List of appearances