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Evil Volunteers: Septic Exodus
Posted By: Steve LevinsonDate: 2/7/04 6:47 p.m.

Hmm . . . Now let me see if I understand this. The Mystics have a very complex security system that is keeping us out of what is presumably their seat of power. But there is an old septic system that, when all systems fail, reverts to an older protocol in which the sewage is dumped into their citadel of power? Gee, I wonder if we could get the Mystics to redo the plumbing in the White House? All kidding aside, this is a rather far-fetched concept. Perhaps the Mystics built their citadel inside an old garbage dump - Love Canal on Mystic Prime. In any case, we have a lot to do here, 'cause we have to defeat all the regular backup systems to make it work. Unfortunately, the instructions are very complex and they are back on Parethymeter.

This is an OK level, but there are a lot of things wrong with it and it is the most difficult so far. The complexity only makes a bad situation worse and it is very easy to spend hours trying to figure out where to go next. The player is under siege from the moment they land, with major cyborgs in abundance and plenty of Mystics to go around. At first the drones will help you, but that doesn't last for long. Worse, the bad drones and Mystics are regenerating, so the longer you take on this level, the more time and/or ammo you'll have to waste fighting them which, after a while, becomes incredibly annoying. As someone who is loathe to waste ammo, I usually take them out with the Pfhor staff, which is not quick, meaning that I seem to spend more time fighting these regenerating villains than the original characters populating the level at the outset.

Although the primary pattern buffer and a 1X recharger is easily accessible at any time in the central building, a small army of major cyborgs makes access very difficult with what little shielding is likely to remain after the initial battles. Even after you dispatch them, there are 3 more cyborgs inside, not to mention a bunch of drones. Once you secure this building, your game becomes much, much easier. This is a level of puzzles. The player must, in sequence, solve a switch puzzle to raise a series of platforms to serve as stepping stones without blocking the way, pick up a couple of chips and insert one of them right away, raise the sewage level in an enormous tank by hitting a very well-hidden switch that can only be accessed by jumping into the sewage and looking up (fortunately, there's an O2 recharger here), navigate a multilevel platform elevator with levels filled with cyborgs and drones until finding the one passage with a save term and a switch (first level up as it turns out), navigate a maze to enter a room with another switch to flip, and hit a series of switches in sequence, each of which is active only momentarily. Got it? All of this is of course while fighting lots and lots of cyborgs, drones and mystics. And be careful to watch for rearguard attacks.

The second half of the level involves navigating the sewer system, but this is not at all clear unless you read the spoiler guide. I don't know, but dropping down into the sewage and tabbing on a sewer grate just didn't seem obvious to me the first time I played. This leads to yet another series of puzzles with switches to flip, monsters to fight and ammo to find. And these puzzles are 3-dimensional - you sometimes need to drop down or float up, and the only way to see this is in map mode. There is one major undocumented secret here - at one point you will come to a room with a circular pool. If you jump down into the pool and let your self sink, you can swim underwater to a large area and then rise to the surface. There are a lot of Mystics here, but the visuals are cool and, once you've eliminated the mystics, you can open a door to a platform overlooking the central courtyard. Stepping on top of it will get you a nice stash of ammo, and a small ambush. Eventually, you'll come to a very large underground room with some drones in it. at one end is the entrance to another room, in which there is a slot for that second chip. Inserting it, in conjunction with a switch back in the central buliding, opens the final room of the level.

The final room is - you guessed it - a puzzle. There are two banks of switches and a switch in the center that must be flipped in the right sequence, or the ceiling will collapse on you. Actually, it is possible to survive even if it does if you move quickly to the room that opens up with the mystics in it. If you'd rather not get a headache, you can note that the sequence for the switches can be found in Mystic characters on a terminal elsewhere in the level. The corresponding characters can be found next to each switch in map view. Finish this puzzle and flip the last switch, then return to the central building and jump to the bottom and it's off to Schmackle.

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Replies:

Evil Volunteers: Septic ExodusSteve Levinson 2/7/04 6:47 p.m.
     Re: Evil Volunteers: Septic ExodusAdam Ashwell 2/7/04 7:05 p.m.
     Re: Evil Volunteers: Septic ExodusDr. John Sumner 2/8/04 4:00 a.m.
           Re: Evil Volunteers: Septic ExodusSteve Levinson 2/8/04 6:05 a.m.
                 Re: Evil Volunteers: Septic ExodusMark Levin 2/8/04 9:03 a.m.
     Re: Evil Volunteers: Septic ExodusKeith Palmer 2/9/04 12:42 p.m.
           Re: Evil Volunteers: Septic ExodusSteve Levinson 2/9/04 2:02 p.m.
                 Re: Evil Volunteers: Septic ExodusKeith Palmer 2/10/04 1:27 p.m.

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