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RED Volunteers: G3 Sunbathing...at 300Mhz
Posted By: Mark LevinDate: 3/30/04 9:59 a.m.

RED's take on the "gauntlet" level is as pure as any we've seen since Where Are Monsters In Dreams: Overwhelming enemies, huge obstacle courses, nothing to do but run. And run you must- on Death Wish, you'll reach the end with a tiny sliver of oxygen, not even enough to read the terminal.

On the first 3 levels of this 4-level obstacle course, all you have to do is run. You have to get the maneuvers absolutely perfect to have enough oxygen to survive the final battle, which means strafe-running all the way and never stopping to kill the monsters chasing you. The first level's map writing instructs you to "hull arse here"[sic], to a yellow plate which is used as a teleporter on all the G3 Sunbathing levels, and it's a pretty simple run. If you look back, you'll see that you're being pursued by group of tall, loping monsters which look more than a little like the velociraptors from Jurassic Park. These are Raptors, the strongest common Organic enemy. They're somewhat faster than you are (not sure if they are "near three times as fast" as Ian promises) and attack with a bite like the Beast. However, among these is a black version which I believe is called an Omega Raptor, which shoots a rapid stream of fireballs. But you shouldn't look back, because you need literally every second of oxygen you can get.

On the second level, things get more tricky. There's a pattern buffer- save as a new game, as Steve said, because you can sometimes shave extra seconds off subsequent runs. Then, make sure you turn right at the first choice, *away* from the lighted corridor, into the harder-to-notice spiral stairs. Leap over the arena the first chance you get (you don't have to completely circle around to get to the exit path) and proceed through a set of automatic doors into the area with the two towers. Go to the right of the towers, up the stairs, hang a hard left to avoid falling back into the arena, and keep going until you can't avoid falling back into said arena. Now there's a new door open immediately to your right. Through here is a Beetle who shoots a "sparkly" version of their normal acid; dodge him and keep going. You're back in the starting area, but the entrance is closed off and the exit is open.

On the third level, immediately turn around and save, then head out because the entrance room is about to fill with Raptors. Dodge the Beasts and head into the passage the Raptor just came out of (you have to go a bit farther and double back to get over the ledge in the floor) until you find a door to tab open. If you're at top speed you can make the jump to the center ledge directly, then teleport out.

All of that was a cakewalk compared to what comes next: You're trapped on a small section outside the bridge of the ship, surrounded by Beasts, a "unique" variant of Turtle that shoots a rapid stream of guided grenades, and with about 20 seconds worth of oxygen. The only way to beat this place, on Death Wish at least, is to have the Beasts kill the Turtles while you distract them (the Turtles) with your pulse rifle, then carefully step into the airlock (a quirk of geometry makes it easiest to do this by approaching from the side), hit the 2 switches, tab open the inner door, quickly tab through the conversation with Ian, and exit to the next (non-vacuum) level with a a second or two's worth of oxygen to spare (there's a very close pattern buffer there). If the Turtles kill all the Beasts, more will spawn, but you don't have enough time on DW to rely on that. Your reward for being good enough to survive on Death Wish is being unable to read the terminal- gee, thanks, Ian, we really deserve that after all our hard work. Would it have killed you to put at least an oxygen canister in the bridge or airlock, since the combat is over and the time limit should be lifted in the "safe" area? To add insult to injury, there is actually an oxygen charger panel in the bridge, but if you plug into it it turns out that it is actually a HEALTH charger, and then you suffocate (I unfortunately discovered this while actually in the game, but would you believe this is not the part of RED that makes me most want to just give up and cheat?). I'm starting to doubt the beta testers even played this level.

When you read the terminal in Hex, you see that "you're still leaking air, probably because you punctured your tank". This is actually a pretty good rationalization of Marathon's inability to mix vacuum and non-vacuum areas in a single level, but it still doesn't quite make sense since you should be breathing the atmosphere in the cabin since everyone else is in shirtsleeves not spacesuits- and IMHO having the player not die immediately after defeating the really dangerous part of the level on the 20th try (again, by giving them an oxygen canister when they enter the bridge) is more important than consistency. The terminal also mentions that you're supposed to pick up an extra Mercury Pistol in there near the broken oxygen charger, but I didn't because I was in too much of a rush to get off the damn level.

(One thing I tried after saving my Volunteers game on the next level, just for the hell of it, was to simply start the level, run up to the airlock, squeeze past the Turtles as they rose up from their pits, and get into the bridge before getting killed, and it actually worked. I don't know if that's a feasible strategy for everyone or just luck, but either way I'm not going to do that level again for a LONG time :P )

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Replies:

RED Volunteers: G3 Sunbathing...at 300MhzMark Levin 3/30/04 9:59 a.m.
     Re: RED Volunteers: G3 Sunbathing...at 300MhzElliott 3/30/04 10:52 a.m.
     Re: RED Volunteers: G3 Sunbathing...at 300MhzDr. John Sumner 3/30/04 11:04 a.m.
           Re: RED Volunteers: G3 Sunbathing...at 300MhzSteve Levinson 3/30/04 11:42 a.m.
                 Re: RED Volunteers: G3 Sunbathing...at 300MhzYossarian 3/30/04 2:15 p.m.
                 Re: RED Volunteers: G3 Sunbathing...at 300MhzDr. John Sumner 3/30/04 2:41 p.m.
                       Re: RED Volunteers: G3 Sunbathing...at 300MhzSteve Levinson 3/30/04 2:43 p.m.
                             Re: RED Volunteers: G3 Sunbathing...at 300MhzSpeaker-To-Animals 3/30/04 4:58 p.m.
     Re: RED Volunteers: G3 Sunbathing...at 300MhzSteve Levinson 3/30/04 11:31 a.m.
           Re: RED Volunteers: G3 Sunbathing...at 300MhzDr. John Sumner 3/30/04 12:24 p.m.
                 Re: RED Volunteers: G3 Sunbathing...at 300MhzSteve Levinson 3/30/04 2:42 p.m.
                       Re: RED Volunteers: G3 Sunbathing...at 300MhzDr. John Sumner 3/30/04 2:48 p.m.
                             Re: RED Volunteers: G3 Sunbathing...at 300MhzMark Levin 3/30/04 3:08 p.m.
                       I finally finished it on Deathwish *NM*Steve Levinson 3/30/04 2:51 p.m.
                       Re: RED Volunteers: G3 Sunbathing...at 300MhzDr. John Sumner 3/30/04 2:56 p.m.
           Re: RED Volunteers: G3 Sunbathing...at 300MhzMark Levin 3/30/04 12:28 p.m.
                 Re: RED Volunteers: G3 Sunbathing...at 300MhzMark Levin 3/30/04 12:29 p.m.
                       Re: RED Volunteers: G3 Sunbathing...at 300MhzDr. John Sumner 3/30/04 12:46 p.m.
           Re: RED Volunteers: G3 Sunbathing...at 300MhzSpeaker-To-Animals 3/30/04 5:07 p.m.
     Re: RED Volunteers: G3 Sunbathing...at 300MhzKeith Palmer 3/30/04 2:49 p.m.
           Re: RED Volunteers: G3 Sunbathing...at 300MhzSteve Levinson 3/30/04 2:56 p.m.

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