|RED Volunteers: Last Minute Shopping|
|Posted By: Mark Levin||Date: 4/9/04 8:51 a.m.|
The first thing you see as you enter this vast level is a squad of marines getting killed by a horde of Metalloids. When you go to help them, more will teleport in from the sides, so be ready. The level's ambient sounds indicate that Organics are nearby, but you won't see them for a while so concentrate on anti-Metalloid tactics for the first half of the level.
This level makes heavy use of teleporting monsters, and with monsters as powerful as RED's you're going to take a lot of damage. Make your way to the large semicircular thing to the north, then Conch the huge metal ambush that teleports in (try to avoid hitting the marines), take the elevator up, and save. Before reading the terminal, kill the Metalloids at the other end of the hall, then see what Ian has to say.
Things have gone from bad to worse- the Organics are on the planet. Ian says that they must have come down on your ship undetected, but he also says that another being exactly like Michael is here, which can only mean Joshua, and I wouldn't be surprised if the implication is that Joshua brought them here himself, following you personally. Most of the cities on the planet are infected, and the only thing left to do is to retreat with your lives. This is an Extermination level, so you have to kill every single monster here. There are no other exits from this tunnel at this time, so go back out to the main complex.
The place is full of marines who don't put up much of a fight on DW, but they drop pulse ammo. There are several rooms to clear out in the first part of the level. To the northwest is a small room full of sewage, if you're low on health you can stay underwater and shoot up at the floaters with the pulse rifle, which penetrates liquids. This room has a secret that I have absolutely no idea how to get- the Fusion Mace weapon, hidden on top of a crate in the south that seems impossible to jump to. Any ideas? There's also a switch in here, shotgun it. At the east end, there's a large room full of crates, hold back and shoot the Metalloids one at a time as they come over the top. Then, find the switch at the far end of the room, and very carefully shotgun it from around the corner- this avoids triggering a pair of Gunners who will kill you.
After you get both these switches, return to the room you started in and find the 2 doors to the south.
The eastern room has a Gunner covering a switch while a pair of major floaters attack from a ledge to the right. Kill everyone and hit the switch. The western room has a second Gunner, a pattern buffer, and a mysterious set of stairs that starts high above the floor. Hmm...
Return to the computer terminal, but keep going past it down the air ducts until you reach the previously blocked end. This lets you enter the ledges that run above the two rooms you just cleared. There's a very cool effect up here- a working conveyor belt! It's done with a set of platforms that pop out and pop back down in sequence, just like the swinging doors in Tempus Irae. However, these crates must be very heavy because they will kill you if they pass over you while you run along the conveyor belt, so time your run carefully to get across and try to stay on the side ledge. First, walk across until you can jump into a cleverly hidden alcove on the pillar across the room and hit the switch there. Then go back to the conveyor, turn left, and jump to get onto the floating stairs, then read the terminal at the top of the pillar.
Look at that picture... Michael and Joshua, with the player caught in the center. This is the general plot of the second part of RED; the two are reluctantly working together to cement their hold on this planet and explore what to do about the wildcard that is you. Michael seems to be holding a few things back from Joshua, who isn't too happy that the Organics and Metalloids keep fighting. Continue jumping across the pillars to pick up 3x health and another switch to hit. There's a small collection of ammo across the way on another pillar, but I've never been able to make the jump. Return to the save point near the first terminal.
The door in the north end of the air ducts is open now, revealing some sort of reactor complex. When you enter, all hell breaks loose as a vast horde of Organics, mixed with a few Metals in the rear, teleports in. Switch to the flamethrower for most of the work, since the Organics will charge in and you'll take your own splash damage from the Conch. Don't forget to pick up the ammo in the "U" near the entrance. Once everyone's dead, there are 3 places you have to clear. Start by going to the west and tabbing the banks of machinery until one opens. Head into the first cross passage for a 2x health canister if you need it, and tab the west wall, it opens to reveal a pattern buffer. Tab the broken terminal to the right for another conversation between Michael and Joshua. We begin to see a bit more of their plans, as Joshua also announces that he will improve the universe by "respawn until no substance living or dead will be beyond my control". Michael prefers his own concept of "perfection", and says that Joshua's very existence prevents him from achieving the same goal. The conversation ends with a veiled thread from Michael: "I will make you perfect." It looks like these two brothers don't quite get along. Hmm... Michael seems to be Joshua's opposite in every respect. What's the opposite of assimilating the universe? The logout image is a neat ASCII-art version of Michael, a bit of a non sequitur at this point but it looks cool.
The room beyond is filled with a vast pile of Organics, and it can be taken the hard way or the slow way. The hard way is to jump in and set everyone off, naturally. If you do this you will be assisted by a group of Metalloids that teleports in and attacks the Organics. The slow way is to carefully inch your way in, from the left, without setting off the monster triggers. Shoot each marine with 1 mercury bullet or 1 flame burst to wake them up, then begin sniping the visible monsters one at a time to get them to charge your beachhead in smaller groups. I was able to take out much of the room this way (but of course you still have to set off the Metalloid ambush eventually to get the Extermination mission). The big thing to watch out for in this room is an Omega Raptor that tends to be the last survivor of either strategy and can be very hard to kill if you're out of rapid-fire ammo. Once he's out of the way you can save at either the PB in the center of the room or the secret.
Next, return to the reactor room and head east. Take the north passage before trying to hold the T-junction to the south, and approach a room full of Organics. The best way to beat this place is to flame the Beast near the door, run in to set off the teleporting Metalloids, run back out to let them start attacking each other, then return and Conch the entire crowd. Use similar tactics on the next room- watch out for Beetles- and then you're back at the T-junction but with one side cleared. The next room is an even bigger mess than the others, since there are also Marines present and the Metalloids are Gunners. In the bottom of this room is a small door- ignore it for now and return to the reactor room (and save).
Now for the fun part- The shaft in the center of the room has a teleporter at the bottom that will take you to an isolated part of the level- stuffed with monsters. When you get there, stay underwater, the Metalloids will not be able to reach you so they'll take it out on the Organics. Circle around a few times to kill all the Beetles down there with you, and wait for the fighting upstairs to die down and for the Organics (always the winners thanks to some golden monsters) to turn their attention to you. Get out of the pool (actually quite difficult as the water level varies; on my successful run I was actually exploded out of the pool by a golden Beetle and managed to pick up the 2x health in the north alcove before getting killed) and take out the survivors. You can return to the upstairs room with the door in the back of the central column; if you do so you'll be able to jump off, spin 180 degrees, and land on the ledge in the north of the room. Through here is a door that leads through a set of bizarre sewer cannons to the ledge overlooking the huge clusterfuck room from earlier. Once you're done looking around (I don't think there's actually anything to do up here), head back to the southeast ambush room and go through the tiny door. There's a terminal up here that will get you out of the level, but you're not done yet because the roof contains a vast ambush. The easiest way to handle this is to go out until the ambush starts, then run back to the terminal and wait for the Metalloids to all decide to attack the Spider Tank up there. The Spider Tank is almost strong enough to kill them all; if he isn't, his death blast will kill all the Metalloids gathered around him, so you win either way. Once they're all dead, every terminal in the level changes to a picture of Ian looking rather haggard and instructing you to get to the roof, except the secret one which is unchanged. When you do read the roof terminal, Ian reports that you're needed back at headquarters because it's been invaded as well.
Taking a look at this level in Forge, I see I missed quite a few things. First, in the east-south room with the Gunner ambush, if you tab the face of the large stone block to the west you get the Nimble 3 Omega. The weapon's name in the game is different- Krom-3 Omega Cannon. I'm not that familiar with this weapon as I had never found it before, and I only found it this time because Steve mentioned that there was more to this level than meets the eye earlier. There is also a terminal in here which has some information on the weapon as well as more Michael/Joshua dialogue. Michael keeps on acting without consulting or informing Joshua; something tells me this partnership is not going to end well. In the last room you visit after climbing through the air duct, the platform with extra ammo that's very hard to jump to contains a 3x charger hidden in a pillar. There's a debugging switch room similar to the one on Nothing's too big to Nuke right near the first terminal in the level- tab the wall right where the textures meet and the wall shifts slightly, and you can walk through and see some switches. There's actually a second terminal in the secret I mentioned earlier, but for some reason it's hard to read because you have to stand in exactly the right place to tab it so I didn't find it in the game; I found it in Hex and wondered where in the level it was. Joshua mentions "the inferno", which sounds very much like what he said in his first direct communication on Nuke.
|RED Volunteers: Last Minute Shopping||Mark Levin||4/9/04 8:51 a.m.|
|Re: RED Volunteers: Last Minute Shopping||Elliott||4/9/04 9:35 a.m.|
|Re: RED Volunteers: Last Minute Shopping||Steve Levinson||4/9/04 11:39 a.m.|
|Re: RED Volunteers: Last Minute Shopping||Mark Levin||4/9/04 11:50 a.m.|
|Re: RED Volunteers: Last Minute Shopping||Steve Levinson||4/10/04 6:44 a.m.|
|Re: RED Volunteers: Last Minute Shopping||Mark Levin||4/10/04 7:02 a.m.|
|Re: RED Volunteers: Last Minute Shopping||Ernie||4/9/04 1:02 p.m.|
|Re: RED Volunteers: Last Minute Shopping||Speaker-To-Animals||4/9/04 6:20 p.m.|
|Re: RED Volunteers: Last Minute Shopping||Ernie||4/9/04 6:46 p.m.|
|Re: RED Volunteers: Last Minute Shopping||Mark Levin||4/9/04 7:17 p.m.|
|Re: RED Volunteers: Last Minute Shopping||Ernie||4/10/04 2:08 p.m.|
|Re: RED Volunteers: Last Minute Shopping||Mark Levin||4/10/04 2:29 p.m.|
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