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PF Volunteers - Planes, Trains & Automobiles
Posted By: Steve LevinsonDate: 8/22/04 8:41 p.m.

Well, we've arrived at our destination, but we're still a ways away from the main hanger, where we're going to meet the PSS Kinetic. Osinder is busy setting up the FlashFire device - basically a nuclear warhead that will temporarily disrupt the aliens' electronics, allowing the Kinetic to land. In the meantime, we need to find a small flier or car to get us the rest of the way there. Fortunately, there are no monsters guarding the train tracks, but there is a major welcoming party outside. Curiously, they don't seem to like the indoors and won't pursue you if your retreat back beyond a certain point inside. In fact, there is a visible demarcation - stay behind it and the monsters go away - step in front of it and they will fire at you. This presents an interesting strategy for those of us willing to expend a little ammo in favor of surviving - you can dodge out, get the monsters' attention and then retreat back and fire at them. A 2X recharger back on the train platform virtually insures survival unless you make a stupid mistake. Once the aliens have been thinned out, you can go outside and finish them off, and then use one of the 2 pattern buffers and the 1X shield recharger up there.

3 doors lead off the central courtyard - the two to either side are really more exploratory than anything - they give the player a good view of the outside areas and one flier that apparently is available. But look closely - each area has a switch, and that is your true destination. These overlooks, BTW, are filled with enforcers (I thought we eliminated them) and hulks. Before you try to engage them, however, open the center door first. This is yet another level with a serious monster freeze problem. With all the monsters in the center forested area, in the overlook areas and outside activated, everything will come to a halt and you'll be able to go about your business as you please. You can walk right up to those hulks and thumb your nose at them. And you can collect all the ammo without a fight. Matt, you might want to fix this. One annoyance I forgot to mention when we first encountered the enforcers - these guys don't drop their weapons when they die. How rude of them!

The central forested area, behind the center door off the central courtyard, is the access point to everything else. The strange thing about it is that it's a room in the literal sense. Although large and containing a forest, not to mention a river and a waterfall, it has a ceiling. Given the lack of obvious appropriate lighting, I'm not sure how these trees are supposed to survive. Is the roof supposed to be retractable? Matt, is this really what you intended. If I might make a suggestion, replace the ceiling textures with a sky. In any case, you may have to deal with some of the monsters in here, depending on - well, I'm not sure why, but some of them did come after me. Take the platform up the ledge and note the two teleporters in the corner. These are weird teleporters - they transport the player to other teleporters, such that you essentially make the rounds of all of them just by staying put. This is a bit reminiscent of Infinity's Acme Station - you need to back out of the teleporter to break the cycle. In any case, these will take you to rooms under the overlooks, from which you can access the outdoor areas and those two critical switches. Return to the forested room and a new door will have opened, leading to a garage full of automobiles - or what passes for them in Marathon. You may have to do a little fighting, but unlike the flier, you can access these and they're programmed to take you to your next destination. These cars are actually monsters - they will explode when they die. Matt - a minor plot element - although it's unlikely that all of the autos would have been destroyed, it is possible to blow them all up without affecting the outcome of the level. If you really wanted to be cruel, you could always send the player to "another" facility and have them repeat the level, but that would probably be overkill.

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Replies:

PF Volunteers - Planes, Trains & AutomobilesSteve Levinson 8/22/04 8:41 p.m.
     Re: PF Volunteers - Planes, Trains & AutomobilesDr. John Sumner 8/23/04 6:34 a.m.
     Re: PF Planes, Trains, & Automobilesmattschenk 8/23/04 7:44 a.m.

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