|PF Volunteers - Newton's Apple|
|Posted By: Steve Levinson||Date: 8/29/04 3:40 p.m.|
Please let me know if these posts are coming too fast now. As in playing the game, things start to go quickly and it's literally hard to stop. If addiction is an indicator, PF is near the very top in terms of Marathon scenarios - including Bungie's own!
Wow, that was quite a trip we just returned from. And Shaki seems genuinely impressed. He has traded information with the hunters in exchange for inside info on the aliens - they are planning a major operation on the planet's surface and are trying to recover an ancient artifact or weapon. We must prevent that from happening, but we're going to have to do some pretty dramatic maneuvering and will need the use of a jetpack. We've returned to the colony to retrieve it, but will have to fight our way to the controls, just to unlock the door.
This is a level I love to hate. If I had to pick a level that's my least favorite, this would probably be it - not because it isn't fun to play - on the contrary, it is - but because it feels a lot like self-mutilation. There may be momentary feelings of pleasure, but the overall effect is severe pain. The problem is fixable - very fixable, so Matt and Andrew, please pay attention - the infinitely regenerating wasps are way over the top. There are 3 major wasps located in a high-up alcove that are set to have an extraordinarily high regeneration rate. Basically, every time the player kills one of these, another takes its place. Although the level is still playable, these wasps make it tedious and essentially ruin what would otherwise be a very good level. For guidance, look to Frog Blasting/Blasted Frogs in Rubicon. There are several regenerating drones on those levels, but the regeneration rate is set very low. The regenerating drones are not a major factor unless the player spends too much time on the level - if they do, they'll increasingly have to fight drones. The alternative of course is to eliminate wasp regeneration altogether (my preferred option for Newton's Apple) or to provide a means of cordoning them off, as in The Sacking of Troy. Dodging them does not seem to be an option.
The player teleports into a storage bay with a comm terminal from Shaki and a badly needed 2X recharger - it's recessed, so you need to access it head-on. Initially you won't have to deal with wasps because of the fierce fighting going on above and below. Up above are troopers on a ledge firing on troopers, fighters and multiple hulks below in a canyon, who are fighting each other. This makes for quite a show, but be careful not to divert their attention. Across the way is another building - leap across to it. Downstairs is a PB and an O2 recharger. Watch out for a couple compilers, some fighters shooting from above and the first of the wasps. Upstairs is a switch that opens a crucial door in the canyon below. After visiting upstairs, you'll also gain access to the ledge with the fighters, so you can get rid of them once and for all. By the time you've done all this, the troopers and hulks will have more than likely killed each other, clearing the way for you. Be sure to recharge before jumping down there, however, as there are no other rechargers or PBs on this level.
The entrance to the ammo depot with the jetpack is visible down here, but locked. A large elevator is readily apparent - let's discuss it now as it plays a crucial role and we need to use it frequently. Stand on the elevator platform and look up - across the way is a switch. Shoot it, and the elevator will start to rise. Be careful - there is a hole in the floor of the platform for a reason - a column from above slides into this hole, so don't stand over it. When you reach the top, leap to the ledge immediately to your left and follow it back around to the point that you can jump back down to the storage bay. This is crucial - before returning to the storage bay, be sure to shoot the elevator switch again to send it back down! If you don't, you'll be cursing yourself later as you try to get into position to shoot the switch from the side and then wait for the elevator to descend, all the while being deluged with wasp spit. Matt and Andrew - please, please, please make the elevator self-lowering after a delay - this is another major annoyance in playing this level.
The main objective is to get to security and flip the switch to open the ammo depot. From the canyon floor, enter a coolly lit, dark room with pillars, a stairway and a ledge. There are many compilers and troopers in here, but once activated one of the troopers will almost always berserk, taking out most of them if you just stay out of the way. At most you'll have to deal with a couple compilers and a couple troopers, and lots of wasps. Matt or Andrew - how about a secret related to jumping to the ledges - they're accessible. Ascend the stairway and come to a room with very narrow pillars that can be jumped on to reach a corridor across the way. Thanks to the vagaries of the M1 engine, you can balance on these exceptionally narrow pillars. Uh-oh - the door to security is locked. Guess we'll have to use the adjacent air shaft. But be careful, there is a major wasp ambush with some of the wasps coming from behind. They won't follow you all the way out. So you'll probably have to shoot or blast them all. John? Once you get inside security, there are wasps everywhere. Deal with them and tab on everything that looks like a switch until you find one that activates. There is a terminal from Shaki:
The virus that Mece unleashed has done it's job - unsuccessful in attacking Shaki, it focused on the easier target. I sense a real change on Shaki's demeanor here. He seems genuinely shaken by the deaths of 2 of his fellow AIs and feels vulnerable now. He's not the same AI - something that will be even more apparent in a couple of levels.
Return to the canyon floor and pick up your jetpack, then save your game and and recharge your shields. Although told to use the jetpack as little as possible here, you'll need it to leave - the exit terminal is in a room above the storage bay and to the left. Once inside, a door closes behind you, but at least in the Classic Environment it's an illusion. As I recall, it was perfectly solid when booted into OS 9, but that no longer is an option for me. You can still easily leave the final room and worse yet, wasps can still enter, so be on guard. Pick up the generous supply of ammo (major overkill IMO) and read the exit terminal. Shaki has seen the aliens' mother ship through their leader's eyes, and what he has seen has filled him with rage - and fear. Thousands upon thousands of humans are on board, serving as laboratory specimens, slaves - and food.
|PF Volunteers - Newton's Apple||Steve Levinson||8/29/04 3:40 p.m.|
|Re: PF Volunteers - Newton's Apple||Dr. John Sumner||8/29/04 4:33 p.m.|
|Re: PF Volunteers - Newton's Apple||Steve Levinson||8/29/04 5:10 p.m.|
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