DiaBD Volunteers - Let the Lava Lead You
Posted By: Steve LevinsonDate: 6/9/05 4:58 p.m.

Well, it looks like the best I'll be able to do is to post a level every other day. Again, feel free to step up to the plate if I miss a day. At this rate, after all, we'll finish EMR by Christmas!

OK, Merlin's sent us to another part of the power plant to clean out some of the pirates from the ductwork. Simple enough! This is a much simpler, shorter, more compact level than the Skinner Box and yet it's full of surprises. Especially secrets - there are lots of secrets - some obvious and some that are just about impossible to find without sneaking a peak in Forge. In any case, you start out next to a PB and a Merlin terminal. Read the terminal, tab onto the wall and jump into the action. But wait! Before you is an empty room that is monster-free until you enter, but look to your far right. That's it, just step out over the ledge and you'll see an alcove right next to you. This is the return alcove - the place that allows you to return to the beginning of the level if you need to make more than one pass through the level, which you probably will. Instead of jumping down into the fray, jump around into the alcove and take your time to take out the monsters from relative safety. Now since this is a return path, there must be a path somewhere. Tab on the walls and you'll eventually find it, and be rewarded with a nice supply of fusion ammo. Use it to take out the drones here and work your way back to take out all the monsters in the final room, including the 2 hunters up on a ledge. It's much easier to take them out now than it will be later. With skill, you won't get hit even once. Unfortunately, you can't continue on backwards, so forward you must go.

You'll come to a passage lined with simulcrums. In spite of the warning in map mode to not shoot the bobs, you won't be able to exit the level until you do, but you may want to leave them for the end. Pass through the next room taking care not to wake up the drones, hunters and cyborgs, pass through the door and through the passages that follow, taking care not to shoot at anything until you reach the stairs. Turn around and fire a single shot to wake up a teleporting compiler and take him out. Although the stairway is lined with projectile fighters, they are blind and deaf and won't even strike back unless you get right in front of them. Stay on the step beneath each one and fist them to death. At the top of the stairs you'll encounter a live fighter and trooper, but they're fairly easy to take out. Finally you have a 1X recharger and PB. Now you're home free!

Ahead of you is a brightly lit room with a ton of compilers. They won't come out and play, so you'll have to go in after them, and more will teleport in to join in the fun. Because they're so densely packed, their bolts are bound to hit each other. By dodging in and out, you will eventually get them to take each other out until there are just a few left, which you can easily handle. Too bad compilers can't be berserked. There's also a brain dead trooper up some stairs that can be taken out without risk using your magnum. At this point I like to go back to the room with the major cyborgs and hunters. Be careful, there's also a hidden compiler that will sneak up from behind. By circling, you stand a good chance of getting the monsters to take each other out without haveing to use much ammo at all, if any. Now you'll note an alcove with some ammo (rocket ammo - hmm - no rockets, yet) and a 3X recharger. It's easy to blast your way up there - and you'll need that recharger for what comes next!

Return to the PB and through the door near the brightly lit room. Watch out for the trooper guarding his ammo - be sure to help yourself. Go on through and tab on the dead end, which is really a door to the stairs at the bottom of the brightly lit room. Go up the stairs to the top and stand on the large platform at the top - you'll be transported to a circular room with lots of enemies. As soon as you move, more cyborgs will teleport in and they have a nasty habit of staying near the walls, making it difficult to circle. But circle you must. This room will take many attempts, but eventually you'll clear it without haveing to use much ammo. Head up the spiral staircase and use the 3X recharger at the top. Now we get to play a little compiler bowling. After the way is clear, head down the lava passageway (we'll discuss the alcove with the switch in a minute) and enter the final room - the room we saw back at the beginning. If you took out those monsters earlier, the rest is trivial. If you've cleared the level, you can leave via the teleporter to the right. If not, use the teleporter on the left to return to the beginning of the level.

Now for the secrets. We already discussed the 3X recharger, so that's not much of a secret. In the opening room - the one with the brightly lit walls and lava floor, there is a secret room in the northwest corner. Tab on the wall and a large ammo cache will be revealed. Next, in the long lava corridor, you may have noticed a false floor at the sharp bend. If you step into the corner and the floor rises, step off and step onto it again. The floor will lower and you can swim up to a room containing a switch and an invincibility power-up. The switch doesn't seem to do anything! No, wait a few seconds and the wall at one end will open up to reveal some shotguns and ammo. You might want to wait on that invincibility power-up until after grabbing the ammo. Finally, there is a secret that is so well hidden as to be ridiculous. Remember that alcove with the switch? That switch opens a door back in the brightly lit room with all the compilers. The door is on an 8 second delay - that's right, you have 8 seconds to get all the way back to that room to enter that secret door. But wait! There's a secret shortcut - a teleporter that takes you right there. It's behind you back a little ways in the lava passageway, but it's behind a secret door and there are absolutely no visual clues to help you even suspect that it's there. A flickering light on that door would have been all that was necessary to make this a findable secret - otherwise you pretty much have to cheat. Welcome to the club. So flip the switch, take the shortcut, enter the newly revealed room and you will be teleported to a triangular room with a secret message from the mapmaker. Tab on a wall behind you and you'll pick up some fusion ammo and be teleported back. Too bad I didn't know about all these secrets the first time through!

All-in-all, this is a very enjoyable level. And it's easily vidable - not necessarily fists-only, but anyone with decent skills can get through it with only the ammon on hand (without using any of the secrets) - as I just did.

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DiaBD Volunteers - Let the Lava Lead YouSteve Levinson 6/9/05 4:58 p.m.
     Re: DiaBD Volunteers - Let the Lava Lead YouMartiNZ 6/9/05 7:19 p.m.

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