DiaBD Volunteers - Sensori OverLord
Posted By: Steve LevinsonDate: 6/26/05 10:44 a.m.

Sensori OverLoard - the level we love to hate. It's hard to appreciate the shear genius of this level when it's so frustrating to play. For one thing, it's in vacuum, so you have to constantly make your way back to one of the 4 O2 rechargers on the level, only 2 of which are readily accessible. Secondly, there are very lengthy instructions at the beginning that are difficult to return to when you forget what you're supposed to do. Thirdly, there is nothing at all intuitive about the switch layout - some of the switches are very well hidden and the terminal picts are of little help in finding them. Fourthly, the only ammo stash available is a secret and can only be accessed if you have a fusion gun, and there are no weapons provided at all, making the level nearly impossible to vid. Finally, the compilers, hunters and drones continually regenerate, so you're always fighting your way around wherever you go. There isn't even a single safe haven - even the shield/O2/PB room and the starting room are fair game for the enemy. Fix these problems and you would have one of the best levels created for a Marathon scenario - ever.

Some of you may get a sense of déjà vu replaying this level - not that you've played this particular level before, but there is something about the style that seems vaguely familiar. If you think about Rubicon, it may remind you a lot of the levels Hex Level 73 and Beg, Borrow and Steal. Yup - all 3 were created by Tim Thomas, arguably one of the most insane Marathon mapmakers in history. What makes his levels so special, and so exasperating, is his uncanny use of the 3rd dimension. When you think about it, even the most modern video games are still mostly 2-dimensional. They may have beautiful 3D graphics, and you may be able to move up and down, but you don't often see so many layers stacked upon each other. This can make the map view almost useless and it's damn hard to even visualize how things fit together. If you tend to be a visual person, this may well be your kind of level, as it is for me - it's really cool how things fit together. If not, you'll probably swear a lot when playing this one! Regardless, you have to appreciate what Tim went through to create Sensori OverLord. Forge and Pfhorte are not a 3D programs. They're very 2D and even creating 5D levels can be difficult. To build something like this in Forge or Pfhorte requires immense patience and a lot of exacting skill. Everything has to align perfectly and if you want to change something in one of the lower layers, you have to peal away each layer above it before you can do so. Ouch! And on top of everything, this level seems to crash the current version of Pfhorge - it hangs when trying to load.

OK, so we're now on the Galaxan's ship and we have a new master, the Galaxan AI named Fr'kna, who serves as the ship's sensory AI. Unfortunately, the Galaxan's keep their operations highly compartmentalized and and the AI in charge of Engineering is nonfunctional or dead. There are plenty of Galaxans in Engineering, but Fr'kna has no way to reach them and unless something is done quicky, the reactor will go critical and the ship and everything nearby, including the base we were on, will be destroyed. Now remember that the Galaxans have no idea that we are trying to help them. They associate us with the pirates and will try to destroy us. Fr'kna cannot transport us directly to Engineering because his (it's) sensors are off-line. The first order of business is to get the sensors back in operation, and that is what we're here to do.

In the interest of brevity, I'm going to provide a very quick walk-through. Please refer to the map below for reference points. You start out at 1 on the map. After reading the instructions, filling up on O2 and saving your game, drop down drop shoot a while simultaneously heading south. Drop down drop shoot b and simultaneously head to the west. When you get to elevator c, ride it up nearly to the top, getting off when you reach the corridor that heads north-northeast. Drop down into elevator shaft 3 and head sharply to the right, which should land you in the main elevator control room. Flip the switch and elevator 3 should be operational. If you miss any of these turns and end up at the bottom of the level this soon, quit your game and start over - it's not worth fighting your way back up. Once you've activated elevator 3, you can always ride it back up.

The next objective is to take elevator 3 to the top and activate the first enabler switch, as labeled on the map. Once you do this, look out the window. See that switch across the way? Do I smell a secret here? That's it, fire a fusion bolt at that switch. Now take elevator 3 back down to the corridor that leads to elevator c and ride it to the very top. Get off at the top and head east, to drop shoot a. Drop into drop shoot a and make a sharp left and you'll wind up back in the starting room. See, it's not nearly as difficult to get back there as we were led to believe. And look, there's a new teleporter here! Step into the teleporter and you'll end up in a large room with a couple of cyborgs. There are partitions, however, that block the cyborg's grenades from hitting you. Step through the first set of partitions and more cyborgs will teleport in, so step back behind the partitions and take them out. Once the room is cleared, feel free to pick up the generous supply of fusion and shotgun ammo and then read the terminal. So the beta testers never found this one. Hmm . . . some beta testers they were! Too bad they didn't have my tips on finding secrets back then. The terminal will take you to the bottom of the level, to a room with the only PB, a 1X recharger and an O2 recharger. This is labeled 2 on the map, and it will be your main base, but watch out - it's far from secure.

To get to the second enabler switch, you'll need to retract a tower that is blocking it. Simply head north down the corridor outside room 2 and flip the switch at the end. It'll look like nothing happened because the tower that retracts is not the one you see here. Next I would recommend heading around the primary ring to elevator e and ride it to the top. This will give you access to a 2X recharger and show you an area where you'll spend a lot of your time, but no need to explore it just yet unless you want to use the O2 recharger just below you. Instead, head back down to the bottom and take elevator f to a corridor that heads due west - you can recognize it by its being lined with door textures. At the end is another tower retractor switch that you need to flip. If you need to, drop down and recharge on O2, shields and save your game, then head back up elevator f to the very top. Once at the top, head to the right and then left and jump to the ledge that is straight across from you. You'll see another ledge to your right below you - jump down to it, then drop down the shoot while simultaneously heading sharply to the left. This will land you right in front of the second enabler switch. Flip it and then drop back down and go around until you find an opening to an outer ring, just off the primary ring, and head to elevator d. Take it to the top and flip a switch that will open access to the 3rd enabler switch. Drop down one level via elevator d and flip that switch.

Head back down to the primary ring on the bottom floor and go back to elevator f. Take it to the 3rd landing (same level as the 2X recharger, but not reachable from there) and flip the first control switch. Now head back up elevator f to the top and head left and then right this time and drop down and head around to the left to a corridor with an O2 recharger and just beyond it, the third control switch (yes, I know this is out of order, but it's more direct). No need to disturb the Galaxans below you unless you'd like to read the terminal from Fr'kna down there. Now head around the corridor below you and take a set of stairs up to the second control switch. Pfhew! Now turn around and between the sets of stairs you'll see a drop shoot - drop down it and head back to room 2, where access to the main link switch will now be open. Flip the switch and sensors will now be on line. Head back up elevator e, recharge your shields, drop down and grab another breath of O2 and head around to the very north of the map, where a door will have opened to the exit term. Kill the hunter guarding it (he won't fight back unless you enter) and read the terminal to be taken to Galactica II.

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Pre-2004 Posts


DiaBD Volunteers - Sensori OverLordSteve Levinson 6/26/05 10:44 a.m.
     Re: DiaBD Volunteers - Sensori OverLordMartiNZ 6/26/05 2:03 p.m.
           Re: DiaBD Volunteers - Sensori OverLordSteve Levinson 6/26/05 4:49 p.m.
                 Re: DiaBD Volunteers - Sensori OverLordSteve Levinson 6/27/05 8:41 p.m.
     Re: DiaBD Volunteers - Sensori OverLordgoran 6/27/05 7:48 a.m.
           Re: DiaBD Volunteers - Sensori OverLordAdam Ashwell 6/27/05 10:37 a.m.
                 Re: DiaBD Volunteers - Sensori OverLordBen A. Potter 6/27/05 5:06 p.m.
                       Re: DiaBD Volunteers - Sensori OverLordSteve Levinson 6/28/05 10:54 p.m.
                             Re: DiaBD Volunteers - Sensori OverLordBen A. Potter 6/29/05 9:42 a.m.
           Re: DiaBD Volunteers - Sensori OverLordSteve Levinson 6/27/05 8:39 p.m.
                 Re: DiaBD Volunteers - Sensori OverLordgoran 6/28/05 7:18 a.m.
                       Re: DiaBD Volunteers - Sensori OverLordSteve Levinson 6/28/05 9:57 a.m.
                             Re: DiaBD Volunteers - Sensori OverLordMartiNZ 6/28/05 2:40 p.m.
                                   Re: DiaBD Volunteers - Sensori OverLordForrest of B.org 6/28/05 2:50 p.m.
                                         Re: DiaBD Volunteers - Sensori OverLordSteve Levinson 6/28/05 3:46 p.m.
                                               Re: DiaBD Volunteers - Sensori OverLordMartiNZ 6/28/05 5:56 p.m.
                                                     DiaBD Volunteers: Galactica II, The Tower of BabelMartiNZ 6/29/05 1:56 p.m.
                                                           Re: DiaBD Volunteers: Galactica II, The Tower of BSteve Levinson 6/29/05 6:19 p.m.
                                                                 Re: DiaBD Volunteers: Galactica II, The Tower of BMartiNZ 6/29/05 7:12 p.m.
     DiaBD Volunteers - Aye Matey!Steve Levinson 6/30/05 6:18 a.m.
           Re: DiaBD Volunteers - Aye Matey!MartiNZ 6/30/05 2:27 p.m.
           Re: DiaBD Volunteers - Aye Matey!Don Merlin 7/2/05 9:26 p.m.
                 Re: DiaBD Volunteers - Aye Matey!MartiNZ 7/2/05 10:18 p.m.
     Re: DiaBD Volunteers - Sensori OverLordDon Merlin 7/2/05 9:36 p.m.
           Re: DiaBD Volunteers - Sensori OverLordMartiNZ 7/2/05 10:14 p.m.
                 Re: DiaBD Volunteers - Sensori OverLordDon Merlin 7/5/05 10:57 a.m.

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Pre-2004 Posts



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