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Trojan Volunteers - You were dead . . .
Posted By: Steve LevinsonDate: 7/29/05 9:02 a.m.

This is a really, really cool level. There are a variety of different environments, there is a nice flow of action and there is a lot of eye candy. And there are some really great secrets as well. The biggest secret of all, however, is confined to the Macintosh version - it does not appear in the M2/Win version and hence it is not in the unofficial AO version either. Strangely, it's not even shown on the map in the Mac version of the Spoiler Guide. We'll talk about it in some detail shortly.

Without summarizing the detailed walkthrough of the Spoiler guide, I'd still like to go through a brief rundown of the level progression since it does have so many different areas. The player starts out in a mosh pit sort of area without really any sort of clue as to what to do. We were chosen for this mission, but we won't see any terminals until the end, so I guess we should do what we do best ;^)

After clearing the area, the player eventually opens the door to exit the area and comes to their first PB. A switch lowers a door, but the player needs to ride the door up to be able to reach a switch to start a platform moving to acess the rest of the level. One difference between the Mac and M2 versions is noted here as well, as there is a second switch on the back side of the door - this corrects a bug in which the player could become trapped on the other side with no way to continue. This does change the dynamics a bit, however, as that second switch also allows the player to reaccess that PB, whereas they can't in the Mac version.

After clearing the next passageway and using a 2X shield recharger, the player next comes to a large lava-filled room with some pillars to utilize to eventually make it to the next corridor. After crossing a large lava-filled room on a narrow bridge, the player gains access to the next PB and shield recharger. Note that there are some secret ammo stashes in the alcoves overlooking that lava-filled room. These are easily reached without the need for hangtime. The player can now access a new area on the other side of that lava room with the pillars. This area contains a series of lava pits with elevated narrow walkways. As you pass the first lava pit on the left (watch out for the exploding boomers), notice that there is a lava passageway snaking out of view. This is the way to the level's major secret.

Jumping off the walkway and heading to that passageway, the player will find an alcove with a switch on the right. Hit the switch, then run around the corner and you will see either a dark passageway out of the lava in the Mac version or a transporter in the M2 version. Let's start with the Mac version. If you head down the passage, you will come to a shoot. Jump down it, but turn to the side as you go or you will end up in a pool of plasma with no way out. Wow! I mean, wow!!! The player is now in a large circular room with a large plasma pool, a plasma column and - what are those things?!!! They look like . . . eggs!!! The floor is filled with these round organic-looking things - tan on the outside with a white area on one side with a purple center. Stab one a couple of times and it goes squish and falls apart. And you'll pretty much have to destroy many of them just to get out of here. There is a transporter at ground level and there are 3 more up higher on the wall. If you jump into the first one, you will be transported in sequence to the top and middle ones before being dumped into the plasma, where you will die. The trick is to jump from the middle to the lower transporter before being transported - this will take you to the next secret area, the one that the M2 version takes you directly to in the first place. It's a shame that this super cool room was left out of the M2 version. In addition to being cool, it plays in nicely with the story and gets the player thinking a bit sooner that the alien attack may not have been unprovoked. We'll see these eggs again later, but nothing will compare to this one room.

The next secret room is diamond shaped with some goodies and a transporter in each diamond point. Jumping down to the one to the north returns the player to the center, so this is the place to start. Jumping down to the east lets the player access each of the other diamond points in sequence before landing in a small secret room that is in an area we'll visit later in the level. There is a 3X recharger here, but the exit door for now is blocked. Straight across is what appears to be a transporter, but it doesn't work. No, this isn't a trap - tab on the transporter's back wall anyway and the player is rewarded with a secret message and then transported back to where they left in persuit of the secret. BTW if you wait until the end to try to reach this secret, the message will have changed and you'll be left guessing what else you missed (actually, nothing). Note the location of this secret room on the map - you'll be back in the area later in the level and can then regain entrance to it to use the 3X recharger.

Continuing along, the player will need to follow that narrow walkway above the lava pits until they cone to a weird room with platforms. The easiest thing to do, though not stated in the Spoiler guide, is to use grenades to activate the switches and get the platforms moving before entering. It's then a simple matter to jump over to the right ledge. Before continuing, however, take note in map view of where you are. Yup, there's that secret room - tab where you know the door must be to access that 3X recharger. Head down the next passage, do battle and jump onto a very large platform that will take you to a high ledge. Flip the switch here, then jump back on the platform and ride it down to the lowest depts of what looks like a dark cave. Watch out for the assimilated bobs - they can nearly outrun you and they pack a very mean punch. Read the terminal at the end and it's off to your next mission, but Able has other plans . . .

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Replies:

Trojan Volunteers - You were dead . . .Steve Levinson 7/29/05 9:02 a.m.
     Re: Trojan Volunteers - You were dead . . .MartiNZ 8/13/05 4:19 p.m.

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