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Trojan Volunteers - Electric
Posted By: Steve LevinsonDate: 9/19/05 5:03 p.m.

This is not one of my favorite levels, however, it does contain one of the coolest if not the coolest secret in all of Trojan, so it's definitely worthy of discussion.

We've been sent back to the colony - or what's left of it - to deal with an area that was previously secure but has now been compromised by some remaining GenCorp guys who are not too happy that you destroyed their ship. The've been kind enough to let some of the aliens in, too. Your mission is 3-fold: to clear the area of aliens and GenCorp personnel, to pick up lot's of ammo for your next mission, which will be on the alien ship, and to pick up a plasma cannon which should also come in handy during the next mission.

This is really a level in two parts - the first part contains some ordinary corridors and rooms filled with monsters and some ammo. You could skip this part and save it for later but, as noted in the spoiler guide, you'll have to pass through here later and probably won't have much shielding left by then. Unfortunately, there is no access to a shield recharger in the first part and the beginning of the second part is hellish, so you might not be much better off. The one saving grace of the first part is ready access to a pattern buffer.

The second part is significantly more involved and includes some major fights and ambushes. There are a couple of shield 3X rechargers here, the first of which is available early on, but not before a major fight. Unfortunately, these don't function in the unofficial AO version and as they are the only rechargers on the level, unless you have enabled the cheat codes, you're dead. There are many interconnected regions and very often the player has an opportunity to vist an area that they'll see later from a different vantage point. If you do venture around, watch out for exploding boomers, but there is a reward in the form of some ammo and an infravision power-up if you do.

After obtaining the plasma cannon, the player needs to drop into a lava passageway - it may not be all that obvious, but it's the only way forward - and drop down into a room full of assimilated bobs. But first, wait. That lava passageway has another direction that is blocked by a lava falls. If you look at the Spoiler Guide or even pay close attention to the maps shown in the terminal picts, you'll note that if you could proceed in this other direction, there is an octagonal room at the end. Holy cow - there are two sets of lava falls to climb, but if you're good with hang time manouvers, you can do it. Since there is a PB and 3X recharger right before, there's no excuse for not trying to reach this secret room. If you do, you'll find an alien weapon! Not only that, but there is a terminal from Cain asking you how this weapon might have gotten here. Hmm - kinda makes you think. The weapon fires a stream of goo similar to the green stuff used by the floating balloon-like aliens, but the supply is limited and the weapon must then be discarded. But we'll have a chance to get some more of these on the next level.

My one real complaint with this level, other than the lack of a shield recharger in the first part of it, is that there are multiple places where the way out is not at all obvious. In addition to the lava passageway, there is what seems to be a complete dead end - the player literally has to tab on a wall to find the way - and then the player comes to a large cross-shaped room with lots of monsters. The exit from that room is through a tiny secret door tha is only visible thanks to a slightly misaligned wall texture. IMO funny textures are fine for finding secrets, but not as the only way through a scenario.

In any case, we're done with Troy Colony for a while. Let's go explore the alien ship.

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