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Tour of Duty: Foe Hammer
Posted By: MartinDate: 4/18/14 10:34 p.m.

Last time on Tour of Duty, we ran around opening airlock doors on Durandal’s ship, at Tycho’s command, as part of our late introduction to another new timeline, our part in which began with Durandal’s ship adrift and Tycho taking over, riling up the compilers and generally making a nuisance of himself. We fought new vacuum BoBs and some super compilers, and ultimately switched sides, although it -was- forced upon us. It’s all a bit confusing.

We start in a little corner room and immediately find some super compiler bolts coming towards us across open space, from a very similar corner room on the other side of the area, and yet we’re still not in vacuum. We duck for cover, and the compilers soon lose interest and head out of their room, but they seem to get word to ones closer to us, and the door out of our room opens in a rather ghostly way (he’s invisible!) if we hang around too long. There is a Fusion Pistol here (no cheat scratchstart for me this time!) and some ammo for it and for a shotgun we might have from as recently as Carroll Street. There is also a 2x recharge canister!

We find there is one door that does not open and one that does. Behind the latter are compilers both visible and invisible, and a small group of green vacuum BoBs teleports in. I only recently realised that they were actually on our side here. They don’t tend to last long enough to ask questions of, anyway :(. This is a large open space, with a slight rise cordoning off an arc, behind which is a big pool of slime with terminals up on the walls all over the place. I even bothered to mark them on the map, which I took the liberty of creating in lieu of one from PS, as we seem to have caught up to our supply of materials again! Mine do rely on being able to explore all areas of the map, so I have contacted PS to see about better ones going forward :).

I always thought those terminals were inaccessible, and that they were where the odd humorous line about Greg K was written, but it turns out that is rather an M2-like “cheater” message, and those terminals all display Tycho’s “eat vacuum” message, which I will get to shortly, through the only way out of this room that doesn’t involve slime, a door … to a dark narrow corridor, oh God! There’s another invisible compiler and a Hunter, and a couple of doors to the right, to tiny rooms, the first empty and the second with a terminal, from Tycho, like the slime ones but without all the slime.

This is the first real sign we get that we’re not where we expected to be; that the only choice we had for leaving Naw Man did actually result in our swapping sides, and Tycho is pissed off, in wonderfully lyrical form. Again, the level is not in vacuum, so his threat is an empty one as far as the game engine goes, but he does send us off into space, which is amusing. And we are saved by Durandal, and greeted with a terminal from him. Of course we could have got there via the lift that we were very near, but I like the touch that it suggests that D saves us here.

Durandal is much happier than Tycho. We’re a bit confused as to our location, as Durandal talks about the humans fighting on -his- ship, and says to kill Pfhor compilers on this deck – now are they the ones on Durandal’s ship that Tycho has been rampanting up? I guess he has some of his own, and maybe they’re affecting D’s ship remotely? Are they what is pinning down the engines, which is what Kent was supposed to find and destroy? All those crazy Tycho terminals around the place suggest it as being his ship anyway.

I am not sure why Durandal is kind of cocky even in the circumstances – is “their humiliation” referring to our part in the story, and the S’pht’Kr returning? How far along is that process in this timeline? Or does he foresee something else? Very interesting also that he finds it important to help the humans off his ship – I guess that happened on the DL in M2, or they were actually already on the planet anyway when we had to work with them exclusively after doing in Durandal. They were down there since What About Bob … had they not got off the ship in this timeline? Without our involvement in the earlier parts of the timeline, it’s hard to say what went on – I guess the humans were more important for defence with us not there, and especially the vacuum BoBs.

There are compilers in this room when we arrive, including invisible ones, and a couple of Hunters, so Durandal’s saving is a bit of a two-edged sword. There is a pattern buffer up here as well, and a 1x recharger at the far end of the room, which taunts us as we are busy fighting and losing health. There are two exits from this room – a lot of this level is nicely symmetrical; I do approve! The doors from here are similar to ones we saw on Post Naval Trauma – they don’t take up all of the open horizontal space, but we can’t fit around the sides. At least these ones open, and don’t have Enforcers behind them. They have liftshafts and more doors behind them, and then some Pfhor behind some big wall sections – they’re happy to stay asleep and leave us alone, and we’re happy enough to let them. Then there are some doors that just don’t open, either yet, or at all. As for the liftshafts, the one on the right-hand side goes back down where we’ve been, and actually works as a lift; the shaft on the left goes where we haven’t been – don’t be fooled by its appearing to be slime-filled on the map, that only happens after executing a secret in the next area.

We fall down to a dark narrow corridor with doors in very similar places, except that the ones that were little closets on the other side just don’t open on this side. There are Hunters and compilers around; the door to the far left opens to a big room with a slime pool and compilers, again beautifully symmetrical with where we were at the start. There’s even a matching oxygen charger, and a door to the room from which we got shot at when we first started. There’s a platform in the middle of the slime pool, and a switch half-submerged on the right wall, which opens up the secret I mentioned earlier. Finally, there’s a window to a corridor just in from the one we came from, and there are Hunters inside. No more BoBs here though.

Hitting that secret switch drops the lift down even further in the shaft we fell down from the middle, and that results in it hitting lava. Heading down there we find a Mother of all Hunters, a SPNKR, a decent ammo stash, a 3x recharge canister, and a teleporter to get us back up top. Good haul!

I guess we can still fall down to the left-hand area from above; I don’t think I’ve ever tried. Then we can go to the right in that corridor. Unlike the right-side one, it finishes in stairs that take us to a ledge over the lava – this ends in a lift, with Cyborgs and Hunters incoming. The switch just to the right is not actually for the lift, but raises a walkway over the slime to meet the central platform … halfway. Up in the area above, we find a pattern buffer, and to the left, a switch that opens a few doors about the place – opening up the closer corridor with Hunters, and a door at the other end of this higher area, which connects us back to the middle part of the level. There is also a door here to a very narrow passage that just ends in a window over the slime. I think it is to give us a straight-on view of that “secret” switch. Another switch at the other end of the area, near the door back to the middle, completes the (alternative?) footpath across the slime.

We take the path back to the middle of the level, and, looking around a bit, find that yet another door is now open, straight across from the one we just came through, to reveal the equivalent area on the right-hand side of the map, with Cyborgs, Hunters, and one last switch. This one opens two doors to connect the start room with its opposite, and reveal the end of the level between them.

A short, sharp message from Durandal, albeit in the wrong colour. The humans are cut off at his core, and Tycho’s Pfhor are headed there to capture Durandal. So are we, although I think at this point Durandal is not expecting that we’ll be killing him; he thinks we can save the situation somehow; he seems to know something that we wouldn’t expect him to know; seems to suspect something from our Thoth-like role in this timeline, balancing the sides, or playing them against each other. We are indeed headed to his core, but the level is quite different from the last time we were there!

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Replies:

Tour of Duty: Foe HammerMartin 4/18/14 10:34 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty: Foe HammerHokuto 4/19/14 3:22 a.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty: Foe HammerDurandal_1707 4/22/14 9:08 p.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty: Foe HammerHokuto 4/23/14 12:11 a.m.
                       Re: Tour of Duty: Foe HammerPerseusSpartacus 4/23/14 6:40 a.m.
                             Re: Tour of Duty: Foe HammerDurandal_1707 4/24/14 8:18 p.m.
                                   Re: Tour of Duty: Foe Hammertreellama 4/25/14 3:34 a.m.
                                         Re: Tour of Duty: Foe HammerPerseusSpartacus 4/25/14 6:15 a.m.
                                         Re: Tour of Duty: Foe HammerDurandal_1707 4/27/14 3:46 p.m.

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