/-/S'pht-Translator-Active/-/


Tour of Duty - A Converted Church in Venice, Italy
Posted By: MartinDate: 11/17/14 1:07 p.m.

Last time on Tour of Duty, many moons ago, we followed up on Tfear’s request that we deal with the pesky humans for him, and it seems that our intervention in whatever and whenever this timeline is, stops the humans from getting close to the S’pht AI – I don’t think it is even mentioned in any of this. Anyway, we climbed honeycomb stairs, killed BoBs, swam in the sewers, read terminals, flipped switches, and did it all in a race against time as a final feat. But the job was not finished – Tfear told us to stop the humans from leaving via a volcano: I guess they had to get outside for teleportation purposes, and that age-old problem was getting in the way of their attempts to access the S’pht AI. All together now, “only we would survive the fall!”

I think it has only just clicked with me, thinking about that 1KKST exit terminal – our kind will serve well the hindmost crčche – I had always thought this was some kind of governing group among the Pfhor, or similar, but is it perhaps rather part of the boring Pfhor religion? After all, we’re running around killing all of the humans – where shall they serve in death … is it a belief in some form of afterlife? God will sort the dead.

We do indeed find ourselves in an organic, rock-like environment, open to a darkening sky, and some fierce winds. There is a working 2x recharger, a not working 3x one, and some would be narrow openings, except they’re closed. Nearby there is also a Fusion Pistol, and a terminal. It’s “from” Blake, and given that we were sent here by Tfear, it would seem that this is another one of our attempts at shenanigans with timeline loyalty, although this is really only a news report, rather than an actual way out, as we debated was the case on Naw Man He’s Close.

We get the name Hagakure base, and I think we have already had haga and kure as terminal intro/outro before this point. Interestingly (summarised from Wikipedia), Hagakure is said to assert that a samurai must be willing to die at any moment in order to be true to his lord. Not too distant from the empire before self sentiment of the previous exit terminal.

Anyway, I guess now we’re expecting Fusion BoBs! And the alien fortress to the west – Citadel of Antiquity? Different orderings of things again, but perhaps this timeline would gel better with Ne Cede Malis, if we did indeed switch sides … except that Durandal is already dead here. I keep forgetting that part!

There are some stairs nearby, but before we leave, I should just point out that the Labyrinth cheat switch for the level is situated in this room, somewhere in the wall opposite the rechargers – it won’t show up, but it will trigger all 30 of the switches of the level’s “puzzle” if you do hit it, and we haven’t even got there yet! Up the stairs we get proof positive on that VacBoB presumption, and a magnum-toting one also makes an appearance. And we get a pretty good look out over a big dropoff, to the mainly open area where the puzzle takes place, but we might want to be careful of another bunch of BoBs on a high platform way over to the left. Only a couple of Fusion-toting ones seem to care to try to hit us, but hey, that’s enough! The view of the courtyard is characterised by more rock textured ledges around a lava river – we are indeed in a volcano, that’s right, we are where we are meant to be :) – and big brown pillars. We can't see any of that from the map, of course, but here it is anyway:

We jump down into the courtyard, because there isn’t any other option, and soon we notice that there are switches in some of the pillars around the place – the “multiple, redundant sources throughout the cone” we have heard so much about! The one good thing about these is that they -are- one-time-only switches, so at least we know which ones we -have- hit – just not which ones we haven’t, until it’s kind of too late. But yeah, there are a lot of them! And the area is quite difficult to navigate due to the lava river, and otherwise just because most of it looks pretty similar!

There is no order to things here, but we will have various encounters with BoBs, and we will find few enclosed structures around the place. One towards the east has a pattern buffer, which is a good early stop once you know, especially as it also secures you a 2x recharger down here! It is also one of the few places where you can get out of the lava river if you fall in, but navigation tends to go out the window in such circumstances, hmmm. The others are less interesting – always more BoBs, sometimes some ammo, and maybe yet another switch. One opening towards the west just provides access to a few BoBs on a raised platform outside.

When we think we have hit all of the switches, and let’s be fair, we’ll never manage to keep an official count going, we have to head to the south, where we have to jump into the lava river, and find a path up some stairs out of it. These stairs end in a switch, which does a We’re Everywhere / Bob’s Big Date and reverses the direction of the stairs, letting us go even higher. There are BoBs up there behind a door, you’ll be surprised to hear, and ducking off to the side to a handy dandy 2x recharger is a good move. There are also a few more stairs off to the left, but they lead only to a teaser openable window for the area we want to get to next.

But the main focus for now is the door at the top of the main stairs. It reveals a narrow corridor, which probably has a barrier in it somewhere! It turns out, in a very elegant fashion, that each switch below lowered a platform in this corridor, directly above said switch, letting us get further through it. If we -have- missed any, loading a saved game with this newly gained knowledge is by far the quickest way to proceed, however many times we have to do so!!

The corridor wends its way around the map, eventually becoming lava filled in itself, before spitting us out on the other side of that teaser window, oh so close! This area is a multi-story ring staircase around a lava pool. Our first stop is at a pattern buffer, terminal and 2x recharger up the top. The only thing missing is oxygen, and this is where my main save got messed up when I was originally arranging the terminal pics for this level, all those weeks ago – I had used too much oxygen exploring the sewers of 1KKST and this led to my dying on the lava lift from the basement here! Thankfully, lower difficulty scratchstarts aren’t so bad from here on in :).

This is strange given that we had to flip all 30 switches in order to read that we had to flip all 30 switches. Maybe the two messages were swapped at some point? The one at the start was a more Pfhor-looking terminal. Anyway, this one introduces the idea of the basement, and so down we go, round and round and a long way down, trying to avoid falling into the lava pool as we cut the corners on the ring of stairs. Eventually the fierce winds can’t even reach us anymore; we just have that vast empty howl, and briefly, the sound of lava as well … and everything becomes very dark indeed.

Then as we move forward, we find ourselves well and truly back in BoB territory, and somehow they can see in the dark, but can we? Nah, we pretty much feel our way around down here, and the map is no help as the area completely overlaps that above! But cleverly, with that, we gradually approach the spot where we started the level. After dealing with all of the BoBs, we find a 1x recharger, a switch, and a pool of lava – hmmm I wonder if we could get these things to work together? Well, probably best to head back and restore 2x health actually, given that the switch commences flooding of the area, and not in a friendly watery way!! It’s what we read, about preventing the humans from escaping via the basement.

The standard way out of this situation is the lift that starts rising in that lava pool. This has us ascend to the starting room, to one final BoBs fight, which never seems as hard as I remember its being in ’96, to a now working 3x recharger, and to the final terminal.

Then as we move forward, we find ourselves well and truly back in BoB territory, and somehow they can see in the dark, but can we? Nah, we pretty much feel our way around down here, and the map is no help as the area completely overlaps that above! But cleverly, with that, we gradually approach the spot where we started the level. After dealing with all of the BoBs, we find a 1x recharger, a switch, and a pool of lava – hmmm I wonder if we could get these things to work together? Well, probably best to head back and restore 2x health actually, given that the switch commences flooding of the area, and not in a friendly watery way!! It’s what we read, about preventing the humans from escaping via the basement.

The standard way out of this situation is the lift that starts rising in that lava pool. This has us ascend to the starting room, to one final BoBs fight, which never seems as hard as I remember its being in ’96, to a now working 3x recharger, and to the final terminal.

The terminal is strange given that we had to flip all 30 switches in order to read that we had to flip all 30 switches. Maybe the two messages were swapped at some point? The one at the start was a more Pfhor-looking terminal. Anyway, this one introduces the idea of the basement, and so down we go, round and round and a long way down, trying to avoid falling into the lava pool as we cut the corners on the ring of stairs. Eventually the fierce winds can’t even reach us anymore; we just have that vast empty howl, and briefly, the sound of lava as well … and everything becomes very dark indeed.

Then as we move forward, we find ourselves well and truly back in BoB territory, and somehow they can see in the dark, but can we? Nah, we pretty much feel our way around down here, and the map is no help as the area completely overlaps that above! But cleverly, with that, we gradually approach the spot where we started the level. After dealing with all of the BoBs, we find a 1x recharger, a switch, and a pool of lava – hmmm I wonder if we could get these things to work together? Well, probably best to head back and restore 2x health actually, given that the switch commences flooding of the area, and not in a friendly watery way!! It’s what we read, about preventing the humans from escaping via the basement.

The standard way out of this situation is the lift that starts rising in that lava pool. This has us ascend to the starting room, to one final BoBs fight, which never seems as hard as I remember its being in ’96, to a now working 3x recharger, and to the final terminal.

The terminal is strange given that we had to flip all 30 switches in order to read that we had to flip all 30 switches. Maybe the two messages were swapped at some point? The one at the start was a more Pfhor-looking terminal. Anyway, this one introduces the idea of the basement, and so down we go, round and round and a long way down, trying to avoid falling into the lava pool as we cut the corners on the ring of stairs. Eventually the fierce winds can’t even reach us anymore; we just have that vast empty howl, and briefly, the sound of lava as well … and everything becomes very dark indeed.

Then as we move forward, we find ourselves well and truly back in BoB territory, and somehow they can see in the dark, but can we? Nah, we pretty much feel our way around down here, and the map is no help as the area completely overlaps that above! But cleverly, with that, we gradually approach the spot where we started the level. After dealing with all of the BoBs, we find a 1x recharger, a switch, and a pool of lava – hmmm I wonder if we could get these things to work together? Well, probably best to head back and restore 2x health actually, given that the switch commences flooding of the area, and not in a friendly watery way!! It’s what we read, about preventing the humans from escaping via the basement.

The standard way out of this situation is the lift that starts rising in that lava pool. This has us ascend to the starting room, to one final BoBs fight, which never seems as hard as I remember its being in ’96, to a now working 3x recharger, and to the final terminal.

Tfear tells us he has been “saving” humans, but really at this point it has to be hard for -us- to care, the number we have killed no questions asked; that makes me think of what Tycho says in a few levels’ time, massacres occur at our beck and call, only we can’t quite remember? What awaits the humans captured by the Pfhor, is unclear. We are apparently heading off for “conditioning”, i.e. reprogramming to make us a less confused Pfhor weapon, I guess. More thorough than Durandal’s getting us to pick up an energy converter. And this is to take place on a planet called Gd’nrl Prime; but we’re back to the headscratching nature of this game, and that’s not exactly where we end up!

But wait, that’s not all! There are a few other ways to go from the basement. They all require quite a bit of health on hand, and are best accessed on lower difficulties. For one, we can head back the way we came and rise with the lava up a staircase, leading to the high platform from which BoBs tried to shoot us back at the start. For two, we could head through a door a bit back and left from the lava pool and the switch. In the room revealed are some exploding BoBs, and they die in a fire shortly after we meet them. Another door in the next room is triggered to open by the flood switch, but it is on such a delay that we find ourselves dead before it opens all the way … uhh yeah. This path is easiest accessed after going up the lava lift and getting our 3x health on. Then we can come back down and that second door will be open¸ to reveal a lift that shoots us up into a nice secret room, complete with a 3x recharger and more than 7 invincibility powerups!! A little overkill, but well earned, for sure. A switch here opens a door out into the area where we hit the 30 switches earlier, but we’re invincible (except I suppose with all of those VacBoBs running around!) so why not head back into the lava instead? And maybe carry on -back- to the last kind of secret item?

And that would be the alternative exit terminal, which we can swim back to, but I guess we can also just head out and do the corridor run again, and what with two of the ways out of the basement heading back into the main courtyard, maybe it’s not so unlikely an ending to find? Anyway, I said earlier that our S’pht AI friend doesn’t get a look in in this timeline; well here he is speaking for himself! I guess he gave up waiting – Mohammed, mountain.

Nice and succinct as ever, and spot on as far as Durandal goes, he most certainly does/did think himself higher! Other than that, this is a much more accurate description of where we’re headed next … it’s just that we have to go through something of an interlude first, in the form of Son of Grendel (Gr’ndl?). Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s any easier to understand!

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Replies:

Tour of Duty - A Converted Church in Venice, ItalyMartin 11/17/14 1:07 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - A Converted Church in Venice, IHokuto 11/18/14 1:39 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - A Converted Church in Venice, IMartin 11/18/14 4:29 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - A Converted Church in Venice, IVikingBoyBilly 11/18/14 4:56 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - A Converted Church in Venice, IGodot 11/19/14 1:18 a.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - A Converted Church in Venice, IMartin 11/19/14 10:47 a.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty - A Converted Church in Venice, IGodot 11/19/14 1:48 p.m.
                       Re: Tour of Duty - A Converted Church in Venice, IMartin 11/19/14 1:58 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - A Converted Church in Venice, IPerseusSpartacus 11/22/14 2:09 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - A Converted Church in Venice, IMartin 11/23/14 12:14 p.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty - A Converted Church in Venice, IPerseusSpartacus 11/23/14 5:59 p.m.

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