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Tour of Duty: Try "Try again" again
Posted By: MartinDate: 2/20/15 1:57 p.m.

Last time on tour of duty, we fought the end of the universe, and won. With one final visit to a certain Jjarro space station, we finally knew what to do, thanks to the combined minds of Durandal and Thoth, or something like that, and we took our rightful place in … history? The future? TIME itself.

There was, however, also the option of avoiding all that philosophy for the moment, and venturing forth to a few special levels designed to test the sort of mettle I’ve just never really had – mainly due to a lack of understanding of how one can kill Troopers and Enforcers with Fists. I’ve watched the videos, but I just don’t think I have the dexterity, agility, or any other requisite RPG characteristics. In their defence though, there do seem to be a few weapons about, so we’ll see what goes wrong!

These levels are quite fitting with the Infinity concept of ending up places we’ve been before, but it is quite blatant that they are not part of the story – more of an extended and more painful set of rolling credits. When I’ve seen that in other games, there’s generally nothing that can kill you while you traverse quirkily done credits over a background of … well I’m mainly thinking of a few mobile platformers. ANYWAY.

We arrive in a large room full of lava pits, and ledges between them. There’s a Fusion Pistol straight ahead, an Assault Rifle to the right, and a Shotgun to the left – yeah that’s generous! There are also Hunters about the place, and they can make it quite easy to fall in the lava, which is rather deep this time around…. That’s right, we’ve come to try “Try again” again!

Yep, there’s the slightly secret ammo room, there’s the terminal, there’s the hidden recharger, albeit only 2x this time around ><, and there’s … oh crap, no there isn’t a Pattern Buffer :(. I guess that’s what we signed up for! We’ll just have to be careful … or die a lot. Oh and throw out the MSG for the M1 level, which starts, ”The first save terminal on this level is just to the left of where you teleport in, and should be used as soon as possible.” I agree!

Apart from that, it does look like they did a very good job of replicating the level. I wonder how many times they had to -try again- in that process! And thanks to PS’s having told me about the ‘show all polygons’ plugin, here is the whole thing, for sure, complete with map writing!

The first terminal was once upon a time a garbled message from Leela in the throes of a dodgy reboot, and some questionable (fabricated) historical information. This time the Double Aught guys are much less cryptic. We have to kill everything. We’ll have to check that, as the original did not require us to kill the Hunter in the secret terminal room, and maybe a few others? And there’s our confirmation: No saves for you!

Looking back, it was just over two years ago the last time I wrote up this level … oh no, it’s not, the forums just do dates around the Wrong Way! A good PiD reference into the mix, “check”, oh and, no offence :). Still, about 18 months ago, and here we go again. Might as well follow the same order of exploration, so we kill the various Hunters and head northeast, use the secret recharger, which is much easier to find with ‘show all polygons’, and head up the lift.

Of course there are a couple of differences in how the enemies handle compared to in M1 – we have to deal with Hunter death explosions, and the Enforcers’ and Juggernauts’ different weapons; the Hunters are the most annoying in this regard I feel, given the close quarters of much of this level … we also remember that all of the enemies are pre-placed as was the style at the time of M1. As such, they must have had to do some tricky stuff with telling them when to wake up.

The Hunters and Enforcers wake up en masse as soon as we spot one in the distance from the top of the lift. The Enforcers are differently coloured from those we’re used to – at least they were on Normal; now trying on TC I didn’t actually notice before they exploded, as the whole bunch of Pfhor came down the lift when I tried to run away, and I had to grenade them all. Well, the first time they killed me, and that big door opens too slowly, but this is a learning process!

Then we’re free to take the pillar teleporter, or carry on, to find a surprise by the big doors to engineering: a MoaH into the mix! Mercifully his bolts don’t track like the YTYBT ones, but he’s still really tough and with a really large explosion … and did I mention we can’t save?

Heading back down to recharge at this point reveals another surprise: there appears to be an enemy roaming the starting room. A Hunter that randomly got woken? NO. It’s a frickin’ Juggernaut! Okay now they’re just rewriting history and I call shenanigans. I’ll leave him be for now – I’m beginning to recall the Rampancy guys dying a lot due to such things….

In Engineering, things are more as we remember them, with the added bonus of a Flechette and some ammo for it. The Jugg in here seems to be keen to leave the room, which I never saw in M1, and I would say more power to him, but that kind of blocks my way back to the recharger, which is unacceptable. The problem is how best to kill him with no save available – SPNKR seems too inaccurate, but Fusion seems too useful for killing other stuff. Quite the dilemma; maybe some old school Fist work to at least weaken him. That worked in the M2 final room – right up until one had to get out of the way of the explosion, and I -never- managed to clear out the room and live to tell the tale on TC.

Here one has to be well careful of his blocking the escape back to the recharger. Instead, he killed me. Trying again, I took a different path, to the south from the start. Clearly one of the most important things here is to make sure the Enforcers die dropping their weapons, as most of the Juggernauts really do need to be killed from range, and while there seem to be a decent number of SPNKR ammo drops, we need all we can get! And there are a lot of Enforcers and Hunters along that path, again, a ledge above lava, but rather further above than it used to be, and of course, again, the lava is deep, for a classic All Roads Lead to Sol style Jugg drowning death. Speaking of SPNKR ammo, there’s a bunch at the end of that ledge by the teleporter.

Returning to recharge, we find that there is no Jugg in the starting area, yay! I guess it is only going north to Engineering that spawns him.

From here the next thing I did was head in the direction of the corridor between/under the lava pools; more curious here with depth in play! The two Juggs in the pool above were stuck together chatting. I ignored them and took out the Hunters in the corridor – one from each side, how annoying! Then found a really nice ammo stash at the far end, and took the teleporter, only to die to the first Enforcer shot … yay! Try again.

After having delayed all of this for so long, and then finding it a true matter of trying again ad nauseum, I dropped the difficulty again, at least to get all the terminal pics captured, and to get this relatively uninteresting chapter out of the way. What does this mean? Well, I still have not completed any of these levels on TC. A challenge for another day, when there’s less else to play :). There will always be next time with Marathon!

So, really just a few other observations on the level: I’m sure a few teleporters have been rerouted, but don’t have M1 installed at the mo to check. The teleporter in the pillar outside Engineering does indeed go to the invincibility powerup as I remembered from long ago, writing in the M1 Tour of Duty for Try again. The ‘secret’ room at the back of Engineering still contains an invisibility powerup, for want of the correct terminology. The secret room above the lava is a right pain to get into when you have to negotiate swimming at the same time, and there seems to be a bit of a current into the bargain!! There’s an extra invincibility powerup in the room there, along with a Tozt, which is always nice, especially with Troopers and exploding BoBs on the following level. And there is a terminal, which is appropriately droll:

Did I remember it from two years ago? Try 20 years :). I’ve thought for a long time now, if I ever lose my memory, I think playing Pathways into Darkness again would be amazing. So many things that I will just never forget, but without which that game is pretty much impossible lol, even down to walking through the wall for the blue crystal; I knew it was there somewhere from playing the demo, but had run up to the last fight on Ascension before giving up and looking up where it was to be found!

I can’t say for sure if the Hunter on the secret ledge has to be killed this time around. When I went looking after getting the terminal pics for success and failure and all that, he just wasn’t there…. I think it was one of those random lower difficulty things. Never mind. If you find the final terminal without killing everything, they berate you appropriately, and kindly send you back to the starting room.

However, if you then kill everything and revisit the first terminal of the level, they berate you and unkindly send you to the bottom of the lava upriver. Conveniently you can get out up there, but still – rude, and probably actually deadly on TC *ahem*. Also, complete with bad grammar, before it took over the Internet!

When you connect all the dots and get to the final terminal with everything dead … and more power to you if that’s on TC … then they congratulate you, and then threaten you. All I can say is, thank goodness the next level does have pattern buffers!

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Replies:

Tour of Duty: Try "Try again" againMartin 2/20/15 1:57 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty: Try "Try again" againVikingBoyBilly 2/21/15 9:46 a.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty: Try "Try again" againHokuto 2/23/15 2:49 p.m.

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