Tour of Duty: Ain't My Bitch (Tempus Irae)
Posted By: MartinDate: 3/11/15 8:10 p.m.

Tempus Irae
Ain’t My Bitch

First off, thanks to PS for sorting out our fancy header for this scenario, and maps, and “illustrative screenshots”, to which we can all look forward! Secondly, sorry PS, but the expletive is staying in for this post :).

Thirdly, welcome! It’s a new chapter for ToD, much delayed by my reluctance to play the Moo vidmaster levels, and earlier, by all of our authors’ efforts at stalling at different times…. Thanks guys and girls, the Moo ToD was great fun, and as ever informative!

Now we move to our first third-party scenario. It is my favourite, but I am hardly well-versed, having finished only it, Evil, and Evil in a Blue Dress, and having played parts of Rubicon and parts of Morgana: Excalibur’s Revenge. And I think I once loaded up Eternal. Conveniently, there is still TIME.

Nardo.bungie.org has its own Spoiler Guide for the scenario, which is really interesting, including as it does various notes about level names, level design, and tips and tricks associated therewith. They also have some awesome 3D maps, but I always seem to have trouble finding all of that stuff when I visit. Mind you, I also had trouble finding non-Stuffit downloads there, until it was pointed out to me here that there are direct links from the front page….

As for the story, I was sure there was more of an intro somewhere, but the ReadMe in the download seems to be mainly about the nardo team, and acknowledgements. The Spoiler Guide gives the following (with a few grammar fixes):

“The Pfhor have taken their battle into the depths of time, and you must follow.

Amidst the legends of both the Pfhor and the S’pht are tales of time travels, and beings that have granted secrets to other races. And one of those secrets has apparently landed in the hands of Leonardo Da Vinci.

You and the S'pht must travel back in time to prevent that secret from falling into the hands of the Pfhor, before they can use it to cause a time paradox that will rip the universe apart.”

And then I guess it is up to us!

This writeup would also be further delayed, but I’m at home today with a sore back, lying on it and actually -penning- this, probably the most I have written in years. Sure, quill and parchment would have been more appropriate, but I’ve none on hand. Hell, I’ve hardly even got paper! ANYWAY.

So, essentially, we’re heading to Earth. ~15th Century Italy to be precise, to recover a bunch of manuscripts, and generally stop the Pfhor from messing things up…. And now the pen has stopped working. Oh, it doesn’t work for long -uphill-. How primitive!

Before we head to Earth, however, we find ourselves in a peaceful room, with a shotgun and some ammo, a terminal, and what appears to be a friendly S’pht. Man, it has been too long! The terminal is short and to the point – there is hardly any preamble, but the idea that the W’rkncacnter has made crisis possible is a bit of a worry – are we not past all that? It kind of suggests that this is just after Moo, but “after Moo” is a mess in itself, of course. We’re not with Durandal/Thoth though, this being a translation from S’pht (we’re posting login screens now too!), so that fits with our parting. “To you, we are deeply grateful, and release what little hold we might, as Durandal, have had on your soul. Go.” I know we all know it, but I just love that line, and feel it is worth repeating.

So we need to fight off Pfhor and gain access to the primary drive reactor, before more Pfhor arrive on the K’alima, but we don’t know what ship we’re actually on yet! I like the touch of crediting the S’pht translation service on the logoff screen, but Google suggests they don’t exist, yet :).

So where are we? Well, I had done a full explore, patch up, patchwork version of the map before PS told me about the script to always show the whole map. Since then, he has marked one up more thoroughly, complete with lettered points of interest again! On the naming front, the Spoiler Guide tells us it is a song from Metallica’s “Load” album. Very good.

It is quite a tall map, and we are heading from the south to the north, but there’s plenty of running around and around to come in the meantime! Oh, and for everyone else, that explains the second point at the start of this post :).

More on our surroundings: there are windows behind us, offering views of other parts of the ship. To the south, looking down, we see a “long green gun” as the Spoiler Guide calls it. To the southeast, we see the Pfhor ship that is approaching. This level design is reminiscent of Arrival, and I always like it.

Venturing out one of the doors to the north, we find ourselves in a large open room with Fighters and Troopers waking up, and a few more friendly S’pht. There’s also a really annoying alarm going off! The friendly S’pht are red but shoot green bolts, more like the M1 minor variety, and the combination I prefer. They also shoot a bit faster than in M2 – I guess they were supposed to be going easy on us then! And they don’t seem to mind if we attack them, which is always convenient.

This room is our intro to the locked/unlocked door texture trick – those with red stripes to the sides are locked; those with green stripes are not, and as we’ll see later, they transition as we progress. The Spoiler Guide describes this involving small platforms moving at the quickest possible speed.

The S’pht do well against the Fighters and Troopers. I’m back on TC, of course, those hardcore vid levels out of the way. Most of this scenario is fine on TC, but I always had a hard time on “Never Satisfied”. Along with the red and green doors, there is a secret brown with white spots one here, to the south, a room nestled between this and the start room, and offering a little more ammo. Just north is the door to our first base of operations: PB and 1x recharger, and a second shotgun!

Two passages heading north from the open room are already accessible, but not of much interest. The left one leads to another PB, another 1x recharger, and a few Drones. It dead-ends before very long, and at the very end has a teleporter to the right passage, the same minus the PB. There are platforms above, but we don’t have anything to get up there just yet. Someone has probably managed to use Troopers to do it, but that someone is not me.

So that was a bit pointless. Back in the open room, one door to the west is unlocked. Through it are more Fighters, a switch, and a staircase with an obstacle, once again reminiscent of Arrival, including the ability to just run around the obstacle. There is also a window looking southeast, and nearing it teleports in more shotgun ammo.

Up the stairs past the obstacle is a spiral staircase going down. Just standing at its mouth spawns a Trooper halfway down, and he then makes his way up. And it is much easier to face him on the level. Down the bottom of the stairs, the corridor has the “locked” texture along the walls. Several Fighters come at us, and then there are a couple of little red lava pools to the left, and along past them, the path splits off left and right. At the intersection, we spawn our first Hunter, and more Fighters, and a 1x recharge canister, which we’re quite likely to consume by mistake if not at full health. Now the action really beings. Let’s go right first.

A few observations: Pink Fighters are back to only taking 6 magnum shots; we picked up a second magnum at some point; there are some weird phantoms on the radar down here (actually I think those are the S’pht upstairs); and that damned alarm sound is with us again! To the right, we first find more shotgun ammo. At the end of the corridor there is a door to the right, and a Fighter somehow manages to aggro from behind it. The room he is in is directly underneath the open room we already know so well. The best approach is to run right into the room, to make sure that the friendly S’pht inside engage the Pfhor. If we go in, left and then all the way south, we even wake up some Drones, and the S’pht can handle everything.

This room kind of looks reactory in itself, what with the pulsing blue lines going up the central pillar; but the Spoiler Guide refers to it as a Gunnery – to the south we see the inside workings of the green gun outside, which, the SG points out, is not made of the same polygons as the one we saw above. Indeed, we can see parts of the start room from here. It’s also good to check all of the nooks and crannies – the right side of the gun workings hides more ammo, and a terminal!

This is an intercept of Pfhor communications from the K’alima, and uses some terminology we learnt in Moo. So we’re on the Sh’aptide, a deep Lh’owon station. Cool. And the Pfhor have it on pretty high priority for destruction! I especially like the end part, now that I’ve thought about it and understood it: just because your ship is damaged is no excuse for not engaging in battle with the station! And we have the usage of demerit points, along the lines of what we read in levels such as Acme Station. Man that alarm is annoying, and Aleph One doesn’t shut up when in the background – oh yes, I’m done with the whole pen thing by now.

There are doors to the east and west here. Through the west one there is an Enforcer and some Fighters, and when we go in there, a door opens up to the left revealing two Hunters. Finally, there is some ammo for good measure. Through the east door, we find a lift back up to the floor we started on. The room we enter has a locked door opposite, a raised platform to the left, and a player-activated one to the right – we have to time the jump so as not to get squished … ahh yes, one of those! The platform holds a 2x recharge canister and allows access to a switch. Getting up there also spawns more Pfhor in the room, including a Trooper – a tactic that nardo employ a lot, kind of ambushing the player … so the 2x health doesn’t last long. The switch opens the locked door, turning the stripes from red to green, and winding us up back in the first open room, and back to the alarm. But I put it in the background before going back out there this time :).

We’ve now also unlocked another door to the west from this room, but first let’s go left from the downstairs. Through one door and to the end of the corridor, and then there is a rather steep staircase going up to the right. Halfway up there is a Trooper in an alcove to the left, and an Enforcer in one to the right. Very annoying when we don’t even have grenades. Easiest is to just run straight past them. The Enforcer seems to have issues with waking up anyway, and in general, they seem weaker than we are used to. At the top of the stairs, we can drop down left, take the Trooper on on his own level, take out the Enforcer, and follow a circuitous path to: more Pfhor, more ammo, another PB, a 2x recharger!, and a secret door into the secret door that opened revealing Hunters a while back. We could also have surprised them in this method instead of what we did … but we didn’t.

Going back to the top of that staircase, there’s also a door! It doesn’t lead far at this point, just a couple of rooms with Fighters and Enforcers, but when we go through the newly opened door from the first open room, it opens connections to these rooms, for whatever reason. It does provide quick access to that 2x recharger. Beyond those openings, we find a couple of Troopers, a couple of friendly S’pht, and a switch. There’s also more shotgun ammo – playing this again I have to say it seems very well tuned in terms of ammo at this point: just when I run out of shotgun ammo, more appears :).

The switch opens up a huge corridor that leads to a whole new area. There are Troopers sleeping down the end of the corridor, but if we just wake them with the magnum, the S’pht do the rest! Another large room awaits beyond the corridor – the end door seems to open on proximity as well as on command, but we can’t close it on command. The room has a very low ceiling – I think the Hunter in here is actually restricted in where it can go. There are a few ambushes as we progress through the room, but always including S’pht :). We pass a lift that doesn’t seem to want to descend right now, and head down some stairs to the left at the far end. Heading down there, we apparently spawn yet another ambush back upstairs! We face a few Fighters and then find a switch beside a door. *Something* triggers the door to unlock, but it’s not exactly the switch, which opens another door from the first open room, which, you guessed it, we have looped back to. The first time I came down here just now, the door by the switch was already open; the second time, the switch seemed to open it, but in a delayed manner.

Backtracking just slightly, to the lift that didn’t want to descend, the map kind of gives it away. There is a switch hidden in the pillar just north of the lift, and that makes it descend! And the reward? A PB, a 2x recharger, and an infra-red vision powerup. Well, that was fun. Anyway.

Now the double doors leading north from our open room are … open. And there are Pfhor taking advantage of this fact. In fact, more seem to have spawned all around the place … so I died trying to get 2x health again. Heading through those double doors, we see Troopers on raised platforms up ahead, whereas we have to go -down- some stairs. They give us a good opportunity to snipe with the magnums, and if we do move ahead, several more of them spawn, as well as some on the same level as us. But -they- stay beyond the structure at the end of the space, so we can retreat with impunity. And of course the Troopers wind up shooting each other, helping us out :).

Continuing on down the corridor to the north, we incur another ambush, as an Enforcer spawns back behind us when we reach … a door! Which leads to a lift. This takes us down to a 2x recharger, and what I tend to think of as the second half of the level. Really we can get to the end very quickly from here, but there is a lot left to explore. First of all, a brief fight, and then a PB and a terminal!

An update on our mission, which apparently led to a lot of confusion and a slight redesign, wherein the stairs out of the “coolant” were originally accessible without hitting the objective switches. It is unusual for us to just take the plunge, and those circuits are placed so we -just- can’t see them from the platforms. Plus, there is so much else to the level, that it isn’t a huge surprise people were confused. I’m going to explore, and come back to this “last” area later.

Basically there is a huge coolant pool to the west and one to the east, both with plenty of Pfhor on the ledges around and within them. They are connected via a corridor, and then there is a staircase up at one point, on the west side of that corridor. Ammo-wise, we might as well just head off now, but the S’pht can take care of a lot of the combat. And up that staircase, and around and around through Troopers and the like, is a terminal.

So I guess this is targeted at us? A machine is in control of the anti-Sh’aptide operation, and has something against us? Sounds kind of familiar … and most definitely insane :). Curiously, there is a teleporter just past the terminal, which takes us back to the bottom of the stairs, instead of somewhere useful, like maybe the 2x recharger, or a secret! I suppose it is just next to the raised platform in the coolant, climbing onto which spawns some ammo.

And that’s the exploration done. Now to jump into the central pool and blast some circuits – on the left and right as per the terminal from earlier, and then we have to hit the switch on the north side of the central pillar, and thus swim towards the north. There is a handy 2x recharge canister just nearby, and then we’re out! Up some stairs is another terminal, which seems to suggest we’re leaving, but isn’t quite the last one.

Conveniently vague, but we know what’s coming! Along the corridor a bit, we have a great fall. There’s an annoying Enforcer along the passage at the bottom, who seems to wake up as we fall, but that’s the last obstacle! And then we go through a self-opening door to a room we will come to know even better than the first open room! It’s the Repository. We’re stuck here now, and will return many times. Around the walls are uplink-like slots awaiting the manuscripts we have to recover from Earth.

And on the administration side, there’s a PB, a 1x recharger, and a terminal. It seems that after we raised the coolant, they were able to access and activate the primary drive reactor, and while we were walking and falling a long way, we were FTL-travelling towards Earth. Unfortunately, the Pfhor were on the case and followed us, but hey, it wouldn’t be much of a game without them, eh :).

And just to prove it, out the window to the east, is Earth, with Italy right at the centre. Seeya ... Earthside?

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Pre-2004 Posts


Tour of Duty: Ain't My Bitch (Tempus Irae)Martin 3/11/15 8:10 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty: Ain't My Bitch (Tempus Irae)VikingBoyBilly 3/12/15 8:24 a.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty: Ain't My Bitch (Tempus Irae)Martin 3/12/15 10:18 a.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty: Ain't My Bitch (Tempus Irae)PerseusSpartacus 3/14/15 9:13 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty: Ain't My Bitch (Tempus Irae)Hokuto 3/12/15 2:02 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty: Ain't My Bitch (Tempus Irae)Martin 3/12/15 3:20 p.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty: Ain't My Bitch (Tempus Irae)VikingBoyBilly 3/12/15 7:18 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty: Ain't My Bitch (Tempus Irae)Lion O Cyborg 6/4/15 3:14 a.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty: Ain't My Bitch (Tempus Irae)VikingBoyBilly 6/4/15 3:29 a.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty: Ain't My Bitch (Tempus Irae)Martin 6/4/15 4:11 a.m.
                       Re: Tour of Duty: Ain't My Bitch (Tempus Irae)VikingBoyBilly 6/4/15 6:49 a.m.
                             Re: Tour of Duty: Ain't My Bitch (Tempus Irae)PerseusSpartacus 6/4/15 10:14 a.m.
                                   Re: Tour of Duty: Ain't My Bitch (Tempus Irae)VikingBoyBilly 6/4/15 11:39 a.m.
                                         Re: Tour of Duty: Ain't My Bitch (Tempus Irae)PerseusSpartacus 6/5/15 8:28 a.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty: Ain't My Bitch (Tempus Irae)Lion O Cyborg 6/4/15 4:30 a.m.
                       Re: Tour of Duty: Ain't My Bitch (Tempus Irae)Martin 6/4/15 1:09 p.m.
                             Re: Tour of Duty: Ain't My Bitch (Tempus Irae)Lion O Cyborg 6/5/15 12:56 a.m.

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Pre-2004 Posts



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