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Tour of Duty: The Revealing Science of God
Posted By: MartinDate: 10/10/15 9:43 a.m.




Tempus Irae
12
The Revealing Science of God
&
Repository Eight

Last time on Tour of Duty, we ran around an Italian town in something of a storm, carried off in impressive fashion with our engine being what it is. There were Enforcers on distant raised platforms, buildings that we were able to join by way of their windows, pools of water, waterfalls with secrets, and destructible panels. The writeup revealed that the terminal actually gave clues to solving the puzzles presented by the level, which was a revelation for me at least! Anyway, we then delivered the manuscript we found, and were told that the Pfhor command mecha was based on patterns of Tycho mixed with patterns of ourselves, from when we were saving on the Pfhor ship way back. And of course, we were told of yet another manuscript - that room is getting pretty full now!

We start in rather close quarters, proper Marathon style! I've been spending a lot of time in Halo MCC recently, up to 384/600 achievements done, and one of the Halo 4 playlists was called "Tight Corridors", and that made me think immediately of Marathon. I certainly have been neglecting it, and this! So here we go. Close quarters. A door that doesn't want to open, another Marathon staple :). A switch! Which opens a door just there, and also, cleverly, one behind us. But that one closes again because it is actually controlled by a switch behind it, which can be shut off again to keep the door open. The little hallway in there also gives us a 2x shield canister.

Before we head through the other door, a couple of Drones catch our attention, behind some bars in a window to the left. And then a Hunter, to the right, circling a pillar behind a low wall, but not low enough for us to get over. The map makes it out to be a platform ... hmmm.

For this level it is super handy to have all polygons showing on the map, as there are a few secrets about the place, more Wolfenstein 3D style with random bits of wall actionable, but this area at least is also a bit of a maze, with more opening up as we progress and open doors from their backsides. So let's have a look at the map.

A rather large map with a lot of long connecting corridors - let's see how it plays out! Thinking about secrets as we were, for a start, just over to the left from here, a large section of wall "opens" revealing a Fusion Pistol, a Flechette, a 1x shield canister, and some ammo. And that's as much of this area as we can open for now. Through that other door, we find another 1x shield canister - they're being quite generous so far! - and follow corridors around to an ambush on both sides by Enforcers, and there go our shields. Then a door that actually does open reveals a terminal, in book on a table form, and a pattern buffer. The terminal is from Leonardo again, no more pages from other people's diaries. He has had the dreamy, shadowy figure talking in Italian for once, and feels that the usual process has been inverted, with it trying to understand him, and not the other way around - curious.

Outside is another door that won't open, and further around we open up one of those connections in the maze that I mentioned, with another switch we have to remember to turn off. And then we're outside! There has been the sound of wind about, I just forgot to mention it. This semi-circular room has a small pillar in the middle with a switch embedded. It opens a door just further around, but only briefly, and this one can't be forced open.

There is more around the bend just before we go in there - it looks like a dead-end but somehow we can walk through a mesh wall, and find some ammo and another 2x recharge canister! And then back to the door. It takes us to a room with a long table like structure most of the way across, with more ammo and weapons, great for the scratchstarter I guess. There are a couple of Troopers in an area behind a low wall, like the Hunter at the start, and there is a switch in there with them. I found I hit it with my shotgun while taking out the Troopers, without even noticing - it opens a door around the back of that table, to outside again. A few Fighters spawn in just ahead of us, and then to the right is an overlook on a courtyard wherein a Juggernaut!

There is also a SPNKR and some ammo for it, and a platform going up and down just to the left, to get us back out when we drop down, but also to enable access to a 1x recharge canister on a raised platform just opposite. Benefits of bothering with the Juggernaut and venturing down into the courtyard are ammo and a 3x recharge canister! After this encounter we continue on around the wall of the previous room, spawning in Fighters as we go, as well as a Trooper, and another one in that area the other two were contained in just before, for whatever reason. Going right around we find that another door opened at some point, and we join back up to the maze.

When it seems like we missed something, we head back out to the start area, to find that wall we hmmmed at earlier, dropping into the floor, and revealing a switch behind the Hunter's pillar, opening up our next area, which is wetter. The passage loops back around to open yet another link to the starting area, via another locked door, to keep things in -balance-, but the other way, arches open us out onto a river with a waterfall that involves itself in a staircase on either side, which would get us back up to the start area. That's right, it's a waterfall with a horizontal component! The river is just wide enough that we usually fall in trying to jump across it, and has an odd tiny opening at surface level that gives it an inaccessible overflow kind of area.

The corridor leaving this area takes us to another maze-like, with some Fighters, a Hunter through a window, a staircase that leads us eventually to a large locked door, a door that takes us to a dead-end, but also a switch that lowers an obstacle in an area we will presumably get to later ... and another river courtyard. This time there is a Blue Hunter on guard along with some Drones. There are a few channels of water not going anywhere fast, some handy raised grass areas, and one larger river leading out, but it ends with a rather tall waterfall with a secret looking room beyond, but the spoiler guide doesn't mention this ... and as it does mention a secret room that requires double rocket jumping (wtf?) for no reward at all, I figure it probably isn't worth trying this one lol.

Speaking of the spoiler guide, it reveals that this is another level named for a song - they did a great job with names in this scenario IMO - and that it was unique in being designed by one person, then aesthetically tuned with lighting and such by another. And also unique in having respawning ammo drops, which I guess explains why I keep getting "bong" sounds when revisiting areas - I thought it might be just because I'm playing on Kindergarten now to speed stuff up, or I might never bother (shhh, don't tell anyone!).

Back to our own read, there is also a corridor leading off the wet courtyard. It leads yet again to a door that opens and one that does not. The one that does reveals a room with three pillars, an Enforcer, another uncooperative door, and another one a ways off to the left, for which there is a switch, and this just links us back up to the previous area! So I guess, again, that it did something else that we have to reveal. And indeed, using the staircase around the waterfall back up to the start area finds us a newly open door, with an awesome checkerboard tiled floor inside, along with various Fighters, with more to come as we run around the room. Stairs to a raised walkway offer a window view through to a later room, and a small jump to the immediate next area, which starts with a pattern buffer - what -do- we have in store!?

Well first a partly concealed switch opens a door just beyond here, to a room with Hunters, and a large pillar in the centre. A switch on the wall has that pillar drop away and replaces it with another Blue Hunter, which was quite a surprise to me just now on next to no shields. There is a 2x recharge canister next to him, but still. And there is also a key card, or is it a key graphic and mine are just playing up again? Well anyway, other than that, this room is a dead-end, and back out we head to another grassy courtyard - no Juggernaut this time though.

This one is blatantly, and rather prettily, laid out with watchtowers opposite us, and our side is very like castle walls - nice job! Hunters man the watchtowers, Fighters take the low ground, and an Enforcer fires away at us from a high window opposite. Down at grass level we find that one of the towers has stairs for our ascent, and then after a bit of headscratching and looking at the map, and thinking it looks suspiciously like there should be a switch on the other tower, we find that we can take the very narrow ledge and do a smooth leap out and back in to get up there! And yes, there's our switch, and a 1x recharge canister.

The switch raises a platform so we can get across to where the Enforcer was - not exactly a drawbridge, but still cool. And the resulting room has the door for that key. It leads to a wide corridor with a box in the corner - there's ammo inside and we seem to be able to grab it quite happily, but a nearby picture on the wall looks too far recessed on the map, and does actioning that drop the sides on the box ... or it something else? Along the corridor carrying on are a series of platforms that raise out of the floor and are quite happy to crush us into the ceiling, interspersed with Fighters. And then we find ourselves on a spiral staircase overlooking a courtyard that we're heading to one way or another.

In it are Hunters, some pockets of ammo, and only one way out, via water, which was a worry as I was rather low on oxygen, but not to worry, it was just a water curtain, hmmm, leading to a wadeable passage with occasional Drones on platforms, some of which don't seem to be sleeping. Around here I was showing the fact that I've been playing Halo, as I was trying to reload mid-magazine ... dammit.

We end up taking a lift up to meet more Hunters and Troopers, on the other side of the window from the first checkerboard room. And then just in time, through another door we find a pattern buffer, 2x shield recharge canister, and our manuscript! So I guess we're on the home stretch now! Just back out of this nook, we find a corridor that does another masterful joining up of everything. It's a bit of a gauntlet run - there's a secret room off to the left early on, but I think it just lets some Hunters out after we go past, and then several more spawn behind us as we go, but we can really just run, and the only thing that comes in front of us is a Cyborg, which is rather a surprise to see!

We rejoin the second maze arae through the large door we once saw the other side of, and suddenly we think back to another door we never got through, in the three pillar room which is rather close by! And it is indeed open now. It takes us to a small room with water pools and a Hunter. The larger pool hides a 2x recharge canister. A proper dead-end nearby confirms one door that wasn't really a door after all. And then a corridor leads us to the final room, which has a checkerboard floor for the most part, and as we proceed across it, a Blue Hunter is brought down on a platform to the left. The far end of the room takes us outside, where the exit teleporter is revealed out of the landscape, and an Enforcer takes longshots at us from way off to the right - I guess that is the balcony we're supposed to land on to see a cool room. I gave it a number of tries with the SPNKR but ones that just about take 2x health off throw you too far, and I'm no good with the ones that just give a harmless boost - oh well. I think the Rampancy boys did that extra, so I'll check that out.

Oh wait, it looks like they did a secret term for another level instead. Damn. And looking at lhowon.org, and just the map, duh, it seems there is a terminal in that nice looking room that I'm missing out on. For now I'll just report it from those pics, but I'll keep trying :).

Poetry. In motion. A little Binging suggests this is an excerpt from Francesco Petrarch's "The Canzoniere". A slightly different translation from what I found elsewhere, but either way, it doesn't seem at all out of place in Marathon :).

And then we're back in the Repository Room. And the Pfhor are on a boat!

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Replies:

Tour of Duty: The Revealing Science of GodMartin 10/10/15 9:43 a.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty: The Revealing Science of GodHokuto 10/11/15 2:28 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty: The Revealing Science of GodMartin 11/15/15 11:31 a.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty: The Revealing Science of GodVikingBoyBilly 11/16/15 6:55 a.m.
                       Re: Tour of Duty: The Revealing Science of GodMartin 11/16/15 12:03 p.m.

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