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Tour of Duty: You Gotta Sin To Get Saved
Posted By: MartinDate: 12/16/15 8:58 a.m.




Tempus Irae
16
You Gotta Sin To Be Get Saved

Last time on Tour of Duty we teamed up to traverse the puzzles of a rebellion secret. Cosimo had some strange ideas and some concerning pictures of Pfhor somehow apparently drawn long ago! Enforcers in bedrooms were really the least of our worries, as we completed a timed switch puzzle, a timed maze, a switch climb, and I guess a balancing exercise, and then still had to find our way out! And all that just to end up where we would have anyway, but with fewer weapons and doubtless some slightly shot confidence. Good deal!

We start now in front of a locked door, and right behind a Fighter on a ledge – that’s some precision silent teleporting! He dies and we ascend some stairs further up the ledge. Some weapons spawn in, along with a floating cross of shotgun ammo, just in case we had forgotten the religious components of the scenario. If we jump over a gap with a door that doesn’t open yet, we come to a dead-end with one that is already slightly open, but is quite controversial in its operation! We get a very early terminal in the wall to the left, and Cosimo is still with us, or likely we hear from him for the first time, if we missed the secret, and we probably did. Either way, he says that without sin, salvation is meaningless, giving immediate relevance to the level title, which the spoiler guide says is about our basic MO in the game, killing things (sinning) until we reach the end, while also apparently being a reference to a Maria McKee album … someone of whom I had never heard. And we’re here looking for answers, apparently, which is no great surprise.

Meanwhile, another Fighter has been taking potshots at us from a lower ledge, so he dies too … sin! For us there’s not much for it at this point but to start going down. That Fighter’s ledge has a 2x recharge canister, which may be handy but could also … be saved. The next level down has the opening we are actually heading for, but it is interesting to check out the very bottom of this hole first. There are some Troopers, and a fireplace, of course, with some fusion ammo, and a shotgun shell that I guess we have to fall down onto – maybe another time. The opening with a staircase back up to our ledge also has a little Pfhor cupboard, which seems to open when we enter the fire – was there a frying pan I missed? They’re only Fighters, but still an interesting mechanic right here.

The stairs back up are just that, and the door at the top is the one we started on the other side of. It opens quickly, and then the switch disengages, which can be annoying for those of us attuned to trying to prop doors open out of habit – apparently that is a sin as well. There’s still not much to do up here, so we go for falling again, towards the ledge with the opening that I mentioned earlier. Kindly it offers up a PB as top priority, along with a Fighter in a raised corridor – the obvious combination! Let’s see where we’re at.

First of all, the URL for the 3D render made me realise I had the level name wrong all this time, hence my edit in the header. The entries in the spoiler guide and the actual list of 3D renders both get it wrong as well, and “be saved” slips off the tongue far better if you ask me – interesting.

So far we’ve only covered a tiny fraction in the bottom right – there’s clearly much more fun to be had! Interesting from the fact that I played ahead a bit is the reading of 1x shield rechargers over to the left of the map – while they kind of appear that way, in an Infinity art kind of way, they actually work as projectile launchers that are not at all friendly! But we’ll come to that later. The area we’ve just entered loops gradually back around to near where we started, but that’s cutting a rather long story short.

First we have to run around the outside of a sewage pool, with a fence preventing our entering it most of the way. There is an odd room off to the left early on, with all the markings of a secret except for the fact that the door is open. There is a little ammo inside, and a 1x shield recharge canister, and the door actually closes when we enter! Kind of a reverse secret, but it’s not a trap – that’s only temporary … so why bother?

In the sewer pool, and in some small raised rooms above it on the inside, are Fighters, Drones, and Troopers, and as we progress around, there is also the odd Hunter on the path. Eventually we reach a point where we can get down into the pool – it’s only shallow, and seemingly a dead-end in both directions, but there is a sneaky L switch right back just in behind the Pattern Buffer, along with a 1x shield recharge canister and a couple of SPNKR rockets, I guess useful if we didn’t take in the secret rebellion level. The switch opens a passage at the other end of the pool, which sees us able to rise onto a platform with some Troopers lying in wait.

The middle of this platform is an actual platform, shaped in a 4-pointed star, and when it rises, we can reach a switch on one side (not actually sure what it does), a terminal opposite, and a path onward to the south. The terminal is from Cosimo again, something about a Lamb of God I guess? Baaaaa.

The way forward leads to the very nasty switch. It opens the door back out to the starting ledge, and then that triggers the opening of the already slightly open door that leads to the rest of the level. However, if you try to deactivate the switch to keep the first door open, you stop the other door from opening, and the switch cannot be pressed again, so the level is a write off … and I don’t know about sinning, but if you save after that, you’re screwed. Except that now A1 seems to automatically save as a new file, a major departure from Marathon’s having pioneered “Replace” being the default option in a Mac save dialog all those years ago.

If we don’t make that mistake, we still have to fall back down into the pit as the door exits in a local minimum point in terms of elevation. At least we already know the way back up, and now the way forward! Through what is still a rather tight fit vertically, we find ourselves in a grassy courtyard, with a Fighter walking around the top of a hedge wall, just because he can. There are some pillars about, and one hides a switch to open the next door, which is actually back down the way we came. A Cyborg spawned back down there at some point, and now takes full advantage of the ambush opportunity.

Next we come to another dead-end like place, with walls in an octagon shape just high enough to stop us jumping off into sewer pools. There are Drones about, and a Fighter on a ledge up to the right. A similar one to the left holds a 2x shield recharge canister and also an L switch, which we can grenade, resulting in the wall sections turning into a series of stairs enabling us to reach that recharge! We can also miss out, by getting hit over the edge by a Drone, which just happened to me now, dammit.

Climbing out of the pool we enter a church hall like room – there are even hints of stained glass in the wall opposite. There are some Pfhor, and those projectile launcher things I mentioned earlier – they throw F’lckta like rocks in rather rapid fashion, and are not to be messed with! Up some stairs, a switch reveals a key slot in the wall opposite, and opens a door past the right projectile launcher, for our continued exploration.

Things start looking a bit more organic, and we drop down slightly more than we can climb back up unaided, and then suddenly there’s a Pattern Buffer. The next area has an interesting mechanic, whereby we have to go around the back of a house and gain access by throwing a grenade through the window at the switch by the door. Good security measures I guess! And then we move on to circle a large open area completely before we find a switch to get inside it – that seems to open the doors on both sides, and another one with the path forward, as well as summoning various Pfhor to this rather picturesque courtyard, I mean, why wouldn’t they come? There’s even some ammo!

And next we get another terminal – this Cosimo guy is great for getting more terminals in the game! And the most thinly veiled reference to our situation – the key to our salvation, nice.

As it turns out, pure intentions come from climbing on boxes and jumping to other boxes. Doing that by the window over to the right will lower it so that it becomes a door; the left side one doesn’t seem to have an equivalent. Outside again, our key can be observed “falling from the heavens” to land on a small grassy platform, rather impressively. Then we take in a shortcut back to the house we broke into, which now has Hunters outside it, and we get back to the Pattern Buffer. Another passage is open from that room now as well, which takes us on a rather scenic route back to the cathedral, via paths over sewage pools and then some heavy underwater action before some stairs carry us back to the surface.

We now have the key and are able to enter … the library! It has more Pfhor than most libraries, and yet a dearth of people telling us to ssshhhhh! Especially with all the gunfire, and the Pfhor murmurs, man! This place also requires yet more sleuthing. I must have figured it out way back but found I could not this time, even when going on the spoiler guide’s “there’s a hidden door in the end of the far stack” – yeah, not that helpful really. There is a Pattern Buffer on one side at the far end, and a door to the left. We can see the room just beyond over the walls past these features, but can’t grenade ourselves over those for some reason.

Through the door are more bookshelves, and alcoves with armchairs in them, but this time the chairs are not where the secrets lie. There is one conspicuous individual shelf but it shows no signs of being a door. The “secret” and yet required doors are physically in the -ends- of the bookcases, which just come across as walls – sneaky, and also I think different from most libraries :). Behind the scenes are some more little steps that make me think secret again, and then a larger staircase and an opening that lets us get on top of the other bookcases – ahhhhh. A switch is revealed in the wall ahead, and -that- opens the bookcase door that was the most obvious.

We follow this back passage over to the other side of the first library room, and find a dining hall complete with fireplace, again perhaps atypical in a library? A 2x recharge canister appears on the table, and a little alcove past the end of the table allows us to jump on to grab it. Then we have to go into the fireplace for the next switch, but seriously, that’s less of a surprise. And as the floor drops away, we finally gain access to the massive hall beyond.

The end wall has a hollowed out cross, which is a platform and ledges in our vocabulary. Pfhor abound, including a Blue Hunter, who fell down right in front of me when I went to stand on the lift space. Handy I had 2x shields! This room really is huge, and we do have to stand there and most likely fusion the L switch way up on the opposite wall – really impressive scale here.

At the top, Cyborgs try to stop us leaving, as do randomly opening doors, but we eventually find our exit teleporter around behind at the farthest point of what becomes a looping corridor. And thus ends a rather long trip, and VBB is going to be along in a while as we Hang to Dry.

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Replies:

Tour of Duty: You Gotta Sin To Get SavedMartin 12/16/15 8:58 a.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty: You Gotta Sin To Get SavedGeneral-RADIX 12/16/15 12:18 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty: You Gotta Sin To Get SavedMartin 12/16/15 12:40 p.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty: You Gotta Sin To Get SavedGeneral-RADIX 12/16/15 1:12 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty: You Gotta Sin To Get SavedVikingBoyBilly 12/16/15 2:56 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty: You Gotta Sin To Get SavedMartin 12/16/15 3:44 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty: You Gotta Sin To Get SavedHokuto 12/16/15 3:54 p.m.

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