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Tour of Duty: Hang To Dry
Posted By: MartinDate: 12/22/15 11:56 a.m.




Tempus Irae
17
Hang To Dry

Last time on Tour of Duty we sinned. Following Cosimo’s philosophising about truth, salvation, and Lambs of God, we explored another churchy area – it felt like it had been a while – and broke into a small cottage, went to a library, climbed into bookcases (resisting Labyrinth quoting), entered a fireplace, and ascended into a hollowed out cross … and now? Well if this is “to be saved”, I think we were better off with just the sin. This level was named in reference to an earlier one it replaced, “Lather, Rinse, Repeat”.

We start now in front of a locked door, again, and with a staircase heading up in front of us. A second magnum is in view, for the scratchstarter, and a bunch more ammo and an Assault Rifle spawn in as we advance, as do some Pfhor – a Trooper back behind us down the stairs, a small mercy that that door didn’t open and bring more! The Spoiler Guide finally admits to this being a common practice for the scenario, and refers to such Pfhor as Rear Admirals … nice, and yet not nice! There are more from up ahead as well, with an Enforcer and Hunters for friends. Dealing with them leaves the large courtyard we come to next rather empty – except of course for two Projectile Fighters, one on each side raised up on very narrow ledges with just nothingness behind them, making it hard to hit them with splash damage. They are easier to just avoid.

Up ahead past the courtyard we find more of our favourite things: locked doors. Then there’s another small block to go around, with more Pfhor, and then another larger one, with yet another locked door on each side, but recessed on the far side, a Pattern Buffer, this time on a desk rather than a wall. Next another locked door, and one that is huge and just raised, rather than locked, in a large outdoor area, so that the map shows more going on behind it. On the far side of this area is a raised platform with stair access and is it a Gallows on top? With an intermittent bell sound – for whom the bell tolls? Well it works for us anyway, because it seems that standing up here opens one of the doors a ways back, and there we have the mechanic for this level – activate something (or in this case just stand there), then go and find the door it opened … sounds kind of familiar, to be honest! Here’s what we’re looking at, anyway. Proper pictures in mine will have to wait for the New Year now, just wanting to get this done quickly.

So clearly there is a secret way off this level, especially obvious in that 3D render! I guess we’ll figure that out as we go along. For now, that door we opened – on the map it is to the left just back past the Pattern Buffer. It has us descend into a set of narrow passages around a sewage pool, with Drones rising out of it, as they do. There are a couple of pillars in the pool, but there don’t seem to be any flashing sides, or anything else of note – there are stairs down into the pool at the far end, and a smaller pool off to the side, which is walled all around … and curiosity leads me to try jumping in there. And a good thing it did! It seems that secret area is not really a secret exit after all, but a “yes we thought of that too” room. We get teleported off there as soon as we hit the ground.

There’s a locked door (well how could there not be?), some ammo, and a terminal, with Cosimo talking about lambs again – we are now the lost lamb, and there are choices, with pastures and flames, but also pastures of God, which I guess are a bit different. Viking points out that Cosimo certainly seems to be more aware of what is going on as regards our presence and the fact that it was kind of unlikely we would find ourselves down here. The terminal picture, rather than the usual mirrored Italian or Latin, is mirrored English, with a few spoilers of some of Tempus Irae’s secrets – stand on the Great Pillar past the Theatre’s fourth door, look twice for the half-ass hatch on Game Of Death, and the girls are for your eyes only … well that’s not much of a spoiler as the way of accessing that is still pretty arcane. That was a fun Easter Egg though!

The terminal doesn’t help us leave, but he does provide what looks like an exit teleporter. In this instance it merely takes us back to the door we would have reached just moments later anyway. We hit the switch beside, and looking straight ahead through the door we see a Trooper. If we just carry on towards it, we don’t even notice that we have just been tipped back out through one of the earlier locked doors, and are about to continue through a third! Some mysteries solve themselves, and this place is opening up much quicker than we are used to! In this next area, there are some rooms with columns but no sewers. Drones descend from a raised area that appears inaccessible, but an odd wall between the first two rooms is actually a platform (the Spoiler Guide says the previous door switch sets it in motion), and we can use it to get up there – not that it seems all that useful. There is one AR magazine, and a door at one end of this odd passage that reveals another exit terminal lookalike … but all it does is spit us out right back in front of it! Shenanigans! This is like that Gauntlet level where all the walls look like exits.

Carrying on, it seems that the raised passage makes another slight change – we can hear Pfhor spawn in on the far side of it, quite a long way down the corridor from here. Interesting map design. Further on we come to an alcove with what looks like another desk Pattern Buffer, except it doesn’t work, a switch, and a terminal.

Finally we hear from Leonardo again! And we have a passage in Italian of a prayer in death, followed by the translation, and Leonardo’s reaction to it, plus the revelation (appropriate) that he now knows that the figure that has been shadowing him is S’bhuth! And he has been sharing various pieces of advanced knowledge of the universe, as well as ideas of threats to our existence, which all sound a bit biblical, really, rather than Renaissance.

Back in the present or however this time period self-identifies, the switch opened a door just nearby, which takes us back out through yet another of our earlier locked doors, and this time we head back into the garden to find the large barn door has come open, but there are no horses in sight, just more Pfhor. There is a locked door and an apparent dead-end, but the map again shows stuff going on behind them. There is also an actual opening, so we take that for now, and find more Pfhor, a locked door, a bookcase, a fireplace, a working Pattern Buffer, a switch, a 1x recharge canister, and a terminal with more description from Leonardo, leading into his role in the plan to bring us here. He talks of the idea of building a time machine, but fears S’bhuth’s motives in sharing his worldly secrets and also his interest in politics … maybe there’s something to do with balance going on, Thoth-like?

This time we don’t have to go far back to find our newly opened door. It leads to a dead-end corridor with an actual player-controlled door off to the side. The room beyond has our religious chanting ambient sound. A bunch of ammo spawns in along with a 2x recharge canister, and a bunch of Pfhor, if that is the correct collective term for them. Quite a lot of them, in fact. Pillars line the walls, and down some stairs and to the back of a structure in the middle, we find a switch for a door into the Crypt is it? Well only briefly down, and then back up again, through Pfhor ambushes and to another player-controlled door, seriously! Also a tempting secret with a half-open door that has a 3x recharge canister just beyond it.

The controllable door leads to two more with switches, although one is disabled for now. Just through the other one is our next manuscript, a staircase to a door that joins back up to a corridor from earlier, and another terminal from Leonardo, who talks more about -us-, the fate of all the worlds put in the hands of one saviour – no pressure – and the manuscripts. There is also a little secret room with ammo accessible from this area – actioning one of the bookcases in the correct angle reveals an L switch recessed up in the wall above! Which reminds me, I was wrong about that bookcase door on the previous level – conspicuous as it was, it was actually the wall above that opened, and the hidden switch that opened it -also- had that issue of being a one-time use switch that was also cancellable! Just an aside :).

Viking has a bit to say on this: How does this tie into the Marathon storyline? We know that the Pfhor attack on Lh’owon happened around 1,000 years before 2811, so it happened in the early 1800s or late 1700s, which is still well after Leo’s time. We can’t count on Durandal’s estimate being completely accurate, though – he probably just rounded it down to 1,000 to make it easier on us. What I’m getting at here is, did S’bhuth come to Earth after he left the S’pht clans back during the Pfhor invasion, or did he travel back in time here? If the latter, why is he begging Leo to help him build a time machine? Did he not take the time machine back with him? I’m leaning on this being fan-fiction based on the history in the M2 terminals from when he left Lh’owon, so this may be the first time he’s attempting to make a time machine.

This must be Jjarro technology we’re dealing with, too. But ... oh yeah, S’bhuth himself probably is one! Either that or something close to it. He’s saying it’s for us, the Security Officer, to save the galaxy from the Pfhor threat (and possibly the W’rkncacnter). Are the manuscripts blueprints of tools of war for that purpose? To send to the future? Considering that way back in the beginning the S’pht said we had to fix S’bhuth’s “folly”, I’m guessing that Leo and S’bhuth didn’t succeed at building the time traveling machine, and that’s why we’re here retrieving the manuscripts.

Did something that Leo created enable S’bhuth to come back in time, but just as a one-off, and perhaps S’bhuth actually needed something more, a different machine, to get back, or to wherever/whenever else he needed to be?

Anyway, just like that, the disabled switch for the other door just before, has become active, and we enter a large area full of yet more Pfhor and locked doors. There’s even a Blue Hunter, and there are even key slots for a couple of doors, but we haven’t picked up any keys here! There are more annoying Pfhor on ledges, but at least this time they don’t disappear into nothingness. And at the back there is a door we can open. We gradually descend to a courtyard with a raised structure in the centre. There is another wooden construction on top and also a 2x recharge canister, but no obvious way of getting up there! The Spoiler Guide says grenades or rockets, well that’s a bit of a copout, and I don’t even have any SPNKR thanks to Never Satisfied! Anyway, after dealing with another Blue Hunter, we find a door at the far end, which closes behind us and leads to several darkened rooms.

To the north and south there are Pfhor, and stairs to ledges that just lead to locked doors, although the south one does give us an overlook of an earlier courtyard – we even noted the map activity beyond earlier on in the writeup. In the middle west of these darkened rooms, we even find ourselves on the opposite side of the door that similarly showed map goings-on from the other side, but I cannot see why it did, as there doesn’t seem to be any opening for the light to get through! And there doesn’t seem to be any way of getting through the door from here either. To the east is a door that leads to a room with more locked doors and an L switch. This reveals yet another exit teleporter that isn’t, and it just spits us out again.

So now what? Well going back west, there is now a switch in the wall – we have to punch or projectile it as it is a layer too far back, but it opens the door! And again, now what? Well my first thought goes to that secret-like 3x recharge canister, and retracing our steps reveals that that half-open door is now fully open! Beyond, along with the 3x, is a terminal and a real, secret, exit teleporter! The terminal is from Cosimo, who still doesn’t seem to think we’re up to his challenges! And kind of fair enough for the next one on Game of Death, for which we will turn to Viking. But for now we’ll go and find the normal exit.

From the door we opened just before, we head backwards in the level just a bit, to the courtyard with the Gallows at the back. One last locked door is now open, and leads to an underground area with Pfhor from all sides, a wall Pattern Buffer for a change, an oxygen recharge canister, one last locked door for the road, and then a big dropoff to the real exit teleporter, and we are left looking at a 3x recharge canister just beyond as we fall – maybe we could have grenaded ourselves across the gap?

This way we find ourselves back on the ship, and there’s just one manuscript left, but I think Viking is going to cover that in more detail along with the Game of Death next. Have a good Christmas :).

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Pre-2004 Posts


Replies:

Tour of Duty: Hang To DryMartin 12/22/15 11:56 a.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty: Hang To DryGeneral-RADIX 12/22/15 5:50 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty: Hang To DryVikingBoyBilly 12/23/15 4:05 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty: Hang To DryDurandal_1707 12/24/15 7:05 a.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty: Hang To DryGeneral-RADIX 12/24/15 10:58 a.m.
                       Re: Tour of Duty: Hang To DryDurandal_1707 12/24/15 6:20 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty: Hang To DryHelviusRufus 12/22/15 9:17 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty: Hang To DryVikingBoyBilly 12/23/15 4:32 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty: Hang To DryVikingBoyBilly 12/23/15 4:50 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty: Hang To DryMartin 12/24/15 3:55 p.m.

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