|Tour of Duty: You Got Me in a Vendetta Kinda Mood|
|Posted By: Martin||Date: 1/14/16 8:35 a.m.|
You Got Me in a Vendetta Kinda Mood
Last time on Tour of Duty we were guided through a rather mad secret level, under fire from Juggernauts, grey Fighters, Hunters, you name it! We then got to deposit our second-to-last manuscript, and received copious amounts of instruction for the coming levels, suggesting that we might be quite a while without more in now. Hmmm, and apparently I skimmed Viking’s ToD and never responded, possibly a first, and then just carried on enjoying the summer break.
Back to it now I had completely forgotten those Repository Nine instructions, and decided that to save time I would instead scratchstart on the next level for this writeup. Conveniently the first few rooms do replenish our arsenal somewhat! But I soon had to go back to read the last ToD for context … and not just because Vendetta is a bitch – oh yes I even died on kindergarten, to an invisible Enforcer behind a door, rude.
The instructions basically told us they were going to send us into the K’alima basically to blow it up, because we don’t want to pollute this timeline – apparently we haven’t already, so that’s handy, however unlikely it may seem. We start, as planned, in the living quarters of the Enforcers … wow, that’s rather intimate – conveniently they are not home! And also as promised, there are several terminals in this early part of the level. First:
At first I thought it was a message to us, but that was before I read those instructions again. I guess this is basically Enforcer gossip. There are four rooms like this in the area, so we might as well cover them first. Each one has a weapon and/or some ammo – this first one has a second Magnum and ammo. Out the door and to the right we get an Alien Weapon – apparently one of them forgot to take it with them! – and if we stand by the light part of the wall, also an Assault Rifle and some ammo. The terminal here contains a response to the invitation in the first.
Right, so I guess the Enforcers are not all the best of friends. A simple ‘no’ could have sufficed? Still, ‘theories’ sound concerning, maybe they’re onto us?
Back out in the hallway, I will actually go around to the left next, because otherwise we would miss it – we have a room with a path between three goo pits. Some Shotgun ammo appears, as does a 2x recharge canister in the entrance. The path branches, one way to a door that doesn’t open, and the other to another room with goo, and paths leading around the outside, and thankfully looping around in a small room just beyond – not much more to explore here.
There is quite a blatant ‘secret’ here with a staircase of sorts in the goo. Footing is a little tricky, but we’ve done worse, and the reward is quite nice – we open a door at the top to a bit more ammo, a 3x recharge panel, and an oxygen recharger. My goodness it has been ages since we had panels rather than canisters! Okay the Repo levels have 1x but they’re not usually worth mentioning.
Back in the three goo pool room, we note on the map a submerged switch in one of them … but it doesn’t work in this state – I tried. Back into the living quarters and further left, the next room has SMG ammo and of course another terminal.
Well now I’m confused, as I first read the earlier terminals like a script, but I think I got it around the wrong way who was speaking in each – I thought it was S’gar’br who was being a dick, but it was actually Ia’ala’kau, seriously these names! Anyway, the latter was apparently actually the one with something to hide, and now it’s official. He (?) has something ‘unit-portable’ that might come in handy in the fight against … us, oh damn, so they are onto us!
And then the fourth such room has a Fusion Pistol and ammo, and one more message.
And they know about Ha’rar as well, the Pfhor who we were told wanted to defect to our side. Well I guess one bit of good news is that he’s being held above drive engineering, which is exactly where we’re headed!
To complete the loop in this area, another room back out in the hallway and to the left has goo pools and platforms beyond them on both sides – looking suspiciously like they could be teleporters or something. Instead, one has an Alien Weapon, and jumping to it reveals a SPNKR and some ammo on the opposite one – better than a teleporter! And the last room in this area, just across from here in the hallway, has three switches. These drain each of the three goo pools in the room from earlier, and then we are free to hit that submerged switch and get out of here – it does seem a bit inconvenient to have to do that every time you want to leave your living quarters though. Let’s have a look at the map for the level before we hit the road.
Interestingly, if we jump into one of the two emptied goo pools that don’t have switches, they refill! A fascinating mechanic to avoid a deathtrap, or at least the need to rocket back out, and something I don’t think I’ve seen before. The one with the switch doesn’t do that, and the switch opens a door just to its right. We move forward and see a rather large lift ahead, but also an alternative path. The first time I took that lift and went through the corridor with Invisible Enforcers on ledges – that corridor was one I still remembered from years ago when I last played the scenario, including the somewhat hidden stairs and the 2x recharge panel, along with bits and pieces of the rest of this level. It is a little healthier to go the other way though, not least because we get a Pattern Buffer, which I was rather lacking when I went the other way.
There’s a spiral staircase, some more goo, and another lift that drops us down to some Drones guarding smashable panels, a Pattern Buffer, and another terminal. This one starts out as a fragmented one from our friends – I guess the one that they told us they would instruct us further from, but I thought that would be somewhat further into the level than this. It confirms that we are supposed to smash those panels nearby, and that we need to move quickly, and then it just gets too hard again, except somehow the translation suggestion words, which remain completely intact! And then things take on a much more sinister tone as the terminal is taken over by the Tycho-Us command mecha type thing.
He refers to the vengeance Hunter from Polygonium Opus, and also references our old efforts on the Marathon, and our time working for Durandal, whom he says has been somewhat duped by the S’pht liars. I guess it’s all a matter of perspective!
Anyway, we smash the panels and move on, and there really are two ways into the rest of the level! In fact there are two ways even from here – up the stairs into the main area, and straight ahead through the teleporter that is in front of the blue electric fence texture. It takes us just to the other side of that fence, where we make friends with a Juggernaut and some Fighters. On kindergarten it is definitely a good trade-off for the ammo that spawns in the middle of this room, and I guess on higher levels one could just run straight through here, blocked off on both sides by those teleporters as it is.
Out the other end there are more Fighters waiting for us, and a Trooper. It is useful to note there is a 2x recharge panel in a pillar up the stairs and to the left a bit – I didn’t note it and instead backtracked to the one in the Invisible Enforcer corridor, although that’s not necessarily a good name for it as they appear everywhere around here!
Anyway, as we have done an outline route so far, let’s keep that up – we meet a few Drones and get more ammo, and then come to a large obstacle on the right with a couple of narrow alleys through it: one with two terminals, the other with a Pattern Buffer and a switch. The terminals are rather verbose orders to various Pfhor units, probably tactical manoeuvres specifically designed to take -us- out so we’re still on our toes, and we do indeed get cut off with a spurious interrupt, ohhh it had been too long!
The switch in the other alley sets a lift just off to the right on a once down, once back up run, so we have to run to get on it at its lowest point. It takes us to a ledge with an Invisible Enforcer, some Drones, and a completely new perspective on the level – this is Bob-B-Q like in its profundity. We can wander around much of the level so far for new angles on things, and for the way I’ve taken us, we get our first look at much of the ‘main’ middle area.
Therein are a few interesting things: Drones that jump us from a goo pit; Fighters in a pit that ascends to the level as we approach; Drones hiding around corners; Invisible Enforcers … just being invisible. But we can just miss much of that. There’s even a teleporter up on our new level to the earlier Juggernaut room, and back. And we can completely circle the most important room in the place, which is as close as Marathon gets to a circle :). It’s a really big one too, and filled with a Juggernaut, Hunters, Fighters, and Drones. From ground level it has a raised area we -could- rocket up to, but up here we’re more interested in the accessible lift shaft in the top-right corner. Oh, and the switch and terminal in the ‘inner circle’ we can access.
Oh it’s on now! I do like Pfhor justice – if you don’t drop what you’re doing and go kill this guy, we’ll “review” you, yeah. Kill or be killed – I guess it leaves them all with nothing to lose! The switch drops the floor out of the middle of the big room, and we can go down there and fall into another ring, which leads us to a couple of lifts – one goes back up and turns out to be the one we could have rocketed up to; the other goes further down, to a big room below, with more Hunters and Drones, and another raised ring. We can access a room off to the side that hides a 2x recharge panel, and another that has a terminal and two sections of wall that look like they should hide switches or similar.
The terminal is one of those amusing stories of Pfhor bureaucracy, with a twist. An engineer complains about parts missing for the job of fixing an antenna – I’m guessing the S’pht might have damaged that in infiltrating the Pfhor network. It’s a fun read anyway.
Back out in the lower big room we can see a switch up on the raised ring, and hitting it does in fact reveal one of those panels by the terminal to be a switch! And the switch reveals the other panel to be a door. And the door leads down to a long corridor. A switch right in front of us ‘closes’ the stairs we just came down, for some reason, while one on the opposite side of the structure in this room allows us to continue down a -very- long corridor, as well as triggering some staggered Juggernaut death flashes in our face. The end of the corridor is the end of the level, with a Pattern Buffer and a terminal, but:
Oh. Hey! Those would be the three firewall circuits they told us to smash in the instructions on Repository Nine. They even told us we would need to get to the smaller core room directly beneath the main one – wow, if only we could have remembered all that! Yeah, instructions in advance that you can’t go back to are hard going. At least we are explorers first and foremost, so it’s not a major issue :).
So, the firewall circuits. Well remember that one lift shaft back up the top? Conveniently we can climb back up by way of the little lift shafts, and then head back out to our tricky lift to get to the top level again, and then go down to find ourselves in that raised ring where we need to be! Around it, three switches on the inner wall reveal the smashable panels in the smaller core room. We could have gone there earlier, and in fact I did, and the effect is interesting, as it is less obvious that you are in a room beneath the main core room. We would also have missed the incomplete text on the final terminal!
The map is fairly useless by now, so we just have to remember the way back out and back down to the lower core room, and back out through that really long corridor. Now the terminal is happier, but it doesn’t let us leave. Instead it has more convoluted instructions-in-advance for the next level! Which is really only a new level because of polygon limits, but it also works really well for not keeping this writeup going any longer. We just step towards the electric fence texture and teleport seamlessly to … evil so singularly personified ….
But wait, lhowon.org says that's not all! The very first terminal has a 'success' message as well, in the form of a hidden 'thanks' message that also congratulates us on our efforts in getting back up to read it. I went too quickly on my actual final run with saves, and didn't get the SPNKR, so I'll just report the contents here and take it on trust :).
The first URL gives me a 403 and the second one makes me concerned about what BTFC is, with all that money in the background ... dodgy. I'm just going to leave the third one be, on the strength of that.
|Tour of Duty: You Got Me in a Vendetta Kinda Mood||Martin||1/14/16 8:35 a.m.|
|Re: Tour of Duty: You Got Me in a Vendetta Kinda M||Hokuto||1/14/16 9:00 a.m.|
|Re: Tour of Duty: You Got Me in a Vendetta Kinda M||General-RADIX||1/14/16 11:10 a.m.|
|Re: Tour of Duty: You Got Me in a Vendetta Kinda M||VikingBoyBilly||1/14/16 5:29 p.m.|
|Re: Tour of Duty: You Got Me in a Vendetta Kinda M||General-RADIX||1/14/16 6:12 p.m.|
|Re: Tour of Duty: You Got Me in a Vendetta Kinda M||Durandal_1707||1/14/16 8:01 p.m.|
|Okay, let's try that again||Durandal_1707||1/14/16 8:03 p.m.|
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