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Tour of Duty - Let's get out of here
Posted By: MartinDate: 2/8/18 8:49 p.m.

Last time on Tour of Duty we explored a level shaped like a gun, and experienced some curious watery forcefields, reminiscent of the imprisoned BoB on Hostage. These ones kept us away from the Pattern Buffer and a rather useful switch though, and Billy was stumped without the excellent work of Kevin Jaques (http://www.hierlaw.com/MarathonDIABD.shtml). Brilliant for the myriad secrets of this scenario; more -structural- "secrets" than any other I've been through, I think.

We met a new AI named Mithrandir, after Gandalf if we are indeed mixing up our universes here. And then the secret terminal talked about The X Files, so let's just say it's a free-for-all :). In the end we were sent off vaguely with an actual piece of the next level's map, apparently Level 4-a, Section 8, so I guess that's where we are.

And we arrive looking straight at another terminal, so we can find out more! We have a more defined task here: get to the airlock and out of the station, that we might fix the power generation systems. Mithrandir offers quite a lot of detail on the map, including where they are holding some pirates for interrogation, and where we can find a Pattern Buffer. The comment to follow the trail of blood is curious, given that we're the ones that will be creating it :D

We head out directly away from the terminal and hang a right ... and we might as well get it out of the way, another right, which turns out to be a dead end with some pirates and ammo. Back out of that passage, we find a shallow water moat around a randomly walled pool. On its far side there is a teleporter to the side that puts us on top of the wall, where we find some decent ammo offerings. Jumping in we find a Water F'lckta, and conveniently the water is shallow enough that we can shoot over the top. Even more conveniently, a lift in the northwest corner means that we are not trapped here. I guess they were holding the F'lckta for interrogation as well?

Another room off to the west reveals even more ammo, but it's a trap! In the form of a Hunter ambush. And then we'll head off south from the pool, towards the cryogenics room and the Pattern Buffer. Straight ahead, and then around to the right, we find the cryogenics room. Most obviously, there are two wall cavities that we just can't help trying to open. These contain Ticks, and BoBs spawn and kill them, for whatever reason. I think we were all expecting those to be the held pirates.... Opposite there is a little water channel with two squares, in which there are Cyborgs just hanging out. Are -they- the ones being held? There are also two lots of breakable circuits, but apart from setting off the nasty alarm sound, it is unclear what they do.

Back out in the corridor we can take a right up some stairs to the large open Recreation Area 6. These map labels remind me of The Rose. There are quite a few pirates here, and the situation is best handled by heading northeast, where a passage takes us on to just a few more, and a dead end with some ammo. Coming back we can deal with the rest, including two Hunters on a ledge, and then head south where another corridor east takes us on to the promised Pattern Buffer. Let's bring up the map at this point.

For symmetry, rooms to the west of the Recreation Area offer a 1x recharger (north) and a switch to open another door to the corridor we came in from (south). Oh right, we fell down after coming up the stairs to the Recreation Area, that's how the heights work out - it is hard to tell in the dark :).

Now we head north of the pool room, to where the level gets interesting. We come to a large lift with, by the map, five new ways we can go. The northwest opening takes us to a room with several Galaxans, a switch, and two terminals. These don't give us much help though, being access denied messages from Mithrandir, relating to the switch in the room, and to a couple of parts of the map we haven't got to yet.

The switch opens the door to the west from the lift, wherein we encounter more pirates, and an annoying set of teleporters all over the floor, which make killing the pirates a bit of a pain, if you find yourself standing still that is. There's another switch, and one of the teleporters puts us back up at the exit, which I forgot to say is raised up.

Next we'll head east, to one of the most hardcore 5D space implementations around. Even the entrance to it cuts right across the path that goes around it. And they call it ... The Tardis! At first glance, a simple square room with a little machine in the middle, and exits in each direction. But as we explore the corridors, we can find another version of this central room that has a switch, which in turn lets in a bunch of pirates from the outer corridors to kill us. And we can further find a 2x recharger in the corridors off -this- version of the central room. As well as various bits of ammo.

Our friend Kevin Jaques describes it more analytically - in the entrance version if we go east, then all the way around and back in from the west, we end up in the switch version of the room. He also spotted that the trail of blood in the entrance version leads east, giving the real meaning of what Mithrandir said in the first terminal. And that in the switch version of the central room, entering the corridors via north or south leads us to the 2x recharger, which he further spotted was shown in that access denied terminal earlier ... thank goodness someone is on the case.

But east from the switch version of the central room leads to a cut off corridor that only goes north-south. How DO they do 5D space on that kind of scale? I'm guessing: very carefully. I wonder how it compares to the tales of overlapping layers in The Hard Stuff Rules....

The trail of blood also helps us get out again when that time comes, so it really is helpful! Next we'll go northwest from the lift, and down another rather deep lift shaft. A bunch of BoBs teleport in to help us with quite a few pirates, and then we have a little chance to explore. There is a sunken area in the middle, and a switch to the east. The switch activates the lift to get us back out of here, at a delay to get onto it. The sunken area is home to half a dozen MoaHs, which is some kind of crazy.

What we actually need to do here is jump across the sunken moat from the east, into an opening wherein there is a switch to hit, and some grenades. This raises the moat and MoaHs but we can make a run for it. For the more daring, there is SPNKR ammo down the bottom while the moat is still lowered, and a switch down there to raise it ... you can't make it go back down.

The last exit from the central lift is straight north, where it becomes clear that we have been opening doors with the various switches we have hit, to get to the airlock as we were tasked to do. All that stands in our way here is a few BoBs, one of which is an exploder, just for laughs. Then we get our final terminal, which is quite nice - Mithrandir is not that confident that we'll make it through in one piece, and is a bit apologetic. We've not been used to AIs lacking confidence since the days of Leela (RIP), and it is nice for a change. The depiction of the static effect and teleportation progress is also very cool.

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Replies:

Tour of Duty - Let's get out of hereMartin 2/8/18 8:49 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - Let's get out of hereGeneral-RADIX 2/8/18 10:20 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - Let's get out of hereHelviusRufus 2/9/18 11:49 a.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - Let's get out of hereVikingBoyBilly 2/23/18 1:22 p.m.

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