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Tour of Duty - the pit
Posted By: MartinDate: 2/8/18 10:26 p.m.

Last time on Tour of Duty we hit switches and had some fun with 5D space, then ran away from some MoaHs and did indeed get out of the station. And now we should be at the primary power facility. And we start right in front of a terminal, so we can ... yes! We can confirm that the teleport went according to plan - well done Mithrandir. Now we're on an extermination mission combined with inserting a couple of uplink chips. Should be fun!

We're in a sewer area - I guess the power is some kind of bio deal? I've just realised it is a reasonably typical place for Marathon to have power stuff going on. There are a couple of Fighters right here, then just to the west and along a bit is a quite subtle door in the wall - I actually missed it for a good while when I played through when we started this ToD! It's pretty important too, because within the room inside, after we dispatch a few more pirates, we find a wall locker with the first uplink chip - wow that was quick!

And not only that, but back out and past the terminal, there are stairs up to a small room with more pirates, a Pattern Buffer, and a weirdly opening and closing section of wall. If we go in past it and wait for it to close, another wall opens to reveal where we insert that chip - it's not obvious that that's what we're looking at; it looks more like a standard switch, but there you are. That should be the mission half done! Yeah, right :)

At the bottom of those stairs we can also see down through rusty fencing, some Troopers and a 2x recharger, mmm.... Continuing on past where we found the chip, there's another interesting mechanic. A switch on the wall lowers the platform blocking our way, and reveals a Hunter on approach. If we step past the blocking platform, more pirates jump down from above for a two-sided attack - tricky! But that's not all: there's a passage up there, and if we stand on that platform we can just reach the switch to send it back up, and there's a bunch of ammo up there to sweeten the deal. A switch in the north wall sends the platform back down.

A couple of sewer F'lickta were also down there waiting for us in what turns out to be a landing in a spiral staircase going both ways. We head down to start, and wade through a passage with several doors coming off it. The first right takes us to several encounters with pirates, including some that pop out of containers to take us from behind. At the end of this area is a loop around with several Fighters that don't seem to want to move. Shooting them to get them out of the way, we find a door to a back room with two Galaxans and a terminal. This offers an update on the mission - it seems that the original signal that started our adventures might just have been a ruse, to take attention away from the impending pirate attack - IN SPACE! So we're to hurry up ... but this is Marathon, and outside of Rubicon, time never mattered much.

First left off the initial sewer corridor has a F'lickta and a Pattern Buffer - so soon!? Second right has a really nice ammo cache, as was promised in the first terminal, including shotgun shells here, woo! We also meet the Troopers we spotted down by the 2x recharger earlier, because here in the wall is the lift we were looking at, and we can take it up to said recharger ... and a weird death trap hole, but not the pit of the title, I don't think :)

Around the end of the initial corridor we find tables of SPNKR ammo and an adjoining room with actual SPNKRs! Plenty for everyone, like one extreme to the other for this scenario. There's a switch that reveals another switch here, but the second switch doesn't seem to want to do anything. I guess there might be something to do with the random square room on the map as we have seen in past levels? It is an annoyingly shaped map anyway. I'll bring it up here, just before we head to the massive open space - the real pit.

That's back up the stairs and up again. It's a commitment going in there because there's a dropoff. What a hassle. There're loads of pirates in there! It's probably grenade jumpable but it would be hard to avoid damage down there. At least we now definitively have a SPNKR, so we can just have some fun from the edge!

Once down there, we note that there isn't much in the way of an exit ... but there's a hole in the middle! Falling down there teleports us to the small tower nearby, from which we can hit two switches down very narrow corridors north and west. These open sections of the wall north and southwest. If we head north, we end up at a terminal complaining that we haven't finished the mission, and have to head back to find a teleporter that gets us out - conveniently to the landing, from which we can go save, recharge, and re-ammo depending on difficulty :).

If we head southwest instead, we encounter some really weird map behaviour - it seems to report open areas where there are walls - all the way up as far as we can see. And this is not the last time things go weird like that. There are a few pirates, and a door that opens based on proximity, and which is worth following up, because it has a 3x recharger hidden away! More pirates follow as we explore this sewer passage, including some popping out of a container behind us yet again - the M1ness of this scenario is quite fun sometimes, the need for containers rather than just teleport spawning, and I just keep looking for secrets inside them!

At the end of the passage we get teleported to a small area with a terminal and another uplink chip wall closet. The terminal even tells us it's there, which is nice. It also warns that the pirates have sent in a Juggernaut, and we're like what! We thought we were done here. Instead, if we go to the corridor behind and insert the uplink chip, the teleporter that opens just takes us back to the fail message on the final terminal - they're still not happy. Conveniently though, as Mithrandir says, the teleporter we're supposed to go through renders us invincible so that we can take on the Juggernaut in style! Oh, and THAT is where that little square room comes in: it houses the inincibility powerup.

The Juggernaut also has MoaH friends - they never mentioned that! They all take a pounding, and I think I was on Kindergarten just now for the writeup :). Now, assuming you have killed all of the other pirates on the level (or whatever the actual requirements are, you can repeat the trip to the southwest and then head to the final terminal. The other terminals on the level are no longer active, and Mithrandir explains that this is due to our powering up for that fight - that's kind of cool. He also talks about new aliens on the orbiting ship, and experiments being done on them - and we're off to ... watch? I guess that's a good plan.

Billy is taking the next level again. I decided to make this a double feature tonight, and got it all done on my four hour bus trip :).

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Replies:

Tour of Duty - the pitMartin 2/8/18 10:26 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - the pitGeneral-RADIX 2/8/18 10:51 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - the pitVikingBoyBilly 2/23/18 1:25 p.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty - the pit *NM* *LINK*irons 2/23/18 4:07 p.m.

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