Tour of Duty: AMBUSH!
Posted By: MartinDate: 8/26/18 2:15 a.m.

Last time on Tour of Duty we found (or didn’t find) a lot of secret doors. We got teased by a Fusion Room and swarmed by Drones, and finally got told well done, now all you have to do is survive the pirates’ home base so you can earn your just rewards! And boy is this finale level a step down. A totally linear affair, as far as I can tell devoid of real secrets. I think I did well taking this writeup and leaving Bats to PS, although I did enjoy Sensori OverLord!

We start in a room with a pattern buffer and a terminal, but for some reason we are not facing it. We are free of the vacuum of Bats, yay! This really is a cut to the chase situation and in the terminal we get something of a threat from the “Pirate Leader” I guess. “I know what you have done” reminds me a bit of Tycho in Infinity, “you know what you did was bad, don’t you?” Here the story goes more for a moral approach though, as we’ll see.

There’s a view to outside – this base is rather -tall- and seems to be set in a volcanic region. We are afforded a view of a room from later in the level, with some pirates poised ready. The door out of our current room I guess makes good on the level name, except that we definitely walked into this one. There are a few enemy cupboards that open up behind us later on, though. For now we have stairs down to a pit with a couple of Hunters at the door at the far end, and a bunch of Fighters coming up towards us. There are heaps of little pillar obstacles spread about the place, a staple of this level in general, along with an assault rifle and a generous amount of ammo.

Next is just a corridor, but there is a weird door to the left by a pillar obstacle. It sometimes opens on approach or with tabbing, and just reveals a couple more MA-75 magazines and a switch that controls the door itself – strange. Next we have an intersection, with stairs going down to the left and up straight ahead, and a locked door to the right. If we let off a few shots, a Hunter comes towards us from each staircase. We can retreat into the corridor with impunity as they cannot open the door. Up the stairs is just a switch, and bizarrely it seems to be only yet another control for the “secret” door in the previous corridor. Were they just going to the opposite extreme of Bats and making this one blatant?

Down the other stairs are a 1x recharger and another switch. This one actually opens the locked door above, much more useful. It is a toggle one, so we want to switch it off again pretty quickly – otherwise if we head straight back up and go through the door, we can get cut off from the recharger here.

Here’s a look at the map. We’re heading up the left, but we also end up there again for some annoying overlap.

Now we head east through our newly opened door, after dealing with a Hunter who comes out to greet us. We get a few more views of outside and various openings around the place, in a long corridor, and then we find ourselves at another intersection. This time both the doors leading out are locked and we seem to have reached our end, but a window to the left shows a room we haven’t got to yet, with some pirates (which we shoot) retreating behind a bulkhead and a switch in the distance, which we can just hit with the projectile of our choice. This opens the door straight ahead the way we entered the intersection, and is just a one hit job.

We go through into another corridor. There is a weird opening to the right, blocked by pillar obstacles across the board. If we shoot a little, several Drones come out to shoot at us from beyond them, and the map suggests there is more back there, but we don’t seem to be able to get there. To the left at the same point is another curiosity, another blatant “secret” door into a room with a lift-like texture on every surface, and another door, seemingly acting just as a shortcut to the next area. Seems a lot of effort for that, plus if we take it, we delay seeing a terminal and a switch to turn on more lights in the area, not that it was dark to start with, seemingly helped by the massive window to outside. That terminal is another threatening message but with a little compassion – interesting.

The area here is just following those pirates we saw retreating from our higher vantage point earlier. There are a few Enforcers among them for a change. And there is another switch, on the wall opposite the one we hit from a distance, to open our other locked door from earlier. And we have to go back out via the terminal and light switch. Is it maybe possible to get onto one of the bulkheads in this area from the shortcut door? Or even if I just had some SPNKR ammo … and enough shields to use it … and would that reveal any secrets?

I take back what I said about there being none anyway. Just through that newly opened door, after we’ve dealt with a bunch of Drones filing out to see us, is a dropoff, proper cutting us off from our shield recharger, but to the left of that at the higher level is a secret door! It takes us through another lift-textured corridor up to a window looking outside – I thought there were more of those than I had accounted for! At this window we are teleported across the gap to a similar corridor, this time filled with more MA-75 ammo. And it drops us off back down at our shield recharger, almost as if it knew we were about to lose it. I’m playing with all polygons showing again, or -that- part might have made it more obvious that something was going on.

Down over the dropoff is … another dropoff, and then some more pirates and a terminal, in what turns out to be the room we looked down at from the first room of the level. Again the terminal draws at our heartstrings, or at least our moral values. They were just trying to survive however they could – okay they made some mistakes but does that really earn them extinction? An interesting line of enquiry and again slightly reminiscent of Infinity.

Down some stairs to the left is a Trooper cupboard and a 2x recharger to replace the 1x that we lost. Down more stairs is a winding corridor and another monster cupboard, more true to form as an ambush, and then we come to another weird passage blocked by pillar obstacles, while to the left there is a dead-end with a switch, which starts us descending. My all polygons map makes it clear that there are two more cupboards on the way down – yes that level name is starting to ring true now. The lift also seems to be particularly susceptible to the bug of getting stuck to the spot somewhat.

After dispatching these pirates – we the player have no choice! – we climb up some stairs for a change, and get more views to outside. It really looks like there is an opening and a big lift shaft in the closest bit we see, but we still can’t access it. Further on we have to push past pillar obstacles. A grate to the left covers a metronome type doodad, and to the right a room with some different pillar obstacles, for some reason. At the next corner is a fake door blocked by pillars, and then we really do hit a dead-end at a window again. Only upon heading back do we realise that this has opened our last monster closet, with a couple of Cyborgs thrown in for good measure, and our next terminal, which is a message straight from Jason Jones! In as close to an “our princess is in another castle” as Marathon can do, he basically says well done but the universe is still in trouble and there is no time to rest. Thanks, game! And I guess bring on Morgana.

But it is not quite all over. This terminal teleports us to a separate area of the map (trimmed from my map image!), where we find ourselves trapped in a very narrow corridor. A hint of a switch to one side opens up a room beyond, wherein a series of panels light up and go dark seemingly randomly for a bit, before coming to rest to spell out MMMG – the Marathon Map Makers’ Guild. I had my phone record the sequence but could not make out any messages in the preceding sequence – I thought maybe “well done” or something, seeing as they are four letters long, but it didn’t look like it. I wonder if they were just mimicking the flickering process that used to go with turning on fluorescent lights. Anyway, next a terminal drops from above us, and we get our fourth wall breaking terminal thanking us for playing.

And the credits roll.

And it seems they are treated as a chapter screen here, because we then get a new level, Hack-O-Rama, which just immediately teleports us out to the menu. Is this to get the custom music on the credits? Whatever, we are officially done here, so now it is better the Devil you know!

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Pre-2004 Posts


Tour of Duty: AMBUSH!Martin 8/26/18 2:15 a.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty: AMBUSH!General-RADIX 8/26/18 2:48 a.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty: AMBUSH!PerseusSpartacus 8/26/18 5:54 a.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty: AMBUSH!Martin 8/27/18 7:42 p.m.
                       Re: Tour of Duty: AMBUSH!General-RADIX 8/28/18 2:38 a.m.
                       Re: Tour of Duty: AMBUSH!Durandal_1707 8/28/18 9:28 a.m.
                             Re: Tour of Duty: AMBUSH!Martin 8/28/18 4:08 p.m.
                                   Re: Tour of Duty: AMBUSH!treellama 8/29/18 4:31 a.m.
                                         Re: Tour of Duty: AMBUSH!PerseusSpartacus 8/29/18 9:36 a.m.
                                         Re: Tour of Duty: AMBUSH!VikingBoyBilly 8/29/18 12:35 p.m.
                                               Re: Tour of Duty: AMBUSH!W'rkncacnter 8/29/18 2:57 p.m.
                                                     Re: Tour of Duty: AMBUSH!VikingBoyBilly 8/30/18 1:06 p.m.
                                                           Re: Tour of Duty: AMBUSH!W'rkncacnter 8/30/18 6:14 p.m.
                                                           Re: Tour of Duty: AMBUSH!PerseusSpartacus 8/30/18 7:56 p.m.
                                                                 Re: Tour of Duty: AMBUSH!xcalibur 8/30/18 8:55 p.m.
                                                                 Re: Tour of Duty: AMBUSH!treellama 8/31/18 3:33 a.m.
                                                                       Re: Tour of Duty: AMBUSH!Durandal_1707 8/31/18 7:02 p.m.

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Pre-2004 Posts



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