Eternal X Omega 1.2 Tour of Duty: Chapter 0
Posted By: Lion O CyborgDate: 4/23/19 1:10 p.m.

Prologue: Fourth Earth (or “CAUTION: Fan fic-y parts ahead”)

(A bit early than Wenesday when I would have posted but I then felt I'd had a long enough break)

Welcome back to Tour of Duty. This is Lion O Cyborg of the Pathways into Darkness Tour. You’re probably wondering where we teleported to, waaaay back at the end of the Aye Mak Sicur tour entry before I joined the story page, and after being rescued by an unknown being at the end of Null Space AKA the Vidmaster’s Challenge. This is Marathon Eternal X. Specifically version 1.2 of Eternal X Omega. I have a “screenshot LP” of Eternal X Omega 1.1 on Steam and will borrow some terminal pics from it for this one unless there is a difference in the terminal in question here. Otherwise, the only 1.1 screenshots will be for comparison only. I write this for the Windows version of Eternal X 1.2 for easiness sake as I don’t have Microsoft Office on my Mac, nor bootcamp for booting it in Windows. Using Steam for screenshots also makes linking to them easier than having to sign into my log first like I had to do with PID, though some pictures may still need that. Liacrow recently made me aware that some terminals actually change more than just images in 1.2, but I don't know what those changes are.

I will also be using Liacrow’s rain map as it’s cool when 2.5D engines have that sort of thing and she’s done great work on Marathon 1 Redux. There’s also a little script I recently got from Simplici7y that I adore simply for existing, but I don’t intend to abuse that. Even when using its equivalent in Marathon’s DOS/early Windows counterpart I avoid using it to cheat past sections of levels and only for handling polygonal situations that already exist and/or are intended to be used.

I won’t be providing maps via perl scripts sadly as I have no idea how to use them and the documentation (the readme file) is too vague about how to run them. (maps2xml & mapsxml2images)

I try running perl and select the script to run while its command prompt is active, nothing happens and there’s no feedback. I try setting perl to run in a normal command line window and do the same, nothing happens and there’s no feedback. I try typing in options I find while peeking at the script in notepad++ into the prompt after selecting the script like “print”, nothing happens and there’s no feedback.

I have no idea where it saves the xml files. I do not know if it pulls them from the game while it’s running, nor if I have to split the map file outside the game and point to each level map file somehow in the command line. It’s a mess. Googling a solution yielded nothing, just a Lua manual, something called “librecat”, a simplici7y downloads page link and a gene map perl script. Instead, the least I can do is provide snipshots of the maps in Weland.

I’m very sorry everyone. I tried. :(

This world was over ever since I was reborn. Endless wastelands with skies that never clear. The people are exhausted and there’s no hope to be found.
Why did this happen? Nobody I asked knew the answer. It’s just… S’bhuth.

Durandal told me before we parted that he went mad from the effects of the W’rkncacnter I helped reseal in Lh’owon’s sun, possibly Rampancy. I’m not even sure of that, as he seemed to be the most stable, spiritually and technologically enlightened of the S’pht, whose species those terms go hand in hand. He knew almost as much about the W’rkncacnter species as the Jjaro war hero, Yrro himself. Even elder gods like them or even my own, Solaris should not have been able to crack him.

He corrupted his S’pht and betrayed us, forcing humanity to exterminate the S’pht Kr to prevent his rampant mind from taking them over. The remaining 10 clans were wiped out by the Pfhor.

The Pfhor! They burned our worlds to magma, destroying everything. They recover no matter how many times we defeat them. Even with their latest setback, we are on our last legs. The next time we meet in battle, we will either be wiped out or enslaved. Or worse; some of my dreams recently seem to be memories of past lives or, more likely, the lives of my ancestors.

Deep caverns underneath a jungle, an insane doctor collaborating with the antichrist, manifesting as a black billygoat of the woods, a whole town fed to a threshing machine and their pulped remains used to create an artificial sun, whose heat powers said antichrist’s way into our world. And the worst has to be space burning itself, black shadowy demons flickering in and out of existence, blood and gibs everywhere and a woman’s voice laughing over it all: a nostalgic, calming voice I still think of as soothing, now laughing in malice while hieroglyphs and kana echo in my mind:

Hononosaiyaku: SEKHMET

I fear that if the Pfhor return, this fire will come to pass. Something to do with a second W’rkncacnter (PID fans know exactly which one), but it is not the so called “Hononosaiyaku”, whoever or whatever that may be. I know it isn’t the literal Sekhmet, she’s long gone from the Third layer of spacetime, hiding in the Duat with the rest of the gods, watching over the composed souls of our dead. Sometimes wandering the dream realm or visiting Solaris in whichever experiment he tackles next, being god of time and the sciences and all. But I digress.

However, there is a solution. Just as a flower comes from a seed or an animal comes from an egg cell, everything must have an origin. There is one responsible for this destruction as well. If the present is destroyed, you can just change the past. I have done so back at Lh’owon.

I believe the Battleroid Hathor to have been created from someone I knew named KAP, (the initials of which I may never reveal. Or have I already?) but what with my fragmented memory the way it is, I may never remember who KAP was before becoming a Battleroid like me.

In order to change this history, Hathor tells me you need to eliminate the cause of the W’rkncacnter’s birth, which she blatantly hints is the pfhor. I have every reason to believe her as the Pfhor did exactly that at Lh’owon, and it was only my meddling with the timeline that stopped them. Who’s to say Earth still doesn’t contain one of those things? If the Pfhor return, I think it will be released. But the rest of mankind doesn’t know that. I don’t think Hathor even knows about the nightmare flames, but I am positive they will follow the W’rk.

They are not the god of fire Iblis -Solaris’s courage & strength personified by his own insanity- despite sharing a title. Both of them told me that himself, after I took a mysterious red pill I was told by a medic on K’lia would help with my nightmares. Despite allowing my god to speak to my mind from the Duat, it did little if not nothing to stem the bad dreams.

It helps I have Persian ancestry, as some of my more pleasant and lucid dreams involved viewing the memories of my Iranian paternal grandfather’s own ancestor and by extension my own.

I like how new images have been added to the abridged version of this very log. K’lia looks a lot cleaner too, from the Pattern Buffers to the softly glowing lights, new glass in the windows and even the machinery in the door frames.

I can hear them calling for me now. I guess Hathor is ready for departure. She’s been delaying the start of the mission for nearly a month now, much to the chagrin of the leaders round here, and she refuses to tell anyone why. But she’s in control of K’lia’s systems and there’s little that they can do, so they begrudgingly tolerate her insistence on departing at this exact time. Still, gives me time to write this essay of a log at least. It seems that nobody else has noticed she just has a flair for dramatic timing.

We are leaving at 8:20 AM, on the 25th July 2905. 111 years ago, 92 light years away from here, the first Pfhor assault on the Marathon began.

And history has never been the same.

Chapter 0 Act 2: Destiny

In the small room and hallway on K’lia where I start, this is The Far Side of Nowhere. I always loved Eternal’s HUD, custom full and the Classic based one in the original Eternal X (1.0). The motion tracker especially as it is designed like a clock, with a compass built in with the Eternal logo. This clock actually ticks in Eternal X Omega (1.1) with the custom HUD and it also ticks here in 1.2: in both versions, the Eternal glpyh spins in lieu of actual hands. It seems to be a “5D compass”: it shows compass directions for space and the clock ticks the time I am in. Worthy of note is that the clock speeds up the faster I am moving. I have no analogue for what this means in the world itself.

Descending the lift, and looking at the lovely new glass in the windows, I admire the view of Fourth Earth from the main courtyard on K’lia.

The green jelly pillar looks brighter. That’s the new lightmaps that are part of 1.2. This map sets the scene for gorgeous architecture to come. Eternal is my first 2.5D shooter mod of any game (Black Mesa is my first 3D one, minus Yogbox and T3c/TPC Parkour for Minecraft) so I judge other mods in 2.5D engines by the standard Eternal set for me.

Only Brutal Doom Extermination Day, Tempus Irae, Marathon 1 Redux (though that was just an Alpha) and arguably Rubicon reach Eternal’s level, not necessarily in that order. No offence to other map makers as these are the only mods I’ve played, and while EVIL is great, the writing in that mod is a bit Saturday morning at times, as the Rampancy boys point out:


I also point out that the pillar used to be metallic grey in the original Eternal X but it’s green as of X Omega 1.1, presumably due to the textures being updated to include harmless green coolant jelly for K’lia. (the texture in 1.0 was shared by the garbage pool on the map before Dread Not)

Taking a glass elevator to the west, I admire the new window panes and check out the mipmapping on the walls of the lift shaft. Or is it bumpmapping? I don’t actually know the difference though they seem to achieve the same thing: the former loads a secondary texture when you get close to show off more detail. So on wood you can see the grain, on paintings you can see the canvas texture. My brother is the one who told me that's what mipmapping did when I asked him, but does bumpmapping work a similar way?

Does that look like Lego to you? The wall itself, not the texture’s quality. I love the level of detail that went into this texture, and said texture detail is visible elsewhere too. Anyway, a switch up top opens the door to the upper courtyard and there’s some fusion batteries.

I explore some more, marvelling at the new shadows in a room with Thoth’s logo on the pillars, examining more mipmaps and finding the Fusion Rifle.

Why do we have a plasma rifle that gives us charged shots when we already have the Fusion Pistol? There’s a very good reason for that:

I recommend watching my Steam friend, Shudaki’s Marathon Trilogy LP on his channel, Halved Studios. He mentions at one point and then later as a running gag how much he wants duel Zeus Class Fusion pistols, though he admits it would be way overpowered. This semi-joke cameos in his Black Mesa shareware and Bioshock Infinite LPs too.

I am happy to say he got his wish. They had to sacrifice the charged shots in order to allow duel wielding due to the way Marathon’s weapons system works, but that’s what the Fusion rifle is for.

Just before this room with the fusion pistols, I like the observation deck overlooking the courtyard. It makes me think of a similar one in Duke Nukem 3D, possibly the level Warp Factor. The lift leading up here has also been subtly updated to feel less claustrophobic too, namely translucent trusses and light panals.

I access the terminal and speak to Hathor. She tells me it’s been fun to annoy the brass but they don’t realise the significance of what we are doing.

Hathor has some final words for me before we activate the Electric Sheep device, as I used to call it in 2012: “I will send you to a time where the W’rkncacnter Trigger is alive.” So… the Pfhor at the Marathon then? Maybe she’s just quoting God: namely a now discarded instance of my god’s personified subconscious.

This has been my longest post yet and the next one is even longer, as I cover up to the end of the failure plank. I’m sorry for the length everyone. I will pick this up again by posting Chapter 1 very soon after this one as I’ve wasted enough time with my glorified manual. After the break is Chapter 1: Memory. I will be posting hopefully both parts of that on 24.4.19 as I'm going to bed soon. Don’t miss it!

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