|Eternal X Tour of Duty Chapter 1 Stage 2|
|Posted By: Lion O Cyborg||Date: 4/24/19 5:51 a.m.|
Chapter 1 Memory Stage 2: Black Acropolis
Act 1: Sekhmet Rising
Last time on Tour of Duty, I went back in time to the events of Marathon 1 and helped Hathor find the other 9 Battleroids, including her past self. She betrayed me and sent me to Boomer, possibly for fear of me betraying her. I gave her the benefit of the doubt, which proved to be a mistake, as she betrayed me anyway when I tried to save Durandal and I caused a bad future where the Pfhor invaded Sol without Durandal there to find the Sípht Kr, who launched a Trih Xeem at the titular star.
Present day Durandal warped me back in time to the point I made my choice in hope Iíd follow the correct path this time. The correct path in question is playing Map04 properly and heeding Tychoís warning.
As before, we need to enter those two towers on the east & west sides and smash some circuitry inside them.
Going back to what Tycho says in the first terminal here, as from the last writeup, he actually takes pride in his function on the Marathon. His rant about the colonists only ever using him and his hating it was not the real Tycho speaking, but artifacts of Durandalís code the Sípht used when they revived him.
That may be why the Pfhor clone Tycho and his copies were stuck in the angry stage of rampancy: Durandal was in the angry stage when that image of him was taken, which the Sípht used to reverse engineer Tycho or maybe try to enhance him as Durandal eventually became. It backfired, as he became the software embodiment of an angsty teenager (possibly emo?) thanks to a mess of glitches and incompatibility. The original Tycho was even disgusted when he learned what he would become.
To this end, I throw a switch to the south to open the exit doors, letting in some troopers. The area behind this switch has a 1x shield station and itís on a ledge so you can hide from the troopers. Up the east passage is a raised staging area with a couple of kiosks whose switches control nearby doors to the north precipice tower. This tower is where I confronted Hathor before.
Now I just ignore her and throw the switches inside the terminal room. Some VacBobs below quake as the troopers and hunters massacre them. At least I get to nick their ammo. Iíll say now that thanks to some info I got before playing Eternal X 1.2, YOU MUST SAVE YOUR FUSION AMMO! Some enemies in later chapters, namely failure levels have now been made weak to fusion as their maps were a chore before. You will know them when you see them.
I always knew from satellite photos that Tau Ceti IV/Tau Ceti e was a desert planet but I recently found out that due to the sunís lower temperature than Sol, it may be an Antarctic desert planet, with terraforming installing a ďcoolest of SpringsĒ temperature along with all the ice and snow. There's detail on this on the VAST Pfhorums thread.
The huge white continent is an ice shelf, with some greenery from terraforming going on. The lights next to the serene, blue, shallow sea are the colony of New Thermopylae and the lights on the small hand shaped island just south of it are the Egyptian colony town of New Soleanna, after its founderís non-Bob ancestorsí hometown in Lower Egypt by the coast. (not yet built as of 2019 but man can dream) Not sure about the southern towns on the other side of the bay. I donít think you can see the towns, ice shelf or ocean in the enhanced starscape for Marathon 1 as there is cloud cover blocking them.
Once I am through admiring the view, I throw the switches next to Hathorís terminal and head to the west tower and kill a couple of troopers, a hunter and a Sípht, before hurrying back to the oxygen station as I only have 10 breaths of air left! I make it just in time. All the pits by the precipice towers have elevators in order to get back up.
Bit of a wasted rush as the tower contains an O2 station next to the switches. Guess I mixed up where the motherboards are. Turns out they are down a south door past a covered pillar and guarded by nasties. They cache both our ChexÖI mean cheques and send me back to the 3D Life Photocopier.
The circuit room itself is dark, but it has air and shield stations for me. Breaking the panels opens one door to the exit, with the other two opening once both are destroyed. I backtrack to the east tower which is pretty much the same, except for a cage elevator to the south and a red spotlight below the lip of the shipís edge.
I thought Aleph One still didnít support colored lighting. Was it finally added? I hope so. Maybe Iíll get my ideal Le Serpent Rouge crossed with Millaís Dance Party inspired maps in Path of KAP if I ever do it after all. The south door doesnít have a covered pillar, but a segmented ďroundaboutĒ and the circuit room has caged lights around the edge.
The exit has a bio-photocopier, health station instead of the shields weíve been getting elsewhere and oxygen station. Tycho congratulates me and spirits me away to the engineering Core.
Act 2: Core Done Blew
I lose my shields to some troublesome troopers and their hunter escort. Activate the switch here to enable the terminal, save terminal and switch on some pumps as well as lights.
When I first played 1.0, I was stuck on this part for quite a while; you need to return to Tycho after throwing the switches ahead or the doors will not actually open. That means reading the terminal again for a different message.
Keep your scatter rifle handy for the guys in the middle bit. Thereís some Sípht in the next room after that so watch out. They are guarding a 1x shield station and an oxygen station you donít need. Tycho is puzzled that the doors still didnít work, must be a side effect of Durandalís rampancy. Tycho manages to open them for us.
The stairs east of the main core blast door give us a sneak peek at the inside, which you will come to hate once we get there, thanks to the swarm of buggers. Thereís also a pair of troopers and a commander hunter on the north side of the core itself. Thereís a blatant monster closet in the observation room, evidenced when your 5D clock suspiciously lights up with contacts behind the locked door. Going back for shields, I remember that you can wedge open the doors by turning the switches off when they are open. I donít know if previous versions had this, but I knew about it in the main trilogy and other mods too.
The terminal by the switch in here is just garbage code. Again, does extracting and fiddling with it reveal anything? I lack the tools to do so, though I at least have a Mac now.
Past more hex code, Tycho says the compilers in here were trying to let those juggernauts into the core, which would make our job easier. We canít open the door ourselves though.
I just love those cellar stairs to the flooded passageway. That platform setup would be great for actual cabin cellars in other scenarios. My own mod idea would have such a location, where you find the TOZT for the first time.
The cellar is infested with buggers as well as tough pfhor. Sewage leaks from burst pipes in the walls in such a way that makes it look like a deliberate sewer, even though itís not.
More troopers, fighters, buggers and even pfhor drones teleport in, just to make your life harder. More buggers lurk behind a grill nearby and they can sometimes hit you with their venom through the grill bars, so stay clear of it.
A room down the other way has a circuit to smash, which opens the blast door into the core.
Returning to the core, I am pleasantly surprised to say that the bugger swarm that made it hell before is now only activated when reaching the far side or aggroing the baddies in the pits. Itís still awful once they are active however, so donít linger. I make sure to use my staff to and even HR to nuke Ďem all over the 3D space of the core. Thereís still too many so I have to dash.
Head to the side room to the south, next to the bridge; thereís a pit in there above a second waterslide, this one a much more sensible current speed than the last. However, the ride is far too short and itís brought to a premature end by a floodgate next to a jump pad terminal.
The jump pad takes me to the corner rooms above the core, on either side of that bridge behind the enforcers. West of here is another juggernaut filled hall, or rather, the opposite side of the same one. I tend to lose my bearings here a little. The far terminal has more hex on it and the near one doesnít work at all.
Thereís a shield and save terminal as well as the switch to the bridge. On the other side is a room covered with lights where I am ambushed by a bunch of tough pfhor. Retreating over the walkway is wise.
One smashed circuit later, Tycho can warp me from the terminal in the curved room to the start, now with the final door accessible. Itís dark inside and thereís three hunters, the middle one a commander and at least two enforcers.
Tycho says not to worry about him: Hathor is the greater threat and he would rather escape his fate in the main trilogy as Electric Edgelord.
Act 3: Heart of Fusion
Number 1: The text is an offering from Lia to Tycho about the above image, swearing revenge for his corruption by the Pfhor. I agree with her. Number 2: this lava pool is brand new. It wasnít here in older versions. Down the stairs is the place I know: a couple of Sípht boil a Bobís Blood before I can duke it out with them. Thereís only a health terminal here so no shields for me yet. The terminal is just more hex code.
To the west, thereís a set of stairs connecting to small halls leading to Tychoís Core and the surrounding areas. Up the other stairs are some annoyed Pfhor including a trooper behind a divider. On the main stairs, I use my brand new knees to reach a secret. (shhh! Vidmasters must grenade jump or wall-walk only.)
Itís hidden in a spawn point for fighters down a short staircase.
I donít think I did X Omega 1.1 and I havenít done scratch start vids. Either way, if I do such a run in the future, I canít use my jump key unless Iím out of ammo. Even then, jumping isnít a ďget out of jail free cardĒ as it still canít reach some ledges if they are too high or too far. Wall-walking or grenade climbing is your only bet there. Not even low gravity can help you.
Going into the leftmost hall at the top of the main stairs, I throw the switch for the divider. Looking at the automap reveals that the lava moat actually covers more than just that room at the start. The stairs behind the divider have a switch that opens up another passage over a pit on the other side. I take a little experiment to see if a running jump from the bottom step gets me over the gap, which is successful.
Turns out the lava room is just ahead. Some troopers are in there and I let them paddle in it.
The texture of the lava is much more detailed and inviting than before. Iblis would be proud. I donít know if the Marathonís lava is glass, magma or a combination of both.
A couple of switch flicks later, I return the other way past a brand new shield terminal to the back of Tychoís core room. The magma moat passes through here and thereís a ton of major and dream Sípht who never stop respawning. I donít know what the switches in the pillar do, but to escape the Sípht I run past Tychoís flooded Core cage and brave the plunge to the pool of magma below.
To avoid the pursuing Sípht, I take the elevator nearby and high-tail it to the save terminal. The observation room by the drawbridge is full of purple fighters and troopers. The switch is up some steps behind a wall but the drawbridge only remains raised for a short amount of time and the Sípht are coming.
Tychoís core is much bigger than Durandalís and it now has a lava moat protecting it. Do AIs get penis envy?
If singing Daisy Bell will help ease your pain, by all means do so old friend. Finally we get the chance to call Tycho a friend. If only that were true elsewhere in the Marathon universe. The interior of Tychoís core is more or less the same layout wise as Durandalís but with defence drones and more lava. As pointed out in the part 2 of the last stage, the line in the cage of the South door is still not solid.
Thereís also a glitch in the 5D circuit area where you teleport into the other branches at random times. This is something I noticed in the Forge manual but it canít be helped as the architecture works fine otherwise.
Good news: Tycho is still alive! Yay! :) Bad news: So is Hathor. She went 87 years to the future and to a nearby Pfhor outpost. Tycho explains how he knows:
If you still believe Durandal and Thoth became the same person after merging in Infinity, if the dream levels are not enough, here is your evidence to the contrary. I never liked the idea that they literally became the same entity so good thing that was disproven.
Hathor must have been trying that since I followed Tycho, her fears being realised. But how did she make it across time without me? I think I may know how, and I hope they arenít infectiousÖ
If itís the way I can prevent you from becoming a rampant mess who sells out humanity to the Pfhor, then yes. Letís go Tycho, I prefer the old you.
Act 4: To Sleep Perchance To Dream
What?! Whatís going on? WhereÖam I? Itís not a dreamÖis it? Now in glorious HD, the sky is a twisted combination of clouds and crashing waves, the sea floating around me in this rocky, windy canyon.
In the older builds, the crashing water was more noticeable, with the blue of the sea becoming light turquoise at the crest of the waves. Now, the ocean is a lot more turbulent, all of it without animation. Good luck trying to discern the 3D scale of this place in Weland without visual mode. A map of this size isnít quite large enough to crash Forge though. Quite a lot of other maps are higher than 1024 polygons I think. Iíd need to check.
I follow the river below, taking the time to ride down a huge waterfall into a deep lake. Wheee!
Oops. Someone didnít fix the waterfall glitch from 1.1. Is it caused by transparent liquids or something? It might not be anyoneís fault.
After reaching the bottom splash pool and having a long, much needed drink of the icy mountain water, I climb back up the rocky paths to see over the edge.
Thereís no mistaking it: this is a large valley in the countryside, near that Egyptian city the island on Tau Ceti IV is named after. Or at least itís a damn impressive analogue to it somewhere in the universe. The mountains down there are the White Acropolis mountain range and Rocky Plateau, near a formerly abandoned castle.
That lake is the Sacred Castle Lake both on Rocky Plateau and below it. However, you cannot see White Acropolisí particularly jarring peak Hook Mountain as it is farther inland, nor the world famous Refraction Canyon, so named for its beautiful waterfalls that defy the laws of physics, casting mirages and rainbows everywhere.
It is said simply passing through the canyonís now partially dilapidated causeway on foot or by bicycle is enough to quench oneís thirst entirely, especially when it rains. Such a feat even occurs to anyone passing above the grand gorge on Refraction Ridge, where the splash pools of the falls topple over the lip into a shallow pond, forming natural wave pools, like an upside down Niagara Falls.
I appear to be high in the sky on the wrong side of the bay at the end of both the valley and the canyon. This is where plains near the Sand Sea portion of the Egyptian desert is meant to be, only lower down.
Taking in the breath taking sight and drinking some more water I bottled from what I assume is the Refraction Ridge pools run-off, I climb higher to get a better look at both the mountains and valley, including the high peak I am on.
In my weak attempt to make this a new meme and give one of my favourite foreign English speakers next to Psychedelic Eyeball some long due credit and thanks in the west: ďOh! What a great view!Ē
After Iím done, I climb back up to the river and follow the other path down to the lower splash pool again, this time dropping into the mysterious small shaft you see in the image above. I am teleported into a small floating chamber in deep space overlooking a brightly glowing star and Durandal speaks to me once more.
I wish I could make sense of Thothís dialog but thankfully itís no longer annoying like it is in the main trilogy, namely Infinity. Itís more cathartic and introspective, as I contemplate my existence in my dreams.
This last part above I do understand: heís talking about time travel. I am indeed in a maze in a maze, as my own subconscious told me once before in the most iconic dream of Infinity.
This one cracks my attention and mood like a flail. Something very similar turned up at the end of one of Marathon 2ís worst levels, being one of the few good things about that map. It will return later.
Durandal has indeed become a god at last, and heís a lot more caring and nicer than his old, rampant self prior to merging with Thoth in Infinity.
Oh I knew it was you from the minute I started reading this terminal. Thoth as well.
Indeed. As I intend to do so with KAP one day to leave this petty reality and find paradise swimming the Macroverse and/or in the second layer of existence Ithersta, so I do here. With my dream of earthly canyons and floating oceans ebbing for now, I escape into the waves.
I will find myself on a pfhor ship 87 years in the future when I arrive, over a pfhor military outpost. Just out of curiosity, what are the other differences in the 1.2 terminals besides new images? So far most appeared identical to 1.1, hence my blending of term pics from both builds, but I did make sure to include ones with new pictures. Then in Chapter 2 onward, I will know or at least have a better idea of what to look out for, in case the differences are subtle. Next part is Chapter 2: Enemy. Donít miss it!
|Eternal X Tour of Duty Chapter 1 Stage 2||Lion O Cyborg||4/24/19 5:51 a.m.|
|Re: Eternal X Tour of Duty Chapter 1 Stage 2||Forrest of B.org||4/24/19 5:42 p.m.|
|Re: Eternal X Tour of Duty Chapter 1 Stage 2||Forrest of B.org||4/24/19 7:00 p.m.|
|Re: Eternal X Tour of Duty Chapter 1 Stage 2||Lion O Cyborg||4/25/19 3:53 a.m.|
|Re: Eternal X Tour of Duty Chapter 1 Stage 2||Lion O Cyborg||4/25/19 3:51 a.m.|
|Re: Eternal X Tour of Duty Chapter 1 Stage 2||VikingBoyBilly||4/28/19 5:26 p.m.|
|Re: Eternal X Tour of Duty Chapter 1 Stage 2||Lion O Cyborg||4/29/19 5:15 a.m.|
|Re: Eternal X Tour of Duty Chapter 1 Stage 2||Lion O Cyborg||4/29/19 5:18 a.m.|
|Re: Eternal X Tour of Duty Chapter 1 Stage 2||Lion O Cyborg||4/29/19 1:16 p.m.|
|Re: Eternal X Tour of Duty Chapter 1 Stage 2||VikingBoyBilly||4/29/19 3:07 p.m.|
|Re: Eternal X Tour of Duty Chapter 1 Stage 2||Lion O Cyborg||4/30/19 7:28 a.m.|
|Re: Eternal X Tour of Duty Chapter 1 Stage 2||Lion O Cyborg||4/30/19 8:11 a.m.|
|Re: Eternal X Tour of Duty Chapter 1 Stage 2||VikingBoyBilly||4/30/19 2:12 p.m.|
|Re: Eternal X Tour of Duty Chapter 1 Stage 2||Shining Raven||4/30/19 2:36 p.m.|
|Re: Eternal X Tour of Duty Chapter 1 Stage 2||Lion O Cyborg||5/1/19 12:42 a.m.|
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