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Eternal X Tour of Duty Chapter 4 Stage 2
Posted By: Lion O CyborgDate: 12/1/20 3:07 a.m.

Chapter 4: Legacy Stage 2: Honou no Saiyaku

Forward by LOC: Same deal as before: main text is Viking Boy Billy's words, green text is mine added in post.

Note by LOC

FUCK THIS MAP WITH A PINEAPPLE! I HATE IT! I FUCKING SHIT PISS FUCK JIZZ CUM FUCK HELL TITS CUNT FUCK TOAST HATE MAP SODDING I THIS SHUCK! *ahem* Sorry for the sleep deprivation fuelled angry rant there; I just donít enjoy this level much. This unfair ambush at the start youíd need clairvoyance to survive on your first go is awful. Itís also only the tip of the iceberg for the rest of the level. Itís worth saying now that this is where the somewhat balanced difficulty (compared to many other mods) REALLY falls apart. From now on; ALL levels are punishingly hard and really unfair, whether the level itself is actually good or not, creating the illusion of a bad level for the genuinely good ones. This is not one of those good levels. Expect a lot of enforcers, hunters and troopers to make your life hell. Iíve only played the original Eternal X and Eternal X Omega 1.1 before so if the difficulty was more balanced for this level, I havenít seen it yet. (This Lost Episode note was written when I first played like the others, so things may be different now)

RUN! RUN! RUN! Before even thinking, JUST SHOOT AND RUN! If you get lucky, you won't get vaporized in the first milisecond and make it behind cover ahead, where we gratefully find a 2x shield behind a locked door. After killing the enforcers in the entrance area, we can go in the opposite door and get through a diabolical gauntlet, including an elevator down to a squad of troopers and a horde of drones, but these are managebale when we can always run back to the 2x. Eventually we'll loop around to the balcony above in the entrance room, but the door opposite of the one we went will still be locked; before this, though, there's a little nook with small rooms on each side, one with a terminal and a button, and one with a 3x charger and a pattern buffer. It's Leela!

Not much to say, but the button, as you guessed, opens the locked door... it rapidly opens and shuts like it's broken, but we can run through it now. There are 3 ways we can take here, two of which are up the elevators on the sides. But the lift on the left is broken, so you can only take the right. There isn't much to say about what's up there; it's a bunch of monster closets. There's a place you can drop down, and a button that opens a door back to the main hall. Troopers in the windows we can't get to who are lobbing grenades at us, but they have to die to finish the map, so the best thing to do is lob grenades right back at them until they go down. We eventually find a large room of both pain and relief; the pain of troopers and enforcers, and the relief of 2x chargers and pattern buffers. I must say, with all of Lion O Cyborg's notes of Halo fan service, all the magenta texturing, rectangular-ish corridors, and open two-story areas is giving me flashbacks to the covenant ship. There's a button we must press twice to keep a door open on the upper area, and take a lift up to get there, and it's full of hunters and enforcers to give us a bad day.

There's a button here that can't be pressed, and once all the baddies are cleared from the map ('sides the Drinnols), Leela will take us to our next mission.

Yep, because we didn't bother to take care of Hathor on the dreadnaught, we're going back to it.

Act 2: Run, Coward!

DMA Aaron 2018.12.03

Let's read this terminal right off the bat! And take our sweet time doing so.

... I asphixiated. Dammit! I hate it when they put long-winded terminals at the start of the map without warning us we're in vacuum. It's always something.

Let's try this again:

There are a bunch of plasma batteries at the terminal here. We'll need them, because this dreadnaught is infested with electric orbs from the labyrinth of Pathways into Darkness! Rapidly firing plasma at close range is the only way to beat them, and they explode. Their rapid fire electricity will kill you fast, so it's best to run in rooms with lots of them and destroy them when there's just one. We regain oxygen in rooms without windows, but the outdoor balconies are the only places with plasma batteries. There are 3x shield chargers here aplenty, but the obstacles are chaotic. There's a neat 5D bridge that looks to be precisely above the door of a lower floor, so I don't know how the mapper managed that without using the same vertices and messing it up. There's a couple buttons you have to find and press, and in the east is a secret door that takes us to an elevator down to... a light saber? Yep, we're going there. That sci-fi cliche that makes little sense, because why bring a sword to a gunfight? I'll tell you why: to destroy those blasted orbs reliably while using minimal plasma charges. This is a "2x Gravitonic Blade." So does this thing slice with the mass of a Neutron Star? Seems like it, because it will slay a hulk in one blow. This thing is as cheap and broken as an RBY Mewtwo. Who greenlit this brainfart? It's good we found it, because on this map, we need it. If Eternal has netmaps, it will just be cyborgs swinging sticks at each other like kids playing pirates. That Wave Motion Cannon ammo runs out fast, you know.

Note by LOC:

BEHOLD! The Jjaro gravatronic blades! Or as I call them, the Jjaro lightsabres! Instead of the Halo and Star Wars plasma swords, these rapiers work by creating a blade shaped singularity, crushing and twisting what they hit as well as burning them with hawking radiation: thatís what the light is. Personally, I love those things, which could also be called the Dark Energy Sword as another Halo nod. Missed opportunity there, Forrest! ;) This along with the Portable Halo could be counted as Marathonís BFG, though I guess the Gravatonic blades are more like Doom Eternalís Crucible, but you get two of them and they predate Doom Eternal.

Our goal is to open the central room between these corridors, which has not one, not two, not three, but four buttons we have to press, all in the same place. Don't dawdle, this room is in vacuum. This opens a door in the south with ramparts around electric orbs in columns. At the end is a button before dropping down. One side loops back into the main corridors, and another has a stairwell and at the bottom is a button that opens a door to a place that looks familiar. If we take the lift, we'll see the two doors at the end that are so very close to the self-destruct buttons we need to get to, but they're both locked. Hathor. For all of Durandal's past threats of making doors stop working, Hathor actually went and locked the doors without even stopping to gloat first. Is she actually a *gasp* real terrible and smart person and not an ineffective cartoon villain? I never realized it before, but that's what Durandal was in his Anger phase, before jealousy made him turn three dimensional.

The terminal in the middle of the room below will teleport us back up into the main corridors. You'll probably need it to catch your breath. So many maps until now had o2 stations that weren't needed. Where did they all go?

You might be wondering where we have to go now. Seems like we hit a dead end. If we explore the entire map and stand at the locked door at the end of the hall near the terminal teleporter, we will get teleported out to space. Then Leela catches us again.

Note by LOC:
The last map was bad, but this one is even worse!

The electric orbs here represent Jjaro fusion turrets. Some fly as sentry bots and some like the first 2 are kept on swivels. They use the sprites for the rover sentry monsters in Pathways into Darkness but are theoretically on our side. Not here: Hathor controls those ones. They fire too fast to easily dodge, theyíre powerful and they cannot be destroyed. They technically can now but you need fusion ammo and they donít stay that way. This is why this map sucks cock through a drinking straw: theyíre everywhere and thereís no permanently escaping them as even when you do find a hiding spot, you are inevitably forced to leave it in order to continue. The new map in 1.2 even adds insult to injury by now being (partially) in vacuum. Still, hats off to Shining Raven for the vacuum script, even if its use in this particular level is a little mean.

I think the area with the ramparts and columns may be the area with a little labyrinth that looks like an airport security checkpoint queue.

At this point in the Lost Episode (as weíll see in due time) Iíve had it up to here with this level by this point so I just jump over it and use one of the barriers as a stepping stone to jump up past the lift at the end. Yes, using Megabyte's jumping script, not grenade jumping.

https://youtu.be/OAuJEi2MovM?t=54

Long, boring, hard mazes filled with invincible enemies whose shots you canít dodge and no saving is already a pisser, but all of that with a time limit imposed by partially having the level in vacuum and it not being clear at first which areas have air and which donít is a 12 story flying pisser circling the neighbourhood contaminating all the swimming pools.

On a lighter note, the mapís song used to be flippant (I think) but itís been changed to Fatman. Unlike when Rushing was changed to Freedom in Map 13, I approve of this change. Thereís also the stairs VBB & I used to get to Mighty Philanthropyís lower decks from Dread Not.

In all older versions, you just jumped down here and entered a teleporter to the next level. Now, itís been upgraded to a glass stairwell that reminds me of Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness, where you find a similar staircase in Kurtis Trentís second level, Maximum Containment Area with a fan in the middle at the bottom. Dusk has a similar area too, in a spoilerific level in Episode 2 that reminds me a hell of a lot of Chicken Run meets Rise of the Triad.

Act 3: The Ensurance Trap

Welcome back! Let's see what happened this time.

Note by LOC: This is where the main extra story I began at the start comes to its head before the climax in Chapter 5, which we will see when we cover the Chapter 4 Lost Episode. It starts with the sun on this level being much bigger and some imagination required in the screenshots since photoshopping in fire effects and shadow monsters into my screenshots of this level & the two special parts during it would take too much time, and I was crunching to get my original write-ups from last year done and on my log pre-posting before the 10th of December 2019. I made it. Needless to say, Hathor is involved in the visions I had in said extra story.

Note by LOC: I wonít spoil but when certain things happen later, I assumed Leela died for good back in the original Eternal X but when playing through the failure planks both in that game and both versions of Eternal X Omega, I realise thatís not the case: she has now escaped into the Macroverse with Durandal and Thoth, together with the sane Síbhuth. Escape has made her a goddess and she will always be able to return there if she is in danger of dying again, assuming she now keeps her primary backup there and pilots fragments by remote control.

On the day of disaster, the Wírkncacnterís seal was broken. In this timeline however, the shit hit the fan. The records of the day its chaos were released are stored here, in Leelaís mind.

Note by LOC: The Wírkncacnter wasnít still buried in Earth. I knew the Trih Xeem would free it but I never knew that the Jjaro when they arrived after then ending of Pathways into Darkness did the same thing to our dreaming god as Yrro did to the one on Lhíowon.

Hold the phone, is she saying a Jjarro teleported the w'rk from inside the Earth into the Sun? Why didn't they just do that in the first place instead of letting PiD happen? Oh yeah, no time, yada yada... except you know, it's been established they invented the cybernetic junction that was found in a Jjarro outpost back when we humans were barely starting to figure out this 'agriculture' and 'civilization' thing. Could it be that we are going to assist in its transport?

Hardy har, here's the meta commentary acknowledging that the Pattern Buffers are a thing in the game universe and not an abstact save button in the menu, so every time we die and reload is canon. Once we're done with Eternal, we will delete this pointless scenario and move on to the next.

Note by LOC: Oi! Pointless scenario? I donít think so. Sure it has its problems in places but itís still the best of the mods besides Tempus Irae & Marathon Redux, and the latter is just an alpha so thatís saying something. Each to their own I suppose. Iíd personally sum up the game, warts and all with this:

Iíd have picked Eat Sípht & Die so I could get the snowing ash, but Marathonís savegames no longer support manual save game naming so getting to the perfect spot was harder and I do not recommend pistol starting that map.

Nice history lesson. So S'bhuth's "madness" killing all humans was his attempt to prevent the Trih Xeem from releasing the W'rk.

Guess who's back! The phantasms. A lot more of them. And there's BoBs and MADDs thrown in, too. They're not scary this time around with this gravitonic blade of death, but if you think closing the doors behind you is a smart idea to trap them, that won't stop them, because they'll press the buttons to reopen the doors themselves. Because you know, incorporeal ghosts are always so inconvenienced by needing to manually open doors. These ones are, anyway. You'll find that a lot of FPS ghosts have to maneuver around walls, but those Mario Boos can fly through the floors to get you.

Note by LOC: Very important note here: The broken terminal by the umbilical to the exit here is now working for the first and possibly only time. However, I learned from the Rampancy.net stream that this terminal is broken in 1.2 by default, as someone set it to ďlight dependantĒ in visual mode or Vasara. As the terminal is supposed to have a low light level of 20, this meant the terminal wouldnít trigger.

https://youtu.be/0MDwKzH4ez8?t=1167

https://youtu.be/0MDwKzH4ez8?t=928

Muggins here had to open the WAD with Vasara and visual mode and later this single map after splitting and attempt to fix it myself. Then the challenge was getting the merged map to behave itself for 5 seconds as sometimes it caused every other terminal to fail and not work. When I got it working, I tried and failed to add a new image to it using code I looked up in the manual. The results were either the same where all other terminals broke, they all worked but Aleph One refused to implement the terminal code changes Iíd made or both at once. Something nobody who makes Marathon maps or edits them should have to put up with, especially as I could never get it to work, even with the advice I got.

https://youtu.be/0MDwKzH4ez8?t=1286

Thankfully, I do still have the vanilla fixed terminal and I saw the broken one was fixed in later Eternal builds after this post Lost Episode recording where I repeat the above: now while the terminal stays light dependent, the switch that opens the exit now also lights up Hathorís terminal, so it works now, simulating it being disabled and powering on. I think reading the terminal in that later version is required now to even open the umbilical door next to it (the switch opens the one at the far end). Below is the terminal text with a bit of ďDoctoringĒ to include the image I wanted it to have (which Iíve shown on the Story page before)

Hathor has become so powerful, she FUCKING KILLED THE WíRKNCACNTER AND STOLE ITS POWER! Nevermind that Wríknncacnter are gods and therefore cannot be killed. Rick Riordan! Let that sink in for a minute. All of the nightmares seen here other than the flames (Lost Episode plot point) are her doing this time.

Itís at this point the special parts of my Lost Episode recording kick in. They were inspired by the Rampancy boys doing something similar in their Marathon LP and it may require an episode split like I had to do in Chapter 1 and several of the Halo SPV3 writeups. We pick up the actual level again at The Ensurance Trap Redux, but thatís for when we cover the Lost Episode, which is coming in due time. (evil laughter)

You know how to get through this map by now. Let's just get to the point.

Note by LOC: What. Thatís a ridicules oxymoron. Thatís like saying that cats bark, or Donald Trump is benevolent.

My duty is finished.

Note by LOC: We warp back to Mighty Philanthropy during Dread Not. Tune in next time for the first Lost Episode of three so far, this one covering when I went through Chapter 2 Stage 2. Once we get through all three, we will continue the main Tour with Chapter 4 Stage 3: Revelation. Donít miss it!

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Pre-2004 Posts

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Eternal X Tour of Duty Chapter 4 Stage 2Lion O Cyborg 12/1/20 3:07 a.m.
     Re: Eternal X Tour of Duty Chapter 4 Stage 2VikingBoyBilly 12/1/20 4:03 p.m.
           Re: Eternal X Tour of Duty Chapter 4 Stage 2Lion O Cyborg 12/1/20 11:53 p.m.

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