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Eternal X Tour of Duty Chapter 5 Stage 1
Posted By: Lion O CyborgDate: 12/1/20 8:16 a.m.

Chapter 5: Antiquity Stage 1: Kingdom Valley

Act 1: Dust and Echoes of Eden

Last time on Tour of Duty, we succeeded in destroying the Jjaro dreadnaught Mighty Philanthropy, set the Drinniol rebellion in motion and finally learned just who and what the Jjaro are. Now, Iím in the endgame: a gigantic Jjaro Dyson Sphere they built as a fortress world against an enemy Leela doesnít seem to know about. But I can guess and Iím surprised it didnít click with her. As you can see above, Iíve taken my helmet off as I recognise that sky.

ďdrictelt í06ĖĎ07Ē

I enter the timezone in deep space before I subsequently teleport into the shield world.

***INCOMING MESSAGE FROM MONITOR 343 GUILTY SPARK***

Welcome, [?reclaimer]. I am the [monitor] of this installation. I am very pleased to find you alive and unharmed. I assume you fled here from one of the fallen defense vessels. We are presently on the lowermost deck of the installation, in a cargo waystation.

The [?enemy] has already breached the installationís entry defences, and transported many numbers into the inner sanctum. Thankfully you appear well armed, and I hope that I may aid you to stop this incursion and resume the mission before it is too late.

***MESSAGE CONTINUED AS IMAGE***

The Halo parallels come to a head here. Not only am I in a Halo ring combined with a Shield World, but 343 Guilty Spark actually appears in person!

He doesnít refer to himself by name and the translator interprets monitor as ďwatcherĒ but we all know who he is. He technically only appears in terminals instead of a monitor shell but still. In the earliest build, even before the complete Eternal X 1.0.3 and in the long scrapped Halo alpha this mod is based on, there was no ambiguity attempted or otherwise about Sparkís identity and the Dyson sphere itself literally was Halo Installation 04 instead of simply sharing a function. This is honestly the best twist in the game.

ďPuzzling. You brought such ineffective weapons to combat the Wírkncacnterís Ayakashi/Kamalas, despite the containment protocols.Ē

The Ayakashi are back and now thereís more of them than just banshees. Theyíre the main enemy from now on, serving the exact same purpose as the Flood in Halo. And, I have a confession to make, but that will wait until weíre on the cargo elevator. Thereís fusion turrets to help you out and they are on our side from now on too. Just be careful not to run in their line of fire as they donít discriminate if thereís an ally blocking them.

Quickly, I flee up a lift to the north down some lovely blue metal and crystal tunnels to a 1X shield charger. Fusion ammo and zero-point nodules for your portable Halo and Dark Energy Sword (better nickname than Jjaro lightsabre given itís made with a singularity) are your best friends for all of Chapter 5. Eternal X Omega 1.2 strives to make this Chapter easier than it was in Omega 1.1 and the original Eternal X 1.0.3, but I havenít played this version yet and just watched Narcogen and Blackstar stream it (with Forrest and Lia themselves too!).

I run around the upper hallways, activating bridges and collecting ammo. I recommend The Shudaki Way for the banshees and save the Fusion Rifle for other enemies as the rifle is trickier to aim and banshees can be hard to hit. I find the first plain health terminal (red/orange/yellow bar) in a while next to a security station filled with fusion batteries and a portable Halo next to another Comm terminal.

Hathor is not only still alive (which I could guess) but she appears to be referencing terminals from the original Eternal X that no longer exist. She hints to us of this place and warns us of the land in the sky above Kingdom Valley in my dreams. Sheís had them too. If she does make at least 1 reference to it in 1.2, Iíve forgotten where that is.

Anyway, the Dark Energy Swords are duel wieldable and you used to be able to find the second one or even both at once by this terminal instead of the Wave Motion Cannon, which was on a shelf. Now the second lightsabre has been moved to another map, which was a problem in Omega 1.1 but less so here as we have fusion on our side too. We can also use the plasma flamethrower to kill banshees, but itís slower and a lot more dangerous.

Ammo thus gained, I save my game and dive inside the waiting cargo elevator. The doors seal and lock the banshees out, though some do sneak in the closing doors.

Wait, it gets worse!

Confession time! In older builds of Eternal including the original Eternal X, the ayakashi were exactly the same ones from Pathways into Darkness. You only had headlesses, nightmares and banshees, as the shocking spheres were used for fusion turrets.

I actually hated the idea that Forrest would change them at first as I felt it broke the connection Marathon had to Pathways into Darkness somewhat. However, he didnít actually get rid of them: he simply redid them to look, sound and behave scarier and boy did he succeed. I actually like them now. What this means is that the Eternal X Omega 1.2 PID monsters are not ayakashi now, but Kamalas, which are the exact same thing but are Swedish demons as opposed to Japanese. I first heard of them from Swedish developer KillMondayís excellent adventure game Fran Bow:

Does the Kamala behind Dr Deern look familiar? Itís a nightmare. Whereas ayakashi can be dark but are also bright and colorful looking, Kamalas are exclusively shadow demons like the Banshees, but with teeth.

The headless have been replaced with Skitters now too. All of them make horrible moaning and snarling sounds that sound like theyíre echoing down a dark cave during a very strong earthquake and their screams when you kill themÖ*shudder* The Wírkncacnter is also fully awake in this world and all of its dream manifestations are out to play. The original Marathon Eternal X was how I first saw the monsters from Pathways into Darkness until I saw a video Letís Play and finally got to play the OSX port emulated on Windows. Now that I have a Mac of my very own and Pathways into Darkness was faithfully ported to Aleph One so that Windows players are no longer left in the dark, I donít need that emulator anymore.

All the Ayakashi used Marathon specific projectiles which was honestly stupid. The headlesses are supposed to spit green, stinky bile from their squid radula/lamprey eel mouths but instead in Eternal they fired fighter shots. Nightmares are meant to fire ball lightning that looks like a plasma globe or a planetarium toy but they used Sípht shots.

Now in Eternal X 1.2, the skitters use their actual web shots, appearing as dark matter so theyíre even heavier and while nightmares still seem to use Sípht shots, they are supposed to be firing ball lightning anyway so itís less of an issue than the headless. That meeting up above didnít go so well:

But I donít want to ride the elevator again!

Thatís it. The gloves come off for me too:

Thunder, Thunder! THUNDER! THUNDERCATS HO!

IÖIíd recognise that sky anywhere. Itís the floating rough ocean from my dreams. All this time, my dreams of Kingdom Valley high up yet still within the valley itself, the waves of the sea crashing in the sky; Itís the Jjaro Shield World except itís also a Halo ring at the same time. It gets better as 343 Guilty Spark is here too! :) Why they went through the trouble to recreate Kingdom Valley, the bay at the end of Refraction Canyon and the White Acropolis mountain range in Egypt on Third Earth in this Dyson Sphere I donít know. Maybe itís like Ringworld where the titular not Halo original structure had 100% accurate maps of Earth, Mars and even Kzin worlds. Unfortunately, I couldnít find my reference to that again when fact checking this, sorry.

Infected? They arenít the Flood. Oh, wait. Ayakashi can kill you if you can see them or encourage you to kill yourself if they cannot. Succeeding either in doing so or eating you if a ghost turns you into one of them. The Wírkncacnterís nightmares must be able to do the same. Kamalas normally prefer to keep their victims alive just to fuck with them as they feed off their misery and donít normally kill unless they are that bored or hungry. Itís unclear if they share their Japanese brethrenís tendency to infect others to reproduce.

You thought this level was easy? Well it kind of is, maybe moreso than the older versions. This was only the first map: https://youtu.be/VxnGQkIatN8?list=PLSIc_ImBpiJDQaQ-PgJJK42WQzFi8_8N5&t=15

Act 2: The Dead Live In The Catacombs

I snatch up all the fusion ammo I can and draw my rifle. Guilty Spark contacts me soon after.

ďDrictelt Ď06Ē

The hallway has skitters waiting for me and itís very dark. Nightmares lurk around the corner as do banshees. When the skitters die, they dissolve into a bloody mess and are twisted apart by raw entropy with a chilling roar like the wind in a cave is alive but dying in agony.

Past the north door behind the nightmares is a lovely underground courtyard with waterfalls.

How were those made? I donít see any visible linedefs. Were they textures on lines that can only be seen in Weland or are they actual objects? I think itís the former when I look at the map in Weland. The north door has a pair of skitters behind it. A flooded passage leads to a broken door and the other doorís locked. I go east into another flooded area thatís also flooded with Kamalas.

The button at the end opens the left bulkhead where I meet a nightmare and a bunch of skitters.

The blue crystalline metallic tiles and glass panels would be great for a swimming pool map. Another button barely opens the bulkhead you can see. I canít crouch (yet) so thereís no way under there. Damage Incorporated source code would come in handy assuming it still exists. I head northwest to a third button that opens the other bulkhead. It takes me through an infested passage of lovely turquoise tiles to the first bulkhead. Some more flooded catacombs full of monsters later I come to a stairwell up to a large water tank.

This looks strikingly similar to the transponder square waaay back on the Marathon in chapter 1. Unlike on the Marathon, this one is much easier. The guardianís terminal is in the opposite corner diagonally to me.

Itís the Dreamcast logo! Iím more familiar with the red logo but Iíve seen the blue one too.

The door next to the terminal jams when I try to open it. I jump off a ledge through the door just down from this one in the square tank room where I find a pattern buffer. The passage loops back to the start but I go all the way west and drop into a dark room with a lift and locked door, where I find the artifact the guardian mentioned up some dark stairs.

From there, a long winding blue flooded passageway loops back to the now unlocked doors in the north room of the waterfall courtyard.

Act 3: These Caves Canít Be A Natural Formation

Someone built them. So they must lead somewhere.

I start on a mountain in the valley overlooking a tall structure with fusion turrets as the sea in the sky foams overhead.

A billion skitters come up the mountain pass as I descend. The portable Halo fires too slow to be effective here so I switch to the fusion rifle after a couple of shots. Inside the structure is a shield terminal, 2 pattern buffers, an oxygen terminal and a Comm terminal inside a small door between the save points where 343 Guilty Spark is waiting.

A word of warning: all the kamalas respawn constantly as the Wírkncacnter is just dreaming up more, just like their PID counterparts. Do not try to get 100% kills and just run if youíre overwhelmed. Use the Wave Motion Cannon if thereís a large group blocking the way you need to go. The 2 small towers on either side of the entrance steps are lifts with a button in the bridge up top. The button opens the northeast entrance to Sparkís data centre. 2 of the 3 doors down here are locked so I take the second elevator up.

This canyon isnít too tough but the nightmares are hard to hit so be prepared to use the wave motion cannon. Just hit every switch to raise the rocks on the left and use the shield terminal at the end if you have to.

Thatís not actually a bridge, but a fish ladder. Except the highest pool here is just as empty as the bottom so whatís the point? They may look like koi fish but the nightmares can fly and they arenít the intended inhabitants of this world anyway. I like the giant taps though. Ahead is a room with giant cylindrical tape decks and a school of nightmares I promptly wreak the nerves of with my Big Fucking Gun 7777. The turrets donít even get a shot in. The button unlocks both of the data centre doors back where I came from.

Thereís an elevator in the corner that serves as the southwest entrance. I return along the veranda to the other entrance and deal with the kamalas that were released. The west door has a 4 way function with pretty cyan or light turquoise lights that are going haywire. The east door heads through a power room of some kind whose switches open 2 of the junction doors but alert a nightmare.

The buttons open the exit into another junction and one of its doors. Past that is a tall machine of glass tubes and lights that can only be the Monitorís primary databanks.

I feed him the chip and take the long way back to the terminal as the entrance lift doesnít work after it lowers.

Wait, WHAT? Is this how the Jjaroís original biological form was wiped out? While you might be able to see it coming, I think this Dyson Sphere has the exact same weapon as the Halo Array, except it doesnít need 7 of them to do the job. More on that later. For now, we go on to what is both one of the best and one of the worst levels in the chapter and possibly even the whole game.

Act 4: Deep in the Grotto

4th Level: Tools, Swords, Keys to Superweapons.

X1 refuel =x3

ďdrictelt Ď07Ē

3 plus arrow pointing at sector 496

ď21 gloei 22 bank 23 zealwater 24 bankwater 25 bank 26 bankwater

27 bankwater 28-29-30 bank 31-32 bankwater 33 bank

Aaron 2018.11.24Ē

This map is one of the best because it plays my favourite song in the game next to Rushing: A remix of Leela combined with Covenant Dance from Halo. I consider this Marcusís theme and by extension one of my own. This is the only time this song plays and that makes it stand out. Thereís also nice caves and lots of cool air duct exploring to reach the switches you need to push. Why is it one of the worst levels too? KAMALAS ARE FUCKING EVERYWHERE! They can ambush you at the save and shield terminals on the upper gantry inside so these ones arenít safe. The kamalas outnumber me greatly and they JUST. KEEP. COMING. Itís hard to avoid them too. You can only run.

Worse, the fusion turrets patrol the air ducts to help you out but they canít seem to tell that banshees arenít solid creatures so their attempts to kill them end up flying straight through and hitting you instead. Thereís next to no room in the vents to dodge comfortably either. It was worse in older versions where fusion shots did nothing to banshees so the turrets were completely useless against them.

Now I run down a cave to my immediate left for something Iíve been looking forward to all chapter.

Yes, both Dark Energy Swords at long last! I wish I could use these and the portable Halo in other mods as well, though thereís no plans to add the latter to Marathon 1 Redux despite it being a cut M1 weapon to begin with. Itís likely due to it requiring either balancing the ammo unfairly or nerf the weapon as the Wave Motion Cannon is that overpowered, so people may not use anything else especially on Total Carnage. It doesnít have the BFG 9000ís invisible tracers but it doesnít need them.

Marathonís combat has always been about playing rock paper scissors with certain enemy types and keeping a favourite gun for general use only E.g. flamethrower for weak enemies whose weapons you canít scavenge or get enough ammo for anyway like fighters, fusion pistol for Sípht, stalkers, drones and hunters, explosives when things get hairy and the rocket launcher for even tougher enemies and juggernaut tanks only.

Thunder, Thunder! THUNDER! THUNDERCATS HOOOOO!

OK, Iím done milking that.

Hereís the libraryís main entrance. The terminal is the same as the other one and I canít remember if the door is locked or not. Donít expect clear directions through the caves as Iím just as lost as you are. Some of the vent grills are blocked off until you hit certain switches. Iím able to find an open duct hatch somewhere up some rocks to the south and I come in next to a low wall on my left. Even the vents are sealed by Hathor.

I come to a basement room on the east end and I hop through some side ducts to a big blue vault. I turn off one switch and activate another one, opening the exit and flooding the room as the central atrium is flooded itself.

Make the atrium your rally point as thereís a shield terminal through the hatch behind me as well as those things. It may be tricky getting out though. Up the stairs from the shield charger I find the exit terminal but a forcefield blocks me and pushes me out.

This is Hathorís final resting place. If I am to reach her, I need to hit every switch in the side rooms I can. This means saving, fighting my way to the vents, trying to find an exit vent I havenít been to yet and push the buttons inside. Iíve been having less trouble with this Chapter than I normally do but Iíll spare you any deaths on my way to the remaining databanks. I return to the room I was in but save my game in the opposite side duct then jump down instead of continuing to the vault. 4 more switches get flicked and the room flooded.

Is all this water liquid cooling or is it leaking in from the creek outside and the floods are destroying the databanks?

A locked hatch I found earlier to the west end of the ducts is now open. I come out in a dark room with Kamalas trying vainly to get in through the sealed exit. A switch in an east room opens the doors to another button, but the door next to it jams.

I go through the other doors in the main room to reach it. The button by the exit floods the place when it opens but the current makes it impossible to use the shield charger. So use it first if you are low on shields or actually hurt as you wonít be able to when the water comes.

Itís possible to glitch through the forcefield guarding Hathor but I donít know how it does it. It feels like cheating. Further south in the west air vents is an already flooded room. The switch is in the middle.

As I traverse the vents looking for the next duct exit, a note on nightmares. At least in the original Eternal X, on Normal and lower they were normal green nightmares. On Major Damage, they were all replaced with Greater Nightmares, which as youíll remember from my Pathways into Darkness Tour of Duty are blue, have armour impenetrable to everything except Jjaro weapons & possibly explosives and firing tracking shots. On Total Carnage you get grey nightmares, which function like normal ones but they are tougher and fire faster. I donít know how those differences are conveyed in Eternal X Omega 1.2, if they are there at all, given that this version has Kamala nightmares instead of Ayakashi ones.

On the lower east side, I find an empty dark vault that banshees will quickly flood. I canít flood it with water as thereís no way switch that does that. I have to hit the only up the small lift opposite the air vent anyway.

Further north in the east ventilation ducts is another vault whose buttons I push the open doors and flood the place. Then itís back in the air ducts for the final databanks in the north of the library. The western one has cramped cyan tile tunnels. I also had opened the main door beforehand as a shortcut.

Oh! Whatís this? This wasnít here before. Yes, Liacrow/Shining Raven added this new part of the grotto caves to 1.2 as an extra. Itís a deep hot spring with mulitple active camo armour abilities in it.

Marathon vets and Vidmasters already know this but picking up more than 1 shadow chip makes you more transparent and less likely to be seen. This never happened nearly as often as it could have been useful in the main trilogy, giving the impression that it was next to useless. I say ďnext toĒ because if it was dark, you wouldnít be seen unless you got close but in more brightly lit areas, you may as well not have it.

Guess Iím too used to Halo and Halo 2ís ones.

I find an interesting glitch that was preventing me leaving:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MDwKzH4ez8&t=1286s

Trade the waterfall transparency glitch this room has in 1.1 for this one. Finally the forcefield is deactivated and I confront Hathor for the final time, taking the 2 Dark Energy Swords I find.

*Wham!* The Kill Your Television terminal in Marathon 2 was not just a reference to a book nobodyís heard of: Hathor is the woman in the story and I am the 1000 name man.

Speaking of what Hathor tells us and what she says next, Hathor also seems to be like Tex from Red vs Blue: no matter what she does, she always fails just before she can achieve victory.

This may even have something to do with the fact she died back on Tau Ceti IV but was somehow revived as essentially an AI, so not even a cyborg anymore. It hits even harder as her original human self, KAPís (who is still alive and well in this timeline, thank Solaris) middle name is the short form of the name of Dr Leonard Churchís wife, his memory of whom Tex is based on.

What was the point of that battle back then in the garden? It wasnít the garden of Eden (assuming that Eden and Genesis were the same garden) but were Hathor and I Adam & Eve in a past life?

The Jjaro Dyson sphere is exactly like the Halo Rings. While itís purpose and appearance double as the Shield Worlds from the same games, its main weapon is also identical. It doesnít just kill the Wírkncacnter and its ayakashi & kamalas, it kills everything. Human, Kaminari/Reshep Cat, Pfhor, whatever. Itís designed to wipe the galaxy clean of ALL sentient life. You donít believe her? Ask the monitor. This Dyson sphere has the power of all 7 Halo rings. So it appears. If it only has a maximum range of 25000 lightyears and thereís others, no-oneís saying this time.

I do trust you, KAP. She has a plan: in the distant past, thereís a solution. A way to stop the Wírkncacnter and prevent Hathor becoming the flames of disaster without firing the Jjaro Halo planet: we use the shipís Trih Xeem device and fire at the then, waking Wírkncacnterís core before it gets strong enough to defend itself from such an attack.

With that, I take Hathor with me and we travel through time for what may be the last time. Tune in next time for our mission done by Viking Boy Billy in Chapter 5 Stage 2: Full Circle, followed by its Lost Episode counterpart. Donít miss it!

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Replies:

Eternal X Tour of Duty Chapter 5 Stage 1Lion O Cyborg 12/1/20 8:16 a.m.
     Re: Eternal X Tour of Duty Chapter 5 Stage 1VikingBoyBilly 12/5/20 7:36 a.m.
           Re: Eternal X Tour of Duty Chapter 5 Stage 1Lion O Cyborg 12/5/20 7:53 a.m.
                 Re: Eternal X Tour of Duty Chapter 5 Stage 1VikingBoyBilly 12/5/20 8:53 a.m.
                       Re: Eternal X Tour of Duty Chapter 5 Stage 1Lion O Cyborg 12/5/20 9:59 a.m.
                             Re: Eternal X Tour of Duty Chapter 5 Stage 1VikingBoyBilly 12/5/20 1:26 p.m.
                                   Re: Eternal X Tour of Duty Chapter 5 Stage 1Lion O Cyborg 12/5/20 2:42 p.m.
                                         Re: Eternal X Tour of Duty Chapter 5 Stage 1VikingBoyBilly 12/6/20 6:30 a.m.
                                               Re: Eternal X Tour of Duty Chapter 5 Stage 1Lion O Cyborg 12/6/20 8:04 a.m.
                                                     Re: Eternal X Tour of Duty Chapter 5 Stage 1VikingBoyBilly 12/6/20 8:34 a.m.
                                                           Re: Eternal X Tour of Duty Chapter 5 Stage 1Lion O Cyborg 12/6/20 2:59 p.m.

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