|Infinity: the Story: Chapt 4|
|Posted By: Philtron||Date: 12/25/20 10:46 a.m.|
Chapter Four: Envy
(the Rise of Security Officer)
We are shown events that seem like a continuation of the preceding Chapter 3: Rage 2.
The main character wakes up inside a Pfhor prison.
Tycho and the main character have destroyed Durandal and prevented the Pfhor from capturing him. After learning about this, and about Tycho’s coup against Captain R’chzne (events that happened in Chapter 1: Despair), Admiral Tfear imprisoned both of them.
Admiral Tfear managed to do this with Tycho by using special S’pht Compilers who have spent years training specifically to contain Tycho.
Tycho and the main character were tortured for two weeks. During these weeks, Pfhor forces hunt down surviving humans on the surface of Lh’owon. The battles are still ongoing.
The level begins after these two weeks and the main character wakes up in prison. He is freed by a Drone. It is implied that this Drone was hacked through a terminal by Tycho, despite Tycho’s containment.
Tycho offers to help the main character rescue the surviving humans if he cuts the power to Tycho’s “containment unit”.
After attempting this, the main character is messaged, not by Tycho, but by Admiral Tfear himself. Tfear congratulates the main character on withstanding torture by Enforcers. He then commands the main character to join Tfear’s forces in attacking the surviving humans who are holed up in a volcanic crater.
pen13 Garrison, prison and dungeon complex
Durandal is “destroyed”; his primal pattern is stored in the main character’s brain. Tfear has arrived, taken control, and Tycho is contained. Main character is imprisoned by the Pfhor. Status of Thoth and S’pht’kr is unclear.
It is unclear whether this whole prison break was a setup by Tfear or whether it was a genuine attempt by Tycho that just happened to be caught by the Pfhor.
There’s some excellent storytelling done throughout the level (the Drone narrative, for example). Of note is that Enforcers are mentioned throughout the terminals and some Enforcer guns are found lying on the ground. But there are no actual Enforcers in the level. Hmmm?
Tycho suggests that the main character is carrying Durandal’s primal pattern in his brain. Presumably, this was represented by the uplink chip we picked up at the end of Hang Brain in the Chapter 3: Rage 2.
If the main character has free will at this point, it is unclear why he goes along with Tfear’s orders and kills all the humans in the next two levels.
In the preceding Chapter there was a special unit of Compilers designed by Tycho to capture Durandal. In this Chapter there is a special unit of Compilers trained by Tfear to capture Tycho. Are these two different units of compilers? Or are these the same compilers just manifesting differently in two different timelines?
This Chapter could easily be its own timeline (as suggested by the preceding chapter ending in a dream level) or it could easily be a continuation of the previous Chapter (as suggested by how incredibly similar they are).
One Thousand Thousand Slimy Things:
The main character leads Tfear’s forces in assaulting a human base located in a volcanic crater.
After the main character clears out the humans, Tfear praises him for “subordinating” his instinctive desires in order to achieve his goal, “...the mark of a strong species.”
The humans escape further into the volcano and are defending themselves using lava flows. Tfear sends the main character to route them so the Pfhor can take the humans as slaves.
remote volcanic crater, Hagakure Base
Durandal is “destroyed”; his primal pattern is stored in the main character’s brain. Tfear is in control of the Pfhor and the tri xeem. Tycho is contained. Main character is killing humans. Status of Thoth and S’pht’kr is unclear.
At one point, the main character has to use “jump terminal (7a)” to move forward. The terminal states “authorization key required, priority transports only”. It is unclear how the main character can use this jump pad or where he could have acquired the authorization key. But this feels like something important to the story. I personally don’t feel like digging into it or speculating on it.
A Converted Church In Venice, Italy:
While the main character attacks further into the human base, Pfhor dropships enter the volcano cone and attempt to destroy the base’s field power generators. All the “transporter relays” belonging to the humans are destroyed. While some humans stay to harass the Pfhor and maintain the “containment fields”, other humans try to escape through the magma tunnels.
Presumably these magma tunnels lead to a “huge alien fortress to the west”, which the humans learned about from Durandal when he was still alive.
Tfear gives the main character an ultimatum: seal the tunnel and cause the humans to surrender, or Tfear will order his troops to release the lava into the tunnels and kill them all instead.
Afterwards, three hundred humans surrender while six hundred continue fighting.
Admiral Tfear prepares to transport the main character to “a place of confinement before coldsleep and transfer to conditioning unit”.
The main character, however, transports to the huge alien fortress mentioned earlier, instead.
cone of the remote volcanic crater, human base
Durandal is “destroyed”; his primal pattern is stored in the main character’s brain. Tfear is in control of the Pfhor and the tri xeem. Tycho is contained. Main character is killing humans. Status of Thoth and S’pht’kr is unclear.
I think it’s fair to assume that the “huge alien fortress to the west” is in fact the structure we visit in Son of Grendel.
What doesn’t make sense is how the main character travels to Son of Grendel instead of to Tfear’s coldsleep unit. Yes, the main character is using free will, but this terminal is keyed to Tfear’s location.
There’s a lot to discuss here.
A More Detailed Discussion On The Ending Of “A Converted Church In Venice, Italy”
So, at the end of the level, the main character exits through a terminal in which Tfear says he is going put him into coldsleep. But then the next level takes us to “Son of Grendel”, presumably the “huge alien fortress”.
So how does the main character do that?
We could chalk this up to the main character’s freewill. Except, he is still leaving through a terminal whose transport location is controlled by Tfear. Even with exerting free will, the main character isn’t able to change the transport coordinates of a jump pad, as far as we know. The last time the character (probably) used free will (transporting to Tycho’s ship), he still had to use a transport terminal whose coordinates were set by a different character, he didn’t change the coordinates himself. As far as we know, the main character is still constrained by the physical reality of the timelines he travels to.
Luckily, I think there is an easy, but long winded explanation for this.
The short version: There’s actually two exits from this level.
The Exit A is also the first terminal you encounter when the level begins. It is also the last terminal you see, since the level ends where it begins. This is the one where Tfear says he’s going to put you in coldsleep; most players will use this terminal to exit the map and so this makes traveling to Son of Grendel confusing from a story perspective.
The Exit B is the second terminal you encounter in the level, right after you travel through the long winding path you unlocked, and right before you descend into the cave where you activate the lava. At the end of the level, this second terminal has a message in white text, that seems to be from Thoth. (But is Thoth even activated in this timeline? We hear no mention of him or K’lia during this timeline, or the preceding timeline we came from. Also, it appears like we activate Thoth for the first time in the next couple levels. Could the white text be a different Jjaro entity? Or non-diegetic?)
Once players reach the end, they can only get to this second terminal by retracing their steps through the whole level. Most players have no reason for doing this and won’t. They’ll just exit through the Tfear terminal, Exit A.
However, dutiful players will notice that in the cave basement there is a secret room behind a locked door. Once they activate the lava, the players can use the 3X charger that has suddenly been activated, swim back through the lava, and get into this secret room (this is a long known secret, so I’m not revealing anything new here). Once finding this secret, the ONLY way to get to any terminal at this point is to retrace your steps through the level, which makes the Exit B (white text) the first and most convenient spot to exit the level.
So, players who are insistent on finding secrets will very likely exit through the white terminal, not Tfear’s.
I believe this second exit is meant to be the canonical exit to Son of Grendel. My theory is that Double Aught initially wanted there to be a split exit here like in the dream levels, where the secret, more difficult path leads to a new level the player otherwise doesn’t see. But in this context, it would mean Double Aught would have to make more levels to show you what happens if you follow Tfear, and they decided it was easier/made more sense to just have both exits take you to the same level.
Or possibly Exit A originally had the message from Tfear but wasn’t en exit and Exit B was the only exit. But then maybe playtesters complained about having to retrace the whole level, so Double Aught just made both terminals exits.
Whatever the case may be, I believe they intended Exit B, the white terminal, to be the canonical way the main character progresses through the story.
So, while we, the players, can exit the level through two different terminals, I believe that in the story, the main character ignores Tfear and exits through the second terminal through the urging of Thoth, or another Jjaro entity, or through his own instincts.
There is also a third possibility. It’s possible that the player was meant to get to an exit by swimming through the lava tunnels to Son of Grendel (since the magma tunnels lead to the huge alien fortress), but that didn’t work out in development so what we see is the compromise.
Son of Grendel:
The main character travels to a S’pht/Jjaro fortress occupied by a Pfhor garrison.
Despite us having no indication that Thoth was activated in this timeline, the main character receives messages in white text that seem to be from Thoth (or possibly another Jjaro entity? Or maybe they’re non-diegetic? Or they represent the main character’s intuition?).
This Pfhor garrison has a history:
The Pfhor have been trying to excavate and understand the nature of an alien artifact. Presumably this is some sort of Jjaro technology. Because of frequent mishaps and deaths associated with the artifact, most Pfhor have been restricted from coming in contact with it.
For example: Pfhor scientists located an internal power source for the artifact. A survey team was sent to investigate it, but they were disintegrated. Then, based on their comm signals, they reappeared deep below the fortress and then were killed. The Pfhor bombarded the plateau with radiation and this seemed to extinguish the artifact’s power source.
At some point, presumably after the above incident, the Pfhor buried and sealed the unearthed alien artifact.
The main character travels through the facility until he unseals the alien artifact and uses it to teleport below the surface.
unnamed Pfhor garrison located in a huge alien fortress/ location of alien artifact
Durandal is “destroyed”; his primal pattern is stored in the main character’s brain. Tfear is in control of the Pfhor and the tri xeem. Tycho is contained. Status of Thoth and S’pht’kr is unclear. Main character is moving towards activating Thoth(?) and resurrecting Durandal by merging him with the S’pht entity.
There are no weapons or ammo in this level, which is a nice touch in terms of narrative and tone. Really represents how the main character has gone off on his own path without the permission or support of anyone else.
There is a white text terminal underwater that takes you back to the starting spot of the level (kind of like the white text terminal from A Converted Church which takes you to the start of the level).
Even though it seems like Thoth is the one behind the terminals, I think it’s worth mentioning that, as far as I can tell, there is no mention of the name “Thoth” anywhere in Marathon Infinity.
Something I find confusing is that there’s two places in this level that can be considered “alien artifacts”. One is to the Northwest and honestly seems to fit the narrative better. It’s a light pillar hidden inside a stone cube, isolated in the center of an empty plateau; there’s actually Troopers trapped inside the cube and you can get them to grenade themselves to death before you open it. The second place is a small light patch, barely hidden from the player, in a courtyard on the South side of map, and this is the one you use to teleport underground. Just thought this was strange. Expected the pillar inside the cube to be the artifact the first time I played.
After interacting with the alien artifact, the main character transports into a chamber deep below the surface of the plateau.
The main character proceeds to activate what appear to be AI cores and thus activating, presumably, Thoth.
Then the main character uploads Durandal’s primal pattern into the AI core, presumably merging the S’pht AI and Durandal into one entity.
The level ends with a terminal written in green, dream-like text.
The Durandal-S’pht entity (presumably Durandal-Thoth) is born, or at least they are “whole again”, as they tell us.
So, this level adds to some more confusion that I believe has been brought up on the story page before. IS THOTH ACTIVATED BEFORE WE GET TO THIS LEVEL???
We get messages in white text on this level and the two preceding levels, which occur before we activate the AI cores here. We activate the cores in this level, like we did to bring Thoth to life in M2. So, if Thoth was sending us those messages in white, then who did we activate in this level? And, if we don’t activate Thoth until this level, then what do all those preceding terminals of white text represent?
Are the terminals of white text a different Jjaro entity? Non-diegetic narration? Do they represent some sort of “intuition” the main character has due to his Jjaro implants?
Alternatively, if Thoth was activated before this level, then who activated him? The Pfhor (on accident)? The humans (on purpose)? Why was Thoth just hiding and biding his time?
A lot of uncertainty and doubt.
Once Durandal’s primal pattern is merged with the S’pht entity, we see a terminal of green text representing the resurrected S’pht-Durandal.
chamber beneath the surface of the alien fortress and artifact
Durandal has been reborn by merging with a S’pht AI (possibly Thoth). Tfear is in control of the Pfhor and the tri’xeem. Status of S’pht’kr is unknown.
We do pick up a chip here, but I believe this is non-diegetic. The player picks up a chip in Hang Brain, loses it before By Committee, and then picks up a chip here in Strange Aeons.
If we try to look at this diegetically and literally then it just doesn’t make sense.
If we look at this non-literally and non-diegetically then it’s obvious that this chip simply represents how the main character is carrying Durandal’s primal pattern. We get the chip here since we the players, and not the main character, lost it by having a “prison start” in By Committee.
I think this may be the first mention of S’buth/S’boath in Infinity up to this point.
The main character returns to the huge alien fortress to find the Pfhor garrison damaged in combat.
The S’pht’kr have arrived, presumably summoned by S’pht-Durandal, and are fighting the Pfhor. (Although this conflicts with the next level where S’pht-Durandal state “the S’pht’kr will arrive momentarily”.)
The main character is not contacted by S’pht-Durandal, but by a very unhinged Tycho. Tycho seems more unbalanced than ever before. I’m not going to analyze everything Tycho says (this has been done on the story page), but I’ll just say that we should probably take his words with a grain of salt.
Anyway, after making accusations and prophesies, Tycho sends the main character to be executed by Tfear’s personal guard.
unnamed Pfhor garrison located in a huge alien fortress, now ravaged by battle
Tfear is in control of the tri xeem. Tycho is contained. Durandal has been reborn as a Durandal-S’pht entity. The S’pht’kr seem to have arrived (maybe).
It is worth noting that Tycho refers to “this Durandal-S’pht entity”, so we don’t actually have confirmation that Durandal merged with Thoth. In fact, I’m not sure the name “Thoth” appears anywhere in Infinity.
So, perhaps this level best exemplifies how we can’t treat Infinity’s story as continuously literal.
Here we clearly see the S’pht’kr in the level fighting the Pfhor. However, in the very next level, S’pht-Durandal state that they have just contacted K’lia and S’bhuth and that “the S’pht’kr will arrive momentarily”. So, if in the next level the S’pht’kr haven’t arrived, then what are they doing in this level?
We could chalk this up to a mistake by the devs, but let’s not and see where it takes us.
I think this is exemplifying the way that Infinity is trying to play with concepts and ideas in the story in an abstract and non-literal way. In Bagged Again it’s as though the tone and atmosphere is more important than rigidly sticking to some linear, literal representation of the canon narrative. We return to a level we saw before, but now it is dramatically changed and showing us one of the goals we’ve been reaching for all this time (summoning the S’pht’kr). It is a powerful and rewarding experience that we might not have got if Double Aught stuck to a rigid canon. (Also, returning to an area in a new context is something Bungie loves doing in practically every single game they’ve made.)
This level, right here, probably best displays what Double Aught were probably trying to do with this entire game and why it is so hard to try and fit the story into a tight set of boxes.
Alternatively, we could also interpret the S’pht’kr as non-literal, as the only way the developers could represent S’pht-Durandal awakening and destroying the garrison above themselves, with the tools the devs had at their disposal. If that makes sense.
You Think You’re Big Time, You’re Gonna Die Big Time:
The main character is captured again by Tycho/Tfear and sent to fight in a death arena.
The main character fights Tfear’s elite guard while other Pfhor place wagers on who will win. After the main character survives, S’pht-Durandal contacts the main character and explains the plot to us:
The S’pht have legends about the W’rkncacnter: ancient, immortal beings that live in chaos and create chaos around themselves. The Jjaro, the aliens who uplifted the S’pht, once fought battles against the W’rkncacnter, but couldn’t kill them. The Jjaro could only trap the W’rkncacnter, for example, inside the event horizons of black holes.
During this conflict, one W’rkncacnter was trapped in Lh’owon’s sun by Yrro “eons ago” with the use of an ancient space station.
S’pht-Durandal contact “S’boath”, K’lia folds into orbit, and the S’pht’kr arrive (even though they were already present in the previous level). The S’pht’kr assault leads Tfear to “deploy the trih xeem” and board Yrro’s ancient station. The trih xeem will unleash the W’rkncacnter from the sun, so the main character is sent to the Jjaro station to help the S’pht’kr “activate their ancient weapon”.
Tfear is in control of the tri xeem. Tycho is contained. S’pht-Durandal is reborn and active. Main character is imprisoned by Tfear/Tycho. The S’pht’kr, K’lia, and S’boath are about to arrive.
I just want to say that this a bizarre level to put here. It does not fit the narrative flow of the story, at all; completely out of place. Honestly, this should have been a secret level. I think Bagged Again should have led straight to Aye Mak Sicur, but maybe that’s just me.
Aye Mak Sicur:
As the trih xeem is launched toward the sun, the main character and the S’pht’kr battle Tfear’s troops on the Jjaro station. The station was originally used by the Jjaro to turn Lh’owon into a habitable planet. Importantly, it generates multiple gravitational fields which can be used to contain the nova that will be caused by the tri xeem.
To bring the station online the main character activates the powergrid as well as the spindle foci of the station by using “yrro(farcast) pattern chips”.
Tfear’s forces have captured one of the chips and the main character defeats them to get it. He gets the second chip by walking through a containment field that apparently only he can physically move through.
Once the main character succeeds in activating the powergrid, S’pht-Durandal use the station to wrap the nova in the station’s containment fields. They report that they do not see any evidence of the W’rkncacnter within the sun.
The S’pht’kr route the Pfhor and capture their flagship, but Tfear escapes.
The sun, however, will still die and the S’pht begin evacuating Lh’owon. They begin transporting as much native life to K’lia as possible.
S’pht-Durandal thank the main character and state that they “release what little hold we might, as Durandal, have had on your soul. Go.”
The game ends.
you know where
Tycho is contained and out of the narrative. The S’pht’kr are routing the Pfhor. Tfear has launched the tri xeem and boarded the Yrro station. S’pht-Durandal are present to take control of Yrro’s station. The main character is present to access the chip that only he can physically access.
I know people have commented on this before, but I just want to say it again. Aye Mak Sicur is a seriously impressive and awe-inspiring example of map making in Marathon or in any game in the ‘90s. This outshines anything that John Romero ever made back then (no offense to John Romero). Playing through this again in 2020 just further blew my mind with the size, complexity, level of detail, and inter-connectedness shown throughout the level. This was a massive undertaking for Double Aught and they should have gotten some sort of award that no one was giving out at the time.
Also, why only Hunters? I’ve wondered this ever since I played Infinity. Why are there only Hunters on the Aye Mak Sicur station? Did anyone ever wonder about this on the Marathon Story Page?
There is one terminal here that is dreamlike, white text. I take this as further evidence that we are not meant to interpret the majority of white terminals as being Thoth, but as something else. Unless Durandal didn’t merge with Thoth, in which case maybe this is Thoth.
I won’t be speculating on the final screen text.
|Infinity: the Story: Chapt 4||Philtron||12/25/20 10:46 a.m.|
|Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 4||Forrest of B.org||12/25/20 10:51 p.m.|
|Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 4||Durandal_1707||12/26/20 7:07 a.m.|
|Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 4||Forrest of B.org||12/27/20 9:14 p.m.|
|Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 4||Philtron||12/29/20 4:25 a.m.|
|Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 4 *NM*||VikingBoyBilly||12/29/20 6:29 a.m.|
|Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 4||General-RADIX||12/26/20 10:28 a.m.|
|Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 4||Philtron||12/27/20 5:38 p.m.|
|One More Thing||Philtron||12/27/20 5:40 p.m.|
|Re: One More Thing (Durandal)||Philtron||1/5/21 5:40 p.m.|
|Re: One More Thing (Durandal)||Forrest of B.org||1/5/21 8:36 p.m.|
|Re: One More Thing (Durandal)||General-RADIX||1/5/21 9:25 p.m.|
|Re: One More Thing (Durandal)||Sirblastalot||5/6/21 7:31 p.m.|
|Re: One More Thing (Durandal)||Godot||5/6/21 10:46 p.m.|
|Re: One More Thing (Durandal)||VikingBoyBilly||5/7/21 4:47 a.m.|
|Re: One More Thing (Durandal)||Sirblastalot||5/7/21 7:50 a.m.|
|Re: One More Thing (Kirkpatrick)||Philtron||1/6/21 5:26 p.m.|
|Re: One More Thing (Kirkpatrick)||Forrest of B.org||1/6/21 9:57 p.m.|
|Re: One More Thing (Kirkpatrick)||VikingBoyBilly||1/7/21 5:43 a.m.|
|Re: One More Thing (Kirkpatrick)||Philtron||1/7/21 4:56 p.m.|
|Re: One More Thing (Kirkpatrick)||Forrest of B.org||1/7/21 10:03 p.m.|
|Re: One More Thing (Kirkpatrick)||Forrest of B.org||1/7/21 10:04 p.m.|
|Re: One More Thing (Kirkpatrick)||VikingBoyBilly||1/8/21 1:01 p.m.|
|Re: One More Thing (Kirkpatrick)||Forrest of B.org||1/8/21 1:02 p.m.|
|Re: One More Thing (Kirkpatrick)||VikingBoyBilly||1/8/21 2:27 p.m.|
|Re: One More Thing (Kirkpatrick)||Forrest of B.org||1/8/21 9:21 p.m.|
|Re: One More Thing (Kirkpatrick)||VikingBoyBilly||1/8/21 2:33 p.m.|
|Re: One More Thing (Kirkpatrick)||Philtron||1/8/21 4:22 p.m.|
|Re: One More Thing (Kirkpatrick)||Forrest of B.org||1/8/21 9:23 p.m.|
|Re: One More Thing (Kirkpatrick)||VikingBoyBilly||1/9/21 9:31 a.m.|
|Re: One More Thing (Kirkpatrick)||Philtron||1/10/21 6:02 a.m.|
|Re: One More Thing (Kirkpatrick)||VikingBoyBilly||1/10/21 2:42 p.m.|
|Re: One More Thing (Kirkpatrick)||Philtron||1/10/21 5:46 p.m.|
|Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 4||VikingBoyBilly||12/29/20 5:57 a.m.|
|Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 4||Philtron||12/29/20 2:11 p.m.|
|Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 4||VikingBoyBilly||12/29/20 4:22 p.m.|
|Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 4||Philtron||12/30/20 4:30 a.m.|
|Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 4||VikingBoyBilly||12/30/20 10:37 a.m.|
|Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 4||Forrest of B.org||12/30/20 1:38 p.m.|
|Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 4||General-RADIX||12/30/20 3:34 p.m.|
|Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 4||Philtron||12/30/20 8:28 p.m.|
|Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 4||VikingBoyBilly||12/31/20 9:16 a.m.|
|Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 4||Philtron||12/31/20 6:28 p.m.|
|Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 4||Godot||1/3/21 12:39 a.m.|
|Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 4||Philtron||1/3/21 12:06 p.m.|
|Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 4||Forrest of B.org||1/4/21 1:00 a.m.|
|Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 4||Godot||1/4/21 2:05 a.m.|
|Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 4||Godot||1/4/21 4:18 a.m.|
|Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 4||Philtron||1/4/21 4:25 p.m.|
|Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 4||Godot||1/8/21 5:51 a.m.|
|Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 4||Philtron||1/8/21 4:18 p.m.|
|Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 4||Godot||1/8/21 7:10 a.m.|
|Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 4||Philtron||1/8/21 4:30 p.m.|
|Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 4||Forrest of B.org||1/8/21 9:25 p.m.|
|Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 4||Godot||1/8/21 10:30 p.m.|
|Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 4||VikingBoyBilly||1/9/21 7:01 a.m.|
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