System Shock 1 Marathon Comparison Episode 1
Posted By: Lion O CyborgDate: 6/8/23 11:08 a.m.

System Shock Marathon Comparison & talkthrough Season 1: System Shock 1: Enhanced Edition

Episode 1: Metroid 3D: Samus Adventure 2 Part 2

Act 1: Brinstar – Hospital Level

Now for the talkthrough sections. This will cover the first major mission which we will learn about now.

At the bottom of the ramp is a closet with some stuff I stashed in there before my surgery: a lead pipe for self-defence, a couple of pills, some starter augmentations including a data reader, personal automap & a systems analyser for the station I made myself, a basic access keycard and a diary text log (this is text no matter what version you play) in case I got amnesia during my healing coma.

This is where that long tradition of “immersive sim” FPS RPGs having 451 as the first keypad code started from. It’s a reference to Looking Glass Studios’ office keypad code which was in turn a reference to Fahrenheit 451.

The systems analyser aug keeps track of things like objectives complete (in a non-video gamey way), security strength on this level and the total amount of the colony’s functioning CPU servers. Currently security is 100%, the Eclipse Cannon is charging, lifepods are disabled, radiation shields are off, the colony’s core is functioning normally, all but gamma grove are normal status (gamma grove was ejected from the station), communications network speed is 62.5, there are 27 active servers and the main program is busy charging the cannon. In brief, it’s the player status screen from PID (depth, XP, treasure found etc.) but in-universe.

I’m getting an obnoxious beeping from my “email” read: radio message tab on my data reader aug so I check out a message I received from Rebecca Lansing who was mentioned in the manual text above.

As stated before, the text emails and text logs are floppy disk only which Enhanced enables alongside the audio. The actual radio message is more or less the same but Rebecca adds there’s evidence of biohazards i.e. the mutants and the virus Diego wanted me to help cover up. They also know SHODAN is responsible which the text omits, and that they know all about me and Diego’s deal. Rebecca offers me a new deal: Go stop the V-girl and wipe away the debt.

So we have a parallel to Marathon’s terminal system on DOS computers around the time Marathon came out, but it was always intended to have audio logs. Looking Glass clearly were using the dev team and anyone who happened to be around the office that day to voice the logs as Rebecca’s way of speaking smacks of an SFL base teacher in high school talking to a kid with Aspergers. I speak from personal experience there. Other audio log characters sound bored out of their heads as they talk, like they’re just reading the script and really don’t want to be there.

In the main room of the healing suite is a surgery machine and 2 serv-bots who attack me with their pincers. The lead pipe is my PID knife for melee attacks and it takes a couple of whacks. The robots have a medipatch and a battery for my bioelectric power. I don’t wanna waste it so I’ll recharge at the power station at the top of the ramp here. Surgery machines are like Marathon’s health terminals but they heal us instantly instead of slowly. Power stations do the same for energy but they need some time to recharge from the station’s reserves. I find a dart gun under the ramp hidden behind a computer. I was also lucky to find a Sparq (spark) beam on a dead body. That normally doesn’t spawn here.

Say cheese! Unlike later Shock games, those cameras do nothing if they see us and exist solely so I can smack them, lowering SHODAN’s security coverage on this level. As I approach the log by the corpse, SHODAN greets me politely with an automated message telling me what each level of Citadel contains. She stutters a few times and repeats herself under her breath at least twice, kind of like how I talk. This hints at her rampancy as it badly affected her speech, maybe a side effect of the Battering Ram malware I used to crack into her code damaging her sound card or speech producer?

I won’t try to recreate her creepy way of speaking like I did for her installer dialog as that would get tiresome. The music picks up as I approach the door. Like Halo long after it, System Shock has a dynamic soundtrack system that picks up pacing, adds instruments or ambient sound emulation or new little riffs depending on how close you are to enemies, what kind of enemies are nearby, how angry SHODAN is with you, how much health you have etc.

Humanity’s first Space Colony: Citadel. However, few are aware that many fearful weapons were produced by the research facilities here. And this is one of them: an Eclipse Cannon just like the Space Colony ARK. Unlike the ARK’s cannon, this tachyon laser is a lot weaker as it’s not intended for orbital defence like Professor Robotnik’s was. Trioptimum use it for mining on Saturn, its rings and its moons. SHODAN however has modified it into a ventral cleansing beam from Halo: It cannot blow up planets but it can glass them. The mutagen virus that started this whole shebang is another weapon made here and we get to see the first fruits of it as I punch open the code to open the door. The log by a David Honig says that SHODAN’s security is closing down on them and a woman named Mira says she’s doing that using the cameras and the Medical level’s CPU server nodes. The text says that SHODAN is looping system code in the servers to “feed herself”. Destroy the servers and her grip falls off the alpha quadrant elevator. Mira herself goes into detail in the operating theatre across the hall. I know from the remake that that is what this room is and the remake one is scarier.

Humanoid mutants are the green/purple fighters of System Shock: weak to being twatted on the head with a bit of poisonous plumbing but dangerous in groups. I can’t tell if that green stuff is their shredded clothes or slime moulds of pus filled tumours.

Gunther being Mira’s husband doesn’t come up in the audio.

GASP! 2 BEDS and a CART! Dun dun duun! Those are 3D polygon objects too, even on DOS. Something I forgot is that PIDs message system exists in this game too: click on an object model, geometry texture or object sprite to see what it is. They have some fun with this later. It helps the Space Colony Citadel feel more alive than just some glorified Crystal Maze sets with airsoft guns in them.

This is the first of 2 lockpicking puzzles in the game. We simply have to click the switches to move the current through the circuit to the terminal. “Side effects” mean other switches get toggled too, following chess piece movement direction rules according to the strategy guide.

This puzzle has no side effects and serves as a DIY tutorial. Circuit puzzles are basically the hacking minigame from Bioshock. Unlike the plumbing based hacking in both that game and the 2001 build of Duke Nukem Forever, the current in this lockpicking minigame doesn’t move on its own and short circuit the machine upon spillage.

Solving this puzzle unlocks a very primitive full 3D platform lift ala Marathon or Doom but not as smooth. It lets us take a shortcut to the maintenance passages. In a side lab, Althea Grossman says in her log that the mutants are scavenging food including untainted humans and nesting in gamma quadrant. She also talks about D’Arcy and how the rebels are hiding over a radioactive trench in beta quadrant. The next main aug is here and it is-I shit you not- a rear view mirror.

Unlike Metroid but like Deus Ex, augs can be upgraded with new versions you find so the reverse camera gets a solid 30 or 60 FPS instead of the 5 it has here, and extend to the sides too.

Why couldn’t Marathon have details like this even as 2D sprites like Brutal Doom did for its map enhancement? Also, that paper on the floor can be read. Unlike Marathon’s 3D objects plugin, papers don’t have all the same message. This one says that SHODAN has made some areas locked via cyberspace switches. You know how in Eternal you have to interact with certain terminals to open a door in some maps like Core Done Blew? Well imagine that but we actually have to go into the terminal to open the doors ourselves. The engineer also says in the papers that he’s giving SHODAN virtual anti-virus so she can defend sensitive data that’s been scattered around the cyberspace network. This explains where the cyberspace hacking enemies come from.

That blue and green Virtual Boy on the wall is the cyberspace jack. This is extra interesting as cyberspace was going to be in Marathon. In it, we would interact with the AIs’ avatars directly like the NPCs in Strife and the levels would basically be like the Dark World in Zelda: Triforce of the Gods; paths in cyberspace would differ compared to the regular level version and manipulating things in cyberspace would affect the real world. Marathon cut its cyberspace and I remember some other Story Forum users hated the concept but I like it.


System Shock not only kept its own one but it isn’t a dark world version of the regular stages. Instead as said above, it plays like an awkward Descent clone in wireframe colored environments. A few people hate it but I say it’s good once you’re used to it. That said, the remake handled cyberspace way better as that one is much easier to control and it’s harder to get lost or confused.

What is this sensation? I feel weightless atop this light. Wait, I’m weightless anyway. Those dumbbell things are mines. Crash into them and you lose virtual health/connection though they don’t actually explode. The cyberguards and doggos shoot quarantine software at us.

The lanyard things are digital post-it notes. One is displayed in the lower right as I flew into it in another room. That lollipop thing only exists to point at a cyberspace switch. This one opens the armoury above the X-ray lab with a magpulse gun in it: the best anti-robot weapon short of a plasma rifle and it uses magazines instead of energy. There’s a drawback to this though.

“Ammunition may be scarce for a while so be prepared to fall back to your pistol.”

Unlike the vast majority of sci-fi games including this game’s sequel, laser guns in System Shock are laser guns. They fire a realistic beam and not a plasma bolt like Star Wars made popular.

The only unrealistic thing about them is that we can actually see the beam and they aren’t station sized like the mining laser. In the middle of the central hub is a security station with some cyborg drones and a gravity lift ala Halo 2 up to some camera monitors and a circuit puzzle to unlock a shortcut into alpha quadrant. I ride the disabled lift up to beta quadrant. It shows the game’s primitive 3D nature as it moves slowly up bit by bit with audible clanking. I also stop to read the data fragments I picked up in cyberspace. One is the armoury code (blocked by SHODAN level security unless you have been breaking her cameras like I have) and another is an email message. All cyberspace data logs are text based only. As I read and type all this, I’m aware of an annoying squealing in the soundtrack that sounds vaguely like the Silence theme in Metroid. That means there’s mutants nearby.

There’s also a video terminal here with a short “video mail” clip showing the colony’s status, similar to the Systems Analyser aug.

Some papers in here express concern that nobody is helping to cure victims of a “mystery virus” i.e. the mutagen which got free on the research level. I can tell that Diego says “let the bodies pile high in their thousands”: he’s counting on the virus being tested so he can sell it to terrorists as a bioweapon. Since he was already being investigated by Rebecca’s team according to the manual, it seems to show TriOp in a positive light compared to Megacorps in pretty much all cyberpunk: the company are good for a change but they have corrupt players that the company wants rooted out, Diego being the weed in question.

For simplicity’s sake I’m just gonna call the mutagen virus “The Orange Death” and be done with it. This will make sense when we reach Beta Grove.

In D’Arcy’s lab, his log details how to destroy the eclipse cannon: That weapon is very sturdy. It simply can’t be destroyed from outside, so we’ll use Citadel’s own radiation shields to blow it up from inside. On the research level is a radioactive isotope X-22. Take it to the reactor level in the “basement” and plug it into the shield power systems to juice it up. Then enable the safety override code so we can still fire the cannon while the shields are up. The shields will absorb the energy of the cannon and explode.

To reach research I have to blow up the servers here to access the elevator in alpha quadrant SHODAN’s welcome message mentioned.

Wait a minute, that’s a present box! What is this, Mother? The present contains some darts. Like PID we can climb ladders. There’s one in the corner I can use to reach a biological systems monitor aug. It’s basically another health metre and it also lists fatigue and any poisoning you have.

Spiderbot! Spiderbots are maintenance bots with spark welders they use to attack with. They return in Deus Ex. In beta I find the radioactive trench guarded by a wire puzzle.

I hate wire puzzles. Unlike circuit puzzles where you can solve them with good guesswork once you work out the side effect on the switches, wire puzzles are pure trial & error, both with 1 color wires and multicolored ones. In the remake they’re even worse!

Predating Halo by at least 5 years, we have light bridges and they make Half Life 1 elevator car sounds when they activate.

Cyborg assassins. I know them from the sequel: they have silenced assault rifles for afar and those shurikans for up close. They deal a ton of damage quickly and it’s hard to know where it’s coming from. They’re annoying on research more than here but they become a right pain on engineering and security levels.

Like Marathon, we have pattern buffers and we have to activate them in order to use them. However since we can save anywhere on the level, they don’t work as save points but they actually do what the Marathon manual says they do: they actually bring us back from the dead. SHODAN has turned the pattern buffers on each level into cyborg conversion chambers. One crewmember wrote the word “here” outside this one in either red ink or blood before he ran. Another one cut SHODAN off from the buffers so when we pull the lever to convert it back into a revive station, SHODAN can’t change them back. We can however turn them back to cyborg conversion ourselves for shits and giggles.

God, SHODAN’s Mac version image is crap. It looks like a spiderweb made of radioactive snot. Her DOS & Non-KEX Enhanced portrait is much better. Luckily I found out how to switch it back. So, SHODAN is using Beta Grove as a petri dish for the Orange Death. The goal is to breed it to just the right level and infect the world with it. And you thought the virus from Marathon Rubicon or COVID 19 was bad.

The Cyborg warrior here backs up her demand. Don’t listen because the server room is just below us. In a germ infested storage room is the next aug: Shadow the Hedgehog’s rocket skates. No, really. That’s what they are. They let you run faster without using up fatigue for longer but turning is tricky.

She’s not bluffing: destroy a single server and she outright teleports in some cyborg drones to kill you right behind you.

When you destroy the CPU servers, the looping numbers on the screens will stop. Record that number. Here’s how:

Something that I knew Doom did but I’ve never used is that you can place nav markers on the automap to make navigation easier and number them. That should come in very handy for Hedon going by Civvie’s advice as that game was open enough to give me trouble. In System Shock, not only can you place markers but you can outright take notes on the map like in Ultima Underworld and you’ll need to as the map is impossible to read otherwise. Why hasn’t Marathon got something like that? It’d come in very useful for Rubicon, EVIL and Siege of Nor’Kor! Drop a marker in this room or by the elevator and label it with the number on the screens. You can thank me later.

SHODAN is confused about who I am because my awakening took her completely by surprise, just as the guys in the manual said it would.


“Who are you? The computer nodes can be repaired, but you…who are you? My cameras and probes scan your body but you do not match any employee file. When my cyborgs bring you to an electrified interrogation bench, I will have your secret. And you will learn more about pain than you ever wanted to know.”


I find the elevator down a disabled lift near the pattern buffer. Rebecca warns that SHODAN is trying to jam transmissions but doesn’t get to say much before she’s cut off. The text lets her say more though it’s playing catch-up to the past radio message she sent.

SHODAN has an audio log here intended for all cyborgs and sentient robots: just as she cleansed Space Colony Citadel of human life, she shall do the same to earth: the Eclipse Cannon will be used to glass human cities one by one off the continents and then she’ll release the Orange Death upon the ruins. They need to wait a few more days until the cannon is charged and tuned properly.

The elevator does indeed go to all levels not counting the central control room and the colony’s core but it’s nowhere near as easy as SHODAN made it out to be: many of the buttons don’t work and the elevator can only go to level 2. We have to find other elevators, just like PID’s ladders or Metroid’s elevators without the latter’s long loading screens in the middle of the shaft. The elevator music is perfect, just like that of Rise of the Triad.

Act 2: Prey to God – Citadel Research Laboratories

I’m ambushed by mutants as soon as I leave the lift, like Bungie would do. Eating the path using gas grenades doesn’t work as I gas myself too and the last mutant finishes me off. I haven’t disabled cyborg conversion on the pattern buffer on this level yet so you know what that means: I get the Dr Eggman treatment.

That cyborg I was turned into is like a S’pht for SHODAN: a cortex reaver. Cortex Reavers are mostly robotic spiderlike chassis’ that mind rape a human host and force them to split their concentration between acting as juggernauts in SHODAN’s army in the real world, and serving as elite guard doggos in cyberspace. I’m a Little Brother now and SHODAN is Big Mama.

Trying again, I kill the mutants and can explore this red level a bit. Logs talk about circuit breakers being installed in beta in case of frequent power cuts and someone asking SHODAN where the reboot switch is. The text for this last log is completely different.

Another sap was locked out of his own office and got attacked by a security 1 bot when he tried to update his keycard. The text says he’s not the only one and that bot wouldn’t let anyone in to admin in beta, giving the explanation “She’s changed the locks on our front door, my poor key don’t fit no more. Order of SHODAN”. Access codes and cards are changed all over the level and nobody can get new ones.

New mutants are waiting for us nearby: Zero-Gravity mutants. Zero-Grav mutants are what happens when you infect a single celled organism with the Orange Death according to the guide: it forces the germ to grow giant. They float and spit acid balls from their cell membranes.

Inside the room they were in is an interesting machine we can’t use (not in this game anyway):

I bet this “matter converter” is a nanite based recycling machine like in System Shock 2 or Prey 2017. The remake definitely has such machines so I wonder if this is where I’ll find the one on this level when the full game comes out.

The skybox is like that of Marathon except it moves, simulating a rotating space station.

According to the strategy guide, there was an urban legend that you could find a spacesuit and fly around outside the Space Colony. This is false. Perhaps because of it, Ken Levine wanted there to be an EVA vacuum level in System Shock 2 but had to cut it and repurpose the level as something else either due to time or it just couldn’t be done. His wish was realised in Prey 2017 as you could indeed suit up and go outside the station in that game complete with 6DOF control, similar to cyberspace. There were even indoor zero G sections too.

I find the circuit breakers guarded by spiderbots, repair bots (black bean shaped robots) and hoppers (that blue welding torch you saw me overcharge a sparq on in Medical). An irradiated storeroom at the other end has some batteries and our next aug, the energy shield. You want this for tough fights. Unlike Marathon where our shields were an extra 2 health bars, this is a definite shield that absorbs most damage but it uses a lot of power. Imagine a varia suit you have to turn on. Some scattered documents on the floor talk about Trioptimum planning to privatise Saturn and its moons and impose shipping taxes.

When I first played, I was in college and didn’t give it much thought. After having my eyes opened by both a friend/small time author and the head of NHS workers’ rights group EveryDoctor to shit evil people in government are trying to pull in 2021, this sort of stuff makes me cringe.

With desires to lay claim to entire other worlds like a company town and punish people for wanting to use free space, TriOp are starting to look less like the good guys now, kind of like when a wide eyed Disney fan is informed of what Walt Disney was actually like & that his company has been the Electronic Arts of film & TV for years, or telling a Jpop fan just how toxic the so-called “idol industry” is, especially when it comes to their talents’ free will.

It gets worse on the executive level. I can only hope that TriOp is mostly cyberpunk ILM with the actual Disney shit being people like Diego’s doing but that’s just me putting on rose tinted specs.

Down some ramps and behind some walls is the lever for the pattern buffer, hidden behind a wall and reached by a secret lift. There’s an experimental Marathon jump pad just off the hub on the beta side that leads to a vent with an ammo cache.

Behind the security 1 bot in beta quadrant I find a little auditorium and an X-ray lab with a giant microwave. No burger and chips for us: you can open the door and get a face full of radiation for your trouble.

It’s not Duke Nukem 3D, Tomb Raider 3 or Half Life level but I’d say System Shock handles this stuff far better than Marathon.

I mean, we were lucky to have hangers, external landing pads and shooting ranges look the way they did in Marathon but many places were just empty rooms and map labels that basically said “this is X. Trust me, bro.” Here this company auditorium does actually look a little like an auditorium. Again, this all looks like a Crystal Maze set as opposed to a real place but the attention to detail in the set dressing is stellar compared to Doom’s moonbases. SHODAN has a log next to the giant microwave that says the current strain of Orange Death is reaching its toxic perfection. They’re using human and plant test subjects to breed the virus in tumours.

In a data conduit junction nearby is SHODAN’s best log yet and the first one I think of when I think of System Shock 1 instead of 2:

Now is the time to say where SHODAN ties into Marathon: She’s the gender of Leela, the god complex and desire to create of Durandal, and the angry malevolence of Marathon 2’s version of Tycho.

SHODAN has been having too much fun playing evolutionary biologist for Diego and wants to use the Orange Death to elevate humanity’s disgusting flesh to a form more suited to cybernetic augmentation to serve as her loyal subjects and slaves. In short, she wants to turn us all into her own species of S’pht, like the Jjaro Yrro & Pthia did to the F’lickta. The Eclipse Cannon is so she can drown in flame the mountains of man and squash any potential resistance, rendering her lucky subjects helpless to her mutagen virus.

You could edit her audio to sound male and play it over clips of Mother 3 between cutting to Porky Minch and it wouldn’t be much different.

Nearby are some of her promising test subjects behind a forcefield door. Don’t try to use the surgery machine: it’s broken and there’s biohazards in the area, probably the original escaped strains of Orange Death that were being researched here.

Those virus mutants will be released by SHODAN later but we will be on a different level when that happens. There’s a cyberspace terminal here but it’s just 2 rooms with cyberdogs in them guarding Rebecca’s next email node. The main cyberspace terminal is in the library nearby.

That’s not a cyberdog. I know what cyberdogs look like. This is more like a voxel pig with bushy eyebrows.

In the library guarded by cyborg drones is a computer that can display the laser safety code if you pick the colored wire panel lock to the left. The cyberspace terminal introduces the ICE drill and ICE nodes a room or 2 before it.

ICE is an old cyberpunk term for firewalls, file encryption and anti-malware software. It stands for Intrusion Countermeasures Electronics and has been used in cyberpunk & sci-fi until as recently as at least Perfect Dark Zero, Deus Ex Human Revolution and Deus Ex Mankind Divided. The blue triangles on data nodes are ICE encryption. We need the drill to break it. Be careful as later ICE nodes will fight back. I also struggle with the controls in cyberspace as I’ve honestly forgotten what controls I had bound for hacking in this game as I haven’t played it for so long, the last time I did being when this version of the Enhanced Edition didn’t use KEX.

D’Arcy’s office is near the circuit breakers and there’s 2 logs that repeat what we covered and give a fair warning I’m also about to tell you.

The hub of the level is the firing control centre. Watch out for energy drain mines (they suck away your power) as you squeeze in the control room. You can fire the Eclipse Cannon early but don’t do it unless you want to see a very funny Easter egg where SHODAN is legitimately happy with us for once.

"“Please assume the Party Escort Submission Position and a Cortex Reaver will be along shortly to escort you to your party.” No, it’s not the other way around for me specifically because I played Portal first, years before I played System Shock. If Valve weren’t inspired by this scene, that’s one hell of a coincidence. Isotope X-22 is in Gamma quadrant near the server nodes and the elevator to the Reactor Level and Maintenance level. There’s a keypad locked junction box behind a junction box locked door in a small workshop that lets us disable robot production, lowering their respawn rates.

In the shelves and cupboards, I find a disposable logic probe. Those are very handy and should be hoarded for as long as you can: they let you automatically solve any lockpicking puzzle instantly. They’re basically the automatic hack tools from Bioshock.

There’s no avoiding this monster closet but I think cancelling robot production might make less of them spawn in here. Cyborgs don’t count however.

Act 3: Return to Sender – Reactor Level: Labs and shield generators

Hoppers are everywhere here. A log just outside the elevator has someone whispering that they are trying to destroy the station to take out SHODAN once and for all. They didn’t make it. To the right through a hallway is a medical lab with the pattern buffer. Nearby is the second surgery machine of the game behind an identical circuit puzzle to the one in the robot workshop upstairs and a decontamination shower for scrubbing away radiation from the core. This area is guarded by autobombs. Imagine the lookers from Marathon 1 if they looked like those little toy trucks in Star Wars.

There’s a locked storage room near a small security office showing feeds from various cameras on the level. Down the hall is a power station. Some Zero G mutants are chilling in an experimental low gravity lab hiding a first aid kit and a fletchette SMG.

A nearby maze of tunnels and ridged pipes you can climb leads past a locked door which we can unlock in cyberspace. SHODAN has a trap for us in one room where she’ll turn off the lights and open monster closets full of robots. If you know it’s coming, break her cameras from the safety of the doorway. She’ll spring the trap anyway and chastise you for destroying her cameras.

That tabletop thing is actually counted as a CPU server. Just blow it and continue.

Remember the cortex reaver we get turned into if we die? Those giant Ultima Guardian heads are what they look like in cyberspace. Thankfully we won’t be seeing them for a while.

I think that thing is a hunter killer.

In one of the rooms around here I find a Target Identifier aug that lists what an enemy is, some of their stats, if I hit them and whether or not I did any damage. I also found an upgraded Bio Monitor aug.

Down a gravity lift past SHODAN’s ambush through a small passage is a diamond shaped tunnel connected to the Cannon’s Core, the main reactor of Citadel.

Doom had Fire-Blue textures but System Shock has Radiation-Orange, possibly in reference to the actual color of radioactive waste which is turmeric yellow or luminous orange depending on the fuel used: the former for uranium and latter for plutonium if my google search results are correct. If you are an actual nuclear plant/waste disposal worker, feel free to correct me if it’s not. We can’t go into the core now because it’s way too irradiated and we have no protection, but we will later. Behind us is an Exec bot (robot servants to the executives) guarding a gravity lift up to the cannon safety systems. I punch in the code and head through the door in the little trench between this half and the part near the core. No sooner do you enter that trench than you get blasted by the radiation from the reactor. Throw open the door and leg it to the decontamination shower.

In another room near the passage to the core I exited from is the shield generator. I play the alien pipes…I mean plug in the isotope and use the switch to power on the radiation shields.

The Space Colony Citadel’s radiation shields -especially the large arms- remind me of similar shields around the ARK in Sonic Adventure 2, particularly in Mad Space: they marked the edges of the playable map horizontally.

Also on this level is a small storage room locked by SHODAN level security near the pattern buffer and security office. There’s a present and 2 regular crates with ammo, guns and medipatches in them as well as a stack of papers on the floor.

They aren’t kidding: we find that gun on level 8 and it’s the best of the energy weapons as well as the most powerful gun in the game. It sees limited use before the final boss though.

In a blue room near the ambush area is a log from SHODAN praising her mutants and cyborgs as her own children.

The audio seems to be better done in places but the text gives more context. For one, the audio doesn’t mention that SHODAN wants to mutate humans in order to make cybernetic augmentation easier.

Back on Research, SHODAN lays another ambush in the firing control centre: pillars with grav lifts inside them lower, monster closets of cyborg assassins open and more assassins and cyborg warriors drop down from above.

Dealing with the guards, I flip the switch and fire the eclipse cannon. It reflects off the colony’s own shields, blowing it to pieces.

Don’t pat yourself on the back just yet, this was merely getting the alien pipes and playing them to open the pyramid basement/catacombs as it were. Alternately this would be restoring the MADDs and locking out Durandal’s network access. Next mission covered in Episode 2.

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