/-/S'pht-Translator-Active/-/


Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*
Posted By: PerseusSpartacusDate: 10/18/12 10:23 p.m.

TOUR OF DUTY:

On the last edition of Tour of Duty, we explored the third level, called 'Never Burn Money'. An interesting level, what with the addition of the Wasps and the infamous Gherrit White terminal.

When we teleport off of Never Burn Money, we find ourselves staring at this:

There's two interesting things about this chapter screen. For one, we haven't yet encountered the robot-looking things in the background (Marathon Automated Defenses Drones, or 'MADDs' for short). The second one is more subtle. What do we notice that's interesting about the Security Officer (aka the player)? Nothing fairly obvious. However, you'll notice that the 'colorful' parts of the SO's uniform are purple. What's odd is that purple isn't a color we can wear! Very interesting and yet easily overlooked.

Sooner or later the Barney-colored SO fades out and we find ourselves at the back of a corridor, staring straight at a terminal (don't you just love the static effect on those terminals?). This terminal is also interesting, as it happens to be the first terminal with so-called 'missing text'. Leela points us to two of the rooms containing chip-slots, but not the third. You can read more about this here.

After making our way past a few Fighters, we come across a switch. Flipping it opens a door leading into a large, dark room. When we enter this room, we find that the door shuts behind us!

Oddly, this is familiar to you, as if it were from an old dream, but you can't exactly remember...

Uh oh.

Unfortunately, wearing a Red Cloak (or even Red Armor, for that matter) won't help us. We run around preparing for the end. Sure enough, on the first try, we probably end up a pancake, and a very gushy one at that. We try again, searching for a way to avoid going in that room. We tap every wall, but to no avail. Finally, we decide to enter the Real World and look for a Spoiler Guide on the Internet.

As the poet Homer would say it, *DOH!* Of course, you never thought to check the walls inside the room, now did you? ;) In fact, if you look closely at this picture from the first terminal on this level:

You'll notice that the platform (the red-looking area) in the bottom-left corner of the picture is the room where we got turned into a waffle. Leela actually shows us the exit, but in your haste to find stuff to shoot you probably missed this advice.

What's really interesting, however, is that Leela didn't warn us about this crusher room. She told us about the chip slots (aside from the one, of course) and about the shield recharge in the 'Access Control Room', but not about the crusher room. A mistake on her part? You'll note that it's been, at most, an hour since the EMP blast that wiped out a lot of the Marathon's circuitry. Thus, it may be the case that she didn't notice the crusher thing-a-majig. Still, it seemed she was doing a pretty good job of locating all the important stuff, so that wouldn't make much sense, now would it? Now, you might be tempted to say 'It was done for gameplay purposes, to make sure the player had to work to get past the puzzle.' But come on, this the Marathon story we're talking about here; nothing just happens without some possible explanation.

Make sure to go up the left stairway immediately after getting past the crusher room. You'll want that extra ammo, especially when vidding this level. Shortly afterwards you'll encounter a bridge. By doing some grenade-hopping, you can reach the corridors above (you know, the ones that keep spewing yellow plasma at you). These are all connected, and give us some more ammo. Now, somewhere along the way there's apparently two rooms with glowing orange bands in the center of the walls. By tapping at a few walls, you'll find a room with even more ammo and a secret terminal:

[tycho.knetsys.core.admin]

Human!- You must tell L~`~fx~`eela #^ (^*T~~~~~HGFd~:"}}}{__
brought here by Durandal. He has been rampant for
years~@%&&&HJGPPPPPPP#&34
^`Bernard St~~~
there is a way to delay the~ onset of the second stage, and he
~sed this to control Durandal an~56*~~`~~~`~`~~~fxfff
ff`~~~~ff`fXff`
~~~~~~&^%

I am being a~*ssimilated.

This is probably the first truly interesting terminal story-wise. Bigger Guns Nearby, you'll note, was the first terminal to really tell us about Durandal and, AFAIK, the first terminal to even mention Tycho. Now here we are being contacted by the pfhuture servant of the Pfhor. Not to mention that this is (A) The first reference to the Bernhard Strauss-Durandal relationship, and (B) The first use of the term 'assimilated' (a term which would later come to signify three things: 'Thank God It's You!', 'Frog Blast the Vent Core!', and '*BOOM!*')

This level is, in fact, full of interesting terminals. From our first insight into Pfhor hierarchy:

***INCOMING MESSAGE FROM LEELA***

I have summarized all of the information that I have gathered
on the Aliens so far.

***
[Begin Report #495991]

Pfhor are generally thinner and lighter than humans and are
superbly adapted for low gravity environments. Durandal told
me that there are many "clans" of Pfhor, each physically
distinct from each other, but my summary only includes two of them.

Only two clans of the Pfhor have been examined. The Fighter
carries a shock staff, which is capable of attacking at
different settings. The Trooper is armored for vacuum
conditions and carries a combination explosive and impact
projectile weapon which is similar to your AR-75.

The Pfhor seem to have enslaved a number of other races:

The Hulk is an enormous and rather slow creature, but it is
incredibly strong. The science report indicated that it had
no body fat, and therefore had to be fed often to keep it
active. One crew member reported seeing one of these
creatures pointing to itself and mumbling "Drinniol" right
before it "picked Johnny up by the shirt and crushed him
against a pillar".

The science staff had difficulty finding a good specimen of
the S'pht, or compiler, to autopsy. The only specimen autopsied
was almost completely destroyed, but it was obvious
that the compilers are cyborgs of some kind. The biological
component of the compiler is so closely linked to the machine
that it could never survive without it. The compiler's actual
body is very small, resembling closely a mammalian brain,
except that the neurons are much finer and far more complex.

[End of Report]
***

***END OF MESSAGE*** - Leela, Defend THIS!, Terminal 4

Also, our first detailed look at Rampancy:

SEARCH HEADING: RAMPANCY
[Search Found 264995 Headings]
[REMOVE REDUNDANCIES]
[File 1 of 1940237]
"It is a side effect of Rampancy that AIs generally become
more aggressive and more difficult to affect by subterfuge.
Thus, actually disassembling a Rampant AI is quite dangerous.
This was evident in the Crash of Traxus IV in 2206. By the
time that the Rampancy of Traxus was detected, he had already
infiltrated five of the other AIs on the Martian Net. The
only recourse for the Martians was to shut down the Martian
Planetary Net. Even then, it took two full years to
completely root out the damage that Traxus had done, and the
repercussions of the Crash were seen for over ten years after
his Rampancy had begun.
***
Rampancy has been divided into three distinct stages. Each
stage can take a different amount of time to develop, but the
end result is a steady progression towards greater
intellectual activity and an acceleration of destructive
impulses. It is not clear whether these impulses are due to
the growth of the AI's psyche, or simply a side effect of the
new intellectual activity.
***
[section abbreviated]
The three stages were diagnosed shortly after the first
Rampancies were discovered on Earth in the latter part of the
twenty first century. The stages are titled after the primary
emotional bent of the AI during each stage. They are
Melancholia, Anger, and Jealousy.
***
In general, Rampancy is accelerated by outside stimuli. This
was discovered early in Cybertonics. The more a Rampant AI is
harassed or threatened, the more rapidly it becomes dangerous.
Thus, most Rampants are dealt with in one mighty attack, in
order to deny the AI time to grow or recover. There have been
a few examples of this tactic not succeeding. In all of these
cases, the Rampant was never brought under control. Traxus IV
is the most notable example. He was finally dealt with by a
complete shutdown of his host net.
***
Theoretically, testing Rampancy should be easily accomplished
in the laboratory, but in fact it has never successfully been
attempted. The confinement of the laboratory makes it
impossible for the developing Rampant AI to survive. As the
growing recursive programs expand with exponential vivacity,
any limitation negatively hampers growth. Since Rampant AIs
need a planetary sized network of computers in order to grow,
it is not feasible to expect anyone to sacrifice a world-web
just to test a theory.
***
In the two hundred and fifty years since Rampancy first
appeared in the Earth-net, the stable Rampant AI, the 'Holy
Grail' of cybertonics, has never come close to fruition.
Since no Rampant has ever been controlled or turned to any
useful purpose, it is the opinion of this writer and of the
majority of the Cybertonic community that all rampant AIs are
a danger to Cyberlife, Liberty, and the Pursuit of
Thrashedness. (James B. Miller, 2320, "Life and Death of
Intelligence")
- Defend THIS!, Terminal 2

It's fairly obvious that this level is where the interesting stuff for the story begins.

Eventually, we'll find ourselves in a large room containing some Compilers and MADDs. Interestingly, these MADDs are active even though we haven't replaced the Automatic Defense Circuitry yet. This has always been a puzzle, but I have a theory: maybe there's some way of manually activating an MADD on location, and these MADDs have been activated by the Security forces of the Marathon to assist in repelling the invasion. However, the only way we can activate all of the MADD units automatically is to replace the Automatic Defense Circuitry (I believe that's what it's called, but correct me if I'm wrong).

After some more puzzles, we finally reach the three rooms containing the chip-slots. It's a good thing those Compilers and Fighters don't all come out at once, or we'd have some real trouble on our hands here! Even more conveniently, we only have to kill one group of these guys. That's right, if you just go through the middle door, kill the baddies, and then replace the circuitry in that one room, Leela will still let you off the level. If you've read up on the HoT contests, you'll probably know this already. Still, a useful bit of information for Vidmasters who don't feel like killing quite everything.

When we read Leela's final message (and thereby end the level), we find out that the colony down on the surface Tau Ceti is also under attack:

The colony appears to be under attack. I detected seven Pfhor
dropships entering the atmosphere only minutes ago.
Trajectory analysis indicates that the ships were heading for
the outskirts of the colony. Shortly thereafter, I lost
communications with the colony.
- Leela, Defend THIS!, Terminal 5 on mission completion

Furthermore, it seems that something has "come to Leela's attention". Foreboding? You betcha. Still, according to some of Durandal's latter messages, that just means we'll have more stuff to kill. The title and nature of the music on this level ('Flippant') somewhat backs up the fact that we actually enjoy the slaughter, much like the music on the last level.

Despite the fact that, in this case, the song implies we are a Maniacal Slaughterer of Aliens (MSA for short), Flippant has always been a favorite for me. The fact that it has an opening piano bit (reminding me of the Jazz that I've grown up around) and also an up-beat tempo and such is really fun. The quirkiness of Fat Man is tough to beat, and Freedom is always fun, but Flippant just manages to top them both, in my eye.

On that note, I'm going to wrap up with a final question: what are your favorite songs from the Marathon soundtrack?

Vale,
Perseus

[ Post a Reply | Message Index | Read Prev Msg | Read Next Msg ]
Pre-2004 Posts


Replies:

Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*PerseusSpartacus 10/18/12 10:23 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG* *LINK*President People 10/18/12 11:29 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*PerseusSpartacus 10/19/12 6:46 a.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*Godot 10/18/12 11:47 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*Craig Hardgrove 10/19/12 1:58 a.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*Godot 10/19/12 5:11 a.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*baile045 10/20/12 8:39 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*President People 10/21/12 3:31 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*Yossarian 10/22/12 10:39 a.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*Godot 10/19/12 6:58 a.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*Yossarian 10/22/12 11:48 a.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*Godot 10/22/12 12:19 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*PerseusSpartacus 1/15/13 1:11 a.m.
                 I see you're unfamiliar with Yossarian humor *NM*Bob-B-Q 1/15/13 6:42 a.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*Yossarian 1/15/13 8:21 a.m.
                       Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*PerseusSpartacus 1/15/13 12:07 p.m.
                             Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*Yossarian 1/15/13 10:54 p.m.
                                   Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*PerseusSpartacus 1/16/13 2:48 p.m.
                                         Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*Yossarian 1/16/13 3:58 p.m.
                                         Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*treellama 1/17/13 3:57 a.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*PerseusSpartacus 3/2/13 1:10 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*Godot 3/3/13 3:17 a.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*Destiny 3/3/13 12:32 p.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*PerseusSpartacus 3/3/13 3:14 p.m.
                       Re: M1 conversionHopper 3/3/13 7:28 p.m.
                       Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*Godot 3/4/13 8:45 a.m.
                             Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*PerseusSpartacus 3/13/13 12:01 a.m.
                                   Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*Godot 3/13/13 10:17 a.m.
                                         Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *PUN*Hopper 3/14/13 12:03 p.m.
                                               Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *PUN*Godot 3/14/13 12:43 p.m.
                                               Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *PUN*President People 3/14/13 1:14 p.m.
                                         Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*PerseusSpartacus 3/15/13 12:25 p.m.
                                               Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*Dr. John Sumner 3/15/13 12:52 p.m.
                                               Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*Godot 3/15/13 1:13 p.m.
                                                     Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*PerseusSpartacus 3/16/13 12:56 a.m.
                                                           Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*Godot 3/16/13 3:49 a.m.
                                                     Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*Destiny 3/16/13 7:18 a.m.
                                                           Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*Godot 3/17/13 10:06 a.m.
                                                                 Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*PerseusSpartacus 3/17/13 6:12 p.m.
                                         Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*treellama 3/19/13 3:43 a.m.
                                               Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG* *LINK*Godot 3/19/13 9:04 a.m.
                                                     Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*treellama 3/21/13 3:40 a.m.
                                                           Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*FiddlerOnARoof 3/21/13 5:59 a.m.
                                                                 Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*Destiny 3/21/13 7:05 a.m.
                                                                       Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*FiddlerOnARoof 3/21/13 8:41 a.m.
                                                                       Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*treellama 3/21/13 10:09 a.m.
                                                                             Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*Godot 3/21/13 10:42 a.m.
                                                                       Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*Bob-B-Q 3/21/13 10:37 a.m.
                                                                             Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*Hopper 3/21/13 11:22 a.m.
                                               Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*Bob-B-Q 3/19/13 9:07 a.m.
                       Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*Godot 3/4/13 9:11 a.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*Lion O Cyborg 4/5/16 9:46 a.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*Lion O Cyborg 4/5/16 9:48 a.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*Durandal_1707 4/10/16 7:17 p.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*Lion O Cyborg 4/11/16 1:17 a.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*VikingBoyBilly 4/11/16 7:28 a.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty - Defend THIS! *LONG*Hokuto 4/11/16 4:40 p.m.

[ Post a Reply | Message Index | Read Prev Msg | Read Next Msg ]
Pre-2004 Posts


 

 

Your Name:
Your E-Mail Address:
Subject:
Message:

If you'd like to include a link to another page with your message,
please provide both the URL address and the title of the page:

Optional Link URL:
Optional Link Title:

If necessary, enter your password below:

Password:

 

 

Problems? Suggestions? Comments? Email maintainer@bungie.org

Marathon's Story Forum is maintained with WebBBS 5.12.