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


Tour of Duty - Couch Fishing
Posted By: PerseusSpartacusDate: 1/15/13 1:11 p.m.

TOUR OF DUTY:

Couch Fishing. Fishing for Couches. Fishing with Couches. Couches going Fishing. There's a multitude of ways to explain the title of my least favorite level. Why is it my least favorite, you ask? First off, it's grey. I don't like grey levels. I like at least a little color. Second, it's dark at parts. I prefer at least a little bit of light. Third, the music for this level is really depressing. I like a bit of action. Combine the three, and you've got the most depressing level in the whole game. Add a bunch of scary Troopers, and I'm ready to call it my least favorite level in the whole series. I can't call it bad design; the HBO series 'John Adams' is sort of depressing in the later parts, but it's really quite good. However, Couch Fishing is just really annoying to go through. So, let's get it over with.

We pop into a grey corridor (seems just about the whole level is lacking in saturation) with a Terminal right next to us. Let's read it, shall we?

[security channel open]
[defense priority 120-f]

***INCOMING MESSAGE FROM LEELA***

I have some bad news: Durandal has gone Rampant, and he is in
the Angry stage. This explains how Duran--

After reading for a minute, we'll probably hear the sound of Pfhor. We quickly tap the Spacebar a few times to get out, and then spin to our right. My god, it's full of--

*BLAM!*

Meet... the Trooper! 300-some pounds of Pfhor, complete with an Assault Rifle and a barely-see-through dome over his head. Leela told you about them earlier:

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.

Indeed, the 'blamite' grenades are truly nasty. But that's not the worst part; purple Troopers (basically, every Trooper you find on Total Carnage) can go berserk. If you haven't noticed, heavily damaged purple or blue Fighters will often go nuts and start moving around faster, attacking more often and, if they get the chance, shooting their own buddies intentionally. Same goes for purple Troopers. So, if you can get one hurt bad, hopefully you'll be using an AR to deal with him fast, or you better have a nice corner to get behind. Now what does that remind me of?

We never stopped firing at it. Back up
around a corner, fire, back up, fire. It's
gotta be hurting. You can kill it.

PiD - Big Blue Meanie

Can't daydream too long though, because the starting attack comes from both corridors, if I remember correctly. Yeah, talk about carnage. Still, we've got an Assault Rifle, and we know how to use it, right? No? Okay, maybe you're not cut out for this job. ;)

Once we've handled the Pfhor, we can get back to reading that terminal. Okay, what was that about rampancy again?

[security channel open]
[defense priority 120-f]

***INCOMING MESSAGE FROM LEELA***

I have some bad news: Durandal has gone Rampant, and he is in
the Angry stage. This explains how Durandal was able to
communicate with the Pfhor and the S'pht, while I have not.
Theoretically, the Marathon Computer Net is not big enough to
sustain Rampant growth for very long. This means that as
Durandal grows into the Computer Net, he will begin to affect
all aspects of the ship, resulting in unpredictable failures
of otherwise benign computer systems.

I have teleported you here to make sure that Durandal cannot
gain access to a vital section of the ship. There are a
series of control switches that you will need to activate
to block his access.

Crud. Cleaning up more messes, are we? And I thought this was supposed to be the counterattack. Apparently Bungie deceived us. ;)

Funny thing, here. If you'll remember the last level we did, we were told to pop three Defense Circuits into three slots. Strangely enough, we only had to pop one into the 'middle' slot, and Leela would then teleport us off the level. Same thing goes for this level; while we are told to hit three switches, we only need to hit one of them! You can see it at point A on the map below:

Map of Couch Fishing

Yes, I got this from that lion's den known as the Marathon Vidmaster's page. ;)

Of course, you don't know any of this, so you'll probably just go about getting shot up by Troopers and Fighters. Also, don't forget about the secret ammo cache at point C on the map above. Guess it's not so secret now that it's open.

After a bit, we'll probably find another terminal. But what secrets might it hold? Let's read and find out:

[Unauthorized access-alarm 2521-]
[Security Breached 24-f[434.87.18.198]-]

[Data Transfer Cohesion E3F04C]
[Search String "crist"]
The CRIST Sol Orbiters:

The CRIST Sol orbiters, or Cargo and Resources In-System
Transports were huge ships shaped like a hollow potato and
designed to be able to move huge amounts of material between
Earth and Mars with low cost and, theoretically, low
maintenance. The system was simple. The CRIST was put into
orbit around SOL on the plane of the ecliptic. Built with a
powerful solar sail, the CRIST could change its orbit easily
to pass by the Earth or Mars. On a flyby, materials could be
loaded or offloaded. The energy used to accelerate or
decelerate the materials would be supplied by the solar sail.
Loading was accomplished with a giant tether and reel system,
which would swing the material into orbit behind the CRIST and
then reel it in slowly. Offloading was accomplished with a
powerful ion beam which would pound the offloading material
with a steady stream of ion particles.

The design of the CRIST was innovative and useful, but it was
not low-maintenance. Of the five CRISTs that were built, four
lasted around one hundred years, and the other one only
seventy three before they needed to be brought back to Earth
and refitted. Each refitting took about fifteen years, and
completely occupied the Earth-Space Shipbuilding Facility for
that time. The result was that no more than five CRISTs could
be kept in service at any time. No CRIST was ever built after
2310.

The CRIST failures devastated Mars. As the first five CRISTs
were built, Mars colony grew quickly, confident that the
growth would continue. But when the source of Mars' resources
failed, the colony found that it had overgrown its supportable
size, and extreme poverty struck most of the population. Each
time that a CRIST broke down, the result was famine on Mars.

The conversion of Deimos into the Marathon began when the Mars
colony was at the height of its power. By the time it was
completed sixty four years later, the decline of Mars was well
advanced. During that time, the Martian population had
seen its standard of living drop by eighty percent. On top of
oppressive poverty, Martians saw one of their moons being
converted into a colony ship in an expensive and risky colony
venture which was predominantly funded by a ruling foreign
power. The argument to make the Marathon into a CRIST became
more and more popular, but the UESC never seriously considered
this an option. The farther that Mars sank into the depths of
poverty, the more that the Marathon became a symbol for the
oppression of the Martian people.

The Declining Martian World:

After the Marathon left Mars, the UESC's attentions focused
primarily on technological development, and the upkeep of the
CRISTs. Mars was left to decay. Population continued to
increase as attempts at mandating abortion or sterilization
always started revolt.

[Spurious Interrupt- Breach Disabled]
[Further Access Denied]
[Access Denied
[Access Denied
[Access Denied

I think we're getting a nice taste of history. But here's an interesting fact: the terminal says [Search String "crist"]. Who was looking for history about CRISTs? And furthermore, why can't we do our own searches? BoBs get a great many privileges, eh? ;)

After we've punched all the switches and maybe scorched our face with grenade smoke, we'll probably return to the Leela terminal to try and find our way out. Sadly, we need to find another way out. Eventually, we're bound to find a door leading to the walkway of some huge room containing not just Fighters, but also Troopers and Compilers! And to top it all off, the door closes behind us, trapping us in the company of the enemy! No escape for you, monkey boy!

Assuming we're not vidding the level, we've still got our trusty AR, and assuming you haven't wasted all your ammunition firing into a wall, we can still mop up these boys with it. Once that's over with, we jump down into the big pit and find some ammo. Sweet! Then, we head back up to the walkway, into the next room and... oh not again!

Sure enough, there are two more big rooms, with similar layout to the first one. A walkway, a big pit in the middle, and a bunch of monsters crawling all throughout the area. The third room is the worst, with a bazillion monsters all through, and a huge gauntlet to run through. And then, there's the moment of judgment...

We pop open the terminal, expecting to get teleported off. But suppose we didn't flip the necessary switches?

***MESSAGE FROM LEELA***

I have detected no change in the status of the control
circuitry. You must return and make sure that all of the
switches were activated.

***END OF MESSAGE***

NOOOO!!!!!!

Sad thing is, we're stuck. And Leela isn't taking us back. We tap all the walls... and find nothing.

We re-do the level, flip all the switches, read the terminal, and expect disaster to strike again.

***MESSAGE FROM LEELA***

Durandal has been denied access to some of the critical
computer systems. This should insure the mobility and
reliability of the Defense Drones.

Unfortunately, I have received a distress signal from some
crew who had sealed themselves off in one of the nearby access
areas. They say that they have lost control over the doors
and elevators on the level, and that the Pfhor have access to
the area.

It appears that Durandal has reacted to our move against him
by giving the Pfhor access to a formerly secure area.

We will have to deal with Durandal sooner or later, but we
can't be distracted from the Pfhor attack. I only hope that
his Rampant behavior won't continually sabotage our defense
efforts.

I am sending you to go and save these crew. Clear the area of
Aliens. If enough of the crew survive, then perhaps we can
get an intelligence report from them.

***END MESSAGE***

***JUMP PAD ACTIVATION INITIATION START***
***TRANSPORT WHEN READY***

*WOOSH!*

Not to mention that we get to meet BoB for the first time. Stuff a clip in that AR, soldier!

Vale,
Perseus

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Replies:

Tour of Duty - Couch FishingPerseusSpartacus 1/15/13 1:11 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - Couch FishingPresident People 1/15/13 3:59 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - Couch FishingGodot 1/16/13 1:14 a.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - Couch FishingGodot 1/16/13 1:20 a.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - Couch FishingPerseusSpartacus 1/16/13 2:40 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - Couch Fishingtreellama 1/16/13 3:39 a.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - Couch FishingPerseusSpartacus 1/16/13 2:43 p.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty - Couch Fishingtreellama 1/17/13 3:31 a.m.

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