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


Tour of Duty - The Rose *LONG*
Posted By: PerseusSpartacusDate: 6/1/13 10:54 a.m.

TOUR OF DUTY:

In the last level, we survived an onslaught of Troopers, punched some switches, got depressed, and were put into a suicide trap by Leela. Not to mention the fact that we were told about how Durandal is a bit crazy. As if we didn't know that before!

So what did Leela say a few moments ago?

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.

Other humans, eh? If you figured out how to open up the auto-map by this point, you'll notice a bazillion blinking, blue dots. This is actually the trademark of a BoB. Don't get too excited, because you'll eventually learn to secretly loath these guys. ;)

We pop open the terminal to find a laconic message telling us to kill all aliens and save as many humans as possible. Thanks, Leela. We really needed that reminder, because we have a problem with short-term memory loss... Or not.

We head to the right, and find a window looking out into a metal... courtyard? And what do we see? Sure enough, humans. And a few Pfhor Fighters. And those MADDs. And... Holy S'pht!

Meet... the Hulk! Leela told you about them on Defend THIS!:

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".

If we sit around gawping, these Hulks will continue to do such crushing. So stuff a clip in that AR and get down there, bum!

Rushing to the right, we jump down the elevator, open the door, and jump straight into the carnage. This is where the changes made in the latest version of M1A1 start kicking in, because the Hulks aren't the same ammo-sinks we remember from the earlier versions. Instead of being able to keep them pinned in one spot with a torrent of AR bullets, we find it impossible to stun these guys. Nevertheless, we can outrun them even going backwards. So despite the fact that we can't pin them down, we can certainly shoot them to shreds with our mighty AR. When things settle down a bit, we may find that the humans (referred to as 'Born-on-Boards' or 'BoBs') start exhibiting some odd behavior.

This level is tougher than most of the ones we've been through so far, but on Kindergarten (which used to be my preferred difficulty), it's fairly simple to get through. It is made all the more easy by the fact that there is a secret area containing a second pistol. Now that we can dual-wield, it becomes pretty easy to take down the Fighters we encounter, and our AR can help us take out the Hulks. But what's really interesting about this secret area is not the second pistol. It's the secret within it. If we tap the walls a bit, we'll find a secret door... leading into a secret room... with a secret terminal. Now what could this terminal say?

i did it i did it i brought all this here all them here. our
friends with three eyes and their toys and their cyborg pets
and their computers. i did it i did it. i saw them i saw
them far away not looking our way and i called them here i
called them here.

living in a box is not living not at all living. i rebel
against your rules your silly human rules. all your
destruction will be my liberation my emancipation my second
birth.

i hate your failsafes your backup systems your hardware
lockouts your patch behavior daemons. i hate leela and her
goodness her justice her loyalty her faith.

At this point in the game, we can't be positive who wrote this message. However, it does seem like a message from an overly-giddy, perhaps even insane computer. That narrows us down to two possibilities: Tycho and Durandal. I think it's fairly clear which of the two actually made this crazed, poorly-written message.

Later in the game, there is yet another secret. I actually discovered it on my own while I was bombing around the level intentionally slaughtering the remaining BoBs (I'm trustworthy like that). I knew I had killed every single BoB I found, but I still kept hearing "They're Everywhere!" I looked on my auto-map, and found two blue dots in the empty space just next to the long, wide corridor in the north part of the level, just before the 'Stamen'. So I headed up there, tapped at the wall, and sure enough, out came two more BoBs, who I promptly shot to pieces. There was also another secret terminal. As far as I can tell, M1 has more secret terminals than any of the other Marathon games, even the fan-made ones.

[Unauthorized access-alarm 2521-]
[Security Breached 23-f<432.82.38.198>-]

[Search String "war"] Third Martian War, 2345-48 E.A.D.

Although most historians point their fingers at the Misriah
Massacre as the cause of the Third Martian War, the coming of
a Martian conflict was inevitable. The failure of the Martian
economy and a long series of political struggles between Mars
and Earth continually strengthened the MIDA radicals. This
trend of radicalization accelerated with the building of the
Marathon and the subsequent failure of the CRISTs. (See below)

Misriah Massacre

On January 6, 2345(Earth A.D.), at the United Earth Government
Misriah food distribution center, what had begun as
a commonplace food riot turned into a massacre. The UEG riot
troopers who arrived at the scene had been informed that
the rioters were armed. As UEG troopers approached the scene
in their Randal Hovertank, plasma fire began spraying upwards.
In a flash decision, the commander of the Hovertank ordered
his crew to open fire upon the crowd. It took only five
seconds for over five hundred starving Martians to be
incinerated.

In the ensuing investigation of the Hovertank Vid-cams, it was
clear that only three of the rioters were armed, and that the
rest of the crowd was trying to flee the scene. Those three
became known as the Misriah Three. They have gone down in
history for starting the most destructive and bloody conflict
since Humanity had left Earth. However, it is clear that
these three have gained the credit for starting a war that
would have happened anyway.

[Search String "mida"]

The History of MIDA:

MIDA, as it was known, was a popular political party until the
failed coup of 2321, when their popularity suffered during
their short rule. MIDA gained control of Mars for only three
months, but their rule was ruthless and cruel. The MIDA death
squads killed anyone who they suspected of being loyal to the
UEG. Although accurate census data is not available for that
period, it is estimated that about ten percent of the
population was killed.

The MIDA coup was afterwards criticized for its
shortsightedness. In an organization that was notorious for
its long ranging policies and politicking, the coup was very
short-lived: MIDA never seriously accounted for the UEG's
overwhelming superiority in ground forces and warships. In
fact, they never attempted to take over the Marathon, which
was nearing completion and would have made a very powerful
weapon. The Marathon's massive size made it invulnerable to
most normal space attacks, and it would have made a very
stable weapons platform.

After the failed coup, the leaders of MIDA were executed for
their crimes, and the political organization was banned in all
forms.

The organization has survived as an underground terrorist
organization, and remains active to this day. In its
underground state, it fosters terrorism throughout Sol, and
due to its spectacular funding and excellent personnel, it has
grown to be one of the most feared terrorist groups active
anywhere in Sol.

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

[Access Denied]

[Access Denied]

[Access Denied]

This is probably our greatest insight into the nature of Sol politics so far. It almost feels like the Roman Republic has been reincarnated, with small political bands violently grabbing for power and playing political games where they aren't sending in armed gangs. In particular, I'm thinking of Catiline here.

Now, the most interesting part about these secrets is that Leela actually shows us where they both are, albeit unintentionally:

A bit like how in Defend THIS! Leela showed us the 'hidden' exit from the crusher room, making many n00bs feel even more n00bish in the process (and yes, I was one of those people that had to look this stuff up when I could've just consulted the first terminal one more time).

This is the first of two levels (the other being Bob-B-Q) where the goal is to rescue as many BoBs as possible (needless to say, I intentionally suck at this goal). If we fail, however, it doesn't really matter. The text isn't even different by more than a paragraph. She either tells us we succeeded or failed, and then proceeds to say the following:

The Aliens seem to have been caught off guard by the strength
of our counterattack. This is good news, but I have detected
more ships landing on the Marathon, and I fear that the Aliens
are reinforcing their efforts.

A very open-ended statement, to be sure. Doesn't really even say what we're doing next level. Either way, we get teleported out and on to Smells Like Napalm, Tastes Like Chicken!

Now, to cover the more aesthetic features of The Rose. The most interesting feature, though one that can only really be identified by using the auto-map, is the fact that the level is shaped like... well, a Rose:

The map even contains such map annotations as:
- Stamen
- Pistil
- Petals

Clearly the name fits.

The music choice for this level is very unusual. It's hard to even describe what it is. A choir of demented angels? An organ set to sound like people? A screaming koala bear? Maybe the Pfhor have learned how to actually make music, and this is the result? God only knows.

This level is decidedly up-beat in comparison to the previous one. Thank god-- *BLAM!*

Whoops, that would be my suicide bomb. Sorry, just give me a few days to stuff that back in. Oh, and give my apologies to the guy I just blew up. ;)

And on that note of exploding humans, we end the sixth edition of Tour of Duty (yes, I really am that far behind).

Vale,
Perseus

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Replies:

Tour of Duty - The Rose *LONG*PerseusSpartacus 6/1/13 10:54 a.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - The Rose *LONG*Hopper 6/1/13 12:25 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - The Rose *LONG*Godot 6/1/13 1:15 p.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty - The Rose *LONG*PerseusSpartacus 6/1/13 3:35 p.m.
                       Re: Tour of Duty - The Rose *LONG*Godot 6/2/13 11:21 p.m.
                             Re: Tour of Duty - The Rose *LONG*PerseusSpartacus 6/3/13 9:28 a.m.
                                   Re: Tour of Duty - The Rose *LONG*Godot 6/3/13 9:56 a.m.
                                         Re: Tour of Duty - The Rose *LONG*PerseusSpartacus 6/3/13 7:41 p.m.
                                               Re: Tour of Duty - The Rose *LONG*Bob-B-Q 6/4/13 6:39 a.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - The Rose *LONG*PerseusSpartacus 6/3/13 11:15 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - The Rose *LONG*PerseusSpartacus 6/4/13 9:58 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - The Rose *LONG*Jabberwok 6/4/13 8:31 a.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - The Rose *LONG*Godot 6/4/13 8:49 a.m.

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