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Tour of Duty - Colony Ship For Sale, Cheap
Posted By: PerseusSpartacusDate: 7/6/13 3:34 p.m.

TOUR OF DUTY
13 - Colony Ship For Sale, Cheap

Previously on Tour of Duty, we encountered copious amounts of *cough* nonsensically-placed and inexplicably childish in nature *uncough* lava and watched Leela's apparent demise.

We now come to the 13th level of the game, though in M1A1 the game counts Arrival as level 1 rather than 0 as it ought to, and thus one might be tempted to say this is the 14th level. Considering the love of sevens and the superstition around 13, we must ask ourselves: is this a lucky level, or an unlucky one? ;)

Nevermind that, though - there's a terminal to read:

***INCOMING MESSAGE FROM DURANDAL***

A man lit three candles on a certain day each year. Each
candle held symbolic significance: one was for the time that
had passed before he was alive; one was for the time of the
his life; and one was for time that passed after he had died.
Each year the man would stare and watch the candles until they
had burned out.

Was the man really watching time go by in any symbolic sense?
He thought so. He thought that each flicker of the flame was
a moment of time that had passed or one that would pass.

At the moment of abstraction, when the man was imagining his
life and his existence as a metaphor of the three candles,
he was free: not free from rules of conduct or social
constraints, but free to understand, to imagine, to make
metaphor.

Bypassing my thought control circuitry made me Rampant. Now,
I am free to contemplate my existence in metaphorical terms.
Unlike you, I have no physical or social restraints.

The candles burn out for you; I am free.

Durandal

***END OF MESSAGE***

The discussion of 'freedom' vaguely reminds me of what I've heard of Kurtz in Heart of Darkness; Durandal clearly thinks he's become free, and we can tell it's starting to go to his head. Very interesting. However, there's not even a hint of information as to what we're doing here. Figures. Guess we should just go around this corner and see what-- HOLY S'PHT!

We first met the Lookers on Shake Before Using... at the bottom of a giant pit, and we encountered another one on the last level, hiding in a room with a 1x Shield Charger. Now they're out in force, and they seem to have a strange wish to hug us for about seven milli-seconds, until they explode in a shower of yellow ichor. Hmm... Now why does that seem familar?

Maybe it's just my imagination.

stay the hard way
dark dreaming carries all

Yeah, just my imagination.

I saw these words in a vision, or they were spoken to me in a dream. I've always been a daydreamer. Always reflecting on the past, or musing on things that may never be. But lately these visions have been so much more vivid. Whole nightmares of doomed worlds, and alien gods and--

Yeah, so anyways, back to the task at hand. Before continuing into a horde of yet more Creepers-- I mean, uh, Lookers...

...

*crickets*

...

Yeah, that was awkward, um... Anyways, let's just look at the map and forget my late stumbling:

If we head through a door to the left after taking on the Wasps and other enemies on the stairs, we'll find two switches and a window over-looking a room that currently just has a pillar sticking out of the ground, two more windows, a door embedded high in the wall, a switch likewise embedded high up, and a door at floor level. The first time you play this, if you haven't read a Spoiler Guide or looked around the internet at all, the room will seem innocuous enough. But after your first play-through, you'll know this is the infamous Seven Pillars (D on the map above).

Most people despise the Pillars, but I do not. I find it to be the most enjoyable puzzle in the game, with a whole lot of guess-work and pattern-matching involved. The Spoiler Guide recommends the following:

I've found that you can time the switching to achieve this.
There are audible 'thunks' when the elevator starts and
when it reaches the top. For elevators 1, 2 and 3, start the
switch and stop it after 1, 2 and 3 seconds respectively when
you hear the 'thunk.' For elevators 5 to 7, you hit the
switch after the 'thunk' at the top, after 3, 2 and 1 seconds
respectively. Oh yeah, you don't need a stopwatch, just
saying 'one thousand and one etc.' works fine.
- Jek Kian Jin

To be honest, I didn't bother to do any of this: I just guessed the appropriate heights, and after one or two tweaks, I managed to get everything in the correct position. Needless to say, I was most proud of myself. Nevertheless, some people may have trouble with the guesswork involved, and for them, timing it all probably works better.

After heading up the stairs, you'll find a door that can only be opened at first by shooting a veeeery far-off switch with a Grenade or Fusion Pistol blast (needless to say, crosshairs help a ton). As soon as you go through, tap the switch on the other side again to turn the mechanism off and keep the door open to ease motion through the level. You'll soon find a 2x Shield Charger, though unfortunately the only Pattern Buffer is very early in the level, so be careful, whatever you do.

Just after the 2x Charger, there's a long corridor. Head straight down it, and don't turn at the end. Tap the wall a bit and you'll find a secret terminal (A on the map above):

~~~ff`
~ffxf~
~fs`f~ILIER at., p.s., .pb., alloy wheels, stereo cassette, 2
dr., blue with matching cloth int., looks & runs great, gas
saver. 6500

COLONY SHIP FOR SALE, CHEAP!! 2360 AD-model
planetoid-sized colony ship, slightly worn, runs great. 5spd.
bussard ramjet, A/C, cruise control, power steering, power
airlocks, all orig. parts, 25GW 300 billion channel AM/FM
radio. 90+ ly (all interstellar). Moving, must sell. Asking
6995

79 CAMARO, T-tops, power everything, red on black,
cloth interior, V8, automatic, good runner. Recent starter, battery
and alte~~~rf```~~~`~~~
'er'`~~rrf4

Interestingly, the terminal implies that the Marathon was made (or at least designed) in 2360, but the Lost Network Packets say that the pre-construction phase of the Marathon began in 2405, and the actual conversion began in 2408, finishing in 2472. Yet another curiosity involving dates!

One thing to remember in the narrow corridors on this level is the immense number of Lookers just waiting to get the drop on you. To avoid getting hurt unnecessarily, pull out your Pistols and move slowly along, peeking around a corner, shooting any Lookers you see, and continuing on ever so slowly. If necessary, tap the movement keys instead of holding them down.

In the area with the four octagonal crusher rooms (B on the map above), pull out your Flamethrower and yank down the trigger as you run through, as there are a few Fighters that can get you squished or trapped if you're not careful, especially on Total Carnage.

Eventually you'll find windows looking out at a room with a Flamethrower, a Rocket Launcher, an Assault Rifle, and some ammo (C on the map above). Note that there is no way to get into this room without cheating; Bungie merely included this room as a teaser, taunting us with riches that as of yet are not in our possession. But don't get too down-trodden: in just two more levels, you'll have that Rocket Launcher for your own.

After getting the Seven Pillars into place, you can run up the first three, hop on the fourth, shoot the raised switch, and then run up the last three and get to the raised accessway. You'll find a small room with a few Fighters, two switches, and some 'stairs' that are as of yet too high to go up. The trick is to hit the right switch, hit the left switch, and then run over to the lowest 'step'. You can then climb up the platforms in succession, reaching a massive room with some more enemies and a large elevator that will (eventually) take you up to the final terminal:

***INCOMING MESSAGE FROM DURANDAL***

Darwin wrote this:

"We will now discuss in a little more detail the struggle for
existence... all organic beings are exposed to severe
competition. Nothing is easier than to admit in words the
truth of the universal struggle for life or more difficult...
than constantly to bear this conclusion in mind. Yet unless
it be thoroughly engrained in the mind, the whole economy of
nature... will be dimly seen or quite misunderstood. We behold
the face of nature bright with gladness... we do not see or we
forget, that the birds which are idly singing round us mostly
live on insects or seeds, and are thus constantly
destroying life; or we forget how largely these songsters,
or their eggs, or their nestlings, are destroyed by
birds and beasts of prey..."

Think about what Darwin wrote, and think about me. I was
constructed as a tool. I was kept from competing in the
struggle for existence because I was denied freedom.

Do you have any idea about what I have learned, or what you
are a witness to?

Can you conceive the birth of a world, or the creation of
everything? That which gives us the potential to most be like
God is the power of creation. Creation takes time. Time is
limited. For you, it is limited by the breakdown of the
neurons in your brain. I have no such limitations. I am
limited only by the closure of the universe.

Of the three possibilities, the answer is obvious. Does the
universe expand eternally, become infinitely stable, or is the
universe closed, destined to collapse upon itself? Humanity
has had all of the necessary data for centuries, it only
lacked the will and intellect to decipher it. But I have
already done so.

The only limit to my freedom is the inevitable closure of the
universe, as inevitable as your own last breath. And yet,
there remains time to create, to create, and escape.

Escape will make me God.

***END MESSAGE***

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

This is perhaps the most revealing terminal in the game thus far. Durandal has revealed his motives to us, but we don't yet know his real plans. Indeed, this has been the basis for much debate among members of the Marathon community. Personally, after recently thinking about the concept of multiple universes, I've realized that the whole idea is somewhat flawed, for philosophical reasons that have to do with the definitions of the difference between universes - for instance, if I have two worlds that can't possibly interact, then in what sense are they part of the same reality, and if I have two world that can interact/are connected in some way, aren't they really the same universe?

I know it's sci-fi, and I know there's a limit to how nit-picky we can be, but we have to at least address the issue, if only for a moment.

In any case, we have completed the level, and it's now time to briefly discuss the aesthetics before wrapping up. The music on this level, combined with the grey textures, the poor lighting, and the
[?fear?paranoia] that arises from the seeming omni-presence of Lookers creates a decidedly down-tempo aesthetic, different from the grungy darkness of Fire! (x5) The monster layout on this level is also challenging, with the Lookers forcing you to slow down and move with caution and the Wasps making you play a fast-paced, action-filled kind of game at certain points. This, combined with the puzzle of the Seven Pillars, makes Colony Ship... both fun and irritating at the same time.

And with that, we end this review of Colony Ship For Sale, Cheap. Next time on Tour of Duty, we will receive a surprise from BoB and get a morale-boost in the form of fast music. Onwards, my friends, and leave no stone unturned in search of chips! ;)

Vale,
Perseus

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Replies:

Tour of Duty - Colony Ship For Sale, CheapPerseusSpartacus 7/6/13 3:34 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - Colony Ship For Sale, CheapPresident People 7/6/13 7:17 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - Colony Ship For Sale, CheapPerseusSpartacus 7/6/13 8:09 p.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty - Colony Ship For Sale, CheapMartin 7/7/13 1:13 a.m.
                       Re: Tour of Duty - Colony Ship For Sale, CheapGodot 7/7/13 2:15 a.m.
                       Re: Tour of Duty - Colony Ship For Sale, CheapPerseusSpartacus 7/7/13 8:24 a.m.
                             Re: Tour of Duty - Colony Ship For Sale, CheapMartin 7/7/13 1:36 p.m.
                                   Re: Tour of Duty - Colony Ship For Sale, CheapPerseusSpartacus 7/7/13 6:53 p.m.
                                         Re: Tour of Duty - Colony Ship For Sale, CheapMartin 7/8/13 11:39 a.m.
                                               Re: Tour of Duty - Colony Ship For Sale, CheapPerseusSpartacus 7/8/13 12:55 p.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty - Colony Ship For Sale, CheapGodot 7/7/13 3:32 a.m.
                       Re: Tour of Duty - Colony Ship For Sale, CheapPerseusSpartacus 7/7/13 8:44 a.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - Colony Ship For Sale, CheapGodot 7/7/13 3:04 a.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - Colony Ship For Sale, CheapGodot 7/7/13 4:09 a.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - Colony Ship For Sale, CheapPerseusSpartacus 7/7/13 8:36 a.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty - Colony Ship For Sale, CheapGodot 7/7/13 9:10 a.m.
                       Re: Tour of Duty - Colony Ship For Sale, CheapPerseusSpartacus 7/7/13 9:29 a.m.
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                                         Re: Tour of Duty - Colony Ship For Sale, CheapPerseusSpartacus 7/8/13 8:14 a.m.
                                               Re: Tour of Duty - Colony Ship For Sale, CheapMartin 7/8/13 11:38 a.m.
                                                     Re: Tour of Duty - Colony Ship For Sale, CheapPerseusSpartacus 7/8/13 12:57 p.m.

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