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Tour of Duty - Unpfhorgiven
Posted By: PerseusSpartacusDate: 7/17/13 8:36 p.m.

TOUR OF DUTY
18 - Unpfhorgiven

Previously on Tour of Duty, we faced down hoardes of Wasps, discovered we could detonate Simulacrums with only our bare hands, and obtained more ammo than we could've ever wished for in a single level.

Durandal told us that our mission is still to find this certain 'Bernhard Strauss' amongst the Humans captured by the Pfhor, though in the process we ought to kill everything and gather as much intel about the Pfhor ship as possible. To exit, we would need to find a window, just like before.

This level is surprisingly hard, and very typical of a level on the Pfhor ship. There's no obvious reason for why it's so tough, other than that most of the enemies on here will respawn with avengeance, meaning that backtracking (which you kind of have to do) will often have you go face-to-face with Wasps and/or Fighters. In addition to the plethora of weaker opponents distributed all around the level, you'll find numerous Hunters scattered among them. Considering the narrowness of the corridors and the aggressiveness of most of the enemies (especially the Wasps), you'll probably find your 3x shields quickly disappearing like a candle on a Texas morning.

Let's get our bearings real fast:

You start in a tiny room in the south-western part of the map. You'll find that most of the level is very much inter-connected, but I always find myself heading to point A on the map above and then continuing from there. There's a bunch of BoBs in each of the three holding cells, and mixed in among them are a bunch of Simulacrums. I actually have a little bit of a theory as to why this would happen in terms of the story, but the first time you play through this level you probably won't be thinking at all about why the Sims are there - you'll just want to kill them. You could take the safe approach and shoot them through the windows using your Pistol or the Assault Rifle, but then again, you know your bare hands work just as well, so why not punch them once you teleport into that area? (Note that the doors to the cells are textured the same as the walls, but aren't that hard to find if you use the automap)

If you continue on a ways, you'll find a blue BoB running around all by himself in a corridor that has several unconscious (or dead) Humans being... studied? Wait, are the Pfhor... experimenting on them? Oh the humanity! ;)

Seriously though, what is this blue BoB doing here? He's all alone, no Pfhor around or anything. Are they performing some kind of cruel psychological test with him? Did he escape containment?

Is he Bernhard Strauss?

In any case, eventually you'll find a bunch of Fighters and some Wasps guarding a window overlooking the room you have to exit from. You can reach a 3x Health Charger and a Pattern Buffer in the north-east by pulling out the Flamethrower (assuming you have it from earlier), aiming down, jumping out the window, and pouring out a stream of Napalm, which will you propel you up and allow you to stay airborne long enough to reach another window. Alternatively, you can reach this area by entering a secret hallway near the middle of the map. At the end is a platform leading to a giant pit with a platform constantly raising and lowering in the middle and another hallway on the opposite side. To the left and right are small alcoves containing Hunters. Once you kill them, you can hop on the platform as it reaches your height and then jump over to the other side when it's high enough. You could also wait until it's retracted and propel yourself to the other side with a Flamethrower, assuming you have one. You can then charge back up to full 3x shields, though you'll take a bit of damage jumping over the pit, as it's filled with goo.

You can find another Pattern Buffer near the center of the map, but be careful, as it's guarded by a Major Hunter. Anyone ever noticed that Pfhor Pattern Buffers look like some kind of weird star-map or something of that nature? They sure do to me. Perhaps slightly reminiscient of this terminal picture from Moo:

Indeed, I could say the same for the hi-res versions of the 'puzzle' switches on Defend THIS! But I digress.

If you're playing this level straight from the previous ones, your best friend is the Fusion Pistol - it allows you to take down Wasps quickly and easily, while still providing a quick panacea to any Hunter problems or even Fighter swarms. This is also the first level where the Flamethrower actually becomes valuable as a jet-pack of sorts, as there were few places where we could get off the ground enough to use it that way on Pfhor Your Eyes Only... (correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you need to first get at least a short ways off the ground before the Flamethrower starts operating that way in the low gravity).

If you're scratch-starting this level, your only hope is to use your Fist as much as possible, reserve your Pistol for desperate moments, and recharge constantly. If you're not Vidmastering, you'll also want to save the game whenever possible, and return to the exit room every so often to see when you can finally leave the level - you don't want to stick around with all those respawning enemies, now do you? The main problem here is that there are no Enforcers and thus no weapons or ammo beyond what we pop into the level with. This is a classic problem for Vidmasters, as the Wasps can eat up your health in the blink of an eye - starting the level with triple-shields doesn't help much, as you'll soon find out when you realize you desperately need to return to the 2x Shield Charger after a succession of Wasps all firing the moment they spot you eats away two whole shield bars.

To complete this level without recharging is insane, no matter how you do it. To complete it without getting hit is unthinkable.

Will you be the first? ;)

Vale,
Perseus

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Replies:

Tour of Duty - UnpfhorgivenPerseusSpartacus 7/17/13 8:36 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - UnpfhorgivenPerseusSpartacus 7/17/13 8:38 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - UnpfhorgivenMartin 7/17/13 10:38 p.m.

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