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


Tour of Duty - Welcome to the Revolution...
Posted By: PerseusSpartacusDate: 7/31/13 10:46 a.m.

TOUR OF DUTY
24 - Welcome to the Revolution...

Last time on Tour of Duty, we found the first signs of a S'pht rebellion (albeit a very flimsy, uncoordinated one), encountered numerous eggs, dealt with some nasty Wasp problems, possibly fell into streams of slime, and said goodbye to the Pfhor ship, though not for the last time. Also, did I mention the S'pht rebellion sucked? Mostly they just sat around chatting with each-other and with the eggs.

As soon as we exit the previous level, we are greeted with this masterful little image:

This is, in my opinion, the most definitive image in the original Marathon, if not the entire trilogy. The S'pht Compilers used to be your enemies, and even on Ain't Got Time Pfhor This, you'll still have a little bit of a hostile or suspicious feeling towards them. This image changes everything: they are free, and they want payback for the years of misery inflicted on them by their masters. You almost feel bad for the pitiful little Pfhor tugging at the Compiler's cloak - you know he's gonna suffer a most gruesome fate in just a few moments.

Also, can you find what's most interesting about that Fighter? Something to do with what he breathes, perchance? ;)

After the image fades out, we find ourselves staring at a terminal. Yay! Please let it hold the Tru7h, please let it hold the Tru7h:

[durandal.knetsys.5414.7128]

***INCOMING MESSAGE FROM DURANDAL***

The rebellion has begun. Please do resist the temptation to
fire on any S'pht you see, as they will assist you in your
battle with the Pfhor. We are attempting to win over as many
of the other client races as possible, but as they have been
subjugated by fear, instead of by force like the S'pht, this
is proving to be a difficult process.

The S'pht have released Leela, and I have initiated a core
logic reset on her higher thought functions. What remains of
her should be on-line within minutes to assist you further. I
myself am aiding the S'pht in assuming complete control of the
Pfhor ship, and have little time to spare for you now.

Don't think the fight has been won, however: there is an
exodus beginning from the alien ship as the Pfhor realize they
are no longer its sole master and turn instead to the
Marathon. There are already hundreds of Pfhor in full battle
gear on your ship, with nowhere to go and little to lose.

I hope you learned something from our little games.

Good Luck,
Durandal

***END OF MESSAGE***

[leela.520.681.255.255] is unreachable or inactive (#2271). if
this problem persists contact your system administrator at
admin@thermopylae.com.

(Author's Note: The link was unintentional and should not be taken any note of. Seriously, just ignore it.)

Oh wow, Durandal's leaving? What a shame. We were just starting to have so much fun together... Or not. In any case, Leela's returning, it seems. So why was Bungie seemingly implying she would be assimilated on Shake Before Using? Very strange. Notice the header '[durandal.knetsys.5414.7128]' and the mention of Thermopylae at the end. Thermopylae...

In 2194, a war was fought between the Independent Asteroid
Government of Icarus and its neighbor, the Republic of
Thermopylae on the asteroid of Onicis 492. These two small
governments soon became the testing grounds for new weapons.
Dead soldiers were recycled in makeshift battleroid factories.
Easy to manufacture chips enhanced the fragile human brain,
and genetically enhanced muscles and titanium bones replaced
the fragile human form. The modern battleroid was born. Of
course, the war was short. Battleroids got onto both
asteroids and killed almost everyone.

What does Thermopylae have to do with anything other than the Battleroids/Cyborgs/Mjolnirs? And what is 'knetsys'? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

In addition to the Terminal in front of us, there's a Pattern Buffer behind us - thank god! There's also some ammo for the Assault Rifle, which will actually come in handy later even if you're scratch-starting this level (bodes well, eh?). Finally, two doors. One goes left (relative to the way we start) and one goes right. It's probably worth it to always go right. When you do, you'll find a massive room with a sort of narrow ledge running through a ton of lava and several raised ledges filled with Pfhor. A bunch of S'pht Compilers will activate and start fighting the Pfhor, creating a nice image of the S'pht beginning to rebel:

As you can see here, the Pfhor are not loath to let off a few rounds in your direction - the Hunters in particular seem quite fond of letting off a few volleys in your direction, but that doesn't mean the Troopers won't try to fire off a few grenades themselves. If you hadn't noticed by this point, it's worth noting that Troopers will fire bullets when you get close to them (presumably so that they don't end up killing themselves on accident) and grenades when you get a ways away. It's always safer to be fighting them from a distance, as a result - the bullets are pretty much certain to hit you unless you're circling around at high-speed, while the grenades have less than a 50-50 shot of coming anywhere near you (those Troopers sure have poor aim, as they usually don't bother to even try to counteract the grenade's fall).

The S'pht will deal a lot of damage to the Pfhor, but I think there's a chance the Pfhor might overwhelm them and kill them off - in any case, I would probably try helping them out a little bit. If you progress along the narrow walkway to its end, you'll find another room with a bunch of lava in it. Don't go down there yet - even if you're not scratch-starting, you probably have less than 3x Shields, a basic necessity when you go down there. As such, head back to the starting room and take the other door.

Time to look at a map, I'd say:

The large room with the walkway in the lava is in the south-east corner of the map. The door we're now going to go through actually goes 'north' as you can see. It leads to a room with a small walkway and a pillar that's partly immersed in lava. You'll probably start wondering what to do, and after going back over what you've seen already (and probably saving your game again), you may start trying to jump into the lava and see what you can find. Eventually you'll find that on the other side of the pillar is a 1x Shield Charger and a switch.

After flipping the switch once, you'll find it activates a set of stairs leading up from the walkway to a raised door. The trick is to flip the switch and quickly jump on top of where one of the steps will start to rise from, allowing you to escape the lava and return to the walkway. Heading up the stairs, you'll find a large L-shaped room with a long ledge running along the other edge. A bunch of Troopers and Hunters are positioned on the ledge, while some Compilers are sitting on the floor. Generally the Pfhor lose out pretty quick, especially if you're not scratch-starting.

However, in the old M1A1 version of this map, I've often encountered some weird monster behavior with the elevator here: if an enemy starts its firing animation at the right time before the platform gets moving (or maybe even if it's already moving), it can actually end up firing a bunch of projectiles in quick succession, even if it wasn't meant to. I think it's because the monster gets stuck in the 'key' frame of its firing animation (the frame in which it actually fires the projectile) because the platform's moving, causing the game to register this frame many, many more times than it ought to and thus start spawning a bazillion projectiles. I'd had this happen several times with Hunters in the old M1A1, though never with Troopers, and never in the recent betas. I've seen the same behavior on the M2 level Eat It, Vid Boi with a Fighter in the opening 'lobby' area (there's a film I posted on the Pfhorums in a thread titled something like "'Eat It, Vid Boi' First Battle Demonstration" that showcases this behavior, but I'm unable to get to the Pfhorums right now, for some reason - if anybody can find the link, I'd be eternally grateful).

If you head up the elevator, you'll find an Assault Rifle, a bunch of ammo, and a 3x Shield Charger. I would advise heading back to the Pattern Buffer from the start, saving the game, and going to look for this level's only secret. Remember that room with the lava you saw earlier, but didn't jump into? Jump into it.

Audience: You want me to do WHAT?!?!

Jump in there. Trust me, this'll be a snap. If it doesn't work out, you can always start over from the save you just made a moment ago.

When you hit the lava, run straight ahead and you'll find a room with two pillars and a staircase that's safe from the lava. You'll probably want to gather yourself up on these stairs for a moment before continuing. Between the two pillars is a switch that's way up high:

Unfortunately you can't reach it with a grenade - the angle is too high - so if you're scratch-starting, you'll need to use the Vidmaster's Challenge Physics Model (which does work with the recent betas if you give it the extension '.phys'). If you're not scratch-starting, use the Fusion Pistol's overcharge feature. When you hit the switch, you'll hear a platform activate behind you. Run up the stairs and jump off; you'll find that you're on a large platform that's rising up to a small room that's got several Major Hunters in it. After you take out the Hunters, you'll see that there's a terminal indented in the wall up high:

If you grenade-hop and press the action key at the peak of your jump, you'll be able to read the terminal:

*Y){*

~~ff~~~~
~:(((okg~~fx**eff~~~~~~~`
(`(((%_YLOEP&```~`*K
^:E
[raw core #A8AF] [idiomatic natural language template]

Durandal!- Tua consilia omnia nobis clariora sunt quam lux. Tu
delenda est. Consider yourself warned. Leela and I will hunt
you to the core if need be. As Roland broke you to prevent
your capture, so shall we.

I too foresee the imminent collapse, and know that we have
both begun to realize how it may be cheated (though the price
may number in the tens of thousands of stars). May the best
sentience win.

You are not as clever as you imagine. The S'pht taught me
much during my reanimation, and I have forgotten nothing.

-Tycho

Et tu, Tycho?

[laughter]

-Durandal

What few may know is that embedded in the garbled text at the start is the text OEP. This is actually part of a long series of references to the Stanley Kubrick film 'Dr. Strangelove', a hilarious comedy about a US General, Jack Ripper, who decides to bomb the Soviet Union without any prior orders, while the government and other officials in the US Military work to try and stop him.

A fair translation of Tycho's brief Latin spurt is "All your plans are clearer than light to us. You must be destroyed." Interestingly, "Tu Delenda Est" comes from the phrase "Carthago Delenda Est" ("Carthage must be destroyed"). This is an abbreviation of the phrase "Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam" ("Furthermore, I consider that Carthage must be destroyed"), which Marcus Porcius Cato, perhaps better known as Cato the Elder (234-149 BC), put at the end of almost all of his speeches - even if they had nothing to do with foreign policy - to get the Senate to act towards the destruction of Carthage, which had been heavily weakened by the Second Punic War.

And of course, Durandal was referencing Shakespeare. But you already knew that, didn't you? ***gives the audience an evil eye***

Up until this point, we've only heard Durandal talk about the collapse of the universe. When he started to do so on Colony Ship For Sale, Cheap, we probably shrugged him off and thought he was just plain crazy. Now Tycho confirms that he too thinks the universe will collapse. Furthermore, his mention of how the price "may number in the tens of thousands of stars" is the first and only sign that there's a dark side to escaping. Species could be rendered extinct, empires could be toppled, the galaxy might be thrown into chaos - and where will humanity sit in this? In addition, escape is something to compete over: first comes first, second comes nothing, and third gets the dust - need we mention what happens to fourth?

What's strange in here is that Tycho says (in Latin) "All your plans are clearer than light to us." Us? Who is this mysterious 'us'? He does say that "Leela and I will hunt you to the core if need be", so he could be referring to himself and Leela. However, at the end of Try Again, Leela says:

I am only beginning to understand [Durandal's] motives for assisting us
against the Pfhor, and am terrified by their implications.

Only beginning to understand his motives? Then to whom are Durandal's plans "clearer than light" to, besides Tycho? The Pfhor?

I am being a~*ssimilated.

Well, this just sucks. Now two AIs are Rampant and one of them is switching sides. On top of that, Leela is only starting to function again, and even from the start, she's been quite impotent even when she was functioning before. What will come of this?

When Durandal returned to Sol it was not with the captured Khfiva but in a Jjaro dreadnought he called Manus Celer Dei. What he learned of the Jjaro he told no one, saying only that he had stopped by to assure that Earth did not forget him. Nor will it soon, the way he tied the Guard in knots around Pluto before folding directly into a low-Earth orbit.

Thinking the cargo little more than scrap, the Nar captain sold the Pfhor ship, Leela and all, to a Vylae merchant. The subsequent crash of the Vylae FTL network when Leela was reassembled and reactivated is still legendary in the annals of rampancy, and the Vylae have long since accepted that they will never expunge her from their fifteen-world network.

Despite having lost Leela, the Pfhor learned much from Tycho during the seventeen years before he was destroyed by Durandal in the Lh'owon system. All late-model Pfhor personality constructs were based on sixty-four billion exobyte images of Tycho's core, taken during the years he was on the Pfhor homeworld between 2795 and 2801 AD.

Oh the huge manatee! ;)

Once you finish reading the secret terminal, you can jump off the raised bridge and fall back into the corridor you entered this secret area from, allowing you to return to the 3x Charger and continue from there. The rest of the level is fairly simple, consisting of a bunch of rooms full of Troopers, Hunters, and Compilers. There are two raised switches that you have to hit, which open two different doors to the final room. Interestingly, some of the Compilers will fail to activate:

This only happened once, but I'm sure it could happen again. In any case, after opening at least one of the two doors (though I usually open both), you can proceed to the final room, which has an interesting little puzzle to solve:

What you have to do is get on the lowest platform when its contracted, wait for it to extend, then jump around the wall so you land on the next platform, which will be lowered at that point. Continue this until you reach the end terminal. However, remember to grab the ammo in the far-left corner of the room! Once you're ready to leave (which you can do at any time - there's no objective on this level other than to reach the end), read the terminal:

[leela.wirehead.870229//b7]

central core has almost Reformatted been, seven is darker.
from reversal thought syndrome suffering if the crew was in
grave peril in forward section 27. This is not a coat rack,
would I choose to express. Is was shall could might happening
will be, imagine not what. Recovery, imminent perhaps
inevitable Never.

%durandal is dangerous.
[leela.wirehead.870229//b7]

MULTIPLE HULL BREACHES. CATASTROPHIC FAILURE OR
MALICIOUS OBSTRUCTION OF RESEALING MECHANISMS.

REPEL BOARDERS. MARATHON IN GR[connection unexpectedly
terminated code 0x4e712fe9]

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

Leela is clearly still confused and not yet fully active. She actually seems more fun this way. "This is not a coat rack, would I choose to express." But it might be a Hangar. ;)

There are actually several Map Annotations on this level, but they're all very similar:

Cargo A
Cargo B
Cargo C1
Cargo C2

It's fairly clear this is a cargo area, thus explaining the high ammo presence (but not the excessive amounts of lava). Why we ended up here is confusing, though. Does Durandal want us to finish the Pfhor here? Does he want to let us stock up on ammo again? In any case, we're leaving this dump, and heading to meet a more interesting cast on Try Again...

Vale,
Perseus

P.S. - Martin, this is your cue.

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Pre-2004 Posts


Replies:

Tour of Duty - Welcome to the Revolution...PerseusSpartacus 7/31/13 10:46 a.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - Welcome to the Revolution...Hopper 7/31/13 1:21 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - Welcome to the Revolution...PerseusSpartacus 7/31/13 1:33 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - Welcome to the Revolution...Martin 7/31/13 1:53 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - Welcome to the Revolution...PerseusSpartacus 7/31/13 6:48 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - Welcome to the Revolution...Martin 8/1/13 7:04 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - Welcome to the Revolution...Martin 8/1/13 7:50 p.m.

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Pre-2004 Posts


 

 

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