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Tour of Duty - We're Everywhere
Posted By: PerseusSpartacusDate: 8/18/13 4:58 p.m.

TOUR OF DUTY
06 - We're Everywhere

Previously on Tour of Duty, we encountered the (not so) mysterious initials "gjk", were confined to a limited path when we could explore the entire map, encountered the "N-Cannon" for the first time, explored the mystery of the Sixth Panel and the Pfhor Door, and encountered F'tha, a Compiler who we get to kill before we read what he has to say.

The meaning of the title is obvious in hindsight: it's an appropriate inversal of the (in)famous line "They're Everywhere!" I say 'appropriate' because BoBs are indeed everywhere! Indeed, when we first start the level, we are in the midst of a group of BoBs of all shapes and sizes. Well, not so much shapes or sizes - more just colors. Greens, blues, and pinks, oh my! Indeed, this is quite valuable to the scratch-starter or the intrepid Vidmaster, as it allows you to start dual-wielding quite quickly.

Looking around, you'll find that you and the BoBs are on a small ledge in the middle of a massive T-shaped river of sewage. There's a mass of Compilers floating above the sewage, and another new foe (!) on a ledge way up high: meet the Hunter. You know, the guys that sucked up all your grenades on Neither High Nor Low? Their look has changed drastically, but they still fire the same old green bolts of energy. The combination of the Hunter and the Compilers will probably overpower the BoBs on anything higher than Normal - this isn't helped by the fact that the clustering of the BoBs will cause a lot of friendly fire. Suddenly they start to feel a lot more like Halo Marines than the old BoBs we knew and hated!

The result of all this is that a lot of ammo and weaponry will be dropped on the ledge, but some of the BoBs will fall in the water (generally because they were killed by the ones behind them), dropping their goods there instead. Once you've grabbed whatever you can from the ledge, you'll have to drop into the sewage. From here, head to the east side of the river (left from the ledge). You'll find a Fusion Pistol and some batteries teleporting in underwater, along with a 2x Shield Charger. There's some octagonal steps leading up to a switch. This switch raises the ground beneath it to form steps leading to a door that, unfortunately, is textured to look almost like a wall. I wonder how many newcomers thought it was a wall?

Before proceeding, it's time we glance at a map:

(Author's Note: Yes, I added an exclamation point when there shouldn't have been one. My bad. I really ought to be more attentive!)

Presently, we're just southwest of point A. Passing through the door, we encounter a Hunter teleporting in just ahead of us. Based on our experience in M1, our first reaction may be to use an AR-grenade combo, but this isn't the way to go in M2: instead, pull out your Fusion Pistol and lay a few bolts into him. An overcharge also works quite nicely. Unlike in M1, Hunters have a soft spot for Fusion, and as a consequence, they explode when killed with it. Could come in handy, I'd say!

Along this ledge, there are some more Hunters that teleport in, along with a few BoBs. Humorously, using the Fusion Pistol can often cause the Hunters to explode next to the BoBs, sending them flying. I once actually caused this to happen to a BoB on the opposite ledge: he flew quite vertically before falling into the sewage and splattering out of view. There's also a small switch here, which drops down a bridge we can use to get to the other side. This actually presents a first lesson in '5D' architecture: Marathon will only glitch when it can see a particular vertical line on the map being occupied by two polygons - seeing overlapping polygons does not in and of itself cause the game to crash.

It's easy to miss the exit from here - it's a small passageway near a large pillar that can make it hard to see. Heading through, you'll find a large room with a small pool of sewage and a bunch of BoBs and Hunters teleporting in. It is interesting how both sides can teleport into the same room all at once - somehow I didn't *cough* and still don't *uncough* believe that was possible! Of course, the Hunters have a nasty habit of blowing up when we 'fuse' them to death - this can often cause BoBs to find themselves temporarily in mid-air without the need for wings. Shame they can't enjoy the experience - being dead really is quite problematic, don't you think? ;)

Before proceeding north, it's advisable to save your game with the Pattern Buffer here and then head southeast. Unfortunately, I have a habit of forgetting to do this, thereby missing a nice little segment of the level. Don't make the same mistake as me - it is you duty to explore everything, so do it! Down here is a corridor with a bunch of off-shooting rooms, containing another 2x Shield Charger, some ammo, and a bunch of BoBs and Hunters teleporting in. Also, if you head straight south, you'll find this:

There's two switches high up on either side as well as a half-submerged switch (the latter being visible in the image). The high-up switches cause the blue platform on the left (in the image) to raise up, though it won't lower until you shoot one of the switches again. The half-submerged switch activates the blue platform on the right and opens a door near the first 2x Shield Charger which leads through a massive passageway to this room. Once the platform on the right raises up (which you may have to get it to by tapping the half-submerged switch again; I'm really not that acquainted with this secret, having never done it myself - this is all my own guesswork based on what I've read from the Marathon Story Page), you can probably jump over to the other platform (you'll probably need to be forward-strafing to get across) and then shoot the high switches to take you up to a secret ammo cache that eventually drops you back in one of the rooms in the south-east part of the map.

Be careful when shooting the switches, however, because there's a breakable panel next to each one:

If you shoot those instead of the switch, it'll make the switches inoperable, thereby making it impossible to complete the secret. Also remember to always use a Fusion Pistol for activating the switches from through the bars: the Grenades have a nasty habit of exploding in your face if they don't touch the right part of the bar texture (and they usually don't). Martin, Hamish, feel free to correct me on anything I've said here: you've probably made it through this secret, while I never have, so you would know how I have sinned in my description.

Continuing north from the first pool room, we find another similar room, this time with just Hunters and an Oxygen Charger - after all the swimming between this level and the last one, we're probably gasping for air! After going through another passageway, there's a room with stairs leading to ledges way up high. A bunch of Compilers and BoBs will teleport in, but the BoBs seem to usually win on Normal or below. Put it on Total Carnage, though, and the BoBs will probably find themselves staring at the stars and wondering "Where the Hell's my roof?" ;)

Proceeding up the stairs, you'll find that you're on the ledge with the Hunter that sniped you and the BoBs at the very start. At last, there's a terminal here:

This goes with the ending text from the last level:

The humans have run into some trouble
capturing their new command center. ...
You will assist them.

Proceeding through groups of Hunters, Compilers and BoBs teleporting in, you'll come to the western section of the map. Dropping down into the sewage river again, you'll find that at point D, there's a small shelf with ammo that's just a little too high out of the sewage to reach. You'll have to either get a Compiler to shoot you up there at the very start or blast yourself up with a grenade while your head is above the surface. The latter option isn't open to scratch-starters or Vidmasters, unfortunately, so you'll have to head west instead of east when you first drop into the river and get a Compiler to blast you up - easier said than done!

Returning to the western ledges via an elevator inside a pillar, continue south until you find the switches Durandal was talking about. Interestingly, next to the first one you find is a breakable panel:

Contrary to what you may believe, you don't have to hit both switches to open the doors - punching the panel will do the trick in and of itself:

So why put in the two switches? It's a mystery. Also, next to the second switch is a terminal:

At this stage in the game, you don't really know what this is. Later on, however, you find that the boxy symbol on the left, along with white text, are associated with Thoth, the mysterious S'pht AI left by the Eleventh Clan. However, he's supposed to be deactivated at this point, and we only activate him later. So what is this message? Did he leave it for us? It sure seems like it, considering the use of 'our'. This is all up for debate, of course.

Returning to the terminal from earlier, we find an amusing little exit message left for us by Durandal:

As I said, quite amusing. It's also our first look into Pfhor bureaucracy - there's more to come on that subject, especially when we get to Infinity! In the meantime, *woosh!*

Vale,
Perseus

P.S. - Feel free to rage at me for committing blasphemy in my descriptions of the secrets of this level; I've never personally accessed either one, and it says something that I often miss the entire sectrion to the south-east.

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Replies:

Tour of Duty - We're EverywherePerseusSpartacus 8/18/13 4:58 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - We're EverywhereMartin 8/18/13 5:49 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - We're EverywherePerseusSpartacus 8/18/13 6:59 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - We're EverywherePerseusSpartacus 8/18/13 8:47 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - We're EverywhereHokuto 8/19/13 1:08 a.m.

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