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Tour of Duty - Bob's Big Date
Posted By: MartinDate: 9/28/13 12:10 p.m.

TOUR OF DUTY

12 Ė Bobís Big Date

The name. The Story page for whatís in a name sums it up nicely with the first two words:

Meaning: Unclear.

Indeed. I think we can be pretty clear on its being a reference to Alice in Wonderland, even more so with the map writing, ďBOBíS LATE FOR HIS BIG DATE!!Ē. Although not a reference to the Disney film so much, as it is a big date rather than a very important one. And as far as going down a big hole is concerned, wouldnít this have suited What About Bob better? :)

Okay thatís enough for now. This is going to be a quick one: A) itís not that interesting a level; B) Iíve managed to put this off until today, when Iím heading overseas for a month. Iím hoping to manage to write up this and Six Thousand Feet today before that happens!

Last time on Tour of Duty we explored the tower of the Sípht Citadel of Antiquity, a work of art in level design but a completely useless overhead map. We were looking for information on how the Sípht managed to hold out against the Pfhor many years ago, and while we found a rather overwhelming amount of Sípht story related information, it wasnít quite enough, and Durandal, with Battle Group Seven bearing down upon him, sends us now to a bunker underneath the Citadel, to which the Sípht would apparently retreat in their darkest hours.

...

We arrive on a ledge next to a pool of sewage with stairs going down around it. If we take the time to notice, we see an interesting gimmick for this level: the liquid level is constantly changing, rising right up and then falling back down again. Behind us is a terminal, but before getting there, we probably move forward slightly and get shot at from a window across the pool, by Hunters and Troopers. Scratchstarting would seem a pain right here Ė I would rather have the option of sorting them out with a few grenades!

We confirm our location and Durandal tells us that royalty from the 10 Sípht clans met down here during the last days of the war, and also of his theory on the Eleventh Clan. And our mission, find yet another pair of Sípht terminals.

The first is very close to our starting point, in fact through the opening directly behind the terminal. Letís check the map briefly.

Where is that map writing at btw? Iím not sure Iíve ever seen it in such a map image. MSG doesnít show it either hmmm.

The map is back to the tidy style, and the level is pretty much based around the central pool of sewage surrounding the final room in the middle, with every other part of the level accessed from the central pool.

To start with we head to the first Sípht terminal, although this can be an annoying room, so I would understand a desire to save first, but wonít for this writeup.

We enter a room with only right angles, and partitions around the place. It is also full of Hunters and Troopers waiting to teleport in and ambush us. Heading left directly for the terminal brings in a Trooper, and various other points bring in more Ė there is probably a nice safe way to get around, but wouldnít we rather kill them anyway? Also revealed from exploration are a nice ammo cache and a 2x charger. I like to run most of the Pfhor back out to the starting ledge and take them out at the opening, but some of the Troopers donít venture out there, and have to be dealt with around the partitions, which can be annoying. The terminal reads:

Short and to the point. Next we head down the stairs by the pool at the start, and enter the central pool I mentioned earlier. Now we have a very much Whatever You Please / Eat The Path situation Ė we can proceed in any way we like really. And when you know the level, there are a lot of desirables to go straight for: pattern buffers, the other terminal, the 3x charger, the oxygen panel marked as a terminal on PSís map. For a full report, Iím going to have us head northwest from the central pool first, up a staircase that works like the one we saw near the start of Weíre Everywhere, turning into a double staircase via a switch at the top, although we then have a lift that takes us up quite a bit further in this case. Before we leave the central pool though, I should point out that it has a bunch of Sewer Fílckta and Troopers running around, which can be dangerous but are also reasonably easily avoided. They also seem to respawn. There is also a switch that halts the incessant changing of the liquid levels, at point A on the map, but I donít tend to bother with it.

In just confirming things on a quick scratchstart, I found the lift here raised to start with Ė does that switch start out activated? Donít think Iíve encountered that before, but this was a situation of heading there immediately at the start. Anyway, at the top of the lift we head down a few more stairs into sewage that is just slightly over our heads, and find that we aggro a bunch of Fílckta and Hunters. They tend to fight it out a bit amongst themselves, but we will get left with some to deal with, best at the top of the stairs. Then to the right we find a PB, and to the left a raised platform where a Hunter tends to get stuck. A bunch of ammo also teleports in there, and possibly elsewhere in here, I donít have a save to check just now. And from here there are stairs leading to a window, on which a Hunter and a Trooper are trying to keep their feet wet Ė okay but theyíre still going to die.

Jumping straight out the window we can get into the final room of the level. Doing so is dangerous, as there are Hunters and Troopers waiting just out of sight and more ready to teleport in. This all makes it a dangerous option to come here straight away, and means that we tend to miss the incomplete message on the final terminal. After jumping in to wake up the Pfhor and then heading back to blast them from the window, I managed to get a good shot of that message Ė it also helped that I eventually realised I could read it without stepping on the top step, which brings in more Troopers and is kind of deadly.

And this I think is known as the only image we have of Tfear, and so easy to miss! Other than that and Durandalís praise of him, itís just get back to work message, and so we do. If we now head north, we get a very similar staircase with switch and lift operation, but on the way it seems there is a little secret about which I did not know. A tiny little door at point B on the map that reveals Troopers and Fílckta fighting, a bit unfair when the Troopers canít shoot in the sewage! Not much more to see there as far as I can see, move along!

At the top of this lift we find another bunch of Pfhor, more ammo, and a 1x charger, not much reward for all of that IMO! Back to the central pool. Southwest takes us up some stairs to find a bunch of Pfhor, again ones that tend to want to stay in their own room and not come our way to get picked off. Clever. A large open room with small sewage pool containing ammo, and a possibly needed by this point oxygen charger. South from central is very similar but has a PB instead of the oxygen charger. Northeast has a couple of ambush corridors and a sneaky 3x charger, which is quite nice to have earlier in the level than I have taken us there :).

Southeast takes us past the window we got shot at right at the start, and then into a very similar right angle room with partitions and terminal, and more Pfhor that donít like to come out and fight. This terminal reads:

Eleven! Confirmed. There was an Eleventh Clan, the SíphtíKr as we will come to know and love them. And that completes our mission, so we head off to recharge, save, and then hit the final room again. This time Durandal tells us that battle has commenced, and his ship is not doing so well. Meanwhile, weíre going yet further underground, down a geothermal shaft, to keep looking for answers, probably because only you would survive the fall.

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