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Tour of Duty - Sorry Don't Make It So
Posted By: PerseusSpartacusDate: 10/30/13 11:39 a.m.

TOUR OF DUTY
15 - Sorry Don't Make It So

Previously on Tour of Duty, we were introduced to the absolute monstrosity that is the Pfhor texture set, ran through a gauntlet full of Troopers, Simulacrums, and Hunters, and grabbed a Rocket Launcher and Shotguns with which we can blow off the heads of our foes.

Still sweating from the intensity of the gauntlet, with the evil laughter of Jason Jones in our ears and a vision of Greg Kirkpatrick (aka gjk) shaking his head and saying "Why'd he have to put these two levels back-to-back?", we are teleported into--

Wait... Why does this feel familiar?

I stared through the window of transparent metal alloy and out into space. For a moment I'd thought we were still at the colony, still on the alien ship in orbit around Tau Ceti. But there were too many stars here, and the sun was too red and the planet too big.

The ship felt different, too. Cleaner, but older. The scars of the battle which had nearly consumed it had been erased. Most of them, anyway: I thought that I remembered firing the grenade which had buckled the armor plating in the hallway outside the room where I awoke. The dent was still there, if you looked close enough. Painted over and smoothed out, but still there.

Not much time to think, though, because as soon as we arrive, a group of Cyborgs and... robed guys... teleport in at the end of the corridor. They sure don't look friendly, and they're closing in pretty quickly. If you're playing through from the previous levels, you'll have the ammo necessary to take these guys on, but if you're scratch-starting, you'll only have a pistol, three clips, and your fists; definitely not enough to survive this encounter the normal way.

There is just enough room here to squeeze past the swarm of enemies and run. Ignore the first and second doors on the right, and ignore the robed guys that continue to teleport in as you run past. It's the third door you're interested in. Heading through it, you'll find one or two more of the robed guys teleporting in just ahead of you, at the bottom of some stairs. These are the new Enforcers, and they are just as scary as ever, if not slightly more so. The new Alien Weapon, while not very effective in our hands, is truly annoying in theirs.

Even just the two guys you'll find right here are a little scary; appropriate fist action is kind of necessary. See Jim Mitchell's film of this level for an idea of that might work. Once they're dead, heading up the stairs will trigger a mass of Fighters to teleport in ahead of you. While you're punching them, there's a good chance that some of the Cyborgs and Enforcers from earlier will have followed you all the way here, making things a bit trickier. Learning how to use your fists appropriately is critical to survive this bit. The hard part is that you're in a low gravity environment, making it even harder to deal with the situation. Once you've secured the area, however, the reward is immense: a 3x Shield Charger. While we have a breather, let's look at the map:

Basically, this level is a tweaked version of Pfhor Your Eyes Only done backwards with a whole second half added onto it.

You're currently at the 3x Charger just east of point A. If you look around, you'll find that nearby is a pool of red slime (pink on the map). If you move close enough to it, you'll trigger a Fighter to teleport in just above the slime, promptly falling in and dying. Makes you feel lucky your own teleporting accidents haven't ended so badly! There's also a Pattern Buffer under the slime. You may feel a little uneasy about using it, but really, it's not that big of a deal. Just hop down, use it, and swim back up to the Charger. You'll be just fine. At least it's better than having to return to the Pattern Buffer at the end of last level and repeat those intense starting moments! Also, there's some AR ammo in the northern corner of the room between the stairs and the door.

Now armed with an Alien Weapon dropped by an Enforcer, we can proceed to clear the level. Backtracking, you can mop up the Cyborgs and Enforcers that ambushed you earlier. Just be sure to kill the Enforcers with something other than the Alien Weapon, else you'll set them on fire and they won't drop a weapon. Also avoid using explosive weapons if you have any, because now Enforcers have a hard death sequence as well as a soft death one - in M1 they only had a soft death sequence, so unless you burned them to death, they would always drop their gun.

The first door (which is easily ignored) can't be opened, because the other side is flooded with slime. The second door leads to a large room with an offshoot. A ton of Cyborgs, Enforcers, and Fighters teleport in around here. The 1x Shield Charger here is truly useless unless you're incredibly desperate. Heading up the stairs, a bunch more Fighters teleport in. They're easily dispatched now, though, given that we're not having to deal with a bunch of other baddies and there's plenty of room to run around in as you punch them to death - you don't even need to use the Alien Weapon! Once the Fighters are dead, you'll find a terminal at the top of the stairs. It's all red - Tycho, perhaps?

Yup, Tycho. This terminal gives us a better sense of Tycho's motives; he was irritated with the way the humans simply used and abused him, providing him with menial tasks. Clearly he did not enjoy the job of a science AI. Sounds a bit like Durandal. At the same time, this doesn't sound exactly like the Tycho we saw in M1:

I want you to pay for what you've done to these poor
people. All of these people whom you've killed. They
deserve vengeance.

Wait, when did Tycho shift from feeling merciful towards humans to hating them? When did 'these poor people' become 'the colonists who never did anything but use me'? All in all, Tycho's motives are kind of strange.

Next to this terminal is a ledge overlooking a later part of the corridor. Jumping down has some pros and cons. The main pro is that you can avoid some enemies and immediately head for the exit to the second half of the level. The main con is that in order to get to the secret exit to the second half (which is better than the main one), you have to backtrack through all the enemies you skipped, and you can't just retreat to a nice safe 3x Shield Charger - you instead have to secure a different, much less useful one. Usually, I just head back down the stairs and return to the corridor to continue normally. Enemies will ambush you all throughout.

Past the ledge you were at a moment ago, you'll find a door that's stuck in the open state, with a big yellow room with Cyborgs and Enforcers in it. This room is strangely tricky, though I can't remember why exactly. I think it may be that the Cyborgs here have Flamethrowers as well as the usual Bouncy Grenades. It might also be that the retina-melting colors here are very distracting, but I doubt that accounts for all of it. In addition, as you head up the stairs past it, there's some Cyborgs that teleport in just ahead of you, forcing you to retreat to the main room and take them out in the open space. At least once you've secured the room, there's another 3x Shield Charger down beneath some slime. Just like with the Pattern Buffer from earlier, you need to jump down, use it, and then swim back out. Nowhere near as rewarding as the first Shield Charger, but it can still be kind of useful if you get desperate.

At the top of the stairs is a ledge overlooking a river of slime with two Fighters at the top looking exactly the wrong way. This river of slime is actually the 'normal' way to reach the second half of the level, but I wouldn't recommend using it that way. Instead, just head further south along the corridor, and wipe out the mass of enemies at the very end of it (which was actually the spot where we originally teleported into and out of Pfhor Your Eyes Only). Despite the number of enemies there, they don't seem to be particularly problematic. You don't even really need to deal with them; you can actually ignore them if you want, despite the fact that the Vidmasters might protest (it's so hard to please them).

Returning to the first 3x Shield Charger and the beginning of the level, our next task is to get to the southern half of the level. Remember how in the original Pfhor Your Eyes Only there was that switch out in the main hallway that you could use to activate a platform that took you to a teleporter that brought you to that room with all the Alien Weapons and the [?deactivated] Hunters?

Yeah, you remember. Well guess what? The switch, platform and teleporter (point D on the map above) are all still there, but now, instead of taking you to a secret room, the teleporter takes you to the second half of the level, specifically point C on the map. This will drop you onto a ledge with an Enforcer, overlooking some more Cyborgs and Enforcers. Normally you'd be in the midst of the ones on the ground while being sniped from above by this Enforcer. By exploiting the secret, you make your entry more favorable, as you don't have to swim through the slime and you aren't being crowded or sniped.

Heading through the door down below, you find yourself in another long corridor like the one from the first half. Usually, there's a Mother of all Cyborgs (sort of like the MoaH of last level, but for Cyborgs and with no distinctive color palette, just size, health, and a bigger explosion) at point B, but lately, every time I play the level, I find it already active and roaming as soon as I leave the room at point C. This isn't too big a deal if you have the weapons from earlier levels, but if you're scratch-starting, you may just need to try avoiding the MoaC. Thank god we're not as slow as we were in PiD!

There's four quarters of this area, all attached to the river of slime that constitutes the 'normal' entrance. The north-western quarter can be ignored if you want to, but it's better to kill everyone and everything, don't you agree? Your first goal is probably to secure the north-eastern quarter. From there, you can jump around some slime to reach a 2x Shield Charger - a nice backup plan if things go horribly wrong from here. Mind you, it's guarded by a Cyborg, but that shouldn't be too much of a worry, especially if you jump into that room and jump back to shoot the Cyborg from around the corner.

From here, head for the south-western quarter at point B. That's where the end terminal is located, along with a Pattern Buffer (I think; correct me if I'm wrong). Be careful if you didn't see the MoaC in the main corridor, because that probably means it's still at point B. Luckily there are two exits and entrances to that room, which should hopefully make it a little easier to lead the MoaC away. You could read the end terminal now, but there's another secret to look for. Remember that river of slime that those two Fighters were overlooking before you snapped their spines? Well that's where you need to go. Get charged up as much as possible, and then jump into the slime in the northern part of the outside corridor here. Move further north as quick as possible, to point E, where a submerged Flamethrower awaits you. Once you've grabbed it, immediately swim back. With a bit of practice, you should be able to do it. I know I haven't, but to be honest, I haven't ever really tried. Once you're safe again, charge up and read the end terminal.

That sure explains a lot. Rhymes with Psycho indeed! Also, anyone else notice the references to 'polygons' in this terminal? A bit of Bungie humor, perhaps? A teaser? An error from Forge? Who knows. In any case, we are done here. With our lungs panting heavily, our heart beating like that of a squirrel, and charity for-- Wait, I messed up my line...

*WOOSH!*

Vale,
Perseus

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Pre-2004 Posts


Replies:

Tour of Duty - Sorry Don't Make It SoPerseusSpartacus 10/30/13 11:39 a.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - Sorry Don't Make It SoHokuto 10/30/13 3:24 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - Sorry Don't Make It SoPerseusSpartacus 10/30/13 4:17 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - Sorry Don't Make It SoNarcogen 11/1/13 3:46 a.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty - Sorry Don't Make It Sotreellama 11/1/13 4:18 a.m.
                       Re: Tour of Duty - Sorry Don't Make It SoNarcogen 11/3/13 2:27 a.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty - Sorry Don't Make It SoPerseusSpartacus 11/1/13 6:43 a.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty - Sorry Don't Make It SoHokuto 11/1/13 1:23 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - Sorry Don't Make It SoPerseusSpartacus 11/4/13 8:50 a.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - Sorry Don't Make It SoMartin 11/4/13 5:28 p.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty - Sorry Don't Make It SoPerseusSpartacus 11/5/13 7:32 a.m.

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