Tour of Duty - Kill Your Television
Posted By: MartinDate: 12/11/13 1:19 p.m.


22 – Kill Your Television

The name. The Story page discusses musical sources, with the especially interesting one being from a group called The BoBs! In terms of the gameplay, for the new player I think Kill Your Computer would be more likely, the ultimate reaction to the extreme frustration of the level.

Last time on Tour of Duty we observed the original limitations of the M2 engine, that level laying claim to having the most polygons of any thus far, and causing issues with audio dropouts on hardware back in the day, but probably not so much in PS’s lifetime! We also activated another two of Thoth’s personality cells. They always seem to be situated in water-heavy areas, and knowing how my last iPhone reacted after immersion in water, I find it amazing that the activation of Thoth seems to be going well :).


Now we’re off to find another two, the last two in fact! We start by falling down into a large courtyard with central and corner columns, the corner ones with moats in front of them, and Cyborgs everywhere. As I said last time, I’m going to run through this level in my own private way, if you will, and that involves not bothering to kill any of them here. It used to start with just running for the southwest water pool, but that was before I found out about the secret squirrel switch to activate the PB and oxygen recharger directly above us now – marked point A on the map. What map? This map:

Actioning a darkened wall section reveals a switch, which in turn activates the above, as mentioned. The map is wonderful, isn’t it? So unlike any other level – just a few huge open spaces and two personality cells. But it hides so much, and for the new player the level is a riddle wrapped in an enigma, and as in the best such situations, it is so simple once you know how.

Now we can head southwest, to the only one of the pools that goes deep, and through the door below. This is the first use of one of the most remarkable impediments to exploration in the series. We’re perfectly used to swimming by now, jumping into the water and coming back out again, but the concept that we can go through a door and then resurface somewhere quite different is a curious one, and oddly it doesn’t even occur to one at first, at least in my experience – actually my first experience of the level was watching my brother play it, and his working through that exact same thing, and the maddening confusion of later on as well. In this case the water situation also lends a lot of challenges to physics, as the water is a hell of a lot higher on this side of the door! But that’s only the beginning. Meanwhile, there’s a terminal here – we’re at point B on the map.

Okay so the Cyborgs are immune to the S’pht virus, great. Now they’re getting really far below ground; meanwhile we can still see the sky … when we’re not under physically challenging amounts of water that is. And no one knows what will happen when Thoth is activated … well, this whole game has been on Durandal’s whim, so nothing new there! Meanwhile, we’re using precious oxygen reading this, and had we not found the secret switch, that would be rather a problem. So, with foreknowledge, we swim to the surface, and find ourselves climbing out onto a ledge that goes all the way around the starting courtyard. Looking at the map we would have noticed an opening over to the left from here, and somehow getting out and heading left seems more natural anyway, hmmm. Doing so spawns a Cyborg in front of us, but we can just dodge around him. The opening sees us leap out across the courtyard and into the space with PB and oxygen recharger that we happily activated from down below. There’s also a Fusion Pistol, some ammo, and a 2x recharge canister here. After stocking up, the only way is down.

Back up on the ledge, we continue around with more Cyborgs spawning around the place, again easily avoided. Then at the diagonally opposite corner, we find more water, in a satisfyingly symmetrical way, at point C on the map. And this time we go down, down, deeper and down, and find an underwater passage – see how important that oxygen recharger was! This is the area where this level becomes quite mad for the new player, especially as they wouldn’t have activated that oxygen. What I’m going to do is not hang around down here, but hang a right out of the wide corridor and head for the surface, at point H on the map.

We find ourselves climbing onto another ledge, in a completely new area, with two pools of water up ahead to left and right. The pool to the right is massive, but is pretty much empty, while on the left at point I on the map is a small pool that is full to the brim, and just at that brim there is a switch on its far wall. Hitting it drains the small pool and somehow completely fills the much bigger pool on the right with its contents, Lh’owon physics FTW. Mind you, it’s not like there is an opening between the pools, so who knows what is really going on. So, if we jump in the small pool and hit that switch, we get stuck at the bottom of it – there is a switch to reverse the process, but still, not ideal. And if we go much further forward at all, we risk spawning more Cyborgs, so I prefer to just hang back, pull out my Fusion Pistol, and try to hit the switch as the water falls and rises to frustrate my aim.

Because of the oddity I described with swimming around and resurfacing somewhere completely different, the new player is more likely to encounter the large pool from the bottom first, going via the next terminal instead of coming up the way I did. That has to be one of the more frustrating experiences in the game, seeing openings and ledges so incredibly high up but having no idea how to get to them. Having that pool filled changes everything – water really is amazing. We swim down and find in those openings: a 2x recharger, an oxygen recharger (even more exciting if you missed activating the first), and a dead-end … but this level has taught us to be well suspicious of dead-ends in water environments, and swimming to the surface brings us to the entrance to another of Thoth’s personality cells – unmistakable!

After activating it I usually head back out the way I came, back up onto the high ledge and down into the other water area, but I guess there’s no reason we shouldn’t go more directly, through the opening at the bottom of the large pool, assuming it’s easy enough to avoid those F’lickta. There’s really not much need to kill stuff on this level! Well, except for Your Television, I guess…. Either way, let’s have a look at that terminal, again deep underwater.

And not all that useful to anyone. A very confused partially activated Thoth. Slowly. Finish. Waiting. Soon!

Just one more cell to power up. And just one more area in the level, another big open courtyard on the surface up to the north. More Cyborgs to avoid as we run around and around and eventually find another secret-style dimmed wall section door at point D on the map, but this one is necessary for continuing, and I’m really not a big fan of that. The only thing to be annoyed about on this otherwise amazing level. Well … it leads us to a lift that takes us to yet another ledge! This time it is harder to avoid the Cyborgs as the first one spawns across a gap we have to jump, and bounces bombs at us from a distance, so I usually kill them here. Never mind. Halfway across the second side, as we progress to the right this time, don’t ask me why, we find an opening that leads to … another ledge! This area is cleverly designed with water around the outside and then another ledge around the water. The courtyard is less symmetrical though, which is a shame.

Around to the left we find only a small ammo cache. Around to the right we find a Tozt and some ammo at point E on the map, and the last personality cell to activate, at point F. And that’s it! Thoth is now definitively ‘on’. Heading back to that last terminal proves this:

No time for pleasantries, short and to the point, and he kind of wants to be left alone for a bit. Humans near death? That does indeed sound like a job for us!

Finally, if we make the effort to go back to the first terminal we found on the level, we find that it has changed as well!

I don’t think there’s anything I can say to that other than go and read the Story page. It has the usual massive amount of discussion and interpretation, and reveals the end of the story, which is clipped from the terminal.

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Pre-2004 Posts


Tour of Duty - Kill Your TelevisionMartin 12/11/13 1:19 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - Kill Your TelevisionVikingBoyBilly 12/12/13 10:19 a.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - Kill Your TelevisionMartin 12/12/13 12:55 p.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty - Kill Your TelevisionVikingBoyBilly 12/12/13 4:15 p.m.
                       Re: Tour of Duty - Kill Your TelevisionMartin 12/12/13 6:04 p.m.
                             Re: Tour of Duty - Kill Your TelevisionVikingBoyBilly 12/13/13 6:14 a.m.
                                   Re: Tour of Duty - Kill Your TelevisionMartin 12/13/13 8:12 a.m.
                                         Re: Tour of Duty - Kill Your TelevisionPerseusSpartacus 12/13/13 8:32 a.m.
                                               Re: Tour of Duty - Kill Your TelevisionVikingBoyBilly 12/13/13 9:15 a.m.
                                                     Re: Tour of Duty - Kill Your TelevisionPerseusSpartacus 12/13/13 9:36 a.m.
                                                           Re: Tour of Duty - Kill Your TelevisionMartin 12/13/13 9:50 a.m.
                                                     Re: Tour of Duty - Kill Your TelevisionMartin 12/13/13 9:38 a.m.
                                               Re: Tour of Duty - Kill Your Televisionjonny 12/13/13 9:50 a.m.
                                                     Re: Tour of Duty - Kill Your TelevisionMartin 12/13/13 10:33 a.m.
     Justin TimeNarcogen 12/12/13 7:46 p.m.
           Re: Justin TimeMartin 12/13/13 12:33 a.m.
                 Re: Justin TimeNarcogen 12/13/13 1:00 a.m.

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Pre-2004 Posts



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