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Tour of Duty: Robot World Arena
Posted By: VikingBoyBillyDate: 2/20/14 4:49 p.m.

Last time on Tour of Duty we entered what appears to be a strange new reality where we are enslaved to the Pfhor and Tycho, killed some enforcers, and found a pfhor training area with the help of Martin.

We arrive in a small room, and though Martin is still in Co-op with us, he is not with us in our starting area. There is a button here that doesn't seem to do anything, and a single hallway leading to the main arena. We soon meet Martin out here, and I might as well show you the Map (the cheap spoiler guide map because PS couldn't be bothered to remake it):

This is just Waldo World Arena copied and pasted into the M2 engine. Players who played netgames (or just used the level select) have seen it before, but this is the first time we're covering it on Tour of Duty, since netmaps weren't part of the main story until now.

My theory is that this is a standard pfhor military training arena design. The the Waldo World Arena in M1 was one such arena on the Boomer, and this is another arena in battle group seven. I bet Durandal plastered Waldo World Arena with his bright, vomit-inducing "improvements" like he did to Pfhor Your Eyes Only (I suppose the infinity pfhor textures could be Tycho's updates on the battle group seven fleet, and being a copy of Durandal's image without his signature flair, we get Tycho's softer grayscale paint job).

It's obvious that the point of this map is for Martin and us to goof off and kill each other, but instead we just wander around aimlessly trying to find the exit.

There are 5 main areas: one central arena and four subrooms with teleporters leading to the higher ledges in the arena for picking off players from above. A stray pfhor or two wanders around in the arena, but it doesn't attack us.

Since there isn't much to say about the map itself, I may as well take this as the first real opportunity to show off ourselves.

This is Martin:

Ripped by me, because I didn't immediately find a sprite sheet by googling. I hope you all appreciate the effort I'm putting into this. I even did some re-editing to make sure it wouldn't break the story board formatting, and I wouldn't scale down the size because you need to bask in every pixel in it's true resolution.

Marathon gets a lot of praise for it's story line (or story-web as per infinity). It's other main gimmick was being a non-educational macintosh game that was a stellar action-centric first person shooter at a time when most popular PC games weren't ported for the minority who had macs in their household.

The 5-D space is the coolest and trippiest way to fake 3D.

But this sprite sheet right here is a tangible display of genius in game design that's far ahead of it's time.

When we look at martin, I can see the weapon he's carrying (alien weapon at the time). If he switches to his pistols, we'll see his in-game sprite holding pistols. He can run while firing and his legs will be visibly in running motion while he's doing so. If he uses the side look buttons (who does that?) His torso will swerve around to each side and his legs remain facing their forward position. The way it works is the player sprites are split between disembodied legs and several torso sprites. In other words, the player actually has two sprites in one! This allows one half of the body to be an personal color while the other half uses a team color to individually identify them in team netgames. And by infinity, there were a lot of different netgame types. Including: free-for-all, king of the hill, and (the thing those skull sprites are for) kill the guy with the ball.

To my knowledge this is the only first person shooter using 2D sprites that visibly shows the player sprite holding the weapon that's on their HUD. You'd never see this until you play a netgame. Generally, 2.5D fps games of the time didn't bother. It wouldn't be until 3D polygonal models that this practice became standard, because it's easier to implement on a 3D model, and for 2D sprites it's a lot of effort for something that most players won't even care about. Just look at the fine touches. The TOZT-7 napalm canisters are proudly hoisted onto the player's back and the wire hangs below the torso over the legs.

M1 was meant to be a solo-only game through most of it's development, and when netplay became possible, they could have just tacked it on. But they went the extra mile and made player sprites like this and 10 extra netgame maps to battle in, and the tradition continued through M2 and beyond.

Bungie, for going the extra mile above and beyond the call of duty when doomguy was sliding around the floor on immobile legs like a super saiyan while firing BFG blasts with a shotgun, we solute you. And the default color is Azure, one of my favorites other than Orange (I think the base color in the M1 sprite was violet, which I believe is the color Martin chose).

So, uh, back to the map. I try to communicate with Martin using the netgame text feature, but he is silent. He later reveals that he doesn't know how to use it, so we're stuck with this mute Martin that makes it difficult for us to co-operate.

Eventually while we're in the lower-right room of the map, a wall opens revealing a cache of shotgun shells and a terminal. Martin pushed that button I mentioned at the beginning and this is what it does. Since it quickly closes, it is impossible to reach this section in single player.

The terminal:

This might be true if martin and I dueled each other, resulting in cost-defective damage to the training area. Oh, I should have mentioned in Rise Robot Rise that the terminals origin is Tfear High Command. Tfear himself ordered us to train for the upcoming war against Durandal, the humans, and the s'pht. Dawww, we're his special recruits in battle group seven =)

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Pre-2004 Posts


Replies:

Tour of Duty: Robot World ArenaVikingBoyBilly 2/20/14 4:49 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty: Robot World ArenaMartin 2/20/14 6:22 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty: Robot World ArenaVikingBoyBilly 2/21/14 3:33 a.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty: Robot World ArenaPerseusSpartacus 2/20/14 8:37 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty: Robot World ArenaMartin 2/20/14 11:59 p.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty: Robot World ArenaPerseusSpartacus 2/21/14 8:06 a.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty: Robot World ArenaPerseusSpartacus 2/21/14 8:13 a.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty: Robot World Arenatreellama 2/21/14 10:05 a.m.
                       Re: Tour of Duty: Robot World ArenaPerseusSpartacus 2/21/14 10:37 a.m.
                             Re: Tour of Duty: Robot World ArenaVikingBoyBilly 2/21/14 3:27 p.m.
                       Re: Tour of Duty: Robot World ArenaJabberwok 2/23/14 4:25 a.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty: Robot World ArenaJabberwok 2/23/14 4:22 a.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty: Robot World ArenaPerseusSpartacus 2/23/14 8:02 a.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty: Robot World ArenaNarcogen 2/23/14 6:57 p.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty: Robot World ArenaJabberwok 2/24/14 2:04 a.m.
                       Re: Tour of Duty: Robot World ArenaJabberwok 2/24/14 2:08 a.m.
                             Re: Tour of Duty: Robot World ArenaVikingBoyBilly 2/24/14 4:12 a.m.

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