Tour of Duty: Engineering
Posted By: VikingBoyBillyDate: 5/2/18 12:45 p.m.

Last time on Tour of Duty, we freed some Galaxans that we unfortunately had to kill. We start off in a dark hallway, but if we move forward without turning, we would miss the terminal in the small dead-end cylinder we were teleported into. The faint glimmer effect on the lower walls may have been done just to draw our eyes to turn around. Credit to nice, subtle design choices that work when it appears in this scenario.

Ah, kill everything in sight. That’s the modus operandi of FPS games. When we proceed, two pfhor fighters ambush us, and it’s actually hard to evade getting whacked with their staffs in this cramped space if you want to go fisticuffs on ‘em, but there’s a 2x charger right around the corner to negate that bad idea. The lift replaces any bullets we plugged the pf… PIRATES… plugged the pirates with, and there’s a door at the bottom. It slowly opens to reveal a dark hallway full of, er… platforms of some sort.

I think the terminal explained what these do? Oh yeah, it’s the “offsite teleport control.” A a bunch of pirates running around on and between them. But we can’t get back up! This is the second map in a row we lost our 2x charger after leaving the first room! This Devil in a Blue Dress is a cruel mistress.

A slot for a repair chip is on one side of this hall, and the chip is in a drawer right on the other side! As map design, it feels pointless, but if we’re supposed to suspend our disbelief that this is a real location, it’s realistically convenient. Now I’m tempted to think of all the times in M1, M2, and MI’s maps that these chips were located far away from the slots they go into for no real reason besides “so the map won’t be too short or easy.” All the ambient noised in this room stop when we insert it, so did we just turn this thing off? And, err…

These red recolors of that lh’owon slab thing are in an animation cycle flipping between a mirror of itself. Um. Why? Now there’s a terminal.

So we activated the offsite teleport system, we didn’t deactivate it. DiaBD guys, it might be a decade or two late to be a backseat editor, but… you oughta check the ambient sound’s flags on those polygons.

And here’s what it says if we didn’t activate it before reading:

Which, um… isn’t true? I replayed this and you can open the door in this room without using the chip, albeit the lights are shut off. Maybe it’s referring to something else.

When we open the door, pfhor fighters storm out of the floodgates, but we have the advantage of higher ground on this stairwell, and it looks like there’s pattern buffers on the bottom! Oh joy, I’m happy to see it’s not at the very end like Free Falling two maps ago (and Martin uncovered the mystery of the disconnected room on the map, so if you’re going for 100% with all secrets, you should go back and look at his reply to that thread). Oh, but none of them are working! And there’s a deactive 2x charger here, too. Ahahahahahaha pf’rk my life. One of the buttons raises a door temporarily with a repair chip in it, and there’s a garbage terminal here that looks like it’s just here to waste our time so the door closes and shuts us in.

But we can tab the door open on the other side, so phew. Putting the chip in the slot available dims the lights and all this useful stuff is still turned off, including a terminal we can’t read (I think Martin mentioned this unusable terminal in an email?), but I think it opened a door? (Well… no, that’s already open. I guess the only way to find out what exactly these chips do is to play the map without using them and see what happens.) And some more pf.. PIRATES are in there, including troopers, and another 2x that won’t work; but there’s a pattern buffer that DOES work, and an inactive oxygen charger for some reason. A button opens another door with more troopers that come out to kill us. At least we got to save here ;)

So, there’s a terminal in here:

So that other terminal wasn’t just there to waste our time. It was a message from the galaxans! And… brain receptacle area? All these years I assumed the biological part of the s’pht was in the top part, not the part you can only see when they… well… flash you. I don’t think it’s ever been confirmed where they’re sitting in there.

The next room (after clearing away the troopers) has a bunch of galaxans that ambush us by dropping down from the ceiling ala Bigger Guns Nearby. There’s weird pillars in this room, but one corner has ammo tucked away that’s really easy to miss, so be sure to comb the area!a

The door in this room is a lift that takes us down to a big stairwell with a bunch of pirates waiting to get ‘sploded! A good thing I can say about this scenario is it gives us plenty of big, clustered groups to use SSM missiles on! Btw, what does SSM stand for? At the top is a narrow hall with one door that won’t open, but the door at the end opens up to a weird room with a barred pool that has f’lickta swimming in it (and more pirates). In my playthrough the last pirate standing successfully kills off the f’lickta with its shock staff and he, in turn, succumbs to a single magnum round =)

The room has a button that does… idunno, but there’s an opening at the end of the bars to the pool and we’re actually forced to dive under and do some swimming to navigate here. How did this play out in the M1 version? Was it the vacuum level there? But there’s a lift with an annoying water f’licta that just won’t get out of the way, and we don’t have a flechette to make quick work of him. At the top is a narrow hall full of those green ceiling lamps, and one actually bars the path until we punch it! At the bottom of a drop there’s a s’p… GALAXAN standing in the way of a button.

But when we get too close, a bunch of pfhor—PIRATES—hop out in an ambush and I scramble backwards for safety… but the stupid lift into swampwater makes this… awkwardly dangerous. If there’s only one of those s’pht, maybe this won’t be so bad, but one wrong move could mean death with the amount of shield I have left. The s’pht — GALAXAN — out of existence, and there’s definitely a second one floating behind him. This is a really annoying battle as he has a habit of hiding and only popping out when I get close, and I have to wait for the lift at each turn like this is a really slow RPG.

The water in this area rises and lowers at an erratic rate; sometimes it will be just lightly bobbing up and down and then flood the whole room to nearly the top for a whole minute. There’s holes in the floor here where the pirates fall down because stupid AI I guess, and it looks like a door here is that same door that wouldn’t open that we passed earlier.

The one usable 1x shield recharger on the map is in this room, but there’s nothing else to do here but presss a button, which opens a wall full of pirates, a f’licta, and an orange galaxan. Great. There’s a terminal in there:

So I guess we gotta insert those chips. And in my research backtracking, I can deduce that the non-chip button rises the holes in this room… so it’s to our advantage to ignore it and let the pirates drown? huh. Oh, by the way, here’s the full map; we’ve explored almost the whole place by now.

Do you see it? When I said almost I wasn’t kidding. There’s a secret I missed in the room after the big staircase! Tabbing that wall with the octagon on the other side does a sleek door animation of 3 polygons opening in sequence, and it’s a room full of ammo.

And it’s not even that much. Just AR bullets and grenades. Come on, a 2x or 3x would be appreciated, and I'm starved on the fusion plasma. Here’s what the last terminal says after we’ve done our job.

A reactor that’s about to blow? Oh no! And that AI name sounds very s’pht-like… part of me wishes they’d try to make galaxans feel different from the s’pht in dialect, but whatever. Maybe this is one of those alternate universes where things that parallel each other are uncannily familiar in all ways. Join us next time where we enter the galaxan ship’s reactor and get a new chapter screen.

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Pre-2004 Posts


Tour of Duty: EngineeringVikingBoyBilly 5/2/18 12:45 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty: EngineeringGeneral-RADIX 5/2/18 1:33 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty: EngineeringVikingBoyBilly 5/2/18 4:13 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty: EngineeringMartin 5/2/18 6:36 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty: EngineeringVikingBoyBilly 5/3/18 12:04 p.m.

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Pre-2004 Posts



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