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Eternal X Tour of Duty Chapter 2 Stage 3
Posted By: Lion O CyborgDate: 10/1/20 6:19 a.m.

Chapter 2: Enemy Stage 3: Radical Starship

Forward: All of my remaining Eternal Tour entries plus my own recordings of the failure levels (log exclusive for now) were written from at least April or May and finished on December 2019 before I started the SPV3 Tour of Duty. I was just waiting on the failure plank entries for chapter 2 to be posted before moving my own ones from my log to here. and so on for chapter 3 failure plank etc. i.e. Stage 2 of every chapter. Lack of references to things in 2020 expected (except some additions to my log writeup of C4S2) Last Episode (C5S3) finished on 7/12/2019 and initially posted on my log 8.12.2019.

Act 1: Unpfhorseen

Last time on Tour of Duty, we followed Tychoís advice and tried to trap Hathor, only for her to get away and Tycho to stupidly trust one of his pfhor corrupted copies with portions of his mind including cyborg control routines. That ended with Sol about to be lanced again. This time, Iím sticking with Leela and aiding her first, or just her in case Tycho really is being manipulated by his future self. We start back on Unpfhorseen. The success message from Leela triggers once you complete your objective, around the same time Tycho becomes available so I donít need to detail the map a second time as nothing was missed. Instead, I will skip straight to the success plank exit terminal and itís on to the next act.

Also, I managed to get the Special Edition Marathon 2 95 map Lia gave me to work: I must have put the SE files, tracks etc. in the folder for the wrong version of Marathon 2. I moved the folders to the right version (latest) and it works.

The terminal is the same one that Hathor contacted us by.

I knew it. Tycho was indeed infected by his future self, or at least one of his clones, and the clone is controlling him. He must have made Tycho give up his knowledge to another clone to ensure it could be used by the Pfhor.

Act 2: My Kingdom Pfhor a Horse

Christ if this map didnít have an annoying and unfair start in the original Eternal X. Thankfully as of 1.1 thatís fixed now. Thereís a lot of ammo and 1x shields here at the start as well as active camo. At the end of the huge canopy above, thereís buggers heading over the rooftops and thereís a lot of juggernauts. Itís wasteful to fight them; you have to run.

Thereís awkward terrain everywhere which my jump script works well with and in order to proceed, you have to climb an awkward pile of debris like stairs around a tall tower and jump to the partition wall to the other side of this starport yard. And THEN in order to get in, you have to wait for an irritating timed door, which opens whenever it pleases, and jugs can, and will kill you before it opens, usually leaving you with low health by the time you finally get in.

Thereís a couple of things different here: first, the active camo probably wasnít here in 1.0 so it was even harder. Second, as of Eternal X Omega 1.1 the door is no longer timed so you can open it and enter as quickly as you can. Third, the awkward ledges to the stairs in 1.2 have been edited to allow you to climb them without any trouble, and the jump to the wall is much easier, even without actual jumping.

The inside of the door is now textured like the innards of a chameleon with mood swings, though I thought the scales were more fish-like. The elevator at the end leads upstairs to a large room with hulks, fighters and minor enforcers. Be prepared to die a lot here in 1.0 thanks to low health but that is no longer an issue. The hulks seem hostile however so put them down to prevent them squishing you when reading the terminal.

Itís maps like this that truly remind me how much I love Aleph One, GZ Doom and modern Build for how complex their maps can be with such old rendering methods, with Marathon taking first prize for showing that it could even be done with vanilla engines of the former two if the map makers are good enough and push the limits.

I sadly now have to admit that Aleph One is now inferior to both GZ Doom and the EDuke32 sourceport of Build due to the Doom mod Brutal Doom Extermination Day & the games Hedon and Ion Maiden (I am NOT calling it Ion Fury), but Forrest and the gang didnít let that fact get them down and they made the absolute most with what they had, even then being able to fight back against the limits somewhat with MML and Lua scripts. If that isnít worthy of a Nobel Prize for best 2.5D game mod design, I donít know what is.

Iíve always loved old 2.5D and 3D game engines being used to create spaces you could very well see in real life. The Tomb Engine and Tomb Engine NG/AOD, Aleph One and Goldsource are my top picks for such, as I was spoiled by the urban levels in the 6 Golden Tomb Raider games, Black Mesa in Half Life 1 and the similar places in Duke Nukem Advance and Duke 3D when I was growing up. Play parks and swimming pools especially come into it with the Assault Course and Laraís pool in Tomb Raider 2&3 and the Aquatic Base trope (as I call it after a severely underrated Eternal theme-alike game) due to both the one in TR3′s expansion pack and many, many dreams Iíve had taking place in such locations. Marathonís Aquatic Base levels are usually in other mods.

Marathon Eternal and Tempus Irae are mods that demonstrate such examples of real world locations can indeed be included in Aleph One too and this map is a good reason why.

Weíve already had complex sewers, the edge of a shipís hull on the outside, a rocky plateau with a sea in the sky crashing its waves, pfhor cities (some parts now with rain!) and big hangers complete with a starfighter in them, and thatís not counting the original trilogy or other mods, namely Tempus Irae.

Now we have a massive starport with control towers or radio aerials like the one above, the new glass in the windows and a docked ship. That giant canopy we started under? Thatís the very edge of the ship Leela wants us to board and disable. The map is so big, it covers almost all the (still too small by modern standards) vertex grid and contains 20 more sectors than the original Forge allowed. Forget that the grid hasnít been expanded, this map is one of many in the mods that shows that you can still have huge maps if you draw them right. This room is a departure lounge with long benches like in airports and piston elevators like you get in shops leading up to the umbilicals connected to the ship.

The other passengers by the gate donít take kindly to hijackers. After I deal with them, I take the lift up to the nearest umbilical and enter the ship. Thereís a pair of troopers and a major enforcer guarding the umbilical, Plus some more inside the ship itself. To the right is a set of diagonal stairs leading deeper into the ship and to the left is a room with pfhor and a switch in it.

Another enforcer tries to sneak up behind me from the diagonal stairs. He fails. I recommend the staff here and running back to the departure longue to recharge and save if your shields go down. If the troopers follow you in the corridors, bludgeon them to death before they fire; havok rifles and enclosed spaces are a bad combination when against you.

At the end of this room, (Ship reception? Cargo bay?) is the second umbilical. Another enforcer is more successful at sneaking up on me and flames me as I fight the troopers. I was almost on board when they showed up. Around the corner on the other side of the bay is some kind of strange thundrillium pool outside the windows.

I have no idea what this is supposed to be. Is it the shipís infinity pool? The liquid crystal looks like itís supposed to be here, judging by the waterfall to the right. Forrest said on the Rampancy boysí stream that it apparently has something to do with the drive system.

The switch in the pit triggers the door on the platform with an enforcer inside. Following the corridor around the infinity pool, I stumble into more angry crew who force me to retreat and recharge my energy shields as well as heal up. I return via the second umbilical.

The fighter, enforcer and two hunters followed me back, they are going down the hall to the first umbilical where I went. The hunters are on the other side of the gap firing on me. After dealing with them, I admire the purple tape inside the switch room before throwing it. It appears to be some sort of cable covering, but thereís just the wall underneath.

The switch opens a circular room with a platform behind the infinity pool. Killing the hunters inside, I find two switches up the lift that open the other two doors, guarded by an enforcer. The left door (facing away from the lift, toward the pool) connects with the hallway near the stairs. The right door leads to a vaguely moth shaped room with a 1x shield terminal and the chip slot in a vestibule on top of the platform. Every door except the entrance to the moth room is locked.

The switches to open it I thought were back in the ambush area past the pool, but they open a second moth shaped room right next to it, guarded by an easy to deal with trooper. Itís wiser to use the scatter rifle in there, against the enforcers, as they all have plasma flamethrowers. Thereís a switch in the vestibule here, that opens the doors to the one in the first moth room.

I always liked the shape of this stairwell for some reason. At the top is the exit terminal, but I deal with the pfhor and recharge my second layer of shields first, just to be safe.

Act 3: Burning Down the Corporation

Map text is the same as the failure plank. This map is identical to Pissing on the Corporation except we go to the west wing instead of the east one. It still leads south back to the machine room. This time thereís no fog partially obscuring the ship in the hanger in 1.2. The track that played before was probably A Walk in the Woods/Flowers in Heaven, but itís New Pacific now.

The mission here is the same as Tychoís one but the circuits may be in different areas. The first one is the same but the elevator at the end of the umbilical to the control tower doesnít work anymore, I have to take the impressive glass one to the west end of the hanger. ÖI tell a lie: it seems to work now in 1.2ís version of this map. The door on the west end of the hanger observation area doesnít open though.

In the room by the west wing lift, a pair of Sípht Kr help kill the commander hunter. The strange fuel pump thing is still there in the room before it. This map in all versions of Eternal is also less of a slog than its counterpart as shield or at least health terminals are within easy reach.
.
Up the west wing lift, is a secret door to a teleporter added by Shining Raven, but I missed it on both my playthroughs of this map. I only know about it as I saw it on the ASE stream after the fact. It takes you outside into the hanger itself and you can climb the circular door and go right up to the ship! It reminds me of the UFO room in Duke Nukem 3Dís Area 51 map in Episode 4 in the Atomic Edition, except unlike Duke Nukem 3D you canít actually enter the ship. Standing on one of the light panels on the shipís spine teleports you back into the starport.

Up the west wing lift is a switch door with piston locks in front of it. Behind it is a window through which lightning flashes. I donít know if that is caused by a storm or starship battles. An enforcer looks out the window while a trooper and fighter stand watch.

To the east is another piston lock door, a room with a chessboard floor and stairs leading down. Thereís also a normal health terminal here, but thereís a 1x shield one on the same pillar so whatís the point?

The stairs lead through an underground passage to the second relay overlooking the machine room.

As before, the middle part of this thing now in 1.2 appears to be actual pfhor slime, while the conduits and trunking are just textured like it. Chase lights still represent the current as it flows through the cables. The machine also pulses with electricity as well unlike previous versions, besides the new liquid middle part. I notice after breaking the relay circuits that the health & shield pillar has an oxygen terminal on the back of it, which you also donít need to use.

The south room next to the second relay has large power conduits for the machine room which also blink with current. Thereís a whopping 3 commander hunters in here with enforcers and such, but you are backed up by Sípht Kr. I accidentally shot one because it spawned in as I was shooting a fighter or enforcer.

Further on is a narrow blue hall with a trooper in it that connects directly to the final relay. The room by the east wing lift is infested with hunters, Sípht and a cyborg tank. The latter is hostile but Iím not sure about the compilers. I run off and let them shock each otherís systems while I heal and save, before returning to finish off the stragglers. Only the hunters survived.

A trooper, hulk and compiler crowd on the lift, blocking the way down until the trooper kills the hulk. Instead however, he ends up blowing himself up and the hulk remains peachy keen. Heís hostile only if you bump into him, which is sort of an issue as otherwise the fatless bastard wonít move. He does get off the lift on his own, but only to block the door to the first relay. The compilers turn on you the same way.

Tycho is now fully controlled by his future self, working with his clone. The future Tycho clone that infected him must have been in control the whole time on the failure plank. Damn him! Damn the pfhor as well for making our friend into a monster to begin with!

I think this is soon before Síbhuthís betrayal. Once I deal with Hathor, Iíll need to come back here and stop him. This screen appears identical to its 1.1 version (possibly 1.0 as well? I forgot), wasnít that video feed planned to be an actual video? Or was I confusing it with potential ideas for M1 Redux I read about? Oh well.

Tycho said Hathor went back in time to Lhíowon and in the success plank with you, Leela, you imply she is still going to the same place. It seems that both of us need to know about this; the truth about circa 2000 years ago. There could be something else on Lhíowon back then that could help which Durandal and I missed, never mind Hathorís presence. If you want to know, youíre better off following me.

Act 4: The World Is Hollow

Iím back in Kingdom Valley, under the crashing sea that makes up the sky. I admire the waves and the view of the Sacred Castle Lake across the bay before jumping down the small shaft into the teleporter. Durandal and Thoth have some things to say as I dream.

Does Cortana think the same thing when she went through Rampancy in Halo 4? What does she think now in Halo 5? I know she returns, Iíve seen the bit where she contacts us for the first time in Halo 5, but no spoilers as thatís as far as Iíve got: I wanted to finish the Master Chief Collection first, including Halo 4ís Spartan ops, which I didnít keep up with in the original Xbox 360 Halo 4. I wasnít able to avoid spoilers about her now being the antagonist however.

A distance not seen, but known? Where is the universe to start closing after the Big Crunch? Past the Magellanic Clouds? Further on? We may never know. The start of the closure is not likely to even be in our galaxy.

I am reminded both of something my ancestor on my Iranian grandpaís side of the family said once at least 2000 years ago or something, as well as the poem in Eat the Path: ďYou are in a maze in a maze. But which one counts? Your maze, their maze my maze. Or are all the mazes the same, defined only by the limits of their paths?Ē

Indeed it does. Iíll be back for the next part in Act 1 of Chapter 3: Prophecy. Donít miss it!

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Replies:

Eternal X Tour of Duty Chapter 2 Stage 3Lion O Cyborg 10/1/20 6:19 a.m.
     Re: Eternal X Tour of Duty Chapter 2 Stage 3Aaron Freed 10/1/20 11:48 a.m.
           Re: Eternal X Tour of Duty Chapter 2 Stage 3Lion O Cyborg 10/1/20 2:56 p.m.

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