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Volunteers: Ex Cathedra
Posted By: Mark LevinDate: 10/13/01 7:31 p.m.

This is another very large level, fairly flat but expansive. However, there are a number of tricks available that can make it somewhat easier to finish, if you're in a hurry and don't mind cheating a bit.

First order of business is to secure the terminal and pattern buffer; beware of troopers behind pillars. This level gives some importance to a new Marathon 2 feature: The ability to have switches and terminals "break". (This is not actually a new feature, as there was a switch that did this on G4 Sunbathing, but I don't believe the editors for Marathon 1 ever exposed it to mappers).

You have three objectives on this level: Gain access to the temple, insert the virus, secure the temple's upper levels. The easiest way to start is by securing the virus's insertion point, which is full of troopers and drones. It can be found at the northernmost point of the temple (not counting the flooded grotto). While you're outside the temple, don't forget to grab the ammo on a cliff above your start point; it's accessible by heading west and then south.

Next, go all the way east and get ready for some underwater action. Right next to the dive-in point is a single fusion battery, but you'll be using your fists for a while. In this underwater maze are a 2x health powerup and 2 oxygen canisters, all guarded by Flick'ta. On TC the oxygen you'll use punching these guys out is too great a cost, just run for it. There's also a Flick'ta waiting to ambush you near the end; take him out before you pass or he'll come out behind you and catch you between himself and some drones. Your best friend in the grotto is the dual pistols; most other weapons could do you damage if you shot the water in front of yourself by accident (and you will). Remember that if you knock the troopers off their ledges and into the water, they can't attack you. Your missions is behind a small brown door. There are two secret ways out of this grotto: One underwater door at the bottom of a pool, and a door on the small dry pathway to the north, which drops you back next to the pool earlier in the level (this one I was not aware of until this run).

There is an easier way to get the doors open: Head to the east side of the main chamber and go north. In the small, diamond-shaped room there is a secret door, which will reveal a room containing an Alien Weapon, some ammo, and a switch that opens the doors.

Once the temple is open, enter and take out the huge pile of Troopers waiting for you. Then collect the various ammo and use the 2x charger, and take the chip back to the insertion point. Then go into the temple and kill everyone else. The secret to the last room is to bezerk the monsters and wait for them to sort it out. The elevator down to the final room actually goes all the way to the cieling, which gives it two very annoying properties: If you stay on it, you take a little bit of damage each time it cycles, but if you get off, it's nearly impossible to step back on without triggering the bouncy-platform bug. Really no way around this, so just ride it down once and dive into the melee :P

On to Nuke and Pave, where we finally learn the fate of the mysterious Bernhard Strauss...

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Replies:

Volunteers: Ex CathedraMark Levin 10/13/01 7:31 p.m.
     Re: Volunteers: Ex CathedraHamish Sinclair 10/14/01 8:39 a.m.
     Re: Volunteers: Ex CathedraSidoh 10/14/01 8:48 a.m.
     Re: Volunteers: Ex CathedraVid Boi 10/14/01 11:03 a.m.
     Re: Volunteers: Ex CathedraGrasshopper 10/15/01 6:13 a.m.
     Re: Volunteers: Ex Cathedra[Tycho?] 10/15/01 2:27 p.m.
           Re: Volunteers: Ex CathedraSidoh 10/15/01 2:42 p.m.



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