Volunteers: Nuke and Pave
Posted By: Mark LevinDate: 10/14/01 10:58 p.m.

Back in lava land, where the beserk Drones are giving the Troopers and Cyborgs a hard time. The new drones have somewhat more health than the standard ones (not that that's saying much), a new color scheme, and guided projectiles. The other monsters still mop the floor with them, of course.

One funny thing about the first two pattern buffers: They can be permanently disabled by smashing the panels next to them. Why on Earth would someone design a level that allowed this to happen?

Falling into lava can be a major problem on this level, there are many places where it can happen and few places to get out. Remember that you can use a weapon's recoil to push yourself up a jump that's too low to make just by swimming (the M-75 is best for this).

There's a minor physics bug which often manifests itself in the next room: When standing directly on the edge of a polygon, a monster can become immune to grenades. They just explode on him with no visible effect. This doesn't protect them from bullets, of course. ;P Watch out for some sane Drones in this room, they'll mix in with the friendly ones and jump you while you concentrate on the Troopers.

Jumping across the lava (at its narrowest point, near the wall) will give you access to a small area with a 2x health charger and some ammo in an alcove. On higher difficulties the monsters in this room will throw a tremendous amount of firepower at you if you hesitate in a doorway or hall, so take advantage of the two entrances to the room.

Moving on, we come to a series of ledges running around large arenas. If you jump down here, there's a few piles of ammo to be found, but you'll have to face all the monsters head-on, including a Mother of All Cyborgs in the last arena (with the elevator back up). Also in this last room, at the very end, is a sneaky little secret: That puny 1x health charger next to the 2x is actually a 3x health charger incognito. Jump onto the central platform to continue on through the level.

At the bottom of this disabled lift is a small inspection area(?) containing a panel to smash. Smashing it will activate the way back up as well as the red platform in the center of the arena, leading up to not only an invisibility but also an invincibility! The former is valuable because it will prevent the major cyborgs' seeking grenades from tracking you, and the latter is valuable for obvious reasons.

Once you head on towards the end of the level, you will encounter a room with some strange designs in the walls and a switch to hit. This place contains the way to the exit, but there are some other fun places to go in the level. To the east is a small room with a pattern buffer. The door to the north will bring you back to the start, or, through a small side passge, to a series of rooms that lead you to a ledge above the 2x health charger encountered earlier, or a set of small lava pools that we will see later from another angle. There is also a secret here that I was previously unaware of: Grenade hopping onto a ledge in the large, squarish room will bring you to a small (IMO not worth it) collection of ammo.

Heading up to the exit terminal? The fun's not over yet. There's a small optional area beyond the terminal; it has a few monsters to kill and a different perspective on the lava pools seen earlier. Still no clue as to what this facility does :\

On to the next level, where I will show you just how deep the rabbit hole goes...

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