Volunteers: This Side Toward Enemy
Posted By: Mark LevinDate: 10/26/01 3:45 p.m.

Marathon 2 gets more calm and mysterious now. The war is over, the Pfhor have won, and all you have left is a small pocket of humans and Durandal's last request. You must activate an ancient S'pht AI, which might be able to help avenge Durandal, and protect the humans on L'howon.

The first "Thoth's brain" level is a watery installation full of Flick'ta. It is complex and somewhat nonlinear, leading past old areas many times. You'll have to complete several setup tasks before you can get into the real mission, the actiavtion of two of Thoth's personality cells.

First priority is to recover your health and start building your inventory back up. There's a pistol and some ammo in the room you start in, and a 1x recharger guarded by a Water Flick'ta across the way. Don't go into the large room yet, you need more ammo. Near the 1x health charger is more ammo, and a stairway leading up to a pattern buffer, a terminal, and a dead end (for now). The terminal introduces Robert Blake and sets up the plot of the next few levels. It also mentions the S'pht's anti-Pfhor biological weapons, last seen in a history terminal deep beneath the surface on Six Thousand Feet Under. Don't forget to hit the switch before you leave the room, it closes an important gap in the corridor.

Now that you're properly armed and armored, head into the large room on the opposite side of your starting point. Ignore the Flick'ta in the pool with you, you can easily swim over their heads. A small platform obstacle course leads you to a pair of switches, guarded by Flick'ta, which open the dead end spotted earlier. This may have to be chalked up to a texture collection limit, but a lot of things around here have the same general look as Thoth's circuits. I wonder if that means anything.

At the end of the spiral stairs, after a short jump down, you're given a second pistol. And a good thing, too, because the real monsters are about to show up: Compilers and Troopers. Fortunately they only come at you one at a time. Further along is an oxygen charger, which you probably need by now, the second terminal, and Thoth's personality cells.

Thoth's first cell has a secret: If you go to the other end, you'll get a Fusion Pistol. You'll also get some more monsters dropped on you. A good way to avoid this is to keep the water flooded as you run down; this will hold the compilers above the surface and keep them from hitting you with their bolts. If you lower the water, the Flick'ta and Compilers will fight, with victory usually going to the former. The second cell has some pistol ammo, but no extra monsters. Also notice that the path to the second cell goes through 5D space, cutting invisibly across the first cell.

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