Volunteers: Kill Your Television
Posted By: Mark LevinDate: 10/29/01 2:33 p.m.

This level is the atmospheric high point of Marathon 2. The dark lighting, the night sky, the huge empty spaces, and that awesome Night Wind sound all come together to create an ancient fortress, abandoned for millenia. This is the real last chance, reaching out to Thoth before the Pfhor overwhelm even the last humans.

The switch in the first courtyard activates the oxygen charger and pattern buffer on the pillar, and also reveals the door to the rest of the level. There are a LOT of Cyborgs on this level, teleporting in all around you, especially when you are running along the ledges.

The first terminal mentions "two activation sites". I don't think this is a lie so much as a terminology error, since there are 2 personality cells here at this single site (which was also referred to as "one last site" on the previous level). One question, however: It was day when we arrived on This Side Toward Enemy, it's night now. Just how long were we underground anyway? :) An alternate explanation may be that we have been teleported thousands of miles across L'howon, across the planet's terminator and into the night ahead of schedule.

Our first encounter with Thoth comes at the second terminal on the level, which is difficult to read because the area is patrolled by powerful Water Flick'ta. Thoth is not quite awake yet, and is... well... mumbling, about thousands (of years?), endings, finishings. Perhaps he's awake enough to know that he has not yet fulfilled his purpose.

The first stop for me is usually the flooding pool. Shoot the nearby switch to raise the water (how does that tank drain enough water to fill a pool several times its size? :) ) and access Thoth's first personality cell. At the far end of the huge flooding pool is a cache of M-75 ammo. Also in the personality cell itself is a cache of ammo at the end of the circuitry, surrounded by a large ambush.

Next, we go to the north and surface in the second courtyard. Plenty of cyborgs to deal with here. Once you reach the outer rim, head to the left to get some extra fusion ammo, then head back the other way to reach the second personality cell, all the while admiring the way the light plays on the inner wall (if you're on thousands or millions of colors). Near the entrance to the cell is the almighty Tozt-7 Napalm Unit, which is a huge help when fighting Cyborgs (not that there are many left by now). And, like the other cell, there's a hidden cache of ammo at the very end of the circuitry.

One last landmark to see before we meet Thoth: Head all the way back out to the first terminal and check out the message: I am hero. Very mysterious...

Say hi to the fully conscious and (mostly) coherent Thoth at the second terminal, and we're off to see where the twist flops...

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