Volunteers: Whatever You Please
Posted By: Mark LevinDate: 11/20/01 10:23 a.m.

The second of the Marine's trips between universes takes place in a dreamworld of boiling lava, tiny shifting paths, and invisible enemies popping up on all sides. There are two ways through this level, the high path and the low path.

Upon entering the level, you are dropped towards the lava but saved at the last minute by a tiny platform, then given a Fusion Pistol. You'll need it to activate various switches throughout the level. Sometimes this is harder than it looks because of the mysterious S'pht sculpture blobs hanging in the air. These were last seen deep beneath L'howon on Six Thousand Feet Under. Perhaps they have some sort of mythological significance, which would explain why the S'pht, the Jjaro's creation, keep them around, and why they appear in the Marine's Jjaro-influenced dreams.

One trick I was not aware of on this level is that if you fire a weapon during the fall, you will activate most of the invisible Compilers and make them charge you at the start of the level, where you have room to maneuver. Then, if you take the high path, you have only the gray Enforcers to deal with. The high path can be accessed by shooting the distant switch visible from the first ledge, activating some platforms.

The low path is fairly straightforward. Follow the twisting path as far as possible. If you come to a dead end, shoot the nearest switch. If you hear the burbling of something emerging from the lava behind you, find some cover, turn, and wait for the invisible Compiler to come at you. Eventually, you will reach the end, with a terminal to take you to Naw Man He's Close. However, if you look around, you can see a set of platforms to jump to that will let you access the alternate exit terminal, which you were supposed to have earned after completing the high path.

The high path is significantly harder. You must make a large number of precise jumps, often from or to moving platforms, and deal with the many Enforcers sniping at you and the occasional Compiler climbing up onto the ledge as well. When jumping to platforms, always try to time it so that you land when the platform is going up; if you land on a platform when it's going down you will slide off into the lava and die. On the other hand, if you're aiming at a platform against a wall, you do want to jump when it's going down, so you can aim yourself into the wall and fall straight down onto it. At one point, there is a circuit you have to shoot: It first appears broken, and shooting it will fix it. How symbolic.

So this time, we were on Durandal's side again but things moved quicker than before, with the immediate arrival of Battle Group Seven. And from the last terminal on Thing What Kicks, it looks like there aren't going to be too many changes in this universe. Let's see how it ends...

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Volunteers: Whatever You PleaseMark Levin 11/20/01 10:23 a.m.
     Re: Volunteers: Whatever You PleaseHamish Sinclair 11/21/01 9:28 a.m.

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