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Volunteers: Hang Brain
Posted By: Mark LevinDate: 11/24/01 10:16 a.m.

We're definitely back on Durandal's ship this time. This level seems strangely familiar, as if from an old dream... But it's significantly different from what is described as the same location in Marathon 2. Are the universes the Marine visits sufficiently different to explain the differences in ship design? Another possibility is that, like Thoth, Durandal has multiple cores, and the games focus on the last unit destroyed in each storyline.

The first terminal reveals another small inconsistency/difference: Tfear's flagship is now named the Seph'fr (Zephyr?) instead of Kfhiva. Tycho and Durandal are now after the same objective for different reasons: Durandal wants to die before he is captured, Tycho wants him to die before he can set the trap he is preparing for the Pfhor. "Do as I say, or drink vacuum"... This level is even more difficult than Begging for Mercy. The dark light makes combat difficult, and the Troopers have been made much more powerful, with a tendency to fire long bursts from their machine guns instead of grenades, whittling down your shields. As there is only 1x health available on this level (except for a secret 3x canister), this can be very painful.

One feature this level shares with BFM is the visible effects of Durandal slowly dying: Parts of the level shut down as you smash more and more panels. Durandal eventually stops sending you ammo as you open the circuits.

This level is pretty linear, consisting of three main areas: The main ring you travel around, the upper ring with the last two circuits, and the inner ring with the circuits. The inner ring is accessible through a door found by going past the real end of the level; it contains a LOT of ammo and a ton of monsters, although it may be worth trying it for the 3x health.

The very end of the level is a pair of circuits surrounded by Compilers and the last of the Bobs. Durandal said that Robert Blake and most of the men had reached the planet's surface, so perhaps this is a small group of humans who felt some strange loyalty to Durandal. Or maybe he just stole them with teleporters.

I believe the presence of the Compilers is an indication of our failure: The Pfhor have already captured Durandal and his electronic trap is sprung, continuing the war and ensuring the use of the trih xeem. Failure again.

The last terminal is interesting... The unfinished message has already been determined to be Durandal rambling as he is compressed into the chip and uploaded into the Marine's mind. A foreshadowing of Halo's Project Mjolnir, four(?) years earlier? It's far more likely that the inspiration was the other way around :) The finished message is more interesting. It is in the white, unadorned (no transmission details) style of Thoth and other Jjaro-influenced minds, and it speaks of difficult and painful acts of destruction, finally telling us to "find the new way". I interpret this as the writer telling the Marine to "think outside the box", to try something other than picking a side in this inevitable war. In the four universes we've visited so far (Marathon 2-Ne Cede Malis, Rise Robot Rise-Confound Delivery, Acme Station-Thing What Kicks, and now Naw Man He's Close-Hang Brain), he was trying to stop the release of the W'rkncacnter by destroying those who would cause it: The Pfhor and Durandal. Maybe whoever is writing this can show him an alternative he hasn't thought of. Or, for that matter, perhaps this is the game's way of presenting the Marine's realization that there are better ways to manipulate events than to kill things. The final screen tells us that we have the power to destroy and rebuild, a characteristic not usually attributed to soldiers. Cross over the maze, find the new path...

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Replies:

Volunteers: Hang BrainMark Levin 11/24/01 10:16 a.m.
     Re: Volunteers: Hang BrainShnu 11/24/01 2:41 p.m.
           Re: Volunteers: Hang BrainSNoblitt 11/24/01 3:43 p.m.
                 Re: Volunteers: Hang BrainDan Aris 11/25/01 8:36 a.m.
                       Re: Volunteers: Hang BrainMark Levin 11/25/01 11:43 a.m.
                             Re: Volunteers: Hang BrainMazilurik 11/25/01 12:38 p.m.
                                   Re: Volunteers: Hang BrainDan Aris 11/25/01 6:15 p.m.
                                         Re: Volunteers: Hang BrainHamish Sinclair 11/25/01 10:44 p.m.
                 Re: Marathon Infinity's StoryMazilurik 11/25/01 11:42 a.m.
                       You're 100.1% Right *NM*REB 11/25/01 6:03 p.m.
     Re: Volunteers: Hang BrainDavid Curry 11/26/01 3:12 p.m.



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