Tour of Duty - The Slings & Arrows of Out. Fortune
Posted By: MartinDate: 8/14/13 1:36 p.m.


02 – The Slings & Arrows of Outrageous Fortune

The name. From the Story page:
Quote from Shakespeare’s Hamlet – Act III Scene I.
To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?

Simon Rowland writes:
The Slings & Arrows of Outrageous Fortune, in the context of Hamlet’s soliloquy, could be interpreted as “Fight to the death no matter what the opposition; don’t give up”.

I like that. It’s a bit early on in the game for such an idea of intensity, but then again PiD’s second level was Never Stop Firing!

Also, from Galaxy Quest:
Never give up; never surrender!

Okay. Last time in Tour of Duty, we found that we were reduced to only a (new model, which actually stops Fighters from attacking!) magnum again ><, we met magnum-toting BoBs (and PS probably killed them), admired a wonderful Lh’owon night skyscape, got a surprise ‘welcome back’ from Durandal, found that switches could be double-sided, were introduced to ambient sounds, met the new Drones (mad MADD/Wasp replacements), discovered water and what switches can do to it, were introduced to ammo that teleports in, were introduced to Uplink Chips and Pfhor terminals, woke up swarms of drones in the pool rooms, found a new model assault rifle, and also, being attentive, a secret WSTE-M5 shotgun and a few bunches of secret ammo, including ones that showed the potential of secrets with ammo that teleports in. Wow, busy times! We’re back, baby.

Now we arrive to yet more introductions. In the starting room we see and hear the sewerage water texture, complete with rather strong currents around the room, even though this seems to be a “watertight”, inside room. Lh’owon physics, gotta love ’em. On the raised cross shape in the middle of the room, the Pfhor fighters we know and love are busy fighting against the native F’lckta of Lh’owon. The green variety – they throw rocks, much like the PiD Ghoul, although they look more like the Headless! They don’t like the Pfhor, and we encounter both Fighters and Drones in battle with them on this level … but they don’t like us either. Great! There are also a few bones scattered about the place, as they are on much of this level ... that bodes well!

Okay, I interrupt this to clarify for myself, from wikipedia:
In loose American English usage, the terms ‘sewage’ and ‘sewerage’ are sometimes interchanged. Both words are descended from Old French assewer, derived from the Latin exaquare, “to drain out (water)”. Sewerage refers to the infrastructure that conveys sewage.

Okay so I guess I will use sewage from here on!

Anyway, after clearing this room we head out into a corridor and turn right, down some stairs, and then to some Drones lying in wait, some ambient water dripping sounds, fair enough, and a terminal:

Yes, we remember Tycho. Most attentively:

The S’pht reanimated me in your image, with prior knowledge of
how the second stage could be postponed. You should not have
helped them as much as you did; they have created an adversary
more powerful than yourself.


The S’pht taught me much during my reanimation,
and I have forgotten nothing.

Sounds quite reasonable that he would have fallen in with the Pfhor, in an attempt to stop Durandal – he was pretty pissed off. Again interesting that most of Tycho’s content in M1 was secret or at least inconvenient to, or discouraging of, access. We’ll have much more fun with his (potential) side of the story in Infinity :).

Oh well, at least we know what we’re doing here: exploring! This level is a lot like the last one I covered, Try again, in the non-linearity of progress. It has some interesting secrets, again like Try again, but the difference is that we can complete this level in about a minute, as we don’t have to kill everything ... but we might as well. We also have a choice on where we leave the level from – Durandal says to find another computer, but we can come back to this terminal (based on exploration?) for a much more interesting story than we get from the actual end of the level. But there’s a ways to go before we get to that. Back up the corridor past the room we started in, we find a new look 1x charger and a new mini pattern buffer, on the wall of a staircase. Let’s look at the map at this point!

Much better than the spoiler guide map, thanks PS. This properly shows that most of the level is covered in at least some sewage, and it helps with memory while not playing. Fun that the letter markings on this map are all to do with the main secret ... so we’ll come to those later. Now we head up the staircase and around the corner, where we enter the sewage pools and get more rocks thrown at us. The shotgun is fun against F’lckta! Grenades are dangerous around water/sewage, as they are solid surfaces!

Then we have a choice. Straight ahead takes us swimming – our first real submersion barring the WW secret that was mainly educational. We finally have something to affect our oxygen meter, for the first time since G4 Sunbathing! It shouldn’t be a problem here though, even on TC. There is also a door to the right here, and I’m going to take us that way. It leads to a staircase out of the sewage, and then along a narrow corridor, which, by the map, fits in rather snugly between other parts of the level. We also see a new feature: windows through to some of those other parts but with some sort of rusted vertical bars (although they look more organic) making them impassable, and also annoying if you’re wanting to shoot/grenade through them, as we eventually will (the secret on We’re Everywhere! for example).

We end up on a platform with an oxygen charger ... see, oxygen definitely won’t be a problem! ... along with a bunch of Drones, rising out of a pool in the corner, and some ammo. We take care of the Drones with the new magnum, and enjoy how that sound is SO much more satisfying than M1’s magnum’s sound! There’s another new feature on display here, light bulbs, and to our joy, they can be smashed, although this doesn’t seem to affect the actual light we see. This area is also open to the elements – we hear some rushing wind, and other weather effects, and see once again the alien night sky view on all sides.

The pool in the corner goes deep, and leads us to our first decent bit of underwater exploration, but there really isn’t much interesting down there. We pass where another platform rises above, with an island off to the side, and have our first go at swimming to the surface (in WW we could have just used the lift), but they are too high up to get to for the moment. We carry on and come to a spiral staircase up and out, where we see better that the wall texture appears to show significant rusting and no surprise. This staircase ends with a small ambush by a switch. The switch opens the door nearby, which leads us out into a large open sewage space! This is where we would have come to by going straight ahead and right from our first dip. Yes, this level has a similar level of connectivity to Try again as well!

If we carry on straight through it, taking out F’lckta as required, we come to the door to the higher platform we looked at from below earlier on. Jumping across to the island platform brings in some more ammo. Ahh the joys of things teleporting in / waking up. Makes us much more attentive with exploring, and I guess that’s what this level tries to teach us.

Then we go back down the stairs and through the door, and hang a left. Through some annoying right angle turns through a sewage corridor, and back out into the open. This is where the connectivity of the level gets annoying. I am SO used to approaching the rest of the level from the other side that we’re just going to cover the left/south side here and then seriously backtrack!

Another door, more stairs, the other side of the windows we saw before, more Drones, more ammo and a 1x charger! And kind of a dead end. The wind is still blowing, and some small explosion sounds seem to have been added to the mix. As we can go no further, we proceed in children’s book style: we go back down the stairs, back through the door, around the corner, through the corridor, across the open space, left into the corridor and actually underwater, and ... we come to another open area of sewage. This level is nothing if not consistent! The height levels get annoying around here as we bob up and down (did someone say BoB?). For a change we see a door to the right AND a stairway up to the left – they lead to different aspects of the same room.

If we take the stairs to the left, a projectile fighter starts throwing stuff at us, from his vantage point in front of a pattern buffer, across a big pit with sewage and three raised stepping stones for our accessibility. This level has almost as much unnecessary space as Come and Take Your Medicine! There are F’lckta down in the pit, where we start to earn our seafists. Two of them! I actually liked the M1A1 addition of the second fist, especially given that the UI does say "Fists", but hey. They allow us to take out the F’lckta with no resistance. Water currents do make things more interesting when fighting F’lckta with fists (ooh nice alliteration), but we don’t have to worry about that yet. When underwater, the F’lckta stop throwing rocks and revert to just slapping us across the face.

In fighting them on Windows, I just hold down Space and Z for a while. Alt does not work as a second trigger like it does on Mac, as you end up hitting alt-tab or alt-P, which is my ‘next weapon’ key, and that makes the game pause! In windowed mode, alt-space is also a real annoyance, and tends to result in a stuck trigger and sometimes stuck spinning around and around. Makes processing screenshots annoying!

Okay this has taken a lot of text for a reasonably uninteresting level! At least now we come to a more interesting part. Carrying on to the next area, we encounter a bunch of Pfhor and F’lckta, fighting amongst themselves. They happily turn to add us to the fracas, and that doesn’t work out so well for them. The open sewer spaces in a lot of this level have blue metallic pillars around the walls, and some in the middle making holes in the map view, and it is only natural for a self-respecting Security Officer to try to action them all! First on the right here (point A on the map!) we meet with success, opening a door to a small room with more things to kill – does that make you happy?. More to the point, if we run in there, we find a new model old friend – the fusion pistol! Not long after this, we probably figure out that this "works" underwater, but has a good go at killing us in the process! Unlike the magnum, the fusion pistol sounded better in M1, especially the glassy sound on hitting the wall, but never mind. The new one looks fantastic though, especially with the high resolution images, mmmm, although I still don’t like the fact that they made the assault rifle graphic taller on the screen than it used to be.

As for the secret, there’s more fun to be had with further actioning of blue pillars – further along the way, at point B on the map, we uncover a switch. How odd! It turns out that this opens a secret within a secret! A door beyond where we just got the fusion pistol ... but only temporarily. If we find our way in there we get treated to something truly mysterious. From our spot in the sewage, we witness an eternal struggle seemingly in an area open to space (point C on the map!), but inaccessible to us thanks to some kind of invisible barrier. Tan F’lckta, which we’ve not yet met ourselves, continually teleport in and shoot fireballs at Fighters! We can hear it all going down, so that barrier doesn’t block sound, but we can’t get up there :(. The sounds are also at a higher pitch, things are sped up? And it will never end – they’ll still be fighting at the closure!

When we manage to pull ourselves away from this action and head back out of the secret area, and then back out of the secret area ... we can carry on past our point B switch and find a connection to where we were a while back – I guess if in need, we could go all the way to the 1x charger in that direction, but that experience would be a bit banal to write up. Our other options from point B are straight ahead and right. Let’s go straight.

We find ourselves in another open sewer area, but to distinguish it, there are stairs and then a ledge that leads around the corner and ultimately to one last call for ammo(hol). The surrounding sewage is deserted, but back at the stairs to the ledge there is a more naturally curving tunnel, with a few F’lckta to dispense with. This tunnel ends in the final room, but we’re stuck in a hole we can’t get out of ><.

Instead we head back to point B and take a right! This takes us up some stairs out of the sewage, to a brief ambush, a pattern buffer, and the ‘End’ terminal, overlooking the hole. This terminal reads:

Now that’s just a little odd, given that we found a shotgun on WW and just found a fusion pistol here! Umm, did some kind S’pht soul from Boomer teleport them down to us without telling Durandal that they were finished? Why send them to the most inconvenient locations? I guess this terminal is so enthusiastic about the fusion pistol mainly to laugh at the non-attentive among us, but it is strange. Not only that, but ammo drops start including shotgun shells very soon, when that weapon was very easily missed on WW for the new player, and there isn’t another until Eat It Vid Boi! (kind of secret) and otherwise IIHARL.

The other end terminal, back at the start, reads:

As I said re Ingue Ferroque, and not even with this info in mind, Durandal really did help us out in the end, in M1, even if it wasn’t exactly on purpose. At least this is some of that tru7h we’ve been looking for: Durandal’s motives, check; how it all really helped humanity, check; that we are not human, check. Wait, what? A line that could so easily have been missed, at least in its significance, in a terminal that could easily have been missed, as it wasn’t logical to come back here ... perhaps shall we say not the last time that ending up back at the start leads to “success”?

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Pre-2004 Posts


Tour of Duty - The Slings & Arrows of Out. FortuneMartin 8/14/13 1:36 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - The Slings & Arrows of Out. ForPerseusSpartacus 8/14/13 2:29 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - The Slings & Arrows of Out. ForMartin 8/14/13 2:42 p.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty - The Slings & Arrows of Out. ForPerseusSpartacus 8/15/13 7:45 a.m.
                       Re: Tour of Duty - The Slings & Arrows of Out. ForMartin 8/15/13 10:36 a.m.
                             Re: Tour of Duty - The Slings & Arrows of Out. ForPerseusSpartacus 8/15/13 10:46 a.m.
                       Re: Tour of Duty - The Slings & Arrows of Out. Forjonny 8/15/13 11:32 a.m.
                             Re: Tour of Duty - The Slings & Arrows of Out. ForMartin 8/15/13 11:39 a.m.
                             Re: Tour of Duty - The Slings & Arrows of Out. ForPerseusSpartacus 8/15/13 11:43 a.m.
                                   Re: Tour of Duty - The Slings & Arrows of Out. ForGodot 8/15/13 11:53 a.m.
                                   Re: Tour of Duty - The Slings & Arrows of Out. Forjonny 8/15/13 12:03 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - The Slings & Arrows of Out. ForAntarctico 8/14/13 2:45 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - The Slings & Arrows of Out. ForMartin 8/14/13 3:00 p.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty - The Slings & Arrows of Out. ForAntarctico 8/14/13 3:16 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - The Slings & Arrows of Out. Fortreellama 8/14/13 3:29 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - The Slings & Arrows of Out. ForGodot 8/14/13 11:03 p.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty - The Slings & Arrows of Out. ForMartin 8/14/13 11:15 p.m.
                       Re: Tour of Duty - The Slings & Arrows of Out. Fortreellama 8/15/13 4:17 a.m.

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