Tour of Duty - Charon Doesn't Make Change
Posted By: PerseusSpartacusDate: 8/15/13 10:40 a.m.

03 - Charon Doesn't Make Change

Last time on Tour of Duty, we were introduced to the Sewage texture set, got acquainted with the F'lickta (who remind us a lot of the Ghouls of PiD), and learned that Durandal did indeed lead the Pfhor to Tau Ceti. Oh, and Tycho may have fallen in with the Pfhor.

We start this level in a room with a ledge leading to the outdoors. Looking out, we find the sky is yellow now - it's daytime. If we move to another room nearby, we find another terminal just waiting for us:

Short, sweet, simple, and straight to the point. Not very much like Durandal, is it? Then again, he's had time to mellow out, or perhaps he actually became meta-stable - the so-called "Holy Grail of cybertronics".

Before continuing, let's look at a map, shall we?

As you can see, this level is full of terminals. Furthermore, this level is semi-linear and yet so open that it becomes impossible to define a particular course of action for it. I hope you'll forgive me if I'm a little out of order and/or discombobulated.

The first thing I usually do is jump out the window at the start, without even reading the terminal. If you continue to the left, eventually you'll find a bunch of Fighters doing something very unusual (point A on the map above):

Yes, they are teleporting out. With a little care, you can avoid being seen, allowing you to witness the spectacle fully. However, if you don't jump out of the window from the very start, they'll teleport out all without you - basically, something to do once you've already played the game once before. What's curious, of course, is that they all teleport out from a single polygon, but we can't seem to use it to teleport. The explanation is simple when you think about it. The polygon is set to 'Goal', so any monsters within its zone will stay on that polygon unless the area is 'insecure' (in other words, there are enemies nearby). Those Fighters are set to teleport out when their objectives are complete (in this case, standing on Goal polygon while area is secure) and are activated by a Goal.

Interestingly, you'll notice this level has a more rusted, metallic feel than the last one - the walls are all orange, brown and peach, even indoors. Heading inside from this area, you'll encounter some F'lickta, along with a stairwell leading back to the start. There's also numerous passageways leading to other indoor locations. One of them contains a 1x Shield Charger, a Pattern Buffer, a terminal, and a passageway filled with sewage. Before you read the terminal, head through the passageway. This will take you to an area with a bunch of weirdly-designed pillars you have to jump between to get to a room above. In this room (point B on the map above) is an Oxygen Charger and, above all, a 2x Shield Charger. This early? Seems like Bungie's decided to go cap-in-hand to please us, but all it does make things too easy! In any case, time to return for that terminal we saw a little while ago.

If you don't abort, you'll be taken to a large room at point C on the map. There are lots of F'lickta in there, along with a brand new critter - the Tick. The Tick is utterly harmless (despite having a 'feeding' animation that they never seem to use), flying around on little brown wings and dropping dead if you so much as tap it: it has literally no health, so anything can kill it with one hit.

Alternatively, the F'lickta here are out in force, and they can take a lot of damage. Right when you think you've cleared the area, suddenly another one pops up - they're just that numerous. After a while, you're bound to notice that the sewage in the center of the room keeps getting deeper... and deeper... Pretty soon, the whole room might end up underwater, and there's seemingly no way out. But if you touch the polygon at point D on the map above, you'll find that it opens a large door to the south, which leads to a room with three terminals. One is a Pfhor terminal and will teleport you out of the room, so let's read the other two first:

Behold the first S'pht terminal of the game. As you can see, S'pht text is yellow and very blocky, built around a lot of squares, rectangles, and little dots. It almost seems like the dots are a form of punctuation, albeit a very weird form. So what about the next terminal?

Later in the game, you'll start realizing that this terminal is from the perspective of the S'pht'Kr, the lost clan of S'pht that Durandal is so interested in. Apparently they evacuated from Lh'owon after inward fighting amongst the S'pht left them devastated and broken. Also, this is the first mention of "S'bhuth", a mysterious figure related to the S'pht'Kr. Not much is ever revealed about him, but it seems he is some sort of commanding figure for the S'pht'Kr. What's more, he's still alive by the time of M2 and Infinity.

The Pfhor terminal here just has a bunch of hexadecimal code on it, nothing special, but it takes you to a small room. The exit is a little gap in the wall that opens up even more when you approach it, leading to another similar room full of F'lickta - still just the green ones at this stage. There's another terminal down here, but it's easily missed:

Interesting. Proceeding from here, you'll find that you're overlooking another outdoors area, with a large sewage-filled river. There's a few raised (and therefore dry) spots, one of which has an oxygen tank and some ammo that teleports in. From here, you can return to the early indoors areas via a window, which are by now filled with sewage.

There are two secrets in this level. One is only accessible if you're playing from the previous levels (AFAIK), and another is so hard to find that I honestly can't remember how I got to it. I'll start with the first: in the far east of the indoors area, there's a small walkway that you can't quite get onto. If you have an AR, you can grenade hop up to it, and if you tap around a little bit, you'll find a second Pistol! However, it's so low that I think it might be possible to just aim down, fire the Shotguns, and have the recoil knock you up - I haven't tested this, however.

The other secret is a room with some F'lickta stuck inside a crusher room that you can activate with a switch, along with a terminal that I believe says this:

All very interesting. There are more terminals of this nature in Infinity (specifically on 'Where Some Rarely Go...'), which provide more in-depth descriptions of the F'lickta, but we'll have to get there first! As for how you get into this room with the crusher, I honestly don't remember. I know I've gotten into there before, but I don't recall how I did it. If anybody could help me with that, I'd greatly appreciate it.

So you've run around, been attacked by F'lickta (and probably used them to fight each-other), gotten very wet, and found a second Pistol, but you can't find an exit? Just return to the start - the first terminal has now changed to an exit terminal with some more info:

The timeframe thus far is interesting:

2794 - Marathon attacked. Tycho (and possibly Leela) captured after a second conflict.
2796 - Pfhor start occupying Lh'owon in preparation for Durandal's arrival, based on information provided by Tycho.
2802 - Pfhor start sending their worst officers to Lh'owon as punishment.
2811 - We arrive on the scene.

So what else happened in that seventeen-year period? I guess we'll have to find out...

Next time on Tour of Duty, Martin takes on Cyborgs, discovers the power of lava, and encounters terracotta BoBs for the first time (and possibly steals their pistols). Oh what fun!


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Pre-2004 Posts


Tour of Duty - Charon Doesn't Make ChangePerseusSpartacus 8/15/13 10:40 a.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - Charon Doesn't Make Changejonny 8/15/13 11:17 a.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - Charon Doesn't Make Changejonny 8/15/13 11:21 a.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - Charon Doesn't Make Changejonny 8/15/13 11:26 a.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - Charon Doesn't Make Changetreellama 8/15/13 11:26 a.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - Charon Doesn't Make ChangeMartin 8/15/13 11:27 a.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - Charon Doesn't Make ChangePerseusSpartacus 8/15/13 11:41 a.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - Charon Doesn't Make ChangeHopper 8/16/13 10:08 a.m.

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Pre-2004 Posts



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