Tour of Duty - If I Had A Rocket Launcher...
Posted By: PerseusSpartacusDate: 10/25/13 11:36 a.m.

14 - If I Had A Rocket Launcher, I'd Make Somebody Pay

Last time on Tour of Duty, we encountered numerous F'lickta whilst wandering through a lava-filled ravine surrounded by dozens of little tunnels, along with forgetting to bath a bunch of Cyborgs in lava (*stares at Martin intently*).

Before teleporting out, we learned of the S'pht'Kr and K'lia. We were also told by Durandal that despite dealing heavy damage to Pfhor Battle Group Seven, he was eventually overwhelmed, and that Boomer has crash-landed on the second moon of Lh'owon, Y'loa.

We now find ourselves-- WHAT THE F'LICKTA?!?!

Meet the horror that is the Pfhor texture set. The first time you see it, some medical condition you never even knew you had will kick in - you'll begin convulsing, fall out of your chair, froth at the mouth, and bleed out of your eyes, before finally dying as your brain disintegrates and turns into smoke that comes out through your ears and nose. The military will then begin using images of the Pfhor texture set as a weapon. Alternatively, you may blind yourself like Oedipus, or immediately smash your computer to bits, or maybe, just maybe, you'll simply walk outside and look at flowers to convince yourself that pinks, reds and blues are not inherently disturbing. In any case, the chances are you'll never play Marathon 2 again.

But if you do play Marathon 2 again, then this is what you'll find:

Immediately we realize this [?capsule?pod?ship?shuttle?monstrosity] contains two 3x Shield Chargers (woo-hoo!), a Pattern Buffer, two Shotguns (the first ones you'll ever have if you didn't find the secret Shotguns on 'Waterloo Waterpark', 'Curiouser and Curiouser', and 'Eat It, Vid Boi!') and a Terminal:

Oh we shall indeed. That is, if we don't get our bones shattered within the first few seconds: as soon as you teleport from this terminal, you are set upon by a mass of Troopers and some... green BoBs? Why are they not shooting the-- not again!


Yes, again. Remember the shock you had way back on Habe Quiddam with that first Simulacrum? Well guess what? They're back! And now, rather than pouring out a message of gratitude for your mere existence, they simply cry out random gobbledygook, including the iconic "Frog Blast the Vent Core!" Some of the things they say are also quite disturbing, such as "Kill me!" or "No, help!" And then of course they often try to explain their not being able to shoot the Pfhor by saying "I'm out of ammo!" Of course, they don't really say much if you put a pistol round into them.

The first thing you need to do on teleporting into this Trooper-infested hell hole is run forward and punch the switch in front of you. The second thing to do is grab all the Shotgun ammo on the floor. The third thing to do is kill the Simulacrums, preferably in such a way that their explosions deal damage to the Troopers. Fourth, rip out your Shotguns and start blasting those Troopers to oblivion. All the while, you're waiting for the switch to finally start opening the really slow blast door that is your exit. At the same time, you don't want to grab the 3x Shield Canister on the ground in front of you; you want to save that for just before you leave this part of the level. Furthermore, you want to be careful of berserking Major Troopers; they can be an asset if they start shooting their comrades, but if they focus on you instead, they're a nightmare.

Before we continue, let's take a quick glance at the map, shall we?

We're currently at point A. Most of the corridors and tunnels here are inaccessible except by grenade or rocket jumping. Our goal is to head south, east, back south, and then west, all the way to point C, where an unexpected gift awaits us...

Eventually, the blast door will be all the way open, by which point everything in this part should be dead. Heading through, you'll find a number more Simulacrums, along with some Troopers on a ledge. If you take a detour and head east for a moment, you'll find a Pattern Buffer. Be careful, though, because it's guarded by a bunch of Simulacrums and a group of Troopers on a ledge. Heading further south, you'll eventually come to point B, where there is another blast door, a bunch of AR ammo and grenades teleporting in (though these are useless if you're scratch-starting the level), an oxygen charger, and a bazillion Hunters teleporting in.

This part is a little scary, especially if you're running low on shotgun ammo and/or are playing on a high difficulty level. A whole bunch of Simulacrums teleport in, which can be either a hindrance or a help. In the midst of the Hunters, there's also a large blue one. This is the Mother of all Hunters, or MoaH.

No, not Moa, MoaH! There's an 'H' on the end, for crying out loud! Anyways, this Mother of all Hunters can take a lot more hits than its brethren, and will always explode when it dies, even if you kill it with a Pistol (not that you'd want to, mind you, it's just that situation could potentially arise... maybe... or not). It's explosion is also larger and more powerful, so it can be a hazard and a help simultaneously. If things don't go quite right, there's also a 3x Shield Canister in the middle of this area, if I remember correctly. In any case, this part is usually over pretty quick, mainly because you will probably die a horrible death or manage to blow the Hunters into little tiny pieces. It also helps that the blast door here seems to open faster than the first one.

Before you keep moving on, though, pause your game and take a moment to ponder why there was an oxygen charger in that room. That question has been pondered before, first by Aaron Freed, who wrote the following:

Do you know if "If I Had A Rocket Launcher, I'd Make Somebody Pay" was originally supposed to be an vacuum level? With the exception of the Bobs on this level, there are only Hunters and Troopers, which are vacuum enabled aliens. There are lots of oxygen rechargers on the level. And Boomer had crashed onto the moon of Lh'owon, which doesn't appear to have much of an atmosphere. Durandal gives us a pair of shotguns at the start of the level and a ton of ammo for it.

In addition this level (unlike most of the levels on Boomer) is not low-gravity, and it isn't magnetic. My guess is that Bungie thought it would be too easy if it was just possible to grenade hop and skip most of the level (it still is possible to skip most of the level). I would guess Bungie made this an oxygen level because of its Rocket Launcher theme.

This would make sense given that Durandal said a lot of damage had been done to the Boomer; he even said that life support had failed in most areas. Curiouser and Curiouser...

Heading past this second blast door, a group of BoBs will teleport in behind us. Three of these are green, one of them is blue. Your immediate reaction might be to just blow away all the green BoBs, but as it turns out, none of them are actually Simulacrums. Nevertheless, I usually just punch all of them to death, simply because they serve no real purpose other than to fool you and/or provide pistol ammo for you. Moving further on, you'll find some more Hunters teleporting in. If you're scratch-starting the level, you won't really have the ammo necessary to deal with them. However, if you happen to be masochistic or simply prefer playing through every level in order, then after killing these Hunters, you'll find a Pattern Buffer and a Terminal here. Reading the Terminal gives you something interesting and new:

Meet Tycho. The last you saw of him was way back on Welcome to the Revolution, when he made clear the nature of his rivalry with Durandal. Now, he is on the side of the Pfhor, helping them in the annihilation of Durandal. Usually you might not see this terminal, as you have probably elected from the very beginning to just run helter-skelter through the gauntlet and fight only when you have to. In any case, it's not particularly high on your priorities to read it.

Heading west, we come to a fork. Left or right? Heading left is a dead-end, while heading right will lead you into a mass of Troopers teleporting in. If you have enough ammo, you could fight them from here, but if you're scratch-starting, it's a lot easier to just run past them, up the stairs, and head to point C, where a Rocket Launcher, an infinite amount of Rocket ammo, and a 3x Shield Canister, all await you. With this, you can take on the hoard of Troopers easily. Just be sure that as soon as you have the Rocket Launcher, head past point C and hit the switch to start opening the final blast door. Alternatively, once you've killed off most of the enemies here (I say most because they seem to continue spawning indefinitely), you can do a careful backwards rocket jump to the northern ledge, allowing you to wander through the ledge systems connected to the earlier parts of the level. The 2x Shield Charger next to the final blast door switch helps with this, so that even if you mess up and hurt yourself, you can recharge and continue trying.

Surrounding point C, there's a pool of red slime. This is M2's version of the green slime from the first game. Mind you, it no longer hurts you if you simply jump over it, but it still deals more damage than lava. For that reason, it's not really very fun to swim in; but you already knew that, didn't you? If you're feeling masochistic, however, you can jump in this slime and head for point D, taking you up into the southern ledge. From here, though, it's a bit of a dead end, forcing you to jump back down to the dry area around the slime. Why Greg included this, I honestly don't know. Probably just to tease us fans, but still, it's a bit cruel, don't you think?

Whenever you're finished having your fun, head for the final blast door, hit the switch, wait for a while, then go on through. There's some AR ammo, a Pattern Buffer, and of course an exit Terminal. After the carnage-filled hell hole that is this level, it's nice to be able to just relax for a moment before we jump back into the fight. At this point most people will be adrenaline-filled wrecks with half as much ammo as they had going into this (assuming you had any ammo). Greg himself had this to say:

This level is the only one I ever thought that I actually had to prove that I could do it on Total Carnage. The rest were cake. It was actually toned down for the game, too.

Toned down? Are you serious?! Yes indeed. If I remember correctly, the reasoning goes something like this: in the original Marathon 2, there were limits on how many monsters could be activated at once; going beyond this caused issues. This forced Greg to get rid of a number of the baddies he had originally put in there. In other words, if he had had his way, this level would be something more on a par with Acme Station; as is, it's still quite a gauntlet. All the more reason to get out of here.

Great, looks like we've still got more to do.

Jason: Oh yes indeed; more than you realize...

Us: What?!?!

And then we teleport, before Mr. Jones can even get out an evil laugh. And then maybe you'll return to the final Pattern Buffer here. Again. And again. And again. And then you'll be sorry you ever laid eyes on this game. But then again, Sorry Don't Make It So. ;)


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Pre-2004 Posts


Tour of Duty - If I Had A Rocket Launcher...PerseusSpartacus 10/25/13 11:36 a.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - If I Had A Rocket Launcher...Martin 10/25/13 6:53 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - If I Had A Rocket Launcher...PerseusSpartacus 10/25/13 8:53 p.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty - If I Had A Rocket Launcher...Martin 10/25/13 9:07 p.m.
                       Re: Tour of Duty - If I Had A Rocket Launcher...PerseusSpartacus 10/26/13 9:56 a.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - If I Had A Rocket Launcher...FiddlerOnARoof 10/26/13 4:03 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - If I Had A Rocket Launcher...PerseusSpartacus 10/26/13 5:24 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - If I Had A Rocket Launcher...PerseusSpartacus 10/30/13 10:36 a.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - If I Had A Rocket Launcher...Godot 10/30/13 12:35 p.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty - If I Had A Rocket Launcher...PerseusSpartacus 10/30/13 2:16 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - If I Had A Rocket Launcher...Hokuto 10/30/13 3:14 p.m.

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Pre-2004 Posts



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