Tour of Duty - Requiem For a Cyborg
Posted By: MartinDate: 12/17/13 10:34 a.m.


25 – Requiem For a Cyborg

The name. The Story page gives an odd likeness to a movie that I don’t think I’ll be rushing to acquire in quite such the same way as I might Miller’s Crossing (even if all I ever do is talk about that one). In general, a requiem is a Mass for the dead, or a Mass celebrated for repose of the soul or souls of one or more deceased persons. Thanks Wikipedia. And that combined with the Story page reference … and whatever else I bring to the table myself … I take to suggest that we are going to die a lot here. We are that cyborg. In the past I have taken it to be for Durandal, but he’s not exactly a cyborg per se, and actually, he’s not really dead – “He’s behind you!” – oh, no, I’m not going pantomime. Then again, our destiny has been linked to his, which must be part of the reason why we’re still running around on orders to do random stuff, trying to save or at least avenge him … it’s not like we’ve got much else going on. Nay, in fact as far as the end screen has it, we never feature again :(.

There is also the fact that the map is shaped in about as cyborgy a fashion as they could manage:

Anyway, Last time on Tour of Duty we had a very clear objective … well, at least to those of us with planet-sized brains. We found a crazy secret with weapons as far as the eye could see, burninated the countryside and a few Pfhor, climbed to great heights, and apparently managed to initiate something to help bring the S’pht’Kr back, as Thoth had figured it all out. At least that makes one of us.

Here, with the cyborg metaphor, we start in the neck area. There’s a big platform in the middle, and at the bottom of it there is a handy dandy 1x recharger, but we’re staying up here for a bit. There are windows here, and they look out onto a rather pretty and peaceful space scene. Indeed something had gone terribly awry with my textures, as all I was seeing here was a series of vertical lines – had to switch off Open GL shader mode, I blame the latest NVidia drivers, and possibly that my A1 is not up to date.

To the north is a door, leading into the head. Opening it reveals a bunch of Compilers and some Fighters. Retreating back into the neck, the shotguns we picked up in the Rental Trucks secret come in handy – the Compilers can be a right pain otherwise. When all are dead, going a bit further into the head, just down one step in fact, brings in more Fighters and some Troopers. This time we turn to the Tozt, either from KYT or RT. We’ll be using it a lot this level actually. So, definitely best not to cause both encounters to spawn at once, as Compilers still don’t die in a fire!

Now our head is clear. Inside are a terminal and a pattern buffer. And surprise! It’s not Thoth on the other end of the line.

This should really have been our first clue, but everything is so cryptic at this point, and the last time we saw these gorgeous textures we were on Durandal’s ship, so I guess I never took this in fully. We have “boarded” the Hfarl, a ship that means nothing to us at this point, and barely meant anything to me until about 12 hours ago, to be fair. As far as we know, that took the form of Thoth teleporting us up there from Lh’owon, because he’s just that good.

Okay, PS beat me to it using that terminal picture just moments ago and making it all seem so obvious. I think the problem with my understanding until recently is that I missed the point on various terminals where we get reports such as the above – from the one on the first level here, to the personal diary terminals of Medicine and then various levels in Infinity. Thus I never paid enough attention to them, and certainly never bothered to link a ship name on a seemingly random level such as this with the final screen … but those days are over :).

Next we head down that big lift shaft. There’s that 1x recharger I mentioned earlier, and a switch for the lift. Around the corner there are heaps of Fighters, and they really do like dying in a fire! There’s one at the end of the corridor that doesn’t wake up, so go teach him a lesson! There are several doors coming off this corridor – we’ll take the first on the right for starters. Here there’s another window, and then another lift, from the top of which we hear Trooper and maybe Compiler fire. This may lead to a Trooper coming down, or a Trooper killing a Compiler. Either way we need to remember that there are two Troopers and a Compiler up there on TC!

There’s also another pattern buffer, and a switch next to it. When we hit the switch we see out the window to the left a platform rise from … the outside of the ship. I never got this part before either. These things were keeping the ship clamped to / docked with another entity here, possibly something it was refuelling, given its description as such a vessel – we’re releasing it so that the humans can get away in it. This also reveals another similar station a ways away, and we can see the switch, but unfortunately the windows are closed to the vacuum of space :(.

On my ToD playthrough I managed to wake up more Fighters and Troopers while up here, then met them at the door below at a time when I was annoyingly low on health. Not sure exactly where they came from. The next door on the right from the corridor isn’t far enough away to house that other switch station, but it does house several Troopers, some ready to teleport in, and two in secluded alleys – they sometimes take a bit of waking up … and then a bit of putting to sleep.

Then we have the left side of the corridor, which has three doors coming off it! If we take the first, there is another door just behind it! Then an empty round room with three odd white raised triangles coming in from the edges – here we wake up more Fighters in the next room, another one with white triangles, and this completes the loop around to the second door on the left of the corridor. Just before it there is a narrower corridor off to the right, with a Projectile Fighter heading our way. Along this corridor are a couple of dead-ends, an interesting-looking dropoff around to the right, and a secret around to the left.

Tabbing the wall reveals a circuit panel. Smashing the panel reveals that we’re on an express elevator to hell, going down. At the bottom there are some alien weapons, and two more circuit panels against the far wall – just far enough apart to happily house a hidden terminal in the middle. How about that?

This is the one that was mistakenly reported as being on Where the Twist Flops in the strategy guide. More flavour stuff, with classifieds from Durandal, Thoth, Tycho and Leela, respectively. And they pretty much hit the various nails on their various heads. Especially to confuse, irritate and teleport randomly around.

Breaking the circuits down here toggles the state of the lift. I guess if you hit one from the platform you could get back up, but not with fists … all that does is reveal that the back texture of the lift is Pfhor slime. Conveniently however, all is not lost, as reading to the end of the terminal teleports us back up into the neck. And on with the show.

From here there isn’t much sense of order in the level. I already mentioned the dropoff near that secret, so I’ll take us that way. The passage below leads to the room beyond the end of the main corridor. This time around I had already been there and woken up the Pfhor and Compilers, and possibly on account of that, several Compilers met me in that passage, and then they met my shotgun … cos they ain’t got one. Then I found that room empty, but I don’t think it usually would be. The room beyond is the more interesting one anyway. Lots of Pfhor slime, lots of Pfhor, and Invisible Compilers – maybe that is a side-effect of proximity to the slime?

There are three switches around the outside here, and what must be done should be clear. Each one fills up one of the few pools that isn’t already filled with slime. Hmmm. Maybe I should say each one fills up the refuelling tanks? Is that what’s going on here? Otherwise uneventful anyway, and we return to recharge and carry on. The third door on the left from the main corridor looks out over that end room, and houses a terminal with a Durandal logon image, but even so it is just a repeat of the Pfhor ship warning from earlier.

There’s just one more area left – through a door that I ignored earlier just to give things some semblance of order! Just off the second white triangle room we find a door leading to a lift that is seemingly Pfhor controlled, and may bring down a Trooper, Invisible Compiler, or both. Then when we kill them, the lift stops. There’s a switch nearby, but it’s still interesting to observe. Up the top we realise we have found the second switch station for releasing the ship from its bonds. There’s also an oxygen charger here, because I guess we need a bit on the next level, and we might have been thirsty for it from KYT/RT … or indeed we might be dead if we never found that secret switch on KYT.

Now both terminals have updated to display a message from Thoth.

One of Hamish’s favourite lines appears here, along with an interesting opener – “the human wheel” makes me think of Vitruvian Man, which is a central image to Marathon: Tempus Irae. Alternatively it could just be referring simply to the concept of a wheel, which returns to the same point repeatedly as it turns – this also makes me think of The Matrix: Reloaded. Are we sure this is the first time the S’pht’Kr have been recalled?

They’re on their way back here now, anyway. And we’ll see them starside.

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Pre-2004 Posts


Tour of Duty - Requiem For a CyborgMartin 12/17/13 10:34 a.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - Requiem For a CyborgVikingBoyBilly 12/17/13 2:24 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty - Requiem For a CyborgPerseusSpartacus 12/17/13 3:38 p.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty - Requiem For a CyborgBob-B-Q 12/18/13 2:23 a.m.
                       Re: Tour of Duty - Requiem For a CyborgNarcogen 12/18/13 5:52 a.m.
                             Re: Tour of Duty - Requiem For a Cyborgjonny 12/18/13 7:42 a.m.
                                   Re: Tour of Duty - Requiem For a CyborgMartin 12/18/13 8:06 a.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty - Requiem For a CyborgMartin 12/17/13 9:04 p.m.

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Pre-2004 Posts



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