Tour of Duty: Towel Boy
Posted By: VikingBoyBillyDate: 8/17/15 4:29 p.m.

Tempus Irae
Towel Boy

We're back faster than ever!
Last time on Tour of Duty, Martin discovered that the Venetians have spirited away the manuscript, which Leo himself described as documenting his inventions of war machines. So we've been collecting blueprints for war machines (at least, that's what the next one contains). That's the "scientific treatise" between Leonardo and the shadowy figure (S'bbhuth?). Pretty spooky.

We start off on a balcony overlooking a night time view. Apparently, a few hours passed between teleporting from the last area into this place. It’s accompanied by a new ambient sound of crickets, which goes nicely with the flowing water. This scenario does the no background music thing right.

Is this a floating plant? I’m sure we’re supposed to believe this is being supported by the building’s architecture, but to me it looks like it’s suspended in air.

As an act of mercy, we get a save terminal right at the start… i mean pattern buffer… i mean… this thing with Leonardo’s face on it that the s’pht somehow rigged to store our pattern. I was even bold enough to save before killing the pfhor in the room.

For the first time, we see a book that’s not a flat wall texture:

Reading by candlelight with ambient sounds is always pleasant. It’s too bad the medium of the Aleph One engine can’t emulate the burning candle wax smell. I’ll go ahead and light a real desk candle, then,

Cosimo? Who is that? It's not Leo, but he's been visited by the same demons.

There’s a neat transparent waterfall trick here that’s done using a very thin water polygon. In the original engine this was built for, there was no transparency, so the player must have had to find this path behind it by guessing they could walk through it.

We wade through this… place where the pool water flows through, I guess. It looks like a flooded basement or underground dock with support beams. There’s a pointless lowered ceiling here because we can just walk around to the other side.

An assault rifle teleports in, I guess because there’s going to be some required button shooting and the map designer panicked that there might be scratch starters playing this. Fighters teleport in from behind to ambush us, and they’re about as effective as you would expect three pfhor fighters to be. Here’s a little mini-rant: when I think of the word fighter, the image that comes to mind is the character class from HeXen; a huge bruiser. That’s just specific to me, but it’s also a common rig class and just the word itself still implies the same connotations. It’s the name Bungie gave to the weakest enemy. A more fitting name would have been drones or grunts (hi Halo); something that describes their expendability.

We open a door, and water on both sides of the opening door doesn’t have the complex reaction Leonardo thinks it would because of the engine we’re playing in. This map continues to be a cakewalk because it assumes you’re scratch starting, which I’m not. I came in with 3x health and excess ammo from Total Carnage. There’s another switch-operated door which closes momentarily, so we should store a copy of our pattern to the k’alima before continuing. Scratch that, it’s one of those Colony Ship type buttons that you can deactivate before it closes :) Why is it obstructed by a candle?

That is dangerous.

The other door at the end of this bridge doesn’t open, so just as we turn around thinking we hit a dead end, a cyborg on the other side opens it for us! I dodged every shot thanks to my jamming the door open.

Before moving forward, I should show off these water-spewing angry faces.

The strongest thing that can be said for Tempus Irae is it’s architecture, and it really shows in this map.

After some swimming we find a pfhor taking a bath

There’s an amusing display of an enforcer standing behind what looks like a reception desk, and as we find more bathtubs it becomes clear that this map is a bathhouse and we were just swimming in the disposed water of those baths (yuck).

(I killed the enforcer before taking that, sorry)

Now that I'm speculating where we're supposed to be is as good an arbitrary time as any to show the map.

The first few rooms look not as watery as they should. What's with that? Are sectors only azure if you can sink under it?

There’s an irritating ambient sound of a metronome in this room. Not the loud annoyance kind of irritation, but the creepy kind that will drive you insane and make you afraid to sleep, like a beating heart.

A trooper rises out of a bath, as if there was a rising platform underneath.

Wait, so, there was a window with visible ground at the reception desk area, then we jump down here and there’s another window lower than that ground level above.

I’m confused about the geography of this place now, but I once lived in a house that was half on a hill and half below it, so half of the basement had windows, so it doesn’t break my suspension of disbelief (I have not forgotten the floating plants at the balcony… which I think was at the same elevation as the reception room at ground level).

There’s some ambushes here where the TOZ-T is useful. Some failure in texturing gives us bright green grass under a starry night sky.

You need a darker hue of grass there.

The cross in this room made me believe it was a pattern buffer, but it’s not.

There’s a rising and lowering door that we have to jump to with perfect timing and it leads back to the wooden tub area above, making me wonder what was accomplished until I see an open door that was previously shut.

We have to do some underwater diving. In the last map the author mentioned that he cut out an underwater maze because it was no fun, and it feels like he pasted whatever that was into this section. We have to find buttons to open doors, one of which is a really big door, and with my shield still in the yellow, I’m disappointed that all we’re getting here is red shield canisters.

We reach a cavernous area, and what’s really annoying about the alien weapon is that it auto-switches to the SPNKR rocket launcher when it runs out. There’s this rule that explosive weapons should never be auto-switched in FPS games, you know? That trooper got what was coming to him. By the way, that enforcer dropped in from the roof, and you can see how the architecture was designed to accommodate him.

Is that a chimney, or what?

There’s a button here, which I don’t know what it did, but there’s another button that you have to shoot, making my prediction about the Assault Rifle’s purpose correct.

Upon consulting the spoiler guide:

At the large tank of water there is a switch that controls a door to the upper left. This doesn¹t actually do anything important so ignore it.

Er, okay? *looks back at the map, then pushes the lever again* Oh, I see it now. The map maker didn’t even try to hide that it’s a dead-end.

There’s a corridor with an extremely low ceiling we have to crawl through, so we’re literally up to our neck in water, and wouldn’t you know it, the place is a maze!

We finally end up outside the bath house, and there’s a SPNKR for anybody who didn’t get one yet:

Some pfhor teleport in and the troopers amusingly blow themselves up against the railing. A button to slowly raises a bridge, which will descend back down again. Why not just have it up at all times? A violet shield canister is a sight for sore eyes waiting for us across a gap, but we really need to rocket hop to get it, and, well…

It’s not that much of a problem, as there’s a 2x canister up ahead (we have to wait for the troopers to walk past so they don’t notice us. Cool use of monsters with scripted paths).

I read on the level notes that this is, indeed, a bath house, which led out to the aqueducts. The secret level is Venice =)

We have to shoot a manual lever to raise a bridge, which brings into question the mystic abilities of grenade and fusion explosions to operate such machinery. We can swim out to where the troopers came from before crossing the bridge, but all that’s there is a single grenade clip.

We need to grab that 3x canister across the gap before moving forward, because guess what teleports in? No, not a juggernaut, but… well, yes, it’s a juggernaut.

New model. Same behavior.

I choose not to fight it because a lever slowly drains the water on one side of the bridge revealing the exit.

The vitruvian man teleporters do not follow the normal laws of space.

Next time on Tour of Duty, Martin will be—what? A terminal I missed? According to Lh'owon.org, that book way back in the first room has a "success" message. When the flying xibalban skulls did that happen? What is the success condition of this map?

Oh, false alarm, it's just the same message again. Lh'owon.org, you troll, you. Am I going to have to look up this Cosimo guy on wikipedia?

Anyway, next time, Martin plays The Gauntlet. Sounds like another tough one. It's got to be, if those venetians want to protect the stolen war machine manuscript. Have fun! (Oh, Venetians — it means Venice! hey, aren't we already in Venice on this map?)

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Pre-2004 Posts


Tour of Duty: Towel BoyVikingBoyBilly 8/17/15 4:29 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty: Towel BoyMartin 8/18/15 1:07 a.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty: Towel BoyVikingBoyBilly 8/18/15 10:34 a.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty: Towel BoyMartin 8/18/15 4:35 p.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty: Towel BoyHelviusRufus 3/26/16 11:50 a.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty: Towel BoyLion O Cyborg 3/26/16 5:24 a.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty: Towel BoyVikingBoyBilly 3/26/16 12:25 p.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty: Towel BoyLion O Cyborg 3/27/16 1:28 a.m.

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Pre-2004 Posts



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