Tour of Duty: For your eyes only
Posted By: VikingBoyBillyDate: 3/22/16 5:12 p.m.

No, not "pfhor your eyes only." If you're still reading M1's Tour of Duty, you skipped three scenarios of writeups.

Last time on Tour of Duty, I forgot the ToD banner and nobody noticed, including myself — and we destroyed the Tycho-us on the Sh'aptitide and inserted the final manuscript into the last receptacle to complete our mission. Now we are taking a little detour to the ending as a "reward" from the S'pht for our services.

We start off on a calm beach, and with the pfhor threat out of this time period we can feel safe knowing this is an alien-free map.

Instead of carnage, our challenge is puzzles. We immediately find a cave entrance and one suspicsious looking dead-end.

There's one room where we have to climb a natural staircase and jump across ledges to progress, and on the other side of the cavern we find... a seaside abode?

Let's pull out the map to observe the architecture of this place.

This place is full of locked doors, and we might be feeling pretty clueless if we didn't rememeber the s'phts' last hint about a painting. Punch the mona lisa and we hear a switch activating noise.

What did that do? Well, there’s another (not locked) room up here with a terminal by Leo. He lost his keys!

Who drops keys at the beach, anyway? Well, this is a pretty obvious clue where to look, so let’s backtrack to the cave.

We discover that, yes, the weird dead-end is now open, with the key behind it. What a place to drop a key! Did Leo just walk out right before a landslide blocked it up?

We go back and unlock the door.

So.. what do we do here?

I guess we’ll try climbing the furniture.

We hear a *click* when we hop on the cabinet, and a switch opened up on the wall.

Can you guess what that opened? If you guessed “the only door we couldn’t open,” you are correct.

… what is a static torch doing here?

This is supposed to be a diesel with a palette on it with a brush resting in the green paint, but it somehow got the sprites mixed up. What did Aleph One do?

Luckily, Martin sent me an image with the correct sprite.

This thing immediately catches the player's eye because this asset has never been seen once until now, and this is the only one in the scenario. Why is this here? Well, as we'll see in a moment, this is setting up a Myst-like puzzle, the most myst-ish puzzle in the entire scenario.

When we go downstairs from the door we unlocked, we find a large room with four doors to choose from. If we look up, we see each door has a different colored marking.

Picking one of the three wrong doors gets us crushed instantly. This is the most brutal puzzle in the game due to being sent back to The End when we die. Simple trial and error will due no good here due to flawed human memory and the frustration of how long it takes to get back. The player will have to figure out the significance of the palette; i.e., the green paint. (or you could go to the spoiler guide like I did)

Our reward for picking the green door and completing the scenario is...

...I kid you not, a pool full of nude women.

Any screenshots of this would be NSFW, so just find it yourself. It's really not that great anyway... unless you're into women who look like they're in their late 30s.

Punching them out, if you choose to, will make them say uncomfortably suggestive dialogue and put them in a fetal position. There's no reason to dominate all the women here, unless you just feel that brutal. If you read the spoiler guide, one of the creators thought it would be a cool idea to drop the player in a pool of naked women at the end of the scenario. So the s'pht did their research on human desires. That's the joke.

A side wall will open up a teleporter to our ending screen:

One of the reasons this writeup has been delayed for so long is I'm not sure how to analyze this ending. First, let's look at those dates. Published 2712 and translated in 2714... 80 years before M1? So back on Earth, first contact with an extra-terrestrial already happened with S'Bbhuth before the pfhor attack, we just had no way of knowing it.

So, here is my translation of the rest:

...I plunged the chaos, unheeding the thoughts of my kin as I was torn away. The past was clearer to me; I could not bear what had been wiped away in my brothers' minds, what had been lost in the scattering exodus...

ToD translator active:
I used the time machine and all the s'pht alive in this time don't know what's going to happen in the future. This almost kinda unnerves me, because my own mind is attached to their memories and stuff and it's a really weird feeling.

That debunks any theories that S'bbhuth didn't time travel and just came here after the clan wars. What a shame that plot point went unexplored... and there's some duplicate S'bbhuth on a planet close to the galactic core, doomed to death if Futurama logic applies to this.

...I saw my opportunity then, with this one, this builder, maker, and thinker, born of the same kind as the warrior, destroyer, and liberator...

ToD translator active:
I found Leonardo and wanted to use him for myself.

...I could make of this kind great mercenaries. I could bring them to sooner smash the slavers, to reduce the suffering-time, and leave the great structures of my youth unsullied.

ToD translator active:
I expect to manipulate his genius to make the entire human species a militaristic race with technology rivaling the pfhor in 200 years or less just to stop the pfhor from enslaving my own race. I saw no flaws in this plan. I'm the good guy.

...all that suffering I shared with the thinker, but I changed it; I showed him all of his human kin stunted, chained amongst the stars, unless he acted upon what I had shown him.

ToD translator active:
I was so sure Leo would give a s'pht about random aliens suffering in the future and it would make total sense to him, but wow, I guess even the smartest human is confused about my wacky visions. Hey! I have an idea! Change the visions to pfhor enslaving HUMANS. That will make him care, and then I'll turn the entire planet just coming off the tail end of the dark age into a super-advanced galactic army.

...the false could become the true. Therein lay my grevious error.

ToD translator active:
Oopsie, the pfhor followed us back to the past. That's embarrassing. Lol.

That was the introduction. Here's the "postlude":

...and so I remained on Earth, strengthened but hidden...to remove the traces of the slavers...to protect this verdant world and its kind. I saw my own ambition akin to the slavers', and learned the curious human words for remorse.

ToD translator active:
It was my responsibility to stay on earth and remove all the evidence, just so there's no paradoxes and there's an excuse for why nobody remembers this happening. I guess I was kind of like the pfhor to want to enslave humanity to kill them for me just to bolster my own species; sorry about that. Also, the Earth is a shade of green called "Verdant." Isn't that pretty?

Oh wait; wiktionary has a second definition:
2. Abundant in verdure; lush with vegetation.

That's a verdant planet.

...and then, after a human millenium, I returned outwards to my kin, who had felt only a moment's breaking, and they rejoiced.

ToD translator active:
I waited until almost the exact moment I went back in time to return to the s'pht, so they didn't notice I was gone for so long, because relative to them, I wasn't. Isn't time travel funny?

If this was canon, it would make S'bbhuth the Albus Dumbledore of Marathon. Complete with inner demons and manipulating the life of an innocent man to defeat a sworn enemy. If S'bbhuth is Dumbledore, then Durandal, the younger A.I. who seeks immortality at the cost of the lives of countless innocents, must be...

Okay, here comes "verse ix":

a human dream is an inward fission
of surging dark light, and shining dark;
a split web, and a fused swarm.
I touched these dreams' boundaries,
and still did not see the boundaries.
I wondered that such isomers
could bear a mind born of flesh.

I considered my own kind.
I examined the hole within,
I plumbed it and surveyed,
I sunk in the lonely dark,
and then I knew:
in these beings, all souls gather
within their solitary minds.

solitude and unity, like our kind
only the out side - in.

ToD translator active:
The s'pht are a hive mind species and humanity's private, independent thought is astounding.

Well, that closes this book of the Tour of Duty series. Tempus Irae 2 feels like the natural scenario to do next, but Perseus Spartacus is working on a poll for you to vote on the next one we should tackle (and this 21 year old forum is capable of anonymous polling in some capacity, limited to 7 choices).

If you look closely at that ending screen, you can see a s'pht!

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Pre-2004 Posts


Tour of Duty: For your eyes onlyVikingBoyBilly 3/22/16 5:12 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty: For your eyes onlyMartin 3/22/16 6:33 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty: For your eyes onlyPerseusSpartacus 3/24/16 4:12 p.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty: For your eyes onlyMartin 3/25/16 9:19 a.m.
                       Re: Tour of Duty: For your eyes onlyPerseusSpartacus 3/25/16 10:32 a.m.
                             Re: Tour of Duty: For your eyes onlyVikingBoyBilly 3/25/16 11:59 a.m.
                                   Re: Tour of Duty: For your eyes onlyPerseusSpartacus 3/25/16 1:00 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty: For your eyes onlyGeneral-RADIX 3/22/16 8:40 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty: For your eyes onlyTacticus 3/23/16 1:33 a.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty: For your eyes onlyGeneral-RADIX 3/23/16 8:08 a.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty: For your eyes onlyVikingBoyBilly 3/23/16 8:25 a.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty: For your eyes onlyGeneral-RADIX 3/23/16 8:57 a.m.
                       Re: Tour of Duty: For your eyes onlyVikingBoyBilly 3/23/16 12:17 p.m.
                             Re: Tour of Duty: For your eyes onlyMartin 3/23/16 12:25 p.m.
                                   Re: Tour of Duty: For your eyes onlyGeneral-RADIX 3/23/16 12:35 p.m.
                                         Re: Tour of Duty: For your eyes onlyMartin 3/23/16 7:03 p.m.

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Pre-2004 Posts



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