Tour of Duty: Free Falling
Posted By: VikingBoyBillyDate: 4/5/18 2:53 p.m.

We start out having to run around a main set of corridors in a swasticka pattern full of teleporting enemies until we get to a lava room that we just have to run out of the area with the enemies flanking us (I lobbed a rocket at some of the suckers); both doors loop around to the same area, where we have to fall down a pit and move fast into the maze so we don't get annoyingly teleported back out (unless you want to go back for a shield recharge). This maze must be the aforementioned "experiment chamber" full of the "other aliens," which are flickta, and this maze sucks. I use up all my shotgun shells and barely scrape my way to the pattern buffer.

Now I'm taking a break on this writeup until further notice.


That break was much longer than I thought, and I’m sure you guys felt that. Making writeups for this scenario burned me out quickly, as you can see in the above paragraph, because these levels are showing the telltale signs of sadists.

Cheap tricks like filling the maps with sucker punches disguised as “traps” and making them drag on too long by using gimmicky and unintuitive solutions to progress (but mostly just unintuitive; the gimmicky parts are using the bobs, and I’m impressed they got it to work so well) and sprawling, nondescript labyrinths (like the one I’m in now) are all common tactics deployed by amateur level makers. I’m sure what they’re going for is “challenging” and “big,” but what they got instead is frustration that’s full of inane padding, and the “errand boy plot” doesn’t help alleviate that feeling. Or it could be that what works in the M1 engine doesn’t translate well to M2. But they’re almost practically identical aside from textures, right? The biggest difference is shotguns and swapping out hulks for f’lickta… those hateful thorns in my side. Maybe they’re the ones ruining it, running fast and flinging their poo and fireballs all over the place. I don’t even recall if I’m playing on total Carnage, Major Damage, or that one in the middle, but its’ the maps’ structure and arrangement of items and enemies that’s making it hard; the scaling modifiers have little to do with it. The sequel, Excalibur is when it really hits its stride in quality, and that’s still a ways off.

So, here's the map, in post-editing as I usually do just because this part is mandatory:

Eh, what's that isolated place in the top left corner? Other than that, it doesn't look like I missed any big secrets in my playthrough. Now back to the pre-edited time of writing.

So, by going to one unexplored corner of the map, we find some punchable wires here.

I don’t know what it did yet, but all the other unexplored corners are hiding f’licta guarding ammo, and all these moments are heartstoppers with my low health. The very last corner with an Azure f’licta and some AR rounds triggered a teleporting noise, which jump-starts my tension the moment I thought I relieved it. I need to rely on the map to get back to the pattern buffer, but I have to keep an eye out for whatever’s wandering around here now. Say… am I suddenly playing Minotaur? ‘Cuz this makes me feel like I’m in the labyrinth of Crete.

I don’t enounter anything, so I don’t know what exactly teleported in or where, but one big square of a room has a drop in it:

It's not so apparently a hole in a static image, is it? I guess it's one of those optical illusions.

We drop down and the ambient wind noise is at the bottom of this pit somehow (must be a drafty vent), and we get teleported back to that white room at the start of this map. Ah… at least I can sort of breathe, but my health is at its breaking point.

It’s been so long I forgot what path I should be looking for. But I rediscovered a 2x charger I forgot was there. Yummy! I found my way back to the lava area, and I still don’t know where to go, so I drop back into the maze (ah, the wind sound is because of the open roof at the top of this drop! Gotta be careful to grab the ledge and not drop to the bottom). I think I see some part of the maze under the lava I haven’t been to yet. It was hard to catch before because lava+overlapping makes it look like chicken scratch.

(see the unexplored path in the red there? I didn't bother circling it.)

A lava f’licta confirms I’m on a new path, and… it’s just another ammo corner!

But wait! Those punchable wires lowered a concealed lift over in this corner.

Just looking at the map before finding it would show a dead end; you HAVE to comb this whole place to find it! And so we have a button.

So, do I teleport out, or are there more hidden doors in this maze? Oh yes, here we are.

In this narrow hallway, some pfhor fighters teleport in. A nice change from those annoying f’licta. I mean… Pirates teleported in, yeah… And in the next room, it looks like low walls are used to create a scenic skywall effect.

There are drones floating about to shoot down, and when we fall in, a kilometric pfhuckload of baddies teleport on top of us in this enclosed space for another unfair sucker-punching “trap” and I’m so close to ragequitting again. Serioiusly, this is bulls’pht. Even using the SPNKR is dangerous because of how compact everything is, but with some running around, we can successfully blow up the area without killing themselves, but the one invisible s’pht that shoots tracking projectiles is the most annoying part of it. A button in the room opens a door to the only terminal in the map. Err… maybe I just should’ve smacked it and made a run for it? But that’s forgetting that the M2 engine doesn’t freeze time when reading terminals… another glaring setback to the conversion for this scenario.

This is the weirdest exit terminal we’ve gotten in this scenario. Is this supposed to be some rapping gansta version of Thoth? He was bad enough to try to comprehend as he was already. Well, tune in next time when we get sent to… somewhere, and do… something. We clearly have no choice in where this AI is leading us. Apparently, it’s a med lab.

Oh, I didn't give a proper introduction to what we did last time before we got to this map.

*searches for the previous entry*

Okay, we grabbed some chips and got out of the pit and... Oh... oh my. Mithrandir said he "may not be 100% successful in bringing you exactly where you are needed next," but "will attempt to transport you to the medical facility." So the med lab coming next is supposed to be where we were going, and this ordeal was just an unhappy accident? Well, I want to say it's enough to bring a tear to my eye, but all I can muster is a stony face with a sigh. Jerks. Blaspheme Quarantine this aint. And... it's nearly in the same position BQ is in the level order, just off by 1. It's almost like they were reaching for all the ways they could emulate M1.

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Pre-2004 Posts


Tour of Duty: Free FallingVikingBoyBilly 4/5/18 2:53 p.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty: Free FallingGeneral-RADIX 4/5/18 4:35 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty: Free FallingVikingBoyBilly 4/5/18 5:30 p.m.
                 Re: Tour of Duty: Free FallingGeneral-RADIX 4/5/18 6:03 p.m.
                       Re: Tour of Duty: Free FallingVikingBoyBilly 4/7/18 5:16 a.m.
     Re: Tour of Duty: Free FallingMartin 4/16/18 9:53 p.m.
           Nice Detective Work! *NM*PerseusSpartacus 4/17/18 4:45 a.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty: Free FallingVikingBoyBilly 4/17/18 12:36 p.m.
           Re: Tour of Duty: Free FallingVikingBoyBilly 4/18/18 3:06 p.m.

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Pre-2004 Posts



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