A Review/Diary of Eternal X

For topics about the story, help in a certain level, game discussion, or finding/discussing content.

Post Aug 24th '08, 05:09

In December of '06 I wrote a long email to Pfhorrest listing various feedback pertaining to this scenario and he responded to it point-by-point. I completely forgot about it for over a year due to being distracted with school and other problems, but I really should really should respond to it now that this thread reminded me of it. I'll do it soon, assuming I don't forget again (I have a terrible short-term memory, but as this thread looks unlikely to die anytime soon I probably won't forget).

Eternal X manages to capture the feel of the original trilogy, I feel, better than any other scenario released to date. The main thing that keeps me from ranking it higher than Rubicon X is the same quibble I had with Infinity when first playing it (as well as Chrono Cross, which isn't related to but is nonetheless worth noting) - namely, that it's difficult to follow the sequence of events, though that's probably a direct consequence of its nonlinearity, as well as the complexity of its plot. The Story page solves this trouble for Infinity - if one is confused about matters, one can simply refer to terminals from previous levels to review text one has already forgotten. It would probably help players' comprehension of Eternal if someone posted the terminal text somewhere, just because there are so many plot strands to keep track of that one naturally loses track of details mentioned in the past, especially if one doesn't have the time to play the whole thing in a short burst (as I didn't).
People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

Fool's Gold * FFOF * FCF * Last.fm
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The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Aug 24th '08, 08:28

The Man wrote:In December of '06 I wrote a long email to Pfhorrest listing various feedback pertaining to this scenario and he responded to it point-by-point.... I really should really should respond to it now

I made this a new thread for two reasons: because the existing Eternal thread at the time was many pages long, and a point-by-point feedback of a whole scenario was likely to be long winded enough to warrant its own thread. I suggest you do the same and start a new thread.

... it's difficult to follow the sequence of events, though that's probably a direct consequence of its nonlinearity, as well as the complexity of its plot. The Story page solves this trouble for Infinity - if one is confused about matters, one can simply refer to terminals from previous levels to review text one has already forgotten. It would probably help players' comprehension of Eternal if someone posted the terminal text somewhere, just because there are so many plot strands to keep track of that one naturally loses track of details mentioned in the past, especially if one doesn't have the time to play the whole thing in a short burst (as I didn't).


That makes sense: a 'Story page' for Eternal, and any other scenario out there. A wikibook might do it. Add it to the list of things I'd consider interesting, just not interesting enough to implement myself. [MSmile]

Pfhorrest: I'll reply to your responses when I have more time.
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Crater Creator

Post Aug 24th '08, 11:07

Once upon a time, Irons and I were working on a thing that would be a narrated (and summarized) version of the in-game events, punctuated by terminal texts at the appropriate points, plus "Director's Commentary" about the development of the game. Perhaps rolling that (maybe minus the director's commentary?) into an Eternal section on the Traxus wiki would be good? You've got all the texts already: my commentary was posted on the Marathon Story Forum during the Eternal X Volunteers, and the terminals can easily be extracted from the map file; I can do that for you if you don't have the tools. Would you (The Man) or anyone else be interested in rolling an Eternal wiki?
Last edited by Pfhorrest on Aug 25th '08, 03:55, edited 1 time in total.
-Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
Director of the Xeventh Project, the team behind Eternal
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
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Pfhorrest
California

Post Aug 24th '08, 14:08

Does the level "Pissing on the corporation" have any shield chargers? Because I can't find any, and the next level (which also doesn't seem to have any chargers) is full of enemies with hitscan weapons that kill me in one hit.
Last edited by Lork on Aug 24th '08, 14:08, edited 1 time in total.
Lork

Post Aug 24th '08, 14:15

Lork wrote:Does the level "Pissing on the corporation" have any shield chargers? Because I can't find any

No, it doesn't. You took the failure path, and so you're forced to either restore from an earlier savegame, or get to the end of the branch, go back to the previous level and go to the other terminal that Hathor previously appeared at.
Embrace imagination.
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chinkeeyong
Singapore

Post Aug 24th '08, 14:35

chinkeeyong wrote:No, it doesn't. You took the failure path, and so you're forced to either restore from an earlier savegame, or get to the end of the branch, go back to the previous level and go to the other terminal that Hathor previously appeared at.

I mean to keep a savegame at Unpfhorseen, but I accidentally saved over it. So my only options are to beat the dream level without getting hit (virtually impossible), or to level skip back to Unpfhorseen (and lose all my weapons), correct? If so, that's pretty lame.

Edit: Found a charger on the dream level.
Last edited by Lork on Aug 24th '08, 14:48, edited 1 time in total.
Lork

Post Aug 24th '08, 23:09

Pfhorrest wrote:Once upon a time, Irons and I were working on a thing that would be a narrated (and summarized) version of the in-game events, punctuated by terminal texts at the appropriate point, plus "Director's Commentary" about the development of the game. Perhaps rolling that (maybe minus the director's commentary?) into an Eternal section on the Traxus wiki would be good? You've got all the texts already: my commentary was posted on the Marathon Story Forum during the Eternal X Volunteers, and the terminals can easily be extracted from the map file; I can do that for you if you don't have the tools. Would you (The Man) or anyone else be interested in rolling an Eternal wiki?

gmta - I was actually about to suggest a number of things that could help maintain activity in the community, including almost exactly that idea. I'll make a new thread for my suggestions after I finish going through the new posts here.

Crater Creator wrote:I made this a new thread for two reasons: because the existing Eternal thread at the time was many pages long, and a point-by-point feedback of a whole scenario was likely to be long winded enough to warrant its own thread. I suggest you do the same and start a new thread.

yeah, that makes sense. I'll probably do that when I have the time.
People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

Fool's Gold * FFOF * FCF * Last.fm
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The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Aug 25th '08, 15:19

Lork wrote:or to level skip back to Unpfhorseen (and lose all my weapons), correct? If so, that's pretty lame.

Level skipping in Eternal isn't a big problem, because of the whole picking up enemy weapons thing. You only need to use the fusion guns for a bit to be able to use a, say, havoc rifle. Since you're on the Enemy chapter, which is abundant with Pfhor, lack of weapons isn't so bad (except for maybe the loss of the fusion cannon). The only places where this could be a real problem are Chapter 3, which is nearly devoid of Pfhor, and Chapter 5, which has enemies which are only vulnerable to Jjaro weapons.
Embrace imagination.
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chinkeeyong
Singapore

Post Aug 28th '08, 06:22

Pfhorrest wrote:I intended the ending to be similar in style to the end of M2, just much bigger in scale: everything here is exploding (Lh'owon / the whole galaxy), but we've accomplished what we came to do (free the S'pht / kill Hathor) and we're off to somewhere else now (a rogue star / a different timeline) so it doesn't matter to us what explodes here or not.


Funny how jumping between timelines in Marathon always ends with the player screwing up one or several other timelines in order to save our own.
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Da Spadger

Post Aug 28th '08, 08:23

One view of the universe stipulates that every time there is an event with more than one possible outcome, another universe or timeline is created for each outcome. So there's at least one timeline where you save the S'pht, and at least one where you didn't; one where you punched that fighter to death, and one where you used your assault rifle; one where a particular quark from the 3x10^23rd nitrogen molecule of the last breath you just expelled was a top quark, and one where it was a bottom quark. So if that viewpoint is true (and it may never be verifiable), it's not at all surprising that there would be a great number of timelines which are 'screwed up'.

That actually has some interesting parallels to the realities of playing Marathon. For instance, for every time you play through a new level correctly, there are other 'timelines,' of the times you died and had to try again. And when you go out of sync in a netgame, you can think of it as splitting off into another timeline, distinct from the timelines the other players inhabit due to one of those events with more than one possible outcome (a network packet) turning out differently for you than for someone else.

So next time you go OOS, remember, it's just another part of this brilliant, nonlinear game which Bungie planned all along!
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Crater Creator

Post Aug 28th '08, 23:15

I can't even begin to wonder how many timelines there are where someone dies in a hilarious yet disgusting way on Post Naval Trauma. Or just suffocates.
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Da Spadger

Post Aug 29th '08, 00:58

Infinitely many, for any fraction of infinity is still infinity, so anything with any probability, no matter how small - which is to say, anything possible - will occur an infinite number of times in the multiverse.
-Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
Director of the Xeventh Project, the team behind Eternal
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
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Pfhorrest
California

Post Aug 31st '08, 07:22

Crater Creator wrote:'Snipervision,' activated with F7, has been useful in Eternal. Why does it take about a full minute to turn it on and off?

I'm still trying to figure this bug out and I think it's time I asked for help. I tried a multi-file search in my Eternal folder and the word "fov" occurs exactly once, in this block:

<!-- View Settings -->
<view map="true" fold_effect="true" static_effect="true">
<fov normal="90" extra="135"/>
</view>

And nowhere else in any MML. The fov sub-element attribute "rate" is what defines the rate of change of FOV (as from normal to tunnel), so I tried entering rate="2" in there too (which is slightly faster than the normal rate of 1.667) and it is still dog slow. I tried excising that entire block and it has no effect either.

Anyone have any ideas what else might affect the FOV rate of change?
Last edited by Pfhorrest on Aug 31st '08, 07:23, edited 1 time in total.
-Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
Director of the Xeventh Project, the team behind Eternal
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
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Pfhorrest
California

Post Aug 31st '08, 07:47

See if overriding all other mml changes things. I would set rate and tunnel to their default settings wherever you keep global mml. If that fixes things, then it doesn't matter practically speaking if there's still some stubborn mml you couldn't track down; it only matters for having clean code.
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Crater Creator

Post Aug 31st '08, 09:47

Crater Creator wrote:See if overriding all other mml changes things. I would set rate and tunnel to their default settings wherever you keep global mml. If that fixes things, then it doesn't matter practically speaking if there's still some stubborn mml you couldn't track down; it only matters for having clean code.

Ah! I was only looking in the global MML (in the Scripts folder); I had completely forgotten that I had level MML that changed the FOV too. Found it and fixed it. Thanks! :-)
-Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
Director of the Xeventh Project, the team behind Eternal
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
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Pfhorrest
California

Post Sep 6th '08, 23:19

http://img261.imageshack.us/img261/8256/sc...shot0003ef1.jpg

I got stuck. 8[

Also, is the pfhor staff supposed to push back enemies that much? I've had enemies wait two minutes before dying. It's especially annoying if it happens to a wasp since they keep making noise when they're in the process of dying.

EDIT:

http://img393.imageshack.us/img393/4554/sc...shot0004ze5.png

The enforcers standing where I put the circles (I shot one before I took the screenshot) doesn't do anything. They just make that "waking up" sound. My guess is that they're stuck in the walls or something.

Also, I remember a post in one of the Eternal threads where someone mentioned the lack of a flamethrower-like weapon, and I agree. Maybe you could consider changing the Napalm cannon into such a weapon. Right now it's not that different from the other weapons, and I rarely use it myself.
Last edited by Da Spadger on Sep 17th '08, 15:54, edited 1 time in total.
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Da Spadger

Post Oct 13th '08, 09:09

cool site :-)
BradandPitti

Post Oct 13th '08, 11:00

Da Spadger wrote:The enforcers standing where I put the circles (I shot one before I took the screenshot) doesn't do anything. They just make that "waking up" sound. My guess is that they're stuck in the walls or something.


That happened to me when I played that level. Hit the wall where they are with a grenade or something and they come out.

Also, I remember a post in one of the Eternal threads where someone mentioned the lack of a flamethrower-like weapon, and I agree. Maybe you could consider changing the Napalm cannon into such a weapon. Right now it's not that different from the other weapons, and I rarely use it myself.


I never found this a problem, because the normal flamethrower is a completely useless weapon. Hunters and compilers are not affected by it, so they just sit back and shoot at me.
Major Pedro

Post Oct 13th '08, 14:26

Major Pedro wrote:I never found this a problem, because the normal flamethrower is a completely useless weapon.

At least in SP. In multiplayer, well... [spnkr]
Embrace imagination.
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chinkeeyong
Singapore

Post Oct 17th '08, 07:19

I could imagine it would be useful against the hordes of monsters in the Antiquity chapter. Those creatures never stop spawning, do they?
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Da Spadger

Post Oct 18th '08, 00:57

Da Spadger wrote:I could imagine it would be useful against the hordes of monsters in the Antiquity chapter. Those creatures never stop spawning, do they?

They don't, but even then, the ZX gravitronic blades still mow monsters down, and the WMC kills anything airborne. So, yeah.
Embrace imagination.
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chinkeeyong
Singapore

Post Oct 19th '08, 10:38

I never got to the end of eternal... I think I got stuck on 'unwired'. So I was wondering, what image did you use for the Wr'kncacnter in the end? I'm curious to know.
Major Pedro

Post Oct 21st '08, 05:57

Major Pedro wrote:I never got to the end of eternal... I think I got stuck on 'unwired'. So I was wondering, what image did you use for the Wr'kncacnter in the end? I'm curious to know.

That's hilarious. 80% of 'Unwired' doesn't even have any monsters in it! To exit, get to the little radar station, insert the chip, and read the terminal.

The W'rkcacnter didn't have an image, its appearance was just hinted at like in Infinity.
Embrace imagination.
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chinkeeyong
Singapore

Post Oct 22nd '08, 19:19

This probably is not the proper place to mention it, but it's apparently the most active Eternal thread on the Pfhorums, so I figured it'd be noticed here more quickly than elsewhere.

I found a very interesting "bug" just before Dread Not. The teleporter which leads there instead sends me back to Prologue: Destiny sometimes. I haven't found a regular pattern; maybe using the edges of the teleporter seems to do the trick.

I guess Marcus got fed up with everything always going wrong and just decided to kill Hathor from the very beginning? ^_^

Anyway, I'm currently on Dread Not and have enjoyed Eternal very much so far, with the exception of one lava-filled level on Lh'owon (believe it's called Eat S'pht and Die, though I might be thinking of a different level's name) that was more tedious and irritating than fun, especially since it was easy to get stuck in a certain part of the map where you had to do an extremely careful bit of grenade hopping to get back out if you ended up there too early.

Other than that, it's damn cool. The best word for it is indeed "epic".
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Ultimatum479

Post Oct 23rd '08, 19:23

I think we've found our second-best prose writer in the community. I mean look at it, it's got Pulitzer-level discourses on the human condition while not coming across as high-minded literary elitism. Who hasn't said of a girlfriend at one time or another, "But sexually, she is inordinately frustrating", or asked "Why the dog?" at one some point in our lives? And yet beneath the relatable narrative is a layer of Jungian terror in lines such as "It was firming from a terrifying hosepipe", with the concomitant visual imagery such words inevitably create in our minds. I give it a 4/5. One point deduction for misspelling "titties".
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Iritscen

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