I will play every level in Marathon 2, and comment on them.

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

Re: I will play every level in Marathon 2, and comment on th

Post Jan 27th '19, 18:02

on marathon v1.2:
Attachments
2019-01-27-123247_1920x1080_scrot.png
2019-01-27-123247_1920x1080_scrot.png (8.16 KiB) Viewed 6088 times
User avatar

$lave

Post Jan 27th '19, 18:36

@ $lave - Did you get a message saying "I pledge to punch all switches, to never shoot where I could use grenades, to admit the existence of no level except Total Carnage, to never use Caps Lock as my "run" key, and to never, ever, leave a single Bob alive" ?

According to this page that message accompanies the Command-Option & New Game http://traxus.bungie.org/index.php/Vidmaster%27s_oath

Also, this page http://marathon.bungie.org/story/marathon_v1.1.html mentions a 1.0 version and 1.1 version. If I remember correctly 1.2 was the final update.
User avatar

RadBurn

Post Jan 27th '19, 19:22

The traditional Vidmaster message that we all know and love wasn’t introduced until M2. AFAIK, the only rules intended to apply to the M1 Vidmaster’s Challenge are to play on TC and not to use Caps Lock as your run key. The “never, ever leave a single Bob alive” part wouldn’t even make sense for M1, since saving them is actually part of your mission objective. This is all explained somewhere on the Vidmasters’ page, but I don’t recall where offhand.
People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

“The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain. If you can’t lick ’em, join ’em. If it hurts, repeat it. But to praise despair is to condemn delight, to embrace violence is to lose hold of everything else. We have almost lost hold; we can no longer describe happy man, nor make any celebration of joy.” —Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”

Fool's Gold · Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · Marathon Eternal 1.2 · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
User avatar

The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Jan 27th '19, 19:28

Nope, no message appears in M1. Just the level selection box.
User avatar

$lave

Post Jan 28th '19, 01:04

I love that I've got us talking about the philosophy of vidding :-)

In the Marathon Demo DON'T READ THIS!!! file, the section on difficulty notes: "If you are a vid-master or are under the age of twenty-one, then you should NEVER play below Normal. (Unless, of course, you're a wuss.) That's right. Save Kindergarten and Easy for the older generation!"

In the demo itself, the first terminal tells you:
"Learn to VID. That is, learn to look up and down at will.
This is also useful for finding cool things."

And the Vidmaster's oath in full appears in the level select dialouge of the Marathon 2 Preview.

Personally, I always prefer playing on Major Damage for the variety of alien ranks and the ammo cap, but I understand where that's not acceptable for a vid film.

I can never justify "never leave a BoB alive" to myself, so I prefer to instead "Show all secrets" and not to cheese doors and ledges as we've discussed.
User avatar

ravenshining
Hawai'i

Post Jan 28th '19, 02:45

Level 23: Where The Twist Flops.

Really, it's a similar level to God Will Sort The Dead, only this level is larger, and definitely more challenging. If you know where to go on this map, your best bet is to find the 2X recharger first. Even if you have full of that from the last level, you'll most likely be taking a lot of hits on your way there, and I think there's no fewer than like 6 hunters in that room. At least nearby, there's two area that will give you a ton of ammo, definitely worthwhile.

The hardest part of this level is trying to not hit the real BoBs, because needless to say, you personally take out too many of them, and they'll turn on you. And that many pistols shooting at you at once can be pretty damaging (that didn't happen to me, but anyone who knows this game will know the physics). Best way to go is to start on the main level, and work your way down. Not much else to say. A decent combat level, and that's about it.

Level Design: 3 out of 5.

Aesthetics: 2 out of 5.

Combat: 4 out of 5.
Marathon Player Since 1995.

If You Are Always Dying in The Game, You Are Not a Bad Player, You Are Learning.
User avatar

Sharkie Lino
Connecticut

Post Jan 28th '19, 03:24

Level 24: Beware Of Abandoned Rental Trucks.

Okay.... I really don't understand this level. Who thought it would be a good idea to have the main central area just be a rectangle with steps? This set up looks like it's fitting for an older network level, or maybe even one of those dream levels for Infinity. It's incredibly annoying and boring, and sometimes hard to move if you happen to be firing and go down a step or two. At least the other areas you go to are more "normal", but I really don't think it improves things much. So Thoth says "What must be done should be clear." Yeah, obviously I know by now what has to be done, but for someone new? Not so sure about that.

So mostly you're going along this rectangle area, fighting off F'licktas, Enforcers, Cyborgs, and Troopers. Not a bad challenge in itself, but that central area can be a hassle sometimes. Luckily I've found the flamethrower to be very effective for this area. Anyway, once you get to the other areas that you need to. They're pretty well-guarded. Usually in some areas if you can get both the Pfhor and F'licktas in the same areas, they'll usually fight each other first before going for you, making it a little easier.

Once you get that half-door fully open and head to the last area, You're going to encounter some pretty heavy resistance before getting to those two towers. I found myself backtracking to the starting point a lot since there's a 2X recharger there. At the top of each one is a switch that apparently activates something. But I've never understood what. Thoth is already fully on, so it's obviously not that. I was told it could be related to the Pfhor ship you'll be on next, so I just go along with it, since it's the ONLY thing that seems to make sense to me.

The design of being able to see across each tower is pretty impressive, however the 5D space is very poorly used, since that room with the terminal between them isn't taken into account at all. EDIT: Of course, if they absolutely wanted the towers to have views like that, it had to be done this way. But whatever, that's not the biggest problem this level has.

In the middle of the central area is a secret room with all the floating items. Definitely best to save for last as you'll get lots of ammo, and a 3X canister.

Thankfully this is the last really badly-designed level of the game.

Level Design: 2 out of 5.

Aesthetics: 3 out of 5.

Combat: 3.5 out of 5.
Last edited by Sharkie Lino on Jan 28th '19, 03:38, edited 1 time in total.
Marathon Player Since 1995.

If You Are Always Dying in The Game, You Are Not a Bad Player, You Are Learning.
User avatar

Sharkie Lino
Connecticut

Post Jan 28th '19, 03:33

I figured that the 5D space on “Abandoned Rental Trucks” has to have been intentional. It’s so obvious that I don’t see how they could’ve missed it. Overall it’s not my favourite level though. The floating items are my favourite part of the level by far.

I kill all the Bobs when vidding the original games since it’s part of the oath, except for levels that have them respawn (which I think is just “A Converted Church”), I don’t always bother in some third-party scenarios, even discounting levels where they respawn infinitely. It definitely doesn’t feel sporting in Eternal where the player’s arsenal is just so much more powerful than the Bobs’. It’s also not even intended to be possible in some Chronicles levels (most notably “Take the Veil Cerpin Taxt”).
People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

“The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain. If you can’t lick ’em, join ’em. If it hurts, repeat it. But to praise despair is to condemn delight, to embrace violence is to lose hold of everything else. We have almost lost hold; we can no longer describe happy man, nor make any celebration of joy.” —Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”

Fool's Gold · Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · Marathon Eternal 1.2 · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
User avatar

The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Jan 29th '19, 00:09

I really like Abondoned Rental Trucks. I find that it's difficult for me to articulate why I like it. I suppose it's for the same reason you dislike it. I really like angular architecture, liquids being used against the player, elevation being used against the player. Same reasons I'm personally fond of Bob's Big Date. I think my only gripe with Abondoned Rental Trucks is that the cave to the south is completely useless. No spare ammo, no health, nothing.
User avatar

Flowers

Post Jan 29th '19, 00:16

Same, Flowers. Abandoned Rental Trucks is actually one of my favourite levels in M2; I find it has really unique architecture for the series and an interesting desolate sort of mood. I think I subconsciously always connected the very rectangular architecture of the level with Thoth. It feels like a very Thoth level to me.
User avatar

$lave

Post Jan 29th '19, 03:05

It’s a very distinctive, memorable level. I think the main reason it’s not in my top tier of levels that I just don’t like flame cyborgs too much. Then again, “The Hard Stuff Rules” also has flame cyborgs and it’s definitely in my top tier of levels. Perhaps I should play it again.

BTW, I’d mentioned that each level only features a few monster types. I was curious if any level uses more than three monster collections, and as far as I can ascertain, nope:

Waterloo Waterpark: Fighters, Bobs, Drones
Slings & Arrows: Fighters, Drones, F’lickta (first appearance of F’lickta; only appearance of tiny Fighters and tiny F’lickta)
Charon: Ticks, Fighters, F’lickta (first appearance of Ticks)
What About Bob: Fighters, Bobs, Cyborgs (first appearance of Cyborgs)
Medicine: Compilers, Drones, Troopers (first appearance of Troopers and Compilers)
We’re Everywhere: Compilers, Bobs, Hunters (first appearance of Hunters)
Ex cathedra: Drones, Troopers, F’lickta (first appearance of Water F’lickta)
Nuke & Pave: Drones, Cyborgs, Troopers (first and only appearance of Possessed Drones)
Curiouser: Cyborgs, Troopers, F’lickta
Eat It: Compilers, Fighters, Cyborgs
Hard Stuff: Ticks, Cyborgs, F’lickta (first appearance of Lava F’lickta)
Bob’s Big Date: Hunters, Troopers, F’lickta
STFU: Ticks, Cyborgs, F’lickta
IIHARL: Bobs, Hunters, Troopers (first appearance of MoAH and assimilated Bobs)
Sorry: Fighters, Cyborgs, Enforcers (first appearance of MoAC)
For Carnage: Compilers, Enforcers
Begging for Mercy: Troopers, Hunters, Enforcers
Big House: Fighters, Bobs, Enforcers
This Side Toward Enemy: Compilers, Troopers, F’lickta
God Will Sort the Dead: Bobs, Hunters, Troopers
My Own Private Thermopylae: Bobs, Cyborgs, Troopers
Kill Your Television: Ticks, Cyborgs, F’lickta
Where the Twist Flops: Compilers, Bobs, Hunters
Abandoned Rental Trucks: Cyborgs, Enforcers, F’lickta
Requiem for a Cyborg: Compilers, Fighters, Troopers
Fatum iustum stultorum: Bobs, Troopers, Defenders (first appearance of Defenders)
Feel the Noise: Cyborgs, Hunters, Defenders
All Roads Lead to Sol: Fighters, Hunters, Juggernauts (first and only appearance of Juggernauts)

I may have messed something up, but that’s what I got out of opening the map in Weland. “For Carnage, Apply Within” actually seems to be the solo only level that doesn’t use three monster collections; it only uses two.

Also, AFAICT, the following monster types are entirely unused in map placement anywhere in Marathon 2: Major Ticks, Kamikaze Ticks, Tiny Bobs, Major Juggernauts. I can’t recall if there are any others.
Last edited by The Man on Jan 29th '19, 07:35, edited 1 time in total.
People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

“The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain. If you can’t lick ’em, join ’em. If it hurts, repeat it. But to praise despair is to condemn delight, to embrace violence is to lose hold of everything else. We have almost lost hold; we can no longer describe happy man, nor make any celebration of joy.” —Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”

Fool's Gold · Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · Marathon Eternal 1.2 · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
User avatar

The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Jan 29th '19, 07:11

oh, man, I love flame cyborgs! definitely one of my favourite enemies. given their backstory, I like to play with custom physics & shapes that give them VacBob sounds for extra creepification.

between the flame cyborgs, the odd steps, the water in your way, and the simple yet distinctive layout, abandoned rental trucks is... either my favourite M2 level or second after Come and Take your Medicine,
User avatar

ravenshining
Hawai'i

Post Jan 29th '19, 07:37

I don’t mind them so much in levels that give you adequate shields to deal with them. “What About Bob?” and “My Own Private Thermopylae” are two examples of levels that… don’t. Although at least there’s an easy trick to dealing with the one in “What About Bob?” I’ve actually gotten a lot better at dealing with them, but they’ll probably never be my favourite enemy purely due to the amount of frustration I had learning to deal with them. Regardless, I feel like levels that use them should feature 2x rechargers just out of principle.
People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

“The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain. If you can’t lick ’em, join ’em. If it hurts, repeat it. But to praise despair is to condemn delight, to embrace violence is to lose hold of everything else. We have almost lost hold; we can no longer describe happy man, nor make any celebration of joy.” —Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”

Fool's Gold · Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · Marathon Eternal 1.2 · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
User avatar

The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Jan 29th '19, 22:35

I can see why some appreciate the structural setup of that level, but I just don't think it flows well, if flow is important for single player levels. And it just feels like it's "there."; not part of something, same for Bob's Big Date. In terms if it being a Thoth level? I'm not sure. You've already had a few levels with him, so it just doesn't feel likely to me that this would be a level related to him.

Raven in regards to Flame Cyborgs, if any of you have clicked on the Info button when I hosted a game, you'll probably notice that my physics always said "Standard 2". That's merely because, there's other color tables for them that never got used it seems. In the later ones, the bottom areas of the Cyborgs are more beige instead of gray. I felt those two tables were very fitting for the minor and major (not that those matter on TC) flame ones, including the MOAC. It kind of makes them a little more unique from the non-flames. Since the M2 map doesn't have any merged physics, it allows you to use them. That's all that physics file changes. Nothing more.

Aaron, one thing to remember is that the cyborgs on What About Bob are usually in larger open areas, and except for one (as far as I remember), they're non-flame. So it's relatively easy to dodge their shots. I can't say the same for My Own Private Thermopylae, but on that level, I was easily able to get them with the dual pistols. If every shot hits them, they wont be un-stunned long enough to fire.
Marathon Player Since 1995.

If You Are Always Dying in The Game, You Are Not a Bad Player, You Are Learning.
User avatar

Sharkie Lino
Connecticut

Post Jan 30th '19, 01:18

I do wonder why Bungie didn't use those palettes. It definitely would have made them more distinctive.

As far as I remember, though I'm not on my computer to verify this, both What About Bob and My Own Private Thermopylae only have one flame cyborg each. The one on What About Bob is actually really easy to deal with, as seen in my vid film (first page of the thread), but the Thermopylae one can pose more difficulty.

edit: MOPT has two. Still not very many though. I think I forgot about the second one because the Bobs have taken care of it every single time I’ve ever played the level.
Last edited by The Man on Jan 30th '19, 03:22, edited 2 times in total.
People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

“The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain. If you can’t lick ’em, join ’em. If it hurts, repeat it. But to praise despair is to condemn delight, to embrace violence is to lose hold of everything else. We have almost lost hold; we can no longer describe happy man, nor make any celebration of joy.” —Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”

Fool's Gold · Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · Marathon Eternal 1.2 · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
User avatar

The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Jan 30th '19, 02:45

I remember the first time I played What About Bob?, and I walked into that room after the firefight. I saw the charred corpse of a BoB on the floor and was aghast, "what could have done this!?"
User avatar

ravenshining
Hawai'i

Post Feb 2nd '19, 23:22

Level 25: Requiem For A Cyborg.

Back on a Pfhor ship once again, only this time I believe it's to clear it out because Robert Blake will be using it? That's the explanation I heard, and I think I understood it right.

Your starting point is an area I really like the look of, and I love the M2 space landscape. Through the door, you get a terminal and (oddly set up) pattern buffers here. But of course, you're not alone. S'phts, Troopers, and Fighters here. If you can get them at the door, it's usually the easiest here.

After all that, you drop down that main elevator area, and a hallway with some Fighters. Easy to take care of with some shotguns. After that, I would choose the first door on your right (from the elevator) first, and save the third one on the left, and the large one for last. But in all areas, there's a decent amount of combat. Those two towers you go up both have switches that bring up platforms, that I believe are docking latches? And it's cool to be able to see across from each one once they are up. One challenge on this level is, you do have some shield rechargers, but they're all 1X. So, you wont be getting any more than that here.

The last area has a lot of S'phts, and the fusion works best here, any troopers or fighters, best to get out the AR. In the last room, you have to raise some liquids. I'm guessing it's fuel or something? It's never really explained.

Overall, a fairly short level, but it very much does right what Abandoned Rental Trucks did wrong. The layout actually makes it feel like a ship in space, and the design of it overall I think is great. I really like those towers I mentioned before where you can see across from, and what you see outside those small windows at the first elevator really gives the outside design of the first terminal room, and your starting point pretty accurately. Probably my only complaint is that first lower hallway. Same texture for the walls, floor, AND ceiling? Come on, they could have had a better design there. But at least it's not like that all around. After you are all done with everything, the last Thoth message. Time for the Eleventh Clan!

Level Design: 4 out of 5.

Aesthetics: 4 out of 5.

Combat: 3 out of 5.
Last edited by Sharkie Lino on Feb 3rd '19, 01:40, edited 2 times in total.
Marathon Player Since 1995.

If You Are Always Dying in The Game, You Are Not a Bad Player, You Are Learning.
User avatar

Sharkie Lino
Connecticut

Post Feb 3rd '19, 00:09

Level 26: Fatum Iustom Stultorum.


The S'pht'Kr have arrived! I'm pretty sure the chapter screen sound was influenced heavily by M1's title screen, not that there's anything wrong with that!

You really need to be prepared for your arrival here. When you walk towards any door, 4 Troopers drop in. Some S'pht'Krs will teleport in too, but by the time they do, the troopers already had their focus on you, and will already have grenades heading your way. I thought I just need to dive in the water to help my chances, but I decided to go along with the challenge, and I only had to respawn 2 times in order to not lose too much shield. I think I only lost 1/4 of red on my final attempt, so I took it and moved on.

Since your starting point is pretty much a central hub, and there's 3 of 4 ways to go (one of them just being a door back to it), I figured I would just comment based on each of the three areas. And I feel like each one is kind of parts of the game "coming together" in one level, in terms of what you have to do. I'll explain.

In the first section, it's pretty standard. A normal walkway in the middle of water pools, or alongside them. I really like the lighting here. Most of the combat here is not much though for some of it, just a lot of Assimilated BoBs teleporting in and heading your way. Dual pistols are the best here I think, as they are the most accurate, and they cant fire back at you anyway. The ones that drop in the water, I just leave them alone, since they cant do anything to you, and unlike a lot of others, they CAN hurt you underwater. For any rooms that have actual Pfhor, the AR and shotguns are the best here. Hopefully you can knock some of the BoBs into the troopers. I usually try to, though the worst is when the BoBS are in front of one when they explode, so then one gets pushed towards YOU instead of them. Talk about a plan backfiring :P .

A terminal here indicates that Durandal has returned, and that Tycho's ship is no more. Probably the biggest challenge here is that there is no recharger at all until you get to the last room of the first section, and even then, plenty of troopers to hold you back though the S'pht'Kr do help a little bit. After that, charge up and save! One of the rooms does have a sort of hidden teleporter that takes you to a separate room with a lot of ammo, but I save it for last.

The second section revolves more around swimming to get where you need to be. A lot of Assimilated BoBs here, but you only really need to take out maybe a couple before they just blow each other up. But watch out for any that fall in the water! What's cool here though is the lighting used on the liquid surface to show you that there's an opening for you to swim up to, to continue, or get to a small room for some ammo. Of course this isn't as significant now since the game now has transparent liquids, but I do remember it well from M2 before the Aleph One days. So more of the same. Take out the troopers and BoBs, hit the switch, and head back to the hub.

The third section is the shortest, but also the hardest I think, even though there's S'pht'Krs here again. If you have missiles, use them! You'll be controlling liquid levels yet again to progress further. It's best if you clear everything out before jumping in the first room. Then you know the drill, hit the switch to raise the water in this room, swim up to the ledge, and then hit the switch again to bring it back down and raise the water in the second room. The last two rooms after that are pretty tough, lots of troopers in each one. It's best to let the S'pht'Krs do what they can, then finish off anything that they couldn't. So that's how I felt the three sections make parts of the game "come together". One you just walk along like normal, but the next one require swimming, and the last one requires water level changes.

Once all that is done, then I save, and return to the first section for that teleporter, and go to the separate room. More Assimilated BoBs here, but they are fairly easy to avoid, and you get a LOT of ammo in this room. Well worth it. Robert Blake's message I'm sure does indicate that he realizes that Durandal is fully back, so he decided to make like a tree and get out of there.

Level Design: 3 out of 5.

Aesthetics: 4.5 out of 5.

Combat: 3.5 out of 5.
Marathon Player Since 1995.

If You Are Always Dying in The Game, You Are Not a Bad Player, You Are Learning.
User avatar

Sharkie Lino
Connecticut

Post Feb 3rd '19, 05:22

I have a soft spot for both of those levels. I really like the M2 space landscape and it was only ever used in that one level, which feels like a colossal waste. It also makes very effective use of M2’s colourful Pfhor set, perhaps better than any of the other Pfhor levels in the game do. I should note that while it’s a pretty fast level to complete when playing normally, it takes a long time to speedrun compared to most of the rest of the game. I have no explanation for this.

“Fatum” just looks really cool and it’s really fun to play. It’s like the Pfhor were just dumping all those assimilated Bobs since they knew they wouldn’t be of any use now that the actual humans were leaving, and it’s fun to cause chain reactions with them.

One thing I forgot to add is that the Windows 95 version of “Waterloo Waterpark” actually features monsters from four different collections, since the “Arrival” easter egg features Compilers. It is thus, as far as I’m aware, the only level in any release of the game to use more than three monster collections. (At 714 polygons, it also has by far the largest polygon count of any level in any release of the game.) On the whole, I much prefer the Win95 versions; I do miss the cool alien transporter from the Mac version of “Charon” though.
People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

“The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain. If you can’t lick ’em, join ’em. If it hurts, repeat it. But to praise despair is to condemn delight, to embrace violence is to lose hold of everything else. We have almost lost hold; we can no longer describe happy man, nor make any celebration of joy.” —Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”

Fool's Gold · Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · Marathon Eternal 1.2 · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
User avatar

The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Feb 3rd '19, 07:36

Have you tried the version I PMed you, Aaron? It has both the transporter and the rooftop.
User avatar

ravenshining
Hawai'i

Post Feb 3rd '19, 08:53

Haven’t gotten around to it yet, but I probably will this week now. I just finished the Windows 95 versions of the first six levels on my channel, in case you’re interested in seeing my play-throughs of those. (The only other level that had changes is “For Carnage, Apply Within”, which I’m not sure I’m capable of pulling off.) The Chronicles version of the level also uses both the transporter and the roof.

…while I’m thinking about it (I just went through and re-read some old posts in this thread), I should add that I feel like there are areas of the games that are clearly designed with the intention of having the player kill monsters by just lurking below them. The area with the 1x recharger in “Son of Grendel”, for instance, is guarded by something like seven troopers. The player will probably only have 1x shields when encountering them, too. The easiest way to deal with them by far is to just lurk in the water until they kill themselves.
People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

“The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain. If you can’t lick ’em, join ’em. If it hurts, repeat it. But to praise despair is to condemn delight, to embrace violence is to lose hold of everything else. We have almost lost hold; we can no longer describe happy man, nor make any celebration of joy.” —Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”

Fool's Gold · Last.fm · Marathon Chronicles · Marathon Eternal 1.2 · YouTube Vidmaster’s Challenge
User avatar

The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Feb 4th '19, 03:23

Level 27: Feel The Noise.

Man, this is a tough level. Had to restart two times, and each time brought me back to the last level since there is no pattern buffer until you're more than halfway done with this level. (Can I say level enough times?)

It's a very active one for sure. Every place you turn, more Pfhor teleport in. And they're tough ones, Hunters and both types of Cyborgs. Many S'pht'Kr are around here too, but even with them there's a lot to fight, and it's also a task trying to not hit them since they will turn on you if you do. The area you start in gives you all 3 shield canisters, you better save the best for last!

It's definitely a pure carnage level, and the amount of fighting absolutely makes it feel like it is one of the last levels. It's tough (and sometimes frustrating), but it keeps you moving and has you try to use any moves you may have learned. The setup of it overall is okay. The first terminal, this one is probably the most pointless of them all I think. Durandal with another one of his stories. The important parts really...... Tycho is done, Thoth is bipolar, and just shoot everything you can.

It's really not hard to figure out where you have to go in this level. Just travel along and remember any doors that may not have been open before. When you get to the final room, I admit I try some trickery. If done just right, I can step over the polygon just below the ledge and manage to turn around fast enough to stay on it, which makes many things teleport in. Because once you go in that room, you can't get back out, and this is quite a challenge to beat. Though you could also jump from the ledge and make it to the room with the second terminal. But I wasn't gonna do that. Two MOAHs in here, along with more other hunters and both cyborgs. S'pht'Krs do help some, but they are pretty overpowered here (most of the time anyway).

Once you mange to clear out that room, the terminal gives you some info of the juggernauts.

A pretty hard level. I'd say it's up there with If I Had A Rocket Launcher in terms of combat for sure, and definitely has a "you are near the end" kind of feeling. It does get a little easier once you make it to the pattern buffer, and 2X recharger. But still a challenging level in general.

Level Design: 3 out of 5.

Aesthetics: 2 out of 5.

Combat: 5 out of 5.
Last edited by Sharkie Lino on Feb 4th '19, 04:18, edited 1 time in total.
Marathon Player Since 1995.

If You Are Always Dying in The Game, You Are Not a Bad Player, You Are Learning.
User avatar

Sharkie Lino
Connecticut

Post Feb 4th '19, 04:09

Level 28: All Roads Lead To Sol...

Well here we are, the final level. At the start, a pattern buffer, 2X recharger, and lots of regenerating missiles. Clearly a sign that you'll be needing them. So as you go down along the stairs, a room with scrolling walls, and lots of fusion batteries. And as you head out, fighters, hunters, and the first appearance of the juggernauts.

To be completely honest with you though, the juggernauts really don't bring up the combat much on this level. The hunters and fighters do that more. Really it's because I found them to really be not that hard on this level. It's very easy to get a shot at them and then go behind a wall or something when they start firing at you.

The biggest problem I have with them though, is that they take SO MANY damn hits to take down, and it really becomes a chore. Missile after missile, and fusion bolt after fusion bolt. It seems like they will never go down. I can understand that these are the strongest things in M2, but seriously, there is such a thing as excessive. In fact, I think RTK made a post back when stating that their HP was like 5000? If true, that's ridiculous.

And about 95% of the level is just this 1 WU or so walkway around lava. Very uneventful, for lack of a better term. And if you want to go back to your starting point for more missiles or fusion batteries? You have to go all the way back around for that. No shortcuts. So you do the same thing again and again, and eventually get a door open.

A room with circuit panels in a lava level? I'm sure some will be reminded of What About Bob here. At least they designed it (I think) in a way that the one that switches the lava levels, is the last one to be seen, so it shouldn't be too difficult to get the doors open first. I always ignore the circuit panel to the immediate left of the door. That one opens another room which can lead you to Bungie's credit terminal. But considering it's so easy (and easier in general) to read that terminal out-of-game now, it serves no purpose. And it will also disable the pattern buffer at your starting point. Considering it's the only one accessible after switching the lava levels? No thanks.

So you then head down the now-uncovered stairs, and it's the same. A room with hunters, followed by another large lava room with now two juggernauts. Fun...

And this time, there's no walkways. You must swim in the lava to the other side. You CAN give yourself a boost some with proper missile firing and take less damage. I managed to get to the other side with half a bar of 3X left.

But of course, now comes the final challenge. The teleporter brings you right inside a lava pit, so if you know to swim right away, you'll probably lose half a bar more of shield.

A juggernaut, and a big crowd of fighters, hunters, and a MOAH teleport in. The truth though? This final room is not hard. If you know how to move, it helps you amazingly. Just keep running around in a circle. As you do, a lot of their shots will just hit them, and a lot of them, including the juggernaut will turn on one another. Your biggest challenge are the lava pits. As you run around, just keep going and take occasional shots while glancing. I think the only thing that ever hit me were a couple of alien weapon shots from the juggernaut. That's it.

Eventually you will finally get that last juggernaut, and most of the time you will be far enough away when it hits the floor. And then BAM, fighting over.

At the terminal, No more invasion of Sol, and Lh'owon is being all evacuated. It also brings up the first mention of the trih xeem, a constant plot point of Infinty. Pretty interesting there!

Overall though, I feel this level fails to bring the feeling of "final level" for the game. The last room only sort of does it. All the firing required to take down the juggernauts is just insane, and it's really not hard to take cover from their shots. Again, it just feels like an unnecessary chore and not very exciting.

While I did say some comparisons between M2 and Infinity are not really fair, at least Infinity's last level was a place with more solid ground, not just a walkway around lava. Again, while I don't know if M2 had more strict limits than Infinity (at least one told me it didn't), I'm pretty sure a final level could have been designed a little bit more exciting than this one.

Level Design: 2 out of 5.

Aesthetics: 2.5 out 5. Some areas have darkened lava. Again, that does not look good or work well.

Combat: 2 out of 5.
Marathon Player Since 1995.

If You Are Always Dying in The Game, You Are Not a Bad Player, You Are Learning.
User avatar

Sharkie Lino
Connecticut

Post Feb 4th '19, 04:13

And there you have it everybody! Even though that review of the last level still seems kind of "meh", I do still very much enjoy the game, and I very much like the story behind it. I did begin to appreciate (and understand) Infinity's storyline, but not until like 2013. Even then, M2's just feels much more solid, and I think flows very well.

I should also add that Requiem For A Cyborg is indeed you prepping an escape ship for Robert Blake, as mentioned in the text at the very end. I love how it mentions that they never asked who had killed the crew before the boarded it. Haha.

Some of you did seem to enjoy this commentary thread, and honestly I had just as much fun making it.
Marathon Player Since 1995.

If You Are Always Dying in The Game, You Are Not a Bad Player, You Are Learning.
User avatar

Sharkie Lino
Connecticut

Post Feb 11th '19, 01:10

Somehow I missed the final levels being reviewed until now. Thank you for doing this. I hardly game anymore but reading another person's perspective of one of my favorite games was a pleasant stroll through memory lane.
User avatar

RadBurn

PreviousNext

Return to Marathon Discussion



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users