I will play every level in Marathon and comment on them

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Re: I will play every level in Marathon and comment on them

Post Apr 10th '18, 14:44

ravenshining wrote:Colony Ship, despite its deficiencies, stands out for it's great writing.

Neither High nor Low was fun, but kind of pointless.

G4 is of course excellently designed.

Two times Two equals... the best of the Pfhor levels

When I played through Marathon for the first time and got to Neither High nor Low for the first time, I actually never found the shield regenerator-. I don't know how or why, I just couldn't find it. It was a nightmare for me as I had to play through the level with only one tick of health left, and with the constantly respawning wasps it was EXTREMELY frustrating. Of course, after I found the health regenerator on my subsequent playthroughs, it wasn't that bad...

Also no love for Pfhoraphobia? I love that level. No save stations, no health regenerators, no ammunition. It really felt like I was trapped in this alien ship. I don't know, I personally loved it anyway. It's tied with Bob-B-Q for my favorite M1 level. Although, I was disappointed the cybernetic Pfhor isn't even a real enemy. It's a bit far into the future but I wonder if you have any ideas for making the encounter more exciting or is the plan at the moment to leave it as is?
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Flowers

Post Apr 10th '18, 22:01

CluckyInventor wrote:you could pressurize the chamber (use that liquid trick that has been mentioned before), blow up the fighters, and then maybe depressurize it as well if you want.

Why not punch a switch to pressurize the chamber really high
then punch the switch again for an explosive depressurization
and watch them explode a la the Tempus Irae level I Haven't Killed Anything Since 1485
I just play 'em; I don't know how they work.
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HelviusRufus

Post Apr 10th '18, 22:08

Flowers wrote:I was disappointed the cybernetic Pfhor isn't even a real enemy. It's a bit far into the future but I wonder if you have any ideas for making the encounter more exciting or is the plan at the moment to leave it as is?


I like the anticlimax, you go in expecting a stereotypical boss and it's actually defenseless. But, it's too easy to accidentally kill it while trying to take out it's enforcer guards. I want the player drawn it, to emphasise the moment, so I plan to
Spoiler:
have the controller be tough hit-point wise while making it weak to fists & shock staff, and still be harmless. Maybe give it a pathetically weak melee attack.
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ravenshining
Hawai'i

Post Apr 11th '18, 16:24

ravenshining wrote:I like the anticlimax, you go in expecting a stereotypical boss and it's actually defenseless. But, it's too easy to accidentally kill it while trying to take out it's enforcer guards. I want the player drawn it, to emphasise the moment

Over the last year I've been able to get a handful of Doom fans to check out Marathon. A common point of confusion I often heard afterwards is that they never encountered the cybernetic Pfhor and they didn't really understand what was going on too well in the end levels. I would have to explain that they did indeed kill the cybernetic Pfhor, but they often confused it as a statue scenery prop and didn't even directly kill it, with it dying accidentally in crossfire. While making it weak to melee in combination with giving it more health would be a good idea, I'd consider making the encounter more cinematic. Possibly give it a large, intimidating room of its own- similar to the one found at the end of Two Times Two Equals. Of course, anyone playing Redux would already know what the cybernetic Pfhor is, but I think it's worth addressing anyway.
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Flowers

Post Apr 11th '18, 18:20

Flowers wrote:Over the last year I've been able to get a handful of Doom fans to check out Marathon. A common point of confusion I often heard afterwards is that they never encountered the cybernetic Pfhor and they didn't really understand what was going on too well in the end levels. I would have to explain that they did indeed kill the cybernetic Pfhor, but they often confused it as a statue scenery prop and didn't even directly kill it


This is probably exarcerbated by how the mission doesn't necessarily end once you've killed the cyberPfhor, you might still have to explore or kill other enemies before you'll get teleported out.

My personal suggestion for making this fight work (the weak-to-fist method might not work unless you make him immune to all other damage and keep him low on health) would be to, A) have no other enemies in the cyberPfhor's throne room, put the emphasis on fighting in a longer hallway leading up to him, so you go through this gauntlet only to wind up in an empty throne room and you kill him easily, or B ) have the cyberPfhor's throne be behind a platform-wall, and when you open the platforms it reveals the cyberPfhor and you kill him quickly. An interesting narrative choice would be to make him only take damage from Enforcer weapons, suggesting he's controlled by the enforcers who guard him.
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philtron

Post Apr 11th '18, 19:58

philtron wrote:This is probably exarcerbated by how the mission doesn't necessarily end once you've killed the cyberPfhor, you might still have to explore or kill other enemies before you'll get teleported out.

Good point. I think another thing to note is that you expect the S'pht to be on your side, yet after you kill the cyberPfhor they're still enemies. Of course this is due to engine limitations, but the player doesn't necessarily know this.

My personal suggestion for making this fight work (the weak-to-fist method might not work unless you make him immune to all other damage and keep him low on health) would be to, A) have no other enemies in the cyberPfhor's throne room, put the emphasis on fighting in a longer hallway leading up to him, so you go through this gauntlet only to wind up in an empty throne room and you kill him easily, or B ) have the cyberPfhor's throne be behind a platform-wall, and when you open the platforms it reveals the cyberPfhor and you kill him quickly. An interesting narrative choice would be to make him only take damage from Enforcer weapons, suggesting he's controlled by the enforcers who guard him.

I had not thought about making him immune to everything but the Enforcer weapon. I like that idea a lot, as you would be killing this unholy, alien abomination with its own weaponry. Another idea I thought of off the top of my head is to surround the room in plasma and allow the player to flood the cyberPfhor, although I like this idea a lot less.
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Flowers

Post Apr 11th '18, 21:46

Have the controller cyborg behind bulletproof glass in a room just barely tall enough for him, and have some wires somewhere nearby (behind a panel so they don't get accidentally smashed) that, when smashed, trigger flickering lights and other effects like that, as well as moving the ceiling down on him by an imperceptibly small amount, crushing him to death? (The implication being that you fried the larger system of which the cyborg is a part, frying him in the process).

Although at that point you may as well just put him behind a wall of bulletproof glass separating him from the danger of the firefight, but with a door you can walk through to get behind the glass to kill him. Keeps him from dying in the firefight, makes clear that it has to be deliberate.
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Pfhorrest
California

Post Apr 12th '18, 01:37

I like the "weak to Enforcer weapon" idea too, though in my mind it's less that the Enforcers are in charge, and more that the Controller is dangerous and the Enforcers need a way to protect themselves (based on my idea of the Controller being a threat in his own right).
welcome to the scene of the crash
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General-RADIX

Post Apr 12th '18, 20:58

Pfhorrest wrote:Have the controller cyborg behind bulletproof glass in a room just barely tall enough for him, and have some wires somewhere nearby (behind a panel so they don't get accidentally smashed) that, when smashed, trigger flickering lights and other effects like that, as well as moving the ceiling down on him by an imperceptibly small amount, crushing him to death? (The implication being that you fried the larger system of which the cyborg is a part, frying him in the process).


Personally - I like this idea the best. It makes the action deliberate and the result cinematic, which is precisely what's needed. It also makes for something that's kind of unique in the Marathon trilogy: allowing the player to directly interact with other characters/enemies in a meaningful way without using a gun.
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PerseusSpartacus
Somewhere in the 19th Century...

Post Apr 12th '18, 21:40

PerseusSpartacus wrote: It also makes for something that's kind of unique in the Marathon trilogy: allowing the player to directly interact with other characters/enemies in a meaningful way without using a gun.


This is a biiiiiiiiiiiit of an exaggeration. You're still just mercing the guy. I don't think "squashing a bug" counts as a "meaningful interaction."
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philtron

Post Apr 12th '18, 21:46

Lots of great ideas here.

Another deathtrap mechanism, if I go that route, it could be with goo - put it in a chamber, as suggested, with a goo texture on the floor but no actual goo- actually, this is already the case in the stock level. Then goo rises imperceptibly into the chamber when you smash the wires, causing it to die without having to have a platform over it's head.

Having a deathtrap might also make scripting easier. If there's a way to Lua the S'pht to change allegiances, or remove all monsters of a type and replace them with a new monster of a different type, in such a way that would be compatible with cooperative play, I'd love to hear it. Otherwise, I may omit S'pht entirely from the level - no sense giving your slaves access to their yoke, after all.

It'd also solve the problem where you can kill every Pfhor on the level except the controller, and still get beamed out.

In regards to the concerns that a new player would not necessarily know who the controller is, that's what terminal art is pfhor! I was also thinking of dressing up it's dais slightly to resemble a compiler.

stock dais for reference:
Pfhoraphobia_0000.jpg
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ravenshining
Hawai'i

Post Apr 13th '18, 08:03

@HelviusRufus Troopers are vacuum enabled though, and I don't think whatever vacuum chamber is just lying around in an engineering chamber is powerful enough to outright explode a trooper. Part of the fun with "I haven't killed anyone since 1845" is that the enforcers fly away, not just explode. There's nowhere for the enemies inside said chamber to fly to, since we look to be in the middle of the Marathon (at least, not around the edge)

Level 12: Fire! Fire! ...
Perseus Gets Salty at Lava Link: http://forums.bungie.org/story/?read=63498

There are a lot of wasps hiding behind pillars on this level. Good thing I have a bug zapper. I say they hide behind pillars since if you step carefully you can snipe most of them without activating them. Since they are all major wasps on TC, their visual is decently large and you can often see a small bit of a wing poking out signaling you to shoot an empowered fusion bolt, which then results in a satisfying squeak and all other wasps totally dormant. Rinse and repeat. It doesn't help that Marathon's hitboxes make things like the edges of wings or even the corners of their models valid places to take out the wasps, (But that's not something you are likely to fix, and I'm not sure if I even want that fixed).

I like how you start off with a 1x charger (in case you were careless with your health) before giving you 2x health.

As for the rest of the level, I'm gonna go off into the whole lava argument. Whatever this liquid is (Hey, maybe they do need lava on the Marathon for some unforeseeable reason, but it could be molten metal, coolant, or some liquid just designed to look like lava to signal to anyone looking at it that they shouldn't jump in), some of the placement of this lava looks deliberate. Like, what's the point of this architecture (and that way around the canal) if the lava is not supposed to be here?

Hidden_advantage.PNG


I'd also like to say that having the lava be a solid texture, even if there was actually depth to it, allows for the illusion that lava flows under the walkway in the above picture, almost like one could imagine they were walking on a thin platform over the lava. Having a transparent lava texture might ruin this (minor) effect.

Of course, in any of the large rooms allowing the player to see the depth of the lava is a benefit.

Because some of the lava placement is quite deliberate, it makes one wonder what purpose the place has. Is this place also engineering? Does the lava have some engineering purpose (there was some on the engineering level SBU)? What does this place do, why were we sent here?

I should also note that some of the lava looks accidental; why would there be stairs into (or out of, as the case is) lava?

In summary, I'm thinking this place is some sort of facility for dealing with this strange "lava." However, in the attack, there was damage and lava has spilled into some places it shouldn't be, getting in your way. The teleporter from SBU sends us here since this is also an engineering facility that needs to be accessed by engineering staff (even if we don't have to do anything here, personally).

I'd like to see at least one more terminal, even if it doesn't explain anything relevant to the mission.

If lava stops being a surface we can walk on, what's gonna happen to our favorite hidden ammo cache?
CluckyInventor

Post Apr 16th '18, 15:33

I've had the pleasure (horror?) of playing with and walking on real lava in real life - that's a river of lava flowing behind me in my userpic. Generally, if you are capable of even getting near the stuff, it's more solid than liquid, and M1 is more realistic in that respect - except that it's bright orange, by the time you can walk over real lava it's got a few inches of black crust on top. If lava is as orange and yellow as it is in M1 and M2, you would totally sink in, and totally die instantly - I mean, trees *explode* when surrounded. It'd still be too thick to swim in if you had the Marine's miracle shield though.

Disclaimer: When I say can, I do not mean safe! I was quite insane and had no regard for my personal safety back then. You will very likely die or be horribly, horribly injured if you attempt to walk on lava. It's like treading on thin ice, but more deadly.

What does any of this have to do with Marathon? As a vauge and extremely remote nod to realism, I may have two separate textures for solid and liquid lava.

Now, obviously the Marathon isn't filled with the basalt lava I've had experience with. I've studied nuclear power a bit, and I think it's worth noting that the best nuclear reactors actually use molten metal as a coolant. We don't use them in the US because politics, but Russia, India, and China are into them. Granted the coolant would catch fire and possibly explode if exposed to air, but this could be Future Technology, air-and-moisture-safe reactor coolant, or it's not supposed to be exposed and that's why it's burning. I could even make "lava" levels "vacuum" levels, say they're pressurised but oxygen-deprived.
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ravenshining
Hawai'i

Post Apr 16th '18, 20:41

ravenshining wrote: I could even make "lava" levels "vacuum" levels, say they're pressurised but oxygen-deprived.

It is odd to me that Bungie implemented such a cool system using oxygen but only used it on one level. I've read that Neither High Nor Low has open windows (and I think it may have had oxygen recharge stations too but I can't remember, don't quote me on that) suggesting it might have originally been planned as a vacuum level. Anyway, I'd love to see more vacuum levels.

Also that's crazy that you walked on lava. I can't even go to the beach without my feet burning on the sand.
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Flowers

Post Apr 17th '18, 02:26

According to the original level notes, Neither High nor Low and one of the two cut endgame levels where Try Again now is were both also going to be vacuum. Instead, it seems they pumped air into Neither High nor Low, added in Ain't Got Time Pfhor This, and condensed the ending battles on the Marathon from 4 to 3 levels, leaving us with only a single vacuum level instead of three.
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ravenshining
Hawai'i

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