Playable version of game files (map may be out-of-date): https://drive.google.com/open?id=1BtHg2 ... 8um3yyCaTE
Latest version of map (you’ll have to merge it yourself in Atque): https://bit.ly/2rsTu9p
Complete playlist of gameplay videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... lymer=true
Playlist with latest gameplay videos only: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... lymer=true
Before anyone jumps in, there are plenty of caveats with the current form of this scenario; many are stated here and in the post directly above it. A brief overview of the status of this project can be read on Github.
Brief description of project:
Original post:The short answer is that it’s going to be, when finished, a direct sequel to both Eternal and the Salinger plank of the Rubicon, hopefully wrapping up the unresolved plotlines of the former and addressing the Chekhov’s guns that didn’t fire in the latter. The game also directly incorporates elements of Tempus Irae, and I intend not to contradict any of the elements of Phoenix or Kindred Spirits, which I consider Rubicon’s prequels (however, I have not yet finished Kindred Spirits; it’s really hard). A lot of the plot isn’t firmly set in stone yet, because it depends upon the construction of several more levels.
It is, however, already a completely playable game. It has glitches, it’s almost impossible in parts (one of the early levels frustrated Dr Sumner, and I suspect there are few, if any, more skilled Marathon players on the planet), and some of the terminals are completely blank, but it’s possible to start from the first level and get to the last without experiencing any game-ending problems that aren’t inherent in A1 (e.g., the game freezing after playing fifteen levels in a row).
No description of gameplay or architecture can actually hold up to actually seeing it for yourself, so here are three levels I’m particularly proud of (gameplay on the only real difficulty setting, of course):
To Make an Idol of Our Fear and Call It God
Return to Yggdrasill
Kill Your Sons
I could probably post a top seven if I wanted, but I think three is a good number to lead off with, and these should hopefully give a representative sample of what the game is like (although this sample does include two of the hardest levels). The only particularly important plot knowledge I think you might need before viewing these is that the game interweaves flashbacks, most of which are spruced-up versions of old Bungie/Doubleaught levels (hence “Kill Your Sons”), with a story set after Eternal and Rubicon. I have at least two plot-relevant reasons for incorporating flashbacks, but they’re not necessary to know going into the game (especially since the game currently doesn’t even address one of them at all yet, and only addresses the other obliquely).
I realise there’s an absolutely colossal amount of text to wade through in this thread, should you be interested, but overall, I suspect the vast majority of it isn’t important for first-time players to know. It might be of interest to people who decide to contribute to the development of this project, but even then, a lot of it probably isn’t essential, and you certainly don’t need to know it to play the game. The links in the opening post should give you basically everything you need.
This is a long post. Over the course of it I’ll reflect on my experiences building levels, evaluate the state of what I’ve already built, indicate what I’ll need to do before I feel I can even release it an alpha state, and close off with some gameplay videos I actually consider worth showing people now. Apologies for rambling a lot and repeating myself occasionally; I’m going to have company the next few days, and I’d like to give people here something to see while I’m entertaining guests, but I don’t really have time to revise this properly before they arrive.
Marathon Chronicles is a scenario I’ve been building off and on for some twenty-one years (perhaps appropriately, since 7 * 3 = 21). It’s not even yet in a state I consider fit to release to the public as a game, even as an alpha; I’ve only ever shown it to some close friends in the past. There are a number of reasons I never released it; perhaps most importantly, I never finished telling the story I wanted to tell with it, or even came close. Part of this is because I never really set the story in stone. I was a rather naïve teenager when I started writing it; a lot of the terminals date back to fairly early in development, and they’re awful. They’re so awful that I’d prefer many of them to be permanently expunged from the historical record.
This may actually be the primary reason I haven’t released anything. If I were going to release it at all, at least in its current form, I’d probably just blank out most of the terminals, leaving only terse mission descriptions where necessary. I’ve improved so much as a writer even since the last time I worked on this scenario (2012) that my progress is difficult to chart. (I’ve written hundreds of thousands of words just since March, 2017, many of which were for a single writing project. This is still understating it; while that project is still incomplete, I wrote and largely revised about 65,000 words over about a six-week course. It still hasn’t been completed yet, though, owing to personal issues.)
Another major reason my scenario hasn’t been released is that I began incorporating other people’s content just for the lulz (I originally wanted the scenario to encompass as much of the Marathon universe as possible, including fan creations, as a sort of tribute to Bungie and the whole community, but this ultimately became infeasible), but I haven’t asked everyone whose work I used for permission. I explicitly recall getting James Hastings-Trew’s permission to use Tempus Irae artwork (though I doubt I still have the message from him; I’m sure that was a few email addresses ago now); I also incorporated a rather large number of weapons and monsters from Rubicon and Evil, but I don’t have any recollection of discussing this with any of their scenario creators, so I probably didn’t. It’s been so long since either scenario was released that obtaining permission for a noncommercial project would probably be a formality, but I wish do so regardless.
(I’m pretty sure I incorporated a few textures from Pfh’Joueur as well, though asking Candace for permission to use them is unfortunately a moot point by now. [R.I.P.] I also incorporated a couple of easter eggs from Gemini Station – specifically one bonus level and one throwaway graphic for that bonus level – though I think I probably obtained Mike Trinder’s permission for that, since I’d been corresponding with him off and on for several months; again, I doubt I still have the emails, though.)
Additionally, a few levels aren’t playable at all in the latest revision, several others have game-breaking glitches, many weren’t even finished, and overall, the difficulty and combat are highly unbalanced. Because I never settled on a final story, I also never settled on a final level order, so the difficulty curve is… erratic would be putting it mildly. The scenario has way too much ammo overall – comparing it to a game-length equivalent of the original version of “Roots and Radicals” would be an exaggeration, but there’s definitely way more ammo than anyone should ever need to complete the game, even if they don’t use fists or the fighter staff at all.
I never really bothered making formal announcements about my own work to the Marathon community before because I never thought it was anywhere approaching a state worth showing to people familiar with scenarios like Tempus Irae, Rubicon, Eternal, Phoenix, etc. I recently replayed the entire thing on Total Carnage. (Most of the time, surprisingly, I was able to power through without dying too often; the fact that I’ve play-tested these levels as much as I have probably means they’re way easier for me than anyone else’s levels are.) About 1/3 of the levels are absolute crap and probably can’t be remedied at all; another 1/3 or so need a lot of work to be truly good levels, but can get there; the remainder are mostly fine the way they are. But of course, beyond that, I’ll have to completely rewrite 90% of the terminals.
Which begs the question of: how long a story do I want? The reason I never finished it in the first place is that my reach vastly exceeded my grasp (a typical tale for this community, it seems). I wanted to make a branching story sort of scenario along the lines of Rubicon. The story I wanted to tell probably would’ve required more levels than Eternal has, and I don’t have anywhere near enough good ones. So I’d have to completely overhaul my plot. And I haven’t even begun working out ways to do that yet.
I also started out with the idea of making the game an alternate timeline from either M2 or M∞ and telling the story through Lost-style flashbacks, giving me the opportunity to make remixes of some of the earlier levels (I’m particularly proud of my revision of “Come and Take Your Medicine”, seen below, since it’s now necessary to explore about 70% of the level to complete the mission, rather than the 20% or so the original version required; like about 90% of my levels for this scenario, however, it was never fully completed) and allowing the use of more weapons than the traditional arsenal. But this ran into the problem, first, that the weapons often didn’t play well with one another when transitioning from one time period to another (Lua might be able to fix some of these problems going forward if I don’t decide to scrap the flashback idea), and secondly, that I needed a lot more levels to tell my story. As a result, the last revision is in a kind of half-assed state where some of the remixes use the original M2/M∞ weapons and others have the modern weapons, even though they’re clearly on Lh’owon, which ought to have been destroyed.
And there are some game-breaking bugs. Like I said, the weapons from different time periods didn’t always play well with one another. I fixed the issues on some levels, but the physics on others need work. One level can’t be completed at all; there are wires that refuse to activate. (They worked in earlier revisions; I’m not sure what I screwed up). And the weapons are sorely unbalanced.
I had the idea of making the player capable of carrying ammo for the Enforcer gun and being able to use its interface intuitively. It turns out the reason M2/M∞ don’t let you carry Enforcer ammo or get a good glance at how many shots you have left is because it’s ridiculously OP on higher difficulty settings. I’m not very good at the game, and I can power through all but a handful of levels on TC without dying much by using mostly the Enforcer gun. I think I can probably reduce this a lot by reducing the number of shots in a clip (I was giving the player something like 128, I think; I’ll probably reduce it to 32, same as the SMG, which it replaces here).
I also introduced Evil’s version of the Pfhor staff for every level. What Pfhorrest was describing in Eternal’s thread about its overpowered pushback against enemies is something I’m going to have to look into as well. One-on-one, it can stun most enemies into complete uselessness until the player kills them. I wind up powering through most levels with the Pfhor staff and the Enforcer gun about 80% of the time, to the point where they’re a crutch that makes it difficult for me to play other people’s scenarios smartly.
I also made the shotgun way too powerful. I figured that because time had passed since the trilogy, the weapons should be more powerful, both for the player and for enemies, so I beefed up the shotgun. Particularly in net games, it’s pretty much a game-breaker. I think I need to restore the shotgun to its exact state from the original games – and, for that matter, perhaps several of the other weapons.
I made a lot of these changes without really considering game balance. M∞ seems to be the most commonly played network format because the weapons are balanced better than the weapons in third-party scenarios tend to be. The weapons in Chronicles are… not nearly as well balanced. One possibility is to leave the weapons as I have them in the solo scenario and simply revert back to M∞ weapons for net play, and I’m strongly considering doing that, though it would require recalibrating the weapon and ammo placement in the net levels (or at least the net levels that are probably worth keeping) to account for the changes in balance. I’m leaning towards doing this at the moment.
The other aspect is the enemies. I don’t expect these to need as many changes. I substantially beefed up several of the aliens from the original trilogy, and I'm fairly pleased with where they ended up. Hunters’ and Enforcers’ weapons both do a lot more damage to the player. (However, this is a factor making Chronicles’ alien weapon even more OP than it is in the Trilogy.) Fighters attack more rapidly, move slightly faster, and have substantially more health - no more one-punch kill for minor Fighters now. (They’re different colours in Chronicles - mostly. Minor Fighters are usually chartreuse; major ones are dark green; minor projectile Fighters are cyan; major projectile Fighters are a different dark blue than the original trilogy’s. However, I also have M1 Fighters in the shapes file for specific circumstances, who appear in the same colours as normal.) They’re more of a threat to the player without being inexplicably strong for aliens of their size.
Enforcers sometimes have the disintegration bolts from Rubicon, but rarely use the ridiculous zap attack that can one-hit kill the player (I think I only left these in for at most three levels). Unfortunately, the disintegration bolts don’t actually disintegrate anything yet, because disintegration was implemented as a replacement for flame deaths in Rubicon, and Chronicles still has flame weapons. I think this is something that can be altered using Lua or MML scripting, which I may look into at some point down the road.
Sporadically, there are other aliens from various scenarios (mostly Rubicon and Evil) that mostly behave as they did in their respective scenarios. Most of them are sparsely used; Devlins and the S’pht’Wr probably make the most frequent appearances. Depending upon how I rewrite the plot, these can probably be removed entirely. I’m not certain what would replace Devlins (maybe I’d just go the Eternal route and reuse monsters from Pathways; these might actually make more sense in context) and I could replace the S’pht’Wr with... Compilers, I guess, though to be honest, the S’pht’Wr are more intimidating in some contexts. I could presumably also just recolour the S’pht’Kr as Phoenix did. I used Rubicon-style Hulks on a few levels, and I think I’m at least going to reduce their health; I may also reduce the health of the Juggernauts, honestly. Some of those monsters just get boring to fight for too long. 7,500 health or whatever they have is too much.
As I said, the levels themselves vary widely in quality, and some are awful and probably can’t be salvaged; many were developed when I was still learning how to use Forge and, for that matter, still learning how to play Marathon. Honestly, I got into this game as much for the editors as anything. I’d dreamt of being able to create my own game content since shortly after I started playing Mario as a kid, and this was the first time I’d been able to use a game editor that seemed intuitive to me. But I was also quite new to FPS games at the time. I’d played Doom casually, but “played” is perhaps the wrong word; I think I was probably mostly using cheat codes and just walking through the levels to marvel at the visuals, which at the time seemed like the coolest game graphics ever. I didn’t have any idea what FPS combat was at the time, much less what made a good level. And I hadn’t actually played much of the Marathon games yet, either. I don’t think it was until I discovered the Story page that I realised there was a lot more depth to Marathon than just the editor.
Despite this, two of my earliest levels have been salvaged to something… playable. (Specifically, the levels currently named “Illegitimi non carborundum” and “Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk” began as two of my earliest levels; the former is probably still at least decent from a gameplay standpoint, though it makes absolutely zero sense from a construction standpoint, while the latter is one of the ones I’m mostly proudest of, though now that AO and Weland have removed the 1024-poly and 384-object limits, I can make it even better. I continued to work on “Anthems” much longer than any other level I’d started that early on.) Not perfect, but not a slog. I kept more of the early levels in than merited keeping, though. And even from the ones after I’d begun playing more, I was doing a lot of trial and error and not all of my experiments actually worked. Some of them are just too linear and require too much backtracking. Some of them just aren’t fun. Some are just bland in appearance. Some were based on ideas that sounded cool, but didn’t actually translate to the engine the way I’d hoped. (There was one based on the idea that the ship’s artificial gravity had failed, using liquid to simulate a vacuum and allowing Pfhor to fly and fire shots under water, but it turns out they’re very, very dumb when given flight power and the player is also able to float, and they also look stupid walking around in mid-air.)
Some are salvageable, though. Some can use some work, but are on their way to being good levels. Some are probably already good. So here are a few gameplay videos. They’re all on the only real difficulty setting, even though I’m not all that great a player. I’m probably way better at all of these levels than I am at anyone else’s, though, owing to the fact that I’ve spent so long play-testing them that I know them really well.
Please Excuse Our Dust. I’ll cop to this being a complete ripoff of “Roquefortress” from Phoenix, but I’m still fairly proud of it. It’s the first level I made after realising AO no longer had viewing distance limits, and it takes full advantage of the newly available scope for levels. Crucially, I don’t think there was an AO-specific editor yet, and I made this all within Forge. This means that I had to employ a creative solution to get around the fact that Forge would crash if I viewed the whole thing in visual mode. (I think Visual Mode.lua might’ve existed by the time I constructed this, but I don’t think I knew about it.) I set opaque boundaries in different segments of the level while texturing it, then restored transparency when I’d finished.
From a combat standpoint, it’s pretty fun. I suspect it could stand to use another recharger or two, and I should probably add at least one more pattern buffer. I don’t think there are too many trial-and-error aspects to the gameplay, but I tried to keep the same paranoia-inducing aspects of “Roquefortress”, where there are stealthy monsters who sneak up on you as you progress through the level, so it’s possible I didn’t balance those correctly.
Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk. This was one of a handful of levels I co-created with other people – in this case, an old friend who also came up with the name of the scenario. (I’d credit him by name, but I’m honestly not sure if he actually wants his name mentioned here; I’ll ascertain this before doing so.) A fairly large part of the oldest part of the level (the central part) was largely his construction; I don’t recall how much (again, twenty-odd years have passed). I’ve continued working on it since. Some of the newer parts probably look cooler; the temple area, which is much more recent, is one of my favourite pieces of architecture in the level, though I think I need to provide more hints in terminals about how the player can traverse it correctly; the current route also more or less requires sidestep running, and perhaps I should revise it so that it doesn’t. The level also shows off my “dusk” revision of the Lh’owon landscape (which is part of the reason it currently has this title, which was taken from an album by Emperor. “Welkin” is an archaic term for “sky”, basically).
This was originally intended to be the first level of the scenario, and it has far too many Bobs for the “never, ever leave a single Bob alive” rule to be observed – if anyone were trying to do the Vidmaster’s Challenge for my scenario, I’d grant them a waiver on that rule for this level. The monster alliances are an outgrowth of my original conception for the scenario, which posited some future equivalent of the Treaty of Versailles. The idea was that gratuitously harsh penalties were incurred upon the Pfhor in the wake of their defeat, which ultimately resulted in renewed war between humanity and the Pfhor. This level is designed to take place in the midst of a fracture, so some of the Pfhor (Enforcers, Troopers, normal Hunters) are still friendly to humanity, while others (Mothers of All Hunters, Juggernauts) are hostile. There are some very combat-intense set pieces that the player doesn’t have to participate in much or at all; in most cases, the Juggernauts will die without the player firing upon them at all (since the player doesn’t have a fusion gun or rocket launcher, it would be a sadistically difficult opening if the player had to do much). There is one specific room where the Juggernauts won’t always die from NPC actions on Total Carnage, but I believe I have them set to teleport out if they don’t observe any hostiles, so it may not matter much.
I still think the concept for the level’s combat is cool, but I’ll probably have to rejigger the monster placement, since I doubt I’m going to keep the same story idea. Also, currently this is something like the third to the last level in the “good” ending to the scenario, though the terminals don’t reflect this at all. (Terminal texts are visible in both this and the preceding level, though you’ll have to pause the video to read them. These aren’t awful, like some of the terminals I’d written; they’re just bland.)
This level still isn’t finished. I intended to create another floor to the temple area but hit the 1024-polygon ceiling in the original Infinity engine. A lot of areas also don’t have enemies, which they will in a final revision; again, I’d hit the 384-item threshold. This will probably be one of the first levels I work on in Weland.
Here Comes the Flood. One of several levels I constructed using Tempus textures. This is actually a really old revision of the level; there are now at least Fighters in most of the empty rooms and hallways, and in some cases Enforcers or Hunters. (I still haven’t finished placing enemies here, either; again, 384-item limit.) However, my skill in this game has waned quite a bit since I recorded this film, and I’m no longer good enough to clear the climactic room (and to be honest, it was a stroke of luck that I even cleared it in this film). The basic appearance of the level is the same, though. Just imagine this, but with a lot more combat.
(Named after a Peter Gabriel song.)
Houses of the Holy. Another incomplete level with a lot of missing monsters. Some parts of the level are intended to be empty, however, as this playthrough demonstrates a very roundabout secret that essentially requires the player to go through the entire level backwards after opening a secret door. The overlook to the cathedral area is supposed to be empty. Other parts of the level still haven’t had enemy placement. The secret area was intended to provide back story for the player character regarding a tragic romance (I came up with this idea long before Eternal was released), but I deleted basically all of this from the terminals because, if I’m being honest, my romantic history when I’d written it was… limited, and my writing made this obvious.
Romance and related matters are where by far the worst aspects of my writing for this scenario emerged, honestly. The whole thing was simultaneously naïve and shot through with questionable gender politics that seem dated even by the standards of late ’90s/early ’00s video games and perhaps outright reactionary by 2018 standards. This wasn’t through any conscious intent on my part; I’ve actually held more sympathy for women than for men for most of my life, but I simply didn’t understand women’s perspectives on romance at all, and my lack of romantic experiences at the time made any attempt I made at treating the subject horrifically cringeworthy.
Nonetheless, I haven’t actually expunged all of this from the game as of this writing. I replaced all the terminals in one level (my “Ne cede malis” remix) with dumb Internet memes that were current at the time. Others are still largely intact, but will certainly be removed by the time I release even an early alpha edition to the public.
(Named for a Led Zeppelin album/song.)
Cut Their Grain and Place Fire Therein. The remix I’m probably proudest of. This is a revision of “Come and Take Your Medicine” that, as indicated above, requires the player to explore most of the level. I switched it to the Sewage set (actually the Jjaro set; the Sewage set is the Earth set, and I moved Lh’owon’s Sewage textures to the Jjaro due to their visual similarity) because part of the level mission is to flood the structure and create chaos for the Pfhor on the planet. The original level already felt like a giant fortress, but you never really had to do much with it; you could finish the mission without exploring even 10% of the level. The new revision requires the player to explore the level while fending off hostiles from all directions (with a few exceptions, most of which can only be accessed later in the level). I’m fairly pleased that I managed to make the monsters keep fighting regardless of where the player goes; there are drones, compilers, F’lickta, and ticks that continually wander the level, respawning to some extent.
This particular revision is sort of midway between the “flashback” and “modern” settings. The monochromatic colouring of enemies was my narrative convention for flashbacks. The only enemies that actually have vivid colouring match the sewage set – so basically the sewage F’lickta and the palette I introduced for the ticks in sewage levels. However, a lot of the weapons are more attuned to the current setting, if memory serves. There’s also a glitch with the player’s staff; I think I have the projectiles set to use the melee impact effect rather than the projectile impact effect. Should be an easy fix.
(Named for a song by the metal band Weakling.)
Everyone I Went to High School With Is Dead. Another level co-constructed with a (different) old high school friend. This is actually loosely based on the architecture of our school, Pine View School for the Gifted, which has produced several famous alumni (one, from the class of ’97, is known for writing Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and another, from the class of ’01 [our class, and yes, we personally knew each other] is known as the Academy Award for Best Picture recipient as producer of Moonlight, which is both the greatest film I’ve ever seen – no hyperbole – and a wonderful trivia answer thanks to the La La Land announcement mixup). This is currently the first level with actual combat, and as a result, the enemies are mostly just Fighters and assimilated Bobs. There are also friendly Bobs (I’ll again give the player leeway for not killing them all, since they respawn. I didn’t bother killing any here, but I’m sure it’d be a much more challenging level if I’d made them all hostile; I’ll probably try it on a subsequent play). The combat doesn’t flow quite as well as it does on “Cut Their Grain”, but it’s not a mess.
(Currently named for a song by Mr. Bungle. If you want to see the level’s original form before I began revising it, it’s on the Trilogy release CD as, I think, “Pine View (Hell)”. It used the M∞ Pfhor set originally; I revised it to a mixture of Tempus textures and a few of my own – crude – creations to match the colour of the actual buildings at Pine View.)
Another One in the Dark. Another incomplete level, but it employs a few tricks I really like. The player later crosses “under” the bridge near the start of the level, but there’s a distance of 2 WU separating the two bridge crossings in the physical map space, because of an “elevator” that doesn’t actually change the player’s height. As a result of this, this level makes liberal use of 5D space, but it’s not apparent to the player (on the other hand, this also made it much easier to differentiate the “over” portion of the bridge from the “under” portion). The elevator itself is something of a marvel; the player can see columns “outside” the elevator, and those columns’ walls move up and down to create the illusion that the player is traveling vertically.
Several portions of the level remain completely unpopulated, and honestly, apart from those few mapmaking tricks, it’s kind of bland. There’s a Trojan-style platform puzzle that’s kind of dumb, though it’s really simple to solve if you know what the correct solution is (this playthrough demonstrates it, obviously); there was supposed to be a second one, but due to the aforementioned elevator, I ran out of platforms. I thought I might try making a light switch puzzle, but I never got around to figuring out how I’d do one. I could probably just make another platform puzzle now; I assume AO and Weland remove the 64-platform limit.
(Named for a Wallflowers song that has nothing to do with the level; I just thought it was a really awesome name for a Marathon level.)
Acme Station (Jerry Bruckheimer Remix). To be honest, this title blames the wrong person; it should really be Michael Bay (not all of Bruckheimer’s productions employ gratuitous explosions, but most of Bay’s films certainly do). This will be fixed in a future revision. “Michael Bay remix” probably gives you the idea behind the gimmick before you even watch the video: everything (except melee projectiles) explodes. It’s one of the obligatory secret “vidmaster’s challenge” levels, and in the venerable tradition of the original trilogy, it’s way easier than the original level. (If I can beat it on TC, it’d have to be.)
I think it makes some major improvements to the original level all the same, though. For one thing, there’s an oxygen recharger. You have to travel through the whole level to get to it, but it’s there. There are also more oxygen canisters before you can reach the recharger, so you don’t have to speedrun the level; can take your time and enjoy the sights a bit. It’s also a bit less of a luck-based mission as a result; you don’t have to worry so much about enemies moving the right way to win the level.
The Cyborgs from the original level are replaced with Hunters here, so you can’t induce enemy infighting as much. Because everything blows up, your optimal strategy is instead making sure enemies have proximity to each other (and distance from you) when they die. All the Pfhor here have red blood. I introduced these with the intention of being a reverse analogue of the Assimilated Bobs from the original games. I planned some levels where the player would be allied with Pfhor, and the idea was that the humans would introduce assimilated Pfhor to mess with the player (and the Pfhor more generally). Thus far, I’ve only actually employed these animations in this level, though.
Among the other changes, there are a few new sections to the level, which I think look pretty similar to Greg Kirkpatrick’s original architecture, and there are now four sets of wires to destroy instead of three. The player also gets quite a bit more weaponry and ammo, which I felt obligatory since the level is a rebellion level.
This scenario has the AR available in a vacuum. To be honest, I don’t entirely understand why any of Marathon’s weapons wouldn’t work in a vacuum – and even if we don’t, in the early 21st century, have the technology to make them do so currently, we certainly would by the time the game takes place. Even if we accept that a flamethrower relies on oxygen, for example, it could just spew out oxygen and set it on fire. I don’t fully understand the real-world physics behind this, but in any case, the player gets the AR on this level. (The only weapon I have disabled in all vacuum levels is the rocket launcher, as the only concession to having fewer weapons available in vacuum. Even this doesn’t really make sense to me from a Watsonian perspective, but I privilege the Doylist perspective in some cases for gameplay reasons because, overall, this is still a game. It’s possible to disable individual weapons on a level-by-level basis, and I have the AR, flamethrower, etc. disabled in flashback levels. The flamethrower and the maser occupy the same spot in the game, and the maser is, of course, a vacuum weapon.)
Overall, this is way easier than the original “Acme”, but it’s probably also a lot more fun. I hadn’t read RyokoTK’s comments on the level when I made this version, but this should’ve addressed several of his complaints. And I think its gimmick is a pretty cool idea for a secret level.
…So this is, what, nine levels? I think there are about fifty proper levels in the whole scenario, not counting hub levels. I have TC completions of a few others that are worth uploading, but most of the others aren’t worth bothering with; in a few other cases I’m just not good enough to hack them on the only real difficulty setting in a single play-through without deaths. A couple of others might be worth showing just for how gratuitously elaborate I made the secrets in a few of my M2/M∞ remixes. I don’t think they’re particularly good, but they might amuse people.
I probably won’t have time to upload more videos for awhile, though; as mentioned, I’ll have company the next several days. And please excuse my often sloppy play; I’m no Vidmaster.
In any case, feel free to offer praise, constructive criticism, offers of assistance, suggestions for improvements to level design or gameplay, suggestions for improving my skill at the game, whatever. I’m also entirely open to merging this with some other ongoing project depending upon whether our creative visions align; it’d probably require retexturing a lot of levels entirely, but I’m given to understand that VML makes that a lot easier now.