0 Ain't My Bitch
Tips and SecretsI feel the music and lyrics of the song Ain't My Bitch, from Metallica's Load album, suit the theme and pace of this level. Best overall advice I can give here is to hang back when the battles heat up and let the S'pht help you out. Word of caution... don't get caught in the crossfire.
This is the scenario's first level, but was actually the second or third level built -- Borzz got the jump on us all with a version of "Wiping Away The Dirt and Glue" that was about half the size it is now. We wanted the scenario to start with a bang, so we took the unusual approach of having the first level actually be more difficult than several of the levels that follow. However, there is plenty of ammo and powerups, so the action is balanced out with helps for the player. Be sure to kill enforcers with your shotgun or pistols... and then turn their weapon on the other monsters. This is an essential strategy for finishing the level with an adequate supply of ammunition.
Read all terminals you encounter... they are essential to discovering the plot of the scenario. From the room you start out in, head out either door, where you will encounter several fighters and troopers, and S'pht who will do battle with them. A central room contains a second shotgun, shells, a 1x powerup and a save terminal... handy! Directly opposite from this door is a bank of lights which hides a secret stash of shotgun ammo. If you run down either the left or right hand yellow hallway at the other side of this central area, you'll find an angled wall with three stripes of goo scrolling down them. These are teleport areas that will take you over to the same wall on the other side.
You'll notice that some doors are marked with green lights, some with red. Red doors are locked, and must be opened for the player to proceed. Head to the left hand door, and watch your back for the drones that will drop out of the ceiling behind you. You'll enter a small room with several fighters who will hop down to greet you. Head to the left side of the raised platform and some shotgun ammo will appear. The way at the top of the stairs is blocked by a crushing platform. If you hit the switch and run, you can just make it underneath... Marathon experts will simply listen for when the platform stops moving at the top and hit the switch again to jam it open.
Head down the curved stairs. There are two ways to go at this point. Head right for the shortest path through the level, or head left to find some goodies and an opportunity to get the drop on some of the aliens that will try to ambush you later on in the level.
Heading left, you can go to the top of a flight of stairs. If you choose to go through the door at the top, you can clear out a room of baddies waiting in ambush for you later on in the level... and can access yet another room of ambushers before heading back to the stairs again. If you get down to where the Trooper is standing you can jump across to where the enforcer is... and just keep following the path. You'll eventually find a 2x recharger, a save terminal, and the back door to the area you would have found if you had taken the shorter path.
If you took the shorter path, you will enter the lower gunnery room. Open the door to the right to find some ammo and a couple of hunters waiting in ambush (this is the back door you exit from if you had taken the longer path described above). Head to the windows to grab some ammo. Head to the door on the left side of the room to find an elevator controlled by a switch. This will take you to a room with a raised platform to your left, and a crushing floor platform on your right.
Step on the crushing platform, and run forwards to the raised platform -- sidestep running (run forwards and side step at the same time) will make this easier. For style points, try luring the fighters on the crusher with you, and step off to watch their walnuts getting cracked at the top. Once you reach the raised area, hit the switch. The switch opens two doors... one to the room you are in, and a door to a set of stairs on the opposite side of the central area you encountered at the start of the level.
Run across the area, up the stairs. If you chose the shorter path mentioned earlier, two rooms with baddies will open up to ambush you. If you took the longer path, two rooms will open up to reveal their sad, squishy remains. Run to the end, and you will find a switch that will open the bridge across the center of the level. On the opposite side of the bridge, there is a secret area to your left spotlighted by the light on the opposite wall... To the right from the bridge you will see troopers and a hunter rise up on an illuminated platform. If you stand on the platform and shoot the pillar opposite, you will drop down to find another secret area with another 2x powerup.
Head down the stairs to a small blue room full of fighters. Hit the switch on the wall. This opens up two doors... the room you are in, and the large double doors at the end of the central area. Here you will see the curvy walls and stairs you could see through the windows of the bridge. Watch out here.. it is full of Troopers! If there are any S'pht left alive, it would be best to invite them to come down and help out.
Head to the end of the hallway, and take the yellow elevator down to the coolant room. Read the terminal here. There are two sets of wires you need to destroy, but you may not notice where they are unless you are paying attention. Standing at either end of the raised walkways, and looking diagonally across the room you should see the wires on the walls facing into the coolant core. A shotgun blast each should take care of them.
On either side of the coolant room are some large reservoir areas that can be explored, but nothing there is crucial to finishing the level. There are supplies of ammo and powerups out there, and some baddies to protect them.
Once both circuits are destroyed, you will see a set of stairs leading up from the goo area, blocked by a red lit platform. Directly opposite from the stairs is a switch under the coolant that must be flipped to raise the level of the coolant and lower the platform barring the stairs. Swim up, and run up the stairs.
A hallway to your right leads to a shaft. Hop down the shaft, shotgun at the ready, and run forwards to find the exit room. Save your game, read the terminal, and prepare for the next level.
Map Making NotesInitially, there were no bars blocking access to the stairs from the coolant area. After watching Jimmy Mitchell play the level, I realized that the stairs could be reached without raising the coolant level, so I had to contrive a fairly complex set of tag switches and control platforms to pull off the trick to have a bar block the stairs.
The trick of having the door lights switch from red to green when they became unlocked was a fairly easy one... super thin, super fast platforms perform the switch from one texture to another. A platform that moves at 36WU per second is instantaneous. In Forge, such a platform will cause a brief white flash when it is triggered, but this does not happen in the game.
The long green gun that you can see jutting out into space from the start position is not the same set of polys that you see from the windows of the gunnery room. I used two sets of similar polys to allow the player to see the underside of the room he starts out in. I borrowed this trick from a similar one I used in Megiddo to show both the top and bottom of the rotating sign out front of the print shop.
Last Modified: Thursday, June 10, 2005