Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Blake Stone: Alien Canister Storage

Staring off, I get some scientists, thankfully, the hostile and the friendly one aren't slobbering all over each other. Three doors, one locked, one the wrong way of a one-way door, and the door I'll be opening. It...just has a key. Okay...locked door opens...to two plasma generators, followed by a room full of guards. By the way, the plasma things can open doors. Two doors from here, taking the western route.
West is incredibly fun, monsters co-mingling with informants. A level specifically designed to screw me over if I get the wrong roll of the dice! Goldfire pops up, and a turret is hiding behind an informant. Monsters in canisters...oh. I am so happy! There's not going to be a single level of this that doesn't involve a bunch of nincompoop informants, are there? I go down it...and oh, that was a mistake. Well, I guess I'm going to go past the two plasma generators again.
More turrets, still no secrets. A few more doors...and back at the start. Oh, and the plasma things are at the start. And the informant just walked into the generator room. I'm running out of ammo and patience. Not necessarily for the game, just with the bad slice of luck I've gotten. I die trying to get across. And my save is before I entered the one-way door. Sometimes things are nice.
The northern choice of area is very tense. Two turrets, bunch of aliens, and all the food machines are out of order. No secrets here either, what am I missing? There are two choices of door, south and west. I pick south and my choice was wise, I sneak up behind a rifle security guard and no scientists in sight. As soon as I think this and start blasting away an informant is caught in the splash damage of the PDU. Such fragile people. After a few tries I get by without killing them. The corridor eventually ends, and I start checking for secrets. Before realizing that the western door is the inside wall taken care of. Its got gold, body armor guards, ammo.
The end of the corridor is another crate area. It would be just as intense as the last one if having turrets didn't take the edge off somewhat. Informants or not, I'm less prone to killing them if I'm forced to use the double-barrel rifle. They tell me there's a secret in here. Random or not? Makes sense since its a crate area. So I find a secret, another one within. Inside this one are switches, but no obvious barrier. They're for another floor, no doubt they'll take me to the secret level. Well, there has to be something on the western half of this wall...
Oh...secret level now. I'll get to that in a moment. Hmm, I picked up the level exit badge somewhere. Still, for my sanity's sake, I'm going to hold off on switching for a moment.
Past the normal door are a series of short hallway rooms. A monster here, a monster there. A few scientists, thankfully none of the informants are hiding in-between soldiers. This is followed up by the longest corridor ever. Full of enough monsters to necessitate going back for ammo. This at least eventually takes me to the starting area, or rather the one-way door to the starting area. At which point, I'm sort of stuck.
On the southern end of the level there's a long secret tunnel. This room contains three enemies, a scientist, and two rifle guards. Naturally, this playthrough has the scientist as an informant. In the tunnel. A winding tunnel. Which involves a lot of waiting. Now let's test out that secret level.
E1MS* - Security Training Arenas
The map helpfully reveals two things, there are two arenas...how I know this, I don't know, and there are no informants. My PDU is almost full, no friendlies, you know what that means? Time to let loose.
I head for Arena B first, dunno why. There's the two best weapons and full ammo given. Somebody drop some medikits in the arena and this level will be heaven. Not even the best security guard can sour my mood. Money too, a ton, right out in the open, and I'm nowhere close to getting 0%. Oh, joy!
The level is set up like a target range, except you can die if you aren't careful. Ammo and medikits litter the floor and soon enough laser rifle guards and Star Troopers...wait...that's a riff off Stormtrooper, isn't it? Anyway, dying might happen a few times, there are guards behind the solid barriers. But its not a bad death, its just a fun death, if that makes sense in this game. There's one way into the center area, all the other barriers are activated elsewhere.
Curiously, there's a secret passage into the other half of the level. I may have screwed things up by doing this. The other half is held by alien guards. This is considerably easier to deal with, as half the aliens can't sneak attack you. Blasting them all in the center arena is just an amazing experience. After some secret hunting, and then trying to figure out where the last item of treasure is, I eventually finish this secret level. I definitely don't have good things to say about the grabbing distance. Screwed me over multiple times.
E1M4 (Again):
Now, on the other side of the secret level teleporter is a pair of plasma thing generators. This is only an optional area if you don't want to get 100% completion, since they hold vital gold. They've got ammo, but they spawn so fast its effectively a drain. I eventually reach the exit corridor, taking out two turrets along the way. Now I have almost all the points and the enemies killed. Now, since I know this can't be my plasma buddies, I missed a secret with a couple of enemies inside. I prepare to enter the first plasma generator of this level, and firing off some PDU shots inside I kill an informant. Thanks, buddy.
So I find the final secret area, I know its the final because, hell, when it comes to these plasma generator levels, I'm not taking any chances. I figure out where the last enemy is as soon as I approach him. He's in a canister, right next to a friendly scientist. I take my enjoyment of victory proudly, and go back to the level elevator only to discover that I missed a gold bar or something. I figure I missed something by a generator, a place I'm not inclined to stick around. I'm at 62%, which, all things considered, isn't too far off from the truth.

This Session: 2.5 hours

Total Time: 7.5 hours

*I could call it 11, but it doesn't technically have a floor...does that make it the basement?

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