Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Terminator 2029: Won

The final mission is a curious beast. Apparently Skynet is actually in space? Eh, logic has never been strong in this series. I have to listen to the briefing more than once over having to actually finish this mission. Otherwise its just a very long slog. A very, very, very long slog. Its ruining what was a very enjoyable game for me. Shoot some robots then repair. Shoot some robots then repair. Make it out of a place you've been pinned down in for twenty minutes. A completely necessary task, because if you don't hunker down and do that, you're going to die.

Note the enemies inside the wall
The objective, as I've played it out many times, is go down two levels, get the alpha key card from the left area, go to the upper left area with that card, making sure to use it, find a liquid tank-looking thing, use a mine, then take the card to exit that area. Repeat three times, then destroy a central area, then run away in less than 30 seconds. The time I put down when I got the first tank thing was something like 30-40 minutes. Also, sound breaks whenever you first destroy a turret. Either turning into noise or just disappearing altogether. I do not appreciate endurance matches like this. I try to use DOSbox-X, and while that works, it hangs whenever I do a save state. Which means this is either going to happen in one go, or its not.
You'd think there would be less terminators up here
Since I'm potentially screwed no matter what I do, I change out my usual arsenal slightly. Replacing one 100 watt PPC with a thermolite, and one fusion grenade with armor. This actually seems to be helpful, armor takes a while to deplete, a long while. It takes me until the second keycard area before I'm force to repair so long. The thermolite effectively gives me more than the amount of charge two PPCs get, although it is over a longer period.
Thus begins a really long trek. This really is an endurance mission. And with the sound broken its filled with cacophony over soft, midi music. Only in the central area, the side areas have no sound.

The usual grind of waiting for something to pass by the door
The room that breaks the tedium is gamma keycard area, which doesn't have a turret near the keycard. Oh, no. The turret is a bit more the usual distance from the keycard. I didn't even realize there was a turret at first, beyond the one guarding the entrance. Thankfully, the area it opens is incredibly straight-forward in getting to the tank.

Delta's keycard is even stranger, directly underneathe the turret, inside a room. There's also evidence that something screwy caused the level to get broken. Specifically, the game has a bunch of prefab rooms, which are unique to each area. One of the rooms here is very obviously been screwed with, as there's empty space where there should be a door, and a door that's missing a wall. This is the swiftest I've gotten a card, so naturally that means the section after nearly kills me.

Destroying something beyond a wall

Its only now that my shot speed has decreased, which isn't horrible at this point, since I'm almost done. Slowly but surely. This consists entirely of me coming out from cover, attacking the turret, retreating after some damage, repairing. And sometimes dealing with enemies that pop up. Those enemies sometimes appear in areas I can't reach, so I have to throw grenades in there. I suspect this has something to do with the engine not working well in-doors, but that's it. Repeat 2-4 times for each turret, all the while noise is coming from my speakers.

That shuttle looks weird now that I see it in a non-panicked situation
I finally do it. I retreat, making it back to the shuttle. I barely, freaking make it back without biting it. I won...or so I thought. The same animation I got when I lost plays. So I lost. All that time...all that effort, only to lose again. After some expressions of disbelief, I watch the briefing again, only to discover I didn't use the detonator where the central core was. Well, I'm not dealing with all that again, and there's no footage of the end online, so I'm going to cheat. Specifically, I'm just going to teleport between walls.
"New hunter"? On a cosmic time scale, robot has been around even shorter than us
Finally finishing it, gives me a few bland shots of my ship escaping, I presume some HKs getting destroyed, and then a text crawl. So, how about those alternate missions? I'm not going through all of them, I'm just checking to see how things go. What's the deal with that traitor? That never seemed to come up again.

The show don't tell approach isn't working
I restart the mission I failed last time, the one where Merlin got stuck in a compound and I had to rescue him. Turns out there was something I missed. This time I was destroying the random objects inside the bunker, not like I need the points. Turns out that one of those objects was something I needed to destroy. Get in, destroy that place, get out. But it turns out that doesn't really change much. I don't remember the time, but it was less than 10 minutes and I had to figure out his location first. And then I play that mission normally and it goes normally. At which point I decide I'm not going to be figuring out who is the traitor. Perhaps failing the Merlin rescue mission would lead to revealing this, but I've sort of lost my patience on this between replaying these missions and the final mission.

This Session: 4 hours 30 minutes

Final Time: 11 hours

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