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Avalon (preface) (whose full name is Terran Military Sector Headquarters: Odyssey IV, "Avalon") is a map in Unreal II: The Awakening.
It is (at this point) a set of tutorial levels. The file names of these maps are TutA.un2 and TutB.un2. There will be only one real opponent to fight in this set of levels. The B section of the tutorial can be skipped. Before starting the game, you are allowed to choose the difficulty setting. It will affect the weapon fire and defense of your opponents, but nothing else. When the level is loaded, a cutscene is shown.
The first cutscene displays the Odyssey IV planet and TCA Atlantis floating in space near the planet. The ship flies past the camera, and the Unreal II logo is displayed. Soon after it fades out, the docking bay doors of TCA Atlantis opens and a dropship flies out of the main ship. The main engines start, and the dropship flies down to the earth-like surface of Odyssey IV (the Terran Colonial Authority headquarters appear to be in a place that looks very familiar to Earth's Turkey). The cutscene ends, a new map is loaded, and another cutscene starts.
This cutscene now allows you to pause the game. The action now takes place on the surface of Odyssey IV. The camera is first centered on one of the oceans of the planet. The dropship seen earlier appears from the sky and flies towards the mainland. The camera follows the ship, and the name of the planet ("Odyssey IV, Terran Colonial HQ") appears on the screen.
The camera now centers on one of the towers of the building the dropship was flying to. Sector Commander Hawkins can be seen working on the other side of the window. Seconds later, John Dalton, protagonist of the game, walks in the room. A dialog starts.
- Dalton: "Commander Hawkins! Sir!"
- Hawkins: "Good to see you, Dalton. I'll get right to the point. Your request for reinstatement in the marines has been denied... again. I know you're disappointed, but we can try again in six months."
- Dalton: "Can't I buck it up the line?"
- Hawkins: "I've spoken with General Drexler personally... It was no-go."
- Dalton: "Damn."
- Hawkins: "When you return to your ship, you'll have a new pilot. He's a Hex-Core alien named Ne'Ban. We got him in an officer exchange program. He's some kind of muckety-muck on his home planet and the brass want him kept away out of harm's way. You've got the quietest patrol, so you're it."
- Dalton: "I'm getting mighty tired of babysitting the ass-end of nowhere!"
- Hawkins: "The Colonial Authority isn't so bad, John. We don't see as much action as the Marines, but our tradition of service is just as strong."
- Dalton: "Save it for the recruits, Sir! I know the score."
- Hawkins: "Stow it, Dalton. We've got a new refresher course set up in the basement. Either give it a run or get back to your ship. Dismissed."
The dialogue ends here, and you get the control of John Dalton. From here, you get the ability to save the game.
Sector Commander Hawkins then asks you a question:
- Hawkins: "Do you want to take the training run or get back to your ship?"
You now have two options of sentences to say: 1 - Tutorial or 2 - Return to ship. It is suggested that you answer to take the tutorial or you will skip a training level. You answer:
- Dalton (1): "I could use a refresher."
- Dalton (2): "I should be getting back."
Commander Hawkins says:
- Hawkins (1): "All right. Dismissed."
- Hawkins (2): "Safe journey, John."
Either way, you will get the "New Objective" message in your HUD. If you open your objective log, you will see that you have these objectives:
- HUD: "Go to the elevator"
- HUD (1): "[Incomplete] Run through the TCA training program"
- HUD (2): "[Incomplete] Return to the ship"
Close the log and look around. You are in the tower of the TCA headquarters, with 3 more creatures in the room. One of them is Sector Commander Hawkins you just talked to. If you talk to him again, he just drops the same line you would get if you answered to go to the ship to his first question. Another human here is a Heavy Marine. If you talk to him, he will salute you and say:
- Heavy Marine: "Glad you could drop by, Marshal."
The last creature here is a technician Kai. If you try to talk to it, you will only hear some hissing, probably in Kai language. You can take a look at the middle screen in the control room. It is displaying the Planetary Cannon that protects Odyssey IV from enemy attacks.
You have no other way to take than through the door you saw yourself coming in in the first place. Walk through and down the stairs, where you will meet two more marines, this time light, patrolling the area. You can look around the area. You will see that you are on an open platform with a good view of the surface. If you went to the back of the platform, you would see the Planetary Cannon you saw a few moments ago on the screen, as well as your own dropship. You might consider thoroughly looking at the landscape while you're here so you would be prepared when you get back to Avalon after your journeys. After you're done admiring the view, go down the stairs and try not to fall off as it means a certain death. You will soon reach another light marine equipped with a Combat Assault Rifle and the elevator. Walk in and you will get the "Objective Complete" message in your HUD. Now press the button inside the elevator to activate it. You are taken down, and seconds later another level loads. If you chose to take the tutorial, read on. If not, go to the second level.
You start the level in the elevator. It is still going down. A few seconds later, it stops and the door opens. Walk through to a corridor with doors to the left. There is nothing interesting up ahead than a few crates that you can mantle on, and a few windows to see the area you are going to. Go through the door, and Raff will greet you:
- Raff: "How ya doin', Marshal? I heard you'd be here. Let me reboot the system."
Raff will enter something to the terminal on his desk and start the tutorial.
- Raff: "Name's Raff. I'll take you through the program. All set, go on in."
While talking, Raff will open the door behind the desk for you. Walk in. In the cage in the otherwise empty room a hologram of Raff will appear.
- Raff: "Hello again, and welcome to the Avalon training center. The course is lined with holo-projectors, so I'll be with you all the way. Now ait a second, while I take a scan."
A scanner at the top will be activated and will do a scan of your inventory. After the scan is done, Raff will continue talking.
- Raff: "Sensors indicate you're wearing XA/F power armor. Let me dig up those specs. Ah, here they are."
Now Raff's hologram will change to something that looks like you, but acts like Raff. He will continue speaking.
- Raff: "Not bad. The XA/F series isn't the toughest battle armor available, but it's pretty damn versatile. Underwater capable. Rechargeable shields. Plasma Heads-Up-Display. Score one for the good old Terran Colonial Authority. Let's take a look at your HUD. Health and shield indicators are in the upper left. Ammo indicators are upper right. The top counts down your current clip. Underneath is the amount you have in reserve. Available weapons show up down the right. Your suit also scans for important objects, like switches and panels - even people. Come over and look at me to activate the use reticle, then hit your "use" control."
Do as Raff said you to do. A small message will appear, telling you your current use key. Raff will continue talking.
- Raff: "Using someone will get their attention so you can talk to them. Sometimes your suit will give you numbered options of things to say. Go ahead, pick a number."
You will get a list of options to say, just like when talking to Sector Commander Hawkins: 1 - Uh, can you hear me?, 2 - Let's get a move on. and 3 - Why am I talking to a hologram? Pick any number, it doesn't matter which. You will say:
- Dalton (1): "Uh, can you hear me?"
- Dalton (2): "How 'bout we pick up the pace, and get to the weapons?"
- Dalton (3): "Why am I talking to a hologram?"
You will get an answer:
- Raff (1): "Loud and clear. Let's move on."
- Raff (2): "Soon! Let's move on."
- Raff (3): "Who knows? My mother talks to her cat. Let's keep moving."
- Raff: "Next up is agility training. Go use the button next to the exit."
Raff's hologram will disappear. You can see three doors in this room - one set of doors leads back to the control room, the second one is the ones you need to open, and you will use the third ones to get back after you passed the training. Use the small blue keypad on the wall to open the door and go in. You will receive a radio transmission.
- Raff: "While you're on the obstacle course, you'll hear me through your suit's radio. It's a good unit with excellent range that even extends off-planet, if the signal's strong enough. Stand by while I configure the course for your suit. Let's start with something simple. Jump over these blocks."
You will get another message displaying your jump key. Jump over the blocks.
- Raff: "Not bad. But not every jump is so easy. If you jump straight up, and don't stop, you'll drag yourself onto that ledge. It's called mantling. Give it a try."
Simply stand next to the block and jump up. You will hear Raff again.
- Raff: "All right, now crouch down and crawl under these blocks. Don't worry. I won't let 'em drop any further."
Another message displays your crouch button. But before crouching, look around. You'll see that there's an open area to the right of where you are standing. Go there and notice that one box is near a set of windows you could use to go in a fenced area. Jump on the crate, then mantle jump on the windows, walk in the fenced area and look inside a crate. You will see a some kind of a head in an open box, jump into it and take the head. You now unlocked a secret weapon course! Jump back through the fence or the window and continue. Crouch through the obstacle.
- Raff: "Great. Go through that door. Time for the good stuff: weapons."
Use a blue keypad again and the big doors will open. Raff appears at another cage, but this time the cage open and Raff's hologram steps out. He says:
- Raff: "Let's start with every rookie's first gun: the Dispersion Pistol. Go ahead, grab it."
Now a panel containing a Dispersion Pistol opens, allowing you to take your first gun. As soon as you take it, the wall in front of you moves, revealing two 2D models of Krall, enemies seen in Unreal. Raff explains:
- Raff: "Not a very realistic target. Sorry, it's been an epic wait for the tech upgrade. Take a couple practice shots."
You might want to jump over the low fence and look around the empty area there. If you get close to the Krall, some kind of a force stops you from moving further. This collision hull is quite strange - if you keep going forward while looking upwards, you'll eventually reach the top, and then fall down. Notice that there are four more walls, all of which have these collision hulls.
Shoot at a Krall with your primary fire. A green light above their heads will light up, and Raff will say:
- Raff: "The dispersion pistol doesn't pack a whole lot of punch, but it's always there for you because it never runs out of ammo. Give the alternative fire a try. It builds up a charge and then releases a bigger blast."
Use the alternative fire. Raff now says:
- Raff: "He never knew what hit him. Enough of the popgun, let's take a look at a real weapon. The Combat Assault Rifle is a Marshal's best friend. Load it up with ammo and mow down this dangerous desperado."
The same scene occurs, only now you get the Combat Assault Rifle. Near the fence you can snag an Assault Rifle clip which respawns - the only respawning piece of ammo you will see in the single player mission. Shoot at the model of a Brute with the primary fire. You will see that your Dispersion Pistol doesn't work here. Raff now says:
- Raff: "The CAR's primary fire mode is fully automatic, and it goes through rounds of uranium shards like candy. While you're firing, watch the upper right of your HUD to see the ammo drain from the current clip. Always try to find a quiet moment to reload before combat. Otherwise you may find yourself caught having to reload in the middle of a firefight. The CAR's alt-fire is a concentrated bolt of five shards that breaks upon impact, and will even bounce off walls. See if you can ricochet a bolt against the wall and hit the target."
Do as Raff said, and he will say:
- Raff: "You catch on quick. This next weapon isn't standard issue, but what the hell, sometimes ya just gotta have fun. No weapon is more versatile and dangerous than the Grenade Launcher. It holds up to six different types of ammo, and each has radically different uses. The standard is your basic fragmentation grenade. Use a few to blast away these little guys."
Take out the Grenade Launcher and shoot the predators. Raff continues his speech:
- Raff: "Notice that tapping your primary fire makes the grenades explode on contact. If you're aiming on the run, hit something near your enemy and he'll feel it. Holding down the trigger on the primary fire engages the timing mechanism, so you can bounce the grenades around some before they explode. Use your alt-fire to switch between grenade types. The crosshair on your HUD will tell you which one is chambered. I've given you some incendiary grenades, so load 'em up and prepare for a show."
Shoot with the Incendiary grenades. Using the timed grenades makes it a lot harder task, so use the tap fire. Raff now tells you:
- Raff: "You're a natural, Dalton. Hey, I need to test some features I just loaded. How 'bout you and I go one-on-one?"
Raff opens the doors and walks inside. When you're done, follow Raff and your weapons will be taken. You are now about to start a deathmatch! Take the items you see in front of you, including a Combat Assault Rifle, Dispersion Pistol, Grenade Launcher, a pack of Incendiary grenades, four Assault Rifle clips and a pack of Fragmentation grenades, and go through the doors, while Raff tells you more about it:
- Raff: "Here's how it works. I play as a holo, and my weapons are holographic too, but they'll register on your armor as real hits. If you die, you go to full health and shields, but I score a point. If I die, you get a point. Whoever gets to five first, wins. If you get a kill, be sure to run over my "holo-corpse", so your power armor absorbs any remaining energy and applies it to your shields. If you wanna bail at any time, just push the button next to the exit and go on through. One last word of advice - load up on ammo before you go in."
Take your Combat Assault Rifle and get ready for an Unreal Tournament-styled Deathmatch action, with Unreal 2 addition of armor pickups. You can't be killed, but if you reach zero health, Raff scores a point. Once you get five frags, Raff will congratulate you and will offer another match. You can try it if you wish. If you want to move on, decline.
- Dalton: "Maybe next time."
- Raff: "Good enough. Come on through the exit. Recharge your health and shields. Just step inside each station and they'll work automatically."
Your weapons will be removed and you can go out. You will see a blue Shield station and a yellow Health station, which you should step on to recharge. You will also see another fenced area here, with a few crates that look close enough to jump through. It's not true, as you can't mantle on the fence nor the wire. After you've recharged (the shield station is quite short on power, so it might not give you all of your shield back), go through the exit to the first room and back to the control room. Raff greets you there:
- Raff: "Whew! That was great. Can't remember when I've had such a blast. Ya know, if I put two flags in there, I could sell tickets, maybe get someone to sponsor a tournament. Those guys over at Liandri have more money than brains... hmmm. Good luck, Marshal. Go keep the frontier safe."
With these words the level ends. You automatically return to your ship. A cutscene follows.
Tips and tricks Edit
- "Unlike most other levels, nothing is out to kill you in this mission. That doesn't mean you can't accidentally kill yourself! Stay away from the edges of the open platforms, and avoid jumping when you're running outside the headquarters building. It's a long way to the ground, and you can easily end your TCA career prematurely if you behave recklessly."
- ―Unreal II Prima Official guide
- Beware when you walk out of the platform in the first mission. You can easily kill yourself.
- "After you perform your mantle maneuver, stay on top of the block onto which you climb. If you move forward, you drop off of the block into the shallow pit. If this happens, you have to climb up before you can perform the next task."
- ―Unreal II Prima Official guide
- The 1on1 fight shouldn't be too hard. Raff can even kill himself with Incendiary grenades. The arena itself is simple, including some pickups for all the weapons you have and some health and energy pickups. Crates and columns enable you to hide, but it's not too useful overall.
- Run over Raff's "corpse" after a frag to pick up his ammunition.
- You can play as many combat matches as you want. Take this opportunity to practice — it's the only time you can do so in a safe environment.
- Raff's "Epic wait" statement is linked to the release time of Unreal II: it was a long time between the announce of Unreal 2 to the actual release, and the creators are (were) Epic Games.
- There's a secret area in this level. If you picked up the head from a box earlier, you will see that the last shooting range door opened, but Raff didn't notice that. There is a pair of Nali standing there. When shot, they will say something like "Habouji!" or "Oboudah!". Each Nali has it's own 2 sounds, but the sounds appear to be odd, and one sound was not in Unreal.
- The arena where you fight against Raff could be compared to UT2004's DM-TrainingDay.
- Raff's last line refers to the Liandri Grand Tournament, the main event of the Unreal Tournament series. No Capture the Flag maps on Avalon have ever been officially created though.
See also Edit
|Single player maps for Unreal II: The Awakening|
|Avalon (preface) • Sanctuary • Swamp • Hell • Acheron • Severnaya • Kalydon • Sulferon • Janus • Na Koja Abad • NC962VIII • Avalon • The Dorian Gray|