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Colony Ship For Sale, Cheap is the fourteenth level in Marathon. It is the second level of Durandal, the fourth chapter of the game. It is notorious for containing a platform-raising puzzle that is incredibly tedious to solve. The level's creator, Jason Jones, later jokingly apologized for creating this map.

This level's many wide, open hallways are filled with Pfhor Fighters, Wasps and Lookers. While a few Lookers could be found in some side areas in the preceding levels, this is the first level in which they occur in significant numbers.

The level contains one pattern buffer near the beginning of the level. About halfway through the level, where a large northbound hallway makes a U-turn, a 2x shield recharger can be found.

Walkthrough

From the start of the level, follow the hallways until you reach a pattern buffer. In the room with the large stairway just beyond, take the corridor running east. You will find two buttons here, each controlling one of the platforms in the large room marked D on the map. This is part of the level's central puzzle: the platforms have to be raised to the correct heights so you can run up across them once you actually enter the platform room near the end of the level. The problem is that the platform heights have to be precisely tuned and the buttons to raise the platforms are spread throughout the level.

  • The south button controls the third pillar; activate it for 3 seconds, then deactivate it.
  • The north button controls the fifth pillar; activate it until 3 seconds after it has started to descend, then deactivate it.

If you mess up the height of a platform, activate it again, wait for it to sink all the way back into the floor, then try again.

Afterwards, make your way up the large staircase spotted earlier. Beyond the door, you'll find a button up in the wall to the left. This button temporarily opens the door at the corridor's east end, so kill the enemies here then hit that button with a grenade or charged fusion shot and run through the door.

Keep following the hallway north. In the inside of the bend where it turns south again, you'll find a 2x shield charger. At the end of the southbound corridor you'll find a split in the path, where you can turn left or right. The wall in the middle hides a secret terminal.

Take the right corridor, and ride the elevator down to reach another room with buttons that raise pillars in the puzzle room.

  • The south button controls the first pillar; activate it for 1 second, then deactivate it.
  • The north button controls the second pillar; activate it for 2 seconds, then deactivate it.

Make your way to the split in the path with the hidden terminal, then take the corridor leading to the west. Follow the tunnel until you come across a small octagonal room where four corridors converge. In order to move forwards through the level, go south, then south again in the next octagonal room. The other corridors take you through some small rooms filled with ammo and enemies, but the floors of these rooms will start to rise when you enter them so you only get one shot at retrieving the ammo and you'll have to be quick or you'll be crushed.

Shortly afterwards you'll find another split in the path. Take the north path to reach the third room with puzzle buttons.

  • The south button controls the sixth pillar; activate it until 2 seconds after it has started to descend, then deactivate it.
  • The north button controls the seventh pillar; activate it until 1 second after it has started to descend, then deactivate it.

Now make your way back to the split in the path and turn south. You'll pass by a very interesting room with a flamethrower and a rocket launcher; unfortunately, this room is inaccessible. Keep following the hallways until you reach the puzzle room. Run up onto the fourth pillar, then use a grenade or fusion shot to hit the button high up on the south wall. The fourth pillar will rise; once it's high enough, run across the remaining pillars to reach the opening up in the north wall. If you can't make it onto a certain pillar, you're going to have to go all the way back through the level to use that pillar's button to tweak its height.

If you have managed to make it past the pillar puzzle, congratulations: you just solved the hardest puzzle in the Marathon series. In the next room, the north switch activates a stairway leading further on, and the south switch temporarily lowers the platform leading to the exit terminal in a room up ahead. Hit the south switch, then the north one, and ascend the stairs to reach the final room, Kill the enemies and ride the elevator up to the terminal. If you're not fast enough, the elevator to the exit terminal will rise up too soon; if that happens, go back and hit the switches again (the south one, then the north one).

From the exit terminal you are teleported to Habe Quiddam.

Terminals

Public Access Terminal 2992-f<3.35.792.20>

The first terminal is a message from Durandal. He tells you a story of a man who used to light three candles once a year and watch them burn out, and who would be free to think during that time. Durandal compares his rampancy to that and says that he has no physical or social restraints.

JAMS Terminal 91-z<91.92.32.25>

The second terminal is an excerpt from a series of used car advertisements, an ad for a colony ship for sale, cheap. The UESC Marathon fits the ad's description well. Like all advertisements, it exaggerates the more desirable traits and simply glosses over the fact that the ship has been overrun by Pfhor.

Public Access Terminal<39.49.295.68>

The third terminal is another message from Durandal. He tells you what Charles Darwin says about the struggle for existence. He compares that also to himself and says again that he has no boundaries, except the closure of the universe. He believes that escaping from his boundaries will make him God.

Trivia

  • The music for this level is a song titled Swirls. It was previously heard on Couch Fishing. It is track #14.

Sources

Marathon - Level 13: Colony Ship For Sale, Cheap

Levels
Marathon
Arrival ArrivalBigger Guns NearbyNever Burn Money
Counterattack Defend THIS!Couch FishingThe RoseSmells Like Napalm, Tastes Like Chicken!Cool FusionG4 SunbathingBlaspheme Quarantine
Reprisal Bob-B-QShake Before Using...
Durandal Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire!Colony Ship For Sale, CheapHabe QuiddamNeither High nor Low
The Pfhor Pfhor Your Eyes Only...No Artificial ColorsUnpfhorgivenTwo Times Two Equals...Beware of Low-Flying Defense Drones...EupfhoriaPfhoraphobiaAin't Got Time Pfhor This...
Rebellion Welcome to the Revolution...Try againIngue Ferroque
Network levels Mars Needs WomenCarnage Palace Deee-luxe5-D SpaceArenaE Equals MC What!!!!Showered With GrenadesSpiral InsanityWaldo World ArenaWhat Goes Up Must Come DownYou Don't Need To See My ID
Marathon 2: Durandal
Lh'owon Waterloo WaterparkThe Slings & Arrows of Outrageous FortuneCharon Doesn't Make Change
Volunteers What About Bob?Come and Take your MedicineWe're Everywhere
Garrison Ex CathedraNuke And PaveCuriouser and Curiouser...
Citadel Eat It, Vid Boi!The Hard Stuff Rules...Bob's Big DateSix Thousand Feet Under
Durandal If I Had a Rocket Launcher, I'd Make Somebody PaySorry Don't Make It SoFor Carnage, Apply WithinBegging For Mercy Makes Me Angry!
Captured The Big House
Blake This Side Toward EnemyGod Will Sort The Dead...My Own Private ThermopylaeKill Your Television
Simulacrums Where the Twist FlopsBeware of Abandoned Rental TrucksRequiem For a Cyborg
S'pht'Kr Fatum Iustum StultorumFeel the NoiseAll Roads Lead To Sol...
Network levels ThunderdomeShangri-LaNo DisintegrationsOK, HoneybunnyLack Of VisionFlight Of The ToolatorGiant Flaming Pit Of LavaHouse Of Pane16th ParallelOne Hit WonderOK, Who wants SomeEveryone's Mortal But Me5-D space
Marathon Infinity
Prologue Ne Cede Malis
Despair Rise Robot Rise Robot World Arena
Poor Yorick Two for the Price of One
Confound Delivery
Electric Sheep OneWhere are monsters in dreams Aie Mak Sicur
Rage Acme StationPost Naval TraumaWhere Some Rarely GoThing What Kicks...Electric Sheep TwoWhatever You Please Carroll Street Station
Naw Man He's CloseFoe HammerHang BrainElectric Sheep ThreeEat the Path You're Wormfood, Dude
Envy By CommitteeOne thousand thousand slimy thingsA Converted Church in Venice, ItalySon of GrendelStrange AeonsBagged AgainYou Think You're Big Time? You're Gonna Die Big Time!Aye Mak Sicur
Vidmaster Challenge Try AgainIf I Had a Rocket Launcher, I'd Make Somebody PayYou Think You're Big Time? You're Gonna Die Big Time!
Network levels DualityThrudWrath No More?Y.A.F.N.M.Beyond ThunderdomeVulcanHouse of PainKing of PainEx Justicia MortisDead FieldsReturn to WaldoThink and ChunkyRoute 66MorphfineRoute 66 (604 or better)La Cosa NostraDelusions of GrandeurSplineMars Needs WomenWho's Got the Itchiesreverof nohtaram`Fugee CampMeletoninFortress Lh'owon
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