Despair is the second chapter in Marathon Infinity. It consists of eight levels, three of which are optional, hidden bonus levels.
This chapter is another failed timeline. Apparently, Durandal never took the player aboard the Sfiera at the end of the original game in this timeline. Instead, the player was enslaved by the Pfhor when they revisited and annihilated the Tau Ceti colony a few months after the events of Marathon.
Seventeen years later, the player is awakened by Tycho from a Pfhor slave tank. Tycho is forcibly taking control of a Pfhor ship, and orders the player to assist in the mutiny. After taking over the ship, the player is sent to the surface of Lh'owon to pursue the ship's captain, R'chzne. The captain is eventually killed when the teleporter he tries to use to escape is redirected into space.
Tycho reveals that he has been following Durandal for the last eleven years. He is fully prepared to face off against Durandal, having made sure that his ship doesn't have any Compilers on board for Durandal to subvert. Captain R'chzne had intended to capture Durandal, but Tycho believes that Durandal is too dangerous to be captured; he staged a mutiny to stop R'chzne from executing his plans.
Durandal arrives in the Lh'owon system and sends human commandos down to some ruins on the surface to activate an ancient S'pht AI. Durandal, who had modified his ship's weapons to increase their range, manages to cripple Tycho's vessel. However, Tycho strikes back by driving the Compilers aboard Durandal's ship rampant, taking his ship off-line.
As Tycho detects a massive structure entering into orbit around Lh'owon, he sends the player to fight aboard Durandal's ship. Tycho also reveals that he has the trih xeem and is ready to use it.
The player is then teleported... not to Durandal's ship, but to a strange, dreamlike area with lava, rocks that float and flicker, and lots of Ticks. Where the player is, who sent them there, and why, is unknown. A terminal contains a mysterious message of unknown origin, speaking of "your former self destroyed" and "the dreaming way". It seems like this level might take place in the player's mind while they are dreaming.
The player then visits another strange dream area with hostile, ghost-like S'pht'Kr. The terminals here have the same symbol that Thoth used in Marathon 2. They tell a very strange story about someone obtaining a pocket knife before being pursued by men in black suits. There's also a terminal mentioning seven hundred and sixty one armless and legless corpses floating in a hangar. The terminal messages don't seem to make much sense...
Afterwards, the next chapter begins. It follows a different timeline, so it's possible the dream sequences occur while the player is travelling between timelines.
- The player is woken up by Tycho, who addresses them as "conditioned unit 7". Tycho is staging a mutiny aboard a Pfhor ship, and he orders the player to help by eliminating all the Enforcers on board.
- A secret terminal in this level sends the player to Robot World Arena.
- The player is sent to this secret area for training exercises by Tfear high command.
- R'chzne, the captain of the Pfhor ship that Tycho commandeered, has escaped to the surface of Lh'owon. The player is sent down to destroy the captain's transmitter. Afterwards, R'chzne is killed when his teleporter signal is redirected into space.
- A secret terminal in this level sends the player to Two for the Price of One.
- When passing through this secret level, the player will encounter excerpts of Shakespearean literature.
- Durandal's ship has entered the system, and he sent a group of human commando units to some S'pht ruins on the surface. Tycho sends the player to find out what the humans were after: an ancient S'pht AI. While the player is busy ascertaining the AI's location, Durandal and Tycho cripple each other's ships in space. At the end of the level, a massive structure enters into orbit around Lh'owon orbit, and Tycho sends the player off to fight on Durandal's ship. Tycho reveals that his ship carries the trih xeem, saying that "one way or another, it ends here".
- This is a strange, surrealistic, dreamlike level that the player will visit several times in the campaign. It's not exactly clear where (or when) this level takes place, or how the player got here.
- This level appears to be another dream. The player encounters several S'pht'Kr, but they are hostile, nearly invisible, and virtually invincible. The terminals here they tell a story about someone obtaining a pocket knife before being pursued by men in black suits. There's also a terminal mentioning seven hundred and sixty one armless and legless corpses floating in a hangar.
- A secret terminal in this level sends the player to Aie Mak Sicur.
- This secret level shows the ending of this failed timeline. It takes place on the Jjaro space station, in the same place as the final level of the game. The final terminal contains the last words of High Admiral Tfear, who describes his defeat by the horrors unleashed by the trih xeem.
|Marathon Infinity Chapter Info: