No Artificial Colors is the eighteenth level in Marathon. It is the second level of The Pfhor, the fifth chapter of the game. After the player's trip to the Pfhor ship on the previous map, this level takes place on board the Marathon again. Since this is an exploration level, the objective is simply to visit all areas of the map. This level also hosts the official introduction of the TOZT-7 Backpack Napalm Unit (although several secret TOZTs could be found in earlier levels going back as far as Smells Like Napalm, Tastes Like Chicken!).
This level contains five pattern buffers. One is found at the start of the level. Another one is found in a centrally located hub room. The third one is found in the northwest part of the level, and the fourth buffer is found at the end of a narrow tunnel in the northeast part.
There is also a very strangely positioned pattern buffer in the second room of the level, just northeast of the starting room; it can only be reached by rocket jumping. A 3x shield recharger can be found just east of the central hub room; it can be used through the half-closed door
Use the pattern buffer next to you at the start. Drop down into the next room, and kill the enemies here; be careful, some BOBs are of the explodey type. There's a pattern buffer up in a niche here, but just ignore it; you can only reach it by rocket jumping and it's not worth the massive amount of damage you'd take.
Move into the room to the northwest. You can find a window in the north wall through which you can see the level's central hub room; you could try to snipe some enemies here. You'll find a teleporter to the south that will take you into that room. You can use the pattern buffer here, and the 3x shield recharger behind the half-open door to the east can actually also be interacted with from this side.
Go to the west; an elevator will take you up. Turn south and hit the button at the end of the ledge. Jump across to the opening in the west wall, and hit the button there. Drop down into the next room and go northwest; you'll soon find a pattern buffer on your right side.
Follow the northbound corridor. There's a rocket launcher lying there, and a window through which you can see a button; hit that button to open a nearby door.
Now go south, then east into an oval room with four exits, and take the east exit (if you take the south exit instead you can get back to the 3x shield recharger if you need it). Follow the stairs down and get to the elevator in the northwest corner of the next room. Jump to the central platform; the east wall of the room will drop down to reveal the path forwards.
Follow a narrow tunnel leading eastwards with a pattern buffer in the corner. At the end of the tunnel is a room with crushers. Ride up the elevator at the south end of the room to find yourself at the 3x shield recharger spotted earlier. There's a room full of BOBs behind the east door (some of them explode). Go back west to the central hub room with a pattern buffer. Exit the room to the south, and run past the teleporter you used earlier; a new southbound corridor has opened up with a new teleporter.
You'll teleport to a room with a bunch of exploding BOBs. After you've dealt with them (or they dealt with you), move forwards, turn round the east corner, and pick up the ammo. Now go to the west and drop down. You'll find a very large hall with a corridor running all around it. Kill the enemies in the corridor, then get rid of the enemies in the large hall. You can either try to snipe them from afar, of drop down into the room to fight them up close.
The teleporter at the south end of the large hall takes you to a room with lots of exploding BOBs and a lot of ammo. If you didn't manage to find one of the secret TOZT-7 Backpack Napalm Units in previous levels, you'll finally find one here out in the open.
Load up, and use the teleporter to get back to the beginning of the level. Use the pattern buffer, then access the terminal again, and you're sent off to the Pfhor ship again.
The first time you go to the only terminal on this level, you get a message from Durandal. He tells you that your trip to the Pfhor ship was a success and that you will be returning shortly, but first he wants you to look for Bernard Strauss to see if he is still alive. He has been captured by the Pfhor, and Durandal will hold you responsible if he dies.
Once you have completed your mission and rescued the captive BOBs, if you return to the terminal, Durandal explains that Strauss wasn't among those you rescued. He tells you that two ships are going back to the Pfhor ship carrying humans to be enslaved and that you must return to rescue Strauss.
- The music for this level is a song titled AliensAgain. It was previously heard on The Rose. It is track #0.
- There are a few level design elements here that seem unpolished or outright unfinished. The pattern buffer in the second room seems redundant and it can only be reached using rocket jumping tricks. In the middle of the level there's a bridge that is seemingly supposed to be raised to allow the player to cross into the next room, but the bridge gets stuck in the floor and a teleporter was placed nearby as a workaround to reach the next room instead. There's also a stairway where one of the floor polygons is for some reason a teleporter that sends you back up the stairs.
- When this map is opened in a map editor, a written message can be found outside the bounds of the level. It reads
TUNCER / GK CARNAGE RULES
- The level was designed by Tuncer Deniz and Greg Kirkpatrick, which explains the first line of map writing.
Marathon - Level 17: No Artificial Colors