The Hard Stuff Rules... is the eleventh level in Marathon 2: Durandal. It is the second level of Citadel, the fourth chapter of the game. The objective here is to explore the Citadel and access all the S'pht terminals. You will be making your way up a tower here; the multiple floors of the tower will overlap on the overhead map, limiting its usefulness.
There are three pattern buffers in this level. The first one is found on the third floor, with a 1x shield recharger available in the room to its west. On the west side of the south wing on the sixth level, another pattern buffer may be found. Also on the sixth floor, in the southern half of the east wing, you will find a pattern buffer and a 2x shield recharger. A 1x shield recharger is found at the base of the elevator that leads to the seventh floor.
Kill the F'lickta in the starting room. The Ticks you encounter aren't hostile, so don't worry about them. Take the central elevator up and make your way through some more F'lickta-filled rooms. In the west corner of one room, a bunch of ammo and a 2x shield canister will be teleported in.
You'll soon find a pair of elevators in the middle of a room that bring you further up to a room with a pattern buffer. The room west of the pattern buffer has a 1x shield recharger in it.
Continue on to the fourth floor, which contains a lava lake and lots of F'lickta. Note that the F'lickta here are immune to lava, so throwing them in the lava with a grenade won't be enough to kill them.
Once you reach the fifth floor, you'll be met with Cyborgs. On the west and east sides of the room, there's an elevator up to the sixth floor. If you take the west elevator and go south, you'll find a pattern buffer.
There are three wings of the tower for you to explore here. The south part of the east wing has another pattern buffer and a 2x shield recharger on the sixth floor. The terminals you have to read are also on the sixth floor, in the western half of the north tower wing.
Once you've read all four S'pht terminals, head back to one of Durandal's terminals (there's one in the east wing and one in the south wing) to be teleported to Bob's Big Date.
South of the S'pht terminal room, you can find a 1x shield recharger and an elevator to the optional seventh floor, where you'll find some more ammo.
On the third floor, there is a room that has several large blocks in it, just west of the first pattern buffer. You can run and jump across the blocks to get to the far west block, which is guarded by a F'lickta. It leads to an ammo stash, a Fusion Pistol, and a 1x shield canister.
The first terminal is a message from Durandal. He tells you that the Citadel of Antiquity was the final stand of the S'pht during their war against the Pfhor, and that you are searching the Citadel to learn more about the S'pht and their final moments there. He notes that the Pfhor attacked the Citadel indirectly, letting the S'pht die slowly by radiation poisoning, which is not their style.
If you return to the terminal at the end of the level, Durandal gives you a map of Lh'owon's system and tells you that Battle Group Seven has arrived and are making their way across the system. He then tells you to search the bunkers under the Citadel, as the S'pht may have found something in their last minutes, and he wants you to find it.
The second terminal is from the S'pht, who find it hard to believe that the Pfhor are sentient without the cybernetic implants their science has led them to believe is necessary. The S'pht writing the message believes that it is possible that the S'pht were once no more sentient than their F'lickta ancestors, and that sentience was induced during birth. The S'pht consider the possibility of having once been servants of Pthia and Yrro, perhaps having been built by them or part of a larger group that came to Lh'owon.
The third terminal is another message from the S'pht, who have been orbitally bombarded by the Pfhor. They have evacuated to the lower levels of the Citadel, but the writer, who has received a lethal dose of radiation from the bombardment, alludes to the lifestyle of the Hf'ra'rkc'tal, joking that he feels like the male of the species after their mating dance.
The next terminal is a report from one of the S'pht to their leader about the Pfhor's surgical operations concerning optical implants. The Pfhor inserted what is described as a small, oblong object into a S'pht, but the method of insertion, rapid and with only one surgical tool completely displacing the sensory organs, is considered to be questionable.
The final terminal is another S'pht message, explaining that the Older foretold of the closing of the Citadel's windows, and of victory against the Pfhor, and that both prophecies were fulfilled. It is mentioned that the Olders began "melding", which had the effect of ending the hostilities between the different clans. This terminal seems mainly to be one of the S'pht reminiscing and encouraging either themselves or the other S'pht. The terminal closes with the mention of the Marshes of Mnr, which are gone into the fires of the battle between the S'pht and the Pfhor.
Marathon 2: Durandal - Level 11: The Hard Stuff Rules...