"...stay on the course I've plotted..."
The Marathon 2 level "Come and Take your Medicine" is an oddity. This is what the Marathon Vidmasters' page has to say about this level.
Come and Take your Medicine is one of the most
bizarre of all the Marathon levels. Here you have this immense level with
a complex network of underwater passageways with lifts and an extensive
outdoor area, and all you're expected to do is to follow Durandal's short
You might reasonably ask "Why"? Why go to all the trouble of creating such a visually exciting level and then have people ignore most of it?
One might simply argue that it's just there to be explored if you are so inclined. If you do go exploring you'll find an alien weapon and some ammo caches.
But this is not the Marathon way. Even the most basic of levels force you to explore most if not all of a map before reaching the final exit terminal. In "Come and Take your Medicine" you only have to pass through two rooms before reaching your objective and then return to the starting point. Indeed as if to reinforce the point you are explicity shown the path to take.
You should be extremely careful to stay on the
course I've plotted because this is a
heavily guarded facility, and your presence
will make offense.
Is there something on this level we are not meant to see?
Never one to ignore a mystery the Story page now presents the tru7th about "Come and Take your Medicine".
Hidden away near the top right hand section of the map is a little room. In this room lies The Sixth Panel. See point A on the map below.
You can get into this room in either of two ways. Jumping from another building or via an underwater passageway. The latter was the original intended method. When you take the lift up into this room you'll note a blue wall section.
Behind this is a panel... The Sixth Panel.
It's a breakable panel so why not...
... break it!
If you do what happens? No hoards of aliens come pouring in, no distant platform sound can be heard, no previously locked door can now be found open, nothing happens... nadda... zero.
But it wasn't always like that. At one stage The Sixth Panel had a purpose. It opened three doors (see B, C, and D on above map). In an early version of this level these doors were locked thus preventing you from accessing parts of the level. But for some reason or another this was never implimented in the final release.
It does however reveal that "Come and Take your Medicine" was intended to be explored more fully at one stage.
Some other odd things about this level.
The map in the terminal doesn't match the final map, indicating that changes were made prior to release.
It contains the only "Pfhor-only" door in the Marathon games.
Yup that door can only be opened by the Pfhor. :-)
There are no oxygen rechargers on this level. So don't spend to much time in the water. You need oxgen at the start of the next level.
You can complete this level without following Durandal's path. It's an easier path too.
The creator's initials (gjk) can be found in the terminal text. Mark Bernal's name also makes an appearance. But where did he hide his initials? On The Sixth Panel?