31 August 2009

Miserable end to a hard-fought campaign

Welcome back to the Promised Land, Simon Clur!

Simon is back in town, and in true CompSci student fashion, Kat, Simon and I hooked up again to relive some of the good old days, and under Simon's instruction (how could we deny him his request?), we had some pizza and XBOX360 co-op action. Oh boy, were there some fun war stories...

Mary-Anne Botha was kind enough to allow us to invade her home and hook up again with Oltman to play some 4-player Left4Dead co-op action, and this time we had substituted our friendly-fire fanatic, Wayne, with a newbie, Simon. I was hopeful that I could train Simon into the ways of NO FRIENDLY FIRE and we could achieve the very elusive SAFETY FIRST achievement. As events unfolded, I realise now how wrong I was... :(

We played Blood Harvest, and it started off pretty well - we were doing very well in fact, and making good time on the missions. We headed onto the penultimate level, and there things took a turn for the worse. At some point Zoey (played by Kat) died, and it was left to Francis (me), Bill (Simon), and Louis (Oltman) to escape the level on 1% health each, and me on my last life.

As we made it to the escape point (up ahead on the bridge), we were swarmed, and Oltman and Simon were incapacitated. Being the hero I was, I held off the swarm on my last legs and 1% (or we would have had to restart the darned level), and revived both players, who then subsequently ran off (while I lumbered along behind them) to the safe house. As I reached the safe house, what was waiting for me other than a smoker on top of the escape car - fortunately I fended him off with the last shells of my shotgun, and we made it into the escape car in time.

Next level, we repeated our antics and managed to make three successful attempts to the finale where we radio'ed in for help. Round one, Louis got panicked and raido'ed in while the rest of the survivors were still agreeing on the safest place to fend off the swarms. In the end, Zoey and Francis (Kat and me) lasted the longest, because Louis and Bill couldn't agree on anything, and both died. We didn't outlast the swarm, and also inevitably demised.

The second time we made it into the house, we all hid in the front closet, and it only took a little time before a Smoker pulled Louis out into the open, and going against my better judgment, I departed the closet to rescue him, only to be swamped and beaten. The two hapless survivors still in the closet didn't last with only two guns, and we failed again.

Third time, Louis suggested hiding out in the barn. In the end, we managed to hold off two waves and died by the second Tank. Much better result in the end, but the unfortunate early loss of Louis during the first Tank meant we hadn't enough firepower to repel the second Tank, and we all bought it.

Our successful attempt was achieved when we took out an unexpected Tank at the beginning, without anyone dying. We made it to the barn, set up our perimeter, and then the most stressful sprint from the house to the barn by a panicked Francis (me) and desperate Louis (Oltman) resulted in us successfully repelling the waves.

Bill (Simon) was taken down during the first wave, but we managed to defeat the Tank and survive the second wave too. The final Tank showed up, and we were nailing him just fine, until Louis took a tumble. I ran in to distract the Tank and deal the deathblows to his head at point-blank with my combat shotgun, only to be smacked across the barn and (fortunately) onto the ledge on the other side. Attempting to get myself back into the fray to save Louis, I noticed I was taking a lot of hits, and I realised the Tank didn't have this sort of distance firepower, and it slowly dawned on me that my hopes for a SAFETY FIRST achievement were definately over, since my two esteemed survivor team-mates - Zoey and Bill - were missing the Tank and hitting me!!

I jumped off the ledge, climbed back up the ladder, just in time to see Louis being trampled to death, and we couldn't make the escape together :(

In comes the Military APC, followed by a distant swarm of zombies, and we made a run for it. Zoey was awaiting a helicopter pick-up, so Bill made it to the APC first, followed closely by Francis (me). As I was running up the ramp to my first survival and to freedom, I was knocked off the ramp and into a waiting swarm of zombies. I never made it to the ramp, and was knocked down. I pleaded for rescue, but saw Zoey run over the heads of the marauding zombies and into the APC, which then closed their doors and raced off. I was very distraught at fighting the good fight (and especially in the penultimate level single-handedly bringing us to the finale), but not making it.

At this point, Simon sheepishly confessed that he had shot me off the ramp in a Vietnam-induced flashback and thus ended my desperate attempts to finally complete a campaign. And so, I once again observed the campaign ending lying alongside my dead buddy Oltman, and once again, we did all the hard-work and sacrificed ourselves for the lesser survivors to escape under a hail of gun-fire :-/

I must add, however, that I managed to achieve the Cr0wned, pharm-assist achievements this time around :)

1 comment:

oltman said...

dude! this was awesome to read and even better to witness! one of the funniets moments was Kat standing on the barn looking to the sky for the helicopter! haha!

but the piece de resistance was you getting denied the safety of the APC by none other than your long time friend :) classic moment!