Unreal II: The Awakening was released in early February 2003. Unlike the first game, Unreal II was no success at all, and was mostly made to show off Epic's latest game engine, the Unreal Engine 2.0. Marshal John Dalton and his crew have to track down ancient artifacts all over the galaxy in order to prevent a disaster, all while fighting off aliens, skaarj and other humans along the way (unique, eh?).
Best time, easy difficulty: 1:42:56 by Maciej 'groobo' Maselewski on 2007-07-12, done in 40 segments.
When Hawkins asks you if you want to try the new practice course or rather get back to your ship, you can't get too close to the door because they won't open immidietly then, no matter what you pick. Note: Front dodging is the fastest for me, side dodging or any other type of movement was a lot slower overally. I get to the lower floor with a tricky curved jump/fall and then, with one dodge, I jump perfectly into the end-level trigger, skipping the slow elevator ride.
You have to trigger Aida's first speech so that her target changes to the briefing room. When she starts talking just get as far from her as possible, it skips her speech almost entirely. You can ask for the briefing after she types something on the keybord in the middle of the room, confirming that you want to hear the briefing right now, when the door is open, completely skips it and you can get straight to your ship.
Not much to say about this level, it's pretty much straight forward. I kill only those monsters that are absolutely neccessary to kill.
At the big room fight (pre elevator ride) the trick is to stand as close to the gate as posible when killing the last izerian (spelling?), it triggers the gate to open way faster. There's also a way to skip the elevator ride but you would have to wait for it to come down anyway because the door that leads to the small lift opens only after you have killed that ugly skaarj. As for mr. skaarj himself, he's only vulnerable after his taunt or whatever it is. The skaarj before the exit blocks my way for half a second, it never happened to me before and I was too lazy to redo this level.
Thanks to the "showall" command I was able to find the closest spot where you can boost yourself up on the cliff (I can't do it anywhere sooner because of the invisible walls everywhere). I walk the strange snake-like structure all the way to the reactor. Now, the falling part is very tricky because 99% of the time you'd fall on one of the pipes instead of falling all the way down. This is the only way that I know of getting into the reactor before actually opening it. Three frag grenades are also the fastest way to kill the skaarj boss.
I take a straight route to the crash zone. It's better not to trigger the commander (or whoever he is) by yourself, wait until he talks to instead. By doing this, after the whole conversation is over, he'll run to his next waypoint. If you'd trigger him by yourself, he would walk very slowly until he would meet an enemy. After he takes the gate down I position myself infront of him so that he dosen't have to turn around to talk with me. My conversation choices are the fastest possible. After my last pick, I dodge my way to the first fight trigger. From now on, the only point is to kill the first 5 izerians as fast as possible, then trigger the second fight, kill most of the izerians as fast as you can there, and move on to the third fight where you can kill them as slow as you like to as you team moves to kill the remaining creatures from your second fight. When you finish the third fight, your team should be on the way to the landing spot (they move forward when there are no more enemies to kill at the second fight field), and one more time I position myself so the commander dosen't have to turn around to talk with me. Now there's nothing that you can do to slow down/speed up the Atlantis landing process, you can either hide behind the cliffs or just shoot some ass. The Atlantis picks you up after five minutes.
You have to wait until Aida is somewhere near the middle of the room to use the before mentioned briefing skip. So much for this level.
A random thing happened to me right at the beginning of this level. Usually when you fall down from bigger heights you freeze for a second when you hit the ground, well, it didn't happen. Thansk to the "showall" command I could play a little with the triggers, it led to finding a way to skip the long wait after the elevator ride. The trick is to grenade boost yourself above the trigger and land on that barrel-like thing on the other side. If you'd land somewhere on the ground, no matter how far, the scene would trigger anyway.
You can boost yourself above the instant death trigger near the fire, you'll take minimal damage from there on. I pick up the flamthrower because it has the highest dps rate (damage per second) in your arsenal, it's obviously the weapon of choice against the queen at the end of Hell.
I quickly work my way to the second floor. At the big room after the small lift I use two grenade boosts to get myself up onto the upper floor. At the end of the lift leading to the end-level trigger I speed up the process a little with a assault rifle boost.
Somewhere near the start of the level, at the wrecked room with some laser beams, I grenade boost myself straight into the control room. There's nothing special in that level after that point, well I maybe got slowed down a little by the random bug behaviour when they decided to jump straight into me, but that's it. The queen fight could have been a little faster too but I got lucky anyway because she didn't do her wave attack. So much for Hell.
After talking to Hawkins I use the famous briefing skip once more.
Another straight forward level. I move straight towards the target pit just to cast myself into it. Underground, I only kill enemies that block my way or just are a pain in the ass cutting my health bar by a big amount. Those bombs attached to the bubble protecting the artifact don't have any damage trigger attached to them, so basically the blow dosen't hurt. After getting the artifact the only thing left is to get to the lift (you have to jump AFTER you get onto the lift to trigger it, dunno why) and get back to my ship.
This whole "level" is just a cutscene.
This level is truly a finger killer, after some hours of trying to get the result that I wanted, my fingers hurt so bad... So bad... Anyway, The goal of this level is to activate three remote bombs spread across the main building. There's nothing special about the first two, but the third one is a tricky beast. You can get to it faster with a grenade boost but when you boost yourself like three frames too early, you'll be blocked by the pipes above you. And when you boost yourself three frames too late, you'll bounce right back because of the pipe in front of you. So the only option left for you is to boost yourself up at the right moment. It got frustrating after a while because it's really harder than it looks like and every time when you have to redo this level, you have a minute long dodge marathon to complete before you even get to the main building.
After the long cutscene, your goal is to force Ne'ban to shut up. You do this by walking away from him just a little. After that it's possible to skip the briefings. Well... Almost, because the hatch in the floor opens after the briefings. But doing this skip still shaves some seconds getting to the hatch.
After the cutscene, the goal is to trigger the first fight countdown as fast as possible, which translates to: Get to the box with the turrets and force walls as fast as possible. Each fight is triggered when the guy/chick in the robot suit dies. How fast I kill the normal nemies dosen't affect when the robot suit will appear, so I can kill the regualr enemies as fast as I want to. The fastest way to deal with the robot suits is to snipe them down when they're still in air. There's nothing more into that level, just finish a fight, move on to the next one, simple as that.
Just like AI4, it's nothing but a cutscene.
There are two objectives for this level, the first one is to eliminate all enemies, and the second one is to activate the transmiter which is locatet in the tower. The route that I took is the fastest that I know of. The first thing to do is to get to the control room. I enter the building from the left side to clear the slow enemies that take forever to get into the building if I take a straight path. In the control room, the guy shooting at the computer is only vulnerable after his "animation" so I stand still not shooting at him for a while. After I blow him up instead of getting straight to the tower, I backtrack and take the way around because after you kill the guy shooting at the computer, another enemy spawns at the hallway that you came from. Then I only have to kill the remaining enemies which luckily are in my way, get to the tower, and activate the panel.
My favourite level, just because all you have to do is to stand still and use your sniper rifle instead of your brain. I boost myself up to one of the walls surounding the main building and position myself at a spot where I have a clear view at all spawns. The level ends when you kill everyone.
Yet another briefing skip, but this one is more complicated than the others. You have to trigger Aida, get as far as possible but not too far so she dosen't end her speech immidietly, move a little bit further and end the conversation when you are asked to pick what you want to say, then trigger her one more time. You'll be asked to pick what you want to say without Aida saying anything so the "conversation" won't end if you get too far. Basically you exit the room, then make your pick, and get straight to your ship.
Really easy level, dodge forward and skip anything that dosen't block your way. I shoot the first two guys so they don't place a force wall and a turrent on the ground. At the end of the stage, instead of going into the elevator, you can boost yourself on the higher floor and with another boost you can get straight to the end level trigger. All boosts are possible only with the CON (and CON stands for ???) grenades.
You can't really call this a level, do you?
First goal is to rescue Mayers. When you kill the guy guarding him the trick is to trigger Mayers before he starts the conversation. After you get out of the room you can leave him alone and gather ammunition and health. After he takes the artifacts he'll run straight to you and the earthquake sequence will play regardless of your position. The only thing to do for me is to position Mayers as close to the door trigger as possible.
You just have to kill every enemy as fast as you can. When you get outside you can either work your way around the long "kill everyone, get to the lift, and wait for Mayers" sequence, or you can just boost yourself above the invisible wall, get to the lift using the alternate side of the tower, boost yourself up onto another invisible wall and actually use it to jump straight into the end-level trigger. Again, the first boost is only possible with a CON grenade (showall ftw).
CON grenades become really useful at the beginning. You can position Mayers where his first waypoint is using them. If you move him further, he'll run back to his first waypoint anyway. After you talk with Mayers in the control room, the level becomes pretty much just about fighting. The fights are tricky though, there are always two "waves" of enemies on a single spawn area, the second one is triggered after you eliminate the first one and get far enough. The way to deal with them is to wait far enough when the first wave appears so the second one spawns immidietly after the first one is gone. The third fight is an exception to this rule where only one set of enemies appears so I can get really close and finish the robot suits with single grenade shots. The first fight is tricky because you're in the middle of the spawning area when the first wave comes by, sometimes turning your view around will spawn a single enemy from the second wave but you still have to get pretty far away to get the last enemy to appear. This level can be improved a lot but I'm too lazy to do it, sorry.
You probably except another briefing skip? Not going to happen though. The door dosen't open until the briefing is over and there's no way around it so the only thing left for me is to trigger Aida immidietly after getting control.
Climb the cliffs, boost yourself up onto the research facility walls, pick a straight route to the pipe with the end-level trigger. Simple.
Not much to say about this one either. There are no shortcuts in here that I know of. The only thing worth mentioning is the insane luck that I had at the end of the level. At one point I got boosted by an enemy right to a door switch where you usually jump down there but you're too far from the switch to activate it immidietly. This baby is ~three seconds faster than it supposed to be.
One of the circles surrounding the second lift dosen't appear to be solid so you can fall right through it. There are no shortcuts or planning/strategic tricks after that. Just get the artifact and backtrack to the exit.
The reason that I didn't skip the briefings is because the end-level trigger "switch" appears only after Aida finishes talking. So triggering Aida as soon as you can seems to be faster.
You just have to trigger the event (radio conversation with Aida) that is located somewhere in the middle of the bridge. The level ends after a certain time period.
I start off with some rocket dodge boosts straight to the next room. There are some parts in the upcoming Drakk levels where you have to kill those... Well... Those things, to progress further. There's a small delay between the first and the second shot because if you fire the second grenade immidietly after the first one, it'll blow on contact as usual but damage won't register. EMP grenades appear to be the fastest way to kill them in mid/long range. The flamethrower is the best way to deal with them in close range. Anyway, there's nothing special about the rest of this level.
At the start I have to pick up a EMP grenade pack for the upcoming fight. After clearing the big room with the vent in the middle, before you jump, you have to position your point of view so that you fit perfectly into one of the corners above you. If done wrong, you'll hit the ceiling.
Another straight forward type of level with the exception of two grenade jumps, which save less time than a decent fart.
The random luck that I had against the boss is just out of my imagination. When it got to its second form (I call them head and orb), after failing to damage the orb, I went for the head. Before I even finished my first fuel canister, the orb moved to the point that I was aiming at, without moving anywhere else afterwards. The fight was quickly over, and I still had enough health points left to boost myself onto the bubble surrounding the last artifact.
Again, you can't skip Aida's dialogue entirely, so triggering Aida is the way to go. When you get pass the ladder, the conversation will end and your ship won't show up. So basically I get near the ladder and go straight to my ship when Aida finishes her last sentence.
Ahh, Avalon... Home... Anyway, I make use of my grenades for some dodge boosts, pick up some ammo for the sniper rifle, and work my way to the control tower. You can use the elevator from outside, activate it, and just get near the door, there's no particular trick for that one. Remember to jump before you touch the bridge above you or you will fall right into a death trigger (I discovered this after ~five hours of playing this level, I died here 99% of the time). In the control room you can kill the big skaarj with only one shot if you shoot it in the head. I decided to split this level into two parts because I didn't allow any missed shots in the entire run (which happened quite often), and I died so many times after the sniping part that I was sick of it. Oh, and I'm really lazy too. When getting back to the elevator, you can't jump straight down to the lower floor as I did in the first level because now there's an invisible wall there. After the sniping action is done, the death trigger under you is removed so you can just jump down instead of using the elevator. From there, you just have to get up the stairs to trigger the friendly soldier to appear. From that point you have to kill all skaarj that you see while working your way up to the landing zone. You don't have to wait for the guy that you escorted a second ago, the marines near the landing zone will speak to you when all skaarjs are dead. Then you just have to kill some more and the level ends.
Nothing special about this level. The INC grenades work great against the Tosc, even better than the flamethrower. When I'm all out of INC grenades, I switch to SMK's. It ends up faster than changing to the flamethrower because changing weapons takes too long. You can't stand too close to the monster when its arm cuts down because you'll pick the Singularity Cannon up, but won't be able to switch to it (auto change dosen't work either). After killing the Tosc, you can get lucky and get to the room with the laptop before the door closes.
I had to split this level into two parts because the Hawkins skip is just hard. You have to dodge boost yourself onto the pipe in the corner. On the second floor I boost my way up to the highest one. A couple of corridors later, after killing another Tosc, I need to boost myself up again because the level is messed up from skipping so much and the gravity is higher than it supposed to be. There's nothing special later until the last room where I pull off a risky maneuver. When a Tosc fires a shot at you it pretty much means that you'll die, but if you time your jump right, you'll circle around his shot. A couple of dodges and the run is done.
I would like to note that some segments were started not from the very start of the level but from taking control of the character. Eg, A segment starts at the beginning of Kalydon, and ends after the cutscene at Sulferon. Anyway, enjoy :).
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