If you wanted a bit of a relief from the crazy jumps and flaming lava in other missions, this slightly calmer one might be for you... There's a big confontation with enemy robots near the end though, so you'll want to save up as many lives as you can ready for that. All the extra lives are in the buildings around the eastern area where you start off from, but you'll have to come back for most of them later in the game. The first half of this mission is all about switches; the latter all about keys.
Black objective Look behind you! Go to the far end of the paved area you're in, and find a conical tower which you can enter at the second-highest level. You want the black key at the bottom of the tower... but it'd be fatal to drop all the way, so you'll have to depend on the several layers of flickery floor to slow your fall. The easiest way to get down safely is simply to park your robot near the centre of the tower, and wait. But on the way there are three extra lives you might want to pick up, and getting those is a lot more tricky. Counting downwards from the top, the first life is to your left, the second ahead of you and the third to the right. While we have seen it done, you can't really expect to get all of them on a single trip down the tower. As the flickery floor gets depleted it becomes more dangerous - in fact once the floor under an extra life is gone you'll never be able to collect it. The black floor sections at the bottom of the tower are bouncy rubber - be careful of landing on these from any height as you could fly right over the edge! Collect the black key. If you need to climb the raised central floor section to reach it, avoid the triangular corners as they're steeper. Use the key to access a tiny ramp (slowly - don't let the forcefields jump you right over the edge) to a walkway running all the way round the bottom of the tower, and find a teleporter to take you back to the top. If the enemy robot follows you onto the walkway, you can't outrun it so you'll have to push back against it to stop it pushing you past the teleporter you're trying to reach. You can now either leave the tower or go back in for more extra lives...
Now you've got the black key, return to where you started the game and the view over the frozen lake. Use the key to collect three extra lives. All of the remaining bonus lives in this mission are near here, but you'll have to come back for them later after pressing more switches and collecting more keys... Finally, with your black key you now have access a staircase down to the ice lake. Go carefully on the ice - you won't be able to stop in a hurry to avoid falling off the edge! The way through the maze will become obvious here as long as you press all six switches - each one will build part of the towers of a suspension bridge over the ice, and also remove a wall nearby allowing you to reach the next switch. Be careful of flickery floor sections mixed up among the ice. Finally, on a tiny island under one of the bridge towers, press a seventh switch to complete the towers and start painting other parts of the world with agender pride flag colours! Black is still a colour, right?
Grey objective Head back up to where you started the mission, which is easier now that the last switch has demolished some of the walls across the ice near the bridge tower. Turn right at the top of the staircase, and you'll see that one of the two switches here is now connected to land by a walkway. This is the grey pride flag colour switch. Press it to add the cables to the suspension bridge.
White objective As well as adding to the bridge, you've also just created a walkway to the other switch right in front of you. Press that to build in some missing floor panels and power up a pair of teleporters. The raised structure around this section of the game is now within reach. Go to the rightmost of its three little towers (where the floors on the higher levels are now painted black), collect some extra lives and beam yourself up to the next level. Drive all the way along this building to the far end, being careful on the unfenced walkways. Each time you go up the gently-sloped floor panel from a tower onto a walkway, keep your speed down to avoid accidental jumps to oblivion. If you fall from the middle tower into an extra lives area behind a white locked wall, you don't have the key to escape! The only thing you can do is pick up the extra lives and allow yourself to fall through the flickery hole in the floor. You'll then come back to life on the first floor of the tower and be able to continue with the mission - and only one of those three extra lives was wasted. At the very end of this structure, press the white switch to finish off the bridge by building its deck!
Green objective Drop down to the floor below and cross the bridge. Look out for an enemy robot circling the dome ahead. If you don't manage to stay far enough away for the robot to ignore you, you might get rid of it by driving flat out along the path all the way round the dome, until it cuts a corner and falls right off! When it loses one of its 99 lives it'll reappear between the dome and the bridge. At the very back behind the dome, find a teleporter and use it. Don't press the switch there yet because that would disable the teleporter! You'll be teleported to the top of a very small hexagonal tower. There are no walls around the tower to keep you safe, so carefully drop down into a sloped area of triangular paving that's beginning to fill up with agender flag colours. Pick up the key in the middle. Grey keys are a bit of a wildcard in this game! The grey walls that they'll open are only a fractionally lighter shade than the ordinary grey walls that nothing can get through, so it's basically impossible to tell them apart. Whenever you encounter a forcefield pushing you towards a grey wall, that's an invitation to open it with the grey key. Also, some grey walls in this mission's ice maze are openable with this key but you'll have to learn by trial and error which ones are and which aren't. Next, if you've set the graphics detail 'visible distance' high enough to be able to see that far, look back towards the dome and wait for the enemy robot to appear as it goes round its patrol. When you can see it from here, it's a reasonable distance from where you're going next. Slowly drop down into the lower teleporter in the hexagonal tower - directly below the one you used to get here. When you arrive back behind the dome, now you can press the switch.
Return to the front of the dome (going clockwise around it to avoid the enemy) and you'll see that the last switch has built ramps up to the teleporters. Now you have the grey key, you can reach the first teleporter to get inside the dome for the white key. If you didn't fall into the extra lives area just before pressing the white switch, you can now go back across the bridge and use the white key to get all those lives without wasting any. Next, look for another ice area near the dome (to the southeast of it on the map above) which is higher than the lake level. The white key lets you drop onto the ice and fall down the frozen waterfall to a section of the main ice lake that you haven't been able to reach before. This is where the grey key comes in like never before: the only way to tell exactly which walls on the ice you'll be able to bust through with the key, is to try them all!
Having fallen down the waterfall, turn right and head towards the end of the lake. At the end, do a u-turn to face north towards the bridge. Count the rows of ice polygons - you want to be on the 4th row from the left edge of the lake. Once there, head north until you bounce off a wall that doesn't give way to the grey key. Now move to your right onto the 5th row and continue northwards. Once you're under the bridge, start to head to your right, towards a tall, narrow, dark enemy robot from which you're perfectly safe at the moment because of the walls imprisoning it. Past that, aim to the east and up along a walkway that bridges over the ice. After coming down from there, continue westwards. Be careful not to move too quickly on those little bits of normal ground because once you meet the ice again you'll go flying out of control. Find a rectangle of flickery floor with walls all round it, near a lift that's currently out of action. Those walls are all unlockable by your grey key, so don't go barging through and making dangerous holes in the ground just yet. If you like, you can set a trap for enemy robots for later in the game: carefully get just close enough to open all the walls on the south and east sides of the flickery floor, without falling through yourself. More on that later, but for now, look for the island under the western tower of the bridge - that's where you'll find the green key.
There are now two ways back. The 'proper' way is to return towards the walkway you just use to cross over the ice. Before reaching the walkway though, make the most of your newly-acquired key to go through the green walls and into a section full of ramps. Each ramp is gently sloped on one side and much steeper on the other. You'd have to be going so quickly to climb the steep side, that it's not really practical with all this ice around. So in the first pair of ramps, go over the one on the left. You'll need to take the right ramp of the second pair, but first line your robot up exactly with the middle of it, and go slowly! Once you're over the ramp, use some backwards thrust to ensure you come to a stop on the next non-icy square of ground - which is precariously small with nothing to stop you falling off the edges! If you like you can use the flickery floor here to get across, but you'll have to be quick. If you destroyed the flickery floor, your only way through this section is a tiny 'bridge' that peaks in the middle, for which you'll have to get as much of a runup as you can in the very confined space, and use reverse thrust on your way down the other side to avoid rolling right over the edge. Once you get through to the far end of this section, press the switch on a diamond-shaped island to power up a lift you'll soon be using. Be careful not to roll too quickly down the slopes of the island, as that can throw you right off the ice. On your way back, when you reach the pairs of big ramps, use the right ramp out of the first pair and the left ramp of the second pair.
And now the bit that you collected all the extra lives for... The walls in the area ahead have changed round a bit as a result of pressing that last switch: all three enemy robots here are now unleashed and there isn't a safe space to hide! When you're on the ice you won't have a lot of acceleration with which to manoeuvre around them. On the ordinary grey floor (of which there isn't much around here) you have more control, but as the enemies cross this more grippy floor on their circles round you they'll pick up a much higher speed, making it more dangerous if one of them does manage to hit you. And on the flickery floor, you haven't got long before you (and your enemies too) will fall right through. The wall around the flickery floor here, and along the northern edge of the ice lake, is all openable with the grey key. You have this key; the other robots don't. Which means they might push you into somewhere that once looked safe but is now dangerous or fatal since your key has opened the wall! The simplest way to take advantage of all this is just to make a run for it, through the locked walls and over the flickery floor, towards the lift. But on the ice you'll have great difficulty slowing down enough to meet the lift at the right time - when it's at the bottom of its travel - so you're likely to have to sacrifice a life pulling this stunt. If you're playing a cleverer game and have already set the trap we mentioned before, the trick now is to get to the far side of the flickery floor (between it and the lift) reasonably quickly without falling through it or demolishing any more of the walls. Going round the north end of it is better for avoiding the white robot, but the walls on that route are vulnerable to the grey key so they won't do a lot to keep you from lethal falls. Once you get past the flickery floor, the other robots should now keep driving onto it and falling to their doom, giving you time to get onto the lift and escape. If you do get followed all the way to the lift it'll be very tricky to get onto it safely. You could either just hope for the best (knowing that if you fall off, you'll start your next life right here at the lift, whereas an enemy robot will respawn at its starting position some distance away) or try to lure the enemy into falling through the flickery floor. Once you make it up the lift, use your green key to cross the triangular paving and head for the ramps at the front of the dome.
Alternatively there's a cheat if you can't be bothered wrestling with the enemy robots and the lift. As soon as you have the green key you can go back the way you came across the ice and back along the walkway. As you approach the section of the ice maze that you completed much earlier in the mission while building the bridge towers, look for the flickery floor panels in the ice. The walls between you and them are openable with the grey key, so you can just barge straight through (quickly enough not to fall through the floor; slowly enough not to lose control on the ice the other side) and up the staircase to the very start of the mission. From there, cross the bridge for the last time and climb all the ramps in front of the dome.
Finally, with the green key you can get to the last teleporter, from the front of the dome up to its roof. When you're up there, press the green pride flag colour switch to complete the mission!
Pride flag colour switches: 4
Extra lives: 12
Friendly robots: 0
Enemy robots: 5
Switches: 13 (total including pride flag colour switches)
Hazards: flickery floors, rubber, ice, forcefields
Secret areas: 0 (I'm not counting the inside of the dome as secret because it's impossible to complete the mission without going there..!)
Complexity: 1140 polygons, average 4.04 vertices per polygon, 704 walls, 2 vertices per wall
Time taken to build dome (actually it's a snub dodecahedron): more than 2 days
Published: 19-05-2021 (Agender Pride Day)
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