How to complete the pan mission

Aerial view of pan mission at start of play

This mission is unusual in that you can do the pink, yellow and blue objectives in any order... although in this write-up we'll go with the order in which they appear on the pan pride flag. Before that though, find the three teleporters right in front of you as you start the mission. You should use all of them right now to get the pink, yellow and blue keys. Later in the game you'll find that having all the keys makes things easier by providing more extra lives.

Pink objective When you've got the pink key you can get through the pink locked wall that surrounds the tallest of the three buildings, or towers as we'll call them. The way into this one is close to the central teleporters you used at the start to get all the keys. Make your way down the sequence of octagonal islands - without falling off the edge - and into the bottom level of the tower, the only level entirely surrounded by walls to stop you falling out. The enemy robot here will follow you, and as you can't push it out of your way, you'll just have to learn how to slide round it to get where you want to go! While it's possible for one robot to push another through a wall... eventually... you won't need to hang around here long enough to risk being pushed out of the tower. Just find the teleporter (with its white arrow pointing upwards) to beam up to the next floor. On the next three levels the safest thing to do is avoid course changes on the slippery bluish ice by aiming for the opposite teleporter and going right across the tower in a straight line. But safest isn't always best: on the two storeys that have extra lives, you really should go slowly across the ice and try to get them. Don't spend too long on the flickery floor though - you've got just over a second before you fall through it to the previous level and have to beam yourself back up for another go. Falling two floors will kill you. And as usual, don't touch the orange lava at all! From the last of the lava levels you'll be able to see that the one above has an enemy robot on it. It'll try to match your position even though, being on a different floor, it can't actually touch you. If it falls out of the tower while doing that, you could make a quick move for teleporting up to that level and speeding right across to the final teleporter before the robot has had time to respawn back to its starting position on the ice. Alternatively, you could stop on the ice just before reaching the teleporter that would take you up from the lava level to the robot level, and wait for the robot to get itself approximately above your current position. Then when you teleport, you'll see that the enemy is as far away from you as it can be, giving you more time to find a course to one side of it, across the ice, to the last teleporter. Enemy robots slip on ice, but they don't get teleported. So when the enemy is on the ice it'll find it very difficult to keep up with you, and on the normal floor around the edge of this level it'll make faster moves, some of which it'll mess up and fall right out of the tower.

On the very top level of this tower you'll find two tiny robots patrolling round a raised area with the pink pride colour switch on it. Just head away from the middle of the tower as quickly as you can, and collect any extra lives you find while you're at it. From out here, any robots near the middle won't be able to notice you. Find a switch where the pair of 'petals' you're on separates into two. Try to stay out of enemy sight by pressing that switch when the robots are right on the far side of the central area, and you'll see a wall open up, allowing you access to the pink switch in the very middle. To press this one you'll need a medium-speed runup; too fast or slow then you'll miss it and have to go back for another go. It's easier to make several attempts if you've visited most or all of the petals, pressing the wall-opening switches and collecting lives as you go (of which there are six in total, but to get more than half of them you'll need to have found the yellow and blue keys already). Once you get the pink pride switch pressed you'll see pink all over the tower! All the enemy robots in this tower are also destroyed, although they'll reappear if the pink switch accidentally gets set to off again at any time. Now collect any extra lives you didn't get already, and it's time to leave the tower. The fastest way out is to find the square piece of floor with pale purple forcefield arrows that has appeared between one of the pairs of petals (just clockwise of the teleporter). Allow the forcefield to push you out onto an octagonal island that has appeared, and from there you can jump down to the paved track that runs all the way round the tower. Alternatively you could go down the inside of the tower the way you came by teleporter, picking up any remaining lives as you go, having no enemies or lava to deal with, and then use the newly-appeared forcefield jump ramps (slowly!) to get back up the chain of islands to where you started the game.

Yellow objective With the yellow key you can get to the yellow tower, although it doesn't so much live up to the name of 'tower' this time... The walkway to the entrance is narrow and has no walls to keep you from falling, so be careful! Once you're inside, if you've got the blue key you can turn left then right to collect some extra lives. Then back towards the entrance and round the ground floor the opposite way - as if you'd turned right when you first came in. Look out for unwalled sections here where you can fall right out of the side of the tower! In the far right corner you'll find an enemy robot. Best to fly past it, head to the left, get the extra lives and press the switch at the far end, spin round and go back the way you came. The faster you do this, the less chance it'll manage to get close enough to push you somewhere you don't want to go. This enemy robot is heavy enough to press a switch if it rolls over it by accident, so it could mess up what you're doing and force you to press the same switch several times. As long as it's on (green) when you leave this part of the tower, that's OK. Go back to the entrance and keep going round the ground floor; in the central area you'll find a lift which is now moving up and down because of the switch you pressed earlier. Wait for the lift to come down to the bottom of its travel, drive onto it and let it carry you up to the next floor. While you're waiting, be careful of any reckless robots falling from above! They won't damage your own robot by falling on it, but they might push you through the hole at the bottom of the lift mechanism.

At the top of the lift ride, go forwards and turn right to find a switch which powers up another lift to the very top of this tower. There are usually two enemy robots on this level, although if you're lucky the first of them already fell to the ground floor and got trapped behind a wall. Again it's all about sneaking past them quickly, and trying to get round the next corner before they do, so they can't follow you easily. From the switch you just pressed, look to your right to see the lift you must take up to the roof. Make sure you didn't bounce off a wall and hit the switch twice - it needs to be on! Now make your way round three sides of the tower. As soon as it's possible to turn to your right to the outer edge of the tower's first floor, do so - avoiding the enemy robot if it's still there. Now go clockwise round the very outside of the tower, all the way round, dodging and outrunning the other robots wherever necessary. You'll eventually find that lift again on your right, up to the highest level, where you can press the yellow pride colour switch! Again this paints in much of the building in the yellow colour and wipes out all the enemy robots in this tower.

Blue objective The blue key allows you to get to the blue tower. This section of the mission is about setting all the switches to on to complete the spiral ramp that runs round the tower, and other walkways. Whenever you find a switch that's already on, leave it on! If you fall and lose a life, your robot will only respawn for its next life in a safe place - and most of the floor here is sloped and therefore not considered safe! So be prepared for some extra driving around the place each time you lose a robot. If you fall to a lower level from a height of less than two storeys, and somehow manage to miss the lava, you'll survive - but continuing the mission might be tricky. If you end up somewhere from which you can't reach enough of the switches to fill any gaps in the spiral to where you need to go, or if you land on the rim of the square lava well right at the bottom, you'll have to find the teleporter on an island of pale grey paving at the very edge of the lava lake, beam yourself back to near where you started this mission, and begin the blue tower again. The pink path from the lava well to the teleporter is safe for your robot to travel on. The two teleporters in this tower are the only ways to escape from it, as far as we know...

The entrance to the blue tower is as far downhill and away from the middle of things as you can get; look for where the perimeter paving extends towards the tower. Go very slowly along this and from the end, drop down onto a section of the spiral. You'll slowly roll down the spiral, and only if it's complete will the end wall stop you eventually falling into the lava! Go down the spiral until it meets a walkway into the very middle of the tower. Jump onto that, up a short slope and stop exactly where the extra life is. The sections of floor like the one you're on, and the ones adjacent to the switches in front of you, are the only flat ground around here, the only place you can safely stay indefinitely. Go slowly and accurately on the sloped sections of each walkway! Press both of the switches here that weren't on already, and you'll now be able to proceed to the far end of this walkway, slowly dropping off the end and back onto the spiral. You've just switched on some more sections of the spiral, so head round it, downhill for a quarter of a circle, then jump onto another walkway through the middle of the tower, just like the last one but with more switches. Press all four of the switches that weren't already on, and you'll see the last of the missing pieces of spiral and walkway popping into existence. Slowly jump down onto the spiral again and head to its very bottom for extra lives (you did bring the pink key, didn't you?) before making your way right to the top to find the last and highest of the central walkways. Press the blue pride colour switch to complete this part of the mission! If you haven't done the other two towers yet, a teleporter has just activated nearby to take you back to where you started the mission.

Retro gaming Just a few words from Gordon, the mind behind this whole crazy thing... It should be obvious by now that my gaming interests and influences go way back. The idea that you start in a basically grey world and win by filling in the colours comes from Wizball (1987). The idea of driving a ball round a precarious maze, dodging enemies, collecting keys and opening doors, pressing switches, jumping and teleporting... well let's just say Spindizzy (1986) and Rock 'n Roll (1989) had something to do with it! Not settling for a mere two dimensions, but not quite doing 3D properly either... oh and lethal fiery lava... that's the Marathon trilogy (1994-6). I've tried to include homages to old games from time to time. But keeping Prideworld reasonably consistent and not plagiarising anyone seemed more important, so you might not recognise much! As it turned out in the end, the pan mission has gone far beyond the others in this department. The pink tower is inspired by the S'pht Citadel of Antiquity in Marathon 2: Durandal. That's where the petal shape at the top, and the idea of having fire-hazard lava inside a building for no apparent reason other than getting in your way, come from. The yellow tower is my third attempt (and no - you don't get to see the first two) at building a maze out of several rooms with big chunky pieces of wall cramping all the space, a bit like Chimera. The blue tower wasn't originally planned as a tribute to another game. But as the walkways around and through it came together, it started to remind me of the Xen world in Half-life. So if that's 3 homages for the price of 2, I'll take that deal!

Mission info

Pride flag colour switches: 3
Keys: 3

Extra lives: 21
Friendly robots: 0
Enemy robots: 7

Switches: 17 (total including pride flag colour switches)
Lifts: 2
Teleporters: 18
Hazards: ice, flickery floor, lava, high altitude, forcefields
Secret areas: 0

Complexity: 1132 polygons, average 4.07 vertices per polygon, 700 walls, 2 vertices per wall

Published: 24-05-2021 (Pansexual/Panromantic Awareness Day)

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