The Gas Mask

Gas Mask

This gas mask is of Cuban manufacture, and would probably fit you.


The Gas Mask is one of those items which has entered the annals of Pathways Misinformation. It's found on Juan's body on Warning: Earthquake Zone. Examining it doesn't reveal much apart from the fact that it is of Cuban origin. Wearing it isn't very enlightening either. So what's it for? Does it have a function?

The Official Hint Book (Aug 93) has this to say on the subject of the Gas Mask:

This item might protect you from poison gas, but that theory remains untested.


Pou Lee's PID Basic Survival Guide (v.1.1) dating from 22 September 1993 provides this odd bit of advice when you are on Warning: Earthquake Zone:

Problem(s): Green Ooze
Solution(s): Get poisoned.
Problem(s): Purple Burping Monster
Solution(s): Wear Gas Mask and run around

The earlier version of the Survival Guide dating from 9 September 1993 also gave the same advice.

Intertesting to note that Pou Lee described the Giant Purple Mutant Hellbeast as the "Purple Burping Monster". It might have been assumed (at the time) that the Gas Mask was designed to protect you from its burping (gas) attacks (note there is no evidence that the attacks are gas based other than that they might appear that way to some people).

So began the myth of the Gas Mask.

When David Reevely posted his Pathways into Darkness FAQ Sheet/Walkthrough to comp.sys.mac.games on 5 December 1993 it further perpetuated the myth. The FAQ Sheet/Walkthrough stated:

How do I kill the purple monster?
You can't. Put on the gas mask and it can't hurt you, but it will block your path. You just have to maneuver around it.

It should be noted that David Reevely credits Pou Lee's Survival Guide as a source of help in getting through the game. He wrote:

A great deal of credit for this walkthrough/FAQ sheet belongs to whoever is behind the e-mail address of st2c9@jetson.uh.edu at the University of Houston, the author of a more basic "PiD Survival Guide" that helped me get through PiD myself and provided a little of the source material, though all errors are, of course, entirely mine.


David reposted his FAQ Sheet/Walkthrough to comp.sys.mac.games on a regular basis over the next two months. It was during this time that people began to openly question the use of the Gas Mask against the Giant Purple Mutant Hellbeast. For example see here and here both dating from January 1994. In this third thread David Reevely, who remained adamant that the Gas Mask did protect you from the attacks of the Giant Purple Mutant Hellbeast, was asked to go back and replay the level again. It's unclear if he ever did but he updated his FAQ Sheet/Walkthrough on 2 February 1994 with the following words:

On a mildy defensive note, there have been one or two complaints that the FAQ is inaccurate. This is not, strictly speaking, true. Some of the solutions may not be the best way of passing the puzzles to which they refer, but they all work -- none of them are actually dangerous or outright *wrong*. It does have, of course, my own biases in terms of combat style and puzzle solutions, which may differ from those of other people, and while readers may disagree with me on some solutions, those given here *do* work.


With respect to using the Gas Mask against the Giant Purple Mutant Hellbeast he added the following caveat:

33. How do I kill the purple monster? -You can't. Put on the gas mask and it can't hurt you, but it will block your path. You just have to maneuver around it. (There has been some debate about whether or not the gas mask is helpful against the purple monster's breath. It stopped me from taking damage, and it's difficult to fathom any other purpose the programmers may have had for it. Nevertheless, there are many people who report that it does no good for them. If you find you're one of those people, all you can really do is try to run around past it and trap it in the room whose doors close behind you.)


Since David never updated the Pathways into Darkness FAQ Sheet/Walkthrough after February 1994 this has remained the 'de facto' FAQ advice (unless of course you bought Bungie's Official Hint Book). It's not surprising therefore that the Gas Mask has entered into the realms PID mythology.

The function of the Gas Mask was raised again in July 1994. This time Greg Kirkpatrick (a PID beta tester and and now a Bungie employee working on Marathon) offered his opinion on the subject:

 
Newsgroups: comp.sys.mac.games
From: gjk1@kimbark.uchicago.edu (gregory john kirkpatrick)
Subject: Re: PiD Question
Message-ID: <1994Jul25.160030.8145@midway.uchicago.edu>
Sender: news@uchinews.uchicago.edu (News System)
Reply-To: gjk1@midway.uchicago.edu
Organization: University of Chicago
References: <30ui5f$77l@coranto.ucs.mun.ca> <erikgibCtH120.Eyx@netcom.com>
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 1994 16:00:30 GMT
Lines: 38


In article <erikgibCtH120.Eyx@netcom.com> erikgib@netcom.com (Erik Giberson) writes:
>Gerard Farrell (gfarrell@random.ucs.mun.ca) wrote:
>: I am on Warning:Earthquakes. I have gotten to the door leading to the 
>: purple    monster. The FAQ says to wear the gasmask, and the purple 
>: guy cannot hurt me ......not. He kills me before I can knock 
>: off the ghasts. Any ideas??        
>
>       Apparently the gas mask sometimes protects you..and sometimes it 
>doesn't (no one seems to be able to explain why).  Assuming it doesn't 
>save you from the big purple frog thing, you can still survive. Open the 
>door leading in and wipe out the first group of ghasts. Then go through 
>the door and wait as the Purple Thing walks around the corner and moves 
>toward you. Dodge and wait. When it's about halfway down the corridor, 
>run to the left and past it, turning to fire at the other ghasts (make 
>sure you pick up the lead box!). It may take some practice, but if you 
>keep moving, you can stay ahead of the Purple Thing and jump through the 
>teleporter to safety.
>
>
>                                                               --Erik
>
Sorry boys,
        someone will have to rewrite that faq.  The gasmask doesn't help
against the Big Barney.  My guess is that someone put it on, and successfully 
made it past him, being unable to tell if the damage was from the ghasts 
or from Barney.  Simple Pavlovian response.
        You don't have to believe me, but its true.  You can't believe
everything you read.

Greg Kirkpatrick

Party on!!

-- 
------------------------------------------------------------------
        "why would anyone want to kill Jawas?"
                                Luke Skydork


Dan Meltz, the main author of Bungie's Official Hint Book for Pathways Into Darkness, also had this to say:

 
Newsgroups: comp.sys.mac.games
From: djm2@kimbark.uchicago.edu (Dan Meltz)
Subject: Re: PiD Question
Message-ID: <1994Jul25.022729.3894@midway.uchicago.edu>
Sender: news@uchinews.uchicago.edu (News System)
Reply-To: djm2@midway.uchicago.edu
Organization: University of Chicago
References: <30ui5f$77l@coranto.ucs.mun.ca>
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 1994 02:27:29 GMT
Lines: 26


In article <30ui5f$77l@coranto.ucs.mun.ca> gfarrell@random.ucs.mun.ca (Gerard Farrell) writes:
>I am on Warning:Earthquakes. I have gotten to the door leading to the 
>purple    monster. The FAQ says to wear the gasmask, and the purple 
>guy cannot hurt me ......not. He kills me before I can knock 
>off the ghasts. Any ideas??        
>                                                                               
>                                                                     
>Oh, BTW, Version 2.0.                                                          
>                                                                               
>Gerard Farrell                                                                 

yeah.  i just read the FAQ the day before yesterday, and, for the most 
part, it is really accurate.  one of the GLARING errors is the assertion that 
the gasmask will protect you from "Barney"  it will NOT.  

i dont know where this rumor started, but it aint true.


dan


-- 
--------========= djm2@midway.uchicago.edu =========--------
"Blessed be he that fights 'gainst the wicked and the holy... For HE shall walk
where the heaven-led do fall... blessed be he that taketh the Devil's name as
his own... For he shall tear down the atrocities of the kingdom of heaven!"


Dan was on a roll. Here's what he said about the FAQ and the gas mask a day later. To answer Dan's question the rumor started in September '93 with Pou Lee's Survival Guide.

The myth of the Gas Mask has continued ever since and with each telling its alleged function has become more elaborate:

Subject: Re: PiD Question
Date: Sun, 31 Jul 94 07:38:02 PST
Message-ID: <00180EF2.fc@bmug.org>
Newsgroups: comp.sys.mac.games
From: Ron_Hunsinger@bmug.org (Ron Hunsinger)
Organization: Berkeley Macintosh Users Group
X-HoloGate: 1.1b64
Lines: 27

In article <erikgibCtH120.Eyx@netcom.com> erikgib@netcom.com (Erik Giberson)
writes:
>       Apparently the gas mask sometimes protects you..and sometimes it 
>doesn't (no one seems to be able to explain why).  

The gas mask won't make you immune to the purple meanie, but it will
reduce the damage you take.  The difference is slight.  I cannot 
remember the exact figures, but I seem to recollect that it cuts the
damage by something like 30-40% (meaning you take 2 points damage 
instead of 3, or something like that).  You will have to use the 
statistics window (obtained from typing an underscore in version 1.1, 
and some arcane code like control-CARNAGE in 2.0) to be sure.

Oddly enough, it also reduces (but does not eliminate) the damage you
take from Headless.

All of this is irrelevant, though.  You can avoid taking any damage
at all from the purple meanie by just dodging his shots.  Use 
fragmentation grenades on the Ghasts (to spare yourself the nuisance
of having to aim or even slow down), and you can easily outrun Barney.
Don't forget to pick up all the goodies on the way, and don't pause
until you're safely through the transporter, because he's not going
to be all that far behind you.  (You can give yourself a little more
time by luring him as far down towards the door as you can before you
begin running in earnest.)

-Ron Hunsinger


So why do so many people attest to the life saving properties of the Gas Mask?

Is it really a Myth?


Page maintained by Hamish Sinclair
Hamish.Sinclair123@gmail.com
Last updated Jan 3, 2003