|Prepare for HELL||
27 dec 1996
author: "Obi-Wan". wonderfully sprawling architecure and well-done lighting makes this level a great place to explore. many puzzles; though none are really difficult, it does take some backtracking and close observation to not only find the triggers themselves but also to discover what they activated. monster mix is good if a bit sparse and there are more than enough weapons to get the job done. only one real complaint about this level and that's with the pacing: the entire level is centered around getting the silver key. once you've gotten the silver key, getting the gold key seems more of an afterthought. it probably would have worked better if the silver key was where the grenade launcher is, with the gold key replacing the silver key. otherwise, an excellent level.
|Office of the Dead||
8 mar 1997
author: "Obi-Wan". an epic level, no doubt about it. attention to theme, pacing, and flow are simply excellent; this level plays as good as it looks. the architecture and lighting are absolutely marvelous, and this level is immersive in the extreme. it does run rather slowly in places (complexity and size again) and i caught some entities disappearing in one area. the gameplay in this one is unparalleled, though i wish i could have found a grenade launcher early enough to kill the one zombie present. secrets are marked, but not in the normal, visual manner; many times, when the monsters don't hit you with whatever they're shooting at you, their shots will hit the secret door and open it behind you or near you. keep your ears open, because the secret doors (and only the secret doors) make a distinctive noise when opening. this, to me, is the most clever use of marking secrets i've yet seen... or heard, actually. another interesting technique i've not seen anywhere else is fighting monsters in water that's more than chest deep; it's strikingly nerve-racking, especially against the death knights, because when they shoot their magic pellets at you, you can't see them. makes it kind of hard to dodge, and more challenging to fight them than usual. another must-download.
|Blood of the Martyrs||
OBIWAN3.ZIP -- 723k
10 aug 1997
author: "Obi-Wan". this level has been done in the base theme, and this base seems to be carved out of the mountains. the "natural" aspect of this level has been done convincingly, as has the base itself. this level is very large and roomy, for the most part -- cavernous rooms are found in many areas, particularly the slime area. nevertheless, this level runs smoothly due to the author's intelligent use of texturing and sparing use of unnecessary detail. the flow is good and semi-linear, but the pacing is a bit slow; with this much room to move around in, it's simplicity to dispatch the handful of grunts, enforcers, and dogs that inhabit this level. popup messages have been used, but they could have been worded a bit better, i think. a message such as "the bars have been lowered" is effective only where there are maybe one or two sets of bars in the level, instead of the four sets that are here. in addition, i found myself doing quite a bit of backtracking through large empty areas (that i had previously cleared), which does get tedious. all in all, this is a good level, but it needs a little something more.
OFFICE.ZIP -- 188k
25 sep 1997
author: "The Omnimancer". picture a series of perhaps 20 square rooms atop one another, connected by an elevator leading to the top, placed in a large square low-walled courtyard. picture groups of monsters placed with their backs to the elevator doors with various weapons and ammo placed on every other level or so. put six shamblers at the top. give it an average frame rate of roughly 7 fps, and bind a key to the phrase "packet overflow". welcome to Corporate Takeover.
OFFSPRING.ZIP -- 562k
27 apr 1997
author: Chris Williams. note: you must have the Scourge of Armagon add-on pack to play this level! it starts off quietly enough, and you're given the super shotgun and a couple of boxes of shells at the very beginning. there are a couple of secrets early on, and the combat is challenging and somewhat teeth-gritting throughout. flow is linear, and the pacing has been done well; the level runs acceptably smoothly throughout. one thing i noticed that was odd was a door that was "opened elsewhere"; the only thing that was odd about it was the fact that it was possible to jump through a window into the room the door accessed... so you didn't even need to open the door anyway. the author has used some of the specials from the Scourge pack; while they were done competently enough, they were a tad on the brutal side, and i've never been one for lethal traps. the good part is the author warns you; the bad part is that one of them is in an area you're required to travel through. health and ammo are placed generously throughout. the endgame was slightly predictable and (to my mind, anyway) far too easy due to the architecture. nonetheless, this was a fun level to play through.
|The Old House||
OLDHOUSE.ZIP -- 193k
17 sep 1997
authors: Mika Piirainen & Jouko Maksimainen. this level has been done as an old, abandoned house, and appears to be a skill-setting level for a level to follow. unfortunately, the level to follow doesn't exist, causing quake to lock up when you exit. the architecture is good and believeable, though there is significant slowing at the start. a good intro to another level... now all we need is the other level.
OPCONDOR.ZIP -- 583k
26 aug 1997
author: Scott McNutt. this level has been done in the metal style, and is extremely blocky in construction. most areas sport perpendicular architecture, with very high ceilings being common. this level is also filled with a variety of damaging structures that must be avoided on your way through the level. monster placement seems light, but the bulk of the monsters arrive in the level via teleport, and i found myself grinding my way through horde after horde of knights and the like. the only strategy you really need to know in this level is the layout of the hallways you were just in, as you spend a lot of your time backing up and shooting to avoid the rampaging knights. while i don't have that much problem with damaging structures that you have to avoid, i usually like them to make sense, and floating spiked balls that roam the corridors look and feel a bit strange, as do double-headed arrows that bounce back and forth a foot from the floor with no visible means of support or propulsion. aside from this, however, i enjoyed this level; there's a lot of stuff to climb on and jump on (i always enjoy that), the level ran smoothly throughout, and there is definitely no shortage of stuff to kill.
|The Insurrection, part II||
22 feb 1997
author: Chris Mayers. this level is the second in a series, following The Insurrection part I. functional, yet elegant, architecture, a central room that slows the game at times, some spectacular areas, and some absolutely fantastic combat are the characteristics that this level shares with it's predecessor. the lighting is again superb. this level didn't exhibit the brush seams that detracted from the previous level, though the slowdown and the flickering entities noted coming off of the first lift was a tad disappointing. once you obtain the gold key, it can be a bit frustrating to find the actual exit, as it isn't really marked or in a high-traffic area. despite those minor things, however, this level is a lot of fun.
|Out of Time||
OUT1.ZIP -- 692k
26 aug 1997
author: J.F.Gustafsson. this level has a story behind it (read it first for the best game experience) and, thus, there are two distinct themes. this is a great concept, and it has been executed well. the level begins in the base theme, and it runs very slowly through the first water area (probably due to the excellent detailing). lighting and architecture through the base section have been convincingly done. when you transport to the medieval section, the architecture stays consistently believeable. also consistent is the amount of slowing in the water area. the detailing throughout the level adds to its immersiveness; small things, like the torch holders by the gate, stand out. pop-up messages have been used to advance the plot, and i found one (under the stairway) very humorous. the endgame is definitely an endgame, and, like previous sections, looks great but runs slowly. it's too bad that the technical stuff detracted so much from this level, because with a more powerful machine, i would have had a really great time.
OUTPOST.ZIP -- 554k
26 aug 1997
author: "Creed". this level has been exquisitely done in the base theme. the architecture is utterly convincing and believeable, texturing has been done with an eye towards thematic continuity, and the lighting fits perfectly in every single area. some of the structuring is remarkable -- the long angled tunnels with the machinery indentations and the floor-level lighting above the water are two that stand out. unfortunately, this level contains some absolutely huge areas, and the size, along with the amount of detail, results in a slow-running level through most of the play areas. in addition, the monster count is extremely light for a level this size, and combat is infrequent and usually rather easy. for an exciting game, this level doesn't quite do it for me, but as an example of a beautifully-constructed and immersive playing area, look no further.
|The Keldjoran Outpost||
OUTPOST2.ZIP -- 854k
17 sep 1997
author: Benson "El-Magoo" Russell. this level has been done extremely well in the medieval style. architecture, structuring, and texturing have been done consistently and believeably throughout. playing spaces range from fairly narrow corridors and rooms to somewhat large open areas. there is some slowing in places, however, probably owing to the complexity of some of the areas. the flow is linear and the pacing is good, but some of the monster placements weren't so good for the monsters; a prime example is the fiend in the cluttered, low-ceilinged hallway. also, necessary weapons or powerups (quad damage or grenade launcher) weren't available to kill the six zombies i found. (in all fairness, these items might have been contained in the one secret i didn't find.) also, in the zombie room, the button that raised the bars didn't raise all of them; the bars in front of the rockets didn't come up. aside from the technical flaws, this is a most excellent level.
OVRRIDN.ZIP -- 1,793k
25 sep 1997
author: Travis Almand. this archive contains a .pak file which contains two levels, OVRRIDN.BSP and OVRRIDN2.BSP, along with some very very interesting and well-done QuakeC and skins. i don't want to ruin the surprise for you, but let's just say that someone other than Gyro has been working on beefing up the grunts and enforcers, okay? both of the levels included have been done in the base theme, and have been done very well. the levels, on the whole, are rather stark, but due to their size, this is not unexpected. the unexpected thing is how good and clean they look; rather than being miles and miles of boring corridors and rooms, they really do look like an alternative future base. best of all, every single area from every single angle runs smoothly. the flow is semi-linear keys are required but you have a whole lot of internal real estate to cover, and it can be a bit disorienting at times. the real treat are the monsters; i haven't been this edgy playing against grunts and enforcers in a very long time, and i especially liked the fact that i could tell them apart even from a distance (due to the skins)... but all that meant was i could feel fear earlier than normal.
Overridden is a base level that looks like some kind of power or sewage station; plenty of exposed wiring and conduits, along with a significant amount of slime and piping, enhance this impression. the flow is more linear in this one than the other, and the population seems kind of sparse until you find out what they're packing. only one secret in this level, which i found, and that thanks only to the fact that i like to explore. (the perforator is in this secret; you'll want it, trust me.) when's the last time i said you needed the perforator against grunts?
Overridden 2 is modeled after a warehouse style of base. oddly enough, the crates and boxes aren't clumped together in one area, like most warehouse-style levels, but they're scattered around in little groups in pretty dark areas... which gives this level lots of corners and nooks for monsters to hide in. again, the flow is semi-linear and mildly disorienting, but other than that, this level has no flaws that i could find. four secrets, and i found them all... and was very glad to do so. (rocket launcher! yay!)
all in all... well. get this now. 'nuff said. remarkably well done and extremely fun. i'll be keeping a copy of this one on my hard drive. i can't believe this has been on cdrom.com since May 21st and i never saw it!