|The Ruins of Athelstan||
QAKULA4.ZIP -- 605k
13 apr 1997
author: Timothy R. Jervis. this level has the best, most totally immersive theme i've encountered since i played Shadow Over Innsmouth. simply put, you are in the ruins. you start outdoors (topside) with a crumbling structure in the distance, a small house/silo combination behind you, and (oddly enough) a sword (appropriately textured) sticking out of a wooden stump in front of you. after dispatching the few monsters scattered about, you proceed into the depths below. this level, overall, is actually rather small, and the monster population is very light (only 23 on Hard), but it looks, feels, and plays so well you really don't care. the interior is more of the same; these ruins really do look and feel like ruins. i never did find the exit, though, and though there are plenty of switches to find and activate, two of them at the end (the axe and the button on the castle wall) didn't give any indication as to what they did. in any case, this level is definitely worth the download just to admire the architecture and play through this amazingly-immersive level. the author has indicated that he is part of the Wheel of Time TC; if this level is any indication of this TC's total quality, i'll be eagerly looking forward to it's release.
note: i know i don't normally link non-TLKA levels, but this one kicks ass in a whole different way.