UNDRHALL.ZIP -- 221k
10 aug 1997
author: Dylan Barber. a very nicely done conversion of Doom2 map02.
11 jan 1997
author: Matt Sefton. track 6 on the Quake CD works best with this level. it's a military base theme (my favorite!). the lighting and the architecture are second to none. pacing and monster placement are excellent. you are provided with the tools necessary to do the job, but the presence of the ventilator is a bit much for the monster types present in the level. the attention to detail is superb, and some architectural firsts are present; most notable is the 'laser trip-wire' hallway. the flow is linear but, thankfully, it doesn't seem that way. this level is another of those that feels like it could be an actual place somewhere; the proportions are proper and the layout is believeable. secrets are hidden (but not extremely so) and are marked. the messages are not only well done and appropriate, but they also contribute to the theme, which is something i've seen in few other levels but i could sure stand to see more, because it contributes to the theme all out of proportion to it's difficulty to implement. textures are well-chosen and well-placed, with obvious attention paid to the patterning of the texture itself -- rivets on girders (for instance) are nicely aligned and complete, unlike many other military base levels (including id's) where the rivets are truncated. all in all, a truly immersive gaming experience, and one i highly recommend; this one has it all. i wish i'd made it.
UTAH.ZIP -- 751k
6 apr 1997
author: "Utah". this level has been done in the medieval style, with lots of stone, rusted metal, and demonic imagery. you start outside the keep a la E1M5, but that's where the similarity ends. the architecture, lighting, monster placement and selection, flow, pacing, and item placement (yep, just about every critical technical facet of a level) are simply superb both in form and in function. areas are widely varied in size, dimensions, and detailing, combat is frequent and tense, weapons and ammo provided are appropriate but not overwhelming, and enough health is placed so you probably won't die. the theme has been carried off perfectly, and it always seemed like there was more to explore just around the corner. secrets are hidden but marked well, and the messages are appropriate and informative. the only thing i can think of about this level that could have used a bit of fine-tuning are some of the running speeds; some of the areas are a little detail-heavy, and the game will lurch sometimes at inopportune moments, but this is minor. the best part of this phenomenal level, to my mind, is the fact that this is this author's first level. (nope, that's not a typo.) if the author continues this quality of level design, all i've got to say is "pack your bags, Utah, because you'll be getting an invitation to visit Texas some time soon." a spectacular debut, and, of course, a must-download.