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1964 -- Echoes of the Past 1964.ZIP -- 669k
9 jul 1998
Author: J.F. Gustafsson. This level begins with an odd origin and a somewhat helpful F1. The architecture throughout this level runs toward the smaller end of the scale, and the larger areas are often cluttered with additional architecture that inhibits movement, making them feel smaller than they are. I was a bit confused by the theme, I must admit, so I'll have to assume that the structures and texturing adhered to this theme; in any case, the texturing, lighting, and architectural style remained consistent throughout, being (apparently) modeled after some sort of mid-60s war-torn area. Shattered brick walls and structures comprise a large part of the decor, along with an "underground" feel (lava and abundant stone). The flow is linear and the pacing is erratic; due to the constrictive play spaces, weaker monsters can be made more effective, yet the stronger monsters were present in quantity. Specials have been used to good effect, for the most part, but I didn't care for the red armor baited trap. Nitpicks: one logic question: how did the tank get in there?; all of the lava I saw had no egress, making any accidental slip fatal; the "Super Mario Brothers" feel of getting the blue key by the downed helicopter, as well as the "brick wall climb," was a bit tedious... loading and loading and loading because I missed the jump (and underestimated how far I would slide after landing) got annoying; and you can get permanently stuck in the level. All in all, an interesting effort, but too full of annoyances for me to enjoy.
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1stEver 1ST.ZIP -- 34k
13 jan 1998
Author: Pete Bennett. This is a very small level, consisting of a pool of water, a small house on stilts, and a medic. Decent proportions, and good use of colored lighting; should be interesting to see what this author can come up with.
<no rating>

REoL Tough: Armageddon 5FIFFY1.ZIP -- 727k
3 may 1998
Author: George Fiffy. This level begins with a terse F1 and no clear origin point. The architecture throughout this level runs toward the blocky side, with most walls and ceilings being perpendicular to one another. The flow through this level is semi-linear, with side areas to explore, and the pacing is somewhat erratic -- very tough combat situations will be followed by very easy ones. Enough weapons and ammo have been provided to do the job, and finding them usually involves a fair bit of exploration. Texture selection and placement is a bit odd with many areas having textures that don't seem to belong. Though the architecture is clean and somewhat bare, some intermittent slowing was noted. Lighting has been done adequately, though there are many areas that seem to have arbitrary colored lighting applied (from the text file, I found that the author is not using an OpenGL-capable card, which explains this). The secrets in this level are good, and I enjoyed the pop-up messages that displayed when I found them. There is no clear endgame buildup, so the end seems to come a bit abruptly. Nitpick: unmarked instant-death traps suck. All in all, a capable first effort that could have used some detailing work.
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REoL TOUGH: The Unforgiven 5FIFFY2.ZIP -- 658k
9 jul 1998
Author: George J. Fiffy II. This level begins with an odd origin and a good F1. The architecture throughout this level runs toward the blocky/square end of the scale (as it did in this author's first effort). Texturing has been done well, with no truncations or misalignments, though the texture selection features a very "grey" feel. With most of the lighting being white (the text file indicates the author does not have a GL card), this greyness is emphasized, making the level feel very stark and forbidding. Some colored lighting has been used for emphasis and effect, and I have to admit I liked the little projection units. The flow in this level is semi-linear; you can pretty much choose your own path, with some switches being required to open new areas, but this can be frustrating... in one attempt, I dispatched over half the monsters in the level before I found anything bigger than the blaster. Semi-linear levels are, in and of themselves, just as fun and challenging as linear ones, but I guess I'm more dense than the average player, and I like to have some indication of where I'm supposed to go next. Nitpicks: some HOM noted; and the lighting is a little on the bright side.
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