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Most _lovely_ Maps Ever?
A counter thread to Tronyn's interesting "most _evile_ maps ever".

Which are the maps, or locations, in any game (preferably FPS), that strike you as the most lovely, the most beautiful, the most serene, the most inspiring, the most "I wish this was real so I could actually be here"??

And what made those maps/locations so lovely??

And do you think "nice" mapping is used effectively in games?? Does it have a good role or purpose??
o.k there it goes my opinion...

dm map schloss.bsp in texture set and in game play the map is almost perfect

sp ac.bsp by vondur very balance level very solid contrucion and gameplay rockzzz 
The opening level of Unreal was stunningly beautiful for its time. Absolutely amazing use of ambient and musical sound aswell.

Lost Coast for HL2 is pretty damn pleasing on the peepers. Just a shame it's so short. They went a little overboard with the ole bloom effects, especially from the sun. Inside the chapel was just astoundingly lovely though.

All of Far Cry. If it weren't for the mutants I'd book a holiday there right away. 
Most Of Unreal 
I was blown away too many times to count. Bluff Eversmoking, Na Pali Haven, that massive tower leading to Na Pali haven, that monastery, the castle which featured in the intro many levels (can't remmeber their names tho :{). 
Ignoring The "FPS" Angle... 
Riven. And the other Myst games, but mainly Riven. 
Oh Indeed 
unreal was awesome!
bluff eversmoking, isv kran, etc, etc

gotta remember more levels with time. 
that one map in the Uru addon; "ahnonay" awesome looks, and the concept of it was really cool 
Avanipaala Praasaada 
I still think this map is memorable for its pure, sunkissed shangrila type style; especially daring given that its for a game that is otherwise filled with blood, skulls and shadows. 
beyond good and evil (I'd live there!)
Rune( pretty atmospheric game on UT1 tech)
FaKK2 1st level

all are third person action/adventure, oddly

(u can see shots on gamespot or soome other review..) 
Yeah, Beyond Good and Evil had some nice areas, I liked the initial watch-tower-secret-base, I'd definatly live there, you can even go check out giant whales not far away... To bad the game didn't quite live up to what it was claiming to be though (but that's offtopic).

And again I agree with Speeds, Fakk2 had some great areas.

I can't believe there are 2 french games in your list Speeds. =) 
Seconding Avanipaala Praasaada 
As well as Far Cry and the first level of Unreal. Palm trees and waterfalls. The music in Unreal was nice too, added to the atmosphere.

I also should mention the new Prince of Persia games. Beautiful level design, lovely locales. 
What I Really Want For Christmas Is A Palace Like That One, Daddy! 
Agreeing with areas of Unreal, FAKK 2, and Prince of Persia. PoP really made me say, "dag, I so want to live here."

Which I guess is just another level of the user's attachment to the environment and, by association, the game. Instead of just "wow that looks cool" the player says "wow that looks cool I'm going to move there!"

Also, in the case of Unreal, I think it can serve a purpose in the setting of the game. i.e. the natural environment made me feel even moreso that the Nalis were living a peaceful and happy life, but they got stuck in the middle of a Skaarj take over and just wanted to go back to living in paradise without conflict. 
Rune has some great designs. Not only castles/builings but also some awesome caves/mountains with ruins and goblin huts there. 
Some Games 
I agree with the Unreal outdoor maps and the overgrown temples. Some user maps out there for UTSP also capture NaPali's beauty very well.

Unreal 2 had some nice areas such as the base on the beach (that tall tower), the various hilly and vegetated outdoor spots, the serene desert map where an attack takes place and the calm and gentle winter planet. Take out the enemies and there are some pretty settings.

The garden in System Shock 2. Graphically it was no big wow but the concept of a spaceship borne garden with that tinkling music as a serene getaway from the tech style sardine can that was the rest of the ship was a neat concept. I wonder if you had to book those rooms off of the center garden for some quiet time.

Diablo 2 - Act V: The chilly late fall fields at the base of the mountains with bunnies hopping along would be a nice hiking or biking place if it wasn't for all those things trying to kill you. Deep in the ice caves, the still green waters surrounded by ice walks are also nice to look at.

Prince of Persia 4: Agreed with above comments. Much beauty. I'd return but the icky controls keep me away more so then the environmental hazards. Breathtaking vistas await. Really impressive settings outside, inside, in-cave - nice. 
new Prince of Persia games. Yes. Too bad warrior within sucks.
Second level of Unreal
Enclave had some beautiful areas, that bit with the ruin on top of the stone pillar and some cute little houses with lots of rivers and forests around.
FAKK had some nice areas, can't remember them tho, should replay that game some day.
First two Oddworld games. Both too beautiful for words.
Anywhere along the canals and coast in HL2.
The floating city in Painkiller was really serene and relaxing, but not really pretty.

oh holy crap I wrote this four hours ago and then I played super metroid but forgot to click submit first 
Super Mario Sunshine: the beach level especially. PoP4 and BG&E as mentioned earlier. Some spots in WoW are pretty nice. Some of the islands in Zelda: Windwaker. 
Old Monastery. :o 
daikatana e3m1+

uru was great in general. so much FUCKING style i could just whine. the myst people know what they do, gfx wise.

unreal2 that map with spiders and beaitufl doors.

alice, nobody mentioned alice. all of it, every single map.

and (if you dont count boredom) the d3 maps will count, too. very polished, very beautiful. just that they're all the same - ugh.

painkiller had some neat stuff, too. 
Hold On... 
are we really just saying which maps have good graphics? I thought we were talking about which maps had pretty locations that you'd want to visit in real life. I wouldn't want to be in doom3 in real life, would you? 
The latter, definitely. It's not about maps that look GOOD or IMPRESSIVE or AMAZINGLY DESIGNED. But about ones that looks, well, just plain lovely places to be.

Most people get it ;) 
I wonder if id has *ever* made a map which fits this description. probably not, morbid bastards :)

Though an Avanipaala Praasaada type map in Q3 would be great. 
My Picks 
AvP2: some of the maps from the Alien and Marine campaigns
Daikatana: some maps from the Dark Age Norway episode
Unreal: first 2 levels and Bluff Eversmoking 
To Tronyn 
it's not fps, but in commander keen 4 the starting forest was quite nice with all the old trees slowly blinking in the background and the bouncy smily ball and the pogo stick, the water drops, the huts, the slugs - all very positive. And your blaster only stunned the animals, it didn't kill them.

I wish id returned to something other than doom and gloom for a while.

You can get the from the net. Btw the readme says: Copyright (c) 1991, Id Software Inc., Madison, Wisconsin, USA. 
Thread Hijack 
Sonic and Knuckles: Mushroom Hill Zone
GTA: Vice City (No one particular "level" just all of it)
aaaaannnndddd ummmmmm that floaty castle spire level from UT the original. 
i'd love to visit the first map of pong!

and maybe some of the alice maps, too. 
Thats Ut2k4 
^ UT2K4 
That is the best map I have ever seen linked at this board, ever. 
Looks Very Nice 
but if its not sp (which is more than likely given its ut2k4), the layout looks dodgy. 
Other Stuff 
frankly saying, water and sky are very good, but growth and rocks are not 
really ?

shots looked good to me (I havent got the game so cant say in game.

what do you think is wrong about rocks and growth ? 
not convincing, too smooth, UT lighting fails (definately no match for HL2 light) 
For A Onslaught Map 
which I assume has many players, surely there would be r_speed type issues with too much detail. 
gg on finding weathered mountains, now notice how much UTs light and texture is inferior to the work of nature

well, take HL2 rocks and see how much more realism they have (atleast the surface rendering) 
notice how much UTs light and texture is inferior to the work of nature

Certainly it's not the only game people still enjoy regardless of it's engine abilities. 
Ignorant Babble 
I noticed that HL2 had some really nice rocks in shots of that beach map created by some user I forget.
Damn if I had the energy and time and resources I'd like to try to test-model some real world place in hl2.

Currently, I don't have the game or even a clue about the geometry and texturing technologies it has.

It seems hl2 anyway has good textures and lighting, it goes a pretty long way! 
Lots of good replies there. Unfortunately mostly too good that I'll just be repeating what others have said.

Now, I've seen a lot of inspiring and impressive settings in games, but not all of them have the real beauty, the real "I would just love to live there aspect". But there's some that I think do:

In game:

Unreal - Na Pali Haven - really soothing and just great floating above the clouds.

Unreal - Bluff Eversmoking - setting is great, on a mountain top, and the whole atmosphere is enticing and intriguing.

Unreal - Illhaven - well, duh. Very cute and quaint and just generally nice.

FAKK2 - first map at least, maybe later ones. Really nice exotic vibe, good views, nice chicks, etc...

Daikatana - a couple of maps, the start of E3 and one or two in E2 as well.

Enclave - there were some in this, I've just forgotten them >:(.

HL2 - pretty sure there are some places there.

Painkiller - yeah that monastry island, a bit eerie but also beautiful and magical.

Far Cry - many places, once you've cleared them out of all hostiles. Tropical paradise!

Guild Wars - many places, but in particular the Shiverpeak mountains in general. Some of the isolated villages up there are just delightful - quaint houses, nice scenery, amazing views. Possibly the most "I'd like to live there" places I've seen... 
Pre-searing ascalon is very nice indeed. I keep a low level character there just so I can go back and wander around from time to time. :P The LionsArch pvp arena entrance is pretty too.

Of all the game locations I've visited though, I'd have to say Morrowind would be my top holiday destination. I could quite happily just lay back on a hillock and watch the planets. Just as long as a diseased rat doesn't come and nibble on my toes. 
The most lovely maps I've played lately were in the Operation Na Pali mod for Unreal/UT. There was a ruined Nali temple, half submerged in water and lava, with a palpable sense of decay and disaray everywhere: collapsed pillars, rickety walkways, and occasional scripted sequences where stuff would fall as you passed through the level. Wouldnt want to actually live there, but the sense of place was astounding.

ONP also had some very consistently nice outdoor cliff/canyon areas, with good sky lighting. 
If you got "I would just love to live there" feeling about HL2 - just move your ass to Russia or somewhere like Poland ;) 
I'm Thinking 
of buying an island and creating my own country, which I shall rule with an iron fist. Think City 17, but with statues of me in place of those silly horses. You're all welcome to come and be supressed and beaten by my legions of autonomous soldiers there, if you like. 
In Addition To ONP... 
The 7 Bullets SP mod and the Xidia mods had beutiful, calming temples, outdoor areas and even some of the tech levels that overlooked a big lake. And caves with ferns and things growing.

The Unreal universe was drawn to beauty in the same way that Quake was drawn to dreariness. (Both are good.) 
I've been re-collecting and running through a lot of the old q2 DM maps I recall playing Eraserbots in years ago.

The Crucible is the sexiest map I've ever seen. All black, and the brushwork is so simple but the textures are all put together absolutely perfectly. The recessed bits with that ridiculously useful 32-square vent grate in it, and a trim of red neon ... oooh.

Looking back on it now I dunno if I'd have been as much of a fan of the gameplay (like piling all the ammo for a weapon next to the weapon ... I'm glad I unlearned that), but the architecture and ztn's favorite cathedral lighting is still damn fine. 
beaten it to death (uhmm.. rl/RA whoring@500fph, uhmm... spot on about the ammo placement :))

wouldnt call it pretty, but thats about the way I see it (hardly black, rather red-purplish) :

btw, who invented this style of mapping
(minimal, functional and proportional brushwork with some angles and nice diretional lighting) Ztn or headshot?
Most of
Q4 dm maps are very much like that 
Uhmm Uhmm Uhmm 
Insofar as you're looking for a map that's picturesque, no, it's not lovely at all, but I meant more in terms of execution. 
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