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New Q1SP: Conflagrant Rodent
After a year and a half of on and off working, my map is finally ready for release. Get ready for a journey through a broken down castle, flooded with water and lava, inhabited by over a hundred baddies.

The first part of the map may seem a little dull, climbing through the cave. But once you reach the castle itself is when the real fun starts.

All skill levels are supported. Hard is hard, easy is easy, etc. So if you play on hard, be prepared for a tough fight.

I have spent so much time and sweat into making this map look the absolute best it can possibly be. To make it not only look good, but play good. This map is more complex than anything I have ever built in the past.

Because of being such a large map, it pushes the boundaries and limits of Quake, so an enhanced engine is required to play. Fitzquake, Enhanced GLQuake, DirectQ, and Darkplaces should all suffice.

Map info such as vis time and construction etc can be found in the oms2.txt. The texture .wad is also included in the .zip

Thanks to my testers: Necros, =peg=, Polarite, Cortex and Rocketguy for their very helpful advice.

Thanks to Willem for his modified multithreaded vis tool.

Thanks to Metlslime for his newskip tool.

And finally, special thanks to aguiRe for his patience, tools, and skills, for without his help and dedication, this map would not have been possible. You rock man :)

The only thing left to do now is download and have fun! And as always, first run demos are appreciated :)


Looks nice. Wish I had a working engine to play it on. :P 
@dreadlorde: If all you need is the engine that's no problem at all. You can get fitzquake next door => 
I'm On Fire 
This was great!

Eight skill1 demos: (thanks negke for quicksave recording trick)

I'm still quite worn out from playing this behemoth so I'll keep this short. This map looks tremendous, you can easily see how much time and effort was put into this - it oozes polish everywhere. The custom textures drew this map over the top, it's a very simple change (wbrick turned terracotta) but it's very powerful. The animated fire looks much better in game than in the screenshots. I did wish for a black (void.tga) skybox though, to suit the burning trees better (and for easier rendering :))

Most of the gameplay is pretty meat and potatoes but with an occasional novelty (or several). Reminded me of czg's maps in that aspect (03, terra5). The combats were very high octane, I was on my toes constantly. The vores mostly sucked though, and I would appreciate more health (it's skill 1 after all). The finale, again, drove this map OTT.

I see you're not very proud of the cave section at the beginning but personally I liked it a lot, with all the climbing up and looking down - the player constantly sees his progression. It's a bit like the lost e2m6 cave part, or the Sunspire outdoors in Unreal (this is a compliment).

Thank you for this great map. I dare say this one rivals arwop/masque in scale and scope :P 
In Case I Sounded Like An Idiot, 
I did wish for a black (void.tga) skybox though, to suit the burning trees better (and for easier rendering :))

this is what I meant
I was playing on a laptop and it got really sluggish when I hit the area with those three buttons.

Here's a demo of my first try but it stops when I die for the first time (got pissed off and had to quit):

I'll continue playing tomorrow. So far it looks good but the fps drops brought the exprience down a bit. 
The map is awesome, congrats.
The details are incredible, so much broken objects, you really pushed the Quake engine to the max.

But I have a complain - it's way TOO HARD. I played on easy and it was ok, I died a few times, but that's no problem. Ammo is "too low", I found myself a few times just with the axe and the grenade launcher facing a shambler...and that sucks bad.

But the main problem is the end battle - I just couldn't finish it without cheating. Now, I'm now a very skilled played, but I'm not noob, I'm playing Quake since 96, it's my favorite game, I played all the maps that I could get, I can finish Quake on nightmare without any problems.

But this map I simply couldn't finish and remember it's on EASY. This is very frustrating, I found this in almost all games, the end (or the boss) is too hard on easy - this is a MAJOR problem - you have 4 skills :
-nightmare : make it almost impossible to finish, I don't really care
-hard : make it hard, but not frustrating, skilled played should finish it on a few tries
-normal : casual, it shouldn't be too hard, but also not very easy, a casual FPS player should finish in a few tries
-easy : that's it man, that's it - EASY - that means that even an unexperienced player should be able to finish, I'm very sorry, but a guy like me that finish Quake on nightmare should be able to finish your map without using the mouse !!!

Sorry for this, but I had to told you that, I know that there are a lot of people that likes challenges, ok, they can play on nightmare, but PLEASE in the future make easy EASY 
Nice map with alot of good ideas.

BUT! There's alot of problems in it: extremely complex brushwork that quake engine doesn't like. Alot of things was possible to build much more effective there. Giant areas with huge r_speeds, that was also possible to avoid if to build with r_Speeds in mind. Alot of slopes that slowly pushed me to LAVA. Alot of places where silly jump leaded to death. And final battle is just deathtrap. It's kinda unplayable.
I died because of poor design in the area near the final room, u'll see in the demo.

Despite alot of problems, this level has nice quake feel to it and rly nice little things here and there, bad things will go away if u'll improve :D 
Added To Eventual Playlist Of Maps 
looks great. 
Skill 0 Problem 
Looks really nice orl, I appreciate all the details - good job on the architecture, even though Vondur is probably correct. Nice feel.

I have to admit that I also found skill 0 too hard, way too hard, and also ran out of ammo and started axing things right before leaving the cave. Tried six or seven times, and the last time I made it into the castle (with only grenades left), and was exploded by a vore while trying to dodge a lot of monsters and hearing a shambler close by.

I realize that I say this about every map (easy too hard), but at least this time I'm not the only one :-/

I only play Quake since 2004 - 2006 and almost never play online, and I usually play pretty different games actually, so I didn't absorb Quake with my mother's milk like some of you here.

I do probably suck, but the degree of difficulty in most maps nowadays (ON EASY) is ridiculous for me, which means that I can't enjoy them.

Easy should have lots and lots of ammo and health, to start with. I saw your map has over 130 monsters on Easy, which is just too much even for a large map.

Easy should be id easy, pretty much. Throw health and ammo at the player like there's no tomorrow. And do put them on the main path.

The player should meet almost no resistance on easy, get to know the map, and if he liked it he will replay it on Normal.

negke's latest map had an OK easy skill, btw. Madfox' was way too hard as well though. Let's not start about Tronyn's maps.

Great architecture is a nice thing, but remember people are meant to play those levels and even enjoy them. Making skill 0 really easy takes nothing away from other skill settings.

Try having non-veterans playtest your skill levels. Your mom should be able to finish on skill 0. 
gb, you read my mind, it's exactly what I feel.
But this tend to be a problem with all games. I play a lot of games on PC, XBOX 360 and PS3 and almost all of them are extremly hard on easy - a few months ago I finished Uncharted, it also has 4 difficulty levels - easy, normal, hard and crushing. Let me tell you that - I spend more than 2 days on the last level until I managed to finish it, you must have very fast reaction, you have to stay under cover, quickly get up, instant aim and shoot, then duck again or you die.

I do think that's the problem with the guys that test the games (they play all day long the same game, over and over - sometime for more than one year and they feel it's easy, but's it's not)

Orl probably made the same mistake, he tested his own map and he knows every corner of it, every move that a monster will make, etc.

That's not the way to test the easy skill, you have to ask someone who plays FPS games only from time to time and he's not very good - if he manages to finish the map without major problem (he can die a few times, it's ok, but not get stuck at a point) then it's ok. If not, add more health, ammo, everything that's needed.

In this map I found that ammo was the main problem (it's no use that you get almost all weapons, if you're out of nails and shells), grenade launcher is not good against flying wizards and shamblers and it's even dangerous for you in small rooms or when you get trapped in a corner..

The second problem was health, way too low, on easy you should find health boxes after each fight and near bad monsters (shambler, vore) you should have megahealth and at least green armor.

The edges are fun, you just have to be carefully, btw, I found a "shortcut" in the map, there's some bars blocking you to get to some broken bridge over lava, you have to press 3 buttons to open it, I didn't press the buttons, instead I jumped on some arches nearby and bypassed those grates :) 
The fiend ambush where he jumps across the lava...'mazing lava scapes and rickety stairs. Didn't shoot all those targets for secret though, which would have made end easier. Thanks 
OK, OK.... 
I haven't finished this map yet, but here are my thoughts so far:

lighting is a bit bland, but good nonetheless. Just seemed a bit bright on my computer. Lights are well positioned, and there are plenty of effects (flickering etc) which make it seem atmospheric. Brushwork is very good, the scale of the rockwork is pretty massive, which makes the texture look a bit checkerboard style. Having said that, it is mich to see a map which feels this organic.
Gameplay is tough, and frustrating in a way because you can't just plod through the map, you have to really explore it. Doing so will lead to better guns (quite early on) and much needed armour and ammo. A couple more shells near the start would have been useful.

This map is challenging (on skill 3) but not rediculous, and when I get a chance later I will finish playing it.

Nice work! 
I didn't go deep into the map to keep my first impressions and to let me time to appreciate everything, and may be I'm too emotive, but I love it.

The great sceneries give a dimension I've never seen before in Quake which reminds me the only thing I appreciated in LOTR.

Everything is very well done, proportions are coherent, from the big landscape to the small broken elements, and the whole scene feels natural.

I hope the exploration will last very long.

Thank you. 
Very Nice // skill 1

Good map. I really like the broken stuff. Nice details - proper ruin feel. Great trimwork. The caverns look good, too. Although sometimes there are slippery slopes and clippy corners. Lighting is so-and-so, could have used stronger contrasts. Kind of surprised me as you specifically criticized the lighting in my map as being bland even though this one feels minlightier. But it doesn't look bad, so whatever.

There's some unncessariy sloppiness like torches floating ~16 units away from the walls, floating brushes too, not all-neatly aligned textures, and sometimes brushwork that could have been improved upon for performance and compiling. You could have reduced the polycount (and thus marksurfaces) by turning 'manual' detail into individual textures, and possibly some clips here and there. Though this still wouldn't have brought the map under the limits, of course. Too bad you didn't change the lanterns; the buring trees and the fires behind the bricks , while being a nice idea, looked a bit too comic-like as well. Classic ORL style. :)

Gameplay was tough. I'd already skimmed through the thread, so I knew what I was in for, and played on Normal. Ammo seemed tight at times, but I always managed somehow. Died a few times, mostly thanks to the lava I think. Probably had a good of amount luck, too. I found only one secret. The poison one? And if that was the one I think it was, how are people supposed to survive the end battle without?
I could have skipped a large part of the map as I jumped up the rocks in front of the large broken gate at first. :) 
You released a file with the same name as the previous release, you make me very unhappy. 
> I could have skipped a large part of the map as I jumped up the rocks in front of the large broken gate at first. :)

I noticed this as well.

More playtesting needed :-)

Should there be a playtesting "group" somehow, maybe at quaddicted, that consists of volunteers, complete with email addresses? This way it would be easier to get more playtesters for a map, for everyone. 
Hi Orl 
I think the map was bloody good. Well it is partly because I have managed to survive on easy skill (had to noclip twice to avoid lava but I hope you forgive). I have read earlier posts before playing your map and was prepared to save every shell.
The architecture is lovely. It has a very quakey feel for me. The details, brushwork, broken parts, the fire behind walls and the burning trees create a great atmosphere. The caverns looked great also.
I hate jumping over lava. I do.
I have found the same shortcut as negke but it didn't lessen the enjoyment. I could shoot some monsters in the back which I love to do from time to time.
End battle was ok. But not fitting for easy skill (you were joking in the txt right?). You teach the player what to expect so one can prepare.
I had plenty of ammo and armour through the whole level but I was warned not to spare anything. Grenade usage is the key.
Where are the secrets???
All in all I appreciate the effort you put in creating this map. It is a very good one. You will get some critics for the skill settings and for the lightning.

First play demo on easy. I have made some comments during play. Enjoy: 
This Map Grinds My Gears 
...And dats the way I like it. Great challenge, needing mario jumping and running just to get the ammo you need (like at the silver key area). Played at skill 1 and managed 161/168. As soon as the shambler and rest popped up at the end battle I was done for. That area needed manouvering room for sure to win. There was no lame monster placement in this map, all well engineered.

Overall, nothing boring here. 1st class atmosphere. 
Wait, 1 Thing... 
You got water going up-hill near a lamp post outdoor area. That's Quake though. 
Nice to look at with all its details but 1 too many in-your-face surprise scenarios and an 'are you kidding me' combat moment at the end.

I found 1/3 secrets (the mega-health with 2 zombies) on Normal, but could have used the other 2 due to the brutal gameplay.

Architecturally this is a gem, but a few areas could have done with some more clipping to keep the player situated or keep the player out -- I dropped into the final area from above, much to my demise.

The texturing was good, too. It kinda looked like MadFox's and Negke's last maps' love-child ;)

I loved the lightning strike!

Good stuff, Orl! 
Great Map 
Some of the best eye candy ever in a Quake 1 map. I read before I played it that ammo was scarce so I was conservative and got through but the final battle even on easy I don't think was supposed to be conqured and I didn't.
Didn't stumble on any secrets. Great detail. Cool lift. I thought sliding on those rocks was part of the challenge. I don't know how you guys keep coming up with great Quake 1 maps but I'm glad you do. If John Carmack ever plays these maps he must feel good about something that's lasted so long. 
I mean, this is pretty fucking rad.

I love this map. It's my first Orl map, and it was a pretty fucking badass intro.

Loved the theme and the way it was carried out, loved the cave sections.
loved the shitty textures (sorry), and didn't suffer from slow downs.
played on skill 1 and it was just right for me. found 1 secret. killed all monsters cept one.
I agree that the end wasn't a great scenario. Nowhere near enough wiggle room, and respawning items there may have been better... but whatever, fuck. the architecture was SUPER detailed in some places in very nice ways, and the 'checkerboard' textures, the goofy trees, the misalignments that did exist? they all added to the kind of old skoolness permeates this map.

so yeah, congratulations, I really loved this and I'm looking forward to seeing what you do next! 
Holy Crap That Was Hard... 
But it was pretty good. I played through on nightmare, level design was pretty interesting, very intricate brushwork. One thing i noticed about the brushwork is it reminds me of my early levels, where i used to create as many details as i could with brushes - its not really a bad thing, but its like negke said.

Difficulty was moderate at the beginning - i was okay until i got to the part with the two spawning shamblers after the broken bridge - the shamblers weren't a problem, but after that the difficulty seemed to ramp up dramatically, mainly after going to the lift. The lift part was hard, but after 3 loads i managed to get through by nading the scrags and sniping the vores from afar with the SNG.

The ending was RIDICULOUS. I was so tempted to use cheats but i didn't, the area i found was poor placement for the shambler. It had virtually no cover, except for a tiny pointy brick that only hid the shambler from spotting me. The only way i could do it was a mix of shamb dancing while perforating it with nails, and dodging the scrags. The real reason i survived is that when he jumped he faced the other way so he didn't hit me enough, and gave me an opening to do some damage.

Lighting was normal, was nice in some places, but for the most part seemed pretty ordinary. I really liked the little touches, such as the mechanism to open the final door, I'm guessing you used 3 trains with synced movement to do that?

This level really gave me that quake feeling from when i was a kid, and i felt the game was too hard - this i liked. It gave the level a fresh feeling that i haven't seen in other levels. Overall, was a satisfying experience, good level, difficulty was a bit inconsistent, but it was worthy of the skill nightmare lol.

And nice trap at the end where that one death knight drops down from above, it almost got me heh. 
The worst part about this level: cheap combat ambushes. Getting the silver key was awkward (quicksave made it palatable.)

The best parts: great sense of exploration, great jumping/traversal puzzles, great brushwork, epic scope and feeling, lighting was good (brighter than average, but after i turned down my gamma and it was perfect.) Old school atmosphere, new school detailing. 
The End... 
The 'choose your poison...' secret is key to surviving the end, otherwise it is nigh impossible. Re-spawning items would be better off here than in the swim-in-lava-for-the-silver-key area.

Which classic Quake level was it that you had to shoot all of the face textures to get a secret? ;) 
This is easily the best "cave style" map that has ever been made for Quake, imho. 
Re: Lighting 
I've just noclipped through the map again when my monitor was still cold, and then it looked good and moody. Yesterday it had already been on for a couple of hours - the picture gets brighter the more it warms up. 
Nice map Orl, but there is one problems with arch (maybe its problem of my client - directQ) - I tried ~20 times to get into the hole where 1st secret located (the only way is /noclip) but no luck.
Final secret was great, but what is the reason to put teleporter to final room near the door to it? Didn't managed to find the 3rd one :/ 
Thanks All For The Kind Words 
I understand your complaints, the map is far too easy. I need to tighten health and ammo, put in more monsters and traps with less space to move around :)

But in all seriousness, yes the map is hard. But I honestly didn't think it was that hard. I will have to reconsider what is easy and what is hard for future maps. I have no trouble completing the map on hard skill, but I don't take nightmare skill into account, because I think its rather unfair.

I have watched all your demos and enjoyed them :)

@negke: You were the most critical of all. While I watched your demo, it seemed like you weren't enjoying yourself, which makes it seem like I failed to provide you a fun experience. I understand its important to point out small inconsistencies like floating brushes and torches but gee whiz, when you see one pixel out of place you go crazy :D

But make no mistake, I'm glad you pointed those things out. Its only to help improve for later.

As for the lighting, like I said with your map it wasn't really an issue at all. I'm not trying to be hypocritical or anything. And what you got against minlight? :)

@RaverX: You are right, when you play the map enough times, you know it inside out, and it becomes much easier, not good for beta testing.

@Spirit: My apologies for that.

@metlslime: Yes, I do realize now that some parts of the map, especially the final area is a bit cheap with the ambushes. I guess I thought at the time, it wouldn't have been so bad.

@AAS: There is a small ledge that you have to land on near the hole, which will make it easier to jump in the hole. Its to the left of the hole, a bit hard to see. I'm not sure what you mean when you say what the reason is to put a teleporter to final room near the door to it. Could you elaborate on that?

And to everyone, onetruepurple, RaverX, Vondur, gb, steveanus, RickyT23, lxndr, negke, Ankh, roblot, generic, Lizard, Drew, Bloodshot, metlslime, Baker and AAS, thank you all for the kind words, they are very much appreciated. And despite the maps faults, I'm glad you all enjoyed it :) 
i think a good rule of thumb is to always rank a skill level 1 higher than what you think it is.

like, if you're playing and you feel 'this is about normal skill for me'. then it's actually hard. if it feels way too easy, it's probably just about right for normal.

don't worry, i think nearly all mappers get this unless they get lucky or have some kind of prior experience. 
I want to say first and foremost that I like the map, but I'm going to be really critical so it might seem like I don't like it when I really do.

Too many 'ruined' areas, which hogged all the detail and left the rest of the map both chuggish (that's partly due to the exuberant smoothness of the terrain) as well as boring to look at. I would recommend spreading out the detail by a bit, even it out and realize you only have to give the 'idea' of a ruined temple/whatever.

Too many jumping puzzles and things of that sort. A couple areas imo suffered because of the jumping puzzle-ness of nearby areas, where the combat space felt much too small because it made room for jumping puzzle space.

The ending especially was too damn small. It was such a huge finale but I'm stuck on this little platform - would have been better in a bigger arena where I could at least move around, and you could have also spread out where the enemies spawn from to make it that much more a dynamic experience.

The path was not overly confusing, but I did get lost once or twice trying to find my way back. It's one of the hardest things to do with a more non-linear level like this, but keeping the main path clear is important and (only in a couple spots!) I think the map failed.

I did like some of the more exploratory areas, especially the 3-button area. I got lost, but it was still a good bit of searching, and risking false comparisons, felt a bit like Zelda or some other adventure game. That was cool.

Good stuff, looking forward to your next map. 
Demos - Skill 2 
I have tried skill 2 on my second run through.
It wasn't that hard with the experience from my first run (except for the lava death traps).
the final battle also is manageable. I have recorded a separate demo without quad and survived on first try. 
I told about this teleporter - what it for?
I already opened a door to the final room and IMO there is no need to extra tele with a same destination. 
Orl: Nah, it wasn't all that bad. I just would have wished for more casual gameplay at times, less near-death experiences. I usually don't watch my firstrun demos, so maybe they unintentially make me come across as a dick? Commenting on things I see (and occasinally cursing) may interrupt the usual flow, but they are really just to make it more interesting for you to watch - live feedback, so to speak. You could say pedantry is my middle name, but the things I mentioned are really my pet peeves, stuff that could have been easily avoided in a final release.

Minlight, however low, makes the map look washed out. The brighter the monitor is (or becomes), the more noticable it is. Besides, it's pro and leet and cool to hate on it. :) Like I said, the map looked better when I loaded it on a cold screen.

AAS: The teleporter most likely is for coop mode. 
Great Map ! 
I had MHColour 2009 make a .lit file for it.
It took 8 (!) hours to complete, that should be a record. But it looks great ! I am a great fan of maps like this. They give you a real sense of exploration.

Quote from Negke "I could have skipped a large part of the map as I jumped up the rocks in front of the large broken gate at first. :)"

I did that too. The 1st thing I do with new maps is trying them out for stuff like that.

I love it so far, I'm going to finish it now ! 
Fantastic !
I only got 184 monsters, maybe because I didn't find any secrets ? The ending is a little difficult, but the monsters fighting each other can really help you out there. Besides that, you could go there with 100 + health and yellow armor from the silver key area, so it's not at all undo-able.

Really, a great map ! 
Great Work 
I finally had the time to play this and it was great fun. I loved the architecture and all those impressive rocks and caves. All those damaged buildings were super.

It was a bit too hard for me on skill 0 but not impossible. I had to /god 2 times including the end fight. I guess I could have made the end fight with more space but I couldn't use my grenades in that tight spot and had no LG so how was I supposed to kill all of those monsters?! As long as I had ammo for SNG it was ok but afterwards it seemed impossible. I had no QUAD though, only secret I found was the MH very early.

The lava traps annoyed me sometimes, I saved and loaded often because of those and /noclipped out of a few. (I know I'm a Quake SP lamer, hehe.)

The cage taking you over the lava and the animation when the door to the final fight opened were especially cool.

A great map overall. I found no floating brushes and though the lighting doesn't look to hot on those screenies it didn't bother me in-game. I'll watch the demos Ankh posted now.

Thumbs up from me Orl. 
Btw I Forgot 
33:52, 1/3, 135/138 @ skill 0 
Holy Fuck 
I thought this was brilliant!! The visual style is spectacular and I thought the gameplay was tough but not frustrating on Normal (end is fine if you have the GL with a bit of ammo).

Only gripe was a few slowdowns, basically in big open areas with not much visblocking which the quake engine struggles with too much. 
What Nitin Said. 
Amazing map. The designs are next level business. So many cool details.

The big area was ridiculously slow but great to play around. I went the wrong way which was fun.

All the ruined bits and water / lava details were ace.

The lava jumping was fairly annoying. I did okay with it but it was mostly due to luck which is dissatisfying.

The gameplay was mostly fine, sometimes good especially in the slow bit. It was hard on hard but okay in most places where you had room to think. Only the lava lift was annoying....again due to lava not fighting.

The ending was farcical. Not sure how that slipped through in an otherwise excellent map?? I guess your playtesters didn't test that bit.

Thankfully there's an easy way to avoid it. Grenade jump past the YA and this triggers the exit rock but not the door bars. Either exit or just return to the door and kill things as normal. 
Re: Ending 
that was the one part of the map that i didn't have problems with, ironically.

it hinges on anticipating where monsters will spawn and on my first run, i guessed right and lobbed grenades onto the raised floor. the only tight part was the shambler, but if you catch the other monsters right, you should have enough armor and health left to take a few hits from the shambler before you down it.
or at least, that's how it was for me. o.o 
never found the sng, so 2 shamblers and a bunch of scrags landing on my head at the end with just the ng was a bit too difficult. not impossible, but not fun either.

the rest of the map was great. i was expecting it to be too difficult and not enough ammo from what others said, but it was pretty normal. adequate ammo and health.

i loved all the little broken bits that you have to climb up and down. unique and excellent design. 
Hang On 
at least on normal, you get the NG and SNG together dont you? 
yeah, they are near the start, after you climb up the sides of the big cavern, iirc. then the NG again at the end of the long ramp jumping section. 
Luck dependent = toss. Maps should test a player's skill not random luck.

SNG and NG are together on hard. 
does that mean you think randomisation of game features is bad as well? Because it might throw you a fiend at an inopportune moment, for example, or give you a hellknight instead of a knight.

Jumping across lava isn't entirely luck-dependant either; it comes down to how well you can handle the controls and judge distances. I do think that there should usually be a way out of lava though - like in that Unreal level with breaking bridges over lava. You can fall in, but depending on how well you look around (and how little you panic), there are ways out of it.

Quake's lava is more deadly than Unreal's though, I think.

Just dumping the guy into lava with no way out is just a very slow trigger_void :-/

and instadeath is usually bad. Death is too much of a punishment for failing a jump. Falling into a pit full of monsters would be OK. 
GB, Randomisation. 
No, as long as it's done in balance. Most situations throwing a HK at you instead of a K will be okay. Guessing where and what monsters will spawn in a small unmanouverable room is less okay (as many people have found).

Lava jumps, no not luck dependent, but can be annoying as they are a tangential Quake skill rather than a core one (and we tend to play for the core skills, or we'd be playing jump puzzle games).

I agree with your last paragraphs, I enjoy jumping puzzles more then the penalty is something other than certain death. 
Well, this map is architecturally really fine, with very good details, very good layout. Texturing has been very well chosen, that could have been even more beautiful if lightning effects have been better (there sould need more contrast IMHO... though...)

But: in term of gameplay I didn't liked it at all, even after several tries I found the map way too hard. I also noticed several items (health for most of them) falling off the world on map load, that does not help the player to survive, particularly poor killer like me ;)... so I had to godmode in order to progress, and I ran out of ammo several times so I have to refill by myself (i.e give <S/N/R> 100)

Anyway, I'd rather prefer to see a good looking map with bad gameplay, rather than the opposite: visuals are really important to me, but it is my personal taste afterall..

I'm in anyway looking forward to a next map from you: keep it up ! 
this is one of the most infuriating maps i've ever played. if it wasn't so awesome in every other department i would have LONG stopped playing it out of frustration

ammo balance was shit, monsters being thrown at you from all directions while carefully dodging lava = not cool, having scrags & ogres spawn around you when in a tiny little cable car above lava = not cool...

i ended up going completely the wrong way first time round as when you get to the main fortress entrance you can slope-jump up to the ledge on your left towards the gold key, which i did thinking it was the right route! was only once i got the keys and ended up going backwards through the top inside bit that i realised i'd gone wrong - by this time the main fortress was virtually unplayable as all monsters were in there at the same time; i decided to cut my losses and start again. but it didn't end up being much easier second time round either...

the 'end arena' (not knowing this at the time) looked like it was meant to be accessible from the gold key bit (possibly as a secret) and i spent ages trying to trick-jump my way down there to get the supplies, eventually managed it after copious quickloads and THEN realised it was an end battle accessed from later on so had to reload.

there was also another irritating bit early on in the cave underground - you can slope-jump to your left to get a YA on a ledge, and when you turn round and look down to your right there is a cave entrance further down that looks like a secret. if it was meant to be accessible then i gave up trying to jump to it after about the 10th attempt, having to quickload each time.


all of the above is really such a shame as shitty annoying gameplay aside, this map is amazing. really amazing, especially for id1 - the attention to detail is nothing short of astounding; probably moreso than in any other quake map i can think of. the layout is awesome, the designs are awesome, the atmosphere is fucking immense - especially early on before you encounter any monsters.

i strongly believe this could be a classic of the highest order with (a) the minor route problems fixed and (b) the monster-count slashed by at least half. i'm normally fine with battling off epic hordes of monsters in big maps but this one REALLY DOESN'T NEED THAT MANY!! the atmosphere, design & detail are that strong it doesn't need to turn to hard relentless combat to justify its existence, and in doing so it just hampers it

(i played on normal btw) 
i'm not saying it should be completely bereft of challenges - it just maybe needed to save them until late on 
Exactly the same things happened to me (slope jump to GK at entrance, trick jump into exit etc.), which made the map really really annoying. When I replayed it, I took the "correct" routes, but even then, your other criticisms apply. I also agree that the map looks and feels amazing, but that doesn't make up for the shitty gameplay. 
I guess i mostly agree with above three posts... but (a couple of death pits aside) gameplay was good. The first time through, i was just amazed by the awesome landscapes and multiple route choices... i never perservered trying to find a 'correct' route - realising there really wasn't one - and had a ball.

... The second time, hmphh. Novelty wasn't so great and I got shitty shitty bored with dieing/reloading after returning with the key; down, past the two fiends, the devilish scrag ambush, and the board traversal with an ogre lobbing grenades at you. That bit sucked hard.

But kudos for the amazing open architecture and landscapes. Imho, possibly the best of any Q1 map i've seen. 
and I got shitty shitty bored with dieing/reloading after returning with the key; down, past the two fiends, the devilish scrag ambush, and the board traversal with an ogre lobbing grenades at you. That bit sucked hard.

haha. yes. especially so when you only have grenades, ~40 health & no armor going into it :/

considered releasing the source orl? ;) 
Well, I certainly was expecting a few comments criticizing that the map is too hard when I first released it, but I wasn't expecting it to really frustrate and aggravate players to the point where they quit out of rage.

When I, and my playtesters confirmed that easy skill was easy, and then come to find out that many players insist its too hard and quit out of desperation, that makes me feel that I haven't done my job to give players a fun and challenging experience.

I'm gonna have to really re-think my gameplay strategy for any future maps I build, as I see that what I have done with this map, is not adequate.

As for releasing the source, I certainly have no trouble doing that, but I'm just curious as to why. :) Would you plan on looking at the map to see how it was built, or perhaps did you want to change it so its more suited to your skill level? 
Easy skill certainly isn't easy here. But it also isn't overkill.
There shouldn't be much frustration when you use a careful approach. So the frustration level depends on the style of play.
I thought there wasn't much difference between the 3 skill settings. You just added some monsters to normal and hard skill so there were not many surprises for someone who already played on easy.
I was happy with the easy skill setup you have done but you should listen to the voice of the majority and reduce monster count together with replacing some of the tougher monsters.
About the apparent lack of ammo. There was enough ammo independent from the path you chose. You just need to use it right. This map requires more GL usage all the way through.
I often see that people refuse to use grenades and after they get short of nails and shells they meet a shambler and complain. 
When I, and my playtesters confirmed that easy skill was easy

hey now... i don't mean to be a dick, but i don't know how you got that from my emails. :(

I often see that people refuse to use grenades and after they get short of nails and shells they meet a shambler and complain.

i've seen this same behaviour with nails and it drives me crazy! i think i will make a map one day with no shells and all just out of spite. :P 
necros all maps from you are a bless from the gods! 
Grenade Refusal 
I was under the same impression, somewhat. 
'nades Vs. Shambler 
Isn't the Shambler more resilient against attacks with explosives? 
I'm gonna have to really re-think my gameplay strategy for any future maps I build, as I see that what I have done with this map, is not adequate.

to be fair, it's all map dependent. tough relentless hordey gameplay with 'filler' monsters around every corner suits certain maps more than others. here you have a map characterised by fiddly, broken terrain, eerie atmosphere, lava and jump puzzles - you want the player to appreciate these aspects and take them all in, which just becomes impossible with the sheer volume of monsters in it and actually detracts from the overall feel.

i remember a recentish map from hrimfaxi called 'for love of evil' - that was tough, i must have died at least as many times on that as i did on this; but that was never frustrating. it's kind of hard to explain the difference; but the main location where i kept dying on that was in a big flat-floored arena where i had freedom to move about, dodge, retreat & manoeuvre in such a way that i could use grenades against fiends. when i got beaten i considered it a fair beating. but your map isn't like that... even with twice the ammo it has now, it would certainly be easier but it would still be annoying because there just isn't enough 'fight space' to be able to enjoy the combat in most situations

for what its worth i thought the end battle was decent - end battles are supposed to be tough as nails - but i would have probably appreciated it more if the rest of the map didn't feel like one giant end battle :)

i wouldn't want your next release to be easy off the back of this criticism. i don't think it is as black & white a matter as being 'too easy' or 'too hard' or using terms such as 'skill level' - as i detailed above i've played maps that have taken me longer than this and maps where i have died more than this and still managed to enjoy them, but this just frustrating more than anything.

hope that goes some way towards explaining my thoughts. i asked about the source because yes, i wouldn't mind repopulating it to make it more enjoyable, adopting more of a 'less is more' approach, but also (completely changing the subject here) because i was curious to try decking it out with hi-res textures, which i think it would be quite suited to with the level of detail. not guaranteeing i'd be successful in that aim but it's worthy of the effort :) 
hey now... i don't mean to be a dick, but i don't know how you got that from my emails. :(

Perhaps I misinterpreted something you said :)

I also don't quite understand the refusal of using grenades. They are powerful and useful in most situations, why use them as a last resort?

And for those interested, here is the map source and wad :) 
the way it seems to me is that some players classify the GL and even the RL in some cases alongside the LG-- as either utility weapons for specific cases (zombies or packs of weak monsters) or last ditch weapons for powerful monsters (mostly vores).
players will shy away from the GL even more because of it's fickle nature.

grenade damage is never guaranteed and depending on the skill of the player can drop to below 50% (more the half the grenades miss). or even if you're just unlucky and the ai decided to turn a little bit.

i think that's why i see players even favour the SSG over nails because the shotguns are the pinnacle of guaranteed damage. 
That's Just Silly 
I use the GL as much as possible, but then again I try to play making sure I have a basic amount of each of shells, nails and rockets at any given time, switching to other weapons when ammo falls low in one of those. 
I'm Definitely Guilty Of That. 
re grenades.

but I'm not crazy about it. I'll pull em out intermittently and I'll use it more if I'm running real short on shells/nails.

I think the criticism is a bit harsh regarding the skill. the route issues are a legitimate complaint. the cave secret is fucked. these are legitimate complaints.

I played on normal and found it to be hard and unfair, but beatable. the cable car situation took me a couple tries, and the end only took one try.

keep in mind I often play on hard... but also keep in mind I hadn't played quake for months (discounting red slammer).

I think it has a lot to do with being very careful in this one. 
If you could enlighten me, what is the initial complaint regarding the routes?

And as for the cave secret, there is a small ledge to the left of the secret cave opening that you have to land on, and use it to jump inside the hole. It is a bit hard to see, but its there. 
Route Problem 
i actually took a screenshot:

you can climb up & slope-jump up to that ledge on the left, which screws up the progression. now shortcuts are obviously liable to screw up progression but this one i (and apparently others) took completely unintentionally (i am no 1337 speedrunner..) as it just looked like a path you had a climb up - i didn't notice the underwater cave until afterwards

that and making the final room visible from earlier on in the map.. caused me to find my way down there prematurely 
I played on normal and found it to be hard and unfair, but beatable. the cable car situation took me a couple tries, and the end only took one try.

snap.. i never had to resort to cheating to beat it. just shitloads of quickloads, which took much of the fun out of it and made it more of a chore. i think that's valid criticism 
Come On Now 
Even though I did jump up there as well, it was fairly obvious this wasn't the right way to go, as there's a bit too much slope-jumping and engine-climbing involved - thus I jumped back down immediately. The actual tunnel to get inside the building is clearly visible from below when you approach the area.

I also tried to reach the final room once by jumping, thinking it might be a secret, but at the same I realized the jump was too hard to be an intentional route (that's why I quicksaved before). 
sorry, i'm fresh out of medals :P 
Honestly map have a very very nice build but gameplay was kind of disappointing...

The final area is those kinds of things that is impossible in nightmare, lots of monsters and few space to move!


The rest is awesome!!! 
Wb Trinca 
Hey Orl, I really liked this map.

The gameplay was really brutal; I played on easy, and it was one of the hardest quake experiences I can remember :-). It was probably harder than it should have been for me because I didn't find the GL, and so I had a shortage of nails/shells. If I'm not mistaken, there's no way to return to the starting area, so maybe it would have been good to have another GL located later in the map in case the player misses the first one.

Anyways, the architecture and mood were top notch! Thanks for the awesome release. 
Masses of detail here - lot of time has been spent.

I'll list my criticisms, I mean them constructively :)

Not enough resources. It'd be nice if more health / ammo had spawned, or just been there to find. The combat wasn't so difficult, but trying to axe hellknights made it so.

Could have been more Shamblers, and more knights replacing the Hellknights. I mean a wider / more balanced monster palette.

No lava sounds?

I agree with otp about the void sky, but I might have suggested a completely custom sky so that the trees didn't all finish at the same height.

The end fight could have been better yeah, stuff to hide behind or more pacing to the monster spawns instead of just chucking them all at the player in two waves.

Vores could have been a bit more effective in the big open areas, sniping from vantage points - which could have justified a RL inclusion.

I get the impression you collected every secret while playtesting - I got the poison one only, without it the final fight wouldn't have been much fun.

Would have been good to have a message at the start of the button hunt to tell me what I was doing. Nothing complicated, the same one on the grates would have done the trick.

There was some fiddly brushwork that would have caused issues - I remember the efrags problem you were having. There was also a lot of nice detail though.

Climbing around on stuff was a nice pace breaker to the fighting.

A few traps would have been nice - just a couple of spikers or a crusher somewhere could have replaced one of the fights... saving the player some ammo :)

Architecture was well built and evocative all the way through, a major improvement on your previous maps, not that they were bad mind you.

I kept thinking the podium in the center of the open area near the key door could have a had a free powerup on it, like a ROS. The player would be able to use it whenever they wanted, introducing a temptation there. At least for the first play through. 
Forgot One 
The broken stuff was good, but it seemed odd that none of it broke during the fighting, apart from the rockfall at the end.

All in all an enjoyable map, although I did hit godmode a couple of times (skill 2, playing on a touchpad).

Keep up the good work. 
You are hardcore. Mapping and playing on a touchpad... wtf. 
Finished it. Everything good and bad has already been said. Enjoyable, I actually liked the close combat but not ambushes & hordes. End was silly, I tried once, didn't bother again and god moded. End "teleporter" looked plain and unfinished, simple "going into the black" would have been good.

Very impressive! 
oms2_* demos are quakespasm, the others should be aguirre's protocol i think.

skill 1 
I kept thinking the podium in the center of the open area near the key door could have a had a free powerup on it, like a ROS. The player would be able to use it whenever they wanted, introducing a temptation there. At least for the first play through.

Is a good yet very underused gameplay mechanic. I recall only a handful maps ever using it - E3M6 and warpc to name a few.

The problem with the final area seen the GK path could be adressed by putting a rune there - to further point out that the player isn't really supposed to get there yet.

I tend to agree with ijed about the climbing parts and traps. The SK dive was good (no idea why it's getting backlash by others, you have ample time to find the key and to return!)

ijed said pretty much everything I wanted to say earlier but forgot ;) 
A "no Shotgun" Demo 
I have tried to record a run on skill 1 without using any shells. There are some few moments where I used the SG by accident but I think no more than 10 shells. I didn't use the axe or excessive infighting. 140 or so monsters killed.

In the end there was tons of ammo left...

It was the third time I have played the map. I admit I had to make a few tries to get through the lava cab ride part. This is the hardest place (ambush over lava then vores from distance and HK without room to fight). 
Just in case anyone is interested, a demo of myself beating the map on Nightmare skill, with plenty of ammo and health left over.

And Ankh, I watched your demo. You have some pretty good skills Your approach seems to be to let the monsters fight each other, rather than you fighting them. Interesting watch :) 

sorry about the secret... sucks that everyone kind of assumed it was fucked up.

the route issue...

I went up there, just to see if I could, but assumed it would be wrong, so did not continue down that path but instead went down what I assume was the intended route. 
Would Like To Play It... But... 
... I can't even get a stable 50 fps in Dark Places with everything turned off.

AMD X2 3800 (2 Ghz Dual Core)
Geforce 7600 GS 256 MB
WinXP SP3 
megalodon download


or fitzquake

they both run this map pretty fine 
Thanks, but I'm already playing it with Baker's new 'EngineX'. Too bad it won't save my settings, but I'm sure he'll fix that. 
Engine X 
I'm ripping apart JoeQuake and building it back together the way it should be (from my perspective).

I haven't got to the cvar system and the effects system. Once I do, everything that should save will save.

I am also building "blow your mind" features into the engine that will give the "Holy shit!" experience I think you should get when you load up a non-conservative engine. After you see what these are, I hope these ideas get quickly copied by non-conservative engines and other engine coders will be smacking themselves on the head saying "Why didn't I think of that!"

But I'm keeping these to myself for now for the shock value. No a built-in mod downloader/installer isn't what I am talking about; it will have that too.

p.s. ProQuake 4.66 uses the FitzQuake protocol and play this map too. So far I have only released the OS X version of 4.66.

I'm hardly the only person who thinks Mr. Fitz made a huge contribution to Quake by documenting the FitzQuake so thoroughly in the engine source; soon it will be a defacto standard ... if it isn't already --- there are 5 engines with FitzQuake protocol support now. 
My Demo 
Orl, very nice map. But indeed, sometimes a bit frustrating. Not because of enemies, but because the quake engine is sometimes a bit unforgiving when it comes to climbing & jumping in tight areas.

I think everyone will find my demo... interesting :)


Can be done much faster though, I took my time and I've done faster attempts in certain sections.

Thanks for the map. 
looking forward to it baker. i like joequake; i think the limit restrictions were all that was keeping me from using it as a first choice engine. well, that and some of the .cfg settings seemed to clash with other engines when i loaded them up, which was a minor pain. 
New Demo 
my time on normal skill:


This map becomes fun when you know what to do :)

file size 1.22 MB 
Very nice demo megalodon :) Seems like you have really mastered the map inside and out, as well as your Quaking skills.

I'm curious to see if you, or anyone can pull off a speed run in this map. 
Well, I'm not a speedrunner. I'm a QuakeWorld player and movement is different there. You can therefore see me struggle here and there when I try to get some speed going, because I automatically try the continuous qw bunnyhopping technique, but it doesn't work here.

I also struggled at the end of the map, getting into the hole in the wall via the rock. I've done tests before making this demo, and it IS possible to do it flawlessly before the monsters even spawn there. But that was from a quicksave and this demo was from info_player_start, so things didn't always go my way :)

Also, if I would ever become a speedrunner and do this map, I'd have to figure out a way to immediately do the grenadejump instead of having to deal with the Shambler and his friends.

To me, learning to speedrun seems to take too much time to be really worth it. I find it more appealing to deal with human opponents in QW. But it's awesome to watch these speedrun freaks do their thing. I have to say though that, with your map, I did really like to mess around with shortcuts. Perhaps I'll make another attempt. 
Go On #Terrafusion 
See if Nahkahiir or whatever his name is is there, and ask him to do it. He's amazing :) 
Shambler boost maybe? 
I just found out: no grenadejump needed at all. I can just jump to the ledge, but it's tricky for me, 'cause I'm no real speedrunner. But basicly, on easy skill, you can just blaze through the map. My uploaded demo is not a real speedrun. 
Great Map. 
As others have said, it is frustrating in places, but it's a great looking map and I rather enjoyed it.

As for that cave secret: I actually had not too much trouble just jumping into off the bridge (did take a few goes, though). What's more, I even fell into accidentally! I was dodging scrags that come later, backed out of the tunnel and found myself in the cave to the MH.

Getting the silver key before entering the castle seems to make for more ammo, and a respawning health/armor supply is nice! (needed it once after getting the gold key).

Frame rate's usually pegged at 72, but does drop to the 30s in places (5 year old system: amd64 3800, nv7800, linux). Noclip to the outside drops the rate to the 20s. This is with the latest QuakeForge (I spent the last week poking at fitzquake's code (thank you!) to get QF able to play the map :)). I hope the demos work in QF.

Orl: nice map, interesting layout. I'm looking forward to studying the source. I have to check out your other maps.

For those that are interested in QF (note: windows support is currently unknown, the bindings menu is currently broken), grab the source from git:;a=summary


What little user docs we have: 
The Site Is Borked 
Is there a good link to this map? Otherwise, I'll look on Quaddicted.

it's also in quakeinjector :) 
I did a crap one before this week, and dont feel like trying again due to a couple of reasons: most technical (only got it to run with a certain engine and then i cant exec my standard cfg or it 'll crash) 
Thats More Like It 
Since i made new cfg earlier today to rerun digs06 I didnt encounter the troubles i had with this one either. Not only was the execution realy poor in the previous demo, i completly missed a shortcut :) 
Nice Demo Orbs 
I've never seen the map completed that fast before, very impressive. How fast do you think you can complete it killing all monsters and finding all the secrets? :)

And just as a polite request, please don't use dzip anymore. Dzip really screws up my system in ways its not supposed to. Its just a hassle and having an extra program lying around with unnecessary options in the right click menu. That, and it doesn't seem any better than .zip, .rar, or .7z. 
Agree About Dzip 
I love watching speed runs (since I'm not skilled enough to record them) but hate that program. 
dzip is loosing it's relevancy these days with all the custom protocols. from what i've heard, as soon as you use a non-stock protocol, you loose all the extra compression.
7zip is king for super compression, but if you don't want to use that, you may as well just use zip, because that's what you get with dzip on custom protocols. 
from what i've heard, as soon as you use a non-stock protocol, you loose all the extra compression.

Either that or it corrupts the demo by making (incorrect) assumptions about the file format. I believe that mwh reported this happening with DarkPlaces demos a few years back. 
Is Dzip Open Source? 
The source is available at but it's not necessarily open source... 
actually the license does appear to allow any modification and/or use you want, the main issue is probably that you have to reproduce the text of his license in your version. 
It looks like dzip doesn't check the protocol version at all, so yeah, I can imagine things might go wrong.

Can't really see the need for dzip at all on today's internet. Times have changed! 
not that much.
also, a lot of us have fairly low bandwidth caps with no other options. 
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