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Your Q1SP "Real" Favorites (For Real)
If you were to introduce someone new to Quake to a very limited set of Q1 single player maps based on your experiences --- with no favoritism towards authors or recent releases and without peer pressure --- which ones do you think among for someone new (who would be non-hardcore) would appeal to them the most?

No need to mention Insomnia or Marcher Fortress or Beyond Belief other easily recognized "classics".

What is important --- what spoke to your heart when you played it? Maybe this was something like A2D2 by pingu or maybe it was Descent or Tyrann's Moonlight Assault or Starship by Neil Manke or A Desert Dusk by Tronyn or maybe it was Hell in a Can.

What touched your heart as something that doesn't have 600 monsters as a release that caused you long-term interest in single player releases?

[A built-in download/installer awaits at the doorstep, but it will not have 1056 install options and not every release can be a 4.5 star release like what often happens at Quaddicted -- ratings system skew towards the positive, but not everything is a classic. And this is not Spirit's fault, he has done a top-notch job at preserving history.]

Your opinion is valued. What touched your heart? What diverse experience woke up your imagination?

What made you play not because it was a challenge, but because you wanted to finish it out of joy?
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i would take that leafguy sp mod

lfsp1,2,3 etc
zied rieke maps
the sgc maps there's something special and oldskoolish
marty's maps erotique, disturb etc
andrew smith's maps 
Hmmm Deathmatch Maker shipped with a full episode named The Virtus Episode?

I never knew this, and definitely never played it. This is good news!!!

Anyone know of a download link for this episode? Moby Games didn't provide any download and I can't find any link on google. 
so I've taken your aim to be great maps that are suitable for newbies to Quake (ie not insanely hard), in alphabetical particular order:

A3 The Journey Home
A Roaming Wildebeest in Spain
Admantium Cruelty
Ambush Keen Pilgrims
Avanipaala Prasaada
Bestial Devastation
Beyond Belief
Breakfast at Twilight
Carved in Flesh
Cassandra Calamity
Castle Koohoo
Contract Revoked
Dark Ritual
Dawn of Eternity
Day of the Lords
Februus Depth
Five Rivers Land
For Love of Evil
Grendel's Keep
Hexameron Phase One
Looming Madness
Lower Forecourt
Moldy Tower
Moonlite Assault
My World is Your World
Once Upon Atrocity
Operation Urth Magic
Penumbra of Domination
Plumbers Dont Wear Ties
Rubicon 2
Ruined Nation
Sick Base
Slave to the Machine
Strength Service Honour
The Altar of Storms
The Living End
The Occursed
The Rest is Silence
The Vertical Mile
This Onion
Time is the Fire
White Room 
Insomnia By CZG 
it's no brainer! 
Thanks Nitin 
I've been sitting around trying to draft up some ideas and test them out. I'm only interested in bothering Spirit for a special request so I'm trying to work through concepts.

And thanks to everyone who has so far participated in this thread. 
What A Difference Once Missing Word Makes ... 
"bothering Spirit for a special request *once*" 
This Actually 
turned out to be a good thread. A few on here I haven't played yet. 
@Kona (and Others Interested) 
Here's an ISO copy of the Deathmatch Maker CD - the episode is located under extras\virtus (with its own progs). I don't have any clue how long this link will last, so I advise you to grab at once (30megs): Here
Would you really want to inflict Ruined Nation on new players? 
I Actually Think 
Coming to that map fresh rather than from a history of expected quake gameplay would be fine. 
it is way too hard. same for some.others on that list imo. 
I'd recommend some of the classics from 1997/1998, which were generally smaller and catered less to the hardcore players, usually.

Shadow Over Innsmouth
Cassandra Calamity (mexx10)
Temple of the Thousand-Faced Moon (ikspq2)
Halls of the Shambler God (ikspq3)
Homecoming (ikspq4)
The Secret Installation (ikspq5)
Beyond Belief
Prodigy SE
Hell in a Can
Rust in Peace
Myworld Is Yourworld
Horror Erotique 
ikspq5 was one of the first custom maps I ever played... I remember really being amazed about the shambler in that huge shipping crate or jumping around on top of the rafters for that armor secret. 
A Map By Tim Elek 
The map is called Soulstice and I believe it is in the Nehahra expansion pack. It had an incredible wow factor, preyed on your fear of heights, had incredible style and was filled with challenging secrets.

There's been some great maps listed above - especially the older ones (pre 2000) when mappers caught up and surpassed id in quality but still used most of the original textures. Some maps thrived on lighting and atmosphere - that is the Quake SP hook more than gameplay if you're looking to pull in unfamiliar players. 
@ #22 
Why are you posting as me? 
was meant to be that in Title rather than name. 
The actual file is only 10Mb. It are examples how to use dmm and are not great but funny. 
King Solomon's Mines is a great little map!

Also, Shoggoth *is* by the same Marc Laidlaw who went on to work with Valve right?

my list of older favs would include
Soul Grinder
Anything by Andrew Smith
Morbid_2 (I enjoy the idea of running a SM with those textures some time)
Some of my older (pre 2000s) favourites:

Penumbra of Domination
Tale of Abbot's Rune
The Cassandra Calamity
The Secret Installation
The NetherWorld
Mexx8 - Prelude to Apocalypse & Mordrigor's Demise
Lost Island - The Island of Death
Abyss of Pandemonium
The Last Game
Dig me no grave
Shadow over Innsmouth
The Insurrection3: The Sanctuary
Area 51
ALBA02 - Inverurie
Hell - Nephilim
The Lost World
The Sacrifice Of Flesh
The Crawling Chaos

Don't think I had anything above by Andrew Smith, but his gameplay I always liked, and JF Gustaffson was one of my favourite level designers, more so for his Quake2 levels.

Anyone still into Q2... definitely check out Age of Panic and 1964. Jonas Lindstrom also did some good Q1 levels but didn't release his best stuff until Q2 - Premonition Of Angron and Spaceship Sadgron 3. 
Morbid_2 (I enjoy the idea of running a SM with those textures some time)

they're criminally underused; i can only think of that map, its predecessor and prodigy4 that use them. i've tried several times to make a map out of them but never really got past the brainstorm stage

interesting re: marc laidlaw, i can't imagine it's that common a name. the map is cobbled together pretty amateurishly but i love the scale and daunting atmosphere. it needs a modern day remake! 
Anyone still into Q2... definitely check out Age of Panic and 1964. Jonas Lindstrom also did some good Q1 levels but didn't release his best stuff until Q2 - Premonition Of Angron and Spaceship Sadgron 3.

big yes to 1964 and premonition.. like the beyond belief & zerstorer of q2 
What Map ... 
Starts saying you have to "Kill the witnesses" (?) 
Jonas Lindstrom... 
Apparently had a 12-map q2 unit in progress. Last I talked to him, at least 5 maps were complete. Sadly, that was four years ago, and his email address no longer works. 
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