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|Title:||Fantasy Quake - Rise of the Phoenix|
|Additional Links:||erc's Quality • Quake Terminus • TEAMShambler • Patch 0.91 •|
|BSP: • PAK: • PROGS.DAT: • Custom Models/Sounds:|
Files in the ZIP archive
Fantasy Quake - Rise of the PhoenixTotal conversion with almost new everything. Around 20 SP maps in varying medieval/ fantasy themes and 4 DM maps; multiple player classes to choose from, new weapons, new enemies, etc.
"A totally total total conversion - pure fantasy style. A lot of maps with a great sense of exploration and discovery. This TC has new everything, and most of it is very good, though occasionally the new stuff can look a bit shoddy. There are some very cool details, and everything has a sense of fitting in well with the TC as a whole. Gameplay and maps are very different from Quake (which can take some getting used to), and usually very good - this is a most worthwhile TC."
Note: A patch is available here
Tags: large, episode, tc, monsters, weapons, medieval, wizard, fantasy, castle
Editor's Rating: Excellent
3/5 with 13 ratings
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It was a bad start.
A phenomenal TC. Was a pain to get at the time due to slow 56K modem connection that frequently would hang up when almost completely downloaded... At any rate, a most excellent "blast from the past", it had a good story; fine artwork and to this day good maps that are intelligently done (of course due to Quake's engine limitations) though some map features may feel silly, such as the pseudo "distant landscape" and such.
To think that it's almost 20 years since it was released...
Very good work in terms of classes and code. Good work in terms of modelling. Mediocre work in terms of playability. Mediocre work in terms of map design.
Plays significantly different than normal Quake - the level pace is slower. Some very annoying map design decisions - most "normal" doors have a "water curtain" for some reason, most of them are activated in an arcane and confusing fashion (some open normally, some after being shot, some after shooting an element nearby - elements aren't as visible as buttons), making traversing the levels feel like a chore. The levelling is a blast though.
Worth a check. Good story.
Nostalgy factor is out of the roof. I remember playing this with my friend on null-cables and it was quite annoying when the progress was constantly lost, as the connection was very unstable. Year was -97 when we played this :)
A phenomenal TC? Wow, I thought it was quite unbalanced, with several different classes that share the same level of uselessness regardless of gender, race or whatever. I started with a druid and couldn't even make it past the first enemies. Getting killed by a rottweiler is ridiculous, but hardly surprising when your only weapon is a puny staff that deals equally insignificant damage and inexplicably takes about two seconds to “reload” with each hit. I restarted then and chose a “powerful” outlander armed with an axe, only to face the same problem and get mauled in the same fashion on the very same spot, right at the start of the map.
Controls are definitely not messed up as hkBattousai said; they're completely fucked up. Every time you change classes or quit they revert to some weird default setting in which I couldn't even figure how to walk forward, but the worst part is you have to reconfigure things your way over and over again. Maybe tinkering with the cfg files can fix this, but it's just not worth it. I can't believe this was rated Excellent.
I was so excited to download this huge pack back in the day. The weeks it took to get this with GetRight at the time, only being able to resume the download for a couple hours each evening, certainly helped in building anticipation, and therefore I was looking forward to trying this again thanks to Quaddicted ...
... and man, what a disappointment. I don't remember the pack being so bad, perhaps because I was blinded and impressed by how different this looked from regular Quake at the time. I avoided Nightmare mode not because of the difficulty, but because it is so hard to get anything done. Moving backwards is extremely slow even with "Always Run", you need to wait ages to be able to strike again after attacking save for maybe two classes that are a bit faster, and level design is odd to say the least (hallways that lead nowhere, and progression made difficult because of technicalities, not because of strategies you have to come up with).
I couldn't bring myself to finish the first map after a couple of tries. I vaguely remember trying a few of the other maps twenty-odd years ago, but I think I'll let this one rest. Nostalgia out of the roof indeed, but nothing more to it sadly.
On a side note, I was surprised to see that the archer model in Unforgiven came from this pack.
I first played Fantasy Quake around 1999-2000, I played it on stock DOS Quake 1.06 (not even this version, it was an earlier version numbered 0.674 or 0.673 or something like that), and I was absolutely amazed at the possibilities of Quake mods. In fact, back then there were two things that impressed me the most when it comes to Quake modding: one was bots, the other was Fantasy Quake.
I see a lot of negative reviews here and I understand where they're coming from. Yes, this mod is rough, very rough, and it's still a beta - I don't think the final version was ever made and released. Thus, it's difficult to enjoy for someone who is unready or unwilling to tackle some problems at first, including some technical difficulties. The first thing and the most obvious issue here is controls. Many people even say they're completely broken and dysfunctional. Well, it depends on how you look at it, it's not exactly so once you understand what's going on. The thing is, back in 1990s we didn't yet have the established WASD control scheme that we take for granted today, and it seems like Fantasy Quake was built around the original control scheme which used cursor keys for movement (yes, feels ugly and weird today, but that's how I remember playing Doom, lol - I didn't even use strafing, left and right was used to turn around). Anyway, trying to map the keys to WASD will get you in trouble, since this game remaps controls in its own way, using letter keys for spells and abilities and stuff, messing up the WASD movement. What's worse is that it does so every time you change the class (since a new, class-based .cfg file is loaded that changes the control scheme once you choose a new class). So, yes, if you want to enjoy this game and you don't want to use the old ugly cursor key-based control scheme, you will be kind of forced to take a look at the .cfg files and remap things in them manually in the text editor. Luckily, it's a rather easy and straightforward procedure, it doesn't even take that much time and you only need to do it once, but it is an extra step, and without it, out of the box, the game will most likely feel borked to you when you try playing it as you're used to playing Quake today.
The atmosphere. It's a very different game from traditional Quake, which may be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your tastes. Personally I enjoyed the atmosphere, even if some map design choices are indeed odd and the maps are far from the epitome of perfection that we're all used to today with the map jams and big packs like Arcane Dimensions. If you expect that kind of quality, stop right here and look elsewhere, you will be disappointed. Fantasy Quake offers an interesting and unique take on atmosphere and level design, but it may turn some of you away from playing the game and it may disappoint you if you're going for maximum map design quality. It feels simplistic and sometimes strange, but it does provide an acceptable fantasy feel to it, and once you get used to it, it's not really off-putting.
Now, the gameplay. This is, hands down, one of the most unique gameplay-changing mods that I know, even today. It introduces functional RPG elements, with level progression, experience points, abilities and skills dependent on the player class, inventory and items that can be stored and used from inventory, etc. The class and ability system is actually more involved in my opinion than the one in Hexen 2 (albeit somewhat similar to it, too). The classes are really imbalanced, some are overpowered and streamlined (Crusader comes to mind and/or Paladin), some are nearly worthless, have only a handful of skills, and are very weak (Druid, anyone?). I believe it may be because the game wasn't finished and some classes weren't actually completed when it comes to their skills and abilities. That said, it can still be fun to play for someone looking for a different and fantasy-ish RPG-ish experience on Quake engine. When it comes to RPG elements, there are actually even a couple peaceful town maps where you don't have to fight and you can buy equipment and stuff (or you can kill everyone and take it for free if I remember right, heh).
The game difficulty can be very different. On easier skill levels it's actually not as hard as some people say it is once you get used to the pace and the style of play. On Hard and especially on Nightmare, the game is brutally hard at first - it's unlikely you'll finish the first couple levels, especially if you're using a weak class. But there's actually a catch: if you manage to beat the first couple maps (especially getting past the incredible difficulty of the first level and the massive assault at the beginning of the second one), the rest of the game won't feel nearly as hard anymore since you level up very quickly on Nightmare, and thus your hit points and skills will be quite formidable by the third level as opposed to well past the first town if you play on easier skill levels. And once you get to skills such as Invisibility and whatnot, as well as higher-tier weapons and damaging spells, the rest of the game will feel like a breeze compared to the beginning.
So, overall, I'd give this mod a 4 out of 5 today. For someone who is unwilling to get through the initial hassle of setting it up and manually tweaking the controls in class-based configuration files, or for someone who is looking for an aesthetically pleasing quality map design, I can say that you may as well stop at this point and not even try this game, you will likely feel disappointed like many other reviewers who commented here. However, if you approach it in an open-minded way and if you're ready to tackle some technical difficulties and then try a very different, un-Quakey experience, you may be in for a treat, even if it may feel like a diamond in the rough at times.
Maywind: the readme in the zip file says this version is Beta 0.673. There seems to be a patch to version 0.91 here: [url]http://dukeworld.com/telefragged/quake/fantasy/fq091.zip[/url]
Hello all (anyone who stumbles back in here in 2022 or beyond),
I'm "Fireball" (though I don't use that username anymore), the primary creator and programmer of this mod.
I was poking around my hard drive and saw that I had Darkplaces in my old Quake folder, and remembered it was a more recent attempt at keeping glQuake playable. I loaded it, adjusted my resolution to 1080p, and was amazed at how well it worked. Then I noticed a Mods option and it listed all my mod folders, including FQ. I figured there was no way it would work but... it did!
I ended up playing through the campaign for two hours. Oh the nostalgia. And oh, the bugs (some of which I think are due to Darkplaces, like corpses suddenly having collision and sometimes getting in the way).
I decided to do a quick internet search for Fantasy Quake, just to see if anything would come up (that isn't Future vs. Fantasy Quake, which my mod was often mixed up with, given its much greater popularity). First result was this page, so here I am!
Some thoughts on the project: I would agree it was never quite finished. All of us working on it basically got pulled into other endeavors. In fact I only ever met one of the other people who worked on it - we were all over the country and collaborated entirely by email and instant messaging. In my case, in late 1997 I met my now-wife-of-22-years so I wasn't investing as much time in modding. Then in 2000 I got my first real video game job (using FQ and my other main mod, Quake 40K, as my resume) and have been developing games professionally ever since.
I'm not bashing those who helped make maps for the level, as I never had any skill in that area, and I think a lot of their architecture looks fantastic for what Quake is capable of. But I wish there was more time - and that I had been more involved - in the balance and progression. For instance, the first level is so filled with enemies, and as reviewers above point out, you're a level 1 with terrible skills and weapons. There's no sense of ease-in or ramp-up. Even at the time I was giving this feedback. In retrospect I could have simply made level 1 have higher stats to start with and not progress so sharply. Some levels have too many unmarked teleporters. And many seem to overly rely on secret buttons to progress. By the way, one way to avoid all of that is to play the original quake levels with FQ on (there's a gateway in the lobby that you start in to do just that).
I attempted to balance the classes, but overvalued flexibility. The Druid is supposedly as good as the other classes because she can use skills from both offensive and defensive classes. But she's quite crippled in the early levels. Too much D&D influence, I think. Also I was pretty new at content balancing at the time, and didn't have much in the way of feedback. Too many of the Outlander's runes are contrived and not useful (although some of the ground ones are fun in PvP).
Yes, when FQ started, arrow keys were still the way people controlled characters. I actually have wasd-based configs for the classes - I think the very last version had started to convert to that scheme. If there's interest, I can see if I can upload the latest version here. Actually I see at the dukeworld.com link posted above is fqrotp92.zip, which I think is the latest.
On the positive side, I'm pretty proud of what I was able to do given how limited QuakeC is. I couldn't change the layout of the UI, nor even the number of sprites allowed for each element. So things like the Life Sensing ability required me to be clever and use the 4 ammo type images as arrows, and to have it make the forward arrow have a narrow band so you can "home in" on it. Never mind it isn't really a useful skill (although, again, in PvP it is). ;-) I was also happy with the Bow Targetting [sic] skill. I had to write a sin function approximator since there were no such math functions in QuakeC. It was just a big switch statement and gave you the closest answer to the number you provide. But you'll find that it does a really good job and arrows generally hit right where you target them. And while the interface is awful (again, not much I could do), I think it's pretty impressive to have inventory items that you cycle through, turn on/off, and drop.
Anyway, I can't tell you how glad I am that there's people out there who liked my work - or even tried it and didn't care for the admittedly rough edges. Ultimately I was desperate to express myself as a game developer and was trying to push Quake/QuakeC to the limits, and may have gone too far and with too little experience.
I remember this mod, found its use of Hexen and Warcraft 2 sounds interesting. Lots of potential, but the balancing issues were as the creator said were all too real.
A better balanced 'Return of the Phoenix' sequel mod tho would be lit! And with ports like FTE and Spasmspiked, way more is possible nowadays!
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