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|Author:||Robert "Fat Controller" Cruickshank|
|Additional Links:||Underworldfan's •|
|BSP: • PAK: • PROGS.DAT: • Custom Models/Sounds:|
Files in the ZIP archive
OntrantoFive map episode set in a medieval fantasy world, with many custom textures, a few new monsters and some other QC: starting in a dark swamp, the player has to travel through caverns and temples to a ship bringing him to the town of Ontranto, where he is to battle the Duke.
Tags: medieval, episode, monsters, fantasy, textures, town, caverns, temple, ship, village
Editor's Rating: Excellent
3.8/5 with 22 ratings
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Setting and atmosphere reminded me a bit of Monolith's "Blood", starting with the first map already which is set in the middle of a dark swamp. Later you go through a haunted tomb and travel on a riverboat (quite cool!) before you enter a small town where you have to find 3 (!) silver and 2 gold keys to exit (which sucks a bit since it is difficult to keep your bearings). After that, you face the Duke with some of his followers, a fight that can be tough if you run out of ammo too early. In general, I like the medieval setting of this pack. Everything fits, the new enemies (Grunts/Enforcers are archers, some Knights are townsfolk with swords etc), the night skybox, the medieval texturing... immersive five levels which I can only recommend!
To me this pack peaks at the beginning. The first map is mysterious and moody, with a great sense of atmosphere as you journey through a swampy forest at night. From there, it continues into an uninspired mine/tomb complex, which while certainly ugly tends to provide decent gameplay. (Except for that teleporting boss! That sucked, having to wander around, find it, shoot it a few times and then find it again after it teleported away...)
Up to that point, levels were generally understandable. Beyond that, I found it quite difficult to find my bearings and successfully explore areas, starting with the riverboat. To begin with it feels practical, but when I reached the stern of the ship/boat/thing I found myself feeling completely lost. The repettive texturing and lack of any real detail made it difficult for me to realize that I needed to head backwards, down a small, nondescript passageway to find the lever to open up the next real area.
This kind of backtracking and confusing, repetitive layout continues into the fourth map, where I struggled to find even a single silver key so that I could progress forwards. I'm not going to say much about this one, apart from the fact that I was so frustrated at this point that I simply noclipped around, continued to fail to find any silver keys (I found both gold keys really easily, in their respective buildings) and then gave up and flew into the level transition.
And then... the final boss. Not the worst part of the pack, but still. I ended up relying on infighting to do most of the work, as even with the nearly-full loadout I was given was no match for the horde of enemies in that area + the final boss himself. A shame, really, as the boss seemed to have a good variety of attacks, which made him pretty interesting to fight when I finally got it down to 1-on-1.
On top of all that, there was a general lack of polish to the maps. I saw a set of healthkits floating off of the bench/bar that were apparently meant to be on top of, some enemies that teleported in telefragged themselves and overzealous func_illusionary work in at least one place (the tomb area on map 2) meant that I could get my camera inside of a "wall". Part of me wonders if these were engine issues; perhaps not the illusionary brushes but the telefrags and item placements seemed like the sort of thing that could be affected by engine choice.
My other criticisms still stand regardless (Except for maybe the keys, if they were missing because of similar bugs that I didn't realize), so I'm going to have to rate this quite poorly.
Neat map pack with some unique locales. The setting is generally medieval, and many new textures and model replacements are used. The hub level starts the pack off strong visually with its wide-open neo-classical architecture, although there's nothing to do besides walk into the exit teleporter. The first level proper, the swamps, is probably the weakest, but it serves a purpose as a simple introduction map. I appreciate that each level flows logically into the next. Eg. the swamp ends with you descending down an underground elevator, and the next level is in the caverns. The caverns level is more expansive, eventually seguing into a DoE-esque crypt. Although the architecture/texturing of the crypt is quite nice, fighting the teleporting DoE bosses becomes quite tedious. After the crypt you travel on a riverboat, based on a level in Blood's Cryptic Passage addon. The gameplay and level design are solid, making good use of the limited space of the setting. The scrolling environment effect is pretty bad (achieved through very low-FPS animated textures), but that's forgivable given the engine. The boat takes you to Ontranto towne, a large medieval town in the half-timbered style. What makes this map especially impressive is that almost every building you see can actually be entered and explored. Most of them are optional and just contain ammo or armor (I lost count of how many armors were in the map), but it's still a nice touch. It's a very non-linear level, entirely open-ended except for the exit and a couple doors. In fact it's actually possible to find a silver key while you already have one in your pocket. My main complaint with this map is the ammo balance. I ended up completely dry due to the map's generous repopulation and had to run past the final 2 Shamblers. It's possible there was more ammo back in a house I'd forgotten about or missed, but it would've been better to spawn ammo in or leave more out in the open. Anyways, this map leads back to the hub. Except this time there's a boss and a horde of enemies. Thankfully it does refill your ammo, but unfortunately I ended up running out again and had to axe the boss (a knight known as the Duke) to death. Overall this pack does suffer from a lack of polish as commenter Pritchard mentions (especially for the mid 2000s), but I think the gameplay, level design, and aesthetics make up for it. Flawed but worth a playthrough.
This night, I decided to play Ontranto for Quake and... it was awesome! 5 maps of good quality and somewhat unusual atmosphere. All maps contained new medieval human enemies and usual Quake baddies. Swamp looks exellent, mausoleum (in the mines) suddenly includes a enemy-less moment of horror (!!), riverboat is just as awesome as was similar level in Blood: Cryptic Passage... but it's the final levels that take the cake. Ontranto town reminded me a lot of Thief: the Dark Project... only in Thief you don't have to kill off the entire city))) Final battle was epic, especially if you know where to look for quad damage ;) The boss himself was nice, only the Duke could be enterily stun-locked by basic axe attacks... Also, I felt the storyline from .txt file was somewhat unnecessary... but, as John Carmack once said.... ;))
Oh, I forget to mention.... this episode includes returning enemies from Desolution of Eternity: Wraiths and Overlords... which is great, since I last fought them in 2005, when played that official mission pack) Truly, what makes a legendary game like Quake great, playable, and surprising after all those years... is its community.
Well made, all armed up doing the town.
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