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Screenshot of kinn_marcher
Title:The Marcher Fortress (b4e0ac689d27bf1f9151662ea26eacdc)
Filesize:10144 Kilobytes
Release date:09.01.2005
Additional Links: erc's ExcellenceRetroquakeTronyn's Top 10: Elder WorldUnderworldfan's
Type:Partial conversion
BSP: ✔ • PAK: ✔ • PROGS.DAT: ✔ • Custom Models/Sounds: ✔

Files in the ZIP archive
Files in the ZIP archive:
File Size Date
WinMarcher.exe563 KB04.01.2005
marcher/README_Marcher.txt6 KB09.01.2005
marcher/readme_engine.txt14 KB04.01.2005
marcher/Pak0.pak18947 KB09.01.2005
marcher/autoexec.cfg1 KB08.01.2005
GLMarcher.exe442 KB04.01.2005

The Marcher Fortress

Q3stone/metal styled fortress of epic scale, with a few new monsters in lots of hardcore horde combat (almost 400 monsters in total) and other custom gameplay additions.
A most impressive Quake level.

Tags: q3 gothic, epic, huge, castle, classic, hordes, planetquake-map-of-the-week

Editor's Rating: Excellent
User Rating:
4.6/5 with 79 ratings
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Steven 19 July 2008, 4:27
Played this through with Fitzquake. On skill 2 - ammo got short at the end, but it was a great fight. The spiders are right in the sweet spot; better than quoth's vorelings and travail's arachnids.
Spirit 23 July 2008, 23:51
This is a masterpiece. Gameplay, atmosphere, brushwork, all so well done.
Quaker 5 March 2010, 5:38
Masterpiece, indeed. Actually I think Bastion is just as good aside from no difficulty settings.
sb306 11 May 2010, 11:05
This was the first user made map that I tried. That was about a year ago. After downloading as many good sp maps that I could find since then, marcher is still one of the best. Conserve ammo!!
Qmaster 21 December 2010, 16:43
Truly awesome level! Of all the maps I've played in the archive this has almost definitely got the most epic battle of all Quake history!! 5/5 Insanely difficult when played on Nightmare, but then again there is no other way to play is there? ;)
Dani 6 July 2011, 4:39
The most epic battles ever! :D
taniwha 5 December 2011, 1:16
The hordes just keep coming. Watch that ammo.
Daz 27 January 2012, 23:04
Video Playthrough with intro -
hkBattousai 6 May 2012, 21:48
Error: "Hunk_Alloc: failed on 1650128 bytes"
M4CGYV3R 24 June 2012, 2:07
An Epic battle for an epic game.
Thanks to Kinn for this experience and Spirit for hosting these maps and for all your experience and gifts to the Quake community.

Cocerello 24 July 2012, 16:13
Truly a masterpiece. Congrats, Kinn. Its a great architectural feat. Game play is very good too.

Theres more ammo than needed, even thought sometimes you need to backtrack for some. Health and armor are OK. The secrets are enjoyable, and i liked even more those pieces of ammo and armor that weren't part of the secrets but also hard to find. I loved the spiders, as Steven said,they are the best monsters of that kind.

I would like it to be more difficult in nightmare, but not in the fight with the minotaurs/werewolves like monsters when you are ascending, that one is hard enough even if you go outside the building.

The only drawback is the ambient, i do think that ne_ruins and honey for example are way better at that.

FifthElephant Guest 1 January 2013, 0:46
I can assume that the "sinking through the floor" bug on mine is an isolated incident judging by the comments. For what I played of the level it was truly excellent.
Icantthinkofanickname Registered 24 November 2013, 14:07

Hard to believe this was released all the way back in 2005. As of late 2013, with such strong contenders as something_wicked and honey, this is still the most beautiful Quake map I have played.

The gameplay is likewise superb, with impeccable pacing and just the right degree of mounting difficulty. I am not usually a fan of maps that go overboard with monster count (though I understand their appeal to others), but here it is implemented so smoothly that it just adds to the monumental sense of scale.

As other users have said, this is truly a masterpiece.

MikeTaylor Registered 26 November 2013, 11:11

Just shockingly brilliant from start to end. Words fail me.

MikeTaylor Registered 26 November 2013, 11:15

The only sadness is that it seems Kinn only ever made two Quake maps: this, and the also superb kinn_bastion.

QuakeForever Registered 11 February 2014, 3:48

One of the best Q1SP levels, I can only agree with what's already been said. Even better than Bastion, which I also liked immensely. Too bad the author disappeared. :(

dBAudio Registered 25 February 2014, 23:49


i burnt my own 'Quake 2 Go' disc for when i travel. this, of course, is on it.

FacilisDK Registered 21 April 2014, 22:28

Got me very lost a couple of times, but stunningly good.

Lane Powell Registered 6 May 2014, 1:25

Totally lives up to its reputation—I only wish it was a little bit more labyrinthine and nonlinear. :)

Aside from the architecture I really like how varied the gameplay is. Also, I'm not usually a fan of horde battles in Quake but the two-stage final fight of this map was excellent. A lot of it had to do with a big, relatively complex spaces the player is allowed to maneuver in. They provide a lot more room for tactical engagement than the boring arena-type spaces a lot of mappers use for such fights.

Lane Powell Registered 6 May 2014, 1:27

The monster variety, placement, and use of custom monsters were top-notch.

Icantthinkofanickname Registered 6 May 2014, 20:30

"A lot of it had to do with a big, relatively complex spaces the player is allowed to maneuver in. They provide a lot more room for tactical engagement than the boring arena-type spaces a lot of mappers use for such fights."

Agreed. Well said, Lane Powell.

Karl_Delacroix Registered 9 October 2014, 13:01

The two final battles were REALLY intense. Love the architecture AND the use of custom monsters.

MikeTaylor Registered 12 February 2015, 15:47

Replayed this. It doesn't disappoint. The truly great maps (and this one is in my all-time top two) don't just give you awesome combats, but also a sense of a real place. My word, but the Marcher Fortress feels real, and solid, and inhabited.

I finished with 371/372 kills (on hard). Rats, I just couldn't find that last monster. Then again, I only found 2/4 secrets, so maybe the missing monster is inside one of the secrets that I missed?

Oh well. Another time!

Lane Powell Registered 21 February 2015, 13:43

What's your other top 2, Mike?

MikeTaylor Registered 21 February 2015, 16:14

It's Telefragged, one of the three maps that make up the Rubicon Rumble Pack. See

BASE Guest 7 October 2015, 16:03

I remember this when it came out. Awesome map. Great to see it's still made available. Also, the exe's he included allowed me to play the official mission paks back then. At the time, I was mainly an online Mega Team Fortress player (Shout out to Zap, Biscuit, and Amnesia servers :P) using Zquake 0.13 and the Fuhquake QW clients of the time which wouldn't handle the mission paks with the spprogs.dat file going around.

Looks like now, Quakespasm and Darkplaces handle pretty much all single player needs these days and easily make this map look even better than when I first played it! I stick with qspaz since it runs no higher than 50 C on my machine whereas dp is running up to 80 C.

Spirit Registered 8 October 2015, 19:39

Use cl_maxfps 72 in Darkplaces to prevent it from killing your hardware. By default it tries to render as many frames as possible which is stupid.

Rimster Registered 21 April 2016, 7:38

There is nothing more satisfying than gibing a stairway of knights regurgitated from a tight choke point.

PuLSaR Registered 3 April 2017, 8:17

I've just re-played this map. I think it's been about 10 years since I've played it the last time. And still looks and plays great. It's a perfect example where horde combat is made in a very good way. Real classic.

Ajora Registered 26 July 2017, 23:06

This is an amazing map. Ammo becomes scarce near the end, so be careful.

GreatOmega Registered 17 August 2017, 16:55

A requisite play for anyone who believes their self to be a Quake fan. While no doubt the architecture in this level is exquisitely grand with a meticulously crafted layout, it goes above and beyond that by offering some of the most memorable set piece clashes that can be witnessed in a Quake level. It doesn't get much better than this.

bhlaab Registered 20 July 2019, 7:59

Health packs become VERY thin through the middle. The small room with a shambler, a vore, some melee guys, and a fiend is just too much. Cmon with that.

Rainfell Registered 7 July 2021, 21:02

This map is a classic. I played through it on Hard (skill 2), killed about 95% of the enemies and found 3 out of 4 secrets.

If you're looking for a romp through a medieval castle filled with traps and hundreds of enemies to kill, then the Marcher Fortress is for you. My tips for this map is to look for secrets and be smart with how you use your ammo. For example, if I remember correctly the Super Nailgun is hidden in a secret. Once I found it I began saving up nails for the big battles near the end, when there are lots of tough enemies that could really stand to use a Super Nailgun volley. The new enemies like the spiders, Nail Ogres, Imps, and Gaurochs (which I recognize from Arcane Dimensions) fit in really well with Quake's aesthetic. If you like Quake, you have no reason not to play this map.

Mopey bloke Registered 5 January 2022, 1:34

This map is pretty fun. There is some custom explosions and gore sounds in this which make it a bit punchier than vanilla Quake and that did make it more satisfying. As Quake enemies are spongy, and this map has a high enemy count, ammo maximum was raised accordingly although I would've preferred higher weapon damage. It would make dealing with hordes breezier for sure.

The Quake 3 textures make this very good looking, and thankfully the 4 guardians are very close and fast to kill after the bell is activated so the ding dong is not much of an issue. Environment are too big though. They do make the map sparse and therefore have a lot of trekking without much to do besides. If you happen to be living in 2005 or wish you were living in it, give me a call. Also definitely play this map. It is the best fragging you'll be doing in current year.

Scythe Registered 17 February 2022, 6:41

This really merits 5 stars, even fifteen years after its release. It may not be as pretty as some recent maps, but the gameplay is intense and the sense of place is outstanding. I never realized how much of Arcane Dimensions comes from (or was heavily inspired by) this level. Definitely a must-play.

Alex Ros Registered 31 January 2023, 20:59

One of the best maps ever created for Quake. Simple as that. Perhpaps its visuals didn't hold too well. But damn layout, gameplay ideas, environmental storytelling - everything is top tier. Author is really talented - THANKS

Lane Powell Registered 28 February 2023, 5:21

I replayed this recently I find I now disagree with my earlier comment praising the horde combat. I suspect it's because back then I was just worse at the game, so beating a huge map with a huge monster count felt like a monumental accomplishment. Now I tend to find such levels to be a grind. I usually play Quake levels on skill 2, but for stuff like this (and e.g. the typical Tronyn or necros joint) I prefer skill 1--not because Hard is too hard but just because it takes too long.

At worst you have moments where it spawns a horde directly ahead of you, trivialized by backpedaling and spamming grenades. When that "horde" consists of death knights it can get a bit tedious. The final fight, which spills out over the terrain surround the fortress, is more interesting by design, but I can't help but feel that this kind of scenario works better in Doom. It's not just that Doom is faster; the game has other subtleties that I think are lost in Quake, like the somewhat arcane BFG mechanics which make it tricky to use optimally against crowds, making it more interesting than just another "big fucking gun." I often think Doom may just be a more balanced game in general, but in any case Quake lends itself very well to "intimate" combat scenarios (for lack of a better term) and less so to more crowded ones. That's a not a hard rule and there's a lot of grey area that's worth exploring, but at the end of the day I find the encounter design here and in many places elsewhere to be quite dated.

Still a classic of Quake, ymmv etc.

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