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Screenshot of koohoo
Title:The Castle of Koohoo (d743648c6b245859adde93c0c24af4d9)
Filesize:2226 Kilobytes
Release date:25.03.2001
Additional Links: Ethereal HellRetroquakeTEAMShamblerTen FourTronyn'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
koohoo/koohoo.txt5 KB10.09.2003
koohoo/pak0.pak5121 KB24.03.2001

The Castle of Koohoo

Small mappack in a swamp/tribal setting. Features a start, main level and boss map.

Tags: aztec, underground, outdoors, huge, swamp, temple, boss, green, planetquake-map-of-the-week

Editor's Rating: Excellent
User Rating:
4.4/5 with 79 ratings
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Ron 8 May 2010, 16:14
Masterpiece !
Ubermann 26 June 2010, 21:28
Trully epic.
Qmaster 21 December 2010, 17:58
Very cool and different, the secrets were hard to find too, but I got 'em all. Nice large swampy temple. 5/5
Spirit 12 January 2011, 15:25
Voohoo ^__^
Shambler 12 January 2011, 15:25
Spirit 12 January 2011, 21:54
Yeah, I should probably prevent that.
Daz 25 November 2011, 20:05
Video playthrough -
Fr3n Guest 18 September 2012, 4:51
I've tried to play this damn thing a dozen times since it was released and I get lost with 1/3 of the kills EVERY time. Gotta watch Daz's movie....
Fr3n Guest 9 October 2012, 4:52
I still don't get it....
Really samey architecture just doesn't do it for me.
NightFright Registered 4 February 2014, 23:33

It's a short one, but with a nice water temple design that reminds a lot of Heretic II. Certainly worth about 30 minutes of your time!

MikeTaylor Registered 6 February 2014, 0:37

I've played through this many times over the years, and it continues to impress. Lots of atmosphere, and feels different from any other level. It's aged well. 5/5.

Cocerello Registered 4 July 2014, 13:54

Played in normal and nightmare. All secrets found.

Very good levels, that highlights in atmosphere and style mainly.

Mostly linear layout, with some nice exploring parts and even some backtrack ways. Brushwork is almost everything on the axis, with variations in brushwork and architectural style along the map, and with many good details to look at . Brushwork, lighting and textures blend well with each other and contribute to the atmosphere and to gameplay.

Combat style have aged a bit, but is enjoyable, with variations on the type of situations. There is no no specially amazing ones to highlight, apart from maybe the one around the pool, but no really bad ones either. Placement, choice and amount of enemies are good, except for most of shalraths. Difficulty around ID maps. The boss fight is well done, but it is a boring fight, mainly because of the choice of boss (not that bosses that provide enjoyable fights are abundant in Quake custom maps, so this is a minor issue).

Secrets are enjoyable and well placed.

Amount of ammo/health/armor is over what you can carry but OK.

bfg666 Registered 30 August 2016, 17:01

Very cool map. I just L-O-V-E-D the aztec theme and its according architecture. I felt like I was playing a Tomb Raider level in Quake!

Still, it was very linear, with a glaring lack of alternative routes and interconnectedness. I would have put a few puzzles and traps along the way to further enhance the theme, Indy style. Also, the boss fight was very disappointing for two reasons: 1) A green recolor of Chthon, seriously? I wished for an aztec god or something. 2) Waaaaaay too easy to beat. All you have to do is circle strafe around the pool and dose the guy with rockets to put him down without even getting a scratch. There are harder parts in the main map! A few extra enemies around the pool to distract the player would've brought some challenge.

All in all and despite the criticisms, I enjoyed playing this quite a lot and will surely come back to it, if only to find the last secret. One more thing: castle?! It doesn't feel very castle-y. Temple or Tomb would be more fitting.

onetruepurple Registered 30 August 2016, 17:44

There is an alternate route allowing the player to skip about 30% of the map (and die horribly because they miss the SNG this way).

FredBezies Registered 31 August 2016, 19:57

Found only one secret, but besides this, it is a great map. Really loved it!

Pritchard Registered 27 September 2016, 16:23

This map made me wonder what could have been had Quake's Aztec textures not been scrapped. Beautiful architecture which has aged well and a wonderfully consistent texture set make this a stand-out in visual style.

Sadly, the same cannot be said for the gameplay of this map. Although it is hardly poor, it most certainly is bland and uninspired, with poor arena battles and health/armour/ammo balance leaving me feeling uninterested as I progressed. A retextured Cthon battle is a poor end as well; Having him be a simple tank who soaks up the player's ammo is almost as anticlimactic as the original fight, a mistake I have seen numerous mods make when they reimplement him.

I considered rating this a 3, but considering my personal affection for the artwork/brushwork I couldn't bring myself to.

JMP Registered 30 January 2019, 3:55

Years ago, this was one of the first custom Quake maps I played, and its otherworldly textures and great atmosphere really impressed me. Replayed it recently, and I'm pleased to say it holds up.

Lysander Registered 4 March 2019, 17:54

Beautiful, unusual and atmospheric map. Love the Aztec textures and the mystical feel. Something different and very enjoyable by Vondur.

Greenwood Registered 6 February 2020, 4:31

Very nice. A typical Vondur high quality build. I really liked the whole ancient, swampy setting. The boss battle was a little easy, but the green skinned Chthon was a nice touch. I think if he would've had a final-enemy-wave-arena type ending, like in Adamantine Cruelty, then it would've been better, but again ...this is very nice!

Rhoq Registered 3 September 2020, 23:03

Fantastic layout! There were at least two things I thought I had reached the end, only to discover there was more map to be had. There were a few areas that were a bit samey for lighting that made it hard to build a mental map, but it's a small complaint. The architecture made sure that navigation still went well. Even with some mis-steps, I got through it in a single playthrough. Super well done.

Jehannum Registered 6 April 2022, 21:00

I'm not sure just how many times I've played this level over the years, but I had to come back and play it again to better compare with the Retro Jam 7 (2022) release. The original sure does hold up for me, even after so many years.

SharpEyeJoe Registered 23 April 2022, 0:41


Lane Powell Registered 11 July 2022, 5:34

The first of (imo) two really good single-player maps by Vondur. I prefer Adamantine Cruelty overall, which has a superior layout--Koohoo's is pretty straightforward overall, with the notable exception of the big area with the floating platforms and water, one of the most memorable areas in any Quake map. The one advantage Koohoo has over Adamantine Cruelty is a thicker atmosphere, mainly due to the new (to Quake) textures and judicious lighting (and without the fancy tricks allowed for by newer engines and mods).

Gameplay-wise it's pretty solid. As with his previous map, Vondur's enemy placement is often pretty basic, but this one is not underpopulated. I could do without the boss, though.

Not my favorite of Vondur's maps but for those who value atmosphere over gameplay I can see how it could be. Personally, 4/5 but it's really must-play Quake for its importance to the scene.

vertigo Registered 12 July 2022, 1:47

Koohoo makes trudging through a swamp actually enjoyable and visually interesting. I'd have to say my favorite element of the map was the textures and their use. Having looked at the readme it seems that they come from Heretic 2 which I've only played through a few times and that was back when it released so it all feels fresh to me. I also feel a lot of Unreal 1 influences here, I wouldn't be surprised to find out that some of the Unreal maps were used as references.

Despite essentially being a single map with a fairly low enemy count (I always play on Hard) Koohoo does a surprisingly good job in creating a sense of grand exploration. The dank waterlogged temple and it's walls adorned with reliefs showing bizarre humanoid figures screams Shadow over Innsmouth to me. If this map were prefaced with another featuring the town itself it would fit perfectly.

I think the fact that this map has a start map and a separate boss map add to feeling of completeness which in turn boosts that sense of exploration as you feel like there really is a lot to explore despite the map featuring only 3 tagged secrets. The outro text after the boss battle also adds to this motif of exploration and adventure.

From a gameplay perspective it's serviceable. It doesn't break new ground or have any memorable combat set pieces but it does use all the monsters competently and keeps things interesting with traps and ambushes.

As I mentioned above the map features a separate boss map and it's a bit of a letdown. The boss is a shootable, smaller and reskinned Chthon who is very easy to defeat. He has a single attack which I think may be exactly the same as his vanilla counterpart - this also includes his predictive aim. Thanks to this aim you can strafe left and right in the same spot and he will over-predict and send projectiles sailing past you 95% of the time.

I think that adding more monsters (there is only the boss monster in the map) in staggered waves would have made the fight a) much more dynamic and engaging and b) actually challenging. Having the boss map split up from the main map raises the players expectations and then it fails to deliver. One part of the boss fight that I do appreciate is that after X amount of damage (may be random?) a gib will fly off the monster which makes it slightly more visually interesting and confirms that you are doing damage (there are blood particles too).

I had a lot of fun with Koohoo and it's most definitely an easy recommendation.

Esrael Registered 13 April 2023, 19:20

Finally got around to playing this landmark piece, and I can see why it's revered. I don't really have much anything to add to the previous reviews: The textures, atmosphere and exploration shine over the combat aspect of the map. Many enemies can be exploited from afar, for example, and supplies are quite abundant. Not sure if it's just me, but the map felt just a smidgen too dark. Maybe that partly explained why I found only one secret. Still, definitely worth a playthrough in my opinion.

I did actually die against the boss once using a circle strafey strategy. Standing mostly still worked a lot better for me, so adding some other monsters would have been great to prevent exploiting such a cheesy strategy.

When weighing all things together, I'd say the package is worth a rating of 4.5 or 4.75 for the time.

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