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Screenshot of mexx10
Author:Marcus Dromowicz
Title:The Cassandra Calamity (6ec06c60b0fa5216f3de485ae1a316f4)
Filesize:3473 Kilobytes
Release date:10.12.1997
Additional Links: erc's ExcellenceQuake Map HotelRetroquakeSPQ Level HeavenTEAMShamblerUnderworldfan's
Type:Partial conversion
BSP: ✔ • PAK: ✔ • PROGS.DAT: ✔ • Custom Models/Sounds: ✔

Files in the ZIP archive
Files in the ZIP archive:
File Size Date
PAK0.PAK7029 KB10.12.1997
MEXX10.TXT25 KB10.12.1997

The Cassandra Calamity

Two large, detailed Base levels with a story, some new textures, skins and sounds, and nasty cyborg enforcers, along with a few other additions. The author encourages COOP play, too.

Note: The built-in unzip tool in Windows seems to struggle with this archive. You can use the free 7-zip to unpack.

Tags: base, monsters, planetquake-map-of-the-week

Editor's Rating: Excellent
User Rating:
4.6/5 with 50 ratings
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Bad Sector 1 April 2009, 3:01
I just played this mini episode. Its awesome and i loved the extra stuff, like the new sounds, the tricks, etc which manage to suck you in the game.

When i started the first map and i was at the back of an enforcer, i just thought "ok, *boom* another quake map begins". Very soon though i realized that something was slightly different here (the first thing was the computer voice). I liked the layout of the levels, which although look dated (but i believe for a 1997 map they were very good) they had very good progression and i never felt lost.

The cyborg enforcers were nice additions and provided a more challenging set enemies. A bit too much challenging perhaps, given that i ran out of ammo at some point and i was saving/loading at this point consistently trying to kill them with what i had. So save your ammo!
Quaker 5 March 2010, 5:20
Very close to mexx9 in quality, i.e. excellent, although it's shorter (2 maps this time). Combined they'd be the best free releases of '97 - if, of course, it wasn't for Zerstorer. But they're even better than Beyond Belief (possibly third place?).
gb 18 May 2010, 3:42
Pointless, brutally hard perma-shotgun fest against base monsters *and* base monsters with extra HP. Not my cup of tea. Shouldn't it be like, easy at the beginning and harder at the end? No? Let's just put in lots of enemies, because we can. Placing monsters in the editor is easy, so show no mercy.

Pounding nails into the wall is more interesting.
MegaQuake 18 May 2010, 21:46
This classic release doesn't deserve that type of commentary!
hkBattousai 9 May 2012, 11:04
Very good work. Especially, that security policy change was very interesting. Thanks a lot.
Fr3n Guest 8 September 2012, 17:58
Truly awesome pak. The gameplay is challenging at the beginning - but if that scares you away, go buy a diaper. The only complaint I ever had is that it's entirely possible to complete the mission without destroying cassandra - i.e. it isn't obvious enough what you need to do to get the "real" ending. But that's a very minor issue - just rtfm.
Icantthinkofanickname Registered 30 November 2013, 19:20

Very strong sense of narrative, which might make the maps feel artificial by the second playthrough, but at the first time around makes for an impressive, cinematic experience.

In the readme the author says he had planned to include “more cutscenes” but was held back by technical restrictions at the time. Well, I'd say it was a blessing in disguise. Currently there is only one mini-cutscene (or at least I have only ever triggered one) and it really adds nothing, while actually interrupting the flow. It is by far the weakest moment of the episode.

I also agree with Fr3n that it is a pity that is possible to play through the entire episode without even being aware of the real “mission” (of which I was indeed unaware until I read Fr3n's comment; I had to go back and scour both maps to find Cassandra). In fact, I would go one step further: yes, one can “rtfm”, but that should not be necessary – the maps should be self-sufficient in telling their story, and something that is so central to the narrative should have an actual impact on how the map plays out.

Either way, though, this is an incredibly good piece of work.

MikeTaylor Registered 1 December 2013, 1:23

Agreed. It's fine work, but the first time I played this I blew Cassandra up accidentally before even realising the existed, while rocketing the attendant grunts. That destruction should be a hard-earned and rewarding moment. That's why I give this only four stars.

NightFright Registered 10 February 2014, 12:16

While I prefer "Penumbra of Domination" due to its longer gameplay time, this surpasses it in terms of quality considerably. It may be just two levels (tech bases), but they are super-polished and have an incredible atmosphere. The new Enforcers you encounter there are quite tough and can evade a lot of your projectiles. You have to be careful with ammo consumption or you'll run out of nails/rockets before you need them. It could have been longer and maybe a bit less difficult (for my taste), but it's an enjoyable experience after all, so I'll go for the maximum rating.

Simulacrum Guest 22 March 2014, 18:18

Has anyone else had trouble extracting Pak0.pak?

It says "An unspecified error has occurred"

Spirit Registered 23 March 2014, 14:58

What are you trying to extract it with? QuArK should do it or one of the dedicated pak tools.

Simulacrum Guest 26 March 2014, 23:59

I meant just extracting the Pak from the zip file, in order to install it. It extracts the readme file, but not the pak.

Johnny Law Registered 21 April 2014, 2:10

Yeah the native Windows unzipper doesn't like it. I had to use 7-zip.

MikeTaylor Registered 29 September 2015, 10:10

Good replayability on this one. Keeps being fun.

I checked: depending on whether or not you destroy the Cassandra mainframe, you get a different ending message. But even the "good" one is ambiguous.

That message refers to my only payment for the job having been a new experimental blaster, but I don't seem to have that. Was it in a secret that I missed?

AnthonyS Registered 20 October 2017, 2:30

Really well done design. Fun game play. But once you get the rocket launcher its pretty much smooth sailing which was kind of unfortunate. Wanted more challenge.

Greed Registered 9 November 2017, 19:20

Just played through it saveless. What a joy! Excellent balance and very cool set pieces, Quake at its finest.

JMP Registered 10 July 2020, 16:09

An excellent mapset with a unique atmosphere.

triple_agent Registered 3 March 2022, 5:02

Ambiance in this map is supreme.

Cpt.Gonzo Registered 23 May 2022, 21:06

Hmm. If you like shooting Marines, this is for you. If not, maybe not so much.

vertigo Registered 9 July 2022, 5:02

'The Cassandra Calamity', the final chapter of the Mexx series, is one best Quake releases I have ever played. It is so close to being a 5/5 but it just barely misses the mark (I'll elaborate on that later).

One of the first things you notice when playing Calamity is the female AI's voice. There are a number of custom voice prompts that sound surprisingly high quality. In the readme Marcus hopes that these wavs have added to the experience and I can confidently say they absolutely do.

These voice prompts are just one ingredient in the fantastic atmosphere in Calamity. There are a number enhanced capabilities in this mod, this includes: rotating brushes which make for engaging doors and scenery such as fans, custom ambient sounds, 'holograms', monsters dropping keys, monsters teleporting when others are killed, cutscenes and more robust scripted events. All of these combined give the map a strong identity and a very real sense of adventure. A perfect example of this is the elevator sequence in the first map (I won't spoil it) and the ending.

Gameplay-wise this map is exactly how I like my Quake maps: constant action with just enough health and ammo for you to be able to hold +forward from the start of the map and go on a Quadless Quad run for the entirety of the map. Unfortunately, the gameplay is also what makes the maps lose a star in my books. The maps feature new monsters - Rocket Grunts and Silver Enforcers. The problem is that while the Silver Enforcers are easy to distinguish from their vanilla counterparts the Rocket Grunts are not. They look exactly the same as the regular Grunts so I ended up wasting rockets and cells on standard Grunts because I didn't know what they really were. I think there may also be enforcers with buffed up health that look like the vanilla ones but I'm not sure, it may be that Marcus just increased all of the vanilla Enforcer's health.

The first map uses the gold and silver keycards multiple times, I'm not sure if this was done very often at all back in '97.

The brush work and detailing for both maps are very good for it's day and age and it's custom textures help them stand out in the sea of tech base maps.

The ending has a cute nod to Quake 2 and I really hope Marcus has released some Quake 2 maps because after this I want to play everything else he's ever made.

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