A Past and Future Secret by Matthias Worch and Negke

The author of the classic episode, Beyond Belief, returns with a little help from longtime Quake contributor negke, with this classic, "Dimension of the Doomed" style map. Like many of the maps in id's e1, or in Beyond Belief itself, this map is an outdoor castle on a medium (or these days perhaps small) scale, with a few different building fronts and containing medieval corridors and vaguely church-like setpieces. I was most reminded of e1m4 and e1m5. In a more modern style, though, most of the map is contained in one giant outdoor area, and you see skylights indoors, you actually approach these same skylights from above later on. There is a castle area overlooking the front gate that is a nice lookout spot and is later the site of significant fighting, though the design highlight is the abandoned/broken-down church near the end, one wall of which has been smashed to bits by our favourite Volcano God. This is indicative of the creativity behind the map, and throughout the level there are unique little touches, like using trapped tarbabies to explode zombies for example, in addition to many retro Quake tropes like Ogres shooting at the player from barred arcades, pathways rising from the lava, and so forth. Monster placement is similarly careful and creative - zombies in particular were well used.

I am a sucker for maps which portray a large medieval structure, and this strikes a very nice balance between that sort of functional setpiece style, and the more abstract, trap-filled Quake-dungeon setup. A wide variety of medieval textures are used, so that each area has a unique look and the map never feels limited or looks boring, even though only id textures are used. This is a creative and satisfying throwback to the classic age of Q1SP, so congratulations to both authors on this excellent release. The only problem is, it's too short!

Score: 18.5/20