Geophobia by Than

Than's latest is a remix of id's DM7, probably the map that took the least time for id to build in all the original Quake: it has very few brushes and is entirely built of 90 degree angles. Than's remix, on the other hand, is basically unrecognizable, if he hadn't indicated what the map was based on, the average player probably wouldn't have known. What we have instead of an obviously-rushed runic box with walkways, is a pretty little Gloom-Keep style fortress which incorporates copper runic pipeworks, and is surrounded by dark muddy rock faces. The layout is fairly open (the original's title, Agrophobia, is hilarious in the context of Quake), but due to the small-medium scale, most of the danger comes not from enemies sniping, but instead from close proximity: scrags teleporting are used effectively later on, as are Vores. Surprisingly there aren't Ogres everywhere, as this seems kind of like an Ogre's map. There's a progressive increase in challenge, culminating in a towertop battle - or so you think. Overall, not necessarily a hard map, but basically non-stop action, and good monster placement.

The design style is cool: we've seen enhanced-idbase and enhanced-runic levels, which take normal id themes and add custom textures, new architectural elements, and so forth to create an expanded and improved version of an old theme. This map is probably best termed enhanced-Gloom Keep: the addition of copper wind tunnels, pipes, custom textures (some, if I'm not mistaken, from Conflagrant Rodent?) give the sense that is not just the same old e1m5 style. It's kind of like e1m5 meets e3m5. The whole Gloom Keep style is one of my favourites, so I definitely enjoyed the look of this map. While it's not really much as a remake, since it hardly resembles the original, the original is one of id's weakest maps, and appears to have functioned here merely as an excuse for Than to make a tightly designed, fun little setpiece map.

Score: 18.5/20