Gloomier Keep by Kell
- Download: e1m5quotha.zip
This map was a welcome surprise: a new map from Kell, a Quoth remake of e1m5 in his classic Knave style. It has all the design elements you would expect: organic sections, dusty old bricks, arcane markings, bookshelves, gears and traps, creative and detailed texturing, and of course, those striking blood-red stained-glass windows. Even if the general style is familiar by now, Kell's architecture and texturing always has elements of the unique and unexpected. Plus it's interesting to see Gloom Keep (surely one of the best, if not the single very best, original id Q1SP maps) in Kell's style - which is in some ways similar to the old Gloom Keep style, but more arcane/alien etc. So in terms of design, architecture and texturing are great, my only quibble is that given the title, the lighting should be gloomier! The lighting is actually brighter than the original, whereas some fulldark or at least a very low minlight would be more atmospheric.
In terms of gameplay, all the original traps and secrets remain, but the Quoth monsters (including the underused perforator Ogre) make the map significantly tougher than the original, and even than plenty of Quoth maps. Quoth maps are often on an epic scale, so there's plenty of room to run, but if you take the (now relatively tiny) scale of an original Quake map, and just use Quoth monsters instead of normal Quake ones, you're going to get a tough gameplay experience. There are also a _lot_ of hidden areas in the map, the coolest of which is a little furnished room, complete with a Piranesi picture on the wall - nice touch!
Overall, a great look back on both Quake and Quoth after all these years. A good sendoff for Kell if he is truly done with Q1SP (though hopefully he isn't or has some scraps to release!).