Table of Contents
Remix Map Pack
This is a package of "remixed" maps, each of which is based on one of Quake's original maps. What is interesting about it is that each map is redone by a different author, so playing through this you get a series of different ways of redoing id maps, different ideas on how to re-present some of id's ideas. The fact that you already know the layout of these maps is no strike against them, because they constantly maintain interest, as it is always interesting to see what the author has done with the initial concept of the map. The modified Start map leads to all the levels in the pack.
This is probably the weakest map in the package. It is a really strange remake of e2m1, in that it changes the theme of that map (which is orthodox idbase, except for the blue floor, to fit in with e2's blue theme) to a more episode 3 netherworld theme. The layout is recognizeable in some places, but it is almost like a new map. Detail is generally lacking, although there are a couple areas that look neat. There are also some secrets, at least one of which is quite cool. Unfortunately I can't say that this improves on the original map, which is rather surprising at this stage in Q1SP, but it's worth playing in the context of this package as a whole for reasons I will get into later.
Overall Score: 11/20
One of id's weirder Runic maps gets an update here: Satan's Dark Delight. The architecture and lighting have been upgraded, and the theme has been expanded with new architecture and textures, including some really cool rockwork that seamlessly merges with the metal architecture in the main outdoor area. The layout is mostly the same, although a "tower" (containing a great secret) has been added. The map as a whole is quite fast-paced, and if you aren't careful you will die - you start out quite weak, and the fishpond is dangerous if you let too many ogres see you.
Nice spotlighting as in the original, and plenty of tough combat against ogres, make this an improvement on the original well worth playing.
Overall Score: 15/20
Here Speedy takes The Wind Tunnels, and recreates it and expands it in what has become his own sort of trademark style: a copper, metallic runic/base look. What is particularly cool about this remake, is that he takes what was originally a 100% indoor map, and makes sections of it outdoors - and connected, by line of sight - while keeping the same layout. Some rock-walls, bridges and walkways have been added, to make up the outdoor sections.
The map's looks have been improved everywhere - there is extra detail, new beams and buttresses and so forth, and plenty of runic lights throughout. The lighting throughout is smooth and aesthetically pleasant, and still exudes the same type of evil runic ambience, with a bit more of an industrial feel. As in the original, water and wind tunnels are both used well.The texturing is particularly nice. Enemies throughout are what you'd expect; the usual Runic bunch, a good challenge, with quite a few scrags as well. For some reason I felt rottweilers should have been used a lot more. Overall this is one of the better remixed maps, it is a great update on a great map.
Overall Score: 16.5/20
This takes The Sewage System and changes the theme entirely. Unlike the e2m1 remix, it doesn't change the theme from base to something else - this is still a base - but the type of base is totally different. Instead of idbase (with red details), this is now a dark, angled red-brown-gray Speedbase map - very modern. The water has been replaced by slime, which increases the difficult and makes things interesting! Lots of nicely textured arches adorn the map, and there are cool details like a laser gateway, and of course the obligatory crates.
Plenty of enemies, including some nasty vores and enough enforcers to threaten your life several times on hard, inhabit the map. The use of swimming is more challenging because of the slime, but makes the map interesting provided you recall the layout, which is mostly unchanged. The appearance of other non-base enemies such as Shamblers kicks the battles up a notch, and the laser traps have had a fiend ambush added which caught me off guard. Overall, a good remake, cool idea, well done.
Overall Score: 16/20
This I think is the best map in this pack. I always liked Azure Agony - one of the weirdest and scariest id maps. What we have here, is a seemingly unlikely addition to the constant blue theme of the original - bloody red bones are everywhere. What is particularly creepy is that the map is full of missing bricks, and behind the bricks are bones. This implies that the entire area was built on these bones - the bones of what must amount to thousands upon thousands of dead. There are other sadistic details, like the peeled faces spread across the floor of the first room. Elsewhere are defaced and broken towers and gargoyles. Throughout the map design details like this increase the sense of strange hostility and nameless malevolence of the original.
There are lots of Quake enemies throughout the map, not as many tarbabies as the original, but the end is a hilarious, evil, and difficult surprise. Elsewhere in the map, knights, hell knights and ogres are the main enemy. All in all, a great improvement that gets the essence of a weird and dark map.
Overall Score: 17/20
REMIX PACK OVERALL
Because of the start map and the nature of the project, playing this pack is similar to replaying an abbreviated version of Quake. In this way it is fairly similar to RPG's Quake Condensed. Most of the maps are well worth playing, and even the ones that are not great are worth playing in the context of a linear journey through the maps - I recommend playing them in the order of their episode-themes. It is a great way to relive the themes and ideas of Quake.
Overall Score: 17/20