Full Quake Episodes

Beyond Belief
by Matthias Worch
 - bbelief.zip, 6.98mb, Added 01.06.97
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After months of waiting, Matthias Worch has come up with the goods and Beyond Belief is upon us. It's difficult to know where to start with this piece of work - it screams quality from the word go and never lets up. Matthias designed BB to complement the original episode of Quake and I have to say that if id had released this episode rather than theirs, you wouldn't have heard me complaining! Every aspect of this episode has been nailed - archictecture that will leave your jaw on the floor, gameplay that is challenging, intense but never unfair, and level designs that force the player to work hard to progress but never frustrate. Matthias has remained true to the original spirit of Quake with no new monsters or weapons but they honestly aren't required. He breathes new life into the genre and shows that extra embellishments aren't needed to create a truly spectacular Quake experience. Favourites of mine are The Cleanse and The Lava Grounds but it's hard to choose a favourite when all the levels are so good. Hook up that modem and sit back for a long download in the knowledge that you are about to witness true greatness from a master of level design!   DM/SK/CO

Penumbra of Domination
by Marcus Dromowicz
  - mexx9.zip, 4.77mb, added 17.09.97
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This level requires Quake version 1.08 (Dissolution of Eternity) to run. (I have had reports that WinQuake 1.09 runs this .pak fine without having Dissolution, but can't confirm it. Get WinQuake from here.).

Well, I have to say it - I haven't had as much fun playing Quake since Scourge of Armagon. Penumbra of Domination is an absolute masterpiece on so many different levels - architecture, gameplay, Quake C, sound and lighting effects, cut scenes - the list is endless. From the moment you enter the start level, Monastery of the Time Monks, you are hit with mesmerizing effects - doors rotate and lightning cracks as you enter the main levels. Once into the first level, Cadaver Carnival, you are on a rollercoaster ride that thankfully lasts for ages! Each level in the 5 level pack carries Marcus' trademark of huge structures and outdoor areas, coupled with well thought out and executed (if you'll pardon the pun!) tricks and traps. Gameplay is always challenging, but, importantly, always beatable - the levels are interesting enough to make you search but never frustrate.

In my favourite level of the 5, Tower of Twilight, you enter a hall full of monsters praying to an altar - this has to be seen to be believed, with perfect animation and terrific new sound effects. The final battle with the Bishop himself is also stunning, as he mutates from monster to monster - this endgame is as tough as you'll ever play and there's a twist. Feel like going for the trusty Impulse 9? No way - "cheater" hisses the evil Bishop - you'll have to take it like a man :)

I could write a book on how much I like this level pack. On the downside, I don't know how well lesser machines may cope with some of the larger areas (my machine is like a cheetah on speed :). This goes straight to the top of my favourites list - a new benchmark has been set.   DM/SK/CO/GL

Prodigy Special Edition
by Dario Casali
 - prodigy_se.zip, 4.37mb, Added 15.06.97
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Update 12.11.97: You can pick up a patch to upgrade Prodigy SE to GL mode from here.

Prodigy Special Edition is a complete 6 level episode (1 start map, 1 secret map and 4 regular maps) by Dario Casali. Most of the maps have been released individually - I believe Venom is the newcomer here - but have all been optimised for this episode with new monsters and weapon placements. There can be no doubting the immense skill of Dario's editing. Architecture and texturing is jaw droppingly perfect - possibly the best I've seen - and gameplay is superb too, if a touch too hard in places for the average player. If anything, it's that same architecture that lets PSE down slightly. In quite a few places (most notably map 2 - The Ebony Shrine) the framerate drops badly and I even experienced greyflash - never a good sign. If you have a machine with the muscle to do this episode justice, then it's a must-have. Map 4, The Sombre Citadel, is worth the length of the download alone! Dario is now working for Valve Software - it's easy to see why :)   DM/SK/CO

Zerstörer - Testament of the Destroyer
by Nihilism Unlimited
  - zer.zip, 10.9mb, added 07.10.97
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The waiting is over. Zerstörer has been one of the mostly eagerly awaited projects over the past months and the finished product easily lives up to the hype. This is what a partial conversion is all about - 8 single player levels plus start map, 5 dedicated deathmatch levels, 5 new weapons and 4 new monsters including the awesome mega-enforcer.

Getting started with Zerstörer can be a difficult task - Nihilism have chosen to include an autoexec.cfg file within the .pak, and for players like me who have a custom .cfg this is a pain. First thing I did was to break out ADQuedit and hack the .pak! That done and you're into the levels proper. The start map gives a great indication of what's to come - oozing atmosphere, cool architecture and great new textures. From then on it's a nightmarish journey through some truly *scary* levels, interspersed with cut scenes (and I emphasise the word 'cut' :) that have been perfectly executed by the Spielberg of Quake, Darin McNeil. To single out levels would be ultimately pointless as they all add to the overall experience - my eyes took a hammering from the brutally dark and disorientating 'Among the Dead' but I'll live :) My own personal favourite would have to be Kandyman's 'Bunker' - a huge military complex, protected by deadly gun turrets (try hurling a couple of grenades at 'em!) with some of the best architecture I've yet seen in a level of this type, right down to the coolest lifts you've ever seen!

It's no secret that it took me a while to come to terms with Zerstörer - like a classic album that's 'ok' the first time you hear it, only to have burned itself onto your brain after a dozen plays. I'm glad I took the time with it - it's REALLY worth it. The entire Zerstörer team - Killme, Kandyman, Ace_Dave, Manzer, Midiguy, Dr. Rigormortis, Ratmonkey and Darin McNeil (wot - no nick, Darin? :) - should be congratulated on a superb piece of work. If John Cash likes it, it must be good :)    DM/SK/CO/GL/NM

DM -
Map includes Deathmatch starts.
CO - Map includes Cooperative starts.
SK - Map includes all Difficulty settings.
NM - Map includes new Monster models or skins.
GL - Map has been compiled for GLQuake.