A fine blend of light and shadow with a touch of grime.
 Nice arch effect. Quite grand.
 A stroboscopic effect caused by fan and light.
What began as a level for a now defunct total conversion has been given a new lease on life in the form of the highly playable Quake II set piece entitled Wellspring of Murk.
With a bucket load of new textures and an eye for design Mike is able to create some very interesting and unique locations. Take for example the first screenshot depicted here. This grimy area is perfectly lit and creates a sense of age and decay. The design is solid and believable with supporting columns hugging the walls capped off by an overhead skylight.  Also, what you can't see from this screenshot is that this is actually the top portion to another level which extends far below. This is a good use of space which helps to create interest and tension.
Gameplay is quick and while there are a few security doors to open and several lasers to get past the experienced player will find this fast moving. Perhaps the most difficult was a rather dark underwater sequence which leads to a set of waiting Strogg guards who open fire the moment you appear.
In the final analysis Wellspring of Murk offers a solid level experience with some very well realized locations. That said there is still something amiss here that stops this level from being truly memorable. Perhaps it is the lack of a consistent visual theme, or possibly the absence of a truly massive and engaging battle, or perhaps the elements that were intended for the total conversion would have united this effort and given it the character and personality that it seems to need.
Wellspring of Murk
Mike Schulenberg
November 1999
2.10 MB
H I G H S:
Solid and interesting architecture, quick puzzles and tasks which never frustrate but enhance game play.
L O W S:
Short on character and personality, never really defines itself.
N U T   S H E L L:
A fine level with new textures which just misses the mark.