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Monday 30th July 2001

Rpgsp1: "Penile Devastation"
(Size: 950 k. Alternative downloads: Rpgsp1)
Speedrun demo: 0:48

A medium, almost symmetrical, metal themed level. It uses very traditional metal textures of grey stone walls, rivetted metal trim, gargoyle head insets and slightly hi-tech lights (little lava, though). However the architectural style makes this theme looks quite fresh. Curves are well used throughout the map, ranging from varied arches, to curved beams and a few dome-like structures. In general the architecture is very good, and the main areas have distinctive designs, such as the cool bulbous doorways in a small outdoor courtyard or an impressive towering wall buttress in the final cavern. It would have been nice if there had been more such designs - the simple angled corridors would have been better with curves. And yes, there is a penile design, appropriately tucked away in an impressive secret area, thus it doesn't spoil the otherwise arcane atmosphere of the map. The design itself?? It's a GIANT COCK what did you expect... Lighting is good too, all well sourced with good shadows.

With the design, there are some route choices, but with the symmetry the choice isn't particularly exciting. However 4 secrets give you something to find, and indeed they are very useful and well worth hunting for, though the penile secret seems very hard to access. Gameplay is tough and challenging throughout the map, it's also quite refined. Medieval monsters, including the notorious Spawn, are used constantly, but not in overwhelming gangs. Most of them tend to lurk or patrol, but there are a few ambushes, an early one with a Fiend is a bit nasty. Only the weakest weapons are given, although with adequate ammo, which definitely increases the challenge. The gameplay escalates to the finale in a large cavern where wind tunnels fire various groups of monsters at you. This is a bit luck dependent, if monsters don't fight each other, it can be very hard and some players might find it too relentless. Skill settings are in effect though.

Czgtoxic: "Biotoxin"
(Size: 580 k. Alternative downloads: Czgtoxic)
Speedrun demo: 0:34

The winner of the second 100 brush contest is a great little map in it's right, set in a strongly themed waste pumping facility, with an enviromentally friendly objective to stop it pumping crap into the ecosystem. It uses Quake2 textures very well, and could have been part of Quake 2's waste unit. If, errr, it was a Quake2 map. Which it's not. Anyway, the map focuses on a central arena with an impressive building front, various ledges in and around that building, and a seperate and equally attractive exit area. Angles are well used in many areas, although the corridors are a bit simple. Though small, it has very nice architecture overall. There's no exploration nor secrets, but the gameplay makes good use of the design. There's a lot of base and tougher monsters, but they aren't thrown at you at once, instead they tend to lurk and ambush you as you wind your way around the map. Action is constant, but there's fairly good supplies to keep you going. The ending isn't much of a climax though, but overall this map is plenty of fun for it's size.

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