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Sunday 22nd November 1998:

Casspq1: "Hell in a Can"
(Size: 2.0 meg. Alternative downloads: Casspq1 / Casspq1)

A recent level (June 98) that didn't make it onto any review sites, this is a truly amazing level with a very different theme and atmosphere to Quake, yet fits perfectly with the Quake ethos - read the story and you will see. Basically it's Quake (the gameplay) meets Quake2 (the futuristic setting and missions) meets Aliens (the plot) meets Zerstörer (the *fear* and atmosphere). The map itself is very cool and excellently themed, the gameplay is tense but very fair and reasonable, the atmosphere is totally engrossing and often rather scary, and there are plenty of cool little details. There are a few minor flaws: it needs a decent computer to run on (see below), there could have been more details architecturally, it's sometimes difficult to know what you have to do, and it certainly could have gone on for a lot longer - but overall, this is an absolute classic of the highest quality, and should be considered *compulsory*.
Note1: You need at least 40 meg of ram to play this in GLQuake, and you must add the following command:
-heapsize 36000
to either the GLQuake .bat file, or a DOS prompt command line, whichever you are using (for more help, the Help page).
Note2: The cutscenes don't work in GLQuake, press "n" to skip them. They aren't important, but it may be worth having a look at them in software mode.
Note3: Remember to use the new reloading function.

Desout: "Desolate Outpost"
(Size: 550k. Alternative downloads: Desout / Desout)
Coop speedrun demo: 0:40

Very nice base level, good solid design. The architecture is pretty damn good, with some nice use of angles and textures, and there are some varied, well designed rooms. Gameplay is excellent for a base level, there is always enough Grunts and Enforcers in your way, and when you complete a task, they teleport in to hassle you on your way back through, which is value for money! There's also some nice little details that add interest to the level. A few minor niggles, the water is underused, the dog looks out of place on it's own, only one secret (though it is a neat one!), the Perforator is overkill on a base level, and the slime at the end is inescapable. Overall, a great, fun level. (Did a coop speedrun with SCRAD in 0:40, also on the Demos page.)

FMB4: "For my Babies 4"
(Size: 800k. Alternative downloads: FMB4 / FMB4)

Fairly big, interesting and varied medieval level. The author says it is a collection of rooms he had left over, and this is noticable, but not really detrimental, as they have a consistent theme, while offering a varied challenge. The architecture varies, but is generally good and solid. Gameplay is quite tough, some monsters are placed in challenging situations that make good use of the monsters attack, though never become overwhelming. The secret areas are rather good in this, though the first one is pretty much essential to get a much needed weapon, while the other secrets are very cool in that they use entirely different themes (metal/base, and temple respectively) and contain appropriate monsters, which is rather clever. On the downside some architecture is a bit bland, there are a couple of annoying traps - take care around lava, and the level could have a little bit more purpose. Still, a jolly good, tough level.

FMB3: "For my Babies 3"
(Size: 1.0 meg. Alternative downloads: FMB3 / FMB3)

Important note: The hidden switch is clearly visible in software Quake. Therefore, if you are playing software Quake, this major flaw is NOT a problem, and the level, apart from the traps, is highly recommended.
This is an unfortunate example of a potentially excellent level that is crippled by some serious flaws. The theme is interesting, mixing metal architecture with crates and base enemy, as well as nastier monsters: the level sticks to this theme and it works really well. Architecture is great too, varied, solid and quite impressive. Gameplay is generally good, and the ending is excellent, a very cool climax, but there are some notable gameplay flaws, and you do face some monsters in truly awkward situations. But what really spoils this level are some other flaws: there are too many traps, ranging from the irritating (laser traps) to the annoying (getting dumped in slime) to the enraging (getting dumped in lava), but worst of all, there is one situation where you have to shoot a switch that is completely in the dark, with no indication whatsoever that it is there (I had to use "r_fullbright" to find it). Make no mistake, these are the only real problems, and without them this level would be extremely good, but as it is, I do recommend this, but only if you are prepared to put up with a few notable flaws.

Genetix: "Genetix Facility"
(Size: 1.0 meg. Alternative downloads: Genetix / Genetix)
Speedrun demo: 0:52, Coop speedrun demo: 0:32

Big sprawling base level, with some industrial touches. Actual layout is a bit 2D and bland, but there are a lot of good touches in this level that make up for it: nice doors, use of heavy metal and other detailed textures to good effect, and especially some impressive artifacts - teleporters and a big throbbing thing (mmmmm...). Gameplay is good and solid, and you get the right amount of items for the job. There are a few texture misalignments, and the theme doesn't live up to the name, but this is definitely a decent level. (Did a Nightmare speedrun in 0:52, and a coop speedrun with SCRAD in 0:32, also on the Demos page.)

Alpha001: "The Alpha Project"
(Size: 700k. Alternative downloads: Alpha001 / Alpha001)
Coop speedrun demo: 0:08

Rather sweet little base level. Design, layout and architecture are good, and there are some really nice details, like pipes and cool textures and the opening hallway. Gameplay starts good and solid, with good use of base enemy, but unfortunately gets very easy towards the end - another 10 enemy at the end would make this much better. Also the secret areas give you far too much power, making the level a walkover once you reach one, and unlike Desout, when you complete a task, you don't have the pleasure of wading through more enemy on the way back. This is a pity, since this is definitely a good level, but would be excellent with twice as many enemy. Easy, but nice for a spot of Quake before breakfast =). (Did a cool coop speedrun demo with SCRAD in 0:08, also on the Demos page.)