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Swamp & Towne

Second Opinions 

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Details Build times and packaging

These two maps were intended to run on from one to the other, but were released separately. Both, however, share a dark, spooky ambience, have a strong plot (and subplot!) dictating the direction of gameplay and map design, and were well received in the Quake community.

Swamp Murky, muddy, magnificent

You've been sitting in these ruins waiting for rescue for days on end.

Finally, you come to the conclusion that they're not coming. Chambering one of your few remaining rounds into your shotgun, you prepare to move out and seek a way home.

Well, so much for plot. This map was months in the making, playtested by good ol' Borsato. Now it's just about done (to a turn) and is here for your delectation.

Part of the challenge stems from the careful, minimalist balance between weaponry and foe. Remember, you're marooned, and nobody knows where you are...

It's actually very hard to write about this map without spoiling the surprise. So I'll leave you with screenies and Borsato's deathless words:

Where is this going? Actually I asked this question during play, which is very good. It means I "believe" the atmosphere.

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Towne Not your average night on the tiles

This map has been reviewed by Team Shambler and Ethereal Hell.

"Do you think he's dead?"

An ogre and a knight peer into a broken cellar window at a motionless figure underneath a pile of broken boxes, dishes, shelving and sundry items.

The ogre shrugs. "I hope so. He just came up outa the water at the docks and blew my off-sider apart, and I chased him up that old alleyway by the warehouse."

The knight nods. "Yeah, then he nearly runs me down coming out of there..." Reflectively, he adds, "Pretty good speed for his condition."

The ogre looks puzzled. "What condition?"

"Bloody awful."

The ogre laughs. "Gotta be worse now he's tripped through that window - say, is that blood by his head?"

"Don't know. It's hard to see in this light."

"Well, go down there with a torch and check."

"Not alone! You can back me up."

"I can't fit through that window, tin man. What's the matter, scared of a corpse?"

"As a matter of fact, yes. You know those Koth cultists are getting active again?"

"Oh relax, they'll be dealt to tonight. If this guy goes zombie, at least he's cooped up in there out of the way."

"True. Tell you what: let's report this to the Chief. He'll know what to do."

"Good idea. Let's stop by an inn first - I could do with a little steadier."

The Chief of Guards glares at our two plot devices, tapping one of its three legs.

"This is news of both good and ill. News of good, for this M'rheen has ended the lives of those who violated tombs. News of ill, for it has violated tombs in its turn, and entered our walls, and may even now be ravening through the streets."

Knight and ogre look baffled. "But he - it's dead -"

The vore slams fists on the table. "Fools! Ye know naught of M'rheens - they are the most mighty and evil force of death and destruction ever to blight the realms! They possess weaponry like unto the followers of Koth - they fight to the death - they outwit the cleverest of traps - they can even -" it leans forward, bringing its face far too close for either knight or ogre's liking - "rise - from - the - dead!"

It straightens up, leaving both knight and ogre white-faced.

"So return to where you left the M'rheen, and ensure it is dead and beyond the grasp of the followers of accursed Koth. And bring the head unto me!"

Our pet monsters return to the broken window, and spend a while passing a bottle back and forth. Finally, the knight squares his shoulders, ignites a torch from the nearby streetlight, and begins to push himself through.

"Damn! Hey, light another torch will you? I dropped mine."

"Right - did you see anything?"

"No - not enough. Hang on while I get inside."

There is scraping, a thump of feet on floor. The knight peers around nervously, but doesn't see the axe head that sweeps head from shoulders.

The axe's owner looks up at a cry from outside. "Ready for that torch?" Fades into the shadows beneath the window. "Hey - you all right in there?"

An arm brandishing a torch is thrust into the cellar, followed by a worried ogre's head. He sees the jumbled wreckage of box and shelf - the corpse of the knight - a flash of bloody metal sweeping into his face -

Silence, save for laboured breathing, and the sound of liquid dripping.

The Chief of Guards paces nervously, waiting on word of the M'rheen. Eventually, it utters a weary curse and begins to plan defences.

The church - sanctum of the Holy of Holies - must at any cost be preserved. With a M'rheen at large in the streets, and the followers of the outlawed Koth cult gathering for who knows what dark purposes, one may as well bar the doors and redouble the patrols.

Yes. The guards will be waiting.

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