Coven Of Ebony

  • Release Date: 2000-05
  • Author: Tronyn
  • Genre: Quake
  • Rating: 82

[Kona]s Review

Two big releases from Tronyn in one day, and I have been eagerly awaiting them both. Coven Of Ebony is the first that I played, and I was blown away! You get to trek through six levels, one being the start map and end levels with three mammoth levels in between.

The design is very well done, using unique textures from the Quake mission packs. Although sometimes it did look a little bland and plain, it certainly didn't look amateur and was always fairly pleasing to the eye. The first level (after the start map) was in a church, with some nice detailing. The second took place in caverns with a mix of building interior and bookshelves built into the rock. The third level was more like some of the original Quake levels, with water included with a dark medieval building. Then it was on to the last small level which was in a small church area.

The levels were all quite unique and atmospheric, and did very well to match the enemies in the wizard style which is not often seen in custom Quake levels, let alone pulled off this successfully. I was never lost, and although the levels are quite linear, the layout crossed over itself and you find yourself returning to previous areas to open new doors.

However, the main strength of Coven Of Ebony was not level design at all - it was the gameplay. As I walked through the first doors to meet the first enemies it was tough straight away. A whole gang of them ran towards me and my only hope was that they would take each other out before they got to me. From then on it got even harder as new enemies were introduced. There is a new Hell Knight (of course the old one is still there with a new skin - which I made) who takes three times as many hits and is more deadly. The Knights take a bit more before going down, while there is also a new very annoying guy who runs at you swinging an axe. The problem is he's too quick! I was actually quite relieved at the end of the first level when the first Shambler popped up for the end-of-level battle (also skinned by me, aswell as the Ogre skin).

It wasn't until the second level that a couple of new deadly enemies found me. They were strange looking beasts wearing cloaks and would either spit like a Scrag or heave great fireballs at you which bounce around hunting you down until they either hit the target or get intercepted by a wall. But they are more deadly than the Vores, as these balls are much quicker. Fortunately this nasty enemy wasn't used much, and whenever it was just lob a few rockets around the corner and run like hell.

Overall, Coven Of Ebony was definitely worth the wait. The levels look good and the wizard style is pulled of wonderfully. Gameplay was top notch, very challenging and with all the new monsters a quite refreshing change from the usual Quake baddies.