The Seal Of Nehahra

  • Release Date: 2000-08
  • Author: Mindcrime and Nehahra team
  • Genre: Quake
  • Rating: 96

Tronyns Review

First I have to say I have not watched many Quake movies. But of those I have, few have new levels, fewer still have new engine modifications, and fewer still have the quality The Seal Of Nehahra has.

I watched the first half the day after it was released, then a night later myself and two friends watched the whole thing. The care that must have gone into making this movie is something nearly unbelievable. Every action that wasn't already in the game had to be modeled (and that's a lot), every line of text recorded and synchronized with actions on-screen, every camera angle checked and sequenced. The main point I want to make here is not only is all this technical work excellent, but the movie is very well written, too. Things left unexplained in Quake are explained here, and through the work of a few dedicated individuals, the Quake universe has been fleshed out and begins to make a lot more sense. Not everyone will accept this storyline as 'What really happened' - but it makes for a great introduction to Nehahra, and more importantly, one hell of a great movie.

Since I've already praised just about every aspect of the movie, I'd like to point out a few little things I think could have been changed. First, sometimes you see characters walking around for too long - enough, already - and second, I didn't like the fact that they used a portrait of Eidolon. I noticed textures from Hexen II, Unreal, and Heretic II, which is fine, but I don't think they should have used such a specific portrait unless the being portrayed is tied into their storyline. Lastly, in the new maps, lighting was too bright for my liking.

I thought 95 was the highest score I'd ever give something. But I never imagined something like this. The Seal Of Nehahra goes beyond what I thought anything could - I am amazed that someone would even try to make something like this, much less pull it off.

Tronyn's Score: 96

[Kona]s Review

(Reading this review will NOT give away any of the surprises in the game)

First let me say that this is not a level or anything that you can play. It is a very long (almost 4 hours) movie, done through demo's, for Quake. It is the prelude to the upcoming Nehahra, a huge free mission pack from some of the best names in the Quake community, lead by Mindcrime (J. Thaddeus Skubis).

The movie, however, was mainly Mindcrime's doing. There are new maps included, and some special effects to show off the new engine (modified Quake engine) used for Nehahra. So, alongside Nehahra this was almost a totally different project.

Before downloading it I had very mixed feelings. For a start I had only watched a few Quake movies before, and they weren't very good. Also the fact that the movie is nearly four hours long didn't exactly excite me. So I was expecting either amateur, unfocused rubbish, which is all too familiar on the internet, or a very good showing that should make a good introduction to Nehahra. What I got was neither of the above. Instead, after watching The Seal Of Nehahra, I can say it was a purely brilliant, professional movie which strongly rivals all the multi-million-dollar Hollywood movies! (at least for entertainment, not for special effects)

The Seal Of Nehahra is pretty much the story of Quake. Starting with how the slipgates were built, to finally what was to happen after Shub's death. Mindcrime told the story very well, nothing missed and everything made sense. In fact it made more sense than the original game.

It starts out okay, nothing brilliant, just some guy turning away a bunch of screwed up green Grunts from joining his squad. However, after a while you get to know who the main characters are. There are many small and short subplots, not only to give the story more depth, but also let you get to know the characters better and learn what kind of people they are.

Of course you have the bad guys and the good guys, the funny guys and the wimpy guys. There are feuds and confrontations, and even a lot of humor. However as the movie drives on, so do the characters, and new ones are introduced.

Not to give anything away, but some will die (sadly) while some will go on to bigger things. Characters will realistically change (not just go from the good, nice guy suddenly to the nasty, evil guy as you would expect in a soap opera). The way things developed definitely gives the movie more feeling and brings you into it.

So much, that I would not even call this movie an action, it's almost a drama! That is something I was not expecting before watching it, but it went well above my expectations and turned out much better.

The fact that Mindcrime is an accomplished writer/author could definitely be seen in the movie. The movie flowed very well and was flooded with professionalism. Mindcrime definitely knows what he was doing.

Now, onto the technical side. Although Mindcrime is very talented on the story and character focus, I wasn't expecting cinematography (camera-work) and directing to be as professional. But I was proven wrong again is it was all very top notch work. Many different creative angles were used - conversations and even action scenes were done expertly.

Adding to that, the music. Wherever it came from, it was brilliant and was added at just the right times to bring more atmosphere into the movie, or to further set a scene. Aswell as the voices, which Mindcrime did himself. I was very surprised that Mindcrime can not only direct and write, but also act! He did every one of the voices, which meant they were all done very well. I did notice some of the characters sounded a little similar though. Guys like Phil and Bent had perfect voices to match their funny or wimpy (respectively) personality. Maxwell had an evil and sinister voice, while the Ogres voices were done very well - especially the roars.

If I had to be critical of something (which I'm struggling to do), one thing would be how a few of the characters died. They acted like total cowards, crying, "what did I ever do to you?" I think they could have been a little more honorable and taken it like a man. Also whenever you see the Quake hero in action, he seems to be taking alot of damage. Every enemy killed would give him at least one good strike, yet he always seemed to be okay. Sometimes you would have a character walking very slow and you spend half a minute just watching him walk into a room.
Most of the movie revolves around the huge complex where the slipgates are first made. Unfortunately, this level could have been made a lot little better. It was quite plain in places. For a great movie you also need great sets. Nevertheless, this is just nit-picking.

Overall, the movie was stunning. All three hours of it I was glued to the screen, and will probably watch it again in future! It is as entertaining as any Hollywood movie, with a superb story which told Quake very well. If this is any indication of how good the upcoming mission pack will be, then watch out world!