Strength. Service. Honour.

  • Release Date: 2001-02
  • Author: Vigil
  • Genre: Quake
  • Rating: 82

Tronyns Review

When I read the title of this map, the first thing that came to mind was definately not the idealistic ivory tower that the name would seem to imply. Rather, the title is something of a satire, and the map takes place in an urban hell-hole straight out of some dark and Facist future.

Posters line the grimy brick walls of this wretched arena, with mottos and slogans galore, one being 'Ignorance is Strength' (sound familiar?). There are also speakers, which would have been made much cooler had there been custom .wavs included of various propaganda phrases. The structures are built of ugly stone or dirty brick and metal. The checkerboarded floors look cracked and dirty, which is an especially cool touch and works on a figurative level as well. It would have been a nice touch for a lot of things to be out of order; some broken/flashing lights, or even better, having a 'broken' speaker and a wav file where the phrase gets cut off or made static, or repeated like a broken record - that would have been great.

I suppose what I was saying in that last paragraph is that the map has atmosphere. It also has 'a point' to it, which not a lot of levels can claim. To be truthful I didn't really think the theme of Vigil's previous SP maps (brown stone / metal) was very good; it seemed bland and soulless. Well, 'Strength. Service. Honour' is completely soulless - and it is deliberately that way. However, the natural textures - the rock, grass, stone, and water - looked incredibly cartoony and idealistic if I may say - next to the grimy, realistic structure textures. It seems inconcievable that in an area this polluted and filthy, that the grass would be green and the rock would be straight and well-cut, and that the water would be a nice blue showing no signs of pollution. The sky, upon thinking about it, should seem out of place, but it doesn't. Another out of place was the thanks for playing message at the end, that sounded too sincere for the rest of the map. It should have been a series of messages bordering on insulting the player's intelligence that the player was forced to read until the exit opened. Anyway, overall a well done concept map, could have been incredible, but will have to settle for 'very cool.'

Gameplay is well suited for the map - lots of identical, grimy grunts make up the bulk of the forces, while several overlord enforcers provide some more challenge, with the odd Ogre and then a finale with 'Quake' bad guys. There isn't a lot of health, true (almost all the boxes are rotten, too) - and this helps add to the rotten feel of the map (and I mean that in a good way). As well, a really cool touch is when you kill the Vore at the end, and another one teleports exactly on the spot as soon as he dies - it makes the fight seem futile (again I mean that in a good way).

This is just the sort of place I'd never want to be. Overall, a dark, pessimistic, ugly, futile, filthy, icky, polluted, cynical and generally bad map.

Tronyn's Score: 86