The Castle Of Koohoo

  • Release Date: 2001-04
  • Author: Vondur
  • Genre: Quake
  • Rating: 84

Tronyns Review

Vondur, known for his Q1SP map Solarfall and his work on Nehahra, has released his second stand-alone map, and it's a pretty damn good one.

A short, strange and slightly cheesy (unless I'm really missing something, it seems like the names and titles are just words made-up) story introduces the set, which consists of a small start map, an arena, and of course the massive castle level itself (though it isn't really a castle). Now, on to the looks and atmosphere: Heretic II textures from the 'Andoria' and 'Swamp' sets have been used extensively, with the odd normal Quake texture and some miscellaneaous other stuff thrown in here and there (I think I even saw something from Daikatana E3). The Swamp theme dominates and is done well; the map is dark, grimy, and moist. A new looping sound, an effective sky texture, and the overall suitability of texture choice contribute well to the atmosphere. The lighting is also very good overall, though in a few places it was ridiculously bright near the *night* sky - which would never cast that much light and unfortunately did detract from the atmosphere, though it was the only detraction I can think of.

Gameplay is original and very good. The map houses over 100 monsters, but it's so huge that that really isn't that many. This map has the most exploratory feel of any Q1SP I've played. It connects quite well, but sometimes there is a choice of routes, items are out of the way, and in general it's not the 'you must go here - now that you've pressed this button' straightforward gameplay style of many maps. There are large stretches of the map without even any combat, which is a cool thing to have - every inch of the level isn't teeming with monsters, nor should it be to suit the atmosphere created. Items are fair and I didn't run into any frustrating areas on hard skill level, so gameplay-wise just about everything is fine. The final fight with Ragoonshinah (see what I mean about made-up words?) is quite entertaining - one mistake and you're toast.

All in all, this is a very atmospheric map and about the only thing I could find wrong with it is the too-bright lighting in several areas that looked out of place. Other than that, this level is a definate winner.

Tronyn's Score: 84