***this review was previously available at Alejandro Mapping Center***
Level name: Operation: Urth Majik
Level name: Operation: Urth Majik
Author: OUM team
Date of release: 21 July 2001
Size: 10 200 Ko
Number of maps: 6
website: here (seems to be down or lost)
Quake never stops trying.
You mutter the words savagely as you pace the floor of the Emergency Command Bunker; the last bastion of what was Frater Research Base. Your base.
As the base commander, you saw Frater grow from a small storage depot in the middle of nowhere to a small storage depot playing host to some scientist types. However their "temporary" stay became permanent, as did the new wings and buildings. Interesting documents and reports began to fill your day, as well as the odd bit of excitement (and subsequent repairs).
Then that building was constructed. No, you were told, you could not be told what it held. No, you could not be allowed inside - what was inside was Alpha level clearance, not for the eyes of lowly Beta clearance wallahs. No, you couldn't talk to the staff there - they were always ferried in by robot drone from elsewhere; and the tracking systems wouldn't track them. Hell, you were ordered to keep all windows closed and blocked while construction was proceeding!
What was in there? You don't know. But whatever it is, Quake wants it, and wants it bad. You've some suspicions yourself - like illegal slipgate research - or maybe something to do with the strange behaviour of Doc Hattenschweiller's "patients".
Doctor Ernst "Hat" Hattenschweiller's research concerns - or concerned, you don't know if he's still alive - the removal of Quake's control devices from those captured by his forces. A fair bit of research involving Quake's other humanoid troops led up to Hat perfecting the process where the components could be removed without setting off the booby-traps incorporated into them. Sort of a cross between bomb disposal and brain surgery.
Hat reported two weeks back that his "patients" had begun to behave oddly; every night, they were chanting in some strange language, stopping abruptly exactly on the stroke of midnight. At first the "cured" patients didn't participate, but as the days wore on they began to chant as well.
Other little peculiarities began to crop up. Missing supplies, for one; odd power demands from various parts of the base, and especially from that building. The occasional escape as well, but as things went from peculiar to queer to worrying, patterns began to emerge. The supplies tended to disappear most often nearest that building. The escapes came more frequent, the escapees more violent, and were always found heading toward one building - that building. The Alpha clearance mystery building.
However, the final straw came from a completely different direction. Hat sent an emergency call - the patients had suddenly, and without warning, completely reverted to their original programming. And somehow they'd managed to get guns and were starting to overrun the facility.
Then the lights went out briefly, flared once, then settled down again. A flash of wrong coloured light from outside drew you to the window. It was that building, being struck by lightning coming down from a gangrenous, unearthly sky.
Then more emergency calls came in from all over the base: reports of intruders, attacks, pleas for assistance. You began deployment of your forces.
But now you hide in this reinforced cage of a room. All the news you're receiving is bad. The base is completely overrun; it's only a matter of time before they break down the doors and take you down as well...
As you pace, you begin to get angry. This is your base, damn it! And now you're hiding here, a fugitive on your own friggin' turf, just waiting to die? Screw that!
It takes a few minutes to send off a distress signal, and a message that you're going to do what you can towards recovering, or escaping, Frater Base. A further minute to plan your route to Hat's laboratory - where things seemed to begin - and one more to check and load your gun.
Quake never stops trying, you say to yourself, and neither will I.
Operation Urth Majik is part of the masterpiece realisation for Quake1. It introduces a lot of features into a new quake experience. This Add-on is based on a mission that is quite simple: make your way through several bases in order to reach the temple of Urth Majik, where the final battle will take place.
There is a lot of ‘external’ ideas: ik base, Zerstörer, Scourge of Armagon ,…this all together really fits this realisation like if they were selfmade.
All the maps are well balanced in realisation, gameplay, features and are ‘immersing’ the player into a progressing challenge. They all fit together too, except perhaps the fourth map (the eye of the storm) which is, through its texturing, a little bit out of the add-on (perhaps just a too sharp transition). Enemies have been modified not so much in weaponry but more in their look… beautiful but not as realistic (using ‘flashing’ blue clothes is quite a nonsense for an army). There is also presence of Nail turrets (not enough used) , laser drones( ‘toy’ design) and the classic mega enforcer.
According to the weapon features, they are coming from Zerstörer and Ik guns, design flows between average and really good and gives, in a lot of places, the ability to test them.
Finally you will find here and there ammo, health and armor suppliers, a lot of secret places (always useful) that give some good addition to the general release.
In conclusion, even if it first seems quite challenging to let some famous mappers join to do a big release, it shows us that with some rules and good communication can create a masterpiece.
Working together with their own favorite theme has proven to be a success.
Definitely part of the top 10 best quake1 releases and certainly worth to download!!!
Playtime: 3 hours
Rating: A B C D E (96 %)
note : picture where taken without permission from tenfourmaps feel free to contact me if you would like that i remove them