Must-have map packs

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Post Jul 29th '07, 23:17

In this post I detail all map packs -- singleplayer and multiplayer -- that I think your average Marathoner must have. This excludes the Trilogy, obviously; you have to have that, it goes without saying.

Discussion is encouraged in this topic, whether or not you want to add to this list or remove things from it. However, I will only consider suggestions backed with an argument of some sort. Trolling or flaming in this topic will be met with a warning. This is a serious topic, meant to educate and inspire discussion. I'll try to be as unbiased as I can, but hopefully the additional input will help keep it more well-rounded. Please help me with this!

Major or Total Conversions
This section is only for single-player scenarios that have their own set of Marathon files (Map, Shapes, Sounds, etc.)

Marathon EVIL website (for details only)
Scenario Download (for the files)
A classic, this scenario features overall good mapping, a solid challenge, and great examples of new monsters and weapons added into the engine without going overboard. It's not that long, but it's very fun.

Tempus Irae
This scenario features plenty of intense action with amazing geometry and aesthetics and clever level design. It wears on after a while, but you'd miss out on some real neat tricks if you didn't play this one.

Marathon Rubicon
A stellar storyline, high-quality mapping, a full arsenal of new and fun toys, and good additional monsters. The levels tend to be extremely nonlinear, which does lead to some confused wandering around, but for the story alone it's worth playing through this one at least three times. It's also incredibly long; plenty of bang for your buck here.

The Gray Incident
Plenty of straight-up carnage here; if you're looking to kill things, this is the scenario for you.

Infinity Scenarios
These scenarios may or may not require their own shapes files, but can still be run from the Marathon Infinity folder. These are single-player campaigns.

Siege of Nor'Korh
The prequel to EVIL, this scenario has some fun levels with a decent (but not excessive) challenge and fun level design.

Missed Island
This extremely high-quality scenario is a clever remake of the puzzle classic, Myst. It shows off some mapping tricks that, even to this day, are unparalleled in their ingenuity. It's also a great example of good puzzling in Marathon maps.

Nothing else here yet! Only scenarios that do not require a shapes shuttle qualify here. Complete shapes files are fine. I am looking for:
-Megiddo (with complete shapes)
-Gemini Station (ditto)


Multiplayer Maps
This section is for multiplayer maps. These are for Marathon Infinity only.

Coriolis Loop
The original "must-have" map pack. Only a few of these levels stand the test of time, but they are still fantastic levels. Good flow, good design. A lot of later maps certainly have found inspiration from here. 15 maps.

Red Spectrum
A very diverse pack of high-quality maps. Many of these maps are hosted virtually every day; there's something here for almost everyone. Solid layout here. 30 maps.

Underworld
This pack really explores some new ground as far as mapping is concerned. The visuals are overall fairly poor, but the flow is usually top-notch and there are unique ideas here that still haven't been matched. At the same time, there are some more conventional classics in this pack. 12 maps.

Quick Six
Mostly traditional maps here. While nothing really breaks new ground, what's been done here is usually done with a lot of care, and the outcome is quite positive. There are some outstanding classics here. 6 maps.

Revel
Amazing architecture, and while some maps are a little lacking, other maps are quite fun, and overall there's nothing in here that one would regret playing. Decent flow but stellar visuals and some unique execution of ideas. 14 maps.

Second Quest
This pack is all about remaking existing maps, so while there's rarely anything unique about them, there's a remarkable amount of creativity in the execution of the existing maps. All of these maps are very fun to play, and they're usually much better than the originals. 25 maps.

Sovereignty
Overall, this pack features a crisp execution of mapping fundamentals and has some pretty sweet bigger maps. It's hard to have a bad game on these maps, which by my criteria makes it a must-have. 7 maps.
Last edited by RyokoTK on Jul 31st '07, 12:59, edited 1 time in total.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Jul 30th '07, 00:33

Seems odd that you didn't include Squadron or Excalibur in the list. They're both excellent examples of the great cababilites of Aleph One.
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thomaslivingston
Lochgilphead, Scotland

Post Jul 30th '07, 00:39

I don't find that sufficient. Squadron felt really incomplete and Excalibur is bad. At any rate, Rubicon also employs many of Aleph's capabilities.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Jul 30th '07, 01:44

I can't help but feel there is an overwhelming bias in all decisions in this thread. [MGrin] But of course that doesn't mean it isn't true. I notice you didn't include the Victory Dance packages or Kill them All.
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herecomethej2000
Ledyard, CT

Post Jul 30th '07, 01:52

I didn't include Victory Dance because I believe only six or seven maps among the four contests are worth having. I do plan on compiling those at some point, in which event I would add it to this list.

I don't believe KTA is a must-have. It's fun, but it's more of a snack than a full meal.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Jul 30th '07, 02:24

herecomethej2000 wrote:I can't help but feel there is an overwhelming bias in all decisions in this thread. [MGrin] But of course that doesn't mean it isn't true. I notice you didn't include the Victory Dance packages or Kill them All.


This thread is more like 'map packs ryoko likes'. You left out nearly all of the scenarios and gave your own opinions about scenarios, as if you expect everyone to think like you. The only fair way to make a thread liek this is to include all of the scenarios... that are infact scenarios. You left out marathon red, because you thought it was mindless and cheap, but there are many people around who would just gaze at its enviornment and monsters.

In depth opinoons like 'not the most fun scenario' dont really belong imo.

And you left out the xmas scenarios :(
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Shadowbreaker
Melbourne, Victoria

Post Jul 30th '07, 02:33

Hey, Shadowbreaker.

Remember when the second paragraph began with "Discussion is encouraged?"

Yeah.

Enjoy your suspension.

It seems like this is "what I like" because nobody's really had any input yet. j2000 and TBone have only really asked why X, Y, and Z aren't in here, and I told them. There's been no discussion, really. But you're wrong anyway, because I don't even like Rubicon that much (or Revel) but I see their merits.

I'm still deliberating as to whether or not I want to put Xmas Icecave up there (not Sub, that one wasn't very good).
Last edited by RyokoTK on Jul 30th '07, 02:49, edited 1 time in total.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Jul 30th '07, 04:59

I think the Rubicon X description should be more like:

"at times it's challenging because the maps are somewhat nonlinear and sprawling, but there is a detailed walkthrough available to help players."

Excalibur should be on here. It's fine aside for the extermination levels where I keep not finding the very last monster. It feels like a 0.9 release right now, just a bit of improvement would make it excellent.
Last edited by Volcanon on Jul 30th '07, 04:59, edited 1 time in total.
Volcanon

Post Jul 30th '07, 05:02

I think the netpack section is perfect for the Mayhem Tournament.

Great list, Ryoko!


Oh! By the way,

Coriolis Loop: 15 maps (excluding repeats)

Revel: 14 maps
Last edited by Windbreaker on Jul 30th '07, 06:27, edited 1 time in total.
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Windbreaker
South Park, CO

Post Jul 30th '07, 07:17

Can't you get missed Island and the others at http://archives.bungie.org/search.html
?

Or maybe you would like them all compiled to work drag and drop?
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Zott
Earth

Post Jul 30th '07, 13:39

"at times it's challenging because the maps are somewhat nonlinear and sprawling, but there is a detailed walkthrough available to help players."
Ah, good call. It sure as hell is.

Excalibur should be on here. It's fine aside for the extermination levels where I keep not finding the very last monster. It feels like a 0.9 release right now, just a bit of improvement would make it excellent.
I'll admit that I haven't played EMR v3 yet, but from what I understand of those who have, it's really not very good. It's ugly, the level design is poor, and if it's anything like the last version, it's just not much fun.

I'd like to get some more input on the issue.

Oh! By the way,

Coriolis Loop: 15 maps (excluding repeats)

Revel: 14 maps
Ah, thank you.

Can't you get missed Island and the others at http://archives.bungie.org/search.html
?

Or maybe you would like them all compiled to work drag and drop?


The issue is the shapes shuttle, which only works in OS9. That's fine for people who run OSX and have Classic, but for everyone else (including the Windows population) that's just not going to cut it.
Last edited by RyokoTK on Jul 30th '07, 13:40, edited 1 time in total.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Jul 30th '07, 14:37

Volcanon wrote:Excalibur should be on here. It's fine aside for the extermination levels where I keep not finding the very last monster. It feels like a 0.9 release right now, just a bit of improvement would make it excellent.

I disagree altogether. The sprites and textures are a hodge podge of stuff that doesn't fit well together, and the poor texturing and utter lack of differential shading make the already disappointing level architecture look flat and boring. You would expect differently from a group that calls itself the Marathon Mappers' Guild! It's also far too difficult, the level load times are too long, and the net maps aren't fun at all.

The second reason it should not be on the list, is that it's not part of the Marathon universe--so why is it something the average Marathoner must have?
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treellama
Pittsburgh

Post Jul 30th '07, 17:07

How about Devil in a Blue Dress?
While I never got that far into it, what I did play I did enjoy. I found it hard to get lost and it was a decent challenge. I'd write more about it but its been a while since I've played it...I'll have to take another look.
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LegacyTyphoon

Post Jul 30th '07, 17:14

I've never actually played DIABD; Excalibur's "quality" really turned it off for me. But if it's good stuff then I'll put it up there. Any more input about it?
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Jul 30th '07, 20:00

I have Mac OS 9 Natively, and have recently acquired some DSL, If you tell me where I could upload the Shapes after I shuttled them, then I'd be glad to help.
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Zott
Earth

Post Jul 30th '07, 20:28

Um, i had a good list, but it and the thread around it was lost in the GREAT PFHORUMS SHUFFLE of '07
I believe that this was the http:
http://www.pfhorums.com/index.php?s=&s...ost&p=28997

EDIT fixed it: http://www.pfhorums.com/index.php?showtopi...amp;#entry28997
Last edited by Phortiphy on Aug 5th '07, 23:25, edited 1 time in total.
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Phortiphy

Post Jul 30th '07, 21:59

DiaBD actually has nothing to do with the Marathon storyline, you're hunting a space pirate called Devil in a Blue Dress...uhm...there's an AI called Merlin and Excalibur (from what I understand...) is a sequel. The level design is decent...although you can get stuck on the first level if you fall off (silly level design on their part...although they do warn you about it). It requires no special shapes or extra downloads (besides the level pack)...the writing is quite good and I'm actually enjoying going back and playing it again...see if I can beat it this time.
I enjoyed it much more than Excalibur.
Last edited by LegacyTyphoon on Jul 30th '07, 22:00, edited 1 time in total.
The Pf'hak - Read it.
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LegacyTyphoon

Post Jul 30th '07, 22:14

RyokoTK wrote:Squadron felt really incomplete.


Even though in many ways it was, I didn't think it felt incomplete at all. I thought Visicoms textures and Shongs weapons looked stunning and the new enemies were very cool. Also it brought a new tactical feel to Aleph One where you had to take cover and check out an area before you run in blindly to avoid getting shot to pieces. Much more satisfying then strafing in circles around pathetic creatures firing ridiculously slow projectiles at you.
But all the analysis bullshit aside, it was very,very fun.
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thomaslivingston
Lochgilphead, Scotland

Post Jul 30th '07, 22:21

I think you can find missed Island on BC's website, I'll get a link...

Missed island on the Battlecat's site. (shapes included)

He also has some really cool tutorial maps here.
Last edited by Homocidal Ham on Jul 30th '07, 22:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Homocidal Ham
Behind you (mwahahaha)

Post Jul 30th '07, 22:34

Tommy-TBone wrote:But all the analysis bullshit aside, it was very,very fun.


I've been trying not to comment because I'm not a mapper and have very little experience with first person, but I loved playing Squadron. The battle style Tommy commented on, the fantastic music, and the modeled sprites demonstrating the perfect balance between 2.5 and 3D kept the game fresh as the levels and story got under my skin. It's also a great example of many of the advancements in Aleph One.
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Switch
NYC

Post Jul 30th '07, 23:34

I got tired of running through the same drab, gray corridors level after level. The mapping quality seemed poor to me, and there wasn't much variety in the monsters for the most part. Just guys with different machine guns. The weapons themselves were fun, but most of them were so impractical to use. Also, the absolutely atrocious writing and editing really got on my nerves, but that's a pet peeve of mine. I guess that's just me, though.

Hook me up with a link and I'll put it in there.

Homicidal Ham: Good catch on Missed. I'd much rather have a Unimapped version (so you can see the term pics in Windows, which iirc is necessary for that scenario), but this is good enough for now.
Last edited by RyokoTK on Jul 30th '07, 23:42, edited 1 time in total.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Jul 30th '07, 23:45

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thomaslivingston
Lochgilphead, Scotland

Post Jul 31st '07, 03:37

You know what? I just beat Squadron in an hour and a half.

Granted, it was my second playthrough, and on normal (first time was on TC, but man that was annoying). But still, an hour and a half. I thought TGI was the shortest scenario, but no. I mean, I guess I got what I was looking for (blasting away bad guys with machine guns), but I don't really see why anyone must have this scenario.

What does it have that no other scenario has?
Last edited by RyokoTK on Jul 31st '07, 03:37, edited 1 time in total.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Jul 31st '07, 06:41

What does it have that no other scenario has?


Awesome looking smoke? Also its completed, and has multiplayer maps, so it is a better candidate then some.


Anyway, "must-have" is very strange word choice, especially since you'll probably only find Infinity Basic Shapes Online anyway, and maps are distributed to you automatically on game start, thus you don't even need the map like games like Quake III etc. do.

Secondly, I'm getting a little confused why single-player only things are included if this is a "must-have" contortium.

Basically I suggest a revised topic name, like "Quality Maps and Scenarios" or something jazzier.


Also, any thought about a section for Co-Op maps. I know I've just opened a can of flaming, ("But nobody plays that!", "There's not enough Co-Op Maps.") but if this is supposed to be comprehensive, I don't see why it cannot be counted.
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Zott
Earth

Post Jul 31st '07, 11:38

RyokoTK wrote:I got tired of running through the same drab, gray corridors level after level. The mapping quality seemed poor to me, and there wasn't much variety in the monsters for the most part. Just guys with different machine guns. The weapons themselves were fun, but most of them were so impractical to use. Also, the absolutely atrocious writing and editing really got on my nerves, but that's a pet peeve of mine. I guess that's just me, though.

Hear hear. I agree entirely--it's not just you. I appreciate people's efforts trying to do something cool, but that doesn't excuse a half-assed, or quarter-assed, in this case, job. If you can't write, get someone to help write. If you can't map, get someone to help map. If you can't make music, or sounds, or textures, don't copy someone else's illegally!

Guys, don't give this immoral disappointment of a scenario any more attention, please!
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treellama
Pittsburgh

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