Best Level of all Time

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Dugit
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Now this should be interesting. I've long been playing through Marathon scenarios old and new, and have played some marvellous levels in my time. Levels that excel in architecture, atmosphere, and gameplay, or any combination thereof. So I wondered- what is the best level of all time?
There have been many that have stuck in one's mind. But only a few of these cut the 'awesome' margin. Note that this is not a poll (or is it?), I just genuinelly want to see what you think, and maybe even ascertain the best level of all time. Here are my ideas:

Marathon Phoenix
Count of Tuscany
Something Wicked
The Face of Modern Gaming

Marathon Rubicon X
Core Wars
Sucking Cherries
Honk if You're an Underpaid Cyborg

Marathon Infinity
Aye Mak Sicur (oh come on)
Hang Brain

The Gray Incident
Golden Dawn

And there were a couple I was thinking of but didn't really know what to say: You Can't Go Home Again (WMaiD(d)), The Tar and Feather Club (Rubicon X), Wading in Vitriol (Rubicon X), Sonic Firestorm (TGI), Pfhorkenstein (RtM), and countless others from Phoenix.

Also, I got sidetracked looking for my favorite level. It seemd to me that in all scenarios there's almost always one or more really sucky level(s). Here's my ideas for the most sucky level of all time:

Whatever You Please (MInf). For me, this level offered very little in terms of good gameplay, crisp architecture and infectious atmosphere. It just screams "filler", and just seems, well, sucky really.
All of Eternal's Transition Dream Levels (and Where Giants Have Fallen). Again, they didn't offer much in two of the three categories (gameplay and atmosphere), even when it became a real level later in the game. And then again, in the remaining category, the potentially decent architecture was turned into an evil platform maze when the gameplay method was flipped later on. All of them just scream "filler". Sucky.
Pfherrous Oxide (Aeon). Well, as soon as this was merged and played, it just felt like crap. There was some atmosphere, but the gameplay was either "run in and out or die". And it never really did feel like a spin-off of Eternal Lucid Dream, so, well, it just felt like wading through pure filler. Sucky.
Not *this* Again (Rubicon X). To be honest, it was doomed to failure even before the idea had been forged (forgive the pun). It was ugly, boring and bland, and its two ideological predecessors were dubiously average. Filler. Sucky.

There are many more, I'm sure, but right now I can't think of them all.
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Paul
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Best Level: Waterloo Waterpark.
Worst Level: If I Had a Rocket Launcher, I'd Make Somebody Pay.

The end.
Last edited by Paul on Dec 26th '10, 22:44, edited 1 time in total.
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CitizenKane
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Aie Mak Sicur (Infinity)

Thing What Kicks (Infinity)

For This I Went To College (Evil)
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gmanyo
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Aie Mak Sicur is an obvious favorite, but I think I'm the only one who likes Ne Cede Malis. It might actually be my favorite level.
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TectonInd
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gmanyo wrote:I think I'm the only one who likes Ne Cede Malis. It might actually be my favorite level.
wat

Anyways, I'd have to say my favorite Bungie level would be a tie between "G-4 Sunbathing" in the first game, and "You think you're big time?" in the second game. Yes, I actually really enjoyed G4 Sunbathing.
Last edited by TectonInd on Dec 31st '10, 06:47, edited 1 time in total.
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goran
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gmanyo wrote:Aie Mak Sicur is an obvious favorite, but I think I'm the only one who likes Ne Cede Malis. It might actually be my favorite level.
No, I'm with you on that one. A lot of good things can be said about this level. It feels real thanks to its variation in areas and the unique look the mapmaker has given them. There's a lot of signature architecture in this level. Copy it and people will say it's a nede cede melis rip off ;)

It's flickering lights, moving platforms, and locked doors gives it life and an atmosphere. It feels like an abandoned jjaro station. The machinery is still ticking along as if the jjaro never left the station.

The mission, while simple, takes a little stumbling the first time around. Luckily, it's not overly complicated. Just about right. A good navigation challenge.
CitizenKane
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Yep I also love Ne Cede Malis. IMO probably a tad too contemplative and quiet to be 'the best level of all time', but a truly great level nonetheless. Really sets the tone for the rest of the game.
G.S.10 wrote:It feels like an abandoned jjaro station. The machinery is still ticking along as if the jjaro never left the station.
Yeah I agree, and that is precisely where Eternal went wrong with it's Jjaro chapter IMO. It could have learned so much from Ne Cede Malis and Aie Mak Sicur, I was really looking forward to see something like that but was so disappointed!
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gmanyo
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I really dig atmosphere, which is why I liked it so much. Consequently, my favorite game of the trilogy is the original, though I'm not sure I can label any "favorite levels" from the game; they were mostly good, even better, but not usually best.
Last edited by gmanyo on Dec 30th '10, 04:45, edited 1 time in total.
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Marathoner325
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Here's my favorite levels out of the Marathons I've played (Trilogy, Rubicon, Eternal, Red and Squadron), although I'm not really sure which one I would declare "best of all time":

Marathon 2
-Come and Take Your Medicine?I haven't heard a lot on people's opinion on this map, which is probably because it's a level that can be beat within two minutes, but if you take the time to try and explore the entirety of it, then you'll find that there is a lot to it. One of my favorite exploration levels from any Marathon game.
-The Hard Stuff Rules
-Begging For Mercy Makes Me Angry!?One of my favorite "pure" action levels where you can just unload upon waves of enemies, and I thought it was the most intense point of Marathon 2, both plot and gameplay wise.
-My own Private Thermoplyae

Marathon Infinity
-Hang Brain
-One Thousand Thousand Slimy Things
-Son Of Grendel
-Aye Mak Sicur

Marathon Rubicon
-Hairy Legs
-Core Wars

And I'm currently playing through Marathon Phoenix for the first time, and by the time I'm done with it, I'm sure I'll have a few more personal favorites (I must say, Alex did a great job with the level design!).
$lave

Marathoner325 wrote:-Come and Take Your Medicine?I haven't heard a lot on people's opinion on this map, which is probably because it's a level that can be beat within two minutes, but if you take the time to try and explore the entirety of it, then you'll find that there is a lot to it. One of my favorite exploration levels from any Marathon game.
This is also one of my favourite levels, possibly because of all the room there is to explore despite the brief course you're told to take to complete the level. Playing through M2 for the first time, this level was by far the most memorable and rewarding, even though it wasn't terribly special in terms of actual gameplay.

I'm not sure if I could pick one favourite map, but Ne Cede Malis, Aye Mak and Son of Grendel rank highly for me. Everything is subjective, of course, and it isn't really possible to pick a "best" map. There are maps in Rubicon that I love primarily because of the texture set, and maps in the original Trilogy which I wouldn't enjoy nearly as much without their context in the story. There's also a lot of architecture in Phoenix which is very impressive, but which I can't really compare to the original trilogy. There's a certain charm I find in the original trilogy that makes me hold some maps very highly even if they may be outclassed by modern maps which exceed old limitations. I like a lot of maps for very different reasons, and it would be impossible for me try to put one entirely above another.
CitizenKane
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One Thousand Thousand Slimy Things - good call
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treellama
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Strange Aeons, hopefully the inspiration for Dugit's scenario.
Last edited by treellama on Dec 28th '10, 21:20, edited 1 time in total.
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Dugit
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Treellama wrote:Strange Aeons, hopefully the inspiration for Dugit's scenario.
I'm surprised it took so long for people to notice. :)
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irons
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WHY ISN'T THIS A POLL
underworld : simple fun netmaps // prahblum peack : simple rejected netmaps
azure dreams : simple horrible netmaps // v6.0!!!: thomas mann's greatest hits : simple simple netmaps
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brilliant
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All of the levels in Marathon: W'rkncacnter.
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TectonInd
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irons wrote:WHY ISN'T THIS A POLL
Oh, you are still alive
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Dugit
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irons wrote:WHY ISN'T THIS A POLL
Ah, but it could be.

Edit: :)
Last edited by Dugit on Dec 31st '10, 10:15, edited 1 time in total.
Polyplicity my second (less sucky) net pack. Go on. Download it. You know you don't want to.
Marathon Aeon- My scenario in the works ~on Simplici7y

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chinkeeyong
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Need more Duct Tape... from Marathon: RED deserves an honorary mention for atmosphere. Not the best level by any means, but really atmospheric.
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One of the best M1A1 levels I ever played was "flaming chisels" In the M1A1 netpack. The architecture and design IMHO are some of the best I've seen. you really should play it and you'll know what I mean. Its on simpli7ty.

Minifity: Acme Station-dispite the annoying vacuum factor, the design was so unique, that it actually feels like a different environment and the lighting really sets the atmosphere.kinda feels like PID.

M2: I cant decide, but probably what comes to mind is either "if i had a rocket launcher" and "My own private thermopoly". To be honest, there are many levels I enjoy in M2, but they each have some flaw in them that could make others find them to be an annoyance.

M Eternal: "deep into the grotto" and "we met once in the garden" Both of these levels are epic, the whole scenario is Epic, but these 2 levels really give a sense of your racing against the clock.The design is probably not the best of the best, but it satisfies the story around it, I'd like to see a remake in a netmap version.

M Rubican: core wars, its the only level that really sticks out for some reason.

M The Gray incident: I'll have to get back to you on that.

M red: N/a

M Evil: N/a
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L'howon
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Ascension Factor from Rubicon X. Boat load of secrets, very atmospheric, and the crazy amount of jumps is actually quite fun. I imagine some probably hate it for the infinite number of ways you can fall and have to restart.

Honk if you're an underpaid cyborg is also interesting, if tedious at times. Really gives you a feel for how damaged the ship is.
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