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Sooner Or Later...

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Written by Adrian Burnett and Tim Hayes





Dark Forces Previews



Archangel 3: Storming of Anterak City    


Dark Forces
Author -
Lionel Fouillen
Release Date - I'll just say "Be patient" :)

Story-

After re-uniting with his daughter, Trem Goltend accepted to share information with the Rebels. The Empire is just completing the building of a new space station where Imperial generals will be able to plot against the Alliance with unprecedent precision. The new base is a high-tech city, floating in the cloudy sky of planet Anterak. Emperor Palpatine himself will be coming to Anterak City to inaugurate the base and oversee the start of operations. This is the occasion for the Alliance to target the Imperial military decision forces and strike strong. Kyle Katarn, hidden in a crate inside a freight spaceship, is secretly boarding the city-base. He will have to infiltrate the city to sabotage the base, by modifying the computer software that takes charge of special chemistry treatment that produce the fuel for the floating base' engines, in order to make it turn unstable and, because of the chain reaction, explode while all high-ranked Imperial officers are attending the Emperor's ceremony speech.

Comments-

One of the most or if not the most anticipated addon level for Dark Forces seems to be coming closer and closer to completion every day. After what's almost seemed an eternity, Archangel 3 is making some serious progress. Lionel Fouillen, the author, has created some of the best DF addons in the past with such titles as "The Maze" and the "Dungeons of Gomorra". "The Storming of Anterak City" should rank up with those and in my opinion above. It is the last level in the Operation Archangel Trilogy afterall.
The architecture in this level is very well done. Lionel is some cases has focused in one specific area to make it look simply terrific. The texturing is masterfully done aswell, he's created a new type of atmosphere which I haven't really seen in the past. The level flows together, and as some of the sections of map prove to differ, it seems to all connect logically. For one, the area where you have yourself walking just above sky on a series of gratings is very effective. The majority of the architecture seemed to be realivily finished. In other words I guess you could say that the "skeleton" of the level is mostly completed and therefore Lionel will probably start to add some more details soon.

Unfortunately I didn't have a chance to see any of the special effects that are going into this level. There are several things Lionel is planning on implementing. That including some new wax's, some drawn up by Al MacDonald but mostly by Lionel himself. Peter Klassen is also giving his help for some new 3dos and as well as using his large knowledge of VUEs to add some interesting twists. There is also a planned escape from the base at the climax of the level, where everything is crashing down and falling apart. There is also another part where you wear a StormTrooper disguise which allows you to witness a speech being given by the Emperor, also allowing you to sneak past unsuspecting Imperial Forces. Scenes of static stormtroopers talking to each other, trembling areas, falling platforms and water leaking into sectors where the glass wall has been shattered by you. This level should only be matched by Mt. Kurek in special effects when fully completed.

Prediction -

This should really add some spark to the Dark Forces community, looking to form into one of the best levels ever made. As far as a release date is concerned, Lionel has said it's really impossible to pick a number because so much needs to be done and he also has inconsistent time to work on it. Don't panic, it won't be another year, but it shouldn't be in the near future either. Although he has done lot, alot needs to be done if you get my drift. I'll be waiting impatiently all the while :).




Check out the Lionel's Page

Anoat Chronicles



DarkSaber: For Freedom    

Dark Forces
Authors -
Ajay Huff
Release Date - Before you die

Story -

Durga the Hutt successfully stole the plans to the Death Star's super laser several weeks ago at Coruscant. A suprise attack by General Wedge Antilles' strike force managed to destroy the Darksaber, Durga's powerful weapon, though without losses. General Crix Madine is dead. Now, Kyle Katarn is called upon to retrive the only other sets of plans located on Durga's flagship the Orko Skymine. Using false IDs and TAG numbers, you'll be able to board the Orko Skymine, which is currently residing in the Hoth asteroid belt. But, be careful. Durga's henchmen are very tough, and there are bounty hunters that are also onboard.

Comments -

Darksaber: For Freedom is also a project that has been in the works for awhile, and yet again, the release date is sketchy. Ajay has put alot of work into this project and it most certainly will be worth the download. It's hard to pinpoint what exactly the level should be like however....

Ajay has put in alot of additions in DarkSaber, he has replaced two weapons with some new ones. One to replace the StormTrooper Rifle and another to replace the Mortar gun. Besides from that, he has implemented a ton of textures and sounds from Jedi Knight into DarkSaber (although I'm not sure if this is legal). The level also includes some of the commonly-used custom made waxes such as Greedo.

This level reminds me alot of Ramsees Hed. One large storage area must of certainly been inspired by that DF level. This level contains some very varied styles of rooms, whether it being the bar from the cargo room. It also has a completely different feel than that of Jabba's Ship from Dark Forces. That necessarily isn't bad, just different. Although you can't but help to overlook the steady and consistent architecturing, well textured areas and the lighting. Ajay says he is trying to make this level have a good JK feel to it. He's done that with the new JK sounds and textures as well as some computer-animated cutscenes from Mike Rajotte. Ajay has also mentioned that in the finale of the level, with you escape the exploding ship, you enter the Crow itself, then fly away. Should be a pretty cool sequence.

Prediction

It's good to see that there are still some Dark Forces levels in the works. They have something that Jedi Knight levels don't have.. Can't really put my finger on it though.... But that's another long and boring editoral I'll write up for Darkness Falls :). Back to the level, Ajay has mentioned that he is planning some Dark Forces levels in the future (such as a Ord Mantell themed one) as well as the JK levels he is working on. All signs point that Darksaber should be good, but I guess we are gonna have to wait.




There is no DarkSaber: For Freedom Page, but check out Ajay's Project Page anyway..

The Star Wars Total Conversion



Scorpion Consortium: Prelude    

Dark Forces
Authors -
Void Dragon
Release Date - Before 1999

Story -

It takes place after the Clone Wars, but before ANH. During an investigation of several terrorist attacks, the investigators stumbled on a group known as the Scorpion Consortium. Fearing exposure, the Consortium captured the three generals heading the investigation. They were tracked back to a small complex on Coruscant. Senator Palpatine has sent a group of his highest trained and most trusted commandos to attempt to rescue the generals, and hunt down any further information on this group. You have been chosen to lead this team. A shuttle drops you and your squad in front of the base. Two men in black armor stand at the entrance. One activates the alarm while the other levels his blaster at you.... .

Comments -

The massive Scorpion Consortium Project will be planning to release a smaller "demo" level for people to get a feel for the project and see some of the new components involved. And this is that level. Here are some comments from the author of what he hopes to accomplish with this prelude level

Basicly, this is just to introduce people to the plot. These levels have a very lengthy plot, and I thought that there should be some way to ease people into it. As for the quality...okay, there was once a level called Escape from Mos Eisely. It was a good level, but it was a mini level. the Prelude will be a lot like that, it's good, but don't expect Mt. Kurek. All of the levels will be good, including the prelude.

Void Dragon is also making sure the level itself won't simply be another "Rescue Crix Madine mission" but one with some twists to it. You will also be introduced to some new waxs including flying stormtroopers, or the Consortium Soldiers. He's also planning to have some other special effects (exploding floors, flying ship VUEs, cutscenes, etc..). All in all this level should serve as a good insight into the series. Void is saying that the level should be just slightly larger than "Secbase" from the original DF levels. The level still needs alot of work, and Void will most likely be busy with it for awhile (and school back isn't helping that).

Prediction

Can't see why it won't be worth the download. Void has some good architecture in there and it will most likely be a fun level to play.


Check out the Scorpion Consortium Page

Nar Shaddaa


JediKnight/MotS Previews



Abandoned Base    

Mysteries of the Sith Mulitiplayer
Author -
Jonny & Jonny
Release Date - Before 1999

Story -

Based very loosly on the StarGate TV Show and STAR WARS a star gate has been found into the STAR WARS Galaxy but Goulawu have attacked both bases and they have been forced to evactuate. IIt is no where near finished I just wanted to know what people thought and if they could give me a couple of ideas

Comments -

As far as I know, these two haven't released any levels before, but you wouldn't guess that by looking at this level. I started off on a cliff overlooking a nice little canyon, and what was that I saw on the horizon? An interdictor cruiser with tie interceptors swarming around it like bees? As I was admiring the cruiser, which I thought to be scenery, I saw a troop transport near me and got a premonition of things to come.. I hopped on and sure enough, I started cruising nearer and nearer to the interdictor.. By now I could see a small docking area on the belly of the cruiser and a flight of tie interceptors buzzing nearer and nearer to me.. I was having a great time..
Then the other players began showing up and the real fun started. My friend spawned close to a pack of seeker rails on top of a cliff, and from there the game began a desperate raid on that cliff by all the other players.. I'm not a big fan of seekers, but I have to admit to having alot of fun rushing that cliff, despite the er..heavy casualties I suffered. Unfortunately not many other areas of the level got any attention.. There was simply no need to go to the other areas, because of lack of pickups and no real good fighting areas.. Maybe that will change though, keeping in mind that this is still in production.. It's got a pet peeve of mine in it though, a physics-defying water.. That is, a big body of water that isn't contained by a wall on one end.. It just looks really odd..

Aside from the interdictor, there were alot of ships which really made it feel like you were in the middle of something bigger then a duel with other people.. With ships taking off all around you, the atmosphere was really great.. There are a few bugs with the ships that have to be ironed out, but the finished product should be really nice..There was also a really nice looking control room which used 3dos of video monitors, rather then just having the displays on the walls.. It looked really good, and just more realistic then any control room I've seen in a level..

Prediction

With a little bit of work to route some action into other areas of the level, this could be a great level for a quick DM with some friends.. Even in it's unfinished state, we had a blast, I could easily see the finshed product becoming a favorite of alot of people.




Bela B    

Mysteries of the Sith Single Player
Author -
Vladimir Klassen
Release Date - October '98

Story -

Bela B. is an important strategical outpost of the Empire, so it is also important for the New Republic, because it controls the whole sector. As the New Republic is expanding, we must get this sector out of the Imperial control. And that's why we must destroy the base of Bela B. The base is well-protected by a shield generator at the edge of the base. That excludes the direct attack. The New Republic sends a Jedi Apprentice Katarn on a clandestine mission to manipulate the shield generator so that the Rebel Fleet can eliminate the base from the space.

Comments -

Vlad was kind enough to send an alpha version of the level my way and now I can tell you that you won't be disappointed when this is released. It starts off with a loading screen which simply dropped my jaw. I assume it must of been custom made by a 3d program, rendered beautifully and it was simply stunning. Although I would rather wait till he releases the level instead of me spoiling it for you. So immediately at the start, I'm impressed. The architecture as you can see from the screens, is something pretty good. Bonus to that because this is Vlad's first level, must be something in that Klassen blood....
Unlike most SP levels even out there today, they lack a certain challenge to them as in puzzles and thinking. Most are simply composed as a "shoot'em up" level with little thought or planning involved. Fortunately levels like Warzone2 are changing that, and this should be one of those levels as well. Although early in it's alpha stage, one could tell that this is going to be a very puzzle orientated mission. Slashing certain surfaces, sneaking through a maze grates, or figuring out which switch to press, Bela B should most likely be a thinker. Technically, the level incorporates many new 3dos, textures and so forth. Many of the good old textures from Dark Forces are scattered into hallways or other spots. It also contains a wide setting of rooms, for instance: bathrooms, cantinas, hangers, kitchens, etc... Although some of the areas can tend to get a bit boxy, I'm sure Vlad will fix those up with some varied or new textures and some improved design.

Prediction

I can't think of a reason why this level shouldn't be a winner. Vlad Klassen has proved in the past that he can level edit when he released "The Mystery of the Morning Wood" for Dark Forces and looks like he's going to pick up from DF into JK. Vlad is promising some cog tricks aswell as some other SFX. I would assume that he's likely getting help from his brother, Peter Klassen, which should add to the quality of the end product.

Vlad is saying that he is roughly 40% done the level. But that is pretty sketchy so don't hold him to it. The architecture is mostly finished inside the outpost. The sector count is already at around 700 for the whole level, so this should obviously be a longer mission than average. As far as a release is concerned, despite battling that pesky "real life" we all have, he is looking to get it out somewhere in October. Vladimir also is stressing a 3d accelerator for this level because of things like important translucency, poor display of JED-made 3dos and simply the level won't look as good. I for one am looking forward for this level to be finished, should be a doozy.

Check out Peter Klassen's HomePage

Peter the Hutt's Page




Imperial Siege on Derra IV    

Jedi Knight Single Player
Author -
Ryan Bickhart
Release Date - Before '99

Story -

After the Battle of Endor and the destruction of the Second Death Star, many systems throughout the galaxy began to break away from Imperial rule. Consequently, Imperial Military Garrisons were established on many Core and Rim worlds to maintain Imperial order. However, unrest is brewing beneath the thight grasp of Imperial power. Many garrisoned systems wish to declare neutrality, or even to join the infant New Republic. The planet Derra IV is on the edge of uprising. If the System Command Center, the key to Imperial defense and planning, were to be captured, local militants could rise up against the disorganized Imperials and regain control of the planet. Intelligence has reported the site of this command and communication center to be inside the bulwark of Imperial defenses-the impenetrable Fortress of Derra IV. Your mission is simple. Breach Imperial defenses, destroy the command center, and get out before the Imperials know what hit them. Beware-the Empire undoubtably has multi-layered security, and the best and brightest troops in this sector. You will be on you own in hostile territory and the Imperials may be able to hinder your movements by sealing bulkhead doors, activating forcefields and providing other unpleasant surprises. Work around any and all defenses-this mission MUST succede. The fate of millions of civillians rests on your shoulders...

Well, it seems another old DF editor has entered the JK scene, and like the others, he's brought along a lot of skill.. The level has strong architecture, good texturing, and it just feels good.. It doesn't feel like a user addon, but instead like an LEC level.
I guess this stems from the fact that it looks a lot like the garrison section of Baron's Hed.. Don't get me wrong, it's not a copy of that level, but it's definitely inspired by it. The outside of the base resembles the LEC level strongly, but once you get inside, it starts looking much different.. The level constantly reminded me of Baron's Hed, it was sort of like I was playing the original level and finding areas I never had before.. Hard to explain, but I think you get my drift.. The consistency of the architecture is great, none of the rooms are over-done as to kill framerate, but not a single one is boring.. The textures flow smoothly, and all make sense.
The enemy placement was a bit extreme however. True, an Imperial garrison should have lots of troops, but the average player just can't handle that kind of realism.. Authors have to lose a bit of realism to keep gameplay up. The placement was great other then that, they were placed in logical positions, and un-predictable places.. There were a few times when I walked into a room and saw there were 3 or 4 troopers on a ledge above me raining down fire.. Painful, but fun.. (masochism? nah)

Prediction

This will definitely be one grand entrance to the editing scene by Ryan, and should be a favorite of die-hard sp players.. At this point, it may be a little to tough for some people, but bear in mind, this is still a beta- it could very well change to suit everyone.. All I can say is, keep your eyes open for this level, I know I'm gonna.. Watch out for this one...



Pirate Outpost 2    

Mysteries of the Sith Multiplayer
Author -
Brad "Spud" Wieringa
Release Date - Late Semptember '98

Background -

Brad "Spud" Wieringa released the popular Pirate Outpost and found it praised enough for him to work on a sequel to the level. Despite his individual projects, Spud is also a member of the Origins Team.

Comments -

Spud has taken the time to put a real great MP level for us together. He stated himself that this should most likely be far superior to the original level for a couple of reasons. Mainly because of how his skill has improved since the first Pirate OutPost, which did contain alot of boxy architecture. The architecture in it's current state is only over satisfactory right now. I say satisfactory because of a lack of consistiancy. In some areas, you can't help but marvel at the great design and lighting, while other room show nothing but a cubed room with the good lighting. I think it's past the time where boxy architecture is excusable, with the quality of the level editors out there right now it should be easy to spruce up any sector. Fortunatly, Spud has told me that once he has worked out the "skeleton" of the level he's going to go back and patch up on the details in some of the more boring rooms.

Something that doesn't need patching up is the lighting. Spud has done a fantastic job with the coloured lighting. The lighting itself is the main reason for the atmosphere created, if being the green glow from within the launching bay, or the orange light protruding from inside into the outside night. The lighting doesn't go overboard either, Spud has the lighting in most of the level stay green or orange tinted and well balanced.
This level is huge. There are so many places to go and see it's difficult to find your enemies in some cases. Whether you are venturing in the cliffs and outside, or you are wandering through the underground halls of the outpost. A "tram" connects two parts of the level and should make for some interesting scenarios once the level is released. The framerate isn't really a problem, although the hanger can get a bit laggy, I think you will see some of those ship 3dos vacate when beta testing begins. Spud himself knows that this is going to be a "hunting" level (he prefers those types and that's why he designed it in this way) where if there are a small group of players, you'll spend most time finding your enemies rather than having constant action. If you don't like that style I wouldn't recommend playing in small groups. This seems more of a large clan war map or for big games in my opinion.

Prediction

Overall, this level should be great once Spud puts everything together. The lighting once again is excellent, and the atmosphere is excellent as well. Spud has said that he would be willing to make a 3rd level based on a Pirate Outpost, if PO2 is well as received as the original, but he says don't count on it. Spud is gearing towards a late September release date and I don't see a reason why that's unlikely.

Check out the Pirate OutPost Page

Spud's Garage




Wazzit's Mining Facility 2    

Jedi Knight KFY
Author -
Chris "Wazzit" Lu
Release Date - Somewhere before '99

It's strange that Wazzit was working on a sequel to his level before it was even released, but no matter, this level is a lot of fun for a fast-paced kfy (kill the fool with the ysalamari). If you liked WMF in the recently released Origins level pack, you'll love wmf2.

The architecture in the level is really nice.. Nothing that will blow your mind, but nothing that will blow your framerate either.. It succeeds in its purpose, which is making it very believable that you're in a mine.. There are support beams crisscrossing everywhere, digging into rock formations to help with the feel of the level.. A few mine carts would have been cool to see, but you can't have everything.. The textures are a bit repetitive, but it is supposed to be a mine.. There isn't really much that you can do to vary the textures.. No alignment or cmp problems though, and the wood texture that he picked for the beams looks great - rotted and defunct, a very nice touch..

The level plays very vertically, so if you have the ysalamari, your best bet is to get an elevated position over everyone else. It also helps to ambush people, because straight-out fights will always get you killed or seriously injured due to the lack of maneuvering room in all the cramped hallways. Fortunately there are plenty of hallways to run around in, so a good player can completely avoid any fights when he has the ysalamari.. On the other end of the spectrum, you'd better have force seeing if you don't have the ysalamari, or you'll have a tough time finding the fool..

Prediction

Wazzit's Mining Facility 2 looks to be even more fun then it's predecessor.. More effort has been put into it, and it shows.. It should be fun for everyone, and a godsend to KFY die-hards..

Check out Wazzit's Project Group

The Origins Team


Note to Authors

Previews can be an excellent way to announce or build up hype for a level or mod you may be working on. No, you don't have to send me an alpha or beta (although they would make it easier for me) just send me a paragraph or two with some information on it and a couple of screenshots. If you are interested, e-mail me at val_burnett@bc.sympatico.ca or Tim at gms_slug@hotmail.com.

Adrian and Tim are going to limit RBF's Buffy-Vampire Slayer watching time because of him making us put this joke in at the bottom.


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