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07/07/2014 - "Map34: Na Pali Heaven Part II" by Arjan Vroegop & DavidM

Each week a single map is discussed here in detail.

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User avatar Semfry
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Subject: 07/07/2014 - "Map34: Na Pali Heaven Part II" by Arjan Vroegop & DavidM

Post Posted: 07 Jul 2014, 14:20

Map Title: Map34: Na Pali Heaven Part II
Author: Arjan Vroegop & DavidM
From: Operation Na Pali
Filename: NP34Atje
Music Files: NP-FOD




Video Playthrough:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_pCVrBgbiU

Sypnosis: You've been taken to another part of the Sky Island, and this one may have some hope of Human contact and escape...

Discuss!
Formerly Mman

User avatar ElectricIce
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Subject: Re: 07/07/2014 - "Map34: Na Pali Heaven Part II" by Arjan Vroegop & DavidM

Post Posted: 08 Jul 2014, 01:33

The biggest thing I remember about this map is the female voice actor on my second and most recent playthrough.

"Where the hell have I heard that voice before?" UT2004 jailbreak if I am not totally talking out of my ass.

The map itself. I liked it. It wasn't as much clusterF**k as the map before with the moving islands and where to go. and the layout is nice. A short wrap up to the end of the map pack!

8/10 ;D

User avatar SteadZ
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Subject: Re: 07/07/2014 - "Map34: Na Pali Heaven Part II" by Arjan Vroegop & DavidM

Post Posted: 08 Jul 2014, 01:42

Awesome music, awesome atmosphere, awesome intro cinematic, awesome and inspiring (to me anyway) architecture - love this map and consider it to be one of ONP's finest despite Atje's "BSP-Torture" :P

Fun Fact: Atje wasn't the original guy to work on the Sky-Island maps - it was a guy called "Some" originally who also attempted a small single player pack at that time though lost it in a data crash. Atje was originally hired to do the FireGod temple though was unimpressed with his own work and wanted to prove that he could do better and seized these maps at the first chance (he was actually against DavidM including the temple in ONP).

@ElectricIce: The voice actor is a girl called Sioux Blue if that helps ;)

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User avatar Mister_Prophet
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Subject: Re: 07/07/2014 - "Map34: Na Pali Heaven Part II" by Arjan Vroegop & DavidM

Post Posted: 08 Jul 2014, 04:14

It's a really good level, honestly. A lot of nice touches to make this a distinct skytown level and not just a derivative of the one from Unreal, which is often the case with community levels. Textures are what make the level pop, especially the skybox. The idea of the air balloon was really nice and would have been wasteful to use another form of transport (teleportation, shuttlecraft). I even like the camera play for the short few cutscenes there are and how well the movers lit for that road that gets blown through the landmass.

There's a lot of complicated things going on here that seem so seamless. See my comments on last week's MOTW, where I talked about how a well designed location can be dismantled by poor execution and lax quality control. It's kind of perfect this level popped up next, just for comparison's sake. Take the pathing for instance. It's actually quite impressive considering where the followers have to go and what actions they must perform by threat of many Z-axis situations.

The only real "issues" this level has is the gameplay represented for its position in the pack. This is like the end, and we're treated to a level that might have been more at home at a midpoint position in the lineup. Battles are brief, easily handled by the player by this point due to the sheer arsenal amassed through the course of the pack. Let alone the follower NPCs. A lot of the level actually plays a lot like the skytown from Unreal actually, with the player spending most the map exploring. I'm not saying it's the wrong way to end a pack, just unusual.

Just another note on the voice acting exchange. There's so few packs that try voice acting and barely any voice talents have been female. I believed for years that the actress who lent her voice went by the name "UnrealGrrl," am I mistaken? It's a raw recording perhaps, and the fact that this is a back and forth exchange with ONP Guy makes it hard not to smile, but I always kinda appreciated the few lines she had in this. ONP guy is even surprisingly restrained in this level.
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Subject: Re: 07/07/2014 - "Map34: Na Pali Heaven Part II" by Arjan Vroegop & DavidM

Post Posted: 08 Jul 2014, 10:26

I loved the atmosphere in the last few levels of the pack.

I believe the female voice was indeed UnrealGrrl, who for ut99 also made the voice of a few voicepacks (one came with the Binky model I believe), the ONP tutorial map tutor and the Jailbreak announcer and tutor.
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Subject: Re: 07/07/2014 - "Map34: Na Pali Heaven Part II" by Arjan Vroegop & DavidM

Post Posted: 08 Jul 2014, 12:47

...aaaand you can find out more info about her here: http://web.archive.org/web/200404130437 ... lgrrl.com/

(She was credited in ONP as "NyGrrl" strangely)
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User avatar Mister_Prophet
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Subject: Re: 07/07/2014 - "Map34: Na Pali Heaven Part II" by Arjan Vroegop & DavidM

Post Posted: 08 Jul 2014, 18:01

People go through phases with their internet identities sometimes. For instance, a few people here at USP ;)
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Subject: Re: 07/07/2014 - "Map34: Na Pali Heaven Part II" by Arjan Vroegop & DavidM

Post Posted: 09 Jul 2014, 15:24

She's listed as NyGrrl a bit on her site too. Given she can pronounce "Skaarj" and has more than a couple of lines I guess she's the best voice actor in ONP by default.

This level has a more open structure compared to the general linearity of ONP, although the route you take through it is relatively straightforward. Visually it's quite original for a Skyisland too, with all the height variations and different houses. It feels a bit easy for such a late level, but I guess that's keeping with the rest, and at least escorting Chryss isn't much trouble, as long as you remember to tell her to wait somewhere safe if you want to go exploring more. I'm sure that barrel explosion had to be initiated by the player in either an earlier version of ONP or the demo, and I'm not sure why that's changed as it's hardly the most difficult puzzle.
Formerly Mman

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Subject: Re: 07/07/2014 - "Map34: Na Pali Heaven Part II" by Arjan Vroegop & DavidM

Post Posted: 10 Jul 2014, 18:23

SteadZ wrote:Awesome music, awesome atmosphere, awesome intro cinematic, awesome and inspiring (to me anyway) architecture - love this map and consider it to be one of ONP's finest despite Atje's "BSP-Torture" :P


Mister_Prophet wrote:It's a really good level, honestly. A lot of nice touches to make this a distinct skytown level and not just a derivative of the one from Unreal, which is often the case with community levels. Textures are what make the level pop, especially the skybox. The idea of the air balloon was really nice and would have been wasteful to use another form of transport (teleportation, shuttlecraft). I even like the camera play for the short few cutscenes there are and how well the movers lit for that road that gets blown through the landmass.

There's a lot of complicated things going on here that seem so seamless. See my comments on last week's MOTW, where I talked about how a well designed location can be dismantled by poor execution and lax quality control. It's kind of perfect this level popped up next, just for comparison's sake. Take the pathing for instance. It's actually quite impressive considering where the followers have to go and what actions they must perform by threat of many Z-axis situations.

The only real "issues" this level has is the gameplay represented for its position in the pack. This is like the end, and we're treated to a level that might have been more at home at a midpoint position in the lineup. Battles are brief, easily handled by the player by this point due to the sheer arsenal amassed through the course of the pack. Let alone the follower NPCs. A lot of the level actually plays a lot like the skytown from Unreal actually, with the player spending most the map exploring. I'm not saying it's the wrong way to end a pack, just unusual.

Just another note on the voice acting exchange. There's so few packs that try voice acting and barely any voice talents have been female. I believed for years that the actress who lent her voice went by the name "UnrealGrrl," am I mistaken? It's a raw recording perhaps, and the fact that this is a back and forth exchange with ONP Guy makes it hard not to smile, but I always kinda appreciated the few lines she had in this. ONP guy is even surprisingly restrained in this level.


UnrealGecko wrote:I loved the atmosphere in the last few levels of the pack.


That pretty much sums it up for me! And that's a nice bit of historical insight into the "making-of" you gave us SteadZ :)
This map isn't one of my two favourite levels from Operation Na Pali, but it does come really just behind them, on par with the rest of ONP's "leetest" maps (if you'll pardon the expression!).
It's not as detailed as some other maps in the pack (I'm evidently thinking of those made by El Chicoverde, Hourences, Strogg, Dr. Pest and McClane, as well as DavidM's best contributions), but Atje really shows how inspired he was by nailing the execution of this setting (the architecture here is right, if not super detailed). The level design is, generally speaking, awesome. And yeah, fantastic skybox!
I loved the gameplay. The level is, admittedly, easy.
What really stands out for me here is the story construction and implementation: while there already was a return of the main plot in the Vortex Rikers redux - after numerous levels simply dealing with side-plots and whatnot, this level really finally brings the central plot back into the game and I really liked that passage through the library as well as that voice acting exchange between Chryss and Crew Member 046. Fitting as it does indeed make Na Pali Heaven Part II wrap up the pack storywise.
Great stuff :tup:
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Waffnuffly wrote:It's tarydium-doped smoothies. Drunk by the player, I mean. The player is tripping balls. The whole game actually takes place in a large city and the player thinks he's on an alien world.

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Subject: Re: 07/07/2014 - "Map34: Na Pali Heaven Part II" by Arjan Vroegop & DavidM

Post Posted: 12 Jul 2014, 07:17

Seems like I will have to start playing ONP again. :D

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Subject: Re: 07/07/2014 - "Map34: Na Pali Heaven Part II" by Arjan Vroegop & DavidM

Post Posted: 13 Jul 2014, 18:56

I'm a complete sucker for the Sky Island setting, so this was among my favorite ONP maps for sure. Sky Islands look especially great paired with ONP's textures and lighting style, in my opinion. Very fresh and interesting. \o/
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