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18/11/2014 - "Darklord" by Mr. Prophet

Each week a single map is discussed here in detail.

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User avatar Jigoku
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Subject: 18/11/2014 - "Darklord" by Mr. Prophet

Post Posted: 19 Nov 2014, 00:07

Map Title: "Darklord"
Author: Will-"Mr.Prophet"-Drekker
From: Xidia Gold
Filename: XidiaGold-Map7-Darklord.unr
Music Files: Blank.umx, DigSh.umx, Nemesis.umx, null.umx, SkyTown.umx, WarLord.umx




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRoSIFltQgc

Synopsis: The player faces the warlord.

Discuss!
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User avatar Sat42
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Subject: Re: 18/11/2014 - "Darklord" by Mr. Prophet

Post Posted: 19 Nov 2014, 00:22

oh LORD

A huge sense of accomplishment after completing this map!
I'll have to come back later to tell my detailed impressions, but I'll just say now that this really does justice to the boss-only level concept and renews the awe factor of the Warlord creature.
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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: 18/11/2014 - "Darklord" by Mr. Prophet

Post Posted: 19 Nov 2014, 20:57

A great boss map. The relatively pristine style does a good job contrasting with the gritty industrial settings earlier, and the boss fights are set up well to feel intimidating without actually being especially difficult, and it provides a satisfying climax (including watching it blow up after). The lift with the extremely over-dramatic and loud music is kind of funny too.
Formerly Mman

User avatar Mister_Prophet
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Subject: Re: 18/11/2014 - "Darklord" by Mr. Prophet

Post Posted: 20 Nov 2014, 03:42

I remember trying to brainstorm the best way to present the Warlord that was as good as Unreal without feeling the same.

I was a younger guy when I did these Xidia maps and had axes to grind with presenting these levels to shooter veterans. But I think this one lasted the test of time a bit better than some other boss maps I've made because this enemy is so good on its own, because the level is simple and open, and because it's just about player skill with no real modifiers to the gameplay.

I asked Gmotha to make the skin for the Darklord based on his work on another warlord skin seen in Ortican, though it somehow ended up looking very blue instead of the black I wanted.

I'm happy to say that it might be one of the best community warlord battle maps and I'm proud of that.
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Subject: Re: 18/11/2014 - "Darklord" by Mr. Prophet

Post Posted: 20 Nov 2014, 09:48

Mister_Prophet wrote:...
I'm happy to say that it might be one of the best community warlord battle maps ...

I'll second that.
BTW, some time earlier in a topic there was mention of the final battle (with a Warlord) In Xidia and I said that I had never finished Xidia (on Medium) because of that battle. I was totally confused with the Zephon final battle (which I find irritating but have played again since and yes, Medium is now doable).

This battle (or better: sequences of battles) is 100% fair and is a worthy climax to (an excellent) Xidia. Yesterday evening I played it on Hard and ... well, I died many times and ended up having to use a savegame after each warlord kill, and 2 or 3 saves for the last Warlord. But, it was worth it.

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Subject: Re: 18/11/2014 - "Darklord" by Mr. Prophet

Post Posted: 21 Nov 2014, 00:25

Yeah, I didn't really throw in any arbitrary difficulty curves in this one. It's just at one point you fight two of them at once in a battlefield that you can control, right before a stronger third appears. It's a boss rush, and you are stronger than Prisoner 849 and the two warlords are weaker than the Unreal one. Some people have compared the Zephon final battle to this, but I think the Zephon example has a closer similarity to Deja Vu's last warlord battle (also mine), but that is perhaps a poorer experience.

EDIT: I just watched the video. The elevator music isn't as jarringly bad as I remember, though the sound quality is quite poor. People have asked me why the elevator has an action track. It's because you are supposed to be looking out the windows and going "oh snap check out that awesome skybox!" but it wasn't even that awesome at the time and is admittedly bland.
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User avatar Jet v4.3.5
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Subject: Re: 18/11/2014 - "Darklord" by Mr. Prophet

Post Posted: 23 Nov 2014, 08:23

Thanks to modern audio recognition apps...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsnY-gsdOaM
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Subject: Re: 18/11/2014 - "Darklord" by Mr. Prophet

Post Posted: 23 Nov 2014, 12:59

Mister_Prophet wrote:EDIT: I just watched the video. The elevator music isn't as jarringly bad as I remember, though the sound quality is quite poor. People have asked me why the elevator has an action track. It's because you are supposed to be looking out the windows and going "oh snap check out that awesome skybox!" but it wasn't even that awesome at the time and is admittedly bland.


I thought it was tragicomic :)

This is a pretty good map anyway. Haven't played Xidia in years but even back then I found all the Warlord battles to be curbstomp-easier compared to almost every battle in the pack.
Was the Darklord canonically still alive or no? Because he's breathing when you reach him with Spencer.

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Subject: Re: 18/11/2014 - "Darklord" by Mr. Prophet

Post Posted: 23 Nov 2014, 21:12

Jet v4.3.5 wrote:Thanks to modern audio recognition apps...


Been wondering what that song was for years... thanks! Too bad it only ever seems to come out of the left hand speaker in-game.

All in all a great conclusion to an excellent pack.
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User avatar Sat42
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Subject: Re: 18/11/2014 - "Darklord" by Mr. Prophet

Post Posted: 24 Nov 2014, 00:13

I haven't played everything yet, but this is the best use of Warlord-based creatures that I have encountered.

Of course, I was not expecting anything less after going through everything else that The Xidia Incident had to offer. And, in my view, this is a very hard map, but progressively so: for one thing, the build-up is great and lasts for longer than usual - this increases anticipation, makes sure the player is really into it before going all guns blazin'; secondly, the Shadow Demons themselves were actually surprisingly easy - when they made their sudden appearance, I went into overdrive and after a tense fight, made it through in mostly good condition... without having to reload once! That first phase, at least on Medium, is just that - average in terms of difficulty (play seriously and while you'll take some damage and might feel stressed, you should make it in one go). Then of course phase two ("A Warrior's Pride") kicks in and this time I died... a couple of times. It was stressful and on top of that, some of my cover got blown up!! It was quite hard. Then the Darklord teleports away... and we have a new build-up, with the reminder that the whole base is going to explode thanks to Judd's last efforts, and the player moves on towards the landing pad - only to witness how the Darklord destroys the helicopter. Then we get a very hard fight: I got killed many times, and had to save multiple times during the battle in order to make progress - very stressful! The boss was probably pissed (I love how he appears bloodied after the first encounter!)... Because of how quickly things could take a turn for the worst, I ended up also reloading on occasions where I wasn't in fact dead but had received a nasty hit and figured I had to do better - if I were to make it in the end!
Consequently, the whole level took over half an hour to complete on my first playthrough.
The attention to detail throughout is great, of course (and I love how those turrets are still in firing mode despite not having any ammo left!). The base is huge - at least, it gives that impression (great idea to allow the player to see the outside from within that massive lift!). The pool of blood that goes "splotch" was also a first :P the different tracks used here also work well together with the moments without music which allow for the environmental sounds to come to the fore.
Great finale.

And the ending cinematic is a great treat, too!
The story comes to an interesting conclusion: the whole mission is, in fact, a failure... and that is made abundantly clear by the last transmission. And yet, you feel like you've accomplished something great. The player wants more of this... and we do in fact get more, of course, so all is well :)
Nali: Magic or Telekinesis
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.

User avatar Mister_Prophet
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Subject: Re: 18/11/2014 - "Darklord" by Mr. Prophet

Post Posted: 24 Nov 2014, 04:43

UBerserker wrote:Was the Darklord canonically still alive or no? Because he's breathing when you reach him with Spencer.


When we made the pack we (Hourences and I) had naturally assumed we would make a followup pack, possibly on the new engine (which at the time was either UT2K3 or Unreal 2). I added that detail to Xidia: The Escape under that pretense. But things happen differently sometimes. So yeah, technically it is currently canon that the Darklord is alive when Jones sets off and when Spencer sees his body. He was to reappear in what was going to be Xidia 2 as a recurring nemesis, but when we cancelled that and I instead formed Red Nemesis to work on a different project I dipped into the design doc and changed the setting to Na Pali and altered some other details. So the Darklord became The Scarred One and I called it Seven Bullets.

Sat wrote:Awesome comments


I appreciate the sentiments and enjoy reading feedback who appreciate the little details I put into these levels.
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Subject: Re: 18/11/2014 - "Darklord" by Mr. Prophet

Post Posted: 24 Nov 2014, 11:58

Ah well. His yeti-like appearance was pretty cool.


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