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Myself imagining a HD Unreal 1 remake

For gameplay advice and broader discussion of single-player Unreal including custom maps, mods and mutations that alter the game.

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User avatar UBerserker
Nali Priest Nali Priest
Posts: 7519
Joined: 11 Nov 2007, 21:00

Subject: Re: Myself imagining a HD Unreal 1 remake

Post Posted: 05 Jun 2017, 00:27

Velora - Underground Nali Dwellings
The first location of Velora is the only level in the entire game to not have a music track. Sure, some levels don't have main themes and have instead songs that pop up in specific events, however this one has simply nothing and probably for a good reason.

Similar to Triton, Velora is a location divided in two levels, due to how each part plays very differently from the other one, and due how you can't go back anymore, the changed atmosphere, etc...

Velora was another Nali ancient location that served as a "hidden" connection between Bluff Eversmoking and the Triton's castle. There was never much good blood between the Nali of each location (just your average rivality though) but still, never say never. Secret meetups between the two Nali groups were done in Velora to discuss the status of the great market hot spot beyond Bluff and how to deal with the rather secretive people of the one and only Nali Castle. The location was also used as a home for lower Nali that either worked at Bluff or in the Triton castle, as an escape route from the latter said location and as a great separator between Triton and Bluff because something apparently invincible defended Velora's entrance from the Bluff side (aka the Stone Titan).
As for the location itself, the Velora dwellings were found underground and save for the final pass, it was invisible from above the surface. Of course there were hidden holes around where air could pass through but were really tiny (you can spot them during the level). The place was similar to Dark Arena in terms of style and design: lots of corridors, lots of rooms and several escape routes; quite a dark maze and unlike other Nali places, this one didn't have much monumental qualities to it aside the fact it was built very long ago. Probably, it wasn't even that stable of a place, and was eventually abandoned over time. With the fall of Triton's castle in the first Skaarj invasion, the Nali stopped considering Velora's existence and god knows what happened to the ones who escaped into Velora when the castle fell. The Guardian's Pass though, did fully stand even after all these centuries.

Now you are inside these evidently abandoned dwellings and things around you aren't good. No music, no sound, door behind you got suddenly locked, there was a disfigured dead Nali outside it. And so far, the presence of intelligent aliens (aside some Skaarj Hawk who has been annoying you from above the surface) here is null and void.
The atmosphere very much resembles horror games such as Amnesia. The location itself has hardly any Z-axis action, you walk through corridors scarcely illuminated by green/gray lamps and the textures used have similar murky colors too (floor mostly dark green, the walls dead gray). There are barely any sound, aside the wolf howls you've been constantly hearing since Triton and random unrecognizable noises.
Indeed what this map offers is horror, and the horror theme in games where you would never expect it ten thousand miles away always ends up cool and refreshing, as long as it's done right. Indeed you won't find regular enemies in this level except randomly appearing Flies along the way, Spinners and water creatures in the last area of the level. You'll be facing something that will stalk you through this maze of corridors and rooms.
There will be a lot of annoying Horseflies around the dungeon, sometimes way too much; they won't harm but the buzzing they'll do will most of the time outdo the regular Flies' buzzing. Flies just come out from wall holes found in many, many spots of the map, whenever they feel like.
In terms of items you will only find Bandages and maybe some Tarydium Crystals for the Stinger. There will be also messages, continuing the writing themes seen in the ones from Triton's castle (and probably in a more crude and horrific way).

So you'll run around this maze that goes around Velora's central area (the one from the UBeta), your "goal". However, the doors to this area are locked down and there's one only passage that you have to locate, which is an underwater tunnel (which is how UBeta Velora started). The maze itself is almost fully symmetrical, like a rhombus, though each diagonal side comes with some sort of unique area: a small library, a dinner area, some entrance hall (inaccessible exit due to rock fall) and big bath chambers (this is where the underwater tunnel you're looking for is located).

What's the matter here? A Nali Monk with an instrument which plays wolf howls is the place's stalker, and the one who mindlessly killed all the Nali here. He is known by the name of "Wizard" and was able to cast on himself an ethereal spell; he's invulnerable, and at the same time he can teleport around, throw shit at you with telekinesis if there are decos around, summon more Flies and can cast a a charged-up hitscan beam similar to the ASMD's primary fire (deals 55 HP). He's quite annoying and since there are no armor items, it's pretty possible to die.
How much time it takes for this Nali Monk to appear for the first time is completely random and can happen in any areas except inside any of the dormitory rooms you find through the maze every now and then. When he appears, you'll have to run away. He'll chase you for a while, then he will disappear. Afterwards his appearances will become regularly frequent, even constantly if you are unlucky enough and there's no buildup to whenever this happens (same with the first appearance, although that one has the Monk appearing in more dramatically, and with more particle effects).
The Nali Monk has no real backstory; he's probably one mad edgy fucker who hates everyone. Nali Wolves on Na Pali are apparently extinct, and for Nali to hear their howls feel very weird. The Monk probably plays these howls to attract victims. It is implied this Nali Monk might have been the one who controlled the guardian of Velora.

Using ammo on the Nali Monk is useless so you might as well use defensive items like the Force Field or the Relic.
Unless, you have the Impaler.
If you tried the weapon against the Nali Ghosts on the galleon, you might be aware that it hits ethereal beings. It works against this Nali Monk too and this is the only way you can kill him (and he dies quick). When he dies, you'll hear a loud otherwordly sound but nothing else happens aside being granted an achievement.
Note that this Nali Monk, pawn-wise, is still a Nali Monk. Nali Monks are coded to use multiple spells whenever they are ordered to do so. They have more attacks that are never seen in this campaign.

The central area of Velora, aka the UBeta one but vastly improved in grandness and detail, has few Spinners that will constantly respawn (similar to LightningHunter's Velora conversion on RTNPUE). The water pool in the center cylinder area will have instead a Kraken which is not required to kill.
The way to go up is sorta the same but more logical this time around. For the elevator to go down, you have to decrease the water level of the central area. So you need to trigger the lever to decrease the water level and then the elevator lever. The elevator will stay down for a while so jump in quick. The way up is shorter than in the UBeta version.
Note that the two levers are located in those side rooms in the Spinner section of the area (in those rooms that had open windows to the center water pool, remember?). The other elevator that leads to the mini-area is gone, and so is gone that closed hole at the bottom of the water pool.

You'll finally go outside.

Velora - The Guardian's Pass
MUSIC: Guardian.umx
Guardian.umx will get another remix there, in the style of the remixes of it we got through 7B and BFNP. Extend it, don't go full epic, keep it aggressive.

And here we are back to standard Unreal locations. This is Velora Pass, and you get out of that elevator from the dwellings below. That was an emergency exit from the underground it seems, as next to you there's another door that apparently also leads to Velora (but it's closed). You're in the part of the map where the teleport pod was located in the original Unreal version. And of course there's no teleport pod here, let alone Skaarj.
The mountains around the playable parts of the level are now much taller (so tall you can hardly see the skybox past the sky itself), much better looking as well instead of those ugly cubic shapes. Lighting is also dark overall - evening is done and the last sunlight of this game is about to go off.

So the pathway to the arena is longer but either way you'll reach it. The arena itself has more detailed ruins around, the Stone Titan's structure is now an extremely tall monument made of an unknown shining rock; even the throne got a huge makeup. The lava pit is also wider and obviously you can't cross it now.

Once again, you have to pick the power-up to trigger the event. If you got all the power-ups so far, your DP should be now a Dispersion Pistol Level 5 - and it's not the last power level yet.
The entire boss awakening event, including picking the power-up, is all a cutscene. The stone is pressed, blue/white electric energy from this stone monument flows into the guardian as he wakes up like a champ, destroying part of the throne in the process. When he beats his chest, the scream he does is insane, a blast of wind comes from within him and earth cracks under his legs (various ruins also crumble in the process). Guardian.umx commences.

The Stone Titan, compared to the Titan, has the following differences:
  • He's almost 1.5x bigger than your regular Titan; his model is slightly different, as the Stone Titan has no armor and his body is mostly made of stone. His shoulders are larger, his back spikes much more noticeable, white/blue energy can be seen flowing within his body (he's sorta like an energy golem at this point) and there are symbols scratched on the back of his hands.
  • The Stone Titan is fast. He's bigger, he's made of stone and yet he walks faster than a regular Titan. Running away isn't good enough to stay away from this guy, you gotta do dodge moves too.
  • All his sounds are louder and have an echo effects.
  • All his melee attacks have doubled damage (deal around 200 HP per hit). His shockwave attack also deals more damage (90 instead of 75) and travels infinitely until it finds a generic big obstacle on the way. Overall, just stay the fuck away.
  • The Stone Titan has a unique attack: when he does the regular earthquake move, his hands charge-up that blue energy you just saw from the monuments (the animation doesn't change, it's just slowed down). The earthquake move is then done, releasing an energy shockwave around the boss which damages units on ground for single digit HP. However, upon releasing that shockwave, huge and tiny stones from the ground bounce up and then float around the Titan. With the hands still on ground, the Stone Titan will raise his face to look at you, and then roars. All the floating stones will then be thrown onto you telekinetically, at complete irregular intervals - since they are so hard to dodge (if you have the reflexes try so though), the player is recommended to take cover behind something. The full animation before the stone attack commences takes five seconds maximum.
  • If the Stone Titan is far away and can't see you, he'll do the regular earthquake move instead - the shockwave effect has infinite range.
  • The Stone Titan has 5500 HP and has 85% resistance to all damage (except pure one that ignores any resistance). So it's pretty much unkillable with normal weapons and you have to go with the lava trap route. The Impaler's damge ignores the boss' resistances, so if you actually want to waste time in a long battle (and waiting the Impaler to regenerate all the time), you can kill him with this weapon. His normal death animation is the same as the regular Titan, except the blue energy explodes out of his body very violently, and spectacularly. Technically the Stone Titan is the strongest enemy in the game - he can only lose against four bosses (whose only one you fought so far is Droth - all his attacks ignore enemies' resistances).
The Stone Titan is relentless. The lava bridge, in order to be brought up to your ground level, requires some time; the boss' throne still has that big button you have to press (not on the seat though but on the front side of the chair). You have to hold the button down and the bridge rises up slowly. On the good news though the bridge won't go down if you stop pressing the button.
And this is hard when this Stone Titan is always fucking you from behind, giving you barely any time to press the button and consequently extending the battle too much.
There is a trick however. If you do a lot of damage to the Stone Titan, the same amount of damage that's required to kill a normal Titan (which means the Stone Titan will still take way less damage than that but it's the amount of your firepower that counts), he'll be stunned for a crapload of seconds, like 25, and this gives you some spare time to raise the bridge up.
When the bridge is up, you do the same shit as ever: go to the other side of the land, wait the boss to walk on the bridge, turn the lever and bye. If you don't and decide to run to Bluff, he'll try to charge over you really fucking fast. Whatever you do, it's impossible to escape from him and he'll kill you (in coop, he'll always take priority over the guy that's going to Bluff).
If you decide to turn the lever again to raise the bridge, it turns out the Stone Titan is still alive on the bridge and he's covered in lava! And that was really hot magma, by the way. He'll now try to just melee you to death but he can barely move around. So you'll either turn the lever down or, if he's out of the bridge, shoot him some flak shells or rockets or whatever heavy you have and he'll quickly go down. This is to get a special achievement (which you also get if you kill the Stone Titan "normally" with the Impaler).

Bluff's entrance is now a stone, outpost tower separating both pathways - where you can climb to the top thanks to an elevator. You'll find some Skaarj Railgun ammo there and a Kevlar Suit.

Bluff Eversmoking begins as you access the little cemetery courtyard.

User avatar UBerserker
Nali Priest Nali Priest
Posts: 7519
Joined: 11 Nov 2007, 21:00

Subject: Re: Myself imagining a HD Unreal 1 remake

Post Posted: 08 Jun 2017, 00:29

Bluff Eversmoking
MUSIC: Newmca13.umx
Newmca13.umx is Bluff.umx. The main songsection will receive no substantial changes.
The unused action version of the ambient songsection will be used but will be remixed (at the end of the day, it might be just directly a remix of the ambient songsection as a whole). It'll be used for a special battle event.
The "drama" songsection will get a full orchestral makeover too, having a more dense impact to the player due to the event in which it is used. It won't loop though (remains silent after the songsection ends).

Velora Pass will be always accessible even if it has nothing of worth. If you clear Bluff Eversmoking and go back to Velora to raise the bridge, the Stone Titan will still be alive in his "burning" status.

You now access the little entrance cemetery, and above in the sky you can see a group of Skaarj Hawks flying fast in the direction of the Bluff's peak; one of the Hawks appears bigger and has a flame trail - might be the Skaarj Hawk who caused the Triton earthquakes earlier. The Nali, meanwhile, isn't waiting for you but he's instead found next to the bridge's entry door.
On the ground there are guys from the ISV-Kran who were able to escape away from the Skaarj but Kira once again is nowhere to be seen (the subplot is resumed there). The dead humans carries Shell Boxes and finally, the last regular weapon of the game, the Quadshot (number 0).
The Quadshot comes with new sounds and new animations. What stands out about it is the greeny-white muzzle flash effects upon firing the gun and for the bullets' impact (white and green is the color theme of the Quadshot model already anyway). Weapon holds 60 ammo, ammo boxes give 10. Primary fire doesn't deal as much damage as the Flak Cannon's one but the rate of fire is twice as fast, making it the best close-ranged weapon - however, the bullet spreads out horribly at long range. The secondary fire consumes 5 ammo: launches a dark green liquid from a mini-cannon on top of the gun which will stick on any enemy (they'll be covered with a modulated green overlay); the range is rather limited, follows an arc trajectory, has a pretty huge radius (the "heart" of the liquid shot has to clearly bump on enemies for it to stick on) and if you hit the ground you've wasted shit. This liquid will decrease the enemy's overall resistance to damage by 40% for 10 seconds, except for the pure damage type (this impacts the Impaler as it deals fixed damage).
Quadshot ammo will become common from now and on.

Proceed onward and the Nali will be immediately grabbed by a Skaarj Hawk from the mountain openings on the sides and taken away, oops. No way to save him currently - but he won't die, just taken to the prison. Newmca13.umx begins playing now.
You cannot fall off the entrance bridge this time - that's because now the bridge itself is enclosed in a castle-like structure, and you can only see what's up outside through windows. The ceiling part is still fully open though, and three Skaarj Hawks will fly down in to fight you (no other Skaarj or Nali around however). There's also a bottom floor.

As you reach outside, you'll finally see the Bluff in its massively revamped HD form - and boy it's different. It's more based on the original concept of the place being more pirate-like, with lots of fog around the main peak - a Dishonored-like atmosphere almost.
The entire surrounding area is massive, bigger than ever and also different. Not anymore an enclosed pit, Bluff is now a location in the middle of an extremely wide lake, surrounded by peaks, massive rock formations, a massive chain mountain in the front and there are also additional buildings on small islands around. The lake itself still glows slightly green and the explanation for this is due to the terrain bed being made of some shining rock. The entrance bridge of Bluff you've walked on now has giant stone pillars below for sustaining (attached to the lake's bottom or to the nearby mountains). The shipping cart structure has been completely rebuilt to be 100% Skaarj-made - and is overall way more rough and larger as a result. The dock is also bigger, has boats, crates, and it extends for the entirety of the peak's bottom - with wooden bridges that connect to the new outer buildings/islands including the bell tower itself. Just expect any kind of possible detail, truly.
Swimming in the lake is fine, you might probably find some Stingrays and rare Krakens but you won't be able to swim too much outside due to the current pushing you in. There are also two caverns closed by gates - one leads to the Triton's underground lake and the other leads to the next location (since the gate is closed, you have to find another way around, which is the classic Bluff exit in this case). There's a lot of colorful sea vegetation underwater, by the way, which might be contributing to the water being shiny cyan.
There's a lot to do - though the level progression will barely change compared to the original Unreal version.

As you reach the main peak, you might see in the distance the rogue Skaarj from the Vortex Rikers apparently being caught by a bunch of Skaarj, Skaarj Hawks and the bigger, red-skinned Skaarj Hawk with a flaming trail coming from its head. The latter is the one to roar hard (and you'll recognize him indeed as the one who caused the earthquakes in Triton, same scream sound) and taking the rogue Skaarj away from Bluff, somewhere past the incoming mountains. That Skaarj Hawk won't return anymore now - and in the meanwhile, the remaining Skaarj Hawks will go after you, followed then by Krall and random Skaarj Troopers/Warriors.
Indeed this Bluff is way more heavy on enemies as one might expect - you'll fight Krall, Krall Elites, Skaarj Warriors, some random Skaarj Assassins (indoor only though), Skaarj Infantries, Skaarj Gunners, few Skaarj Officers, Brutes and Skaarj Hawks. The Skaarj army is in full force again against you only. Time to show your full arsenal - the Quadshot will bring a new dimension of winning opportunities.

The outdoor parts of this peak have been improved too visually. There are now small stone walls surrounding the peak itself and countless of decorations. You can jump over these railings with the Anti-Grav Boots' double jump feature, the only way for the player to reach that secret group of items next to the rabbit cage (the opening to it is no more now). And yeah the rabbit cage is still a thing but now the rabbits themselves will jump out of it all at once... and then jump down in the lake below and die. Wtf?
The monastery's cemetery has now all-improved or changed messages for each tombstone. The Nali Ghost still roams around and the secret inside the sarcophagus is unlocked in the same way. The secret area itself can only be accessed from there now: the water passage now needs to be opened from the inside, and it's now a small unnoticeable hole sticking out of the pool above. Also, the hidden alcove with the Flak Cannon and ammo (accessible only with the sarcophagus' elevator) has been removed, and the items have moved around in the secret area itself. Lastly, this secret area now has grate windows where you can see things outside.

The crucified Nali is still in the distance, on one of the bigger mountain peaks surrounding Bluff and next to it there's also one of those new buildings I've mentioned earlier. Blasting the crucified Nali still cause the Super Health event but you may want to save this for later.

It's time to go indoor, in the prison/sewer section. Something, something unexpected happens here. As you've read from some messages already, the Skaarj are using Bluff as a strategic outpost and to check naval shipments of resources gathered from other Na Pali places. All these resources are then brought into the Underflow, the "hot market spot" found after Bluff which has been converted into another Skaarj base of top-tier importance. And apparently it's "The Warlord" who mainly check this stuff at Bluff when he isn't busy with anything more important. So you ultimately assume that the Warlord is currently somewhere in Bluff.
Turns out, he is indeed in Bluff's prison area ordering a bunch of Skaarj Assassins to kill you. The moment you almost spot him he'll teleport away into black smoke (you will hardly be able to look how he is) and Bluff's drama songsection plays, with a bunch of Skaarj Assassins (three of them!) now ready to kill you.
When they die, Bluff Eversmoking's main songsection resumes. The prison section has no essential changes, perhaps more prisoner messages than just, one, I guess. The sewer section though has more changes: the tunnel system looks more natural and less gamey, there are more pathways in general, and more importantly, LADDERS for pits; ever thought of being annoyed of jumping down into a hole and not going up anymore? Well this isn't going to be the case anymore. Oh and the sewers have Flies and Spinners.
The inner dock has now large boats with Tarydium crystal and sludge for your weapons but regular Slith are also hiding in the water there (and you're forced to enter water anyway but that's the beauty of having items such as the Invisibility). The dock is also redesigned, more realistic, and there's a wooden bridge connecting to the large cave which leads outside. One of the boats has probably a sleeping Skaarj Warrior on top, or multiple ones. The underground tunnel to the bell tower is of course still locked by a powerful Skaarj forcefield, and the nearby panel doesn't hint you how it can be turned off. The elevator doesn't bring you to the top next to the cemetery anymore (that hole is gone, by the way); it instead brings in a new indoor section within the peak of Bluff, which has several Krall groups and also a guarding Brute. This part of the map has rooms used by the Krall and some Skaarj as resting or eating places - probably these were the old living restrooms of the Nali back in the day (Bluff's history will be based from the ones in the level design doc - check the trivia thread for more info). You'll eventually come out to the peak's top, from a completely new mini-tower placed next to the cemetery.
Back into the underground dock, you'll read more essential story messages regarding the Skaarj's ongoing activities. All the orders are being given by the "Queen" from the Skaarj Mothership (you already know of the Mothership since the Kran but never about a Queen) and the Warlord is the guy who makes sure the stuff is being done as ordered. The weapon they're creating, the one you've heard since The Dissent, is in the Underflow and ready - it's a huge cannon which shoots explosive GES-based beams. Apparently something powerful enough to CORRODE PLANETS ALIVE. It might not mean much to your objective of escaping from the planet but now that you know what kind of monstrous beings you're dealing with, it's better taking their hands off from something so threatening to the universe.

From the outer dock, accessed through the big cave full of Brutes, you can make your way around Bluff's lake, going to the new structures around. The bell tower is still inaccessible however.
On the dock, there's also a Chameleon hiding around. Areas here are patrolled by Krall, Krall Elites or Skaarj Gunners. The outer structures are protected by Brutes.
The outer structures themselves are fully optional, and give the location some exploration purposes that reward you with items, enemies to fight and more story tidbits. There are also more Nali to save here, so if you want that "save all Nali" achievement you have to go there. The structures are typical Nali houses like the ones seen in Shrakith'a. From the windows on the back of these buildings you can also see the lake from beyond the borders of Bluff's playable area, the Sunspire and a storm focusing in a single spot behind some mountains - the same one you've seen from Nyleve. The Mothership is close.

Note that the bell tower's cross shaped windows are now closed with indestructible, translucent yellow giant windows.

After some long trips, it's time to enter the inner top monastery in the usual way. If you ever try to rocket-jump into it, well you can't this time - the outer parts of the monastery are blocked on the top thanks to forcefields (similar to how the EXU2's Bluff conversion did).
The secret with the Eightball hiding inside the floor has been removed. Meanwhile the Nali in the church (and it looks like a proper church now - also helps the fact that the peak is larger now, gives more room to work with) will open the secrets for you. The Super Health secret above the forcefield control room has also been removed.
Nothing truly changes otherwise. Places just look better and more grand, enemies more organized against you. What changes drastically however is when you turn off the forcefields (these include both the one in the underground dock forcefield and the monastery forcefields).
As you get out, Newmca13.umx's newly ready action songsection begins, as Skaarj Hawks will ambush you from the sky (possible now that the forcefields are all off). If you fully exit the monastery section, just right at the peak's entrance something appears to teleport in with effects similar to the Skaarj Officers' appearance ones, except colored red and black.

The last regular Skaarj member, the Skaarj Lord, finally appears there and it's the level's "mini-boss". Arguably, they'll be the mini-bosses of almost every incoming level due to their toughness.
Skaarj Lords have 500 HP and have a 30% resistance to all non-pure damage. Skaarj Lords are extremely mobile: they can double jumps, jump-lunge, wall jump, dash on ground multiple times in a row (until 3 times, then there's a cooldown of sort), single air dashes in any direction and teleport. The teleport move can be done pretty freely, generally when the Skaarj Lord isn't doing any action or close to the end of any action. Teleport's range has a limited orb-shaped radius and after the teleport is done, all the Skaarj Lord's actions are completely reset, so he can do whenever he want as if nothing happened (i.e. 3 ground dashes + teleport + 3 ground dashes again, rinse and repeat - this is how Lords chase things without any issue). This is true even when he teleports in the air. It is absolutely impossible to outrun a Skaarj Lord.
Skaarj Lords are almost as big as Berserkers, have a complex-looking black armor with a "red heart" gem in the middle of the chest part, their razik have a red glowing aura when they are toggled on and lastly they have a short dark cloak coming out from their shoulders. They look imposing, actual top-tier authorities, Skaarj "supervillain" units.
Skaarj Lords are able to shoot like Skaarj Warriors do (charged-up razik bolts included) and can also become temporarily invisible for a special strong strikes like Skaarj Assassins do (though they stay invisible for this attack only). Damage-wise they're a slight bit stronger than the Assassins but nowhere near as close as the Berserkers. However they have a new attack that symbolizes them: if they jump or come from the air IN ANY FORM, they can land down next to you in full force with a ground stomp that releases a red energy blast around the Skaarj Lord. This blast deals 50 HP and has EMP effects - your ASMD goes off for several seconds. It doesn't sound too dangerous if it wasn't for the fact it's used quite frequently and without any warning (it's most noticeable when he starts the attack from ground, he has a special jump animation).
Skaarj Lords' unique movements and attack styles make them simply very hard enemies to kill. It's like fighting godlike bots and the only time you'll be fighting two Skaarj Lords at once is on the special Unreal difficulty, inside the Mothership.

However, if you want to play a joker card against this Lord only, there's one. Remember the crucified Nali secret? The thunder strike occurs right in the spot where the Skaarj Lord pops up.
When the Skaarj is about to teleport in, gib the Nali with one Railgun hit; now in the sky, "snakes" of thunder energy travel from the borders of the skybox to the center of it, right on top of you. After a bunch of really crazy effects where the sky practically charges up a thunderbolt, the thunderbolt itself comes, blasting the fucking ground below in front of the monastery, leaving an immense hole and destroying whatever it's close (that includes you if you're too near the mark spot). When this happens and if the Skaarj Lord has already spawned, the Skaarj himself will look above to see what's happening and he'll eventually be struck dead by the lightning. Here's also a free Super Health!

When the Skaarj Lord is dead, Newmca13.umx reverts back to the ambient songsection. The rest of the map is going to work like normal. Kira is dead in a pool of blood with a proper dramatic message; she has with her the last DP Power-up you can find in the game - the Dispersion Pistol Level 6, the new final level of the Dispersion Pistol, shoots dark red bolts that deal 100 HP per hit and the secondary fire can charge for even more time. Max ammo is 100. The DP grows appendages around the whole gun, like metallic tentacles possessing the thing.

You'll eventually use the cartwheel to reach the exit which is completely redesigned as it's now supposed to fit crates through (same reason why the cartwheel is also larger); all there's to this exit is just a passage to a locked door which leads to the infamous storage room - which is not anymore part of "Dasa Pass" but of the "Loche of the Underflow" - the ancestor of the Dasa level itself.

User avatar Nightmare Kitteh
Skaarj Warrior Skaarj Warrior
Posts: 88
Joined: 23 Jan 2014, 04:45

Subject: Re: Myself imagining a HD Unreal 1 remake

Post Posted: 08 Jun 2017, 02:36

Damn, Bluff is even better now. Not too much to say, I'm really happy the Quadshot has a definite role now, and I like how it's basically the final weapon excluding secret ones. Though goddamn DP level 6 sounds terrifiying. 100 HP per shot? Goddamn!
(also known as Xanious)

User avatar UBerserker
Nali Priest Nali Priest
Posts: 7519
Joined: 11 Nov 2007, 21:00

Subject: Re: Myself imagining a HD Unreal 1 remake

Post Posted: 08 Jun 2017, 11:45

Nightmare Kitteh wrote:Damn, Bluff is even better now. Not too much to say, I'm really happy the Quadshot has a definite role now, and I like how it's basically the final weapon excluding secret ones. Though goddamn DP level 6 sounds terrifiying. 100 HP per shot? Goddamn!

Yeah but it consumes a crapload of ammo - 10 bolts shot one after one and your DP is out for a while.

User avatar Sat42
Skaarj Warlord Skaarj Warlord
Posts: 724
Joined: 14 Jul 2013, 16:42

Subject: Re: Myself imagining a HD Unreal 1 remake

Post Posted: 08 Jun 2017, 19:28

UB, you're amazing - how you pump out this content, the dedication is phenomenal.

I am too distracted to make any relevant comment on this stuff right now - just wanted to say I hope you'll find a place in the gaming industry (obviously in some creative position) :tup:
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 UBerserker
Nali Priest Nali Priest
Posts: 7519
Joined: 11 Nov 2007, 21:00

Subject: Re: Myself imagining a HD Unreal 1 remake

Post Posted: 11 Jun 2017, 01:09

Loche of the Underflow
MUSIC: Underworld.umx
Underworld.umx from the Unreal Beta version (the one with what, four songsections?) will get for sure a big makeover - either remix or fixing/remaking all the samples. The original song was kinda too cheesy and outdated and most likely it will sound very different, maybe potentially completely changed; it wasn't part of the original Unreal game anyway and the majority of people never heard it so heavy remixing is an ok thing to do for this one. Not to mention even Epic felt like the song was too off the mark for Unreal back then already.
Most of the way the map works is infiltration-based, ala ALFA62: the first songsection is the regular ambient one when nothing is really happening, the second songsection is the action songsection when you're spotted - for "avoidable/unimportant" battles. The third songsection is used for the very few (one or two) unavoidable forced battles that are the most important within the map. The fourth songsection replaces temporarily the ambient songsection (and also the 2nd songsection) when you are about to approach the main objective of this map, which in this case is the Skaarj's bio-cannon weapon they've been building with Tarydium and the Dissent's goo.
There's also a new 5th songsection that's very Deus Ex's Vanderberg; it's used for the storage area at the beginning of the level only.

Loche of the Underflow is the replacement of the fillery Dasa Pass. Only the storage area as a major key area will be retained, and even that the area itself will be slightly redesigned to be wider and more made for complex battle purposes - crates more scattered around, enemies hiding behind or inside and so on.
The rest of the level is set inside an underground river, a location that Nali used in the past as a huge market spot and as a connection point between Bluff and various other locales. The tunnels of these locales are all locked throughout gates so you can't go to these. The underground river itself also isn't just one straightforward direction like Dasa Pass but it divides into multiple ways, there are turns, etc... a rather complex layout but it's hard to get lost in as it's easy to figure out where to go (all the optional ways can be seen blocked with gates from 10 miles away). You will ultimately know the correct way if you see a major Skaarj installation alongside some Nali fortress entrance in the background.
Much of the underground cave is illuminated by either pre-existing Nali lamps or Skaarj orbs. There are a bunch of mini Skaarj outposts around the location as well, and lots of boats. The river is completely safe to swim; there's a tiny bit of currents and a bunch of hiding Stingrays who can be avoided if you're careful enough.
The map basically follows the Underflow concept in the design doc - an infiltration style map filled of Skaarj, where you have to reach the end and destroy the alien-made big scary weapon. Only thing that changes is the very exit - originally the Underflow was supposed to lead directly to Serpent Canyon by falling in a river, skipping Dasa Cellars entirely. Here instead, you'll eventually enter a fortress-looking building which is indeed Dasa.

So let's start from the beginning. Going back to Bluff is always possible.
As you enter the storage room, the new 5th songsection of Underworld.umx plays there. If you go back to Bluff it'll stop, if you enter it again it'll play. If you go past it, Underworld.umx's first songsection will play, and will keep playing even if you go back to the storage room - so eventually you won't hear the 5th songsection anymore.
The storage area is a classic firefight skirmish; it all depends how you approach it. Be it with Invisibility, be it with Dampener, be it taking pathways through the crates, and so on. The Skaarj patrol the area randomly, so you can't tell who's behind a certain corner every time. There are cases where Skaarj will be actively sneaking onto you. You can dodge them all if you're able too but that requires Invisibility or Dampener, and those aren't infinite considering you may need those for the rest of the level - so if you want to go back to Bluff, you have to kill them all. It's a bunch of Skaarj Troopers and Skaarj Infantries, two Brutes and a Skaarj Officer. The Brutes are found in the side extremities while the Skaarj Officer guards the exit door (both the entrance and exit doors are sorta huge, makes sense since crates need to pass through).
Another thing why sneaking doesn't really work here, especially if you have the Invisibility - Skaarj Troopers can see invisible units. Dampener overall helps more. The storage area has a lot of ammo, Shield Belt and various items, so it's worth exploring and killing everyone there.

After the door you descend into the underground cavern; Underworld.umx's main songsection fully starts here. The action songsection will play every time you fight enemies that aren't critters.
The whole Nali cave x Skaarj feels like something seen in ONP, Xidia, Hexephet and various custom maps (what stands out is the cave/water theme being very Serpent Canyon esque, with the river being kinda clean and dark green only; you can't see the bottom because it's dark). It's something very Unreal to look at. It's overall quite realistically dark, at least on the river, while the walkable parts are illuminated by lamps of either Nali or Skaarj origin; there are no Tarydium crystals of course, cause the Skaarj took them all already. The sounds are good, nothing on par with Triton's underground lake but close.
The river itself is large. Let's say the regular width of the cave is as large, maybe way larger, than the river cave in Gateway To Na Pali. The river itself takes this time 75% of the cave's width. Vegetation? Barely. There's few seaweeds in the water, that's about it. No openings to the sky, either. And the cave doesn't really have stand out visual moments except for the very last part (here the cave is fucking huge) with the Skaarj weapon construction site and the Dasa entrance.
The mandatory way within the cave goes like this: you enter it, go right, then go left, then go right, go right again, go left and there you go you reached Dasa.

If you read those directions, the first cave you're in and the last one to Dasa should be actually close; indeed they are connected but separated with a giant Skaarj forcefield that you can only turn off at the end of the level. This forcefield also temporarily cuts you off from another tunnel that goes in the direction of Bluff - it's the water-level entrance to the Underflow you've saw in the previous map, closed with a gate from the inner side.
Unlike what the level doc mentioned, this version of the Underflow won't have mini-locations, just Skaarj outposts, cave detours, some random old market area and what else, perhaps some medieval ruins, small huts. And lastly, there's the Skaarj construction site at the end of the level which is very Skaarj.utx, with a style identical to what was seen in Outpost 3J. It's literally a Skaarj base sitting in the middle of the cave, surrounding this bio weapon which looks like a long-ass laser beam gun that's all black with fast waving green lights, alongside robotic equipment that are used to build it.

Enemy-wise, the Underflow cave is filled of baddies. This is where the "infiltration" gameplay comes online: you cannot play stealthy because ultimately your actions to take down the bio-cannon will inevitably trigger battles
you actually decide NOT to do anything with the bio-cannon and go directly to Dasa. Yeah the game will give you the choice to actually not giving a shit about the future (i.e. Skaarj/Human war that happens between Unreal 1 and UT), therefore leaving a functioning weapon to the Skaarj which would rape humans and maybe more planets in the universe. The Unreal ending will slightly change based on several things done within the game itself, so you know.
If you don't want to destroy the weapon, you will be able to sneak into Dasa without triggering a battle event. This will of course stop you from going back into the Underflow/Bluff - not because of locked gateways or something but because you have to make all your way back to the beginning of the cave and therefore wasting Invisibility/Dampener to get through the enemies again. Turning off any forcefield (like the "shortcut" one) will set on alert everyone.

Patrolling the Underflow are the essential: Krall, Krall Elites, Lesser Brutes, Brutes, the entirety of the Skaarj Trooper caste except Snipers, Skaarj Warriors, Skaarj Assassins (operating only in the weapon's Skaarj construction site), and the mini-boss of the map being once again another Skaarj Lord. Typical standard fare. Of course there are Tentacles in isolated areas, and Stingrays in the water. No Slith.
Item-wise, the Skaarj spots will have them, assortments of every genre (ammo/health, sometimes armor or inventory items). There's pretty much ammo for any weapon here.
There are few Nali slaves throughout the map, so save them if you find them. And corpses of Cave Mantas (and also a dead Giant Manta!) probably killed by the Skaarj because they were too annoying.

So basically the gist of the map is very straightforward and there aren't any major event until the very end of the Underflow. It's a very challenging map on the other hand, so prepare to curse a lot at the game.
The number of enemies is massive, getting spotted in a bad position can be brutal, Stingrays can fuck your underwater sneakyness (going underwater is a good idea still, most of the time) and the Krall will still be busy playing their dice games. The theme of the translator messages from Dasa Pass regarding the Krall remains - things just get more spicy once you reach the weapon construction site where you learn about the cannon itself, how powerful it is. Other than that, the cave part plays like a massively glorified Dasa Pass.

When you approach the end of the cave, the Underworld.umx's 4th songsection will start to play. Any fight here will trigger the 3rd songsection (the other, more aggressive action battle theme).
Brutes will guard the weapon construction site and the entrance to Dasa. Skaarj Assassins are located inside the base and the Skaarj Lord is next to the main control panel of the structure. If you fought the Lord in the "secret" way in Bluff, here you are forced to fight him 1vs1 without gimmicks, good luck! Operating the control panel will lead P849 to use the robotic weapon building equipment to go out of control and consequently breaking the bio-cannon apart; enjoy the green and blue fireworks! There are also controls for the forcefields, and from there you can open the shortcut to the beginning of Underflow or opening the water-level gate to Bluff (this makes going back to Underflow from Bluff much easier and faster) and access few other small areas in the cavern that were also blocked by forcefields.
After the cannon is destroyed, Underworld.umx's first songsection will play forever within the Underflow - the 2nd songsection plays when you encounter remaining intelligent enemies.

Dasa's entrance is a Dasa Pass-style gateway wall built on the cave wall; there are large torches sticking out of it and the original entrance to the cellars (the flooded chamber with the barrels) has been replaced with a simple hall which leads directly to the round-shaped room that was the Cellar's first one. Going into this room will start Dasa Cellars and you'll be stuck in it until you clear the map.

User avatar UBerserker
Nali Priest Nali Priest
Posts: 7519
Joined: 11 Nov 2007, 21:00

Subject: Re: Myself imagining a HD Unreal 1 remake

Post Posted: 16 Jun 2017, 00:48

Tomorrow Dasa is up, was pretty much burned out due to E3 occurring these days.

User avatar UBerserker
Nali Priest Nali Priest
Posts: 7519
Joined: 11 Nov 2007, 21:00

Subject: Re: Myself imagining a HD Unreal 1 remake

Post Posted: 17 Jun 2017, 15:35

MUSIC: Newmca7.umx
Newmca7.umx's ambient songsection needs an even realer bass. Need to be more tense.
The action songsection goes full Trance mode for the implications of this version's Dasa; a four minute mix would be fine, basically the action songsection becomes a modern-day electronic song. It also starts very loudly, think of how the Unreal official ost version of Dasa's theme begins but with two strong heartbeats-like sounds put on top.

When you enter the infamous round-shaped first room of Dasa (the music isn't on yet), something weird happens. A book drops from above (from seemingly nothing at all?) and you're forced to read it throughout a mini-cutscene. The translator message pops up and it seems to speak "directly" to you: you're about to feel a weird sensation; the entity under the name of Dasa, creator of Tarydium according to the Nali and the source of all evil roots that brought all kind of alien invasions into the planet (it is thought the Tarydium is behind the planet's strong gravitational pull) is about to play with you. All the torches turn off temporarily for few seconds, and then they all turn on but showing purple flames and purple coloration - and for the whole level until you clear it. These purple flames also leave some sort of reddish/orange sparks that appear to be "magical" or "demonic", and the player's vision becomes blurry during this scripted event. The purple lighting is very saturated and dark, it doesn't feel very right or anything remotely natural. Turns out that throughout the map, you will read messages from Skaarj and Krall alike about themselves feeling sick; indeed it seems this place is overrun by some sort of poison, or a magic curse created by the Nali that has to do with Tarydium (this Dasa is an entity related to Tarydium).
Skaarj outside of Dasa were ordered to never enter the structure and to instead use teleport pods in the Underflow until this matter was resolved (I didn't mention this in the previous level's description but yeah the weapon construction site had several teleport pods that the player couldn't use). The source of this poison comes from a Titan inside Dasa who possess "divine" magical powers, similar to the Titans fought in Dark Arena and Vandora; if the Titan dies, this spell will vanish, and that's what you'll be going to do in this map.

Dasa Cellars will still play like a full-blown oldschool dungeon map where you kill creatures left and right; there will be few messages this time about Dasa itself, and the already aforementioned logs regarding Skaarj and Krall. It plays similarly to Nexus, almost as difficult (Dasa is going to be the 2nd most difficult map in the game).
That said, there's the unnatural purple lighting from the torches and the "poison" gimmick to give this map an edge in terms of being interesting, and so the following features:
  • The vision's borders (well, your screen's borders more like) will become blurry when you stand next to the purple torches, creating some sort of fast wavy effect toward the center of the screen; it looks like boiling water almost.
  • There's always a very noticeable motion blur if you turn your camera around quickly. This is true underwater too. The blurryness becomes randomly more dense. Note that also this overall impacts enemies too: some enemies will accidentally miss their shots (like, 15% chance). This is because pawn movements will also look blurry, it's like everyone will leave a trail if they move fast enough.
  • Expect a lot of blue/purple smoke randomly appearing around the level. It does nothing however but the smoke itself is anything but transparent. This adds up with the torches' sparkling red effects they leave, and crapload of horseflies groups roaming Dasa.
  • You, the players, the weapons everyone is holding (1st or 3rd person), all items on ground and all enemies, will look or glow brighter, especially the eyes.
  • Moving pawn shadows are delayed of almost one second; this includes the players' shadows too. This is to add even more visual confusion to the level. Regarding shadows in this game, they will be real-time as much as they can get, as good as they can get. Remember when Unreal was supposed to have real-time shadows? Well it did but were exclusive to certain, extremely rare cards and renderers. Forgot the details but somebody managed to get them on somehow.
  • The level will play under the UT's "Hardcore" settings, and it'll be true for both the players and the enemies: overall gamespeed is 10% faster, any damage is boosted by 50% and jumps are 10% higher. Any Relic stat-based powerup will be based on these settings.
  • Some enemies of different races may randomly fight each other, hell, even before you ever reach them. This isn't bad anyway considering there are well over 200 enemies in Dasa. There are no Nali or flock-type pawn whatsoever.
  • Artifact, Invisibility and Dampener will not work here. This impacts the few Skaarj Assassins you encounter here as well, who fight really weirdly without any sort of invisibility (they are unable to be aggressive whatsoever).
  • You can breath underwater without the use of SCUBA Gear.
  • Purple/blue colored Flies will pop up in big groups from small broken holes on wall, leaving trails of purple smoke. They are smaller than the regular Flies, their eyes strongly glow blue/purple and attack everybody. They will regularly appear in pre-fixed spots of the map until the curse is lifted off (they all die automatically when everything returns to normal in Dasa).
  • Fruit plants from Seeds grow super fast.
  • The skybox appears very dark. You can hardly see the mountains (they're all black) and the few of the sky you see is purple and completely cloudy. There's also a constant, low-pitched wind sound in the few outdoor areas of Dasa (which is just the one with the crucifix which is slightly redesigned, and also the last area).
  • There are some events that are "unrealistic" and are about the environment assuming impossible shapes or something like a hole/opening disappearing for a while. Way beyond illusion plays.
  • Last thing: there's the Titan boss. That's for later.

Dasa's visual theme is retained. The use of textures is about the same as it ever was, with a bit less of repetition and more massive attention to architectural detail. There's a limit how graphics and details can be improved for a rather narrow indoor location, and either way the "purple" atmosphere will steal the show.
Dasa's scale will however be definitely 5% bigger than before.

You cannot go back to Underflow until the curse is gone. Dasa's layout is still the same, with some added passages there and there that will be minimally described below. Pretty much all the bars and moving walls have been replaced with iron grates and the locked doors can be recognized thanks to some iron appendages in front of these doors themselves.

Items are found around in crates; the structure was used to store ammo and other valuable tools inside but now they're stuck there since none of the Skaarj outside decided to enter the structure after the poison problem. Similar to Underflow, you'll find almost any regular item in this level, and a crapload of ammo since you'll be shooting a damn lot.
Enemy-wise it's still the same: Krall, Krall Elites, lots of Brutes, Skaarj Warriors, non-invisible Skaarj Assassins, Tentacles, Devilfish, a Kraken, the Fly swarms, a Skaarj Berserker, some Skaarj Infantries and Skaarj Officers, Slith (in the enclosed pool with the pool at the bottom, replacing Devilfish), Skaarj Hawks appearing in a single area and two bossy creatures that haven't been introduced yet. Major absence is the Skaarj Lord.

To make it quick, Dasa's main key differences regarding the map design are:
  • The first secret area, the one accessible throughout the underwater passage, still has the Super Health and a new door. Obtaining the Super Health will cause your vision to be fully blurry for 1-2 seconds, and the underwater hole disappears (basically it gets closed in such an unrealistic way). The new door opens revealing a set of new chambers with Flies and Krall/Elites, plus one Skaarj Officer at the end. You'll eventually end up in the previous area with the water pool, on one of the two upper ledges.
  • Dasa, instead of levers unlocking important areas, utilizes colored keys, something very oldschool a la Doom. This is what those newly introduced iron appendages on the locked doors are for - you use the keys on these. The first key you obtain is on top of the water passage leading to the most upper point of the first battle arena; it's colored green and it unlocks the Slith pool area section; the bottom of the Slith's pool contains a blue key which opens the way to the huge section on the opposite side. Here, someone will force you to go inside the second battle arena, which will lock down the moment you get inside. To get out you need the yellow key which is randomly hidden somewhere in this arena and the monsters will do whatever they can to slow you down before you find it. The water maze's reward will be the red key, the final one, which opens the well-known gate to the last quarter of the map.
  • As with the point above, that underwater passage that opens after you clear the first battle arena is now mandatory, as you need to go into it if you want to pick the first key; the passage behind the moving wall (which is now a gate) is just an ambush point full of Flies (and Horseflies).
  • For the record, there are a lot of small chambers (cellars) distributed throughout the level, accessed through regular doors. Some cannot be ever opened however. These rooms usually contain the majority of item crates.
  • The Slith pool section's second floor has been extended in a way similar to how the EXU2's conversion did it - and there are now Krall guarding there. The secret moving brick in the pool is now more visible.
  • The Flak Boxes' secret room in the second battle arena is now a legitimately accessible cellar room. It contains three Flak Boxes, three Shell Boxes and a random appearing spot for the key to get out.
  • The water maze is much more complex and longer, and the hole to the key area has been moved. There are also two new secret areas and some side chambers on the perimeter walls (over the water surface level).
  • The area with the five crucifixes has been massively extended, it's now some sort of terrace enclosed by walls (similar to DM-Curse's top floor); this is Dasa's only area where the "cursed" skybox is fully visible (torches illuminate here since the sky is completely dark). Upon arriving in the middle of this terrace, you'll be attacked by Skaarj Hawks coming from outside. There are just a lot of fruits otherwise. Gibbing crucified Nali is for achievement purposes.
  • With the third battle arena having a coop passage, the first and second ones will also get their exclusives passages too.
  • The third battle arena now ends with the Skaarj Berserker in the following corridor breaking down the gate and ambushing you directly.
  • The super secret which unlocks the sewer hole has now the torch attached to the wall being more noticeable that it's a mover (you can see on the wall right behind it that there's a crack where the torch itself can be moved). You can also use just the Anti-Grav Boots to reach the tip of the torch's bottom. As for the secret passage, the elevator goes up even more and now you'll drop from a hole in the ceiling, right onto the staircase as usual.
  • The last area is way larger and slightly redesigned, looks like some sort of entrance hall. The central pit (the one with the lava) has been completely removed because it was pointless; the exit is temporarily invisible (there's just a wall) when the poison curse is on, and only gets revealed after the final boss is killed; the second floor is inaccessible and the new built elevators that are there don't work (more like, they are destroyed, stones fell on top). There's still a big opening to the ceiling where you can see the sky. In terms of lighting, there are torches on the perimeter walls and on the four (now larger) pillars' walls.
  • Miscellaneous changes there and there for logical/realistic reasons.

The last area finally contains the first two Behemoths of Unreal. Behemoths are juggernauts of 1000 HP and 35% resistance to all damage except pure due to the armor they have; their armor is based off the Beta Brutes, and it's all dark green with yellow glowing eyes (some other parts of the armor glow yellow too). All considered, their armors resemble Fallout's Enclave ones a bit but ultra futuristic.
Behemoths prefer to tower on one location and shoot at you repeatedly. They only move if they need a better spot to get you but they never travel too far, especially if the pathways are too much for them to walk on in order to chase you - besides they are better at guarding than chasing as they don't move that fast. At least, initially.
Behemoths shoot at you with the typical Brute way, except the fact the rockets seem to be different and bigger, they deal more damage and have a bigger splash radius. If they shoot, RUN THE FUCK AWAY. And there are two of them now, and under this purple atmosphere they look extremely menacing. They still have their walkfire-style shooting but it occurs rarely. Regular melee attacks deal 70 HP per hit, and their shoulder lunges deal 100 HP and blow you the hell away. Every step they take create a small shaking effect in a certain radius, and all their voices are pitched down (well more than pitched down, edited to sound more heavy as they have a helmet mask). Behemoths regenerate 5HP every second and also have access to an inferior version of the Force Field item - unlike how Kraal Masters use it, Behemoths use this item like the player does but the shield itself has a yellow color, goes down after 10 seconds, can be destroyed (HP: 300, takes more damage from ASMD) and there's a one minute cooldown before it can be used again. Behemoths cannot be stunned.
Behemoths have access to some special regular attack. The first one loads a large rocket on the back of their shoulders; after 1 or 2 seconds, this rocket will be fired and will home onto you like if it was an auto-targeted Redeemer's secondary fire. This can be done any time, the homing ability of the rocket is almost perfect and the Behemoth will keep firing it if he has no sights on you - you can basically go at the beginning of Dasa and the rockets will still go after you from the last area to the very beginning of the level. The rocket deals 70 HP, has a large splash radius but are fairly noticeable and can be destroyed without harmful consequences. Rockets can't travel through different levels.
Another one of their attacks is about Behemoths unleashing from their armors a bunch of scattering mini-rockets that are shot around your location. Pretty frequent attack, can deal up to 80 HP if you're fully hit.
When a Behemoth's HP goes below the 10%, the Behemoths will enter a special version of the rage mode. They'll drop the guns, a particle-filled animation plays on their armor (as some armor feature gets activated, probably to boost the creature's agility) and the Behemoths themselves will now try to kill you by chasing really fast like gorillas (the animations here, unique to the Behemoths and on this mode only, feel very gorilla-like) and ending you with fists and pounds. Their speed is rather fast, about as good as Krall's. Their melee damage doesn't change but they fist faster and at the same time, they can still use the homing rockets and the spreading rockets special attacks, and they do this very furiously. This is painful when you have more than one raging Behemoth going after you. Raging Behemoths break every destructible decoration they run on, pushing away also special immovable objects like large crates, etc... Under this rage mode, Behemoths cannot use the shoulder melee (they'll do these jumping pounds instead) and the HP regeneration is turned off.
Not really super tough creatures to beat but mistakes prove fatal, and their strengths prove best when they are together with something like Skaarj (and this will happen in the incoming levels).

And now, saved for last, the big guy of Dasa, the Dasa's Titan. He is a Titan with the brown parts of his skin colored dark purple, he has Tarydium crystals sticking out of his shoulders and back (their positions are completely asymmetric), he has a white bone helm that's perfectly shaped for his head and there's a lot of purple smoke moving around his body. All his voice sounds are distorted. He's also slightly smaller.
Newmca7.umx's action songsection will play only at every encounter with this Titan; the way now the song begins, plus the roaring of the Titan, should come overall with a big impact.
Compared to regular Titan, he isn't that different barring the vision-related impediments he brings with all the smoke, together with the already ongoing purple atmosphere and mist that's in Dasa. He's faster than your regular Titan in just about anything, and is somehow capable of strafing; this is helped by the fact that his acceleration movement value is almost maxed, so he can immediately move to a direction without any delay.
Instead of throwing rocks, they unleash blue plasma meteors that are about as damaging as the stones - which means it's almost insta-kill but there's only one type of plasma orb shot and they don't bounce, instead they do splash damage (and it's surprisingly not too strong); dodging is almost always required to dodge these attacks but thanksfully, Dasa is an indoor place with a lot of narrow pathways that you can hide through: remember that fallen giant stone in the corridor set that has the sewer secret area? That's a good hiding spot. All other regular Titan attacks are retained and aren't different, barring unique particle effects.
The gimmick with this Titan is that, outside of the mandatory appearances - which is in the first battle arena, forcing you also to get into the second battle arena (this is what makes that area mandatory now but if you want you can fight the Titan back, which is strongly NOT recommended), on the way when you try to reach the red key gate to access the last quarter of the map, and the very final arena after defeating the Behemoths - there's a 10% chance this Titan might randomly ambush you in almost any area of Dasa. These areas need to be large enough and there are too many to list. Two rules: must not be a secret area, and no enemies that aren't Flies have to be around. The Titan appears throughout walls thanks to some sort of smoke portals (if this is an illusion or some high-tier Nali teleportation spell, that's to the player to guess about). So this adds some sort of scariness value to this map because all of a sudden you get attacked by this monstrous purple beast like in a fucking Ao Oni game. At least if there's another monster around (that isn't a Fly), the Titan will attack it too; he attacks everyone except the Flies, basically.
At least you can fight back! Dasa's Titan comes with no resistances whatsoever, and has 1000 HP every random encounter. If you run away somewhere, good, the Titan will stop chasing you and disappear (might take a while, it's random); if you take down all his HP, good, you wasted a bit of ammo and get bragging rights - and he doesn't die, he retreats through another one of those wall smoke portals. Random appearances will start to occur only after the first arena's mandatory encounter against him (you can hear him from afar thanks to some loud distorted growls). The mandatory appearances have 2000 HP, and only the first and the last ones require you to beat the monster.
However, there are bonuses if you try to take down the Titan at every possible appearance, which are about making the final Dasa's Titan battle much easier. If you have never beaten him outside of the first arena battle, the Titan's last battle has him at 4000 HP; beating the Titan in any of the random encounter that can possibly pop up (10% odds of appearance, it's not that common) and also in the two mandatory encounters where you can run away, that 4000 HP will be decreased by 250 HP (random appearances) or 500 HP (each of the two mandatory appearances) for every Titan defeat. The minimum HP it can reach is 1000. The last battle occurs immediately after the Behemoths are dead and the Titan here is a tiny bit more aggressive and he can also move through pillars or just about any obstacle in the chamber.
Note that for the final Titan to appear, you have to be in the last area. When he pops up, the entrance to the room, like Dasa's Exit, also gets blocked by a "fake" wall that you can't pass through.
When the Titan dies, he waves his arms in the air as purple smoke flies out of him, with the Tarydium crystals glowing enormously and then exploding (stay away, but they aren't too damaging and a force pushes you away either way). The Titan eventually dissolves away.

After his death, Dasa temporarily darkens, and then it lights a bit up again. There will be then an event where all the purple smoke fly away so fast (so fast to the point it creates a strong wind that shakes your screen) to the sky above, including the horseflies and those fire sparkles that came from the torches. When the curse is fully lifted, Dasa will light up again, this time with all regular, orange torches like in the original game. The exit is fully revealed and you don't have to go to the second floor to open it - the second floor isn't even accessible as already mentioned.

Dasa, without the purple poison spell, becomes normal. All the gameplay features listed above regarding the poison, and the Titan appearances, are no more. You can also go back to Underflow, and therefore to Bluff too. If you didn't stop the Skaarj from building the weapon, you can still do it, and Dasa comes with way enough ammo and health items.
Otherwise, proceed to the next map. Hope you enjoyed such a rampaging combat romp.

User avatar Nightmare Kitteh
Skaarj Warrior Skaarj Warrior
Posts: 88
Joined: 23 Jan 2014, 04:45

Subject: Re: Myself imagining a HD Unreal 1 remake

Post Posted: 17 Jun 2017, 19:48

The aspect of actually fighting the Titan's random or otherwise previous encounters granting later benefits and making the final fight easier reminded me of how Resie 3 gave you bonuses for actually managing to take down Nemesis when he came after your ass. Also Dasa was already probably one of the best maps in the OG game mechanic wise, so having weird poison/abstract/Tarydium shit added on is just awesome really. :D

I swear everytime this page gets continued I want the remake more and more to be real. :tup:
(also known as Xanious)

User avatar UBerserker
Nali Priest Nali Priest
Posts: 7519
Joined: 11 Nov 2007, 21:00

Subject: Re: Myself imagining a HD Unreal 1 remake

Post Posted: 19 Jun 2017, 23:06

:tup: :tup:
Let's get this one out of the way.

Serpent Canyon
MUSIC: WarGate.umx
This map only makes use of the "epic" songsection of WarGate.umx, heard in the cave in the original Unreal version, so I'll just focus on that one here. There it'll receive a full-blown orchestral arrangement, retaining the "happy", "epic", "you're close to the ending" feel of the original songsection. How much long the rearrangement needs to be, it depends; it'll be only used during the boat trip and for a completely different scope that will be explained soon (basically the song will be arranged for this boat trip only). It also won't loop and has a proper ending.
Rest of the map will have no music.

You can go back to Dasa/Underflow/Bluff/Velora only until you start the boat trip. You can do the boat trip once and it's a fully scripted event, e.g. while you're on the boat you can't do anything except walking and looking around (can't shoot, can't jump, etc...). So you can only swim in the swamp at the beginning and ending points of it but a strong current will push you back to shore every time. The swamp itself will look uglier than ever but it's harmless and has no creature in it - it doesn't matter though because you can hardly swim far away.

Serpent Canyon was a pretty basic map and this version won't go too far in terms of visuals. Let's just say the caves are going to be big and detailed, all the surrounding are going to be dark and misty as fuck, lighted by Nali lamps... well typical classic swamp but the night sky is illuminated thanks to the moon(s) and the nebula, so it'll still feel very spacey and unique. The river is going to be probably larger as well, borders will be too dark you can't even see them.

Accompanying you on the boat trip is a ghost Nali Monk who moves the boat itself through telekinesis (he's a ghost, so you can't kill him). It's a moody trip and WarGate.umx's orchestral rearranged third songsection plays there. This is going to be a story exposition piece: the Nali Monk, during the boat trip, will tell you stories about the prophet and the first (and second) Skaarj invasions, as the music goes on. You will likely see impaled Nali and other signs of past battles, with Nali Rabbits walking around. There are also sculpted images on the cave's mountain walls, illuminated by the torches, showing drawings of Nali fighting Skaarj and their winged leader (the Warlord). The Nali will tell you how much powerful this Warlord really is and about the "evil magic" this monster is capable to handle. Note that the Nali will still define the Skaarj as "Sky Demons" throughout the whole game aside various exceptions (mostly by the younger Nali, dead or alive). He'll tell you to watch out at the incoming, conquered Nali Castle, and that after it, Prisoner 849 will be completely alone against the Skaarj, as the Mothership is very close (thunder cracks are seen and heard in the distance, and the sky gets progressively cloudy).
The music is about to end as you get out of the cave and you see the wrecked windmill and a (much better looking) dock. Still darker in terms of lighting. The music should end before you can jump out of the boat - when you do this, the Nali and the boat will go back to the beginning of Serpent Canyon permanently, leaving you there at the dock.
You can pause the game during cutscenes but this will stop the ongoing music from playing (with a fade-in/fade-out effect when you turn on/off pause).

Hey, the pirate easter egg is still there and it's activated in the same way! Except this time the torches will be surrounded by a rainbow-colored aura when they are shot. During the boat trip, in the cave, you will eventually see other than the pirate sign, a bar right below it built inside the mountain, showing a ghost Skaarj Lord with a pirate hat giving beers (I guess) to Nali Ghosts, all looking at you happily like it's the ending of Star Wars' original trilogy.

The windmill blades barely move this time around. Inside you can now climb to the top, which has a Shell Box and a Tentacle. Meanwhile at the basement floor there are Spinners instead of a Skaarj Gunner. Pretty much anything else is the same.
The cemetery is now larger, more detailed, has more tombstones and more messages. Instead of a Skaarj Warrior, there's the last Predator group of the game. They don't like entering the windmill, so take that as a tip to easily kill them.
Around you'll still find similar items, like Seeds and Fruits. Finishing the level won't lock you out of Serpent Canyon, so you can still go back and get some Fruits you may necessarily need.

User avatar UBerserker
Nali Priest Nali Priest
Posts: 7519
Joined: 11 Nov 2007, 21:00

Subject: Re: Myself imagining a HD Unreal 1 remake

Post Posted: 21 Jun 2017, 20:38

Nali Castle
MUSIC: WarGate.umx
The first songsection of WarGate is going to get an ambient/forest psychedelic style remaster. Technically, it isn't going to be much different probably because the original was done under a similar genre. It's probably more moody now, and every single instrument is going to be crystal clear in terms of quality - like those two-beats at the beginning sounding more psy-ish, the background medieval vocals being actual human vocals, etc... A medieval x psy combo is kind of fitting considering this is a game of theme amalgamations. This songsection will be played for the whole location.
The battle songsection is used for the boss fight only. This one was deemed uninteresting from the majority of Unreal players, so it'll get fully remixed in a style like the ambient songsection, however with the genre being harsher psy, or darkpsy: the battle songsection was hardly melodic to begin with, so focusing with noticeable sound synths is the way to go. Besides, we're going full Skaarj, and the Mothership is coming soon.

You can go back to Serpent Canyon (the last half of it) any time. In the cave here, the Gasbags will still be minding their own business on the ceiling. This could be seen as a trick since the Gasbags are hardly noticeable and your typical casual player who never played the original Unreal might shoot and fall in the bait. The cave is larger though, so is the lake which is still, empty (but there's a large opening at the end of this lake, blocked by an iron gate however). Note that the Gasbags will be the only ones you'll find in this level, and the last ones of the whole game. There's no Giant Gasbag this time.

And then you get out to the castle...

Nali Castle puts on a dark, sad show. The sky is cloudy purple like in the original game but there's a bit of rain and thunderstorm, which is fresh and the last time the weather was this bad was in Vandora's boss battle; if anything, that's how it was in the FlyBy, too. It does look like a malevolent place, dark, sorta foggy, and from the exterior the tower looks absolutely different - it's a lot like the one from The Last Fortress (Waff's map) and it seems like there's something Skaarj-ish inside. It's also bigger. Well, everything is slightly bigger, including the whole playable terrain area and the mountains around are very pointy and sort of engulf this place. For the record, the Nali Castle seen in the FlyBy takes place before the Skaarj put their own shit in it; alongside the tower, there are some Skaarj lamps around the castle and also on the mountains, plus others of their decorative items.
Nali Castle will have several new areas. The indoor part of the level in the original game was already devoid of details and overall made in a lazy way, something that needed to be remedied. A lot of inspiration will be taken from real medieval castles - the architecture doesn't necessarily need to be Souls tier with ultra-massive areas and all that shit. A big and slightly redone HD transposition is fine enough.
Now for example, the walkway platform to the castle you're currently on. It was supposed to contain areas according to the presence of some windows on the walls. And there will be indeed these areas this time, accessible throughout a passage built inside the bridge (below where you walk on) that you can enter through a staircase in the castle's entrance which goes down. This passage will also have a large opening leading to an elevator which you can use to go in the moat below; you can jump into this opening if you want and also access the bridge's passage this way. Two Krall Elites will protect the entrance; one fights you, the other retreats inside the castle and closes the main door like in the original game - except this time there's a lever to open and close this gate which anyone can operate, including you. So if the Krall Elite manages to get in and close the gate (and this occurs much more easily due to the Krall Elites fighting you back and them having improved AI overall), you can open it again when you make your way to the other side of the entrance hall.

If you are stuck outside, there are several ways to get back in the castle. One, already mentioned above, is to jump into the opening in the bridge, to this new passage (it's right in the middle, right hand side, below the walkable part); or simply, jump into the moat and use the elevator from down there to go into the bridge passage. The secret passage to the well chamber of the basement dormitory is still a thing, which leads you to a zone that is devoid of enemies (also the songsection doesn't change). Another way out is to climb in that lower castle part that had in the original game the spawning Skaarj Berserker ambush. Up to you.
The moat will be as swampy as Serpent Canyon's river and it's hard to see things underwater. There will be few Devilfish, and a roaming Kraken who swims around the castle (hopefully you don't run into it).

So the inside of the castle itself is detailed. The torches provide very clear illumination (even outside) and as I already said, a lot of the shortcomings in the original version of the map have been fixed, and there's quite a revamp of the layout. The passage under the bridge, accessible through this staircase in the entrance area of the castle, leads to a set of living rooms and armories for the Nali who worked there as janitors or guards; these rooms contain items, ammo and Krall/Elites. All Nali are of course dead (in the whole castle there's one living Nali, in the prison; he's important for the level and is also the last Nali you'll meet in the game). There's also a passage that leads to the corridor with the two staircases that connects the dining room and the kitchen, and here you find another additional passage that goes down into a huge library - the Super Health secret from the dining room has been ported there.
Parts of the castle, like in the entrance area, have painting. Art. Something to make the rooms more lively. There are also statues and other sorts of decorations to embellish walls and empty spaces (decos like small tables, shrines, squares and others).
The kitchen is completely redone compared to whichever the fuck was in the original game. Shrakith'a got a really good example of a Nali-style kitchen design.
The dining room is also slightly revamped. Much more massive, there are chairs, the table is hugely decorated, there are decorations everywhere and the chandelier here, as gold as ever, illuminates the room with a yellow/green-ish lighting color. The chimney fire is also active, and the chimney pipe also goes somewhere this time around - the pipe goes outside the wall of the castle (the chimney has its own reserve space built outside the castle wall perimeter). The dining room became large enough that library secret needed to be ported in the aforementioned new library chamber. The dining room's upper floor also has railing, and there's another passage to the entrance area of the castle. There was a lot of missing rails in the original version of the castle that wasn't added due to lack of time, and no way in hell that made any sense; these are all here now. Like that hub area with the big Nali statue - now that statue has been replaced with a tall window opening built inside the wall (and closed with glass, kinda like a church shrine), and inside this opening there's some custom built Nali saint statue.
The church, also. That shit now has only one set of columns, there are now pews in the area, and the altar has been completely redesigned from scratch to look like a proper one. You also don't need to find any button as the way to the top areas is already unlocked.
The dormitory basement is also redone and looks more refined rather than just being something like an abandoned prison, especially texture-wise and decoration-wise; the upper floor has now a dormitory room on each side, and each dormitory room now has two beds, tables, wardrobes and whatever custom unique thing that a Nali needs. The floors below are also accessed through staircases instead of elevators. Also, railings.
There's really an enormous job to do regarding indoor textures, too. The original ones are too basic, repetitive and wrongly used (wall textures for floor for example). Everything is still however based on the NaliC.utx's regular textures, not the old Unreal alpha ones that in this game are used for Triton and Velora.

Upper dormitories also look way more detailed and the brushes here have much more sensible (read: smaller, not GIANT) size. Chimneys have been removed and replaced with wardrobes, bookshelves or anything else important and suitable. And remember that glowing small window (on the wall on the way to the upper dormitories) leading to apparently nothing at all in the original game? Now there's a chamber, for the highest Nali Priest of the castle, who is also the owner. Highly, highly decorated room with a lot of holy decos.
The courtyard looks like a proper mini-farm with cultivated fields, fruits, Cows, rabbits, etc... Plus there are some small huts and market tents. There's also a huge opening on the front wall which leads directly to the balcony facing the castle's entrance, and there's one as well which faces the bell tower. The bell tower isn't that different but if you shoot the bell it rings and an Assault Vest falls from above.
The part of the castle below the keep is also accessible (there were mini-windows on the walls in the original version...); it's the war-room or meeting area of the castle. The Skaarj here decided to use this section for outpost purposes, so expect a lot of their tech here alongside items. The keep area can be accessed from there too, and the keep is overrun by Skaarj tech and lamps, which makes up for how devoid-looking it'd be otherwise. The Super Health secret there is also gone and so the Nali.

The way to the spiral tower is also different. The spiral staircase begins some floors above, therefore the staircase itself is more brief; there are small windows facing outside the tower, and there's an inner cylinder wall blocking you from falling down.
The reason why the spiral staircase has this change is because of the space required for the accessibility to the terrace outside the tower - the one that was in the FlyBy but was never added in the playable version of the map. Rain also becomes more dense by this point.
The top of the tower, as I said, is very similar to the The Last Fortress' one, with Skaarj panels around and four directional large openings to an outer, circular terrace that goes around the tower itself. All the terraces of the keep section have Nali cannons, some of them updated to functioning AVRiL ones.

Back to the basement dormitory: the door to the well can now be opened from outside; the square staircase doesn't have much changes but now the terrace outside is fully accessible from any side - there are just pillars around only.
The prison doors are locked with Skaarj tech. These can be opened from the top tower. Nothing much changes down there except you go much more down and the areas themselves are more tall. The door with that strange mechanism is also no more, there's a straight opening there to the underground prison. The major key change is the actual exit to Demonlord's Lair as the door after the lava chamber is closed weirdly: it's a demonic-looking set of doors, and each door has a red crystal on it. Except in this case, one of the two red crystals is missing. So what?

And here we go what it has to be done in Nali Castle. Basically, you have the free roaming but your final objective is to find an exit which is in the prison area. The prison area isn't opened until you operate some panels at the top of the main tower; and then there's the gate to the next level which requires a red crystal. The Skaarj have decided that the giant red Skaarj Hawk you saw in Bluff, the same one who almost killed you by causing the earthquakes in Triton, to carry this red crystal on his head. And you'll fight this enemy as a boss on the top tower (replacing the Giant Gasbag) once you unlock the prison doors. HP boss bar pops up, WarGate.umx's remixed action songsection plays.

This Skaarj Hawk, who's big, red and has a horned, silver metal helmet with something red glowy at the top leaving a flaming trail, goes under the name of Skaarj Falcon. It's a genetically engineered Skaarj Hawk, so not an unique creature and the Skaarj might likely have more (which you won't encounter elsewhere). The boss battle can take place in pretty much the entire outdoor area of Nali Castle; you can go wherever you want, the Skaarj Falcon will always know your position and will move accordingly to strategical spots. And you need to kill him if you want to clear the level but at least you can go indoor if you need to take a break from the battle.
Skaarj Falcon has 2800 HP and is fully immune to Burned and Corroded damage - that means the GES and part of the damage from Eightballs, Flak Shells and Minigun's grenades are completely negated, as well as 25% of AVRiL's damage. He has the same movement speed values of a Hawk but he prefers to stay in the air; he'll only land to wack a player that's sticking moving around the same spot, and he'll do it with some sort of flaming headbang that deals 180 HP and has a huge radius; if the attack is triggered, you better run/dodge into a single direction in order to get harmed much less. Otherwise keep moving, go indoor every now and then, and the Skaarj Falcon will never think of going for this melee attack. It's also his preferred melee attack, and the only one he'll ever use, even if the Skaarj Hawk's regular melee attacks are also coded for him.
His ranged attacks are what make the boss differ from his regular Hawk variants; the core difference is that all the attacks don't deal Corroded damage; yet, even if it's fire, any fire-protection doesn't appear to be working (that includes enemy resistances too).
  • A set of 1 to 5 fireballs shot in succession. Fireballs are slow and you can quickly tell the attack is about to come due to the Falcon's neck animation and flames appearing in his mouth; the charge-up itself is fast. Constantly moving is the way to go but the amount of fireballs shot is completely random. Fireballs at their core deal 90 HP and the splash damage radius is sorta huge; however, the projectiles themselves have a burning aura, and the impact explosion also leaves burning flames for 10 seconds. Both this burning aura and the remaining flames deal on touch 1 HP per every 0.25 seconds. This is the Falcon's most preferred attack and can be done while in air (be moving or not) and on ground.
  • The Falcon flies up in the sky, cloud level (the sky is very cloudy and stormy; rain falling on the dragon makes for cool effects, alongside lightning flashes), with his neck glowing orange, likely charging up fire. He'll then glide in the sky across Nali Castle's terrain and will then shoot to the ground, in random spots around your position, large fire bombs that look like meteors. These bombs on impact do really loud explosions: they deal 250 HP at their core, with a huge splash damage radius. They leave a bank of incendiary flames that stay around for few minutes, and deal on touch 5 HP per every 0.25 seconds. The flames will instantly disappear if the Falcon does this attack again (there's a long cooldown, minimum one minute of wait). If the impact damage is too high for you, mind you that the Falcon launches these from a very high spot in the sky, and you can exactly tell where they land - plenty of time to run away from the death points. The annoying part of this is that the huge standing flames may block paths (it is possible to set the spots where the fire bombs fall). The Skaarj Falcon needs to be flying in order to trigger this attack, and needs a full opening to the sky as well.
  • The classic "glide over the player -> flamethrower everything around" dragon attack. Just like how the Skaarj Hawks do, except this one has almost doubled radius and deals 24 HP per every half-second (basically doubled damage). Skaarj Falcon can also use this attack while standing still (flight or on ground), flaming everything in front of him. It's hard to escape, and it's always recommended to stay close to a door which leads inside the castle.
  • The "fuck this area" attack. The Skaarj Falcon charges up a massive fireball (expect a lot of flaming effects surging within the mouth of the boss) to then throw it on a specific large area, which is any outdoor castle terrace, including the inner courtyard (the requirement is that the area needs to have a fully plain floor and has to be enclosed). What happens is that the entire terrace/area is engulfed of flames, like a magma sheet appears sitting on top of the floor. And it damages you for 10 HP per every 0.25 seconds - a death sentence if you try to run over it; the impact deals 600 HP at the core. This is of course an amazing way for the Falcon to block the player from accessing certain areas, and the Falcon can throw up to two of these fireballs around. The burning effects disappear after 2 minutes; once there's less than two burned areas in the level, the Skaarj Falcon can do this attack again. He keeps it consistent.
That is for attacks. Any of the Skaarj Falcon's attacks destroy the AVRiL turrets in one hit, so you better use the four turrets there to damage the boss as soon as possible, because once you used a turret (no matter what you did with it), the Falcon will decide to immediately destroy it with a fireball (and that assuming he didn't accidentally destroyed a turret through other attacks).
When he's down 700 HP, he glows more orange, the ENTIRETY of his actions become 1.5x faster but he becomes stunnable (otherwise he isn't at all). His sounds are pitched-down versions of the Skaarj Hawk ones. Pretty hefty and unexpected battle that makes use of almost the entire level as a battle arena - you'd better kill all enemies around first.

When he dies, his head practically explodes and he dramatically flies down on that separated terrain part with the lone hut; that part of the level can only be reached with the help pf the only living Nali of the level, located in the basement prison - so yeah, this time it is mandatory to take this Nali back to his secret home. Apparently he's the owner of the castle. The other Nali in the prison, that in the original game strangely was afraid of you, is dead.
The cartwheel this time has a rather different design and makes use of a rope, instead of a thin iron long-ass ledge that anybody could walk on. So yeah, only the cartwheel takes you to the outer land, and only the Nali can activate said cartwheel and take you there. Nothing much really changes in terms of visuals - the land itself has a lot of cultivated fields and the hut is an actual big Nali house like the ones seen in Bluff. But still, a Skaarj Fighters will bomb the place, killing the Nali as a result (you cannot save him and he doesn't count toward the achievement) and destroying the fields and the hut too. You get some remaining Fruits, and then recover the crystal from the fallen Skaarj Falcon. Then you can go to the exit. Note that WarGate.umx's ambient songsection resumes when the Falcon is defeated.

Going more in details about the map:
  • Enemy selection doesn't truly change. There are Krall, a lot of Krall Elites, Brutes, Behemoths, all types of Skaarj Troopers except Snipers (Gunners and Officers becoming more and more common), Skaarj Warriors, a Skaarj Lord (in the meeting room below the keep), two Skaarj Berserkers (one in the new library and one before the exit of the map, with similar, and more gruesome, guillotine event), Skaarj Hawks ambushing you on the upper terraces of the castle and the Kraken and Devilfish in the moat. The enemies' placements haven't changed much either; the Krall will be lazily patrolling, sleeping or sitting on chairs and tables (they give out a relaxing feel to the level and the player, somehow). The Skaarj instead are very careful sans for the Skaarj Berserkers who only mind cleaning their Razik; meanwhile the Skaarj Lord will do a teleport ambush in the main meeting chamber. Behemoths and Brutes, like in the original game, guard the upper dormitories, the inner courtyard (it is possible that one of them will see you when entering Nali Castle and will attack you from there) and in the keep.
  • As I said already, all the Nali are dead except the one in the prison that takes you where the dead Falcon landed (if you kill the Nali, it's game over).
  • The secrets are: the Super Health library one that has been moved from the dining room to the new library (open similarly but has no Krall, instead there's another fully decorated room inside with very secret books); shooting the bell now drops the Assault Vest located on the wooden planks above; one of the basement prison cells has a crack in the wall you can break - inside there are vases that contain Seeds.
  • There are all sorts of items around, placed in sensible and logical positions. The Amplifier for example has been moved from that kitchen alcove to a more visible place but then a lot of the changes are due to massive room redesigns. Basically, don't expect "hidden" items outside of secrets. Ammo is plentiful, health and armor much less however (you have to survive in this map).
  • Nali Castle is very exploration based, so don't expect many scripted events. The only major ones are: trying to outrun the Krall Elites at the beginning otherwise you get stuck outside the castle and you need to find another way (around); Skaarj Berserker in the new library just casually destroying bookshelves the moment he sees you; Skaarj + Brute ambushing party when you enter the courtyard - the moment triggered when you get inside occurs slightly randomly; Skaarj Falcon's call sounds heard in the distance often; the Skaarj Falcon boss appearance, who appears by rising from behind the mountains alongside a massive flaming trail shaped after him; said boss' dramatic death; the Skaarj Fighters suddenly appearing and bombing the outer land and the last Nali alive (and the last one you'll see ever in the game); the Skaarj Berserker activating the guillotine to decapitate the Nali in the prison, and now blood from the beheaded Nali comes out... (there are also other torture devices in the Berserker area but they cannot be used and are all harmless).
  • The ongoing storm. The lightning flashes help the atmosphere a lot, and the more you proceed through the level, the more it gets stormy, climax being the Skaarj Falcon boss battle where rain and thunderstorms become incessant - not as bad as Vandora's Titan battle at least but close, especially since there's interference from the nearby Mothership, which had almost always a (fairly calm) lightning storm over it. Once the Skaarj Falcon is dead, the intensity of rain/thunderbolts progressively decrease to the default values when you entered this level.
  • Overall, redone texture/lighting/architecture will take some inspiration from Dishonored's visuals. It should look really crisp, especially inside the castle; you feel always like there's a filter on your screen, probably due to the place being old and either full of powder or too clean and polished. The indoor lighting ranges from orange to purple, from gray to dark green. Pretty cinematic and extremely royal-themed.
  • There are a lot of messages now and even the old ones are re-written. There's a subplot in this map about the Nali living in this place, and a betrayal movement set by one of them against the High Priest and owner of the castle. You get to see the point of view from several Nali, including the betrayer himself who has his most hidden book in the Super Health secret of the library. Turns out the Nali of this castle are much more peaceful compared to the ones of Triton's castle that were more battle-like and more tyrannical, and this castle's High Priest made sure to stay as separate as possible from the Triton/Velora people, only by meeting with them in Bluff. The betrayer didn't want this and after making the High Priest go through countless of issues, almost costing his castles and his life, he was finally found out and tortured in the prison. The Nali beheaded by the Skaarj Berserker is actually him.

When you have the red crystal and you reach the exit corridor with the lava and the hanged Nali (there also now impaled and crucified ones, and it's set in a lava cave rather than a rectangular room - it kind of feels like the atmosphere from Demon's Keep: evil and unsettling), the music stops. Once you cross the red door, you can't go back anymore.

User avatar UBerserker
Nali Priest Nali Priest
Posts: 7519
Joined: 11 Nov 2007, 21:00

Subject: Re: Myself imagining a HD Unreal 1 remake

Post Posted: 24 Jun 2017, 18:02

Demonlords' Lair
MUSIC: Warlord.umx
The title of Warlord.umx is "Fragmented". The reason is because Warlord.umx is not the original song anymore but a completely new one. You may recall Fragmented from G59's Verflucht map, the song by Cybernetika and Xenofish (go check the video on youtube), and it's indeed this one. The reason of the change is because I can't see Warlord.umx being good nowadays regardless if it's remixed or not. Way too cheesy, too edgy and doesn't give the Warlord enough justice.
We have Fragmented now; this nightmare-inducing apocalyptic song is the image of this map (info soon). It'll be based on the youtube version (the one in G59 is an old one, and doesn't have that dissonant piano interlude); it has an ambient songsection which is basically the song itself (but hella shortened to 3-4 minutes) without any of the bassline. The action songsection, used for the boss here, is the original Fragmented but with the intro being skipped.

So, why the Fragmented choice after all? Turns out Demonlords' Lair (note that it is Demonlords now, not Demonlord's) has become its own map instead of just a boss encounter. After you cross the red doors, you can't go back to Nali Castle anymore; you'll instead cross an abandoned set of torture chambers that truly feel out of DemonKeep's beginning parts (the Unreal custom mappacks), including lava pools and dead impaled/crucified/gibbed Nali all over the place. No music and almost no sound, though the more you proceed, the more you'll hear both of the Warlord's "ScaryN" call sounds from the distance. Also the place around appears to be tilted, probably sunken and destroyed.

You eventually get out and you'll feel the exact same situation from G59's Verflucht level - Fragmented starts playing, in a massive cave and in front of you there's RTNP's castle level ported here, sitting over a lava lake. The cave itself is not the same one from Demonlord's Lair but it's in the same style - lots of bright lava, and it is really bright reddish (compared to the magma cave below the Resistance Lake which was very much pitch black). Note that the entire cave can't be seen at once, parts of it are only visible from certain points of the map, and the boss area is separated from the section you're in (and the boss area is the real deal in terms of size).
The RTNP castle itself is slightly based on the G59's iteration; while there's a lot of more castles around burning in the lava, they are just for decoration and outside of the playable area overall (some bridges that you could use to go to these isolated structures are also destroyed). However, indoor areas are available instead. You also can't go down because of lava, so you're stuck on the main floor only.
The place got a very chaotic atmosphere that's hellish, and with a similar feel to what's seen in the Fragmented video. You basically see a world in flames, unrealistic imagery of castles falling apart, burning permanently, lava waterfalls and craters everywhere, crooked stalactites on the ceiling of the entire cave and overall the size of the place is 20x larger (including the non-playable areas) compared to the original Demonlord's Lair.
One thing to point out is that almost all the castle buildings in this cave (except ones outside of the playable area that are in flames or completely wrecked) sit on large rocks, not straight into the lava. You get out of Nali Castle that's instead sticking off the cave mountain.

Castle textures you see here are not NaliC.utx's regular ones but are based on a gray/darkened version of the Shanechurch.utx textures. The story here, from the few messages you'll be reading (there's even a library here!), speaks about a noble line of truly tyrannical and despicable Nali who were so awful and drugged up of magic power, they liked to live in these magma caves, in an era where Nali Castle wasn't a thing yet but simply a secret entrance to this location. They were called "Demonlords", which explains the lore behind the location's name; it being re-used as a waiting spot for the Warlord is just a coincidence.
The Nali here enjoyed spreading their doomsday prophecies and were believed to cause catastrophic natural phenomenons throughout the planet for a while. Their beloved deity was also Dasa, "creator of Tarydium". And so, the entity they believed on one day created such crystal of incredible power, capable of altering the planet's gravitational pull to be so strong to the point of pulling just about any starship, and attracting eventually the attention of the Skaarj, Mercenaries, etc...
Whatever then happened to these Nali is unknown - not even until the first invasion of the Skaarj, a massive earthquake caused their lava land to fall apart, making the already unstable place (which they somehow liked) even worse. Some of these Nali might have died, some might have teleported elsewhere. Nali Castle was then built afterwards, and luckily it was one of the places that were ignored in the first Skaarj invasion, where the aliens focused more on Bluff and Triton's castle. Wasn't too lucky in the second and current invasion, since the Mothership landed in a nearby abyssal crater - caused by one of the disasters "summoned" by the Demonlords Nali (as everyone may guess).
This is anyway why the Nali of Triton, Velora and partly of Bluff always had their sights over the Nali Castle because they feared the Demonlords were still living there under different aliases.

This map, for how evil and spectacular it looks (let's be honest, walking in massive medieval ruins/castles in a heavy hellish lava-themed environment is a depressing sight and the music doesn't help cheering things up - that Apocalypse game on PS1 who starred Bruce Willis ended with the same exact tone), should pretend being the final level of the game.
People who played the original Unreal won't definitely think this but others who did otherwise will do - the boss fight is the part that will give the best of that feeling (you also never get to know how many locations are still missing), almost like a Dark Souls final fight.

This map is therefore divided in three parts post the entrance areas:
  • The whole RTNP's Escape From Na Pali section that's more or less already described above. It's pretty linear barring optional areas, and you'll be fighting Krall Elites (no regular ones), stationary Brutes, Skaarj Snipers (hiding on top of places that you can't reach, including outer castles! They are armed with Railguns) and a Behemoth who guards the final room. None of the placements from the original RTNP levels are used, same story with items. The place has red/purple torches and it'll look likely very different in terms of detail due to the Shanechurch theme, so expect probably major brush rework to comply with more gothic-oriented theme (looking at you DoublezDown's gothic custom levels). There are huge chains from the ruins you walk on there that are attached to the cave, for stability purposes. Some earthquakes occur and you see stuff falling into the lava every now and then, including possible walkable parts so watch out where you walk (it'll be quite obvious when this happens however).
  • Similar to G59's Verflucht, there's this giant castle at the end (NOT THE SAME, just similar and smaller) that covers whatever there's on the other side of the cave. Warlord.umx keeps playing, and now you have a full indoor location to work with. Most of the ammo and items will be located here and theme-wise this is going to be some sort of clean residential area (the major home of the Demonlords), similar to how it looked in G59 with several floors, etc... You can go on terraces or view outside through windows to see other parts of the cave and buildings in flames. The basement area is barely accessible as it's completely wrecked. You'll be fighting Skaarj Gunners and Krall Elites and you'll have to search for a panel to activate the exit door. Before you can exit the place, you have to beat a Skaarj Lord. Overall this section lasts a lot of minutes and there are regular castle rooms of every kind - think of something like EXU2's Hellcastle which is amazing (even from the exterior). GET ALL THE ITEMS YOU NEED BEFORE YOU GET OUT! And activate your Power Shield item too (unless you have it on already and it's full).
  • Beyond this castle there's the big ass cave and the boss fight. The lava cave itself, this time showing its newly innate insane wideness, has way more islands you can walk on. The peak to the boss is still there, and he's waiting in the same way like he did in the original Unreal. Music stops, the door behind you gets locked and in front of the Warlord you can see an excavated tunnel leading somewhere but the holo-bridge to it is turned off and the panel to turn it on requires too much time for P849 to figure out how to use, especially when the boss is attacking you constantly. People who never played Unreal will see this Warlord appearance as an unexpected one (you will never get to know he was coming), while veterans might try to do the stalactite trick again. Except this time, once you shoot the stalactite to make it fall down, the Warlord will instantly figure the trick and will destroy the stone in time with a rocket, swag-style, and then he'll turn at you with an air of somebody who thinks it's gonna be ez. HP boss bar and the true version of Fragmented (skipping the intro though) will begin playing when the Warlord is ready to attack you.

The Skaarj Warlord in this game, after you see what a Skaarj Lord can do, is going to be another new kind of beast. The Warlord, in this specific battle, has 1500 HP (which makes sense since he'll teleport away and not die) and has 50% resistance against Burned damage. His default HP is 3000. The arena here, even if it's way larger than the original Unreal one, it still is dangerous because you can't always tell the borders and the lava will instantly kill you even if you get too close. The Warlord doesn't seem to mind this however, he'll be trying to sunk these islands into the lava by shooting at them during the battle (it's heavily scripted shit and will be as less annoying as possible).
The Warlord doesn't have anymore a retarded AI and his movements spell FREEDOM. He can fly/dodge in any direction and has a lot of unique animations for doing so. Visually, the Warlord looks slightly different minus the face (which looks better, has more of a mask and the eyes are gloooowing red): the wings are improved, more natural and demon-looking, and the interior parts are slightly translucent. The armor is different; remember the UT Necris male one? The one specifically made for the PS2 with the spiky shoulders? It's going to look a bit like that one (the spikes are huge and curved to the back for the Warlord), and the general color theme is black with a tiny bit of red. The skin is darker too but it still feels like molten crater.
The gun is completely redesigned and looks as big as the boss' arm. It's based on the Peacemaker skin, metallic gray/blue. In terms of model, it's like an edited UT2k4 Redeemer, with the back of the gun heavily extended due its new features; the special attacks also cause overheating effects on the weapon model (small orange glow + smoke). The creature's overall size is the same as before. He also has a lot of hi-tech tools on some parts of his body (arms and chest), which are used for special attacks. Who does the Warlord think he is, MegaMan? Either way, in this version of the game, story-wise Skaarj Warlords completely differ from each other in just about anything, even in shape. Higher commanding Warlords also exist but you never get to see one.

Regarding movement speed: the acceleration is overall the same but the maximum running speed is higher; regarding air speed, the Warlord is capable of fast glides in any direction. He can also land or start flying very dynamically with almost no delay. The Warlord will treat water as air but all his actions are slowed by 10% - he also does a great job staying away from lava (just, don't expect him to do stupid mistakes this time around lol).

Regarding AI...
The Warlord switches between ground and flight mode depending on the opponent, be either player characters or even other enemies (Warlords only attack Terrans, Nali and Mercenaries on sight). Is the opponent very scared, barely moves, shoots less and prefers retreating (aka acting like a Krall)? Warlord will just stay on ground. If the opponent is competent, the Warlord will strongly prefer flight mode. So you might ask, if the flight mode appears to be better why the Warlord doesn't just stick to it? It's because Warlord's melee attacks are waaaay better on ground in terms of speed and versatility. While this mostly matters for enemies, weak players might not be good enough to dodge these melees and will be finished in nothing. Against players, Warlords will get to know their APM (actions per minute) value they had when fighting enemies in the ongoing level. If the value is high enough, the Warlord will go flight mode; during the battle, the Warlord will however constantly update his battle style upon the player's APM performance. Warlord won't immediately change his AI decisions, though.

The Warlord begins the battle always in this way after doing a specific attack that does anything but damage: he'll just walk down the peak while looking at you like a cocky ass (but authority equals asskicking), as long as you don't shoot anything, then suddenly he'll stop and will taunt and laugh at you in various ways for a while. If you don't do anything still and you wait enough time, the Warlord will point and charge his gun at you in a slow and steady way (you'd expect he's joking but) and then he'll actually shoot you and begin the battle for real. If you shoot him prematurely, he'll instantly teleport somewhere and begins attacking like normal.

So here's a list of what the Warlord can do. Warlords have access to never-seen-before top secret Skaarj tech, and some of the attacks are incomprehensible for Terrans or other less advanced races to understand and to replicate. Warlord's rockets don't deal any sort of elemental damage and they leave reddish explosion, which means something is up with their technology.
  • The Red Ring of Debilitation: this is the attack the Warlord does at the beginning before walking down mid, and he'll do it just once. After assuming some sort of power stance for a second, an enormous red ring of particle energy spreads out from his back to the whole cave very fast (he engulfs the place with this red ring that temporarily darkens the place around a bit, with the general lighting remaining unnaturally altered till the end of the boss fight), leaving also a loud plasma-like sound effect. It's very unexpected and since it does no damage, you don't understand what this attack does. What it does in reality is disruption, by permanently blocking his opponents from doing some actions, which depends on who the opponent is. When it comes to the player characters, upon hit by this ring they won't be able to use any item except the Translator, Flashlight, Seeds, Anti-Grav Boots, SCUBA Gear (lol) and the VoiceBox; it will also halves your current Shield Belt and Power Shield values, plus Power Shields in the inventory cannot be turned on. So if you have a Power Shield before the fight, use it on regardless.
    On other pawn examples, Nali can't use any magic, Skaarj Lords cannot use teleport, Skaarj Troopers can't activate their shields, Mercenaries can't use any of their shield/trance modes, Kraal can't go in smoke form and so on. The attack impacts anybody in the current location, both enemies and allies excluding Warlord and Queen pawns. This somehow matters in the story but for later; according to the lore, this skill is made to immediately give a Warlord an advantage in the battlefield and so far there is no known counter, nor info on what is the energy source. The more technologically advanced the target is (it impacts ANYTHING, even machines), the more it gets weakened. It also blocks all magic.
  • Rockets. The Warlord will now shoot always with one arm, with over-confidence as seen in his animations, and overall his rate of fire is higher, even higher if he doesn't walkfire (even in flight) - expect indeed him to shoot rockets one after one without a break. He will also heavily rely on the splash damage, so don't expect him to shoot straight at you - he'll aim instead on the nearby ground. The rocket design hasn't changed at all but the trail and impact effects are insanely improved. Damage is 65 HP on full hit. Warlord can shoot during any dodge move, and these combined actions are not cancellable.
  • Triple homing rockets. Based on his shooting style from the Unreal Beta, the Warlord will charge his gun (you can see it glowing + smoke) only when his actions are moving around. After two seconds, the Warlord can fire any time a trio of rockets that home to your position. Only one target can be chosen at a time. The three rockets have 90% chances to hit the targets and each one deals 50 HP per direct hit (150 HP can be dealt in total); with their splash damage it's very hard, if not impossible, to dodge, and the Warlord does this attack pretty frequently. So what you do? Turns out these rockets can be destroyed. They have 10 HP each, and with something like the Minigun or the Stinger you can easily deal with them (homing rockets aren't that fast either). Warlord can use this attack even while moving but not during dodges.
  • Rocket avalanche. Fully new attack: the Warlord, only when standing still both in air and on ground, will charge his gun to the point of overheating, making it glow of a very visible red instead of orange. He'll also hold the gun with both arms. After 3 seconds of charge, the Warlord will shoot a barrage of an uncountable amount of small rockets - let's say he shoots for 10 seconds straight, 8 rockets per second as an average. These rockets generate a lot of smoke so it's likely it may cause visibility issues. Warlord is almost immobile during this attack and his turn rate doesn't fare much better; if you started to run on time, it's unlikely he'll be able to reach you. If all else fails, dodge or jump too. The splash damage radius is small and the total damage this attack deals can surpass 300 HP. The Warlord with his rocket barrage will only go after one enemy, without switching to any other one. He can cancel the attack during the charge but cannot cancel shit after the rocket barrage begins. This attack also puts the Warlord at its most vulnerable state; while the mini rockets might destroy/block various projectiles thrown at him, this won't stop other coop players to attack the Warlord from different angles. Anyway, be sure to run when the attack is about to come out because you may not be able to outrun the rockets if you're too late. Warlord doesn't like using this attack if the arena isn't large enough.
  • Fire meatball. The Warlord turns around his gun backwards and hand it on his right arm, revealing a secret cannon hidden in its backside. Some sort of solar twister machine at works: the Warlord waves his gun around clockwise, charging fire energy into the gun and eventually creating a flaming orb that will be thrown like a bouncing and rolling meteor on the ground which goes in a single direction for a set amount of miles until its power dissipates to nothingness. Charge-up takes 1.5 seconds; if it's charged on ground, the Warlord completely stops; if it's charged on flight, the Warlord slows down until fully stopping. Differences between shooting the orb on ground or on flight is pretty minimal - on ground the shooting momentum is higher (max range always achieved), while on air the Warlord can choose how much farther the orb is thrown on ground (the more it's shoot farther, the higher is the orb's range until it disappears). The orb deals up to 30 HP per half-second and you just need to get close to the orb to be damaged because solar energy is that powerful. Lastly, it leaves a burning trail which remains for 15 seconds and deals 2 HP per 0.25 seconds upon touch. To be fair, it's simple to dodge but slow and huge targets will get wrecked pretty hard; you can't also ignore the annoyance caused by multiple burning trails on ground. While the trail does Burned damage, the orb itself deals pure damage and ignores resistances.
  • Melee attacks get their own section list, as the Warlord's melee system is completely rewritten from scratch, and he can melee on air too. Similar to current hack'n'slash games, Warlord's melee attacks create particle effects that go after the animations.
    • Regular melee attacks in the air. A gun slash, an air punch, a backflip kick. Standard shit but it's rare they're going to be used against you, since you aren't flying. Against other monsters, then yes. Each melee strike deals 70 HP and the Warlord melees continuously, changing angle toward the enemy after every successful attack.
    • Regular melee attacks on the ground. When you simply get close to him, he'll kick you. He has three different kick animations that are all the same in practice. 70 HP per hit and the combo itself is fast. Only issue is that light targets like the player will get blown away with just one kick, which usually follows with the Warlord moving away or slaughtering the player with rockets. However the Warlord might do a triple kicking combo on players with the help of teleporting (teleport then kick, rinse and repeat two times with the other two additional kicking animations). Players have to dodge these continuous strikes at the right time.
    • Dive strike. The Warlord, when flying, will literally dive with his punch onward toward a ground target. Deals 70 HP and it's rather fast, dangerous if the Warlord is close to the ground. Definitely requires dodging to avoid. There's a tiny delay before the dive begins, as the Warlord needs to charge his body up.
    • Explosive dive strike. Same as above but now the Warlord uses the solar power of his gun to propels himself into the ground. Technically everything is the same except the boss is engulfed by flames and the dive on impact causes a flashy explosion, dealing splash damage. The damage itself remains the same, it's just the attack is even harder if not impossible to avoid due to splash damage (at least you'll get harmed less). However, this enhanced attack costs 50 HP for the Warlord.
    • Dash punch. Warlord dives it in with a long dash, ultimately reaching the target with straight first that heavily damages it and sends it backwards depending on the target's mass. The dash has a maximum range but the Warlord always makes sure it's a guaranteed strike - that as long as the target doesn't side-dodge the punch. It deals 80 HP and for the player, this strike can send him flying backward for quite a lot. Don't be surprised if the Warlord throws you into the lava in this way. The Warlord can do this both on air and on the ground, especially on ground which is pretty sudden, and can do it right after a teleport. The Warlord may afterwards proceed with his melee combo.
    • Uppercut. Deals 30 HP and sends the target in the air unless the mass is high (excluding targets like the Skaarj Berserker, Behemoths, bosses, etc...). The Warlord uses to enjoy this after teleporting next to a target or as a part of a combo. This is a ground only attack.
    • Combo. The Warlord has melee combos that are cool but usually spell "game over". These involve in something like teleport next to player -> uppercut -> rocket in the face, dash punch -> teleport uppercut -> rocket in the face, kick -> teleport kick -> teleport kick, teleport uppercut -> flying dash punch -> teleport -> flying dash punch, dash strike -> teleport uppercut -> rocket in the face -> explosive dive strike and the worst: dash strike -> teleport uppercut -> rocket in the face -> teleport -> solar meatball (game over lol! It's rare however).
      Since these combos don't really work too well against heavy targets, the Warlord will be bringing some A-tier hit and run melee tactics by teleporting.
  • Teleport. Similar to the Skaarj Lord as it's technology-based rather than natural skill, and the Warlord gets this cool black smoke + red sparks effects upon teleporting, it's like he gets in and out from a portal. Unlike the Lords, Warlord spams the teleport way less, using it for offensive decisions only like the melee combo or surprise rocket attacks but never for dodging (yet, Warlord's offensive uses of the teleport system are devastating). Another thing the Warlord can do is teleporting but not instantly appearing somewhere; instead he'll wait a while and then ambush you by teleporting in again (this is good against the Impaler's secondary fire). If the Warlord somehow touches something hazardous like the lava, he'll instantly teleport away from it. He cannot telefrag lastly, due to the tech not allowing teleporting into organic beings.
  • Red energy shield. An improved version of the Trooper's handheld shield, except it's bigger, crimson red and nothing passes through it (no projectiles work). The Warlord can use this with impunity in any regular movement action and activation/deactivation comes with almost no delay; cannot be used while attacking or dodging. This is what make the boss a real ass, as it forces players to hit him in the right moments otherwise you'd be just wasting ammo. The red energy shield is glowing and translucent, behind you can see the Warlord like it's a black shadow with red eyes, so it's kinda cool.
  • Atomizing field. Or something like that. The Warlord on land puts his hand on the ground like it's about to channel something. Indeed he'll be filling part of the terrain that has you on top with red energy, creating a field of randomly generated symbols. Once the "drawing" is done, all this energy on ground violently dissipates into dark, weird and very blurry red smoke upward all at once. Any creature that isn't a machine and isn't of Skaarj origin WILL BE DISINTEGRATED ON THE SPOT DURING THIS ENERGY DISSIPATION (insta-kill damage); who can stay in without dying are any Skaarj Troopers/Warriors, any Brutes, any Slith, any Pupae, any Skaarj Hawk, Turrets, Cyborgs, a currently unknown creature, Skaarj Fighters, Droth, Skaarj Falcon, the Warlord himself and two other bosses. Warlord won't bother anyway using this attack against pawns immune to it. Regarding the attack itself, the Warlord is fully vulnerable and cannot cancel anything; what's bad news however is the range: it is almost unlimited and does its best to engulf any opponent on the battlefield he's fighting against. Thanksfully the Warlord always loves to stay close to you, so the seconds you see the Warlord randomly landing and about to move his hand, it's time run and dodge the fuck away in a single direction to get out of the set range of the attack; the range is decided once the energy begins to flow on the ground, and the bigger is the range the higher is the amount of time to finish the attack (minimum charge time is around 5 seconds). The Warlord, as I said, it's fully vulnerable to firepower in this way but he may take some precautions first. He also doesn't like using this attack much - only when he has a lot of HP and if the arena is large enough.
  • Body strengthening. At the cost of 1 HP per 0.5 seconds, for 25 seconds (so 50 HP lost in total), the Warlord engulfs himself of a visible red aura and his actions become 15% faster (note: his movements only, not external energy actions like the atomizing field itself) and he gains a 50% resistance to any attack except pure. Used occasionally, especially before the atomizing field attack or the rocket barrage. You'd better fucking run than wasting ammo, unless you go full-on with the Impaler lol.
  • Pain sharing tool. If you played Warlock in Dota2 then you may get the idea: the Warlord will quickly throw a little bomb on the ground that immediately explodes; this explosion scatters mini-machines that land and stick on any pawn around, including Warlord's allies. There's no way to dodge this unless you're far away from the explosion (which is impossible in a 1vs1 fight). Now, in the next 30 seconds, 75% of any damage dealt on the Warlord will be instantly and simultaneously shared on all pawns (you hit the Warlord, red electric beams from the Warlord strike the jewels on these mini-machines stuck in the victims' bodies, damaging them). There's no way to dispel this so you better wait all these 30 seconds without damaging the Warlord. Body strengthening won't trigger this UNLESS you shoot the Warlord when the aura is up, making shooting even more of a liability when that skill is used. The Warlord will play fair however so don't expect him to damage himself in any way (lore-wise this isn't true but that's only if the Warlord would be really desperate to win). The downside is that the attack will impact allies if they are around, with the Warlord himself not giving much of a shit. Players can know when this pain sharing tool goes off as the screen borders become temporarily and steadily orange.
  • Oil pit. Warlord throws a fat ball that looks like a beehive on the ground, which explodes on impact. Visible boiling oil out of it spreads for a quite large radius (as large as your regular Demonlord's Lair walkable island) staying online for 32 seconds. Any unit inside this oil pit gets their acceleration decreased by 75%. Emphasis on "acceleration" - if you run through it from outside, you aren't slowed down at all but if you run in it, stop and begins moving, you are slowed because your acceleration is broken down to bits (and this impacts every movement). So keep moving around and don't ever jump/dodge while on the pit because both moves will impact your acceleration. So much shit you have to take in account when the atomizing field or solar orb's burning trails are used in the meanwhile, lol. And yeah, this oil pit synergies very well with the solar meatball.
  • The Warlord has another attack that won't be used in this encounter, that's for later.

Regarding the sounds...
Nothing so different except the Warlord sounds louder and slightly more distorted. He has now more laugh/growl sounds to choose from.

Regarding taunting...
In a surprising twist, the Warlord in this game is fully serious and will never taunt during battle. He'll just typically growl, and laughs when he does successful things like getting damaged with the pain sharing tool is in full activity or during melee combos. The closest to actual taunts is when he runs down the peak at the beginning of the battle, where he looks at you with "interest" and doing all sorts of funny movements including the decapitation one.
This taunt system replaces the unused mutilation one.

Regarding special AI things...
The Warlord is the only creature who can chase opponents throughout different locations.
He can also kill various low-level creatures like non-fighting Nali, Flies, Cows, small Mantas, Devilfish, Stingrays, Spinners, non-packleader Predators, Blobs and Tentacles with a single, special melee attack.
As already mentioned, Warlord hates Nali, Cows and Mercenaries on sight. He also really dislikes Flies. He also loves to destroy Fruits - mind this if you want to use Seeds.
The Warlord is indifferent to allies (including other Warlords) and fully plays his own game against anybody.
Warlords have unique fatality killer animations against Nali, Terrans (players too) and Mercenaries.
Forgot if I had to write more stuff.

Regarding Warlord's lore...
Some Skaarj Scouts, Warriors or Assassins, full of rage, may evolve into Berserkers or die. Some of them, full of loyalty to their own race, may evolve into Lords or die. The extremely rare Skaarj Lords who make it to the next stage of evolution become Warlords. One Warlord per every thousand Lords.
Skaarj Warlords are the sole commanders of Skaarj platoons who are ready to conquer places. Warlords evolve in different ways, some are weaker, some are stronger, some don't differ much from a Lord, some become unrecognizable monsters. The Na Pali's Warlord you're fighting is the middle way of evolution type and he is known for his arrogance. Who is able to back it up with his power.
There might be other lower Warlords on the planet but this one is the only thing standing between Prisoner 849 and the Mothership.
-Note that P849, and therefore the players, may still think of this Warlord battle as the final one of the game and don't expect to be going to the Mothership directly afterwards. Game would be marketed also as if this is the final battle too just for mere trolling.

Regarding the rest of the battle...
The players have to figure out how to damage the Warlord in the middle of all his attacks, dodge movements and usages of the anti-all red shield. Warlord's attack combinations are tough. This fine re-creation of this boss should be as tough as an high-end/final Souls boss, it's expected for the players to die a fucking lot until they figure out how to beat him. Even if he has 1500 HP and has skills that cost health, the players are expected to dump all their weapons' ammunition against him. Besides, all the useful items cannot be used and Shield Belts are nerfed in this battle.
As I said somewhere, the Warlord destroys the most exterior walkable islands with rockets every now and then, making the arena progressively smaller (but still big) until a certain point.
Droth might still be harder overall since you had much less limited inventory, he had multiple insta-kill attack, a way smaller arena and you had no Impaler. Warlord might be likely as hard though without Impaler.

When the Warlord's HP reaches zero (he won't use HP-costing abilities if this means him dying), he laughs loudly and teleports away. A small cutscene shows him over a distant big crater (this crater mimics the one seen in the original Demonlord's Lair cave) and the Warlord begins to shoot the same crater he's on and random spot in the whole cave. This causes massive earthquakes and lava to explode everywhere, with him apparently being engulfed in said lava, believed dead (while still laughing).

You have to escape now: activate the electric bridge to go in the excavated cave, then RUN TO IT fast. The lava surface level elevates until a certain point, filling the whole arena. When you are in a safe spot, you can see what will then happen in the cave, with all the remaining castles, including the big residence, all fully crashing down. Spectacular.

When you're done, proceed to the unknown in the next level.


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