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19/03/2024 - "Nak'halinra Peak" by Jean "El Chicoverde" Rochefort

Each week a single map is discussed here in detail.

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User avatar Sat42
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Subject: 19/03/2024 - "Nak'halinra Peak" by Jean "El Chicoverde" Rochefort

Post Posted: 19 Mar 2024, 20:23

Map Title: Nak'halinra Peak
Author: Jean "El Chicoverde" Rochefort
From: New ShamuQuest
Filename: sbegin.unr




Video Playthrough:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6zRt7R3tLk

Synopsis: The Nak'halinra outpost shouldn't be very far from here... you must proceed carefully...

Discuss!
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 Aspide
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Subject: Re: 19/03/2024 - "Nak'halinra Peak" by Jean "El Chicoverde" Rochefort

Post Posted: 19 Mar 2024, 22:19

Chicoverde aka the master of terrain :D , this map is pretty good but I wish that it was longer but it's fine. There are some interesting scripted sequences, my only big complain is that the section where you need to use the cannon to destroy the door can be a little cryptic, also if you aren't careful you can skip grabbing the stinger. This campaign was going to be longer but Chicoverde never completed the project, at least he made an awesome looking map in UT2004, even though that map has a nasty issue with the bot support :shake:
Somewhere in Nevada...

User avatar Semfry
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Subject: Re: 19/03/2024 - "Nak'halinra Peak" by Jean "El Chicoverde" Rochefort

Post Posted: 19 Mar 2024, 23:58

A great map with Chicoverde really showing off the improvements he made in the years since the first set of Shamu Quest maps (even if I subjectively prefer how massive, experimental and weird those maps are), with great terrain that sells the "mountain" feeling well despite mostly taking place on solid ground, and provides multi-layered areas. Plus nice set-pieces like the hot-air balloon and cannons. The gameplay is relatively straightforward, but decent enough, and given the original Shamu Quest that's probably a bigger deal than it sounds. Probably the most balanced of all of Chicoverde's personal releases, even if that also means it doesn't have some of the highs of his other maps.

Due to recording issues I had to replay multiple times, and I will say I think the bit where you backtrack up the kind of clunky elevators after getting the key is the one part that feels unnecessary; the area you access by using the cannon is close enough to the rest that a new tunnel/elevator could have probably linked to somewhere near the tower access door back at the wooden planks area, then the flow would be near perfect, and there would be no need to backtrack even though it would still be an option.
Formerly Mman

User avatar Sat42
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Subject: Re: 19/03/2024 - "Nak'halinra Peak" by Jean "El Chicoverde" Rochefort

Post Posted: 20 Mar 2024, 00:41

Aspide wrote:[...] This campaign was going to be longer but Chicoverde never completed the project, at least he made an awesome looking map in UT2004, even though that map has a nasty issue with the bot support


Thanks for mentioning that UT2K4 Chico map, I didn't know he'd made anything for that game, I guess there's a patched version for playing with bots? (I could get around to it when I finally install my GOG copy of UT2K4!)

As for Nak'halinra Peak, I have to say I love how well it captures the feel of the original Unreal SP levels, and yes, the map-build here is generally speaking superior to that of the mother game, more organic with that complex terrain which means you actually get enhanced vibes 8) the atmosphere in general is excellent. The gameplay is fun too with exploration and discovery being the main driving force - and there are some really cool scripted sequences indeed. Immersive and nostalgic.

A small detail I like about Chico's ShamuQuest saga is the names of the fictional locales, they just sound good :P

Personal anecdote regarding Nak'halinra Peak: it's actually the first community map I played! I also started playing UT before Unreal, and when I started looking into community-made SP content, I came across UnrealSP.org's list of reviews and figured "amateur stuff, can't be sure of quality, if they use the rating system like most fools do - where 7/10 is like average instead of good - then to be on the safe side let's try a 75% map" and I was so amazed at the result that for the following maps I went back down to ratings of around 40% (and most of the stuff was still good at that level), and mostly climbed up the "SP rankings" from there (I usually like to save the best for last!)
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 AlCapowned
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Subject: Re: 19/03/2024 - "Nak'halinra Peak" by Jean "El Chicoverde" Rochefort

Post Posted: 21 Mar 2024, 01:50

This is one of the earlier maps I played too, though not quite the first. I love the terrain, the fourth shot in particular is striking and has always stuck with me all these years.

User avatar Aspide
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Subject: Re: 19/03/2024 - "Nak'halinra Peak" by Jean "El Chicoverde" Rochefort

Post Posted: 22 Mar 2024, 22:27

Sat42 wrote:Thanks for mentioning that UT2K4 Chico map, I didn't know he'd made anything for that game, I guess there's a patched version for playing with bots? (I could get around to it when I finally install my GOG copy of UT2K4!)


As far as I know there isn't a patched version of that map, however is easy to fix, you have to open the map in the editor, go to the center area and pay attention to the volumes, eventually you will find one volume that is duplicated, remove it and the bots are going to behave like they should. Remember to make a copy of the level since it's a default map :D
Somewhere in Nevada...

User avatar Sat42
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Subject: Re: 19/03/2024 - "Nak'halinra Peak" by Jean "El Chicoverde" Rochefort

Post Posted: 22 Mar 2024, 22:52

Aspide wrote:
Sat42 wrote:Thanks for mentioning that UT2K4 Chico map, I didn't know he'd made anything for that game, I guess there's a patched version for playing with bots? (I could get around to it when I finally install my GOG copy of UT2K4!)


As far as I know there isn't a patched version of that map, however is easy to fix, you have to open the map in the editor, go to the center area and pay attention to the volumes, eventually you will find one volume that is duplicated, remove it and the bots are going to behave like they should. Remember to make a copy of the level since it's a default map :D


Good to know, thanks! I knew Chico turned professional but I didn't realise he had officially worked for Epic Games like Hourences :)

EDIT: for those who are wondering, that UT2K4 map is CTF-MoonDragon
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 fashahhh
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Subject: Re: 19/03/2024 - "Nak'halinra Peak" by Jean "El Chicoverde" Rochefort

Post Posted: 23 Mar 2024, 09:13

It's good to see this back!

So I'm going to now take this opportunity to play some maps I never played with Nak'halinra Peak being one of them.

On first impressions the terrain is really well done, better than the base game i'd say. Looking in the editor I'm not quite sure how he would have made it, it looks like it's been intersected or something (I guess I'm too used to using Tess Cubes / Terrain builder brush).

Even on Medium I found it a bit of a challenge, I must have fallen / been blown off the walkways about 3 times and forgot to save on 2 of those occasions.

It did make me laugh how the player comments on the first few bodies but then as the level progresses he stops giving a shit.

The cannons we cool but I had no idea how they were supposed to be triggered. Walk up to them? shoot them? I still have no idea. Would have been better if he'd made a fuse effect or something. I also didn't realise until later that the cannon on the tower blew up the walkway. I thought it had just spontaneously combusted!

The backtracking felt a little weird. When I got to the top of the tower and fought the Skaarj Trooper there appeared to be nothing else to do (unless I missed something). I don't remember picking anything up or triggering anything unless it happened during the fight without me realising.

The hot air balloon was a nice touch, hopefully it will appear in the later levels to give it more context (I haven't played them yet).

In all it's a great map and one I can't believe I never played before!


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