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13/04/2024 - "The Ruins of Nali'Pente" by Tim "Kew" Jarvis

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Subject: 13/04/2024 - "The Ruins of Nali'Pente" by Tim "Kew" Jarvis

Post Posted: 13 Apr 2024, 22:35

Map Title: The Ruins of Nali'Pente
Author: Tim "Kew" Jarvis
From: The Ruins of Nali'Pente
Filename: nalipent.unr




Video Playthrough:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjMayqV2usQ

Synopsis: Before passing away, an elderly Nali told you of the old penal colony at Nali'Pente. Now that you have penetrated the ruins deep in the Nalinese [sic] jungle, you recall uncomfortably how the old Nali had warned you that this horrible place was easier to enter than ever to leave...

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.

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Subject: Re: "The Ruins of Nali'Pente" by Tim "Kew" Jarvis

Post Posted: 16 Apr 2024, 15:35

This is probably my favourite Kew level atmospherically; even with limited assets it really sells some lost jungle prison with the fog and some creative object use (the fans seem anachronistic but manage to fit anyway). Beyond some exploration there isn't much to the map beyond that, although the limited weapons with mostly the Razorjack as your main tool adds a bit of spice to the combat, along with the random enemy edits, although the environment doesn't give them much room to do much. The scene-setting messages are nice so it's unfortunate that, as the readme says, Kew apparently stopped adding a story part way through, especially as you seemingly go through with no actual goal beyond leaving again.
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Subject: Re: "The Ruins of Nali'Pente" by Tim "Kew" Jarvis

Post Posted: 17 Apr 2024, 13:07

I wouldn't say this map stands alone as my favourite Kew level atmospherically (I feel a couple of new maps for Illhaven Anthology are just as good in this department), but it's one of his best in this category for sure.
And while it's overall not one of Kew's best maps (again, something like Illhaven Market Town - Day is superior), I have to say that despite its relatively restricted scope, I find it as enjoyable as most of the better main maps in Unreal - definitely very good. Yes, the (Illhaven-like) scene-setting messages are combined effectively with the rest of the level's elements to create a really memorable atmosphere of dread and decay. The first stretch in particular is very claustrophobic. There is that hallmark dour taint permeating a lot of Kew's work.

And the gameplay is engaging in that constrained, slow burn way. The great choice of music also helps (utemple.umx FTW). This is one of the earlier SP maps for Unreal/UT I played and I remember being unnerved by the bouncing rocks being shot at you by the brutes :)

There is an ending, strictly speaking: you make it outta there alive and a Nali greets you. Thing is, because there are no translator messages after roughly the half-way point, the narrative isn't as good as in Illhaven Saga and the first time round I got a bit confused and wondered whether the Nali at the end was your old friend. Maybe a ghost Nali would have been more appropriate.

This level just sticks, like the slimy, dank passages of this lost penal colony.
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.

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Subject: Re: "The Ruins of Nali'Pente" by Tim "Kew" Jarvis

Post Posted: 17 Apr 2024, 22:09

Had a quick play to refresh my memory and it's definitely an interesting one.

What it does well is establishes an atmospheric location in typical Kew style, it's just a shame he does seem to give up somewhat towards the end when your translator decides to cease translating anymore (though of course if you backtrack or fall through a cunning trap it strangely still works :P ).

Also features the trademark generous helping of CasFLOR and CasWAL and floating torchflame decorations of course!

Flies are annoying, smaller flies are even more annoying - didn't find it too hard overall though, just enough to keep you on your toes.

Wasn't Kew going to redux/continue this when he was doing the 2012 Illhaven?
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Subject: Re: "The Ruins of Nali'Pente" by Tim "Kew" Jarvis

Post Posted: 18 Apr 2024, 21:36

Good to see you here, SteadZ! :)

SteadZ wrote:Wasn't Kew going to redux/continue this when he was doing the 2012 Illhaven?


I don't know the answer to this question, hopefully someone else will chime in to clarify that... I do remember Kew briefly considered a massive expansion in scope for Illhaven Anthology.
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.

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Subject: Re: "The Ruins of Nali'Pente" by Tim "Kew" Jarvis

Post Posted: 19 Apr 2024, 13:31

A little late but the map download has been replaced with a version that fixes the torch flames now.
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Subject: Re: "The Ruins of Nali'Pente" by Tim "Kew" Jarvis

Post Posted: 20 Apr 2024, 08:19

Semfry wrote:A little late but the map download has been replaced with a version that fixes the torch flames now.


Very cool, thank you! will get this version once I get back home :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.

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Subject: Re: "The Ruins of Nali'Pente" by Tim "Kew" Jarvis

Post Posted: 20 Apr 2024, 21:44

I'm not sure what else to add to what was already said about the level. It's a classic item. If you think of Unreal custom mappage from 1998-2000, you'll doubtlessly think of Kew's handiwork, such as Alin'Gar, Illhaven, Nali'Pente. It's a decent enough map, albeit the sense of place/location is different than what the story or readme suggest. This isn't an entire penal colony, but only a mere prison. And if treated as such, the level gets the job done. It's an atmospheric ancient-themed prison break scenario. Given Unreal itself starting from a prison ship, Nali'Pente could be treated as an ancient-themed Vortex Rikers equivalent - a prison break that kickstarts a new adventure. I've browsed the Illhaven remaster project thread and Kew's ill-fated intentions of remastering it to use it as a point of origin for another campaign and it's a real shame it never came to be - it would indeed work.

As it is, it's a very decent level. By no means is it at the very pinnacle of Unreal custom content but... it could work as a startmap for a campaign that would be on par with Unreal's own quality.

Maybe one day.
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Subject: Re: "The Ruins of Nali'Pente" by Tim "Kew" Jarvis

Post Posted: 20 Apr 2024, 22:27

Very interesting architecture with a good sense of it being a place and not a game level. Didn't get lost too much. Some unusual gameplay choices but I enjoyed it.

EDIT: ebd's playthrough video:
https://youtu.be/8S3HppdUNVw


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