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By Rob "Fusion" Babor Homepage saydm1


This level is actually from 1999. Do not let that fool you, though. If I had discovered this level back then almost 4 years ago, my amazement would probably not have been less than it is now. No wonder, really, because the man behind this very well functioning and fun DM level is none other than Rob "Fusion" Babor. A man who has made more levels than me, and a lot of other more well known designers out there.

An initial thought would be that this is a lie. If he has made so many levels - 50 at the time of "Black Sunset's" release in 1999 - why have we never heard of him? Regulars of the DW forums, people going waaaaay back in the community history and very attentive news readers might just have heard about him. His ageing project "HellCore" probably rings a bell. My point is that it is very unusual for such a talented, skilled and great designer to appear so anonymous. the main reason if off course that many of his levels have only been for internal use with his friends and for HellCore, which is as of the time writing not released yet. Generally, his work needs more appreciation and a bigger audience. "Black Sunset" needs more attention, to be precise! And why exactly is that? Because it, according to my experience, reminds me very much of a Q3A map. It has a lot of things in common with many of the levels found in id software's great on-line hit-game. To be more precise, the basic layout of level is a large room with some connected hallways around it which also leads up to a higher positioned medium sized area with a great view over some other inaccessible buildings. Not unlike some levels from Q3A. The large room in the centre of the level holds the Shotgun and more importantly the SuperShotgun and Rocket Launcher. The last two are placed in small alcoves, which must be lowered in order to get to them. This is cool because your back is at the action and in that small second it takes for you to get the weapons you're highly exposed to attacks. The same goes for the BFG, which is placed, on a lift. It takes some time before it's lowered and again you've got be sure that there aren't any other players nearby when you try to grab it. However, there's also another SuperShotgun placed on a high pillar in the big centre arena that requires a well co-ordinated jump to get to. There's another Rocket Launcher placed in the high positioned area or Command Central if you like. In here you'll also find the Chaingun. More easily accessible these two. From this room there is also a window leading out to the large centre arena besides the other two ways out. In short; there's not that big of a chance getting unwillingly caught or cornered unless you're trying to get a powerful weapon. The gameplay is relatively fast actually, and there's a lot of intense fighting going on. Another weapon, the Plasma Rifle, is placed in a small nook, which are in turn accessed via a teleporter. All in all there's plenty of weapons, perhaps too many. I'm not sure the BFG is such a good idea, however the ammo is scarce so you won't get all that many chances to shoot it. The best weapon is probably the Rocket Launcher, which rules in the hallways with its splash-damage. The level could maybe also use a little more armour. One green armour is probably a bit cheap. Generally there's not all that much health or armour, however a soothing amount of ammo without ever going overboard.

Another strong indicator of the Q3A inspiration is the fact a few sounds have been borrowed from that game. Luckily for us they're pretty good and won't interrupt anything, gameplay wise. Other new things include a couple of new textures and flats, which anonymously and perfectly blend in with the existing. Generally there are not a lot of negative tings to say about the architecture they're mounted on. There's a good variation and very dimlighted areas only slightly lighted by wall and ceiling mounted lights set the mood. The effects are good without ever being impressive. For a 1999 level they're quite fine, and aren't all that important in a DM level anyway.
I can heartily recommend that you try this level out the next time you and a comrade decides to slaughter each other in a game of good ol' fashioned Doom deathmatch!