January/February 2011 Voting

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Welcome to the January/February 2011 SRB2 Official Level Design Contest voting topic! In this contest we have seven single player, three match, four capture the flag, and two circuit entries.

To vote, play a few games of each stage in a division in the intended gametype for judging, and give each map in the division a vote from 0 to 10, no decimals and with 5 as average. You can not vote on your own map, but if you vote on the rest of the stages in a division the lowest score on your map for that division will be dropped. For votes to count, the voter must vote on every map in a division (excluding their own entry if they have one). Votes where the voter obviously did not play the level in its intended gametype, or where the voter did not play the multiplayer maps with other real players will be discarded. Please be as unbiased as possible for the author or the look of the map. It's all about how good the map plays, nothing else. For reference, the scale is as follows:

10 - Epic
9 - Awesome
8 - Great
7 - Good
6 - Decent
5 - Average
4 - Mediocre
3 - Bad
2 - Awful
1 - Horrendous
0 - Unplayable

Although it's not required for votes to count, it's very helpful to make comments about what you liked and didn't like about the map, so the author can improve his skill for future attempts. If your votes are dramatically different from the rest and you don't describe why, you may be asked to justify your reasoning.

Judging will end March 14, 2011 at 7 PM local time in the eastern time zone of the United States. Like the entry deadline, this counts the United States's daylight savings time between March and November. Votes submitted after this time by the forum timestamp will NOT be counted in the average, so if you want to be counted, don't vote at the last minute. After the deadline, the scores will be then averaged, and the person with the highest score in each division is the winner.

The entries are as follows:

Single Player:
Wood Asleep by Internet Explorer
Colossal Castle Zone by Katmint
Grassy Cliffs by NeroTheArmadillo
Windmill Hill Zone by Ultimate
Clockwork Grove by Thompson
Wonder Terrace Zone by BlazeFan1
Splash Garden Zone Act 1 by Blade

Cold Cavern by jloy1
Zoom Ship Zone by Katmint
Rush Flower Zone by KO.T.E

Capture the Flag:
Damp Campus Zone by Fawfulfan
Cold Sea Zone by Katmint
Volcanic Shelter Zone by Kuba11
Misty Mire Zone by Charybdizs

Sparkling Abyss Zone by Katmint
Acid Valley Zone by Miles Knuckle Power

As a final reminder, please make sure to play the levels in the intended gametype, and above all, have fun judging!

Mirror for the Single Player pack since we appear to be having attachment problems: http://mystic.sepwich.com/oldc/scr_contest-janfeb11.zip

Results: http://mb.srb2.org/showthread.php?p=704339#145


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ArchPack 2.2 is out
I think some old traditions should come back...



Since the SP ZIP isn't working for me, I'm just going to vote on the race maps for now

Sparkling Abyss Zone by Katmint: 6\10

Well, It's not BAD, but the map could use some texture variation. The level is mainly just falling, jumping, and running through short rainbow tunnels. In-fact, I was afraid to jump in the first falling room. I'm going to give you extra points for the cool never-ending pit gimmicks, though.

Acid Valley Zone by Miles Knuckle Power: 5\10

First of all, you should make the acid falls at the beginning thinner, they look extremely unnatural. Second of all, the part where the door drops down is kind of unneeded. And finally, the part where you see the glass tubes with the liquids pouring in them, the tube with the lava and purple goop combine to make acid? That's not right...


footure semen
Well, uh...


Cold Cavern by jloy1 - 4/10
Well, something I've never seen before with the King Of The Hill thing, so that was awesome. Too bad the layout sucked.

Zoom Ship Zone by Katmint - 3/10
The layout was garbage, and there wasn't much else that stood out

Rush Flower Zone by KO.T.E - 5/10
Okay, this map was made in less than 3 hours and it was still better than the other maps. how does this happen?

Capture the Flag

Damp Campus Zone by Fawfulfan - 5/10
A strange layout, rather ugly, and sweet lord it's easy to camp. I still had a good amount of fun on this, though.

Cold Sea Zone by Katmint - 4/10
Much more plain than the last, and the bases are even easier to camp. And the darkness doesn't help either.

Volcanic Shelter Zone by Kuba11 - 6/10
Oh thank god, a decent map. The bases are still easily camped, though.

Misty Mire Zone by Charybdizs - 7/10
Pretty fun, the mud in the middle is annoying, thou- OOPS SORRY GUYS THE FLAG CAPTURE IS BROKEN


Sparkling Abyss Zone by Katmint - 4/10

Acid Valley Zone by Miles Knuckle Power - 5/10
Pretty decent, but it could be much better.

Someone please explain to me what went wrong this OLDC? ;_;

EDIT: i find it lovely that only Katmint's levels break with OpenGL
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Get a load of THIS!!
Sonic Team Junior
Kart Krew™️

-Wood Asleep by Internet Explorer - 3/10

-Colossal Castle Zone by Katmint - 3/10

-Grassy Cliffs by NeroTheArmadillo - 0/10
Doesn't load from normal SRB2.

-Windmill Hill Zone by Ultimate - 4/10

-Clockwork Grove by Thompson - 7/10

-Wonder Terrace Zone by BlazeFan1 - 5/10

-Splash Garden Zone Act 1 by Blade - N/A

Details coming later, maybe.


-Cold Cavern by jloy1 - 3/10
Horrible layout, and once people found out it was KOTH everyone stayed at the small center area.

-Zoom Ship Zone by Katmint - 4/10
At first I couldn't figure out how to leave the outside part, and the inside is way too cramped.

-Rush Flower Zone by KO.T.E - 7/10
For being made in only 2 hours, this is pretty good. Best match map in this contest by far.


-Damp Campus Zone by Fawfulfan - 7/10
Really good, but there was quite a bit of framerate lag. It looked and played pretty well though.

-Cold Sea Zone by Katmint - 5/10
I had a hard time seeing things, and was WAY too flat. Played okish though.

-Volcanic Shelter Zone by Kuba11 - 6/10
Sorta dark, but it played well. Bases we kinda annoying though.

-Misty Mire Zone by Charybdizs - 0/10
Mad needs some platforms in it to make it easier to get out of. Looks nice, but the reason it gets a zero is because you CAN'T CAPTURE THE FLAG.


-Sparkling Abyss Zone by Katmint - 4/10
Uh, almost no detail, and the space parts were confusing at first.

-Acid Valley Zone by Miles Knuckle Power - 3/10
Crumbling platforms do NOT work in race. Also a bit of a thokfest.
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ArchPack 2.2 is out
My first impressions; not my final review, therefore scores may vary later on:

Wood Asleep by Internet Explorer - 4/10
It's just out of common. Intriguing atmosphere. I got lost once in the Ghoul's forest. If you at lest had extended upon the map a bit more.

The problems: the map starts quite interesting, involving atmosphere, the map earned points here. But started to lose points after I went down the staircase and faced out-door areas. As did I say, I got lost in the forest once, it was quite frustrating so that it burst the magic of the map.

You should invest "a bit" on aesthetics. Good job.

Colossal Castle Zone by Katmint - 6/10
Big, enormous, another out-of-box map. Map starts, a big staircase faces me and says "welcome and break your leg!". Invest in better spacing in the "player-start" room; this gave me a bad impression of the map.

More staircases. Your staircases are annoying and break the flow. Replace them with another thing or give them lower steps.

Gargoyle puzzle: I "placed" 2 gargoyles and myself here. I expected *that* door to open; then, I thought "this thing opened a door somewhere else". I got confused after I had trapped Brak Eggman: both "exits" are kinda identical. Give the actual exit a visual cue.

This is another case of a map that earns points and then loses afterwards.

Grassy Cliffs by NeroTheArmadillo - 1/10
Slow music that doesn't fit, specially with the boss part, it almost made me cry. I finished it in 1'30". The visuals are consistent, thought. The map isn't that mess like others "this-is-my-first-map, get it easy plx".

Required: Make sure the map actually opens in SRB2 without an editor.

Windmill Hill Zone by Ultimate - 6/10
As I got into the zoomtube... *raises the arms* .... whoooooaaaaaowwww!

Interesting concept (I think I had said this before ¬¬*), once you have learned, you start taking advantage of it. The "widmill-lift" gimmick was quite explored. Good example of "keep it simple and fun". The map was enjoyable.

My complaints are: lack of texture variation and gimmicks, sometimes I think the rooms are a tad too large (unless the springs and gimmicks ask for). I know people will complain "windmills aren't animated :U", but I won't.

(I found 2 emeralds)

Clockwork Grove by Thompson - 8/10
The level was great, there are a lot of good points to point out but the people already did.

The problem: Overpopulated thing layout. And:
<EzerArch> Clockworks Grove Zone is a kind of great map that sometimes doesn't execute quite well some gimmicks... forcing me to redo some parts over and over.

Wonder Terrace Zone by BlazeFan1
- 5/10
To be honest, the button hunting started fairly interesting, but it got tiring after the 4th button. I liked the room with a rising-floor and turrets. There are other nice ideas too.

<Blade> Ezer did you ever vote?
<EzerArch> (...) I'm re-reviewing the maps again and editing my post.
<Blade> Ah
<EzerArch> Wonder Terrace Zone had killed me... that was long and tiring.
Not always content and length help.

Splash Garden Zone Act 1 by Blade - 7/10
The cutest map of the contest. Nice visuals. The textures made the whole thing great... seemed I wasn't playing SRB2 with its ugly and noisy texture set.

The first time I played it, I remembered Palmtree Panic Zone 2D.
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Where is that locked passage, Ezer?

I thought I took care of stuff like that.

Edit: Looked at your picture of the area. I can't understand why something would block you there. But I'm going to investigate throroughly (even though its too late to change anything now I think)
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a scar in time...
Windmill Hill Zone by Ultimate - 6/10
Interesting concept (I think I had said this before ¬¬*), once you have learned, you start taking advantage of it. The "windmill-lift" gimmick was quite explored. The map was enjoyable ^^.

My complaints are: lack of texture variation and gimmicks, sometimes I think the rooms are a tad too large (unless the springs and gimmicks ask for).

I know people will complain "windmills aren't animated :U", but I won't.

Thanks for the review! I'll definitely work on making the textures have more variety and be more interesting overall. As for gimmicks, I don't really have many ideas at the moment, but I'll try to think up some stuff :P I would also like the windmills to be animated, but we'll see...I've never tried animating a texture before, so this will probably be a pretty difficult task for me to achieve :P


Official Community CoatRack
Sonic Team Junior

-Cold Cavern by jloy1 - 3/10
Uh, boring/eye killing textures, 100% symetrical, items in down right odd places, and it was a king of the hill map with no real warning besides the small thing at the start of the level. Normally, KoTH hill levels have the point giving place at the TOP of the map, not the bottom.

-Zoom Ship Zone by Katmint - 4/10
Suddenly, flying fortes! anyways, the level was okay, the inside was sorta odd, mainly in the fact some things hurt you when I didn't think they would (the things that look like teeth things, I didn't even know they was animated so I thought they was safe), and something that didn't hurt you when I though they would (the oil things) Anyways, item placement was okay, but the outside is a bit to flat, not sure how you could have fix'd that though. Also, nice wind effect, but it got sorta annoying sometimes.

-Rush Flower Zone by KO.T.E - Rush/Job
Quite sad when a rush job level with no testing does better then the other maps :<...


-Damp Campus Zone by Fawfulfan - 5/10
Nice level, but it did seem a bit laggy and was a bit to easy to camp. Other than that, great job.

-Cold Sea Zone by Katmint - 3/10
My eyes died after playing this. Anyways, I find it very annoying to get to the flag by the springs since you made the edge near them so thin. Also, it seemed to be a bit to wide open for my taste.

-Volcanic Shelter Zone by Kuba11 - 8/10
Nice level, while it can be easy to camp at the base, I had fun. I like the use of the tidal palace textures, I would have never thought they would have been used for a lava level. But I do think the bases are a bit cramped sometimes, great job none the less though!

-Misty Mire Zone by Charybdizs - 3/10
You get points for making the map look good, and for the fact it is fun to attack people from behind tall grass. But other than that, the level is impossible to play. Not just because the Blue flag didn't re-spawn, but because It is impossible to get out of the mud in the middle with the flag. It also felt a bit cramped at the bases.
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i would rather not
Wood Asleep - 4
This level disappoints me. It really does. Internet Explorer, judging by this and Golden Palace, you are one of the best designers (in my opinion) when it comes to making a level look great. The atmosphere was wonderful, and the music and sounds really make your levels stand out in my mind. Now, what disappoints me, is that your levels in architecture are not very good. I will not say that I did not enjoy the level, because that's not true. I enjoyed looking at your level. I did not enjoy playing it. The entire large forest area is incredibly confusing and can lead players in circles, which can frustrate them. And aside from the decorations and atmosphere, nothing really stood out to me.

Keep trying! The only way to improve is to keep making levels. Eventually, you will make something that is excellent in both looks and game play.

Colossal Castle Zone - 2
First thing I see when I play: stairs. Not normal stairs, giant stairs that require you to jump to each step. It is not fun for players to have to jump repeatedly just to get through a certain section! My suggestion is to make them smaller so that the player can just walk up them. Yes, it takes much longer to make for a much shorter play area, but it would make the level so much more enjoyable. Anyways, moving on, we stroll past a bland hallway come up to three mysterious monitors that seem to make the player more bouncy. After experimenting with them for a bit and realizing that this area is a dead end, we go back and hit something which causes a wall to open up. In this new area, there is another mysterious monitor and a gargoyle puzzle. After spending with this, I give up and noclip through the door. After various other shenanigans I'm greeted with... Brak Eggman? What are you doing here? After getting over the initial shock of "Suddenly Final Boss", I attempt to defeat him the standard way, only for me to realize that he cannot be defeated this way. So, I decide to grab his missile and fly up to an opening just to see what would happen, and there was a button. Pressing it opened the floor to a death pit, simultaneously killing Brak and making the area twice as hard to navigate. More shenanigans and a fake-out level ending (which annoyed me) later, we come across what I can only describe as Eggman on Steroids. He flies around much faster than usual shooting tons of bounce rings. After reaching his pinch phase, he resorts to shooting bomb rings and dropping Sharps. The bomb rings help him kill himself, and the level ends there.

tl;dr shenanigans. You got one point for the sheer What the Fuck factor which makes this level stand out, but the rest is bland and hard to play through.

Grassy Cliffs Zone - 0

Levels has no sectors! Hooray!
Let's try something. I open the .wad open in DB2 and hey, a level! From the looks of it, however, it's incredibly short and cramped and incredibly uninteresting. Even if it had passed, it probably would have earned ones. A good effort, if this is your first level! However, in the future, you should test your levels more, and then work on making them longer and with more content. Play some other stages, and try to get some ideas that could work!

Windmill Hill - 5

Honestly, after finishing this level, there are only two parts that I remember: The windmill launchers which I thought were kind of cool, and the wind paths which seem inspired by Windy Valley from Sonic Adventure. Other than that, this level is pretty generic and uninteresting platforming combined with generic and uninteresting GHZ scenery. It looks like you tried to add scenery, but you're going to need more than rocks and random windmills here and there to make a level look good. For example, 95% of the level uses the GHZ texture, which makes it look bland and repetitive. Switch it up a bit! Make the boundary walls a different texture than the standard platform walls! It's a small change, but it would make things look a lot better.

Clockwork Grove - 8
Full review later.

Wonder Terrace
Splash Garden
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Do you mean there's like an invisible barrier of some sort blocking you?
I just played it, (the version released in the OLDC) and had no problem.

Or are you talking about the collapsing platforms. Those do respawn, just leave the water for a breath and come back down.

I honestly can't find any problem in that area, and am able to pass through perfectly. So I'm stumped. Maybe just try it again?


The Tortured Planet guy

Wood Asleep Zone, by Internet Explorer - 3/10
Explanation: Okay, first of all, my god, that has got to be the worst name I have ever heard for a level. I know you're French and sometimes have translation trouble, but seriously? Second, you spent WAAAAAY too much time with the extra graphics. About half of them, like the menu icons and select screen music, add exactly nothing to your level. But now we get into actual gameplay. I like the colormap and...well, that's pretty much it. I can kinda forgive the lack of texture variation and extreme darkness, as that goes with your theme, but the worst part of your level was that there is absolutely no way to know where to go. It's basically just an open sandbox with no direction; there are a couple of diagonal red springs that lead nowhere, and getting sucked into that river is downright monotonous. I never did find my way to the exit, in fact. I think it's high time you stopped thinking up gimmicky tricks for your levels and just tried to do something simple and solidly built.

Colossal Castle Zone, by Katmint - 1/10
To begin with, what the heck was with all those stairs? That was ridiculously annoying. Then came some boring gargoyle puzzles, and...well, I got stuck. I busted the Gargoyle Monitors, and nothing whatsoever happened. I think there probably is some way to get past this part, so it wouldn't make sense to give you a 0/10, but believe me, I considered it. The visuals weren't very nice, and neither was the gameplay. In short, this level doesn't really have anything to offer.

Grassy Cliffs Zone, by NeroTheArmadillo - 0/10
LEVEL HAS NO SECTORS. But I loaded it up in SRB2 Doom Builder, and even if the nodesbuild wasn't broken I would have only rated it 1/10. The subtitle implies it's part of some kind of upcoming mod. Well, that's fine, but let me give you some advice: If a mod has levels that differ wildly in function or purpose from normal levels, as I'm guessing yours will, releasing it by contest submission is a terrible idea. There is absolutely no gameplay in there at all; a level with three tiny rooms simply can't ever be viable in the context of the OLDC. And besides, the entire level is complete visual barf. I'm really dying to know what made you think you should enter this in the OLDC, because I assure you that this decision is something to be embarrassed about.

Clockwork Grove Zone, by Thompson - 7/10
It's about as good as your previous level, and has some charming new graphics to boot. It does, however, have the same problem that your previous level did; it's confusing to work out where you are supposed to go. If that hadn't been the case, this could well have been a 9/10 in my book.

Wonder Terrace Zone, by BlazeFan1 - 5/10
Oh goodie, another hodgepodge gimmick level. At least this one had a few decent things to hurl at me, but it had absolutely no flow to speak of. I'll give you the same advice I gave Internet Explorer--the gimmicks should emerge from the level theme, not vice versa. Some of those gimmicks could have been good if they had been in a consistent and coherent environment.

Windmill Hill Zone, by Ultimate - 4/10
I know you said you didn't have time to de-squarify the level, but I really don't buy that; you could have at least randomly dragged around a few vertices. I know I'm an unusually fast worker, so this isn't quite a fair example, but I managed to change all the space junk platforms in both acts of Spacewalk Zone from rounded to square in a few hours. And another problem is that this level is way too open, which causes some graphical errors. Worst of all, the windmill gimmick was badly underutilized, and it was easily the only interesting thing about the level, so most of it was just dull running and jumping. And frankly, I really think you've done the GHZ textures to death over the course of your level designing career. I suggest you just redo the whole thing; it's a great idea, but the execution was kind of poor.

Splash Garden Zone Act 1, by Blade - 10/10
This is without question the best 2D level I have ever seen in the history of SRB2. The visuals are gorgeous, the new enemies fit perfectly, and the level has a great flow and excellent replayability. And as for that slope at the beginning...well, I thought Glaber's Medivo slopes were realistic (and just about the only decent thing in that level, though I know I'm a minority in thinking so) but you completely blew them away. With possible exception of the one area just before the exit, which was a little awkward, I wouldn't change a thing about it. It is a true Blade creation.


Cold Cavern, by jloy1 - 3/10
To begin with, OMG a symmetrical Match map. These simply don't work, people. Second, the texturing was really, really dull, and the map was too small. As a King of the Hill map, gameplay is somewhat decent, but that's probably because there are few other KOTH maps out there to compare it to. There's nothing that contributes positively to gameplay which is distinct to this level.

Zoom Ship Zone, by Katmint - 3/10
To be fair, you really set yourself an unrealistic challenge in attempting to build a good level with Doom Ship textures. There simply aren't enough of them right now to make anything that looks decent (observe how I supplement the set with Eggrock textures in the design of LGZ). But there is also the problem that this just isn't a well-designed map; there are just too many sharp turns to really prepare for anything that might be waiting for you around the bend. The outside section doesn't really add much to the level, either, and the wind is just aggravating. Also you really should have made the area under the grinding "teeth" a Death Pit, because they often leave players with no rings and no choice but to spring upwards toward their doom.

Rush Flower Zone, by KO.T.E. - 7/10
It's not much to look at, but gameplay is top-notch. I had a LOT of fun on this level, despite the fact that I got my backside handed to me. I think it would have been better if everything wasn't so squarish, though. Like I said to Ultimate, it really doesn't take long to drag around vertices; I bet you could have sculpted it to be at least a little more natural-looking in under ten minutes.


Damp Campus Zone, by some eccentric college student with way too much time on his hands - :)/10
I spent a while tinkering with this level. Ultimately the only things I didn't manage to do was clean up the framerate and fix the camping issue. How the heck do you prevent camping from being attractive in your level? It's not even touched upon in Level Design 101. I used team rings exclusively in bases, I had multiple paths going into the flag rooms so that campers can be ambushed from multiple sides, and people still complain that you can camp. What could I have done to deter campers!? Oh, and by the way, this level really is similar to what my college looks like.

Cold Sea Zone, by Katmint - 3/10
What I really despise about this level is that it is Sonic's and Knuckles's nightmare, whereas Tails can abuse the crap out of it. At the very least you should have allowed the walls to be climbable; for an even better fix, you should have offered alternate paths to the bases. Getting to the bases is really awkward, and I might add that apart from the cool colormap, the visuals are distinctly subpar.

Volcanic Shelter Zone, by Kuba11 - 5/10
It's a pretty decent level, with nice visuals and some useful alternate paths. My two main complaints: some of the colors clash a little bit, which can be distracting (Of course, I've done this myself in Snowcap Nimbus Zone, but this can be a little more trouble in a CTF match.), and it's a little unclear sometimes to find paths to the base. In particular I do not care for the stream of lava running behind the flag platform, which can really mess you up.

Misty Mire Zone, by Charybdizs - 4/10
I'm gonna rate this level as I would if the flag worked properly, because you clearly spent a lot of time and effort on this and I don't find it fair that a little fluke should trash your score. Disregarding that tiny little detail, you weren't kidding; this is an improvement from Gravity Garden, but there are still a few problems. The big issue here is that the layout of the level is a bit strange, and it can be a little difficult sometimes to know exactly where you have to go. Still, I give you high praise for the visuals, which are a major step up over your past work.


Sparkling Abyss Zone, by Katmint - 2/10
This level sheds some light on a serious shortcoming of Software Rendering--the camera has a very limited pitch. As a result, these deep pits of yours have to be done completely blind. Looping a few times through freefall seriously disrupts the flow, and in no gametype is flow more important than Race. Even besides that, though, the level was seriously lacking. The textures were bland, and the giant staircase was just as annoying as in Colossal Castle (don't EVER do that again). You seem to have put all your visual work into the rainbow stripes, which are pretty cool but not worth the neglect of everything else. The real lesson here: the first thing you should do when trying a design technique that has never been used before is ask yourself why it hasn't been used before.

Acid Valley Zone, by Miles Knuckle Power - 3/10
You have a competent theme, but the level itself was extremely dull. It consists entirely of hopping over stuff...except for that awful Zoom Tube. I'm gonna go on a short rant about that Zoom Tube because it is the worst thing in this level by a considerable margin, and it is responsible for a deduction of two whole points from my rating. First of all, you can't even see the entrance to it until you're really close, because it blends in so perfectly with the wall, forcing you to pause and readjust your position, which should should never have to happen in a Race level. Second, it's OBSCENELY long--if you take control away from the player for that long, there had better be some top-freakin'-notch visuals to keep the player attentive. Yours was just an ugly, long tunnel with the same texture all over. Even a simple teleporter would have worked better.
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>WTB lamp oil
Oh crud what?

The flag doesn't work? I tested that and never had a problem... I'm gonna have to figure this one out...

lol I just remembered what I forgot in Misty Mire... The MIST!


ArchPack 2.2 is out
Grassy Cliffs Zone, by NeroTheArmadillo
Rating: 0/10


The map has 98 sectors, sir.


Now, seriously, the map is unloadable via addfile. I was able to play it by testing it on SRB2DoomBuilder.
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