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|ml_sacrosanct.txt||2.16 kB||10 Apr 2015|
|mlsacr.j2l||Sacrosanct||5.37 kB||11 Apr 2015|
|MedvioS.j2t||MedvioS||112.17 kB||10 Apr 2015|
|everlastinghymn.mp3||Everlasting Hymn (Cathedral)||2701.86 kB||09 Mar 2015|
|mlsacr.j2as||2.32 kB||10 Apr 2015|
This level serves a tribute to CelL, and in particular to Sanctuary, his CTF level from over 10 years ago. Sanctuary had a massive impact on my level design style. Its subtle, finely crafted atmosphere taught me that I was not just limited to using tiles the way the tileset creator intended them for. Before Sanctuary, I was a fairly below average JCSer, and I didn’t start actually thinking about what I’m doing until then.
Everything with a high rating you see on my download list, I owe to CelL. Also he’s a fun guy to hang out with, too, so what gives!
This level is also intended to be a bit of a statement. I’ve come to realise that none of my levels will ever be accepted into the clan ladder mappool – so I’ve decided to make a level which would be vetoed by all clans anyways. It is unsymmetrical, mouse aim biased, and very dependant on JCS/scripting trickery. I enjoyed making it very much, and my enjoyment is sacrosanct.
The rain is disabled in Low Detail mode.
I hope everybody has a great Anniversary Bash 17!
Reuploaded to fix what was a couple of very serious gameplay errors.
Sancrosanct is a well designed, enjoyable CTF level by veteran level maker and J2O admin cooba – his first contribution to the JCS scene as a member of the prolific levelgroup Mystic Legends.
It’s clear that the level is intended as a tribute to Sanctuary in more than just the levelname. cooba has gone a long way to try and recreate the visual style of the 2004 level that inspired him, with Sacrosanct sharing many of the same visual attributes despite using a different tileset. Sancrosanct uses a palette edit of Violet CLM’s Medvio conversion, which has been given a blue/greyish colour scheme that resembles that of the Pezrock bricks – the set which Cell’s level used. In addition, the tileset use in cooba’s level also evokes the visual style of Sanctuary, through a similar use of the pillars, minimalistic background and even with a few splashes of green here and there to break up the monotony, much like the original. However, the comparisons end there – in spite of his intentions to vaguely resemble the original Sanctuary, cooba has taken his level further and added some scripted flourishes to the visuals, primarily through the use of lanterns, coloured water and all new weather effects; the latter courtesy of JJ2+ version 5.0. While on the surface Sancrosanct may appear to be a doppelgänger of its key influence, it manages to achieve its own feel. Cell’s Sanctuary has a sort of dreamy, spaced out vibe to it, whereas Sancrosanct feels dark and murky. This hallowing feel is realised by a clever combination of elements such as the occasional use of green patches that resemble mossy overgrowths, a shallow pool of marshy-looking water at the bottom of the level and the constant deluge of rain that pours over the dilapidated structure. From a practical viewpoint, the rain might be considered distracting for some players, but fortunately cooba has provided players the ability to remove it by enabling Low Detail. This has the unfortunate side effect of making the water look terrible in 16 bit, but that’s not important and out of his control anyway.
Gameplaywise, Sancrosanct has a rather different design to Sanctuary. Whereas the original level had a slightly more typical layout, this level runs with a semi-symmetrical design where the bases are situated in the approximate centre of the level, seperated only by a thin wall. While this style of layout is nothing revolutionary (even featuring in other old CTF levels by Cell such as Zaitox, Botanica and Stone Ways, and also in Toxin Twister by cooba), this level manages to have its own distinct brand of gameplay. The bases cleverly mimic the skewed nature of the carrot placement in Sanctuary, however it is debatable whether or not this design choice has any positive impact on the gameplay. Overall, the level has a somewhat circular design, whereby players get around either by circumnavigating the main structure, or by cutting through one of the numerous side paths. The layout is pretty vertical, featuring a number of springs, vines and RF climbable passages to help you get up. However, the level features just enough x-axis gameplay in order to keep things from becoming too overly vertical. A bit of side effect as a result of this general layout style is that it makes the gameplay fairly slow paced, since it involves a lot of going back and forth when it comes to hunting down enemy players. It also feels a little on the cramped side in some areas, which may make bullet dodging difficult in some situations. One unique gameplay aspect is the JJ1 inspired “wheel spring” at the bottom of the level, which periodically moves back and forth along the lower ledge. It’s a cool feature, but has one minor issue. At some angles the spring doesn’t bounce you high enough to reach the upper ledges adjacent to the base areas, and so if you don’t time the springs exactly right you can often find yourself unable to get up without the extra height from Spaz’ double jump; this has the potential to become frustrating for the player, especially if they’re playing as Jazz or Lori.
All ammo types sans TNT are present in this level. The weapons are exceptionally well balanced here; each one brings something different to the table with the given layout. The three powerups; Bouncer, Toaster and Gun 8, all receive roughly equal use here. I think Bouncer is perhaps slightly more useful overall due to the amount of climbing involved, although Toaster still comes into play when defending in some of the narrow corridors, and Gun8 serves as a chasing weapon in the upper and lower areas. I like how Ice can be used strategically here to freeze the wheel spring at the bottom in order to temporarily halt your opponent. The level features 3 carrots – one Full NRG and 2 +1s, all of which can be shot down. The use of freeze enemy (egg timer) events is interesting, since they can delay the player’s escape from the carrot area. This is particularly potent if the carrot is shot down into the small cavity below.
The level seems to be most suited to game sizes of 3vs3 and up. Due to the layout style, killing may be quite difficult in a duel or a 2vs2, although it should be fine with more. Overall the level generally facilitates gameplay focused around defense, which may not be to everyone’s tastes but tends to lead to gameplay based upon smart, tactical play as opposed to mindless ammo spamming, which is a good thing of course. The level isn’t perfect, but it’s a very solid and respectable effort, made by a creator that has a clear understanding of good level design principles. If you’re fed up of all of the overplayed CTF levels out there and would like to find an alternative, I recommend you give this level a try, or a download at the very least.
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.