The weekly mailbag - presented this week by Reactor

Latest issue: 7th March, 2000 - Next week's topic: "What are your feelings on LithTech 2? Will the engine attract a multitude of developers or will it struggle to make its mark in the industry?" Want to have a say? Get your mails in before 12th March.

Welcome to what is PlanetBlood's Mailbag section, as run by Matt "Infern0" Christopher and Reactor. If you have a point to make about recent events in the online Blood community, or you feel that there is something that no one has picked up on that maybe you feel strongly about, or maybe if you just fancy a rant, drop us a line at mailbag@planetblood.com and we'll see if it deserves inclusion. There are (as with so much in life) a few brief rules.

1) The mail you send should not consist of technical queries, you should use Monolith technical support for those issues.
2) Your mail should not be some sort of personal attack unless you feel that it is relevant for everyone to read.
3) Finally, your messages can have anything to do with either Blood or Blood2, maybe even suggestions for Blood3!
4) I am allowed to grammatically alter messages that are incomprehensible in their native form.

This week's highlights:

All the cool places
Premature grave
Wonderful to waltz
thunk-thunk-thunk
Quick links:

Mailbag submission
Email Infern0 personally
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All the cool places - by ItBurn

Hello I'm ItBurn,

The episode I liked best was the first one, I think. Many people think like that, and if you look carefully you can see that obviously this one has a little bit higher level quality. Maybe they got a little bit tired of making levels at the end :) Anyway, I liked a lot of levels in the game, my favourite ones being Bodies, The haunting, Dark carnival, The house of horrors, Cold rush, Tin ice, The overlooked hotel, Bowels of the earth, Phantom 666, and others that I might have forgotten. I remember dreaming one day about a Blood map. I had played this map only once in my life before this dream. In the dream I saw some really cool places, in fact they were so cool that I thought I imagined them all. Then one day, with my friend, in a coop game, we chose this map thinking, "Hey, I didn't remember playing this map ever...". Man I was surprised, I saw all the cool places. It really was a good feeling :). This map is called Bowels of the earth, try it some day. Playing any maps, especially in cooperative with a friend, is a great experience.

I can suggest some user maps for you to try, I don't know where you can get them, but I remember having lots of fun in them : Lostevil (beautiful locations), The asylum (a bloodlines demo map actually), Softpain (beautiful locations). I can't really think of others right now, because I've played so many maps.

If you really want to be nostalgic and have fun playing Blood, I suggest multiplayer games, especially cooperative ones. Playing with friends all night is like an orgasm for me :)

These were my nostalgic thoughts about my favourite game: Blood.

    You had a dream about Bowels of the Earth, before you actually played the level? Yowzers! One too many horror flicks methinks... but onto multiplayer- it's fantastic isn't it? I'm not sure everyone would agree it's exactly orgasmic, but it certainly is up there with playing through Blood's first episode, for the first time (something I remember all too well).

Premature grave - by Rust

In the first few seconds of gameplay, where Caleb dug himself out of the dirt and stone from his premature grave, it was obvious that this game would be different, that this character would be different. His dry and raspy "I live again" sounded as if he had truly just beaten death, and was quite anxious to get back to where he was before his little "six-feet-under" interruption. The level was perfect, his tomb with the dripping stone, the graveyard complete with the funeral home... From there, the episode just got better, complete with haunted train stations, a moving train, a carnival "this promises to be fun!", several temples and towers of varying design, a sacrificial tower of stone, and if you were lucky, a truly demented funhouse. If I had to choose my favorite Blood episode, it would be the first one, since it was the first one I ever played, and therefore was truly impressive in every single way.

    Now there's a good point. I think for most people the first episode would have been the *most* impactful, simply because it was the first played. At least that is, for people who didn't give every episode a bit of a whirl. Ooops :)

Wonderful to waltz - by Remi

Ahh, Blood 1! The most terrific game! I could mention hundreds of special moments in that game, I especially remember the first time I played on that level... can't remember the level number, I think it was the third level on the second chapter/episode. Anyway, it was with that huge hotel (and with Johnny on the outside "Heeeeere's Johnny!!") with all the secret passages and all. It was wonderful to waltz half-scared through the whole hotel and get startled by every enemy encountered... and those secret passages were wonderful, they especially increased the horror in the level.... I can still remember how much I panicked the first time in that passage when I heard that ghost in it but could not see it (it was above me... found that out a little too late though). I could mention a special moment from every level, and I could go on and on about how much enjoyment I've gotten from that game. But I'll stop here and say my personal opinion about which chapter of Blood is the best... and I can only say, all of them! The whole game is Bloody great! And the superb support for co-op is definitely a wonderful uplift for the game, only to make a great game greater. The only thing I crave about the game is... more! But I reckon that creating genius and perfect levels like the original ones is no easy task, and it's a shame to find no other game which has the same level of perfection for their levels. Well, perhaps Thief and the levels Neil Manke made for Quake 2 and Half-Life can come up with some competition (I'm sorry, but I don't see Blood 2 as something with good levels, they're fun, but they're nothing terrific), but other than that it's very hard to find games with levels to die for. Unfortunately most games aim for multiplayer these days anyway, so people like me have to play old games over and over again to get the singleplayer/co-op satisfaction we need. Fortunately I still haven't played Plasma Pak so I still have something to be excited over.

    Has anyone noticed yet that when Blood fans are asked about their favourite game, they seem to reply with an almost incoherent muttering of passionate points? :)

    Ahhh, Plasma Pack- the perfect medicine for a Blood fan in need of a fix. Not too long ago (and much overdue might I add) I picked this baby up myself. Needless to say, the nostalgic memories came flooding back, and I too began muttering passionate incoherencies to my entire family.

    It must be a Bloodite trait ;)

thunk-thunk-thunk - by Frightfan

My favourite chapter: Because I loved everything, I have a hard time just picking one. But I can narrow them down to show what I did like:

FROM "THE WAY OF ALL FLESH"
The Great Temple by Terry Hamel and James Wilson

FROM "EVEN DEATH MAY DIE"
The Haunting by James Wilson and Kevin Kilstrom

FROM "FAREWELL TO ARMS"
The Sick Ward by Craig Hubbard

and
FROM "DEAD RECKONING"
Mall Of The Dead by James Wilson and Craig Hubbard

The thing I love the most about Blood is the spectacular deaths! I don't own Blood 2 - but from what I have seen in the demo, the only neato death is the Kamikaze death of the cultists. I miss the spurts of blood from shotgun wounds. I miss blasting them with both barrels and sending them flying back across a large room. I miss the flaming flare-victims running around saying "IT BURNS, ITBURNSAAHHHHNOOOGHHOHMYGOD...." I miss the sticky blood splats running down the walls, and the satisfying wet thunk-thunk-thunk of kicking a zombie head around till it burst. I miss jumping down from a ledge into a pile of grue and hearing the splash of blood and fluids.

I don't think I'll buy Blood 2 until I find it in a bargain bin somewhere. I am just that satisfied with Blood 1 - until Ken Silverman releases the source, that is.... >;-D

    It is hard picking one favourite episode in Blood, but I've found that compared to those in some of the latest fangled fps games today (yup, even Blood 2, as Frightfan points out) that I'm tempted to choose all of them. Blood's levels really are set apart from everything else out there, but you don't notice until you stop playing, because Blood makes you think fantastic levels are a way of life. If only it were so...

Under appreciated - by scar3crow

One of my best memories from Blood? Wow. That's very vague for me... there are so many. The only games that have near as many memorable moments are Q1, Unreal and Doom1.... well... I've always loved the Phantom Train level in episode 1 and seeing it pull up to the gates on level 2. Episode 2 was all in all my fave episode 'cuz it had such a haunted house feel to it, then episode 1 I loved very much. But haunted houses always do it for me. My favorite map in episode 2 would be the Haunting (e2m5?) Such as the eerie ambience to it. The bloody welcome mat once you use it... and who could forget the floating candlesticks in the dining room? Then there's the shining references which I loved, and one thing I'm sure all bloodites loved....zombie head soccer! There's practically to many great things in that game to describe properly in a measly email. Now I want to play it again ;)

Blood: one of the most under appreciated games of all time....

    Not only is Blood one of the most under appreciated games of all time, but the Phantom train is one of the most under appreciated levels of all time! Even this long after Blood, the Phantom express is *still* blowing people away. It's just a downright classic- the kind of level you remember an entire episode by.

    As for the haunting, was that actually a level? I remember being so drawn into it, I'd forgotten that I was playing a game. Or was I? *twilight zone music plays*

Even Death May Die - by Sean

My favourite episode of Blood is 'Even Death May Die', because it is a chilly, scary episode. And always has loads of explosive devices.

    Oooh yeah, nothing quite sends a shiver down your spine like loads and loads of explosive devices :)

Gaming goodness! - by Max 2

It is definitely the first one; it's the one that got me hooked on the game since I downloaded the demo, from the second his tomb is opened until the last bullet pierced the boss I was enthralled by the gameplay (and over the top violence) its all gaming goodness!

    Gaming goodness, you've got that right!

Blood in the Artic - by Zachada

My favourite Blood 1 episode is Episode 2: Even Death May Die. I love the fridged arctic theme that episode has. Makes you feel like you are really fighting through an Arctic/Antarctic area.

    I was playing the first level of episode 2 the other day and have to agree with Zachada here. As amazing as the first episode is, the second really is where I see the action hotting up. the opening scene with the boat (and Caleb singing) was totally unmatched by anything in Duke3D, at the time, and had me hooked.

This week's winner is... - by Cure

this is a map i made and it took me a while

it is well constructed and its designed to be a burger joint

here it is

(this is where the map went)

    Does it matter that the link says 'Mailbag', or does the pretty red colour just attract hapless people? Ahhh well...

    This has been a fun mailbag. I didn't need to load up Blood and play it, because everyone here was so energetic... so passionate about the game, I felt as though I was reliving the great moments as I read. Oh, who am I kidding. I'm out of here. I *need* a game of Blood ;)

    Until next time, keep enjoying the most classic of them all-- Blood.

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