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Celestial Mechanics

A map for Quake III Team Arena by Eraser. Published 13 June 2001.
Download from: Dropbox

Another spacemap... or so it seems at first sight. But after a closer look, and a couple of games you will come to the conclusion that this spacemap is a bit different. Eraser has done a pretty good job at creating a map that uses the same elements as Vortex Portal, but plays completely different.

You could in fact say that the only thing the two maps have in common are the wormhole-like teleporters. Where Vortex Portal has a difficult to reach flagplatform, Celestial Mechanics puts the flag right in the center where it's easily reached from no less than 4 sides.

You might think that this gives the attackers a huge advantage, but in my experience a good railer, standing on the typical railplatform, can save your team's butt pretty effective. The nice thing about the layout of the bases however is that a railer cannot control the entire base by himself, as he can be shot from two directions (unless he has eyes in his back, of course).

All the elements of this map add up to a very fast paced and sometimes chaotic game, especially in standard CTF or Overload. Once the gametype changes to OneFlag or Harvester however, and the central area comes into play, things can change. In CTF and Overload, defense of the bases is key. In OneFlag and Harvester the central area gathers a lot of attention and the action becomes more spread-out. In my opinion, OneFlag and Harvester are the best gametypes for this map.

The design of the map is very solid, with plenty of elements taken from Vortex Portal. Still the map is original in its layout and design, especially by the very uncommon arrangement of platforms at the bases. Texturing and lighting are simply good, and the custom skybox is a pleasure to watch (although I shouldn't say that out loud, since I made it ;-) Notable is also the RoQ movie Eraser added both as a levelshot and as an in-game cinematic.

One downside is that there is no AAS file included with the map, so bot play is not possible. The reason for this is that the bots simply wouldn't run around the map, so an AAS file was kind of useless.

All in all this map is a must-have for all you Vortex Portal fans out there who like a little change once in a while. A very enjoyable map, so begin downloading!