You'd be forgiven for thinking that Van Ricketts' level Tangerine Dream was named for the German electronic music group1 of the same name, but it actually refers to the colouring used in the level - the majority of its textures are imported from Quake II and follow a murky red/orange/brown theme. Van's notes from the text file describe its origins:
“The scenario: you're doing routine maintenence work on the lower level
of this facility when you say to your mates, “bugger this work shit,
let's have a deathmatch intead”. Your eloquent proposal is greeted with
great enthusiasm, and the motion is thus unanimously passed.
Designed for 1on1 (with either dm1 or dm3 rules), FFA 3-6 (definitely
use dm3 rules here), you might even want to try 2on2... it could work.
I was inspired in part by id's ‘The Slimy Place’ (q2dm something), I
really dig the orange pipes/bright green slime combination. I believe
the layout and architecture are my own though (well, with the exception
of the pipes of course :)
I thought up the name ‘Tangerine Dream’, because I wanted to suggest
something orange of course, and because it sounds cool. Apparently it's
the name of some band (I found this out from a quick search of the web)
but I have never heard their music... probably some dodgy 70's stuff.
In any case, I must have heard of them somewhere, and I recalled the
phrase when I was doing the word-association thing with 'Tangerine'. :)
Fun things to do in efdm9 include standing under the RA and lobbing
grenades down the pipe to the MH area (you get a bonus frag sometimes :)
and picking people out of the air in the outdoor area... as they
respawn and jump down for the RL. Overall efdm9 is not as intense and
hectic as efdm8, which is a bit of a shame imho... but it's a little
different, and hopefully you'll dig it anyway. If you enjoy it, please
send me an email to let me know (I still haven't played it, d'oh).
Tangerine Dream also probably makes for a very pretty slideshow if you
have a p133 or under. If you're getting less than 30 fps, I apologise,
and I want you to know that I feel your pain, brother.”
As the notes explain, the map is a small industrial sewage works built into the rock amongst slimy, greasy sludge under thick, dust filled brown smog. The unusual choices of colours here can present some display problems depending on your configuration, making some character colours/skins hard to identify, but its rare to find a Quake I level that strays from dull gray/green/brown themes due to the limited palette supported by the engine, so this is a refreshing change.
Tangerine Dream tends to divide the community and is definitely a love/hate level, not because its too experimental (like Edge of Oblivion, for instance) or tacky (like Q3A's Bouncy Map) but in terms of playability. In order to create the atmosphere and design style envisioned by its author a few sacrifices have obviously been made in gameplay terms, and some of the nicer design features like the ladders can detract from the feel of traditional Quake deathmatch. It's best suited to small games, either duels or LAN free for alls, anything else quickly becomes mayhem.
Overall, where the level fails it does so admirably, by trying something new that could perhaps have done with a bit more playtesting and refinement. Van returned to, and refined, the same themes used here for EFDM11, Maelstrom, which is also well worth the download.
There are no secrets in this level.