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Overview

X-Men: Ravages of Apocalypse is an unofficial commercial modification for Quake, developed by Zero Gravity Entertainment under license from Marvel Entertainment Group, and published by WizardWorks who, at the time, had established themselves as the premier publisher of unofficial expansion packs to popular games. The game cast the player as an android created by Magneto to defeat Apocalypse's army of X-Men clones and upset his plan for world domination.

In the years following its commercial release, Zero Gravity Entertainment has gone to release the expansion pack as freeware along with the original source code. The game is notable for its surprisingly large number of coding errors resulting in broken QuakeC scripting and unreliable end of level statistics.

Levels

At the beginning of the game, the player finds themselves at the base of the stairs in the entrance of the X-Men's mansion. The hallways and rooms of the mansion are available for exploration, but eventually the player is required to find the shafts to select the desired difficulty level, exit out through the basement, and begin the first episode. This is made difficult by the somewhat confusing placement of the shafts, end of level exit, and random distribution of arbitrary teleporters suggesting that the level is more optimized for deathmatch play.

The remainder of the game is divided into two episodes. Throughout the course of each, the player is required to not only find the exit to the levels but to also find the hidden super weapon component. The game will not allow the player to exit without the component and the bosses must first be worn down by the super weapon before they will take damage from standard weapons.
  • Episode 1 - Comprised of 5 normal levels, a secret level, and a final boss fight level, the first episode sees the player through a series of industrial levels on a mission to destroy the cloning facility before transitioning to Egyptian-themed levels. The episode climaxes with the player battling and defeating a massive, overgrown Apocalypse.
  • Episode 2 - Comprised of 5 normal levels and a final boss fight level, episode 2 has more variety in its mission designs than the first episode. The player starts off in a city setting, goes through an industrial level, a cavern hideaway, underground cave and a puzzle-centric fortress. Ultimately, it's revealed that the mastermind behind the entire plan of cloning the X-Men into a clone army is Mister Sinister's idea and the player battles him in a lava filled underground cavern.

Enemies

With the exception of the two end-of-episode bosses, all enemies in the game are clones of X-Men characters. Each has one or two of their signature moves and are often repeated multiple times throughout levels. Some characters have increased resistance to common weapon choices, encouraging the player to alternate their active weapon selection throughout levels.
  • Archange l - Flies through the air and shoots metal feathers. Capable of blocking rocket attacks with his wings.
  • Beas t - Lunges quickly towards the player and can send a direct projective attack along the ground via a double fist ground slam.
  • Bishop - Fires energy shots from his hands, bullets from his guns, and is resistant to fire-based weaponry.
  • Cannonball - Rockets through the air, covered by an impenetrable shield. Can only be damaged when he lands.
  • Cyclops -Powerful melee attacks complement his ricocheting visor beam.
  • Iceman -Throws ice shards, capable of freezing the player with an ice shot, and can revive himself unless blown up with an explosive weapon.
  • Gambit -Throws a spread of charged cards at the player from a distance and dishes out melee damage while up close.
  • Phoenix - Capable of holding and lifting the player from a distance with her mind. Renders the player extremely vulnerable to attacks from supporting enemies.
  • Psylocke - Can paralyze the player with her psychic blade. Primarily deals melee damage.
  • Rogue - Flies quickly towards the player and deals melee damage.
  • Storm - Attacks with a damaging lightning bolt (similar to that of the Shambler in Quake) and with  a quick burst of wind that disorients  the player.
  • Wolverine -Takes additional damage because of his healing ability. Dishes out melee damage with his claws and will hurl himself through the air towards the player.
  • Apocalypse - Overhand smashes the ground surrounding the area as the player scurries to flip the switches that open the door to the final part. After being subdued with the super weapon and shrunk down to normal size, he's susceptible to normal weapon fire and can be quickly dispatched via rocket fire.
  • Mister Sinister - Initially taunts the player through the final two levels and quickly disappears if shot. During the final showdown, he's invincible until hit by the super weapon, after which he teleports around the area and shoots at the player.

Weapons

As a cyborg of Magneto's design, you are fully capable of morphing your metallic hands into any of the possible weapons at any time with the sole exception being the special super weapon that must be pieced together throughout the episodes. The only limitation to weapon usage is ammunition availability. Power Fist
  • Shotgun - Fires two rapid shots before pausing to reload.
  • Machine Gun - Shares ammunition with the shotgun but fires at a high rate of speed, gradually decreasing as it heats up. Quickly expends the limited amount of ammo.
  • Plasma Gun - Shoots the same fire ammo as the flamethrower, but in concentrated balls. Moderate rate of fire and high ammo capacity make it one of the more effective weapons throughout the game.
  • Flamethrower - Extends a flame a short distance, expending a huge amount of ammunition in the process. Extremely ineffective overall.
  • Orb Launcher - Similar to the typical grenade launcher, but the shots it fires bounce around far more and take longer to detonate.
  • Missile Launcher - Fires two heat seeking missiles at the enemy. Can drop most enemies in 2 direct hits.
  • Nuclear Energy Radiation Dispatcher -A quickly charging ball of energy that burns the flesh off of the enemies that it hits.
  • Super Weapon - Built out of parts scattered throughout the episode, the super weapon's sole purpose is to render the end of episode bosses vulnerable to normal weapon fire.

Items

A majority of the new items introduced in the expansion pack function identically to their counterparts in the original Quake game, the only differences being purely cosmetic. The one truly new item allows the player to fire at a higher rate of fire for a short period of time.

Music

The soundtrack was composed of music by techno/industrial group " Method of the W.O.R.M." and was not made available in the freeware distribution of the expansion pack.

Reception

Ravages of Apocalypse was met mostly lukewarm reviews. Gamespot reviewer Jeff Swearingen levied harsh criticism against weapon design decisions and game difficulty ( link). Adrenaline Vault reviewer Brian Pipa concluded that, "It's not bad...it just didn't hold my interest" ( link) while Computer Games Magazine stated, "At once a repetitive shoot-em-up and a surreal, dramatic assault on the senses, X-Men is exactly what you'd expect from Quake - and therein lies its problem".

The most positive review came from Eidolon Gamer's Society, who praised the graphics as "very impressive", the level design for it's "comic book feel", and the various weapon effects that can occur depending on the enemy.  They concluded their review with, "Simply put, X-Men The Ravages of Apocalypse is an excellent Total Conversion of Quake. It may not appeal to the hardcore Quake player as much as the Malice TC or Activision's two expansion packs, but it does a splendid job of using the Marvel license in creating a very fun and enjoyable game" ( link).

Derivative Projects

Due to the large number of QuakeC bugs in the original game, it was not compatible modern Quake engines. Upon release of the official source code, LordHavok created a patch solving these issues, making it playable in his engine, "Darkplaces" and most likely other engines as well. 

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