Good news: there's not a single First Encounter mapset on today's menu. It's all Third Encounter mapsets instead! Well, at least I believe so... Clubey says in every readme they're actually for the Second Encounter, but they were saved in the Third Encounter format in WolfEdit. A bit of a cognitive dissonance indeed, but I believe we can trust the files and go with the Third Encounter assumption safely. Richard Peck and Ian Brown bring us some fun stuff to do with Adolf (and another nice friend for good measure) in our free time, so let's delve in.
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But first I'm going to break the usual format of these posts and talk about Richard Peck for a moment, as four of today's sets are his. While I believe we've ported a mod or two of his in the past, he probably deserves a bit of a separate introduction. At the moment, Dermuda's master list of Mac mods shows Peck as having made an incredible 45-50 scenarios (depending how you count revisions), likely more than anyone else except perhaps Ian Brown if you count the latter's multiple single-map releases as separate mods. Clubey also calls Richard Peck one of the few remaining active scenario makers, although I'm not exactly sure at what point in time were these remarks made. Also according to Clubey, Richard Peck never uploaded his scenarios to the Internet himself, at least not before a certain time, but he did start sending his scenarios to Clubey eventually and that's how we can still enjoy some of them. Did he send all 50 though? I'm sure Dermuda knows more about their exact mode of distribution...
As a mapper, Richard Peck is an interesting beast. You might complain about square rooms and one-tile-wide passages, and indeed there's a bunch of those in some of his maps, but it's still a fairly minor part of the overall experience. Whenever possible, Richard does his best to mix things up and provide some variety with less or more unusual room shapes and designs, heavy decoration, or providing more than one victorious path through the level. Wall textures can also range from only one per map to a great variety. To see how different things can get, play maps 6 and 7 of Himler's Pleasant Experience in sequence. Then compare them both to Hitler's Labor Day Picnic. There's a good deal of creativity here, further enhanced by rewarding (if not outright necessary) secret areas.
Combat-wise, it should not be a surprise when I say you get plenty of guards and generally more than one boss per map to kill, emphasis often being put on deaf enemies so they won't necessarily storm you all at once. Clubey laments balance issues in his readme for Hitler Watches Law and Order and it's true that, at least in the first map, you get very little to work with and need to pull off some careful knife work to progress, but most of the time, any given map should host at least one generous secret area which will relieve your woes greatly, if maybe not quite completely. Health tends to be tight regardless though, so be careful.
One last remark. Richard Peck's maps often feature an oddity where he uses both regular and secret elevator switches, but the way he set things up, only the former will let you progress; the latter simply end the game. And there's no way to tell them apart without looking at the editor. I'm not going to tell you either, you will have to deal with this the way a real Mac player would: by saving and reloading. You do deserve a fair warning though, so here you are. Don't blame me...
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In Hitler Watches Law and Order by Richard Peck (8 maps for the Third Encounter), we join Adolf as he tops off his difficult day of playing Hearts of Iron IV by sitting back in a comfy chair and relaxing in front of his favourite TV series. Don't interrupt him, he does not appreciate that.
In Hitler's Broken Volkswagon by Richard Peck (7 maps for the Third Encounter), Adolf is annoyed as the car that was supposed to drive him through the streets of Warsaw in a victory parade gives up the ghost and there is no replacement anywhere in sight. Don't speak to him if you don't bring good news, lest you deepen his wrath.
In Hitler's Labor Day Picnic by Richard Peck (5 maps for the Third Encounter), Adolf wishes to enjoy May 1, one of his few days off, by having a picnic with Hermann. However, he soon discovers ants crawling all over what little food Hermann didn't already devour! His fury is righteous - I wouldn't come any closer if I were you.
In Himler's Pleasant Experience (sic) by Richard Peck (11 maps for the Third Encounter), finally we take a break from Uncle Adolf and join Hank Himler, a good American and son of industrious German immigrants, playing baseball with his sons and generally appreciating life. Careful though, he doesn't take kindly to strangers in his backyard.
And finally, in Hitler's WebSite by Ian Brown (1 map for the Third Encounter), there is NO WEBSITE and all the above storylines are also completely fabricated by yours truly, it's just the usual single, difficult map in trademark Ian Brown style. Come on, nobody needs storylines to play more Wolf. Just go download the games.