No need for a theme this time, as I simply want to bring you something new. Actually new. There's still new stuff coming out for classic Mac; you know that, you've just recently seen the port of Wolfen Fatal Fuhrery in its two incarnations spanning 25 years. Let us have a look at two recent mods then, one of them being a demo published a short while ago on Macintosh Garden, the other one - a revision of an old scenario (also presented here) that to my knowledge was not widespread before this prost, uh, I mean post.
But first, MacenWolf 1.16. It's just another of those maintenance releases that keep happening whenever we learn of yet another little bug or detail of the original engine that I never thought even existed. This time, we're fixing a visual glitch introduced by accident in the previous update. Perhaps more meaningful is automap behavior. So far, MacenWolf has handled displaying doors on the automap in a way that was arguably more advanced than Mac Wolfenstein, but not faithful. The original automap behavior is now accurately reproduced, and you can in fact toggle between the two by playing with the Classic Player Set switch in the game's options. Thanks to Dermuda (of course) for pointing out these issues.
Download Second Encounter
Download Third Encounter
Download Second Encounter patch
Download Third Encounter patch
Now... October 2021 - a fitting time of release for what is called Oktoberbloodfest Demo, a new mod by JMC (the same person who brought you Wolfenstein Fatal Fuhrery). Gunther Koolman, a German military commander gone rogue, has been a great asset for the Allies for a while now, conducting deadly joint operations and generally wreaking havoc among his former comrades. Unfortunately, he was captured along with a multinational spec ops team of highly valuable and skilled agents. If you don't rescue them, the Nazis will literally drink their blood! Yes, that's where the name comes from. Your job is to attack the Wiesnstein Fortress, rescue the prisoners, and steal as much German gold and intel while you're at it.
While not a finished release, this Third Encounter mod (two floors long) still brings plenty of impressive new graphics to the table. Those are high quality and often delightfully tongue-in-cheek, as well as varied enough to ensure a large diversity of environments throughout the two maps. The first level presents a semi-realistic castle with a clearly festive atmosphere, while the second one is more of a cramped but extensive dungeon. Mapping is of high standard, with intricate, very detailed layouts; it also doesn't overwhelm you with hordes of enemies (though as a Mac fan you might actually expect it to)...
It's also worth noting that the scenario comes in three variants that differ in maps only, the differences being focused not so much on map design, as on compatibility with old Mac hardware. You see, apparently PowerMacs with G3 and G4 processors have stability issues with big and busy Wolf3D maps, so to deal with that problem we have the Sober, Tipsy and Drunk version of the scenario, which have few, many or all enemies being asleep (or in PC terms, deaf). According to JMC (who tested all three on actual old hardware), Tipsy is the best one to play but Drunk is the most stable on affected Mac computers. Of course, this is entirely irrelevant for MacenWolf, so just pick and play whatever sounds best for you. But if you're playing the original scenario on an old Mac - beware!
Unfortunately there is no ETA on the full version release at the moment, but whenever it comes, we can probably expect many more levels and new enemy graphics (currently all enemies in the game are vanilla). But there's already plenty to enjoy. Prost!
You can download the Mac files here:
And as our other dish, you get another release by Dermuda (again consulted with the author himself to ensure that everything is ported correctly and working as it should). Find the Secret Passage and its Redux variant are both single-level Third Encounter scenarios with a gimmick, making heavy use of custom graphics and certain "special effect" features of WolfEdit to create a puzzle in deceptive surroundings. As is the case with such mods, I should not and will not spoil too much; you can deduce enough via screenshots and the mod title itself already! You must remember, though, that the old version should be treated as a tech demo, as it was unfinished and barely tested at the time. Find the Secret Passage Redux is the proper release here, a recent revision bringing more features, better map design and more careful thought to the mod, and it's the one that should be given proper attention.
A minor note, but interesting nonetheless: notice that Dermuda is using a scenario specs template made all the way back in the nineties (I think) by Josh Mills. Over two decades later, I wonder if Josh is around to see that little creation of his still in common use...