So about a few months back, I was watching Giant Bomb do their then-frequent Thursday Night Throwdown, where they were playing the 1999 shooter classic Quake III Arena.
One of the hosts said “Remember when Interscope Records put out a Quake III map and models?” I was thinking such a thing did not exist and they were merely joking.
The map is called Chronic, and it’s a deathmatch map. Resembling a city block straight from the streets, it has cars, a few buildings, and loads of Eminem ads.
According to the readme, this particular map was made for Interscope Records as promotion for the then-unreleased Marshall Mathers LP. All around the map, there’s ads for the album, ads for a forthcoming tour of the duo, and even snippets of music from the then-upcoming album are strewn about.
The level was made by one Pete “MeatPak” Parisi, who made a series of maps for Quake III Arena that involved a meat theme. Outside of this project, Parisi would later go on to make games for Mondo Media, then later Ensemble Studios until it shut down not long after Halo Wars came out. Now he’s working on tech design in other places. His website proudly promoted this level, which you can see from this archive.org mirror here.
MeatPak alongside the design agency Fullerene Productions, which did a lot of web and flash-based content in the early days of the World Wide Web (Homepage no longer active, so here’s an archive.org mirror from 2002), they collaborated with Interscope Records to make this collaboration come to life. Which is pretty cool!
It’s not a flawless map, though. The bots can often get stuck in the phone booth “teleporters,” constantly walking back and forth between them until they’re killed, which seems like bad pathfinding. That doesn’t happen too often anyhow, and more likely you’d want to play this with friends, not bots.
Speaking of bots, the map comes with Eminem and Dr. Dre bots. Complete with unique text smack talk and player sound effects. The text responses are a little strange, as there’s a fair share of unnecessary underscores in a lot of the text. Presumably this was done to get around certain chat restrictions, but I’m not sure.
With the exception of the powerups on tall billboards that require rocket jumping, Chronic is a fairly flat plane with four buildings around it, with not many tall areas to take advantage of. It’s fairly easy for beginners, but for veterans it’s little more than a gimmick map to mess around in for a few minutes before going back to q3dm17.
Fair warning: the video is not a perfect indicator of the map itself. The sound glitched where the music track would play over itself and have this nasty-sounding overlap, which shouldn’t happen if you’re playing vanilla Quake III and not ioQuake3 like I was.
Other than that, it’s just a simple-ass Quake III multiplayer map. There’s not much else to say about this one. If you want to try the map out yourself, you can download it here (or this mirror). Quake III Arena is required to run it, and you can get it on Steam if you’re one of the few who never owned this classic multiplayer shooter.
Though, I can’t blame you if you haven’t played it, Unreal Tournament was the better one of the two arena shooters anyway.
(UPDATE 4/8/2019: Rewrote for clarity and added more images. 1/19/2022: Added more info about the designer of the map!)