Welcome to the sixth episode of "Mod on the Spot" - the series where we look back on the older Serious Sam Workshop mods which have had a great impact on our 7Smoke events, but also ones which haven't been relevant in a while - and this one is a little bit of both.
For this highlight, we look back on something that started out as a humble little Survival map, but quickly grew into its own huge thing and became a fairly frequent mod to play for events during 2014 and 2015. A mod that had its amount of content doubled through its updates in 2015 - and even got Campaign and Versus "spin-off" versions! Not only that, it's made by one of our oldest members - he has been around since the very first year. Re-introducing: Fatum's World by SeriousCsaba!
Released in 2014, Fatum's World started out as a "Survival map with an ending". The titular antagoinst, Fatum, voiced by Csaba's fellow citizen of Hungary SpyroGuy, has been ordered by Notorious Mental to trap you in his World. He's prepared some unique battlefields in which you must prove your worth against Mental's monsters: an island in the middle of the ocean, where a pirate ship has weighed anchor to plunder a treasure - the interior of a very familiar Grand Cathedral - and a barren grass field around a lone oak tree. But when Fatum runs out of energy to throw you into more of these worlds, you take the fight directly to him - your last objective is to destroy the crystals powering his world.
The twist of the map is that the order of these special battlefields is randomised, so you can always expect something else. What's more - it won't always be the same three battlefields. In 2015, Csaba released several updates for the mod adding in various new locales - in the summer of 2015, it was a Wild West town with clock tower and all - no duels, but one of Mental's warships is looming over head and you have to catch the steam train out of town before it reduces the town to rubble! At Halloween of the same year, it was a darkened graveyard, set at midnight - which was even "hyped up" a little with a set of video teasers. This one is definitely the most interesting and we'll talk about why that is in a minute. Finally, at Christmas, the final battlefield was an outdoors frozen lake, full with slippery physics and snowmobiles around the place. Keep an eye out for Fatum himself riding one of these! Actually, Fatum has cameo appearances on all six battlefields, if you look carefully...
Fatum's World events have always been special. There are few occasions where one Survival map can take up an entire event slot, but Csaba's magnum opus delivers as it is full of content and has a lot of ambience, especially after the updates, adding plentiful amounts of replay value. The very first event, on the mod's release day, was pretty nice - gathering a humble 16 players. We wouldn't have another Fatum event until next year, when the mod started getting its first updates - we even held a birthday event for Fatum on the mod's first anniversary, and played a certain unnamed toilet-related spin-off on the mod where we have made a conscious decision not to name it. Anyway, at the end of August we played the new Summer Update with overhauled graphics, a final boss that plays in an entirely new way and a new battlefield - the aforementioned Wild West town. This event once more attracted a humble 16 players.
But the one Fatum event none of us are ever going to forget is the one on Halloween 2015. I remember a discussion in the staff channel a few days prior, where we had a conflict of interest and wanted to host two events on the same day - Fatum's World with the Halloween Update, and the 7Smoke Chainsaw Massacre Second Encounter. At first we wanted to push the Fatum event to a day prior, but Csaba had a very good reason for wanting his event specifically on the 31st. Csaba has implemented a neat tiny little script into the map where the map changes along with two special seasons: Halloween and Christmas. On October 31st, some special "items" will appear around the battlefields - two arms, two legs, a head a body... you'd think we were putting someone together, Frankenstein style, but in this case it's more of a someone. Enter the Chubacabra. A running gag from Csaba has been to collect body parts of certain members (don't question it yet) and weld them together to create some sort of "ultimate lifeform". Now he's made it a living thing, and in this small event which preceded that night's main attraction, the Chainsaw Encounter TSE, we collected these body parts to awaken the Chubacabra in the cemetery map, triggering a long-winded boss battle. This is why the Halloween battlefield has such a notoriety - if only for the build up of it all, it was one of the greatest 7Smoke event moments we've had.
After that update, Fatum's content streak ended - we got one more extra battlefield, the frozen lake - in a Christmas Update, but that was it for any more maps. Although we did get a small Versus update for the map, surprisingly. An idea which Roy suggested a year before its actual addition - in which all the battlefields are interconnected by teleporters and you don't fight Fatum, but your own friends and enemies. Although Fatum is still around... but he's just kind of sitting around, observing from the sidelines. The Versus update event was our last major Fatum event, but the World has remained as one of our all-time favourite Survival maps. Perhaps even the favourite, simply because of the great moments it brought to us, despite the fact it's been some time since our last event. And even if it isn't, it's surely among the Survival maps most "historically important" to us. As for a Fusion port of the map - Csaba isn't working on one. Fusion can be a tricky thing sometimes, and there aren't any plans for bringing it to the latest collection of Serious Sam games. Maybe after Serious Sam 4, or maybe there just never will be any, period.
I'll close off this spotlight with a soundtrack from the map that introduced me to the great band Alestorm - actually, this mod has excellent music choice all-around, I can't believe I didn't talk about it earlier!