Mod on the Spot - Serious Christmas
By Mauritsio

Welcome to the third episode of "Mod on the Spot" - in which we believe the perfect time to talk about Christmas mods is right after Christmas. What, who's gonna stop me from doing this?

For this highlight, we're looking at a campaign which, for the longest time, is the only way we could celebrate Christmas in any form in the group - and by that I mean it's still the only original Christmas campaign on the BFE Workshop. I'm referring to Serious Christmas by noam 2000! If you were around the group during 2015, you probably know this map all too well.

Serious Christmas - A Christmas Themed Campaign came out during December of 2014 - a good week before Christmas and just a week behind the release of The Talos Principle. The campaign was made as a response to a Christmas-themed modding contest 7Smoke was hosting at the time - although participants were few and far between, noam 2000 was one of them and he set out to make a three-level campaign, fully snow-coated. Well, except for one of the levels. You'll travel out of your cozy cabin in the mountains to defeat the Evil Snowman who threatens Christmas - venturing into a cave made fully out of gingerbread (there's even gingerbread men as enemies!) and ending at a quaint village which hasn't even been decorated for the festivities! Seriously, where are all the lights? There's just one Christmas tree there! The climax will have you fight against the Evil Snowman himself in a battle with a rock remix of Carol of the Bells as the musical backdrop - you know, the remix used in that one Serious Sam trailer.

Of course, the group made sure to play this campaign as soon as possible - only a day after its initial release we had an event planned for it. You'll never guess how many people it got - the full sixteen! People were of course dying to have a go at this highly-anticipated campaign. And for good measure, we played it the next week afterwards (nowadays, people would get tired of so many events in a row!) - and that one got... actually, 15 players. Just one short of greatness! And if you thought that this map would only be played at Christmas, you'd be mistaken - since we missed all these Christmas-themed events so much, we even had an event in the middle of Summer, during July of 2015 just so we wouldn't miss out on that sweet winter goodness in the opposite season. We would continue to play the campaign in later years, up until 2017 - cementing itself a place as one of our most commonly revisited campaigns alongside the likes of the 7Smoke Tennis Campaigns and Exception; a yearly tradition.

Sadly we broke the tradition this year - so I thought I'd give it a little spotlight here as a belated Christmas gift. It deserves the praise, after all - it currently stands as the third most subscribed custom campaign on the BFE Workshop, behind Approaching Hell and Exception! It's not hard to see why - it has a lot of charm and no other campaign is quite so appropriate for the festivity around December, which is the #2 reason for its popularity. Now obviously, the #1 reason is the stellar voice acting - you'll never get a more memorable line as "Mmphmpmhpmhpmphpmh!", performed beautifully by [REDACTED]. I think, if you haven't already, you should play this mod just to listen to that sweet cure for tinnitus. It's a part of Noam's Fusion Map Ports on the Fusion Workshop here.
In all seriousness, one memory I have from this campaign is Noam struggling to decide which to focus on - making the first custom map ever for The Talos Principle, with its imminent release - or finishing this campaign in time for the holidays. I think the end choice did pay off.