Don’t you just
Your e-wives will cheat and
your friends won’t stay true
But Neden-2 will always be there,
It is for me, it is for you.
So play, play it now!
– By me
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to what I have come to address as a small homage to one of the greatest S4 maps ever made: Neden-2. “N2” was my very first S4 map and may very well be my last, if the opportunity presents itself one day to uninstall S4 once and for all. Now, there are two ways to convince you of the wonders behind this glorious piece of code. The first involves me posting a screenshot and telling you that you’d better fucking like it, essentially just forcing my opinion on you. Since that would not be beneficial with regards to our reader count I instead will opt for the second method. For that, I need to introduce you to the concept of magic. Yes, you heard it correctly: magic. It exists. It is closer than you think. It is right here, in S4.
Look what playing too much S4 does to people.. yes, yes, I know. But before the whitecoats come to get me, I want to clarify that magic in S4 more specifically comes in the form of Neden-2; how can you otherwise account for this map causing people to return to the game when all seemed lost, raising their spirits, and reminding them of the good ‘ol days long past — all while providing them a good match at the same time?
Neden-2 is all this and so much more. Neden-2 is everything. Neden-2 is love.
..Neden-2 is LIFE!
Let us start with some context. Neden-2 or N2 is the second of the Neden maps for the Deathmatch mode. While the setting is still that of a warehouse site somewhere in the outskirts of Neden, the virtual “S4 city” (it can actually be seen in the background/bottom of this map), it is set in a completely different location and takes place during a completely different time compared to its predecessor. The sun is now setting (which always conveys a magic touch or idyllic sentiment somehow), the sewers are stinking waiting for you to crawl and slouch through them, and DJ Max is playing his legendary Fuzzy Control to get you revved up for a fun match. All the factors are there.
Myself, I have fond memories of playing this map when I was still a rookie, somewhere around patch ~14. You technically just walked around (not running at Usain Bolt speeds (AP users), meteor speeds (hackers) or teleporting (laggers) like in the present day) and simply enjoyed the map. Some shooting here, some slashing there. You’d check the crates on the sides to see if someone was taking the ‘sneaky’ route and, if they did, you’d go meet them together with your bros tell them they’d gonna need more than that up in here boi in a nice if not slightly cliché ghetto dialect before giving them a treatment that later coined the term “backalley job” and simultaneously caused them to educate their kids to never go into alleys alone.
Somewhere down this road of bliss and joy people discover Mind Energy, people discovering sniping and people discovered smash rifles. What followed (and still follows, on the rare occasions that the map is still played in the present) was endless camping fight that caused the map to quickly lose its popularity as it made a name for itself as a “camper’s map”. Later on, though, all DM maps fell under the Mind Energy curse and the entire mode itself became known as the “camper’s mode”. Crisis averted.
Despite these and other minor setbacks, it is good to know that the ever-loyal S4 community, never the ones to change long-standing traditions on a whim like a bunch of opportunists, maintained faith in this excellent map. This is still evident in the present day, as I encounter Neden-2 rooms so often that I can’t take a step without tripping over them. Don’t believe me? Here, let me just go into the lobby and prove it to you:
Alright so, apparently Neden-2 is not as popular anymore. Why it isn’t is beyond me. It is the map that re-defined the concept of camping. The map that gave us a plethora of new insults to throw at healers and snipers alike. It is a map that carries the reminiscent scent of a past long gone. A past where you only had to worry about players with fumbi gear instead of forcepack homing weapons, hovering gunblade boots, hovering gunblade weapons and whatever else was just blatantly stolen from Final Fantasy and other series.
The question is as follows: is there still a use for Neden-2 in the present S4, where weapons such as Mind Energy get buffed because they are too weak (??) and there apparently are no other maps besides Square? Is there? Yes, there is!
..Okay, N2 is in an even worse state than I expected. Perhaps it is time to re-awaken some dormant passion for the map. For starters, let it be known that the map can be played in a number of ways. It lends itself to sniping, camping, sneaky assaults, forward assaults and situations ranging from simple 1v1 hero carnage to
brutal gangbangs multi-man efforts. Rush into the warehouse. Spray and pray. Will you run up the stairs, or fall back while providing suppression fire for allies? On the other team, an alert player sees enemies coming up fast and rushes to the top entrance of the warehouse. Blast them away with a Revolver before they can pass through. Down with those dogs. Jump back down. Shoot, shoot, shoot those faggots coming in from below. Quickly check the alley. Make that one player regret it. All while not having a moment to relax, as you are caught in an everlasting moment of perfect ecstasy.
I think part of the appeal behind Neden-2 is that it is one of the few maps where you can still enjoy the ‘thrill of the hunt’ so to speak. It is no perfectly symmetrical map, but it is balanced. There are no generic open areas or squares. What awaits you atop those stairs? What is hiding behind that wall? As you make your way at maximum speed, as the objects flash past your eyes, you realize that you may be running towards your own death. But boy, how fun it is. How good it feels! To just go out with a bang as you rush towards the distant sunset.
If all that isn’t enough, there are also some things that you can do on Neden-2 — only on Neden-2 as well. For one, you can pretend you are Duke “You’re an inspiration for birth-control!” Nukem (Dual Magnums included). While your unsuspecting enemies are fidgeting around below, bust that roof and drop down guns a blazin’, shooting and firing up the place around you.
Neden-2. You have S4 maps, you have DM maps, and you have Neden-2. Perhaps it is because of nostalgia, perhaps because of player sentiment. But regardless of whether any or none of these appeal to you, just try the map out sometime. No heals preferred. Perhaps, the magic of Neden-2 will then come to you as well.
Until the next time.