In your tainted land, an unfathomable cosmic horror takes root. Monstrous abominations sow chaos and despair, while the Rune of Power, pulsating with forbidden energies, is stolen. To restore harmony and repel doom, you must drive back the eldritch creatures and reclaim the Rune of Power...

8 Singleplayer maps made for Copper (included). Co-op is available but untested. No multiplayer.


A beach with a small bridge and a boat

A bridge in a dark dungeon
A yellow armor atop a pedestal surrounded by lava. A blue key in the distance
A bridge leading to a giant mansion. A way atop a hill in the background
A yellow key in the middle of a deep room
Submitted by
Release date
Jul 8, 2023
First uploaded
Last update
4.70 star(s) 30 ratings

Latest updates

  1. 1.2

    Sealed tainted1 (bug introduced in 1.1. embarrasing!) Fixed a bunch of trims and visual quirks...
  2. Update to 1.1

    Fixed a progression bug in tainted7 (Thanks Maiden!) Added weapons available on previous map to...

Latest reviews

Man, I'm glad I didn't praise DragonsForLunch's CTSJ 2 map too much because every map here completely trounces it. It's a nigh-on perfect set of vanilla-minded maps that go hard on the twin tenets of interconnectedness and verticality, presented with a great sense of "just-right" aesthetics and enjoyably spicy combat. It starts great and gets better, peaking with a tremendous final map that's thematically and aesthetically impressive... and hella fun to play, too. And then there's the cute return to the start level, which I liked quite a lot.

Enemy composition is excellent, with the bigger fights requiring quick feet and reasonably snappy aim while juggling distant and up-close threats. My only real misgiving is how many of these fights rely on monster closets and slightly predictable Ogre use, but that's a minor issue that isn't severe enough to massively detract from the overall experience.

Really, really good stuff here. Highly recommended.

Played continuously on Nightmare with Ironwail 0.70. I usually shotgun start, but opted to play continuously as it seems that's what these maps were initially designed for.
Awesome episode with insanely good layouts and artistic direction. Every level is fun and beautifully crafted. An instant classic.
Insanely good combat layouts. Love the verticality and connectivity and sightlines. A delight.
I played this over the past week or so, and this was a fun episode! Just a bunch of solid, good quality Quake maps with great combat. Awesome work
Excellent episode. Also, thanks to Joel B for pointing out that you can return to the start map and explore after the end. I had completely missed that.
DFL has cranked out some polished, fun, and just really *playable* single-shot releases ... seeing this whole episode suddenly drop was a nice surprise, and I think it matched the bar he's set.

Everything in here is well-crafted. I think in the earlier maps the "designer's hand" might be a little too strongly felt when it comes to the combat and pathing, e.g. when a fight setup pushes you in a specific way and uses the same set of tricks/placements/mechanics from earlier fights. That's kind of a minor quibble though when it's still an excellent fight... and the latter maps open up and relax a bit in that regard.

Special props to tainted6 as an outstanding take on an "end map". I also enjoyed the denouement of going back to the start map to explore and look for collectibles... off the top of my head I can't think of another episode that's had a little treat like that, kind a post-credits scene almost. Neat touch.
Great approach to vanilla maps. Excellent job. I just don't understand why that crooked brick on the secret map explodes everything...
Excellent standard like Quake gameplay episode with interesting layouts and pretty fresh variety through out! Some maps are better but quality is quite similar with each anyways.

Only gripes I have with the episode are small texture issues here and there but I'm not looking that much for visuals. Gameplay is solid and fun. Maybe a bit too much monster closets as encounter designs but it was still all fun. You can use movement to "break" some maps with very nice shortcuts for speedruns.

Also triggering doors and systems from weapon pickups or powerups feels a bit off, its never a good feeling needing to progress by taking something. Thats just my preference.
Loved this, completed on Hard difficulty in 3 sittings.
A lot of tense fighting and great encounters with Copper definitely helping making combat more tight.
Really enjoyed the map design, deep atmosphere and the nice final map (home) touches, concluding a great episode.
Amusingly, in the second map I almost soft locked myself in the lava pit, having no ammo and very little health and having to go through the lift ogre and the 3 knights in the small room above the lift. Miraculously after many attempts and a bit of luck I could pass them without fighting and continue. Also, as denoted by another user, Fiend axing can eventually be a thing. Thanks to the author for making this fantastic maps.
Really cool episode. Play it. Now!
As for more details then the episode was growing on me. With every map I was more & more immersed and maps themselves at least to me felt more & more elaborate, lively, engaging. Some visual decisions are jaw-dropping - you will know it when you see it.
Encounters are very brutal. Twice harder then DOMA for example, while DOMA is twice harder than vanilla on its own. So Tainted Normal is like Hard-Hard of vanilla. But in general battles are fair, not hordish or something, no. Just brutal & challenging - multidirectional and most often combining hand-to-hand combat with ranged, so you have to move real fast and constantly - stop and you're dead 100%.
Anyway episode in general made in retro style, so it feels as quakey as possible. Very much recommended to all Quake fans