Friday, September 20, 2013

Left 4 Dead 2 Mod: Journey to Splash Mountain

This is exactly what it looks and sounds like.  Journey to Splash Mountain is a five level campaign mod lovingly created by Steam users Dives and SM Sith Lord created for Left 4 Dead 2 using Valve's Source Engine.  The campaign was posted to Steam's L4D2 Workshop on September 5th of this year.

For those of you not familiar with Splash Mountain, it's a water log ride in Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, CA.  You can tell from the amount and attention to detail that Dives really likes Disneyland.  There's a level of respect for the  park that you would only be able to find from someone who actually enjoys going.  It's not a campaign where you get to destroy Disneyland or defile it any more than the zombies have.  You can't shoot up standees of Mickey and friends and aside from the floral Mickey at the front gates, I don't recall seeing Mickey's head/face/silhouette anywhere else.  This must have been what the survivors in L4D2 felt when they arrived at Whispering Oaks.  

So let's get to the stats and details first.

Journey to Splash Mountain consists of five levels with the final level being similar to the last level of a lot of the main campaigns (Dead Center & The Passing).  On my first playthrough, I went through on Normal difficulty and it took me 1 hour 33 minutes with only dying once when I tried to see if I could swim across the river to Tom Sawyer's Island (you can't).  I was incapacitated twice and in the end we lost Francis as he was pulled up an inaccessible hill by a Smoker and we couldn't get to him to help him up.  And, it took a long time to figure out where the helicopter had landed.  

The levels themselves were very well paced and in classic L4D2 fashion, being pretty linear while never telling you where you had to go until you saw markings for the safe room.  When creating the campaign, Dives and SM Sith Lord don't come across as people who are trying to kill the players and inundate them with Tank after Tank after Witch.  There was one area that contained two witches who were pretty close together, but as that only happened once, it didn't bother me.  At least they weren't at Hard Rain frequency.  

Again, the entire campaign was a lot of fun.  I recognized most of the park that was accessible even though I haven't been to Disneyland since sometime around 2005 (I think).  There was enough detail that I didn't really question whether something should have been there or not.  Dives even uses music from the theme park in specific areas which helps create the perfect level of immersion.

Finally, for the person who has never been to Disneyland, the level should be just as fun as Dark Carnival, but without the clowns.

In closing, I just wanted to share some pictures I was able to take while avoiding horde after horde of infected.  I tried to not give away (too much) where the various levels go and what rides/attractions are featured although I had to include just one just because.  So be aware, pseudo-spoilers ahead.

Smart context for why you're even going to Disneyland.
Looking down Main Street.
Looking into the Penny Arcade.
The Congo Queen is the name of a real boat in the Jungle River Cruise.
The Bengal Barbecue is a mental staple for me when I think of Disneyland, although I've never eaten there.
The Cafe Orleans is my favorite place to eat in Disneyland.

Winter is Coming


  1. Hey, this reminds me, there's a crazy movie called 'Escape from Tomorrow' that was filmed entirely in Disney World. I don't know how they got around the licensing, but it's pretty cool/weird.

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