Interview with Tom "ParadoX" Mustaine, Ritual Level Designer


Image courtesy of Ritual Entertainment

What was your all time favorite game?

For the longest time my favorite was a game called "Cliff Hanger" on the C64. It was a strange little game, you were a movie star named "Cliff Hanger" shooting scenes in which you were trying to capture the bandit "El'Bandito."

The gameplay was much like a Wile E. Coyote vs Roadrunner cartoon. You and your brother "Coat Hanger" would try to do just about everything imaginable to capture El'Bandito. Stuff like dropping 10ton weights on his head or rolling boulders in his direction. It was a lot of fun, strange, but fun :]

Can you describe your editing experience with this game?

Didn't do much Cliff Hanger editing unfortunately. Maybe a Cliff Hanger Sin-TC is in order though.

What's your favorite game now? Why?

At the moment I have a lot of favorites. Cliff Hanger still ranks up there high, Black Knight 2000, Doom, It Came from the Desert, Mule, GoldenEye, Legend of Zelda, Metal Gear Solid, Dragons Lair, Nuclear War, Warcraft, Hard Drivin, Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat II, Time Crisis, Shadow of the Beast, Who Dares Wins Who II, Quake, All the Sierra Adventure Games (pre VGA interface :] ), Prince of Persia, Choplifter, I could keep going, but there are just too many to mention! Why these games? Because most of them I have played the hell out of and if I were stuck on a desert island and had to choose from the list above I would have no problem playing any of those games until my rescue :]

Tell me about how you were first discovered in the "industry"?

Initially I slid my foot in the door by working on Master Levels and Final Doom for id. Although, my big break came when Billy and John mentioned my capabilities/availability to a group of guys getting ready to start up a company called Hipnotic Interactive. The rest is history.

What past projects have you worked on?

Here are most of my retail projects: Master Levels for Doom2, Final Doom, Hell2Pay for Doom2, Perditions Gate for Doom2,Scourge of Armagon, and Sin.

I also contributed things to a lot of cool freeware projects: Memento Mori, Icarus, Mountain King, HEU for Heretic, and Operation Bayshield.

Your nickname is ParadoX. Where in the world did this come from?

Good ol'PC/Amiga BBS days somewhere around age 14. On BBS's I went by the nickname Clock-Paradox. I chose that name because of interests I had in theoretical physics at the time. A Clock-Paradox is a phenomenon predicted by special relativity that states if a person carrying a clock were to travel away from an observer with a clock at the speed of light, when the traveler were to return the elapsed time on the clock would be less than that of the observers. Therefore the traveler would age less than the observer. I kept that nick for a long time, then came Dwango and IRC, which required me to knock off the "Clock" to fit within that 8 character limit. I've been ParadoX ever since. =]

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