Update 2.1 has been released for 5 years now and it's no surprise that many great levels made during this period have greatly impacted this game's legacy. Sadly, many of these great creations are unknown to the wider GD community. Levels like this always pique my interest and it will be my pleasure today to dig deep into one such level, Arcane by qMystic and more. Please sit back and enjoy the tale of this great level as I delve deep into its rich history.
To tell the full story of Arcane, we must travel back to April 20, 2019. Our focus is on a very unknown creator by the name of qMystic who had just showcased a short preview of Arcane. This small part, made by none other than qMystic himself, would be completely scrapped in the final product.
In the meanwhile though, qMystic would go on to enlist creators to create parts of the level, thus turning Arcane into a megacollab. 5 months later, the final layout would be premiered on qMystic's YouTube channel. Creators like Pieck, Sm1nT, Asu, and many more would create parts in the layout.
Despite the title, this layout would undergo major changes and is very different from the Arcane we know today. A month later, qMystic would premiere another Arcane layout but with some minor gameplay changes. Still, this version of Arcane would not even be close to what the final gameplay looks like today. In the early months of 2020, qMystic would enlist other gameplay creators and decorators to begin the final layout we know today.
He showcased the finished parts one by one on his YouTube channel and the level began to get some attention. Finally, on July 23, 2020, the awaited and finally decorated level was previewed on qMystic's channel. Though not all parts would be kept, progress was made and the level was looking amazing.
The level was centered around an old hell theme but with modern and original decoration. The arcane symbols in many parts of the level are quite atmospheric and depictive of its name. The gameplay looked very fun and balanced and seemed like an insane demon. Things were looking up and all qMystic needed to do now was polish the level and find a verifier.
It wouldn't take long for qMystic to find a verifier as he came into contact with YakobNugget, a great player and creator who is most known for his "Legit Level Review" series. He verified it quickly, only taking 380 attempts and fluking the entire level from 8%. Despite being known for criticizing levels harshly, Yakob could not find anything wrong with Arcane, remarking that both the gameplay and decoration are very consistent and well made. He even gave it an enjoyment score of 10/10.
Arcane was soon uploaded to qMystic's account and was quickly epic rated. Many great players like Nexus would compliment the beautiful decoration and fun gameplay. Today, the level has around 70,000 downloads, which to me, should be monumentally higher. I hope this article can bring more attention to levels like Arcane and shed more light on developing creators like qMystic.