Zaphod's Estate (cs_estate) is a hostage rescue map featured in Counter-Strike. Due to numerous camping spots, enclosed hallways and rooms, and dark areas, it is one of the less popular hostage rescue maps.
This is a small map which takes place in an estate and the area surrounding it. There are only three hostages in this map, one on each floor of the estate. A sewer functions as an alternate route between the Counter-Terrorist spawn and the estate. The estate contains numerous windows which Terrorists can use for sniping. There is also an accessible balcony above the main entrance. CT Spawn contains a ladder which Counter-Terrorists can use to get on top of the street wall. At the back of the estate there is a ladder leading to a breakable wooden wall.
The idea for the map came to David Marsh when he was playing on a server he frequented. They had put the map Mansion into their rotation and after playing only one round, Marsh got fed up and decided that he would design a better-looking version of the map give it to the server operator to run instead of Mansion.
Initially, he set out to create a remake very faithful to the original but he was forced to abandon the idea of the fountain on the front yard due to performance issues. He had never intended for the map to become an official map, but still showed it to Jess Cliffe who happened to like the map so much that it was included in beta 6.5.
For beta 6.6 the map underwent some large changes in playability which included the addition of a back door and quite substantial changes to the upper floor of the mansion. In addition, some texture changes were made and the hostage rescue zone was moved from the front yard to the Counter-Terrorist spawn zone.
The final released update occurred with beta 7.0, where the map had been substantially optimized and the ability to switch lights on and off was added. Switchable lights were added to make the map more similar to Mansion and to encourage the use of Nightvision Goggles. The brightness of the outside area was also increased. A major change was also made to the sewer system to make it possible to escort hostages via this route and some additional detail was added to the inside area of the estate.
When the commercial release of Counter-Strike was looming, David Marsh had to replace all the textures used in the map to prepare it for the retail release. This was likely due to legal issues surrounding the origin of these textures. Marsh was pretty burned out with mapping at this point and had lost the original source files for the map in a computer accident. However, Patrick "Mojo" Krefting stepped in to lend a helping hand and rebuilt the whole map from scratch and Michael "MikeZilla" Neumann provided completely new textures for the map. In the end though, Estate would not be initially included in the retail version of the game and thus the beta 7.0 version of the map was kept in circulation.
Valve Software finally made the map part of the retail version of the game starting with Counter-Strike 1.4. They did not use the rebuilt map, opting for the beta 7.0 version of the map instead. This suggests that the legal issues surrounding the textures were somehow resolved.
- Like its predecessor, Mansion, the lights on the first and second floor can be switched off. The second floor lights can be switched off with the circuit box outside the building. The other switch, for switching off the lights on the first floor, is found in the basement by the stairs.
- Because of this, this is one of the few maps where the nightvision goggles may come in handy.
- There is a usable doorbell at the entrance of the mansion, which can be used to distract enemies.
- There is a secret room located near the basement. The only way to access it is to use free look in spectate mode or noclip.
- The painting "The Scream" by Norwegian painter Edvard Munch can be found between the two stairs on the main entrance.
- Next to the hostage of the ground floor, there is a red book on the table that reads "Terrs (Terrorists) are from MARS". Meanwhile, at the chair, a blue book displays "CT's are from VENUS". This may be a reference to the book Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus.
- There is a movable table at the main door. It can be moved to the door to block the entrance, or even moved to the outside of mansion. This table will not move back to initial position upon round restarts and will not respawn if it was destroyed.
- CS-Nation - Zaphod Beeblebrox Interview. Archived from the original on 2001-08-02.
- B-F Total Gaming Network - Zaphod Interview. Archived from the original on 2002-11-02.
- Zaphod Beeblebrox! - Half-Life: Counter-Strike Levels - Cs_Estate. Archived from the original on 2001-07-02.
- CS-Nation - News - New Estate