Asking a player to save and reload after completing a level creates a bad user experience, makes the game feel unpolished, and expects every player to be using a VMU.
My goal is to create a quality, polished release, and I want your engine to be the best that it can be.
I've played the game to completion on Makaqu and so I should be able to with nuQuake, but this is why it's important to make engine features optional wherever possible, as projects that wouldn't benefit from them could simply disable them via a config file.
Also, have you run the game on your Dreamcast from a CD? It's possible that at least some of the audio issues are limited to using burnt media.
And I did originally think about splitting up the larger levels to improve performance, but the levels would have to be decompiled as the original .map files were never released, and my brief experiments with this made it clear that it would involve a lot of unnecessary work.
Anyway, I've ordered a load of CD-Rs and will hook up the Elgato. I'll experiment with some of the different builds and get back to you with any feedback or suggestions.