Quake is a sci-fi horror-fantasy first-person shooter developed by id and published by GT Interactive for MS-DOS and Windows PCs on July 23, 1996. The first episode was originally released by id as shareware on June 22, 1996.
The successor to id's 1993 game Doom, Quake puts players in the role of a lone unknown US soldier on Earth as he fights the mysterious and hostile extra-dimensional force codenamed "Quake". Through the use of an experimental teleportation technology (known as the "Slipgate") from overrun military bases, the protagonist must traverse through various dimensions across time and space (each filled with dark magic, hellish beings, and eldritch horrors) to acquire magic runes and take on the mastermind itself (which is revealed to be the elder god Shub-Niggurath). Along with its gritty atmosphere, the game is known for its atmospheric CD soundtrack by Trent Reznor (the front-man for the industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails).
The game expands on the 3D game engine used in Doom, bringing full-3D polygonal graphics and full-3D level design (rather than 2D blueprints) into the traditional first-person shooter genre. It had early support for hardware 3D acceleration through OpenGL, and is believed to be a catalyst for the modern GPU industry. It also adds features from similar games at the time (such as vertical camera tilting, manual jumping, swimming, and easier control customization). It is known for being one of the few games of its time to not include a dedicated key for activating (or "using") switches and other objects, instead having players bump into (or shoot) them.
It also expands on Doom's multiplayer component, allowing player customization while allowing players to manage connections from the game itself and adding support for the TCP/IP networking model for modern online multiplayer. An enhanced version of the game, known as "QuakeWorld", was released as a free update later that year that revamped the networking code, adding client-side prediction for higher-latency connections. It is one of the earliest examples of modern online multiplayer, and is believed to be a progenitor of eSports.
The game's engine also expands on the concept of modability by having all game logic separate from the main engine, allowing both licensed and hobbyist developers to use a built-in scripting language (known here as QuakeC) to change the core gameplay without needing access to the main game's source code. Along with some licensed products (such as Hexen II and X-Men: The Ravages of Apocalypse), numerous fan-made mods were developed using this engine, some of which were later expanded into successful franchises (such as the Team Fortress and Counter-Strike series). The game's complete source code was later released as open source on December 21, 1999 under the GNU General Public License, allowing for expanded source ports.
Along with two licensed "mission packs" (Scourge of Armagon by Hipnotic and Dissolution of Eternity by Rogue), the game received two official console ports (a Nintendo 64 version by Midway and a Sega Saturn version by Lobotomy) and two official computer ports (one for Linux and one for Mac OS). It later received a full-blown sequel, known as Quake II, that expands on the technological fidelity of the Quake engine while abandoning its fantasy theme for an unrelated sci-fi story. The game's engine was also used as the base for Valve's GoldSrc engine, which was used for the 1998 game Half-Life and spawned the Source engine series. The original Quake, as well as its expansions, were digitally released by id via Steam on May 31, 2007 (albeit without the original soundtrack).
In celebration of the game's 25th anniversary, the game received an enhanced digital update for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC (the last of which is distributed as a game update) on August 19, 2021. Created by Nightdive Studios and utilizing their KEX Engine, this version features modern graphical options (such as widescreen support and dynamic lighting), updated accessibility options (including UI and controls), and new multiplayer options (including online matchmaking, split-screen, and bots). Along with the original game, this version includes both mission packs and two bonus expansions by MachineGames ("Dimension of the Past", which was created for the game's 20th anniversary, and "Dimension of the Machine", which was created for this version). Similar to the enhanced 2019 update for Doom, this version includes curated mods (or "add-ons") that are optional, with the first being a recreation of the game's Nintendo 64 port.
Just like Doom before it, Quake is a fast-paced FPS with a linear progression of levels broken up into episodes. The objective of each level is simply to reach the exit, killing anything dangerous along the way. There are numerous obstructions to slow the player's progress, such as traps and locked doors which must be bypassed using buttons, keycards or keys.
Despite these additional considerations, however, Quake is almost entirely focused upon "run and gun" first-person action. After each level, the player is presented with level statistics showing their total completion time as well as the number of enemies killed and secrets discovered compared to the maximum.
Quake's four episodes can be tackled in any order, though there is an intended sequence. At the beginning of each episode, the player starts with only the Shotgun and the Axe, and weapons collected in each episode are not carried over to the next. Once the player has completed all four episodes and gathered the four magical runes within them, the pathway to Shub-Niggurath and the final confrontation is opened.
The weapons of Quake are a pretty straightforward affair, consisting almost entirely of point-and-shoot armaments with no alternate firing modes. In fact, the Grenade Launcher is the only ranged weapon in Quake that does not travel in a straight path toward its target. Despite this simplicity, or perhaps because of it, the Quake arsenal has become quite iconic, and the Rocket Launcher in particular is an object of affection for many Quake fans.
Super Nailgun (aka Perforator)While it fires at the same rate as the Nailgun, each round from the Super Nailgun is twice as powerful. It also consumes ammo twice as fast, meaning sustained fire will drain a full clip of two-hundred nails in just ten seconds! Nevertheless, when dangerous enemies are afoot, the expedient damage provided by the Super Nailgun is quite handy, as long as each round hits.
Lightning Gun (aka Thunderbolt)Causing more damage per second than any other weapon, the Lightning Gun is a weapon that, like the Nailguns, suffers only from its limited ammo availability. It can take down any single-player foe in no more than two seconds, and even fully armored multiplayer opponents cannot survive it for long. It does requires a larger degree of precision than the Rocket Launcher, however, and overall it is the less sought-after of the two. Discharging the Lightning Gun underwater will expend all the player's cells, killing anything in sight, including the player.
Quake items can be divided into two types: Health and Armor Pickups, which provide beneficial effects that are generally permanent, and Power-ups, which grant abilities in 30-second durations that are often extremely powerful. It is also worth mentioning that Quake marks the first appearance of Quad Damage, a power-up which would become synonymous with the Quake franchise.
Health & Armor Pickups
MegahealthMegahealth is the ultimate Quake health pickup, bestowing a full 100 hit points upon use which is capable of healing a player beyond the normal 100-point cap. While this is a powerful boon, it is also ultimately a temporary one, as any hit points in excess of 100 will gradually deteriorate over time. For this reason, it can be a good idea in single-player to pick it up when one's health is fairly low in order to avoid losing extra points.
Green ArmorThe most basic form of protection in the game, Green Armor provides 100 points of damage mitigation. Armor types in Quake not only come with different armor point totals, but also have varying degrees of damage absorption, which determines how quickly the armor is consumed. Green Armor absorbs 30% of all damage done to the player, meaning it has the slowest rate of consumption among Quake armor types.
BiosuitCertainly the least exciting of Quake's power-ups, the Biosuit functions as a temporary means of underwater breathing and protection against hazardous liquids (though this does not include lava). It can be prudent to scan the environment for possible underwater passages before grabbing one, as Biosuits are usually included in levels for good reason.
Pentagram of ProtectionSetting the player's armor value to 666 for the duration of its effect, the Pentagram offers the finest in demonic protection. Anyone under its power is completely immune to damage for thirty seconds, though curiously enough the Pentagram does not prevent the loss of armor points. While in effect, the player's screen is tinted a golden hue.
Ring of ShadowsA rather overt reference to Tolkien's One Ring, the Ring of Shadows bestows its wearer with near-complete invisibility. The only visible portion of a player under its influence is the eyes, though in practice it is only possible to make monsters aware of their presence by firing on them. The Ring is useful for setting ambushes in multiplayer, or bypassing enemies altogether in single-player.
The enemies of Quake are a diverse bunch, ranging from rather mundane undead soldiers, to hideous yeti monsters and bouncing blue blobs. The only unifying trait is that they are all thirsty for blood, and the fairly simplistic Quake AI will compel them to pursue the player's death with little or no regard to their own safety. As in Doom, most Quake monsters can be coaxed into infights with one another, and maximizing the chances of this is one of the best ways to soften the game's difficulty.
KnightAttacking quickly with a blood-soaked sword, the Knight does not possess a terribly large amount of hit points, but is often placed just out of sight in order to ambush a player upon entering a room. Like most melee foes, encountering them in the presence of ranged enemies can complicate matters. A good general strategy in this scenario is to fire at the ranged attacker while trying as much as possible to get the Knight caught in the crossfire. Knights will almost always lose in infight situations due to their meager hit points.
ScragThe Scrag is Quake's solitary aerial monster, and can be quite annoying, particularly on higher difficulties where it fires projectiles at a near-constant rate. If other enemies are present, a Scrag can be a major source of frustration. Nailguns are usually the weapon of choice when dealing with a Scrag, as it is often not possible to get close enough for a shotgun to be efficient, and explosive weapons are usually overkill with its low hit points.
SpawnOne of the rarest enemies in Quake, the Spawn is a peculiar amorphous blue blob that bounces around the environment, attacking by colliding with the player. It is most dangerous when killed, however, as a Spawn explodes violently upon death. For this reason, it is more important with a Spawn than with other creatures to time one's killing blow in order to be outside its blast radius. WIth enough skill, it is possible to use the Spawn's splash damage to injure other creatures.
FiendA truly frightening creature that can leap great distances in order to eviscerate its opponents, the Fiend is the strongest melee-only monster in the game. It can be a great threat when combined with ranged creatures or other Fiends, and its is particularly good at staying in the player's face until it is killed. For this reason, it is generally preferable to kill Fiends first unless a greater threat is present, which is unlikely in most scenarios.
The bosses of Quake represent the game's most overtly Lovecraftian influences, as the names of both appear to be allusions to the Cthulhu mythos. While their behavior is no more complicated than that of Quake's normal monsters, neither can be defeated by normal means, requiring a special task be performed in order to kill them.
|telefrags her. Perhaps not without coincidence, when viewed from the front Shub-Niggurath's tentacles seem to mimic the Quake logo.|
- Start: Introduction by John Romero
Episode 1: Dimension of the Doomed
The mystical past comes alive...
- E1M1: The Slipgate Complex by John Romero
- E1M2: Castle of the Damned by Tim Willits
- E1M3: The Necropolis by Tim Willits
- E1M4: The Grisly Grotto by Tim Willits
- E1M5: Gloom Keep by Tim Willits
- E1M6: The Door to Chthon by American McGee
- E1M7: The House of Chthon by American McGee
- E1M8: Ziggurat Vertigo* by American McGee
Episode 2: The Realm of Black Magic
Ancient castles and strange beasts ahead...
- E2M1: The Installation by John Romero
- E2M2: The Ogre Citadel by John Romero
- E2M3: The Crypt of Decay by John Romero
- E2M4: The Ebon Fortress by John Romero
- E2M5: The Wizard's Manse by John Romero
- E2M6: The Dismal Oubliette by John Romero
- E2M7: The Underearth* by Tim Willits
Episode 3: The Netherworld
Primal fear in a strange dimension...
- E3M1: Termination Central by John Romero
- E3M2: The Vaults of Zin by American McGee
- E3M3: The Tomb of Terror by American McGee
- E3M4: Satan's Dark Delight by American McGee
- E3M5: The Wind Tunnels by Tim Willits
- E3M6: Chambers of Torment by American McGee & Tim Willits
- E3M7: The Haunted Halls* by American McGee
Episode 4: The Elder World
Your worst nightmares come true...
- E4M1: The Sewage System by Tim Willits
- E4M2: The Tower of Despair by Sandy Petersen
- E4M3: The Elder God Shrine by Sandy Petersen
- E4M4: The Palace of Hate by Sandy Petersen
- E4M5: Hell's Atrium by Sandy Petersen
- E4M6: The Pain Maze by Sandy Petersen
- E4M7: Azure Agony by Sandy Petersen
- E4M8: The Nameless City* by Sandy Petersen
- End: Shub-Niggurath's Pit by John Romero
* indicates a secret level.
Quake was one of the first games to include a client-server model for multiplayer, rather than a peer-to-peer model. Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and full Cooperative modes were included at release. Quake actually included two multiplayer clients, and was one of the first games to include TCP/IP-based multiplayer that worked over the Internet. Unfortunately, the client that shipped with the game wasn't optimized for the high-latency and low-bandwidth of the dial-up connections common to the time.
The original Quake engine is commonly refereed to as "NetQuake".
About six months after Quake was released, id Software released an update, dubbed QuakeWorld, which utilized the UDP protocol and moved many tasks that had previously run on the server side to the client. This allowed online games consisting of 32 or more players to take place between players on dialup with relatively low latency. Tournaments all over the world still include Quake in their playlists, but most first-person shooters have since moved away from the unyielding speed and lethality of the original Quake.
Quake has more realistic physics than Doom, but they are more vulnerable to abuse. Tactics such as bunny hopping and rocket jumping originated in Quake multiplayer. Skilled players can abuse Quake's physics to move faster than normal, and obstacles can often be bypassed effortlessly. These physics have been implemented as a feature in some modern mods, including Fortress Forever and Garry's Mod.
- DM1: Place of Two Deaths by Tim Willits
- DM2: Claustrophobopolis by American McGee
- DM3: The Abandoned Base by John Romero
- DM4: The Bad Place by American McGee
- DM5: The Cistern by Tim Willits
- DM6: The Dark Zone by Tim Willits
Quake had an active mapping scene which spawned two maps that are widely regarded as some of the best competitive Quake has to offer. They are played in almost every QuakeWorld, Quake III Arena and Quake Live tournament and have been ported to several other Arena style FPS.
- Aerowalk by Mattias "Preacher" Konradsson
- Blood run (ztndm3) by Sten "ztn" Uusvali
Like id Software's previous title, Doom, Quake had a very active modding scene, which was supported by id with the release of SDK's, level editors and exhaustive information about the game's file system and the built-in scripting language QuakeC. These ranged from sound, model or texture replacements, additional levels, to total conversions, changing the core gameplay.
Some of the earliest mods were Quake Rally, which turned Quake into a racing game with rather detailed vehicle physics for the era, and AirQuake, turning it into a third person multiplayer dogfighting game, with a large selection of real world jets.
Other mods include:
- Painkeep (featuring new maps & weapons, including exploding shells & the chain lightening gun)
- Runequake (a serverside mod for multiplayer which gives players new abilities based on the runes they pick up)
- Slide (a hoverboard racing game)
- Kickflip Quake (a skateboarding game)
- Giana Sisters (a 2D platformer based on a Mario ripoff)
- Reaper Bot (Possibly the first bot ever made for a multiplayer FPS)
One of Quake's most popular mods was Team Fortress, which was released in 1997 and turned it into a class, team and objective based multiplayer game. This spawned similar mods for other games and resulted in Valve acquiring the developers, having them create Team Fortress Classic for Half-life and later Team Fortress 2. The map 2forts has been one of the popular ever since the original mods release, and remains one of the most popular maps in Team Fortress 2.
Quake led to numerous sweeping trends in gaming, even beyond the FPS genre. Arguably the origin of machinima, the Quake engine would be used to create films such as Blahbalicious and The Seal of Nehahra, movies which often had little or nothing to do with the game itself. As well, Quake multiplayer became one of the first competitive games to be treated as an eSport, with skilled players such as Dennis "Thresh" Fong and Johnathan "Fatal1ty" Wendel becoming gaming celebrities in Quake's limelight. Beyond the game's multiplayer, Quake's base campaign attracted an early and prominent speed running community, paving the way for sites such as Speed Demos Archive.
The engine would later be licensed for use in various other products, such as Hexen II and X-Men: The Ravages of Apocalypse, in addition to providing the foundation for the Quake II engine. While developing Half-Life, Valve Corporation licensed Quake's engine, which they later repurposed into the GoldSRC engine, itself the basis for the Source Engine. Similarly, a number of Valve's franchises can be traced directly to popular Quake multiplayer modifications, including Counter-Strike (created by the developers of the Navy Seals Quake mod) and Team Fortress (an adaptation of the Quake Team Fortress mod.)
The website Speed Demos Archive is the headquarters of Quake speedruns and speedrunners alike. The website has an extremely large library of quake speedruns of all kinds, and it was formally exclusive to Quake speedruns before later expanding to other games. However, Quake speedrunning is still a big part of Speed Demos Archive and has its own massive section on the website. The section contains Quake speedrunning news as well as information on rules, contests, runners, contests, projects, and more.
The website also features a section called "demos" which contains all the quake speedruns. The main runs are split up into three main categories: any%, 100%, and cooperative. The runs themselves are split up into several sub-sections including id Levels, Hipnotic Levels, Rogue Levels, Custom Episodes, and Custom Levels. The first 3 sections are for official levels created by the developer and the last two are for user created levels. Within each section is a list of all the levels featured in that section. The Cooperative section has different sub-sections: Easy Runs, Easy 100%, Nightmare Runs, Nightmare 100%, and Mad Coops (3 player runs).
What is shown next to each level depends on the category. For example, in the "Run" (any%) category next to the levels name is the current easy any% record followed by the record holders name and next to that is the nightmare any% record followed by that record holders name. If the 100% section was chosen the any% best times would be replaced by the 100% best times. The Cooperative section works differently, if the "Easy Run" sub-section was chosen it shows record time for an easy 2 player coop run followed by the name of the runner. If Easy 100% was chosen it would be the same except the any% record time would be changed for the 100% coop record time and so on and so forth.
Clicking on the link for a level provides further information that includes record time progression for easy any% run, easy 100% time, nightmare any% run, and nightmare 100% run in that order. Single player runs are shown first followed by multiplayer runs. The multiplayer runs can range from anywhere from 2 to 7 players, some levels have multiple multiplayer runs while others have none.
There is a special fourth category titled "Marathon Demos". This section features single segment runs of whole episodes or the entire game/expansion pack. These runs are also have seperate categories for easy any%, easy 100%, Nightmare any%, and Nightmare 100%. In addition to this, the section also has cooperative runs and record time progression.
Though Quake is not a particularly story-driven game, the manual provides a basic setup for the events that transpire, which is noticeably similar to the backstory for the first Doom. While developing teleportation devices known as slipgates, a covert organization, presumably under the jurisdiction of the US military, makes contact with a hostile extra-dimensional being, codenamed Quake. Quake begins using Earth's own technology against it, teleporting his death squads deep inside the human installations which house the slipgates, leading to untold carnage and destruction. Fearing that the situation will soon become untenable, a commander involved in the project contacts the protagonist of Quake, an unnamed though highly skilled operative.
Finding himself drafted into Operation Counterstrike, the protagonist is tasked with finding and stopping Quake by any means necessary. Not long thereafter, the installation is attacked, and the unknown soldier is left as the sole surviving member of Operation Counterstrike. He immediately resolves to seek out Quake on his own...
Very little narrative is provided in-game, save for a few congratulatory sentences when a player finishes an episode. After gathering the four runes necessary to unlock the game's final confrontation, Quake is revealed to be Shub-Niggurath, a Lovecraftian elder god that exists as a massive faceless entity of flesh and writhing tentaces. The being is seemingly impervious to all damage, though the nameless soldier is able to defeat her by unorthodox means.
Quake's original score was written and performed by Trent Reznor (credited as "Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails"); Reznor was also credited with creating the sound effects for the game. Trent was apparently a big fan of the original Doom games, which led to his collaboration with id Software on the soundtrack for Quake. As an in-game nod to him, the Nine Inch Nails logo appears on all of the game's nailgun ammunition boxes.
The following tracklist shows the song titles as provided by official id Software sources.
|Track No.||Title||Running Time|
|01||[data track] *||---|
|04||Start / Whispers||08.22|
|08||Castle of the Damned||05.38|
* The first "track" on the disc actually contains the game's data files.
Minimum System Requirements
- Operating System: MS-DOS 5.0 or higher (or Windows 95)
- CPU: 75 MHz Processor or better (math coprocessor required)
- Memory: 8 MB RAM (16 MB for Windows 95)
- Display: VGA compatible display or better
- Hard Drive Space: 80 MB disk space (40 MB for shareware)
- CD-ROM Drive: Double-speed (300k/sec. sustained transfer rate)
- CPU: 68020 + FPU (68060 recommended)
- Memory: 8 MB RAM
- Graphics Chipset: AGA, CGFX or Picasso 96 GFX board
- Hard Drive Space: 60MB
- In the episode selection level, head up the stairs to the right to episode 4.
- While submerged in the water, the player needs to move back towards the direction of the stairs until their back hits the wall and allow themselves to fall through.
- The player should have landed on a wooden platform and they should see a doorway to their left.
- The path leads to the nightmare difficulty portal.
Dopefish can be found in E2M3: the Crypt of Decay.
Playing Quake on modern systems
Since the Quake code is open source, there are plenty of ways to play Quake on modern hardware and operating systems.
- Darkplaces - Focuses on graphical enhancements.
- Quakespasm - Faithful engine that fixes bugs and removes engine limitations, many community made maps and mods are based on this port.
- NuQuake - Faithful port to the Dreamcast with hardware accelerated rendering, VMU support and CDDA music.
- VitaQuake - Port to the PlayStation Vita with features taken from other engines to support modern mods.
- EZQuake - Highly customizable with many new features, designed for competitive play.
- FTEQW - Engine with a strong focus on adding feature and format support, plus network features such as VOIP and P2P multiplayer.
- nQuake - All-in-one multiplayer package with EZQuake that includes many popular maps, mods, tutorials and tools.
Pro tip: This guide on Quaddicted explains how to get pixelated visuals.