Game

Quake

The follow-up to id's 1993 game Doom, and one of the earliest first-person shooters to make full use of 3D polygonal graphics and level design. Featuring a dark and gritty atmosphere inspired by gothic and Lovecraftian fiction, players traverse numerous dimensions in an attempt to stop the invasion of eldritch forces led by the mysterious "Quake".

Overview

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.

Gameplay

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.

Weapons

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.

Axe

One of Quake's two starting weapons, the Axe is the only melee weapon available, and is generally cannot be recommended unless there are no alternatives. Since almost all enemies possess ranged weaponry, getting close enough without taking damage is tricky. Even if one can close the distance safely, very few enemies are without a melee attack of their own, so there is no immediate advantage in most situations to bringing out the Axe.

Shotgun

The Shotgun, Quake's second starting weapon, presents a much more attractive alternative to the Axe, though it is only marginally more powerful. Firing six pellets at a time at a fairly steady rate, weaker enemies like the Grunt go down very quickly to the Shotgun, though it won't be long before heavier weapons are required. It has a much tighter spread than the Super Shotgun, making it the preferred weapon of the two when enemies are at medium to long range.

Super Shotgun (aka Double Barreled Shotgun)

Firing fourteen pellets to the Shotgun's six, the Super Shotgun not only deals a greater amount of damage per shot, but is also more efficient in terms of damage per shell. The trade-off comes in its range, as outside of close combat it is very unlikely that all pellets will hit. Still, closing the distance in order to maximize damage is often worthwhile. Many creature will perish under only a few volleys from the Super Shotgun, and shells are generally plentiful, making the SSG consistently useful.

Nailgun

Capable of firing a steady stream of nails from its double barrels, the Nailgun is an accurate medium-damage weapon held back somewhat by the relative paucity of nail ammunition in the game. It is also less useful against extremely powerful enemies, as there are generally better options that don't require constant line-of-sight. The Nailgun can expend a full load in just twenty seconds.

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.

Grenade Launcher

Fires a grenade in an arc that will either explode on contact with an enemy or detonate automatically after a few seconds. The simplicity of Quake's AI makes it a fairly simple matter to lay traps for enemies, and aside from having to account for the trajectory, it is just as useful as the Rocket Launcher. Though not as easy as rocket jumping, it is possible to perform grenade-assisted jumps in order to jump higher or increase one's speed.

Rocket Launcher

The go-to weapon for both single-player and multiplayer, the Quake Rocket Launcher deals massive damage with its easy-to-aim explosive projectile and generous splash damage. In addition to its utility as a weapon, the Rocket Launcher became a popular means of assisted mobility in multiplayer and during speed runs, as "rocket jumping" allows players to launch themselves in almost any direction at incredible speeds.

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.

Items

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

Health Packs

The most readily available method of vitality recovery in Quake, Health Packs come in two varieties, which heal either 15 or 25 hit points. The two types can be easily differentiated from one another on sight due to the fact that the more powerful of them is much more brightly colored. Neither will heal the player past 100 hit points.

Megahealth

Megahealth 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 Armor

The 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.

Yellow Armor

Yellow Armor provides 50 additional armor points over standard Green Armor (bringing the total to 150), but more importantly doubles the damage absorption rate to 60%. It is the most balanced of the three armor types, offering greater damage protection than Green Armor with slower consumption than Red Armor.

Red Armor

The pinnacle of Quake damage protection, Red Armor provides 200 armor points and an 80% absorption rate, which is enough to survive several direct hits from the Rocket Launcher. This superior mitigation comes with a cost, however, as Red Armor points are consumed at a much higher rate than other armor types.

Power-ups

Biosuit

Certainly 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 Protection

Setting 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.

Quad Damage

True to its name, Quad Damage amplifies the strength of all attacks four times over, making even the lowly shotgun a weapon to be feared. Splash damage is particularly important to be aware of while using Quad Damage, as it is relatively easy to die suicidally by standing too close to the blast radius of a rocket or grenade.

Ring of Shadows

A 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.

Enemies

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.

Rottweiler

Seemingly an undead guard dog, the Rottweiler is quick on its feet, but none too strong. With only its bite for offense, it presents very little threat on its own, but if the player is distracted by other enemies, it can cause serious harm. When multiple enemy types are encountered, it is generally advisable to take out any Rottweilers first. Rottweilers are base-exclusive enemies, meaning they are never seen beyond the first level in each episode.

Grunt

Low on both hit points and damage, the once human Grunt is the most basic bipedal threat in the realm of Quake. Two Shotgun blasts or a single round from the Super Shotgun is enough to take down a Grunt. To compensate for their general lack of punch, Grunts usually appear in groups where they can cause damage more quickly. The Grunt shotgun is also a hitscan weapon, meaning that it can only be dodged by breaking line-of-sight. Similar to the Rottweiler, the Grunt is considered a "base" enemy, and is not frequently found outside of the first level of each episode. Grunts drop a backpack with five shells when killed.

Enforcer

The toughest of Quake's "base" enemies, the Enforcer is a burlier version of the Grunt in possession of a heavy blaster. While technically superior to the Grunt, its blaster fire is easier to avoid than the Grunt's shotgun since it is not a hitscan weapon, and is always fired in predictable two-shot bursts. They possess more than twice the hit points of a Grunt however, meaning the Enforcer will have more opportunity to cause damage before it is killed. Enforcers drop cells for the Lightning Gun upon death, which is odd considering they usually appear long before the player has access to the gun.

Knight

Attacking 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.

Death Knight

A much meatier version of the Knight that improves on the original with several times the number of hit points and a ranged attack as well. While it is generally a very tough foe, their ranged fireball attack is also one of the most consistent sources of monster infighting in the game, as it fires several projectiles in a wide spread that can provoke several monsters at a time. Exploiting this property can make many fights much easier.

Rotfish

Quake's solitary aquatic enemy, the Rotfish contains no truly notable propensities. It simply swims toward the player in order to nibble away at their health. Most weapons, even the Axe, can handily deal with the Rotfish, though the Lightning Gun should be avoided for obvious reasons. Strangely enough, the Rotfish cannot be gibbed; this is also true of the Spawn, though in the case of that monster it can be explained by the fact that their death leaves no corpse.

Zombie

One of the more unique enemies in Quake, the Zombie can only be permanently killed if it is "gibbed," meaning enough damage must be done to literally tear it apart. This is easiest to accomplish with the Grenade or Rocket Launcher, though other weapons can achieve the same effect if Quad Damage is involved. If a Zombie is killed without being gibbed, it will fall to the ground where it is invulnerable for a few seconds, picking itself up to resume its attack shortly thereafter with with renewed hit points.

Scrag

The 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.

Ogre

Possessing a fair number of hit points and a dangerous grenade launcher and chainsaw combo, the Ogre is a staple enemy throughout most of the game. While its grenades can be troublesome, particularly when engaging other enemies, they have one fatal flaw: they cannot adjust for height. An Ogre will fire at the same trajectory regardless of the player's elevation, which renders it totally incapable of retaliating when attacked from above. Perhaps in a show of loyalty to its master, the Ogre has the Quake logo emblazoned across its chest.

Spawn

One 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.

Fiend

A 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.

Vore

The Vore is a horrific spideresque creature capable of hurling purple firepods that are quite adept at tracking their targets. Because of the difficulty associated with dodging these firepods, a Vore is usually priority one in any encounter that does not include Shamblers. Their biggest weakness is their speed. With a very deliberate movement speed, simply running away is an effective way of mitigating their threat, as Vores cannot match the player's movement speed.

Shambler

With powerful claws and a deadly lightning attack, the Shambler is the most frightening opponent in Quake. In addition to having the highest hit points of any normal creature, the Shambler takes only half damage from explosives, meaning the Super Nailgun or the Lightning Gun are the best ways to deal with it. Its lightning attack is essentially a hitscan weap