Quake: Wikis


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Developer(s) id Software
Midway Games (N64)
Lobotomy Software (SS)
Pulse Interactive (mobile)
Publisher(s) GT Interactive (PC)
PXL computers (Amiga)
MacSoft (Macintosh)
Midway Games (N64)
Sega (SS)
Pulse Interactive (mobile)
Macmillan Digital Publishing USA (Linux)
Activision/Valve Corporation (Steam)
Designer(s) John Romero (lead designer), American McGee, Sandy Petersen, Tim Willits
Programmer(s) John Carmack
Engine Quake engine
Slavedriver engine (SS)
Version 1.08 (DOS)
1.09 (WinQuake)
1.09/0.98 (GLQuake)
Platform(s) Amiga, Falcon, IRIX, Macintosh, PC (DOS, Linux, Windows), N64, OS/2, Risc PC, Saturn, Solaris, Windows Mobile, Zeebo, source ports to additional platforms
Release date(s) NA June 22, 1996
Genre(s) FPS
Mode(s) Single-player
Rating(s) ESRB: M
BBFC: 15
USK: 18
Media Compact disc (1), download, cartridge
System requirements 66 MHz Processor
80 MB Hard disk space
1 MB Graphics card
IRIX 5.3 / Linux 1.3.88 / MS-DOS 5.0 / Solaris 2.5.1 / Windows 95
Input methods Keyboard, mouse, joystick

Quake is a first-person shooter video game that was released by id Software on June 22, 1996. It was the first game in the popular Quake series of video games.

Quake was released just as the Internet was reaching maturity, and much of its popularity arose because it was one of the few games of its kind playable over the internet rather than just a local network.



A preview included with id's very first release, 1990's Commander Keen, advertised a game entitled The Fight for Justice as a follow-up to the Keen trilogy. It would feature a character named Quake, "the strongest, most dangerous person on the continent", armed with thunderbolts and a "Ring of Regeneration." Conceived as a VGA full-color side-scrolling RPG, The Fight for Justice was never released.

Pre-release and QTest

Quake was given as a title to the game that id Software was working on shortly after the release of Doom II. The earliest information released described Quake as focusing on a Thor-like character who wields a giant hammer, and is able to knock away enemies by throwing the hammer (complete with real-time inverse kinematics). At the start, the levels were supposed to be designed in an Aztec style, but the choice was dropped some months into the project. Early screenshots then showed medieval environments and dragons. The plan was for the game to have more RPG-style elements. However, work was very slow on the engine, since John Carmack, the main programmer of Quake, was not only developing a full 3D engine, but also a TCP/IP networking model. (Carmack later said that he should have done two separate projects which developed those things.) Eventually, the whole id team began to think that the original concept may not have been as wise a choice as they first believed. Thus, the final game was very stripped down from its original intentions, and instead featured gameplay similar to Doom and its sequel, although levels and enemies were closer to medieval RPG style rather than science-fiction. Praised throughout the gaming community, it quickly dethroned previous FPS titles and revolutionized the way multiplayer games were developed.

Before the release of the game or the demo of the game, id software released QTest on February 24, 1996. It was described as a technology demo and was limited to three multiplayer maps. There was no single player support and some of the gameplay and graphics were unfinished or different from their final versions (notably the boxes of nails, then called flechettes, displayed the NIN logo). Nevertheless, the game's multiplayer support caused Quake servers to spring up everywhere overnight. QTest also gave gamers their first peek into the filesystem and modifiability of the Quake engine, and many entity mods (that placed monsters in the otherwise empty multiplayer maps) and custom player skins began appearing online before the full game was even released.


Quake was programmed by John Carmack, Michael Abrash and John Cash. The level and scenarios were designed by American McGee, Sandy Petersen, John Romero and Tim Willits. The graphics were designed by Adrian Carmack, Kevin Cloud. Music and sound design was by Trent Reznor.

Family Tree of Quake engines
Quake family tree, showing games and engines based on id Tech 2

The game engine developed for Quake, the Quake engine, popularized several major advances in the 3D game genre: polygonal models instead of prerendered sprites; full 3D level design instead of a 2.5D map; prerendered lightmaps; and allowing end users to partially program the game (in this case with QuakeC), which popularized fan-created modifications (mods).


Quake has two fundamental modes of gameplay: single player and multiplayer.

Single Player

In single-player mode, players explore and navigate to the exit of each level, facing many challenging monsters and a few secret areas along the way. Usually there are buttons to press or keys to collect in order to open doors before the exit can be reached. Once reaching the exit, the game takes the player to the next level.

Before the start level, there is a set of three pathways with easy, medium, and hard skill levels; in order to reach the Nightmare skill level (described in the game manual as "so bad that it was hidden, so people won't wander in by accident"[1]), the player must drop through the water before the Episode 4 entrance and jump into a secret passage.

Quake's single-player campaign is organized into four individual episodes of about eight levels each (each including a secret level, one of which is a "low gravity" level—Ziggurat Vertigo in Episode 1, Dimension of the Doomed—that challenges the player's abilities in a different way). As items are collected, they are carried to the next level, each usually more challenging than the last. If the player dies, he must restart at the beginning of the level. However, games may be saved at any time.

Upon completing each episode, the player is returned to the hub Start level, where he can then enter the next episode. Each episode starts the player from scratch, without any previously collected items. Episode I (which formed the shareware or downloadable demo version of Quake) has a boss in the last level. The ultimate objective at the end of an episode is to recover a magic rune. After all of the runes are collected, the floor of the Start opens up to reveal an entrance to the End level which contains the final boss.


The first demo seen in Quake, seen after the game had started

In multiplayer mode, players on several computers connect to a server (which may be a dedicated machine or on one of the player's computers), where they can play against each other. Typically in multiplayer mode, when a player dies he can immediately respawn, but loses any items he has collected and so must start collecting them again. Similarly, items that have been picked up previously respawn after some time, and may be picked up again.

The single-player campaign can be played in co-op mode.

The most popular multiplayer modes are all forms of deathmatch. Deathmatch modes typically consist of either free-for-all (no organization or teams involved), one-on-one duels, or organized teamplay with two or more players per team (or clan). Teamplay is also frequently played with one or another mod. Typically, no monsters are normally present, as they serve no purpose other than to get in the way and give away the player.

The gameplay in Quake was considered unique for its time because of the different ways the player can maneuver through the game. For example: bunny hopping or strafe jumping can be used to move faster than normal, while rocket jumping enables the player to reach otherwise-inaccessible areas (or just move faster), at the cost of some self-damage. The player can start and stop moving suddenly, jump unnaturally high, and change direction while moving through the air. Many of these non-realistic behaviors contribute to Quake's appeal. The nature of the gameplay is often fast and frenzied, and has become considerably faster over the years as players mastered advanced movement techniques.

There is obvious skill needed to react quickly, aim precisely, dodge other players' shots, and jump across tricky spaces. As Quake did not include any automap, it also requires considerable knowledge of the sometimes confusingly-contorted maps (made more complex by the frequent use of teleporters) as well as careful planning in order to collect needed items and conserve health and ammunition. Strategies include regularly picking up items to prevent one's opponent from having access to them and controlling certain critical areas of each level. Duels often take place with opponents mostly out of sight of each other, jockeying for position and carefully stocking up on items, with sudden changes in speed of play when one player or the other gains an advantage. Sound also plays a central role in keeping track of other players and even items in the game, so many players use headphones to give the clearest sound and directionality. Teamplay adds even more tactical layers, with different ways to communicate and cooperate.

Multiplayer Quake was one of the first games that people singled out as a form of electronic sport. Most notable was Dennis "Thresh" Fong who won John Carmack's Ferrari 308 at the Microsoft-sponsored Red Annihilation tournament in 1997.

Online Quake play is also a significant social activity, with players chatting during gameplay, or even just talking while connected through the server without actually playing the game at all.


The player takes the role of an un-named protagonist sent into a portal in order to stop an enemy code-named "Quake". Previously, the government had been experimenting with teleportation technology, and upon development of a working prototype called a "Slipgate", this enemy has compromised the human connection with their own teleportation system, using it to insert death squads into the "human" dimension, supposedly in order to test the martial capabilities of humanity.

The sole surviving protagonist in Operation Counterstrike is the player, who must advance, starting each of the four episodes from a human held but overrun military base, before fighting through into other dimensions, traversing these via slipgate or their otherworld equivalent. Once passing through each slipgate, the player's main objective is to survive and locate the exit which will take him to the next level, not unlike that of id Software's previous hit, Doom.

The game consists of around 28 separate "levels" or "maps", grouped into four episodes. Each episode represents individual dimensions that the player can access through magical portals (as opposed to the technological Slipgate) that are discovered over the course of the game. At the start of each episode, the player is deployed in a futuristic military base and he has to find a slipgate that will take him to the alternate realm. The various realms consist of a number of gothic, medieval, as well as "fire and brimstone"-style caves and dungeons with a recurring theme of hellish and satanic imagery reminiscent of Doom (such as pentagrams and images of demons on the walls). The latter is inspired by several dark fantasy influences, notably that of H. P. Lovecraft; most notably, the end boss of the first episode is named Chthon, and the final boss is named Shub-Niggurath, although there is little resemblance to the original literary descriptions. Some levels have Lovecraftian names as well, such as the Vaults of Zin or the Ebon Fortress. Originally, the game was supposed to include more Lovecraftian bosses, but this concept was scrapped due to time constraints.

Although the moniker "Quake" originally applied to the protagonist, the final story describes Quake as simply being "the enemy".

It should be noted, however, that by the time the game was released the specifics of the story had become relatively unimportant and somewhat disorganized. This is mainly due to a last-minute mix of two different game designs: lead level designer John Romero wanted to make a dark fantasy hand to hand combat/RPG hybrid game, while level designers Tim Willits and American McGee wanted to make a more futuristic, Doom-like game. Ultimately the Doom-like mechanics were implemented and many of the dark fantasy design elements were incorporated into the graphics and visual effects of the game.


After the departure of Romero, the remaining id employees chose to change the thematic direction substantially for Quake II, making the design more technological and futuristic rather than dark fantasy. Quake 4 followed the design themes of Quake II, whereas Quake III Arena mixed these styles, as it existed in a parallel continuity that housed several "id all-stars", from various games, as playable characters.

The mixed settings occurred because Quake II originally began as a separate product line.[2] Unfortunately, due to the failure to gain rights to the title they wanted, id designers were forced to fall back on the project's nickname of "Quake II." Since any sequel to the original Quake had already been refused, it became a viable way of continuing the series without actually continuing the storyline or setting of the first game.


There have been two official expansion packs for Quake. The expansions pick up right where the first game left off, use all the same weapons and powerups, monsters and gothic atmosphere/architecture and continue/finish the story of the first game and its protagonist. A third unofficial expansion pack, Final Mission: Abyss of Pandemonium, was developed by the Impel Development Team.

Quake Mission Pack 1: Scourge of Armagon

Quake Mission Pack 1: Scourge of Armagon is the first official mission pack released on February 28, 1997. It was developed by Hipnotic Interactive. It features fifteen new single player missions, a new multiplayer arena, and gameplay features not originally found in Quake, including rotating structures and breakable walls. New enemies include Centroids, large cybernetic scorpions with nailguns, Gremlins, small goblins that can steal weapons and multiply by feeding on enemy corpses, and Spike Mines, floating orbs that detonate when near the player. New weapons include, Mjolnir, a large lightning emitting hammer, a laser cannon, which shoots bouncing bolts of energy, and a Proximity Mine Launcher, which fires grenades that attach to surfaces and detonate when an opponent comes near.

The storyline follows Armagon, a general of Quake's forces, planning to invade Earth via a portal known as the 'rift'. Armagon resembles a giant gremlin with cybernetic legs and a combined rocket launcher/laser cannon for arms.

Quake Mission Pack 2: Dissolution of Eternity

Quake Mission Pack 2: Dissolution of Eternity was the second official mission pack, released on March 31 1997. Developed by Rogue Entertainment, it featured sixteen new single player levels as well as several new enemies and bosses. New enemies included Electric Eels, Phantom Swordsmen, Multi-Grenade Ogres (which fire cluster grenades), Hell Spawn, Wrath (floating, robed undead), Guardians (resurrected ancient Egyptian warriors), Mummies, and statues of various enemies that come to life. The bosses were Lava Men, Overlords, large Wraths, and a dragon guarding the "temporal energy converter". Rather than offering new weapons, the mission pack gave the player new ammo for already existing weapons, such as "lava nails" for the Nailgun, cluster grenades, rockets that split into four in a horizontal line, plasma cells, and a grappling hook to help in moving around the map.


Quake can be heavily modified by altering the sounds, graphics, or scripting in QuakeC and due to its popularity, has been the focus of many fan "mods". The first mods were small gameplay fixes and patches initiated by the community, usually enhancements to weapons or gameplay with some new foes. Later mods were more ambitious and resulted in Quake fans creating versions of the game that were drastically different from id Software's original release.

The first major Quake mod was Team Fortress. This mod consists of Capture the Flag gameplay, but with a class system for the players. Players choose a class, which creates various restrictions on weapons and armor types available to that player, and also grants special abilities. For example, the bread-and-butter Soldier class has medium armor, medium speed, and a well-rounded selection of weapons and grenades, while the Scout class is lightly armored, very fast, has a scanner that detects nearby enemies, but has very weak offensive weapons. One of the other differences with CTF is the fact that the flag is not returned automatically when a player drops it: running over one's flag in Threewave CTF would return the flag to the base, and in TF the flag remains in the same spot for preconfigured time and it has to be defended on remote locations. This caused a shift in defensive tactics compared to Threewave CTF. Team Fortress maintained its standing as the most-played online modification of Quake for many years.

Another popular mod was Threewave Capture the Flag (CTF), primarily authored by Dave 'Zoid' Kirsch. Threewave CTF is a partial conversion consisting of new maps, a new weapon (a grappling hook), power-ups, some new textures and new rules of game play. Typically, two teams (red and blue) would compete in a game of Capture the flag, though a few maps with up to four teams (red, blue, green, and yellow) were created. Capture the Flag has become a standard game mode included in most popular multiplayer games released after Quake, in addition to Deathmatch first introduced in Doom.

Rocket Arena provides the ability for players to face each other in small, open arenas with changes in the gameplay rules so that item collection and detailed level knowledge are no longer factors. A series of short rounds, with the surviving player in each round gaining a point, instead tests the player's aiming and dodging skills and reflexes. Clan Arena is a further modification that provides teamplay using Rocket Arena rules.

One category of mod, "bots", were introduced to provide surrogate players in multiplayer mode.

Custom maps

There are a large number of custom maps that have been made by users and fans of the game. These maps are continuing to be made today, over ten years since the game's release. Custom maps are completely new and original maps that are playable by simply loading them into the original game. Custom maps of all gameplay types have been made, but the most custom maps for Quake have been in the single-player and deathmatch genres.

More than 1500 single-player[3] and a similar number of deathmatch maps have been made for Quake.


Performing a grenade jump on a Spawn in E4M3 [4] (The Elder God Shrine) in order to jump over a large lava pit for the upcoming Quake done Quick with a Vengeance Part II
Quake e4m3route.ogg
The progression of the route used to run the E4M3 segment in the Quake done Quick videos, from the original and lengthy version by Yonatan Donner to the last revision by Peter Horvath, is shown in this video

As an example of the dedication that Quake has inspired in its fan community, a group of expert players recorded speedrun demos (replayable recordings of the player's movement) of Quake levels completed in record time on the "Nightmare" skill level. The footage was edited into a continuous 19 minutes, 49 seconds demo called Quake done Quick (QdQ) and released on 10 June 1997. Owners of the game could replay this demo in the game engine, watching the run unfold as if they were playing it themselves.

This involved a number of players recording run-throughs of individual levels, using every trick and shortcut they could discover in order to minimize the time it took to complete, usually to a degree that even the original level designers found difficult to comprehend, and in a manner that often bypassed large areas of the level. Stitching a series of the fastest runs together into a coherent whole created a demonstration of the entire game. Recamming is also used with speedruns in order to make the experience more movie-like, with arbitrary control of camera angles, editing, and sound that can be applied with editing software after the runs are first recorded. However, the fastest possible time for a given level will not necessarily result in the fastest time used to contribute to "running" the entire game. One example is acquiring the grenade launcher in an early level, an act that slows down the time for that level over the best possible, but speeds up the overall game time by allowing the runner to bypass a big area in a later level that they could not otherwise do.

A second attempt, Quake done Quicker (QdQr), reduced the complete time to 16 minutes, 35 seconds (a reduction of 3 minutes, 14 seconds). QdQr was released 13 September 1997. One of the levels included was the result of an online competition to see who could get the fastest time.

The culmination of this process of improvement was Quake done Quick with a Vengeance (QdQwav). Released three years to the day after QdQr, this pared down the time taken to complete all four episodes, on Nightmare (hardest) difficulty, to 12 minutes, 23 seconds (a further reduction of 4 minutes, 12 seconds), partly by using techniques that had formerly been shunned in such films as being less aesthetically pleasing. This run was recorded as an in-game demo but interest was such that an .avi video clip was created to allow those without the game to see the run.

Most full-game speedruns are a collaborative effort by a number of runners (though some have been done by single runners on their own). Although each particular level is credited to one runner, the ideas and techniques used are iterative and collaborative in nature, with each runner picking up tips and ideas from the others, so that speeds keep improving beyond what was thought possible as the runs are further optimized and new tricks or routes are discovered.

Further time improvements of the continuous whole game run were achieved into the 21st century. In addition, many thousands of individual level runs are kept at Speed Demos Archive's Quake section, including many on custom maps.

Speedrunning is a counterpart to multiplayer modes in making Quake one of the first games promoted as a virtual "sport".

Further releases


In late 1996, id Software released VQuake, a port of the Quake engine to support hardware accelerated rendering on graphics cards using Rendition Vérité chipset. Aside from the expected benefit of improved performance, VQuake offered numerous visual improvements over the original software-rendered Quake. It boasted full 16-bit color, bilinear filtering (reducing pixelation), improved dynamic lighting and even optional anti-aliasing.

As the name implied, VQuake was a proprietary port specifically for the Vérité; consumer 3D acceleration was in its infancy, and there was no standard 3D API for the consumer market. After completing VQuake, John Carmack vowed never to write a proprietary port again, citing his frustration with Rendition's Speedy3D API.


To improve the quality of online play, id Software released QuakeWorld on December 17, 1996, a build of Quake that featured significantly revamped network code including the addition of client-side prediction. The original Quake's network code would not show the player the results of his actions until the server sent back a reply acknowledging them. For example, if the player attempted to move forward, his client would send the request to move forward to the server, and the server would determine whether the client was actually able to move forward or if he ran into an obstacle, such as a wall or another player. The server would then respond to the client, and only then would the client display movement to the player. This was fine for play on a LAN—a high bandwidth, very low latency connection. But the latency over a dial-up Internet connection is much larger than on a LAN, and this caused a noticeable delay between when a player tried to act and when that action was visible on the screen. This made gameplay much more difficult, especially since the unpredictable nature of the Internet made the amount of delay vary from moment to moment. Players would experience jerky, laggy motion that sometimes felt like ice skating, where they would slide around with seemingly no ability to stop, due to a build-up of previously-sent movement requests. John Carmack has admitted that this was a serious problem which should have been fixed before release, but it was not caught because he and other developers had high-speed Internet access at home.

With the help of client-side prediction, which allowed players to see their own movement immediately without waiting for a response from the server, QuakeWorld's network code allowed players with high-latency connections to control their character's movement almost as precisely as when playing in single-player mode. The netcode parameters could be adjusted by the user, so that QuakeWorld performed well for users with low latency (also referred to as Low Ping Bastards or LPBs) as well as high latency (referred to as High Ping Whiners or HPWs).

The tradeoff to client-side prediction was that sometimes other players or objects would no longer be quite where they had appeared to be, or, in extreme cases, that the player would be pulled back to a previous position when the client received a late reply from the server which overrode movement the client had already previewed; this was known as "warping". As a result, some serious players, particularly in the USA, still preferred to play online using the original Quake engine (commonly called NetQuake) rather than QuakeWorld. However, the majority of players, especially those on dial-up connections, preferred the newer network model, and QuakeWorld soon became the dominant form of online play. Following the success of QuakeWorld, client-side prediction has become a standard feature of nearly all real-time online games.

As with all other Quake upgrades, QuakeWorld was released as a free, unsupported add-on to the game and was updated numerous times through 1998.

GLQuake and WinQuake

On January 22, 1997, id Software released GLQuake. This was designed to use the OpenGL 3D API to access hardware 3D graphics acceleration cards to rasterize the graphics, rather than having the computer's CPU fill in every pixel. In addition to higher framerates for most players, GLQuake provided higher resolution modes and texture filtering, improving image quality. GLQuake also experimented with reflections, transparent water, and even rudimentary shadows. GLQuake came with a driver enabling the subset of OpenGL used by the game to function on the 3dfx Voodoo Graphics card, the only consumer-level card at the time capable of running GLQuake well. Previously, John Carmack had experimented with a version of Quake specifically written for the Rendition Vérité chip used in the Creative Labs PCI 3D Blaster card. This version had met with only limited success, and Carmack decided to write for generic APIs in the future rather than tailoring for specific hardware.

On March 11, 1997, id Software released WinQuake, a version of the non-OpenGL engine designed to run under Microsoft Windows; the original Quake had been written for DOS, allowing for launch from Windows 95, but could not run under Windows NT-based operating systems because it required direct access to hardware. WinQuake instead accessed hardware via Win32-based APIs such as DirectSound, DirectInput, and DirectDraw that were supported on Windows 95, Windows NT 4.0 and later releases. Like GLQuake, WinQuake also allowed higher resolution video modes. This removed the last barrier to widespread popularity of the game.

Quake: Arcade Tournament Edition

In 1998, LBE Systems and Laser-Tron released Quake: Arcade Tournament Edition in the arcades in limited quantities.[5]


In 1996, there was a port of Quake to Linux. Its developer used the Quake source code without license, and patches were submitted back to id Software before it became an official port, though it was not until 1999 that a retail version for Linux was distributed by Macmillan Digital Publishing USA in a bundle with the two add-ons as Quake: The Offering for Linux.[6] Finally, in 1997, the official port to Mac OS was done by MacSoft and a port of Quake to SPARC Solaris was released.

Quake was also ported to console systems. In 1997, it was ported to Sega Saturn by Lobotomy. The Saturn port used Lobotomy's own Slavedriver engine (the same engine that powers the Saturn port of Duke Nukem 3D and Powerslave) instead of the original Quake engine. It is also the only version of Quake that is rated "T" for Teen instead of "M" for Mature. The Saturn version also contains four exclusive levels not seen in any other version. In 1998, Quake was brought to Nintendo 64 by Midway Games.

Both console ports required some compromises because of the limited CPU power and ROM storage space for maps. The Saturn version lacked multiplayer but had most of the maps from the original game, with only the secret levels (Ziggurat Vertigo (E1M8), The Underearth (E2M7), The Haunted Halls (E3M7) and The Nameless City (E4M8)) not making the cut. Instead, it had four new maps: Purgatorium, Hell's Aerie, The Coliseum and Watery Grave. The N64 version had multiplayer, but was missing The Grisly Grotto (E1M4), The Installation (E2M1), The Ebon Fortress (E2M4), The Wind Tunnels (E3M5), The Sewage System (E4M1) and Hell's Atrium (E4M5). It also lacks the "START" map where the player chooses difficulty and episode; difficulty is chosen when starting the game, and all the levels play in sequential order from The Slipgate Complex (E1M1) to Shub Niggurath's Pit (END).

A port for the Commodore Amiga was also made available in 1998 by clickBOOM Software. It is currently only available in a 68K version.

Source code and legacy

The source code of the Quake and QuakeWorld engines was licensed under the GPL in 1999. The id Software maps, objects, textures, sounds and other creative works remain under their original license. The shareware distribution of Quake is still freely redistributable and usable with the GPLed engine code. One must purchase a copy of Quake in order to receive the registered version of the game which includes more single player episodes and the deathmatch maps.

Based on the success of the first Quake game, id later published Quake II and Quake III Arena; Quake 4 was released in October 2005, developed by Raven Software using the Doom 3 engine.

It is also interesting to note that Quake was the game primarily responsible for the emergence of the machinima artform of films made in game engines, thanks to edited Quake demos such as Ranger Gone Bad and Blahbalicious, the in-game film The Devil's Covenant and the in-game-rendered, four-hour epic film The Seal of Nehahra.

On June 22, 2006, it had been 10 years since the original uploading of the game to cdrom.com archives. Many Internet forums had topics about it, and it was a front page story on Slashdot.[7]

On October 11, 2006, John Romero released the original map files for all of the levels in Quake under the GPL. [8]

Quake and its four sequels, Quake II, Quake III Arena, Quake 4, and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars have sold over 4 million copies combined. In 2002,[9] a version of Quake was produced for mobile phones. A copy of Quake was also sold in 2001, labeled Ultimate Quake, which included the original Quake, Quake II, and Quake III Arena.

In 2008 Quake was honored at the 59th Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards for advancing the art form of user modifiable games. John Carmack accepted the award.


Popular North American LAN party QuakeCon finds its roots in the game as well. The gaming convention was started up so Quake fans could get together every year and compete on a LAN, on even footing without Internet connection latency and packet loss handicapping play. In 2007 Quake 1 became part of the "grand prize" Quake Tournament series, which involves playing 1v1 matches of Quake 1, 2, 3 and 4. In the Quad Damage tournament, Quake 1 took a pivotal role in leveling the playing field since many pro players were not accustomed to the play style of Quake 1 and features, such as Juggling with the Thunderbolt and increased rocket speed.


External links

Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

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Box artwork for Quake.
Developer(s) id Software
Publisher(s) GT Interactive
Engine Quake Engine
Release date(s)
Genre(s) FPS
System(s) MS-DOS, Windows, Mac OS, Sega Saturn, Nintendo 64, Acorn Archimedes
ESRB: Mature
Expansion pack(s) Quake: Scourge of Armagon, Quake: Dissolution of Eternity
Followed by Quake II
Series Quake
This is the first game in the Quake series. For other games in the series see the Quake category.

Quake is a first-person shooter computer game developed by id Software and released on June 22, 1996.


In Quake, you take on the role of a soldier who is the last surviving member of a taskforce assembled to stop codename Quake, a mysterious enemy who is using slipgate technology to attack military installations. When Quake pre-emptively takes out the rest of your task force, you must use a slipgate to teleport to his own dimension to extract some payback.

Table of Contents

Episode One: Dimension of the Doomed
Episode Two: Realm of Black Magic
  • The Installation
  • The Ogre Citadel
  • The Crypt of Decay
    • The Underearth
  • The Ebon Fortress
  • The Wizard's Manse
  • The Dismal Oubliette
Episode Three: The Netherworld
  • Termination Central
  • The Vaults of Zin
  • The Tome of Terror
  • Satan's Dark Delight
    • The Haunted Halls
  • The Wind Tunnels
  • Chambers of Torment
Episode Four: The Elder World
  • The Sewage System
  • The Tower of Despair
  • The Elder God Shrine
  • The Palace of Hate
  • Hell's Atrium
    • The Nameless City
  • The Pain Maze
  • Azure Agony
The End: Shub Niggurath's Pit
  • Place of Two Deaths
  • Claustrophobopolis
  • The Abandoned Base
  • The Bad Place
  • The Cistern
  • The Dark Zone


Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

centerThe box art for Quake
Developer(s) id Software, Lobotomy Software
Publisher(s) Activision, Midway, Sega
Engine Quake
Release date PC: May 31, 1996 (NA)

Mac: 1997 (NA)
Saturn: October 31, 1997 (NA)
Nintendo 64: 1998 (NA)

Genre FPS
Mode(s) Single player, Multiplayer
Age rating(s) ESRB: M
Platform(s) PC, Mac, Nintendo 64, Sega Saturn
Media CD
Input Keyboard, Mouse, Controller
System requirements Pentium, 16MB RAM
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough

Quake is a first-person shooter (FPS) game that was developed by id Software on May 31, 1996. It introduced several major advances in the 3D game genre: it uses 3-dimensional models for players and monsters instead of 2-dimensional sprites; and the world in which play takes place is created as a true 3-dimensional space, rather than a 2-dimensional map with height information which is then rendered to 3D. It also incorporated the use of lightmaps and dynamic light sources, as opposed to the sector-based static lighting used in games of the past. Many believe that it kick-started the independent 3D graphics card revolution, "GLQuake" being the first application to truly demonstrate the capabilities of the 3DFX "Voodoo" chipset at the time. The impact of the Quake engine is still being felt to this day.

The majority of programming work on the Quake engine was done by John Carmack. Michael Abrash, a program performance optimization specialist, was brought in to help make the software rendering engine feasible with regards to speed. The background music for the game was composed by Trent Reznor, of Nine Inch Nails. Within the game, the ammo box for nails has the Nine Inch Nails logo on it.

Quake and its two "sequels", Quake II and Quake III Arena, have sold over 4 million copies combined.


The Story

You are a marine for the government sent into a portal to stop an enemy known as "Quake". This enemy has been sending terrible demons and death squads through the government's new slipgate technology. This slipgate technology allows instant transportation of cargo or any other material. Once sent through the portal you must fight through hundreds of demons to stop the enemy. The other realm is inspired by several influences, notably that of H. P. Lovecraft (the end game boss being Shub-Niggurath herself).

Network Play

Quake includes a multi-player mode to play over LAN or the Internet with or against other humans. The network play uses a client/server model, where the actual game runs on the server only and all players "log in" there to participate. Depending on the client's specific route to the server, different clients will get different ping times. The lower your latency (ping time), the smoother your in-game motions, and the easier it is to accurately aim and score. Someone playing on the server PC gets a substantial advantage due to essentially zero lag.


The game itself can be heavily modified. Users created their own maps and models, and coded some changes to the game itself using QuakeC, a scripting language (which gets compiled into a bytecode) with a syntax similar to the C programming language. The QuakeC code runs on the game server alone. The ease of modifying the game led to the rise of "mods". The first mods were small gameplay fixes and patches initiated by the community, usually enhancements to weapons or gameplay with some new foes.

These mods were often classified as Partial or Total Conversions, meaning that game content was either partially augmented, or completely replaced. This eventually led to extensive modifications such as the popular Team Fortress, Jamie Wood's PAIN TC, Alex Redman's Mortal Kombat Quake TC, and others.

The first major Quake mod was Threewave Capture the Flag (CTF), primarily authored by Dave 'Zoid' Kirsch. Threewave CTF is a partial conversion consisting of new maps, a new weapon (a grappling hook), some new textures, and most importantly new rules of game play. Typically, two teams (red and blue) would compete in a game of capture the flag, though a few maps with up to four teams (red, blue, green, and yellow) were created. Capture the Flag has become a standard game mode included in most popular multiplayer games released after Quake, in addition to Deathmatch first introduced in Doom.

The popular Team Fortress mod for QuakeWorld consists of Capture the Flag gameplay, but with a class system for the players. Players choose a class, which creates various restrictions on weapons and armor types available to that player, and also grants special abilities. For example, the bread-and-butter Soldier class has medium armor, medium speed, and a well-rounded selection of weapons and grenades, while the Scout class is lightly armored, very fast, has a scanner that detects nearby enemies, but has very weak offensive weapons.

Jumping in Quake

In Quake, there are several ways to make one's character move by jumping. Some of them are exploits of bugs in the physics engine, rather than designed features of the game. Note that some of these "features" have been included in later FPS games, especially those that use the Quake engine, such as Half-Life.

Rocket jump

Main article: Rocketjumping.

Rocket jumping is the technique of pointing the game's rocket launcher at one feet and firing while simultaneously jumping; due to the workings of the game's physics engine this launches the player to incredible heights. The technique did not originate in the game, but certainly helped bring the move into a more popular light and variants have appeared in virtually all multiplayer FPS games since.

Grenade jump

The grenade launcher can be used in similar way by placing a grenade on the ground and jumping right before the explosion. It requires more skill than a rocket jump, but once perfected, it can be combined with rocket jumping to execute higher and more complex jumps.

A double grenade jump can be performed by throwing grenades at enemies. A grenade hitting an enemy will explode immediately, so by placing one grenade on the ground and firing another grenade towards a close-by enemy right before the first grenade explodes, the player will get boost from two grenade explosions.

This jump is not an unplanned exploit; level E4M4 (Palace Of Hate) features a horizontal teleport placed above jumping height, with a square hole beneath it and a Pentagram of Protection nearby; the idea is to collect the Pentagram, fire a grenade such that it rests in the hole and jump from the resultant blast into the teleport (the Pentagram is there to protect you from the damage).

Strafe jump

Strafe jumping allows the player to move faster and jump farther. It involves jumping while moving forward (or backward) and strafing left or right. Strafe jumping can be done in Quake, Quake II and Quake III. It is a bug involving air acceleration.

To increase your speed with strafe jumping, you must first be moving forward or backward. You then simultaneously jump, strafe in one direction, and slightly turn the mouse toward that same direction (to rotate your avatar in-game). Alternating between left and right strafe on each jump results in nearly straight-line motion at very high speed, and has become an occasionally used technique in Quake matches.

One place strafe jumping can be useful is in the Quake map dm2, where you can strafe jump to the red armor across the lava. Normally, the player would hit a nearby switch to extend a bridge over the lava, as the lava is exactly one player-width too wide to jump over normally. However, with the speed boost granted by a strafe jump, the experienced player can leap what was supposed to be an impossible distance. The strafe jump was of limited use in deathmatch play, as it was less safe than simple running and jumping and much less effective than rocket jumping, but it became a bigger factor in online games in Quake III..

Circle jump

Circle jumping makes use of the fact that players can control their movement while in the air. Essentially, a circle jump is just a "U-turn" while in the air. This jump is mostly used in QuakeWorld, but it can also be done in the normal Quake, though it is much more difficult.

A different version of the circle jump is employed in Quake II, where players jump in an arc via manipulation of the mouse in order to clear longer distances.

Double jump

A double jump is a bug that lets the player jump twice in a row in midair. To double jump, the player has to jump directly at an edge and then jump again. Double jumping can only be done in Quake II in the later versions, and in QuakeWorld mods that support "jawnmode". In the map Q2DM1, you can do it at the megahealth pickup. You can reach the upper spot at the backpack by double jumping and then jumping normally to the megahealth.

Double jumping was intentionally included in later games, including Unreal Tournament.


Bunnyhopping is a method of continually jumping in order to increase your movement speed. It works by exploiting a physics bug in the Quake engine. Normally, players are limited to a certain maximum speed while walking on the ground. However, this imposed limit is not in effect while the player is in the air. In addition, turning while in motion imposes acceleration on the player entity. These two facts allow you to maintain and increase air speed in succeeding jumps while turning smoothly. When you resume walking on the ground again, you decelerate to the maximum running speed.

The bug is that the act of jumping is not considered "touching the ground". To be more precise, it is possible to initiate the next jump while still in the air, and thus the off-the-ground state of the player is never toggled off. If the player continuously jumps, the engine will not register that player as touching the ground, and the player's motion will be governed by air acceleration (with no limit on its top speed).

To start bunnyhopping, do a strafe jump and then continuously jump while moving forward. You will begin to accelerate beyond normal running speed. The secret to maintaining a bunny hop is to press your jump button (typically the space bar) while already in the air. The game will make you jump as soon as you land, thus maintaining your air speed and registering no frames under the on-the-ground state. Bunnyhopping is possible in QuakeWorld, Quake II, and Quake III Arena.

In QuakeWorld you can make use of air control in order to get around corners very quickly -- it's similar to the circle jump. Rather than running around a corner on the ground slowly, the player jumps and uses the movement keys to rotate themself in a quarter-circle around the corner in midair. In Quake II there is practically no air-control, so you only can move forward. It's also useful in QuakeWorld when doing the speed jump (see below) in order to keep up your movement speed.

Slope jump

When the player is running an upward slope and jumps, the jump goes much higher than it normally would. Even a tiny slope is enough for performing a slope jump. This glitch exists in many FPS games besides Quake, and is very easy to exploit.

Damage jump

A difficult way to make the player jump slightly higher is to get damage. In Quake 1, any damage inflicted to the player gives a boost, be it a Hell Knight's sword attack or a plasma bullet shot by an Enforcer. Usually the tiny gained height is meaningless, but occasionally there is a ledge that you can very nearly reach by normal jumping and a damage boost is needed.

Damage boosts are more common in multiplayer than in singleplayer, and are most common in team games. When being attacked, in certain situations, a player can use the damage to maneuver in a way not normally possible, disadvantaging the attacker or even letting the player escape from danger. In a team game, two teammates can perform tricks where one player attacks the other to give a boost in speed or height.

Speed jump

The Speed jump is another jump that allows the player to move faster and like the rocket jump, takes advantage of explosion forces. To speed jump, the player gets a rocket launcher, moves close to a wall, fires the missile at the wall, quickly spins around so they face away from the wall and jumps forward with an assist from the rocket's blast. Many players then top this off with strafe jumping and bunnyhopping in order to maintain the speed gained from this stunt. Players use this extreme speed boost to surprise opponents, or complete single-player levels in record time. This jump was founded by the QuakeWorld community and can also be done in Quake II. However, since you can't control your movement in the air in Quake II, you cannot turn corners.

For example, in the Quake map dm4 one would do this to get quickly out from the lower section while coming out of the megahealth and rocket launcher section, firing in the wall just behind where the megahealth and rocket ammo box lies, gaining tremendous speed to get to the teleport.

Plasma jump

This jump came from Quake III Arena. It is also possible in QuakeWorld under "jawnmode" using the Super Nailgun. Shoot the SNG under you while standing flush to a wall and jumping to "climb" the wall.

It is possible to attain even higher distances by starting this maneuvre with a grenade jump and starting firing immediately afterwards.

Monster boosts

Several monsters in Quake can give boosts much larger than those obtained by simply getting hurt (see Damage jump above). Fiends hitting the player give plenty of speed and some height. Grenades thrown by ogres can be used to jump higher just like player's own grenades, but the boost is much weaker (abbreviated OGJ, ogre grenade jump). Vores shoot tracking explosive bombs, and by running in circles, several such bombs can be concatenated into one superbomb which can give as much boost as required (but also damage accordingly). Shamblers fire lightning which gives plenty of speed when hit. Spawns explode when destroyed, and the explosion gives an obvious opportunity for a boost.

Mario Jump

A 'Mario' jump inherits its name from the Nintendo classic Super Mario Brothers for the Nintendo console. Similar in principle to the circle jump, it is basically jumping off a lower ledge which is perfectly parallel to an upper ledge, clearing the edge of it, and arriving safely atop it. This is a complete violation of physics, but possible in Quake and QuakeWorld. Typically, a Mario jump is executed while running off the edge, turning your avatar 180 degrees very quickly, firing a rocket into the ground and jumping at the same time, then accelerating forward (which, due to the 180 degree turn, will produce a 'backward' effect). This is essentially producing the Mario effect with a rocketjump.

Exotic combinations

Speedrunners have exploited different boosts in every conceivable way. One famous jump includes two simultaneous fiend boosts and a slope jump, to reach incredible heights in episode 1, map 4. Some have performed jumps by using three ogre grenades that hit the player simultaneously. Utilizing both a grenade jump and a slope jump together has now become common, but it still looks amazing when performed well. Circle jump together with a grenade jump was one of the most acclaimed tricks in the speed run "Quake done Quicker".

Speed runs

A group of expert Quake players recorded demos of Quake levels completed in record time on the "nightmare" skill level and edited them into one continuous 19 min 49 s Quake speed run demo called Quake done Quick (QdQ). The record was later improved in Quake Done Quicker (QdQr) to 16:35 and ultimately in the unbelievable Quake done Quick with a Vengeance (QdQwav) to 12:23. There are plans for creating yet another run through Quake, which will have a time less than 12 minutes. Similar speed runs have been done for Quake mission packs, Quake II and for many Quake single player custom levels (levels created by Quake fans).

QuakeWorld mods

  • CTF
  • Rocket Arena
  • KTeam
  • TeamFortress
  • Slide
  • FrogBot


Popular North American LAN Party Quakecon finds it roots in the game as well. The gaming convention was started up so Quake fans could get together every year and compete on a LAN, on even footing without internet connection latency and packet loss handicapping play.

Quake Series
Quake | Quake World | Quake II | Quake III Arena | Quake 4 | Quake Wars
Items and powerups | Weapons
Quake Engine | Quake II Engine |Quake III Engine | QuakeC

External links

  • id Software: Quake
  • FTP: Quake source code (zip)
  • PlanetQuake
  • The Quake Wiki
  • Quake done Quick - Home for speed runs Quake done Quicker and Quake done Quick With a Vengeance, among others.
  • Speed Demos Archive - Quake - Individual Quake levels completed as fast as possible, in four categories.
  • quakeworld.nu
  • eQuake
  • id Museum, a page dedicated to id Software
  • The Last True Quakers, a forum for those that still play Quake
Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Quake. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Wikia Gaming, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 (unported) license. The content might also be available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

This article uses material from the "Quake" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Simple English

Quake is also a short-form of the word earthquake.

Quake is a violent first-person shooter computer game that was released by id Software on July 22, 1996. It was the first game in the popular Quake series of computer and video games.

Quake is about killing demons and zombies, but also has multiplayer deathmatch. It is very much like the video game Doom that id Software made before Quake.


There are 8 weapons in Quake.

  • Axe - This weapon does not use ammo. It is not very strong. The player starts with this weapon.
  • Shotgun - It is stronger than the axe, but needs to use ammo. The player starts with this weapon, too.
  • Double (or "super") Shotgun - This weapon is twice as strong as the shotgun. It uses twice as much ammo as the shotgun.
  • Nailgun - This weapon can shoot nails very fast. It uses up ammo very quickly as well.
  • Perforator (or Super Nailgun) - This weapon shoots bigger nails than the Nailgun. It can hurt monsters more.
  • Grenade Launcher - This weapon shoots grenades which explode after a while. It can hurt the player if he is too close to the explosion.
  • Rocket Launcher - This weapon shoots fast rockets. It can also hurt the player if he is too close.
  • Thunderbolt - This weapon shoots electricity. It will kill the player if he used it under water.

Released Quake games

  • Quake
  • QuakeWorld
  • Quake II
  • Quake III Arena
  • Quake III Team Arena
  • Quake 4

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