Video Game / Quake II

"We have cleared the interplanetary gateway between Earth and Stroggos. In exactly three hours operation Alien Overlord will commence. As I speak to you, your pods are being fueled and all systems brought online. Activate your field computers. The following Intel brief will provide you with your military objectives, terrain information, arsenal and equipment details, and enemy analysis.

Never before has there been a greater challenge to life, liberty, and civilization. This is a crusade in which we will accept nothing less than victory. No matter how long it may take us to overcome the Strogg’s barbaric assault, the people of Earth in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. Today we will make very certain that this form of barbaric treachery shall never endanger us again. With confidence in you, and with the unbending determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph — so help us God.

So go forth and kick ass, soldiers!"
Rousing Speech from TCM Marine Commandant James in the manual.

Quake II, the follow-up to Quake, was released in 1997.

The game was a sequel In-Name-Only, originally developed as an all-new original IP before having the Quake name attached to it, for better or worse. It was Id's first FPS with a real story, about Earth launching a counter-attack on the homeworld of the vicious Strogg, said operation called "Operation Alien Overlord", who were kidnapping humans for meat and body parts.

The player must go across several cities and areas of the Strogg planet in order to cause the most harm as possible. It gave the player clear tactical goals, making their way systematically through the city and shutting down the enemy's military infrastructure and its leader.

The levels in the game and the expansions are divided into several chapters, called Units. Each Unit has up to seven levels, interconnected among them, so players could go from one level to the other and viceversa, until they hit that unit's exit.

The technical improvements here were impressive at the time, with colored lighting, higher resolution, smoother graphics and bigger levels that, alongside Unreal, spurred the widespread adoption of early hardware 3D accelerators. However, in retrospect, Quake II is considered as one of id Software's more average singleplayer games, being the first game created after John Romero's departure and lacking much of the creativity that made Doom and Quake household names, in stark contrast to Romero's own Daikatana, a game that failed for the exact opposite reason. Nowadays, Quake II is much more fondly remembered for its technical advancements and engaging multiplayer mode than its singleplayer mode.

Two mission packs, which followed the same storylines as the original game, were released as well: Quake II: Ground Zero by Rogue Entertainment and Quake II: The Reckoning by Xatrix Entertainment.

Followed by Quake III: Arena. Its story was continued by Quake IV and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars.

Tropes found across the game and its expansion packs

  • And I Must Scream:
    • This is implied to be the fate of those who go all the way through the Stroggification process by a coroner examining one of the Strogg corpses. Although eventually all higher brain functions atrophy leaving an empty shell with no individual will left, up to that point the victim is aware of his actions but unable to control them.
    • It's also the fate of their human prisoners of war, as the Strogg have messed with them in such a fashion that they will be forever in utter agony, leaving you to kill them in order to release them from their torment.
  • Anatomy Arsenal: Many of the Strogg have had their limbs replaced with assorted weaponry.
  • Artificial Limbs: The Strogg fit this trope to varying extremes. Some of them possess weaponry in place of limbs, others just have mechanical body parts to replace the organic ones. The most extreme case would probably be the Makron - the only organic part of him left is his brain.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Counting only vanilla Quake up to Id's 3.21. There are source ports which fix these behaviours such as kmquake.
    • AI enemies run towards walls while finding a way to find you. This especially happens if you're used to cover behind a wall or object while they're shooting you, and it's especially grating with the Berserkers.
    • Enemies running towards laser grids ignoring they exist at all.
  • Attract Mode: The games display demos of someone playing the game, apparently on keyboard only.
  • Autosave: The game auto-saves into the first save slot whenever the player enters a new area, without notifying the player, but also allows the player to save in a different save slot manually whenever the player wishes.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The chaingun. While it can be useful for mowing through an onslaught of smaller enemies (which is a rare occurrence in this game) or for fighting particularly tough enemies, the fact that after a long burst it takes time to stop when the trigger is released and when fully revved up chews through ammo at an absolutely insane rate, makes it a very very impractical weapon .
  • BFG: The eponymous BFG10K, which launches a big, green, slow-moving bunch of cells which damage everything near them.
  • Blatant Item Placement
  • Conveyor Belt-O-Doom: The game and its Expansion Packs make it possible to play Deathmatch in any of their levels, including SP ones (the ones which came with them have adaptations, spawnpoints, item placement, and extra rooms for the Deathmatch mode) so you can expect lots of these.
  • Crate Expectations: Everywhere. Some of these boxes need to be shot, (the black ones) while others are just there for secrets' sake.
  • Dead Man's Trigger Finger: Some of the enemies fire off a few shots after being "killed" and falling down, unless you manage to blow them to bits first.
  • Death Trap: Found in many levels, even in Multiplayer, which, as mentioned above, uses modified variations of ALL the single player levels. Some Deathmatch-specific levels also have these.
  • Emergency Weapon: The blaster pistol, which has infinite ammo, but is only really of any use against early human-based Stroggs.
  • Enemy Civil War: The only exceptions are that ground-based mooks will detect that you made them to fight if they're attacked by air-based mooks and viceversa, and that mooks can't kill bosses.
  • Exploding Barrels
  • Eye Beams: The Brain enemy shoots lasers from its eyes.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Pick any of the liquefying or stroggification processes you want. There you go.
  • Force-Field Door: Several instances.
  • Giant Mook: Tanks and Gladiators.
  • Harder Than Hard: Requires the console command "skill 3" to access Nightmare difficulty (some ports have it enabled right in the menu, though). It doesn't change the amount of enemies, but there're many changes towards their behaviour.
  • Hollywood Silencer: There is a silencer power-up that when used removes any sound from any weapon. So you can run around shooting a silenced rocket launcher with silenced explosions.
  • It's Raining Men: The initial wave of the human invasion to Stroggos was to basically fire an entire army down onto the surface in individual drop pods. It failed, with one exception.
  • Laser Hallway: The game is plagued with this kind of passages. Even full levels have these.
  • Lava Pit: Several instances.
  • Malevolent Architecture
  • Mercy Kill: Given what the Strogg have put their human prisoners through, killing them can hardly be called cruel.
  • Metal Slime: The Brains enemy.
  • More Dakka: The Chaingun.
  • One-Hit Polykill: The railgun fired through multiple enemies. The BFG10K would wipe out entire rooms with a single shot.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Any Strogg facility you could think.
  • Orgasmic Combat: The Iron Maiden does a lot of moaning and deep breathing.
  • Point of No Return: A variation. You'll be playing many levels more than once in different areas, and you can see signals marking one-way (unit wise) elevators/roads/shuttles.
    (from the HTML manual) "The Strogg marked off areas to indicate a one way passage. Once you leave a unit complex you cannot return."
  • Power Floats: The Technician.
  • Real Is Brown: While the game may be a sequel to Quake I in name only, there's one other characteristic the two games have in common: Their respective color palettes consist mainly of shades of brown.
  • Shoot the Medic First: In levels with Medics you have to do this if you don't want to fight the defeated Stroggs again (or, in Ground Zero's case, facing THOUSANDS of enemies at the time, in the Medic Commander's case). Medics can't revive gibbed corpses though, so you can just make sure to shoot the bodies after you kill enemies.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Railgun leaves a corkscrewing trail through the air exactly like those in the film Eraser
    • One of the enemies is called Iron Maiden.
    • Another enemy is called Icarus.
    • If you watch the intro carefully, you can see a reference to Aliens.
  • Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom
  • The Smurfette Principle: The Iron Maiden is the only female enemy in the entire game. This remains true for both expansion packs as well.
  • Sound-Coded for Your Convenience: COM-PUTER UP-DATED!
  • A Space Marine Is You
  • Suspiciously Cracked Wall: If you see one, shoot it.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Being the idea to cause massive damage to the Stroggos, many levels plays this straight. The games have at least one level with a countdown which will make everything to explode after reaching zero. And, of course, the final cinematics always reveal something being destroyed by a huge explosion.
  • Use Item: In the PC version, there's an inventory system, and the powerups could be saved for later use. Prior to an early patch, you could even have repeated powerups.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Many of the living prisoners the player finds alongside of the game have items. The only way to get these items is to kill them. And in some cases, such as the levels "The Torture Chambers" (from the Jail Unit) and "Research Lab" (from the Hangar Unit) of vanilla Q2, you're required to do this in order to progress.
  • You Don't Look Like You: The entire Strogg race.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The primary antagonists of the series are even cyborg zombies.

Tropes found in vanilla Quake II (PC)

  • A Lady on Each Arm: The unattackable Tank in the secret chamber of the final level has two Iron Maidens with him.
  • All There in the Manual: Details about the game's backstory, the Stroggos' background and a lot of info can be found on the HTML manuals which come with the game.
  • Armored Coffins: The assault pods. How they are used? Take a few hundred of them, put a marine in each, seal the can, and let them swarm the enemy's base or planet, hoping that at least a few will survive the anti-aircraft fire. The whole thing is aptly named "Operation Overlord" at the end of the Strogg War.
  • Artifact Title: Quake II (which still doesn't refer to anything named Quake) and The Reckoning. Word is that id Software had other titles in mind for Quake II, but they were all trademarked. They later decided to stick to Quake II for the sake of riding on the success of their last hit game, and it worked.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: The Makron (Supreme Strogg Leader).
  • Back from the Brink
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: The Secret Level Comm Satellite requires the player to deactivate some stuff... into a Space Ship with open windows and entrances/exits.note  The detail? None of the original models/skins which shipped with the game included any space suit.
  • Decapitated Army: According to the manual, by killing the Makron, the Strogg Warlords start to battle each other for the supremacy, leaving the Stroggos not only without a leader, but in a very bad situation.
  • Degraded Boss: The Super Tank and Hornet bosses, which appear in the Grid Control and Big Gun levels, later make occasional appearances as regular enemies later in the game, and in the expansions.
  • Conveyor Belt-O-Doom: There are a couple in the factory levels. Any prisoners riding them tend to end up in pieces.
  • Developers' Foresight: Tried to trickjump your way to the exit in the "Installation" level without doing the main mission first? You cannot, as there's somewhat of an invisible wall blocking the area, unless you come from the "Comm Center" level and push the lever in order to lower the bridge. In other words, you can only pass if you do what you're supposed to do.
  • Dummied Out:
    • The Power Screen is a Power Shield that only reduces damage from shots that hit you in front (the Brains enemies and the Daedalus enemies from Ground Zero have these). It isn't found anywhere in the game, but it can be summoned by using the console, it's fully functional, and some third-party levels feature it.
    • Among the help files there are four pictures (five by counting the Power Screen, also present) of non-present items in the game, these items are called Cloaker, Invisibility, Goggles, Scope and Sights. Only the Goggles found their way into the game, by way of the Ground Zero expansion, where these goggles were retextured and called "IR Goggles".
  • Easter Egg:
    • The Cameo: The DopeFish appears on the level "Cooling Facility", by following certain steps.
    • A.H.D.S.S.I.B.H. bjjcSpoiler explanation 
    • There's John Carmack's head in a room with a jar. The head itself is called "Ancient's Head". A further secret also has a Doom poster and a Ferrari.
    • Finally, there's the aforementioned room itself, which features all of Id's staff who worked on the game, plus a further room showing two "slaves" and a Tank with two Iron Maidens.
  • Eternal Engine: The Factory Unit.
  • Foreshadowing: You'll normally find enemies using weapons which you later get. For example:
    • Your first encounter with an Enforcer ("Outer Base", from the Base Unit) before getting access to the Chaingun in the fourth level, "Ammo Depot", from the Warehouse Unit.
    • Your first encounter with a Gunner ("Comm Center", from the Base Unit) before getting access to the Grenade Launcher in "Detention Center", from the Jail Unit.
    • Your first encounter with a Tank ("Warehouse", from the Warehouse Unit) before getting access to the Rocket Launcher in "Mine Entrance", from the Mine Unit.
    • Your first encounter with a Gladiator ("Main Gate", from the Jail Unit) before getting access to the Railgun in "Receiving Center", from the Factory Unit.
  • Heroic Mime: The game was sort of the first to avert this; it was the first Id game to give its player character both a (last) name and a voice, even if it was almost never heard during actual gameplay.
  • Hive Mind: The Strogg seem to use this to some degree, although the backstory is a bit inconsistent as to how much. There're mentions of rival warlords and in-fighting, which seems to suggest that at least the higher-ranking Stroggs have some degree of individuality/autonomy.
  • Human Resources: The Strogg use humans as their food supply, as material for creating more Strogg, and as a means to run their machines. You first come up against this nasty aspect of the Strogg in a mission where you have to shut down an alien processing plant.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: After the Makron is defeated in the final level "Final Showdown", the area where it's staged blows up as soon as Bitterman makes his getaway in the escape pod.
  • Lost Forever: You can enter only once to Sudden Death, the second Secret Level. After that, there's no way you can go back there.
  • Oh, Crap!: The normally collected communications guy over the radio briefly loses his cool in the Strogg Processing Plant.
    We have a confirmed visual on troops being... being disassembled.
  • Raised Hand of Survival: At the end, the protagonist's escape pod crashes on some planet. The hatch is knocked away, and a hand rises out. It ends with it clenching into a fist.
  • Room Full of Crazy: In the Strogg processing plant unit, mentally-broken marines constantly crying out for help or whispering "kill me now" can be found crawling all over the place. In some cases, the words "kill me" are written on the walls in blood. Also found in the Lab level, in the Hangars unit.
  • Secret Level:
    • "Lost Station", which allows you to get an early Super Shotgun.
    • "Sudden Death", 30 seconds of "grab everything you can".
    • "Comm Satellite", a low-grav level.
    • Ground Zero had the "race against the clock" called "Mine Engineering", where you'll be able to find the Chainsaw, and you have to run from the growing lava.
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop: The game is much easier than its predecessor. Considering what the first game was like, that is not such a bad thing.
  • Sequential Boss: The Makron has two forms: a power suit called Jorg, and the Makron itself with several weapons he wasn't using when using the suit.
  • Shout-Out:
    • On the commentary for the Parasite in the manual, there's a reference to Cujo.
    "The Parasite makes Cujo look like Lassie on Prozac."
    • If you watch the intro carefully, you can see a reference to Aliens.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: In the intro.
    "Contact with the colony on Mars will be re-established, and has nothing to do with the impending arrival of the mysterious aliens."
  • Tech Demo Game: Alongside Unreal, this game was one of the first to spur widespread adoption of 3D graphics accelerators, thanks to its colored lighting effects.
  • Timed Mission: The "Big Gun" mission after both defeating the Hornet and overloading the reactor. You have to get to a transport in less than 10 seconds as you see the place collapsing.
  • A Winner Is You:
    • The Player Character crashes an escape pod and his arm rises out of it.
    • The demo version of the PC game has three levels (or four, depending on how you count them). When you complete the final level, the screen abruptly displays "THE END".

Tropes found in The Reckoning

  • Foreshadowing: You'll normally find enemies using weapons which you later get. For example:
    • Your first encounter with a Ripper Guard ("Core Reactor", third level of the Compound Unit) before getting access to the Ion Ripper in "Intelligence Center", the last level of that unit.
    • Your first encounter with a Hyperblast Guard ("Outer Compound", first level of the Compound Unit) before getting access to the Hyperblast in "Outer Base", the second level of the Refinery unit.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: You face the Makron in the last level and then overload the Reactor. When you return to the previous level to escape, the entire Moon Base starts to fall apart. You'll find that some ways are blocked by falling pieces of the base.
  • Metal Slime: The Beta Class Brains shoots lasers, has a power shield (instead of the regular version's Power Screen) and its hooks can catch you.
  • Sequential Boss: The Makron reappears at the penultimate level in its two forms, to boot.
  • Take That!: Xatrix doesn't like rocket jumpers, and makes it clear, first by giving rocket jumps a higher knockback and damage, then by introducing an Easter Egg in a level with the following text:
    "No reward for you, rocket jumper."
  • Timed Mission: The Strogg Freighter. Once you've killed all the guards near the end, a self-destruct sequence starts and you have to transport the Power Cubes to a stabilizing chamber before time runs out.

Tropes found in Ground Zero

  • Beam Spam: The Plasma Beam.
  • Canon Discontinuity: The final cutscene implies that all (or at least part) of Stroggos is totally devastated by the A-M Bomb, and there are no human survivors left on the planet to evacuate. Needless to say, this isn't the case.
  • Chainsaw Good: The eponymous Chainsaw.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: The Black Widow renders Quad Damage, Invulnerability and Double Damage useless when playing against her.
  • Doomsday Device / Time Bomb: The A-M (Anti-Matter) bomb, the device which must be used on the Gravity Well in order to destroy it alongside the rest of the planet.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Around the final levels, there's a secret which will give you a Strogg uniform, allowing you to pass through enemy lines as if you were at home. Just take care of not shooting.
  • Enemy Summoner: The Medic Commander, who can recall several Mooks into the battlefield.
  • Giant Spider: The Black Widow.
  • Lightning Gun: To some extent, the TESLA mine.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: There's a full cutscene of this: after planting and activating the A-M Bomb, the player returns to one of the previous levels where he has already activated a shuttle, and escapes from the planet while the Gravity Well and almost all the other areas are being vaporized by the bomb.
  • Lost Forever:
    • You can only go at the secret level Mine Engineering just once.
    • Double Subverted with the Tectonic Stabilizer level, where you can go in and out, until you complete all the objectives.
  • Mook Maker:
    • The Carrier can summon Flyers at will.
    • The Black Widow can summon Stalkers at will.
  • Nail 'Em: The Flechette Gun.
  • Secret Level: "Mine Engineering", a "race against the rising lava" where you'll be able to find an early Chainsaw.
  • Shout-Out:
    • GZ introduced an Icarus clone with a Power Shield called Daedalus.
    • The Tesla item is named after Nikola Tesla.
    • The Mid Boss is an improved version of the Hornet with the added capability to summon Flyers. Its name? The Carrier.note 
  • Timed Mission:
    • The Tectonic Stabilizer, after shutting down the coolants. Keep your eyes open and you'll see an entrance to the secret level Mine Engineering, another timer-based mission but without any timer outside of the raising lava.
    • Subverted with the final level, Widow's Lair, as, after you placed the bomb, you're immediately taken to a cutscene.
  • Too Awesome to Use: The Quad Damage and Invulnerability items become useless in the boss fights.

Tropes found in the console versions

  • Take That!: The N64 version has one:
    The Instruction Manual: "What are you waiting for, Dinosaurs in fog?"
  • A Winner Is You: In the N64 version, after beating the final level, your character goes up in a elevator... and you get a small paragraph of text thanking you for playing the game.