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Videogame: 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.


This game and its Expansion Packs provide examples of:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Artificial Limbs: The Strogg fit this trope to varying extremes. As mentioned above, 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.
  • Attract Mode
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: The Makron (Supreme Strogg Leader).
  • 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 .
  • 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.
  • Beam Spam: The Plasma Beam in Ground Zero.
  • BFG
  • Blatant Item Placement
  • Chainsaw Good: Ground Zero has one of these.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: The Black Widow and Widow Guardian in Ground Zero, which renders Quad Damage, Invulnerability and Double Damage useless when playing against her.
  • 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.
    • There are a couple in the factory levels. Any prisoners riding them tend to end up in pieces.
  • Crate Expectations: Everywhere. Some of these boxes need to be shoot, (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 levels also have these, such as "The Frag Pipe" and "The Lava Zone".
  • 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.
  • Doomsday Device / Time Bomb: The A-M (Anti-Matter) bomb in Ground Zero. This is the device you must use on the Gravity Well. Place it anywhere on an online match after you find it, and RUN AS FAST AND FAR AS YOU CAN!!!
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Around the final levels of Ground Zero, especially the ones where you have to get the components to build the A-M bomb, there's a secret which will give you a Strogg uniform, so you can pass through enemy lines as if you were at home. Just take care of not shooting.
  • 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: EVERYWHERE among the secrets!
    • The Cameo: The DopeFish appears on the level "Cooling Facility", by following certain steps.
    • A.H.D.S.S.I.B.H. bjjcSpoiler explanation 
  • 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.
  • Enemy Summoner: Ground Zero has the Medic Commander, who can recall several Mooks into the battlefield.
    • Mook Maker: Ground Zero has the Carrier, a mid-boss like Hornet from vanilla Quake II, who can summon Flyers at will; and the Black Widow, Final Boss of the game, who can summon Stalkers at will.
  • Eternal Engine: The Factory Unit.
  • 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. Even on the expansion packs.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In vanilla Quake II, 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.
    • In The Reckoning:

      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.
  • Giant Mook: Tanks and Gladiators.
  • Giant Spider: The very final boss in Ground Zero.
  • Harder Than Hard: Requires the console command "skill 3" to access Nightmare difficulty. It doesn't change the amount of enemies, but there're many changes towards their behaviour.
  • Hell Is That Noise: It's difficult to hear unless the music is turned off, but there is always a distorted bass thrum in the background, playing the same three notes ad infinatum. It's not part of the music and the source is never shown.
  • 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. Quake 4's backstory seems to treat the whole race as one giant Hive Mind, however.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • It's Raining Men: The initial wave of the human invasion to the Stroggs was to basically fire an entire army down onto the surface in individual drop pods. It failed, with one exception. The first cinematics of both Expansion Packs reveals the same.
  • Laser Hallway: The game is plagued with this kind of passages. Even full levels have these.
  • Lava Pit: Several instances.
  • Lightning Gun: To some extent, the TESLA mine in Ground Zero.
  • 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.
    • The same happens with the same boss in The Reckoning: 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.
    • And in Ground Zero, 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: Aside of the Points Of No Return, you can enter only once to Sudden Death, the second Secret Level. After that, there's no way you can go back there.
    • In Ground Zero, 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.
  • Malevolent Architecture
  • Metal Slime: The Brains enemy. A variant in The Reckoning also shoots lasers and has a power shield.
  • More Dakka: The Chaingun.
  • Nail 'Em: Ground Zero's Flechette Gun.
  • 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.
  • 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:
    • Vanilla Quake II has "Lost Station" (Where you'll find the Super Shotgun) "Sudden Death" (30 seconds of "pick everything you can") and "Comm Satellite". (The 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: Quake II is much easier than its predecessor. Considering what the first game was like, that is not such a bad thing. In the expansion packs, the difficulty returns in full force.
  • 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. Ground Zero has also a clone with a Power Shield called Daedalus.
    • 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.
    • The Tesla item in Ground Zero is named after Nikola Tesla.
  • 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!
  • Space Marine
  • Suspiciously Cracked Wall: If you see one, shoot it.
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • Take That: The N64 version has one:
    The Instruction Manual: "What are you waiting for, Dinosaurs in fog?"
  • 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.
  • Too Awesome to Use: The Quad Damage and Invulnerability items, except for the Makron in the original game and The Reckoning.
  • Use Item: In the PC version, there's has an inventory system, and the powerups could be saved for later use.
  • 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) you're required to do this in order to progress.
  • A Winner Is You: 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.
    • Even the PC version had this. The Player Character crashes an escape pod and his arm rises out of it.
  • You Don't Look Like You: The entire Strogg race.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The primary antagonists of the series are even cyborg zombies.

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alternative title(s): Quake II
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