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Trivia / Quake I

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  • Author Appeal: Adrian Carmack and Sandy Petersen are Lovecraft fans, and it shows.
  • Canon Name: Quake III: Arena gave the Player Character of this game the name "Ranger".
  • Development Gag: The Chinese name for a scrapped weapon literally translates as "Thunder God's Hammer". Scourge of Armagon would later feature the Mjolnir, which fits that description.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • The Thunderbolt is also called "the shaft" by deathmatch veterans.
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  • Hey, It's That Sound!: The "get key" sound effect is identical to the one from GoldenEye (1997).
  • Killer App: It was already this to begin with, but when GLQuake was released, 3dfx Voodoo Graphics accelerators started flying off the shelves, now that people could suddenly play it at 640x480 resolution (at a time when people were content with 320x200 on the software-rendered version because higher resolutions were too demanding) and still maintain a liquid-smooth 60 frames per second!
    Note that VQuake for Rendition Verite cards predates GLQuake, but did not result in massive success for Rendition like it did for 3dfx. For more info see this [1] and [2]
    Keep in mind that not even the Nintendo 64 could hold 60 FPS at just 240p with its Quake port; the PlayStation and Sega Saturn stood no chance, further cementing the sheer advantage PC gaming had over console gaming.
    • GLQuake was allegedly developed to run on id Software's workstations with no intentions of running on consumer PCs, but by coincidence, the 3dfx Voodoo Graphics card handled it very well, and so they made it available to consumers anyway. The rest is history.
    • Even before GLQuake, the game performed so much better on Intel's Pentium processors to the point that prospective PC gamers upgrading from the old 386 and 486 would steer away from AMD and Cyrix alternatives to the point that it's commonly speculated that Cyrix's relatively poor FPU performance at the time, and thus Quake performance, put Cyrix out of business.
  • Mid-Development Genre Shift: The game began its development as a large, free-roaming Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game, with players taking control of Norse-style warriors armed with Mjolnir-like hammers. However, this idea (and eventually the whole RPG setting) was scrapped, and instead switched to a more Doom-like FPS direction while keeping the original level design, just like id's previous FPS boomfests.
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  • Milestone Celebration: For Quake's 10th. anniversary, Id released the source code for the maps themselves under the GPL license.
  • Pop-Star Composer: Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails composed the score for Quake. The game includes a nail gun weapon with ammo packs featuring the band's NIN logo. The man himself even voices Ranger, the main character.
  • Promoted Fanboy: id hired some of the best level makers to their team (most notably American McGee), and several of the creators of the various Game Mods or tournament winners below have gone on to jobs in the industry. Additionally, part of the reason Trent Reznor was hired to do the music is because he was such a huge fan of Doom.
  • Recycled Script: The premise of this game is similar to that of Doom, with a lone soldier fighting a myriad of enemies in high-tech military bases and then going through portals to nightmarish realms. But instead of fighting demons from Hell like in Doom, the protagonist faces a wider variety of enemies (human soldiers and guard dogs in early levels, medieval warriors, ogres, and zombies midway through, and then Lovecraftian monsters towards the end). All of which were leftovers from the various incarnations the game went through before release.
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  • Troubled Production: The game engine was being changed constantly, requiring already-designed levels to be scrapped and recreated from scratch over and over again. By the end of production, nearly everyone was burned out and drained creatively. According to John Romero, he suggested splitting id into an engine design team and a game design team to avoid another grueling production, but he was shot down, prompting him to leave and form his own company.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The Norse-style MMO originally described by id, before the Mid-Development Genre Shift.
      John Romero once stated that Darksiders was very much the sort of game he wanted Quake to be originally.
    • The title originates from a discarded weapon, the Quake Hammer, a powerful mallet that would hit the ground and send enemies flying.
    • The game was also going to feature a magical artifact called the Hellgate Cube that had its own AI and would hover near the player and follow them throughout the game. The cube would react to how the player treated it. If the player treated the cube well, it would return the favor by assisting the player during combat, healing them when they were injured, and even teleporting them to a different location if a combat encounter was going badly. If the player displeased the cube, it might abandon them for a while or even deal damage to them. The Hellgate Cube idea was scrapped when it was decided to make the game more of a Doom-style action shooter. Incidentally, Hexen II, based on the same engine, includes a similar item called the Force Cube, although all it does is float around the player and shoot at enemies.
    • The story for for the game was going to feature more Old Ones than just Shub-Niggurath. The player would collect Freedom Artifacts instead of runes to free the Old Ones from Shalrath's otherworldly prisons, upon which Shalrath would fight the player in the form of Shub-Niggurath. For that matter, Shub-Niggurath was going to have an actual boss fight at one point, but time constraints forced the team to pare the boss down to a brief Puzzle Boss.
    • The game was going to feature nowadays common-place mouselook as a default activated setting, but John Romero thought the feature was "too advanced" for its time. Later updates activated it by default.
    • The intro level "Welcome to Quake" was going to feature an ad from an early Internet company, but it was thumbed down because Id themselves considered it "tacky".
      • The beta version located the Well of Wishes Easter Egg in this level, next to the entrance to the Nightmare difficulty level, but it was later relocated to its current position.
    • "E2M6: Dismal Oubliette" had an would have an extra part as the starting point which was cut due to a self-imposed map size limit. It was later released as a standalone level called "E2M10: The Lost Entrance to Dismal Oubliette".
    • "E3M5: The Wind Tunnels" was going to be a Secret Level.
    • Shub-Niggurath was originally going to have some way to attack (in the final game she's basically in invalid who can't attack or even move and is entirely dependent on her mooks), as there is a message for when she kills the player: "player became one with Shub-Niggurath".
  • Working Title: The Fight for Justice, and then Timequake.


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