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Video Game / Quake I

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While scouting the neighborhood, you hear shots back at the base. Damn, that Quake bastard works fast! He heard about Operation Counterstrike, and hit first. Racing back, you see the place is overrun. You are almost certainly the only survivor. Operation Counterstrike is over. Except for you.

You know that the heart of the installation holds a slipgate. Since Quake's killers came through, it is still set to his dimension. You can use it to get loose in his hometown. Maybe you can get to the asshole personally. You pump a round into your shotgun, and get moving.
from the manual

Quake is the first game in the eponymous Quake series, and was released on July 2, 1996, for MS-DOS. It began development as a free-roaming RPG, but it switched to a First-Person Shooter, like id's previous series, Doom. An Open GL version was released on January 22, 1997, while a version tailor-made for Microsoft Windows was released on March 11, 1997. It was also released on Sega Saturn (December 2, 1997), Amiga (January 1, 1998) and Nintendo 64 (March 24, 1998).

The game has the Heroic Mime Protagonist (called "Ranger" in Quake III: Arena) going through four worlds collecting lost runes in order to fight against an Eldritch Abomination after a military experiment into teleportation went awry and caused an interdimensional demon invasion. The player, now the last surviving member of his unit, must single-handedly blow them all to bits. Of course, the story was once more just a basic framework for an adrenaline-packed onslaught of vicious monsters to be blown apart.


As id Software's follow-up to Doom, this game is another big step forward in their graphics capabilities. The game's engine was renowned for its ability to create a fully polygonal three-dimensional world, populated with enemies and objects constructed using the same polygons and all animated smoothly, at a time when most games still used sprites in some fashion, such as for enemies or pickups. Built for modding, id freely distributed scripting, design and mapping tools that spawned a practically infinite stream of fanmade content (including, notably, Team Fortress, which went on to spawn two sequels). Quake is also notable for jump-starting the phenomena of speedrunning and machinima (Diary of a Camper).

Coming on the heels of Quake is QuakeWorld, a mod which contained basically the first networking code designed specifically to combat the types of lag caused by Internet play and pretty much created online gaming as we now know it. All of this put together has made Quake one of the longest-lived games ever made.


The game saw several addons expanding upon the story of the game and/or adding enemies, weapons and items:

  • Quake Mission Pack No. 1: Scourge of Armagon by Hipnotic Entertainment, set after the events of the game, saw Ranger coming back to Earth only to discover that once again one of Quake's generals have found a way to infiltrate into our world. The pack adds sixteen levels, three new weapons (the Mjolnir, the Laser Cannon and the Proximity Mine Launcher) and three new enemies (Centroid, Gremlin and Spike Mine) as well as the eponymous Final Boss. Unlike Quake, its story is told in a linear fashion.
  • Quake Mission Pack No. 2: Dissolution of Eternity by Rogue Entertainment, set after the events of Armagon, eschews all the additions of Armagon as well as secret levels, and takes place in a battle through time that sees Ranger going back and forth in order to finish the instigator of the whole series. The pack returns to the episodic storytelling of Quake with two straightforward episodes accounting for 16 levels, five "new" weapons (which are just variations of the Nailgun, Super Nailgun -both get Lava variations-, Grenade Launcher, Rocket Launcher -both get multi-projectile variations-, and the Thunderbolt -which gets an explosion-based Plasma Gun-).
  • Episode 5: Dimension of the Past, a free, small Mission-Pack Sequel created by MachineGames in order to celebrate the game's 20th anniversary. As a separate episode, it tells a linear story, and it's 8-level short.
  • Episode 6: Dimension of the Machine, another addon, this time bundled with the 2021 remaster (see below). It's modelled after the Game Mod Arcane Dimensions, with Ranger going through many 2-to-3-level-long areas (the pack itself being nearly 16-level long) in order to collect pieces to unlock the way to defeat one of Quake's main generals once and for all.

On August 19, 2021, Quake received a remaster co-developed by Nightdive Studios and MachineGames on Steamnote , Playstation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, with Playstation 5 and Xbox Series versions upcoming. Developed using Nightdive's Kex Engine running parallel with the game's native Id-Tech 2 engine, this remaster featured the usual litany of graphical updates, expanded settings for modern hardware and various forms of input support - including Gyro aiming support for the Switch and PS versions. The aforementioned Scourge of Armagon, Dissolution of Eternity and Dimension of the Past were packaged into this remaster, alongside a brand new episode, Dimension of the Machine, also by MachineGames. The remaster also offers an impressively revamped multiplayer experience, with online, local and splitscreen co-op with full cross-play compatibility, capable of supporting 4-player co-op and 8-player PvP experiences. Later updates would add a multiplayer-compatible horde mode.

Like the 2019 updates for Doom and Doom II, the Quake remaster features the ability to download and run developer-curated add-ons, starting with Quake 64, a recreation of the Nintendo 64 version of the game, complete with coloured lighting, platform-faithful CRT screen overlay effect, and intact original soundtrack courtesy of renowned Doom 64 composer Aubrey Hodges. The available mod list can be seen in the Trivia page.

Followed chronologically by Quake II.

This game and its Expansion Packs provide examples of:

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    In general 
  • Alien Sky: The sky in Quake's dimension is an endless, rolling mass of black and purple clouds.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Monsters can only get telefragged by players, and not vice-versa. Unlike Doom, there are no situations where this rule is ignored, like the spawn cubes launched by the final boss of Doom II. There are even a few places where you can weaponize this by standing on the spot a monster is meant to teleport in before it appears.
    • The Super Nailgun, while initially intended to fire nails at a faster rate than the regular Nailgun, fires a single nail that consumes 2 nails and deals the damage of 3 standard Nailgun nails. This was done to avoid high latency when playing the game on 90s hardware.note 
  • An Axe to Grind: The player's Emergency Weapon. It also has some Mundane Utility to open secret doors without wasting ammo.
  • Armor Points: Armor is expressed by a number next to an icon. There are three types of armor: Green (100 points), Yellow (150 points), and Red (200 points), with the armor with higher points giving the player more protection but wearing down much faster. The game will prevent the player from picking up an Armor type of a lower level than the one they are currently wearing unless it's below a certain threshold (e.g. A player wearing Red Armor cannot pick up Green Armor unless they have less than 38 armor points).
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • Most enemies never take into account distance and height differences of the player's position when it comes to aiming. They will always miss if you are on higher ground, up to and including Shamblers. On the classic game's Nightmare difficulty, enemies won't attempt to reposition themselves when they refire if you don't move, making it the main reason why Nightmare is considered easier than Hard.
    • Enemies will often try to take the shortest route towards you, even if that shortest route cannot be taken - for example, if you are on a bridge in which you have to take a U-turn to reach the other side, and the whole bridge has no cover, enemies will try to run forward to reach you instead of taking said U-turn. This is a particularly strange situation as enemies take routes fairly well if they cannot see you.
  • Artistic License – Physics:
    • The rocket launcher has recoil, despite being a recoilless design with an open rear tube.
    • Shooting the lightning gun into water doesn't automatically kills anyone, but shooting it while underwater kills the player and any enemies around.
  • Ascended Glitch:
    • The Strafe Jump, also called "bunny hopping", was a glitch in the game's multiplayer. To the point of including a tutorial about it in Quake Live. Along with the Strafe Jump, more abilities were there to be discovered by the player. Not really an issue that divides the Quake fanbase: they've accepted it, unlike the members of similar games or spinoffs.
    • The Rocket Jump was originally a glitch, but was kept in the game - a secret in "The Palace of Hate" involves the player firing a grenade into a shallow hole and jumping over it as it explodes to reach a teleporter, hinting at this interaction being noted during development. Nowadays it's a staple mechanic of several First-Person Shooter games.
  • Attract Mode: Demos of many levels will play on the menu screen.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Thunderbolt. It's the game's most powerful weapon by far, but it's hard to aim properly, its range is much lower than the visible thunderbolt, ammo is very scarce, and in spite of its mass-kill of underwater beings, doing this shorts out the weapon, killing even the player if they're not invulnerable. Even if they survive, all the ammo is depleted. Still, in the situations where the weapon shines such as when it's combined with Quad Damage, it can slice through monsters/opponents like a hot knife through butter provided you lead the target well.
  • A Winner Is You: Like the original Doom games, the endings for each campaign are pretty much just congratulatory text crawls. Most of the between-episode text crawls will at least attempt to provide some degree of context as to what's going on;
    • The base campaign details the ancient knowledge the Ranger is subject to from each rune he collects.
  • Beeping Computers: In the sci-fi "Techbase" levels, there are constant technological beeping noises.
  • Blatant Item Placement: In single-player mode, while in the military base levels this at least can be excused, health packs, ammo and weapons abound for no reason at all in the interdimensional settings. There aren't even corpses around the weapon accounting for that fact (unlike later games such as Quake II).
  • Blatant Lies: The manual claims that "as with all other games, Id software has removed all cheat codes from Quake".
  • Boring, but Practical: The double-barreled shotgun. Not only is it very powerful at close range (it can even gib certain enemies, which its equivalent in Doom could not do under any circumstances) but ammo for it is plentiful and it's available in almost every level.
  • Bullet Time: Pulling up the weapon wheel in the 2021 Remaster will slow time down until a weapon is selected, akin to the weapon wheels featured in DOOM (2016) and DOOM Eternal.
  • Call-Forward: One of the Deathmatch levels added in the 2021 re-release is an adaptation of "Q2DM1: The Edge" from Quake II.
  • Cherry Tapping: The Shotgun is weak but accurate. You can take down a Shambler with it from a distance if you're patient enough.
  • Classic Cheat Code: While Quake's cheat codes don't have strange names like those in Doom, cheat codes such as "god", "noclip" and certain "impulse" commands got their way on several first-person shooter games, particularly Half-Life (which runs on a modified Quake engine) and its sequels, as well as any games that originated as Game Mods on them.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Green armor is the weakest kind, followed by yellow (medium) and red (strongest). On the other hand, as all Armors absorb damage the same way, the Red armor has the shortest lifespan, while Green armor lasts the longest.
  • Compilation Rerelease:
  • Convection Schmonvection: There's lava all over the place, which is deadly if you fall into it, but simply walking over it on a grating is fine.
  • Creepy Crosses: So much it borders on Sigil Spam. One texture actually depicts Jesus hung on one (albeit obscured by darkness), and several can be found with zombies pinned to them.
  • Critical Existence Failure: While this trope is Played Straight as was usual in older first-person shooter games, it also gets applied when it comes to whether an enemy is turned into Ludicrous Gibs or not. To be gibbed, an enemy had to reach a certain amount of negative health points when killed.
  • Dark Fantasy: Eldritch-possessed knights, vile creatures, dark magic, dark castles, lots of gore. What's not to like?
  • Death Trap: Many levels feature spike shooters, crushing blocks, trapdoor floors etc.
    • "Claustrophobopolis", from the "Deathmatch Arena" episode, is the home to several Beginner's Traps involving switches, lava, and teleporters.
  • Dead Character Walking: Typing "give health" into the console will cause the player to assume a bizarre undead state where their corpse is lying on the ground, yet can still jump, look around, shoot and even kill enemies. This is because the actual code to change your current health is simply "give h"; "give health" has the code apply "ealth" as your health value, which breaks things.
  • Death World: The entire universe. Lava, chemicals, explosives...
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Quake's aesthetic differs strongly from all of its sequels, with fantasy- and Lovecraft-inspired settings in addition to sci-fi locales, and no mention whatsoever of series villains the Strogg, outside of some early appearances of their insignia. Much of this can be attributed to Quake II being a Dolled-Up Installment. In addition, the Quake series' most distinctive weapon, the Railgun, is absent, having yet to make its debut in II.
  • Everything Fades: An interesting example in that it doesn't apply to Quake, but the game still helped popularize it. One of the early attractions of Quake's polygonal graphics was the prospect that you'd now be able to look at corpses and guns from different angles, which was new and incredibly cool back then. Unfortunately, the rapid increase in performance requirements brought on by Quake-style graphics would ultimately bring about the ubiquity of this trope. It's less noticeable if you're using a modern source port.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Except for the pickups and powerups, there are nothing but monsters and booby traps as far as the eye can see.
  • Evil Is Not Well-Lit: Most of the non-base levels are very dimly lit, and some even have sections that are pitch black. Later on, the darkness tends to hide traps. It's also likely this way in order to show off the game engine's dynamic lighting and shadows.
  • Excuse Plot: The "plot" of the game is basically just "monsters from another dimension are invading, do something about it." This was deliberate, mainly because Id (like most game designers back then) figured no one cared about video game plots.
  • Expansion Pack/Mission-Pack Sequel: The game received two official expansion packs in 1997, Scourge of Armagon by Hipnotic Interactive and Dissolution of Eternity by Rogue Entertainment, which continue the game's story where the fourth episode and subsequent final level of the base game ended. MachineGames later developed two additional follow-up episodes for the game: Dimension of the Past, released in 2016 as a free gift for the game's 20th anniversary; and Dimension of the Machine, which was included in the 2021 Kex Engine remaster that was itself released on the game's 25th anniversary.
  • Exploding Barrels: In the military bases back on Earth, there are certain crates with a red radioactive symbol that explode when shot, with more or less the power of a rocket.
  • Expressive Health Bar: The game features Ranger's face as an additional health status indicator alongside the current health indicator.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The Thunderbolt explodes if discharged into the water, killing the player. This was a problem in an early version (1.01), where a player would enter a non-respawning zombie state if he wasn't gibbed by the explosion (e.g. 6 cells with 100 health). While single-player games allowed reloading or using the console to restart the level, clients needed to disconnect from a co-op or deathmatch multiplayer game. While it was fixed in version 1.06, the expansion packs (1.07 and 1.08) re-implemented this bug with the new but similar weapons.
  • Game Mod:
    • Trope Codifier in the FPS Genre. Doom was designed with a few features that allowed user-made levels, but Quake was probably the first major game purpose-built for modding, especially with its "Quake C" scripting language. In fact, many modern games owe their roots to mods developed for Quake. Several of the mods (Capture the Flag, Rocket Arena) have also become standard modes in subsequent games. Team Fortress became its own game series.
    • Brought to its logical extreme by modding the engine itself, freeing it from certain limitations the original engine had. This allows maps to be extremely long, among other traits. It's also a well-known fact that Valve's GoldSrc engine, famously used for the original Half-Life, is actually a heavily modified version of the Quake engine.
  • Gatling Good: The Super Nailgun's barrels spin just like a Gatling gun's. Its rate of fire isn't any faster than the Nailgun's, but it fires 2 nails at a time.
  • Gothic Horror: The general motif of the game, with moody medieval environments, dark knights, and Eldritch Abominations around every corner.
  • Grenade Launcher: The Trope Codifier for the "bouncy grenade" type, used by both the player and Ogres.
  • Guilt-Free Extermination War: The entire premise of the game. No one will bat an eye about killing off Lovecraftian creatures straight out of a madman's night terrors.
  • Harder Than Hard: "Nightmare" mode, so much so, that the entrance to it is hidden from the player in the difficulty select map in all of the instances. The 2021 remaster furthers this by adjusting monster behaviour to better handle the AI upgrades and capping the player's max health to 50 HP at any time.
  • Have a Nice Death: By way of death messages:
    "Deathbringer rode Fluffy's rocket."
  • Helpful Mook:
    • If they are on a higher platform, Ogres can distract powerful melee enemies such as Fiends or Death Knights (and if far enough, even Shamblers and Vores). This is far easier in the classic Nightmare due to the surprisingly fast rate of fire Ogres have.
  • Hero-Tracking Failure: The enemy grunt's projectile attacks are explicitly changed to aim a bit behind a moving player, while velocity projectile attacks only focus on the player, allowing a simple dodge by side-stepping. The only exception is the episode 1 boss on hard difficulty, where the thrown fireballs are aimed to ensure a hit a target that doesn't zig-zag.
  • High-Voltage Death: Go on, try shooting the Thunderbolt underwater. Good to nab yourself a few cheeky frags in multiplayer deathmatch when equipped with the Pentagram of Protection or Scourge of Armagon's Wetsuit. Doing so in the 2021 Remaster even nets you the "Discharge" achievement.
  • Hitscan: Grunts' shotguns and the Shambler's lightning attack are impossible to dodge if you're out in the open when they fire off. Similarly, your only hitscan weapons are the two shotguns and the Thunderbolt.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: If you attempt to Tele-Frag an enemy under the effects of the Pentagram of Protection, you will be the one to get killed. If both have a Pentagram, both are killed instead (this being the only way to kill an enemy under a Pentagram's effects).+
  • Hub Level: All official campaigns feature a starting level with portals that allow players to select their desired difficulty option of Easy, Normal or Hard, with a secret Nightmare skill portal hidden just off the beaten path. Played Straight for non-linear campaigns whose difficulty-selection hubs also double as episode-selection hubs.
    • The base game has the episode "Welcome to Quake" with its sole map "Introduction". The player is presented with the three main difficulty selection portals and slipgate entrances to each of the game's four episodes. Completed episodes are blocked off by metal gates, and the floor in the centre of the room opens up to Shub-Niggurath's pit when all four episodes are completed. The Nightmare skill portal can be found in the entrance to the fourth episode, via a passageway accessed by landing on the wooden beams in the room from the overhead pool of water.
    • Scourge of Armagon has "START: Command HQ", a terrestrial military base of interconnecting corridors with slipgates for each difficulty mode. Its most notable feature is the entrance to the Hard slipgate passage, which is connected by a room with low-gravity in effect. The Nightmare skill portal can be found in a forcefield-protected area overlooking the Easy skill portal, which can be accessed by an elevator sandwiched between a slime pit and several stacks of crates.
    • Dissolution of Eternity has "Introduction", featuring a similar layout to base Quake's Introduction map, but with more open ceilings and only two selectable episodes as opposed to four. The Nightmare skill portal can be found in a hidden chamber, accessible only by activating three hidden buttons in the map's episode selection room.
    • Dimension of the Past has "E5START: Dimension of the Past", a stone walkway over water leading to a monolithic castle bearing the difficulty selection portals, all of which transport the player to a single metal corridor with the episode's sole slipgate at the back. The Nightmare skill portal can be found in a water-filled reservoir next to the slipgate room, accessible via a flooded path behind the slipgate itself.
    • Dimension of the Machine splurges out with two hub levels; "START: The Gateway" for difficulty selection and "HUB: The Machine" for episode selection. Both levels are dominated by industrial-gothic architecture, looking somewhere between an industrial revolution-era factory and an arcane Lovecraftian Temple, all bathed in the fiery glow of candlelight and lava. The Nightmare skill portal can be found via a passage to a hidden room with a considerably wide lava moat separating the portal from the player, accessible via a caved-in wall next to the Hard difficulty selection portal.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal:
    • The Player Character carries an axe, two shotguns, two fully automatic nailguns, a grenade launcher, a rocket launcher and a Lightning Gun. At the same time.
    • Scourge of Armagon throws in a laser cannon, a proximity mine launcher and Mjölnir.
    • While Dissolution of Eternity ditches SoA's weapons, it makes up for adding a whole stack of alt ammunition for the existing weapon roster; Lava Nails for the two nailguns, Multi-Rockets for the explosive launchers and Plasma Cells for the Thunderbolt.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: Nearly all the level names have a dark fantasy/horror theme.
  • Invincibility Power-Up: The Pentagram of Protection makes the player invulnerable, makes the HUD face's eyes glow yellow and the armor meter in the console read 666 with a pentagram as the icon. It doesn't protect your armor, however.
  • Interface Screw: The screen tilts a bit and flashes red when you take damage, no matter how much. The problem starts when you're hit several times in a short timespan, like by a Knight's sword, Ogre's chainsaw or Shambler's lightning, which will leave your screen tilted a lot and almost solid red, making retaliating impossible. The same goes for falling in lava, even if invulnerable.
  • Invisibility Cloak: The Ring of Shadows, which renders you invisible save for your eyes. You can slip past monsters undetected, but the ones trying to track you down still know where you are.
  • Kill 'Em All: The game keeps track of how many monsters you've killed per level, with the ideal being 100%.
  • Lava Is Boiling Kool-Aid: Lava in this game is essentially orange water with a very high damage-per-second trait.
  • Lava Pit: Several instances, often under retreating floors.
  • Lightning Gun: The Thunderbolt. It drains batteries fast but kills enemies even faster. Just don't fire it underwater.
  • Lock and Key Puzzle: Many levels, although they're back to Wolfenstein 3-D levels of simple, with only two keys to find at most.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Whenever enemies are blown up with the rocket launcher or telefragged. Explosives are actually required to kill zombies if you don't have a Quad Damage, as attacks must inflict a minimum amount of damage to kill one. The most egregious case of this is Cthon, whose defeat doesn't cause an explosion in itself, but going through the exit of the level causes a fireworks show of assorted gore in Cthon's lair for no immediately discernible reason.
  • Meaningful Name: The multiplayer level Claustrophobopolis (Greek for "claustrophobia city") has rooms where you can be crushed by The Walls Are Closing In if another player hits a switch.
  • Mythology Gag: The 2021 re-release includes an adaptation of the Deathmatch map "The Edge" from Quake II. It is not the first time this map has appeared in Quake I - actually having appeared first in the Arcade Tournament Edition, released in 1998.
  • Nail 'Em: The Nailgun and the Super Nailgun.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The levels themselves are given rather ominous appellations: "The Dismal Oubliette", "Chambers of Torment", "Satan's Dark Delight", "Azure Agony", etc.
  • Point of No Return: You cannot go back to any previous level, but the levels themselves are usually designed so that you can backtrack anytime. There are a few exceptions, such as one part of a level in which the lights behind the player turn off, somehow blocking the path.
  • Press X to Die: The Thunderbolt, which kills you when fired underwater, and it also electrocutes anything in a radius that depends on the amount of ammo you have for it. This is (kinda) useful in multiplayer if a bunch of people are in the water with you, or if you're invincible.
  • Ranged Emergency Weapon: The shotgun. It is half as powerful compared to its predecessor from Doom, needing two shots to kill even the weakest of enemies. It's more comparable to the pistol, given its higher rate of fire and that it's your starting weapon. It is, at least, fairly precise and hitscan, so it retains some use as a poor man's sniper rifle even after you get significantly more powerful guns.
  • Real Is Brown: The game's color palette is made up mostly of browns and dark greys, but it's not for the sake of realism; it adds to the dark atmosphere of the game. Believe it or not, but at the time it came out this definitely gave the game an instantly recognizable visual style, as the colour palette of virtually every set of textures ranges from greenish-brown to reddish-brown, with the rare exception of some bluish-grey textures. Even most basic enemies are either dressed in some shade of brown or have brownish skin.
  • Red Sky, Take Warning: More like "purple sky take warning". In the few levels where the sky can be seen, it's a purple color with ominously drifting clouds.
  • Russian Reversal: The taglines for the Knight and Death Knight enemies:
    Knight: Canned meat! Open 'er up and see if it's still fresh!
    Death Knight: This particular canned meat tends to open you up instead.
  • Save Scumming: You can save and reload the game at any time. This can backfire if you accidentally save right before a monster or trap is about to kill you.
  • Scary Dogmatic Aliens: The game's monsters are attempting an invasion of Earth and cannot be stopped except by exterminating them all.
  • Serious Business: Tournament Play moved from a pastime to a career for some, among them "Thresh", who won John Carmack's Ferrari in a tournament.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: One of the main features of the AI is how easy it is to get enemies to attack each other, which can save the player a lot of work and ammunition.
  • Shareware: One of the latest examples of this era. The demo version came with the first episode and restricted everything else.
  • Shaped Like Itself: When the player is killed by a monster, the game will give a different message depending on the type of monster that killed him, which usually takes the form of "player was (verb) by a (monster name)". The scrag's message is just "player was scragged by a scrag."
  • Shock and Awe: The Shambler's main attack method is to cook up a stream of lightning and shoot it at you. There's also your own Lightning Gun, and several traps in the expansion packs are of the electricity-shooting variety.
  • Shout-Out: Shares a page with the rest of the franchise.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: The double-barrel shotgun has an incredibly wide shot spread, which renders it useless at any distance beyond a few in-game metres. Averted with the regular shotgun, which fires a tight spread that usually does full damage even at long range.
  • Six Hundred Sixty Six: Appears as your armour count when you are invulnerable. You can't take damage when it is active, but your armor can still be stripped away.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Enemies in Quake do not take any damage from water, slime and lava, behaving essentially as though they were still in normal air. The only effect they have on them is that they will not attack a player if they are underwater and the player is not (or vice-versa).
  • Suspicious Video-Game Generosity: Whenever you find a grenade launcher, it's a good bet there's a bunch of zombies (which have to be gibbed to be killed) right around the corner.
  • Tech Demo Game:
    • Practically every level seems designed to show off the (at the time) amazing new features, namely a fully 3d world, room-over-room capabilities, and dynamic lighting and shadows.
    • This game is the reason graphics cards sell well on PCs two decades later. Attempts had been made for years to sell 3D accelerators, but people weren't particularly interested in the high costs until the OpenGL version of Quake came along.
  • Tele-Frag: Sometimes two or more monsters will spawn in place and instagib each other. It's possible to do it in multiplayer as well. Monsters can never telefrag players - if you're in the right spot, you can avoid fighting a tough enemy.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Overkilling zombies is required. They'll go down with standard firepower, but they'll recover and get back up again shortly afterwards. The only way to make sure they stay dead is applying enough damage to splatter them, which typically requires explosives.
  • Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay: Firing the Thunderbolt underwater is as unsafe as you expect it would be in real life, even going so far as gibbing the player and everyone else around him.
  • Updated Re-release:
    • Resurrection Pack: base game and add-ons Malice and Q!ZONE.
    • Quake: The Offering: base game, Scourge of Armagon and Dissolution of Eternity.
    • QuakeWorld is this towards Quake's multiplayer, providing lag compensation and extra rules for deathmatch, among other things.
    • The 2021 remaster uses Nightdive Studios's Kex Engine, has a new episode called Dimension of the Machine, achievements, tons of graphic and audio options, updated game code, includes the three previous expansions as an integral part of the game, a DOOM (2016)-styled weapon wheel, and mod curation (with Quake 64, a conversion of the Nintendo 64 port, being the first mod released). Because of the port to a completely new engine, there are some very subtle differences in the feel of the game, but only stuff that people who play the original game religiously would be likely to notice. Also, the Nightmare difficulty was completely reworked (you now are limited to 50 health, but enemy behaviour is not as drastically changed).
  • Visible Invisibility: The Ring of Shadows conceals everything but your eyes. Curiously, the monsters will still ignore you if attacked as if you really were completely invisible.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: One of the Quit messages:
    "Milord, methinks that thou art a lowly quitter. Is this true?"

Individual level examples are found in the Recap page.

  • Cool Versus Awesome: Quake did this before it was even a thing, as an unintended result of its somewhat disjointed development history (half the team wanted to do an A Space Marine Is You game, the other half wanted to do a fantasy RPG, and they ended up just mashing the two ideas together). You've got a space marine running around blasting medieval knights with a shotgun, blowing up zombies with grenades, and fighting Lovecraftian horrors in an alternate dimension.
  • Developers' Foresight: Usually in the form of secrets requiring exploits which were later developed or messages:
    "Are you sure you want to leave now? You left something important behind." (if the player attempts to leave without picking a key item, usually a new weapon)
  • Drone of Dread: The very creepy soundtrack, provided by Nine Inch Nails.
  • Dungeon Bypass: A precise Rocket Jump or strafe jump can help the player bypass several parts of the original levels as they were not designed with that in mind.
  • Eldritch Location: The parallel universe where the game takes place.
  • Falling Damage: Only 5 health points.
  • Lovecraft Lite: Many of the levels and enemies are designed as Shout Outs to his works, and the artifacts you collect often assault the Ranger's brain, much like Lovecraft's creatures were wont to do. The "lite" bit comes from the fact that you're playing as a tough as nails Action Hero with a Hyperspace Arsenal that can make mincemeat out of any abomination you face in literally less than ten seconds, and destroys Shub-Niggurath, Chthon, and their goons with little more than a human arsenal.
  • Mind Rape: The runes overwhelm the senses when held and show unspeakable truths. It is through sheer courage and determination that Ranger is able to overcome this.
  • Once per Episode: Usually the first map of each episode is techbase, while the rest takes place in gothic castles or dungeons.
  • Puzzle Boss: Chthon and Shub-Niggurath take no damage note , and instead require using boss-arena elements to destroy them.
  • Storming the Castle: Every level is about getting into the fortress, killing monsters and making your way to the end.

    Scourge of Armagon 
Individual level examples are found in the Recap page.

  • Enemy Mine: The Horn of Invocation allows you to invoke a random enemy to fight for you.
  • Forged by the Gods: The Mjölnir hammer.
  • Hyper-Destructive Bouncing Ball: The Frickin' Laser Beams from the Laser Cannon tend to bounce around uncontrollably when you miss an enemy. This invariably leads to frequent self-damage by the trigger-happy player.
  • Lampshade Hanging: The manual explains that ally monsters summoned by the Horn of Conjuring item, which have a rather poor AI, are negatively mentally affected by the conjuring due to their "feeble minds", giving an in-universe explanation for their simplistic programming.
  • No-Sell: The Wetsuit negates any and all electricity damage, from Shambler bolts to your own Thunderbolt fired underwater.
  • Public Domain Artifact: The Mjölnir is a hammer that uses Thunderbolt/Plasma Gun's cells in order to deal a Chain Lightning Area of Effect attack.
    (Manual): This is THOR's War Hammer. Electrical by nature, when hammered to the floor it sends out a scattered electrical force along the ground. An ear-piercing clap of thunder will sound when the opponent is struck. The electrical current can spread from one opponent to the next.
  • Sticky Bomb: The Proximity Launcher fires explosive projectiles that stick to any surface and detonate either when an entity (be it enemy or player) comes near them, or after a set amount of time.
  • Thunder Hammer: The Mjölnir. Its hidden attack involves striking the floor and releasing a stream of bolts that shocks every monster in the vicinity. This attack is only available if the player has enough Cells.

    Dissolution of Eternity 
Individual level examples are found in the Recap page.

  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Lava nails. Against players, the ammo disregards armour and has less damage reduction against a power shield. Monsters have no armor stat, so they take extra damage instead.
  • Breaking Old Trends: The only entry in this instalment of Quake that doesn't feature Secret Levels.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: The new monsters and weapons introduced in Scourge of Armagon don't return here, since both expansions were developed at the same time by different studios and released only weeks apart.
  • Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: Lava Nails. It's not exactly clear if they're actually made of lava, though whatever the material is is literally red-hot from the color of the fired nails and the hiss after the Nailguns stop firing them. They completely ignore armor against players and deal about 30% extra damage to monsters.
  • Grand Finale: The ending suggests that this pack is the conclusion of the original Quake story since it sees Ranger destroying the Temporal Energy Converter that the monsters needed to invade Earth in the first place, and it was, of course, the last expansion released before Quake II and the last to be made for nearly 20 years. Dimension of the Past and onward don't even bother trying to retcon or explain this.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: The Power Shield powerup significantly reduces damage if you are facing its source (damage from lava is treated from the origin point in the map). Attacks that strike the player's rear deal full damage.
  • Power Up Letdown: Downplayed with the alternate ammo for the Thunderbolt, the Plasma Cells. After you meet the mayhem of the Lava Nails and Multi-Rockets, shooting a ball of plasma and finding out it only deals slightly more damage than a standard rocket is not quite bad, but it's still fairly underwhelming.
  • Recursive Ammo: Multi-rockets split into multiple small explosives, though how they do so depends on the weapon they're fired from:
    • The Multi-Grenade Launcher fires a single grenade, which then splits into 5 roughly a second before their detonation timer expires. Hitting enemies with multi-grenades will only incur a single detonation like standard grenades, multi-grenades are best used for indirect fire.
    • The Multi-Rocket Launcher fires 4 miniature rockets that each deal 50% of the damage of a standard rocket, allowing for the potential of each shot dealing 2x the damage of a standard rocket.
  • Underground Monkey: A majority of Do E's new enemies are standard enemies with varying scales of differentiation, from basic texture edits to completely new models.

    Quake 64 
  • Stylistic Suck: The mod version for the 2021 re-release displays the game as if it were on a CRT screen, with very low resolution included. This can be disabled with a specific console command or (after a later update) can be toggled within the re-release's display options.
  • Super Title 64 Advance: The official add-on has one, but not the actual Nintendo 64 version of the game.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: The official description of the mod as seen in the Updated Re-release's add-on menu refers to the Saturn as just "a 32-bit console" and is worded in a way so the Nintendo 64 never has to be mentioned.

    Dimension of the Past 
Individual level examples are found in the Recap page.

    Dimension of the Machine 
Individual level examples are found in the Recap page.