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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 in 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.


Two mission packs for the game, Quake Mission Pack No. 1: Scourge of Armagon by Hipnotic Entertainment and Quake Mission Pack No. 2: Dissolution of Eternity by Rogue Entertainment, were released. In 2016, Bethesda-owned studio MachineGames released a free new episode for the game, titled Episode 5: Dimensions of the Past, to celebrate the game's 20th anniversary.

Followed chronologically by Quake II.

This game named the following tropes:

See also:

This game and its Expansion Packs provide examples of:

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    In general 
  • Action Bomb/Blob Monster/Muck Monster: Spawns, annoyingly fast globs of purple goo that would like to mate with your face. Killing them triggers an explosion as strong as a direct hit with a rocket. Ouch.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: With spikes!
  • Alien Sky: The sky in the other dimension is a light purple color.
  • Ambiguously Human: The knights and death knights. They look human and bleed red, but are incapable of speech and seem to be native to the other dimensions, meaning they are likely Human Aliens.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Unlike the Doom engine games, monsters can only get telefragged by players, and not vice-versa. 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, instead fires a single nail that spends 2 Nails and deals the damage of 3 Nailgun nails. This is to avoid high latency in computers in the nineties.note 
  • An Axe to Grind: The player's Emergency Weapon. It also has some Mundane Utility to open secret doors without wasting ammo.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • Most enemies never take into account distance and height differences with you when it comes at aiming. They will always miss if you are on a higher ground, up to and including Shamblers. On nightmare difficulty, enemies won't attempt to reposition themselves when they refire if you don't move, making it the main reason why Nightmare can be 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.
    • Fiends will automatically use their jump attack unless you are at extremely close range, even if the ceiling is too low for it to work. This can lead to amusing scenarios where a fiend keeps jumping in place trying in vain to get at you right up until you kill it.
  • Artistic License – Physics: The rocket launcher has recoil!
  • Ascended Glitch:
    • The Strafe Jump, also called "bunny hopping", which 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" involving the player throwing a grenade on a hole and jumping over it as it explodes to reach a teleporter hints at this being noted during development. Nowadays it's a staple mechanic of several First-Person Shooter games.
      • Accessing Scourge of Armagon's first secret level requires the player rocket jumping to reach a closing door in time.
      • Quake Champions even displays this proudly in their trailers.
  • Attract Mode: Demos of many levels start playing in 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 he's not invulnerable. Even if they survive, all the ammo is gone. 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 ending is pretty much just a congratulatory text crawl.
  • Beeping Computers: In the high tech "base" levels, there are constant technological beeping noises.
  • Blatant Item Placement: Health packs, ammo and weapons abound for no reason at all.
  • 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) but ammo for it is plentiful and it's available in almost every level.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Shamblers and Vores. Both appear at junctures in the game where a boss would be expected (the end of an episode) and are quite deadly.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Ogres (and Dissolution of Eternity's Multi-Grenade Ogres) have an unlimited number of grenades to chuck at you. Fortunately, they're easy to dodge.
  • Cherry Tapping: The Shotgun is weak, but accurate. You can take down a Shambler with it from a distance if you're patient enough.
  • Chunky Salsa Rule: Zombies aren't normally killed by bullets or nails (since they're already dead, natch) and must be blown up with grenades and rockets. The Quad Damage also splatters zombies as well.
  • 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 Re-release:
  • 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 Cool Crosses: So much it borders on Sigil Spam.
  • 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. For example, zombies, which have to be gibbed to be killed, have 60 health points need to reach -5 health to be gibbed - if you deal 64 damage, it would get up later; deal 65 damage and it will be turned into gibs.
  • 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.
  • Dead Character Walking: Typing "give health" into the console will cause the player to assume a bizarre undead state where they're lying on the ground as a corpse, yet can still jump, look around, shoot and even kill enemies.
  • Death World: The entire universe. Lava, chemicals, explosives...
  • Descending Ceiling: E1M3 "The Necropolis" has you get trapped in a room with the ceiling slowly lowering down until its right above you head... at which point it opens harmlessly. It's necessary to proceed, too.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: You get to Tele-Frag Shub-Niggurath at the end.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Quake was an attempt at a Spiritual Successor for Video Game/Doom, where experimentation with teleporter technology leads to a cross-dimensional invasion. Instead of sticking with Sci-Fi mixed with horror fantasy, the sequels switched to Space Sci-Fi and continued with the Earth-Strogg warfare or arena shooters.
  • Elite Mooks:
    • Grunts are human soldiers who are possessed and try to kill you. They aren't dangerous, but the Enforcers (Grunts wearing full suits of armor and firing laser cannons) are.
    • Knights are fast, but not deadly. Death Knights are much harder to kill and deal more damage as well as having a fan of fireballs for a ranged attack.
  • Energy Weapon: The Enforcers fire bolts that are very hard to dodge and do a lot of damage. This gets annoying very fast.
  • 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.
  • Expy: The Grunts fill the same role as the Zombiemen from Doom, rank-and-file human soldiers possessed by the forces of evil that drop 5 rounds for your most basic weapon when killed.
  • 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.
  • Eyeless Face: The Vore and Shambler. According to John Romero, they lack eyes because the realms that they’re native to are dim, humid, and horrific, and not having eyes there is actually a advantage.
  • Faceless Goons: The Enforcers from the Earth base levels wear helmets with a one-way visor.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: Most of the levels in the third episode, "The Netherworld", have this theme, complete with copious amounts of lava.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The Thunderbolt explodes if discharged into the water, killing the player. This is 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 became 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 Gold Src 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's. Its rate of fire isn't any faster than the Nailgun's, but it fires 2 nails at a time.
  • Giant Mook: Shamblers. Death Knights and Ogres are also quite intimidating.
  • Giant Spider: The Vores are a cross between this and some sort of demon.
  • Glass Cannon:
    • The Scrag doesn't have a lot of health, but its spit attack can hit targets from a good distance and it fires repeatedly at you.
    • The knight also doesn't have a lot of health, but its sword is downright lethal once you get into swinging range of it.
    • The Grunts, Rottweilers and Enforcers also count. None of them deal a lot of damage and can be wiped out with the shotgun alone, but they're everywhere and can mob you.
  • 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.
  • Guilt-Free Extermination War: The entire premise of the game. No one will bat an eye about Lovecraftian creatures straight out of a madman's night terrors.
  • Haunted Castle: Multiple levels, such as the Ogre Citadel and Ebon Fortress.
  • Have a Nice Death: By way of death messages:
    "Deathbringer rode Fluffy's rocket."
  • Harder Than Hard: Subverted with Nightmare difficultynote , which drastically increases the enemies' aggression, but due to Artificial Stupidity, enemies with ranged attacks will never move or stop attacking as soon they see you. Even if you're out of range. This means you will never miss your shots from the target moving unpredictably, and that most enemies with short-range attacks (e.g. Ogres and Shamblers) will never get closer to you, ensuring they will always miss their own attacks. Although it is Played Straight in Game Mods that allow enemies to aim properly. Those Ogres you used to take at rest in vanilla Nightmare difficulty? Demonic Spiders at the very least in certain map packs.
  • Helpful Mook:
    • Zombies. By themselves, they're an annoyance of variating level; however, they'll only stop being a threat if gibbed, something only a few high-level mooksnote  can do, and zombies are pathetically easy to draw into infighting with their slow movement speed and quirky attack pattern. Anything lesser than a Fiend will lose in a battle of attrition, and Fiends will be permanently distracted with hacking at the immobilized prone zombie at their feet.
    • 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 Nightmare due to the surprisingly fast rate of fire Ogres have.
  • Hero-Tracking Failure: The Grunts' hitscan attacks are forced to aim a bit behind a moving player. Projectile ranged attacks only focus on the player, allowing a simple dodge by moving forward.
  • High-Voltage Death: Try shooting the Thunderbolt underwater. Good to nab yourself a few cheeky frags in multiplayer deathmatch.
  • 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: While it's rather difficult and not generally a good idea, its possible to get a vore's own homing projectile to crash into it, as the vore itself is rather slow moving.
  • Homing Projectile: The vores throw exploding spikey balls that track you, but they can be avoided by getting them to smash into obstacles and walls. Particularly hilarious if you can position the Vore so it keeps throwing the spikey balls into a nearby wall or column. It won't realise the splash damage is hurting it and end up slowly killing itself.
  • Hub Level: The difficulty selection map in any instance.
  • 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. 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 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: Magma in this game is essentially orange water with a very high damage-per-second trait. HD texture packs and source ports like DarkPlaces make the lava look more, well, like lava.
  • Lava Pit: Several instances, often under retreating floors.
  • Lightning Bruiser:
    • Shamblers are a lot faster than their huge size might make you assume. Their surprising speed can make it difficult to dodge out of their line-of-sight in order to avoid their hitscan ranged attack.
    • The Fiend looks like a Fragile Speedster at first, but it has 300 hit points on top of its extreme mobility and deadly melee attack. Its leap attack is fairly predictable, but it causes a lot of damage depending on where it hits you.
  • 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 3D 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.
  • Malevolent Architecture: Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom covered with Spikes of Doom? Check. Descending Ceilings? Check. Floors that open into inescapable Lava Pits? Check. And there's a lot more than that.
  • Meaningful Name: The Shambler isn't called that for nothing, since he will leave you in shambles if you get too close to him. The monster resembles the Dimensional Shambler from the Cthulhu Mythos both in name and appearance.
  • Mighty Glacier:
    • The Ogre can take 200 points of damage and is equipped with both a Grenade Launcher and a chainsaw, but isn't really fast.
    • The Death Knight isn't very fast either, but it has 50 more health points then the Ogre and its sword can launch several energy bolts with each swing.
    • The Zombie can be this without explosive damage: they are very slow, but when hit with an attack that deals less then 60 damage, will get up eventually.
    • The Vore has twice as much health as the Ogre and moves even slower. Its exploding pod attack, on the other hand...
  • Monster Closet: There are lots of hidden rooms and caves where enemies wait to ambush you.
  • Nail 'Em: The Nailgun and the Super Nailgun.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Most of the enemies. The Fiend, Shambler, Vore, Death Knight...
  • Night of the Living Mooks: Zombies, and ones that can only be killed by gibbing.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The scrags were originally called wizards (indeed, the entity's official in game name is "Monster_Wizard") despite basically being maggot/snake things who shoot green slime at you and have no wizard like traits whatsoever (other than magically floating.)
  • No-Sell:
    • Explosives only deal half damage against the Shambler.
    • No attacks work against someone with the Pentagram of Protection.
  • One-Man Army: In keeping with the traditions of the time, it doesn't matter how many monsters get thrown at Ranger. He'll still frag each and every one of them.
  • Our Ogres Are Hungrier: The Ogres in Quake are one of the most common enemies in non-modern levels (only being missing in the later stages of Episode 4), and they inexplicably have chainsaws and grenade launchers instead of hands.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: No longer being the possessed soldiers of Doom, instead being your more typical slow, shambling undead - though the upshot for them is that nothing puts them down permanently short of full-body destruction.
  • 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, but 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.
  • 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 color 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.
  • Reality Ensues: 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.
  • Red Sky, Take Warning: In the few levels where the sky can be seen, it's a pale reddish color with ominously drifting clouds.
  • Resurrective Immortality: If you "kill" zombies with normal weapons, they will fall down and lie there for about five seconds before coming back to life. The only way to permanently kill them is to blow them to bits, which usually requires explosive weapons, although if you have Quad Damage some normal weapons can do enough damage to gib them.
  • Rule of Perception: If a Shambler cannot see you when it's about to end charging its thunderbolt attack, it will not damage you.
  • 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.
  • Secret Underground Passage: Quite a few of them, which can be opened by hidden switches, or just hitting the wall with your axe until you find something.
  • Serious Business: Tournament Play moved from a pastime to a career for some, among them "Thresh", who won John Romero'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.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: The double-barrel shotgun has an incredibly wide 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 armor count when you are invulnerable. You can't take damage when it is active, but your armor can still be stripped away.
  • Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom
  • Speedrun: Speedruns shot up in popularity through Quake, the first one of it being Quake made quick.
  • Spike Shooter: Many of the wall traps.
  • Spread Shot: The Death Knights fire several fireballs at once, although they're relatively slow and can be avoided.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Enemies in Quake ignore water, slime and lava, behaving essentially as though they were still in normal air.
  • 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.
  • Tele-Frag: Sometimes two or more monsters will spawn in place and insta-gib 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.
  • Teleporting Keycard Squad: Several times throughout the game, particularly in the fourth episode.
  • There's No Kill Like Overkill:
    • All over the place. It's possible to take down Death Knights or Ogres with three rockets, and then there's killing the piranhas with the shotgun...
    • 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.
  • 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.
    • Quake World is this towards Quake's multiplayer, providing lag compensation and extra rules for deathmatch, among other things.
  • 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.
  • A Winner Is You: Each set of levels ends with a wall of text about the ancient knowledge you're getting from the runes.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Everywhere in the metatext.
  • You Can't Kill What's Already Dead: Zombies are described as such in the manual. If they're not gibbed, they get back up and continue lurching towards you.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Many levels are full of zombies, which are lots of fun to kill. Make sure you have rockets, however, because they won't die any other way, unless you have Quad Damage and can splatter them with lesser weapons.

    Quake (and Dimensions of the Past
  • Astral Checkerboard Decor: "E2M5 Wizard's Manse" has this.
  • Beneath the Earth: Several levels are underground, including one called The Underearth, as well as the game's final level.
  • Boss Arena Idiocy: Chthon, the first episode's boss, is completely immune to all damage apart from two adjustable columns that can shoot lightning between them. Shub-Niggurath, the Final Boss, is impervious to everything except a floaty teleporty doohickey. Neither of these unique architectural features can be found anywhere else in the game.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: "E2M7: The Underearth" and "E4M8: The Nameless City" are extremely difficult (the latter has something like 95 kills) and will probably eat up all of your ammo by the time you finish them.
  • Call-Back: The vores appear as bosses in the second episode, and then as regular mooks in 3 and 4. This is similar to the Barons of Hell, the bosses of the first episode of Doom.
  • Cool vs. 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 a 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.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: It's never explained why Shub-Niggurath wants to exterminate all of mankind. She just does.
  • Creepy Cool Crosses: One actually features Jesus on it (albeit obscured by darkness), and several have zombies pinned to them.
  • Death Trap: "Claustrophobopolis", from the "Deathmatch Arena" episode, is the home to several Beginner's Traps involving switches, lava, and teleporters.
  • Degraded Boss:
    • Vores first appear as a Dual Boss at the end of the second episode, only reappear in the secret and final levels of Episode 3 and only becomes a common enemy in Episode 4.
    • The Shambler fares a little better than the Vore, only becoming common late in Episode 4 and the mission packs. In Hard and Nightmare difficulties you even encounter three of them as early as the third level of the first episode, the first two one after another.
    • The Fiend also appears with boss-like drama the first time it shows up, but becomes a regular enemy later - by Episode 4, it's an extremely common enemy. As little as a few seconds later on 'Hard' or 'Nightmare' skill, though, two more will oh-so-generously make themselves known and teleport in the moment the first one kicks the bucket.
  • 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)
  • The Dreaded: The manual states that even the other monsters fear the Shambler. It isn't prevalent in the game, since other monsters will fight the Shambler if hit by its lightning attack.
  • 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. There are other particular examples:
    • "E2M1: The Installation" can be beaten in less than a minute by simply running to the hall where you unlock a door with the Gold Keycard and jump to the other side, no skill required.
    • "E3M2: The Vaults of Zin", starts with a Silver Runekey visible, at walking distance. Problem is, as you close down, the Runekey drops and gets locked in another floor. There is a Loophole Abuse that comes with the fact you can Grenade Jump (in Easy or Normal) or get propelled with the nearby zombies' weak attacks (in Hard or Nightmare) to move fast enough to grab the runekey before it gets locked, bypassing more than half the level.
    • Huge sections of multiple levels in Episode 4 can be bypassed in some way or another. Most of those techniques the developers noticed were kept, but a warning message comes up in case the player didn't realize. Dungeon bypassing is actually how you get access to Episode 4's secret level - instead of using the Silver Key to lower the bridge that leads to the exit arcway, jump through the tiny columns that are where the bridge would be put over and head to the arcway on the left... which requires a Silver Key to open.
  • Easter Egg: The DopeFish appears in a well-hidden secret room in "E2M3: The Crypt of Decay".
  • Eldritch Abomination: Shub-Niggurath.
  • Eldritch Location: The parallel universe where the game takes place.
  • Elevator Action Sequence:
    • The final part of "E2M6: The Dismal Oubliette", consists on an elevator with plenty of monsters appearing along the way.
    • The level "E2M7: The Haunted Halls" has one too where you ride a series of floating platforms up and around the level, shooting rockets at switches and killing ogres.
  • Healing Spring: There's a very convenient one in "E4M4: The Palace of Hate", one of the hardest levels.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The ogres are "cannibal monsters", apparently.
  • Kill the Lights: Picking up the Nailgun on a room in the first level darkens the light, then some possessed soldiers appear to gun the player character out.
  • 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 mince meat 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.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • The boss of the first part is named Chthon, which is Greek for "earth" (as in, underground). Where does he live? Beneath the Earth. A creature from the Cthulhu Mythos is also named Cthonian, although it doesn't resemble this boss.
    • Shub-Niggurath, the Final Boss, is described by H. P. Lovecraft as "the black goat of the woods with a thousand young". Granted, she's a giant tentacled monster, not a goat, but she does control all the enemies in the game and it's implied she created them too. Quake's Shub-Niggurath actually looks more like one of the "Dark Young" that were invented by Call of Cthulhu creator Sandy Petersen as "children" of Shub.
    • 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.
    • "Azure Agony" is the final level of the final episode, and with the exception of a small hall, its architecture is nothing but azure walls and the ocassional window, the most common enemy is the blue Spawn and there is only one Key to collect - the Silver Key (which has a somewhat blue-ish look).
  • 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.
  • New Game+: After finishing Episode 5: Dimensions of the Past, the player returns to the difficulty selection hub with all of the weaponry he has collected.
  • No Ending: Dimensions of the Past takes the player to the level selection area after completion.
  • Once per Episode: Usually the first map of each episode is techbase, while the rest takes place in gothic castle or dungeon.
  • Puzzle Boss: Probably the Trope Codifier for FPS games. Both unique bosses (the end of Episode 1, and the Final Boss) are pure puzzle bosses that involve no shooting (although the final boss involves you having to shoot your way through several Boss in Mook's Clothing first).
  • Secret Level: The first game had one per unit, including the famous "Ziggurat Vertigo", "The Underearth", "The Haunted Halls" and "The Nameless City".
  • Sigil Spam: "E1M5: Gloom Keep" features a shadow in the shape of it in front of a teleporter alluding to a secret Quad Damage if you enter the teleporter from the back side.
  • Space Marine: id attempted to distance themselves from it in this game, calling him "Ranger" instead.
  • Storming the Castle: Every level is about getting into the fortress, killing monsters and making your way to the end.
  • Suspicious Video-Game Generosity: Episode 4 is basically this trope, with 100 Health packs, Red Armor, Pentagrams of Protection and several Quad Damage in plain sight, instead of hidden in secret areas like in previous episode. There will be a good reason to use them.
  • Tech Demo Game: 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: The only way to beat the final boss, Shub-Niggurath.
  • To Hell and Back: Episode 3 is designed with a hellish theme.
  • A Winner Is You: After Shub-Niggurath explodes, the game and its developers just congratulate you and thank you for playing. And it's never explained what happens to your character after that. Did he just stay on that platform surrounded by lava until he died of starvation?
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: One of the Quit messages:
    "Milord, methinks that thou art a lowly quitter. Is this true?"

    Scourge of Armagon 
  • Book-Ends: When the player character reaches the final teleporter after beating Armagon, he ends up in the start level, exactly where it begins.
  • Creator Cameo: "HIP3M4: The Gauntlet" has a hidden area showcasing the logo of Hipnotic Software, creator of the pack. Fittingly, shooting this logo triggers its rotation, further alluding to hypnosis.
  • Expansion Pack: Adds a new campaign and several new maps to the game.
  • Death Trap: One of the final levels traps you between two Advancing Walls Of Doom.
  • Enemy Mine: The Horn of Invocation, which allows you to invoke a random enemy to fight for you.
  • Forged by the Gods: The Mjölnir hammer.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Gremlins may put you on the receiving end of this trope, since they can steal your every weapon (sans Axe, Shotgun and Mjolnir) and use it against you. God help you if you thought it is a good idea to fight them with Rocket Launcher or Thunderbolt.
  • 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.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Gremlins will try to eat you, and will happily munch on fallen human(?) foes, as well.
  • No-Sell: The Wetsuit negates any and all electric damage, from Shambler bolts to your own Thunderbolt fired underwater.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: The Gremlins can't steal the Mjolnir.
  • Public Domain Artifact: The Mjolnir 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.
  • Secret Level: Pushes this a bit far, with "Military Complex", "The Gremlin's Domain" and "The Edge of Oblivion" (a Deathmatch level turned into a singleplayer one, with loads and loads of enemies).

    Dissolution of Eternity 
  • Like Cannot Cut Like: In "R2M3: Elemental Fury II", the Hephaestus bosses cannot be damaged by Lava Nails.
  • 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 from the back arc do full damage.
  • Mighty Glacier: The multi-grenade Ogre doesn't have anymore health or move speed, but it fires multi-grenades that split into 5 mini grenades when they explode without hitting a lifeform.
  • Palette Swap: The textures used on some monsters indicate that they are slightly different; yellowish ogres may throw multi grenades, green spawns will split apart, and a mummy (a white-colored zombie) is a damage sponge rather than being Immune to Bullets.
  • 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: The multi-rockets split into multiple small explosives, five when fired by the Grenade Launcher and four when fired by the Rocket Launcher. If launched as grenades, they won't fragment when hitting an enemy, instead just exploding like a regular grenade, so multi-grenades are best used for indirect fire.
  • Time Travel: The second episode (named: Corridors of Time) has something to do with time travel, although exactly what is a pretty vague. There are several levels that are based on ancient civilizations (specifically Ancient Rome, Ancient Egypt, and the Aztecs.


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