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Video Game / Quake II

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"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, is a First-Person Shooter and the second entry in the Quake series. It was developed by id Software and published by Activision on December 9, 1997. It runs on Id's own IdTech 2 engine.

The game is a sequel In Name Only towards Quake, originally developed as an all-new original IP called "WOR" before having the Quake name attached to it due to the similar gameplay and gunplay. It's Id's first FPS with a real story, following Bitterman, a featureless marine from Earth's Terran Coalition of Man (TCM), who's participating in "Operation Alien Overlord," a counter-attack on the homeworld of the vicious Strogg, who were kidnapping humans for meat and body parts. Bitterman must go across several cities and areas of the Strogg planet to cause the most harm possible.

The game gives 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 vice-versa, 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. Much like other games of its time, the engine of the game powered up other games of its time, including SiN (1998), Anachronox, Heretic II, Soldier of Fortune, Kingpin: Life of Crime, UFO: Alien Invasion and, most infamously, Daikatana. Even Valve Software used the engine during the early days of Half-Life until they ditched it for an in-house replacement called GoldSrc... which is a Suspiciously Similar Substitute of this engine and the engine that ran Quake.

The game saw some post-release content, namely:

  • Quake II Mission Pack: The Reckoning, developed by Xatrix Entertainment, a Mission-Pack Sequel following Joker, another marine from the same squad as Bitterman, as he investigates and discovers everything about the Strogg Counterfleet. It introduces the Ion Ripper, Phalanx Cannon and Trap to the player's arsenal, as well as the Dualfire Damage timed powerup, 7 Deathmatch-exclusive maps, and 7 new enemy classes in the Gekk, Repair Bot, three new Guards (Hyperblaster, Ripper and Laser) and Beta Class versions of regular enemies such as the Iron Maiden, Brains and Gladiator.
  • Quake II Mission Pack: Ground Zero, developed by Rogue Entertainment, a Mission-Pack Sequel following Stepchild, yet another marine from the same squad as Bitterman. This time he investigates the strange gravitational forces that are jeopardizing the TCM's operations on Stroggos. It introduces the Chainfist, ETF Rifle, Plasma Beam, Prox Launcher and Tesla Mines to the player's arsenal, as well as the Double Damage, IR Goggles, A-M Bomb and spheres (Defender, Hunter and Vengeance) timed powerups (alongside a multiplayer-only powerup, the Doppelganger), 14 new maps for Deathmatch and four new enemy classes: Stalkers, Turrets, Daedalus (improved version of the Icarus) and Medic Commander. It also added a new Competitive Multiplayer gamemode called Tag.
  • Quake II Netpack 1: Extremities is a collection of third-party mods selected by Id themselves, widely available on the Net. The mods include Action Quake 2, Capture!, The C.H.A.O.S. Deathmatch, Red Rover, Eraser Bot, Jail Break, Kick, Powerball 2, QWar 2, Q2CTF, Rail Arena and Rocket Arena 2.
  • Later updates to the game introduced eight Deathmatch-exclusive maps and the multiplayer-oriented Threewave CTF II mod. It works as you expect: two teams have a base, and each base has a flag. Both teams compete to capture the enemy's flag while avoiding theirs being captured. The mod also features the Tech Powerupsnote , powerful artifacts that grant a semi-permanent bonus to their carrier which lasts until they die or drop the Tech.

Two console versions were developed, both of them by Id Software themselves, with the Nintendo 64, released on July 7, 1999, and the Playstation version co-developed with Hammerhead and published by Activision on October 5, 1999. Both versions feature different story modes and make heavy use of Cut and Paste Environments from the PC version's levels due to their hardware's limitations. The Nintendo 64 version, in addition, contains FlagWars and a Tag-based game called "DeathTag" as alternate multiplayer modes to the classic Deathmatch (called "Fragmatch" due to Nintendo's "Never Say "Die"" policy) and Team Deathmatch modes.

On December 22nd, 2001, the game went FOSS with the release of the entire source code for the main game and the CTF addon under the GNU GPL v2.0-or-later (v2.0+) license. This led to the game being improved in many ways, with some of the most notorious source ports being kmquake2, Quake 2 XP, Yamagi Quake II and q2pro. It also led to several games being developed using the engine as a basis such as Alien Arena, Warsow and Quetoo.

In June 2019, NVIDIA and Lightspeed Studios released Quake II RTX, a free demo that showcases the ray-tracing technology included in the GeForce RTX graphics cards, alongside realistic lighting and improved textures. Said demo can also enable ray-tracing in the full game.

On August 10, 2023, during QuakeCon 2023, Nightdive Studios, id, and Bethesda released a remastered version of the game. Much like Nightdive's previous Quake remaster, it includes updated graphics, multiplayer bots, a new UI, gameplay fixes, restores a lot of cut beta content, both Mission Packs integrated, an included port of the Nintendo 64 campaign, and a new expansion episode called Call of the Machine, developed by MachineGames. A port of the PlayStation campaign is set to be released in a future update. Much like previous Quake offerings, the source code for the game logic can be found on Github.

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


Level-specific tropes can be found in the Recap page. Character-specific tropes can be found in the Characters page.
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    In general 
  • Ability Required to Proceed: The key items scattered across the game. Some examples include, but are not limited, to:
    • Colored/shaped keys (Blue, Green, Red, Pyramid and Yellow), the Security Pass and the Commander's Head only serve to unlock certain doors and devices. The Commander's Head may even require the death of a Tank Commander to be obtained.
    • Power Cubes are used to empower mechanisms and whole areas in Stroggos. Usually, there's an area where there's power and the devices in there need to be disabled, while others are required to be powered to proceed further.
    • Airstrike Markers are used to mark when the air forces of the TCM should drop their bombs.
    • Data CDs and Data Spinners are used to manipulate information between devices, whether to obtain important data or to corrupt Strogg systems in such a way they become unusable.
    • Ground Zero also has the Antimatter Core and the A-M Bomb, which are self-explanatory.
    • Explosive Charges in the Nintendo 64 version are Satchel Charges that need to be deployed somewhere that needs to be blown up.
  • Adaptation Name Change: The 2023 Remaster renames Hard+ difficulty to Nightmare, bringing it in line with most of Id Software's other games.
  • Advanced Tech 2000: Used In-Universe with the BFG10K (10000).
  • Alien Sky: The sky of Stroggos is reddish-orange and sometimes had orbiting asteroids visible.
  • Amen Break: The track "Descent Into Cerberon" uses a slower version, making it a rare and interesting use of the sample in industrial metal.
  • Anti-Debuff: Some of the powerups. Their downside is that they last only 30 seconds.
    • The Environment Suit protects against slime damage.
    • The Rebreather prevents drowning.
    • The Invulnerability protects against all kinds of damage except death pits and the void.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The 2023 remaster adds a bunch of quality-of-life improvements.
    • A new, unlimited-use item provided to the player is the Compass. Activating it enables a HUD arrow that points to the player's next objective, complete with a live-updating arrow path to aid in navigation.
    • As with recent Id Software titles/remasters, a radial weapon wheel is included that slows down time when brought up. This allows for more efficient weapon quick-swapping, particularly on controllers.
      • An identical time-slowing radial wheel is included for items, which allows them to be quick-used with similar efficiency - more so than the traditional inventory inputs/menus.
    • Newly-received objectives are shown immediately to the player without needing to manually pull up the HUB computer. In addition, pulling up your HUB computer applies the same time-slowing effect as the weapon/item wheels above.
    • A brand-new tutorial level is included, allowing the player to more readily acquaint themselves with basic controls, items and specific weapon/enemy mechanics/interactions in place of an instruction manual.
    • A level select feature is included (because of the game's interconnected levels, it lets you select missions rather than specific levels). Unlike the Quake remaster, the level select doesn't just drop you in with just your starting weapon; you're given a decent basic loadout comparable to what an average-skill player would have at that point in the game playing through normally.
  • 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 to release them from their torment.
  • Anti-Armor: The 2023 Remaster enhances energy damage (done by Blaster and weapons that use cells), doubling cells drain by Power Shield and Power Screen hit by them. If the enemy has fancy green barrier in front of them, it's time to switch to those weapons to kill them faster. The Tutorial Level includes a section demonstrating this unique effect.
  • Armor Points: Armor is expressed in an icon + number fashion, to indicate which of the three armors you have on and how much integrity it has left. If you have the Power Shield equipped, its icon blinks over the armor's.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Energy weapons such as the Blaster, Hyperblaster and BFG10K completely ignore light armor and have improved penetration against medium and heavy armor.
  • Armored Coffins: The assault pods. 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.
  • Art Evolution: The enhanced models in the 2023 remaster cover a lot more content than the original Quake's did, including models from the expansions.
  • Artifact Title: "Quake" was the codename of the Big Bad of the original Quake, so named for the earthquakes generated by the monsters' use of slipgates to teleport to Earth. Since Quake II has no plot connections to the original, the title is meaningless.
  • Artistic License – Physics: The Railgun is said to shoot depleted uranium slugs, and is said to launch them magnetically. Real depleted uranium isn't magnetic.
  • A-Team Firing: Enemies aside, the Machinegun has recoil-induced muzzle climb (one of the first in a shooter to have such), forcing you to fire in bursts and "walk the burst" (aim lower than where you want your shots to hit). Or use good ol' mouselook to offset the annoyance.
  • Attract Mode: The games display demos of someone playing the game, apparently on mouse and keyboard only.
  • Autosave: The game auto-saves into the first save slot whenever the player enters a new area, without notifying the player, but also allows the player to save in a different save slot manually whenever the player wishes. There's also a dedicated quicksave slot accessible with some keys by default.
  • BFG:
    • The eponymous BFG10K, which launches a big, green, slow-moving energy ball. These balls damage enemies in a wide radius around them while in flight, dealing an additional massive dose of damage on impact.
    • The Railgun also appears to be a portable cannon, that launches precise slugs at hyper speeds. The first-person view shows it has some weight to it as after firing a shot, it is repositioned with some difficulty due to the recoil.
  • Back Stab: A variant: the Railgun (and only the Railgun) inflicts double damage if you shoot an enemy who hasn't been agroed yet. In the 2023 remaster, this applies to all weapons, provided enemy didn't notice you fire them (which requires either hitscan or a Silencer).
  • Beam Spam:
    • The BFG10k fires a green ball that fires lasers on all targets in the vicinity of its trajectory. When it hits a solid object, it explodes similarly to the original Doom's BFG 9000: the game checks if a line-of-sight can be drawn from the target to the ball's location of detonation and from the detonation site to the player who fired the weapon in the first place. If both lines of sight are met, the target is going to take a heap of damage, and this is applied to all possible targets. Reportedly, in Deathmatch it is a good tactic to fire the BFG10K into the ceiling in a room with a bunch of other players.
    • The Plasma Beam in Ground Zero and the 2023 Remaster is the game's equivalent to the Thunderbolt from Quake, being a continuous beam that damages anything it touches so long as the beam is touching said entity.
  • Blatant Item Placement: Downplayed. As the game takes place in the middle of a human invasion of an alien planet, items are usually located near dead bodies or saved in caches or storage rooms. Some item locations are a wonder, though.
  • Borrowing from the Sister Series:
    • The game implements a BFG (the BFG10K) which works more or less like the one in Id Software sister series Doom. It also has the HyperBlaster, which more or less works as Doom's Plasma Gun.
    • It also adds Wolfenstein 3-D's Machinegun and Chaingun, replacing the previous game's Nailgun and Super Nailgun as the standard issue weapons.
  • Bottomless Magazines: The Blaster, an energy pistol with infinite ammunition and very low damage.
  • Bowdlerization: In the 2023 remaster, all health items with a red cross are now colored with a green cross instead.
  • Broken Bridge: Due to the nature of the game, progression is locked in different ways that the player must circumvent: broken bridges, invisible walls, key-locked doors, permanently-locked doors that must be circumvented or destroyed by completing objectives, deadly laser walls, forcefields, forcefield-protected doors, etc...
  • The Colored Cross: The health icon's color was changed from red to green in the remaster, as were the crosses on the medkits.
  • Cool, but Inefficient:
    • The Chaingun is a Downplayed case. It is an undoubtedly powerful weapon, useful for mowing down swathes of weaker enemies or grinding down particularly tough enemies. However, it is also a considerably inefficient weapon due to needing to spool up to reach its maximum fire rate, chewing through ammo at an absolutely insane rate at said maximum fire rate, having trouble hitting the broad side of a barn, and being forced to spool down after firing a long burst. You'll either find yourself using the Machinegun more than the Chaingun (as both share ammo), especially in the 2023 remaster which removed the former's recoil, or tapping the fire button with the Chaingun to put out individual 9-round bursts. Still, bullets are fairly common and accuracy becomes a non-issue against large enemies, especially bosses. It's tricky to use in Deathmatch due to the obvious racket you make firing it, but if you keep it steady on a player, they're usually toast.
    • Also Downplayed with the BFG10K. It is devastating if used on the right crowd at the right time (and the Medic Commander and both bosses in Ground Zero and Call of the Machine give many opportunities to use it, especially with the Power Shield being absent or relegated to an 11th-Hour Superpower in both cases), however, it takes a noticeable amount of time to charge before firing, not something you want to be doing while under fire. Its use is not recommended especially if you want to save the cells for the Power Shield. Not exactly Awesome, but Impractical as it's typically overkill against groups of regular enemies yet it's a very quick way to make stuff dead if you're in a hurry and with Quad Damage, it will annihilate everything in its path and severely wound bosses. It is especially situational in Deathmatch as everyone will see that you're carrying it and you're a tempting target for a long-range Railguner (thanks to the ability for players to legally alter their field of vision to get a zoom effect).
  • Convection, Schmonvection: There are lava pits all over the game world, but your player character will only let out an agonized scream and lose vitality if you touch the lava, just like many games.
  • Crate Expectations: Everywhere. Some of these boxes need to be shot, (the black ones) while others are just there for secret's sake. Crates are most common in unit 2 which takes place in a bunker with a warehouse area.
  • Dead Man's Trigger Finger: Some of the enemies fire off a few shots after being "killed" and falling unless you manage to blow them to bits first.
  • Death from Above: Several instances, aside from the usual "fire from a higher height/level". In some cases, you need to be careful not to call the attention of your enemies. In others, you need to make sure your enemy is placed in the right area. Silencer use is recommended.
  • Death Trap: Found in many levels, even in Multiplayer, which, as mentioned above, uses modified variations of ALL the single-player levels. Some Deathmatch-specific levels also have these.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The human military force that you're part of is called the "Terran Coalition of Man"; "Terran" means an inhabitant of Earth, and "Man" refers to humans as a whole. It's a human coalition made up of humans. The name does make sense if humanity has colonized other planets and set up governing bodies there, such as Mars.
  • Difficult, but Awesome:
    • Strafing Railgun shots may need a bit of tweaking of your mouse/device's sensitivity. And a lot of practice. Once you hit the sweet spot, you can make mince meat not only of AI enemies but also even human players in multiplayer. It's considered an essential skill alongside trick jumping mastery at the higher levels.
    • Enemy Civil War exploiting. Not every enemy reacts badly to friendly fire. For starters, monsters of the same class will focus their fire on you rather than their attacker. They'll also focus their fire on you if they're ground-based and the friendly fire came from an Airborne Mook and vice-versa. And in the 2023 remaster, bosses and Tanks are immune to this. Used on the correct enemy pairings, however, this exploit helps the players to save ammo, allowing them to clear areas easily.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The Strogg logo can be seen on various crates found in Quake I; the reason for this has never been made clear.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: This was the last game where multiple weapons share an ammo type (such as the Hyperblaster, BFG10K, and Power Shield using energy cells). Quake III: Arena set a standard for each weapon generally using separate ammo pools, and it took until the Steam update in 2016 for Quake Live to have a shared ammo box. This helps balance elements like the scarcity of BFG ammo.
  • Emergency Weapon: The blaster pistol, which has infinite ammo, but is only really of any use against early human-based Stroggs. Still comes in handy as a flashlight and a button presser. Interestingly, it shares Anti-Armor properties with much more potent Hyper Blaster and BFG.
  • Exploding Barrels: Octagon-shaped ones which can be moved, and which of course damage everyone around in case of explosion. It helps that those can be used to reach the top of the usually insurmountable boxes scattered throughout the game, so players might want to hold a bit of their fire. Absent in multiplayer, though.
  • Every Bullet is a Tracer: Zig-zagged. Ballistic weapons like the shotgun and machinegun have no tracer effects at all, but the railgun leaves a distinctive blue spiral trail when fired, likely to give the target some idea where the shot came from and dissuade camping in multiplayer. This also applies to the Gladiator's railgun, possibly for the same reasons.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Pick any Stroggification process you want. Being mutilated and reprogrammed to fight your former allies makes being processed into Human Resources seem almost kind by comparison.
  • Force-Field Door: Several instances, usually accompanied by a specific mission to take out a power generator or collect an access card before continuing. Comes in regular forcefield and deadly laser variants.
  • Gatling Good:
    • The Chaingun. It takes several seconds to spin up and several more to spin down after use, but when it's spun up it'll fire insanely quickly and mow down anything in its way, even the toughest mini-bosses. As long as you have the ammo to sustain this firepower, naturally.
    • The Hyperblaster's muzzle rotates when fired. It needs no windup time but takes almost a full second to wind down before it can be used again.
  • Green Rocks: According to the Manual, the Strogg use "bluish crystals called Steedium" as the source for most of the energy that powers Stroggos. The energy gained from processing these crystals gives them the power to run their entire civilization as well as their planetary defence weapons systems. These crystals in-game can be found in several levels, mostly those mine-based such as the entire Mine unit of II and Ground Zero.
  • Grenade Launcher: The game lends players hand grenades in the first levels. Hand grenades have a long firing delay and need to be held to be thrown (with the added risk of blowing yourself up) to increase the distance. Halfway through the Jail unit, players find the Grenade Launcher proper, which fires grenades in a proper arc and have a highly reduced fire delay, way much more useful than hand grenades.
  • Guide Dang It!: Two weapons deal extra damage from a surprise attack on an unaware foe: the Railgun, which makes sense as a sniping, instant-hitting weapon, and the Rocket Launcher. Use one of your Silencers to prevent the target from hearing the rocket shot so they don't pre-emptively dodge it or cost you the damage bonus, and you can one-shot Gunners or Iron Maidens with a single rocket. Nothing in the game even hints at a stealth damage mechanic like this, much less it being exclusive to two specific weapons and one of them being unintuitive to figure. The 2023 remaster greatly expands on this concept by allowing all weapons to deal bonus damage on surprise attacks, while also offering a brief bit of text explaining the ambushing benefits of the Silencer if you find the very first one.
  • Harder Than Hard: Requires the console command "skill 3" to access Nightmare difficulty (some ports have it enabled right in the menu, though, as "Nightmare"). It doesn't change the amount of enemies, but there're many changes towards their behaviour.
  • Heart Container: Adrenaline stims will increase the player's max health by 1 permanently. Individually insignificant, but collecting all of them raises the max health by about 42 points upon reaching the Final Boss. Most are found in secret areas, but some are just hidden in unmarked areas. The 2023 Remaster makes them into inventory items, providing the same permanent health boost but now also functions as a portable full heal.
  • Hollywood Silencer: There is a silencer powerup that when used removes any sound from any weapon, allowing you to run around shooting a silenced rocket launcher with silenced explosions. This power-up lacks a HUD indicator, however.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: The Player Character can carry the blaster, the standard and super shotguns, the Machinegun, the Chaingun, the Hyperblaster, the Grenade and Rocket Launchers, the Railgun and the BFG10K. All at the same time. And that's not counting their inventory, which can comprise utilities such as a silencer, powerups that amplify damage or negate environmental damage and/or all non-pit/void-based damage. Furthermore, The Reckoning also adds Traps, the ricocheting projectile throwing Ion Ripper and the multi rocket launching Phalanx Particle Cannon, while Ground Zero adds the electrical Tesla) mine traps, the Plasma Beam, the armor-piercing automatic ETF Rifle, the Proximity Mine Launcher, and a Chainsaw. Phew.
  • In Name Only: Zigzagged. The story has no relation to the first game whatsoever. However, the gameplay and weapons all remain the same with some new ones added in. A lot of the Strogg are also based on the enemies of the first game.
  • It's Raining Men: The initial wave of the human invasion of Stroggos was to fire an entire army down onto the surface in individual drop pods. It failed, with one exception.
  • Jump Physics: By way of glitches. Not only are bunnyhopping and blast-jumping back, but the game also added ramp-jumping, and box-jumping, which increase jumping height at certain points of the jump, reaching higher heights.
  • Laser Hallway: Some areas are protected by deadly lasers which insta-kill anyone who crosses them. Usually, they can be taken down by switching off a generator.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: The manual appears to do this while describing the BFG10K, saying it stands for "Big, uh, freakin' gun."
  • Lava Pit: Several instances. Stroggos is, after all, a Death World.
  • Malevolent Architecture: Everything in Stroggos is trying to kill the player, and it doesn't need to be a Strogg to do so. From deadly lasers to deadly floors to Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom to lava and acid pits... Yep, Stroggos is a Death World.
  • Monster Closet: Some of the enemies are located in enclosed areas that open up when the player is near.
  • More Dakka: The Chaingun. To a lesser extent, there's also the machine gun, which shares ammo with the Chaingun but suffers from serious recoil due to it being lightweight.
  • Moving the Goalposts: As a sort of bug. The levels usually start with a set amount of enemies, as seen in the console. Then, sometimes by doing certain stuff, ranging from normal (entering and exiting levels) to crazy ones, summon extra, unexpected enemies in the levels.
  • No Fair Cheating: The "God" cheat code doesn't protect the player from the void or teleporting monsters. In the latter case, it's the player who gets telefragged.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Any Strogg facility you could think of.
  • One-Hit Polykill: The Railgun fired through multiple enemies. The BFG10K would wipe out entire rooms with a single shot.
  • 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."
  • Ranged Emergency Weapon: The basic pistol is low on stopping power, but comes with Bottomless Magazines.
  • Redshirt Army: The TCM (outside of you) exists solely as cannon fodder and potential test subjects for the Stroggos.
  • Real Is Brown: While the game may be a sequel to Quake in name only, there's one other characteristic the two games have in common: Their respective color palettes consist mainly of shades of brown.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: Destroying boxes and other structures usually nets you with a goodie, most usually ammo/health packs, armor pieces or even a weapon/powerup. This is required for most secrets in the game: it's not unusual to spot a crack in the wall and shoot it to get a goodie or a shortcut.
  • Saw Blades of Death: Downplayed example. Saw blades are used as devices to cut meat and limbs off the humans.
  • 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 your enemies.
  • Shout-Out: Shares a page with the rest of the series.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: The Railgun isn't as flashy as the BFG10K, but it is one of the most powerful weapons in your arsenal for single targets. It has pinpoint accuracy, even on the move. In Deathmatch, it's a fundamental weapon to master for building up your score, and Railgun skill is like a rite of passage.
  • Sound-Coded for Your Convenience: COM-PUTER UP-DATED!
  • A Space Marine Is You: The game and its Expansion Packs are FPS games where the different protagonists are Space Marines working for the TCM. In addition, they never speak, the ship they were travelling in gets shot and they land in zones guarded by Strogg enemies, they get their orders from their radio sets, the enemy qualifies for the Horde of Alien Locusts, and there are steam leaks in several levels which usually lead to shortcuts, secrets, or are just necessary for level progression, almost every NPC squad they find is either D.O.A. or killed at that moment, they go to the enemy's core areas to blow them up, the bosses themselves are the Load-Bearing Boss variety after said boss battles there are timed escapes, they wear Powered Armor just for cosmetics, as there are proper armor items on the way, they cannot go anywhere and the primary weapon is an infinite-ammo beam shooting gun.
  • Suspiciously Cracked Wall: Some levels feature cracked walls that reveal either secrets or shortcuts.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: In terms of weapons, the Hyperblaster and its projectiles function similarly to the Super Nailgun from the first game to a degree. Both also have four barrels. Quake Champions even acknowledges this similarity by giving the Super Nailgun an Hyperblaster skin ("Executioner").
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Being the idea to cause massive damage to the Stroggos, many levels play this straight. The games have at least one level with a countdown which will make everything explode after reaching zero even the player if they don't exit ASAP. And, of course, the final cinematics always reveal an important Strogg base being destroyed by a huge explosion.
  • Timed Powerup: Of the Use Item variety in that you can use them anytime you want but can carry only one at a time in single-player. In multiplayer, however, the moment you pick them their effect is immediately activated. In all cases, except the IR Goggles which last 60 seconds, the rest of the items last 30 seconds.
    • Quad Damage: Multiplies your damage output by a factor of four.
    • Environment Suit: Prevents you from being corroded by acid.
    • Invulnerability: Prevents all non-void/death pit-based hazard damage.
    • Rebreather: Prevents you from being drowned.
    • Silencer: Nullifies gunfire noise, preventing enemies from being alerted by it.
    • Dualfire Damage (The Reckoning and 2023 remaster): Doubles your rate of fire.
    • Double Damage (Ground Zero and 2023 remaster): Multiplies your damage output by a factor of two.
    • IR Goggles (Ground Zero and 2023 remaster): Highlights enemies and corpses in the world.
    • Doppelganger (Ground Zero and 2023 remaster): a multiplayer-only item that leaves a static decoy with your likeness.
    • Hunter Sphere (Ground Zero and 2023 remaster): a multiplayer-only floating turret that attacks those who attack you.
    • Defender Sphere (Ground Zero and 2023 remaster): a floating turret that attacks any enemy around you.
    • Vengeance Sphere (Ground Zero and 2023 remaster): a multiplayer-only floating turret that attacks the enemy who fragged you.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Enemies in the 2023 remaster receive modest A.I. improvements; enemies, in general, can now jump down to reach you from a higher level, and individual enemies have new combat moves, such as the Enforcer now being able to shoot while walking forward and no longer needing to recock their Arm Cannon if they've already cocked it, and the Berserker now being able to leap at you from a couple of dozen meters away.
  • Tutorial Level: The 2023 remaster has one with the very basics on how to play the game, including holdable items, shield position, and why you should Shoot the Medic First (and the Medic Commander too!).
  • Updated Re Release:
    • Quake II RTX features RTX lighting implementation as well as updated textures and graphics. It also allows you to play Quake II with modern settings (high frame rate and ultrawide or 4K resolution) out of the box without needing to install a source port. You can even disable the RTX and updated graphics and play it with the original graphics if you're on a less powerful system. FSR + dynamic resolution also lets you play with the GPU-intensive RTX features enabled and still get good framerates. The only major drawback is that it doesn't support the expansion packs.
    • The August 10th 2023 remaster (free for all original owners of the game on Steam) is a true remaster in the same vein as the Quake 1 remaster from a couple of years prior, updating the game to run on modern systems and modern resolutions/refresh rates, with some modern polish in terms of lighting and effects, subtle higher-res textures and models (though staying true to the game's original retro appearance), as well as optional gameplay improvements such as hit markers and a waypoint marker. It includes the base game, both mission packs, a port of the Nintendo 64 campaign, and a new campaign, Call of the Machine, by Machine Games. Unlike the Quake 1 remaster, the Quake 2 remaster makes moderate changes to gameplay in the form of additions to the enemy A.I., giving them new moves and attacks (some of which are either Dummied Out code or back-ported from the expansion packs).
  • Use Item: In the PC version and the 2023 remaster, there's an inventory system, and some powerups could be saved for later use. The number of powerups a player can carry depends on the difficulty level: only one of each type can be carried on Hard and Hard+/Nightmare, two on Medium, and infinite on Easy. The 2023 remaster even has an item wheel dedicated to these items. In addition to the Timed Powerups, there are the following:
    • Adrenaline: Originally an instant-effect item, in the 2023 remastered version it becomes one. Restores all health and adds a point of health, allowing its user to last longer.
    • Power Screen: Generates a curved frontal shield that protects its user from all kinds of attacks. Can be triggered on/off and consumes cells.
    • Power Shield: Same as the Power Screen, but covering the entire body and protecting from more damage.
  • Utility Weapon: As the game has no flashlight, the blaster can be used to illuminate dark areas, due to having infinite ammo.
  • Vague Hit Points: There're alternate skins for the game's enemies and bosses that are activated once their health has been reduced by half. The skins, obviously, shows them being quite damaged, and since enemy/boss damage is never displayed in numbers at any time in the HUD, this is the only feedback players get to know whether an enemy/boss is near death or not.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Some levels feature crawling, madness-ridden human prisoners. Some of these prisoners hold important items for the player's progression and even ammo boxes. The only way to get these items, then, is to kill them. Given what the Strogg have put their human prisoners through, killing them can hardly be called cruel.

    Quake II (core game) 
  • All There in the Manual: Details about the game's backstory, the Stroggos' background and a lot of info can be found in the HTML manuals which come with the game.
  • Book Ends: The Player Character starts and ends the game getting out of a pod.
  • Canon Name: The marine who undergoes the mission is callsigned "Bitterman".
  • Conveyor Belt of Doom: There's a conveyor belt present in "Q2DM8: Warehouse", which leads to the BFG10K. However, should the player get trapped between one of the boxes and a wall, they're killed.
  • Shareware: The demo came with a shuffled version of the first unit which included 7 weapons + Hand Grenades (most of which are obtained in the Comm Center level), but no Secret Level and a Tank as a Final Boss of sorts at the end of the Installation level (Tanks are found first in the Unit 2 level Warehouse in the full game).
  • Take That!: The level "Cooling Factory" features a Dopefish decal, which has been maliciously gored out. In-game text appears if you approach that reads "Design is law". This is a shot at Ion Storm, host of previous employees at id Software — specifically John Romeronote  and Tom Hallnote . This secret got replaced in the 2023 remake, instead featuring an alive Dopefish and the message "The Dopefish Lives Again!"
  • 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.
    • In a weird example of a game retroactively becoming a tech demo, in 2019 NVIDIA teamed up with a group of modders to demonstrate their new real-time raytracing technology by releasing a source port of the game that uses it. This is taxing on even the absolute highest-end consumer graphics cards.
  • A Winner Is You:
    • The demo version of the PC game has three levels (or four, depending on how you count them). When you complete the final level, the screen abruptly displays "THE END".
    • The main game's ending isn't much either with a pod launching and crashing quite quickly and the player's arm appearing out of the pod to signify his survival.
  • With This Herring: An early example of attempting a justification as to why a Space Marine starts with only a piddly pistol; All of your other weapons were either lost or destroyed in the pod crash, leaving the Blaster as your only option.

    Quake II Mission Pack: The Reckoning 
  • Attack Speed Buff: The Dualfire Damage powerup doubles the firing speed of your weapons.
  • Canon Name: The marine who undergoes the mission is callsigned "Joker".
  • Cool, but Inefficient: The Phalanx Particle Cannon fires two dazzling fireballs at a time and has a powerful punch, but the projectiles are painfully slow and the cycling rate is sluggish too. It doesn't help that the Railgun rivals the damage of this weapon and also works at sniping distances, while the Super Shotgun has close-quarters-combat covered. The Rocket Launcher also competes with it in the explosive weapons category boasting faster missiles and a higher rate of fire.
  • Death Trap: The train tracks in both "Refinery" and "xhangar1: Lower Hangars" are always on, and falling to them results in death.
  • I Am a Humanitarian: For once, inverted. The Trap item allows you to consume an enemy by turning it into a health diamond or meatcube. Be careful of getting near it while it's active, though, or YOU will be turned into a meatcube.
  • Infinite Flashlight: The 2023 remaster version of the level pack adds one as a pickup, which you get as soon as you enter "The Swamps".
  • Some Dexterity Required: To pick up the secret Power Shield and reach the upper-level button/Megahealth in "xdm4: The Sludge Pit", players must execute either a Rocket Jump or a Crate Jump.

    Quake II Mission Pack: Ground Zero 
  • Artificial Brilliance: Enemies can now jump over obstacles.
  • Beam Spam: The Plasma Beam fires a continuous stream of plasma that passes through walls.
  • Canon Name: The marine who undergoes the mission is callsigned "Stepchild".
  • Chainsaw Good: The Chainfist is a single-hand-mounted Chainsaw.
  • Cool, but Inefficient:
    • Only in the single-player campaign, the Plasma Beam is outclassed by multiple weapons, because is very inefficient with power cells. The Hyperblaster is far superior in ammo efficiency, each blaster bolt causing 20 damage per energy unit vs 15 damage per 2-energy units. Also, energy cells are highly precious as they also power the BFG10K and the Power Shield. Sure it's hitscan, but the Railgun has this market well cornered already.
    • The Chainfist may be your Chainsaw Good melee weapon, but the mission pack throws you into much more threatening encounters than the vanilla campaign and the omnipresent wall turrets are usually placed on walls/ceilings well outside of melee range (not that you'd want to fight those in melee). If you're already fighting in close quarters, the Super Shotgun is the superior weapon to the Chainfist and shells are very abundant.
    • The TESLA Mine. While it deals good damage and its ability to target multiple enemies makes it a decent crowd-control weapon, it's held back by an extremely slow deployment speed and the fact that it's vulnerable to damage. Not enough that a stray high-damage shot/explosive from either yourself or an enemy is enough to instantly destroy one, enemies struck by a TESLA Mine will immediately begin targeting it directly, further degrading its life expectancy.
  • Decapitated Army: Once the Black Widow is done for, all remaining Stalkers will die as well.
  • Doomsday Device: The A-M (Anti-Matter) bomb, the device which must be used on the Gravity Well to destroy it alongside the rest of the planet.
  • Expy:
    • The ETF Rifle is a double-barreled Nailgun similar to the model from Quake. It even uses the same sound effect when it shoots.
    • The Plasma Beam uses a similar "barrel shroud" to the M60 shroud on the Plasma Gun from Doom and uses energy cells like the latter. Its function however is equivalent to the hitscan Thunderbolt from Quake.
    • The Proximity Launcher is this to the two grenade launcher variants featured in each of the Quake mission packs; it shares the same name and overall functionality of Scourge of Armagon's own Proximity Launcher, while it's yellow/black hazard markings visually evoke Dissolution of Eternity's Multi-Grenade Launcher.
  • Grenade Launcher: Aside from hand grenades and the Grenade Launcher, this expansion introduces the Proximity Launcher, which places proxy mines that blow up on contact with other players or even yourself.
  • Lightning Gun: To some extent, the TESLA mine, a deployable which shoots a lightning stream to anybody who gets close enough including the player in multiplayer.
  • Nail 'Em: The ETF Rifle the game's take on the Nailgun.
  • No Fair Cheating: The God cheat code may save you from enemy damage, but if you get locked in radiation areasnote  or get caught in the middle of a level-wide explosionnote , you're doomed, even with it.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: The Plasma Beam has this effect, serving as a high-power automatic tracking weapon similar to the Thunderbolt from Quake.

     Quake II: Call of the Machine 
  • Adapted Out: The Phalanx Cannon, Ion Ripper, ETF Rifle and Prox Launcher weapons, both the standard & Beta Class/Heat-Seeking Iron Maidens, the IR Goggles and the different spheres are absent from the campaign as a whole.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Masters of the Machine are destroyed, and Shub-Niggurath's connection to the Strogg is severed in what is assumed to be a massive blow. However, it comes at the cost of the lives of several marines, including the station operator, who ends up permanently trapped in a dark void.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Upon taking out the Masters of the Machine the protagonist is rewarded with... being eternally trapped in a black void of nothingness.
  • The Bus Came Back: The formerly Playstation-exclusive Arachnid makes an appearance in Operation: Firewall.
  • Call-Forward: The Hub Level is inspired by the Fortress of Doom from Doom Eternal.
  • Canon Name: Six of the marines who undergo the different operations are callsigned "Surgubbe" (Operation: Corpse Run), "C.J." (Operation: Laser Run), "Brickslayer" (Operation: Ruined Earth), "Positivity" (Operation: Wasteland), "Eriksson" (Operation: Firewall) and "The Machine" (the Commander). The seventh, who undergoes Operation: Darkest Depths goes unnamed.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Operation: Darkest Depths features more than one Call-Back to Quake:
      • The unnamed marine eventually reaches what appears to be an ancient writing on a wall where a pair of Shamblers and something resembling Shub-Niggurath appear.
      • Near the end of "Too Greedy", he travels to "e1m2: Castle of the Damned" via a portal whose texture is outright extracted from I, if only for a moment, where he gets a glimpse of another Shambler.
      • Lastly, the layout of "Fatalism" is "e1m7: Chthon's House" in all but name and boss.
      • A minor one, but "Too Deep" and "Too Greedy" are also the joint name of one of the levels introduced in Dimension of the Machine.
    • The portal used to travel to the Temple of the Creator is similar to the round portals used in Quake.
  • Canon Welding:
    • In a meta-level, the level pack combines the arsenal, items and bestiary of the main game, The Reckoning and Ground Zero. It also restores the previously Dummied Out player-usable Disruptor from the latter.
    • Operation: Firewall reintroduces the Arachnid enemy from the PSX version of the game.
    • In addition to the Wham Shot listed below, Shamblers are fought a couple of times throughout the expansion, at one point the unnamed marine in Operation: Darkest Depths gets a glimpse of "E1M2: Castle of the Damned", the boss of said operation is a giant Shambler who acts as an Expy of Chthon, the arena where it's fought is similar to "E1M7: Chthon's House" (With a similar killing mechanism!) and the Final Boss of the entire episode is a pair of Shamblers known as the Masters of the Machine.
    • The last portion of "Temple of the Creator" is structured much like the Nintendo 64 version of the game: a two-Dual Boss Boss Rush of powerful Mid Bosses.
  • Dual Boss: Some of the boss fights involve fighting two boss enemies at the same time.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The ending text heavily implies that the Strogg Maker is Shub-Niggurath herself, as killing the Masters of the Machine severed the Strogg's connection from the otherworldly dimension of the first game.
  • Life Meter: This campaign (and ONLY this campaign) adds a boss health bar for all the bosses, most of which are tougher than those from the original game.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: The Iron Maiden and their Beta Class/Heat-Seeking counterpart are notably absent from Call of the Machine, likely for the same reason the Elite Guard was the only major enemy that Machine Games didn't carry over from Return to Castle Wolfenstein to Wolfenstein: The New Order.
  • Mid-Boss: Besides each end-of-mission boss fight, there are also many mid-mission boss fights against slightly less powerful boss enemies, such as a King Mook "bloodstarved" mutant, a beefed up tank commander, or various unaugmented (but still quite powerful) super tanks.
  • Mini Mook: One mini-boss, named "The Janitor", is a tiny Super Tank the size of a remote-control toy car.
  • Serial Escalation: Similar to Dimension of the Machine for Quake 1, Call of the Machine takes advantage of modern advances in computer processing power, with levels having more complex architecture and drastically larger enemy counts compared to the original game.
  • Wham Shot:
    • Operation: Darkest Depths involves finding a mural the Strogg had dug up and investigating when the player's character arrives. A mural dedicated to The Black Goat and her children. from the first Quake.
    • After defeating the boss of Operation: Darkest Depths, you're confronted with your marine in front of a mural of the Black Goat, having gone mad, and the words MISSION FAILED.

    Multiplayer modes 
Tropes applying to the Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch modes integrated with the game, the Threewave Capture the Flag mod integrated with Quake v3.20 and the 2023 remaster, and the Tag mode from Ground Zero, as well as all the levels in multiplayer mode.

  • Adapted Out: The 2023 remaster left a few things out from the game such as:
    • The v1.5.0 CTF maps for Capture the Flag (q2ctf6, q2ctf7 and q2ctf8).
    • The original version of "Outlands CTF" (q2ctf4), being replaced with "Outlands II CTF" (q2ctf4a).
    • Downplayed with the SP maps; they cannot be selected in the multiplayer menu for Deathmatch play.
    • The Tag mode from Ground Zero.
    • Almost all ID FTP maps (match1, base64, city64 and sewer64)
  • All There in the Manual: Yep, Threewave CTF II has a backstory. It's about a typical training session with simulated damage and a rookie taking revenge on his Drill Sergeant Nasty.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The 2023 remaster introduced a multiplayer AI for local botmatches. However the AI itself is quite rudimentary, and it has big problems such as not going for the enemy flag in Capture the Flag.
  • Attack Speed Buff: The "Time Accel" Tech Powerup in Threewave CTF II doubles the firing speed of your weapons. In the 2023 remastered edition of the game, it can be combined with the Dualfire Damage, Quad Damage or Double Damage for obscene amounts of damage output and/or rate of fire.
  • Call-Forward: The 2023 remaster's multiplayer menu has a new "insignia" section. Among the available insignias there are GDF, Infiltrator and Kane.
  • Capture the Flag: The whole basis of Threewave CTF II. There are two flags, you need to retrieve the enemy's while keeping your own. Captures net 15 points; protecting your carrier and killing the enemy carrier net 3 points; killing attackers nearby your flag or your flag carrier net 2 points; and regular frags, flag returns and carrier assists net one point.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: In addition to the obvious, whoever carries the Quad Damage in Threewave CTF will glow with their team's color.
  • Cut and Paste Environments:
    • "xdm1: Munitions Dump" has a portion from "The Hangars", more specifically the dual-levelled room with the oddly-shaped button-triggered platform, only this time it isn't button-triggered and hides a secret passage behind it.
    • "xdm2: Deadly Reckoning" has fragments of both "Outer Compound" and "The Warehouse". More specifically, the former has an area that reproduces almost step-by-step the laser walls area with the cargo and the balcony, while the latter contains the water pool with the ramp going upwards as well as other similar rooms.
    • The 2023 remastered version of the game introduced two Capture the Flag maps that combine parts from other maps:
      • "q2kctf1: Capture Reckoning" takes several portions of "Outer Compound" from The Reckoning, much like "xdm2: Deadly Reckoning".
      • "q2kctf2: Nexus CTF" is, well, "rdm6: Nexus" from Ground Zero as a CTF map.
  • Death Trap:
    • "Q2DM3: The Frag Pipe"'s main gimmick is a chamber in the centre of the map officiating as the only passage between two rooms. This chamber has three buttons nearby that close it and fill it with lava for some seconds, forcing the players to die. There're also lava pits in every room sans one which has a slime pool with two moving platforms over it.
    • "Q2DM6: Lava Tomb" has beauties such as splitting floors over lava rivers and a rotating mechanism that leads players to another lava pool. As its name implies, lava is a common element of the level, being present in almost every area.
    • "Q2DM7: The Slimy Place" is full of slime pits and has a button-triggered trap involving the Rocket Launcher.
    • "fact3: Sudden Death" features a trap in the Quad chamber; one of the rooms has a button that seals the area and fills it with lava.
    • In Deathmatch mode, "waste3: Pumping Station 2" turns the last slime pit into an empty pit with a Deadly Rotary Fan in the bottom and the Quad room into a passage back to the end of the level. As compensation for this, there's now a bridge crossing over this pit.
    • Also in Deathmatch mode, "city3: Upper Palace" has a small platform near the escape pod which appears and disappears at regular intervals. It contains the Power Shield and hovers over the lava pool.
    • From The Reckoning:
      • "xdm4: The Sludge Pit" has slime pools and an initially empty pool that contains a Rocket Launcher, which is filled once a button nearby is pressed.
      • The train tracks in both "Refinery" and "xhangar1: Lower Hangars" are always on, and falling to them results in death.
    • The coils in "xmoon2: Command Center" must be disabled in the campaign, however, in Deathmatch mode they're always turned on, with no way to disable them.
    • In the official Threewave CTF II maps they're scarce, however, they're still present:
      • "q2ctf3: The Smelter" features a lava pit in the centre of the map.
      • "q2ctf8: The Hangar Scenario" features two trap turbines in the underwater section, one per team, which suck you out (thankfully, they're protected, so they only suck you out rather than doing that and killing you). If you aren't playing with the Grapple, kiss your health goodbye.
  • Downloadable Content:
    • Patch 3.20 includes eight dedicated Deathmatch mapsnote  and the Threewave CTF II mod.
    • Downloadable content in the old Id Software FTP (thus official) includes the Deathmatch map match1 ("Reckless Abandon") and the 64-player Deathmatch maps note .
    • Threewave CTF II comes with Point Release 3.20 for the main game and every digital distribution set. It contains five maps: q2ctf1 ("McKinley's Revival"), q2ctf2 ("Stronghold Opposition"), q2ctf3 ("The Smelter"), q2ctf4 ("Outlands"), and q2ctf5 ("Capture Showdown").
      • There's also an additional patch for ver. 1.50. Unlike the main mod (ver. 1.02) this patch must be installed manually over any previous installation. In addition to fixes and new commands, it adds three more maps: q2ctf6 ("Borders Canyon") q2ctf7 ("Boxed-In") and q2ctf8 ("The Hangar Scenario")
      • And in addition to all of the above, the Id FTP servers have a second version of Outlands ("Outlands II") as q2ctf4a.
  • Dream Sequence: At the beginning of the backstory of Threewave CTF II, the Player Character (named Soldier 3585) begins to have memories of combat training. Then Sergeant Boomer calls his attention.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Sergeant Boomer in the backstory of Threewave CTF II, the instructor in the backstory of the mod.
  • Gradual Regeneration: The "AutoDoc" Tech Powerup in Threewave CTF II heals the carrier up to a maximum of 150 HP.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: The Grapple in Threewave CTF II shoots a hook that attaches to any surface and immediately retracts, pulling its user with it. The backstory names it "T-56 Grappling Assembly".
  • Misbegotten Multiplayer Mode: Zig-Zagged with the ability to play Deathmatch on SP maps, both on the main game as well as the expansions. On one hand, these maps in DM mode include rebalanced lighting (they look brighter, considering visual clarity is a must when playing online), rebalanced item/weapon placement, an even spread of spawn points, MP-exclusive teleporters and ladders to solve connectivity issues, and even new areas not present in SP, usually added to connect areas which weren't connected in the SP in the first place. On the other hand, some maps present issues in multiplayer mode, such as deadends, locked rooms that require buttons for no reason, secrets still displaying their "you have found a secret" message and the like. It's telling that the 2023 remaster doesn't feature SP maps in the Multiplayer menu.
    Tim Willits: Making a map great for both DM and SP is a very difficult task. Usually, if it's great for DM it'll be too circular for SP, and if it's a fun SP map it's usually too straight for DM.
  • Multiplayer-Only Item:
    • Threewave CTF II has the Tech Powerups: AutoDocnote , Power Amplifiernote , Time Accelnote  and Disruptor Shieldnote .
    • Ground Zero has a bunch: the Doppelgangernote , the Vengeance and Hunter Spheresnote  and the proper A-M Bombnote . Some source ports also enable the use of the unused Disintegrator Gun.
  • Mutually Exclusive Power-Ups:
    • You cannot carry more than one Ground Zero sphere at the same time. You have to wait until the sphere explodes.
    • The Tech Powerups in Threewave CTF II that spawn at the starting points. To pick up another, you need to toss the current Tech you're carrying with you.
  • Mythology Gag: The multiplayer insignias introduced in the 2023 rerelease include ones referring to other Bethesda, Microsoft, and Nightdive properties, such as Age of Empires ("Ageless"), Commander Keen ("Billy"), Doom ("Marine", "Mt. Erebus"), Minesweeper ("Weapons of War"), Solitaire ("Card Shark"), Turok ("Cerebral Bore"), and Wolfenstein 3-D ("BJ", "Prisoner").
  • Quad Damage: In addition to the namesake item, there's the "Power Amplifier" Tech Powerupnote  in Threewave CTF, which increases the player's attack power. Combined with the Quad Damage itself (and in the 2023 remaster, also the Dualfire Damage and/or Double Damage) can lead to obscene damage output and/or an obscene rate of fire.
  • Remixed Level:
    • Both The Reckoning and Ground Zero feature a remix of "q2dm1: The Edge": "xdm6: XEdge" from The Reckoning and "rdm14: "Rogue's Edge" from Ground Zero.
    • From Threewave CTF II:
      • "q2ctf1: McKinley Revival" is a remix of "ctf1: McKinley Base" from the original Threewave CTF mod for Quake.
      • Both "q2ctf4: Outlands" and "q2ctf4a: Outlands II" are adapted versions of the main game's "Outlands" level.
      • "q2ctf5: Capture Showdown" is a mirrored version of the main game's "Final Showdown" level.
  • Super-Speed: The "Time Accelerator" Tech Powerup in Threewave CTF, which grants its carrier additional speed.
  • Time Bomb: The A-M Bomb from Ground Zero becomes this in multiplayer mode: after being dropped, players have a set time before leaving its (quite huge) explosion radius. The bomb instantly explodes if dropped on a hazard.

    Console versions 
  • Adaptation Distillation: Most of the Base Unitnote , most of the Jail Unitnote , most of the Power Unitnote , parts of the Big Gun and Hangar Unitsnote , and the Boss Levels remain in the PSX version. To make up for this, some new levels ("Strogg Outpost", "Waste Disposal Area") were developed, and the surviving levels saw quite the update with area improvements and additions, weapon/item/enemy placement, and new secrets. It still stayed truer to the PC original than the N64's Pragmatic Adaptation.
  • Adaptation Name Change: The Quad Damage is renamed "Power Amplifier" in the Nintendo 64 version.
  • Adapted Out:
    • The Barracuda Shark and Brains enemies, alongside the Reckoning and Ground Zero mooks and the Rebreather item, are left out of the PSX and N64 versions.
    • The Mutant, Parasite, Tank Commander and Technician enemies and the Silencer item are left out of the PSX version.
    • The Medic and Technician mooks are left out from the N64 version, as well as the Makron and the Bandolier item. Players cannot use hand grenades as well.
  • Bad Vibrations: The PSX port cleverly used rumble when particularly large enemies were walking. Better yet, it was in stereo.
  • Boss Rush: The last level of the N64 version, "Command Core", pits you against two Tank Commanders and two Hornets.
  • Canon Name:
    • The units in the Nintendo 64 version lacked names. When they were added to the remaster, however, they were given names for the multiplayer menu.
    • The marine in the PSX version, judging by the reuse of the Ground Zero cutscenes, is Stepchild.
    • The marine in the N64 version is Viper.
  • Cut and Paste Environments: Although the Nintendo 64 version is touted as having completely new maps, there are still some recognizable areas:
  • Elevator Action Sequence: The "Descent to Core" level in the N64 version takes place while you descend to the core of Stroggos.
  • Invisibility: The eponymous item appears in the N64 version as an exclusive powerup. It's shaped like a module in the N64 version, while the 2023 remastered version of the Quake II 64 campaign features instead a recolored Bandolier as its in-game model.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: Since levels had to be shortened or split to fit within the PSX limitations, players will see copious amounts of "Loading" while travelling through the levels. This is averted in the N64 versions by every map being short a la Doom.
  • Reformulated Game:
    • For whatever reason, the developers behind the N64 version had to work with the engine of the previous game and lacked the means to properly recreate Quake II on a cartridge. As a result, the devs took level chunks and most but not all of the enemies and assets, and effectively built a new game trying to recreate its feel from the bones of Quake 64. The result is a mostly new campaign with some reused level design from the PC version.
    • Likewise, the Playstation 1 version had to be rebuilt from the ground up as it would have been impossible to run the original Quake 2 on the PSX's much more limited hardware compared to a contemporary PC. The PlayStation version sticks more closely to the original game than the N64 version, though the campaign is overall abridged with smaller chopped-down levels. Notably, it uses the opening cutscene and main mission objective of Ground Zero (shut down the Strogg gravity generator rather than the Big Gun), and the middle section of the game has a few new unique levels and a new unique boss enemy in the form of the Guardian (which is a Tank Commander torso attached to a pair of Chicken Walker legs).
  • Updated Re Release: The 2023 Quake II remaster includes a playable version of the Nintendo 64 campaign, likely partially due to the remaster being released on the Nintendo Switch. It is not an emulation of the N64 version of the game, but rather the N64 levels running in regular Quake II, though there have been some gameplay changes to better fit the N64 version (items are used instantly when picked up and cannot be stored in inventory, Power Shield is replaced with Invisibility, there is no way to increase your ammo capacity, and the crouch button has been disabled).
  • Take That!: The N64 version has one while explaining the Flagwars mode:
    The Instruction Manual: What are you waiting for, Dinosaurs in fog?
  • A Winner Is You: In the N64 version, after beating the final level, your character goes up in an elevator... and you get a small paragraph of text thanking you for playing the game, along with the words GAME OVER.
"We hope you enjoyed the game. As a token of our appreciation for playing, we offer you this password.note  Have fun and enjoy!"