Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Quake IV

Go To

"You are Matthew Kane, a member of the elite Rhino Squad and part of the next massive invasion that spans across the entire Stroggos planet. Equipped with hi-tech weapons and mobile vehicles, and teamed with a top Marine squadron, you soon realize this war is far from over."

Quake IV is the fourth entry in the Quake series, released in 2005. The game was developed by Raven Software using the id Tech 4 engine (the engine created for Doom³), and it's set in the Strogg arc as a follow-up to the events of Quake II. After Bitterman, the protagonist of Quake II, near-singlehandedly dealt a major blow to the Strogg forces, the Space Marine Corps proceed to launch another invasion of the Strogg's home planet, Stroggos, in order to terminate the menace once and for all. The player controls Matthew Kane, a corporal of the SMC's renowned Rhino Squad, and he must assist his comrades in the given objectives. But Kane has little knowledge of just what he'll have to endure in order to hopefully put an end to the war...

The game introduces reloading and NPCs to the franchise, at least for single-player, giving the campaign a more generic space marine feel. In the campaign, weapons are also upgraded as you progress. The multiplayer section of the game, on the other hand, is basically Quake III: Arena with some changes such as the introduction of crouch sliding and projectile teleporting/pushing. The weaponry roster keeps most of the Quake II weapon roster, dropping only the Super Shotgun, Chaingun and BFG10K, adding the Lightning Gun and the Nailgun from Quake and a new weapon called the Dark Matter Gun replacing the BFG. In multiplayer games, the Blaster is switched with the Gauntlet from Quake III: Arena. A later patch added the Napalm Gun for multiplayer. Speaking of multiplayer, the game came with five gamemodes: Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Tournament, Capture the Flag and Arena CTF (Capture the Flag... with runes!). Later patches added the DeadZone gametype and a "Buy mode" option for all gametypes where players must purchase weapons with credits a la Counter-Strike.

The Xbox 360 version of the game, and the PC Special DVD Edition, come with Quake II included.

Canonically speaking, the game is the most recent Strogg game to date, but it was followed by prequel Enemy Territory: Quake Wars in 2005.

This game provide examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    In general 
Tropes applying to both the singleplayer and multiplayer portion of the game.
  • Beam Spam: The Lightning Gun, which fires a continuous, range-limited beam hitting anything on its path. There's also the Railgun, the game's Sniper Rifle.
  • BFG: The Dark Matter Gun, a portable black hole generator which sucks everything in its path.
  • Borrowing from the Sister Series: The Dark Matter Gun is a spiritual-successor of sorts to the BFG10K from II, which itself drew from the original BFG in Id Software sister property, Doom. The Lightning Gun also makes its first non-expansion appearance in the Strogg storyline, originally introduced in Quake. note 
  • Bottomless Magazines:
    • The Blaster pistol never runs out of ammo, being powered by an infinite power cell. That's probably a very dense cell if it lasts virtually forever.
    • The Lightning Gun holds up to 400 units and can also be fired until ammo is out. This one at least can be plausible by the weapon having an on board power cell that is recharged by the ammo pickups.
    • Dark Matter Cores also get added to a pool that maxes out at 25 shots. The Dark Matter Gun also has no apparent reload animation.
  • Breakout Character: Interestingly enough, the weapon models had high enough popularity to be added as cosmetic options in Quake Champions. Only the Dark Matter Gun and the Napalm Launcher are absent, as for the rest:
    • The Gauntlet is available as the "Redeemer".
    • The Blaster is available for the starting Machinegun as "Citizen Kane".
    • The Shotgun is available for the Super Shotgun as the "Painkiller".
    • The Machine Gun skin is available for the Heavy Machine Gun as the "Annihilator".
    • The Grenade Launcher is available for the Tri-Bolt as the "Galang".
    • The Nailgun and Hyperblaster models are available for the Super Nailgun as the "Constructor" and the "Ravager" respectively.
    • The Lightning Gun is available as the "Conductor".
    • The Railgun is available as the "Violator".
    • The Rocket Launcher is available as the "Monsoon".
  • Captain Ersatz: The Dark Matter Gun appears to be this as a reimagining of the BFG 10K if only for creative license.
  • Embedded Precursor:
  • Shout-Out: Shares a page with the rest of the series.

    Main game 
Episode-related tropes are found in the Recap page. Character-related tropes are found in the Character sheets.
  • Adaptational Modesty: In II, the Iron Maiden enemies were basically nearly-naked cyborgs with porn-star physiques and a rocket launcher for an arm (though their alien/melty faces and plenty of robotic implants do ruin any potential erotic effect). Their appearance in Quake 4 is much more sensible, with more modest proportions and full armor coverage around their chests.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: There's an escape using one in the "Strogg Medical Facility" level, just before the first encounter with a Teleport Dropper.
  • All There in the Manual: The Xbox 360 version provides a large amount of background information regarding the various members of Rhino Squad in the loading screens. These messages are absent in the PC version.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The Strogg race pretty much only does a select few things with its time: kill any human they find, Stroggify them to add to their ranks, or turn them into Stroyent. The sole exception are the fixer bots which just fix stuff and won't attack unless provoked.
  • And I Must Scream: A conversation overheard hints that the victims that are Stroggified are, for a time, aware of their actions but can not stop them. This is later shown to be true when Voss becomes Stroggified, who spends the boss battle pleading with Kane to run away - all the while being forced to attack him.
  • And the Adventure Continues:
    "Kane, you have new orders."
  • And Then John Was a Zombie:
    • The Stroggification process turns former human soldiers into enemies, while humans who didn't make it through the process are dumped into waste areas. An example of this process is Lt. Voss.
    • Subverted with Kane, who is turned physically into a Strogg, but his Stroggification process is interrupted before the neurocyte that would erase his humanity is activated.
  • Animal Motifs: The squad names: Badger, Bison, Cobra, Eagle, Kodiak, Scorpion, Viper, Warthog, Wolf, and, of course, the Rhino Squad.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Any computer-controlled Non-Player Character lacks awareness of grenades. They'll stand around cluelessly with live ones right next to them, which makes flushing out Strogg a breeze. By extension, actors will fail to notice projectiles fired at them and can even stand in place as avoidable projectiles fly at their face.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Lightning Gun has niche uses and does not require reloading but its lack of power-per-shot means that you typically need to get out of cover and face enemy fire to bring it to bear. This can be borderline suicidal against Tactical Strogg teams where the Railgun and explosives are preferable for their powerful rounds that allow you to take cover after firing. The Nailgun's assault-oriented niche also overlaps with the Lightning Gun thanks to its homing ability. It doesn't help that you actually acquire the homing upgrade before the Lightning Gun, while Lightning Gun rounds are surprisingly rare for how situational it is. That being said, the LG does disrupt the shield on Gladiators.
  • Back from the Brink: Following the Strogg failed invasion of Earth and the destruction of the Makron and the interplanetary defense system, Earth's defense force arrives for a final blow out in the Strogg home planet.
  • Badass Driver: Whoever is driving the truck in the "Canyon" level is really crazy.
  • Big Damn Heroes: When the Rhino Squad saves Kane from the final part of the Stroggification process. Too bad the same can't be said for the many other poor souls before you that already completed the process, which you can see in the body jars moving around the facility.
  • Bio Punk: The Strogg use biological/robotic hybrid machines for everything. See this game's Fate Worse than Death below for an extreme example of this trope in action.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Nexus is destroyed, striking a crippling blow the Strogg will never recover from, and the end of the war is just a matter of time, but a lot of good people died to make it happen. Kane receives new orders before he can celebrate with the rest of Rhino Squad, plunging right back into the thick of it. And because of his Stroggification, he may never be able to return to Earth.
  • Blue/Orange Contrast:
    • The Marines are, rather than blue, olive green, while the Strogg are orange. This is reflected in their respective UIs as well as in their uniforms. It also makes Matthew Kane stand out even more, post-Stroggification, when standing amongst the rest of Rhino Squad.
    • Blaster bolts and railgun slugs fired by Marines are blue, while those fired by Strogg (even Hyperblasters used by the Tactical Strogg) are orange.
  • Body Horror: Stroggification subjects are put into heavy sedation and, as a result, are 75% paralyzed. Through an assembly-line-like process, they rip open the stomach, saw off the legs, fuse new legs and armor to the skin, put a big helmet on them, insert a control chip into the victim's brain, and then activate said chip so he/she can serve the Strogg. Kane discovers this first-hand.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Aiming for the head results in double damage. It isn't a One-Hit Kill (unless you're using a sufficiently powerful weapon like the railgun) but it does use up less ammunition than aiming for the body.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • The Machinegun in single-player, especially because it's one of two weapons with a flashlight, the other being the Blaster. It also has a scope to increase the base damage of each shot and help line up headshots, sacrificing rate of fire and automatic functionality. Upgraded, the magazine capacity increases to 80 rounds, making it truly a light-machine-gun.
    • The shotgun hits hard with all the buckshot (140 base damage), hurting almost like a rocket (150) or grenade impact (125). Nice to have if the enemy closes the distance while the machine gun is out or for general melee battles. Plus, the upgrade gives it a 10-shell magazine for swift reloading in all cases. The Shotgun is very useful against larger enemies such as Light Tanks, as the pellets tend to all hit their mark even at medium ranges and you're safe from self-inflicted splash damage.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Gladiators and Heavy Hovertanks in the foot-based levels. In vehicle-based levels, where wiping out Strogg is pretty easy, they become regular mooks.
  • Boss Rush: In the Nexus Core level, Kane comes from a goodie-filled hallway, and is locked in a small-medium sized room. Cue 3 consecutive groups of Light Tanks, Heavy Hovertanks, and Stream Protectors.
  • Boss Tease:
    • During most of the last third of the game ("Operation: Last Hope") Kane keeps crossing paths with a giant gorilla. This gorilla is fought at the end of the level "Data Networking Security" as the last Mid-Boss before the mook-infested "Nexus Core" and the Boss Battle against the Makron in "The Nexus". Speaking of which...
    • The Makron itself appears at half-game, in the level "Nexus Hub", right after Kane activates the control panel and makes quick work of two Stream Protectors. This fight cannot be won and leads straight into the infamous Stroggification scene, provided Kane does enough damage to it. The Makron is spotted again in the "Nexus Core" level, and finally fought (and finished) for real in the last level, "The Nexus".
  • Bowdlerization: The German version removes the blood and gore and censor some scenes (such as Anderson's death). However, the dub wasn't changed to accommodate the censorship and so quite a few lines turn into non-sequiturs.
  • Breather Episode: "Operation: Advantage" and "Operation: Last Hope"— two levels aboard the Space Marine Corps' mobile HQ, the USS Hannibal, that are separated by two whole acts— are where you'll be seeing the least amount of danger in the entire game; you can't use your weapons and there are no Strogg to fight, seeing as you're aboard a heavily-guarded ship. You can, however, roam around a good chunk of the Hannibal and overhear conversations between your fellow Marines. Your main objective in both levels is to go to the Briefing Room to be briefed on a plan to stop the Strogg; only then can you leave the ship and get back to business, getting a nice Extended Clip Mod for one of your weapons on the way out of each level.
  • Chain Lightning: The upgraded Lightning Gun has the ability to hit multiple targets.
  • Cherry Tapping: The Blaster is surprisingly easy to do this with thanks to a Charged Attack with nice stopping power. Plus, it requires no ammo too.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • At the beginning of the game, your superior informs you that the Makron was destroyed and the planet's intergalactic defense forces are down, courtesy of a lone marine.
    • The Nailgun's mechanics greatly resembles the old Chaingun from II, as both require a split-second spool-up before fully unloading towards enemies. It also introduces the Super Nailgun to the Strogg story arc, with a new homing upgrade.
    • An upgrade for the Hyperblaster gives it a ricochet feature, allowing the bolts to bounce around walls, something already tried in the series with the Ion Ripper from Quake II: The Reckoning and the Laser Cannon from Quake: Scourge of Armagon. Furthermore, the Hyperblaster uses cells, like the Ripper.
    • The Teleport Dropper is definitely the replacement of Parasite from II and it is mostly based on it. It also has a similar function to the Arch-Vile from Doom³, which makes other tough enemies spawn in the same area as the player. Their Enemy Summoner role is also shared with the Medic Commander from Quake II: Ground Zero.
    • The Sentry is like a spin on the old Technician, as a heavily mechanized flying cyborg with their organs suspended in a fluid, but given submachine guns rather than a blaster.
    • The Makron has design similarities to the Black Widow Guardian's second form in Quake II: Ground Zero, as do the Stream Protectors.
    • The Processing Plant from Quake II is reintroduced in this game as a Stroyent production factory. Like in the former, the Stroyent production is also performed by emulsifying flesh and you're also sent on a mission to cripple the facility. The story arc is much more lenghty with you dealing the killing blow to the facility by slaying the Stroyent Processing Creature in the Putrification Center.
  • Creator Cameo: Among the other animal-themed squads in the game, there's also the Raven squad, composed by members with the same names as the developers of the game.
  • Cypher Language: The Strogg language. Subverted when you become Strogg.
  • Darker and Edgier: Quake II was hardly sunshine and rainbows given the torture and gore the Strogg inflicted on its human captives. This game takes it up several notches with a highlight of the explicit horrors they commit, a personal up-close view of it all in its Signature Scene as well as a much more explicit idea of the Human Resources the Strogg make out of their victims, and introducing a sizeable cast of human characters that are fully expendable and partly exist to highlight just how bleak the war is.
  • Darkest Hour: "Operation: Last Hope" is the result of the failure of Operation: Advantage, where the four convoy with the bombs were destroyed and Kane was captured and Stroggified. As Kane's DNA is half-Strogg at this point, he's humanity's best and last chance to stop the Strogg menace.
  • Decapitated Army: Destroying the Nexus Core kills the remaining Strogg in the area and leaves the Strogg in disarray. However, while Rhino Squad celebrates, Kane is informed " have new orders" and the credits roll.
  • Degraded Boss: In II, the Hornet was a Mid-Boss, here it's a regular mook in the vehicle levels.
  • Disc-One Final Dungeon: Nexus Hub. Here, you fight the Makron, lose, and get captured.
  • Door Jam: Towards the end of the game, Matthew Kane is the only person able to go through the Strogg teleporter to face the final boss, as he has been partially "Stroggified" himself and the teleporter is fatal to humans (as one unlucky soldier discovered the hard way). His squad mates are still able to communicate with him, though.
  • Dramatic Space Drifting: In the intro. Seems that it's just a marine contemplating the emptiness, then he turns to reveal a disfigured face and then half a body missing.
  • Elevator Action Sequence: In the "Nexus Core" level, after passing a pair of Light Tanks, Kane activates a descending elevator. Cue several Strogg attacking him... and a Gladiator waiting at the bottom.
  • Elevator Failure: Late in the game, Kane's elevator descent is disrupted by the Network Guardian grabbing onto the lift, causing it to free-fall from the overload.
  • Elite Mooks: The Tactical Stroggs (actually humans who have gone through the Strogification process), who wil actually display genuine tactics such as using cover in order to kill you. Unlike the normal Strogg guards who like to charge at you screaming.
  • Enemy Summoner:
    • The Teleport Dropper, a Strogg which looked like a bulldog, and can disperse several teleporters which summons several Mooks. These can also appear at the (destroyable) teleporters on the game.
    • Strogg!Voss can call mooks while regenerating his shields to protect him.
    • The Makron and the Nexus do this in the final fight after the player defeats the former's first form.
  • Everything Fades: Dead Strogg vanish in a green light a few moments after death. This is due to engine limitations. Dead marines are an exception, though.
  • Evil Gloating: The Makron constantly trash talks while fighting you.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: The Strogg voices heard throughout the game, including the Makron's voice.
  • Exploding Barrels: The red Stroyent barrels scattered across the levels can be shot.
  • Expy: Too many to list here. Due to being derived from the technology that powers Doom³, some of the enemies feel functionally similar to some of the former's monsters. A select few Strogg from Quake II are no longer present, replaced with apparent successors. See the characters page for details.
  • Fake Ultimate Mook: Light Tanks and Stream Protectors, provided you've got enough room to keep backing away from them and circlestrafing them, respectively.
  • Fate Worse than Death: The Stroggification process. As if being conscious through all that mutilation isn't bad enough, until the higher brain functions atrophy, the victims are forced to watch as their body is used to kill their fellow men without being able to do anything. The ones who really have it bad, however, are failed and slimy transfers, humans for whom something went wrong during their Stroggification process and are turned into mindless, zombie-like creatures, and the mutilated and still living torsos that the Strogg use as an energy source for their installations.
    "You call this Stroggification? More like a mutilation!"
  • Fission Mailed: This happens when Kane gets defeated by the Makron halfway through the game. It seems like the player's character got killed and the game should restart to the last checkpoint, but it turns out that Kane is unfortunately still alive.
  • Flash Freezing Coolant: Discussed near the end of the "Nexus Hub Tunnels" level. After reaching the Airlock, Lieutenant Voss gives the order to open it, to which Technician Strauss replies "negative, stay where you are". When asked why, Strauss responds that the soldiers' lungs would freeze in seconds if they opened it in its current state; the structure they're on requires such obscene amounts of cooling to function, the spot they need to reach would chill them to death in seconds. Then he suggests to first bring up the temperature of the area. Cue an Escort Mission to the controls to divert the coolant.
  • Flunky Boss: Strogg!Voss and the Makron can summon mooks which help them in the fight. Your first encounter with a Light Tank also has several soldiers helping him.
  • Foreshadowing: There are multiple instances:
    • The box art may seem innocent enough, showing a brain between the Quake logo. It's actually alluding to the Final Boss, the Nexus Core.
    • Johann Strauss comments in the intro that "A man like Kane could get us killed." As it turns out, Kane is eventually Stroggified, initially worrying some people that he might be dangerous. Sadly, Anderson, the last Kodiak Squad member and Voss ultimately go MIA and die respectively after rescuing Kane.
    • The first time aboard The Hannibal, you can see Medics experimenting on a dead Strogg Guard. Later on, you're on that very table, being inspected after having been turning into a Tactical Strogg.
    • A recurring situation Kane finds himself in is being left behind and needing to relocate his squad. This reaches its peak when Kane is ambushed by the Makron at the Tetranode, and is rendered unconscious like on the first mission. This time, he wakes up in the Strogg Medical Facilities and is painfully converted into a Tactical Strogg, but is rescued before his Neurocyte controller can be activated and force him into service to the Strogg.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Tech Strauss is generally regarded by Rhino Squad as utterly useless in combat, with several characters referring to the player having to "babysit" him. However, his combat AI is not noticeably different from his squadmates', allowing him to easily take down enemies as strong as the Gladiator in melee combat. Plus, somehow, he manages to get out of the deep levels of the Nexus Hub. The same hub where Kane was captured by the Makron.
  • Gameplay Roulette: The game is a pure NPC-based First-Person Shooter, with several exceptions:
    • Some levels such as "Convoy" and "Tram Rail" are rail shooters.
    • Other levels such as "Aqueducts", "Aqueducts Annex" and "Construction Zone" take place entirely aboard a regenerating vehicle (a hovertank for the first two, a walking mech for the latter).
    • And then there are the levels which take place between Kane's stroggification and "Recomposition Center", which are the closest the game has to a Doom³-like Survival Horror experience. "Waste Processing Facility" even features zombies, making it feel closer to Doom 3.
  • Genre Shift: The first third of the game is pretty standard Military Science Fiction fare. Come the game's Signature Scene however, and the setting takes a heavy shift into full-on Bio Punk territory.
  • Giant Mook:
    • Stream Protectors, Light Tanks, Heavy Hovertanks, and Gladiators in the foot levels.
    • Harvesters in the vehicle levels.
  • Giant Spider:
    • The Stream Protectors, minibosses armed with Hyperblaster-like cell shots.
    • To some extent, the game's version of the Makron also qualifies.
  • Guide Dang It!: When the Rocket Launcher is upgraded, you gain the ability to fire three missiles in quick succession and can press the secondary fire to enable laser-guided mode. What the game does not make clear is that the laser guide can be enabled to steer missiles fired in dumbfire mode if you wish to guide them and also benefit from the increased speed of dumbfire mode.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be:
    • The Waste Processing Area level has halved failed transfers which launch themselves towards the Marines.
    • This happens to an unfortunate Marine who attempts to enter a Strogg teleporter.
    • Of sorts with the Makron: it loses its second half after the first part of the final battle and then loses the upper part upon its final defeat.
  • Happy Ending Override: The Ending to the second Quake II expansion pack (Ground Zero) implies the entire Strogg race has been wiped out. Obviously, this isn't the case here.
  • Harder Than Hard: "General" difficulty. Even the weakest, basic enemy Mooks can kill you in a handful of shots, because enemies are given a boost similar to a Quad Damage (3.5 times the base damage!). All enemies have noticeably more health, so that even mid-level enemies like Berserkers and Gunners take more than a full clip of assault rifle fire to kill. Your teammates are no longer invincible powerhouses, making all levels with them into Escort Missions. The game is already fairly stingy with Health and Armor on Normal, so imagine what all this is like on Harder Than Hard.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Kane's first encounter with the Makron. Run out of health while fighting him? It's back to the last save for you. Manage to drain his invisible health bar? He uses his dark matter tractor beam to immobilize you and toss you away, triggering a brief cutscene from Kane's point of view where he's picked up off the floor by the Makron to be sent off to the Strogg Medical Facilities for Stroggification; he only barely manages to stay conscious long enough to see his foe laugh in his face. Either way, the fight doesn't end well for Kane (though in the long run, his Stroggification turns out to be somewhat beneficial to turning the tide of the war, so there's that).
  • Heal Thyself: There are health kits scattered around the levels that you can pick up to restore health. There are also Stroyent health stations in at least some of the on-foot levels, but they're useless to you. At first, anyway. After Kane gets Stroggified partway through the game, you gain the ability to heal at these stations up until the Stroyent supply within each one runs out. Makes sense, seeing as Stroyent is a green, sludgy substance made from humans that's basically Strogg "food".
  • Helpless Window Death:
    • At one point, when disabling the lasers in "Perimeter Defense Station" so the convoy can continue into the Aqueducts, Kane witnesses a Marine congratulating him on a job well done from the other side of a glass window, when a Grunt approaches the Marine from behind and kills him, Kane being unable to do anything because there was no way to get to the Marine's location.
    • Right after Rhino Squad saves Kane from fully becoming a Strogg, Kane is left with medic Jeremiah Anderson, the two of them being unable to leave Stroggos due to their escape ship being blown up. They're forced to go through the medical facilities. At one point, Anderson's curiosity leads him to be trapped behind a reinforced glass trap, and in the middle of the silent screams, he's killed by a Strogg Medic.
  • Homing Projectile:
    • The Nailgun, after the last upgrade, allows the player to home the nails towards the enemies.
    • The missiles fired by the Heavy Hovertanks, Harvesters, Stream Protectors, and Stroggified Voss, lock on the victim. Fortunately, in the case of the former two, those can be destroyed.
  • Horsemen of the Apocalypse: The four convoys sent to blow up the Nexus are named after the four horsemen of the apocalypse - War, Famine, Pestilence, and Death.
  • Hover Tank: The SMC's GEV hovertank is their main armored vehicle.
  • Human Resources: The Strogg run on this. If their victims are lucky, they'll turn them into Strogg soldiers. If they're unlucky, they'll turn them into batteries for their facilities or even liquefy them to make Stroyent before dumping them into the waste facility.
  • Hyper-Destructive Bouncing Ball: The Hyperblaster, after being upgraded, launches plasma balls that bounce on surfaces. Also, some bosses such as the Makron have such ricocheting attacks.
  • Industrialized Evil: The Act III levelsnote  show this in full body. Conveyor Belt of Doom? Check. Human Resources? Check. Body Horror? Check. An entire creature generating the Stroyent required to get the Strogg units running? Oh, hell, yeah, double check!
  • Informed Ability: The Strogg is said to have technology far ahead of Humanity, but humans seem rather quick to come up with improvements for captured weapons. After the opening mission to neutralize a local Strogg airbase, however, someone points to a specimen of Strogg aviation powerplant, saying that it is at least 15% more efficient than anything Humanity has, and a couple of the said upgrades are indeed taken off dead Stroggs.
  • "Instant Death" Radius: Whatever you do, don't get close to a Harvester. Those needle-like ends to their legs aren't just for show.
  • Insta Kill Mook: Mercifully, the game's armor system downplays this trope, allowing survival of a killing blow, even on Harder Than Hard. Still, if Kane is caught without armor, some Strogg attacks are a One-Hit Kill.
  • Intermission: The levels "Operation: Advantage" and "Operation: Last Hope" take place aboard the USS Hannibal. Kane just goes around the ship and Rhino Squad is briefed into the next mission.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: Kill a teammate vital for a mission (or fail to defend an important item, unless it's failure is required for a scripted sequence), and it's Game Over.
  • It's Raining Men: Drop pods, a way to deliver soldiers to their objectives very fast with a high mortality rate.
  • Keystone Army: The Stroggos. Once the Nexus is destroyed, every Strogg force perishes.
  • Large and in Charge: The Makron is 20 feet tall, which also happens to be the exact same height as the Cyberdemon from Doom 3 (both Doom 3 and Quake 4 being made on the same engine by very closely tied companies).
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Bitterman's major victories against the Strogg in Quake II are explained to the marines in the opening cutscene: the (original) Makron was killed and the interplanetary defense system (a.k.a. the "Big Gun") is destroyed.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: The marine who ignores the warning to not use a Strogg teleporter to the Nexus Core and gets fatally bisected.
  • Left Hanging: The ending strongly implies there will be a sequel, or at least an expansion pack. Neither has materialized.
  • Lightning Gun: You'll find this weapon being tested on an unfortunate marine in the "Recomposition Center" level. It can be upgraded to fire Chain Lightning.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Strogg Gladiators have one which they only drop in order to attack. Hope you're good with timing.
  • Major Injury Underreaction:
    • During the first visit to the Hannibal, you can hear this exchange when exiting for the field:
      Marine: Hannibal! I need a medic!
      Medic: Who are you? I'm not able to get a reading on your medchip.
      Marine: Corporal Thomas Alvarez. My medchip is damaged.
      Medic: But your medchip's implanted in your heart!
      Marine: I know... I'm looking at it right now.
    • During the Stroggification process, the marine in front of you screams in pain. Kane, on the other hand, just sort of grunts and squirms as if it's more annoying than agonizingly painful.
  • Mook Debut Cutscene:
    • The Harvester (an Elite Mook for vehicle sections) is introduced in the "Aqueducts Annex" level. At the beginning, Kane is in a hovertank, and after exiting a tunnel, he sees two hovertanks near a hole. Cue one making light work with them before setting its sights on Kane.
    • The Stream Protector is introduced after Kane disables the Tetranode while still a human: two of them, in fact, crawl from the ceilings of the area Kane's in, and then proceed to attack him.
    • The Gladiator is first featured in Perimeter Defense Station, but with a twist: from an Unbroken First-Person Perspective, a marine on a separated lower-level stands in awe over how huge a Gladiator is and tries to fight them, only to be killed by the Gladiator's railgun. You eventually get to fight this Gladiator yourself.
    • The Strogg Medic is introduced in the Strogg Medical Facility first during the Stroggification scene as just a servant working on him. But the proper introduction comes after Kane and Rhino Squad Medic Jeremiah Anderson are in an operations room. Anderson goes to check a computer, and the glass doors of the are he's in close, then a Medic attacks from behind, killing or disabling him, before setting his sight on Kane.
    • The Tactical Strogg are introduced in the Dispersal Facility level, hiding behind obstacles as they get notice of Kane's presence and communicate to one another over radio about sighting him.
    • The Recomposition Center level introduces the Light Tank. After activating the barrel transference process, Kane exits this area and returns to the outside area, where a Tank waits in ambush. The Tank clubs a guard who happens to be in their way, bats an Exploding Barrel towards Kane, and the battle begins.
    • Finally, the Data Storage Security level introduces the Iron Maiden. After reactivating the Torso Unit, Kane goes near a pod containing what looks like a dead woman. Then said woman awakens and proceeds to attack him and his two escorts.
  • Mythology Gag: The Makron looks somewhat like a spider-centaur, rather similar to the Widow Guardian's second form in the Quake II Ground Zero expansion pack.
  • Nail 'Em: The Nailgun. In the campaign mode, you can upgrade the weapon, so it can shoot homing nails, by keeping the alternate fire button pressed.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: The Strogg and their various forms.
  • Nitro Express: One Escort Mission has a demolitions expert carrying explosives that will "take out half the mountain" if set off.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Any Strogg facility you could think.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: The "zombies" are called "Slimy Transfer" and "Failed Transfer". Averted in-game in that one marine actually does refer to them as zombies, before being corrected by another marine who states they're actually the discarded results of failed Stroggifications.
  • Oh, Crap!: Strauss' absolutely horrified reaction when the Makron ambushes Kane.
    "Kane, it can't be... it's the Makron! Get out of there, Kane!"
  • Only Killable at Home: After a game being on the receiving end of a Strogg invasion, and another where the Strogg were considerably weakened, this game is about humanity finishing up the Strogg cleanup, entering Stroggos, getting to its depths, and putting the Strogg menace to a permanent end. Then, Kane receives new orders...
  • Plan B Resolution: Twice.
    • The first tried thing was to use the bombs to detonate the Strogg Nexus from the core. When that failed after a Harvester destroyed the last bomb and killed Sgt. Bidwell in the process, they resorted to overload the Nexus' core in order to blow it up.
    • When that failed due to the Makron capturing Kane as he was about to overload the reactor, what remained of the Rhino squad devised a new plan involving the newly-stroggified Kane entering the Nexus and destroying it from the inside; fittingly, the last third of the game is the "Operation: Last Hope".
  • Player-Guided Missile: The Rocket Launcher, after being upgraded, allows the players to guide the rockets, in exchange for a slower speed of such projectiles.
  • Point of No Return: Seldom will you be able to return to any previous level, unlike in II.
  • Puzzle Boss: The Putrification Center has a giant stroyent processing monster, which can't move, is immune to your weapons, and is generally more like a trap or obstacle than a monster. To kill it you have to use the feeding machine to force-feed it until it's stomach explodes and the acid melts a hole in the floor.
  • Regenerating Health: The vehicle-based levels have this as a vehicle feature, may it be a Convoy, a Tank, a Walker or a Train.
  • Regenerating Shield, Static Health: Strogg!Voss, the Network Guardian, the Makron in the final fight and the Nexus heart have this. They can regenerate with energy from the overall Stroggos complex in certain areas, but their health will remain the same.
  • Restraining Bolt: Every soon-to-be Strogg have a neurocyte planted in their brain during Stroggification; this chip suppresses the being's free will once fully activated, making them unable to rebel against the other Strogg. Fortunately for Kane, who just went through most of the Stroggification process, he's rescued by his fellow Rhino Squad members just before his is activated.
  • Right Behind Me: Some scenes have careless soldiers getting mauled at the hands of Strogg:
    • At the beginning of the game, the Berserker's Establishing Character Moment has it descending from a ceiling and impaling a soldier.
    • At one of the most horror-esque parts of the early game, a soldier is congratulating Kane upon deactivating some shields while a Grunt approaches him from behind and kills him.
    • While the squads evacuate Stroggos, Kane and Anderson are left to find their own exit. Cue Anderson getting trapped and killed by a Medic attacking him from behind.
  • Scary Black Man: Sergeant Bidwell. Lampshaded by Lance Corporal Sledge if you interact with him in the Canyon:
    L Cpl. Sledge: If I were you, I would go find Sgt. Bidwell as soon as possible. He can be much more frightening than any Strogg.
  • Scenic-Tour Level:
    • The Hannibal levels allow you to just run around the ship. Fittingly, both of these levels separate two important acts of the campaign: "Operation: Advantage" and "Operation: Last Hope".
    • Some of the first tours in the "Convoy" level, where you aren't in charge of firing a gun.
    • The "Strogg Medical Facility" level takes you across the medical installations of the Strogg while you're being stroggified.
    • The facility's Conveyor Belt of Doom in "Putrification Center" have you crossing through many areas after activating the barrel controls. At the end, two Guards are waiting for you.
  • Second Hour Superpower: Kane gains his Strogg form and abilities right when the first half of the game ends. For the rest of the campaign, he's able to move noticeably faster than when he was a regular human, and he's a bit more durable, with both his maximum health and armor points bumped up to 125 from the previous 100.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The first half of the game has your forces trying to blow up an enormous router with an EMP bomb. The other teams fail, then your own EMP is destroyed, then an attempt to shut down the router in another way fails (with unfortunate consequences for you)... and then you return to base, and Mission Control says that there was too much shielding on that router for a dozen EMP bombs to handle.
  • The Smurfette Principle: As with II, the Iron Maiden is the only female Strogg in the game. The female Space Marines however are all gone.
  • Space Marine: Continuing the trend from II, but this time the Marines are closer in appearance to the Doomguy.
  • Spider Tank: The Harvesters, found several times in the game. They're armed with two missile launchers in the back, a nailgun in the front, or electric whips in the stomach. Being crushed under their legs, whether on a vehicle or on foot is a one-way ticket to death, like it happened with Bidwell.
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: The entire Stroggification process, although the victims aren't strapped to the tables—they're just heavily sedated with steroids.
  • Suspicious Video-Game Generosity:
    • Kane runs down a hallway lined with ammo to an obvious ambush. After taking out the two (relatively) easy Stream Protectors, the Makron shows up.
    • The final hallway before the final fight has an entire armory lying on the floor to fill your reserves.
  • Technobabble: In the first interlude, there are two marines talking about technology in incomprehensible terms.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Pretty much anyone who isn't either Kane or even Strauss. Not even their Rhino Squadmates are safe from playing with the Idiot Ball:
    • In an early mission, after Kane disables the security for the Perimeter Defense Station, a Marine doesn't notice that a Grunt is about to kill him.
    • Anderson should have asked Kane to investigate the medical facility with him instead of going on his own, or at the very least to cover him.
    • Also from the Medical Facilities level is Voss, who got so involved with his speech that he didn't notice the Strogg awakening behind him.
    • The Tech Marine in the Recomposition Center has the questionable judgement that they're safer on their own back near the start rather than under the protection of Kane, the friendly cyborg. Sure enough, they blow off the warnings of hostiles in the area as "imagination", and get snatched as you return to complete the main goal.
    • Special mention to the soldier who plays hero, jumps into a Strogg teleporter and gets bisected by the security measures. Were they paying attention to the briefing that only Stroggified-Kane may use the teleporter?
  • Took a Level in Badass: Several of the monsters from Quake II are back, and some are quite a bit harder:
    • Gladiators were pretty nasty to start with, here they are even worse as they have an energy shield they can raise to protect themselves as well as a ricocheting hyperblaster. Fortunately, they have to lower the shield to attack, and can be crippled by destroying their shoulder-mounted Railgun, though they aggressively approach you upon losing said Railgun so beware.
    • Iron Maidens in the first game were pretty weak despite having rocket launchers, due to their low hp and long attack animation. Here they are much faster, can teleport at will, and have an additional shout attack which can stun/distract players.
    • Tanks in the first game weren't that dangerous despite their high hp as they moved very slowly and also had long attack animations. This game has two types of tank: Light Tanks and Heavy Hovertanks. Light Tanks move a lot faster, will try to ram you if you get close, have a devastating melee attack, and have a small swarm of drunken missiles as well as a devastating energy attack. The heavy hovertanks, meanwhile, are slower, but heavier, and have a damaging tri bolt attack and lock-on missiles with huge splash damage that they use very frequently.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The game's trailer makes no secret of the fact that Kane becomes Stroggified. The plot section of the Xbox 360 manual doesn't keep it secret, either (as well as the fact that the Strogg made a new Makron).
  • Translator Microbes: When Kane becomes Stroggified, the chip implanted in his brain lets him read and hear the Strogg language as English.
  • Unique Enemy:
    • The Scientists are only encountered around the Strogg Medical Facilities.
    • In the Waste Processing Facility you encounter zombie-like Strogg, which come in two types: the Slimy Transfer, which is capable of puking noxious acid at you, and the Failed Transfer, which carries a shotgun, but whose legs can be blown off; it's upper torso has the ability to lunge at you.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: Usually averted due to both factions using one another's gear, but there are a few exceptions:
    • Up until Kane is stroggified, portable Stroyent stations cannot be used in order to recover health.
    • Most Strogg melee weapons aren't available for player usage.
    • The Light Tanks' flamethrower attack isn't available during regular play. A form of this in the Napalm Launcher was later made available, but only for multiplayer matches.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: After Kane becomes Stroggified, many of the surviving marines he encounters will instantly recognize him thanks to his medchip, and are not in the least bit surprised at his appearance, not even the two Cobra Squad marines he comes up behind in the waste facility. Averted with the marines on the Hannibal during the second visit, who are surprised and shocked to see a Strogg onboard the ship, leading to some of them making death threats towards Kane, others thinking he's a Strogg ambassador, and a few making Technobabble about how he works. The ship's PA system even fails to recognize Kane, making reports about a Strogg warrior on the ship and requesting security.
  • Unwilling Roboticisation: Strogg with human parts have been subjected to this.
  • Vader Breath: The Iron Maidens.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: You'll want to keep your AI teammates alive in the shootout levels. You can kill them, but, doing so with vital teammates ensures a Game Over scene. However, having a Tech Marine & Medic handy gives you access to Regenerating Health, while keeping everyone alive can feel uplifting in a role-playing sense.
  • Vomiting Cop: A downplayed example, but when entering the torso storage faciltiy one of your fellow soldiers says "Just when I think the Strogg can't sink any lower, I see shit like this."
  • Wham Episode: The Strogg Medical Facilities. After being captured in the previous level, Kane gets Stroggified. Messily.
  • What Did You Expect When You Named It ____?: The convoys carrying the EMP bombs that are planned to destroy the Strogg Nexus are codenamed War, Famine, Pestilence and Death. As this takes place early in the game while Kane is still a human, the results speak for themselves: the former three were destroyed as they were being carried, while a Harvester inutilizes the fourth.
  • You Don't Look Like You: The entire Strogg race appears remarkably different from what they looked like in Quake II.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: The Makron is not the final boss. After defeating both of his forms, the player has to destroy The Nexus.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The level before the second Hannibal intermission is all about this, as you face off with partially Stroggified humans that the Strogg deemed failed attempts and dumped for being useless to their cause. They're nothing more than shambling husks now.
  • Zombie Puke Attack: The "Slimy Transfer" zombies puke acid at you. It's fairly effective.

    Multiplayer mode tropes 
Tropes related to the multiplayer part of the game.
  • Attack Speed Buff: The Scout rune in the Arena CTF mode doubles the firing speed of your weapons.
  • Blue/Orange Contrast: Instead of red vs. blue, team matches are green vs. orange (for Marine and Strogg, respectively).
  • Capture the Flag: It comes this time in two variants: the regular CTF, and Arena CTF, which adds the Runes to the mix.
  • Chainsaw Good: The Gauntlet, a portable saw, available only in multiplayer mode.
  • Cherry Tapping: The Gauntlet fills this role instead due to replacing the Blaster. The announcer declares "Humiliation!" for a successful frag.
  • Competitive Balance: The Arena CTF mode reintroduces the Runes, present in the Threewave CTF and Quake II CTF game mods for Quake and Quake II and the Expansion Pack Quake III: Team Arena for Quake III: Arena.
    • Fragile Speedster: The Scout rune negates your ability to pick up armor, but increases your movement speed and rate of fire. Movement speed can also be further increased with the Haste powerup.
    • Mighty Glacier/Lightning Bruiser: The Guard rune gives you 200 armor which regenerates if under that value. It also regenerates health by 15 hp/s until reaching the maximum of 100. Health increase can also be furthered with the Regeneration powerup, while picking up the Haste powerup will also increase movement speed.
    • Glass Cannon: The Doubler rune doubles the damage outputted by weapon fire. It can also be combined with the Quad Damage for a ludicrously high amount of damage output.
    • Spoony Bard: The Ammo Regen rune regenerates ammo up to the default amount. In addition, it increases the weapon rate of fire.
  • Cosmetic Award: Same deal as with Quake III: Arena, performing certain actions grant cosmetics:
    • Capture: Capturing a flag in CTF or Arena CTF.
    • Assist: Carrying the flag all the way to the base but not being the scorer, or returning the flag 10 seconds before a scoring.
    • Defense: Killing an enemy flag carrier or an enemy close to your flag.
    • Humiliation: Pummeling someone with the Gauntlet.
    • Excellent: Getting two frags in two seconds.
    • Impressive: Getting two consecutive Railgun shots.
    • Combo Kill: Hitting an enemy with a rocket, then finishing it with a rail shot.
    • Rampage: Three gib kills in five seconds.
    • Lemming: Awarded at the end of the match to the player with the highest amount of suicides.
    • Rail Master: Awarded at the end of the match to players which achieved an 80% of kills with the Railgun.
    • Rocket Sauce: Awarded at the end of the match to players which achieved an 80% of kills with the Rocket Launcher.
    • Brawler: Awarded at the end of the match to the player with the highest amount of Humiliations, with a minimum of three to qualify.
    • Sniper: Awarded at the end of the match to players with 10+ rail shots and 90%+ rail accuracy.
    • Critical Failure: Awarded at the end of the match to players who didn't frag anyone.
    • Frags: Awarded at the end of the match to players who achieve 50+ kills in a single game.
    • Perfect: Awarded at the end of the match to players who didn't got fragged or suicided and achieved the highest score of the match.
    • Team Player: Awarded at the end of the match to the player with the highest damage but the fewest kills.
  • Downloadable Content: The patches include four mappacksnote , raising the amount of multiplayer levels to play from 14 to 45.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Via version 1.3.0 "Claustrophobopolis" is back as "Retrophobopolis", and has quite the amount of traps, lava pits and portals, plus the enemy players trying to outgun you.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: The objective of the Deadzone gametype is to gather artifacts and bring them to a specific area of the map in order to score points. Because of this, scorelimites tend to be quite high.
    [From the release notes] "Players fight over a limited number of DeadZone artifacts, then race to maintain control of a central scoring zone designated by a scrolling white border. Teams can accumulate points when one or more player from their team is in the DeadZone carrying an artifact. If each team has one or more players in the Dead Zone with an artifact at the same time, neither team will gain any points during this stalemate situation. When an artifact is depleted, it returns to its initial spawn location and is available for pick-up. If a player is killed while carrying an artifact, it drops in that location and is again available. The first team to reach the scoring limit wins."
  • Interface Spoiler: Be careful while checking out the game's multiplayer models. One of them is Stroggified Kane.
  • Kill It with Fire: The multiplayer-only Napalm launcher, introduced after several patches.
  • Misbegotten Multiplayer Mode: The multiplayer mode can be presumed as Quake III: Arena running in id Tech 4, minus the "fun factor". And there's no Coop mode due to the highly-scripted system. The game shipped with 9 Deathmatch maps and 5 for the CTF mode, but later patches increased this amount and added the Deadzone gametype and an option to buy weapons. This was somewhat averted by the time the game was patched. Overall, IV plays like an even faster version of III, with a new sliding mechanic allowing players to keep their speed around corners.
  • Mythology Gag: The runes in the Arena CTF mode work the same and are named the same as in Quake III: Team Arena.
  • Nostalgia Level:
    • The game comes with "The Edge" from Quake II (renamed as "Over The Edge"), and "The Longest Yard" ("The Longest Day") and "The Very End Of You" ("Xaero's Gravity") from Quake III: Arena.
    • The Raven Mappack introduced the level "The Camping Grounds" from III (renamed as "Campgrounds Redux") and a CTF version of "The Edge" ("Double Edged").
    • The Ritual Mappack introduced the level "Claustrophobopolis", from Quake, as "Retrophobopolis".
  • Recycled In Space: Arena CTF is Capture the Flag... with runes!
  • Remixed Level:
    • The game shipped with remixed versions of Quake II's q2dm1: "The Edge" (as q4dm7: "Over the Edge") and Quake III: Arena's q3dm17: "The Longest Yard" (as q4dm8: "The Longest Day") and a Capture the Flag version of q3tourney6: "The Very End of You" (as q4ctf5: "Xaero Gravity").
    • The Raven Mappack came with a remix of Quake III: Arena's q3dm6: "The Camping Grounds" (as q4dm9: "Campgrounds Redux") and a Capture the Flag remix of the aforementioned q2dm1: "The Edge" (as q4ctf8: "Double Edged").
    • The Ritual Mappack came with a remix of Quake's dm2: "Claustrophobopolis" (as q4xdm14: "Retrophobopolis").
  • Timed Powerup: Four of them, all of which last 30 seconds:
    • Haste: Increases the user's movement speed.
    • Invisibility: Turns the user invisible.
    • Quad Damage: Quadruplicates the user's weapon damage.
    • Regeneration: Regenerates the user's health and armor until both hit the cap or the powerup expires.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Quake 4


Quake IV: Elevator Destruction

The Strogg Network Guardian attempts to thwart our hero, using their mass to wreck a lift. HUD concealed to prevent spoilers.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / ElevatorFailure

Media sources: