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Video Game / Quarantine

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Quarantine is a First-Person Vehicular Combat Game developed by Imageexcel and released by GameTek in 1994 for MSDOS and the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer. It was part of the wave of first-person games that followed the release of the original Doom in 1993.

The game is set in the 2040s in a cesspool of a burg called KEMO City. Criminals roam the streets in armored hovercars, terrorizing citizens without fear of retribution. OmniCorp rules the city with an iron fist, via a massive wall around the city under the guise of a "defensive measure". The wall has only one -sealed- exit, so essentially the entire city is one big prison for everyone who lives within it, criminal or otherwise. Construction of the wall started off in 2029 and was completed in 2032.

Just prior to the events of the game, Omnicorp decided to test the behavior-altering chemical Hydergine 344 on the citizens. This chemical was supposed to pacify them, and was distributed through the city's water supply. Unfortunately, OmniCorp failed to predict the chemical's reaction to the stagnant water, resulting in massive brain damage and insanity in many citizens. More than half the population became crazed killers overnight.


You are Drake Edgewater, trash-talking, hard-drinking cab driver and one of the lucky few unaffected by the spreading virus. You drive a '52 Checker "hovercab", armed with an assortment of lethal weaponry. Your goal is to deliver passengers and packages for what money you can scrounge, buy upgrades, and eventually escape.

The game later received a sequel, Road Warrior, which featured largely the same gameplay but a more mission-based, story focused campaign. Both of these should not be confused with the films of the same names.


Quarantine provides examples of:

  • Arms Dealer: The Weapon King shops.
  • Bad Ass Driver: Drake.
  • Body Armor as Hit Points: The armor that you buy in service shops serves as extra points for your rather fragile cabbie. There are three varieties of armor in the game, but even then the protection isn't enough to deter bullets and explosions that your cabbie will endure. It seems that armor here in this game is Made of Plasticine, as if the game wasn't hard enough. Oh, and the other two armor versions won't be available until you finish all missions in the respective level that you're on ( the second version of armor isn't available until you're in the second level while the third won't be available until you're in the fourth level). Skirts dangerously close to Armor Is Useless.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Mostly averted; each weapon has a single pool of ammo but is limited, sometimes extremely so.
  • Car Fu: Not very effective here, curiously enough, as ramming other cars is as likely to damage you as them. Pedestrians on the other hand...
  • Chainsaw Good: The Thrasher, which is a hood-mounted circular saw that can rip apart vehicles and any hapless citizen that gets in your path.
  • City Full Of Crazy
  • Collision Damage
  • Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: Subverted and justified. The various passengers you pick up for your Timed Missions will complain in an "are we there yet?" mentality if you pause to check your map.
  • Cool Car: Your character drives a '52 Checkered Taxi very similar to the one in Escape from New York, though with added guns and Anti-Gravity lifts in place of wheels.
  • Cut Scene: Road Warrior had these, in the form of comic-book pages. Typically, they involved Drake complaining about something. The 3DO and PC-CD versions of the first game had working Full Motion Video cutscenes for both the intro and ending of the game.
  • Death Course: Early in Road Warrior, Drake must negotiate a desert in the midst of a sandstorm, and filled with hostile tanks. His cab stands no chance in combat against said tanks, and the player's only option is to speed past them and hope you don't crash directly into one, thanks to the low visibility. They can't see you too well either, so they're firing wildly trying to hit you- and just might. And if you don't hurry, you'll run out of battery power.
  • Drives Like Crazy: The mooks in their cars do this to you if you get in their way. You, too, can likewise do the same, though it's better to do it on pedestrians unless they wave their hands at you for a fare.
  • Ejection Seat: You can eject your current passenger out of the car, while still moving. The Manual even comes with a handy table that shows the force of the impact in relation to speed (which serves as the Copy Protection). In some missions you have to do this with bombs.
  • Emergency Weapon: Your headlight-mounted "Hood Guns" are fast-firing machine guns that are useful for a little while as your main weapon. You're going to want to upgrade to something better fairly quickly. You always have these equipped, however.
  • Emergency Taxi: You spend the game driving one.
  • Escape from the Crazy Place: The main goal of your player character, whose only means of escape are through underground tunnels that can be accessed only by OmniCorp passwords for completing all missions from the respective maps.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: And yes, the spike traps, mines, and walled defenses at the edge of the maps can harm you too if you're not careful. Although it's partially averted with other taxis and some pedestrians either minding their own business or calling you to hitch a ride.
  • Expy:
    • Although Drake Edgewater is hardly given any characterization, he's essentially Travis Bickle with an Iron Woobie streak who justifiably thinks himself as the Only Sane Man in KEMO city, and wants to get the hell out of the corrupt city for good which he eventually does.
    • OmniCorp is a riff on Omni Consumer Products from RoboCop, complete with a near-identical logo.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: The Fusion Boy is a fusion gun that fires bolts of energy. It has a Charged Attack that can destroy certain vehicles in one hit at the cost of draining 3 cells when fully charged. Not until the second level will you be able to get it from the weapon shops.
  • Gangland Drive-By: Probably the first video game to feature it long before Grand Theft Auto III. Purchasing the machine gun upgrade from the Weapon King shop gives you an Uzi SMG which allows you to fire out from the side windows of your cab to clean out both pedestrians and vehicles alike to make your life easier.
  • Gatling Good: The Punisher (no, not that one [even though he probably will get wet dreams about the weapons and psychos in this game]) is a miniaturized Gatling-style revolver cannon that can hold up to 300 rounds. Then there's the even more powerful variant, the Banshee, which eats up ammo like a starved animal and will not appear until the third level.
  • Glass Cannon: Armor upgrades aside, your car can dish out a whole lot more punishment then it can take. Keep moving or die.
  • Gorn: This game was known for its gratuitous violence, causing a bit of a stir back in those pre-ESRB days.
  • Hover Car: All the cars in the game use anti-gravity propulsion, save the tanks seen in the sequel. They are tied to a power grid embedded in the roads and run on batteries whenever they go off-road.
  • I Shall Taunt You / Precision F-Strike: You can taunt at other people with a button that has you utter out, "Up yours!" However, this has absolutely no effect in gameplay, making this a curious novelty.
  • Kill It with Fire: Your car can mount a hood-mounted flamethrower that can easily cook other vehicles as well as turning pedestrians into human barbecue. It won't be available until the third level, though.
    • The low-level version, the Fire Belcher, is essentially a moderately powerful incendiary-tipped artillery launcher, available from the start of the game. Have fun trying to aim it, though.
  • Lockdown: The entire city is a walled-in prison. Serves as a convenient Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: You can mount missile launchers for your cab, but only one particular version that is only available once you reach the third level can launch a missile which has the ability to split into multiple warheads that can ravage a vehicle in one hit depending on what vehicle you're facing, and it's rather pricey to get, especially its ammo.
  • Mega-Corp: The aptly titled OmniCorp, who use less than scrupulous methods of keeping KEMO City under control.
  • More Dakka: In terms of bullet-based weapons, you have your "Hood Guns", a pair of fire-linked machine guns emerging from two of your cab's four headlights, and the roof-mounted "Punisher" Gatling Cannon. All of these can be fired at once.
  • Multi-Platform: The game was functionally identical in both the DOS and 3DO versions, but the 3DO version included Full Motion Video cutscenes featuring Drake in his cabnote . It also features an odd collection of tracks by Australian alt-rock bands that really don't sync well with the gameplay, although the game also includes the ability to play your own CDs instead.
  • Nintendo Hard: Between the limited number of hits you can take (forcing you to spend a lot of money on repairs) and the sometimes miniscule monetary awards, not to mention that every single mission is a Timed Mission, this game doesn't screw around. Road Warrior was a little better about this.
  • Nitro Boost: A variation: the booster is powered by argon cells that cost a hundred bucks a pop when going to service shops. It can be somewhat useful for certain missions that you have to complete, especially given the sometimes short time limit in the missions.
  • Penal Colony: More like Penal City, as KEMO City had a massive wall built around it by the Mega-Corp to prevent citizens, criminal or otherwise, from escaping the city, presumably to curb the spread of crime.
  • Ramming Always Works: Subverted. Ramming sometimes works. When all else fails and you run out of ammo, its all you have. You can end up taking tremendous damage however from some collisions so it's impractical, and on timed missions it's inadvisable.
  • Save Scumming: Really, you're going to have to save your game quite often, as the game's mooks and traps can quickly cut through your car's armor like a hot knife through butter. Also, the missions can have a rather short time limit depending on how far your car is from the actual location.
  • Scenery Gorn: You'd be tempted to think the graphics of the levels, for their time, would look rather crude and simplistic. Given that it came out not long after DOOM. However, as the first diverse level of the city appears, you're treated to an atmospheric Crapsack World where chaos is rife.
  • Sequel Hook: The ending of Quarantine suggests that OmniCorp has taken severe damage to its assets after Drake had foiled their plans and escaped the city, and they vow to take revenge on Drake. Cue the plot of Road Warrior.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: You can mount a shotgun for your cab and it does pretty much what you expect a shotgun to be. Except it's not a Short-Range Shotgun and it skirts into Game-Breaker territory thanks to its near-unbalanced power and dirt-cheap price for its ammunition. It is available once you get to the second level and appears in the later maps from that point on.
  • The Stinger: After escaping the nightmarish prison city that is KEMO, the ending has the player character's hover cab running out of fuel that supposedly ran from the city's power grid and now is left stranded in the middle of nowhere.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Fall into a body of water in the second and fifth (final, in the latter) maps and it's a Non Standard Game Over. Justified, since you're in a vehicle and vehicles are not buoyant on water.
  • The Immune: Drake himself, and anyone still sane enough to pay the cab fare.
  • The Taxi: Quarantine was the original Crazy Taxi, long before Crazy Taxi came along. It would have been more aptly titled since this game has you gaining fares in a city run amok and your car equipped with the best weaponry the city can offer.
  • The Virus: Hydergine 344, originally meant to pacify would-be criminals, fries your brain and turns you into an Ax-Crazy psycho.
  • Timed Mission: Every single mission is this. Depending on how far the location is, you might end up with a frustratingly short timer while the city's layout can be very confusing if you don't check your map. Thankfully, the red arrow is there in the bottom right screen to help you.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: A horrible glitch can be triggered just before you fight the Hoverboy boss, by bizarrely looking at your own map of all things. Doing so registers the boss as 30km away from you (way outside the boundaries of the game's world), and his health also goes off-the-scale, making him impossible to engage, let alone fight.
  • Watch the Paint Job: You may have a classic durable yellow cab with a wonderful array of on-board weaponry, but it is most certainly not invincible. You will get shot up to hell and back for just driving through the wrong neighborhood.
  • Weaponized Car: Your tools of destruction include machine guns, a Gatling gun, a flamethrower, mines, and cruise missiles. And that's only a handful of weapons to start with, since there's much more as you progress on...
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In the ending Drake unleashes the dangerous Hydergine 344 upon the outside, to give the civilized world a taste of their own medicine. Now the problem here is, that's infecting millions to billions of innocent people with a hate plague. This is supposed to be a punk game. Punks rage against the establishment, the corporations, THE MAN. Only thugs target the general populous indiscriminately. Then again, given how human life is valued so little in Kemo, this outcome was probably inevitable.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: You don't have a clear objective beyond "Escape the City", and even that is ill-defined. The second game mostly averts this.
  • Wretched Hive: KEMO City essentially has no law enforcement, but plenty of criminals.


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