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YMMV / Quake I

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  • Accidental Innuendo: The first level of Dissolution Of Eternity is named "Deviant's Domain", which grammatically makes sense but also sounds like a strange sex-related venue.
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
  • Best Level Ever: E4M7, "Azure Agony", chronologically the final level before the end. It has a cool name and is quite pretty (being mostly blue rather than the typical Real Is Brown style of the game.
  • Bizarro Episode: While the Netherworld (episode 3) is mostly Fire and Brimstone Hell-themed, E3M5 "The Wind Tunnels" is all about Tube Travel and has a fair amount of water in it. In fact, it's the only level in the episode other than the first with no lava in it.
  • Breather Level: The levels of "Episode 3: The Netherworld" are very short and their difficulty isn't a match for Episode 2. Conversely, "Episode 4: The Elder World" picks up the slack, and contains some of the hardest levels in the original game.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Spawns. They're fast, they bounce all over the place making them incredibly hard to hit, going full Kamikaze on you for visible chunks of damage, and being blue blobs who don't move when they immediately see you, preferring to wait a second, it's easy to miss them in the dark until they're all over you. On top of that, they explode like a rocket upon death (which doubles as Suicide Attack), meaning it's easy to maim yourself (or worse) if you're careless while killing them when they're in your face. John Romero lampshaded this by mentioning that the id Software team found the monster so difficult, they refrained from placing it frequently. Thankfully, it's only encountered in Episode 4, with the exception of...
      • Hell Spawns in Dissolution of Eternity, which are even worse. It's easy to assume they're only texture edited versions of regular Spawns (being green with orange "eyes", rather than the full blue of a normal Spawn), until then you realize they can duplicate themselves. Fortunately their offpsring (which lack the "eyes") cannot duplicate.
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    • Fiends. They're less mobile than Spawns, but in exchange, they're much more resilient, taking three rockets to kill, their leap attack hits very hard, and they're very keen on cornering you in a place where they can cut your ass to shreds with their claws. To make it worse, they almost don't flinch.
    • In the literal sense, Vores. They move slowly, but they have 400 health & their attack is to launch an explosive homing pod that moves insanly fast and won't stop until it hits something, and it's hard to shake off.
    • The Shambler is a really tough monster with 600 HP and quick movement speed. Even worse, it has a hitscan lightning attack that is guaranteed to hit you as long as you aren't behind cover. Oh, and explosives only do half damage against it without the Quad Damage.
    • The nailgun-shooting Centroid scorpion from Scourge of Armagon. Pesky to kill, durable, able to strafe side-to-side to dodge projectiles, and its Nailguns can reduce you to shreds.
    • Also from Scourge of Armagon is the Spike Mine, a floating mine covered in spikes that will accelerate in your direction as soon as you get close. It's tough enough to get close and deals a lot of damage upon exploding. To make matters worse, they barely make any noise, and their brown color scheme makes for fairly good camouflage. It's not uncommon for first-time players to be killed by a Spike Mine they simply didn't notice was nearby.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Unusually for a Mission-Pack Sequel Deathmatch level, "The Edge of Oblivion"note  from Scourge of Armagon has plenty of remakes in later games and even in games non-related to the Quake franchise.
  • Funny Moments:
    • At the end of the "Commonly Asked Questions" section of the manual:
    Q: Are you guys Satan-worshipers?
    A: No.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • The Rocket Launcher is far and away the most powerful (and useful) item in the game. Most speed runs make the most use of this weapon and the level's own quirks. Of course, abusing the technique has its consequences, and it's easy to end up killing yourself at close distance.
    • The Thunderbolt is a pretty powerful weapon, due to the high damage and quick firing speed of its lightning attack. Balancing it are the facts that it's the last gun to be found and the one with the highest position, and is only a true Wave-Motion Gun when amped up with Quad Damage. If you attempt to fire it in water, it will result in instant death not only to you but anyone underwater (which also doubles as a Suicide Attack in multiplayer).
    • The Laser Cannon from Scourge of Armagon does away with most of the Lightning Gun's cons in exchange for a slower firing speed, though you risk nailing yourself with the Reflecting Laser beams.
    • The alternate ammo types from Dissolution of Eternity are generally noted as being too powerful. First of all, they run on a different ammo counter than regular ammo and are just as plentiful, effectively doubling the player's ammo capacity. Then, you have Lava Nails that deal extra damage to monsters (the Super Nailgun deals as much damage as the Thunderbolt when using Lava Nails) and ignore enemy players' armor, Multi-Rockets are significantly more cost-efficient (the Rocket Launcher hit can take down a Death Knight with a single well-placed Multi-Rocket, when it takes up to three regular Rockets to do the same), and while the Thunderbolt's Plasma rounds might not look so impressive, they are an alternate Rocket Launcher and can even damage enemies when it misses, thanks to being a poor man's BFG 9000 (and you can remove the "poor man's" part when under the effect of a Quad Damage).
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • Scrags. They're there to make your life miserable, but not in the deadly sense. They're kind of tough, taking four shotgun shells to kill, can fly, which means they'll follow you everywhere, including underwater, and their ridiculously weak projectiles fire two in a burst that will be interrupted only if you outright kill the damn thing - flinching won't stop it. They're not quite as bad once you get the rocket launcher, as it one-shots them, but their ability to fly means they can pop into the room at close range and get you hurt with your own Splash Damage.
    • Knights. These guys have as much health as a Scrag - not much, but enough to irritate -, they're fast, and their sword swipes can be started from a fair distance off. To make it worse, the mechanics of the game counts the swipe as a multi-hit attack, which equals a jittery screen full of red tint. But their biggest danger is evident when you're fighting them alongside other, more dangerous monsters. Why? Simple: their low threat level, attack method and high speed has them running right in your face when you're going trigger happy with the rocket launcher, and then it's too late to do anything except suck up your own splash damage.
    • Ogres. Their grenades don't do quite as much damage as yours, but even if you don't take it directly in the face, they still bounce around, making them very annoying to keep track of and avoid. And they're beefy enough to take two rockets/grenades before going down. If you use grenades/rockets and don't miss (or gib!) an ogre, you can be ammo-neutral at least half the time, as ogres drop 2 rockets each on death. Dissolution of Eternity introduces the Multi-Grenade Ogre, which combines all of the above with the cascade damage factor of the Multi-Grenade for double the frustration.
    • The Gremlin in Scourge of Armagon can steal your weapons and use them against you (with the exceptions of the shotgun and axe), and if injured, they can run away to a body to eat it and duplicate themselves. Thankfully they're only about as tough as an Enforcer, so one rocket or two double barrel shotgun blasts take care of them.
    • The Grunt might be one of the frailest enemies in the game and their attacks might cause light damage, but on Nightmare difficulty they can be incredibly annoying, thanks to their hitscan attacks and doubled fire rate. You can skillfully dodge the attacks of the most dangerous enemies, but the Grunt's shotgun blasts can still hit you, and while the damage might be light, it is not so funny when there are multiple Grunts together. The only saving graces are that their accuracy is subpar, their inability to lead the target, and that pretty much any weapon in the game can kill them quickly.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • HIP3M1 of Scourge of Armagon, Tur Torment, has a group of fiends spawn when you reach a slime pit that has red armor inside it. However, it seems that some of them freeze or jump in place instead of all running after you.
    • You can prevent the pawning of the Mummy Queen in Dissolution of Eternity by standing in her spawning place while the casket is opening. As monsters cannot telefrag players (it's the other way around), she will be telefragged, saving you a lot of ammo.
    • The Thunderbolt fires two invisible beams next to its lightning bolt in order to make its attacks easier to hit the intended target. These invisible beams are supposed to go in the same direction and length as the lightning bolt, but some botched vectorial calculations cause these invisible beams to behave in a very strange way. Depending on the direction you're looking at, the Thunderbolt's invisible beams can attack enemies at a ludicrous distance, through walls, and attack monsters you are not even trying to hit.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The operation that kickstarts the Excuse Plot of the game is called "Operation Counterstrike". Made even funnier with Quake being one of the earliest popularizers of Deathmatch in FPSes.
    • In a very odd way, the Anti-Grav Belt item from Dissolution of Eternity, which allows you to float. Apparently, Epic Games was taking notes with a mapnote , whose description mentions combatants being issued "special anti-gravity belts" before the match begins.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: The Multiplayer turned out to be far and away the main draw of this game (to the point of being the entire purpose of QuakeWorld). Fan reaction to it is what ultimately led Quake III: Arena to be built around Multiplayer and MP alone.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • HUH!Explanation 
    • *sip* Yep, Quake was a good game. Explanation 
  • Most Wonderful Sound: Take your pick.
    • The meaty noises ending with the "nyom" of a zombie you just gibbed.
    • The deep, fast BA-DUM-BA-DUM-BA-DUM-BA-DUM-BA-DUM of the Super Nailgun firing.
    • The thunderclap that comes along with discharging the Thunderbolt on some hapless mook that won't live more than 3 or 4 seconds.
    • Hearing a Shambler's death moan will fill you with joy.
    • That pinging sound when a grenade bounces off a wall (except when it's not your grenade).
    • The hot "fizz" sound of a Nailgun loaded with Lava Nails stops firing, often after a prolonged carnage.
    • The death scream of Armagon in Scourge of Armagon. Ditto the dragon in Dissolution of Eternity.
    • The quad damage sound effect, which not only plays when you pick up the thing but also with every shot you fire when under it's effects.
  • Narm: While the Grunt enemy may look terrifying, his pain and death scream sounds like Trent Reznor himself doing ridiculous grunting noises on the microphone.
  • Polished Port: The Sega Saturn port doesn't use the original Quake engine, but Lobotomy Software's in-house Slavedriver engine, specially tailored to the Saturn. As such, its optimization allows it to be a lot closer to the PC original than other ports.
  • Porting Disaster: The N64 port. Many of the best levels were removed or simplified, and the multiplayer mode is limited to two players only.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: This game codified a lot of tropes associated with the modern FPS, such as weapon jumping/climbing, Capture the Flag, 1v1 arena, dedicated servers, lag compensation, green/brown palette, etc. However, it rarely gets mentioned in many Best Game Ever lists along with its progeny. Quake III: Arena "steals" most of these honors instead.
  • Special Effects Failure: Depending on where Armagon stands when he explodes during the final cutscene in Scourge of Armagon, the player may walk through Armagon's legs when the scripted cutscene has the Ranger running for the portal.
  • That One Boss:
    • Armagon himself in Scourge of Armagon, which is not much more than a buffed Cyberdemon in terms of attacks. He has two fast-firing Rocket Launchers whose rockets not only hit as hard as yours, but are much faster, fired four at a time, and Armagon is surprisingly good at leading with them. He also carries two Laser Cannons that, while less threatening than the rockets, are tricky to dodge. And just in case you are trying to take cover right behind him, Armagon can unleash a shockwave that sends you flying (and very vulnerable to his rockets). He's no slouch in terms of health either, topping at over 4000 in Hard/Nightmare. You better hope he gets stuck on a wall because it will be a very difficult fight otherwise.
    • The Dragon from Dissolution of Eternity is somewhat easier than Armagon in terms of having more cover and having the Multi Rocket Launcher, but it's otherwise still a difficult fight because the Dragon will not forgive a single mistake. The arena has several powerups, but they are not very convenient, and the Anti-Grav Belt in particular is a Power-Up Letdown as it will compromise your ability to dodge the One-Hit Kill fireballs... and you may fall in the lava.
  • That One Level: Note that this section assumes play on Hard or Nightmare, as considered "canon" and proper in the Quake community.
    • The Crypt of Decay, the third level in Episode 2, is a rude awakening. The goal is to reach the top tier of a castle to reach the main exit or you can opt for the switch to open the secret portal barrier, either requires reaching the top level. The level has a fair number of Shamblers, traps that can wear down your health, tight-quarter ambushes, and limited healing items. Better save your strength for the grand finale where a Shambler and friends throw a surprise party at the upper bridge of the castle where nailgun traps restrict your movement. Still a memorable level for beautifully showing the 3d capabilities of Quake engine. Not to mention the Easter Egg.
    • The Tower of Despair, level 2 of Episode 4, thanks to being a Drought Level of Doom early in Episode 4 when you've got nothing but a shotgun and a nailgun, and still forcing you to fight a Shambler and a Vore on top of that. It also forces you to make an unreasonable number of drops long enough to guarantee falling damage.
    • The Pain Maze, penultimate level of Episode 4, truly lives up to its name. While not that maze-like, the sheer number of Spawns makes it a nightmare to get through, including one section where you are helplessly pushed into a pit full of the things, and which you have to traverse because it's where the Gold Key is. The Grenade Launcher has never been so useful.
    • Tur Torment, first map of the third "episode" in Scourge of Armagon. You are pitted against a lot of tough enemies, including Vores and Spiked Mines, right from the start, and you've just lost all of your weaponry. Sure, there's a rocket launcher on the other side of a slime pit, but going for it right away is not a good idea if you don't want to be targeted by everything in the map's first open area, which includes Vores.
  • Too Awesome to Use:
    • The Lightning Gun's limited ammo can make players feel like saving it for being cornered by the most deadly enemies, or when they find a Quad Damage. Less pronounced in the expansions, as cells are more common and there are more options of high-end firepower (multi-rockets, plasma ammo, lava nails, the Laser Cannon, etc.).
    • To a lesser extent, the Super Nailgun may become too awesome due to how quickly it can empty your nail ammo, nail boxes being uncommon and meager compared to shotguns shells, and the sheer usefulness of the SNG against ambushing Shamblers.
  • Vindicated by History: The single player campaign has undergone something of a rediscovery nearly two decades after its initial release. When the game first released some couldn't help but be disappointed in how close it stuck to the formula of Doom, and it was overshadowed by the runaway success of the multiplayer. Quake's single-player was virtually forgotten after Quake III: Arena dumped single-player entirely and transformed the series into a landmark multiplayer shooter. However, starting in 2012 or so, there's been a new appreciation for the single player campaign, namely the refinements it made to the Doom formula, and its unique Gothic Horror atmosphere with a Lovecraftian touch that no other game in the world so much as attempted to replicate.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: For 1996, the game was often considered a "feast for the eyes", especially with hardware acceleration enabled. Despite the limited texture resolution, it can be argued that the gritty textures help get around this limitation by helping create the illusion of extra details and distracted the eyes from the washing-out effect due to hardware constraints of the time. It helps that the game supported much higher resolutions than Classic Doom to further boost visual appeal.


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