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YMMV / Quake II

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  • Anti-Climax Boss: The Makron. Even more than Super Tank and Hornet. Becomes painfully so if you had the foresight to save a Quad Damage and Invulnerability for the final battle, as two quad-powered BFG shots per form (while at this point you can get enough ammo for 6 shots) are usually enough to take it down. It's also a reason why the Quad has no effect with the Black Widow Guardian in Ground Zero.
  • Arc Fatigue:
    • The Mine Unit of the original game and the Wilderness Unit from The Reckoning basically boil down to "the main entrance to a big area is closed, find another way in".
    • The Warehouse Unit of the original game, which drags on long after you have completed the main objective (destroy the Strogg train). By the time you take out the train, you're barely halfway through the second level, and there's still a bit of the first and a full third one to complete before you leave for the third Unit.
  • Broken Base: This game (and all the subsequent Quake games) started using a full color palette, rather than the Real Is Brown style of the original Quake. While some people think the games looks better this way, other preferred the dark and gloomy atmosphere of the first game.
  • Best Level Ever: The Strogg freighter in the first expansion pack, The Reckoning. You stow away in a crate in order to sneak in and have to hijack the freighter to fly to the moon base. Once you kill all the pilots, you find out the Strogg set the ship to self destruct if everyone on board is killed and you only have 30 seconds or so to put the power cubes in place before it blows up.
  • Contested Sequel: The original game was essentially Doom 3 in all but name, while Quake 2 takes more hints from games like Hexen and Strife, with the hub level system and complex objectives to complete. Whether or not this is a good thing is dependent on the player, but Quake 2 is often far more focused on providing an interesting, slower-paced narrative experience over a moment-to-moment action-packed one, and many argue that the game suffers as a result.
    • That the game was infamous for not having muzzle flashes rendered in any of the guns is often ridiculed.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • Quad Damage, even more so than in the first game as this game has an inventory system, meaning you can save it up for a rainy day. Tampering its power is the fact that you can only have one Quad at the same time in the patched or ported versions, so you're forced to use the Quad you have before picking another one.
    • Ground Zero also introduced the Double Damage, first found as a secret in the very first room of the very first level. Doesn't sound much impressive, especially with the game's inventory system only allowing you to carry one of each type, until you figure out that it's still a power amplifier, and its effect stacks with the Quad Damage for an obscene damage multiplier of eight times.
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    • The Reckoning has Dualfire Damage, a power up that makes every weapon fire twice as fast. This also stacks with Quad Damage and effectively gives you octuple damage when you use both, only not as ammo-efficiently as in Ground Zero.
    • The BFG10K, which is a cousin to the BFG9000 from Doom. If you fire it into a room full of players in deathmatch, you can take out most or all of the room in a suicide rush. If you have quad damage too, it's slices through everyone like lava. In single player, it's extremely lethal too and you can save a Quad Damage in your inventory to make a group of enemies (and even the bosses) a joke. It is telling of the difficulty of Ground Zero that you're given the weapon as a secret in the second level of the second unit and that the Final Boss acquires immunity to it and its lower counterpart, the Double Damage.
    • The Railgun is a futuristic scopeless Sniper Rifle. Its base damage is 150 (100 in Deathmatch), enough to kill most enemies, including unarmored, respawned players in MP, in one shot. The Railgun also has a ridiculously high ammo limit of 50 slugs without any upgrades (and it benefits from the Bandolier, unlike explosive weapons of similar tier), works as a substitute to the Super Shotgun at any range, is perfectly accurate and the slugs punch through as many enemies as there are in its path, dealing the same damage to every single one of them.
    • The Power Shield, a piece of equipment which adds another protection layer on top of your armor, even more so when playing deathmatch. It has a tradeoff that it uses cells as power, so the Hyperblaster, The Reckoning's Ion Ripper, Ground Zero's Plasma Beam, or even the BFG10K can't be used as freely, but as long as the power cells are kept stocked, the user is very difficult to kill unless their opponent is is a crack shot and happens to have a Railgun and Quad Damage handy. If they have an armor vest on top of that, then the opponent is in for a long slog. It's of little surprise that the Power Shield has a scarce appearance ratio in the single-player expansion packs.
    • The Reckoning introduces the Trap, a powerful item that makes health cubes out of a lot of enemies. Tampering its power, however, is the fact that said trap a) doesn't work on heavier enemies (such as Gladiators, Tanks and Bosses) and that b) the user himself can be turned into a health cube. Used correctly, though, you can get health packs for free, the health from these packs overstacks without the degeneration of Megahealth, and unlike Quad and Double Damage, it counts as a weapon rather than an item, so you can carry plenty of them.
  • Genius Bonus: The Final Boss is named Makron, which is ancient Greek for "long" or "great". Fitting for the leader of the Strogg race.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • Flyers and Technicians. Two of the most annoying (and in the case of the latter, also durable) foes to bring down. They have a tendency to appear from fake walls, out of thin air after some objective is accomplished, and their laser attack bypasses the Power Shield and deals damage directly to your HP. Look no further than the original campaign's third Secret Level, "Comm Satellite", where the only kind of available enemies are these, Icarus and the Hornet, all of them of the flying variety.
    • The Reckoning has the Mutant-like Gekk. Weaker and slower than the Mutant, but with a Blaster ranged attack the original doesn't have. These beings are everywhere, especially in the first and third units.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • Prior to version 3.18, "water surfing", which allowed players to swim quickly while underwater. The Reckoning level "Water Treatment Plant" actually requires use of this in order to not to get drowned for a specific secret.
    • Chain jumping, by taking advantage of box position. The second jump has a higher vertical push, and in The Reckoning is required for a pair of secrets in the "Core Reactor" level.
    • Ramp jumping, a bug in the physics which propells players after they reach the top of a ramp. Both this and the above survived all the way up to Quake Champions, where they became Athena's passive ability.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • By way of an Easter Egg in the first level, players will find that the Player Character in this game is called Bitterman, despite him not having any selectable multiplayer skin. Quake III: Arena revealed in the manual that this is his nickname, and also reveals that the Strogg experimented on him, leaving him more alien than human. All of this becomes even more disturbing when another later game shows this Stroggification scene in full detail with another Player Character.
      • Furthermore, also related to IV, Ground Zero's level "Ammo Depot" has a secret where you get a Strogg disguise, allowing you to pass undetected throughout enemy lines back to the Munitions Plant level as long as you don't fire. To defeat them, you must become one of them, indeed.
    • There's an Easter Egg in the "Security Complex" level where one of the crashed pods (more specifically, the one before the entrance to the "Guard House" level) says "Willits", referencing Id developer Tim Willits. By the time of Quake Champions, Willits was the only original developer of II left in Id, until he left the company in July 2019.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Polished Port: The PlayStation version. Some features (such as the inventory system and only being able to save at checkpoints, contrary to the PC version where you could save at anytime), enemies (Mutant and Technician), and many levels are missing due to the limitations of the console, yet at the same time it had its fair share of unique content to make up for this (mainly visual effects such as lens flares, shadows, and enemies glowing red when hit by the Hyperblaster). Also in particular there are more Strogg types: the twin-railgun Arachnid and the giant Guardian, a foe physically bigger than Makron's Jorg Suit, which holds the Anti-Matter Bomb you need to destroy the Gravity Booster).
  • Porting Disaster: The N64 port. Due to the technical limitations of the system, the game had to be redesigned from the ground up on the Quake 1 engine. The war against the Strogg is presented in an entirely new story spread across several moons and space stations, instead of the homeworld shown in the original game. The 9 units and 39 levels story is reduced to 5 units and 20 levels; with each level being shorter than the PC counterparts (the entire Jail Area and City units are combined into one; while the Comm Center appears as its second half only.) The animations take a dip in quality and crouching was removed.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: The PC version has a few.
    • The Machinegun going upwards. Mouselook makes it slightly less frustrating, but you'll still miss several hits.
    • The Chaingun eating a lot of ammo just on the first shots.
    • The Hand Grenade's lack of accuracy and chance of self-harm in case of holding it too much time.
    • Xatrix's dislike of the Rocket Jumping (as evidenced by the Easter Egg "No prize for you, rocket jumper") made the Rocket Launcher as one in The Reckoning, as the previously useful (for Sequence Breaking, at least) technique gains a higher knockback and damage than before.
  • Scrappy Weapon: Depending on the game mode, some weapons are much better in single player than deathmatch or vice-versa.
    • The Blaster has little use outside of saving ammo when shooting switches and destructibles. Good luck hitting somebody with its weak shots in deathmatch.
    • The Shotgun's main drawback is it's a Master of None, with an unimpressive rate of fire. The Railgun is better at extreme range and even up close, while the Super Shotgun is better up close and personal. Sequels made the SSG the standard format to correct this; the Machine Gun takes over as the standard-issue.
    • In Quake II: Ground Zero, the Plasma Beam is a gluton with energy cells in exchange for being Hitscan. If you're good at aiming with the Railgun, you may as well save on cells for the Hyperblaster (it's the more ammo-efficient single-target weapon), BFG, or the Power Shield. In addition, bullets are more expendable so the Chaingun is more desirable at short-medium range. Averted in deathmatch where the hitscan capability is much more useful against fast-moving players.
  • So Okay, It's Average: The single-player portion played much like Quake I before it but with a Hexen-like hub system that players may have found lackluster due to the backtracking slowing down the action and rarely providing additional enemies to make return trips more interesting. This was a problem that also haunted the Mission Pack Sequels.

    However, online Deathmatch more than made up for this, and became the star attraction for Quake III: Arena with a formal single-player campaign being omitted until Quake IV.
  • Special Effects Failure:
    • The final mission briefing of the core game campaign has an asynchronization between the audio and the video. The video displays the "shut down the communications laser" objective, while the audio omits this and goes directly to the "kill the Makron, TERMINATE WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE" mission. There's even a part of the video without any kind of sound at all.
    • In The Reckoning this happens directly in the ending cinematic: as the moon base falls apart, at the second scene, right after the ship departs the hangar, some of the falling debris is spontaneously generated.
    • The Doom-esque rudimentary weapon reloading animations of the Nintendo 64 version also qualify, especially if the player comes from the PC or PSX versions of the game.
  • Tear Jerker: The poor prisoners you meet in various levels. They've all been tortured to the point of madness and beg you to kill them.
  • That One Boss:
    • The Reckoning has the Beta Class Super Tank, who now sports Power Armor, fires rockets faster than the vanilla version, and does even more damage then before.
    • The already difficult Ground Zero has two: the Carrier and the Black Widow.
      The Carrier is a beefier version of the original game's Hornet. It loses the Rocket Launcher the original had, but in its place it has a Railgun beam, a Grenade launcher, and the ability to create two variants of Flyers: the regular one, and a homing, explosive one which deals quite the damage. And if that isn't enough, it has quite the amount of health.
      The Black Widow, meanwhile, is the Final Boss of the game. It has two forms: a humanoid one called "Guardian", and a spider one, the Black Widow proper. In its first form, it alternates between shooting Railgun blasts, Hyperblaster bolts and summoning Stalkers, and if you attempt close range tactics, she will kick you like a ball; this form takes up to 7 or 8 BFG blasts to put her down. The second form is even worse: the Hyperblaster is switched by a Plasma Beam which goes in a circular way, and if you get in the way of the laser, you'll get fried to death, while the Railgun was switched by a Disintegrator which fires a homing, pitch-black projectile which disintegrates you from the inside, and trying to attempt close-range tactics is a bad idea, as her front has a hookshot tentacle attracting you to it. Making both of these forms worse is the fact that, during the fight, if you attempt to use either Invulnerability, Quad Damage or Double Damage, she will proceed to counter your powerup with an Invulnerability of her own.
  • That One Level:
    • mine5, "Lower Mines". An unstable area with plenty of earthquakes and lava pits and some of the most annoying enemies you can find (Technicians, Gunners). Point of No Return and Everything Trying to Kill You are in play here, as backtracking is not an optionnote  and the level features quite a bunch of earthquakes, that can make you fall from wherever you are onto the lava pits, which are featured throughout the level. And you have a laser machine which you can operate in order to proceed, however the machine itself is guarded by a Tank on the lower level, and a Gunner on the upper level who operates a button-triggered boulder crushing whoever is near the machine, not to mention the laser itself is deadly. Past the laser there's a Rocket Launcher that triggers a drilling machine, whom you must avoid if you don't want to be crushed. Last, but not least, the end of the level has four Gunners waiting for you, attacking from the upper level as you take the elevator to the entrance to the final part of the unit. Have fun!
    • The entirety of the second unit of Ground Zeronote  is the most painful section of the Expansion Pack, and that's saying much considering the other two units have the harshest bosses the Quake II games ever had. Not only there're both Turrets and Stalkers everywhere, but near the end you also get to meet Medic Commanders. Every other class of enemy (including the Tank Commander, whom you only met in the final levels of regular Quake II) is present in the game. And the levels' laberinthic structures will get you lost most of the time.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • A hidden change in a patch made it so players can carry only one unit of each "holdable" powerupnote .
    • Some changes introduced by source ports (i.e. kmquake2's improved AI for enemies, and some ports which rebalance the game's weapons) are also this for people who were used to the old metagame.


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