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This article appeared in Quake II  

Adrenaline as it appears in game.

This slightly increases your health permanently.

—The Quake II Manual

In Quake II, Adrenaline is a pickup that permanently increases the player's maximum health by 1, as well as instantly boosting the player's health to the new maximum. They are the rarest health power up in the game but all players, new and veteran should take some time out from destroying a supply train or shutting down a factory to have a wander round and find these special items. Whilst the idea of having just 1 extra hit point does not seem like much, if the player looks around, he/she can find over 40 pick ups, which means an increase of 40%, which is an excellent long-term benefit and will come in handy in the Palace and the fight with the Makron.

Ancient Head[]

Ancient Head appears to take the form of the John Carmack's head.

There are two types of Adrenaline in Quake II, normal Adrenaline and the Ancient Head. Whilst normal Adrenaline increases the maximum by 1 hit point and found across Stroggos, the Ancient Head is a one of a kind secret. It is a human head, taking on the appearance of John Carmack and is found in a dug out hole in the deepest parts of the Palace, accessible via the Upper Palace. When picked up, it increases the player's maximum health by 6 points.

It is a puzzle to get but is worth the effort as there is also a normal Adrenaline in the same area and thus the player will get 7 hit points more, which is good as the Makron is right around the corner. In order to get this special gift, the player must go on a wild detour around the Palace. Two keys are needed and it involves a lot of backtracking, although thankfully, part of this running about coincides with the mission to destroy the Communication Device.

The first of the two keys is found in the Outer Courts. When the player enters the water to get the Data Spinner, there is a red force field with a few items and a key. To get to it, deactivate the red force fields like normal (which opens access to the Central Computer) and then return to the Outer Courts to pick up the red key. The second key is a black security key which is found in the upper palace. Although if the player travels to the upper palace like normal, he/she will come across a yellow force field leading to an access elevator. The black key is on the other side of this and thus the player must enter the Upper Palace from the lower entrance, found to the right of the Central Computer. Once both keys are obtained, return to the Communication Laser and drop down to the floor below where there is a door, which can be opened with the black key. Follow the path round to the yellow forcefield controls.

Now the player can navigate the whole of the upper palace without detouring through the lower palace and also go into the mines where there is a pool of acid and a few guards. By the pool of acid is a switch camouflaged in the stone wall. Press it and a passage under the acid opens to the id Software room. Here there is a control console which needs the red key to operate to drain the tank and reveal the head of John Carmack. With the other 2 Adrenalines that the player will come across on this detour, he/she can get 8 extra hit points out of it which is well worth it to make the game easier.