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Aftershock for Quake, or simply Aftershock, is a commercial add-on for Quake developed by HeadGames Publishing, Inc. and published by GT Interactive. The add-on was released on November 10, 1996.

Besides adding custom levels, this add-on also includes a .PAK file manager named XPAK as an attempt to promote a more secure method of editing game files. A beta version of THRED, a Quake map editor made by Jim Lowell and John Mavor, is included. THRED was unsupported on the Aftershock disk due to being a pre-public beta release. This editor was HeadGame's secret weapon and reduced competition against rival developers. While commercialized heavily prior to the release of this commercial add-on, Mavor was paid to not release the editor so that Aftershock for Quake would have a technological advantage over other companies.

The main text file for the game includes various tips for the Weapons and Enemies of the game. There is also a small portion dedicated to the most common Console Commands. The text file also manages to compile a complete list of Secrets for the Base Game.


Descent into Horror, the third Episode, is the only portion of the add-on with any storyline included.


Aftershock Levels


Aftershock Demos

The add-on consists of four main Episodes and a Starting Map. The first three consist of 4-5 levels and is considered the main campaign of the add-on. Only the third episode has a storyline. The fourth episode is very similar to Deathmatch Arena, meaning it is entirely focused on Multiplayer based levels.

Other Levels

On top of the main campaign and DEATHMATCH Maps, there is also a collection of standalone maps (levels not considered part of the campaign and intended to be played separately from each other). These are accessible via a DOS or Windows 95 level select screen.

New Content


  • Glass - An impenetrable wall that allows Monsters and Ranger to see one another, even when on opposite sides of the barrier.
  • Leap of Faith - A seemingly dangerous method used to travel across a massive chasm.


Rear Cover Inconsistencies

  • DESCENT INTO HORROR is referred to as a level instead of an Episode.
  • ELEVATOR OF PAIN is advertised as a level, yet this level is nonexistent in the game.
  • A picture is shown of a level known as DEATH WALK, but it's unclear if this is a level in the game due to the picture showing little more than an Ogre with a Button behind it. The player recently picked up 2 Nails and killed a Grunt. The textures beyond the Button are so dark that they are hard to make out.
  • Tower of Death is advertised as a level. It is unclear if this is the same level as the standard Quake map, but it doesn't exist in Aftershock.
  • E1M4: Fire Scirocco is referred to as HELL HOLE.
  • E3M1: The Surface instead shows a picture of E2M1: ..Ambush?.

Later Related Releases

A blurb found in the Aftershock CD case advertising Deathmatch 300 and the Aftershock Toolbox.

  • Aftershock Toolbox - Released in November of 1996, shortly after the release of this pack. Primarily included a collection of modifications and tools.
  • Aftershock Deathmatch 300 - Unknown if it was ever released. Was advertised as a companion piece to the Aftershock Toolbox, would have included 300 Deathmatch levels and a Doom to Quake map converter.
  • Aftershock Deluxe - An "updated" release in 1997. Included 50 exclusive levels, but did not include the campaign or THRED as found in the original edition.


There was very little reception in regards to this pack. An anonymous reviewer for ComputersandVideoGames states that while many unofficial Add-ons were terrible cash-ins, this one is quite enjoyable and states that the developers knew what they were doing. He compares this pack to Dark Hour, stating that this pack has a much better balance of gameplay even though the levels are quite challenging. His main complaint was that the levels are so large that they might slow down weaker systems. He also mentions the level editor THRED, mentioning that it has a CAD-style interface and is therefore rather unintuitive and should be avoided unless the person is very dedicated.

Jake Parr of The Voice was surprised that Aftershock did not just merely hold levels found off the internet, though stated that this pack had some of those as well. He was not a fan of the storyline for the third episode, stating that it was poorly spelled. He felt the guides, in general, tended to not explain things in a good method, nor did they have good spelling. He also notes that the campaign has no Secret Levels like the base game. He also felt that the level names were contrived. Jake was not a fan of the standalone maps, stating that they were poorly made and lacked exits. He didn't get the point of loading a map, wandering around, getting bored, and exiting. The levels were large, Enemies were just thrown around, and Secrets were lacking. The only thing he found good about the pack was the usage of new textures, which made the brown world of Quake a bit more colorful. He mentioned that the DOS loader was easy enough to use. Overall, he feels the pack has aged badly and is not worth anyone's time.

QuestGate, a community running several dedicated Quake servers, ran Aftershock for Quake for a bit of time on their QuestGate IV server ( in January of 1997. According to QuestGate, they were the first to host a server dedicated to this commercial add-on. Users were required to modify DMAS01: Basin due to the original file looking for ASDM02, a level that does not exist. The Aftershock Standalone Levels were also limited in the original level launcher due to the inability to play said levels over the internet; this was fixed with a batch file made by QuestGate called Q95as. Two months later, the server had been replaced with a standard vanilla Cooperative server.

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