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This article appeared in Quake II  

Barracuda Shark


Will gib when health is


Attack Damage

Bite: 5

Found in

Quake II
The Reckoning
Call of the Machine


The only creatures indigenous to water on Stroggos. Their blade-like teeth and spiked tail are capable of disemboweling you.

—Quake II Manual

Barracuda Sharks are small shark-like creatures appearing in Quake II. They are not Strogg as such, apparently having no cybernetic parts. They are found in wilderness areas such as the Badlands and Outlands, but are also found in waterways around Strogg facilities - and even inside the buildings, sometimes. They are usually encountered in packs, they move fairly quickly and attack by biting. However, they are not common enemies; they are encountered in only a few levels of the original Quake II campaign, although more appear in The Reckoning and Call of the Machine.

The Barracuda Shark is one of few known examples of wildlife - others being the Mutant and the Gekk - to have survived the global industrialization of the Strogg, which has heavily polluted much of their planet.

In the 2023 remaster, their swimming speed is noticeably reduced.

Behaviour and Attacks[]

Barracudas are only found in water. They are among the fastest enemies in the original game, but noticeably slower when playing the 2023 remaster. They will swim directly towards their target, and once they reach melee range they will stop to deliver two bites in succession. Each bite deals 5 damage if it connects. They have no ranged attacks.

Barracudas are apparently exempt from infighting; they will not deliberately infight even if they are hit by another aquatic enemy (i.e. a Gekk).


  • The simplest strategy is just to stay out of the water and shoot the Barracuda from the safety of dry land wherever possible, in which case you can use the Blaster to save ammo; due to their low health, even the Blaster doesn't take long to kill them. In most areas containing Barracudas, there's usually some safe spot of dry land. Sometimes, however, you must face them in the water (such as in the Warehouse level of The Reckoning), in which case the Machine Gun, Shotgun or Super Shotgun are better options; a brief Machine Gun burst (seven bullets, to be precise) two good Shotgun hits or a single good Super Shotgun blast at close range will dispose of a Barracuda with ease.
  • The Barracuda suffers from the same problem as the Berserker - it is a melee-only foe which must approach you and then stop moving to deliver its attack. It is therefore a simple matter to keep an empty space behind you when a Barracuda approaches, and back away once the Barracuda stops to attack, causing its bite to miss. When encountering Barracudas in the water, you can deliberately swim forward a little as they approach, giving yourself that space to retreat should they reach melee range.
  • There are three areas which involve a fairly lengthy underwater swim through an area inhabited by Barracudas: the water storage tank in the Warehouse (The Reckoning), the underwater tunnel in the Badlands (The Reckoning), and the underwater section in Heavy Water (Call of the Machine) which also includes Gekks. It's worth activating a Rebreather while you traverse these sections. It's possible to traverse them without a Rebreather, but having to contend with Barracudas tends to slow a player down and make it more likely to start drowning - the Rebreather allows a player to focus only on the Barracudas without worrying about their air supply for a while.

Appearance statistics[]

Campaign Easy Medium Hard/Nightmare
Quake II 33 33 34
The Reckoning 17 21 25
Ground Zero - - -
Quake II 64 - - -
Quake II PSX - - -
Call of the Machine 21 21 21

Death Message[]

  • Player was chewed up by a Barracuda Shark


  • Barracuda Shark has no idle animation. However, they do seem to have an animation for tail attack, which is hinted at in the manual, but not present in the game itself.
  • Barracuda Shark is referred to as "flipper" in the game files.
  • Their presence in waterways around and inside Strogg facilities could suggest that the Strogg deliberately encourage the Barracudas to inhabit certain areas of water as an additional defence - or at least, that their presence is tolerated by the Strogg.