Beta3 is a leaked beta released on June 10, 1996; this means it was released 11 days prior to the first official Shareware release of Quake, 0.91.

A slightly modified version was released in the interim between the original Beta3 and the official release of Quake, known as the Quake Pre-Release. Besides a few minor changes to documentation, the only in-game change is the simplification of the console. Instead of including artwork, the Pre-Release version just has a solid grey background.

General Differences

General Movement/Weapons

  • A greenish sprite sequence uses itself after going through a Teleporter, as opposed to a white particle effect. The same sequence also appears in Qtest1. The sprites per se are converted from Doom.
  • There are various pixels on the Axe texture that use fullbright red pallette indices (as opposed to normal ones). This appears to make them glow in the dark. Clicking the Axe causes it to perform two attacks instead of one.
  • The Thunderbolt shares the same world model as that of the Rocket Launcher.
  • The larger boxes of Shells do not have the graphical error, meaning there are no white lines on the bottom of the box.
  • Powerups that tint the screen lack a warning when they will cease (no visual or audio cues), they simply remove the tint to state that the effect has ended. When the Powerups are picked up, they flash on the HUD like Weapons do in the final game.
  • The Biosuit’s texture were unimplemented at the time.
  • The Ring of Shadows uses a larger model. The texture is very basic, being nothing more than a golden fill.
  • The Quad Damage uses the same sound as the Pentagram of Protection. It is referred to as the "Quake Power".
  • The Pentagram of Protection does not set the Armor value to 666, meaning the player can see the level of Armor they have while the Powerup is in effect.


  • Enemies that are Gibbed do not just result in a decapitated head, but a torso identical to Ranger's.
  • The only Monsters you can Gib are Rottweilers, Grunts, Zombies, Knights, and Enforcers.
  • There is no obituary in-game for the Fiend.
  • Most obituaries are the same, using such terms as "killed" instead of each having their own identity.
  • A Spawn will stop jumping around when shot. If constantly attacked, the Spawn shall remain stationary.
  • The Vore's projectiles share the model of the Lavaballs and those that Chthon launches (rather than spiky purple orbs). The Vore is also more lethal in Beta3, being able to move quite rapidly across the environment.
  • Chthon uses a darker texture than the one found in the final product.
  • Shub-Niggurath is barely more than a hitbox and model. She lacks sounds, can be walked inside, and cannot hurt the player in any way. She has 200 health, the same amount as an Ogre.


  • The menu makes use of a noisy clanking sound effect when one selects an option. This tends to be inconsistent, meaning it may randomly cease to make such sounds.
  • The retail Help and Ordering screen had not yet been implemented. In its place, there exists a single screen placeholder.
  • Saves actually function properly. In the released product, graphical models would change on loading a save, leading to a lot of anomalies. Loading a save works perfectly fine in the beta version.
  • Quitting Quake from the menu simply exits without displaying any confirmation.
  • The .BSP file format is different from the final game, making it impossible for these maps to be read with any level editor. This difference also means that it is impossible to play custom maps in Beta3 or play the Beta3 maps in the public release of the game; both cases will cause the game to immediately crash.
  • Quake cannot validate if the game was purchased yet. This results in messages that would only appear in the Shareware showing up, while also allowing the retail game to be played.

Level Differences

Start: Welcome to Quake!

This is the initial map, which lets Ranger select a Difficulty and an Episode. It is titled "Welcome to Quake!" in place of "Introduction".

Ranger can already discover the Dopefish here. The Well is located in the Water under the bridge leading to Normal Difficulty, and it’s accessible by going the way to the secret Nightmare mode Teleporter and firing at the wall panel in the corner just before Ranger enters the Teleporter, then rapidly returning to a recently lowered Elevator on the left side of the bridge. This explains why the panel references the Well of Wishes in the final version of Quake, despite the fact that it actually exists in the Crypt of Decay.

E1M1: the Slipgate Complex

The bridge that stretches over the initial Slime pit is activated by a timed Button in place of a permanent one. There exists another Button that is placed on the other side of that bridge for backtracking purposes.

The Crates at the end of this level contain different textures.

E1M2: Castle of the Damned

Like the previous map, the Crates (which normally have the same textures as the ones in E1M1) that appear at the start of the map are textured differently from the final versions. However, they're also different from the ones in E1M1.

E1M7: The House of Chthon

The Buttons that activate the Electric Terminals are located on the beams, as opposed to existing on the side areas, whereas the Button that commences the electrocution contains a red logo and is on a higher platform than the final version.

The Monster telefragging never occurs.

E2M3: the Crypt of Decay

There is neither a Well of Wishes nor anything existent where it would be located.

E2M6: the Dismal Oubliette

This map commences with a gauntlet out of an acquatic canyon before it reaches the final starting point. John Romero had to subtract this starting area in order to keep the level under the 1.4 MB file size capacity that had been set for BSPs at the time. Romero later released this section as E2M10: The Lost Entrance of the Dismal Oubliette.[1]

E3M4: the Haunted Halls

This level exists in the slot for E3M4 as opposed to E3M7. Satan's Dark Delight exists in E3M5, while the Wind Tunnels is the secret level. This level is rather incomplete, the only Monster is a sole Ogre on the starting bridge.

E3M6: The Chambers of Torment

The end area differs somewhat compared to its final version; there exists a pillar to the left and right of the Exit Gate, and a Shambler appears behind the Vores, whereas in the final two Fiends appear when Ranger arrives at the center of the bridge. It is probable that the Shambler was removed because he had a tendency to assault the Vores since he exists just behind them, which renders the final area considerably facile.

The article ‘The’ was subtracted from this level’s name in the final version of Quake because it made the title excessively long and it drew over both the secret count and the edge of the screen.

E3M7: the Wind Tunnels

This map serves as episode 3’s secret level (instead of E3M5). This level is extremely barebones, consisting of nothing more than the basic geometry. There is also no way to access this level without cheats. Wind Tunnels do not make any sounds.

End: Shub-Niggurath's Pit

See: Shub-Niggurath's Pit

Multiplayer Levels

Deathmatch Arena does not exist in this version, nor any of the levels that the Episode contained.

Textual differences

Weapons and Powerups


Old One, Shalrath and Wizard were still used as internal names, but the name "Piranha" was not retained for the Rotfish.

  • "Player" was shot by an Enforcer became "Player" was blasted by an Enforcer.
  • "Player" was killed by a Death Knight became "Player" was slain by a Death Knight.
  • "Player" was killed by a Knight became "Player" was slashed by a Knight.
  • "Player" was killed by a Zombie became "Player" joins the Zombies.
  • "Player" was tarred by a Spawn became "Player" was slimed by a Spawn.
  • "Player" was gummed by a Piranha became "Player" was fed to the Rotfish.
  • "Player" was finished by Shalrath became "Player" was exploded by a Vore.
  • "Player" was zapped by a Wizard became "Player" was scragged by a Scrag.
  • "Player" was crushed became "Player" was squished.

Episode Completion Texts

With the exception of the shareware version, every episode terminates with practically identical texts. In the final version, the episode ending messages were heavily modified to be more flavorful. The message to be displayed after all four of the runes were collected is nonexistent in the beta.



  1. Planet Romero