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This article appeared in Quake II   This article appeared in Quake III Arena  

P bitterman.jpg
Biographical information
Physical description

Presumed Staff Sergeant




All Weapons Taken In Quake 2 and Quake III Arena

Additional information

Terran Coalition of Man


Destroyed Big Gun
Assassinated the first Makron
Understands Strogg's language
Fate unknown


Operation Alien Overlord

Shit! Just overshot LZ Command. Command, you copy? Christ, this thing is a brick! I have no flight control, repeat, no flight control.


Bitterman is the protagonist of Quake 2 and a playable character in Quake 3 Arena. Bitterman is responsible for the success of Operation Alien Overlord, completing the entire operation almost single-handedly, although he did have help from the air forces at various points. Bitterman is one of the most famous protagonists in the Quake series. In his story, he is known by many, including Rhino Squad for his heroism on Stroggos.


Quake 2[]

With all the pods sent down to the surface at the same time, Bitterman's pod is clipped by a "cowboy" and narrowly misses being hit by another eager Marine. Bitterman's pod buckles and loses power to the flight systems of his pod failing, though it remains flightworthy. As the pods enter the atmosphere, the entire battalion is suddenly wiped out; over the radio his operator reports no heat signatures from the ground, and Bitterman confirms Big Gun as "inactive," however, his battalion is hit by an EMP blast from the Big Gun. Many marines crash land and die on impact, or scatter all over Stroggos. The majority of the ground forces are killed or captured almost immediately. However thanks to having no control over his "flying brick", Bitterman over-shoots his designated landing zone and crash-lands in the outskirts of Cerberon. The chaos caused by the Air Force's dogfights and indiscriminate bombing of Cerberon allows Bitterman to find a decent weapon and fight back. Shortly afterwards, Bitterman learns over the radio that only five percent of the ground forces are operational.

Bitterman's first objective is to establish communication with the Command Ship using the nearby Communication Center. Bitterman then moves onto his next main objective which is destroying the Big Gun. The Big Gun is a distance away and Bitterman has many smaller objectives to complete, such as powering up a Warehouse to pass through it to reach the Jail Complex. The Big Gun is surrounded by a laser grid, powered from within the Jail Hub so Bitterman has to manipulate the Jail defenses and reach the Security Station where the Laser Grid power system lies. With the grid down, Bitterman passes through the mines towards the City.

But before doing so, Bitterman takes a step backwards to a nearby Processing Factory which he has been given the task of shutting down. With the systems shut down, Bitterman finally makes the long walk up north towards the Cerberon and the Big Gun. The Big Gun is locked down by the Power Plant Reactor Core so Bitterman reverses the Core coolant pump making it pump coolant out of the reactor core and pump toxic waste into it, causing it to explode and grant access to the Big Gun. Bitterman causes the Strogg's Primary Planetary Defence System to overload whilst he escapes in a tram leading to the Hangar.

After closing the Hangar Door and completing his third main objective, destroying the Black Hole Generator, Bitterman helps the air force destroy a fuel tank before finally reaching the Inner City Palace with last out of the four main objectives, disable the Strogg leaders Communication and assassinate the Makron. Bitterman travels through the entire Palace, manipulating its tight security to destroy the Communication laser before chasing the Makron to the Palace Roof. Bitterman follows the Makron to the Asteroid Arena where the two battle it out in the final showdown, ending in the Makron's death.

Bitterman escapes the asteroid via an escape pod just before it explodes and lands back on Stroggos. Apparently, he survives the crash landing, yet his fate from this point on remains unknown. In the PSX version, Bitterman escapes with the aircraft just before the Strogg's base self-destructs after he armed the self-destruct system, and he makes it back to the Command Ship in one piece. It is unknown if the PSX version ending is canon.

Bitterman's actions were later detailed to Rhino Squad during the Second Invasion of Stroggos by Lt. Voss. Even though the death of the Makron did not have the intended effect, Bitterman's destruction of the Big Gun made the full-scale ground invasion of Stroggos possible.

Bitterman's ultimate fate is not known. It is possible that after being stranded on Stroggos, he was taken by the Strogg, or he may have survived.

Bitterman's default model is called "Grunt", its the starting character model though the player can change in the multiplayer options.

Quake 3: Arena[]

This hero of the Strogg War may also be its most tragic victim. While a captive on Stroggos, vile experiments transformed his flesh into something both far more and far less than human.

—Q3 Bio

Quake 3 takes place after Quake Champions, see timeline.

In the game story Bitterman was captured by the Strogg and was experimented on. However, like Matthew Kane, he retained his sanity. Before the Strogg could kill him or worse, he was abducted and sent to the Arena Eternal, and fights as a Gladiator. His new appearance has a sickly lime green tone to his skin, metal grafted into his legs, enhanced hand replacements, and a few straps over his chest. His bot usually prefers the Shotgun or the Rocket Launcher.

Bitterman in the Arena

Quake 4[]

Though not specifically mentioned by name, Bitterman's exploits are referenced in Quake 4. He is referred to as the "lone marine" responsible for single-handedly neutralizing Strogg planetary defenses, as well as the assassination of the Makron.

It is also mentioned that Lt Voss of Rhino Squad briefly mentions him as a lone marine behind enemy lines, this is true especially in the fact that he did all of those things himself, shutting down the processing plant, taking down the tank commander's in the palace, and pursuing and chasing down and stopping the Makron! Voss also mentions that he also along with those objectives also oblitirated the Big Gun and the Black Hole Generator were also destroyed in the process leading to his confrontation with the strogg leader and killing him, and also mentioned is that he also took down the gravity defense guns which Voss proceeds to say is a ground pounders war from here on out,


  • In Quake III Bitterman and Ranger share the same falling and fall damage sounds, as well as jump sounds in Quake II.
  • Bitterman's face bears a resemblance to the face of actor Bruce Willis.
  • Albeit not visually, Bitterman makes a reappearance in the non-canon Quake 4 single-player mod False Dawn as the leader of the Strogg forces, identifying himself via voice.
  • It can be assumed that Bitterman understands Strogg writings.
  • Bitterman is not mentioned in further parts of Quake 4, however he is recognized as the lone marine who defeated the Makron in a one-on-one confrontation.
  • He also mentions that he should have been given many medals and rewards for his heroic actions, this may also be a reference to Return To Castle Wolfenstein where The Director tells Jack Stone that BJ Blazkowicz deserves a medal for what he did during Operation Resurrection.
  • Bitterman is also one of the few characters in Quake 2 that talks.


  1. Quake 2 Intro