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

P bitterman
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 language
Crash-landed on Stroggos, 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 II and a playable character in Quake III 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.


Bitterman served with the 101st Spaceborne, part of the Space Marine Corps under the Terran Coalition of Man. In the invasion of Earth, the Strogg killed his parents and only sister and left him severely traumatized. Despite being plagued by nightmares, he was cleared for participation in Operation Alien Overlord and the invasion of the Strogg capital world.[2]

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.

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.

Quake 3: Arena[]


Bitterman in the Arena

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.

Manual biography

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.

Prima Guide biography

What happens to a war hero badly mutated in the service of humanity? If that hero is Bitterman, he buries the past as deep as he can. On Stroggos, Bitterman released a demon inside himself and rained destruction on the Stroggs. There, Bitterman's demon within brought revenge and retribution. On Earth, it would bring pain and horror. In the Arena Eternal, it brings victory.

Bitterman is a decent shot, no more or less aggressive than the average. He loves the shotgun, as well as the Quad, which he seeks out constantly. His comments betray his southern roots, and even in combat and his mutated state, Bitterman retains some aspects of a true southern gentleman.

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.
Q2 Grunt Skin

Quake 2's default player model, Grunt.

  • In terms of appearance, all that is seen of Bitterman in Quake 2 is his hand (in the ending cutscene). He's assumed to look like the rest of the soldiers, including the prisoners, and the default player multiplayer model/skin (which can be seen and changed in the multiplayer options). However, this skin is called "Grunt", and it matches the look and shares its name with a separate character to Bitterman in Quake 3.


  1. Quake 2 Intro
  2. Quake II print ads detailing the backstory: "5.19.47 14:35 ALIEN SCUM CAN KISS THE BUTT OF MY RAILGUN. Orders come in from the brass this morning. Tonight, I’ll be on the C-30K Marine Carrier with the rest of 101st Spaceborne. A little hypersleep, a couple thousand gallons of rationed I.V. nourishment, a few hundred light years, and we’ll be knee-deep in Strogg blood.
    17:05 It’s either us or them this time. We lose, and we all end up bratwurst on the grill of some ungodly mechanized carnivore. We win, and the Terran Coalition of Man can start rebuilding the cities on Mars, Olympus, even Earth. Who knows – they might even get the old interplanetary football league going again. God, I miss Monday night football.
    18:03 Grotesque images of Stroggs have been filling my sleep at night. Their metallic spines jutting awkwardly through muscle, skin and connective tissue, masks of human facial skin smeared and bonded to their cyber-alloy heads, crude but powerful weapons jammed into oozing, gaping sockets. Thank God the endless sleep ahead is dreamless.
    19:43 You learn the hard way in the outer sector… Like never get into a drinking match with a three-headed Bukan. Never assume a Strogg is dead even when he’s nothing but bloody scraps of shrapnel. And never go to bed with a Rabaul no matter how many breasts she has.
    20:16 I'm now on the carrier and next in line for my goodnight kiss. When I awake from the icy hypersleep, there will be only hell. And there will be hell to pay. My rail gun and BFG will make sure of that. The Stroggs killed my parents and my only sister. NEEDLESS TO SAY, I AM NOT A PACIFIST."