Quake Wiki
Quake Wiki

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For the series, see Quake (series). For the entity codenamed Quake, see Shub-Niggurath.
Rage through 32 single player levels and 6 deathmatch levels of sheer terror and fully immersive sound and lighting. Arm yourself against the cannibalistic Ogre, fiendish Vore and indestructible Shambler using lethal nails, fierce Thunderbolts and abominable Rocket and Grenade Launchers.

—id Software overview [1]

Quake is a First-Person Shooter video game that was developed by id Software and published by GT Interactive Software. The retail version (1.01) was released on July 22, 1996 for Microsoft DOS. Due to the old nature of the game, it is recommended that users check out the Troubleshooting guides.

On February 24, 1996 the multiplayer demo, Qtest, was released. The earliest shareware release, 0.91, was completed on June 22, 1996 and released the following day after being compiled single-handedly by John Romero. Quake 2 was released on December 9, 1997. However, this game is a sequel in name only. Quake also has two official expansion packs, Quake Mission Pack 1: Scourge of Armagon and Quake Mission Pack 2: Dissolution of Eternity.

On August 19th, 2021, id Software and Nightdive Studios released a remaster for Quake. This was a free update to those who owned the game on online platforms such as Steam or GoG. The remaster included updated graphics, some restored cut content, the prior mission packs, an add-on section (initially only containing Quake 64 but eventually updated to include other community mods), Dimension of the Past, and a new expansion called Dimension of the Machine. Later updates added CTF and horde mode to multiplayer.

Quake was one of the first fully 3D First-person shooter games. It has its influences from Doom in terms of gameplay, design, and story. For example, Quake features a similar arsenal of Weapons as well as teleporters. Features original to Quake, like the console, later appeared in Doom source ports. Once the official Quake source code was released, some Doom source ports incorporated portions of the Quake source. Quake has three Game Modes of play; Single Player, Cooperative, and Deathmatch, similar to the Game Modes of Doom. Like Doom, this game had demos and speedruns. However, although influencing the style of gameplay Doom had, this was the first game by id Software to feature 3D models compared to Doom's 2D sprites.

See History of Quake.


Main Article: Quake Story

Quake has two basic goals. First, stay alive. Second, get out of the place you're in. The first level of each episode ends in a slipgate - these signify that you've entered another dimension. When you complete an entire dimension (this takes five to eight levels), you encounter another slipgate which returns you to the start.

—Goal of the Game

The player takes the role of a unnamed protagonist (called Ranger in Quake III Arena), who is sent into a portal in order to stop an enemy code-named "Quake". Previously, the government had been experimenting with teleportation technology, and upon development of a working prototype called a "Slipgate", this enemy has compromised the human connection with their own teleportation system, using it to insert death squads into the 'human' dimension, supposedly in order to test the martial capabilities of humanity.

As the sole surviving protagonist in Operation Counter-Strike, the player must advance, starting each of the four episodes from a human held but overrun military base, before fighting through other dimensions, traversing these via slipgate or their otherworldly equivalent. Once passing through each slipgate, the player's main objective is to survive and locate the exit which will take him to the next level. The player will find a Rune at the end of each Episode. Once all four runes have been collected, the player can then face-off against Quake (Shub-Niggurath) and defeat her to complete the game.


Main Article: Episodes of Quake

The game consists of 38 separate "levels" or "maps", grouped into seven episodes. Of those seven, the starting episode Welcome to Quake and final episode Final Level are not traditionally counted as episodes, they are simply placed in their own separate episode to be differentiated from the standard episodes.

Each Single Player episode represents individual dimensions that the player can access through magical portals (as opposed to the technological Slipgate) that are discovered over the course of the game. At the start of each episode, the player is deployed in a futuristic military base and they have to find a slipgate that will take them to the alternate realm. The various realms consist of a number of Base, Medieval, and Runic type maps.

There is also a Multiplayer episode, Deathmatch Arena. This simply consists of the official Deathmatch levels and is done for categorization in a similar manner to the starting and ending episodes of the Single Player game.

The maps are inspired by several dark fantasy influences, notably that of H. P. Lovecraft; most notably, the end boss of the first episode is named Chthon, and the final boss is named Shub-Niggurath, although there is little resemblance to their original literary descriptions. Some levels have Lovecraftian names as well, such as the Vaults of Zin or the Ebon Fortress. Originally, this game was supposed to include more Lovecraftian bosses, but this concept was scrapped due to time constraints.


Episode 1: Dimension of the Doomed
E1M1: The Slipgate Complex E1M2: Castle of the Damned E1M3: The Necropolis E1M4: The Grisly Grotto
E1M5: Gloom Keep E1M6: The Door to Chthon E1M7: The House of Chthon E1M8: Ziggurat Vertigo (secret level)
Episode 2: The Realm of Black Magic
E2M1: The Installation E2M2: The Ogre Citadel E2M3: The Crypt of Decay E2M4: The Ebon Fortress
E2M5: The Wizard's Manse E2M6: The Dismal Oubliette E2M7: The Underearth (secret level)
Episode 3: The Netherworld
E3M1: Termination Central E3M2: The Vaults of Zin E3M3: The Tomb of Terror E3M4: Satan's Dark Delight
E3M5: The Wind Tunnels E3M6: Chambers of Torment E3M7: The Haunted Halls (secret level)
Episode 4: The Elder World
E4M1: The Sewage System E4M2: The Tower of Despair E4M3: The Elder God Shrine E4M4: The Palace of Hate
E4M5: Hell's Atrium E4M6: The Pain Maze E4M7: Azure Agony E4M8: The Nameless City (secret level)
Shub-Niggurath's Pit


Horde Mode (2021 remaster edition only)

  • HORDE1: Tower of the Apprentice
  • HORDE2: Frozen Court
  • HORDE3: The Foundry
  • HORDE4: The Hunt
  • HORDE5: Relic
  • HORDE6: The Trial
  • HORDE7: The Tower

Capture the Flag (2021 remaster edition only)

Official add-ons (2021 remaster edition)

Via Bethesda.net

  • Quake 64
  • Honey
  • Underdark Overbright & Copper
  • Terra
  • The Punishment Due
  • Rubicon 2
  • Beyond Belief
  • Contract Revoked
  • Deathmatch Dimension
  • The Spiritworld
  • Slave Zero X: Episode Enyo
  • Tainted


In Quake, there are 4 difficulty levels. These are Easy (Meant for little kids and grandmas), Normal (Most people should start Quake at Medium skill), Hard (Here at id, we play hard skill, and we think you should too, when you're ready) and Nightmare (This is so bad that the entry is hidden, so people don't wander in by accident. If you find it, don't say we didn't warn you). The first three difficulty levels can be chosen from the very first map when starting a new game. Hard is, of course, the hardest difficulty to choose as the player must jump over a pit of Lava. Lava balls shoot upwards and if the player gets hit by one, he/she will stall in the air and fall in the lava, resulting in death.

Unlike the other difficulty levels, Nightmare is hidden and can only be obtained if the player knows where to look. To find Nightmare, go through any portal at the start and then walk up the steps leading to Episode 4. Jump into the Water and then go backwards from where the player entered before falling out the bottom. If done right, the player will land on a wooden beam. If he/she misses, then look up and he/she will see the beam and know where to fall on the next try. Follow the beam to the opening in the wall and the player will find a lava portal. Go through this portal to play the Nightmare difficulty. Nightmare difficulty makes the monsters' attacks a lot faster. This is mostly seen in the Ogres, who now fire their grenades a lot faster and the Shamblers, whose charge up time to launch ranged attacks is much quicker.

Game Modes

Single Player

The basic storyline version of the game, where the player plays the levels by him or herself and faces off with the game's various enemies. This is the only mode where a player can save or load a game. This is also the only mode that Cheats can be done in the console without modifying the game files.


Players can set up servers to play with other players, mainly in Deathmatch. There are maps created specifically for Deathmatch, but the players can also play a Multplayer version of Single Player levels. In it, there are no Enemies and more Weapons and Ammo scattered across the levels. Puzzles are often already solved, and as a result, Keys are no longer needed. Level exits have rings around them to prevent the player from entering them accidentally.

The main objective for all players is to frag (FPS term for kill) other players to score points. However, should a player kill himself (such as using his or her own explosive weapon on him or herself) or gets killed by the level design (such as a trap), he or she loses a point.


Co-op for short, this mode is simply the Multiplayer version of the Single Player game. When a player dies, instead of having to reload they just respawn, but at the expense that they lose a point from their score. More than one player can play in this game, assisting each other against the enemies of Quake.


The enemies of Quake are a diverse group of creatures spawned by their leader, Shub-Niggurath. The enemies range from the weakest such as possessed humans and dogs to the deadliest such as the Vore and Shambler. Most of the creatures do not have eyes, as the world would be too dark and dingy for them to be able to see. For all the types of enemies there are different types of weapons to deal with them. Click on one of the links below corresponding with the enemy that is giving you a rotten time to find out all you need to know to kill it with ease.






Although the weapons of Quake are arranged to have players start with the weakest weapons and gradually get the strongest weapons, all weapons can be equally useful when mixed with strategy. Through playing Quake, the player will find out that the enemies from above can be killed much easier if the player learns which weapons work best on which enemies. Click on one of the links below to find out about each of the weapons on Quake.



The Power-ups of Quake have a variety of uses. Each one gives the player an advantage, though most have a timed duration (of 30 seconds) unless they are Armor or Health. Some can give the players the ability to travel on Hazards that could not previously traversed without risking death.








Main article: Quake Soundtrack

As well as plenty of explosions and gunfire, Quake has a music soundtrack composed by Nine Inch Nails front-man, Trent Reznor. The music plays on each level of the game. Due to its ambient nature, the tracks attempt to give the levels an extra level of atmosphere while the player is walking through a ghostly ancient realm. The Nailgun's ammo boxes are decorated with the NIИ logo.

The music on the disc is a standard audio CD-audio files which means the music can be played off a CD player and ripped onto the computer to play on media player such as SonicStage.

The disc must be inserted in order to play the music in game.

Unlike Quake 2, the tracks on the Quake soundtrack do not have names. Instead they are simply listed as Track 2, Track 3 and so on. Fan made names have been given to them in respect to how they sound and what levels they appear on. On the CD the game data is Track 1, and the music starts on Track 2.

Quit Messages

  • "Press Y to quit like a big loser in life, press N to stay proud and successful"
  • "Man, I oughta smack you for trying to quit! Press Y to get smacked out."
  • "Um, Asmodeus dislikes his children trying to quit. Press Y to return to your tinkertoys."
  • "If you press Y to quit, I will summon Satan all over your hard drive!"
  • "Milord, methinks that thou art a lowly quitter. Is this true?"
  • "Do I need to bust your face open for trying to quit?"
  • "If you quit now, I'll throw a blanket-party for you next time!"
  • "Are you gonna quit this game just like everything else?"

Exit Screen

Why did you quit from the registered version of QUAKE? Did the scary 
monsters frighten you? Or did Mr. Sandman tug at your little lids? 
No matter! What is important is you love our game, and gave us your 
money. Congratulations, you are probably not a thief.
                                                                 Thank you.


See: Quake Version History


As a result of the game's popularity, console ports have been made:

Official Source Ports

  • GLQuake - January 22, 1997 - This uses OpenGL graphics.
  • WinQuake - March 11, 1997 - Designed to run under Microsoft Windows operating systems. Unlike the former, WinQuake does not use OpenGL.



European advertisement

Gamers were quick to judge Quake in a negative light upon release of the alpha and shareware versions. Reasons for their early dismissal of the game include the levels being extremely small, that the world was too monochrome, and that the game simply didn't compare to Duke Nukem 3D which had a more interactive world.

Quake has received near-unanimous critical acclaim from reviewers since its commercial release, receiving an aggregated score of 94% on Metacritic and 93% on GameRankings.

Quake was widely anticipated among both gamers and the press due to the fact that id Software's previous game, Doom, had been very successful. After release, many felt disappointed because Quake was not as revolutionary as people were hoping for. Duke Nukem 3D, another first person shooter game released earlier in the year, had more environmental detail than Quake despite using 2D sprites. However, Quake is one of the first FPS games to allow for TCP/IP connections, meaning that it was one of the first that could be played on the internet instead of a LAN. This means that while Quake was rather unsuccessful as a Single Player game, it received wide popularity for its Multiplayer component.

Though Duke Nukem 3D was more interactive, reviewer Steve Bauman of Computer Games Magazine states that "the enviroments for Quake are intense, not cartoony." Being one of the people to dismiss the shareware version, he states "the later levels reveal more confidence and cleverness in their designs". He even states at one moment that Quake is "the best action game on the planet". His biggest gripe with the game is that it "takes no chances" and "doesn't tinker with the standard formula set by Wolfenstien 3D." He also feels that multiplayer, though considered by him to be "mind-boggingly exciting", "often degenerates into 'who can find the rocket launcher first' rather than showing off player skill or strategy".

GameSpot agreed with positive reviews and praised every aspect of the game, stating "Quake is a masterpiece on every level, with its ominous atmosphere, silky-smooth animation, incredibly well-balanced gameplay and level design, and unparalleled soundtracks."


  • The game was originally called Timequake.[2]
  • This was the first game that id Software did not release on floppy disks.[3]
  • A PlayStation version was developed by Lobotomy Software, but was canned due to difficulties finding a publisher.
  • When Quake was originally released, Romero thought that the mouse-look was too advanced to be default, so it was made optional. Nonetheless, in a later update, it was made default.[4]
  • Tim Willits, a level designer for Quake, considered this to be the most influential game that id Software designed. [5]
  • Quake's Chinese name, 雷神之锤, when translated into English means "Thunder God’s Hammer". This was referring to the Hammer of Thunderbolts, a weapon which was scrapped later on.


  • Patch - If you have an old version of Quake, use this patch to get it to 1.06, then update 1.06 to 1.08, the latest version 1.06 1.08
  • Quark level editor - Create your own maps! Link
  • Source Code - The source code to the original Quake engine! The maps and game art are not included. Link
  • Quake Injector - Quake Injector is a tool used to download Single Player maps easier. Link


  1. id Software: Quake
  2. John Romero's tweet about the Axe Ogre
  3. Tweet by John Romero where he stated, ‘Quake was the 1st game we didn’t sell on floppies. Almost no GB-sized games. 1996.
  4. Tweet by John Romero where he stated, ‘ when we released Quake I thought mouselook was too advanced as a default so made it an option. Defaulted on in later update.
  5. http://gamingbolt.com/id-software-exclusive-interview-with-tim-willitis-creative-director-on-rage

External Links