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Shrak For Quake teaser


Shrak for Quake - Gameplay

Shrak (branded as Shrak for Quake) is an unofficial commercial total conversion mod developed for id Software's Quake by Quantum Axcess. It was released on January 30, 1997.

Being a total conversion, it features completely new story, levels, weapons, and enemies. Shrak is unique in that it uses some of Quake's original textures by patching them into its pak file on first install using its included ST.EXE. Because of this, properly playing it in modern source ports requires running said program in a DOS emulator (such as DOSBox) or using a fan-made mini-patch (available here). It received mixed to positive reviews from critics.


Humanity has lost control over Earth... Mutants that were created during previous conflicts have completely gotten out of control. Humans were forced to flee from the planet and watch from the Moon as their home was overrun by mutants and the ones who joined them.

Now, the situation has become even more dire. Unorganized mutant actions have became organized – someone or something named "Shrak" has united them and started rebuilding Earth as a gigantic military base.

You were sent back to Earth in order to perform reconnaissance on "Shrak" and its army and report back.

Except that your ship has crashed and will not be flying you back anytime soon.


The game features a hub level from which you depart to different levels and to which you may return after completing them. Shrak's environments tend to be more abandoned-looking than Quake's, with a greater emphasis on post-apocalyptic themes and puzzles. The provided Red Book Audio soundtrack is ambient electronica by Bonetribe. Level design is generally strong, and even now the game is not entirely forgotten. It shipped with Capture the Flag, Deathmatch, and Bugwar game modes, the latter of which allowed you to play in competitive teams of either scorpions or spiders.

List of levels:

  • Introduction
  • The Hub
  • The Under Dwellings
  • Toxic Waste Plant
  • Den of Denial
  • The Ship Yard
  • Wreck Age
  • Death Glow
  • Remnants
  • Nightfall
  • Catharsis
  • Shrak's Domain
  • The Gauntlet (secret level)

Deathmatch Levels

  • Gothic Garden
  • Shred Shrine
  • The Beckoning
  • The Rig
  • Quantum Base


The Under Dwellings:

  • On starting the level shoot the wall directly ahead of you. Reward: Uzi
  • In the room with the blue plutonium key monsters will drop in. Shoot the switch revealed on the ceiling, which opens a teleporter in the next room. Reward: Cells, Armor

Toxic Waste Plant:

  • Upon taking the lift out of the water turn left once past the door. Take another left and shoot the outer wall adjacent to the ceiling light. Reward: Uzi
  • Once through the next corridor you will arrive at the tram station with the muzak. Shoot the wall next to where the tram tracks lead. Reward: Quantum Damage
  • In the room with the lift that needs to be activated you will find some crates. Shoot the wall behind the crates. Reward: Invulnerability Cross

Den of Denial:

  • In the room with the Quantum Damage jump into the lava in front of the platform. Reward: Invulnerability Cross
  • In the room with the Friend Maker suspended on a bridge two chambers with Zeds will open. Use the grappling hook to reach the upper areas. Reward: 100 Health
  • See previous but alternate chamber. Reward: Shells

The Ship Yards:

  • In the starting room shoot the wall that is at a right angle to the window texture. This will allow you to walk on the outside ledge. Reward: Shells, Armor, Inflator
  • Before boarding the raft moving over the toxic waste, shoot the brick wall to reach where the Ohmis are. Reward: Cells
  • Shoot the wall behind the gold plutonium key door. Reward: Missile Launcher, Shells
  • There is a laser trap past the silver plutonium key door. Shoot between the lasers to find a switch. This will reveal another switch in the room past the gold plutonium key door. Only then attempt to use the switch on the right of the room. If you did this before, the secret exit will be inaccessible. Fall into the trap, and use the teleporter next to the optical circuit card. Reward: Secret Level

The Gauntlet:

  • There are no secrets.

Wreck Age:

  • Use the grappling hook to jump underneath the walkway immediately after leaving the starting room. Once back up do the same after the right angle bend. Reward: Utility Vest, Armor
  • You will notice a power-up under some pipes on the floor. Shoot the middle light behind the bubbles nearby to open them. Reward: Invulnerability Cross
  • In the room with the optical circuit card you will see a series of beams forming an X above you. Use the grappling hook to get on top of them. Reward: Friend Maker

Death Glow:

  • In the room past the first bridge you will notice a walkway under some bars on the floor. Shoot the switch on the ceiling at the top of the stairs to open the bars. Reward: Invulnerability Cross
  • In the room where you raise the second bridge there is a wall behind the lift you can shoot to reveal a hidden area. Reward: Uzi Bullets
  • Once across the second bridge you will need to hop down a pipe. Behind the mouth of the pipe is an unsolid wall you can jump through. Reward: Armor, Rockets


  • After the ground collapses and you fall into the water, in the next room with the switch, shoot the underwater wall on the right hand side. Reward: Health, Shells, Friend Maker
  • In the room past the Silver Keycard door shoot the wall at a left angle to the door with the holes in it. Reward: Friend Maker
  • Immediately past the door with the holes shoot the wall to your right. Reward: Quantum Damage


  • In the large area with a tower suspended over a lake, activate the main lift and then swim underneath it. Reward: HFB 9000
  • In the room with the metal walkway you raise swim in the water to find a hidden submerged area. Reward: Quantum Damage
  • In the same room shoot the diamond on the wall. This will lower three walls in the next room. Explore these BEFORE grabbing the Gold Ankh. Reward: 100 Health
  • In the final area there is one side of the cube you can not access. Shoot the wall around the corner on either side of it in the areas with the switches. Reward: Armor


  • In the room with a cross on the floor and the pipe leading to the Gold Ankh, shoot the lighted wall. Reward: Invulnerability Cross
  • After collecting the Gold Ankh and raising the stairs in the next room, climb them and then hop under the proceeding bridge. Reward: Armor, Cells, Uzi Bullets, Health, Rockets

Shrak's Domain:

  • There are no secrets.

New Weapons

  • Proton Laser - A simple laser beam, this is your first weapon. Though ammunition is plentiful, it is quite a weak weapon useful primarily for activating remote switches and sniping monsters from a distance. Following the game's patch, aim becomes significantly better.
  • Double-Barreled Shotgun - Receiving a minor speed boost and a powerful new firing sound, this weapon is otherwise identical to Quake's.
  • Liquid-Cooled Uzi - Initially a simple (and visually unimpressive) model replacement for the nailgun, the Shrak patch replaced the alternating spikes with a proper stream of bullets. The replacement sound effect was also a substantial improvement.
  • Foe-2-Friend Converter - One of the more novel concepts of Shrak, this weapon wins monsters to your side. Turning them a lovely shade of lilac to signify their new allegiance, the monsters will fight for you to their death - unless you fire at them, in which case they remember their old ways once again.
  • Inflator Dartgun - The other distinctly bizarre weapon in the Shrak arsenal, this weapon will literally inflate a humanoid monster until they briefly take flight and explode. Stronger monsters (especially Ruckus Riot) will take a relatively massive infusion of gas darts, while weaker monsters like guards will take only a couple. Resulting explosion does splash damage, making this a surprisingly useful weapon...
  • Rocket Launcher - Sporting a new shoulder-mounted model and a slower firing rate to prevent the rocket spamming so prevalent in Quake, this weapon is otherwise identical.
  • HFB Launcher - This weapon, Shrak's only fire-and-forget, launches a huge sphere that collides with a target, then apparently overloads enemies with kinetic energy until they burst; they bounce up and down, then explode.

Special Items

  • The Claw - A grappling hook, useful for taking stock of a situation from above or getting out of a bad situation fast.
  • Fire Flare - Useful for lighting your way in dark places.
  • Plastic Explosive - Proximity and firearm-sensitive detonator. Easily the most powerful weapon in the game, and a terrific trap to set.


  • Zed - Large, brown humanoid wielding a shotgun. Fairly tough, they constitute the bulk of Shrak's basic grunts.
  • Ohmi - Smaller, laser-wielding soldiers. Weak, but dangerous in large numbers.
  • Viscor - A nasty, two-headed brawler with sharp claws and lots of stamina. Very dangerous up close, but easily dispatched from a distance.
  • Strike - Floating eyeballs that shoot lightning. With the patch, they always gib, and these pieces of flesh emit small lightning bolts as a hazard.
  • Firecrawlers - Essentially large maggots that spit lava orbs, these are somewhat resilient to fire, surprisingly strong swimmers, and are definitely to be avoided when possible.
  • Lightsear - Huge, angry scorpions with claws devastating at close range and a lighting-firing stinger.
  • Gorok - Descended from the much-loved Willy the Spider monster add-on, this creature fires grenades and eats you alive if you get too close.
  • Ruckus Riot - A terribly tough humanoid in full-body armor and a protective mask, this monster sports a rocket launcher and grenade launcher, surprisingly good aim, and boatloads of health.
  • Shrak - Shrak itself is depicted on the website as a massive, bulky humanoid with no details provided. It is a sight best seen for oneself, and is widely considered among the most revolting monsters ever created in an FPS.

Programming Information

Matt Walsh made all of the Quake-C programming changes consisting of a combination of original code and ideas submitted/borrowed from other Quake-C authors. Of interest was his discovery that the original code to check whether the player was in the water dominated the performance profile. He changed the code such that this expensive check was only done at a frequency half at which damage could occur causing this routine to disappear from the profiling data completely with no perceptable changes. Walsh recalls also that he fixed a few bugs id had left in such as some of the code to play the unlocking sound for certain doors.

Code for the Shrak monster itself was a bit tricky. Shrak is killed in 2 stages. The first stage is basic...you pummel him with enough damage from any angle until he splits open revealing his heart. But then his heart must be hit directly with the inflator gun. The geometrical calculations to determine if this had happened were not straightforward, because bounding boxes in Quake translate but do not rotate - the rotation of characters is strictly an aesthetic feature. This was one of the first FPS implementations of a character that reacts differently to attacks based on the point of impact.

Sound Production

Nearly every sound was re-engineered in Shrak. Many of them were done by Walsh, inspired by the 'shaped raw sound' techniques used by sound engineers of early sci-fi movies such as Star Wars. One of the most useful techniques discovered was to reduce the speed of the sound. Attentive players will notice that you can hear "When Twilight Falls on NGC 891" by Martin Segundo and his Scintilla Strings as performed in the movie Dark Star. The last 4 notes of When the Levee Breaks as performed by Walsh on keyboard can also be discerned when picking up certain weapons.

Current issues

The structure of a Quake map (or BSP) is such that all texture resources for that level are contained in a WAD2 file (to prevent confusion with Doom's WAD file format). Consequently, any levels made with the original Quake's textures contain id Software's intellectual property. These could not be distributed without id's consent and compensation. Because Quantum Axcess was unwilling or unable to pay id Software for the rights to use its textures within the levels, they came up with an initially clever workaround: Shrak's maps contain none of id's intellectual property, but an application included on the CD processes Shrak's PAK files and adds id's textures to them, and exploits this legal loophole. Following Malice's release, id Software changed Quake's licensing structure to prevent this from happening; Impel Production's unofficial third mission pack, Abyss of Pandemonium shows the results of this. Upon examination of the maps, all textures are cleverly designed lookalikes to avoid potential legal calamity.

Unfortunately, the provided third-party texture combining application does not work outside of Windows 95, 98, or Millennium Edition, or a DOS-compatible environment. Linux users have presumably been out of luck since the beginning, and Windows NT 4.0/2000/XP/Longhorn users are unable to play the game without going to some trouble. One workaround for this is to create a small partition on a hard drive, install Quake to it, boot your PC from a custom boot disk with a DOS install and CD-ROM support, install Shrak, and then recopy these files to the volume where Quake is installed.

There is also an updated version of the combining application available on the FAQ page of the Shrak homepage, along with instructions for completing the installation.

Easter Eggs

Shoot an explosive barrel on any level with Foe-2-Friend converter and then with Inflator Dartgun. The barrel will explode and leave behind a solid CTF flag entity with custom skin with Matt Walsh's name on it. Touching the flag cycles through other Easter egg skins.

External Links

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