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A spideresque hybrid horror. Keep your eye on the energy pod he hurls.

Quake manual

In Quake, a Vore or Shalrath is a spideresque creature with three legs, two arms, a head with no visible eyes, and a grotesque mouth of many teeth framed by two pincer-like appendages. It throws violet spiked pods that will constantly track their target until they hit something, exploding and causing significant damage. The Vore can be recognized by the otherworldly ululating noise it makes as soon as it notices an enemy.

The Vore makes its first appearance at the very end of E2M6: The Dismal Oubliette as a boss, and appears infrequently as a regular enemy throughout the rest of the game, similar to the Baron of Hell in Doom.


  • The Vore has only one attack, but it is particularly powerful. It unleashes a homing projectile that matches its target's movements almost precisely. The pod moves quickly and is nearly impossible to outrun; it is also good at maneuvering corners if the angle is right. At a distance, the pod can be tricked into hitting a wall if the player takes cover quickly. But if it gets too close to the player, then it is very difficult to throw off and contact is a near certainty. The pod does 40 points of damage on impact, which is enough to cause instant death if the player is low on armor and health.
  • The energy pod never vanishes on its own; it must make contact with another entity or wall in order to explode. Note that this means that the Vore can eventually cause a packet overflow. This occurs when the Vore has spawned in enough projectiles that the Quake engine is pushed to its limit. Packet overflows will continuously display error messages until the problem is corrected. As a packet overflow happens when the Quake engine reaches its limit of created entities, this means it is impossible for any projectile (from you or the Vore) to spawn into the map until at least one of the energy pods is destroyed.
  • The Vore is one of the toughest Enemies in the game. Its homing ball does significant damage upon impact, and will chase your movement almost precisely until it hits something. It isn't necessarily an easy enemy to kill, either; at 400 health points, the Vore's maximum health is second only to the Shambler.
  • Alone, the Vore is straightforward to take out as long as you have cover. Try to keep a safe distance so that you have time to run when it throws a pod. When it does, begin running and make sure to take sharp turns around corners, which often causes them to make contact with the wall and explode. The best strategy is to find somewhere in which you can take cover, like a pillar. Another idea is to enter a teleporter while the projectile is chasing you. After it launches a pod, hide immediately so that it will not hit you. When you hear it explode, re-emerge and attack the Vore with Double-Barreled Shotgun. Repeat this process until it's dead.
  • Unless you have the Pentagram of Protection at the time of encounter, fighting a Vore at close range must be avoided at all costs. Unlike most other enemies, whose attacks can be dodged, the pod will never miss. This is made lethal by the rate at which the pods are launched; you are almost guaranteed to receive high damage before you kill the Vore, especially without a Super Nailgun or Thunderbolt.
  • If there is a lot of room and the Vore is the only enemy, then it is possible to run around in a circle and cause its pod to be redirected against itself. There are very few scenarios where this strategy is even feasible, and it goes without saying that there is an exceptional risk factor involved. Another possible trick is to have the Vore move up against an object or some other obstruction and have it fire the pod, thereby causing it to explode almost instantly and inducing splash damage against the creature itself. Although time consuming, this option is not as dangerous as having a pod chase you around to intersect with the Vore. Either method helps to conserve ammunition.
  • In the company of other enemies, the Vore's pod is quite useful for causing monster in-fights. Once the pod has launched, maneuver yourself so that it can intersect with another enemy, provoking them into fighting the Vore. In most circumstances, the Vore will succeed in killing whatever monster it has provoked, but not without taking substantial damage beforehand. This is risky however, and if you'd prefer not to cause yourself a potential 40 points of damage to your health, you might want to lure other enemies into another area so they will not serve as a distraction for when you confront the Vore directly. Aside from Zombies, they are the slowest creatures in the game, which makes it easy to take on other enemies elsewhere beforehand.
  • If you're fighting off multiple Vores, try to make it so that you're only facing one at a time (such as in E4M7). If you take all of them on at once, you'll have to avoid multiple pods, which can be lethal if they make impact at the same time (especially if there are no health pickups nearby). In most areas where you fight multiple Vores (with the exception of the end of E3M6), you can find a power-up that will make it easier to either kill or even avoid them.
  • The Vore is one of the three enemies in the game that are capable of gibbing a Zombie (the other being the Shambler and Spawn's death explosion).

Death Messages

  • "Player" was exploded by a Vore



  • According to John Romero, the name Shalrath came from John C.’s D&D campaign.[1]
  • Also according to Romero, Vores lack eyes because the fantastic realms that they’re native to are dim, humid, and horrific, thus eyes would be unnecessary.[2]
  • The concept of a half-humanoid, half-spider monster was reused in Doom 3 with the Vagary, an early boss monster who has telekinetic powers. Coincidentally, the Vagary also appears as an uncommon enemy following its early boss appearance, though at nowhere near the frequency as the Vore.
  • "Vore" comes from the Latin term Vorare, To Devour. It's used as a suffix to indicate an animal's diet (Carnivore, Herbivore, and Omnivore).
  • One of the Vore's dying sound effects is the same of one used by the Hell Knights of Doom, though the sound is really just a different cougar sound effect from a sound library with synthesized effects added.
  • Much like the Zombie, there was once a giant level with an oversized Vore made by Sandy Petersen that was rejected by the art team due to scaling not looking good. The player was intended to run through tunnels and caverns to avoid projectiles.[3]
  • The Vore was originally had a slower projectile, which meant that the projeciles it threw were even more accurate. Sandy Petersen felt that this was better and recalled an instance of John Romero running in circles around a pillar while avoiding a projectile. According to Petersen, Romero got frustrated with failing to dodge the projectile and thus changed the speed. Romero has refuted that the Vore's projectiles were too slow in comparison to the player or the other Monsters, which led to said pods being sped up. Sandy has not replied directly to this, though he has said that Romero is not "totally wrong".[4]
  • The Vore appears in Quake Champions in the "Music in the Darkness" lore scroll as a cameo.
  • According to John Romero, the Vore is female.[5][6] Whether this implies Vores as a species are all-female or male Vores (possibly in some way being easily distinguished from female Vores) are simply not present during Quake is unknown.


The Vore spotting his enemy
The Vore being aware of threat
The Vore generating its pod
The Vore firing its pod
The Vore's pod exploding
The Vore being injured
The Vore being killed
The Vore being gibbed



  1. In development you always have other names that originally were used but before release are changed to something more appropriate. The name Shalrath was one from, I believe, John C.'s D&D campaign. Likewise, the Scrag was originally called a Wizard. At the end it didn't do many wizardly things so we changed the name. If the creature *did* do some interesting magic the name would have been great to keep as it would have been one of the most unsettling wizards that anyone could have imagined.’ (See the reference below.)
  2. Interview with John Romero where he also stated, ‘You're right about the eyes - most of the monsters don't have them. The world of Quake is dark, wet and scary and they didn't really need em. The Shambler is supposed to have a shaggy coat.
  3. https://twitter.com/SandyofCthulhu/status/1315301848463613953
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUeu96TKQwU
  5. https://twitter.com/mankrip/status/1034504575271755776
  6. Romero's response: https://twitter.com/romero/status/1034854413515587585