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Thou canst not kill that which doth not live. But you can blast it into chunky kibbles.

Quake Manual

In Quake, a Zombie is an undead human that tears chunks of flesh from its head, hindquarters, and crotch before proceeding to toss them at the player character for minor damage. The chunks disappear instantly if they collide with an opponent, but stick to walls and other surfaces for a second. The chunks are thrown in an arc, meaning that their opponents can evade these projectiles as long as they remain outside of the throwing range.

A Zombie moves at a relatively slow pace in both attack and general movement. Note that Quake requires an opponent to run upon sight of a player, but that the Zombie moves at such a slow pace that only a couple of their steps carry them forward. Their walk is equally slow, involving a lot of starting and stopping, whilst limping in pain when they do move.

Zombies can only be permanently killed by Gibbing them. Damage that doesn't kill the zombie outright only serves to knock it down, making it temporarily invincible to Gibbing, after which it will get back up again. Normally, gibbing a zombie is achieved with either a Grenade or Rocket Launcher, although almost all weapons will do it after picking up a Quad Damage. The attack must deal 60 damage in one blow to kill the zombie.

Sometimes, Zombies are used as a decoration. These Crucified Zombies are not considered enemies for the player's kill counter in the tally screen after a level (and are impossible to kill anyways). Overall, they are quite harmless, stuck crucified to walls, and forced to moan continuously as they writhe in pain.


  • Alone, a Zombie is extremely easy to kill. Just gib it with an explosive weapon and go on your way. A group of Zombies is much more dangerous, but can be handled the same way, just try to aim at the "center" Zombie so that the explosive hits and gibs the other Zombies around it.
  • With other enemies, the Zombie can be pretty easy to kill, depending on your location. If you're in a large area, just back up and shoot an explosive at it. The splash damage will gib it and harm any nearby enemies. If you're in a somewhat tight area, try to take out a few enemies so that you can move around, then gib it.
  • Like the Ogres, the Zombies only aim horizontally to throw gibs. If a Zombie is in higher or lower location, it will not hit the player.
  • With a Quad Damage pickup, attacks from any weapon, except for Nailgun, will likely gib a Zombie.
  • Most other enemies cannot kill a Zombie; the Zombie will simply get back up again. However, a Vore's pod, the Shambler's melee attack, and the Spawn explosion can gib a Zombie. (The Ogre's grenade, though, deals 40 damage, which is not enough to slay a Zombie. Its chainsaw, which deals 49 damage, is also too weak to gib a Zombie). Most monsters engaged in fights against Zombies are incapacitated, either because they're unable to kill them, causing them to fight Zombies endlessly, or because the Zombie eventually lands enough shots to kill their attackers.
  • If you lack a Grenade or Rocket Launcher, the best option is to simply run away. There might be a potential Quad Damage to deal with them. Generally, levels will have something to deal with a Zombie, but respawning in Cooperative in the vanilla levels may result in a lack of resources since the latter levels of an Episode tend to give out less Weapons.
  • The Zombie is relatively unique as the amount of damage dealt in a single shot, as opposed to quantitative amounts, is very important when dealing with them. As the Zombie requires 60 health to gib, this means it may be impossible to kill a Zombie with the means at the player's disposal. Note that Zombies are also relatively slow in movement and attack, but due to their large numbers can be deadly if left unchecked. It is advisable to knock them down if you cannot quickly leave the area, a strike between 25 to 60 damage will result in the Zombie immediately falling down.
  • In the event that you are stuck with only a Shotgun and Axe, you will need to hit the Zombie twice to knock it down. 10 to 25 will not immediately knock down a Zombie, but if you strike again within four seconds the Zombie will fall down. Note these seconds can be precious and Zombies can easily rise after a few seconds, meaning knocking them down at this point would be impractical. It is often better to quickly stun the Zombies using two hits with the intention of clustering them together. It is a lot easier to focus on a group of Zombies in one location than it is to deal with Zombies firing from numerous sides.

Complete list of ways to permanently kill a Zombie

Death Messages

  • "Player" joins the Zombies



  • With Quake being treated with a more grim and serious atmosphere than past id Software games, the Zombie tearing chunks from its own body is seen as the sole remaining factor of humor in the game.[1]
  • American McGee once made a level with a Zombie that was scaled to 300 feet, taking up nearly half the level. The player would fight it using Elevators and scaffolds. While the level was near completion, it was vetoed by the art team due to scaling not looking good.[2] This was an attempt for the Episodes lacking Bosses to have such an encounter whilst reusing assets.[3]


The Zombie being aware of threat
The Zombie launching its projectile
The Zombie's projectile hitting somebody
The Zombie misfiring its projectile
The Zombie being injured
The Zombie collapsing
The Zombie being gibbed
Crucified Zombie