Quake is the latest game from id Software, and represents the cutting edge in 3d gaming technology. The theme in this First-Person Shooter is similar to Doom, its predecessor. In single-player mode, you are attempting to kill all of the monsters, find all of the secrets, and exit the level. Quake also supports multi-player games across the internet, modem, and LANs. It is the multi-player support, 16 in regular Quake and 32 in QuakeWorld, that has guaranteed Quake's dominance in internet gaming.

Quake is quite unique in that it was developed very publicly by id Software. Information, theories, and ideas about the new technology contained in the game was freely given out by members of id as Quake was forming. Doom and Doom II had revolutionized the way people play computer games, and the hype that surrounded Quake was incredible. Many of the proposed features of the game were modified, and some great ideas for weapons were dropped, but id eventually delivered exactly what they had promised: a true 3D game that would sweep the Internet by storm. For an excellent retrospective of the hype surrounding Quake, read Quake Hype by Fragmaster.

On February 24, 1996, id released a program called "qtest1." Qtest was called a "pre-alpha" release of Quake. This release contained many of the weapons that were to appear in the registered version of Quake, but there were no monsters visable. As it turns out, qtest did have monsters but they were hidden. Enterprising quakers hacked out many useable monsters, including a dragon. Here is the description of qtest from the readme file:

Here it is, the first public TEST of Quake's Network, Sound and Video technology. This is NOT a demo and this is not an ALPHA, either. If this WAS a demo or an ALPHA, you would see monsters moving around, have more maps to play, and see the neat new effects we're programming in right now.

Qtest may have been limited in the number of maps, and termed "pre-alpha" because of its lack of monsters, but Qtest did support multiplayer gaming. Quake servers quickly sprang up across the world

The first shareware version of Quake was released by id on June 24, 1996. Quake was divided into four episodes, and the shareware program contained the eight levels that comprised the first episode. Almost all of the weapons and monsters would appear in this release. The Quake phenomena exploded as hundreds of Quake related Internet sites where created. Countless newspaper and magazine articles praised the shareware version of Quake. A debate began to rage over whether this version of Quake was better than its closest competitor, Duke Nukem 3D.

This controversy ultimately disappeared when the full, registered version of Quake was released to the public in August 1996. Version 1.01 was available through phone and mail orders, and then on a shareware CD-Rom. Players needed to purchase the CD-Rom and then call id to receive an alphanumeric code that would "unlock" the shareware CD-Rom and install the full version of Quake. Purchasers could also then order a full version of the Quake on an "unlocked" CD-Rom for an additional amount.

Version 1.06 was released on September 1, 1996. The patch for this version fixed several bugs and allowed players to connect to alternate ports on Quake servers.

The current version of Quake is version 1.07, 1.08, and 1.09. Version 1.07 is available only by installing Hipnotic's aftermarket level pack Scourge of Armagon, or by using V Quake. Version 1.08 is available by installing Rogue's Quake Mission Pack #2, Dissolution of Eternity, or directly from id. Version 1.09 is only available by using WinQuake or GL Quake.

The Story

Note: The following is taken directly from the Quake manual.

Background: You get the phone call at 4 a.m. By 5:30 you're in the secret installation. The commander explains tersely, "It's about the Slipgate devise. Once we perfect these, we'll be able to use them to transport people and cargo from one place to another instantly.

"An enemy, codenamed Quake, is using his own slipgates to insert death squads inside our bases to kill, steal, and kidnap...

"The hell of it is we have no idea there he's from. Our top scientists think Quake's not from Earth, but another dimension. They say Quake's preparing to unleash his real army, whatever that is.

"You're our best man. This is Operation Counterstrike and you're in charge. Find Quake, and stop him... or it... You have full authority to requisition anything you need. If the eggheads are right, all our lives are expendable..."

Prelude to Destruction: While scouting the neighborhood, you hear shots back at the base. Damn that Quake bastard works fast! He heard about Operation Counterstrike, and hit first. Racing back, you see the place is overrun. You are almost certainly the only survivor. Operation Counterstrike is over. Except for you.

You know that the heart of the installation holds a slipgate. Since Quake's killers came through, it is still set to his dimension. You can use it to get loose in his hometown. Maybe you can get to the asshole personally. You pump a round into your shotgun, and get moving.

Hardware requirements

id Software recommends the following as the minimum system requirements for playing Quake

  1. Pentium Processor. Apparently Quake can be played on some faster 486 systems with floating point processors, but performance is affected by the slower processor.

  2. MS Dos 5.0 or higher

  3. 8 MB RAM

  4. 75 MB of hard disk space for the full version, 40MB for shareware.

Multi-player Quake

The following are recommended for playing Quake as a multi-player game.

  1. Windows 95. This is not required for multi-player play, but most programs for Quake, such as the front end for Quake World, are presently only available in Windows 95 format.

  2. 16 MB RAM. This is essentially the bare minimum for multi-player Quake.

  3. Modem. A few players are lucky enough to have a much faster digital connection, but the majority of players play over 28.8k modems. It is possible to play with a 14.4k modem, but not recommended.

If your computer meets these requirements, then you are ready to try Quake. id has released a shareware version, and an upgrade, of Quake. This is a very large game, so expect the downloads to take a long time. After playing the shareware version for a short while, you will likely notice that most of the new and exciting advances are only available to you if you have the registered version of Quake. I would strongly recommend that you purchase the registered version. If you are going to buy one game title in the next year, this should be the game.

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This page is maintained by Darren L. Tabor,