A total conversion (TC) is a server and client side modification that is so significant, it change the entire appearance, and perhaps even purpose, of the game of Quake. A TC is a gigantic undertaking, and it is understandable that the vast majority of them are never completed. Some TCs, like the Terminator TC, advance to the point that an alpha or beta release in made, but the development ceases as the creators are beset by life's pressures. An excellent discussion on the plight of TCs can be found at the Shrak homepage in an article entitled Quake University: School of Total Conversions.
The TC Controversy
The field of Total Conversions has also spawned a great deal of controversy. A large majority of proposed and developing TCs are based on popular films, television programs, and novels. Given the commonality of experiences in the Quake Community, this emulation of icons from popular culture is expected. Unfortunately, virtually all of these project were begun without the consent of the companies and individuals that have the legally-protected copyrights and trademarks to these characters. One of the first TCs to see completion was also the first to be shut down because of legal problems. The team that had developed a certain TC was contacted by Twentieth Century Fox and informed that it would take action against them unless the TC was removed from public and private sources. This TC has since been removed from every public site of which I am aware.
Other TCs have also been "Foxed." All have acknowledged the rights of the other party to the protected material. Most have sought ways to further develop their TCs in cooperation with the company, while others have focused their energies on creating original TCs. Perhaps we will yet see a re-release of AlienQuake and other projects with the approval and support of the copyright holder.
The wave of the future can be seen in the DM level "Anaconda - Quake: The Temple of the Mist." This freeware level was publicly released by Sony Pictures in support of their film of the same name. It seems likely that the TCs of the future will either contain totally original concepts, like Shrak, or will be made in cooperation with large companies. Regardless, we have all learned that TCs are not too small to be noticed and that companies will attempt to zealously protect their intellectual property.
Shrak The first TC to reach completion, Shrak is a commercial TC sold by Quantum Axcess. Shrak converts Quake into a similar mission, but with 19 new levels, 9 new monster, 7 new weapons, new sound effects, and a new soundtrack. More information on this TC, as well as updates and patches, can be found at the Shrak Homepage. The suggested retail price in the United States is $19.95, and it can be ordered by using this form.
Quess Quess is the unlikely combination of Quake and chess. This free TC is available here and at the Quess homepage. Quess was created by Ridah, Sumaleth, B-MonEy, and Drizzit.
QuakeRally is a TC that turns the world of Quake into a race track. The release of this TC was greatly anticipated and the QuakeRally phenomena exploded when version 1.0 was released in July of 1997. The large QR team should be commended for the tremendous effort that went into bringing this project into realization.
Fantasy Quake: Rise of the Phoenix is an impressive TC that has been carefully developed for months. Currently available in beta form, Fantasy Quake introduces 7 new player classes, 11 original monsters, and 3 categories of spells. This will be the TC to watch in the next few months. The FQ team includes Invictus, Shaper, Fireball, Arjuana, Kew, and Roots.
One of the finest TCs created for Quake was X-Men: The Ravages of Apocalypse. Through the cooperation of Zero Gravity Entertainment, Marvel Interactive, WizardWorks, Wraithcorp, TerraForma, and Gryphon's Grafix, the world of Marvel Comic's X-Men was lovingly transformed into a Quake total conversion. This commercial TC is a promising sign of the future, both for its quality and the cooperation between developer and copyright holder.
Last update: February 08, 1998
This page is maintained by Darren L. Tabor,