From Academic Kids

For an overview of the Quake game franchise go to Quake series. See earthquake for alternate use of "quake" term.
Quake was also a brand of sugar-sweetened cereal which was popular in the U.S. in the late 1960s. See Quisp.
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Developer(s) id Software
Publisher(s) Activision
Release date(s) 31 May 1996
Genre FPS
Mode(s) Single player, Multiplayer
Rating(s) ESRB, Mature (M)
Platform(s) PC (Windows / Linux)

Quake is a first-person shooter (FPS) game that was released by id Software on 31 May 1996. It introduced several major advances in the 3D game genre: it uses 3-dimensional models for players and monsters instead of 2-dimensional sprites; and the world in which play takes place is created as a true 3-dimensional space, rather than a 2-dimensional map with height information which is then rendered to 3D. It also incorporated the use of lightmaps and dynamic light sources, as opposed to the sector-based static lighting used in games of the past. Many believe that it kick-started the independent 3D graphics card revolution, "GLQuake" being the first application to truly demonstrate the capabilities of the 3DFX "Voodoo" chipset at the time. The impact of the Quake engine is still being felt to this day.

The majority of programming work on the Quake engine was done by John Carmack. Michael Abrash, a program performance optimization specialist, was brought in to help make the software rendering engine feasible with regards to speed. The background music for the game was composed by Trent Reznor, of Nine Inch Nails. Within the game, the ammo box for nails has the Nine Inch Nails logo on it.

Quake and its two "sequels", Quake II and Quake III Arena, have sold over 4 million copies combined.


The Story

You are a marine for the government sent into a portal to stop an enemy known as "Quake". This enemy has been sending terrible demons and death squads through the government's new slipgate technology. This slipgate technology allows instant transportation of cargo or any other material. Once sent through the portal you must fight through hundreds of demons to stop the enemy. The other realm is inspired by several influences, notably that of H. P. Lovecraft (the end game boss being Shub-Niggurath herself).

Network Play

Quake includes a multi-player mode to play over LAN or the Internet with or against other humans. The network play uses a client/server model, where the actual game runs on the server only and all players "log in" there to participate. Depending on the client's specific route to the server, different clients will get different ping times. The lower your latency (ping time), the smoother your in-game motions, and the easier it is to accurately aim and score. Someone playing on the server PC gets a substantial advantage due to essentially zero lag.


The game itself can be heavily modified. Users created their own maps and models, and coded some changes to the game itself using QuakeC, a scripting programming language (which gets compiled into a bytecode) with a syntax similar to the C programming language. The QuakeC code runs on the game server alone. The ease of modifying the game led to the rise of "mods". The first mods were small gameplay fixes and patches initiated by the community, usually enhancements to weapons or gameplay with some new foes.

These mods were often classified as Partial or Total Conversions, meaning that game content was either partially augmented, or completely replaced. This eventually led to extensive modifications such as the popular TeamFortress, Jamie Wood's PAIN TC, Alex Redman's Mortal Kombat Quake TC, and others.

The first major Quake mod was Threewave (http://www.threewave.com) Capture the Flag (CTF), primarily authored by Dave 'Zoid' Kirsch. Threewave CTF is a partial conversion consisting of new maps, a new weapon (a grappling hook), some new textures, and most importantly new rules of game play. Typically, two teams (red and blue) would compete in a game of capture the flag, though a few maps with up to four teams (red, blue, green, and yellow) were created. Capture the Flag has become a standard game mode included in most popular multiplayer games released after Quake, in addition to Deathmatch first introduced in Doom.

The popular TeamFortress mod for QuakeWorld consists of Capture the Flag gameplay, but with a class system for the players. Players choose a class, which creates various restrictions on weapons and armor types available to that player, and also grants special abilities. For example, the bread-and-butter Soldier class has medium armor, medium speed, and a well-rounded selection of weapons and grenades, while the Scout class is lightly armored, very fast, has a scanner that detects nearby enemies, but has very weak offensive weapons.



A little-known piece of PC gaming history: The first mention of Quake was in id Software's first game ever, Commander Keen 1 for the PC, which was released in December 1990. The following text is contained in the file previews.ck1, which is dated December 10, 1990:

As our follow-up to the Commander Keen trilogy, Id Software is working on "The Fight for Justice": a completely new approach to fantasy gaming. You start not as a weakling with no food--you start as Quake, the strongest, most dangerous person on the continent. You start off with a Hammer of Thunderbolts, a Ring of Regeneration, and a trans-dimensional artifact. Here the fun begins. You fight for Justice, a secret organization devoted to vanquishing evil from the land! This is role-playing excitement.
And you don't chunk around the screen. "The Fight for Justice" contains fully animated scrolling backgrounds. All the people you meet have their own lives, personalities, and objectives. A 256-color VGA version will be available (smooth scrolling 256-color screens--fancy that)!
And the depth of play will be intense. No more "whack whack here's some gold." There will be interesting puzzles and decisions won't be "yes/no" but complex correlations of people and events.
"The Fight for Justice" will be the finest PC game yet.

Quake was given as a title to the game that id software was working on shortly after the release of Doom 2. The earliest information released described Quake as focusing on a Thor-like character who wields a giant hammer, and is able to knock away guys by throwing the hammer (complete with real time inverse kinematics). Early screenshots showed medieval environments and dragons. The plan was for the game to have more RPG-style elements. However, work was very slow on the engine, since Carmack not only was developing a fully 3D engine, but also a TCP/IP networking model (Carmack later said that he should have done two separate projects which developed those things). Thus the final game was very stripped down from its original intentions, and instead featured gameplay similar to Doom and its sequel. Praised throughout the gaming community, it quickly dethroned previous FPS titles and revolutionized the way multiplayer games were developed.


Before the release of the game or the demo of the game id software released "QTest". It was described as a technology demo and was limited to three multiplayer maps. There was no single player support, and some of the gameplay and graphics were unfinished, but the game's multiplayer support caused Quake servers to spring up everywhere overnight.


To improve the quality of online play, id Software released QuakeWorld in 1996, a build of Quake that featured significantly revamped network code including the addition of client-side prediction. The original Quake's network code would not show the player the results of his actions until the server sent back a reply acknowledging them. For example, if the player attempted to move forward, his client would forward the request to move forward to the server, and the server would determine whether the client was actually able to move forward or if he ran into an obstacle, such as a wall or another player. The server would then respond to the client, and only then would the client display movement to the player. This was fine for play on a LAN—a high bandwidth, very low latency connection. But the latency over a dialup internet connection is much larger than on a LAN, and this caused a noticeable delay between when a player tried to act and when that action was visible on the screen. This made gameplay much more difficult, especially since the unpredictable nature of the Internet made the amount of delay vary from moment to moment. John Carmack has admitted that this was a serious problem which should have been fixed before release, but it was not caught because he and other developers had high-speed Internet access at home.

With the help of client-side prediction, QuakeWorld's network code was much more friendly to players on dial-up with high ping times. The netcode parameters could be adjusted by the user, so that QuakeWorld performed well for users with low latency (also referred to as Low Ping Bastards or LPB's) as well as high latency (sometimes called High Ping Bait (HPB's) or High Ping Weenies/Whiners (HPW's)). The popular TeamFortress mod was based entirely on the QuakeWorld platform.


In 1996 there was a port of Quake to Linux that involved code theft and patches being submitted back to id Software before it became an official port. 1997 saw further porting efforts, with an IRIX port, called SGI Quake (link) (ftp://ftp.sgi.com/sgi/quake/index.html) done by Ed Hutchins on the SGI O2. SGI Quake has both OpenGL and software rendering systems. Also in 1997, a port to Mac OS was done by MacSoft and a port of Quake to Sparc Solaris was released.

Quake was also ported to console systems. In 1997, it was ported to Sega Saturn by Lobotomy. It is widely considered to be some of the most advanced 3D work ever cranked out of the console; it's also the only version of Quake that is rated 'T' for Teen instead of 'M' for Mature. In 1998, Quake was brought to Nintendo 64 by Midway Games.

Both console ports required some compromises because of the limited CPU power and ROM storage space for maps. The Saturn version lacked multiplayer but had most of the maps from the original game, with only the secret levels (Ziggurat Vertigo (E1M8), The Underearth (E2M7), The Haunted Halls (E3M7) and The Nameless City (E4M8)) not making the cut. Instead, it had four new maps: Purgatorium, Hell's Aerie, The Coliseum and Watery Grave. The N64 version had multiplayer, but was missing The Grisly Grotto (E1M4), The Installation (E2M1), The Ebon Fortress (E2M4), The Wind Tunnels (E3M5), The Sewage System (E4M1) and Hell's Atrium (E4M5). It also lacks the "START" map where you choose difficulty and episode; difficulty is chosen when starting the game, and all the levels play in sequential order from The Slipgate Complex (E1M1) to Shub Niggurath's Pit (END).

Many more ports were done after the source code release, such as numerous homebrew ports for the Dreamcast and Xbox consoles.

Source Code

The source code of the Quake and QuakeWorld engines was licensed under the GPL in 1999. The id software maps, objects, textures, sounds and other creative works remain under their original license (although a GPL release of all of the quake1 maps is planned). The shareware distribution of Quake is still freely redistributable and usable with the GPLed engine code. One must purchase a copy of Quake in order to get the registered version of the game which includes more single player episodes and the deathmatch maps.


Based on the success of the first Quake game, id later published Quake II and Quake III Arena; Quake IV is planned to follow in the future. It is developed by Raven Software utilising the Doom 3 engine.

It is also interesting to note that Quake was the game primarily responsible for the emergence of Machinima phenomenon of films made in game engines, thanks to edited Quake demos such as Ranger Gone Bad (http://www.machinima.com/films.php?id=99) and Blahbalicious (http://www.machinima.com/films.php?id=28).

Jumping in Quake

In Quake, there are several ways to make one's character move by jumping. Some of them are exploits of bugs in the physics engine, rather than designed features of the game. Note that some of these "features" have been included in later FPS games, especially those that use the Quake engine, such as Half-Life.

Rocket jump

Main article: Rocketjumping.

Rocket jumping is the technique of pointing the game's rocket launcher at one feet and firing while simultaneously jumping; due to the workings of the game's physics engine this launches the player to incredible heights. The technique did not originate in the game, but certainly helped bring the move into a more popular light and variants have appeared in virtually all multiplayer FPS games since.

Grenade jump

The grenade launcher can be used in similar way by placing a grenade on the ground and jumping right before the explosion. It requires more skill than a rocket jump, but once perfected, it can be combined with rocket jumping to execute higher and more complex jumps.

A double grenade jump can be performed by throwing grenades at enemies. A grenade hitting an enemy will explode immediately, so by placing one grenade on the ground and firing another grenade towards a close-by enemy right before the first grenade explodes, the player will get boost from two grenade explosions.

This jump is not an unplanned exploit; level E4M4 (Palace Of Hate) features a horizontal teleport placed above jumping height, with a square hole beneath it and a Pentagram of Protection nearby; the idea is to collect the Pentagram, fire a grenade such that it rests in the hole and jump from the resultant blast into the teleport (the Pentagram is there to protect you from the damage).

Strafe jump

Strafe jumping allows the player to move faster and jump farther. It involves jumping while moving forward (or backward) and strafing left or right. Strafe jumping can be done in Quake, Quake II and Quake III. It is a bug involving air acceleration.

To increase your speed with strafe jumping, you must first be moving forward or backward. You then simultaneously jump, strafe in one direction, and slightly turn the mouse toward that same direction (to rotate your avatar in-game). Alternating between left and right strafe on each jump results in nearly straight-line motion at very high speed, and has become an occasionally used technique in Quake matches.

One place strafe jumping can be useful is in the Quake map dm2, where you can strafe jump to the red armor across the lava. Normally, the player would hit a nearby switch to extend a bridge over the lava, as the lava is exactly one player-width too wide to jump over normally. However, with the speed boost granted by a strafe jump, the experienced player can leap what was supposed to be an impossible distance. The strafe jump was of limited use in deathmatch play, as it was less safe than simple running and jumping and much less effective than rocket jumping, but it became a bigger factor in online games in Quake III..

Circle jump

Circle jumping makes use of the fact that players can control their movement while in the air. Essentially, a circle jump is just a "U-turn" while in the air. This jump is mostly used in QuakeWorld, but it can also be done in the normal Quake, though it is much more difficult.

A different version of the circle jump is employed in Quake II, where players jump in an arc via manipulation of the mouse in order to clear longer distances.

Double jump

A double jump is a bug that lets the player jump twice in a row in midair. To double jump, the player has to jump directly at an edge and then jump again. Double jumping can only be done in Quake II in the later versions, and in QuakeWorld mods that support "jawnmode". In the map Q2DM1, you can do it at the megahealth pickup. You can reach the upper spot at the backpack by double jumping and then jumping normally to the megahealth.

Double jumping was intentionally included in later games, including Unreal Tournament.


Bunnyhopping is a method of continually jumping in order to increase your movement speed. It works by exploiting a physics bug in the Quake engine. Normally, players are limited to a certain maximum speed while walking on the ground. However, this imposed limit is not in effect while the player is in the air. In addition, turning while in motion imposes acceleration on the player entity. These two facts allow you to maintain and increase air speed in succeeding jumps while turning smoothly. When you resume walking on the ground again, you decelerate to the maximum running speed.

The bug is that the act of jumping is not considered "touching the ground". To be more precise, it is possible to initiate the next jump while still in the air, and thus the off-the-ground state of the player is never toggled off. If the player continuously jumps, the engine will not register that player as touching the ground, and the player's motion will be governed by air acceleration (with no limit on its top speed).

To start bunnyhopping, do a strafe jump and then continuously jump while moving forward. You will begin to accelerate beyond normal running speed. The secret to maintaining a bunny hop is to press your jump button (typically the space bar) while already in the air. The game will make you jump as soon as you land, thus maintaining your air speed and registering no frames under the on-the-ground state. Bunnyhopping is possible in QuakeWorld, Quake II, and Quake III Arena.

In QuakeWorld you can make use of air control in order to get around corners very quickly -- it's similar to the circle jump. Rather than running around a corner on the ground slowly, the player jumps and uses the movement keys to rotate themself in a quarter-circle around the corner in midair. In Quake II there is practically no air-control, so you only can move forward. It's also useful in QuakeWorld when doing the speed jump (see below) in order to keep up your movement speed.

Slope jump

When the player is running an upward slope and jumps, the jump goes much higher than it normally would. Even a tiny slope is enough for performing a slope jump. This glitch exists in many FPS games besides Quake, and is very easy to exploit.

Damage jump

A difficult way to make the player jump slightly higher is to get damage. In Quake 1, any damage inflicted to the player gives a boost, be it a Hell Knight's sword attack or a plasma bullet shot by an Enforcer. Usually the tiny gained height is meaningless, but occasionally there is a ledge that you can very nearly reach by normal jumping and a damage boost is needed.

Damage boosts are more common in multiplayer than in singleplayer, and are most common in team games. When being attacked, in certain situations, a player can use the damage to maneuver in a way not normally possible, disadvantaging the attacker or even letting the player escape from danger. In a team game, two teammates can perform tricks where one player attacks the other to give a boost in speed or height.

Speed jump

The Speed jump is another jump that allows the player to move faster and like the rocket jump, takes advantage of explosion forces. To speed jump, the player gets a rocket launcher, moves close to a wall, fires the missile at the wall, quickly spins around so they face away from the wall and jumps forward with an assist from the rocket's blast. Many players then top this off with strafe jumping and bunnyhopping in order to maintain the speed gained from this stunt. Players use this extreme speed boost to surprise opponents, or complete single-player levels in record time. This jump was founded by the QuakeWorld community and can also be done in Quake II. However, since you can't control your movement in the air in Quake II, you cannot turn corners.

For example, in the Quake map dm4 one would do this to get quickly out from the lower section while coming out of the megahealth and rocket launcher section, firing in the wall just behind where the megahealth and rocket ammo box lies, gaining tremendous speed to get to the teleport.

Plasma jump

This jump came from Quake III Arena. It is also possible in QuakeWorld under "jawnmode" using the Super Nailgun. Shoot the SNG under you while standing flush to a wall and jumping to "climb" the wall.

It is possible to attain even higher distances by starting this maneuvre with a grenade jump and starting firing immediately afterwards.

Monster boosts

Several monsters in Quake can give boosts much larger than those obtained by simply getting hurt (see Damage jump above). Fiends hitting the player give plenty of speed and some height. Grenades thrown by ogres can be used to jump higher just like player's own grenades, but the boost is much weaker (abbreviated OGJ, ogre grenade jump). Vores shoot tracking explosive bombs, and by running in circles, several such bombs can be concatenated into one superbomb which can give as much boost as required (but also damage accordingly). Shamblers fire lightining which gives plenty of speed when hit. Spawns explode when destroyed, and the explosion gives an obvious opportunity for a boost.

Mario Jump

A 'Mario' jump inherits its name from the Nintendo classic Super Mario Brothers for the Nintendo console. Similar in principle to the circle jump, it is basically jumping off a lower ledge which is perfectly parallel to an upper ledge, clearing the edge of it, and arriving safely atop it. This is a complete violation of physics, but possible in Quake and QuakeWorld. Typically, a Mario jump is executed while running off the edge, turning your avatar 180 degrees very quickly, firing a rocket into the ground and jumping at the same time, then accelerating forward (which, due to the 180 degree turn, will produce a 'backward' effect). This is essentially producing the Mario effect with a rocketjump.

Exotic combinations

Speedrunners have exploited different boosts in every conceivable way. One famous jump includes two simultaneous fiend boosts and a slope jump, to reach incredible heights in episode 1, map 4. Some have performed jumps by using three ogre grenades that hit the player simulatenously. Utilizing both a grenade jump and a slope jump together has now become common, but it still looks amazing when performed well. Circle jump together with a grenade jump was one of the most acclaimed tricks in the speedrun "Quake done Quicker".

Quad damage

Main article: Quad damage

In the game Quake the Quad gives you four times the firepower. This allows you to gib your foes with the greatest of ease. The Quad damage item in Quake III is actually a misnomer, as it grants the player only 3 times the normal firepower.

When the Quad is attained in a team-multiplayer match, it is lost when the person who got it dies - it does not fall to the ground as an item again.

Quad damage is sometimes disabled in multiplayer games because it unbalances the game.

For the unskilled, or just unlucky player, the Quad can potentially be a liability. Because Quad damage affects the damage of explosive weapons as well, a player can much more easily kill themselves with their own splash damage.

Speed runs

A group of expert Quake players recorded demos of Quake levels completed in record time on the "nightmare" skill level and edited them into one continuous 19 min 49 s Quake speed run demo called Quake done Quick (QdQ). The record was later improved in Quake Done Quicker (QdQr) to 16:35 and ultimately in the unbelievable Quake done Quick with a Vengeance (QdQwav) to 12:23. There are plans for creating yet another run through Quake, which will have a time less than 12 minutes. Similar speed runs have been done for Quake mission packs, Quake II and for many Quake single player custom levels (levels created by Quake fans).

Games using the Quake engine

Official or Commercial Mission Packs and Add-Ons (including stand-alone titles).

Games using a modified Quake engine

Replacement Quake/QuakeWorld Engines

Replacing the game engine became possible after the 1999 release of the Quake and QuakeWorld source code under the GPL.

QuakeWorld mods


Popular North American LAN Party Quakecon finds it roots in the game as well. The gaming convention was started up so Quake fans could get together every year and compete on a LAN, on even footing without internet connection latency and packet loss handicapping play.

External links

Template:Quakeda:Quake de:Quake es:Quake fr:Quake nl:Quake pl:Quake zh:雷神之锤 (游戏) fi:Quake sv:Quake ru:Quake


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