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Entry updated 21 August 2012. Tagged: Game.

Videogame (1996). id Software (id). Designed by John Carmack, American McGee, Sandy Peterson, John Romero, Tim Willits. Platforms: DOS, Lin (1996); rev vt VQuake (1996); rev vt QuakeWorld (1996); Mac, Saturn, Mainframe (1997); rev vt GLQuake (1997); rev vt WinQuake (1997); Amiga, N64 (1998); PPC (2002); rev vt Quake Mobile WinPhone (2005).

The First Person Shooter Quake was the successor to Doom (1993), and shares many of its predecessor's strengths and weaknesses. The major changes in Quake were technological; while Doom's world is not fully three-dimensional, improvements in available hardware platforms meant that the previous game's restrictions could be lifted for Quake. Graphics are much more detailed, though there are fewer enemies as a result of the greater technical resources required to display them. As with Doom, player versus player Quake matches were, and to some extent still are, highly popular as a competitive sport. Quake's gameplay is an intensified version of that seen in the earlier game, focusing on the adrenaline rush of continuous combat in an ominous world reminiscent of the Clive Barker film Hellraiser (1987). The story, by contrast, is even less important than in Doom. The US government has opened a portal into another dimension, and hostile demons have emerged; the player, a nameless soldier, is sent in to stop whatever is responsible for the invasion, an entity codenamed "Quake". The various areas within the portal show a range of Gothic and dark fantasy influences, partially as a result of conflicting design visions prevalent in id Software during development; H P Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos is a common theme.

The Quake series, similarly to Final Fantasy, includes games which share common themes and gameplay, but are not necessarily set in the same fictional background. Thus, Quake II (1997 id, Win; 1998 Lin; 1999 Mac, N64, PS1; 2002 Amiga) is a gameplay sequel to Quake with a Space Opera setting. The player is a soldier taking part in a counter attack against the home planet of hostile alien Cyborgs known as "Stroggs". Immediately after the landing most of the player's companions are killed or captured, leaving them to penetrate the aliens' capital and kill their leader without assistance. The background is essentially a transposition of the settings of Quake and Doom (1993) into sf terms; the Stroggs are psychopathically obsessed with war and human vivisection, making them as perfect an enemy as the demons of the earlier games. Quake III Arena (1999 id, Lin, Mac, Win; 2000 DC; 2001 rev vt Quake III: Revolution PS2; 2010 rev vt Quake Live Web; 2010 rev vt Quake Arena Arcade XB360), by contrast, concentrates almost entirely on multiplayer combat in temporary Online Worlds. A single-player mode is available with computer controlled opponents. Quake III: Team Arena (2000 id, Win) is an expansion pack designed to add team-based competitive play. Quake 4 (2005 Rave Software / id, Lin, Win, XB360; 2006 Mac) is a story sequel to Quake II, in which the player character is assigned to help conquer the Strogg machine planet after their leader was killed at the end of the earlier game. The linear storyline is somewhat stronger than in Quake II, featuring a disturbing sequence in which the protagonist is captured and forcibly cyborged, while the gameplay is broadly similar. Enemy Territory: Quake Wars (2007 Splash Damage, Lin, Win; 2008 Mac, PS3, XB360) designed by Paul Wedgwood again focuses on online multiplayer combat, but emphasizes conflicts between competing teams given specific objectives and equipped with aircraft and land vehicles, as opposed to Quake III's largely personal duels. A minimal backstory justifies the battles as occurring during the Strogg invasion of Earth which takes place before Quake II.

Related works: Quake Mission Pack #I: Scourge of Armagon (1997 Hipnotic Interactive, DOS; 2005 PPC) and Quake Mission Pack #2: Dissolution of Eternity (1997 Rogue Entertainment [RE], DOS; 2005 PPC) are expansions for Quake, including new missions, enemies and weapons. Quake II Mission Pack: The Reckoning (1998 Xatrix Entertainment, Win), Quake II Mission Pack: Ground Zero (1998 RE, Win) and Quake II Netpack I: Extremities (1998 id, Win) are similar extensions for Quake II; Extremities is a collection of modifications designed by amateurs. [NT]

see also: Nine Inch Nails; Machinima.


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