Thursday, 9 June 2011

Quake (PC)


Played using Fitzquake.

I love the Quake logo, they got it dead on perfect in my opinion. They changed it for the sequels and somehow made it just as perfect for them too.

I guess someone at id must really like nails, seeing as there's a nail on the logo, nail guns and super nail guns in game... they even got Nine Inch Nails to do the soundtrack.

Because menus are dull and don't have any cool shadows, lava pits or people nailed to the walls, Quake uses hallway and portal based difficulty and episode selection instead.

Hard mode is so hard that I can actually die by falling in the lava while trying to get to its portal, and Nightmare mode is so challenging that the portal for it is hidden as a secret on the the way to the fourth episode.

I'm just glad I didn't have to change any other options this way or else I'd be stuck wandering here for hours just trying to redefine my controls.

I have all four episodes available to me from the start, but I'll go with episode one on normal difficulty because I'm boring.

Plus the 'Dimension of the Doomed' sounds like a cheerful place to visit.

I find myself in a futuristic military complex, the sole survivor after the base was overrun by an ancient evil, with the rest of the soldiers transformed into enemy zombies... I must find the portal at the heart of the installation and take the fight to them.

Oh, 'Dimension of the DOOMed', I get it now.

I stormed into the main complex and found a couple of Grunts and a Rottweiler wandering around dangerously close to a convenient explosive crate... it wasn't the most impressive explosion I've ever seen, but it did the job.

The enemy in this have been fairly stupid so far. Combat has been entirely about shooting them before they can shoot me, and moving around a lot. Which actually suits me fine.

A quad damage power up, hidden behind a computer monitor! I love these, they do exactly what you'd expect. 4 times the damage for a limited time only.

I have to feel sorry though for the poor enemy bastards who can't find secrets or even pick up items. They patrol past quad damages, super shotguns, extra armour etc. all day, and they can't take any of them. And they are really going to wish they'd picked this up first in a few seconds.

Quake loves its hidden enemies, ready to appear from behind a moving wall, jump out of the shadows, or teleport in whenever I inadvertently trigger them. Like when I collected this nail gun from the center of a suspiciously dark and empty room for instance.

It's okay though, I collected a nail gun! Plus I still have quad damage active, so this guy's going to be sprayed across the walls in a second or two.

I love the guy's face when he's using quad damage. That's the face of someone who REALLY wants to kill shit.

Quake has a lot of bullet triggered secret doors around. There's no action key, all doors must be unlocked by either walking into buttons or shooting something.

In this case shooting the red target on the right got me a shiny new double barrelled shotgun from that door on the left. Finally my dreams of being able to kill a Grunt in one shot have come true!

I'm not really that keen on tricky jumps in first person shooters generally, especially in Quake where the hero has no height to his jumps. But I think I can make it over to those steps. Probably.

You know, maybe I should go find that hazard suit first. I have to admit that there's a good chance I'm going to be going for a swim, and that water does not look healthy.

I love Quake's architecture and art style. Rusty run-down sci-fi corridors leading to dank medieval stone castles.

A lot of people have complained that it looks entirely green and brown, and it clearly does. It's practically monochrome at times. But I think it suits the game, it's an appealing look to me.

Quake 64 (Nintendo 64)
Just out of curiosity I thought I'd check to see how Quake 64 compares. It's bright and colourful and they totally ruined my favourite corridor on level 1! I think I prefer the PC version's shadows and earth tones.

Level two introduces the Ogre, a charming fellow who likes to fire grenades my way, and lunge at me with a chainsaw if I get too close. He doesn't like it much when I run around him with a nail gun, dodging his grenades and shooting him from out of his chainsaw range however.

It's funny how this game doesn't have a single weapon that fires bullets. No pistols, sub machine guns, assault rifles, sniper rifles... only nail guns.

It's a shame I can't pick these grenades up and throw them back at him. Or even just pick up his grenade launcher when he's dead. The chainsaw would have been nice too.

I shot the button on the wall, and the pillars split to reveal steps leading to the armor on display in the center of the room. It couldn't have been cheap or easy to build that complex and pointless mechanism into the walls of this stone fortress, but I'm glad they did.

The design of these levels really doesn't make any sense at all, but that's not actually a bad thing in my opinion. It's supposed to be a twisted realm of weirdness, they're not going for ultra realism here.

This poor fiend was all ready to jump out of the door and eat my face while I was distracted by the floating block door unlocking mechanism. Unfortunately for him I'm standing on one of the floating blocks, and I have quad damage, so it ain't really his day.

I've found the grenade launcher! Everyone has grenade launchers now, it's a grenade party in here. Grenades bouncing off every wall, chunks of fallen foes spraying across the floor... it's all going on.

Zombies are immune to all non-explosive weaponry, so it's fortunate I picked this thing up.

Well, actually they're not a massive threat. If I leave them they'll just slowly shuffle around, trying to throw parts of their body at me. But they annoy me, so they're getting 'sploded.

Four grenades, four zombies down!

It looked more impressive in motion. Well, okay not by much.

Crap, now I'm against TWO fiends. And this time I haven't got a floating block or a quad damage.

I was actually doing alright here until I stepped back and fell down a lift shaft.

Another cunning switch shooting puzzle. One carefully aimed shot at the target on the right, and the ceiling will crash down onto anyone unlucky enough to be caught underneath.

Level 5, Gloom Keep. Yeah, it does look a bit miserable.

It's not all bad though. They've kept all the torches burning to add a bit of light.

That's a smart way to handle a tricky jump. To get over here I had to jump from the stairs to the L shaped wall on the top right, which is wide enough at the back to make the landing easy. Then I was able to get enough of a run up on the other edge of the wall to jump here easily.

Nice impossible shadow. There's nothing up there to cast this.

Oh shit! I went through the portal and found myself right next to a bloody Shambler. I hate these things.

Fortunately I went through the reverse side of the portal first and found a handy quad damage before I came here.

This is definitely a game for fans of shadows.

Whoa, the rocket launcher actually does fire rockets. They move so fast that all I've ever seen of them was an orange dot and a smoke trail.

I don't really like the look of the weapon much though, not from this view anyway. It just doesn't look much like a rocket launcher to me at all.

Uh, I seem to have accidentally locked myself into a hallway with a large spiky crushing plate at the end. And it's heading my way. Well it had to happen sooner or later I suppose.

I've got to feel sorry for this guy. He leaped at me with so much enthusiasm that he jumped too high to get into my little alcove. Then he jumped again and missed the bridge on the way down...

That was the last I saw of him, so either he's not very heat resistant, or he can't swim. Either way he's not my problem any more. Now I've got the key I can stroll right on into the level exit.

OH SHIT, ANOTHER SHAMBLER! I wish these things would stop jumping out at me. They take so much damage to kill, and they tend to shoot me with lightning.

First boss fight! Actually it's more of a race. I have to do a few laps around the outside of the level faster than he can throw rocks at me, and this will activate the pylons and electrocute him.

He deserves it though, for being stupid enough to hang out in the one room that can kill him. There's plenty of places he could have taken a lava bath which don't have huge lethal electricity pylons on the ceiling, but I guess it never occurred to him than anyone would try pressing the huge obvious buttons on the ground that are near impossible not to activate just by running away from his rocks.

And that's the first 30 minutes of Quake.

Is Quake as good as I remember, or is the gameplay now hopelessly archaic? Well I only played the first episode, but I'm going to have to say, yeah this is as good as it ever was. Better now in fact, with the improved graphics. I never once found myself frustrated due to it missing something I take for granted in modern first person shooters.

For the first episode at least, Quake gets every award I've got to give it.



  1. Brilliant commentary. I remember clearly the first Christmas after team fortress was released, the grenades were substituted for presents. And the Hyper review previous had me salivating. Keep 'em coming!

  2. Agreed, I remember that too! I couldn't possibly begin to understand why though. Also, clamouring for the gas masks when you couldn't actually fit a single person into the chamber before the first patch. And 2fort4 played on repeat, endlessly. And the early grappling hook mod for the axe. The NIN soundtrack still gets time on my playlist. Epic game.

  3. This is missing the "Quake" label, ironically.

    1. Fixed!

      Thanks for that, I'd totally missed it.


Semi-Random Game Box