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Quake logo (front cover version)
Studio United StatesUnited States id software
Publisher United StatesUnited States GT Interactive
Senior Developer
composer Trent Reznor
MS-DOS, Windows: May 31, 1996 1996 macOS: March 5, 1997 Sega Saturn: December 3, 1997 November 1997 Nintendo 64: March 24, 1998 May 24, 1998 Linux: May 20, 1999 1999
North AmericaNorth America
European UnionEuropean Union

North AmericaNorth America

North AmericaNorth America
European UnionEuropean Union

North AmericaNorth America
European UnionEuropean Union

North AmericaNorth America
European UnionEuropean Union
platform Amiga , MS-DOS , Microsoft Windows , Linux , Mac OS Classic , Sega Saturn , Nintendo 64 , Atari Falcon
Game engine Quake engine
genre Ego shooter
Subject Science fiction , dark fantasy
Game mode Single player , multiplayer
control Keyboard , mouse , gamepad
system advantages
PC : 66 MHz processor , FPU , 8 MB RAM, 80 MB free hard disk space, 1 MB graphics card ;
IRIX 5.3, Linux 1.3.88, MS-DOS 5.0, Solaris 2.5.1, Windows 95
medium 1 CD-ROM , download
language English
Current version 1.08 (DOS)

1.09 (WinQuake)

1.09 / 0.98 (GLQuake)
Age rating
PEGI recommended for ages 16+
information Indicated in Germany until November 2011.

Quake (English "quake", colloquially in the sense of earthquake ) is a video game and the first part of the Quake series . The game was published by id Software in 1996 and was, after the action game Descent , the first first person shooter to use not only a real 3D environment, but also opponents and, for the first time, objects made of polygons . Earlier first-person shooters such as Doom or Duke Nukem 3D depicted the characters and objects using 2D graphics (so-called sprites ) due to the low processing power of the computers at the time.

In addition to the normal software-rendered version, there is also the hardware-accelerated GLQuake , which among other things enables the display of bilinear filtered textures.

Since the source code has been released as open source by id Software , there are some source ports. These enable u. a. Playing under new operating systems, with high resolution, 3D acceleration and graphic effects. The best known is the Sourceport DarkPlaces from Forest "LordHavoc" Hale.

The music for the computer game was composed by Trent Reznor's Nine Inch Nails . This band's logo - NIИ - can also be found on nailgun ammo boxes in the game.


In secret experiments with slipgate technology, portals are opened into another dimension. A demonic force, codenamed Quake, has now used the portals to raid the military research base and overpowered the entire crew. The player is the only surviving person on the base and sets out to enter the alien dimensions through the portals and fight the unknown enemy.

The world of Quake was particularly inspired by the Cthulhu myth created by HP Lovecraft , which can be seen in the design of the monsters, the archaic-alien architecture and the naming of the levels.

The player character from Quake can be found with the name "Ranger" among the selectable game characters in Quake III Arena (1999) and in Quake Champions (2016).

Course of the game

The game is split into four episodes, each starting in a different part of the military base. At the end of this relatively simple starting level there are teleporters that take you into a strange dimension, in which the rest of the respective episode takes place. In addition to the fights, various key and switch puzzles must be solved within the levels, the player must avoid traps and find the right path in the often winding structure. There are several secret rooms hidden in each section of the game, often containing useful items. In addition, there is a secret level in each episode, access to which must first be discovered by the player. The level of difficulty increases in the following levels (better hidden traps, opponents become stronger and more numerous). The episodes each end with a particularly challenging fight, sometimes against a boss . At the end of the game, the Shub-Niggurath entity must be defeated.


The opponents are divided into two groups according to the military base scenario and the other scenarios. In the starting levels of each episode, the player first meets former human soldiers who have been manipulated by an unknown force:

  • Grunt : former common soldier, armed with a shotgun
  • Enforcer : more armed soldier with an energy weapon
  • Rottweiler : trained watchdog

In the alien dimensions you have to fight against the following monsters:

  • Ogre : human-like monster armed with a chainsaw and grenade launcher
  • Fiend : a creature armed with horns and sharp claws that attacks with quick jumping attacks
  • Scrag : levitating creature that spews flying projectiles
  • Zombie : a walking corpse that can only be finally killed by grenades or missiles
  • Rotfish : a snappy fish
  • Spawn : a tarry thing that bounces around wildly and explodes upon physical contact
  • Knight : light swordsman
  • Death Knight : heavier variant of the swordsman, who also has a fan-shaped long-range attack
  • Vore (also called Shalrath ): monster with a distantly human-like upper body and a three-legged, spider-like lower body; hurls target-seeking explosive devices
  • Shambler : Yeti- like colossus that attacks the player from a distance with lightning strikes and in close combat with swipes

Multiplayer mode

Quake has a multiplayer mode with which you can play with or against other players over a network ( LAN ) and on the Internet .

Although there have been multiplayer tournaments before Quake, the game has of id Software a great influence on the development of e-sports had. One of the game's developers, John Carmack , announced his 1987 Ferrari 328 GTS as the winner of the 1997 “Red Annihilation Tournament” sponsored by Microsoft. With this award the public's interest was drawn to a computer game tournament for the first time. Dennis "Thresh" Fong won the tournament.

Since December 1996 there has also been a separate multiplayer client optimized for the Internet called QuakeWorld (or QW for short). QuakeWorld sparked the first big boom in Internet multiplayer in the first person shooter genre. In addition to a steadily growing number of deathmatch cards, the players developed a number of new game modes for Quake that same year, many of which have since been adopted in subsequent first-person shooters, including Capture the Flag and the class-based Team Fortress .

After the source code was published by id Software in 1999, QuakeWorld experienced a renaissance: Projects such as FuhQuake and moreQuakeWorld brought up-to-date technologies and many detailed improvements, ezQuake is currently the most advanced QuakeWorld client.


There are two official expansions for Quake :

  • Quake Mission Pack I: Scourge of Armagon - Released February 27, 1997, developed by Hipnotic Interactive ( Ritual Entertainment )
  • Quake Mission Pack II: Dissolution of Eternity - Released March 26, 1997, developed by Rogue Entertainment


Many players have created their own levels and player models and have added their own changes to the game itself. This resulted in modifications ( English Mods ) that allow completely new game variants or in some cases have nothing to do with the original storyline of Quake , for example the car racing game Quake Rally . This is possible with the QuakeC programming language integrated in the Quake engine , a simplified form of the C programming language with which game sequences can be defined in Quake.


With the release of the source code, ports of the game engine for different platforms were first developed, which made it possible to play Quake on these (e.g. Linux , Windows , ZETA or, more recently, Symbian ). The name of the new game base also comes from this time: the so-called ports . Little by little, these projects became more and more mature, and new functions were always added or existing ones expanded. In the meantime there are ports that can catch up with current games in terms of effects. These ports have developed in two areas: a) for the single player with many effects and fine structures as well as significantly increased details and b) for the multiplayer mode, in which primarily playing via networks and compatible clients is made possible.


Todd Hollenshead, then managing director at id Software, said in an interview that a filming was planned, but no dates are known yet. Furthermore, the response to the filming of Doom would not affect the project, but the interests of the film companies. In the meantime it has become quiet about an adaptation.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. American McGee on Quake . Quaddicted. 2011. Accessed December 13, 2014.