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Quake

Boulevard of broken limbs (Quake Art)
Boulevard of broken limbs (Quake Art)

A Flashback

This page is a cut-down version of my former Quake section that had been around here in the late 1990s. Quake is a video game, a game that many consider as the granddaddy of all first-person shooter games. I really loved this game and dare to say that I never had more fun with any other video game than with the original Quake in multiplayer mode. I thought I keep a few words of memory here, in order to pay tribute to all the fellow Quake players from the dawn of online gaming.

So, what is "Quake"?

As said, Quake is a first-person shooter (FPS) game, developed by id Software. It was released in June 1996 and marked a major advance in the 3D game genre. Most notably it featured three-dimensional models for players and opponents instead of two-dimensional sprites and the whole game took place in a three-dimensional world you could freely move around in. It also introduced the use of lightmaps for dynamic light sources, which brought higher realism to the game. The game engine concept allowed the creation of new game environments and modifications to the game behavior to almost everyone. The latter led to an incredible large community who contributed new maps and even complete new games (so called "total conversions") based on Quake.

The game's popularity and the 3D techniques it introduced are said to be the starting point of the 3D graphics card revolution. "GLQuake" (a version of the game based on the OpenGL 3D graphics library) was the first application that showed the true potential of the leading 3D chipset by that time, the 3DFX Voodoo.

Quake had also a pretty good client-server based network playing mode, allowing you to play with or against other human players (multiplayer). This easy to set up feature combined with standalone Quake servers on the Internet has raised the online gaming community with its clans and gaming leagues. With the introduction of Quake, network gaming became the real fun.

The Story

The Quake logo
The Quake logo

In a distant future, mankind has developed a teleportation device, called the "slipgate". These devices are installed in military facilities and are used to transport cargo. One day something went terribly wrong. The slipgate technology opened a portal to another dimension from where an unknown enemy called "Quake" sent horrible demons and death squads into our world. You are a marine soldier finding yourself in the midst of this invasion, apparently as the only leftover human being in the facility. The only way to stop the invasion is to enter the enemy's world through a slipgate and fight against the hundreds and hundreds Quake's minions.

Once you have passed the slipgate, you find yourself in a dark, medieval, gothic style world. You need to solve a few puzzles to proceed deeper into Quake's world. And if you have finally made it you are facing a final battle against the nefarious (and obviously inspired by HP Lovecraft) Shub Niggurath, the mother of all evil.

More about Quake

Measured to today's development teams, the original Quake developer team was relatively small (directly involved into game development were only a dozen persons). The most well known people amongst them were John Carmack, who did the majority of programming work on the game engine, John Romero who heavily influenced the game design and Trent Reznor with Nine Inch Nails, who did the sound design and background music (Trivia: In the game, the ammunition box for nails carries the Nine Inch Nails logo on it).

According to several sources, the name Quake was given to a game id Software was working on shortly after Doom II, their previous game, had been released. Early information described the game more like a role-playing Game (RPG), focusing around a Thor-like hero in medieval environment with castles and dragons, whose primary weapon is a hammer to knock away his enemy. Apparently the long and slow development work finally led to a cut-down version that featured a game style like Doom but still carried the original title. Based on the success of the original Quake, id Software published Quake II and Quake 3 Arena, along with a bunch of "Mission Packs". Further successors are Quake 4 and Quake Wars Enemy Territory, both released in 2005.

Quake's influence can still be felt today. Three years after the original Quake was introduced, the game source code was released by id Software under the GNU General Public License (GPL). This has spawned many projects that further developed, refined and enhanced the original game engine. Even today, almost twenty years after the original game was released, there are still Quake-based games coming up.

Another effect of Quake was the start of the Machinima phenomenon, a kind of film-making with game engines. It gained popularity with the raise of Quake movies by the end of 1996.

Quake is definitely a milestone in the history of computer games and I'm happy to have witnessed this evolutionary step in video gaming...

Quake inside
Quake inside

[Q]AGGRESSOR

Of course, I am a veteran Quake player and on the scene since the zero hour of Quake in 1996. Right after finishing the single player mission of Quake, I started playing over the Internet with an 28k analog modem. Since those days I'm known by the name [Q]AGGRESSOR.

The [Q]AGGRESSOR in-game call sign
The [Q]AGGRESSOR in-game call sign

I've been asked a lot of times what the '[Q]' stands for. Those days you prefixed your in-game name with a couple of letters in square brackets that denoted the "clan" you were playing with (a clan was a group of players that frequently played the game together and competed online against other clans). The simple answer is, that it isn't a clan-sign at all. It just stands for "Quake". I carry this name in this particular unique design since my first online games in 1996 and still use it today when playing online or at LAN parties.

[Q]AGGRESSOR kicks ass
[Q]AGGRESSOR kicks ass

Most of the time I had been a lone fighter but over the years I also joined a couple of clans. At around 1997/1998 I was a member of the "Flying Suicide Commando" (FSC) where I was known as "[FSC]Aggressor". In early 1999 I joined the clan "For Fucks Sake" (FFS) where I went by the name "[FFS]Electro". By the end of 1999 I became a member of the "7. Circle Of Hell" (7COH) where I was known as "[7COH]Khan". Later, roughly around 2002, when I was playing Quake 3 Arena and Quake 3 Team Arena, I joined the clan "Killers In Action" (KiA), where my alias was "[KiA]Genocide". All these clans are out of existence and have sunken into oblivion, but back in the day we had been well-respected Capture-The-Flag players.

Screenshot of a Quake scoreboard anno 1997
Screenshot of a Quake scoreboard anno 1997

Today, I still play Quake from time to time. But those occasions are very rare and you will rather find me in other online games. As I already mentioned, I still use the same name, so look out, maybe we'll meet some day :-)

Logo of my former Quake website
Logo of my former Quake website

To finish this flashback, let me send out some greetings!

I greet all my former clan mates as well as all the fellow Quake players that had been on the "ZEKI", "TOPSID" and "LOCANET" servers. Special greetings go to the veterans of clan TGC, we had great fun! And of course greetings to all the other Quake players out there that had (and sometimes still have) a helluva time with Quake.

Greets,

[Q]AGGRESSOR (aka TheBlackzone)

 

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