My first encounter with Quake was in college. I downloaded Qtest, which was released on February 24th, on the school’s T3 network and proceeded to deathmatch with other students. We had a blast of course. But, I’ve always been more of a single player experience sort of gamer. Some people were fine with just Qtest, but I was waiting patiently for the game to be finished.
I bought the shareware CD at retail since there was not a big box release in the beginning.
I remember my PC struggling with the game for a number of reasons. For one thing most youngsters don’t realize that 3D accelerator cards were not super common at the time; Quake was built for 2D video cards. Second, I owned a Cyrix 100 Mhz CPU. Cyrix was the very definition of crap, so my framerates were not amazing. If I’m remembering my timeline properly Quake was the game that pushed me to finally rebuild my PC to include one of those fancy Intel Pentium processors.
I’ll never forget seeing that demo sequence for the first time with the Nine Inch Nails score.
Quake represents a time when games and game developers were more open. Quake wasn’t just a game, it was like a development platform for the intrepid mod creators and map-makers out there. Buying Quake was like getting a gaming Lego set; you could build just about anything out of it. At the time id Software seemed like they were part of the same crowd as the rest of us. Juxtapose Quake with id Software’s newest Doom release and you’ll see that those days truly are gone.
To the outside observer it seems like Quake was the game that ripped id Software apart. The greatest art is always created under strained circumstances.
Raise a glass for Quake today. The game changed video games forever.
Want to mod Quake to take advantage of HD hardware? Here’s a tutorial I whipped up a while ago: