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Quake is a single- and multi-player first-person shooter video game, developed by id Software and published by GT Interactive in 1996, first game in the Quake video game series, and successor to id Software's Doom series building upon the technology and gameplay of its predecessor. Quake was programmed by John Carmack, Michael Abrash, and John Cash. The levels and scenarios were designed by American McGee, Sandy Petersen, John Romero, and Tim Willits, and the graphics were designed by Adrian Carmack, Kevin Cloud and Paul Steed.

In the game, players must find their way through various maze-like environments inspired by medieval fantasy, science fiction, and cosmic horror while battling a variety of monsters using a wide array of weapons.

In the single-player game, the player takes the role of a protagonist known as "Ranger", the sole surviving protagonist of "Operation Counterstrike", who was sent into a portal in order to stop an extra-terrestrial enemy code-named "Quake". The government had been experimenting with teleportation technology and developed a working prototype called a "Slipgate"; the mysterious Quake compromised the Slipgate by connecting it with its own teleportation system, using it to send supernatural death squads to the "Human" dimension in order to test the martial capabilities of humanity, with "Operation Counter-Strike" organized to attempt to stop the invasion.

Ranger must advance through the single-player campaign, starting each of the four episodes from a human military base overrun by Deadite soldiers corrupted by Quake, before fighting his way into other dimensions, reaching them via the Slipgate or their otherworld equivalent. After passing through the Slipgate, Ranger's main objective is to collect four magic runes from four dimensions of Quake (the runes of Earth Magic, Black Magic, Hell Magic, and Elder Magic); these are the key to stopping the enemy "Quake" (later revealed to be "The Witch-Goddess" and "Hell-Mother" Shub-Niggurath), and ending the invasion of Earth.

The single-player campaign consists of 30 separate levels, or "maps", divided into four episodes (with a total of 26 regular maps and four secret ones), as well as a hub level to select a difficulty setting and episode, and the game's final boss level; six levels exclusively designed for multiplayer deathmatch are also included. Each single-player episode represents an individual dimension that the player can access through magical portals (as opposed to the technological Slipgate) that are discovered over the course of the game. The various realms consist of a number of Gothic, medieval, alien, and lava-filled caves and dungeons, with a recurring theme of hellish and satanic imagery reminiscent of Doom (such as pentagrams and images of demons on the walls). The latter is inspired by several dark fantasy influences, most notably that of H.P. Lovecraft. Dimensional Shamblers appear as enemies, the "Spawn" enemies are called "Formless Spawn of Tsathoggua" in the manual, the boss of the first episode is named Chthon, and the final boss is named "Shub-Niggurath" (though actually resembling a Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath). Some levels have Lovecraftian names, such as the Vaults of Zin and The Nameless City. (Originally, the game was supposed to include more Lovecraftian bosses, but this concept was scrapped due to time constraints.)

Mythos Elements

  • races:
  • locations:
    • Dimension of the Doomed, a dimension of drastically varied environments having some amount of age and representing immense structures - crypts, artificial caves, castles and pyramids, including:
      • Castle of the Damned
      • the Necropolis
      • the Grisly Grotto
      • Ziggurat Vertigo
      • Gloom Keep
      • The House of Chthon
    • Realm of Black Magic, a dimension of dark, damp, and decaying castles, crypts and mansions, including:
      • the Ogre Citadel
      • the Crypt of Decay
      • the Underearth
      • the Ebon Fortress
      • the Wizard's Manse
      • the Dismal Oubliette
    • The Netherworld, a dark and barren place, heavily decorated with religious imagery; though the sky is visible at times, the player spends most of their time in subterranean caverns such as in vaults and tombs, including:
      • The Vaults of Zin
      • the Tomb of Terror
      • Satan's Dark Delight
      • the Haunted Halls
      • the Wind Tunnels
      • Chambers of Torment
    • The Elder World, consisting of levels mostly designed by Sandy Peterson, containing a great number of references to H.P. Lovecraft with a Lovecraftian theme, primarily with weird and abstract designs, large arcane structures or locales, mazes deliberately designed for uneasy exploration, and other odd and misfit locations, including: