Quake II

a game by Activision, and Raster Productions L.L.C.

Platforms: PSXNintendo 64Nintendo 64PC

Genre: Shooting Games

See also: Quake Games

Quake and Quake II are more than just games on the PC-they're a religion for countless deathmatch devotees. But for console gamers, the Quake name has hardly achieved holy-moly status. The Saturn and N64 ports of the original Quake were adequate sure, but they were lacking in one key area: multiplayer. Activision is averting that particular mistake with Quake II for the N64. Developed by Raster Productions and approved by id Software, Quake II packs four multiplayer modes, and--unlike Midway's port of Quake--it supports four players.

As far as the single-player game goes. Quake II producer Marty Stratton explained, "We asked what do people like about the original and what they don't. Gamers really seemed to like the weapons and enemies." Consequently, the N64 version packs all the same enemies and weapons, including the rail gun and BFG.

The 19 single-player levels and seven deathmatch maps were designed by Rogue, who created the add-on levels for the second Quake II mission pack on the PC. Stratton explained that if you've played through the 39 levels of Quake II on the PC. some of the N64 version's environments may seem familiar. "Occasionally you'll see half a level or half a room that you'll recognize," he said, "but essentially all the levels have been redesigned. And of course all the levels have secrets like the PC version."

The developers gave Quake II a graphical facelift, too. All the textures have been retouched and rerendered in i6 Bit color, as opposed to the PC version's 8-Bit color palettes. The Expansion Pak adds some visual spark, too (see caption above). Still, a few sacrifices were made. Enemies have lost a few frames of animation, although they still duck and sidestep to dodge your fire. Your character's ability to duck has been taken out, too. No big deal, though; with the RAM Pak in place, Quake II looks even better than the hardware-accelerated PC version. Honest.

  • MANUFACTURER - Raster Productions

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Quake II Downloads

Quake II download

Repeat after me: This is not a PC game... This is not a PC game... This is not a PC game. Okay, do you understand that this is not a PC game yet? Do you need to say it a few more times? Why am I saying this, you ask? Because even though I have always said that I do not use my PC for games, Voodoo 3 has changed my mind. I am addicted to Half-Life death matches and I just finished the single player version of Unreal. For those of you that do not play PC games and have never seen a Voodoo 3 card (or any of the new 3D cards for that matter) in action, you should be fine with Quake II. For those of you who are like me and are helpless against the powers of these above-mentioned PC games, you will find yourself repeating "remember, this is not a PC game".

Actually, Quake II is a PC game and this game is modeled after it. This version has new mission-based levels that are supposedly different from the PC game. Since I have not played the PC game (I'm waiting for Quake III), I can only trust that this game is different. For those of you that have not heard of the Quake games before, they are traditional first person shooters, ala Doom. It is up to you to frag your way through a ton of missions by blasting everything in sight just trying to stay alive. If you are up for one of the more bloody games on the N64, read on.


The developer worked very closely with Id, the creators of the Quake series to ensure that the game represents the Quake name in a very positive light. For the most part they have succeeded. Even if you have not played any of the other quake games, you should quickly find yourself immersed in the worlds and looking to battle on. If it were not for a few minor issues, this would have been a really good game. As it stands now, it is still pretty fun with non-stop action.

I always wondered why it was that PC gamers seemed to hate console games but I now understand. First off, I must say that playing console games can be much harder than playing a PC game and that is very evident in this game. See, all PC games let you save your progress at any point throughout your mission. Most console games make you complete a mission before you are allowed to save. This never really bothered me before but I have really gotten used to saving at any time. Now I have to agree with the PC gamers in that this really sucks. I can't tell you haw many times in this game that I battled through the level only to get near the end and die. In a PC game, no big deal. You just reload from the last place you saved (I usually save after every confrontation). Not here. You have to start from the very beginning of the level and go through the same stuff that you have just gone through only to get back to the same place you died before. The idea of these games is to move forward and let the story grow. Playing through each level three times because you keep dying does not help anything except your frustration level. Trust me, there is nothing worse than playing a level for 30 minutes only to die and have to go through it all over again. Sometimes the motivation is just not there. This is why I think console games can be harder to finish than a PC game.

As long as we are getting the complaints out of the way first, I may as well get them all over with now. The other thing that bothered me about the game was the controls. Actually, this is not really fair. It is more the controller that is the problem. I just hate the damn N64 controller. You can customize your controls but there is just no way to physically change the controller itself. I died more times than I can remember just because I hit the wrong tiny yellow button. Very frustrating. One thing on the control front that was their fault was the occasional lag between pressing the trigger and the weapon actually shooting. This did not happen often but there were times that I would press the fire button and nothing would happen. Very lame.

Okay, enough of the bad stuff. Lets talk about the cool stuff in the game. First off, this is one bloody and gory game. There are blood splats all over, decapitations and cries of pain. I am so glad to see Nintendo loosen up on their kiddy games only policy. It is nice to see some adult oriented games finally making their way on to this system. I think that this is where the PSX really has a huge advantage on the N64. They have a large variety of games to suit gamers of all ages. I think Nintendo is finally doing a good job to lessen this gap. Anyway, there is not shortage of red stuff flying and splattering.

I actually enjoyed the mission-based concept that the game uses. Instead of just going along, battling your way to freedom or saving the world, you have specific missions that need to be accomplished. While the missions usually revolved around finding this item or activating that item, I still liked the fact that there were clear-cut objectives that would change quite often. I think this helped keep the game fresh because you never really knew what you were going to be asked to do next.

What first person shooter would be complete without a host of kick-ass weapons? You will not be disappointed with the arsenal of weapons you will encounter in this game. Early on in the game you will find the standard shotgun but the super shotgun is not too far behind. Both of these weapons pack some pretty decent firepower. From there, you will find the machine gun, chain gun, grenade launcher, rocket launcher, hyper blaster, rail gun and the BFG 10K. There are not many wussy weapons as they all inflict some serious damage on the enemies. There is nothing that is quite as cool as using the BFG 10K. Trust me.

For all of you multi-player hounds out there, Quake II packs a few different options for your fragging pleasure. I personally don't like multi-player on consoles because you are on the same screen and all you have to do is look over and see what the other guy is doing (come on, don't tell me you never do that). But for those of you who still like it, here are your options. First, you have the standard death match. This is the good old faithful of multi-player gaming with eight different arenas to play in. Go out there and kick some ass and try to survive. The next mode available is called Fragteams. This is similar to the death match, only you can be on teams. You can play two on two, two on one, or three on one. Bottom line is that if they ain't on your team, start shooting. The third mode available is called Flagwars. This is basically capture the flag and the objective is to get your opponents flag and bring it back to your base without dying. Sounds easy enough, right? Right... Finally, there is Deathtag. This has you grabbing a flag and trying to keep a hold of it as long as you can. If you don't have the flag, try to kill the guy with the flag. The longer you hold the flag, the better your score.

Graphics and Audio

Remember what I told you at the beginning? This is not a PC game. It took me a while to adjust down my expectations of graphics. I have gotten so used to the like of Half-Life and Unreal that when I first started up this game, I was appalled by how bad it looked. Then I had to take a step back and remember that I was comparing two separate mediums and that was not fair to the N64 to compare it with Voodoo 3 on a PII-350. Once I reminded myself that this was not a PC game, I found the graphics to be pretty decent. The characters were a bit blocky and the blood splattering was unrealistic looking because it was too symmetrical (it looked like perfect circles of blood). Other than this, the worlds all looked pretty good. By the way, the game supports the RAM pak so if you don't have one already, I suggest you go out and pick one up. One last comment on the audio. I normally don't talk about audio unless it is really good or really bad and in this case, there was something that was bad. I was really disappointed in some of the sounds from the weapons. The machine gun in particular sounds like popcorn popping. It is hard to be a bad-ass when your gun sounds like jiffy-pop.

Bottom Line

If you are big into first person shooters then you should enjoy this game. I think I had higher expectations because I know Id is renowned for awesome games. I wish it was possible to save in the middle of the missions (or at least have check points) because there was more than one occasion where I had to motivate myself to start a level over. I think people who enjoy multi-player on a console should have hours of fragging fun. Just remember to repeat "this is not a PC game" and you should be fine.

reggie posted a review

People say:


Go ahead and breathe a sigh of relief: Unlike previous console Doom and Quake ports, Quake M's multiplayer modes rock. I was a little worried when I played an earlier version, back when the frame-rate stuttered severely with four players and was just as choppy as Turok 2. No worries now. Four-player in Quake II--while by no means silky-smooth--is certainly smooth enough and very playable. You get just about all the modes you could want, too. Aside from the requisite Deathmatch and excellent team-play variations, Quake II packs a proper capture-the-flag Mode--the best reason to play this game with three friends. A cool kill-the-carrier-style Deathtag Mode rounds out the multiplayer options. The 10 Deathmatch maps are well-designed and just about the right size for four players. I only wish Quake II offered cooperative multiplayer play for the singleplayer game. Speaking of which, the 19-level one-player mode doesn't disappoint. Sure, the story is nonexistent, but the levels - many of them variations of the PC version's-are crammed with enough little objectives for plenty of mindless action. One big gripe: As in every past Doom and Quake port, you can't save during levels. So you're forced to restart levels again and again when you die, no matter how close you get to the level's end.


As a one-player game, Quake II is rather repetitive and pretty typical first-person shooter fare, despite the new home-exclusive stages. This game is strictly about the twitch action and simple puzzles (i-e.. it's no GoldenEye). The multiplayer, however, is great. Lots of modes and a decent frame-rate combine to make this the second best multiplayer FPS for the home consoles (after 007, of course). The BFGs in multiplayer are a bit too common though...


Quake II looks and plays beautifully (especially with the RAM Pak) but becomes annoyingly difficult due to a lack of save points. Games like this MUST have at least one save point in the middle of each level! Granted a number of the stages in Quake II are a bit smaller than you'd expect (thus making it easier to get to the end of the level w/o saving), but they can still be as frustrating as hell. No matter--the multiplayer modes ROCK!


This is considerably better than Midway's effort with the original Quake. It looks great, but it has some slight gameplay problems, the biggest of which is only being able to save between levels. This will result in tantrum-inducing frustration as you have to keep returning to the beginning of a level when you die. Crispin went a funny color several times. Multiplayer is great--it easily outshines Turok 2 in 4P play, though it still doesn't beat 007.

reggie posted a review

Quake 2 Expands

Activision's imminent Quake 2 will use the Expansion Pak -- but not for hi-res graphics.

Developers Raster Productions reckon hi-res mode would slow the game down too much, especially in four-player. Instead, the 4Mb memory expansion will be used to enhance the existing graphics, adding more detailed textures, extra colours and a battery of real-time lighting effects.

Quake 2 is due out soon -- we should have a fully light-sourced review for you next issue!

reggie posted a review


With so many first person shooters on the video game market these days, you’d think that they couldn’t make any more good ones, right? Wrong. Activision has brought Quake II to the Sony Playstation with all of the action, graphics and gameplay that made Quake such a huge hit on the PC. The basic storyline is that the Strogg, a formidable cybernetic race, are determined to conquer Earth’s population and launch attacks against our planet. They are an unstoppable evil and they have no reservations about fulfilling their insidious plan to annihilate every living thing on Earth. But Earth has a plan as well. You. You are a space Marine -- Special Operations, elite among the forces. You’ve been dropped behind enemy lines to carry out a reconnaissance mission of the Strogg’s home planet. Your objectives are clear: Infiltrate. Destroy. Survive! You must stop the Strogg plan to wipe out Earth and its inhabitants. Your missions are carried out on a wide variety of battlefields and mazes full of hidden enemies, hidden supplies, and secret passages.


This game has plenty of variety and options to keep you busy in the multiplayer modes, and this is where this game shines, in my opinion. Sure, the single player game is really good, but I had a lot more fun playing with or against a human player. Don’t get me wrong, the single player game is really quite challenging and fun, but the two player games simply take it to the next level.

I don’t know why, but the single player mode does not give you the same option of choosing your battlefield as the two player games do. In the two player modes, you have the choice of playing in 12 different battlefields. The two player games also give you the choice of playing in either the Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch or Versus modes. You can also hook up a multi-tap adapter to the Playstation that allows you to play with up to four people at once. This is where the real fun and competition is found.

The Deathmatch mode is every man for himself in a free-for-all war. In Deathmatch there are no teams. The only objective is to kill your enemies and be the last man standing.

In the Team Deathmatch, you team up to destroy your opponents in an all out battle for "frag" points. If you have set a frag limit in the multiplayer options, it applies to all team member’s frag points. The winner is determined by which team has the most combined frag points. You are scored one frag point for every time you kill the other team and lose points for killing a teammate. Frag points from all team members are added together to determine which team is the winner. The score screen that appears after the game, displays which team is the winner and has the most combined frag points, as well as individual frag points.

When you are ready for the ultimate competition, the Versus mode is the one to play. All of the other modes have health and ammo "power-ups" hidden throughout the playing fields. When you find one, you can restore your health to 100%, or find some ammo to reload your weapon. Not so in the Versus mode. When a player dies, he or she is out for the rest of that round. The goal is to be the last player alive in the round. The last player alive will receive one point for winning the round. All players then restart in the next round. The first player to win the preselected number of rounds wins the game.

I was very impressed with the variety of playing fields available and the number of weapons to be found and used. You are automatically given a Blaster pistol, which is the standard issue rechargeable energy side-arm. It does not require ammunition. It will no doubt be your backup weapon of choice when your other weapons run out of ammo. The Blaster can keep you alive until you are lucky enough to either find another weapon or until you run across some more ammo. It is not quite as effective as other weapons such as the Super Shotgun, but it surely is better than nothing. There are nine other weapons from which to choose including shotguns, Machine Guns, Chain Guns, Grenade and Rocket Launchers and other high-tech energy weapons that can help keep you alive. As you journey through the various playing fields, you’ll soon find that it’s best not to leave any stone unturned. There are many hidden power-ups, weapon caches, and supplies just waiting for you to find. Many of the supplies can give you great advantage over your opponents. You can even pickup three different types of armor to increase your survivability from attack. If you stumble across a Bandoleer it will increase your capacity for some types of ammunition. An Ammo Pack will allow you to carry even more ammo on your back. This comes in handy when you are surrounded by enemies with little or no chance of finding more ammo until you blast your way into the next level.

Other supplies include an environment suit, a power shield, and four other power-ups to give you greater than normal capabilities. Using these power-ups will surely be to your advantage.

One of the nice aspects of the game is the ability to save your progress on a memory card to continue on your quest to defend the planet. This game only requires one block of memory space.

Quake II is also packed with 13 different varieties of formidable enemies. Each one has its own strengths and characteristics that are sure to keep you challenged and on your toes. You really don’t know what you’re going to run into as you move into each different area. Some enemies are easier to destroy than others, but be careful; they will often gang up on you and try to take you out. In addition to the enemies, you’d better be on the lookout for the many environmental hazards throughout the game. You’ll find pools of slime all over the place, which are left over toxic waste from the enemy refineries. This slime eats away at your flesh unless you’re protected by an enviro-suit. You’ll also need to be careful not to step into any lava pools. These can be deadly as well. You can also search for weapons and power-ups underwater, but make sure you come up for air every once in a while, otherwise you just might not make it back to the surface alive. There are also little traps that you’d better beware of or you shall quickly run the risk of extinction.

One of the nice features of this game is the ability to customize the controller to your liking. This made the game much more comfortable and easier to control. The dual shock controllers also add a bit of realism to the game, with lots of feedback from the action. The gameplay is fast and furious, with plenty of challenges to keep you entertained for quite some time. If you are a veteran Quake player on the PC, you even have the option of playing the Playstation version on a standard PC mouse. I think that option would be fine if you were really hooked on the use of a mouse, but I really think the Playstation controllers are far superior. You’ll have to decide for yourself.


I would have to say that overall, the graphics in this game are really quite well done. Some of the enemies are not very detailed, but you really do not want to see them up close anyway. You’d better be blasting them to smithereens quickly, otherwise you’ll soon be made into mince-meat. You should be concentrating on decimating the next enemy in your way, not worrying about how the one in front of you looks, right? The scenes are well detailed and the graphics engine draws them in quickly with little or no delays. They definitely spent the extra time on the graphics in this game and it has paid off.

Bottom Line

This game rocks! I really had a blast moving through the levels and found them to be quite challenging. You will not master this game overnight, that’s for sure. That’s one of the things that makes this game so good. It’s definitely a treat for Playstation owners that have never played Quake before, but I wouldn’t say that it’s any better than the PC versions. It is quite good, however, and the action is about the same. The only real difference is that the Playstation’s limited graphics will never be as good as the higher resolution graphics that you can get from a PC. They are, however one of the better graphics games found on the Playstation. The music is good too and the multiplayer action is definitely the most fun to play.

I would definitely recommend Quake II to any Playstation owner who enjoys first-person shooters. It is really a well-done version of one of the most popular games originally brought out on a PC. The folks at Activision have definitely scored another winner with this version on the Playstation. If action’s what you want, action’s what you’ll get! Just remember, only the stong will survive! Keep your finger on the trigger and beware of everything around you. Listening is just as important as keeping your eyes open. The enemies will make sounds that will clue you in that they’re nearby. Keep looking around and be ready! If you’re quick on your feet, you just might make it through. The planet is counting on you. Good luck, warrior.

reggie posted a review


To really understand how modern gaming came about, you'd only have to look to a handful of companies that have continually pushed both technology and expectations to new levels. id Software is certainly among these innovators, who from Wolfenstein 3D to Quake have proved time and again their ability to wow us, to turn a genre on its head, and to create new excitement and intrigue in a seemingly tired market. It should come as little surprise, then, that Quake II is hands down the best 3D shooter on the shelves today, and once again redefines what we should expect in an excellent first person action title.

The beauty of Quake II is immediately evident from the opening scene -- this game has spectacular ambience, graphics to match (especially in 3Dfx accelerated mode), and level design so good that you'd have to go back to the original Doom to find this kind of balance between clever tricks and traps and a low frustration level. In essence what id has done with Quake II is to return to their roots, but with 1998 technology. Quake II is about combat, and about using your brain as much as your guns. It is, frankly, what the original Quake should have been, and it is worth every penny you'll pay for it if you have any love for this kind of game.


As in most 3D shooters, the basic objectives of Quake II are to blast the bad guys, get the keys, find the doors, advance through all the levels, and finish off the Master of All Evil, thus saving the world. However, what is most exciting about Quake II is that there are coherent and logical mission objectives for each level as well, and that these fit into a larger plot. Yes, it is a plot that would do any science fiction B-movie proud, but it frames the combat in a way that few other 3D shooters do (the exception being LucasArts' Outlaws). These objects and the ambient input and comm chatter from your fellow marines makes Quake II seem much more like a movie than game. This is not to say that it in any way is an interactive movie or gets bogged down in plot -- the day id turns to rail shooters or point/click/kill "action" titles is the day I choose a different occupation; this game is pure adrenaline.

As for the level design, Quake II brings back much of the more linear style of the Doom series and concentrates on making the enemies plentiful and clever, and the weapons and powerups much more realistic and varied. The enemies will, as in other id titles, make you jump when they pop out of the shadows. Their abilities, style of attack, and intelligence are really remarkable. For the first time I've encountered enemies that know when to duck, know when to slink away when they are wounded, only to stalk you when you think they are gone. The AI in Quake II has clearly learned much from some of the 'bot patches that were written for the original Quake, and you will be amazed sometimes to see the guile with which your enemies approach you.

The weapons in Quake II reprise many of those from the winning arsenals of id's previous titles -- the shotgun, chaingun, rocket launcher, and BFG are all back (as well they should be), plus there are railguns, lasers, and grenades for added long-range and area attacks. id shows its smarts again in this area by knowing when to innovate and when to not mess with success, and the result is very similar to what you might have expected had Quake II been titled Doom 3.

All in all, the important thing is that Quake II is great fun, and definitely the best deathmatch title we've seen in a long while.


The graphics in Quake II are superb, with a great deal of variation, stunning ambient lighting effects and weapon light-sourcing, and a color scheme that seems much more realistic and sinister than the green-brown mossiness of Quake. Couple this with a 3Dfx card, and you get a smooth, exciting game experience -- so good that the snarling visage of the half-dog, half-bionic beasts will make you involuntarily push your chair back when they leap at you. If you haven't yet invested in a 3Dfx card, it's time. The prices have steadily dropped and there are enough excellent titles that support the chipset to make it a gaming necessity.


I mentioned the comm chatter earlier, and although that might not sound all that impressive a feature, it adds such a feeling of being involved in a frenetic, high-stakes combat situation that I have to mention it; ask anyone who's played the game and they'll confirm that. Add to the general ambience a much more up-tempo soundtrack, and the gloominess of the original Quake is profitably altered.

System Requirements

Windows 95 or NT 4.0 with 100% compatible computer system, Pentium 100 MHz processor (133 MHz recommended), 16 MB RAM (24 recommended for Win 95, required for Windows NT), 100% SoundBlaster-compatible sound card, joystick and mouse-supported (3-button mouse recommended)

Bottom Line

Quake II is the new reigning champion of 3D action gaming, period. There is not another title out there right now that can compare in terms of exploiting 3D technology, delivering incredibly solid AI and level design, and making the total gaming experience immersive, pulse-pounding, and sometimes downright frightening. Quake II gets multiplayer support down solid and reduces Internet latency to a minimum; id shows here once more why they have always been and continue to be the masters of the first-person shooter that they almost single-handedly invented, nurtured, and sustained. Over the years since Wolfenstein 3D, their competition has steadily grown, innovated and upped the ante, but they have never been able to overtake or outshine id's creations, and with Quake II that remains the case.

reggie posted a review
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