Quake 1 logo Amiga Format Gold

Months of anticipation and speculation have borne fruit. Andy Smith is now a grenade throwing, teeth grinding, wide-eyed maniac with blood on his hands...

Oh boy. All we've ever had are clones on the Amiga - Testament, Nemac IV and a handful of the others have been good games in their own rights but it's obvious they're Doom clones. Good Doom clones though, because although they look pretty shoddy in parts (some of the monsters in Testament are very 1988), they were great fun to actually play. But for one, and possibly the biggest genre, the day of making do with clones are over. Make way for Quake.

The heavy metallic clang, clang, clang of a grenade bouncing before exploding in a shower of light and destructive energy is a marvellous thing and something that's hard to grow weary of. You'll experience this many times in Quake as you fight your way through the many levels of the game's three episodes.

The biggest advancement Quake has over its predecessors is its 3D-ness. There's none of this pseudo 3D nonsense - this game world is in full, glorious technicolor three dimensions. Balconies above you, walkways around you and dungeons below you all contain solid, gruesome, polygonal baddies - not as many as you'd first imagine, but we'll get to that in a bit - waiting to tear you limb from limb.

Armed with a simple shotgun to start with, the game takes you through progressively harder and larger levels as you try to survive long enough to make it to the level's exit. Along the way you're going to be picking up armour, better weapons and health bonuses. THe running back for the other health bonuses you couldn't pick up because you were at your maximum.

You're going to be moving cautiously through dark tunnels. You're going to be running full-pelt backwards, firing a nail gun at the chainsaw-wielding ogre that's after you. You're going to be searching underwater pools for secret areas that contain those very useful red armour bonuses. You're going to scared witless at the sound of a dead Samurai suddenly jumping out behind you. In essence, you're going to be having a whale of a time.

...even with some of the game's bigger weapons you're going to be pumping shot after shot into the beasts...

Somewhat disappointingly, Quake doesn't deviate from the Doom plot as much as you'd be imagine. This really is all about blood and guts and fighting your way to the exit.

Sure, there are puzzles, of sorts, but these are not exactly difficult because most simply involve pressing a button or a switch here and then trying to find which door/drawbridge/trap has been either opened, lowered or rendered harmless. Clues are even included to help you along - 'The switch for this door is located nearby' is simple enough for even me to comprehend. And you can't exactly miss the coloured keys when you find 'em or know which doors they relate to.

Getting lost in Quake is something you'll do often, but you won't ever be lost for long. Simply backtrack a bit, stop and have a good look round, using the mouse lookabout control, which you'll have configured at the start of the game along with all the other keys you'd rather use. Then hold down the right mouse button (say) to enter lookabout mode and scan the floors and ceiling for clues you may have missed earlier. Clues you probably missed because that zombie you kept shooting kept bloody well getting up again before a well-aimed grenade reduced it to so many chinks of red squelching meat.

Exploration is still a big part of the game. Fortunately, there are some great-looking places to explore., with glorious textures everywhere and splashes of colour aplenty, so you're not going to mind just running about looking around.

Look hard enough and you're going to find those consuming little sidelines - the secrets. Finish a level and it'll happily inform you that you discovered 0/6 secrets. The desire now is to go back and do the level all over again, but this time not just making a panic-dash for the exit but spending some time looking around and seeking out that odd-looking piece of wall or that switch on the floor behind the boxes that will lead you to somewhere a little bit special.

Such is the pull of Quake. Initial fear and panic give way to curiosity and then even a competitive desire to curiosity and then even a competitive desire to not be beaten by the level designers, but to laterally think (sometimes anyway) your way round a level until everything that can be pushed has been pushed and everything that can be pulled has been pulled. And then you'll go and scare yourself all over again as you start the next level and meet some new monsters.

Let's talk about the amount of monsters then. Unlike Doom, there are far less of them in Quake. Sure, they're much better looking, but they rarely attack in more than threes and fours. Is this a big problem? For me, no.

You're going to be running fullpelt backwards, firing a nail gun at the chainsaw-wielding ogre that's after you.

OK, there was a lot of fun to be had in Doom when you could go barrelling into a room full of monsters and just spray the area until nothing continued to move, but hey, that was on the PC. Now the monsters are just meaner and harder. Meaner because they do have a habit of coming out of the most unlikely places at just the wrong time, causing much fear and involuntary yelps, and chaving you around with a horrid glint in their eyes. Harder because even with some of the game's bigger weapons, you're going to be pumping shot after shot into the beasts before they fall over.

Thankfully, you can save the game at any point. This is a double-edged sword though, because it does mean you get into the habit of killing off a few baddies, saving the game just before you go and explore a new part of the level and then simply running about to see what's around, not really caring if you get killed. Then you just go back and reload the game before clearing the area out properly. Obviously, the more seasoned gamers are not going to be saving often because it's more risky that way. I saved the game religiously after every scrap. Ahem.

One place no-one's going to criticise you for saving is when you come across one of the end of level bosses. These huge monstrosities are not only mean and tough but they're persistent too and will hound you down, so you'll have to be pretty creative to kill 'em off sometimes.

Be warned. Nothing sounds better than Quake. If you're deaf, then sorry and all that but you're going to miss out. Aural clues are a very important part of the game, not merely because the guttural moan of a Shambler behind you is guaranteed to give you the willies, but because when you hear a creaking and clanking door open you know that something's happening. Somewhere.

What it is and just how life-threatening it's going to be remains to be seen but believe you me, you'll want the sound up so you can hear every gunshot, squelch, football and bone drop.

Quake is going to take you days to play through, even on Easy. However, the Normal and Hard settings are where the action really is and where you're going to get more bangs for your bucks.

Sadly, the single most enjoyable part of Quake is going to be out of the reach of most gamers - the network option. There are a bunch of special Deathmatch levels that up to 16 networked players can fight each other on, plus all the levels from the main game itself.

If you've got network access then the process is simple: someone becomes the server, decides how many players can join the game and then waits for them to come to him.

Once embarked upon, a network game of Quake can be all-consuming. Hours can pass unnoticed as you all run around the levels, blasting and being blasted. Sadly though, most of you are not going to get the chance to enjoy this feature.

Don't let that put you off. Quake has enough quality in single player mode to more than warrant a purchase (check out the machine spec box first though).

Fast, frenetic, engaging and engrossing, Quake is all of these things and more. It may only be a game, but the whole game world is so realistic that you can't stop your palms from getting sweaty and the hairs on the back of your neck standing up. Quake is gripping chilling stuff. Hurrah!

Nick's Verdict

Quake 1: Nick Veitch Ha ha. Taste some high speed nails, ogre. Now you spawn of evil will feel the awesome power of my righteous weaponry - die you sum, Die, DIE!
Oh, hello. I was just having a little break from writing there. And what better way to relax than by playing a game. The game of the moment here is, of course, Quake.
This is a true 3D game, in a true 3D world where you can interact with true 3D characters. And then shoot them. And this Amiga version of Quake is actually Quake, because it is driven by the same code which ID Software developed for the PC, if you want to play this game properly you will need a fast processor and preferably a graphics card too. If you have anything less than an '040 then it just isn't worth it. I don't think anyone can really complain about that.
I hope that all the people who clamoured for a conversion of this game will now actually go out and buy it, instead of pirating it.

Ben's Verdict

Quake 1: Ben Vost However, not only is their skill level a bit of a hindrance to me wanting to play a network game with them - so's my machine. On my standard A4000/'040 with 16Mb of fast RAM and no graphics card (a machine that we all salivated when it first came out), I get shot by Nick within seconds when we Deathmatch. While I'm not ace at this type of game, the reason is that he can have Quake running at almost full screen, but to make mine playable it has to be in a tiny window, so the first I often know about Nick being around is when my screen turns sideways to indicate me having a bit of a lie down, what with metal fatigue and lead poisoning (being shot).
The answer is that if you've got the spec, this is the game for you, especially if you're on the net. If not, now is the time to buy that PPC accelerator and graphics card that you've always wanted...

Machine of a dream...

There's no getting away from the fact that you need a high-end machine to run Quake satisfactorily. You could try your normal A1200 but the chances are you'll only end up crying tears of frustration. What you need, and this is probably the most important bit, is a decent graphics card. An '060 processor is going to help a great deal too, as is a fair wedge of fast memory.
You can tweak the game around a bit and try to run it in a smaller window to some effect if your machine's not quite up to top of the range standard, but the chances are you're still going to be disappointed at the slower frame rate. If you haven't got an Amiga with go-faster stripes then you really are going to be disappointed, so bear that in mind before ordering your copy.

Quake 1 logo CU Amiga Super Star

Price: £29.99   Original developer: ID Software   Amiga Developer: ClickBOOM   Web: http://www.clickboom.com

The most talked about Amiga game in years is here, and the impossible made possible. Welcome to Amiga Quake.

Some people upgrade their computers to get better Internet access. Some people upgrade for improved graphics handling, others to make codec algorithms run faster. None of the above reasons are nearly as common amongst PC owners than upgrading to get a better Quake frame rate. If Amiga owners follow suit there are going to be some pretty happy hardware manufacturers out there over the next few months, because a lot of Amiga owners are going to have to upgrade to get the most out of Amiga Quake. The happy news is of course that it is worth it.

Quake, for those who have not been paying attention to the world of computer games in the last 18 months, is a first-person perspective blaster along the lines of Doom, but set in a true 3D world in which you can look and aim at any angle. There is a story, of sorts, about a bad guy and slip-gates, but it is best ignored. The basic premise is that you are a mercenary sent hopping through the dimensions to fight assorted demons and monsters hunting the four runes that you need to defeat the big boss of badness.

Welcome to Hell
Visiting an assortment of futuristic bases and sword and sorcery style wizard's towers, you roam around killing everything that moves, switching switches to open up various parts of the complexes and travelling by lift, floating platform, or teleport gate.

There are various liquids to swim in, such as toxic effluents and water, and lava which melts you rather quickly. There are also plenty of pick-ups: weapons, armour and health, and a few specials, such as the biosuit which allows you damage-free dips in the toxic waste, a pentagram of protection which makes you temporarily immune from harm, and the Quad Damage, which makes you deadlier than a bucket of anthrax.

You progress through four zones, each with one of the four pentagrams at the end. Each zone consists of a half dozen or so different levels, each one a little tougher than the last. Finishing each mostly involved killing a bunch of monsters, but there's a bit of puzzle solving too, in the shape of switches that need to be switched and traps that need negotiating.

You can rush headlong through a level avoiding quite a lot of the action if you know the way, or you can take things more slowly, making sure you kill all the monsters and find all the secret areas.

Quake is one of those games that benefit from prior knowledge of a level. You can save a lot of trouble if you bounce grenades around corners you know are hiding bad-guys, but there is just enough flexibility in the game to allow levels to be completed without knowing all the tricks. Having said that Quake is not an easy game, so be prepared toe ease yourself in, and save your game regularly.

Make friends - and frag them.
It has been suggested that Quake doesn't have the gameplay of Doom, which is not true. Quake is a better and richer game without doubt, but it is also a game which seems to outlive its own content. People like Quake so much that they played out the levels and wanted more. Luckily Quake has a couple of tricks up its sleeve.

The first of these is the multiplayer options. Two computers via serial connection or modem, or via IPX or TCP/IP networks, can share a game of Quake allowing multiple players in the same game. Normally this takes the form of a deathmatch game, in which the participants rush around special deathmatch levels looking for weapons and blasting each other as often as possible. To aid interactivity Quake supports messages, and each player can have an individual name and clothing colour.

There are possibilities for team deathmatches and variants such as capture the flag games. Networking is clean and simple - and yes, you can network versions of Quake running on different platforms. Internet play is also an option, but you are likely to run into practical difficulties at the moment. Latency problems will make you vulnerable to players using Quakeworld, the Internet optimiser, on the PC, but fortunately Amiga Quakeworld is due soon - watch this space.

Quake 1 Total Conversions
The other trick up Quake's sleeve is its programmability. Quake includes a powerful programming language called QuakeC, which allows fairly radical modifications to the game. Because the language is portable, QuakeC add ons written for the PC version work fine on the Amiga too, making literally hundreds of Quake add ons immediately available.

These add ons can be as simple as extra weapons, or as complex as entire new games. A popular type are "bots", autonomous pseudo players. Using these it is possible to play capture the flag as a single player game, or spice up your deathmatch with the addition of a "Borg-bot" which assimilates anyone it kills, animating their victim's corpse as another borgbot until the level is packed with the buggers.

Most spectacular are the total conversions, which turn Quake into a totally new game. Some, such as Painkeep, are basically Quake clones, while other, such as AirQuake, offer a quite different gaming experience.

There are about three dozen of these I know of, varying from pretty uninteresting amateur efforts to commercial releases such as the awesome Malice, reviewed right after this. When you buy Quake, you're not getting one game, you're getting dozens.

Get Quaking!
The arrival of Quake is a real bonus for the Amiga. It is the most technically advanced game the platform has ever seen, and it has an enormous amount to offer the player. Some people will complain that the system requirements are too high, but on the highest spec machine available - Zorro 3 graphics card and 66 Mhz '060 - it runs very nicely, and that is the power tha PC owners had to upgrade from, not to, to play Quake.

Quake is a jaw dropping game. It is utterly engrossing and enormous in extent, thanks in large part to the range of add ons. Quake totally dominated the PC games world from the day it was released to the day Quake 2 was released, and it deserved to. Nintendo 64 and Playstation owners are howling for this game, but we've got it first and we also have the Internet and QuakeC facilities the console versions can't touch. Quake is the king of games - buy it.

Quake speeds

You can expect up to 10fps in full screen on an '060/50 with AGA, 5 on an '050/33 and 2 on an '030/50. 5 is bearable, 10 is great. Graphics cards add only around 15% as most of the work is calculating the polygons, not displaying them - the best thing about the graphics cards is getting the lovely 16 bit modes.
To speed up, shrink the screen to 80% and select 1x2 pixels. Type d_midcap 2 and d_mipscale 2 at the console and then try - you may end up playing with a screen as above but you can add a lot to your frame rate. Look for a guide to getting the most from Quake next month.

What about PPC?

To get the obvious question out of the way, no, the PPC version does not come in the box. It's a real shame, because even the cheapest PPC card would make Quake a lot faster. ClickBOOM have told us that they hope to have a PPC version soon, but it will be concentrating on 68K developments until they can be more sure of the long term commercial value of PPC. Until then, the long promised PPC Myst is being given priority.

Rogue's Gallery

"He who fights with monsters, should take care, lest he thereby become a monster. And when you gaze too long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you". So wrote Friedrich Willhelm Nietzsche in Beyond Good and Evil, but judging by the amount of time I've spent hunting monsters in Quake without growing claws and spouting yellow froth from my ears, I reckon he was talking rubbish. "He who seeks monsters best knows what they are up against", say I.

He's the guy with the big gun you meet right at the start. Dumb, weak, and that gun isn't as deadly as it looks.

Killer canines with teeth a shark would be proud of. They ain't no pussy cats but they won't give you too much grief. Just get out your shotgun and blow the sucker away - it's the only merciful thing to do.

Looks a bit like Giant Haystacks on a bad day. Fat as the EU butter mountain, but mean as a student grant. If the chainsaw isn't bad enough, the sack of grenades makes things worse. Here's a guy it isn't fun to face at short or long range.

OK, so they may look a bit tough, but get real. He's a medieval nutter in a tin suit with a sharpened metal stick, while you're a lean, mean killing machine with high tech weaponry at your disposal. Blow him back to the middle ages.

A grunt with a bit more grunt. Watch for the guys with the bigger guns - but don't treat them with too much respect.

These guys have just climbed out of the grave and their plan is to drag you back in with them. Shoot them and they just get up for more. You can't kill them, so use explosives to turn them into harmless bite-size chunks.

Spooky ghost-things. Not as tough as they look, just give 'em both barrels.

A hazard to swimming. Keep your eyes peeled and blast them before they take a bite. More annoying than anything else.

The name says it all - these guys are nasty. They'll leap on you and rip you into spaghetti if you give them half a chance, and it takes quite a lot to kill them. Use your toughest weapon.

Spider demons with a mean line in heat-seeking fireballs. Kill these guys quick, dodging their blasts is not easy.

Be afraid. Be very afraid. Huge, powerful, capable of pummeling you into dust or blasting you to atoms with their lightning bolts. Don't use rockets on these guys, they'll shrug them off - super nail gun or lighting gun is your only hope.


Weapons in Quake are varied in form, power and usefulness. Know thine enemies, but if you don't know your weapons, you're dead meat.

Quake 1 Axe:
Weapons of choice for the bloodthirsty but suicidal. Effective against rottweilers and grunts, if you don't mind taking a few licks into the bargain. Try one against a Shambler - but only if you yearn for the grave.

Quake 1 Shotgun:
Basic holdout weapons. Takes a few shots to drop most enemies, but ammo is plentiful. Better than an axe - but look for something else, fast!

Quake 1 Double-barrelled Shotgun::
As above, but doubled firepower drops foes fast. Great for taking out weaker monsters in a single blast, safe in close quarters and easy to find ammo for.

Quake 1 Nail Gun:
Now we're cooking! Fires a stream of nine inch nails certain to rip the flesh off a monster in less than it takes to crack an egg. Watch for the guys in armour, though.

Quake 1 Super Nail Gun:
The ultimate in hard ammunition weaponry, a cross between the nailgun and Doom's mini gun. It turns grunts into ratatouille, opens up a knight like a can of spam, even makes a fiend think twice.

Quake 1 Grenade Launcher:
Lobs a cannister of hi-ex. Great for crowd control. Use this to send a few grenades into a room before you enter. Great for laying down covering fire, attacking enemies on other sides of walls and blowing Zombies into frustrated giblets.

Quake 1 Rocket Launcher:
Like a grenade launcher but the projectile is rocker assisted. Fantastic long range destructive potential, send 'em to hell before they even scent your sweat on the wind. Not to be used at close range. You aren't a great Quake player until you've mastered the art of Rocket Jumping.

Quake 1 Lighting Gun:
This baby launches a stream of high voltage plasma in a sparking ark of pure death. Totals weaker enemies with the merest touch, fries fiends in a flash, even makes a Shambler ask for its mummy. Hit the button, use like a hose and spray it over a room full of foes. Yeah!

Aftershock for Quake logo

If you just can't get enough Quake but you find it too easy, Ben Vost may have just the thing for you.

Aftershock is YAQA. That is, "Yet Another Quake Add-on". I don't expect it to be the last we review in these pages either, but it's a slighter CD than any of the Total Conversions we've already reviewed.

It has a few new levels but it mainly consists of stuff from the Internet (hey, we can do that!), along with a PC level editor so you can make even more levels.

The level editor obviously doesn't work on the Amiga, but you can now get Quest, a port of a PC level editor, if you fancy creating some of the first Amiga-based Quake levels. Installation is pretty much the same as usual - drag the drawer over to your Quake dir (the drawer in question being one called AS) and make a new starter script with "- game AS" in it.

The levels themselves are beautifully lit and they'll really tax your machine. They all feel very claustrophobic, even from the very first level when you go into a vaulted "cellar" to retrieve a grenade launcher and avoid the zombies.

The scary thing about this add-on is the difficulty level. Aftershock is really for people who laughed at Quake on Nightmare level. I shudder to think what Aftershock is on Nightmare; I haven't even tried. As usual, you start with a shotgun and not many shells. The biggest problem is that you can all too easily end up having to fend off several ogres or knights with just your axe as it's not exactly difficult to run out of shotgun ammunition.

The scary thing... is the difficulty level. Aftershock is really for people who laughed at Quake on Nightmare level.

Are you hard enough?
At least it isn't boring though, unlike the X-Men game. Keeping the levels dark has meant that the old Quake syndrome (zooming left and right on your office chair) is back, as you try to dodge grenades or swipes from swords. The best thing about this add-on is the fact that if you're an acknowledged fragger, this might just give you pause for thought.

There is the argument that by making the game too difficult just ruins it. It has to be said that it never gets any easier, but that shouldn't deter anyone fed up with going through Quake on a harder level just because they're bored.

The other levels you get on the CD are an added bonus. Trawled from the Internet, they're of variable quality, and, to be honest, you'd be better off getting Weird Science's Time of Reckoning if you want to make decent use of them.

However, for anyone wanting the ultimate Quake challenge with straightforward carnage, Aftershock is definitely the one for you.

Deatmatch Disaster & Singled Out!

It may not be often that three strange men give you CDs at a show, but it happens to Ben Vost all the time.

So there I was, in Köln, last weekend, and I spotted these three guys that I've only met via email, or on the wrong end of a nailgun. They were Abjure Actinic, Reaper Robert and Boomstick Banshee, better known to Internet Quake players as Team GoiGoi.

I thought they'd have been easier to recognize since the idea had been for them to dye their hair or get it chopped into the Quake Q logo, but it seems that although they may be Quake demons, in real life they're a bit more timid.

They did manage to find one person at the show brave enough to undergo this tonsorial surgery and they give him a prize of a copy each of the CDs I'm reviewing. Which reminds me...

The two CDs are collections of single player and Deathmatch levels, accompanied by extra maps, bots and other miscellaneous add-on programs to make your Quaking experience more fun. They've been neatly collected together from Internet sources and bunged onto two CDs for your delectation.

The first CD, Singled Out!, is a collection of single player levels and conversions with a bunch of add-ons, like the famous Cujo bot, the chase camera (two of these actually) and others. The second CD just has a bunch of Deathmatch levels and additional maps for you to use in multiplayer games.

Also noticeable by its absence is Team GoiGoi's Quake Manager program, which really should have had price of place...

The CDs aren't produced for profit - they're mainly gathered together for the ease of the GoiGoi three and to give a rich source of new levels for their matches. As such, although they look nicely presented and even have pretty good English documentation, the files are all on the CDs as zip archives and there's no easy way to recover and install them, unlike the Time of Reckoning CD from Weird Science.

Also noticeable by its absence is Team GoiGoi's Quake Manager program, which really should have had pride of place on the CD as it's designed to make third party add-ons for Quake easier.

Unfortunately, the guys hadn't quite finished the current version before the show and they still needed to make the ISOs, etc. before heading for KÖln.

In any case, you still get about 1,000 Quake levels on each CD, which should be enough to keep you going until ClickBOOM decide to release a PPC version. Although they haven't been unzipped like the levels on our CDs, you certainly get a lot more of them in one place this way.

You may also find these CDs a little hard to get hold of if you aren't on the net, but I'm sure that if you are, and you play Quake, you already know of the Team GoiGoi website.

On a Mission

Quake Mission Pack 1: Scourge of Armagon logo Quake Mission Pack 2: Dissolution of Eternity logo

Another couple of things Alive Mediasoft are offering that are worth considering are the Mission Packs.

Mission Pack 1 gives you another 15 levels to work through, though this time in a linear fashion so you don't have the choice of which episode you'd like to start, leading you to a showdown with the game's final Boss (Armagon, apparently).

There are a couple of new baddies to fight, including the rather nasty scorpion things which have double nailguns for pincers, plus a whole load of new weapons to play around with. You've also got the ability to summon up slave creatures which go around attacking any enemy monsters you happen to blunder into. Though this isn't entirely new, it is cool. There are a couple of new game effects that are worth pointing out too, including the falling rocks and boulders.

The graphics for Mission Pack 1 are a little dodgy though. The game looks terribly washed out when you use its defaults and it can take some playing around with to get it looking half decent.

Mission Pack 2 is much better. Here everything looks much brighter and better. Again, you're taken through the game's 15 levels in a linear fashion (though the levels are split into two episodes) and there's a whole load of new weapons to play around with. These include multi-grenades and multi-rockets, which are fired as normal but then split up into multiple explosions.

On the down side, the new monsters you're facing also have access to these weapons so don't expect life to be easy. In fact, of all the Quake add-ons rounded up here, Mission Pack 2 is the hardest and that's because it was designed to be like that. Even if you always play on Easy (ahem), then be prepared for plenty of saving!

As with all of these Quake extras, and Quake itself for that matter, you're missing out on a lot of fun if you're not able to get online and play against others. Sadly, this does mean the majority of Amiga users are going to miss out on a huge slice of the pie, but the nibbles the one-player levels offer are enough of a feast to keep you full up if Quake's your particular dish, which it most definitely will be.

Quake Mission Pack 1: Scourge of Armagon logo

Price: £9.99   Available from: Weird Science   +44 (0)116 2463800

That notorious Quake-head, Mat Bettinson, puts on his ultra violent shoes once again to try out another Quake add-on.

The first official id Software Quake Mission pack also works a treat for Amiga Quake, hoorah! This add-on pack provides a whole new set of missions to play in conjunction with extra deathmatch levels, monsters and of course weapons. The single-player game of Quake itslf isn't the fantastic experience it could be, but the Scourge of Armagon remedies that nicely.

Three extra episodes sport some of the best Quake level design seen yet. In fact this mission pack is still generally regarded as superior to the second mission pack. Usage of circular/spinning objects and some other architectural firsts adds to the complexity and believability of the landscapes.

The three extra weapons are well thought, the first being the proximity mine layer. This is a second mode of the grenade launcher that places a dormant mine on the floor. Anyone or anything foolish enough to come too close will be rewarded with blast damage similar to a regular grenade.

Proximity mines unsurprisingly come into their own in multiplayer deathmatches.

Impressive careening
The second new weapon, and my favourite, is the laser cannon. This handy device unleashes rapid fire bolts of crimson laser fire, which is bad enough, but they also bounce off walls.

In tight corridors and other tight spots the shots careen impressively from all angles ensuring a good few land home but care must be taken not to hit yourself with the rebounds. The weapon also doubles as a very effective long range weapon which can do extremely great damage to a target at any range.

The last weapon is the Mjolnir, the mythical name of Thor's war hammer. This is one very nasty beasty and uses a wad of electric cells in a single discharge but rewards with a spray of electrical death in every direction. It's possible to kill many enemies in one hit or leap down on your buddy in multiplayer, slap the ground with the Mjolnir and score a sure fire kill. In fact it might be a little too powerful there...

There's also some new bad guys in the Scourge of Armagon, the most interesting of which are the Gremlins. These little beasties are decidedly unpleasant and can often be seen ripping into corpses of the fallen - be it other monsters of their own fallen brethren.

As if that's not bad enough, they will actually swarm all around you making mischievous tittering sounds, steal your weapons and turn them back upon you. A Gremlin equipped with a laser cannon? Surely not! Oh yes, oh my word, yes.

Friendly Shambler
The mission pack blends the old and new monsters effectively. Another new foe to encounter comes in the form of the Centroid which is an armour plated cyborg scorpion creature that fires dual nail-guns. Ouch! When the going gets tough like that, we may need to call in reinforcements and those can be found in the form of the Horn of Calling.

This will summon a Quake monster to act as your buddy who will then faithfully attack everyone and thing that isn't you. In one memorable part of the later missions, using the Horn results in a friendly Shambler, one of the most fearsome standard monsters, rendering your enemies with his lightning discharges. Whoop!

The Scourge of Armagon is second only to Malice for a third party add-on to Quake. If you find Quake a bit limiting in the single player game, there's the potential for a new lease of life with this add-on pack. Some of the deathmatch levels are also among the best I've seen such as the legendary "sky suspended" hipdm1. In the final analysis, if you want more Quake, you want the Scourge of Armagon - recommended.

Total Conversions for Quake

As if there weren't enough Quake CDs doing the rounds, Ben Vost checks out another one, from Alive Mediasoft.

Picture the scene: you've played Quake to death in its default incarnation and you've gone through all the extra levels and total and partial conversions on our AFCDs. What's next? Well, you can get a CD with loads of levels on it for a very reasonable price from a number of Amiga dealers, and you could get Total Quake from Alive mediasoft.

However, before you make this your first choice, you should be aware of several things. Firstly, because of low volume this is a "gold" disc and thus more fragile than normal pressed CD-ROMS. It has no label and is in fact an untitled CD.

Secondly, the file system used for the disc is Jolliet, which is the Windows "standard" for CD-ROMS to handle their stupid method of naming files. If you're using IDEfix97, you'll be able to read this disc with no trouble. On the other hand, if you're using AmiCDFs or AsimCDFS (unless you've got your hands on the beta or full version of 3.10) you'll be able to read the disc but you'll only get the default ISO 9660 level 1 names, which are truncated and thus probably won't work.

Finally, the CD isn't very full. It only has about 120 Mb of files on it, some of which you'll have already seen on our AFCDs in the past.

...the CD isn't very full. It only has about 120Mb of files on it, some of which you'll have already seen on our AFCDs

To add insult to injury, the authors of the disc haven't even extracted them from their .ZIP archives to help fill up the CD - you'll have to do that yourself. There are also a lot of editors on the CD which you won't be able to use since they are Windows' execrables... I mean executables.

There are some good conversions on here, particularly the Aliens one, which I don't think has been on an AFCD yet, but these are all Shareware add-ons for Quake. There's nothing to stop you from downloading them yourself, so it's not as though you're paying a tenner to get anything out of the ordinary.

If you want to buy something for Quake, your money would be better spent getting Time of Reckoning, which not only has a bunch of Quake add-ons, but also ones for Doom and the as-yet-unconverted-to-the-Amiga Duke Nukem, along with a nice GUI to help you install the files and run them on your machine.

Total Quake isn't the best CD I've ever seen and should really only be of use to the Quake add-on completist, who'll probably already have all of these levels anyway.