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Proto:Quake (PC)/Beta3

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Beta3 is a leaked prototype of Quake that was made about two weeks before the game was released. Things are quite similar to the final, but there are a few differences here and there. It appears to be in a state between the shareware and retail versions, as the "Buy now!" messages appear when you approach the entrances to Episodes 2-4, but the episodes are fully playable.

To do:
Get images and check more of the maps. This is just a start.

General Differences

Well, there are worse places you could be.
  • The retail Help/Ordering screen hasn't been implemented yet. Instead, there's a single-screen placeholder that includes a strange hidden message at the bottom. Given the reference to "his hair," it's most likely an inside joke regarding John Romero's often-long hair.
  • The menu uses a noisy clanking sound when choosing an option and the cursor only blinks.
  • Quitting the game from the menu exits without showing a confirmation.
  • Several pixels on the axe texture use fullbright red palette indices, rather than normal ones. This makes them appear to glow in dark areas.
  • The Biosuit doesn't appear to be textured, yet.
  • Instead of a white particle effect, a greenish sprite sequence is used after teleporting. This is the same sequence that was used in Qtest1. The sprites themselves are actually (poorly) converted from Doom.
  • The Vore's projectile uses the same model as the fireballs in lava and the ones that Chthon throws. They'll be replaced with a unique spiky purple model in the final.
  • The Thunderbolt uses the Rocket Launcher's world model.

Level Differences

Most of the levels are the same as the final's, but there are a few differences.

Start: Welcome to Quake!

The start map that lets you choose your difficulty and episode is named "Welcome to Quake!" instead of "Introduction".

More interestingly, you can find the "Well of Wishes" Easter egg that contains the Dopefish here! The Well is located in the water under the bridge that leads to Normal difficulty, and is accessible by taking the path to the hidden Nightmare mode teleporter and shooting the wall panel in the corner just before you enter the teleporter, then quickly hurrying back to a newly lowered lift on the left side of the bridge. This explains why the panel references the Well of Wishes in the final version despite it being in the Crypt of Decay.

E1M1: The Slipgate Complex

The bridge over the first slime pit is activated by a timed switch, instead of a permanent one. Another switch is placed on the other side of the bridge for backtracking.

The altered crates in E1M1.

The crates at the end of the map are differently textured.

E1M2: Castle of the Damned

The altered crates in E1M2.

Like the previous map, the crates (which normally have the same textures as the ones in E1M1) that appear at the start of the map are differently textured. However, they're different from the ones in E1M1.

E1M7: The House of Chthon

The switches that activate the electricity pillars are located on the beams instead of being on side areas, while the switch that starts the electrocution has a red logo on it and is up higher than the final version.

The hilariously over-the-top monster telefrag fest that happens after you exit the level does not happen in Beta3.

E2M3: The Crypt of Decay

There is no Well of Wishes and there is nothing in its place.

E2M6: The Dismal Oubliette

To do:
Describe this in more detail and compare Romero's "E2M10" release to it, to see if any changes were made after this beta before it was cut, out of curiosity.

This map begins with a tough gauntlet out of a water filled canyon before reaching the final start point. John Romero had to cut this starting area to keep the map under the 1.4Mb file size limit that had been set for BSPs. He later released this section as E2M10: The Lost Entrance of the Dismal Oubliette.

(Source: Planet Romero - Quake Birthday Surprise)

E3M4: The Haunted Halls

The Haunted Halls are in the E3M4 slot instead of E3M7. Satan's Dark Delight is in E3M5 and The Wind Tunnels are the secret level.

E3M6: The Chambers of Torment

The last area is a bit different compared to the final version; there is a pillar to the left and right of the teleporter, and a Shambler spawns behind the Vores as soon as the Vores appear, while in the final two Fiends appear when the player gets to the center of the bridge. Its likely that the Shambler was removed because it has a nasty tendency to get into fights with the Vores because it is right behind them, which makes the final section much easier than it should be.

"The" was dropped from this map's name in the final, since it is too long and draws over both the secret count and edge of the screen.

E3M7: The Wind Tunnels

The Wind Tunnels serve as episode 3's secret map instead of E3M5.

End: Shub-Niggurath's Pit

Despite sharing the same name, this level is completely different than the one used in the final game. You start off in a square room that contains five Megahealths and has a round glass "window" across from the slipgate. Walking into the window will teleport you into a dark corridor that has two Fiends in it, along with a Double-barrelled Shotgun, Nailgun, and two shell boxes. On the left side, at the middle of the hall, is another teleporter window, which sends you to the final area. You can backtrack through either teleporter if desired.

The final area is a pentagon-shaped arena where the upper walls and ceiling are textured with water. There are two raised elevators to the left and right of the area you teleport in at and a triangular ramp directly in front of it. There are also five floating platforms above the arena. The ramp leads to a Grenade Launcher, and you can jump to a raised area with a pentagram made out of lava, which has a Thunderbolt in the middle of it. At the top of the ramp, you can see Shub-Niggurath – you're likely intended to see her all the time, but she gets culled at certain places/heights in the arena. There's a Pentagram of Protection on a platform across from the Thunderbolt, and two Shamblers, a Rocket Launcher, and a Super Nailgun on the path under it. The two elevators can be lowered by damaging a red stained glass circle under the triangular ramp, which will open a small secret containing ammo and a switch to lower both elevators. One elevator leads to a platform with red armor, the other to an identical platform with a Quad Damage powerup.

Touching the Thunderbolt will cause three Fiends to spawn into the arena, along with five Ogres on the floating platforms, and two Vores on the elevators. While the other monsters are inconsequential, killing each Vore will cause a sequence message to appear. Once they are both killed, a teleporter will open underneath the platform with the Pentagram of Protection. It will eject the player on top of Shub-Niggurath, but she has no collision detection and you'll simply clip through her, taking a bit of falling damage in the process. There is a small, invisible collision box at the center of Shub-Niggurath that will bleed when attacked, but after a few hits, it will stop bleeding and Shub-Niggurath will stop moving. Nothing else can be done, making it impossible to complete the level.

Note that you can also get into the area with Shub-Niggurath through a simple oversight: jump off either platform that the elevators lead to, land on the small ledge between the upper and lower walls, and walk along them until you can jump into her pit.

Multiplayer Levels

None of the multiplayer levels included with the retail version exist in Beta3.

Text Differences

Weapons & Artifacts

Beta 3 Final
super shotgun Double-barrelled Shotgun
lightning gun Thunderbolt
sigil rune
Quake Power Quad Damage

The Doubled-barrelled Shotgun, Thunderbolt, and runes at the end of each episode are called by their internal names. The Quad Damage powerup is called the Quake Power. Uninterestingly, all of the other weapon names also use all lowercase names in the beta – the nailgun is the only one that still does in the final game.


Beta 3 Final
player was eaten by a Fiend player was eviscerated by a Fiend
player was shot by an Enforcer player was blasted by an Enforcer
player was killed by a Death Knight player was slain by a Death Knight
player was killed by a Knight player was slashed by a Knight
player was killed by a Zombie player joins the Zombies

Several monsters' obituaries were reworded slightly to make them more interesting.

Beta 3 Final
player was gummed by a Piranha player was fed to the Rotfish
player was destroyed by an Old One player became one with Shub-Niggurath
player was finished by Shalrath player was exploded by a Vore
player was zapped by a Wizard player was scragged by a Scrag

Rotfish, Shub-Niggurath, Vores, and Scrags all have different names in the beta. With the exception of Piranha, these are the monsters' internal class names.

Beta 3 Final
player was tarred by a Spawn player was slimed by a Spawn

Likewise, Spawns don't slime you in the beta – they tar you. Internally, their monster class is "tarbaby".

Beta 3 Final
player was crushed player was squished

Squishing is funnier?

Text Screens

Map Beta 3 Final


That's the end of episode one!
You need to register to get
the other three episodes!

As the corpse of the monstrous entity
Chthon sinks back into the lava whence
it rose, you grip the Rune of Earth
Magic tightly. Now that you have
conquered the Dimension of the Doomed,
realm of Earth Magic, you are ready to
complete your task in the other three
haunted lands of Quake. Or are you? If
you don't register Quake, you'll never
know what awaits you in the Realm of
Black Magic, the Netherworld, and the
Elder World!



That's the end of episode one!
When you have the sigils
from all the episodes,
you can face Shub Niggurath!

As the corpse of the monstrous entity
Chthon sinks back into the lava whence
it rose, you grip the Rune of Earth
Magic tightly. Now that you have
conquered the Dimension of the Doomed,
realm of Earth Magic, you are ready to
complete your task. A Rune of magic
power lies at the end of each haunted
land of Quake. Go forth, seek the
totality of the four Runes!


That's the end of episode two!
When you have the sigils
from all the episodes,
you can face Shub Niggurath!

The Rune of Black Magic throbs evilly in
your hand and whispers dark thoughts
into your brain. You learn the inmost
lore of the Hell-Mother; Shub-Niggurath!
You now know that she is behind all the
terrible plotting which has led to so
much death and horror. But she is not
inviolate! Armed with this Rune, you
realize that once all four Runes are
combined, the gate to Shub-Niggurath's
Pit will open, and you can face the
Witch-Goddess herself in her frightful
otherworld cathedral.


That's the end of episode three!
When you have the sigils
from all the episodes,
you can face Shub Niggurath!

The charred viscera of diabolic horrors
bubble viscously as you seize the Rune
of Hell Magic. Its heat scorches your
hand, and its terrible secrets blight
your mind. Gathering the shreds of your
courage, you shake the devil's shackles
from your soul, and become ever more
hard and determined to destroy the
hideous creatures whose mere existence
threatens the souls and psyches of all
the population of Earth.


That's the end of episode four!
When you have the sigils
from all the episodes,
you can face Shub Niggurath!

Despite the awful might of the Elder
World, you have achieved the Rune of
Elder Magic, capstone of all types of
arcane wisdom. Beyond good and evil,
beyond life and death, the Rune
pulsates, heavy with import. Patient and
potent, the Elder Being Shub-Niggurath
weaves her dire plans to clear off all
life from the Earth, and bring her own
foul offspring to our world! For all the
dwellers in these nightmare dimensions
are her descendants! Once all Runes of
magic power are united, the energy
behind them will blast open the Gateway
to Shub-Niggurath, and you can travel
there to foil the Hell-Mother's plots
in person.

Each episode in the beta ends with the same basic text, although a separate string is already set up for the shareware version. The text displayed after all four Runes have been collected is not present in the beta.

Beta 3 Final

you win.

Put some interesting text here.
The universe is saved.
Buy more level packs.

Congratulations and well done! You have
beaten the hideous Shub-Niggurath, and
her hundreds of ugly changelings and
monsters. You have proven that your
skill and your cunning are greater than
all the powers of Quake. You are the
master now. Id Software salutes you.

The finale text is also unfinished at this point.