A Quake III Thing

This isn’t really news, or really even worth me posting, but I share it nonetheless. On a whim I just booted up Quake III and jumped on a public server. I used to play every night, for hours, but I’d not looked at it in a long, long time. As it happened there was a 3v3 CTF match going, so I joined in. Within moments someone I’d played with regularly, over four years ago, joined the server too.

I was astounded that I recognised his handle after all this time. Even more so that he also recognised me. After a few minutes of silent play a conversation started up. It went something like this:

bloke: Do I know you?
me: Possibly, I ran [this clan].
bloke: It is you! Do you remember my clan? [still had his tag]
me: Yes, vaguely. I’ve not played Quake on a public server in over four years.
bloke: I haven’t played for three, no *four* years.
me: Blimey, how weird.
bloke: Is Quake III still going?
me: I have no idea.

I guess it’s time to find out.


  1. Eddie Aitken says:

    Good story, and kinda weird. I had something similar with a DoD game but the number of players and the years weren’t exactly the same. Still cool though.

  2. mandrill says:

    I will always cherish the three days I spent in the top ten Quake III players in the world. Admittedly these three days were the three days after the beta came out and I was playing it over a university connection. So not only was I playing on a very fast connection, I also had the demo alot quicker than the majority of many players out there. If anyone else was around in those heady days my handle was meatfucker (I’d just read Excession by Iam M. Banks). If I beat you it was not due to superior skill on my part I can assure you.

  3. spd from Russia says:

    I still play q2 – my fave online shooter
    and there are some ppl Iv known for over 5 years

  4. Duoae says:

    No one piping for up for UT? :(

    UT sux0rs – Quake 3 r0xx0rs!

    Seriously though, i usually go back and play some quake 3 every few years or so. It’s a great game and there are still loads of people playing.

  5. Tom Camfield says:

    I liked this blog post.

  6. Novotny says:

    Ah Q3. I couldn’t ever remove it from my HDD – a little part of me would die. CS might have stole my attention over these in-between years but baby – I always loved you most. I ain’t nothing without mah railgun.

  7. steve says:

    Man, every few months or so I pull out Q3A and give it a go. I absolutely love that game. I can not wait until Quake Live hits!

  8. Seb Potter says:

    There was something so pure about the experience of Q3 with my clan-mates. I still reinstall a couple of times a year and jump into a few games. Then I get utterly destroyed because I’m so rusty at twitch shooters, and with a last pang of nostalgia I uninstall it again.

    These days, Eve fulfils my addiction for running around with clan corp-mates picking on those unfortunate enough to cross our path. It’s an elegant game for my more civilised age.

  9. BJ Blazkowicz says:

    Happened to me in Counter-Strike once.

  10. Monkfish says:

    Quake III, in one form or another, has been present on all my PCs since I grabbed the first Q3Test in mid ’99.

    As Novotny says above, I’ll never remove it.

    And when Quake Live happens, I’m probably gonna party like it’s 1999… again. :)

  11. ascagnel says:

    @ConstantineXVI: Thanks, man! You just let me rock my world (again).

    no one piping for up for ut

    UT was good, but with the more frequent iterations, and the snooze-inducing tendencies of UT3, I honestly don’t care about it anymore.

    Unreal is pretty much dead, with the X360 version limping to its release, shunning of UT3 by the PC audience, indifference of the PS3 audience, and abandonment of the single-player for Gears of War by Epic.

    Too bad on that one, because the Unreal games were damn fun for their time. I even have the Unreal pack on Steam, with UT99 still installed (yay Assault).

  12. Tony says:

    Plus 1 for UT, but that’s because I’ve never owned a Quake game.

    Can’t say I’ve had any “oh, man, I remember you from way back when” moments, though.

  13. teo says:

    8 or so years ago my sister and I had a couple of online friends that we used to chat with. Just recently one of them started at the same college as my sister, and the other one (from Japan!) got a job in my town and now lives like 1km away

    another strange coincidence….

  14. Kill Pill says:

    Ha ha, the “this is boring” “no it isn’t” argument peters out and then the poster himself tries to fan up the old UT vs Q3 war… if you love trolls so much why don’t you marry one? *snark*

    p.s. Unreal isn’t dead, 2004 still has quite a lot of players. If they want to make a UT4 they’ll have to do something special though.

  15. Yontan says:

    Kill Phil “p.s. Unreal isn’t dead, 2004 still has quite a lot of players. If they want to make a UT4 they’ll have to do something special though.”

    Like remake 2004 for modern machines? sometimes things don’t need to be improved. they are just fine as they are. Take socks for example.

  16. Will says:

    I didn’t play Q3 much, but was in a UT clan for about a year or so. They recruited me out of a public server, and during our first match (we won! CTF-Face][) I discovered that, out of all the hojillion people on the net, they’re all blokes from Gloucester, just up the road from me.

  17. Coop says:

    The funny thing is that more of these types of situations happen everyday without you even knowing.

  18. ascagnel says:

    UT was good, but with the more frequent iterations, and the snooze-inducing tendencies of UT3, I honestly don’t care about it anymore.

    Gotta cite myself and clarify: “more frequent iterations” means that they released more titles. UT2k3 and UT3 weren’t so good, but UT2k4 built off UT2k3 to make one of the best experiences anywhere.

    I like both equally. O:-)

  19. Kavika says:

    I commend Chomper for at least having a mostly good sense of dignity about this. This is one of many things I like about RPS. Even the trolls seem to have an okay head on their shoulders.

    …even if his opinion sucks =) Bring on the nostalgia!! w00t!

    Quake > UT until Doom 3 came along (yes, it is the same game).

  20. sigma83 says:

    Reinstalled Q3. The gameplay is as frenetic as I remember, (I was always a UT boy tho)

    Thing is the single player interface… well. Sucks.

  21. DSX says:

    @grayheaven : “We play q3 ctf every time we set up a LAN.”
    Ditto, it’s sort of our warm up-and-get-everything-functioning phase where seating, networking, beverage and food strategies are all sorted out for about an hour and then we get on to whatever new title we happen to be shredding that weekend.

  22. Top Man says:

    A friend of mine from a while back was in love with day of defeat (pre-source) when it launched. I lost contact with him about a month after it’s launch.

    I decided to try Day of Defeat source during the free weekend. He had a very… unique name back in the day, so when I noticed the name it was rather hard to pass off as coincidence. I messaged him on steam, and lo and behold it WAS him.

    Apparently he had been playing nothing but day of defeat, and later, day of defeat source, the entire time I had lost contact with him.


  23. AbyssUK says:

    I have no friends so normally enter servers with no people on them.. does this count

  24. Sub-kamikaze says:

    Coop, how right you are! I once made a conscious effort to note down every coincidence that happened to me. There were at least ten entries a day – and these were only the ones I spotted! It got a bit scary really, and in the end I stopped. Somehow, I don’t think we’re meant to notice all these things. I think sanity eventually stands in the way and says ‘RIGHT, enough is enough!’ and turns the blinkers on or makes us forget them sharpish…
    And that’s my tangent of the day, sorry!

  25. Mike says:

    UT was better. I think we all know this deep down. But because QIII was simpler, it’s stood the test of time a little better. Even though I hated QIII at the time, I’d rather play that now than UT. UT hasn’t aged well, and its sequels made it overcomplicated. QIII’s only descendant in terms of simplicity is TF2.

  26. nabeel says:

    I had – check this – BOTH QIII and UT installed on my computer back then. I liked both on their own terms and played whichever I was in the mood for. The whole divide in fans between the two was silly then and looks even more silly now.


  27. iainl says:

    What _is_ happening in the world of Q3A these days, by the way? I know id released the source simply _ages_ ago, so I was wondering if there was some “the same game, but with souped up engine doing clever stuff” thing like there is for Doom and Q1.

    Not that my poor little PC could cope with anything much more complex than Q3A anyway, but I do need to upgrade it at some point.

  28. Flubb says:

    I also had Q3 and UT on at the same time and while I played through the SP Q3, I never liked the online as much as UT, which had a much more frenetic pace and less claustrophobic atmosphere than Q3. Plus Q3 was brown…

    I randomly went on a UT server last year and found someone who I had last seen in 2000. Do I win a prize? :D

  29. aldo says:

    @Charming Mr Chomper

    Are you sure you aren’t taking a somewhat inordinate amount of huff over this?

    Ho hum….

  30. Kanakotka says:

    @Chomper, debate doesn’t equal all around trolling and assholery, good sir ^^

  31. Gap Gen says:

    I think it’s pretty unlikely to happen and so warrants an “ooh”. Before I get back to making galaxies fart.

  32. Manwe says:

    Continuing the coincedences, I’m just reading Tolkiens Simarillion and The Unfinished Tales at the moment, when I noticed Turin Turambar‘s comment up there, after just finishing the chapter all about him in the Silmarillion.

    Spooky. Great books also, if a little (well, a lot) confusing

  33. Kill Pill says:

    Yontan – I thought UT2004 was already for modern machines; it’s only now that a standard laptop can really run it. It’s stylised so it still looks pretty good IMO, and lots of visual detail in a DM game just slows it down. It doesn’t look particularly better or worse technically than CS:S or TF2 either.

    UT3 was largely a UT99 remake, we saw how that turned out. New stuff is more likely to keep people’s interest, if it’s good. I hope Quake Live at least has some new maps, a pure retro-fest won’t be interesting for more than a weekend. Although I can see it being very useful for LAN parties, no more trying to find a game everyone owns.

  34. Mr. Brand says:

    I suggest Mr. Chomper get his money back so he stops complaining :)

    I was always more of a fan of UT than any Quake. The latest iterations of either have been underwhelming, though. If you want frenetic gameplay in Unreal Tournament, there is a nice little mutator called Tally-Ho!, which I recommend to everyone. But that is Unreal Tournament. Not 2004, not even 2003. Original UT.

    I want to see something like Tally-Ho! remade in the Half-Life world. It works like this: Players are divided into teams which can’t shoot eachother, competing to hunt down original enemies from Unreal. The score varies with how rare or difficult each is. Should any player kill any other player, his team loses his score, and he becomes hunted, and worth a bounty as well.

    Fun even against bots, but best against people :)

  35. Al3xand3r says:

    Only now? I could play UT2004 on a less than 1GHZ PC with a GF2mx back then. It also looked and run rather nicely aside from a few giant maps or maps with a lot of specular like some ice filled level. The GF4 ti4200 (low end at its prime) fixed that. I’m sure even older laptops can run it fine, as long as we assume they’re meant to be used for gaming at least a bit, and not just for office purposes. If the latter then I agree, only now it can be played by office purpose computers, which is pretty radical really.

    It did have huge amounts of visual detail for the time however, just look how even a simple wall in the indoor parts includes a LOT of 3D geometry based detail as opposed to being a flat textured (or even bump mapped) surface. That’s why it still looks pretty good (aside from the sub par lighting techniques, but that was OK for most maps’ style).

    It really was the best of the “last gen” in its time, achieving fantastic visual detail and variety without having to use shaders or other fancy effects and also running fine on the average gaming rig without sacrifising too much of the eye candy.

    I don’t think UT3 is an UT99 remake, UT99 is still more fun actually… 3 just feels incomplete and way unpolished to me. Besides, he was just saying an UT2004 remake would be worthier than UT3 (and I agree). He wasn’t citing it as a general rule, that you can take something old, give it new graphics and it’ll be better than something all new.

    I agree with him in that UT2004 was and still is far superior to 3 and a remake of it would have been better than what we got, assuming of course they did a good job because if 3 really is meant to be a remake of 99, they just didn’t put any effort to it then.

  36. Turin Turambar says:

    Hey Manwe, good nick! :D

  37. The Hammer says:

    UT2004 was excellently scaled, I always thought.

    Oh, and I can’t can’t can’t wait for Quake Live.

  38. Spectere says:

    @Kill Pill: The first system I ran UT2004 on was a laptop from 2002 (Athlon XP 2200, ATI IGP 320M [which is quite possibly the worst chipset that ATI has ever released]) and it ran fairly well. My current laptop (purchased November 2005) has a fairly low-end graphics chip, even for that time (RADEON X300), and it has no problems handling it.

    My 2005 laptop can even handle UT3 if I turn everything way down. Epic definitely knows how to make an engine.

  39. cyrenic says:

    Another “it’s a small world” story.

    Couple years back we got a new intern at the office. We got to be friends and after a few weeks we started talking about games we used to play. We came to find out we both used to play tribes against each other, and even remembered each others handles.

    Kind of a lame story when it’s down on paper, but it was cool at the time :P.

  40. Ian says:

    Thing is, we call these stories sad or lame or boring but are they really? Any more so than your average oh-my-gosh-what-a-small-world-we-live-in story? Just because it’s gaming-related?

  41. Kill Pill says:

    Yeah, I meant on a cheapo laptop with an intel graphics chipset, and with enough headroom to smoothly handle a 32 player game.

    UT3 isn’t exactly a remake, sure, but it’s got the same weapons and movement style as 99 (hoverboards aside). My point of view is that a 2004 remake would not have been better for the players (although it would have been a better game), because 2004 is still just about current and there’s no reason not to play the original. Besides that, a lot of people who’ve played 2004 are probably finished with it, and wouldn’t be drawn back with a shinier version. Something truly new would have expanded our options further, attracted more attention and at least had the possibility to be better still.

  42. x25killa says:

    It’s nice when that happens. Bumping into users you have meet before a long time ago, greeting them back with a insta-gib. Good times.

  43. Ben Hazell says:

    No one piping for up for UT?

    UT was a singleplayer game for me really.

  44. Al3xand3r says:

    Kill Phil, I’m sure they’d still prefer it over UT3 or something truly new that was worse than that. Obviously making new stuff is always better IF they can build it up to par. If not (and they clearly couldn’t, what with warfare and crap) then they’d have been best to make an UT2004 remake and focus on making it prettier, shinier, scalable and more modable. They seem to have failed in all accounts with UT3, including how scalable it is compared to previous games in the series. The visuals options are laughably simplified (even “advanced”), ini tweaks don’t help anywhere near as much and a PC that runs COD4 flawlessly can have major issues with UT3 @ uber low res and settings… With UT3’s failure we’re left without a current gen contender for the mod community crown…

    Sad really, things went downhill in regards to that after Half-Life and they keep going so… Not that amazing projects aren’t still made, it’s just they don’t get the recognition they deserve anymore so they’re bound to stop being made at some point… I guess it might be for our own good if the industry lacks something like a “mods’ choice” engine for a couple years so that when it’s back, people appreciate it more than they do now they’ve been so spoiled the last years… Anyway this is off topic…

  45. Cunzy1 1 says:

    This happened to me the other day! I fired up Timesplitters for some two player action and my brother was playing it too! He was on the sofa next to me! THE VERY SAME SOFA we used to play Timesplitters on. Then it turned out he was the same brother that I’d had for years! We went to the same schools, had the same parents. We EVEN had the same names for our pets when we were growing up!

    What are the chances? I ask ya?

  46. Lep says:

    It doesn’t just happen online:

    Last year I was watching a football match at Guy’s Bar (Guy’s Hospital student bar) with some of my mates. My housemate John turned up a bit late with a mate of his from his labs who he introduced as being quite the CS player, knowing I used to play a lot of CS back in the day. By coincidence it turned out he played on the same servers as I did and our clans played eachother. Didn’t watch so much of the football and ended up chatting about the good ol’ days of the UK CS community. A quality bit of chance.

  47. panther says:

    Good tale, had this same thing happen to me a while back when I re-booted Quake 3. Ran into an old server I had frequented back in the day (Instagib Railonly) and upon my first death, realized that an old clan-mate from back in my actual Quake 1 CTF days had just splattered me.

    Always fun to connect like that.