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"Untold centuries ago the Vadrigar, the mysterious Arena Masters, constructed the Arena Eternal for their own infernal amusement. Virtually nothing is known of these beings except that they savor the carnage and clamor of battle. As such, they have stocked the arena with the greatest warriors of all time. And you have just joined their ranks."—From the manual.
Quake III: Arena is the third entry in the Quake series, launched in 1999.
This time, several warriors from all the corners of the galaxy duked it out in order to entertain the Sufficiently Advanced Aliens, and win the honor of being the most Badass warrior of all time. Characters from several of Id's games, such as Doom and the two previous Quake games, were present in it.
This game was designed almost exclusively with multiplayer mode in mind. Id had recognised the fact that the deathmatches were easily the most popular thing about Quake so far, and created this entry as a virtual arena for competitive online matches. The single-player mode contained only a very basic story, and was based around a series of tiers, with the player making it's way to the final match against the Champion.
This game received an Expansion Pack in the form of Quake III: Team Arena, made by Id themselves, which was focused in team games. Here you must choose a team and duke it out with the other clans.
Id also released a free web browser version of Quake III: Arena, called Quake Live, which also added many extra maps (especially third-party ones) and some extra game modes.
And finally there's a Xbox Live Arcade version called Quake Arena Arcade, which was released December 15, 2010, which has some new maps.
The game has a character sheet.
- Art Evolution: For being in the same engine, many of the Arena and Team Arena maps received really big visual changes compared to the original ones.
- Ascended Glitch: The Strafe Jump, with a tutorial and training course in Live.
- Badass: Take your pick.
- Batman Can Breathe in Space: There're some space platform levels and just a bunch of the characters have a space suit.
- Beam-O-War: The Railgun.
- Beam Spam: The Lightning Gun.
- BFG: It's a Plasma Gun in Steroids, however...
- Blood Knight: In the blurb, it says the gods wanted more entertainment, so they put you and the others there to fight, and even made you immortal so that not even death would release you from fighting.
- Chainsaw Good: The Gauntlet.
- Competitive Balance: In Team Arena, you start as Jack of All Stats, as in any FPS, but in the maps with the Runes, depending on the rune you've taken, you may become:
- Fragile Speedster: Scout. (Negates your armor, and you're unable to pick up armor, but makes you faster)
- Mighty Glacier or Lightning Bruiser: Guard. (You receive the max health and armor, and the health will regenerate to the maximum)
- Glass Cannon: Doubler. (Increases your firerate and weapon damage)
- Spoony Bard: Ammo Regen. (Your ammunition regenerates... rather slowly)
- Competitive Multiplayer
- Credits Gag: After defeating Xaero, there's a cutscene which shows him turned into stone, and the obvious credit list... then Slash appears trying to control her rollerblades.
- Death Trap: Some Deathmatch levels have these. The most prominent one can be found at the final level, "The Very End Of You", specifically the BFG crushing platform.
- Defeat Equals Explosion: Any player who dies while carrying the Kamikaze holdable powerup. When dying, (and if they're not gibbed) they will produce a huge explosion which shakes the arena.
- The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: The bots are only there if you don't have enough humans to play the game properly, and they're made for fighting rather than talking, but they will still chat at great length about anything, particularly if prompted by the player. They'll sometimes seem to make sense, rarely repeat themselves and never say anything less than true to their individual characterization. And there's thirty-two of them.
- Dummied Out: More info here. Some worthy mentions:
- Vanilla Quake III has a Grappling Hook Pistol, accesible via cheating. It's modelled and works like it should, but it's functionality is incomplete.
- Team Arena has an incomplete Use Item, a Portal device. Like the Grapple, it's modelled, but it's functionality is incomplete, and there's no model, sprite or effect for it, leading it to being a weird Game Breaker if added to a map. Should it have been completed, it would have predated games such as Narbacular Drop and Portal.
- A minor one, but some bot chatlines were commented out, such as Angel's reactions when she gets killed by a player or kills with a Kamikaze.
- Easter Egg: EVERYWHERE among the secrets!
- Excuse Plot: The game's plot goes like this: Sufficiently Advanced Aliens kidnapped some of the greatest warriors and made them fight each other to death and redeath. You die? They'll respawn you back. The best warrior will then challenge Xaero, the SAA's champion.
- Flight: You can find this item in just one map during a Multiplayer match, but it's also present in some third-party maps as well.
- Last Stand: Attempted and interrupted in the intro.
- Lighter and Softer: Live has blood and gore removed.
- Lightning Gun
- Massive Multiplayer Crossover:
- This game feature characters from most of Id Software's major FPS games until its release date battling it out for supremacy, such as the Space Marine from Doom, the Quake dude (referred to as "Ranger"), and several characters from Quake II including the generic Grunt, Bitterman (the protagonist of the main Quake II game), Major, and a Strogg Tank. The only major missing figure is Wolfenstein's B.J. Blazkowicz. (Well, him and Commander Keen, but then again, Hide Your Children) Still waiting for Word of God to confirm this. To make up for it, Team Arena adds Fritzkrieg, a reconstructed soldier from the WWII.
- This also extends to the weapons, as the starting guns are a small version of Doom's chainsaw (the Gauntlet) and Quake II's Machinegun. There're also Quake's Lightning Gun, (which, sadly, doesn't include the "instant water kill" property it's Quake counterpart had) Doom's Plasma Gun, and Quake II's Railgun. Team Arena also adds a modified version of Quake's Nailgun (which behaves more like a Shotgun with Nails instead of a rapid-fire Nail shooter) and Quake II's Chaingun.
- Author Avatar: After installing the 1.32 patch of the game, you can even play as some of the developers!
- More Dakka: Team Arena's Chaingun. The machine gun in vanilla Arena is a lamer version.
- Nail'Em: Team Arena's Nailgun.
- Nerf: The Railgun in Team Arena. It was overpowered in Arena, having insta-hit and being pretty powerful, giving easy frags. In TA, the weapon gets weaker with distance of the target, making it useless at long distance.
- No OSHA Compliance: Lampshaded by Gorre, when he dies by lava:
"Where's the 'Under Construction' sign? Who built this freakin' place?"
- Nostalgia Levels: Live adds some well-known third-party maps to the fray and some obscure console-only ones.
- Pop Star Composer: Frontline Assembly composed some tracks for the main game.
- Skin Swap: Phobos and Doom, Stripe and Grunt, Patriot and Razor, Angel and Lucy, Ranger and Wrack, and Hossman and Biker, among others.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Many of the characters from previous Id games, especially from the Slipgate and Stroggos wars. Wrack, Grunt and Major are said to be this.
- The final single-player level, "The Very End of You", is named after a line from "We're In This Together" by Nine Inch Nails.
- The achievement for knocking down enemies in Quake Arena Arcade is called "This Is Stroggos!"
- The map "The House Of Decay" from Team Arena was rechristened as "Blue Monday" in both the Dreamcast version and Live.
- Suicide Attack: By using the Kamikaze item in Team Arena and Live.
- Timed Mission: All of Team Arena's single-player missions are this, as well as some matches on the main game.
- Tournament Play: The longevity of the game in the competitive scene eventually led to the development of Live.
- Use Item: Teleporter and Medkit, also Kamikaze and the Invulnerability force field in Team Arena.
- Why Am I Ticking?: In Team Arena and Live, hit an enemy with a Prox Mine, (or many, for amplified effect) and in 10 seconds, more or less, he will blow into pieces.