The Mailbag



Due to unforseen circumstances beyond my control I was not able to update for several weeks (i.e. a hard drive-near crash and a computer upgrade). However, I still should have got this done a lot sooner. Shame on me, I know.
This week, we have many people writing in with answers to the Question of the Week (month?), How does Quake2 measure up to Unreal. After that, we have a new addition to our family, the mystery category. Finally, misc.

P.S. I am not id software. Neither I, nor anyone else on is in regular contact/is affiliated with id software or Activision. We do NOT provide tech support for Quake2! Get it?! Whew.

  • How does Unreal compare with Quake2
  • The mystery category
  • Miscellaneous stuff

    Question of the Week:
    With all the other games out/coming out soon, do you/will you still play Quake 2?
    Send replies to

    Remember, if you get tempted to send me a question or problem, DON'T! Check The Unofficial Quake II FAQ which is written and maintained by Richard Connery. He's worked very hard on it so people like me don't have to answer dumb questions. What's that you say? Your question isn't in the FAQ? Well, try the messageboard! There's a link in the frame. Lots of people will read your problem and try and answer it. Another good resource is the Gamer's Guide, which can be found on Blue's.


    P.S. Before submitting anything, read the guidelines.

    July 19th, 1998
    Last Issue: June 7th, 1998.

    Unreal - Quake2 killer, or eye candy and nothing else?

    Unreal vs. Quake2
    submitted by DBS
    Hi there. Love your feature. Now to the issue at hand... How does Unreal match up to Quake II? IT DOESN'T. Where do we start? How about the enemies? WEAK! I remember how I almost fell out of my chair the first time I saw that huge guy pop out of the floor (the floor was his back, my memory is real bad.) (assuming you mean jail unit boss in Quake2 - Paubo) Absolutely nothing like this in unreal. They have generic Predator rip-offs that are just plain goofy looking. The levels? LAME! Isn't it fun to get up on a ledge and pick people off w/ a railgun in Quake II? Nothing resembling this in unreal. The weapons? A RETARD WITH BOXING GLOVES ON WOULD DO MORE DAMAGE. Quake II brought back the most famous weapon in FPS history: the BFG. What does Unreal have? The Flak cannon? Give me a break. That's just the obvious. I haven't bothered trying on-line play with the game because from what I've heard (from the messageboard), it's a complete joke.
    Quake II has so many features that can be downloaded for free that are great to play. I bought Unreal, and two days later I put Quake II back on my computer. Don't get me totally wrong, Unreal is still a pretty good game, but comparing it to Quake II is like comparing the Utah Jazz to the Chicago Bulls.

    Kind of... the Jazz have their strenghts and weaknesses. The Bulls are good all around.

    Unreal Sure As Hell Isn't a Quake 2 Killer
    submitted by WeirdMarty (?)
    Well, that says it, now let me elaborate.

    -Deathmatch: Unreal has strange weapons that all have two different ways to fire them. Sure, that adds more strategy to the game, especially the weapons you can charge. It impresses all the reviewers for the game, but most of us gamers want weapons we've heard of and aren't that hard to master. In Quake II, it's obvious what the first 7-or-so weapons do. No servers up for Unreal yet either, just some bots...

    -Release: When I bought Quake II, I played the game just fine and was amazed by the graphics. When I bought Unreal, the graphics were good in the software. Too bad I have an OpenGL 3D excelerator, and I'm gonna have to wait 3 or 4 weeks to see the games' true power.

    -Lighting: Unreal has great colored lighting. It should've used more of it in the Deathmatch levels. They seemed too dark for me. I really don't like the DarkMatch. Guess I won't play that level... Oh well. Guess Unreal sort of won that one.

    -Reality: Quake II is pretty real. Unreal isn't.

    My bottom line: Unreal seemed too much like Dark Forces to me. 10 weapons, all with alternate fire, last weapon isn't as powerful as it should be. I don't really like it. Maybe I'm just ignorant, but those are my points.

    Ok, I'm tired of ranting now.

    I don't feel like commenting.

    Unreal Matching up to Quake 2
    submitted by Kris Siuda
    Well not only does Unreal match up, it blows QUake2 away. The graphics engine is better, the singel player gameplay is better. Quake 2 stil lrule multiplayer, but I think that the reason ID is wokring on a multiplayer based game (w/ single player just incase someone gets pissed off I did not say that) and not Quake 3.. because of Unreal.. and the games coming out.. it is hard to match that quality.. ID is no longer the king of 3d shooters. Getting back on track to the question, the AI in Unreal rules, especially the bots! The amount of open space you can view in the outdoor areas is amazing. The visual lighting effects are also awe-inspiring! This game rules.. PERIOD.
    -Kris Siuda
    P.S. those were 3 years of well used time from GT

    Yes, we all know the game LOOKS really pretty, but how does it PLAY?

    unreal vs. quake 2
    submitted by jared
    i own both games.I have beaten quake2.And almost beaten unreal.I think quake2 is is not near as complicated as unreal.Plus I like the style of quake2 more than unreal.The textures are better and i like the guns alot better in quake2. Quake2 has more enemies,this means more fun for the player,and I love the feature of quake2 wher during gameplay,if you press F1 it will tell you how many enemies are in the level,and how many you have killed.Also the levals in unreal are like a maze.This will get the gameplayer frustrated because he cant find a switch, or a key.This make the game not fun.The weapons in unreal are too similar, although I do like the secondary fire it offers.Send any question or coments you may have to I used to work for id,but im still in touch with them.

    "Used to work for id"?

    Unreal vs. Q2
    submitted by r0tfish
    Definitely Q2.

    Just as everybody was saying, and just as I expected, Unreal's single player game was extraordinary, and multiplay was unacceptably bad. Honestly, how many people are there that actually play singleplayer fps's anymore? Not a lot I can assure you.

    There are many things Unreal surpasses Q2 in, such as graphics, sound, immersion, enemy AI, ect. But in this day in age, multiplay is what really keeps a game alive. Couple examples: Quake and Diablo. I mean come on, how many people have actually spent over a year trying to kill Diablo? Very few. But Diablo has been a gigantic success, almost entirely because it has great multiplay, cheating aside. This is also the case with both Quake and Quake2. It most certainly will not be the case with Unreal. Unreal's multiplay is entirely unplayable unless you own a PII400 and your connection is ISDN or higher. I own a PII266 with a 56k connected at 26.4 (yes, a little mediocre, but it should still be a lot better) and every single server I've been to I've pinged at an estimated 10,000. (BTW, does ANYONE know of any way to check your damned ping in Unreal???) That is just sad. I find it hard to believe that id can release Q2 in 1 year to be a slightly flawed, yet kickass game, and Epic spends 4 years creating Unreal only to release a buggy, laggy cpu hog. Don't get me wrong, I still love the game itself, but Epic really deserves a slap in the face for all the bitching they did about how great their game would be after all those years in development. If Epic doesn't release a some updates for Unreal to fix the horribly flawed multiplay, Unreal will be forgotten and left on the shelves to collect dust in no time flat. And this would really be a shame, because this game has the potential to be a true Quake/Quake2 killer. At its current state, however, it's far from it. LONG LIVE ID!!! r0tfish

    The main selling point behind the best games ever made (Quake, Diablo) was replay value - will you go through it once, or will you still be playing it a year after you bought it? Single play has little replay value. Multi play has lots. I am not likely to ever buy Unreal unless I start hearing really good things about multiplay (and I'm not).

    A really big mess o' stuff.

    Cheating vs. actual good players
    submitted by Unknown
    Have you accused someone of cheating in quake2? Im sure everyone has. But before you accuse anybody of cheating, you may want to read this next statement about cheating with proxy bots: 'proxy bots allow a player to roam around, jump, shoot, ect......the bot just aims and fires almost perfectly...perfectly with the rail that is........a player can easily press a key and turn off the bot (aim and fire) and make it seem that he isn't cheating. Bots have a 360 rotation which means you dont have to be looking at the person...the bot can shoot him'. Im am a excellent q2 shows when i am number 1 on every server i goto and have an average of 150-250 fph. Im not perfect with the rail...although i use to be....but i kill people mainly with rockets. I have never been accused of cheating. I even cause people to leave the game because they dont have fun when i constantly kill em Way back when i sucked and was using only a keyboard...I got fragged about 30 times (1 person that is)before i could kill him just once. Whats the point? The point is dont accuse someone of cheating because they probably aren't. Either way, cheating or not, its probably best to leave the game. Btw, do you want to know how to get good at q2? Simple...get yourself eraser bot and play about 3 or 4 bots at a easy level and practice your rocket launcher and rail. Set the difficulty higher as you get better. You can work on your defensive movement by getting a crbot and play at level 7-10 (damn that is hard) and play.

    Rocket Arena, the only way to go. Well, kind of. Bots are great for reflexes, but if you play Rocket Arena against live humans, you learn the strategies of ambushing, splash damage, anticipation, and weapon usefulness. Give it a try, people!

    I am NOT cheating Dammit!
    submitted by Eva-01
    Okay, this is way off topic, and it's going to sound utterly hilarious to those of you who know about it, but it needs to be said. This message is for everyone, but I hope IMPERIAL sees it, because he evidently doesn't know about it.

    Pay CLOSE attention here people: There is an invulnrability item on Q2DM3. That's the fragpipe, the one with the hyperblaster in the lava tunnel that can be closed from either end. If you see someone glowing red, like they have a quad, (except RED, got it?) they are INVINCIBLE for ONLY 30 seconds.

    I have had WAAAAY too many people bitch at me and accuse me of cheating when they hit me with 5 rockets and I don't die. Okay, I'm bit sadistic. I enjoy standing there and watching other people's rockets bounce off me while I pelt them to death with a super shotgun. Try it, it's funny.

    Some of you know where this item is hidden (it's a good secret) and use it. Good for you! In my opinion, it's FAR less cheap than the Quad Damage, because all you have to do is RUN AWAY for just half a minute!

    Unless you have an evil streak like me, and go grab the quad right after the invulnrability. Then you're just frag meat. Try quad rocket jumping. It's amazing.

    Alright, that's my little rant. Had to get that out. Thanks everyone,


    Here's something everyone should know. If they glow blue, they have quad. Red, they are invulnerable. Green, they have a power sheild. Pink, they have both a quad and invulnerability at the same time (run!). And white, cheats are on and they have god mode turned on. Memorize those, kiddies!

    Beating a dead-but-still-kicking horse (is that even possible?)
    submitted by Hate Tank
    I go to all the Quake2 sites and read this stuff to keep up on Quake news, from what kick ass mod I need, to what bugs need attention. All I've heard about lately are autoaim bots and LPB's. I'm gonna rant about this for a sec, here... The whole point to online gaming is to frag-and-be-fragged-by players from all over the country/world. Playing online Q2 with a P133 no MMX and a 14.4 modem is like taking a '86 Ford Escort to the Winston Cup and expecting to place in the top 10. Even though I usually root for the underdog, I'm quite sure that's not gonna happen. So, my advice... mow a few yards or get a part-time job, and upgrade your computer. Get a local ISP. Every major city has at least one (4 out here), and quit pissin and moaning cuz a guy in a tweaked stock car blew your Escort to shit. Don't want to spend ALL that money?? Then I beleive Duke Nukem works pretty good on those low end machines, and Kali is only 20 bucks a lifetime. Knock yourself out. Just quit whining. You want a game you can play that runs just as good on a P66 as it does on P300? Then go make one. (I'll play it, too, even though I'm quite sure that's not gonna happen...) Think that Q2 gives too much of an advantage to people with a better connection than you? Don't play. Eraserbot has DM and CTF support. Someone cheating cuz they railed you from across a room? Go ahead an call him a cheater. Go ahead and say he's a bot. All you're doing is inflating his/her ego, and making yourself look like a no skill having newby. And what's next? What if you upgrade, fix your ISP, and STILL get pinged with the rail from across the courtyard? Must be the mousepad (in which case, I suggest the 3M Precision Mousepad).... or it could be that your printer cable is shot(in which case, I suggest you sell your computer for a book and increase your intelligence a little....) If you're STILL not any better at Q2, then you just need to leap off the roof of a 10 story or higher building. That should solve all of your (and my) problems. Again this weekend. Not even 3 minutes in a CTF game, I got called a bot. Then, 5 seconds later, I was told that I was mistaking my ping (178), for skill. People like this make a great thing like Q2 unplayable.


    Isn't it interesting how deathmatches can be compared to the Winston Cup? I mean, it may be competitive to you (and that's fine), but some people just want to have a little fun, and feel they are at an unfair disadvantage because they don't want to devote all that money towards a simple game.
    On the other hand, there are lamers who are competitive and want to win at all costs, yet still don't want to devote all that money. These people generally resort to whining about ping.

    Walking shark
    submitted by sangwook
    I've downloaded these things that you can be one of strogg. Ofcourse, you just look like them, you don't get their abilities. Anyway, I 've found one funny thing. Even if you choose to be barracuda shark, (what ever that fish name is) you actually walk and run as well. Because I can't see my self, I don't know what I look like, but I think it would be quite funny. Fish fighting against ohter people just like hte others... Or what would happens if I choose to be flyer or icarus? I don't think many people seen them walking and running around... But still, I think it's cool.

    Actually, it looks pretty dumb. Trust me.

    Woohoo, fun stuff...
    submitted by [P]Korn
    On this whole USA thing...if you weren't so concerned about being different from England in the first place, maybe you would spell stuff correctly. Also, who gives a shit if you're the dominant world power? Sure, you may have the best military in the world, but what gives if you're too scared to use it? If you're so great, why doesn't Bill Clinton's redneck ass march your wonderful military into Iraq and end that crap once and for all? Instead all you do is chuck a few missiles from ships and hope to scare him. Biiig deal. Obviously some of the more intelligent countries (i.e. Canada, England, Austalia...) should be in charge of your damn military, maybe then something would get accomplished.

    At the risk of getting caught up in another big discussion about America and why they suck or don't suck, I will decline to comment. Except for this: Canada's military is a joke right now, we will probably end up relying on Uncle Sam in the event of a war. Yes!

    submitted by r0tfish
    It must suck to be American (whoa, let me finish)... you have to contend with the international stereotype that you're, as r0tfish so eloquently put it, 'a country full of fatasses with IQ's lower than our age'. I'm sure most American's aren't REALLY like that :-).


    Unfortunately, it's quite true. MOST Americans are either fat and stupid. I flicked on the news the other day, right in the middle of an interview with some health expert who was telling all about this recent study he'd done. The study was on obesity in Americans. The figure was something like 40%. That's not MOST, but it's plenty more than we'd like. Of course, that's not to say all those obese people are stupid. Then again... not all skinny people are smart. So if you think about it, there must be a shitload of people in this country that are either fat or stupid or both. Sad but true. :-\

    Not much you can do about it, don't lose sleep.
    Why the world is doomed: the main issues (pollution overcrowding) take the co-operation of everyone to solve. Yet, whether you do your part or not doesn't make a difference.

    submitted by r0tfish
    Definitely looking forward to Half-Life. Screw Unreal, forget SiN, this game will be unmatched. So many innovations have been made in this game that I simply don't think any other will touch it. The AI is excellent (know from the avi that was released), the graphics are as good or better than Q2's (also know from the avi), and the environment is so interactive it's unreal. You'll be able to communicate with those you come in contact with along the way, you'll be able to manipulate the environment to your advantage... the list goes on. Any fan of FPS games who hasn't already seen the avi that was released a couple months ago that demonstrates some of the game's features should get it. You'll be amazed.

    Whatever this is in response to, it pretty much echoes my sentiments anyway. If the graphics and especially AI are as good as the previews have said, I will probably convert very quickly (not to mention the fact that TFII is being developed for it, meaning I will probably but it even if it is a piece of crap).

    QuakeII: Who needs a mouse?
    submitted by Mike(MeanBastard)
    Hello.I am an avid Quake II player.I often play on pcgamer's server where I win most of the time.I have noticed nearly all magazines who talk about Q2 say keyboard/mouse is the only way to go, and you cannot be any good whatsoever if you dont use that combination. That is crap.I play ALL KEYBOARD,NO MOUSE.I am well know on and pcgamer, and I feel that a keyboard can match a mouse combo any day. Yeah the aiming up and dwon is slower thatn a mouse, but I learned how to play Q2 strictly by keyboard.I wish I could prove this to you, but if you like I can send you a demo of me playing 1on1 against several excellent Q2 players, one of whom beat Immortal in several 1on1s. His name is Quantom(and yes he does use a mouse combo). The main point here is to remember that the top q2 players in the world dont necessarily need that mouse/kb combo to win.I feel that I am enough proof to defeat that theory.

    Ethereal Team Fortress recently held a mouser/keyboarder TF competition. The mousers won.
    I don't think that a mouse is necessary to win at QuakeII, but it is really does make a huge difference. The precision you can get in aiming and turning is unbelievable compared to the keyboard.. but whatever you're used to works, I suppose.

    Guess that's it. I will post one more mailbag, probably next weekend, and then I am going on vacation for a bit, so we're going to see if r0tfish can do the mailbag I'm gonna miss. That should be fun! Till next week.
    If I didn't post your mail, then you didn't read the guidelines! Remember, technical questions will go straight to my trash can. I will try to post submissions which contain ONLY VALID OPINIONS. Read on for the guidlines...


    • Don't send me specific hardware questions; mail them to the respective companies' technical support.

    • Don't send me specific gameplay questions like how to finish a certain level.

    • Don't send me specific problems you're having; mail them to id Software instead.

    • Don't send me questions about a specific mod; mail them to the mod author.

    The Mailbag deals with opinions, not specific questions. Also, I don't reply directly so you'll need to check The Bag each week. If I happen to grin at your submission you are free to send another. Use it to show I was wrong; if you don't send other logic arguments or facts I will grin a lot harder. Send them to


    1998 Paul "Paubo" Teehan & All rights reserved.

    Unfortunatly, we do not have enough subject-specific mail to create a category between the Question of the Week and the Miscellaneous stuff. Sorry for any inconvenience.

    Gee, good thing I started the question of the week or this whole thing would be a disorganized mess!
    Oh, wait... it pretty much is already...