What is this all about?

Huh?... QUAKE Arcade Tournament Edition !?!...What is this all about you ask?

Well, this blog is really just a work in progress at the moment.

As it grows, I am going to attempt to create a sort of historical record for this very short lived commerical ARCADE game from 1998.

Many are not even aware of the existence of such a thing and many don't even believe there ever was a special edition of QUAKE specifically made for commercial Arcade play.

The game was housed in a full sized upright arcade cabinet with a 27" 640x480 VGA display screen and a custom Trackball controller setup with 7 separate action buttons. It ran on a custom PC known as the Quantum3D Quicksilver Arcade PC. While that may sound impressive, this was 1998 and in reality it was only a 266 MHz Pentium II running under Windows 95!! However, with its custom graphics card setup it was pretty high end for the time... especially in an Arcade cabinet. The setup also contained a proprietary I/O card known as the Quantum3D Game Control Interface or GCI.

This game is noted (on KLOV and other lists) as being one of the RAREST Arcade games ever created. Hence, there is a large amount of people that believe this is some kind of hoax and that it NEVER existed, or that it never made it past the prototyping stage.

The rumour also claims that there were only 20 working cabinets ever manufactured. However, this appears to be completely false in that there are countless accounts of this game having been seen and played all over North America over the years. What this rumour does NOT take into account is that the game was actually marketed for the most part as a RETRO CONVERSION KIT for commercial arcade owners who already were in possession of useable cabinets and parts to complete a Quake Arcade Tournament Edition installation.

I believe the reason that the rumour began is that the Laser-Tron partnership (see posts on custom cabinet below) was in fact VERY SHORT LIVED. What many failed to realize though is that the Laser-Tron fully complete cabinet ($7,500 in 1998 dollars) was only 1 of 3 ways that the game was being marketed to arcade owners. Yes, the white Lazer-Tron cabinet is in fact very rare, but the game itself actually got out there, mainly as a retro conversion kit from LBE Systems & Opus Entertainment. However, given that we are now talking about 1998, it might as well have been a lifetime ago,.... and memories fade..... and cabinets and original parts end up crushed, in landfills, or gathering layers of dust in basements and storage units.

Taking an educated guess, I think that probably a couple hundred of these units (in CONVERSION KIT form) made it out across North America back in the day. So, YES it is STILL a very rare Arcade game... whether the real number is 20 or 200.

Anyway... More detail later.

LAZER-TRON Industry Magazine Ads

Here are the LAZER-TRON ads from 1998. Lazer-Tron out of California was one of the partners along with Id Software, LBE Systems & Opus Entertainment which was attempting to market a new idea to commercial arcade owners.

The main idea was to have a generic (but customized) upright cabinet that was based on the Quantum 3D Quicksilver Arcade PC. This would have allowed arcades to have multiple cabinets linked together for multiplayer action, and the given the owners the ability to change out older titles for newer ones month to month with nothing more than an update from a software CD ROM , and a change in the Cabinet Marquee and Control Panel Overlay. There was also to have been an optional integrated printer for creating Tickets or Redemption Vouchers to act as prizes of a sort for winning gameplay.

QUAKE A.T.E was actually the FIRST game to be issued with this idea. Unfortunately, due to legal and financial issues, the idea failed and basically vanished. More on that later.

PS: You will note that ALL of the websites of the firms noted in the ad are NO LONGER active.