The arcade version of Quake is finally playable on PC

In 1998 a company called Lazer-Tron released Quake Arcade Tournament, a full-sized upright cabinet version of id's shooter that apparently came with a a 27" 640x480 VGA display, a trackball for mouselook, and seven buttons for directional movement, shooting, jumping, and cycling through weapons. 

As this blog about Quake Arcade describes, "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!!"

A limited number of Quake Arcade Tournament cabinets were made, and while a copy of the software has been available online for years, the emulator MAME wasn't able to run it. The arcade cabinet came with copy protection in the form of a dongle that needed to be plugged-in for it to run, copy protection that finally defeated this year by GitHub user mills5, who uploaded a decrypted executable

As you can see in the video at the top of this story, Quake Arcade Tournament plays a lot like regular Quake. It even had deathmatch, with multiple cabinets being connectable, and apparently included one of Quake 2's maps. The most noticeable difference comes when random enemies drop gift boxes, complete with a notification saying, "Instaprize!" Apparently Quake Tournament Edition dispensed tokens that could be redeemed for those coveted prizes kept under glass in your local arcade.

You'll need both MAME and a copy of the quakeat.chd file to make use of the decrypted executable. 

Thanks to @Sinoc229 on Twitter for highlighting this story.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.