I'm not a big gamer, but I had to pick up the original Quake when a friend showed it to me. It was the wacky mixture of horror/middle Earth and science fiction that made me laugh, like an ogre armed with a sack of grenades and a chainsaw in a grim castle rigged with teleporters.
I made a number of "mod" levels and went completely over the top with invisible floors and teleporters and such. One level had a ring of interconnected teleporters thus forming a "cat's cradle" if one fired a rocket into the nearest one. (Hint: duck after pulling the trigger.)
But my favorite thing was depressurizing on Friday evenings with some co-workers in a Death Match. (A Death Match is several live players against each other, rather than against the computer.) I always racked up the best scores because I was reckless, having just as much fun getting "fragged" as dishing out the damage. The other guys tended to pussyfoot around and play cautiously—which brings me to a couple of my favorite anecdotes.
Quake had weapons and "power-ups" not found in later generations of the game, such as the Ring of Shadows (invisibility) and the Lightning Gun (as it said in the manual, just spray it like a garden hose). One time I saw a pair of eyes running past. I spun around quickly and fired, fragging Roman as he was trying to get behind me. I could hear him yell from his cubical across the hall, "How did you know I was there?!" Unlike many science fiction writers, the makers of Quake knew that if one's eyes were invisible, one would not be able to see. So visible eyes floating along was the one Achilles heel of the Ring of Shadows.
If one gets "fragged" (killed, blown to kibbles) in a Death Match, one "respawns" somewhere in the arena armed with the lowest of weapons (single-barreled shotgun and an axe) and no armor. As one plays, one can pick up more powerful weapons and armor. In this one arena, the quad-barreled machine gun was the penultimate weapon. A quick burst at someone wearing no armor, or first level armor, resulted in an almost instant frag. Back to square one.
So I got stuck in a loop where Roman was camping in the immediate area where the quad-gun would replenish itself with ammo. Before taking up this position, he also managed to snag himself some red (third level) armor. Even without armor, he'd be able to hold that location until we all grew tired of the self-inflicted deja vu and decided to go home for the weekend. Dave and I didn't stand a chance against that quad-gun.
Then I respawned in the flooded cellar of the castle. Right beside me was the one weapon that topped the quad-gun and showed up only rarely in this arena: the Lightning Gun. But Roman would still able to mow me down before I could take him out. Then I heard two splashes—one after the other—through the game's sound system. Roman must be chasing Dave through the moat upstairs.
According to the manual, one must never fire the Lightning Gun while standing in water. This instantly shorts out the power cells and frags anything in the water. (We're talking chunks of meat flying—the animation was actually kinda funny.) I knew that all water in an arena was "connected," even though it is not contiguous. Water is water. And both of the other players were splashing through the moat...
In an instant, I decided that if I couldn't beat Roman without a tedious and protracted battle, I'd level the playing field for all of us. I jumped into the water in front of me and pulled the trigger. As the haunches of meat exploded on the screen in front of me, I could hear Dave and Roman in their offices across the hall exclaiming loudly, "WHAT THE H*LL JUST HAPPENED?!"
From my laughing—following the thunder clap sound effect—they figured out what I had done. After that, both of them stolidly refused to set one toe in water ever again. Meanwhile I could take all the shortcuts I wanted because I wasn't afraid to play out on the edge.