Quake III Arena

From Sega Retro


Quakeiiiarena title.png
Quake III Arena
QUAKE3 A vmu.png
System(s): Sega Dreamcast
Original system(s): PC
Publisher(s) of original games: Activision
Developer(s) of original games: id Software
Peripherals supported: Visual Memory Unit, Jump Pack, Dreamcast Keyboard, Dreamcast Mouse, Panther DC, Broadband Adapter, Dreamcast Modem, Dreamcast VGA Box
Genre: Action

Number of players: 1-4
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Dreamcast
$49.95[1] 51061
Sega Dreamcast
£39.99[3] MK-51061-50
Sega Dreamcast
?F MK-51061-50
Sega Dreamcast
DM ? MK-51061-50
Sega Dreamcast
?Ptas MK-51061-50
Sega Dreamcast
$? ?
Sega Dreamcast
R$R? 197296

Quake III Arena is a first person shooter and a direct sequel to Quake II. It was developed by id Software and ported to a variety of systems, including the Sega Dreamcast (whose port was handled by Raster Productions). The last game in this franchise to appear on a Sega system was Quake on the Sega Saturn.

Quake III differs from previous installments in the series in that the game is focused on multiplayer matches. The technology and simplicity of Quake III made the game extremely popular, so much so that many people still play the game online today, despite the game being over a decade old. It is one of the many Dreamcast games which can still be played online due to fan servers and now supports the DreamPi[5]


Control Options

Quake III Dreamcast allows for a variety of control options.

The Dreamcast port of Quake III Arena is compatible with a number control options including the standard controller, the MadCatz Panther DC as well as the Dreamcast Keyboard and Dreamcast Mouse. In split-screen multiplayer individual players can be mapped up to two devices, as the keyboard and mouse require a control port each. Players can use the following setups:

  • One device for up to four individual players (Controller, Keyboard, Mouse or Panther DC)
  • Two devices for up to two individual players (Controller + Keyboard, Keyboard + Mouse, Controller + Mouse)

During online matches, keyboard accessories can be used for text chatting to other players, or team members during team games.

There are five different control setups when configuring controls for your preferred device(s).

  • Preset 1 (1) - Dreamcast Controller
  • Preset 2 (2) - Keyboard & Mouse
  • Preset 3 (3) - Alternate Dreamcast Controller
  • Preset 4 (4) - MadCatz Panther DC
  • Custom (C) - Allows you to map to any button or axis.

Single Player

Quake III Arena features a Single Player component to help teach the player on how to play the game.
Unlike previous entries of the Quake franchise, Quake III Arena was built to be primarily a multiplayer shooter. However there is an Arena Gauntlet mode that allows you to fight computer player opponents through five tiers. This was designed to ease players into playing against real opponents through a gradual learning curve to ease players into the faster paced gameplay.

Multi Player & Internet Game

The Multi Player option allows up to four human players or up to three computer opponents play in an arena. Depending on how many local players are playing determine which maps will be available.

Internet Game allows online play for up to four players, one player per system across all the maps and game modes available. Internet Game allows to chat between different players or team mates if the Dreamcast Keyboard is being used.

Because Quake III allows peer-to-peer connection, the US version can still be played online. Dreamcast users will need to connect to servers via an IP address with a working Broadband Adapter.

Game Modes

  • Deathmatch - The player with the most frags wins.
  • Team Deathmatch - Two teams compete to earn the most frags
  • Tournament - Two combatants compete for the most frags and take turns between other players who are in the same game
  • Capture the Flag - Two teams compete to capture the other team's flag and bring it back to their own flag.


Different items will appear in each arena that will help or hinder players.


Players start off with the Gauntlet and the Machine Gun at the start of a match or when respawning. Different weapons and ammunition pick ups are spread out in each arena. The Gauntlet is the only weapon that does not require ammo, however can only cause damage and can be used in close range.

  • Gauntlet
  • Machine Gun
  • Shotgun
  • Plasma Gun
  • Grenade Launcher
  • Rocket Launcher
  • Lightning Gun
  • Rail Gun
  • BFG-10K


Armor will help protect players by decreasing the amount of damage caused by other factors. Armor points can go up to 200, however will count down if it's over 100 points. Armor pick ups will stack over each other.

  • Armor Shard - 5 points
  • Combat Armor - 50 points
  • Heavy Armor - 100 points


Health pickups allow you to regain lost health during combat. Each spawn grants players 125 health, however health ratings that are over 100 will gradually count down.

  • Green- 5 points
  • Yellow - 25 points
  • Gold - 50 points

Green health bonuses will allow you to go past 200 health points while Yellow and Gold will bring you up to 100 points.


  • Battle Suit
  • Flight
  • Haste
  • Invisibility
  • MegaHealth
  • Quad Damage
  • Regeneration
  • Medkit
  • Teleporter

Gimmicks and Hazards

  • Acceleration Pads
  • Bounce Pads
  • Doors
  • Fog of Death
  • Fog
  • Gates
  • Lava
  • Teleporters
  • Triggers
  • Voids
  • Red and Blue Flags


During gameplay in both Single and Multiplayer modes come opportunities to be awarded with medals based on performance.

  • Excellent - Award for making two frags within two seconds
  • Impressive - Award for making two consecutive shots with the Rail Gun.
  • Frags - Awarded for every 100 frags.
  • Accuracy - Awarded when accuracy is over 50% at the end of a round.
  • Gauntlet - Award for each frag obtained with the Gauntlet
  • Perfect - Award for surviving a round without being fragged.

Map List

Quake III on the Dreamcast features down-sized and re-balanced levels from the original version, adjusted to take into account the maximum player count of four players offline and online. A number of levels have also been omitted in this version, and some levels are not available in certain split-screen modes due to RAM limitations of the Dreamcast hardware. Four players can play online at the same time on all the levels in the game. The allowed amount of players for each level in split-screen is listed below, along with the exclusive levels made just for the Dreamcast version.

Map Max Players Split-screen
Arena Gate 1
House of Pain 2
Powerstation 0218 2
Arena of Death 2
Blue Monday 2
Hidden Fortress 1
Dark Chapel 1
Place of Many Deaths 2
The Forgotten Place 1
The Camping Grounds 1
Fatal Instinct 1
Temple of Retribution 1
Lost World 1
Gaze of the Abyss 1
The Proving Grounds 1
Evil Playground 1
The Bouncy Map 1
The Longest Yard 1
Hell's Gate 1
Quake III on Dreamcast supports four players, but takes several technical measures to help keep a steady framerate.
Exclusive Dreamcast Deathmatch*
Map Max Players Split-screen
Revolver 4
Frenzy 4
Incinerator 4
Brute Force 4
Agony 4
Crisis 4
  • Can also be played in Tournament and Team Deathmatch modes.
Capture the Flag
Map Max Players Split-screen
Dueling Keeps 1
Space CTF 1
Blast Radius 1
Fallout Bunker 1
Exclusive Dreamcast CTF
Map Max Players Split-screen
Incinerator 4
Slow Burn 4
Revolver 4

Production credits

  • Programming: John Carmack, Robert A. Duffy, Jim Dosé
  • Art: Adrian Carmack, Kevin Cloud, Kenneth Scott, Seneca Menard
  • Game Designer: Graeme Devine
  • Level Design: Tim Willits, Christian Antkow, Paul Jaquays
  • CEO: Todd Hollenshead
  • Director of Business Development: Marty Stratton
  • Office Manager and id Mom: Donna Jackson
  • Development Assistant: Eric Webb
  • Bot AI by: Jan Paul van Waveren
  • Original Dreamcast Music by: "Razor"
Sega Dreamcast Version Developed by Raster Productions
  • Programming: Aaron Seeler
  • Art: Won Choi
  • Level Design: Kaai Cluney
  • Additional Design: William Joseph
Sega of America Dreamcast, Inc. Credits Credits
  • Network Producer: Jeff "hal9000" Hedges
  • Server/Network Engineering: Stephen "Azayel" Willers, Eugene Archibald, Britt Morris, Sergey Gitman and Jeff "hal9000" Hedges
  • Lead Internet Software Analyst: Darren "Smackaveli" Nagtalon
  • Assistant Lead Internet Software Analysts: Josh "MacrossJXS" Simpson and Paco "Trunks" Youngel
  • Internet Software Analysts: Nicolas Azizian, Samir Gupta, Lance Nelson, Malak Rida, Ryan Sindledecker, Cliff Wilhelm and Eric Wilhelm
  • Speicla Thanks: Jerry Markota, Joey Berrios, Art Datangel, Jason Nolen, Olga Kaminskaya, Dow Truax, Doug Shrock, Takashi Kosaka, Brad Watters, Lynn MacConnell, Brad Huang, Keitaro Shigemasa, Bee Low, Aiyu Li, Julia Miller, Skip McIlvaine, and Mike Browning
Activision Credits
  • Executive Producer: Jonathan Knight
  • Associate Producer: Steve Rosenthal
  • Director Global Brand Management: Dusty Welch
  • Brand Manager: Kevin Kraff
  • Production Testers: Joe Favazza, Patrick Bowman, Eddie Flores, Mike Stephan, Hans Waklins
  • Special Thanks: Bobby Kotrick, Brian Kelly, Ron Doornick, Mitch Lasky, Michael Pole, George Rose
Source: US manual

Magazine articles

Main article: Quake III Arena/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

EGM US 137.pdfEGM US 137.pdf

Print advert in Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #137: "December 2000" (2000-10-30)

DLMO FR 07.pdf

Print advert in Dreamcast: Le Magazine Officiel (FR) #7: "Décembre 2000/Janvier 2001" (2000-xx-xx)

ROD ES 14.pdfROD ES 14.pdf

Print advert in Revista Oficial Dreamcast (ES) #14: "Febrero 2001" (2001-xx-xx)

ROD ES 15.pdf

Print advert in Revista Oficial Dreamcast (ES) #15: "Marzo 2001" (2001-xx-xx)

ROD ES 16.pdf

Print advert in Revista Oficial Dreamcast (ES) #16: "Abril 2001" (2001-xx-xx)


Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
95 №107, p114/115[6]
100 №229, p86-87[3]
90 №34, p34-37[7]
80 №92, p105[8]
86 №89, p73[9]
Sega Dreamcast
Based on
6 reviews

Dreamcast, US
Q3A DC US Box Back.jpgQ3A DC US Box Front.jpg
Q3A DC US Disc.jpg
Broadband adapter info
Dreamcast, EU
Q3A DC EU Box Back.jpgQ3A DC EU Box Front.jpg
Q3A DC EU Disc.jpg
Dreamcast, BR
Quake3arena dc br backcover.jpgQuake3arena dc br frontcover.jpg
Q3A DC US Disc.jpg

Technical information

The Dreamcast port of Quake III Arena is capped at 30fps. It runs on a Dreamcast port of the id Tech 3 engine used for the original PC version of Quake III Arena.[10] Raster Productions made several optimizations to the engine for the Dreamcast hardware, allowing it to run at a smooth frame rate. However, it was not entirely optimized for the hardware. Quake III Arena rendered up to 10,000 polygons per scene,[11] at 30 FPS on the Dreamcast, which was a fraction of what other Dreamcast games rendered while maintaining 60 fps (e.g. up to 52,000 polygons per scene for the backgrounds and 9246 polygons per character in Dead or Alive 2). Nevertheless, Quake III Arena was more optimized for the Dreamcast than Unreal Tournament, with the Dreamcast version of Quake III Arena having more polygon geometry, stable frame rate and dynamic colored lighting.[12]

VMU Features

Quake III Arena can utilize VMU storage to save progress. It can carry five profiles and five save games for the Single Player mode.

Quake 3 Arena Save Data
Name File Name Comment File Size Icon
Quake III Arena QUAKE3_ARENA Quake III Arena 25 blocks QUAKE3 A vmu.png

During gameplay, the player's avatar will show on the LCD screen.

There are also maze mini games included when completing the Single Player campaign on any difficulty. Completing the maze will award the player cheats for user during offline Single and Multiplayer game modes. Each difficulty mode features a different maze and cheat.