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Quake – Arcade Tournament Edition

You probably heard of the Quake – Arcade Tournament Edition. An arcade machine with Quake built by LBE Systems/Lazer-Tron in 1998.

Supposedly only twenty of these prototypes were manufactured. When the game was first introduced, Lazer-Tron was bought out and due to problems with the contracted programmer, the game was never further developed.

Just recently I understood what MAME is all about and eventually I knew how to get nearer to this thing. And yes, to my gratitude there actually is a harddisk image of this machine floating around in torrents. The file is named quakeat.chd (225 Megabytes) and you might find it in some huge romsets (CHD/LD are terms you will want to look for).

That quakeat.chd is the image of the harddisk from the arcade machine. You cannot run it through MAME at the time of writing because at least the BIOS image is missing. But you can mount the disk image and take a peek inside. Following is how I managed to do that (on Linux, have fun on Windows…) and some of what I found.


$ file quakeat.chd
quakeat.chd: MAME CHD compressed hard disk image, version 4

So let’s uncompress that image. MAME comes with a tool for that job, chdman (do get the latest official binaries, if you get an error about a wrong format, that’s what you did not do). I used Wine below because I could not be arsed to hunt for a Linux binary.

$ wine chdman.exe -extract quakeat.chd quakeat.img
[Output stripped]
$ file quakeat.img
quakeat.img: x86 boot sector, Microsoft Windows XP mbr,Serial 0x31f533a1; partition 1: ID=0xb, active, starthead 1, startsector 63, 4225473 sectors, code offset 0x33

Now you cannot simply mount that image, it contains a mbr. Checking the file with fdisk shows where the actual data partition starts.

$ fdisk -l -u quakeat.img
You must set cylinders.
You can do this from the extra functions menu.

Disk quakeat.img: 0 MB, 0 bytes
128 heads, 63 sectors/track, 0 cylinders, total 0 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x31f533a1

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
quakeat.img1 * 63 4225535 2112736+ b W95 FAT32

So the size of a sector is 512 bytes and the partition we want starts at sector 63. 63*512 = 32256. Thankfully you can tell mount where to start.

$ mount -o loop,offset=32256 quakeat.img /where/ever/you/want/


Now, what’s inside and can you run it? It looks like a (almost) normal Quake installation. The pak files in id1 are extracted. There is a glquake.exe but sadly it will tell you “E020C — Security key not found”. Seems like one would need a dongle. The engine also seems to have been modified to display AVI movies. There is a directory with movies inside that are referenced in quake.rc alternating with normal demos. They show instructions, credits and company logos.

There are some files related to accounting and prizes. 6 progs (progs.dat, progshipnotic.dat, Progsreaper.dat, progsqtv.dat (clanring something), progsrogue.dat, progszeus.dat). I could not figure out how to run the “Arcade Tournament” game though. Maybe someone more into QC and hacking will shed more light onto it.

The default.cfg says Quake – Arcade Tournament Edition 1.30 r3, it also contains a password (could that be related to the engine?) and suggests that opus.exe is related to the Joystick. There are many variables prefixed with a_ which suggests “arcade_”.

It seems like the two official missionpacks are included. Also a ctf1.bsp and qdqstart.bsp (which is quite a weird modified start map, most probably not related to Quake done Quick). There are also modified player models showing the current weapon (like vweps in some QW configurations nowadays).

Well, that’s it. Hooray for nostalgia. I can cross this one off my list now. :)

20 Responses to “Quake – Arcade Tournament Edition”

  1. Ron Says:
    10.08.2009 06:15

    Do you know if there are any “new” maps or weapons in there ?

  2. Spirit Says:
    10.08.2009 11:43

    There will be a follow-up post as Asaki, scar3crow and I had a nice deeper discussion in IRC. The new map is dm7, the original q2dm1 – The Edge. I don’t know about the weapon yet.

  3. Someone Says:
    13.08.2009 11:57

    The map qdqstart may have nothing to do with Quake done quick, but if you jump back to the real starting room, you can read “Quake done quicker”.
    Another thing, try choosing normal skill and smile.

    It is a known fact, that the original machine needed a dongle.

    There are other things to find on this image. I have converted this to a virtual harddisk and was able to boot the machine in safe mode. This way you can figure out, what the actual hardware was.
    This would help the MAME developers show, whats needed to run this. I bet, you will never see this running on MAME. There isn’t just the dongle to be emulated, this glquake needs one of the Quantum 3D cards, which is a voodoo2 based card, maybe something like the voodoo banshee, from what i can see in the device manager.

  4. Someone Says:
    13.08.2009 15:44

    Finally i played around with some stuff, and can say, that progszeus.dat brings in funny little physics. The enemies flying around when they dying by shots of certain weapons.

  5. jdhack Says:
    16.08.2009 00:58

    I put my feeble cracking skills to work on the glquake exe. Found out it reads 1024 bytes from the dongle, then does a bunch of confusing data manipulation. I suspect the point of this is to make it difficult to follow exactly what it’s doing…

    For fun, I calculated how long it would take to brute-force crack a 1024-byte key. Came up with around 10^54 years (that’s 1 followed by 54 zeroes). Always a bad sign when a number’s too big to be expressed in words.

    So we’ll probably need to get our hands on either the dongle itself, or a more gifted hacker :) Too bad, since in terms of “new” content, the exe is probably the most interesting part of this.

  6. Someone Says:
    17.08.2009 18:14

    I guess, it would make more sense to reverse engineer the exe, and rebuild it, using the original glquake source.
    As far as i can see, it is far from final, this seems to be a image of a development machine, there is even a incomplete Actua Soccer folder on the disc. This was another planned arcade machine powered by the same LBE Systems/Quantum 3D machine.

  7. Anonymous Says:
    17.08.2009 18:51

    Damn, those controls would have been horrible.

  8. jdhack Says:
    18.08.2009 00:22

    Reverse engineering it would be just as difficult, since it looks to me like the code segments are encrypted, with the key on the dongle. For example, if you open the exe in a hex-editor, you won’t find any of the usual strings in a Quake engine (cvar names, error messages, lmp names, etc.). And of course “black-box” reverse engineering is only possible if you can run the damn thing. ;)

    What might help a bit is if I had images of other Rainbow Technologies dongles from that era. It would’ve been a parallel port model, with at least 1024 bytes on it, and a device name of “RNBODRV0″. If anyone finds any like this, please post a link!

  9. jdhack Says:
    18.08.2009 00:31

    Re post 7: the controls actually seem pretty decent to me. For someone who plays via keyboard+mouse, with the keys set to strafe left/right instead of turning, it would be very similar. Assuming the trackball was on the correct side for one’s handedness.

  10. Steven Says:
    18.08.2009 02:15

    Nice find :>

    > 63 sectors/track… Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes

    Can you always calculate the offset from a disk image this way ?

  11. Spirit Says:
    18.08.2009 07:19

    The question is if it would be worth the hassle. :)

    I think you can always get the offset that way.

  12. Quake Arcade - QuakeOne - Quake 1 Resurrection Says:
    10.03.2010 09:12

    [...] Quake – Arcade Tournament Edition __________________ Quake 1 Singleplayer Maps and Mods [...]

  13. R00k Says:
    12.03.2010 07:39

    I found this and ran through your steps and it worked perfectly! Oddly this chd included windows 95, albiet id used it to boot the machine. I wonder if M$ knew about that?

  14. Spirit Says:
    12.03.2010 13:52

    The machines were normal computers with Windows on them and a dongle for the Quake version.

  15. avens Says:
    06.07.2010 04:19

    can you run it as a regular quake mod? it has progs.dat and seems it has all necessary files.

    I found one site that says it has some differences with standard quake that are really noteworthy, especially the weapons part:
    “The game was a little different from standard Quake. The game simulates a deathmatch round (with the addition of monsters), several cabinets can be linked together for group play. The levels available were not exactly the same as the ones on the Quake CDROM (most notably the famous Quake II map “The Edge” was in this game as well). Some monsters would drop prize packs when shot (this would dispense tickets out of the machine, as this was also a redemption machine). Finally, the weapon lineup was not exactly the same (more of a hybrid of the weapon selection from both Quake and Quake II).”

    also I couldn’t mount the .img file using win xp

  16. gb Says:
    08.07.2010 19:05

    Quake 2 weapons, and SiN running on the same engine?

    This seems like there might have been two versions then, one with a modified glquake.exe and one with the Quake 2 engine, since AFAIK SiN never ran on the Q1 engine. They surely didn’t rewrite SiN’s gamecode in QC.

    Does the version of the Edge in this have Quake 2 textures, or is it somehow converted? I wonder, because the palettes are different and also Quake 2 uses external textures in a different format, while Q1 has the textures included in the bsp.

    I might have to find this and have a look myself.

    I’d be interested in the modified player models.

  17. avens Says:
    11.07.2010 00:11

    post again when you get it running, hopefully with pictures and how to run it if the game worths it.

  18. Ken Says:
    04.12.2010 18:39

    I mounted the RAW image of this fine under Windows using ImDisk Virtual Disk.

    I figured I’d see what happens when using a regular GLQuake EXE and a Glide Wrapper. Kinda figured I’d at least get an error, wasn’t expecting it to work.

    “Starting Quake”, loads to a black screen and then dumps back to desktop.

  19. nrl_quaker Says:
    17.03.2011 18:03

    Just tried it on Win7. Extracted with chdman than mounted with WinImage and extracted quake dir. Than copied DirectQ 1.8.7 RC2 exe to quake dir.
    Worth mentioning:
    -physics seem strange for me;
    -you can find “Quake done quicker” on the wall in qdqstart, there are smiles and some fun stuff with teleports;
    -dm7 is nicely remake of q2dm1;
    -you can play maps from start till end by loading them from console. When you go to the ending teleporter you die.

    Except q2dm1 remake nothing interesting here.

  20. Was there ever a Doom II arcade machine? - Quora Says:
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    [...] with four buttons and aiming with a trackball. Some enterprising fans have dug into the files here: http://www.quaddicted.com/quake-…Dan Amrich • 9:31amView All 2 Comments Edit Link Text Show answer summary preview when [...]

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