Developed by Rogue Entertainment and released in 1997, Dissolution of Eternity is the second and final official expansion pack for id Software's popular first-person shooter Quake. It features 15 new single-player maps, 11 new enemy types, and 3 new varieties of ammunition for Quake's pre-existing weapons. The story follows Quake's perennially silent and nameless protagonist as he attempts to stop the followers of Quake, resulting in a journey across several geographical locations and temporal periods in order to stop Quake's insidious forces.
It also features a new Capture the Flag map, Division of Change. CTF was in fact the focus of the expansion's multiplayer, with a unique grappling hook available only in this mode and additional One Flag and Three Team variants included. Many of the modifications for Dissolution of Eternity's multiplayer were credited to David "Zoid" Kirsch, one of the authors of the popular Threewave CTF mod for Quake.
After defeating Armagon and destroying the rift gate he protected, the unnamed hero of Quake is teleported back to Command Headquarters. Finding it abandoned, he scans the area, eventually finding a mangled corpse collapsed in a stagnant mire. Beside him on the ground is a charred book emblazoned with a familiar symbol, and a torn excerpt floating in the water. It details the Day of Dissolution, in which Quake will reform the world in his image, making it a place of chaos and pain. Gritting his teeth and grabbing the nearest shotgun, the protagonist heads for a nearby slipgate, determined to put an end to Quake's machinations once and for all.
As was the case with its predecessors Quake and Scourge of Armagon, Dissolution of Eternity is a "run and gun" FPS in which the primary goal is to reach the exit of any given level while killing any opposition along the way. The game begins by dropping the player into an introductory map in which they choose their difficulty by stepping through its associated portal (with the portal for the highest difficulty being hidden); after doing so, the player is allowed to choose which of the expansion's two episodes they wish to tackle: Hell's Fortress, or The Corridors of Time. While the player has the freedom to decide, there is an intended order for the episodes, as players will not be given the choice to return to the first episode should they start with the second. The game consists of fifteen maps (excluding the starting level), and the only notable difference in structure between Dissolution of Eternity and its forebears is that it contains no secret levels.
Similar to the previous expansion pack, Scourge of Armagon, the episodes of Dissolution of Eternity do fairly well at remaining thematically consistent throughout. While the dark medieval leanings of Hell's Fortress will be immediately familiar to anyone who has experienced previous Quake games, the motif of the second episode is far more elaborate. With the premise of time travel, The Corridors of Time see the player hurtling through several visually distinct time periods, from Greco-Roman, to Mayan and Egyptian settings, often with unique enemies in each locale.
Episode 1: Hell's Fortress
- R1M1: Deviant's Domain
- R1M2: Dread Portal
- R1M3: Judgement Call
- R1M4: Cave of Death
- R1M5: Towers of Wrath
- R1M6: Temple of Pain
- R1M7: Tomb of the Overlord
Episode 2: The Corridors of Time
- R2M1: Tempus Fugit
- R2M2: Elemental Fury I
- R2M3: Elemental Fury II
- R2M4: Curse of Osiris
- R2M5: Wizard's Keep
- R2M6: Blood Sacrifice
- R2M7: Last Bastion
- R2M8: Source of Evil
New Ammo Types
While Dissolution of Eternity doesn't add any new weapons to the Quake arsenal, all weapons save the shotguns are capable of using new types of ammo. When selecting armaments, hitting the weapon select button a second time will toggle its alternate ammo type. Just like the preexisting varieties of ammunition, the new ones come in small and large sizes.
Lava Nails Lava Nails are intended for use with the Nailgun and Super Nailgun. Unlike the other new ammunition types available, Lava Nails functions exactly as their regular counterparts do, with the only change being a significant boost to damage, as well a small hiss emitted when letting off the trigger. A small box yields 25 nails, while a large one yields 50.
Multi Grenades / Multi Rockets A shared ammo type for the Grenade Launcher and Rocket Launcher, both Multi Grenades and Multi Rockets behave somewhat differently than the usual explosives. Multi Grenades are launched as a single grenade, though after a short period they will break off into five individual grenades before exploding. Multi Rocket ammo unleashes four individual rockets capable of hitting multiple targets or a single target multiple times. A small box of Multi ammo bestows 5 grenades/rockets, while a large box houses 10.
Plasma Cells Designed for the Lightning Gun, Plasma Cells offer a distinct alternative to the standard firing mode. Rather than unleashing a solid stream of lightning, a singular ball of plasma energy is propelled toward its target. This ball explodes on contact, causing significant splash damage and sending tendrils of lightning toward nearby enemies. A small pack of Plasma Cells offers 6 uses, while a large pack contains 12.
Dissolution of Eternity features no less than eleven new creatures, in addition to returning foes from the main game. While some are re-skins of existing monsters, many are entirely new, and even those that reuse existing models usually exhibit new properties not seen in their predecessors. Included among the new foes are bosses for both of the two new episodes.
Electric Eel While visually distinct, the Electric Eel is functionally identical to the Quake Rotfish. They will attempt to get close enough to zap the player, though they are quite helpless if noticed before they are within this distance.
Phantom Swordsman Disembodied swords that slash and lunge at nearby players, Phantom Swordsmen are easily identified by the bright aura that surrounds them once they begin their pursuit. Despite being somewhat harder to see than other monsters, the same tactics one would use against Knights or other melee foes works well against them.
Multi-Grenade Ogre Looking even more hellish than the standard Ogre, the Multi-Grenade variety has taken to using the expansion's newly introduced Multi-Grenade ammo in place of their regular rounds. Aside from this change, Multi-Grenade Ogres are essentially just Ogres, with the same behaviour and stamina as their normal brethren. It is worth noting however that the larger radius of Multi-Grenades makes it easier for them to provoke monster infights.
Hellspawn Coloured a sickly green, Hellspawn might look and act much like the average Spawn, but they have one crucial difference: the ability to reproduce. Once it has noticed the player, a Hellspawn has a chance to split into two separate Hell Spawns, making it imperative to deal with them as quickly as possible.
Statue Re-skinned versions of Knights and Death Knights, Statues appear only in the first level of the second episode, Tempus Fugit. They will stand motionless and invulnerable until they are specifically triggered, at which point they should be dealt with as one would usually deal with Knights and Death Knights.
Mummy With the appearance of a normal Quake Zombie wrapped in bandages, Mummies come standard with an exorbitant amount of hit points. Fortunately, they behave just like any other Zombie, which means it is not a complicated matter to simply plug away at them with any readily available weapon until they (eventually) go down. They appear only in the fourth level of episode two, Curse of Osiris.
Wraith Wraiths are floating robed skeletal beings that begin to appear toward the end of the first episode. They are minions of the Overlord, and their primary weapon is a red and black homing firepod similar to the one used by Vores. Upon being defeated, they collapse to the ground where they die in an explosion of bone fragments, which can harm the player.
Lava Elemental Appearing exclusively in the third level of the second episode, Elemental Fury II, Lava Elementals are downscaled and re-textured Chthon models that behave in essentially the same way. Unlike Chthon, they are vulnerable to normal weapon fire. In the level in which they appear, the player is challenged to fight four of them in quick succession in order to unbar the exit.
Guardian Protecting the exits of specific levels throughout episode two, Guardians are fairly durable and furthermore summon additional reinforcements to aid them. While identical in appearance to their master, Guardians have far less hit points, and can also be distinguished by their tri-beam projectile attack, which is different in colour from that of a true Guardian.
Overlord The final boss of the first episode, the Overlord is the master of all Wraiths, and its projectile attack is essentially the same as its minions. It can additionally teleport and attack in melee range with the axe and mace it holds in its upper arms. A second Overlord appears in the second episode, though the frequent time travelling in that episode might indicate that it is in fact the same being and that it will recover from this fight so that you can kill it for reals in the first episode. Time travel is a confusing mistress.
Dragon The final boss of episode two and the ultimate enemy of the expansion pack, the Dragon flies around its lair, alternately launching either fireballs or electrified plasma balls at the player. While it is plenty strong, players will have more than enough firepower by this point in the game to be able to sufficiently deal with its threat.
The expansion includes two new power-ups, one of which appears to have been designed for the game's final boss battle. Though somewhat underwhelming when compared to the power-ups of the original game, they are not without their uses.
Anti-Grav Belt A power-up which emulates the low-gravity environment seen previously in Quake's E1M8, Ziggurat Vertigo, the Anti-Grav Belt is fairly useful in the game's final confrontation, though questionably so anywhere else. The ability to jump higher is certainly useful, but players will be sitting ducks during their slow descent.
Power Shield The poor man's Pentagram, the Power Shield decreases damage taken significantly, though not completely, making it more a temporary armour boost than a bona fide power-up. It could also apparently be used to propel hostile players long distances in deathmatch. Not a terrible power-up, but certainly not the most useful either.
Aided once again by Rob Patterson's guitar work, Jeehun Hwang returns after his previous work on Scourge of Armagon to compose eight new tracks for Dissolution of Eternity. Though somewhat lighter on electronic music than his previous score, Hwang's new compositions still include a wide variety of elements, from orchestral to industrial sounds, incorporating everything from guitars and drums to violin and piano accompaniment, often in the same song. As with his Scourge soundtrack, Hwang abandons the original game's ambient musical arrangements in favor of a faster tempo.
Minimum System Requirements
- Operating System: MS-DOS 5.0 or higher (or Windows 95)
- CPU: 75 MHz Processor or better (math coprocessor required)
- Memory: 8 MB RAM (16 MB for Windows 95)
- Display: VGA compatible display or better
- Hard Drive Space: 40 MB uncompressed space
- CD-ROM Drive: Double-speed (300k/sec. sustained transfer rate)
- Fully installed registered version of Quake