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Quake hits--in alpha version anyway

The long-awaited successor to Doom is finally here. Almost.

The long-awaited successor to Doom is finally here. Almost.

Quake, by id software, was quietly unveiled on the Net this weekend in what can only be called a nondemo, prebeta, ultra-alpha test release.

But the fact that the heavily anticipated Quake is still not ready for prime time matters little to hard-core gamers eager for a glimpse at the next level of Doom-style game playing, and already ftp sites all over the world are jamming up with demand for this new game.

The test version of Quake contains no monsters, will not work with a modem, and has limited TCP/IP support, but there are three test worlds to explore including a medieval setting, a world of traps and lava, and a military base. Like Doom, Quake's built-in IPX support means head-to-head DeathMatches as well as team playing on a variety of LANs.

What's the downside, you ask?

Quake requires at least 16MB of RAM and a Pentium to run properly; the company warns users that the current version is not designed to run on 486 systems. Windows 95 users are advised to run Quake as a DOS session and to try launching the game at least four times if it fails to load.