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Basic environments


[q3a/environment/door] Doors block line-of-sight (obviously), and also sound; if there isn't an open passage or an open door leading to an adjacent area, you can't hear sounds that happen there. Doors open automatically when you walk up to them; they also open when exposed to fire (including splash). Don't shoot doors to open them; it gives your enemies advance warning that you're coming through.

Bounce pad

[q3a/environment/bounce] When a player steps on a bounce pad, it fires him up into the air (with a noise). Pads (including acceleration pads, below) are generally aimed at a particular location, so not all bounce pads are aimed directly upward. Midair steering after you hit the pad can change your trajectory quite a bit, which is always a good idea.

Acceleration pad

[q3a/environment/acceleration] The acceleration pad always sits at an angle. Stepping on it will fire you off into space, in the direction of the pad and upwards.


[q3a/environment/void] Many arenas have large voids -- areas where if you fall you will die. It's very simple; don't fall. A personal teleporter can save you if you slip and start falling into a void (or are pushed).

Fog of death

[q3a/environment/death] Some arenas contain regions that contain lethal falls, but which aren't voids, but are instead a steadily-thickening and lethal fog. Functionally they are the same as voids, except you usually don't have as far to fall.


[q3a/environment/pendulum] Q3DM15 contains a dangerous walk over a narrow plank (over fog of death) where three pendulums swing back and forth, out of sync, protecting a quad damage powerup. Even getting grazed by a pendulum means instant death. The way through the pendulums is slow and easy. Unfortunately, slow and easy is exactly what you want to avoid in the arena; if you get caught on that plank, you're a sitting duck.


[q3a/environment/lava] Lava glows red and is hard to misinterpret. Step it in, and it will do serious damage to you. Avoid it. Falling into a pool of it is bad news all around.


[q3a/environment/slime] Slime, glowing green, is much like lava but less injurious.


[q3a/environment/water] Water is very common; it not only comes in small puddles (like lava or slime) but also large, deep pools which you can swim around in. Completely submerging offers no difficulty, but if you stay submerged for long enough you start to take drowning damage which accelerates the longer you stay underwater. Underwater you can move in all directions, but at a slow speed, and making the transition from water to land is noisy and awkward. Stay away from water in a melee; the reduced speed and awkward transition from water to land makes you a sitting duck.


[q3a/environment/fog] Fog is a common effect used in the game which is interesting but actually does not change the physics of the game. One arena, however (Q3TOURNEY5 -- the tournament with Uriel), is completely suffused with an orange fog, making it quite difficult to see where attacks might be coming from; it makes it one of the more challenging arenas. Fog is harmless, ignore it -- unless you're playing Q3TOURNEY3, in which case you should be very cautious. Note that the bot isn't affected by the fog.


[q3a/environment/trigger] Some arenas contain triggers, which are locations you can either touch or shoot which cause something else to happen. Know what triggers activate what and you'll be ahead of the crowd.


[q3a/environment/platform] A few arenas contain platforms upon which players can stand and move, but which themselves move up and down or left to right; usually, falling off a platform means falling into the void or the fog of death. Q3DM19, in particular -- the last arena before facing Xaero -- is primarily mobile platforms. Learning how to time jumps with a little bit of midair maneuvering will make you adept at navigating platforms.

Power tube

[q3a/environment/tube] This unique object only appears in Q3DM10. When standing in it, one slowly regenerates health and armor, gaining the equivalent of a green health and an armor shard about twice a second. While doing this, however, one's visibility is reduced to the glowing shroud, and at the same time a loud "knocking" sound can be heard throughout the map. Don't forget to pass through here frequently in order to charge up on health and armor, but at the same time don't linger because you make an easy target.


[q3a/environment/teleporter] Stepping through a teleporter automatically takes you to a distinct, consistent place; different teleporters in the same arena can teleport to different areas, but each one will always take you to the same place. The teleporter does not necessarily take you to a place where there is another teleporter; that is to say, teleporters are one-way. Using teleporters can give you an upper hand; inexperienced players tend not to factor in teleporter shortcuts when moving around.


[q3a/environment/gate] A gate is just like a teleporter, except that you can see through it into its destination (in realtime). If someone runs in front of the area that the gate will teleport you to, then you'll see them if you look in it. Practically speaking, this shows off the engine, and not much else. The gate does not differ much from the teleporter, except that campers can hang out on the transmitting end. Also, the reverse side of the gate is transparent, so a sniper can stand behind the gate and shoot anyone coming through.

Vortex portal (Team Arena)

[q3a/environment/vortex] The vortex portal, specific to Quake III: Team Arena, can be found heavily used in MPTEAM6, the mission pack map with the same name. For all intents and purposes, the vortex portal acts like a teleporter, but the vortex portal is two-way, so when you jump in a vortex portal, you'll pop out of another one somewhere else. Furthermore, for a brief period of time after entering a vortex portal, the players are whisked through a wormhole-like tunnel of light for a second or two; two players going through the same portal in close succession can actually see each other, although the rapid movement and brief exposure would make combat difficult. It's just like a teleporter, so use it as one.

Viewing panel (Team Arena)

[q3a/environment/panel] The viewing panel has similar properties to the gate in that it acts as a visual portal through which you can see another part of the map. Unlike the gate, you cannot travel there through the panel; it is for viewing only. The viewing panel appears only on MPTEAM8. They don't call MPTEAM8 the Assassin's Roost for nothing; check for the buttons on either side.

Goal-specific environments

Team flag

[q3a/environment/blueflag] In capture the flag, a colored flag as present at each base. The enemy can touch the flag to pick it up, and must bring it back to their own base, while their flag is still located at their own base. When off its base, touching your own flag instantly returns it. Get the enemies', bring it back to yours.

White flag (Team Arena)

[q3a/environment/whiteflag] In one flag CTF, both teams fight after one flag -- the white flag -- and need to bring it to the enemy base. Grab the white flag and take it into the enemy base.

Skull obelisk (Team Arena)

[q3a/environment/obelisk] In overload games, the skull obelisk is located at each team's base, and must be destroyed with sustained fire to score; it turns progressively redder and redder as it gets closer to being destroyed. Shoot the enemies', protect your own.

Skull generator (Team Arena)

[q3a/environment/generator] In harvester games, when a player is killed, a colored skull pops of out of this skull generator. Each team tries to collect enemy skulls and bring them to the skull receptacle. Touching friendly skulls removes them from play. Touch all the skulls that pop out of this.

Skull receptacle (Team Arena)

[q3a/environment/redreceptacle] In harvester games, skull receptacles are present at each team's base. The goal is to bring enemy skulls into the enemies' receptacle. Collect enemy skulls, bring them here.

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