From Quake Wiki

the Slipgate Complex
e1m1 - the Slipgate Complex
Filename e1m1
Author John Romero
Monsters 10 / 23 / 42
Secrets 6
CD Track 6

E1M1 - the Slipgate Complex is the first level of the Dimension of the Doomed episode of Quake. As the first regular level of Quake, it is one of the most recognizable, and has had several remixes created of it. It follows the convention of the first level of all episodes, in that it takes place in a earthly military base setting, housing a piece of the slipgate technology, through which the player reaches the otherworld aspects of Quake. e1m1 is largely linear, as it serves as an introduction to Quake gameplay, putting most enemies directly in front of the player, with limited ambushes, and ample recovery items.

The level demonstrates Quake's ability to do 3d spaces with the bridge over the creek, a catwalk, and an overlapping spiral ramp. The player encounters most of the game mechanics in the level, other than wind tunnels, crushers, trap shooters, and teleporter trains.


The Slipgate Complex is the only level to contain a tutorial section, where the player is prompted to jump across a gap and is introduced to the idea that you need to shoot secret walls to access them, easing the transition for Doom players who would still be used to an Action/Use key to trigger such events.

  • Secrets - There is a message instructing the player to attack a wall, the wall is being highlighted by a flickering light, training users to look for visual discrepancies as a motive to dig deeper. They are rewarding in this case with a box of 20 shotgun shells.
  • Jumping - There is a message instructing the player when walking along a small step that they can jump the crossing, and if they do so, they will have access to a Green Armor.
  • Doors - The first door is pushed into a recess, so a player cannot accidentally trigger it, thus they understand that doors typically function via proximity.
  • Elevators and buttons - Through the door the player has a dead end with a floor texture change and a flashing button, if they continue forward they will bump into the button, which will activate the elevator, training the player on the importance of floor texture, and that buttons are not operational by proximity, but rather contact.
  • Water - If the player ventures off the main path into the water, they can experience movement and view changes. The water becomes deep enough for the player to encounter immersion but the ground quickly slides back up, so they can escape, and also hear the gasping sound, understanding the implicit danger of water. It also introduces players to platforms and secret areas that can be stumbled upon.
  • Ambushes - The nailgun shows the player how traps are still a part of the game world, triggered usually by items, and that they can result in environmental changes such as light levels and walls moving.
  • Sequences - In the ramp room the player is given a series of buttons, and a door that requires all 3 be pressed to open. This trains the player via messaging and the unopened door that many things in Quake require more than one action to complete.
  • Exits - Very simple, as the player approaches the slipgate, it is messaged that they are about to leave the level.


Secret 1: Right at the beginning there is a shelf with a flashing light and a message saying "you can jump up here". Shoot the panel with the black and yellow stripes to reveal some shells.

Secret 2: If you fall into the water in the outside area, there is a cave that takes you to a Mega-Health and a way back up to the start. This secret can also be accessed by shooting a panel in the end area.

Secret 3: After you see the first explosive crate, head right. Shoot the computer screens that have planets displayed on them to activate a lift and open a secret door. Behind the door is a Quad Damage!

Secret 4: A crosshair button is visible when standing on the bridge over the first slime pool. Shoot it to reveal a Double-Barrelled Shotgun.

Secret 5: In the large room with slime at the bottom, there is an Biosuit hidden behind a pillar near the bottom. Take the suit and swim in the slime until you find a tunnel entrance. Swim down the tunnel until you reach a square opening out of the slime. This leads to a small room with a Yellow Armor and some other items.

Secret 6: In the large room with slime at the bottom, there is a small ledge which has some steps leading up to it above the main route. Climb across the light and the button, then jump to the steps, which lead up to a Mega-Health.


On Easy, this map features the only dog you will encounter until e2m1.

e1m1 has one of the largest monster to skill ratio disparities of any map, with the relationship of Easy to Normal being just over two fold, but the relationship of Easy to Hard being seven fold.


The Slipgate Complex is a strange map for deathmatch due to the linear nature of the map combined with the physical proximity of the entrance and exit. The Nailgun is at the single player spawn and in its original location there is now a Rocket Launcher. A Grenade Launcher can be found in Secret 5, and the teleporter will take you to a Pentagram of Protection. Combat focuses in the entrance to the complex due to the presence of the Rocket Launcher, the Quad Damage from Secret 3, and the exit of Secret 5. Gameplay can be a bit campy as a player in the Rocket Launcher room can easily fire down on anyone below or attempting to use the platform to reach their catwalk.


As the first and perhaps most recognisable level in Quake, E1M1 has had a couple of remixes made for it. The remixes are listed below.

  • E1M1RMX : The first remix, made by czg and Vondur in 2004. It has the same layout and gameplay as the original map, only with much improved visuals and a large unmarked secret, accessible from the Double-Barrelled Shotgun secret.
  • E1M1RMX_HARD : A remix of E1M1RMX with much more difficult gameplay.
  • E1M1QUOTH : Another remix of E1M1RMX, this time for the Quoth mod. It has even more details, extra areas and remixed gameplay using the additional Quoth base enemies.


the Slipgate Complex
Standing upon the initial slipgate, looking into the brief 'tutorial' area.
The bridge leading into the Slipgate Complex.
The ramp room, a grunt guarding an already pressed button.