Clan 9 From Outer Space

  • Unspeakable Horrors From Outer Space Paralyze The Living And Resurrect The Dead!
  • also they play Quake

FYI for any confused soul who has randomly landed on this page: a Quake "clan" was a group of dudes who played together. At first glance it's just the concept of having a team roster for playing matches against other clans... pretty dry stuff. But as you know from high school and the modern Internet and life in general, any circumstance that forms folks into different groups is also an occasion for community, tribalism, and general drama.

Quake went big at the same time that the World Wide Web was catching on, which provided a huge boost to the clan idea. Within a few months it seemed like everyone who played games a) was playing Quake, b) was in a clan, and c) had a goofy clan website on Geocities sprinkled with GIFs of pentagrams.

My local set of Quake-playing friends thought that the Satanic-melodramatic theme of the prototypical Quake clan was pretty funny. But it wasn't hard to nudge them into forming a loosely-organized group to putter around together on various Quake-related projects and occasionally even play some matches. Hence "Clan 9 From Outer Space". Not to be confused with the infinitely more competent players of later clans that shared the C9 tag, such as Clan 9 or Cloud 9. Undoubtedly we were mostly known for running the Quake servers at, but I figured I'd save a page here in the attic for a few bits of C9FOS memorabilia.

The C9 logo image above, with the UFO (I think that's from the X-Files?) and the glowing Quad, might be my first-ever bit of photoshoppery. If not, then the main page image for our clan website probably was:

(BTW I was "lemurboy". Yeah.) If the source image is unfamiliar, do a search for "plan 9 from outer space poster". For any who got the reference, hopefully it did its job of communicating both our attitude and our skillz.

Another must-have for the serious clan was a "clan skin": a new texture for the Quake player model to show off your clan theme. I contracted texture artist Dan Bickell to create a skin for us; since I didn't have any inspiration in the horror B-movie line, I went with the alien invasion theme and asked for a "grey man" alien disguising himself in a hijacked astronaut suit. The resulting texture files:

(It certainly says something about Quake that it had a dedicated "severed head" texture.)

I thought it looked good in action, especially the glowing eyes which used "fullbright" colors which weren't affected by shadows. The gun part of the texture changed to reflect a player's chosen color, but we considered yellow to be the canonical C9FOS color that we used in pictures. This was the original banner image from the clan-skin page on our website:

I had lost the original skin texture files years ago — there's a C9FOS skin included in a later official QuakeWorld skin pack, but I think that Dan must have submitted a slightly different version of the texture than the one we liked. Thanks to though I recovered the files recently and took them for another test drive in the ezQuake engine:


That's probably enough about our little crew? Maybe someday I'll extract some other bits from our entertainingly embarrassing clan website (but maybe not).

One other interesting product of C9FOS was the QSmack tool, which is legit enough to have its own page.