The sound of a game disc spinning on a Nine Inch Nail.
It was weird because…
Just before the ground-breaking Quake, id Software had made Doom 2. Yup, bouncy MIDI rock (listen here) was still the standard, and could be heard in every first-person shooter around.
For Quake, id decided to mix things up and hired one Trent Reznor - and thus a whole new world of blistering industrial, screeching feedback and noise was mercilessly unleashed.
But it worked because…
Reznor’s explosive beats and creepy metallic ambience should have been too much for gamers in 1996. But then so should Quake. Genuinely 3D, scary-fast, and utterly brutal, it was the kick-in-the-teeth evolution of shooters, and as such, its soundtrack felt like a battle cry.
Listen here and compare that to Doom 2.