Unreal Tournament

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
"In 2291, in an attempt to control violence among deep-space miners, the New Earth Government legalized no-holds-barred fighting. Liandri Mining Corporation, working with the NEG, established a series of leagues and bloody public exhibitions. The fight's popularity grew with their brutality. Soon, Liandri discovered that the public matches were their most profitable enterprise. The professional league was formed: a cabal of the most violent and skilled warriors in known space, selected to fight in a Grand Tournament. Now it is 2341. Fifty years have passed since the founding of Deathmatch. Profits from the tournament number in the hundreds of billions."

Unreal Tournament is a First-Person Shooter developed by Epic Games and released for PC in 1999. It takes place canonically after Unreal and Unreal II the Awakening, focusing on a tournament (involving both Humans and Aliens) which started as a way to occupy deep-space miners and eventually grew to become a massive sport event watched by countless spectators. It got lots of critical acclaim, and was considered by many reviewers as a superior game to its main rival, Quake III Arena.

The single-player was, at best, an excuse to prepare the player for the multi-player mode, and featured the player choosing a team, a face and a name, and fighting in different arenas with different weapons, different rivals, and in some of these matches with the team he/she has chosen, until he/she reaches the Tournament finals and fight against Xan Kriegor, the Tournament's corrupt champion.

Its success was such that Epic Games decided to entirely focus on the MP side of the franchise for the future.

It spawned two versions for Sega Dreamcast and Playstation2, featuring different maps and characters, in 2001, as well as three sequels: Unreal Tournament 2003, Unreal Tournament 2004 and Unreal Tournament III. There were also four official releases as small and free Expansion Packs, called "Bonus Packs". These were done respectively by Epic Games, Digital Extremes, Cedric "Inoxx" Fiorentino (the creator of the map CTF-Face, a.k.a. "Facing Worlds") and by the three of them for Christmas 2000.[1]

Some characters from this game went big for the remainder of the franchise, as the character sheet shows.

The match has begun!

Character related tropes

Tropes related with Malcolm, Brock, Lauren and Xan can be found at the UT Character sheet. This section is for those who didn't appeared in any other game.

Gameplay tropes

  • A-Team Firing: Low-level bots behave like this. Don't try it, or you'll get murdered.
  • The All-Seeing AI: Bots generally have a sense when a Damage Amplifier or other good powerup is available (and you can whore kills if you camp at said powerup), can call movers and platforms at will, (something the player can't) and allied bot ordered to assist you can always track you down to pinpoint accuracy. On the plus side, they can't or won't get to out-of-the-way powerups placed in areas requiring precision jumps.
    • AI Breaker: Bots have a limited FOV, which depends on the difficulty level, and they won't hit you if you're in an extremely long distance, such as CTF-HallOfGiants, from the second Bonus Pack.
  • Armor Is Useless: No matter how much health, armor, or shield you have, get shot by a fully charged Bio goop, a well-placed Shock Combo with Double Damage/Damage Amplifier, a full pack of 6 rockets, or the Redeemer and you're gone for good.
  • Arrow Cam:
    • The Redeemer's secondary fire allows you to take control of the missile, and guide it around until it explodes. You are left vulnerable, since you can't see what's happening around you in this mode, though.
    • Being gibbed at any point leads the player to a "head bouncing around-cam" shot.
  • Artificial Gill: The SCUBA Gear from Unreal reappears in the map AS-OceanFloor.
  • Beam Spam: Any Instagib match with many players.
  • BFG: The Redeemer.
  • Blatant Item Placement: Ammo near weapons. Weapons in unlikely places. Powerful weapons, typically rocket launchers, in pretty much unrisky zones. You are, of course, fighting in an arena.
  • Book Ends: Your character fights 1on1 battles at the beginning (DM-Oblivion) and the end (DM-HyperBlast) in Cool Starships. At least in the PC version.
  • Capture the Flag: The other Trope Codifier.
  • Chainsaw Good: With a Shout-Out to Doom.
    • Same goes for the Ripper in the same game. The secondary fire launched an explosive saw disc. Insta-kill for both modes if you aimed for the neck.
  • Competitive Multiplayer: It even has everything for all the flavors, some depending of the game.
  • Death Is Not Permanent: At least, until the round ends.
  • Dynamic Difficulty: There's an option to make the AI dynamically change its set difficulty, depending on how well the player is playing.
  • Emergency Weapon: The Impact Hammer.
  • Fackler Scale of FPS Realism: Way up.
  • Gaiden Game: Towards Unreal.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The Redeemer's description claims that it's exhausted after just one shot, but if you're patient and/or lucky, you can grab a second missile for it without having to launch the first one beforehand. Later games avert this.
  • Gangsta Style: The Enforcer's alternative fire.
  • Gatling Good: The minigun.
  • Improvised Weapon: The Impact Hammer and Pulse Gun are mining tools (pneumatic drill and cutting torch respectively), while the Bio-Rifle uses waste material produced from Tarydium crystals.
  • Lightning Gun: The Pulse Gun.
  • Melee a Trois: The gametypes Domination and Team Deathmatch allowed battles of 3 and 4 teams.
  • More Dakka: The minigun.
  • No One Could Survive That: The 'feign death' function can at times be incredibly useful if used correctly.
  • One-Hit Kill: Many weapons have this. However, the weapon which stands over it all is the Instagib Shock Rifle, used only in the namesake mode.
  • Playing Possum: The game allows the player to feign death.
  • Playing Tennis With the Boss: The Impact Hammer can reflect rockets.
  • Quad Damage: The Damage Amplifier.
  • Set Swords to Stun: An automag bullet in the brain? No problem, it hurts a bit, but it only takes away 25 HP. Shock Rifle blast to the face? More dangerous, you lose 50 HP. There are however weapons that can insta-kill, such as the Flak Cannon or the Rocket Launcher.
  • Shoot the Bullet: Redeemer missiles can be shot down.
  • Sighted Guns Are Low Tech: Only two guns have visible iron sights, the Enforcer and the Sniper Rifle.
  • Standard FPS Guns: Averted. Most of the weaponry has a different feel to it, and one of UT's selling points is that its weapons invariably have some function attached to the alternative fire button.
    • The Impact Hammer is the melee weapon, in the form of a pneumatic fist. The primary fire charges this fist. The alternative fire is an Attack Reflector.
    • The Translocator, available in some modes. The primary fire shoots a beacon; the alternative fire teleports you to it.
    • The Enforcer. Hit Scan automatic pistol. Players start with only one, but they can dual-wield them if they claim one from a foe's corpse. The alternative fire is a Gangsta Style fire.
    • The Bio-Rifle shoots radioactive green glop in a parabolic arc. Primary fire flings a single ball; secondary fire charges up to eight balls together into a giant cluster mine. The glop hangs around for a bit on whatever surface it hits, doing damage to whatever touches it, and then explodes, doing damage to anything near it.
    • The ASMD Shock Rifle's primary fire produces Hit Scan Frickin' Laser Beams. It's secondary fire sends off a Painfully-Slow Projectile Energy Ball. The ball, when blasted with primary fire, explodes, doing extra damage at the cost of extra ammo.
    • The Pulse Gun is the assault rifle analogue. It's alternate mode is a Lightning Gun.
    • The Ripper shoots sawblades which can ricochet off walls and around corners. The alternative fire shoots exploding, though non-ricocheting, sawblades.
    • The Minigun is just like other FPS counterparts; it's altfire makes it go twice as fast.
    • The Flak Cannon is a shotgun on steroids: it fires molten crumbs of metal that will bounce off a surface as long as they're glowing. The alternative fire lobs a shell instead of firing it, in the form of a ball which explodes into crumbs upon impact with an object or surface.
    • The Rocket Launcher can shoot between one and six rockets at a time, in either a cluster or a spread pattern. The alternative fire lobs them as grenades instead.
    • The Sniper Rifle is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. The alternative fire uses scope.
    • And finally, the Redeemer is the tactical mini-nuke. The alternative fire lets the player to pilot it with a missile's-eye view.
  • Swiss Army Weapon: With their alternate firing modes, almost every weapon is one of these. Special mention goes to the Shock Rifle and the Rocket Launcher, each of which has more than two ways of killing opponents.
  • There Can Be Only One: Last Man Standing.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The Redeemer being a personal, portable, potentially remote-guided tactical nuclear missile.
  • Universal Ammunition: The Enforcer and (non-tarydium) minigun share ammo.

Misc tropes

  • After the End: The game takes place after the Human-Skaarj wars, initiated with Prisoner 849's actions in the first game and its Expansion Pack, which left a devastated Earth, with many rebellions between groups of Earth's survivors. In fact, many of these rebellions led to the creation of the Tournaments. Many of these events are also referenced in the backstories of both maps and AI characters.
  • Announcer Chatter: Iconic enough to have carried over to other games such as League of Legends and server-side Counter-Strike mods.
  • Attract Mode: In the console versions, though you see the action from a camera, and not from someone's POV.
  • Blood Sport
  • Bond One-Liner: Taunts... for the most part.
  • Boom! Headshot!: Despite that the first Unreal game already gave the player to finish everything with headshots from the Rifle, this is the game which introduced the Headshot announcement. This later carried on to many games.
  • Combos: Double Kill. Multi Kill! ULTRA KILL!! M-M-M-M-M-MONSTER KILL!!!
  • Dummied Out: Since this game has all of Unreals original assets (sans maps and music), this was to be expected. With the right cheat codes it's possible to use elements of the original game such as the Acoustic Dampener (a silencer) and the Nali Seeds/Healing Fruits. Of course, since this game is a highly moddable game, many user-made maps feature these "hidden" items. A few mutators even add Unreals monsters into the levels for additional fun.
    • There're also some mutators which were unfinished, such as Minigun Arena and Impact Arena, as well as a gametype (Tournament Darkmatch) which hasn't maps.
  • Easter Eggs:
    • There's a small room in DM-Codex, opened by hitting a wall-lamp, which shows a picture of its creator, Cliff "CliffyB" Bleszinski.
    • Firing a Redeemer missile or a Flak shell with the playersonly cheat allows you to see both a message and a face, respectively.
    • The maps DM-Mojo][ and DM-Shrapnel][ have the UT logo hidden in some parts.
  • Fun with Acronyms:
    • Many meanings were suggested for ASMD, such as "Atomic Shock Matter Disruptor". Word of God eventually confirmed that it simply stood for "And Suck My Dick".
    • Similarly, the GES in the Bio Rifle name stands for "Green Exploding Shit".
  • The Government: The New Earth Government.
  • Green Rocks: Blue glowing crystals (tarydium) that pretty much everyone uses as a power source. Similar to Real Life nuclear power, in that it produces dangerous waste material when used for such a purpose. Unlike nuclear power, said waste is then used as ammo for the Bio Rifle.
  • Have a Nice Death: "W was X'd by Y's Z."[2] There are also unique messages for deaths from things like falling too far, falling into lava or deep space, drowning, trying to rocket/hammer jump with too few hit points, and so on.
  • Level Editor: The retail game came with the same one as Unreal. Patches from 425 onwards comes with UnrealEd 2.
  • Marked Bullet:
    • Flak shells have a smile face painted on the front, but require a high texture resolution to see.
    • The Redeemer has Adios! written on the side.
  • Mega Corp: Liandri and Phayder.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money: The Liandri Mining Corporation. Just look at any description on any game starting with this one which mentions them. Hell, they even were one of the main forces behind the Tournament itself!
  • Shout-Out: Check the page.
  • Updated Rerelease: Unreal Tournament: Game of the Year edition, which included Rocket Arena UT, Chaos UT, and the first three Bonus Packs.
    • The PlayStation 2/DC editions included most of the Bonus Packs' stuff, plus original content.
    • It should be noted that all of the upgrades and features available in the updated releases (sans for some of the exclusive maps of the console versions) are also available as free downloads to the owners of the original game.


"Congratulations, you're the winner!"

  1. This is the only non-retail content to be mentioned in this page, as they are official releases and not third-party content.
  2. W = victim, X = cause of death, Y = killer, Z = weapon.