"The Liandri Corporation's Unreal Tournament enters its twelfth year as a legally sanctioned competition. This year's tournament is the most highly anticipated yet, with teams captained by highly regarded former champions Malcolm, Gorge, and the long absent Xan Kriegor, as well as a dangerous team from the Skaarj Empire."
—Unreal Tournament 2004 introduction
After the success of the first Unreal Tournament game, Epic Games and Digital Extremes decided to milk their franchise with another entry, while Legend Entertainment was busy with Unreal II the Awakening.
Said entry was Unreal Championship, the first Unreal game specifically made for a console, specifically the Xbox; a Gaiden Game in an Alternate Universe After the End setting. It was an attempt to update the UT formula, with modified game mechanics, a new graphics engine and new game modes. It was also notable for being the first console game which used patches to fix issues. It's storyline is placed in a different setting from the canonical Unreal universe, where the Overseers, an alien race, took over the Earth before the Humans could fight back. The Tournament still exists, but rather than "consensual murder", it is to make those who opposed the Empire fight each other as punishment.
This game was later ported to the PC as Unreal Tournament 2003, which continued the main canon and added even more new features.
Unreal Tournament 2004 is the "full" version of UT2003, with new maps, far more options (including ones to emulate the gameplay of earlier games), even more gamemodes, further refined gameplay and engine, and all this along with almost everything UT2003 had. Oh, and it had vehicles. It saw far greater acceptance than UT2003 and is mostly thought of as a very worthy successor to the original UT.
Many found the "feel" and maps of UC and UT2003 inferior to Unreal Tournament, and, with the release of UT2004, UC had officially entered into Canon Discontinuity. Coincidentally, both UC and UT2003 came out around the same time as Unreal II the Awakening.
Notable UT2004 mods with their own pages include:
Bear in mind that tropes of the first Tournament game may apply here as well.
Tropes related to Malcolm, Brock, Lauren and Xan can be found in the first UT's character sheet, while tropes related to Gorge, Arclite, Sapphire and ClanLord can be found in the UT2004's character sheet. This is for those characters who doesn't appear in any other game.
- Action Girl: All the females.
- Dark Action Girl: Especially the Nightmare and Juggernaut females.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Every Automaton and Liandri robot is stated to be this, in different degrees.
- Ambiguously Brown: Horus and Hyena.
- Ancient Egypt: The Anubans. The Planets section of Championship reveals that a colony of egyptians were abducted and sent to a moon, where they managed to prosper and evolve, while the Egypt empire on Earth went into ruins. In Championship, thanks to the species being different from each other, they have a great air control.
- And Your Reward Is Clothes: Winning the SP ladder brings you to an "A Winner Is You" screen and doing it many times unlock several new characters, depending on the game:
- In 2003, it unlocks Malcolm, Brock and Lauren.
- In 2004, it unlocks Malcolm, Xan and ClanLord.
- Badass Automaton: The Automatons themselves (especially the Blood Fist faction) and Xan's personal guards, The Corrupt.
- Badass Crew: Take your pick. Special mentions goes to the Juggernauts, (led by Gorge) Thunder Crash, (led by Malcolm) Iron Skull, (led by ClanLord) and The Corrupt. (led by Xan Kriegor) In 2004, you can even create your own Badass Crew, complete with just about any custom models you have.
- Bald of Evil: Frostbite, and the male Hellions.
- Bare Your Midriff: Asp, Cleopatra, every Thunder Crash female, every Hellion female, and two male examples in Mr. Crow and Harlequin.
- Bee People: The Skaarj, again. This time, an entire team of them (Iron Skull Skaarj) show that they have also personality and a Proud Warrior Race Guy behavior.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Aside from the fact all the woman can be reduced to giblets/burnt skeletons/piles of goo, nearly all of the Female Nightmares averts this horribly. Take a look at their heads, and even worse, read the bios to know how they got those - tortured to near death, shot in the face and nearly dying, etc...
- Bio Augmentation: The Juggernauts are all geneboosted humans. They're also (with the exception of Arclite) all career criminals.
- Character Tiers: The teams are divided by Weak, (Sun Blade, Super Nova and Goliath) Tough, (Blood Fist, Firestorm and Black Legion) Strong (Juggernauts, Iron Guard and Hellions) and Godlike (Iron Skull, Thunder Crash and The Corrupt) tiers. Those in the Weak tier are the ones you find in the Team Qualification Round, (this means that you won't fight against them in the Ladder) while those on the Godlike tier are the ones fighting to be the team you'll fight in the Finals.
- The Charmer: Several of them.
- Cloning Blues: Romulus and Remus are stated to be clones.
- Condemned Contestant: Around half of the competitors. Everyone else just likes murder!
- Cool Mask: Romulus, Remus, Barktooth and Karag.
- Cool Shades: Roc, Hyena and Remus.
- Competitive Balance: Regarding the players, using the Species Statistics mutator in 2004, and by default in Championship:
- Fragile Speedster: The Gen Mo'Kai.
- Mighty Glacier: The Juggernauts, slow as hell, but have more resistance to hits, and in Championship they have 190% starting health.
- Jack of All Stats: Every human. (Mercenaries, Thunder Crash, Iron Guard, Hellions...) Especially Barktooth, a character in singleplayer who has 80 in all stats and is available from the get-go.
- Glass Cannon: To some extent, the Robots. (Both The Corrupt and the Automatons)
- Cutscene Power to the Max: Dominator, Malcolm, Gorge, and Xan (among them two of the final bosses) in the SP intro of 2004. To recap: Dominator can stab an opponent with his Wolverine Claws; Gorge can ram opponents before filling them full of lead; Malcolm's Assault Rifles can kill multiple people in about half a second (impossible ingame due to how weak the rifle is); and Xan has near-invincible armor, taking multiple rockets to the back with no apparent damage. (Actually kind of possible, if Xan had a mega shield and keg o' health.)
- Cyber Cyclops: Cyclops (d'oh!), Widowmaker, and Axon.
- Death Seeker: Faraleth.
- Delinquent Hair: The Hellions.
- Development Gag: The "Fire Storm" team members are called "Mokara" in 2004 and "Gen Mo'Kai" in 2003 and Championship. The Canon Name is Gen Mo'Kai for them, while Mokara is the name which was considered for them.
- Faceless Goons: Technically, it can be gone with some of the masked players.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The Anubans, to the Egyptians.
- Fate Worse Than Death: Some characters were turned into ther kind of beings. This may be a leftover from Championship or the betas:
(Corrosion's description) "Beneath an exterior of cold metal burns a soul as bright as a dying star, the essence of a being who sought to rule the galaxy at the Emperor's side. With his dreams stripped away from him as easily as his dying flesh, Corrosion now exists only to seek his revenge."
- Fiery Redhead: Rylisa, Ambrosia, Torch, Ophelia, Rae, Kane and Outlaw.
- Funny Afro: Aryss and Azure.
- Hidden Depths: Damarus and Baird.
- Jiggle Physics. The custom karma included in certain models.
- The Ladette: Zarina and Kaela.
- Mecha-Mooks: The Corrupt and Automatons. Technically, the defenders in AS-RobotFactory.
- Monster Clown: Mr. Crow and Harlequin.
(Harlequin's description) "Ever wonder why children are afraid of clowns? Now you know."
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Gen Mo'Kai and the Skaarj.
- Ragdoll Physics
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Skrilax.
- Spikes of Villainy: Every Nightmare and Hellion member, sans for Abaddon and Ophelia, respectively.
- Stripperiffic: Asp, Cleopatra, Domina, Subversa, Kaela and Rae.
(Cleopatra's description) "If you think Cleopatra and Asp have something going on, then you may be right. But it's not something you want to show up for unarmed."
- Transplanted Humans: The Anubans.
- The Undead: Thannis and Kragoth.
- White Haired Cool Old Guy: Thannis.
- Wolverine Claws: Mekkor and Skrilax, though they don't use them for melee combat.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Prism (Light yellow/green) and every Hellion except Ophelia, Rae, Kane and Outlaw.
- A-Team Firing: Low-level bots behave like this. Don't try it, or you'll get murdered.
- AI Breaker: Many maps have one or two tricks which can do the trick against the bots in Single Player or Instant Action matches:
- AS-Junkyard features two routes: the normal one and a shortcut. Both routes start with the attacking team retrieving the engine for the vehicle and passing the bridge. But from this point onwards, the team may choose to go through the marked route, open the gates to escape from the Junkyard, and go with the vehicle through these gates... or to take a shortcut which involves a giant magnet conducting your vehicle in a more exposed route, but with the HUGE advantage of having three accomplished objectives at once, thus gaining a big amount of time. The AI will NEVER take the second route, the magnet one.
- Armor Is Useless: No matter how much health, armor, or shield you have, get run down by a vehicle, shot by a fully charged Bio goop, a well-placed Shock Combo with Double Damage, 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.
- There's also the SPMA vehicle, short for Self Propelled Mobile Artillery, only available in the ECE Edition and through the Bonus Pack 2. The second fire of the main seat lets you take control of a small missile which acts as both a satellite-like cam (where you choose where to shoot your next swarm of missiles) and a projectile. While it's shooting, you can follow said projectile's trajectory. It has the same drawback as the Redeemer, though.
- Ascended Glitch: The Lift Jump. After the first Tournament game, many maps feature areas with movable platforms where you're required to do this in order to gain an advantage, such as a shortcut to another area or an entrance to a secret area with an otherwise unobtainable item. It's still used in later installments.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: After you draft a team before exiting the preliminaries, the final match is a massive free-for-all against your new teammates, for you to prove yourself worthy to lead them.
- Awesome but Impractical:
- The AVRiL Launcher. Its purpose is to destroy vehicles and turrets, and it does an excellent job at it (a single shot is normally enough to take down a Manta or Raptor). The downside is that it's only effective against vehicles, and it has a long reload time.
- The Superweapons have their disadvantages as well:
- The Redeemer IS an extremely damaging weapon, but you should be careful while firing it or you might end killed as well.
- The Ion Painter/T.A.G. Rifle calls a Kill Sat, and said Sat is an awesome way to take down a power core or power node in Onslaught or destroy objectives in Assault with the lack of a Redeemer. The downside is that, despite the chance of high damage, it's very difficult to score. In 2003/Championship it was even worse with the Ion Painter/T.A.G. Rifle, though, as you can only fire it if you were in the range of said Sat. And if that wasn't enough, you can only use it/them on open maps.
- The Target Painter also has the same drawbacks as the Ion Painter/T.A.G. Rifle, with the added drawback that the Phoenix can be taken down.
- Beam Spam: The Shock Rifle, either the normal or Instagib version.
- Bee-Bee Gun: The Mine Layer in 2004 launches tiny, robotic, explosive spiders.
- BFG: The Redeemer, natch.
- Blatant Item Placement: Ammo near weapons. Weapons in unlikely places. Powerful weapons, typically rocket launchers, in pretty much unrisky zones.
- Capture the Flag: Now with vehicles! Though, sadly, it requires third-party maps.
- Car Fu: In the Onslaught, Assault, and VCTF game modes of 2004, vehicles kill dismounted enemies, regardless of how much health they have. And you have nine (twelve with the ECE or Mega Pack) of them to control. To boot:
- Fragile Speedster: Manta, Raptor, both Human and Skaarj Fighters and Scorpion.
- Jack of All Stats: Hellbender and Cicada.
- Glass Cannon: Ion Plasma Tank, the Goliath and SPMA.
- Mighty Glacier and Stone Wall: Paladin and Leviathan.
- Charged Attack: All of them of the Hold variety:
- Among the weapons, the Shield Gun's primary fire, the Assault Rifle's grenades, the Bio Rifle's primary fire, the Grenade Launcher, the Rocket Launcher's multirockets, and the Ion/Target Painter.
- Among the vehicles, the Scorpion's primary fire, the Hellbender's third seat's primary fire, and the Cicada's first seat's secondary fire.
- It's subverted with the deployed Leviathan's first seat's primary fire, and with the Ion Tank's first seat's primary fire. They only require a single click, though they have a significant delay between the press action and the fire action, which could have been used as a Charge Attack, hence the subversion.
- Death From Above:
- The Ion Painter calls a Kill Sat.
- The Target Painter calls in a bomber plane dropping bombs which detonate with the force of a Redeemer.
- For vehicles, there's the Cicada and the Raptor.
- There's also the chance of Goomba Stomping an unlucky opponent with a tank, regardless of how long it took you to drive it up the cliff and how likely it is to fail.
- Double Jump: The series never looked back since then. There's even an official mutator which even allows you to do Quad-Jump.
- Dual Mode Unit: The Leviathan in 2004.
- Elite Mooks: The Invasion mode for 2003 and 2004 has the Warlords and the Brutes; the latter did even more damage than the warlords.
- Emergency Weapon: The Shield-Gun.
- Exploding Barrels: Expect to find several of them in some Assault levels, such as AS-FallenCity. Smart players need to know how to use these to add another chunk of damage to the Hellbender in AS-Junkyard.
- Flawless Victory: Though in both multi-player and single-player, it just means you get it to rub it in the opposing players' faces.
- Frickin' Laser Beams: The Lightning Gun averts this, but the Sentinels kill with slow lasers.
- Gatling Good: The minigun.
- Gundamjack: Only with vehicles the enemy team has used.
- Implausible Fencing Powers: The Shield-Gun (and vehicles and turrets which uses shields) can deflect energy weapons like shock cores and link pulses. Encouraged in 2004's CTF-1on1-Joust... that is, if you're not using regular weapons there.
- In Vehicle Invulnerability: The Leviathan, Goliath, Hellbender and Raptor will protect your health from enemy fire no matter what, and, in Assault, you get ejected from your vehicle if it explodes.
- Joke Vehicle: An odd example with the TC-1200.
- Kill Sat: The Ion Painter calls one in 2003.
- Land Mine Goes Click: The Mine Layer is capable of releasing up to eight spider mines. With the secondary button you can guide them. They explode in contact with an enemy.
- Lightning Gun: The Link Gun. The Lightning Gun is a variation in that it's an electrical gun, but it behaves more like a Sniper Rifle.
- More Dakka: The minigun's primary fire.
- Multi Mook Melee: The Invasion gametype pits you and your Enemy Mine teammates against hordes of enemies ranking from loads of Pupae to tougher Warlords.
- No Ontological Inertia: Subverted. Some weapons fire their charged shots when you release the trigger, or when you die.
- 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.
- Quad Damage: The Damage Amplifier. Doubles the effect if it's used with the Berserk adrenaline combo.
- Roboteching: The Cicada. Also the AVRiL, provided you locked on.
- Standard FPS Guns: Largely 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 alt-fire button. How weapons differ:
- The Shield Gun is the melee weapon, replacing the Impact Hammer. Unlike other FPS where melee usually consists of a punching or stabbing motion, this item uses a Charged Attack as it's primary fire. It also has the namesake shield, which can deflect energy projectiles and lasers.
- The Assault Rifle replaces the Enforcers. The Alt-fire is a grenade launcher. Also can be dual-wielded.
- The Bio-Rifle remains unchanged. The primary fire shoots slime goops which can adhere to a wall. The secondary fire is a Charged Attack.
- The Mine Layer replaces the Bio in Onslaught maps or with the "Onslaught Weapons" mutator. The primary fire dispenses up to eight spider mines. Altfire produces a painting laser which all your spider mines will chase.
- The Shock Rifle remains unchanged. The primary fire is a laser, while the secondary fire is an Energy Ball.
- The Link Gun replaces the Pulse Rifle as the game's assault rifle analogue. Primary fire remains the same, but its altfire beam can repair allied vehicles and control points, and supercharge an ally's Link Gun efforts.
- The Minigun has both of it's attacks switched. This is, both attacks are those of a typical Chaingun, but the primary fire is more accurate while less ranged, while the second has more range but is less accurate.
- The Flak Cannon remains unchanged. The primary fire shoots shards which bounce on walls and lasts a few seconds, while the secondary is a projectile which explodes upon impact.
- The Grenade Launcher replaces the Flak Cannon in Onslaught maps or with the "Onslaught Weapons" mutator. The primary fire dispenses up to eight grenades; the secondary fire detonates them. These grenades will stick to players, objectives and vehicles.
- The Rocket Launcher can fire one (primary) or up to three (secondary, which is a Charged Attack) rockets in a horizontal line, a tight corkscrew, or locked on to an enemy player in any of the previous modes if you give the gun a second to acquire them.
- The AVRiL (Anti-Vehicle Rocket Launcher) replaces the Rocket Launcher in Onslaught maps or with the "Onslaught Weapons" mutator. It's only effective against vehicles; it doesn't do much damage to players on foot. Its altfire locks the weapon onto an enemy vehicle, which the AVRiL's rocket will then home in on.
- The Lightning Gun is a sniper rifle which uses lightning instead of bullets. The primary fire shoots a lightning thunderbolt, while the secondary fire uses a Zoom function.
- The Sniper Rifle remains mostly unchanged from Unreal Tournament, and can be found on some maps or by using the "Sniper Rifle" mutator. It shoots bullets as the primary fire, while the secondary uses the Zoom function.
- The Redeemer remains unchanged. The primary fire shoots a mini-nuke missile. The secondary lets the player to take control of the nuke.
- The Ion Painter, a laser which designates the strike zone for a Kill Sat. Primary fire produces the laser, altfire zooms for precision targeting.
- The Target Painter calls for a bombing run instead. The Phoenix bomber can be shot down, and will crash with a Redeemer-sized explosion.
- Aborted Arc: The original plot for 2003, which made the cut for Championship was an Alien Invasion which took control of the Earth and made everyone to fight. This arc wasn't further explored, being replaced instead for the actual sequel to Unreal Tournament's story, and with Epic disowning the first Championship game.
- Alternate Universe: Unreal Championship.
- Announcer Chatter: UT2003's announcer.
- Ascended Fanfic: Many official mutators and some gametypes are inspired from several user-made content, thanks to the easyness of modding of Unreal Tournament. For example:
- The Zoom Instagib mutator, inspired by the eponymous mutator for UT.
- The Bombing Run gametype, inspired by the Fragball gametype mod.
- The camera feed option for the Translocator, inspired by the Translocam mutator for the first game.
- Six out of nine maps from the Bonus Pack 2 are third-party maps. Four of the five new Assault maps were winners or runner-ups of the "Make Something Unreal Contest".
- Blood Sport
- Bond One-Liner: Taunts in general. Usually.
- Bragging Rights Reward: In the Single-Player part of 2004, the weapon awards, (Flak Monkey, Combo Whore...) the Untouchable award and the Hattrick award just does nothing. Averted with the Kill Streaks and Combos, as they usually give you an amount of money which grows bigger the extensive the combo is.
- Competitive Multiplayer: It has everything for all the flavors, some depending of the game.
- Double Entendre: There are a few, such as when someone gets killed from an explosion from his own rocket launcher, "X fired his rocket prematurely"
- Downer Ending: Championship ends with your character getting locked up in the tubes in one of the arenas, constantly frozen in place and unable to do anything except watch people kill each other. And get shot by errant fire. The other games avert this, by declaring you the champion after defeating Malcolm (in both 2003 and 2004) Clanlord or Xan (in 2004).
- Dummied Out: There's a playable version of the Phoenix Bomber, which you usually call by using the Target Painter, unlockable via cheat. This version is called the Dragonfly.
- Easter Eggs: Several, including water with the text "1337NESS", a bath tub in the junkyard, and a giant golden dildo in a similar junkyard. See all of them here [dead link].
- Easily-Conquered World: The Overseer invasion of the Earth in Championship.
- The Empire: The Overseer in Championship.
- 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: "X was X'd by X." "X cratered", often seen in maps where you can fall into space... or lava.
- Idiosyncratic Combo Levels:
X is on a killing spree.
- Loading Screen: It offers useful in-game tips while loading matches.
- Marked Bullet:
- Flak shells have a smile face painted on the front, but require a high texture resolution to see.
- The Redeemer gets "ADIOS!" written on the side.
- Mega Corp: Liandri, Axon and Izanagi.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money: The Liandri Mining Corporation. Just look at any description on any game starting with Unreal Tournament which mentions them. Hell, they even were one of the main forces behind the Tournament itself!!!
- Sex Is Violence: The female sexy announcer (yes, she's actually called that) really enjoys the combos.
- Shout-Out: Check the page.
"You have WON the match!"