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Video Game: Unreal Tournament

"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 multiplayer 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. 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.note 

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

Followed chronologically by Unreal II: The Awakening, and canonically by Unreal Tournament 2003/Unreal Championship.

Recurring tropes from the series include:

  • Abnormal Ammo: The GES BioRifle uses tarydium waste.
  • Arbitrary Minimum Range: Averted with the Redeemer in the games, which is a mini nuke, but it can blow up in your face given the right circumstances.
  • Artificial Brilliance: Bots generally have a sense when a Damage Amplifier or other good powerup is available, 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.
    • In 0 player mode (all bots), players and mapmakers could watch how the bots acted on the pathnodes. Combining this trope with The Dev Team Thinks of Everything, when a bot approaches a blind corner or intersection, it'll hunch over suspiciously and walk slowly, with more defensive awareness.
  • Artificial Stupidity: In spite of their brilliance, sometimes they don't have a good behaviour. Some examples:
    • Bots can't guide the Redeemer missile.
    • In the map DOM-Osiris, from the console versions, the bots won't ever reach the Bridge point. So it becomes easy to win a match against them by taking this point and focusing on fighting for the others as well.
  • Artificial Limbs: Nikolai and Gorn from the Dark Phalanx team.
  • Awesome but Impractical:
    • The Ripper, continuing the trend from Unreal's Razorjack. In spite of its upgraded Secondary Fire, it keeps the same problems.
    • The Redeemer. As the Superweapon of the game, it can rack a lot of kills if fired in the right place. More often than not, however, the player might end up in the explosion radius' and kill himself.
  • 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.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Many maps such as DM-Codex, CTF-Gauntlet, DM-Mojo][, DOM-Cinder and DOM-Leadworks feature lava areas which are easily escapable. You won't suffer any damage from standing near to it, but as soon as you so much as dip your toe into it you get violently gibbed.
  • Death Is Cheap: In-universe, molecular regeneration explains respawning, even from being gibbed.
  • Gangsta Style: The Enforcer's alternative fire.
  • I Shall Taunt You: The first major game to have bots actively troll and mock the player after scoring a frag.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Your player character is somewhat generic (no personality - there's not much a storyline, duh) and is just fighting in the tournaments to usurp the current champion.
  • More Dakka: The minigun.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Lampshaded in many of the stages: it's stated Liandri confiscated the factories involved due to unsafe working conditions, and then turned the facilities into Arenas.
  • Quad Damage: The Damage Amplifier.
  • Updated Re-release:
    • Game of the Year Edition: This included three bonus packs, the S3 Compressed Textures, and the mods ChaosUT and Rocket Arena.
    • The PS2/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.

Tropes exclusive to this installment includes:

    open/close all folders 

    Map related tropes 
  • Acid Pool: Some levels (like DM-Deck16][) have these.
  • Conveyor Belt-O-Doom: The aptly named DM-Conveyor.
  • Cool Boat:
    • DM-KGalleon, with the K standing for "Koos".
    • You must take control of one in AS-Frigate.
    • DOM-WolfsBay is a cool hoverboat.
  • Cool Starship: DM-Oblivion, DM-HyperBlast.
  • Cool Train: AS-HiSpeed.
  • Crate Expectations: You can find some goodies in some crates in DM-Stalwart.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: Found a quicker way to enter the ship in AS-Frigate by using an impact jump in a certain area to reach the ship's dock and going all the way back? Well, there's another minigun cannon waiting for you.
  • Elaborate Underground Base:
    • The Assault map AS-OceanFloor, an underwater base.
    • AS-Overlord has a base built into a mountain.
  • Floating Continent: Multiple floating islands and asteroids which you actually get to fight on, such as DM-Barricade and CTF-Face.
  • Gateless Ghetto: The intro map, DOM-Condemned and DOM-CiDom.
  • Grimy Water: Several stages have pools with different water colors, often not good for your health.
  • Hazardous Water: Featured in CTF-Hydro16, (it's description states that a virus plagued the installation and killed everyone there, possibly also contaminating the water) CTF-Kosov, (the PlayStation 2 version's description called it the Pain River, and for a good reason) DOM-MetalDream, ("located near strange meteorological phenomenon", and the water appears similar to Hydro16's) DM-KGalleon, and DOM-WolfsBay (unexplained, but there's no way to get back onto the ships in question once you fall off).
  • High-Altitude Battle: CTF-High, DM-Crane, DM-Morpheus, DM-Peak and space maps such as DM-Barricade, DM-HyperBlast, DM-Phobos, DM-Pyramid and DM-SpaceNoxx.
  • Hold the Line: The reason behind the Assault gametype. The first round of two starts with the Red team attacking and the Blue team holding the line, while the second round invert the roles. Should the Red team succeed in attacking, the Blue team has to succeed in a shorter amount of time to win. Should the Blue team succeed in defending, they must accomplish more objectives than their Red foes did in the first round in order to win.
  • Invisible Wall: You'll find these pretty much in any open level in any of the games, if it doesn't kill you.
  • Lava Pit: Some of the levels.
  • Lethal Lava Land: CTF-LavaGiant.
    "This volatile world has an extremely low orbit around a superdense gas giant. The resulting gravitational forces have caused the planetary mantle to collapse. Combatants are issued special gravbelts for each match."
  • Mineral MacGuffin: The map AS-Mazon, where the objective of the attacking team is to destroy a big crystal which empowers the defenders' defenses.
  • Obvious Beta:
    • The map AS-Rook has a glitching wall (in an area which couldn't be reached, anyway)
    • There's an invisible collision box in DM-Pyramid which wasn't fixed.
    • There seems to be a rare bug where just selecting AS-Mazon in the practice mode or server-hosting menu crashes the game instantly.
  • Storming the Castle: The Assault levels require you to do this, due to the nature of the game. Inverted in one of the maps (AS-Rook) which takes place in a castle, and where the objective is to escape.
    • Done literally in AS-Mazon.
  • Train Job: AS-HiSpeed.

    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 
  • 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.
  • A-Team Firing: Low-level bots behave like this. Don't try it, or you'll get murdered.
  • Beam Spam: Any Instagib match with many players.
  • BFG: The Redeemer.
  • Book Ends: Your character fights 1on1 battles at the beginning (DM-Oblivion) and the end (DM-HyperBlast) in Cool Starships.
  • 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 flavours, 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.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Guess what the One-Hit Kill Instagib mode does?
  • 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.
    • The manual claims the Pulse Gun's magazine only holds 50 rounds at a time and has to be replaced, but in-game you can just fire away as long as you have ammo.
  • Gatling Good: The minigun and pulse gun.
  • 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.
  • Mle Trois: The gametypes Domination and Team Deathmatch allowed battles of 3 and 4 teams.
  • 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.
  • 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 in certain circumstances, such as the Flak Cannon from close range, a direct hit from the Rocket Launcher, or a head/neckshot with the Sniper Rifle/Ripper.
  • 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 piston. The primary fire charges the piston. The alternative fire is an Attack Reflector.
    • The Translocator, available in some modes. Not really a weapon (barring the ability to Tele-Frag) but quite useful. 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, raising fire rate at the cost of accuracy. Shares ammo pool with the Minigun.
    • 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 a moderately powerful Hit Scan Frickin' Laser Beams, with secondary fire sending off a fairly weak and painfully slow Energy Ball. The weapon's true power lies in the fact the energy ball explodes if shot with the primary fire beam, doing massive damage at the cost of extra ammo.
      • The Shock Rifle, however, is The Dreaded on maps with bottomless or lava pits, because the other function of the rifle was to push the player back. A skilled player would get quick kills knocking players off ledges into oblivion or into lava.
    • The Pulse Gun is the assault rifle analogue, shooting fast-moving (but not Hit Scan) energy balls. The alternate mode is a short-range Lightning Gun.
    • The Ripper shoots sawblades which can ricochet off walls and around corners. The alternative fire shoots exploding, though non-ricocheting, sawblades. Headshots (or hits to the neck area) decapitate.
    • The Minigun is just like other FPS counterparts; it's altfire makes it go twice as fast, but at the cost of accuracy. Shares ammo pool with the Enforcer(s).
    • The Flak Cannon is a shotgun on steroids: it detonates its shell in the barrel to fire super-heated chunks of metal that will bounce off a surface as long as they're glowing. The alternative fire lobs the shell instead of firing it; the shell explodes upon impact with an object or surface, showering anything nearby with shrapnel.
    • 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 bouncy grenades instead.
    • The Sniper Rifle is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. The alternative fire toggles in and out of using the scope. Headshots are instant kills for unarmored enemies, and the helmet pickup specifically renders you immune to one headshot.
    • And finally, the Redeemer is the tactical mini-nuke. The alternative fire lets the player 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.
  • Teleporter Accident: In addition to Tele Frags, if you damage someone's Translocator beacon, they'll die instantly if they try to teleport to it.
  • 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 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 allowed the player to nail headshots with the Rifle, this is the game which introduced the Headshot announcement. This later carried on to many games.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The team logos are references to Unreal. The blue team one is the Vortex Rikers logo, a lightning with three bars, the green team one (also the model for the Damage Amplifier) is the Skaarj Razik, and the yellow team one is the Mercenaries logo.
    • The levels DM-Deck16][, DM-Curse][, DM-Morbias][, DM-HealPod][, DM-Mojo][, DM-Cybrosis][ and DM-Shrapnel][ were taken (and modified) from Unreal and it's Fusion Mappack.
    • The description for Luthienne, one of the Ladder's bots, has a reference to the ISV-Kran from Unreal:
    "Having survived the Wreck of the ISV-Kran, Luthienne was forced to watch all her friends and crewmates die at the hands of the Skaarj until she and 3 others were rescued two years later. Irreparably scarred by her experience, she has entered the Tournament to confront her inner demons and ultimately to silence them through her own death."
  • Creator Cameo:
    • The map DM-Codex has a secret room with a photo of the level designer behind it.
    • The map CTF-Orbital has, in the ceilings of both flag bases, the Digital Extremes logo.
  • Combos: Double Kill. Multi Kill! ULTRA KILL!! '''M-M-M-M-M-MONSTER KILL!!!'
  • Cut Song: Room of Champions and Save Me (G-Mix) were never featured in any map or scene. The same is true, at least in the PC versions, of Organic.
  • Dummied Out: Since this game has all of Unreal's 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 Unreal's 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, drawn on them.
    • The maps DM-Mojo][ and DM-Shrapnel][ have the UT logo hidden in some parts.
  • Follow the Leader: Maybe Doom and Quake began the multiplayer experience in the FPS genre, but the first Tournament game, along with its rival, Quake III: Arena, paved the way for multiplayer FPS. 10 years later, it's still one of the biggest feuds.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The smiley-face on the front of the Flak Cannon's projectile. The "playersonly" Time Stands Still cheat code is the easiest way to see it.
  • 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.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Due to the way the Unreal Engine 1 works, input lag in modern PCs due to the game not being able to properly detect the CPU speed practically renders the game unplayable.
  • 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 Day" Smile: As a consolation for unfortunate recipients of live flak cannon grenade rounds, the front end of each grenade is adorned with one of these.
  • Have a Nice Death: "W was X'd by Y's Z."note  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, and the GOTY edition, 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!
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Perhaps done intentionally, but the award goes to Thunder Crash. (A.K.A. "Thunder Cash") They are the first squad you're shown while starting a new ladder, if you select another team, they take their place in the ladder, they are the only full team to return intact in Unreal Tournament 2004, (Iron Guard and Iron Skull came reformed, as well as the Guards and the Necris Black Legion in UT3) and, well... we all know what happened to their leader, Malcolm.

"Congratulations, you're the winner!"

Unreal II: The AwakeningVideoGame/UnrealUnreal Tournament 2004
Unreal ICreator/Epic GamesUnreal II: The Awakening
Unlimited SaGaUsefulNotes/Play Station 2 Urban Chaos Riot Response
Unreal II: The AwakeningWebsite/GOG.comUnreal Tournament 2004
Unreal II: The AwakeningFirst-Person ShooterUnreal Tournament 2004
UnrealUsefulNotes/IBM Personal ComputerUnreal II: The Awakening
Unreal II: The AwakeningScience Fiction Video GamesUnreal Tournament 2004
Under DefeatSega DreamcastUrban Chaos
Unreal IVideo Games of the 1990sVinyl Goddess from Mars

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