"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 is a multiplayer-based First-Person Shooter videogame co-developed by Epic Games, Digital Extremes, Streamline Studios and Psyonix and released in 2004 for the PC.The game is considered by the development team as the "full" version of Unreal Tournament 2003 and its concurrent Xbox version, Unreal Championship, which were an attempt at updating the classic UT formula for the next generation. It contains all the content of 2003, plus five new weapons (the Mine Layer, the Grenade Launcher, the Anti-Vehicle Rocket Launcher or AVRiL, the Sniper Rifle and the Target Painter) for an impressive 17-weapon count, four new gamemodes, 35 new characters - with six more added by way of the ECE Bonus Pack - and four new teams, and at least 54 new maps, with 15 more maps being added via Bonus Packs.The game has the same gametype lineup as 2003 plus four new modes, marked with (*):
—Unreal Tournament 2004 introduction
- Deathmatch pits a bunch of players against each other until there's one winner: the player with the highest amount of frags.
- Team Deathmatch is the team-based version of Deathmatch. Unlike the original UT, at maximum only two teams are competing.
- Capture the Flag pits two teams, each with their own base and flag, and the objective is to capture the enemy flag while preventing your team's from being captured.
- Bombing Run is the game's version of Association Football: two teams, each with a base and a goal on it. There's also a ball which the teams must bring to the enemy base, scoring points for shooting the ball through the goal or jumping through it themselves.
- Double Domination is a limited version of UT's Domination. It has two teams competing for the control of two areas of the map, both teams scoring points every few seconds depending on how many of the control points they own.
- Invasion has all players forming a single team and resisting wave after wave of classic Unreal monsters until one of the factions (either the players or the monsters) is eradicated.
- Mutant is a free-for-all mode where the first to frag becomes a mutant, gaining all of the Adrenaline abilities (sans Regeneration/Booster) and the fully loaded set of default weapons (sans the superweapons), plus gains extra points for frags. The other players must frag this mutant, the one who does this becomes the next mutant and so on.
- Last Man Standing is brought back from Unreal Tournament. It's a free-for-all game where each player has a set of lives and must deplete the other players' lives in order to win.
- Assault(*) is brought back from Unreal Tournament, after its unfortunate removal from 2003. It pits two teams in a two-round match. For the first round, the Red team attacks and must complete the objectives within a set time limit, while the Blue team must defend the objectives. After the first round ends, the teams are switched, Blue attacking and Red defending; Blue's goal in this round is to either complete the objectives faster than Red did, or to simply complete more than Red managed.
- Onslaught(*) pits two teams in massive battlefields with vehicles. Each team has a base, and within the base there is a Power Core. The Power Cores are connected to each other by way of a network of Power Nodes, which can be built (and destroyed) only when linked to the friendly Core, either directly or through other Nodes earlier in the link. The objective of the game, thus, is to connect their Power Core to the enemy one by taking control of these nodes, and destroying it. Power Cores can only be damaged and not repaired, but Power Nodes can be built, destroyed and repaired.
- Vehicle CTF(*) is a semi-hidden game mode: it's available in the game from the beginning, but it has no official maps released, thus is not played in the singleplayer Tournament and can only be played in instant action or multiplayer if you have custom maps for it. It plays identically to regular Capture the Flag with one exception: vehicles. Only ground-based vehicles can carry the flag.
- Instagib CTF(*) was released with later patches and it's basically Capture the Flag with no weapons or items, save for Instagib rifles.
Notable UT2004 mods with their own page are:
The match is about to begin... 3... 2... 1... Play!note
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Map related tropes
- Abandoned Area: Plenty of them, especially 2004's DM-Corrugation (a facility of sorts) and ONS-Urban (a city).
- Ancient Egypt: The arenas BR-Anubis, BR-EyeOfJahan, BR/CTF-Twin Tombs, CTF-1on1-Joust, CTF-Avaris, CTF-Face3, DM-1on1-Serpentine, DM-DE-Osiris2, DOM-Aswan, DOM-Deserted and DOM-SunTemple take place in the Anubis Moon, which is inspired by Ancient Egypt.
- Battleship Raid: AS-Mothership in 2004 involves an invasion to the eponymous Skaarj Mothership and blow a pair of controls in its core to make it implode.
- Border Patrol:
- Anyone who gets far from the islands in ONS-IslandHop is roasted by Ion Cannons after a countdown.
- Trying to escape from the exit in the center of CTF-GrassyKnoll makes mines go BOOM!
- BFG: AS-RobotFactory has a variation, the Ion Cannon, a stationary BFG.
- Convection Schmonvection: CTF-Magma, DM-Inferno, DOM-ScorchedEarth. Watch out when touching said lava, but standing directly to the side of it grants no damage.
- Crapsack World: Several of the planets, ranging from blood-stained former mines to corporate-controlled hellhouses.
- Deadly Rotary Fan: In the center of DM-Insidious.
- Doomed Hometown: Many cities have suffered this luck after the war against the Skaarj such as the city featured in AS-FallenCity.
- Down in the Dumps: The Assault, Deathmatch, and Domination versions of Junkyard take place in, well... junkyards. Also DM-Rustatorium.
- Downloadable Content:
- Championship had a Bonus Pack which included 4 maps.
- 2003 had the Epic and DE Bonus Pack, which included many new maps and, in the case of the former, new gamemodes (Last Man Standing, Mutant and Invasion).
- 2004 also has a "Mega Bonus Pack" available for free download, including 13 new maps, 3 new vehicles and 6 new characters.
- Floating Continent: Multiple floating islands which you actually get to fight on: CTF-Face3, CTF-FaceClassic and AS-RobotFactory.
- Gateless Ghetto: Many of the city maps of the series, such as AS-FallenCity.
- Ghibli Hills: Arborea (house of CTF-LostFaith, DM-Antalus, DM-TokaraForest, DOM-Renascent and DOM-SeppukuGorge among other maps, and the home planet of the Gen Mo'Kai, including the Fire Storm team) is an entire planet made up of this sort of scenery.(DOM-SeppukuGorge's description) "Ah, nature. The earthy browns and lush greens of the jungle. The quiet hum of animal and insect life going about its business. The piercing battle cry of a gene boosted harpy bounding across the forest floor in her power armor."
- Grand Theft Prototype: In the assault map Glacier, the attacking team needs to destroy a facility while stealing a prototype Ion Plasma Tank. This tank has a powerful main gun, with a fast firing rate and large insta-kill radius similar to other superweapons. The defenders can destroy the tank, but it respawns for the attackers.
- Hazardous Water:
- AS-Glacier (except the first area) takes place in a facility set atop of a dam.
- BR-Canyon specifically states the water to be unsafe for swimming.
- CTF-DoubleDammage (only the part without any buildings) takes place in a dam whose non-building area is a hazard.
- DM-IceTomb features highly cold water unsafe for swimming.
- High-Altitude Battle: Aside from the space platform maps, we have:
- BR/CTF-DE-ElecFields and DOM-OutRigger (atop of a power facility and an oil rig respectively).
- BR/CTF-TwinTombs (atop of two pharaohs' tombs).
- BR-SkyLine, DM-Morpheus3 and DM-Plunge (taking place atop three skyscrapers whose layout vary per map).
- CTF-Citadel (taking place in a nightmarish world atop three mountains).
- ONS-Icarus (taking place atop a series of skyscrapers).
- Hold the Line: Aside from the return of the Assault gametype, there's also the Invasion mode, where all the players in a map form a single team defending themselves against waves of monsters from the first Unreal game. As you may notice, the monsters grow more difficult every time: near the fifth wave there are Skaarjs, and in the wave 11, there are Warlords. The last wave is a Warlord-only wave.
- Human Resources: In the description for the map CTF-Geothermal:"Thanks to the Tournament we've been able to add protein bales to our list of exports. Don't worry though, it's no one you know."
- Ice Palace: DM-IceTomb.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: The map CTF-DoubleDammage takes place... in a dam. note
- Invisible Wall: You'll find these pretty much in any open level that doesn't go for Border Patrol.
- Joke Level: AS-BP2-Outback, from Bonus Pack 2. The plot: pissed off redneck Australians get annoyed at the new city beer and go to destroy the factory that's making it, protected by the city slickers and hipsters that prefer the watered down beer.
- Land Down Under: AS-BP2-Outback takes place in Australia, complete with Kangaroos everywhere and hilarious Australian accents.
- Lethal Lava Land: CTF-Magma, DM-Deck17 (more of a lava refinery rather than a lava land), DM-Inferno and DOM-ScorchedEarth.
- The Maze: DM-1on1-Serpentine seems to be a flat level, but a pair of ramps lead to an underground level (visible from the immediately upper level) shaped as a maze of sorts.
- Mineral MacGuffin: Common in the Assault gametype, especially in the maps with an objective to be captured or a blueprint to be delivered.
- AS-Convoy has the attackers recovering two prototype Nexus missiles from a cargo vehicle.
- AS-Glacier is about storming an Axon facility and stealing the experimental Ion Tank contained within.
- AS-BP2-Acatana is about a Skaarj raid on a research facility within an asteroid belt in order to steal blueprints.
- AS-BP2-SubRosa is about an N.E.G. raid on the Liandri headquarters in order to retrieve confidential data.
- This is also the reason of why some Onslaught maps are being fought, and why some arenas are mining caves or spots.
- The Mothership: AS-MotherShip, which takes place in the Skaarj Mothership.
- Nostalgia Level:
- Unreal: DM-Curse3 from 2003 and DM-Curse4 from 2004 are almost direct recreations of DmCurse which in turn got recreated as DM-Curse][ for UT, while DM-Deck17 is the sequel to DmDeck16 which also in turn was recreated for UT as DM-Deck16][, and finally DM-Gael is a sequel to DmMorbias, which also got recreated in UT as DM-Morbias][. To some extent, DM-Insidious is a Spiritual Successor of sorts to DmDeathFan.
- Unreal Tournament: CTF-December and CTF-January are inspired by CTF-November; CTF-Face3 is inspired by CTF-Face, while CTF-FaceClassic is a direct recreation of it with better graphics; CTF-Orbital2 is the sequel to CTF-Orbital; DM-DE-Osiris2 is the sequel to the UT PS2/DC map DOM-Osiris; DM-Flux2 is inspired by (though not the same as) UT PS2/DC map DM-Flux; DM-HyperBlast2 is a direct recreation with some changes of DM-HyperBlast; DM-Morpheus3 and DM-Plunge are both inspired by DM-Morpheus; and finally DM-Phobos2 is a sequel to DM-Phobos.
- No OSHA Compliance: Lampshaded in a lot of the stages: it's stated Liandri confiscated or shut down the facilities involved due to unsafe working conditions, and then repurposed the facilities into arenas for the tournament, with all the horrifically-unsafe parts left as an extra challenge.
- Scenery Porn: The games have many gorgeously looking maps which take advantage of many of the Unreal Engine 2's features.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: As the description for AS-MotherShip implies, despite the losses incurred on the planet Na Pali, the Skaarj were still strong enough to not only wage war against humanity, but push them back to Earth and nearly win the war, within a single year."(...) Within a year the Skaarj had pushed humanity back to the brink of destruction. (...) A Skaarj Mothership orbited the Earth, and rained death upon the planet in preparation for the final landing. (...)"
- Single-Biome Planet:
(DM-Aqua_Mortis description) "The Allerian ice shark is a fearsome predator capable of devouring a man in seconds. If it could carry a weapon, there's no doubt the Overseers would have found a way to put him in the tournaments as well. Not surprisingly, it has still managed to rack up a respectable number of kills. Impromptu games of water polo are highly discouraged."
- About the only thing you'll be able to see in the Allerian Penal Colony (DM-Oceanic, DM-Aqua_Mortis) are technological concrete buildings... and sharks:
- Arborea, home of the Gen Mo'kai, is another one of these. Every single map stated to be set on the planet is a dense jungle of some variety.
- Storming the Castle: Most of the Assault levels require you to do this, due to the nature of the game. Inverted in AS-Junkyard, where the objective is basically to escape the eponymous junkyard.
- Teleporter Accident/Teleportation Sickness: The In-Universe explanation for the charge limits on the Translocator (namely, a slowly-recharging number of times you can teleport to the disc after placing it)."The technology has saved countless lives, but not without cost. Rapid deresolution and reconstitution of the subject organism can have several unwelcome effects, including increases in aggression and paranoia, as well as increased probabilities of respiratory and cardiac arrest. Artifacts of synaptic disruption accumulate in the biological snapshot of the individual, leading to Teleportation Related Dementia (TReDs), an incurable disease that has stricken some of our greatest champions."
- Train Job: AS-Convoy, the Spiritual Successor of AS-HiSpeed, is an inversion: the Hellions stole a cache of missiles from the N.E.G. and it's up to an N.E.G. team (the attackers) to retrieve them.
- Turned Against Their Masters: The story behind AS-RobotFactory:"This scenario is a recreation of the Liandri robot uprising on the mechanical asteroid of LBX-7683 and the subsequent quelling of this rebellion by human forces. LBX-7683 was an outpost for research and development of the next generation of Liandri robots. Liandri's best scientists were able to introduce increasingly sophisticated artificial intelligence into the machines that they designed. Eventually, they rebelled against the humans and took the asteroid as their own, brutally disposing of their creators and mining the rich materials embedded within the rock for their own gain. Liandri's commanders devised a plan to strike directly at the production facility manufacturing the robots. During an all-out assault on the world, a small team was inserted with the sole goal of destroying the AI generators, thereby destroying the ability of the machines to reproduce themselves and ending this uprising."
- Underground Level: DM-Rrajigar, based on the Rrajigar mines of the first Unreal game.
- What Did You Expect When You Named It ____?: ONS-Icarus."Soaring 3 miles above Earth's surface, Icarus Plaza was designed to be the ultimate residential precinct. But like its namesake, ambition for the project exceeded caution. Even before the project was completed, significant structural flaws were detected and the buildings were abandoned."
- Who Shot JFK?: CTF-GrassyKnoll pokes fun at this."There's no magic bullets here, no conspiracy, just a gauntlet of enemies to overcome and finally bring the flag home."
- Writers Cannot Do Math: The reason why the description for CTF-January had to be patched. Previously, it stated that the previous repair attempt before Liandri ordered the last one took place in 2358 and that it lasted three years, meaning that it would end in 2361. The game takes place in 2303. The patched description deletes the year and assures that the facility was finished two years beforehand.
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 do not 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 Egyptian 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.
- Ascended Extra: Too many examples, given the jump from just selectable skins or AI enemies to playable characters with fleshed out backstories.
- The most notorious examples are Malcolm, Brock and Lauren, who were given a bit of backstory in the first Tournament game, but since 2003 onwards were given even bigger roles.
- Karag, from the ECE Bonus Pack, was one of the default practice session bots.
- Barktooth, also from the ECE Bonus Pack, was one of the Deathmatch ladder bots.
- Guardian and Dominator, plus Skrilax from the ECE Bonus Pack, for the Skaarj side, were just selectable skins in the first Tournament game, and to add insult to injury, they weren't even shipped, but instead came with one of the free expansion packs. Dominator's case goes even further, as he (as a pure Skaarj, not as a Skaarj Hybrid) was an unplayable boss character in the console versions, with his features being kept almost unchanged.
- Ascended Meme: Players really, really liked the UT2003 announcer rolling his M every time Mr. Crow was selected, as the announcer would bark out each character's name as they were selected. (MMMMMMMMMMMMMISTER CROW!) Come 2004, and Mr. Crow's the only character left who's announced when selected.
- Badass Crew: Take your pick. Special mentions goes to the Juggernauts (led by Gorge), Thunder Crash (led by Malcolm), Iron Skull (led by the Skaarj ClanLord), and The Corrupt (led by Xan Kriegor). In any of the games, 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) show that they have also personality and a Proud Warrior Race Guy behaviour.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Aside from the fact all the women 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 like that - 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 who were forced into it.
- 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 proper, presuming they weren't good enough to qualify) while those on the Godlike tier are the ones fighting to be the team you'll fight in the Finals.
- Cloning Blues: Romulus and Remus are stated to be clones.
- Condemned Contestant: Around half of the competitors. Everyone else just likes murder (and taking advantage of the fact that "consensual murder" is legal in these games).
- Cool Mask: Romulus and Remus wear matching half-face masks, Remus combining his with some kickin' shades. Barktooth and Karag get full-face variations.
- Cool Shades: Roc, Hyena and Remus.
- Competitive Balance: Each character in Championship falls under one of six racesnote , each with their own set of attributes which determine how fast they can travel and swim, how far they can jump, etc. 2003 ans 2004 eschews this by default, though it's possible to obtain Championship-like behaviour in 2004 by using the Species Statistics mutator. 2004 also adds the Skaarj as a seventh race. All of this said, here's the rundown:
- The Humans (teams Supernova, Iron Guard, Hellions and Thunder Crash) are the Jack-of-All-Stats, scoring 100% in every stat and, in Championship, getting a starting health bonus (130 HP).
- The Gen Mo'Kai (Fire Storm team) fit the Fragile Speedster archetype. They have bonuses for movement speed, acceleration, dodging, jump height and air control. As a tradeoff, they have the lowest starting health (80 HP), take more damage per hit, and deal less damage with their weapons. 2004 removes their penalties to health and damage dealt, as well as the dodging and jump height bonuses, but increases their running speed alongside the damage taken, emphasizing the stereotype even more.
- On the other side are the Juggernauts (teams Juggernaut and Goliath), who fit the Mighty Glacier archetype. They have the biggest starting health bonus (190 HP) and damage taking bonus, but they also have penalties on almost every other stat such as acceleration, air control, crouching speed, dodging, walking and jump height. In 2004 they lose the starting health bonus as well as the jump height penalty, but their acceleration is further penalized, making them worse than the jack-of-all-stats.
- The Anubans (Sun Blade team) are close to balanced the same as humans, having penalties on starting health (85 HP), damage dealt, ground acceleration and ground dodging in exchange for an obscene boost on Air Control (250% higher than your average character) and good air dodge and jump height bonuses. In 2004 they lose their penalties, gaining instead a penalty on damage taken and a running bonus, making them closer to the Fragile Speedster archetype with the best air control of the game.
- The Robots (teams The Corrupt and Blood Fist) are also close to balanced, instead having penalties on movement speed while gaining starting health (130 HP), dodging and jump height bonuses. In 2004, they instead have bonuses to acceleration and to damage both dealt and received, making them closer to the Glass Cannon archetype.
- Finally, the Nightmares (team Black Legion) have penalties on running speed, jump height and damage dealt, in exchange for bonuses on acceleration, crouching and walking speed, getting them closer to the Fragile Speedster archetype. In 2004 they only retain their penalty to damage, making them another close match for Humans.
- 2004 added the Skaarj race, which has bonuses on air control and jump height (making them second to the Anubans on the issue), at the expense of taking more damage.
- Cutscene Power to the Max: Dominator, Malcolm, Gorge, and Xan in the SP intro of 2004. To recap: Dominator can stab an opponent with his Wolverine Claws (completely unusable in gameplay); Gorge can ram opponents to knock them down before filling them full of lead (ramming is not a move in the game); Malcolm's Assault Rifles can kill multiple people in about half a second (impossible in-game 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) and killing enemies in one shot with his shock rifle (only possible if either the enemy is already down to about one-third health).
- Cyber Cyclops: Cyclops (d'oh!), Widowmaker, and Axon.
- Death Seeker: A few combatants have either lost everyone/thing they care about and seek oblivion, and/or and feel they have dishonoured themselves such that death is the only fitting fate:
- Faraleth, a Gen Mo'Kai healer who went mad over her inability to help her tribe against an ailment called the "crimson scourge".
- Delinquent Hair: The Hellions.
- 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: For some characters. 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."(Lilith's description) "Having lost her legs during an attack on an Imperial medical supply transport, Lilith was captured and sentenced to deletion of personality at the Purgatory penal facility. With her mind and body rebuilt from the ground up she now serves as a bounty hunter for the Empire."
- 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.
- In-Series Nickname: Kragoth's bio states he's known as the "Star Slayer", after having singlehandedly killed the entire crew of a star cruiser.
- The Lad-ette: 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."
- Older Than They Look: The Necris characters, Kragoth and Thannis, in UT2004 - by the time of that game, they're 127 and 93 respectively.
- Promoted to Playable: Dominator was one of the four bosses on the Playstation 2/Sega Dreamcast versions of the first Tournament game. In 2004, he can be selected right from the start.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Gen Mo'Kai and the Skaarj.
- Ragdoll Physics: Introduced to the series here. A mutator allows you to make this more apparent by slowing corpses down, floating through the air to be pushed around by weapons fire as their killer pleases.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Skrilax.
- Silver Fox: Thannis.
- 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: How the Anuban race was formed. Some ancients transplanted humans from Egypt as part of an experiment. While the Egyptian empire on Earth vanished, the Anuban empire went the other way and grew to be powerful.
- 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.
Gameplay related tropes
- A.I. 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 use the magnet.
- 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 secondary 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.
- Team boosting, also from the first UT, was made into an option for Instagib matches.
- 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.
- A-Team Firing: Low-level bots behave like this. Don't try it, or you'll get murdered.
- 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 up 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, 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 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 shot down before delivering its payload, and that the travel time of the bombs can be dodged - unlike the Ion Painter.
- 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. The Ion and Target Painters are a variation, as the weapons per se don't inflict damage, but call either a satellital strike or a bomber to do the powerful damage.
- 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, this 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.
- Charged Attack: All of them of the Hold variety:
- Among the weapons, the Shield Gun's primary fire (extra damage and push), the Assault Rifle's grenades (can be thrown further), the BioRifle's secondary fire (bigger glob), the Grenade Launcher (can be further thrown), the Rocket Launcher's multirockets (up to 3 in either an horizontal line or as a spiral), and the Ion/Target Painter (a requirement for the satellite/bomber in an open field).
- Among the vehicles, the Scorpion's primary fire (more bolas), the Hellbender's third seat's primary fire (more damage), and the Cicada's first seat's secondary fire (more rockets).
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 charged 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 any vehicle (especially the Manta) which gives the killer the "Pancake" award.
- Double Jump: Players can jump at the height of the first jump for an extra boost. The Quad Jump mutator allows them to do so two more times.
- Dual Mode Unit: The Leviathan in 2004; the primary seat has a mobile mode which fires homing swarm missiles, and a stationary mode which fires a powerful Wave Motion Gun.
- 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 is the fallback weapon when even the Assault Rifle has no ammo.
- 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:
- Finish a match without getting fragged or with your team with perfect score, and the announcer will say this. In the Single Player campaign in 2004 it's even an achievement.
- On the receiving end, there's "Humiliating Defeat", which is also the case if an Invasion match ends with zero beaten waves.
- Frickin' Laser Beams: The Lightning Gun averts this due to being the games' primary Sniper Rifle. The stationary energy turrets found in the Onslaught maps play this straight with its primary fire. And of course there's the Instagib mode where everyone spawns with a OHKO Super Shock Rifle.
- Gatling Good: The minigun. 2004 adds a Minigun Turret in the Assault maps, and both the Goliath and the Ion Plasma Tank have a secondary seat with a Minigun Turret.
- 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.
- Interface Screw: Were you hit with a mine from the Grenade Launcher? Then you get said mine obstructing your vision.
- 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 when it's destroyed rather than going up with it.
- Joke Item: The TC-1200, a toilet on wheels, with all the armaments, defenses and maneuverability that implies (that is, next to none).
- Kill Sat: The Ion Painter (T.A.G. Rifle in Championship) is used to call one in the open maps which have the satellite. 2004 eschews the satellite and allows the weapon to be used in open maps which didn't feature the satellite before, calling up to three beams from above.
- Land Mine Goes "Click!":
- The Mine Layer is capable of releasing up to eight spider mines. With the secondary button you can guide them via laser. 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.
- Limit Break: The Adrenaline system. By collecting Adrenaline pills scattered through the maps, completing objectives (scoring in Bombing Run, capturing flags in Capture The Flag or Double Domination points) or outright fragging, you fill the Adrenaline meter. Once it reaches 100 and the Announcer exclaims "Adrenaline Full", you need to introduce a sequence in order to gain an advantage, which can be either a boost on damage, rate of fire or speed, or health regeneration. This lasts until the meter is down to 0, though you can still do the required stuff to make this mode last a second more. Also, Adrenaline drains faster if you carry a flag, the Ball or another objective.
- Macross Missile Massacre: the Cicada's secondary Charged Attack paints a target location with a laser and starts loading ordinance. When the button is released or 16 missiles are ready, the Cicada fires them all in quick succession, all of them Roboteching to the painted location, regardless how much the Cicada moved during the loading sequence.
- Made of Iron: The Leviathan. Even the armor on the Goliath and the Paladin are paper compared it.
- 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: 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 done. As in the last game, there's also the optional Instagib Shock Rifle that kills everything it shoots in one hit.
- Quad Damage: The Damage Amplifier. Doubles the effect if it's used with the Berserk adrenaline combo.
- The Cicada's dumb-fire missiles do this merely because it looks cool.
- AVRiLs locked onto a target automatically adjust their flight trajectory to lead the target and score a mid-air interception instead of simply chasing it like ordinary homing weaponry in the game. To this end, they are highly maneuverable; dodging a locked AVRiL requires a Wronski Feint, a Cicada's flare or breaking the lock somehownote . Anything else and you run the risk of the missile pulling a 180° turn and coming back for another pass.
- 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-Rifle 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; as in the previous game, the secondary fire can be shot with primary to release a massive explosion that's all but guaranteed death to anyone caught within it.
- 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 (good luck getting non-clan players to do this, though).
- 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.
- There Can Be Only One: In the Last Man Standing mode every player starts with a set number of lives. Every time a player loses all of its lives, they are eliminated and become a spectator. The objective is to be the last player with lives left in the game.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The Redeemer, the Ion Painter, and the Target Painter. The Leviathan is the vehicle equivalent to them.
- Wall Jump: Players can jump to a wall and dodge away from them in order to reach new places. Can be combined with the dodge-jump or dpuble-jump to get horizontal or vertical extra boosts. The Quad Jump mutator also allows players to quad wall jump.
- Wave Motion Gun: The Leviathan's ion cannon. It has to stop moving to use it, has a slight delay setting it up, and has a slow rate of fire, but a shot that will instantly destroy anything except a core node or another Leviathan, and it has a HUGE blast radius.
- 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 dissidents fight each other for the Overseers' amusement. 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 takes place in a setting where an Alien Invasion took Earth by surprise and enslaved everyone.
- Announcer Chatter:
- A Winner Is You: Unreal Tournament 2003 and 2004 single player tournament mode ends with the shot of the trophy room and a booming voice that proclaim you as the champion, while Awesome Music plays that continues on to the main menu until you start another game.
- 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 Phase IV Best Assault Map of the "Make Something Unreal Contest".
- In addition, a few total conversion mods for UT2004 have become full titles of their own, such as Air Buccaneers, Red Orchestra and Killing Floor.
- Blood Sport: Continuing the basic premise of Unreal Tournament, the eponymous Liandri Grand Tournament has warriors from all kinds of factions and walks of life fighting for their lives either on their own or as a team.
- Bond One-Liner: Taunts in general, as the Quotes page shows.
- Bragging Rights Reward:
- Competitive Multiplayer: Well, it is a continuation of a game series that really popularized competitive FPS multiplayer! UT 2004 also allows you to track your stats.
- Continuity Nod:
- The Assault level AS-MotherShip is a literal Battleship Raid on the Skaarj Mothership, which is a Shout Out to the first Unreal game.
- Many maps are inspired by previous UT map DM-Morpheus, such as DM-Plunge, BR-SkyLine and ONS-Icarus. The map itself appeared in 2004.
- Invasion mode uses some of the classic Unreal enemies, and plenty of game mods restore the rest, as well as add more from the sequel.
- DM-Rrajigar in 2004 is based on the Rrajigar mines of the first Unreal game.
- Creator Cameo/Self-Insert Fic: In 2004 one of the teams in the "Other matches" post-match tab is called "Epic Games Inc".
- Discontinuity Nod: There are still mentions of the Overseer invasion in 2004, and the game takes the events of 2003 as canon, even with 2003's status.
- 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. It's also implied that your character even drowns. To add insult to injury, the final match is also kind of depressing. You're forced to kill your own teammates.
- 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.
- The Vehicle CTF gametype was technically finished when the game hit the stores, but has no official maps for it. As such, it's not playable in the Tournament and requires a custom map to play in Instant Action or multiplayer; there are plenty of those, however.
- There aren't official Assault maps featuring objectives which require the "use" key, even with the code being there since retail. Like above, there are plenty of custom maps that take advantage of it.
- 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.
- Easily Conquered World: The Overseer invasion of the Earth in Championship.
- The Empire:
- The Overseer in Championship.
- The Skaarj Empire which backs the Iron Skull Skaarj team in 2004.
- Game Mod: The main bread and butter of the game to the point that the game seems to be only a framework to load a lots of mods with. Mods ranging from custom characters, custom maps, custom mutator script (that is so powerful that it can even load completely new weapons, vehicles, and gameplay mechanics such as TD Warfare Vehicle pack and Ballistic Weapons), and even whole new games such as Frag Ops and Unwheel (which isn't even an FPS), alongside many which later became standalone, including Red Orchestra, Killing Floor (published by the same guys behind RO), and Alien Swarm (converted to the Source engine), all of which have since seen sequels.
- 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:"Double Kill!"
- Kill Streak:X is on a killing spree.
X is on a rampage!
X is dominating!
X is UNSTOPPABLE!!
X is GODLIKE!!
X is WICKED SICK!!!
- Lighter and Softer: In contrast to Unreal Championship, Unreal Tournament 2003, despite technically the same game with many additions, retold the story as an intergalactic tournament game and starts with a cutscene resembling a Professional Wrestling match. Unreal Tournament 2004 changes it into separate action-movie esque war/battle montage, although the narration afterwards still state that it's still a tournament. The cutscene of Unreal Tournament 2003 can be seen in Unreal Tournament 2004 on the Extras section.
- 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 (main organizer of the Tournament and backer of The Corrupt), Axon (backer of the Goliath and Juggernaut teams) and Izanagi (owner of some facilities such as Lamdon 3).
- Mission-Pack Sequel: Subverted with 2004, whose intention is to replace 2003, so far as to include rebate for those who sent back copies of 2003 to the publisher. It worked, as 2004 not only became the best Unreal Tournament game so far but also become the base of the vast majority of mutators, mods, and total conversion released afterwards. 2003 custom maps are still working for the game.
- 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!"