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Awesome / Unreal I

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  • Let's start with the Scenery Porn: NyLeve's Falls.
  • The first appearance of the Skaarj. In the first part of the Rrajigar mines, steel bars lock you in a narrow corridor, then one by one all the lights go out. You hear a menacing growl, and then alarms blare and the action music starts as a Skaarj scout leaps from a hidden alcove to attack.
  • "Bluff Eversmoking", a large, fully explorable location with a lot of attention to detail. It also has some of the best subplots.
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  • The "Nali Castle" level. A huge, colorful castle, invaded with Skaarj and filled with section after section of cool stuff and a huge tower with a small boss battle on it, and a dark turn at the end. It's telling of how awesome this level is with the game using it as the flyby intro sequence.
  • Multiplayer-wise, DMDeck16, by far the most awesome deathmatch level ever created in the series. It's a multi-level slime deposit with many ramps and sections. Word of God stated that every area on the map was built to support the weapon it featured, thus you could find a Rifle on long corridors, a Flak Cannon in an area fit for close combat situations, a Razorjack at a corner where you can use the ricochet property for clever attacks, a long hallway with a chamber and a Rocket Launcher on it to make full use of the six-rocket feature, the upper level ledge featuring the only entrance to the central sniper balcony as well as a Bio Rifle on the other end to neutralize snipers (with some boxes acting as cover) and spam sludge balls from above... Future versions of the map would extend the layoutnote  while keeping the basics that made the map so much fun to play.
    • Also DmMorbias. Even with just one weapon, it's mayhem at the maximum level. And a helluvafun. DM-Morbias][ in Tournament would remain mostly the same, except that now there's a Redeemer in the very center of the map.
  • While only noticed by the technically-minded, the game's software renderer qualifies as awesome. How? It doesn't use nearest-neighbour texture filtering, which every other software renderer of the time used (and which usually looks like crap). Bilinear filtering looks pretty good, but is too demanding if you don't have dedicated hardware for the task (at least on hardware of the era). Unreal takes the third option of using a different kind of algorithm for its texture filtering. According to the programmer who wrote the engine, it uses an ordered dither on the texture coordinates, controlled by the on-screen pixel's location via some simple bitwise operations and a couple of lookup tables. If run at a high-enough screen resolution, the results look almost as good as bilinear filtering, and it's actually not that hard to implement. Heck, you might even decide you like the distinctive look better than classic bilinear filtering.


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