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The Featureless Protagonist
and Return to Na Pali
. A prisoner aboard the Unified Military Services' Vortex Rikers
, the ship crashed on the planet Na Pali. What followed to that particular event was a quest for survival that took them across the planet and other crashed ships in order to find a way out of the planet.
- Artificial Limbs:
- Kurgan has a bionic leg.
- Dimitra seems to have most of her face covered in a bionic mask.
- The Chosen One: One of the Nali diaries specifically mentions a saviour princess. And not only does the Nali depiction of the lightning goddess Vandora look human apart from the four arms, she has the exact same hair and face as Sonya, minus the respirator mask. Said princess usually refers to a deceased sailor from a crashed Russian ship that managed to break out of a heavily guarded Skaarj area and murder her way to a monastery, after the local Nali are convinced she's the one - but if you're playing as a female character, some of the logs might ambiguously refer to you.
- Heroic Mime: The protagonist might as well be a mute. Subverted in Return to Na Pali, where male and female player characters speak during intermission cutscenes.
- Injured Player Character Stage: Unlike most first person shooters of its era (or, indeed, most first person shooters, period), the player actually starts the game with low health as a result from the crash landing of the Vortex Rikers on Na Pali. Fortunately, there are plenty of health packs and bandages scattered around the ship and the only enemy encountered on board runs off before the player can engage with him.
- Noodle Incident: More than twenty Real Life years and ten games later, the reasons of the main character's imprisonment remain unknown.
- Right Man in the Wrong Place: Unlikely survivor of a crashed prison ship, inexplicably proficient with every weapon you come across (That's probably what got you locked up in the first place), no real motivation for fighting the bad guys other than "they're shooting at you?", singlehandedly free several areas of the planet from an army of reptilian nasties and cyborg slavers... Over the course of the game and Return To Na Pali they rampage across the planet, offing the Skaarj Queen and (most of) their ranks in the way. In RTNP, this extends to the UMS crew, who learnt the hard way to NOT to mess with someone like them.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: Despite the player character rampaging across the planet twice, and killing a Skaarj Queen and two Warlord leaders, along with various references to being the Nali's Savior, the Tournament games - which, according to the Manual, are set several years later - still reference the Skaarj hunting Nali. Not to mention that the resultant declaration of war against humanity devastated their colonies, and Earth itself.
- Small Role, Big Impact: Only appeared in Unreal and its Expansion Pack Return to Na Pali, but ended up practically creating the Unreal universe. Prior to their involvement, the Skaarj weren't interested in humanity, as they saw them as just an inferior race. P849's quest to escape from the planet (which involved the assassination of the Skaarj Queen, and countless of Nali being saved) inadvertently gave the Skaarj a renewed interest in humanity, which led to them invading Earth, the creation of the New Earth Government in order to stop them, the near-extinction of humanity, and the aftermath of the war leading to such a dismal status on Earth that rebellions began to rise across the world, prompting the NEG to create a series of leagues and bloody public exhibitions alongside the Liandri Mining Corporation, in order to contain said rage.
- The Undead: While traditional zombies (or some in-universe equivalent) are nowhere to be seen, players can pick any of the five "gibbed" skins (three for men, two for women).
Na Pali creatures
Other Na Pali friendly/passive creatures
Clockwise from top-left: Biterfish, Horsefly, Nali Rabbit and Nali Bird. Not pictured: the Nali Cow.
Different animals comprising the fauna and flora of Na Pali. Not all of them are associated with the Skaarj or other malicious races.
- Ascended Extra: The Nali Cow became a selectable character for Unreal Tournament as the Nali WarCow.
- Everythings Worse With Sharks: The Devilfish.
- Fighting Clown: In spite of its hilarious appearance (as a result of the game's lead animator messing around with a Nali Cow model and the rest of the team liking it), the Nali WarCow is still capable of kicking tons of ass in Tournament.
- Non-Malicious Monster: A lot of the monsters on Na Pali are just predatory animals who aren't affiliated with the Skaarj and are just looking for dinner.
Enemies and monsters
- Enemy Civil War: Can happen if a monster accidentally shoots another in the back. This only occurs between monsters who are not of the same species. There are a few exceptions. The Skaarj Berserker will attack everything in sight, Skaarj or otherwise (even other Skaarj Berserkers). Titans will attack everything that's not them (for the few instances where there are other monsters around when fighting one). The Giant Gasbag will attack any normal Gasbags that she spawns. The Pack Hunters, introduced in Return To Na Pali
- Lightning Bruiser: Except for Brutes.
- Offscreen Teleportation: Some of the enemy spawners indeed only spawn enemies when you're not looking at the particular spawner. Bodies of slain enemies only disappear when your back is turned.
A Skaarj Trooper and a Skaarj Warrior
The main antagonist alien race of the Unreal series, as well as the most prominent enemies the player finds in Na Pali. Comes in several races.
- Cold Sniper: Skaarj Snipers and Skaarj Officers can be found carrying Rifles.
- Deflector Shields: Skaarj Troopers have an arm-mounted buckler that stops even hitscan attacks, but doesn't negate Splash Damage.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: The Trooper class is armed with an energy shield which helps them reducing the damage taken from the player's weapons.
- Underground Monkey: Troopers are distinguished for being able to carry regular weapons, and some of them can even drop the weapon they use. Their regular health is 170, and subclasses include:
- Gunners, who carry Eightball Rocket Launchers.
- Infantry, who carry Stingers.
- Troopers, who carry Dispersion Pistols or (occasionally) ASMD Rifles.
- Snipers, the fragilest subclass at 140 HP, who carries the Rifle or (occasionally) Bio Rifle.
- Officers, the sturdiest subclass at 200 HP, who carries the Razorjack or (occasionally) the Rifle.
- Unique Enemy: The Skaarj Sniper is only found in the "Outpost 3J" level of the main game.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: The Skaarj Lord is the strongest of all non-boss Skaarj enemies, boasting 320 HP, being more tactical-minded than Assassins and more level-headed than Berserkers (which they're on par with, stats-wise).
- Badass Army: In addition to the already stated, in Unreal Tournament 2004 they get their own team, called "Iron Skull Skaarj" (presumably to distinguish them from the Half-Human Hybrid Skaarj Hybrid team "Iron Skull" from Tournament). The badass aspect comes with the fact that they're one of the "Godlike" teams in the Ladder, meaning that they can be fought at the end of eack of the Team Ladders (except the introductory Team Qualification Ladder) and, provided they did well against the player's team, in the Championship ladder as Final Boss, and their regular and AI stats prove that dismissing them as threats is a bad idea.
- Boss in Mook Clothing: Skaarj Berserkers and Skaarj Lords have roughly the same damage and health stats, and are the strongest Skaarj classes.
- Degraded Boss: Skaarj Lords are rare encounters in Unreal, but in Return to Na Pali they appear more frequently, with the player facing 11 of them in the Bounds of Foundry level.
- Elite Mooks: Skaarj Lords have almost the same health as a Berserker and the Assassin's tendency to spam Razik projectiles. Later on, the game tosses them your way almost as regular enemies.
- Enemy Civil War: Skaarj Berserkers will fight just about anybody, and will gladly attack other Skaarj if you're not in their line of sight.
- Establishing Character Moment: Prisoner 849's first fight with one takes place in the "Rrajigar Mine" level. After deactivating the force fields, 849 is trapped in a small corridor and the lights turn off. The next moment, the light turns red, and a Warrior comes from a wall, attacking them.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: One of the Warrior class melee moves is a Spin Attack.
- Foreshadowing: You get to see a Skaarj Warrior at the Vortex Rikers before you get to fight one in the third level, "Rrajigar Mine".
- Kill the Lights: The first Skaarj encounter in the Rrajigar mines. After Prisoner 849 disables the force field, they have to return from where they came from, and at a turn, two barriers rise up and the lights start to turn off. Cue a red light of warning and the appearance of a Skaarj Scout.
- Last Breath Bullet: If a Skaarj Warrior is decapitated, he will swipe blindly at the air with his claws before falling down.
- Mook Debut Cutscene: The first Skaarj Scout the player fights is encountered in the Rrajigar Mine level: after deactivating the forcefield controls, Prisoner 849 returns from where they came until a pair of barriers are placed, the lights are turned off, and they later get a red coloring as a Scout begins attacking the player.
- Oh, Crap!: Your first encounter with a Skaarj - see Nothing Is Scarier above. You're happily walking along to get back to your objective, in a passage you've already crossed with no enemy activity whatsoever, and suddenly the lights start going out, one by one. You can't run, because the corridor is now blocked. You start to hear growling noises. This is where you say the trope, right before a whirling mass of blades and hurt dives straight for your face.
- Promoted to Playable: As a full-blood racenote , the Warrior class became playable in Unreal Tournament 2004, following the footsteps of the Trooper class in Unreal.
- Super Window Jump: A Skaarj gets the drop on you in the first room of the Sunspire by jumping through the stained glass ceiling.
- Underground Monkey: Warriors are specialized in melee combat. Sturdier than Troopers (their weakest subclass has 180 HP, while their sturdiest has 320), they use a Leap Attack, a double bolt attack, a Spin Attack and use Wolverine Claws, depending on the situation. They also have an annoying tendency to dodge whenever non-hitscan weapons are fired at higher levels. Subclasses include:
- Ice Skaarj, immune to freezing damage.
- Skaarj Scouts, weakest but also fastest.
- The base Skaarj Warrior subclass.
- Skaarj Assassins, more aggressive than the Skaarj Lord.
- Skaarj Berserkers, sturdiest and with the strongest melee attack, but doesn't distinguish friend from foe.
- Skaarj Lords, more tactical than the Assassin, second-to-best melee attack.
- Unique Enemy: The Ice Skaarj is only found in the "Watcher of the Skies" and "Gala's Peak" levels from Return to Na Pali, fittingly, two ice-themed levels. Strangely, they only appear on the easy difficulty, being replaced with Mercenaries on higher difficulties.
- Wolverine Claws (with occasional Energy Balls): The Skaarj's Razik, the weapon of choice for the class.
Pictured: Lesser Brute. Not pictured: Regular Brute and Behemoth.
Big, slow-moving ape-like creatures with dual-wielded mini-rocket launchers. Comes in three varieties: Lesser Brutes, Brutes and Behemoths.
- Boss in Mook Clothing: The Behemoth is the strongest Brute class.
- Continuity Nod: A pop-up in the training level of Unreal II: The Awakening features a Behemoth.
- Damage Reduction: Brutes and Behemoths take only 70% damage from the Dispersion Pistol and all explosive attacks. This doesn't include the Bio Rifle, even if its projectiles explode.
- Degraded Boss: Behemoths appear more frequently in Return to Na Pali.
- Dual Wielding: They have a rocket launcher pistol in each arm.
- Dumb Muscle: A Krall log complains about them breaking the bridge they later have to repair in the "Dasa Mountain Pass" level.
- Extreme Mêlée Revenge: If they take enough damage, they will forget all about shooting and charge you.
- Guns Akimbo: The Regular Brute will shoot a barrage of rockets on certain health levels.
- Hand Cannon: They dual-wield rocket launchers as pistols.
- Mighty Glacier: Big, heavy and armed with rocket launchers, they'd be a huge problem if they weren't so very slow.
- Mook Debut Cutscene: Your first encounter with one takes place early in the NyLeve's Falls level. After entering the first cave, a human flies across the corridor and crashes against a wall; afterwards a rocket destroys him, and the Brute makes its appearance.
- Rule of Three: Three classes of Brutes.
- Slave Mooks: They fight for the Skaarj, guarding key areas.
- There Was a Door: They are fond of this. In their first appearance in "NyLeve's Falls", a Brute smashes its way through a door behind you (which is sneaky as you'll more likely be focused on the Brute in front of you that has just thrown a human survivor against the wall and annihilated him with a volley of rockets).
- Underground Monkey: Brutes, Lesser Brutes (weaker, but faster) and Behemoths (larger, slower, sturdier, stronger, and when they die and fall they shake the area).
- Unique Enemy: In the base game only, Behemoths are fought at the "Cellars at Dasa Pass" level. A third one appears in "Nali Castle" on Unreal difficulty, however.
A floating, belching creature.
- Cephalothorax: Their mouth, the source of their attacks, is located at the center.
- Gasshole: Practically an embodiment of this trope.
- Mook Debut Cutscene: Two of them appear in the "Temple of Vandora" level, bombarding the player at the Torch of Tranquility area.
A flying enemy found in Na Pali, attacks with its tail.
- Airborne Mook: It's always flying.
- Continuity Nod: Unreal Tournament 2004 features a hoverboard vehicle with two side wings and its overall shape resembling them.
- Mook Debut Cutscene: Depending on where the player goes in the NyLeve's Falls level, either they're hiding behind a rock near a Nali hut, or two of them ambush the player near the exit of the level, with a log referencing them in this area.
A group of hazmat-suit clad aliens
stationed at the Terraniux ship. They are archenemies of the Skaarj, and are competing with them for control of Na Pali.
- Alien Blood: They have green blood. Notably, this isn't a form of violence censorship - your blood, as well as that of most other enemies, is quite red.
- Artificial Limbs: Their arm cannons, effectively a machinegun and a rocket launcher.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Elite Mercenaries have a stronger melee attack, and can shoot while shielded.
- Continuity Nod: Their symbol becomes the symbol for the Gold team in Unreal Tournament.
- Deflector Shields: Mercenaries have a Shield that grants temporary invulnerability.
- Elite Mooks: Elite Mercenaries can shoot while their invulnerable shields are up.
- Enclosed Extraterrestrials: We never get to see how they actualy look outside their hazmat power armor.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": There's no info about their species, society, motives or really anything, all we know is that they're Mercenaries. It is implied that they were named "Mercenaries" because the developers could not figure out a unique name for them in time during the development.
- Evil vs. Evil: They may be trying to kill you, but they hate the Skaarj just as much as you do.
- Faceless Goons: All Mercenaries wear masks.
- Noodle Incident: You never find out who the mercenaries are, who they work for, why they are on Na Pali, or where they come from. All you know for sure is they aren't human, as while they are roughly human in size and shape they have green blood and talk in a weird electronic buzzing language, and that they aren't aligned with the Skaarj as the two will attack each other on sight.
The larval form of a Skaarj. They're weak, their leap attack isn't damaging, but they usually attack in packs.
A creature that likes to hang out of ceilings and shoot spikes towards its enemies.
- Artifact Mook: They are found nearly everywhere, whether it'd be Nali huts, Skaarj facilities, temples, or otherwise.
- Mook Debut Cutscene: Appears in the "NyLeve's Falls" level inside of the first hut the player can access, hidden in a corner.
The hugest non-boss enemy of Unreal
and Return to Na Pali
, these beasts attack by throwing rocks and shaking the ground with their stomp.
- Damage Reduction: They take only 70% damage from the Dispersion Pistol and all explosive attacks. This doesn't include the Bio Rifle, even if its projectiles explode.
- Damage-Sponge Boss: The Titans, which are like a combination of a giant gorilla and a dinosaur and have a ridiculous 1200 HP total, but are very stupid and slow, as well as being big, easy-to-hit targets. The rocks they throw can do enough damage to one-shot a fully healthy and armored player and one handful of them can be thrown at once, but those tend to not be as well-aimed as one single giant boulder and are universally slow; the main danger of those is the unpredictable shrapnel that is produced after they collide with the level geometry and shatter.
- Enemy Civil War: They will fight just about anybody.
- Mook Debut Cutscene: The first of these beasts is fought at the Dark Arena level. After the Player Character picks up the Eightball and its ammunition, the metal ring around the central pillar rises violently and the three sets of huge double doors around the arena slide open. From behind the flying dust, a huge Titan comes thumping out.
- Skippable Boss: Almost every Titan battle in the game can be skipped. The only exceptions are the levels "Dark Arena" and "Temple of Vandora".
- Continuity Nod: A pop-up in the training level of Unreal II: The Awakening features a bunch of Predators.
- Mook Debut Cutscene: At the very end of the "Edge of Na Pali" level, after entering the last chamber, the door behind the Player Character closes, and a pack of hunters start chasing them.
- Raptor Attack: The predators are rather like tiny carnivorous dinosaurs, and, ironically, are closer to real life raptors than most acutal raptors in games (being only about as big as a turkey, and relying on both being really fast and having superior numbers, as they usually appear in groups of 6-8 or so.)
A giant arachnid creature that is capable of lobbing acid at it's foes.
UMS Space Marines
- Cleanup Crew: They appear right after 849 discovers that the whole Operation Talon Hunter has been classified Deep Ultra and that all evidence of it should be cleansed out and 849 powers up the Prometheus.
- Evil All Along: They hire you for an important mission, and just when done, they send troops to kill you.
- Faceless Goons: Their masks are opaque enough to hide their faces.
- Oh, Crap!: You know the Marines are plotting to execute you, but as you reach the bridge, the ship begins to rock, and beams of light come down from the sky... and heavily armored space marines with the incredibly damaging combat assault rifle you were given land to give you hell.
- Powered Armor: Come armored, and they take quite a lot of hits before going down.
- Tele-Frag: After you get to beat enough UMS Space Marines in the "Inside UMS Prometheus" level, one of them is teleported into a wall and it breaks, revealing the exit.
- Underground Monkey: Carrying each of the new weapons introduced in Return to Na Pali.
- Unique Enemy: The Space Marines only appear at the very end of "Inside UMS Prometheus".
- Walking Spoiler: You'll only find halfway through the UMS Prometheus missions that you'll be betrayed once your mission is completed.
- Wolfpack Boss: They all have powerful weapons (including some with rocket launchers), and you have to fight a total of about 6-7 with little room to dodge. At least they are nice enough to teleport in individually, rather than all of them appear at once.
A bigger Titan sitting on a throne in the "Velora Pass" level.
A larger, stronger and more powerful Gasbag with the ability of creating smaller Gasbags. Fought at the "Nali Castle" level.
- King Mook: One of the biggest enemies that you face next to Titans.
- Mook Maker: Has the ability to create smaller Gasbags.
A hulking leathery-winged demon thing
that is apparently in charge of Skaarj operations, armed with a deadly Rocket Launcher. First fought in the "Demonlord's Lair" level, implied to be the General of the Skaarj forces. Also guards the Skaarj Mothership Generator. This boss is also fought in Return to Na Pali
in the "Escape from Na Pali" level.
- Disc-One Final Boss: After the first battle in the caves below the Nali Castle, you fight him a second and final time in the Skaarj Generator. The true Final Boss is the Skaarj Queen.
- The Dragon: Prisoner 849 fights him twice: once in a torture dungeon in a lava-filled cave that he uses for his personal amusement after the "Nali Castle" level, and another after you try to sabotage the Skaarj mothership. On the second fight, he's killed for good.
- Dungeon Bypass: A boulder above him can be shot, and it will fatally injure, if not outright kill, him.
- Establishing Character Moment: After entering to the "Demonlord's Lair" level, the player catches his back. A single shot is enough to wake him up.
- Large and in Charge: Around 12-15 feet tall, and is thought to be the General of the Skaarj army.
- Last Breath Bullet: They attempt to do this to the player as part of their death animation.
- Skippable Boss: In Return to Na Pali, after pressing the switch that allows you to access the UMS shuttle and escape, a Skaarj Warlord bursts out of the floor of the previous room. However, the game gives you generous time to get out before it appears.
- We Will Meet Again: After being defeated in your first encounter with one, he just taunts you and teleports away, only to reappear - and be Killed Off for Real - aboard the Skaarj mothership.
A bunch of large, psychotic Skaarj with glowing "pseudoinvisibility" effects, the player finds them as experiment subjects in the "Mothership Core" level. After blowing up the Skaarj Generator and cutting the power across the ship, these Skaarj go berserk. Fought in the level "The Darkening".
- King Mook: They were all part of an experiment to mutate Skaarj with tarydium so they would have natural energy shields. Unfortunately it had the side effect of sending them into a constant Unstoppable Rage, so they were locked up. Of course, once the Player Character destroys the generator powering the forcefields...
Spoiler Final Boss
The Final Boss
. A six-armed monster who can shoot bolts, use a shield, and Teleport Spam
. Fought at the level "The Source".
A bunch of oversized, bulky Mantas. Found in the levels Glathriel Village, Part 1 and/or Glathriel Village, Part 2.
An unusually large, 15 foot tall Skaarj Lord with double the normal amount of health as a surprise boss at the end of the "Bounds of Foundry" level in Return to Na Pali