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Nightmare Fuel / Unreal Tournament 2004

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The games have a lot of bits of Black Comedy intertwined in their own descriptions which imply a lot of nasty scenarios and events which took place.

  • Some of the scenarios and events in 2003 and 2004 relate to the events of Unreal Championship, even after Epic Games declared it was non-canonical. Let that sink in for a moment.
  • Several of the characters' descriptions, when not directly chilling, are frightening when reading between the lines:
    • Faraleth: a Death Seeker who had to witness her entire clan being extinguished because of a human plague known as the Crimson Scourge.
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    • Nebri: Her face was disfigured by an Arborean predator, forcing her to wear a mask.
    • Just about anything about the automatons (team Blood Fist), with things like their own combat-oriented features:
      • Thorax has possession of what's called "digital immortality".
      • Mandible slaughtered 76 people (one of them implied to be its own creator) in just three days.
      • Syzygy's "bleeding edge" description is ambiguous enough, yet still terrifying.
      • Rapier can track you by your DNA, meaning that no trick is enough to avoid him when he chases you.
      • Corrosion was a former human who sought to rule at the side of the Overseer Emperor turned into an automaton against its own will.
      • Renegade had mercy at one point, but "this feature was removed from the last OS update".
    • The Juggernauts (teams Juggernaut-Goliath) are no slouches either:
      • Rylisa has a life sentence on the Allerian Ice Mines after cutting the hands of a briber.
      • Reinha became another Death Seeker after her husband's death in a mining accident.
      • Ambrosia strangled a judge in a fit of adrenaline-induced rage. In 2003 she also had to endure Gorge's nasty advances.
      • Siren has tree DNA spliced directly into her genes.
      • Gorge has no problems in using his own fists to destroy his opposition. This rudeness also let him to become the Tournament champion, breaking Malcolm's winning streak and spine.
      • Cannonball is described as the offspring between a trash compactor and a tank: big, ugly and with the personality of a rabid grizzly.
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    • And finally, the Nightmares. The game's take on the Black Legion team is even more frightening than the already frightening Necris, composed mostly of failed experiments.
      • Abaddon is a highly efficient killer suffering constant pain across his entire body, shortening his lifespan. He also dethroned Mr. Crow out of the leadership of the team.
      • Domina is an assassin working for the Overseer Empire who has the ability to ferret treason before its committed, by hearing guilty thoughts and find the threads of dissent woven deep into the DNA. Her description closes with "if the shadows speak to you in a child's voice one day, run, and never stop running as long as you have breath in your body".
      • Lilith was a rebel who lost her legs on an attack towards an Overseer medical supply transport and was sentenced to deletion of personality, with both her mind and body being rebuilt.
      • Brutalis was part of an experiment to hybridize human and taratic DNA in order to create a highly intelligent killing machine. Needless to say, the project Gone Horribly Right.
      • Unlike Mr. Crow, Harlequin is a more frightening Monster Clown, complete with decoration.
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    • The Skaarj (team Iron Skull) are back in 2004. If you ever wondered how dangerous they became since the last time we saw them, here we go:
    • Xan's own team, The Corrupt, is back. He also brings out some new warriors, this time all of them purely inorganic:
      • Cyclops must be kept in stasis between matches, as he cannot differentiate between Tournament matches and normal life.
      • Xan himself, as the former champion who came back with an improved armor, is no slouch. There's a reason why the rest of the competitors are frightened by him.
    • Thunder Crash's Tamika was left by her mother at a young age and she was raised in a house full of abusive men.
    • Finally, the Hellions have some frightening members:
      • Outlaw was recruited after a cross-galaxy crime spree where he left over 300 bodies.
      • Kane is basically Zappa as a punk fighting in a deathmatch tournament: psychotic and with multiple personalities changing his fighting style.
      • Greith and Rae were found by the Hellions among the ruins of a colony raided by the Skaarj.
    • Kragoth, the "Star Slayer" rumored to have singlehandedly killed an entire crew, is also back.
  • As usual, several of the maps are located in nasty areas with horrifying backstories:
    • BR-BiFrost takes place in a cold, desolate wasteland of permafrost and broken stone. Before that, it was an endless field of obsidian left behind by the volcanic activity of a young planet. Either way, it's NOT a nice place to live.
    • BR-Canyon is divided by a deadly river.
    • The ElecFields maps, either in Bombing Run and Capture The Flag, take place atop the Marakan Flow. It's a place with tiny corridors and a very eerie ambience of an acid rain constantly falling. The original description from the betas of Championship was way much worse, as it speaks from the Emperor's behalf:
    "The flow is known for it's extremely active electrical storms and is home to over thirty five thousand linked conductor towers, each towering up to five thousand meters above the planet's molten surface. Each tower receives up to two dozen lightning strikes a day. Stay aware of your surroundings at all times.
    When Marco Pelegrino and his motley crew of terrorists sought to disrupt cloning operations at the Inquisitor's Hall by demolishing the central tower and therefore the central power source, little did they know that a fully armored squad of Imperial soldiers would be practicing maneuvers at the facility.
    The resulting battle was brief but bloody. Pelegrino and company were wiped out, while the Imperial squad suffered only minor cuts and scratched, their carapace armor rendering them near invincible."
    • Some maps (BR-Skyline, ONS-Icarus, DM-Morpheus, DM-Plunge) take place atop of skyscrapers, so people with height phobias may not enjoy them.
    • The map CTF-BP2-Concentrate has the flags being surrounded by pits with spikes in them, akin to Mortal Kombat's The Pit stages.
    • CTF-Citadel can be described as two death castles atop several mountains, filled with Spikes of Villainy and overall eerie ambience.
    • Prieth Callas, the hard, cruel mastermind behind the Grendelkeep maps who enjoyed torturing his enemies before sending them to their deaths and raised creatures of great size and ferocity in order to fed them prisoners. His ironic fate also counts: he was dragged by his own men to the pit where he was the food of his own creatures.
    • The eerie description of DM-1on1-Crash:
    "A long time ago, in a galaxy far away a man with a pain filled heart built this complex to fight his own tournament and to meditate about his battles in the past. The Legend doesn't say if he ever found his freedom, but it seems that screams of endless sorrow from the old walls try to give an answer..."
    • The fact that the Skaarj couldn't get the Nali temple where DM-BP2-GoopGod takes place, but the Liandri did. It makes you think how powerful the Liandri became to actually surpass the Skaarj, an already dominating race.
    • The final fate of the losers in DM-Flux: they enter cryostasis "the hard way". Now consider that this map was available in Championship.
    • DM-Inferno. Possibly the evilest arena of the game, as its set into Hell itself, with even a musical theme designed to chill up your bones.
    • DM-Insidious's description: the dark world of the Overseer Inquisition, and the only companions of the combatants are the ghosts of the innocent. See the tanks in one of the sides of the stage? That's where your Player Character ends once all is said and done in Championship.
    • DM-Metallurgy has molten metal almost everywhere, so the slightest misstep may end with your bones burning.
    • Although you cannot touch them, the Allerian Ice Sharks from Championship's DM-Aqua_Mortis are still present in DM-Oceanic.
    • DM-Sulphur is a high altitude map which takes place in a stormy acid rain setting at night.
    • Gorge's Black Comedy joke in the description of Championship's DM-Molten: he shoved a guy in lava for doing a bad joke.
    • The people who come to DOM-Aswan cannot leave without taking part on the trials, with failure being rewarded with the scavengers getting to separate the meat from your bones.
    • The description of DOM-Core finishes with "And try not to blow us all of the face of the planet".
    • As peaceful and natural as the rest of the Arborea settings are, some of them (like DOM-Renascent with its key to rebirth being "death") have dark secrets.
    • The backstory of ONS-Dria: the Last Stand of the Nali in their lost battle against the Skaarj. It also points that the Stone Titans were driven by the Skaarj. If you played Unreal, let that sink in for a moment.
  • The weaponry has some frightening backstories adding to their in-game effects:
    • The Shield Gun's plasma wave (its primary fire) inflicts massive damage, rupturing tissue, pulverizing organs and flooding the bloodstream with dangerous gas bubbles.
    • The reason why the Translocator has charges? The rapid de-resolution and constitution of the body had several side effects such as 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 the Tournament's greatest champions.
    • The Mine Layer leaves mechanical spiders which chases enemies faster than they can run.
    • The Link Gun, should it kill an enemy with its alternate fire, leaves only its skeleton behind. This is tempered by the fact that you cannot kill your teammates because of its team damage boosting abilities.
    • The Flak Cannon received the ironic codename of "Negotiator". Its ionized flechettes (primary fire) deliver second and third-degree burns to organic tissue, cauterizing the wound instantly.

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