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What Could Have Been / Unreal

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Like most long-running series, the Unreal series is prone to last-minute cuts and early design decision scraps.

Unreal I

While the retail game seems fully featured, Unreal also went through many complete redesigns and had countless amounts of cut content.

  • For reference, the Cutting Room Floor has an area dedicated to the prototype versions and another for the full game.
  • A closer look to the cover art for the retail version reveals a lot of stuff that didn't made the cut for it, or would later appear in Return to Na Pali: the "Foundry Tarydium Plant" and "Velora Temple" levels, the Combat Assault Rifle, an unnamed map taking place in a villa, different skins for the Krall and Brute monsters, the Kevlar Suit room in the Vortex Rikers being circular and having an Assault Vest instead, and a different Nali Castle.
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  • The Rifle would have had a three-shot burst Secondary Fire until it was replaced with the zoom function.
  • There were some deathmatch maps which were cut from the final game in Unreal, but appeared in the betas. One of them (Morbfanza) was a mashup of three other levels which did made the cut. (Morbias-Ariza-Deathfan)
  • A part of the Expansion Pack Return to Na Pali is made up of a fraction of maps originally cut from the actual game, among them, "Nagomi Passage" (a Hub Level) and Velora Pass, which in the betas was named Aztec.
  • The expansion Return to Na Pali originally would have been completely different from what we've known. It would have featured the Skaarj and Mercenaries as playable races, with exclusive weapons, and the same level could feature different enemies/allies/goals/items depending on the playable race.
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  • There was also a Playstation version with a completely new campaign called "Rise of Jrath" that was canceled and never released despite being nearly finished. A Nintendo 64 version was also allegedly in the works, via the Disc Drive add-on, with said port being made by a smaller division of DMA Design (now Rockstar North). The port was cancelled for two primary reasons: first the Nintendo 64 Disk Drive never left Japan, and even so was a huge flop, and secondly, the division of DMA that was to handle the port went out of business just before DMA was bought out by Rockstar Games and became Rockstar North.
  • The game featured hub levels, most notably NyLeve's Falls, which would be revisited after Rrajigar Mines, and Nagomi Passage, which eventually made it into Return to Na Pali.
  • Future Unreal Tournament map DM-Gothic appeared as far as the early Unreal betas. It became a last minute addition for UT.
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  • There are a few fully functional monsters (including a giant squid), which appear nowhere in the final game but can be placed with the level editor or by using console commands to spawn them.
  • There was going to be a weapon called a "Quad Shot" which was Dummied Out as while you can place the item in game with the level editor or console commands it doesn't work and if you pick it up just messes up your screen so you can't shoot. Some fan mods have made a functional Quad Shot however (it's basically a four barreled shotgun)
  • The Warlord was originally going to make a cameo in the first level after you escape the ship where he kills someone, makes a threatening, gesture, and then leaves. It was removed mainly to avoid a spoiler.

Unreal Tournament

  • The Cutting Room Floor has an area dedicated to the prototype versions and another for the full game.
  • For starters, there's the entire asset library of Unreal available, with the exception of the music and the maps.
  • The game itself started development as an Expansion Pack for Unreal called the "Bot Pack", until Epic Games CEO Mark Rein decided that it'd be a standalone game, due to lots of changes to the netcode and the massive number of new maps.
  • Unused animations for the Enforcer indicate that it, like Unreal's Automag, would have to reload after a certain number of shots. Apparently, its spread was increased to compensate when the requirement to reload was abandoned.
  • There was going to be a teamless Domination variant. There were also supposed to be versions of CTF and Domination that used all four teams, the former at least later being made into a mod.
  • Many maps were changed from the beta to their actual states. Some minor instances are still visible in the maps' preview images, such as different textures on the Blue bases in CTF-Face and CTF-LavaGiant, a missing cubby hole in DOM-Gearbolt, and metal slopes along the sides of a ramp in DM-Oblivion.
  • The map DOM-MetalDream was originally going to be an Assault level, set in daylight. Several of the other Assault maps also originally had voiceovers explaining the objectives, with the ones still present in the files also indicating that the final objective for AS-Overlord is a combined version of two similar but separate objectives in an earlier version of the level.
  • The Game of the Year Edition was meant to include an early, mod-like version of Tactical Ops: Assault on Terror, way before it became a standalone game on its own; it instead settled for ChaosUT and Rocket Arena.
  • Instead of a remake, DM-Deck16][ was going to be a sequel called DM-Deck17. This sequel, however, ended up appearing in Unreal Tournament 2004.
  • Several unused voice lines, including a few cut taunts (including Xan calling you a "jackoff" and the Male Commando voice making a Fantastic Four reference), an extra death sound for male characters that was used in an early demo, several callsigns based on the US' pre-1955 phonetic alphabet which voice lines would refer to each other as, and a few unused announcer lines, including one for a "triple kill" (which was probably replaced by the "multi-kill" you do get for three kills in a short time), one pointing out when you assist someone with something (a system that isn't present in the released game), and one congratulating you on a "nice catch" (presumably meant to be for catching a dropped flag before it hit the ground or something to that effect).
  • An early version of Xan's mugshot indicates he was originally supposed to be named "Bane". There's also a "default" mugshot, a black and white picture of game designer CliffyB, that's supposed to be used for character models that don't have a defined separate mugshot, but in the unmodified game only shows up in an Easter Egg in DM-Codex.
  • Several of the weapons went through a few changes. In particular, the Enforcer was supposed to reload after every twenty shots like its inspiration, the original Unreal Automag, and the Pulse Gun was also supposed to have a reload after every fifty shots (which it is still listed as needing in the manual), as well as originally having an overall gray skin rather than the released game's green, as can be seen in one of the official screenshots. The Ripper also had a different model in earlier versions, with the gun itself appearing like a more "squashed" version of its final model, and the blades themselves just looking like giant CDs before the much more intricate sawblade model used in the final game was created. Also, there was supposed to be a Minigun Arena mutator that replaced every weapon in the map with the Minigun, much like the existing mutators for the Shock Rifle, Pulse Gun, Flak Cannon, Rocket Launcher and Sniper Rifle; later games would cut out the middleman and have a single Arena mutator that the player could decide which weapon they would be limited to.
  • The PC version's maps DM-Conveyor, DM-Gothic, DM-Peak and DOM-Leadworks were considered for both console versions, but were nixed. CTF-Command was considered for the Playstation 2 version as well.
  • According to a post-mortem released by Brandon "GreenMarine" Reinhart, there were plans to have true cinematics for the Ladder mode. The final game features flyby sequences where the player and their trophies are displayed. The post-mortem also mentions that the editor that shipped with the game could have contained better features if it wasn't implemented in Visual Basic.

Unreal II: The Awakening

Near the time of its final release, the latest version before going gold weighed nearly 8GB due to all the featured content (at a time when even the biggest mainstream releases only hit around 2 or 3 gigs). However half of the game was cut in order to reduce the size of the game.

Unreal Championship

  • Massive multiplayer battles which involved giant maps and up-to-64-player matches were promised.
  • An early version of BR-Kalendra featured vehicles.
  • The HUD messages for the betas were taken almost verbatim from those of Tournament. The final HUD was a complete overhaul, with no similarities to Tournament being found.
  • The T.A.G. Rifle uses the same model as a previous, unnamed weapon, from the betas, which just shoot energy bullets.
  • The Assault Rifle was a stronger weapon.
  • Many maps ended up being cut or totally different than the beta versions:
    • Screenshots present among the game assets reveal that the future 2003 and 2004 maps BR-Skyline, BR-SlaughterHouse, CTF-December, CTF-TwinTombs, DM-Phobos2, DM-TokaraForest, DOM-Core and DOM-OutRigger were considered for the game, but were eventually dropped because they were too big memory-wise, or their layout clashed with console play.
    • CTF-Lethargic is the only map from the betas (which aren't test maps or retail/bonus pack maps with changed names) which didn't made the cut for either 2003, Championship or 2004.
    • DM-Gestalt (finally released in 2004) was also going to appear in this game as DM-Plan1.
    • Other maps cut from Championship and present in the betas were BR-Asteroid, BR-Kroenik, BR/DOM-Osiris (no relation to the map released for 2003 and 2004), BR-Outpost, CTF-Glotrees, CTF-TombOfRassul, DM-Bane (possible prototype for DM-Antalus), DM-Bore, DM-Nexus (no relation with the UC2 map), BR/DOM-Sand-Storm (whose design seems to indicate that it's an early version of BR-Anubis) and DOM-Toronto.
    • DM-Inferno was going to be a retail map, as seen on the trailers, but work on it couldn't be finished, so instead it was released on the Bonus Pack.
  • Crossplay with the PC version (Unreal Tournament 2003) was considered but eventually dropped, since there were too many things to bear in mind to make it a possibility.
  • According to one of the developers, the Ripper got taken out because it was a spammy weapon which had a high ratio of luck-based kills.

Unreal Tournament 2003

  • The Cutting Room Floor has a page dedicated to the game.
  • The demo was going to be shipped with a different map lineup: BR-Endagra (BR-Bifrost in the full release), CTF-Chrome, DM-Antalus, DM-Curse3 and DOM-Suntemple. The presence of both Endagra and Suntemple is importante because it was going to give a glimpse of the working Ion Painter/Ion Cannon. The final map lineup of the demo was BR-Anubis, CTF-Citadel, DM-Antalus and DM-Asbestos, with CTF-Orbital2 being added in a posterior version, with no Ion Cannon on sight.
  • The Ion Painter uses the same model as a previous, unnamed weapon, from the Championship betas, which just shoot energy bullets.
  • Many maps ended up being cut or totally different than the beta versions:
    • BR-DE-ElecFields and CTF-DE-LavaGiant2 weren't finished before the launch of 2003. These maps were launched eventually in the DE Bonus Packs, and, the former is even one of the retail maps of 2004.
    • CTF-Smote and DM-Gestalt weren't ready for 2003, but both were finished for the retail version of 2004.
    • BR-SlaughterHouse started as a CTF map.
    • DM-Compressed had two big pumps in the center of each circular room. This version made the cut for Championship, but not for 2003 or 2004.
    • DM-Molten was considered for 2003. It was released for Championship.
    • There was consideration for "survival guides" in 2003. Championship features a version of them.

Unreal Tournament 2004

  • Vehicle Capture The Flag became a standard gamemode in Unreal Tournament III, but it was in this game that the mode was going to be featured at first, but it wasn't finished in time, and no maps shipped with the game that use the VCTF- prefix (and thus are recognised by the game as Vehicle CTF maps). The game mode is hidden, and not playable in the single-player Tournament. Only by downloading and installing user-made maps for the game mode can you play it.
  • Many maps ended up being cut or totally different than the beta versions:
    • CTF-DE-LavaGiant2 from 2003's DE Bonus Pack couldn't be included in 2004 or any later release due to a rebuild problem, though this being Unreal, a fan eventually fixed the map and ported it over himself.
    • Some promotional videos and screenshots for 2004 showed two extra maps for that game which didn't made the cut: ONS-Rise and ONS-Thor.
    • Another map which wasn't ready for the launch was ONS-Icarus. It was, however, released for free, and was the first "ownage" map, community maps chosen by Epic as "recommended".
    • Other maps which were removed from development were CTF-DuneBridge, ONS-AlienWorlds and ONS-Layn.
  • Instead of merely exploding, 2004's Spider Mines were originally meant to latch on the target's head and drill into their brain. The idea was later rescued for Unreal Tournament III's Spidermine Trap.
  • The Phoenix, the flying bomber which is called by the Target Painter, was going to be a flying vehicle, but was made redundant with the Cicada, Avril, and, oh, your rocket launcher.
  • According to the E3 trailer, Onslaught was going to feature the adrenaline pickups and combos. It was dropped for the final version.
  • The map AS-MZ-HighRise, one of the five winners of the Best Assault Map category in the MSUC, was going to get added to the Bonus Pack 2, but didn't made the cut.

Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict

  • This game started as Unreal Tournament 2005, due to Atari wanting an Unreal Tournament game with FIFA-esque regularity, in order to emphasize the "sport" part of the franchise. Then, the title changed and it became an Xbox exclusive game.
  • Also, this game was going to be the first game using Epic’s Unreal Engine 3, but it was changed early in the dev cycle to use the Unreal Engine 2X and be an Xbox exclusive.
  • Xan Kriegor was going to be playable, with a feet-less concept. This feature alone cut him out of the game, as the dev team couldn't find a solution to the concept which clashed with the gameplay.
  • According to another developer, a vehicle-based gametype was created, with even specialized maps, but they clashed with the core mechanics of the game, so it didn't made the cut for the game.

Unreal Tournament III

  • There were going to be massive multiplayer battles which involved giant maps, multiple objectives, side missions, and up to 64 players. This mode was going to be called Conquest, an RTS game inside of an FPS, and it was replaced by Warfare, a modernized version of Onslaught.
  • Malcolm was going to be playable at some point.
  • In a 2005 interview with Mike Capps, he told that players could command bots by voice and they will report back current situation. It never made into retail in that form.
  • Some teams (namely the Juggernauts, the Nakhti and a team called "Jakob's team") were supposed to be here, but never appeared.
  • Earlier previews showed that the "Canister Gun" was planned to be ported over from UC2 as a Grenade Launcher/Mine Layer/Bio Rifle hybrid, but then they realized it was going to be super complicated implementing 2 different possible ammo types simultaneously on the same gun.
  • Some maps featured on pre-release screenshots never made into final game or were heavily altered:
    • One of the earliest known public demos was played on a map named DM-E3City. It featured Malcolm blasting its way through streets and completing objectives.
    • WAR-OnyxCoast was originally going to be much larger and featured interactive objects like destroyable terrain, seen from the UT2007 trailer.
    • WAR-ColdHarbor and CTF-SearchLight not only were going to be included in the retail version, but were also meant to be part of the campaign (possibly in chapters 4 and 5, respectively). They didn't made the cut, though the former was released later as a free addon, the later appeared as a console-exclusive map for the Xbox 360 version, and both were included in the Titan Pack.
    • DM-CarbonFire had a ramp leading from Shock Rifle up to the catwalk, no pit with UDamage and Berserk, and a different skybox.
  • In the UT2007 trailer it was shown that Orb carriers could get the Orb itself onto vehicles. In the final game, entering into a vehicle while carrying the Orb will force you to drop it.



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