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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. Unsurprisingly, many of these ideas found their way anyway onto their respective game as game mods.

For those examples which found their way onto another games, check the Refitted For Sequel page.

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.
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  • The original idea for the game, according to Tim Sweeney, was to create a 3D massive multiplayer game which he described as jumping between servers using a game hub. The only remnant from this idea is the cut level "The Gateway".
  • A closer look to the cover art for the retail version reveals a lot of stuff that didn't made the cut for either the retail game or the Expansion Pack Return to Na Palinote : 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.
  • There were some deathmatch maps which were cut from the final game in Unreal, but appeared in the betas: Eclipse (known as Sky12), Morbfanza (a mashup of Deathmatch levels Ariza, DeathFan and Morbias) and Splash Fortress (a level full of warping portals). On the single-player side of things, the levels Soledad, Morose, Nexus, Nexus End, Mercenary Shipping Lane, Cryox and Velora Cellars were eventually cut.
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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. Some weren't seen in the game because the places which they were in were cut to avoid making a game too long to complete, others were either replaced (like the Krall, who took the place of a centaur-like creature) or removed altogether (like the Dragon), because they disturbed the quality of the game, the team behind which had the goal to make the game live to its full potential.
  • The game featured hub levels, most notably "NyLeve's Falls", which would be revisited after "Rrajigar Mine", and "Nagomi Passage", which eventually made it into Return to Na Pali.
  • A gametype called "Kill the Cow" was in the works but ultimately dropped".
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  • A Dummied Out weapon called QuadShot (short for "Quadruple Shotgun", which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin) was in the works during development but was scrapped in favor of the more intuitive and setting-friendly Flak Cannon. Its assets survived, however, and while it's possible to place the item in game with the level editor or console commands, it doesn't work, and if you pick it up, it just messes up your screen, so you can't shoot. Some fan mods have made a functional QuadShot, and the gun was completed by the OldUnreal team in v227, even being showcased in the Deathmatch demonstration maps.
  • 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 to keep his presence a surprise.
  • The original plan for the game featured only a female player character; male options were added later during development.
  • Due to memory constraints, many maps had to be splitted: "Rrajigar Mine"/"Depths of Rrajigar", "Chizra - Nali Water God"/"The Ceremonial Chambers", "Terraniux Underground"/"Terraniux", the three ISV-Kran levels, "Spire Village"/"The Sunspire", "Gateway to Na Pali"/"Na Pali Haven", "Dasa Mountain Pass"/"Cellars at Dasa Pass" and "Skaarj Generator"/"Illumination".
  • A demo was alluded to many times by various people at Epic Games during development, however the only demos that were ever released came bundled with various hardware.
  • 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.
  • A Dreamcast port was also in the works, but GT Interactive lost the founding and it was cancelled.
  • 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.
  • DmDespair couldn't be finished in time to be released for inclusion with RTNP, instead being released as a free addon.

Unreal Tournament

  • The Cutting Room Floor has an area dedicated to the prototype versions and another for the full game.
  • The game itself started development as an Expansion Pack for Unreal called the "Bot Pack", until Epic Games CEO Mark Rein decided that it would fare better as a standalone game, due to the many changes to the netcode and the massive number of new maps. Hence the entire asset library of Unreal available, with the exception of the music and the maps - weapons, items and even enemies are all present in the files, coded and animated and perfectly functional if placed in a map or spawned through the console.
  • UT wouldn't have been released when it did, hadn't id Software's own John Carmack announced Quake III: Arena and its release date, which made the development team to shift their focus upon refining and fine-tuning the multiplayer experience of Unreal. And thus, one of gaming's biggest rivalries was born.
  • The 10 default Unreal Deathmatch maps, the Fusion Map Pack the Special Edition exclusives, were considered for the game. In the end, only Curse, Deck16 and Morbias found their way onto the final game, with Cybrosis, HealPod, Mojo and Shrapnel making it as part of the Bonus Pack 1.
  • There was going to be a teamless Domination variant.
  • There were also supposed to be a version of CTF that used all four teams. This was dropped early in development, however the assets remained so other people could implement the modes as a Game Mod (the results being MultiCTF and CTF4/CTF+).
  • In a .plan post, lead designer Cliff Bleszinski mentioned other ideas that didn't made into the game:
    "Announcer Stuff:
    -I wanted the announcer to yell out "Nice Catch" or something like that when you grabbed someone's gun out of the air after you smoke them and their weapon goes flying.
    -I would have loved to have had the announcer yell out "Combo Reversal!" if you manage to get your foe to accidentally shoot your Shock Rifle alt fire with his primary fire, thus blowing his own ass up.
    Wacky Physics/Movement Stuff
    -I would have loved to have seen a "dodge in midair" mutator that allows you to jump off a ledge and double tap and move laterally in midair. Sure, it's not fun, but it would have allowed for some funky, fun shit to mess around with.
    -It would have been cool to have a mutator that prevents you from accruing momentum when you toss your translocator up in the air so you can keep translocating up in any given level.
    -I would have loved for a "two way Assault" mode. Right now, as cool as Assault is, you're kind of stuck in one role for however many minutes it takes to play. It'd be cool to try to attack or defend. That's the beauty of CTF, at any point in the game you can do several things and you rarely get bored.
    -I would have liked to have played with the Domination rules a little bit more. I was messing around with Eavy, a great UT mod programmer, to try a "tug of war" variation of Domination in which the only way to score is to control all 3 points for X seconds."
  • 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 cubbyhole 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 Assault maps originally had voiceovers explaining the objectives, with some 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.
  • Several unused voice lines are also present among the game's files:
    • 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.
    • A few unused announcer lines such as "Assist!" and the aforementioned "Nice Catch!".
  • 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:
    • The Enforcer was supposed to reload after every twenty shots like its inspiration, the Automag from Unreal (supposedly, its spread was widened to compensate after reloads were removed)
    • The Pulse Gun was originally called Pulse Blaster, it was supposed to reload after fifty shots, and had an overall gray skin rather than the released game's green, as can be seen in one of the official screenshots. The manuals for both retail v400 and Game of the Year Edition v432 keep those features in their description of the weapon.
    Manual: "The pulse blaster uses clips containing 50 rounds, which must be replaced after they are emptied."
    • 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.
  • 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 configurable Arena mutator to pick any weapon.
  • Epic Games' artist Alan Willard wished for more Assault maps to be shipped with the main game, however he revealed they had to compromise because making maps for the gametype is "really hard". According to him, making one is like "making a single player map in the size of a Deathmatch map".
  • According to localization files, the maps DM-Phobos, DM-Gothic, DM-Zeto, DM-Peak, DM-KGalleon, DM-Conveyor, DOM-Sesmar, DOM-Cinder, DOM-Condemned, DOM-Olden and DOM-MetalDream were all considered for the demo version, and there was no CTF ladder as well. In the end only DM-Phobos and DOM-Sesmar survived of the original lineup, while being accompanied by DM-Morpheus, DM-Tempest, DM-Turbine and CTF-Coret completing the Demo lineup.
  • According to Cliff Bleszinski, the Inoxx Pack (a bonus pack composed of maps created by CTF-Face mapper Cedric "Inoxx" Fiorentino) is composed by maps which weren't finished in time for the retail release and map ideas which Inoxx was tinkering with after the game was released.
  • 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.
  • GreenMarine's 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.
  • A fifth official bonus pack was in the works, created by Digitalo Studios, but was scrapped because UT was still selling well and Epic/DE were involved in more important Unreal-based projects.
  • The Unreal Tournament Preservation Group (UTPG) was the first group of community members who began developing community patches for the game, releasing patches for versions 440 and 451, the latter being an infamous patch that broke the Level Editor. A third patch for version 468 was in the making when the group went AWOL and their page was taken down. This is why the OldUnreal team's patch has the version number 469.

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.
  • For reference, there's a page on the Cutting Room Floor.
  • A fully functional multiplayer mode, which had 5 modes, the 4 classic ones and a brand-new one called XMP, were considered, but later dumped in favor of Unreal Tournament 2003 and Unreal Championship, as these games made a multiplayer component for this one redundant.
  • One early preview blurb seen in magazine promised features such as dynamic conversations, Humanoid Abomination enemies called the N (of which only three existed in the universe, though they would teleport away when sufficiently injured), Eldritch Abomination enemies called Striders (which were able to join and turn into new forms of enemies), and jellyfish like alien race called the Shian (with concept artwork). None of the stuff appears in the game, and while files pointing to Shian exists in the game files, opening it reveals nothing.
  • It also would have included at least 6 new weapons, among them a Grappling-Hook Pistol.

Unreal Championship

  • Massive multiplayer battles which involved giant maps and up-to-64-player matches were promised.
  • 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 shot 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's 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.
    • 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.
  • Crossplay with the PC version (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.
  • DM-Inferno was going to be a retail map for Championship, as seen on the trailers, but work on it couldn't be finished, so instead it was released on the Bonus Pack.

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 important 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 in sight.
  • Like in Championship, the Ion Painter model is repurposed from a cut weapon which shot 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.
    • 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, from, Championship, was considered for this game.
    • There was consideration for "survival guides" in 2003. Championship features a version of them.
  • Full-loadout spawns where players would start with all weapons except superweapons and XMP-like recharging stations for health/ammo/armor were also mentioned in earlier interviews, back when the game was known as Unreal Tournament 2.
  • One piece of early UT2 artwork shows a character who didn't made it to any Unreal game. The character in question looks a lot like Street Fighter Alpha's Rainbow Mika.

Unreal Tournament 2004

  • 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 make 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.
  • 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 adrenaline pickups and combos. It was dropped for the final version. This being an Unreal game, it eventually got added via a mutator.
  • 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.
  • According to an early preview, there was going to be a full-fledged team of Necris, returning from Tournament. All that remains from it are two separated player characters (Thannis and Kragoth) from the ECE Bonus Pack.

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, it 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.
  • Remakes and adaptations of DmElsinore, DM-Conveyor and DM-Aqua_Mortis were being developed before being scrapped.
  • Scion Studios was creating maps for the game before pulling off. There were nearly 30 maps that got cut.
  • Among the map files themselves, there were references to cut items such as "large" versions of the Explosive Ammo and Energy Ammo items, "Large" and "Super" Armor items, and a "Shield Booster".
  • There were plans to introduce a non-Liandri "Tech" style for the maps.
  • Domination (or its Unreal Engine 2 counterpart Double Domination) and a racing gametype called Death Race were considered for the game. Each had one map done for them, at least, called Momentum and Industry, respectively.
  • Among the final game's files, there are some assets pointing to a Capture the Flag map called CTF-MetalStorm, which was never released in any form.

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.
  • The teams Juggernauts, Nakhti and a team called "Jakob's team" were considered for the game.
  • 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 his 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 appeared as a console-exclusive map for the Xbox 360 version, the later was released with the Bonus Pack 1, and both were included in the Titan Pack.
    • CTF-FacingWorlds was meant to be shipped with the retail game, but couldn't be finished in time. It, however, was later released with the Bonus Pack 1.
    • 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.
  • Due to their presence in the default map lists (with some nasty consequences), the maps DM-Hardcore and DM-Revenant were meant to be shipped with the game, but ultimately cut. They never made it for either base game or Downloadable Content.

Unreal Tournament 4

  • Many maps were dumped from the early pre-Alphas, them being (as of the August 2017 pre-alpha) Flag Run/Blitz's maps Blackstone and HighRoad; Capture the Flag maps CrashSite (the first asymmetrical map made for the game) Lance and Mine; and Deathmatch maps Column, Kapow, MorbiasTest, Overlord, RGB, Sand, SidCastle and Vortex.
  • Vehicles were also under consideration, if the presence of a "Vehicles" development subforum is anything to go by.
  • Liandri Robots were also going to be included very late into development, but by the time they could have appeared, Epic dedicated all of its resources into Fortnite Battle Royale and halted development on UT4.


  • Unreal Tournament II was a real work, until lots of changes in gameplay (including the addition of the Bombing Run gamemode) led Epic to decide that it'd be a sports-themed game with yearly releases, and thus became UT2003, UT2004 , UT2005 and UT2007. There was no UT2006, though, because Epic was working on Gears of War at the time.
  • There was a cancelled project called Unreal Warfare, which became Gears of War, according to Word of God. The name was used again to refer to a new gamemode for Unreal Tournament III, which ended up being basically Onslaught's power-cores-and-nodes with Assault-style mini-objectives added.


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