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  • Broken Base: With each game, a split in the community happens. Almost half of the Unreal community will stick to the first Unreal Tournament, no matter what other Unreal is there. The remaining part has a notable presence of Unreal Tournament 2004 people, plus those who play the non-Tournament games and those who play Unreal Tournament III.
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  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Almost every game of the series ends in a bittersweet note, with the Big Bad of that particular installment being defeated and the threatening menace being taken down for good, but at a heavy cost. The only exceptions are UT, 2003 and 2004, which end with A Winner Is You, and Unreal Championship which ends with a downer note. As a result, there's almost no reason to care for the plot or the characters, as, at the end of the day, the result will still be for naught.
  • Dork Age: Arguably, the period of Unreal II-Unreal Championship-Unreal Tournament 2003. The later two are officially dismissed by Epic themselves in the Unreal timeline.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Malcolm was one, prior to his ascension as main character in the series.
  • First Installment Wins: The first Unreal and the first Tournament respectively are the most praised of the bunch. By comparison, discussing the comparative merits of Unreal Tournament 2004 and Unreal Tournament III is a recipe for backlash, and barely anybody even talks about Unreal II: The Awakening, if its very trope page is any indication.
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  • Game-Breaker: The Shock Rifle combo and the Sniper Rifle. The former is a guaranteed One-Hit Kill on anyone within range, the latter is guaranteed death with a headshot. Only the latter has had any sort of methods undertaken to nerf their effectiveness, generally giving it some form of visible, obvious indication of where the shots are coming from.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Malcolm is a nine-time champion of the Liandri Grand Tournament and an efficient yet self-interested soldier who earned his reputation dethroning longtime champion Xan Kriegor and found Thunder Crash with his longtime rivals. Seeing his exploits as just business, Malcolm convinced a formerly hesitant Anubis of the Nakhti to join his group in what's implied to be a political gambit for his sponsors. Hired by the Izanagi Corporation for his credentials, Malcolm mentors the Ronin while strategically assisting in the war efforts throughout Taryd. Once the Ronin became too much of a loose canon for him and his employers to keep around, Malcolm waits until all opposition has been dealt with before revealing the deception he laid out since the beginning, showing that the legendary soldier could also manipulate his way to victory and a paycheck.
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