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  • Fandom Rivalry: With Quake III: Arena fans. To this day, debate rages on over which is/was the better game. Basically it came down to whether people liked the gliding, fast-paced, artificial play of Quake or the more gritty, slower (complete with head-bobbing and footsteps) shooter with weirder weapons. Nonetheless, both games are still considered contenders for "Greatest multiplayer shooter of all time."
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  • Fanfic Fuel: The game started the franchise's custom of having descriptions for everything, be it venues, characters, teams, and in later games, even weaponry and itemry. All of these mention events which include wars, rebellions, family/friend losses, feuds... tons of ministories waiting to be told.
  • First Installment Wins: Somewhat zig-zagged, as it not only surpassed the success of later games and ports, but also the original Unreal. Unreal Tournament GOTY Edition was considered better, but it was basically an Updated Re-release.
  • Follow the Leader: Maybe Doom and Quake began the multiplayer experience in the FPS genre, but the first Tournament game, along with its rival, Quake III: Arena, paved the way for multiplayer FPS. 10 years later, it's still one of the biggest feuds.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • The Shock Rifle combo. Covers a huge area and normally results in OHKs.
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    • The Sniper Rifle. It has a relatively fast rate of fire, deals a lot of damage, and your target generally has no idea where you're shooting from. There's a reason of why it got nerfed in later installments.
    • The Rocket Launcher in the console games. While you must keep the crosshairs on your target for half a second to activate the homing system, this delay gets even more shortened, so you have a greater chance to home your missiles in onto your enemies. In Assault maps, it allows players to bypass several objectives, for example.
  • Genre Turning Point: Popularized announcements for every action in the game (such as headshots, combo kills and kill streaks) as well as Instagib (all players spawning with a One-Hit Kill weapon).
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • Team boosting, which abuses a bug in the game's physics. It works by using high-pushing weapons such as fully charged Rocket Launcher or the Instagib Rifle to boost a player to the enemy base.
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    • The Pulse Gun "saw", taking advantage of a quirk with the aforementioned weapon's alternate fire in order to deal extra damage.
    • The Minigun likewise has its rate of fire based on the server's tick rate (i.e. how often the server updates what's actually going on), meaning that it deals more or less damage based on the tick rate - a simple 5-tick increase from the recommended default, 20 to 25, gives the Minigun a theoretical 25% damage increase.
    • Suicide in Capture The Flag, originally just a debug command, because it allows you to quickly return to your base in exchange for losing your inventory.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The game has criminals and deranged psychopaths fighting for their lives and "fighting in the Tournament" as a penal sentence, basically doing what Gamer did several years later.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: Malcolm being called "FenTech's finest creation". In later installments he became the nine-time champion of the Tournament and became the Series Mascot. He is, indeed, their finest creation.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • One of the hall of fame champions in the Trophy Room is called Pariah. Several years later, a videogame called Pariah, made by Digital Extremes, would be released.
    • Visse's description in the Deathmatch ladder back in Unreal Tournament mentions that the female Necris (the "Blademaiden") favor cruelly formed bayonets and energy swords. The idea itself wouldn't crystallize until six years later, when the swords were made the melee weapon of the female Necris. As for the bayonets? The mod Chaos UT, which was packed with the Game of the Year Edition, features that weapon.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: A lot of people would buy or download the game just to play Capture the Flag at Facing Worlds... the rest of the game be damned!
  • Memetic Mutation: It's safe to say that each voice taunt or announcer voice was subjected to this, at least once. Especially those of Xan Kriegor:
    M-M-M-MONSTER KILL!!! Kill!! Kill!
    I am the Alpha and the Omega!
    Witness my perfection!note 
  • More Popular Spinoff: This game is the most remembered game of the Unreal franchise. We'll forgive you if you don't know that this was a spinoff.
  • Most Annoying Sound: You would want to turn off the announcer after hearing it for many matches. The famous "Headshot!" and "Killing Spree" sounds are so overused, it became a lead acetate version of Tastes Like Diabetes.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • M-M-M-MONSTER KILL!!! Kill!! Kill!
    • GODLIKE!
    • Congratulations! You're the winner!
  • Porting Disaster: Even with the games featuring new arenas and several of the older arenas receiving much needed fixes that the devs never bothered to implement in the PC versionnote , the PlayStation 2 and Sega Dreamcast versions weren't well received. Some of the maps run slow as hellnote , using a controller is not recommended (though both consoles have keyboard and mouse support), and many of the new maps don't have an interesting layout at all. Plus, there are some oversights in the GUI, such as the health bar not showing the amount of health the player has if it's over 100 points.
  • Special Effects Failure: The map AS-HiSpeed gives the impression that the train is going high speed throughout a corridor, unless you shoot a Shock Core or any other projectile weapon onto it, where the mark the weapon leaves stays in the hit area (as in, isn't left behind) until it vanishes.
  • Tough Act to Follow: To such extent that any Unreal game afterwards has been received with a lot of flak. Only UT2004 has managed to avoid this for the most part. But even that is generally considered to be inferior to the original.
  • Unfortunate Implications: The fact that the Series Mascot and the biggest face of both the Liandri Grand Tournament and the Unreal games is a drug-enhanced warrior (in fact he's classified as a "Chem Killer"). Not helped by the description of another combatant which says that the Liandri has a "don't ask-don't tell" policy on "enhancement stimulants". Pretty chilling considering the plethora of real-life cases.

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