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Unreal Tournament is a first-person shooter video game developed by Epic Games and Digital Extremes, and published by GT Interactive. It is the second entry in the Unreal series, released for Microsoft Windows on November 30, 1999. Retrospectively, the game has also been referred to as UT99 or UT Classic to differentiate it from its numbered sequels. The game is based on the same technology that powered Unreal, but the design of UT shifted the series' focus to competitive multiplayer action, a trend at the time: id Software's Quake III Arena was released only ten days later.

Synopsis Edit

"This is a challenge. To anyone who ever took a man down in a 3D shooter, and liked it. This is your last chance to prove that you are the best of the best. This is the gladiatorial arena of the future. This is a single-player trial by fire. A heavyweight deathmatch championship of the universe."
- UT Boxart description

Overview Edit

Unreal Tournament was designed as an arena FPS, with head-to-head multiplayer deathmatches being the primary focus of the game. The game's single-player campaign is essentially a series of arena matches played with bots. For team matches, bots are again used to fill the roles of the player's teammates. Even on dedicated multiplayer servers, bots are sometimes used to pad out teams that are short on players.

UT is known and widely praised by critics and players alike—primarily for its bot A.I., the product of programmer Steve Polge who had earlier risen to fame by designing the Reaper bot for Quake II, one of the earliest examples of an effective deathmatch bot. The player can choose a bot skill level (anywhere from "Novice" to "Godlike") or set it to automatically adjust to the player's performance. Bots can be further customized by changing names, appearance, accuracy, weapon preferences, awareness, and so forth.

Development history Edit

Unreal Tournament was originally planned as just an expansion pack to Unreal.[1] When it was realized that the multiplayer aspect of Unreal was popular and something that people sought after, Epic began working on a multiplayer expansion pack for the game to fix the problems with online play. At some point during its development, it became clear that the number and extent of the changes to the Unreal codebase that Epic was required to make made Unreal Tournament too incompatible with Unreal. In fact, according to Tim Sweeney, the game has between 200 and 300 C++ classes.[2] Thus the expansion pack was broken off from Unreal and made into a standalone game. Unreal Tournament contains nearly all of the content present in Unreal, except for the maps and music.

Every map from Unreal, including the 10 default maps; the Fusion Map Pack maps; the Return to Na Pali maps; the GW Press Addon maps; the cut maps DmMorbfanza, DmSplash, DmEclipse and DmDespair; and the 3DFX/S3TC Demo maps, were considered for the game. Ultimately, only Curse, Deck16 and Morbias were selected for the retail version as DM-Curse][, DM-Deck16][ and DM-Morbias][; with Cybrosis, HealPod, Mojo and Shrapnel making it through the Epic Bonus Pack as DM-Cybrosis][, DM-HealPod][, DM-Mojo][ and DM-Shrapnel][.

4-team CTF was planned for Unreal Tournament, but was dropped halfway through development. According to Alan Willard, this was so mod makers could implement the mode.[3]

The first publicly available version (version 322) of the demo was released on September 17, 1999. A version 321 was briefly and accidentally made available to the public the night before, but was rapidly withdrawn.

The version 322 demo is for use with 3dfx video cards only. This early version of the demo omits DM-Tempest.

A patch was provided to update version 321 to 322.[4] Two days later, a patch to the 3dfx-only demo was provided to correct a server crash that occurred whilst using the Web-based remote administration facility.

The first full demo (and a patch to the 3dfx-only demo to convert it to the full demo) was released September 28, 1999. This took the demo to version 338. A Version 338a demo intended to test a server map change problem was accidentally released but rapidly disowned by Epic. The Version 338 demo is not compatible with the final version of the full demo.

A final demo for Unreal Tournament was released on October 19, 1999[5] and contains 5 maps from the game; one map for each gametype. The demo has the maps CTF-Coret, DM-Morpheus, DM-Phobos, DM-Tempest, and DOM-Sesmar.

The Linux version of the Version 348 demo was released October 20, 1999. According to Tim Sweeney, the reason of why UT didn't have good OpenGL support is purely because of market share (at the time, DirectX was the main API used for development).[6]

An additional patch to the version 348 demo to fix a crash whilst playing back recorded demos was released on October 20, 1999.

An additional patch to update version 348 servers was released November 9, 1999. Network compatibility is unaffected by this patch.[7]

Console versions Edit

Unreal Tournament has two console versions, each one with its own features. The version for the Playstation 2 console was developed in-house by Epic Games themselves, while the Sega Dreamcast version was developed by Secret Level, who also got access to Epic's and DE's own assets. Secret Level were contacted by Infogrames (the publisher of UT) after the refusal on part of other developers.[8] The DC version also had to branch drastically from the PC version, to the point that the PC version couldn't really use the DC maps, aside from the dedicated servers used to run the servers at SegaNet.[9]

The main differences between the PC versions and the console versions, thus, are as follows:

Release dates Edit

  • November 23, 1999 - Unreal Tournament (PC) - 2 CDs
  • January 19, 2000 - Unreal Tournament (Mac)
  • October 26, 2000 - Unreal Tournament (PS2) - 1 DVD
  • October 27, 2000 - Unreal Tournament: GOTY Edition (PC) - 2 CDs
  • March 14, 2001 - Unreal Tournament (DC) - 1 RD-Rom
  • March 21, 2001 - Unreal Tournament: GOTY Edition (Mac)
  • August 29, 2001 - Totally Unreal (PC) - 4 CDs
  • November 6, 2006 - Unreal Anthology (PC) - 1 DVD

Game content Edit

Gamemodes Edit

Main article: Unreal Tournament Single player

The game contains the following gamemodes: Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Domination, Capture The Flag, Assault and Last Man Standing. There's a seventh mode, called Tournament Darkmatch, however, it doesn't have its own maps.

Assault maps for Unreal Tournament
Capture The Flag maps for Unreal Tournament
CTF-BeatitudeCTF-CommandCTF-Coret (UT map)CTF-CybrosisIICTF-Darji16CTF-DrearyCTF-EpicBoyCTF-EternalCaveCTF-Face-SECTF-FaceIICTF-Face (UT map)CTF-GauntletCTF-HallOfGiantsCTF-HighCTF-Hydro16CTF-KosovCTF-LavaGiantCTF-NivenCTF-NovemberCTF-Noxion16CTF-NucleusCTF-OrbitalCTF-RatchetCTF-Tutorial
Chaos UT maps: CTF-CUT ChaosCastle-pfCTF-CUT Horus
Console maps: CTF-PhalanxCTF-SepulchreCTF-SpiritoCTF-StormFrontCTF-Sundial
Deathmatch maps for Unreal Tournament
DM-AgonyDM-ArcaneTempleDM-BarricadeDM-BishopDM-CloserDM-CodexDM-ConveyorDM-CraneDM-CurseIIDM-CybrosisIIDM-Deck16IIDM-FetidDM-FractalDM-GothicDM-GrinderDM-Grit-TOURNEYDM-HealPodIIDM-HyperBlastDM-KGalleonDM-LiandriDM-MalevolenceDM-MojoIIDM-MorbiasIIDM-MorpheusDM-OblivionDM-PeakDM-PhobosDM-PressureDM-PyramidDM-ShrapnelIIDM-SpaceNoxxDM-StalwartDM-StalwartXLDM-TempestDM-Turbine (UT map)DM-TutorialDM-Viridian-TOURNEYDM-Zeto
Chaos UT maps: DM-CUTA BridgeDM-CUTA CerebroDM-CUTA ChaosArenaDM-CUTA PillarDM-CUT DM4DM-CUT EclipseDM-CUT JailHouseDM-CUT ProxykingDM-CUT SkullMoonDM-CUT StorageAlphaDM-CUT TheBellTollsDM-CUT WeaponsOfChaosDM-CUT WeaponsOfWar
Console exclusives: DM-BrickyardDM-CanyonFearDM-CoreDM-FluxDM-LoathingDM-Sorayama
Playstation 2 exclusives: DM-CoagulateDM-Hood
Sega Dreamcast exclusives: DM-BabylonDM-BlockPartyDM-ColdSteelPressureDM-DamnationDM-DepotDM-DustDM-GearBoxDM-GirderDM-GoogleDM-HalberdDM-IndustrialDM-InfernalDM-InstinctDM-MegaplexDM-NebulaDM-NeoTokyoDM-OutskirtsDM-PaladinDM-PantheonDM-Sector9DM-SingularityDM-StationControlDM-Underlord
Domination maps for Unreal Tournament
Console maps: DOM-CoagulateDOM-HoodDOM-Osiris (UT map)

GOTY gamemodes Edit

The Game of the Year edition of the game includes mods Rocket Arena: UT and Chaos UT. The former is a gametype mod with its own set of maps:

Rocket Arena maps for Unreal Tournament

The latter includes special versions of the default gamemodes, plus King of the Hill, Team King of the Hill, Sword Arena and Team Sword Arena. KOTH and TKOTH have their own set of maps:

King of the Hill maps for Unreal Tournament
KOTH CerebroKOTH DungeonKOTH WildernessKoth BaseStationThetaKoth alpha pyramidKoth barflyKoth cold winter dreamsKoth craterKoth fiabKoth highriseKoth lost castleKoth outpost arenaKoth templeKoth usschaos

Characters Edit

The characters in the game are just selectable skins, sorted by models. Many of the model/skin combinations represent the different teams.

  • Male commando:
    • Commando:
      Blake, Gorn, Nickolai, Whitman
    • Mercenary:
      Boris, Graves, Luthor, Ramirez
    • Necris:
      Grail, Kragoth, Malakai, Necrotic

  • Female commando:
    • Aphex:
      Idina, Portia
    • Commando:
      Anna, Ivana, Nikita, Gromida
    • Mercenary:
      Jayce, Kyla, Mariana, Tanya
    • Necris:
      Cryss, Freylis, Malise, Visse
  • Boss: Xan
  • Skaarj Hybrid:
    • Arena warrior:
      Dominator, Berserker, Guardian
    • Cyborg warrior:
      Disconnect, Firewall
    • Pit fighter:
      Baetal, Pharoh, Skrilax
  • Nali:
    Ouboudah, Priest
  • Nali WarCow:
    AtomicCow, WarCow
  • WarBoss
  • Xan Mark II
  • Console-exclusive characters (bosses):
    Damien, Rampage, Dominator, Xan

Weapons Edit

Various weapons are made available for single player as well as multi-player mode.

Impact Hammer Enforcer Bio Rifle Shock Rifle Pulse Gun Ripper Minigun Flak Cannon Rocket Launcher Sniper Rifle Redeemer Translocator Chainsaw

Items Edit

Health Vial Health Pack Big Keg O'Health Thigh Pads Body Armor Shield Belt Damage Amplifier Invisibility Jump Boots SCUBA Gear

Teams Edit

Mutators Edit

Main article: Mutator
  • Instant Rockets
  • Jump Match
  • Low Gravity
  • No Powerups
  • No Redeemer
  • Relics (BP1)
  • Slomo (DC)
  • Stealth
  • Team Beacon (BP2)
  • Volatile Ammo (BP2)
  • Volatile Weapon (BP2)

(*) "Rocket Launcher Arena" must NOT be confused with the Rocket Arena: UT mod.

Soundtrack Edit

Main article: Music#Unreal Tournament

The music was composed by Straylight Productions with Alexander "Siren" Brandon at its head, and Michiel van den Bos with additional contributions by Dan "Basehead" Gardopée, Peter "Skaven" Hajba, Andrew "Necros" Sega, Tero "Teque" Kostermaa, and Kai-Eerik "Nitro" Komppa.

Like Unreal (and the expansion pack Unreal Mission Pack: Return to Na Pali), the game's music was done in UMX format, based on Tracker music[11], which resulted in good quality music and less size. There was never an official soundtrack, but a lot of people obtained it directly from the game (it was in Impulse Tracker format inside the UMX packages) and converted it to more popular formats.

Game of the Year Edition Edit

Unreal Tournament: Game of the Year Edition was released on October 27, 2000. It includes the first three bonus packs released for the original game, consisting of 20 all-new maps and skins, and it includes three mods developed by the Unreal community: Tactical Ops, Rocket Arena, and Chaos UT.

Reception Edit

Unreal Tournament is still, arguably, the most popular Unreal series game ever released. It generated an enormous community and was many people's first multiplayer experience.

Unreal Tournament is capable of using maps created for Unreal. The Unreal content was automatically replaced with Unreal Tournament content when running an Unreal DM map with one of the Unreal Tournament gametypes.[16]

Essential files Edit

Main article: Essential files#Unreal Tournament
Main article: Bonus content#Unreal Tournament

Here, you will find all the links to the downloads of the essential files for your Unreal Tournament installation.

Trivia Edit

  • An easter egg in the ending sequence reveals that there were five Liandri Grand Tournament winners before Xan Kriegor. They are named (in chronological order): Green Marine, Roan Terg, Magnus, Geos Dryon and Pariah. It seems that the winners' names are actually nicknames of Epic staff. Green Marine comes from Brandon "Green Marine" Reinhart, one of the programmers.
  • According to an interview from FilmAndVideoMagazine, Unreal Tournament played a major part in the creation of AI (Artificial Intelligence).[17]
  • According to Shane Caudle, the intro sequence was inspired by a city he designed for a comicbook of his own creation.[18]
  • According to Cliff Bleszinski, there were other ideas which never made into UT, except one:
"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."
- Cliff Bleszinski
  • Almost everyone at Epic Games, with CliffyB[19] and GreenMarine[20] at the helm, have a strong dislike of the ZeroPing mod, to the point that ngStats, the stats system used by UT, doesn't register stats from servers using the mod.
  • Two maps were cut from the console versions: CTF-Fortress by Inoxx and DM-Gutter by Mike Bastien. Fortress would be later remade for Unreal Tournament 3 as CTF-Searchlight, while Gutter was cut because the map had a lot of vertical gameplay, something that didn't suit well with the console version.[21]

External links and references Edit

  1. Tim Sweeney's interview @ PlanetUnreal
  2. Tim talks @ Unreal Universe
  3. Alan Willard's .plan
  4. Demo Patch v322
  5. Version 348 Demo release announcement
  6. Tim Sweeney interview @
  7. History of the changes to the demos between the 3dfx-only demo and the final Version 348 demo
  8. Josh Adams's another post @ UT forums
  9. Josh Adams's post @ UT forums
  10. Unreal Tournament @
  11. Document about the music in UT'99 from Alexander Brandon
  12. Unreal Tournament (1999) @
  13. Unreal Tournament @
  14. Unreal Tournament @
  15. Unreal Tournament (2000) @
  16. Unreal Technology Announcements - Steve Polge 19 November 1999
  17. Unreal City @
  18. Shane Caudle interview @
  19. CliffyB's .plan
  20. Brandon Reinhart's .plan
  21. "Dreamcast maps?" thread @ BeyondUnreal

See also Edit

Unreal (series)
Unreal series: UnrealReturn to Na PaliUnreal II
Tournament series: Unreal TournamentUT2003UT2004UT3UT4
Championship series: Unreal Championship - Unreal Championship 2