Unreal Tournament’s Split Timeline | A Line Through Time

Unreal Tournament’s Split Timeline | A Line Through Time

Welcome to A LINE THROUGH T⌛ME, where I
take the time to look through your favourite franchises and work out how it all lines up. Twenty years ago today, Unreal released on
the PC. …What do you mean you’ve never heard of it? Everyone’s heard of Unreal. …No,
not the game engine! Unreal Tournament? Yeah, now you know what I’m talking about. Okay,
I guess the Tournament stuff did vastly overshadow the original series, but come on now, the
Unreal Engine (on which many games run today) was originally created to run the first Unreal
game. Learn your history, guys! Anyway, Epic MegaGames, Digital Extremes,
and Legend Entertainment’s Unreal (yes, there were that many developers) takes place around
the year 2215, following Prisoner 849, who escapes her prison transport ship when it’s
attacked by the alien race, the Scarj (Scar? Scar). 849 flees to the nearby Na Pali, a
planet under Skaarj rule. She kills the Skaarj Queen and flees in an escape pod, left adrift
in space until someone finds her. This event then kicks off the Human-Skaarj War. Legend Entertainment alone developed the expansion
pack, Return to Na Pali, where 849 is rescued, conscripted into the military and sent back
to Na Pali to locate a downed ship named the Prometheus – truly, a fate worse than dying
of exposure in space. Yeah, I joke, but this basically is the plot of Aliens. The military
tries to kill 849 to keep their weapon secrets safe, but she disables their ship and escapes
into space, effectively leaving her in the same situation she was in last time, as if
this was a PSP interquel by a different team. The following year, Unreal Tournament was
released. This one is an arena shooter with its plot largely relegated to backstory: the
war with the Skaarj is over, but riots on mining colonies became a huge problem during
the war. The government created “consensual murder” to give the violence an outlet, which
was fine-tuned by The Liandri Mining Corporation into an official tournament named… uh, The
Tournament. The only real details we get on the game’s actual events are that Malcolm
defeats the current champion, Xan Kriegor, and that the game takes place in 2341, later
retconned to 2293, as the third annual tournament. With Tournament’s huge success, the next entry
in a franchise was Epic and DE’s Unreal Tournament 2003 from September 2002, which showcased
the Unreal Engine 2. It started as Unreal Tournament 2, the PC version of the Xbox game,
Unreal Championship, but ended up releasing two months ahead with a new name. Believe
it or not, this is actually important. By this time in the canon, Malcolm still dominates
the tournament with a new team in 2302, being challenged by the juggernaut, Gorge. The next game, surprisingly, was not another
tournament title. Instead, Legend Entertainment released Unreal II: The Awakening in February
2003. As you might assume, this game is set between Unreal 1 and Tournament, in 2251.
Sadly, it’s unrelated to Prisoner 849’s story, so her fate still remains unknown. It’s not
even about the war, so I’m not really sure what the point was. From here, the franchise splits. Both Tournament
and Championship received sequels on Unreal Engine 2.5, that vary significantly from one
another. Epic and DE released Unreal Tournament 2004 in 2004. It’s basically an expanded version
of 2003, but set in the 2303 tournament, following Malcolm’s loss to Gorge. 2005 saw the release of Unreal Championship
2 for the Xbox. Midway Games helped to develop this one. The gameplay now has a melee focus
with Mortal Kombat-esque finishing moves, you can select the PS2 Mortal Kombat announcer,
and Raiden is a playable character with fucking lightning pistols. Its story is a precursor
to what would later be done with Mortal Kombat with the big cinematic story mode, only not
shit. The main plot deals with a separate tournament – the 523rd Nakhti Ascension Rites
– which determines the Nakhti’s new emperor. But there is a Liandri tournament after that
in the character ladders. The game’s year of occurrence isn’t stated, to my knowledge,
but it’s definitely a few years after 2302. Now, as for that split – we know this occurred
because of Malcolm. Both 2004 and Championship 2 have him lose to Gorge in the 2302 tournament.
According to Championship, his back was broken by Gorge, forcing him to retire to a career
in commentary. His teammate, Brock, attacked Gorge away from the arena’s respawners, where
Gorge killed him, leading his girlfriend Lauren to suicide. Brock and Lauren were then resurrected
as Necris. All three characters appear in 2004, and Malcolm and Lauren in its sequel,
perfectly fine and active. As a result, we have a split in the final bout, based on how
badly Malcolm is beaten: a savage backbreaker leading to Championship 2, and a standard
deathmatch without lasting damage leading to 2004 and… 2007’s Unreal Tournament III, running on Unreal
Engine 3. Despite the name, this one’s not about a tournament of any kind, and instead
features a Gears of War-esque cinematic campaign. It follows the Ronin faction, battling the
Necris alongside Malcolm’s Iron Guard mercenaries in 2307. Some fans try to place it between
2004 and Championship 2, as if Malcolm’s back was fine until a second fight with Gorge ended
a second streak, or something? Just… no. After that, Epic found major success with
Gears of War, and shelved Unreal for a decade. This brings us to the upcoming Unreal Tournament,
because every fucking franchise needs to do this now. Perhaps because its development
is being crowdsourced, its single player is apparently challenge-based instead of having
a campaign or tournament ladder. I guess we’ll have to wait and see. But as for right now, the primary Unreal timeline
goes a little something… like this. Pre-2215 – The prison transport ship, Vortex
Rikers, is attacked by the Skaarj. Prisoner 849 escapes onto the planet Na Pali. She overcomes
the Skaarj on the planet and kills the Skaarj Queen, triggering the Human-Skaarj War. The
UMS Bodega Bay recovers 849’s pod and sends her back to Na Pali to retrieve data from
the crashed UMS Prometheus. Learning that the UMS intends to assassinate her, 849 destroys
the Bodega Bay and escapes into space. 2216 – The Skaarj commence the 7-Day Siege
of Earth, ending with their mothership being destroyed by a team of NEG Commandos, ending
the war. 2251 – Disgraced marine John Dalton is offered
reinstatement to recover Tosc Artefacts. Sector Commander Hawkins murders Dalton’s crew to
seize the artefacts for himself. Dalton kills Hawkins in revenge. 2291 – The New Earth Government legalises
“Consensual Murder” to reduce violence in the colonies. The Liandri Mining Corporation
holds their first Grand Tournament, which sees Xan Kriegor emerge as the champion. 2293 – Malcolm of Thunder Crash defeats Xan,
taking his place as the tournament champion. 2302 – Malcolm’s winning streak is brought
to an end by Gorge of the Juggernauts. 2303 – The twelfth Grand Tournament is hosted.
The winner remains unknown. 2307 – The Twin Suns Colony is attacked by
Necris and Krall forces, leaving only a handful of survivors. James “Reaper” Hawkins works
with the Izanagi Corporation forces led by Malcolm, to avenge the colony and kill Necris
High Inquisitor Akasha. Malcolm sells Reaper and his team out to the Necris, leaving Reaper
as the sole survivor. He swears revenge on Malcolm and faces the Necris alone. How Unreal Tournament 2000-Whenever-the-Fuck
will fit into the timeline, if at all, remains to be seen. But one thing that is absolutely
certain is that it should just be called Unreal Tournament [Insert Year Number]. If you’re
not using numbers or subtitles, just use the fucking year of release officially. That’s
what people are going to call it anyway, so you might as well make it official since there’s
already a precedent for that. I’m sorry I don’t have a joke to end off on, but this
shit just really bugs me. Come on, there has to be a joke here. Um… O-Oh, hey, Lilith, how… you look… …fuck it. If you liked this video, why not subscribe
and check out some of these other videos? If not, then make sure to share it with your
enemies so they can suffer along with you.

15 thoughts on “Unreal Tournament’s Split Timeline | A Line Through Time

  • There are people who care about this garbage? Just give me my UT2k4 movement and multiplayer and I'm done.

  • Been so long since I even heard of the game last time was years ago when me and older brother played unreal tournament 2 man that was a fun game

  • I'd love to see a Tekken Line Through Time. Just got into it recently and I have no idea what's going on.

    Edit: I see it's on the list. Can't wait for it.

  • Such a shame to see UT 2014 all but abandoned by Epic. Unreal is easily one of my favourite franchises of all time and knowing that Epic don’t even have the courtesy to confirm its death just makes me upset.

  • You didn’t mention the wonderfully named “Mostly covert corporation wars” at all! I know information available is scant but surely it was worth a mention even at the time?

  • Unreal Tournament (UT99) and UT 2004 really have nothing to do with a silly story but are actually about online multiplayer PvP and mostly Team PvP games with thousands of user-made custom maps and mods (and in its time hundreds of privately owned servers available to the general public for people to play on) and clan matches like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foysn3vPaT8 No one really cared about the silly background stories.

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