from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Logo from Unreal
Studio CanadaCanada Digital Extremes Epic Games
United StatesUnited States
Publisher United StatesUnited States GT Interactive
Senior Developer Cliff Bleszinski
Windows May 22, 1998 Mac OS Classic September 11, 1998
United StatesUnited States

United StatesUnited States
platform Microsoft Windows , Mac OS Classic
Game engine Unreal Engine 1.0
genre Ego shooter
Subject Science fiction
Game mode Single player , multiplayer
control Keyboard , mouse
system advantages
166 MHz CPU , 16 MB RAM , 100 MB hard disk , 2 MB graphics card
medium 1 CD-ROM , download
language German
Current version 226f (July 2000)
227i authorized fan patch (November 2012)
Age rating
USK approved from 16
PEGI recommended for ages 16+
information The German version has been approved by the USK from the age of 16 and has been censored compared to the English original version.

Unreal [ ˌʌnˈriəl ] ( English for "unreal") is a futuristic first person shooter that was developed by Epic Games and Digital Extremes and published by GT Interactive in 1998. It is the first title in the Unreal game series. This was followed by the expansion Return to Na Pali and a second part in 2003.


Scene of Unreal is the planet Na Pali . The planet is similar to Earth: there is a breathable atmosphere, rivers, waterfalls, vegetation, animals and insects. Aside from the planet's surface, Na Pali also has a number of other crashed spaceships, villages, castles and underground temples of the Nali .

The player takes on the role of Prisoner 849 , an inmate aboard the Vortex Rikers prisoner transport , when suddenly turbulence occurs and the spaceship crashes on an unexplored planet called Na Pali . The planet is home to the Nali , a tribal race of four-armed humanoids . However, the Nali and their planet have been subjugated by the Skaarj , a race of brutal, but technologically advanced, reptile-like humanoids. Skaarj troops storm the shipwreck, killing almost all of the survivors. However, Prisoner 849 manages to arm himself and escape.

The planet Na Pali is rich in tarydium , an exotic crystal with high energy density , which is the real reason for the occupation by the Skaarj . The ship crashed near one of the many mines and processing plants the Skaarj have built. After Prisoner fought his way through the mines in 849 and met several enslaved Nali there, he found some ruins of Nali towns and villages . Only then does he see the full extent of the suffering and exploitation of the Nali .

Throughout the game, the player comes across legacies or remains of other people and often finds diaries that describe the last hours of the dead or give clues to the cause of death. Usually these are stories about attempts to escape the Skaarj or other bloodthirsty inhabitants of the planet.

Prisoner 849 makes its way through a series of alien facilities, crashed spaceships and ancient temples of the Nali , all of which are infested by the Skaarj and their lackeys . Inside a Nali castle , he finds a teleporter that leads him directly to the Skaarj's mother ship . The ship turns out to be a massive maze, but Prisoner 849 manages to find and destroy the ship's reactor, plunging the ship into darkness. After navigating further through the dark corridors, he meets the Queen of the Skaarj in a large chamber . He kills her and at the last second saves himself from the collapsing mother ship with an escape pod. The player escapes the gravity of Na Pali with the help of the escape pod , but then drifts in space without navigation or fuel, with little hope of rescue.


Single player

Unreal has the typical structure of a first-person shooter : weapons and game world, opponent against player. In addition to the weapons, various items such as ammunition, a flashlight or a breathing apparatus for longer dives can be found within the game world. These items are divided into two categories: items with a direct effect ( e.g. bandages and armor) and items that must first be activated manually by the player. The inventory is not a separate menu, but is directly visible on the HUD , where you can scroll through the items and activate them manually at the touch of a button.

The most important item is the universal translator, which enables the player to decipher all the monitors, inscriptions and books in the game. As soon as the device has found and translated a text, an acoustic signal sounds to alert the player. Much of the storyline is told that way. Often hints for solving puzzles are also given.

Doors, moving platforms and elevators are usually activated automatically (e.g. by stepping on them). Often the player also has to activate switches - by shooting at them or simply running against them.


In addition to the single player mode, multiplayer modes are also available, including:


The underlying engine , previously developed in Tim Sweeney's garage for over three years , owes its name to the game . Due to the success of Unreal , a successor and several offshoots appeared .

Epic Games later released an official bonus package called the Fusion Map Pack . It contains some new maps for multiplayer mode and can be downloaded for free from the Internet.

On May 31, 1999, a standalone expansion was released under the name Unreal Mission Pack 1: Return to Na Pali . Unreal and Unreal Mission Pack 1: Return to Na Pali were sold together as Unreal Gold on January 21, 2000 . This version already contained all patches that have been released to date .

The soundtrack for Unreal and the expansion Return to Na Pali was composed in tracker formats by Alexander Brandon , Michiel van den Bos , Dan Gardopée and Andrew Sega .

The official patch support by Epic MegaGames ended with patch 2.26f in July 2000. Therefore, in 2008 the fan community began to take over the support itself as part of the Old Unreal project with support from Epic and access to the source code . The last patch iteration v2.27i in November 2012 brought u. a. Up-to-date DirectX 9 and OpenAL support and fixed a large number of problems and incompatibilities with modern operating systems and hardware setups.

In addition, many fan mods and maps were published by the community , which greatly expanded the multiplayer mode, and new single player missions were created. This was mainly due to the included UnrealEd .


Similar to Half-Life , which was published in the same year, the Unreal Engine programmed for Unreal was characterized in particular by the seamless display of a coherent game world. The transitions between interiors and extensive outdoor landscapes, the graphic quality of which reached a new high at the time, are fluid.

The Unreal Engine was also licensed by other game manufacturers due to the technical performance at the time and the user-friendly UnrealEd , who used it to develop well-known games such as Deus Ex , Rune , Tactical Ops or Star Trek Deep Space Nine: The Fallen .


After its release, Unreal was not only praised for its graphics and atmosphere, the AI and gameplay were also well received in the specialist press:

"In any case, since Wing Commander 3, no game has fascinated me that I could only let the monitor cool down after the end sequence [ sic ]."

- PC Action , 07/1998, score: 92%

"As an action-oriented egomaniac one has to be overwhelmed by" Unreal "."

- PowerPlay , 08/1998, rating: 91%

"Brilliant graphics and gripping sound effects with cleverly designed levels."

- PC Player , 08/1998, rating: 87%

The downside, however, were the very high system requirements of Unreal - for the time . With the specified minimum requirements, the game could only be played with very large cuts in the graphics quality and often did not run completely smoothly. An in-depth graphic configuration was made more difficult by a partially incomprehensible and seemingly provisional option menu that was difficult to understand, especially for laypeople.

"Technically and in terms of content brilliant action food with a huge hunger for hardware."

- Bravo Screenfun : Edition 08/1998 , Note: 1

The game was also named Game of the Year 1998 by some game magazines - including Bravo Screenfun in issue 12/1998 . Macworld presented the Mac Game of the Year award.

Unreal Mission Pack 1: Return to Na Pali

On May 31, 1999, Unreal Mission Pack 1: Return to Na Pali was released as an independent expansion for Unreal . The game was developed by Legend Entertainment and is directly linked to the end of the storyline of Unreal . Here the player is rescued by a military spaceship, but sent back to the planet to recover the data of a weapons project from a crashed spaceship - the UMS Prometheus .

The expansion offers, among other things, new weapons, opponents and game levels. Most of the levels and pieces of music in the expansion come from an old beta version of Unreal , which contained many more maps than the official retail version . These were further expanded as part of the release of Return to Na Pali and adapted to the style of the original levels.

Unreal (1990)

An Amiga game called Unreal , developed by Ordilogic Systems and distributed by Ubi Soft (now Ubisoft ), had already appeared in 1990 . The game from the arcade genre, delivered on three floppy disks, received ratings between 74 and 94 percent. In 1991 it was ported to the Atari ST .


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Unreal is Real. (No longer available online.) In: unreal.com, Press Releases. GT Interactive , May 22, 1998, archived from the original on March 7, 2009 ; accessed on June 28, 2018 (English).
  2. a b Mac Unreal Now Available! (No longer available online.) In: unreal.com, News Archive, September 1998. Epic Games, archived from the original on April 11, 2010 ; accessed on June 28, 2018 (English).
  3. Unreal Classic Patches. In: oldunreal.com. Accessed June 28, 2018 .
  4. a b Alec Meer: Patchy Like It's 1998: Unreal 1 Updated. In: Rock, Paper, Shotgun . November 12, 2012, accessed on June 28, 2018 (English): "The list of fixes upon fixes are too long to mention here, but the essential purpose of v227 is to add DirectX9 and OpenAL support as well as mending everything that needs mending . Epic are aware of and permit the patch [...] "
  5. Oldunreal 227 FAQ. In: Oldunreal Wiki. Accessed June 28, 2018 .
  6. Unreal - average report: German new edition. In: Schnittberichte.com . Retrieved June 28, 2018 .
  7. Prisoner 849 in The Liandri Archives (English) accessed on July 9, 2008
  8. Skaarj in The Liandri Archives (English) accessed on July 9, 2008
  9. Tarydium in The Liandri Archives (English) accessed on 9 July 2008
  10. "The Skaarj escape pod has broken free from the planet's gravitational pull ... barely, Yet its fuel is depleted and you drift aimlessly." The Source in The Liandri Archives (English) accessed on July 9, 2008
  11. Pickup Items in The Liandri Archives (English), accessed on July 9, 2008
  12. a b Inventory Items in The Liandri Archives (English) accessed on July 9, 2008
  13. Darkened maps, which means you have to use the flashlight to find your way. However, it also means that you are seen more quickly by opponents.
  14. Play through the Unreal and self-made maps together with others .
  15. ^ Geoffrey Keighley: Blinded By Reality: The True Story Behind the Creation of Unreal: Part One - In the Beginning, Introduction ( en ) gamespot. December 3, 1998. Archived from the original on January 22, 2005. Retrieved January 4, 2012: "The self-dubbed 'Epic Apartment' in Rockville was about as bland a development studio as you'll find."
  16. Fusion Map Pack in The Liandri Archives (English) accessed on July 9, 2008
  17. a b "RTNP was released to stores on May 31, 1999." liandri.beyondunreal.com in The Liandri Archives (English) accessed on July 9, 2008
  18. Unreal Release Details in The Liandri Archives (English) accessed on July 9, 2008
  19. Unreal Gold in The Liandri Archives (English) accessed on July 9, 2008
  20. François Bezeau: Game Music: Interview with Alexander Brandon ( english ) Square Enix Music Online. November 1, 2007. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  21. PC Action Edition 07/1998, published on July 17, 1998
  22. PowerPlay issue 08/1998 , published June 13, 1998
  23. PC Player Edition 08/1998, published on July 1, 1998
  24. Bravo Screenfun issue 08/1998 , published July 22, 1998
  25. Unreal - MAC Game of the Year! (No longer available online.) January 6, 1999, archived from the original on March 16, 2006 ; accessed on December 13, 2014 .
  26. ^ Franck Sauer: From fat pixels to tiny triangles . francksauer.com. Retrieved September 3, 2013.
  27. Unreal at lemonamiga.com (English)
  28. Unreal at atarilegend.com