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Note: If you are seeking for the links to essential files, see the Essential files section.

Unreal is the first game in the Unreal series and was the first 3D venture by Epic Games and Digital Extremes. The game was approved by GT Interactive in 1996 and released on May 22, 1998 to the world, however by several accounts work on the engine actually started sometime around 1994. Unreal provided a single player experience along with a multiplayer mode that allowed for up to 16 players. It was rated 'M' for Mature by the ESRB for intense violence.

Unreal box.jpg
PC Release Date May 22, 1998
Mac Release Date January 1, 1999
Engine Version(s) Unreal Engine 1 (200-226b)


Work on Unreal began in 1994 when James Schmalz, founder of Digital Extremes, showed Cliff Bleszinski a side project he had been working on. At the time, Schmalz was creating all of his own content, and programming the game all by himself. The game had not yet been fully realized, and Schmalz was creating all of his levels on paper.

A short time later, Schmalz showed what he had been working on to Tim Sweeney, founder of Epic MegaGames (later renamed to Epic Games). Tim was impressed and began working on a level editor for Schmalz to use to build his engine. As time went on, many people became involved in the process. Mark Rein was brought in to do PR, Steve Polge was hired to work on the AI. For a time, many of the people working for Epic were doing so remotely.

Originally the game was scheduled to come out in April 1997. A few months after this date slipped, pressure started mounting from GT Interactive to get the project completed. Epic moved all of its remote employees to Digital Extremes Waterloo, Toronto, Canada offices to complete the final push of the game. Roughly one year later, the game was released and its level of detail put video game publishers on notice: a new age of gaming had arrived.


A demo was alluded to many times by various people at Epic Games throughout the life of Unreal, however the only demos that were ever released came bundled with various hardware. Many people saw this as a negative to Unreal as there was no real way to try the game before you bought it.

Release Details

Unreal's Flyby Intro

A full version of Unreal was released with certain S3 Video Cards to show off Unreal's S3TC capabilities. This version came with several S3TC showcase levels that can be found online.

Another version of Unreal was released with certain Creative products to show off Unreal's EAX capabilities.


Unreal was given very good reviews and was generally accepted very well by gamers. However, shortly after the game's release it became apparent that the multi-player network code was not up to scratch for the 56k modem connections in wide use at the time. Due to this, the Epic MegaGames message board filled up with hundreds of posts of complaints about the poor quality of the Unreal netcode and the general need for a patch. This led to Epic's message boards being nicknamed the "Epic FlameBoards". In response, Epic released dozens of patches to the game, later including Direct3D and OpenGL support to the Software Rendering and Glide support.

Game Content


Title Filename Sections Uses Author
FlightCastle FlyBy 1 Flyby Intro Alexander Brandon
Vortex Rikers Vortex 2 Vortex Rikers Alexander Brandon
Dusk Horizon Dusk 2 NyLeve's Fall and Sacred Passage Alexander Brandon
Dig - Shareware Version DigSh 3 Rrajigar Mine and Depths of Rrajigar Alexander Brandon
Chizra Chizra1 1 Chizra-Nali Water God Alexander Brandon and Michiel van den Bos
SETI Seti 2 The Ceremonial Chambers Michiel van den Bos
Nali Chant Nali 2 Dark Arena Alexander Brandon
Hub 2 Hub2 3 Harobed Village Michiel van den Bos
NightVision K_Vision 3 Terraniux Underground and Terraniux Sandman & KFM
Hub 4 Fourth 2 Noork's Elbow Michiel van den Bos
Unreal Crypt UTemple 2 Temple of Vandora Alexander Brandon
Hub 5 Fifth 2 The Trench Michiel van den Bos
Unreal #9 Newmca9 2 ISV-Kran Deck 4 Michiel van den Bos
Unreal #9 Kran32 2 ISV-Kran Decks 3 and 2 Michiel van den Bos
Unreal #9 Kran2 2 ISV-Kran Deck 1 Michiel van den Bos
Hub 3 Spire 3 Spire Village, The Sunspire Michiel van den Bos
Surfacing Surface 1 Gateway to Na Pali Alexander Brandon
All Hallows Sunset SkyTwn 2 Na Pali Haven Alexander Brandon
Isotoxin Isotoxin 1 Outpost 3J Necros (Andrew Sega)
Guardian Guardian 1 Velora Pass Alexander Brandon
Bluff Eversmoking Eversmoke 2 Bluff Eversmoking Michiel van den Bos
Unreal #7 Newmca7 2 Dasa Mountain Pass and Cellars at Dasa Pass Michiel van den Bos
WarGate WarGate 3 Serpent Canyon, Nali Castle, Demonlord's Lair Alexander Brandon
Warlord Theme Warlord 1 Demonlord's Lair and Skaarj Generator Alexander Brandon and Michiel van den Bos
Hub 7 Crater 3 Demon Crater Michiel van den Bos
Erosion Unreal4 3 MotherShip Lab, MotherShip Core, Skaarj Generator and The Darkening Basehead (Dan Gardopée)
Extreme END EndEx 3 The Source Antechamber Alexander Brandon
Queen of Death QueenSong 3 The Source Alexander Brandon and Michiel van den Bos
Unreal - Main Title Utend 1 Ending Sequence Alexander Brandon and Michiel van den Bos
Unreal #13 Newmca13 2 Unused Michiel van den Bos
Unreal #16 Newmca16 2 Unused Michiel van den Bos


  • Dispersion Pistol
    The first weapon you acquire, fires small energy bolts or can charge up a larger bolt. Automatically recharges ammo. Able to be upgraded with special pickups.
  • Automag
    A basic pistol.
  • Stinger
    Rapidly fires tarydium shards, or a group of shards in a spread pattern.
  • GES BioRifle
    Launches powerful blobs of Tarydium waste. Completely useless against Slith, as they are immune to slime.
  • A.S.M.D.
    Fires an instant hit beam, or a moving core. Shooting the core with the beam causes a massive explosion.
  • Minigun
    Rapid fire machine gun.
  • 8ball Launcher
    A rocket launcher that can charge up 6 rockets horizontally or in a tight circular group. Alternatively, up to 6 grenades can be fired.
  • Flak Cannon
    Fires shrapnel in a spread pattern or launches a shell that explodes on contact, releasing shrapnel.
  • Razorjack
    Launches fast spinning cutting blades. Blades can be guided with alternate fire.
  • Assault Rifle
    A High powered zooming sniper rifle.
  • Quad Shot
    The Quad Shot is an unfinished weapon that is never seen in the game but its mesh and script can be seen in the Editor. It may have been replaced by the Flak Cannon. Also some mods have working weapons using the mesh.


Inventory Items These can be picked up and then used during the course of the singleplayer game and a few are available in multiplayer levels. Use the bracket keys [ ] on your keyboard to select an item visible in your inventory icon bar. The currently selected item is bounded by a white box. Use the Enter key to activate an item. Activated items are highlighted in red. Press Enter a second time to deactivate an item.

Pickup Items Unlike Inventory Items, Pickup Items are activated or put into use as soon as you pick them up. For this reason, it is often wise to leave a Pickup Item on the ground and come back to pick it up when you need to use it.


  • Ash
    According to the manual with the game, Ash was one of the prison guards on the prison ship.
  • Prisoner 849
    The main character of Unreal, who must find a way to escape the Na Pali planet. The true identity is unknown, but a story indicates it to be a woman, the default character.
  • Kira Argmanov
    Science officer aboard the ISV-Kran, Kira was captured by the Skaarj and imprisoned at Bluff Eversmoking, pursued across several locations by some of her crewmates, who died before they could rescue her. Freed from a cell by a Nali, Kira took refuge in the bell tower, where her body is later found by Prisoner 849.


  • Skaarj
    The Skaarj are an alien race who enslaved the Nali on the planet you crash land on, Na Pali. They are divided in various sub-classes: warriors, troopers, Pupae stage creatures, Warlords and Queens.
  • Nali
    The Nali are a race indigenous to Na Pali but subordinate to the Skaarj as they have been enslaved.
  • Humans
    You play as a human prisoner whose prison ship crash landed on a mysterious planet, Na Pali.
  • Brutes
    Heavy infantry beasts genetically engineered by the Skaarj, wielding handheld rocket launchers.
  • Krall
    A race of unknown origin that has been enslaved by the Skaarj and act as their guards.
  • Mercenaries
    A mysterious race of robotic aliens, seeking Tarydium on Na Pali for power. They are rival to the Skaarj.
  • Slith
    Skaarj's amphibian cousins. Green serpents that roam in land and underwater. Use powerful claw and acidic saliva to attack their preys.
  • Titans
    Enormous creatures, native of Na Pali. Found in large lands or inside various temples and fortress dedicated to the god Velora, they like to destroy any living beings in their sight with boulders and incredible physical strength.
  • Gasbags
    Balloon-like creatures with five eyes. They roam various environments from above, and use fire projectiles called Belch to kill their prey.
  • Mantas
    Flying creatures with a shape similar to Earth's stingrays. They are very aggressive and use their tails as weapons. Highly territorial.
  • Fly
    Na Pali's oversized flies. Attack everyone with their tails. They aren't territorial as the Mantas, and it is possible that battles between the two flying races ensue.
  • Underwater creatures
    Na Pali's seas and lakes are filled with three types of creatures, plus the Slith: Biterfish, Devilfish and Squid
  • Tentacles
    Creatures living in cold environments. They are attached to roofs and fire teeth-like projectiles as weapons.
  • Bloblets
    Space Vermins. Captured into the ISV-Kran Deck1, UMS Prometheus and Mothership Lab. Highly aggressive



Single Player

Bonus Content

Essential files

Here you will find all the links to the downloads of the essential files for your Unreal installation (due to BeyondUnreal not supporting the Essential Files wizard any more. Note: you can still see the unsupported page here).


Official PC

  • Unreal 226 Final for the Windows original version. Use it if you have the first, original version of Unreal, not bundled. Does not support connecting to RTNP servers. File Date: June 24 2004
  • Unreal - Return to Na Pali Missionpack 266b Patch. Upgrades the mission pack to the 226 code base. It includes several network and Direct3D fixes, and adds the Unreal Tournament interface. Use this path for the original RTNP only. Supports connecting to Unreal servers. File Date: May 2 2002
  • Rich Text fix. Use if you are having problems with the Unreal editor. For all compilations of Unreal except 227. File Date: May 2 2002
  • UnrealEd Fix 4. Use if you are having problems with the Unreal editor. For all compilations of Unreal except 227.

Unofficial PC

  • Unreal unofficial 227d beta patch by OldUnreal. Adds a lot of new functionality and support for nowadays PCs to Unreal. See this page for the full list of new functions and commands. Note: full functionality is only for Unreal users. If installed on RTNP, UnrealGold, TotallyUnreal or Unreal Anthology, will revert them to the original Unreal. File Date: April 7 2008
  • Unreal Multimedia Patch by OldUnreal. This includes OpenGL video, OpenAL and FMOD audio drivers as well as a S3TC converter. For 226f Unreal only.
  • Unreal Gold Multimedia Patch by OldUnreal. This includes OpenGL video, OpenAL and FMOD audio drivers as well as a S3TC converter. For 226 UnrealGold only.
  • Unreal Anthology Multimedia Patch and Net Patch by OldUnreal. This includes OpenGL video, OpenAL and FMOD audio drivers, a S3TC converter and fixes the incompatibility between UnrealGold and Unreal Anthology servers and clients. For Unreal Anthology only.
  • Unreal Anthology Multimedia Patch by OldUnreal. This includes OpenGL video, OpenAL and FMOD audio drivers as well as a S3TC converter. For Unreal Anthology only. Already included in the Unreal Anthology Multimedia Patch and Net Patch.
  • Unreal Anthology Net Patch by OldUnreal. This includes only the Net fix for the Anthology Box to play on UnrealGold Servers. For Unreal Anthology only. Already included in Unreal Anthology Multimedia Patch and Net Patch.

Unofficial Linux

  • Unreal unofficial 227d beta patch for Linux by OldUnreal. Adds the same functionality as the version for Windows, but also includes a native Linux port. You need to install Unreal first by using Wine, and then use this installer. Note: full functionality is only for Unreal users. If installed on RTNP, UnrealGold, TotallyUnreal or Unreal Anthology, will revert them to the original Unreal. File Date: April 7 2008

User Created Content

Additional Information


  • A dragon, gargoyle, "chameleon", and a hawk were all mentioned in previews for Unreal but were all cut from the game because they didn't live up to the "cool factor". A Minotaur creature was refined to the point that it became the Krall.
  • Unreal's manual lists the Rifle's alternate fire as a three-shot burst, when it is, in fact, a zoom function. This is a leftover from the Unreal betas.
  • Many were the maps cut from the final version. Some of them are: Soledad, Morose, Nexus, Nexus End, FHub6, and Cryox.
  • A full install of Unreal uses around 420 MB of hard drive space.

Previews and Reviews


See Also