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Unreal creatures: Skaarj

The iconic supreme dominators of Unreal

The bane of all existence, Skaarj are the domineering overlords of the galaxy, a reptilian caste-based race of warmongers who are exploiting Na Pali's resources to their own ends, at the expense of the exploited natives and the various slaves in their employ. Here, Hellscrag sheds some light on these iconic main adversaries faced in Unreal Gold.


These small skittish creatures are unmatured Skaarj in an early formative stage. Their main method of attack is to bite and claw with their front legs. In order to achieve the close range required to do this, they will run at speed and if necessary jump; they can jump quite a distance at some speed, so are more than a match for even the best player. If there is space, back off and fire; otherwise, some skillful circle strafing will be required to avoid getting cornered. And believe me when I say that getting cornered by a Pupae is not a pleasant experience. You'll be de-fleshed in no time.

Skaarj Scout

There are two main classes of Skaarj, the Warriors and the Troopers. Warrior Skaarj are lightly-clad and use their speed to attack with skill using metal claws on their fists and energy bolts fired from the tips of these claws. They are athletic and can somersault, dodge, strafe and play dead. The Skaarj Scout is the weakest of the Warrior Skaarj, but is still a considerable threat especially if you only have weaker weapons. Early in the game, the weapon of choice has to be the powerful secondary fire Stinger at close range. Identification: red eyes, smaller size and brown chest with red tattoo.

Skaarj Warrior

These are the next step up in the Warrior Skaarj class. Slightly faster and more intelligent than basic Skaarj Scouts, Skaarj Warriors' main advantage is their increased health that allows them to take more punishment. Like all Warrior Skaarj, Skaarj Warriors have a powerful attack in the form of a forward lunge that can do quite a lot of damage. This is an attack to be avoided. Identification: their skin is much greener than a lot of Skaarj. Green eyes and no brown colouration on their chest.

Skaarj Berserker

Comparing these guys to most Warrior Skaarj, Skaarj Berserkers are simply huge. With much more health and melee attacks that do a lot more damage, Skaarj Berserkers really are creatures to be feared. Skaarj Berserkers are highly aggressive and will almost certainly never run away from a fight. In fact, they are so aggressive that they have been known to spontaneously attack other Skaarj, even other Skaarj Berserkers. Identification: large size and exposed brown chest with no tattoo. Red eyes.

Skaarj Assassin

These Skaarj are pretty unpleasant but are not as tough as Skaarj Berserkers. They have more health than a Skaarj Warrior, which can be partly attributed to the combat armour they wear... Skaarj Assassins are fast and intelligent and thus should be treated as some of the nastier opponents, which of course they are. Get trapped in a corner by one and you'll soon see why. Anyway, Skaarj Assassins are quite unusual and are seen mainly in the later part of the game. Identification: red eyes and combat armour.

Skaarj Lord

These Skaarj are similar to Skaarj Berserkers. The main difference is the lack of the recklessness possessed by Skaarj Berserkers; Skaarj Lords are more the thinkers than the run-psychotically-and-disembowel-the-player type. Not to say they aren't just as menacing; they have a plentiful supply of health and a similar supply of intelligence. Their combat armour makes it hard to damage that scaly hide. Identification: Skaarj Lords have the same physical appearance as Skaarj Assassins but for a very slight difference in armour tint, and you will probably only realise when they survive several Flak Shells what you're facing.

Ice Skaarj

The default attributes for the Ice Skaarj are not that tough. However, when you meet it in the game it is a lot tougher, so I'll talk about that version... Ice Skaarj are possibly the most unpleasant sort of Skaarj. They are highly intelligent, deal a hefty whack and take a huge amount of damage before they fall. There is only one Ice Skaarj in the original game; you will meet it by the entrance to the alternate power supply, right at the end of "The Darkening". It will be an unpleasant shock when it is still running after six perfect-hit Flak Shells. Identification: red eyes... and these guys are blue.

Skaarj Trooper

I now move on to discuss the Trooper class of Skaarj. Trooper Skaarj are covered in full body armour, and carry the same varieties of weapon that you carry. At close range they will fist you, at longer range they will deploy tactics appropriate to whichever weapon they are carrying. Trooper Skaarj also carry a switchable invulnerability shield. Don't waste your ammo when it is in use. Specifically now: the Skaarj Trooper is the simplest variety of Trooper Skaarj, armed normally with a Dispersion Pistol although they sometimes carry other weapons. As Dispersion Pistol carriers they are not too bad but the damage can still mount up. Identification: red eyes. and yellow and white body armour.

Skaarj Infantry

These Trooper Skaarj are the next step up the stats ladder. Their statistics are basically identical to those of the basic Skaarj Trooper, but they are seen to carry more powerful guns. The default weapon for the Skaarj Infantry is the Stinger, but you will occasionally see them carrying an Eightball Gun or other powerful weapon. Watch out, as the Stinger is surprisingly effective in the hands of a Skaarj... especially at close range in secondary fire mode. Identification: Skaarj Infantry are visually indistinguishable from Skaarj Troopers. It doesn't really matter, what matters is the weapon they carry.

Skaarj Sniper

This strange class of Trooper Skaarj is very rare. Skaarj Snipers carry some of the most powerful weapons, and rely on their marksmanship to make kills. They aren't very strong, having less health even than a Skaarj Scout or basic Skaarj Trooper, and this is not surprising given their spindly appearance. They are quite manouvreable though and you shouldn't take their lightweight design be considered too much of a weakness. Although in fact when you meet them in the game they will be carrying GES BioRifles, the default weapon for the Skaarj Sniper is the Assault Rifle. Enough said. Identification: spindly appearance, red eyes and blue body armour.

Skaarj Gunner

In a way, the Skaarj Gunner is the variety of Trooper Skaarj that you should fear the most. Skaarj Gunners are generally armed with Eightball Guns (although they are seen with other weapons including Flak Cannons, Razorjacks and even Automags), which as you know can waste a creature pretty quickly, especially if locked on. Skaarj Gunners are big and beefy and thus can take quite a pummelling, which is unfortunate for you given the power of the Eightball Gun... anyway, you have to fight Skaarj Gunners with strategy. They are intelligent and pack a puch. Identification: bulky appearance, red eyes and blue body armour.

Skaarj Officer

The largest Trooper Skaarj is the appropriately named Skaarj Officer. Armed normally with the Razorjack, Skaarj Officers are the healthiest of the Trooper Skaarj and thus take a lot of damage to kill. The ricocheting blades from their Razorjacks can decapitate you very quickly if you're not careful, so it is best to circle strafe to avoid direct shots and pray that none of its blades hit you in the head. If one does then you're in trouble, but let's not think about that for now. Identification: green eyes and body armour that is a distinctive mauve-ish pale blue.


The imposing Warlord is like a giant Skaarj with wings. Armed with whacking fists and a large rocket launcher, the Warlord will circle and wheel through the air, firing large and powerful rockets at you and whacking you if it gets up close. For its size, the Warlord is incredibly fast and agile. Nothing quite beats the skill of a Warlord performing a neat somersault in the air to dodge one of your rockets before whirling round and firing one of its own to deadly effect. A Warlord may also stop briefly to sprint across the ground at you, or it may stand still for a moment to laugh derisively. That is your cue to whack it one with a Flak Cannon. Go on, you know you want to.


So that's where all the Skaarj come from... the Skaarj Queen is the mother of the Skaarj race, and as such is equipped with some extremely unpleasant tools of destruction. At close range, she can tear you up with some powerful pincers. Further off, she fires floods of the energy bolts produced by Warrior Skaarj. Either attack is unpleasant and avoidance is always the best policy. To make things worse, she is equipped with the ability to teleport and when under threat will teleport at random between firing spots within the fighting arena. She is elusive but her size makes her easier to target; lay into her until she is dead. However, she carries a shield like that of the Trooper Skaarj. Don't waste ammo whilst she is using this.

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