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Myself imagining a HD Unreal 1 remake

For gameplay advice and broader discussion of single-player Unreal including custom maps, mods and mutations that alter the game.

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Nali Priest Nali Priest
Posts: 7913
Joined: 11 Nov 2007, 21:00

Subject: Re: Myself imagining a HD Unreal 1 remake

Post Posted: 05 Jun 2017, 00:27

Velora - Underground Nali Dwellings
The first location of Velora is the only level in the entire game to not have a music track. Sure, some levels don't have main themes and have instead songs that pop up in specific events, however this one has simply nothing and probably for a good reason.

Similar to Triton, Velora is a location divided in two levels, due to how each part plays very differently from the other one, and due how you can't go back anymore, the changed atmosphere, etc...

Velora was another Nali ancient location that served as a "hidden" connection between Bluff Eversmoking and the Triton's castle. There was never much good blood between the Nali of each location (just your average rivality though) but still, never say never. Secret meetups between the two Nali groups were done in Velora to discuss the status of the great market hot spot beyond Bluff and how to deal with the rather secretive people of the one and only Nali Castle. The location was also used as a home for lower Nali that either worked at Bluff or in the Triton castle, as an escape route from the latter said location and as a great separator between Triton and Bluff because something apparently invincible defended Velora's entrance from the Bluff side (aka the Stone Titan).
As for the location itself, the Velora dwellings were found underground and save for the final pass, it was invisible from above the surface. Of course there were hidden holes around where air could pass through but were really tiny (you can spot them during the level). The place was similar to Dark Arena in terms of style and design: lots of corridors, lots of rooms and several escape routes; quite a dark maze and unlike other Nali places, this one didn't have much monumental qualities to it aside the fact it was built very long ago. Probably, it wasn't even that stable of a place, and was eventually abandoned over time. With the fall of Triton's castle in the first Skaarj invasion, the Nali stopped considering Velora's existence and god knows what happened to the ones who escaped into Velora when the castle fell. The Guardian's Pass though, did fully stand even after all these centuries.

Now you are inside these evidently abandoned dwellings and things around you aren't good. No music, no sound, door behind you got suddenly locked, there was a disfigured dead Nali outside it. And so far, the presence of intelligent aliens (aside some Skaarj Hawk who has been annoying you from above the surface) here is null and void.
The atmosphere very much resembles horror games such as Amnesia. The location itself has hardly any Z-axis action, you walk through corridors scarcely illuminated by green/gray lamps and the textures used have similar murky colors too (floor mostly dark green, the walls dead gray). There are barely any sound, aside the wolf howls you've been constantly hearing since Triton and random unrecognizable noises.
Indeed what this map offers is horror, and the horror theme in games where you would never expect it ten thousand miles away always ends up cool and refreshing, as long as it's done right. Indeed you won't find regular enemies in this level except randomly appearing Flies along the way, Spinners and water creatures in the last area of the level. You'll be facing something that will stalk you through this maze of corridors and rooms.
There will be a lot of annoying Horseflies around the dungeon, sometimes way too much; they won't harm but the buzzing they'll do will most of the time outdo the regular Flies' buzzing. Flies just come out from wall holes found in many, many spots of the map, whenever they feel like.
In terms of items you will only find Bandages and maybe some Tarydium Crystals for the Stinger. There will be also messages, continuing the writing themes seen in the ones from Triton's castle (and probably in a more crude and horrific way).

So you'll run around this maze that goes around Velora's central area (the one from the UBeta), your "goal". However, the doors to this area are locked down and there's one only passage that you have to locate, which is an underwater tunnel (which is how UBeta Velora started). The maze itself is almost fully symmetrical, like a rhombus, though each diagonal side comes with some sort of unique area: a small library, a dinner area, some entrance hall (inaccessible exit due to rock fall) and big bath chambers (this is where the underwater tunnel you're looking for is located).

What's the matter here? A Nali Monk with an instrument which plays wolf howls is the place's stalker, and the one who mindlessly killed all the Nali here. He is known by the name of "Wizard" and was able to cast on himself an ethereal spell; he's invulnerable, and at the same time he can teleport around, throw shit at you with telekinesis if there are decos around, summon more Flies and can cast a a charged-up hitscan beam similar to the ASMD's primary fire (deals 55 HP). He's quite annoying and since there are no armor items, it's pretty possible to die.
How much time it takes for this Nali Monk to appear for the first time is completely random and can happen in any areas except inside any of the dormitory rooms you find through the maze every now and then. When he appears, you'll have to run away. He'll chase you for a while, then he will disappear. Afterwards his appearances will become regularly frequent, even constantly if you are unlucky enough and there's no buildup to whenever this happens (same with the first appearance, although that one has the Monk appearing in more dramatically, and with more particle effects).
The Nali Monk has no real backstory; he's probably one mad edgy fucker who hates everyone. Nali Wolves on Na Pali are apparently extinct, and for Nali to hear their howls feel very weird. The Monk probably plays these howls to attract victims. It is implied this Nali Monk might have been the one who controlled the guardian of Velora.

Using ammo on the Nali Monk is useless so you might as well use defensive items like the Force Field or the Relic.
Unless, you have the Impaler.
If you tried the weapon against the Nali Ghosts on the galleon, you might be aware that it hits ethereal beings. It works against this Nali Monk too and this is the only way you can kill him (and he dies quick). When he dies, you'll hear a loud otherwordly sound but nothing else happens aside being granted an achievement.
Note that this Nali Monk, pawn-wise, is still a Nali Monk. Nali Monks are coded to use multiple spells whenever they are ordered to do so. They have more attacks that are never seen in this campaign.

The central area of Velora, aka the UBeta one but vastly improved in grandness and detail, has few Spinners that will constantly respawn (similar to LightningHunter's Velora conversion on RTNPUE). The water pool in the center cylinder area will have instead a Kraken which is not required to kill.
The way to go up is sorta the same but more logical this time around. For the elevator to go down, you have to decrease the water level of the central area. So you need to trigger the lever to decrease the water level and then the elevator lever. The elevator will stay down for a while so jump in quick. The way up is shorter than in the UBeta version.
Note that the two levers are located in those side rooms in the Spinner section of the area (in those rooms that had open windows to the center water pool, remember?). The other elevator that leads to the mini-area is gone, and so is gone that closed hole at the bottom of the water pool.

You'll finally go outside.

Velora - The Guardian's Pass
MUSIC: Guardian.umx
Guardian.umx will get another remix there, in the style of the remixes of it we got through 7B and BFNP. Extend it, don't go full epic, keep it aggressive.

And here we are back to standard Unreal locations. This is Velora Pass, and you get out of that elevator from the dwellings below. That was an emergency exit from the underground it seems, as next to you there's another door that apparently also leads to Velora (but it's closed). You're in the part of the map where the teleport pod was located in the original Unreal version. And of course there's no teleport pod here, let alone Skaarj.
The mountains around the playable parts of the level are now much taller (so tall you can hardly see the skybox past the sky itself), much better looking as well instead of those ugly cubic shapes. Lighting is also dark overall - evening is done and the last sunlight of this game is about to go off.

So the pathway to the arena is longer but either way you'll reach it. The arena itself has more detailed ruins around, the Stone Titan's structure is now an extremely tall monument made of an unknown shining rock; even the throne got a huge makeup. The lava pit is also wider and obviously you can't cross it now.

Once again, you have to pick the power-up to trigger the event. If you got all the power-ups so far, your DP should be now a Dispersion Pistol Level 5 - and it's not the last power level yet.
The entire boss awakening event, including picking the power-up, is all a cutscene. The stone is pressed, blue/white electric energy from this stone monument flows into the guardian as he wakes up like a champ, destroying part of the throne in the process. When he beats his chest, the scream he does is insane, a blast of wind comes from within him and earth cracks under his legs (various ruins also crumble in the process). Guardian.umx commences.

The Stone Titan, compared to the Titan, has the following differences:
  • He's almost 1.5x bigger than your regular Titan; his model is slightly different, as the Stone Titan has no armor and his body is mostly made of stone. His shoulders are larger, his back spikes much more noticeable, white/blue energy can be seen flowing within his body (he's sorta like an energy golem at this point) and there are symbols scratched on the back of his hands.
  • The Stone Titan is fast. He's bigger, he's made of stone and yet he walks faster than a regular Titan. Running away isn't good enough to stay away from this guy, you gotta do dodge moves too.
  • All his sounds are louder and have an echo effects.
  • All his melee attacks have doubled damage (deal around 200 HP per hit). His shockwave attack also deals more damage (90 instead of 75) and travels infinitely until it finds a generic big obstacle on the way. Overall, just stay the fuck away.
  • The Stone Titan has a unique attack: when he does the regular earthquake move, his hands charge-up that blue energy you just saw from the monuments (the animation doesn't change, it's just slowed down). The earthquake move is then done, releasing an energy shockwave around the boss which damages units on ground for single digit HP. However, upon releasing that shockwave, huge and tiny stones from the ground bounce up and then float around the Titan. With the hands still on ground, the Stone Titan will raise his face to look at you, and then roars. All the floating stones will then be thrown onto you telekinetically, at complete irregular intervals - since they are so hard to dodge (if you have the reflexes try so though), the player is recommended to take cover behind something. The full animation before the stone attack commences takes five seconds maximum.
  • If the Stone Titan is far away and can't see you, he'll do the regular earthquake move instead - the shockwave effect has infinite range.
  • The Stone Titan has 5500 HP and has 85% resistance to all damage (except pure one that ignores any resistance). So it's pretty much unkillable with normal weapons and you have to go with the lava trap route. The Impaler's damge ignores the boss' resistances, so if you actually want to waste time in a long battle (and waiting the Impaler to regenerate all the time), you can kill him with this weapon. His normal death animation is the same as the regular Titan, except the blue energy explodes out of his body very violently, and spectacularly. Technically the Stone Titan is the strongest enemy in the game - he can only lose against four bosses (whose only one you fought so far is Droth - all his attacks ignore enemies' resistances).
The Stone Titan is relentless. The lava bridge, in order to be brought up to your ground level, requires some time; the boss' throne still has that big button you have to press (not on the seat though but on the front side of the chair). You have to hold the button down and the bridge rises up slowly. On the good news though the bridge won't go down if you stop pressing the button.
And this is hard when this Stone Titan is always fucking you from behind, giving you barely any time to press the button and consequently extending the battle too much.
There is a trick however. If you do a lot of damage to the Stone Titan, the same amount of damage that's required to kill a normal Titan (which means the Stone Titan will still take way less damage than that but it's the amount of your firepower that counts), he'll be stunned for a crapload of seconds, like 25, and this gives you some spare time to raise the bridge up.
When the bridge is up, you do the same shit as ever: go to the other side of the land, wait the boss to walk on the bridge, turn the lever and bye. If you don't and decide to run to Bluff, he'll try to charge over you really fucking fast. Whatever you do, it's impossible to escape from him and he'll kill you (in coop, he'll always take priority over the guy that's going to Bluff).
If you decide to turn the lever again to raise the bridge, it turns out the Stone Titan is still alive on the bridge and he's covered in lava! And that was really hot magma, by the way. He'll now try to just melee you to death but he can barely move around. So you'll either turn the lever down or, if he's out of the bridge, shoot him some flak shells or rockets or whatever heavy you have and he'll quickly go down. This is to get a special achievement (which you also get if you kill the Stone Titan "normally" with the Impaler).

Bluff's entrance is now a stone, outpost tower separating both pathways - where you can climb to the top thanks to an elevator. You'll find some Skaarj Railgun ammo there and a Kevlar Suit.

Bluff Eversmoking begins as you access the little cemetery courtyard.

Nali Priest Nali Priest
Posts: 7913
Joined: 11 Nov 2007, 21:00

Subject: Re: Myself imagining a HD Unreal 1 remake

Post Posted: 08 Jun 2017, 00:29

Bluff Eversmoking
MUSIC: Newmca13.umx
Newmca13.umx is Bluff.umx. The main songsection will receive no substantial changes.
The unused action version of the ambient songsection will be used but will be remixed (at the end of the day, it might be just directly a remix of the ambient songsection as a whole). It'll be used for a special battle event.
The "drama" songsection will get a full orchestral makeover too, having a more dense impact to the player due to the event in which it is used. It won't loop though (remains silent after the songsection ends).

Velora Pass will be always accessible even if it has nothing of worth. If you clear Bluff Eversmoking and go back to Velora to raise the bridge, the Stone Titan will still be alive in his "burning" status.

You now access the little entrance cemetery, and above in the sky you can see a group of Skaarj Hawks flying fast in the direction of the Bluff's peak; one of the Hawks appears bigger and has a flame trail - might be the Skaarj Hawk who caused the Triton earthquakes earlier. The Nali, meanwhile, isn't waiting for you but he's instead found next to the bridge's entry door.
On the ground there are guys from the ISV-Kran who were able to escape away from the Skaarj but Kira once again is nowhere to be seen (the subplot is resumed there). The dead humans carries Shell Boxes and finally, the last regular weapon of the game, the Quadshot (number 0).
The Quadshot comes with new sounds and new animations. What stands out about it is the greeny-white muzzle flash effects upon firing the gun and for the bullets' impact (white and green is the color theme of the Quadshot model already anyway). Weapon holds 60 ammo, ammo boxes give 10. Primary fire doesn't deal as much damage as the Flak Cannon's one but the rate of fire is twice as fast, making it the best close-ranged weapon - however, the bullet spreads out horribly at long range. The secondary fire consumes 5 ammo: launches a dark green liquid from a mini-cannon on top of the gun which will stick on any enemy (they'll be covered with a modulated green overlay); the range is rather limited, follows an arc trajectory, has a pretty huge radius (the "heart" of the liquid shot has to clearly bump on enemies for it to stick on) and if you hit the ground you've wasted shit. This liquid will decrease the enemy's overall resistance to damage by 40% for 10 seconds, except for the pure damage type (this impacts the Impaler as it deals fixed damage).
Quadshot ammo will become common from now and on.

Proceed onward and the Nali will be immediately grabbed by a Skaarj Hawk from the mountain openings on the sides and taken away, oops. No way to save him currently - but he won't die, just taken to the prison. Newmca13.umx begins playing now.
You cannot fall off the entrance bridge this time - that's because now the bridge itself is enclosed in a castle-like structure, and you can only see what's up outside through windows. The ceiling part is still fully open though, and three Skaarj Hawks will fly down in to fight you (no other Skaarj or Nali around however). There's also a bottom floor.

As you reach outside, you'll finally see the Bluff in its massively revamped HD form - and boy it's different. It's more based on the original concept of the place being more pirate-like, with lots of fog around the main peak - a Dishonored-like atmosphere almost.
The entire surrounding area is massive, bigger than ever and also different. Not anymore an enclosed pit, Bluff is now a location in the middle of an extremely wide lake, surrounded by peaks, massive rock formations, a massive chain mountain in the front and there are also additional buildings on small islands around. The lake itself still glows slightly green and the explanation for this is due to the terrain bed being made of some shining rock. The entrance bridge of Bluff you've walked on now has giant stone pillars below for sustaining (attached to the lake's bottom or to the nearby mountains). The shipping cart structure has been completely rebuilt to be 100% Skaarj-made - and is overall way more rough and larger as a result. The dock is also bigger, has boats, crates, and it extends for the entirety of the peak's bottom - with wooden bridges that connect to the new outer buildings/islands including the bell tower itself. Just expect any kind of possible detail, truly.
Swimming in the lake is fine, you might probably find some Stingrays and rare Krakens but you won't be able to swim too much outside due to the current pushing you in. There are also two caverns closed by gates - one leads to the Triton's underground lake and the other leads to the next location (since the gate is closed, you have to find another way around, which is the classic Bluff exit in this case). There's a lot of colorful sea vegetation underwater, by the way, which might be contributing to the water being shiny cyan.
There's a lot to do - though the level progression will barely change compared to the original Unreal version.

As you reach the main peak, you might see in the distance the rogue Skaarj from the Vortex Rikers apparently being caught by a bunch of Skaarj, Skaarj Hawks and the bigger, red-skinned Skaarj Hawk with a flaming trail coming from its head. The latter is the one to roar hard (and you'll recognize him indeed as the one who caused the earthquakes in Triton, same scream sound) and taking the rogue Skaarj away from Bluff, somewhere past the incoming mountains. That Skaarj Hawk won't return anymore now - and in the meanwhile, the remaining Skaarj Hawks will go after you, followed then by Krall and random Skaarj Troopers/Warriors.
Indeed this Bluff is way more heavy on enemies as one might expect - you'll fight Krall, Krall Elites, Skaarj Warriors, some random Skaarj Assassins (indoor only though), Skaarj Infantries, Skaarj Gunners, few Skaarj Officers, Brutes and Skaarj Hawks. The Skaarj army is in full force again against you only. Time to show your full arsenal - the Quadshot will bring a new dimension of winning opportunities.

The outdoor parts of this peak have been improved too visually. There are now small stone walls surrounding the peak itself and countless of decorations. You can jump over these railings with the Anti-Grav Boots' double jump feature, the only way for the player to reach that secret group of items next to the rabbit cage (the opening to it is no more now). And yeah the rabbit cage is still a thing but now the rabbits themselves will jump out of it all at once... and then jump down in the lake below and die. Wtf?
The monastery's cemetery has now all-improved or changed messages for each tombstone. The Nali Ghost still roams around and the secret inside the sarcophagus is unlocked in the same way. The secret area itself can only be accessed from there now: the water passage now needs to be opened from the inside, and it's now a small unnoticeable hole sticking out of the pool above. Also, the hidden alcove with the Flak Cannon and ammo (accessible only with the sarcophagus' elevator) has been removed, and the items have moved around in the secret area itself. Lastly, this secret area now has grate windows where you can see things outside.

The crucified Nali is still in the distance, on one of the bigger mountain peaks surrounding Bluff and next to it there's also one of those new buildings I've mentioned earlier. Blasting the crucified Nali still cause the Super Health event but you may want to save this for later.

It's time to go indoor, in the prison/sewer section. Something, something unexpected happens here. As you've read from some messages already, the Skaarj are using Bluff as a strategic outpost and to check naval shipments of resources gathered from other Na Pali places. All these resources are then brought into the Underflow, the "hot market spot" found after Bluff which has been converted into another Skaarj base of top-tier importance. And apparently it's "The Warlord" who mainly check this stuff at Bluff when he isn't busy with anything more important. So you ultimately assume that the Warlord is currently somewhere in Bluff.
Turns out, he is indeed in Bluff's prison area ordering a bunch of Skaarj Assassins to kill you. The moment you almost spot him he'll teleport away into black smoke (you will hardly be able to look how he is) and Bluff's drama songsection plays, with a bunch of Skaarj Assassins (three of them!) now ready to kill you.
When they die, Bluff Eversmoking's main songsection resumes. The prison section has no essential changes, perhaps more prisoner messages than just, one, I guess. The sewer section though has more changes: the tunnel system looks more natural and less gamey, there are more pathways in general, and more importantly, LADDERS for pits; ever thought of being annoyed of jumping down into a hole and not going up anymore? Well this isn't going to be the case anymore. Oh and the sewers have Flies and Spinners.
The inner dock has now large boats with Tarydium crystal and sludge for your weapons but regular Slith are also hiding in the water there (and you're forced to enter water anyway but that's the beauty of having items such as the Invisibility). The dock is also redesigned, more realistic, and there's a wooden bridge connecting to the large cave which leads outside. One of the boats has probably a sleeping Skaarj Warrior on top, or multiple ones. The underground tunnel to the bell tower is of course still locked by a powerful Skaarj forcefield, and the nearby panel doesn't hint you how it can be turned off. The elevator doesn't bring you to the top next to the cemetery anymore (that hole is gone, by the way); it instead brings in a new indoor section within the peak of Bluff, which has several Krall groups and also a guarding Brute. This part of the map has rooms used by the Krall and some Skaarj as resting or eating places - probably these were the old living restrooms of the Nali back in the day (Bluff's history will be based from the ones in the level design doc - check the trivia thread for more info). You'll eventually come out to the peak's top, from a completely new mini-tower placed next to the cemetery.
Back into the underground dock, you'll read more essential story messages regarding the Skaarj's ongoing activities. All the orders are being given by the "Queen" from the Skaarj Mothership (you already know of the Mothership since the Kran but never about a Queen) and the Warlord is the guy who makes sure the stuff is being done as ordered. The weapon they're creating, the one you've heard since The Dissent, is in the Underflow and ready - it's a huge cannon which shoots explosive GES-based beams. Apparently something powerful enough to CORRODE PLANETS ALIVE. It might not mean much to your objective of escaping from the planet but now that you know what kind of monstrous beings you're dealing with, it's better taking their hands off from something so threatening to the universe.

From the outer dock, accessed through the big cave full of Brutes, you can make your way around Bluff's lake, going to the new structures around. The bell tower is still inaccessible however.
On the dock, there's also a Chameleon hiding around. Areas here are patrolled by Krall, Krall Elites or Skaarj Gunners. The outer structures are protected by Brutes.
The outer structures themselves are fully optional, and give the location some exploration purposes that reward you with items, enemies to fight and more story tidbits. There are also more Nali to save here, so if you want that "save all Nali" achievement you have to go there. The structures are typical Nali houses like the ones seen in Shrakith'a. From the windows on the back of these buildings you can also see the lake from beyond the borders of Bluff's playable area, the Sunspire and a storm focusing in a single spot behind some mountains - the same one you've seen from Nyleve. The Mothership is close.

Note that the bell tower's cross shaped windows are now closed with indestructible, translucent yellow giant windows.

After some long trips, it's time to enter the inner top monastery in the usual way. If you ever try to rocket-jump into it, well you can't this time - the outer parts of the monastery are blocked on the top thanks to forcefields (similar to how the EXU2's Bluff conversion did).
The secret with the Eightball hiding inside the floor has been removed. Meanwhile the Nali in the church (and it looks like a proper church now - also helps the fact that the peak is larger now, gives more room to work with) will open the secrets for you. The Super Health secret above the forcefield control room has also been removed.
Nothing truly changes otherwise. Places just look better and more grand, enemies more organized against you. What changes drastically however is when you turn off the forcefields (these include both the one in the underground dock forcefield and the monastery forcefields).
As you get out, Newmca13.umx's newly ready action songsection begins, as Skaarj Hawks will ambush you from the sky (possible now that the forcefields are all off). If you fully exit the monastery section, just right at the peak's entrance something appears to teleport in with effects similar to the Skaarj Officers' appearance ones, except colored red and black.

The last regular Skaarj member, the Skaarj Lord, finally appears there and it's the level's "mini-boss". Arguably, they'll be the mini-bosses of almost every incoming level due to their toughness.
Skaarj Lords have 500 HP and have a 30% resistance to all non-pure damage. Skaarj Lords are extremely mobile: they can double jumps, jump-lunge, wall jump, dash on ground multiple times in a row (until 3 times, then there's a cooldown of sort), single air dashes in any direction and teleport. The teleport move can be done pretty freely, generally when the Skaarj Lord isn't doing any action or close to the end of any action. Teleport's range has a limited orb-shaped radius and after the teleport is done, all the Skaarj Lord's actions are completely reset, so he can do whenever he want as if nothing happened (i.e. 3 ground dashes + teleport + 3 ground dashes again, rinse and repeat - this is how Lords chase things without any issue). This is true even when he teleports in the air. It is absolutely impossible to outrun a Skaarj Lord.
Skaarj Lords are almost as big as Berserkers, have a complex-looking black armor with a "red heart" gem in the middle of the chest part, their razik have a red glowing aura when they are toggled on and lastly they have a short dark cloak coming out from their shoulders. They look imposing, actual top-tier authorities, Skaarj "supervillain" units.
Skaarj Lords are able to shoot like Skaarj Warriors do (charged-up razik bolts included) and can also become temporarily invisible for a special strong strikes like Skaarj Assassins do (though they stay invisible for this attack only). Damage-wise they're a slight bit stronger than the Assassins but nowhere near as close as the Berserkers. However they have a new attack that symbolizes them: if they jump or come from the air IN ANY FORM, they can land down next to you in full force with a ground stomp that releases a red energy blast around the Skaarj Lord. This blast deals 50 HP and has EMP effects - your ASMD goes off for several seconds. It doesn't sound too dangerous if it wasn't for the fact it's used quite frequently and without any warning (it's most noticeable when he starts the attack from ground, he has a special jump animation).
Skaarj Lords' unique movements and attack styles make them simply very hard enemies to kill. It's like fighting godlike bots and the only time you'll be fighting two Skaarj Lords at once is on the special Unreal difficulty, inside the Mothership.

However, if you want to play a joker card against this Lord only, there's one. Remember the crucified Nali secret? The thunder strike occurs right in the spot where the Skaarj Lord pops up.
When the Skaarj is about to teleport in, gib the Nali with one Railgun hit; now in the sky, "snakes" of thunder energy travel from the borders of the skybox to the center of it, right on top of you. After a bunch of really crazy effects where the sky practically charges up a thunderbolt, the thunderbolt itself comes, blasting the fucking ground below in front of the monastery, leaving an immense hole and destroying whatever it's close (that includes you if you're too near the mark spot). When this happens and if the Skaarj Lord has already spawned, the Skaarj himself will look above to see what's happening and he'll eventually be struck dead by the lightning. Here's also a free Super Health!

When the Skaarj Lord is dead, Newmca13.umx reverts back to the ambient songsection. The rest of the map is going to work like normal. Kira is dead in a pool of blood with a proper dramatic message; she has with her the last DP Power-up you can find in the game - the Dispersion Pistol Level 6, the new final level of the Dispersion Pistol, shoots dark red bolts that deal 100 HP per hit and the secondary fire can charge for even more time. Max ammo is 100. The DP grows appendages around the whole gun, like metallic tentacles possessing the thing.

You'll eventually use the cartwheel to reach the exit which is completely redesigned as it's now supposed to fit crates through (same reason why the cartwheel is also larger); all there's to this exit is just a passage to a locked door which leads to the infamous storage room - which is not anymore part of "Dasa Pass" but of the "Loche of the Underflow" - the ancestor of the Dasa level itself.

User avatar Xanious
Skaarj Assassin Skaarj Assassin
Posts: 101
Joined: 23 Jan 2014, 04:45

Subject: Re: Myself imagining a HD Unreal 1 remake

Post Posted: 08 Jun 2017, 02:36

Damn, Bluff is even better now. Not too much to say, I'm really happy the Quadshot has a definite role now, and I like how it's basically the final weapon excluding secret ones. Though goddamn DP level 6 sounds terrifiying. 100 HP per shot? Goddamn!
"Anything's a quote if you try hard enough. Wait, shit!"

Nali Priest Nali Priest
Posts: 7913
Joined: 11 Nov 2007, 21:00

Subject: Re: Myself imagining a HD Unreal 1 remake

Post Posted: 08 Jun 2017, 11:45

Nightmare Kitteh wrote:Damn, Bluff is even better now. Not too much to say, I'm really happy the Quadshot has a definite role now, and I like how it's basically the final weapon excluding secret ones. Though goddamn DP level 6 sounds terrifiying. 100 HP per shot? Goddamn!

Yeah but it consumes a crapload of ammo - 10 bolts shot one after one and your DP is out for a while.

User avatar Sat42
Skaarj Warlord Skaarj Warlord
Posts: 825
Joined: 14 Jul 2013, 16:42

Subject: Re: Myself imagining a HD Unreal 1 remake

Post Posted: 08 Jun 2017, 19:28

UB, you're amazing - how you pump out this content, the dedication is phenomenal.

I am too distracted to make any relevant comment on this stuff right now - just wanted to say I hope you'll find a place in the gaming industry (obviously in some creative position) :tup:
Nali: Magic or Telekinesis
Waffnuffly wrote:It's tarydium-doped smoothies. Drunk by the player, I mean. The player is tripping balls. The whole game actually takes place in a large city and the player thinks he's on an alien world.

Nali Priest Nali Priest
Posts: 7913
Joined: 11 Nov 2007, 21:00

Subject: Re: Myself imagining a HD Unreal 1 remake

Post Posted: 11 Jun 2017, 01:09

Loche of the Underflow
MUSIC: Underworld.umx
Underworld.umx from the Unreal Beta version (the one with what, four songsections?) will get for sure a big makeover - either remix or fixing/remaking all the samples. The original song was kinda too cheesy and outdated and most likely it will sound very different, maybe potentially completely changed; it wasn't part of the original Unreal game anyway and the majority of people never heard it so heavy remixing is an ok thing to do for this one. Not to mention even Epic felt like the song was too off the mark for Unreal back then already.
Most of the way the map works is infiltration-based, ala ALFA62: the first songsection is the regular ambient one when nothing is really happening, the second songsection is the action songsection when you're spotted - for "avoidable/unimportant" battles. The third songsection is used for the very few (one or two) unavoidable forced battles that are the most important within the map. The fourth songsection replaces temporarily the ambient songsection (and also the 2nd songsection) when you are about to approach the main objective of this map, which in this case is the Skaarj's bio-cannon weapon they've been building with Tarydium and the Dissent's goo.
There's also a new 5th songsection that's very Deus Ex's Vanderberg; it's used for the storage area at the beginning of the level only.

Loche of the Underflow is the replacement of the fillery Dasa Pass. Only the storage area as a major key area will be retained, and even that the area itself will be slightly redesigned to be wider and more made for complex battle purposes - crates more scattered around, enemies hiding behind or inside and so on.
The rest of the level is set inside an underground river, a location that Nali used in the past as a huge market spot and as a connection point between Bluff and various other locales. The tunnels of these locales are all locked throughout gates so you can't go to these. The underground river itself also isn't just one straightforward direction like Dasa Pass but it divides into multiple ways, there are turns, etc... a rather complex layout but it's hard to get lost in as it's easy to figure out where to go (all the optional ways can be seen blocked with gates from 10 miles away). You will ultimately know the correct way if you see a major Skaarj installation alongside some Nali fortress entrance in the background.
Much of the underground cave is illuminated by either pre-existing Nali lamps or Skaarj orbs. There are a bunch of mini Skaarj outposts around the location as well, and lots of boats. The river is completely safe to swim; there's a tiny bit of currents and a bunch of hiding Stingrays who can be avoided if you're careful enough.
The map basically follows the Underflow concept in the design doc - an infiltration style map filled of Skaarj, where you have to reach the end and destroy the alien-made big scary weapon. Only thing that changes is the very exit - originally the Underflow was supposed to lead directly to Serpent Canyon by falling in a river, skipping Dasa Cellars entirely. Here instead, you'll eventually enter a fortress-looking building which is indeed Dasa.

So let's start from the beginning. Going back to Bluff is always possible.
As you enter the storage room, the new 5th songsection of Underworld.umx plays there. If you go back to Bluff it'll stop, if you enter it again it'll play. If you go past it, Underworld.umx's first songsection will play, and will keep playing even if you go back to the storage room - so eventually you won't hear the 5th songsection anymore.
The storage area is a classic firefight skirmish; it all depends how you approach it. Be it with Invisibility, be it with Dampener, be it taking pathways through the crates, and so on. The Skaarj patrol the area randomly, so you can't tell who's behind a certain corner every time. There are cases where Skaarj will be actively sneaking onto you. You can dodge them all if you're able too but that requires Invisibility or Dampener, and those aren't infinite considering you may need those for the rest of the level - so if you want to go back to Bluff, you have to kill them all. It's a bunch of Skaarj Troopers and Skaarj Infantries, two Brutes and a Skaarj Officer. The Brutes are found in the side extremities while the Skaarj Officer guards the exit door (both the entrance and exit doors are sorta huge, makes sense since crates need to pass through).
Another thing why sneaking doesn't really work here, especially if you have the Invisibility - Skaarj Troopers can see invisible units. Dampener overall helps more. The storage area has a lot of ammo, Shield Belt and various items, so it's worth exploring and killing everyone there.

After the door you descend into the underground cavern; Underworld.umx's main songsection fully starts here. The action songsection will play every time you fight enemies that aren't critters.
The whole Nali cave x Skaarj feels like something seen in ONP, Xidia, Hexephet and various custom maps (what stands out is the cave/water theme being very Serpent Canyon esque, with the river being kinda clean and dark green only; you can't see the bottom because it's dark). It's something very Unreal to look at. It's overall quite realistically dark, at least on the river, while the walkable parts are illuminated by lamps of either Nali or Skaarj origin; there are no Tarydium crystals of course, cause the Skaarj took them all already. The sounds are good, nothing on par with Triton's underground lake but close.
The river itself is large. Let's say the regular width of the cave is as large, maybe way larger, than the river cave in Gateway To Na Pali. The river itself takes this time 75% of the cave's width. Vegetation? Barely. There's few seaweeds in the water, that's about it. No openings to the sky, either. And the cave doesn't really have stand out visual moments except for the very last part (here the cave is fucking huge) with the Skaarj weapon construction site and the Dasa entrance.
The mandatory way within the cave goes like this: you enter it, go right, then go left, then go right, go right again, go left and there you go you reached Dasa.

If you read those directions, the first cave you're in and the last one to Dasa should be actually close; indeed they are connected but separated with a giant Skaarj forcefield that you can only turn off at the end of the level. This forcefield also temporarily cuts you off from another tunnel that goes in the direction of Bluff - it's the water-level entrance to the Underflow you've saw in the previous map, closed with a gate from the inner side.
Unlike what the level doc mentioned, this version of the Underflow won't have mini-locations, just Skaarj outposts, cave detours, some random old market area and what else, perhaps some medieval ruins, small huts. And lastly, there's the Skaarj construction site at the end of the level which is very Skaarj.utx, with a style identical to what was seen in Outpost 3J. It's literally a Skaarj base sitting in the middle of the cave, surrounding this bio weapon which looks like a long-ass laser beam gun that's all black with fast waving green lights, alongside robotic equipment that are used to build it.

Enemy-wise, the Underflow cave is filled of baddies. This is where the "infiltration" gameplay comes online: you cannot play stealthy because ultimately your actions to take down the bio-cannon will inevitably trigger battles
you actually decide NOT to do anything with the bio-cannon and go directly to Dasa. Yeah the game will give you the choice to actually not giving a shit about the future (i.e. Skaarj/Human war that happens between Unreal 1 and UT), therefore leaving a functioning weapon to the Skaarj which would rape humans and maybe more planets in the universe. The Unreal ending will slightly change based on several things done within the game itself, so you know.
If you don't want to destroy the weapon, you will be able to sneak into Dasa without triggering a battle event. This will of course stop you from going back into the Underflow/Bluff - not because of locked gateways or something but because you have to make all your way back to the beginning of the cave and therefore wasting Invisibility/Dampener to get through the enemies again. Turning off any forcefield (like the "shortcut" one) will set on alert everyone.

Patrolling the Underflow are the essential: Krall, Krall Elites, Lesser Brutes, Brutes, the entirety of the Skaarj Trooper caste except Snipers, Skaarj Warriors, Skaarj Assassins (operating only in the weapon's Skaarj construction site), and the mini-boss of the map being once again another Skaarj Lord. Typical standard fare. Of course there are Tentacles in isolated areas, and Stingrays in the water. No Slith.
Item-wise, the Skaarj spots will have them, assortments of every genre (ammo/health, sometimes armor or inventory items). There's pretty much ammo for any weapon here.
There are few Nali slaves throughout the map, so save them if you find them. And corpses of Cave Mantas (and also a dead Giant Manta!) probably killed by the Skaarj because they were too annoying.

So basically the gist of the map is very straightforward and there aren't any major event until the very end of the Underflow. It's a very challenging map on the other hand, so prepare to curse a lot at the game.
The number of enemies is massive, getting spotted in a bad position can be brutal, Stingrays can fuck your underwater sneakyness (going underwater is a good idea still, most of the time) and the Krall will still be busy playing their dice games. The theme of the translator messages from Dasa Pass regarding the Krall remains - things just get more spicy once you reach the weapon construction site where you learn about the cannon itself, how powerful it is. Other than that, the cave part plays like a massively glorified Dasa Pass.

When you approach the end of the cave, the Underworld.umx's 4th songsection will start to play. Any fight here will trigger the 3rd songsection (the other, more aggressive action battle theme).
Brutes will guard the weapon construction site and the entrance to Dasa. Skaarj Assassins are located inside the base and the Skaarj Lord is next to the main control panel of the structure. If you fought the Lord in the "secret" way in Bluff, here you are forced to fight him 1vs1 without gimmicks, good luck! Operating the control panel will lead P849 to use the robotic weapon building equipment to go out of control and consequently breaking the bio-cannon apart; enjoy the green and blue fireworks! There are also controls for the forcefields, and from there you can open the shortcut to the beginning of Underflow or opening the water-level gate to Bluff (this makes going back to Underflow from Bluff much easier and faster) and access few other small areas in the cavern that were also blocked by forcefields.
After the cannon is destroyed, Underworld.umx's first songsection will play forever within the Underflow - the 2nd songsection plays when you encounter remaining intelligent enemies.

Dasa's entrance is a Dasa Pass-style gateway wall built on the cave wall; there are large torches sticking out of it and the original entrance to the cellars (the flooded chamber with the barrels) has been replaced with a simple hall which leads directly to the round-shaped room that was the Cellar's first one. Going into this room will start Dasa Cellars and you'll be stuck in it until you clear the map.

Nali Priest Nali Priest
Posts: 7913
Joined: 11 Nov 2007, 21:00

Subject: Re: Myself imagining a HD Unreal 1 remake

Post Posted: 16 Jun 2017, 00:48

Tomorrow Dasa is up, was pretty much burned out due to E3 occurring these days.

Nali Priest Nali Priest
Posts: 7913
Joined: 11 Nov 2007, 21:00

Subject: Re: Myself imagining a HD Unreal 1 remake

Post Posted: 17 Jun 2017, 15:35

MUSIC: Newmca7.umx
Newmca7.umx's ambient songsection needs an even realer bass. Need to be more tense.
The action songsection goes full Trance mode for the implications of this version's Dasa; a four minute mix would be fine, basically the action songsection becomes a modern-day electronic song. It also starts very loudly, think of how the Unreal official ost version of Dasa's theme begins but with two strong heartbeats-like sounds put on top.

When you enter the infamous round-shaped first room of Dasa (the music isn't on yet), something weird happens. A book drops from above (from seemingly nothing at all?) and you're forced to read it throughout a mini-cutscene. The translator message pops up and it seems to speak "directly" to you: you're about to feel a weird sensation; the entity under the name of Dasa, creator of Tarydium according to the Nali and the source of all evil roots that brought all kind of alien invasions into the planet (it is thought the Tarydium is behind the planet's strong gravitational pull) is about to play with you. All the torches turn off temporarily for few seconds, and then they all turn on but showing purple flames and purple coloration - and for the whole level until you clear it. These purple flames also leave some sort of reddish/orange sparks that appear to be "magical" or "demonic", and the player's vision becomes blurry during this scripted event. The purple lighting is very saturated and dark, it doesn't feel very right or anything remotely natural. Turns out that throughout the map, you will read messages from Skaarj and Krall alike about themselves feeling sick; indeed it seems this place is overrun by some sort of poison, or a magic curse created by the Nali that has to do with Tarydium (this Dasa is an entity related to Tarydium).
Skaarj outside of Dasa were ordered to never enter the structure and to instead use teleport pods in the Underflow until this matter was resolved (I didn't mention this in the previous level's description but yeah the weapon construction site had several teleport pods that the player couldn't use). The source of this poison comes from a Titan inside Dasa who possess "divine" magical powers, similar to the Titans fought in Dark Arena and Vandora; if the Titan dies, this spell will vanish, and that's what you'll be going to do in this map.

Dasa Cellars will still play like a full-blown oldschool dungeon map where you kill creatures left and right; there will be few messages this time about Dasa itself, and the already aforementioned logs regarding Skaarj and Krall. It plays similarly to Nexus, almost as difficult (Dasa is going to be the 2nd most difficult map in the game).
That said, there's the unnatural purple lighting from the torches and the "poison" gimmick to give this map an edge in terms of being interesting, and so the following features:
  • The vision's borders (well, your screen's borders more like) will become blurry when you stand next to the purple torches, creating some sort of fast wavy effect toward the center of the screen; it looks like boiling water almost.
  • There's always a very noticeable motion blur if you turn your camera around quickly. This is true underwater too. The blurryness becomes randomly more dense. Note that also this overall impacts enemies too: some enemies will accidentally miss their shots (like, 15% chance). This is because pawn movements will also look blurry, it's like everyone will leave a trail if they move fast enough.
  • Expect a lot of blue/purple smoke randomly appearing around the level. It does nothing however but the smoke itself is anything but transparent. This adds up with the torches' sparkling red effects they leave, and crapload of horseflies groups roaming Dasa.
  • You, the players, the weapons everyone is holding (1st or 3rd person), all items on ground and all enemies, will look or glow brighter, especially the eyes.
  • Moving pawn shadows are delayed of almost one second; this includes the players' shadows too. This is to add even more visual confusion to the level. Regarding shadows in this game, they will be real-time as much as they can get, as good as they can get. Remember when Unreal was supposed to have real-time shadows? Well it did but were exclusive to certain, extremely rare cards and renderers. Forgot the details but somebody managed to get them on somehow.
  • The level will play under the UT's "Hardcore" settings, and it'll be true for both the players and the enemies: overall gamespeed is 10% faster, any damage is boosted by 50% and jumps are 10% higher. Any Relic stat-based powerup will be based on these settings.
  • Some enemies of different races may randomly fight each other, hell, even before you ever reach them. This isn't bad anyway considering there are well over 200 enemies in Dasa. There are no Nali or flock-type pawn whatsoever.
  • Artifact, Invisibility and Dampener will not work here. This impacts the few Skaarj Assassins you encounter here as well, who fight really weirdly without any sort of invisibility (they are unable to be aggressive whatsoever).
  • You can breath underwater without the use of SCUBA Gear.
  • Purple/blue colored Flies will pop up in big groups from small broken holes on wall, leaving trails of purple smoke. They are smaller than the regular Flies, their eyes strongly glow blue/purple and attack everybody. They will regularly appear in pre-fixed spots of the map until the curse is lifted off (they all die automatically when everything returns to normal in Dasa).
  • Fruit plants from Seeds grow super fast.
  • The skybox appears very dark. You can hardly see the mountains (they're all black) and the few of the sky you see is purple and completely cloudy. There's also a constant, low-pitched wind sound in the few outdoor areas of Dasa (which is just the one with the crucifix which is slightly redesigned, and also the last area).
  • There are some events that are "unrealistic" and are about the environment assuming impossible shapes or something like a hole/opening disappearing for a while. Way beyond illusion plays.
  • Last thing: there's the Titan boss. That's for later.

Dasa's visual theme is retained. The use of textures is about the same as it ever was, with a bit less of repetition and more massive attention to architectural detail. There's a limit how graphics and details can be improved for a rather narrow indoor location, and either way the "purple" atmosphere will steal the show.
Dasa's scale will however be definitely 5% bigger than before.

You cannot go back to Underflow until the curse is gone. Dasa's layout is still the same, with some added passages there and there that will be minimally described below. Pretty much all the bars and moving walls have been replaced with iron grates and the locked doors can be recognized thanks to some iron appendages in front of these doors themselves.

Items are found around in crates; the structure was used to store ammo and other valuable tools inside but now they're stuck there since none of the Skaarj outside decided to enter the structure after the poison problem. Similar to Underflow, you'll find almost any regular item in this level, and a crapload of ammo since you'll be shooting a damn lot.
Enemy-wise it's still the same: Krall, Krall Elites, lots of Brutes, Skaarj Warriors, non-invisible Skaarj Assassins, Tentacles, Devilfish, a Kraken, the Fly swarms, a Skaarj Berserker, some Skaarj Infantries and Skaarj Officers, Slith (in the enclosed pool with the pool at the bottom, replacing Devilfish), Skaarj Hawks appearing in a single area and two bossy creatures that haven't been introduced yet. Major absence is the Skaarj Lord.

To make it quick, Dasa's main key differences regarding the map design are:
  • The first secret area, the one accessible throughout the underwater passage, still has the Super Health and a new door. Obtaining the Super Health will cause your vision to be fully blurry for 1-2 seconds, and the underwater hole disappears (basically it gets closed in such an unrealistic way). The new door opens revealing a set of new chambers with Flies and Krall/Elites, plus one Skaarj Officer at the end. You'll eventually end up in the previous area with the water pool, on one of the two upper ledges.
  • Dasa, instead of levers unlocking important areas, utilizes colored keys, something very oldschool a la Doom. This is what those newly introduced iron appendages on the locked doors are for - you use the keys on these. The first key you obtain is on top of the water passage leading to the most upper point of the first battle arena; it's colored green and it unlocks the Slith pool area section; the bottom of the Slith's pool contains a blue key which opens the way to the huge section on the opposite side. Here, someone will force you to go inside the second battle arena, which will lock down the moment you get inside. To get out you need the yellow key which is randomly hidden somewhere in this arena and the monsters will do whatever they can to slow you down before you find it. The water maze's reward will be the red key, the final one, which opens the well-known gate to the last quarter of the map.
  • As with the point above, that underwater passage that opens after you clear the first battle arena is now mandatory, as you need to go into it if you want to pick the first key; the passage behind the moving wall (which is now a gate) is just an ambush point full of Flies (and Horseflies).
  • For the record, there are a lot of small chambers (cellars) distributed throughout the level, accessed through regular doors. Some cannot be ever opened however. These rooms usually contain the majority of item crates.
  • The Slith pool section's second floor has been extended in a way similar to how the EXU2's conversion did it - and there are now Krall guarding there. The secret moving brick in the pool is now more visible.
  • The Flak Boxes' secret room in the second battle arena is now a legitimately accessible cellar room. It contains three Flak Boxes, three Shell Boxes and a random appearing spot for the key to get out.
  • The water maze is much more complex and longer, and the hole to the key area has been moved. There are also two new secret areas and some side chambers on the perimeter walls (over the water surface level).
  • The area with the five crucifixes has been massively extended, it's now some sort of terrace enclosed by walls (similar to DM-Curse's top floor); this is Dasa's only area where the "cursed" skybox is fully visible (torches illuminate here since the sky is completely dark). Upon arriving in the middle of this terrace, you'll be attacked by Skaarj Hawks coming from outside. There are just a lot of fruits otherwise. Gibbing crucified Nali is for achievement purposes.
  • With the third battle arena having a coop passage, the first and second ones will also get their exclusives passages too.
  • The third battle arena now ends with the Skaarj Berserker in the following corridor breaking down the gate and ambushing you directly.
  • The super secret which unlocks the sewer hole has now the torch attached to the wall being more noticeable that it's a mover (you can see on the wall right behind it that there's a crack where the torch itself can be moved). You can also use just the Anti-Grav Boots to reach the tip of the torch's bottom. As for the secret passage, the elevator goes up even more and now you'll drop from a hole in the ceiling, right onto the staircase as usual.
  • The last area is way larger and slightly redesigned, looks like some sort of entrance hall. The central pit (the one with the lava) has been completely removed because it was pointless; the exit is temporarily invisible (there's just a wall) when the poison curse is on, and only gets revealed after the final boss is killed; the second floor is inaccessible and the new built elevators that are there don't work (more like, they are destroyed, stones fell on top). There's still a big opening to the ceiling where you can see the sky. In terms of lighting, there are torches on the perimeter walls and on the four (now larger) pillars' walls.
  • Miscellaneous changes there and there for logical/realistic reasons.

The last area finally contains the first two Behemoths of Unreal. Behemoths are juggernauts of 1000 HP and 35% resistance to all damage except pure due to the armor they have; their armor is based off the Beta Brutes, and it's all dark green with yellow glowing eyes (some other parts of the armor glow yellow too). All considered, their armors resemble Fallout's Enclave ones a bit but ultra futuristic.
Behemoths prefer to tower on one location and shoot at you repeatedly. They only move if they need a better spot to get you but they never travel too far, especially if the pathways are too much for them to walk on in order to chase you - besides they are better at guarding than chasing as they don't move that fast. At least, initially.
Behemoths shoot at you with the typical Brute way, except the fact the rockets seem to be different and bigger, they deal more damage and have a bigger splash radius. If they shoot, RUN THE FUCK AWAY. And there are two of them now, and under this purple atmosphere they look extremely menacing. They still have their walkfire-style shooting but it occurs rarely. Regular melee attacks deal 70 HP per hit, and their shoulder lunges deal 100 HP and blow you the hell away. Every step they take create a small shaking effect in a certain radius, and all their voices are pitched down (well more than pitched down, edited to sound more heavy as they have a helmet mask). Behemoths regenerate 5HP every second and also have access to an inferior version of the Force Field item - unlike how Kraal Masters use it, Behemoths use this item like the player does but the shield itself has a yellow color, goes down after 10 seconds, can be destroyed (HP: 300, takes more damage from ASMD) and there's a one minute cooldown before it can be used again. Behemoths cannot be stunned.
Behemoths have access to some special regular attack. The first one loads a large rocket on the back of their shoulders; after 1 or 2 seconds, this rocket will be fired and will home onto you like if it was an auto-targeted Redeemer's secondary fire. This can be done any time, the homing ability of the rocket is almost perfect and the Behemoth will keep firing it if he has no sights on you - you can basically go at the beginning of Dasa and the rockets will still go after you from the last area to the very beginning of the level. The rocket deals 70 HP, has a large splash radius but are fairly noticeable and can be destroyed without harmful consequences. Rockets can't travel through different levels.
Another one of their attacks is about Behemoths unleashing from their armors a bunch of scattering mini-rockets that are shot around your location. Pretty frequent attack, can deal up to 80 HP if you're fully hit.
When a Behemoth's HP goes below the 10%, the Behemoths will enter a special version of the rage mode. They'll drop the guns, a particle-filled animation plays on their armor (as some armor feature gets activated, probably to boost the creature's agility) and the Behemoths themselves will now try to kill you by chasing really fast like gorillas (the animations here, unique to the Behemoths and on this mode only, feel very gorilla-like) and ending you with fists and pounds. Their speed is rather fast, about as good as Krall's. Their melee damage doesn't change but they fist faster and at the same time, they can still use the homing rockets and the spreading rockets special attacks, and they do this very furiously. This is painful when you have more than one raging Behemoth going after you. Raging Behemoths break every destructible decoration they run on, pushing away also special immovable objects like large crates, etc... Under this rage mode, Behemoths cannot use the shoulder melee (they'll do these jumping pounds instead) and the HP regeneration is turned off.
Not really super tough creatures to beat but mistakes prove fatal, and their strengths prove best when they are together with something like Skaarj (and this will happen in the incoming levels).

And now, saved for last, the big guy of Dasa, the Dasa's Titan. He is a Titan with the brown parts of his skin colored dark purple, he has Tarydium crystals sticking out of his shoulders and back (their positions are completely asymmetric), he has a white bone helm that's perfectly shaped for his head and there's a lot of purple smoke moving around his body. All his voice sounds are distorted. He's also slightly smaller.
Newmca7.umx's action songsection will play only at every encounter with this Titan; the way now the song begins, plus the roaring of the Titan, should come overall with a big impact.
Compared to regular Titan, he isn't that different barring the vision-related impediments he brings with all the smoke, together with the already ongoing purple atmosphere and mist that's in Dasa. He's faster than your regular Titan in just about anything, and is somehow capable of strafing; this is helped by the fact that his acceleration movement value is almost maxed, so he can immediately move to a direction without any delay.
Instead of throwing rocks, they unleash blue plasma meteors that are about as damaging as the stones - which means it's almost insta-kill but there's only one type of plasma orb shot and they don't bounce, instead they do splash damage (and it's surprisingly not too strong); dodging is almost always required to dodge these attacks but thanksfully, Dasa is an indoor place with a lot of narrow pathways that you can hide through: remember that fallen giant stone in the corridor set that has the sewer secret area? That's a good hiding spot. All other regular Titan attacks are retained and aren't different, barring unique particle effects.
The gimmick with this Titan is that, outside of the mandatory appearances - which is in the first battle arena, forcing you also to get into the second battle arena (this is what makes that area mandatory now but if you want you can fight the Titan back, which is strongly NOT recommended), on the way when you try to reach the red key gate to access the last quarter of the map, and the very final arena after defeating the Behemoths - there's a 10% chance this Titan might randomly ambush you in almost any area of Dasa. These areas need to be large enough and there are too many to list. Two rules: must not be a secret area, and no enemies that aren't Flies have to be around. The Titan appears throughout walls thanks to some sort of smoke portals (if this is an illusion or some high-tier Nali teleportation spell, that's to the player to guess about). So this adds some sort of scariness value to this map because all of a sudden you get attacked by this monstrous purple beast like in a fucking Ao Oni game. At least if there's another monster around (that isn't a Fly), the Titan will attack it too; he attacks everyone except the Flies, basically.
At least you can fight back! Dasa's Titan comes with no resistances whatsoever, and has 1000 HP every random encounter. If you run away somewhere, good, the Titan will stop chasing you and disappear (might take a while, it's random); if you take down all his HP, good, you wasted a bit of ammo and get bragging rights - and he doesn't die, he retreats through another one of those wall smoke portals. Random appearances will start to occur only after the first arena's mandatory encounter against him (you can hear him from afar thanks to some loud distorted growls). The mandatory appearances have 2000 HP, and only the first and the last ones require you to beat the monster.
However, there are bonuses if you try to take down the Titan at every possible appearance, which are about making the final Dasa's Titan battle much easier. If you have never beaten him outside of the first arena battle, the Titan's last battle has him at 4000 HP; beating the Titan in any of the random encounter that can possibly pop up (10% odds of appearance, it's not that common) and also in the two mandatory encounters where you can run away, that 4000 HP will be decreased by 250 HP (random appearances) or 500 HP (each of the two mandatory appearances) for every Titan defeat. The minimum HP it can reach is 1000. The last battle occurs immediately after the Behemoths are dead and the Titan here is a tiny bit more aggressive and he can also move through pillars or just about any obstacle in the chamber.
Note that for the final Titan to appear, you have to be in the last area. When he pops up, the entrance to the room, like Dasa's Exit, also gets blocked by a "fake" wall that you can't pass through.
When the Titan dies, he waves his arms in the air as purple smoke flies out of him, with the Tarydium crystals glowing enormously and then exploding (stay away, but they aren't too damaging and a force pushes you away either way). The Titan eventually dissolves away.

After his death, Dasa temporarily darkens, and then it lights a bit up again. There will be then an event where all the purple smoke fly away so fast (so fast to the point it creates a strong wind that shakes your screen) to the sky above, including the horseflies and those fire sparkles that came from the torches. When the curse is fully lifted, Dasa will light up again, this time with all regular, orange torches like in the original game. The exit is fully revealed and you don't have to go to the second floor to open it - the second floor isn't even accessible as already mentioned.

Dasa, without the purple poison spell, becomes normal. All the gameplay features listed above regarding the poison, and the Titan appearances, are no more. You can also go back to Underflow, and therefore to Bluff too. If you didn't stop the Skaarj from building the weapon, you can still do it, and Dasa comes with way enough ammo and health items.
Otherwise, proceed to the next map. Hope you enjoyed such a rampaging combat romp.

User avatar Xanious
Skaarj Assassin Skaarj Assassin
Posts: 101
Joined: 23 Jan 2014, 04:45

Subject: Re: Myself imagining a HD Unreal 1 remake

Post Posted: 17 Jun 2017, 19:48

The aspect of actually fighting the Titan's random or otherwise previous encounters granting later benefits and making the final fight easier reminded me of how Resie 3 gave you bonuses for actually managing to take down Nemesis when he came after your ass. Also Dasa was already probably one of the best maps in the OG game mechanic wise, so having weird poison/abstract/Tarydium shit added on is just awesome really. :D

I swear everytime this page gets continued I want the remake more and more to be real. :tup:
"Anything's a quote if you try hard enough. Wait, shit!"

Nali Priest Nali Priest
Posts: 7913
Joined: 11 Nov 2007, 21:00

Subject: Re: Myself imagining a HD Unreal 1 remake

Post Posted: 19 Jun 2017, 23:06

:tup: :tup:
Let's get this one out of the way.

Serpent Canyon
MUSIC: WarGate.umx
This map only makes use of the "epic" songsection of WarGate.umx, heard in the cave in the original Unreal version, so I'll just focus on that one here. There it'll receive a full-blown orchestral arrangement, retaining the "happy", "epic", "you're close to the ending" feel of the original songsection. How much long the rearrangement needs to be, it depends; it'll be only used during the boat trip and for a completely different scope that will be explained soon (basically the song will be arranged for this boat trip only). It also won't loop and has a proper ending.
Rest of the map will have no music.

You can go back to Dasa/Underflow/Bluff/Velora only until you start the boat trip. You can do the boat trip once and it's a fully scripted event, e.g. while you're on the boat you can't do anything except walking and looking around (can't shoot, can't jump, etc...). So you can only swim in the swamp at the beginning and ending points of it but a strong current will push you back to shore every time. The swamp itself will look uglier than ever but it's harmless and has no creature in it - it doesn't matter though because you can hardly swim far away.

Serpent Canyon was a pretty basic map and this version won't go too far in terms of visuals. Let's just say the caves are going to be big and detailed, all the surrounding are going to be dark and misty as fuck, lighted by Nali lamps... well typical classic swamp but the night sky is illuminated thanks to the moon(s) and the nebula, so it'll still feel very spacey and unique. The river is going to be probably larger as well, borders will be too dark you can't even see them.

Accompanying you on the boat trip is a ghost Nali Monk who moves the boat itself through telekinesis (he's a ghost, so you can't kill him). It's a moody trip and WarGate.umx's orchestral rearranged third songsection plays there. This is going to be a story exposition piece: the Nali Monk, during the boat trip, will tell you stories about the prophet and the first (and second) Skaarj invasions, as the music goes on. You will likely see impaled Nali and other signs of past battles, with Nali Rabbits walking around. There are also sculpted images on the cave's mountain walls, illuminated by the torches, showing drawings of Nali fighting Skaarj and their winged leader (the Warlord). The Nali will tell you how much powerful this Warlord really is and about the "evil magic" this monster is capable to handle. Note that the Nali will still define the Skaarj as "Sky Demons" throughout the whole game aside various exceptions (mostly by the younger Nali, dead or alive). He'll tell you to watch out at the incoming, conquered Nali Castle, and that after it, Prisoner 849 will be completely alone against the Skaarj, as the Mothership is very close (thunder cracks are seen and heard in the distance, and the sky gets progressively cloudy).
The music is about to end as you get out of the cave and you see the wrecked windmill and a (much better looking) dock. Still darker in terms of lighting. The music should end before you can jump out of the boat - when you do this, the Nali and the boat will go back to the beginning of Serpent Canyon permanently, leaving you there at the dock.
You can pause the game during cutscenes but this will stop the ongoing music from playing (with a fade-in/fade-out effect when you turn on/off pause).

Hey, the pirate easter egg is still there and it's activated in the same way! Except this time the torches will be surrounded by a rainbow-colored aura when they are shot. During the boat trip, in the cave, you will eventually see other than the pirate sign, a bar right below it built inside the mountain, showing a ghost Skaarj Lord with a pirate hat giving beers (I guess) to Nali Ghosts, all looking at you happily like it's the ending of Star Wars' original trilogy.

The windmill blades barely move this time around. Inside you can now climb to the top, which has a Shell Box and a Tentacle. Meanwhile at the basement floor there are Spinners instead of a Skaarj Gunner. Pretty much anything else is the same.
The cemetery is now larger, more detailed, has more tombstones and more messages. Instead of a Skaarj Warrior, there's the last Predator group of the game. They don't like entering the windmill, so take that as a tip to easily kill them.
Around you'll still find similar items, like Seeds and Fruits. Finishing the level won't lock you out of Serpent Canyon, so you can still go back and get some Fruits you may necessarily need.

Nali Priest Nali Priest
Posts: 7913
Joined: 11 Nov 2007, 21:00

Subject: Re: Myself imagining a HD Unreal 1 remake

Post Posted: 21 Jun 2017, 20:38

Nali Castle
MUSIC: WarGate.umx
The first songsection of WarGate is going to get an ambient/forest psychedelic style remaster. Technically, it isn't going to be much different probably because the original was done under a similar genre. It's probably more moody now, and every single instrument is going to be crystal clear in terms of quality - like those two-beats at the beginning sounding more psy-ish, the background medieval vocals being actual human vocals, etc... A medieval x psy combo is kind of fitting considering this is a game of theme amalgamations. This songsection will be played for the whole location.
The battle songsection is used for the boss fight only. This one was deemed uninteresting from the majority of Unreal players, so it'll get fully remixed in a style like the ambient songsection, however with the genre being harsher psy, or darkpsy: the battle songsection was hardly melodic to begin with, so focusing with noticeable sound synths is the way to go. Besides, we're going full Skaarj, and the Mothership is coming soon.

You can go back to Serpent Canyon (the last half of it) any time. In the cave here, the Gasbags will still be minding their own business on the ceiling. This could be seen as a trick since the Gasbags are hardly noticeable and your typical casual player who never played the original Unreal might shoot and fall in the bait. The cave is larger though, so is the lake which is still, empty (but there's a large opening at the end of this lake, blocked by an iron gate however). Note that the Gasbags will be the only ones you'll find in this level, and the last ones of the whole game. There's no Giant Gasbag this time.

And then you get out to the castle...

Nali Castle puts on a dark, sad show. The sky is cloudy purple like in the original game but there's a bit of rain and thunderstorm, which is fresh and the last time the weather was this bad was in Vandora's boss battle; if anything, that's how it was in the FlyBy, too. It does look like a malevolent place, dark, sorta foggy, and from the exterior the tower looks absolutely different - it's a lot like the one from The Last Fortress (Waff's map) and it seems like there's something Skaarj-ish inside. It's also bigger. Well, everything is slightly bigger, including the whole playable terrain area and the mountains around are very pointy and sort of engulf this place. For the record, the Nali Castle seen in the FlyBy takes place before the Skaarj put their own shit in it; alongside the tower, there are some Skaarj lamps around the castle and also on the mountains, plus others of their decorative items.
Nali Castle will have several new areas. The indoor part of the level in the original game was already devoid of details and overall made in a lazy way, something that needed to be remedied. A lot of inspiration will be taken from real medieval castles - the architecture doesn't necessarily need to be Souls tier with ultra-massive areas and all that shit. A big and slightly redone HD transposition is fine enough.
Now for example, the walkway platform to the castle you're currently on. It was supposed to contain areas according to the presence of some windows on the walls. And there will be indeed these areas this time, accessible throughout a passage built inside the bridge (below where you walk on) that you can enter through a staircase in the castle's entrance which goes down. This passage will also have a large opening leading to an elevator which you can use to go in the moat below; you can jump into this opening if you want and also access the bridge's passage this way. Two Krall Elites will protect the entrance; one fights you, the other retreats inside the castle and closes the main door like in the original game - except this time there's a lever to open and close this gate which anyone can operate, including you. So if the Krall Elite manages to get in and close the gate (and this occurs much more easily due to the Krall Elites fighting you back and them having improved AI overall), you can open it again when you make your way to the other side of the entrance hall.

If you are stuck outside, there are several ways to get back in the castle. One, already mentioned above, is to jump into the opening in the bridge, to this new passage (it's right in the middle, right hand side, below the walkable part); or simply, jump into the moat and use the elevator from down there to go into the bridge passage. The secret passage to the well chamber of the basement dormitory is still a thing, which leads you to a zone that is devoid of enemies (also the songsection doesn't change). Another way out is to climb in that lower castle part that had in the original game the spawning Skaarj Berserker ambush. Up to you.
The moat will be as swampy as Serpent Canyon's river and it's hard to see things underwater. There will be few Devilfish, and a roaming Kraken who swims around the castle (hopefully you don't run into it).

So the inside of the castle itself is detailed. The torches provide very clear illumination (even outside) and as I already said, a lot of the shortcomings in the original version of the map have been fixed, and there's quite a revamp of the layout. The passage under the bridge, accessible through this staircase in the entrance area of the castle, leads to a set of living rooms and armories for the Nali who worked there as janitors or guards; these rooms contain items, ammo and Krall/Elites. All Nali are of course dead (in the whole castle there's one living Nali, in the prison; he's important for the level and is also the last Nali you'll meet in the game). There's also a passage that leads to the corridor with the two staircases that connects the dining room and the kitchen, and here you find another additional passage that goes down into a huge library - the Super Health secret from the dining room has been ported there.
Parts of the castle, like in the entrance area, have painting. Art. Something to make the rooms more lively. There are also statues and other sorts of decorations to embellish walls and empty spaces (decos like small tables, shrines, squares and others).
The kitchen is completely redone compared to whichever the fuck was in the original game. Shrakith'a got a really good example of a Nali-style kitchen design.
The dining room is also slightly revamped. Much more massive, there are chairs, the table is hugely decorated, there are decorations everywhere and the chandelier here, as gold as ever, illuminates the room with a yellow/green-ish lighting color. The chimney fire is also active, and the chimney pipe also goes somewhere this time around - the pipe goes outside the wall of the castle (the chimney has its own reserve space built outside the castle wall perimeter). The dining room became large enough that library secret needed to be ported in the aforementioned new library chamber. The dining room's upper floor also has railing, and there's another passage to the entrance area of the castle. There was a lot of missing rails in the original version of the castle that wasn't added due to lack of time, and no way in hell that made any sense; these are all here now. Like that hub area with the big Nali statue - now that statue has been replaced with a tall window opening built inside the wall (and closed with glass, kinda like a church shrine), and inside this opening there's some custom built Nali saint statue.
The church, also. That shit now has only one set of columns, there are now pews in the area, and the altar has been completely redesigned from scratch to look like a proper one. You also don't need to find any button as the way to the top areas is already unlocked.
The dormitory basement is also redone and looks more refined rather than just being something like an abandoned prison, especially texture-wise and decoration-wise; the upper floor has now a dormitory room on each side, and each dormitory room now has two beds, tables, wardrobes and whatever custom unique thing that a Nali needs. The floors below are also accessed through staircases instead of elevators. Also, railings.
There's really an enormous job to do regarding indoor textures, too. The original ones are too basic, repetitive and wrongly used (wall textures for floor for example). Everything is still however based on the NaliC.utx's regular textures, not the old Unreal alpha ones that in this game are used for Triton and Velora.

Upper dormitories also look way more detailed and the brushes here have much more sensible (read: smaller, not GIANT) size. Chimneys have been removed and replaced with wardrobes, bookshelves or anything else important and suitable. And remember that glowing small window (on the wall on the way to the upper dormitories) leading to apparently nothing at all in the original game? Now there's a chamber, for the highest Nali Priest of the castle, who is also the owner. Highly, highly decorated room with a lot of holy decos.
The courtyard looks like a proper mini-farm with cultivated fields, fruits, Cows, rabbits, etc... Plus there are some small huts and market tents. There's also a huge opening on the front wall which leads directly to the balcony facing the castle's entrance, and there's one as well which faces the bell tower. The bell tower isn't that different but if you shoot the bell it rings and an Assault Vest falls from above.
The part of the castle below the keep is also accessible (there were mini-windows on the walls in the original version...); it's the war-room or meeting area of the castle. The Skaarj here decided to use this section for outpost purposes, so expect a lot of their tech here alongside items. The keep area can be accessed from there too, and the keep is overrun by Skaarj tech and lamps, which makes up for how devoid-looking it'd be otherwise. The Super Health secret there is also gone and so the Nali.

The way to the spiral tower is also different. The spiral staircase begins some floors above, therefore the staircase itself is more brief; there are small windows facing outside the tower, and there's an inner cylinder wall blocking you from falling down.
The reason why the spiral staircase has this change is because of the space required for the accessibility to the terrace outside the tower - the one that was in the FlyBy but was never added in the playable version of the map. Rain also becomes more dense by this point.
The top of the tower, as I said, is very similar to the The Last Fortress' one, with Skaarj panels around and four directional large openings to an outer, circular terrace that goes around the tower itself. All the terraces of the keep section have Nali cannons, some of them updated to functioning AVRiL ones.

Back to the basement dormitory: the door to the well can now be opened from outside; the square staircase doesn't have much changes but now the terrace outside is fully accessible from any side - there are just pillars around only.
The prison doors are locked with Skaarj tech. These can be opened from the top tower. Nothing much changes down there except you go much more down and the areas themselves are more tall. The door with that strange mechanism is also no more, there's a straight opening there to the underground prison. The major key change is the actual exit to Demonlord's Lair as the door after the lava chamber is closed weirdly: it's a demonic-looking set of doors, and each door has a red crystal on it. Except in this case, one of the two red crystals is missing. So what?

And here we go what it has to be done in Nali Castle. Basically, you have the free roaming but your final objective is to find an exit which is in the prison area. The prison area isn't opened until you operate some panels at the top of the main tower; and then there's the gate to the next level which requires a red crystal. The Skaarj have decided that the giant red Skaarj Hawk you saw in Bluff, the same one who almost killed you by causing the earthquakes in Triton, to carry this red crystal on his head. And you'll fight this enemy as a boss on the top tower (replacing the Giant Gasbag) once you unlock the prison doors. HP boss bar pops up, WarGate.umx's remixed action songsection plays.

This Skaarj Hawk, who's big, red and has a horned, silver metal helmet with something red glowy at the top leaving a flaming trail, goes under the name of Skaarj Falcon. It's a genetically engineered Skaarj Hawk, so not an unique creature and the Skaarj might likely have more (which you won't encounter elsewhere). The boss battle can take place in pretty much the entire outdoor area of Nali Castle; you can go wherever you want, the Skaarj Falcon will always know your position and will move accordingly to strategical spots. And you need to kill him if you want to clear the level but at least you can go indoor if you need to take a break from the battle.
Skaarj Falcon has 2800 HP and is fully immune to Burned and Corroded damage - that means the GES and part of the damage from Eightballs, Flak Shells and Minigun's grenades are completely negated, as well as 25% of AVRiL's damage. He has the same movement speed values of a Hawk but he prefers to stay in the air; he'll only land to wack a player that's sticking moving around the same spot, and he'll do it with some sort of flaming headbang that deals 180 HP and has a huge radius; if the attack is triggered, you better run/dodge into a single direction in order to get harmed much less. Otherwise keep moving, go indoor every now and then, and the Skaarj Falcon will never think of going for this melee attack. It's also his preferred melee attack, and the only one he'll ever use, even if the Skaarj Hawk's regular melee attacks are also coded for him.
His ranged attacks are what make the boss differ from his regular Hawk variants; the core difference is that all the attacks don't deal Corroded damage; yet, even if it's fire, any fire-protection doesn't appear to be working (that includes enemy resistances too).
  • A set of 1 to 5 fireballs shot in succession. Fireballs are slow and you can quickly tell the attack is about to come due to the Falcon's neck animation and flames appearing in his mouth; the charge-up itself is fast. Constantly moving is the way to go but the amount of fireballs shot is completely random. Fireballs at their core deal 90 HP and the splash damage radius is sorta huge; however, the projectiles themselves have a burning aura, and the impact explosion also leaves burning flames for 10 seconds. Both this burning aura and the remaining flames deal on touch 1 HP per every 0.25 seconds. This is the Falcon's most preferred attack and can be done while in air (be moving or not) and on ground.
  • The Falcon flies up in the sky, cloud level (the sky is very cloudy and stormy; rain falling on the dragon makes for cool effects, alongside lightning flashes), with his neck glowing orange, likely charging up fire. He'll then glide in the sky across Nali Castle's terrain and will then shoot to the ground, in random spots around your position, large fire bombs that look like meteors. These bombs on impact do really loud explosions: they deal 250 HP at their core, with a huge splash damage radius. They leave a bank of incendiary flames that stay around for few minutes, and deal on touch 5 HP per every 0.25 seconds. The flames will instantly disappear if the Falcon does this attack again (there's a long cooldown, minimum one minute of wait). If the impact damage is too high for you, mind you that the Falcon launches these from a very high spot in the sky, and you can exactly tell where they land - plenty of time to run away from the death points. The annoying part of this is that the huge standing flames may block paths (it is possible to set the spots where the fire bombs fall). The Skaarj Falcon needs to be flying in order to trigger this attack, and needs a full opening to the sky as well.
  • The classic "glide over the player -> flamethrower everything around" dragon attack. Just like how the Skaarj Hawks do, except this one has almost doubled radius and deals 24 HP per every half-second (basically doubled damage). Skaarj Falcon can also use this attack while standing still (flight or on ground), flaming everything in front of him. It's hard to escape, and it's always recommended to stay close to a door which leads inside the castle.
  • The "fuck this area" attack. The Skaarj Falcon charges up a massive fireball (expect a lot of flaming effects surging within the mouth of the boss) to then throw it on a specific large area, which is any outdoor castle terrace, including the inner courtyard (the requirement is that the area needs to have a fully plain floor and has to be enclosed). What happens is that the entire terrace/area is engulfed of flames, like a magma sheet appears sitting on top of the floor. And it damages you for 10 HP per every 0.25 seconds - a death sentence if you try to run over it; the impact deals 600 HP at the core. This is of course an amazing way for the Falcon to block the player from accessing certain areas, and the Falcon can throw up to two of these fireballs around. The burning effects disappear after 2 minutes; once there's less than two burned areas in the level, the Skaarj Falcon can do this attack again. He keeps it consistent.
That is for attacks. Any of the Skaarj Falcon's attacks destroy the AVRiL turrets in one hit, so you better use the four turrets there to damage the boss as soon as possible, because once you used a turret (no matter what you did with it), the Falcon will decide to immediately destroy it with a fireball (and that assuming he didn't accidentally destroyed a turret through other attacks).
When he's down 700 HP, he glows more orange, the ENTIRETY of his actions become 1.5x faster but he becomes stunnable (otherwise he isn't at all). His sounds are pitched-down versions of the Skaarj Hawk ones. Pretty hefty and unexpected battle that makes use of almost the entire level as a battle arena - you'd better kill all enemies around first.

When he dies, his head practically explodes and he dramatically flies down on that separated terrain part with the lone hut; that part of the level can only be reached with the help pf the only living Nali of the level, located in the basement prison - so yeah, this time it is mandatory to take this Nali back to his secret home. Apparently he's the owner of the castle. The other Nali in the prison, that in the original game strangely was afraid of you, is dead.
The cartwheel this time has a rather different design and makes use of a rope, instead of a thin iron long-ass ledge that anybody could walk on. So yeah, only the cartwheel takes you to the outer land, and only the Nali can activate said cartwheel and take you there. Nothing much really changes in terms of visuals - the land itself has a lot of cultivated fields and the hut is an actual big Nali house like the ones seen in Bluff. But still, a Skaarj Fighters will bomb the place, killing the Nali as a result (you cannot save him and he doesn't count toward the achievement) and destroying the fields and the hut too. You get some remaining Fruits, and then recover the crystal from the fallen Skaarj Falcon. Then you can go to the exit. Note that WarGate.umx's ambient songsection resumes when the Falcon is defeated.

Going more in details about the map:
  • Enemy selection doesn't truly change. There are Krall, a lot of Krall Elites, Brutes, Behemoths, all types of Skaarj Troopers except Snipers (Gunners and Officers becoming more and more common), Skaarj Warriors, a Skaarj Lord (in the meeting room below the keep), two Skaarj Berserkers (one in the new library and one before the exit of the map, with similar, and more gruesome, guillotine event), Skaarj Hawks ambushing you on the upper terraces of the castle and the Kraken and Devilfish in the moat. The enemies' placements haven't changed much either; the Krall will be lazily patrolling, sleeping or sitting on chairs and tables (they give out a relaxing feel to the level and the player, somehow). The Skaarj instead are very careful sans for the Skaarj Berserkers who only mind cleaning their Razik; meanwhile the Skaarj Lord will do a teleport ambush in the main meeting chamber. Behemoths and Brutes, like in the original game, guard the upper dormitories, the inner courtyard (it is possible that one of them will see you when entering Nali Castle and will attack you from there) and in the keep.
  • As I said already, all the Nali are dead except the one in the prison that takes you where the dead Falcon landed (if you kill the Nali, it's game over).
  • The secrets are: the Super Health library one that has been moved from the dining room to the new library (open similarly but has no Krall, instead there's another fully decorated room inside with very secret books); shooting the bell now drops the Assault Vest located on the wooden planks above; one of the basement prison cells has a crack in the wall you can break - inside there are vases that contain Seeds.
  • There are all sorts of items around, placed in sensible and logical positions. The Amplifier for example has been moved from that kitchen alcove to a more visible place but then a lot of the changes are due to massive room redesigns. Basically, don't expect "hidden" items outside of secrets. Ammo is plentiful, health and armor much less however (you have to survive in this map).
  • Nali Castle is very exploration based, so don't expect many scripted events. The only major ones are: trying to outrun the Krall Elites at the beginning otherwise you get stuck outside the castle and you need to find another way (around); Skaarj Berserker in the new library just casually destroying bookshelves the moment he sees you; Skaarj + Brute ambushing party when you enter the courtyard - the moment triggered when you get inside occurs slightly randomly; Skaarj Falcon's call sounds heard in the distance often; the Skaarj Falcon boss appearance, who appears by rising from behind the mountains alongside a massive flaming trail shaped after him; said boss' dramatic death; the Skaarj Fighters suddenly appearing and bombing the outer land and the last Nali alive (and the last one you'll see ever in the game); the Skaarj Berserker activating the guillotine to decapitate the Nali in the prison, and now blood from the beheaded Nali comes out... (there are also other torture devices in the Berserker area but they cannot be used and are all harmless).
  • The ongoing storm. The lightning flashes help the atmosphere a lot, and the more you proceed through the level, the more it gets stormy, climax being the Skaarj Falcon boss battle where rain and thunderstorms become incessant - not as bad as Vandora's Titan battle at least but close, especially since there's interference from the nearby Mothership, which had almost always a (fairly calm) lightning storm over it. Once the Skaarj Falcon is dead, the intensity of rain/thunderbolts progressively decrease to the default values when you entered this level.
  • Overall, redone texture/lighting/architecture will take some inspiration from Dishonored's visuals. It should look really crisp, especially inside the castle; you feel always like there's a filter on your screen, probably due to the place being old and either full of powder or too clean and polished. The indoor lighting ranges from orange to purple, from gray to dark green. Pretty cinematic and extremely royal-themed.
  • There are a lot of messages now and even the old ones are re-written. There's a subplot in this map about the Nali living in this place, and a betrayal movement set by one of them against the High Priest and owner of the castle. You get to see the point of view from several Nali, including the betrayer himself who has his most hidden book in the Super Health secret of the library. Turns out the Nali of this castle are much more peaceful compared to the ones of Triton's castle that were more battle-like and more tyrannical, and this castle's High Priest made sure to stay as separate as possible from the Triton/Velora people, only by meeting with them in Bluff. The betrayer didn't want this and after making the High Priest go through countless of issues, almost costing his castles and his life, he was finally found out and tortured in the prison. The Nali beheaded by the Skaarj Berserker is actually him.

When you have the red crystal and you reach the exit corridor with the lava and the hanged Nali (there also now impaled and crucified ones, and it's set in a lava cave rather than a rectangular room - it kind of feels like the atmosphere from Demon's Keep: evil and unsettling), the music stops. Once you cross the red door, you can't go back anymore.

Nali Priest Nali Priest
Posts: 7913
Joined: 11 Nov 2007, 21:00

Subject: Re: Myself imagining a HD Unreal 1 remake

Post Posted: 24 Jun 2017, 18:02

Demonlords' Lair
MUSIC: Warlord.umx
The title of Warlord.umx is "Fragmented". The reason is because Warlord.umx is not the original song anymore but a completely new one. You may recall Fragmented from G59's Verflucht map, the song by Cybernetika and Xenofish (go check the video on youtube), and it's indeed this one. The reason of the change is because I can't see Warlord.umx being good nowadays regardless if it's remixed or not. Way too cheesy, too edgy and doesn't give the Warlord enough justice.
We have Fragmented now; this nightmare-inducing apocalyptic song is the image of this map (info soon). It'll be based on the youtube version (the one in G59 is an old one, and doesn't have that dissonant piano interlude); it has an ambient songsection which is basically the song itself (but hella shortened to 3-4 minutes) without any of the bassline. The action songsection, used for the boss here, is the original Fragmented but with the intro being skipped.

So, why the Fragmented choice after all? Turns out Demonlords' Lair (note that it is Demonlords now, not Demonlord's) has become its own map instead of just a boss encounter. After you cross the red doors, you can't go back to Nali Castle anymore; you'll instead cross an abandoned set of torture chambers that truly feel out of DemonKeep's beginning parts (the Unreal custom mappacks), including lava pools and dead impaled/crucified/gibbed Nali all over the place. No music and almost no sound, though the more you proceed, the more you'll hear both of the Warlord's "ScaryN" call sounds from the distance. Also the place around appears to be tilted, probably sunken and destroyed.

You eventually get out and you'll feel the exact same situation from G59's Verflucht level - Fragmented starts playing, in a massive cave and in front of you there's RTNP's castle level ported here, sitting over a lava lake. The cave itself is not the same one from Demonlord's Lair but it's in the same style - lots of bright lava, and it is really bright reddish (compared to the magma cave below the Resistance Lake which was very much pitch black). Note that the entire cave can't be seen at once, parts of it are only visible from certain points of the map, and the boss area is separated from the section you're in (and the boss area is the real deal in terms of size).
The RTNP castle itself is slightly based on the G59's iteration; while there's a lot of more castles around burning in the lava, they are just for decoration and outside of the playable area overall (some bridges that you could use to go to these isolated structures are also destroyed). However, indoor areas are available instead. You also can't go down because of lava, so you're stuck on the main floor only.
The place got a very chaotic atmosphere that's hellish, and with a similar feel to what's seen in the Fragmented video. You basically see a world in flames, unrealistic imagery of castles falling apart, burning permanently, lava waterfalls and craters everywhere, crooked stalactites on the ceiling of the entire cave and overall the size of the place is 20x larger (including the non-playable areas) compared to the original Demonlord's Lair.
One thing to point out is that almost all the castle buildings in this cave (except ones outside of the playable area that are in flames or completely wrecked) sit on large rocks, not straight into the lava. You get out of Nali Castle that's instead sticking off the cave mountain.

Castle textures you see here are not NaliC.utx's regular ones but are based on a gray/darkened version of the Shanechurch.utx textures. The story here, from the few messages you'll be reading (there's even a library here!), speaks about a noble line of truly tyrannical and despicable Nali who were so awful and drugged up of magic power, they liked to live in these magma caves, in an era where Nali Castle wasn't a thing yet but simply a secret entrance to this location. They were called "Demonlords", which explains the lore behind the location's name; it being re-used as a waiting spot for the Warlord is just a coincidence.
The Nali here enjoyed spreading their doomsday prophecies and were believed to cause catastrophic natural phenomenons throughout the planet for a while. Their beloved deity was also Dasa, "creator of Tarydium". And so, the entity they believed on one day created such crystal of incredible power, capable of altering the planet's gravitational pull to be so strong to the point of pulling just about any starship, and attracting eventually the attention of the Skaarj, Mercenaries, etc...
Whatever then happened to these Nali is unknown - not even until the first invasion of the Skaarj, a massive earthquake caused their lava land to fall apart, making the already unstable place (which they somehow liked) even worse. Some of these Nali might have died, some might have teleported elsewhere. Nali Castle was then built afterwards, and luckily it was one of the places that were ignored in the first Skaarj invasion, where the aliens focused more on Bluff and Triton's castle. Wasn't too lucky in the second and current invasion, since the Mothership landed in a nearby abyssal crater - caused by one of the disasters "summoned" by the Demonlords Nali (as everyone may guess).
This is anyway why the Nali of Triton, Velora and partly of Bluff always had their sights over the Nali Castle because they feared the Demonlords were still living there under different aliases.

This map, for how evil and spectacular it looks (let's be honest, walking in massive medieval ruins/castles in a heavy hellish lava-themed environment is a depressing sight and the music doesn't help cheering things up - that Apocalypse game on PS1 who starred Bruce Willis ended with the same exact tone), should pretend being the final level of the game.
People who played the original Unreal won't definitely think this but others who did otherwise will do - the boss fight is the part that will give the best of that feeling (you also never get to know how many locations are still missing), almost like a Dark Souls final fight.

This map is therefore divided in three parts post the entrance areas:
  • The whole RTNP's Escape From Na Pali section that's more or less already described above. It's pretty linear barring optional areas, and you'll be fighting Krall Elites (no regular ones), stationary Brutes, Skaarj Snipers (hiding on top of places that you can't reach, including outer castles! They are armed with Railguns) and a Behemoth who guards the final room. None of the placements from the original RTNP levels are used, same story with items. The place has red/purple torches and it'll look likely very different in terms of detail due to the Shanechurch theme, so expect probably major brush rework to comply with more gothic-oriented theme (looking at you DoublezDown's gothic custom levels). There are huge chains from the ruins you walk on there that are attached to the cave, for stability purposes. Some earthquakes occur and you see stuff falling into the lava every now and then, including possible walkable parts so watch out where you walk (it'll be quite obvious when this happens however).
  • Similar to G59's Verflucht, there's this giant castle at the end (NOT THE SAME, just similar and smaller) that covers whatever there's on the other side of the cave. Warlord.umx keeps playing, and now you have a full indoor location to work with. Most of the ammo and items will be located here and theme-wise this is going to be some sort of clean residential area (the major home of the Demonlords), similar to how it looked in G59 with several floors, etc... You can go on terraces or view outside through windows to see other parts of the cave and buildings in flames. The basement area is barely accessible as it's completely wrecked. You'll be fighting Skaarj Gunners and Krall Elites and you'll have to search for a panel to activate the exit door. Before you can exit the place, you have to beat a Skaarj Lord. Overall this section lasts a lot of minutes and there are regular castle rooms of every kind - think of something like EXU2's Hellcastle which is amazing (even from the exterior). GET ALL THE ITEMS YOU NEED BEFORE YOU GET OUT! And activate your Power Shield item too (unless you have it on already and it's full).
  • Beyond this castle there's the big ass cave and the boss fight. The lava cave itself, this time showing its newly innate insane wideness, has way more islands you can walk on. The peak to the boss is still there, and he's waiting in the same way like he did in the original Unreal. Music stops, the door behind you gets locked and in front of the Warlord you can see an excavated tunnel leading somewhere but the holo-bridge to it is turned off and the panel to turn it on requires too much time for P849 to figure out how to use, especially when the boss is attacking you constantly. People who never played Unreal will see this Warlord appearance as an unexpected one (you will never get to know he was coming), while veterans might try to do the stalactite trick again. Except this time, once you shoot the stalactite to make it fall down, the Warlord will instantly figure the trick and will destroy the stone in time with a rocket, swag-style, and then he'll turn at you with an air of somebody who thinks it's gonna be ez. HP boss bar and the true version of Fragmented (skipping the intro though) will begin playing when the Warlord is ready to attack you.

The Skaarj Warlord in this game, after you see what a Skaarj Lord can do, is going to be another new kind of beast. The Warlord, in this specific battle, has 1500 HP (which makes sense since he'll teleport away and not die) and has 50% resistance against Burned damage. His default HP is 3000. The arena here, even if it's way larger than the original Unreal one, it still is dangerous because you can't always tell the borders and the lava will instantly kill you even if you get too close. The Warlord doesn't seem to mind this however, he'll be trying to sunk these islands into the lava by shooting at them during the battle (it's heavily scripted shit and will be as less annoying as possible).
The Warlord doesn't have anymore a retarded AI and his movements spell FREEDOM. He can fly/dodge in any direction and has a lot of unique animations for doing so. Visually, the Warlord looks slightly different minus the face (which looks better, has more of a mask and the eyes are gloooowing red): the wings are improved, more natural and demon-looking, and the interior parts are slightly translucent. The armor is different; remember the UT Necris male one? The one specifically made for the PS2 with the spiky shoulders? It's going to look a bit like that one (the spikes are huge and curved to the back for the Warlord), and the general color theme is black with a tiny bit of red. The skin is darker too but it still feels like molten crater.
The gun is completely redesigned and looks as big as the boss' arm. It's based on the Peacemaker skin, metallic gray/blue. In terms of model, it's like an edited UT2k4 Redeemer, with the back of the gun heavily extended due its new features; the special attacks also cause overheating effects on the weapon model (small orange glow + smoke). The creature's overall size is the same as before. He also has a lot of hi-tech tools on some parts of his body (arms and chest), which are used for special attacks. Who does the Warlord think he is, MegaMan? Either way, in this version of the game, story-wise Skaarj Warlords completely differ from each other in just about anything, even in shape. Higher commanding Warlords also exist but you never get to see one.

Regarding movement speed: the acceleration is overall the same but the maximum running speed is higher; regarding air speed, the Warlord is capable of fast glides in any direction. He can also land or start flying very dynamically with almost no delay. The Warlord will treat water as air but all his actions are slowed by 10% - he also does a great job staying away from lava (just, don't expect him to do stupid mistakes this time around lol).

Regarding AI...
The Warlord switches between ground and flight mode depending on the opponent, be either player characters or even other enemies (Warlords only attack Terrans, Nali and Mercenaries on sight). Is the opponent very scared, barely moves, shoots less and prefers retreating (aka acting like a Krall)? Warlord will just stay on ground. If the opponent is competent, the Warlord will strongly prefer flight mode. So you might ask, if the flight mode appears to be better why the Warlord doesn't just stick to it? It's because Warlord's melee attacks are waaaay better on ground in terms of speed and versatility. While this mostly matters for enemies, weak players might not be good enough to dodge these melees and will be finished in nothing. Against players, Warlords will get to know their APM (actions per minute) value they had when fighting enemies in the ongoing level. If the value is high enough, the Warlord will go flight mode; during the battle, the Warlord will however constantly update his battle style upon the player's APM performance. Warlord won't immediately change his AI decisions, though.

The Warlord begins the battle always in this way after doing a specific attack that does anything but damage: he'll just walk down the peak while looking at you like a cocky ass (but authority equals asskicking), as long as you don't shoot anything, then suddenly he'll stop and will taunt and laugh at you in various ways for a while. If you don't do anything still and you wait enough time, the Warlord will point and charge his gun at you in a slow and steady way (you'd expect he's joking but) and then he'll actually shoot you and begin the battle for real. If you shoot him prematurely, he'll instantly teleport somewhere and begins attacking like normal.

So here's a list of what the Warlord can do. Warlords have access to never-seen-before top secret Skaarj tech, and some of the attacks are incomprehensible for Terrans or other less advanced races to understand and to replicate. Warlord's rockets don't deal any sort of elemental damage and they leave reddish explosion, which means something is up with their technology.
  • The Red Ring of Debilitation: this is the attack the Warlord does at the beginning before walking down mid, and he'll do it just once. After assuming some sort of power stance for a second, an enormous red ring of particle energy spreads out from his back to the whole cave very fast (he engulfs the place with this red ring that temporarily darkens the place around a bit, with the general lighting remaining unnaturally altered till the end of the boss fight), leaving also a loud plasma-like sound effect. It's very unexpected and since it does no damage, you don't understand what this attack does. What it does in reality is disruption, by permanently blocking his opponents from doing some actions, which depends on who the opponent is. When it comes to the player characters, upon hit by this ring they won't be able to use any item except the Translator, Flashlight, Seeds, Anti-Grav Boots, SCUBA Gear (lol) and the VoiceBox; it will also halves your current Shield Belt and Power Shield values, plus Power Shields in the inventory cannot be turned on. So if you have a Power Shield before the fight, use it on regardless.
    On other pawn examples, Nali can't use any magic, Skaarj Lords cannot use teleport, Skaarj Troopers can't activate their shields, Mercenaries can't use any of their shield/trance modes, Kraal can't go in smoke form and so on. The attack impacts anybody in the current location, both enemies and allies excluding Warlord and Queen pawns. This somehow matters in the story but for later; according to the lore, this skill is made to immediately give a Warlord an advantage in the battlefield and so far there is no known counter, nor info on what is the energy source. The more technologically advanced the target is (it impacts ANYTHING, even machines), the more it gets weakened. It also blocks all magic.
  • Rockets. The Warlord will now shoot always with one arm, with over-confidence as seen in his animations, and overall his rate of fire is higher, even higher if he doesn't walkfire (even in flight) - expect indeed him to shoot rockets one after one without a break. He will also heavily rely on the splash damage, so don't expect him to shoot straight at you - he'll aim instead on the nearby ground. The rocket design hasn't changed at all but the trail and impact effects are insanely improved. Damage is 65 HP on full hit. Warlord can shoot during any dodge move, and these combined actions are not cancellable.
  • Triple homing rockets. Based on his shooting style from the Unreal Beta, the Warlord will charge his gun (you can see it glowing + smoke) only when his actions are moving around. After two seconds, the Warlord can fire any time a trio of rockets that home to your position. Only one target can be chosen at a time. The three rockets have 90% chances to hit the targets and each one deals 50 HP per direct hit (150 HP can be dealt in total); with their splash damage it's very hard, if not impossible, to dodge, and the Warlord does this attack pretty frequently. So what you do? Turns out these rockets can be destroyed. They have 10 HP each, and with something like the Minigun or the Stinger you can easily deal with them (homing rockets aren't that fast either). Warlord can use this attack even while moving but not during dodges.
  • Rocket avalanche. Fully new attack: the Warlord, only when standing still both in air and on ground, will charge his gun to the point of overheating, making it glow of a very visible red instead of orange. He'll also hold the gun with both arms. After 3 seconds of charge, the Warlord will shoot a barrage of an uncountable amount of small rockets - let's say he shoots for 10 seconds straight, 8 rockets per second as an average. These rockets generate a lot of smoke so it's likely it may cause visibility issues. Warlord is almost immobile during this attack and his turn rate doesn't fare much better; if you started to run on time, it's unlikely he'll be able to reach you. If all else fails, dodge or jump too. The splash damage radius is small and the total damage this attack deals can surpass 300 HP. The Warlord with his rocket barrage will only go after one enemy, without switching to any other one. He can cancel the attack during the charge but cannot cancel shit after the rocket barrage begins. This attack also puts the Warlord at its most vulnerable state; while the mini rockets might destroy/block various projectiles thrown at him, this won't stop other coop players to attack the Warlord from different angles. Anyway, be sure to run when the attack is about to come out because you may not be able to outrun the rockets if you're too late. Warlord doesn't like using this attack if the arena isn't large enough.
  • Fire meatball. The Warlord turns around his gun backwards and hand it on his right arm, revealing a secret cannon hidden in its backside. Some sort of solar twister machine at works: the Warlord waves his gun around clockwise, charging fire energy into the gun and eventually creating a flaming orb that will be thrown like a bouncing and rolling meteor on the ground which goes in a single direction for a set amount of miles until its power dissipates to nothingness. Charge-up takes 1.5 seconds; if it's charged on ground, the Warlord completely stops; if it's charged on flight, the Warlord slows down until fully stopping. Differences between shooting the orb on ground or on flight is pretty minimal - on ground the shooting momentum is higher (max range always achieved), while on air the Warlord can choose how much farther the orb is thrown on ground (the more it's shoot farther, the higher is the orb's range until it disappears). The orb deals up to 30 HP per half-second and you just need to get close to the orb to be damaged because solar energy is that powerful. Lastly, it leaves a burning trail which remains for 15 seconds and deals 2 HP per 0.25 seconds upon touch. To be fair, it's simple to dodge but slow and huge targets will get wrecked pretty hard; you can't also ignore the annoyance caused by multiple burning trails on ground. While the trail does Burned damage, the orb itself deals pure damage and ignores resistances.
  • Melee attacks get their own section list, as the Warlord's melee system is completely rewritten from scratch, and he can melee on air too. Similar to current hack'n'slash games, Warlord's melee attacks create particle effects that go after the animations.
    • Regular melee attacks in the air. A gun slash, an air punch, a backflip kick. Standard shit but it's rare they're going to be used against you, since you aren't flying. Against other monsters, then yes. Each melee strike deals 70 HP and the Warlord melees continuously, changing angle toward the enemy after every successful attack.
    • Regular melee attacks on the ground. When you simply get close to him, he'll kick you. He has three different kick animations that are all the same in practice. 70 HP per hit and the combo itself is fast. Only issue is that light targets like the player will get blown away with just one kick, which usually follows with the Warlord moving away or slaughtering the player with rockets. However the Warlord might do a triple kicking combo on players with the help of teleporting (teleport then kick, rinse and repeat two times with the other two additional kicking animations). Players have to dodge these continuous strikes at the right time.
    • Dive strike. The Warlord, when flying, will literally dive with his punch onward toward a ground target. Deals 70 HP and it's rather fast, dangerous if the Warlord is close to the ground. Definitely requires dodging to avoid. There's a tiny delay before the dive begins, as the Warlord needs to charge his body up.
    • Explosive dive strike. Same as above but now the Warlord uses the solar power of his gun to propels himself into the ground. Technically everything is the same except the boss is engulfed by flames and the dive on impact causes a flashy explosion, dealing splash damage. The damage itself remains the same, it's just the attack is even harder if not impossible to avoid due to splash damage (at least you'll get harmed less). However, this enhanced attack costs 50 HP for the Warlord.
    • Dash punch. Warlord dives it in with a long dash, ultimately reaching the target with straight first that heavily damages it and sends it backwards depending on the target's mass. The dash has a maximum range but the Warlord always makes sure it's a guaranteed strike - that as long as the target doesn't side-dodge the punch. It deals 80 HP and for the player, this strike can send him flying backward for quite a lot. Don't be surprised if the Warlord throws you into the lava in this way. The Warlord can do this both on air and on the ground, especially on ground which is pretty sudden, and can do it right after a teleport. The Warlord may afterwards proceed with his melee combo.
    • Uppercut. Deals 30 HP and sends the target in the air unless the mass is high (excluding targets like the Skaarj Berserker, Behemoths, bosses, etc...). The Warlord uses to enjoy this after teleporting next to a target or as a part of a combo. This is a ground only attack.
    • Combo. The Warlord has melee combos that are cool but usually spell "game over". These involve in something like teleport next to player -> uppercut -> rocket in the face, dash punch -> teleport uppercut -> rocket in the face, kick -> teleport kick -> teleport kick, teleport uppercut -> flying dash punch -> teleport -> flying dash punch, dash strike -> teleport uppercut -> rocket in the face -> explosive dive strike and the worst: dash strike -> teleport uppercut -> rocket in the face -> teleport -> solar meatball (game over lol! It's rare however).
      Since these combos don't really work too well against heavy targets, the Warlord will be bringing some A-tier hit and run melee tactics by teleporting.
  • Teleport. Similar to the Skaarj Lord as it's technology-based rather than natural skill, and the Warlord gets this cool black smoke + red sparks effects upon teleporting, it's like he gets in and out from a portal. Unlike the Lords, Warlord spams the teleport way less, using it for offensive decisions only like the melee combo or surprise rocket attacks but never for dodging (yet, Warlord's offensive uses of the teleport system are devastating). Another thing the Warlord can do is teleporting but not instantly appearing somewhere; instead he'll wait a while and then ambush you by teleporting in again (this is good against the Impaler's secondary fire). If the Warlord somehow touches something hazardous like the lava, he'll instantly teleport away from it. He cannot telefrag lastly, due to the tech not allowing teleporting into organic beings.
  • Red energy shield. An improved version of the Trooper's handheld shield, except it's bigger, crimson red and nothing passes through it (no projectiles work). The Warlord can use this with impunity in any regular movement action and activation/deactivation comes with almost no delay; cannot be used while attacking or dodging. This is what make the boss a real ass, as it forces players to hit him in the right moments otherwise you'd be just wasting ammo. The red energy shield is glowing and translucent, behind you can see the Warlord like it's a black shadow with red eyes, so it's kinda cool.
  • Atomizing field. Or something like that. The Warlord on land puts his hand on the ground like it's about to channel something. Indeed he'll be filling part of the terrain that has you on top with red energy, creating a field of randomly generated symbols. Once the "drawing" is done, all this energy on ground violently dissipates into dark, weird and very blurry red smoke upward all at once. Any creature that isn't a machine and isn't of Skaarj origin WILL BE DISINTEGRATED ON THE SPOT DURING THIS ENERGY DISSIPATION (insta-kill damage); who can stay in without dying are any Skaarj Troopers/Warriors, any Brutes, any Slith, any Pupae, any Skaarj Hawk, Turrets, Cyborgs, a currently unknown creature, Skaarj Fighters, Droth, Skaarj Falcon, the Warlord himself and two other bosses. Warlord won't bother anyway using this attack against pawns immune to it. Regarding the attack itself, the Warlord is fully vulnerable and cannot cancel anything; what's bad news however is the range: it is almost unlimited and does its best to engulf any opponent on the battlefield he's fighting against. Thanksfully the Warlord always loves to stay close to you, so the seconds you see the Warlord randomly landing and about to move his hand, it's time run and dodge the fuck away in a single direction to get out of the set range of the attack; the range is decided once the energy begins to flow on the ground, and the bigger is the range the higher is the amount of time to finish the attack (minimum charge time is around 5 seconds). The Warlord, as I said, it's fully vulnerable to firepower in this way but he may take some precautions first. He also doesn't like using this attack much - only when he has a lot of HP and if the arena is large enough.
  • Body strengthening. At the cost of 1 HP per 0.5 seconds, for 25 seconds (so 50 HP lost in total), the Warlord engulfs himself of a visible red aura and his actions become 15% faster (note: his movements only, not external energy actions like the atomizing field itself) and he gains a 50% resistance to any attack except pure. Used occasionally, especially before the atomizing field attack or the rocket barrage. You'd better fucking run than wasting ammo, unless you go full-on with the Impaler lol.
  • Pain sharing tool. If you played Warlock in Dota2 then you may get the idea: the Warlord will quickly throw a little bomb on the ground that immediately explodes; this explosion scatters mini-machines that land and stick on any pawn around, including Warlord's allies. There's no way to dodge this unless you're far away from the explosion (which is impossible in a 1vs1 fight). Now, in the next 30 seconds, 75% of any damage dealt on the Warlord will be instantly and simultaneously shared on all pawns (you hit the Warlord, red electric beams from the Warlord strike the jewels on these mini-machines stuck in the victims' bodies, damaging them). There's no way to dispel this so you better wait all these 30 seconds without damaging the Warlord. Body strengthening won't trigger this UNLESS you shoot the Warlord when the aura is up, making shooting even more of a liability when that skill is used. The Warlord will play fair however so don't expect him to damage himself in any way (lore-wise this isn't true but that's only if the Warlord would be really desperate to win). The downside is that the attack will impact allies if they are around, with the Warlord himself not giving much of a shit. Players can know when this pain sharing tool goes off as the screen borders become temporarily and steadily orange.
  • Oil pit. Warlord throws a fat ball that looks like a beehive on the ground, which explodes on impact. Visible boiling oil out of it spreads for a quite large radius (as large as your regular Demonlord's Lair walkable island) staying online for 32 seconds. Any unit inside this oil pit gets their acceleration decreased by 75%. Emphasis on "acceleration" - if you run through it from outside, you aren't slowed down at all but if you run in it, stop and begins moving, you are slowed because your acceleration is broken down to bits (and this impacts every movement). So keep moving around and don't ever jump/dodge while on the pit because both moves will impact your acceleration. So much shit you have to take in account when the atomizing field or solar orb's burning trails are used in the meanwhile, lol. And yeah, this oil pit synergies very well with the solar meatball.
  • The Warlord has another attack that won't be used in this encounter, that's for later.

Regarding the sounds...
Nothing so different except the Warlord sounds louder and slightly more distorted. He has now more laugh/growl sounds to choose from.

Regarding taunting...
In a surprising twist, the Warlord in this game is fully serious and will never taunt during battle. He'll just typically growl, and laughs when he does successful things like getting damaged with the pain sharing tool is in full activity or during melee combos. The closest to actual taunts is when he runs down the peak at the beginning of the battle, where he looks at you with "interest" and doing all sorts of funny movements including the decapitation one.
This taunt system replaces the unused mutilation one.

Regarding special AI things...
The Warlord is the only creature who can chase opponents throughout different locations.
He can also kill various low-level creatures like non-fighting Nali, Flies, Cows, small Mantas, Devilfish, Stingrays, Spinners, non-packleader Predators, Blobs and Tentacles with a single, special melee attack.
As already mentioned, Warlord hates Nali, Cows and Mercenaries on sight. He also really dislikes Flies. He also loves to destroy Fruits - mind this if you want to use Seeds.
The Warlord is indifferent to allies (including other Warlords) and fully plays his own game against anybody.
Warlords have unique fatality killer animations against Nali, Terrans (players too) and Mercenaries.
Forgot if I had to write more stuff.

Regarding Warlord's lore...
Some Skaarj Scouts, Warriors or Assassins, full of rage, may evolve into Berserkers or die. Some of them, full of loyalty to their own race, may evolve into Lords or die. The extremely rare Skaarj Lords who make it to the next stage of evolution become Warlords. One Warlord per every thousand Lords.
Skaarj Warlords are the sole commanders of Skaarj platoons who are ready to conquer places. Warlords evolve in different ways, some are weaker, some are stronger, some don't differ much from a Lord, some become unrecognizable monsters. The Na Pali's Warlord you're fighting is the middle way of evolution type and he is known for his arrogance. Who is able to back it up with his power.
There might be other lower Warlords on the planet but this one is the only thing standing between Prisoner 849 and the Mothership.
-Note that P849, and therefore the players, may still think of this Warlord battle as the final one of the game and don't expect to be going to the Mothership directly afterwards. Game would be marketed also as if this is the final battle too just for mere trolling.

Regarding the rest of the battle...
The players have to figure out how to damage the Warlord in the middle of all his attacks, dodge movements and usages of the anti-all red shield. Warlord's attack combinations are tough. This fine re-creation of this boss should be as tough as an high-end/final Souls boss, it's expected for the players to die a fucking lot until they figure out how to beat him. Even if he has 1500 HP and has skills that cost health, the players are expected to dump all their weapons' ammunition against him. Besides, all the useful items cannot be used and Shield Belts are nerfed in this battle.
As I said somewhere, the Warlord destroys the most exterior walkable islands with rockets every now and then, making the arena progressively smaller (but still big) until a certain point.
Droth might still be harder overall since you had much less limited inventory, he had multiple insta-kill attack, a way smaller arena and you had no Impaler. Warlord might be likely as hard though without Impaler.

When the Warlord's HP reaches zero (he won't use HP-costing abilities if this means him dying), he laughs loudly and teleports away. A small cutscene shows him over a distant big crater (this crater mimics the one seen in the original Demonlord's Lair cave) and the Warlord begins to shoot the same crater he's on and random spot in the whole cave. This causes massive earthquakes and lava to explode everywhere, with him apparently being engulfed in said lava, believed dead (while still laughing).

You have to escape now: activate the electric bridge to go in the excavated cave, then RUN TO IT fast. The lava surface level elevates until a certain point, filling the whole arena. When you are in a safe spot, you can see what will then happen in the cave, with all the remaining castles, including the big residence, all fully crashing down. Spectacular.

When you're done, proceed to the unknown in the next level.

Nali Priest Nali Priest
Posts: 7913
Joined: 11 Nov 2007, 21:00

Subject: Re: Myself imagining a HD Unreal 1 remake

Post Posted: 30 Jun 2017, 15:05

Crater 7
MUSIC: Crater.umx
Map title has been changed from Demon Crater to Crater 7. I didn't want two maps in a row with "Demon" in their titles. The "7" comes from Demon Crater originally being known as FHub7. Crater 7 is a Skaarj codename given to the Mothership's main exterior outpost.

Crater.umx is fairly different. A lot of people mentioned how it partly sounded similar to Metroid's music (like Brinstar). Since today people are so quick to notice (and attack) things, especially when it comes to Nintendo shit, might as well not run into trouble and get then the song remixed. After the current Demonlords' Lair, the theme change must not be that drastic and this version of Demon Crater is going to be more industrial-like, more Deus Ex-ish/7Bullets-ish, as the infiltration game becomes once again a thing. If the original Crater had to follow the current Warlord boss it would be horrible and inconsistent (something I learnt when making G59 is not making tension/atmosphere suddenly lenient between levels).
Music will follow suit: the regular ambient songsection will be made to sound very serious, sorta like Vanderberg. Something creepy, in the sense that an ambush is always about to happen.
The action songsection is going to have a drum'n'bass remix a la Cybernetika's Forged For Battle (which you might have heard in the boss fight for G59's Nexus conversion). It's going to be rather long likely (4-6 minutes) since when it pops up, it's going to be a long battle.
The third and unused songsection (the one that sounds the most like Metroid) will be rearranged from scratch. It will sound something like fully sci-fi, and it's used for the Mothership "reveal" view. Filmscore/glitch music, I guess.

After getting in this cave, the passage to Demonlords' Lair will crumble so you can't go back anymore. You'll be entering an abandoned storage base inside this large cave. It's all dark and gray, devoid of life, and all you see are Skaarj lamps, big iron crates and a huge diagonal elevator (similar to the one seen in ONP's first map, near the end). There are also some teleport pods turned off here, with few of them being used to bring stuff from the Underflow (once again, you can't use these).
Crater.umx's ambient songsection begins playing here, by the way.
There are no enemies for now; instead you'll get items from the crates that are essential after the Warlord's battle. The Invisibility and Dampener will be the absolute combo in this map as it will bring back again the stealth elements seen in ALFA62 and the Underflow - this is the last level in Unreal to do so, and the harsher one in terms of punishments.

Now, things start to get dangerous the moment you begin to use the diagonal elevator to climb up in the mountain, leading to the pre-Crater's outpost (which is still a storage for stuff brought from other locations, like Tarydium, ammo and whatever else is useful for the Skaarj). You have four choices:
  • Hiding in one of the elevator's crates. When you reach up above, an event plays where the elevator crates are being taken into the main outpost and put alongside other boxes (it's a black screen transition, for the most part - you'll be only hearing sounds). You are not spotted, probably because the ones who carry the crates themselves are the Brutes and Brutes are sort of dumb. After the cutscene, you can get out of the crate; you start out from one of six random spots in the main storage area.
  • You turn on the Invisibility when the elevator comes up top. Sneak through the Brutes (there are three of them plus a Behemoth) and get into the storage.
  • Same as above, except you sneak through by hiding behind things. Dampener helps but it's not required. Hard.
  • You shoot everyone you see and instantly begin the big bad battle inside the storage area.
The gist of the map is, once again like the other stealth ones, go out unscathed but it's trickier this time around. The problem arises from the fact you have to go to the top floor, the real outpost spot itself where you can see the Mothership. Problem being is that, to go there, you have to turn on the emergency generator in the basement (the Skaarj are using whatever energy they have and can get for the Mothership, for reasons currently unknown), and doing that will put the whole base in alert with all the Skaarj present in the place about to hunt you down (with an almost perfect successful rate).
Also this time, you'll have to go through the door (now really big) in the basement in order to enter the Mothership - no more portal shit now, basically you go in the basement to turn on the generator to unlock the access to the top outpost, then go to the top outpost and unlock the basement exit door to go to the Mothership.

The storage area, built inside a cave and very much Skaarj in design (a la Outpost 3J), is made of three large floors, plus the basement and the top outpost. The second floor is the largest one.
Each floor is filled of crates of different kind, Skaarj lamps similar to the ones seen in the original Demon Crater and floor access is done throughout slope pathways or elevators. It makes use of the original game's storage as a base (the way how you go to the basement and to the top tower isn't different at all) but overall it's a massive extension, there's a lot of space to play with and you can see the second and third floor down from the first one in order to quickly imagine how huge the new Crater storage actually is.
Around the location you can find more items (including a Power Shield), with most of them being reachable through intelligent use of the Anti-Grav Boots. There is also a lot of ammo and health, scattered around throughout the whole three-floors area. Don't miss the extra Invisibility/Dampener powerups that might be life-saving.

The other item of interest (and the last new one to obtain in the game) you may easily find is the Searchlight. It'll work as an upgrade to the Flashlight (the latter item gets completely replaced). Beyond the fact that it's infinite, the light color has a noticeable blue hue and can spot invisible units rather easily. Also note that the light comes from over your head (you have the thing equipped real time on your character's model when it's active), unlike the Flashlight which was a shoulder accessory.

The enemies here are nothing short of surprising: Brutes, Behemoths, Skaarj Troopers/Infantries/Gunners/Officers, a Skaarj Assassin and a Skaarj Lord. There's a catch though: while Brutes and Behemoths are effectively patrolling around already, the Troopers caste will instead appear later by teleporting in or coming from the basement, in less than a minute.
Reason why Troopers are dangerous is because of their ability to see invisible units, forcing the player to constantly take note of their movements while at the same time staying far away from them and avoiding being spotted. It's all about range: if they are close to you, even if you are hiding behind a crate and with the Invisibility turned on, them and their infrared googles will still get you. So you have to stay afar and have a lot of patience as the Skaarj will take fixed but long routes (they'll do one lap each). If you get spotted you have to fight, otherwise reload the game and retry, memorize their movements and keep hiding.
The Skaarj will eventually stop at certain locations and eventually retire, and your next target should be a Skaarj Assassin walking to the basement. When he does that, infiltrate the basement yourself too and try to kill him as fast as possible (if you enter the basement beforehand, the Assassin will inevitably spot you inside the room and goes up triggering the alarm); use the Searchlight to find him quickly (as the place is dark, too).
Once you're done with that, you might want to wait a bit more before all the Troopers above are gone; you can look at the big closed door that you'll soon pass through and read some messages - message-wise this map doesn't have much, just info on crate items, Skaarj orders, generator status and Mothership bullshit that doesn't seem to be any important at the moment. When the generator is turned on and with the Troopers gone (if they weren't, the alarm would've went on; they disappear after a set time throughout teleport pods in the storage area), you can now make your way to the top tower, still avoiding patrolling Brutes and Behemoths.

You'll eventually arrive at the redesigned top outpost, with lots of panels, the window (closed for now) and a Skaarj Sniper minding his own business who can be easily killed with a charged GES blog + Dampener. As you activate the big door in the basement, the window to the Mothership opens up, with the ship itself in front of you accompanied by a big flash of light and Crater.umx's redone unused songsection playing. This should be another visual showcase of the game.

The Mothership is in front of you. It's big, it's large, and the crater is immense. The Mothership itself looks extremely complex in terms of details and there are lights everywhere... almost like you're looking at some alien city in full activity, probably due to the fast smoke flying around and the lightning storm right above the starship which leaves continuous green thunderbolts. It's a lot like in Matrix style, black and green together once again showing how cool this color combo is (this is/was the Unreal 1 menu's color combo too, which is even more fitting). About the crater, there's now a full fledged abyss instead of the ground itself; basically the Mothership is standing there thanks to its directional long arms sticking on the mountains around, like it's a fucking enormous crawling devil climbing from the center of the planet. It also appears the ship is taller, i.e. the height almost reaches the outpost's window level.
You can't see much of the abyss except the bottom part of the Mothership going down (and more green flashing lights can be seen) but now there's a set of iron bridges connecting the basement's large doorway to a newly made Mothership entrance, in which you'll be going. No more portal that leads to the the inner part of the Mothership itself.
Once the "Mothership reveal" songsection ends (it's a full blown 1+ minute song), it goes back to Crater.umx's ambient theme. When you're done watching how cool the Mothership is, open the basement door and go back there. You still have to dodge the Brutes/Behemoths in the storage if you are going for the stealth route.

Before I'll say what's up next, I gotta describe what happens if you decide to fight in the storage area. The moment you get spotted ANY TIME, a big battle occurs. An alarm is triggered, Crater.umx's remixed action songsection plays and all the enemies in the area will go after you, alongside all those Troopers/Infantries/Gunners/Officers that temporarily patrol the place. No matter what you do, those Troopers will always teleport in if the alarm is triggered, even after they are gone (the only reason they patrol is to make your stealth life harder for a bunch of minutes).
When the battle is on, you don't want to rush by opening the basement doorway asap as the enemies will chase you everywhere; you will eventually die because your way is blocked by their high amount.
Your only choice is to basically KILL EVERYONE (Brutes and Troopers) in the storage area, exploiting the environment as much as possible due to the maze-y nature of the place, alcoves you can find every now and then that enemies can't pass through, Anti-Grav Boots giving you some jumping edge, and so on. You have to watch out at the Behemoths' homing rockets that will be constantly hunting you - so there's no point hiding as the enemies will know where you are. Keep moving, keep killing. It's a very hard battle though as there are a lot of enemies simultaneously fighting you (we're talking about around 30 in total, plus the appearing Skaarj Assassin), which sorta forces the player to go for the stealth route. But that's all up to you.
The only time when you are spotted and the battle doesn't begin immediately, is with the Skaarj Assassin in the basement. If he sees you there, he'll have to go back to the storage first in order to note his allies that there's an intruder.
When everyone's dead, the ambient music begins playing again and you've got to do now the same things. However there's another drawback for letting yourself spotted, later in the map...

Going out of the basement door, you'll reach these metallic bridges leading to the Mothership's new side entrance. Below you there's an abyss, above you an alien lightning storm, around you incomprehensible metallic things.
The entrance is guarded by two Behemoths, sorta problematic to fight on these bridges as the rockets might push you down. When they are dead, you can proceed in.
You'll enter some set of large corridors a la Mothership Basement; if you were spotted in the storage room, most of these corridors will be filled of moving laser traps! Nothing too hard though: they do instantly kill you but their movements are less sophisticated (not that wavey shit from the original Unreal anymore).
The place around feels extremely alien, way different than the original Mothership in atmosphere. The lighting, instead of being very bright, it's now dark, almost gray like the industrial Skaarj environments seen in some custom packs. Makes sense that the reptilian+insect based Skaarj race should actually prefer dark environments rather than bright ones... either way, the energy flowing around (including the laser beams) should be mostly green, with rare batches of blue and orange colors. Elevators are completely made of energy too. More build info in the next level description.

You'll find a bunch of big doors that all lead to the same place but only one of them is accessible. And of course it's guarded by a Skaarj Lord.
These doors lead to energetic elevators (the energy floor appears almost invisible and produces circular electronic waves when you walk on it) that go down... and then the level ends. You can't go back anymore.

In the storage room there's a very hidden item/event if you can find it. It appears to be some sort of syringe that upon obtaining, will trigger a cutscene of Prisoner 849 immediately injecting it in his arm. Vision becomes blurry for some seconds, with the screen colors becoming green/orange/blue randomly. Then nothing happens, for now. It'll be useful for the next level.

Nali Priest Nali Priest
Posts: 7913
Joined: 11 Nov 2007, 21:00

Subject: Re: Myself imagining a HD Unreal 1 remake

Post Posted: 07 Jul 2017, 16:49

Skaarj Mothership
MUSIC: Unreal4.umx, Warlord.umx
Unreal4.umx aka Erosion is going to have an improved version of the ambient songsection where all its samples are remastered to the point of sounding so clear that they pierce your skull (almost reese bass level, at times). It amps up the hypnotic effects of the original song and make it sound even more alien, and you feel an even weirder, unknown-ish atmosphere in the Mothership where the player feels confusion and stress, yet interested on what's around and the cool idea of such a massive break from reality. The vocal samples will be much more noticeable and might also sound different (up to five sets of vocals) every time the song plays.
The action songsection now has the frantic intro being fully attached and together they're connected and remixed as a whole. Now it comes even closer to a dance song with an extended second half with some new music parts, incorporating also said frantic intro a second time in a different way. It almost becomes some sort of UK hardcore song or something like that. It'll be amazing.
Another special feature of Erosion is the transition from the action songsection to the ambient one. Remember in Unreal 1 when that happens, the ambient music plays up with a glitched intro that depends on the last direct musicorder value of the action song before the transition itself? It becomes a feature here and much more developed on. Expect really weird sounds during these transitions, especially vocal ones. This music feature will only occur in The Darkening however.
Erosion will constantly play during the level unless noted otherwise. The battle song is for important mandatory fights.

So here's the Skaarj Mothership and for sure it's completely fucking different compared to the original version. The interior of the starship will be based on its exterior this time around - this means you'll be walking around a gigantic circular layout (of the upper part of the Mothership, as seen from the Crater) which goes around the middle tunnel that connects the shuttle exit from the various underground hangars surrounded by pipes, energy flows, panels, "things" that are used to bring Pupae from the Source to the top and preserve their next stage of evolution, and other stuff that is probably related to the Skaarj Queen and her lair (something to explain why her death causes things to go boom).
The playable area is generally three huge floors big in size; some sections are indoor, others take place in the "outdoor" part of the ship which comprises the ring separating the shuttle tunnel and the outer part of the Mothership - and below there's a large abyss of blazing green energy. Not every pixel of the whole indoor part of the starship is playable as some areas are blocked by massive blocks of metal (either locked-down storage areas or engine-related sections). Portals from one point to another will come into play again and given the place is large as fuck now, having these connective portals make sense (the portal teleportation effects will be based on the ones seen in Mothership Lab - basically quick wormhole trips).
Now, regarding Mothership Lab and Core: the two levels' locations/areas will be part of this Mothership, with their geometry being overall redesigned to fit the new build style. These areas won't be attached however, just close; for example, there's a large lab section which contains these old areas plus new ones. There's the core section which contains its old plus new ones (mostly all new ones since the old Core areas hardly made any sense to begin with). Every room will have its own purpose; connecting them will be large corridors, hubs, the "outdoor" sections (which is mostly long metallic bridges and terraces, think of something like the Mass Effect's citadel, something very futuristic like an alien city within a starship). You have also a lot of Z-axis to work with in this map.

Alongside the old areas, there will be also completely new sections for this Mothership. Three in particulars being the crew/resting section for the Skaarj (which is a multi-floor "sky-scraper" like thing facing the inner ring of the Mothership, with a lot of doors closed by forcefields - something like a hive with cryogenic beds and more), an expanded lab section related to Tarydium and shield experimenting (there will be a bigger focus on this particular matter) and a section right in the middle of a certain part of the inner ring related to the status and performance of the Queen's meditation in the Source.
The Skaarj Generator will also be part of this level and it's located in a quite random spot of the Mothership - you'll be surely noticing it in the "outdoor" inner ring as a massive core of green and yellow energy enclosed within some huge ass alien-like protective shell, chilling alone from the rest of the areas. Your objective is indeed once again the Generator, and to enter it you need first to bring down the Mothership's reserve energy, by wasting all of it for the halted shield experiments on the test subjects. Basically pretty much what you did in the original Unreal almost, except this time you actually feel like a lot of energy is being wasted in the tests, and there are MULTIPLE tests of this kind which explains the presence of the shielded Skaarj in The Darkening. Even as being prideful as fuck, the Skaarj have massive resource issues regarding their Mothership. It takes so much energy for these starships to work, and whatever they're getting from Na Pali isn't working too well for them to get off the fucking planet. They clearly weren't expecting the Mercenaries to steal most of the valuable shit around. This also emphasizes how powerful Cryox indeed was compared to all starships found so far, including the Mothership, as it was very much capable of easily escaping Na Pali's gravitational pull.

In terms of main visuals, Mothership is very but carefully detailed. The level is going to be massive, we're talking about the interior of some big starship and you're going to fully explore it. Literally city-hub size, it may take hours to fully complete (longest map in the game, perhaps). And due to this size it's dangerous going over the top with details as likely it'll bog down framerates. As build and texturing go, the Mothership will follow the Skaarj style seen in all the previous maps so far, with much more uniqueness. Inspiration will be taken by a lot of things, including UT2k4's take on the Mothership and the starship appearances in various top Unreal custom mappacks.
The Mothership will be overall metallic gray and green in terms of color, including brown-ish rusty pipes as always and perhaps some indoor sections where you see differently colored energy flowing around. Lighting from lamps is white, sometimes desaturated yellow or a gray-ish blue/violet hue (for the bottom areas).
Soundscape is going to be very electronic and chaotic, as well as disturbing. Pair it with Erosion and it's truly an experience inside this pinnacle of alien architecture.

With this premise, the level is too big for me to entirely describe it, so a lot of the things are left to the reader's imagination.
Note that throughout the level there are a lot of rooms locked with forcefields or simply doors. These come into play later in The Darkening, of course.

You start out off the energy elevator and the first thing you have in your face is the "outdoor" inner ring; in this way the player gets immediately an idea of how absolutely huge is the place and he'll expect that almost anything he sees is explorable - and indeed it is. You overall don't have much freedom of roaming however, as you're stuck exploring the place counter-clockwise; going clock-wise makes you end up in some kind of storage with a big unfinished Tarydium cannon thing and other resources, which doesn't lead anywhere (there's a big damn door but you won't get to know what's behind at the moment).
If you did inject that syringe substance hidden in the previous level, few seconds after the Mothership level begins Prisoner 849 will feel extremely dizzy and the visuals will become blurry/bizarre with colors all over the place, for several minutes. It will make your movements overall faster but that's just a side-effect; the real gameplay effect of this substance is that all the enemies you encounter will completely ignore you (unless they see you shooting). This is a direct reference to Mothership Lab's beginning where the few enemies in the first area never bothered to attack you, which kind of made you being in the Mothership some kind of acid trip dream; this fits with the fact P849 literally takes this drug - where it will never be explained how it works, where it comes from or what is it at all. It all adds up to the weirdness of the level. Sounds and music will also be echoed slightly. As I said, this effect is temporary but it will be immediately taken off in a specific moment of the level regardless (the first Skaarj Lord encounter of the Mothership, he will dispel this effect somehow). THIS DRUG THING WON'T BE AVAILABLE IN COOP MODE.

Quick resume on items and enemies:
  • Regarding items, Mothership will reinforce the original levels' item placement style, as in there are groups of random assortment of tools placed in logical spots (some behind forcefields or doors that you can't open until The Darkening, once again). However that's only for ammo and armor items: health is only given throughout some sort of medical stations similar to the ones in Nemo that replenish up to 500 HP (you can fully control the amount of HP to gain from these machines). For inventory items, any of them are in unreachable places when it comes to this level only. For ammo, there will be a lot of focus on Quadshot, Razorjack, Railgun, Eightball and Flak ammo.
  • Unsurprisingly as enemies go you'll be simply facing Skaarj. Brutes and Behemoths still make appearances but the main baddies will be Infantries and Officers (plus rare Gunners, not a good idea having troops with such blasting weapons inside a ship). Skaarj Warriors have become obsolete so far and you won't encounter them, while Skaarj Assassins will roam lonely areas. Skaarj Lords start to become more like regular enemies and you'll fight them more than thrice, always with them teleporting next to you with the usual red charge-up portal effects. Some Skaarj Hawks are in the bottom floors (their resting places) instead.
    While the enemies are pre-placed, there will be of course hunting parties. Remember Mothership Core's continuous patrolling spawning Skaarj? This becomes a main feature of this level, where suddenly squads of Officers + Infantries spawn close to your position and patrol around the location, trying to search you. Everything about these spawning (places, frequency and when) is completely random but it only happens in sections of the level that you've already visited. There's however a limit about how many hunting Skaarj teams can spawn and if there's a Skaarj Lord nearby, they won't bother coming nearby. A spawning hunting team takes some seconds before they're fully teleported into their spot of choice (some sort of charging-up teleport effect similar to what Lords do but darkgreen colored).

These hunting squads make the level much more lively and dynamic. Since the Mothership is fucking huge, you'll be walking a lot and there won't be a Skaarj hiding every corner - it's actually less action packed then it seems, however Officers and Lords are strong and pretty much all enemies are positioned in strategic/ambushing spots.
Lack of gazillion amount of enemies is for making the Mothership a more relaxed level. It doesn't feel right that a map which stands out for its looks and sounds must be suffocated by constant battles. This isn't Dasa/Nexus and certainly isn't EXU2, the Mothership is already long enough by itself.

As of areas of interest, the prison will still be the major one. This time it is twice the size as the original, and employs more prison cells, each customized to contain specific subjects (different shape and size of each cell); creatures are either seen or not, and/or are doing random things. The following cells contain:
  • Two Pupae nests: actual Pupae breeding caves ala Zephon, and of course they are fully accessible. They are dark and green, and for the first time in this game you get to see some Queen.utx textures. Expect A FUCKTON of Pupae.
  • A group of naked Skaarj Gunners deeply sleeping in opened cryopods.
  • A group of sodomized Skaarj Berserkers. They look at you weirdly from the other side of the forcefield.
  • The Bloblets room. This time however you cannot access it.
  • A group of Kraal with a Kraal Master. They are playing dice.
  • Two Behemoths.
  • A huge group of Mercenaries captained by an Elite. They're sitting down and waiting, trying to talk to you from the other side of the forcefield; you can't do much.
  • Three Skaarj Hawks.
  • A dead Titan carcass without an armor. Cell is open: from the message you're reading, it's implied the Skaarj might be indeed behind the "divine powers" given to the Titan bosses you faced so far but apparently they can't control the creatures at all after a while.
  • A seemingly empty room containing massive tunnels within the walls. You can see neon-like alien lights coming out of the darkness from each tunnel.
  • Some medium-sized cell which contains orange organic material sticking on the surfaces. There's quite a lot of it and it's definitely alive.
  • The Rogue Skaarj from the Vortex Rikers in a very small cell. Truly for the first time you're able to see at this guy from up-close without him immediately retreating (check Dark Arena's ending for a description already). However his body, which was green-ish before, is now fully blue like an Ice Skaarj (note: Ice Skaarj aren't in this game, so this Rogue Skaarj is the closest and only iteration of the original). He's also fucking huge, more than a Berserker, and his claws are so long they extend from his arms. However, something is definitely wrong with him compared to before: he completely lost it, he has become psycho and he's aggressively trying to break the forcefield with countless of melee attacks, taking some pauses every now and then. For once you're actually glad there's a forcefield as this guy is no ordinary Berserker (and you know how strong he already was during ALFA62). From some messages you've been reading, it seems like the Skaarj have failed experiments and perhaps this Rogue Skaarj is one of the failed test subject and his braincells have imploded post the test.

Nothing you can do in the prison otherwise. This map is arguably not that heavy on translator messages either; alongside text containing Skaarj names such as Skrjjj tajji's second eye of the third emperor and whatever, a lot of panels contain classified information where you have no access to. Messages you can read have nothing to do with Skaarj's more secret plans and info on creatures (including Warlord/Queen); you'll be reading status about the Pupae, some independent logs, how much Tarydium/shit has been recovered, when the Mothership is ready to go and orders to take down P849 and TO NOT WASTE ADDITIONAL ENERGY FOR EXPERIMENTS. Surely you want to go against that last order and see what happens. There are also messages that keep track of P849's journey in Na Pali since Vortex Rikers, and these messages change depending on what he did during the trip (i.e. optional levels, if all Nali were saved or he killed them, if he destroyed the biocannon in the Underflow, etc... all stuff that counts for the ending, in other words).

The prison area is part of the lab section of the Mothership, where Skaarj examines the resources they obtained and convert them to energy. This however doesn't include the creature experimentation area - which is instead another section of its own located at the end of the Mothership (past the Skaarj Generator section, even), and you have to go all the way there.
Past the Lab section there's the "hive city" where Skaarj rest. It's a "break" zone until things get tough again.
Afterwards there's indeed the core section of the Mothership which is hardly the same as seen in the original Unreal. It still takes place in narrow corridors and it's filled of enemies including Brutes and Behemoths. There are also insta-kill laser traps that thankfully can be turned off (but some Skaarj might possibly turn it on again, hunting parties for example).
Past the core section there's a big interlude area in the "outdoor" inner ring that eventually leads to the Skaarj Generator. Here you can go to the bottom floor if you want, where you'll be fighting Skaarj Hawks and learn more about the ship's layout, which is helpful in The Darkening. There are also multiple emergency-like passages around the bottom part of the Mothership (four of them in total, north south west east) that lead to the Source.
Skaarj Generator section cannot be accessed due to a huge forcefield. This is why you need to waste the Mothership's energy. Head for the last section of the level which is the subject experimentation one, finally. It's here where you kill more Skaarj and force a halted power test on a Skaarj Berserker, using the power of a flaming variant of a Tarydium crystal, possibly taken somewhere from The Resistance Lake's canyons. When the experiment ends, you'll feel like the Mothership is having energy issues (lights go off temporarily, alongside a loud electric sound).

You'll also fight the Power Test Lv.Orange Berserker pawn as a mini-boss of sorts - these are now fully separated pawns rather than customized default ones. The orange-shielded Skaarj Berserker (more like a shining burning gold, he looks like a sun god when it comes out of the test chamber, alongside a huge glowing aura) is once again the only one you'll be fighting in this game; the Orange power test is an experimental version which is geared toward offensive abilities rather than defensive ones. As such, he's the most unique variant in terms of fighting skills and easily the strongest one of the shielded units. I'll refer these shielded units as XFX ones. Erosion's action songsection plays for the first time here, plus the boss comes with a HP bar.
The Orange XFX Skaarj is technically a Berserker which means he'll fight anybody nearby, including a possibly occasional Trooper hunting squad. He has 1600 HP and his voice is reduced to just echoing laughs. He has all the regular Berserker attacks but lacks the "Enrage" mode. The replacement here is a "Radiance" attack: every now and then, the Orange XFX Skaarj will charge himself in a dark golden aura like he's pretending to be a Dragon Ball char. He'll then unleash a spreading circular wave of bright flashing energy around him which reaches things under a certain radius. This attack takes in total 2.5 seconds to use, deals purely 70 HP (and WILL go through any armor including Shield Belts) and causes three debuffs for 25 seconds: will turn off Shield Belts (this is why the attack ignores them), armors lose 75% of their damage absorption power and your weapons will have a 12% chance of not working (a weapon fails to shoot). These debuffs, when/if they apply, work on enemies too. The Mercenaries' GOD-MODE shield, for example, is actually turned off by this Radiance attack.
The boss' generic ranged attack is also different from regular Skaarj; from one of his hands, the Orange XFX Skaarj shoots small but dangerously looking orange orbs that explode on impact. Orbs are shot continuously, and deal max 40 damage each (pure damage as well!). Extremely effective against big units as this Skaarj enjoys shooting them constantly if nothing threats him - meaning you have to keep the pressure against him as much as possible so he'll stop using this ranged attack.
Lastly, this Skaarj's movement animations are edited. Instead of the usual beast-like animations, this one acts like he's trying to keep control of his newfound powers - or better, he's pretending to be a god, so he'll act like the opposite of a beast. He'll be like this in almost every animation (mostly the standing/running/jumping ones).
When he dies, his heart glows brighter and brighter and the Skaarj suddenly disintegrates violently in a flash of light. Even the evaporating dust quickly disappears. Something very space-themed like, a supernova becoming a short lived blackhole sucking everything including the golden light of the shield.
Music goes back to Erosion's ambient songsection. Note that when this shielding test was completed, multiple other experimentation tests were done at the same time; the Skaarj in question are elsewhere in this lab section and are locked within rooms so they can't get out until The Darkening.

With much of the Mothership's energy consumed, the forcefield blocking the access to the Skaarj Generator is finally off, so you'll be going there. Hunting squads will become more frequent if spare Troopers are still left.
The Skaarj Generator is what it is. The outer shell is well protected by Behemoths. The inside part is a heavily redone, a high definition version of the original Unreal one - basically a huge arena with this core generator thing on the middle. The generator itself will definitely be redesigned but the infamous portals to the circular top area will be kept for the sake of fun; the general gameplay will be the same, except you have now a bigger arena to play it (and a different generator middle top area). The major difference is that the items are all now outside the Generator area, so get everything you need before entering because you'll be locked inside.
After a huge flashes of light and Erosion's action songsection beginning, making everything looking like a rave party for a while, you as a player will have to fight four Skaarj Lords in a row. When one Lord dies, another one immediately appears. If a Lord stays alive for more than one minute, another Lord appears and so on; this means you gotta be fast beating them all (though nothing happens if you wait too much time after the last Lord appears).
From the other side of the Generator arena, from behind this huge metallic gateway that seems different from all other Mothership doors so far, the Warlord will walk in after all the Lords are dead. For those who never played the original Unreal, it'll come out as an absolute surprise as there's no hint or anything that the Warlord was going to appear again this soon - well, you get to know in a message he is in the ship at least. But a level this long should end with a bang.
Warlord's HP bar appears and Warlord.umx (aka Fragmented's action songsection) plays.

The Warlord here has 3000 HP, as you'll be killing him for real this time. However, the big difference here is that the Warlord WILL NOT USE the debilitating red ring that was cast at the beginning of the first battle. If you remember its lore, the attack impacts any form of technology around, including the Skaarj's own Mothership. For this reason the Warlord won't use it. This means then you'll have Shield Belts ready and all the inventory items ready to use.
The battle is overall the same but the Warlord has this new attack that was never used in the Demonlords' Lair. It can only be used when the Warlord in question is not scripted to use the red ring skill. This new attack is like the Warlord's "ult" skill: the boss uses his personal hi-tech tools to power up his gun with red energy (the same kind of energy used for the red ring, supposedly) and after a charge-up of 3 seconds, the Warlord will repeatedly shoot a crapload of crimson-colored explosive fireballs against you. The attack's spread is awful (it is supposed to be used against big units, not small ones) but the fireballs themselves deal almost 200 HP each which is definitely very strong, especially when these fireballs are shot one after another, constantly for a bunch of seconds.
On the downside, it's not that much hard to dodge; the only major issue coming into play is the size of the arena which isn't as big as Demonlords' one. Plus, the amount of fireballs shot depend on the area the Warlord currently stays in. For example if he uses this attack in an outdoor area like Nyleve or Eelhandra he'll probably shoot 30+ times. Dodging and running in the right directions is the best way to avoid the attack - predict where the balls land!
Throw everything you can at the Warlord and hopefully he goes down. When he lands dead, expect him to still try to shoot you with a well aimed homing rocket (that you can destroy).

After he's dead (you can hear him breathing if you get close), you can now use the Generator panel freely to go inside. Music also stops.
The interior of the Generator is a bit more detailed, it now looks like an actual control chamber with panels and shit, sensors to see the energy's status and so on. Destroy the cores, and the explosion sequence will immediately start. A cutscene will play where P849 (always in first person) will run into the hideout where the Warlord came out, which is now open. You're actually now inside the Warlord's own personal room, a rather large one with all red/orange lights and very unfriendly-looking, pointy Skaarj-ish decorations around the chamber (something bad as like "you aren't supposed to be there"). P849 also looks at the Skaarj Generator's explosion which is based off the original one, aka white light, blue thunders and so on. It's going to be a contained explosion but creates wormholes-like effects that seem absolutely weird to look at. Either way, this wormhole causes a blast that knocks you down inside the Warlord's room (more like, it shuts you down somehow). The level ends here and it's implied you won't wake up until two hours later or so.

In Coop, the level will be finished in a different way: you kill the Warlord, his room opens, you get in, screen fades to black, next level loads.

With the Generator down, it's now time to explore the Mothership again without lights. After you wake up of course...

Nali Priest Nali Priest
Posts: 7913
Joined: 11 Nov 2007, 21:00

Subject: Re: Myself imagining a HD Unreal 1 remake

Post Posted: 10 Jul 2017, 00:03

The Darkening
MUSIC: Unreal4.umx
Erosion's special songsection transition feature described in the previous level will go online here - basically what it does is that when the action songsection ends, the ambient songsection will start playing with unique distorted samples depending on when the action song ended. Exactly like how it worked in the original Unreal, except this isn't a bug but an actual developed feature. You'll be hearing a lot of vocal samples and besides, The Darkening is pretty much devoid of sounds aside buzzing or other electronic noises you hear every now and then; for the majority of the level you'll only hear the music.

You wake up in the Warlord's room, which still has the red lights on but the panels are off; music is also not playing and the level text has yet to appear. Before you exit the room, Prisoner 849 will find a surprise: the Warlord's gun. You actually pick it up and it's yours.
This is the Erebus Swarmer Missile Launcher, ESML for short. It counts as a secret weapon like the Impaler, so the "\" button is used to select both. In terms of weapon order (if you use the mousewheel to switch weapons), the ESML stands between the Impaler and the DP.
The ESML in your hands doesn't differ much from how the Warlord uses it: primary fire shoots, secondary fire switches through the four modes. The ammo, like the DP and Impaler, is regen-based so it never runs out but there's no pickable ammo for it, so if you waste all its sauce you need to wait for it to regen back again. The max ammo is 800, regen is 2 per second.
All the ESML's firemodes don't deal any elemental based damage but are not pure, which means if you're shooting something that artificially resists to any damage you will deal less HP. The following firemodes are:
  • Straight rocket - the Warlord's most generic ranged attack. Shoot a single precise rocket that goes boom. As simple as it sounds; since the rocket is not that fast (it's not faster than Eightball's rockets) this attack is better used against non-high tier stationary opponents or swarming enemies like Pupae. Deals 65 damage on full hit, wastes 10 ammo per shot, good ROF (one rocket every 0.8 seconds).
  • Triple homing rockets - the true main firing mode of the ESML. Each rocket deals 50 HP on full hit (150 damage in total) and consumes 20 ammo per shot (PER SHOT, not per rocket). It is not that simple to use - the firemode requires a minimum charge-up of 1 second; during the whole charge-up animation, if there's one close enemy around that you aren't looking at, the rockets will lock into this target. If you're facing multiple enemies and you aren't aiming at anyone, the rockets will go after the closest target. Now, if you look at the targets, the lock-on feature comes into play and works throughout target reticle, which might be familiar if you played something like the Raystorm shoot'em up games: you charge-up the firemode, you look at a target and depending on how much you aim at it, a special crosshair surrounded by up to three red bars will stick at the enemy (which means said enemy is locked-on). The three bars stand for the three rockets that will be aimed at the target; if you instead aim multiple targets during the charge-up (your center crosshair just has to go through the target; regardless of speed and accuracy the lock-on is instant), this special crosshair will also be sticked to these targets alongside the red bars aka the rockets that will be noted on each locked-on target. Two rockets can lock on one target, the third one can lock on another; or also one rocket per target. As long as you hold, the charge-up anim will not end so you can take your good time aiming at somebody. Pressing the secondary fire will cancel the lock on targets but not the charge-up itself; lock-on will also cancel itself if you go too far away. Homing rockets generally never fail to hit the enemies (and most of the enemies are too dumb to hit the rockets, which are still destructible like when the Warlord used them), even if the enemies decide to escape miles away from you. TL:DR the lock-on range has a limit but the homing rockets themselves don't. The splash radius of the rockets' explosion is huge and so is the pushing momentum. Very spammable attack once you understand how it works, it's good against everyone and 150 HP of damage for 20 ammo is super cost efficient.
  • Rocket avalanche - the killer of large static units. The way how this firemode works is exactly like a gatling gun, with rockets instead of projectiles and a small delay at start-up (the ROF is super shit and then it quickly and progressively increases up to max value). As you hold down the primary fire to shoot mini-rockets constantly, your movement speed is reduced by 90% and you can't jump or dodge (you can crawl however, still slower though). You shoot like 8 minirockets per second, each proj costs 3 ammo (24 ammo every second). Each rocket deals 9 HP on full hit and their speed is pretty nice - if you're able to predict the Skaarj Hawks' movements, you can almost hit them all the time. Movement nerf makes you very vulnerable (when you stop firing you need to wait the gun to cool down before you can move like normal again) but it's an extremely straightforward firemode to use.
  • Solar orb - the ultimate attack. P849 turns the ESML backwards like the Warlord did and begins to charge solar energy within the gun to then shoot the fire meatball. It requires ALL the ammo contained within the weapon (read: it'll waste all what you have, you don't need 800) and the more you have it in store, the more damaging and faster the orb will be. Minimum ammo requirement is 100 though. The charge-up begins when you hold the primary fire for 1.5 seconds, then the gun charges up automatically; the only way to cancel everything is to simply press the secondary fire - all the ammo that was wasted will be regained back. Based on how many hundreds of ammo are used, the meatball will deal from 20 HP to 120 HP per every half-second; it goes through anything except huge-ass brushes and pushbacks any enemy with it (big ones also get heavily slowed down), which means it's going to be instant direct kills if you shoot at the enemies in the correct direction. Unlike the Warlord's version, your orb won't leave a burning trail. Really overkill firemode that's incredibly costly on your ESML's ammo, so try to save it as a last resort, or at the right moment (and expect intelligent enemies to dodge the meatball, also...).
The ESML and projectiles will retain the same particle effects seen when it was used by the Warlord. Barring the skill-ceiling of the second firemode, it's a very useful and straightforwardly damaging gun that rivals the Impaler. You'll be beating on some powerful foes in this level and either way you'll be forced to pick up the gun.

Get out of the room. The generator area appears partly crumbled, partly not, illuminated by the dark green lights coming from the holes in the ceiling. The reason is because the whole generator, when it exploded, caused some sort of black hole and now there's absolutely nothing left of the central core structure. All what's left is the ominous, circular-shaped pit in the floor; big electric sparks occur in this pit and almost constantly, and this time they'll harm you to death.
Proceed in the Generator's intermission corridor. Broken wires won't be a thing anymore, broken lights are fine enough and more logical for a non-human place. Suddenly, Pupae come out from walls and the Erosion's action songsection immediately plays (shit's loud, especially when silence reigns beforehand). When the Pupae are dead, the music stops. Step out of the Skaarj Generator section to go back in the core Mothership location. Erosion's ambient theme begins playing and "The Darkening" level text finally pops up.

The Darkening is just the Mothership again, the only big things to note in terms of builds are just a bunch of new areas that were previously inaccessible due to forcefields and doors - now everything is accessible. The lighting is once again not completely pitch dark but the hue is now gray/darkgreen instead of blue; lights come from residual flows of energy and some lamps that are still on (especially indoor and in the bottom sections). The fall of the Generator probably caused stability issues too as holes on top of the Mothership are now a thing. Small holes, as very few light can pass through.
You need the Searchlight to make things easier, as the Flashlight isn't good enough. If you got it from the Crater then alright; otherwise, you have to find one in the experimental shield test section (which is otherwise optional in The Darkening to explore). Your objective here is to go back at the beginning of the Mothership and access the emergency generator area that is next to the first storage room (remember the big closed door you couldn't pass through?). Then you can go in the bottom area and access one of the emergency passages to The Source.
Note that you can't go back to the Crater anymore as the ship is in full lockdown mode.

Even if it's dark, the atmosphere is not supposed to be creepy. You have no reason to be scared of anything after beating a Warlord. It's just a cool dark alien place with a lot of cool enemies, many of them never faced beforehand.
That's really the gist of The Darkening as you'll be beating on weird monsters as you proceed. The overall difficulty is not going to be super hard but a lot of it depends on your performance in the previous level - as you'll be revisiting an old location, the game will take in account what items you got in it. If you were as wasteful as possible in the Skaarj Mothership, you'll be now finding less resources here, barring the stuff that were located in previously locked zones. This also includes the HP distributors, however you'll now locate more armor items lying around (especially Power Shields).
Unlike the items, enemies from the previous Mothership level won't be accounted for - you'll fight here completely new different ones: test subjects from the experimentation section, all units who escaped the prison and Pupae.

This is a list of enemy encounters in The Darkening; locations are only specified if it's really important. The Artifact won't work on anyone here! Likely due to some unknown interference (the Queen is acting, probably).
  • Pupae - we already went through this. Past the beginning though you won't be encountering many of them; they're roaming the experimental lab section and the Skaarj resting hive.
  • A roaming group of few Kraal lead by a Kraal Master, found somewhere before the core section. This is the first time you fight these guys outside a crypt level and since Nexus (or Morose, if you never played Nexus).
  • The naked Skaarj Gunners sleeping in their prison cell are actually dead now.
  • Regular Skaarj Berserkers. Two of them are right located at the end of the level after you turned on the emergency generator (they'll be instantly killed in an event), other two are roaming random areas.
  • Two Behemoths guarding some rooms in the core section of the Mothership.
  • The three Skaarj Hawks from the prison are flying around the bottom section of the level; let them notice you or they'll notice you by themselves. All three are grouped together by the way.
  • The big Mercenary squad with their Elite. They are still in the lab and when you get there, they'll be fighting two shielded Skaarj units. Take advantage of the situation.
  • Bloblets from the prison are now chilling in part of the hive section. All of them are separated in small groups - apparently the Mothership's radiations made them multiply? - while there's one big group hidden somewhere. This group will try to combine itself into a Shian but fail like how it happened in the ISV Kran.

Now, when it comes to the shielded Skaarj - one main feature about all of them is that they'll attack anything except other shielded units and Pupae:
  • Power Test Lv.Green Lord - other shielded units were all Lords and Officers, only the orange one was a Berserker. Either way this is the green version; green and blue are geared toward defense rather than offense and overall, they don't differ much from the regular Skaarj compared to the boosts the Orange power gives. Green Lords have 1100 HP and are greatly noticeable in the darkness, so you can tell from far away thanks to their light (unless it's just green fog, but Green Skaarj do actually leave a strong glow). Green Lords have all slightly increased movement values and can also lunge from greater distances. In terms of ranged attack, these Skaarj use the Skaarj Warrior's charged green bolts as the regular projectiles (they deal double the damage and have splash damage too).
    The special skill is a green, dome-shaped forcefield on ground, big enough to fit large corridors. It works like UT3's Stasis Field - everything that gets in this forcefield is massively slowed down, including projectiles (90% slow) and instantly destroys hitscan projectiles including ASMD's bolts. Only few things aren't slowed down, like any Impaler's projectiles and the ESML' solar orb for example. Green Lords will retain the same speed inside the forcefield and so their projectiles. The Skaarj uses a unique animation to create the forcefield (the energy comes from his hands) and requires him to stay in one spot for 1.5 seconds. Forcefield remains on for 12 seconds and the Skaarj try to stay close to it unless they got you cornered and ready to finish you off.
    On the downside, Green Lords cannot teleport unlike the regular ones. You'll find at least 5 Green Lords, one for every sector. Not all of them are mandatory. They are able to spot invisible units.
  • Power Test Lv.Blue Lord - like in the original Unreal, the Blue level is considered superior to the Green one. Indeed, you'll find only two Blue Lords, like in the original The Darkening as well; both of them are mandatory as they're located in places that you're forced to pass through.
    Blue Lords have 1000 HP and have increased movement values more than the Green Skaarj's ones. Once again, they cannot teleport and can spot invisible units. The ranged attack is still charged-up bolts like Green Lords' ones but are blue-colored. They do slightly more damage at the expense of their speed (they also look like ASMD core projs from the original Unreal).
    Blue Lords fight more uniquely, with a style similar to Assassins: since their dark blue shield and bright fog surrounding them make these enemies hard to hit, they make use of their fast movement speed for hit and run tactics, putting in some ranged attacks as well. Expect them to run around their opponents in circles, even if that means going into other rooms randomly.
    Their personal skill is an instant creation of a perfect illusion clone. The process occurs with the Blue Lord's aura flashing for a quarter of a second and "te-he!", two Blue Lords are now in place. The fake one cannot use ranged attacks, his melee attacks deal greatly reduced damage and the HP is 200. It disappears after 15 seconds.
    Hitting the Skaarj is overall the hardest part but players will certainly figure out the clone trick after a while. Other AI opponents aren't as good though.
  • Power Test Lv.Green Officer - green shielded Skaarj Officers. They have 800 HP and their increase of movement speed values is almost unnoticeable; still enough to be an annoyance. The only real difference here is that their handheld shields completely negate any damage except stuff that can pass through the shield itself (the Impaler's secondary fire, the ESML's solar orb, amplified ASMD bolts). They can be found together with a Green Lord and their movement speed is not dampened by the Lords' Stasis Field; this doesn't include their Razorjacks however, as they're technically separate from the Green Officers.
    There are around three or four of these guys in the level. Can spot invisible units, even if regular Officers could already do this.
Note that the shielded units are NOT translucent. You can still see part of their bodies but other than that they're fully surrounded by the orange/green/blue glowing energy that crazily flows in directions that depend on the Skaarj's movements (works like shader graphics).

The Darkening will also introduce two completely new enemies that were hinted to be a thing in your visit in the pre-Darkening prison. They're alien races that were introduced/mentioned only in Unreal 2.
  • The first one you'll come across is the Strider race. It's the orange, parasitic organic race that was seen sticked in its prison cell and turns out they can actually move around. Striders were cut enemies from Unreal 2, however they're canonically mentioned in the UT story as part of the Human vs Strider war. See the Liandri Archives entry for info. Here in this game they are still biomechanical creatures but the subjects captured by the Skaarj are just orange (with metallic appendages of all sorts) thick blobs that eat technology and make them their own. Typical meat-themed aliens eating a place.
    You'll encounter them raiding a big part of the core section of the Mothership, likely eating technology. And it seems like they've already done so: they have absorbed the insta-kill laser tech that was located there and now they'll use it AS A WEAPON against you. They have also absorbed forcefield tech to block you inside rooms.
    Let's go in order. The Striders can vary in size - be it small or rather big, literally even becoming a big ass mucky meat blob taking an entire room's floor - and this size can be either set to be random or more safely forced to a value. Size changes health (min is 100, max is 900) and their damage, which is some red gas they release every now and then, especially if opponents are close (ANY opponent, they're enemies to everyone). The gas is dense and rather hard to see through, it stands around from 2 to 5 seconds, can spread for a small radius and damage can go from 11 to 88 HP per second, and this damage stacks with other gas clouds, which is super dangerous. The gas also works against mechanical units, and will eat through 20% of your armor's damage absorption (meaning both Kevlar Suit and Assault Vest will protect you less for 20% of the total damage). Due to this gas, some Striders need to be destroyed in order to free the way but others can be ignored. Note that you can touch Striders, it's just the gas that damages you. Striders die instantly against the Warlord's red debilitating ring.
    Then there are these special Striders with an eye-shaped mini-cannon and other that have scattered metallic teeth all over the place. The ones with the big eye use the absorbed core section's laser beam tech. The beam needs to be charged for two seconds and you can hear a pretty defining noise - best time to dodge away. Their aiming skills are basic, which is ok considering there might be multiple Striders shooting you (think of the laser traps in Unreal 2's Drakk levels, some classic anti-thief system shit). The beams are supposed to deal 500 HP (pure) but are coded to insta-kill players; when a laser is shot, it'll stay on for a bunch of seconds. Kill these Striders ASAP! Usually when you meet these, it's in a confined room that will be locked down by the Striders with the mechanical teeth who are capable of creating impenetrable forcefields (you can destroy the forcefield Striders too instead if you want to run away but remember that some of these areas may lead to dead-ends and you have to go back). The Force Field item blocks both gas clouds and the laser beams - note: only the laser beams from the Striders, the ones from Crater 7 and Skaarj Mothership can pass through the Force Field.
    In terms of resistances, Striders are completely immune to gun projectiles (Automag and Minigun's primary fire), as well as razor blades. They are also immune to melee attacks (except the ones from Titans and other boss units) and to several enemy ranged attacks such as the standard Skaarj's projectiles, Mercenaries' minigun, Tentacle's projectiles, Krall's regular projectiles and Flies' projectiles. They however receive 30% more damage from any sort of corroded/toxic attacks, this includes your own GES BioRifle and the Skaarj Hawks' toxic shit.
    Striders can instantly kill Bloblets and Pupae if the latter pawns come in contact with them.
    Striders in-game cannot move and have just generic breathing animations only. The few sounds they have are (kinda dissonant) growls and roars, stuff out of System Shock. Electric vocals can be also heard, which mimic Erosion's ambient theme ones. When they die, part of their bodies erupt, leaving their crap and more dangerous gas around, alongside a loud explosion sound or rarely, a blackmasked Skaarj death scream (probably the Striders managed to kill-absorb some Skaarj before being taken into the Mothership prison). After death, their bodies will eventually disappear, leaving yellow stains on the surfaces they were on (also, Striders that were stuck on walls or ceiling will not fall on ground when they die unlike Tentacles, they'll just stand in their spots).
    When you meet the Striders, it's likely you'll be fighting other enemies such as Behemoths, Mercenaries and shielded Skaarj units, as the core section is the one that is most filled of enemies.
  • The last regular enemy type is found before the emergency generator, hiding precisely in the big storage area next to the beginning part of the Mothership.
    With an all-vs-one style sudden ambush, the enemy race shows itself: it's the Drakk. Crawling out from the darkness is these highly advanced robots from Unreal 2 who still look like a fusion of Matrix's machines and Mass Effect's Reapers. The color theme is exactly the same, always green/blue with shades of purple and red. Overall they look closer to the Drakk boss in terms of model design.
    As the Drakk already properly appeared in Unreal 2, you'll already have an idea on how they look like and move around, i.e. flying machines equipped with several tools (even more this time!), doing very fresh buzzing sounds (they do a lot of new sounds now, and all of them are supposedly based on electronic/psychedelic music samples/fx; use of sounds depend on the skill they're going to use, so keep your ears on) and when they die they just explode, leaving purple/blue/green small flames and an annoying cloud of smoke from their inner cores (this matters a lot in terms of gameplay).
    In this large storage room you'll be fighting ten Drakk. Each one has 420 HP, cannot be stunned (at best you'll push them back a tiny bit). They move as fast as the player in-game, however all they can do is simply fly around (strafing in any direction included) - no dashes or any special movements of any sort and for the record, they're slightly bigger than Brutes. Despite being mechanical units, they're so advanced to the point of having the following innate features:
    • Are immune against the Warlord's red debilitating ring, ironically.
    • No movement/AI changes whatsoever when they go in water (they do stay away from dangerous liquids still).
    • Unaffected by EMP.
    Drakk spot enemies through radar, so Invisibility/Dampener are absolutely useless. They attack any intelligent alien unit (including Slith and Gasbag on sight) but ignore critters, and said critters are scared shitless of them that they'll run away.
    Even if there's one single encounter in the whole game, Drakk will have a complex built-in teamwork AI. They're all about teamwork as other than offensive skills they have a lot of support tools too; this means you'll see Drakk helping each other, forcing the players to focus entirely on killing one by one instead of just bothering everyone at the same time. As mentioned, Drakk's actions follow certain sounds, and if it's an offensive attack they'll use a red aiming laser like in Unreal 2. Here's a list of things a Drakk can do, by alone or with the help of others:
    • Firebeam - the regular beam attack that Drakk had in U2. It's shot with a 0.5 seconds delay and is not hitscan, so it can be normally dodged. Deals 34 HP.
    • Big flare beam - a Drakk charges something up quickly, to then shoot a big orange energy beam in front of it. Deals 15 damage per half-second, beam stays on for 3 seconds after activation, the Drakk cannot move for the whole duration and can't change much the direction after the animation starts. The beam has a rather large radius however so the players are required to really stay out of the way in front of the Drakk.
      The beam has infinite range and can only stop against bulky and big brushes (any sort of areas' perimeter enclosures); any target within the beam are slightly slowed down too, so less chances for them to escape if they get hit. Beam damage is also pure and ignores non-Shield armors. It also goes through the Force Field and can destroy the Mercenaries' GOD-MODE shields super early.
      Now there's something on with this beam attack; when a Drakk decides to use this attack, there are chances that one or more Drakk will move near it and channel their powers to it, like some sort of energy link. This cyan energy link (that works exactly like the UT's LinkGun secondary fire mode feature in team games) is the foundation of Drakk's teamwork.
      When more Drakk link their power to one who's charging the beam, said beam will become much more wide and the damage increases by one per every Drakk joining (so three more Drakk comes, damage becomes 18 HP per half-second). This is dangerous because the storage isn't an infinite-sized area! What's worse is that if the battle takes too much long and you haven't killed any Drakk (around two minutes of wait), all the Drakk may decide to converge for one beam that will have a radius bigger than the storage area, deals 25 damage per half-second and the duration of the beam is extended of 10 seconds. That basically spells game over as there's nothing you can do. Well, unless you're fast enough to land an ESML solar orb right when the converged Drakk are about to shoot the beam; great strat but ballsy and some Drakk will come out unscathed, though the attack will be stopped.
      Of course, in terms of gameplay this attack has a limit - only 9 Drakk can converge into one (hence, 10 in total) for this beam attack inside the game; lore-wise however an unlimited amount of Drakk can converge for this beam and who knows what it is capable of doing at that power.
    • Electric chain - the electric Drakk attack from U2. Occurs when the Drakk are really close to the player and are ready to chase him. It's range-based and homes on the target so the only way to get out when the electricity is hitting you is to strategically run away from the Drakk (run in the opposite direction or hide quickly behind cover). Not that damaging overall but multiple electric chains can stack. Deals bonus damage against mechanical units.
    • Powered up firebeams and electric chains - a Drakk's both regular firemodes can be enhanced if one or more Drakk converge throughout energy links. It's rare to see more than two or three Drakk helping another when it comes to these enhanced attacks but not impossible (against you certainly impossible - if they're facing something like a Titan then definitely, it depends on the max HP of their opponent).
      Enhanced firebeams become purple depending how much they're powered up, they gain +7 extra damage for every converged Drakk (97 HP as damage is the max then), projectile speed slightly increases, rate of fire increases to the point of becoming a machinegun.
      Enhanced electric chains become purple depending how much they're powered up, they gain extra damage dealt per second for every converged Drakk and the range also increases a lot (almost as big as the UT1's Pulse Gun beam range). This is done when a Drakk has already its electric chain onto you and if there are Drakk behind this one who can't get to you easily, then they will decide to powering-up the guy who's bothering you.
    • Energy link - the teamwork tool. The range is rather limited and a Drakk can only use one linking beam, however they can receive multiple linking beams, up to 9. There are no other limitations. Link deals 2 hp per second of damage upon contact but that's a rare occurrence of getting damaged by this skill. Energy links cannot be broken unless you use a powerful pushing weapon to keep the Drakk apart, as the beam has a limited range.
    • Sonic wave - an attack that's not used often. Can be done when normally moving: the Drakk basically casts a sonic wave made of smoke blue plasma rings toward their target. It's not shot instantly as there's 1-second charge delay animation, and the wave doesn't travel fast enough so you can dodge it. Deals 50 HP and has EMP effects, so it'll shut off things like the ASMD and other mechanical units for a bunch of seconds. Cannot be enhanced.
    • Healing - the reason why you have to focus on killing one Drakk before going to the next one. If a Drakk is low on HP (usually below half the health), one or more Drakk will converge to it and replenish its HP rather quickly. The helped Drakk will be surrounded by white/green energy effects and therefore repaired. More Drakk help, stronger is the healing. And Drakk will go fully in repairing their buddies to max HP! These operations are decided and done quick, especially if the players are bothering other Drakk, which is the reason why it's a bad idea damaging everyone you see instead of focusing on one just robot. It can also happen that the one Drakk you're focusing on will be quickly supported by other Drakk so it doesn't die. Use the ESML and Impaler, people!
      Two damaged Drakk can also heal each other by just linking, too. However they cannot heal if they have to use the links to power-up attacks.
    • Restoration - when a Drakk dies, you see those orb-shaped core things they leave after explosions, that burn of this purple/green fire and leave an annoying amount of smoke. Well you have to take account of those too. When they are ignored by the players, one or more Drakk might go next to these fallen cores and WILL REBUILD (throughout energy link) the dead Drakk out of them. Since the process is long, this is not something that will be done commonly but only when the time is right: restoring a Drakk requires 20 seconds and if you're trying to kill the one that is rebuilding it and not too many seconds are left, the latter will sacrifice itself in order to revive its buddy instead of giving up and going away. Extra Drakk helping to the cause will decrease the rebuild time by 3 seconds. It can be possible seeing bullshit like one Drakk reviving the core who's supported by two other Drakk that's healing the one who rebuilds. And you have to kill the Drakk who's trying to revive. This is because the core becomes impossible to fully destroy when it's used for revival.
      So what you do instead is destroying a core after you kill a Drakk. Dead core has 100 HP and other Drakk won't instantly bother reviving its buddy, just when you're away from it.
    • Infinity shield - sometimes the Drakk temporarily activate a body-shield that's very similar to the Merc's GOD-MODE. Except it isn't as good: it can be destroyed as it has 150 HP and it lasts for like 5 seconds. Though this shield is capable of halving any incoming damage, ANY, including pure damage (the only thing in the game capable of doing so).
      This shield is used when the Drakk isn't attacking and cannot dodge the opponent's firepower but proves annoying enough, especially in a fight where you have to fight 10 of these machines who like to heal themselves or even revive.
    • Mortar beam - Drakk, as they always know your position, will shoot a blue beam with an arc trajectory, making hiding away a pretty moot point. Deals 25 HP. Keep moving.
    These fuckers are overall super tough (possibly on top of the regular enemy food chain) and it's a great thing this is the only encounter against them. This is where the ESML shines the most.
    When they are dead, you can finally access the emergency generator area (Drakk blocked the door off with a script) and unlock the emergency passages to The Source. It's not over though.
    The presence of Drakk is anyway spoiled throughout a multiplayer mode that will be described after the single player part (though you still wouldn't know if they appear in-game, especially considering they never did in the original Unreal).

The Darkening is almost completely devoid of translator messages. Only text you'll be reading is hints about where the emergency generator is and why you have to turn it on (it's a generator for the Source sector of the Mothership, not the entire upper main one). All the classified info is likely lost forever now.
In terms of music, Erosion's action songsection plays for the first Pupae encounter, for all the shielded Skaarj unit encounters, for a specific Strider encounter (when they trap you with forcefield + laser), for the Drakk encounter (when you come closer to their area, the ambient music stops first) and for the boss that has yet to pop up. After the Drakk battle, the ambient music doesn't resume until you turn on the emergency generator.

There are four passages to the Source Antechamber below; you can only use one, recognizable since you see Skaarj nearby. When you get close, Erosion stops again.

Two Skaarj Berserkers that are close to this emergency passage are immediately ambushed and beheaded (!) by The Rogue out of invisibility. Finally you get to fight this crazy Ice Skaarj Berserker. HP bar pops up and Erosion's action songsection begins.
The Rogue is the perfect Skaarj. He acts like a madman and his animations show it. Growling and laughing are his finest. He has 2400 HP and is a boss unit; he's big and fast, his melee attacks have buffed damage (almost doubled?) and have 2x the range. He doesn't show anything new as he's a Skaarj Berserker with several of other Skaarj abilities. He's just a super strong monster:
  • Can double jump, moon jump and wall-jump (latter is impossible to happen cause the battle takes place over a huge bridge with no walls around, duh. Unless you lure him somewhere).
  • The Rogue's regular ranged projs look and play like powered-up versions of the regular ones; they deal double damage and can slow down a target for a half-second, which is massive advantage for a super fast and strong creature like this boss.
  • The Rogue can use the Skaarj Warrior's fast shooting style "gangsta" animation, as well as charging up ranged attacks - more powerful and fast and there's splash damage now (slow debuff still needs a direct hit however).
  • The Rogue can go full Assassin mode, with Invisibility and stealth strikes. Searchlight might help. He's way faster than an Assassin though and hits MUCH HARDER.
  • He can dash like a Skaarj Lord.
  • Can teleport like a Skaarj Lord.
  • Has an upgraded version of the Skaarj Lord's jumping ground stomp attack. Slightly larger radius, the effects are light blue (it's like an ice blast for reference), deals 75 damage, does the same EMP debuffs and also slows targets for about 2 seconds.
  • Has the Skaarj Officer's handheld shield, first time you see a Warrior unit with this shield animation. The shield is an exact replica of the Green Officer's one (probably a result of the power test done on The Rogue) and works in the same way (100% damage reduction).
  • He loves to taunt you, forcing him to stand still. However he sneakily recovers 100 HP while doing so, so hit him in the meanwhile.
  • Has everything a Berserker has, including the Enrage mode.
  • Has a Power Shield to spare. He'll always use it during the fight.
  • Has two Force Fields items to spare.
  • He doesn't go down after death - after a dramatic "wtf is up with me" animation (cannot be damaged during this), The Rogue takes off his armor and will continue fighting you with the same exact style of his in Unreal 1 (all its moves and AI, an exact replica which has never been a real thing in this game so far). 800 HP, predictable. After that he'll eventually die.
If your timing is great, this fight is such a good moment to test the ESML's solar orb firemode. Won't be easy hitting him still but throw everything you have.
A note: the battle takes place on a bridge, over the Mothership's bottom chasm. There's nothing around you for hiding so you got to run and dodge all over the place. Some of his attacks might throw you down. If you try to throw him down (if you ever manage, lmao) he'll teleport back up.

When the The Rogue is dead (oh well), Erosion goes back to the ambient songsection. Get every item you left off in this level (there are so many of them) and head off to the emergency passageway, where you'll go down throughout an elevator.

Two maps left and the journey is truly over.
ID lists updated.

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