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Proto:Unreal/0.83 Prototypes

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This is a sub-page of Proto:Unreal.

Unreal 0.83 is the name for two Unreal prototypes compiled during October, 1996. Both prototypes comes from an archive of files for Emissary, an unreleased first person shooter that was going to be on the Unreal Engine. Both prototypes contain some resources from that game, but they will not be covered here because both versions of 0.83 are essentially Unreal prototypes with a few Emissary resources in the files for testing.

Note that this article will mostly refer to the 0.83 prototype compiled on October 3rd, 1996. Some parts, which will be mentioned, are based on the October 18th, 1996 build.


Check out three early, Quake-like levels that never made it into the final game!

Unreal83c sarc4.png
Look at Egypt-like textures that were removed from the final game, but did appear in a later prototype!



The HUD is much more Quake-like compared to the one in the final game. It consists of a grey bar with armor on the left, health in the middle, and ammo count on the right. The ammo image changes depending on what gun is currently held. The boxes above indicate what weapons are being held. If the player has the Stinger, which is in the third slot, the third box will be filled in with a red graphic.

This HUD design appeared in pre-release screenshots taken in 1996.

Prototype Final
Unreal83hud.png Unrealfinalhud.png
0.83 HUD Pre-release screenshot
Unreal83hud.png Unreal1997hudscreenshot.png

.ini files

Unreal 0.83 stores key bindings in a single .ini file called unreal.ini, like Quake does. Several prototypes put keybindings in a separate file called bind.mac. However, this was removed in the final game past version 219 in favor of a separate .ini.


This prototype uses UnServer.exe, which is located in the System folder, as the executable used to launch the game. Unreal.exe only seems to launch UnServer.exe. Most of the Unreal prototypes out there use this layout. It was dropped for a single .exe, like the final game, in prototypes compiled around late 1997.

Unreal Script

Unreal Script is a bit different compared to the final version's. All model (the model and textures associated with them) and script resources are compiled into one large file called root.ucx. In the Final version, scripts are compiled into an .u format file. Models and textures have their own separate format. In addition, files ending with .lcx can be found in the “classes” folder. These are leftovers from when root.ucx was compiled.

Source code

Both versions of 0.83 have the game's source code included with it. The October 3rd, 1996 build has the code in a separate installer that doesn't work in 64-bit systems, while the October 18th, 1996 build has the code included with the rest of the files without having to use an old installer.


Unlike the late 1995 prototype, 0.83 has a very basic “menu” system that uses the drop down options on top of the game. File contains “Begin Game” and “End Game”, which gives a non-fatal error when used, “Open Saved game”, which is supposed to let you select a level, but doesn't work in this prototype, and “save game”, which does nothing.

Properties has a link to an options menu that lets you configure various parts of the game, such as weapon bobbing, enabling mouse-look, altering audio volume, without having to mess with the game's .ini files. Pretty handy for quickly configuring things.

Unused actions

There are several commands listed in unreal.ini that don't work. These are:

  • Kick
  • Rollleft
  • RollRight
  • Spin

Spin is the only one that has a key bound to it by default. Who knows if these are actually worked on at one point, or were simply commands they wanted to implant, but never got around to actually making.


Buried in unreal.ini are commands called “LungeLeft”, “LungeRight”, and so on. By default, these are not bound to a key. However, if a key is bound to them, they can be used. When the key for it is hit, the player will slightly move to the direction indicated in the command. This behavior is similar to the dodge seen in the final game, where hitting a direction key twice will make the player do a quick dodge in that direction.

According to the source code included, the lunge runs on a hidden stamina meter. Initializing the lunge costs some stamina. More stamina is decreased the more ticks (internal time) pass while the player is lunging. When stamina reaches zero, the lunge stops. Stamina recharges when the player is not lunging.


Your character jumps significantly higher in this prototype than in the final version. Jumps that would be impossible in the final game are quite possible in 0.83.


The log files the game creates whenever it is run refer to this prototype's version as “0.82”. However, executables containing the source code and basic program and the file containing all of the textures in the October 3rd, 1996 build refer to it as “0.83”. Looks like someone forgot to update the internal number when the 0.83 prototypes were compiled.

Cheat codes

This prototype has several cheat codes. They are listed below:

(Note: the * mark to the right of a cheat indicates a cheat that appears in the final version of the game in one form or another).

Cheat name Effect
cheetah bigtime Makes player invincible, gives the player every weapon available (except for the Flame Gun) and gives the maximum amount of ammo that can be held.
cheetah invincible * Invincibility.
cheetah invisible * Enemies will not attack the player.
cheetah fly * Allows the player to fly around like they have a jetpack.
cheetah ghost * Crashes the game. In later prototypes and the final game, “ghost” enables noclip mode.
cheetah weapons Gives the player every weapon (except the Flame Gun). In the October 3rd build, the Stinger given by this cheat is bugged and will never fire nor display its view model.
cheetah allammo Gives the player the maximum amount of ammo for each gun they have.
cheetah armor Gives the player 100 armor.
cheetah adjustweapon Shows debug information about a weapon's position on screen.
cheetah adjustweaponmotion Shows debug information while moving with a gun out.
cheetah adjustplayerroll Shows debug information for an unknown function.
cheetah adjust Disables any cheat with “adjust” in it.
cheetah damage Makes all pawns immune to damage.
cheetah lethalhit The player's next shot will instantly kill an enemy if it connects.
cheetah slowmotion Makes the game extremely slow.
cheetah playerturn Player cannot turn, but can move forward or backward.
cheetah playermoves Player cannot move around, but can turn.
cheetah slowmonsters Enemy movement and AI is extremely slow (like they were under the effects of the slow motion cheat).
cheetah wizard Displays the text “Wizard: True” when typed in once, and “Wizard: False” when typed in again. Doesn't seem to do anything.
cheetah spawn (object name) * Spawns an object. The distance from the player that the object should be spawned at can be specified, unlike the final version of this cheat code.


Color Modes

This prototype can render the game in 8-bit, 16-bit or 32-bit color modes. However, using anything but 8-bit will make the HUD nor models (like weapons and enemies) not appear.

8-bit 16 and 32-bit
Unreal838bitmode.png Unreal8316and32bitmode.png

Rendering modes

The engine can render the game in either a window or DirectDraw (fullscreen) mode. However, DirectDraw does not work well in modern operating systems and will mess up the colors displayed (such as making a tan room with subdued lights a blue color). However, screenshots taken will show the correct colors.

Colored lighting

Colored lighting will only work in 16 and 32-bit modes.

8-bit 32-bit
Unreal838bitlights.png Unreal8332bitlighting.png

Smoke and explosion rendering error

Smoking kills.

When a gun is fired, the smoke or explosion that appears when the blast hits a wall will continue to stay on the screen for a bit if the player moves away from where the shot landed.

Texture Freakout

There goes reality.

If there are too many objects on the screen at once, the first person Weapon model, Enemies or Items will occasionally screw up. It lasts about a second before it reverts to the textures the model should be using.


Screenshot taken in 16-bit DirectDraw mode.

Screenshots work, but only when the game is in 8-bit mode and is using one of the DirectDraw modes. If a screenshot is taken in windowed mode or in 32-bit DirectDraw, the game will crash. If a screenshot is taken in 16-bit DirectDraw mode, the game will make a screenshot, but it will be complete garbage.

Screenshot black pixels

For some reason, the prototype adds several rows of black pixels to the right of an image if a screenshot is taken in any resolution higher than 640x480. The larger the resolution, the more black pixels are added.


There are four weapons available in this prototype: Automag, Quadshot, Stinger and Flame Gun. The Automag occupies slot 1, the Quadshot slot 2, and the Stinger slot 3. The Flame Gun has no slot, but it can still be put in levels and used.


The Automag uses a different model compared to the one in the final game. It is thinner, has what appears to be where the magazine is close to the trigger, and has a completely different skin that is much cleaner and darker than the final skin. The entire top of the weapon will slide back when the gun is fired, unlike the final version, where only a part of the top will slide back. The gun is also placed on the lower-center part of the screen, like the weapons in Doom and Quake are. The player's hand can be seen holding it, but the hands looks completely different from the hand model in the final game.

Unlike the final Automag, the one in 0.83 never needs to be reloaded. The gun reloads however if it ran out of ammo and a clip is found and then the gun is selected.

The fire modes are the same as the final's except secondary mode fires two bullets in short succession if the button is pressed once. However, bullets fired are very fast projectiles in 0.83, but are hitscan bullets in the final game.

If an enemy gets next to the player, the player will automatically pistol-whip the enemy with the Automag, which sends the enemy flying away from the player. This does not happen in the final game.

Pistol whip attack in action.

This Automag model managed to last for a long time, as it appeared in several screenshots released in 1996 and appeared in prototypes (with a skin change in 1997) until the early 1998 prototype, where its first person model was replaced by the one seen in the final game.

Each shot does 10 damage, 7 less than an Automag shot in the final version does. However, less damage is done the farther away the target is from the player.

The player can hold up to 250 Automag rounds. In the final game, they can hold 200.

0.83 prototype Final version
Unreal83automagworld.png Unrealfinalautomagworld.png
0.83 prototype Final version
Unreal83automag.png Unrealfinalautomag.png
0.83 prototype Final version
Unreal83automagaltfire.png Unrealfinalautomagaltfire.png
0.83 prototype Pre-release screenshot
Unreal83automag.png Unreal1997hudscreenshot.png
0.83 prototype firing sound Final version firing sound


The Quadshot in 0.83 works just fine, unlike the one found in the final game's files. It is a pump-action shotgun with four barrels. It has two firing modes; single and all four barrels at once. After firing four single shots, the gun will be pumped. If all of the barrels are fired at once, the gun is pumped afterward, which rotates the barrels clockwise. Both firing modes use exactly the same sound, despite firing different amount of barrels at once.

Note that the Quadshot keeps track of how many shells are loaded into the gun. For example, if a single shot is fired, then the alternate fire key is hit, the gun will shoot three shells instead of four because one shell was spent from the single shot.

Like the Automag, each shot does less damage the farther way the enemy is from the player when the player fires. Each shot fires a very fast projectile.

100 shells can be carried at once.


Surprisingly, the Stinger's model is exactly the same as the final's except lacking certain animations. The only difference is that the gun is positioned like the weapons in Doom and Quake are, and parts of the muzzle flash can be seen sticking out of the barrel.

The primary fire mode shoots crystals at enemies, but at a much slower rate compared to the final's. The alt-fire mode quickly fires three crystal shards in a row horizontally. In the final game, the Stinger's alt-fire shoots five crystal shards at once in a wide spread that's more like a traditional shotgun blast. With both firing modes, there is a chance that a crystal will ricochet off a wall. There doesn't seem to be any reliable way to make this happen. This does not happen in the final version.

Stinger burst fire.

The Stinger's projectiles behave drastically different in this prototype compared to the final version. When a projectile hits an enemy, it does very little damage, but each shot stays in an enemy. After hitting an enemy with several projectiles, the enemy taking any more damage, whether it be from being hit by another gun or from fall damage, will cause the projectiles stored in the enemy to explode, doing significant damage to the enemy. In the final version, the projectiles do regular damage and don't build up in enemies. This unusual behavior was mentioned in the Unreal Bible design document, written in 1996.

Of note is that the Stinger's firing sound is called "NAILGUN."

The max amount of Stinger ammo the player can hold is a whopping 500. The final game reduced it to a more reasonable 200.

0.83 prototype Final version
Unreal83stinger.png Unrealfinalstinger.png
0.83 prototype firing sound Final version firing sound

Flame Gun

The Flame Gun is an extremely buggy weapon that does not appear in the final version of Unreal. If the HUD is enabled when the Flame Gun is picked up, the game will crash. Both the world and view models have no textures. When the fire key is used, the gun will simply light up the area near the player. This light will not stop after it has been enabled. If another weapon is switched to after picking up the Flame Gun, it is impossible to switch back to the Flame Gun because there is no key binding for it.

According to the source code, the Flame Gun gives 100 ammo when picked up. Code for the player states that the maximum amount of Flame Gun ammo that can be held is 900. The primary fire uses 10 ammo per shot, while the secondary fire uses 20 ammo per shot. However, because of the gun's buggy nature, it can only be fired once, making it impossible to run out of ammo.

Melee function

Almost all of the weapons, except for the Flame Gun, have a primitive melee attack. When the player is out of ammo and gets close to an enemy, the game will perform a melee attack. This attack uses a gun's regular fire animation. Note that the Automag's pistol whip is not related to this. Nothing like this appears in the final game.


This prototype contains code and models for several enemies, most of which made it to the final game.



The Skaarj in this prototype uses a different model and textures compared to the final Skaarj. This one has a lighter skin, pants with teeth on them, and very dark eyes. The transparency on his claws don't work. His animations are exactly the same as the ones used by the final Skaarj. The only sound effect this enemy has is when he swings his claws.

He will usually pursue the player in order to melee them, but will occasionally stay back and fire projectiles at the player if they are shot. The projectiles are invisible instant projectiles. Like in the final version, the Skaarj will lunge at the player if they are close in order to quickly close the gap between them and the player.

Behavior-wise, he is somewhat similar to how he behaves in the final game. There are some differences, though. First, the Skaarj will never dodge player attacks, unlike the final game. Second, the Skaarj will often slump over and play dead for a second when shot at. However, they will get up as soon as their play dead animation is complete, making it pointless. Third, their animations appear to be a bit schizophrenic at times; one moment they'll be running in one direction, then they'll stop start playing their kneeling animation, then immediately snap back to the running animation without any transitions.

The Skaarj's lunge attack does 25 damage, its spin attack does 20 damage, a single claw swipe does 20 damage, and a projectile does 11 damage. The amount of damage the 0.83 Skaarj does makes the Skaarj Scout the 0.83's Skaarj's closest final equivalent.

0.83 prototype Final
Unreal83skaarj.png Unrealfinalskaarj.png

Bigman (Brute)


At first glance, the Bigman (Brute in the final game) looks exactly like he does in the 1997 Tech Demo. The Bigman is constantly seen naked with greasy and stinking hair, fangs protruding from his lower jaw, and huge red eyes. Unlike the final game, the Bigman in the 0.83 prototype is not seen angry, or snarling. However, this is one notable difference; his hands are lighter compared to the rest of his model. It seems that whoever skinned the Bigman forgot to update his arms. Surprisingly, his animations are the same as the final's Brute enemies.

The Bigman will constantly fire a barrage of hit-scan explosive bullets from his gun as soon as he confronts you. This, combined with the large amount of health he has, means he can quickly tear you into pieces, and that's pretty much why the player should use the Quadshot and the Stinger in the first place. He can also smack the player with his guns if the player gets too close, like in the final game.

Unlike other enemies, the Bigman is the only enemy in this prototype that has several sounds for him, such as for when he's shot and when he dies. These sounds are completely different from the sounds used by the Brute in the final game.

The Bigman's shots do 5 damage each, while his melee attack does 20 damage. In certain 1996 screenshots, the Bigman has a different skin for the first time around. Instead, he has large black eyes, a tattoo on his chest, no hair, and he lacks fangs, but he has human-like teeth. In the second 1996 Teaser Trailer, he made a cameo, but he's a bit difficult to spot, but if you look closely, you can see him, with a different skin as well.

A .rar file containing all of the Bigman's sounds can be downloaded at File:Unreal83brutesounds.rar.

0.83 prototype Final
Unreal83brute.png Unrealfinallbrutefinal.png


The ArchAngel is a Bigman that does 8 damage per bullet and does 30 damage with his melee attack. He uses the same model that the regular Bigman does. The ArchAngel was recycled for Unreal: Return to Na Pali, as the Behemoth. In the first 1996 Teaser Trailer, The Archangel makes a cameo at the end of the Teaser Trailer, shooting and killing the player in the process.



The Dragon is a brown dragon that was one of the first characters shown in preview screenshots and appeared in screenshots until 1997. In this prototype, he will never attack the player. All he does is fly around while occasionally playing a “landing on the ground” or “taking off animation”. The Unreal Script for this enemy has no attacks defined for him. He can be killed, but there is no death animation for him either.

An interesting bit of trivia is that this is the earliest enemy shown in screenshots. The first screenshot of Unreal showed a red version of this enemy and an early version of the player model seen in this prototype. A brown version of the Dragon appeared in screenshots released in 1996, but disappeared in 1997.

First Unreal screenshot 0.83 prototype
Unrealfirstscreenshot.png Unreal83dragon.png



The Gasbag looks quite different compared to the final version. The 0.83 GasBag has one giant, human-like eye, large teeth, and his skin is much lighter compared to the GasBag in the final game. He looks pretty weird, even for Unreal, which is probably why he was changed. Note: Most likely reason for the change seems to be the change of theme/style of the game in general and not amount of "weirdness".

The Gasbag will never dodge projectiles. In addition, its ranged attack will instantly hit the player. In the final version, the Gasbag will dodge projectiles and fires slow projectiles.

An unused animation shows the Gasbag grabbing and eating something. There are no hints as to what the hell the Gasbag is grabbing.

The Gasbag's ranged attack does 11 damage, its punch does 20 damage, and its pound attack does 25 damage. The ranged attack is much weaker than in the final game, but the 0.83 Gasbag's melee attacks will consistently do more damage than the final's.

0.83 prototype Final
Unreal83gasbag.png Unrealfinalgasbag.png



The Tentacle has a darker, more detailed skin compared to its final version. However, it behaves exactly the same as it does in the final game. Instead of firing spikes at the player, it will seemingly toss large versions of the crystals shot by the Stinger. Probably because the tentacle projectile mesh wasn't ready and stinger's projectile mesh did it just fine for the moment. Its firing sound is different in 0.83.

0.83 prototype Final
Unreal83tentacle.png Unrealfinaltentacle.png



The Manta's model is the same as the final's, minus some animations, but appears with a slightly darker skin with dark red eyes. However this is caused by the game palette and the actual skin is identical with no difference.

Both of the Manta's melee attacks do 20 damage, which is the same amount of damage the regular Manta does in the final game.

0.83 prototype Final
Unreal83manta.png Unrealmantafinal.png



In the October 3rd build, Woman has been replaced with a monster from Emissary. However, in the October 18th build, Woman is the original Unreal pawn.

The pawn does nothing when it first appears, but when shot, the model will start slowly spinning around and will occasional move a small bit in one direction. She can be killed by shooting her. When killed, Woman will use the player's death scream, but has no death animation. She will also play the player's pain sounds when shot.

The model is completely different from any of the women models in the final game. It looks somewhat similar to the Gina skin at first glance, but it looks like a rougher version of Gina's design. She has no tattoos, longer hair, and different pants.

This model is a modification of a woman that appeared in the first Unreal screenshots. She had the same model as the Woman pawn does, but had completely different textures. Instead of being in a futuristic outfit, the old Woman was wearing a skimpy set of armor that looks like it was ripped from a heavy metal band album cover. Both models have the same hair and thin hands.

The real evidence that points to the Woman in this prototype being the same as the old woman model can be found in some of the files in the various Emissary archives. In the archive that contains the October 3rd build of 0.83 is a folder filled with model resources from Epic to serve as examples for the developers of Emissary. In the resources are textures that look like they came from the old woman model mentioned earlier. When placed on the Woman model in 0.83, the Woman looks exactly like the old woman model that appeared in early screenshots.

A .rar file containing all of the Woman's sounds can be downloaded at File:Unreal83womansounds.rar.

Old skin Used skin
Unreal83oldwomanfront.png Unreal83womanfront.png
First Unreal screenshot Old skin
Unrealfirstscreenshot.png Unreal83oldwomanside.png


Items are a bit larger than they are in the final game for some reason.


The clip is the same as the final's.

Shotgun shells

The unused and broken shotgun shells pick up in the final game works just fine in this prototype. It gives 15 shells when picked up.


The crystal ammo pick up is the same as it is in the final game.


The Medkit heals 30 health in 0.83, but heals 20 in the final game.


There is only one armor in 0.83. Its model looks the same as the final's Assault Vest, but the textures are cleaner-looking than the one used in the final. Each suit of armor gives 40 armor points when picked up.

0.83 prototype Final version
Unreal83armorfront.png Unrealfinalarmorfront.png
0.83 prototype Final version
Unreal83armorback.png Unrealfinalarmorback.png


There are some 3D models in Unreal 0.83 that do not appear in any maps.



The characters on the vase are very similar to the ones found in various textures in the prototype.



There also exists an unfinished light fixture with a temporary texture. It also possesses a swinging animation.



A modeled flame, presumably for things like torches. The final version uses particle effects to represent flames. A similar technique for making fire was done in Quake'.


There are several unused decoration models found in earlier proto's mesh resources and later version mesh resources (the ones for 0.83 and 0.84 are missing sadly). Compiled in the prototype is a decoration class called Hammok, but it has no mesh assigned to it. However the earlier lost June prototype seemed to have Sconce decoration class already. Looking at the import code from the mesh sources reveal that it used the same skin shared with the Automag clip, since there is a different skin at the right side of the image, which fits the sconce and shows it having a mine themed skin with burned ash in it. It looks more real than the golden sconce that appeared later and would exactly fit mine/castle levels, possibly with the torch flames used on top. Another unused decoration was a "branch" sharing skin with the health pick up and might have been a possible predecessor to NaliFruit in a way. There have been found other decoration models, but we don't know their official name, among them is notably a Skaarj wall mask and multiple cup/torch holders.


The October 3rd version of 0.83 contains a single song called “song1.s3m”. This is actually the original version of the final's Isotoxin song. Isotoxin was made before Unreal came out by Andrew Sega, but Epic was allowed to use and alter the song for their own purposes while developing Unreal.

The October 18th version of 0.83 does not have song1.s3m, but the game does try and load it when Unreal.unr is loaded.


This prototype contains an early version of UnrealEd. There are some differences between the UnrealEd packed in this prototype and the one included with the final game.



When you first start up UnrealEd, a box telling you that you're using confidential technology that is a trade secret and what to do with it when you're told to remove it appears.


The 0.83 prototype has a bar underneath the main options that does not appear in the final version of the editor. It allows the user to quickly undo or redo options, a link to Epic's site, a quick calculator, the ability to change what mode you're in, grid size, what pawn you are using (which is called “Actor Class”), and shows what texture is currently selected. The undo and redo options were moved to the left bar in the final version of the editor.

Left bar

Several of the options available in 0.83's left bar do not appear in the final editor. Some of them were removed because they were redundant with other features in the editor (such as saving). New features, such as a rotation grid, were added to replace the options that were removed.

0.83 prototype Final
Unrealed83leftbar.png Unrealedfinalleftbar.png

Texture name font

The font used for texture names is different between 0.83's and the final's editor.

0.83 prototype Final
Unrealed83font.png Unrealedfinalfont.png

Script option

The 0.83 prototype does not have a “Script” drop-down menu, while the final one does.

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