After a long ride down, the door in front of you opens up. You see the light, the white light coming from actual working lamps here powered by the emergency generator. Since you've been for who knows how many minutes in the darkness, it makes sense these lights will blind you for a bit until your eyes get used again to the brightness. The Antechamber corridors are very shiny, there's this thin white bloom constantly and everything is so clean. It's a small period of calm between the last two storms.
The music, EndEx.umx, rearranged in a pure trance song form, will retain the intro build-up and will include new composition post the original ending, involving the unused intermission songsection that you may have heard in some Unreal custom map packs. So overall it becomes a full blown song. The impact should be bigger considering the ending course of this version of Unreal is many times more hardcore than the original one and you've went through countless of different shits. And now one big bad is left.
The Source Antechamber is the sector where all the emergency bottom passages of the Mothership end up into and it's the only real way to go to The Source. Everything you'll see after this map, including the long intermission tunnel you'll be "flying" through, is fully built underground and not native to the Mothership. Only exception is the emergency escape tunnel for Skaarj shuttles which goes through the center part of the ship; for the record, actual Skaarj Fighters that you saw in the Mothership maps before get out of the ship's upper part walls that are doors in disguise.
This map's theme is unchanged but the layout is completely redesigned from scratch. You see locked doors that lead to the other three emergency passages, there's no upper floor, there are panels, lots of items and in the middle of the level there's the big chamber with the tunnel hole.
There's a Skaarj Lord roaming around this room, and he's the only enemy present in this level.
Panels mostly mention you're going to the Queen, that the Queen is alive, there are shuttles below, Skaarj are still doing breeding operations in the Source. It also describes that the tunnel to the bottom works through gravity hack and no more than 9 people should enter it.
Indeed, the tunnel is now much longer and complex, and has more build variety through it. However it's not fully perpendicular to the bottom or as large - instead there are 9 curved tunnels after the initial entrance one that all eventually go to the same place. Prisoner 849 will automatically pick one of the tunnels and will fly down: a scripted acid trip like in the original Unreal game.
When you reach the bottom, EndEx.umx will fade away and the next level's music and title text will pop up.
There we are!
Queen.umx's ambient songsection will be remastered with new samples, still retaining that scary ass intro/outro as loud and clear as possible. Also the ambient theme will actually continue post the outro (I believe the original was rushed? It kinda ends suddenly) with new composition, alternating between dark and light parts like the original song. It needs to have the defining oldschool rewarding last level music in feel. This songsection is used at the beginning of the level until you enter the breeding station.
The action songsection that was unused in the original game will appear there. It's only remastered but it will be extended and mixed with the version of the song present in the Unreal OST (which not many people have heard). This music plays when you enter the breeding station until you unlock the way to the Queen.
For the boss songsection I'm still undecided but since the rest of Queen.umx is mostly remastering and new composition rather than remix, then this one should be remastered as well including new parts within the song. I think the issue with the original is that after a certain point it completely loses all its energy and keeps looping a boring ass part until restart. Might as well make it more action-themed and more like a song I guess.
The Source's first chamber, interior and exterior, is more detailed and no more basic; from the outside, you can see these crooked gravity tunnels all going top. Also, in the center of the room there's actually an activation panel for whoever has to use the gravity tunnel to go back up, however P849 won't bother using it, so you're stuck there.
Outside there's again the big black void. Above is not totally black however - you can actually see that this underground zone is still fully connected to the Mothership above (which is located many kilometers above, though). The bridges around have a more complex design of course (including lights and energy beams flowing around) but there isn't anymore that long bridge on the back.
Finally, there's The Source entrance. It's big and massive, it looks like the U2's Drakk homeworld entrance in terms of details. Color theme is black, gray, dark yellow with all sorts of green lights and huge capsules. This is because it's a full-blown breeding station. You also see those green energy pipes that supposedly ran from the Mothership's top center part right onto the Queen's lair (Queen's meditation powers, Pupae transferring, and so on). When you get near the Source, you'll hear some Call8 sounds - the Queen ones, and first time since the one heard at the beginning of Nyleve's Falls.
Enter the breeding station again throughout the circular door. There aren't Pupae waiting outside.
So The Source has this breeding station. This time you don't go fight the Queen directly but there's an actual standard playable part of the level where you walk around and kill enemies. From the screams you're hearing, there are Broods nearby.
The location is the only one in the game to make full use of the Queen.utx theme. Pack might receive new textures but the theme remains what it is - classic alien insect vibes, complex organic architecture, dim yellow/white lights, tiny bit of smoke, webs and pipes sticking from the ceiling almost everywhere, few clean areas, big cells or whatsoever alien there's full of green energy, alien substance on the floor or when you open multi-brush doors. You get the idea. It's also not a small place.
You first begin in a corridor with some side rooms that contain items. Then afterwards you'll enter the main corridor to the Queen - but it's blocked by a forcefield. You have to go in both left and right Pupae breeding sectors (huge ass curved hallways that surrender half of the location like a ring), killing everyone there and turn off the respective power routes to this forcefield.
Each sector contains views to the black void and to inaccessible Pupae caves, screens where you see the Queen's lair (you don't see anybody in the lair however), bottom floor where four or five Broods are located alongside Pupae, Skaarj Officers patrolling the place, items, HP restoration machines and panels. This should be the first time you're seeing Broods since Nexus (or Soledad if you never played Nexus) and they're still dangerous as ever, especially in groups.
From the panels, you'll be reading that the Queen's battle against P849 is overall "lost". All she wants now is personally taking you down in the lair. If she dies, the Mothership falls, the mission behind the second Skaarj invasion on Na Pali is marked as a failure, the Human vs Skaarj war still happens. If she succeeds, the same things happen but the Queen will teleport herself and all the surviving Pupae around into a secure unknown place.
Enjoy this part of the level. When the forcefield is turned off (the music stops), you can go to the Queen... yet there are two Skaarj Lords teleporting in to stop you in the main tunnel.
Before the Queen's door, on the right hand side there's another locked door which leads to the emergency Skaarj shuttle hangar. You'll actually go back here after the Queen is dead, no more bullshit escape pod located in an area post the Queen's lair.
You enter the Queen's lair. Thanks to a panel message you get to know the gravity here is altered, so the Anti-Grav Boots will let you do huge jumps in this arena once again (it also gives you full jump aerial control like in UT).
The arena itself is however redesigned. In terms of visuals, it's more based on the Queen arena in Xidia Gold (mostly the color choices that were more, normal, there. The ones from the original Unreal made no sense and had no light sources). The perimeter walls are not plain anymore, they look more terrain-like, as if the lair is built within a cave, plus the bottom part of these walls are all Pupae breeding stations (several scattered hexagon holes and panels, all below yellow lights).
The arena has only one floor and it's overall wider. Of course the floor is not fully plain as the exterior part of the arena stands one half meter over (there's a slope to it). The only thing that isn't normally reachable is the (highly detailed with a circular yellow neon lamp around it) center pod where the Queen is supposed to meditate. There are no more green energy pillars but if you see above there's a cloud of green energy that fluctuates in and out of those pipes that go up to the upper Mothership (you can the holes to these many pipes on the upper walls of the arena). There are also HP distributors in this place, plus items like ammo, armors and Shield Belts.
When you enter the arena you can't go back anymore (Queen locked the door mentally). Pupae seem dormant, the Queen is nowhere to be seen. You roam around the arena for waiting something to happen.
Until a certain amount of random time, the Skaarj Queen will suddenly teleport in front of you with a fucking loud scream (+ boss songsection starts up), HP boss bar up and she'll afterward dash onto you for a melee hit. Dodge or moon jump rapidly to get out of the way or get damaged I guess. The fact that his occurs randomly every time you roam the arena (it can happen even as soon as you enter it) forces the player to stay focused all the time. A moment that can't be forgotten.
She's overall the original Queen in HD with almost same and improved animations (that match her movements now), a very silver shiny skin, with shades of green in her most pointy parts of the body. Her sounds don't change, plus possibly new ones are added in.
The Queen has 7000 HP. She's fast and can run, strafe, leap (basically jumps that function as dashes) and moon jump. Very fast monster for being a huge one with a lot of HP. Her AI movements are overall ordinary and doesn't bother dodging incoming projectiles unless it's very powerful stuff (ESML's solar orb for example). Besides, you have the Anti-Grav Boots which should make up for your slower movements compared to the Queen's.
Even though the Queen's regular movements are overall basic, she has tons of HP (more than any creature in the game) and of course she can teleport. You have your HP distributors around and all your weapons, so throw everything at her and don't die. Between 1 try and 1000 more and beyond, you'll succeed eventually. It's a purely old-school style battle where you learn to dodge her attacks and shoot her at the right time, no more strategic than that. The Queen might be strong but she was never supposed to be a fighter like the Warlord (she still may prove the most difficult boss perhaps, considering she has multiple instakill attacks).
Queen does the following things:
- Anti-REDEMPTION - Not an attack really but in any way the Queen takes you down, it will cancel the Relic's Redemption buff. If you die with it, you're DEAD. This is false however if a Pupae kill secures you.
- Teleport / Telefrag - the Queen can teleport anywhere in the arena and anytime with almost no animation delay. She can teleport in the air or can also teleport straight onto climbing the outer walls, as well as teleport out of it. Even in this game, when the Queen teleports, she leaves a translucent after-image of herself that quickly disappears.
Now, since the Queen's teleport is an innate ability of her and not limited by tech (which is why the teleport effects and sounds are different compared to the ones of the Warlord and other Skaarj), the Queen can teleport into other units, telefragging them. The boss has this basic ability that can instakill ANY (and ANY) opponent she's facing as long as they don't act dumb. That includes players. You are supposed to keep moving and never stopping but sometimes that isn't enough. If your movements become predictable, like if you go in the same direction for almost a minute by running or jumping, the Queen will try to telefrag you. If she's about to do this, your screen's FOV drastically increases and shakes stronger and stronger, until you're dead. If this happens, move in a random direction (you have two seconds to do this) and the threat should be over. If you do this often during the boss battle, the Queen should never telefrag you. Basically, play like a Deathmatch inhuman level player and you're good to go.
Queen's teleporting becomes rarer when her health go below 3500, as she assumes more berserk AI decisions.
Nothing protects from telefragging.
Lastly, the Queen can also use the teleport to temporarily gg out like the Warlord does - aka disappear out of the arena to only return some seconds after with another teleport.
- Claw attacks - just the claws, not those abdomen horns yet. Queens do claw attacks per half second up-close, each strike deals 100 HP. Queen does claw attacks if there are nearby opponents; the ones that are far away are reached throughout sneaky teleports or dashes. When the time is right, avoid it by dodging in the right direction or use the Anti-Grav Boots. Queen can also do claw attacks in the air: if she jumps and she's landing next to you, for example, she can claw to hit you this way; also an excellent way to bother you if you're a moon jump spammer.
- Ranged attack from tits - I guess that's what they are but it seems like the Queen's chest can open even more up for something... anyway, her projectiles are based on the Brood ones; can be shot straight or with an arc trajectory, and this property is unique to each fired projs, not the entire proj wave. The projectiles look like mini fireballs and the wave can go from 8 to 32 shots, with each of them dealing 20 HP. The Queen can use it while standing still (best accuracy), when she's attached on the outer wall (still great accuracy and best ROF, the Queen is attached to the wall in a way that she's facing you), or when (slowly) moving (average accuracy). Strafe, dodge, jump. Anti-Grav Boots are essential to avoid the bigger projectile waves.
- The GREEN BEAM - so the Queen can actually open her chest completely in order to charge some sort of beam made of the green energy the Mothership uses. The Queen randomly decides to use this attack if the opponents are far enough: when she charges-up this thing from the inside of her chest, she has to remain still and cannot cancel anything. Charging up the beam requires 3.5 seconds and the Queen can aim anywhere but when the beam is about to go out she can't change the direction anymore. The beam, which remains on for several seconds, disintegrates any lifeform instantly that isn't a Queen. Note that when the Queen charges the beam, she strongly pushes any close opponents away due to power force, so you can't get near her no matter what's your speed and direction (the push wave is shaped like a dome surrounding the Queen).
- The scream - it's almost identical to the original how it works, except the animation looks threatening (she properly shouts at you with a sonic wave like effect) without waving her head around. The scream has now the innate ability to cause a really loud scream sound (the Queen can use up to three scream sounds, two old ones plus a new one based on Call8), slowdown by 50% the player for 1.5 seconds and cause quake effects to everyone around. The radius is rather big overall (large enough to work with her entire arena).
Events can still be attached to this scream; in this case, it's Pupae summoning. When she screams, a wave of 6 Pupae will spawn at random frequency, coming out from random holes of the breeding stations found on the outer walls (the bottom part). This Pupae summoning can stack if the Queen screams multiple times in a row. Unlike in the original Unreal, there's no limit for how many Pupae can be summoned. Pupae are overall annoying in the battle but they don't care at all if they're killed by the Queen, either be getting stomped or hit by any of her other attacks (which happens pretty often). So focus on the Queen.
- The shield - the Queen now summons her big shield almost instantly and she doesn't even need to wave her arms around; it's all done mentally now (you see a light coming out from her forehead). The shield is now cyan colored and almost looks like a hyperspace tunnel similar to the one seen in the intro of G59. This shield blocks any attack in the game, including the Impaler's secondary fire and the ESML's solar orb, so don't waste ammo.
Queen can move the shield around as she pleases so it's not a stationary thing anymore. She likes to bring it up pretty frequently in the first phase of the fight, especially if the player constantly aims at her. So you don't want her to bring this shield up all the time? Don't focus your eyes solely on the boss. She will still try to use the shield to block charged-up Eightball attacks, however.
Note that the rest of her body is still fully vulnerable, though being able to move the shield makes that exploit very hard to pull off. She can also walk with the shield on. And can be also used for something else in the second phase of the fight.
- PHASE 2 - when the Queen's HP goes below 3500 (half of full health), she'll teleport to the center pod and let out a very loud scream above. She's pissed, so much that the energy fluctuating above the arena turns from green to orange. Her abdomen horns also finally come out from the inner body. Lastly, a free wave of 15 Pupae will come to assist her.
Her AI will act berserk-like, going more now primarily for melee attacks and screams. Regular projectile shooting becomes rare as well as teleporting and shield summoning, however the frequency of the instakill beam attack becomes higher. She also gains some new skills that are all mentioned below.
- The horns melee attack - it's now exclusive to the second phase and the Queen will now randomly use it if the player is really close and if the Queen herself doesn't need to move (she could still move around a bit with the claw attacks, this one requires her to stand still). This attack deals 500 HP and can be used multiple times in a row. I said it all. Dying to this attack shows a unique fatality animation with the Queen ripping your body in two vertical halves.
- Pushing with the shield - if you shoot the Queen with her shield on three or more times, she will decide to ram onto you with her shield, pushing you onto a wall and consequently crushing you to death instantly. When you come in contact with her "ramming" you cannot move anymore but you can still dodge or jump away anytime, until you get crushed. Any Pupae in her way will be also involved in the attack and will likely die.
If you successfully dodge it, the Queen will quickly resume her regular AI decisions, so don't expect to exploit this attack for free shots (she would teleport away, also).
- BLACK HOLE - Queen's last and ultimate attack that is used when her HP reaches 0. She teleports in the middle, makes another undefinable alien scream and from her hands, she creates this black hole vacuum which seems to absorb anything - Pupae, smoke, particle/terraindecos based on the environment around, LIGHTING, and also you. The vacuum doesn't suck you instantly, it just takes maximum 10-12 seconds depending on how far from the center you are and if you keep running away from it. If you get too close to the center pod, you're done. Game over with a black screen.
The only way to stop this attack is to use the ESML's solar orb (any ammo from 100 onward) but you have to figure it out - though Prisoner 849 will force switch to the ESML and you can't change weapon. Hopefully by then you have at least 100 ammo to spare!
This attack is fully scripted, and by default a spawned Queen doesn't do it. She just dies normally instead.
With the boss gone, the music ends, lights seem to go down as the energy clouds above disappear into nothingness.
Earthquakes occur as the place is about to crumble after the death of the Queen. She was the reason why the structure was still stable.
You have to escape. Backtrack and go to the Skaarj shuttle emergency underground hangar which is now open. Surprisingly, the hangar itself is now a massive rectangular room with lots of Skaarj Fighters, however there's one Skaarj escape pod left and it's the one you'll be getting.
NOT SO SOON.
Just as you get close to the escape pod, a familiar presence teleports right in front of you. It's the Warlord again! He's still alive but his body is completely wrecked, his wings broken and he has no ESML. However he'll still try to use the disintegrating floor field to finish you for good. Shoot him three or eight times (depends on the weapon used) and he'll fall. The disintegration tool turns against him, completely evaporating his body as he lets out the final cry.
Level enter text of the ending level and UnrealEnd.umx will begin playing, as Prisoner 849 walks into the escape pod (scripted cutscene).
Exit from Unreal
MUSIC: UnrealEnd.umx, UEuro.umx, Dreams.umx
All the three songs are remastered versions of the originals with better samples and more clear instruments. UnrealEnd.umx will stop looping and will go to the next song only until the credits appear.
UEuro.umx is the EuroDance Unreal song that was played in some of the old trailers, while Dreams.umx (Dreams of Na Pali) is a bonus song that appeared in the Unreal OST. Both of these tracks will play in the credits, one after another. None of them will loop.
The escape pod's model got a make-up job. It still looks like a Razorjack, it's the back engine part that looks more developed on.
The ending overall doesn't change much aside some layout edits. Skaarj pod still goes through the emergency tunnel that runs through the center of the Mothership. As you get out, now fully morning with no clouds in the sky and the suns illuminating the place, you can now see the Mothership fully crumbling down into the abyss.
Prisoner 849, unlike the original Unreal, will now escape with the pod. No bittersweet ending after all the terrible things you went through.
What changes however is the ending texts; they'll be based on whatever you did throughout the journey, as well as vaguely describing what will be the outcomes of your actions. Things that alter the ending texts are:
- If you killed a lot of Nali.
- If you saved every possible Nali.
- The number of Gasbags you killed.
- Nemo being cleared.
- Jupiter being cleared.
- The Seeker being cleared.
- Nexus being cleared, therefore killing Droth and obtaining the Impaler.
- If you got the Relic item in Triton's underground lake.
- If you killed the crazy Nali in Velora.
- If you destroyed the Skaarj's super weapon (which will have a big impact in the Human vs Skaarj war between the events of U1 and UT).
When the ending text stuff ends, the escape pod is seen moving away into the unknown.
Finally it's done. It's been fun!