Mars Attacks Martian 2K4



This model is very well done... looks just like the movie, hell even better!

or as this species would say "Back Ack Ack !"




Model Name              : MartianUT2k4
Model description       : The evil Martian invader from "Mars Attacks!" for UT2k4
Release                 : 8/18/2004
Author                  : Yasser Malaika
Email Address           : [email protected]

If you enjoy this model, please send me an email. I'd love to hear from you. Also, any feedback is always welcome.

I offer the creation of custom models, skins, animations, and audio for several game engines as a service. If you'd like to commission a model for your clan, or represent a game company that is interested in hiring out content creation, please feel free to contact me directly.



Copy the following files into the right places under your UT2k4 folder:


The following are the voicepack files, which are optional but are nonetheless HIGHLY recommended:


Team Skin Options:

I've included a couple of alternative .upl files that offer different Team Skin behavior. (Please see below for details.) These can be found in the "System/MartianAlternateTeamSkins" folder. Simply replace the Martian.upl with either file to install them. You can have any or all installed, but I suggest keeping only one in your system folder at any one time.


Server Admins:

For use on a server, install as noted above. Then edit the Engine.GameEngine section of the System/UT2004.ini file as follows:


You should also rebuild the server's MD5 database in order to prevent cheat detection problems. You can do this by running the following command in a Command line window in the \UT2004\System folder:


Bio Info:

UT2k4 no longer requires that you paste bio text into your /System/XPlayers.int file, as it's included in the .upl. It is included here just in case old habits die hard, or if you have problems seeing the info when adding the Martian to your ladder in single player:

Martian="Name and Age: Unknown|Race: Martian|............|yAk ak ak GAGK! AaacKK!|(Translation:'Nice planet... We'll take it!')|SEE!! ..the terrible onslaught of angry aliens from the red planet!|THRILL!! ..as the invasion scorches maps everywhere.|SHRIEK!! ..when these monsters with huge, slimy brains threaten the very existence of the human race.|FIGHT BACK!! Show these evil invaders our weapons of mass yodeling and take back our planet!||"

Background Info:

In 1962, the Topps trading card company released the bubble-gum card series known as "Mars Attacks". Although the card series was discontinued due to a strong negative reaction towards the highly graphic and over-the-top violent nature of the images, it retained a cult following. The cards also became quite valuable. I was first introduced to the series while working at a card collectibles store in high school.

In 1996, director Tim Burton created a schlocky movie adaptation that not only paid homage to the card series, but also to the entire genre of 'B' sci-fi movies. Ironically, it employed an all-star cast and VERY expensive digital effects. Although it didn't do so well at the box office, it has assumed a cult following of its own.

Play Information:

Player Size:
Based on feedback, I've made the UT2k4 version a tiny bit smaller than the UT2k3 version. Thus, the Martians, being the "little green men" that they are, are somewhat smaller than the average UT2k4 player. The current mesh scale of 0.28 makes them appear at their intended size. If you'd like the martian to be closer in size to the standard UT2k4 players, you may change the mesh scale value to 0.37 in UnrealEd.

Custom Animations:
Yes. These were a neccesity due to the Martian's strange body proportions. Also, the helmet only looked good when it was rigidly linked to the chest bone, and this made the head clip when using the default Epic animation cycles. (Flipping the normals on the helmet helped, but then it didn't look "right" and often clipped anyway.) Also, I wanted the eyes, cheek danglies, and eyebrows to articulate in order to provide more character. Since the Martians in the movie had quick, choppy movements as well as shifty eyes, I felt that it was important to add these elements in the game version.

If you want to get a better look at the animations, press tab and type "behindview 1" into the console. (Or you can press F4.) This takes you into a third person view. An even better way to see the martian up close is to type "freecamera 1" into the console. The free camera is pretty useless for playing, but it allows you to see the front of the model much more easily. To play the "taunt" animations that really makes this model shine, type 'v' to bring up the voice menu and navigate using the numbers.

CUstom Ragdoll:
This was added mostly to prevent the head from clipping the helmet so much. It should mostly stay inside now. The ragdoll is somewhat mis-sized on purpose, as it makes the martians eyes bug out while they flop around. (A happy accident I decided to keep!)

Custom Sound FX:
Yes. These are linked to certain taunts and other animation actions automatically. They are mostly sampled from the movie. I have added idle sounds which I hope are subtle and not too repetitive. Also, there are custom pain and death sounds in the MartianSpecies.u file. Although more fun to play with, using this custom .u in the past (UT2k3) has triggered cheat detection, thus breaking network play. The current UT2k4 version works fine online in the cases I've tested so far. But, if you have problems, you can simply remove the offending MartianSpecies.u file from your system directory to restore network compatibility. Changing the .upl file to read "species=xGame.SPECIES_Alien" should at least keep all the anims intact.

Team Skins:
Yes, two sets. One includes full red and blue space suits from the UT2k3 version. A second set (now the default) keeps the signature green suit, but adds team color on the collar, tanks, and accent areas. A third option forces the green suit in all cases. This last one is great for playing solo vs. a team of martians in their original suits. (Just another bug hunt.. he he he..)
Please note that in the movie, the green armor is brighter and more saturated. This has been intentionally tuned down for this model to fit into the visual context of UT2k4, as well as to avoid washing out in many maps.

Custom Skeleton:
Yes. Zap a Martian with the secondary fire of the link gun or fall into lava to check it out. Since the suit is made of such advanced material, it is impervious to fire. It does char, however!

Custom Voice Pack:
Yes. Wouldn't be the Mars Attacks! martian without "Don't run, we are your friends!", would it?

Known Bugs:
-The glass helmet does not take the de-rez texture overlay properly. The mutant and invisibility effects exhibit the same problem. I suspect that this is because the helmet skin is a third skin. The xPawn code SHOULD change additional skins, but it doesn't. (The unreal script appears to iterate through all skins on a mesh, so I can't say why this happens.) I've recompiled xPawn to fix this, so hopefully Epic/DE can fix it for a future release. (I can't release the fixed version because that would break network play.) 

-The alpha texture around the teeth and cheek danglies overlaps, creating a see-through effect. These are not missing polygons! Rather, it is due to the way the Unreal engine handles alpha channel transparency for single maps on overlapping  polys. If you slowly orbit around the head in freecamera mode you'll see what I mean. This is appropriate for real-time performance, so it's not really a bug. Although there are ways around it from a content creation point of view, I didn't feel that the artifacts were noticable enough during in-game action.

-People have reported that the portrait doesn't show in the player selection screen. I can't reproduce this, and have made sure the portrait images are the correct size, format, and LOD setting.

-The legs may improperly oriented in the Chaos mod. This is due to the custom skeletal system used in Chaos, and is beyond my immediate control. Sorry!


Model and UV maps were made in 3dsmax 5.0 based on movie reference. I used the standard polygon modeling technique of starting with primitives and modifying, welding, turning edges, and so forth. Physique was used for rigging, and the custom animations are modified versions of the bipeds released by Epic. (Thank you Epic!) The rest were created from scratch.

Poly Count              : 3487 triangles
Vert Count              : 1952 vertices (+ use of smoothing groups)

3 total skin textures were made using Micrografx Picture Publisher 10 and my trusty Wacom tablet.

1 Body shader:(1024*1024)
1 Head: (512*512+alpha)
1 Helmet shader: (512*512+alpha)

There is also a single Env. map plus a specularity mask for extra detail and to keep each part appropriately shiny. The skins were done in separate layers including color, saturation, lightness, a baked shading/shadows layer, surface detail, and grime.

Some voice sounds were sampled from the movie, others were created by recording myself then modifying via mechanize, flanger, and pitch adjustment filters (Goldwave) to sound like the translating device from the movie.

Voice Pack:
The voice pak was built with UT2K4VoicePackager by Paul Catalano (www.xgxlan.com/vp). Very cool tool. Thank you!

ACKS:    4
NAMES:   2

Other software used:
DVDx, UnrealEd 3, Umod Wizard

Ownership and Copyright:

VERY IMPORTANT: If you post images of this model, or create content that features it, please include the following information:

Mars Attacks is the property of the Topps Company, Inc. 
Mars Attacks logos and images (TM) & Copyright (c) of The Topps Co., Inc.

Mars Attacks! Movie and Movie images (TM) & Copyright (c) of Warner Brothers.

UT2k4(R) is a registered trademarks of Digital Extremes and/or Epic Megagames.

Please also include:

"Model by ymalaika"

Why, you ask?:

I wanted to create this player model for several reasons:

1. I really enjoyed the movie when it first came out. It was a quirky picture, and I found watching it to be an unexpectedly guilty pleasure. A 'B' movie with an 'A' effects budget, Danny Elfman score, and superstar cast? Odd, to be sure, but very, very fun. It's refreshing when movies don't take themselves so seriously. The first time I watched as the Martians encounter their ultimate weakness, well, I knew this film would be a keeper. Anyway, I felt that the portrayal of the Martians in the film made a *perfect* character for a first person shooter.

2. Since it's been years since I was in the game industry, I wanted to keep my CG skills sharp and stay in practice with the current generation of tools.

3. Because of the focus on architecture and environemnts in my professional work, character implementation has historically been among the weakest parts of my portfolio. Hopefully, having a strong, highly playable character will address that shortcoming, and also demonstrate that I can execute a wide variety of tasks; model, rig, skin, animate, add audio, and tune for playability.

4. The movie provided a really good source of reference. (The folks at ILM sure set a pretty high standard.) Because my goal was to demonstrate that I can succesfully capture "character" in a game engine, I needed a widely known, yet not often used subject. That way, the quality can be judged in a more critical fashion both by myself and others.

The Honorable Thing To Do:

This is a freeware model, but... If you enjoy playing this character, please consider purchasing the movie:


Although I did create all the files for this model, it's important to remember that all aspects of this character belong to their respective owners. Also, a lot of people worked very hard to create both the original card series and the movie. Perhaps a good way for the gaming community to recognize those facts is to give a little back. It's not terribly expensive, and if you're a sci-fi fan it's a fun viewing!


-The official movie website:


This site is very 1996, but it contains a few useful nuggets of info. In particular, it describes the martian suit material as made of "Flexible rubber texture. Bullet proof. Material unknown."

-Zelda's Mars Attacks Home Page:


This is the best fan site I could find, and it features images of the actual original trading card set:


Very cool indeed!

Future Projects:

If anyone out there is looking for a project to compliment this model, here's a few ideas:

-A custom weapon for the martian death-ray guns. These would be handy, and could be made by modifying the link gun. Please note that I have sound effects all ready to go for this!

-A mutator that changes the skin texture on the helmet and/or head upon death would be cool. The MartianTex.utx package includes textures with shattered, exploded, and green goo-filled helmets. It also has a green goo smeared head. I have succesfully made a mod that does this, but I don't know how to do it without a custom .u file that would break net play. I still need to learn mutators... (Epic folks: WOuld it be possible to add an animation notify event that can swap skins? That would allow for some very cool stuff to happen without triggering cheat protection...)

-The martian flying saucer would make for a very cool vehicle... :-)

-A mutator/gametype that would allow you to fight against waves of Martians invasion-style. A radio playing a Slim Whitman song could be the secret weapon against them perhaps???  :-) )


Laura: Thanks for sitting through Mars Attacks with me, even though you're not into sci-fi and the mosquitoes ate us alive until we moved inside. Love will make you do crazy things, I guess.

Russ: You were the first play tester, and your positive reaction really encouraged me to finish it. Thanks man!

The original card series crew:
-Len Brown and Woody Gelman, original creators of the Mars Attacks card series.
-Bob Powell and Wally Wood, who did the pencil drawings.
-Norm Saunders, the famous pulp-comic artist, who did the painting.

The movie crew, including:
-Tim Burton, director. Thanks for creating such a fantastic homage.
-Jonathan Gems, screenwriter. Masterfully done!
-Jim Mitchell, Visual effects supervisor for Industrial Light and Magic
-Michael Fink, Visual effects supervisor for Warner Digital Studios

Thanks also to the Polycount.com crew and community. I couldn't have done it without the exceptional sharing of info and critiques. What a resource! Also, thanks to Atari forums folks for the UT2k4 version beta testing.

In particular:
-John, Sandbag, Cheapalert, Harsh, TrailBoss3, JaFo, =NS=sOuLs, Exodus, and Garee for crits, feedback, and advice.
-Chris Ollis: The work you've done was inspiring, and the tutorials you posted were *enormously* useful.
-Fraggin Phun and Rainecloud over at The Voice Shrine: Thanks for writing the excellent tutorials on voice packs and for your support. The extra sounds really made the character come to life.
-chiQ: Thanks for the specular tutorial. Made a *huge* difference. Skin really is armour.
-SkullBox, Neosurfer, and Praetorius for their extremely useful forum postings.

Last, but not least, The team at Epic/Digital Extremes, for creating a great game/narrative/architectural walhthrough engine, and keeping it mod-friendly.


Still reading this far down? Go zap some martians already!



P.S. No animals (or members of congress) were barbecued during the production of this player model.

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