Command & Conquer: Red Alert series

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Red Alert series
Cncra-win-cover.jpg
Red Alert
Developer(s) EA, Westwood
Publisher(s) Electronic Arts
Platform(s) All Games
Microsoft Windows
Red Alert 3
Xbox 360, PS3, Mac OS X

Red Alert
PlayStation, Nintendo 64, PS3, PSP, DOS
Red Alert iPhone
iPhone

Release date(s) 1996-present
Genre(s) RTS
Mode(s) Single player, multiplayer (all versions)

Command & Conquer: Red Alert is a series of real time strategy video games set within the Command & Conquer universe. The series is well known for having some of the most quirky and outlandish units in the genre.

The Red Alert series takes place in an alternate timeline, created when Albert Einstein travels back to the past and eliminates Adolf Hitler in an attempt to prevent World War II from taking place. This plan indirectly backfires and results in an unchecked Soviet invasion of Europe by Joseph Stalin in the 1950s. The Stalin-led invasion of Europe serves as the backdrop for the first Command & Conquer: Red Alert game. Two expansion packs for Red Alert were released: Counterstrike and The Aftermath. New units, missions, multiplayer maps and music tracks were included in these expansions.

The story of the original Command & Conquer: Red Alert game portrays the early in-universe history of the main C&C storyline, and leads directly to the Tiberium story arc of the Command & Conquer franchise.[1][2][3][4] However, with the addition of the title Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 at the hands of a new team of developers in September 2000, this connection was rendered unclear, with fans of the series becoming split as to whether or not the time travel excursions of the Red Alert series were forming a separate continuity altogether, or just another side adventure on the way to the Tiberian era. At the time of the release of the 10th anniversary compilation pack, known as Command & Conquer: The First Decade, this new and second C&C development team claimed in interviews on the pack's bonus DVD that the games existed as three separate universes -- Tiberium, Red Alert and Generals. However, with the release of the title of Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars in 2007, at the hands of a third new development team from Electronic Arts Los Angeles, EA published a featured document pertaining to C&C 3's storyline in which a direct reference to Kane's appearance in the 1950s of Command & Conquer: Red Alert is made.[4] On July 25 of the same year, a Command & Conquer: Renegade-themed modification for the game Crysis was officially announced by Electronic Arts, which is stated to directly link the first Red Alert game to Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn.[5]

Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 is a stand-alone sequel to the original Red Alert game, which unlike its predecessor makes no references to the Tiberium story arc, and which came with its own expansion pack; Command & Conquer: Yuri's Revenge. In the storyline of Red Alert 2, the Soviet Union invades the United States, using mind control technology to capture US forces and deactivate America's nuclear arsenal. In Yuri's Revenge, Soviet Premier Romanov's advisor Yuri attempts to overtake the world by using his "psychic dominator" technology. A second and last attempt to stop Yuri's plans sends the player back in time to the conflict occurring in Red Alert 2, but instead of fighting the Soviets/Allies, the player fights against Yuri.

C&C creator Westwood Studios also released a music disc with the music from the Red Alert series. This disc came bundled with some of the later release versions of the games.

Plot[edit]

The basis of the Red Alert series is that in 1946, at the Trinity site in New Mexico, Albert Einstein created a "Chronosphere" time machine. Traveling back to Landsberg, Germany, he met a young Adolf Hitler just after the latter's release from Landsberg Prison in 1924 and shook hands with him to cause a reaction that eliminated Hitler's existence from time by disturbing the "space-time continuum". This prevented Nazi Germany from forming and averted World War II as we know it from taking place.

Without Nazi Germany to stand in the way of Joseph Stalin's ambitions of conquest, the USSR tries to form a Soviet Union stretching across the entire Eurasian landmass. The nations of Europe, including Germany, form the Allies as a Soviet invasion precipitates a different World War II (Red Alert) and eventually a Soviet invasion of the United States in a circa 1970s/1980s setting (Red Alert 2, Yuri's Revenge). The Soviet Union is ultimately on the losing side.

In Red Alert 3, the Soviet Union teeters on the brink of collapse. Seeing the Premier's office empty, Cherdenko reveals Dr. Zelinsky's Soviet time machine to General Krukov. To retroactively save their country, Cherdenko travels back to 1927 with Krukov and Zelinsky in tow to assassinate the man behind the Allies' technological superiority. As Albert Einstein comes off stage from giving a speech, Cherdenko shakes his hand with disintegrative results. The trio is then returned to the "present," where the Soviet Army has the Allied forces on the brink of defeat in Europe and Cherdenko is Premier of the USSR. Just as the gloating starts, an ultra-advanced and previously nonexistent Empire of the Rising Sun embarks on world domination. Without Einstein, calls to use the USSR's formidable nuclear weapon arsenal are met with blank stares, as the atom bomb has apparently never been developed in this new timeline. Thus while the Soviets and Allied battle amongst themselves the Empire of the Rising Sun enters the chaos and a three-way world war breaks out for total control of the globe.

Games in the series[edit]

Production History[edit]

Command & Conquer: Red Alert[edit]

Released in October, 1996, Command & Conquer: Red Alert was the second Command & Conquer game to be released by Westwood Studios. Instead of returning directly to the Tiberian universe, Westwood Studios decided to create a game centered around the concept of "What would happen if World War II hadn't happened?" The resulting game of Command & Conquer: Red Alert became the prequel to the original Command & Conquer.[1]

Two expansion packs were released within a year, called Counterstrike & The Aftermath, these were also released for the PlayStation in a pack called Retaliation, with new missions and cut scenes.

Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2[edit]

In this sequel to Red Alert, the Soviets launch an attack on the United States. With the aid of Yuri, Premiere Romanov is able to avert the nuclear retaliation of the Americans and he is able to gain a foothold in the United States itself. Red Alert 2 features new and old units and technologies and feature a variety of countries within each faction (Allies/Soviets). Each country features his own unique unit/building/technology; the Americans have Paratroopers, the Koreans have Black Eagle fighter jets, the French have a Grand Cannon defensive structure, the Germans have a Tank Destroyer vehicle, the British can train Snipers; Russia have Tesla Tanks, Libya have suicide Demolition Trucks, Iraq have Desolator troops and Cuba has suicide Terrorists. An expansion to Red Alert 2, Yuri's Revenge, was released in which the powerful psychic Yuri tries to achieve world domination. Secretly during the war with the Americans, Yuri has been constructing his own army across the globe and he turns on the Soviets which result in the Allies and Soviets having to ally against Yuri. The game takes place in another alternate timeline, starting with the end of the war in RA2 having the soviets lost, but Yuri taking over the world's minds using his Psychic Dominator. The Americans use Einstein's Time Machine to go back in time to the beginning of the war so they can try and stop Yuri before his plans of world domination are finished. This expansion pack includes a new faction; Yuri and new units/building/technologies for each of the 3 factions.

Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3[edit]

A third Red Alert was unofficially announced by Electronic Arts' then C&C lead Mark Skaggs in December 2004,[6] shortly after the release of The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth. However, Mark Skaggs left Electronic Arts for reasons unspecified shortly thereafter, and there was no mention of a Red Alert 3 until over three years later. In February 2008, both American PC Gamer and Hungarian PC Guru revealed that they would feature Red Alert 3 as cover stories.[7][8] On February 14, EA announced that Red Alert 3 was in production and offered screenshots, interviews and beta testing details.[9] Red Alert 3 features three factions, the Allies, Soviets and the Empire of the Rising Sun. The game features old units from the previous Red Alert games such as Tanya, Kirov airships, and dolphins. Red Alert 3 was the first of the 3 games to feature a 3-D engine, though fans[who?] have criticized the game because it no longer has the same feel as the previous games. RA3 takes place in yet another alternate time line that occurs just after the Soviets lost the war in RA2 - they go back in time and kill Albert Einstein, removing his influence with the Allies and thus removing the existence of nuclear weapons. In Asia, the Empire of the Rising Sun secretly builds a vast army with technologies and weaponry that forces the Allies and Soviets to occasionally form alliances.

Internet Gameplay[edit]

Command & Conquer: Red Alert was widely played on the internet during its most popular years on many sites including Westwood, GameSpy, Ten, Kali, and Heat. Today the game is played on only two of the original places. First is Westwood Chat, which is now hosted by XWIS.[10] Second is Kali, a multiplayer network interface.[11] Both of these options require their own patches and game versions.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Westwood Studios (1997-10-24). "Westwood Studios Official Command & Conquer: Red Alert FAQ List". Westwood Studios. Retrieved 23 April 2007. 
  2. ^ Westwood Studios (1998-10-23). "Official Command & Conquer FAQ v3.0". Retrieved 2007-05-13. 
  3. ^ Westwood Studios (1998-10-23). "Official Command & Conquer Gold FAQ v1.3". Retrieved 2007-05-13. 
  4. ^ a b "Kane's Dossier". EA Games, Command and Conquer 3 official website. 2006-10-29. Retrieved 20 January 2007. 
  5. ^ Electronic Arts Los Angeles (2007-07-25). "Command & Conquer 3 News Announcement". EALA. Archived from the original on 16 July 2007. Retrieved 28 July 2007. 
  6. ^ "The Next C&C Game: A Red Alert Title!". Planet CnC. 2004-12-06. Retrieved 2007-06-23. 
  7. ^ HeXetic (2008-02-12). "Red Alert 3 Announced (again)". PlanetCNC. Retrieved 2008-02-12. 
  8. ^ Chuck Osborn (2008-02-12). "Red Alert 3 Announced in April 2008 issue of PC Gamer, No Hungarian Required". PC Gamer. Retrieved 2008-02-13. 
  9. ^ EA Games (2008-02-14). "Red Alert 3 Official Press Release". Retrieved 2008-02-14. 
  10. ^ Instructions on how to play at Westwood chat can be found here
  11. ^ Kali Main Site

External links[edit]