Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2
|This article is written from a real world point of view.|
|“||Romanov: Is it done, Yuri?
Yuri: No, Comrade Premier. It has only begun.
|Command & Conquer|
Red Alert 2
|Release date||NA23 October 2000|
FR26 October 2000
EU27 October 2000
|Engine||Heavily modified Tiberian Sun engine|
266 MHz Processor
64 MB RAM
350 MB HDD space
4x CD-ROM Drive
2 MB video card
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 is a 2.5D real-time strategy computer game developed by Westwood Pacific and released in October 2000 as the follow-up to Command & Conquer: Red Alert. Although not originally envisioned by Westwood Studios, Red Alert 2 was created following the success of the original Red Alert. Set in the early 1970s, Red Alert 2 picks up at the conclusion of the Allied campaign of the first game, making the original idea of Red Alert being a prequel to Tiberian Dawn difficult to realize and separating the Red Alert universe as its own series. In October 2001, the expansion pack Yuri's Revenge was released.
Red Alert 2 contains two playable factions: the Allies and the Soviets, both of which previously appeared in the first Red Alert game. The Red Alert 2 singleplayer campaign is structured in an alternate-ending mode as opposed to a progressive story mode introduced in Tiberian Sun Firestorm earlier that year.
Red Alert 2 received an average rating of 86% according to GameRankings criteria.
Plot[edit | edit source]
Red Alert 2 has two unique story lines. Both the Allied campaign and the Soviet campaign start after the events of the original Red Alert, in which the USSR was defeated by the Allies after attempting to "bring revolution to [the] world".
Premier Alexander Romanov was installed by Allied leaders to the position of Soviet premier and was to keep the USSR in peaceful relations with the West. Suddenly, Allied spies cut contacts with their headquarters, and were seen operating with KGB agents. The Soviets invaded the Allied nations without warning, quickly reaching the United States of America. American president Michael Dugan ordered a nuclear strike on the Soviet Union, but silo operator Jerry Boyd was mind-controlled by Yuri to sabotage the silo, leading to the nuclear missiles detonating on closed silo doors.
Allied campaign[edit | edit source]
The Allied storyline begins with a strike team led by the Commander and Special Agent Tanya into the streets of New York City to defend Fort Bradley and repel the Soviet invasion force there. The player, with help from Tanya, successfully repels the Soviet invasion of New York City.
Tanya and the Commander are then sent to liberate the US Air Force Academy and the air base in Colorado Springs. After recapturing the academy and the air base and halting the Soviets' advance into the midwest, it is discovered that a Soviet psychic device known as the Psychic Beacon, a device that can mind-control the population of entire cities, has been deployed in Washington, D.C.
The Psychic Beacon manages to take control of President Dugan, general Ben Carville, and several other key Allied leaders in the city, who promptly surrender the United States to the Soviets. However, a quick and valiant counter-strike by the Commander destroys the Psychic Beacon and frees the Allied leaders and military officials from the Soviets' mind control, allowing them to be rescued and evacuated from the city.
Unfortunately for the Allies, Washington, D.C. still remains in Soviet hands. The American government and military are forced to relocate to Canada to escape from the Soviets and their mind control technology for the time being. Once the US military and its leaders take refuge in Canada, Allied intelligence discovers that the Soviets have deployed another psychic device, known as the Psychic Amplifier, in the city of Chicago.
Unlike the Psychic Beacon of Washington, the Psychic Amplifier has the power “to do to the country what the Psychic Beacon did to Washington”. The Allies promptly launch an amphibious offensive from across Lake Michigan into Soviet-occupied Chicago, freeing the city and destroying the Psychic Amplifier in a surprise attack against the Soviets.
But in retaliation, the Soviet General Vladimir, the chief commander of the invading Soviet forces, declares that he no longer has any use for the city of Chicago and detonates a nuclear device, completely destroying the city.
Alarmed by the nuclear attack on Chicago, the European Allied leaders of France, Germany and Great Britain are willing to lend help to the USA, but only if the American Commander and Special Agent Tanya can send in a strike team to disable the Soviet medium-range nuclear missile silos located along the Polish-German border. In a daring covert operation, Allied spies infiltrate the Soviet Battle Lab and destroy the two Nuclear Missile silos in Soviet-occupied Poland.
Free from the fear of Soviet nuclear counterattack, the European Allies join with the Americans in the war against the Soviets. With additional men and equipment from the European Allies, the US launches an new assault on Soviet-occupied Washington, D.C., reinforcing Allied forces at the Pentagon and, with the assistance of German professor Albert Einstein's Weaponized Prism technology, succeed in liberating the capital from the Soviets.
With Washington back under American control, Allied leaders are now able to launch a new battle plan to drive the Soviets out of America. Allied intelligence reveals that a large Soviet naval fleet led by General Vladimir is en route to invade the Hawaiian islands. The Commander is sent to the Allied naval base of Pearl Harbor to defend the islands and succeeds in destroying the invading Soviet naval force and reclaiming Nihau, Hawaii from the Soviets. However, the Allies are still in a precarious position in the war against the Soviets back in the continental United States.
The Soviets, using their psychic technology once again, have deployed another Psychic Beacon and taken control of St. Louis, Missouri, the heart of Allied ground control operations in the United States. Special Agent Tanya and the Commander lead a strike team to destroy the beacon and liberate the city, narrowly escaping the effects of the Psychic Beacon themselves.
After St. Louis is freed, the Allies learn of a Soviet project to replicate Albert Einstein's Weaponized Prism technology at a research base in Tulum, Mexico. A team of Navy SEALs is para-dropped into the area to destroy the research facility and whatever attempts the Soviets have made to replicate the Allies' Weaponized Prism technology. The mission is successful and the Allies' Weaponized Prism technology is not compromised.
In a briefing to the Commander, General Carville, says that they are being shipped off to Germany. Carville himself is headed to Berlin to plan the Allied invasion into Russia while he sends the Commander to the Black Forest to join up with Allied forces to protect Albert Einstein’s laboratory and his prototype Chronosphere, a device with the ability to move troops to any location in the world, against a large Soviet invasion force.
However, as General Carville is about to leave his office at the end of the briefing, a Crazy Ivan, a Soviet unit which utilizes explosives, ambushes the Allied General at the door and detonates his explosives, killing Carville. Despite the tremendous loss of a great leader to the Allies, the Commander is successful in repelling the Soviet invasion from across the border into the Black Forest, ultimately saving Einstein's laboratory and his Chronosphere.
Einstein personally thanks the Commander for saving his home and tells the Commander that he has been researching for many days and nights to find the best place to deploy his Chronosphere. Einstein determines that perfect place to deploy his Chronosphere is "on a tiny island in the Florida Keys, just a few short kilometers from Soviet Cuba”.
Unfortunately, this distance is within range of three Soviet nuclear missile silos in Cuba. The Allies send a force to the island to establish a base and construct the Chronosphere there, and then launch an attack to destroy the Soviet nuclear strike capabilities in Cuba.
With the Chronosphere successfully deployed in the Florida Keys, the Allies prepare for one final assault on the city of Moscow to capture the Kremlin and end the war for good. Using the Chronosphere, the Allied forces led by the Commander teleport begin their assault on Moscow.
In perhaps the greatest and toughest battle of the entire war, the Allies manage to eliminate Romanov's Elite Black Guard defending the Kremlin and a strike team lead by Tanya is teleported in to secure the Kremlin and capture Premier Alexander Romanov. The war ends with the Soviets suffering a humiliating surrender and a second defeat at the hands of the Allies.
Soviet campaign[edit | edit source]
|The following is based on the Soviet campaign for Red Alert 2 and might contradict canon.|
The Soviet storyline begins with the player being briefed by Premier Alexander Romanov about the upcoming Soviet invasion of the United States of America.
Romanov tells the player that the first priority is the destruction of the headquarters of the American military, the Pentagon. The Commander carries out this order, leading an invasion into Washington, D.C. and destroying the Pentagon. Another Soviet invasion is launched into Florida to destroy the American fleet there, which was threatening the Soviet invasion of the East Coast.
Even though the Commander is almost fully responsible for these victories, all the credit goes to the top Soviet commander, General Vladimir. Yuri recommends that the player captures New York City with a Psychic Beacon, a device that can mind-control the population of entire cities, while Vladimir is in Moscow celebrating so that Yuri and the "Comrade General" can also get some fame and glory.
The player follows Yuri's advice, and launches an offensive into New York City. After capturing the Allied Battle Lab, or research facility, at the World Trade Center, the Psychic Beacon is deployed and the entire population of the city falls under Soviet control.
To counter the ever increasing and successful Soviet threat, forces from the Republic of Korea launch an amphibious attack on Vladivostok, and the player must "defend the motherland" at all costs. The Commander ruthlessly defends the "motherland", crushing all invading Korean forces in a brutal counter-attack. Alarmed by the situation, leaders of Allied Forces agree to send troops to the Polish border to help the USA fight the Soviets.
While the French Military has amassed near Poland, the Soviets send a special forces team to Paris, with special orders from Romanov and Yuri to "show the Allies the true meaning of Soviet irony" and to "leave nothing".
Once in Paris, the Soviets fight to capture the area around the Eiffel Tower. The Soviets then use three Tesla Troopers, soldiers with the ability to destroy vehicles with electric charges, to energize the "Eiffel Tower" and effectively turn it into a massive Tesla Coil, a tower which uses massive electric bursts to destroy its targets. The energized "Eiffel Tower" quickly destroys all Allied forces in the city and devastates Paris.
With this and other key victories in Europe, the nations of Europe are in a position of needing help itself rather than giving help to the USA. During this time, Yuri has been gaining more and more power by using his telepathic abilities to mind control Romanov. As a result, Romanov gives all military authority to Yuri, which greatly angers General Vladimir, who accuses Yuri of forcing Romanov to make that decision.
Yuri discards these accusations and tells the player to establish a "Soviet presence" in the Hawaiian Islands. The Commander is sent to the islands and destroys the American Pacific Fleet and all Korean reinforcements, allowing the Soviets to easily take over the islands.
Meanwhile, Romanov has become very ill and Yuri's intelligence has revealed that the Allies have constructed a Chronosphere, a device with the ability to transport troops anywhere in the world. The Allies intend to use the Chronosphere to launch an assault on a Soviet research facility in the Ural Mountains.
Yuri tells the player that this research facility is vital to the Soviet war effort and that it must be defended at all costs. The player takes command of Soviet forces at the research facility and manages to repel several Allied attacks on the facility.
While the Soviet research facility is saved, Yuri has murdered Romanov in his hospital bed, but framed General Vladimir for the crime. Yuri orders the commander to go to Washington D.C. to eliminate Vladimir, who Yuri declares to be a traitor and a "nonperson".
The player defeats Vladimir's forces and captures Vladimir in the White House with the aid of Yuri's psychic technology. In another briefing with Yuri, the player is informed of Yuri's plan to mind control the U.S. president Michael Dugan and thus be able to indirectly influence the American government and military.
A Soviet strike team of psychic commandos is then sent to San Antonio, Texas and covertly infiltrates the American base there around the Alamo and then put President Dugan under Soviet mind-control. The Soviets then discover that the Allies are developing a new super weapon in the U.S. Virgin Islands, known as a Weather Control Device, a device that can create thunderstorms with the power to devastate large areas.
The Soviets launch an amphibious assault on the islands and successfully destroy the device before it gets a chance to be activated. Impressed by the tenacity of the “Comrade General”, Yuri asks the Commander to come to Moscow so he can thank the Commander in person. But Lieutenant Zofia tells the player about a video Romanov recorded before his death.
In the video, Romanov, with much difficulty, says that Yuri is controlling his mind and orders the Commander to bring the traitor to justice. The Commander goes to Moscow, but with a large army and the intent of apprehending Yuri.
Upon their arrival in Moscow, the player’s forces engage with forces loyal to Yuri. The player then launches a devastating attack on the Kremlin and Yuri is believed to be dead. After going through Yuri’s files, it is learned that the Allies have built a Chronosphere in Alaska, which they will use to attempt to launch a final assault into the Soviet Union.
Soviet forces are sent across the Bering Strait and destroy the Chronosphere and all Allied forces in the area. With all resistance destroyed, the player is now free to rule the world. However, in the end cut scene, Yuri's mind has somehow survived and telepathically communicates to the commander saying, “It would have been good to see inside your brain, Comrade. I still may get the chance...”
Development[edit | edit source]
The codebase of Red Alert 2 was based on a fork of an unfinished build of Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun, as seen by some residual files like the original upgradeable radar station sprite being present among the game assets and some code functions being missing (though later restored by community projects such as Ares). However, the game stability was improved and functionality was expanded, with the localization system seeing a particular overhaul.
The earliest datestamps of production assets originate from late 1999. The game was unveiled in April 2000 through possibly manipulated screenshots of assets that looked considerably different to what would be their final iterations.
The game was prominently featured at E3 2000 a few months later, by which time unit and structure designs would properly take shape. The E3 2000 build had a special functionality that allowed the player to control all units on the map regardless of the owner, for easier showcasing to the audience. Two maps from the event, one of them being a variant of Lake Blitzen, can be found in the finished retail discs of the game, but the latter map is unusable due to the changes that took place in the meanwhile.
In the mid-to-late summer of 2000, early beta builds were being developed, showing a less dark visual style while maintaining the core design. Most notable changes upon which a timeline can partially be defined were unit icons (cameos) in the sidebar, as they were developed in three stages: early textless cameos; elaborate cameos with text; and the final cameos with the finalized font that were mostly (but not entirely) derived from the previous stage.
Towards the end of the summer, LAN parties started taking place, likely to stress test the gameplay and balancing.
The Traditional Chinese localization is known to have been developed in the middle-to-late beta stages. It is the only official localization without dubbed cutscenes, instead using a subtitle system which can be copied and used for other versions of the game. This system would once again be seen in the Yuri's Revenge expansion pack.
Post-release[edit | edit source]
Around the time the Yuri's Revenge expansion pack was being prepared to go gold in September 2001, a decision came to delay the expansion and amend its cover art. It is assumed that since after the real-world 9/11 attacks, the cover art that featured annihilated civilian buildings like in the original Red Alert 2 seemed inappropriate. The packages for both Red Alert 2 and Yuri's Revenge were changed, but some markets ultimately received prints with the original cover. Likewise, certain authorized third-party re-releases like the 2004 SoldOut Software release of Red Alert 2 by Mastertronic used the original design.
Gameplay[edit | edit source]
Singleplayer[edit | edit source]
Red Alert 2 has two unique campaigns, which lets the player choose which side to lead to victory. There also a short training campaign called "Boot Camp" that is simply meant to introduce players to the gameplay of Red Alert 2. Each main campaign has 12 missions.
Of the two campaigns, only the Allied campaign is considered canon, since it leads into the events of Yuri's Revenge.
There is also a skirmish mode in which the player may fight against computer-controlled opponents. Its rules are the same as that of multiplayer.
Multiplayer[edit | edit source]
Red Alert 2 included LAN multiplayer as well as online play, similarly to Tiberian Sun.
In 2005, control of online play for Red Alert 2 and most other Westwood titles was passed over from EA to XWIS, a community-run server that now organizes the ladder system, and, with the help of a community reporting scheme, bans cheaters. The server is sponsored by the EA Germany Community Team.
LAN mode can be established through the obsolete IPX protocol. However, a community patch by Understorm (mirrored here) replaces it with the UDP protocol, making it compatible with Tunngle and Hamachi.
Cast[edit | edit source]
Allied[edit | edit source]
- President Michael Dugan (played by Ray Wise)
- General Ben Carville (played by Barry Corbin)
- Lieutenant Eva Lee (played by Athena Massey)
- Special Agent Tanya (played by Kari Wührer)
- Albert Einstein (played by Larry Gelman)
- French General Réne Lyon (played by Frank Bruynbroek)
- German Chancellor (played by Stuart Nesbit)
- British Prime Minister (played by Kerry Michaels)
- South Korean Naval Commander (played by Richard Narita)
Soviet[edit | edit source]
- Premier Alexander Romanov (played by Nicholas Worth)
- General Vladimir (played by Adam Greggor)
- Lieutenant Zofia (played by Aleksandra Kaniak)
- Yuri (played by Udo Kier)
Most of these characters, with the exceptions for Vladimir, the European Council members and the South Korean Commander, appear in Yuri's Revenge as well.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Red Alert 2 is the first Command & Conquer game on the PC not to have been censored in the German market in any way.
- The game was not officially sold in mainland China due to the ban on the original Red Alert. However, shops selling pirated copies of games did sell a version of Red Alert 2 with a fan-made mod that included China as a Soviet country, which featured a special rifleman unit and even Allied technologies. Due to the lack of official information on Red Alert 2 among Chinese players, this was often mistakenly believed to be an official version of the game.
Names in different markets[edit | edit source]
- France: Command & Conquer: Alerte Rouge 2
- Germany: Command & Conquer: Alarmstufe Rot 2
- Taiwan: 終極動員令：紅色警戒2
Videos[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]
- Official website (archived)
- Red Alert 2 folder on Westwood FTP (occasionally down)
- Red Alert 2 portal on CNCNZ.com
- Red Alert 2 on CnCNet
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