Command & Conquer (often abbreviated as C&C or CNC) is a video game franchise, mostly of the real-time strategy style as well as two first-person shooter games based on the former. The Command & Conquer series was initially developed by Westwood Studios between 1995 and 2003, with development being taken over by Electronic Arts with the liquidation of Westwood Studios in 2003.
The first installment of the series was released worldwide on August 31, 1995 and was simply named Command & Conquer. It was based on Westwood Studios' earlier strategy game Dune 2. The series is largely marketed for North American, Anglo-European and Australasian audiences, though many of the games have been translated into other languages including German, French, Spanish, Korean and Chinese. The series is primarily developed for personal computers running Microsoft Windows, although some titles have been ported to various video game consoles and the Apple Macintosh. The latter games of the series starting with Tiberium Wars have also been developed in parallel for Xbox 360. Another spinoff game, Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, is being developed for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Another new title, Tiberium was in development, but has since been cancelled.
In 1999, American game marketer and developer Electronic Arts purchased Westwood Studios. Westwood was eventually closed down in 2003 and absorbed into EA Los Angeles which has become the current development center for the ongoing Command and Conquer series. Some of the original Westwood developer team remained at EA Los Angeles, but most left to form Petroglyph Games.
As of February 11 2003, the Command & Conquer franchise had sold more than 21 million units worldwide. As of 2008, nine games with various expansion packs have been released, the most recent title being ''Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath.
While the United Nations' GDI focuses on research on attempting to mitigate the damage the Tiberium crystals increasingly begin to cause to the Earth's peoples and ecosystems, Nod's position is to embrace Tiberium as a gift from God and the herald of a new age for humanity. Nod has done heavy research into pioneering Tiberium-based technologies and its self-proclaimed messianic leader, a man known only as Kane, appears to have designs to convert the entire world to a Tiberium-based ecosystem. The GDI was created by status quo nations to counter Kane's plans for a new world order. The Brotherhood of Nod excels at manipulating the media to turn world opinion against the GDI.
While the original Command & Conquer's plot was centered around an allegorical world politics setting, its successor of Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun shifted this to a more sci-fi like setting against the apocalyptical background of Tiberium beginning to assimilate vast portions of the Earth's ecosystems. Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars returned the emphasis of the ongoing story to a setting akin to the original Command & Conquer game, but set half a century into the future.
The 1996 title of Command & Conquer: Red Alert, otherwise of the Red Alert series, was made the prequel to the original Command & Conquer game by Westwood Studios, establishing Red Alert as the prologue of the entire Tiberium story arc. Since then the man who created Command and Conquer, Louis Castle, have said that connecting Red Alert with the Tiberium Universe was a "failed experiment". In the game Command and Conquer: The First Decade EA, the new owners of the franchise also split the franchise into three universes (Tiberium, Red Alert and Generals) which means that Red Alert is no longer a prequel to Tiberian Dawn. The title's own sequel of Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2, created by a different development team, is a stand-alone spin-off taking place in a parallel universe as a result of some unknown events involving time travel. Unlike its predecessor, Red Alert 2 features no connections or references to the Tiberian universe.
The Red Alert series is set in an alternate time-line, created when Albert Einstein travels back in time and removes Adolf Hitler in an attempt to prevent World War II. This backfires and results in a Soviet invasion of Europe by Joseph Stalin, which serves as the backdrop for the first Red Alert game. Two expansion packs for the original Red Alert were released: Counterstrike and The Aftermath.
Red Alert is an exploration of the beginnings of the alternate history leading to the Tiberian series and is the prequel to the original Command & Conquer game. With the release of Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2, this connection however would become unclear, with fans of the series split as to whether or not the time travel excursions of the series were forming a separate continuity or just another side adventure on the way to the Tiberian era. However, it has been implied by the original creators of the series, now working on Petroglyph Games, that Red Alert 2 takes place in a parallel universe as a result of time travel experiments taking place some time into the Tiberium storyline. Whether or not the current developers of the C&C series are going to follow through on this explanation, however, is unclear.
In Red Alert 2, the Soviet Union invades the United States, using mind control technology to capture US forces and deactivate the United States' nuclear arsenal. In the expansion Yuri's Revenge, Soviet Premier Romanov's adviser Yuri attempts to overtake the world using his psychic dominator technology. A last-second attempt to stop Yuri's plans sends the player back in time to the conflict occurring in Red Alert 2, but instead of fighting against the Soviets/Allies, the player fights against Yuri. Unlike Red Alert, the Red Alert 2 games do not make any explicit or passive references to the Tiberian series.
In Red Alert 3, the Soviet Union travels back in time to kill Einstein in order to weaken the Allies. However this act has created a split timeline which caused a new secret empire to rise from the east, the Empire of the Rising Sun. The Empire uses Mecha Robot Technology which is able to transform into different forms.The Soviets, Allies and Empire are all at war with each other with no alliances between any two factions.
Westwood Studios also released a music disc with the music from the Red Alert series. This disc was bundled with some later versions of the game.
Unlike its predecessors, the plot line of Command & Conquer: Generals is completely unrelated to the other games of the Command & Conquer series.
The game uses an engine dubbed "SAGE" (or Strategy Action Game Engine) and is the first fully three-dimensional Command & Conquer RTS game. This engine was an evolutionary development from the Westwood3D engine used in Command & Conquer: Renegade and Emperor: Battle for Dune. Fans of the C&C universe noted that it was the first ever C&C RTS game that did not include full-motion video cutscenes to tell the story, and, also, that it departed from the unique interface and base-building mechanics that had characterized all of the previous C&C RTS titles.
In Generals, there are three different factions, which maintain a balance of power: the USA which adopts emergent technologies and support units; China, which swamps defenses with vast numbers of tanks and troops, and the Global Liberation Army (GLA), a terrorist network which uses low-tech ingenuity and guerrilla tactics like terrorists, trucks with machine guns, and black market trading. The Chinese and the USA are targets of the GLA. The US uses more advanced techs like air support, heavy tanks and snipers, while the Chinese use napalm explosives, a handy Horde Bonus (which increases units' attack and defense when in large groups) and hacking to get the job done. The Chinese barracks also produce two Red Guards for every time the icon is clicked, meaning they are produced twice as fast as Rebels or Rangers for about the same price.
The expansion pack for Generals, Command & Conquer: Generals: Zero Hour, extends the game's plotline. Zero Hour makes many additions to the original game while retaining the three basic factions. Each team may choose one of three different generals. Each general has a specialty, which translates into prioritizing particular units and abilities: for instance, one of the USA generals prefers laser weapons, and hence may only build laser tanks and laser turrets (replacing some of the standard USA tanks). No new factions have been added to the game. Zero Hour also includes full-motion video cutscenes - in the form of news reports - before every single-player mission.
The oversized infantry is an issue that has yet to be acknowledged, and did not occur in the original release of Red Alert. Instead, the game was more like the modern version of C&C95, with infantry proportioned more appropriately with vehicles.
Command & Conquer: Renegade attempts to resolve this problem by revealing that the majority of each structure is in fact underground; however, this creates even more problems, since buildings can be constructed immediately adjacent to one another in the RTS games, meaning that the underground portions would overlap.
The early C&C games (Red Alert, Tiberian Sun etc) used a basic build system that changed in Generals. To build structures in the early games the player would click the required building's icon on the side panel to begin construction off screen. When construction was complete, the player would click again to place the building on the terrain. The building would also change color during placement in order to show where the player could and could not place it. In Generals and Zero Hour, however, special building units - Workers for GLA, Construction Dozers for China and the USA - are used to construct buildings on the terrain. This new building process changed gameplay as well, because buildings could now be constructed anywhere on the map, and were vulnerable to being destroyed more often during construction instead of only after they were built. You can also turn the buildings allowing you to make units come from the direction you need to send them adding a tiny amount of strategy to building placement.
In Tiberium Wars' expansion pack, entitled Kane's Wrath, each of the three factions of the core game receive a so-called "epic unit" -- the GDI "MARV", the Nod "Redeemer" and the Scrin "Eradicator". Each are massive "super units" that can be garrissoned with various infantry to increase its capabilities and/or firepower, and features a special ability which can quickly turn the tide of a battle. The GDI MARV is able of instantly harvesting as well as processing Tiberium crystals by simply driving over a Tiberium field, giving a GDI player the ability to deny their opponent's economy by means of direct offense. The Nod Redeemer features the "rage generator", which will cause all enemy units in its range to attack one another. The Scrin Eradicator recovers credits for the Scrin player by consuming the destroyed husks of enemy units. Tiberium In Tiberium, now cancelled, the hero character is a GDI officer named Ricardo Vega, one of the protagonists from the novel. In the same fashion as Renegade, Tiberium was designed as a first person shooter, so the player would have assumed the role of this character and have direct control over him. Red Alert 3 Red Alert 3 sees the return of Tanya for the Allied faction, with identical abilities to the version featured in Yuri's Revenge, but with the addition of a "Time Belt", which she may use to travel back in time and regain health, and additionally to escape from dangerous situations. The Soviets receive Natasha, a female sniper unit that is capable of killing lines of infantry at a time, a laser-marker which she uses to call in airstrikes upon vehicles and structures (much like Boris) and the ability to snipe vehicle pilots, allowing the vehicle to commandeered - not unlike Jarmen Kell's ability. The Empire of the Rising Sun receive Yuriko Omega, who uses her psionic abilities to kill infantry, or to mentally tear apart vehicles, structures - and even aircraft. She also possesses the ability to release a psychic blast that will kill all infantry in a 360° radius, much like Yuri's mindblast ability featured in Red Alert 2.
The Brotherhood of Nod can build the Temple of Nod: a religious center/missile silo capable of launching a nuclear missile. This weapon has greater destructive power compared to the Ion Cannon and can harm multiple targets around its ground zero, but needs more time to "recharge" (ie, produce another missile) as a setback. However, in Tiberian Sun and Firestorm, the missile was changed to a non-nuclear cluster bomb called a Multi-Missile available through purchase of a missile silo. Also, a Chemical Missile that covered the target zone with toxic clouds of Tiberium gas became available with the addition of a Tiberium Waste Facility.
Command and Conquer 3 changed the Nod superweapon back to a nuclear missile. The new faction, the Scrin, may construct a superweapon called a rift generator. It creates a 'rift' on a patch of land, which acts similar to a black hole, destroying or severely damaging structures just as much as the Ion cannon or Nuke. All three superweapons are different in how they are deployed - the Ion Cannon is the easiest to escape from, as several blue lasers shine from the satellite before the actual strike. The Nuclear Missile has a delay of around five seconds after launch until impact, however there is no sign of the impact location. The Rift Generator does gradual damage but fires instanteaneously, giving the enemy little to no chance of protecting their units.
In Red Alert 2, the Chronosphere and the Iron Curtain are much more powerful since they can now affect multiple units at once. The new Chronosphere also does not revert the vehicles back to the main location as it did in the first game. The Allies also command the Weather Control Device that can generate a massive lightning storm that covers a large area and randomly strikes at targets below. The Soviets control a more powerful version of the nuclear silo, which irradiates the ground in a radius of where it lands and obliterating most of its target. Yuri's faction, introduced in Yuri's Revenge, has the Psychic Dominator that transfers the control of all units in the target area to the Yuri player and damages buildings heavily. The lesser superweapon of Yuri is the Genetic Mutator that instantly mutates infantry in the target zone into The Hulk-like Brute soldiers under the Yuri player's control. In Red Alert 2's expansion, a force shield ability is also introduced to all factions, provided if the player has a Battle Lab. The Force Shield functions similar to the Soviet Iron Curtain, but protects the player's base from all other superweapon attacks, although when activated, it drains the player's base of power for a short period.
For Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, the Chronosphere and Iron Curtain remain, although both factions' major superweapons have been changed. The Allies now control the Proton Collider, which fires several yellow lasers at the target area in an arc from where the Allied player has placed the superweapon. The Soviets are armed with a Vacuum Imploder that launches a small vacuum imploder warhead that behaves much like the Scrin Rift Generator in that it inflicts damage over time to structures, and drawing in all units within its area of effect to be instantly destroyed. The Empire of the Rising Sun has the Nanoswarm Hive as their lesser superweapon which creates an impenetrable shield around the target area to stop an attack force or block access to an area of a base. Their major superweapon is called the Psionic Decimator, and it creates two energy fields: one black which steadily shrinks around the second field, which is light blue. When the black energy field compresses so much that it fits inside the blue one it expands rapidly and everything within the blast radius has damage inflicted on it. Of all of the major superweapons in Red Alert 3, only the Psionic Decimator and Vacuum Imploder can hit air units.
Generals did away with this style of interface in favor of an interface more reminiscent of Blizzard games like StarCraft. Generals was not seen as a "true" Command & Conquer game by many fans because of this change.
The original Command & Conquer sidebar was restored in Command & Conquer 3, which had three columns instead of two, with the unit or structure upgrades/actions bar in the lower part.
In Tiberian Sun, there are two types of Tiberium that yield differing amounts of credits per amount harvested. It is also very toxic to infantry units (with the blue also being flammable and explosive). Additionally, Tiberian Sun was the only game featuring orange "veins" which can't be processed into money; rather, it was used by Nod as the base ingredient of the aforementioned Chemical Missile. In the Red Alert series, the main item to be harvested was "ore". It is similar to Tiberium, but is non-toxic to infantry and slightly slows the movement of vehicles while they are on the ore. The more valuable substance in Red Alert were called "gems". Gems, however, did not regenerate as did the Ore/Tiberium. Control of the Tiberium/Ore on the game map was a vital part of strategy. In Red Alert 2, Oil Derricks were first introduced into the game, which generated a constant flow of income for the player. In Tiberium Wars, the Tiberium Spike served as the Oil Derricks did in RA2. Some maps also contain civilian Tiberium Silos that grant credits when captured and allow for more storage of Tiberium.
Generals de-emphasizes the role of resource management in game strategy. Instead of Tiberium, there is a fixed amount of "supplies" contained in boxes that can be retrieved by certain units called resource gatherers, with the resource gathering structure placed near the supplies. Unlike ore or Tiberium, supplies do not regenerate, requiring the game to provide other ways to generate income. The USA has a Supply Drop Zone, which calls in planes to drop boxes of supplies. China has hackers, who can generate increasingly high income through hacking the Internet. The GLA has the Black Market, which generates 20 credits every few seconds. At the same time, the GLA can gain additional money through destroying enemy units. A General Upgrade enables GLA to gain as much as 20% of the cost of an enemy unit. Additionally, all sides may capture civilian oil refineries to generate 200 credits every few seconds. Since these buildings did not have a build limit players in this game could create a runaway economy fairly quickly.
Red Alert 3 also has a new type of economy: the "Ore Mines" which are closely related to WarCraft 3's mine system. The player builds a normal C&C Refinery close to an ore mine, the Harvester that spawns will collect ore and then return to the refinery again and again until the mine runs dry. This change was made for players to be able to focus more on fighting and less on managing their economy.
Command & Conquer was not the only Westwood Studios game that would follow this practice as there were many more. The games that would use Battleclans were Tiberian Sun and its add on pack Firestorm, Red Alert 2 which later merged its battleclan system with Yuri's Revenge and the original Command & Conquer game. Whoever would play under your clan name would add points to the clan scoreboard if that person won the game, though there was a table for both winners and losers.
Now that Command and Conquer are in the hands of EA, EA have setup their own servers and ladders for the later releases.(From Generals onwards)
A golden version of the same logo was used on C&C'95, Command & Conquer: Red Alert, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun, Command & Conquer: Sole Survivor, Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 and their expansions.
The Command & Conquer: Renegade logo uses the same gold logo, but embeds it in a background with metal texture.
The Command & Conquer long logo was developed for Generals with a completely different design; the words being placed horizontally, rather than the vertical alignment of the previous versions. The same logo was also used for its expansion pack, Zero Hour.
The early C&C 3 concept logo seemed to be combining aspects of all previous logos. The font was in the Generals long-logo style, while the words were placed vertically like in the classic variant. The final revision of the logo went back to the design of the original ones, as featured in the image at the top right of the article page.
NIST cherry road CD incorporated into Command School curriculum. (News Briefs).(National Institutes of Standards and Technology)(Brief Article)
Jan 01, 2002; Command School is a 3 day training symposium sponsored by the International Association of Fire Chiefs for fire department...