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RA will always be a part of me. You, too?


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Hey, what's up, folks?  This is going to a lengthy post haphazardly chronicling my time with RA and many will probably be able to relate, in some form.


My first name on Westwood was Warheads.  I went under the Moniker SPEEDBALL.


Red Alert was given to me in December of 1995, as a Christmas present.  I want to thank the Salesman at Compusa for recommending this game to my mother.  The first time i played a game online; I was hooked.  I wasn't very good at the time, as i am sure others weren't, either.  During this time it was the RA Generals, Vaders, Lord Vegas' and other names i can barely remember.


Seeing the chat rooms filled with players meant a long day was ahead.  The room would be filled with general banter, name calling and a slew of a Cases or Netleague game, my rank is.  There were no shortage of games to be played and this made the game so fantastic as someone new to online gaming.


As i got better, the butterflies and nervousness of playing good players would always take over and i loved it. 


I started my days on The Netleague ladder and quickly rose through the ranks.  Until Players that i once beat (Nexx, John Wild) starting destroying my scatter (x) tanking.  I had no idea how they were dancing around my tanks.  A simple waypoint (q) hotkey revolutionized the game for me.  Battles were now fierce and intense when going against a capable opponent.  I loved it.  Although my mother didn't care too much for my 20 hour sessions.


I then decide to join cases.  I remember back then Cases had different classes for each series of rankings (e.g. 1-100 Brigadier , 200-300...).  I don't know why but i thought that was so cool.  Give me some slack.  I was a young teenager.  I never got much higher than 200 during this time.  Still utilizing ridiculous techniques in a game that was based on tank rushing, but the game was still so much fun.


I was around for the Campbadass and Gamestat Tournies and the mplayer craze and the cheap westwood disconnect bs.  I remember having to play Nike1 in the playoffs but one of those was a scam, so we never played.  I remember beating may great players and after thinking they were all immortal.  I also remember losing.


I eventually got to a good status but never great.  I topped out in the 20s on the ladder.  As the Josef's and Skatanaa's and IamJJs of the world populated the top positions. 


Then there was mplayer and the Ten players coming to Westwood.  My prime happened when a lot of the good players left making me wonder how much more fun the game would have been for me.  There were still very good players, though.


Around 2001 was my final game.  I still never did get a 1-spot, but that is ok.  My best rank was 4 as it was very hard to find the top 5 players.


Years later i had nostalgia and did some researching and found that RA is now a diskless executable.  Fired up Kali and starting playing on p4.  Still as much fun, now, as it were, then.


Around 2008, i went back again to Kali and was amazed there were quite a few people still playing.


Fast-forward to present day and one of my work buddies brought up RA and the nostalgia came pouring back.  More searching for the game lead me to the anniversary edition and cncnet.  Out of my own curiosity i log into the chat and i see familiar names like Rosssi (i know i missed some s's) and robskate and the ORA moniker. 


I have constantly told people time and time again how RA was the greatest RTS game ever made.  At least, it was for me.  The simple mechanic of speed and tank rushing always brought the adrenaline.  Every RTS game after RA was a disappointment for me.  As Total Annihilation started pulling players and other RTS after it, the RA days were becoming bleak.


I am pretty sure RA will always be with me.  Even if its a game i play once a year or in thought.  With some of the familiar names - i question: do you feel the same way?






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My bad.  That should be Dec 1996.  I was 15 at the time.  I played a span of 20 years but realistically 5 years and a month or two each time i came back. 


I was excited for TS but it was not what i thought RTS was.  tanks tanks tanks.  Of course, realistically an RTS is not tanks but C&C: RA, sure was.  I didn't like building things to get other structures. 


We all latch on to something that makes things memorable to us and sometimes - that is an awesome feeling.

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My dad had ps1 copies of Red Alert and Red Alert: Retaliation and I can remember being able to play RA to a competent level before I could read, having played since I was 3.

I played single-player on and off for about 6 years.

When I was about 8 my dad got me Red Alert 2, and I used to take up the family computer for hours playing that (or Transport Tycoon Deluxe). RA2 seemed like such a cool game, and was even cooler when I got given the Yuris Revenge CD as well.

When I was about 11 my dad got me a copy of the first decade, along with a new computer for me and my bro to share. It was incredible. Suddenly I had a whole selection of C&C games for me to experiment with. Having put several hours into all the C&C's in the lot (with the exception of Tiberian Sun, which crashed a lot) I found myself mostly playing Tiberian Dawn, Red Alert 1 and Red Alert 2.

Tiberian Dawn obsessed me with the different game mechanics, the different factions, even the cool music, and I found the missions much more enticing (and difficult).

I always wondered if anyone else out there was playing and wondered if I could play other people (remember I had missed out on all the online play). I got C&C3 after it came out and played it on-and-off. When I was about 14 I was bored one day and decided to google Red Alert to see if anything had happened recently, and stumbled upon cncnet, and immediately downloaded it. I only played RA at first, and improved over time, but became disappointed at how repetitive and bland the online gameplay was.


I was aware Tiberian Dawn games were very very limited at the time, but I managed to get a night or two and ended up getting annihilated 5 or 6 times by Lovehandles, which kinda sucked, but it taught me how to play Tiberian Dawn in a much better way, which enhanced my single-player experience massively (for the majority of C&C's, including revisiting C&C3), as well as my multiplayer game. I finally beat all the Tiberian Dawn missions when I was about 15 and my dad turned around and said "I beat that game before you were born" Thanks Dad.


When cncnet5 came out (or at least the beta) I saw very quickly a lot more players and a lot more games (and most importantly more Tiberian Dawn games) and the continuously growing player base has helped me enhance my game hugely (big players like Lovehandles and cn2mc challenging me to improve).


As of the last couple days I've almost completely stopped playing RA now (it got rather dull, and the nostalgia effect ran out) but I still seek as many Tiberian Dawn games as I can find, and do my best to be an absolute menace to anyone willing to face me :P


Summary of the story is I've been playing C&C's since before I could read, and have enjoyed many many many hours out of it.

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I remember seeing C&C for the first time. TD dos.

I didn't get to play, as it was on a friends computer and my bother was there, so obivously, he just hogged it the whole time. Funny thing, too, the game was hacked and hummers shot lasers.


Years later, my brother purchased the game, he kept the CDs in his room so I had to beg him to let me play it. I did get to play it a bit, though, and I played it online and via modem with a friend from school. Was fun. We didn't know how to play, though, so we just made tanks and thought that tanks were the only really good thing......


Years later, TFD came out. I saw it for $100NZ and bought is almost exclusively for TD. Yep, that's right, I was willing to pay $100 for a copy of TD, but the rest of the C&C games were something I hadn't played a lot of, either.

My brother came to live with me for a year, soon after, and he still had his copy of C&C. We duked it out, and at first he mopped me up with his GDI meds. I remember him saying "I don't think Nod can really win, GDI just rolls over them". I played one match where I created a diversion and sent flame tanks into his empty base while his meds where out of position; he went for a quick push, given he'd annilated my lights, but I made on ob just in time and then finished him off...


It got me thinking. I got online and found some people on XWIS to play. I found how good bikes were and it changed how I played completely. Playing my brother again, he just couldn't win. He felt that bikes were the new 'top unit', as his Meds were no longer all the useful. I somewhat agreed and continued to seek out games online.


A year or so later, CnCnet arrived and I started to find new players, I started to learn how the infantry worked. I played Nod for years, but have, just lately, swapped to GDI. Enjoying the challenge of building nice balanced ground armies of Troops, Hummers and Tanks, supplemented by Orca strikes.


For me, Red Alert will always be something that I don't understand, TD however, I'd still pay $100 to play.


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As a kid, I played C&C for the first time on the PS1 port.


I was mesmerized by the screams of the soldiers when they died (which were kind of disturbing/scary).

Felt like a real commander with responsibility. :cncsmirk:


The music, cutscenes, briefings, photo-realistic maps, that 90's political climate..

I was hooked.


I consider Tiberian Dawn, Red Alert and Tiberian Sun the Holy Trinity of C&C.

These are the core/essential games, although the more casual generation grew up with Red Alert 2, Generals or Tiberium Wars.

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We've pretty much found that making slightly more closed maps balances out TD. Considering SC and SCII both did the same (just from the start), I'd say TD has pretty good balance.

RA1, on the other hand, I'd say it is indeed imbalanced. But I can understand it to be fun for people.


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I did play some LAN RA games, and the campaign of course, back in the day. It was nice and all, with it being readily moddable and having a built-in map editor and everything, but I still thought it sucked compared to TD. Even then (I was 10-11 when it came out) I realized that RA, as fun as its new features were, was way too skewed in favour of tanks for my liking. I very much preferred the way the slower speed of tanks worked in TD. It meant that you could do heli rushes, or kill tanks with orcas, bikes, infantry. Sides were more different. Maybe not more different than RA in terms of unit diversity, but certainly more different when it comes to how you play them. C&C is just more demanding of the player, take for example combined arms - in RA this is a nonissue, you have tanks, your enemy has tanks, someone wins... Maybe if nobody wins for some time one of you will build MiGs or cruisers, possibly some V2s; whereas just a couple of casual games against a decent opponent will convince just about anybody that there are almost no 'stupid tactics' or 'wrong builds' in TD, and there certainly aren't any 'useless units'.


And here we come to my main point, The Game in this case for me is TD, either a really close second to, or an even closer tie with, Sid Meier's Civ 1 (DOS) for the best game of all time. Third will possibly be Quake 2, but I'm getting off track. I first played C&C about when it came out, either '95 or early '96. I was fascinated. The only strategies I'd played until then were Civ, Jagged Alliance (also cool games, 1 & 2), and Cryo's Dune, which had strategy, but was more of an RPG. All of those were turn based, and yes, I hadn't played Dune II before C&C. I'd never seen anything play in real time like that. Well, I did have Sim City, but that generally didn't involve flamethrowers, lasers and screams of agony. Neither did it have actual videos, oh, man! On the computer! Those were times when we DREAMED that our measly PCs would sometimes maybe be able to show videos as good as our TVs, can you imagine that? And our TVs weren't the shit either. Needless to say, I was fascinated with this strange new game and I played it for hours on end, and months on end, with a friend of mine, at his place where I first saw it. I remember how stuck we were on the GDI mission with the gunboats. We were like 9-10 years old, new to the new genre of RTS and didn't yet have the capacity to exploit the AI or think on a broader strategic scale. We managed to kill the turrets and eagerly awayted the promised fireworks, the gunboat seemed awesome in the first mission, so this should've been a breeze. Reinforcements have arrived, there's two! And then we just heard hmmmMMMMMZAP, and the first one went down, struck by a laser from outside the fucking screen (remember, 320x200 res). OK, this is bad. We spent weeks trying and failing to go past that obelisk. Hell, we spent a few days setting up a base - those artys would crush us before we even saw them coming. If we only knew about the back entrance...


So there you go, just one of my most vivid memories from the time when C&C was new to me.



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