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The Making of Red Alert


MrFlibble
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I've got a couple of questions regarding Red Alert's development. I remember reading some information about this in various places I can't track down right not, so maybe some you guys can help me out :)

 

First, what about RA having been initially planned to be about WW2? I only remember some interview with one of the developers who said something like, "We were tired of Nazis being the bad guys, so we decided the make a game where the enemy is the USSR", but this does not necessarily imply that the game was originally planned to be set during WW2.

 

Secondly, Frank Klepacki says in his commentary to the Red Alert soundtrack that the initial concept was "sci-fi camp", and he wrote Surf No Mercy in this vein. Apparently, the "campy" direction also influenced the inclusion of the Giant Ants both in the Morse code messages in the original manual and in the secret bonus campaign in Counterstrike. This is a reference to the game called It Came From the Desert, which, in turn, pays homage to campy B movies.

 

Another thing is the ever-present timeline question, but what I am interested in is the point when the developers abandoned the idea of tying Red Alert and Tiberium universes into a single whole. I've had the impression that at some point it was officially acknowledged that the two universes are separate, but I can't remember if Westwood or EA did that.

 

It would be very nice if links to interviews or posts were also provided :) (E.g. Wikipedia mentions that Louis Castle said somewhere that uniting the two universes was a "failed attempt", but there's no link whatsoever :dry:)

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Another thing is the ever-present timeline question, but what I am interested in is the point when the developers abandoned the idea of tying Red Alert and Tiberium universes into a single whole. I've had the impression that at some point it was officially acknowledged that the two universes are separate, but I can't remember if Westwood or EA did that.

 

Red Alert was officially thought and held as the prequel for TD. When EA acquired Virgin Interactive and Westwood with it, a developement studio in Irvine, California was also bought and renamed into Westwood Pacific. IIRC, this studio alone (or at least co-)produced Red Alert 2, which explains the inconsistencies and messed-up timeline. Later, before WW was brought down, some of the developers already planned to explain the new RA2 timeline/universe via C&C3 (Westwood's Tiberian Incursion). Yuri was supposed to be an acolyte of Kane, who was thrown back in time when an abandoned Chronosphere in the sealed vaults of Area 51 was accidently activated (there was also some special armour called "Screaming Eagle" which GDI was trying to retrieve a copy of from the vaults. Presumably it was them who reactivated the Chronosphere).

 

So, I believe the universes were considered seperate either from the release/production of RA2 (even the old Westwood site had Tiberian and Red Alert games at different sections) or from the close-up of Westwood.

 

I got all this information from ex-Westwood and Petroglyph developer Adam Isgreen, who revealed bits of information every now and then at the Petro forums. I'm unsure whether those topics still exist, since the site has been updated a few times.

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I don't remember Red Alert ever having any more connections with real WWII than it has now (i.e. nazis or anything) :P But don't forget, it is still an alternate WWII ;)

 

The way you described the article doesn't even hint about Nazis, but instead already revealed what Red Alert was going to be about. Allies against Soviets.

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The way you described the article doesn't even hint about Nazis, but instead already revealed what Red Alert was going to be about. Allies against Soviets.

Well, it's just that my questions here arose from a discussion in another forum where a user said that RA was originally meant to be about WW2 (maybe he referred to the same article/interview but I misunderstood him though).

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Well, if my memory doesn't fail on me, Red Alert was actually going to be an expansion (prequel or not?) pack for C&C95. Hell March was originally planned as a Nod march song.

I think Frank mentioned he wrote it initially either for Covert Ops or for the potential sequel to C&C/"Next C&C game" before it was even determined what exactly it would be. BTW, I think it is no mistake/coincidence that on Frank's site Reload Fire is said to be the Covert Ops credits theme, I guess he really wrote it for Covert Ops and then it was switched to Red Alert.

 

I wonder how many of Frank's songs written during that period were shelved. Luckily those made for C&C survived inside the game files :)

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