Red Redemption: C&C RA1 in RA3

That is a whole lot of red

[This was written at 11.30am, but our scheduler messed up. Hooray! – Retroactive Ed] I should be at the Eurogamer Expo right now, but instead I’ve been stuck on a train for the last few hours, diverted through the darkest and most obscure reaches of the South-East, because this is crappy old Britain and its greedily-privatised public transport infrastructure is totally capable of efficiently dealing with day-to-day problems. I have a laptop, but the only game on it is Diablo 3. So I won’t be playing that. Hey, DRM? Screw you. Screw you right in the ear.

The battery-sapping miracles of phone tethering allow me to at least bring you this brief missive, which isn’t actually intended to be about my travel gripes – those are a beige alert at best – but instead about an ambitious mod for Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, which enthusiastically recreates the original, purer Red Alert within this the more recent C&C’s shiny, full-3D engine.

It features classic maps, remastered classic music, and a vastly improved AI. In what’s been a fairly quiet year for traditional RTS, and given RA3 was lacking a certain something-something, I really fancy a crack at this. Maybe once my hundred-year odyssey to reach the Expo is over, eh? Meantime, a nostalgia-inducing trailer awaits below.

Ah, a simpler time, and before the spirit of parody entirely took over RA’s soul. Grab the 406MB mod from here.


  1. Bull0 says:

    Oh, brilliant. Just in time for the weekend, too. Thanks Alec! Now I need to dig out my RA3 discs…

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  2. philbot says:

    Seeing this news has made my week. Possibly even my fortnight.

  3. karry says:

    “vastly improved AI”

    AI ? In C&C games ? That would be the day.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    This was written at 11.30am, but our scheduler messed up. Hooray!

    You should have sent it via neutrino! It would have got here yesterday.

    • westyfield says:

      The barman says “Sorry, we don’t serve sub-atomic particles here.” A neutrino walks into a bar.

    • fugo says:

      well played sir!

    • Daiv says:

      Far too dangerous. What if Alec had forgotten to already have posted it? That could be bad.

      Try to imagine every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light…

  5. Scatterbrainpaul says:

    ah, by the obscure reaches of the South-East, i take it you mean the Balcombe tunnel that pretty much fucked up everyones train journey to London today

  6. fugo says:

    to be fair it would be newsworthy if a train in the south-east reached its destination on time. today was especially shit though.

  7. LionsPhil says:

    Oh wow. With the possible exception of the tanks (particularly the mammoth) and chinook having a bit too much camo “noise” on top, that opening screenie really nails the original RA1 unit/building models. Nicely done.

    Although it all breaks down the moment it hits those cartoony RA3 animations/physics. :/ (Also nitpick: chronoporting tanks seem to leave treads flying off to the side, tsk.)

    (Something something A Path Beyond, RA1, but in Renegade, for free, but the eejits appear to have broken their website right now, sigh.)

    • Bull0 says:

      Renegade is totally awful though, so I can’t really recommend anyone goes to the trouble of bothering with it and A Path Beyond

    • LionsPhil says:

      Filthy heresy. It’s multiplayer was brilliant.

      …netcode, less so, but they eventually fixed that up a little in the last release.

    • Xercies says:

      Multiplayer Renegade is brilliant! Ergo A Path Beyond is brilliant since its just multi player Renegade with Red Alert maps and stuff. Though there are a few maps that are wildly unbalanced to a side.

      I really think someone from RPS should do a restrospective bit on Renegade multiplayer, i think its definitely a unsung gem.

    • Koozer says:

      I loved Renegade, and I could only play the singleplayer at the time!

  8. marlin says:


    Right, you owe me a new keyboard….

    And it was vodka too.

  9. Burning Man says:

    Bloody hell. RA2 was one of my favoritest games of all time. If RA1 is similar in any way, I am completely sold.

    • LionsPhil says:

      The difference was pretty huge, actually. RA1 was faaairrrly stark in tone (most notably in its FMV), and its economy was, like C&C1, quite slow. The cartoonish whoopsy-fundoodles was mostly new to RA2.

      Although as said above this seems to have kept RA3’s rubbery cartoonish animations. And RA1 did still have silly (just not really played up as such) tech like the Iron Curtain and the Chronosphere; by the point of the second expansion pack stuff like the base-levelling M.A.D. tank was in, which makes an appearance in this video.

    • Burning Man says:

      Hmm… I was hoping for a rather silly, unbalanced game where lobbing a nuclear missile at your enemy was an everyday affair. Oh, and boobies! I still remember RA2’s boobies.

      Russian Hotpants: “Paris is beautiful is it not? Too bad we cannot be there when the lights go out” *wink wink nudge nudge*

      Me: KYAAAA!!!

    • LionsPhil says:

      Oh. Well, RA1 doesn’t do boobiesboobiesboobies. I can’t even remember if Tanya plays that up much.

    • Koozer says:

      I…I don’t understand. You’ve never played RA1? Have you got a medical condition or something?

    • Nick says:

      It did have a mission of chasing a James Bond esque spy down with attack dogs and infantry..

    • DrGonzo says:

      Red Alert 1 was silly. I remember the fantastically cheesy cut scenes too. It didn’t have dolphins or squid you could control. But it was still camp to the extreme and didn’t take itself seriously in the slightest. Well… Either that or it’s just terrible, never been able to put my finger on that one.

  10. mdxlin says:

    sell and Collect game items, Welcome to link to query to them,thanks

  11. Nemon says:

    With this camouflage, they’ll think we’re all bloody dead.

  12. Wezz6400 says:

    The idea is nice, but the models lack detail and RA1’s unit design does not translate well to a modern engine (too much redness all around). On top of that, I don’t think RA1’s music needs remixing.

    With a lot more work this could be awesome, but in it’s current state I’m not enthusiastic.

    • c-Row says:

      Remix Frank Klepacki’s masterpieces is pure sacrilege! Get the pitchforks!

    • Berzee says:

      If they just add in the modern RTS conveniences, that’ll be enough for me. =)

    • LionsPhil says:

      Er. Frank himself did after all remix the RA1 music for RA2, and I think some of it may show up yet more fiddled with on his website and/or in Universe at War.

      Although, yeah, someone else touching it is worrysome.

  13. Paul says:


    Thanks RPS, going to get that ASAP. I knew I didn’t buy that RA3 in vain!

  14. bleeters says:

    I see gunships surviving multiple submarine hits! MY CHILDHOOD IS BUTCHERED AND SO ON.

  15. Berzee says:

    This is exciting! I am pleased.

  16. Tams80 says:

    Damn that celibacy group! They’ve been giving you and DRM ideas!

    On topic: Fantastic! I just bought all the C&C games for £15.
    Also: Tesla Coils!

  17. Love Albatross says:

    Interesting, but…one of the reasons I haven’t enjoyed newer C&C titles is the visuals, for me the original’s sharp, detailed non-3D graphics will always be the best. I’d prefer RA3 remade in the RA2 engine.

  18. Bfox says:

    Do people hate RA3 from all the streamlining and silly units? (lack of tanks just being tanks.)

    • LionsPhil says:

      I hate it for not being reimagined as an FPS, the one true genre.

      (…hmm. Actually, EA making an official Renegade Alert might not be entirely terrible, except Origin etc.)

    • Koozer says:

      I think the series is just missing soul these days.

    • DK says:

      They spent all their budget for RA 3 on B-list (and A-) Hollywood “stars” instead of actually making a fun game. And they put it on the goddamned SAGE engine, AGAIN. An engine that was brilliant in CnC Generals, struggling like a hundred year old packmule by Lord of the Rings and was ludicrously broken by CnC3. And they used it AGAIN.

    • LionsPhil says:

      @Koozer: Well, the series is missing Westwood these days.

      Not that they could do no wrong. C&C2 also suffered from pouring too much budget into hiring big name actors to ham their way through godawfully bad writing, and not enough on playtesting to realise that, say, Hunter-Seeker droids are pure random frustration. I don’t believe spinoff Petroglyph have had a stellar record either.

      But they made good again with RA2 before the EAbeast gobbled them up and spat half of them back out.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I loved the style and the units, the cut scenes hilarious awful-ness. The only thing I disliked in Red Alert 3 was how insanely fast the game was, it was so fast I couldn’t keep up and it completely broke the game for me.

  19. Roaring Panda says:

    Fuck Balcombe tunnel.

    • LionsPhil says:

      You must be considerably well-endowed for that to be a physical possibility.

  20. MinisterofDOOM says:

    Looks like it gets Aftermath content, too. Which is excellent, since no self-respecting Soviet player would feel at home without a few MAD tanks and missile subs.

  21. coldvvvave says:

    Planes are so tiny :(

  22. oatmeal says:

    This is multiplayer only? No single-player campagin?

  23. matrices says:

    Red Alert was great when they actually took it seriously, with the Soviet campaign being a seriously foreboding and chilling thing, as far as video game FMVs go. But because dark history doesn’t sell as well as retards hamming it up, the rest is, well, history.

  24. BoZo says:

    Looks great, but… Who the hell bought RA3?