Lately I’ve been attempting to figure out a way to play the original Command & Conquer (Tiberian Dawn) as well as the original Red Alert on Windows 7 machines that do not have the IPX protocol installed. Of course CNCNet, Hamachi, and other applications were available to connect to a master server on the internet and then “emulate” IPX across the internet using TCP/IP connections.
Although this worked, I was more interested in finding a solution I could use without access to the internet since some of our LAN parties consist of only a router and no external internet access depending on location.
This evening I’ve stumbled across an application called OpenRA. It is an Open Source game engine that has both the original Command & Conquer and Red Alert built in. It has both an online game lobby and a direct connect feature. It is a 2-3 MB installer download. Once you install OpenRA, you can select to play C&C or Red Alert. Once you make a selection you will be prompted to either load the files from a CD or download them directly from the internet.
The entire installation takes a little less than 10 minutes, and I can say this is one of the few video game mods/remakes that I am truely excited to play! The beauty of this application is that it seems to be geared exclusively towards multiplayer….which is exactly what I was looking for.
Visit the Offical OpenRA page at: http://openra.res0l.net/
While browsing the internet for articles on how to make the original Red Alert work on Windows 7 (for the purposes of an old-school lan party), I came across a MOD that any fan of the original game should try out. It is a complete remake of Red Alert, using the Red Alert 2 Yuri’s Revenge engine. It has been released and can be downloaded to play currently.
The name of the mod is “It Came from Red Alert!”. It does require that you own Red Alert 2: Yuri’s Revenge V1.001. I’m not sure if the version of Yuri’s revenge included in the “First Decade” pack would work for this mod, but I may try it with that version and post an update. It looks very cool and I’m in the process of downloading it right now. Acording to their website, this mod has been around for quite some time.
Also, this mod DOES include the “secret” ant missions!
You can see a screenshot of an Allied base below.
Check it out, you can download the MOD at their MODDB page located at: http://www.moddb.com/mods/it-came-from-red-alert
Command & Conquer is one of the very first multiplayer real time strategy games that made a lasting impression with the gaming community. The very first DOS version of Command & Conquer that required you to dial another player directly or play over IPX with 4 players.
Command & Conquer: Red Alert changed the game completely with the introduction of Westwood Chat, which allowed you to play with other players from the internet or with 8 friends over IPX.
EA Games has released a free to download full version of both of these games as well as Command & Conquer Tiberian Sun. You can download the .ISO images from: http://www.commandandconquer.com/classic
There are some installation instructions located over at CNCWorld for Windows XP and Vista. I’ve had some trouble getting the original command & conquer to work on my Windows 7 machine, but I will try to find some instructions for that OS and post them below at a later date.
Install Instructions for C&C 95 (Original Command & Conquer) on Windows XP: http://www.cncworld.org/?page=features/tutorials/tdfree
Install Instructions for Command & Conquer Red Alert on Windows XP: http://www.cncworld.org/?page=features/tutorials/rafree
Install and Online Play Instructions for Command & Conquer Tiberian Sun Windows XP: http://na.llnet.cnc3tv.ea.com/u/f/eagames/cnc3/cnc3tv/TibSunFreeware_install.html
Most of these games will require the IPX protocol to play with your friends on a local network, as these componets are not installed by default on Windows XP, Vista or 7.