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Real Time Strategy (Games) Entertainment Games

Red Alert 1 Released As Freeware 105

Posted by Soulskill
from the that-was-left-handed dept.
Ciaran_H writes "Command & Conquer: Red Alert 1 was released as freeware on C&C's 13th anniversary. The Soviet and Allied CDs are available for download on EA's site. With the freeware release of the original Command & Conquer: Tiberium Dawn having taken place last year for the 12th anniversary, two of the most popular RTS games are now available completely free." EA is also offering a free download of Red Alert 2 with a pre-order of the upcoming Red Alert 3. The above link has a trailer for the new game, which includes appearances from George Takei, Tim Curry, Jenny McCarthy, and others.
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Red Alert 1 Released As Freeware

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @08:48PM (#24853111)

    Releasing the game as freeware is also useful for those who bought the game when it was first released and lost the CDs.

    It really would have been nice if they'd also released it via BitTorrent. I guess they dont want to do that because its easier to sue BT tracker websites if it doesn't have as many legal uses.

  • Re:two discs? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Constantine XVI (880691) <trash...eighty+slashdot@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @08:58PM (#24853209)

    Red Alert used a fsckton of FMV, so they split the campaigns over two discs. Plus, it made an excuse for Westwood to pack two discs, so a friend could play RA when they came to your place for a LAN party or something.

  • by Awptimus Prime (695459) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @09:02PM (#24853255)

    Some even update the game to run on newer operating systems.

    Freeware doesn't necessarily mean you have access to the source code. Just try running some ancient Linux games released binary-only on a modern system. If I recall, Sim City 3k was one of these. Lost to the abyss.

    To save a game for history, source needs to be out there. Dungeons of Daggorath [wikipedia.org] is a fine example of this. Originally released in 1982, and still going strong in 2008. Well, "strong" being relative to it's sales back in the day compared to number of folks who don't have a problem compiling a game nowadays.

  • Re:two discs? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @09:08PM (#24853327)

    The real fun is the Rules.ini file. Google it and you will unlock an entirely new world in RA that was unimaginable!

    For fun, change the soviet dog's attack type to the scud missile or tesla coil! It's hours of fun

  • by WDot (1286728) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @09:15PM (#24853377)
    When EA releases C&C games as freeware, they really mean it. Back during the "12th anniversary" celebration, they released the Command and Conquer Gold. It's still free a year later.

    http://www.gamershell.com/news_41337.html [gamershell.com]

    C&C Gold and RA look about the same graphicswise, and they both require a little bit of configuration on modern machines to run smoothly (to run with sound and arrow keys working properly), but it's worth it.
  • by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman @ g m a i l . c om> on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @09:51PM (#24853729) Homepage Journal

    I run Linux you insensitive clod.

    Merry Christmas [dosbox.com], you insensitive clod!

    DOSBox is simply an incredible emulator. I never thought I'd see the day when DOS would be as well emulated as the classic computers of yore. :-)

  • by Ash-Fox (726320) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @11:02PM (#24854341)

    But DOSBox is tuned for video games. Which makes it superior for game applications. Of course, I have been known to be wrong. :-)

    I have literally /always/ had better performance with dosemu for games, with out it taking much CPU usage. Hence why I use it.

  • by TrekkieGod (627867) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @11:32PM (#24854573) Homepage Journal

    I have literally /always/ had better performance with dosemu for games, with out it taking much CPU usage. Hence why I use it.

    YMMV, I guess. I like dosemu, but it emulates DOS so well that I always end up revisiting my days of trying to get enough conventional memory going before I can start a game. DOSBox takes care of that. It's not dosemu's fault, it's a result of them being a full emulator. You can replace the freedos they supply with MS-DOS and it'll work.

    DOSBox has all the drivers you need (like sound blaster and mouse) already "loaded" without actually taking up any memory that the DOS applications can see. So 640k ends up actually being enough for anyone :)

  • Installation Help (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @11:50PM (#24854699)
    The installer checks for 95/98, and I believe compatibility mode doesn't work (neither does DOS installer in W2K). There are two methods to get past this:

    1. Copy files from INSTALL directory, apply 3.03 patch, then apply registry patch (and no-cd):

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Westwood\Red Alert Windows 95 Edition]
    "Name"="Red Alert Windows 95 Edition"
    "Version"=dword:00030003
    "InstallPath"="INSTALL_PATH (i.e. C:\\WESTWOOD\\REDALERT\\RA95.EXE)"
    "SKU"=dword:000003ed
    "FolderPath"="START_MENU_PATH (i.e. C:\\Documents and Settings\\All Users\\Start Menu\\Programs\\Westwood\\Red Alert)"

    2. (untested) Change HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\VersionNumber to appropriate number to fool installer.

    No-CD: http://ra.afraid.org/html/downloads/fixes.html [afraid.org]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @02:11AM (#24855485)

    Here's the link you really want: "Command & Conquer: Red Alert" [dosbox.com]

    Looks like someone has already mentioned some tweaks needed to get the EA-supplied rar running smoothly with dosbox.

  • by risinganger (586395) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @02:18AM (#24855531)
    Eh? The BitTorrent protocol specifies [theory.org] a completed message that is to be sent to the tracker once the torrent has been fully downloaded. What more do you need?
  • by XnPlater (1186661) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @02:32AM (#24855611)
    Option A: wine [wine.org]

    - use winecfg to set windows version to 98.
    - before installation copy the contents of CD1 (allied) to a local directory
    - use winecfg to configure a cdrom drive (F: for example) to point to it
    - further, in winecfg set the corresponding cdrom label to 'CD1'
    - run the installer;
    $ wine F:/SETUP95/INSTALL.EXE
    - copy the included PATCH.* from the XP_Patch subdir to the REDALERT installation folder
    - run the inlcuded update patch;
    $ wine C:/WESTWOOD/REDALERT/PATCH.EXE
    - run the game;
    $ wine C:/WESTWOOD/REDALERT/RA95.EXE

    Option B: freera [sourceforge.net] (haven't tried it though)

    Happy world domination!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @05:57AM (#24856491)

    Freeware doesn't necessarily mean you have access to the source code. Just try running some ancient Linux games released binary-only on a modern system. If I recall, Sim City 3k was one of these. Lost to the abyss.

    True that I'd rather have source, but binary-only doesn't mean gone forever. Most distros (I use Gentoo, which does this) have a Loki-compatibility package, much in the same way as you would have a Linux Standard Base package, which contains all the binary versions of libraries that you would need for the program to run. Then you write a shell script wrapper for the game (again, Gentoo does this for you) that sets LD_LIBRARY_PATH to where the compatibility libraries are, and everything runs smoothly.

    I've been playing Descent 3 like this on my modern laptop for the past 2 years.

  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @06:25AM (#24856653) Journal
    DOSBox is a full emulator. Dosemu is a thin virtualisation layer with DOS system call emulation. This means that dosemu is x86-only, while DOSBox allows me to run Worms nicely on a PowerPC Mac. Newer versions of DOSBox support x86 virtualisation when running on x86 (they only emulate interrupt instructions). Peripheral support in DOSBox is generally better - it emulates most things games want (joysticks and so on) and it lets you slow down the emulation easily so that you can run games written for the XT with fixed timing loops.
  • by Awptimus Prime (695459) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @08:47AM (#24857519)

    I've been playing Descent 3 like this on my modern laptop for the past 2 years.

    Thanks for backing my point up. Yes, it helps when the source code is released:

    The source code to the original Descent (minus the audio code, which was replaced with the Allegro project) was released in 1997. The source code to Descent II was subsequently released in 1999[2].

    from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Descent_(computer_game) [wikipedia.org]

    The method you cite stops working the day Loki decides to close it's doors and the Linux kernel makes another step forward in it's evolution.

  • by Cheapy (809643) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @02:26AM (#24870303)

    I have the Win95 version from A Long Time Ago, and it ran fine under vista.

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