If you appreciate the work done within the wiki, please consider supporting The Cutting Room Floor on Patreon. Thanks for all your support!
This article has a talk page!

Command & Conquer (DOS, Windows)

From The Cutting Room Floor
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Title Screen

Command & Conquer

Also known as: Tiberian Dawn, C&C, C&C1, Command & Conquer Gold, C&C95
Developer: Westwood Studios
Publisher: Virgin Interactive
Platforms: Windows, DOS
Released internationally: August 31, 1995


AreasIcon.png This game has unused areas.
CodeIcon.png This game has unused code.
MusicIcon.png This game has unused music.
SoundIcon.png This game has unused sounds.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.


ProtoIcon.png This game has a prototype article
PrereleaseIcon.png This game has a prerelease article

Hmmm...
To do:

Command & Conquer is inarguably one of the most innovative real-time strategy games, introducing many features which are now commonplace in modern games of this genre. It was originally released for DOS, then later ported to the Windows 95 engine used by Red Alert as Command & Conquer Gold, which allows the game to be played at twice the resolution.

In order to help groom mod support for Command & Conquer: Remastered Collection, the source code for this game, and for Red Alert, was released under GPL v3. It can be found on the official Electronic Arts GitHub repository. Do note that this is the code of the Remastered edition, meaning it contains some bug fixes and upgrades compared to the actual original game.

Sub-Pages

Read about prototype versions of this game that have been released or dumped.
Prototype Info
Read about prerelease information and/or media for this game.
Prerelease Info

Unused Playback Demo

The DOS version has an undocumented parameter: -ATTRACT. If the game is started with this parameter, it will start a playback demo after the game is kept idle on the title screen for one minute. This playback demo is very obviously unfinished, as it crashes after 45 seconds of gameplay. The demo is read off the otherwise unused RECORD.BIN file, stored inside the TRANSIT.MIX file, and by truncating this file, it is possible to have the demo finish. The feature is a leftover of the Dune II demo, which had full recording and playback ability. It's very likely that the developers simply ran out of time and were forced to ditch its implementation in C&C.

The parameter was carried over to the Windows 95 version as well. However, it crashes right away as soon as it attempts to load the demo, most likely due to the higher resolution causing objects on the screen not to match their recorded locations.

Special Options

The hidden dialog in C&C95, enabled through hacking

This excerpt from the game's strings file reveals a number of interesting options:

600=Special Options
601=Targeting flash visible to all.
602=Allow targeting of trees.
603=Allow undeploy of construction yard.
604=Employ smarter self defense logic.
...
606=Use three point turn logic.
...
609=Disable building "bib" pieces.
610=Allow running from immediate threats.
...
676=Allow separate helipad purchase
...
678=Tiberium grows quickly.

From research into the exe file, it was revealed that there is a hidden dialog that can be called up in the game which contains these options.

A number of these options, and more, appear as ini keys that can be read from the game's configuration file, CONQUER.INI, by placing them under the [Options] header in the file, along with the game's normal configuration options. However, the strings to trigger these options were saved as hash values, making the actual input strings a mystery. A number of these (often humorous) strings were later recovered through brute-force methods using a reconstruction of the hashing algorithm. The strings are case insensitive.

The final identified options are:

The tarbosh photo hidden in a C&C trailer video

TrueNames - Hash value: 0xB1A34435 | Recovered string: "TARBOSH"

  • Shows the actual names of civilians and civilian buildings in tooltips, rather than just "Civilian" / "Civilian Building." Many of the building names are humorous, and all of the people are named after Westwood Studios employees.
  • The code recovered for this, "TARBOSH", refers to a fez-like type of hat called a Tarbosh or Tarboosh. The code has been encountered in multiple Westwood games from that era, and a picture of the actual hat was found as hidden single frame in a trailer for the game. It was probably some kind of insiders joke at the company.

Players - Hash value: 0x5D9F6F24 | Recovered string: "6"

  • Allows six players in LAN games. Note that the C&C player spawning logic has bugs when the map contains less spawn points than this internal maximum. Almost all official maps have 6 player start positions, though.
  • Older versions of the game had hash value 0x9CAFC93B for this, for which the string "CROWDED" was recovered; and indeed, 6-player games on C&C's 64x64 cell maps are rather crowded.

Rotation - Hash value: 0x03552894 | Recovered string: "DANCING"

  • Wheeled vehicles will make three-point turns, rather than turning on the spot like treaded vehicles. This is... interesting, to say the least. Given the string value linked to it, Westwood was clearly aware of this.
(Video: Nyerguds)

Helipad - Hash value: 0x53EBECBC | Recovered string: "A LA CARTE"

  • Helipads will be built without helicopters; their price will be adjusted from $1500 to $300 accordingly.

MCV - Hash value: 0x104DF10F | Recovered string: "TRANSFORMER"

  • Selling a Construction Yard will undeploy it into a Mobile Construction Vehicle. Note that the game has a bug in the power drain adjustment done when deploying MCVs, making frequent use of redeploying MCVs drain power that can't be recovered.

Bibs - Hash value: 0xF7867BF0 | Unknown

  • Disables the concrete "bib" of cleared land in front of structures.

TreeTarget - Hash value: 0x00AB6BEF | Recovered string: "LIGHTNING"

  • Makes trees valid targets. Normally trees have to be force-fired on. Note that this also makes the larger tree clumps into valid targets, despite them being indestructible.

Combat - Hash value: 0xDC57C4B2 | Unknown

  • According to OPTIONS.CPP, this option is called "PARM_COMBAT". The description says "Allow infantry to fire while moving. Attacker gets advantage with this flag.". By default, it's off (infantry only fire when stationary, aka Special.IsDefenderAdvantage is TRUE) and so infantry approaching a position will be fired upon first before they can stop and shoot back.

Scores - Hash value: 0x7FDE2C33 | Recovered string: "REMIX"

  • Enables remixed variants of several music tracks, often with added vocals. This option will not work in v1.22 due to the removal of the option. It will also not work on the Windows 95 version (unless playing with the Covert Operations CD), due to the absence of the remixed music files.
(Source: Nyerguds)

CombatIQ - Hash value: 0x9E3881B8 | Recovered string: "SERGENT" (sic)

  • This option most likely corresponds to the string "Employ smarter self defense logic." Essentially, it makes both infantry and vehicles move away any time they're shot at, which mostly makes managing an army very tedious.
Crushed corpses in C&C

Overrun - Hash value: 0x4EA2FBDF | Recovered string: "PANCAKE"

  • This option should make squished infantry leave behind a crushed corpse, however, due to a badly written line of code, the option does not work, and instead disables all spawning of tiberium in a mission, including the initial population on mission start. Because of this, it was long believed the option was related to tiberium, but recent digging into the released source code showed what it really did, and analysis of the code allowed the broken logic to be repaired. However, the result is still rather buggy; the crushed corpses are impassable objects that are difficult to get rid of.

Sounds - Hash value: 0xACB58F61 | Recovered string: "7TH GRADE"

  • Enables alternate audio composed of human-vocalized versions of the sound effects. Probably done as a joke; given the fact they had already made Dune II it is unlikely they actually needed placeholder sounds. The sounds have file extension .JUV, which, combined with the actual string, probably means "juvenile".

Scrolling - Hash value: 0xC084AE82 | Recovered string: "RESTRICTED"

  • Disables scrolling upwards on the Options and Sidebar buttons, to avoid accidental scrolling when the player wants to click one of the buttons. Scrolling diagonally from the corner still works, though. Due to the logic being inherited from the DOS version, however, the width of the blocked areas is only equal to the size of the buttons in DOS C&C, which means that in C&C95, they only cover the first half of the Options button and the last half of the Sidebar button.
(Source: Rich Nagel)

For the known values, the options would look like this in CONQUER.INI: (ignoring the existing normal options already in that file)

[Options]
TrueNames=tarbosh
Players=6
Rotation=dancing
Helipad=a la carte
MCV=transformer
TreeTarget=lightning
Scores=remix
CombatIQ=sergent
Overrun=pancake
Sounds=7th grade
Scrolling=restricted

Two tools were created to enable these options by changing bytes in the exe file:

Note that in the unofficial v1.06 patch for C&C95, the options are all changed to simple true/false boolean switches, removing all need for the secret codes. Some of the codes that could interfere with multiplayer games were also moved to an internal rules.ini file.

Difficulty Levels

The game contains more values hashed in the same way as the CONQUER.INI option inputs. However, these are command line options. One of those, "FROMINSTALL", can be found as plain text in the DOS game's _SETUP.EXE; it forces the game to play the intro, and immediately continues to the sides selection screen, without ever showing the game's main menu. Another, "FUNPARK", was deliberately leaked by developers in gaming magazines, and enables the secret dinosaur campaign. However, besides those two, there are also two parameters which were figured out to be the words "EASY" and "HARD", hinting at the difficulty levels logic that would only be fully implemented in Red Alert.

Since the Remaster actually implemented difficulty levels into the game, the released source code has several changes in the handling of the difficulty settings. Most notably, it changes it from two global options (Special.IsEasy and Special.IsDifficult) to a Difficulty option set per House, though usually (but not always) only checked on the current human player (PlayerPtr). However, most of the modified behaviour of the AI is kept from Westwood's own never-enabled difficulty tweaks.

One notable difference between the binary and the code is the fact that in the binary of C&C95, Easy mode enables two options in the game's Special class, but the released Remaster code only shows one, namely, the actual Special.IsEasy. Further analysis, and intact but disabled code in DEBUG.CPP, reveals that the option that was enabled was most likely one called Special.IsBarOn. Prerelease screenshots have shown beta testing with all health bars shown, and it seems Easy mode was supposed to enable this feature by default. That said, running retail C&C with the EASY parameter will not actually show health bars, meaning the code was probably already disabled in the retail game. In the Remaster, the health bar option was expanded to a customisable game setting called HealthBarDisplayMode, which has the additional mode to only show the bars on damaged objects.

Unlike in Red Alert, where the difficulty levels cause massive changes in all game object stats, including cost, damage, and health, the difficulty levels in the original C&C have more subtle influences on the game.

Easy mode tweaks

  • The AI normally has an "equalising" logic on its build speed for structures, making cheaper buildings take longer, and more expensive ones take less long. The handicap on this logic is doubled in Easy mode, making all AI build times slower than in Normal mode.[1]
  • AI vehicles never crush infantry.[2]
  • AI infantry will not scatter when they are about to get crushed.[3]
  • The AI does not rebuild harvesters.[4]
  • The AI takes more time to respond to their base getting attacked.[5]

Hard mode tweaks

  • The AI builds structures at the same speed as the player.[1] Ironically, on expensive buildings like the Construction Yard, this makes the AI build slower on Hard difficulty than on Normal or Easy.
  • AI vehicles will crush enemy infantry in all missions. Normally they only start doing this from mission 8 onwards.[2]
  • AI infantry will always scatter when threatened to be crushed. Again, this normally only starts happening on mission 8.[3]
  • The AI takes less time to respond to their base getting attacked.[5]

Stereo Sound in MS-DOS

The many mouths of the Electronic Video Agent

The MS-DOS installation / setup program for Command & Conquer normally allows players to only test and use monaural sound for digital audio playback. The graphics and code to test a stereo driver exist in the setup, but since none of the listed drivers in the tool are stereo, they are never used. However, by finding certain hex strings from the audio driver file (HMIDRV.386) and placing them in the game's configuration file (CONQUER.INI), it is actually possible to hear positional left-and-right sound effects in this version of the game.

(Source: Rich Nagel)

A practical demonstration of how this would have worked can be seen and heard in the "Welcome Back, Commander" bonus video of the Remastered Collection, which is a full remake of the MS-DOS installation sequence.

Note: This has no effect on the music, which, like the sound effects, is all encoded in 16-bit mono.

Unused Music

Besides the aforementioned remixes that can be enabled through the settings file, several music tracks are flagged to never appear in the Sound Controls menu's playlist. Two of these tracks are the score screen and mission selection screen themes; omitting them makes sense; but the following tracks are also omitted:

C&C 80's Mix (Covert Operations)

Peculiarly, the Japanese DOS release of C&C, which has the unique version 1.21 (putting it between the 1.20 version of The Covert Operations and the final 1.22 patch), has this track enabled in the playlist.

DIE!!

Frank Klepacki confirmed there was originally a voices version of the "Die" track, but it was too loud and chaotic to be included.

Enemies To Be Feared

Enemies To Be Feared (Remix)

"Enemies To Be Feared" does appear on the official soundtrack CD, but unlike most soundtrack versions, it is the version without voices.

Heartbreak

Reaching Out

"Heartbreak" and "Reaching Out" were supposed to be enabled by triggering the hidden remix music option, but because the game's preliminary scan to check which music files exist only looks at the non-remix versions, they never appeared in the playlist even with the option enabled.

Two more unused (and unreferenced) tracks in the game files were confirmed by Westwood's composer Frank Klepacki as unused side-specific score screen and mission selection screen music for the Nod side. The fan-made v1.06 patch for the Windows 95 version of the game implemented that side-specific score and map music logic, enabling the unused music.

Nod Map Theme

Nod Score theme

All of these tracks, except for the "Enemies To Be Feared" mix with voices, were brought back for the Command & Conquer Remastered Collection released in 2020, with some of them being remade from scratch by Frank Klepacki because the original audio projects were lost. However, the Nod score screen track was not used on the Nod score screen, because testing revealed that people preferred the iconic "Great Shot!" track.

Unused Sounds

Setup

The EVA computer voice saying "left", "center", and "right", found in SETUP.MIX. While "center" is used by the setup program to test the digital audio, "left" and "right" go completely unused due to the setup tool only showing mono sound drivers. When played, those clips would likely be heard solely on respectively the left and right speaker.

(Source: Rich Nagel)
left16.aud (unused) center16.aud (used) right16.aud (unused)

In-Game Sound Effects

A short "popping" or "whooshing" sound effect is supposed to be played when a grenadier throws a grenade. The game tries to play toss.aud, but the sound's filename is actually toss1.aud. The remaster restores this sound.

Normal Vocalized

In-Game voices

A vehicle response voice saying "Negative!" is present in the game's Windows Theme pack, as "C&C Negative.wav". A reference to this voice clip exists in the game's source code (as negatv1), but the file is not present in the game, and nothing ever tries to play it. These kinds of voice clips normally exist in four voice variants, with two of those containing static to indicate they come from vehicles. This voice matches the first vehicle voice set, and would have had the .v00 extension in the game files.

negatv1.v00 (from theme pack)

According to the source code, Dr. Mobius had seven different idle voice clips he would randomly say during gameplay. Only two of those ended up getting played in the final game. Only one of the unused clips, with him saying "Thank you!" (mthanks1), is present in the game files. Another such clip, with him saying "A most remarkable Metasequoia glyptostroboides!" was included and used in the Nintendo 64 version of the game.

mthanks1.aud mmg1.aud (from N64 version)

In-Game Announcements

The game contains an option in its configuration file called DeathAnnounce, which, when enabled, will make the EVA computer voice make a specific announcement for every killed unit, telling the player "GDI Unit destroyed", "Nod Unit destroyed" or "Civilian killed". There are also voice clips in the game files for announcing when GDI and Nod structures get destroyed, but these are unused.

gstruct1.aud nstruct1.aud

There are also generic announcements for an "enemy unit/structure destroyed", which are likewise unused.

enmyunit.aud estrucx.aud

Another set of unused voice clips warn the player about an "enemy approaching" and "enemy planes approaching".

enmyapp1.aud enemya.aud

An alternate unused version of "Nuclear warhead approaching", which simply says "Incoming missile".

income1.aud

Two voice clips informing the player that they don't have enough money. These are both unused. However, the Remaster does use the "Insufficient funds" (nocash1) one.

nocash1.aud mocash1.aud

A clip warning the player that they need a harvester.

needharv.aud

When the maximum amount of objects in memory was reached in Dune II, the player would get a text message saying "Unable to create more". Command & Conquer contains an audio clip for a similar message, saying "Unable to build more", but even though the internal maximums in the game can indeed be reached (by, e.g. building 300 infantry units), the voice clip is not played.

nobuild1.aud

Unused Graphics and Game Objects

Unused Unit / Structure Graphics

Despite being unbuildable, the A-10 plane has a cameo.

DOS Windows Remastered
C&C-TD-A10IconDOS.png C&C-TD-A10IconWindows.png C&C-TD-A10IconRemastered.png

The C-17 aircraft used to deliver Nod vehicles has a DOS cameo. In C&C95, a grayscale cameo for it is shown in the PDF manual, but it does not exist in the actual game files.

DOS Windows Remastered
C&C-TD-C17IconDOS.png C&C-TD-C17IconWindows.png N/A

The hovercraft has cameos, and graphics for an East-West facing. The DOS cameo seems to be of an APC, but is not the same one used by the APC.

DOS Windows Remastered
C&C-TD-HovercraftIconDOS.png C&C-TD-HovercraftIconWindows.png C&C-TD-HovercraftIconRemastered.png
C&C-TD-HovercraftEastWest.png

The Gunboat, likewise, has cameos, with the placeholder APC one in the DOS version.

DOS Windows Remastered
C&C-TD-GunboatIconDOS.png C&C-TD-GunboatIconWindows.png C&C-TD-GunboatIconRemastered.png

The Construction Yard, which is never buildable from the sidebar, has a DOS cameo. In C&C95, a grayscale cameo for it is shown in the PDF manual, but it does not exist in the actual game files.

DOS Windows Remastered
C&C-TD-ConYardIconDOS.png C&C-TD-ConYardIconWindows.png N/A

The wooden fence is accessible in only one situation; in the fourth Funpark dinosaur mission, if GDI is chosen as side. The Remastered version no longer has this side selection, so it is inaccessible there.

DOS Windows Remastered
C&C-TD-FenceIconDOS.png C&C-TD-FenceIconWindows.png C&C-TD-FenceIconRemastered.png

Barbwire fence is only buildable in the fourth Funpark dinosaur mission, but it is in fact used. However, its Windows and Remastered cameos shows a fence much more like the soviet barbed wire fence in Red Alert, despite the actual objects in the games looking nothing alike. The fence is also visible in the Nod Covert Operations mission "Hostile Takeover", where it protects a GDI Advanced Guard Tower.

DOS Windows Remastered
C&C-TD-BarbedWireIconDOS.png C&C-TD-BarbedWireIconWindows.png C&C-TD-BarbedWireIconRemastered.png
Barbed wire in Covert Ops mission "Hostile Takeover"

The Hospital is not buildable but has a build-up animation. It also has a cameo in DOS C&C, but not in the Windows version. Note that in the Windows version, it can be sold, meaning the build-up animation can be seen in reverse that way. This is a bug, though; the building is almost always mission-critical, and for that reason, it is unsellable in the original DOS version. The Remaster fixed this bug, making it unsellable as it should be.

DOS Windows Remastered
C&C-TD-HospitalIconDOS.png N/A N/A
C&C-TD-HospitalBuild.gif

The Bio-Research Laboratory, like the Hospital, is unbuildable but has a build-up animation and a cameo in DOS C&C only. When edited into a mission's script as pre-placed player-owned object, it can be sold, though, meaning the build-up animation can be seen in reverse.

DOS Windows Remastered
C&C-TD-ChemFactIconDOS.png N/A N/A
C&C-TD-ChemFactBuild.gif

The civilian building ARCO, named "Oil Tanker" in its tooltip, shows a fuel truck attached to a pump. The object is used in villages in the game, but is unbuildable, and yet has a cameo in the DOS version. Its damaged state is never shown in the game, due to a bug related to the fact the building graphics are missing their final collapse-state frame.

DOS cameo Healthy Damaged
C&C-TD-ArcoIconDOS.png C&C-TD-ArcoHealthy.png C&C-TD-ArcoDamaged.png

The sprite PUMPMAKE.SHP shows an old version of the MCV deploying, with the last frame hinting at the faction logos that appeared on the Construction Yard in prerelease versions. It is cut off at the left side to fit a 2×2 cell footprint, which might hints at it having been used as temporary graphics for something else. The final game contains no building called PUMP to associate with it, though. There is an "Oil Pump" building, but it has internal code "V19", and has a 1×1 footprint.

Unused Used
C&C-TD-Pumpmake.gif C&C-TD-Factmake.gif

An unused civilian building in the game, V37, is an easter egg; it is a recreation of the building in which Westwood Studios was located when they were creating the game. The actual address of the building is 5333 South Arville Street, Las Vegas. When the option to show civilian names is enabled, its shown name is "The Studio". While unused in-game, the building is partially visible in Nod briefing cutscenes 4A and 4B. The building was remastered along with the other civilian buildings, though there seems to be a problem with the brightness of the shadow in the remastered version.

In-game Remastered Real building
C&C The Studio.png C&C The Studio Remastered.png C&C The Studio Google Maps.png
C&C-TheStudio-Cutscene.png

Unused Pavement

Prerelease bibs

Prerelease screenshots showed that in older versions, bases were meant to have all buildings connected with roads. Rather than a slab of concrete under the whole building, the terrain cells just south of the building were permanently overwritten (rather than overlayed) by graphics looking like tire tracks:

C&C-TD-Prerelease E3 GDI Base.png

In the final game, these graphics survived, but they only exist in the Temperate theater. They are completely unreferenced in the retail game's binaries or source code. Prerelease screenshots show that the two-cells-wide SR2.TEM was used under buildings that were two cells wide (including civilian buildings and SAM Sites), and under three-cell wide buildings, it was combined with the one-cell SR1.TEM to form a three-cell-wide road. As in the final game, buildings that were only one cell wide did not get a bib.

SR1 SR2 Combined
C&C-TD-sr1.png C&C-TD-sr2.png C&C-TD-sr1-sr2-combined.png

The Remastered Collection contains remastered versions of these tiles. This probably means the developers used the community tool XCC Mixer to extract the original game graphics; the game's mix archives only contain one-way hashes of the filenames, and the source code contains no references to these tiles, but the creator of XCC Mixer used brute-force methods to find several of the filenames of unused files like these so his tool could identify them.

ROAD slabs

The game also has an unused Overlay-type tile called ROAD, which is not buildable in any way, but which can be put in maps. It shows a concrete slab that looks a lot like the pavement in Dune II. It has an icon in DOS C&C, which is completely empty. The ROAD object has two stages; first a gray checkerboard pattern that was meant as half-built stage, and then the final finished slab. When ROAD is placed on a map and viewed in-game, it will only show the checkerboard, though. According to the source code, the pavement had to be built and placed down twice on the same cell to get the final frame. In mission files, this can be emulated by making a 'corrupted' mission file with a duplicate entry in its Overlay list. The game is unable to read the second entry, since it first reads all keys, and then looks up the individual line for each key, meaning it will read the first-found item for that key twice. However, for this case, this bug can perfectly be used to make it apply the ROAD overlay on the same cell twice, resulting in the game showing the full slab.

As mentioned, the developers had already been playing with the idea for bases to be connected with a system of roads. Given the tile's name, the graphics' striking resemblance to the Dune II slabs, and the fact pavement in Dune II fulfilled a similar secondary role of spacing out structures, this was probably an experiment related to this. Most likely, they had a system in mind much like the one in Warcraft 1, where the player needs to build their own roads to connect structures to each other.

DOS Icon Stage 1 Stage 2
C&C-TD-RoadIcon.png C&C-TD-Road0.png C&C-TD-Road1.png

The Remaster is lacking remastered graphics for this tile, and will show it as a white block with semitransparent edges, as it does with any missing graphics.

CONC pavement

Another Overlay-type pavement type called CONC is likewise present in the game but unused. It is a high-tech looking pavement made up of diamond-shaped white concrete plates. However, its connection mechanic looks rather bugged and chaotic. This pavement was also not given updated graphics in the Remastered edition.

The graphics of the CONC pavement contain tiles that are never used when it is placed down in-game. These were intended to fill up corners, to always make the pavement show full left or right pointing half-diamond shaped triangles. However, while code for this exists in the game, it appears to be nonfunctional.

In-game Intended
C&C concrete pavement.png C&C concrete pavement intended.png

Bibs placed as map objects

The actual final bib pieces put under buildings in the retail game, BIB1, BIB2 and BIB3, can in fact be put inside maps as well, but they are not used that way in any official missions or maps. The objects are part of the Smudge type, along with craters and scorch marks. When placed down like this, they are not treated as unbuildable terrain, and helicopters can land on them. Even though they are indicated in the mission ini script by their top-left corner, like buildings, and this causes the game to place down the entire bib, the game actually treats them as a set of individual filler graphics placed down on multiple cells. Such preplaced bib cells can be cleared by placing a structure's bib over them; this will permanently replace any overlapped cells with the structure's attached bib, which will disappear as normal if the structure is ever sold or destroyed. Remaining cells of the preplaced bib are unaffected by this.

C&C bib2 flare.png
C&C bib2 cut.png
The BIB2 piece, used as landing zone indicator in a custom mission A built structure cutting a corner out of a pre-placed bib.

Unused Death Animations

The sprites of all military infantry units (E1-E6 and RMBO) contain three animations for a "death by explosion"; one messy fragmentation-grenade death, one death showing them blown off their feet, and one showing them being violently thrown around by a powerful explosion. In the source code, three explosion deaths are indeed defined, namely, DO_EXPLOSION_DEATH, DO_EXPLOSION2_DEATH, and DO_GRENADE_DEATH. Note that the names are misleading; the first of these is used for death from high-explosives, like grenades and missiles, and the third is used for death from anti-armor explosives, like the Bazooka rockets and tank shells. The second one, however, is not used at all. Furthermore, the sequencing information of almost all infantry skips the gory first animation in the sprite, and configures both DO_EXPLOSION_DEATH and DO_EXPLOSION2_DEATH to the second explosion death present in the sprite file.

The only exception to this is the Engineer, which has both EXPLOSION death animations sequenced, in the correct order, meaning it has a unique and especially-gory death animation when dying from a grenade. Its sequencing also contains an error that makes the DO_GRENADE_DEATH animation start from the start-frame of the second explosion death, causing it to play the second explosion death and then part of the third one. This issue was fixed in the Remaster.

A possible explanation for this configuration could be that all soldiers besides the Engineer wear body-armour, preventing them from getting extremely torn apart when dying from an explosion.

All explosion deaths in the E1.SHP sprite; the unused gory splatter, blown off their feet to the right, and ragdolled to the left.

All civilians, including Dr. Moebius, Chan and Agent Delphi, also have an alternate death animation where they first beg for their life (DO_PLEAD in the source code), only to then be messily executed with a headshot (DO_PLEAD_DEATH). This animation, while never used in the actual gameplay, was seen in one of the cutscenes:

Civilian executed in cutscene Nod 4B

The sequenced graphics in the game source code for the pleading and subsequent death are not actually the same as the ones in the cutscene; the cutscene shows the whole scene with the villager facing right, while the sequenced graphics show the person facing left.

Execution animation in graphics for Civilian #4 (internal designation C4)

A second set for these right-facing animations exists in the graphics files, but they are unreferenced in the code. They might have been inferred automatically, since this is the case for the unused boxing animations.

Unreferenced alternate execution animation of Civilian #4

In the Remaster, possibly as reference / remedy to the unused status of these animations, the Nod score screen's indicator for the amount of Nod units and civilians that got killed during the battle is indicated by respectively the gory splatter death of the Flamethrower Infantry (E4), and the execution death of the Civilian "Phil" (C7).

Unused Decomposing Animations

Four of the infantry units, namely the Minigunner (E1), Grenadier (E2), Bazooka (E3), and Flamethrower (E4), have specific animations that show their corpse slowly disappearing. These animations, bundled into one E?ROT.SHP file per unit, were made to follow the different death animation in the actual infantry SHP file. Note that they contain eight different animations; four for the actually used deaths in the game (gun fire, grenade, explosion, fire), one for the alternate explosion one mentioned above (fragged), two for the hand-to-hand combat deaths (beaten, kicked), and most likely one for the execution death, which isn't present for military units in the final game.

The animations do not adapt to house colors, but instead show the infantry in a neutral desaturated gray.

C&C-E1-Rot-x4.gif C&C-E2-Rot-x4.gif C&C-E3-Rot-x4.gif
C&C-E4-Rot-x4.gif
Minigunner "rot" animation Grenadier "rot" animation Bazooka "rot" animation Flamethrower "rot" animation

For some reason, the last one (E4ROT.SHP) was not cropped to remove the large amount of empty space around it. This may be indicative of the fact they stopped making them at that point, so that final one may not have been processed to its final intended in-game representation.

This system would later be implemented in Red Alert in a more simplified form, where one single fading-away animation per theater was used for all infantry, following any death animation.

Unused Cell Indicators

The file TRANS.ICN contains the diagonal stripe tiles used as placement preview to show the required space when placing down a structure. The game uses a white version for clear terrain, and a red one to indicate that something is blocking placement on that cell.

However, the file contain four tiles; the white one, an unused yellow one, the red one, and a totally different tile, which looks like some kind of targeting cursor.

C&C-TD-trans-icons.png

Research into the game showed that the yellow one was used if player-owned units were obstructing the build location. Clicking to place a structure with yellow tiles shown would order these units to move, and then place down the structure. Sadly, this logic didn't work reliably, and never made it into the final game.

The purpose of the final tile was found on a screenshot of the very earliest in-game footage of the game. It shows how a group of five soldiers is selected as one single group, with normal selection brackets around the center unit, and a health bar underneath (as also seen in another shot from that version), and with that graphic around them all to show that the whole group is selected:

The prerelease squad selection indicator

In Dune II, infantry could exist as a single soldier, or as a group of three soldiers. Such a group of three was technically a single unit of a completely separate unit type than the single soldier, which just had a set of graphics containing three soldiers together. It is likely that this early infantry squad was also a single unit, and the system to let five individual soldiers occupy sub-cells on each cell of the game evolved from this later.

Unused Missions

GDI mission 5eb

The 'lost' mission SCG05EB

GDI mission 5eb is unreachable in the DOS and Win95 versions of the game. In particular, the mission selection for this stage was supposed to only be available after choosing the eastern Belarus area for mission 4. Despite the mission selection after that mission showing two arrows, they both lead to the SCG05EA mission, rather than one of them leading to SCG05EB.

(Source: C&C Strategy FAQ, Roger Wong)

The mission appears to be fully playable, with enemies attempting to attack the player's base from both entrances, as well as attempting to sneak around behind the GDI base. Furthermore, this bug does not appear in the console ports of the game, where the mission is playable as it should be. The mission also appears in the BradyGames Official Strategy Guide, indicating that the mission selection bug was probably not present in earlier versions of the game.

The mission was reactivated in the unofficial 1.06 patch for the game, by overwriting mission 5ea by the unreachable 5eb. The overwritten mission is a 99% duplicate of another choice for mission 5 on the West side of the mission tree, so no real content was lost.

The issue is not present in the Remastered Collection, where the mission is selectable on the map of Europe as it should be. As a side effect, though, this once again gives a situation where two of the four alternates for mission 5, namely 5ea and 5wa, are 99% identical.

GDI mission 13eb

While GDI 13eb is technically accessible, no arrows appear on the mission selection map to select it, making it hard to find. The actual 13eb mission is completely identical to the 13ea one.

When showing the selection map for mission 13, two arrows are drawn on the map, which both point to one single spot. Clicking that spot will always lead the player to mission 13ea. The b-mission can be accessed by clicking more to the north-west of the country. This is probably a bug, since that area is not indicated as conquered after finishing mission 13, and, in fact, is the region to click to start mission 14. The "point of conflict" indicated on the map after selecting the north region will also say "Belgrade", as it does for mission 14.

Given the fact both variants are completely identical, the 13ea mission files were probably copied to the 13eb variant as last-minute fix to cover up the bug in the mission selection system.

GDI mission 13 mission selection, with the actual click regions overlayed on the map.

This mission is normally accessible in the Remastered Collection. The mission selection map shows the country divided into an east and west half, with the two arrows leading to the most southern point in each half, pretty much identical to where the original arrows were, but each leading to a different region to click. After the mission, the north-west part of the country is shown as unconquered, as it was in the classic game. The fact the original b-mission was the result of a bug went unnoticed and unfixed, forcing players to complete two identical missions to mark all missions as 'completed' in the full missions list.

Unused Mission Areas

Various Command & Conquer maps have terrain surrounding the mission area. Usually, this off-map terrain is a wall of mountains with a gap used to channel incoming reinforcements, which is used by the game. Sometimes, there are more things present, giving hints at earlier stages in the map's development.

GDI Mission 1 uses a smaller layout of Mission 2, keeping features that were present off the map. It has slight differences - Mission 1 has a tiberium patch near the road, and also has the road branch to the east then north, coinciding with Mission 2's gap on the north wall.

(Source: GDI Mission 1, GDI Mission 2.)
GDI 1 GDI 2
C&C1-GDI01-Map.png C&C1-GDI02-Map.png

GDI Mission 4, variant WA, has additional roads to the south of the map, as if the southern route was intended to be longer.

C&C1-GDI4WA-Map.png

GDI Mission 9 had the southern half of the map extend a bit further, including a few trees.

C&C1-GDI9-Map.png

There are prerelease screenshots from game magazines showing a base with gunboats travelling to the north of it, with the shoreline in these shots lining up exactly with the retail version of GDI mission 9, indicating that this was a version of the same mission with a full Nod base on the southern part.

C&C1-GDI9-prerelease-south.png

Nod Mission 1 has signs of being smaller than originally planned, with the road extending to the south. There are additional cliffs to the left and right of the road, which are cut off as soon as they enter the map. Additionally, there are spare trees and rocks dotted to the far south.

C&C1-Nod1-Map.png

Nod Mission 2 has a long road circling beyond the south and east edges of the map. There's also a river in the south-west corner. These features don't match any existing mission or map in the game, so they are likely remains of a map that never made it to the final retail version.

C&C1-Nod2-Map.png

Nod Mission 3A shows that the lake in the south-west was created completely, with a river flowing off to the south. There is also a piece of road visible on the east side.

C&C1-Nod3A-Map.png

Nod Mission 6B has some water to the west of the north-west corner.

C&C1-Nod6B-Map.png

Unused Mission Content

  • Nod Mission 9: The enemy airstrikes are caused by a looped trigger named "yyyy". A trigger named "dely" exists to disable the "yyyy" one. This trigger is typically linked to the enemy Communications Center, so destroying that building stops the airstrikes, however, in this mission, the "dely" trigger is not linked to anything. This bug was fixed in the Remastered release of the game.
  • Nod mission 10A: When a tech center is destroyed in Nod mission 10, special code will activate that will make the survivors include the CHAN infantry unit, and if a trigger called "CHAN" is found in the mission's triggers, this unit will immediately be linked to it. This would allow for a chain of events in this mission where you first destroy the tech center, then see Dr. Chan coming out, and then have to kill him to win. Unfortunately, none of this special code is used; instead, Dr. Chan is placed in front of the tech center, and connected to a win trigger called "WIN". There is a trigger called "CHAN", but it is just a set of celltriggers that activate the flare to reveal the island where the tech center is located. As a bizarre side effect, this means that destroying the tech center will result in two Dr. Chans being on the map; one connected to the win condition, the other (uselessly) linked to those flare celltriggers. Both the unofficial C&C95 patch and the Remastered edition restore this mission to how it was supposed to work.
    • A trigger to fly in a transport helicopter for the player in this mission often doesn't work, because the landing destination is set too close to tiberium. If the landing location is overgrown before the helicopter reinforcement script gets triggered, the helicopter will bug out and never appear at all. The unofficial patch fixed this by moving the landing location farther away from the tiberium. The August 2020 patch of the Remaster fixed the actual logic behind it, making helicopters look for alternate nearby landing spots if needed.
  • Nod Mission 11A/B: There is a drop zone flare trigger in the scripts of the A variant of this mission, set to activate on a "Player Enters" script, which hints at activation through moving over a specific location. The trigger is not linked to anything, so it can never activate. The flare location is set on a point which would unveil the back of the base the player is meant to find, without actually reactivating the base. The B variant of the mission has its flare location set inside the perimeter of the base to find, also at a point where it would not reactivate the base, but it contains no scripting that would activate it. This indicates that the mission designers originally considered giving the player more hints on where to go to find the base.
  • Nod Mission 13A: Triggers "ion1" and "ion2" call an Ion Cannon strike if something specific is attacked or destroyed. No units or buildings have been linked to these two triggers, thus they will never activate. If functional, this would be similar to the way two Ion Cannon strikes are defined in Mission 12.
  • Nod Mission 13B: Trigger "yyyy" reinforces the player with an MCV and two light tanks, when the advanced guard tower, guard tower, and power plant in a small outpost in the center east of the map are destroyed. However, since the only way to get there is by Transport Helicopter, this requires sending infantry against specifically anti-infantry defenses. While normal Guard Towers can be taken out with careful micromanagement, the Advanced Guard Towers are impossible to take on with soldiers alone. Furthermore, a timed event (trigger "mcv") will eventually send in the same units anyway. The arriving reinforcements will drive over cells triggering the "dely" trigger, which disables the "yyyy" trigger, so the units can't be received twice. The script's purpose seems to be to get the reinforcements earlier, but its requirements are completely implausible.
  • Nod Mission 13C:
    • Trigger "delx" doesn't have associated units or buildings that need to be destroyed, therefore the airstrikes provided by trigger "xxxx" will never stop. Typically, this trigger is linked to the Communications Center. One of the Communications Centers on the map is already used for another trigger setup, so this one was most likely supposed to be linked to the remaining one, inside the northern GDI base. Like the unlinked airstrike removal trigger in Nod 9, this bug was fixed in the Remastered release of the game.
    • This mission contains a similar trigger setup to the one in mission 13B, which allows an MCV to be received earlier than normal by taking out a Communication Center. Again, though, this requires using only infantry against anti-infantry defenses, which is completely infeasible, and again, after a certain time passes, the same vehicle will arrive anyway, and its arrival will disable the other script.

Unused Mission Options

The missions contain ini sections for placing [Units], [Structures] and [Infantry] on a map, but are lacking one for air units. Deactivated code for reading an [Aircraft] section exists inside the game, but when it is reactivated it doesn't work correctly; the aircraft spawn in the air, and leave an impassable spot on the ground below their spawn location which will never go away. This bug is most likely caused by the air reinforcements mechanism, which lets aircraft fly in from the border of the map, requiring them to be spawned in the air by default.

Note that several missions contain transport helicopters that appear to be placed on the map, but these are actually reinforced by triggers at the start of the mission; they fly in from the edge of the map and land on the scripted spots.

Unused Theater

The game has three "Theaters of war"; terrain sets that can be used in missions. Temperate and Winter are used in European missions, and Desert is used in African missions. This is, of course, not very logical; a lot of Africa's equatorial areas are lush jungle. So it should come as no surprise that such a theater was planned as well.

The game contains a perfectly valid Jungle theater in the internal listing of theaters, which would use a jungle.mix with .jun files inside it. However, since all templates (map tile graphic pieces) and terrain objects (trees, rocks, decorations) have an 'ownership' value that determines which theaters they can appear in, and none of them are set to be available for the Jungle theater, the missing Jungle can't be reactivated without further modding.

Unused Unit Functionality

Boxing!

There are unused sprites for a disabled mechanic allowing Infantry units to fistfight in the middle of the battlefield, à la General Chaos, if they're directly to the left or right of one another. The code is still present in the Infantry source code, disabled via the BOXING preprocessor.

A mod is available for Command & Conquer: Remastered Collection that restores this feature and fixes several bugs in the old code. Amusingly, the unused sprites for this were all given HD equivalents like all the other Infantry frames!

C&C-TD-FistFight.gif

Unused/removed building functionality

Upgrading

The game's strings file containing all the text in the game starts with the following data:

%3d.%02d
Upgrade
Upgrade Structure
Upgrade
Sell
Sell Structure
Demolish Structure
Repair
Repair Structure
Repair

From this, we can conclude that the game originally had plans to include features to both upgrade and demolish structures. Structure upgrading is a feature that exists in Dune II, which allows upgrading individual placed buildings to a more advanced variant to unlock more advanced items in their production. Prerelease screenshots show that the sidebar originally contained an "Upgrade" button rather than a "Sell" button, which means the command to upgrade a structure was most likely meant to be be given by a mouse cursor, just like how repairing and selling is done in the final game.

C&C-TD-Prerelease Four Tabs Refinery.jpg

The game contains several buildings that have an Advanced version. All of these were probably originally meant to be upgraded to the Advanced variant through the Upgrade feature, and in all of those except the Guard Tower, the footprint of both buildings is the same, and the design of the Advanced version clearly looks like an upgraded version of the basic building.

Power Plant:

Basic Advanced
C&C-TD-Power.png C&C-TD-AdvPower.png

Communications Center:

Basic Advanced
C&C-TD-Comm.png C&C-TD-AdvComm.png

Guard Tower:

Basic Advanced
C&C-TD-Guard-48high.png C&C-TD-AdvGuard.png

The Hospital and Bio-Research Laboratory also have a very similar plus-shaped basic design, and look like the Bio-Lab might have been meant to be an upgraded version of the Hospital. This is especially noticeable in their build-up animation. This makes sense canonically, too, since both buildings are tiberium research facilities.

Hospital Bio-Lab
C&C-TD-HospitalBuild.gif C&C-TD-ChemFactBuild.gif

Debug Mode

Another undocumented parameter, -X, was used by the developers to enable the game's debug modes. The only parameter still recognized by the game, however, is -XQ, which disables all sound and music output.

Hmmm...
To do:
Supposedly you can enable all the other debug modes as well.

Editor Mode

It was discovered in Red Alert that there is a command line parameter "EDITOR" which causes the game to start in a strange mode which loads the first game mission automatically on startup, where no sidebar is drawn, where projectiles don't spawn (and thus no damage can be done by anything), and where the mouse controls for commanding units are disabled (though the keyboard commands still work). This was theorized to be the defunct remains of a map editor built into the game engine. In Red Alert, notably, this code was split off into the separate EDDOS and EDWIN editors.

Command & Conquer 1 does not contain the actual "EDITOR" command line parameter, but the game can be manipulated to launch in that mode too. The editor mode in C&C1 appears to be exactly as defunct as the one in RA1, though.

The full code for the internal map editor was later found in the released code of the Remastered Edition.

Regional Differences

German Censorship

Due to very strict laws against human violence in video games, Command & Conquer had to be censored for German shelves, a trend that would continue on throughout the entire series.

  • All humans were changed to cyborgs. The unit names and the game's cinematics were changed accordingly. The censorship even applies to the game's box (the photo is zoomed in so the gun is cut off) and the game's manual (the soldiers' faces are hastily covered with "TOP SECRET" labels).
  • Despite normally not being visible, the actual names of the civilians were likewise replaced, with humorous robotic versions of common countryside or household jobs, including names that would translate to "Farmbot PK 7", "Mobile Milker M3", "Robocook 2", "Femdroid M.A.I.D.", and "AutoShepherd V.3.11". The "Civilian" label itself (which overrides these names unless the TrueNames option is enabled) was replaced with "Farmbot".
  • The red blood was recolored to black.
  • The screams when people are killed was changed to a sound of a machine shutting down. The squish sound for infantry getting crushed by a vehicle was replaced by the sound of a tin can getting crumpled.
  • Many of the game's cinematics were censored:
    • The intro to GDI mission 8b, describing the effects of tiberium on humans, had a small bug added: the labels "EXPOSURE" and "DEATH" were erroneously switched around when the cinematic was censored.
    • In the victory video to GDI mission 10, the Nod soldier was edited out of the video, so the GDI units just shoot thin air.
    • In the intro to GDI mission 12, the picture of a human baby crying was replaced with an X-ray scan of a human upper body.
    • In the victory scene of GDI mission 15, the scene where a Nod officer is shot by his colleague was censored so neither the shot itself nor the dead corpse can be seen.
    • The Nod failure video, showing a Nod soldier being ambushed and killed in the desert, was removed completely; even the file itself was deleted from the Nod disc.
    • The victory video to Nod mission 3 was censored in a very similar fashion to GDI mission 10 by editing out the GDI soldier so the Nod units just shoot thin air.
    • The victory video to Nod mission 4, showing a prisoner of war being beaten up and then killed, was removed completely.
    • The scene in the Nod mission 8 briefing where Kane shoots Seth in the head was covered up by static. In the intro to that same mission, the picture of a human baby crying was replaced with a picture of doctors in an operation room already shown earlier in the same video.

The Remastered Collection removes all censorship from the German version, but still uses the original German voice dub, so the people in the briefing videos inevitably still talk about cyborgs and such. However, the static-censored part of the Nod mission 8 briefing was fully restored, with Seth's cut-off sentence professionally reconstructed, probably by carefully knitting together voice clips from his other briefings. Remastered versions of the German censored infantry death sound effects are present in the game files, but are unused.

Japanese Briefings

Due to the fact the full scope of the Japanese language contains over two thousand characters, and the game engine's text handling is limited to one byte per character, typically taking its special characters from byte values 128-255 (using the Extended ASCII system), the game was not easy to translate to Japanese. So instead, the translators opted to leave practically all in-game text in English, focusing their translation on the video dubs and in-game voices. Unlike the European dubs, however, the text shown in the videos is kept in English. A readme document on the CD contains the translations for any such text that doesn't come with a voiceover.

One text-aspect of the game was deemed too vital to leave untranslated, namely the mission briefings that can be viewed in-game using the "Restate" button. For this part, the issue with character encoding limits was circumvented by simply showing an image containing the briefing text. This solution is also used in the Japanese Playstation and Nintendo 64 versions of the game.

However, this system completely replaces the original text reading, meaning there is no fallback mechanism in case no image is found for a mission. The Japanese PC version of The Covert Operations lacks the required briefing images, leaving Japanese players to face the toughest official missions released for the game with no clue on what to do, in any language. The Playstation version does contain these expansion pack briefing images, though, and when ported to the PC version, the briefings are automatically shown at the start of the mission, as they should be.

Covert Ops mission 'Infiltrated', with its briefing restored.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 C&C Remastered source code: TECHNO.CPP: The AI structure build time equalising logic is to take the cost of the building (minus any attached vehicles), add 2000, and then divide the result by two. On Easy mode, the added value is 4000. On Hard mode, the logic is skipped entirely.
  2. 2.0 2.1 C&C Remastered source code: UNIT.CPP: In the logic that determines whether to crush or not, the BuildLevel check is skipped on Hard difficulty. The whole check fails on Easy difficulty, making the AI never crush at all.
  3. 3.0 3.1 C&C Remastered source code: DRIVE.CPP: "Scattering is controlled by the game difficulty level."
  4. C&C Remastered source code: HOUSE.CPP: "A computer controlled house will try to build a replacement harvester if possible. Never replace harvesters if the game is in easy mode."
  5. 5.0 5.1 C&C Remastered source code: HOUSE.CPP: Generated values for AlertTime (time after which the AI is alerted) are lower for Hard mode, and higher for Easy mode.