Proto:Command & Conquer (DOS, Windows)
This page details one or more prototype versions of Command & Conquer (DOS, Windows).
|This article is a work in progress.|
...Well, all the articles here are, in a way. But this one moreso, and the article may contain incomplete information and editor's notes.
In 1995, Westwood Studios created a spiritual successor to their popular real-time strategy game, Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty. During the course of the game's post-development, two separate demos were released: a smaller demo with three Global Defense Initiative missions and limited music and video which was released via file transfer protocol, and a later demo which was commercially released on CD-ROM with an additional three missions for the Brotherhood of Nod and additional videos and music. Some minor differences can be seen within these demos, compared to the retail game.
Title Screen and Version
|FTP Demo||Retail (v1.07)||CD-ROM Demo|
The original demo seems to be based on the original version of the game, v1.07, while the CD-ROM demo seems to be based on the retail game's final patched version, v1.22. As such, the CD-ROM demo features a promotional video for Command & Conquer: Red Alert, though it does not contain the video for the direct sequel, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun.
The CD-ROM demo was confirmed to be based on v1.22, since it contains behaviour only added in that version: the 1.22 patch prevents the Stop command (given with the "S" hotkey) from working on defense structures, to fix an exploit that made it possible to get free infantry by aborting the selling process. As in v1.22, defense structures in the CD-ROM demo do not respond to the Stop command.
|FTP Demo||CD-ROM Demo|
Given that the CD-ROM demo was released in 1996, its "ordering info" page was updated with information about the mission pack, The Covert Ops. The "foreign order" number was also changed between the versions.
|GDI missions (FTP Demo and CD-ROM demo)||Nod missions (CD-ROM Demo)|
Both demos contain the three GDI missions, but only the CD-ROM demo contains the Nod missions. Either way, both screens contain a simple overview of the missions, as well as a simple message of what the player can expect in the full game.
The "2 sides to play" message was not removed from the CD-ROM demo, despite it having both sides available to the player.
GDI Mission 1
This mission is an exact duplicate of the one in the retail version.
GDI Mission 2
The second GDI mission – which is repurposed from the retail game's 10th GDI mission (9th if mission 6 was accomplished correctly, though the internal number is still 10) – houses quite a few changes to make things much less hectic for prospective buyers.
- The player starts with 6 Mammoth Tanks (the strongest units in the game) and 8 Grenadiers rather than 2 Medium Tanks, 4 Grenadiers, 4 Minigunners, and 2 Humm-Vees.
- There is considerably more Tiberium (the game's source of currency) near the starting area and considerably less scattered around the Nod base.
- The geometry of the canyon is more open and easier to traverse compared to the retail game's map.
- The Nod base has half as many SAM (surface-to-air missile) sites, and they are easily reached.
- Nod starts with half as many Rocket Soldiers and Flamethrower Soldiers, though will spawn as many as needed before attacking.
- Nod uses 5 Advanced Power Plants rather than the 8 normal Power Plants of the released game.
- Capturing the Nod Construction Yard won't allow GDI to construct Advanced Power Plants, since they are not a normal part of this mission's tech level. As in the release version, though, all Nod tech up to Flame Tanks is available if the appropriate structures are built.
GDI Mission 3
The third GDI mission is repurposed from Mission 6 of the released game. As such, the player is given 1 Commando and 1 Chinook Transport Helicopter to use in order to disable Nod's Airfield.
- The biggest change between the demo version and the release version is that the Nod base has significantly less soldiers and no Nod Buggy or Light Tank units, making the trip there far less hazardous.
- The two Light Tanks near the mid-right SAM Site are completely gone, though destroying that SAM Site is still unnecessary.
- In the release game, destroying anything other than the Airfield will technically fail the mission, but move the player to an alternate version of the mission. This does not happen in the demo, no matter what or how many buildings are destroyed.
- In the release game, the correct building to destroy is not made clear from the briefing. Since the alternate continuation is irrelevant for the demo, it outright tells you the target is the Airfield. This does mean that players who played the demo would get a minor spoiler preventing them from ending up in the alternate continuation in the full game.
Nod Mission 1
This is nearly-identical to the release version's Nod Mission 1: "Nikoomba's Demise," though with considerably more units to use and fight.
- The player starts the mission with an extra unit: the Light Tank. However, GDI has a couple of extra Humm-Vees scattered around the map, to compensate.
- Nikoomba, the person-of-interest, is guarded by a Medium Tank rather than a Humm-vee.
Nod Mission 2
Another slight modification, this time of Nod Mission 5: "Warthog Hunt." It's a straight "build and conquer" type of map.
- Two of the Recon Bikes have been replaced by Flame Tanks.
- The Mobile Construction Vehicle is already expanded into a Construction Yard, strangely.
- There is a fair bit more Tiberium scattered around.
- Some of the level geometry has been opened up, though it has little impact on the overall level.
- There are several more trees decorating the landscape. They look nice, but they're just background objects, in this game.
Nod Mission 3
Re-purposed from Mission 8: "Battle for Zaire," Option B (the left arrow), this map tests the player's resourcefulness by having them recover and repair an abandoned Nod base.
- The player starts with four Flamethrower Soldiers in addition to the usual Rocket and Minigunner Soldiers.
- There are a few less GDI units scattered around the map.
- The starting island is connected to the mainland, making the Chinook that the player gains somewhat less useful.
- A little into the mission, Chinook Transport Helicopters drop in two Nod Stealth Tanks.
- Curiously, nothing like this ever happens in any of the missions of the release game; Chinooks only ever carry infantry units.
- Some of the mesas have been opened for easier navigation around the level.
- Like with the previous mission, more vegetation has been added for... some reason?
- If the player pauses the game, they can see that this map's file name is "SCB08EA." However, the retail version of the map is "SCB08EB."
- The missions in the FTP demo are inside DEMOL.MIX (the demo version of the retail game's LOCAL.MIX). However, the DEMO.MIX archive, which contains all of the demo's graphics, also contains the files for three other missions, namely GDI missions 3, 5 and 10. These are the completely unmodified retail versions. Since GDI demo mission #2 is a modified version of GDI campaign mission 10, this means the demo actually contains two versions of that mission. The CD-ROM demo does not contain these three extra missions.
- Despite the demo missions having their mission briefing text embedded inside their own ini file, the DEMOL.MIX archive has a MISSION.INI file containing all briefings of the entire retail version's campaign. This is present in both the FTP and CD-ROM versions.
- Due to a quirk in the game's ini reading system, the game can only read lines that end on a line break. The [Briefing] sections in the demo's GDI missions are put completely at the end of the missions' ini files, and the FTP demo's (GDI) mission #1 and #2 are missing that final line break behind the last line, causing their briefing text to get cut off. This bug is fixed in the CD-ROM demo's version of GDI mission #1 due to a slight edit in the briefing, but it remains in GDI mission #2.
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Are you a bad enough dude to
- In both demos, many of the special options of the release game work, such as the three-point turn and the "transformer" Construction Yard.
- The settings file for both the retail version and FTP demo of the game is CONQUER.INI. However, the CD-ROM demo uses DEMOVER.INI for its settings.