Video Game: Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2
"We will bury them!"
— Soviet Tanks.
The fourth main game in the Command & Conquer
series and the last fully developed by Westwood Studios
. Released on October 2000, Red Alert 2
is set during the 1970s
, when the supposed puppet-Premier of the USSR leads a world communist alliance in a surprise invasion of the United States, with the help of the mindbending psychic Yuri. Though once more the Allies rally to win the war, Yuri has his own plans and steals a time machine in an attempt to conquer the past. He's thwarted, but the time travel shenanigans aren't finished.
The expansion, Command & Conquer: Yuri's Revenge
, was released on October 2001.
This game and its expansion contain examples of:
- A.I. Breaker:
- The Allied Prism Tanks outrange every static defense except one and their attacks leap to nearer enemies so the tanks easily and quickly level up when properly micromanaged. The AI doesn't realize the deadly threat and sieges againts CPU bases often turn into a massacre while the armored units of the defender sit idle by on the other corner of the base.
- On the Soviet side, V3 Rocket Launchers do much the same thing, though they are much more vulnerable against enemy units. On the downside their slow rockets can be shot down by anti-air defenses, but on the plus side they arc over obstacles unlike Prism Tank beams.
- The Alliance: The Allies, as usual, though the game focuses on the US due to the setting. Fully demonstrated during Dugan's conference with the other Allied leaders, who are chomping at the bit to attack the Soviets but must stay their hands for fear of nuclear retaliation. Once those nukes are taken out of the equation, though, they inflict a crushing vengeance on the Soviets.
- America Wins the War: Inverted, as getting the European Allies to enter the war is of prime importance to the United States. The French President appears to be stereotypically uppity at first. In the intro cutscene of Yuri's Revenge, though, the desperate Dugan acknowledges Yuri that it in fact was the United States who won the war.
Dugan: You can't threaten us! We're the most powerful nation on Earth! We did win the war, you know!
Yuri: Did you? Indeed? I think not... *Transmission cuts out*
- And I Must Scream: Yuri's fate in the Allied ending of Yuris Revenge, where he is captured, strapped down to what amounts to a metallic coffin, with something like a Dentist's lamp right over his head, and kept there for a life sentence, all to prevent him from using his Psychic powers.
- Artistic License – History: Due to historical reasons, it would be highly unlikely for a member of the Romanov family to make it all the way to the office of Premier of the Soviet Union. The intro says he was imposed on the USSR by the Allies as a puppet leader, and unfortunately for them turned out to be a communist true believer despite his background. Amusingly in Real Life a Romanov nearly became leader of the USSR instead of Gorbachev, but not one related to the royal family.
- Attack Drone: A few are found here. The Soviet Terror Drone, Allied Robot Tank and Yuri Chaos Drone being the most directly obvious. According to game lore, the fighters launched by Allied Carriers are drones as well.
- Awesome Personnel Carrier: The Battle Fortress and IFV are awesome in their own way. The IFV can change armaments depending on the troop type it is carrying; the Battle Fortress can crush other vehicles!
- Back from the Dead: Ben Carville gets assassinated by a Crazy Ivan creed in the unexpanded RA2. Still being dead somewhere in the near future, Carville hops back on the train when the Allied forces travel back in time to dispose of Yuri. By the ending of Yuri's Revenge, the timelines of RA2 and YR merge, which lets Ben stay alive for real, much to Dugan's amusement.
- Badass: Tanya and Boris, the HeroUnits. Their quotes are rife with Badass Boast and the two also have a rivalry.
- Badass Bystander:
- Generic civilians in other RA2 missions will sometimes open fire on enemy troops (yours or the opposition, depending). They don't do very much damage. This is slightly more prevalent in Yuri's Revenge, if any mind-controlled civilians happen to be standing around Yuri's structures when the player disables the psychic dominators on the map.
- Present, in typical awesome fashion in the second Allied mission in Yuri's Revenge, where you defend Hollywood, and find a few curiously familiar names, such as Flint Westwood, Arnnie Frankenfurter , and Sammy Stallion. 'Flint' can insta-kill infantry with his revolver, 'Arnnie' totes a minigun and is Nigh Invulnerable, and 'Sammy' somehow managed to put a Grenade Launcher attachment on his M-60 that can blow up any structure instantly. As such, Flint can annihilate waves of infantry, Arnnie just laughs when anything up to a tank shoots him, and Sammy can demolish entire bases in a few seconds, if you can keep them away from their horrendous weakness to various things.
- Bad Boss: In the Allied "Last Chance" mission, upon the player's success an enraged General Vladimir will nuke Chicago with his own troops still inside the city.
- Bald of Evil: Yuri.
- The Battlestar: Allied Destroyers, which pack a direct-fire cannon for ship-to-ship combat, along with a V-22 Osprey, which they can launch to counter submerged units.
- Big Bad: Soviet Premier Alexander Romanov is the one who starts the war to get revenge on the United States. Played straight in the Allied campaign, but in the Soviet campaign it turns out that Yuri is in fact The Man Behind the Man for Romanov.
- Bland-Name Product: McBurger Kong, a spoof of McDonald's and Burger King.
- Boring but Practical: Tank Rushes, using each side's bog standard tanks, are some of the most economically efficient strategies in the game.
- Brain in a Jar: Yuri has some of them in his lair. In the Soviet campaign, he uses them to cheat death.
- The Butcher: When you finish a mission you get a description of the results of it which are better and more badass if you finish under par time. If you finish the Soviet mission in France to turn the Eiffel Tower into a giant Tesla Coil electrocuting men and destroying buildings around it under par time, it states that they fear your command more than Soviet Tanks and that you are known as The Butcher.
- Canada, Eh?: The American government briefly takes refuge in Canada. The mooseland, icy and forestal version:
Gen Carville: Canada, more cows up here than people.
- Camp: In spades, from the units to the costumes to the accents.
- Cartoonish Supervillainy: Pretty much the entire premise of Yuri and his faction, which ups the somewhat ridiculous RA arsenal Up to Eleven with the addition of genetically mutated Hulk look-a-likes, psychically powered infantry, UFOs, and so on. Then there's the expansion campaign, which features such gems as weaponized Moai statues, an Arctic/Moon base, and a gothic Transylvanian mansion headquarters. Regardless of which campaign, all of Yuri's plans end up failing spectacularly and then Yuri himself eventually being submitted to some humiliating fate.
- Casting Gag: Barry Corbin, who plays General Carville in RA2, is basically reprising his role as General Berringer from WarGames.
- Chain Lightning: The fully-promoted Tesla Trooper gains this ability. It is awesome.
- Charm Person: Yuri and his mind controllers take the Enemy Exchange Program to new levels. The US government is successfully Brainwashed (just briefly in the Allied campaign).
- Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: Played straight with the multiplayer taunts for the French subfaction, but averted in the in-game story, in which it is the representative of France who reminds the US that You Are Not Alone.
- Cloning Blues:
- In the base game, the Soviets have the Cloning Vat structure that freely produces a duplicate of every infantry unit purchased (and in the unpatched game, could be used to get all infantry free by walling off the Barracks; since the produced infantry unit cannot exit, production is canceled and the price refunded - but a free duplicate still comes out of the Cloning Vat!). Add to this that they have the cheapest infantry unit in the game and the result is obvious.
- In the expansion, Yuri takes the Cloning Vat away, compensating for the horribly high price of his basic infantry. It also gives the possibility of having two out of any hero units at a time (Tanya, Boris and Yuri Prime).
- Conscription: If you haven't played as the Soviet Union, take a wild guess.
- Crippling Overspecialisation: Go beyond the workhorses of each faction and most of their units fall into this. For example:
- The Navy SEAL massacres infantry and structures (they have to get right up to the latter), but barely scratches vehicles.
- The German Tank Destroyer does Exactly What It Says on the Tin, but cannot do anything against infantry and structures.
- In the expansion, Yuri's Magnetrons excel against structures, and play a supporting role against vehicles with a kind of tractor beam (and are lethal against Naval units if the Magnetron manages to latch onto one, since it can drag it to dry land), but do not harm infantry at all and can't actually harm vehicles directly (unless they manage to drop them over water).
- Prism and Mirage tanks are utterly lethal against structures and units, respectively, but have rather sad performance against the opposite if they aren't promoted.
- Yuri's faction in general is full of Crippling Specialization. Gatling Tank shreds infantries and air units, but can not stand up to armors. Lasher Tanks can stand up to armor, but can do little against infantries. Magnetrons act as siege weapons, but can not actually damage units directly. Masterminds mind controls infantries and armors, but are helpless against air units and robots. Using the right unit combination is a necessity as Yuri.
- Competitive Balance: Following the expansions release, consensus seems to be that the Allies and Yuri are both viable factions (though considerable debate surrounds Yuri's "cheap gimmicks"), while the Soviets are criminally underpowered to the point of irrelevance.
- Cool Boat: Everybody has some, culminating in the Allied Carriers and the Soviet Dreadnoughts. Yuri's Boomers from the expansion are no less cool, with the added bonus of being submarines.
- Darkest Hour: The end of Operation Last Chance is this for America. The Soviets have previously destroyed the Statue of Liberty and successfully captured Washington DC, and while the commander manages to destroy the psychic amplifier in Chicago - preventing Yuri from mind-controlling the continent - Vladimir nukes the city, destroying it utterly and frightening the European Allies into inaction.
- Death from Above: The Soviets lose the tactical aviation advantage they had in RA but they instead have the Kirov zeppelin-bomber.
- Devil in Plain Sight: Yuri. Sure he's part of a villain faction, but he's Obviously Evil even compared to the other characters, and nobody but the brainless General Failure suspects him of treachery.
- The Dev Team Thinks of Everything:
- McBurger Kong restaurants from RA2 feature a giant ape statue/sign on the roof. When the building is garrisoned the ape gains a commando-style headband, when the building is damaged into the red the ape covers its eyes as if cowering in fear.
- An Allied mission of Yuri's Revenge, which takes place in Sidney, Australia, has instead the McRoo Burger restaurant, complete with a giant kangaroo on the roof!
- There are additional lines of in-game dialogue if Boris is killed in the first Soviet mission of the expansion, as he later reappears thanks to the time travel scheme. He finds the welcome odd, since from his point of view he was never gone in the first place.
- What happens to temporarily mind-controlled units in skirmish mode if their original 'owner' player has been defeated and then the mind control is reversed? They become white-coloured Always Chaotic Evil civilian units that attack everyone.
- Dirty Coward: Yuri's gattling tanks and Magnatrons: they certainly like to dish out punishment at long range but flee at the first whiff of a counterattack.
- Disaster Dominoes: Prone to happening to Terrorists and Demolition Trucks, especially if they're bunched up, as their explosions will start a chain reaction through the whole group. Often enough, this is invoked as a handy way to counter them.
- Dual Mode Unit: Allied GIs can deploy behind sandbags to increase their range, power, and defense at the cost of movement. The expansion adds Guardian GIs, whose deployment allows them to attack armor and air units.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Many people don't realize that General Carville (and his actor) appeared in the second expansion of Red Alert 1, making him the only actor to appear in multiple titles and the only character other than Einstein to do so. This may have something to do with his only appearing in the Playstation release of the game under the Retaliation name.
- Easy Level Trick: On the easiest difficulty settings, the second Allied level can be beaten by skipping your base building and using your starting forces to destroy the levels target.
- The End... Or Is It?: The Soviet campaign in Red Alert 2 ends with the reveal that Yuri is still alive after his physical body was destroyed along with the Kremlin, and transferred his mind into one of his brains-in-a-jar.
- Enemy Mine: The Allied and the Soviets team up against Yuri in the expansion.
- Everything Is Big in Texas: One Soviet mission has you hunting down the U.S. president in San Antonio. All of the male civilians wear cowboy hats and fire handguns at you. The U.S. base is actually around the Alamo, though they don't garrison it. But you can.
- Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods: Soviet anti-ship squids.
- Evil Laugh: Crazy Ivan and Tanya.
- Faction Calculus: In the vanilla game, there is less difference between the two sides than in previous C&C games but the Soviets just about qualify as the Subversive to the Allies' Powerhouse (a reversal of Red Alert 1). In Yuri's Revenge, with the Soviets losing their psychic units and the Allies gaining some more specialised ones, Yuri's side is Subversive, the Allies are Balanced and the Soviets are Powerhouse.
- Fake Difficulty: The campaign speed is fixed and set to fast. For a varied challenge, this can be made customizable as in previous games and like during skirmish with a command line switch.
- Fission Mailed: The fourth Allied mission has you destroying a Soviet Psychic Amplifier in Chicago. When you complete the mission, the Soviets proceed to nuke Chicago.
- Fog of War: Removed permanently from a zone after it is explored. No line of sight mechanics are present. The Allies can launch a GPS to reveal the whole map and their spies can reset the enemy map. Some buildings can generate fog, but the AI has no need to explore and has full tactical awareness since the beginning.
- Garrisonable Structures: The first instance of this feature in the franchise, as Tiberian Sun lacked it despite having the same engine. And man, what an instance. Despite GIs, conscripts and initiates are the only units that are able to garrison civilian buildings, one urbanized map can fit just about twenty infantry divisions in it. And it's not the boiling point yet: the Soviet battle bunkers sure can increase this number a lot. When Yuri gets his own faction to play with, it gets even more flexible: the bio reactor's capsules can be stuffed with five initiates/mind control victims in order to get more power, while a tank bunker, akin to its' name, can fit a whole tank in it.
- General Failure: General Vladimir, the incompetent glory hound who's your superior in the first half of the Soviet campaign. He gets you into trouble in the second mission by assaulting the vastly superior American fleet with only his personal command ship, and then leaving you to deal with them as he flees the battle. Then when you have completed the destruction of the U.S. East Coast fleet, he takes credit for your accomplishments by returning to Moscow before you can. His one saving grace is being savvy enough to see through Yuri, but it feels rewarding when you finally remove him from command.
- Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke: Literally. Yuri's "Genetic Mutator" superweapon instantly converts a bunch of people into massive musclemen.
- Glass Cannon:
- The Allied vehicles tend to be of this design, relatively fast, cheap and powerful but lightly-armoured.
- The Prism Tank is the epitome of this - incredibly destructive versus structures, but if infantry and vehicles manage to get a shot in, they can fall very quickly.
- Mirage Tanks as well. Their guns are incredibly effective at annihilating hostile units of all stripes, but they can't take more than two or three hits in return.
- The Soviet V3 Launcher is also this, being a classic artillery piece.
- Gondor Calls for Aid: Late in the Allied campaign, Dugan holds a conference with the leaders of the other Allied nations specifically for this purpose.
- The Good, the Bad, and the Evil: The Allies, the Soviets and Yuri (and his faction).
- Healing Factor: Apocalypse Tanks and Kirov Zeppelins slowly replenish their health bar up to green levels ,i.e. around 66%. Elite units regain full health.
- Historical In-Joke:
- It plays the Cuban missile crisis, in an alternate history: to achieve the best results, the Chronosphere had to be built in a specific place in the Earth's magnetosphere or the Allies can't use it to invade Moscow from across the globe. Problem is, said place is in the Florida Keys, well inside the range of the Soviet nukes in Cuba. Since the US and the USSR are already at war and Romanov won't negotiate as Khrushchev did in real life, the Allies say "screw negotiations" and instead chronoshift some troops into Cuba to blow the missiles sky-high before they could be launched. Cue the Villainous Breakdown from Romanov.
- And the invasion of Pearl Harbor too, this time with Soviets as aggressors and the US anticipating the attack via U-2 spy planes. The USS Arizona Memorial is even present, even though the Japanese attack that sunk the Arizona never took place in this timeline. It can be played from both sides, interestingly; though the Soviet version has a South Korean fleet moving in to assist the defenders.
- In the Soviet mission to destroy the Pentagon the first thing you see is the Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington. Again, this timeline did not have a war between the United States and Japan so that memorial should not exist.
- In the briefing for one of the Soviet missions the player is shown a picture◊ of Stalin, with Yuri edited in on his right. This picture really exists◊ and is famous for being doctored, the real life version showing Stalin sat next to Lenin, who bears a fairly strong resemblance to Yuri. This version of the picture, created at the behest of Stalin, is a forgery to try and give him more credibility as one of Lenin's closest collaborators. Since the creators of Red Alert 2 also edited Yuri into the picture, neither of the two persons shown on the photograph actually appeared in it.
- The iconic acknowledgment "We will bury them!" from the Soviet tanks paraphrases a famous (and misinterpreted) quote by Nikita Khrushchev.note
- In the final Soviet video, the Soviets have taken over the entire world. One of the locations shown celebrating the foundation of the Global Soviet Union is of Soviet tanks driving down the streets of Paris in a victory parade. The newscaster comments that "it has been decades since we've seen anything quite like this", referring to the German occupation of Paris in World War II, which in the altered timeline never even took place.
- Then came Yuri's Revenge, taking this trope to the logical extreme by making an in-joke on it's own history: one Soviet mission had the player re-doing - via time travel - one of the vanilla game's Allied missions... from the other side. Bonus points because said mission enabled the Allies to win the war with the aforementioned re-take of the Cuban missile crisis... which this re-take mission, appropriately named "Operation Deja Vu", retcons into the Chronosphere prototype being destroyed and the Allies surrendering.
- Hot Line: President Dugan contacts and calls Premier Romanov out on the Red Phone during the intro.
- Human Resources: Yuri's Bio-Reactors from the Red Alert 2 expansion. They don't generate much power on their own, but "garrison" infantry in them and they become some of the best power plants in the game.
- I Can't Believe I'm Saying This: After the Soviet player saves an Allied base from Yuri's mind control in the London mission.
Special Agent Tanya Adams:
I never thought I'd say this to a Commie, but... thanks
- Invaded States of America: The main scenario.
- Isometric Projection
- It Has Only Just Begun: When the Soviets have shut down the entire US Missile Command.
Romanov: Is it done, Yuri?
Yuri: No, Comrade Premier, it has only begun.
- Kick the Dog: General Vladimir gets a rather nasty one in the Allied campaign. After the Allies destroy a massive mind control device built by the Soviets in occupied Chicago in the nick of time, he announces that with the weapon destroyed he has no further use for the city. He proceeds to detonate a nuclear bomb, killing everyone in the city, the Allied attack force and even his own remaining troops.
- Kill and Replace: One of Yuri's plots in Yuri's Revenge involves replacing world leaders with clones.
- Large Ham:
- Premier Romanov seems to be trying to win a contest in "thickest Russian accent".
- General Vladimir "Behold the power, OF MOTHER RUSSIA!"
- Law of Chromatic Superiority: In the final Allied mission, as well as the regular red Soviets defending Moscow, you have to face Romanov's Elite Guard around the Kremlin... their team colour is jet black.
- Lighter and Softer: Unlike its darker and more serious predecessor, Red Alert 2 has a rather campy and light-hearted tone while still retaining some graveness. The expansion takes another step with Yuri's cartoonish faction, a mission on the Moon etc. The over the top elements aren't fully flanderized until EA's Red Alert 3.
- Mad Bomber:
- Crazy Ivan. Full of one-liners to match. "I lost a bomb... do you have it?", "Here, hold this!"
- Tanya also counts, carrying all the C4, one-liners and her iconic laugh from the previous game.
- Made of Explodium:
- Not only barrels, but pretty much every scenery prop explodes (albeit harmlessly), even if you only ordered a GI/Conscript/Initiate to shoot at it. A bunch of tires is passable, but beach towels?
- Yuri's "Psychic Dominator" weapon permanently mind-controls a few enemy units. It also, for some bizarre reason, makes all nearby buildings explode.
- Master of None: The Russian Tesla Tank unfortunately falls into this trope - its weapon is effective against both infantry and vehicles, but not impressively so compared to the Rhino Tank workhorse or the Flak Track APC. The electric bolts can arc over walls though.
- Mighty Glacier: The Soviet war machine tends to be this - compared to the Allied vehicles, they are slower and more expensive, but sport stronger weaponry. For instance, the Kirov Airship is an armored zeppelin that takes a long time to get in position, but once it is, it wreaks havoc on structures. The epitome is the Apocalypse Tank - the slowest vehicle in the game, but it sports two powerful anti-armor cannons (that also do fairly well against infantry) and side-mounted missile batteries for airborne adversaries.
- The sole exception is the Sea Scorpion, their equivalent of the Allies' Aegis cruiser, which is smaller, cheaper, faster, and deals less damage, but makes up for that with the ability to attack ground and (non-submerged) sea targets as well as those in the air.
- Mind Rape: Yuri is all about this. In fact his expansion pack may as well be called Command & Conquer Mind Rape 2: Hooray for Mind Rape. Mind Rape base defenses, Mind Rape soldiers, Mind Rape tanks of several flavors, and they each jizz themselves over being able to do so.
- Mnogo Nukes: Removing these from the equation is the entire focus of a late Allied mission. With them removed, the European Allies are free to invade the Soviet Union, forcing them to pull out of the US.
- Mobile Shrubbery: The Allied Mirage Tank takes on the appearance of a tree when idle.
- Monumental Damage:
- The Soviets demolish the Statue Of Liberty, the Pentagon and lots of other landmarks. This later led to some unfortunate implications due to 9/11, since the twin towers were destroyable structures in the game (and doing so actually rewarded the player with powerups). The games were pulled, several covers were changed and later editions avoided calling the buildings by any names at all - however, in the NYC mission the buildings are still there, destroyable and garrisonable, and the video briefing still mentions "the pathetic capitalist shrine known as the World Trade Center."
- The second to last mission of the Soviet campaign has you destroy the Kremlin.
- Neil Armstrong's moon landing module and US flag are a destructible structure right at the beginning of the Moon mission.
- Mood Dissonance: The game's cheery atmosphere gets a bit more serious when Carville dies.
- Mythology Gag:
- Navy SEALS: Hoo rah! Elite soldiers for the Allies.
- Near Villain Victory:
- In the meaningfully-named Allied mission "Last Chance", the Soviets almost succeed in using a Psychic Amplifier to mass mind control the entire United States.
- In the opening of Yuri's Revenge, Yuri activates his Psychic Dominator network, successfully mind controlling most of the planet. It's only due to one of them getting temporarily damaged that a time travel device the Allies built can be activated to undo Yuri's plan. In the Allied Campaign, the Dominator in question actually gets repaired MOMENTS before the time machine activates. Yuri even takes his time to explain that "it will be quite painless, and life will be so much simpler for you with no freedom or will."
- No Campaign for the Wicked: Yuri in Yuri's Revenge does not have a campaign.
- No Canon for the Wicked: Yuri's Revenge story picks up after an Allied Victory.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed:
- No Indoor Voice: Allied GI's never drop below an enthused shout, contrasting with the utterly bored sounding Soviet Conscripts.
- Non-Combat EXP: Sneaking an Allied Spy to the enemy Barracks or War Factory allows any units produced from your equivalent production structure to start off with one level of veterancy. However, taking one spy to said point is quite difficult though, and it only works once per building.
- Nuclear Weapons Taboo:
- Justified in the Allied side, since their supply is completely neutralized at the start of the game.
- Averted by the Soviet Union. Romanov assures the player in one mission that "After you feel pain from my nuclear bombs, you will WEESH for ANOTHAIR chance!" and the Allies have to counter the Soviet silos in the campaign. Chicago is destroyed by a nuclear bomb after the player destroys the psychic amplifier and the USSR has no further use for the city. A technical Fission Mailed too.
- In the expansion, the mission Power Play revolves around the player trying to stop Yuri from nuking the city every ten minutes. It doesn't help that Yuri tends to use his first nuke to destroy the War Factory and you don't have a Construction Yard in this mission.
- Obvious Rule Patch: The Allied Guardian GI, who is purpose-built to counter armor, seems to have been introduced solely to undercut the power of the Soviet Rhino Rush strategy.
- Older Than They Look: Einstein in the 1970s would be almost 100 years old, assuming the genius in the game is native of this timeline. He looks in his late sixties.
- One-Man Army: Boris. Immune to mind control, regenerates health, kills tanks and infantry alike with his gun and calls in Death from Above on buildings from quite far away.
- Oral Fixation: In most cutscenes General Carville and his toothpick are inseparable.
- Piggybacking on Hitler: Yuri aided the Soviets in their rise to power, but has his own plans and was using the war as a smokescreen so he can set up his Psychic Dominators to mind control the world when the Allies and Soviets aren't looking.
- The Player Is The Most Important Resource: The video cutscenes after the final mission acknowledge that the success of the final battle was due to your leadership.
- Playing with Fire:
- Yuri's Initiates are pyrokinetics who attack by igniting fires with their powers. Initiates are an unholy terror when garrisoned into buildings, wiping out entire tank battalions in seconds. Their only real flaws are that they are more fragile and shorter-ranged than the basic infantry of other factions.
- The Mirage tank appears to be armed with an infrared laser cannon. It can ignite infantry with a maximum of two shots and is highly effective against vehicle armor.
- Power Glows:
- Starting with Red Alert 2, any unit that makes it to Heroic (max veterancy) status will find their weapon fire glowing red, either in the form of a large red muzzle flash, the projectiles themselves glow, or the explosions they create are bright red mushroom clouds bigger than the unit itself. Heroic-level Grizzly, Rhino, and Apocalypse tanks launched two miniature nuclear shells per barrel, and Heroic-level V3 Launchers and Dreadnoughts launched V3 rockets with small nuclear warheads. Kirovs also got tesla bombs, at least doubling the area of effect with a blue electrical glow.
- Allied Prism Towers, when having their firepower boosted by chaining shots, fire much more brilliantly colored beams.
- Praetorian Guard: In the final Allied mission, you have to defeat Romanov's elite guard surrounding the Kremlin in order to win. Even if you take out the nuclear reactors that power the Flak Cannons and the Tesla Coil, dealing with the four Elite Apocalypse Tanks is extremely hard. Unless you use the Chronosphere to teleport them right over those lakes to the east.
- Puppet King: The Allies originally put Romanov in as Premier of the USSR, believing that he's harmless and a friend of the free world. As it turns out, he's neither.
- Red Baron: In both the Allied and Soviet campaigns the player is told that their actions have caused the terrified enemy to give them an intimidating nickname. The Allied commander is dubbed "The Ghost" for the use of stealth to destroy Soviet bases, while the Soviet commander is named "The Butcher" for the destruction of Paris by transforming the Eiffel Tower into a giant tesla coil.
- Retcon: The intro for Yuri's Revenge shows that the Golden Gate Bridge is partially collapsed and Lt. Eva confirms that it was bombed by the Soviets during the opening of the invasion. However, in the unexpanded game, a cutscene (taking place well after the initial invasion) shows apocalypse tanks plowing into flowing traffic on the bridge.
- Revenge of the Sequel: The expansion pack Yuri's Revenge.
- Rocket Tag Gameplay: Compared to most of the other Command and Conquer games, tanks in Red Alert 2 have a lot more firepower relative to their hitpoints, resulting in tank battles where both sides will maul each other very quickly.
- Rule of Cool: Relies on this more than its predecessor.
- Sapient Tank: The Mastermind tank.
- Schmuck Bait: In the penultimate Soviet mission, Yuri taunts you with this little gem when you build a Terror Drone (it also doubles as a clue: the Terror Drone is immune to mind control)
"Terror Drones are such mindless beasts. Why don't you try an Engineer instead?" Hint: Don't!
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: In Yuri's Revenge, both the Allies and the Soviets in their respective campaigns go back in time to stop Yuri before he can complete his Psychic Dominators.
Brute: Is clobbering time, no?
- Smooch of Victory: In the Allied endings, Tanya and Eva clean up nicely and hit on "the Commander", suggestive music and all. A more subtle example with Lt. Zofia, who displays a subdued interest.
- Soft-Spoken Sadist: Yuri rarely raises his voice above a calm murmur.
- Sore Loser: After the Allies destroy the Psychic Amplifier in Chicago that was about to mind control the entire country, the Soviet commander Vladimir interrupts the transmission to announce that he is wiping the city off the map with a nuclear bomb.
- Space Base: Yuri singlehandedly develops spaceflight so he can built a fortified base on the moon. He plans to retreat to his moon hideout after the Psychic Dominator network has mind controlled the planet. You'd think he might want to rule over his world of slaves instead of invading space, but he is a cartoonish supervillain.
- Spiteful A.I.: The mind control tanks take damage if it mind controls more than 3 units. It will happily push forward and Mind Rape as many units as it can regardless of this until it is destroyed, which is pretty indicative of the driver being quick to getting Drunk with Power.
- Spinning Paper: In the Allied ending, the Soviet Premiere makes the cover of several mock magazines in an embarrassing fashion. A Mythology Gag in the Soviet campaign of Yuri's Revenge has the reverse happen to President Dugan.
- Stock Footage/Palette Swap: As RA2 uses a different build of Tiberian Sun's engine, several visual effects have been recycled: the Magnetron's beam appears to be a recolored version of the Distruptor tank's sonic beam in Tiberian Sun while Allied Prism beams appear to be a higher-resolution Nod laser beam. The similarity is so close that the two games' models and textures are near-completely cross-compatible with each other to the point it's possible to make one game use the other's engine.
- Suicide Attack: The Cuban terrorist unit is the infantry variant, while the Libyan nuclear demolition truck is the vehicular variant.
- Super Villain Lair: In Yuri's Revenge, Yuri has a secret island, a family castle in Transylvania, and even a moonbase. Lampshaded by Premier Romanov "He is like monster from movies" (while imitating Frankenstein / The Mummy gait) before he gives the Soviet commander the order to destroy the castle.
- Symbology Research Failure: Red Alert 2 has Russian Orthodox Church architecture on Communist structures.
- Tailor-Made Prison: The Allied victory in Yuri's Revenge has Yuri Prime being captured, escorted by mind-shielded guards, and put in a special capsule where he would be unable to use his powers. Nightmare Fuel for anyone who is claustrophobic. It's literally like a hyper-advanced coffin, with Dentist equipment near his head.
General Carville: He won't be able to mind-control a fly.
- Take Over the World: The Soviets and Yuri are trying to do this. In Yuri's Revenge, the Soviets take it to its next logical step after their victory: expansion across the cosmos.
- Take Your Time: The game keeps track of the time spent on a mission and the aftermath briefing gives a message of praise or of tardiness depending on the commander's quickness. Difficulty levels change the par time, but gameplay-wise it doesn't make any difference despite the messages suggesting a shorter or easier war when the player is very successful, and the other way around.
- Taps: Heard in the Allied campaign at Gen. Carville's funeral.
- Teeth Clenched Team Work: At first Tanya and Carville don't get along, the General tells the allied commander "You'd get along better with the Soviets".
- Time Bomb: The superweapons' timer is shown onscreen. The allies can reset it with a spy.
- Title Drop: In the final Soviet cutscene of Yuri's Revenge, Yuri drops the franchise title:
Yuri: "The entire world and all of its history is mine to command and conquer."
- Unperson: Yuri brands general Vladimir a traitor and a "non-person" after setting him up for Romanov's murder. Having known Stalin personally, he probably picked up the habit from the man himself.
- Veteran Unit: Beefed up from Tiberian Sun, some top veteran units become very near One-Man Army levels of power and Healing Factor.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential:
- Yuri's faction has the Grinder machine, which you can send your obedient soldiers (or hypnotized enemies/civilians) into to be shredded into valuable scrap bits.
- One allied mission sees you trying to destroy a network of such devices Yuri's built in Los Angeles. There's no time limit on the mission, though, so you're free to watch brainwashed civilians walk into them for as long as you like while you build up your forces.
- Video Game Cruelty Punishment: You might be tempted to do so either as revenge for the Soviet invasion of the United States or because it was the actual objective in the penultimate Soviet mission, but destroying the Kremlin in the last Allied mission makes you fail the mission. You were supposed to capture Romanov so he can sign for peace, not kill him.
- Villain Decay: Yuri's Revenge marks the beginning of the Soviets' slide from being the primary villains to the second-stringers. It also doesn't help that competitively, they're regarded as a distant third in power for Multiplayer.
- Villainous Breakdown: Premier Romanov in Allies campaign, especially after the player destroyer the 3 nuclear silos in one of the missions.
- Violent Glaswegian: The crew of the Allied Battle Fortress in Yuri's Revenge certainly qualifies, though the accent is pretty bad.
Battle Fortress: ROLLING THUNDER!!
- Washington D.C. Invasion: The first Soviet mission has you destroying the Pentagon. This contradicts the Allied (canon) side, where you actually have to defend and attack with a lot more than just basic grunts. Naturally, RA 2 was when the series started to get campy and Troperiffic, so the triteness of the premise can be excused. The eighth Soviet mission involves attacking General Vladimir's base near and capturing the White House.
- Weaponized Landmark:
- One of the Soviet missions involves turning the Eiffel Tower into a giant Tesla coil.
- Yuri weaponizes The Moai statues in the expansion.
- Weather Control Machine: The Allied superweapon, designed by Einstein after the US loses its nuclear capability. How it works is simple: the epicenter receives a constant, rapid-fire barrage of extremely devastating lightning bolts for as long as the storm is active while it also randomly spawns lightning clouds across the area of effect. If placed correctly, it can wear down a good two-thirds of a Construction Yard's health.
- We Have Reserves: It's established early on the Soviets are not philanthropists.
Lt. Zofia: Pay no heed to casualties Comrade Commander, for every Conscript that dies in this glorious crusade, there are a thousand more eager to replace him.
- We Will Meet Again: One of the more chilling parts of the base game Soviet ending. Yuri is still very much alive after you thought him dead, and makes his intent to return very clear. All he has do is find a suitable body to reupload his mind into.
- You Are Too Late: Not quite on the level of Adrian Veidt, but Yuri laid low and used the confusion of the war to successfully build his array of Psychic Dominators, and only finally surfaced and announced his plan when his devices were mere minutes away from activating. He would have won if Einstein hadn't just finished inventing mass-time travel.
- You Look Familiar: Athena Massey (Allied EVA) appeared in Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun as Brink, a Bridge Bunny who pilots GDI's Kodiak.
- Zerg Rush: The Soviet's primary battle tactic, especially when it comes to infantry or early-game engagements. In the expansion pack, the tweaks made to the Soviets actually mean that this is now their only viable tactic, thanks to the loss of all their Yuri-related (and thus, truly high-end) gear.