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.Please note that this page is for tropes specific to this game. Please add tropes relating to multiple games to the Red Alert series page.
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.
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!
Awesome Yet Practical: Prism Tanks, if properly micromanaged, are damn near unstoppable and can flatten a base in seconds with what appears to be a laser rave from hell.
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.
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.
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.
Gen Carville: Canada, more cows up here than people.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, and transferred his mind into one of his brains-in-a-jar.
Yuri: It would have been good to see inside your mind, General. I still may get a chance.
Enemy Mine: The Allied and the Soviets team up against Yuri in the expansion.
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.
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.
and 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.
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.
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 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 Originally, it was referred right to the enemy: "We will bury you!"
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.
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.
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 heavier armour and stronger weaponry. The epitome is the Apocalypse Tank - the slowest vehicle in the game, but it sports two powerful anti-armour cannons (that also do fairly well against infantry) and side-mounted missile batteries for airborne adversaries.
The Kirov Airship is an armoured zeppelin that takes a long time to get in position, but once it is, it wrecks havoc on structures.
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.
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 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.
The skirmishes against dinosaurs from the original Command and Conquer are given a brief nod in the expansion when the Soviets travel back in time millions of years by mistake and have to defend against T-Rexes. It becomes a Brick Joke in the Soviet ending.
A reference to the Orca Aircraft from the Tiberium series when Eva comments on the absurdity of the Attack Dolphins.
EVA: Intelligence informed me that effective countermeasures involves specially-trained dolphins which are now at your disposal. What's next, killer whales?
Navy SEALS: Hoo rah! Elite soldiers for the Allies.
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.
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.
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 RhinoRush 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.
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.
A couple to War Games. One is mentioned under Casting Gag. The other is that "Jerry" is the name of an American working in a missile silo who has to actually turn the key during the into video. This is the name of the missile operator in WarGames who refuses to launch his missile at the beginning of that film.
The intro of Yuri's Revenge has several aircraft flying under the Golden Gate Bridge during their attack run on Alcatraz, a scene taken from The Rock.
Lt. Eva: Looks like Yuri's got the studio making another dinosaur movie, Commander. Yuri's not very creative, is he?
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
Time Bomb: The superweapons' timer is shown onscreen. The allies can reset it with a spy.
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.
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."
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 Soviet's 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.
Washington DC 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.
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. Sofiya: 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.