Hitler's Time Travel Exemption Act: The SeriesThe Red Alert series is a spin-off of the original Command & Conquer, using the same engines and gameplay as the Tiberium saga to tell a story of time-travel, Tesla-powered communists, and parachutingbears. Plausibility cantake a backseat, now.The premise of Red Alert (Westwood Studios, 1996) is simple: in 1946, operating out of a laboratory in Trinity, New Mexico, Albert Einstein uses a time machine to travel to Landsberg, Germany in 1924 and removes Adolf Hitler from history. While this prevents the Nazis from rising to power and keeps Germany docile, unfortunately it leaves Josef Stalin with no obstacle to the Soviet Unionís expansion. This sparks an even worse version of World War II during the 1950's as the Allies try to withstand the endless hordes of the Red Army, backed by deadly Tesla-based technology. But thanks to Einsteinís chronosphere and one nameless European commander, the Soviets are defeated.Red Alert 2 (Westwood Studios, 2000) is set during the 70's, 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.In Red Alert 3 (Electronic Arts, 2008) Soviet scientists conclude that the Allies keep winning due to possessing Albert Einstein's technology, and so they build their own time machine to remove the physicist from history. This has the unintended side-effect of allowing a third faction to emerge, the Japan-based Empire of the Rising Sun. By the 1980's all three powers struggle once more for dominance, using some of the most insane arsenals ever imagined.Please note that this page is for tropes that cover multiple games in the Red Alert series. Please add tropes relating to one specific game to that game's page.
Provides Examples Of:
Action Bomb: M.A.D. Tanks in Aftermath, Terrorists and Demolition Trucks in 2, and Yari Minisubs in 3
The Alliance: The Allies. They become more American-centric in the second game, as US mainland is invaded by the Soviets. Things go back to normal in the third.
All There in the Manual: The novelization, game manuals, various developer blogs, in-game database entries, and official website provide information that wouldn't be revealed during the cutscenes or gameplay.
Alternate History: Red Alert being the result of Hitler's removal from the timeline. Furthermore, the game used to be a prequel to the Tiberium series, before more time travel threw in further alternate timelines.
In the first game, most plot points indicate that America isn't even involved in the war.
Inverted in the second game, where USA has to ask for help to the European allies, who save the day by destroying the Soviet's nuclear stockpile.
In the third game a large number of units and characters are British and the US President is an incompetent and paranoid George Bush parody who ends up doing more harm than good in the long run. Of course, that may be because he's secretly an android created to serve as a Manchurian Agent to the Empire of the Rising Sun.
Anyone Can Die: The Soviet campaigns have characters suddenly dying at moment's notice for various reasons. In the end, one of the only survivors is you.
Artistic License - Geography: Abound in almost all missions that feature major cities and/or landmark structures. The most Egregious example is probably the final Allied mission in Yuri's Revenge, where the 1000-or-so-kilometer distance between Tierra del Fuego and the Antarctic Peninsula is compressed into about 1.
Bare Your Midriff: Gina Carano and Jenny McCarthy are damn fine ladies. Kari Wuhrer also.
Base on Wheels: The Mobile Construction Vehicle, a literal base on wheels. It unfolds into the Construction Yard, which can then be used to produce any building in the game.
In the third game, the Soviet Sputnik and the second function of the Allied Prospector are largely the same. The Empire's base building is completely based on this - each building comes as a "nanocore" vehicle and unpacks at a designated position into a building.
In the second game, McBurger Kong, a spoof of McDonald's and Burger King.
The MiG aircraft in the third game is called "Mikevich-Guroyan", instead of the real life "Mikoyan-Gurevich".
Bond One-Liner: The Desolator from Red Alert 2 and the Shock Trooper from Red Alert: The Aftermath. Ironically, the Spy, who is a Shout-Out to James Bondhimself, doesn't use them except in Red Alert 3 when bribing enemy units
Bowdlerise: The early games were subject to some changes to avoid an M rating in Germany. Most commonly was the tactic of calling all infantry units cyborgs and changing/removing sounds and effects that would suggest otherwise.
Broad Strokes: About the most charitable way to describe the continuity between the games.
Canon Discontinuity: The references in Red Alert that tied it into the Tiberium saga as a prequel are ignored in later Red Alert titles, even though many of them were Crowning Moments of Awesome. Red Alert 1's hardcore fanbase was displeased. Word of God states that while Red Alert remains a prequel to Tiberian Sun, Red Alert 2 is the result of more time traveling shenanigans, making Red Alert 2 an alternate alternate future.
Casting Gag: Barry Corbin, who plays General Carville in The Aftermath and RA2, is basically reprising his role as General Berringer from WarGames. There's even an explicit Shout-Out during one of the Ant missions ("I'd piss on a spark plug if I thought it'd do any good!").
Often in the second game, especially when Yuri's Mind Control is involved.
Many times in Red Alert 3. Twice for Soviet, first for Krukov's supposed betrayal, though it was later revealed Cherdenko is the one who framed him, second for Premier Cherdenko's event. Surprisingly (at least to the players), the Allies also got one against President Ackerman. The Empire don't get any until the expansion, at least in the Allies campaign and Challenge mode.
Yuriko of RA3 being cloned several times, powering the Empire's ultimate ultimate weapon with many of her doubles. In Uprising she heads out to destroy a facility which has the sole role of mass cloning her.
Color-Coded Armies: The Soviets are red and the Allies blue, with certain justifications due to their political structure. The Empire of The Rising Sun (Japan) is orange (red and white were already handed out).
In Red Alert 3, you have the Empire's Shogun Battleship.
Creator Provincialism: Strongly averted in the first game, where nearly all the Allied cast are Europeans—it's not clear whether the USA is even in the war, as opposed to sending volunteers—and the three Allied sub-factions for skirmish missions are Britain, France and Germany. In later games, the Allies are still a broad mix of volunteers from various nations; their units have a wide variety of accents.
Tanya's absolutely devastating to infantry and can instantly destroy any building she gets close to, but is utterly useless against vehicles. Yuri's Revenge gave Tanya the ability to blow up vehicles as well, but she still had to get close enough to plant charges, whereas they moved faster and could usually fire while moving.
Also, several country-unique units in Red Alert 2, such as the Sniper and Tank Destroyer, the latter being most infamous in that it literally is only good against tanks. Even against buildings, which you'd expect them to be competent against (given that all other units effective against tanks usually do well against buildings too), they will only do chicken scratches to.
Cutscene: One of the early games to use live-action FMV to advance the game plot, the series at least does not overwhelm the game itself. Continues to be a key element in the Tiberium and Red Alert games, if only for tradition.
The Chronosphere in Red Alert 1 is shown teleporting many vehicles to the battlefield. In-game, it can only teleport one unit at a time every few minutes or so, and even then the repositioning lasts only a short period of time before the unit teleports back to where they were.
In many of the earlier games, after-mission cutscenes would show units doing feats that cannot be replicated ingame (The Chronosphere example above is one; a helicopter one shot-killing a tank is another).
In one cutscene for the first Red Alert a Tesla Coil is seen destroying a helicopter in one blast. In game, Tesla Coils can't even target airborne units! Though they can destroy Helicopters in one blast - if someone lands one beside the coil.
In Yuri's Revenge the Psychic Dominators shown in the opening cutscene are able to mind control entire sections of continents. To prevent it from being an enormousGame Breaker by giving Yuri's faction the ability to instantly control every unit and structure on the map if one is activated even once, in the game it can take over 9 units at most and cause a lot of base damage.invoked
In Red Alert, the Soviets have the advantage in the air, with MIGs, YAKs and the Hind attack helicopter. The Allies only have the Apache anti-armor helicopter.
In Red Alert 2 the Soviets lack their previous arsenal, but they instead gain the Kirov zeppelin bomber, a Mighty Glacier. The Allies have the Harrier VTOL attack plane.
The Soviets in Red Alert 3 have a satellite that can pull enemy vehicles into orbit, and drop them back down later. There's also Kirov Airships, Devastator Warships, and the innumerable different bombers. Harrier pilots actually say this when attacking.
In Red Alert 3 during the Allied campaign when the Empire of the Rising Sun attacks-the Allies and Soviets call a ceasefire to destroy the Empire, and proceed to betray each other at about the same time.
In the Yuri's Revenge expansion to Red Alert 2 the Soviets and Allies team up to fight Yuri.
The Empire: The Soviet Union (especially under Stalin) and the Empire of the Rising Sun.
Expy: The original Red Alert was simply a morality-flipped version of GDI and Nod acting as, respectively, the Soviets and Allies with some minor changes to both, though differences quickly arose. By The Aftermath, though, the Allies and Soviets had become much less like their Tiberian counterparts.
Allies (subversive) versus Soviets (powerhouse) in the original Red Alert. Except on the sea, where it's inverted.
The multiplayer countries have less differences between their in-faction counterparts (unlike in the sequel), but they are still there: Russia has 10 percent off all the constuction options, Ukraine gets the fastest ground units, England is equipped with the strongest armor, Germany is granted with the best firepower and France is top with its' quick fire rate. The unplayable Allied countries (Spain, Turkey and Greece) are all balanced, but are less powerful overall.
Allies (balanced) versus Soviets (powerhouse) versus Empire (subversive) in Red Alert 3. Again, inverted on the sea, where the Empire is the powerhouse.
In the Alternate Continuity where the Allies won and the Nod never recovered from that setback, Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 continues the pattern of both Allies and Soviets having campaigns, but only the Allies getting a canonical victory. The Yuri's RevengeExpansion Pack adds the villainous Yuri faction as a greater evil that doesn't even get a campaign. The winning faction not only beats Yuri but retroactively wins the war from Red Alert 2 due to Time Travel. According to Red Alert 3, the Allies win again.
One of the books in Stalin's study reads as "БРЭТ ЖОПА"note BRET ASS, while the Tesla Armor is marked as "БИТЧ"note The Russian spelling of the English pronounciation of the word "BITCH".
Sometimes, it's avoided in the spoken form, but thanks to the accents, not by much. For instance, after you complete all Ukrainian missions, Retaliation has general Topolov saying "За Россию! За женщин! За русских женищин!"note For Russia! For women! For Russian women! while he gulps a glass of vodka after every sentence. Premier Cherdenko from RA3, portrayed by Tim Curry, mentioned that he won't say the player "до свидания"note do svidania, goodbye because they won't meet again (yet there is a proper word for that situation in Russian, "прощайте"note proshaite, plural or formal form of "farewell"). The series keep messing the word "comrade" the way it was used in USSR note The actual word was "товарищ", pronounced as "tovarisch", though, no matter whether the actors attempted to speak Russian or not.
Westwood have managed to get a proper Russian-speaking actor for one of the Red Alert 2 cutscenes, though: when General Vladimir gets spotted in a closet by a navy admiral, the latter says: "Нет, нет! Я нашёл его!" note No, no! I found him!. It's not clear what the "No, no!" part means in the storyline's context.
Kind of averted again during the Soviet campaign in Yuri's Revenge. Before the third mission, Romanov throws an issue of TYME magazine on the table, the cover of which reads as "Поимка! note Catch! Американский президент унижается ниже Российского ботинка. note American president goes under a Russian boot". Surprisingly enough, the sentence is correct both grammar and word-order wise, but however, not only in sounds slightly odd to a native Russian speaker (especially the "poimka" part), the language itself doesn't have the country adjectives written with a capital letter note Technically, that would make "Russian" look like just "russian", which is perfectly proper even in formal Russian..
The iconic acknowledgment "We will bury them!" (uttered in both sequels) paraphrases a famous quote by Nikita Khrushchev, who presumably never gets to be Stalin's successor and Premier in this timeline.
The American sneak attack on Japanese-controlled Pearl Harbor in Red Alert 3.
The Soviets after the first game. The first game gives what many accounts would consider an accurate depiction of Stalin's regime, but in the next two games they're just a joke.
A bigger case is the Empire of the Rising Sun in RA 3, who are clearly modeled after Imperialist Japan, which in real life was infamous for its war crimes, which include pointless mass murders by the hundreds of thousands, enslavement of tens of thousands of women as sex slaves, and performing medical experiments on prisoners from their colonies that killed thousands of people. Even the whole honor aspect that's presented as a joke in the game was a scary thing in real life; they considered surrender dishonorable and would execute or use enemies who surrendered as slave labor, and fed their civilians propaganda about the Allies that drove them to commit suicide by the tens of thousands when America invaded the Japanese home islands. All of these thing are of course never brought up in the game and the Empire is simply presented as an over-the-top comedic organization, though interestingly it is brought up in an in-progress mod called Red Alert 3: Paradox where in the mod's version of RA 3 events, the Empire butchered a major Soviet city.
In Red Alert 2, you can gain funds by sending infantry back into the Cloning Vats. In the add-on game Yuri's Revenge, the antagonist faction has a building specifically for this purpose, called a Grinder.
The Grinder returns as a Soviet structure in Red Alert 3, where it's called the Crusher Crane. If you're feeling more charitable, it can also repair vehicles.
Red Alert 2's editable INI files refer to the recycle-value of a unit as "soylent", in a fun bit of referential humor.
Yuri's power plants could also improve their output if a soldier (One of Yuri's army or a mind-controlled enemy) was forced inside. However, this is a temporary boost, as the soldiers can leave the power plants again.
In RA3 Uprising, everything the Cryo Legionnaire says are cold-related puns of commonly used terms and Bond One Liners such as "It's snow time!" and "Let's kick some ice!", this said imitating Schwarzenegger's voice, who acted as Mr. Freeze in the Worst Batman Movie Of All Time. The name of the unit itself is a pun of an Allied unit from RA2.
Tesla Troopers with electricity puns such as "Here is your electric bill", " No Resistance" , "Like a Christmas tree", "Why so negative?".
This started with the Shock Troopers from the first game's add-on pack, The Aftermath. "Extra crispy!" "Fully charged!" "Shocking!"
Idiot Ball: The Western Allies in the RA verse apparently decided that rather than, say, occupying, disarming, dismantling, and forcibly reforming the old Soviet Empire and its satellites after defeating them in the bloodiest war mankind had seen at the time, it would be better to reconstitute it, place AlexeiRomanov in the Kremlin, and then back off while ignoring Soviet rearmament and moves to reconstruct the old Stalinist alliances. What could possibly go wrong? To be fair, we more or less made the same mistake in our own history with Germany after World War I, and we know what happened. However, even when the allied powers made the mistake in World War I, people were saying that back then that it was a horrible idea, so the Allies have no excuse.
I Love Nuclear Power: The Soviets want to marry it. Of particular note are the Desolators. In Red Alert 2, they come with a radiation beam that skeletonizes infantry, and have a secondary ability that can deny a sizeable tract of land to your enemies. In Uprising they have a chemical sprayer and an acid shotgun/cannon reducing enemy amour. Heavily so.
The Soviets in all Red Alert releases. Also the Japanese in Red Alert 3. All the briefing and communication videos are in English. Some of the units sometimes say things in their native language though.
Taken to humorous extremes in Red Alert 3 when Tanya is able to lure the Soviet ships at Cannes into a trap by speaking English with a fake Russian accent. Perhaps everyone just speaks English in this timeline...
In the penultimate original Soviet mission, blindly following your objective (destroy or capture the Allied Chronosphere) would make you fail - you have to destroy all Allied presence in the sector first before doing anything with the Chronosphere.
In Red Alert 3, at one point you must prevent President Ackerman from reaching a specific objective point without killing him. Once you destroy the objective point (attempting to simply kill him yourself is itself a Kaizo Trap), he uses his own Chrono technology to warp over to an airstrip in an area you might not have thought to cover and attempt to flee.
Ackerman's car movement is a Disguised Timer. A clever player can try to use cryo-copters protected by Apollo fighters and other units to freeze his car's movement which would effectively remove the time limit. However, said player will be surprised by an unexpected cut-scene which shows Ackerman gloating as he supposedly reached the point. The car will still be frozen in place, too.
Kill 'em All: The Soviet campaign in the original game, which its entire cast killed one by one, until the player character is the only one left.
Kill It with Fire: Flame tanks, flame infantry, firebombing, flame towers. Of course, flame weapons are more devastating to infantry than to armor.
Legacy Character: Tanya. Somewhat vague thanks to every campaign in the Red Alert series taking place in its own alternate universe, but her RA3 unit profile makes it clear that "Tanya" is a title that is passed down from one woman to another (whose real names are all classified) through the ages.
Lighter and Softer: The first Red Alert had you massacre an anti-Soviet resistance or fight to stop Stalin from nuking London. Red Alert 2 had several landmarks razed, Chicago nuked and a General killed by a suicide bomber, but on the other hand also mind-controlled squid and tanks that pretended to be trees. Red Alert 3 let you fire armored war bears out of a cannon and Tim Curry.
Mission Briefing: You get them in front of pretty much every mission in the series. Red Alert 3 is particularly egr...notable, in that it gives you three for every mission: first the live action cutscene, then the world map briefing, and followed finally by a mission map briefing.
The Kirov has similarly been immortalized by the Soviets.
Nigh-Invulnerability: The Iron Curtain in the second and third games temporarily makes a few buildings or vehicles immune to all damage. It kills infantry, though.
Nikola Tesla: Though he never appears or is even mentioned overtly in the series, it's safe to say Red Alert is probably where a lot of people first heard of Tesla.
Non-Entity General: Lampshaded in Red Alert 3, where near the end of the end of the Soviet campaign, a Conscript suggests that due to your success in taking it, New York City will be renamed "Commandersgrad" implying the non-entity-commander is actually named "Commander".
Power Creep, Power Seep: The Soviets have become progressively sillier, cartoonier villains as the series ran its course, going from fear-inspiring Nazi counterparts in Red Alert 1 to near laughable villains by Red Alert 3 - along with the rest of the universe, though. Uprising undoes it a bit, having a bit of seriousness (particularly the Soviet campaign). In-Game, Mammoth Tanks and their counterparts have become progressively less threatening over the series - while they were always vulnerable to good micro, by RA 3 they were utterly helpless against aircraft and could be disabled by (none-too) tactful application of a freeze ray.
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. 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.
Psychic Powers: Yuri is capable of mind control, and the Empire of the Rising Sun's hero unit in Red Alert 3 has powerful telekinetic powers. Yuri pulls a psychic possession over a telephone at the beginning of Red Alert 2 With the aid of a special building, he can mind control an entire hemisphere!
Psychic Radar: Thanks to Yuri, you too can employ psychics to monitor your battlefield and predict the movement of enemy troops!
Red Scare: The USSR are the main villains of the series.
The Chrono Legionnaire from Red Alert 2 had a gun that would erase people from the space-time continuum. Storyline wise, this happened to Hitler and Einstein.
During the time-erasing process, the target can't take damage from anything else; removing your own buildings from spacetime temporarily allows them to easily survive direct hits from nukes, though your poor Legionnaires still get melted.
Schizo Tech: The original Red Alert is set during the '50s, but features Apache helicopters ('86), the M1A1 Abrams ('80), and Hinds ('72). Red Alert 2 is set during the '70s but could pass for the modern day.
Sensual Slavs: Lieutenant "Vinter in Moscow iz cold... but purrrhaps zis vinter vill be... different?" Zofia in 2 and Lieutenant Dasha Fedorovich, played by Bosnian-born Ivana Milicevic, in 3.
Serial Escalation: The first game takes place in an Alternate History. Word of God states that Yuri's Revenge takes place in an alternate alternate history. Red Alert 3 takes place in an alternate alternate alternate history.
Standard Sci-Fi Army: Almost every single unit mentioned can be found in one or more of the Command and Conquer games. Despite being set in the 1950's, '"Red Alert still manages to provide exotic weapons, such as the teleporting Chronosphere and chronotank'', weaponized Tesla coils, and force field generators.
Subverted with the Empire: Tatsu is baited as the Starscream to his father for the first half of the campaign but the two eventually reconcile their differences after Emperor Yoshiro hears the Awful Truth about the Empire's origins.
Strange Bedfellows: The Allies and the Soviets join forces in Yuri's Revenge to take down Yuri, and again in Red Alert 3 to deal with the Empire.
Steampunk: The Soviets in Red Alert, especially 2 and 3. More specifically, Tesla Punk, since they don't use steam power, though they certainly do use the steampunk style.
The Desolators of Red Alert 2 and 3: Uprising, bonus points since they are uncrushable, in Red Alert 2 they are heavy armoured elite soldiers armed with radioactive cannons which meltdown infantry and light vehicles with ease, their secondary is the ability to contaminate an entire area with nucler radiation powerful enough to keep killing units even after the desolators have moved out, in Uprising they are portrayed as terminal illsadists in armoredlife-support suits capable to withstand insane amounts of damage and pain, they use as weapons sprayers which look like gas dispensers, that release vile jets of chemical waste capable to meltdown any kind of infantry, including the female heroes, in the most horrific way, their secondary attack launches an corrosive core which slowdown units and make vehicles and structures highly vulnerable to their primary weapons, sounds cool eh?
The expansions to Red Alert featured Volkov, a 1950s Soviet Cyborg and his dog, Chitzkoi. Volkov had enough firepower and durability to take on a battleship (this being one of his missions!).
In Yuri's Revenge, Yuri has a secret island, a family castle in Transylvania, and even a moonbase. Premier Cherdenko and President Ackerman have their own in Red Alert 3, the former inside a volcano, the latter around Mount Rushmore. The secret Futuretech research facility takes place in a haunted castle lair.
Lampshaded with Yuri's castle when Premier Romanov makes fun of it briefly ("He is like monster from movies") before he gave the Soviet commander the order to destroy it.
Support Power: Trope codifier for Type One support powers, choc full of every type in most games in the series.
Take Over the World: The Soviets want this in all three games, as do the Empire in the third. Depending on how you interpret what the Vice President says in the Allied ending, maybe the Allies too.
Tank Goodness: Each side in Red Alert (all the ones, just about) get a signature killer tank: The Mammoth Tank in RA1 (yes, a simple Palette Swap of GDI's machine); the more evolved Apocalypse and the Tesla Tank of the Soviets in RA2, along with the Allies' Prism Tank and Mirage Tank; the Allies' Battle Fortress in Yuri's Revenge; and not only do the Apocalypse tank, Tesla tank and Mirage tank make a return for RA3 but the Allies gain an amphibious naval destroyer as well as discussed earlier. The Tesla Tank is now a speedboat with spider legs for walking on land. Even discounting the King Oni, the Japanese still have the Wave Motion Gun tank.
The Allies didn't really have any cool tanks in Red Alert. Unless you count the teleporting one. In the Counterstrike expansion pack, the Allies where about to get a stealth tank that shoots missiles, but unfortunately it was cancelled, and only shows up in a (Soviet) mission.
Techno Babble: Lots of it. Repeatedly lampshaded, as the scientist characters generally fill in the generals on the technology while the player is being briefed. Since the generals can make neither head nor tail of what they're being told however, they cannot go on to explain to the player. ( [After lots of rambling about physics] "Yes, but what does [The Iron Curtain in Red Alert] actually do" "It makes units invulnerable" "Thank you")
Tele-Frag: Using the Chronosphere in Red Alert to teleport infantry will automatically kill them. In Red Alert 2 and 3, the Chronosphere can also be used to teleport tanks onto water or ships onto land, thereby destroying them.
Additionally, in RA 3 Chronosphering tank A to a spot occupied by tank B results in the destruction of tank A.
Precisely what happens to the "old" timeline when you change history in Red Alert is never explained, but no Universe-Ending Paradoxes ever ensue.
In RA1, Albert Einstein went back in time to eliminate Adolf Hitler, resulting in a time-split and thus stopping WWII in its roots in this RA universe. However Stalin's communist Russia rose to an even higher power without a critical enemy.
Overuse of the Chronosphere creates Chrono Vortices, which are literal paradoxes and can kill anything.
RA2's add-on Yuri's Revenge lets you travel back to the beginning of RA2, which is another time-split. At the canon end of YR]='', the timelines merge again.** [=RA3 begins with the Soviets, after RA2 (Yuri's Revenge?'') traveling back in time to eliminate Albert Einstein. The new world they arrive in has no nuclear technology, but Russia has almost defeated Allied Nations... and there's a rising empire with Humongous Mecha just around the corner.
Themed Cursor: When you have an unit selected, your cursor becomes a sonar-like pattern when hovering over passable terrain, a "no" symbol when over impassable terrain and a crosshair when over enemies.
Time Machine: Einstein builds one to kill Hitler, then the Soviets build one to kill him.
Supposedly the Chronosphere, but it acts more like a teleporter.
All There in the Manual for the first game says it stops time and thus allows units to move to a new location before restarting time, though that doesn't resemble what appears on screen at all. FMVs shows it as opening a hole vehicles can walk through.
Einstein actually says in Red Alert 2 that the Chronosphere is a device for teleporting objects, " . . . Through time, und through space." It does both at the same time, or none at all. (The exception being the time machine from Yuri's Revenge)
Time Travel: The Red Alert series. By Red Alert 3 we're on an alternate alternate timeline.
Chronologically speaking: at some point in an alternate history where Albert Einstein single-handedly developed a method of time travel technology as well as the standard nuclear weapons, he decided that he's had enough of Adolf Hitler. The technology he develops allows one to go back in time to a given point, but if one touches any living thing from that time, they are erased, and the time traveler returns to the present, sans the now obliqued-from-history individual. Upon returning, Einstein finds that he saved the world from Hitler, sure, only to damn it even worse to Josef Stalin. The events of the original Red Alert then ensue, and the paths break (or are simply bad writing) as follows:
I. The Allies, especially Germany and Britain, and without direct American military assistance, defeat the Soviet Union. A brave new world then develops throughout the remainder of the 20th century... until the arrival of a strange substance of still unknown origin.
Also in Yuri's Revenge, Yuri states "The entire world and all of its history is mine, to Command and Conquer"
Units Not to Scale: instead of complaining that the Allies managed to get an aircraft carrier in a lake, the Soviets should wonder what sort of lake can easily fit well over 50 aircraft carriers side-to-side.
Videogame Caring Potential: Once you get a heroic unit, you are going to want to keep them alive. Plus, you definitely get attached to the commandos, given all the one man (or woman) army missions you'll go through.
Villain Decay: The Soviets coming across as more and more goofy and stupid each game makes them much less threatening.
In the third game, they completely displace the Allies as the viewpoint faction, dominating the promotional artwork, the main menu, and even claiming the tutorial itself.
Villain Protagonist: The Soviet and Imperial campaigns, although the Soviets get less terrifying and more campy over the course of the games, and the Imperials are straight camp right off the bat.
World War III: The second game is an alternate World War III in the 1970s, taking place after the alternate World War II in Red Alert, and retconning its connection to the Tiberian series. Red Alert 3 is an alternate alternate World War III, coming in at the end of the alternate World War II with the Allies enjoying their victory, erasing the events of RA2.