- Complete Monster: Josef Stalin is portrayed as every bit the ruthless, paranoid dictator that he was in real life, but excludes any potential redeeming qualities he may have had and makes him even nastier in some regards. He builds up the Soviet military machine and invades the rest of Europe to establish his totalitarian rule over the entire continent. He orders his security officers to test Sarin gas on a town of innocent civilians and the player to kill the survivors and raze the village. He also personally kills his lieutenants for any failure, orders purges of his entire military staff on a whim, and largely destroys the countries he invades as he did with Greece. When the tide of war turns against him, Stalin uses his troops as sacrificial lambs to delay the Allied advance long enough so he can destroy the major European cities with his newly-developed nuclear missiles and force a victory.
- Crowning Music of Awesome: Is there anyone who, having played the original game, can read the page quote for Red Alert without "Hell March" beginning to play in their heads?
- Demonic Spiders:
- When playing as the Allies: Heavy Tank battalions. The basic Soviet tank already outclasses the Allied tanks, so you've got to rely on Light & Medium Tank swarms to take them down.
- When playing as the Soviets: Apache helicopters. Because the Soviets dominate the air, the Allies are the ones who have good Anti-Air units in the form of Rocket Soldiers & Destroyers. The Soviets, however, only have one mobile AA unit: the Mammoth Tank, whose missiles are actually specialized to kill infantry, and thus aren't that effective against Apaches.
- Good Bad Bugs: If you tell a grenadier to change targets halfway through his throwing animation, he can throw his grenade a ridiculously long way, especially in the MS-DOS version of the game. With the use of radar, you could get him to throw it across the map.
- The Tesla Coil seems to do more damage than the developers originally intended, with its lightning hitting multiple times per shot. This may have contributed to the weapon's popularity and later proliferation into other roles.
- Guide Dang It!: The second-last Soviet mission requires the player to capture the Chronosphere within the Allied base and prevent its subsequent destruction. Except capturing the Chronosphere produces the comically frustrating "Objective Reached. Mission Failed." voiceover, presumably due to a bug where the game counts the Chronosphere falling out of Allied hands in any way - even capturing like the game tells you to do - just the same as if you blew the thing up. The only way to progress is through a roundabout solution that essentially requires you to capture an Allied Barracks and then use your combined units to Kill 'em All.
- Moral Event Horizon: The Soviets. They cross the MEH roughly three seconds into the first cutscene of the first game. Or more accurately, even before the game begins which you learn of within the first three seconds of their first cutscene, where Stalin and his subordinates are discussing the effects of Sarin gas upon a few unfortunate civilian "test subjects." Right before ordering you to raze a Polish village to the ground and kill everyone that inhabits it. They get worse as the game goes on.
- Older Than They Think: Red Alert 1's second expansion pack, The Aftermath, introduces many things that a lot of people think came in with Red Alert 2: Tesla Tanks, uncrushable Tesla Troopers (here called Shock Troopers), Demolition Trucks, chrono-capable vehicles (Chrono Tanks in this case) and more. And even Cyborg infantry, which many players think debuted in Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun: the Soviet Super Soldier Volkov is a cyborg.
- The Tesla Tanks are even older than that: they were actually introduced in the first expansion pack, Counterstrike, although they were special units that only appeared in select Soviet missions, and they used the Radar Jammer's sprite.
- Paranoia Fuel: The Soviet campaign in the original is filled to brim with this. EVERY single Soviet character is looking for the chance for their own advancement, and that means Anyone Can Die at a moment's notice. And there's Stalin, who is the same paranoid lunatic he was in Real Life that we see does the same purges he was infamous for.
- Scrappy Mechanic:
- Having to severely bust up a building before you could capture it with an engineer can be seen as rather pointless by some. It didn't help that computer players would often sell a structure as it reached the red, meaning all that work would be for nothing. This would be the first, last and only game in the series to have this mechanic.
- The need for silos to carry harvested ore before you can convert it to actual cash makes a return from and is just as annoying as it was in Tiberian Dawn. Notably, while the Tiberium games kept using silos for story purposes, Red Alert completely dropped the need for silos after one game.
- Zerg Rush: A popular tactic among Soviet players is to build nothing but a massive force of heavy tanks and overwhelm their opponent.
YMMV / Command & Conquer: Red Alert
YMMV page for the overall series: