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YMMV / Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2

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YMMV page for the overall series:

Red Alert 2:

  • Awesome Music: Grinder.
  • Complete Monster: Yuri is a powerful psychic and aspiring overlord initially serving the USSR, but soon reveals his ulterior motives. In the Soviet campaign he supports the invasion of the United States and later the rest of the world, building devices to turn the conquered peoples into mind-controlled drones. He assassinates Premier Romanov and frames General Vladimir to usurp the Soviet leadership, before attempting to kill the player because his continued success has made him a potential threat to Yuri's position. Yuri's Revenge reveals that he was just using the Soviets to establish a network of Psychic Dominators to enslave the planet so there will be no will but his own. His subsequent plots include harvesting the entire population of Los Angeles for raw materials, holding a software company ransom and nuking Seattle until they give in, secretly assassinating world leaders and replacing them with clones, and planning to level all coastal cities in the world. Throw in the fact that his army uses slaves to mine their ore, genetically alters soldiers and civilians alike into obedient, mutated freaks, grinds up civilians, captured enemies, and his own units for spare parts or drains them for bioelectricity, and is built around mind controlling his adversaries, and it becomes clear that we are dealing with a very, very bad man.
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  • Cult Classic: At least in Russia, because of Stealth Parody on stereotypes about the Soviet Union and the fact that Red Alert 2 is a rare game where Russian children could choose their country as a protagonist. On top of that, it's just a classic of old strategies.
  • Even Better Sequel: Red Alert grows beyond being an expy of the Tiberium Saga with this installment and many interesting gameplay additions are introduced. The Lighter and Softer camp elements add charm without completely derailing the game. The invasion of mainland USA scenario is as good as it gets. Stalin is hard to replace as a villain, however.
  • Evil Is Sexy: And so is good - the actresses playing both faction's Mission Control chicks got started in sexploitation.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Each faction's Anti-Air weapon systems are tailored perfectly to counter whichever method of air attacks the opposing faction prefers:
    • The Allies use slow-firing, powerful missiles. The Soviets' only relevant air unit is the slow, heavily-armored Kirov Airship, as the Siege Chopper is mostly used in its grounded mode, the MiGs require Boris target-painting ability. The V3 Rocket Launcher fires rockets slower than Patriot Missile systems fire, so they have it covered as well. The Spy Plane support power is the only air unit the Allies have no specific defense against. Guardian GIs and IFVs show this trait well as they are used as anti-ground armor despite having an equally-strong anti-air attack.
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    • The Soviets use fairly-fast firing flak guns that deal Splash Damage. The Allies have a significantly higher amount of air units, but most of them fall into the same category: Fragile Speedsters. Flak Cannons, Flak Tracks, Flack Troopers and Sea Scorpions can damage several air units at the same time with their attacks, forcing the Allies to bring support to take those anti-air defenses down or Zerg Rush to overwhelm them.
    • Yuri's faction goes Gatling Good with Gatling Cannons and Gatling Tanks. They are much better against frail air units than against heavily-armored ones as they rev up to max speed to have a chance to take them down (whereas Yuri doesn't have such a problem against ground armor thanks to Psychic Towers). This fits perfectly to counter Allied air strikes but not against Soviet Kirov assaults, and when you consider the Allies won the war in the vanilla game...
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • Destroying the World Trade Center Towers in Red Alert 2. Of course that is entirely up to the player to do. However, destroying the Pentagon isn't. And that's the first Soviet mission. To further hammer the point home, Red Alert 2's original box art featured a burning New York City skyline, with the WTC on fire. After 9/11, Electronic Arts recalled all of the unsold units, and for a month, you couldn't even buy the game. What did the new, less offensive box art feature? No NYC, but the American flag in the Soviet commander's monocle was replaced with a mushroom cloud.
    • And let's not forget that in this game there is a unit of "Libyan terrorists" who ride around in a truck and can be pierced into buildings or a group of units. This is not so much fun after a series of similar acts of terrorism in Belgium and France.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • Yuri's entire faction. It's so bad that Yuri is usually banned from online play. In particular, the UFO's. 2 of them can entirely shut down a bases power and slowly drain your credits away, zapping any anti-air infantry/vehicles that try to shoot them down. If these little bastards shut down your base, your only hope is pretty much to have enough aa to take them down, or have an ally help you.
    • The aptly-named Apocalypse Tanks can dish out twice the damage of a standard Rhino Tank, and if not disposed of quickly will easily mow down any Allied attacks with their volatile salvos.
    • France can be considered this from a defensive/turtling point of view. An arrangement of Grand Cannons and Patriot Missile batteries is nigh-impenetrable.
    • 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.
    • Navy SEALs too. Take Tanya, make them a bit weaker (but not enough to be unable to decimate infantry squads or make buildings explode) in exchange of them being available at Tier 2 and being able to be mass-produced. Combine with the above Prism Tanks and nothing stands a chance!
    • Sending a flaktrack full of engineers into an enemy base can end a match in minutes. The AI is aware of this tactic and will use it against you. Not quite as bad as some of the others, due to Flak Tracks being incredibly flimsy and easily falling prey to even token defenses and walls.
    • While expensive, Demolition Trucks under the effect of an Iron Curtain are unstoppable nukes. The best you can do is delay them until the invulnerability fades out. It is interestingly lampshaded in-game as the best way to take down Yuri's base in the fourth mission of the expansion's Soviet campaign, as it's otherwise too cramped and protected to get through with ground units.
    • Tank Rushes in the vanilla game. Practically unstoppable if managed correctly, especially if your enemy is playing as the Allies, as they lack firepower to counter them, and even moreso if you are playing as Soviets, as Rhino Tanks are too strong to be countered by another rush. This is why Guardian GIs were introduced in the expansion.
  • Good Bad Bugs: Even after multiple patches, the game regains quite buggy:
    • The amount of extra damage Prism Towers receive from being assisted by another Prism Tower is defined in the game files as a straight multiplier the game converts into a percentage by multiplying it by 100 before applying. Maps can override this value for that one map only. However, if the [General] section containing this value is declared in the map file (most official maps do) but the value itself isn't, the engine falls back on a default value of 100 that's erroneously declared as a percentage already, resulting in the engine multiplying it by 100 again to make all assisted Prism Towers inflict 10,000 times their normal damage per shot.
    • If a production building is walled off, units that are trained in them would be cancelled upon ending production, refunding all the credits you spent of them. There was an oversight on this in early versions of the base game in which a Soviet player could wall off a Barracks but not their Cloning Vats. The unit that came off the Barracks would be removed and Credits would be refunded... but a clone would still appear anyway, essentially getting any infantry unit for free. This would be fixed so units would not come from the Cloning Vats if the player's main Barracks were walled off.
    • In early versions of the base game, if you had a damaged building, you could exploit a Waypoint Mode oversight so that you could have your Spies infiltrate your own buildings, giving you all the bonuses you'd have by infiltrating the opponent. This made getting Chrono Commandos ridiculously easy.
    • While the Soviet Industrial Plant reduces all vehicle costs, it does not affect the amount refunded when said vehicle is sent into a Grinder. This can be abused for infinite money.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Cool as it is in-game, the destruction of Washington and New York evokes tragic real life events after 9/11.
    • Depending on your attitude to politics, the plot of how the USSR is going to capture the whole world will obviously not sound very good. Especially video of military parades with the music of the game.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Yuri's Revenge's allied campaign features a mission where you have to protect the Massivesoft building in Seattle from Yuri. You get this mission after a distress call from their CEO, an obvious Bill Gates lookalike whose name is Bing.
    • In the intro cutscene, two of the direct phone lines of President Dugan are shown. One is to Moscow and the other is to Tokyo. Obviously, the Soviets are opponents in this game, but come the the sequel, the Empire of the Rising Sun joins the fray as the third world power.
  • Hollywood Homely: Lt. Eva Lee, who serves as the Allied Mission Control. While she's clearly beautiful, she's much less obvious Fanservice than her leather-clad Soviet counterpart and even on her own team her looks are far more downplayed compared to Agent Tanya. When She Cleans Up Nicely for the final cinematic of the Expansion Pack, it's a genuine surprise.
  • Lethal Joke Weapon: The Allied German tank destroyers. They're pretty much one-trick ponies and are pretty much useless against infantry and buildings. As a result, they are a source of mockery to many C&C fans. But, if you're not paying attention, they can pick off your ore harvesters and cripple your economy (if you're playing as Allied or Soviet factions). And woe to any enemy Prism Tanks that get too close to them.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • The music from the game, especially the Hell march, has become so strongly associated with the Soviet and Russian parades that YouTube is almost overwhelmed with commercials, where the music from the game is added to the video with real parades. Especially in the context of the Crimean events in February 2014.
    • This game is so strongly associated with the Cold War, that at the time of its popularity, some schoolchildren in the US and Russia took on faith some of its moments.
    • Grinder being the theme for Seeman.
    • We captured, we captured! We captured Harry Potter!
  • Narm Charm: This is a Red Alert game mixing solemn and wacky elements, so take your pick. An slightly overweight Einstein with a hammy, atrocious German accent but somewhat grandfatherly and trying to keep it serious is a prominent example.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • While often Played for Laughs, the idea of being forcibly mind-controlled into serving the oppressive Soviet Union by Yuri and his Psychic Corps is certainly an unsettling prospect; as is the notion of being forced to fire on your own countrymen.
    • The Desolators, who employ nuclear-powered weaponry to melt enemy soldiers and civilians into radioactive oblivion.
    • Most of Yuri's forces. Take your pick from the psychic brain tanks, the devices which render anything shoved in them down into usable resources (including your own troops or mind controlled enemies), mind rape by the truckload, or the device which scrambles your DNA into a hulking brute, loyal only to Yuri.
    • By far the most disturbing of Yuri's insidious devices is the Grinders, massive machines that literally ground brainwashed victims into resources to build into Yuri's personal army. As if you needed any more reason to beat this maniac into submission.
    • It's also worth mentioning the horrifying death infantry suffer when killed by Yuri's Virus snipers. The victim basically turns into a giant, staggering Chia Pet for a second before their body explodes into a giant cloud of toxic gas. Also, the gas itself can damage units and infantry killed by the gas will also suffer a similar fate.
  • Obvious Judas: Yuri, for the Soviet Union. There's something suspicious about him from the very beginning, and he only gets more suspicious as the game goes on. By the time it gets the point that Premier Romanov is murdered, it's already blatantly obvious that he has an agenda. Then comes his 'proof' that General Vladimir is responsible. Miraculously, the player character still seems to see nothing wrong (or alternatively, he did, but felt powerless due to not having any solid counter-proof).
  • That One Level: "Red Revolution", the penultimate level of the base game's soviet campaign. You are completely surrounded by Yuri's Soviet forces (supported by Psi-Corps Troppers) that are constantly pouring units into you, and will freely use the Iron Curtain to break through your defenses. Your best bet is to quickly take over a cliff next to your base to get the high ground, but even then you'd stand a better chance building a Nuclear Missile Silo and take out the Kremlin in two hits than trying to break through Yuri's base, where the only cost-effective solution is to Zerg Rush through a backdoor and destroy all the Nuclear Reactors you can find.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: The fact there was never a campaign for Yuri's unique faction seemed like a missed opportunity, and could have been a way to introduce more named characters working under Yuri.


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