I, for a long time, have wanted to play Command & Conquer Red Alert with my friends.
There are many ways I could go about doing this, andI need your help in figuring out which method would work best.
This first method may not be the simplest, but it's the one I can most easily explain. This method involves the console version of the game(only on the original Playstation, the console version is known as Command & Conquer Red Alert Retaliation, which already includes both of the expansions for the original Red Alert.). In order to play multiplayer with the console version of the game one would need two Playstations each w/serial I/O ports(many models of the original Playstation do not have a serial I/O port), two Playstation controllers, two TV's(i've got this as well), two copies of the console game(I have this), a connection cord of some kind(don't know what it's called but it must link to a serial I/O port on both ends), and probably a power strip. Once everything is hooked up one would turn everything on. Then after the start up sequence finishes and both systems make it to the main menu one would select "multiplayer" on his/her screen and then select the same on the other screen(I presume that the first Playstation to select "multiplayer" will be the "host"). My concern(s) about this method is/are that the Playstation is definetly not the most capable of gaming devices. I have played the single player campaign many times. Many of the missions take an hour or more to complete. Near the completion of a level, the system is usually overheated and the game tends to lag. I can only imagine how much worse this problem may be when two skilled players are in a two hour deadlock with over 500 units between them. Also I believe that only two players are allowed when using this method.
The second method involves using old computers that are compatible with the original pc game. This method would require two desktop computers that run Windows 95, two copies each of Red Alert, and its add ons: Red Alert-Counterstrike, and Red Alert-The Aftermath, and some way to get the computers to connect, either wirelessly or not(my knowledge is lacking here).
Alternatively(method 2.5), I heard a rumor that Red Alert was resold later. This newer version is supposed to be compatible with Windows XP. I have not yet been able to confirm this, but if true I could use computers that are almost a decade newer. My concerns with method 2 and 2.5 are; the expense, and the age of the computers. These methods definetly seem to be the most expensive, but even more worrying than that is the old computers that i'd need. In my limited experiance, old computers seem to work slowly and have issues no matter how much you clean 'em up.
One more alternative version of this method(method 2.8) involves Command & Conquer The Ultimate Collection. Command & Conquer The Ultimate Collection contains 17 command & conquer games if you count the expansions.
- Command & Conquer
- Command & Conquer: The Covert Operations
- Command & Conquer: Red Alert
- Command & Conquer: Red Alert - Counterstrike
- Command & Conquer: Red Alert - The Aftermath
- Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun
- Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun - Firestorm
- Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2
- Command & Conquer: Red Alert - Yuri's Revenge
- Command & Conquer: Renegade
- Command & Conquer: Generals
- Command & Conquer: Generals - Zero Hour
- Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars
- Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath
- Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3
- Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 - Uprising
- Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight
The reason this particular package deal is relevant is because all of the games in the pack are compatible with Windows 7. Which of course allows me to use modern computers. My concern(s) with this method(method 2.8): A little bit the expense, but mostly I'm worried that the game's multiplayer function won't work(I have heard rumor that the servers for all of the listed games were shut down years ago. As for the oldest games on the list, did they ever had servers? I thought that one of the computers in the link would host the game. Would it somehow be possible to buy a device that contains a server and install in it the software that will make it compatible with these games or maybe even any other game?).
The third and final method involves "virtual machines" and "emulators". I lack a lot of knowledge in this area(so my concerns will be mixed pretty evenly with my ideas), but I have successfully played Gameboy, Playstation, and DS games via emulator. I have seen people use a virtual Windows 7 computer on their Mac to play a game that was otherwise incompatible. Sometimes these emulators are easy to install, but they usually are not. The most difficult emulator that I've ever successfully installed was called PSX I believe(if that means anything to you). I also know that successfully running any virtual machine(and a program inside that virtual machine) requires a powerful(and probably expensive) rig. I have researched whether it is possible to play online multiplayer via an emulator. It definetly is possible, but it is very complicated. I could learn how to do these things but jeez, I just wanna play some C&C with my bros.
So which method should I go with? Are there any other methods I hadn't considered? Have any of you played C&C multiplayer, how did you do it?
Thanks for reading this massive ramble