The PC version of Command & Conquer: Red Alert came with its own map
editor which allowed players to create custom battlefields to use in skirmish and multiplayer modes. If you have a copy of the game (and shame on you if you don't since Red Alert is now officially freeware), you should have a link to the map editor in your Windows Start Menu (Start » Programs » Red Alert). Or you can just go to your Red Alert game directory (typically
C:\WESTWOOD\REDALERT) and double-click on
It wasn't long after the original release of this seminal RTS classic that some hardcore fans popped the hood on the game engine —largely by opening up and examining the game's proprietary
*.mix files— and began figuring out exactly how the single player missions were created. And then they began posting tools and information all over the net on how to make your own Red Alert missions. And thus the Red Alert modding community was born bringing with it a gaggle of new missions, most of which, in my humble opinion, were not very good. It seems that only a few dedicated souls were diligent enough to fully test their missions from start to finish to make sure that:
- They were interesting enough to be played.
- They were actually playable from start to finish.
And of course, for a highly competitive, holier-than-thou, hardcore gamer such as myself, seeing a bevy of broken down and mediocre missions being bandied about as 'the best' and 'totally cool'... well, dem's fightin' woids is all I can say. So I jumped in head first, endured the labour pains of plowing through all the Red Alert modding documentation and eventually gave birth to Jackpot, my very own custom Red Alert single player mission.
And it's not bad, if'n I do say so myself. A friend of mine —whom I would call a Red Alert multiplayer maniac— tried it and called it 'pretty spanky' (translation: good enough to present a serious challenge). But hey, you be the judge.
First of all, here is..
How to Install and Play the Jackpot Mission
The system requirements to play the Jackpot mission are any installed and working copy of Command & Conquer: Red Alert which means either the original release, the freeware release (see above) or the Command & Conquer: The First Decade compilation pack.
To install the mission, do the following:
- Download jackpot_redalert_mission.zip. After downloading, unzip this file to any directory on your hard drive for safekeeping. In this directory you will now have two files:
scu-0001.mixinto your Red Alert game directory. Your Red Alert game directory is typically located at
- Start Red Alert. At the main menu, click on 'Start New Game'. At the Difficulty Setting menu, select 'Normal'. At the Choose Your Side menu, select 'Soviet'.
- Read the entire briefing carefully. (Optional)
And if you'd like to see what you're getting into, here's a little taste of some..
Classic Red Alert Gameplay - Jackpot Mission Videos
Here's a couple of demo/gameplay/walkthrough videos of the Jackpot mission for your viewing pleasure (or annoyance, depending on your perspective). The mission is generally split up into four parts with the following vids showcasing part 1 and 2:
Jackpot Mission Notes
Here's a little more about what you're getting into (read: fair warning):
- This is a Soviet vs. Soviet mission. (Allied countries play small subsidiary roles.)
- The option for free parabombs from the airfield is disabled.
- The option for free para-infantry from the airfield is disabled.
- No MiG aircraft are available to player (the AI however will wield them relentlessly.)
- Building a Tech Center will gouge you for a whopping $10,000 (but it'll be worth every penny.)
- Many civilians are well armed and extremely dangerous (this may occasionally work in your favour.)
- The Mammoth tank missile launcher is rapid-fire (this will definitely work in your favour.)
- Some key areas on the map are heavily mined (anti-tank).
- Using the spy plane will save you a lot of headaches.
And just for posterity, here's the official...
Jackpot Mission Briefing
Oooo! Don't you love a mystery?..
Okay... strike that. Don't you love self-aggrandizing pompous jackass gamer geeks who think they've written something mysterious?
For those who are playing this mission using the Command & Conquer: The First Decade compilation pack, you won't see the correct mission briefing, so here it is just for posterity:
OK General. This is a tough assignment. We're low on funds and we're currently under heavy fire. We're dropping you in with one of our latest developments ~ an X2-MTUSK. When you go on point to do grunt work though be advised that once you get wasted, it's 'game over'. Your mission is to eliminate the initial threat to our base and then attempt to locate enough resources to build a tech center. Once it's built, we'll be able to send in another of our latest developments. Our operatives in the field will keep you apprised of enemy movements. A base in the SW corner is a real party pooper. Our agents can temporarily blow the base defenses but we need someone to rush in and take down the main factory. One of our best operatives was wounded and captured behind enemy lines. If you could liberate her she could be of great assistance. Also, we just received a very fuzzy transmission that we think is of considerable importance. The only thing we could make out was the word 'Jackpot.' More to follow...
POST A COMMENT!
I'd be very interested in hearing about how you:
- Cheated your way around one or more of the mission objectives, most particularly if you managed to complete the mission without using Tanya to destroy the SW base.
- Found some kind of glitch that prevented you from completing the mission. I tested this mission from 'Start New Game' to 'Mission Accomplished' six ways from Sunday and everything seems perfectly copesthetic. But hey, sh!t happens, eh? Lemme know about it if things got glitched up for you..
Also, if you just plain got stuck somewhere in the mission and/or you're getting your keester kicked back to the stone age, I'd be glad to give you some pointers.