Free Game: Command & Conquer

By Shamus
on Oct 12, 2007
Filed under:
Game Reviews

As part of the 12th anniversary of Command & Conquer, the original game is now available as a free download. You’ll need some CD burning software (like Nero) as the game is available as two ISO files, each of which contains one of the game’s original CD’s. Just burn the images to two CD’s, apply the patch (to make the Win 95 based game work on XP) and enjoy.

I never got into Command & Conquer. Nothing against the franchise, I just never got around to trying it. I’m not a big RTS guy to begin with, so this isn’t much of a surprise. Having said that, this game was huge in its day. If you ever wanted to see what you missed, now would be a good time.

Get the original Command & Conquer here.

Thanks to the Rampant Coyote for the link.

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20828 comments. Hurry up and add yours before it becomes passé.

From the Archives:

  1. Snook says:

    You could use something like Daemon Tools to mount the ISO’s to virtual drives.

  2. Katy says:

    …I’ve never even heard of Command and Conquer. f^_^;;

    I wanted to ask, have you ever played the PC version of “Oni”? (the one with the purple-haired chick)

  3. GreyDuck says:

    Katy: I played the Oni demo, never got around to picking up the full game. Of course, I’ve never actually seen it on a store shelf either…

  4. Katy says:

    It’s several years old and the people who made it never released a patch so that it could run on XP. There was a fan-made patch released, but it was still pretty broken. That’s probably why you don’t see it on shelves at all.

  5. Rob says:

    Oni was fun and they sell it at every big box store where I live for $7.99 for some reason.

  6. Hal says:

    Criminy, do the graphics even show up well anymore? I remember re-installing Star Craft a year ago or so and wondering how I’d ever played the game in the first place. I felt so close to the units I swore I could see chin stubble on my firebats.

  7. Katy says:

    Yeah, Oni was good times. The hand-to-hand combat was fun, especially the Back-Cracker. (^_^) I also liked that you could only carry a certain number of weapons and ammo at the same time. It made it more realistic and challenging without simply making bad guys harder to kill.

    Once, though, I saw some ammo in a tower at that one base with all the snow, but had no idea how to get to it or couldn’t find a walkthrough that even mentioned it (this was many years ago, though, when it was still new).

  8. MPR says:

    I thought Oni was great. I got it for Mac seemingly minutes before Bungie was absorbed by Microsoft. The game was environmentally sparse, sure, especially by today’s standards, but the surprisingly natural combination of hand-to-hand and weapon combat was the most satisfying of any game I’ve played.
    Scenario: sneaking around a corner, there’s a bad guy with a big gun overlooking a cliff. Do I
    – ignore him and pass through undetected
    – pull out a gun and shoot him in the back of the head
    – trip and disarm him, and shoot him with his own gun
    – pummel him silly with a series of punch-kick combos (and there were lots of those)
    – flip him off the cliff
    – grab him and snap his spine backwards.
    I love it when a game gives me *options*. The story was compelling, and kept me interested from beginning to end.
    You can find it cheap, or on bittorrent, totally worth it.
    (Usually I did the spine-breaking thing.)

  9. Jadawin says:

    My fondest memory of the original C & C is the soundtrack…

    I’m the mechanical- I’m the mechanical- I’m the mechanical man!

  10. Phlux says:

    Deamon tools is fantastic. Very very low overhed, works with almost every type of image file, even wierd proprietary ones, and it can emulate multiple drives simultaneously. I have a whole drive filled with images of all my old games, as long as they didn’t have copy protection I couldn’t crack (hey, I own the games, and I’ll crack them if I want to).

    C&C is a good game. If you’re like me, though, you’re really just in it for the awesome cutscenes. Can you imaging a time when FULL MOTION VIDEO was so taxing on a computer as to require cutting out every other line of video? Not even intelacing it, just losing half of the ines entirely. I think it had more to do with read-speeds on the disk drives than video capabilities, but still…that’s how old this game is.

    If you want a really challenging RTS game check out Homeworld. I still can’t beat the game. When I get to the level where your ships get cooked by radiation whenever you leave the safety of these little asteroid belts I always lose.

  11. Shamus says:

    Phlux: I had the same experience with Homeworld. Stopped playing at the same point. I think the big problem with the game was the way rescources carried over: If you did well, you would have more resources next time. If you did poorly, the game got harder. Ugh.

  12. roxysteve says:

    Where do you get Homeworld?

    What platform was it for? If it requires MMX I’ll need an XP version, since my Win 95 was purchased a month before MMX was announced. Grr!

    I’ve been wanting to try Homeworld it since I bought The Ladder.

    And yes, I know that was Homeworld II. I don’t like starting with the second game of a series if I can avoid it.

    I do love RTS games.

    Steve

  13. roxysteve says:

    …dribble…my Win 95 machine … drool… etc

    Thank you Mr Brain.

  14. Mari says:

    Who needs a freebie version when I can simply sit here at my computer and listen to the hubs play it, cheesy accents and catch-phrases and all, right in the next room? Sometimes when he’s been on a C&C binge, I find myself suddenly blurting out some of the random catch-phrases in the middle of conversation. In fact, just reading this blog made me do so and now my kids are looking at me very oddly. Thanks so much for that.

  15. Carra says:

    @Hal Played Starcraft again half a year ago and I think it still looked great! Although a 800×640 resolution is a bit small for my 19″ screen.

    Never really got into the C&C games. Although I did have fun with the Generals spin off.

    Now that we’re talking free games, can advise Far Cry too. It’s an excellent shooter with great graphics. Free single player, ad based version available now.

  16. Darnon says:

    I never really got into Homeworld that much, but its unofficial sequel Homeworld: Cataclysm I found to be quite fun. Homeworld II has a lot of heavy handed rock, paper, scissors unit management that can sometimes leave you pretty much up to luck whether you built the right unit a few minutes ago to tangle with the ships the AI just built by the time you finally fly there.

    Unless you have the battlecruiser…. those beat all.

  17. Cheesemaster says:

    Whoa, cheers for the link Shamus! I’ll probably end up enjoying this for most of my Sunday.

  18. Takkelmaggot says:

    Jadawin,
    Way to go, now I’ve got that “Mechanical Man” track stuck in my head for the rest of the night. May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your kneepit!

  19. Lacrimae says:

    I tried downloading this… and followed the instructions, but it still won’t even install on my WinXP machine
    Don’t suppose anyone has any ideas?
    (And yes I did change the properties to Win95 compatibility)

  20. Shamus says:

    Lacrimae: Don’t forget the patch as well. It should be available on that same page.

    Assuming you did that, then I can’t really tell what might be going wrong without knowing more.

  21. Shandrunn says:

    Hmm. I just realised I might not have to download the CD images, cause I still have my copy of the game right here. I think I’ll try to install that with the patch provided on the website.

    I’ll let you guys know how it goes.

  22. Shandrunn says:

    Well, I just finished playing the first three missions of the GDI campaign, so I guess I can call it a success.

  23. Lacrimae says:

    Thanx Shamus :) Yup saw the patch, but can’t even start an install as it just says “16 bit windows Subsystem
    c:\windows\system32\Autoexec.nt. The system file is not suitable for running MS-DOS and Miscrosoft Windows applications.”
    Then gives me a choice of Close or Ignore… both of which just close :-/

  24. Miral says:

    That sounds like you’re running 64-bit Windows. In that case you’ll probably need to use DosBox to run it under emulation, since Win64 doesn’t support running 16-bit software any more.

  25. Smileyfax says:

    I never played any of the Command and Conquer games until the release of Command and Conquer 3, which I got at the encouraging of my friend Kail and my recent enjoyment of Supreme Commander. And, for a time, I did enjoy it (though it was not nearly as good as Supreme Commander).

    Then I got to Croatia.

    Oh God, Croatia.

  26. largemarge says:

    C&C was pretty fun. Man, the units were dumb though. The cut scenes were great. I finished the “good guy” campaign – the most fun scenario was the lone commando raid.

  27. Malohin says:

    Shamus said, “I had the same experience with Homeworld. Stopped playing at the same point. I think the big problem with the game was the way resources carried over: If you did well, you would have more resources next time. If you did poorly, the game got harder. Ugh.

    My experience was somewhat different, Shamus, and no less frustrating.

    I loved the feel of the game and played through the campaign several times using various approaches. Mostly I think I just liked the “lonely ships in hostile space” feel. Very moody. Just flying around was fun.

    I’d save the game at the end of every mission, in case the next mission went disastrously bad, so I could start there instead of starting over. (I may still have the directory of saved games, too. I’m such a pack rat. :) ) I discovered pretty quickly it almost didn’t matter how well you did, because the game just threw more ships at you when you did well.

    I thought it might have been my imagination, but…as I was playing through the second or third time, I arrived at the mission where the objective is ENGLOBED by a fleet of ships. Seriously, it’s like some kind of Ion Cannon-festooned Galactus-sized cheese ball. Knowing one of the Big Fights was just around the corner, I decided to make an effort to capture as much of this fleet as possible.

    Using small task forces of cloaked Salvage Corvettes, I’d expose one to “taunt” a few of the defenders away from the objective, capture them, drag them back to the Mothership, and add them to my fleet. Lather, Rinse, Repeat. I eventually captured all but a tiny handful of the enemy fleet, which retreated beyond the playable area. (Come back and be captured, ya cowards!) My friends and housemates still marvel (or gape in horror–not sure) at my totally compulsive behavior.

    When my *ahem* reinforced fleet was in “parade” formation at my Mothership, the captured ships stretched off into the distance far enough I couldn’t even see them all. When I moved the camera to the end of the line of ships, I couldn’t see the Mothership.

    I took my ginormous fleet and went to the Big Fight. Instead of the “merely scarily powerful” fleet I had encountered the first time through, I slammed into one of the largest fleets I’d ever seen in the game. (Well, except for mine. :) ) I vaguely remember keeping 12 or 24 Ion Cannon Frigates at the Mothership as a “goal tending” force, while the rest of my fleet fought like hell. Great battle, but…

    I felt like I was being punished for doing well in the earlier stages of the game. The more successful I was, the more I made decisions I thought a fleet like this might make, the more my fleet came loaded for bear–the more bears I had to fight. Frustrating. If I wanted to play “deathmatch” I’d have done so.

    ANYwho. Great game, loads of fun, very moody, just enough resource managment to make a difference. I still occasionally pop it out and fly around a bit. I wonder if it works under XP? (Hit some links while I was writing this. Did you know the source for HW1 was available?!? Yowza!)

  28. Blue_Pie_Ninja says:

    Links dead

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