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Command & Conquer: Generals

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Command & Conquer:
DeveloperEA Pacific (PC), Aspyr Media (Mac OS)
PublisherEA Games (PC), MacSoft (Mac OS)
DistributorElectronic Arts
SeriesGenerals Universe
Version1.08, December 2005
GenreReal-time strategy
ModesSingleplayer, multiplayer
RatingsT (ESRB)
PlatformsPC, Mac OS
RequirementsIntel Pentium 3/AMD Athlon 800 MHz, 128 MB RAM, Windows 98/ME/2000/XP/Vista/7, 32 MB AGP DirectX 8.1 compatible video card NVIDIA Geforce 2 or ATI Radeon 7500, DirectX 8.1 compatible sound card, 1.8 GB hard disk space, 8x CD-ROM/DVD-ROM drive. (PC)
InputKeyboard, mouse
Can you be a great leader?
- Tagline
Command & Conquer: Generals is a real-time strategy video game developed by Westwood Studios and published by EA Games, released in 2003. The game takes place in an entirely separate continuity that is completely unrelated to the Red Alert universe or the Tiberium universe. It is the first Command & Conquer game to use 3D graphics in-game.


Generals Crusader

Crusader Tank

The Generals universe is not so different from our own, though there are a few far-fetched technologies. The game makes use of several real world names, most notably in the USA faction vehicles, such as the Humvee, Raptor, and Chinook helicopter.


Generals plays very differently from its sibling Tiberium and Red Alert series. For instance, resources are no longer obtained from minerals scattered on the ground, but are instead collected at "supply docks" and "supply stockpiles," and these resources, unlike Ore or Tiberium, are finite in quantity. Units now possess "special abilities" aside from their primary functions, such as American vehicles being able to create hovering robotic drones to provide support, Chinese Hackers capable of shutting down buildings or providing a steady flow of funds, and the basic soldiers of all three factions being able to capture buildings, eliminating the previous method of using engineers (although the process of capturing buildings in Generals is gradual rather than the instantaneous capture of previous games). Perhaps the most distinctive difference in contrast to Tiberium and Red Alert is that structures must be built using "builder" units, rather than prefabricated constructs which are deployed once completed. In spite of these differences, Generals retains many of the conventions of previous games, such as power to keep one's base up and running, Superweapons to devastate the enemy forces, commando units, and a Mammoth-esque tank (The Overlord).


Generals features three factions. Each one plays differently, and has its own advantages and disadvantages.

United States of AmericaEdit

Main article: United States of America (Generals)

The United States is the most technologically-advanced faction, and fights with a combination of powerful ground units and a large, versatile fleet of aircraft. USA forces rely on skill, mobility, and high technology to defeat the raw firepower of China and the guerrilla tactics of the GLA. USA ground vehicles can construct unmanned drones to support and repair them in combat, while American troops and vehicles make extensive use of laser technology to guide weapons and defend against attack. American infantry have a number of special abilities, and include stealthy long-ranged snipers called Pathfinders and a powerful commando named Colonel Burton with a number of abilities revolving around demolition and stealth. The USA also fields the largest air fleet in the game, including attack and transport helicopters, fighter planes, high speed bombers and stealth bombers. American Generals' abilities revolve around air power, including air strikes by A-10 Thunderbolts and fuel air bombs (a.k.a The Daisy Cutter). They also possess a Particle Cannon super weapon capable of destroying units and most buildings in a single use.

The USA has a major disadvantage, however, in that it has the slowest resource gathering in the game; in comparison to troop costs, it has a less stable supply of power than China, and its high-tech units are very expensive. Despite being able to harvest the most of all factions in single go, with their speedy Chinooks taking $600 at a time, the other factions take more overall with faster and cheaper harvests.In addition, USA Chinooks are vulnerable to the common GLA quad cannons and Chinese Gattling tanks.

The USA campaign is the third chronologically in Generals. In response to the GLA's launch of the biochemical weapon, the USA engages the GLA across several locales, including Baghdad, the Caspian Sea, Kabara city and Al Hanad. They later defeat a rogue Chinese general supporting the terrorists and track them back to their base of operations in Akmola, Kazakhstan. In Zero Hour, the USA destroys the Baikonur Cosmodrome whilst providing relief efforts in Somalia. They later pursue and hunt down the GLA scientist Dr. Thrax. But a revitalised GLA manages to scuttle the US Mediterranean fleet and even infiltrated the US west coast, prompting US withdrawal from global operations.

People's Republic of ChinaEdit

Main article: People's Republic of China

The People's Republic relies largely on brute force and sheer numbers, culminating in a variety of powerful and heavily armored tanks, and has limited air power. China's play style emphasizes direct assaults and sheer power to defeat American technology and GLA stealth, and also places some emphasis on defence. Combining Bunkers fully loaded with Tank Hunter for engaging tanks and Gattling Cannons to kill infantry and aircraft easily defend against any attack. In addition, Chinese buildings can be surrounded by Land Mines to prevent infiltration. Chinese troops and tanks gain special bonuses when in groups, and make extensive use of propaganda (passive healing) to support their troops. China has a wide range of vehicle types, including several specialized tanks like Type 88 as "Battlemaster", BTR-80 as "Troop Crawler", "Overlord" tank(s) and two artillery units. China make heavy use of gattling, nuclear, and napalm weaponry to destroy the enemy, but also posses advanced electronic warfare technology, including elite hackers, a spy called Black Lotus, and electromagnetic pulse weapons. The Chinese "Inferno Cannon" and "Nuke Cannon" are the only artillery units whose shells cannot be intercepted.

China has a major disadvantage in that its ground forces are generally slower than those of the other two factions. Due to having virtually no fast attack units, except for their MiGs, China is forced to make large, ponderous assaults with heavy units, a tactic that can be countered by the GLA's speed or the USA's air power. However, with the emphasis on quantity over quality, the Chinese forces are well-suited to winning drawn-out battles of attrition.

China's campaign is the first chronologically in Generals. China retaliates after the GLA launches a devastating nuclear attack on Beijing. During one battle, China destroys the Three Gorges Dam in order to eliminate a large GLA army. China uses its nuclear arsenal to further fight against the GLA and eventually crushes the GLA cell masterminding all Pacific rim operations in Dushanbe, as victories occur in Hong Kong, Tanggula Mountains, Bishkek and Balykchy. In Zero Hour, China defeats the GLA during their invasion of Europe (with the USA retreating for homeland security) and seizes the opportunity to rise as a world power after four successes in Germany and one in their homeland.

Global Liberation ArmyEdit

Main article: Global Liberation Army

Being technologically disadvantaged, the GLA has comparatively weak (though highly mobile) ground vehicles and no air force, prompting the use of guerrilla tactics such as mining, suicide bombing, hijacking, and using salvaged enemies own weapons against them.

The GLA has a larger array of infantry types and vehicles to make up for their disadvantages, and also has the widest range of stealth options. In addition, the GLA has a very powerful economy, with various resource-gathering techniques such as salvaging wreckage, gaining cash bounties on destroyed enemy units, and building multiple "black market" structures to bring in large amounts of money over time. Also, the GLA are unique in that they have no energy requirement for any of their structures or units. GLA units have a multitude of upgrades that significantly increase their power as they become fully equipped, transforming a relatively weak group of units into a more respectable threat. The GLA is also unique in that its structures, particularly base defenses, rebuild themselves over time unless completely destroyed; this makes it difficult to permanently damage the GLA with many single-shot weapons or units.

The GLA's toxic weapons, suicide units, and stealth and surprise abilities enable it to hit enemies from unexpected directions, and its powerful economy, combined with cheap, fast units, enables it to flood opponents with sheer numbers. The GLA's primary disadvantage is that, in terms of firepower, range, and durability, its units are outmatched by Chinese and American units, and it has a complete lack of air power, except one plane to send Anthrax Bombs. This forces a GLA player to outmaneuver or outnumber opponents, as in an even, direct confrontation the GLA will lose to superior Chinese firepower and American technology. Despite lacking any aircraft units the GLA has the most feared anti-aircraft unit, the Quad Cannon. A medium armored truck, the Quad Cannon is effective against aircraft, with a fully upgraded quad cannon being one of the greatest surface threats to air units.

The GLA campaign is the second chronologically in Generals. Following the setback at the hands of the Chinese, they raise funds and instigate attacks against their American and Chinese antagonists as a victory in both Kazakhstan and Turkey dominates GLA control. They eventually overtake the Baikonur Cosmodrome in order to fire a Soyuz rocket (a.k.a Baikonur Rocket) bearing a biological MIRV at a nondescript city. In Zero Hour, the GLA loses control of the Baikonur Cosmodrome to the USA and attacks the west coast of America in retaliation (The USA's late wake-up call) and eventually invades Europe after Deathstrike rises to power and Kassad's rouging in Egypt. They are defeated in Europe by China after two GLA victories in Germany and the Mediterranean.


Main article: War against the GLA

The plot follows the order of China first, then the GLA, then the USA. In this order, China retaliates for a devastating GLA nuclear attack on Beijing, stops a major terrorist threat in Hong Kong ,destroys the Three Gorges Dam, uses China's nuclear arsenal and eventually completely crushes the GLA cell masterminding all Pacific rim operations in Western China and its neighbors.

The GLA campaign then begins, with the organization trying to recover from its recent setback at the hands of the Chinese by raising funds from UN and American forces while instigating attacks against their American and Chinese antagonists in Astana, blowing up an American Airbase, capturing toxin bunkers and destroying a rouge GLA base with China in the way. Eventually culminating in the overtaking of the Baikonur Cosmodrome and the firing of a Soyuz rocket bearing a biological MIRV at an unnamed city at the end.

At this point the American campaign begins in which the USA engages the GLA across several locales, including Baghdad, Caspian Sea, Al Hanad, Kabara city and Northern Kazakhstan before defeating a rogue Chinese general supporting the terrorists and tracking them back to their base of operations in Akmola, Kazakhstan.


Ban in ChinaEdit

The Generals series is banned in mainland China.[1] Throughout the Chinese campaign, the player is occasionally made to utilize heavy-handed tactics such as leveling the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre after it becomes a GLA base and destroying the Three Gorges Dam to release a flood on GLA forces. Chinese forces also liberally use nuclear weaponry in-game, albeit restricted to the lower tactical nuclear weapon yield range. Furthermore, in the introduction of the game, Tienanmen Square and its surrounding areas in Beijing is devastated by terrorist nuclear weapons.

German localizationEdit

Gen China mission01 German Censorship

The Dragon Awakes in the German censorship. Note there are no civilians.

Gen China mission02 German Censorship

In the middle of 2003, a regular localized German version was released in Germany. Due to the war in Iraq getting closer, the Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Medien (Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons) removed the game off the market for under 18's two months after the initial release, stating that the game would give underage people the ability to play the war in Iraq before the real war had even begun. Additionally, the player is able to kill civilians. Based on these two points the BPjM put the game on the index, because they thought it glorified war.

The sale to minors and marketing of the game were prohibited throughout the Federal Republic of Germany. Later, in the same year, EA released a new version called "Command & Conquer: Generäle", which did not incorporate real world factions or any relation to terrorism. For example, the suicide human bomber unit was transformed into an automatic rolling bomb vehicle, and all other infantry were changed into "cyborgs" in order of appearance and unit responses similar to earlier releases of the Command & Conquer franchise.[2]


Originally, there was supposed to be a generals' assignment system, as its name suggests. It worked similar, but differently to the generals system which eventually got used in the Zero Hour expansion pack - generals were not selected in the skirmish/multiplayer menu like factions, but instead main factions were selected and then generals could be chosen.

Every faction had three generals. They were as follows:

  • America Tank Command
  • America Special Forces
  • America Airforce
  • China Red Army
  • China Special Weapons
  • China Secret Police
  • Fundamentalists (GLA) Terror Cell
  • Fundamentalists (GLA) Biowar Command
  • Fundamentalists (GLA) Warlord Command[citation needed]

Only three mods restore the generals assignment system:

  • The End of Days, which successfully adds the assignment system, but none of the generals.
  • Pro:Gen, which restores all the 9 generals, but due to the limited coding in the final Generals coding, it works in the same way like in Zero Hour.
  • Rise of the Reds will restore all the 9 alpha generals (plus 6 generals of their own creation) with the assignment system in the future release of 2.0.



Command & Conquer series
Generals USA icon United States of America First GLA War Arsenal Generals USA icon
China People's Republic of China First GLA War Arsenal China
Gla Global Liberation Army GLA War Arsenal Gla

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