Updated: September 25, 2019
Several weeks ago, we talked about the all-time classic Red Alert. Now, I want to focus on the successor, the equally nice and fun Red Alert 2 and its expansion Yuri's Revenge. While this game never really eclipsed the original, it's still very much the quintessential Westwood RTS, with great graphics, same fast-paced spirit and some extra factions and technology.
So how does one go about enjoying this game on Linux? Well, you noticed the mention of CNCNET in my Red Alert guide, a great community of people dedicated to keeping the legends and classics alive. While RA is free to play, RA2 and Yuri are not. These games have not been handed off to the public at large, and so you still need to have the original DVD - or buy them fresh. But if you happen to have those, then let's talk business.
Setup Yuri's Revenge
On CNCNET, this title is only available for Windows users. But you can try your luck via WINE. If you're not in the mood to do any manual hacking, you can then install the snap package, which handles all the gory details for you. If your system supports snaps, then your one-line magic trick reads as follows:
snap install cncra2yr
Let the game install. Then start it - this will actually trigger the full installation:
snap run cncra2yr
Next you will be prompted as follows:
All right. The original game files. I talked about this in my fifth Slimbook combat report. I dusted off my Command & Conquer The First Decade DVD Collection (bought in 2008), popped the DVD in, and then copied the necessary games files over to my Linux system. P.S. I have the whole trove of goodies here, but then, I've kept almost every single floppy, CD and DVD I ever bought. Yes, crusty floppies full of ancient game saves and dusty old PRINTED game booklets, too!
Once you copy the files to the right folder, let the installer continue. It will run for a while, and you will then reach the main screen. There might also be an additional game update. Once this completes, exit the game, then start fresh - CNCRA2YR cannot self-restart.
Now, it's the familiar stuff - choose the game mode, sort your factions and commence to begin enjoying yourself. All in all, this worked very well, but I did encounter a few snags - you cannot save skirmish games, it seems. I also couldn't take screenshots with the game in the full-screen mode. But other than that, it was a pleasant experience.
While this guide isn't as mind-blowing as the Red Alert piece, it's still very nice being able to enjoy Yuri's Revenge, especially on a Linux system. Before your hopes soar up as a majestic phoenix, do remember that the game stability or compatibility may change come the new WINE version or whatnot. But if it works for you, then you should have many hours of great fun ahead of you.
The setup is relatively trivial - the tricky part is finding the game files, and if you have a Windows system, you might as well play there, but if you've left them pastures, and you have the DVD around, this is a great way to revive some of those memories and brush up on your RTS skillz. If you have any suggestions on how to make this experience even more fun, I'm all ears. Or rather emails. Take care, fellow gamers.