|This article is written from a real world point of view.|
|“||It'd be a sad error in judgement, General Solomon, to mistake me for a corpse.
Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun is the second major game in the Tiberium universe of the Command & Conquer series. Published by Electronic Arts, who became Westwood Studios' publisher in 1998, Tiberian Sun was released in August 1999. The events of Tiberian Sun take place in the year 2030, following the events of the Second Tiberium War and those immediately prior. Its expansion pack, Firestorm was released on 7 March 2000.
Tiberian Sun follows Michael McNeil (GDI) and Anton Slavik (Nod) as they command Global Defense Initiative and Brotherhood of Nod forces during the Second Tiberium War. Despite winning the First Tiberium War with the Ion Cannon strike on the Sarajevo Temple complex, GDI forces were unable to account for the body of Kane; a singular fact that the GDI High Council later saw as a costly oversight. This "disappearance" made Kane immortal in the eyes of some of the Brotherhood, which allowed Nod forces to continue operating even thirty years later. GDI, however, mitigated Nod's effectiveness by installing a puppet leader (Hassan) over the largest splinter faction of Nod. Slavik, who saw Hassan as a traitor to Kane, overthrew Hassan's leadership, while Kane simultaneously revealed himself to the Brotherhood. Immediately after, Kane initiated combat operations on a number of GDI positions and contacted General James Solomon, aboard the GDSS Philadelphia. These events marked the beginning of the Second Tiberium War.
GDI's Commander McNeil was initially deployed to stop a Nod task force attacking GDI's outpost in Phoenix, AZ. Although he succeeded in driving Nod from the region, GDI suffered heavy losses. From the Phoenix base, however, McNeil attempted to and did secure an alien warship Nod's General Vega crash landed, although he was unable to secure any significant hardware. He did, however, encounter a Forgotten mutant by the name of Umagon, who promised the support of her Forgotten comrades in return for GDI support in rescuing their leader, Tratos. Upon rescuing Tratos, Solomon sent McNeil to South America to assault General Vega's stronghold. McNeil successfully captured Vega's stronghold and attempted to interrogate Vega, however, Vega's drug-induced insanity and Kane launching a nuclear strike on the facility prevented McNeil from getting anything more than cryptic hints about the origin of the alien warship. The speculation about the alien ship was quickly put on hold, as Nod forces under the command of Anton Slavik attacked and captured GDI's fortress in Hammerfest, Norway. Commander McNeil led an amphibious assault group into the base, evicted the occupying Nod force, and retrieved the sonic crystals being held in the base from Slavik's forces. In the process, McNeil's brother, on station in Hammerfest, was killed by Nod forces. General Solomon, then contacted McNeil about Kane's new chemical missile facilities and Banshee fighter factories. For GDI to successfully conclude operations in Europe, both of these threats were to be dealt with. In the middle of these operations, the mutant Umagon was captured by Nod and taken to Kane's pyramid in Cairo to complete her Divination. Disobeying orders from General Solomon, McNeil left immediately. While en route to Egypt, McNeil's command ship was grounded by an ion storm; however, after holding off Nod forces, he continued uninterrupted. He discovered Nod was also attempting to set up ICBM launchers to target and destroy the Philadelphia. The events of the Second Tiberium War eventually culminated in McNeil defeating Kane (and Nod) at Nod's Cairo missile launch facility, narrowly averting a chemical missile launch and the destruction of the Philadelphia.
Anton Slavik, a Black Hand prelate and experienced commander, managed to escape a Nod holding facility under the command of the GDI's puppet leader Hassan. Linking up with Nod forces loyal to Kane, he successfully deposed Hassan as the de facto leader of the Brotherhood. Coincidentally, Kane also revealed himself to the Brotherhood at this time, which had the effect of uniting the fractured segments of the Brotherhood of Nod. With Nod reunited, Kane initiated several assaults on GDI bases around the globe. Kane, however, tasked Slavik with recovering the Tacitus, an alien database that was on board the ship Vega crashed. After retrieving the Tacitus, Nod forces captured the mutant Umagon and destroyed a number of GDI research facilities, as well as delaying the deployment of the Mammoth Mk. II by eradicating the initial prototype. However, after Kane's defeat at Cairo, he was forced to retreat with the other Nod leaders from GDI's view. With Kane, Cairo and Sarajevo, the Banshee factories, and much of their missile-based arsenal lost, Slavik had no choice but to go underground. Mere days afterward, Nod and GDI forces would, ironically be forced to team up in the Firestorm Conflict when CABAL went rogue.
GDI ending: McNeil rescues Umagon and impales Kane with a shard of Tiberium, letting the world think once again that Kane is dead.
Nod ending: Slavik's forces successfully position the three ICBMs to destroy GDSS Philadelphia. Subsequently, the World Altering Missile (WAM) is launched and turns Earth into one Red Zone, turning carbon-based life into Tiberium-based life. Curiously, as the missile was launched, Kane mysteriously ascended and dissolved into light.
The development of Command and Conquer: Tiberian Sun started in 1996 after the release of Command & Conquer. For the direct sequel, Westwood developed a new graphics engine, extensively reworked the AI, used full motion video cutscenes exclusively for in-game story elements, and implemented numerous other features. The full motion video segments in Tiberian Sun drew the talents of actors such as James Earl Jones (General Solomon), Michael Biehn (Commander McNeil), and Joseph Kucan (Kane), as well as CGI-generated battle scenes.
The development cycle of Tiberian Sun was not without issues. The project had been underway for at least two years until Virgin Interactive started drastically losing money, and placing its assets, Westwood Studios included, for sale. By the time Electronic Arts purchased Westwood in August 1998, the game missed its November 1998 deadline, and was delayed for spring 1999, only to be delayed again for summer 1999.
A number of gameplay and engine features did not make it into the game, or were released with Tiberian Sun: Firestorm. Many bugs and inconsistencies were left unresolved even after the latest official patch. At the time of release in 1999, Tiberian Sun had been in development for approximately 36 months. In a 2000 interview for Gamasutra, Rade Stojsavljević gave a detailed look at the development of Tiberian Sun, blaming feature creep and poor organization for the game's issues.
Tiberian Sun was featured on Westwood's booths at E3 1998 and E3 1999, and had a summit two weeks prior to release.
Tiberian Sun, along with its Firestorm expansion, has been released as freeware by EA in February 2010. The freeware release was based off the version built into The First Decade. Due to an error, the modified executable is unable to read movies03.mix, which holds the Firestorm-specific cutscenes in the regular CD release, and all Firestorm cutscenes were ported to movies01.mix along with vanilla Tiberian Sun GDI cutscenes, hence the noticeably higher size of the latter file.
The development team of OpenRA reported in June, 2014 that Tiberian Sun mod will be added to the project in the near future. The official YouTube channel of OpenRA previewed their Tiberian Sun mod in July 2015.
- The game was supposed to have a feature that changed the lighting on the map every 15 minutes in day/night fashion. This was removed. This feature was later included to the random map generator in the expansion.
- The missions were supposed to have a Dropship menu at the beginning to choose the starting units. Although this was cut as Westwood did not see it fit in with the gameplay properly, some files related to it remain. A modified first GDI mission file with the Dropship loadout has been uploaded on the XCC website.
- The unofficial strategy guide by GameSpot was discovered in the compound of the infamous terrorist Osama bin Laden while it was being raided in 2011, and was posted on the CIA index of documents found there. It is available in PDF format on the publicly available version of the index, as was reported on the Command & Conquer subreddit in September 2018.
Names in different markets
- France: Command and Conquer: Soleil de Tiberium
- Germany: Command & Conquer: Teil 3 - Operation Tiberian Sun
- Official website (archived)
- Tiberian Sun folder on Westwood FTP (occasionally down)
- Official Tiberian Sun & Firestorm release by EA (FilePlanet mirror)
- Freeware Classic Command & Conquer games at CNCNZ.com
- Alternative installer by the C&C Communications Center
- Tiberian Sun portal on CNCNZ.com
- Tiberian Sun portal on the C&C Communications Center
- Tiberian Sun on CnCNet
- Stojsavljević, Rade (4 April 2000). Postmortem: Westwood Studios' Command and Conquer: Tiberian Sun. Gamasutra. Retrieved on 17 August 2018.
- Renowned Actors James Earl Jones and Michael Biehn to Star in Westwood Studios' Command & Conquer Tiberian Sun CD-ROM - Westwood.com. Westwood Studios (31 July 1998). Archived from the original on 6 February 2002.
- Chote, Paul (8 June 2014). Release 20140608. Retrieved on 9 June 2014. “Our Tiberian Sun mod saw significant development, but will not be ready for several more months.”
- Some scenes from the first proper Tiberian Sun test game in OpenRA (29 July 2015). Retrieved on 2 November 2015.
- Unofficial GameSpot Game Guide: Command & Conquer Tiberian Sun. Ziff Davis, GameSpot (original) / Central Intelligence Agency (upload). Retrieved on 20 September 2018.
- So... umm... I was googling for something and just randomly found a game guide for Tiberian Sun in the CIA archives of documents found at Osama Bin Ladins compound. Reddit (19 September 2018). Retrieved on 20 September 2018.