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Command & Conquer Wiki

This article is about the first game in the series. For the cancelled 2013 game by Victory Games, see Command & Conquer (2013). For the Tiberium Wars mod called "Tiberian Dawn", see Tiberian Dawn (mod).
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We're going to have to act, if we want to live in a different world.
- "Act on Instinct"

Command & Conquer (popularly referred to by its working title, Tiberian Dawn) was the first Command & Conquer game, and the starting point of the Tiberium universe. Developed by Westwood Studios in 1995, Command & Conquer takes place when a strange crystalline substance called Tiberium starts appearing on Earth. While the Global Defense Initiative attempts to control the situation, a faction called the Brotherhood of Nod rises and attempts to destroy GDI and embrace the "Tiberium age". The events that follow are known as the First Tiberium War.

An expansion pack, The Covert Operations, was released in 1996, introducing new missions for both sides.

On 14 November 2018, it was announced that Command & Conquer would be remastered by Petroglyph Games and Lemon Sky Studios under supervision of Electronic Arts, along with the Covert Operations expansion pack.[2]


Command & Conquer was developed under the name Tiberian Dawn. This name was later used by fans to distinguish the game from the series as a whole. Westwood themselves referred to the game as Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn as early as 1997,[3] and would later adopt this name for the game's remaster.

The name Command & Conquer was established after the release of Westwood first real-time strategy game, Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty, and was originally intended to be the name for a number of games that would "strike the balance between the best of city-building simulators and the best of tactical combat games", with Dune II being part of that series.[4]

In Germany, the game was released under the name Command & Conquer: Teil 1 – Der Tiberiumkonflikt ("Command & Conquer: Part 1 - The Tiberium Conflict"), and later re-released as Command & Conquer: Der Tiberiumkonflikt. The Chinese-language version of the game and the Gold Edition retained the original English name, but added a transliteration using Chinese characters as well.[5][6]

On the Command & Conquer Wiki, the title "Tiberian Dawn" is used to differentiate objects in this game from the ones in the rest of the series for practical reasons.


Main article: First Tiberium War

Tiberian Dawn is set in the late 1990s after a meteorite crashed on the Tiber River, Italy, bringing a mysterious but extremely valuable substance, Tiberium. An ancient secret society, the Brotherhood of Nod, somehow acquired the technology to exploit Tiberium's potential ahead of the mainstream scientific community. Led by a messianic leader known only as Kane (played by Joseph D. Kucan), Nod eventually came to control almost half of the world's Tiberium. Using the immense wealth and power gained from Tiberium, the terrorist organization began to spread its influence around the globe, especially among the disenfranchised people of the Third World. In response to Nod's growing influence and Nod terrorist attacks, the United Nations Security Council tasked a recently-formed global taskforce, the Global Defense Initiative, with destroying the Brotherhood.


The Nod campaign ends with Nod hijacking a GDI Ion cannon and the commander choosing one of four world landmarks (Eiffel Tower, the White House, Brandenburg Gate, or Houses of Parliament) to be vapourized by the Ion Cannon strike, dealing a crippling blow to GDI's image and capability.

The GDI campaign wins with the storming of the main Nod compound in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the destruction of the Temple of Nod. The commander has the choice of whether to use the Ion cannon or not. Only the GDI campaign is considered canon.


The original concept of the Command & Conquer fiction was created by Brett Sperry, Eydie Laramore and Joseph Bostic in 1993. Like its predecessor Dune II, Command & Conquer was originally intended to be a high fantasy game featuring wizards and warriors.[7] However, due to the political climate of the early 1990s, and the events of the Gulf War in particular, the developers felt that a contemporary war environment would be more accessible. According to Westwood co-founder Louis Castle: "War was in the news and the threat of terrorism was on everyone's mind. That definitely had an effect on the fictional world of C&C, though a parallel universe was created to avoid dealing with the sobering issues of a real war. "We wanted to make it a contemporary war for a contemporary world, with contemporary politics. At the time, Brett Sperry had said that it seemed to him that the next wars won't be fought nation-to-nation, but fought between Western society and a kind of anarchistic terror organization that doesn't have a centralized government. It turned out to be very prophetic". In an interview, Kane's actor Joseph D. Kucan mentioned that the Brotherhood of Nod faction was an invention of Eydie Laramore in particular, with the two of them having extensively discussed biblical metaphor and imaged backstory.

The Tiberium substance was introduced to replace the spice from Dune II as the mined resource for building and expanding, with Louis Castle stating: "It solved one of the fundamental problems we had with making an RTS, which was that we wanted to have a central resource that everybody was fighting over. Dune has spice, which made perfect sense - and it was also used when we came to the idea of Tiberium. It became the anchor of the C&C universe because people were arguing over a limited resource that represented wealth and power". The original concept of Tiberium was inspired by the 1957 B-movie "The Monolith Monsters".

Beta screenshots[]

Expansion pack[]

There was a single expansion pack released, the The Covert Operations, released in 1996. It only focused on adding new missions, but other than that, no new content was made. The missions are not campaign-based, but can be selected in a list and played in any order. A New Missions button was added on the game's main menu to access that list.

The expansion pack contains a hidden 5-mission mini-campaign of dinosaur missions, accessible by launching the game with command-line argument 'funpark' and then starting a new game.


Macintosh port[]

The System 7.5-native version was released in 1996 for Power Macintosh machines ported by Totally Hip Software. It introduced many of the features that were later implemented into the Windows version, such as SVGA resolution, the black and gray sidebar and 1v1 Internet play over Westwood Online.

Sega Saturn port[]

In 1996 a Sega Saturn version was released. This version features the complete GDI and Nod campaign. However, changes in both level design and GUI was made to better accommodate controller usage. The graphics were also significantly reduced in quality, missing many animations and color depth of the original in order to improve performance. The music was changed from Westwood's proprietary mono format to stereo CD audio. This improved the quality of the music and allowed it to be played by a standard CD audio player. The loading and saving system from the PC version was replaced by a level password system. This port is the most optimized of the console ports and generally runs without many issues.

In July 2023, Sega of America's brand review for 1997 was leaked. According to the files, the Saturn port of Command & Conquer was intended to have online connectivity. The documents also name the game was as a key third party title as well as an exclusive port, which it would ultimately not become. Instead of December 1996, August is noted as the game's release date.[8]

Sony PlayStation port[]

Following the Saturn version, a PlayStation version was released. It features similar changes to the Saturn version such as reduced visual quality, GUI changes and changed level design. The biggest change from the Saturn version was the addition of the fifteen single-player missions from The Covert Operations expansion pack, as well as an extra set of unique new missions, called Special Operations, which have since been ported to the Windows version by the fan base and included in the unofficial 1.06 patch, and included in the Remastered Collection. The music was also changed to use Sony's own format. While of lower quality than the Saturn version, the music is still an improvement over the original sound.

Windows port[]

The Windows 95-native version also known as Command & Conquer: Gold, and was released in 1997. It offers SVGA graphics, Internet play support via Westwood Online, and the Command & Conquer themes pack (animated icons, wallpaper, and sound effects) for Windows 9x.

Nintendo 64 port[]

The Nintendo 64 port was developed by Looking Glass Studios and released in 1999. It featured 3D environments and structures combined with 2D infantry sprites. It also introduced four exclusive missions which have been ported to and included in Remastered. Inside the ROM, most of the other Special Operations and Covert Operations missions can be found as well, but none of them are playable in the game itself without editing the ROM.

Rumored 3DO port[]

Tiberian Dawn 3DO port rumors

An article in CD Consoles about an alleged 3DO Interactive Multiplayer port of Command & Conquer, supposedly in 3D.

In February 1995, French magazine CD Consoles reported that Westwood planned to port Command & Conquer to the 3DO. This version was supposed to feature "smooth 3D", implying that this, unlike the PSX and Saturn version, would be a 3D adaptation of the game, predating the N64 port by years. The screenshots provided by the magazine show cutscenes and a very early gameplay mockup of the game's original DOS version, leaving little to back up CD Consoles's claim. The magazine compared the title to Silent Software's Return Fire.[9]

Freeware release[]

To mark the 12th anniversary of the Command & Conquer series, EA has released Command & Conquer for Windows as freeware in 2007. While this was not the case for the Covert Operations expansion pack, the fans have distributed it alongside the base game without sanction, so it is de facto considered freeware as well.

The original releases are currently down, but mirrors exist on or through the Internet Archive.

Fan projects[]

Unofficial v1.06 patch[]

The unofficial 1.06 patch, which started as a collection of crash fixes made by various hackers around the release of Command & Conquer: The First Decade, grew out to a full game enhancement patch. Its features include numerous bug fixes in game logic, missions and graphics, a fully customizable game resolution, all original console-only missions, a language packs system for unofficial translations, and a lot more. With most of the bugs out of the way, the patch project shifted more towards adding new features in mission making, modding and translation. Since its development has always been closely tied to that of the CnCNet online play system, and none of its features irreversibly change the original feel of the game (any that do can generally be disabled in the game's configuration tool), it has become the de facto standard in the C&C community.

Open source reimplementations[]


OpenRA featuring a Tiberium Wars style tabbed interface and high-resolution graphics

  • FreeCNC is an open source clone written in C++ and Lua using the SDL libraries. It is no longer in development.
  • The C# reimplementation OpenRA has a Tiberian Dawn mod that uses the original game graphics, but is rebalanced and optimised for multiplayer matches.
  • The Red Horizon project's intent is to create tools and a game engine for legacy 2D Westwood RTS in Java, but its game engine implementation never went beyond very early stages of development.
  • Command & Conquer - HTML5 is a recreation of the original game in HTML5 and JavaScript, meaning it runs in modern web browsers.
  • Vanilla Conquer is a modernized, multi-platform source port of both Tiberian Dawn and Red Alert based on the official source code released by Electronic Arts as part of the Remastered Collection.


Controversial ads[]



Official English trailer from January 1995, featuring the testing footage for the VQA format starring Joe Kucan
German "Ode an die Freude" trailer
German "Ode an die Freude" trailer - alternate version
Nintendo 64 port trailer


  1. Tore (29 January 2018). "The tale of a release date". C&C Communications Center. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  2. Vassella, Jim [EA_Jimtern] (14 November 2018). "C&C Remastered Announcement from EA". Reddit. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  3. "PC Product Index" (archived). Westwood Studios official site. Retrieved 12 June 1997.
  4. Westwood Studios (fall 1992). "Dune II team". News & Notes, vol. 1, no. 2, p. 2. Retrieved 2 December 2022.
  5. [1]Command & Conquer Chinese box art
  6. [2]Command & Conquer: Gold Edition Chinese box art
  7. Mallinson, Paul (31 May 2002). "Games that changed the world: Command & Conquer" (archived). Computer & Video Games. Retrieved 27 June 2009.
  8. Sega of America fiscal year '97 brand review (archived)
  9. CD Consoles #04, February 1995, p. 95 (archived)

External links[]

Community websites[]

Freeware links[]

Command & Conquer series
Tiberian Dawn and The Covert Operations missions