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Hell March is the main theme of all Red Alert games. All official versions were composed by Frank Klepacki, while two remixes were made by the emocore group From First To Last.

Background

While working on Covert Operations, Frank Klepacki composed Hell March from the idea of "a rock tune to marching boots", finishing the song in one day after inventing the guitar riff.[1] Upon listening, director Brett Sperry insisted this song be used as the signature theme of Command & Conquer: Red Alert.[2] Originally intended for use with the Brotherhood of Nod, it features militaristic samples including marching, industrial sounds, and a commander shouting. The commander's shout was a sampled voice Klepacki discovered and found appropriate for the track. A long lasting and common theory was that it was "Die Waffen, legt an!" (roughly translating as a command to prepare to fire in German), however other audio clips in the set the command was taken from are identifiably English. The marching command of English speaking armies most audibly similar is "Reform line, remainder, quick march", so it is believed the drill instructor shortened the command for brevity to the "Reform line, quick march!" that is heard in the track.[3]

Later variations

Red Alert 2 and Red Alert 3 received remixed versions of the track, adapted to fit their sound themes, and named Hell March 2 and Hell March 3 respectively. A unique version was made for Sole Survivor and used later for Red Alert - Retaliation, and the band From First to Last was invited to record their own renditions of the first two Hell March tracks, which were featured in promotional material for Red Alert 3 and appeared in the game's soundtrack disc.

In the internal files of Red Alert 2 (ra2.mix\local.mix), a residual early mix of Hell March 2 exists, named intro.aud. Along with a few minor differences in the tune, it features a repeating sample of Gunter von Esling saying "give 'em hell" from the No Remorse briefing video, and while this was intended to be the main menu track before Grinder replaced it, this mix only publicly appeared in the video demo of Red Alert 2 found in the Collector's Edition bonus DVD.

Main versions

Hell March
Hell March 2
Hell March 3

Official remixes

Hell March remix from Sole Survivor and Red Alert - Retaliation
Hell March remix by From First to Last
Hell March 2 remix by From First to Last

Other

Hell March Original Demo from the Remastered Collection
Early mix of Hell March 2 from the game's files

References

  1. Frank Klepacki (2008-11-08). Interview of Frank Klepacki. Retrieved on 15 June 2009.
  2. Frank Klepacki. COMMENTARY: Behind the C&C Soundtrack. frankklepacki.com. Retrieved on 27 July 2006.
  3. No Strings Prd (2019-11-23). What is the Hell March Guy Actually Saying?. Retrieved on 24 May 2021.
Command & Conquer music
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