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Ore is the main resource in the Red Alert universe of the Command & Conquer series. It is the primary means of earning cash, and is found scattered across the battlefield and collected by specialised units.

Game analysis

Red Alert

We need the ore there for a special project.
- Joseph Stalin(src)

In the original Red Alert and its expansions, ore comes in two variants: ore and gems (also known as valuable minerals). Ore is typically the more common of the two while gems provide twice the money that ore does. Ore, but not gems, spreads both from existing ore as well as ore drills sometimes found in the middle of an ore field, essentially making it an infinite resource. Individual ore tiles can be destroyed by shells or explosives, but the ore drill itself is indestructible. While vehicles cannot be forced to fire on a tile covered in ore, they may do so unintentionally while targeting a unit or structure, or if scripted to do so.

Ore is gathered by Ore Trucks, which scoop the ore up from the ground. Once their storage is full, no more ore is available in the immediate vicinity, or if ordered by the commander, these vehicles return to the nearest Ore Refinery to deposit their ore. It is either stored either there or in an Ore Silo. Ore and gems require storage based on their monetary value, with gems thus demanding more storage space. Ore mechanics are largely reused from the original Command & Conquer, though neither ore nor ore drills damage infantry.

In the game's 0.09c beta build, ore does not spread, putting a hard limit on the resources found on any map. However, ore yields a greater value than it does in the retail version.

Gallery

Red Alert 2

Let's keep the ore moving!
- War miner(src)

Ore in Red Alert 2 functions largely the same as in its predecessor, but is now gathered by faction-specific ore mining vehicles: the Allied Chrono Miner, the Soviet War Miner, and, in Yuri's Revenge, Yuri's Slave Miner. Storing additional ore in structures is no longer necessary. Ore and gems, now also referred to as multi-colored jewels,[1] can now be destroyed by ordering a unit to force-fire on an ore or gem patch, provided the unit uses a weapon designated to be able to do so.

Ore mechanics in Red Alert 2 are based on the Tiberium mechanics of Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun, with the flag in the internal code used to determine infantry damage due to Tiberium exposure as well as blue Tiberium chain reactions having been disabled.

Gallery

Red Alert 3

Collecting ore is alright!
- Prospector(src)

In Red Alert 3 and Uprising, ore is now supplied in Ore Mines, which are found on both land and at sea. Unlike its predecessors, the amount of ore is set and limited. Amphibious ore collectors are used to gather the resource, which are once more faction-specific: the Allied Prospector, the Soviet Ore Collector, and the Imperial Ore Collector. Gems do not appear in Red Alert 3.

Ore collectors can collect 250 credits worth of ore from an Ore Mine each time. The total amount of ore in a particular Ore Mine usually varies from 30,000 to 100,000 credits, and they can be seen visibly becoming emptier after prolonged mining, eventually becoming "depleted" when the amount reaches zero. Once depleted, Ore Mines can still provide ore, but only at 25 credits each time.

The Allied Free Trade upgrade improves the efficiency of ore collection by 25%, allowing each ore load to be converted into 312 credits, though the actual amount of ore taken is still 250 units.

Behind the scenes

  • According to official developer interviews, ore mines replaced the scattered ore fields of previous Red Alert games to encourage players to expand, since in Tiberium Wars and Kane's Wrath, players could simply build more refineries near their starting Tiberium field to boost income, instead of expanding to other fields.[2]
  • According to the official profile of the Prospector, ore is a plentiful and renewable resource in the Red Alert universe. In real life, ore is a non-renewable resource that can take millions of years to become viable for extraction.

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Red Alert mobile spin-offs

Both Red Alert mobile spin-offs use the same ore mines found in Red Alert 3. Ore collectors have been removed; players now receive money in set intervals once they have built an Ore Refinery on top of an ore mine.

See also

References

  1. Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2: Instruction Manual. Bingo, Cheng. Las Vegas, Nevada: Westwood Pacific, 2000.
  2. Schardein, S. (July 19, 2008). Exclusive Interview: Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 (archived). digitalchumps. Retrieved on April 13, 2022.
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