Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun

Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun
Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun
Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun cover (Windows)
Tiberian Sun cover art, depicting protagonist GDI commander
Developer(s) Westwood Studios
Publisher(s) Electronic Arts
Version 2.03 (Jun 15, 2000)[1]
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) August 27, 1999
Genre(s) Real-time strategy
Mode(s) Single player, multiplayer
Rating(s) ESRB: T (Teen)
PEGI: 16+
Media/distribution 2 CD-ROMs (original release), DVD-ROM (TFD), download
System requirements

Pentium 166 MHz, 32 MiB RAM, Windows 98 / NT 4.0 SP6a, DirectX 6.1, SVGA 2 MiB video card, 640×480 16-bit high-color monitor display, 16-bit sound card, CD-ROM drive, 200 MiB hard disk space

Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun is a real-time strategy video game developed by Westwood Studios and released in 1999. The main storyline follows the second major war between the Global Defense Initiative of the United Nations, and the global terrorist organization known as the Brotherhood of Nod who tactically utilizes the highly dangerous extraterrestrial Tiberium substance, disinformation through international mass media, black propaganda to influence mutant populations of The Forgotten, as well as the application of religious fanaticism and an overwhelming share of power and wealth in order to complete the Nod's tireless quest for world domination. The story takes place in 2030, 30 years after the GDI had won the first major war in Command & Conquer (Tiberian Dawn).

As of February 12, 2010, Electronic Arts (EA) licensed Tiberian Sun and its expansion pack Firestorm as freeware, thus making it possible to be distributed free of charge. The game was initially available for download from EA's website in order to promote their latest game in the Command & Conquer series. This version of the game was extracted from the The First Decade compilation by Electronic Arts and has been found broken, as it fails to play the Nod introduction movie, among other newly introduced bugs with the EA's release of The First Decade (TFD).




Tiberian Sun features three factions, each with its unique strengths and tactics; the Global Defense Initiative (GDI), the Brotherhood of Nod (Nod), and The Forgotten (non-playable, neutral faction of mutated humans who have been physically and mentally affected by the Tiberium toxins). The storyline follows the continuing struggle between the GDI and Nod, the latter of which is ready to launch a new set of surprise sneak attacks in a desperate attempt to wipe the Global Defense Initiative off the face of the Earth.[2]

The plot is a follow up to the original game Command & Conquer, after the end of which the Nod leader Kane is presumed dead. In Tiberian Sun, Kane resurfaces from his hideout with improved military forces and new Tiberium-enhanced technologies, determined to rule the world at all cost. The GDI commander Michael McNeil is tasked with objectives to prevent the world from falling into the hands of Nod, this time with the very means of the extraterrestrial Tiberium substance.[3]


GDI forces attacking a Nod base.

Tiberian Sun relies heavily on science fiction technologies, and introduces a new isometric game engine featuring varying level terrain to give the impression of a true 3D environment. Dynamic lighting allows for day/night cycles and special effects, such as ion storms. Maps feature cityscapes where units could hide or battle in urban combat. Some buildings and armored units are rendered with voxels, although infantry is still rendered as sprites.[3]

During the campaign, different routes can be chosen, some of which can lead to optional missions that may affect the difficulty of the main mission, or supply the commander with additional units and technologies. Tiberian Sun is the last game of the series to offer the split-route feature.


Tiberian Sun features full motion video using traditional cinematic shots, featuring well-known Hollywood actors.[4]

Michael Biehn (known from The Terminator and Aliens movies) is portrayed as the GDI commander Michael McNeil, who is instructed by General James Solomon, played by James Earl Jones (known from the original Star Wars trilogy). On the side of Nod, Frank Zagarino portrays the commander Anton Slavik, who only lives to follow and enforce every thought of the sociopath Kane, played by the franchise's cutscene director Joseph D. Kucan. The Forgotten are represented by Christine Steel portraying Umagon who teams up with Michael McNeil throughout their joint fight against Nod, Christopher Winfield portraying Tratos the visionary Mutant leader, and Nils Allen Stewart (known from The Mask) portraying Mutant Commando, who is responsible for sending entire Nod bases to hell with a push of a button.[5]


Tiberian Sun features a futuristic and ambient soundtrack by Jarrid Mendelson and Frank Klepacki, who composed the signature themes for the movie sequences, as well as the game's musical score with the intention to differ from the original Command & Conquer in order to capture the mood for each mission.[6]


Electronic Arts, who had acquired Westwood Studios in 1998 and published Tiberian Sun, and had no direct part in its development, pushed for Tiberian Sun's release ahead of schedule, resulting in a number of engine and gameplay features being omitted from the game, some of which were later included in Firestorm expansion pack.[7] Subsequent games in the franchise were also heavily subjected to increased control by Electronic Arts, as well as departure of numerous Westwood personnel, eventually resulting in Westwood being closed down and assimilated.

Omitted features

Several images and references in the Tiberian Sun "rules" file indicate that more features were planned for the release. A former Westwood employee working for Petroglyph elaborated upon them in March and May 2007.[8] A "loadout" screen was to be implemented, allowing commanders to pick units to take into battle before missions. The "loadout" screen was finished in a prototype sequel to Tiberian Sun, codenamed Command & Conquer: Incursion, but Westwood was dissolved and Electronic Arts did not revive the concept.[9] Drop-pods were intended to be customizable for GDI before deployment. Lighting was intended to make a huge difference for day/night play, as units spotted by light posts/towers would be susceptible to enemy fire at greater ranges, and in turn would suffer a reduction in their own range ability. Westwood planned the Hunter/Seeker Droid option to support selection of target types, but ultimately the droid was made to attack at random. Developers also didn't have enough time to finalize balanced differences in terrain types, or to make The Forgotten a full faction for the expansion, as it was initially intended.[8]


Tiberian Sun – Firestorm cover art.

Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun – Firestorm is an expansion pack developed by Westwood and published by Electronic Arts on March 7, 2000, for the award winning apocalyptic science fiction real-time strategy video game Tiberian Sun, featuring single player and multiplayer modes. Firestorm takes the storyline to new heights of complexity, introduces new missions and new gameplay features, and adds to the game a fourth (non-playable) faction known as CABAL.[10]


Firestorm follows the events as they unfolded in the GDI campaign of Tiberian Sun. With Nod fractured into feuding warlords following Kane's death, Anton Slavik (known also as The Serbian Wolf) is determined to keep Kane's ideology alive through the resurrection of Nod's highly advanced artificial intelligence, CABAL (Computer Assisted Biologically Augmented Lifeform), while the Global Defense Initiative continues its ongoing campaign to stop the spread of Tiberium and its monstrous mutations by retrieving the extraterrestrial Tacitus device.[11]

GDI and Nod must now join forces in order to overcome Nod's previous vital assistant in tactical decisions and their current nemesis, CABAL, who intends to conquer the world through the systematic assimilation of human populations into its cyborg armies with the means of Tiberium on a massive scale.


Tiberian Sun had an outstanding anticipation since the beginning of its development. It was the fastest selling game on the EA games label, selling 1.5 million copies within a month. In the German gaming magazine PC Player issue 01/2000, Tiberian Sun received a special award as "Most Hyped Game in 1999" (the year the game was released). Between 1999 and 2000, Tiberian Sun won a single Gold and three Platinum Awards from the German VUD (Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland - Entertainment Software Association Germany) for selling more than 100,000 units (Gold) and more than three times 200,000 units (Platinum) in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. As the Gold Award is not counted into the Platinum Award, all four awards total in between 700,000 and 1,700,000 units sold. Tiberian Sun was voted #29 in PC Gamer Magazine's Readers All-Time Top 50 Games Poll in April 2000 issue.[6] rated the game 5/5, and stated:

This game is worth much more than what you pay, because if you look at everything that has been put together in this game, you'll see how truly awesome it is. My point, and bottom line, is that just about anyone can enjoy this game. They may not sit down and play it for hours on end every day like a large number of war gamers will, but they still can watch the movies and play around with the units enough that they'll have fun. I heartily recommend this game to everyone.[12]

GameSpot noted that the new soundtrack is "catchy", and stated that the game is an excellent sequel to the original Command & Conquer.[13]

Despite some of the game's technical issues resulting from its rushed release after Westwood Studios was acquired by the Electronic Arts, many reviewers considered the interactive environment, new graphics, new array of units, new concepts, single-player (story wise) and the popular multi-player to be the significant high-points of Tiberian Sun, and credited it with high rankings.[14]

To this day, Tiberian Sun has been highly praised by numerous fans from all over the world.[15]

See also


  1. ^ "Westwood update patch version 2.03 for the original release of Tiberian Sun". Westwood. 2000-06-15. 
  2. ^ Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun, summary at MobyGames
  3. ^ a b "Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun, preview". Google Videos. 2006-08-07. 
  4. ^ "Full cast and crew listing for Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun". IMDb. 
  5. ^ "Making of Command and Conquer: Tiberian Sun". YouTube. 2007-10-17. 
  6. ^ a b "Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun, trivia". MobyGames. 2009-07-20. 
  7. ^ "Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun, wiki article". Wikia. 
  8. ^ a b Adam Isgreen (2007-03-19/05-14). "Original intentions with Tiberian Sun". Petroglyph. 
  9. ^ "Command & Conquer: Incursion, wiki article". Wikia. 
  10. ^ "One of the Firestorm cutscenes that didn't make it into the final gameplay". YouTube. 2007-05-02. 
  11. ^ Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun – Firestorm, summary at MobyGames
  12. ^ "Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun, review". 
  13. ^ "Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun, review". GameSpot. 1999-09-01. 
  14. ^ Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun, press rankings at MobyGames
  15. ^ "User reviews for Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun". IMDb. 

External links

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