I bought Universe at War after hearing that it was made by the same guys and I played it for the first time earlier today. I played for several hours and it was pretty interesting, with each faction having so many unique abilities and ways of playing.
It got me thinking though... since some of the guys at Petroglyph made the early Command & Conquer games, there's a question that has always bugged me...
In the intro movie for Red Alert 1, Einstein goes back in time to eliminate Hitler. We see him shake Hitler's hand, there is a chrono sound effect, a wave of blue chrono energy passes from Einstein to Hitler and then Einstein reappears in 1946, reporting that "Hitler... is out of the way." (Presumably it takes a few seconds for history to re-order itself and for reality to change, a standard sci-fi convention.)
I always assumed that Einstein brought some sort of chrono-weapon for erasing Hitler. That theory seemed to be confirmed by Red Alert 2 where a similar weapon was used by the Chrono Legionnaires, they fired blue beams that erased enemies from existance, like a long-range version of what Einstein used to kill Hitler.
An alternative theory I had was that Einstein had some sort of "recall" device for returning to the present (his pocket watch?) and he activated it at the exact instant that he shook Hitler's hand... the time machine pulled Einstein back to 1946, and since Hitler was touching him at the time the chrono energy disintegrated him, or perhaps he was dragged into the time vortex and sent to nowhere and nowhen.
When EA did Red Alert 3, their intro movie has the Soviets travel back in time to kill Hitler. The General is about to touch a curtain and the scientist says "No, don't touch anything! Must not do anything to disrupt the space time continuum!" And then the Colonel shakes Hitler's hand and disintegrates him.
So it seems that in Red Alert 3 EA interpreted that old Red Alert 1 intro as meaning that it was the handshake itself that was lethal - if you are a time traveller and you touch someone, you destroy them.
Of course, that leaves the rather obvious problem that the time travellers are touching the ground without any problems, and I don't remember them bothering to put on some special "chrono boots"! And they are also touching the air. And it certainly can't be that "touching someone in the past changes history and causes a paradox" because touching someone is no more paradoxical than them seeing you and talking to you.
So, what do you think? Back when Petroglyph was Westwood and made Red Alert 1, do you think it was their intention that Einstein had some sort of chrono weapon for killing Hitler, or that he killed Hitler by warping back to the present while holding him, or was EA right in their interpretation that "handshakes from time travellers are lethal"?
Edited by your evil twin, 18 April 2012 - 05:38 PM.