Warzone 2100

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Warzone 2100, released in 1999 by Pumpkin Studios, is a Real Time Strategy game and was one of the first to be fully 3D along with Homeworld. Pumpkin eventually closed down, but the game did not die. On December 6, 2004, a day now celebrated by it's fans every year as 'Liberation Day', the game's source code was released under the GNU General Public License, making it a freeware game. A small but dedicated group of fan followers have worked to keep the game alive and improve it, under the Warzone Resurrection Project(also known simply as 'the Project', a token to the game's protagonist faction of the same name).

The game is set in a post-apocalyptic scenario in The Future, in, obviously, year 2100. In year 2085, a space-based American nuclear deterrence system, NASDA, develops what is thought to be a systems fault and launches nuclear missiles at all the major cities around the world. The world's countries, detecting the launches, fire their own nukes at North America, and NASDA's Laser Satellite defenses fail to fire against them. In what becomes known as "the Collapse", civilization collapses, and nuclear winter ensues. The surviving humans split into bands of scavengers as a result, fighting for survival.

A small group of survivors fled Seattle in early 2086, trying to escape to the Rocky Mountains, which they had heard to be relatively radiation-free. After a long struggle against marauders, and wars over the most basic of resources, they find an abandoned underground military base. The group took shelter here and, eventually, were able to restore the old systems to service. They were determined to build a new world out of the ruins and recover as much pre-Collapse technology as possible. They called themselves the Project...

The game has two main modes: the campaign, and a sandbox mode called 'Skirmish', which can be played online against humans or against A.I opponents. The campaign follows the story of the Project, as they search for Artifacts of technology from before the Collapse, encounter and fight off hostile Scavengers, meet factions like the New Paradigm and Collective who are not friendly, and eventually discover the true cause of the Collapse.

The game has some unusual features in that it's units are not preset - they're modular and designable, and the weapons, chassis and propulsion options are unlocked from research or, in the campaign, through Artifacts. Vehicle bodies are available in different sizes and larger bodies require larger factories. Ground propulsion options consist of basic wheels, moderately armored half-tracks, heavily armored tracks, and fast but fragile amphibious hovercraft. Aerial propulsion exists via Vertical Take-Off and Landing(VTOL) technology and allows for hover-capable air units, which require a separate aircraft factory to build. Also present are cyborgs, which are not customizable, and are cheap but weak infantry units produced at small workshops. There is only one resource used to build everything - oil - which is harvested by Oil Derricks connected to Power Generators. Artillery and VTOL air units can also be attached to complex sensor networks to guard areas, coordinate attacks, and retaliate against enemy artillery attacks. Commander units also exist, but their role is to merely coordinate ground forces, and are not super units.

The now-freeware version can be found here.

Tropes used in Warzone 2100 include:
  • A Commander Is You
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: NEXUS. Or not.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Mission Gamma 3, where NEXUS takes over Team Gamma's base and uses it against you. And Mission Gamma 5, where NEXUS takes over your base.
  • Apocalypse How: The Collapse is a Class 1.
  • BFG: The massive heavy cannon hard points with barrel calibers larger than those of warships.
    • The Cannon fortress or the Mass Driver fortress. Each can destroy small groups of units from splash damage alone.
  • Big Bad: NEXUS.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Nothing on this game ever needs a trip back for a reload... well, except aircraft, that is.
  • Character Select Forcing: Not set in stone, but the game places greater emphasis on artillery and sensors than other RTS games do. Although it's well within your power to tank rush, learning how to effectively use artillery (fixed and mobile) and the appropriate sensors and then combining that with VTOL and tank movements can make missions much easier, resulting in fewer losses or trips back to base for repair.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: In two ways, in fact. For your convenience, we'll name the colors according to flag[1] and chassis[2]. While flag colors are changeable, chassis colors are predetermined.
    • The New Paradigm: yellow flag, tan chassis
    • The Project: green flag (by default), gray chassis
    • The Collective: gray flag, cyan chassis
    • The NEXUS forces: black flag, off-black chassis
    • The Scavengers: aqua flag, yellow chassis (with the exception of red fire trucks)
    • The neutral superheavies: red chassis
  • Command and Conquer Economy: Comes with Easy Logistics.
  • Construct Additional Pylons: One such case is with Oil Derricks and Power Generators. One generator can accommodate up to four derricks; any more of the former and you'll need more of latter.
    • And the only way you're going to build and improve troops any faster is to build as many factories and labs as the game lets you.
  • Counter Attack: There are sensors which can locate and help destroy far-away enemy artillery emplacements by tracking the trajectories of incoming projectiles, and then directing your artillery and/or VTOLs to fire back on them. This is the easiest counter for the Glass Cannon stationary artillery emplacements, but mobile artillery is far more difficult to hit back at. Note that the enemy will also use these sensors against you, often resulting in awesome-looking cross-map crossfires of artillery, until one side is pacified.
    • A recent release has made sensor hunting possible, so you now have a choice of removing either the spotter or the shooter first.
  • Creepy Monotone: Case in point: the New Paradigm and the Collective.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Dictated by damage modifiers of the weapon in question. Double points goes to weapons which haven't received upgrades yet. Antitanks, for instance, excel only against vehicles and fail miserably at everything else. Weapons can also be severely limited to attacking aircraft or ground targets only. But the eponymous Bunker Buster tops the rest by being the only antistructure weapon, meaning that unless you are clearing bunkers, there is little point to use the Bunker Buster besides spare firepower.
  • Death From Above: There's the Kill Sat mentioned below, several different kinds of indirect-fire weapons(mortars and howitzers, with rotary and incendiary variations, and rocket artillery) and of course VTOLs.
  • Design-It-Yourself Equipment: Played straight in the fact that one of the game's features is the in-game unit editor. The game was also one of the first, if not the first, RTS titles to use such a system. However, only ground vehicles and VTOLs can be designed so far - as of the present release, cyborgs and defensive structures exist only in preset designs; the latter needs to be researched individually.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The Collective's tank chassis naming convention follows that of Nazi Germany. The Panther (medium class) even bears a passing resemblance to the Panzer IV's hull.
  • Easy Logistics: Perfect example. No supplies or unit maintenance needed. Unlimited fuel. Unlimited ammo for everything except VTOL aircraft. The oil wells never run dry, and don't need even need any kind of worker unit connecting them to Power Generators. The only supply lines you need to worry about are the paths between your force and your nearest Repair Facility, as retreating damaged units are slow and make easy targets.
  • The End of the World as We Know It
  • Enemy Exchange Program: The NEXUS Link Turret converts your units into NEXUS units. You can get this too in the Skirmish and multiplayer modes, but it is fairly high-tech and can be nullified by simply researching Resistance Circuits, making it a sort of Useless Useful Spell.
    • Apart from simply taking over enemy units, using stolen enemy equipment(and technology) is extremely common in the campaign - almost all of the Project's weaponry is reverse-engineered from enemy tech. Even enemy vehicle chassis schematics are stolen outright, and it's regular to see a player using Collective-designed Tiger tanks or NEXUS-designed Retribution or Vengeance tanks instead of Project-designed Pythons in the Gamma missions.
  • Escort Mission: Subverted. There are escort missions in the campaign, but the NPC forces always come under your control once you make contact with them. Then you can do anything you want with them.
    • Also inverted, because there is a Beta Campaign mission where you have to thwart an AI Escort Mission being run by the Collective. This is a perfect inversion, as the enemy NPC being protected(the Collective's Commander) is an asshat who runs at the first sign of trouble, gets trapped in tank traps that were meant to protect him, and sometimes drives straight into buildings and gets stuck..
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: If a unit does not belong to you in single player, it is always hostile.
  • Evil Laugh: NEXUS loves to do this, in Gamma 5 he occasionally laughs throughout the mission.
  • Faction Calculus: All weighed up with respect to simple balances between cost, construction time, firepower, durability and speed. The trend (well, at least for the first three factions below) is that the tougher and deadlier they are, the slower and costlier they are. By the way, this is relative to campaign only.
  • Flying Brick: The Transports, and most VTOL designs.
  • Fog of War
  • Fragile Speedster: Light wheeled units, hovercraft units and all but the heaviest VTOL units. They're fast, but are easy to kill.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: The game code even implements lasers as a kind of cannon firing glowy, colorful bullets. The entire combat system is based on ballistics, although flamethrowers have been well implemented.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Units regularly fire straight through friendly units. Splash damage does affect friendlies too, though.
  • Gatling Good: Assault Cannons and Assault Guns are classified as being heavy Gatling weaponry of the normal kind. But in a game as artillery-focused as this one, you can expect a twist: you even get rotary mortars, and triple-barreled Gatling howitzers in this game.
  • Glass Cannon: Generally, mortars, howitzers, rockets and missiles have one of the most amazing destructive potential, but add very little to a vehicle's overall durability. You can get around this problem by giving the weapon's wielder armor, speed or flight.
  • Gotta Catch Em All: How you acquire new parts in the campaign - all parts are simply "borrowed" from another faction.
  • Hover Tank: The Hover propulsion can be used to make these.
  • Jet Pack: The Warzone 2100 1.11 release featured jump jet cyborgs which can only be downed by Anti-Air when they're on the move. This feature was eventually expunged from 1.12 and onwards because of its ability to quickly eliminate armies without sufficient AA protection.
  • Kill It with Fire: Flamers, incendiary artillery, incendiary bombs.
  • Kill Sat: The NASDA Laser Satellites. Available as a superweapon in the Skirmish mode and used by NEXUS in the campaign.
  • Kiting: One of NEXUS' more devious tactics against the Project is to repeatedly dispatch fast, long-range, self-repairing hover tanks and cyborgs in harassment runs. If you give chase, then you can expect NEXUS to have turrets awaiting your arrival. If you don't, then you can count on a slow death from his dispatches.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Certain turrets launch munitions (guided or unguided) by the salvoes, if you count "salvo" as more than two munitions at once, that is.
    • The Mini-Rocket Array and the Ripple Rocket Battery hurls eight rockets per salvo. The "Seraph" Missile Array and the "Archangel" Missile Battery ups the ante by being ostensibly better at everything but affordability. The Arrays can Robotech their munitions skyward before showering them back down like rain. The Batteries, on the other hand, don't robotech, but they can tap targets at distances of several computer screens away - far enough to rain death from the opposing sides of small maps.
    • The "Sunburst" AA and the "Vindicator" SAM are Anti-Air variants that are best used on singular, hardened VTOLs.
  • Mega Manning: Almost all unit upgrades in the campaign are taken from your enemies.
  • Mighty Glacier: Heavy-bodied tracked tanks. Irritatingly slow, but powerful and very tough.
    • And then you have the super-heavy tank bodies, available only in Skirmish(thank god or god dammit, depending whether or not you found the Campaign or Multiplayer better). Nothing short of a laser strike or another super-heavy tank will stop one, and their existence is offset by the fact that you have to research everything else in this game's massive tech tree before you can even start to build one.
  • More Dakka: A basic research for just about everything includes increasing the rate of fire. Especially the rotary/gatling weaponry.
  • Non-Entity General: You are simply known as the 'commander'.
  • Nuke'Em: NEXUS does this to the entire world. And to the Project's Alpha and Beta Bases during the campaign, successfully. And it tries it again against the Project's Rocky Mountain HQ, but is thwarted.
  • Powered Armor: Cyborgs. Super Cyborgs effectively count as Mini Mechas.
  • Putting on the Reich:
    • The Collective, but only vaguely. The naming convention of their hulls (Leopard, Panther, and Tiger), their Brute Force tendencies, team color (Grey), and being the only faction with a vaguely cross-shaped emblem makes them the faction that closest resembles the Nazis - or at least the Wehrmacht Heer - superficially. From their name, their politics perhaps more closely resemble the Soviet Union's.
    • NEXUS fits the Nazis' politics more closely, with the New Paradigm and the Collective being little more than power-hungry factions aligned with him. He's destroyed pre-Collapse civilization, and displays little remorse about doing it again. The fact that his units are black and off-black with very aggressive names (such as Vengeance and Retribution) and reliance on super-powerful weapons to fend off the Project even when the situation is dire for him makes a parallel to the German government more prominent.
  • Regenerating Health: Auto-repair technology self-regenerates the health of units, but only as long as they hold still and do nothing. One thing's for sure, though: It beats waiting idly for friendly mechanics to arrive.
  • Reinventing the Wheel: Averted. The campaign is continuous and flowing, with your units and structures persisting, unless destroyed, and your technology persisting throughout.
  • Ridiculously-Fast Construction: Justified in case of factories thanks to the highly modular nature of units in Warzone, with vehicle bodies, propulsion kits and cyborg powersuits having been prepared from before. The pieces are just bolted together and shoved out the door.
  • Scavenger World: A perfect example. Scavengers use crude weapons mounted on old vehicles like jeeps and school buses. They even have fire trucks armed with flamethrowers.
  • Superweapon Surprise: Several. All caused by NEXUS. First with the nuking of Alpha Base, then Beta Base, then the attempted nuking of the Project's Rocky Mountain HQ, then the attempted nuking of your forces, then the absorption of Gamma Base, then the attempted absorption of your base, then the Kill Sat attack on your main base, and finally the attempted Kill Sat attack on your new silo facility.
  • Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors: A result of Crippling Overspecialization; this is most apparent in low-tier battles. There are certain combinations. For example, antitank cyborg → antiaircraft vehicle → antibunker aircraft → antipersonnel turret → antitank cyborg. This fades away when you rise up the tech tree, where upgrades make everything more effective against anything.
  • Tech Tree: A very, very big, sometimes confusing tech tree with an obsession about upgrades.
  • Tank Goodness: Super-heavy Dragon tanks wielding up to two weapon turrets and riding on two sets of crawler tracks. Enough said.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: NEXUS, by a mile or ten.
    • Even in Gamma 1, he has Scourge Missiles and Railguns, which can shoot from across the screen and home on or punch through their targets respectively. You only get these much, much later. At that point, all you have is Heavy Cannons, Assault Guns and Tank Killer rockets, putting you at a range and firepower disadvantage. Survival depends on sheer combat experience benefits.
    • NEXUS has a campaign-only arsenal of fancy toys that's exclusive to him. Better vehicles, jetpack cyborgs, self-repairing systems, NEXUS Link Turrets and a whole network of Laser Satellites put your troops at a great technological disadvantage. Even if one of these is obtainable, you can be certain that yours are weaker.
  • Timed Mission: Be prepare to face this if you want to play this game, since nearly every single mission is timed. Justified because of its persistence nature, and since the resource is unlimited, if the game runs long enough, you could hoard massive amount of resource to build a supermassive army to steamroll enemies to dust. Do note that the only two missions without a time limit are the first and the last one, which makes the Alpha missions easy as a result, since you can save up tons of oil at the start.
  • Worker Unit: Any unit with a Truck module. This can range from the basic wheeled truck model you start with, to slow-moving behemoths based on heavy tank chassis, to amphibious hovertrucks. There's even a cyborg variation, the Cyborg Engineer.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: You probably want to keep your veteran units alive as they will be carried on in the campaigns, at least you can also transfer veterancy of old units to the next units that rolls out the factory which allows you to keep their pilots for your better vehicles.
  1. This is the icon used in-game to select a player color.
  2. The actual vehicle body, excluding propulsion and turret mounts.