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A lot of people want to make their own changes to Red Alert. Many people know about Rules.ini but don't know what to do with it. This section will describe it's features and how to use it. For those of you with Aftermath there is more info about Aftrmath.ini later on, but Rules.ini also works with it.
First of all - The Rules.ini file allows you to change virtually any aspect of Red Alert. You could,
for instance, change the prices of everything in the game, make the artillery
have a teslazap as it's weapon or even make the Mammoth tank shoot dogs
instead of shells! Pretty much anything is possible with it if you have
If you install any new Red Alert units you'll find that there aren't actually any new units, but instead old ones have been replaced and their characteristics have been changed (sometimes beyond recognition). Sometimes the graphics are replaced aswell by using some of the hidden images in RA or by using a .mix file.
Disclaimer: While I do not know of any way to damage your computer or Red Alert with Rules.ini nor do I believe it is possible, I am not responsible for any harm caused if you try anything as a result of reading this article.
You will need a copy of the
original rules.ini that Red Alert uses. This can be downloaded from the
downloads section. Note that you will not normally
find this in your Red Alert directory. Red Alert has the normal values
built into the game and does not require a rules.ini file. If it finds
one it will use it, otherwise it uses the default values.
You now need to edit the
file. Open it with Wordpad or a similar text editor. If you do not get
normal looking text then you have done something wrong. For instance, you
may need to unzip the file if you have just downloaded it. Use winzip
or pkunzip or something
The rules.ini file begins like this:
Now, if you take a look at the rest of the file you will see that there is a lot of English text in it. This was put there by the original Red Alert programmers and it contains a lot of useful information. Anything written after a semicolon (;) is ignored by Red Alert and is only there to make life easier for humans. (It's a REM statement for those of you who know what that is.)
Everything in the rules is
under section headings enclosed in [square brackets]. The first is the
The rest of the settings can be changed in a similar way. There is very little point in me writing out everything that is already written in the Rules.ini file, so why not read it and give it a go? You cannot damage Red Alert by trying. Just follow the instructions below to get it working.
The other main sections of the Rules.ini file are for all the units and structures in the game. An explanation of each line is included in the file, although one awkward one is the Image= attribute. If you create or download a new Red Alert .MIX file which has new graphics in it then in order to use them you need to change a unit to have the new image. You will need to know the name of the image in the MIX file in order to give a unit the image. Usually new unit files come with a rules.ini file to save you the work, or they may come with a ReadMe file to tell you the image name.
To use the Rules.ini file
you should save your work in a text-only format. Don't start adding different
fonts or anything to the file, leave it as it is. Now it is saved you can
load up Red Alert. Remember though, Red Alert only reads the Rules when
it first loads up, so if you have it loaded in the background in Win95
and then make some changes to the Rules they will not happen until you
close and restart Red Alert.
When you have finished with your rules you can get back to normal by simply deleting or renaming your rules.ini file and then restarting Red Alert. You do not need to put a copy of the original Rules.ini file in your directory as Red Alert has this built in by default. Rename the file to something like Rules.OLD and Red Alert will ignore it.
Author: Brian Bird
Source: IncREDible Alert
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