Russian characters in computer games

The first thing Red Alert does is go back in time to kill Hitler before he comes to power. Source: Press photo

The first thing Red Alert does is go back in time to kill Hitler before he comes to power. Source: Press photo

The image of Russians in computer games made by foreign developers primarily involves the use of certain clichés, which are not always close to reality. In this article, we look at the most memorable computer games with Russian characters.

Command & Conquer: Red Alert

In the distant year 1996, Command & Conquer:Red Alert was released and later became a classic among computer games. In the story, Albert Einstein invents a time machine shortly after the war: The first thing he does is go back in time to kill Hitler before he comes to power. The scientist’s good intentions end with the Soviet Union—led by Joseph Stalin—becoming the aggressor, instead of Germany. Europe and the United States joined in the fight against the “red menace.” The Soviet Union’s super weapon was, of course, the nuclear bomb. In later parts of the game, a nightmare of American opponents of communism comes true—armored combat bears.

Selected quote: “Take him out and shoot him!”

Grand Theft Auto

When talking about Russians in computer games, one cannot forget to mention the mafia, which was clearly conveyed in the popular game Grand Theft Auto. The second part of the game pleased all Russian gamers by offering a chance to "work" for the Russian mafia, whose symbol was a red star. They appear in the third district. Their specialty is contract killing and arms sales. Their car, Bulwark, is the strongest in the game (it can withstand a direct hit from a grenade launcher, as well as a hand grenade explosion or a "Molotov cocktail"). The color of the gang is red, of course.

Of course, all the Russians in the GTA were "bad." On the "Vladivostok FM" radio station in GTA’s fourth installment, hits such as "Cinema" by Zemfira and "B-2" by Vyacheslav Butusov were played.

Selected quote: “You want capitalism? You've got capitalism!”

Street Fighter

Of course, Western games in which the Soviet Union is the “empire of good” are impossible to find, but good characters are quite common.

The prototype for 'Red Cyclon' was Victor Zangiev, a Soviet freestyle wrestler. Source: Press photo

One of the first “good” Russian characters on the screen is the character from the legendary 1991 release Street Fighter. This was a huge Siberian fighter called Zangiev and nicknamed the “Red Cyclone”—a Soviet soldier, who, according to the legend, perfected his skills on polar bears. The prototype for the character was Victor Zangiev (born on May 26, 1962), a Soviet freestyle wrestler, European champion and world youth champion, six-time champion of the RSFSR, winner of the Soviet Union championships and master of sports of the Soviet Union.

Selected quote: “Mr. President, you dance very well!”

Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2, and Half Life 2

The most popular names of Soviet and Russian characters are Ivan and Victor, and the names, well remembered by the West, became Romanov and Rasputin (after Stalin, of course). This, for example, is the chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union, Aleksandr Romanov, in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2, who, under the influence of his adviser, Yuri, forms the World Socialist Alliance. After this, according to the plot, the Soviet Union declares war on the United States.

The most popular names of Soviet and Russian characters are Ivan and Victor. Source: Press photo

There is also Father Gregory, one of the characters in Half Life 2. He is the priest who reads prayers to ferocious zombies, forgives them and sends them to purgatory with his shotgun, which is affectionately called "Annabelle." The image of a character called the “mad monk” suggests the 1996 film “Rasputin: The Mad Monk.”

Selected quote: “I pray do never turn away thy light, give heed to me, and spring thy traps upon mine enemies, when I cry out to thee!”

Call of Duty

For the first time, a Russian character in this cult game appears as a sniper in the mission called Vendetta (Call of Duty: World at War), and his name is Victor Reznov—a Soviet Red Army commander. An honest, patriotic soldier, he commits many heroic deeds, according to the plot. In fighting, he often shows incredible cruelty, killing German soldiers whom he hates ferociously and to whom he shows no mercy. Many of Reznov’s comrades were executed during the siege of Stalingrad, fueling his rage.

A Russian character in this cult game appears as a sniper in the mission called Vendetta. Source: Press photo

Selected quote: “My father was a musician in Stalingrad. During the German occupation, his violin gladdened the hearts of hundreds of people by Korsakov’s, Stasov’s and our other great composers’ music. The Nazis cut his throat while he was asleep.”

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