Command & Conquer Remastered has finally shed some visible light on what “The UFO” really was. But the truth may be disappointing.
In the original Command & Conquer game, on level three of the GDI campaign, the starting area is near a set of cliffs to the west. If you move the map over to the cliffs, you’ll see a strange piece of machinery crashed into the ground just outside the gameplay area. Due to the graphical limitations of being a computer game from 1995, players were constantly trying to guess what the machine was. A common consensus was that it was a crashed UFO. This was reinforced in 1999 when a 3D Nintendo 64 remake showed a very UFO looking ship in the same location.
Now that the official HD remaster has been released, we get to see what it really was: a helicopter. The high resolution graphics more accurately display what the object was meant to be.
To be fair, we’ve already known that the graphic was supposed to be a helicopter. An interview with Adam Isgreen in 2007 revealed this truth.
“The artist that created that particular piece and I had a talk about this very issue once, so I’m simply relaying what he told me about it. It’s the canopy of a wrecked helicopter. He was very amused by all the theories as to just exactly what it really was, but it isn’t a UFO or a Scrin ship. It’s a helicopter canopy. It was there since C&C (DOS).”
Westwood senior artist Joseph B. Hewitt IV also explained the strange object in the Nintendo 64 game. According to him, the artist on that project used the terrain art as reference, and likely had no idea that it was supposed to be a helicopter.
But all of this can officially be put to rest. The remaster has granted us undeniable truth that the UFO is actually a helicopter.