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It is 4000 years in the future, and the epic battle between the Arm and the Core has devastated the galaxy. Both sides fight on with super-advanced technology, from plasma guns to giant robots to sonar jammers. The only acceptable outcome is total victory.

You, as the Commander of either Arm or Core, must build up your base to destroy the other side, in a game developing the ideas of Command & Conquer. Unlike earlier titles in the genre, it uses a 3D world in which elevation changes have an effect.

Mission objectives range from taking out specific targets to rescuing hostages to capturing the enemy base and using it in the next mission. Usually you must construct a base, although in some missions you lead an attacking force.

Unlike other strategy games, however, you start out with the Commander, the game's most powerful unit, and must defend him at all costs. Resource collection is very quick and easy, since a single unit can extract metal indefinitely from a mine without ever having to return to your base, while options for producing energy include solar power, wind power, hydroelectric power, geothermal power, and fusion power.


Total Annihilation Windows chameleon planes
Total Annihilation Windows high trouble
Total Annihilation Windows naval battle
Total Annihilation Windows 256 color explosion

Promo Images

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Alternate Titles

  • "横扫千军" -- Simplified Chinese spelling
  • "Total Annihilation: Use Your Senses" -- German tag-lined title
  • "TA" -- Common abbreviation

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Really cool strategy classic Maw (884) 4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars
3 years old and still up to the challenge. Robyrt (54) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
The best RTS game ever made. Get it. Rick Jones (111) 4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars
Possibly the best real time strategy game ever. Travis Fickett (2) unrated
An epic work of RTS genius. Steelysama (106) unrated
Stood the test of time? Peter Clark (10) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
THIS GAME WILL NEVER DIE David Lafferty (16) 4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars
The Best RTS game of all time!!!! Nick Wang (3) 4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars
The Best RTS Game Ever!!! Sharon I (3) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
It could have been so good... but no Aapo Koivuniemi (46) unrated

Critic Reviews

PC Player (Germany) Oct, 1997 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
Adrenaline Vault, The (AVault) Jun 21, 2003 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
Mega Score Nov, 1997 95 out of 100 95
Svenska PC Gamer Oct, 1997 94 out of 100 94
Christ Centered Gamer / Christ Centered Game Reviews Jun 01, 2005 93 out of 100 93
CD-Action Jan, 1998 9 out of 10 90
JeuxVideoPC.com Aug 31, 2006 18 out of 20 90
GameStar (Germany) Oct, 1997 88 out of 100 88
Gamezilla Nov 05, 1999 88 out of 100 88
GamesFirst! Jan 01, 1999 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80


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1001 Video Games

Total Annihilation appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


Total Annihilation was based on an idea for a game project leader Chris Taylor first thought of at the age of 14.


Total Annihilation has a massive base of users who customize and modify the game. Among these is a group called Swedish Yankspankers. This group developed an open source engine that plays multiplayer Total Annihilation in full 3D. They can be reached at http://springrts.com/.


Total Annihilation was a success for Cavedog:
Seattle, WA, October 30, 1997 -- Total Annihilation, Cavedog Entertainment's groundbreaking 3-D real-time strategy game, was simultaneously launched in three languages and 14 countries on September 27, blasting more than 250,000 games into retail stores during its first month of release.


While in development, before the name Total Annihilation was chosen, the game was referred to as Really Cool War Game. This name was reused for an April Fool's Day joke in 1999, when Cavedog Entertainment supposedly had to rename all their trademarks, including the game's name, due to "a legal snafu with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office".


  • GameSpy
    • 2001 – #50 Top Game of All Time
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 12/1999 - #80 in the "100 Most Important PC Games of the Nineties" ranking
  • PC Gamer
    • 1997 or 1998 - Greatest Game Of All Time
    • April 2000 - #17 in the "All-Time Top 50 Games Poll"
    • April 2005 - #34 in the "50 Best Games of All Time" list
  • PC Player (Germany)
    • Issue 01/1998 - Most Stunning Music in 1997
Information also contributed by casimps1; Jeanne; MachTen, Maw, PCGamer77, Rick Jones and Vitarcus

Related Web Sites

Plix (204) added Total Annihilation (Windows) on Feb 25, 2000
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