A modification of Command & ConquerRed Alert 3, "Red Alert 3: Paradox" is an MASSIVELY ambitious expansion mod (it is probably the most ambitious mod in all of C&C history) noted both for the scope of the planned final product and for the accompanying wiki project, which is slowly fleshing out an extensive 1960sCold War world. Chock full of Shout Outs, Historical In Jokes and the unusual results of taking the wacky world of "Red Alert 3" completely seriously, the project aims to flesh out the very-not-serious world presented in the game without losing any of its Narm Charm. There is a wiki found here.There are eight factions, three of them from the original game greatly expanded, and five new ones. The mod has gone into open alpha, featuring an expanded Allies and Soviets, with more factions on the way. Feel free to download it at its ModDB page.Red Alert 3 Paradox has a character sheet for both original and Paradox-exclusive characters here.The core team of Paradox is also working on BLOODCRUSHER II, an indie retro shooter with rogue-like elements. The Paradox wiki also features the totally self-indulgent fic by the creator of the mod, A Red Letter Day, a Cross Over with Mass Effect.
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Major FactionsMajor Factions are usually multinational super powers with capabilities for global-scale industry, society and warfare. They are the main players in the world and most countries belong to at least one of them.
A global coalition of democratic states, the Allied Nations were founded to work as a single force against communism. Since then, they have developed into a World Police Force and aid in humanitarian and military projects around the globe. They have very high influence everywhere and are very, very PR concious. They are idealistic, socialistic (as in, truely social), but also love to be in control and often do things that are fundamentally right, regardless of what everyone else actually WANTS. A wide range of scientific advances grants them a technological edge against all other factions next to the Soviet Union and their military focuses on precision strikes and air force.
Attack Drone: Aircraft Carriers have "Sky Knight" and "Paladin" drones. The Claymoore Drone Missiles and Quasar Drones are independant from other units but with human controllers at the base instead. Mesofortress Bombers subvert it because the "Lampreys" are manned anti-air fighters.
Chronic Hero Syndrome: The Allies fight for world peace and fundamental human rights without being asked to. This has bitten them in the ass many times since many regions do not actually want their "meddling".
Colour Coded Timestop: Effects that play with time are red or blue depending on if they speed it up or slow it down. Justified by the Doppler Effect changing the wavelength of light.
Control Freak: The Allies are very PR conscious and really do not like media working against them. They also have far more influence in their member countries than they like to admit and enjoy that position.
The communist powerblock and traditional arch enemy to the Allied Nations. The Soviet Union is a technological and industrial powerhouse with a military consisting of hundreds thousands of vehicles and even more soldiers, supported by advanced weapons usually based on electricity and magnetism. They believe in the "World Revolution" to better the world, but usually fight anyone resisting their idea of it. Like the Allied Nations, they have supporting states around the globe, but their central region is Russia and its surrounding countries. Their military consists of endless rows of infantry, tanks and artillery, various aircraft and airships and high tech weapons.
Dirty Communists: While the Soviets in Paradox are more seriously threated than in the normal Red Alert 3 where they are always comically inept, at the same time they are also less violent. Doesn't stop them from attempting to invade Europe and the USA, managing at least to bring down the Statue of Liberty and weaponising... moai heads on the easter islands.
Disintegrator Ray: Infantry killed by tesla weaponry only leave their skeletons behind.
Extra Ore Dinary: Their magnetic weapons can actually rip armour off enemy tanks and reinforce their own armour with it.
Hollywood Acid: Averted by Desolator Defoilant. It's not "just" acidic; it's a cocktail of potent chemical agents, it produces toxic vapours, and it's primarily capable of breaking down things like rubber and flesh.
Instant Armor: The ability of low-level turrets and the Ore Collectors.
Kill Sat: Magnetic satellites that can suck up armoured units.
Lightning Can Do Anything: Zap enemy infantry down to the skeletons? Check. Charge up nearby Tesla Coils? Check. Jump from target to target? Oh yes.
The islands of Japan, this long-forgotten archipelago surprised both Allied Nations and Soviet Union with a global-scale surprise attack and ran into and changed the course of World War III. Extremely advanced robotics, mecha and nanotechnology as well as a focus on mobility allow the Empire to attack before the enemy can shoot back. Originally under Emperor Yoshiro their goal was to conquer the whole world to fulfill their "divine destiny". When this did not work out, they became friends with the Allies and started selling their weaponry and various other technologies to everyone interested, becoming an economical juggernaut in the process. Their new motivation is to beat their economical enemies like the Mediterranean Syndicate while staying true to a balance of modernism and traditionalism.
Conservation of Ninjutsu: An actual mechanic for the overhauled Shinobi. Alone, they are incredibly Badass with shuriken deactivating vehicles, smoke bombs making them invisible, several weapons completely failing to hit them and chain-slashing infantry with their ninja-to and lightning speed. However, if two (or more) friendly Shinobi are in the same area, they heavily nerf each other to the point of being even worse than they were in vRA3.
Cool Boat: Lots, like the Naginata Torpedo Cruisers or the Shogun Battleships.
The result of killing US President Ackermann, the Confederates want to get the Allied Nations out of the USA, get rid of their influence on America as a continent and generally do things they feel are right. Without a proper military, they utilise Allied technology from World War II to great effect, modifying and improving those obsolete designs with their own technology and cleverness. They believe to know what is right and they will fight for it until they have "liberated" the USA. Terrorists for the Allies, Freedom Fighters for the American population, they are mostly good guys who happen to be fighting other good guys. They lack a proper idea for after they liberated the USA, but as they say, first things first.
Action Bomb: RC Cars can explode via ability. Their power can be increased with the bombs of the Bomb Trucks, which however is not a suicider himself.
Amazon Brigade: The aptly named Amazon Warriors, which while not as elite as Minutemen or Delta Rangers can pack a punch on the units the other two cannot effectively fight.
Custom Uniform: Everyone. The Confederates have no official uniform; the closest to it are grey overalls, and they can't even get everyone to wear those. Notable for being the only side where infantry of the same type have different appearences.
Deep South: Used as a theme, though their members come from all over America and all walks of life.
This Is a Drill: "Spiral Tech" is a mathmatical oddity that allows improbable levels of mechanical effienciency with certain patterns of rotating machinery such as drills or fans. They use it to dig tunnels, make drill-based projectiles, and create tornados/whirlpools.
Too Many Belts: A more western example, Confederate infantry are covered in bandoleers, low-slung holster belts, and other straps for equipment instead of more modern webbing.
Trying to Catch Me Fighting Dirty: To make up for their obsolete tech, they use the dirtiest tactics in the game. Several types of land mines and booby traps, ambushes, fake structures, RC cars with bombs on them, invisiblity, electronics jamming, tunneling and stealing enemy resources are all fair game.
Wild Weasel: Good luck shooting down a Duster before it bombs you.
Worker Unit: 'Dozers and Construction Trucks create main structures and fake structures, respectively. They and defenses are build by the Construction Yard.
Wrench Wench: Both their standard engineer and their commando, Dixie, are female, and both are repair specialists. The mechanic can repair single vehicles in the field, which Dixie has a sizable repair radius and can heal damage nearly as fast as it's dealt.
An 800 years old order of Knights, the Order of the Talon secretly control great parts of the world from the shadows, fighting an ominious enemy known only as "The Cult". They possess impressive Steam Punk technology, including walkers and moving castles. Able to move from place to place with their castles and armored with the strongest metal known to humanity, they fight everyone they deem heretical despite their outdated tech. Most Talon personnel are unwitting of the greater scheme behind the Order's actions and those who know at least something prefer to command from the shadows to avoid being targeted. They are not afraid of assasinations or leading countries to war if it helps them - in fact, they are responsible for World War I. However, they are noble and pragmatic enough to not abuse others too much, because their goal is to fight the Cult, not the rest of the world.
Action Bomb: Sappers and Priests of Judas via special ability.
Badass Preacher: Hospitallers. A flamethrower-armed priest WILL make you confess.
Base on Wheels: Master Crawlers, castles on tracks, produce every single unit they have. In addition, Mini-Crawlers, which are mobile tech buildings/refineries.
Belief Makes You Stupid: Averted. They might be using old technology, but Talon equipment generally equals or outperforms it's conventional (not to mention unconventional) counterparts. Also, they had computer software in 1842.
BFG: Apostle bombardment ships mount a 914mm cannon, the largest in Paradox.
Science Is Bad: Discussed. They are centuries behind the times technologically, but this is mainly because their existing technology is still competitively effective. Their is however no innate aversion to science or technological progression itself.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Their goal is to fight the group that is by Word of God the only truly evil faction in the entire setting. They're still willing to perform unethical and questionable acts if necessary in pursuit of this goal.
Atomic Kingdom of China
The remaining population of a 30 years long civil war that ended in a nuclear holocaust, the Atomic Kingdom of China is lead by a man only known as "The Viceroy" and his right hand, a young appearing girl genius. With nigh impenetrable defenses, energy shields and strange vehicles, hordes of cloned soldiers and all sorts of radiation technology resembling 1960s scifi, they strive to take revenge on the world. Their longtime goal is to leave Mother Earth and preferably before others decode the secret of nuclear weapons. For the voyage they need technology from Allies, Soviets and Japan alike, but it is not their goal to kill everyone outright when leaving - and neither is their goal to take the clones with them.
Child Commanders: Chiren Kilong is 15 years old and acts as second in command of the space fleet under Yuming Oshang, who is just 18 herself. This is because they, like all commanders, belong to the very few non-cloned humans who have a natural resistance against radiation which was turned into a requirement to be commander by The Viceroy. Chiren also shows great potential in strategy and tactics so wasting her talent would be out of the question.
China Takes Over the World: Subverted. They want to give everyone a good beating, stealing some needed technology in the process and then leave Earth before the other factions unlock the secret of their nuclear weapons.
Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The House Colour for the Chinese isn't painted onto them, but instead glows off their radiators and shows up in the colour of their beam weapons. Yes, this even allows pink or black ray guns.
Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: Inverted. China is the only side not to follow this; their weapons are in fact far better than everyone else's, and are almost always some form of Death Ray or other beam weapon.
Mundane Utility: Mantis War-Walkers can be used to plow land with their heat rays and War Thrones can grow plants there via healing radiation.
Slap-on-the-Wrist Nuke: Subverted with truely horrifying effects! A dropped nuke has far more power than any other Ultimate weapon in the game, being powerful enough to eradicate a complete base, leaving massive amounts of radiation that will prevent any life in the area for a while and turn the very ground into glass from the heat. Add map-wide EMP effects and gale force winds of about 350 km/h and the game will be completely reversed after the bomb fell.
A Roman-age crossed with Cyber Punk obsessed group of Mega Corporations, the Mediterranean Syndicate embody everything the Allies fear and fight - forced roboticisation, drug and people trafficking, abuse of the weak and generally doing everything only for money. The Syndicate use high-range weapons for everything, from micro rocket firing machineguns to multi-target striking railguns to weather control, battlesuits, drugged gang members and all sorts of mercenary security forces. Their sprawls, regions of eternal night illuminated by neon lights and packed with camera systems, are hounted by packs of cybernetically improved Wolves and violence is a daily occurance. People there apparently enjoy their lot because the Syndicate educate them practically for free - in utter self-interest of course.
Cyberspace: The mind of the user lends the processing power needed for complicated inferfaces. Non-cyberspace interactions resemble 1980s text interfaces as a result, and connections are barely good enough to transfer MIDI music.
Deadly Gas: Sear gas is this, combining the dehibilitating effects of tear gas with the lethal effects of your eyes and throat suffering chemical burns! Fun stuff!
Drugs Are Bad: Being the local evil bastards, they of course run the drug trade. Basic infantry are drugged gang members and the drugs make them shortly invincible to automatic gun fire. Of course, they burn them out afterward.
Roboteching: Like the Empire, the Syndicate have AI controlled missiles. Unlike the Empire, the AI is located inside the missile.
Rocket Punch: The Atlas' fire their fists with compressed gas.
Science Marches On: Dilberately envoked to imitate 1980s cyberpunk; Syndicate wireless technology "sucks", being limited to infared beams like a television remote, so pretty much everything needs to be plugged in and wires are everywhere.
Worker Unit: Construction Lifters work similar to Nano Cores but can build their structures unlimited times to save money (exceptions are the Super and Ultimate Weapon).
Wretched Hive: They have a way of popping up in the Syndicate's path.
A group of Imperial lab castoff nanomachines who developed self-awareness and formed the Core Mind met a stranger, who gave them a goal - to accomplish the "pure state of the universe". In other words, kill everyone else, and that is exactly what they do. Hordes of robots without built times but hideously weak, the Electrical Protectorate overwhelm everyone else with sheer numbers of weaksauce units aided by bigger units with bigger guns and a commando that looks entirely human but has a heart and body of steel. The Protectorate do not care about humans as much as seeing them as an obstacle to reach the pure state. They are unknown to the other factions because they kill without asking questions or before anyone can react, ending up as a rumor in people's heads until it is too late.
A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Subverted; humans didn't really create them, they evolved from lab castoff nanobots.
And I Must Scream: Subverted; the Protectorate keep Jacob in their main city in a form of statis and dimly awake but they make sure he's happy the way he is. In theory.
Artificial Intelligence: What they really are is a formless group of AIs who can "posses" their machines at will - with all the (dis-)advantages this implies.
Doing It for the Art: In-Universe, their prior motivation. Even now, they can't help but work this in; their Tin Can Robot imagery is the result of them designing what they think a robot army ought to look like given the contemporary pop culture they had absorbed.
Eldritch Abomination: They made a deal with some, and it's started to change them... Their superweapon even unleashes one on their enemies.
Expy: Their leaders are pretty similar, typing quirks and all, to the Trolls.
The Power of Rock: Protectorate fractal weaponry contains singularities which offer beautiful light shows. The killing however is done by firing pure, undilluded Dubstep.
Tin Can Robot: Played with. The Protectorate are made out of nanites and have no real machine components comparable to contemporary human technology. They wholly embrace the Tin Can Robot look, however, out of a combination of sentiment for the B-Movies of their "youth" and a healthy dose of irony.
Turned Against Their Masters: Played with. The base AIs of the Protectorate were created by humanity (in particular by a Japanese experiment that went awry) but were lost and then promptly forgotten about. The protectorate as it is now has nothing against humanity (and indeed a mere human brought them back from a Despair Event Horizon), but we are in the way for them to get to the pure state.
Walk, Don't Swim: If Protectorate units cannot swim, they walk on the sea floor towards their targets.
We Have Reserves: Justified. Their units are almost all mindless robots that the true AIs puppeteer. Thus, they don't particularly care if they get blown up.
Zerg Rush: Standard tactic taken up to eleven, to the point where they completely forgo build times.
Minor FactionsMinor Factions are national powers from various countries not powerful enough to be globally active.
Army of the Republic of Vietnam
South Vietnamese national forces fighting the Communist regime of the North. They love flame weapons and idolise the Allied Nations. In minor faction deathmatch, their reinforcements are Peacekeeper Air Cavalry.
Token Evil Teammate: Most of the Western Bloc are democratic, humanitarian idealists, but the ARVN are a corrupt military authoritarianist state, and the Rangers are cynical and pragmatic fighters making heavy use of traditionally "bad guy" gear like chemical weapons and flamethrowers. Even so, they are considerably nicer than their real-world counterparts.
Useless Useful Stealth: The ARVN's job is enforcing this; it has tanks with scanners and lots of napalm to burn the enemy out.
The various national militaries of the world aiding the elite Peacekeepers. They also form the bulk of units fighting in Vietnam. In minor faction deathmatch, their reinforcements are Peacekeeper Recon.
Fashionable Asymmetry: To drive home their nature as "weekend warriors", the basic Reservist has an almost completely asymmetrical uniform.
Only Sane Man: They are the only (more or less) truly conventional army.
Putting on the Reich: Though their tan desert and olive green jungle uniforms don't look it, their garrison uniforms are black and grey. However, the Allies are blissfully unaware due to the lack of Nazis in the Red Alert timeline.
National Revolutionary Army
One of the two factions that fought the Chinese civil war for about 30 years supplied by the Allies, and ended it in a nuclear holocaust. There are barely any survivors of their faction, most defected to the Atomic Chinese. In minor faction deathmatch, their reinforcements are Indian Reservists.
Unstoppable Rage: The Cult have gas grenades which do exactly this, forcing enemy units to fire at each other.
Global Liberation Army
A group of middle-eastern terrorists, the GLA fight for their cause - whatever it is - against the Allied and Soviet infidels to gain territoy in Arabia and Africa. Outdated and ill-equipped troops meet toxin weapons and Soviet missiles. In minor faction deathmatch, their reinforcements are the Saudi White Army, soldiers loyal to the Saudi royalty fighting against the Allied backed democratic forces.
Failure Is the Only Option: Their attempts to create an effective fighter-bomber aircraft to counter the Allies failed spectacularly multiple times, as the article about their "Devastation Toxin Planes" shows.
One of the two factions that fought the Chinese civil war for about 30 years supplied by the Soviets, and ended it in a nuclear holocaust. There are barely any survivors of their faction, most defected to the Atomic Chinese. In minor faction deathmatch, their reinforcements are North Korean Commandos.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: Parodied due to the format of the work; General Leang's article mentions how an Atomic Chinese Courtesan managed to find the location of the Leang Hegemony, seduced the leader and then left. The leader of the Hegemony? Female.
Go Mad from the Revelation: The destruction of their leadership and country did this to the soldiers at Rat Base, to the point where their only leader is a giant poster of Mao, which they pretend is actually him, to the point of having it attend meetings, speeches, and rallies.
Harpoon Gun: Overlord Tanks have harpoons which are made to reel in enemy vehicles much like the Apocalypse Tanks' Tractor Beam. They are also lethal to infantry, unlike said Tractor Beam.
Machine Worship: The crews of Armageddon Cannons and various people attracted to these things worship them as deities of war, sing for them, sacrifice stuff, use holy oil etc. because the cannons survived until now and are indeed among the most powerful weapons ever made.
Stealth Pun: General Leang met her demise with a nuclear bomb, shortly after a Courtesan seduced her and revealed her base' position to the Atomic Chinese. In other words, she went Out with a Bang.
The Remnant: They are the few survivors of a decades long war that ended nuclear.
An underground resistance group supplied by North Vietnam and the Soviet Union, the Vietcong fight for Vietnamese unity under their ideas. In minor faction deathmatch, their reinforcements are the North Vietnamese Army (NVA).
Token Good Teammate: Most of the Eastern Bloc are variously aggressive, autocratic, incompetent and/or just plain insane. The Vietcong, however, have real grievences and are allied with them more out of convenience than ideology. To drive it home, they share skills and abilities with the Confederate Revolutionaries, right down to their basic infantry sharing their statline with the Confederate Minuteman. North Vietnam, however, is still quite malevolent.
Zerg Rush: The basic NVA tactic is a massive wave of terrible infantry who can shoot on the move.
A Commander Is You: Every listed type of faction, including two variations on "Brute Force". To iterate:
Allied Nations: Technical. Low cost efficiency but pin-point accuracy and many useful effects.
Soviet Union: The Mario. All-arounders capable of specializing into offensive, defensive, or support roles depending on which upgrade paths are taken.
Empire of the Rising Sun: Offensive Ranger. Lots of light but very fast units capable of mounting hit and run attacks, transforming to get in or out of danger, and good at maneuvering and expanding.
Confederate Revolutionaries: Guerrillas. Stealth generators, tunnels, traps and good infantry but (initially) bad vehicles.
Order of the Talon: Elitists. Units are slow and rather expensive but possess extreme armor. They also improve themselves on every veterancy rank with new weapons or abilities.
Atomic Kingdom of China: Defensive Brute Force. Weak units overall without even veterancy but absurdly powerful defenses, out of which some are mobile.
Mediterranean Syndicate: Economic Rangers. Long-ranged units that specialize in urban warfare and benefit from an immense economy,
Electrical Protectorate: Spammers. Massive amounts of instantly-made units without armor or veterancy drown the enemy in fire.
Adaptation Expansion: The basic idea is to expand the material and explore it's implications while remaining true to its campy core.
Ascended Glitch: The Confederate Minelayer goes stealth after planting its mines, until it's moved. This is the result of unusual interactions between the stealthed mines and the minelayer on spawning, but it meant that players didn't have to worry about microing the minelayer away after placing its mines. This "Fire and Forget" feature was so useful it was left in.
Cast from Hit Points: Barkhausen overdrive as well as the Kirov and Dreadnaught secondaries carrying over from the original game. The Chinese ore collector exposing it's atomic core also tends to self-damage with radiation.
Color-Coded Armies: Gleefully played with; most everything is Type 1, but House Colour is displayed uniquely for each faction; while the original game factions use plates or sections of their machines with their colour, the Confederates actually spraypaint it on haphazardly, and it is similarly splattered on for the Vietcong. The Syndicate have colour-coded holograms, the Chinese have their weapons, glowy doodads, and shield effects, and the Order weave their colour into heraldry. The ARVN have camo patterns with their teamcolour, and the Cult of the Black Hand have stain-glass patterns.
Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Tracers are shared between power blocks or suppliers, so Allied-aligned powers fire red, communist powers fire a sickly yellow-green, and anyone buying from the Syndicate, such as the Confederates, GLA and International Inc, fire gold. The Japanese stick to blue, the Order to greys, and the Protectorate to whites and purples. Of course, China doesn't use bullets at all, but their beams are their house colour, by default a bright green.
Command And Conquer Economy: Played with. The general source of income is still from Ore Mines, but some factions possess secondary ways (the EP for example turn killed enemies into cash). As for the rest of the trope like building buildings to get units, everyone does it in some way.
Do Not Run with a Gun: Played with. Infantry are divided into Standard Infantry and Light Infantry. Standard Infantry have to stop to fire, while Light Infantry can fire most any weapon while running or even backpeddling, allowing them to remain mobile during fights at the cost of additional penalties when surpressed.
Every Bullet is a Tracer: Subverted! Conventional guns fire a mix of tracer rounds appropriate to the faction (like red for Allied-aligned factions and yellow-green for Soviet-aligned ones) and subdued streaks indicating non-tracer rounds.
Expansion Pack: What this mod basicly is, but it increases the content by at least four times.
Guide Dang It: Because many in-game descriptions lack, the Wiki is your best place for information.
Law of Chromatic Superiority: As Heroic-ranking units no longer shoot red tracers, they are often instead denoted with unique, high-contrast texture additions, as well as whatever heroic feature is now hanging off of them.
Pinned Down: The barely used Suppression mechanic is much more important here; suppressed units are slowed to a fraction of their regular speed, making them easy victims of Car Fu. Light infantry get it even worse; not only can they not move at all while suppressed, they also can't defend themselves either.
Ridiculously Fast Construction: Everyone is fairly quick with training troops, making vehicles and building structures. The Electrical Protectorate ignore build times almost altogether. This is usually Handwaved by the factions using advanced construction methods like nanomachines or secretly bringing pre-build units on the battle field from outside the battle.
Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors: While still present, this has been complicated with the introduction of An Adventurer Is You style changes to the balance system, with units specifically designed to buff and debuff, heal, mezz, tank damage, defy counters, and otherwise confuse things.
A.K.A.-47: Many of the vehicles distinctly resemble real world ones with different names and unusual features. The Mastiff tank is clearly a King Tiger, the Cardinal is a Huey, the Achilles a streched Avro Arrow, the Ranger a jeep, and so forth. Most of the weapons are similarly renamed, though weapons from before 1927 usually keep their names as a nod to the point of divergence.
There is still a Tet Offensive, but it's launched a year later by the NVA instead of the Vietcong. Where the real-life Tet Offensive resulted in the Vietcong crushed and the NVA gaining the initiative, this one results in the NVA running scared and the VC in a perfect position to tear into Allied/ARVN supply lines.
Atomic China is a destabilizing third superpower arriving suddenly on the world stage with atomic weapons... sort of like Red China did in Real Life.
The formation of the Order of the Talon and Cult in the 11th century.
Japan never invaded the rest of Asia. This is because the Battle of Kumamoto Castle ended with a Shinobi running up the castle wall and opening its doors, changing the entire war scenario. The new government decided to not spend ressources on invasions and went along with trading with America and Europe without being influenced much.
Berlin Wall: In-lore, Berlin is parted in half like in real-life. The irony is, the Allies are building it.
Cold War: Between the Allies and the Soviets. Mostly.
The Allies have democratic elections and the Japanese have councils, which the current Emperor actually listens to. Then we find out he is famous with the people but not all that liked by the rest of the government which still tries to Take Over the World (this time with economic means), making this trope double subverted for the Empire.
The Soviets and Chinese also have councils, who in the former case leave the premier doing the global state running and do the day-to-day tasks instead while the Chinese Viceroy has gathered people around him but still reigns alone.
Lensman Arms Race: Allies, Soviets and Syndicate are the main players for this. Not that everyone else is far behind.
At the beginning of WW 2 in 1949, jet fighters were still experimental and most infantry ran around with bolt-action rifles. Horses were as common as trucks. By the end in 1955, everyone had assault rifles, the Allies were hiding behind rips in space-time, the Soviets were fielding tanks the size of houses and could make them invicible shortly, VTOL jet fighters were the norm, and jet packs and lightning guns were being employed. Then the Cold War arms race started...
Never Hurt an Innocent: The Allies, Soviets, Talon, Confederates and sometimes the Empire actively try to get civilians out of war zones. The other times the Empire attacks civilian villages for moralic shock value. The Syndicate only do it when it suits their money-based goals. The Protectorate and Atomic Kingdom don't bother with evacuation.
Nineteen Eighty-Four: The Soviets have similar telescreens and paranoia like in the novel. Also, not quite an example, but the Syndicate, who consider themselves "fifteen years ahead", like to claim they are living the 1984 life.
Nuclear Weapons Taboo: Until the Chinese broke it. The technology still hasn't spread to any of the other factions yet.
Propaganda Machine: The Soviets might be the most obvious, but they aren't the only ones. The Allies initally started running their humanitarian programs as one of these to draw small nations to their cause. The Empire has massive state-run media, both sides of the Chinese Civil War lied to their population constantly, the North Vietnamese use theirs to whip their soldiers into a frenzy, and the Cult of the Black Hand like to set these up to pit people against each other.
Punk Punk: Every human faction except the Confederates are some kind of Punk Punk. The wierdness comes because they are all different sorts.
Allied Nations: Raygun Gothic. Retro-futuristic designs, vacuum tube computers. Extensive laser, wave and advanced physics theories based weaponry.
Soviet Union: Diesel Punk. Big, powerful, utilitarian. Creative use of reliable and simple technologies like electricity and magnetism. Major space program.
Empire of the Rising Sun: Nano Punk / Post Cyber Punk. Superior design and engineering. Automated precision manufacturing on microscopic scale. Research into psionics.
Mediterranean Syndicate: Cyber Punk. Circuits, cyborgs, powered armor. Very commercial mindset and a large budget.
Order of the Talon: Clock Punk / Steam Punk. Adepts of mechanics and metallurgy. Potential evidence of supernatural religious power.
Atomic Kingdom of China: Atom Punk / Space Opera. Mastery of cheap nuclear energy. Orbital habitats, teleportation, segregated caste of clone workers/soldiers.
Retro Universe: Each faction embodies a retro style as mentioned under Punk Punk but attitudes and technology are modern and border on Schizo Tech, respectively. There also is a Wiki Rule named "Law of Crimson Skies" which requires people both real and In-Universe to be culturally sensitive in terms of Double Standards against genders, races and religions.
Richard Nixon the Used Car Salesman: A lot of future US presidents are involved in the Confederate Revolution, Nikita Khrushchev is a lowly grain farmer, and so forth, though many figures in the lore have similar professions but just work for different organizations.
Taken literal in that Richard Nixon actually IS a car salesman.
Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome / Sequel Non-Entity: All of the characters from the original Red Alert 3 (or the characters borrowed from other Command and Conquer games) have either been killed or otherwise reduced to a state of non-importance. The sole execeptions are the commandos.
The Space Race: In this setting it's less about getting to the moon and more about ensuring orbital superiority, though so far space military has been so expensive that there has been an orbital Cold War even as the Allies and Soviets fight for real.
The Vietnam War: South Vietnam forces (ARVN) and Vietcong are in the game, supported by the Allies and Soviets, respectively.
World War Three: Paradox takes place after it with big parts of the world in ruins or under reconstruction and its three major players (Allies, Empire and Soviets) economy and military wise exhausted, thus opening space for 5 new super powers.
Zee Rust: Every faction represents a different take on retro "The World of Tomorrow!" concepts. Order of the Talon is a fantastic spin-off of 17 to 19th century technology, the Soviets are in 1930s to 50s with Diesel Punk, the Allies represent 1960s futurism, the Chinese embody 70s space opera and Atomic Age ideals, the Confederates veer into late 70s post-nuclear scavenger world as they try to rebuild a patriotic Eagle Land using manpower and dilapidated conventional technologies, the Syndicate is 80s Cyberpunk, and the Empire a combination of 90s mecha anime and modern post-cyberpunk concepts. The Protectorate contains robotic units as envisioned in many ages, from Tin Can Robots to drone swarms, Terminators, and a mechanized Eldritch Abomination. The result is something of a Mega Crossover of retro-themed genres and universes colliding. To put things in perspective, the actual year the game takes place in is 1969.
Berserk Button: It is unwise to ask for a release date, especially repeatedly (Answer: When it's done). It is also unwise to ask if Uprising units will be included (Answer: No). It is extremely unwise to ask for a Wiki account and break the rules (Reaction: You gonna get banned). Some people do all three and then wonder why everyone on the team suddenly turns hostile.
Canon Discontinuity: Since Paradox heads into a different direction, Uprising is excluded from the mod canon.
Deconstruction: Of the original Red Alert 3. The vague Cold War setting has been given a set date and heavily grounded in history, with all of the original faction's motivations, backstories and situations being extrapolated in great detail from the scraps of information given in the original campaigns. The goody-two-shoes Allies are PR-concious control freaks, Japan's ambitious plans were crushed embaressingly quickly, the Allies and Soviets have ground to a stalemate, and you don't get away with killing a US president scott-free. There is considerable exploration of the implications of the strange technology at play, extensive exploration of the history of how things went so wrong, parallels to the real-life Cold War, and the first Red Alert game is tied into the backstory. In both backstory and gameplay mechanics, Paradox looks at the source material and asks "What would it be like if this was serious?" and the answers tend to go dark places.
Fantasy Axis of Evil: While Paradox does not categorise factions into good and evil but rather shades of grey, some similarities pop up:
Crafty: Mediterranean Syndicate. Hightech, Zerg Rush units (Auxillaries) and smart, but globally the weakest main faction.
Gender Is No Object: Played realistically straight. Allied, Chinese, Soviet, Syndicate and even some minor faction infantry have sometimes randomised gender with only slightly changed armour and fitting voices. The Imperial Japanese do not do this, for obvious reasons.
Grimmer and Pulpier: Done meta-wise to the Chinese Civil War. It used to be just a fairly normal if horrible depiction of a stalemated version of the real life version until Jade was discovered. Post-lore revamp, it's been drastically darkened in the last eight years, to the point where both sides were running around with clone armies, guns that turn a person inside out, and blood-diamond creating atom smashers.
Loads and Loads of Loading: The Mod's Moddb page had a rather humorous flash imitating an eternally loading loading bar, which loads anything from normal stuff to utter nonsense, then either the loaded part keeps falling out, regress back or just spills out.
Rule of Cool: It is firmly established that anything which doesn't violate the base lines of the universe (free energy and Faster-Than-Light Travel among them) is allowed. Added twist being that when it's not made cooler by violating every other rule of the universe, there is no reason for it to be scientifically wrong in the first place.
Gray and Grey Morality: Everyone has corpses in the basement, but most factions at least try to be moral. Most.
Insistent Terminology: The word "laser" does not exist in universe; the word "spectrum" is used instead, leading to spectrum beams, spectrum designators, electrospectrum plasma channels, and so forth. Using the word "laser" in a suggestion is a good way to show you haven't been paying attention.
Scale of Scientific Sins: The Allies have committed sins one and two, the Empire and Syndicate have done one through three, and the Protectorate is the first sin. Even the Confederates and their PAWI tech clock in with number two, as does China with a lot of its tech as well as doing genetic engineering. Note that three through six are well within the Allies' reach and four through six for the Empire and Syndicate... they just haven't done it yet. The Soviet Union and Order of the Talon seem to be the only major factions with a clean slate here.
As far as the minor factions go, Red China developed cloning technology and genetic engineering thus reviving the dead in new bodies, while Blue China can revive the dead (or rather produce zombies) with deliberate usage of crude cybernetics. Green China condemned them for both but keeps using cloning tech.
Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Played with. Some factions, such as the Soviet Union and Order of the Talon, believe that the Paradox world is on the cynical end of the scale and try to be good guys through the lens of a cynical world. Others, such as the Allied Nations and Confederate Revolutionaries, believe that the Paradox world is on the idealistic end and behave as good guys through the lens of an idealistic world. Where exactly the Paradox world "does" fall on the scale is largely left to the viewer's imagination.
According to the April 17 paradoxcast, the Paradox world is very cynical. Apparently, every campaign will have either a bad or bittersweet ending.
Techno Babble and Magi Babble: Tries to avoid it when it can; if a basis in real world science can be established, it is much preferred. However, the sheer "wierdness" of the setting means this isn't always possible.
Wham Episode: The April 17 paradoxcast, which included the first hints of what the eventual campaigns will include, ranging from what was described as the Normandy landings on the moon to an Allied mission inside a human body. This latter revelation met with a Flat "What." from the community.