Due to the versatile and lengthy nature of the storyline and its vulnerability to spoilers, tropes are denoted in thematic categories. Explanations given clickable right below.Alt/Hist We probably needn't explain what Alternate History Tropes are if you already ended up here, no?General General Tropes denote tropes that don't belong to any other category. This folder is also sub-structured into Language Tropes that didn't get its own folder for the sake of clarity.Character Character Tropes are just that. Political leaders get described here just as well as the functional equivalents to your Ordinary High-School Student.Religion Religion Tropes were introduced to tidy up ambiguities towards other folders. Exactly What It Says on the TinNat/Pol National And Political Tropes denote tropes about countries and politics, domestic and international alike including warfare and nation-building.Modern Modern World Issues have been introduced as a folder because of the spoileriffic nature of many issues regarding the timeline's later 20th century when the timeline acquires a contemporary and even futuristic feel that hardly fits with the rest.Shout Shout Outs are just that.
A more serious one: After the battle of Auschwitz, someone states: "Certainly this place has never seen such a massacre on any world, in any time."
And on the same plane:
Topper:"Mates, it's official now: The 9th of November is the most uninteresting day in German history!"note In our world, this day stands for: The revolution of 1918, which ended Imperial Germany and started the Weimar Republic; Adolf Hitler's unsuccessful putsch in 1923; the Reichspogromnacht of 1938, making the lives of German Jews much worse; and the fall of The Berlin Wall in 1989.
The Beautiful Game: When national teams from the Socialist Block were allowed to compete in a world cup for the very first time, their Englishmen bring German Bavaria a painfully shameful defeat in the finals after penalties. note In Real Life, teams like England and Italy are considered infamous for sucking at penalites (though the Italians got better as seen in 2006), while teams like Germany and Argentina are considered gods in this discipline, the latter only ever been beaten by the former (also in 2006) who never was.
Defecting for Love: The Russian Yegor Smotrytsky gives the Persians the telegraph technology for this reason. Later (1923) made into the movie Shirin, delight of my eyes which gets censored by the German Culture Police.
Earth Drift: The version 0.0 used In Spite of a Nail very egregiously, having Tilly, Wallenstein, Martin Luther, William of Orange and even Dennis Ritchie, Brian Kernighan and Ken Thompson in the story becoming influential, similar to their roles in Real Life.
Egopolis: Several cities named after people, like Haraldsborg (our New York City), Wildenhartburg (Chicago), Alexandersborg (Cape Town) and Fort Knox (Singapore).
Hollywood: Well, except that it's named Paradies, and located in the place of our Rio de Janeiro.
Ironic Echo: "It didn't really take long, but the world will never be again as it was before."
Bilingual Bonus: Topper muses that every story ends eventually, but history goes on. Both story and history mean "Geschichte" in German.
Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Justified, since history diverged in 1200 and people could well invent different names for things. E.g. America is called Atlantis, teddy bears are mishkas since they were invented in Russia, computer hackers are Logos (from 'logic'), angst is called horreur, a blitzkrieg is a molniya (Russian for 'lightning'), tanks are Walzen ('steamrollers' in German), capitalism is monetarism etc.
A pretty complete list of the TL's alternate terminology can be found on thesepages of AH.com's wiki.
Gratuitous Italian: In the late years of the TL, there are artificial insects (flying nanotech robots) called Zanzara. Also, the Renaissance in known under the Italian term Rinascita in this history, rather than the French term from our history.
Gratuitous Russian: Brought this world, among others, the synonyms to teddy bear and blitzkrieg. Generally, German is the number one world language, with Italian and Russian being respective seconds and thirds.
Language Equals Thought: One in-story novel mentions the people in the world After the End having become unable to lie - but unfortunately, they also lost the ability to imagine things.
Manga / Manhua: Not of this story, but in this story. They mostly come from China and are called "Wan Tu", meaning "ten-thousand pictures".
Nostalgia Filter: Mentioned in a story. At this moment, the world has reached the point where they love the Industrial Revolution - the great time of inventors. Steam Punk becomes very popular.
Overly Preprepared Gag: Since (or although) the name Adolf and the lesser known abbreviation "Nazi" for "Ignaz/Ignatius" aren't discredited by Hitler, the author is able to make an "Adolf Nazi is dead!" joke.
The Plague: The Black Death, happening somewhat later and spread through longer time than in our world.
Poor Man's Substitute: The brothel "Rote Fahne" from the mentor's GURPS adventure sources note Which was inspired by a scene from Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover novels. Forbidden Fruit, you know.. Its hookers are an in-universe example of this trope. While there would indeed be hookers of English, French, Italian, Spanish and Scandinavian mother tongue, they were actually supposed to be from Atlantis or just anywhere outside the Socialist Block.
Ruthless Modern Pirates: The modern Red Pirates of the Socialist Block, robbing ships of the capitalist nations. And also Nipponese terrorists doing this, who are evenworse.
Sanity Slippage: Tatjana during World War III. She even notices it. The way it's described it sounds like a near-death experience. She gets better and gives the signal to save the world.
Schizo Tech: Some of the sciences and technological advances are discovered or perfected earlier than in our history, Novorossiya e.g. invents the telegraph and electrical devices nearly a century before it happened in our history. Let's just say that a resident from that timeline would compare our real world's present tech level with his 1960s at best.
Self-Deprecation: In one of the stories, someone on the internet Weltsystem asks "Max" (counterpart of the author?) why he doesn't write a timeline himself instead of criticizing others'.
Awesome McCoolname: There are some German princes (and other guys) named Kraft, which means "power / strength". Yes, this once was a real first name in Germany.
Ayn Rand: Her equivalent in this TL (kind of) is Sophie Stein.
The Caligula: The fifth Chinese adoptive emperor, the protagonist of Samowar In Atlantis even calls him that way, "Kaiser Gaga". His precedessor was actually rumored to overthink his decision for succession, but got literally cut short by the events of 1993. And then it got worse.
Expy: Many of the famous historical personalities of this timeline are analogues of the ones of our lifetime. It's handled realistically though.
Fake Defector: Walter Meier becomes head tribute collector for the French, making him perhaps the most hated man in occupied Germany. He's actually using the position to divert money to his favorite German resistance organizations.
Geek Physiques: Fynstr is slim, Tatjana is very slim, Topper is fat. And quite tall.
Granola Girl: Their nicknames have a higher potential for being used as slurs than ours. Terramici (environmentalists) literally mean "friends/lovers of the earth" and Menschenhelfer (development aid workers) literally mean "man helpers" or "humanity's helpers".
Heroic BSOD: All Logos (well, those whom we learn more about) seem to suffer from this at one point in their life. Fynstr has issues since his childhood, Topper lost many good countrymen at work, Tatjana becomes outright melodramatic (though fully justified) in the end. But the mere exchange from campus to workplace is often enough.
Historical Villain Upgrade: As a review of in-universe movie "Alexander" says, Oswald of Cottington only played a minor role in the (Great Occidental) war and never met Prince Alasdair in person.
A great general who was born on an island west of Italy, fought in Egypt, became emperor and brought the church under his control was already mentioned.
Matthias Lieber, one of those who translated the Bible into German, is a Shout-Out to Martin Luther. And at the same time, a Shout-Out to the RPG 7th Sea.
Friedrich von Hohenzollern who might be Frederick The Great born in an Atlantean log cabin and successfully running away from his tyrannical father.
Explorers / travellers Markus Poller and Mao Polou
"Kingdom of God" is the counterpart to Thomas More's utopian story, well, Utopia.
Condolcessa, last one of the Florentine ruling family, reminds of Lucrezia Borgia, at least in that people claim both to have committed Parental Incest, though this hasn't to be true.
"Christnacht" is a text about a rich but avaricious landowner, who isn't willing to share his wealth with others, until he is suddenly experiencing... something at the evening of christmas. And his name (Thimotheus) becomes synonymous with "miser". Sounds familiar?
Christianity is Catholic: Other than in our world, Catholic Christianity didn't split except for some minor fringe movements, but power gradually shifted to the governments of the Catholic nations, somehow akin to the Anglican Church or Gallican Church in our world whose rituals and doctrine were mostly kept unchanged. E.g. in Nippon, the tenno is the head of the country's Catholic Church! The Pope was gradually reduced to a mere figurehead, but this changed unexpectedly again when he had to go to AustraliaTirlandAntipodia after the revolution in Britain.
The nationalized and decentralized versions of Catholic Christianity are basically the Anglican Church and the concept of Gallicanism from our real history, but taken Up to Eleven.
Interfaith Smoothie: The Indian Chandramoorthy develops his own religion, which combines elements from Hinduism, Islam, Catholicism and the classical Greco-Roman religion.
Irish Priest: Taken Up to Eleven, with the Irish-Catholic pope(s) from the land Down Under and their many missionaries, which are probably a trope of their own in this world.
The Pope: After Rome is captured by the Seljuks, he moves to France. Then, in the 18th century, when France becomes a secular republic, he has to flee to Spain, then to Britain when France conquers Spain... and finally to Antipodia (our Australia) when Britain becomes Socialist.
National and Political Tropes
The Alliance: Several times in this history. After all, it coined the term "anti-X War", as in "Anti-French War" and other wars, all of them ending with a victory of the alliance.
Balkanize Me: North America Atlantis, sometimes China, France and Russia.
Black Shirt: The post-WWI Italian Fascisti. A subversion, since they're actually the right hand of The Mafia analogue (the mafia of this history being an amalgam of both organized crime and Italian ultranationalism).
Bread and Circuses: Part of the technocratic agenda in Germany is making the working class unpolitical by the titular "three F": Fußball (soccer), Fernsehen (television), Fernreisen (vacation). One feels tempted to add a fourth F like Fressen (food).
Cold War: At the latter half of the 20th century, the three major superpowers fighting for balance with each other are the German technocracy, the Socialist Block and the Chinese Empire.
Culture Police: In the German technocracy. Censors the book "Das Paradies der Goldis" by Katherine Geller (apparently a bit like Valley Of The Dolls) for the depiction of mental diseases, drug addiction and lesbian love.
Speaking German. In both parts of the Americas Atlantis. note Guess which ethnicity most Americans in our lifetime claim to hail from? Right, the Germans. Guess where else in the New World Germans liked to settle? Right, Southern Brazil and the Plata countries. And appropriately, this Germany has three eagles in its crest, among them a condor that got dubbed as an "Andean eagle" in this world.
The Empire: As this is a realistic (hi)story, it's a question of your POV. The New Roman Empire, the German technocracy and others might all qualify.
Even Evil Has Standards: Kind of. While there are dictatorships, communists and fascists, secret polices, many wars, nukes and even worse weapons, this timeline has no equivalent of the Nazis and the Holocaust.
Fascist gold: A group of Red Pirates discovers it and decides to take off for Braseal instead of giving it back.
German Atlantis has two big ones, "The free ones" and "the equal ones", who nickname each other "the naked ones" and "the blind ones"note Implying that the latter are blind for reality, and naked shamelessness for the former
Forever War: After Republican France occupies Spain, the fighting down there does not end until eighty years later.
German Dialects: Fynstr uses a few Swiss German words. Also, the background of the story speculates a bit about the development of the German language, if the Dutch hadn't left Germany, and if there had been a big German-speaking state in North America (with English, Scandinavian and Slavic influences).
Imperial China: Still exists even in the later 20th century, ruled by the so-called adoptive emperors.
Founded on Sinai in the mid-19th century and expanded considerably into Palestine and Syria in the aftermath of World War One. Remains the only developed democratic country of importance for much of the 20th century.
Saved Germany's ass at a very crucial moment in World War II.
The Mafia: La Famiglia, which seizes full political power in the Italian empire after it loses World War One and its ruler is forced to abdicate. Also a subversion, since they're in fact a mixture of The Mafia and the fascists. Note that in our world, the fascists and the mafia were enemies!
Space-Filling Empire: The New Roman Empire, Russia, the German technocracy. However, mostly avoided by introducing the eponymous "Chaos", vast areas of the world, esp. in Africa, where the governments change every few months and borders every few years.
Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The Rum-Seljuks are basically Ottoman Turks on steroids. And they keep the name "Seljuks" instead of Turks or Turkey to the modern day.
United Space of Germany: With a twist. Germany is THE superpower, comparable to our USA, and in their universe, there is a series of SF-novels (with a touch of technocracy government propaganda) named Ordo, so it's safe to assume that their space is ruled by a German technocracy. (Word of God.)
The lands that once merged into the Union of the Old and New Russia eventually become, well, Russian Chaos.
The remaining British Empire's royal family flee to New Albion (New Zealand) after Britain turns republican it got worse and eventually socialist. A civil war over succession issues eventually rocks the country in the 1960s and effectively splits it in two, the South Island behind the resident Cloud Cuckoo Lander and the North Island behind a certain Elizabeth. (Not that Elizabeth, though.) Hoo boy.
Modern World Issues
Apocalypse How: Here with nanomachines, thus potentially Class X (planetary annihilation). And many locals vaguely expected it to happen for years.
Cool Train: Vacuum maglevs which can reach speeds of no less than 10000 km/h !
Cyber Punk: The last about thirty years of the TL definitely have this vibe going on, courtesy of the Logos (hackers) and the more earlier achieved advanced state of computer technology and networks than in our history.
The End of the World as We Know It: At the end, World War III between the superpowers Germany and China breaks out, and although it doesn't last long (actually a mere three hours), the world will never be again as it was before. Because the hackers Logos and their allied AIs take over the world and the military and tell the war off.
Fantastic Drug: In the GURPS adventure based on this, one dealer tries to sell the PCs the drug "black niig", which supposedly makes people feel "like Stalin note Not our Joseph Stalin, but still a bad guy, when he crushed his enemies' balls", and later they meet a crazy fundamentalist Christian who claims he knew a girl who never listened to advice, took nanodrugs and one day literally fell apart to dust.
Effectively stripped of their former power, many of the people in leadership positions before the Velvet Revolution had their personal fortunes largely left intact, but still feel a void as a result of their loss of power. People obviously don't deal well with becoming obsolete over night. Alcoholism is said to be rampant among these guys.
Future Slang: Several examples. "By the Truth" comes to mind.
Global Currency: At the end of the story, the GEM (short for Geld-Einheit der Menschheit - "money unit of humanity") is introduced. The sign for it looks like a G with a circle around it, much like our @.
The sci-fi universe "Ordo" wherein Germany's One World Order has expanded to the stars some centuries into the future.
Another example would be a work of a Vlachian sci-fi author Mircea Savu who imagined an inter-galactic civilization with lots of independent states.
Hollywood Hacking: It involved a lot of hackers connected by a quasi-telepathic network, many of them in key positions, artificial intelligences willing to help them, and Translation Convention for programming languages, but it's still handled more realistically than typical for Hollywood.
The Internet Is for Porn: "[...] some other place in the Weltsystem, where people can store their photos to keep them hidden. Recently a shadow of doubt was cast on said place by the users because of a claim that the owners of the place used compression programs to save on server storage, since most of the people just store identical 3D photos of nude women anyway..."
Leet Speak: The currency of the German technocracy is the Thaler, abbreviated "Th". Thus, people from this timeline will replace the T's in names of firms considered too greedy with Th. One example is the computer/electronics firm Werstand (imagine a cross between Microsoft, IBM and Siemens), which becomes Wersthand.
Magic Floppy Disk: Averted, the present Chaos uses "data cubes", which are based on threedimensional computer chips.
Names Given to Computers: Or rather, AIs. In fact, they name themselves after random strings - three of them are called X27, a_gcl and Horace. And when they have to create database records for non-existing humans, they invent names for them which have some similarity to theirs.
"The Logos rule a world population of about 5.5 billions - a bit lower than in Homeline at the same time. The CR is now at 2, a great difference for the people who were used to CRs of 4 or 5. Most taxes and other dues were abolished, except those on speculative profits (a world state can do effective controls), nanofactories, legal drugs and pollution. [...]"
The two first Dutch men who founded a colony in Atlantis are named Jan and Kees van Houten.
And the first German guy there is a Hans Meier - the equivalent of John Smith.
The German land Anderland is named after the best song by the German punk band Fluchtweg.
During one war story set in NW Germany of the 16th century, someone who's much like German comedian Otto Waalkes makes an appearance. (In fact, he uses Obfuscating Stupidity.)
The two greatest authors of this world are the Spaniard Alejandro Enrique Ruiz Rodriguez, who wrote several plays about kings (of biblical Israel), whose works are suspected by some people to be written not by him, but really by the Spanish king, or his daughter, or someone completely else; and the German Albert Franck Baltzer, who wrote tragedies like Der König von Leer about a Frisian yeoman and his daughters, or a jealous mercenary in Otto Leo, genannt Der Schwarze von Verden, which also were used for several Hollywood Paradies movies.
Karl Beller is a very popular author of the German kids series "Theobald the Technician".
Sally Kohn is a Token Israeli member of the gang in said series. note The name was deliberately chosen to redeem it. In our world, The Nazis made a children's book with a Jewish scrappy bearing this very name. This world's Sally Kohn however is an accepted member of the group. Yes, the technocracy is a better dictature, at least in some ways, though still a dictature.
The name of one of the first men on the moon is Gorsky.
The Menschenhelfer scene was borrowed from the obscure book Schöne Grüße aus der Zukunft
A British professor advocates using more computer technology, to create a truly just society. His name is Kilian Houston, which were the middle names of John Brunner, author of the proto-Cyberpunk classic The Shockwave Rider.
Terramici are the environmentalists of this world - the same term used in Decades of Darkness. Except for the fact that it's Latin-based in Do D and Italian-based in Chaos.
Mokkers, the gang members of this timeline, have a similar name to the mukkers from Stand on Zanzibar.
The Rasac (Japanese-influences group of radical sceptics - so radical, they even doubt logic and science) are a Shout-Out to a story by Heinrich Böll (in abbrev only - the other Rasacs are short for "Rasante Sadisten Capotas" - Rapid Sadists of Capota]).
There also seems to be a counterpart of Discworld.