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Nightmare Fuel: Red Alert 3: Paradox
Let's face it, Paradox gets dark. An atomic civil war, wrapped in the center of an ongoing cold war-esque conflict between two massive superpowers that are both waiting to sink their teeth into the other, as smaller powers and factions nip at the heels.
Underneath the dark comedy, the silly units, and the stereotypical characters, the reality of Paradox is this: War. War, unending, unceasing, unforgiving.
Allied Nations: Forget everything good and pure about the Allies. Throw it out the window, and replace it with an increasingly socialist state in which the biggest rule is follow the rules. More and more the Allies are morphing from a well-meaning and desperate alliance on nations bent on fighting off Soviet aggression into an alternate-Soviet state, where state industries produce the people's goods under the beneficial direction of the leadership. Those happy-go-lucky spies you see running around? They're loose cannons, not beholden to any civil or military authority. The occupation of the United States is the "greater good" of the world being used as justification for the usurpation of lawful and sovereign government by paranoid overseers desperate to retain any edge they have against the Soviets.
More specifically, they've started to give up on trying to follow any kind of ethical weapons development. Case in point, the Pion Isospin Array. It doesn't just kill a man, it flays the target while it's still alive. If a target's lucky, they'll just turn into a puddle of half-dissolved mush. If they're completely screwed, there will be nothing left to bury. Imagine being a regular soldier, fighting in the field, and suddenly your brothers in arms start vanishing all around you, their screams cut off by their own vanishing bodies. Then you look down, and your foot is starting to disappear.
On a deeper level, this is only one example of how perverted the Allies have become. Instead of creating this unit for actual scientific research, it, and all of the tier X weaponry the Allies field, has been weaponized into the exact opposite of the peaceful progress the Allies had hoped to nurture. Look on the X-Weapon unit headers; almost all are manufactured by universities.
Cryo-Prisons. The simple idea of cryo-prisons is terrifying. Any opposition to the Allied Nations, any attempt to question them more harshly than just writing an editorial is enough to have a person frozen, put on trial, frozen again, then shipped off to a human ice box in Greenland. There's already dozens of prisoners kept in stasis, and the prison guards themselves are apparently going mad from some kind of "ice sirens".
ACIN. Take an intelligence agency, and strip away whatever ethical and practical concerns might have been left to lot. They are beholden to no one, only organized into various national agencies like MI-6 or SDECE. No one actually knows who runs ACIN, since the agency was designed for maximum decentralization. On paper, it was to prevent the Soviets from ever infiltrating or running counter intelligence. In reality, spies are loose and free to do whatever they want. They can kill who they want, bribe when they want, and implicate who they want. And no one can stop them.
The slow disintegration of nations under the Allies. As quoted from Paradox, "It's like the government's only the BBC and tax man anymore." That statement effectively includes most of Western Europe. Even the most ardent Allied supporters are starting to realize just how far they've gone in their control when they see images of Allied peacekeepers on the streets of cities in the United States, arresting citizen protestors and fighting with the Confederates. Under the Allies national borders are slowly being erased, to the point where the Allies have become a true super-state.
The Peacekeepers, right on the Chemical Mortar page, outright state that it's use violates treaties banning Chemical weapons, but the Peacekeepers don't consider themselves affected by international laws. That's one very small step from tear gas to something worse when you don't see international law as a hurdle.
Soviet Union: The Union isn't necessarily trying to be evil, but they're still the totalitarian state formed from the post-Lenin ideals of the communist Russia. The remains of Stalin's rule are still present in the massive gulag system that spans the Siberia, and their slow and steady acquisition of the Middle East. They have started supplying rebellions around the world, their only concern the fact that each war drains Allied resources more and more. Meanwhile the Soviets build up their resources, watching. Waiting. The Union plans to survive by whatever means are possible. And will show the world their resolve.
The biggest problem of the Soviet Union is that in the Paradox timeline, since the death of Lenin and until Davidova's coup, the country has been ruled by a secession of insane, murderous, megalomaniac madmen:
First there was Stalin, in our real life timeline he is already one of the worst dictator in history, in the Paradox universe everything evil about him was taken up to roughly 21. His spent his entire time in power doing nothing but preparing the country for a war that will allow him to conquer the world, with him completely ignoring the needs of his own people, and killing all those that speak out against him.
Perhaps some examples will better define how horrific the Soviet Union under Stalin was. In order to create a large enough population for him to conscript into the army, he used measures such as banning contraceptives, introducing a childless tax, and even having infertile spouses systematically divorced from their partners and sent to Gulags. This resulted in the country's infrastructure and agriculture being stretched to the breaking point, resulting in widespread famines. This has gotten to the degree that when Red Army soldiers were first encountered by the Allies, they thought that the Soviet had made a pact with Satan due to the years of starvation giving them a “demonic” appearance.
And as soon as the war started, in order to keep up their advantage in manpower, Stalin started dragging off entire collective farms and city blocks worth of Russian men, women, child, and elderly into the front lines, with citizens and PO Ws of occupied nations getting mass-conscript to replace them to keep the war machine running. Most of those that were taken by the Soviets ended up worked to death or killed in mass executions when they were suspected of sabotage or rebellion.
Cherdenko wasn't much better. Not only did he effectively erase Einstein (and with the good doctor the time line for Red Alert 2), he ensured that the people who traveled back with him would be in no position to challenge him. Gen. Krukov was killed in the Second World War, and it's implied that he was the one who assassinated Stalin. He, more than anyone else, is responsible for the madness that erupted, from the Empire of the Rising Sun to the five other powers that have started to destabilize the world.
Desolator Defoliant. It seems that Soviet super reactors create so much waste material that storing it all is herculean. So instead, during World War III, it was decided that it could be used as a defoliant much like the Allied Agent Orange. The difference is that while Agent Orange takes time for the side effects to show in human tissue, Desolator defoliant melts the skin and muscles and leaves a blackened skeleton.