Video Game: Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun

EVA: Welcome back, commander.

"I've seen the future. Our Tiberian future. And as you watch this battle just beginning to unfold, I've already seen the final act. It is my destiny to lead the way for all mankind..."
Kane to General Solomon

Tiberian Sun is the second installment in the Command & Conquer: Tiberian Series. Set in 2030, tiberium is now spreading unchecked, forcing humanity to flee to the arctic or desert regions that can at least slow the substance's progress. As governments break down and GDI does its best to bring order from the chaos, Kane reappears to lead a reunified and invigorated Nod into battle once more. A crashed alien spaceship and an extraterrestrial artifact called the Tacitus hint at a larger purpose behind Tiberium, but ultimately Kane's attempt to use a missile to increase Tiberium's spread is thwarted with the man's death (again).

Released in 1999, the game notably raised the cutscenes profile of the saga, featuring for the first time renowned mainstream actors such as James Earl Jones and Michael Biehn. The Scrin technology makes its first appearance in this game, as well.

An expansion pack was also released, called Tiberian Sun: Firestorm, in which Nod's battle AI, CABAL, revolts and leads a cyborg uprising, forcing GDI and the remnants of Nod to unite to defeat him.

Tiberian Sun and íts expansion were released as freeware by EA in 2010. Official Download

Please note that this page is for tropes that feature in this game and its expansion only. Please add tropes relating to other games as well on the main Tiberian Series page.

This game contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: In Sun, Umagon and Oxanna.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: In Firestorm, CABAL quickly goes rogue.
  • Arm Cannon: Cyborg soldiers have chainguns on their right arms. Cyborg Reapers have cluster missile launchers on theirs. The Cyborg Commando has a plasma cannon.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The backstory handles GDI mechs like this. Not as maneuverable (except in rough terrain!) or cheap as Nod's tanks, and have poor leg workings.
  • Badass Creed: One of NOD's mottos is "PEACE THROUGH POWER!!" This becomes creepy and terrifying in the end of the Nod campaign, where Slavik captures and mistreats McNeil (offscreen) while he's tied to a chair, then shows him a view of a Nod missile vaporizing the GDSS Philadelphia into a glowing mist:
    McNeil: NOOOOOOOOOO!!!
    Slavik: Peaceful, isn't it?
  • Big "NO!": Michael McNeil's response when Slavik has captured and tortured him, and he witnesses the Philadelphia Station being destroyed by Nod's nuclear missile(s).
  • Bland-Name Product: Several of the building names.
  • Blondes Are Evil: Oxanna Kristos, Slavik's second-in-command.
  • Blond Guys Are Evil: Nod Commander Anton Slavik. Nod seems to love Hair Tropes.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece:
    • In the last GDI mission you get the chance to use Mammoth Tanks from Tiberian Dawn, which still prove useful. The Forgotten also uses them.
    • The Juggernaut artillery unit in Firestorm is the result of taking three cannons off old battleships — useless now that the seas are choked with Tiberium-mutated weeds — and mounting them on mech legs.
  • Build Like an Egyptian: The Nod Pyramid.
  • Cool Ship: The Kodiak.
  • Cool Train: The Montauk (when riding existing tunnels)
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: CABAL's Core Defender, a massive bipedal robot which can withstand obscene amounts of firepower; It wields a powerful laser cannon from each arm, capable of shredding most any ground unit in one shot; two for the Mammoth Mk. II. EMP also doesn't work, and using it prompts an Evil Laugh from CABAL. There are creative and easier ways outside the box to deal with it, such as Dropped a Bridge on Him (or from under him) or Firestorm/ Laser Fence.
  • Deadline News: Oxana Kristos, who had been declared dead by her former colleague in the news studio (working for the traitor Hassan), casually sits down next to him on live TV. He's startled, but she tells him to "Please, continue"... then shoots him moments later.
  • Doom Troops: The malevolent A.I. CABAL's cyborg faction in the expansion pack Firestorm seems to invoke this. Much of its armies consist of shambling, rotting corpses with cybernetic upgrades, and its "Reaper" units are robotic scorpion-man hybrids with skulls for heads. They're mainly used to destroy civilian settlements and to capture people so they can be processed to create more soldiers.
  • Drill Tank: In Tiberian Sun, Nod uses subterranean units such as the Subterranean APC and the Devil's Tongue, although only the first looks like a recognisable drill tank.
  • Drop Ship: Used as a special unit in Tiberian Sun. Bonus points since the game stars Aliens's Michael Biehn as the player character in the GDI cutscenes.
  • Easter Egg: In the last Nod mission, there is a civilian building called the "Xmas Tree Farm", which itself is already pretty funny. Destroying it causes CABAL to exclaim "SCROOGE!" at the top of the screen. It also yields a money crate for the effort.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: The Nod campaign ends as Kane launches a world-altering missile to completely turn the world into a Tiberian landscape. He likely killed off all non-mutated terrestrial life by doing so.
  • Enemy Mine: GDI and NOD vs CABAL in Firestorm.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Tiberian Sun is infamous for this, with Visceroids, Tiberian Fiends, Tiberium Floaters, Veinhole Monsters destroying vehicles and buildings and the gas they produce killing infantry, Tiberium poisonous to infantry, ion storms causing lightning strikes and your planes to fall out of the sky and crash, etc. etc. On the one hand, this does realistically evoke the feel of a Crapsack World going to hell and anarchy because of the effects of Tiberium; on the other hand it is actually possible to win one-on-one skirmish battles without ever seeing the enemy, because the enemy was just overwhelmed by all the third-party nasties on the map.
  • Evil Gloating: Kane gives a good one to Mike McNeil after breaking through the Hammerfest defenses in Tiberian Sun and stealing the sonic crystals, leaving behind a broadcast in which he glibly informs him that the sonic tank "will make an excellent addition to my collection", and that "oh, and sorry to hear about your brother, McNeil. . . . . I hear he died a very slow and. . . painful death..."
    • There is also Vega's video to GDI, where he taunts GDI and executes Commander Tao.
  • Evil Laugh: CABAL likes to do these during missions in Firestorm.
    CABAL: Cybernetic lifeforms will always be superior.
    EVA: Missile launch detected.
    CABAL: Kehahahahahahahaha!
  • Evil Sounds Deep: CABAL has a very intimidating lowered voice. Justified for being a computer A.I. who was programmed that way.
  • Fantastic Racism: There is quite a lot of hostility between the mutant and human factions, who deride each other as "blunts" and "shiners" respectively. Nod in particular regards the mutants as abominations and sees no problem with slaughtering them for their own ends (despite such mutation being the very real consequence of the spread of Nod Tiberium worshipping).
  • Free Wheel: When some vehicles explode.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Nod has upgraded to using lasers for all of its base defences, including the huge Obelisk of Light. In Firestorm, CABAL is defended by experimental Super Prototype enhancements of this such as the Obelisk of Darkness (which can hit air units) and the Lightning Obelisk (which can rapid-fire).
  • Futuristic Pyramid: The Nod HQs are all built in large, technified pyramids. They're actually converted ancient pyramids rather than purpose-built ones, as they're in Egypt and Central America specifically.
  • Game Mod: A particularly spectacular one in the case of Twisted Insurrection, with full-length campaigns and even a third faction.
  • Hero Unit: GDI has Umagon, Ghost Stalker and Mutant Hijacker (in the campaign). Nod has the Cyborg Commando.
  • Hufflepuff House: The Forgotten (mutants) in Tiberian Sun act as a third faction, reached out to by GDI and manipulated by Nod. Their units are, appropriately enough, cobbled together from odds and ends and include old vehicles left over from Tiberian Dawn.
  • Humongous Mecha: GDI has abandoned its line of tanks in favour of walkers and Mini-Mecha. CABAL has the huge core defender.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: McNeil stabs Kane with a shard of Tiberium in the ending of GDI's campaign.
  • In Spite of a Nail: No matter which campaign is played, there will be an alien craft in Vega's territory, the GDI base in Hammerfest will fall, and Kane will create a mega Tiberium missile. The difference is that in the Nod campaign, Slavik managed to retrieve the ship's content, Hammerfest remained in Nod hands ( and was used as the staging ground for their missiles to destroy Philadelphia) , and the mega missile is fired off. But in the GDI campaign, it was Mc_Neil who recover the ship's contents, Hammerfest was eventually recovered (and Nod attacked it in the first place for the Disruptor sonic crystals), and the missile becomes scrap metal. Oh, and Umagon gets captured in both campaigns, although both the causes and aftermath of the captures are different.
    • Also, Slavik would be rescued as he appears in Firestorm.
  • Isometric Projection: Evolving from the traditional 2D top-down view of its predecessor.
  • Large Ham: Everybody in the NOD campaign.
  • Leave No Survivors: During the first Nod briefing, commander Anton Slavik asks CABAL what the conditions for a favorable outcome against the renegade General Hassan's forces in the present engagement would be. CABAL's response: "THEY ALL DIE!".
  • Lensman Arms Race: Denying the enemy's advanced weaponry or capturing them happened in both campaigns, along with the obligatory field-testing.
    • In the GDI campaign, Nod attacks Hammerfest in an attempt to secure their Disruptor sonic crystals, and Mack has to shut down Nod's Tiberium-based missiles and main Banshee launch base.
    • In the Nod campaign, Slavik has to destroy the Mammoth Mk.II prototype. He also gets to test out Tiberium-based weaponry which Kane has developed.
  • Les Collaborateurs: Jake McNeil joins the enemy side in the Nod campaign out of envy at his brother Michael and some suggestions from Oxanna.
    • In the canon GDI campaign, he was also stated to be at Hammerfest when it fell to Nod. It is entirely possible that he was also a mole there, and received the additional You Have Outlived Your Usefulness treatment from Nod.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: GDI deploys a new addition to their arsenal: Sonic Weaponry. In the GDI campaign, Mc_Neil spends some time getting it back from Nod, who stole it after Hammerfest fell.
  • Near Villain Victory: In the final GDI mission, you are on the clock to stop Kane's missiles from acquiring their target and destroying the Philadelphia space station, leaving him free to launch his world-altering missile.
  • New Era Speech:
    • Kane gives one of these in the Nod ending. Turns out his idea of a new era means turning the entire planet into a Tiberianized death world.
    • Anton Slavik also gives one at the end of the Nod campaign in Tiberian Sun: Firestorm after assuming command of Nod, in which he outright states that "a new era has begun".
  • No Canon for the Wicked: Played straight in Sun. In Firestorm, the two campaigns are a Perspective Flip to each other, as both sides face the same enemy, CABAL.
    • Having said that, certain events in the Nod campaign would have to be canon for the GDI/Firestorm campaign to make sense: Slavik being rescued (as he appears in Firestorm) and Hassan being deposed (GDI was fighting Kane from the start in their campaign).
  • Non-Entity General: The original Tiberian Sun is probably the sole example in the main series to avoid the abstract player character approach: the cutscenes clearly let you know that if you play as GDI, your name is Michael McNeil, and when you play for the Brotherhood, you technically control Anton Slavik. And that's only the original Tiberian Sun, since Firestorm gets back to its roots, complete with Slavik addressing you in the Nod campaign.
  • Nostalgia Level: One mission has GDI revisiting an old base site, with the classic buildings still standing. In another mission, Nod faces its old nemesis, the first Mammoth Tank, which can be used by GDI too.
  • Perspective Flip: The Nod version of events which also happened in the GDI campaign could be this: Why there is the presence of an alien craft in Vega's territory, and how Hammerfest fell. The GDI campaign is silent on those two points, but the Nod campaign implies that Vega was high on drugs and "borrowed" the craft from Kane before crashing it, and Hammerfest was undermined from within by Jake Mc_Neil.
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: General Solomon is the one who led the attack on Kane's Sarajevo temple, the final mission of the first game.
  • Public Execution: Nod forces are fond of doing this to suspected traitors. In the Nod opening cinematic, commander Anton Slavik was himself about to be publicly killed by injection before a faction of the Black Hand rescues him; he later slits the throat of the rogue General Hassan after his capture in front of a spectating crowd.
  • Recursive Ammo: Nod's primary superweapon is the Cluster Missile which, upon detonating over the target and causing damage, releases several dozen small bombs that will fall around the original target and can devastate a sizable chunk of someone's base.
  • Renegade Splinter Faction:
    • The Black Hand goes rogue after Hassan tries to execute Slavik. After a brief civil war, Slavik wins and reunites the various factions when Kane returns.
    • In Firestorm, CABAL splits from Nod.
  • Revive Kills Zombie: Inverted; walking through Tiberium fields damages and eventually kills regular infantry, but heals mutant units (including cyborgs).
  • Sensor Suspense: Tiberian Sun had the Mobile Sensor Array which, when deployed, could track enemies hidden by Fog of War, as well as Stealth and Subterranean units. The suspense part can even come into play with subterranean units, in that you can't tell whether what is about to pop up is a Flamethrower-tank or an APC loaded up with Cyborgs intent on murder.
  • Short-Range Long-Range Weapon: Averted; the ranges of the Nod Artillery unit and its GDI counterpart the Juggernaut (Firestorm expansion only) are very long by C&C standards, and many battles end up resembling World War I-style artillery duels.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Several to Michael Biehn's Aliens, notably the M16 Mk II Pulse Rifle is very similar to that film's M41A pulse rifle. A GDI soldier in one cutscene is even shown holding the M41A.
    • One Mammoth Mk. II cutscene homages The Empire Strikes Back (where, incidentally, James Earl Jones voiced Darth Vader).
  • Slashed Throat: Implied to be what happened to Commander Tao. There was a Gory Discretion Shot involved.
    • Hassan was dealt with in this manner during his execution.
  • Space Station: The GDSS Philadelphia, the orbital GDI command center for all its operations on Earth. Nod destroys it in their final mission.
  • Title Drop: During McNeil and Kane's confrontation in the GDI ending, Kane proclaims "I am the future! The Tiberian Sun has risen!"
  • Trick Bullet: One GDI mission in Firestorm has you put down some rioting civilians using riot troops armed with rubber bullets to subdue their leaders. This invokes Damn You, Muscle Memory, because group-firing rubber bullets on the leaders as you're used to doing (rather than just using one trooper) will kill them and fail the mission.
  • Twist Ending: In Firestorm. At the very end of the Nod campaign, it turns out that the missing Kane is still alive, possibly part of CABAL's neural network. This is never fully explained, as EA seems to have abandoned this plot thread in its sequels.
  • Units Not to Scale: A weird example with GDI's Kodiak, which appears in-game in one mission in the vanilla game (where it's temporarily grounded by an ion storm) and one in the Firestorm expansion (when it crashes). In the first example it's the size of an average in-game building, in the second it's grown to about ten times that size.
  • Unwilling Roboticization: In Firestorm, CABAL attacks civilian settlements to harvest the people for his cyborg army. GDI is responsible for shutting down one of his processing plants during the campaign.
  • Veteran Unit: The concept is introduced here, franchise-wise. Hard to achieve and relatively minor improvements in return.
  • Warm-Up Boss:
    • Hassan is one to Slavik (and fits into the canon).
    • For Mack, there is Vega.
  • Wham Line: At the conclusion of the first part in the Nod Campaign, while the crowd is chanting "Kane lives in death!" "Kane LIVES!!"
  • You Call That A Wound: Cyborgs can have their legs blasted off and still function properly. They can even regenerate back to full health in Tiberium, though losing their legs does slow them down.
  • You Have Failed Me: In Tiberian Sun's GDI campaign, Nod General Vega has just lost to McNeil and is beseeching Kane for reinforcements. Kane's response is to nuke Vega's entire island base.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: In the second video to the Nod campaign, a prominent GDI general (Solomon) implies this trope to the double agent General Hassan, telling him he will be seen as useless if Slavik continues to gather support and that "useless things have a way of disappearing".