YMMV / Vortex

  • Complete Monster: Big Bad Karl Adriaan Vorster, a member of a Neo-Nazi Afrikaner movement, arranges the death of the moderate Haymans government in South Africa, and reinstates full apartheid, arresting and killing those who oppose it. He then tries to re-conquer Namibia, taking South Africa into a war with Cuba and Angola in the process. When the war turns against him, Vorster uses a nuclear bomb on an advancing Cuban brigade, and then plans to nuke Maputo (capital of Mozambique) and Bulawayo (second largest city in Zimbabwe). When the Cubans start basing their headquarters inside of South African cities and towns, Vorster orders that they too be subject to nuclear attack. American intervention takes this option out of his hands, so Vorster instead tries to ruin South Africa and the world's economy by contaminating the nation's mines with radioactive dust as part of a last, mad bid to take everyone down with him. Hateful of anyone who isn't an Afrikaner, and responsible for thousands of deaths, Vorster personifies all the worst aspects of The Apartheid Era.
  • Designated Villain: The Cubans and their allies. While it is clear that Bond wants to portray them as villains of the story, expecting his audience to see them that way purely on the basis of their alignment with the forces of Communism, their opponents are so much worse that it becomes difficult not to root for them, especially with Magnificent Bastard Antonio Vega leading them. Later on, Bond attempts to make them more outright villainous with their use of nerve gas, but in-story this response comes after the South Africans nuke a large chunk of their forces, which if anything comes across as downright restrained by comparison and is shown to serve a military purpose. Ultimately, the only truly unambiguously evil thing that Cubans are portrayed as doing is in an isolated scene where some Cuban soldiers are shown committing atrocities against South African civilians.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Antonio Vega, commander of the Cuban forces in Angola, Namibia, and South Africa. A brilliant military tactician and strategist, Vega's motivated by a desire to help South Africa's black population, yet has no problem matching Vorster dirty trick for dirty trick. He plans out his moves to the last detail, takes the unexpected in a stride, has no difficulty altering his plans when it becomes necessary, and nearly defeats both South Africa and the USA, despite being saddled with decidedly inferior equipment, while remaining throughly sympathetic throughout.
  • Nightmare Fuel: There are a lot of horrible ways to die in war, and Bond is very good at detailing all of them. Specific examples include the South African nuclear strike against the Cubans and the nerve gas attack on Potgeitersrus.