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Fridge / The New Order: Last Days of Europe

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All spoilers are unmarked in Fridge pages. You Have Been Warned!

Fridge Brilliance

  • Because his goal is to end the world, and Germany has an apocalyptic nuclear arsenal, why doesn't Himmler directly invade Germany in their Civil War to help Heydrich, instead of invading France? However, there were several reasons this was the smartest move. First, it's pointed out by Burgundy's economy minister that their economy is in shambles, and is on the verge of collapse. Simply put, an invasion would be do or die for Burgundy; even if it wasn't overrun by one of the other factions, it would just implode due to a lack of funds. Second, Heydrich's position is almost doomed; he has no chance under the AI, and is ridiculously hard for the player. It's even acknowledged in-universe how screwed Heydrich is, with Himmler's focus for him losing the Civil War being called A Predictable Failure. Third, the other factions in the Civil War have nukes of their own, and though they usually only use them if the war devolves into Anarchy, they'd probably be more willing to use them if a foreign country is invading, which most of Germany considers Burgundy to be at this point. It's not told how many nukes the other factions have, but it's safe to say that Burgundy's one or few nuke arsenal would not dissuade the other factions from launching, and that they'd have enough nukes to pave Burgundy.
  • Trying to pull off the same pace of reforms seen by a successful Gang of Four in Germany doesn't quite work the same way in Japan, despite what some elements of the Taisei Yokusankai (especially Takagi) would want. Given that in TNO, Japan has been under decades of militarist influence, followed by the codifying of that status quo under a nominally civilian government, it'd make sense that any genuine push for democracy or liberal reform would have to be both much more gradual and consistent with Japanese nationalism in order for it to sink in among a repressed society. In that respect, a successful drive would not be too unlike Postwar Japan in OTL.
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    • Japan gradually embracing greater women's rights as part of patriotic pride (whether for pragmatic considerations or in the name of genuine equality) in the more reformist paths, despite decades of enforced social policies makes sense given the precedent of "Taisho Democracy" and parts of Japanese culture (including Amaterasu's position as a leading deity).
    • The existence of Mobile Suit Gundam and the Gundam franchise at large might seem rather strange, given the divergence. Until you realize that, given that the TNO version focuses on Char Aznable and the Principality of Zeon, this would make for convenient propaganda, especially in the less overtly reform-minded paths. That Char would ultimately betray the Zabis for their perversion of his father’s ideals and in pursuit of his own agenda, however, would also mean that it'd be subtly subversive as well against the regime.
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  • Whether Valery Sablin keeps his idealism or succumbs to brutally enforcing Bukharinist measures, he consistently sees himself as keeping true to Vladimir Lenin's vision. The key difference being that the idealist path reflects Marxism-Leninism as it ought to have been while the authoritarian one is Lenin’s cause as it actually was in practice.
  • Why does Taboritsky keep referencing God and machines? It's because he'll believe Alexei will return and pull a Deus ex Machina to solve all of Russia's troubles altogether!
  • Konstantin Rodzaevsky undergoes a peculiar case of Character Development from a raving, paranoid, and alcoholic madman in the middle of nowhere to a chillingly competent and sane Vozhd by the time he reunifies Russia. As much as it is a perverse reversal of Sergey Taboritsky's Sanity Slippage, it also makes sense in how the very circumstances that brought Amur to its initially pitiful state gradually lead him to self-reflection, forcing him to change his self-destructive habits if he's to actually rule properly.
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  • The final regional focus of the Aryan Brotherhood, "A Clash of Gods", has a Double-Meaning Title. Besides deciding who will win the power struggle between Vagner and Velimir, it also refers to what they prefer to worship; Vagner idolizes Nazi Germany while Velimir believes in Perun and Slavic neo-paganism.
  • Martin Bormann's policies, superficially, could be almost as successful as Albert Speer's Fascist route, thanks to a combination of gradual, albeit piecemeal reforms and pragmatic considerations. Unlike Speer, however, he doesn't purge National Socialism of its worse excesses, and eventually doubles down on upholding some form of ideological orthodoxy, meaning that he would need much more time to stabilize the Reich. Given his cancer diagnosis by 1972, and the rise of Ulrike Meinhof's Red Army Faction, he would never have that chance. Further underscoring the point that Nazism, in its "historical" and orthodox form, is doomed from the start.
    • Bormann's change of tune during the Opulence, in which piecemeal reforms and pragmatic concessions meant to prop up the regime give way to ridiculously ambitious excess (from polygamy to crazy megaprojects), might seem wildly inconsistent. But why would he do otherwise, when by the logic of orthodox National Socialism, they're simply the next step towards a Thousand Year Reich? It's unsurprising, then, that this sort of hubris and short-sightedness are precisely why they're purged from Speer's Reformed Nazism, realizing that these would be ultimately impossible to sustain in the long run. Bormann simply finds out the hard way.

Fridge Horror

  • Albert Speer’s successful Fascist path for Germany might not seem overtly horrifying compared to certain other contenders, ushering an era of prosperity and prestige that would allow the Reich to remain a global power well into the 21st Century. Then it sinks in that while the worst excesses are purged, Speer has fundamentally changed nothing else, instead allowing the Nazi ideology (and its abuses) to endure in a much more subtle and insidious manner through his reforms. Even worse is that the way he achieves this has already happened in the People’s Republic of China following Deng Xiaoping’s reforms. One could almost call Speer's reformed take on Nazism "Fascism with German Characteristics."
    • In a grimly ironic twist, a scenario where Speer's reforms ensures Nazi Germany's survival and the normalization of fascism across the globe would fulfill a prediction the real Albert Speer once gave in a post-war interview:
      "If the Nazis had won, of course, things on the surface would eventually have settled down to an appearance of normality. The milkman would deliver his milk in the morning, the policeman would enforce the law, the doctor would cure the sick, people would still worry about their jobs, fight with their wives, save for a new car. But they would be living in a nightmare, buried in a graveyard of human hope and dignity, trapped in a hell they would never recognize, much less question. The long dark night would have begun, and finally man would not even remember the light."
  • As part of enforcing the Burgundian System, especially as practiced in Burgundy itself, throngs of educated Frenchmen and Belgians are forced into slavery to toil (and die) on behalf of their SS overlords. All the while, generations of cultural heritage, from placenames that aren't German or Aryan enough to language and social customs, are purged under Himmler's watch. When the Ordenstaat falls apart, it's clear that the economic, cultural and human costs would be comparable to not just North Korea but also the Khmer Rouge. And unlike Cambodia, there might not even be enough locals left alive to rebuild.
  • Burgundy, when it collapses, is going to have a lot of nuclear weapons lying around that won't go away when Himmler dies. There are two possibilities for what happens to them next, and both are equally terrifying. The first is that it falls into the hands of some post-Himmler warlord. They'll know about MAD, and will keep their nukes as a deterrence a la North Korea. So post-collapse Burgundy might not return to a sane form of government, but merely ruled by set of warlords who could never be invaded lest they nuke their invaders, whose government was just as insane as the one they left. The other is that it gets lost. Lost nukes are already a scary thought, but in the TNOverse, there might be even more of them, they'd all be in one place, and they could very feasibly get into the hands of fanatical Burgundian System adherents that are desperate and crazy enough to use them. In short, there's a very real possibility that nuclear terrorism could happen in the TNOverse.
    • Even if Heydrich succeeds in defeating Himmler should the former wind up triumphant, Germany collapses into a nigh post-apocalyptic, anarchic void not long after his death. And unlike Burgundy, this chaotic zone encompasses much of Central Europe. With the former Reich's nuclear arsenal either in the hands of various warlords or conveniently missing, it not only turns the aforementioned prospect of nuclear terrorism up to eleven, but this could potentially destroy the entire Continent, truly making such a scenario the last days of Europe.
  • While Taboritsky's regime is already horrifying enough, the international repercussions of its collapse is probably going to be horrible in unexpected ways as the collapse, with how it utterly and completely destroys the idea of a united Russia, means that Germany, with a united Russia permanently destroyed, has its eastern flank secured and possibly win the Cold War under competent and pragmatic leadership, especially if America and Japan find themselves having their own troubles in this period. In fact, one could argue that in a world where Taboritsky unifies Russia and Dengist Speer takes over Germany and defeats his opponents, a Chinese victory in the Great Asian War could ultimately end up a Nice Job Breaking It, Hero moment, especially if the newly independent China aligns itself with Germany in the aftermath of its victory.
  • Russia after Taboritsky's unification and collapse has the identity of Tsarevich Alexei II assumed by a Polish former NKVD agent, who uses it to forward his Communist ideals under a banner that gives the people hope. While he is genuinely benevolent and wants what is best for his "subjects", his success as a warlord and potential to become a unifier can (and probably will) send the wrong message: that Taboritsky's insanity and cruelty were right all along. As his image is close to divine thanks to the propaganda of the HRE and will allow him to overrule and dissuade a revival of any characteristics from the former Imperial Cult, one can't help but imagine there being adherents to the HRE that will use Goleniewski's rule and successes as a justification for future worse atrocities. The implications of the worn-down sanity of the people, as seen from how the citizenry and the military are able to be convinced of his legitimacy, only help to fuel this fear. This is at least mitigated from a quick mention of how Taboritsky has come to be called a heretical regent during "Alexei's" introduction.
  • The Redeemed Black League has survived Taboritsky's regime by hiding out in their bunkers as part of Plan HYDRA, reemerging after the Holy Russian Empire's collapse and ready to wage a Great Trial against the Russian people. However, the most terrifying part of the Redeemed Black League is arguably not its ideology but the fact that they survived Taboritsky's regime in the first place. In a scenario where a relatively moderate/sane government reunifies Russia, the spectre of the Black League could still hang over both Russia and the world with the remnants of the Black League remaining a dangerous threat to the world as a terrorist organization.
    • This is slightly dampened if you realise the Redeemed Black League only harboured beliefs so extreme due to them facing the sheer horrors of the Holy Russian Empire. It is possible they might mellow down should Russia be prosperous and powerful following reunification under a different path, and if such a government manages to defeat Moskowien and Germany in war, they may dissolve entirely and possibly assimilate back into Russian society.
  • If Bormann dies of lung cancer ingame after the end of his path (which happens if you wait up to a decade or so after the path ends), he gets replaced by Collapsed Authority. This won't bode well for Germany. It might even be the end of the Reich itself given how a Germany under Collapsed Authority can be sufficiently vulnerable for a unified Russia or rebellions.
  • The African Devastation can be compared to the Russian Midnight Collapse, except its far worse. While Russia mostly shares a united culture, Hüttig's Reichsstaat is a Frankenstein monster of a state, with literal thousands of ethnicities, none of which really dominate the state. Now consider the fact that all of these ethnicities in question have been driven to hate each other due to the sheer oppression they faced under the Reichsstaat, and we get a landscape that is going to be engulfed with innumerable wars, conflicts and atrocities that not even Post-Midnight Russia could measure up to. The worst part is, this leaves the numerous states occupying the area to fall to neocolonial advances from world powers, like the US, Japan or even Germany itself. It is an unmigitated disaster that won't get the attention it deserves due to Africa tending to be more out of the focus compared to Russia, even in their anarchic state, and this will ensure Hüttig's scars will not leave Africa for centuries to come, putting him among historical figures like Hitler, Genghis Khan or Tamerlame due to the horrors they committed.
    • Worse still, the game makes many references to not only deliberate deforestation but increasingly ferocious defoliation agents and deployments of said agents - among other chemical weapons - to the point that there is literally no flora for miles around many German patrols. In fact, the usage of chemicals could be easily compared to Sergey Taboritsky himself, writ large over a far more diverse ecosystem. Given that this includes regions such as the INCREDIBLY-important-for-the-world's-oxygen-supply Congolese jungles, it's entirely within the realm of possibility that when global warming becomes an issue in the public consciousness like our own timeline it'll already be too late to do anything since so much of the so-called Earth's Lungs are dead by this point. In short, Huttig's utterly maniacal quest for racial purity in Afrika will doom the entire planet to a slow inescapable death march to a barren toxic wasteland that nothing can inhabit. At least Earth recovers from nuclear war...

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