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- During the level set in the Gibraltar Bridge, where B.J. Blazkowicz fights a squadron of Afrika Korps, I couldn't help but notice that the symbols of the Afrika Korps was changed from this to this◊. This change is present in the uncensored version of the game, so I'm not sure what's going on.
- The Afrika Korps are probably not who Blazkowicz fights on the bridge level. Given the symbol these troops wear on their arms (a palm tree over a little bridge) they are probably a sort of "Gibraltar Bridge Korps", deployed to... well, guard the bridge, rather than being the Afrika Korps proper.
- Not quite. The scientist was transported in a caboose at the rear of a troop train coming in from the African front. I think the symbol changed after the Gibraltar bridge was built, since it became the symbol of Nazi expansion into Africa.
- The Gibraltar Bridge is a symbol of Nazi Germany's colonial expansion, bridging their empire in Europe with their conquests in Africa. That's what I understood - it was added to the DAK insignia to signify their power and desire to conquest everywhere. Kind of like when Caesar made a bridge over the Rhine to make a point to ze Germans.
Super Soldier Chamber
- Why do you think The Walls Are Closing In was installed in the super-soldier chamber? So Deathshead could squish any super-soldiers that emerged?
- Very likely. They're extremely resilient and flamethrowers in the previous room probably would have been too slow to kill them, whereas the walls could just be slammed down on top of whatever soldier went rogue and crush them right out.
- Considering the giant warning written on the chamber's door, it appears to primarily serve as a giant concrete slab to seal in and contain unstable ubersoldats; one did burst out literally seconds after the slabs were retracted.
- Was Strasse in 1960 the leader of the whole Nazi Empire (I assume Hitler is dead by then) or just the Dragon-in-Chief?
- Unclear; they're vague about it. We do hear a rote "Heil Hitler" at least once but that could just be tradition at this point.
- Numerous references are made to the 'Fuhrer' in a number of newspaper articles, at least. Even if it's not Hitler specifically there's still some sort of overall leader - it's very, very likely that Strasse can pull much more weight though.
- The sequel of course makes it clear that - at least officially, Hitler was still in charge. Though due to his (likely drug amplified) senility, it's safe to say that more lucid minds were handling the details. But, if we're following Nazi ranks realistically - Deathshead shouldn't be, as he was only SS-OberstGruppenführer. There should still be a Reichsführer-SS above him - who answers only to Hitler himself. This was the rank/position Heinrich Himmler held in real life. But while mentioned and even appearing in previous Wolfenstein games, MachineGames has (so far) ignored him, and hasn't given that rank to any other character.
- Also did Strasse invent the German atom bomb? Figured he did and got promoted to the top as a result.
- That plot point is kept in the dark as well, but it's implied Deathshead made the bomb with the same method he used to create his other war-winning weaponry. By stealing and reverse-engineering Da'at Yichud technology.
- That spoiler almost makes it Fridge Brilliance: I don't recall the others, but at least Oppenheimer and Einstein were Jews; if the atomic bomb indeed had a Da'at Yichud foundation that Deathshead pirated, you could theorize that Oppenheimer and Einstein and maybe others were secret Da'at Yichud engineers, using their skills for the greater good in the same way Set does in the game's timeline.
- The above does raise a question though: the Germans didn't get their atom bomb until 1948. This would have been more then 3 years after the Manhattan Project bore it's fruit. So why didn't the US start using atomic weapons against Germany from '45 onwards?
- It is an Alternate History we're talking about. Since among other things the war has gone into 1946, we can probably assume that whatever caused this also caused the Manhattan Project to be delayed or outright not exist in this particular timeline. Presumably all or part of the Da'at Yichud technology that would have been used in the Manhattan Project made its way into German hands instead somehow.
Using technological superiority without resources
- Okay, so assuming (probably correctly) that the events in the prologue of New Order follow on from Blazkowicz's previous antics, that means the last time we saw Strasse was in Wolfenstein 2009, during 1944 - the late war. Assuming he dug up the Da'at Yichud technology and reverse-engineered it after the events of Wolfenstein 2k9 (which puts it in the realm of '44-'45), then it means the Nazis really managed to turn things around when the end was practically knocking on their door. Granted, the advanced tech obviously gave them a big boost, but... how on earth did they overcome the manpower, material and manufacturing shortages that brought the Third Reich to its knees in the real world at that time? How did they gather enough living soldiers at that point to not only turn back the Allied and Soviet forces that vastly outnumbered them, but conquer the whole world afterwards? How did they find enough operable factories and facilities to produce their wonder weapons in such large quantities?
- For that matter, there is the question of how the Da'at Yichud developed their super tech without having an industrial base to develop and manufacture the materials they need for their devices. And no matter how gifted they might have been, it is unlikely that a tiny number of ultra-geniuses would come up with more insights than tens or hundreds of thousands of lesser engineers and scientists.
- One, I'm pretty sure it was 1943, although I can't quite remember where that was mentioned. Two, Deathshead's war-machines — the Ubersoldat, Panzerhunds, and Monitors — completely made up for Germany's minuscule army; the Soviets couldn't even get past the Monitors on the Eastern Front according to the propaganda in Deathshead's compound. Three... you have a point about resources. In the real world, Germany would never have been able to gather the material to build these monsters. The best theory I can suggest is that the Germany in the Wolfenstein-verse is drastically different from ours. We've seen fictional locations, like Isenstadt, so it stands to reason that there's a higher population. And a higher population equals more soldiers. There's also the matter of Himmler establishing a functional occult division, so who knows what other weaponry the Nazis managed to secure for their big takeover. B.J. couldn't have reached everything, right?
- A much simpler explanation would be that they found the Da'at Yichud safekeep very early on, maybe even before the war began, and everything from Deathshead's Ubersoldaten in Return to Castle Wolfenstein to the highly advanced technologies in Wolfenstein 2009 were facilitated by early results of developing that discovery. I mean, cybernetics and genetic modifications in 1943 and whatever they used to get that Thule Portal working... these stretch the limits of believability without a head-start of advanced technology in addition to a very smart man in charge (Deathshead). So really, the previous games were just you delaying what would have been an eventual victory anyway.
- My theory is that the World War II of the Wolfenstein universe progressed differently to the real world. The vast majority of the games are set away from the frontlines and we really don't know what's going on in the grand scheme of things. Deathshead could have been pumping out less high-profile innovations for years before the super tech seen in the games came into play. Better winter clothing, portable heating etc. could have stopped the tide turning during the Russian winter on the East. The bad situation seen in 1946 may have been exacerbated by the super-tech, but for all we know the Nazis could have been winning anyway.
- Regardless whether they're obtained from Da'at Yichud or an independent invention, the Nazis already have access to Ubersoldaten from 1943 onward. Perhaps after the Heinrich disaster Deathshead I-told-you-so'd the Wehrmacht into deploying them en masse, as he originally intended, turning the war into a stalemate while he caught up with the other technologies.
- Coming to it a bit late, but: There's no indication that Germany is radically different and the games seem to assume that history proceeded much as it did in our timeline, before the timeline diverges circa 1943, perhaps early 1944. Old Blood establishes that D-Day took place, but the landing forces were completely destroyed by German defenders (a likely propagandist figure is given of 250,000 casualties on the Allied side and just 89 on the Nazi). This prevents the opening of a second front, allowing the Reich to focus their efforts in the East. Since it's likely that Deathshead played a key role in the defense, perhaps by realizing that the Allies cracked the Enigma and providing the Reich with stationary defenses that absolutely destroy the landing forces, he would be given free reign by Hitler to deploy his forces. I imagine Himmler would be ousted as head of the SS and replaced with Herr Strasse, which would also explain why all the 1946 troops you encounter have cuff titles with the name SS-Hauptamt (Head Office of the SS). With each success, Strasse solidifies his position in the Regime and eventually eclipses Hitler - who might very well be under his control by then, following the assassination attempt mentioned in Old Blood.
- Addendum: It also bears mentioning that the Reich's industrial output was rising constantly throughout the World War.
- Why did Blazkowicz wait until he was on the moon before finally removing the ID tattoo he got at Belica?
- Perhaps it was the only time he had a chance to, and it would be a sterile environment. If he tried doing it anywhere else, he basically has a giant, gaping hole in his skin. That's just asking for a horrible infection that would have compromised his ability to keep fighting.
- The place where he did it was anything but sterile. He cut it off with a scalpel he found on a table in a hallway, a scalpel that had been who knows where before ending up there. He didn't sterilize and bandage it either, putting him at risk of infection. If he had enough spare time in between missions to sleep at Kreisau Circle HQ and get it on with Anya, he certainly had enough time to properly remove the tattooed skin and bandage the wound.
- Maybe he decided he just couldn't stand looking at it anymore? He was flashing back at that point, maybe it finally got to him despite his repressing most of his emotions.
- When Blazkowicz talks during gameplay, is he talking out loud or is the game just vocalizing his thoughts? I'm guessing it must be the latter, otherwise Frau Engel and Bubi would've definitely heard his "...Nazi Jerk..." comment as they passed by him on the train.
- It's definitely just his thoughts. The same voice comes on while he's swimming in the sewers, where he obviously wouldn't be able to talk.
- Shouldn't the 300 kg of explosives in the trunk of Bobby's car made it sag noticeably and made the soldiers at the checkpoint suspect what was in it?
- Beefing up the suspension wouldn't be too hard. It would just make for one uncomfortable ride from Berlin.
- And hey, these are Nazi cars, probably double as military vehicles in case they need to be commandeered or to simply drive four men in full combat gear around.
- So after the 12 or so hours it must have taken for Klaus and Blazkowicz to get from London to Berlin, the soldiers are still raiding the Kreisau Circle HQ? How did it take them so long to capture or kill everyone? There's only so many places they could hide.
- Clearly Klaus and BJ were Traveling at the Speed of Plot.
- Alternatively, it could be that they managed to hold off the Nazi's for that 12 hours, only breaking just as BJ and Klaus arrive. If the Nazis only found one entrance at first, it's likely they were bottlenecked, and thus easier targets.
- Why is Set Roth in Belica as a regular prisoner? If the Nazis knew he was a member of Da'at Yichud and wanted him to collaborate, that's really not a productive environment to put him in and we're never shown his knowledge actually being exploited (did they just get bored after asking for a concrete recipe and not think to try to extract the vault locations?). If they don't know, why is he alive at all? Being very obviously Jewish and an old man, he would have been a clear candidate for extermination decades before.
- Set isn't just a tech wizard. I imagine he knows how to keep a low profile and avoid notice - plus, his talent with machines would allow him to hack things easily.
- He possibly also just slipped through the cracks. Nazis weren't perfect.
Bubi at the compound
- What was Bubi doing in Deathshead's compound? He's a junior prison guard with no scientific aptitude and no apparent connection to Deathshead's movement-within-a-movement. He isn't even tagging along after his mistress (who is similarly a relative nobody - and her head's probably about to roll for permitting the Belica escape).
- Frau Engel was actually promoted by Deathshead after Belica. So perhaps she managed to also get a promotion and a cushy job for Bubi in Deathshead's compound.
- That's likely it.
- He's basically Frau Engel's fuck-toy. If she's getting into Deathshead's compound, then she's going to find a reason to bring him along as well. Likely, his official role is as Frau Engel's personal assistant.
- Other than his desire to be the one to personally kill Deathshead, why does the Resistance choose to send in B.J. in the last level as opposed to Caroline? The latter, thanks to a suit of Powered Armor, has demonstrated the ability to easily kill the huge, powerful Guard Robots with one punch. There's no doubt they'd be able to handle any weapons that B.J. could, as well, and they're probably also Nigh Invulnerable. So...why did they send in everyone's favorite American meathead?
- Even if he's not the superior choice, you try telling the mountain of man with a score to settle that he's not going in.
- Caroline is the leader and the exact extent of the power armor's capabilities is not fully understood. Imagine Caroline running out of juice the moment Mecha-Strasse emerges.
Da'at Yichud Involvement
- I know that the Da'at Yichud were very strict about not using their own technology and how the act of creating it must exist by itself as a method of communion with God, but come on - they could've ended the war in an afternoon with the contents of a single vault! Did it really never occur to any of them that maybe they should've at least tried to do that? What with, you know, the Nazis taking over the world and the freaking Holocaust and everything? Even if they're ultra-devout Jews (albeit from a very obscure sect), "Pikuach Naphesh" is one of the most basic tenets of the religion. It roughly translates to "[matters of] the safety of lives", and it means that when it comes to a choice between following religious commandments to the letter and saving a life, a good Jew must always choose the second! (so it's not only okay to, for example, rush out to help a wounded person on the Shabbat or give food to someone who is starving on Yom Kippur, it would be a grave sin and a criminal misinterpretation of God's will not to).
- It's mentioned that they were discussing sharing some devices with the Allies when they got raided by the Nazis. The implication is that there are a very very small number of them, and they were decimated very quickly, with the survivors captured. Presumably this was before the details of the Holocaust came to light. You'll note that once you rescue the one from the concentration camp, he provides you with the location of one of the largest safekeeps with zero hesitation.
- From Set's obvious concern when you meet him, and the insinuation that his hesitation was mostly to get you to free everyone and not just him, the Da'at Yichud are probably worried about "power corrupts." What if the Allies used this advanced technology to become worse oppressors than the Nazis? By the time they concurred as to the severity of the need, it was likely too late.
Getting to Berlin
- Keller says Blazkowicz and Anya will never make it to Berlin because they'll be recognized at one of the checkpoints on the way, but how would they even know who to look for? Everyone at the Asylum is dead, so there's no witnesses who could give a description of either Anya or Blazkowicz.
- It's possible that the Nazis have a list and photos of all of the employees and patients and will match them with the bodies to figure out who escaped. But it's more likely that Keller is just bluffing in an attempt to save his own life.
MG- 46 vs. MG- 60
- The MG-46 as seen in Old Blood and in the first chapter of The New Order never runs out of ammo as long as it is attached to a turret, and can be fired continuously without overheating. It's successor, the MG-60, will run out of power when fired continuously even when attached to a turret, forcing the user to stop firing and give the battery time to recharge. By all means, the MG-60 seems to be an inferior weapon in tense firefights compared to it's 14 year old predecessor. So why did the military replaced it?
- Bullets cost money, but the battery on the MG-60 can be recharged. Although a game mechanics explanation that is worth noting is the fact that you only see the MG-46 for one level, its not going to be used as extensively as the MG-60 and thus won't be exploited as much,especially when considering the MG-60 can take down a Super Soldier within seconds. That wouldn't be that challenging would it?
- Plus the MG-60 is a much better anti-armor weapon. The MG-46 has to be fired at weak points to quickly kill super soldiers while the MG-60 can punch through their armor.
Rudi Jager's power armor
- How on earth does a genetically unmodified human like Rudi Jager wear a suit of power armor that weighs several thousand pounds? Jager is a big guy, but there's no way that anyone but a genetically modified Super Soldier could wear armor of that weight without being crushed.
- It carries its own weight, that's what makes it power armor.
- Why would BJ ever be selected for an undercover mission as seen in Old Blood, given that he hardly knows any German, and what little he does know is spoken with an obvious American accent?
- They probably picked him because he not only has extensive experience dealing with Nazis, but he's also able to fight his way out should the mission go wrong, which is exactly what happened.
- Or he does have a good command of German - given the availability of foreign subtitles - he is just out of practice. Plus, he was obviously going in as Agent One's backup, following his lead, rather than being the guy who does the talking.
- Adding on to this, it might be a classic case of "I understand [second language] better than I speak it." So BJ might have issues with his accent and finding the right words for things when he has to talk, but he can understand when someone else is talking.
- BJ also has the obvious advantage of looking ridiculously "Aryan", with his blond hair, blue eyes, and squared-off face. He is, essentially, the ideal "ideal German" as put forth by Hitler.
Space Facility in London?
- Why have the Nazis seen fit to build a combined space port/research facility/museum in London of all places? Not only is there no advantage to the location (it is not like it is close to the equator or anything like that), plus keeping it in an occupied country makes it more likely to be sabotaged by local resistance.
- There isn't a resistance in London, not until BJ and Bobby get there. The London Monitor has taken out everything that could have counted as a resistance. The Nazis don't see anybody as a threat until BJ gets back into action. As for the location as a matter of practicality? Nazi super science handwaves it. It's weak, but considering that they built a moon base, ignoring matters like the location of your spaceport being impractical isn't too hard to swallow.
- Seems like a bit of a missed opportunity, to be honest. The only reason to have it in London seems to be showing off the abandoned buildings at the beginning and the Westminster clock tower. Should have worked in a proper historical reference and have the spaceport be at Peenemünde (where the research facilities where they developed V-1 and V-2 were historically). If you have to include London, you could have Parliament be the seat of a puppet goverment and have Bobby suicide bomb that instead, thus succeeding where Guy Fawkes failed.
- On one level, it's just adding in a bit of variety to the locations, showing off the alternate history of the world and basically acting as a quick way to establish that the Nazis won the war with Mad Science(!!!). Aside from what other characters tell us and the obvious sci-fi elements, there's not really a lot before we reach the London Nautica to directly suggest that the Nazis actually have conquered the rest of the world, since every setting in the game up to that point is either in Germany or in somewhere that the Nazis really did occupy in the actual world. Even the most historically-illiterate gamer knows that the Nazis never set foot in London, however, so putting a massive Nazi space port right next to Big Ben is just a quick visual cue to let the player instantly know that "Holy shit, they weren't joking, the Nazis have conquered the world with super-science!" Putting the Nautica in Peenemunde might make historically-aware players feel a bit clever because they get the historical reference, but it doesn't show off the alternate history in the same way both because Peenemunde is in Germany and because it's not exactly an instantly-recognisable location, and making it a puppet Parliament we have to blow up is a distraction from the Mad Science (!!!) part of the plot. Tl;dr, the game-makers want to show off their Alternate History while keeping the Nazi super-science thread going, and have made the gamble that anyone who cares about historical fidelity to the point where this will be a problem for them probably will probably have either long stopped playing by this point or never bought the game anyway.
- On another level, it's suggested to be an example of the Nazis' arrogance and hubris. The Nazis weren't exactly shy about gloating after they conquered a place, and it's suggested in-game that until the Monitor was brought in, the London Resistance kept fighting long after everywhere else had folded and London was basically uncontrollable. Levelling Central London to put up a massive "we're awesome and so is our super-science!" monument is basically the Nazis saying "Haha, we beat you with Science!, we can do whatever we want and you just gotta sit there and take it."
- Also, Peenemunde was/is basically a village with an airfield and some testing facilities. Frankly, from the outside and with no disrespect intended to any locals, outside of this historical connection it doesn't immediately look like a particularly interesting, exciting or remarkable setting for an action video game. London, however, is a major metropolis with countless instantly recognisable and iconic landmarks and countless possibilities to explore. Essentially, the makers of the game gambled that more people would find alternative history London a more interesting setting to shoot Nazis in than a village in Germany they'd likely never heard of.
- So, the moon shuttle is basically a box with tiltable rocket engines mounted on the sides. Where does the fuel for the rockets go?
- One of the collectible letters in the first level says that the Germans already had nuclear powered tanks. The moon shuttle is probably propelled by either nuclear fusion or fission, in which case it could easily make it to the moon and back with a mass of fuel measured in grams.
- This is really something that probably has to stay in Rule of Cool land, and/or a Da'at Yichud Handwave; use of nuclear energy for locomotion in conventional science requires some kind of fluid (typically water/steam), so while still not that practical, nuclear tanks would be more believable considering land units don't require a constant expenditure of energy to maintain lift. For a bit of trivia, use of nuclear energy for aircraft was actually experimented with in the 50s and 60s, but was ultimately abandoned for various safety and weight and functionality issues. I imagine these issues would only be compounded when trying to generate enough lift to overcome Earth's gravity.
"The Star Spangled Banner"/J is somehow a patriot?
- So, the scene where J blares out a distorted version of the US anthem across Berlin is an obvious reference to Jimi Hendrix doing the same at Woodstock in our timeline. Thing is, in that case the performance was not intended to be patriotic, but a mocking protest against the Vietnam war. And as J states in-game, he has little reason to be nostalgic about the Old Order, so it does not make sense that he would do it as a defiant display of US patriotism. In context, it would perhaps make more sense for him to do a mocking rendition of the Horst Wessel Song, the unofficial Nazi anthem.
- It still works, actually. Playing the US anthem is a shot against the established order, which is basically what Hendrix was doing at Woodstock. It's just for different reasons. Our timeline's rendition was, as you said, a mocking protest against the Vietnam war. J's was basically shouting to the entirety of Berlin "hey, you guys haven't won yet, there's still people here who don't follow your tune." Besides, playing the US anthem ensures that the Nazis can't spin it as someone playing the Horst Wessel Song badly.
- There's also a difference between loyalty to the the reality of the United States and loyalty to the ideal of the United States. J, as noted, has little reason to be loyal to the reality of the United States, but the ideal — a world where everyone is free and equal, where everyone gets a say and a choice in how society in run, where everyone has unimpeachable rights and the choice to live their lives however they choose — is one he can get behind, just like BJ can.
- And it must also be noted that as bad as the United States could be towards minorities in the 1940s, the Nazi-dominated world of the alternate 1960s that we see is clearly much much worse by several magnitudes. Lynchings were an abomination, but no one was being fed to walking robot dog-furnaces.
The infamous grenade
- Ignoring the fact that during the ending, B.J. just stands there while the grenade is cooking, how did Deathshead get an American grenade? In 1960, 14 years after the war ended, after which this grenade model probably wouldn't even exist anymore? If the grenade is from before the war ended, why keep it around if German weaponry is supposedly much more superior?
- As a memento? Strasse's plans have been wrecked, twice, by an American operator. Having it in your pocket just keeps reminding you of the fact you're mortal.
- It wasn't an American grenade, it was a German Eihandgranate 39.
Effects of killing Deathshead
- What does killing Deathshead ultimately accomplish? The Nazi war machine stretches the globe, and his compound is so isolated that any incidents there could easily be covered up, so it's not even a symbolic victory. Sure the Resistance has Da'at Yichud technology now, but the Nazi's have been reverse engineering the same technology for years, and there's no reason why someone else can't carry on Deathshead's research.
- Well, it settles a score, for one; not all victories are about whether or not they strike a massive blow to the enemy, in this case It's Personal is more than enough for B.J. Although in this case, it is still a pretty massive blow; it's hinted that Deathshead is basically all-but-Fuhrer at this point (imagine if one of the attempts to assassinate Hitler had actually worked, and you see how this is a pretty big deal), and even if he isn't he's still a genius scientist and important figure in the Nazi scientific community. It's a loss in terms of knowledge, experience and intellect; for comparison, had someone blown up Oppenheimer before the development of the atomic bomb, then someone could have taken over for him but you've still lost the benefit of Oppenheimer's own knowledge base. And Nazi hierarchies tended to be a lot more centralised, and I'm willing to bet that Deathshead is the kind of person who's willing to bump off potential rivals if they look like they're threatening his power-base, meaning it's less likely there's someone who is equally as capable as Deathshead right there to replace him. It's also a massive symbolic victory to the Resistance themselves — it's a morale boost. They now know that the Nazis aren't invincible and can be beaten. In any case, the ending clearly implies that the war is hardly over and there's fighting still to be done, but just because it didn't end the Nazi regime in one fell swoop doesn't mean it doesn't have value as a victory.
- The above is pretty much in-line with what the sequel presents; while the Nazi regime hasn't been toppled, Deathshead being killed has sown enough chaos - and inspired enough people - to rise up in much more significant numbers.
Why doesn't Deathshead Dissect Blazkowicz?
- So at the beginning Deathshead has Blazkowicz and a few random soldiers at his "mercy" (or rather lack thereof). He's already encountered Blazkowicz before and knows that he's a soldier almost without parallel. He even leans into the camera and says "What a resilient specimen...I could do great things with you. Great things." So why does he then not use B.J. for his experiments but instead just opt to have B.J. select a random friend to get cut up? It makes sense that he's rushing to evac so he can only cut up one guy, but it makes no sense that he would rather just incinerate a natural "ubersoldat" and cut up some randomer when he literally has (in his twisted mind) a near "perfect" sample for his experiments right in front of him. And doing horrible experiments on B.J. would have also eliminated one of the Nazi's greatest enemies! The only rational explanation I can think of this is "because the game would end, duh!" but it is rather immersion breaking.
- Including Deathshead, several Nazis in this game and its sequel remark on what a perfect "Aryan" B.J. is. As shallow as it sounds, it could be that they have trouble bringing themselves to kill someone whose physique they admire.
- By Nazi standards, B.J. is the "ubermensch" — the peak of Aryan physical perfection. He doesn't need to be 'improved' by Deathshead, he's already perfect.