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Nightmare Fuel / The New Order: Last Days of Europe

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With a mod that examines how our world would go where the Axis powers won World War II, let’s just say that the horrors in this mod will make you grateful that the Allied powers won, and not the other way around...
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    General 

  • The entire premise of the mod is that the world has turned to this because of the Axis victory. Our modern world was forged in the aftermath of World War II which saw Nazism and Fascism discredited for the horrors they inflicted. The creators of the mod hold no punches in showing how fascist ideology has corrupted practically everything in the Crapsack World it has created— a dark mirror to the world we live in, a world forged by the Allied victory. With all the creepy narrative events and focus trees added, TNO turns Hearts of Iron into a horror game.
  • One of the the first and most prominent songs in TNO's OST is Burgundian Lullaby, and it is a perfect lullaby for the nightmare that is the world of TNO. Light bells play an SS marching tune on top of deep and oppressive bass, while muffled electronic echoes provide a suitably dreadful ambiance.
  • Doubling as a Tear Jerker, the World War 3 superevent combines the outro of 99 Luftballons with sounds of church bells ringing, air raid sirens, and jet planes taking off, before fading into distant gunfire. It's a fittingly chilling and sad superevent for what will likely be the lead-up to nuclear war.
    99 Jahre Krieg
    Ließen keinen Platz für Sieger
    Kriegsminister gibt's nicht mehr
    Und auch keine Düsenflieger
    Heute zieh' ich meine Runden
    Seh' die Welt in Trümmern liegen
    Hab' 'n Luftballon gefunden
    Denk' an dich und lass' ihn fliegen...
    • As pointed out in the comments, it's a war between three nuclear superpowers, two of which are both willing to endure utter annihilation rather than surrender. In OTL, Japan was nuked twice and on the brink of collapse and the leadership still refused to stop until the threat of a third and a counter-coup, and Hitler and his leadership were prepared to let the German people die for losing "their" war. And the US in this timeline has seen the fate of nations that lose wars to their enemies (France for the Germans, China for the Japanese) and will be more determined themselves. The depths all three nations might plunge to avoid defeat, even removing the nukes from the equation, is honestly horrifying on a level the human mind is beyond comprehending.
    • The quote that accompanies the superevent is also rather chilling, highlighting that there will be no turning back for humanity after the outbreak of World War 3.
      "I demolish my bridges behind me... then there is no choice but to move forward."
      Fridtjof Nansen
  • The Thermonuclear War Superevent. The BGM suddenly grows silent and is replaced by a horrifying ambience, complete with Interface Screw and the final screen which is showing images of a child jumping a rope reminiscent of a nuclear shadow, two creepily grinning children playing with their toys, a destroyed city corner, a random shot of a forest and an EAS screen showing an Emergency Action Notification, all flashing faster and faster and faster. This is then accompanied by an SFX of civil defense sirens blaring, nukes detonating and people all over the world screaming in terror, fading in on the last few seconds of Lu Ann Simms' cover of "Love Me As Though There Were No Tomorrow" (which despite being thematically appropriate is still jarring to hear), as the in-game world slowly dies out in nuclear hellfire, represented by darkness spreading across every single country until the entire world goes black. After all the horror is over, it forces you either to observe a dead world (there are several post-apocalyptic events for those who wait a while after the end) or simply quit the already doomed campaign. If you're playing as Himmler's Burgundy or the Russian Black League, this is your victory condition.
    So long.
  • Even the launch screen come After Midnight is eerie, with singleplayer's image being a Russian CBRN soldier with a strange mask, multiplayer having a shattered globe on top of a massive pile of gas masks and rubble, and quitting the game having an abandoned and overgrown train station.
  • The superevent for the South African War is very eerie. It starts off with the distinctive sitar opening to Paint it Black, but instead of the energetic drum segment that follows there's only the distant thumping of helicopter blades.

    Burgundy 
  • The existence of the Order-State of Burgundy and all the horror it entails. A state within Nazi Germany, it has its own ideology known as the Burgundian System—a nightmarish, totalitarian, oppressive dystopia where the SS controls every single aspect of life, only the barest necessities of life are granted, and the population is controlled through fear and brutality. It is even worse for non-Aryans, who are forced to be slaves. Even worse, little is known about Burgundy's plans and its focus tree will be hidden if you're not playing as them. Meaning you won't know what Burgundy is up to until it's too late.
  • And should you play as Burgundy, the focus tree and every decision will be a tanker full of Nightmare Fuel all around, a complete opposite to the politically neutral base game. Even the earliest societal decisions will post events upon completion about how a German mother's baby was executed, the news delivered by the apathetic nurse who clearly ignores her agony. It only gets worse with every plot focus: initially unlocking death camps using "skilled workers", a.k.a disposable, educated Frenchmen pre-WW2 being worked to death to build Burgundy's Brutalist cities, weapons factories and infrastructure. Then as Ukraine is freed from Nazi control, more Burgundian population is needed to be worked to death to produce food to offset the upcoming famine. The game makes it very clear that the locals need to be worked to death to cull their numbers so the player doesn't experience a rebellion, and investigate and interrogate slave workers who are reported off-hand as "having their weak hearts not withstand a mere seven-hour torture".
  • Burgundy's establishment of Industriebezirk Rodomo will need "skilled workers" actively shipped per month in later foci as the factory complex will collapse and damage your industry otherwise. You have to literally sacrifice people each month there to improve your production, feeding human lives into work conditions that are beyond inhumane as if they were merely grist for the mill.
  • The focus tree of Burgundy itself. Unlike the focuses in vanilla HOI4, which are bright and colorful, Burgundy's focus tree is almost all colored a monochrome purplish-gray broken up by the occasional flash of bleak violet lighting or black shadow. Combined with the copious use of the Burgundian swastika and the Black Sun, as well as the recurrent motifs of skulls, watching eyes, and mushroom clouds, it creates an ominous, oppressive look as befits the most evil nation in TNO.
  • With the exception of the Red Poppy Movement, it's telling how almost all of the various SS Collaborator Legions within Burgundy are labeled as "Ultranationalist". While each of them object to Himmler's efforts to erase cultures that don't align with his Aryan image, they're only slightly less deranged themselves after decades under the Burgundian System. Should either of them triumph in the event of a civil war, for the average citizen it'll just be a continuation of their living nightmare, only now under mildly different management.
    • Of the collaborators, SS-Charlemagne is notably the most loyal to Himmler, despite being seen as barely better than untermenschen. Should Reinhard Heydrich win the German Civil War, defeat Burgundy and subsequently die, however, not only would the surviving elements of SS-Chalemagne remain organized and cohesive enough to become the last holdout of Nazism in the ashes of the dead Reich, but they could potentially take on and usurp the rump French State to the south. Ensuring that even in a warped Francified form, Himmler's legacy would endure.

    Germany and the German Sphere 
It is hardly surprising that a Victorious Nazi Germany is the stuff of nightmares.

Bormann

  • Germany under Martin Bormann's rule is not as dramatic or overtly horrifying as other potential paths, at least initially. Indeed, it can even undergo some piecemeal reforms and concessions that allow the Nazis to remain in power. Unlike Speer, however, he doesn't actually change the inherent, self-destructive flaws in the ideology. Instead, he can double down in upholding orthodox National Socialism, such as persecuting Christians and any religion not in line with the State. Meanwhile, his more pragmatic policies serve more like stopgaps or damage control than a viable, long-term plan. Combined with Ulrike Meinhof's RAF becoming increasingly active and Bormann being diagnosed with terminal-stage cancer (with at most two years to live), the result by 1972 is a Reich that's steadily hurtling towards collapse, and there's little that can be done to stop it.
    • In addition to all of this, one of Bormann's focuses during the Oil Crisis is the commissioning and installation of several high-power channel-type reactors, better known OTL as RBMK reactors. Bormann has set Germany up for its own Chernobyl disaster, but very easily worse than the OTL incident, Bormann having built them explicitly quickly and cheaply. With the Reich heading into a period of instability and government breakdown with the coming of Herbst, unlike the OTL Chernobyl incident, there's a very good chance there will be no swift government response if and when it happens.

Göring

  • Göring's invasions in general can be nightmare fuel in and of itself, especially you're the country being invaded. His Germany is barely any different from a Barbarian Tribe at this point, only with the additional threat of Germanising your nation besides the usual Rape, Pillage, and Burn, which they very much will do due to their Ponzi scheme of an economy.
  • Your only hope for stopping him as a foreign country being invaded is to hold out until the German Economy collapses from the horrific mismanagement they suffer from under Göring and the militarists. This however, leads to Schörner couping Göring, which causes Germany to fall into an incredibly repressive and bloody dictatorship under him.
  • Fall Gaiseric (the German invasion of Italy) is where the Point of No Return is crossed, in terms of whether Germany can be defeated peacefully, insofar no thermonuclear war happens. The Superevent of the invasion sets in the tone of the war from Italy's point of view. Should Germany come out on top of this war, they become the sole hegemon of the European continent, with the world being doomed to face great calamities, whether they come in the form of a civil war on steroids, covering all of Europe and beyond, or Nuclear Apocalypse.
    Europe shall be dominated by Germany.
    Defeated States shall be nothing more than colonies.
  • The Second German Civil War under Göring is an insanely brutal war. Don't let the title "Civil War" mislead you, for this conflict involves the entire continent of Europe, and even beyond that. It could probably be compared to the 30 Years' War from the sheer size and brutality of it. And should it drag on for too long, with neither Göring, Spiedel or Schörner able to stop it, the situation devolves even further into an outright German collapse. As the name suggests, the Reich falls apart into nigh-perpetual warlordism that's even worse than Russia's, with the various factions too busy squabbling over the ruins. The hardline militarists, thus, get their Forever War, but at the cost of destroying the very concept of a German nation-state and people.
  • Fall Schwartz, the invasion of Burgundy, can be an incredibly stressful event, with Göring having to invade a Burgundy that isn't collapsing, unlike that of Speer's or Bormann's paths. This leaves you absolutely no room for error as you have to wipe the country of the face of the earth within a short period of time, lest it lead to nuclear war.
  • Fall Dämmerung has Göring invading Japan, which is bound to be an incredibly bloody war, considering the famed fanaticism of the Japanese people. The superevent for it sets the tone pretty well as the gunfight continues well past the end of the music, symbolising the hellish war ahead. And indeed, this is without even speaking of the Nukes.
    Now is the time to die,
    Do not cower and live in shame.
    Until the time when the enemy is obliterated,
    Forwards, forwards, one and all
    Unsheathing the sword like a shattered gem,
    We must go forwards, prepared for death
  • If Göring pushes through with Fall Rockwell, a haunting rendition of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" plays amidst the sounds of gunfire and soldiers dying, culminating in a rousing charge as the song reaches the climax. While representing American defiance in face of the Nazi foe, it might as well also symbolize the last days before the nuclear warheads are launched, sparking Armageddon. Fall Rockwell sits at the end of Göring's focus tree after he's done conquering Europe, Russia, and the Middle East, so the superevent drives home how apocalyptic the war is about to become.

Speer

  • Combining this and Fridge Horror, a successful Speer run that ends in him consolidating power and purging the Gang of Four is one of the most unsettling endings for the mod, even if it doesn't seem terrifying at first glance. Not only does Fascism remain in place in Germany, but the reforms cast off the most blatantly self-destructive and overtly violent aspects of Nazi ideology, allowing it to exist well into the future and potentially win the Cold War.
    Hitler may have set the grounds for Germany's wings to fly high, but Speer will make sure that it will fly victorious.

    Forever.
  • The Reichsländer, which function like the old Reichskommisariate in all but name, aren't due to German settlers coming in combined with genocide and mass enslavement as they would be under a more purely Nazi regime. Instead, the racial supremacist laws and the notion of Aryan dominance still remain, being codified and continued through other less noticeable means. While they may look free on the surface, complete with local/native collaborators in charge, the Slavs remain second class citizens subservient to Germany. They are potentially given harsh jobs, and to be taxed to death by a government that finds cheap labour more effective as a source of revenue and believes them to be incapable of self-governance.
  • And in setting up the KdN (TNO's equivalent of the United Nations), Speer subverts the goal of one of the potentially hopeful organizations in the setting by making it a instrument for Fascist dominance. The KdN could sanction nations for having racial integration or being led by left wing governments while funneling aid to pro-German parties, tinpot banana republics and generalissimos, governments with racial stratification, and outright fascists. This essentially allows Fascist governments to be strengthened by international institutions on the world stage, an ending that is potentially worse than global nuclear holocaust. This time, fascism and National Socialism, philosophies which all reasonable people in OTL regard as inimical to civilization, are codified as an acceptable way of life.
  • It gets worse if Speer actually falls during the 70s....but to a Russia led by Matkovsky, Solzhenitsyn, Rogneda, Bunyachenko, or Shafarevich. Even if Germany loses round three with Russia, right-wing nationalist authoritarianism lives on, under people equally pragmatic, competent, and willing to sugarcoat their ideology rather than self-destructive nutcases. Europe not only remains under right-wing nationalist authoritarianism, but remains dominated by an ideology that has both ruined and transformed the Russians into the New Order’s new hegemon.
  • A victorious Speer combined with Sergey Taboritsky uniting Russia is possibly the worst scenario for the world considering how Taboritsky destroys the idea of a united Russia, ensuring that Germany's eastern flank is secured for the forseeable future and increasing the chance that Speer's Germany wins the Cold War, especially if America and Japan have their own troubles..
  • Even if the Gang of Four succeed in turning Speer into their rubber stamp and put Germany on the path to democracy, Speer's new bio in the Cutting Room Floor update suggests that he's not finished and still has the potential to undo everything the reformists seek to accomplish right as Germany seems to emerge out of the darkness.
    ... the Gang treats him as a fool and a puppet, a disgrace to Hitler's vision and nobody of importance.

    How foolish they are.
  • In contrast to Ulrike Meinhof's RAF, the Revolutionäre Zellen is described as far more insidious, being a diffused network of Communist partisans and spies that strike at Nazi institutions with precision. This also translates into indiscriminate killings and terrorist attacks, however, with the perpetuators simply disappearing amongst the crowd. Such is their secrecy that no one in positions of power even know who is leading them.

Heydrich

  • Crossed with being a Tearjerker, but the Reich's fate in Reinhard Heydrich's path, should he succeed in putting an end to the Burgundian nightmare, is anything but pleasant. Upon experiencing a grim revelation and finally committing suicide upon concluding that he's beyond any kind of salvation, a fractured land is plunged into a Third Civil War between the remaining SS warlords and the last vestiges of sanity (led either by Hans Speidel or Reinhard Gehlen). But unlike previous conflicts, you get to watch Germany die, as it proves to be one too many, and the formed cliques quickly collapse into anarchy. The result is that much of Europe is reduced to a thorough post-apocalypse with the whole territory, echoing Post-Taboritsky Russia, not even worthy of a name. Some of the warlords of the SS civil war qualify too as Nightmare Fuel:

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    German Africa 
  • The Reichkommisariate are, for starters, Nazi-run administrations that rule almost half of Africa. Let the concept of Africa being under the rule of one of the most infamously and rabidly racialistic ideologies in history sink in for a moment.
    • Among the African Reichskommisariate, Hans Hüttig’s Ostafrika is described as being especially brutal, being ruled as the concentration camps he used to run. African natives are routinely discriminated, enslaved, and oppressed in all spheres of life. The Anglo-Rhodesian colonists left behind when the Reich took over fare little better, and are barely accepted because of the need for non-German administrators. It only gets worse from there, as not only can Hüttig emerge as the dominant force in the Afrika-Schild, but transform it into the continent-spanning Großafrikanischer Reichstaat, complete with Reinhard Heydrich's mercilessly Darwinistic and racially purist approach to Nazism. While it’s doomed to collapse, however, his deteriorating sanity and increasingly horrific measures give the “Dark Continent” moniker a whole new meaning.
      • The African Devastation superevent, which plays should Hüttig's Reichstaat collapse as bloodily as it can after his extensive attempts at purging it, drives home how this is a failstate for the entire continent. Much of Sub-Saharan Africa is thus turned into a wasteland of perpetual warlordism and barbarism, whose inhabitants may never have a moment's peace. At the highest level of Devastation, some of the leaders are among the most terrifying names in African history, such as Francisco Macías Nguema, Théoneste Bagosora, John Okello, Mobutu Sese Soko, and Idi Amin, offering a look into how brutal post-Hüttig Africa is.
        With the death of Hans Huttig, the Reichstaat has now completely collapsed. Huttig - and the fear of crossing him - was the only component holding the state together, and his death has led to a total breakdown of Germany authority in Africa.

        There is nothing left in this continent. There are no birds, no beasts, no buildings: the earth is nothing but barren, charred, dirt and the remains of those destroyed. The damage done in the last few years is irreversible. The few survivors left - only the most ruthless and radical - fight savagely over the ruins of this world.
    • RK Zentralafrika isn't much of an improvement, either. While Siegfried Müller is indifferent at best to the plight of natives, his domain is a glorified playground for foreign corporations and mercenaries, many of the latter being disgruntled Belgians taking their anger over the loss of their homeland on said natives. The only real reason why it's more tolerable is because Müller would rather indulge in safaris and hedonistic exploits than actually rule, and as a result impose Nazism on the region.

    Russia 
  • The initial situation in Russia is nightmare fuel enough by itself. Take a post-apocalyptic setting with warlords, and make it cover an entire continent where life, security and liberty hangs by a thread; in the South Urals, if the rapist bandits of Dirlewanger don't get you, then the insane scientists and their NKVD goons will. Anywhere west of Novosibirsk is undergoing the Bosnian Siege on steroids: Luftwaffe pilots will drop a bomb on anything that looks bigger than a house (and sometimes they aren't even that picky), just claiming to do their job to terror bomb entire cities and exterminate thousands of innocents per week. Even the children are inured to the horror of the very possibility of being blown up any time, and one cannot even farm potatoes in peace to avoid starvation as shown in WRRF foci.
  • The scientists' abode in question, Magnitogorsk is an industrial factory of horror.
    • Most of events and focuses of Magnitogorsk are written in a very dry, technical style, similar to those of the SCP Foundation. Cruel torture and lethal experiments imposed on masses of "test subjects" are written as mundane scientific reports, making the whole affair even more horrifying as you read the text of events and focuses more and more thoroughly and realize the whole implications behind it. It doesn't help that many parts of the reports remain edited out, leaving the whole process solely to the imagination of the reader.
    • One of Lysenko's experiments is a direct reference to the infamous creepypasta about the Russian Sleep Experiment. If you have read it before, you know how it goes: five subjects, under the promise of freedom by the end of experiments to calm them down during the whole process, are forced to stay awake for a duration of several weeks in an isolated chamber. At first the prisoners show no signs of discomfort during the first five days, but at the sixth day, they start to experience serious psychological issues, including paranoia and psychosis, only for symptoms to suddenly cease near the end of the experiments. When the NKVD guard personnel and researchers try to enter the chamber, expecting the experiment to be finished, the subjects attack the entering group and murder most of them in cold blood before they are terminated by the NKVD guards.
    • In one of the final events for Magnitogorsk, there is a list of captured documents. One of them is a letter of a child to his father held in Lysenko's laboratories, which is discarded as "propaganda".
  • The Dirlewanger Brigade is infamous in OTL for their brutality and many atrocities. In TNO the Dirlewanger Brigade escaped during the West Russian war and destroyed any towns they encountered during their travels before settling down in the Urals. Now known as the Black Bandits, they are feared across Southern Russia and seek only to pillage and loot as much of Russia as they can.
  • The warlords of Omsk, the Black League, are one of the most brutal factions in Russia. Fanatical ultranationalists to a man (with many of them historically being brutal KGB officers, even if they did not champion destroying Germany or killing every German in the world in OTL), they seek to avenge the suffering and humiliation Russia has gone through in the past 20 years by exterminating the Germans and destroying everything else that stands in its way. Absolutely nothing will make Omsk stop, not even a nuclear apocalypse. It's even worse for its founder, Dmitry Karbyshev: he founded the Black League on the idea that Russia needs to build its military might in preparation for the coming battle against Nazi Germany, only to helplessly watch as the hardliners of the League transform it into an engine of genocidal war.
    • Unlike most of the Russian unification events, which feature triumphant or joyful music, the Omsk reunification event is set to a sinister tune ("The Battle on Ice" from Prokofiev's "Alexander Nevsky") and the prompt says "The End Begins", hinting at the apocalyptic goals of the Black League. The only other reunification events that have the same sinister feeling to them are the ones for either Aryan Brotherhood path, each Rightist Komi path (except for Shafarevich’s), and Amur’s. The updated Cutting Room Floor version also has the sound of radiation analog detectors ticking, making it clear that under the Black League of Omsk, the nukes will fly, right along other horrendous weapons both chemical and biological, if it means achieving their ultimate goals.
    • If Omsk actually pushes through with the Great Trial, ending civilization in the process, one post-apocalyptic event heavily implies that the only reason why it doesn't overrun the world is because Yazov finally comes to his senses, realizing too late the horrors of the apocalyptic devastation he helped cause. While he ultimately fosters a sense of collective guilt on his surviving citizens, who pass it on through stories to the generations to come, it's still harrowing how it took Armageddon to finally snap sense back into Russia.
  • The Aryan Brotherhood follows an insane ideology which claims that being Aryan is a mental state and that Russia needs to "Aryanize" (read: adopt the ways of Germany) to survive. The warlords of the Aryan Brotherhood are stated to be even worse than the Black League in Omsk, which says a lot about the horrors of the Aryan Brotherhood owing to the Black League's apocalyptic goals. Oh, and the Aryan Brotherhood's generals and leaders (except for Vagner and Schultz, who were just plain Ax-Crazy neo-Nazis) were historically Heroes of the Soviet Union stripped of their medals for crimes like the murder of their superior officers or their wives or children, or rape.
  • The image for Yagoda uniting the Russian Far East shows an NKVD executioner pointing a gun at the screen. Even if Yagoda is not the worst communist warlord in Russia (let alone the worst warlord in Russia), the image is still somewhat terrifying, especially considering the executions of Sablin, Mikhail, Rodzaevsky, and Matkovsky which occur after Yagoda defeats them. Not helped by the reaction text:
    “The Reign of Terror marches on.”
    • Becomes a Jump Scare if you haven't been paying attention to Russia. You're commanding troops, thinking decisions over, then WHAM - the dissonant chords of the news event sound effect play as a man appears pointing a gun at you.
    • While Yagoda does eventually implement his own reformist ideas to make the Bukharinist regime prosper, it becomes apparent that it serves to ensure that his authoritarian USSR will be resilient enough to be a major power well into the 21st Century. That it both comes across as a Communist version of Albert Speer’s true plans and echoes the real-world rise of China after Mao drives the point home.
  • Among the most unethical versions of the Soviet Union is one ruled by the Red Napoleon, Mikhail Tukhachevsky, who will reconstruct the union to be as rabidly militaristic as possible so as to maximize victory over Germany, all while using the the Red Army as a political force to eliminate dissent, using poison gas on partisan-occupied villages, committing ethnic cleansing in Karelia, executing his enemies in five-minute mock trials, murdering a teenage girl for being the daughter of the Romanov claimant to the Russian throne who he defeated, and playing a dangerous game of chicken involving nuclear and chemical weapons with the Reich. The one redeeming factor Tukhachevsky has in relation to the Black League is that the concept of war, at least, is not the ideology in itself.
  • Regarding who has the dubious reputation as the worst communist warlord in Russia, Kaganovich's Tyumen idolizes Joseph Stalin and seeks to implement the vision of his mentor and idol when it comes to the reunification of Russia. As such, his regime burns books Kaganovich deems to be full of "anti-Party thought", including Russian literature, history books and certain foreign novels, and a Russia united under his banner is explicitly identified as Stalinist, complete with the wanton repression and totalitarianism that made Stalin infamous in our timeline.
  • Konstantin Rodzaevsky, the warlord of Amur, is a mentally unhinged lunatic who leads the "All-Russian Government of Amur", a brutal fascist dictatorship that has spend decades enthusiastically sponsored by Imperial Japan and believes that Nazi Germany is a useful ally in eliminating Bolshevism in Russia. He is a paranoid maniac who builds one of the cruelest and most brutal incarnations of Russia, and has Tsar Mikhail publicly hanged while he begs to be allowed to go home to Australia after being tortured. What is worse is that he kills Matkovsky without a second thought even though they were allies for decades and even punches him in public. Rodzaevsky constantly purges the Fascist Party and the government of Amur of anyone he deems insufficiently loyal to him, which ensures that Amur does not have much of a competent government.
    • What's even worse than that is how, as time passes and almost in a perverse inversion of Taboritsky's Sanity Slippage, Rodzaevsky begins to get more composed, drop his more self-destructive habits and generally become much more sane, though no less vile. Russia united under him would not only be a totalitarian danger to the world, but it would be one that's run by someone stable. This makes the Russian National State possibly worse than Yazov's Russian National Reclamation Government, Velimir's Hyperborea, Vagner's Russkiy Reykh, or Taboritsky's Holy Russian Empire in that it will actually ‘’last. While both the Russian National Reclamation Government and Hyperborea have a high likelihood of ending the human race in nuclear flames, the Russkiy Reych is likely to collapse as a result of its oppression of anyone who acknowledges themselves as Russian, and the Holy Russian Empire will'' collapse when Taboritsky dies, the Russian National State will probably remain a stable entity after Rodzaevsky dies and have relatively restrained goals regarding the reclamation of land from Germany, giving it a longer life expectancy than all four of these regimes.
    • His reunification Superevent, once merely tragic thanks to the melancholic Gnossienne No. 1, is made actively unnerving; the song plays as distant, muffled screams of a panicking crowd being gunned down can be heard, with the crackling of a fireplace closer by; someone, presumably Rodzaevsky, pours himself a drink only to shatter it after a brief pause...
    • More understated, yet just as horrible, is how Rodzaevsky is all too happy to capitalize on his contacts in the Kwantung Army in neighboring Manchukuo. Given his connections and direct complicity with the infamous Unit 731, not only does this translate into a Clerical Fascist Russia that's beholden to the Co-Prosperity Sphere, but it potentially opens the country to experiments and bioweapons that could be used against enemies domestic and foreign. Given Rodzaevsky's plans to reclaim all of Western Russia from the Reich, this can have dangerous consequences.
    • The man behind Rodzaevsky’s purges, Alexander Bolotov, is classified as an Ultranationalist and is so brutal and violent that even Rodzaevsky wants him gone. When Bolotov tortures people and smashes a man’s ribcage in with a crowbar, it isn’t even nominally in the name of fascism or any ideology, but Bolotov just does it for the heck of it. When Rodzaevsky oppresses and slaughters his own people, at least he has a ‘’goal''; a Bolotov-ruled Russia would be an unimaginable nightmare.
  • Though not as violent and crazy as other far-right unifiers, nevertheless, Mikhail Oktan's Russian State is certainly not a pleasant place to live, for it is a kleptocratic fascist stratocracy, where various corrupt governors appointed by Oktan rule like feudal lords and even wage war on each other, where Jews, Tartars and other minorities are oppressed and exhorted on a daily basis, and where the central government is more interested on squeezing all money possible out of the Russian populace than helping them.
  • It has been noted that Despotist Siberian Black Army actually shares a number of terrifying similarities to INGSOC. Ivan Stepanov acts as the face of a ruling oligarchy who are motivated purely by power for the sake of power (under the façade of a soulless ideology), and they practice Doublethink. According to Steve, they also have Thought Police, and everyone is paranoid of outsiders.
  • The Ultravisionaries in Komi, under Andrei Zhdanov, are basically techno-Stalinist mad scientists driven by a belief that a utopian communist society requires large-scale technological development and the pursuit of science. The results, to put things mildly, are suboptimal as many of their scientific experiments end in catastrophic failure and the horrible deaths of the human test subjects who serve as unfortunate guinea pigs for the mad scientific ventures of the Ultravisionaries. Moreover, unlike fellow insane technocrat Lysenko, the Ultravisionaries can reunite Russia, and if Vladimir Chelomei succeeds Zhdanov instead of the eminently reasonable Nikolai Kardashev, then these atrocities in the name of science can continue far into the future, and with all the resources and available population that control of the entire country can bring them.
  • The Russian National Soviet Republic of Ivan Serov is a totalitarian dictatorship combining Marxism-Leninism with fierce ultranationalism, advocating an ideology where only Russians are deemed capable of adopting socialism. Therefore, to the ruling Ordosocialists, "Hereditary Reactionaries" (read: all non-Russian ethnic groups) aren't "worthy" of gaining the benefits of the socialist utopia that the Ordosocialists intend to build for the Russian people. It gets worse when you realize that Serov is personally torturing political opponents as part of his rule over the country. His Cutting Room Floor update reunification song also replaces the Red Army song My Army (which at least gives the impression that he's restored the USSR, albeit with heavier militarism and nationalism) in favor of the Iron Foundry by Alexander Mosolov which sounds like a supervillain theme and highlights its true face. While not perhaps evil to the extent of the Russian National Reclamation Government, Holy Russian Empire, or the Russkiy Reykh, the Russian National Soviet Republic is much like Rodzaevsky’s Russian National State in that it has the chance to remain stable and normalize its ideology, in this case a version of Marxism mixed with ultranationalist politics, and like the National State remains an oppressive and discriminatory place.
    • The unsettling thing is that, as discussed to an extent here, there are passages and discourse in early Marxist texts, written before Marx and Engels embraced a more anti-imperialist worldview, that Serov could have used to justify Ordosocialism. Secondly, consider the distrust modern Marxist-Leninist movements have towards refugee populations and diaspora advocacy groups from either autocratic socialist countries or non-socialist autocratic countries that Marxist-Leninists decide to "critically support" against US imperialism in Real Life and imagine that distrust taken to openly racist levels. Serov takes potentially racist and xenophobic rhetoric and ideas in both early Marxism and Marxist-Leninism, and acts on them with horrifying results.
  • While a bog-standard reactionary dictatorship in earlier versions of the mod, a Russia unified by Chita if Mikhail fails to rein in the White Generals as of TT3 can be extremely horrifying with the rework clarifying that Shepunov is a reactionary nationalist (an Ultranationalist in game terms) rather than simply a bog standard reactionary White General. Rather than simply restoring the old status-quo as if the October Revolution never happened, a Russia unified by Chita would thereby be one dominated by the most extreme reactionary and ultranationalistic elements of the Tsarist regime personified during the turn of the century by the Black Hundreds and the most reactionary Slavophiles, absolute monarchists and White Generals. It will be a Russia where minority groups, Jews, and any one suspected of liberal or socialist thought are mercilessly hunted down, and where hyper-revanchist and militaristic ideas are instilled as the main way of life for all unfortunately to find themselves within the borders of the new Russian Empire.

    Sergey Taboritsky 

The story of the infamous mad regent begins before the release of the mod, when the devs began to hint at one particular path in Komi which they said would be "the worst path for Komi and Russia as a whole". Considering some of the unifiers included the crazed ultranationalists of Omsk's All-Russian Black League, the Stalin-idolizing totalitarian communists of Tyumen, the Nazi fanboys in the Aryan Brotherhood, the NKVD securocracy in Irkutsk, and the unhinged All-Russian fascists in Amur, the fans were left to wonder just what sort of horror was to be unleashed. Come the release and the reveal of Sergey Taboritsky, the Esoteric Nazi adherent in Komi, their questions were answered in the most horrific way.


  • In addition to believing that a prince who has been dead for fifty years is still alive and in hiding, Taboritsky wants to implement Esoteric National Socialism in Russia, creating a theocratic totalitarian dictatorship which purges anyone he deems not to be a "true Russian", with special emphasis on the Jews. His constant brutalization of the populace gets so bad that he eventually gets a -100% population growth debuff from all the killings. Taboritsky also begins deploying copious amounts of Deadly Gas from the Syktyvykar Arsenal, ranging from tear gassing Komi's legislative assembly to locking Mikhail Suslov and his inner circle inside Suslov's own house before turning it into an impromptu gas chamber. As Taboritsky grows in power, he commissions the creation of deadlier chemical agents: the worst of them, called "Taborite", is so potent that it melts people's flesh into slurrynote . And they're used more and more often, until post-collapse surveys indicate vast areas of the Russian wilderness will be unable to sustain life again for at least thirty years from how utterly poisoned the land has become.
    • Then there's what happens to The Mad Regent when Komi's other rulers take control and decide the fate of their opposition. If he is exiled, he makes his way westward to meet the Aryan Brotherhood, whose antics align quite closely with that of OTL Taboritsky's, and he makes sure to keep eight bullets on him, which all get used by the time he reaches his destination. He's never heard from again from that point, and we don't know who he killed on his way. If he is to be assassinated, he self-immolates in a small chapel he's hiding in before the squads have a chance to kill him. The least horrifying and most merciful ending for Taboritsky is sending him to prison, which shows him being comforted by a vision of the Virgin Mary and Alexei.
  • The superevent accompanying Taboritsky's successful unification of Russia is nightmare fuel in itself. While most Russian unification superevents are underscored by a triumphant musical fanfare and even the more ominous themes are at least orchestral in nature, Taboritsky's is underscored by a combination of loud clock ticks, a lone bugle, discordant piano keys, and "Psycho" Strings, fitting the absolute nightmarish cesspool insanity that Russia has become. It became even worse in the Cutting Room Floor update, with the old image being replaced by a grainy picture of an abandoned church and gallows, and where the song is interrupted after a bit by the sound of shattering glass and raspy breathing (possibly a man being hung, once you put the sound and image together, or Taboritsky dying from shock, with the clocks being foreshadowing of what will happen to him later), with a clock still ticking in the distance...
  • In case one needs proof that TNO is essentially a horror game, Taboritsky's entire shtick is going further and further into utter madness, hallucinating and rambling incoherently as he crowns himself Regent and "purifies" Russia for the long-dead Alexei Romanov to take over. It involves bombing every last hostile human settlement in Russia and Kazakhstan with gas, burning priests at the stake when the Church opposes Taboritsky's terror, disappearing anyone who might oppose the Regent, genocidal campaigns against all Russian minorities, murdering disabled children, and declaring that the very concept of innocence does not exist and punishing every offense with death after a show trial.
  • From the moment Western Russia comes under his thumb, an ominous clock begins to tick, and once it reaches midnight, a mad Taboritsky sees a vision of Alexei as a grown man ready to take over, only for him to turn into a pile of little bones topped with a skull with a bullet hole and rags of blood-stained finery, a reminder that he was shot in the head as a boy back in 1918. The revelation drives Taboritsky to die from shock and despair, and his portrait becomes a looping graphic, as if it was being broadcast by a disrupted signal. "Taboritsky" then "gains" a post death trait, "The Silent Regent", representing the cover-up of his death by his officers; it completely cripples the country, guaranteeing the collapse of the regime in the near future.
    • There's more pertaining to Taboritsky's portrait. Digging through the game's files shows unused assets for a blinking version. It's not known what this would have been used for, but it is possible that it was going to be a sign of Sanity Slippage for the player's perspective; a hallucination only seen in the corner of one's eye while going through his nightmarish reign.
-—> "God save Russia, for no one else can."

The Collapse of the Holy Russian Empire

  • The Regent's death is only the beginning of the nightmare train. In addition to that, a reference in a certain political compass posted by a developer (aptly named Post-Taboritsky Meta-Horror Neo-Warlordism) and the very specific name of his pan-national 'creation' is strong foreshadowing that what happens next is going to make the warlord period look like heaven compared to the utterly broken, dysfunctional and horribly twisted hellscape that is now Russia which Taboritsky has created. Then in November 2020, a patch added an event chain which begins after Taboritsky's death, and the slow descent into nationwide madness it depicts is nothing short of horrifying:
  • First, an event called "Daybreak" shows his servants starting worrying in abject terror as Taboritsky rants and raves and shakes fists in the air as he passes by. Then the daily left food trays and papers before his door (for NO ONE in his right mind would dare to face a schizophrenic that could stab you in the face thinking you are Cain) are untouched...Then one day, even the guards and servants look at each other, worried, as the scent of rot emanates from his locked room.
  • A "purification platoon" with the task of executing entire Yakutsk and other Siberian Asiatic villages stops getting new orders, radio op citing "a temporary confusion in chain of command". With no supplies, the platoon keeps killing for the sake of killing, and soldiers start losing their sanity a la Heart of Darkness...
  • "The End of Eden" describes how a beautiful forest ecosystem near a village would transform into a wasteland. A battalion has received orders to attack partisans with chemical artillery, and the Colonel leading the forces decides to strike the forest under the threat of punishment for wasting weaponry and the possibility that anybody could be hiding in them. In only five hours, the ecosystem is devastated into being unable to support any life, rotting the trees and tainting the grounds. This situation essentially repeats across much of Russia as the chain of command collapses and pushes the forces into continuing with their operations.
  • "The Last Shift" is about a munitions factory where the workers are made being to work themselves to death because the regent died just before their shift ended and the order to dismiss them never came through. After having worked for three days without reprieve next to the putrefying corpse of a co-worker who was shot by a guard because he passed out from exhaustion at his post, one of the poor workers has just accepted that he's going to die in that factory, wondering if fatigue or thirst will claim him first, and quietly lamenting that he will never see his son again.
    He only wished someone would tell him why this happened. All he wanted now as a reason.

    He would not get one.
  • The event "Prodigal Son" explains all by name: a "purification platoon" member, Ivan, realizes he has invaded his home village and killed his own parents for "impurity", and silently loses his mind.

After Midnight Update

With the release of the After Midnight update, the collapse of the Holy Russian Empire is shown in all its horror and insanity, and the suffering is nowhere near over.
  • Much of the nation still remains pitch black, covered in bombardments of chemical artillery and other Salt the Earth policies, ensuring that Russia will not come out unscathed from the rubble and will still be prevented from becoming whole, thanks to the scars left from Taboritsky's reign.
  • There are several bandit groups that pilfer the corpse of the once vast and oppressive regime. One, the Imperial Airborne Brigades, uses their air power to loot whatever's left, a stark contrast to the Free Aviators that wanted to use their powers to help the Russian people.
  • The Holy Russian Empire, while nowhere near its power, still has agents and influence. From troops and squadrons mobilizing to finish their last orders to a couple self-proclaimed successors with varying degrees of power.
    • Larionov is the first to emerge and crowns himself the new Regent. Upon discovering that Taboritsky's mother was a Jew, one of his first acts is to send an armored car covered in speakers to patrol Vyatka, benevolently informing the populace of this discovery and Larionov's ascension to the throne. To cowering citizens, this armored car is nothing more than a death train whose conductor promises more pain, more pogroms, more death.
  • On the other side of the coin are the opposing ideologies that have survived Taboritsky's entire reign. Some bodies become Well-Intentioned Extremists that wish to purge Russia of everything pertaining to the HRE, ultimately becoming no better themselves.
  • The Black League has an heir in the form of the Redeemed Black League, whose members were surviving on bunkers and sheer hatred until the HRE could fall. Seeing their fellow Russians commit atrocities in the style and name of a system exactly like the very worst of their enemies made the Black League radicalize even further, impossible as that may seem. Now they have another Great Trial to enact before their original plans can be carried out, in the form of exterminating any and all Russians that do not follow their exact tenets — which they want to accomplish by killing everyone outside of their own borders.
  • The Kazakh Purification Army is another such horrific mirror of the Holy Russian Empire's genocidal policies. Their ranks are filled with vengeful Kazakhs that survived Taboritsky's extermination and witnessed its horrors, and possibly suffered during the Soviet Union's initial foundation as well. Safa Gaziz, their leader, has witnessed all this along with them, and decided that the real root of the problem is Russia itself. And the only solution is to march out and systematically exterminating the Russians and any traces of their culture, in order to finish off the very idea of Russia while it's still reeling.
  • One faction is made up of surviving Shturmoviki in Omsk, whose leader found joy from the HRE's mission to destroy "subhumans". However, he became enraged upon discovering Taboritsky's Jewish background and came to the conclusion that his entire movement was a lie that Jews perpetuated to lead to the destruction of Russia. Feeling "deceived", their leader swore off his original identity and their previous regime, adopted Satanism, and vowed to see the destruction of Christianity, even partaking in human sacrifice to achieve it. Naming themselves the Brotherhood of Cain, they have effectively become a worse Bogi Smerti. And THIS faction may just be the highest-octane source of Nightmare Fuel in the game. Its national spirits "Deranged Cult" and "Evil Unbound", combined with the "Salted Earth" damage Taboritsky left, does its best to decrease the population of the regions they rule. A sizable chunk of the world will be depopulated if the Brotherhood, christened the "Kingdom of the Hellborn" at hypothetical national reunification, took over it. Even Taboritsky's Empire valued someone, the idealized Russian peasant, and believed they had fundamental value. This monstrosity is run by literal Satanists, mass murderers who kill because they enjoy it. They eat flesh, drink blood and rape/flagellate/sacrifice still living, screaming Russian girls kidnapped by their forces with scenes taken straight out of Hollywood horror movies.
Only the worst of the SS could hope to match Abaddon's followers in cruelty and sadism. Serial killers and nihilistic brutes are the vaunted elite of this new society, their inhumanity cloaked in religious fervor born of their old commander's ravings against a world gone mad.
  • Andrey Dikiy, one of the previous HRE vestiges mentioned above, declares his territory to be the true successor state as the regency for the true Alexei II, and he is enraged to see Michał Goleniewski, a Polish-born former NKVD agent, rally people together as "Alexei II". While Goleniweski is shown to be genuinely benevolent, Dikiy himself is a sadistic and dreaded despot that found glee from serving the HRE's cruelty, and after biding his time until its collapse, he intends to rule whatever's left with an eternal regency.
  • Combining this with Fridge Horror, the international repercussions of the collapse of the Holy Russian Empire are terrifying to ponder as the Second West Russian War will determine Germany's future status as a world power and a Russian victory will signify a collapse of Germany's status as a world power. With Taboritsky's regime destroying the idea of a united Russia ever again owing to how it devastates Russia, it is likely that a competent and pragmatic German leadership, with its eastern flank secured, might be able to win the Cold War. This is especially the case if Taboritsky's actions are combined with America seeing either Yockey or Hall elected as President and China defeating Japan in the Great Asian War. In short, if Germany finds itself having effective leadership, Taboritsky might not just have destroyed Russia, but doomed the world with how Germany's chances of victory in the Cold War increases in such a scenario. The silver lining is that, from a few hidden events, there will still be people dreaming of a unified nation, but only time will tell if that can actually happen.

    Japan and Its Sphere 
  • If the Gekokujo Crisis occurs, IJA forces under Akira Muto's command stage a coup to depose the Taisei Yokusankai, establishing martial law across the Empire. The accompanying superevent chillingly portrays said coup as it takes place, with marching boots, rolling tanks, and the sounds of muffled gunfire to the haunting tune of the "Ode of Showa Restoration". Muto was the man who helped start the Second Sino-Japanese War, whose troops committed the worst atrocities of the Nanjing Massacre, and whose orders sowed terror across the Philippines. Whatever his rule may be like, it does not bode well for Japan.

    Italy and Its Sphere 
  • The accompanying superevent of the Piazza Fontana Bombing is chilling. It first depicts a normal bustling city scene that is slowly replaced by the sounds of ambulances, frantic shouting, and screaming. It is then followed by a news anchor speaking, likely referring to the bombing, and the sound of ominous bells, while the ambulance sounds continue in the background. All of this foreshadows the disillusionment of the new Italian democracy and the growing political crisis that engulfs the country from that day forward. That the event in question also happened in real life, which further set the stage for the infamous Years of Lead, also bodes ill for the country's prospects as a power in any capacity.
  • Niccolo Giani's fascist regime has been described as being the "worst path for Italy" with the devs stating that Giani's regime "will take away your soul" with it being implied that he would brainwash the entire population of Italy into becoming fanatical Fascists. It gets worse as teasers regarding Giani's regime would note that he is a talented orator who would use his mastery of rhetoric to brainwash the populace and uses anti-Semitic rhetoric in his speeches and policies.
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    Poland 

    British Isles 

    USA 

    Iberia 
  • Upon completing the National Focus Clean Up Passageways, you get treated with an event titled Dunes and Doom. It describes the story of a surveyor named Pablo who was in the process of clearing up roads to pave the way for Portuguese colonisation of Algeria in the hopes of holding back Italy. In the midst of this however, he comes across a green structure, which is revealed to be a car buried by the sands. Within it, he finds two corpses, assumed to be a couple, occupying the driver's seat and passenger's seat. Their corpses were discovered to have smiles on them despite their emaciated nature, and were also found to have been Holding Hands. The discovery is made even more horrifying as a third, much smaller corpse is found, held in the wife's hands and still being covered with the tattered remains of baby clothes. This event ends with the question of what could have sent this assumed family to their doom.
  • Should the Iberian Union fail to reform or dissolve itself peacefully, the result is the Iberian Wars, in which the entire country violently collapses into various factions and breakaway states. This is considered to be Iberia's failstate as it marks the beginning of a multi-front civil war, one that has the potential to become even worse as the war drags on and more radical factions such as the National Redemption Front or the Government of National Salvation rise up and enter the fighting. The accompanying superevent, which doubles as a Tear Jerker, features Adagio for Strings played over sounds of gunshots and chanting soldiers, highlighting the total collapse into chaos that occurs. And if you know enough of Spain's history to recognize some of the actual chants, things get more chilling, as many are straight from the first civil war, and terrible signs of death and disunity to the older Spanish generation.
  • The National Redemption Front, which can emerge if the Iberian Wars drag on for long enough, is described as the worst faction, even compared to the Falangists, for a reason. Comprised of ultrareligious Catholics, it aims to end the conflict by bringing about the Kingdom of God in Iberia. In practice, this translates into a reign of terror as the NRF fanatically imposes its brand of Catholicism on the populace, including the destruction of monuments and all forms of secular culture, even any semblance of a functional state. That it not only bears more than a passing resemblance radical Islamist movements, but is almost like a perverse parody of Alexander Men's Divine Mandate only serves to drive home the hell that what awaits those who survive the initial carnage.

    Other/Misc 

  • October 2020 gave us the Halloween update, which features a special event: a massive Zombie Apocalypse with the decaying corpses of historical figures. First taking Burgundy out to prevent ensured nuclear disaster from foiling their plans, the Horde is led by an undead Joseph Goebbels and intends to consume and/or assimilate the world into their numbers.
  • Argentina has an Esoteric Nazi path using Isabel Peron as a puppet president, which cannot spell anything good for the country as a whole. The worst part? The Esoteric Nazi path for Argentina is based on the real-life Presidency of Isabel Peron, in which she was indeed made the direct puppet of known far right-terrorist and actual warlock José López Rega. Argentina in reality was indirectly in charge of a man who'd murder anyone that so much as leaned left and performed actual rituals upon the president to try and transfer another soul into her, for almost two years. And it can only get worse here, where such lunacy has actual international backers.


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