Moment Subpages are Spoilers Off. You Have Been Warned.
They were at their teacher
's funeral, all of them. Before it had all gone so wrong..before he had played his hand in destroying the world....
- The Iberian Divorce events◊ are written in a very melancholic way, even considering that they are written from the perspective of two pseudo-fascist dictators of Iberia. Marked by nostalgia for the times when the Spanish and Portuguese fought together and worked towards the same goal, the events, at the same time, capture the somber feeling caught by both sides that the things can't continue anymore as they do, to the benefit of all nations involved. As the Iberian federal flags are lowered down and radios across Spain and Portugal broadcast the last days of the Union, the two Caudillos understand they have to let it go and say their final goodbyes to the dream unfullfilled.
"Goodbye, and for all that it is worth, I am sorry."
"Farewell, old friend."
- The event option for the Thermonuclear War superevent, about the horrifying demise of the human civilization as we know it, is as laconic as is concise. "So long"...
- Quite a few of the post-apocalypse events can be heartbreaking— such as the priest who has to listen to children die as the nukes fall, or the couple struggling with their insulin supply ultimately dying together.
- Burgundy's work camp focus spawns an event detailing a long, hidden letter from a camp inmate, a Christian Frenchman. He explains in length the horrors he has been through, and clearly writes that he doesn't expect to see any future where he or his family will exist.
- The "Pure Race" focus spawns an event where a nurse coldly informs a mother that her newborn was euthanized for "visible signs of mongolism". The mother, having previously wanting to name the boy either Siegfried or Lars, writes "Lars" on the death notice because she doesn't know if she can fully write out "Siegfried" without breaking down. And all this happens while she's still in the maternity ward.
- Free France is practically an entire Woobie nation, especially the fate of Charles De Gaulle. When France fell to the Nazis, he refused to see the armistice between Germany and the collaborationist Vichy regime as legitimate, and swore to fight the Germans alongside the British to the bitter end. But as time went on, things continued to get grimmer and grimmer for the French, with Germany making quick work of the British and making even them capitulate to the Germans under a collaborationist regime, while the Free French were continuously beaten and driven further and further back in North-West Africa by the Germans until they controlled less than half of their original colonial possessions. And then the Luftwaffe bombed them to hell until they were left with little more than the Ivory Coast and the Kerguelen Islands in the Southern Ocean (appropriately nicknamed the Desolation Islands). By 1962, De Gaulle still ardently believes France can be liberated from the Germans, but even his fellow compatriots have a hard time believing him anymore, while the Organization of Free Nations doesn't even recognize Free France as a legitimate country anymore. And it's worth remembering that much of their ancestral homeland is the closest thing to Hell on Earth in an already dark world under the misrule of Himmler. It's implied that De Gaulle is suffering from mental health issues due to what he went through.
- In addition, it could get worse if Cameroon wins the West African War as they are driven into the Kerguelen Islands, being exiled for a final time. This is symbolized by a national spirit that cripples stability and political power gain, representing the total collapse of morale for the remnants.
- As of the Toolbox Theory update, there is no way for De Gaulle to return to his homeland. Not even in a box.
- This can now happily be subverted, as Unfinished Business will add a way for De Gaulle to reclaim their colonies and even retake the metropole if they win the West African War and get support from Iberia.
- The same applies to many countries that became victims of the Nazis' brutal and cruel expansionism in this dystopian timeline. The fall of the mighty British into a Nazi puppet state, the humiliation and horror America endured when they joined World War II too late and were cowed into submission by the Axis, the utter dissolution of the Soviet Union in the Great Patriotic War, the Russians dissolving again when trying to retake their lost capital and being left even worse off than they were before... Beneath the thick and wide layers of horror born out of a timeline where the Nazis were victorious, at its core, The New Order is also a tale of tragedy, a tragedy not limited to the Nazis' victims, but also the victors: the story events of the German Civil War goes full on War Is Hell territory, and post-civil war Germany will have a visibly lower GDP, rampant poverty, starvation, rioting slaves who just want to get away from hell and serious population drop in contrast to Vanilla Hearts of Iron with no population loss in territories (even after nuking) and removed atrocities. The New Order pulls no punches when it comes to horror and tears.
- Tsar Mikhail II not only is banned from being able to go home by the military clique which has him as a puppet Tsar and having his letters to his family never answered, but both Yagoda and Rodzaevsky will execute him if he falls in their hands for how he was forced to become Tsar, even if he never wanted to.
- Generally, the events for peace treaties, with Russian examples (aside from Divine Mandate of Siberia) shown in the picture◊ are often this with a prominent example being how the soldiers of the People's Revolutionary Council last thought of their homes and loved ones.
- Crossed with being Nightmare Fuel, but there's a grim sense of finality should the Poles, whether in Poland itself or Nowa Polska, fail in their struggle for independence. As a loss would almost certainly mean the destruction of the entire idea of a Polish nation, and perhaps the end of the Polish people; horrifying considering how Polish nationalism is literally intertwined with the Polish identity.
- Should the Post-Taboritsky Last Stand of the last Poles in the world, the Autonomous Soviet Liberation Army be defeated, the capitulation message takes it up to eleven with the total death of all that is Polish:
Poland has died for a third time, choking on its own blood.
— Autonomous Soviet Liberation Army
- After much speculation from both the fandom and within the mod itself, a post-nuclear war◊ ending finally reveals that Nikolai Bukharin has been alive the whole time, living in a depressed isolation over the knowledge that his failure to lead the USSR to victory damned the world to the horrors of the Axis victory. The fact that Bukharin only appears in a post-nuclear event only makes it worse, because while he survives the bombings, he has to spend the rest of his short years also living with the guilt that a nuclear apocalypse was the long-term consequence of his leadership. And lastly, Bukharin looking at an old photo (pictured above) of him (alongside other members of the Bolsheviks including Trotsky and Stalin) at Lenin's funeral, full of hope for the Soviet Union, is almost a tearjerker in its own right.
- Puyi, the Emperor of Manchuria, is shown to remain a glorified prisoner within his own realm, whether due to his own hubris or the machinations of the Kwantung Army. As much a victim of the hellhole his state has become as the slaves toiling under Kishi's inhumane policies, he's also revealed to have grown depressed with time, unable to effectively rule or even do anything of value. And ultimately, though a few dignitaries (including Emperor Hirohito himself) attend his funeral, his death is largely unnoticed by the rest of the world. With his passing, generations of the Mandate of Heaven are quietly snuffed out, forever.
- A victorious Mikhail Tukhachevsky executes Tsar Vladimir III .... and his wife and daughter, who is just a child, crying as she is led to her execution. In addition, Vladimir's last words are to beg for the executioners to spare his family and he has to witness his family being executed before dying himself.
- The super event for Yockey taking over the presidency is both this and Nightmare Fuel. The United States anthem played in the form of a Dark Reprise, the quote and the general feel of the event showcases the tragedy of the Arsenal of Democracy being turned into what is essentially a fascist state, and not even the First Amendment might be able to save America from this path...
- One of the first events for a Yockey presidency added to the game has Walter Cronkite quote Vice President Louis T. Byers' speech to the Senate where he denounced supposed Zionist and Communist threats lurking in the shadows in a speech that would be more at home across the Atlantic in Germany. By the time he finishes recounting the Yockeyites' speeches to the Senate, Cronkite sheds a Single Tear at what the American people voted into power...
- In addition, there is George Wallace's transition letter in the case Yockey succeeds him as the US President. It is a fairly short letter, but the sheer, utter despair it expresses is palpable. Wallace has a massive Heel Realization and blames no one but himself and the failure of his politics for paving the way for Yockey's victory, but also knows this is also far too little and far too late to do anything about it.
I am not strong enough to understand this. I keep looking out my window for answers. I keep begging God for some sign that He's still there. All I have is silence.
I have failed this country. I have failed America. My career was a mistake. If I had known what I would cause, I would have stayed in the Army Air Corps and let myself get shot down.
I am beyond saving. We both are.
- To rub a little more salt into the wound, Wallace's letter is, like pretty much every other possible translation letter for Yockey, unceremoniously burned without ever being opened. Wallace's desperate apology to the world never know to anyone else but himself.
- Hart's letter is a very laconic one in which he simply states that he has nothing to say to Yockey and that he would pray for the country.
- On top of being Nightmare Fuel, the myriad failstates for Russia and Japan do a rather somber job highlighting just how horrible they'd be for everyone in their respective countries. Whether it's an Ultranationalist hellhole (Omsk, Eurasia, or Hyperborea), militarist martial law (Muto's Japan) or near-total collapse (Post-Taboritsky Russia), it's made starkly clear that these once-proud and dignified nations have fallen to depths they may never recover from.
- The Oxford Trials that ensue following a Resistance victory could easily devolve into an outright Kangaroo Court should vengeance or "victor's justice" overtake any sense of mercy or reconciliation. This also means that just nearly all the collaborators, including moderates and Internal Reformist types like Macmillan and Hume, could be sentenced to summary execution, regardless of what they've done. Their somber, resigned reactions upon being brought to the firing line really drives home just how tragic and ill-deserved their fates could be. That the way the related events play out all but chastises the player for consigning otherwise decent people to their deaths doesnt help.
- Unlike most Nazi leaders, and unlike every leader that champions a variation of Esoteric Nazism, there is a certain measure of sympathy to be had for Sergei Taboritsky. Especially if you have a little familiarity with schizophrenia, which his madness very much resembles. Even as he gasses his own people and slaughters everyone with the slightest measure of impurity or disobedience in Russia until he completely kills even the very idea of Russia as a nation, even knowing he was likely irredeemable from the start... there is still something harrowing in watching him start realizing God isn't with him. The last moment before his brain gives up on working, he mumbles one little sentence, showing deep regret for killing an innocent Nabokov before the voices take over for good. THEN the wall of denial that holds him back from realizing Alexei is never coming back collapses, he just falls the hell apart until there is nothing left, literally dying from shock with no one to check up on him until the scent of rot sets into the palace. Which, in turn, makes the final revelation that his liege is long dead before he himself dies of shock all the more pitiful.
"Tsarevich Alexei, where are you? Blessed child, can you hear my prayers? I have done so much in your name. I have defied the Jews, the Bolsheviks, and the forces of Hell itself. How many lives — subhumans, traitors, heathens — have I crushed under the iron heel of the Regency? How many sacrifices have I piled up on the altar? I truly do not know. Please, my blessed prince. If you will not hear my voice, then see my words. See them, and know that your people are ready for you. Your throne stands, gilded and draped in purple cloth, for you to assume power and rule Holy Russia in perpetuity. Please, don't leave us alone here. Please..."
"Don't let this all be for nothing."
- As of the Cutting Room Floor patch there's even a small silver of sympathy to be had for Reinhard Heydrich, one of history's most horrific mass murderers, as well. After killing Himmler, he realizes just how far gone he was, and that he had simply accomplished nothing. Seeing the fact that the Poles and others he considered to be untermenschen fight valiantly in his ragtag coalition, and the fact that the SS are willing to plunge the nation once again into chaos to seize power completly reveals to him just how twisted and beyond the pale Nazi ideology is. Understanding that there was no way he can ever make up for all the evil he has done, and that his devotion to Nazism indirectly led to the death of one of his sons, more Aryans than any so-called Jewish plot could have done, and alienated him from his still living son and daughters, he kills himself, deciding the world and Germany would be better off without him and Nazism.
- And after that happens, to cap it off, you get to watch the Reich and Germany die: The supposed Third German Civil War proves to be one too many, and the formed cliques quickly collapse into anarchy, plunging most of Europe into a thorough post-apocalypse with the whole territory not even worthy of a name.
- Should the Black League of Omsk be the one to instigate the nuclear apocalypse, one event◊ heavily implies that it not only survives the ensuing holocaust, but pushes through with the Great Trial. Only for Yazov to realize too late the devastation he helped caused, which far outweighs any German survivors his soldiers kill. Ultimately, he fosters a sense of collective guilt on his citizens, passing it on through stories to the generations to come. What's especially tragic is how it took the destruction of civilization for the mad thirst for vengeance to finally be put to rest, forever.
- Valery Sablin's death should Buryatia be defeated, whether at the hands of fascists and White forces or the more authoritarian socialist factions, counts as this. While he consistently remains Defiant to the End, the vision of a more idealistic and humanistic Soviet Union as Lenin intended dies with him, especially should the remaining Russian socialists be the likes of Kaganovich, Yagoda, Tukhachevsky, Serov, or Zhdanov. That his execution by Chita has echoes of how the real Sablin was unceremoniously killed by the Soviet leadership in OTL makes it all the more bitter.
- The authoritarian path for Buryatia not only signifies Valery Sablin sliding into replicating Bukharinist oppression, but also becoming more like the very hardliners and madmen he opposed. All the while, many of his close supporters either abandon him or wind up dead. As much of a more "realistic" or cynical take on fulfilling Lenin's vision as it is, however, it's also shown that Sablin himself eventually finds it harder to justify those harsh measures. By the time he unifies Russia, he comes close to tears upon weighing the costs of his revolution.
- Part of the HMMLR narrative is told from the perspective of two young women who fell in love and joined the revolution in the hopes a free England would be more accepting of their relationship. If the Collaborators win the civil war, the ''Barbaric Escape''◊ event occurs, during which one sacrifices herself to allow the other to escape. She watches tearfully as her love screams and pleads with the boat driver to turn back for her.
- Should Elizabeth II assume the throne following an HMMLR victory, she meets with the deposed King Edward VIII, now living in house arrest. Only to find to her dismay that her estranged uncle is a bitter shell of his former self. As she's about to leave, however, he warns her against becoming a pawn of the OFN and Americans just as he was one to the Reich.
- Despite being not as blatantly horrific as some of the more horrifying unifiers, the unification of Russia by Novosibirsk is rather soul crushing by itself, especially if Shukshin fails to take power. As far as the comparatively idealistic(with no clear cut villains) and lighthearted Central Siberia arc goes, Novosibirsk's desire to create a apolitical cyberpunk, corporate state, as it has been argued, makes them the most cynical and outright tyrannical of the Central Siberian warlords. If it triumphs over the more idealistic and well-intentioned SBA, People's Revolutionary Council, Tomsk, and Kemerovo, and go on to unify Russia, it will enforce a bleak, soul-crushing corporatist dominance over Siberia and the Far East where idealism and forward thinking are crushed under the boot of cynicism and pragmatism. The cynical nature of Novosibirsk and how bleak it is makes their reunification quote more appropriate:
"You will be required to do wrong no matter where you go. It is the basic condition of life, to be required to violate your own identity."
- On a similarly soul-crushing note, a Russian Empire founded by Boris Shepunov's Chita might not be that bad a place to live in and could be described as a stable place. However, Shepunov's Chita is the closest thing there is to a restoration of a Romanov absolute monarchy in Russia as it is formed by the most reactionary elements of the White Army, meaning that all the sacrifices and actions of the past half-century or so would have been All for Nothing as a stratocracy trying to recreate the pre-Revolution political system reunifies Russia.
- Should one cause or face a nuclear apocalypse while playing as Japan, one of the final events before the post-apocalypse ones is the death poem of none other than Emperor Hirohito himself. It is gut wrenching.
Fire chars the realm
Heaven's hosts forsake my line
Empire ended us.
Forgive me, ancestors.
- Francisco Franco will grieve for his co-dictator and institutional rival Salazar upon the latter's death, accompanying his funeral procession from Madrid to Portugal on horseback, weeping at his funeral, and, upon returning to Madrid, setting up Salazar's chess set for a final, unplayed game, showing that despite the bitter disagreements between the two Caudillos they nonetheless valued each other as friends.
- Elena and Yevgeny are deputies of Komi's SMR and PSD parties, respectively, and they maintain a close friendship despite being on opposite ends of the isle. Despite being former members of Komi's Communist party and the Passionariyy, respectively (which you find out if you target either the far-left or the far-right early on), they are both committed to democracy and will keep each others' previous political affiliation a secret. If the Passionariyy takes over Komi, they are last seen making a doomed last stand in a safehouse◊ before being unceremoniously gunned down by a fascist paramilitary officer.
"We promised...and we failed."
- Early on in a Komi game, Suslov's wife, Yelizabeta, struggles with and eventually dies of cancer, and two events show Suslov's perspective before and after her death. Put simply, Suslov is emotionally devastated by the loss of his wife, and his feeling of powerlessness at watching her die, while in-character for the notorious Control Freak, also results in two rare moments of emotional vulnerability for the otherwise unflappable Suslov.
- Steve, the American tourist who sets off to explore Russia, has a very high chance of dying in the attempt - quite possibly at your hands, if you are playing one of the more brutal Russian warlords. If that happens, his parents are crushed by grief, with his mother weeping for a month on end and his father feigning "working late" in order to search for some sign of his son's fate. When he doesn't, he breaks down and cries.
"His journey never ended for those who loved him."
- Over the course of gameplay in an Indonesia game, the once close friendship between Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta slowly deteriorates as Hatta grows frustrated at Sukarno's insistence on dictatorship and refusal to democratize. This devolves into full-blown civil war, with Sukarno being shown in the first event of the war as having lost all pity for Hatta.
- If Sukarno wins the Indonesian Civil War, the peace event shows him turning to Hatta to ask for feedback after his victory speech, only to remember that his longtime friend is not there.
- Likewise, a victorious Hatta idly imagines Sukarno talking to him as a friend...after his execution by a vengeful Indonesian Communist Party.
- In contrast to the ominously brutal Muto coup, the Jushin coup that could occur following the Gekokujo Crisis is much more somber and tragic than horrifying. The clique, under Kido Kōichi and Higashikuni Naruhiko, bloodlessly usurps power from the Taisei Yokusankai and installs its own government made up of Imperial loyalists, under pretensions of returning power back to the Emperor. In practice, it marks an ignoble end for democracy as Japan falls under the mercy of a second Meiji oligarchy that proceeds to undo all semblance of liberalization. For the Japanese people, it also signifies the end of any chance for true change.
- The superevent that accompanies the Siberian Black Army reunifying Russia as Vanguard Anarchist (as of the Toolbox Theory update) has an undercurrent of tragedy to it in its choice to initially be set to "Mother Anarchy Loves Her Sons", an upbeat anarchist marching song about how the revolution's enemies will be defeated, only to be interrupted by a rendition of Billie Holiday's "Gloomy Sunday", a slow melancholy song about depression caused by a loss of loved ones, symbolically representing the death of "Mother Anarchy" and the anarchist dream as the Black Army now rules Russia as a de facto military junta, completely squandering any potential the Russian Free Territory had to be a better and freer society.
- Some of the US transition letters can be tearjerkers in their own right, depending on who's sending it and the reaction it elicits.
- McCormack's letter to RFK has him relating the death of his father to that of JFK and expressing his condolences while praising him as a man with passion and idealism, concluding that he knows that he will make JFK proud. RFK's reaction to it seals the deal:
- Bennett's letter to Yockey begs him to step down.
- If Yockey succeeds him, Wallace has a full on breakdown, saying he has failed America, both of them are beyond saving, and wishing he had allowed himself to get shot down when he was in the air force.