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....
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...
- 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, Kishi's "National Purists"), 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.
- A prolonged Second German Civil War under Göring would not only lead to greater suffering for everyone, but also spark the German Collapse, further driven home by a Dark Reprise of the "Deutschlandlied". While there's some karmic justice in Germany crumbling into the same warlord-ridden quagmire as the old USSR, it's presented more as a tragedy, with the various feuding cliques too busy squabbling over the ruins to even entertain reunifying the Reich. The Nazis' lasting legacy then, would not only be the destruction of their own nation, but even the very concept of a German people. This is underscored further by an in-universe quote from Wilhelm Frick:
We lacked self control. We recognized no limits. Otherwise, the Reich would have lasted more than 4 decades.
- Unlike most Nazi leaders, and unlike every leader that champions the Burgundian System, 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, PRC, 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."
- 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."