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EVA: Welcome back, commander.

"I've seen the future. Our Tiberian future. And as you watch this battle just beginning to unfold, I've already seen the final act. It is my destiny to lead the way for all mankind..."
Kane to General Solomon
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Tiberian Sun is the second installment in the Command & Conquer: Tiberian Series. Set in 2030, tiberium is now spreading unchecked, forcing humanity to flee to the arctic or desert regions that can at least slow the substance's progress. As governments break down and GDI does its best to bring order from the chaos, Kane reappears to lead a reunified and invigorated Nod into battle once more. A crashed alien spaceship and an extraterrestrial artifact called the Tacitus hint at a larger purpose behind Tiberium, but ultimately Kane's attempt to use a missile to increase Tiberium's spread is thwarted with the man's death (again).

Released in 1999, the game notably raised the cutscenes profile of the saga, featuring for the first time renowned mainstream actors such as James Earl Jones and Michael Biehn. The Scrin technology makes its first appearance in this game, as well.

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An expansion pack was also released, called Tiberian Sun: Firestorm, in which Nod's battle AI, CABAL, revolts and leads a cyborg uprising, forcing GDI and the remnants of Nod to unite to defeat him.

Tiberian Sun and its expansion were released as freeware by EA in 2010. Official Download.

Please note that this page is for tropes that feature in this game and its expansion only. Please add tropes relating to other games as well on the main Tiberian Series page.


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This game contains examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo:
    • GDI upgraded their grenadiers' loadout from standard hot potatoes to disc launchers whose explosive discs bounce off of the ground a few times before detonating at the target's location.
    • Nod harvests the tentacles of tiberium vein monsters and processes the stuff into corrosive and highly mutagenic tiberium gas for use in missile warheads.
  • Achilles' Heel:
    • Most enemy main bases in the campaigns have a glaring flaw in their layout that players can exploit if they discover it in time. This often takes the form of a hidden, barely defended backdoor into the base that leads directly to its power plant park or construction yard. Others suffer from Crippling Overspecialization by relying almost completely on one type of defenses (anti-ground or anti-air) instead of mixing them up.
    • Nod's Cyborg Commando is an absolute beast in ground combat but completely defenseless against aircraft. GDI's Mammoth Mk II can launch missiles at air units, but they're so weak that it's just as screwed if the opposing player can field a decent air force.
    • CABAL's Core Defender in its packed-up state is completely invincible to anything you can throw at it, with one exception: the humble Hunter-Killer drone. If you're either very lucky or launch it after taking out everything else on the map, it can turn a nightmarish fight into an embarrassing (for the Defender) Curbstomp Battle.
  • Action Girl: In Sun, Umagon is a mutant soldier who sure knows how to fight. She's even a field unit in at least one mission.
  • A.I. Breaker: EMP'ing a computer-controlled vehicle often completely breaks its AI routines. Active orders are cancelled, no new ones are given, and the vehicle remains rooted in place until something hostile enters its firing range... and even that can fail to trigger a response.
  • The AI Is A Cheating Bastard: AI players follow most but not all of the rules human players must adhere to, which gets worse the higher you set the difficulty. Aside from the computer always knowing where your base is regardless of active stealth generators or not, it also never loses access to higher-tier technologies even if you destroy the prerequisite buildings like tech centers or radar facilities. "Difficult" AI opponents don't actually act smarter, but the massive discounts in unit prices and build times they get means that, on smaller maps, they can steamroll your base with tier-3 units while you're still busy getting some basic economy up and running.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: In Firestorm, CABAL quickly goes rogue.
  • Anchored Attack Stance: Artillery units need to anchor themselves in the ground before they can open fire with their BFGs.
  • Arbitrary Minimum Range: Nod artillery, GDI Juggernauts and GDI RPG turrets can't shoot at targets too close to them. RPG launchers have it even worse because when you build them at the edge of a cliff, which normally increases a unit's effective range, they'll often overshoot their targets and become nearly useless at any range.
  • Arm Cannon: Cyborg soldiers have chainguns on their right arms. Cyborg Reapers have cluster missile launchers on theirs, plus a net launcher to disable infantry on the other. The Cyborg Commando wields an extremely powerful Plasma Cannon.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Nod's Mobile Repair Vehicle is a notable example. When put into "guard" mode, it has an annoying habit of chasing down any unit that only has even a sliver of damage. In doing so, the MRV has a tendency to stupidly follow certain units into situations that are too dangerous for the former (i.e. an enemy base, tiberium veins, or aggressive tiberium wildlife). What's worse is that since Nod's units are overall less durable than GDI's, this all becomes kind of a neccessary evil to merely keeping your forces alive. note 
  • Audience Surrogate: The players are meant to identify with either Michael McNeil in the GDI campaign or Anton Slavik in the Nod campaign, negating the Non-Entity General approach of the other games.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The backstory handles GDI mechs like this. Not as maneuverable (except in rough terrain) or cheap as Nod's tanks, and have poor leg workings.
    • In-game, the two super units certainly count. The Mammoth Mk II packs extreme firepower but is slow as molasses, has short range, its SAM batteries are largely useless against enemy aircraft and its main gun wrecks any allied ground unit that gets caught in the blast. The Cyborg Commando fares slightly better overall but is so weak against anti-armor weapons that four GDI Titans can kill it without losing more than one or two of their own. It's also defenseless against air units. Economically, both require special buildings to unlock and are prohibitively expensive once available, so its usually more efficient to funnel the funds into building more basic units instead.
    • Advanced passive defenses suffer from this, with Nod's laser fences hit even harder than GDI's Firestorm wall. Both systems are extremely power-hungry, the Firestorm wall can only stay active a limited amount of time before needing to recharge, and the laser fence collapses completely when a fence post is destroyed, which happens all the time because the posts aren't terribly durable and the AI loves to target them. Their shared ability to One-Hit Kill absolutely anything caught in their energy discharge gives them some highly situational use, and the Firestorm wall can defend against Nod missile strikes if positioned properly, but most of the time these systems are just cool-looking but ultimately useless base decorations.
    • The two support units added with Firestorm rarely prove useful. Nod's mobile stealth generator has very short range and is quite expensive, but at least it has some utility in cloaking small secondary bases without drawing from your base power reserves. The GDI's mobile EMP, however, is equally expensive and has equally abysmal range, but unlike the stealth generator it must get into knife fight range with its targets, where it needs to be triggered manually. Considering that the thing is made of tissue paper, this is anything but trivial, and the fact that your own units are not Friendly Fireproof against the EMP turns the mobile EMP into something you're unlikely to use outside of a rare few campaign missions.
  • Badass Creed: One of Nod's mottos is "PEACE THROUGH POWER!!" This becomes creepy and terrifying in the end of the Nod campaign, where Slavik captures and mistreats McNeil (offscreen) while he's tied to a chair, then shows him a view of a Nod missile vaporizing the GDSS Philadelphia into a glowing mist:
    McNeil: NOOOOOOOOOO!!!
    Slavik: Peaceful, isn't it?
  • Base on Wheels: In addition to the iconic Mobile Construction Vehicle that turns into the construction yard that builds all your structures, Firestorm introduces Mobile War Factories (Nod calls theirs "Fist of Nod") that do the same, only for vehicles. They're slow but heavily armored and prove a valuable asset for skilled commanders seeking to resupply their troops directly at the front lines. It's a reasonable assumption that a combination of both technologies eventually resulted in the creation of the Crawlers used extensively during the TCN Conflict.
  • Big "NO!": Michael McNeil's response when Slavik has captured and tortured him, and he witnesses the Philadelphia Station being destroyed by Nod's nuclear missile(s).
  • Bland-Name Product: Several of the building names.
  • Blob Monster: Visceroids are blobs of cellular plasma that are created when a human or animal body collapses under the strain of tiberium-induced mutation. Any infantry unit can spawn a visceroid when killed by exposure to tiberium crystals or gas, which then proceeds to mindlessly attack anything in range that isn't another mutant creature. Small visceroids aren't much of a threat, but two small ones can merge into an adult one that can wreck an entire base in one minute or less unless you have a whole bunch of tanks in range to stop it.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Nod's basic laser turret and its GDI counterpart, the Vulcan Cannon. They're relatively cheap and have a quick rate of fire when compared to the Obelisk of Light and RPG Throwers. They also remain active in low-power situations. Plus, the basic laser turret is actually pretty effective against infantry and vehicles alike (though it still can't hold up to advanced armor like GDI's Mammoth Mk. II or the Disruptor). Unfortunately, they both have a crippling weakness in form of very short range, making units like Titan, Tick Tank or MLRS capable of taking them out from safe distance with zero casualties).
    • Also GDI's Disc Thrower infantry (which is a successor of GDI's Grenadiers from Tiberian Dawn). Like their predecessors, the Disc Throwers are pretty effective against infantry, vehicles, and buildings. In fact, since infantry in general are more durable in Tiberian Sun, it is possible to complete the first third of the GDI campaign with Disc Throwers backed up by Medics.
    • Both factions' basic armor units (Titans and Tick Tanks) will remain your mainstay throughout much, if not most of the campaigns due to their versatility and cost-effectiveness. GDI players will eventually upgrade to Disruptor tanks for heavy STS duty, but Nod players, lacking heavier tanks completely, will continue to field their Ticks en masse all the way to the end.
    • Concrete walls and pavement. The AI tends to ignore concrete walls as long as there's at least one other viable way past them, making them a dirt-cheap yet very useful addition to your active defenses that doesn't require power. They're also invaluable for protecting your construction yard and power plants from hostile engineers. Pavement prevents subterranean units from popping up in the middle of your base, it protects against superweapon-induced terrain destruction that can make rebuilding destroyed structures challenging, and it increases the speed of all ground units on it.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece:
    • In the last GDI mission you get the chance to use classic Mammoth Tanks from Tiberian Dawn, which still prove useful. The Forgotten also uses them.
    • The Juggernaut artillery unit in Firestorm is the result of taking a triple-barreled cannon from an old battleship — useless now that the seas are choked with Tiberium-mutated weeds — and mounting them on mech legs.
  • Les Collaborateurs: Jake McNeil joins the enemy side in the Nod campaign out of envy at his brother Michael and some suggestions from Oxanna. In the canon GDI campaign, he was also stated to be at Hammerfest when it fell to Nod, so it's entirely possible that he was also a mole there, and received the additional You Have Outlived Your Usefulness treatment from Nod when they failed to push GDI out.
  • Cool Ship: The GDI command vehicle, the Kodiak.
  • Cool Train: Nod's competing command vehicle, the Montauk, when it's riding through existing tunnels rather than drilling its own.
  • Crapsack World: Tiberium has become so widespread and devastating that most nation states have collapsed or are in a constant state of anarchy and the remaining human population has escaped to arctic and desert regions of earth where tiberium at least spreads slower. Tiberium has even started to spread on water and this has made the planet entirely reliant on air transportation to survive. The world is also constantly being ravaged by sudden and deadly Ion Storms that make the planet even more inhospitable for life. The environment has also suffered immensely and most of Earth's original flora and fauna is already dead and replaced with new tiberium based lifeforms. The gameplay actually reflects this, see Everything Trying to Kill You below.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Any units in post-battle CGI cutscenes tend to perform spectacular feats far beyond what their in-game counterparts can do, usually by dealing out One Hit Kills like candy. This includes examples like a Nod cyborg blowing up a GDI defense turret in a single burst of his Arm Cannon, a GDI light infantry one-shotting said cyborg with his piddly assault rifle in return, two Banshees taking down a Mammoth Mk II in a single pass, or a Devil's Tongue cutting through a reinforced steel bulkhead whereas it normally can't even grind through concrete pavement.
  • Cyborg: Tiberian Sun introduced cyborgs as part of Nod's arsenal, two in the base game and a third one in Firestorm. All cyborgs are considered elite units, being much more expensive and more high-tech than their fully organic peers. They're generally slower than regular infantry, resistant to small arms fire but weak to anti-armor weapons due to their mostly robotic shells (basically tanks that behave like infantry), and they can heal damage by walking/standing in tiberium fields. They still don't take well to tiberium gas exposure, however. Two of the three types are also unique in that they have two "states": a completely intact one, and another without legs caused by taking very heavy damage. They can still heal back to full without their legs but suffer a severe speed penalty for the rest of their deployment. Destroyed cyborgs leave a small patch of tiberium crystals behind that can be harvested to recoup a portion of their production costs, or left on the ground to seed new tiberium fields at a convenient location.
  • Darker and Edgier: The original Command & Conquer featured a global battle between a terrorist cult and a UN military, with Tiberium crystals as an Applied Phlebotinum to make the Command & Conquer Economy work. The sequel reveals that Tiberium itself is a harmful terraforming agent, and the impending apocalypse looms over the horizon as the Earth is slowly transformed into a lifeless wasteland which Kane is seeking to speed up.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: CABAL's Core Defender, a massive bipedal robot which can withstand obscene amounts of firepower; It wields a powerful laser cannon from each arm, capable of shredding most any ground unit in one shot; two for the Mammoth Mk. II. EMP also doesn't work, and using it prompts an Evil Laugh from CABAL. There are creative and easier ways outside the box to deal with it, such as Dropped a Bridge on Him (or from under him) or Firestorm/ Laser Fence.
  • Deadline News: Oxana Kristos, who had been declared dead by her former colleague in the news studio (working for the traitor Hassan), casually sits down next to him on live TV. He's startled, but she tells him to "Please, continue"... then shoots him moments later.
  • Deadly Gas: Nod's secondary superweapon is a missile full of Tiberium waste gas, which corrodes structures and vehicles, and poisons or mutates enemy soldiers.
  • Death from Above:
    • In one cutscene, a squadron of Nod Banshees strafes - and destroys - a prototype Mammoth Mk.II. It serves dual duty in the game: as a "Mission Failed" cutscene for GDI and a "Mission Accomplished" one for Nod. During the GDI campaign, it gets played if you fail to destroy the facility where the Banshee prototypes are being manufactured; for Nod, it plays if you find and destroy the Mammoth Mk.II prototype.
    • A second cutscene has an advancing Nod armor column suddenly immobilized by an EMP blast; shortly after that happens, a wing of Orca Bombers comes in to blow them to smithereens.
    • Certain air units will occasionally use this exact phrase when told to attack a target.
  • Death World: Earth is rapidly approaching this state by the time of the Second Tiberium War. See the Crapsack World and Everything Trying to Kill You entries for details.
  • Difficult, but Awesome:
    • Nod's Cluster Missile superweapon is much more difficult to aim properly than the GDI's Ion Cannon, but capable of inflicting significantly more damage over a wider area in return. It also devastates larger parts of the target base's terrain if no pavement has been placed before, making it even more difficult for the opponent to rebuild destroyed structures.
    • The EMP Cannon falls somewhere between this and Boring, but Practical. It's very easy to use and can disable anything that isn't infantry or airbornenote  in a huge radius for a considerable length of time, but its mediocre range requires setting up a firebase near the enemy's base if you want to use it offensively. If you're willing and able to invest this effort, even the most heavily defended base on the planet can be overrun with next to no resistance.
  • Doom Troops: The malevolent A.I. CABAL's cyborg faction in the expansion pack Firestorm seems to invoke this. Much of its armies consist of shambling, rotting corpses with cybernetic upgrades, and its "Reaper" units are robotic scorpion-man hybrids with skulls for heads. They're mainly used to destroy civilian settlements and to capture people so they can be processed to create more soldiers.
  • Drill Tank: Nod uses subterranean units such as the Subterranean APC, the Devil's Tongue flame tank, and the Montauk command vehicle, although only the first looks like a recognisable drill tank.
  • Drop Ship: Used as a special unit in Tiberian Sun. Bonus points since the game stars Aliens's Michael Biehn as the player character in the GDI cutscenes.
  • Dual Mode Unit: Nod's basic armor unit is the Tick Tank, a light tank that can burrow into the ground so that only its turret peeks out. It's either fairly fast but fragile, or immobile but heavily armored.
  • Dungeon Bypass: One late-game Firestorm mission revolves around escorting a bunch of special engineers to a bunch of special buildings so they can disable the nearly indestructible laser fences around CABAL's base. "Nearly" being the operative word - the fences are extremely durable but not invincible, so instead of putting up with the Escort Mission you can just assemble your usual tank army and blast your way through the old-fashioned way.
  • Easter Egg: In the last Nod mission, there is a civilian building called the "Xmas Tree Farm", which itself is already pretty funny. Destroying it causes CABAL to exclaim "SCROOGE!" at the top of the screen. It also yields a money crate for the effort.
  • Electric Jellyfish: Tiberium Floaters look like giant land-dwelling Portuguese men-of-war kept afloat by internal bladders filled with Deadly Gas. They attack by releasing said gas in clouds, as well as delivering powerful electric shocks to targets in melee range. A single one of these things can level a poorly defended base in no time.
  • EMP: Both factions can build stationary EMP cannons that have limited range but temporarily disable any vehicle, cyborg and structure in a considerable area, followed by a lengthy recharge time. Firestorm gives the GDI access to mobile versions with a similar, smaller effect centered on themselves.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: The Nod campaign ends as Kane launches a world-altering missile to completely turn the world into a Tiberian landscape. He likely killed off all non-mutated terrestrial life by doing so.
  • Enemy Mine: GDI and Nod vs CABAL in Firestorm.
  • Epic Fail: Vehicles try to run over hostile infantry that gets near them. The Forgotten Hijacker is an expensive melee-only infantry unit that can usually jump into the target vehicle without getting squished, but sometimes... well, let's just hope this doesn't happen to you in a campaign mission.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Visceroids, Tiberian Fiends, Tiberium Floaters, Veinhole Monsters constantly destroy vehicles and buildings and the gas they produce kills infantry, Tiberium is poisonous to infantry, ion storms cause lightning strikes and cause your planes to fall out of the sky and crash, etc. etc. On the one hand, this does realistically evoke the story's feel of a Crapsack World going to hell and anarchy because of the effects of Tiberium; on the other hand it is actually possible to win one-on-one skirmish battles without ever even seeing the enemy, because the enemy was just overwhelmed by all the third-party nasties on the map.
  • Evil Gloating:
    • Kane gives a good one to Mike McNeil after breaking through the Hammerfest defenses in Tiberian Sun and stealing the sonic crystals, leaving behind a broadcast in which he glibly informs him that the sonic tank "will make an excellent addition to my collection", and that "oh, and sorry to hear about your brother, McNeil... I hear he died a very slow and... painful death..."
    • There is also Vega's video to GDI, where he taunts GDI and executes Commander Tao.
  • Evil Laugh: CABAL likes to do these during missions in Firestorm.
    CABAL: Cybernetic lifeforms will always be superior.
    EVA: Missile launch detected.
    CABAL: Kehahahahahahahaha!
  • Evil Sounds Deep: CABAL has a very intimidating lowered voice. Justified for being a computer A.I. who was programmed that way.
  • Fantastic Racism: There is quite a lot of hostility between the mutant and human factions, who deride each other as "blunts" and "shiners" respectively. Nod in particular regards the mutants as abominations and sees no problem with slaughtering them for their own ends (despite such mutation being the very real consequence of the spread of Nod Tiberium worshipping).
  • Fixed Forward-Facing Weapon: The Mammoth Mk II's giant railguns can only swivel vertically, so the entire walker needs to turn around to face its target when it wants to use them. It doesn't do its already abysmal maneuverability any favors.
  • Free Wheel: When some vehicles explode.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Nod has upgraded to using lasers for all of its base defences, including the huge Obelisk of Light. In Firestorm, CABAL is defended by experimental Super Prototype enhancements of this such as the Obelisk of Darkness (which can hit air units) and the Lightning Obelisk (which can rapid-fire).
  • Futuristic Pyramid: The Nod HQs are all built in large, technified pyramids. They're actually converted ancient pyramids rather than purpose-built ones, as they're in Egypt and Central America specifically, and can't be built in skirmish mode.
  • Gatling Good: GDI's standard base defense structure is the Vulcan Cannon, a building-sized turret with two ginormous rotary cannons effective against infantry and light vehicles. GDI's Wolverine walker also mounts two heavy miniguns in its arms for the same purpose.
  • Giant Foot of Stomping: One memorable cutscene involves a daring Nod buggy pilot trying and failing to outmaneuver a Mammoth Mk II. The giant walker disables the buggy with a glancing blow from its main guns, the pilot attempts to evacuate the doomed vehicle but is puréed when the Mk II's massive foot slams down on the immobilized buggy, crushing it flat.
  • Game Mod: A particularly spectacular one in the case of Twisted Insurrection, with full-length campaigns and even a third faction.
  • Gem Tissue: Mutants are humans who have been altered by exposure to Tiberium to the point they have Tiberium crystals growing out of their skin.
  • Getting High on Their Own Supply: General Vega is a South American Nod warlord and druglord who deals in a Fantastic Drug known as "Eye Candy", of which he is clearly his own best customer. In the Nod campaign, he hijacks an alien ship while high and crashes it. Another Nod general comments that even if he survives the crash, they'll kill him anyway for his monumental fuck-up. In the GDI campaign, Vega chooses to kill himself with an overdose because GDI forces are storming his base and an angry Kane has both excommunicated him from the Brotherhood and ordered a nuclear missile strike on Vega's base to show his displeasure.
  • Glass Cannon:
    • Artillery units can deal incredible damage at very long range but fall apart at the seams when someone so much as looks at them funny.
    • Orca fighters are great harassers that can quickly level a small base or wipe out an armored division, but a few low-tech AA units is all it takes to ruin their day.
  • A God Am I: Played with by Kane in the climax to the GDI campaign.
    McNeil: You're not God, Kane!
    Kane: No, I'm not God... but I'm a close second.
  • Good Running Evil: At the start of the Nod campaign, GDI is secretly running Nod as a puppet government. The initial goal is to break free and restore Nod to being an independent evil organization.
  • Gory Discretion Shot:
  • Guide Dang It!: Several missions, especially the ones with visible and/or invisible timers, can require multiple restarts to beat unless you have a guide at hand that tells you what you're up against, where the targets are and what you need to do when in order to succeed before the time runs out. Alternatively, missions that don't give you a base usually require taking a very specific path at a brisk pace to avoid running into more enemies than your small task force can handle.
  • Healing Factor: Cyborgs and tiberium mutants including the Forgottten have one when exposed to tiberium crystals. Cyborgs and Forgotten heal fairly slowly, but tiberium fauna like visceroids and floaters only need a few seconds to go from almost dead back to full health. Since destroyed mutants leave small tiberium fields behind, fighting several of them at once can quickly turn into an unwinnable battle when the freaks heal faster than you can damage them.
  • Hero Unit: GDI has Ghost Stalker, Umagon and the Mutant Hijacker (the latter two in the campaign only), plus the humongous Mammoth Mk II in the vehicle department. Nod has the Cyborg Commando and the Mutant Hijacker (in skirmish mode).
  • Hostile Weather: When a map is subject to ion storms, you have 60 seconds on normal game speed to land all air units and move all hover units over solid ground before all hell breaks loose. The storm disables radar, pummels the landscape with violent lightning strikes that deal decent damage to anything they hit, and empowers any tiberium creatures in the AO before it dissipates as quickly as it appeared, often leaving devastation in its wake.
  • Hover Tank: GDI's Hover MLRS, a fast but fragile mid-tier unit that excels at scouting and anti-air duty. Ion storms ground them, though, so be careful around bodies of water when you know a storm is coming.
  • Hufflepuff House: The Forgotten (mutants) in Tiberian Sun act as a third faction, reached out to by GDI and manipulated by Nod. Their units are, appropriately enough, cobbled together from odds and ends and include old vehicles left over from Tiberian Dawn.
  • Human Shield: In the final GDI cinematic Kane holds Umagon hostage when Michael McNeil storms his HQ to rescue her. She manages to break free after an outside explosion shocks the building.
  • Humongous Mecha: GDI has abandoned its line of tanks in favour of walkers and Mini-Mecha, with their crown jewel being the enormous quadrupedal Mammoth Mk II. CABAL has the huge Core Defender to more than level the playing field.
  • I Am the Noun: Kane's "I am the future" from Red Alert gets a Call-Back in the final GDI cutscene where Kane is about to destroy the world with a Tiberium missile when GDI commander Michael McNeil comes in to save the day. Kane is still shouting his drivel about being the future incarnate when McNeil impales him with a Tiberium shard.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: McNeil stabs Kane with a shard of Tiberium in the ending of GDI's campaign.
  • In Spite of a Nail: No matter which campaign is played, there will be an alien craft in Vega's territory, the GDI base in Hammerfest will fall, and Kane will create a mega Tiberium missile. The difference is that in the Nod campaign, Slavik manages to retrieve the ship's contents, Hammerfest remains in Nod hands (and is used as the staging ground for their missiles to destroy the Philadelphia), and the mega missile is fired off. But in the GDI campaign, McNeil recovers the ship's contents, Hammerfest is eventually retaken (albeit Nod making off with the Disruptor sonic crystals before they're forced out), and the missile becomes scrap metal. Oh, and Umagon gets captured in both campaigns, although both the causes and aftermath of the captures are different. Also, Slavik would be rescued from death at Hassan's hands, as he appears in Firestorm.
  • Isometric Projection: Evolving from the traditional 2D top-down view of its predecessor.
  • It's Personal:
    • Michael McNeil's animosity with Kane, after the latter murders his brother in the Hammerfast raid.
    • Anton Slavik's rivalry with McNeil, after the latter captures and humiliates him and his team.
  • Large Ham: Everybody in the Nod campaign.
  • Leave No Survivors: During the first Nod briefing, commander Anton Slavik asks CABAL what the conditions for a favorable outcome against the renegade General Hassan's forces in the present engagement would be. CABAL's response: "They all die"
  • Lensman Arms Race: Capturing or otherwise denying the enemy their advanced weaponry happens in both campaigns, along with the obligatory field-testing.
    • In the GDI campaign, Nod attacks Hammerfest in an attempt to secure their Disruptor sonic crystals, and Mack has to shut down Nod's Tiberium-based missiles and main Banshee launch base.
    • In the Nod campaign, Slavik has to destroy the Mammoth Mk.II prototype. He also gets to test out Tiberium-based weaponry which Kane has developed.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: GDI deploys a new addition to their arsenal: Sonic weaponry. In the GDI campaign, McNeil spends some time getting it back from Nod, who stole it after Hammerfest fell.
  • The Medic:
    • GDI Medics can rapidly heal other infantry units including other medics, making them an invaluable addition to any infantry strike force. They also have a minor Healing Factor that allows them to regenerate up to 50% of their own health.
    • Nod mobile repair vehicles act pretty much the same, only for vehicles instead of infantry and without the Healing Factor.
  • Mighty Glacier: The GDI once again rules supreme when it comes to fielding slow but powerful assault units. While the Titan is only marginally slower and harder-hitting than its Nod counterpart, Disruptor tanks, Orca bombers and the Mammoth Mk II quickly turn into an unstoppable avalanche of steel and firepower even in moderate numbers.
  • Mini-Mecha: Unlike its much larger cousins, the GDI Wolverine is basically an oversized suit of Powered Armor, being a 10-feet tall steel coffin with a mail slot in the front, two stubby legs and two minigun-wielding arms. It even uses standard infantry voice clips instead of the ones reserved for tanks and "real" mechas.
  • Mysterious Veil: Umagon initially uses a veil to disguise her nature as a mutant, but in truth it's not all that effective. When meeting Mike McNeil, she takes it off in her first scene after determining that she needs GDI's help, while after killing a Nod soldier on live camera, they don't need to expend much effort to digitally remove it and expose her identity.
  • Near-Villain Victory: In the final GDI mission, you are on the clock to stop Kane's missiles from acquiring their target and destroying the Philadelphia space station, leaving him free to launch his world-altering missile.
  • Nerf: Nod Artillery was severely nerfed between the base game and Firestorm. It initially used to have unfailing accuracy so that no matter what it was shooting at and how far it had moved while the shell was underway, it was impossible to avoid being hit. This, coupled with artillery's extreme range and damage, made it one of the most reviled units to face on the battlefield. Firestorm fixed the "always hits" problem and dialed back the damage to turn artillery from a "make your base immune to ground attacks" defensive tool into a powerful but balanced siege unit. It also gave the GDI a similar unit, the Juggernaut, to level the playing field even further.
  • New Era Speech:
    • Kane gives one of these in the Nod ending. Turns out his idea of a new era means turning the entire planet into a Tiberianized death world.
    • Anton Slavik also gives one at the end of the Nod campaign in Tiberian Sun: Firestorm after assuming command of Nod, in which he outright states that "a new era has begun".
  • No Canon for the Wicked: Played straight in Sun, although it was the first game to try moving away from this, as both campaigns hit many of the same plot beats with the difference lying in how they play out (e.g. who recovers the crashed UFO, whether Hammerfest remains in Nod hands or is pushed back out after taking it). Firestorm was the first to actually avert this in the series, as the two campaigns are a Perspective Flip to each other, both sides having to sort of work together at the end to take down a common enemy in CABAL. Slavik's appearance in Firestorm also presents an interesting use of this, as the first few missions of the Nod campaign, wherein Slavik is rescued from an execution attempt and ultimately deposes Hassan before Kane announces his return, and a later mission where he is captured by GDI and broken out, might have to be canon regardless - it all depends on whether the complete lack of mention of either of them in the GDI campaign means that this specific power struggle in Kane's absence and Slavik getting captured don't happen in the "true" canon, or that the GDI storyline is simply skipping over dirty business.
  • No Help Is Coming: A villainous example in the GDI campaign, when General Vega's base is being stormed by GDI forces and he pleads with Kane for reinforcements. Kane instead has both excommunicated him from the Brotherhood and ordered a nuclear missile strike on Vega's base to show his displeasure.
  • Non-Entity General: The original Tiberian Sun is probably the sole example in the main series to avoid the abstract player character approach: the cutscenes clearly let you know that if you play as GDI, your name is Michael McNeil, and when you play for the Brotherhood, you technically control Anton Slavik. It also at least implicitly undoes this for Tiberian Dawn, as General James Solomon is supposed to be the commander you played in that game. And that's only the original Tiberian Sun, since Firestorm gets back to its roots, complete with Slavik addressing you in the Nod campaign.
  • Nostalgia Level: One mission has GDI revisiting an old base site, with the classic buildings still standing. In another mission, Nod faces its old nemesis, the first Mammoth Tank, which can be used by GDI too.
  • Not Bad: When Michael McNeil saves the day, stops Kane, and gets the girl, Umagon concedes "Not bad for a blunt" before kissing him.
  • One-Hit Kill:
    • The Hunter-Killer drone's raison d'être is its ability to destroy any one target on the map instantly, bypassing any and all defenses, invulnerabilities and what have you. This explicitly includes CABAL's Core Defender both in its ridiculously resilient active form and in its otherwise invincible packed-up state. Its power is balanced out by the inability to designate specific targets - a Hunter-Killer may wreck the opponent's construction yard early in the game, or it may choose to vaporize nothing but unlucky light infantry throughout the whole deployment.
    • Nod artillery was infamous for instantly killing any non-cyborg infantry (and dealing heavy damage to vehicles) with unfailing accuracy before Firestorm nerfed it.
  • Overly Generous Time Limit: In the final Nod mission, you are given a little more than three hours to position three ICBM launchers on the map in order to destroy GDI's orbital command station before it can locate and destroy the World Altering Missile. Taking your time to build a force large enough to completely wipe out the highly defended GDI base — which isn't a mission requirement — and placing the ICBM launchers at your leisure afterwards takes an hour at most.
  • Perspective Flip: The Nod version of events which also happened in the GDI campaign - how the alien craft crashed in Vega's territory and Hammerfest Base fell - could be this. The GDI campaign is silent on those two points, with McNeil stumbling on the former's crash site and learning about the latter's fall after the fact, but the Nod campaign implies that Vega was high on drugs and "borrowed" the craft from Kane before crashing it, and Hammerfest was undermined from within by Jake McNeil.
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: General Solomon is the one who led the attack on Kane's Sarajevo temple, the final mission of the first game.
  • Public Execution: Nod forces are fond of doing this to suspected traitors. In the Nod opening cinematic, commander Anton Slavik was himself about to be publicly killed by injection before a faction of the Black Hand rescues him. The television program (called "Today's Execution" along with its own hosts) implies that this is a regular occurrence as part of the Brotherhood's "bread and circus" tactics. Anton later slits the throat of the rogue General Hassan after his capture in front of a spectating crowd.
  • Recursive Ammo: Nod's primary superweapon is the Cluster Missile which, upon detonating over the target and causing damage, releases several dozen small bombs that will fall around the original target and can devastate a sizable chunk of someone's base.
  • Renegade Splinter Faction:
    • The Black Hand goes rogue after Hassan tries to execute Slavik. After a brief civil war, Slavik wins and reunites the various factions just in time for Kane to return.
    • In Firestorm, CABAL splits from Nod as they themselves desperately try to avoid splintering again.
  • Retcon: Minor case in the alien spaceship that Nod and the GDI fight over for a while. The vessel was simply called "Alien Ship" in the game's release version, but the freeware version that came out after Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars references the now expanded role of the Scrin by changing the designation to "Scrin Ship".
  • Revive Kills Zombie: Inverted; walking through Tiberium fields damages and eventually kills regular infantry, but heals mutant units (including cyborgs).
  • Sensor Suspense: Tiberian Sun had the Mobile Sensor Array which, when deployed, could track enemies hidden by Fog of War, as well as Stealth and Subterranean units. The suspense part can even come into play with subterranean units, in that you can't tell whether what is about to pop up is a flamethrower tank or an APC loaded up with Cyborgs intent on murder.
  • Sequence Breaking:
    • In Salvage Operations (One of the middle Nod missions) you're suppose to navigate through enemy territory to retrieve the Tacitus, which is located at the crash site of the alien warship. However the Tacitus is actually being carried on the train at the beginning of the level, and if you're quick enough (or just slowed the game's speed down to a crawl) you can tell all of your troops to attack it and chase it down. Destroying it's locomotive stops the entire train, long before it reaches the warship where the Tacitus is "suppose" to be. and due to the speed of your units and sparse enemy unit placements, they can often chase down the train with minimal casualties, making an otherwise frustrating mission a cakewalk.
    • In the final Firestorm Mission you're suppose to take out some radar arrays to disable the firestorm generator, allowing you to finally access Cabal's core. If you're playing as GDI however you can just use the ion cannon to target the firestorm generator behind the walls and instantly skip that part of the mission. Although if you rushed up solely to do this without knowing what happens next, you'll be in for a painful surprise.
  • Short-Range Long-Range Weapon: Averted; the ranges of the Nod Artillery unit and its GDI counterpart in Firestorm, the Juggernaut, are very long by C&C standards, and many battles end up resembling World War I-style artillery duels.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Several to Michael Biehn's Aliens, notably the M16 Mk II Pulse Rifle is very similar to that film's M41A pulse rifle. A GDI soldier in one cutscene is even shown holding the M41A.
    • One Mammoth Mk. II cutscene homages The Empire Strikes Back (where, incidentally, James Earl Jones voiced Darth Vader) by highlighting its similarity to the AT-AT.
    • One of the skirmish maps is called The Ice Must Flow.
  • Slashed Throat:
    • Implied to be what happened to Commander Tao. There was a Gory Discretion Shot involved.
    • Hassan was dealt with in this manner during his execution.
  • Space Station: The GDSS Philadelphia, the orbital GDI command center for all its operations on Earth. Nod destroys it in their final mission.
  • Spider Tank: CABAL's Cyborg Reaper consists of a cyborgized human torso mounted on a quadrupedal base with spindly, insectoid legs for locomotion, plus two Arm Cannons shooting cluster missiles and nets to disable infantry.
  • Super-Persistent Missile: Surface-to-air missiles are absurdly persistent, often flying along impossible trajectories and tracking retreating targets across half the map before giving up the chase.
  • Super Prototype: Several. Most are primary targets in specific missions to prevent them from entering mass production.
    • The GDI goes to some lengths to deny Nod their Scrin-derived Banshee bombers. They succeed in taking out their main launch base but fail to neutralize the technology completely.
    • Nod sends you to destroy the GDI's Mammoth Mk II prototype while it's still going through live-fire tests on a shooting range. The mission ends with the destruction of the prototype, but more Mk IIs were either already built or constructed later regardless of your intervention.
    • In Firestorm, CABAL comes up with a slew of them.
      • Two special turrets derived from the Obelisk of Light - the Obelisk of Darkness, which can target aircraft, and the CABAL Obelisk, which boasts massively increased firepower against ground targets. Both can shoot through Firestorm walls, to boot.
      • A special version of the Firestorm Wall that can stay active indefinitely.
      • The Core Defender, an incredibly powerful Humongous Mecha that serves as his last line of defense.
  • Superweapon Surprise: CABAL is fond of them. Most of his bases have standard defenses and garrisons, but some also have a Cyborg Commando or two loitering around somewhere that're positioned on dark terrain in a way that makes them very easy to overlook until they start blowing up your troops. And then there's the infamous Core Defender, a unique, ultra-powerful unit that transforms from a strange building the moment you think victory is at hand. It's easily powerful enough to take out an entire tank army on its own before advancing on your bases, potentially turning an assured victory into a very unexpected mission failure.
  • Title Drop: During McNeil and Kane's confrontation in the GDI ending, Kane proclaims "I am the future! The Tiberian Sun has risen!"
  • Took a Level in Badass: The humble light infantry gets this treatment in an early Firestorm GDI mission. Light infantry normally dies from poking them gently, but in this mission they're beefed up so much that they're proving a serious challenge to Ghost Stalker, who normally kills almost anything in one shot while being Made of Iron himself.
  • Transforming Mecha: CABAL's Core Defender starts out as a weird-looking building next to the core, only to transform into a Humongous Mecha with incredible firepower once all other defenses are down.
  • Treachery Is a Special Kind of Evil: After Anton Slavik is rescued by the other members of the Black Hand from his would-be execution by General Hassan (who is secretly on GDI's payroll), he returns to the bridge of his command ship and confronts the guy who sold him out. The traitor can barely get out a single line because Slavik shoots him on the spot. He's proud to engage in war crimes for the cause, but Slavik despises disloyalty with a fiery passion. He later publicly executes Hassan himself.
  • Trick Bullet: One GDI mission in Firestorm has you put down some rioting civilians using riot troops armed with rubber bullets to subdue their leaders. This invokes Damn You, Muscle Memory!, because group-firing rubber bullets on the leaders as you're used to doing (rather than just using one trooper) will kill them and fail the mission.
  • Twist Ending:
    • In Firestorm. At the very end of the Nod campaign, it turns out that the missing Kane is still alive, possibly part of CABAL's neural network. This is never fully explained, as EA seems to have abandoned this plot thread in its sequels.
    • If you did not play the GDI campaign beforehand, finishing the Nod Campaign will suddenly introduce you to Kane in person, with half his face covered with a plate (you see him with this in the GDI ending too). He then "ascends" as the World-Altering Missile launches, disappearing into glowing light. What this means has never been elaborated on, as Tiberium Wars and Twilight have ret-conned what Kane meant by "Ascension".
  • Unfriendly Fire: GDI Disruptors, the Mammoth Mk II and the Forgotten Ghost Stalker carry weapons that damage anything in their path regardless of affiliation, with only the Disruptor being immune to other Disruptors' sonic cannons. It makes fielding combined-arms forces with these units challenging (Disruptor) to downright suicidal (Mk II, Ghost Stalker), especially in the latter's case because of how prone the guy is to one-shotting other hero units that mustn't die lest the mission fails.
  • Units Not to Scale: A weird example with GDI's Kodiak, which appears in-game in one mission in the vanilla game (where it's temporarily grounded by an ion storm) and one in the Firestorm expansion (when it crashes). In the first example it's the size of an average in-game building, in the second it's grown to about ten times that size.
  • Unwilling Roboticization: In Firestorm, CABAL attacks civilian settlements to harvest the people for his cyborg army. GDI is responsible for shutting down one of his processing plants during the campaign.
  • Veteran Unit: The concept is introduced here, franchise-wise. Hard to achieve and relatively minor improvements in return. Future games, however, would greatly improve on this.
  • Warm-Up Boss:
    • Hassan is one to Slavik, and can fit into the canon since the GDI campaign doesn't explicitly deny that the first few Nod missions ever happened.
    • For Mack, there is Vega. His island base is well-defended, but his forces pale in comparison to that of his boss Kane.
  • Wham Line: At the conclusion of the first part in the Nod Campaign, while the crowd is chanting "Kane lives in death!" "Kane LIVES!!"
  • Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing: Well, not completely nothing, but there are a few missions that can be finished without ever personally assaulting the enemy base you're tasked to destroy. This usually happens because of tiberium mutant infestation, like one mid-game GDI mission where the main Nod base is located right next to a large tiberium vein monster that'll eventually devour the whole base if you wait long enough. Even if you do launch an attack yourself, the vein monster has often already leveled the base's power infrastructure for you, so most of its defenses will be down by the time you arrive.
  • You Call That a Wound?: Cyborgs can have their legs blasted off and still function properly. They can even regenerate back to full health in Tiberium, though losing their legs does slow them down.
  • You Have Failed Me:
    • In Tiberian Sun's GDI campaign, Nod General Vega has just lost to McNeil and is beseeching Kane for reinforcements. Kane's response is to nuke Vega's entire island base.
    • In the Nod campaign, Anton Slavik implies something similar when General Vega steals Kane's UFO and crashes it, stating that Vega better hope he'll die in the crash, because Kane's wrath is certain.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: In the second video to the Nod campaign, a prominent GDI general (Solomon) implies this trope to the double agent General Hassan, telling him he will be seen as useless if Slavik continues to gather support, and that "useless things have a way of disappearing".


 
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Kane

Kane is the enigmatic leader and self-proclaimed prophet of the terrorist organization-turned-global superpower Brotherhood of Nod. Claiming the alien substance Tiberium as a catalyst in the next step of human evolution, he and his zealous followers actively antagonize the Global Defense Initiative and their attempts to control and remove Tiberium by instigating the Tiberium Wars.

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