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Video Game / Suzerain

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A Morgna wes core, Vectern sis da!
"A Morgna wes core, Vectern sis da!
(Morning will come, Victory is close!)"
— Motto of the Republic of Sordland.

Suzerain is a text-based Political Strategy Game and RPG in where you play as Anton Rayne, newly elected President of the Republic of Sordland, a fictional country in the also fictional continent of Eastern Merkopa, that stands in the middle of a cold war between two opposing nuclear superpowers, Arcasia and United Contana.

The game was published by Fellow Traveler on 4 December 2020 and developed by Torpor Games.

The country lies in a bad state, between regional rivalries, increasingly aggressive neighbors, an economic recession that is on the verge of becoming a full crisis, increasingly powerful separatist movements, politically motivated violence and widespread corruption. The objective is to shape the country as you see fit, possibly surviving the backlash that is going to form both internally and externally.


Suzerain contains examples of:

  • Allohistorical Allusion:
    • In the Alliance of Nations meeting, Chancellor Hegel of Valgsland will bang his shoes on the table.
    • At the same Alliance of Nations meeting, United Cortana (USSR stand-in) leader Leon Malenyev will say "Communism will bury you", a reference to Nikita Khrushchev's supposed speech towards western diplomats.
  • Assassin Outclassin': Should Rayne accept a lucky charm from his driver Serge, he will survive an assassination attempt should it be attempted.
  • The Alcoholic:
    • President Patricio Alvarez of Lespia. Before a meeting with Prime Minister Hoorten he is so drunk that his plane is forced to circle for hours over Staalport. While meeting with President Rayne he first arrives late, then completely forget the trade deal they went to negotiate.
    • Vice President Petr Vectern. Petr makes frequent references to drinking over the course of the game, and can be referred to as "perpetually pickled."
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  • Cold War: The geopolitical situation in the world is dominated by the Cold War, with ICBM tests and satellites occurring in-game that roughly match the historical arms and space race between the United States and the Soviet Union.
  • Commie Land: United Contana is basically a in-game version of the Soviet Union, and is engaged in a Cold War with Arcasia, while spreading Malenyavism in Eastern Merkopa.
  • Defensive Feint Trap: In contrast to Valken's plan of pushing into Rumburg as soon as possible, Iosef's plan consist into luring the Kingdom's armies into a trap, faking the retreat of the 1st Army, then attack the advancing force with the 2nd and 6th from the back.
  • Downer Ending: The game has multiple, ranging from a Coup d'Etat, your Assassination or Impeachment, you being forced out of the party, losing the war with Rumburg or causing an all-out Nuclear War.
  • Eagle Land: Arcasia is basically a in-game version of the United States, being on the opposite side of the political spectrum compared to United Cortana and fighting a fictional version of the Cold War against it.
  • Every Man Has His Price: President Rayne can attempt to bribe multiple people within the political landscape to earn their support. These bribes can either be paid from Rayne's personal wealth or promises to make political decisions in favor of the bribe's target. Rayne can also be on the other end of this trope, taking bribes in exchange of political support.
  • Enemy Mine: Iosef Lancea and Valken Kruger could not dislike each other more, but if you annoy the military and take a path that radically diverges from Sollism, they will team up on you with a coup.
  • Fallen Hero: Some reformers view Soll as the hero that saved the country from a ruinous civil war and created the foundations of their government. Then he gradually stopped helping the people and acted solely for the benefit of himself and his allies.
  • Fictional Counterpart: The game is filled with these. One example are the alliances, with on one side the capitalist and Western-aligned ATO, counterpart of NATO, and the communist and Eastern-aligned CSP, counterpart of the Warsaw Pact. Sordland itself is very strongly based on Turkey, complete with ethnic tensions with the Bluds (the Sordland equivalent off Kurds), but its non-aligned stance between the regional and global powers, at least at the beginning is also very reminiscent of Yugoslavia.
    • Two of the major blocs of the Cold War: ATO corresponds to North Atlantic Treaty Organization while CSP corresponds to Warsaw Pact.
    • United Cortana and Arcasia that leads the CSP and ATO corresponds to the Soviet Union and the United States respectively.
  • Fictional United Nations: Alliance of Nations serves as a counterpart to United Nations.
  • The '50s: The game begins in 1953 and spans the length of a four-year presidential term.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • During the first turn in the media strategy discussion Lucian will mention the possible and high risk of scandals occurring. And then the new secretary, who is in fact a Rumburg spy and will cause a large national security scandal, will arrive.
      • There is a big question mark concerning who the real spy may be, as one scenario during the Rumburg invasions heavily implies it may be Lucian Galade himself. A clear resolution of this case does not exist so far.
  • Government Conspiracy: The Old Guard and many other die-hard Sollists are part of this. Fiercely loyal to Tarquin Soll, they oppose the player's attempts at reform in favor of keeping the ideals that founded the Republic of Sordland. If the player forms the Anti-Corruption Police, it is further revealed that the assassination of Bernard Circas was deliberately planned by the Old Guard in an attempt to distract Rayne from going through with his reforms.
  • General Ripper: Both Minister of Defence Iosef Lancea and Head of the Armed Forces Valken Kruger hate and fear Rumburg to their guts. They will constantly say that Rumburg is coming south and the army needs more funding. They seem also to want to strike against the Kingdom first. Downplayed as their hate and fear is actually justified as we discover that Rumburg is actually planning to invade Sordland.
  • Gunboat Diplomacy: Rumberg's negotiations with Sordland, backed by its comparatively large army, are considerably aggressive, and escalate over the course of the game.
  • Military Coup: Sordland already experienced 2 coups in rapid succession during the 1920's, one by nationalist General Luderin that overthrew the elected government of Artor S. Wisci and the counter-coup of the communist General Rikard, that kickstarted the Sordish Civil War. There is also the chance that, if the Army is left unhappy and the player moves toward a left-leaning path, Iosef Lancea or Valken Kruger can orchestrate a coup to depose President Rayne.
  • Motive Decay: Tarquin Soll, once the hero that saved Sordland from the civil war and created the new political establishment of the Republic, is now an old grumpy man which spirit still lives in the Old Guard of the USP, and will obstruct any reforms of the Constitution brought forwards by both the opposition and the reformists in his own party. Its' very possible he is also still moving the strings of the Old Guard and organized the fall of President Alphonso.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: During turn 9 Rumburg will shot down a Sorsish warplane, which both Iosef and Valken assure that was in national airspace. You can response by issuing diplomatic protest, shooting down one of their warplanes, or declaring this the last straw of and declaring war on them.
  • People's Republic of Tyranny: The bordering country of Wehlen can be described as this. The country is nominally a Presidential Republic, but the leader Wiktor Smolak rule as a military despot. He is an isolationist, self-centered and militaristic leader, as we can see when we visit the country trying to organize a trade deal.
  • Revenge: Both the Bluds, a large minority living in Sordland, and the Oligarchs will have revenge if you mistreated or attacked them, like openly discriminating in the Bluds communities or seizing all the assents of the two major Oligarchs, Walther Tusk and Marcel Koronti. These acts of revenge consists on taking over a dam for the Bluds or freezing very large investments for the Oligarchs, and they will both try to assassinate you
  • Ruritania: All the country in game are fictional, and the ones of Eastern Merkopa are provably modeled after Eastern Europe.
  • Secret Police: If you increase the security budget, then decide to spend it in the Ministry of Interior, Lileas Graf will propose the formation of the Secret State Police to "take care" of various problematic individuals and "silence" them. However, it's effectiveness is notably dampened when going against the Old Guard due to it's head being part of the Government Conspiracy to stop the player.
  • Strawman News Media: The game provides six newspapers that offer articles discussing decisions that Anton Rayne makes over the course of his presidency. All six are overtly slanted toward different ideological viewpoints.
  • Treacherous Advisor: Lileas Graf, Minister of the Interior, is a die-hard Sollist that arranged the assassination of a communist MP to stoke violence between communists and nationalists. That was in order to derail the reforms that Rayne promised to get elected. She will even side with Rumburg should Rayne go to war with them while being an anti-Sollist, which will lead to Sordland's destruction if she isn't properly dealt with.
    • Downplayed with several other members of Rayne's cabinet in that they will turn on you should you go against them too hard or too often. The most shocking one comes from Lucian Galade, your chief strategist. Appearing as nothing but loyal throughout the entire game, should you spurn him one time too many, he will leak the details of your shady backroom dealings to the media just before the next term election.
      • Deals he arranged and encouraged you to make in the first place. One does wonder where his loyalties truly lie.
  • Too Dumb to Live: You potentially, should you for example make a lot of corrupt deals with oligarchy and then form Anti-Corruption Police to investigate oligarchy's corruption. Also to some extent Head of the Armed Forces Valken Kruger, who will want you to go to war with Rumburg without any allies, never mind the fact that Rumburg has much larger army which he even acknowledges.
  • We Have Reserves: In contrast of Iosef's idea, that consist of making the Sordish Armed Forces into a smaller and professional force, General Valken's idea consist of a massive army of well-enough soldiers, opposing the idea brought by Iosef of removing conscription.

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