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Jorji Costava is one of the most successful contraband smugglers in Obristan / the entire area
While Jorji might just be the friendliest person in the entire game, and his act appears to be genuine, it's also the reason he is so successful. He befriends the inspectors and gets an easier time. While other contraband smugglers are somewhere between shocked to be caught, to outright insulting, Jorji is always a nice guy, which seems to work since he's able to bribe his way out of detainment multiple times, and still gives the player money on the last day, even if the player hasn't helped at all.

M. Vonel is part of EZIC
He asks basically RIGHT AFTER you encounter EZIC. And if you do tell him the whole truth he arrests you. Even the most incompetent of Officers realize that no real spy would do this. But if he were with EZIC then he'd be around to make sure the player plays with EZIC and if they can paint Arstotzka even worse than it really is it gives the player more sympathy toward EZIC.
  • One question: Why does he arrest the player if they help EZIC less than four times, and exonerate the player if they refuse to work with EZIC at all?
    • Keeping up the facade, of course. Is getting the officer to join a shady terrorist group more valuable than losing his own job?

Alternatively, M. Vonel was part of EZIC when it first started
EZIC's notes state that the Order dates back to Arstotzka's birth. We don't know how old Arstotzka actually is as a country, so it is possible that Vonel was a founding member of EZIC decades ago. Over the years, with war and harsh conditions, Arstotzka's government became corrupt and paranoid. Vonel, now in a position of power in the Arstotzkan government, ended up turning his back on the principles he'd once fought for, becoming what he'd once fought against.
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  • This is why he's personally hunting down EZIC and its collaborators: He has personal experience with EZIC and its methods, so he's best suited for the job. Not to mention, he can't risk having his history with EZIC come to light.

In the escape to Obristan ending, the player ends up working with Jorji
Given Jorji's occupation as a contraband smuggler, and knowledge of the inspectors skills, it's quite possible that he'll have the inspector working as a passport forger (or with one), in order to make papers that can cross any border
  • That, or as a fellow smuggler. Either way, it lessens any Fridge Horror if you cross the Obristan border, but don't have any money left over for you and your family, let alone any stated place to live or work.

M. Vonel got his position through nepotism
Seriously, the guy is rather dumb, arresting you if you give him the EZIC documents. An EZIC player would probably not hand over the stuff, while someone who doesn't want to involve with them would.
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  • That, or he just wants an excuse to punish anybody he could pin as an EZIC collaborator. Given he's The Political Officer, and this is Arstotzka, I think it's the likelier case.
    • Which is still a highly incompetent move. Considering that the inspector has the EZIC decoder and coded document at that point, the smart thing to do is to tell the inspector to have the EZIC agents detained.
      • It isn't incompetant in the People's Republic of Tyranny that is Arstotzka. Ruthless, yes. Short-sighted, yes. But it's likely that he only acts this way because the guys in charge of the country are all paranoid dictators who command that their secret police round up as many potential collaborators as possible, and accept arrests if they even have the flimsiest shreds of evidence against them: and since you just handed over the EZIC documents, that's all he needs to send you to the gulags, post another guard who won't cooperate with the EZIC, and get a nice bonus to his state paycheck for getting rid of another "collaborator" with the EZIC.
      • But if the position is so randomly assigned again, who's to know it won't be an actual EZIC collaborator this time ?
      • He'll make sure - and if he's another EZIC collaborator, he'll do the same thing to him. Again, and again, and again. It's a vicious cycle, but one where he's just fine.
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    • On the other hand, he can't see the papers if you leave them on your desk. Incompetence is almost certain.
  • It's a game over, but the inspector isn't killed or anything. He is prison being interrogated, away from his job and family. Vogel just arrest you and ask you a fell question, almost certainly torturing you in the process. It's a clever way to get information.
  • Innocence proves nothing. Even if you haven't been working with EZIC and is completely loyal to the Arstotzkan government, as a member of the Secret Police, it is his job to leave no stone unturned in ensuring the security of the state that he serves. After all, what is the life and sanity of one man when compared next to the fate of an entire nation?

EZIC is a Neo-Nazi or otherwise ultra-nationalist group
EZIC's goals and ideology are rather vague, but they mention "restoring" Arstotzka. Restoring a country to its former glory is often the goal of ultra-nationalists and is consistent with a neo-Nazi ideology. Furthermore, late in the game, EZIC wants you to disrupt the border negotiations between Arstotzka and Kolechia, stating that the Arstotzkan government is going to cave to Kolechian demands. Ultra-nationalists would view any concessions of "rightfully Arstotzkan" territory as treason.
  • Ultranationalist yes, Neo-Nazi... that's kind of stretching it. There's absoultly nothing even hinting of Arstotzka being one of Those Wacky Nazi States, or A Nazi State By Any Other Name.
  • Arstotzka is indeed not a Nazi nation (The exact opposite, in fact: it's very communist). However, the theory is about how EZIC, the rebel group, is a neonazi goverment.
  • On the other hand, EZIC's final goal is to destroy the border wall and allow free access to the country, which seems too egalitarian to be ultra-nationalism.
    • Of course, it's entirely possible that the attack on the border wall was intended to be a false-flag attack.
  • Seeing as Arstotzka is clearly based on the USSR, it's possible that EZIC is in fact some sort of neo-Czarist group, or just plain old revolutionaries.
  • There is some possibility that the previous regime to which EZIC want to "restore" the country may have been vaguely analogous to Nazi Germany. Arstotzka actually has an awful lot in common with post-war East Germany. It's run by oppressive communists, it's a poverty-ridden hellhole, it has a border wall running straight through a major city ("East Grestin" is in Arstotzka while "West Grestin" is in Kolechia)... the one obvious difference, of course, is that Kolechia is apparently doing even worse than Arstotzka, which is the opposite of the relationship between West and East Germany. That said, their opposition to controlled borders and harming innocent bystanders would seem to imply that the EZIC can't be all that fascist.

Cobrastan is a real country
And one day it will be free from Obristani tyranny!

The theme of the game is some kind of national anthem for Arstotzka.
It doesn't have any lyrics, and when it plays on national T.V./school/etc. everyone stands in solemn silence until it ends.
Glory To Arstotzka.

Arstotzka is currently under going Perestroika
While it is stated that Arstotzka is an oppressive communist country dictatorship, throughout the game you do see many sights of their being private enterprises being run by individual citizens (The Pink Vice brothel, Meskor Engineering, the Get Big Town gym, etc). Seeing how the story is set during The '80s, it fits the radical economic reforms that countries such as the USSR and China was under going during that period.
  • This would also explain why the border rules (which at the beginning were a very blunt "reject all foreigners", and presumably had been that way for a long time) are suddenly in so much flux.

Sergiu suffers from PTSD
The morning after the first scripted terrorist attack since Sergiu arrives at the border, he thanks the inspector and says that his aim is not like before. A few days later, he reveals that he fought in Kolechia during the war for 5 years. Maybe Sergiu has shades of PTSD. When terrorists attack the border, he freezes up and panics because he has flashbacks to his experiences during the war.

Calensk learned how to disarm/defuse bombs during the war
It explains how he was able to stay calm and comment on the bomb's shoddy construction when it was delivered to the Inspector's booth.

Bestburg is a real city
It is a major city in Obristan.

Obristan is Turkic
A lot of Turkic Countries have the suffix -stan.
  • But than again, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Kurdistan aren't Turkic.
    • Obristan doesn't seem like an Islamic Country, as it's more like Denmark then Turkmenistan.

M. Vonel is Arstotzka's Dictator
The Labor Lottery of Arstotzka is probably ruled by their Communist Party, and Arstotzka is probably like Cold War Poland.Seeing the Ministry could be the Communist Party, this is probably probable.

The Game is Alternate History where France Collapsed and was Balkanized
Exactly what is says on the tin.

Cobrastan is a parody of the Principality of Sealand
Exactly what is says on the tin.
  • or Molossia.
Arstotzka is changing into a better place. And the Inspector is unknowingly a vital part of that.
To examine the evidence in order. Following a war they've gone from a closed boarder to a semi-open one admittedly with a lot of rules, the Inspector was imported from another part of the country to work here, new businesses appear to be opening like the gym or engineering firm, the government is hard on the Inspector for screwing up but also willing to overlook anomalies in his past, EZIC calls the government corrupt and claims to follow an older system, M. Vonel is quick to arrest, and they are confiscating old official documents en mass.

Separate this seems only to be the work of a paranoid dictatorial government but together with the right perspective it appears some elements within Arstotzka are attempting to reform the government with open boarders being a key part of their political strategy. It's stated Arstotzka is among the least horrible of the local countries and Jorji is quick to break into the new market but we also see independent business that's on the up and up as well as hearing about medical break throughs. For a reformist element introducing foreign culture into Arstotzka in a constructive manner, to appeal to the people breaking down old stereotypes and conservative views on outsiders, as well as establishing relations with others would be likely to win them a lot of support. As a result the Inspector is held to a very high standard through the Ministry of Information since the success or failure of the boarder issue will help determine the future of the country. To many screw ups and public opinion will turn anti-immigrant or migrant stymieing reforms.

As for M. Vonel he's a pro-reform member of government on the sly. His arrest of you when you present EZIC documents is not just being capricious. EZIC is anti-reform and actively seeking to make the boarder fail to discredit notions of change which threatens their power structure. They certainly have a lot of money to give out suggesting members with deep pockets and any change to the political or economic system could threaten those pockets. When M. Vonel arrests the inspector he is doing so to remove a potentially compromised person and assure they can issue a quick replacement rather then risking so much on a man who may turn on them. The confiscation of old travel documents is in preparation for issuing new updated passports in a different format with more information to encourage people to travel.


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