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  • Acceptable Targets:
    • Out of all leaders in the game, Oskar Dirlewanger is the target of the most horrific, bizarre, and outright hilarious deaths, with more than seventy death events dedicated to him. Given that he was a notorious war criminal, serial rapist and an extremely disturbing real-life case of Sociopathic Soldier, this was an intentional move of the developers to give him as much karmic retribution as possible.
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    • In the Don't Surf demo, one Ian Smith is assassinated. He's the guy who declared independent Rhodesia in our timeline: a white Apartheid state in what is now Zimbabwe. Him getting killed was made as a Take That! to both the man himself and those who wanted Rhodesia implemented in the mod.
    • Related to Unacceptable Targets below, Hero of the Soviet Union recipients who were deprived of their awards after committing heinous crimes are fair game for Historical Villain Upgrade, as can be seen in the entire roster of Aryan Brotherhood generals. The same could be said of ruthless KGB Generals and Soviet hardliners, with most of Omsk's military leadership along with the Ordosocialist leadership in Komi and the leaders of the Kazakh Dawn Party in Aktau consisting of the former and Dmitri Yazov, Omsk's leader after Karbyshev's death, being a prominent example of the latter. Soviet officials that have had extremely hateful and/or anti-semitic views such as Ivan Serov and Valery Nikolayevich Yemelyanov are also fair game.
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  • Accidental Aesop: Sergey Taboritsky's Burgundian System Komi and Russia takes quite a few cues from the equally totalitarian Imperium of Man from Warhammer 40,000 with its elements of genocide, purity obsession, Crushing the Populace, inequality, worshipping an effectively dead entity and religious dogmatism used to justify all that. The game therefore accidentally manages to bring about An Aesop that in literally any other setting, the Imperium of Man is a nightmare state and one of the worst humanity can achieve, especially if saner paths are possible.
  • Adaptation Displacement: The New Order mod is far more known than the short-lived Facepunch forums RP the mod was initially based on.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Valery Sablin is a good example, particularly regarding his ambitions when revolting against Genrikh Yagoda. Is he a much-needed bastion of benevolence and kindness in a world so deprived of either, and in which his refusal to resort to violence against the world's violence is actually a virtue rather than a flaw, given what happened to the likes of Kovner and Omsk? Or is he a naive fool who can't accept that the world is too far gone for his dreams of an idealistic Union to ever work out, and will simply destroy all the chances of rebuilding a Soviet Union meant to last? Or is Sablin yet another sad tale of someone who starts out with noble and sympathetic intentions, but will inevitably have to commit so many atrocities to secure his utopia that, in the end, is doomed to end up little different than Yagoda?
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    • For that matter, Genrikh Yagoda is an example as well. Is he a ruthless, yet genuinely well-intentioned ruler who, unlike Sablin, recognizes that the world is grim enough that it's impossible to maintain a functioning, successful state without having to do terrible things? Or is he just a cruel, selfish tyrant whose argument that the dystopian world requires one to utilize ruthlessness to build a better world is either little more than a flimsy excuse to be a despot, or a slippery slope that will inevitably lead him to become just as bad as those responsible for making the world a dystopia in first place, in which Yagoda's potentially liberal Soviet Union couldn't possibly make up for all the pain and suffering he caused in his Reign of Terror? Notably, Yagoda's reforms wound up being a case of Exact Words, as while Yagoda liberalizes the economy, he would keep the NKVD in power, and that if Irkutsk liberalizes its government, it would be in spite of Yagoda, not because of him, causing most of Yagoda's support to dry up
    • Are Vlasov and his men misguided patriots whom threw their lot in with the wrong crowd and are genuinely redeemable if given the chance, are they well intentioned but ultimately repressive themselves and in the wrong, or are they irredeemable fascists willing to stoop to any low to maintain power and suck up to the Nazis? Note that all three interpretations can be verified in-game depending on who suceeds Vlasov.
    • The Central Siberian Republic (AKA Tomsk) is another example. It's a democracy, but rather than operating on a traditional party system, political factions are largely divided among intellectual cliques known as "salons". As such the Republic's leaders are largely philosophers, scientists, artists, and other intellectuals. The central political divide isn't even left versus right, but rather Romanticism Versus Enlightenment. The Republic's supporters present it as a bastion of liberty, idealism, freedom of thought, cultural growth, and intellectual development. On the other hand, opponents see its political system as an elitist ivory tower, distant from the average citizens it claims to serve. This actually plays a part in Tomsk's gameplay; after uniting central Siberia, the Republic will undergo a "cynicism crisis" as the result of its influx of new dissidents with negative attitudes towards the salon system. The player must carefully manage the crisis to avoid collapse.
    • Richard Nixon gets an in-universe example. After his resignation and Kennedy's assassination, the player can choose to either denounce him full-on, painting him as a power-hungry wannabe tyrant, or try to rehabilitate parts of his legacy, describing him as a well-intentioned leader who felt forced by circumstance to commit unethical actions.
    • Is Rurik II genuinely deluded in thinking that he's an incarnation of the original Rurik? Or is he merely pretending to be insane to secure more power for himself? When he's on on his deathbed, he reveals to his children that his insanity was all a lie, but they're unsure if he's telling the truth or suffering from one last delusion before dying.
    • Are the Burgundians behind most of the global destabilization that could happen around the world, or are they a too preoccupied with internal strife, with the Globalplans being more delusions of grandeur they could never hope to accomplish? Or a bit of both?
  • Author's Saving Throw: In both betas Old World Blues and Don't Surf, there were numerous complaints about the small and extremely neon text of the UI, which has caused headaches for some players. When the mod released, the UI was fixed to increase the size and font of the text, making it more readable.
  • Awesome Music: One track that was produced for the scrapped OST, Burgundian Lullaby, is an eerie remix of the SS marching song "SS Marschiert in Feindesland". It has a soft, but still dread-inducing music that illustrates in music the terrifying dread of Burgundy. It thankfully comes included with the complementary soundtrack mod, Last Waltz of Europe.
  • Catharsis Factor:
  • Complete Monster: The New Order explores how unjust structures and cycles of violence perpetuate evil rather than uniquely depraved individuals. As such, many dictators and mass murderers in the setting are depicted as not standing out as especially vile, ultimately pathetic, or tempered by genuinely humanizing qualities. There are, however, still exceptions to this rule:
    • Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler is the leader of the SS and the creator of the Burgundian System. Following the German economic collapse in the 1950s, Himmler would attempt a failed coup to overthrow Hitler. Being offered the SS State of Burgundy by Hitler to sate his ambitions, Himmler would spend the next decade laying plans to instigate a nuclear war as a means to wipe the planet clean of non-Aryans and pave way for total Aryan dominance. When the German Civil War and the South African War start, Himmler would intervene in both conflicts as a means of kick-starting nuclear war; sending death squads to Germany to prop up Heydrich and later Göring, while goading Hüttig to unleash chemical weapons on South Africa. Himmler would also, in addition, stir up chaos in the Italian colonial Middle East, with the SS poisoning Farouk of Egypt and arming anti-Italian rebel groups; eventually causing the Middle East to descend into chaos. In order to wipe out the French and Belgian population of Burgundy, Himmler would enslave the population and work them to death in uranium mines and weapon factories, while slaughtering anyone speaking or teaching French. Not content with the prospect of his nuclear plot failing, Himmler sets a Dead Man's Switch to make sure Burgundy's nukes are launched in the event of his death, taking measures to ensure the world is destroyed with him.
    • Gutrum Vagner, real name Alexey Alexandrovich Dobrovolsky, is the leader of the Aryan Brotherhood, a brutal Nazi-emulating state based in Permhaym. A former conscript in the Red Army, Vagner embraced Nazism after the Germans won the West Russian War, and would seek to impose Aryan ideology on Russia to destroy its Slavic culture. In Permhaym, Wagner would run a racial ruling caste enslaving all non-Aryans, with many of these slaves suffering a lack of food and being used as cannon fodder by the Brotherhood; following the German Civil War, they would start to reunify Russia. Gutrum and his men would commit horrific atrocities against everyone they conquer—committing genocide on the Muslims in Bashkiria; unleashing a mass purge of Orthodox priests in Gayny; and launching a massacre against everyone in Komi. If Vagner unifies West Russia, and subsequently fights off an attempted coup by interior minister Zigfrid Schultz, he will replace the Russian way of life with his own version of a Germanic Aryanized culture. If he takes over Siberia, he will declare Siberia to be "infested with subhuman trash", he will settle "Aryans" in Siberia and launch a massive ethnic cleansing campaign, either killing or enslaving non-Aryans in the area.
    • Zigfrid Schultz, real name Valery Nikolayevich Yemelyanov, is the interior minister of the Aryan Brotherhood. If the Aryan brotherhood unifies Western Russia, Schultz will advocate in converting as many Slavs to Aryans as possible, using this to build a power base capable of overthrowing Vagner. If successful, he will declare himself as Velimir, High Priest of Hyperborea and all Russia. He will then create a horrific theocracy based on Slavic supremacy and the worship of the Hyperboreans headed by him. He will destroy any literature deemed to be "heretical" and enslave anyone who adheres to Russian cultural identity or Communism, with said political enemies being put in concentration camps where they are sent on death marches, killing hundreds, if not thousands in order to weed out "true Aryans" deemed worthy of joining the Brotherhood. Once he has unified Russia, Velimir will start planning to invade the middle east on the pretext that all of Palestine once belonged to the Slavic Hyperborean race, also making plans to capture Germany and drown all of Europe in blood, regardless of the consequences.
    • SS-Oberführer Oskar Dirlewanger is the leader of the Dirlewanger Brigade. After being driven into the wastes of Russia following Himmler's failed coup attempt in the 1950s, Dirlewanger has reorganized his brigade into a bandit army, killing and pillaging anything they see. Setting his sights on the Orenburg Commune and the Ural League, Dirlewanger works with Trofim Lysenko of Magnitogorsk to kidnap Russians from both locations for the purposes of human experimentation. If Dirlewanger succeeds, he will slaughter the entire population of Orenburg and the Ural League; massacring entire villages and carrying out mass rape of women, with anyone he can't kill being sent back to Magnitorgorsk to be experimented on. Eventually, he will turn on Magnitorgorsk, and, if successful in killing Lysenko, Dirlewanger will declare himself the second coming of Alexander the Great, seeking to conquer Russia and be remembered as a boogeyman that the children of Russia will forever fear. If civilization is destroyed in nuclear war, Dirlewanger and his brigade will be remembered as personifications of evil by the various cultures emerging from the ruins of Russian society.
  • Crossing the Line Twice: The Yasuda Crisis world event, describing the Tokyo stock market crash and the following economic crisis, has this closing option:
  • Cry for the Devil: Samara's capitulation popup "The traitors will never get to tell their side of the story," becomes a cry for the devil (especially if they are AuthDem or Despotist) when the player has played Samara and learned about all the people inside the collaborationist KONR; the wide range of men inside KONR aren't all irredeemably evil fascists who want to destroy Russia and rule over the rubbles. There are people who genuinely want to build a democracy like Zykov, people who were utterly screwed over by the Soviets like Bunyachenko, average soldiers who try their best to build good relationships with the people, and even Vlasov wants to redeem himself by actually finishing his job and liberating Russia from the Bolsheviks. When Samara capitulates, and the traitors no longer get to tell their side of the story, it suggests that any trace of goodwill and positive contribution that KONR ever made will become wiped away from history, and they will forever be remembered as traitors and nothing more.
  • Discredited Meme: "Court of the Brown Kaiser" event pre 1.0.5 caused Martin Bormann to be turned into a Memetic Molester, and caused an outburst of rape jokes throughout the community. The devs got sick of it and replaced the event in the 1.0.5 update.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Pre-release, the DSR was an entire faction of this despite arguably being worse than the Nazis in many aspects, as the tropes this page will show. This has died down significantly post release with the fact that genuine anti-Nazi politicians can sucessfully take over Germany in the Speer campaign. Regardless, fans that believe that Germany "deserves" the DSR can still be found popping up from time to time.
    • Carlo Scorza has gotten a significant fan following with many preferring him over Ciano due to the fact that, despite being a Fascist, his reforms can be very progressive. This has gotten to the point where the main Italy dev had to state on the TNO reddit that at the end of the day Scorza is still a repressive fascist and this his route will have problems down the line. This may have influenced Scorza's response to the Venetian revolt - regardless of what reforms he's done prior to the revolt, he will always violently crush it.
    • Genrikh Yagoda often got this pre-release, due to many perceiving Sablin as a naive Wide-Eyed Idealist that's punching way above his weight and having no idea how to survive in the dark world of the New Order, along with the belief, supported in part through Word of God, that Yagoda is not as tyrannical as some other authoritarian socialists and is only taking ruthless and pragmatic means to consolidate power and unify the Soviet Union, at which point he would liberalize. This has significantly died down post-release when it was revealed that Irkutsk liberalizes in spite of him and that he fully embraces the role of being a ruthless NKVD dictator carrying out a Reign of Terror against political opponents, with many of his remaining fans only supporting him to spite Valery Sablin's fans and because Yagoda provides a quick way to wipe Buryatia off the map in the early-game rather than any actual support for Yagoda himself.
    • Like the DSR, Gus Hall hasn't had his content added yet and he has his fans. He is stated by the devs to be the second worst path for the USA, though the specifics remain unknown. Even as it's revealed that he would carry out massive purges of the FBI and the CIA at literally the worst time possible as his very first act, he keeps many fans because the thought of wiping J. Edgar Hoover's little empire is too appealing.
    • Mikhail Matkovsky has a fan following that unironically believe him to be a good option morally for reunifying Russia because of his supposed move away from Fascism in his route and his genuine moral opposition to Rodzaevsky. This is despite the fact that at the end of the day, he moved away from Fascism not because of any moral reason, but primarily because of pragmatism, and that he's still a Fascist at heart, as evident by his disenfranchisement of minorities and the setting up of his own forced labour camps at Dalstroy. The fact that he genuinely isn't as bad as the afomentioned Rodzaevsky and some even worse unifiers doesn't help.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • The DSR rarely even appears during the game (the German Civil War ends before the Anarchy starts most of the time), has a slim chance of winning the war and ultimately can end up even worse than Nazis themselves, yet they gained a huge following, becoming even more popular than some other Civil War contenders.
    • Nowa Polska, a rump state of the Polish people (and, in fact, the only one by the start of the mod) in Western Kazakhstan, of all places, became a major hit even before it was fully revealed.
    • Gorky, despite not being an eligible unifier for Russia, has plenty of fans due to it's large tank fleet. Within days of the Second Demo's release, fans were already implementing custom events and decisions allowing them to be a regional unifier and showing them off on the TNO subreddit.
    • The Father didn't even have a confirmed identity when he was first unveiled and in spite of leading the (Seemingly) irrelevant-in-the-large-scale Unorganized Northeast Siberian Territories had dozens of reddit threads speculating his identity and players excited to play as him. Many crackpot speculations has only increased his fame in the community. The revelation that he's Alexander Men and a benevolent Christian Anarchist as opposed to being villainous as most people thought, with him being tolerant even of those who don't share his faith, further cemented his popularity.
    • John Glenn, a potential R-D candidate in the 1968 US elections, is very popular due to being a former astronaut who’s very supportive of space exploration. He’s often styled by the fandom as “Glenn!” in reference to the popular Jeb Bush meme. His popularity has only skyrocketed in release when it was discovered that he can land a man on Mars!
    • Despite being a secret path for Komi that was only lightly teased pre-release, Sergey Taboritsky's Holy Russian Empire has proven to be the most popular and discussed of the many paths the country can take, likely due to Taboritsky's uniquely insane version of the Burgundian System, and the sheer bleakness of the path.
  • Epileptic Trees: Pre-release, there were many wild guesses in the community about some Russian paths. These typically boil down to three points:
    • BurgSys Komi: The chaotic Komi Republic is a source of much speculation, and one early dev statement sayign that "Komi can go every ideology" quickly led to speculations of a possible Burgundian System Komi path. The devs later statements flip-flopped between supporting BurgSys Komi and rejecting itThese include , causing further confusion and led to many off-the-wall guesses. Until release, practically nothing about this "worst Komi path" has been revealed by the developers. In the final game, it turns out this speculation of the worst Komi path being Burgundian System Komi is real, the one ideology they can't go is Conservative Democracy, and earlier dev statements about BurgSys not being in Komi are Exact Words distractions intended to screw with the community.
    • Hyperborea: Based around this dev-posted meme that obliquely references Russian reunification paths. Specifically, the top left Radical-Bad End cell "The North Awakens" triggered an absolute deluge of Epileptic Trees questioning what is it referencing. The background image used in the cell (a distorted stylized Slavic pagan symbol) comes from this series of fan-made posters, specifically the poster "The Apocalypse of Hyperborea". Hyperborea is a mythical land common in Esoteric Fascist ideas. Guesses as to what "The North Awakens" is about range from more BurgSys Komi, The Father (see below), or other weird guesses. In the final game, it turns out The North Awakens refers to a horrific Slavo-Aryanism path for Aryan Brotherhood, who rename their country to Hyperborea. The fan posters' reference to Hyperborea is simply a coincidence that the devs milked to mess with the players.
    • The Father: The mysterious Russian figure mentioned but not revealed in the TNO demo caused a load of crazy guesses regarding his identity and what he actually does. Guesses to what he does often leads to more guesses of BurgSys Komi or Hyperborea, and guesses of his identity range from the sensible (actual Russian preachers) to the memetically ridiculous (Stalin, Trotsky, Vladimir Putin, etc.) In the final game, the Father's identity is Alexander Men, and his country is a Christian-Anarchist nation of egalitarian communes that emerges from Northeast Siberia. Overall, he is a very mild, multi-faith tolerant, kind man who preaches the loving message of Jesus Christ, and even gives kind, secular advice to those who don't believe but seek him out anyway.
  • Faux Symbolism: Long Yun's events bizarrely apply hefty doses of Christian (and other religious) symbolism to his character and his actions, even though neither the man nor his country is Christian (or explicitly religious), and the references are extremely Westernized and feel completely disconnected from the man who's deep in Asia. Special mention goes to the narrator's nickname for the character, "Lamb of China", which is regularly referenced in the events even though it has zero relations, literal or metaphorical, to his actual situation.
  • Fountain of Memes:
    • Burgundy has been the subject of numerous memes, in spite (or because) of how horrifying and depressing it is too play them.
    • Sergey Taboritsky and his Holy Russian Empire have spawned a lot of memes for how insane and violent that path is.
  • Friendly Fandoms: There's a significant overlap between the fandoms of The New Order and of Kaiserreich, with both being alternate history mods for Hearts of Iron IV. Both fandoms share memes with each other, and there are even references to Kaiserreich within TNO itself.
  • Funny Moments: See here.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: In spite of a language barrier, the mod became popular among the Chinese and Russian Hearts of Iron communities.
    • Albert Speer is much more liked in the Chinese community than the Western TNO fanbase. This is possibly due to some of his similarities with OTL Deng Xiaoping: stabilizing the country after a period of totalitarianism and chaos and changing some of the most problematic elements of the old regime, but ultimately with the goal of maintaining and saving the regime, not ending it.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • During the Don't Surf demo, it was possible to get over 100% support for the monarchy in Bechuanaland while playing as South Africa. This was swiftly dealt with, but for a short time jokes abounded about the British monarchy's eternal support.
    • In the early days of the mod, some of the event localizations were unfinished. While most of these were empty, some of them had absolutely hilarious placeholder text left behind by the devs. Special mention goes to the placeholder text for Kishi Nobusuke's rise to power:
    Oh god oh fuck it's kishi
    • A certain event in the Aryan Brotherhood results in Zigfrid Schultz murdering Gutrum Vagner and taking his place at the head of the country. Contrary to what should logically happen, Vagner remains an available field mashall, despite his supposed death.
    • Due to an oversight in puppet mechanics, it's possible for Germany to request every single Burgundian division, and dump them somewhere they can't retrieve them. This leads to France curbstomping Burgundy when Burgundy declares war, when normally Burgundy should curbstomp France.
    • Save games from previous versions of the mod will break while in a higher version. One of the funniest consequences of this is an immortal Adolf Hitler; the event to kill him will sometimes never fire, meaning that Germany remains united throughout the entire game.
  • It Was His Sled:
    • The fact the end goal of Heinrich Himmler's global machinations is to cause a nuclear war to Restart the World for the Aryan race is built up as a large secret, and a twist in Burgundy's storyline. However, this aspect of him is so well known about him among the community that it's the first thing people think of when they think of Burgundy.
    • The existence of Sergey Taboritsky, the Burgundian System adherent in Komi, has become infamous ever since the mod was released.
  • Magnificent Bastard: These masterminds undermine Nazi and Japanese dominance over Eurasia from within and without using ingenuity and charisma, rather than military prowness.
    • Svetlana Bukharina is the daughter of Soviet leader Nikolai Bukharin. Seeing the ruin and devastation that has befallen Russia following the Nazi victories in World War II and the West Russian War, Bukharina joins the Communist Party of Komi, vowing to rebuild the Soviet Union as a nation truly living up to the ideals for which it was founded upon. As a member of the Communist Party of Komi, Bukharina uses her persuasive talents to gain the trust of labor leaders, eventually rising up the ranks of the Communist Party and potentially launching a coup against the leadership of Komi through a labour strike. If she succeeds in taking power, she persuades Yuri Andropov to defect to her side from Mikhail Suslov's faction of the Communists, and use the information he gathered on her political opponents to launch a purge against them, leading to them being permanently ostracized or even assassinated. After reunifying West Russia, Bukharina creates a new, socially progressive Soviet Union enshrining rights for women and homosexuals, along with guaranteeing democratic powers for worker councils. Persuasive, yet ruthless in pursuing her goals, Bukharina will take any action necessary to protect the Soviets from all counter-revolutionary threats.
    • Dai Li was the leader of head of Chiang Kai-shek's Military Intelligence Service before Japan's victory in Asia. Following the final orders of Chiang Kai-Shek to resist Japanese occupation, Dai Li formed the Loyal and Patriotic Army, waging a successful guerilla war for a decade weakening the Japanese occupation forces. Upon finding ways to weaken the Imperial Japanese Army more effectively from within, Dai Li and his allies created fake correspondence between resistance leaders and Japanese officials to cause the Imperial Japanese Army to relentlessly purge itself, letting the Chinese resistance grow unchecked. Despite dying before he could liberate China, Dai Li's efforts to destabilize Japan struck fear into the hearts of Japanese leaders, with an attempt by radical elements of the Japanese government to appropriate his machinations to seize power for themselves throwing Japanese society into total chaos, just as Dai Li intended.
    • Miletiy Zykov is Andrey Vlasov's chief propagandist within the Russian Liberation Army (ROA). Seeking to realize the ideals of the February Revolution, Zykov will seek to end to instill democratic values within the ROA. If chosen as Vlasov's successor, he will utilize underhanded ways to consolidate power such as utilizing Mikhail Oktan's smuggling operations to gain weapons and supplies from the Nazis to provide for officers and civilians, while undermining Oktan's operations from within. In reunifying West Russia, Zykov will utilize brilliant tactics such as sabotaging Gorky's tanks before attacking. Upon ascending to power as the leader of the ROA following Vlasov's death, Zykov will use a failed uprising against him as a pretext for purging Oktan. He will then cut ties with the Nazis and democratize western Russia, but use tactics such as gerrymandering and backroom deals to ensure the ROA remains on top. Regardless of his how genuine his commitment to democracy is, Zykov works hard to overcome the image of the ROA as traitors, and to provide a good quality of life for his populace, with his policies reversing the more egregious repression carried out by the ROA on the populace, while building infrastructure, schools and a social safety net for Russians and significantly expanding their rights and freedoms.
    • Margaret Thatcher is a politician within the British Royal Party installed by the Nazis as the dominant political party in Britain following their victory in World War II. Emerging as of Alec Douglas-Home's sucessor for the leadership of the Royal Party if they were to win the English Civil War, Thatcher would seek to make Britain into a superpower capable of standing up to both the Nazis and the Americans. Upon taking power, she would establish ties with both the OFN and the Unity-Pakt with the goal of using these ties to strengthen Britain's military, while liberalizing the British economy through privatization. Politically, she will consolidate power by turning both the elites and the lower class against the Old Guard, and sacking Old Guard politicians in favor of younger politicians subservient to her. Upon winning a second term, she will further privatize the economy and ban labor unions, while preventing labor unrest through anti-corruption and social safety net legislation. Politically, she will erode democracy and rule as dictator in all but name. Playing both the British political establishment and the great powers as a fiddle, Thatcher's machinations both cement her as the unquestioned ruler of Britain and allows it a measure of independence from both blocs in the Cold War.
    • Reichskommissar Wolfgang Schenck is the Nazi Commander in charge of Reichskommissariat Südwestafrika. Faced with guilt over war crimes carried out in consolidating Nazi rule over Africa, Schenck vows to bring down Südwestafrika from within. To that end, he develops Südwestafrika's industry and infrastructure, sending only a minimal amount of the revenue to Germania but using most of it to improve Angolan living standards, as well as arming Angolan rebels against Nazi rule. When the South African War stars, Schenck frees his political prisoners and gets in contact with the CIA, allowing them to sabotage key industries critical to the Nazi war effort. Becoming aware that the US seeks to control Africa for itself, Schenck deliberately leaks information on several CIA agents, so the Angolan resistance is ready to fight for their freedom against both the Nazis and the Americans. While his initial efforts at securing an independent Angola and Nambia are ultimately crushed, his efforts allow for Angola to easily assert her independence once foreign rule in Africa finally collapses.
    • Helmut Schmidt is Albert Speer's foreign minister, and a member of the Gang of Four seeking to change the Reich from within. Upon Speer's victory in the Civil War, Schmidt will seek to stalemate the South African War to work out a deal favorable to future diplomatic ties with the US. After Speer has dealt with initial threats to his rule, Schmidt launches a global diplomatic offensive convincing the world of the sincerity of German reforms, while seeking to broker a deal with Poland; making necessary compromises to both sides to admit Poland into the Unity-Pakt. As foreign minister, Schmidt will reestablish ties with Italy, while also securing detente during the US and strengthening German power on the world stage. When the Reichsbanner rebellion unfolds, Schmidt, if sent alone to negotiate, will agree to all of the rebels demands, opening the opportunity for democracy in the Reich. When Schmidt returns to Germany, he sucessfully launches a coup against Speer's rule, reducing the latter to a puppet and laying the foundations for the gradual dismantlement of Nazism. With Nazi power waning, Schmidt and the Gang of Four establish a pro democratic alliance in Germany, as well as a global organization to maintain world peace and confront Himmler's machinations.
  • Memetic Mutation: Has its own page.
  • Memetic Loser:
  • Misaimed Fandom:
    • In general, the creators of the mod aim to defy this with Fascists and Nazis who would be attracted to an Axis victory scenario by pulling no punches in showing how awful the world would be if their side won World War II, where extreme-right leaders are incapable of effectively governing their countries without self-destructing, turning on each other, or changing their ways. Unfortunately, that doesn't stop many them from being attracted to the mod and using it to live out their fantasies anyway, but those that make their extremist views known often end up ridiculed and mocked by the rest of the fanbase and banned from the community very quickly.
    • Although the DSR's following is mostly tongue-in-cheek, it has its fair share of unironic supporters, as the above and below trope demonstrates.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Given Siegfried Muller's affable personality and his comparative sanity compared to Huttig, you'd be forgiven for forgetting that he is complicit in upholding Nazi colonial rule in Africa....that is, until the South African War starts and he starts shooting insurgents personally.
    • Albert Speer either ends up crossing it in his Fascist route with the suppression of Brandt's slave revolt if he agrees to some of their demands but still suppresses most of the revolters. He will then declare his commitment to Fascism, remove the Gang of Four from power, and roll back many of the more radical reforms, even going as far to reinstate the notion of Aryan supramacy, or he ends up crossing it in the reformist route following his Villainous Breakdown as the slave revolt escalates, turns against all of the reforms and prepares to kill the revolters, and declares Helmut Schmidt a Jew puppet, going as far as to attempt to kill him when he returned to Germany.
    • Carlo Scorza ends up crossing it in the Venetian revolt, which he suppresses violently regardless of the reforms he's taken.
    • Kishi Nobusuke crosses it the moment he orders the execution of Order 44, a grand-scale purge of opposing civilians and political opponents so he can take over the nation and begin its violent rebirth.
    • Rodzaevsky was always an extremely hateful person, but he makes it very clear just how depraved he is through his public execution of Tsar Mikhail if he defeats Chita, as well as the spiteful way in which he kills Matkovsky if he defeats Magadan.
    • The warlords of the All-Russian Black League cross this when they are revealed to be experimenting on their own people to develop new biological weapons for the Great Trial against Germany that the Black League plans for.
  • Narm:
  • Nausea Fuel: As Taboritsky the player is treated to a report describing a chemical weapons test conducted on live human subjects in gruesome detail—as well as the difficulty of "draining" the "thick organic slurry" left over. "Our Regent is a great patron of the sciences."
  • Nightmare Fuel: Has its own page.
  • Nightmare Retardant: Taboritsky's reunification super event is terrifying to hear... unless you recognize it from ''Verify Your Clock'', an admittedly dark Soviet children's edutainment video about efficient use of time.
  • Ron the Death Eater:
    • Taking one step further from the aforementioned character interpretation differences, prior to the mod's release, Sablin was very often subjected to this from the fanbase, both from players who support Yagoda and players who oppose the communist warlords in general. The former group sees Sablin as an incompetent buffoon who has no idea what he's doing, and will only lead to the needless destruction of the Soviet government Yagoda worked so hard to maintain, while the latter group believes that Sablin is inevitably going to become just as brutal as Yagoda in order to maintain his regime anyway. Come release, this had signifcantly died down for a time when it was revealed just how wholesome Sablin's progressive Russia could be.
    • Boris Yeltsin gets this quite a lot, in a big part due to his OTL policies, which are widely blamed for wrecking Russia's living standards, despite much worse and outright fascist unifiers existing for Russia. This being despite the army of Sverdlovsk playing a key role in reining him in to the point where he would not be able to implement his OTL actions with what policies he enacted historically that he can enact being watered-down as a result of military pressure. He’s also a democrat who widely protects and expands civil liberties (unlike the hybrid regime of IRL post-Soviet Russia).
    • In the mod, Thatcher is at worst a British nationalist with authoritarian tendencies. Despite this, jokes about Thatcher being “cursed” to the point of claiming that a Burgundian System England would be preferable are common in the fandom. A lot of this has to do with the IRL Thatcher’s public image; she’s both Britain’s most beloved and hated Prime Minister, with the latter being much more common on the internet.
  • Rooting for the Empire:
    • Even though the DSR's goals would result in much larger purges than Heydrich's Germany, a large contingent of players are already envisioning a Germany led by a victorious DSR as a good thing. The fact that they're up against actual Nazis, as well as the fact that Speer winning the civil war and successfully reforming Germany means that Nazi Germany will be able to last well into the 21st century and that the worst human-rights abusing Nazis won't ever have to answer for their crimes doesn't help matters. It's not even necessarily the case that these same people think the DSR are potential reformers: some of the pro-DSR fans know they're bloodthirsty revolutionaries (with all that entails), to the point where they are openly denounced by every communist nation that is left on Earth, and still prefer them to win partly so the Nazis meet their end by their much-hated Bolshevist enemies, and partly to ensure Germany is knocked out as a superpower and no longer have the power to continue harming the rest of the world.
      • For similar reasons, some players have voiced support for Abba Kovner.
    • Playing the trope more straight, there are some fans who want to play as the various Nazi factions in the game. However, unlike the DSR where some players think they could be potential reformers (or feel that their purges are justified against the Nazis), almost everybody who wants to play the Nazis does so purely because Evil Is Cool - and in the case of more incompetent Nazis like Bormann and Goring, think that it's a Self-Imposed Challenge to succeed in taking over the world even with leaders who are, by design, MEANT to fail catastrophically. Even choosing Speer is still rooting for the empire (in a sense), as he has to (as previously mentioned) have to let a ton of Nazis off the hook for their war crimes to get their support with his government reforms, and at BEST can become an Authoritarian Democrat only through excessive pressure by the Gang of Four, and at worst becomes an Italian-style fascist - he is ultimately A Lighter Shade of Black compared to the Nazis (and even to the DSR), but Speer is no angel.
    • Some people prefer Bormann to Speer for the fact that he might facilitate a smooth collapse of the Nazi empire without causing too much chaos, whereas Speer could not only potentially legitimatize Nazism further if his reforms succeed, but also turn Germany back into a major superpower fully able to throw its weight around in the world, potentially becoming the world's sole remaining superpower in case Japan is destroyed by the Great Asian War, the United States falls into isolationism, and Russia fails to reunify. All of this while its fragile Authoritarian Democracy is just one populist away from sliding back into Nazism. Post-release this has been zig-zagged. While the victory of the Gang of Four is generally agreed to be the best ending for Germany, Bormann and even Goering is preferred over Speer assuming direct rule and overcoming the Gang of Four, which is seen by many as the worst path Germany can go down sans Heydrich. This is because while Bormann and Goering will both lead the Reich to ruin, Speer can legitimitize Fascism and Nazism indefinately by reforming Nazism to be something more subdued and tolerable but also much more insidious, consequently legitimitizing hateful beliefs as the accepted way of life.
    • Many players root for Yagoda over Sablin, due to the preception of Sablin as a Wide-Eyed Idealist that forments his ideology based on misreadings of Leninist text, or dosen't get how governing works, and the perception of Yagoda as someone whose authoritarian measures were borne out of necessity rather than ideologically motivated in contrast to Tyumen. Pre-release, this view had only strengthened with the perception of Yagoda as the legitimate heir to the Soviet government and Word of God statements that Yagoda can be fairly liberal as a leader after reunification. Post-release, support for Yagoda himself has mostly dried out as it turns out that Irkutsk liberalizes in spite of Yagoda, who himself wants to maintain the Reign of Terror. Support for Irkutsk itself is still fairly active however, mostly from fans who enjoy seeing Sablin's revolution being smothered in the cradle.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: TNO is a game fundamentally about how wrong human society can go, and unlike the base game and mods, takes advantage of being narrative-driven to hold absolutely no punches in getting its needed messages across while denying the player mindless conquests that would undermine it:
    • The Nazis winning is a common scenario in alternate history, and it's a good thing it's just an alternate history: such a world would be a living nightmare.
    • As per the lore of Omsk wishing to avenge the genocide of Russians and Kovner wishing to avenge the Holocaust with their own extermination campaigns against the Germans, the mod makes it clear that responding to genocide with genocide of your own solves nothing.
    • Hate corrupts everything it touches. Aside from the object lesson that is Nazi Germany, Kovner, Meinhof, and the All-Russian Black League (the rulers of Omsk) likely had good intentions at one point, but they let their hatred for the Nazis turn those goals into something horrible. While Long Yun's insane Yunnan is fighting against Imperial Japan and not Nazi Germany, the same point could be applied to them.
    • Attempting to appease fascists and other extremists will never work in the long run, as they will never be satisfied with anything other than fully achieving their goals. This is particularly seen in South Africa, where attempting to appease the pro-Nazi, pro-Apartheid hardliners will only make things worse when they try to seize power anyway.
    • An "effective" Fascist empire under a sane leader of the likes of Speer and Scorza is very repressive and unsettling on it's own right, and not that better from a batshit crazy one run by totally genocidal nutcases, and may be even more insidious in a sense because they have the ability to survive for the long term and thus potentially legitimatize very toxic ideologies and worldviews associated with Fascism and Nazism.
      • On the same light, any reforms started within totalitarian Fascist dictatorships reaching their full potential will be in spite of their leaders being open to reforms, not because of these leaders being open to reforms. As evident by Magadan and Speerite Germany, at one point the leadership will start to resist the reforms being brought forward by the genuine reformers because of how it threatens their own power.
    • Doing the right thing is hard to do, and may often be thwarted by those holding onto their own power, but it is still worth fighting for a better world. This is represented by the "good paths" for certain factions either being subjected to an Early Game Hell (such as Sablin's revolution against Yagoda), or having to constantly juggle reform proposals with concessions to other political parties (such as the Gang of Four's attempts to reform Germany getting them targeted by Albert Speer, who attempts to purge them after considering their reforms antithetical to National Socialism, and either succeeds in the Fascist path or fails in the AuthDem path, or RFK trying to pass the Civil Rights Act and Universal Healthcare in the United States and running a high risk of being assassinated if he doesn't attempt to pass his laws through moderate tactics, which would result in Strom Thurmond undoing whatever reforms RFK had passed while accelerating racial tensions in the United States), but rewarding success despite these odds with the closest things the game has to a Golden Ending (such as Sablin establishing a democratic socialist USSR, the Gang of Four ensuring Germany's eventual transformation into a democracy after reducing Speer to a powerless pen-pusher, ensuring the legacy of Nazism will die with him, and RFK managing to honor JFK's legacy by passing Civil Rights while avoiding the Kennedy Curse himself)
    • As noted by Wargamer, TNO makes it clear that Stupid Jetpack Hitler will absolutely not happen in a nation where ideologies inherently based on pseudoscience prevail. The Axis and its focus on ideologically and racially driven crackpot theories, alongside its persecution of intellectuals for political reasons, actually will not be creating a technological powerhouse any time soon. TNO effectively destroys the idea of Repressive, but Efficient, considering the theme of advanced Fascist societies in Science Fiction can essentially be taken as an excuse for the ideologies and an abandonment of ethics in science, and the first thing that the player may notice about the Axis is how its nations are crumbling with all their projects falling on their face as their foundations are based on bunk.
    • A big tent anti-establishiment party unifying the far left and the far right against the political establishiment is not a stable prospect. As demonstrated by the NPP, such parties are prone to instability when the first disagreement rears it's head, particuarly with the NPP-C and NPP-L's divergent views on race relations in contrast to the NPP-FR and the NPP-Y. While it is possible to compromise on key issues, this often involves watering down policies enough to appease the other side and turning a blind eye to their excesses rather than pushing as hard as you can on these issues, with RFK pushing as hard as possible on these issues leading very likely to assassination.
  • Squick: An early Burgundy event describes a SS loyalty test featuring the following question: "Have you ever felt sexual attraction to a member of your family?". We never learn what happened to those that flunked, or if they were the ones that answered "no" at all!
  • Tear Jerker: See here.
  • The Woobie:
  • Unacceptable Targets: The earlier stages of Russia (and Central Asia) development had a tendency to give a Historical Villain Upgrade to an obscure Hero of the Soviet Union when the devs needed an interesting Russian warlord in some location. However, this became really problematic when the Soviet veterans in question were, in real life, completely normal and even morally upstanding individuals. The most infamous case of this is Alexander Medvedev, the leader of the Aryan Brotherhood in earlier versions. Medvedev in real life was a very loyal Soviet soldier and a committed anti-fascist, so to have him literally start a Nazi cult is not only historically inaccurate and out-of-character for him, but also insanely offensive (especially since the devs later found out that Medvedev's family searches online for references to him). Medvedev was almost completely Retconned out of the Aryan Brotherhood note  and replaced with an actual neo-Nazi active in the 1960s. Since then, the Russia dev team no longer resorts to random Hero of the Soviet Union recipients for warlord leaders and in general has toned down their usages of Historical Villain Upgrades.
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