Here's an new, enhanced version of my recent scenario-map cover for the original Command and Conquer Tiberium universe.
As much as possible, I've tried to stay as faithful to the RTS games and source material as possible (further info on which can be found on Gamepedia
), though there are a couple of creative licenses made to make everything as consistent and detailed as possible. In addition, some elements are based on the cancelled Tiberium
game as well as what could be salvaged from Tiberian Twilight
(what is this C&C4
that you speak of?). Nonetheless, I try to make this as approachable to newcomers to the franchise as for long-time fans. Also, a special thanks to whose own take
of the Tiberium games has been useful in helping work out the Red Zone and Blue Zone borders.
...If all of the above sounds familiar, it's because it felt like the previous version didn't quite seem complete enough. So instead of musing over whether to toy with prequel maps, I decided to combine both ideas into a more complete profile. In addition to further references to Tiberian Dawn, however, there are also a lot more nods to Tiberian Sun though with some creative liberties; coincidentally, getting the right details for the Tiberian Sun section was much harder as details were much more fragmentary. All the same, along with some corrections and tweaks, I try to stay as true to the source as possible.
And last but not least, this is a fan work and a work of fiction. This is not meant to be propaganda or a political or ideological spiel. All rights belong to their respective owners.
That being said, hope you enjoy!
EDIT: Fixed some unfinished borders and last-minute polishing on South America.
It is the year 2052.
And the world is not as it once was.
To understand this, you have to turn back the clock. While the academics would argue going as far back as the Second World War, the most immediate point of reference is Central Italy. In 1995, a meteor crashed along the historic Tiber River. Striking an olive plantation with no reported casualties, this would have been otherwise uneventful if not for a green crystalline substance that it brought along and quickly spread into the surrounding countryside. This alien noncarbon-based element, known as Tiberium, soon came to be seen as an incredibly valuable resource due to how the crystals not only leech nutrients from the ground but can also be harvested, and subsequently processed into useful material with far more efficiency than previously possible. Whether it was named after the Roman Emperor Tiberius or the river itself proved to be irrelevant, as before long it was found that it could spread almost anywhere, the speed of which being influenced by soil density and (generally warmer) ambient temperature; then reports came of the lethal and even mutagenic effects on any lifeforms contaminated by it. Although poorer countries straddling the equatorial regions tended to be hit hardest by the green crystal, few at the time really knew the repercussions of those early findings.
It was also during this pivotal period that a mysterious organization calling itself the Brotherhood of Nod revealed itself to the public. Led by its even more enigmatic yet charismatic leader, a man known only as Kane, it quickly seized upon the discovery of Tiberium to gain a substantial grip over the market, in the process pioneering mining and harvesting methods; before long, Nod became an economic superpower in all but name, at its early peak seizing as much as 49% of the world's supply through various proxies. At the same time, this stateless movement aggressively began expanding its influence into developing and war-striken countries - from Africa to even parts of post-Cold War Europe - through a mix of propaganda, subterfuge, terrorist attacks and outright military coups. Realizing the severity of the threat, the United Nations officially established the UN Global Defence Initiative or GDI by the end of 1995, an international peacekeeping force tasked with preserving world order by combating global terrorism; though formed around an earlier multinational joint force, (called "Special Operations Group Echo, Black Ops 9"), its establishment was unprecedented for its day. It would not be until the late 1990s, however, that open confrontation finally broke out in what has since been called the First Tiberium War. Through the deployment of innovative technologies and experimental weapons (made possible or accelerated in one way or another by Tiberium) and in spite of the increasingly underhanded and insidious methods employed by the Brotherhood, GDI prevailed against all odds. Eventually, Nod was pushed back to Sarajevo, Bosnia, where its main Temple and headquarters stood. The ensuing battle, culminating in the Temple's destruction (and Kane's seeming demise) by ion cannon, resulted in GDI earning a hard-fought victory and the Free World rejoiced.
That triumph was short-lived. For as the early 21st Century progressed, Tiberium not only continued to spread unabated across the globe in increasingly varied ways, but to the shock of scientists the substance was both changing the environment and evolving with it. Neither was the Brotherhood fully defeated as many hoped, instead managing to morph into a quasi-state and religious order, albeit a fractured one rife with infighting; in an attempt to weaken it further into irrelevance, an ever more consolidated GDI resorted to propping up puppet collaborators, which backfired with the rise of Anton Slavik. Then in 2030, Kane revealed himself to be alive (and not aged at all) for all the world to see, which combined with his followers' resurgence under Slavik would lead to the Second Tiberium War. Fought with even more advanced and destructive weapons on both sides, nonetheless with the help of mutant tribes known as the Forgotten, GDI triumphed once again, with the so-called "Messiah" thought to have been killed in Cairo. Within only months, however, a reactivated CABAL (an evolved Nod AI originally designed towards the end of the First Tib. War) went rogue and attempted to enact its own plans with an army of cyborgs, themselves the result of Nod's research into mechanical augmentation. In the so-called Firestorm Crisis that ensued, both sides forced themselves to work together in defeating the AI, with GDI forces dealing the killing blow in 2032 to its central core in the Libyan wasteland. Yet even after saving humanity from extinction and managing to avert total planetary catastrophe through those victories, peace still remained tenuous at best. Especially when the world itself seemed perpetually on the brink.
Then came the Third Tiberium War. On March 2047, after biding its time, a renewed Nod succeeded in disabling GDI's A-SAT defenses long enough to launch a nuclear ICBM on the orbital GDSS Philadelphia, wiping out much of the top political and military leadership. This was followed by Kane (very much alive and not a year older) revealing himself to the wider world by hijacking news broadcasts, which soon revealed to be the signal for an all-out global assault on GDI-held territories. At that time, however, the defenders of the free world (or what remained of it) had undergone downsizing, with many installations either reduced or closed down in favor of focusing on containment, which made the attacks all the more shocking. Despite initial setbacks and the Brotherhood's upgrades (both in planning and technology), however, it wasn't long before GDI forces and Central Command managed to turn the tide, eventually going from defensive operations to offensives into enemy strongholds. Eventually, Nod was pushed back to Temple Prime in Sarajevo, built atop the original Temple. But even as casualties mounted on both sides, Acting Director-General Redmond Boyle - former head of the GDI Treasury and the highest-ranking government official left alive - had not only began directly meddling to bolster his reputation (despite his incompetence). But despite intelligence reports of substantial amounts Liquid Tiberium being beneath the besieged complex (and growing protests from military commanders), the vainglorious man went so far as abuse his position to order an ion cannon strike, just like how the First Tib. War ended. And, though known only after the fact, just as what Kane planned.
The destruction of Temple Prime detonated the Liquid Tiberium beneath it, killing not only everyone around Sarajevo but also millions of civilians. Although it rendered much of Eastern Europe and North Africa nigh uninhabitable, as tragic as the whole affair was - if not an outright, if unintended war crime - it seemed that the conflict would soon be over. Those hopes were dashed, however, when that same detonation was found to have drawn in hostile visitors from across the stars. Known as the Scrin, little is known even now of these aliens or just their physical appearance (apart from being generally insectoid in nature), but their highly advanced biomechanical constructs were devastating enough as the invaders attacked cities and launched strikes on every continent; it's speculated that they may very well be responsible for bringing the green crystal in the first place. Such was the threat that GDI and Nod, if only briefly were one in stopping this existential danger, though it was nowhere near enough to unify humanity as hostilities between both sides continued while fighting the alien menace for very different reasons. It was soon discovered that the "invasion" was one massive diversionary move meant to mask their mining operations, the centerpiece of which being the construction of massive superstructures called "Thresholds." Through a series of risky counteroffensives lasting into 2049, GDI succeeded in not only destroying nearly all of said "Thresholds" - save for one, which Nod intentionally let the aliens complete before seizing it - but also the control node the extraterrestrials had set up in Ground Zero itself. With the Scrin literally stopped in their tracks (their forces either dissolving or shutting down), the Brotherhood seemingly put in their place elsewhere and Boyle forced to resign by GDI amidst the celebrations, the conflict was at last over.
It has been three years since the formal end of the Third Tiberium War. 57 years on from that fateful meteor impact, conditions continue to deteriorate with Tiberium contamination reaching critical levels. Beyond environmental damage and climate change (infamously manifesting in the form of volatile ion storms), its spread over the past decades helped bring about economic and political instability of growing severity. By the Second Tiberium War and Firestorm Crisis in the early 2030s, several countries across the globe had crumbled amidst widespread civil unrest and societal collapse. In response to the changing realities on the ground, the map had to radically redrawn into three designated "Zones." "Blue Zones" (comprising about 20% of the globe) comprise territories experiencing the least ecological damage from the green crystal, and in more than a few cases where people from various countries were evacuated to. "Yellow Zones" (about 50%), meanwhile, are regions that are not only dangerously contaminated but also hold most of the world's remaining population in varying degrees of hardship. Lastly, are the "Red Zones" (the remaining 30%), marking almost alien wastelands with extremely high degrees of infestation, are barely recognizable from what they once were and are utterly lethal without heavy protection. Although the old national borders still find use, if mainly for historical, logistical and geographic purposes, sufficed to say this state of affairs has resulted in a greatly altered and tenuous geopolitical map. Into which, stand the two sole great powers of the modern age.
The Global Defense Initiative perseveres as both the guardian and governing body of the civilized world. Its present form, however, is a far cry from its origins in the United Nations, and not one that its founders or their successors intended, though they have undoubtedly tried as best as they could given the circumstances. With conditions worsening after the First Tib. War, its mandate grew to include the research and containment of Tiberium while being delegated more duties beyond that of a peacekeeping force as originally formed. Eventually, it had not only outlasted the UN and subsumed much of its surviving elements by the 2030s, but increasingly found itself answerable to no one, as political power and sovereignty from the remaining nation-states (particularly those in what became Blue Zones) were ceded to GDI; out of necessity, new and reconstituted civil institutions were brought into the fold, though separate from the military chain of command. Thus while member countries still nominally exist, it has become a world government and superstate in its own right; partly due to the severe socio-political upheavals and sheer necessity, the old national identities - barring certain exceptions like the British Isles or Japan - have largely faded in favor of more multicultural and global ones, albeit unified under a common, Western-derived culture. Although its actual power, in practice is largely confined to Blue Zones and a handful of Yellow Zones, it has nonetheless managed to - in spite of constant threats, the looming dangers of Tiberium contamination and the suspension of many civilian rights due to being on a constant war footing - maintain some semblance of normalcy, prosperity and democratic liberties; standards of living for the average Blue zone citizen, indeed, would be perceived as near-utopian by late 20th Century eyes. To say nothing of the myriad projects and private sector collaborations that have helped in stemming the tide of Tiberium, while making various advancements possible, ranging from clean, efficient cold fusion reactors to orbital stations (like the GDSS Philadelphia) and embryonic space fleets. Nor to ignore the original military core of GDI. A direct continuation of the professional armed forces and military traditions of the G8 nations, the armed forces is still committed to upholding the original mandate of preserving world order (on top of their other duties). Even with the downsizing prior to the Third Tib. War in, the men and women in uniform are renowned for their superior training, discipline and potent firepower. Said firepower is thanks to an arsenal combining conventional weapons (much of which could be traced back at least partially to those of the United States Armed Forces) with tried-and-tested methods and the latest in technological developments, such as hover-tech, sonic weaponry (originally intended for Tiberium containment) and magnetic railguns that could be miniaturized to fit on vehicles or even as anti-material infantry arms. Of these, among the most iconic include the Mammoth Tank Mk. III (the latest in a long line), Orca family of VTOL aircraft, power armor-equipped Zone Troopers and next-generation ion cannon systems long negating any real need to use aging nuclear warheads; this to not to ignore the hardened Zone Operations Command or ZOCOM - a special branch formed after the Second Tib. War, under the command of Gen. Rentaria, one of the first female GDI generals - and its use of even more potent sonic-based munitions to aid its grueling task of operating (and establishing beachheads) in Red Zones. Combined with rugged maintenance and an ability to deploy troops anywhere on the planet at a moment's notice, it is not for nothing that even with its flaws, GDI's claims of being mankind's last best hope are very much grounded.
The Brotherhood of Nod is another matter, and remains a potent threat. Although its own dogma claims that it has been around for thousands of years, what is known with any certainty is that some form of the organization had been in hiding for much of the 20th Century (be it through proxy movements or shell companies) prior to its public reveal in 1995. Since the First Tib. War, however, it abandoned (even when fractured) any pretensions of downplaying its more esoteric, spiritual and militant aspects, which only accelerated as more regions around the globe became unstable and succumbed to societal collapse; a situation that the Brotherhood played a part through deliberately spreading Tiberium further, be it by sabotaging GDI efforts or smuggling the substance. Whatever the reason, it would come as little surprise that through propaganda and more subversive methods (as well as absorbing what could be salvaged from the collapsing Third World and elsewhere), Nod found not only support but willing converts from different cultures and creeds with nothing left to lose. Thus by the 2020s-30s, as life in the emergent Yellow Zones came to be defined by civil unrest, warlordism and in more than a few cases, anarchy, what had once been a secret society transitioned into a peculiar, amorphous blend between a quasi-state and religion. Unlike GDI and other "nonbelievers," the followers of Kane - the mysterious, charismatic figure seen as the "Prophet" and "Messiah" by the Brotherhood, a madman and inhuman lunatic by others - view the green crystal not simply as the basis of their "Technology of Peace." Rather, they worship it as the next stage in human evolution and as their Messiah expoused, "Ascension;" after years of infighting and thanks to the efforts of the influential Black Hand - part religious order and part elite guard (that may have been the same one from 1914), which remains under Grand Confessor Marcion following Anton Slavik's death - this has also cultivated a sense of themselves as the "chosen few" destined for their Promised Land, beyond notions of ethics and morality as understood by those perceived as heathens. Even in its weakened state and outwardly low profile after the Third Tib. War - such that Kane's whereabouts, if he is still alive, the location of his Inner Circle or the present Temple Prime replacement remain unknown - Nod still exerts considerable power in several Yellow Zones across the planet, swaying millions (whether disdainful of GDI or simply desperate for purpose amidst squalor) to their cause through both subversive and superficially humanitarian means. Many of said converts wind up among the myriad militia divisions, which range wildly from irregulars equipped with combat armor left over from the Second Tib. War and access to cheap vehicles to glorified hoodlums armed with nothing more than old assault rifles and fanaticism. Those who had proven themselves worthy or were otherwise born and indoctrinated within the Brotherhood, on the other hand, are granted much of what the "Technology of Peace" is truly capable of, from deadly if complicated lasers (symbolized by the Obelisk of Light) and Stealth Tanks with highly advanced optic camouflage to Tiberium-based weapons and humanoid Avatar Warmechs. Whether through hit-and-run raids in the shadows, open combat - with the Black Hand also deploying their own elite divisions that are notorious for their dark power armor, "purifying" flames and unwavering zeal - or a willingness to deploy WMDs (including access to nuclear weapons), to dismiss Nod is folly and if left to its or Kane's own devices, could fulfill their destiny.
Caught in the midst of these two world powers, meanwhile, aren't just scattered (nominally) nonaligned groups struggling about in the Yellow Zones, from rugged survivalists and raider clans to warlord fiefs and nationalist remnants. For while Tiberium's fatal effects on carbon-based life are known, as is its tendency to turn deceased, contaminated corpses (including human ones) into Visceroids, some unfortunate humans managed to survive prolonged exposure with varying degrees of stability and longevity. These mutants - known for the varied crystalline growths in their bodies (among other visible and genetic mutations) and ability to heal when exposed to the green crystal - formed a sizable minority of the world's remaining population and by the 2020s found themselves outcasts, forming underground communities and tribes apart from the rest of humanity (who'd come to derisively call them "Shiners"). Soon, many of these came to call themselves the Forgotten, a loose collective of mutants distrustful of outsiders and are presently found in Red Zones and more worse-off Yellow Zones. Although once united under leaders like Tratos around the Second Tib. War, since his death during the Firestorm Crisis, said groups tend act on their own accord; even their common bond of their predicament is not enough to keep them from waging feuds or clannish infighting. Nonetheless, while some are sympathetic to GDI (with some aiding against Nod and even the Scrin), by and large the Forgotten at large tend to keep the non-mutant "Blunts" at a distance. Armed with a mix of jury-rigged vehicles and outdated arsenals going as far back as the First Tib. War (including looted and replica versions of the Mammoth Tank Mk. I), they are more than capable of defending themselves, their technological weaknesses compensated by "taming" Tiberium-based wildlife (be it Visceroids with bombs stapped or even weaponized Veinholes) and an elusive understanding of the alien substance. That same understanding also made them a target for the Brotherhood more than once, which played a part in helping Kane succeed in finishing his research on "Divination" - infusing the human body with refined Tiberium to create "useful" mutations for Nod followers (like relative immunity to exposure) without the visible side-effects, which was "perfected" with varying success by the 2040s - among other more esoteric plans.
For a person living in the 20th Century, it would appear that civilization, at its best at least, has leapfrogged centuries of development in the span of only a few decades. Although GDI and Nod have followed down wildly divergent paths since the late 1990s - one born from minimizing the use of Tiberium, outside of its use purely as raw material, and another that fully embraces it as part of the "Technology of Peace" - the significance of the green crystal's appearance and those early discoveries of its potential could be understated. The underlying principles behind the first-generation Mobile Construction Vehicles alone (successors and variants of which remain in use by both sides) continue to be central to modern warfare, allowing for insta-building structures from practically nothing so long as sufficient raw material or resources are available. The innovations embodied by those humble "MCVs" have similarly not only made the ability to quickly set up fully-operational field bases (ranging from simple outposts to massive strategic citadels) a reality, but also alongside advances in drones, nanotech and industrial robotics, provided the means to mass-produce whole arsenals on the spot and to a degree once thought impossible; a sufficiently powered GDI war factory could churn out whole divisions' worth of armored superiority directly to the front, far more than even the old Soviet Union at its peak. When put together with continuing improvements to Tiberium harvesting and refining, as well as upgrades to the "Electronic Video Agent" AI systems used by the two powers (barring the ill-conceived period when Nod tried using CABAL), these have streamlined logistics and funding to a revolutionary degree, giving much more room for military planners to focus on combat operations, and commanders a reliable battle interface with which to conduct them. Beyond simply taking lives, however, the technological breakthroughs have also given mankind a fighting chance of not just surviving but even thriving in a world that is increasingly hostile and alien, though what that actually means radically differs depending on which side one is on. Even the Scrin, from what's deciphered from the aliens' transmissions, for all their immense knowledge and seeming species-wide addiction to the substance, showed a very begrudging respect, at least when not describing the indigenous sentients of Earth as "warlike to the extreme."
Some, however, wonder if even all of that is enough for the times ahead. Although progress is being made to reclaim more of the planet back, there remain worries that, just as Tiberium had evolved to become more difficult to stop in the early 21st Century, the possibility that it could evolve yet again to be potentially immune to current containment methods continues to haunt scientists and Blue Zone pundits alike. Meanwhile, intelligence reports have confirmed rumors of a new generation of cyborgs known as the "Marked of Kane;" said to have been in hibernation since around 2030, unlike CABAL's hordes, these are believed to be deceased Nod "volunteers" that, though retaining some humanity, have absolute obedience to their master. Apart from the ever-present danger of the Brotherhood or its control over "Threshold 19," the extraterrestrial onslaught that had been thwarted only a few years earlier may not be the last the Earth has seen of the Scrin. Knowing the existential threat posed by those aliens - one that would make their glorified mining operations pale by comparison - GDI has not remained idle in this current period of peace. Grabbing whatever Scrin artifacts that remained, Central Command has given greater priority to reverse-engineering such weapons and finding ways to counter them. More funding has also been allocated to reviving and updating old weapon systems that had been mothballed during the downsizing prior to 2047 so as to help even the odds; the return of walkers like the refitted Titan Mk. II to active duty, as well as plans for deploying the Mammoth Mk. II walker's successor (designated "Mastodon") and a new generation of space-capable Kodiak-class craft have been praised by distinguished veterans like General Michael McNeil (rumored to have "killed" Kane once).
Most central in all these, however, is the Tacitus. An ancient data matrix of extraterrestrial origin first discovered by the Forgotten in the 2020s, its vast knowledge - believed to contain the means to reverse and control Tiberium, or destroy the world if in the wrong hands - was part of the reason the Second Tib. War and Firestorm Crisis played out the way they did at all. Although the means to fully translate its are lost with the death of Tratos, it has also been said that many of the technological advancements made by Nod and GDI since the early 2030s originated from what information could be deciphered. In fact, the Tacitus itself continues to be analyzed by GDI's best scientists somewhere in the Rocky Mountains, as secure a location as there could be given the state of the globe. Although assurances have been made that the probability of tampering with the device could irreversibly render it useless is slim to none, as are rumors that the Brotherhood's recent bold raid on the facility has stolen it, most nonetheless hope that the secrets within could be found soon before-
-I don't have much time, but know this. Much of what's been said is indeed true, if biased. But only the chosen can learn the secrets within the Tacitus, which only the Messiah can teach. And really, you can't kill the Messiah.
Oh, by the way. Welcome back, Commander.