Command & Conquer: Tiberium

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The possibilities of Tiberium... are limitless.

EVA: Welcome back, commander.

The Tiberium saga is the "main" Command & Conquer series, the continuation of the story introduced in 1995 involving the multinational Global Defense Initiative, the shadowy Brotherhood of Nod, and an alien substance known as Tiberium, which arrived to Earth in a meteor crash in Italy, 1995, and began spreading throughout the world; its rich energy properties and ability to leech minerals out of the ground make it a highly valuable asset.

The first game, later given the subtitle Tiberian Dawn, was set Twenty Minutes Into the Future with a smattering of sci-fi elements such as alien crystals, stealth technology, and orbital lasers. A terrorist organization operating from various Third World nations known as the Brotherhood of Nod harnesses the power of Tiberium to challenge the rest of the world on equal footing, under the leadership of the charismatic and enigmatic Kane. The UN-backed Global Defense Initiative, a military coalition dedicated to restoring order and containing the spread of Tiberium, manages to hold the line and defeat Nod, killing Kane in the process. The game was followed by a plot-free expansion pack, The Covert Operations, a multi-player-only sequel named Sole Survivor, and Renegade, an average-at-best FPS that nevertheless boasts an active modding community and a small but dedicated fanbase.

Tiberian Sun, the second installment in the series, is set in 2030. Tiberium is now spreading unchecked, forcing humanity to flee to the arctic or desert regions that can at least slow the substance's progress. As governments break down and GDI does its best to bring order from the chaos, Kane reappears to lead a reunified and invigorated Nod into battle once more. A crashed alien spaceship and an extraterrestrial artifact called the Tacitus hint at a larger purpose behind Tiberium, but ultimately Kane's attempt to use a missile to increase Tiberium's spread is thwarted with the man's death (again). The game was followed by the Firestorm expansion, in which Nod's battle AI, CABAL, revolts and leads a cyborg uprising, forcing GDI and the remnants of Nod to unite to defeat him.

Tiberium Wars is set seventeen years later in a starkly stratified world. GDI has succeeded in containing Tiberium in areas dubbed Blue Zones, which are bastions of civilization and relative paradises compared to the rest of the planet. Yellow Zones are lawless wastelands where daily life is a struggle and Nod is seen as the last hope of the common man. Red Zones, meanwhile, have been wholly xenoformed by Tiberium and are stormwracked hells lethal to humans. Kane reemerges once more to launch a surprise attack on a complacent GDI, whose retaliation has an unintended side effect - an alien race called the Scrin suddenly invades, seeking to harvest Earth's Tiberium bounty. The aliens are narrowly driven off, while Kane succeeds in his plan to acquire their technology. An expansion pack, Kane's Wrath, introduced sub-factions to the three sides and had a Nod-centric campaign telling the story between Firestorm and Tiberium Wars, and what came after. It also details Kane's reacquisition of the Tacitus artifact from GDI, who had taken possession of it in Tiberian Sun

The forth and final installment, Tiberian Twilight, is set in 2077. In the aftermath of the Third Tiberium War, the alien crystal mutates and becomes almost impossible to stop. Faced with human extinction, Kane and GDI struck an unholy alliance to build a "Tiberium Control Network", using information from Kane's Tacitus. Though this brings about an uneasy peace, contains Tiberium's spread and begins a new stage of harnessing its potential, GDI reactionaries and Nod separatists once more plunge the world into conflict. The story ends with a triumphant Kane finally achieving his millenia-old ambitions and the Tiberium menace ended once and for all.

The future of the series is uncertain, given that quite a few plot threads are left dangling in the last game. However, a browsergame called Command & Conquer Alliances set in the Tiberium-Verse has been recently announced


Besides the tropes common in all Command & Conquer games, the Tiberium saga contains examples of:
  • Action Girl: Tiberian Sun's Umagon, Sakura and Hotwire in Renegade (and Sydney Mobius to a lesser extent), and the Nod Commando in Tiberium Wars.
  • Affably Evil: Kane very rarely loses his cool, and is oftentimes even affable towards GDI, whilst he is taunting them about how they cannot possibly stop him and will all die horribly.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: CABAL. Slavik seems to have been the only one aware of this, since he alone of Nod's leading officers didn't use cyborgs as personal bodyguards.
    • The Scrin AI causes trouble too, but only when the Supervisor orders Foreman 371 to pursue further information on Kane at the expense of the entire mining operation.
  • Airstrip One: The Blue, Yellow and Red zones of Tiberium Wars.
  • Alien Invasion: Enter, The Scrin! Except it's not really an invasion, but they try to make it look like one, to divert attention from their mining operations.
  • Aliens Steal Cable: The Scrin use a satellite news broadcast to learn English; it takes them less than 10 seconds.
    • It seems gratuitous at first, but then comes in mighty handy when they come across a classified transmission by Kane, explaining his scheme.
  • All There in the Manual: The novelization, game manuals, various developer blogs, in-game database entries, and official website provide information that wouldn't be revealed during the cutscenes or gameplay.
  • Ancient Astronauts: Kane has been on Earth for thousands of years, since "humans lived in caves and mud huts". He's been subtly and not-too-subtly guiding humanity since then and helping it advance so he can get off this rock.
  • Anti-Villain /Anti-Hero: Kane's actions in Twilight are nearly heroic, what with working with GDI to create the Tiberium Control Network to save the planet, even if it's largely to help him complete his "Ascension."
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: It is debatable whether it is another plane or not but both Kane and the Brotherhood of Nod finally ascend in the end of Tiberian Twilight.
  • Attack Drone / Mecha-Mooks: The Scrin "army" (actually an escort for the mining fleet) seems to be composed of automated troops commanded by Scrin Foremen in spaceborne Motherships. All of their units and even their buildings immediately shutdown and decompose once their Relay Node is destroyed.
  • Awesome but Impractical: The Avatar Warmech from Tiberium Wars is powerful, but to fully upgrade it requires the sacrifice of four other units and a commitment of credits, time, and micromanagement that could be better spent elsewhere. Unless you're fighting another Nod player, in which case you can just use their units to upgrade it.
    • Additionally, the Scrin Mothership from Tiberium Wars could quite possibly destroy an entire base with a single shot, but its excruciatingly slow speed makes it an easy target.
    • The Tiberium saga's signature Mammoth Tanks are typically a waste of time and resources better spent on smaller, more cost-effective tanks.
      • They serve to keep the casualties to a minimum when one comes across an Obelisk of Light. 10 smaller tanks would be halved in number by the end of the engagement, but 5 Mammoths can take it out without losing one of their number.
    • The Mammoth Mark II in Tiberian Sun. Absolutely devastating if it reached your enemy's base, but cripplingly vulnerable to massed air assaults or tank assaults under the control of an inexperienced commander... though it did have its own SAM bank at least.
  • Awesome Personnel Carrier: The Crawlers count. In addition to being a Base on Wheels, they can produce units on the move and unload them once deployed, although already deployed units can't go back in.
    • GDI's APCs are some of the most versatile units in the game. They're dirt cheap, much stronger than the other guy's equivalent units, they tear through infantry and aircraft, they can garrison in any sort of infantry and have it shoot out from the portholes and if you mass them they're a serious problem even against buildings. Add to that the ability to lay down minefields and the armor piercing ammo upgrade in Kane's Wrath, and you have one of the best units in the game.
    • Not so much with Nod's Reckoner APC, which is basically a high-speed deployable front-line bunker. It is, however, very useful for plowing through GDI Zone Troopers and other heavy units with its Dozer Blades, since it's much faster and durable that the Scorpion Tank. The upgraded model in Tiberium Twilight can even burrow.
  • Awesome Yet Practical: The GDI Disruptors from Tiberian Sun. At 1300 credits a pop, they weren't too difficult to mass produce. However, each had its own Wave Motion Gun with a decent range that damaged everything in it's path except other disruptors. Having any other unit fight alongside these bad boys would be foolish. But an army of them is effective against everything. The only weakness they have is a lack of effective air protection (but since air support is a joke in Tiberian Sun, you won't lose very many by the time they blow up the enemy's helipads).
    • It carries over with the Shatterer hovertanks of Kane's Wrath. They can kill almost anything on the ground, and have the added advantage of being fast about it.
  • Badass: The original Commando unit is basically "Macho Man" Randy Savage with a headband and high-powered rifle, leaving a trail of demolished buildings and slaughtered infantry in his wake... and that was left-handed. Just don't ask him to deal with vehicles. It carries over to the other games as well; basically, there's very little that can stand against a heroic Commando in C&C3... and the Black Hand can train two of them at once.
    • Havoc, of course. Well, there's dozens of these throughout the series, really, so it's easier not to list them.
  • Badass Army: GDI has overwhelming firepower an a lot of money, Nod has fanaticism and advanced technology, and the Scrin have all sorts of space-bending nastiness and Tiberium tricks.
  • Badass Boast: "You can't kill the messiah!"
    • "That was left-handed!"
    • "I gotta present for ya!"
  • Badass Creed: All of Nod's:
    • "One Vision, One Purpose!"
    • "Peace Through Power!"
    • "Brotherhood. Unity. Peace."
    • "For The Technology Of Peace!"
    • "Kane Lives In Death!"
    • "In The Name Of Kane!"
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Tiberium Twilight, depending on how you feel about Kane.
    • Technically in Tiberium Wars as well. Kane got what he wanted when he started the Third Tiberium War; the technology of the Scrin, including their portal tower so that the Brotherhood of Nod can ascent thirty years later, not the ultimate defeat of GDI.
  • Bald of Evil: Kane's. It shimmers.
  • Base on Wheels: Tiberium Twilight's Crawlers, which are the logical evolution of the MCVs and the Rig from the earlier games.
  • Beard of Evil: Kane's wicked goatee.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy / Historical Villain Upgrade: Yeah, so, the Black Hand, Nod's elite special forces group? They're most likely the same Black Hand that had Archduke Franz Ferdinand assassinated. The Brotherhood itself claims to be around since the dawn of makind itself (which is actually plausible).
  • Berserk Button: Captain Parker really hates it when Nod tortures civilians.
  • BFG: The Tiberian Dawn Commando fires a silenced .50 caliber sniper rifle. Left handed.
    • The Commando in Tiberium Wars fires a rapid-firing miniaturized railgun. Probably left handed. It's still mostly useless against vehicles, though. The Zone Troopers, on the other hand, use semiautomatic anti-tank railguns, and make short work of basically anything on the ground.
    • Ghost Stalker in Tiberian Sun also used a railgun. The Zone Troopers in Tiberium Wars also had railguns that were effective against pretty much everything, but they didn't hit units in a line like the Ghost Stalker's did.
    • In Tiberian Sun, The Cyborg Commando's weapon fires a big, green ball of plasma that heavily damages anything that it directly impacts and does splash damage.
  • The Bible: There are many references in the series to Biblical lore, most obviously Biblical Bad Guy Kane/Caine mentioned directly below. Then there's the Brotherhood of Nod itself, referring to the Land of Nod where Caine and his descendants were forced to live after the murder of his brother; Seth, Cain and Abel's brother; Kane as The Messiah; referring to the followers of Nod as "the chosen people"; and others. Kane's speech at the end of Tiberian Sun where he declares Tiberium to be "the way and the life" almost directly mirrors one of the God-attributed statements in the Bible: "I am the truth and the way and the life".
  • Biblical Bad Guy: Kane is implied to be Cain (in Renegade, you actually find Abel's tomb), or at least the person who inspired the story, which certainly puts an interesting spin on the whole "anyone who kills Cain will have retribution brought upon them sevenfold" thing. Makes sense, if one realizes that Nod has brought back even bigger forces every single time GDI "won".
  • Big Bad: Kane, of course.
    • Also, The Overlord doesn't seem like that much of a nice guy either.
  • Big No: Already having been tortured and beaten senseless after his capture, this is McNeill's reaction in the final Nod cutscene of Tiberian Sun when Slavik shows him the destruction of the Philadelphia on the viewscreen.
  • Blond Guys Are Evil: Anton Slavik. Nod seems to love Hair Tropes.
  • Body Backup Drive: Tiberian Twilight confirms that Kane is in fact an extraterrestrial being in human form, and resurrects via cloning devices like those shown at the end of Firestorm.
  • Bond One-Liner: "Yes, power shifts more quickly than some people think."
    • The Commando is full of 'em. "That was left-handed!" "KEEP 'EM COMING!" "Real tough guy!" And, of course, "Gotta present for ya!"
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted in Tiberian Twilight, where many bullet-firing units must eventually hold fire and switch over to another ammo belt, or reload rockets into launchers after discharging those already loaded.
    • Averted from the beginning with air units like the Orca, which hold a limited amount of missiles and have to return to base to restock.
  • Bread and Circuses: Nod for the people in the yellow zones in Tiberium Wars. Overlaps with Villain with Good Publicity.
  • Cain and Abel: Literally. In Renegade you can find Abel's tomb deep underneath a Temple of Nod.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Sole Survivor, not having a Campaign mode or story, and being so poorly received, has been pretty much ignored in official re-releases. Seems the canon holders themselves have ejected the product from existence.
  • Captain Ersatz: Tiberium Dawn itself: A Daring, Highly-Trained Special Mission Force vs. a Ruthless Terrorist Organization Determined to Rule the World. Where have we heard this one before?
  • The Chessmaster: Kane.
  • Church Militant: Nod in general, the Black Hand in particular.
  • Civil Warcraft: Happens a bit; Nod's first missions in Tiberian Sun,and a few in Tiberium Wars have the Kane-loyalist players fighting Nod forces following someone else.
    • About half the time in Twilight, which is essentially a three way struggle between Gideon (Nod Separatists), Kane (Nod with GDI support) and James (GDI Separatists).
  • Clasp Your Hands If You Deceive: Kane occasionally does this along with a self-satisfied smirk when he's in scheming mode. Example on the Dark Messiah page.
  • Color-Coded Armies: The Global Defense Initiative is gold, The Brotherhood of Nod is red, the Scrin are purple, CABAL is blue, and the Forgotten are green.
    • Color coding is taken to the extreme in Tiberian Twilight with color codings extended to weapon classes, apparently for visual cues.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Ignoring stealth, knowing where you are at all times and more. Thankfully in C&C 3 skirmish you can handicap the enemies by up to 95%, making their attacks somewhat pathetic.
  • Continuity Nod: (Get it? Nod! Haha.) The Database entries in the Tiberium Wars are rife with references to previous games, even Renegade.
    • A certain Nick Parker has issues with GDI retiring the Mammoth Mark Two - that is, the big AT-AT wannabe.
      • And there is a statue of Nick in at least one city in the USA. He's a Big Damn Warhero! There are also billboards that show the other members of Dead-6.
    • Renegade itself has quite a few nods towards the original Command & Conquer. From EVA to the first real mission starting with a shot of a tactical overview that looks exactly like the first GDI mission. There is also a song titled "Got a present for ya", another Catch Phrase of the Commando in that game.
    • In Tiberian Sun some of the later maps feature the decaying remains of bases from the original C&C, while wrecked Mammoth Mk. IIs and Titans can be found on the battlefields of Tiberium Wars.
    • Also in Tiberian Sun, working Mammoth Tanks and other units from Dawn are used by the Forgotten mutants, and in one GDI mission you can find some and use them yourself.
    • In the fluff for Tiberian Sun, Nod's high-tech Banshee bomber is said to use Imported Alien Phlebotinum captured from the crashed Scrin vessel, explaining how the alien fighters from Independence Day got into an otherwise heavily Used Future. Several years later, in Tiberium Wars, the Scrin finally make a full-fledged appearance, and their basic Stormrider fighter does indeed have the same design as the Banshee.
  • Contractual Immortality: Kane never stays dead for long, which his followers take as proof of his divinity. Even after the series' end a news report shows how people are unconvinced he's gone for good.
  • Cool Starship: The Kodiak, enough that it even appeared in Battlestar Galactica.
  • Crew of One: In Renegade you can somehow pilot any vehicle all on your lonesome. Even the Mammoth Tank, which according to in-universe fluff normally takes a crew of eight.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Commandos can cut through swathes of infantry and demolish structures, but are helpless if faced with a guy in a dune buggy or Humvee.
  • Cult: The Brotherhood Of Nod.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: The cinematic introducing the original incarnation of the Ion Cannon has its wiping out a small base, while in-game it can't even one-shot a Construction Yard. However, as of C&C 3 it has been beefed-up considerably.
    • Probably the most egregious example of this is from the cutscene directly after the first GDI mission of Tiberian Sun. Two cyborgs have just destroyed a pair vulcan cannon turrets in a few shots each. As badass as cyborgs units are, they just can't pump that kind of firepower in game. However, after this, a light infantry in an orbital drop pod falls from the sky and takes out both cyborgs with one shot each. In-game, light infantry will die horribly when outnumbered by cyborgs -- in-game, the cyborgs are actually killed by autocannon fire from the drop pods themselves.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Nod cyborgs don't tend to have a whole lot of free will. On the plus side, they're extremely powerful.
    • Actually an early Nod mission Tiberian Sun has you capture a TV station and broadcast a call to arms, urging the "enemy" Nod troops in the level to come to your side. Among them are several cyborgs of which only SOME of them defect to you.
    • Kane's Wrath introduces the 'Awakened', cyborgs that retain all of their free will. Fortunately for the Brotherhood, they are also fanatically loyal to Kane.
  • Dark Messiah: Kane is The Messiah in the eyes of his own followers.
    • And Tiberium Twilight shows that he maybe is the Messiah after all.
  • Dead Line News: Occurs a few times in Wars. The GDI reporters survive. The Nod reporter doesn't.
    • Oxanna shoots her Hassan loyalist colleague, Maycheck, on live TV.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Captain Nick "Havoc" Parker in Renegade.
  • Death World: In Dawn, Tiberium's just a few patches of crystals growing in scattered fields. In Sun, humanity has relocated to a few isolated safe zones while the world is wracked by ion storms, monstrous mutants, desertification, and the unstoppable advance of Tiberium. By Wars, only 20% of Earth remains safe, and portions of it are completely uninhabitable to non-mutated life. And then the Tiberium Control Network in Twilight suddenly and miraculously reverses the trend, though the landscape still resembles a mostly barren desert after decades of Tiberium irradiation.
  • Determinator: Kane. No matter what setback he suffers, he will return with greater force than his previous attempt in his quest for ascension, a journey that has spanned thousands of years and four of the bloodiest wars in history.
    • Commander Michael McNeil, the field commander of GDI during the Second Tiberium War, makes it very clear that he will win whatever means possible. Its makes him Kane's most ultimate arch enemy of today.
    • Captain Nick Parker, the best commando of GDI during the First Tiberium War. He wouldn't let some fanatical terrorists, mutated freaks of nature, psychos for hire, and one of the greatest Magnificent Bastard in history stop him from defeating the Brotherhood of Nod and win the war.
    • Nod itself might count, given how they managed to survive multiple devastating defeats, and even thrive in Tiberium-infested wastelands.
  • Didn't See That Coming: In Kane's Wrath, Kane's reaction when Alexa says she set up Kilian Qatar is surprise. Alexa deserves a CMOA for such a feat.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: Kane likes to announce his return or have a heart-to-heart with an enemy commander this way.
  • The Dragon: Anton Slavik in Tiberian Sun. Incidentally, he's the player's character in the Nod campaign.
  • Drill Tank: In Tiberian Sun, Nod uses subterranean units such as the Subterranean APC and the Devil's Tongue, although only the first looks like a recognizable Drill Tank.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Anton Slavik in Kane's Wrath. After helping save the world and rebuild Nod in Firestorm, he ends up assassinated. Thought to have occurred to Michael McNeil in Firestorm, but shows up alive in the Novelization of Tiberium Wars.
    • On the other hand. in Firestorm Umagon ends up mutating out of control, and the crash of the Kodiak kills Lt. Chandra, McNeil's second-in-command. Firestorm was not kind to McNeil.
  • Drop Ship: Used as a special unit in Tiberian Sun. Bonus points since the game stars Aliens's Michael Biehn as the player character in the cutscenes.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • Firestorm, where the remnants of Nod and GDI have to work together to stop the renegade Nod AI, CABAL.
    • In Tiberium Wars, Nod general Kilian Qatar allies with GDI to face off against the Scrin, until Kane reveals himself to be not quite dead, flips out, and orders GDI nuked.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Tiberian Sun is infamous for this, with Visceroids, Tiberian Fiends, Tiberium Floaters, Veinhole Monsters destroying vehicles and buildings and the gas they produce killing infantry, Tiberium poisonous to infantry, ion storms causing lightning strikes and your planes to fall out of the sky and crash, etc. etc. On the one hand, this does realistically evoke the feel of a Crapsack World going to hell and anarchy because of the effects of Tiberium; on the other hand it is actually possible to win one-on-one skirmish battles without ever seeing the enemy, because the enemy was just overwhelmed by all the third-party nasties on the map.
  • Evil Gloating: Kane gives a good one to Mike McNeil after breaking through the Hammerfest defenses in Tiberian Sun and stealing the sonic crystals, leaving behind a broadcast in which he glibly informs him that the sonic tank "will make an excellent addition to my collection", and that he is sorry to hear that McNeil's brother died a slow and painful death in the raid.
  • Evil Laugh: CABAL likes to do these during missions in Firestorm.

CABAL: Cybernetic lifeforms will always be superior.
EVA: Missile launch detected.
CABAL: Kehahahahahahahaha!

  • Evil Sounds Deep: CABAL.
  • Evolutionary Levels: Nod strongly believes in this interpretation of evolution, and sees Tiberium as heralding humanity's next step in it.
  • Expy: The standard assault rifle in Renegade is basically the M41A pulse rifle, minus a working grenade launcher.
    • A number of units from the games are borrowed from Westwood's earlier Dune II. The Mammoth Tank is the Harkonnen Devastator: Both are twin turreted, double barreled supertanks. The Disruptor and Shatterer tanks are based off the Atreides Sonic Tank. The Nod Saboteur is more of a Shout-Out to the Ordos unit, since Nod's version is merely an Engineer.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: As a result of continuity error in the Novelization: suddenly, Nod grunts are using laser rifles!
  • Free Wheel: In Tiberian Sun.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Nod's signature weaponry. It started as early as the first game with the Obelisks of Light, defensive towers that melted tanks with ruby rays of death, Tiberian Sun featured laser fences, and by Tiberium Wars many Nod vehicles can be upgraded to use them.
  • A God Am I: Kane plays with this a fair bit. He concedes that he is not God Himself, but certainly a good runner-up. More often he calls himself "The Messiah" and the Brotherhood of NOD "the chosen people". Kane has been alive and unaged for over a century now, and has successfully deflected shots from an orbital laser cannon with his face, so why not? Not even the Sufficiently Advanced Aliens know what he is. In Renegade, it's hinted that he may be, or at least may lead his followers in believing that he's that Kane.

McNeil: You're not God, Kane!
Kane: No, I'm not God... but I'm a close second.

    • And stated way earlier by his right-hand man, Seth:

Seth: I'm Seth. Just Seth. From God, to Kane, to Seth. I am his right hand and I have a task for you.

  • Got the Whole World In My Hand: The Hand of Nod (in all but Tiberian Sun incarnations), the Brotherhood's infantry-producing structure, takes the form of a giant metal hand usually clutching a globe.
  • Gray and Gray Morality: With Tiberium Wars Nod went from clearly villainous to the only group caring about the people trying to survive in the Yellow Zones, which also undermined GDI's status as the only good guys.
  • Green Rocks: Tiberium, one of the original Green Rocks, is a particularly nightmarish example. For one thing, it can turn you into a green rock if you get too close.
  • Harmony Versus Discipline: GDI wants to harness and exploit Tiberium as a resource while Nod wants to embrace it as a new way of life.
  • The Hero Dies: Whichever side you choose, your character in C&C 4 will die of a gunshot wound from Colonel James in the ending.
  • Hollywood Science: in the Novelization of Tiberium Wars, radioactive rainwater kills plants and trees within minutes while leaving the rest of the landscape, including the people who live in the area, unaffected. Radiation does not work that way.
  • Honor Before Reason: Captain Parker from Renegade disobeys orders at least twice because civilians were in trouble. His reaction to being greeted by MPs when he returns to the carrier after the first implies he pulls off things like this all the time. And he also once decided to help a defenseless city against the Nod instead to retreat with Dead-6.
  • Hufflepuff House: The Forgotten (mutants) in Tiberian Sun act as a third faction, reached out to by GDI and manipulated by Nod. Their units are, appropriately enough, cobbled together from odds and ends and include old vehicles left over from Tiberian Dawn.
  • Humans Are Warriors: Why the harvesting operation goes bad for the Scrin in Wars. While it's true that the Scrin's "invasion" was actually just a mining operation that harvests Tiberium-infested planets when all the inhabitants are dead, they still view humanity as "warlike to the extreme" and a major threat to the survival of their entire race.
  • Humongous Mecha: Tiberian Sun gave GDI the Wolverine and Titan walkers, and the AT-AT lookalike Mammoth Mk. II. Firestorm added the Juggernaut, an artillery platform on legs, and CABAL's "defense protocol" the Core Defender - probably the most powerful single unit in any of the games. In Sun there seemed to be a conscious design choice that GDI only used mechs and floating vehicles.
    • Tiberium Wars and Kane's Wrath had GDI return to tanks except for the Juggernaut, although the Wolverines and Titans are still used by the Steel Talons sub-faction. Nod, meanwhile, gained the Awesome but Impractical Avatar, Redeemer, and the Black Hand-only Purifier. As for the Scrin, if it doesn't float or fly, it walks.
    • Twilight has a few new and old ones in the roster of the Offense class.
  • The Hypnotoad: Scrin Masterminds and their advanced Traveler-59 cousins, the Prodigies.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: But the commandos shoot with that arm anyway, being Badass and all.
    • In Renegade, when asked if he's gonna fight against the whole ship's crew all by himself, Havoc casually replies, "Just don't seem fair, does it? Maybe I'll shoot left-handed."
  • Idiot Ball:
    • Just about everyone in Twilight. Kane won't reveal his (rather harmless) goal, so half of the GDI accuses him of having evil plans, half of Nod feels betrayed, and everyone else gladly fights for Kane without knowing the truth.
  • Invisibility Cloak: Nod loves stealth, be it in the form of Stealth Tanks or generators that can cloak an entire base.
  • Is This Thing Still On??: Early in the first Tiberium game, after shooting a propaganda video, Kane walks onto the set and gives distribution orders... "Is that camera still running?!?" BANG.
  • I Work Alone: Nick "Havoc" Parker invokes this repeatedly in Renegade. He doesn't want to work with his old team again (all soldiers equally as component as he) to begin with, when he does meet up with them he orders them to sit around doing nothing while he retrieves the scientists all by himself (and screws this up), and leaves them standing on the sidelines for the rest of the game.
  • Karma Houdini: After starting four wars that devastated the planet and cost millions, if not billions of lives, Kane ascends at the end of Tiberian Twilight in both endings. That's right, whether you side with GDI or Nod, Kane still gets away clean.
    • Although he does sort of help to clean up his mess by helping to create the network.
  • Kill Sat: The iconic Ion Cannon. Unusually for the trope it's used by the good guys, and used intelligently - GDI builds a lot of them, and is generous with the missile defenses.
  • Kill It with Fire: At first, Nod Flamethrowers and Flame Tanks. The Black Hand runs with this lategame, as all of the units will have some sort of fire-based weapon (either they were fire based to begin with, or they gain a Black Disciple, a Black Hand Squad commander with a flamethrower). Not only that, but the upgrade "Purifying Flame" makes all flame-based weapons extremely damaging to all unit types.
  • Klingon Promotion: Seth attempts this in the original game, but Kane steps in. After giving you your orders, as an afterthought, he mentions "Oh by the way - congratulations on your promotion."
    • Nod's commanders do this all the time.
  • Knight Templar: Both GDI and Nod. This actually causes civil wars in Twilight between die-hards who refuse any sort of Nod-GDI cooperation.
  • Large Ham: "And he cried in a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth! And Lazarus did arise from the grave..."

Kane: Kane LIVES!

  • Les Collaborateurs: Jake McNeil in Tiberian Sun's Nod campaign.
  • The Obelisk Of Light Is Not Good
  • Luck-Based Mission: The first Commando-centric mission in Tiberian Dawn. Unlike later games, the Commando fired rather slowly, didn't regenerate health, and was kinda fragile. Also, buildings destroyed by C4 still had a chance to produce wounded infantry just as if they were destroyed normally, resulting in the very likely scenario of your Commando losing half his health before he gets off the first island.
  • MacGuffin: The Tacitus.
  • Messiah Creep: Averted insomuch as Kane blatantly claims to be exactly that.
  • Mini-Mecha: Some of the lighter walkers such as the Wolverine fall into this category.
    • Although the Wolverine is technically a suit.
  • Minovsky Physics: Tiberium as of Wars.
  • Modern Stasis: Whenever civilians appear in FMV cutscenes, they look straight out from whenever the game was made. Especially egregious in Tiberian Twilight, which takes place in 2071 but a shot of a street in the final cutscene looks like modern-day Los Angeles.
Largely averted in-game though, where GDI cities and settlements have a more Twenty Minutes Into the Future flavor while the cities that look present-day are crumbling Yellow Zone hellholes whose governments collapsed decades ago.
  • Mundane Utility: Dr. Pascal's optical implants can Activate the Scrin Tower, Receive encrypted transmissions and... watch television. Which the player character does all the time.
  • Mythology Gag: The GDI campaign in Tiberium Wars has many homages to the Soviet Campaign from Red Alert 2, including a first mission involving the Pentagon and a virtually identical opening to the second mission.
  • Name of Kane: In the original game's manual, Kane's dossier is listed as "Global Net Interpol, file #GEN4:16." The Bible quote in question is "And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and took up residence in the Land of Nod."
  • Never My Fault: A particularly amusing example in the beginning of the Tiberium Wars Nod campaign, where Killian goes on and on about how wonderful the Brotherhood is for spreading Tiberium to those who needed it most, before bitching out GDI for leaving them with all the Tiberium-infected territory. Someone never took lessons on cause and effect, it seems.
  • New Era Speech: The Nod ending of Tiberian Sun, and both endings of Tiberium Twilight.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero
  • NGO Superpower: In Tiberian Dawn, Nod was essentially just a well-financed and equipped terrorist organization, which could stand toe-to-toe with GDI, a coalition of powerful Western Countries. This abated in the sequels as Nod became more or less the de facto government of any habitable area not controlled by GDI (50% of the globe, by the time of Tiberium Wars).
  • No Campaign for the Wicked: Inverted in Kane's Wrath. The bad guys are the only campaign available.
  • No Canon for the Wicked: It was only in Firestorm that C&C caught on the idea of opposing sides' campaigns telling parts of the same story.
  • Not Quite Dead: Kane has been supposedly killed so many times that he is widely believed to be immortal, having evidently died at least once in almost every game in which he appears.
  • Noodle Incident: In Tiberium Wars, Kane thanks the commander ("The Legendary Insurgent") for his efforts in Honduras, Jericho and "The Great Rio Insurrection," though the later is the first mission of Kane's Wrath.
    • Again in Twilight, where the commander is given some backstory as a scarred war hero that lost his eyesight, instead relying on implants that also serve as commanding interface, among other things.
  • Non-Entity General: With the exception of Tiberian Sun, in which you play as Michael McNeil or Anton Slavik, you're always just "commander."
  • Novelization: Based on Tiberium Wars, full of Hollywood Tactics and Did Not Do the Research. One of the few good things to come from it was one Fanfic author's response.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: According to Nod, the GDI are interchangeably filled with these and Corrupt Corporate Executives.
  • People Jars: CABAL stands for 'Computer Assisted Biologically Augmented Lifeform'. Nod's Master Computer derives much of his/its intelligence and computing power from the brains of numerous humans suspended in fluid cylinders. The Nod ending from the Tiberian Sun: Firestorm expansion shows Kane in one of these tubes, raising further questions about exactly who or what he is. Later games reveal that he is a millennia-old alien, and was recovering at the time.
  • Photoprotoneutron Torpedo: The GDI's ion cannon.
  • The Political Officer: In Tiberium Wars, Nod's Confessors serve as these, providing guidance and education to their Militas. In-game, the Confessors are an upgrade, increasing the Milita squad's effectiveness.
  • Powered Armor: GDI's Zone Troopers start wearing it in Tiberium Wars, and by Twilight most of its infantry are wearing it. Nod is a bit more selective, regulating theirs to the Black Hand.
  • Previous Player Character Cameo: General Solomon in Tiberian Sun was the player character in the GDI campaign of the original C&C (in that he is stated to have led the attack on Kane's Sarajevo temple, which was the final mission of the first game). In Tiberian Dawn itself, the player 'character' is a Nonentity General.
    • Mcneil also mentioned a few times in C&C 3, while Captain Nick Parker from Renegade is mentioned numerous times in the ingame database.
  • Prison Episode: Renegade has you captured and stripped of your weapons.
  • Psycho for Hire: Carlos Mendoza, General Gideon Raveshaw's personal bodyguard from Renegade, was so bloodthirsty even for the most "extreme extremists" and was kicked out from a Columbian separatist movement before he joined the Brotherhood of Nod. The guy always laughed madly and screamed death threats during fights.
  • Reality Warper: The Disruptors' transparent beams distort not only what you see through them, but also even the unit's hitbox and life bar, which is very disturbing the first time you see it.
  • Recursive Ammo: In Tiberian Sun, Nod's primary superweapon is the Cluster Missile which, upon detonating over the target and causing damage, releases several dozen small bombs that will fall around the original target and can devastate a sizable chunk of someone's base.
  • Revive Kills Zombie: Walking through Tiberium depletes normal infantry's health and will eventually kill them and turn them into Visceroids. On the other hand, mutant and cyborg units (as the human part of cyborgs is also derived from mutants) actually heal while walking through Tiberium.
  • Ridiculously-Fast Construction: Justified, since Tiberium allows almost any material to be harvested in the field, and its energy properties enable microfabricators and nanofactories to be used in the production facilities.
    • The Scrin also construct things with nano-assemblers, and teleport most of their forces from their fleet at the edge of the Solar System via wormhole portals.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Why is the Temple of Nod always in Sarajevo?
    • As noted above, Nod's elite assassin group is called the Black Hand...which is also the name of the Serb group that killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914. The subtle implication is that Kane was responsible for the start of World War I.
    • It's not. In Renegade and Tiberian Sun Kane's main temple is in Cairo.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The reason why Colonel Louise James of GDI is ready to do everything to kill Kane is because her children were killed by the Scrin during Third Tibrium War.
  • Scary Dogmatic Aliens: The Scrin, who, in Kane's own words, are "a cult of addiction in the guise of a species". During their cutscenes, one gets the distinct impression of either a civilian mining collective or a mining corporation, which for some reason makes them that bit more frightening.
    • They are obviously made out to be a mining operation and not an army, with a very formal, almost computer-like speech pattern.
  • Sensor Suspense: Tiberian Sun had the Mobile Sensor Array which, when deployed, could track enemies hidden by Fog of War, as well as Stealth and Subterranean units. The suspense part can even come into play with subterranean units, in that you can't tell whether what is about to pop up is a Flamethrower-tank or an APC loaded up with Cyborgs intent on murder.
  • Shrouded in Myth: Kane, yet again.
    • The Scrin as well. It's not even clear if they are the Scrin, since the GDI translation computers returned several terms for their name.
  • Show Within a Show: Occurred in all three Command & Conquer series but the Tiberium series had the greatest fondness for News Programmes and recurring TV personalities. Sometimes, the action got a bit too closer than they would have liked.
  • Slap Slap Kiss: A perfect example of the trope is seen in the channel-surfing video intro of Tiberian Dawn.
  • Sliding Scale of Robot Intelligence: Tiberian Sun's CABAL is definitely not a God-level AI, but is almost certainly above Human-level, despite apparently being not much more than a tactician and strategist. EVA is little more than a Brick right from the first Tiberian game to the last, and LEGION from Tiberium Wars is a Silent Protagonist somewhere between Brick, Human and God depending on the player. Scrin Motherships are definitely at Nobel-Bot level at minimum.
  • Smart People Play Chess: Kane is holding a chess piece during the briefing of the 9th NOD mission in the first game.
  • Spanner in the Works: Alexa screws with Kane's plan, by framing Kilian and trying to destroy LEGION, out of "her loyalty to him".
    • James to her GDI superiors in Twilight. Having lost her sons in the previous war, she isn't willing to believe Kane.
  • Standard Sci-Fi Army: Tiberian Dawn starts off as conventional, but eventually adds in Kill Sats, Supertanks, and even Stealth Tanks. Latter games add in more exotic and futuristic technology and units, such as cyborgs, mutant supersoliders, mecha, and warships.
  • Starfish Aliens: The Scrin. So alien in fact, that we don't even know how they look like. All we get is the shimmering, cephalopoidal avatar of the Supervisor during his Warp-Link transmissions.
  • The Starscream: Seth in the first game.
  • State Sec: Nod's Black Hand subfaction fits this trope to a T.
  • Suicide Attack: Nod Fanatics are suicide bombers hopped up on Tiberium infusions and religious zeal.
  • Super Prototype: In the last Nod mission of Twilight, GDI sends in a Prototype bomber as a last ditch effort to stop you. It's by far the most powerful unit anywhere, being able to destroy even Crawlers with little effort. It's only weakness is the fact that it has to land to call in reinforcements (the three GDI AI's just give up before it arrives).
  • Super Soldier: The Enlightened from Kane's Wrath are extremely tough, unflinchingly loyal cyborgs built from corpses. They can paralyze vehicles with EMP guns, or just blast the hell out of them with their particle beams. Upgrade their cannons and give them cybernetic legs, and you have squads of lightning bruisers.
  • Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors: The basis of Twilight. Every unit has an armor type (Light, Medium Ground, Medium Air, Heavy or Building) and usually one weapon type (Gun, Cannon, Rocket, Beam or Blast). Each weapon type is Super Effective against one armor type (in those lists, respectively), and you do not have the unit cap to field a varied force.
  • Tank Goodness: The Mammoth Tank. The offense class in Twilight is all about tanks (with a few mechs sprinkled in for good measure).
  • This Is Sparta: The Nod brotherhood's chant "Peace. Through. Power."
    • BY MY OWN FORCES!
  • Tomato Surprise: The person Kane was talking to in Kane's Wrath is a computer AI.
  • Toxic Phlebotinum: Tiberium is radioactive, releases toxic gases, acts as a mutagen, and is slowly depleting the Earth.
  • Tuckerization: One of the maps in Tiberium Wars, "Black's Big Battle", is likely named for multiplayer designer Greg Black. Ingame art shows a soldier with the nametag "Vessella", a reference to associate producer Jim Vessella.
  • Units Not to Scale: Averted in Tiberium Wars - aircraft carriers take up a good chunk of the map, but due to pathfinding issues, these realistically large ships only appear in a select few missions and are unbuildable.
    • Tiberian Sun gets around most of the problems due to not having any naval units as all (supposedly because Tiberium-mutated weeds have choked the seas). However there is one issue with the GDI's mobile command centre spaceplane, the Kodiak--it appears landed in one mission the same size as a building, far too small to reflect how it looks in the cutscenes. This was belatedly fixed in the expansion pack Firestorm when it crashes--now the Kodiak's wreck fills the whole screen and is literally about 20 times larger than it was in the aforementioned mission.
  • The Un-Reveal: Kane's true nature and motivation? Tiberium's origin? The Scrin's history and overall intentions? Don't expect Tiberium Twilight to give a satisfying answer.
  • United Nations Is a Super Power: Implied when it is mentioned that the UN has a Secretary of Defense.
    • Additionally, the GDI (official name: UNGDI), while originally founded as a UN-sponsored black-ops unit, is not only reformed into the UN's de facto military branch, but eventually either outlives the UN itself while assuming its original functions, or subsumes the parent organization outright.
  • Unwinnable: A lot of the missions in Sole Survivor and Covert Ops are ridiculously tough, and rely heavily on Save Scumming. One example has you trying to rescue a Nod MCV trapped in the middle of a GDI base using only one stealth tank, and then using it to destroy the base it's in. Not fun.
  • Unwitting Pawn: GDI's acting director Redmond Boyle in Tiberium Wars, The Commander from Tiberium Twilight to Louise James... you know, anyone who is not Kane.
    • The Scrin themselves are rather embarrassed to find out that they're no better.
  • The Uriah Gambit: In Tiberian Dawn, Seth becomes jealous of the player character's success, and likely being a potential threat. So he tries to send the player on a super secret mission "that not even Kane knows of." The plan: Leading a strike on America, a military superpower, on it's own turf. In all likelihood, this would have destroyed the player had Kane not shown up and shot Seth.
  • Villainous Breakdown: "How could my own brothers believe that what transpired at the Temple Prime did not unfold exactly as I had planned. Of course I could not have planned for an ambush BY MY OWN FORCES!"
  • Villain with Good Publicity : Kane, of course. "The world only believes what the media tells them to believe... and I tell the media what to believe. It's really quite simple."
  • We ARE Struggling Together!: A genocidal alien invasion was enough to make GDI and Nod stop killing each other for about two days, in Australia. This also drives much of the plot in Twilight.
  • We Have Reserves: After it becomes clear to the aliens that they were fooled by Kane into coming to Earth much too soon, their Overlord, becomes intrigued and declares that the harvesting mission can be deemed expendable in order to find out more about Kane's plot. This does not sit well with Foreman 371 and his ship AI.
  • We Will Not Use Photoshop in the Future: Occurs in the first game, in which Nod uses a green screen and a reporter to frame GDI for a massacre.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The Scrin? LEGION? Disappeared between Wars and Twilight.
    • Apparently, the Scrin are still cooking up something big in deep space, and LEGION is what helped Kane interface with the Tacitus and the Tower in the first place.
    • LEGION seems to be the equivalent of GDI's EVA in Twilight, since there's a support power called "Hand of Legion".
  • What the Hell, Hero?: If you use the liquid Tiberium bomb in the last GDI mission in Tiberium Wars, you end up killing over twenty million people, including your entire army. Granger immediately calls you out on it and accuses you of being a war criminal before resigning from GDI in disgust. Way to go, jackass.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Kane's strategies tend to hinge on these, bordering on Gambit Roulette at times - though in Kane's Wrath we get to see just how much planning and effort went into making Tiberium Wars unfold the way it did. In the first game, however, Kane gets played by GDI, which faked having its UN funding cut in order to lure Nod into the open, before hitting them with their latest wave of weapon technology.
  • You Call That a Wound?: Cyborgs in Tiberian Sun can have their legs blasted off and still crawl about at full walking speed.
  • You Have Failed Me...: In Tiberian Sun's GDI campaign, Nod General Vega has just lost to McNeil and is beseeching Kane for reinforcements. Kane's response is to nuke Vega's entire island base.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: In the second video to the Nod campaign in Tiberian Sun a prominent GDI general implies this trope to a certain Nod leader.