Here's something of a surprise I've been working on the past week: a new cover for the classic Command and Conquer Tiberium universe
(further info on which can be found on Gamepedia
). The DeviantArt version is here
While this started out as a remake of Command and Conquer: Tiberian Legacy Enhanced
(and to a degree still is), this has evolved into being a much more comprehensive take on the RTS setting, though with a particular focus on the Global Defense Initiative
. Known for their focus on conventional tech yet brute force and combat superiority, they're the constant "protagonists" of the timeline (for want of a better term). At the same time, despite the chaos and turmoil of the circumstances (ranging from multiple global conflicts to Tiberium itself and even an alien invasion), it's impressive how an organization that started out as a multinatinal task force not only became a peculiar take on world government almost wholly by accident (and out of necessity). But that against the madness, they didn't
become monsters themselves.
As much as possible, I tried to stay consistent with the lore set down by both Westwood and EALA. That being said, there are some creative licenses, particularly when it comes to details not seen or all that clear in the source material. In addition, some elements (and images) are based on the cancelled Tiberium
game, the recently-released Command and Conquer Remastered
, some nods to the Red Alert
titles and whatever could be could be salvaged from Tiberian Twilight
(what is this C&C4
that you speak of?), even though the latter in this rendition doesn't happen. While the text used is a polished, extended version of an abandoned crossover story from a while back. At any rate, on top of trying to see how far I could take a map concept without information overload, the aim's to make the setting, even if biased towards GDI, approachable to newcomers to the franchise and long-time fans alike.
Also, once again a special thanks to
whose own take
of the Tiberium games has been useful in helping work out many of the Red Zone and Blue Zone borders.
And just to be on a safe side, 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.
All that said and done, I hope you enjoy this nice piece of armored superiority.
EDIT: Last-minute edits made to the map.
<Access Date - 12/10/2055>
<Intelligence Data Updated>
The Tiberian World Order
A Brief History of the Global Defense Initiative
The Global Defense Initiative, or GDI, has come a long way from its origins. But to truly understand its present state, one has to turn back the clock.
In the aftermath of the Second World War, a protracted conflict wherein the Allied Nations and the nominally neutral United States defeated the Soviet Union as well as a militant Empire of Japan, a multinational joint task force (eventually called "Special Operations Group Echo, Black Ops 9") was established as a covert peacekeeping unit that answered to the United Nations. Although much of its activities (including its founding) remain classified, it's known that it was active in the 1980s and may have played a part in the relatively peaceful downfall of Communism. By the early 1990s, it was discreetly collaborating with Interpol, the CIA and various agencies in pursuing terrorist organizations and militias, some of which would be tied to an unknown benefactor.
What transpired in 1995 changed everything. A meteor crashed along the historic Tiber River in Central Italy. 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 element, called Tiberium by Dr. Ignatio Mobius, soon came to be seen as an incredibly valuable resource due to how the crystals not only leach nutrients from the ground but can also be harvested, and subsequently processed into useful material with far more efficiency than was 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. 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, or the increasing number of preliminary reports of the lethal and even mutagenic effects on any lifeforms exposed by it to any prolonged degree.
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 global market, in the process pioneering mining and harvesting methods that continue to be refined even generations on. Before long, Nod became an economic superpower in all but name, at one point seizing as much as 49% of the world's supply through various proxies and dummy corporations. At the same time, this stateless movement aggressively began expanding its influence into developing and war-stricken 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 Security Council made a fateful decision. On October 12, 1995, in accordance with the UN Global Defense Act, what had been Black Ops 9 was expanded, transformed and officially established as GDI. An international peacekeeping force unprecedented for its time (with its own naval, air and ground contingents) it was tasked with preserving world order by combating global terrorism. This mandate would remain a constant.
It would not be until the late 1990s, however, that open confrontation finally broke out in what's since been called the First Tiberium War. Through the deployment of myriad innovative technologies and experimental weapons (made possible or accelerated in one way or another by Tiberium), and in spite of the Brotherhood’s ever more underhanded and insidious methods, even a smear campaign that temporarily cut funding, 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), resulted in a triumphant victory for the Free World.
That triumph was short-lived. As the early 21st Century progressed, Tiberium not only continued to spread unabated across the globe and in increasingly varied ways, but to the shock of scientists, the substance was both changing the environment and evolving with it at an exponential rate. GDI's mandate grew to include the research and containment of the green crystal. As conditions worsened, it was being delegated more duties by the UN Security Council beyond that of a peacekeeping force. Various measures and contingency plans were either attempted or considered, such as evacuating people closer to the Arctic, even as several countries across the globe began crumbling amidst widespread civil unrest and societal collapse.
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 increasingly consolidated GDI resorted to propping up puppet collaborators, which backfired with the rise of Anton Slavik, a Serbian freedom fighter-turned "Black Hand" fanatic and leader. Then in 2030, Kane revealed himself to be alive (and none the worse for wear) for all the world to see, which combined with his followers' resurgence under Slavik led 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, it seemed like the conflict was decidedly over. Within only months, however, a reactivated CABAL (an evolved Nod AI 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.
Eventually, as the 2030s went on, the changing realities on the ground meant that the political map had to radically redrawn into three designated "Zones." GDI ultimately found itself answering to no one, as political power and sovereignty from the remaining nation-states (particularly those in what came to be designated as "Blue Zones") were ceded to the organization. It even outlasted the UN itself, much of its surviving elements being subsumed in the intervening years. In response to such circumstances, new and reconstituted civil institutions were brought into the fold, working alongside yet separate from the military chain of command. Meanwhile, partly due to the severe socio-political upheavals, the old national identities - barring certain exceptions like the British Isles and Japan - had largely faded in favor of more multicultural, regional and global ones, albeit unified under a common, Western-derived culture. Thus, despite going well beyond what its founders or their immediate successors intended, what had been a peacekeeping force had become a world government and superstate in its own right. A new world order formed by accident, yet wholly out of necessity.
Then came the Third Tiberium War. On March 2047, after biding its time, a surprise Nod raid succeeded in disabling GDI's A-SAT defenses, opening a window long enough to launch a nuclear ICBM on the orbital HQ GDSS Philadelphia, wiping out much of the top political and military leadership. This was followed by Kane (once more defying death) revealing himself by hijacking news broadcasts, which turned out to be the signal for a massive assault on GDI-held territories. At that time, however, the defenders of the Free World (or what remained of it) had undergone downsizing, with almost 60% of its military 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 all-out offensives. Eventually, Nod was pushed back to Temple Prime in Sarajevo, built atop the original Temple destroyed decades earlier. 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 evident incompetence. But even with InOps reports of substantial amounts of Liquid Tiberium being stored beneath the besieged complex, and growing protests from military commanders, the vainglorious politician went so far as abuse his position to order to attack the bastion just like how the First Tib. War ended. Instead, the worst case scenario happened, just as the Brotherhood’s so-called “Prophet” had intended.
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 remains known even now of these aliens, though it's theorized that they may be insectoid in nature and utterly dependent on the green crystal for survival. Their highly advanced biomechanical constructs, undoubtedly, were devastating enough as the invaders attacked cities and launched strikes on every continent; it's speculated by InOps that they may very well be responsible for bringing Tiberium in the first place. Such was the threat that GDI and Nod, if only briefly, were one in stopping this existential danger. Even so, it was nowhere near enough to unify humanity as hostilities between both sides continued (the Brotherhood resuming attacks at Kane’s orders) while simultaneously fighting the alien menace. It was soon discovered amidst the fighting that the "invasion" was in reality, massive diversionary move meant to mask what had apparently been mining operations, the centerpiece of which being the construction of massive superstructures called "Thresholds."
Through a series of risky counteroffensives, GDI succeeded in not only destroying nearly all of said "Thresholds." But in 2049, a massive attack against the control node the extraterrestrials set up in Ground Zero itself, what was once Italy, had literally stopped the Scrin in their tracks, their forces either dissolving or shutting down permanently. With the Brotherhood seemingly put in their place during the operation, Boyle was forced by Acting Supreme Commander Jack Granger, on behalf of GDI, to resign amidst the celebrations; the man himself was eventually put on trial in 2050 for war crimes and gross negligence of duty. The conflict was at last over.
The years since the formal end of the Third Tiberium War saw the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the Blue Zones proceeding in earnest, despite myriad challenges. Although progress had been made to reclaim more of the planet back (including a more concerted effort to stablize and restore order in Yellow Zones), there remained worries that, just as Tiberium had evolved to become more difficult to stop in the early 21st Century, it could potentially evolve yet again to be utterly immune to current containment methods, haunting scientists and pundits alike. Meanwhile, InOp[s confirmed rumors of a new generation of cyborgs attacking outposts and convoys 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, while still possessing sentience, remained absolutely loyal to their “Messiah.” Knowing the even more existential threat posed by the alien Scrin, GDI Central Command didn’t remain idle, either, giving greater priority to reverse-engineering whatever weapons were left intact. More funding had also been allocated to updating walker technology, and other equipment mothballed prior to 2047 so as to help even the odds, most signified by the development of the Mastodon heavy walker and Kodiak-II orbital cruisers.
Nonetheless, 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, GDI has managed to maintain a semblance of normalcy, prosperity and democratic liberties. Succumbing to neither Tiberium addiction nor the madness of the Brotherhood, it has, for whatever its flaws, maintained its dignity and integrity 60 years on. Indeed, standards of living for the average Blue Zone citizen would be seen as near-utopian from the vantage point of the late 20th Century. This is to say nothing of the myriad projects and private sector collaborations that have both helped in stemming Tiberium, and making various advancements possible. Nor to ignore the service and dedication of the organization’s military core. With an unbroken line going back to the professional armed forces and military traditions of the G8 nations, the men and women of GDI remain committed to preserving world order, their mandate still holding true from their forefathers. Even in spite of the downsizing prior to the Third Tib. War, they’re renowned for their superior training, discipline and potent firepower. These are augmented by 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 containment) and magnetic railguns that could be miniaturized to fit on vehicles or even as anti-material infantry arms. Combined with rugged maintenance and an ability to deploy troops anywhere on the planet at a moment's notice, it’s not for nothing that GDI's claims of being mankind's last best hope are as grounded as they are genuine.
<Sender - Unknown>
Yes, that much is true. But as was said then, the world only believes what the media tells them to believe, and I tell the media what to believe, it's really quite simple. It's wise to heed that, or not, it doesn't matter. After all, you can't kill the Messiah.
Oh, and it's good to have you back, Commander.
In addition to the images (taken from the source material via Westwood and EALA), some of the tech effects are courtesy of
's TECH BRUSHES v.2
. As well as
's Photoshop brushes for the other tech interface effects.