Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars Designer Diary #2 - The Brotherhood of Nod and the Return of Kane

What would the next game in this classic strategy series be without the sinister Brotherhood of Nod? Or Kane, for that matter? Executive producer Mike Verdu takes the wraps off the shadowy faction.

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Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars will mark the return of the classic real-time strategy series and the return of the series' two clashing titan factions, the Global Defense Initiative and the shadowy organization known as the Brotherhood of Nod, which we're revealing here today. According to the story behind the new game, Nod acts as a "nationless state," a network of rebel factions that exist all over a futuristic version of Earth that's polluted by the mysterious chemical Tiberium. And what would the Brotherhood of Nod be without its charismatic and glabrous general Kane? It's best not to think about it. Executive producer Mike Verdu explains.

The Brotherhood of Nod


By Mike Verdu
Executive Producer, EALA

He's back, folks!
He's back, folks!

This is the second in our series of features on the factions in Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars (C&C 3). Last time, we took a quick look at the Global Defense Initiative (GDI), a military and political superpower forged from the advanced nations of Earth. GDI in the year 2047 is what might result if NATO, the G8, and the UN Security Council all got together and became one country. The GDI sees itself as a white knight working tirelessly to protect humanity, freedom, and the environment.

With this feature, we go in depth on the Brotherhood of Nod (Nod), GDI's adversary in a decades-long struggle. GDI and Nod have been fighting over control of Tiberium--a mysterious alien element that is slowly consuming the planet--and the fate of humanity and Earth itself.

It's easy to understand GDI; the history, organization, and motives are familiar since they are an extrapolation of today's first-world economic and military powers. Nod is much more complicated. Nod has the people, resources, organization, and raw military power necessary to stand against GDI and wage war on a global scale. Yet the Brotherhood of Nod isn't a country. It's a strange new hybrid organization that has the combined characteristics of a religious movement, a multinational corporation, and a nation-state. Given the awesome demands of modern warfare--with its terrible cost and vast scale--Nod's ability to go toe to toe with GDI is astonishing.

GDI views Nod as a dangerous, virulent, and inexplicably self-sustaining terrorist group obsessed with accelerating the worst ecological catastrophe in history, led by a charismatic and brilliant sociopath named Kane. The Brotherhood sees itself quite differently. Nod believes that it is the agent of change for a world in the throes of transition to a new order, the representative of the poor and the oppressed, and a foil to the previously unchecked power of GDI. Here is a partial transcript from a Nod orientation briefing for new recruits:

"Welcome to the Brotherhood of Nod. You have joined a global order with millions of members all working together in harmony to unite the world in the name of peace and realize the true potential of mankind.

Our relationship with Tiberium has always been greatly misunderstood. Most people do not realize that the roots of our faith extend back several millennia, long before the emergence of the green crystal on Earth in 1995...an event prophesized by our great leader, Kane.

While the fascist political consortium of wealthy nations known as the Global Defense Initiative attempted to control the sacred green crystal, the Brotherhood worked tirelessly to acquire samples of the precious crystal...to study it, to unlock its potential as a new energy source, to explore its possibilities. Through our research and our faith, we have affirmed that Tiberium is the ultimate gift to mankind. It is the key to the future.

Our movement grew rapidly throughout the first decades of the twenty-first century. The mainstream media branded us as 'terrorists,' but we exposed GDI forces as the real criminals. They unilaterally redrew international border lines, relegating Nod followers into inhospitable yellow zones while they claimed the pristine and exclusive blue zones all for themselves.

The Brotherhood of Nod: coming soon to a Tiberium patch near you.
The Brotherhood of Nod: coming soon to a Tiberium patch near you.

Meanwhile, the Brotherhood champions the common people--the 80% of the world's population that struggles to get by in yellow zones torn by war, wracked by poverty, and abandoned by GDI. Using Tiberium to fuel and fund our efforts, Nod works tirelessly to bring order from the chaos. We make the streets safe, distribute food to the hungry, provide emergency medical care, minister to those who feel a spiritual vacuum, and inspire hope in people who would otherwise have none.

GDI casts itself as the world's guardian and savior, but it is neither. GDI is corrupt and unjust: 20% of the world's population--the most wealthy people on the planet--live in the blue zones, consuming the majority of the world's natural resources, wielding its vast military power to maintain the status quo by depriving the downtrodden of their god-given right to mine and exploit Tiberium.

The powerful oppress the weak in the hollow name of freedom, and the only counter to GDI's power is the Brotherhood. Nod meets strength with strength in the name of peace and progress. Nod is the only hope against GDI tyranny. Brotherhood...Unity...Peace."

The Brotherhood's appeal is seductive to those who live in the yellow zone. Nod offers a vision of Tiberium that is optimistic and uplifting, portraying it as a gift rather than a curse, a path to a bright future rather than the end of the world. It blames the terrible state of the planet on GDI rather than the relentless advance of the green crystal. Nod offers hope where there is often none, help where it's often most needed, faith where religion has been lost, and pride where there was often humiliation, weakness, and fear.

Nod is able to recruit thousands of new members every month from the desperate populations of the borderlands. Its political, military, and logistical operations are decentralized and buried deep inside crumbling cities, towns, and outposts in the decaying yellow zone. A vast and sophisticated infrastructure is disguised from GDI, and Nod has perfected the art of moving military assets and forces quickly over long distances without detection, even by satellite or drone aircraft with the latest generation of sensors.

Nod's core organization is very sophisticated and high-tech, but it also has a large guerilla force composed of hastily trained and minimally equipped recruits from the yellow zone. Nod's field forces are an interesting mix of low tech "militia" troops and smaller numbers of highly trained, elite soldiers equipped with state-of-the-art communications gear and the most advanced weapon systems available.

Nod's military assets are experimental and exotic in both appearance and function, but the durability of its units is suspect. Nod engineers are not afraid to risk human life and will often sacrifice safety and protection for increased abilities and speed. Its high-end military hardware runs on Tiberium and tends to be fast but vulnerable, lethal but unstable. Nod offensive weapons deployed on vehicles range from rockets, machine guns, and flame throwers to toxins, lasers, and nuclear weapons. It also has a number of Tiberium-based weapons.

Nod might seem like a disorganized mob, but it actually commands a sophisticated and powerful military.
Nod might seem like a disorganized mob, but it actually commands a sophisticated and powerful military.

A Nod fast-attack force might include attack bikes, raider buggies, and Scorpion tanks supported by stealthy Vertigo batwing bombers and VTOL Venom scout aircraft. Other Nod military units include the latest-generation stealth tank, the lethal flame tank, and beam-cannon artillery. At the highest level of the technology tree are avatar warmechs--armored bipedal war machines that can make GDI troops break and run just at the sight of them. An avatar can actually pull the weapon system out of another vehicle and use it--combine an avatar with the flame thrower from a flame tank and you have a 30-foot-tall flame-spewing war robot that can dominate the battlefield.

Infantry units range from the cannon fodder militants and fanatics to the highly trained elite units like the black hand shock troops and the hang-glider equipped shadows.

Brotherhood of Nod: Apocalyptic death cult or the last hope for the downtrodden masses? You'll decide as you choose your side in C&C 3.

And in the coming months, we will take the wraps off of our mysterious third faction.

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