RIP, RTS: Command and Conquer

C&C: Tiberium Dawn

GDI vs Nod

I have been a lifelong GDI (Global Defense Initiative) fan even though The Brotherhood Nod has traditionally enjoyed the cooler technology. Yes, I realize that I contradict myself a bit when I say that I prefer “finesse” over brute strength and then say that I’m a lifelong GDI fan. I think my allegiance to GDI has to do with the fact that even at a young age, Nod emanated a strong cultish feeling. At that time in my youth, I was not quite able to distinguish between a fictional spiritual metaphor and the actual thing. My response toward Nod is both the result of me still being impressionable, and also good writing by Westwood, because Nod is, in fact, the kind of fanatical cult that one imagines in a penultimate-apocalypse world where “the end is neigh.” Strengthening the association between Nod and a cult is how it borrows heavily from the actual Bible—the land of Nod, Kane (spelled with a “C” however), and Kane’s lieutenant, Seth, are all biblical references. They could be perceived as terrorists…if they were to canonically lose.

Orca C&C1

Besides my perception of Nod as evil, the Orca is the reason why I aligned myself with GDI with them. TD was my first introduction to the concept of VTOL (vertical take-off and landing), and I just fell in love with the idea that I could build a squadron of them and take out first SAM (surface-to-air missile) sites, then structures without losing any units. There is nothing, nothing that I loathe more than to lose units in a RTS. I also enjoyed the concept of the Ion Cannon as a super weapon since all other forms of media that I was familiar with at the time seemed obsessed with nuclear weaponry. It is a precision weapon in the truest sense with zero fallout, taking out any unit in one hit and almost any structure in one hit. 

Ion Cannon

And…that’s it. I mean, C&C1, alongside Dune, was among the first of its kind, so combat diversity and uniqueness compared to that available in real life was a still-evolving concept in the world of video game warfare. Nod, on the other hand, has a much more interesting unit selection, such as the Buggy (instead of the GDI Humvee), the Recon Bike, Flamethrower Infantry, or the Devil’s Tongue Flame Tank. I did not use the Chemical Warriors at all since I never played with Nod in multiplayer games, but I was quite envious of what, to this day, I consider to be one of the coolest units in the history of the RTS genre—the Stealth Tank.

Stealth Tank C&C1

Kane calls the Nod Stealth Tank “Ezekiel’s Wheel.”

 The Nod Stealth Tank is the stuff of a child’s imagination; it is a Batmobile that can be built several times over, complete with a spiffy (de)cloaking sound effect, that hits hard and fades away, often undetected before the enemy even knows what hit them.
Temple of Nod Tiberian Dawn

The Temple of Nod is a swanky churc—I mean, formidable military stronghold.

I didn’t care for the concept of using nuclear weaponry, but I have to admit that the Temple of Nod—okay, okay, the Nod faction is one of the greatest concepts in the history of science fiction, let alone the Temple of Nod itself. There, I said it. The nuke is way more powerful than the Ion Cannon, and the Obelisk of Light which one-hits anything up to a Mammoth Tank puts GDI’s Advanced Guard Tower to shame.

Yeah, I know I am doing a terrible job of selling why anyone should ever play as GDI, but hey, Nod are the bad guys, right? RIGHT???


Maurice Pogue

Since picking up an NES controller in 1985 at the age of 2, Maurice and video games have been inseparable. While most children aspired to be lawyers, doctors, or engineers (at the behest of their parents), he aspired to write for publications such as EGM, PC Gamer, PC Accelerator, and Edge. After achieving ABD status in English at MSU, Maurice left academia and dedicated his writing to his lifelong passion. He is currently the Video Game Editor at Geeks Under Grace.


  1. Wesley Wood on February 21, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    Awesome write up Maurice!

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