The First Tiberium War was a global conflict waged between the United Nations Global Defense Initiative (GDI) and the Brotherhood of Nod. This war began in the late 1990s and ended in a GDI victory three years later. The advent of Tiberium harvesting technology and the subsequent rise of Nod as a global political and economic superpower, as well as the formation of GDI, were the primary catalysts of the conflict. Tiberium granted these two organizations the ability to rapidly acquire a huge amount of wealth, allowing them to quickly expand their forces.
GDI was a united peacekeeping force under the United Nations. Their primary goal was to find a solution to the crisis brought to the world by the proliferation of Tiberium and to destroy the Brotherhood of Nod, which they considered to be the organization responsible for the terrorist activities in Slovenia and Austria.
Nod had originally been a secret society with unknown and secretive goals and claiming ancient origins. Though it is known to have held much influence in the Soviet Union during the period of Stalin's rule; the arrival of Tiberium had catapulted Nod onto a much larger stage, competing directly and openly with the GDI for world power. Their primary objectives were controlling and harvesting the world's Tiberium supplies and unlocking its true potential, which led them to experiments in human 'augmentation'.
Nod's ultimate goal was to use the world's Tiberium in order to reshape it for the 'better', as well as the complete destruction of GDI; an impediment to this goal. Or at the very least, place Nod onto a much larger world scale for preparations for the future. Their leader Kane believed that to do this, Nod would have to manipulate mass media and public opinion through propaganda and hacking (e.g. Netwarriors) while keeping the GDI from being able to do the same.
Before the war had begun, Nod was already an economic power. With their intricate knowledge of Tiberium, Nod countries at one point gained most of the world's Tiberium assets: 49 percent of the world's supply, leading GDI countries in control of only about a quarter of the Tiberium the world had to offer. This was in part due to superior Tiberium harvesting technology being developed by Nod. With this much Tiberium derived wealth at Nod's disposal, Kane, leader of the Brotherhood, made a crucial decision.
His organization would now openly contend with the GDI on all political, media and military fronts. Though the Brotherhood had been extremely successful in utilizing such tactics in the past, the scale of this venture was now unlike any operation before. Nod began to consolidate control over its territory and build up its military thanks to it's economic might and requisition of sympathetic nations assets. Nod supporters enacted regular military operations in Niger and Gabon in Africa and in the nations of Eastern Europe west of Russia with only a few exceptions such as Ukraine.
As the GDI responded in kind, many formerly aligned countries distanced themselves from both Nod and GDI, leading to a considerable retraction in the total scope of both organisations over the period leading to the war. This particularly hurt Nod in Africa, where the vast majority of nations that were earlier considered Nod aligned distanced themselves from Nod.
After a series of high profile urban bombings (including the Grain Trade Center in Vienna, the 17th target to be hit) and following reports of terrorist activities in Slovenia, the United Nations Security Committee entered a closed session and permitted GDI to engage Nod openly.
Nod Campaign for Africa
Nod's actions on a global scale were becoming increasingly aggressive and their anti-west rhetoric earned them many followers, especially among the impoverished populace in Africa; though the willingness of established governments there to challenge the power of the GDI understandably remained limited.
With the UN vote and the outbreak of war, armed Nod supporters assembled in Niger and Gabon. From Niger, they moved swiftly into Libya and in order to secure their influence there and prevent fragmentation of their territory, the Brotherhood removed some local leaders with open or suspected GDI sympathies, the most notable of which was Nikoomba, a petty Libyan tribal leader.
Nod's secure control over Libya allowed them to quickly establish forward attack posts in Egypt before launching a full invasion and occupying the GDI-aligned country. After their conquest of Egypt, Nod would then attack the GDI prisons in Sudan; liberating local Nod prisoners, which then helped them establish control over 'neutral' Sudan.
Having gained control of Sudan, Nod was now able to turn their attention to intervening in the civil war that was going on in Chad, aiding the outgunned Nod supporters in their fight against the GDI supporters while making an example of certain GDI friendly villages (such as one near Oum Hadjer). Reinforced by external Nod support, Nod factions were now able to prevail in the civil war, placing Chad in the hands of Nod.
At this point, Kane's personal commander led an assault through neutral Algeria with the aim of outmaneuvering the GDI before they could complete their own invasion of neutral Nigeria. That would allow them to move north into Niger, threatening the core of Nod's African domain. Thanks to a rising Nod commander's successful attack through neutral Mali on GDI Mauritania, home to many key GDI air bases in the region, this strategic maneuver was massively successful, and Nod rapidly gained control of nearly all of Western Africa.
The GDI had installed nuclear devices inside Nigeria, Benin and the Ivory Coast in order to 'influence' local leaders there and ensure their loyalty. In response, Nod forces launched daring raids on Nigerian, Beninese and Ivorian GDI bases in order to acquire the nuclear detonators. Having dispelled the threat posed by the nukes, Nod forces were able to secure the leaders surrender or defection, gaining control over all three countries.
Nod forces would then secretly move into neutral Central Africa in order to steal an advanced ORCA Assault Craft from a GDI base there and attack a nearby village. Since the craft came from a GDI base, Nod were easily able to frame the GDI for this attack on civilians, turning Central Africa against the GDI. They would also destroy some villages in GDI occupied Gabon and Cameroon, since these villages were overly close to some rich Tiberium deposits and Kane believed that they would spread Tiberium related illnesses if they were allowed to remain. Having eradicated these villages, Nod was able to safely extract enough Tiberium to drive the GDI from Gabon and Cameroon and restore Nod rule there.
Upon securing Central Africa, Gabon and Cameroon; Seth, Nod's African commander, was personally executed by Kane. He had tried to dispatch numerous troops to the USA on a suicide mission to attack and destroy the Pentagon in order to eliminate the two Nod commanders that he had placed in charge of the mission. But his plans were found out by Kane, Seth was executed and the troops were recalled to Africa. Kane then took personal command of Seth's forces in Africa, meaning that those commanders that had earlier reported to Seth would now report directly to him.
Shortly after Seth's execution by Kane, a poorly equipped force of Nod supporters was sent into neutral Zaire, which was at the time being invaded by GDI forces. By making use of two abandoned GDI outposts located there, they destroyed the invading GDI forces with their own weapons; securing control of Zaire for the Brotherhood of Nod.
GDI naval power had now begun to take its toll on Nod forces. Sending fleets of armoured gunboats up the Nile and destroying Egyptian Nod bases and regaining control of Egypt. In response, Nod forces moved in from Sudan and Libya with the aim of regaining control of the Nile and thus over Egypt. While they were successful in this endeavor, large segments of the Egyptian population had come out in support of the new 'democratic' regime installed by the returning GDI forces, and as ordered, Nod forces showed no mercy to these elements.
With the GDI threat in Egypt repulsed, Nod forces were free to launch an extensive southwards offensive against the remaining GDI aligned nations in Africa. GDI had two secret research facilities within their bases in Angola and Tanzania respectively, one conducting research on the Ion Cannon and another on their new Mammoth Tank. Nod forces razed the mammoth prototype facilities to the ground and killed the key GDI scientists working on the Ion Cannon before they could be evacuated. Afterwards, Angola and Tanzania fell swiftly into Nod hands.
Yet despite their victories over GDI forces in Africa, things were not all well for the Brotherhood. Two presumably secret Nod research facilities in GDI-aligned Namibia and Mozambique had been discovered by GDI forces and captured. These research facilities held within them the prototypes and plans of the Brotherhood's new weapon, the Stealth tank which had been named Ezekial's Wheel by Kane. Nod forces were not only able to safely retrieve these plans and prototypes, but were also able to decisively defeat GDI forces in the area as well and help gain control of Namibia and Mozambique for the Brotherhood.
However, it turned out that Nod had destroyed the GDI's own secret research facilities too late, not only were their forces now facing Mammoth Tanks, but the GDI's powerful new orbital Ion Cannon was now complete. While Nod forces had already found out the Mammoth tanks were far from invincible, they had no way of hurting the Ion Cannon. So they devised a different scheme; they would steal the GDI access codes and hack into the weapon's control systems. Fortunately for Nod, the GDI had an open link to the Ion Cannon within the advanced communications center inside a GDI base in Botswana, and Nod forces were able to successfully steal the access codes from within the base.
Nod had finally gained control of all of Africa, with the sole exception of South Africa (and Lesotho). Kane had an idea; not only would Nod forces expel all GDI forces from South Africa, but they would also build a new African Temple of Nod there, armed with nuclear weaponry like its European equivalent. With nowhere left to retreat to within Africa, the remaining GDI forces were surrounded and destroyed defending Cape Town and South Africa, what was once a key center of GDI power in Africa became the seat of Nod's new African temple.
GDI Campaign for Europe
When the UN gave permission for the GDI to openly engage Nod forces globally and the war began; most of continental Western Europe, with the exception of Switzerland, Denmark and possibly Spain and Portugal declared in favour of the GDI.
Having successfully gained a beachhead in Estonia, GDI forces would then launch an extensive assault on the Nod Tiberium Refinery in Estonia, driving Nod forces out of the country and securing it for the GDI.
Having secured Estonia, GDI forces would then proceed to destroy the Nod SAM sites in Latvia, freeing GDI air power to be safely used against the Nod forces in the Baltic region. They were thus able to secure Latvia and Lithuania for the GDI.
With Mark Jamison Sheppard's departure to the UN, the man who was now the provisional commander of the GDI forces in Latvia, James Solomon had to make a crucial decision; whether to move the bulk of his forces through Nod Belarus in order to eventually aid Ukraine against the Nod assault or whether to move them into Nod Poland instead in order to outmaneuver the Nod onslaught on Germany.
Had Solomon invaded Belarus
Moving into Nod Belarus, GDI forces under the command of James Solomon retrieved stolen nuclear rods from a Nod base there. At the same time two smaller forces moved into Poland, retrieving more stolen GDI nuclear rods from another base and more significantly gaining control of the town of Bialystok in Poland and then defending it against the Nod counterattack. This event would then be used by Nod supporters to create the Bialystok scandal.
With control over Belarus secured, the GDI force moved to reinforce neutral Ukraine which was under Nod attack. By Reinforcing a besieged base in Ukraine they helped drive the invading Nod forces from Ukraine, and with a common enemy, Ukraine was swiftly enlisted into the GDI.
Had Solomon invaded Poland
As GDI forces moved into Poland, they aided the rebellious city of Bialystok against an attempt by Nod to regain control and retrieved a set of nuclear rods from a base in Poland. Meanwhile a small force of GDI forces moved into Belarus and regained a second group of rods but they did not proceed further. Their invasion of Poland however would be used by Nod supporting media to create the Bialystok scandal.
Nod forces advancing from Denmark, Austria and Poland have now conquered the entirety of Germany. Yet by advancing from Poland and reinforcing two besieged bases in Germany, the GDI was still able to deal a decisive defeat to Nod forces and regain Germany in addition to advancing into Denmark.
The Bialystok scandal
With Germany retaken and Nod Denmark occupied, the GDI turned their attention to the Czech Republic and Austria. Spearheaded by a commando raid on a key Nod airbase in the Czech Republic, GDI forces were then able drive Nod forces from that nation.
However, things had taken a turn for the worse for the GDI, when reports created by a Nod and spread by the WWN reporter Greg Burdette convinced the United Nations that GDI had carried out a massacre against the population of the Polish town of Bailystok on suspicion of them being 'Tiberium smugglers.'
The UN immediately began an investigation and cut GDI's funding, but even so, a GDI commander managed to stop a Nod counterattack on a poorly defended outpost in Nod Austria near Salzburg and destroy the Nod base supplying the attacks. At the same time another GDI commander defended Ignatio Mobius in Slovakia against a Nod onslaught.
Ignatio Mobius had arrived with the invading GDI forces in Slovakia and established a hospital there to aid victims of Tiberium poisoning among the local population in a bid to win their support and had naturally become a key target for Nod forces. When news of Mobius's hospital spread, the majority of the Slovakian people abandoned Nod, and GDI was able to secure the area.
Having now secured Slovakia and Austria, the GDI now planned to move into Hungary, GDI forces decided to make use of their naval supremacy to send relatively small, armored and heavily armed gunboats up the river Danube in order to destroy strategic Nod bases there. In preparation for this, ground forces had destroyed the Nod defensive turrets along the river, but Kane had already preempted GDI's move. Nod workers had installed an Obelisk of Light, the Brotherhood's deadly new defensive weapon along the river. As soon as the gunboats arrived at the base, they were swiftly obliterated by the terrible power of these new weapons.
The GDI were forced to change their plan and use their ground forces instead to launch a ground assault on the base. While the cost was higher than it would have been had the original plan worked, GDI forces were still able to overrun the river base in the teeth of the awesome power of Nod's Obelisk of Light. With the river Danube under GDI control, GDI forces were able to drive Nod forces out of Hungary and secure it for the GDI.
GDI offensive continues
Following the conquest of Hungary by the GDI, the Białystok scandal finally comes to an end and UN funding to the GDI was restored. While it could be argued that the funding cut wasn't that devastating to an organisation largely funded by Tiberium and was more of a political and ideological blow, it did allow them to purchase a number of the new ORCA Assault Craft for their European Campaign. With the aid of these helicopters, they were able to successfully advance into Nod Romania and Slovenia and drive Nod forces out of both these countries.
Greece had formerly been aligned to the GDI, but had withdrawn its support, most likely because of the Bialystok scandal. After remaining neutral for some time, Greece eventually came under Nod control. But the GDI had placed a key agent; codenamed Delphi in Greece and through Delphi, GDI had gathered much vital information about the Brotherhood, about its biological research facilities and its forces. As they launched an amphibious invasion on Greece, GDI forces were able to locate this agent and extract him. With the help of his information, they were able to swiftly regain control of Greece and drive out Nod forces.
As GDI forces advanced into Bulgaria and Albania though, the Nod counter-attack proved to be fierce. As they had already done in Slovakia, GDI set up hospitals for victims of Tiberium poisoning in each of the countries, which also doubled as research centers. Ignatio Mobius himself led one hospital while the other was led by another key GDI scientist.
Understanding their importance, the Nod counterattack closed in on the hospitals, intending to destroy them and kill the scientists. Due to the proliferation of Nod SAM sites in the region, GDI was initially unable to evacuate the scientists by helicopter as they had planned; so GDI forces launched an offensive to destroy all the SAM sites in the vicinity and only once those SAM site were destroyed were the scientists finally able to be rescued. They were moved to another safer location, and as the news of the Nod attack on the hospitals spread, it swayed people to the GDI cause and Nod forces were thus finally driven out of Bulgaria and Albania.
Hunting down Kane
Agent Delphi had discovered the apparent location of Kane, who was overseeing research at a Nod Bioresearch facility in Yugoslavia and at the same time the GDI had just regained control of the Ion Cannon from Nod hackers; it was once again available to aid GDI forces. With the help of the Ion Cannon, GDI forces were able to level the Bioresearch facility and apparently kill Kane.
But Kane proved to be a difficult man to kill. It soon became clear to the GDI that he had left the facility some time before its destruction. At the same time, Nod forces were continuing their full scale retreat towards Bosnia. The pursuing GDI forces in Yugoslavia were able to destroy an entire convoy of Nod vehicles before they could join the rest of the Nod forces in Bosnia and GDI forces would swiftly gain control of Nod Serbia/Yugoslavia as the Nod forces continued their retreat.
Nod's remaining European forces were retreating towards Nod's nuclear-armed European Temple of Nod in Bosnia for their last stand; it was believed by both sides that within this temple was Kane himself. GDI forces would launch an offensive on the temple, in the teeth of its nuclear weaponry. Having already launched a ground or air offensive and damaged the Temple, the GDI's Ion Cannon fired at the damaged Temple and obliterated it.
Not only did the GDI destroy the Temple, they also destroyed the Nod forces in the vicinity to a man, gaining control of Bosnia, the last European nation openly loyal to Nod. While both the Brotherhood and the GDI believed that Kane had died in the blast, he had somehow managed to survive and was to re-emerge from hiding at the beginning of the Second Tiberium War, decades later.
How did Kane manage to fool so many people on both sides into believing that he was dead? This is not known for certain.
It is possible that Kane, understanding his position in Europe was unwinnable went into hiding while secretly ordering a body-double or perhaps even a clone to impersonate him; in this manner, Nod and GDI alike were tricked. Why he might do this is also not known, though there are a number of possible reasons.
He may have understood that as long as the war continued; even though he controlled the whole of Africa, GDI would continue to consolidate its control as a centralised military and political power over Europe and North America and Nod Africa obviously could not hope to prevail against both continents in a drawn out conflict. But with his apparant death, the GDI, having declared victory, would lose its focus and would not be able to use the threat of Nod to truly unite the power of all the countries that had supported it in the First Tiberium War or had fallen to its armies.
Though the Brotherhood of Nod would itself disintegrate; Kane would become a martyr to all Nod splinter factions, and at a specific time of his choosing, simply by revealing himself as alive, he could unify all those splinter cells into a single cohesive organization under his control, as would happen at the start of the Second Tiberium War. Additionally, by appearing to be in Europe alongside his followers in resisting the GDI onslaught, he could inspire Nod forces to resist more fiercely in Europe, tying down GDI forces there and giving them more time to fortify themselves in Africa.
The First Tiberium War saw great a great cost borne by civilians and civilian buildings. As GDI succeeded in Europe and Nod in Africa, Captain Nick Parker took part in a battle in Mexico to rid prisoners and civilians from a Nod indoctrination camp; one of the few, though definitely not the only battle that took place outside Africa and Europe.
Commanding GDI forces in the area were Captain Duncan (army forces), Captain Soanso (Naval forces), and General Adam Locke. The operation was a decisive success despite early GDI losses and may have kept the war from spreading into Central America.
The First Tiberium War ended with the GDI forces decisively victorious in Europe while Nod forces were victorious in Africa to a similar degree. On a larger scale however, the GDI victory had proven more decisive as it had seen the destruction of the Temple of Nod and Kane's apparent death; aside from the matter of Europe's greater wealth and industrial might.
As this led to the apparent collapse of Nod as a coherent unified global organization, the First Tiberium War is generally considered a GDI victory.
The First Tiberium War had the effect of establishing Nod and GDI on the world stage, since it forced countries worldwide to unite either under GDI or Nod banners. However, its most lasting consequence was that it established the importance of Tiberium, since none of the spectacular successes gained by either Nod or GDI would have been possible without this resource.
Furthermore, a large portion of Africa and Europe were devastated by the war, and there were massive casualties on both sides as well as among the civilian population, both due to the war and from massive Tiberium poisoning as a result of disrupted Tiberium harvesting. Both sides frequently invaded countries that had declared themselves neutral in the conflict and many governments, both democratic and despotic, were forcibly deposed by the supporters and armies of both Nod and the GDI during the process of the conflict. This doubtlessly led to many seething resentments against both sides which would reemerge during the course of the Second Tiberium War; those who had lost power and privileges during the war would naturally resent those that had taken it from them.
Though Nod would splinter with Kane's apparent death, during the thirty years of relative peace between the end of the First Tiberium War and the Second Tiberium War, General Hassan of Egypt would eventually assume control of Nod's remaining elements in Africa; rising to de-facto leadership over the whole of Nod at least in part through his media channel the Nod News Network broadcasting out of Benghazi in Libya.
While maintaining an openly Anti-GDI stance and inciting a certain level of unrest and low-level warfare against the GDI worldwide, General Hassan was in secret collaborating with the GDI and was prepared to imprison or execute leaders who threatened to escalate the undeclared war beyond levels considered acceptable to him (and the GDI).
The GDI would eventually recover from the damages done to it in the war by Nod, constructing an orbital command and weapons station, the GDSS Philadelphia, and expanding its core forces to the extent of rendering national governments largely irrelevant in a military sense by the start of the Second Tiberium War; by which point only the forces of the General Hassan controlled Brotherhood of Nod itself could possibly contend with it in a conventional war.
The United Nations, once the body controlling and financing the GDI, would eventually fade into irrelevance if it continued to exist at all during the inter-war period. The GDI thus became unaccountable, answering to no one; the ultimate authority in all the areas under their control.
- Attack on Mauritania
- Mao civil war
- Sudanese prison break
- Delphi's rescue operation
- Bialystok scandal
- Battle for Sarajevo the final battle which ended the war.
- ↑ This is evidenced in the background on the conflict video, where the world map shows most of Africa having red color, whereas in the beginning of the actual game most African countries are independent.
- ↑ Tiberian Dawn intro