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Now, to operate one of these towers, we must gain access inside the way the Visitors do. You must go to the assault staging ground, infiltrate their forces, and secure the key code.
- Kane

Italian Hills is one of the two Nod missions made available after Northern Italy in Tiberium Wars, the other being Operation Stiletto. This operation detailed the capture of a Nerve Center to gain access to the Threshold Towers.


In order to gain access to an alien tower, Nod must secure a key code from a Nerve Center located in former Northern Italy. The mapkey, a crystal lattice similar in appearance to the Tacitus, would allow Nod to access the towers, using the interstellar gateway as a pathway to the stars.

Kane instructed the commanderto assault the area. Due to the enemy presence in the area, no heavy weapons could be provided, so instead Nod would use an old construction site in the area, coupled with a few forces that could be spared, for the purpose.

Ajay continued to provide support to the Commander, but doubts following the execution of General Qatar and Kane's leadership continued to mount.


The starting forces consist of two squads of Black Hand troopers, two Flame Tanks, an Avatar Warmech, a Saboteur, and a Commando. You additionally have access to a Crane and a neutral Tiberium Spike, which can be claimed by a Saboteur, if not for the scripting - the Saboteur is scripted to be shot dead by the Commando for doubting Kane's orders. To prevent this, order the Commando to move or force-fire on the ground around when the voiceline plays (doing so too early or too late will result in his death). With the Saboteur still alive, claim the Tiberium Spike for valuable funds.

The player is given only one mandatory objective - capturing the Nerve Center - but also is assigned three secondary objectives: the elimination of a Stasis Chamber, the destruction of the three Gravity Stabilizers in the northern airbase, and the capture of at least three Scrin Extractors (there are four in case the capture of one is botched). The last is of least concern, as the Extractors can be captured at your leisure after the elimination of all other enemies, or alternatively manually constructed if you obtain a Drone Platform.

The initial force is enough to attack and seize the harvesting base directly north of the staging area, which has only four Buzzer Hives to protect a blue Tiberium field, a Portal, and an Extractor. With the commando and Avatar coordinating, the base can be taken with minimal resistance (destroy the hives with the Avatar, clean up the buzzers with the Commando), and by keeping the Avatar away or on the Hold Fire stance, the Extractor can be captured with the Harvester to save the expenses of building one manually. Note that revealing the mesa just above this outpost will trigger the entrance of two Zone Trooper Drop Pods, which each deposit three Zone Trooper Squads; these can be cleaned up by the commando, but care has to be taken to keep their anti-tank railguns away from the Harvester (or other weak armor).

From there, the northern Gravity Stabilizers can be attacked with the Avatar, the commando (to eviscerate the Shock Troopers nearby), and some AA (to destroy the patrolling Stormriders). The Stabilizers can be captured and used to produce a Drone Platform, to open up the Scrin tech tree, and then sold to complete the secondary objective.

Once the Gravity Stabilizers are eliminated, the rest of the mission can be completed more or less without much pressure. Even on Hard the Scrin opponent is shockingly passive, and will send an Annihilator Tripod and a pair of Gun Walkers, or a pair of Tripods, at your base every now and then. This combination can be easily brought down by a few Avatars, and the walker husks captured to bolster your own army.

Aside from the harvesting outpost directly above the player's starting position and the outlined airbase, there is also an armor base in the valley in the center of the map and on the ridge on the left. Multiple Plasma Missile Batteries line the cliffs of the map, which make navigating hard for aircraft, but their meager anti-ground defenses can be swept aside by Avatars and captured Tripods. Their respective Extractors can be captured to further the secondary objective, and their Tiberium fields used to support your economy.

The biggest issue is the defenses in the immediate vicinity of the objective Nerve Center. Some Tripods will be loitering near the structure, and a few squads of heroic Shock Troopers and a Devastator Warship is set to guard it. The Commando from the beginning is capable of killing the anti-vehicle Shock Troopers and, if micromanaged, evading the Warship's fire, whereupon it can be brought down by AA fire standing by. The secondary objective Stasis Chamber should be easy to destroy along with the rest of the central base.

The Temple of Nod is quite the asset in this mission, since it involves the dissection of grouped Scrin defense lines, and Tripods are a frequent but mostly just annoying sight. This is further compounded by the tight defenses that protect the Center itself, which are far from invulnerable but exceedingly irritating to deal with manually (the Warship/Shock Trooper combo covers infantry, armor, and aircraft). The entire airbase (and any aircraft and guards it might have) can also be obliterated in a single nuclear blast, cleanly completing that secondary objective.

Whatever the case, when the Nerve Center is captured, the mission is won.


With the Nerve Center in the Brotherhood's (and more importantly, Kane's) hands, his plans for Ascension were near complete. The path to the Towers was secured, and with it a path to worlds beyond.

However, one final piece of the puzzle remained unsolved, one in which GDI was proving to be exceedingly meddlesome: the mapkey obtained in the Italian Hills would be useless without a Threshold Tower to use it on, and spurred on by a Commander's example, GDI's officers were rapidly cutting through the nineteen towers the aliens had built on Earth. As of this operation's completion, only one tower remained, and GDI was preparing to throw everything they had at it to push the aliens off the planet.

The Nod Commander was quickly ordered to oversee the protection of this last hope for Kane's ambitions, the Prophet's dire warnings ringing in his ears...


Kane's briefing
Ajay's briefing


  • The initial force of Nod in this mission includes a Saboteur, whom is scripted to be purged by his fellow Nod Commando for expressing doubts on Kane. However, if the player is fast enough to separate them, the Saboteur can be saved and used to capture a nearby Tiberium spike.
    • Strangely, the voiceline was voiced by the Militant squad's voice actor, rather than the Saboteur's.
  • Even though both the cutscene and the objectives describe the alien structure containing the code as a relay node, the structure is a Nerve Center in the actual mission.
Tiberium Wars and Kane's Wrath missions