Articles: Origins and History of C&C: An Investigation of Characters

by Blbpaws

Command and Conquer is more than just a game. There is a magic to it that many fans have written about and professed. Some will even say that it is a modern fable, if such a thing exists, with roots in the past told in a new medium. In exploring this theory, I did my best to look up some of the ideas, so-called coincidences, surprises, and other relations in Command and Conquer. I do not know if someone else has looked for these connections before and published a compilation of all of them. I am certainly not foolish enough to believe that I was the first to see them and to look at Command and Conquer as a modern fable. In any event, I found most of them very interesting, and so I have written this article.


First, there are the obvious connections. Cain was the first killer in the Bible, and clearly the Kane in Command and Conquer seems to have been inspired by him. In the Bible, Kane is the son of Adam, and kills his own brother, Abel. Another son of Adam was Seth, and, in Command and Conquer, Kane’s right hand man is known as Seth. Seth tells the player that power flows "from God to Kane to Seth." In addition, the region which they inhabited after Kane's banishment was known as the land of Nod . These connections, while quite clear, are certainly not ground-breaking.

One of the key things in understanding C&C is the "Tacitus." In Command and Conquer, it is supposedly the final solution to the Tiberium problem, and must be translated in order to be understood. In reality, Tacitus was a Roman historian who lived in the first century AD and about whom little is known (we are not even certain of his full name). In Tiberian Sun, the Tacitus can be used by both sides; it is impartial as far as we know. The Roman historian is similar. In one of his histories, he said the following (this is the accepted translation from Latin): "Hence my purpose is to relate... without either bitterness or partiality, from any motives to which I am far removed." Like the in-game one, the exact meaning of all his works are not entirely clear, as we must translate them from Latin, and there is certainly the potential for errors as his writings have been passed along through time. This connection is one of the most interesting ones. Since there are not many C&C fans who also read Roman history, it may have slipped by some. Nonetheless, as the actual make up and other details of the Tacitus in Command and Conquer remain unknown, it will be interesting to see if any new connections are unveiled if Tiberium Twilight is ever made.

Another connection that may go unnoticed is Ezekiel's Wheel, the Nod Stealth Tank. Ezekiel was a prophet, and there is book named after him in the Bible. In this book, Ezekiel's Wheel is mentioned. It is described as being a ship or wheel appearing in a flash of brilliant light. Some believe this to be a report of an encounter with a UFO. Ezekiel's Wheel has been a topic of debate among scholars, and there is a book on the subject by a NASA engineer Josef Blumrich titled The Spaceships of Ezekiel. While he is not mentioned by name in the Muslim holy book of the Qur'an, Ezekiel is considered by many to be the prophet Dhul-Kifl, who is mentioned. This connection is certainly an intriguing one. It’s not clear how the Stealth Tank (and Ezekiel's Wheel) relates to the story as a whole, but there is no doubt it reaffirms the idea that some of the Brotherhood of Nod was based in the Bible.

The next connection is even more unusual. In Tiberian Sun, General Solomon, played by James Earl Jones, is the second GDI commander we meet (the first being Mark Jameson Shepard). In the Book of Solomon in the Bible, Solomon is the second son of King David by Bathsheba. The first son must die after the method of David's execution of Uriah the Hittite. After his son’s death, David comforts his wife, and later, Solomon is born. David chooses Solomon to succeed him, and Solomon is the second king of David’s kingdom, just as General Solomon is the second commander of the GDI forces we meet.

Still too, there are more connections. August Ferdinand Möbius was a famous mathematician and is mostly known for his discovery of the Möbius Strip. While it takes a bit of mathematical knowledge to understand, the basic idea is that it is essentially a two-dimensional surface in which only one side is immersed in three-dimensional Euclidean space. Slightly heady, I know. Still, you can bet Tiberium was not a simple thing to discover and understand at first. In an interesting twist, Möbius has an asteroid, 28516 Möbius, named after him. An asteroid was also the way in which Tiberium reached Earth.  


Another connection is far hazier. The name Sakura Obata (a Dead-Six member in Renegade) may share a root with Japanese plant blossom and symbol of the Sakura. Before going on suicide missions or missions that were top-secret and dangerous, Japanese pilots would paint the image of the Sakura blossom on the side of their planes. Many believed that if the pilots died, they would be reincarnated in the blossom. Sakura and her Dead-Six compatriots faked their deaths so as to be able to better carry out dangerous, nearly suicidal missions.


There will be those who say these connections are mere coincidences. I cannot say I disagree. I do not know. All I'm trying to do is to collect them and look at them. Brett Sperry, considered the creator of C&C, states that he was trying to tell a story and teach a lesson with the games. Given how well he did his job in other areas of the games, I refuse to believe that the story is sub-par. Good stories work on a multiple levels, and maybe by looking at the connections between C&C and history or books in a different light we can start to unearth the smallest pieces of the true story of Command and Conquer.

Look for more in our series on the origins of C&C soon. Next, we'll be examining Tiberium.