The Unintentional Nightmare Scenario

One ambitious scenario set for Command is Gunner98’s Northern Fury (no relation to Northern Inferno) WWIII series.

Set in the early 1990s against a continued USSR, it’s a furious (no pun intended) wave of ferocious action. While its Soviet Union is ahistorically belligerent, it’s also –vital for gameplay– powerful as well. No bear-shaped pop-up targets-here you have to fight every inch of the way. The Northern Fury scens can be found in the community pack, and excellent AARs of them can be found at Grogheads.

That’s not really the main point. No, the main point is when I played NF 10.2, Ant Eaters Revenge. On paper, it’s F-111 Aardvarks striking Iceland. But I was reminded of two other non-wargames that had incredibly hard settings as well. (Although they’ve been out for a while, and in the latter’s case many years, spoilers for Undertale and Cave Story follow.)

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An F-111. The pilots wanna have a bad time.

You have 1960s-designed fighters going against historically post-USSR SAMs. The defenses on Iceland are so thick and so overwhelming that I felt a connection to two of the most infamous indie game clashes of all time. Those two being the Sacred Grounds/Hell level in Cave Story…

And the battle against Sans the skeleton in Undertale.

I’ll admit, all that made me think of that was the difficulty and intensity. The mission itself is just in the middle of the planned scenario set. There’s none of the deeper (opposite) meanings.

In Cave Story, the floating island the game takes place in is destroyed in the normal ending, and you have to go the extra mile of hell to save it. In Undertale, Sans only fights if the player has decided to kill literally everything else in the game world. Beating him gets the “reward” of the universe being destroyed and the player getting a permanent bad ending on later playthroughs that cannot be remedied through in-game means. Duplicating that part in a linear, realistic wargame would be rather–tough. The closest Command equivalents to the battle against Sans I can think of are Randomizer’s nuclear war scenarios-they’re both challenging and apocalyptic.

Here, a brutal challenge is just a brutal challenge.  Just a ton of projectiles heading towards the player’s units. But I still saw a similarity.