I know the title sounds really bad, but bear with me. We all know that Hitler made a lot of terrible, stupid decisions, right? (Ahem, declaring war on the US, USSR, screwing up the Battle of Britain, the effin' Holocaust, etc.) Well, Hearts of Iron IV got me thinking. What if you, the player, got put into Hitler's shoes, starting in 1936? You wouldn't have to go down the dark, idiotic path Hitler went down in real life - you could kick the eugenics programs into the trash bin and focus your efforts on bypassing the Maginot. You could keep true to the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and focus your efforts on Britain. Hell, maybe you could even invade America.
Well, obviously, I wouldn't be talking about all of this if I didn't intend to put some effort into writing a story about it. The problem is, I don't know just how a story from Hitler's POV could work. I mean, would it? There'd still be some pretty big issues with playing as the worst man to have ever lived in the history of the world.
"Damn you, Hitler! You've foiled my plots for the last time!"
Actually, you know what? I think I'm going to do that. Thanks for the suggestion.
Someone flagged my post and got my account banned.
It was a good run.
Sensitive CoG bitches.
Welp, might as well get to work on here.
Considering they locked a thread just for a simple and polite discussion on how to describe Asian people without actually using the word "Asian" (Because it was a fantasy setting, so there wasn't an actual Asia) a thread about a Hitler story getting axed is hardly surprising.
In any case, I’d say it would be more interesting to just create a regular Nazi protagonist rather than Hitler just because you’ve got more freedom to do what you want with your writing.
Which direction you wanted to go in is up to you. If you want to keep it historical, and assuming he survives to the end of the war then the protagonist is ultimately either going to:
1. Get executed for war crimes
2. Escape to South America
3. Surrender and get a pass from the U.S. because you managed to make a side deal of some sort. (Attempting to do this with the U.S.S.R. would be an incredibly bad idea and you'd be better off getting executed)
Of course you'd also be free to do the whole alternative history route and the protagonist can change how things actually happen.
You're missing the big picture here, once again, surprising for someone who's play HoI IV. A large part of Hitler's seemingly chaotic evil behavior was due to resource shortages. I highly recommend you watch this 5 episode YouTube summary of the resource war of WW2 to understand a bit behind why he did what he did. Did he get too greedy in Russia? Yes, but that's not the same issue as madly attacking Russia without a plan/reason.
Hitler had many faults. Among them were his tendency to make grandstanding claims like a tiger but be an unambitious shrew in executing them, his crippling insecurity and need to have 'swear your loyalty to me' level commitment from his advisers (and executing/removing them if they didn't kiss the ring), plus a delirious belief in eugenics (which by the way was common in his day and age, it was in fact the defeat of Germany despite it's grandstanding on eugenics which led to eugenics' falling out of favor in erudite circles - till modern times atleast, it's on a comeback these days, like it or not) (Hitler's eugenics program vs Jews may have of all things started from him being rejected by his Jewish girlfriend early in life - see a pattern of insecurity here?). Another major issue with him was the irrational belief in pursuing development of 'superweapons' (wunderwaffen, literally meaning superweapons) over mundane weapons, to extreme cost and detriment. The mindset was to have something against which there can be no response, over more mundane things like working guns and bombs. His pursuit of superweapons made him deprioritize Radar, IIRC, and that would play a major part in losing the Battle of Britain.
Long story short, Hitler was a flawed, insecure man with crippling insecurity he tried to mask behind a gigantic ego and narcissism who attracted a certain crowd of misfits who let him get away with insulting racial groups that were not his own and who came to power by calling the previous (civil) administration impotent. Remind you of anyone recent?
You're right, I completely missed the big picture here. I already knew everything you told me, but I didn't think about it at all when coming up with the idea. I probably should have thought the idea through before posting it on the forums.
I'm probably just going to go with the " anonymous political rival who kills Hitler and takes his place" route, if I ever do write this.
Check out the substances administered to Hitler. Probably loosened a couple screws.
Yeah, Killa's definitely right. It's the fact that Hitler made stupid decisions that's the issue here, but the evil ones. If you're not trying to make it darkly comedic, I don't see much point in having to play as Hitler. You could easily just play as some other German leader at the time who replaced Hitler
Honestly, this could actually be an interesting idea for a story. If done properly, you could explore the delusions and motivations that led to the actions of the Third Reich, and explain the seemingly clear logic behind them from the persons in power's point of view. Furthermore, there certainly is a look of room to explore the possible other courses of history for Germany had the decision-makers made different choices during the Nazi period.
The problem is, however, that these kinds of things are very easy to screw up, or to portray insensitively, or just generally be portrayed in such an unbalanced way that you're either implicitly condoning the actions of the Nazis, or moralising to such a degree that your story gets annoying. Especially if you choose to focus on Hitler himself. It'll be very difficult to portray him as a man both capable of periods of lucidity and insanity, and follow through with alternative histories and all that.
If you want to go through with this story, I'd advise you to choose a different (preferably fictional) higher-up person in the Third Reich, and explore its history through the eyes of that protagonist. It's not perfect, but it would allow you to take some more creative liberty with for example the motivations and thoughts of your protagonist, than if you would choose an actual historical person.
This one might qualify.
Mizal mentined this in an earlier thread, but I was too lazy to bring the concept here. Portraying Hitler for who he was, a bumbling fuckup with mental health issues being used as a figurehead, while everyone around him twists his racist words and angry rants for their own agendas and starts pushing programs they came up with, would be an interesting idea. Because, let's be honest, Hitler didn't actually DO any of the shit that people hate the Nazis for. He represented it, and he pushed for it, yes, but he's no more evil than, say, that one perpetually drunk uncle that your parents used to cover your ears around, who might've done similar things if he had absolute power and had like-minded assholes around him. Making Hitler a misanthropic clown rather than a diabolical monster may be one of the more funny and historically accurate portrayals we've had in a while.
The way I see it, since this is a CYoA game, the moment the first player decision is made you aren't really playing Hitler anymore (because alternate history). If I were to do this I would probably distil it down to a story of man struggling to stay in power. Sure, knowing how history plays out would allow us to make the right strategic and tactical choices on the battlefield but if you throw in the internal politics I think it could really shake things up. Do you divert much needed manpower to a close front or placate civil unrest by building and staffing more extermination camps? Do you let that brilliant general have free reign to stomp on your enemies, force your decisions on him to maintain control, or perhaps even have him killed. I believe that towards the end of the war such overrides of his generals' decisions was common.
Regarding the fear of glorifying or justifying his choices, I believe that can only be nullified by the writing itself. Even if you stick true to the POV of evil Hitler, you can simply describe the atrocities committed in all their gruesome and repulsive nature, then contrast that with nonchalance or pride from Hitler. I believe a strong enough contrast will be enough to hammer home the point that Hitler is definitely "on a different level" whilst keeping narration bias towards his own opinions (I'm thinking something like a blatantly unreliable narrator sort of style).
Would such a story be controversial? I would say so, but then again the maturity rating would probably be near maxed taking into account the subject matter. I suppose the main point of difference from a regular CYoA would be that instead of making the reader identify with the main character, the reader feels more like they're a sort of "director", making logical choices and observing how Hitler reacts and how things play out.
Anyway, that's my two cents worth.
So when are one of you actually going to write a story with a Nazi protagonist?
Seriously, this topic comes up (Trolling or otherwise) like every six months or so, and a lot of shit gets said, but nothing ever comes of it.
If you're going to write one, just do it already. Because if it gets brought up in the forums the only thing that's going to happen is a lot of debate/insults/lulz and nothing will get done.
The end result of your writing will be judged accordingly. If it sucked, we'll be sure to let you know. If it didn't, then you'll find that out too.
And seriously, just go with a regular Nazi, rather than Hitler. You'll give yourself more writing freedom of what can happen to the character in the end (Again, dead in battle, war crime execution, escape to South America, pardon for making a deal, etc) and you can still do all sorts of fucked up shit. If anything, you'll get the chance to directly participate.
I already did that Eternal. The whole "Gnome Home" thing was basically the Holocaust.
Well now I'm disappointed, I figured Sharkworld came back with a revised version of his idea.
Though you might have been right about CoG secretly being big fans of Nazis, they just banned a Jewish guy and labeled him a "homophobe" for daring to disagree with the echo chamber over there.
Straight plots are necessary whenever pregnancy is necessary. Thus, I refute him too.
The guy's last post in that thread actually continued to debate several points in a pretty civil manner and as typical of the place, everyone basically just continued to scream "bigot" at him and they deleted that one completely before banning him.
Thanks for linking that thread. Now I know to never visit the CoG forums. It seems to be a running theme with them and I imagine every game that doesn't have a romance option for each gender identity and sexual orientation gets wrecked for being homophobic. Just my initial impression.
Alright, I guess an "update" of sorts is in order. I've decided to go through with this idea, but set in an entirely fictional universe. With the state of politics and stuff nowadays, writing about really sensitive historical matters like WW2 and the Nazis is a bit difficult. I feel like writing a completely fictional universe and letting the reader fill in the parallels for him/herself works the best (think of the Freedom Party from Southern Victory). I'd have an obvious parallel character to Hitler, but instead of having a set of historical guidelines to follow, I would have as much room to work with as I wanted.
To be clear - this is something I'm actually working on right now. The world building is almost done, and I'll start writing when my real life schedule permits it.
The basic premise is going to be the same, however. POV is from the Hitler parallel, with decisions based off of painfully obvious parallels.
You should make the "I can't believe it's not Hitler!" protagonist a bad poet rather than a bad artist. That way you can add awful poetry in your story for the lulz when he's reciting it to his underlings who all have to just nod and say how great it is.
Why are your ideas so goddamn good, Endmaster?
Endmaster's idea is solid gold. Maybe instead of murdering all the Jews he murders any one whose poetry is better than his.
That's actually hilarious.
Nah, keep the character as Hitler, it would be much better than some random shmuck gunning him down and taking over the German government at the time. If you want to make Hitler (the reader) a bit more relatable you could throw his love for chocolate and pulling pranks on his colleagues somewhere in the story.
It seems like if you had some rival instead of Hitler it would throw off the focus of the story and make it less intriguing.