An African-American man is seen sleeping on his bed as the song "Dream A Little Dream Of Me" plays throughout. The man shifts in sleep, seemingly in anxiety, while a woman tries to calm him down. The man suddenly opens his eyes, and the scene cuts to a World War I warzone. The man, revealed to be a Harlem Hellfighter, wakes up lying in the mud and is pulled up by another soldier. As he slowly recovers his senses, he sees many American, French and Imperial German soldiers stabbing or beating each other to death, while the song continues to play. One German soldier charges at him with his bayonet, but the Hellfighter dodges the attack and stabs him with his combat knife. The song fades out, and the Hellfighter is seen holding his rifle before the game cuts to black. A brief description of World War I is shown. It says the following:
More than 60 million soldiers fought in "The War to End All Wars".
It ended nothing.
Yet it changed the world forever.
What follows is frontline combat.You are not expected to survive.
Break of DawnEdit
The player looks down at his weapon, an M1909 Benét–Mercié light machine gun. A Harlem Hellfighter officer gives orders to the player.
Harlem Hellfighter Officer: We're surrounded! We have to hold this line!
The soldier gets ready to defend the position with his machine gun.
Harlem Hellfighter Officer: Hold, men! They're coming!
Imperial German Army soldiers commence the attack. Whistles can be heard blowing as they advance on the position.
Harlem Hellfighter Officer: Here they come! Fire at will!
Harlem Hellfighter Officer: Hold your ground! Stand fast!
Many soldiers, both friendly and enemy, die as the position is being held. The soldiers are overrun, and the player is eventually killed. The soldier's name and the years he lived are shown on the screen after his death.
Narrator: We came from all over the world, so many of us thinking this war would be our rite of passage, our great adventure. Let me tell you, it was no adventure.
The perspective changes to that of a heavy machine gunner on a Maxim MG.
Harlem Hellfighter: Flame trooper! Let her sing! Pump 'em full of lead!
An Airship L30 appears, ready to bombard the Allied positions.
Harlem Hellfighter: Airship incoming! More coming in on the right! Open fire! Keep shooting!
The Airship fires its Becker Type M2 autocannon at the player, knocking him off his feet.
Harlem Hellfighter: Shiiiiit! Shiiiiit!
The player picks up his other weapon, an M97 Trench Gun and proceeds to defend the church.
Harlem Hellfighter: They're getting through, rally at the church, we have to hold there!
Germans climb through windows.
Harlem Hellfighter: Comin' in through the window! Watch behind you!
The player is inevitably killed.
Narrator: New killing machines, like the tank, changed the shape of the war overnight. Luckily, they were mostly on our side, mostly.
Perspective changes to that of a British Mark V tank gunner.
British Tank Crew #2: Our boys in the church are overrun! We need to push through! PBI are counting on us!
British Tank Crew #1: Use that Emma Gee! Sweep the ground!
British Tank Crew #2: Keep going, driver!
Tank Crew Member #1 notices the Royal Flying Corps fighter planes in the sky.
British Tank Crew #1: That's our flyboys up there!
British Tank Crew #2: Keep your eyes on the ground, son!
German infantry move out of the trenches and into no-man's land, where they are cut down by the player.
British Tank Crew #2: They're moving in from the trenches! Use that machine gun! Mow them down!
The German infantry begins to retreat.
British Tank Crew #2: We've got them on the run! Push on! Forward! For King and Country! We'll chase Fritz all the way back to Berlin!
British Tank Crew #2: Incoming!
A field gun takes out a nearby friendly tank.
British Tank Crew #1: Field gun took her apart! We're just a big fat target for that thing!
British Tank Crew #2: Move, driver! Go around! If you get a clear shot on that blasted field gun, you take it!
British Tank Crew #2: Hold on! We're pushing through!
The field gun is spotted on the left side.
British Tank Crew #1: There on the left!
British Tank Crew #2: Take out that cannon!
The field gun is destroyed or the soldier manning it is killed.
British Tank Crew #2: Good job! Let's open a path for our lads! Move up with the rest of the armor! Stay focused men!
Artillery takes out a nearby friendly tank.
British Tank Crew #2: Push on, dammit! We're almost through! Fire at anything that moves!
British Tank Crew #1: We're gonna make it!
British Tank Crew #2: Shit! Incoming! Artillery!
An artillery shell lands directly on top of the Mark V Tank, killing all occupants including the player, whose name and years he lived are shown.
Narrator: Instead of adventure we found fear, and in war the only true equalizer is death.
Perspective changes once again to a submachine gunner caught in a gas attack. He puts on his mask, but he cannot aim down the sights of his weapon.
Harlem Hellfighter: Charge!
The Airship L30 takes too much damage and crashes.
Harlem Hellfighter: Airship coming down!
If the submachine gunner or one of the other soldiers lives long enough, he will be likely be killed by artillery and switch directly to the narrator before the scripted ending. The narrator of the story is attacked and nearly killed by a German Stormtrooper wielding a shovel. An artillery barrage kills the attacker, but knocks the narrator unconscious. He and a German soldier wake up at the same time and point their rifles at each other, but, realizing the stupidity and pointlessness of dying in the war, neither of them shoot.
Narrator: They push—we push. Every once in a while, we push hard enough that the light breaks through the clouds... so the world beyond the war glimmers... just out of reach. The war is the world and the world is the war. But behind every gunsight is a human being. We are those people. We are the jaded and we are the naive. We are the honorable and we are the criminal. We are the bound-for-legend and we are the lost-to-history. We are the knights of the sky, the ghosts in the desert, and the rats in the mud.
These are our stories.
The game world map moves into the player's view as new war stories appear one by one.
Narrator: As the old empires struggled to assert themselves, the entire world was caught in an inevitable cataclysm. The war covered the globe. Old empires and new worlds. Old ways and new ideas. All of mankind fought. A hundred big ideas marched off into The War to End All Wars. It was consuming us all. And there was no end in sight.