@Nos Rin: Pretty sure most of the time things like this go straight to the patreon after being introduced. That said nobody ever talks about or shows anything from behind the wall so we'll never know, and it's better to assume not until proven otherwise.
the whole series has always been using a reverse difficulty curve, where you struggle against the threat at the beginning but you become more powerful and able to destroy them so you take the fight back to their HQ.
This design decision makes sense for long games due to hours loss if you lose.
@Marcello Faria: on a couple occasions when I saw belly dancing here in Russia it didn't look all that foreign. Probably because some of the more southern regions do hold some cultural presence over the country.