Usea (ユージア Yūjia) is one of the major landmasses in the Strangereal universe, located between the Osean and Verusan continents. It is surrounded by the Cascade Ocean to the north-northwest, the Spring Sea to the south-southwest, and the Eusian Ocean to the east.
The nations of Usea have maintained complex—oftentimes hostile—relations among themselves and, throughout history, numerous armed conflicts have been fought between its peoples. Usea has been a recurring setting for numerous installments in the Ace Combat series.
Discovery of Ulysses 1994XF04 (1994)
Main article: Ulysses 1994XF04
In October 1994, researchers from Shellsbridge University and the University of Comona discovered a 1.6-kilometer long asteroid, which they later designated "Ulysses 1994XF04". Additional observation of the celestial object's movement revealed that it was headed towards Earth, leading to the researchers presenting these initial findings to the government of the Federation of Central Usea.
As a regional superpower, the FCU commanded considerable resources and influence over the other nations of the Central Usea Treaty Organization (UTO). However, FCU President Robert Sinclair chose to conceal the existence of Ulysses to avoid unnecessarily worrying the public until the asteroid's course could be confirmed.
A select team of astronomers, astrophysicists, and geologists from the International Union of Astronomists was assembled to study the asteroid's trajectory and composition and disclose its findings to the FCU government. Using a combination of ground-based observations and satellite data, the scientists set to work. By December of that year, the research team reported back—their worst fears had been confirmed: Ulysses was on a collision course with Earth and would impact on July 3, 1999 at 15:30 Usea Standard Time. Once again, President Sinclair made the difficult decision to withhold this information from the general public.
Skully Islands insurrection (1995)
Main article: Skully Islands insurrection
By 1995, the FCU was attempting to devise ways to defend against Ulysses. However, these efforts were sidetracked when a group of militants launched a coup d'état and seized control of the Skully Islands. In response, the commander of the FCU's southern forces, Robert Tyler, hired the group of mercenary pilots known as Scarface Squadron to quell the insurrection. Through Scarface's efforts, the coup was crushed, and the FCU's jurisdiction over the Skully Islands was restored.
Ulysses existence revealed (1996)
Approximately one year later, the IUA had concluded that Ulysses possessed a hollow interior and would shattered in thousands of lethal fragments as it passed through the Earth's Roche limit. After consulting with the Aerospace Society, and realizing that the FCU could not confront this threat without the aid of its allies, President Sinclair announced the existence of Ulysses to the world on April 20, 1996. The Federation's armed forces stationed abroad would return home immediately, ending a long-standing armed stand-off along the Amber-Ugellas border between FCU and Erusian forces.
The same day as President Sinclair's Ulysses statement, an emergency assembly of the UTO was called by FCU Secretary of State Stetson. At the meeting, Stetson argued for the creation of a National Missile Defense (NMD) system, which could destroy the asteroid and its fragments before they entered the atmosphere. However, a large number of representatives expressed concerns regarding the NMD's possible use as an instrument of war. Despite this hesitance and the other solutions proposed during the meeting, the NMD was considered to be the most plausible.
Between 1996 and 1998, the nations of Usea would begin and then haphazardly abandon their anti-Ulysses defensive projects. The initially-dismissed concerns of the NMD system's use as an offensive weapon would ultimately kill the project; instead, the Usean nations began developing a satellite-borne anti-asteroid laser system. As development of the laser was nearing completion, the FCU presented another new idea: a network of railgun cannons, which could only fire into space and intercept the falling asteroids. The Usean nations began to focus their efforts on the new "STN Project".
Over the coming months, the FCU—in conjunction with other nations of the UTO, Erusian scientists, and several multinational corporations—began construction of the new "spaceguard" weapon, codenamed "Stonehenge", in the neutral country of San Salvacion. The STN facility was built in a desert area and housed eight massive railgun-interceptor cannons, which used a combination of electromagnets and gunpowder to fire 120cm explosive rounds.
Usean Continental War (1998)
Main article: Usean Continental War
By 1998, the main STN site had been completed, and the installation of the railgun turrets was progressing on schedule. However, this progress would be interrupted when Osea extended an offer of alliance to the nations of Usea, which was met with mixed sympathies. Anti-foreign sentiment ran in the northern and western nations of Usea circa 1998, resulting in an alliance of Usean states in opposition to the Osean superpower's influence within the continent. The southern Usean nations, however, accepted Osea's offer despite their citizens' negative opinions of the deal. On the day of the treaty signing, a revolutionary group known as the Usean Rebel Forces rose in arms and overthrew the governments of several nations across Usea.
The coup d'état forces, which were assumed to have been backed by the northern and western Usean nations, seized control of several tactical points across the continent, and launched operations against the pro-Osea factions. The extremist coup forces' ultimate goal was the creation of a unified, continental government for Usea. However, the rebels were eventually routed, forced into retreat, and summarily crushed thanks to the response of the Usean Allied Forces and the repeated employment of the mercenary Scarface Squadron. In the final culminating battle of the war, Scarface Squadron successfully destroyed North Point's Fortress Intolerance missile launch facility.
This conflict would significantly delay Stonehenge's collaborative building effort. By the time the continental war ended, the nations of Usea were confronted with Ulysses' arrival date nearing only one year away. Despite the much needed reconstruction efforts required within their own borders, the nations of Usea had to redouble their efforts to complete the STN in time.
Ulysses planetfall and aftermath (1999)
On July 3, 1999, Ulysses 1994XF04 passed through the Earth's Roche limit and was torn into thousands of smaller fragments, as predicted. Stonehenge, which had only completed final testing just a few months prior, went online and fired upon the falling fragments with its high-velocity explosive railgun-fire. With the STN's 1,200-kilometer range and success at intercepting numerous fragments, some urban areas (such as Comberth Harbor, Anchorhead and Saint Ark) were completely spared, but other areas (such as Newfield Island and Farbanti, Erusea) suffered impacts that radically altered their geography.
Around 500,000 Useans were killed during the planetfall or succumbed to their injuries in the subsequent weeks. The asteroid bombardment inflicted extensive damage to the Usean continent's infrastructure, and around one million people were displaced from their homes and left jobless.
After intense debate, the nations of the UTO launched an initiative to address the burgeoning refugee crisis: each Usean nation would accept and shelter a certain quota of refugees. In the immediate aftermath of "Ulysses Day," the outpouring of humanitarian relief was incredible, and migrant refugees were quickly put to work rebuilding the continent's decimated roadways, bridges, and buildings. Reconstruction efforts proceeded smoothly for the next few months, and Usea entered a period of relative peace after witnessing unfathomable chaos and destruction. As a part of the collaborative effort was the Federal Republic of Erusea, which had begrudgingly agreed to the initiative despite its regime's well known xenophobia.
Usean Refugee Dispute (2003)
Main article: Usean Refugee Dispute
Suddenly, in April 2000, Erusea announced that it could no longer accept any more foreign refugees and closed its borders. The Erusian Minister of Foreign Affairs denounced the other Usean countries as having expected Erusea to admit a disproportionally higher number of foreign refugees, and placing an "undue burden upon the Erusian people". Meanwhile, thousands of civilian refugees began to set up camps along the closed Erusian borders, which became hotbeds for malnutrition and disease.
The refugee dispute sparked international outrage. After a UTO committee conducted inspections on a number of the refugee camps, the General Assembly Commissioner criticized the Erusian regime and denied the accusations that Erusea was being forced to accept an exaggerated number of foreigners. Many Useans began boycotting Erusian products, and the UTO placed harsh tariffs on Erusea's exports, worsening the already precarious state of the Erusian economy. Anti-foreign resentment and political tensions would only continue to escalate within Erusea over the next four months.
Second Usean Continental War (2003–2005)
Main article: Second Usean Continental War
Sometime around August 22, 2003, Erusea launched a completely unexpected invasion of neighboring San Salvacion and seized control of the STN facility, which was being occupied and operated by the UTO's coalition forces. Erusea quickly released a statement saying that Stonehenge facility and its personnel were being held "safely under Erusian custodianship". The FCU, which had been largely responsible for the STN's creation, set a deadline for Erusea to withdraw from the STN and San Salvacion before September 14, after which time military retaliation would be authorized.
In response to the Erusians' aggressive posturing, the FCU declared the dissolution of the UTO, and its reformation into the Independent State Allied Forces (ISAF). When it became clear that Erusea would not abide by the Federation's September 14 deadline, the ISAF ground and air forces were deployed to liberate San Salvacion's capital, but were forced back out of the city.
Soon afterward, the ISAF launched a daring air raid on Stonehenge in an effort to eliminate the railgun facility before the Erusians could make use of it as an offensive weapon. However, all of the ISAF fighters were shot down by the Federal Erusea Air Force's infamous aces known as Yellow Squadron. Following these crushing defeats, the Erusian forces began pushing the ISAF eastward, which lost numerous facilities—such as Istas Fortress, Comberth Harbor, Rigley Air Base, and the Mt. Shezna radar stations—and suffered tremendous casualties. These ISAF losses resulted from the loss of air superiority due to Erusea's use of Stonehenge as an anti-aircraft weapon.
By 2004, ISAF GHQ was forced to evacuate from mainland Usea to North Point, in order to regroup and redeploy its forces at a later time. After the ISAF thwarted an Erusea bombing run on its GHQ, it would score several small, strategic victories along Usea's eastern coastline. The ISAF relied heavily on its air forces to perform air strikes against critical Erusian targets on the mainland, while a counterattack was planned.
Following the ISAF's momentous victory at Comberth Harbor, Erusea's "invicible" Aegir Fleet was sunk, and a reconnaissance satellite was launched from Riass Space Center on the Comona Islands. The ISAF would continue its string of decisive victories, including the amphibious landings on the Caranda, Halle, and Crowne beaches in southern Usea, the retaking of Istas Fortress, and the destruction of Stonehenge on April 2, 2005.
The momentum of the ISAF's counteroffensive continued to grow in the wake of Stonehenge's destruction, and the Erusians were pushed westward towards their own territory. San Salvacion would be liberated in July 2005, and the Erusians retreated to their last defensive line in the Whiskey Corridor. The ISAF was victorious once again due to the coordination of its air and ground forces, and a week later, the Erusian capital of Farbanti was under siege by ISAF forces.
Farbanti fell to the ISAF on September 19, 2005, despite fierce Erusian opposition and the efforts of Yellow Squadron. However, one week after Erusea's official capitulation, a number of young, radical Erusian officers took control of Megalith and planned to use the missile launch facility to rain down orbiting Ulysses fragments across all of Usea. The ISAF's Mobius Squadron eliminated the superweapon before any significant damage could be done, bringing the continental war to an end.
Operation Katina (2005–2006)
Main article: Operation Katina
After the destruction of Megalith, the ISAF occupied Erusea and assisted the new provisional Erusian government in its efforts to re-stabilize the war-torn country and placate any animosity towards the ISAF's occupation forces. However, a number of high-ranking FEAF officers who resented the ISAF presence within Erusea and the demilitarization of their country refused the disarmament order.
As Erusea struggled to rebuild, border disputes between the Erusian states began to break out. The ISAF was consequently forced to deploy additional troops to stop the infighting. Approximately one year after the end of the Second Continental War, the radical Erusians covertly captured an old weapons and munitions factory in the White Valley Bay area. The militant faction, calling itself "Free Erusea", proclaimed that the new Erusian government was illegitimate and vowed to remove the occupying ISAF forces from Erusea.
Using aircraft commandeered from the Erusian military and its newly acquired cache of weapons, the Free Erusea rebels attacked the ISAF across Erusea and other parts of the Usean continent. ISAF command responded to the insurrection by deploying ace pilot Mobius 1, the hero of the Second Continental War, to confront and crush the Free Erusea uprising. Thanks to Mobius 1's unparalleled combat prowess, the Free Erusea forces were destroyed, and the ISAF acquired data on Erusea's unmanned AI program as well as numerous X-02 Wyverns.
With the last of the resistance suppressed, the new Erusian government was successfully established, and the ISAF withdrew its forces from Erusea. For the first time in years, Usea's political environment was stable, and economic growth began anew across the continent.
A new era (2007–2039)
After years of widespread fighting, destruction, and death, the nations of Usea entered an unprecedented era of peace and prosperity, which lasted for nearly 25 years. The Neo United Nations (NUN), recognizing the great strides Usea had taken to heal from decades of conflict, would establish its new headquarters at Snyder's Top in northern Usea in the early 2030s.
During this time, the global economy—and society in general—became increasingly reliant upon computer technologies. Private-sector companies that developed, produced, and distributed such technologies began to gain considerable power over the markets and governments within their respective countries. Eventually, two major rival corporations would come to dominate the worldwide market: General Resource Limited and Neucom Incorporated.
Sometime in the early 2030s, Neucom began expanding its research and development division and purchased the Riass Space Center in the Comona Islands, renaming it the Neucom Space Research Facility and Airbase. Neucom began developing space and communications technologies and soon after decided to enter into the civilian and military aviation markets. General Resource's primary interests, however, concentrated on military technologies such as operating systems, aircraft, naval vessels, assault vehicles, and weaponry. Despite Usea's relative political stability, tensions stemming from market competition between the two corporations would escalate through the end of the decade.
By 2037, the national governments of Usea had lost much of their political and economic power; in addition, the rivalry between Neucom and General Resource had begun to evolve from simple smear campaigns into passive-agressive threats and small-scale cyber sabotage. These incidents caught the attention of the NUN, which summoned the leaders of both companies to hold negotiations in hope of a peaceful resolution. Although a temporary treaty was set, it did not last long. Neucom's announcement of its intentions to create Megafloat, a seafaring city, and the success of its R-Aircraft line would only increase the animosity between the two companies.
Usean Corporate War simulation (2040)
Main article: Usean Corporate War
During the 2030s, General Resource began experimenting with the Electrosphere, a popular Usean computer network, in an attempt to copy and transfer human consciousness into the system. During the experiments, General Resource detonated a bomb in one of their laboratories to conceal their Darkness of Enigma project, killing scientist Yoko Martha Inoue and GRDF pilot Abyssal Dision in the process.
In the wake of the attack, fellow scientist Simon Orestes Cohen proceeded to create a simulation of Usea and pitted the two rival companies against one another in a fictional conflict. Cohen included copies of every person—living or dead—as well as an AI codenamed Nemo. By running the simulation multiple times, Cohen discovered that no matter what, in such a conflict, Nemo would always kill Dision, whom Cohen blamed for Inoue's death. Pleased with the results, Cohen removed Nemo from the simulation, which was purged from existence, and likely released Nemo into the real world.
- Prior to Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War, the Usean continent was conceived to be a part of our (real) world. Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies development artwork shows that Strangereal was originally much more similar to our world, with Usea situated in the northern Pacific Ocean. Ace Combat 5 was the first game to introduce an entirely unique world as its setting, and all prior games have since been retconned to take place in Strangereal.
- Usea is the only continent in Strangereal to feature characters voiced with English accents.
- Out of all the Strangereal continents, Usea appears the most frequently in Ace Combat titles. It was the main setting for the first four installments in the series and has made numerous appearances in many other games afterward.
- ↑ Strangereal Map. Retrieved July 9, 2016.
- ↑ Intro cutscene, Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "President Makes Announcement To Ambassadors And Their Respective Nations", Usea Today: Asteroid on Collision Course With Earth! Published April 21, 1996.
- ↑ Air Combat.
- ↑ "Secretary Of State Expresses Support For NMD Proposal", Usea Today: Asteroid on Collision Course With Earth! Published April 21, 1996.
- ↑ Toy Box, Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 "Introduction", Our Science: Titan Guns. Published September 20, 1998.
- ↑ "Aiming for Absolute Reliability", Our Science: Titan Guns. Published September 20, 1998.
- ↑ "The Titan to Protect the Continent", Our Science: Titan Guns. Published September 20, 1998.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Ace Combat 2.
- ↑ Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy.
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
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- ↑ "Wider Damage Range than Estimated", GAZE: Last Christmas. Published January 1, 1999.
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Sitting Duck. Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies.
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 Siege of Farbanti, Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies.
- ↑ "Asteroid Ulysses Enters the Atmosphere", AC04Web. Retrieved July 18, 2016.
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 "Friction Comes to the Surface of the Refugee Problem", GAZE: War? Published August 22, 2003.
- ↑ "The Rash Act of Erusia", GAZE: War? Published August 22, 2003.
- ↑ "Withdrawal from the Usean Continent", AC04Web. Retrieved May 19, 2016.
- ↑ Introductory cutscene, Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies.
- ↑ Invincible Fleet, Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies.
- ↑ Shattered Skies, Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies.
- ↑ Operation Bunker Shot, Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies.
- ↑ Tango Line, Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies.
- ↑ Stonehenge Offensive, Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies.
- ↑ Emancipation, Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies.
- ↑ Whiskey Corridor, Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies.
- ↑ Megalith, Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies.
- ↑ 29.0 29.1 29.2 29.3 Arcade Mode, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 30.4 Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere.
- ↑ Cutscene prior to Archnemesis, Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere.