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This article details the setting in which Heavy Object takes place.

PrinciplesEdit

GeographyEdit

Due to the collapse of the United Nations, the world map was left in a state likened by a satirical journalist to stained glass. The shattered pieces have continued in various directions, some reforming into new alliances and some losing their old forms.[1] At the present, the world map is still fragmented with many different territories with a fair number of the old countries having ceased to be.[1] Many of these territories are under the control of the current four world powers, however the territories of one faction are usually not all clustered in one place and are scattered throughout different areas of the globe.

In addition to territories of the four world powers and certain territories under established independent governments, there are regions which are not controlled by the world powers and lack or barely have governments of their own. These are commonly referred to as blank areas (空白地帯 Kūhaku Chitai).[2] Blank Areas are often used relay points for criminal organizations, who tend to hop from one blank area to another, and routes through which goods are passed through, however examples of a faction attempting to set up a permanent presence in them are fairly rare.[3]

Due to continuing global warming, melting ice at the poles has resulted in several new maritime transport routes opening up.[4]

WarfareEdit

The creation of Objects has severely changed how wars are fought, leading to what are usually called "clean wars" (クリーンな戦争 Kurīn'na Sensō). Wars are seen as something like an official sports competition that cleanly distinguishes between the battlefield and safe countries (安全国 Yasu Zenkoku), and everything is usually solved by single combat between Objects, with everything else in the military acting as support for those giant weapons.

When one of the Objects is destroyed, the war is over. The only sacrifice is the Elite piloting the Object, and even that's not assured. If the Elite performs an emergency ejection and transmitted the signal known as the White Flag, the enemy Object would end its pursuit and preparations would be made for an end of war conference between the two nations.[5] Thus the soldiers acting as support would be spared, as chasing and killing all of them using an Object would be a waste of resources.

There are other conventions towards the creation of a clean and safe battlefield. In battles between two Objects, it's generally considered “bad manners” for an Object to attack a maintenance base zone (ベースゾーン Bēsuzōn).[6] International law does not allow an Object to attack a residential area.[7]

The most common reason for a soldier to leave a front lines base is not injuries or death. Instead, it's due to complications in a romantic relationship with someone else on the base.[5]

This has brought several changes to society. Child soldiers are seen as something normal by most people.[8] The lack of fighting also dulls the abilities that soldiers gain during boot camp, leading to a decrease in the average soldier's competency, to the extent that a police officer in a safe-country may have more combat experience than soldiers in the front-lines.[9]

However, the conventions of clean wars do not apply to all battlefields. In the Northern European Restricted Zone in Scandinavia, Objects are forbidden by international treaties, so wars are still fought and won by flesh-and-blood soldiers using normal weapons and vehicles. The soldiers that fight there are generally superior to the soldiers that have grown to rely on Objects.[10]

There are also several units that engage in black operations, where fights against other soldiers are common. Objects are also used against humans in fights against guerrillas, terrorists and anything not considered a proper army, as those are considered supression operations and not actual wars.[11]

It has to be kept in mind that several of the conventions for a safe and clean battlefield like the White Flag are just unwritten rules and no treaty has been formally made, so they are ignored in occasion if the situation demands it. For example, if an enemy Object holed up in its maintenance base zone and refused to come out to the battlefield, the other Object would have no choice but to destroy the Object, base and all.[6] Ruthless or desperate forces might also choose to ignore things like the White Flag and massacre an enemy that has surrendered, though this might bring negative press.

There are several branches under which types of warfare are categorized. Four of these branches are the standard army, naval, air force and marines, with space development or electronic warfare being considered for the fifth branch. However, a certain group has attempted to go beyond these five branches and create a Sixth Branch, one based on psychological warfare.[12]

TechnologyEdit

Certain space technologies have also been developed with several of the world powers running space programs and being in possession of laser space elevators. At least one faction, the Mass Driver Conglomerate within the Capitalist Corporations, was also seen capable of constructing working mass drivers, though the development of mass drivers was rejected in favor of space elevators.[13] Power generating satellites which transmit generated solar power to Earth have been developed, though their use has waned due to having a large surface area, vulnerable to being hit by debris and generating more debris.[14] The Moon has also been colonized, with villas for the elite, powerful and wealthy, away from the conflict on Earth.[15][16]

BackgroundEdit

For more information on the chronological timing of events in the series, see Timeline

In the early half of the 21st century, for reasons not yet fully explained, the United Nations collapsed. The aftermath left the world map in a state that a satirical journalist once likened to stained glass. The shattered pieces continued in various direction with some eventually reforming into several different alliances and some of the old countries ceasing to be.[1]

At some point in time, a certain island nation developed Objects, gigantic armored machines which were invulnerable to most conventional weapons and units, radically changing how wars were fought.[16]

At present, the world is mostly dominated by four major powers; the Legitimacy Kingdom, the Information Alliance, the Capitalist Corporations and the Faith Organization, with several other smaller powers as well.[1]

TriviaEdit

  • A fair number of characters in Heavy Object have last names derived from alcoholic beverages, with the characters from a specific world power tending to be linked to cocktails of a particular base (brandy for the Legitimacy Kingdom, gin for the Information Alliance, rum for the Capitalist Corporations, whisky for the Faith Organization) with a few exceptions.

ReferencesEdit

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