| The corporate logo of the UAC. |
The corporate logo of the UAC, as seen in Doom 3
|First game||Doom (1993)|
The Union Aerospace Corporation (UAC) is a fictional conglomerate focused on military-industrial research in id Software's science fiction video game series Doom. The corporation is depicted to be involved in advanced weapons development, biological research, space exploration and teleportation. The company employs former marines as private security contractors. Set in the 22nd century, the UAC is shown to have access to research facilities on other planets and moons within the Solar System, such as Mars, Phobos and Io. In the video games, the UAC's research into teleportation unwittingly allows for the forces of Hell to invade from their realm and attempt to take over humanity.
The UAC is first introduced in Doom, in which the UAC's experiments facilitate a demonic invasion of UAC bases on Mars and its two moons. Although the UAC's role is drastically reduced in Doom II: Hell on Earth, the UAC return in Final Doom with teleportation research facilities on Earth and the moons of Jupiter. The corporation is at the forefront of the story in Doom 3, with its operations on its Mars base being revealed during gameplay as opposed to simply being presented in the game's backstory. In the Doom film, the UAC focuses on genetic experimentation, resulting in mutated humans being the principal threat as opposed to researching teleportation, which led to the game's influx of demons.
Origin and design
Originally, the Doom storyline was quite different from the version finally used in Doom and Doom II. The original story unfolded on a military base, located on an alien planet called Tei Tenga. The managing organization was called the UAAF (United Aerospace Armed Forces), sent to guard the installation. The UAC was only ever specifically mentioned as side notes; its importance seems to have been somewhat reduced, its focus possibly a military one, and it was referred to as the United Aerospace Corporation.
Early Doom video games
The Union Aerospace Corporation's facilities on the moons of Mars form the setting for much of Doom. In the backstory presented in the game's manual, the interplanetary UAC operate radioactive waste facilities on Mars and its moons, Phobos and Deimos. The UAC's biggest supplier, the US military, uses the bases on Phobos and Deimos for secret research projects, including establishing a teleportation gateway between the two moons. However, tests on living volunteers grow increasingly unstable as the test subjects either disappear or go insane. Eventually, demons from Hell invade through the gateway on Phobos, while Deimos simply disappears from orbit. The player begins the game at the UAC base on Phobos, as the last survivor of a team sent from Mars to investigate the situation. The game takes the player through the demon controlled remains of the Phobos base, before teleporting to the UAC base on Deimos, which is revealed to be hanging over Hell itself. The UAC's role in Doom II: Hell on Earth is greatly reduced; although boxes bearing the UAC logo are still encountered, the company does not have a role in the game's storyline (other than originally starting the demon invasion which spreads to Earth).
The corporation does, however, come to the fore again in the two Final Doom episodes. In the TNT: Evolution storyline, the UAC is put under new management and strict government control. Now based on the moon of Io, the corporation conducts more experiments into teleportation with heavy military supervision; demons invading through teleporter gateways are quickly destroyed by troops in entrenched positions. However, the demons instead choose to attack in a techno-demonic spaceship, evading the UAC's defences and slaughtering the occupants of the base. The player is the commander of the marines stationed on the moon, and upon returning to the base to discover it in ruins, decides to avenge the deaths of the base's personnel. In The Plutonia Experiment episode, the UAC is refounded on Earth after the events of Doom II, where its scientists develop a Quantum Accelerator, a device aimed at quickly closing teleportation gateways at the first sign of demonic invasion. Although the device initially performs well, UAC scientists eventually open too many gateways for the device to cope with, and the UAC complex is overwhelmed by the forces of Hell when the device fails to close the last gateway. The demons seize control of the device and ready another invasion force in the base. The player, a marine who rushes to the base and arrives ahead of the rest of the military, sets off into the base to reclaim the Quantum Accelerator and close the gateway.
With this reboot of the Doom series, the game received a large overhaul, greatly developing the story since it had more detailed and realistic cutscenes and included many additional details in e-mails and other media found throughout the game. The story was moved to Mars rather than taking place on the Martian moons. Increased focus was placed on the importance of the UAC research being conducted by the Delta Labs division, specifically research under the guidance of Malcolm Betruger. A great deal of the UAC’s research seems to be focused on teleportation, which is shrouded in secrecy. As the player progresses through the game, it emerges that the UAC have even been retrieving specimens (most of them were corpses of imps they had found) from the dimension that they uncovered in their experiments. The labs that contained many of these specimens held: the head and spine of a Hellknight, a live but restrained Imp, a Revenant, and more severed bodyparts of Imps.
Throughout Doom 3, references are made to current UAC research projects, through email, audio logs and video discs. This generally ranges from the informational videos about the UAC base, to instruction videos on the latest weaponry (such as the BFG9000).
The UAC makes use of their Mars facility to conduct research "outside of moral and legal obligations", according to the introductory text sequence of the game. Presumably they are too far away to be reliably monitored by Earth authorities, and their corporate strength offers them substantial political power.
Not all of the research being conducted at the base was approved or known by their board of directors. Dr. Malcolm Betruger's unsanctioned pursuit of research stemming from their teleportation technology was enough to alarm the board into sending a high-ranking inspector with a heavily-armed escort to investigate the base, after a whistleblower, Dr. Elizabeth McNeil, informed them of the potential danger the Doctor posed. She is transferred back to Earth by Betruger forcibly (and rather abruptly judging from the fact her PDA is left in her office) before the events of the game, for showing too much interest in his research.
The Doom 3 novels show the UAC to have been created by Tommy Kelliher based on ion drive technology. Over time, due to Tommy's instincts towards expansionism, the company grew large and developed and sold many new technologies, such as weapons or environmental adaptations, and continued to engage in research. As he grew old and increasingly needing medical technology to keep him alive, Tommy handed the company over to his son Ian, though he still maintained spies in the company reporting to him.
With global economies in ruins and all-out world war on Earth due to dwindling resources more than a possibility, the U.S. government turned to the UAC, giving it carte blanche on Mars in a desperate bid to construct an off-world outpost that might provide resources and a military advantage, as well as something so secret that even members of government do not have a clue about it. The UAC also maintains research bases in Earth's oceans in the form of the Ballard lab and works on studying Europa. The U.S. military is largely funded by the UAC and thus gives it equal or more power over it than the Pentagon, including the military Armada space fleet. Despite its power and profit the Kellihers still claim to attempt to help humanity through its time of crisis.
The UAC has a role in the Doom movie, but their main ambitions and scientific work deviate from the games, as they focus on genetic research instead of teleportation. If you gather all the available in-game information, however, you will see that there is substantial background created to support this shifting of UAC's basis. There are many in-game e-mails, PDA logs, and other tidbits mentioning the UAC's genetic programs and their search for more "volunteers".
For the promotion of Doom 3, id Software created a fake UAC website with a trajectory countdown. This countdown had two meanings; within the context of the game, it represented the estimated arrival time to Mars of the shuttle that carried the Marine, Swann and Campbell. In real life, it was actually a countdown to the game's release date.
Recently the Doom RPG game for cellphones was released. On the main Doom RPG website there are links to a more authentic corporate website. Although many of the links lead to "Access Denied" pages, the site provides some information on the history of the UAC.
- ↑ Hall, Tom (1992-11-28). The Doom Bible. Doomworld. Retrieved on 2008-07-04.
- ↑ "The Story So Far". The Ultimate Doom (manual). id Software. 1993. p. 2.
- ↑ "It's Up To You". The Ultimate Doom (manual). id Software. 1993. p. 2.
- ↑ "Evilution". Final Doom (manual). id Software. 1996. pp. 11–12.
- ↑ "Plutonia". Final Doom (manual). id Software. 1996. pp. 12–13.