Some people say that multiplayer games don't have to have story. Fair enough, we don't want to stand around talking all day, we want to get in and FIGHT damn it. But everything needs backstory. I like writing, so I sat down and wrote out some unofficial backstory to the brightly-lit future Tokyo we find ourselves in.
NOTE: Japanese names are written in the Japanese style, that is, family name followed by given name. This is the reverse of the system used in Western countries.
1: Political Timeline
2: State of Play, 2042
3: Weapon Details
4: Cybernetically Enhanced Combat Forces Details
5: Ghost Details
6: Military Timeline
7: The Future of Small Arms
8: Service Rifles
9: Japanese Domestic Politics, 2042
2011: United States forces pull out of the Middle East, bringing an end to Gulf War II to international acclaim.
2013: Widespread adoption of methane hydrate fuel sources obliterate Western reliance on Persian Gulf oilfields. Led by the religious moderate Republic of Iran, the former Arab oil states negotiate the Nicosia Treaty with Israel, legally creating Palestine as an independent nation.
2014: Russian Federation dissolves under mounting economic pressure. The Tsarist regime is restored after a 97-year hiatus. The new regime opens Russia's methane hydrate reserves, frozen in Siberian permafrost, to international consortiums.
2016: Resurgence of violence in Northern Ireland leads to a compromise agreement where the borders of Britain's soil on Ireland are shrunk by 50%.
2017: Rapid militarization of North Korea leads to increased UN sanctions against the nation.
2020: Numerous post-soviet states in Eastern Europe express wishes to join the Russian Empire, but such a move is forbidden under the 2014 Constitution. Civil unrest increases in Eastern Europe and the Balkans.
2022: The use of first-generation Cybernetically Enhanced Combat troops in action by the United States in the Balkans leads to calls for increased regulation of the technology.
2025: The Central American states of Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvidor and Panama merge to form the Central American Republic.
2029: The Waterman Process successfully lowers the greenhouse gas proportions in the atmosphere to safe levels, and its inventor, Dennis Waterman, wins the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.
2031: The Cybernetically Enhanced Combat Forces Treaty is put to the UN General Assembly, dictating the modifications to the laws of war in the event of the employment of the aforementioned forces.
2032: The Communist regime in China collapses and is replaced by a democratic government. Taiwan is officially recognized by the new Republic.
2035: Korea is forcibly unified by Russian and Chinese forces.
2036: The Nikkei plunges to its lowest levels in 40 years, putting increased economic stress on a Japan already struggling with overpopulation.
2038: Formation of the Eurasian Union, the geographically largest political entity in history.
2040: An assassination attempt on Japanese Prime Minister Higashiru Miho is stopped within inches of completion by the National Security Force. An investigation reveals the attempt to have originated from a rogue Special Operations unit inside the GSDF. The leader of the attempt, Captain <Name Deleted>, was found guilty of treason, but was pardoned by <Name Deleted>, a government official known to be on friendly terms with the GSDF.
2041: By order of the Japanese Prime Minister, the National Security Force forms Group Six out of elite personnel to uncover and eliminate threats to the Japanese Constitution.
2042: GSDF Special Operations Group 43 (Codename: Jinrai) has been established from Japanese nationalist hardliners, with the aim of returning Japan to the days of the Empire, when it ruled by military force over a huge expanse of territory. Group Six operators are immediately dispatched to eliminate threats to the nation.
State of Play, 2042
2042 is a thoroughly different world, politically, to the one today. The global military flashpoints have moved from the Middle East to Eastern Europe and Indonesia. The newly-reestablished Russian Empire under Tsar Nicholas III is the new economic powerhouse of the world due to its massive methane hydrate reserves. The world's only superpower still retains the title, but its economic strength is mostly focused on repaying the US national debt. The Eurasian Union and the Democratic Republic of China are the world's major trading partners. With a post-industrial economy fueled by the latest nanotechnology from the labs at Los Alamos and Arkhangelsk, global standards of living have never been higher. Poverty has largely been eliminated by the efforts of former Third-World countries bootstrapping their way to a technological society in only a few years.
As for Japan, it's still a technological trailblazer in just about every field there is. The economic situation leaves something to be desired, however, and there is much civil unrest over the island nation's rising population. Japan is no longer the hyper-capitalized free-market paradise it was in the 2020s and 30s. With more and more companies folding into huge conglomerates to avoid bankruptcy, these monolithic corporations are finding themselves with huge amounts of influence over political proceedings. For instance, the pro-JSDF cause in the Diet is mainly funded by Gensai Corporation, the military contracting conglomerate that is responsible for over 60% of JSDF supply contracts. The NSF receive quiet sponsorship from the ubiquitous Tahki Media Group, the largest multimedia and entertainment provider in the Pacific Rim. It's a brave new world where the line between policy and corruption is redrawn every day.
(Sorted By Manufacturer)
Jinsi-Hiyao Industries was formed by the merger of Jinsi Holdings and Hiyao Heavy Industries in 2026. The company diversified into weapons manufacture in 2031, and the following year released the “Tachi” selective-fire pistol onto global markets. The pistol, using the .40 Smith & Wesson calibre, never sold much outside Japan (although a semi-automatic version was quite successful in the US sporting market), but was adopted as the service pistol of the GSDF in 2034. In 2035, they followed up their success with the release of the MX-5 bullpup assault rifle. The MX-5 used a customized high-power 8.45x41mm MX round designed to penetrate high-density armour. The MX-5 underwent trials by the GSDF in early 2036, where it was decided that due to the difficulty even augmented soldiers had with controlling the weapon in automatic fire, it should be reserved for Cybernetically Enhanced Combat Forces (as defined by the UNCECF Treaty, 2031). The MX-5 and its suppressed variant, the MXS-5, have never been legally sold outside Japan.
Sanjuro Group are the oldest of the large military contractors in Japan, established back in 2018. At first they were merely a vehicles supplier, but in 2021 moved into the profitable small-arms business. Their first release was the SRM-7 submachinegun, built with patent licences from Fabrique Nationale du Herstal of Belgium due to similarities with their older P90 design. The SRM-7 uses the customized Sanjuro 5.56x31mm calibre, developed as a shortened version of the popular 5.56x45mm NATO round. The SRM-7 series are heavily used by the GSDF and NSF due to its compact size and handling, and has been in service since the year of its release. Capitalizing on the success of their SRM-7, Sanjuro released the MPN-45 machine pistol in 2024, using the same round as the SRM in a more compact package. The MPN-45 never caught on with the military due to concerns about the accuracy of such a short-barreled weapon, but proved to be highly popular with personal security details due to its ease of concealablity. Moving away from submachineguns, Sanjuro released the Klya-9 combat revolver in 2025, using a specially developed .45 round based off the .45 ACP cartridge. The Kyla-9 is a popular sidearm in the GSDF due to its reliability and stopping power. In 2027, Sanjuro introduced the PZ-252 Squad Automatic Weapon, a light machine gun chambered in the Remington 6.8mm SPC. The 252 is also another favourite of the GSDF with the polymer construction reducing weight to only 15 kilograms when dry, making it a highly portable source of sustained automatic fire. Sanjuro seemed to abandon firearms for several years but in 2034 they introduced the NP-721 submachingun or “Jitte” as the designers nicknamed it. The NP-721 fires a high-velocity variant of the Sanjuro 5.56x31mm round designed to penetrate advanced combat armour. The NP-721 is rare among conventional forces due to its somewhat awkward handling, but is extremely popular among cybernetically-enhanced special forces units due to its ability to penetrate dense armoured chassis.
Hishi-Ryuzin-Voorhees is the product of a triple merger between Hishi Products, Ryuzin Group and Voorhees Associates, a South African weapons manufacturer, in 2030. HRV's flagship product is the ZR68 series of assault rifles, a modification (under licence) of the Robinson XCR design chambered in Remington 6.8mm SPC. The ZR68B (Basic Configuration) and ZR68G (Grenadier Configuration) have been the service rifles of the GSDF since 2032, while the less common ZR68C (Compact) and ZR68S (Suppressed) are used heavily by Special Operations and Security forces. Less common still is the ZR68L (Long-range) variant, a modified ZR68B with an accurized barrel and high-velocity ammunition used as a Designated Marksman Rifle by certain Special Operations units of the GSDF. The ZR68L is most well-known as the rifle that was used in the April 4, 2040 assassination attempt on Prime Minister Higashiru Miho.
Buraku-Nigai Heavy Industries
Buraku-Nigai are primarily a supplier of aircraft to the ASDF, but they do have some notable contributions to small-arms manufacture. Their one and only product is the Mosok 41, a semi-automatic battle rifle chambered in 7.62x51mm NATO rounds released in 2037. Intended for the export market, the Mosok 41's delivery of high stopping power in a compact package impressed the GSDF enough such that a DMR conversion was requested. It arrived in the form of the Mosok 41L, which uses tungsten-jacketed high-velocity ammunition and has recently replaced the Gensai G4 as the standard-issue weapon to designated marksmen in the GSDF.
Murata Corporation released only one weapon before being absorbed by the Gensai conglomerate, and that was the Supa7 tactical shotgun, a compact and powerful weapon chambered with standard 12-gauge shells. Since stepping onto Japanese markets in 2031, the Supa7 has acquired a significant following among all arms of the JSDF, despite never being officially adopted by any military unit. The Supa7's main official users are the National Security Force, who find it extremely suited to urban and close quarters combat.
Bursebo are a secretive subsidiary of Gensai Corporation, and are known only for their sole officially released weapon, the AA-13 automatic shotgun. Little is known about the details of the weapon, but it is rumoured to be an modernized clone of the Atchinson Assault Shotgun invented in 1972. The AA-13 is not legal for civilian ownership and usage is entirely restricted to the GSDF, who have not yet made it public which units have access to these weapons.
Milso are world leaders in firearm suppression technology, being the minds behind the revolutionary MX suppressor present on the JH Industries MXS-5. Their suppressors are second only in usage statistics to those of Knight's Armament Company of the USA, and thought by many to be superior in quality. Milso are heavily involved in the export markets, and Milso suppressors are used all across the world. One of Milso's few firearm products was the 2030 model KGH-5 pistol, an ultra-compact sidearm firing subsonic .40 Smith & Wesson rounds. The KGH-5 pistol is legal for civilian ownership in Japan and elsewhere, and is a very popular target shooting weapon in the United States. In Japan, it is mainly used by police and public security forces due to its concealability.
No company in Japan is as secretive and fanatically protective of trade secrets as Saki-Risuzu-Sawa, the legendary sniper rifle designers who are behind some of the most accurate rifles in the world. Its most successful product is the BP308 anti-materiel rifle, a bolt-action bullpup rifle chambered in an extremely powerful hypersonic .308 round. The BP308 is used primarily by the GSDF for disposal of explosive ordnance, as it is not legal for use against personnel (exceptions are made for usage by Cybernetically Enhanced Combat Forces, see UNCECF Treaty, 2031). The BP308 is famous for being used to make the longest-range confirmed sniper shot in history, at the 2039 SharpShooter Convention in Helsinki, where Bernard Fraser, a sniper with the British Special Boat Service Regiment, managed to achieve a bullseye on a target 3,548 metres away.
NOTE: SRS are not to be confused with Surefire Recoil Systems, a Scotland-based supplier of ergonomic stocks for weapons.
Cybernetically Enhanced Combat Forces Details
Summarised excerpt from the United Nations Cybernetically Enhanced Combat Forces Treaty (2031).
“Cybernetically Enhanced Combat Forces (hereafter referred to as CECFs) are defined by three properties:
One; They utilise some method of cybernetic enhancement, whether it be purely mental (eg. US Future Force Warrior 2 Infantry C3 System), physical (eg. Gensai Corporation Heavy Powered Chassis) or a combination of both (eg. Thales UK F.I.S.T. 2.5 Special Purpose Cybernetic Suit);
Two; That they are employed in a combat capacity at the time of definition, that is, a CECF that is not engaged in combat ceases to be covered by the terms of this treaty.
Three; That the cybernetic systems are legal under the Cyberbrain Regulation Agreement (2028).
CECFs are hereby allocated the possibility of having force used against them that, if a conventional soldier were in their position, would be unnecessary and indeed entirely unreasonable.
CECFs are, in the event of enemy electronic insurgency compromising their cyberbrains, ordered to withdraw from the battlefield or be withdrawn by any means necessary.
Combat against CECFs is not bound by the Hague Conventions.
Should in any event that a CECF kills an allied soldier in a combat situation, they will be deactivated either remotely or manually with extreme prejudice.”
CECFs are the offspring of two areas of technology: that of powered and armoured exoskeletons, and that of computer-brain interfaces. The merging of these two technologies culminated in the first ever successful test of such a device in 2021 at the USMC Base Camp Smedley D. Butler in Okinawa, Japan. The first CECF suits were clumsy and difficult to control, but by 2028, the introduction of cyberbrains had alleviated that problem. A cyberbrain is a subsentient expert system that acts as a filter between the human brain and the outside world. As of 2042, cyberbrains are too expensive (normalized market price of 8 million yen/unit) and ill-suited to civilian purposes and as a result are only utilized by elite special forces units of national militaries. The task of a cyberbrain is to filter the massive amounts of information coming from the outside world such that only useful information remains, allowing the user a maximum of situational awareness. The cyberbrain can then use a brain-computer interface to load this information directly into the brain, in most cases overlaid over the optic nerve. Under the Cyberbrain Regulation Agreement (2028), cyberbrains are allowed to enhance but not replace the functional areas of the human brain. As for the CECF chassis, these powered exoskeletons are significantly more widespread, being used in disaster recovery, industrial heavy lifting and the like.
Throughout the course of operations, special forces and security groups may be required to secure items known as 'ghosts'. This is a code term to hide their true function.
Do not proceed to read beyond this point unless you are cleared to level 8. All level 7 and below personnel must exit the area immediately before proceeding, with punishment for accessing information while uncleared defined by National Intelligence Archive Regulation GX-4/585.
The items known as ghosts resemble android torsos congruent with the androids manufactured by Tahki Media Group's subsidiary Zanshin Laboratories. This form is to allow easy concealment within the storage areas. Inside the ghost is a Penning-Chu Trap, a superconducting magnetic loop which suspends a gaseous compound of composition <CLASSIFIED LVL 9> which acts as a quantum computer with approximate array size of two(2) billion qubits. These items are extremely potent computing tools. Their main use is in a combat capacity, as they are the only devices with the computing power to brute-force the digitally signed encryption keys that protect cyberbrains from exterior insurgency. When used on-field, they can be devastating to enemy CECFs. However, usage of the quantum computer is locked to specialized personnel and cannot be simply used by any person who picks up the 'ghost'. Additionally, the 'ghost' can also connect to the Shogun satellite network, allowing immediate localizing of enemy forces in the user's zone. Due to these components, the 'ghost' is heavier than a standard Zanshin robot torso and weighs approximately 45 kg plus or minus 0.3 kg. For this reason, CECFs are recommended for 'ghost' retrieval operations. Additionally, CECF cyberbrains allow easy synchronization with the 'ghost' which is useful for tactical reasons. The 'ghost' can by located by a Shogun beacon of waveform <CLASSIFIED LVL 9>.
2011: US forces pull out of the Middle East.
2014: Lack of reliance of oil leads to all US military bases in and around the Persian Gulf to be disbanded. The Carter Doctrine no longer applies.
2016: 'Operation Reforger', a British plan that involved SAS units operating as assassination squads behind enemy lines in Northern Ireland, is leaked to the public by an unknown official within the Ministry of Defense. The public outcry leads to an immediate ceasefire and agreement with the Irish nationalists.
2017: North Korea tests an operational nuclear warhead, of approximate yield 11 kilotons. North Korea is ejected from the UN, and the Russian Empire threatens the nation with military retribution should any further tests take place.
2020-1: Eastern European and Balkans post-soviet states are embroiled in civil war between nationalists and guerillas in favour of reuniting with Russia, in spite of such moves being forbidden by the 2014 Russian Constitution.
2022: Responding to a call for aid by Belorussian forces, combined British, French, German, US and Russian forces begin peacekeeping operations in Eastern Europe. The first use of CECFs in combat is seen with the US Army 5th Special Forces Group (1st Bn. D Company) during the Siege of Warsaw in October 2022.
2026: Russian scientists working at the Chekov Research Centre in Arkhangelsk develop flexible metamaterials that can bend light around them when an electric current is applied. This results in the first practical active camoflage technology, and field tests of prototype suits are conducted by Russian Empire Spetsnaz forces in Irkutsk.
2028: The first cyberbrain is developed by researchers in Munich, Germany. The technology is quickly bought up by the German Army (Deutschland Heer) and licenced to various other national militaries worldwide.
2028: Following the horrific failure of the <CLASSIFIED> Project in <CLASSIFIED>, the UN Cyberbrain Regulation Agreement is passed by the General Assembly.
2031: UNCECF Treaty passed.
2034: The US Army is disbanded and folded into the US Marine Corps.
2035: North Korea detonates a second nuclear device, yielding 20 kilotons. In response to this, Russian and Chinese troops move into the country. Heavy usage of CECFs by Russian and Chinese forces greatly tips the odds in their favour. After weeks of fighting with the KPA, Pyongyang is finally taken. Korea is unified under one government based in Seoul.
2037: The Archangel missile shield project reaches 100% operational capacity over most of the world. The last of the Cold War ICBMs are dismantled.
2038: Scientists working at Innsbruck, Austria, create the first large-scale quantum processor, utilizing a suspension of lithium ions in a modified Penning trap. Doctor Wallace Chu wins the Nobel Prize for Physics.
2040: A GSDF sniper attempts to assassinate the Japanese Prime Minister. The shot misses and its location is tracked by NSF personnel.
2041: The EU-Russian space station Mir II is completed, as is the Hilton Orbital. Russian officials deny that the station has any military purposes.
2042: Covert conflicts take place all over Japan as a series of retrieval operations focusing on taking control of advanced quantum processors lead to firefights between loyalist NSF forces and rogue GSDF units.
The Future of Small Arms
In 2042, the cutting edge of small arms is dominated by two technical principles: Superposed Load and Caseless Ammunition. Caseless ammunition refers to a setup where the 'magazine' is a solid block of propellant that the rounds are embedded inside prior to firing. One of the first prototypes of such a system was the H&K G-11, a bullpup caseless assault rifle that never reached production. Caseless ammunition is useful because it does not eject spent shells, which is a significant feature in undercover operations where the presence of a particular round would prove incriminating. Superposed Load technology is a system where all the rounds are present inside the barrel instead of a seperate magazine. Superposed Load technology was pioneered by the Australian-based company Metal Storm in the early 21st century. With Superposed Load technology, the rounds are fired electrically, leading to the curious result that the firearm contains no moving parts, with the exception of the fired round. This means that Superposed Load firearms can support incredibly high rates of fire. However, were you to look around a military base, you'd find relatively few examples of the aforementioned weapons. In fact, most of the weapons you would find would be functionally similar to the weapons of 60 years previously. The reason for this is that the cutting edge of firearms require numerous electronic components to function, and indeed in the case of Superposed Load weapons, the entire firing mechanism is electrically driven. On the battlefield, a single EMP could render those weapons useless. And given that a powerful enough Flux Compression Generator can be built with a large electromagnet, a small power supply and a wad of plastic explosive, this presents a significant liability. That's why you'll mainly find these systems present in crew-served weapons or close-in weapons systems: because the RF-hardening they need to operate reliably in the face of EMP weapons is rather heavy. Caseless ammunition is less affected by EMPs than Superposed Load weaponry, so it is much more common, but still a drop in the bucket compared to the conventional weapons that exist. Small-arms proliferation is still a problem. Universal nano-fabricators are not household appliances (given that they tend to weigh about 5 tonnes and have a 4:1 feedstock to product ratio), but hijacking one and using it to manufacture weapons and ammunition out of scrap materials is not an impossible task. In 2039, a fabricator at the Singapore Institute of Technology was used to manufacture at least 20 HK417 assault rifles after being remotely compromised by Sumatran rebels. The necessary blueprints for making weapons with nanotechnology are just lying around on the Internet, on anarchist sites, on WikiLeaks, even on PirateBay2 (back up and running in 2016, now based in Murmansk). And nanotech isn't even the biggest supplier of weapons. The bulk of illegal weaponry is manufactured the same way it has been for decades, except nowadays the unlicensed factories in the Balkans are churning out clones of FN's finest instead of poor-quality AK models. Biomechanical implants took off in the late 2010s, and by 2025 were one of the largest industries in the EU. They do all manner of things, from increasing dendrite density in the brain to reinforcing bones with carbon composites. They comprise around 85% of consumer MEMS (Micro-electromechanical systems) production. What is of interest to the weapons trade, however, are implants for increasing physical strength. With the increasing proliferation of high-quality body armour in recent years, gun manufacturers had reached an impasse: Soldiers needed rounds that could penetrate body armour. More penetration meant a higher-velocity or larger round. But those factors lead to an increase in recoil, making the weapons uncontrollable in automatic fire. By the time the possibilities of intermediate cartridges had just about been exhausted, physical strength implants came out of left field and solved the problem overnight. By increasing the strength of the soldier, the manufacturers could supply larger rounds with impunity, because rifle cartridges like the 7.62x51mm NATO which once produced too much recoil to manage could now be fired in an accurate and controlled manner. As the prices of implants plummeted over the years, militaries, PMCs and insurgents everywhere turned their attention to weapons projected that had previously been shelved due to their supposed 'lack of controllability'. The weapons that turned up on the battlefields of North Korea in 2035 would, to a soldier of three decades prior, seemed completely ridiculous and overpowered. The age of the super-soldier had begun.
The following section lists the service rifles of various national militaries of weapon-manufacturing nations. Service rifle is here defined as the weapon that is issued to the bulk of regular units, not special operations units. Weapons are listed as their company designation, not their military designation. These weapons are among the most common on earth, and at least any three on this list have been used in every major armed conflict since 2028.
United States of America - Robinson Arms XCR (6.8mm SPC, High-Velocity)
Japan - HRV ZR68 (6.8mm SPC, High-Velocity)
Russian Empire - AEK-133 (8.26x50mm)
Republic of China - Norinco NAR-29 (7.62x51mm NATO)
United Kingdom - Accuracy International R30 (7.62x51mm NATO)
France - Nexter FAMAS H2 (7.62x51mm NATO)
Germany - H&K HK435 (7.62x51mm NATO / 8.26x50mm)
Belgium - FNH FA39 (7.62x51mm NATO)
Scandinavian Cooperative Zone - Bofors Ak 11 (7.62x51mm NATO / 8.26x50mm)
Switzerland - SIG SG650 (7.62x58mm Swiss)
Italy - Beretta ARX-35 (7.62x51mm NATO)
Japanese Domestic Politics, 2042
Eighty-seven years after it started out, Japan's Liberal Democratic Party has proven itself to be the most consistently successful political party in history. In an unbroken chain from 2010 onwards, the majority coalition of the LDP and New Komeito parties has won every election of both the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors.
Prime Minister: Higashiru Miho
Reigning Monarch: Her Imperial Highness Aiko, Empress Toshi
Minister of Internal Security: Eto Takamaro
Minister of Justice: Hirai Motoko
Minister of Foreign Affairs: Kitagawa Taro
Minister of Finance: Tanigawa Hideo
Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry: Akaba Keiichi
Minister of Defence: Nishi Yosuke
Chief Cabinet Secretary: Sato Hideaki
House of Representatives
Liberal Democratic Party (308 members)
New Komeito (37 members)
Democratic Party (100 members)
The People's New Party, New Party Nippon (2 members)
Independents (21 members)
House of Councillors
The Democratic Party and The Nippon (77 members)
Liberal Democratic Party and Group of Independents (119 members)
New Komeito (30 members)
Independents (16 members)
Last edited by Wintermute
on Fri Aug 21, 2009 3:21 pm, edited 6 times in total.