Usea (ユージア Yūjia) is one of the major landmasses on Earth in the Strangereal universe. Usea is located between the Osean and Verusan continents. It is surrounded by the Cascade Ocean to the north, the Spring Sea to the south, and the Eusian Ocean to the east.
The countries of Usea have maintained complex relations among themselves, and its peoples have fought numerous armed conflicts throughout history. Usea has been a recurring setting for many installments in the Ace Combat series.
At least 18 countries are known to exist on the Usean continent. These include:
Discovery of Ulysses (1994)
In December 1994, researchers from the International Astronomical Union discovered a 1.6-kilometer long asteroid, which was later designated "Ulysses 1994XF04". Additional observation of the asteroid's motion revealed that it was headed towards Earth; these findings were soon presented to the government of the Federation of Central Usea (FCU). 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 wait until the asteroid's probability of impact was confirmed.
Skully Islands insurrection (1995)
By 1995, the FCU had begun devising 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 a 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 studies (1995–98)
In October 1995, researchers from the University of Comona and Shellsbridge University became the first scientific group to accurately calculate Ulysses's precise trajectory. The outlook was bleak: Ulysses would enter and be torn apart by Earth's gravity on July 3, 1999 at 3:30 PM Usea Eastern Standard Time, inflicting widespread destruction that could result in the extinction of humanity. Once again, President Sinclair made the difficult decision to withhold this information from the general public.
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 were recalled, ending a prolonged stand-off along the Amber-Ugellas border between FCU and Erusean military forces.
The same day as President Sinclair's Ulysses statement, FCU Secretary of State Stateson attended an emergency assembly of the UTO. At the meeting, Stateson 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 began and then haphazardly abandoned their anti-Ulysses defensive projects. The initially dismissed concerns regarding the NMD system's use as an offensive weapon ultimately killed 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 subsequently focus their efforts on the new "STN Project".
Over the coming months, the FCU—in conjunction with other UTO members, Erusean scientists, and several multinational corporations—began construction of the new "spaceguard" weapon, nicknamed "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 120 centimeter explosive rounds.
Usean coup d'état (1997–98)
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 the Osean Federation extended an offer of alliance to the nations of Usea, which was received with mixed sympathies. Anti-foreign sentiment dominated 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 revolted 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 Usean government. 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 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's arrival date nearing only one year away. Despite the much needed reconstruction efforts required within their own borders, the nations of Usea needed to redouble their efforts to complete the STN in time.
Ulysses planetfall and aftermath (1999)
On July 3, 1999, Ulysses passed through Earth's Roche limit as predicted. The asteroid would spend the next five days shattering into thousands of fragments; on July 8, the fragments began to hit the planet. The majority of fragments fell to Earth over the next two weeks. Stonehenge successfully intercepted a large number of them, preventing mass extinction; however, it failed to completely protect the continent. Some urban areas—such as Comberth Harbor, Anchorhead, and Saint Ark—were unharmed, while other areas—such as Newfield Island and Farbanti, Erusea—suffered impacts that radically altered their geography and devastated the local populations.
Approximately 500,000 people were killed in the initial two-week planetfall period, and at least one million more were displaced as refugees. Economists estimate that the damage inflicted was equivalent to 18 months-worth of the Usean continent's total GDP. 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 former Federal Republic of Erusea, which had begrudgingly agreed to the initiative despite its regime's nativist sympathies.
Usean refugee crisis (2000–03)
Suddenly, in April 2000, the Erusean government began restricting its issuing of visas to foreigners, essentially stranding all refugees at the border. The Erusean Minister of Foreign Affairs denounced the other Usean countries as having expected Erusea to admit a disproportionately higher number of foreign refugees, and placing an "undue burden upon the Erusean people". Meanwhile, thousands of civilian refugees began to set up camps along the closed Erusean 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 Erusean regime and denied the accusations that Erusea was being forced to accept an exaggerated number of foreigners. Many Useans began boycotting Erusean products, and the UTO placed harsh tariffs on Erusea's exports, worsening the already precarious state of the Erusean economy. Anti-foreign resentment and political tensions would only continue to escalate within Erusea over the next four months.
Continental War (2003–05)
Sometime around August 22, 2003, Erusea launched a surprise invasion of neighboring San Salvacion and seized control of the STN facility, which was manned by UTO coalition forces. Erusea quickly released a statement saying that Stonehenge facility and its personnel were being held "safely under Erusean 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 Eruseans' 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 launched a daring air raid on Stonehenge in an effort to eliminate the railgun facility before the Eruseans 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 elite Yellow Squadron. Bolstered by Stonehenge's use as an anti-aircraft weapon, the Erusean forces began pushing the ISAF eastward. The ISAF lost numerous strategic locations—such as Istas Fortress, Comberth Harbor, Rigley Air Base, and the Mt. Shezna radar stations—and suffered tremendous casualties.
By 2004, ISAF GHQ was forced to evacuate from mainland Usea to North Point, in order to regroup and consolidate its forces. 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 Erusean targets on the mainland, while a counterattack was planned.
Following the ISAF's momentous victory at Comberth Harbor, Erusea's "invincible" Aegir Fleet was sunk, and a reconnaissance satellite was launched from 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 Eruseans were pushed westward towards their own territory. San Salvacion would be liberated in July 2005, and the Eruseans 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 Erusean capital of Farbanti was under siege by ISAF forces.
Farbanti fell to the ISAF on September 19, 2005, despite fierce Erusean opposition and the efforts of Yellow Squadron. However, one week after Erusea's official capitulation, a number of young, radical Erusean 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 super-weapon before any significant damage could be done, bringing the continental war to an end.
2006 Free Erusea uprising
After the destruction of Megalith, the ISAF occupied Erusea and assisted the new provisional Erusean 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 Erusean 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 Continental War, the radical Eruseans 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 Erusean government was illegitimate and vowed to remove the occupying ISAF forces from Erusea.
Using aircraft commandeered from the Erusean 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 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 Erusean 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.
Arkbird Declaration (2008)
In 2008, a G7 summit was hosted by Osea in the Arkbird. The Federation of Central Usea and Erusea were the only known Usean countries which were present in the meeting.
2014 Free Erusea uprising
Four years after the devastating war between Osea and Yuktobania, Usea has become focused on reconstruction from the Continental War. Free Erusea took advantage of the weakened state of global military forces to launch another uprising. The insurgents attempted an attack on Fort Grays and a capture of the Scofields Plateau air base, both of which were put down by the IUN-PKF.
The IUN-PKF intercepted a C-130 over the Waiapolo Mountains, which turned into an ambush as Free Erusea downed several IUN aircraft. Although the rebellion was taken care of, it was a sign of a major conflict in the future.
Lighthouse War (2019)
In 2019, the Kingdom of Erusea declared war on the Osean Federation after viewing the superpower's presence on the continent as invasive. As Osean ports were bombed by drones, Erusea then seized the International Space Elevator after, and uses its Arsenal Birds and its drone fleet to beat the IUN forces back to the east, bringing most of Usea under their control. Osea retaliated with an air raid on Farbanti, causing widespread collateral damage. The IUN successfully held off an Erusean raid on Fort Grays, despite losing an aircraft carrier and halted the Erusean advance at Scofields Plateau.
The Osean-IUN coalition forces then launched a two-pronged counterattack which had theOFS Kestrel II launch a second air raid at Farbanti and the IUN opening a corridor through Chopinburg to the elevator, both ending in failure as the Kestrel II was sunk in the ensuing battle and the Arsenal Bird Liberty inflicting heavy casualties on the IUN. Public opinion in neutral countries swayed towards Erusea's side as the nation used mostly non-lethal strikes against its opponent, thanks to its extensive use of drones.
The IUN on June 6 slipped through Erusea's defenses in Gunther Bay to rescue Osean ex-president Vincent Harling, who was inspecting the space elevator when the war broke out. The operation ended in a disaster when an Osean aircraft apparently shot down Harling's VTOL which killed the ex-president. Trigger was blamed for the incident, court-martialled and sent to a prison base in Zapland.
The Osean penal unit, Spare Squadron, was used to defend the 444th Air Base from Erusean bombing attacks, as well as carrying out missions that disrupted Erusea's war effort. The pilots who survived all these missions were later pardoned, and inducted into the Osean Air Force before being sent to Tyler Island. Meanwhile, Colonel D. McKinsey was transferred to North Point, escorted by Trigger and Count to Bulgurdarest. Both pilots eventually joined the Osean LRSSG.
The Oseans planned to capture Farbanti and end the war by using an alternate route north of the continent so as to bypass Erusea's air defense network. In their way was the Erusean Njord Fleet and the mobile supply base at the Snider's Top, which were both crushed, allowing the LRSSG to help an Osean Ground Defense Force battalion that was secretly reactivating the last rail gun of Stonehenge, which was used to destroy the Arsenal Bird Liberty.
With Erusea's air supremacy card removed, the IUN had the upper hand and pushed the Eruseans back to their border, although the other Arsenal Bird, Justice, still guarded the Gunther Bay region. The LRSSG removed the rest of Erusea's long-range standoff capabilities, seized an Erusean airbase at Cape Rainy, and aided in the capture of Farbanti on September 19, 2019. However, A-SAT warfare from both sides caused a collision cascade, throwing Usea into chaos, with Erusea in a civil war between pro-government radicals, anti-war conservatives, and nationalists from Erusean states. A seemingly last hope for peace was destroyed when AWACS Argus was fed with false intel and ordered an Osean aircraft to shoot down a helicopter carrying an Erusean general in Anchorhead, killing him, but not before the general exposes those behind the war, including that of Harling's assassination.
With the invasion of Tyler Island failing as a result of the A-SAT warfare, Osean invasion forces, with the help of AWACS Long Caster and the LRSSG, had to withdraw from a three-way battle over the island, and the LRSSG stopped Erusean conservatives and radicals from executing a scorched-earth and resupply mission respectively. During the battle, Erusean conservatives massacred Belkan citizens on the island, blaming them for their country's downfall as well as shooting down Princess Cossette's plane, as she was being flown out of Usea. With limited resources available to make leave for Osea, the LRSSG were forced to attack Shilage so as to secure supplies stockpiled in the castle. During this mission, Trigger faced a final aerial confrontation with Mihaly A. Shilage.
As communications partially came back online, the Oseans, Erusean conservatives, and other allied squadrons all united in a final attempt to retake the International Space Elevator from the Erusean radicals, who planned on mass-producing autonomous drones all over Usea using Mihaly's combat data, a move which would result in a prolonged war. A costly combined air and sea attack on the last Arsenal Bird brought it down, but two advanced drones loaded with the war data arrived and started shooting down coalition aircraft, forcing them to retreat. After resupplying at an aground Osean aircraft carrier, they face off with the two drones, losing pilots in the process, but later winning as both aircraft were destroyed by Trigger, ending the war. At the same time, a spacecraft landed on the space elevator, after returning from the asteroid belt. Its pilot was revealed to be Kei Nagase, a former Osean ace. The continent, with the help of international relief, embarked on a long path to reconstruction.
A month later, the two belligerents signed a peace treaty in Expo City, followed by a neutrality pact at North Point in the following year, ending hostilities between the two.
A new era (2020–2039)
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, including repurposing the Comona Islands space facility for the company's expansion into space development. 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-aggressive 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.
Intercorporate War simulation (2040)
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.
A map of Usea as it appears in Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown
The Usean continent as it appears in Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy
A briefing map of Usea from Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies
A map of Usea in Aces At War: A History 2019
- Prior to Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War, the Usean continent was conceived to be a part of our (real) world. In Ace Combat 3, USEA is an acronym for "United States of Euro-Asia". 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.
- 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, most recently as the setting of Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.
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