4 Billion Years Ago
As the solar system begins to take shape and the planets grow larger through accretion, large clusters of matter form between them. The largest such cluster forms between Earth and Mars and is named Theia. As Theia's mass increases, it begins to move closer to Earth (Earth's still-increasing size extends its gravitational influence over Theia, drawing the two bodies closer). Eventually, the two bodies collide.
At the moment of collision, a significant portion of Theia's mantle is ejected into orbit around the Earth, thus forming the Moon. The remainder of Theia's mantle explodes into thousands of pieces, each of which becomes embedded in the Earth's crust across much of its northern hemisphere. One of these pieces contains an object known as the Black Stone. The Black Stone contains a prebiotic entity (now known as Eve, the progenitor of carbon-based life).
This event is known as First Impact - the general public are aware of the Giant Impact Hypothesis, but are unaware of the existence of the Black Stone.
Due to favourable climate conditions in the northern hemisphere, Eve is able to begin cell replication, which triggers Genesis on Earth.
Dead Sea Scrolls are discovered in the ruins of the ancient settlement of Qumran. The scrolls are originally housed in the Rockefeller Museum, where they undergo translation and analysis. However, after the Six Day War, all of the scrolls (except two) are moved to the Israel Museum.
The two remaining scrolls were removed from the Rockefeller Museum by Jordanian authorities several days before the war began. The public are unaware of the existence of these two scrolls, which are named The Gospel of Adam and The Gospel of Eve by their Jordanian translation team.
Translation efforts are abruptly called to a halt by the Jordanian government. The scrolls are confiscated from the research team and are transported to an unknown overseas location.
The U.N.-backed World Meteorological Organization commences extensive geological research in Japan and, by the late 1970's, they begin to focus their research efforts on the area surrounding Hakone, Japan.
The WMO establishes a new research station at the south pole, near the Rennick Glacier. Large drilling machines are transported from the United States to the Antartic station.
The WMO Climate Change Committee is formed to oversee the research projects in Japan and Antarctica. The twelve member committee manages the activities of the organization and also allocate its largely-classified budget.
The WMO Antarctic Research Group discovers an enormous stone deep underneath the Rennick Glacier. It takes two months to drill into the center of the stone, where a hollow cavern is found. Adam, the first waveform being and progenitor of the Angels, is discovered inside the cavern (which itself is filled with ice).
The research group inserts several hollow metal probes into the White Stone's icy core. The probes are filled with boiling water and, through convection, the White Stone's core melts and is heated to approximately fifteen degrees celsius. At this stage a large needle, attached to a hydraulic arm, is inserted into Adam and a sample (presumably a blood sample, although this is unknown) is taken. Just minutes later, the sample is packed onto a U.N. helicopter, which heads out to sea.
Within half an hour - while the heating rods are withdrawn from the core - Adam awakes and generates a powerful anti-Wave Field. The resulting explosion completely destroys Antarctica, melting all of its glaciers simultaneously. The powerful explosion causes a shift in the Earth's axis and triggers enormous tsunamis, which decimate much of the southern hemisphere.
This event is known as Second Impact. A United Nations released an official version of the events. The general public are unaware of the true nature of the Second Impact.
2000: Two Days After Second Impact
More than two billion people in the southern hemisphere perish as a result of the tsunamis generated from Second Impact. Severe climate change also ensues, resulting in a perpetual summer.
2000: One Month After Second Impact
Many coastal cities in the northern hemisphere are either destroyed or severely damaged due to rising sea levels. Some major cities are abandoned as a result (Tokyo, Los Angeles and Hong Kong are the first three to be evacuated).
2000: Six Months After Second Impact
The Third World War breaks out due to scarce food and resources. Nuclear weapons are deployed by several nations, causing widespread death and severe environmental damage. A high-yield nuclear bomb is dropped on Tokyo during the war, killing most of the remaining population.
World War Three ends after only a few months. Casualties are so high that the war can no longer be fought by most powers. The Valentine Ceasefire is signed on February 14th, 2001. At the end of the war, approximately 50% of the Earth's remaining human population remains.
Construction on Tokyo-2 is completed and it becomes Japan's new temporary capital. It is located at the site of the former Matsumoto City in Nagano Prefecture. In the same year, the WMO Japan Research Group resume operations (having had their activities placed on haitus due to the war). They commence widespread drilling around Hakone, Japan.
The WMO Japan Research Group discovers the Black Stone underneath Hakone, Japan. The stone is significantly larger than the White Stone, which had been found in Antarctica years earlier. In addition, it is discovered to be completely hollow; its outer mantle is only four meters thick. Researchers estimate that the Black Stone has a circumference of more than 50 kilometers.
Researchers investigate the Black Stone for three years. The enormous core is so large that significant time is needed to move personnel and machinery from the opening at the "top" to the mantle on the opposite side. The mantle at the bottom ("lower mantle") is discovered to be many times thicker than the mantle at the top ("upper mantle"). The WMO Japan Research Group commences excavations at the lower mantle and uncovers Eve, the proginitor of all carbon-based life on Earth.
The Japanese government designates Hakone, Japan as the site for Tokyo-3, the intended new permanent capital of Japan. The decision is heavily influenced by prominent members of the WMO, who exert significant political power given the state of the Earth's fragile new climate conditions. While the Japanese government thinks it is simply choosing a new site for a permanent capital city, senior members of the WMO Climate Change Committee intend for Tokyo-3 to be used as a first line of defense against predicted Angel attacks. The official reason given for construction of Tokyo-3 is that Tokyo-2 is suffering from serious over-population problems and a new city is required as a long term solution.
Construction on Tokyo-3 is completed. The World Meteorological Organization is mostly dissolved; many of its staff join a new organization, called the U.N. Global Climate Administration.
Some remaining WMO staff, however, establish a completely different organization: NERV. NERV is initially founded in secret, funded in part by the United Nations and in part by private donors from around the world.
Above: ALEPH logo, often seen as graffiti around Tokyo-3.
Asahara convinced his followers that Second Impact was predicted in the Book of Revelation. Specifically, he claimed that it represented the fifth chapter (The Angels Sound the Trumpets), in which "A third of the oceans are destroyed" and "A third of the sky is darkened". He also claimed that a large-scale war was imminent ("An army of 200 million kills a third of Earth's population").
The commencement of World War Three only served to solidify Asahara's bold claims. And, when the existence of NERV was finally announced to the public only months before the first Angel attack, Asahara claimed that the next stage of Revelation was at hand according to the book's chronology:
The Angels Pour Out Their Bowls on the Earth
1. Seven angels are given golden bowls containing of the wrath of God. (15:1-8)
2. First Bowl: A "foul and loathsome sore" afflicts the followers of the beast. (16:1-2)
3. Second Bowl: The sea turns to blood and everything within it dies. (16:3)
4. Third Bowl: All fresh water turns to blood. (16:4-7)
5. Fourth Bowl: The sun scorches the Earth with intense heat. (16:8-9)
6. Fifth Bowl: There is total darkness and great pain in the Beast's kingdom. (16:10-11)
7. Sixth Bowl: Preparations are made for the final battle between the forces of good and evil. (16:12-16)
8. Seventh Bowl: A great earthquake: "every island fled away and the mountains were not found." (16:17-21)
Asahara predicts the arrival of eight Angels to his followers. At the same time, he declares war on NERV, stating the the organization is attempting to interfere with Final Judgement. Asahara and his followers view NERV, collectively, as the Antichrist - an organization established ostensibly to protect and serve the people, but with the ultimate goal of denying them ultimate salvation.
All Evangelions are quite different to each other (i.e. they are not mass-produced), except for some very general specifications. Typically, an Evangelion is approximately 400 meters tall (or, almost as tall as the Empire State Building). Despite their enormous height, Evangelions are generally very lightweight. Their weight varies based on their individual battle configuration.
Evangelions are biomechanical weapons; they are principally constructed of synthetic mechanical components, but do contain a biological nervous system which is very similar in nature to our own. The nervous system within an Evangelion's body exists largely to facilitate improved communication between the pilot and the Evangelion.
Energy is supplied to Evangelions through a combination of internal rechargeable batteries and/or umbilical cords, which supply power to an Evangelion from a dedicated energy grid. When not connected to power via the umbilical cord, an Evangelion can usually remain powered for approximately five minutes. This does vary between individual units, however. Power consumption also varies based on the weapons used and the type of activity (for example, an Evangelion carrying a very heavy weapon while generating a Wave Field will tend to consume power very quickly).
Another unique trait of Evangelions, as mentioned above, is that they can generate Wave Fields. These fields can usually only be generated for very short periods of time, due to the fact that they consume enormous quantities of electricity. However, Wave Fields can be decisive in battle and can protect an Evangelion from some of the most severe attacks.
The pilot's cockpit module is encased in a metal tube called an entry plug, which is inserted into the "spine" of the Evangelion prior to battle. The entry plug rests within the thickest and most-protected part of the Evangelion's body, thus providing optimal protection for the pilot.
The cockpit module itself is a small chamber with a series of female plugs running along one wall. These female plugs correlate with the pilot's plug suit, which features a line of male plugs running down the spine. These plugs are used to connect the pilot directly to the cockpit module interior wall (i.e. to "plug in"). Once the plugs are connected, the pilot's A10 nerve clip is activated. The A10 nerve clip is attached to the pilot's head and is wirelessly linked to the plug suit, which is, in turn, linked to the Evangelion via the entry plug. The A10 nerve clip essentially connects the pilot's brain directly to the Evangelion's nervous system.
At this stage, the pilot is essentially suspended in the middle of the cockpit module. Once the A10 nerve clip is made active (via the ARC Control Platform), the cockpit module is then filled with a substance called stasis fluid. Statis fluid is slightly thicker than water and, when a small electric current is run through it, it becomes almost opaque. The statis fluid delivers oxygen directly to the pilot's lungs when breathed in. It also allows the pilot to move his or her limbs with far less resistance and, further, it acts to keep the pilot's body temperature relatively low so as to keep the heart rate down and to improve endurance.
There are no physical controls within the cockpit module. When the pilot and Evangelion have achieved optimal sync ratio, the pilot essentially "becomes" the machine. The pilot loses a sense of self and instead views the outside world as the Evangelion. This means that the pilot acquires the full sense of the Evangelion's sight and movement, including its weight and intertia. In addition, the pilot can feel pain when the Evangelion is damaged - although the degree of pain is very dependent on the sync ratio.
START UP PROGRAM
In order to better understand the above, please see the Evangelion Start Up Program below, which outlines the steps involved in fully-activating an Evangelion. It can take as little as fifteen minutes to activate an Evangelion or as long as forty five minutes, depending particularly on the pilot's sync ratio.
- Pilot changes into plug suit
- Pilot is connected to cockpit module
- Cockpit module is sealed
- Cockpit module is inserted into entry plug
- Entry plug is lowered into Evangelion (at the back of the neck)
- Secondary power is activated from ARC Control Platform
- Communication test
- A10 nerve clip is activated by ARC Control Platform
- Evangelion spinal column is sealed
- Communication test
- Pumps are heated
- Pumps are connected to Evangelion
- Cockpit module is filled with stasis fluid
- Vital signs test
- Statis fluid is electified
- Communication test
- Sync ratio test is conducted by ARC Control Platform
- Clamps are disengaged
- Primary power is activated
- Final systems test
- Evangelion is launched
While the entire process is monitored by the ARC Control Platform, some specific functions can only be controlled from that location.
Weapon configurations vary between Evangelions. All Evangelions are equipped with a default weapon, which is typically a progressive knife (a short dagger with an energy blade, usually holstered in a thigh compartment). However, this is not always the case - some Evangelions are equipped with different default weapons depending on their individual designs.
In addition to a default weapon, all Evangelions carry a secondary weapon, which will generally vary based on the particulars of the mission. NERV has developed over-sized rifles, grenades, rocket launchers and even tactical thermonuclear devices specifically for Evangelion use.
Also, it is worth noting that some weapons are purely mechanical (i.e. they must be manually loaded and fired by the Evangelion's own hand) while others use either independent energy sources or feed from the Evangelion's own power supply.
So, I've been thinking about starting a new RPG of my own for a while. I have had this idea for a long time about a mecha-type RPG involving high schools that double as military bases. Long story.
Anyway, that idea hasn't ever really formed into something concrete, but as I've been re-watching my favourite anime series again recently, I started thinking that it's pretty ripe for the RPG treatment.
I don't tend to like writing stories based on existing franchises because it's too easy to just produce a really vague and crappy imitation that tries too hard to have the exact same feeling as the original story.
For me, I'd like to avoid the more enigmatic elements of the series (especially the more extreme emotional rollercoasters). I am more interested in the literal stuff - as in, the history of the Earth, how the Evas work and the struggles between the different organisations (as well as, of course, the Angel battles).
I figure I'll throw this out there and just see if a) anyone's interested in this at all and b) if anyone has any ideas as to what the scope of the plot should be.
We don't seem to have had an RPG based on this series since around 2005...so it could be well overdue.