Thursday, March 13, 2014

Realistic Sci-Fi in AC3 - The Geofront

The scope of this post will be to provide a multi-angle view on the underground city of Geofront, supported by a complete visual coverage of this area, with pictures and videos completely revealing the Geofront. Topics explored include its place in the AC3 canon, grounding in reality and connections to other sci-fi works which also feature geofronts.


Saint Ark, northern Usea

Hard Data

While there's a bit of information on it in the books that I have and I'm sure there's an entry for it in the game's search files, it's all in Japanese and I haven't gotten them translated yet. Most important of all, there weren't any numbers or hard data that I could find on the Geofront, so I had to extrapolate the numbers myself with some good old gaming and a calculator on a winter Sunday afternoon.

Main Structure - City of Geofront

- it is square-shaped with each side about 35 km long
- height: 2km
- 1225 km2, 2450 km3
- 40 supporting pillars
- 6 aircraft access points
- 6 highway passageways

Note: while large enough to allow flying inside of it, no airstrips can be found inside of the Geofront. However, this does not eliminate the possibility for helicopters as a means of aerial transportation of cargo and VIPs inside the underground complex.

Access Tunnel

- length: could be anywhere from 90 to 100 kilometers in length
- height: 2 km

Note 1: dozens of blast doors can be found in this tunnel section, they ensure the safety of the Geofront population in case of flooding. There's a right side/left side configuration for incoming/outgoing traffic and groups of three, further inside the access tunnel, presumably for additional safety and traffic control.

Note 2: after navigating through second gate section, these other gates can be found on both sides of the bifurcation. If my count is correct there are a total of 8 such gates, 4 for the right-hand side and another 4 for the left-hand side. Their function and where they lead to is unknown, they could lead to cargo bays or be service entrances/exits for helicopters, who knows?


The Geofront features in the following missions:
- Mission 31 "Geofront Attack"
- Mission 46 "Pursuit"
- Mission 51 "Tunnel Vision"
- Mission 52 "Sole Survivor"

On all occasions, the Geofront is the place where the antagonists fly to in order to escape Nemo and its allies. Climactic dogfights occur inside the main structure but only in "Geofront Attack" is the Geofront destroyed, after its ten-part detonation system is triggered.

No fuss is made about General Resource's quick and easy decision to destroy its own city (!) as a means to stop the Night Raven. This can only mean that either the population had been already evacuated or the place was still uninhabited in 2040.

Worthy of note is how GR and Neucom fight inside the Geofront. For the sake of this argument I'd like to make clear that by this point Cynthia's Ouroboros path is now Neucom's once again as she is not only rebelling against Ouroboros but also receives critical support from Neucom's own Simon O. Cohen.

While Neucom, the leader in cutting-edge technology, employs its best "brain" to help in the fight against the Night Raven and Ouroboros, General Resource, traditional or even outdated by 2040's standards, quickly resorts to its "brawn" to try to defeat them. While the first beats Usea's ultimate enemies without any collateral damage, the second, lacking the technological know-how to efficiently handle such advanced adversaries, decides to sacrifice its own investment and an entire city only to see their misguided attempt fail in the end.

Present Day

Professors and students of the University of Kyoto are currently researching various topics, such as creation, preservation and risk management of underground space. Below you can see the outline for their Geofront System Engineering research.

I recommend anyone interested to visit their webpages here and here. The written English isn't the best but it's serviceable and shouldn't deter anyone from this fascinating peek into real reasearch for an actual Geofront. 

Sci-fi Connections

The concept of a Geofront has been around for quite a while and because it's still not a reality it's a perfect fit for science fiction stories. Here are some examples of other works that have featured geofronts:
- Patlabor TV Episode 19 "The Shadow of Geo-Front"
- Ghost in the Shell (manga and PlayStation game)
- Neon Genesis Evangelion
- The Matrix

Sources and References
- ACE COMBAT 3 electrosphere
- NAMCO OFFICIAL GUIDE BOOK ACE COMBAT 3 electrosphere (pp.9,105)
- ACE COMBAT 3 electrosphere MISSION & WORLD VIEW (p.166)