THQ and Gas Powered Games' Supreme Commander remains one of the most anticipated games of 2007 thanks to its huge scale and pedigree. Considered to be the spiritual heir to 1997's acclaimed Total Annihilation (both games were designed by Chris Taylor), Supreme Commander will feature gigantic battlefields with the idea of putting the "strategy" back into real-time strategy. It will also feature intense combat, futuristic units, and plenty of nuclear explosions. What's not to like?
Of the three factions in Supreme Commander, the one we know the least about is the Aeon Illuminate. The Aeon forces are barely glimpsed in the videos and screenshots of the game released thus far, as much of the focus has been on the United Earth Federation and the Cybran Nation. But now we have some of the first details regarding the history and background of this mysterious faction.
Like the Cybran Nation and the UEF, the Aeon Illuminate is a human faction, though it's one that's heavily influenced by alien technology and philosophy. The roots of the Aeon Illuminate go back to the second great human expansion into the galaxy, when the Earth Empire settled a large number of newly discovered worlds. On the planet Seraphim II, however, humanity encountered the first intelligent alien life.
Unfortunately, as happens to be the case in these situations, tragedy unfolded. Trent Smith, the human commander, ordered a violent crackdown on the aliens. This was completely unwarranted, as the aliens followed a philosophy of peace and love. However, it was believed that Smith had a psychological flaw in his character that led him to such belligerent behavior.
Not all the colonists obeyed Smith, though, and a small group made friends with the aliens and learned their ways. This included advanced research into quantum and temporal mechanics. These humans also were exposed to the aliens' peace and love philosophy and became enamored with it.
Fearing that the aliens were brainwashing humans, the Empire attempted to eradicate the aliens. To the Empire's surprise, the aliens responded with highly advanced war machines based on their technology. A stalemate followed, only to be broken by a devastating viral weapon unleashed on the aliens. With the end at hand, the dying aliens taught their "way" to their human allies. This included a vision of the future with the galaxy torn apart by war and life on hundreds of worlds wiped out. The human sympathizers realized that following the alien "way" was the only way to avoid such a future, and so they adopted the philosophy wholeheartedly.
Thus, the Aeon Illuminate was founded. It is a faction with the ultimate goal of peace, but also one that believes that this message of peace must be spread by any means necessary. It may sound hypocritical, but the Aeon believe that if they fail then humanity will destroy itself. Thus, the only way to instill universal peace is to eliminate disparate beliefs and replace it with the "way."
2679 - The newly enlightened humans from Seraphim II inform the Earth Empire that it must adopt their "way" in order to prevent galactic catastrophe. The Empire responds by establishing a quarantine around Seraphim II and dispatching military forces to put down the revolt and recover the alien technology.
2679.3 - EarthCom military forces on Archon VIII, a border world near the quarantine zone, report civilian resistance. Soon, other border worlds are in revolt, and contact with those worlds is lost.
2679.8 - Contact with all EarthCom forces in or near the quarantine zone is lost. To prevent the revolt from spreading, the Empire destroys all quantum gates near the quarantine zone.
2812 - The Earth Empire has more than doubled in size with the establishment of new colonies. However, EarthCom is stretched to the breaking point. Already busy with the Cybran revolt, EarthCom is forced to pull forces away from the Aeon quarantine. The Aeon take advantage and break out of the quarantine zone.
2817 - The Aeon launch a coordinated strike on nine worlds. EarthCom rallies and contains the offensive, but cannot make any headway against it. Both sides settle into a war of constant skirmishing along this front line.