Hawken Story and Lore
Hawken Story and Lore by Neverm0re
The story behind hawken is rather…vague, to say the least. We are given bits and pieces, but never the full picture. This leaves a lot of room for interpretation, but that is not what this guide is for. This guide is here to tell you the cold hard truths that hawken and the creators of its various media have given us, and have them compiled in one, convienient spot. Being a free-to-play online first-person shooter, story obviously wasn’t their first concern, but it is there, and it has potential.
Hawken takes place on a planet known as Illal, a once verdant, utopian planet now ruined by industrialization, war, and the Giga-Structure. Originally colonized to take advantage of its enourmous reserves of natural resources, three corporations finally came out on top of the financial dogpile: Prosk, Sentium, and Crion. These corporate entities were allowed to conduct their business seemingly without checks, far from the eyes of many of their competitors and all government balances. Through a thus-far unrevealed event Crion collapsed, and in doing so released the Giga-Structure (also known as the Hawken Virus). As the virus spread across the surface of the planet and the planets once-endless stock of resources began to deplete, the riches citizens evacuated en masse’, leaving the Illalians unable to afford evacuation to fend for themselves. As the two remaining corporations compete for the dwindling resources and the Giga-structure spreads farther and farther, bipedal mechs and their pilots become the go-to tool for furthering the various agendas that threaten to tear Illal apart.
Illal is the planet on which the entirety of the hawken experience takes place. Not much has been revealed about the planet beyond some rather basic information. Illal is boasts a breathable, non-toxic atmosphere and hosts large quantites of precious materials (one given example being a mineral called Cavorite), which was what drew the companies and fortune seekers who eventually settled the planet. We can extrapolate that, due to the similar gravitational effects we see on objects like grenades and on the mechs themselves, Illal is close to earth-size (or is larger/smaller and less/more dense, but this is less likely), and thanks to Operation Frostburn we know that the planet experiences seasons. The UTA, or the United Terran Authority, has put into place a planet wide quarantine, effectively cutting the planet off from outside interference from the government and other corporations.
The Giga-Structure, also known as the Hawken Virus, is a self-replicating nano-virus released by the event which caused the collapse of Crion. Visible as metallic patches (most likely due to a mechanical, nano-bot nature), the Giga-Structure covers approximately one-third of the planet’s surface. While not harmful to mechs, slower moving objects like buildings and highways, and even biological entities such as trees and cattle, have all been shown to be susceptible to the virus’ spread. So far, no known method of combating the spread of the Giga-Structure has been shown, forcing a mad scramble by both citizens and corporations to the unaffected areas of the planet.
Very little is known about the three coporations that control the happenings on Illal. These corporations, Sentium, Prosk, and Crion, came to Illal as part of the massive boom caused by the terraforming and inhabitation of the planet. Through the resulting corporate in-fighting, these three entities came out on top. Goverment oversight was more-or-less non-existant, so these three were able to design, test and produce various technologies uninhibited, which eventually led to the collapse of Crion and the release of the Giga-Structure. The event that cause Crion’s collapse was never revealed, though in the Hawken: Genesis comic series, it is hinted that all three corporations were involved in attempting to contain the accident. In a recent development, a new fuel source has been developed (its creator remains unnamed) known as Vitrolium. Created by refining vermin (most likely referring to rodents) droppings that contain giga-structure particles using an unknown chemical process, Vitrolium is an amazingly potent fuel that has caused renewed fighting between Sentium and Prosk and promises to be a central focus of many future conflicts.
Since the war for resources and territory began, the weapon of choice have been bipedal mechs piloted by humans. These mechs take many different shapes and perform many varied functions, but they all share one attribute: Weaponry. Designed as machines of war and taking the place of vulnerable infantrymen, mechs have become synonomous with the constant struggles that take place daily across Illal.
Using the Prosk L3 Piston Body Type, the berserker is a nightmare for those who face it. Fast, agile and sporting several highly effective weapons such as TOW Rockets and the Point-D Vulcan, these mechs are often spotted scavanging the wreckage of heavier M-and H-class mechs (Known as B- and C-Class to the Hawken Community). This platform’s designer, Professor Arnoff, based his core concept on insects from his home world stating, “I am not a god, I can only hope to mimic their creations.”
The L5 Boot, frequently found on Infiltrators, was the first prototype light walker ever created. Outfitted with clusters of oxygen tanks and a hermetically sealed shell, it was able to withstand the extreme conditions of Illal better than anything before it. Very early versions of the Boot were built from organic materials, but as the design changed with each layer of development new mods quickly replaced such outdated systems. In many ways this first creation was a herald of the battlefield to come; modern parts were swapped out, rebuilt, swapped out, and rebuilt again. What you see before you was made to survive in the worst climates the universe has to offer, and bring death.
The L2 Spree is common among Reapers not only for its rouge-like style, but also for its surprising flexibility. Mobile, yet offering tremendous stability, it is ideal for assignments which require venturing alone outside friendly territory. The reaper is a mid-long range sniper, sporting weapons based on those used by the longer range Sharpshooter.
The L2 Moke was first produced to help offset the heavy cost of war. Knowing that Scouts rarely returned from reconnaissance missions, the design recycled parts from salvaged shuttle wreckage scavenged from the dead zone. This model was eventually updated to a more streamlined version, but the iconic cylindrical fuel canister style cockpit was preserved and is often outfitted as tribute to the brave Scouts who gave their lives during the course of battle.
The M4 Brommens, now found on Assault mechs, was originally created to excavate Illal’s hazardous mines. After the cost of tunnel collapses began to rise the corporations found they could frequently save their equipment (and the pilot) if they outfitted them in a walker. The Brommens offered both physical protection and a way to dig the pilot out, although the psychological ramifications of being buried alive often lingered with the pilots long after. Even after it was pressed into combat service much of the design of this mech
remained the same; you can still notice semi-obsolete features throughout the mech, such as the flood lamps located just to the left of the cockpit.
The M2 Hiefram, often found on Bruisers, is frequently known as the cheese grater – not because of the optical grill over the cockpit, but because the Hiefram has a tendency to grind enemies into thin strips of metal and flesh. Hiefram are often seen in frontline service, and are cheap enough to manufacture that they are usually just left on the battlefield instead of repaired.
Known lovingly as ‘Screen-Head’, ‘TV-Mech’, or ‘Microwave’, the M-D Fred was one of the first mechs deployed post Nano-Virus. Although Fred is made efficiently to minimize cost of valuable components, it is surprisingly versatile and powerful. Those who underestimate what a trained pilot can do with this mech may find themselves whispering the words ‘Fuzzy Bunny’ just before death.
The M4 Res, frequently found on Sharpshooters, was originally conceived to be a fast-moving foot soldier. The chassis was created with the concept of offering pilots a variety of front shield attachments to allow the Res to change roles almost on the fly. It was quickly discovered that Type-C Heavy mechs were significantly more suited to this type of work, so over time the Res got moved further and further from the battlefield’s front lines, eventually finding itself as the Sharpshooter’s mech of choice.
The H1 Heppten, a.k.a. The Brawler, is nothing short of a walking tank. It is easily identified by its reactive armor plates and turret based gun-cam, but most often remembered for being near indestructible. Standard S deployment includes these walkers near middle and rear of the combat formation. Heppten engines are highly complex, which makes them extremely difficult to clean and maintain. It has been stated that it is “Easier to rebuild a new bot from scratch than make these beasts work.”
Inspired by long dead insects, the Brass H1 was highly effective in the early days of the war. Originally the entire frame was fully plated, but it was found that enemy ordnance rarely hit the only weak point on the walker – the neck. To save on weight the Brass now relies on a network of tightly woven fibers make up the mech’s central coupling. This engineering change has saved countless lives – just pray you’re piloting one of the new versions.
The H2 Domoff, also known as ‘The Dog’, is the oldest Type-C Heavy model currently in production. The Dog is an absolute nightmare to maintenance crews; mud and grime frequently clog the leg shields, and mud and grime are frequent on Illal. Well-conditioned Domoff mechs, however, are some of the fastest Type-C Heavy mechs available, which is why they aren’t fully taken out of production. The war always continues, and all we can do is live, learn, and keep rolling. ‘Engineering flaw if I dare say’ – Lt. K.
Historically, Sentium ground forces were advised to keep a look out for the signature heart shaped cockpit and iconic wedge of the H3 Cupcake. Unyielding and relentless, only the royal guard of Prosk high command made use of these monstrosities. All transmissions involving ‘Cupcake’ were considered to be wild speculation. That all changed after a leaked communication regarding the existence of the Cupcake caused riots among the pilots – they all wanted the Cupcake for their own. Special versions of the H3 Cupcake, known as The Vanguard, were created for rapid, close-range riot control. When the angry mobs start picketing, call out the Vanguard.
For now this is all we are given concerning the world of Hawken. If I missed something, don’t hesitate to tell me and I will include it as soon as I possibly can. As more information is brought to light, this lore guide can and will be updated to best reflect what we know about the game and the world of Illal.