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Muv-Luv Unlimited and Alternative, as well as their associated side-stories, take place in alternate universes where the BETA were first spotted on Mars in 1958. They arrived on the Moon in 1967 and, after a brief conflict with humanity's space forces, invaded Earth in 1973. They quickly spread from their landing point, Kashgar, and proceeded to invade the Eurasian, Middle Eastern and Asian regions; when they finally reached Japan in 1998, 36 million people were killed within a week. By 2001, the world population was down to about 1 billion people.
The BETA vary greatly in size, with the smallest identified strain (Soldier-class) being around 3 meters tall, and the largest identified strains (Fort-class) at over 60 meters tall. They cannot fly, and the Laser and Heavy Laser-class BETA shoot down anything that does, rendering aircraft useless and making any aerial military operations much more difficult.
Their very existence is shrouded in mystery. All that mankind knows of them during Unlimited and at the start of Alternative is that they are (obviously) hostile, are carbon-based lifeforms (this was discovered when specimens were examined in Alternative 2), and do not consider humans to be living beings (this was found out through the readings of Soviet espers in Alternative 3).
During MLU/A it is revealed that only soldiers and eishi that have been officially commissioned are allowed to see the true forms of the BETA, which are classified at the highest level to anyone else. However, this is never elaborated on. During Chronicles 03: Rebirth though, the reason is revealed to be that because many of the BETA forms bear a resemblance to humans or have humanoid features, the general populace may fear them to be an out-of-control biological weapon developed by a rogue nation rather than alien invaders.
They have been likened to the space monsters from "Gunbuster" (and to a lesser extent, the Buff Clan in "Space Runaway Ideon"): their strength lies in their numbers and capability for a battle of attrition, and they are notable for being incredibly ugly in appearance, sometimes scaring even battle-hardened soldiers.
Combat DoctrineEditAs an alien force created for mining, the BETA center their strategies around total dominance with overwhelming numbers; the areas that they take are eventually mined of all possible resources, leaving a barren wasteland behind that is unfit for supporting human life for decades to come.
What allows them to not just stand toe-to-toe with humanity's forces, but to actually dominate them, however, are the Laser-class and Heavy Laser-class BETA. Their lasers can instantly destroy both air and ground enemy units from beyond visual ranges, and due to the fact that a typical low-threat BETA encounter would usually number several dozen Grappler-, Tank-, and Destroyer-class means that without air support, human armies would typically find themselves outmatched and outnumbered in a ground war.In addition, there is no real way to detect a BETA offensive from far off; ground-based sonic sensors and recon satellites are at the mercy of the weather and mechanical failure. The best defence is to have pilots being able to respond quickly and efficiently to a sudden incursion, and to quickly deal with an incoming force if it is detected early enough. During an offensive push by the BETA, expect to see several hundred to tens of thousands of Tank-, Grappler- and Destroyer-class, as well several Fort-class and dozens if not hundreds of Laser/Heavy-Laser-class BETA in the mix as well. The pie chart below provides a representation of BETA force composition in any major engagements. The BETA are usually commanded by the Superior, a BETA strain best described as a "biological quantum computer". This is the one true threat to victory in any engagement; the BETA in general can be lured into traps or defeated with clever use of tactics, but when led by a Superior, the BETA become noticeably smarter, to the extent where it understands the concepts of human tactics and will create ways to counter them.
Some basic tactics used by the BETA include tunneling from underground, often surprising defending forces from the rear, or from another front, creating opportunities for overconfident pilots to get trapped in a pincer maneuver. Often the main issue with combating BETA in any prolonged engagement is the threat of running out of ammunition, and the massive numerical odds; close-quarters combat is viable, but that would be playing into the BETA's area of strength, and is not encouraged unless as a last-ditch measure.
BETA force size organization, as is expected of their force composition, is several times higher than their human counterparts. To add to that, most major engagements take place with multiple corps-sized formations deployed by the BETA, as is their nature to rely on overwhelming numbers.
|Unit Type||Numerical Size|
|Platoon||30 ~ 60 creatures|
|Company||60 ~ 250 creatures|
|Battalion||300 ~ 1,000 creatures|
|Regiment||2,000 ~ 3,000 creatures|
|Brigade||3,000 ~ 5,000 creatures|
|Division||10,000 ~ 20,000 creatures|
|Corps||30,000 creatures and above|
Common BETA Strains EditMankind has identified several strains of BETA, of which eight have been identified to serve on the field, and the others placed in support roles of varying importance. Ultimately, these are only what have been identified and/or spotted on Earth, and there are probably many more strains not present.
At 2.5 meters tall, 1.7 meters long and 1.5 meters wide, the Warrior-class is one of the smaller strains of BETA, intended for anti-personnel roles and ineffective against TSFs. As they are extremely lightly armored, even handguns and rifles are effective on them. However, it is hard to actually hit them due to their agility, and once close their trunk-like arm has enough strength to easily pull a man's head off.
Ironically named "Soldier", this BETA stands at 2.3 meters tall, 1.2 meters long and 1.4 meters wide and is the smallest strain of BETA encountered on Earth. First spotted at 1995, the Soldier-class is solely anti-personnel and ineffective against both TSFs and mechanized infantry; its main aspect is its arm strength, which is several times that of an average human's. In contrast, its speed is less than stellar. However this rarely seems to be an issue as they are deployed en-masse, utilizing swarm tactics to leave no avenue of escape for their prey. Despite their size and strength, an adrenaline infused punch from an average built 16 year old boy is enough to make their frontal face turn ninety degrees. This means they can be dispatched by guns, knives, swords or other weaponry effective against regular humans. They also appear to be extremely quiet when moving, as there has been a case where they managed to sneak up on a veteran and fatally wound them.
It has been confirmed that they are made from recycled organic materials (i.e.- humans who were captured or eaten), but it is not specified if that applies to just this strain or to all BETA. Furthermore, it is unknown whether the vaginal-like opening in the lower body of the Soldier class is actually used for reproductive purposes.
The Tank-class BETA is the third smallest strain, measuring at 2.8 meters tall, 4.4 meters long and 1.9 meters wide. Infantry weapons are effective against them, but while it is lightly armored and classified as an anti-infantry unit, the Tank-class has gained notoriety as the smallest anti-TSF the BETA have; their physical strength and jumping abilities are prodigious and their powerful jaws can bite through even super-carbon, allowing it to easily catch and demolish vehicles and TSFs. In fact this species kills more eishi than any other strain.
The Tank-class rarely travels alone; encounters usually number in hundreds if not thousands, and more if they are part of a major BETA force, where they can constitute up to 40% of the entire swarm. They carry a distinctive smell of sulfur, are able to reach speeds of up to 80km/h, and can quickly cover a short distance by jumping onto a target; unless out of options, great care should be taken to minimize melee contact with the Tank-class, as they have a tendency to latch on until killed, by which time it is entirely possible for a major TSF component to have been bitten through.
At 3 meters tall, 1.2 meters long and 1.6 meters wide, the Laser-class BETA are some of the smaller anti-TSF units the BETA field, and are lightly armored to the extent where they can be easily taken down with 36mm cannons. Their giant eyes fire lasers that are effective against targets of up to 10 kilometers high and 30 kilometers from the where the Laser-class stands.
With the capability to track targets from 38 kilometers away, 12 seconds in-between each shot, and a perfect record of never hitting allied BETA strains in a crossfire, the Laser-class played an instrumental role in shutting down mankind's air superiority on the field of battle, and continues to be a deadly anti-air force to this day.
Due to the G-Elements required in their production, Laser-class are not normally produced by smaller hives. Their deployment at Kashgar in the early stages of the BETA war was an emergency measure. Although best known for their adaption to be used against human aerial units, they are primarily used to break down rock and materials.
Heavy Laser-Class Edit
Towering over the Laser-class at 21 meters tall (excluding the cooling wings), 15 meters long and 11 meters wide, the Heavy Laser-class is a larger strain with firepower to match. Their large size affords them some protection against 36mm cannon fire, necessitating the use of 120mm cannons for quicker kills. Their giant eyes fire lasers and are effective against targets of up to a mere 500 meters high, and a spectacular range of over 100 kilometers with 36 seconds in-between shots. Likewise with the Laser-class, the Heavy Laser-class shares the distinctions of never hitting allies in the crossfire, and requiring some time for its laser to reach maximum output.
As the Heavy Laser-class is G-Element intensive, it is not suitable for mass production like other BETA of similar size. However, their firepower is of several orders of magnitude higher than that of the Laser-class, and cases have been documented in Operation Ouka where HSSTs were shot down by Heavy-Laser class BETA from more than 26 000 kilometers away, during atmospheric re-entry, though it is unclear if that feat was accomplished by these strains or the newer Laser strains from Total Eclipse.
The Grappler-class measures 12 meters tall, 19 meters long and 28 meters wide with its claws spread, is armed with two extremely tough forearms, with hardness 15 on the Mohs scale, which they use to batter enemies to death, and can also act as shields against poorly-aimed weapons fire. Because of this, it is recommended that pilots attack from the sides to minimize exposure to danger, or to take advantage of its relatively unarmored body with precise shots and good tactical judgment.
While not particularly fast, the Grappler-class is considerably mobile and nimble in combat. It is the main BETA unit in battles against mechanized infantry and TSFs; in a group with the Grappler-, Destroyer- and Fort-class BETA, the Grappler-class usually numbers 60% of the total force. Despite its looks, the head-like appendage on its body is only a sensory organ; it is key to take this into account when engaging the Grappler-class, as just destroying the appendage will not kill it.
At 16 meters tall, 18 meters long and 17 meters wide, the Destroyer-class is the second main strain used by the BETA against mankind's mechanized forces. They have extremely tough frontal armor in the form of a partial body carapace, with hardness 15 on the Mohs scale in front. Underneath that covering are two small heads.
Due to that front carapace, it takes a ridiculously large amount of ammunition to break through from the front, well beyond what is acceptable for a single TSF to expend during an engagement on just a single target. In addition, their armor boasts a regeneration ability described as "phenomenal"; while not viable during the heat of combat, this means that a Destroyer-class left alive will someday return to plague its opponents again. The patterns on its shell are scars caused by tissue regeneration; a new Destroyer-class typically has an unblemished green front.
The armor on their foreheads is used as a weapon when they ram into enemies, and such attacks are more powerful than the Grappler-class' arms as the Ruitare can reach running speeds of up to 170km/h. However, their speed prevents them from turning quickly, giving pilots who manage to maneuver out of the way an easy kill; even 36mm cannons work if the Destroyer-class is shot at from behind.
A new mutant type of BETA, with several hammer-like hands which can hit and strike heavily and freely. It moves by jumping around at high speed, effectively making it a Grappler-class that jump; at short distances, this increased mobility can prove fatal to a TSF unit. It is therefore highly recommended to kill Hammerhead-class BETA on sight.
The Hammerhead-class first appeared in an official doujin which Kouki contributed mecha designs for, and is now officially used in Stike Frontier.
Towering above most things on the battlefield, the Fort-class, at 66 meters tall, 52 meters long and 37 meters wide, is the largest of the seven main strains; because of their large size, a TSF would require 120mm cannons or close-combat weapons to cut these behemoths down to size, with great care given to specifically target its joints or other weak points for maximum stopping power. Otherwise, the next option would be land artillery, or battleship cannons. It can attack with its ten legs, and those hits are extremely powerful; easily stabbing or bashing through a TSF with one hit. Each Fort-class also has a 50-meter long tentacle attached to its rear end, with a Mohs 15 stinger on the end which secretes an extremely strong acid; the stinger, which has been known to destroy naval warships in shallow-water combat, given the opportunity, can be launched as a projectile for a short distance or even swung around with a fairly high degree of control - a Fort-class is capable of accurately attacking targets to the side or even behind itself without hitting its own legs or body segments. They can also carry several smaller BETA of varying strains inside them; pilots should pay extra attention when around the corpse of a Fort-class (especially during the messy aftermaths of a large battle), as its occupants might be alive and well, waiting for a chance to strike.
As it is a rarely-sighted and unconfirmed strain, there is no official scientific/binomial name. Its first appearance was when a single, massive specimen, measuring at 176 meters tall, 1800 meters long and 176 meters wide, appeared inside the Original Hive during Operation Ouka, carrying an extremely large amount of smaller BETA inside of it. Its sound signature was identical to that of whenever the BETA were moving deep underground, which suggests that one of them is used whenever they do so. During its first appearance, it was identified as "unconfirmed large strain" (未確認 大型種/mikakunin oogata-shu).
The Carrier-type BETA are currently the most-seldom seen strain that is not part of a Hive structure; one is encountered by STF A-01 in the Kashgar Hive during Operation Ouka, while two Carrier-class make an appearance in The Day After during the Defence of Seattle; one retreats, while the other is destroyed in combat by the use of an S-11 Device. During combat, its size and outer body covering allowed it to resist battleship fire, making it one of the toughest variants of the BETA yet.
Special BETA StrainsEdit
The Superior EditSelf-Identification: 上位存在/joui sonzai
Known to humanity as Operation Ouka's "Target A" (あ号標的; A-gou hyouteki), and is also referred to as the Original Hive's core. The Original Hive's hive reactor, which resides in the main core chamber, surrounded by four halls. The Superior commands all BETA forces on Earth by communicating with each Hive Reactor present on Earth, relaying orders to the BETA via them. During contact with Yashiro Kasumi and Shirogane Takeru, it refers to itself as a "superior existence" (literal translation of "上位存在"), and to the lower BETA as "existences" (存在/sonzai). Despite being intelligent and the leader of the enemy of mankind, the Superior did not attack human forces until it itself sensed it's life was in danger. Even then, it sought to communicate with, and attempt to understand, humanity rather than directly kill the ones who attempted to kill it.
As the Original Hive is the only Phase 6 Hive on Earth, one possible theory is that this is the form reached by any Phase 6 Reactor. If this proves to be true, efforts to retake Luna and then Mars will be met with even stiffer resistance than that faced on Earth due to the existence of far more advanced Hives. Mars Zero is a prime example; a Phase 9 Hive and the largest on Mars, this gigantic Hive may prove to hold something far more terrible.
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More is known about the BETA from Takeru's conversation with the Superior at the end of Alternative: they do not consider humans to be life-forms because we are carbon-based, and do not think of themselves as life-forms. Further dialogue revealed that they are actually biological resource-harvesting machines created by a being known only as the "Creator" (創造主; Souzoushu), a silicon-based life-form, and so the BETA only consider silicon-based entities to be life-forms (the Superior states that it is impossible for carbon-based life-forms to occur naturally). The BETA consider humans to be resources to be recycled.
Also, there are apparently at least 10^37 BETA scattered throughout the universe. From what the Superior says, it sounds like this refers to the number of BETA, but Takeru takes it to refer to the number of Superiors; if it is indeed the latter, and each Superior has a number of BETA under it equal to that of Earth's, that would mean there are probably around 10^37+10^37x7^10 to 10^37+10^37x9^10 BETA in existence.
ReactorEditThe Reactors (反応炉), while not initially recognized as such, are actually another strain of BETA. One can be found in each Hive's main hall. It's primary purpose is to recharge the various lower BETA strains' energy, and to act as a life support system for captured carbon-based life-forms as well. It relays orders from the Superior, and is the equivalent of a field commander for the BETA. While a Reactor is alive, the Hive that it is part of can be considered "alive" as well, as are the BETA under its command; killing all of the BETA under it does not change that fact, and a captured Reactor will continue to go through the same growth phases as a normal Reactor would during Hive expansion.
Like the Reactors, the barriers (隔壁/kakuheki) are also another strain of BETA, although they do not look nor act the part. As large organic gates sealing off entry from the Original Hive's halls to the core, the Barriers are extremely big, at least 200 meters tall, allowing even the XG-70d Susanoo to pass through easily.
Its brain stem extends out from its main body, which are the organic gates. The brain is as large as a TSF and contains extremely high voltage; enough to kill a TSF pilot through voltage transfer via simple surface contact.
This BETA appears in the ending of Muv-Luv Total Eclipse (VN), and so far has no official name. It is a BETA with three sets of three Heavy Laser-Class "eyes" extended from a Fort-class' body. Fikatsia Latrova, Inia Sestina, Yuuya Bridges, and the rest of the Soviet forces present at the Battle of Evensk, during Operation Ouka, were sent to take down the Laser-Fort Class, which was attempting to shoot down the Susanoo and his escorts.
It also has two sets of the Fort-class' legs, making it dangerous to approach even for individual TSFs. The Laser Fort-class also has what seems to be a green variation of the Fort-class' Mohs 15 tail stinger, which may be connected to a 50-meter long tentacle, attached to its rear end.
Unlike the two other Laser-class strains, the Laser-Fort Class will shoot through other BETA.
This variety of weapons makes it the first strain of BETA capable of both long-range and melee combat. Based the 00 Unit's revelation about BETA data exchange methods and the information above, this strain may be the first BETA that was designed specifically to be a weapon from the outset, with humanity having unknowingly taught the BETA the concepts of weapons and warfare, rather than being a biological mining machine like the others.
The sentient, silicon-based species which created the BETA, the Creators (創造主/souzoushu) are technically not part of the BETA, and are regarded by the BETA as the only possible state of life able to exist in the universe. It is unknown as to whether this species still exists or not, as the Superior gives no time reference to the creation of the BETA. It also states that they are not in direct contact with The Creators, so it is possible that (a) this species is now extinct/abandoned the BETA, leaving their creations to mindlessly wander the cosmos, or (b) The Creators are advanced enough to monitor the BETA without requiring to communicate with them or (c) The Creators perception of time is different from the BETA due to the nature of their existence and such haven't seen it necessary yet to contact the BETA.
Hives are classified into different phases according to their size. The amount of time it takes a hive to move to the next phase varies depending on the hive. The largest hive on Earth is the Original Hive, a Phase 6 Hive, while the largest hive confirmed by mankind is a Phase 9 Hive on Mars. There are no hives below phase six on Mars. There are also numerous hives on the moon. A more detailed list of the hives on Earth can be found here.
Gates and the main shaft are constructed.
The main hall and drifts are constructed, and the monument is now 50 meters tall. The main shaft now extends 350 meters downwards from ground level, and the drifts extend for 2 kilometers around the Hive.
The monument is now 100 meters tall. The main shaft now extends 700 meters downwards from ground level, and the drifts extend for 4 kilometers around the Hive.
The monument is at 300 meters tall. The main shaft now extends 1.2 kilometers downwards from ground level, and the drifts extend for 10 kilometers around the Hive.
Phase 5EditThe monument is 600 meters tall. The main shaft now extends 2 kilometers downwards from ground level, and the drifts extend for 30 kilometers around the Hive. Once a hive reaches Phase 5, it can launch shuttle-like objects up into space. Mankind has been unable to determine just what those objects are, and can only tell from the trajectory that their destination is outside the solar system. It is revealed by the Superior that said objects contain resources, which would probably include G Elements due to their unique attributes.
The monument is 1 kilometer tall. The main shaft extends 4 kilometers downwards from ground level, and the drifts extend for 100 kilometers around the Hive. Took around 27 years to form on earth.
Phase 7 Edit
No data available.
Phase 8 Edit
No data available.
Phase 9 Edit
Largest confirmed phase on mars.
Phase 10 and beyond Edit
No data available.
A bio-organic structure used by the BETA to house the extracted brains of captured humans within a hive's Master Hall. The extent of the pod's functionality and how it maintains the well-being of the exposed human organs is unknown, but it is in some way connected to, and powered by, the hive's Reactor. The humans, despite being broken down to only their brain and spinal cord, are kept alive and fed various stimuli at the BETA's discretion. Dreaming has also been a noted phenomena the brains can experience, and in some way Espers are able to share and communicate thoughts with their human consciousness in this suspended state.
These pods are often arranged in collections of columns, made of rock and other hive building material, with the brains themselves resting near the center of the column, high above the hall's floor.
Some pods have been interred with human remains that include more than simply the brain and spinal cord, such as full upper torsos. They appear to be doubling as a type of storage, with the process of breaking down the body to mere organs already in progress.
Pods have also been observed capable of being "powered down", as seen in the aftermath of the Yokohama hive's takeover during Operation Lucifer. The blue luminescent material was seen to have dimmed considerably from its usual bright glow. These represent humans that have either had their life support "shut off" by the BETA on purpose, through external events (such as stress on the powering Reactor during said battle), or simply that the pods were not enough to keep the humans from expiring on their own.
- ↑ Integral Works, pg. 157, BETAの数の規模
- ↑ Integral Works, pg. 41, 闘兵級
- ↑ Integral Works, pg. 41, 兵士級
- ↑ Integral Works, pg. 41, 戦車級
- ↑ Integral Works, pg. 39, 光線級
- ↑ Integral Works, pg. 39, 重光線級
- ↑ Integral Works, pg. 39, 要撃級
- ↑ Diamonds are 10 on the Mohs scale, for comparison
- ↑ Integral Works, pg. 40, 突撃級
- ↑ Integral Works, pg. 40, 要塞級
- ↑ Integral Works, pg. 43, 母艦級