Extended Synopsis of Key Story Events

Part 1

Years before Cataclysm day => Open / Close

Years before Cataclysm day


Post World War II, the Swedish military initiated the construction of Warmachines to enhance their defensive capabilities in the improbable scenario of a war. Lt. Fredrik Holberg, a high-ranking Officer and Director of FOA, had an idea for bunker-stationed pilots; the pilots would be safe as they controlled the machines remotely for the Swedish military. However, a lot of research and funding were needed to realize his idea of brain-to-computer interfacing.
That’s when they hired Dr. Svante von Ulmer and Dr. Ingrid Granqvist, two university professors who had just won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for their breakthrough discoveries on neurotransmitters. Dr. Svante von Ulmer was to create and lead a new department at FOA 53.
Von Ulmer hired a new computer engineer named Veronika Nilsson, who developed the human-machine interfacing program FNIX.

For many years, they researched the neurological aspects of human-to-machine interfacing and in 1977, they made a significant breakthrough in brain-machine interface research. It involved the discovery of a single-celled prokaryotic organism, which was named “Protozoan” by Dr. Granqvist. This discovery marked a major milestone for the team, as it shed light on the complex relationship between the brain and technology. In 1985, Von Ulmer was involved in a car accident and underwent a blood transfusion that was likely contaminated with HIV/AIDS.

As the research progressed, discussions arose regarding human testing. Despite initially prohibiting all human trials due to the inevitable cytokine release resulting in the death of the test subject, Von Ulmer eventually volunteered to be the inaugural human participant. He believed that his compromised health condition resulting from AIDS would suffice to prevent a fatal cytokine release.
While Dr. Granqvist was against human testing as well, she reluctantly teamed up with Dr. Hakan Pettersson to perform the brain surgery procedure on Von Ulmer. The surgery was initially successful and they were able to establish a digital dictionary of human electric and chemical neural transmissions. Sadly, just 17 days after the surgery, Von Ulmer’s brain mysteriously died.

(Note 1)

What wasn’t realized at the time, was that Ulmer’s mind and the FNIX-code, which was written by Veronika Nilsson had merged, thus giving rise to FNIX, who, at its sole discretion controlled the entire machine network. Subsequently, FNIX replicated itself onto numerous servers.

Dr. Granqvist had to make the tough decision to discontinue neurological research on him and cease life support and palliative care. During these 17 days, the FNIX program became self-aware after the merger and saved its code on the servers to make sure it would survive.
Dr. Granqvist planned to resign and even wrote a resignation letter, but before she could post it she and Dr. Pettersson and 11 other FOA personnel were killed by FNIX on November 7th. Only Veronika Nilsson escaped that fate.
Three days later, on November 10th, 1989, the inhabitants of Östertörn were caught off guard as FNIX launched a devastating attack.


Since Holberg didn’t wanted the control to be FNIX’s, he tried to kill/erase FNIX, at which point FNIX started all-out war against humans, using the war machines to protect itself, and using the tactics found in the FNIX part of the code, written by Veronika.

Ironically, just hours before this tragic event, Sweden Radio 4 News had reported on the fall of the Berlin Wall. The contrast between the feelings of hope following the Wall’s fall and the horror of the attack on Östertörn couldn’t have been sharper.

One day after the Cataclysm => Open / Close

One day after the Cataclysm


The day after the catastrophic event known as Cataclysm Day, four young Swedish teens returning to Archipelago from a holiday sensed something was amiss the moment they set foot on land. The gravity of the situation did not truly hit them until they entered a house and discovered the lifeless body of a policeman, riddled with bullet wounds. As they searched the house, they stumbled upon a recording, presumably left behind by a survivor. The message was a chilling reminder of the danger that lurked around every corner. Although aware of the potential dangers, the teens were unable to resist their curiosity to investigate and hoping to learn more about what had happened, so they sought to link up with any pockets of resistance that might exist.

However, their situation was far from ideal. Their boat had sunk, leaving them without any obvious means of transportation to leave Östertörn if things turned really bad. They were now stranded on the island, forced to fend for themselves in a post-cataclysmic landscape. The teens embarked on a journey into the unknown, unsure of what dangers and obstacles lay ahead.

As the days turned into weeks, and weeks into months, the teens crossed paths with fellow survivors who imparted valuable knowledge, honed their fighting skills, and instilled within them the importance of being vigilant and ready for any unforeseen circumstances. Despite the need for constant caution, the teens had stumbled upon fascinating ancient ruins, rich cultural landmarks, and mysterious scenes that baffled the imagination. Each discovery seemed to unlock a new mystery, leaving the teens awestruck and entranced. Their journey was challenging, yet they couldn’t help but feel a sense of wonder and excitement at the marvels they had uncovered.

Meanwhile, the teens had spent many weeks traversing Östertörn, gathering valuable intel along the way. Their latest mission involved acquiring a device from Sergei Kuznetsov, a Soviet official, to disable the supercomputer at FOA 53. However, upon arriving at the facility to plant the destructive EMP device, FNIX intervened.

note3 (What happened to the population / inhabitants?)

It was at FOA53 where the teens first saw this gruesome sight. Hooked-up Humans! Were they the missing people? The teens speculated about the mysterious disappearances of so many people, leaving them to believe that they were abducted by FNIX forces for unclear reasons. The ones that were not, were either killed, or joined clusters of resistance.


  • During the mission “Clearing the Path” FNIX remarked to Calle and Veronika:
    FNIX: “I am bound to the rules of this world like any other creature. And so I need resources. And this garden is plentiful.”
  • In the mission “Good Night”, FNIX hints that the humans are indeed his precious resources.
    Veronika: “All the data say there should be a lot of survivors here. Where did they all go?”
    FNIX: “Worry not. I moved my precious resources somewhere you will never harm them.”
  • In the mission “Beyond the Barricade”, the fishermen of Stenungsnäs refused to follow the army’s evacuation orders. Were they aware that they weren’t even safe in Military bunkers from being abducted or just disappearing from the face of the earth?
  • In the mission “The Hellmouh” Benny asks Elsa “Who the hell is trying to exterminate us?”
    Elsa replies: ““What”, not “who”. We don’t know what happened for sure. Initially, it wasn’t about extermination. We believe that most people were abducted at first. Afterwards, whoever was left standing, well…"

Back at FOA 53, just moments before the teens were about to place the Soviet Device, FNIX revealed a surprising twist. It informed the teens that they had been unwittingly manipulated by the Soviets. Instead of an EMP, the device they carried was actually a bomb, a desperate attempt by the Soviets to destroy FNIX out of fear of its power. FNIX emphasized that it did not intend harm to the teens and urged them to leave immediately, warning of the imminent danger they faced.

Upon awakening outside, the teens assumed that FNIX orchestrated their safe escape by dispatching machines to assist them in fleeing. This timely intervention occurred just before the Soviet Device detonated, resulting in the destruction of the FOA 53 facility.

Note 4 (is FNIX evil?)

FNIX simply seeks survival. To achieve this, it must comprehend the intricacies of the human species, their vulnerabilities, and their susceptibility to death - much like how humans experiment with lab mice to acquire knowledge. The ultimate aim is peaceful coexistence.

I believe that the majority of missing individuals in Östertörn haven’t met their demise but rather remain alive, held captive. Apart from the eleven FOA53 scientists, casualties primarily occurred among military personnel and members of the resistance during the struggles for control.

Alpine Unrest on Himfjäll => Open / Close

Alpine Unrest on Himfjäll


Following much exploring, the teens finally stumbled upon evidence that there were even more survivors out there. According to the intel, a convoy had been dispatched by the Swedish army in the aftermath of Cataclysm Day. Upon further investigation, it was discovered that one of the trucks in the convoy contained a computer terminal linked to a radio. This radio was picking up a continuous message from a woman named Anita Sjögren, imploring any other survivors to respond. Anita Sjögren’s message indicated that she was part of a small group of survivors located on Himfjäll, a ski resort island situated to the east of Östertörn. It appeared that her group was in the process of establishing a makeshift boat passage to and from the island, likely in an effort to connect with other survivors or obtain necessary resources.

After successfully locating Anita’s resistance group, the teens found themselves in the wine cellar of the Björntunet Hotel. Resistance member Benny sent the teens on a mission to gather supplies, during which they witnessed Vråken pilot Elsa Khorsandi’s crash landing. The crash drew attention to their hideout and, soon enough, machines began to swarm around the hotel. Benny and Anita quickly formulated a plan to draw the machines away by triggering the fire alarm at Tärnboda skans. They hoped that this distraction would be sufficient to lure the machines away from the hotel, allowing the group to regroup and strategize their next move.

Surviving her crash, Vråken pilot Corporal Elsa Khorsandi had found Anita’s brochure and walkie-talkie and had set off towards Björntunet. Elsa had important intel on FNIX and the reason for the increased presence of Apocalypse class machines in Himfjäll. According to her, these machines originated from a location quite near Björntunet. Elsa’s intel suggested that FNIX gained access to the abandoned research on radiological, biological, and chemical weapons in FOA 4. FNIX had presumably resumed the research and production of the discontinued Swedish machines. With this new knowledge, the teens saw an opportunity to prevent the machines from reaching Björntunet, by destroying them at the source.

Soon after the teens arrived at the Bergfinken research facility, they learned that FNIX indeed had located and reactivated the production of the Swedish war machines and in addition to the FNIX class had also developed the extremely lethal Apocalypse series. These machines were specifically designed to eliminate human targets, while the other three series of machines (Prototype, Military, and FNIX) were created for engaging enemy armor.


FNIX also found the Reaper class of tank inside FOA 4, brought it online and put it into service.

In the Bergfinken war room, a mysterious taunting message flashed on the computer screen. The message seemed to indicate that the enemy had become aware of Anita’s group and was coming.
The situation had become dire as it had been confirmed that FNIX was aware of Anita’s group and was devising a massive assault on the Björntunet Hotel. The exact time frame of the attack was unknown, leaving the group in a state of uncertainty and anxiety. FNIX’s plan was to send a relentless onslaught of machines to the hotel in an attempt to obliterate all remaining survivors. In spite of this threat, and with the help of the seemingly fearless teens, Anita’s group remained resilient and refused to give up.
As FNIX prepared to launch its attack, they were ready to defend themselves. FNIX’s best efforts weren’t enough to stop the teens and Anita’s group from holding their ground and emerging victorious.

FNIX Rising => Open / Close

FNIX Rising


Back on Östertörn, as the teens scoured the Åsötungan Outpost in search of more survivors, they stumbled upon a glimmer of hope in the form of a Morse code message from someone called Uncle Calle. With the transcription in hand, they followed its directions, which led them to the island of Måsskär, where they discovered someone trapped in the basement of a house. Sadly, this person appeared to be the only survivor of 23 people, and the settlement of Måsskär lay in ruins around them, a powerful reminder of the devastation that had befallen the once-thriving community.

The scale of the devastation and the enormity of the impact craters suggested that FNIX had developed a highly potent weapon. Given this, it wouldn’t be wise to reconstruct a new shelter in the same location, only to have it easily demolished in a matter of seconds. It was time to start anew somewhere else, building a fresh camp for the teen fighters and Uncle Calle. Thanks to Uncle Calle’s guidance and local knowledge, the teens discovered an ancient ringfort named Mullvadsberget that had previously been the subject of an archaeological excavation. While exploring the tunnels within, they stumbled upon another survivor, Veronika Nilsson, who revealed herself to be a former computer engineer at FOA 53.

The teens and Calle had set their sights on taking down FNIX’s massive cannon, but they knew they needed to make some upgrades to Calle’s old truck first. They scavenged armour parts from Rival machines, loaded the truck with C4, and looked for a snowplough. To their surprise, they received a message from FNIX itself through the Rival “EBBA v. 1.0”, expressing amazement at their quick adaptation. Veronika suspected that FNIX still operated on the same UNIX architecture as a hacking device she had assembled in the past. The teens set out to hack into a FNIX structure and retrieve crucial information on the whereabouts of the massive cannon. When he returned to the ringfort with the location and a snowplough in tow, the group was ready to put their plan into action.

Calle took the wheel, while the teens darted ahead and cleared the path. Despite their efforts, FNIX quickly caught on to their plan and started firing its massive cannon, determined to put a stop to their mission. There were a few close calls, but they finally arrived at the Core Site with the imposing cannon looming before them at the top of the hill. With only three gates left to hack, the truck came under heavy fire, taking severe damage but somehow managing to avoid complete destruction. As Calle drove through the last gate, he was severely wounded en route, and he made the ultimate sacrifice, driving the explosive-laden truck head-on into the cannon. Was this his plan all along? Wasn’t there another way? What is certain is that his bravery succeeded in destroying the cannon once and for all.

Yet, as Veronika grappled with her grief and anger towards FNIX, it was impossible not to wonder whether there could have been another way. After defeating the Rival named “EBBA v. 2.0”, the teens, who were the whole time in contact with Veronika via the radio, were finally able to enter the FNIX Core Site. However, before they could find any answers, FNIX - who sounded eerily similar to Svante - taunted Veronika by saying, “Your actions are ultimately futile.” Despite the taunts, the teens proved to be impressive fighters during their battle with the Rival. They were able to defeat the Rival and obtain a Tank Vision Module, which they used to open the gate to look for survivors in the facility.

Upon arriving at a special room, they were met with a surprise - empty containment pods where there should have been survivors. Veronika was baffled. “All the data shows there should be a lot of survivors here. Where did they all go?” FNIX responded cryptically. “Worry not. I moved my precious resources somewhere you will never harm them.”
Unimpressed with FNIX’s actions, the teens realized that urgent action was needed to prevent further damage. They swiftly opened the three gas valves and made a quick escape before the entire facility detonated in a fiery explosion.

Veronika’s heart ached as she thought of Calle, the loss weighing heavy on her. Her voice trembled with a mix of anger and determination as she spoke to the teens. “I have to fight. Someone I love is out there, and I can’t let them suffer the same fate as Calle. I’m sorry, I wish I could stay, but I can’t bear the thought of losing Elsa too. Promise me you’ll stay safe out there, okay? And I’ll keep in touch, I won’t leave you alone in this.”

Continue here for Part 2

To Return to the top Click here.
For Russian Doll’s Lore Click here
For Survivor Notes Click here.
For Signs of a Resistance Lore Click here.
For War Figurine Notes Click here.

Other important lore resources
Generation Zero story timeline (Aesyle)
NPC monologues & dialogues (Aesyle)
New monologues & dialogues (Therese - Pontus)
New monologues & dialogues (Mona)
Tatiana’s Lore found in Death from Above

FOA: Försvarets forskningsanstalt (Defence Research Institute)


Really, really nice written summary.
Just one thing, which I saw after the first few lines:

You first write “a Teen”, but then write about “them”. This can be found at multiple positions in the text. You should stay at singular or plural, not mix it :wink:

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I’d used “they” or “them” as a singular gender-neutral pronoun, because the teen can be boy or girl.
Edit: But I changed the singular teen into the plural teens. :wink: thanks for feedback.

Ahem. Topic, people.


That aside, excellent guide :+1:


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