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  • One in the form of a novel, Robinson Crusoe written in the 1700s, depicts the main character starting survival naked on a wet, sandy beach with the threat of dangerous predators lurking around.
    • This is similar to survivors on the Island waking up naked on a sandy beach.
  • Another text, one of Jeremy Bentham's letters, describes a prison that has the possibility of having guards being able to see in every cell and at the same time, being unseen by the prisoners, giving the guards an invisible omnipresence.
    • In the ARK universe, this idea came into fruition in the form of the Homo Deus or something that HLN-A describes as ominous.
  • Erewhon, written by Samuel Butler in 1872, is a novel that depicts a now prevalent observation that machines are taking over more and more of man's roles in society and man becoming slaves to those machines.
    • This is similar to the real world where machines are replacing human workers and in ARK, the creation of Tek tier technology, the ARKs, and the Genesis Simulation.
  • The Coming Race, a 19th century novel written by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, has a story about an underground explorer finding a culture of creatures called the Vril-Ya that has a society that runs on Vril, an alI-permeating fluid that the Vril-Ya can control with their minds.
    • According to HLN-A, it describes the chemical to be similar to Element's hive mind control.
  • Questioning if one's reality is real is a common, universal mode of thought on one's self-awareness.
    • This mode of thought is seen in movies such as the Matrix series, and in the ARK universe, the Genesis Simulation is the culmination of that mode of thought by being a simulation and the ARKs gives a semi-feeling of being a simulation with its dome barrier.


A highly advanced material filled with energy, that either came from outer space, or deep down from earth. Humans discovered it during the 22nd century, and quickly became obsessed with this overpowered resource. Humans evolved quickly, and discovered/invented new technologies that were possible due to Element. However, Element turned out not just to be a precious resource.

The Element War

In the 22nd century, two superpowers had mastered Element-based technology (referred to as Tek) - the United Republic of Earth (URE) and the Terran Federation (Feds). For reasons that are still unclear, the two factions were inevitably drawn into a war that ultimately consumed them both. HLN-A described both nations strangely having identical cultures and ideologies and their conflict as two dogs fighting over the last scrap of meat on a carcass (maybe element). What they were fighting over is unknown but Santiago suspects the usual culprits for starting a war: politicians. Though not clear, people from both factions lived in the same countries as evidenced by Diana listing survivors of their affiliations which Mei Yin and Helena were not a part of, so they were labeled with "none" as their affiliation. According to Genesis Santiago, one of the causes, if not the main cause of the Element War was that the Terran Federation was putting heavy restrictions to discourage their citizens from putting on neurological modifications and interfacing with the unknown. From a report that was read by Nida, a Colony Ship dirt scientist, Earth at the time has become polluted and resources are dwindling. The same report says the Terran Federation wanted to use a new energy source (Element) for a grand engineering of Earth to repair and hack it while the United Republics wanted to use the same energy source as their rival to manipulate the human body and survive by becoming more than human. Santiago's death ended the Element War, implying that the United Republics of Earth won, but at a great cost. From Santiago's notes, the Element War lasted 16 to 17 years with tensions escalating two years before the start of the war.

Here is the timeline and some events of the Element War from Santiago's addendums:

  • Terran Federation operation dubbed "Project Hydra"- the Terran Federation automated the making of Element munitions on a massive scale.
  • Transhuman PuristGuard Conflict, Nubelgium- Year 2329
  • Transhumans Rights Riots- Year 2331
  • Operation Metal Rain- Where the Terran Federation did low orbit bombing that destroyed all of New Zealand's cities and any URE bases in it during the Element War. According to the addendum, the URE retaliated against the Terran Federation, but it caused the entire west coast of a country to be lost because of something.
  • End of the Element War- Year 2347
    • NeoUN is formed at Swiss, Western Eurasia
  • Element Crisis Conference at Nizhny, Eastern Eurasia- Year 2348

Before The Collapse

Aftermath of the Element War

During the war, the use of element-powered weapons began to heavily pollute the earth. The war on Earth soon took its toll as the polluted element became almost conscious/self aware, and element was revealed to almost be a form of living organism/flora with a hive mind personality with endless hatred, that only wanted to cause devastation and annihilation. Because of its self awareness, Element has begun to dig deep into Earth at Element-polluted battlefields. This was summarized by Helena's vivid dream of a purple figure (Element) clawing at bedrock where stone was crumbling beneath it (Element infecting the lower layers of Earth's crust) and spread through the ground like a vast web network. The transhumans from the United Republics of Earth have been trying to convince the leaders of the Terran Federation that Earth has grown terminally ill as if it is in an end-stage disease from something, most likely from pollution over the course of human history and the recent three centuries of Element pollution caused by the URE and Terran Federation.

Project Genesis

The URE was the first to notice the damage the two factions had caused with their war. Once the two factions realized the damage that they caused, and the greater threat of Element, they reconciled and worked together to focus on the real problem. They invested all of their effort on Project Genesis, a conjoined project that plans to preserve and restore all life without Element contamination. Both sides invested in their projects to rebuild nature and life: the United Republics of Earth decided to build the ARKs to help heal the poisoned Earth and the Terran Federation built the Colony Ship to find a planet with similar conditions to Earth. The humans and Homo Deus, who were transhumans at the time, worked together to construct the ARKs and the Colony Ship (Genesis Simulation) in an attempt to save life on earth from extinction. At the same time, these projects were highly classified due to moral and ethical issues that may impede the project. As a result, the general public was kept in the dark and had no idea that Project Genesis was taking drastic measures such as archiving every single human, and creating massive ecosystems to save all Earth life. From a news article addendum in Genesis Santiago's notes, the public only knows that their higher ups are "redirecting" their efforts to two projects: Project Atlas and Project Prometheus. At one point, the makers moved the ARKs and Genesis Simulation up into orbit over concern of the Proto-ARKs inhabitants being mixed with animals outside the ARK.

Because Project Genesis depended on either the Colony Ship or the ARKs to succeed and that both will take years to accomplish, Santiago and HLN-A noted that generations of people have put all their hopes and dreams in order for the mission to succeed. Santiago pondered about this as he was thinking on recruiting people that are willing to sacrifice their lifetimes and their children's lifetimes to see the Colony Ship's mission through to the end.

The Engram Reconstruction Project

A massive project that was done by the Terran Federation humanists and the United Republics of Earth transhumans, its purpose is to hold and record every engrammic matrix, or the minds and personalities of every single known human in Earth's history into an archive. Both the Colony Ship and ARKs will hold a copy of this archive to allow them to repopulate the worlds they will inhabit respectively. Genesis Santiago notes the project is so indifferent that if the whole world found out about efforts to archive every human into an archive, a multitude of organized mobs and riots will try to shut them down.

The project also became disturbing to some of the initial Colony Ship crew members. The transhumans made engrammic copies of the crew members in the archive's database regardless if they consented into being archived or not. When Santiago did random searches on the engram archive database, he found something disturbing that he noted he will never unsee: the engram archive team under Yongki somehow meshed two distinct identities together that became the result of a person that never existed in human history. Yongki, the archive director and friend of Santiago, found that his family had been archived regardless if they said yes or no to consent.

The Farm

A Proto-ARK that is up in orbit, the Farm stands as the basis in design for the artificial biomes and the many prehistoric creatures that are native in the ARKs and the Colony Ship.

Here are some quirks of the Farm that later applied to the ARKs:

  • It is labeled as a terraforming system- This is soon seen through the Reseed Protocol.
  • It can speed evolve lifeforms
  • It has a memory engram learning system.
    • The One Who Waits described this as the ARKs being able to adapt to the new situations.
  • AI Control of all the Farm systems
    • AI control module that can work with a 98.257% efficiency.
      • This will become the Overseer in all the ARKs.
  • The ARK has a maximum occupancy space of 78% for all its lifeforms.
    • Any occupancy that exceeds its parameters will cause the ARK to destroy the source of the abnormal population growth.
      • This is seen when the obelisks of Scorched Earth destroyed the settlement of Nosti as the settlement grew into a city.
  • The Farm will have habitants that will have conflicts with each other, as indicated with 99.452187% chance of having conflicts.
    • This is seen through the tribal events of the Island and Scorched Earth.

The Collapse

By the end of the Element War, Element grew to critical masses at alarming rates. The entire planet Earth collapsed as Element spread across the planet by first digging roots deep into its crust, enabling it to create Titans to ravage everything in sight. On top of that, natural disasters ravaged the environment and killed a majority of the inhabitants. In the aftermath, both the URE and Terran Federation collapse, and very few landmarks and monuments remained intact, with most traces of the old world consumed by rapidly-growing veins of Element. Notable surviving landmark is the city of Sanctuary, the Proto-ARKs of Extinction, and Arat Prime, according to Nida, is the location of a high light speed link between Earth and the Colony Ship. Most notably, Earth's rotation has stopped for some reason, causing certain locations on Earth to have constant day, constant night, and a twilight zone. This is summarized in Helena's abstract dream in her Extinction explorer note #25 about a purple figure (Element) ripping a red molten heart (Earth's core) from another stone figure. When the heart stopped beating, shadows (Titans) rose from the purple figure and began to destroy everything.

The ARK in-lore story begins hundreds of years after The Collapse, when the ARKs begin to malfunction. Explorer notes indicate that the ARKs have remained in orbit far longer than 646 years.


ARK is a space station intended to house living organisms such as  Human, Creatures, and Plants. These ARKs were launched prior to a global-level extinction event in which Element wiped out Earth's Human population. They are incredible feats of human engineering, kilometres-wide mobile space stations housing vast vaults of genetic information, cloning devices, and terraforming technology. In their dormant state, they wait in Earth orbit, simulating a diverse ecosystem by controlling onboard climate and animal populations. The dome that protects this false ecosystem from the void of space also doubles as an artificial horizon, masking the station's true nature with a blue sky and an artificial day/night cycle. Humans are deterred from reaching the edge of this artificial horizon by methods that look like natural boundaries. On The Island, inhabitants are contained by an encircling sea of dangerous predators. On Scorched Earth, this is accomplished by cultivating Deathworms.[1]

For an unknown period of time, the ARKs awaited an activation signal from Earth. The stations are programmed to perform a controlled descent in response to this signal, touching down on the planet's surface. On landing, containment force fields and artificial horizons deactivate, unleashing the ARK's inhabitants. Each station is a giant seed built to bloom over the Earth's wasteland, its terraforming systems sweeping away the Element infestation.[2] Its terraforming systems are triggered by an order called the Reseed Protocol that calls the ARKs to return back to Earth's surface. However, the Reseed Protocol is blocked by another piece of criteria: the Element Toxicity Rating.

Curiously, although designed to repopulate the planet, modern Earth species are almost entirely absent from every known ARK. Their creators used each model as a whimsical genetic playground, featuring new species that are either heavily modified or completely fabricated. Scorched Earth, a desert ARK, is a breeding ground for wyverns and other fantastical monsters. The Island, the closest known ARK to a 'pure' Earth ecosystem, features modified versions of animals from across prehistory unnaturally mixed together.

The ARKs' strange quirks do not stop at their animal populations. Their builders discovered a hidden part of the brain called an 'engrammic matrix', which stored information in some human bodies even after years of decay. Personalities and memories were recreated for people who had been dead for centuries or even millennia.[3] These people were set loose in the ARKs with no idea of where they were, or how much time had passed.

Every human that is on the ARK has a strange implant in their left wrist in the shape of a prism. This implant somehow acts as a medium between two languages by translating the speaker's language to the listener's language so the listener completely understands what the speaker is actually saying.

With the defeat of the King Titan and the activation of the signal, every single ARK descended to Earth, including the Aberrant ARK with Rockwell and a station full of corrupt Element.


ARKs are powered by the  Obelisk, and each ARK contains at least one Guardian. In-game, the power of the obelisks are shown in the Extinction ending cutscene when the obelisks and their station released enough energy to cause a shockwave that levels the nearby remains of the city of Sanctuary. The obelisks beginning to shine brightly is similar to what happened in the Scorched Earth city of Nosti as both Raia and John Dahkeya notice that the obelisks are shining brighter than normal, and humming with more energy at a much greater intensity before the city sank into the sand.

Homo Deus

Homo Deus, meaning "god-man" from the Latin roots, are conscious entities that watch over the ARKs. According to HLN-A, they are energy-based beings who live in a tangential reality and were an option of escape for humanity. The technology of Element, the Genesis Simulation, and the ARKs were likely developed from the same principals; and thus the Homo Deus were capable of integrating with the ARKs. These beings can rarely resurrect  Human. A notable one, The One Who Waits/Helena, guides the survivor through The Island, Scorched Earth, and Aberration to Extinction. With Element prolonging the ARK's time in orbit, this caused the Homo Deus to lose themselves. Helena is the last Homo Deus whose mind hasn't crumbled yet. Homo Deus have a number of abilities:

  • Being able to see the entire universe behind what Helena describes to be a pane of glass.
  • Overall, their ability to see so much at the same time helped those who built the ARKs.
  • Have power that tends to the ARKs in which all of them share to balance all of them.
  • Can interact with the physical world by touching survivor's minds and making things to help them. Helena leading Diana Altaras to Mei Yin and making HLN-A are perfect examples.
  • Have the ability to be present in many places at once, seeing millions upon millions of things at once with the highest detail possible
    • After Helena ascended to Homo Deus, Helena had been present in many places at once
      • Helena doesn't know how much time has passed while testing on survivors in the ARKs so they can cheat death.
      • Helena had been guiding Mei Yin and Diana to Arat Prime.
      • Helena has been guiding the player all the way down to Extinction.
      • Helena appears in front of the survivor and somewhere else on Earth where the sun is rising since the player sees the sun is setting.
    • Helena noted that she doesn't know how much time has passed ever since she has ascended. Where a typical person lives a day, her ability to see and experience entire time streams (i.e. the beginning to the end of the universe) as singular moments may have allowed Helena's human mind to live millions of millennia in a single day. This is likely what causes the Homo Deus to lose their sanity, as maintaining a singular persona within non-finite experience requires great effort and energy.
  • Acting as energy sources for the ARKs
  • Have near-perfect knowledge of the universe.

In Genesis, HLN-A notices that the Homo Deus technically don't exist in the physical world anymore and have their own plane of reality, a reality Helena describes that few can ever reach. Even Helena suddenly disappeared for an unknown reason. In the Island's space station at the end of the Tek cave, the third planet hologram with the Dead Earth being highlighted in red has another hologram across it that has a description that states that the Homo Deus are considered endangered.

It is worth noting that not every human using the Genesis technology became Homo Deus. Some prerequisite seems to exist, but it is tastefully undisclosed. The only clue on who becomes a Homo Deus is from Santiago's Mek Pilot Evaluation on Helena Walker, the only mek pilot in-lore that has maxed out every synchronization gauge. The reason she became a mek pilot was her highly advanced nervous system where it can process information at a much higher rate.

In Genesis: Part 2, many Terran Federation explorer notes explain that Homo deus were referred to as "Transhumans" in the past and they were mainly from the United Republics of Earth. From Genesis Santiago's notes, his higher up, Uma, was a transhuman that can download any skill that she wants. It is also revealed that the Homo deus/Transhumans have a strict mindset that Santiago describes where people involved in Project Genesis must do whatever it takes no matter the cost to succeed and sacrificing themselves and their livelihoods for the greater good. From Uma's point of view, the ends justified whatever means were necessary.

Genesis Simulation

While the ARKs simulated environments in analog, the Genesis Simulation was entirely virtual. Housed aboard a colony ship[4] it was built to train passengers in preparation for arrival, without waking them from hibernation. Genesis was designed by the same group that built the ARKs. Both projects seem to have developed concurrently, with lessons learned from one feeding into the other. For example, the Magmasaur was originally tested on Scorched Earth's ARK before being restricted to the Genesis Simulation,[5] but it was a Genesis Simulation experiment that ironed out the behaviors of dinosaurs for The Island.[6]

Both technological marvels improved each other with their mutual relationship. When the ARKs have an issue in how they operate, the builders go back to the Genesis Simulation and apply the conditions inside the simulation in order to safely know how to resolve the problem. This process can be the reverse when the Genesis Simulation glitches out and it needs the ARKs to resolve its issue.

The first simulation prototypes were obviously artificial collections of geometric shapes.[7] From humble beginnings, Genesis was built into a technological marvel rivaling even the great ARKs, in a more compact package. Its design focus changed several times over development. Remnants of code from older versions still linger, causing glitches.[8] Older versions of the Genesis Simulation included pleasant environments such as a shopping center.

Brain-machine interfacing and virtual reality technology became advanced enough to create an environment almost indistinguishable from the real world. Building on the ARKs' technology for manipulating the Engrammic Matrix, Survivors could even edit their own minds, though this functionality was left out of the final version after it proved addictive and destructive.[9] According to HLN-A, the creators decided to leave a person's mind unedited and unaltered.

A storage unit for a human's mind and body is found deep inside the Genesis Simulation, or rather, on the colony ship, where the Genesis Simulation is residing in. This technology is applied to the ARK's storage unit as described by Helena when spotting what appears to be massive tube tanks containing humans deep inside the station on Aberration. The Genesis simulation has an early version of a piece of technology that can store a personality and put it into a body that was later applied to the ARKs. This result of the technology can be seen during the in-game's respawn mechanic.

According to HLN-A, she described that before the collapse, the Genesis Simulation was one of many simulations that students used to routinely learn their classes, most notably online sciences by wandering around the given simulation's environments. It was also a vital research facility where social science researchers such as psychologists and sociologists are enjoying the sight of seeing every possible human interaction.

The current version of the Genesis Simulation has five simulated environments: Bog, Moon, Ocean, Snow, and Volcanic. Anti-contamination codes work to keep elements of one ecosystem from crossing over into another. They simulate extremes biomes that can greatly impact Earth as a whole. However, these extremes are not found on Earth in its current hazardous state.

Upon beating the Corrupted Master Controller to escape the Genesis Simulation, the player wakes up from their storage unit on the colony ship and notices a specimen implant that is dubbed a "Terran Ascension Implant". How the Terran Federation is involved with the Genesis Simulation is unknown. In Genesis: Part 2, the Genesis Simulation is housed on a Terran Federation class starship.

Dinosaurs, Mythologial, Sci-fi Creatures, Genetically Modified Organisms, and others

In Genesis: Part 2 lore, the in-lore creators of the ARKs and the Colony Ship were constantly considering what lifeforms they were going to bring into their habitats. From Santiago's point of view, the entire team can't possibly recreate every single form of life that existed, and they decided to backup as many as they can, whether the creature is extinct or currently living. Some of the creatures may have made a possible balance in ecosystems and that it doesn't make sense on how some civilizations in the past may have survived a natural disaster. Santiago asks a what if whether pterasaurs were living when humans were starting to domesticate animals.

From Helena's perspective, the creatures on the ARKs are all creatures of prehistoric, mythological, and sci-fi origin. The Island has genetically modified versions of their original selves. Most of the Island creatures are several times larger than their original counterparts, the triceratops having Styracosaurus frill horns, the stegosaurus having 16 pairs of plates and 6 smaller pair of plates, and the dilophosaurus having its movie famous small size, frills, and poison spit. On Scorched Earth and Aberration, the exclusive creatures are of mythological or sci-fi origin. Wyverns, Reapers, Rock Elementals, Basilisks, and Phoenixes are prevalent examples.

In Genesis: Part 1, HLN-A noted in a chronicles note that the creators of the ARKs and Colony Ship not only looked up information about dinosaurs, but also about creatures of mythological, and sci-fi origin to have more creatures. According to HLN-A, humans surviving alongside dinosaurs worked so well as a simulation that it worked just as well in the real in-game world for a strange reason. This explains that all the ARKs have creatures that are mostly dinosaurs. When the dinosaurs were a simulation experiment, HLN-A says that the creators sorted out the dinosaur behaviors in the simulation and those edited dinosaurs were brought to life on the ARKs.

As recent as Genesis: Part 2, HLN-A reveals that some of the creatures are the result of genetic modification that was caused by humans using Tek gene manipulation technology to alter organisms to have traits of more than two creatures. This was done as to expand on more creatures for humans to be experimented with. Some examples of this include the ARK manta, being a combination of two types of rays in the Manta family, the morellatops being a combination of an iguanodon, ceratopsian, and a camel, the dodorex being a combination of a dodo and a rex, the triceratops having frill traits of a Styracosaurus, the seekers that have traits of many tentacle creatures of prehistoric, and mythological origin, maewings being a combination of a Platypus, a flying squirrel, and teats, and the shadowmane having the body layout of a lion, but the appearance of a lionfish.

On Extinction and Genesis, there are creatures that are either natural or genetically modified by Element, allowing them to have abnormal powers that can be done by Element. They were present in-between Earth's collapse and the Arrival of the Colony Ship at the habitable world. According to HLN-A from a Genesis: Part 1 tidbit, the ARK creators moved the Proto-ARKs up into orbit to prevent creatures from both outside and inside the ARKs to interbreed, but the damage had been done as many generations of interbreeding leads to the snow owls, managarmrs, velonasaurs, gachas, and gasbags that are on Extinction. In Genesis, the Astrocetus and the Astrodelphis are some of the creatures that live naturally in the space between the Eden and Corrupted Garden Ring.


With the Genesis Simulation technology near perfection, the creators of the ARK moved to phase 2: creating prototypes. Proto-ARKs can be found on Extinction. Unlike the environments that were sent up into space,  Human and Creatures can freely enter and leave the Proto-ARKs. When entering or leaving, a de-materialization effect will occur. They also have a prototype obelisk in their center that powers the ARK. Those obelisks helped the builders of the ARK to figure what will power the ARKs while they are in orbit. The only problem the Proto-ARKs have is a dome that allows creatures to walk in and out of the ARKs. This was solved by making the dome strong enough to prevent creatures from getting in or out.

3 Proto-ARKs can be found throughout Extinction, two of which are operational:

The Crater Forest was a failed experiment. This underground forest was formerly an operational, forest-themed Proto-ARK but sunk into the ground. It seems to have no borders. This implies that the ARKs need a boxed-in area.

The Desert Dome was an experiment that had improvements since the ARK now has a metal ring, a circular area, but has a massive hole and some ARK structures being exposed. This might imply that the ARKs need solid ground that has very few cave systems underneath it.

The Snow Dome was an experiment that might be the foundation of all the ARKs since it has no exposed structures, few cave systems, and holes. Now all that is left for building the ARKs is making the barrier far sturdier so survivors can't exit, more, larger obelisks to power the ARK, a wider area for the ARK, and systems that can carve, and move the chunk of land up and safely down orbit.

Arat Prime

Arat Prime is a mysterious location on the far side of Earth from Sanctuary City, somehow related to both the ARKs and the Genesis Simulation. In modern times, Turkey's Mount Ararat is associated with the story of Noah's Ark in the book of Genesis. In Christian tradition, the mountain is considered the final resting place for the Ark.[10] The conspicuously similar name of Arat Prime may be a hint as to the facility's purpose. Messages scattered across the games imply that Arat Prime may be the mountain's inverse - a launching platform, not a landing site. To date, most information concerning Arat Prime comes from encrypted messages scattered across Sanctuary, readable by those wearing a Tek Helmet.

  • "A7 priority communication received. Arat Prime is locked down."
  • "Arat Prime is locked down. Emergency launch initiating. Proceed to nearest shelter."
  • "Arat Prime has gone silent. Launch was not confirmed."

Exactly what might have been launched from Arat Prime is still speculation. Notably, the final cutscene of Genesis: Part 1 reveals that the Genesis Simulation is located on a colony ship traveling through space.[4] This might reveal, that Arat Prime might not just have been used to launch the colony ship, but may also be used to beam/transfer peoples minds/consciousnesses to the Genesis Simulation onboard the colony ship, or to a sleeping clone body on the ship. As another possibility, people that get sent to the colony ship via Arat Prime might just get a new body/vessel fabricated for them. Going by that all of this is true, what we see in the start of the Genesis part 1 Announcement Trailer, may be Arat Prime.

According to Diana Altaras, Arat Prime was being referenced by the bunker she and Mei Yin found to show information how Element can command the Corrupted horde with troop movements, and any artificial entity made by Element can spread it anywhere they go.

With Earth currently not rotating, the area around Sanctuary had constant exposure to the sun, giving an impression of constant day. Since the location of Arat prime is on the far side of Earth, it would experience the opposite: constant night.

According to HLN-A, Diana and Mei Yin made it to Arat Prime, where they sent Helena inside the Genesis simulation to make HLN-A.[11]

Arat Prime when translated into Latin is called "Primus Aratra". Primus means "first" and Aratra means "plow". Put together, Arat Prime means "The First Plow". Based on what its name means, the technology on Arat Prime will play a pivotal role with all of the ARK's Reseed Protocols where Arat Prime acts as the plowing tool to make the ground ripe for growth, and the ARKs act as seeds that plant themselves into the ground.

According to Nida, Arat Prime is a location that has a superlight speed bridge via Genesis Simulation to connect the Colony Ship with Earth.

The Colony Ship

A massive ship with a Terran Federation Logo that is the setting of Genesis: Part 2, the Colony Ship contains ring worlds that depict the most accurate picture of humanity's peak ingenuity and technology through Tek tier. According to Rockwell, the ring worlds are a treasure trove of so many advanced scientific discoveries that are so groundbreaking, the known boundary between biology and technology is about to disappear.

Having 2 ring worlds attached with one of the rings slowly being corrupted and overtaken by Rockwell, the interstellar spaceship is traveling through the galaxy, looking for a habitable earth-like planet. Estimating that the ship was launched from Arat Prime, it's safe to assume that it was built and launched by the Terran Federation during or just before the element apocalypse. It was sent with the hope of people finding a new planet to colonize (unlike the ARKs purpose of healing earth again, proposing that the colony ship was made as a backup plan, in case the reseed protocol never initiated).

The Colony Ship supposedly also had a operational crew born from generations of humans that were launched with the ship. However, most of the crew got slaughtered when Rockwell began to overtake the ship. According to Nida, the remaining crew members went into hiding but it is uncertain if they put themselves in pods or Rockwell drew them out. Nida's fate is uncertain as according to Gabriel, she escaped Rockwell as based on his howls of anger when she fled. Her whereabouts are unknown, but it can be assumed that either she was the last crew member to die by Rockwell's hand or she listed herself as dead to cover her tracks and hide somewhere in the ship where Rockwell or HLN-A wouldn't think of. How Rockwell got onboard is unknown, but a fair guess is that after the broken aberration ARK crashed onto earth in extinction, Rockwell made it to Arat Prime where he beamed himself to the ship in deep space. Following these actions, Helena also sends the survivor to Arat Prime to be beamed to the ship/simulation as well, in the company of a fraction of herself that was residing in the Genesis Simulation, HLN-A.

The Arrival

An event that occurred once the Genesis Colony Ship approached Arat, HLN-A mentions the Genesis Simulation on the colony ship keeps participants under constant pressure to prepare them with survival skills in anticipation for the upcoming event. This is also mentioned by Helena in the Genesis part 1 announcement trailer.

Genesis part 2 ends with the colony ship and its Rockwell-corrupted ring exploding once the survivor was sucked out of the Colony Ship from the bridge. However, the un-corrupted ring gets left behind and starts launching pods with survivors down towards another earth-looking planet named "Arat" as revealed in the second Ark 2 trailer. Arat is the planet seen at the end of Genesis Part 2, and where the story of ARK 2 will take place. This is "The Arrival".

With the Arks going back to earth and the colony ship colonizing Arat, we can say that both projects eventually succeeded to perpetuate earth life.

ARK ll

After beating Rockwell in Genesis part 2, the whole ship aside from the Eden ring, explodes. The Eden ring however, begins to launch pods with survivors including Santiago down to Arat. According to Santiago, this is, "Just the easy part".

ARK ll will be setting place on a alien planet called Arat, part of a solar system far away from earth in the galaxy. It will act as a direct sequel to Genesis: Part 2, lore wise. Very little is known about what is going to happen, and what new lore ARK ll will have in store for us. We know that it will be featuring a clone of Santiago da Costa.

It will also feature some “orc/goblin” looking creatures named Aratai, which are native to the planet.

Notably, there is a possibility the survivor from ARK 1 meets Santiago in Ark II, due to the fact that in the Ark II trailer, there is a drawing of HLN-A on a wall, hinting that the survivor most likely made it down to the planet, and being pretty much the only one knowing about HLN-A (and the obelisks from the ARKs, which is also drawn).


While the chronology of events can be easily inferred, the passage of time between events is rarely specified. In particular, it is not known how much time has passed between the events of the story detailed within Explorer Notes and the initial appearance of the Ultimate Survivor within the ARK System. Both the ARK Initiative and the Genesis Ship measure time in cycles, but it is also not known if both systems use the same day-length for cycles. At least insofar as in-game mechanics: one day on The Island is represented by 60 minutes of real time, while one day on the Genesis Ship is 30 minutes.

Here is an approximate list of events in chronological order:

  1. The events before the end of the world and the construction of various survival strategies.
    • The ARK Initiative
    • The Genesis Project
    • Homo Deus Program
  2. The end of the world.
  3. Between 235,659 and 6,127,114 cycles upon the ARKs, which are assumed to represent artificial days after the Earth became tidally locked and thus estimated as 645 and 16,787 years.
  4. The events detailed within Explorer Notes that occur before Helena's arrival.
    • Diana, Mei Ying, Gaius and the other characters on The Island.
    • Raia and John on Scorched Earth. Based on the amount that Raia aged during her time upon Scorched Earth, it is likely that these events happened before any of the events described on The Island.
    • Various lesser characters on Aberration.
    • Nida and Gabrial aboard the Genesis Ship.
  5. Helena arrives on the Island ARK and the events detailed within The Island's Explorer Notes.
  6. Helena arrives on the Scorched Earth ARK and the events detailed within Scorched Earth's Explorer Notes.
  7. Helena arrives on the Aberation ARK and the events detailed within Aberration's Explorer Notes.
    • Diana arrived first.
    • When Li Mei Yin arrived, it was 1355 days or 3.7 years since Diana's arrival.
    • When Helena arrived, it was 1898 days or exactly 5.2 years since Diana's arrival.
    • Within a month:
      • Helena, Mei Yin, and Santiago destabilize the obelisks.
      • The Rockwell Incident
      • Completion of the Gateway Project (2 weeks before it was finished)
  8. Helena arrives on Earth and the events detailed within Extinction's Explorer Notes.
  9. Helena becomes Homo Deus in her last Explorer Note under that name, whereafter she is taken to Arat Prime by Mei Ying and Diana. Helena goes by ??? and The One Who Waits hereafter.
  10. Mei Ying and Diana beams Helena aboard the Genesis Ship from Arat Prime, which has been travelling through interstellar space for at least as long as the ARKs have been in operation.
  11. Helena encounters Nida aboard the Genesis Ship and creates HLN-A, before departing from the Genesis Ship. It is implied by HLN-A and Nida that Rockwell's Glitches began appearing at the same time as HLN-A.
  12. At least 3000 cycles aboard the Genesis Ship pass, as that is HLN-A's age according to one of Nida's notes.
  13. A survivor is awoken from the Genesis Simulation in order to deal with Rockwell Prime aboard the Genesis Ship.
    • It is unclear what correlation there is between the passage of time within the Genesis Simulation and the real world aboard the Genesis Ship.
  14. The defeat of Rockwell Prime causes irreparable damage to the Genesis Ship, which begin the process of ejecting life pods toward the nearest planet.
    • It would be reasonable to assume that this planet was not the intended target of the Genesis Ship, if any specific target was ever selected in the first place.
  15. The future events of ARK 2.

At some point, The Ultimate Survivor first appears upon the Island ARK and makes their way back to Earth following the same path as Helena. The Ultimate Survivor defeats the King Titan and meets The One Who Waits, who begins the Reseed Protocol - bringing the ARKs back down to Earth. In the post-credit scene, it is revealed that the Aberrant ARK was also returned to Earth and that Aberrant Rockwell survives.

It is unclear whether or not Helena encounters The Ultimate Survivor on Earth before she is taken to Arat Prime, or whether she returns to Sanctuary City after creating HLN-A to wait for The Ultimate Survivor, or even if she is capable of being in multiple places at once as a transhuman being. The One Who Waits states that she has waited a long time for The Ultimate Survivor - whereas Mei Ying and Diana would have only had the rest of their lives to reach Arat Prime and beam Helena aboard the Genesis Ship.

  • Rockwell is only known to have made it to Earth after the events of Extinction and the defeat of the King Titan. For him to have appeared aboard the Genesis Ship at the same time as HLN-A, it would be necessary that he was present at Arat Prime when Mei Ying beamed Helena aboard. This could imply that Mei Ying was still travelling to Arat Prime as The Ultimate Survivor made it back to Earth and defeated the King Titan, and may still be alive in the present day. This would imply that The Ultimate Survivor was hot-on-the-heels on Helena throughout the game - and that the events of the Explorer Notes occurred only shortly before the Ultimate Survivor's arrival. This would appear to be contradicted by The One Who Waits and the significant state of ruin that many of the former settlements appear in within the game.
  • With the reveal of Santiago at the end of Genesis Part 2 and within ARK 2's teaser trailer, it is possible that the Rockwell aboard the Genesis Ship has no continuity with the Rockwell that arrived back on Earth. The Genesis Ship's specimen database may have contained its own copy of Rockwell, which is certainly supported by Genesis 2 Chronicle #13. This might be contradicted by other Genesis 2 Chronicles wherein Rockwell recalls events that transpired during the ARK story, although Santiago is quoted as saying "Respawned again" - implying that specimens retain knowledge across instances, even across lightyears of space.
  • Nida and HLN-A both indicate that they are unaware that the ARK Initiative was successful - meaning that either Helena kept that information to herself, or it had not happened yet when Helena was aboard the Genesis Ship.
  • In the Genesis Teaser Trailer, Helena is depicted as creating HLNA for The Ultimate Survivor and beamed them both aboard the Genesis Ship. However, this cutscene was edited upon the expansion's official release - it no longer features Helena; HLN-A now refers to the player as a new survivor; and the events of the trailer are now contradicted by the story detailed within Nida and HLNA's Explorer Notes.
    • In-game transfers aside, it is subsequently unclear whether or not there is any continuity between the survivor in the Genesis Simulation and the Ultimate Survivor back on Earth. Even if the two survivors are distinct, it is possible that—like Santiago—both survivors are based on the same specimen. HLN-A refers to the Genesis Simulation as cultivating The Ultimate Survivor in preparation for The Arrival, which would mean that our player is destined to become The Ultimate Survivor whichever path they take.

Any chain of events that places the events Arat Prime before the conclusion of Extinction lacks an explanation for the origin of Rockwell aboard the Genesis Ship, but placing Arat Prime after the conclusion of Extinction introduces its own issues. It can only be confirmed that Mei Ying and Diana left for Arat Prime before the Ultimate Survivor arrived - as indicated by Diana's 29th and 30th notes.

If The One Who Waits is not exaggerating when she says that she has been waiting a long time and an alternative explanation for Rockwell is found, this could imply that the creation of HLN-A and the events aboard the Genesis Ship happened long ago relative to when The Ultimate Survivor appeared on Earth. The post-credit scene for Extinction could be intended to imply that the story for Earth is not over, and that while we defeated the King - we also brought down his replacement.

Other pages that have lore

The Island

Scorched Earth



Genesis:Part 1

Genesis:Part 2


Lore Survivors