Exactly why are Marines on Mars/working for the UAC?

I always wondered that...what was their original purpose there? Under what legal/operational statute?

The Final Doom manual does mention that their job was "to prevent an alien invasion", having learned from the mistakes of the past and expecting monsters to teleport in (not that this stopped them from being pwned nonetheless when the alien ship in TNT: Evilution arrived). But no such thing was mentioned in Doom/Ultimate Doom (it is not clear if Humanity had made contact with aliens before, in order to justify protection from an external threat), while even Doom 3 remains unclear in this respect.

Doom 3 at least tries to conveys more of a "corporatocracy" overtone, with the apparent role of the marines being more akin to internal corporate security (....with CHAINGUNS and BATTLE ARMOR, really?), not to fend off external threats (which, as it's implied, were not expected at all).

Perhaps because of the close UAC-Military cooperation, their presence was deemed necessary...but then again, in Real Life militaries would just send a liaison/tech officer or two in a corporation with close ties to the Army, not establish an entire garrison on their premises. It's unclear if it's the UAC that controls the Army, or the Army that controls the UAC. Are the Marines there to just watch on the grease monkeys/scientists using taxpayers money? Or is the UAC using the army as a cheaper alternative to private corporate security?

Share this post


Link to post

An in-universe explanation, ignoring the fact that if there were no marines on Phobos there would be no game?:-

Security. Astronomically expensive equipment and extensive R&D which needed protecting from would-be terrorists and hijackers, whether they were the pawns of rival corporations or not. Imagine if CERN or something had very immediate military applications; wouldn't you want it protected by your own private army* if you were in charge?

*technically it's a naval presence, being marines. But nevermind.

EDIT: And yes, I've always been under the impression that the military was privately contracted.

Share this post


Link to post

The security angle doesn't really make sense since they are, after all, on a distant planet. Mars doesn't have a breathable atmosphere, and it's months away from Earth. If visitors come, you have time to see them coming; in fact you can intercept them before they leave Earth.

It doesn't seem like Mars City as seen in Doom 3 has a civilian population large enough to need space marines. In fact, it doesn't seem like space marines are needed at all, before the demonic invasion breaks through.

Massive quantity of porkbarreling seems like the only explanation for their existence. I guess austerity politics are over? Truly the most implausible part of the whole story.

DoomUK said:

*technically it's a naval presence, being marines. But nevermind.

Ah but they are space marine. I think they're mostly called "marine" because it sounds badass (and the term was popularized by Warhammer 40K), rather than to attach them to a particular branch of the US forces. They belong to the UAAF after all.

Share this post


Link to post

Yeah, it doesn't make sense. Really it's just a plot device to explain why there's lots of heavy weaponry on the base that the player can use. "Chainguns and rocket launchers? Oh, the site was being run by the military :o)"

Though I did like the explanation in Doom 3 for how the chainsaw got to be there.

Share this post


Link to post

Well, they make the best military equipment...imagine if competitors got their hands on their tech. Not to mention the martian sites. Perhaps they thought some were still alive and wanted to be prepared just in case.

Share this post


Link to post

I guess the one theory that might make sense is that the military tend to do things in a regimented, by the book way. Perhaps there's a general somewhere running the sites, following some dogmatic military protocol - all military projects must be guarded by military personnel, must have this equipment on site, must be supplied with these weapons, etc. But given the game's story, perhaps it's not such a bad idea after all :)

Share this post


Link to post

Aren't the UAC part of the military-industrial complex? Like, researching and producing transport and weaponry for the military? Makes sense to me that the military would guard their interests and possibly have men on hand to test and train with the new equipment as it is being created.

Although as I remember it, the marines were called out only after the Phobos and Deimos bases went dark after being invaded by an unknown enemy, which certainly would make sense given what I said above and the idea that the UAC are presumably very powerful and would have a lot of influence in politics. The dead marines scattered throughout are just a reactive force that Doomguy follows into the Hangar on Phobos after he realises being a perimeter guard for a load of dead comrades isn't the best use of his time. Why he didn't call for backup is obviously a bit of a hole in the plot, but real men don't need any backup. Just a good supply of ammo :P

Share this post


Link to post

The way I rationalized it (which is silly, since I'm pretty sure the writers didn't give this thought) was that UAC *was* the military. I think in one of the manuals they mentioned it was the biggest corporation in the world, so I imagined it as an entity so powerful that it probably fulfilled various roles of government and military, like CHOAM or Weyland Yutani.

Share this post


Link to post
Phobus said:

Aren't the UAC part of the military-industrial complex? Like, researching and producing transport and weaponry for the military? Makes sense to me that the military would guard their interests and possibly have men on hand to test and train with the new equipment as it is being created.

Although as I remember it, the marines were called out only after the Phobos and Deimos bases went dark after being invaded by an unknown enemy, which certainly would make sense given what I said above and the idea that the UAC are presumably very powerful and would have a lot of influence in politics. The dead marines scattered throughout are just a reactive force that Doomguy follows into the Hangar on Phobos after he realises being a perimeter guard for a load of dead comrades isn't the best use of his time. Why he didn't call for backup is obviously a bit of a hole in the plot, but real men don't need any backup. Just a good supply of ammo :P


Very much this. The UAC develop weapons tech, so it makes sense to have qualified personnel on hand to test them out. Expendable assets and all that.

As for Doomguy not calling in backup, there are a number of possibilities. It's entirely plausible that he figured that he may have been taken out by the time backup arrived, he may have been under orders to contain the threat, or his may have been the only/last platoon stationed on Mars. Granted, this is all speculation, but there's plenty to consider.

@Vorpal, I was thinking more OCP, myself ;)

Share this post


Link to post

I think it's quite plausible that they are there as security, defending the base from potential space war or space-terrorism (such as traitorous insiders who are trying to get their hands on UAC technology and use it against the rest of humanity).

I don't know, doesn't really make sense, what were they planning to use the BFG on? Wasn't there a part of the story in Doom 3 that revealed the UAC knew about the demons, which could explain the weapons/security.

Share this post


Link to post

Mars is the God of War. Marines are warriors. Therefore they must go to Mars. Also UAC is the Marines. Also if you take away the ine from Marines, they become Mars. And then UAC is also Mars. The demon invasion is a test done by Mars to find out who is the best Mars. And then the demons were also Mars.

Share this post


Link to post
Jimi said:

Mars is the God of War. Marines are warriors. Therefore they must go to Mars. Also UAC is the Marines. Also if you take away the ine from Marines, they become Mars. And then UAC is also Mars. The demon invasion is a test done by Mars to find out who is the best Mars. And then the demons were also Mars.


And then, John was a zombie.

Share this post


Link to post
BaronOfStuff could have said:

"No! I must fight the Mars!"
"No, John" the radio replied "You are the Mars."
And then, John was a Mars.


Alternative post, with a bullshit image to accompany it.

Share this post


Link to post

After seeing my name posted several times, I lost my train of thought...ack.

Share this post


Link to post

In my mind they were either glorified security or at least at the low end of the military. The story implies Doomguy is stationed there as a sort of punishment and there's usually no action. Doomguy is armed with just a pistol and sergeants with just shotguns. More advanced weaponary is on site but that's to be expected in a military installation. I expect the presence is primarily protocol on sites with advanced weaponary (disgruntled employees, internal sabatours?) and not forgetting their duties dealing with the crazies that they send through the prototype teleporters.

Share this post


Link to post
Phobus said:

Why he didn't call for backup is obviously a bit of a hole in the plot, but real men don't need any backup.

What backup? According to the official storyline (which nobody else appears to have read) Doomguy and his assault team are "the only combat troops for fifty million miles".

Share this post


Link to post
GreyGhost said:

What backup? According to the official storyline (which nobody else appears to have read) Doomguy and his assault team are "the only combat troops for fifty million miles".

That fills in that hole nicely, so that's pretty good :P

Share this post


Link to post

Why are they on Mars? For the same reason that the demons used the teleport technology to reach Earth, they wouldn't want enemy forces from Earthside using it to teleport to Mars and easily take over the bases.

Share this post


Link to post

Gez said:The security angle doesn't really make sense since they are, after all, on a distant planet. Mars doesn't have a breathable atmosphere,

Lack of air doesn't seem to be a problem; Doomguy's fine with just his helmet, and it's possible there's an artificial oxygen system for the important parts of Mars.

and it's months away from Earth.

Doom's fairly light sci-fi, (see: BFGs, teleportation, and the giant cyborg demons with rocket launcher arms) so who knows how hard it is to get to Mars?

If visitors come, you have time to see them coming; in fact you can intercept them before they leave Earth.

Evilution has a ship full of demons sneaking in by masquerading as the "yearly supply ship".

Share this post


Link to post

The audio logs and e-mails in Doom 3 also don't make much sense: the staff working there (even civilians, doctors etc.) routinely stock up on weapons and armor in their cabinets "just in case", even though somebody was threatened with a report to HR if he insisted on getting a Plasma Rifle, so it's not clear what the actual policy is. Maybe a kind of don't ask, don't tell?

For being -effectively- a closed society on an isolated world, the UAC has surely a bit too many paranoid members with a skewed sense of security.

scalliano said:

As for Doomguy not calling in backup, there are a number of possibilities. It's entirely plausible that he figured that he may have been taken out by the time backup arrived, he may have been under orders to contain the threat, or his may have been the only/last platoon stationed on Mars. Granted, this is all speculation, but there's plenty to consider.


You know there is One and Only One Truth behind Doomguy, Doom, and All The Rest.

Share this post


Link to post

The UAC is a contractor providing services and facilities to the military, as implied by the story.

For the last four years the military, UAC's biggest supplier, has used the remote facilities on Phobos and Deimos to conduct various secret projects, including research on inter-dimensional space travel.

By supplier, it's evidently referring to business opportunities and projects. It's saying the military used the UAC's bases to do research. Since they're working on secret projects, it's natural they'd want to install some security against possible rivals or pirates coming from Earth.

From what it says on Wikipedia, citing the director, the Colonial Marines and Weyland-Yutani Corporation relationship in Aliens is based on the Vietnam War. I'm guessing the id guys could have also been inspired by the Gulf War, but curiously the business and military combination end up similar to the Iraq War, which was more like Vietnam. Marines in dry lunar or hellish environments are akin to Marines going into the arid Middle East.

Share this post


Link to post
myk said:

The UAC is a contractor providing services and facilities to the military, as implied by the story.


Yes, but it's hard to say who's actually calling the shots, at times.

Is the military the real booty daddy of everything (behind the scenes), or is the UAC so big and powerful a corporation that the military -even if theoretically it is UAC's employer- ends up being its lackey, at least in day-to-day matters?

There's no doubt that the UAC actually owns most of the installations and infrastructure, and conduces most of the scientific research, and that they run things in a stereotypical "big organization" manner, while the military keeps a discrete, if not shadowy presence. Even in the original Doom it's all UAC signs that you see around, not USMC or anything else.

And yet, for all of its security/supervisory role, the military does not seem willing or authorized to step in even in the case of Betruger's experiments which severely affect security, instead requiring someone from the UAC (Dr. Swann) to come and check on him...followed by a personal, detached Marine bodyguard).

It could very well be that the UAC is, effectively, a different branch of the military or an entity with a "diagonal" hierarchic relationship: totally independent, with any interactions between being regulated by an upper body (e.g. the government, which in turn might be a puppet of both the army and the UAC... jeez).

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now