The world of Arknights is called Terra, and is alternative to our own with several major key differences.
The world of Arknights is constantly plagued by natural disasters called Catastrophes. Its cause and origins are unknown, but it has caused most civilizations to adopt a mobile, nomadic lifestyle. In the wake of Catastrophes, a substance called originium is left behind. While it is infectious (causing a disease known as oripathy), originium can also be utilized for energy, to perform or enhance magic, and other things. As such, originium industry thrives, leading to the birth of mobile cities, which makes up the majority of the world.
The dominant race is also made of populations of semi-animalistic humanoids called Ancients. Ancients are more susceptible to oripathy than normal humans are, making them generally fearful of those infected with oripathy.
The following are the key differences between Arknights' world to our own.
Originium is a fictional substance in the world of Arknights. It is left behind after a Disaster in great quantities and is highly infectious. Originium can serve as an energy source or for building materials, and its infection is generally associated with magical techniques known as Originium Arts or simply Arts. Originium powers mobile cities, and the artificial creation of armaments based on Arts allowed non-infected to use a semblance of the Arts too, changing the face of warfare.
The disease caused by originium infection is called oripathy, and it has 100% lethality rate. Those infected with oripathy will slowly show signs of originium growing on the surface of their bodies. After an infected dies, the originium that grows on the surface of their bodies will be dangerous to those around them, as they may potentially infect others. This has lead to general discrimination against the infected, a worldwide societal problem that both Rhodes Island Pharmaceutical and the Reunion Movement aim to fix with their own respective ideological takes on the problem.
Humanoids with animal-like traits that make up the majority of the population in the world of Arknights. The Ancients are at higher risk of being infected with oripathy. The classification of Ancient races are based on the animals they resemble or the traits that physically show, as will be listed below.
There are many factions in the world of Arknights, each with their own interests and working towards their own goals. These factions may be international companies, nations, or the races themselves.
- Aegir Parallel to Denmark.
- Bolivar Parallel to Bolivia.
- Columbia Parallel to America. Most of the citizens are of the Liberi race.
- Far East: Parallel to Japan. This country is the origin of the Oni race.
- Federal Democratic Columbia: Parallel to the United States of America.
- Flame Parallel to China.
- Great Lungmen: Parallel to Hong Kong. Wei Yenwu leads the nation, and Ch'en acts as its head of security. Great Lungmen is known to be open and diverse, and yet also harsh towards the infected, restricting them to the slums to keep them from infecting other citizens. An Annihilation Mode stage is set in this nation.
- Kazdale Parallel to Germany.
- Kazimierz: Parallel to Poland, and home to the Knights of Kazimierz. Most of their population is of the Kuranta race. The nation upholds its tradition of knighthood, and the knights take great pride in their profession. Similar to the Olympics, they also have a celebratory competitive event called the Knights of Kazimierz Competition, which in recent years has grown to be commercialized and less about the tradition.
- Kjerag: Parallel to Norway or Switzerland with a Tibetan mix. They are still a traditionally religion-affiliated nation, with a priestess leading the religious side of the country. Karlan Industries makes up the majority of its income.
- Laterano: Parallel to the Vatican. Most of their citizens are of the Sankta race. They are entitled to clauses 1 - 13 of the Laterano Constitution.
- Leithanien: Parallel to Austria-Hungary.
- Minos Parallel to Greece. The country's Ancients mostly consist of the proud Vulpo race.
- Sami Parallel to Finland.
- Sargon Parallel to Iraq or Somalia?
- Siesta Parallel to Hawaii. Mt. Siesta is parallel to Diamond Head (on O'ahu, Hawaii) in its shape.
- Syracuse Parallel to Italy. Mafia thrives in this country, with a Code of Silence threatening every citizen to never report their illegal activities to the authorities. The country is mostly made up of Lupo population.
- Ursus Empire: Parallel to Russia. As with the country's name, most of the citizens are of the Ursus race. The country subjected most of the citizens to mandatory work, including originium mining, while at the same time enacting laws that oppress the infected. The main story begins here, and an Annihilation Mode stage is set in this nation.
- Victoria: Parallel to the United Kingdom.
- Wyvern Possibly parallel to Mexico.
- BlackSteel Worldwide (BSW): An international private military contractor currently allied to Rhodes Island.
- Penguin Logistics: A logistics company known for unparalleled safety, confidentiality, and high class transport service.
- Reunion Movement: A movement by the infected who try to change the discriminatory status quo by overthrowing the current system.
- Rhine Lab: A research company focusing on originium technology.
- Rhodes Island Pharmaceutical, Inc.: A pharmaceutical company that also deals with the societal effects of oripathy.
- Rim Billiton: A mining company that is also responsible for the technology behind mobile cities and the Ark.
- Followers: A mysterious group of wandering warriors.
- Archosaurs: From the clade of reptiles containing crocodiles and birds; Ancients with crocodile-like traits.
- Anaty: Ancients with weasel- or ferret-like traits.
- Anura: From the order taxon of frogs; Ancients with frog-like traits.
- Aslan: From the name of the lion deity of C. S. Lewis' Narnia series; Ancients with lion-like traits.
- Caprinae: From the subfamily taxon of medium and small bovines; Ancients with goat-like traits.
- Cautus: Possibly from Latin cautus meaning 'beware' or 'cunning'; Ancients with rabbit-like traits.
- Durin: From the name of one of the gnomes in the Prose Edda; Ancients resembling dwarves or gnomes.
- Elafia: From Greek elaphos meaning 'deer'; Ancients with elk- or deer-like traits.
- Feline: From the Latin for 'cat' (felis); Ancients with cat-like traits.
- Forte: From Latin fortis meaning 'strong'; Ancients with bovine-like traits.
- Itra: Possibly from Arabic عطر ('itr) meaning 'perfume' or 'musk'; Ancients with muskdeer-like traits.
- Kuranta: Possibly from the name of a pedigree mare; Ancients with horse-like traits.
- Liberi: Possibly from Latin libera meaning 'free'; Ancients with bird-like traits.
- Lung: Ancients with heavily pronounced Eastern dragon-like traits.
- Lupo: From Latin lupus meaning 'wolf'; Ancients with wolf-like traits.
- Manticore: From Persian mythology creature with the same name.
- Oni: From Japanese 鬼 (oni); Ancients with traits resembling traditional Japanese demons or ogres.
- Perro: From Spanish perro meaning 'dog'; Ancients with dog-like traits.
- Petram: Possibly from Greek petra meaning 'stone'; Ancients with turtle-like traits.
- Sankta: From Latin sanctus meaning 'holy'; Ancients with traits resembling Biblical angels.
- Sarkaz: Possibly from Greek sarkasmos meaning 'to sneer' or 'to tear apart'; Ancients with various traits similar to Biblical demons.
- Savra: From Turkish Greek savra (Greek saura) meaning 'lizard'; Ancients with pronounced lizard-like traits.
- Ursus: From the Latin for 'bear'; Ancients with bear-like traits.
- Vulpo: From Latin vulpes meaning 'fox'; Ancients with fox-like traits.
- Vouivre: From a dragonlike beast with serpentine body and venomous breath; Ancients with less pronounced dragon-like traits.
- Zalak: Ancients with rodent-like traits.