World of Crimson Gray

From The Last Sovereign Wiki

Crimson Gray takes place in an alternate history where the timeline diverged at some uncertain point. The result is a world similar to our own, but in which pharmaceutical research has evolved in a different direction and large corporations have greater control over many aspects of the world.

One point of divergence is the thalidomide crisis, which was a real historical event. In the alternate history, the United States of America apparently avoided the worst of it in such a way that led to increased trust in corporations, thus less government control. The equivalent of the FDA seems to be called the FDCA and has less regulatory power.

As a consequence of these changes, the world of Crimson Gray contains unusual psychological profiles like Lizzie's, due to testing that would be unethical in real life. These were not widely known as of 1990, but it is possible that KoiTec and other corporations were aware of the possibility, because they seem to have put unusual amounts of research into blood-based testing.

That changed in 1992, when the Wuornos Incident happened. In this event, a girl similar to Lizzie publicly killed a large number of her classmates. The aftermath of the event was televised and heavily discussed. It is strongly implied in Dusk and Dawn that this will lead to societal changes, particularly in regard to how the world views people like Lizzie.

Notable Pharmaceuticals[edit | edit source]

  • KoiTec - The primary antagonist of the first game, a very unethical corporation with a private army. It created Lizzie along with other unstable individuals due to its reckless testing. Formerly known as PharmaVax.
  • Szasz Inc - A corporation noted as possibly "donating" insufficiently tested drugs in order to use poor populations as test subjects.
  • Menninger AG - A corporation that donates mental stimulants in Sub-Saharan Africa. Though not implied to be malicious, Francesca Kelsey says that its actions are misguided and may lead to unintended consequences. The existence of such mental stimulants also suggests another variant in this alternate history.
  • SoftSynth - A Japanese corporation that was apparently sufficiently large to carry the Japanese economy for a real time, delaying the economic collapse in the real world for a number of years.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Many elements of the world of Crimson Gray are named after people in the real world. They include:

  • Francesca Kelsey, pharmaceutical industry reform activist in Dusk and Dawn, is barely renamed from Frances Kelsey, the FDA employee primarily credited with preventing approval of thalidomide in the USA.
  • Szasz Inc is likely named after Thomas Szasz, a professor of psychiatry who wrote about mental illnesses and medication.
  • Menninger AG is likely named after Karl Menninger, a psychiatrist who wrote about mental illness and crime.
  • SoftSynth may be a reference to SoftBank - though that conglomerate is not particularly known for pharmaceuticals, it looms large in Japan's economy and runs the world's largest tech venture capital fund.
  • The Wuornos Incident is likely named after Aileen Wuornos, a serial killer who murdered seven men and claimed the murders were in self-defense.
  • Paxetine is likely named after Paroxetine, a real antidepressant in our world. "Pax" is Latin for "peace".