While not directly called the Artificial Star in the Residual Sanity Logs, the only reason its name is known is by highlighting the exterior plating and seeing the terrain description.
The Artificial Star is a collosal station, developed by the Space Corps to hold the line against the Bydo near Jupitor, after the loss of their Jupitor outpost. Its hull is constructed of 7 layers of extremely durable metals and is impossible to destroy in-game. Inside the station however, ships can move about with hindered speed. The center of the station is the Athenae Core, which supplies power to the rest of the station and controls its defense systems. If it is destroyed, the Artificial Star explodes in a chain reaction.
The Artificial Star suprisingly has no weapons to speak of, merely being a large hunk of metal floating in space. This leads to speculation that the Artificial Star was not finished. However, the Artificial Star is protected by a large defense force of fighters and command ships, and is eveloped with a defense system of Aegis Missile Satettelites which orbit it constantly. These sattelites are one of the most useful defensive systems at the Space Corps' disposal.
Inside the Artificial Star are many TL-2A2 Neoptolemos which lay in wait in the event that the interior is breached by enemy forces.
THE FOLLOWING IS MERELY SPECULATED HISTORY BASED ON GAME EVENTS. THESE ARE NOT CONFIRMED BY IREM SOFTWARE ENGINEERING AND SHOULD BE TREATED AS FAN INFORMATION.
Sometime in the Bydo War in the events of R-Type Command, the Space Corps had lost their Jupitor Base to the Bydo. It was liberated soon after by Space Corps Special Operations Armada (currently MIA) but it was revealed that the base was far too damaged to repair and would be rather costly.
Instead, the Space Corps put its funding into a defense station that would hold the line against the Bydo should the event that they would ever breach the Solar System. This station was dubbed "The Artificial Star" by defense coordinater Mark Harrison in Space Corps High Command. The Station was designed by the same team that developed the Defensive Force, the Shield Bit, and other Defensive systems. The station was designed to have hundreds of laser cannon batteries, missile launchers, and other ordinances. Experimental Anti-Desynch generators were designed as well to obliterate anything that entered Desynch Space near the station instantly. The Artificial Star was also designed to have 7 layers of the extremely durable materials, one of which is found on the B-5D Diamond Wedding.
The designers worked in a new concept of defensive artificial inteligence codenamed ATHENAE. It eventualy was constructed as a large power core, capable of supplying the entire station using Nuclear Fusion, and when not in battle, the station can charge reserve power through solar panels that flip onto the outer hull. The Athenae had a memory capacity large enough to handle all primary systems on the station, including a new line of defensive sattelites codenamed Aegis, which would orbit the Artificial Star at all times.
Unfortunately the designers of the Athenae were forced to put funding on other systems, such as a defensive fleet surrounding the station to protect it. Construction started around when the Special Operations Armada entered the tesseract to pursue the goal of eliminating the Bydo Core.
The station was fully capable of supporting a 0.8 Million member crew. It was a collosal station, nearly an eigth the size of the moon. Such a crews' job was to provide an override in case the Athenae malfunctioned, matinence, and operating turrets and remote weapons such as drones. This count does not include the defensive fleet around it. The Athenae didn't have enough memory to support all the laser turrets and missile launchers, and they had to be operated manually.
The interior of the station included a huge hanger bay for docking large ships for repair. The Station was even capable of building its own dreadnoughts in its interior. Due to the extreme size of the interior hanger bay, several dozen TL-2A2 Neoptolemos bipedal units were stationed inside to defend the interior from invaders. In the very center of the station was a large inner sphere for the crew. The Athenae core was in the center of this.
Several months later, the Artificial Star's shell and most of the interior was completed, except the inner crew sphere, leaving the station at a high vulnerability: The Exposure of the Athenae. The weapons systems of the star were not functional yet, since they had to be manualy operated. Great horror was brought to Space Corps High Command when they heard a Bydo fleet had penatrated the Solar System. They were forced to rush the project.
A month later, with little important progress, the Bydo reached the defensive line. Still uncompleted, it was still a mighty force and was considered the most powerful defensive station in Earth's defenses, and broke several records on defensive structures and strategies. The Space Corps fleet around the Artificial Star still were in great fear, as the Bydo had torn through several new "Super Dreadnoughts" and even the Utgarda Loki.
As suspected, the Bydo had several failed attempts to destroy the station. The Bydo fleet was forced into retreat several times, but the Artificial Star stood strong after each attempt. After about 2 weeks of silence from the Bydo fleet, which was in hiding somewhere around Jupitor, High Command let out a sigh of relief. They suspected the Bydo had given up. They started filling out orders to send a fleet to wipe out what was left.
A day later, the Bydo returned with a stronger force, with several new Gains Artillary units, which quickly got into range of the Aegis missile launchers and pummeled them several times with Positron Cannons. The frontal defense of the Artificial Star was breached.
High Command panicked, and Field Command in the area started to falter in fear of the breached line. They sent everything they had and redirected the Aegis missile launchers on the opposite end of the station to orbit back around quickly to the frontal assault area to engage the Bydo, and this had a good effect, but Space Corps forces were being lost faster than Bydo ones.
Soon the Bydo armada was nearly crippled, but they pressed on and breached the interior of the station. Neoptolemos units engaged the Bydo forces but were quickly destroyed. With the Athenae exposed, the Bydo were easily able to destroy it with concentrated attack. The Invincible Line had fallen.
With the failure of the station, designs were kept in Space Corps top secret files, possibly to secretly construct an improved version remotely, to allow it to be completed and move it into defensive position, where it would be nearly impossible to get past. However the Space Corps has shown more interest in its R-Series than its defensive structures.
Some speculate that if the Artificial Star were completed, the Bydo would never have even gotten close to the outer shell itself.
The Invincible Line
The Artificial Star appears in R-Type Command, in the Bydo level, "Invincible Line." It is considered by many players, and by the game itself to be the hardest operation in the game. The game sees the Artificial Star as terrain, not an actual unit like a command ship, however the Athenae Core is considered the flagship of the level and once destroyed the level is completed.
A decent strategy is to "test" the defenses of the station several times to get the picture of what to expect. While these test runs will likely end in failure, it will help in a future victory. After one or two test runs are completed, prepare your force with many Gains MK2s, to allow you to "snipe" the Aegis sattelites from afar. Use the Kombiler as your flagship, it is the only ship with the radar capable of allowing you to snipe the Aegis sattelites without taking too much damage. To snipe them however, you must be in range of their powerful missile attacks. After taking out most of these, this level isn't much of a problem. It is reccomended you approach the lower opening of the Artificial Star instead of the top.
Save several forces to allow you to send them inside the station to ram the Athenae until it explodes. This is the most efficient way to destroy the core.
After beating this level, you should always try it again to focus on liberating a facility to the far left of the Artificial Star on the map. Inside contains a B-1B Mad Thicket and Ivy Force. Liberating the facility will allow you to construct more of these fighters and forces.
- The Artificial Star is likely based off the Death Star from Star Wars.
- In R-Type Command, the mission log entry before the battle with the station incorrectly states that the station was, "As large as a star." This is not true, as the station is about twice as big as a Bydo Kombiler, which would still be able to fly in the atmosphere of the Earth.
- The Artificial Star likely wasn't finished due to the lack of offensive turrets on the hull of the station, and the exposure of the Athenae core, and the reliance on the Aegis sattelites.
- This is currently the largest war construct made by the Space Corps to serve against the Bydo.