The UAC is an abbreviation that appears as part of a logo on various textures in the Doom games and stands for the "Union Aerospace Corporation", a fictional multi-planetary conglomerate (possibly a megacorporation) that operates facilities on Mars and its two moons, Phobos and Deimos, where Doom takes place. The facilities on the two moons were used by the military to conduct various classified projects, including experimental inter-dimensional travel through teleporters (called "gateways"). This project grew unstable, and project "volunteers" began to suffer from a violent form of progressive homicidal insanity culminating in a sudden, explosive death. The story of the games begins after distress messages sent from the moons reach Mars, where the protagonist is stationed.
Not much detail is given about the UAC's activities given the sketchy nature of the plot of the games, but it is made clear that before the invasion took place the UAC had been researching technology used for teleportation as a major contractor to the military, which may explain why their facilities were guarded by marines (such as the player character).
As is evident during progress in the games, the populations of the UAC facilities are either killed or possessed by the hellish invaders unleashed by the teleportation experiments. In Doom II, which takes place on Earth, there are occasional UAC logos throughout the levels, indicating that the protagonist enters various areas owned by, operated by, or associated to the UAC on Earth.
Both games include crates of various sizes containing unknown materials which are marked with the UAC logo. A clear sign that the UAC develops military technology is the "UAC rockets" label on the boxes of rockets the player may pick up as ammunition for the rocket launcher.
The UAC logo is composed of two flattened spherical shapes with a smaller triangular space between them. The abbreviation is often written beneath the shapes using the customary rounded font of the games.
The UAC in Final Doom
After the devastating invasion of Earth in Doom II, most UAC personnel, from the board of directors down to the janitorial staff, were dead. The United States government refounded the UAC as an organization dedicated to research of tools and technologies to prevent another invasion from ever taking place. As part of this plan, two different projects were begun, one on Earth and the other on Io, a moon of Jupiter. Both projects involved opening Hell gates, one for trying to further understanding of teleportation (perhaps with the goal of removing Hell from its equations), and the other to research a Quantum Accelerator Device capable of closing such gates remotely.
Both of these plans ultimately fail as the United States Space Marine Corps troops prove unable to hold back the demons even with the highest safeguards and contingency plans put into place. These projects resulted in smaller invasion events which were ultimately beaten back by the Doomguy.
The UAC in Doom 3
In Doom 3 the story is given greater depth of detail through the player's interaction with human characters, PDAs, cut scenes, and scripted events. The intro to Doom 3 describes the UAC as the largest corporate entity in existence with unlimited funding and the ability to operate outside legal and moral obligations.
The facilities where the experiments take place and the marine battles the invaders are found on Mars rather than on its moons. Increased focus is placed on the importance of the UAC research being conducted (specifically research under the guidance of Malcolm Betruger) by a division called the "Delta Labs". As in the original games, a great deal of the UAC's research seems to be focused on teleportation, although experimentation with species retrieved from beyond the teleporters is also seen.
The UAC on Mars was secretly aware of the existence of Hell even before the invasion. On the orders of Betruger, Delta Labs sent teams through the portals to capture demons for study.
The UAC logo has an approximate triangular shape, with the abbreviation written near the bottom or base, although a logo fashioned after the original appears frequently on some machinery, and is seen exclusively in the older Mars caverns areas.
In the aftermath of the events of Doom 3 the UAC covers up the truth about the demonic invasion on Mars and blames the destruction of the facility on a mechanical accident. Two years after the events of Doom 3, another science team is dispatched to Mars to investigate a mysterious transmission coming from the abandoned Site 1 excavation.
The UAC in Doom (2016)
The UAC in the 2016 Doom functions much like its predecessors, but with a main goal of acquiring, processing, and exporting Argent energy extracted from Hell for use in solving energy crises afflicting humanity. They supplement this with weapons development, interdimensional travel, bio-engineering, and occult studies, though these research divisions are known only to the UAC itself. Research into Hell itself is pursued by the UAC despite known risks, as in Doom 3. While successful in relieving Earth's energy needs, their secrecy about the true nature of Argent energy has apparently drawn suspicion from outside observers, worsened by rumors of the more unusual research taking place on Mars.
While the actual board and ownership of the UAC were left ambiguous in the classic games and Doom 3, Samuel Hayden is explicitly confirmed as the former chairman of the UAC (demoted to director of the Mars Base after his cybernetic transference). Dr. Olivia Pierce is both Hayden's protégé and an analogue to Dr. Malcolm Betruger from Doom 3 in her role as head of biomechanical research and as the instigator of the invasion of Mars by Hell.
The UAC Mars Base resembles the "techbase" levels of the classic games initially, though demonic corruption partially or completely warps portions of the facilities as in previous games. Even some less affected portions of the UAC facilities have lava-like traps derived from furnaces and forge areas, an example of which is the Foundry.
The UAC's primary facilities are central to Mars, though it is confirmed that the company also has a presence on the Martian moons of Phobos and Deimos, Saturn's moon Titan, Earth, and other less defined locations, including orbital platforms and deep-space stations.
While previous incarnations of the UAC had a clear divide between civilian and military personnel, access to weaponry and buildings is segregated according to employee levels, or advocate tiers as the UAC dubbed them, indicating a clear merger of military and civilian roles in regards to whom is trusted with military ordinance in a rank based system. Many dedicated security roles still exist, however - the personnel in these positions were mostly converted into possessed soldiers and possessed security when the Mars Base was invaded. An elite corps also existed in the form of the elite guards, who initially resisted the invasion but were then killed by Olivia through a secret kill-switch protocol intended to be used in case of their rebellion.
While in prior games the UAC was never directly implied to be anything other a purely secular mega-corporation that discovered Hell as an incidental to other goals, Hell is explicitly known to this incarnation of the company, and it attempts to harness the Argent energy of Hell knowing full well the nature of its origin. In fact, some of its research divisions have actively been involved in trying to turn demons into controllable bio-weapons, with creatures like the cyber-mancubus and the revenant being the direct products of their experiments. Given the corrupting influence of Hell is both well known and a studied phenomenon within the company, the UAC seems to have been slowly subverted through its continued exploitation of Hell. Holographic support systems and company memos indicate a form of demon-worshipping cult growing inside the corporate structure before the events of the game with Dr. Pierce as one of its key leaders.
Advancement through the tiers came to require arcane initiation rituals, branding with demonic tattoos, and the acceptance of experimental augmentations. Dissent was stifled wherever it was found and employees were encouraged to report co-workers who questioned the UAC's ideology to security staff for "re-education". At the highest ranks, the cult promised its followers power beyond mortal imagination in exchange for absolute loyalty to Pierce and her demonic masters.
Curiously, Samuel Hayden was aware of this, along with members of the UAC board, but they apparently chose to ignore it so long as it did not become a serious problem for the primary goals of the corporation. This ultimately proved to be a deadly mistake after Pierce initiated the demonic invasion of Mars.
The UAC in Doom Eternal
Following the return of Samuel Hayden to Earth, the UAC split into two rival factions.
Samuel Hayden's faction of the UAC merged with the remains of the world's governments as the Armored Response Coalition, which now acts as the primary military force of the remaining humans on Earth using advanced technology designed by Hayden. Despite their best efforts, they are fighting a losing battle, Hayden being badly damaged before the arrival of the Doom Slayer.
The elements of the UAC still loyal to Olivia Pierce's cult came under the influence of the Hell priest Deag Ranak, promising its employees immortality and endless power if they would aid in the sacrifice of Earth to Hell. The UAC cultists have since expanded the production of cybernetically modified demons and improved on the design of their prior creations. Their holographic messages now consist entirely of Hellish propaganda declaring the consumption of Earth to be part of their "brighter tomorrow" and urging the rest of humanity to submit to the "mortally challenged" as they have. Not all employees in the UAC are corrupted, though, as evidenced by the incredulity of the workers on the BFG 10000 installation when told that their corporate higher ups want them to let the demons enter the station.
The UAC in the 2005 Doom movie
The UAC has a role in the 2005 Doom movie as well, but their ambitions and scientific work deviate somewhat from those in the games, as they focus on genomic research, even though teleportation is also used as a form of transportation between Earth and Mars. It should be noted, however, that genomic research was mentioned in Doom 3. The genomic research in the movie focuses on a 24th chromosome which makes humans exceptionally strong and enduring and enhances or exacerbates their moral inclinations. In the movie the UAC operates on Mars and the brunt of the action takes place in the "Olduvai Research Station".
For the promotion of Doom 3, id Software created a bogus UAC website. The "trajectory" mentioned on the site had two meanings. Within the context of the game, it represented the estimated arrival time to Mars of the shuttle that carried Swann, Campbell, and the player's Marine. In respect to the game as a product, it was actually a countdown to its release date. The site currently redirects to the id Software website (since early December 2005) but an archived copy can be accessed at the Internet Archive.
On the official website for Doom RPG, there were links to a Union Aerospace Corporation (archived 🏛) website, convincingly designed in the style of a large business company's home site. Many of the links led to Access Denied pages to give an impression of confidentiality, but it displayed some information on the fictional history of the UAC.
It was stated that the UAC was founded in 2015 by Thomas Kelliher, and is, at the time of Doom RPG, a global leader in energy, defense, aerospace, and bioresearch sectors. It expanded from a media conglomerate into aerospace by buying out and combining most of the then-floundering commercial aerospace industry, and made a name for itself in the field of outer space exploration by mounting a joint expedition to Mars in 2025. Statements by the company indicate that it controls territories on Earth and acts, to a large extent, as a de facto government, with its capitol in Washington, D.C., where a monument to Thomas Kelliher has been built. The company is under the control of his son Ian at this time, who is stated to be expanding the scope of quantum physics research on the currently underground Martian colony.
- The preliminary Doom Bible includes a fictitious military entity called the "UAAF" (which stands for "United Aerospace Armed Forces") that employs the player characters, although the UAC is also mentioned. The abbreviation "UAC" is not clarified, and is used primarily to mark a clean "Star Wars Imperial or 2001" style in the facilities built by an interstellar construction company named "StarStruct, Inc." Details of what specific role the UAC itself plays in the events are sketchy, however. The UAC and the UAAF operate on a fictional planet or moon called Tei Tenga, not on Mars and its moons. John Romero still refers to the UAAF as being a part of Doom's final lore, even though it was not mentioned in the game itself.
- Official or custom levels depicting UAC facilities are often called "techbase" or "UAC base" levels by fans. The word "base" is commonly used for military facilities, and appears in the core Doom games in E1M9: Military Base from Doom (which incidentally does not display any UAC logos) and MAP10: Refueling Base from Doom II.
- This article incorporates text from the open-content Wikipedia online encyclopedia article Union Aerospace Corporation.
- Holographic recording of dialogue in the Advanced Research Complex: Olivia Pierce: Of course. I believe in our work... but... in order to make progress we will have to make even greater sacrifices. Samuel Hayden: This isn't progress... It's madness. The board understands the peculiar nature of your work, and no one is in the dark on what those sacrifices mean to mankind..."
- Romero, John (10 December 2020). "It's DOOM's 27th birthday! Some trivia: ... The United Aerospace Armed Forces (UAAF) enforces UAC interests..." Twitter. Retrieved 11 August 2021.