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Arena 99 (called Range 5 by a lot of the Whateley Ranges crew) is the last and greatest of the Whateley Arenas. It was built by the Class of 1999 as their Senior Legacy project, and was intended as the absolute last word in arenas. It is not, however, the Holodeck that appears in a popular science fiction drama. Maybe a later class will construct that.

Arena 99 is actually two arenas in one. One of the two is what is probably the last word in conventional arenas. The other is "the sims" or a holographic simulator. The two are only related because the viewing stands are the same.

Arena 99 is also the source of the underground pay-per-view "Mutant Death Match" broadcasts out of Las Vegas. The administration has tried several times, unsuccessfully, to remove the hidden cameras. Since the relationship isn't widely known they haven't put a real high priority on it.

Arena 99Edit

Arena 99 has everything! It's got actual scenery that can be destroyed and recreated rapidly, robotic characters (called ANTS bots) that can be programmed as bystanders or combatants in various scenarios, and multiple rooms.[1]

The viewing area is separated from the actual arena by a force screen that's designed to be impenetrable to anything a mutant can possibly do. Well, that's the theory - Fey took it down in her Fall 2006 Combat Final.[2] However, that was the only known breach. It has been repaired and upgraded since.

In its 'stand by' state, Arena 99 looks like a long, wide flat space, about two foot ball fields long and wide. (That's approximately 600 feet or 180 meters on a side.) This is broken into ten by ten foot squares. Below the squares are a series of hydraulic lifts that can raise the platform to a height of a five story building. In this way buildings are simulated by raising the number of platforms the 'footprint' of the building and wrapping the open space in a force field to give it 'solidness'.

The force field is then painted with projected holograms for visual effects. The arena is then further 'dressed' with plants, signs and other props to complete the illusion. Available props include live animals: they were able to provide squirrels and chipmunks for Aquerna's combat final.[3]

The SimsEdit

The Sims, as the name suggests, is an arena where the combatants engage in simulated combat. Combatants in the Sims have to wear a special suit.

Freshmen are usually not introduced to the sims until the Winter term of their freshman year, unless they've got a sophomore or higher on their training team. The Outcasts, for example, are all sim trained because Razorback is a sophomore. Team Kimba had to wait for the second term.

"Whateley guidelines said that teams weren’t eligible for the battle sims unless they had at least one-third sophomores or upperclassmen, and then only on a case-by-case basis.[4]

Most of the information in this section comes from Ayla and the Great Shoulder Angel Conspiracy: Chapter 5

Physical LayoutEdit

The Sims are past Arena 91 (as coming from the Crystal Hall). There's a big security door, and then a corridor with six rooms, three on a side, leading to a T junction. The corridor to the left is Wing A, the corridor to the right is Wing B. There are a number of unmarked doors to utility closets and similar.

Room 3Edit

Room 3 is a simple orientation room with six rows of benches, a projector and screen.

Room 5Edit

Room 5 is where the techs check the specs and holdouts.

Wing AEdit

Wing A is for sim suits. There are a number of doors down the corridor, which ends in the changing room. there are four fitting rooms on the sides, labeled A4-1 to A4-4. There are also men's and women's locker rooms. The women's locker room has around 400 lockers.

Wing BEdit

Wing B has a number of utility closets. Room B-3 leads to a parallel access corridor that contains 7 doors, each of which leads to a number of sim rooms. The individual rooms are 12' by 12' (which seems overly large to me - that's bigger than the canon dorm rooms! (and not quite as big as the real dorm rooms have to be.) (There's another issue here as well - in one place it says there are 31 sim rooms, but having separate wings for 7 teams means they can't have the same number of rooms.)

The individual rooms have a sim chair, which is a massive throne-like thing. They've got rune-covered wallpaper as well. The intent is to isolate the rooms from interaction and outside spying.

Sim SuitsEdit

The sims work with specially designed sim suits. These are tightly fitting suits that have haptic feedback throughout. The helmets have a special devise at the base of the neck that reroutes the nerve signals so that all actions go to the sims, and everything that happens in the simulation is routed back to the person's brain.

ConfigurationEdit

There's a thick binder labeled "Required and Optional Preparation Routines for Whateley Holographic Simulation Runs" that contains all the information about how to set up the simulator.[5]

The simulator runs on effects, not on causes. For example, if someone has a fire blast, it doesn't matter if it's because they're an energizer, a mage who can call on a fire elemental, a devisor with a fire weapon or an avatar with a fire spirit. It's still a fire blast, and it's entered into the powers description as such.

It has been noted it's unlikely to be replicated elsewhere, since a lot of it is magical and devises as well as requiring a phenomenal amount of computing power and bandwidth, and requires some top notch programmers and gadgeteers to make it work and keep it running. Also, the current setup was only completed a couple of years previously.[6]

ReferencesEdit

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