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StoryMetal Marines takes place in the year 2117, two years after the nigh apocolyptic destruction of earth during the Antimatter War. The nations of the world had invested heavily in Antimatter Weapons, stockpiling them across the planet. When these weapons were finally used, an unforseen and catastrophic event ocurred, a chain raction exploding every AM device across the globe. The power of these weapons was so huge that the continents were reduced to islands, only small sections of the planet's surface surviving.
This is the backstory for the current conflict, however the PC and SNES versions differ quite dramatically in regards to the plot for the player's adventure.
SNES The player is part of the "Space Colonies Allied Forces", a military force assembled by the habitats orbiting the Earth. The player and the colonies are on a mission to free the Earth from the despotic rule of Zorgeuf, the self appointed dictator of what remains of the planet's surface.
PC In this version the player is part of United Earth Empire, a coalition of the remaining nations of Earth. Zorgeuf is still a dictator, though he is in charge of space-based colonies and now seeks to establish his rule over Earth as well.
Ultimately, the player is charged with thwarting Zorgeuf's plans for domination, defeating him and his subordinates in military engagements on what remains of surface of the planet.