The Controller is an artificial intelligence constructed to rule over the subterranean habitat Layered when humanity was forced underground in the aftermath of a nuclear war. For centuries, it has ruled without question over the humans confined within Layered, and the people have mostly fallen in line, living safe, yet uninspired lives. However, in the years following up to the start of Armored Core 3, erratic behavior by The Controller has caught the attention of many people, causing unrest among the major factions within Layered.
The most vocal and hardline critics of The Controller, a terrorist group known as Union, have dedicated themselves to the destruction of The Controller, putting them in direct conflict against Crest, a corporation dedicated to preserving The Controller's rule. Crest's rival, Mirage, sees the current environment as a chance to more actively seek to access and manipulate The Controller to suit their own agendas. The conflict inevitably throws the Ravens of Global Cortex into a battle that will shape the future of those sheltered within Layered forever.
The Controller is named "Dove" in the Japanese version of Armored Core 3 and Silent Line: Armored Core