Before Rocket Town was Rocket Town, what was it?

Already posed this question on fanspace but asking again here! :stuck_out_tongue: Was rocket town created just for the space programme? Or was it a pre-existing settlement? Did it have a different name before? What was its economy like? There is someone in the town who says everyone there is or was a Shinra engineer, but I thought it was ambiguous whether they meant the town had ended up shaping itself around the project, or whether it was artifically created.

Oh, I’m putting my hand up, because I’ve had this argument a few times at TLS. Apparently the canon is that the town didn’t exist until after the Cid’s rocket launch. In the film sequence of the rocket launch you can see that the launch pad is surrounded by nothing but forest, and then after it fails, there’s a time lapse that shows a town being built. I never bought that explanation for a couple of reasons.

  1. Rocket Town looks OLD. It looks like a mediaeval village that has been there for centuries, weathering where it stands.
  2. The rocket team would have needed somewhere to live during the years they were working on the space program.

My HC is that Rocket Town has been there for centuries. It was a little village that got taken over by Shinra because it was the perfect launch area for their rocket testing. The town grew and thrived, and then when Shinra cancelled the program, it withered away again. Like so many things touched by Shinra, its original name has been forgotten. Everyone calls it the Rocket Town now.

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Yeah, I think they’d need to have had people living there at least that long because otherwise the nearest settlements would be Wutai and Nibelheim, and that seems inconvenient!

I figure along with the people’s needs they’d need infra for building the rocket itself; unless they’re manufacturing everything elsewhere and then shipping it out to be assembled, they’re going to need power and water and stuff like that (and maybe even if it’s just a big ikea rocket there may be things they’d need, iunno, not a rocket scientist. One to look up sometime!).

And even if they could ship it in parts and assemble there, I would have thought they’d want to avoid the seas if they were at war with Wutai; seems a bit risky to sail past your military foe with your brand new showoff rocket (esp since I think they were trying to parallel the space race with it so there was an implication Wutai were working on one too? Tbf I can’t remember if this was ever overt in the game or just something I read into it.)

So the only alternative I can see to forming/taking over a settlement is Shinra manufacturing a rocket in pieces on one continent, shipping it over to the other on a ferry, crossing a river with it and then carrying it on foot over a mountain range. Tbf this does seem like the kind of stupidity Shinra is famed for.