- "Wait... This is crazy. That can't possibly be Earth out there. Look at it... I've seen photos of Earth, and it's blue, and green, and beautiful! That thing is just... RED!"
- — Alice
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, the largest of the four terrestrial planets, and the fifth largest and densest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is the home planet of humanity and many different lifeforms like animals and plants.
On December 31, 2028, Radical-6 was released into Earth by Free the Soul, killing billions of humans by suicide. Bodies began to pile up as people kill themselves by any means, even in groups. Nearly every single town and city on the planet has thousands - hundreds of thousands - of bloody dead, rotting corpses in giant piles and mountains. It becomes a literal hell on Earth with humans killing each other for food and water just so that they don't starve to death. Most forms of transportation are rendered useless as roads, streets and highways become blocked by crashed vehicles, meaning food can't be distributed and many starve. The few humans who survived the outbreak were locked away by the government in underground shelters. Only a handful of people know that this tragedy was Free the Soul's doing, and it remains this way.
- "Pretty soon the bodies started to pile up. Some people would take a dive off a building or shoot themselves in the head. You know, the classics. But for some it was poison, or fire, or asphyxiation, or the noose... Plenty of people jumped in front of trains or cars. One pilot on a passenger airline drove his plane into the ground. Most forms of transportation ground to a halt pretty fast. That meant food couldn't get distributed, and thousands of people who weren't even infected died from starvation. Everywhere you went there were just... piles of corpses, covered in flies and rats and crows. I don't know what Hell's like, but I imagine it's a lot like that."
- — Tenmyouji on the Radical-6 outbreak
Antimatter Plant Explosions
On April 13, 2029, humanity planned to eradicate the virus by blowing up 18 antimatter plants simultaneously.
However, by doing so, the dust fallout blotted out the sun and causes a nuclear winter, killing millions of lives including plants and animals. The human population on Earth severely decreases, ending the Radical-6 pandemic.
- "You ever heard of a nuclear winter? Well, that's basically what we got. The explosion threw a ton of crap up into the stratosphere, where it joined up with smoke and ash from all the fires. It blotted out the sun for seven years. Plants withered, and animals died by the millions. The few humans who were left banded together to survive. They were rough times."
- — Tenmyouji on the Antimatter Plant Explosions
Eventually, life on Earth recovered around 2036, with plants growing back and livestock, which weren't already killed repopulating once again. Unfortunately, Earth is still a wasteland.
There are still visible after effects though, such as the Earth appearing red from space, due to the ash preventing blue and green light from escaping, since their wavelengths are too short, allowing only red light to pass through. This makes Earth look red from outer space. Earth's atmosphere is still clouded by dust sent up from the explosion of the reactors.
After a decade of research and after the Radical-6 virus seemed to end, in 2038, scientists created Axelavir from people who had antibodies that could fight Radical-6.
Expanding to the Moon
Humanity eventually expanded to 54 Rhizomes on the Moon. The kinds of people who lived in the Rhizomes included millionaires, chosen children, and government researchers and officials.
After 45 years passed, most of those people have returned to Earth. The people that remain on the Moon currently are eccentric people who enjoy living on the Moon, researchers, scientists, laborers who are mining the Moon's rare minerals, and those who lived so long on the Moon that they couldn’t adjust to Earth’s gravity.
Virtue's Last Reward
During Virtue's Last Reward, which is set on Rhizome 9, both Clover and Phi confuse the Earth for the Moon during a total lunar eclipse, since the Moon turns red during the eclipse, as well as believing that the day was December 31, 2028, the day of a lunar eclipse.