Illal is the setting of Hawken. Boasting sizeable quantities of valuable natural resources, Illal was colonized by many looking for a fresh, new beginning. Thousands of colonists were lured by corporations to build a better life, and in the beginning this proved to be true. There were three corporations that rose above the others: Prosk, Sentium, and Crion.
As time moved on, competition between them intensified, at first bringing technological advances, but eventually resulting in global ruin: the collapse of Crion triggered a worldwide outbreak of a self-replicating nano-virus. This spread across a third of Illal's surface, prompting the mass evacuation of those in the populace who could afford it. The rest of Illal's people now fight for what's left of the planet. In the ongoing struggle over the planet's dwindling resources, mechs were repurposed into war machines, and every able-bodied pilot is enlisted into the fight.