Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Greatest moments in Ace Combat history

Ace Combat 20th Anniversary

Continuing on the Ace Combat 20th Anniversary celebration, time to jot down the best bits from the world's number one flight shooting game made by one of the maddest game makers in the world, Bandai Namco. From the first game to the present, there has been so many great moments AC fans remember for. From shooting down aerial bases, defending a large aircraft, destroying heavy weaponry, and rivalry between aces, every dogfight is a story in the world of AC, but now, I'm going to jot down the best moments in AC history.

1) Discovery of airborne fortress! - The final mission of the first AC game involves intercepting a giant airborne fortress and intercepting this massive flying beast is a thrilling feat as it requires precise flying skills and distinctive firing abilities. It sure is hard work but anyone remembering finishing off the last boss has proof that they are natural born aces from the start.

2) Last Resort - This mission from Ace Combat 2 is by no means the most insane mission in history. It's simple, really. Shoot down a submarine and then after that, intercept the cruise missile before it exits the available combat zone. That's it. Well, while shooting down the submarine is no slouch, shooting down the fired cruise missile is the insane part of the mission because you need to be as fast as a cruise missile itself to hunt it down. We might think that this is the final mission in AC2 but we were wrong...

3) Fighter's Honor - This is the secret and the "real" final mission of AC2. Players who worked really hard on the hardest difficulty setting stood a chance to unlock the real final mission of the game. In this mission, players are tasked to destroy an enemy fortress as well as the missile silo from the inside. In that mission, one of the Z.O.E. foes have flown an aircraft known as the ADF-01, the Falken.

4) Memory Error - Because Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere has different endings, your actions will reflect the outcome of the story. One such mission if you ended up going on a different path is the mission where you will have to shoot down the X-49 Night Raven, with Rena inside the cockpit. Halfway through the mission, players have witnessed Keith's sacrifice to stop the winged nightmare and the task of shooting down the Night Raven with Keith's plane stuck in it really made him saying "I'm pinned down!"

5) Stonehenge Offensive - Known to be one of the most thrilling missions in Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies, you, as Mobius 1, and the Mobius Squadron are tasked to put Stonehenge, the meteorite-intercepting railgun served as Erusea's weapon of mass destruction, into fruition. The first part of the mission involves destroying the entire railgun network while the second half involves fending off the Yellow Squadron.

6) Megalith - In the finale of Shattered Skies, a group of young Erusian fighters occupied Megalith, a superweapon designed to shoot down asteroids similar to the destroyed Stonehenge. Unlike the Stonehenge, the Megalith fires ballistic missiles, which is proven to be a threat to the USEAN continent. The Mobius squadron engaged in their one last do-or-die battle to save USEA from such monstrosity and although this mission focuses more on destroying the generators from the inside, every player's first priority in the finale is to fend off against the remains of the Yellow Squadron, including the ones that named Jean-Louis. Oh! Jean-Louis' been hit!

7) First Flight - With the disappearance of Capt. Jack Bartlett, the remaining Wardog pilots have returned from Port St. Hewlett (successfully evacuating the Osean aircraft carriers and the naval fleet) to Sand Island when all of a sudden, a surprise attack carried by the Yukes occurred. Your mission was to protect Sand Island from the Yuke air strikes and then later, protecting a rookie named Hans "Archer" Grimm as he takes off and joining the Wardog squadron.

8) White Bird Part I - When the Wardog squadron and the aircraft carrier Kestrel survived the ballistic missile blast in Eaglin Straits, the pilots are taking a break at Heierlark base, located near the former South Belkan territory. After the Wardog squadron sent the rookie pilots back to the base, they were on a mission to protect the Basset Space Center from invading Yuktobanian forces as the space center is launching an SSTO craft heading towards the Arkbird, intentionally built as the first step toward the realisation of the space station project. Defending a space center against tanks dropped from a cargo plane, bombers, and cruise missiles sure is a zany task, you know.

9) Front Line - The Yuktobanian naval fleet is invading Sand Island and the Osean army's staging a counterattack against them. In this mission, players need to defend the rookie pilots while fending off against the enemy naval fleet. After fending off the naval fleet, players are facing off against the Yuktobanian sub carrier known as the Scinfaxi. Battling against a powerful submarine is a tough job because of the sub's tendency to submerge but thanks to the Arkbird's laser attack, there's no turning back for the Scinfaxi to get BBQ'ed by the Wardog. Good thing, multiroles like the Tiger with unguided bombs really come in handy.

10) Demons of Razgriz - A Scinfaxi-class submarine known as the Hrimfaxi appeared somewhere in the Razgriz Straits in the Anea continent, launching burst missiles against the Osean army invading Yuktobanian territory. In this mission, you and the Wardog pilots fly silently to find the Hrimfaxi and if they spot you, you have less than a minute to hunt down the Hrimfaxi before diving in. The Hrimfaxi attacks just like the Scinfaxi but unlike the Scinfaxi, it deploys unmanned drones as distraction, meaning greater strategies need to be pulled to sink the Hrimfaxi for good.

11) Handful of Hope - This is by no means one of the trickiest missions in AC5 because in this mission, you and Edge have been tasked to escort the Mother Goose 1 transport plane from Akerson Hill's AA system's range because some malfunctions in the Mother Goose 1 can't determine by the AA system if its a friend or foe and they can't fly through a safe path through the AA systems. After escorting Mother Goose 1 through the radar zones, you've been reunited with Chopper and Grimm and continue to defend the aircraft against enemy squadrons. However, something's strange going on in the Mother Goose 1. Well, you get the idea at the end of the mission,

12) White Noise - After rescuing prisoners from a Yuktobanian base during a harsh blizzard, Nagase's plane was crash landed along with the Chinook helicopter. A day later, the search for Nagase began in the same place where they've rescued the prisoners (but no sign of Bartlett). She did triggered a distress signal but the signal is very weak so on on this mission, you have to locate the distress signal before the enemy gets her, however, the search for Edge gets distracted when you've encountered jammer aircraft. When players pinpointed her whereabouts, you have now been tasked to protect the Sea Goblin helicopter from Yuke squadrons chasing them. Simple as that.

13) Journey Home - The first half of the mission involves following your wingmen while conducting a ceremonial flight through a stadium in November City. After the ceremonial flight, expect something odd happening at the stadium and if that wasn't enough, Yuke squadrons began attacking November City without warning and it's your job to fend off the Yuktobanian scumbags as long as possible. This mission had players witnessed the death of wingman Alvin "Chopper" H. Davenport, making it one of the most tragic deaths in video game history.

14) Final Option - It is revealed that the Principality of Belka was behind the confusion and the tension between the OSEAN Federation and the Union of Yuktobanian Republics and after the shocking revelation that endangered the Wardog squadron as well as Peter N. Beagle, known as Pops, and journalist Albert Genette, they've escaped Sand Island using his training jets. With nothing to fight back, this mission involves following Pops as they avoid detection from the 8492nd Squadron on a volcanic island in Ceres Ocean. At the end of the mission, Captain Marcus "Swordsman" Snow appeared and he faked you and your colleagues' death after flashing a signal light asking them to bail out. With reports told about the death of the Wardog squadron, you've been rescued by the Sea Goblin and sent you and the others to the Kestrel.

15) Ancient Walls - With Capt. Snow joining alongside you, Nagase, and Grimm, and armed with jets came from a confiscated container ship, your mission involves rescuing OSEAN President Harling from the Belkan forces who held him captive in an old castle located near the ground zero craters in the Principality of Belka. With Sea Goblin conducting the rescue operation to the President, your mission is to protect the Sea Goblin from incoming Belkan attacks from both ground, air, and sea. The successful rescue of the President prompted them to become his personal air fleet and with reports circulating their deaths, the Ghosts of Razgriz are born.

16) White Bird Part II - After the Ghosts of Razgriz sealed the mine containing nuclear weapons that the Belkans used 15 years ago and protecting the resistance from the Yukes and the Belkan Ofnir Squadron as they dismantling the nuke, they've received an incoming transmission coded in Belkan. It states that the Arkbird will launch a nuclear strike at a certain Yuktobanian city and its your job to pursue the Arkbird, secretly sabotaged by the Belkans, and destroy it before it exits the combat airspace. This mission involves precise flying skills as they will have to attack UAVs known as the Vogels, evading laser fire, and firing abilities to end the nightmare that plagued the white bird.

17) Heartbreak One - With Capt. Bartlett and the resistance rescued Yuktobanian Prime Minister Nikanor, the Ghosts of Razgriz approached the Pobeda Peninsula and provide cover as Bartlett, alongside a woman from his past, are getting Nikanor out to safety. This is the mission where players face a fork on the road; they will ask them if they can take risks on a shortcut or go on a long and safe road. As time-consuming aces say, it's going to be the risky shortcut and take chances to fend off against heavy firepower. After escorting them to safety, the 8492nd Squadron (or the Belkan Grabacr Squadron to be exact) appears and this time, it's a do-or-die battle.

18) ACES - An unknown missile strike destroyed the OPS Kestrel and the Ghosts of Razgriz escaped safely to the final battle happening at Sudentor, a former South Belkan city and where the North Osea Grunder Industries (formerly a South Belkan Munitions Factory) is located. With the two leaders convince their troops to cease fighting, the OSEAN and Yuktobanian forces are now fighting alongside the Ghosts of Razgriz as they will put an end to this meaningless war once and for all. However, as they advanced, the SOLG military satellite is operational and its your job is to keep the OSEAN and Yuke troops safe as they will open the tunnel leading to the control unit. The tunnel part of this mission is the most insane part as it will put all your flying skills to the test and you have one shot to destroy the SOLG control unit.

19) The Unsung War - In the finale of AC5, The Ghosts of Razgriz are on a final mission; to stop the SOLG military satellite from crashing down the Osean capital city, Oured. But first, they have to fend off against a double Belkan formation; Ofnir and Grabacr. Fighting off against the Belkan squadrons sounds tough but nothing as tough as evading debris while blowing off the SOLG into a million pieces to save the world from the brink of destruction.

20) The Round Table - Ustio Air Force's Galm Team, comprising of you (Cipher) and Solo Wing Pixy, are tasked to invade Area B7R, known as the Round Table. B7R is a wasteland where pilots put their skills to the test regardless of their ranks. The only rule of engagement was...to SURVIVE.  In your first taste of B7R, your mission is to fend off against Belkan squadrons as much as possible. In the latter half, you'll be facing of against one of Belkan Air Force's finest squadrons; Rot (comprising of Typhoon pilots), Grun (experts of flying Super Hornets), or Indigo (Gripen pilots who know better).

21) Diapason - With the Allied Forces approached the Ustio capital city of Directus, which is under Belkan army control, the Galm Team are tasked to save Directus from the Belkan army's tyranny. Liberating a capital city of a small nation sounds like a start but things can get messy at the end when you're facing off a duo of Su-37 pilots known as the Gelb team.

22) Sword of Annihilation - Belka's massive chemical laser weapon, codenamed Excalibur, attacked the Allied Forces invading the Schayne Plains. Days later, the mission to attack Excalibur in its site, Tauberg, has begun. In this mission, you can't take down Excalibur without taking out its jamming sites as well as power stations. Since this is essentially an air-to-ground combat mission involving taking down a towering weapon of mass destruction, enemy squadrons are present, and greater tactics in terms of plane and weaponry are needed to pull out the King's Sword once and for all.

23) Mayhem - Area B7R has come alive with an all out aerial warfare between the Allied Forces and the Belkan Air Force. This is known to be one of the best moments in AC-ZERO because with no ground targets present, your skills as a fighter pilot are well and truly tested as you will fend off enemy squadrons as much as possible. That's a lot more than your first encounter at the B7R and with threat levels down; expect bigger threats from the best of Belkan Air Force such as the Schwarze team (Foxhound experts), Schnee team (Super Tomcat pilots with jammer crafts joining alongside), and Silber team (whose leader flew an F-4 Phantom II).

24) The Stage of Apocalypse - The Allied Forces are planning to attack Sudentor but their plans shifted when they've encountered enemy bombers heading through Ustio's Valais Air Base, most which claimed to have a nuclear warhead. In the first half, you have to shoot down the bombers as well as the enemy crafts, but in the second half; this is the messy part because the nuclear weapons have been detonated and things took a nasty turn when Pixy's shooting at you and went AWOL.

25) Lying in Deceit - In the aftermath of the nuclear explosions at the Waldreich Mountains and Pixy's disappearance, the Belkan government ordered most of its army to disband but some Belkan armies refused to accept the change in government and are disobeying the command to disband. There are remaining troops lurking in Belka's Mt. Schrim, which is familiar to AC fans many. Your task is to wipe out the remaining Belkan army platoon as much as you can and since this is an extended mission much like what happened in Glatisant, there's a return line where players can pass through for repairs and ammunition. And because of Pixy's AWOL status, Crow Team's PJ became your wingman and he responds to your orders.

26) The Talon of Ruin - It was Christmas Day in 1995, six months after the ceasefire agreement that signalled the end of The Belkan War, when Valais Air Base was under attacked by coup d'etat forces along with a top-secret patrol fighter aircraft known as the Hresvelgr. In this mission, you are tasked to pursue the Hresvelgr before it leaves the combat airspace but your pursuit has been hampered by Sapin Air Force's Espada Team, who are part of the coup d'etat.

27) The Demon of The Round Table - This is a three-part finale of The Belkan War where you can't change your aircraft after clearing this mission, meaning a choice of better aircrafts is necessary to complete this three-part mission. The first part takes on the now desolated Round Table as you are fighting against one of the three coup d'etat squadrons; Sorcerer, Gault, or Wizard. The Wizard Team is by no means the cleverest of the three coup d'etat squadrons. They're using F-16XL fighter bombers as distractions before getting lured by the trap set by pilots in their YF-23 stealth fighters.

28) The Valley of the Kings - The second-part of the finale involves taking down the Avalon Dam, where the coup d'etat forces are hiding an experimental V2 nuke and planned to launch it. In the first half, you have to fly through the canyon while avoid getting shot, then in the second half, you have to get through the dam and destroy the control units to stop the V2 launch. If you finished it, congratulations! You saved the world...or have you?!

29) Zero - Solo Wing Pixy re-emerged from nowhere and now he's facing you off with his new ADFX-01 Morgan, equipped with lasers and burst missiles that can blind you badly. This is the finale where you must finish off your former "buddy" before he launches the V2. Having managed to survive through the Morgan's firepower and attacked him, he launched the V2 and now, the Morgan's ECM is active, making it invulnerable to attack from behind, meaning your best chance to finish him is by attacking it head-on.

30) Gleipnir - Aurelian Air Force's Gryphus Squadron faces off against Leasath's aerial base, the Gleipnir. Because of its shock wave missiles and optical camouflage that renders it unseeable in the naked eye, the Gleipnir is a big threat to Aurelian airspace. It's your job to destroy the Gleipnir before it causes trouble in Aurelia.

31) End of Deception - The finale of ACX Skies of Deception involves in two ways; destroy the Archelon Fortress along with the experimental Fenrir aircraft or destroy the shock cannon. Well, the part with the Fenrir in it is the thrilling part of the game because thanks to the Fenrir's uncomparable firepower and camouflage along with Leasath's elite Alect Squadron, it's difficult to survive the final battle so the first thing to do is to destroy the power plant that powers its camouflage before fending off the almighty Fenrir. If you thought that was over, it's not over yet because with the gate of Archelon Fortress opened and with one remaining Fenrir trying to escape the fortress, you are tasked to destroy it while trying to survive inside the fortress that is about to explode. Thrilling, isn't it?

32) Heavy Command Cruiser - To prevent further casualties en route to save Gracemeria from the Estovakian army, the Emmerian Air Force, along with the heroic Garuda Team, are on the pursuit on the heavy command cruiser known as the Aigaion as it refuels through a remote island near Emmeria. In this mission, you are tasked to destroy the Aigaion heavy command cruiser as well as the Gyges and Kottos aerial warships. However, this mission is proven to be very hard because of the Aigaion's powerful weaponry as well as the Strigon team deployed as distractions but there's no impossible for aces like you to send this beast down to the bottom of the ocean.

33) Weapons of Mass Destruction - Despite the Garuda Team suspended for violating orders, they have been given a task to ambush the enemy transport unit carrying a catalyst unit for their WMD against the Emmerian capital Gracemeria. The tricky part of this mission aside from flying on the low altitude is when you've been spotted by the enemy observation tower, you have to destroy them as quickly as possible before they alert the transport unit. If you spot the transport unit, destroy it before it gets away but that's just the first half because on the second half, you'll get ambushed by enemy squadrons and then later, you've been reunited by your Emmerian air force allies, perfect enough to unleash your Allied Attack command if things get messy.

34) The Liberation of Gracemeria - With the Estovakian army taking desperate measures, the Emmerian army as well as Garuda Team have returned to Gracemeria for their do-or-die battle to take back the capital from the Stovie's rule. It's been proven to be one of the best moments in AC6 Fires of Liberation right up to the point where you'll defeat Strigon Leader Pasternak in his CFA-44 Nosferatu, the Estovakian prototype aircraft equipped with signature weapons like the ADMM and the EML.

35) Gracemeria Patrol - Gracemeria may be saved but the war is not over yet. In the first half of the mission, you are asked to fly through patrol areas while witnessing the beautiful fireworks in the night sky. It all seem so lovely to see Gracemeria rose from the darkness but then, something strange is happening. Yep, it's the cruise missiles but not as big as the Aigaion's and on the second half of this mission, you and Shamrock must defend Gracemeria against enemy squadrons and cruise missiles trying to attack Gracemeria like last time.

36) Chandelier - The cruise missiles that fired on Gracemeria came from a meteorite-intercepting railgun installation located at Sonne Island known as the Chandelier. In the finale, your mission is to destroy the Chandelier, starting with the cooling units following with the core units. This final mission is very thrilling and it requires all the skills you learned from past missions to save Emmeria from the dreaded weapon of mass destruction which served as the last resort for the Estovakians.

37) Bird Hunt - The terrorist organization known as the Valahia have attacked Tokyo with their aerial base known as the Spiridus. In this mission, you have been tasked to strip out of its weaponry before it uses the Balaur to make a giant crater out of the Japanese capital.

38) Capital Defense - Shortly after the Spiridus retreated Tokyo and successfully defended the Japanese Self Defense Force, the Valahia attacked the Japanese capital again, only this time, they've used a new aerial warship called the Orgoi. In this mission, you've been tasked to destroy the Orgoi warship. However, things took a turn of events as the leader of the Valahia militants, Nicolae Dumitrescu, spliced the communications and the Rigel Squadron, led by Sulejmani, have been tempted by Valahia to become one of them.

39) Raging Sea - As the Antares Squadron continue their pursuit against the Spiridus in London, UK, after their Middle Eastern ops, you've entered the Adriatic Sea and your mission is to fend off enemy commandos from both air, land, and sea. Later, you've been attacked by your former allies of Rigel Squadron, now referred as the Varcolac Squadron, and after you shoo them away, you've been tasked to take down a powerful submarine.

40) Night Watch - You've managed to pursue the aerial base Spiridus in London at the dead of night and on this mission you are going to destroy the aerial base once and for all before its causing extensive damage to the British capital.

41) Cyclops Slayer - London may have been saved but Europe still has a knife on its throat as the Antares Squadron began the pursuit against the Valahia. First off, you have to take on either the railgun or the radar sites mounted at Siberian mountains. In this mission, you have to take out the radar sites while avoiding the attack of the Balaur railgun.

42) Dragon Lair - In this mission, you are tasked to destroy the Balaur railgun as well as the jammer sites that hinder your progress.

43) Grand Flight - This mission adds a major twist in AC Joint Assault because in this mission, you are flying a Boeing 747 belonging to Andre Olivieri, a business tycoon, as you fly through the cliffs while dealing less damage by the anti-air weaponry. It's difficult to manage if you're going solo but in multiplayer, it's easy because three of your buddies are playing with their fighter jets as usual for defensive purposes.

44) Sanctify - The battle against Valahia ends in the former Soviet missile site militants called Infern, Romanian for Hell, In the first half, you and your buddies must stop the Varcolac Squadron once and for all. On the second half, this is a tricky one because you have to fly through the missile silo and destroy the control center to put an end to the Valahia. You managed to put an end to Valahia but you have discovered the conspiracy of the Golden Axe Plan and why Olivieri staged this war for his own profits.

45) Alarm Clock - As the Martinez Security prepares for the battle against the Golden Axe Plan in San Francisco, they've been under attacked by unknown hostiles. Even the AWACS Canopus is in danger and they're desperately seeking help to save themselves. In this mission, you are tasked to defend the AWACS Canopus from unknown hostiles including a horde of Orgoi aerial warships.

46) Ghost Hunt - The new Spiridus, made under the Golden Axe Plan, is en route to San Francisco, and it has more powerful weapons than the Valahian Spiridus you've defeated. In this mission, you are tasked to destroy the new Spiridus, with some help from the Martinez Security's ground forces as they'll launching a missile more powerful than what a fighter plane can fire. It's simple; wait till the ground forces fire the missile and when it hits the Spiridus, now's your chance to shoot it down to render its READS unusable.

47) Reprisal - In the finale, players are tasked to protect San Francisco against the Golden Axe Plan, then, you will engage a final battle against the Varcolac Squadron. Sulejmani and his men are now flying with the ultra-powerful GAF-1 Varcolac, an experimental aircraft developed from the GA Plan. Taking out his men might be easy but defeating Sulejmani is harder than you think because of its defense system that can intercept missiles from behind before reaching him unless if you can machine gun his craft to lower his defenses, then take him out for good. After wiping Sulejmani off the radar, you are tasked to break through the gates of the OLI HQ and the story's over.

48) Spooky - In this mission, you are in charge of firing weapons straight from the AC-130U gunship, while helping the Nomad on their landing operation in Eastern Africa. We find the first half to be quite enjoyable as you're unleashing massive firepower from the gunship thanks to 120mm shells, 40mm rounds, and a 25mm gatling gun.

49) Lock and Load - In this mission, you are in control of the door gun from the MH-60 BLACK HAWK helicopter and defend the Nomad units as you fight your way through a container ship full of rebels at Suez Canal, Egypt.

50) Hostile Fleet - With the help of American and Russian air fleet, Warwolf leader Col. William Bishop is tasked to rescue the Russian prime minister who was held captive by rebels via ship. In this mission, a strong air-to-ship weaponry is a recommendation and with crafts such as the F-2A or the Rafale M, it's no slouch, even the A-10A, thanks to its powerful FAE bomb, isn't shabby either.

51) Launch - In the first half of the mission, you are in control of the B-1 Lancer bomber as you engage in a bombing ops against a missile base. The B-1 maybe slow and heavy but its bombs are powerful enough to blow targets into a million pieces. However, on the latter half, things get a little messy as you, as Colonel Bishop, must pursue a ballistic missile and destroy it before it gets to an altitude too high for you to shoot.

52) Aftermath - The US forces team up with the Russian forces to liberate the Russian capital Moscow from the rebels and it's your job to defend Moscow against an army of enemy fighters and bombers, including the Sharkmouth Akula himself.

53) Homefront - In this mission, you have to fend off a squadron of Flanker planes attacking Miami, Florida. Fighting off against enemy planes in this area sounds grueling but in the latter part of the mission when your wingman Guts gets hit by the Sharkmouth's PAK-FA, there's the part of the mission where you'll shoot his canopy to bail himself out, and then, a head-on against Akula.

54) Hurricane - Despite a strong hurricane hitting the Florida Coast, Col. Bishop's pursuit against Akula continues, only this time, he's pursuing against two PAK-FA aircrafts, one of them is a Red Moon ace named Illich. With Markov escaped, your mission is to shoot down Illich once and for all.

55) Akula - In the finale, your mission is to protect Washington D.C. from rebel attacks. Whether if its fending off against Flanker planes as usual and defending the Woodrow Wilson bridge against Blackjack bombers approaching, nothing's more extreme than having a final face-off against Akula. It takes enough firepower and skill to defeat the Sharkmouth and after defeating the Sharkmouth, he dropped the Trinity nuke and your goal? Destroy Trinity before it hits the American capital! This has got to be a very thrilling moment in Assault Horizon.

And there you have it. These are the greatest moments in the world of Ace Combat. To all the aces, Phoenix, Scarface, Nemo, Mobius, Blaze, Cipher, Gryphus, Talisman, Antares, and Warwolf in the sky, we say thanks and here's for 20 more years. Cheers for the future of the Ace Combat series as it prepares itself to the new generation of aces.

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