[[caption-width-right:350:''"The Demon soars through dark skies,\\
Fear and death trail in its shadow beneath,\\
Until men united wield a hallowed sabre.\\
In final reckoning, the beast is slain."'']]

->''"You keep flying like that and you'll die real soon!"''

The fifth game in the ''AceCombat'' series, released in 2004, set mostly on the Osean Continent of [[ConstructedWorld Strangereal]] [[TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture in 2010]]. Although they have been staunch allies for 15 years, the Union of Yuktobanian Republics provokes and declares war upon the Osean Federation, conducting a massive invasion with nary a warning. The opening salvos are fired at Sand Island, an Osean training base where four cadets (or "nuggets") are on the verge of completing their training: Kei "Edge" Nagase, Alvin H. "Chopper" Davenport, Hans "Archer" Grimm, and Blaze (that's you!). Circumstances force these four to the forefront of the Circum-Pacific War where they will become the heroes known as the Wardog Squadron and, later, the Demons of Razgriz.

Meanwhile, in [[GaidenGame another story]], it has been one year since the end of the [[VideoGame/AceCombat04ShatteredSkies Usean Continental War]] and the hostilities have more or less been stopped. However, ''yet another'' group of rogue Erusian officers have vowed to keep fighting the good fight. Calling themselves "Free Erusea", they have raided an abandoned factory from the war and seized a rather large arsenal of weapons. To defeat them, the Independent State Allied Forces initiate ''Operation Katina'' -- complete and total pacification of all enemy forces. To this end, they deploy the hero of the war, Mobius One, to get the job done, with a little help, of course, from AWACS Sky Eye.

Unlike its predecessor, ''The Unsung War'' attempts to place the protagonists and their various struggles and follies in the spotlight, rather than having them alluded to in the background. It also experiments in-game with a system for commanding and customizing wingmen. The Arcade Mode, as described above, is included free as part of the game. For the actual events that would lead to the alliance between Osea and Yuktobania, see [[VideoGame/AceCombatZeroTheBelkanWar the next game in the series]].

Now has a '''[[Characters/AceCombat5TheUnsungWar character sheet]]'''. Please add all character-relevant tropes there.
!! Tropes found in the game :

* AllThereInTheManual: Among other things, the full (Japanese) text of the fairy tale "A Blue Dove for the Princess" that Nagase is so fond of can only be found on the official site of the game.
* AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs
* AluminiumChristmasTrees: Some players thought that the Su-32 having a toilet and a kitchen in it was a joke. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Su-32#Design Well...]]
* {{Anvilicious}}: InUniverse, two of your wingmen talk at great length about how much they hate war, while flying combat sorties. This becomes less of a problem when the truth about the war comes to light and they're no longer forced to fight a war they don't believe in. [[spoiler: One does, anyway; the other one dies before that.]]
* ArcNumber: 8492.
* AttackDrone: The Yuktobanian super-submarine "Hrimfaxi" and [[spoiler: the Osean "Arkbird" spacecraft both]] deploy [=UCAVs=] in an attempt to defend against the player's attacks. A formation of X-45 [=UCAVs=] also appear in Operation: Desert Arrow intent on attacking an Osean tank column.
** The final opponents of ''Operation Katina'' are a flight of X-02 Wyverns functioning as [=UCAVs=]. [=ISAF=] Command specifically thanks Mobius One for helping recover data on them.
* AwardBaitSong: "The Journey Home".
* BadassBoast: For Project Aces, "Nothing Else Comes Close" seen when the game first loads and just before the lengthy post Fortress cut scene (instead of something about Razgriz.) Given how highly regarded the game is by fans it's pretty prophetic.
* BattleshipRaid: The two ''Scinfaxi''-class submarines (''Scinfaxi'' and ''Hrimfaxi'').
* BeautyEqualsGoodness: Subverted by [[spoiler: the Arkbird]].
* BerserkButton: Kill [[spoiler:one of the Wardog Squadron members]] and the rest will become [[spoiler:the Demons of Razgriz]], annihilating everyone in their path as the enemy collectively shits themselves.
* {{BFG}}: Apparently some Osean cops like this trope:
-->"Hey, what's that in your back seat?"\\
"It's my anti-tank rifle. Brought it from home."
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment: InUniverse. The FALKEN's description says it's a prototype plane the Belkans are engineering. You are given a message saying that special plane parts have been located when you discover them in the game, basically lampshading that you are unlocking an InfinityPlusOneSword. However, the FALKEN itself is never encountered or mentioned anywhere in the story.
** There's also ''Sea of Chaos'' where this haunting song plays throughout. One might think, "Da hell is this" until it's revealed Anderson played the song across all radio frequencies to evoke precisely this reaction.
* BilingualBonus: Almost completely, even. The translated game keep the Japanese voice tracks and providing option for English sub in the process.
** One that works both in- and out-of-universe is the AWACS that supports you in the penultimate level. He introduces himself as "Oka Nieba", claiming "that would mean '[[VideoGame/AceCombat04ShatteredSkies Sky Eye]]' in your language". Indeed, ''Oka Nieba'' is Polish for "Eye of Heaven".
* ABirthdayNotABreak: Wonderfully averted as Grimm's birthday is a week [[spoiler:after the final mission]]. Better yet, he'll finally see (''he'', not ''you'') his mother and brother after a long time.
* BossRemix: Several: First is Burst Missile, played when you encounter your first burst missile which is a darker, slower sounding version of the Scinfaxi and Hrimfaxi themes. Then we receive Mother Goose 1, which takes motifs from Mask, played in the mission "8492." The same motif is reprised for your battle against the Grabacrs. White Bird (Part I) is a heroic sounding theme for when you're defending the Arkbird, but then White Bird (Part II) comes up as an equally heroic sound for an entirely different reason, [[spoiler: when you do battle with the Arkbird.]] It could be argued that all of the latter songs were written first, then their progressions were reused for the former themes, but because you encounter them first, they're boss remixes.
* CaptainObvious: Most of the orders and chatter fall under this, especially grievous when characters make comments like, "The sub's diving!" 20 seconds after it actually does.
** Also played straight by allied [=NPCs=] during Yuktobania's [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic Pearl Harbor-esque]] opening offensive:
--->"This is not a drill..."\\
"Oh, thanks for the heads-up, you idiot!"
** Another gem from Swordsman: "Don't take any unnecessary risks! We can't afford to die here." As opposed to the many places we ''can'' afford to die, I guess. He also gets "Don't be predictable. They're gonna be aiming for you." and many, many other observations that the ''enemy'' may well want to ''do mean things to you''.
** The transport intercept mission has many false targets appear on your HUD and radar. When you discover they are being broadcasted from a jammer plane, Chopper will ask, "So, it's a trick?"
* ChekhovsArmy: When you and your squadron [[spoiler:are falsely accused of treason]], the crew of the aircraft carrier Kestrel [[spoiler:are the only ones who know you're innocent, so they help you fake your deaths, provide a hideout and fight the real enemy, the Grey Men. Swordsman also joins your squadron.]]
* ChekhovsGun:
** Early in the game, Grimm and Chopper discuss how vulnerable the Arkbird is when it descends into the atmosphere to change course, and how "it would be in trouble if someone started shooting at it right now." [[spoiler: Later in the game, when the Big Bads take over the Arkbird, in order to use it as a weapon to escalate the war this is precisely how the Ghosts of Razgriz are able to attack it and shoot it down]].
* CherryBlossoms: The Zipang F-14D.
* ClownCar: The Hrimfaxi and [[spoiler:Arkbird]] can spawn an unlimited number of UAV drones to fight off.
* ClownCarBase: Mission "ACES" is the worst offender. You can choose between every plane you own. Since there are 53 playable aircraft and of each you can have a full squadron of 4, it means that the Kestrel can carry up to ''212 planes!'' (Real-world Nimitz class carriers hold a maximum of 90 planes, less than ''half'' of that)
** Considering the franchise's HyperspaceArsenal, [[HilariousinHindsight sure why not?]]
** Possibly justified in-story: The aircraft you get post-Razgriz came from an intercepted cargo ship ferrying Belkan weapons. The Kestrel might only be carrying the naval-capable jets, since in every carrier-based mission before ''Aces'' you can only launch naval aircraft. As for how they transfer over the four aircraft you want (or launch them off the deck of an aircraft carrier) that's probably GameplayAndStorySegregation, though while choosing your planes, you are told to pick whatever you want, and they'll ''make'' it take off.
* ColonyDrop: [[spoiler:After communication with the SOLG is severed from the ground, it's programmed to fall from orbit directly into the capital of Oured.]]
* ContinuityNod: In the penultimate mission, an allied Yuktobanian AWACS shows up, giving its call sign as "Oka Nieba" or "Sky Eye," the AWACS from ''04''.
** A few nods to ''VideoGame/AceCombat2'' are there if you look, such as the design of the Osean mass driver resembling the one on the Comona Islands from "Toy Box", the reappearance of the ADF-01 FALKEN for no particular in-story reason, and the two ''Scinfaxi''-class submarines being reminiscent of the "Extra Powerful Burst Missile"-firing ''Dragonet'' subs[[note]][[AllThereInTheManual background material]] even has Osean political figures denouncing the ''Scinfaxi''-class as nothing more than a copy of the ''Dragonet''-class[[/note]]. ''Aces at War'' also establishes that the Osean astronaut that sabotaged the Arkbird just before the Razgriz attacked it and shot it down was named John Harvard, same as the ''[=AC2=]'' wingman "Slash" (though it's not 100% confirmed whether it's the same person or just another case, like Nagase, of an Osean character just happening to share the name of a Usean one).
* CreatorProvincialism: In the same manner as ''VideoGame/AceCombat3Electrosphere'' - the American and PAL releases feature the exact same boxart, ''except'' for the Spanish and French versions, which replace the F-14 Tomcat on the cover with, respectively, a Eurofighter Typhoon and a Dassault Rafale.
* CrowdSong: The audience in the stadium during "Journey Home" sing the [[AwardBaitSong song of the same name]] in protest to the war.
* DeathFromAbove: You and your wingmen spend many missions in the game delivering this to the enemy. There is also the orbital laser from the Arkbird spacecraft and the burst missiles from the Yukes.
* DelayingAction: Mission 17 is a Type 2 (Hold them off until the cavalry arrives).
* DevelopersForesight:
** On mission 12A, enemy Stingers in the jungle will engage you if you fly too low, as warned in the briefing. They do not show on radar or the HUD, but you can trace where the missile comes from and destroy the SAM sites with your guns. That's not the dev part; enemy soldiers will report casualties, and be shocked that hiding in the jungle won't work. On the other hand, your allies will tell you to stop taking unnecessary risks and focus on the mission.
** On mission 18+, when you're ambushed by the [[spoiler:Belkan Squadron]], you're told to head east and leave the area to complete the mission. However, you can stay behind and shoot down all enemy planes to complete the mission.
* DisturbedDoves: Done in the very end, combined with a [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic soundless shot of a howling Kirk (Chopper's dog)]].
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: Done for dramatic effect - many of the levels in the pre-Razgriz section of the game deliberately mirror prominent levels from ''Ace Combat 04'' before it - such as the amphibious landing taking place during a rainy night just like 04's Operation Bunker Shot, or the great battle in the desert on the way to the enemy capital just like 04's Whiskey Corridor. This is done so [[spoiler:the player's squadron leaving Osean service at the same point in the game ''04'' ended]] is more of an unexpected twist.
* DoppelgangerSpin: AWACS radar jamming creates this effect.
* DubInducedPlotHole: A minor one: after the mission in which [[spoiler: Chopper is shot down]], you can still hear [[spoiler: his]] voice saying "Wardog, launch" after picking your planes. It's not until [[spoiler: you rescue the Osean President and are renamed the Razgriz]] that the error is corrected.
* DudeWheresMyRespect: ''Beautifully'' averted. Wardog Squadron is very quickly labeled as the "Demons of Razgriz".
** During an assault on a fortress, the ground troops are disheartened to learn that they have to attack for the fourth time, until they learn you're coming to assist. Also provides some MoodWhiplash: [[spoiler: one of the soldiers asks why there are only three of you flying (Chopper was killed in the previous mission), and another soldier says only good boys can see the fourth one. Nagase's pain can be leaned on.]]
** At the same time, however, it's funny that the four protagonists are getting all the praise (and a photo of the four is even in the newspaper), but the co-pilots of their twin-seated aircraft are forgotten; especially that the mainstay aircraft in the game is the F-14A. Radar Intercept Officers are important too!
** Anyone who has played 04 will know why Mobius One is legendary, and even then he exceeds the expectations of ISAF Command.
* DummiedOut: ''Squadron Leader'' misses the Falken unlockable plane as well as the option to use the Japanese dub.
* EscapeSequence: In one mission, after the Wardog Squadron is [[spoiler:framed for treason]], they escape by stealing a group of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BAE_Systems_Hawk BAE Systems Hawk]] training jets. {{Justified|Trope}} in that they ''could'' trash their pursuers if they wanted--let's be honest, they're the [[RedBaron Demons of Razgriz]]--but they've been [[spoiler:falsely accused and are only trying to escape and exonerate themselves, not commit fratricide]]. Not to mention that those training jets are all that they could get their hands on, as the base had locked down all the actual fighters in their hangars.
* ExpositoryGameplayLimitation: In the first mission, Blaze's lock-on function is disabled so he cannot fire on the enemy planes while his CO tries to hail them on the radio. The reason for this is that Blaze's superiors explicitly forbade him from opening fire, and his CO overrides that order only after enemy escorts arrive and start shooting at them.
* FatalFamilyPhoto: Played around a bit. During the D-Day-esque mission, Soldier A at the very beginning of the level starts to tell Soldier B something, then decides to wait until after the fight. Afterwards, depending on how you do, A will inform B that B either forgot his lucky charm, or, congratulations! Has a new son.
** Also played around a bit with squadron member Grimm. During the same D-Day-esque mission, he mentions having an older brother who is a member of the ground forces and is participating in the operation. Later on, that same brother is revealed to be also serving in a combined-arms offensive in the later part of the game. Both turn out fine.
* AFatherToHisMen: Pretty much every protagonist character.
* TheFederation: Osea (which its full name spells it out for you) and Yuktobania. At one point, Belka's full name was the "Belkan Federation" but it was more along the lines of TheEmpire.
* FinishHim: When you heavily damage the Scinfaxi, the Arkbird rips a hole in it with its laser, leaving it defenseless and unable to launch more fighters. After that, Thunderhead tells you to "Blast it out of the water!"
* FirstPersonSnapshooter: One StealthBasedMission replaces all of your weapons with a camera for a recon mission over an enemy base.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: All over the first half of the game.
** During Mission 06, "''White Bird Part I''", Chopper and Archer discuss how easy it would be to shoot down the Arkbird while it's flying at sub-orbital heights. [[spoiler: Guess what ''White Bird Part II'' mainly consists of.]]
** During the next mission, one of the rookies is shot down and panics, leading him to scream out "The eject handle's stuck!" in terror. [[spoiler: The reason for crashing and the line in question are the exact same as the ones during Chopper's death.]]
** During mission 15, your beacon tracker gets jammed by an E-767. Fly closer and you'll see [[spoiler: Belkan Air Force markings. Guess who's behind the war.]]
*** On the same subject, Pops and Genette examines the wreckage of a Yuktobanian fighter in one cutscene, and find out it's made by Gründer Industries, [[spoiler:the same company that makes weapons for Osea.]] And, it's [[spoiler:run by the Belkan government.]] In the same cutscene, Pops talks about a rumor that after the Belkan War, Osea began to hire Belkan pilots to strengthen the OADF. [[spoiler:The rumor turns out to be true, and it's none other than the 8492nd Squadron.]]
* GameplayAllyImmortality: Your squadmates can inexplicably survive the Scinfaxi's burst, and it gets to the point that you wonder if ''anything'' can kill them. [[spoiler:Until it does.]] There are some who ''will'' die, such as every single rookie in Front Line when the burst missile comes crashing down.
* GenreBlindness: Front Line: "I've got a good feeling! I'm going to make it!" The Journey Home: "Damn! I thought this was going to be an easy job!"
* TheGreatestStoryNeverTold: The subtitle "The Unsung War" refers to the Wardogs' final missions as the Ghosts of Razgriz, which never officially took place, just as [[NoSuchAgency the Ghosts themselves never existed]].
* GreatOffscreenWar: The Belkan War, at least until ''Zero'' put it firmly onscreen.
* GreyAndGrayMorality: While the Yuktobanians are the initial aggressors, Osea responds to their failed invasion by launching their own full-scale invasion of Yuktobania with intent to take it over, calling it "liberating" the other country. [[spoiler:Both sides become ALighterShadeOfGray when it's revealed that Belka had manipulated both nations into the war, the leaders of both Osea and Yuktobania never wanted the war, and both work to end it as soon as they're rescued.]]
* GunsDoNotWorkThatWay: At one point, Perrault fires a Beretta 92F pistol [[spoiler:at the protagonists after accusing them of being enemy spies]], and his gun clicks empty after firing only six shots, despite the real Beretta 92 having a 15-round magazine.
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler: Captain Bartlett diverts a missile from Nagase's six and is shot down over the Sand Island coast at the beginning of the game. Rescue crews are unable to find him, and his fate is never made clear until, near the game's end, it is revealed that he was picked up by a Yuktobanian ship and escaped from custody before he could be put into a POW camp. He later joined a Yuke resistance movement and sent mission data to the Kestrel, taking to the skies again in order to assist Razgriz Squadron in the battle at Sudentor.]]
** [[spoiler: Chopper insists on waiting until the stadium is fully evacuated before bailing out. When he finally decides to do so, his plane is so badly damaged that his canopy won't blow and his ejection seat isn't working, resulting in his death. It's then confirmed in a cutscene that the stadium ''was'' successfully evacuated with no civilian casualties.]]
* HoldTheLine: In mission 17, the player is tasked with defending November City from a Yuktobanian air strike until reinforcements arrive.
* InstantDeathRadius: The radar coverage circles in the Solitaire mission will fail you for flying into them. The earlier mission Handful of Hope plays around with this, in that ''you'' can fly through said circles just fine, but then the transport plane you're leading will follow you and get shot at by friendly [=SAMs=].
** Getting caught in the blast radius of a burst missile detonation is likely to result in this too.
* InterfaceScrew: There is one during a briefing when [[spoiler:a missile hits the Kestrel.]]
* InterfaceSpoiler: Noticeably averted. At the end of the mission where you're running away in training jets [[spoiler: Snow's]] communication text is red, even though everyone in Wardog knows he's actually an ally.
* ItsAWonderfulFailure: If you TakeYourTime in the final mission and don't complete the objective until the timer runs out, you get treated to a short cutscene of [[spoiler:the SOLG vaporizing Oured]].
* ItsRainingMen: The raid on the Arkbird's linear catapult combines this with TankGoodness. Yup, tanks para-dropping from C-130s.
* JokeCharacter: The Hawk T.1, a mere training aircraft for rookies. Subsonic with no afterburner. Add insult to injury in that there's a painfully long mission where you ''have'' to fly that thing... and can't fight back because you're unarmed. [[LethalJokeCharacter Once you get regular access to it, though, it gets QAAMs]].
* JustFollowingOrders: One of the main themes of the game's rather anvilicious criticism of war.
-->'''Chopper:''' These guys are just going to storm in head on following orders! That's how war is fought and that's why I hate it!
* KickTheDog: Missions 11A & 11B have the Yuktobanians launching simultaneous attacks on a civilian international airport and releasing toxic gas in an Osean city. Which attack you end up being with repelling depends on the result of a coin toss.
* KillSat: The Arkbird, and later [[spoiler:the SOLG]].
* LampshadeHanging: When Bartlett is introducing his squadron to his old girlfriend, and she guesses the identity of the HeroicMime, Bartlett's response is "That goes without saying."
** Also, unwary players may be shocked out of their shoes to hear a deep, booming voice cry, "Blaze, engage!" However, it's just Chopper screwing around.
* LaserGuidedAmnesia: Despite being grounded and hauled up for an inquest during which the 8492nd squadron is mentioned ''repeatedly'' and only allowed to fly again due to a handily-timed terrorist attack, everyone barely remembers the event at all by the time ''Fortress'' rolls along. Wardog, at the very least, does remember it after a few seconds, but everyone else not only forgets the event in question, but goes along with everything the 8492nd says regarding [[spoiler:the Wardog squadron supposedly being traitors]].
* LevelGrinding: Planes are divided into "families" that, in RealLife are generally upgrades or variants of each other, and later planes in the family are unlocked by killing enemies with the previous model.
* MacrossMissileMassacre: Some of the special weapons allow you to fire a volley of up to four missiles simultaneously.
* MagikarpPower: Thanks to the "kill rate" system through which planes unlock variants, some rather lackluster planes, like the [=MiG=]-21bis (basically equivalent to the starter F-5E with an arguably worse SP weapon) and the F-4E Phantom II (a large fighter with sub-par handling and arguably the worst SP weapon in the game and then forces you to go through the even less maneuverable F-4G Phantom II Wild Weasel) can eventually unlock the [=MiG=]-21-93, which carries [=QAAMs=] and fights at a similar level to the F-14D, and the F-4X, which uses [=XMAAs=] and operates on about the same level as the F-15C and Su-27. Other aircraft trees also get better with newer variants, but few increase in performance so dramatically.
* MissingManFormation: An allied squadron performs one for [[spoiler:Chopper]].
* MookMaker: The Scinfaxi, Hrimfaxi [[spoiler:and Arkbird]] will produce an endless supply of [=UAVs=] until the source is destroyed and cut off.
* MoralEventHorizon: InUniverse: a major part of the backstory is that Belka detonated seven nuclear warheads on their own territory (in ''Zero'', [[spoiler: you get to witness it firsthand]]). That was pretty much the point where everybody realized just how savage the war had become, and a cease fire was negotiated shortly afterward. The fact that Strangereal doesn't seem to have nuclear proliferation makes it even worse; nukes are very exotic and far more terrifying than they are to us in the real world.
* MyCountryRightOrWrong: Averted, as your wingmen don't believe the war with Yuktobania is justified at all. Either because the writing is very obtuse or because it's just too subtle, they get [[{{Flanderization}} flanderized]] by players who view them as unrealistically pacifist. Their extreme viewpoint actually has a basis in the plot, as they listen to their own President personally tell them that he doesn't want a war and is doing everything he can to make peace, only for them to be invading Yuktobania barely more than a week later. [[spoiler:When it comes out that the entire thing is engineered by a third party and the President ''wasn't'' lying, they're just as eager as anyone to fight the real enemy.]]
* NicknamingTheEnemy: The Oseans refer to Yuktobanians as "Yukes".
* NoGearLevel: Two of them. One particularly difficult level has you escaping pursuers... in unarmed Hawk [=T1A=] trainers. To make matters worse, the Hawks aren't particularly fast, though they are very maneuverable. On the other hand, your pursuers keep a fairly reasonable distance between you and them, so the only way to risk getting shot is to deliberately letting them approach. A little while later you have a StealthBasedMission where you can choose whatever plane you want, but your weapons are replaced with camera equipment to photograph an enemy meet-up.
* OminousLatinChanting: "The Unsung War" tells the story of Razgriz, in Latin. (The English lyrics below are spoken InUniverse by a character, and are an approximate translation, not a literal one.)
--> Cum historia mutat valde, Razgriz ''(When history witnesses a great change, Razgriz)''\\
Revelat ipsum, primum daemon scelestus est ''(reveals itself, first as a dark demon)''\\
Cum potentia caenum daemon fundet ''(As a demon, it uses its power to rain)''\\
Mortem in terram, deinde moritur ''(Death upon the land, and then it dies)''\\
Cum somnus finis, Razgriz surget ''(However, after a period of slumber, Razgriz returns)''\\
Magnus heros est ''(This time, as a great hero)''
* OneManArmy:
** At one point in the campaign, Chopper outright admits that Blaze "could singlehandedly change the tide of this war".
** Lampshaded in the Arcade mode, where the briefing outright states that ISAF sent [[OneRiotOneRanger Mobius One in on his own]] because he is superior to an entire air wing.
* OrchestralBombing: See the ominous Latin chanting entry above.
* PeaceConference: An attempt by the Osean President for talks with the Yuktobanian Prime Minister in North Point. [[spoiler:A FalseFlagOperation was carried out after the President's plane goes down, by Belkan Grey Men posing as an allied squadron]].
* PropagandaMachine: Backfires on the Grey Men when the vice-president of Osea, filling in for the President, tries to give a pro-war speech at a massive public event. If the Vice-President isn't on the Gray Men's payroll, they at least maneuvered him there because they knew he would be pro-war. How does the audience in the stadium respond? By singing an anti-war song. And they keep singing as he ''begs'' them to agree with him.
* RealityEnsues: Seen in Captain Bartlett's TakingTheBullet moment, [[spoiler:and in mission 14 with Nagase]], where the missile stays on them despite their doing maneuvers that would have thrown off a standard missile in-game.
* RealSongThemeTune: One of the in game tracks as well as the trailer includes ''Blurry'' by Puddle of Mudd, which is about cowardice and abandonment. [[DeclarationOfProtection Somehow these themes don't quite fit.]]
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Bartlett gets to give a short one to [[spoiler:Hamilton]] in the penultimate mission.
* SadBattleMusic: In mission 17, after [[spoiler:Chopper crashes]], the previous aggressive music abruptly stops and for a minute or so, there is no music at all. Then, just as new waves of enemies arrive, a SimpleScoreOfSadness picks up and plays until the end of the mission. It's made even worse by your remaining wingmen sobbing quietly on the radio.
* ShoutOut: The name of the arcade mode, Operation Katina, comes from one of the planets in the ''VideoGame/StarFox'' universe; ''Star Fox Assault'' was in development by the same team at the same time as ''Ace Combat 5''.
** As mentioned numerous times, if anyone wondering what [[VideoGame/RidgeRacer Reiko Nagase]] was up to between games, well she...or her sister, becomes a badass fighter pilot.
** The default [[CoolPlane F-14]] is done up in white with black tails and yellow ribbons. You might think this is a ShoutOut to Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross, but both Roy Fokker's plane and this one are replicas of the famous real life squadron VF-84, the Jolly Rogers.
*** Speaking of ''Macross'', in the Sea of Chaos mission, the Yuktobanian forces joining the Kestrel brings to mind the Zentraedi forces joining the SDF-1 in the climax of Anime/MacrossDoYouRememberLove.
** Huckebein the Raven was a mischievous German comic book character, who also lent his name to an experimental plane from UsefulNotes/WorldWarII that was never built.
* SoundtrackDissonance: Deliberately invoked by Captain Andersen in the "Sea of Chaos" mission. The background music is [[LeftTheBackgroundMusicOn actually him playing "The Journey Home" over the Kestrel's radio.]]
** The same song is also sung by the audience in the stadium mission "Journey Home" while you're desperately trying to stop enemy aircraft from bombing said audience. It gets scary once you realize they're singing instead of evacuating.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: Ustio's capital is shown on a world map in the introduction as "Dilectus". It gets changed to "Directus" in ''Ace Combat Zero''.
* SpringtimeForHitler: [[spoiler:Your performance leads to the war going a bit ''too'' well for Osea, when the conflict was engineered by Belkan infiltrators to grind down both superpowers. Naturally, they take steps to correct this by removing you from the picture, which ultimately causes the whole plot to unravel]].
* StealthBasedMission: Subverted in "Demons of Razgriz", which is set up to minimize the chance that the target will detect the player's squad, but you get detected no matter what you do. A later mission, "Solitaire", plays this straight, as you can only allow the enemy to notice you after you've accomplished your main objective. The mission "Handful of Hope" combines this with an EscortMission: You have to escort a transport plane on a secret mission through a ''friendly'' AA defense net, which won't harm you but will shoot at the plane you're escorting after it follows you into a danger zone since they're not using a recognized IFF signal and their radar was damaged from an earlier hit.
* StoryDrivenInvulnerability: [[spoiler: Captain Hamilton]]. You ''can'' shoot him down in the big open area, or Edge can and credit Blaze for the kill. He just ''gets a new plane and comes after you again''.
* TakingTheBullet: Captain Bartlett does this for Nagase early on.
* ATasteOfPower: Operation Katina lets you use the F-22 Raptor. The campaign mode of ''Unsung War'' bumps you back to a dinky F-5 Tiger and you won't see a Raptor or something of equivalent capability for quite a while. Unless you beat Katina, which unlocks the Raptor for purchase much earlier than it would be otherwise (and gives you the awesome Mobius 1 paintjob).
* TechTree: You unlock new planes by completing missions, but these planes are mostly just the basic models, and to get the more advanced modifications, you need to fill the basic plane's kill bar by raking up high scores in the campaign or free missions. While most "trees" are pretty linear, some feature honest branching, such as the basic Su-27 fighter upgrading into both the Su-32 frontline bomber and the Su-35 air superiority fighter, and the latter, into the iconic Su-37 superfighter.
* UnfriendlyFire: During "Lit Fuse", a soldier from Company D will ask you to bomb his [[TheNeidermeyer overblown and incompetent]] captain. [[CrowningMomentOfFunny Blaze can offer to oblige,]] but before he gets a chance [[MoodWhiplash the soldier gets bombed by the Yukes.]]
* WarIsHell:
** Nagase is infamous for preaching this trope throughout the campaign. She was right of course.
** Chopper is traumatized in the events of a [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII Pearl Harbor-esque]] attack where the [[TakingYouWithMe downed enemy planes steered toward floating survivors of sunken ships to kill them]], though he [[StepfordSmiler hides it quite well]].
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Perrault [[spoiler: declares the Wardog squadron to be spies and takes shots at Pops, Genette and Grimm]] and is then never mentioned again. AWACS Thunderhead disappears entirely as well after Pops takes his place as MissionControl. Most likely because, after the squad leaves Sand Island, they shift their focus onto an entirely different aspect of the war, and as such never cross paths with their old unit (except for [[spoiler:Captain Hamilton at the very end, since he's part of the group instigating the war]]).
* WhatTheHellHero: The first two missions pretty much consist entirely of your squadron shooting down Yuktobanian jets without permission. Bartlett is able to justify fighting back in self defense because they were shot at first, but it isn't surprising that a full-out war breaks out after the second time.
* YouAreInCommandNow: Despite technically having more flight and combat experience, Edge [[EnforcedTrope insists]] on making you the squadron leader against the protests of Thunderhead, who gave the order.
* YouHaveGotToBeKiddingMe: Basically everyone's reaction when the Yuktobanians manage to [[spoiler:haul a freaking ''battleship'' (with escorts!)]] into the middle of a desert during Operation Desert Blitz.