-> ''"Listen up everybody! Don't fall behind the Southern Cross!"''

[[quoteright:256:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/acx_cover1.jpg]]

''Skies of Deception'' is the first game in the ''VideoGame/AceCombat'' series on the UsefulNotes/PlaystationPortable and the ninth game in the series overall. Released in 2006. It focuses on the southern section of the [[VideoGame/AceCombat5TheUnsungWar Osean Continent]] where you play as a pilot in the air force of the Federal Republic of Aurelia. In 2020, they are invaded by their northern neighbor, the Democratic Republic of Leasath, on the pretext of retaliation for their involvement in a civil war. In just ten days their superweapon, the Gleipnir aerial fortress, [[RecycledINSPACE wipes out almost the entire Aurelian air force]]. Gryphus One is the only survivor of his squadron and must lead the counterattack into Leasath territory.

The game brought a few new gimmicks into the series. The first was its campaign structure, where missions were chosen freely from a list of around 5 and could be done in any order, or [[StoryBranching not at all in some cases]]. The second was equippable parts that would boost certain characteristics of the chosen plane, often at a price. Albert Genette, the reporter from ''The Unsung War'', returns to narrate the story of Gryphus Squadron.
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!! Tropes found in the game

* AcePilot: Again, you, the Southern Cross, responsible for single handedly turning the tide and winning the war.
* ArmsDealer: Diego Navarro, the military leader of Leasath.
* AntiVillain: Unlike previous entries in the franchise, Leasath is portrayed horribly, taking pride and pleasure in causing suffering to the people of Aurelia. [[spoiler: Mostly because they were duped into thinking they were exploited by the Aurelians]].
* GreatOffscreenWar: The Leasath Civil War. Despite not taking place during the story, it's the reason behind the current war, as Leasath blames Aurelia for exploiting it. [[spoiler: Of course, this is entirely untrue, with Diego Navarro hiding the fact that Aurelia ACTUALLY PROVIDED AID to Leasath, and using all the food and money for arms sales instead]].
* BackFromTheBrink: As usual. The game begins with Leasath taking over [[CurbStompBattle 90% of Aurelia in ten days]]. After [[VideoGame/AceCombat04ShatteredSkies fending off a group of bombers attacking your last base AGAIN]], you single-handedly turn the tide of the war.
* BossRemix: "Alect Squadron".
* BonusBoss: [[spoiler:Scarface One and the Z.O.E. Commander]].
* BraggingRightsReward: The Fenrir.
* CherryBlossoms: The Zipang F-14D as a Downloadable Content.
* CivilWar: Partially what led to the events of the game.
* CommissarCap: Leasath commanding officer Diego Gaspar Navarro is seen wearing one.
* ContinuityCameo: The game is narrated by Albert Genette, the same photojournalist who narrated ''Ace Combat 5''. And his reporting skills have only gotten better in the five years since, what with [[spoiler: uncovering a government conspiracy]].
* CoversAlwaysLie: The Leasathian F-5Es on the front cover are not only of a different paint scheme from those in-game, but that paint scheme is not available for the F-5E at all.
* DeepSouth: A lot of people on both sides have exaggerated accents similar to those found in the southern United States. A bit a FridgeBrilliance can be pulled from this, though; Leasath and Aurelia are located on the southern part of the Osean continent, which is the Strangereal version of the United States.
* DiscOneNuke: The XFA-27 may fit this. Also, the F-5E (able to be unlocked immediately after the XFA-27) is equipped with [=QAAMs=]. It's balanced by only carrying six, but still, that's effectively six free air kills.
* DudeWheresMyRespect: ''Beautifully'' averted, as usual. Some allies outright fanboy Gryphus One in their radio conversations, and at the end it's shown that souvenir shops are selling stuff with his Southern Cross emblem.
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: The Leasathian bombing of a defenceless city in the first mission clearly shows that they aren't quite the MyCountryRightOrWrong {{Punch Clock Villain}}s of other titles. [[spoiler:On the other hand, Albert's investigations show that Leasath is thoroughly taken in by Navarro's speeches about the ''eeevil'' Auralians, and indeed after his last military defeat and destruction of his latest superfighter they're...well, they're quite angry...]]
* ForTheEvulz: The first Leasath Air Force bomber squadrons you encounter begins to bomb a civilian city. When their operator stops them, it is for wasting ordnance.
** Leasath also takes pride in using gas attacks on civilians.
* FragileSpeedster: The Cariburn.
* GenreSavvy: After realizing that the cost of the wine he's drinking is way too expensive for a poor war-torn nation like Leasath, Albert, [[VideoGame/AceCombat5TheUnsungWar having seen this sort of conspiracy before]], wonders if there's more to the war than meets the eye. [[spoiler: Of course, he's right.]]
* HeroTrackingFailure: The Meson Cannon can't keep up with Gryphus One if he flies fast enough.
* HeroOfAnotherStory: Albert Genette's the one who [[spoiler: manages to take down Diego Navarro by revealing the truth behind the war.]]
* IAmNotLeftHanded: The Time Limit mission provides us with one as the player can't accelerate very hard at first, lest you detonate the sensitive ordnance you are carrying to disperse the poison gas that was spread on the city. The enemies in the mission, not aware of your limitations, ridicule your mediocre flying at first, wondering what made you so great in the first place. [[OhCrap Their attitude quickly changes]] once you finish your task and jettison the ordnance, allowing you full maneuverability again.
* InformedEquipment: Adding parts to planes doesn't change their appearance one bit.
* InstantDeathRadius: The Gleipnir's Shock Cannon. The mission "In Pursuit" also has an IDR with "high-performance [=SAMs=]" protecting a group of jammers from you.
* InterfaceScrew: A SWBM detonating or a firing of the Shock Cannon results in the screen shaking.
* IntrepidReporter: Albert once again, being responsible for [[spoiler: revealing Diego Navarro's true plans for the war.]]
* InvisibilityCloak: The Digital Optical Stealth on the Gleipnir and Fenrir.
* InvisibilityFlicker: The Gleipnir needs to decloak to fire its Shock Cannon. Averted with stealth fighters that can remain off-radar even when firing missiles and decloak only pretty much arbitrarily.
* KarmaHoudini: Justified because this is entirely up to your performance. In one ending (Where you fail the last mission), Diego Navarro, the Leasath leader, escapes justice and his BatmanGambit still partially works out. In the other, he's torn apart by an angry mob.
* KickTheDog: You have Leasath bombing a defenceless city ForTheEvulz and the Hamlet unit's biochemical attack on Santa Elva, which may be a MoralEventHorizon-crossing.
* TheLawOfConservationOfDetail: The game loves making use of this for its {{Remixed Level}}s.
* LeeroyJenkins: Ninox 2 , who flies ahead of formation and gets wasted by the Meson Cannon for his trouble.
* LevelGrinding: It makes you unlock a set of colour schemes by kill farming too.
* MeaningfulName: "Gleipinir" is the name of a magical chain that restrains Fenrir. [[spoiler: Backstory reveals it was meant to record combat data for Diego Navarro's REAL superweapon, a super fighter named, you guessed it, Fenrir]].
* MissionControl: Crux, a by the book operator for you. He's also a good enough friend to know exactly why [[spoiler: you don't grant poor Albert an interview]].
* MookMaker: You have carriers doing this.
* MyCountryRightOrWrong: Averted in some cases; some Leasath soldiers aren't JustFollowingOrders but genuinely buy into Navarro's desire to see the destruction and downfall of Aurelia. Of course, he ''is'' a good speaker.
* MyNaymeIs: We have the Ca'''r'''iburn with a R, whereas King Arthur's first sword is Ca'''l'''iburn with a L.
* NeverTrustATrailer: The voice-acting in the trailer is much different than that in the game.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: The game offers you various ways of breaking it by choosing or ignoring missions, and the final one is a SadisticChoice that you can't avoid.
* NoEndorHolocaust: The Gleipnir's crashing into the Santa Elva river doesn't injure anyone, which Eugene remarks on.
* NonStandardGameOver: Failing Standoff in the Skies II gives you a lovely cutscene of the Gleipnir [[MoralEventHorizon slaughtering a civilian city]] with its Shock Cannon whilst Crux laments all the innocent people that have been murdered.
* OneHitPointWonder: Subverted as a high enough defence allows you to get away with 90+ , maybe 80+ % damage taken... not that many planes are both that survivable and still good dogfighters.
* PixelHunt: Ther's two missions (depending on your mission choices) with radar jamming, forcing you to eyeball tiny targets.
* PunchClockVillain: At least one Leasath shipman would rather be fishing than pursuing war with Aurelia.
* [[RealMenWearPink Real Men Fly Pink Raptors]]: Gryphus One's Southern Cross emblem comes with some cutesy cartoon bird.
* RedBaron: You get two names. [[TheDreaded Nemesis]] by Leasath, and the Southern Cross, by basically everyone.
* RemixedLevel: Lots of these.
* TheRepublic: Aurelia.
* SadisticChoice: In general. You decide when and where to go, which sometimes leads to pretty hard choices, as you're losing something no matter what.
* ShaggyDogStory: A comedic variation. [[spoiler: Albert has spent nearly a year in the sweltering Southern Hemisphere, covering a war and even revealing the conspiracy behind it... but he never got to interview Gryphus One]].
* SequelDifficultySpike: X is generally seen as a harder game in the series, with harder missions and, via StoryBranching, [[UpToEleven the ability to make said missions even harder]].
* ShoutOut: Starting plane being the F-4E? Check. First mission protecting your base from bombers? Check. Anime-like cutscene stills? Check. The Raptor being the flagship fighter of the game? Check. [[VideoGame/AceCombat04ShatteredSkies Yeah, totally not familiar.]]
* StealthyColossus: ''Gleipnir''. It's bigger than an entire city, but thanks to stealth tech is hard to track and take down.
* SupportingProtagonist: Gryphus one does have an important role in single-handedly turning the tide of the war, [[spoiler: but it's ultimately Albert who manages to stop Diego Navarro by finding the truth behind it and revealing it to the people of Leasath.]]
* TakingYouWithMe: As the lethally damaged Gleipnir is crashing, its pilot voices his desire to take as many Santa Elva civilians as he can even as his ground control pleads with him to aim for the river to minimize collateral damage.
* VisibleInvisibility: The Gleipnir and Fenrir use ''Franchise/{{Predator}}''-style shimmer for their Digital Optic Stealth.
* WarForFunAndProfit: [[spoiler:The leader of the aggressive nation Leasath, Diego Gaspar Navarro, attacks the country of Aurelia in order to demonstrate the Fenrir, an amazing jet he was planning to sell.]]
* WeaponOfChoice: The F-22 Raptor for Gryphus One, [[VideoGame/AceCombat04ShatteredSkies again]].
* [[YouAreNumberSix You Are Gryphus One]]: Just like [[VideoGame/AceCombat04ShatteredSkies Mobius One]], you don't even have a callsign.
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