[[caption-width-right:252: Where's yer drive? Gawddammit!]]

Often referred to as the {{Dueling Game|s}} and Creator/{{Konami}}'s response to the ''VideoGame/AceCombat'' series, it enjoyed success on the UsefulNotes/SegaDreamcast, but less so on the UsefulNotes/PlayStation2 due to competition with the aforementioned. For the most part, it was considered inferior to the ''Ace Combat'' games due to inferior handling performance of many of its early game aircraft, [[DamnYouMuscleMemory a vastly different default control scheme]] (correctable with the fully customizable control settings), and [[LargeHam hammy]] [[HamAndCheese voice]] [[HamToHamCombat acting]].

Oddly, the flight physics were a bit more accurate than the ''Ace Combat'' series. Every plane has specific air-speed windows in which they are most agile; the majority are most agile in the 400-700 KIAS window. Loss of agility occurs both when going too slow (not enough airflow for the control surfaces to bite) or too fast (excess inertia and the plane's own systems limiting airframe g-loads). In addition, planes suffer substantial speed loss while dog-fighting and players have to worry more about keeping their speeds ''up'' to remain agile, whereas ''Ace Combat'' players must regularly apply airbrakes and fly at near-stall speeds to prevent overshoot or being shaken off.

Aside from that, the series is notable among flight sim shooters for its wide variety of unique missions, settings, objectives and customizable aircraft. Actual customizing options are limited to weapons and paint jobs but are not locked. It makes heavy use of anime artwork, character designs and anime influenced enemies, plot devices, bosses and cutscenes. There are multiple playable characters with unique personalities, missions and aircraft. Aside from that, a player can fail individual missions, crash or get shot down and keep playing. The player must pay to repair aircraft lost in crashes/shoot downs. Most players just [[SaveScumming save after each mission success]].

There are [[RuleOfThree three]] games in the series: the original ''Airforce Delta'' on Dreamcast, ''Airforce Delta Storm'' on UsefulNotes/{{Xbox}}, and ''Airforce Delta Strike'' on [=PS2=]. All three games feature the same basic gameplay but different plots.

[[header:''Airforce Delta'' (1999)]]

The Federated Republic of Zabayral, which did not maintain an army, was broken up by ethnic tensions caused by the wake of the UsefulNotes/ColdWar. Nine years after, a revolutionary army called "The People's Federation" has formed and managed to reunite most of the former republic through force. The last independent nation left standing, the Republic of Laconia, has hired the foreign Air Force Delta PMC to defend itself.

One of the launch games of the UsefulNotes/SegaDreamcast, ''Airforce Delta'' is mostly notable for being an incredibly blatant ripoff of ''VideoGame/AceCombat2'', featuring identical HUD graphics and gameplay structure, as well as ''very'' similar missions and flight model. However, it's still a fairly fun game on its own, if very unoriginal.

[[header:''Airforce Delta Storm'' (2001)]]

The world is experiencing a population boom after a series of medical advances that made many previously very-lethal diseases easily curable. One of the problems that came along, however, is that basic necessities such as food are spreading increasingly thin in many highly-industrialized nations, who found themselves able to neither import nor produce enough food for their own citizens. These countries banded together to form the "United Forces" and commenced conquest of agricultural lands in the name of "equal redistribution of resources for everyone". Those under the threat of United Forces invasion pooled together their resources under the banner unimaginatively named "Allied Forces" and proceed to augment their strength through recruitment of foreign mercenaries. The player is part of one such unit, the Delta team.

Released for the Xbox in 2001, the game added numbered, RPG-like stats and a map system where the player could get ambushed and fight in generic battles while going from mission to mission.

[[header:''Airforce Delta Strike'' (2004)]]

''Air Force Delta Strike'' was the last entry in the series and contained no less than 70 total missions on any one storyline, with some characters' stories having 90+ (though [[FakeLongevity many are skippable "Stand By Missions"]]). It also features a level system reminiscent of ''VideoGame/ArmoredCore'', with the ability to select from multiple available missions. This allows players to choose the missions within each "phase" in the order they want. Each phase has specific missions that must be won before the last turn of the chapter or it's Game Over. Late in the game, players may also customize certain aircraft with a space operations adapter. Essentially, it's an array of thrusters which when applied, gives all aircraft the same (unremarkable) flight characteristics and weapons load-out. This adapter is standard for all space missions until the player has the plane itself refitted for space flight. It also featured a mission map, where the player sometimes had to use up chapter turns to move from one location to another.

The story goes as follows: In the somewhat distant future, Earth and the space colonies--banded together under the banner of "Orbital Citizens Community"--are embroiled in a major war and the eponymous squadron, a RagtagBunchOfMisfits, is right in the middle of it on Earth's side. The OCC have a substantial technology advantage, but the EDAF have (supposedly) greater numbers and are fighting on home turf. The game opens with the OCC occupying roughly 80% of the land.


!!The series as a whole provides examples of:

* AirstrikeImpossible: Strike particularly has this ''[[UpToEleven in spades!]]''
* BiggerStick: Getting progressively better planes.
* BloodlessCarnage: Justified. Slinging missiles & bombs at fighters & other non-biological targets won't produce much blood.
* ChasingYourTail
* UsefulNotes/ConsoleWars: The series started on the Dreamcast, then went to Xbox for ''Storm'' and finished on [=PS2=] with ''Strike''.
* ColourCodedForYourConvenience: Radar signatures.
* CoolPlane: Nearly every single fictional aircraft, and some of the real ones in Strike.
* EasyLogistics: You can never run out of fuel.
* EnemyChatter: [[HamAndCheese Over the top]] and plentiful.
* EnemyDetectingRadar: Par for arcade-styled flight sims.
* GuestFighter: ''Airforce Delta Storm'' introduced multiple planes on Konami's many ShootEmUp properties: the original release had the Phosphorus (based on ''VideoGame/{{Gradius}}'''s Vic Viper) and ''VideoGame/{{TwinBee}}'' (under the name "Bee Fatty"), with the later releases adding the jet from ''AJAX'' and the player ship of ''Space Manbow''. Using them would play medleys of their respective games' soundtrack during missions. ''Strike'' went crazy with the shmup cameos, adding the likes of the ''VideoGame/{{Axelay}}'' and the ''Crisis Force'' ship.
* HighSpeedMissileDodge: Pretty standard for the genre.
* HyperspaceArsenal: Likewise, though the series never quite reached the ludicrous, 100+-missile-count levels that ''Ace Combat'' eventually got to.
* ImprobablePilotingSkills: Par for arcade-styled flight sims.
* MarketBasedTitle: The series is known as ''Deadly Skies'' in Europe.
* MissileLockOn: Par for the genre.
* MissionBriefing: Every mission starts with a summary of objectives and instructions.
* NewGamePlus: Subsequent playthroughs will let you keep all the planes you bought previously.
* SortingAlgorithmOfWeaponEffectiveness: With few exceptions, the later a plane is available, the statistically superior it is. On the other hand, missiles and other special weapons don't get better on later planes.
* UniversalDriversLicense: No matter the type, age, origin or flight characteristics of an aircraft, each pilot can jump between them with no familiarization or training time.
** Averted with Jamie in ''Strike'', who begins jet training (offscreen) at an unspecified point in the late game and completes it for his last mission.

!!Specific to the original ''Airforce Delta'':

* ColonyDrop: One mission has you blowing up a Zabayral satellite about to crash on a city you just liberated.
* FalseFlagOperation: The People's Army attempt to incriminate Laconia by painting their aircraft in Laconian colors and targeting a UN conference with missiles.
* FantasyConflictCounterpart: The game's plot is obviously based on the breakup of Yugoslavia.
* KaizoTrap: Deliberately averted, in opposition to ''Ace Combat 2''. Crashing during the victory fanfare will just make the game skip directly to the victory screen without punishing you for it. Good, too, because the game likes to make your plane do a sort of celebratory flight rather than just gaining altitude after a mission... and sometimes, it can't tell if its intended flight path will cause it to crash into the ground.

!!Specific to ''Airforce Delta Storm'':

* GameplayAndStorySegregation: The cutscenes show the player as being part of a much larger flight, but wingmates never appear during gameplay.
* NonIndicativeName: The GBA version is actually an adaptation of the first game.
* PalBonus: The later-released Japanese and PAL versions added several new planes, and the mission "Attack of the Tyrant" was made more polished and difficult:
** In the updated version, the player flies over the Allied Force fleet before it's destroyed in the cutscene.
** There is now a visible timer on-screen indicating the Tyrant's next attack, as well as a robotic voice talking about its charging level. In the original version, there's no indicator of if/when the Tyrant is going to fire beside the squadron leader telling the player that "it's going to fire" one minute before it does.
** The "Tyrant Towers" fire highly damaging laser beams; in the original version, they did nothing except move up and down.
* ShoutOut: The secret mission where the players fight the XF-0002 Phosphorus is titled "From Legend to Myth" in the Japanese version. The Phosphorus is very clearly based on the [[VideoGame/{{Gradius}} Vic Viper]], and "From Legend to Myth" was the subtitle of the arcade version of ''Gradius III''.
* SamusIsAGirl: The (nameless, [[spoiler:almost-]][[HeroicMime non-speaking]]) protagonist is revealed to be a woman at the very end of the credits. [[spoiler:The opening cutscene of the very first mission, however, contains a miss-if-you-blink hint via a single-word radio call.]]

!!Specific to ''Airforce Delta Strike'':

* [[AbsurdlySpaciousSewer Absurdly Spacious Subway]]: The subway tunnels where you pull off one of several AirstrikeImpossible missions.
* AcePilot: The entire cast of playable characters by the end of each game.
* AerialCanyonChase ''Twice'':
** In the first, the canyon is wide but has gigantic steam-rollers that must be flown past and an artificial ceiling is placed over the canyon by an inadequately explained air defense network.
** In the second, you are the one being chased by enemy ace pilots as you make your way through it. A gigantic wind generator is making it impossible for you to fly above the canyon rim and you have to reach the end in order to destroy it. There are also giant A/C blowers sticking out of the canyon walls for some unexplained reason.
* AFatherToHisMen: Holst is this to Brian; Sergei is this on the OCC side, fighting to keep conquered/disenfranchised former EDAF-member nations in [[BigBad the Navigator]]'s good grace and willing to take responsibilities for failures in order to protect his subordinates, even [[SmugSnake Smug Snakes]] such as Giuseppe and Leon. [[spoiler:After he dies, whatever unity there is within the OCC top ace cadre dies with him.]]
* AirborneAircraftCarrier: The first mission has the player launching from one, in a rather odd fashion that involves throwing the plane out the back and hoping it can start up properly in free-fall. Although some dialogue seems to at least imply that planes aren't ''meant'' to be launched from it in transit.
* TheAlliance: The EDAF, Earth Defense Alliance Forces.
* AlmightyJanitor: Grandpa Bob.
* ArrowCam: Holding down the missile button will cause this to happen.
* AwesomeButImpractical: The OCC fields a wide array gigantic, powerful and very cool contraptions whose actual usefulness is basically limited to increasing the difficulty of whatever mission features them, and little else.
** Some of the unlockable special fighters like the Twin Bee are this. The Aura-Wing from ''Crisis Force'' is an example, as it has great air to air abilities and a powerful laser sub-weapon but goes at the speed of molasses.
** Even the regular aircraft are this. You may be in a SuperPrototype fighter that never left the drawing board, but having no onboard gun is a death sentence if you're out of ammo...
* BackFromTheBrink: The first mission is either a homage or shameless ripoff of ''VideoGame/{{Ace Combat 04|ShatteredSkies}}''[='=]s opening mission. About all that changes is that the enemy bombers take out their target ''before'' you arrive and shoot them all down.
* BadassCrew: The entire cast of playable characters.
* {{BFG}}: The Leupold Battery of railguns from one of the mid-game missions is so big, you have to fly down the barrel to destroy it from inside, and it is active and shooting. There are three of them in that mission.
* BagOfSharing: Mostly averted. Every character has individual money accounts and aircraft selections, though the bonus aircraft are available to everyone.
* BraggingRightsReward: The unlockable special planes after beating the game. Subverted in that you still need to keep playing the game multiple times to earn OneHundredPercent completion.
* CrapsackWorld: Under constant, unrelenting assault by a wide variety of cool and powerful weapons... that all belong to the enemy.
* CrewofOne: Whenever the player flies an aircraft that in the real world would require a crew of 2 or more, the empty seats are filled in the aircraft's third-person models and the plane is able to execute all functions flawlessly.
* CriticalExistenceFailure: Though your planes will show some damage as they get hit, they lose nothing in performance or capability until the last hitpoint is removed.
* DamnYouMuscleMemory: For anyone who has played the ''Ace Combat'' games first, though thankfully the controls can be rebound as you see fit to emulate the ''AC'' controls or any other scheme you'd prefer.
* DoNotTouchTheFunnelCloud: Operation Racoon Hunt.
* DownerEnding: Jamie's ending, see HeroicSacrifice.
* DudeWheresMyRespect: Lilia and your enemies treat the cadre of pilots with the same condescension right to the very end.
* EscortMission: Several, including one where you have to escort a train through a [[ScrappyLevel canyon]].
* FakeLongevity: Averted by making the Stand-By missions skippable if the player wants.
* GameBreakingBug: In the North American release, there is a glitch that prevents the unlocking of Brian's Sea Vixen. For reference, unlocking the Axelay requires that all aircraft other than the Konami aircraft be unlocked and purchased. This is fixed in the Japanese and European releases, although it's possible to get the Axelay without a Gameshark and the Sea Vixen in the North American version.
* GameplayAndStorySegregation: While EasyLogistics is played straight, the assault on a major enemy fuel refinery and pipeline is treated as strategic victory due to its supposed impact on enemy supply lines.
* GlassCannon: Jamie's fighters all have low hitpoints and slow speed, but are loaded with guns, rockets and unguided bombs, perfect for racking up insanely high scores.
* GoshDangItToHeck
* HeadsIWinTailsYouLose: The mission where Ruth tries to save a stranded hospital ship. This mission also serves as a major KickTheDog moment for the OCC.
* HeelFaceTurn: If you complete certain tasks [[GuideDangIt (unknown to the player)]] through the mid-game, you can get Ellen to change sides and join Delta Squadron during the space portion.
* HeroicSacrifice: Jamie in the finale of his story line. [[spoiler: Just after deciding that he will take to the sky in a jet if that's what it takes to stay in action, he crashes his F-86 into an enemy mook that was preventing the launch of a shuttle used to ferry the other characters into space, killing himself in the process but allowing the rest of the Delta force to join the impending showdown against the OCC]].
* HamToHamCombat: Most of the EnemyChatter in the missions.
* HighAltitudeBattle: Taken UpToEleven with a pair of back-to-back missions that involve fighting at particularly high altitudes to a) destroy the enemy space elevator that moved reinforcements from space to earth, and b) destroy the falling fragments of said elevator to prevent major damage to the city below.
* HundredPercentCompletion: Trying to see all the endings, unlock all the bonus planes and buy every plane, upgrade and weapon.
* HumongousMecha: Several enemy examples.
* InfinityPlusOneSword: Some of the unlockable bonus planes.
* InstantWinCondition: The canyon mission with the steam-rollers. You can have one hitpoint left and four missiles locked onto you but if you make it through the gate, you've won.
** [[InvertedTrope Inverted]] when you have to take out the tire fleet. They can have one tire left, heavily damaged with all weapons disabled and your missiles streaking in for the killing blow, but if it crosses the imaginary line on the battlefield first, you still fail the mission.
* KaizoTrap: Several missions where completing the objective doesn't end the mission, you have to run out the timer afterwards.
* KickTheDog: The OCC has their moment when they relentlessly attack a stranded, unarmed hospital ship.
* LargeHam: So extreme that even the stillshot character interactions between missions convey this.
** Leads to major Narm when you see Grandpa Bob's angry face--which looks more like he is suffering major constipation.
* LastStand: The space-based part has this along with [[AssPull aliens secretly behind the whole war.]]
* LeeroyJenkins: John in the first mission; he disobeys direct orders and breaks off from destroying the bombers to go after more fighters.
* LightningBruiser: Pick any late game aircraft except Jamie's.
* MacrossMissileMassacre: Planes can launch up to four regular missiles at an instance, plus special weapons.
** AI enemies will often launch this many at once; it is not surprising to suffer four missile hits near simultaneously.
* MadeOfIron: Some planes have up to 4000+ hitpoints.
* MilitaryMashupMachine: Strike is loaded to the gills with examples from the OCC. Of particular note are the fleet of rolling tires big enough that you can fly through the center. In game, they're called "Land Battleships."
* MissionControl: You receive constant information/updates from Amelia with no real explanation as to where she is during missions.
* MoneyGrinding: Playing the stand by missions to get more money to afford more expensive aircraft.
* NoEndorHolocaust: Averted when, after destroying the space elevator, you have to stop the (slowly) falling chunks of it from devastating the city at its base.
** Played straight when you destroy the giant airships in "The Robbers".
* OverrankedSoldier: Lilia, the 14-year-old Major; handwaved with a few throw-away lines early in the game about experiments to create people with superhuman intellect.
* PlotTailoredToTheParty: The plot always leads to missions specific to each individual character's skills, [[ThisLooksLikeAJobForAquaMan no matter how contrived it feels]] - this looks like a job for an outdated prop fighter!
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: The Delta Squadron.
* RareVehicles: Many proposed, prototype and proof-of-concept aircraft, along with several examples of Chinese variants of Russian aircraft that most other arcade flight sims ignore in favor of the Russian originals.
* RuleOfCool: What else could explain canyons full of giant steam-rollers or fleets of tire-shaped land-battleships?
* SchizoTech: WWII fighters, tornado generators, modern fighter jets and space-battleships in the same game.
* ShoutOut: It is hard to tell if some of the missions are this or just shameless ripoffs of Ace Combat missions.
* StupidSexyFlanders: Most of the male characters have have physiques more in line with professional body-builders or fitness instructors than pilots. It could be MrFanservice turned UpToEleven if not for being able to legitimately ask if [[MostGamersAreMale any women have ever played the game]].
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: The enemy tries this with the Leupold Battery of huge railguns - a Paris Gun on steroids which can also fire flak rounds that can one-shot a bomber formation.
* TrueFinalBoss: NAVIGATOR in in the final mission for 3rd Element in Strike.
* VideogameCaringPotential: Coldly subverted when, playing as Ruth, you try to save a hospital ship in a [[HeadsIWinTailsYouLose no-win mission.]]
* WeaponOfChoice: Jamie's prop planes.
* WeDoTheImpossible: Delta Squadron.
* WorldOfHam: Part of the fun of Strike is that through the entire game, the ham will give ProfessionalWrestling [[UpToEleven a run for its money!]]