—A Yuktobanian commander, on the Wardog SquadronTropes regarding the player's squadron as a whole:
- 108: Wardog Squadron is the Osean Air Defense Force, 108th tactical Fighter Wing Detachment. Four Wings of Sand Island devastating the enemy. Maybe Namco believes in Significant Numbers?
- Ace Pilot: Every single one of them.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Wardog Squadron repaints their aircraft in an overall black paint scheme when they become the Ghosts of Razgriz.
- Ensign Newbie: None of the Wardogs (except Bartlett and Swordsman) has technically ever completed their flight training. The game's term for such pilots is "nuggets".
- Famed In-Story: By the later stages of the war, the presence of Wardog Squadron in the skies is used to rally Osean forces and terrify Yuktobanian forces, with some units actually breaking and fleeing when the squadron shows up. It takes a while for their "Ghosts of Razgriz" paint scheme to get the same notoriety, but once it catches on, everyone is in awe of it.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: From the Yuktobanian perspective.
- Fun with Acronyms: The first letters of your wingmen's callsigns spell out "ACES".
- No Such Agency: To the public eye, the Wardog pilots betrayed Osean Federation and were killed in an attempt to escape on December 7, 2010. The fact that they survived, rescued the kidnapped leaders of both Osea and Yuktobania, and prevented two atomic bombings, one doomsday scenario, and a Colony Drop didn't reach the public until a decade later because the Osean Government consistently denied the existence of the "Ghosts of Razgriz".
- Red Baron: Collectively, they're known as the "Four Wings of Sand Island" to allies and the "Demons of Razgriz" to the Yuktobanians. They later officially become the "Ghosts of Razgriz" after they're designated the President's personal black ops unit.
- Weapon of Choice: In official art, the F-14A.
"I tell ya, Kid could single-handedly change the tide of this war. It's almost scary."
—Chopper, on BlazeThe leader of the Wardog squadron after Bartlett goes MIA and the Player Character of the game.
- Featureless Protagonist: Blaze is a dude. That's pretty much all we know about him.
- He Who Must Not Be Seen: Almost averted. Blaze is shown in a couple of photographs- in one, his face is covered by another person, and in the other there are several unknown characters with no indication which (if any) of them is him. Some later cutscenes show the entire squadron, though if Blaze's head is even in the frame the view is too far away to actually see what he looks like. And in one of the earliest cutscenes, multiple pilots are seen talking, but the view switches to a front shot of Bartlett just before it can pan over to show one specific pilot's face. During the missions, the pilot's faces are obscured by their oxygen masks and helmet visors as well, so forget trying to catch a glimpse of him there either.
- This extends to the second man in two-seater aircraft as well - the Su-34 and A-6 in particular, which have seats aligned more like a car than a plane, doesn't allow you to look very far to the sides in cockpit view, just to prevent you from getting a close look at your co-pilot.
- There is only one picture that shows his full body, but thanks to Chopper being a showoff and flexing his arm in just the wrong position, Blaize's face is obscured. The only thing that can be told for sure about Blaze from the picture is that he's male and that he's about Chopper's height with short cropped dark hair, and white skin.
- Only Known by His Callsign: Like so many player characters in the series who aren't William Bishop, Blaze doesn't have a given name or a surname.
- Player Character
- The Quiet One: Blaze does talk, even during missions, when you (the player) have the option of saying yes or no to certain questions or statements. The nature of the reply you get from your squad and others indicates that Blaze does say something more than just "Yes" or "No", but it's deliberately ambiguous. He's also very good friends with his wingmen and the people he meets respect him, so he's not a typical Silent Protagonist.
Kei "Edge" Nagase
"No, Blaze is leading, I'll protect his six o'clock. And I'm not gonna lose another flight lead."
—Nagase, on her promotion to flight leadThe most experienced rookie of the Wardog Squadron, she refuses to take command after Bartlett is shot down and sticks to the role of Blaze's Number Two for the rest of the game.
- Badass in Distress: During the time she is shot down while looking for POW Bartlett and has to be rescued by her squadmates. It doesn't stop her from rescuing the rescue party that crashed looking for her earlier and taking hostage some Yuktobanian soldiers looking for them both.
- Canon Immigrant: Edge has incarnations that appeared all the way from Ace Combat 2, where her callsign is the same, and her rough features are the same, and in Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere (the Japanese version), where in a very specific news broadcast that you can only view in taking a specific path, you can see a person's photograph below Dision's, clearly spelling Kei Nagase, with a very similar face as the Kei Nagase that we know. Shattered Skies has a brave airline first officer who tries to control a plane after terrorists shoot the pilot: Nagase. This shouldn't be that surprising though, check the article below.
- Declaration of Protection: After Bartlett is shot down she becomes borderline obsessed with protecting Blaze and reminds everyone about it at least once per mission.
- Good Is Not Soft: Kei Nagase is a Technical Pacifist to the point many fans questioned her being a fighter pilot. When she's shot down though she ends up holding the enemy soldiers sent after her at gunpoint, quite likely literally possessed by a demon and kills squadrons of Elite Mooks, beats the hell out of The Mole and can even shoot him down in the second to last mission, before giving Blaze the credit.
- Implied Love Interest: With Blaze, even the Razgriz myth and whether the pilots are actually demons is less ambiguous than Nagase's feelings towards you.
- In-Universe Catharsis: Finally being shot down for real in "Ice Cage" (after Bartlett narrowly saved her from that fate in "Open War" almost two months earlier) really helps Nagase get over the guilt she feels for her CO Taking the Bullet for her.
- I Owe You My Life: Towards the missing Bartlett.
- The Lancer: In "White Noise", it appears like she has become The Chick who has to be rescued... but then you discover that she managed to fend exceptionally well for herself without any help. If you complete the mission in time, that is.
- Number Two: To Blaze.
- Silk Hiding Steel: Gentle and soft-spoken, often compared to a princess by her comrades, and the most idealistic character in the game. She's also the only trainee to survive the massacre at the beginning of the game. When she gets shot down, the narrating reporter Genette thinks that she did so deliberately to avoid having to kill any more enemies; after she's rescued, they find out that she captured the enemy soldiers sent to capture her, and he says he has to rethink his image of her. Judging from Bartlet's comments at the beginning of the game, she also has a very reckless flying style.
- The Smurfette Principle: Nagase is the only named female character until the introduction of Nastasya Obertas in mission 25 (out of 27).
- Undying Loyalty: Nagase is extremely devoted to Blaze.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: To some extent, the pacifistic Edge also fits this as shown by her dismay at the conversion of the Arkbird into a superweapon.
- Wingwoman: To Blaze.
Alvin H. "Chopper" Davenport
"If he's a captain, then I want him to start trash-talkin' like a captain!"
—Chopper, on Grimm's suggestion to show Blaze some respectThe loud-mouthed "nugget" who flew with Captain Bartlett before his disappearance. Afterwards, he continues flying as Wardog 3.
- Character Development: Chopper starts out just as anti-war as Edge, noting in the second mission that he's glad that your targets are unmanned aircraft. By "Journey Home", however, he seems to have let being nicknamed the "Demons of Razgriz" by the enemy get to him, as just before he gets hit with a missile he actually complains that he's lost count of how many kills he has.
- Insistent Terminology: The only member of Wardog Squadron who still calls Blaze "Kid" after his promotion to flight lead, for the reason given above. Conversely, Thunderhead is the only one who calls him by his name and rank rather than his nickname.
- Military Maverick: Of all Wardogs, he has the biggest attitude.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: To AWACS Thunderhead, who generally takes his antics with ill humor.
- Stepford Smiler: In an early mission, he's clearly traumatized by the aftermath of the attack on Port St. Hewlett, including the sight of burning bodies in the water — some of which are still (briefly) alive. It's possible that he makes light of everything around him as a defense mechanism to keep from breaking down (in other words, "I laugh because if I couldn't, I'd cry"). This, combined with the stresses of combat and the additional pressure from having to defend himself against false charges of treason, might possibly have led him to deliberately fail to eject in his last mission.
Hans "Archer" Grimm
"I bet my mom will be glad to see my brother come back home from Yuktobania."
—Grimm, on the end of the warBlaze's third wingman, who joins the team during an emergency scramble and continues flying as Wardog 4 henceforth.
- A Birthday, Not a Break: Grimm reveals that his birthday is coming up next week during a quiet break between the two final battles.
- New Meat: Archer is fresh out of basic at the beginning of the campaign. Surprisingly, he goes on to be incredibly badass. Double rare: he keeps his New Meat status, but is the best wing on your team in game.
- Red-Headed Hero: Has red hair and, in terms of idealism, is second only to Nagase.
- Shout-Out: Has a brother in the ground forces, making them The Brothers Grimm.
- Wingman: While obeying your orders, Grimm is technically Chopper's wingman (and Snow's much later).
Jack "Heartbreak One" Bartlett
"I hate not being able to move in three dimensions. Cramps my style."
—Bartlett, on drivingA Veteran Instructor on Sand Island and the original leader of the Wardog Squadron. Goes MIA early in the game and is not heard from again until the final missions.
- Gratuitous English: His custom callsign is actually supposed to be "The Heartbroken One", referencing his relationship with the Yuktobanian Major Nastasya Obertas after the Belkan War and their subsequent breakup.
- The Last DJ: He's been stuck at the rank of Captain since the end of the Belkan War fifteen years ago, and notes himself that he'll probably never get that promotion.Bartlett: Why do they even bother reprimanding me anymore. I know I'm going to be stuck at Captain forever.
Peter "Pops" Beagle, a.k.a. Wolfgang "Huckebein" BuchnerWardog Squadron's aging mechanic who is later revealed to be a former Belkan fighter ace who defected when ordered to nuke a city in his own country during the previous war.
- Conveniently Unverifiable Cover Story: After they were shot down over the Round Table during the Belkan War, Bartlett vouched for Pops as a member of his squadron, whose headquarters had been destroyed in a bombing raid.
- Defector from Decadence: As explained in his backstory.
- Non-Action Guy: He never fires a shot in this game... which doesn't mean he isn't a 100% certified badass.
- Old Soldier: He's a former pilot himself, but he's content to stay on the ground and tend to the planes and let the next generation take over in the skies.
"This is Thunderhead. Cut the chatter."
—Thunderhead, on pretty much anything Chopper ever saidThe Wardog's AWACS and Chopper's personal (friendly) nemesis.
- Actually Pretty Funny: During one mission, Chopper starts talking about Thunderhead in his usual derisive but friendly way, and when Thunderhead cuts in to tell him to knock it off, it's obvious he's smiling.
- Bothering by the Book: Has a major problem with Chopper's carefree attitude.
- Mission Control Is Off Its Meds: There are a couple of "uneventful" missions where it turns out Thunderhead led you straight into a trap, most notably "8492," where you're ambushed on your return flight after a relatively easy ground attack mission. It's not Thunderhead's fault, though; the whole thing turns out to be a setup by the 8492nd Squadron, to discredit and ultimately destroy you.
- Last Name Basis: Thunderhead only ever refers to Chopper as his rank and his last name. He finally calls him "Chopper" seconds before Chopper's death.
- OOC Is Serious Business: He only ever calls Chopper by his callsign once, as noted above.
Marcus "Swordsman" Snow
"Quit screwing around! This is war. The enemy is all over and they're gonna eat you alive!"
—Snow, to NagaseLeader of the Shorebirds Squadron based on the Kestrel at the beginning of the game, he joins Blaze's team much later in the game.
- Old Soldier: Swordsman's bitter attitude clashes a lot with the nuggets' naive idealism.
- Sole Survivor: By the time he joins your team, he's the only one who's left of his squadron.
- Token Adult: Kinda. All Wardogs are adults, but Swordsman is Blaze's only wingman who isn't, in essence, a field-promoted trainee.
- Wingman: In the end of the game, he thanks Blaze for letting him fly as a wingman again, because after a very long time as a flight lead, he forgot how his own wingmen felt about him.
Albert GenetteA freelance reporter who came to Sand Island to write a story on Jack Bartlett but gets to witness the legend of the Wardog Squadron.
- The Narrator: Although other characters get to narrate some parts, Genette is the main one.
- Tagalong Reporter: Justified by the fact that his article on the Wardogs is pretty much the only thing he is known for. Plus, his close association with them would have probably made him a traitor in the command's eyes, too.
- Rule of Symbolism: He is the Wardog Squadron's war dog.
Orson PerraultCommander of the Sand Island Air Base.
- Fat Bastard: As heavyset as he is, he probably should have failed a physical exam. He never has a kind word to say to anyone and believes whatever nasty things are said about Wardog Squadron.
- Pet the Dog: He does have a soft spot for Nagase, it seems, as he dispenses with long speeches after she is shot down and just tells you to bring her back.
Allen C. HamiltonVice-commander of Sand Island. Turns out to be a traitor late in the game, and a flying ace in his own right.
- The Mole: Is eventually revealed to be the Grey Men's inside man on Sand Island.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Appears as one, in stark contrast to his boss.
- Unstoppable Rage: Even if you shoot him down outside of the tunnel complex, he'll still chase you into the tunnel, ranting and raving all the way through.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Ultimately killed not in a dogfight, but by a mook's plane bouncing off a tunnel wall and crashing into him.
Ashley "Grabacr" BernitzLeader of the 8492nd Squadron. Actually, agent of the Grey Men.
- Gender-Blender Name: He's one of those increasingly-rare male Ashleys.
- Graceful Loser: He takes his defeat stoically:"I... I never thought you would be this good..."
- No Such Agency: The 8492nd doesn't exist. Officially, that is.
- Villainous Breakdown: Grabacr's comes off as rather subdued compared to Ofnir's, though."You're the ones who built the SOLG to use against us! And now, you're sitting under your own dagger! Taste the irony!"
Nicholas A. AndersenCaptain of the OFS Kestrel, the largest Osean aircraft carrier.
- Failure Knight: Views himself as such until the penultimate mission.
- Father Neptune: Complete with a rather impressive Seadog Beard.
- Reasonable Authority Figure
Vincent HarlingPresident of the Osean Federation.
- Escort Mission: He's the focus of one early in the game. He's also the Macguffin for another later on.
- Our Presidents Are Different: Walks the line between President Personable and President Target.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Too bad he is kidnapped early in the game.
Sea GoblinAn Osean special operations team that works in conjunction with Wardog Squadron at various points in the game.
- Big Damn Heroes: Fulfill this role no less than four times in the plot, including twice for the Wardogs themselves. They're at the receiving end of one in turn in the last mission they appear in, where you have to create a Bullethole Door for their dramatic escape.
- Chivalrous Pervert: One of the members basically asks the Wardogs "Is she hot?" during Kei's rescue mission, to which one of your wingmen replies indignantly "Why don't you rescue her and see for yourself?" In a later mission, one who's probably the same guy tries to flirt with her over the comm.
- Escort Mission: They rely on the aces to wipe out enemy fighters and AA in their way to secure the landing zone for their ground-based heroics.
- Hero of Another Story: You occasionally hear snippets of radio chatter alluding to their heroics during the missions when you're providing their top cover, but you never get to directly witness any of it since their missions involve lots of close-quarters combat indoors.
Union of Yuktobanian Republics
Seryozha Viktorovich NikanorPrime Minister of Yuktobania.
- Embarrassing First Name: This was probably unintentional, but "Seryozha" is a diminutive form of the Russian name "Sergey". The former is to the latter approximately as "Bobby" is to "Robert" in English.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Too bad he is kidnapped early in the game. And once he's rescued, the first group of his own military he tries to talk to immediately labels him a traitor and tries to kill him.
AlyoshaA cell leader of the Yuktobanian anti-war resistance.
- Only One Name: "Alyosha" is a diminutive form of "Alexey".
Nastasya Vasilievna ObertasYuktobanian Recon Major and Bartlett's ex-"lady friend".
- Casual Danger Dialog: During her escape from Yuktobania during an air raid, she seems to actually enjoy the danger.
- Old Flame: For Bartlett.
Michael "Ofnir" HeimerothLeader of the Ofnir Squadron, 8492nd's Yuktobanian counterpart. Like Grabacr, Heimeroth is an agent of the Grey Men.
- Arrogant Ace Pilot: His AWACS warns him to avoid flying into a narrow canyon with the Razgriz Squadron still lurking there. His reaction: "No obstacles to our flight observed."
- He is likewise dismissive of the Razgriz, boasting that he'll turn their battleground into "a demon's graveyard."
- No Such Agency: Like the 8492nd in Osea, the Ofnir Squadron doesn't officially exist in the Yuktobanian military.
- Villainous Breakdown: Michael and the rest of Ofnir Squadron suffer a huge one in the final mission."RISE, MY FALLEN BROTHERS, RISE UP WITH THE POWER OF YOUR HATRED!"
AWACS Oka NiebaA Yuktobanian AWACS who appears late in the game.
The Grey MenA sinister conspiracy of rich Belkan nationalists who orchestrated the entire war to get revenge on the countries that defeated Belka 15 years ago.
Grunder IndustriesFormerly the South Belkan Munitions Factory. Manufactures weapons and warplanes for the Osean Self Defense Forces. Has also been supplying arms to the Yuktobanians as well, and is controlled by the Grey Men.
- Arms Dealer: Of the decidedly amoral variety.
"When history witnesses a great change, Razgriz reveals itself, first as a dark demon. As a demon, it uses its power to rain death upon the land, and then it dies. However, after a period of slumber, Razgriz returns... this time as a great hero."
—Genette, quoting the legend of RazgrizThe mythological demon mentioned in A Blue Dove for the Princess. Speculation abounds whether or not he is actually present in some form in the game.
- Evil Redhead / Red-Headed Hero: At least, according to the Razgriz Squadron's emblem.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Common Wild Mass Guesses by the fandom include that members of Wardog Squadron actually are possessed by Razgriz at various points (particularly after Chopper's death, when they go absolutely berserk on the Yuke planes still left in the sky), or that Blaze is Razgriz.
- Red Herring: Early in the game, the characters discuss the prophecy in reference to the Yuktobanian superweapon Scinfaxi, especially after it's sunk... and its sister ship Hrimfaxi appears, apparently fulfilling the second half of the prophecy. Then Wardog Squadron sinks it, too, whereupon the Yuktobanians start referring to them as "the Demons of Razgriz."
- Rule of Symbolism: The story of Razgriz parallels that of Wardog Squadron during the war, which is made explicit once they adopt the name "the Ghosts of Razgriz" for themselves officially.