Following is a list of characters in Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War
—A Yuktobanian commander, on the Wardog Squadron
Tropes 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.
- Badass Crew
- 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".
- 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.
"I tell ya, Kid could single-handedly change the tide of this war. It's almost scary."
—Chopper, on Blaze
The 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.
- The Hero
- Heroic Mime
- 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.
- 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
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 lead
The 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.
- 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.
- 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 very late in the game.
- 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 respect
The loud-mouthed "nugget" who flew with Captain Bartlett before his disappearance. Afterwards, he continues flying as Wardog 3.
- Character Development: Chopper's pacifism seems to go away as you progress; in "Open War" he's glad that your targets are unmanned aircraft, but then by "Journey Home" just before he gets hit with a missile he complains that he's lost count of how many kills he has.
- The Big Guy
- Insistent Terminology: The only member of Wardog Squadron who still calls Blaze "Kid" after his promotion to flight lead, for the reason given above.
- 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 war
Blaze's third wingman, who joins the team during an emergency scramble and continues flying as Wardog 4 henceforth.
Jack "Heartbreak One" Bartlett
"I hate not being able to move in three dimensions. Cramps my style."
—Bartlett, on driving
A 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.
- The Mentor
- Veteran Instructor
Peter "Pops" Beagle, a.k.a. Wolfgang "Huckebein" Buchner
Wardog 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
"This is Thunderhead. Cut the chatter."
—Thunderhead, on pretty much anything Chopper ever said
The Wardog's AWACS and Chopper's personal (friendly) nemesis.
- Bothering by the Book: Has a major problem with Chopper's carefree attitude.
- Mission Control
- 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 Nagase
Leader 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.
- Sixth Ranger
- Scary Black Man
- 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.
A freelance reporter who came to Sand Island to write a story on Jack Bartlett but gets to witness the legend of the Wardog Squadron.
- Intrepid Reporter
- 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.
Commander 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.
- The Neidermeyer
- 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. Hamilton
Vice-commander of Sand Island. Turns out to be a traitor late in the game, and a flying ace in his own right.
Ashley "Grabacr" Bernitz
Leader of the 8492nd Squadron. Actually, agent of the Grey Men.
Nicholas A. Andersen
Captain of the OFS Kestrel
, the largest Osean aircraft carrier.
President of the Osean Federation.
An 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
Union of Yuktobanian Republics
Seryozha Viktorovich Nikanor
Prime Minister of Yuktobania.
A cell leader of the Yuktobanian anti-war resistance.
Nastasya Vasilievna Obertas
Yuktobanian Recon Major and Bartlett's ex-"lady friend".
Michael "Ofnir" Heimeroth
Leader of the Ofnir Squadron, 8492nd's Yuktobanian counterpart. Like Grabacr, Heimeroth is an agent of the Grey Men
- No Such Agency: Like the 8492nd in Osea, the Ofnir Squadron doesn't officially exist in Yuktobanian military.
- Pride: His AWACS warns him to avoid flying into a narrow canyon with the Razgriz Squadron still lurking there. His reaction amounts to "Is that supposed to scare me?"
AWACS Oka Nieba
A Yuktobanian AWACS who appears late in the game.
The Grey Men
A sinister conspiracy of rich Belkan nationalists who orchestrated the entire war to get revenge on the countries that defeated Belka 15 years ago
Formerly 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
"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 Razgriz
The 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.
- Dark Is Not Evil
- 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.
- Our Demons Are Different
- 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."
- Redemption Equals Death / Death Equals Redemption
- 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.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy