Fridge / Ace Combat

Fridge Brilliance
  • This thought struck me recently about the Game Breaker QAAMs from Ace Combat: Their incredible agility and tenacity is actually a case of Reality Ensues. In a World where you can shake off missiles just by outflying them, without needing countermeasures, QAAMs represent nigh-undefeatable late 20th century real-world heaters like the Python 4/5, AA-11/R-73 and AIM-9X. — GentlemensDame883
  • Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War has a lot of demonic or hell overtones, what with "Galm" squadron (Garm), the 6th Air Division, 66th Air force Unit, and Cipher eventually being called the Demon Lord. There's one stage, a recreation of the firebombing of Dresden in World War II, where Cipher escorts bomber squadrons to destroy Belkan munitions in the city of Hoffnung. The bombers indiscriminately drop all over the city, prompting one enemy to say over the radio, "Abandon Hoffnung!" It's a Bilingual Bonus (hoffnung means "hope" in German) but I never noticed the reference to Dante's Inferno before: "abandon all hope ye who enter here." — Zephid
    • Speaking of demonic references: a few players thought that Ace Combat Zero's main theme, "Zero," was too derivative of its predecessor, "The Unsung War" (to the point of sharing the same lyrics describing the Razgriz legend, even though it is not mentioned once in the entire game). Other fans have tried to find a deeper meaning behind the song's composition, e.g. "Do the flamenco guitar motifs = Cipher originated from Sapin?" or "Did Cipher have a direct connection to Blaze and co.?" But the story of Galm Team resembles the Razgriz mythology more than Wardog Squadron ever did. At no period in Ace Combat 5 do you doubt the intentions of your character and your fellow wingmates; while your military allegiance changes and the last third of the game draws the warring nations into Grey and Gray Morality, your lionization as the manifestation of Razgriz is more an extension of Yuktobanian soldiers fearing your capabilities, plus a whiff of Belkan propaganda, than anything else. (Wardog was re-named Razgriz in an act of Appropriated Appellation.) In ACZ, despite which Ace Style you take, you start off as a nondescript mercenary - with the sole goal of destruction for personal advantage - and your buddy, Galm 2, is presented as a Memetic Badass instead. In other words, an Anti-Hero paired with the Famed In-Story. Mission 12 (where you witness Strangereal's Hiroshima and Nagasaki) is when Cipher and Solo Wing Pixy's character arcs are drastically altered. As the Allied Forces and Belka "squabble" over the material gains and losses of a potential peace treaty, every sortie the Demon Lord partakes from then on is to achieve a real end to the conflict behind the scenes, to prevent further death. When Cipher and Pixy meet for the final time, who is the hero and who is the demon? At the conclusion of Mission 18, the new Razgriz is slain by the former, and in a cyclical fashion (like a Möbius strip), begins to seek out his own redemption.
      • Indeed, the Razgriz poem (and A Blue Dove for the Princess) may be best understood as a psychological allegory - confronting one's inner demons - rather than a literal supernatural being.
    • And the Arthurian symbolism! Including an important one: When Pixy defects, he is frequently referred to in royal terms, such as "Cinderella" in Mission 12 by Wizard 1 and as Avalon's "Sleeping King" on Gault 1's epitaph. However, when Pixy ultimately appears, he flies the ADFX-02 Morgan, named after King Arthur's nemesis. If Pixy isn't the true 'king in the mountain,' then who is? Well, who pulled out "Tauberg's Sword"?
  • While I always liked the anti-war cast of Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War, because it really seemed to be how a normal pilot trainee would react in that situation. (I joined up to get help with college, maybe have a chance of being selacted as an astronaut, the world's a pretty peaceful place nowadays anyway - wait a minute, we're at war all of a sudden? Nobody knows why? Weren't these guys our allies alst week?!) I was somewhat confused as to why the message seemed more and more distorted as you progress through the game. I chalked it up to mediocre transaltion. Later I realized that these weren't just ordinary pilots in the right place at the wrong time. They'd been fighting continuously since before the war even started, and they were still becoming aquainted with military life. They hadn't even finished basic flight training before being shoved into front line combat. No wonder they were cracking up.
  • The fifth installment of the Ace Combat series has the main characters often say they feel like they're being used or sent to die as a sacrifice, and I always wondered in the back of my mind why in the hell they were saying that. And then it hit me: Because they are. The Belkans from the war fifteen years before Ace Combat 5 infiltrated the Osean and Yuktobanian militaries to the point where they were able to start the war between the two countries to begin with, and as the Wardog Squadron became heroes of war, they were often used for that agenda as well.
  • It might seem strange to be flying older planes that are either obsolete or retired by our standards (the F-14, in particular, despite being a Cool Plane is commonly pointed out as being out of service by the time several of the games take place.) However Osea, Yuktobania, Belka, ect do not have the start and end run times for their planes the countries they stand in for do, so the American side would not be out of place flying Cold War-era planes in 2010 since as far as this American side is concerned the plane has not been retired.
  • Playing the recent Ace Combats (Ace Combat 6 in particular) it struck me why major wars (on the scale of the Korean War, but over quicker) seem to break out every couple of years: nuclear weapons (which effectively serve as a deterrent in our world preventing large scale wars from happening) never reached the level of proliferation in the Ace Combat world that they did in ours. In fact, it is suggested that nuclear weapons were only born in the late 1980s in Belka and not in the 1930s and 1940s of our world. This resulted in only several Ace Combat countries having them, and even then in very small amounts. This ended up giving these weapons a terrifying reputation. A good example is the V2, a missile with multiple nuclear warheads. Weapons like that are incredibly widespread in our world, being the main nuclear arsenals of both Russia and the US but only 2 or 3 exist in the Ace Combat world, and they are feared more than the airborne fortresses, massive orbital railguns and submersible aircraft carriers that serve as that world's superweapons. Essentially, the nations of Ace Combat are able to fight large scale wars because there aren't nuclear weapons deterring them. Even the superpowers of Yuktobania and Osea (the USSR and US) do not seem to possess nuclear weapons, rather large conventional armies. Thus, concepts such as MAD (mutually assured destruction, where if one country is struck with nuclear weapons, massive retaliation is guaranteed) never came into being.
  • When I saw the title of the fourth game as Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies, I thought that the zero was there to make the title sound cooler. Then, after a few playthroughs, I realize that the first few missions of the game take place in 2004, '04, hence the title.
  • A Good Bad Bug in The Unsung War allows the first part of the final mission to be pathetically easy, literally a Game Breaker. However the planes used in this mission are SU-47s (actually their prototypes, the S-32A) rather than the F-15s seen throughout the game, suggesting the ace pilots not had the time to become proficient in them, and thus easily killed by tactics that wouldn't have worked before.
    • Keep in mind too that, while they did fly Su-47's in heavy combat before, that was at least fifteen years ago. While they were taken in by Osea as an aggressor squadron afterwards, the restructuring of the Osean military into a defensive force probably meant they haven't been able to fly much at all, much less with the same equipment they were using back then. Compare that to a squad of much younger pilots who have been flying and honing their skills constantly for the past three months, not to mention training however long before war broke out.
  • Some of the superweapons in the games have notable weaknesses, due to said superweapons being press ganged in to roles they were not originally designed for or being due to shoddy in-universe design.
    • Stonehenge was designed to engage incoming asteroids, which tend to have predictable, steep trajectories. Its guns are slow to rotate as well, and cannot engage ground based targets or fire beyond 600 miles due to curvature of the Earth, so a fighter jet once it gets in close can engage them at will.
    • Scinfaxi and Hrimfaxi both are huge submarine aircraft carriers, but generate large unique sonar signatures, making them easy to detect underwater. Their ballast tanks are also vulnerable to damage, leaving them unable to submerge and easy targets for attack.
    • Excalibur, like Stonehenge was not designed to engage aircraft; it was originally built to interdict ballistic missiles, which like asteroids have predictable, consistent trajectories. The laser it fires has no area of effect capability, meaning it can be easily avoided by flying above or below where it is being aimed.
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