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This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
Ace Combat
Blaze actually is Razgriz.
Not a complicated theory, just follow the symbolism for the legend of Razgriz in the same direction it applies to the Wardogs turned Ghosts of Razgriz as a whole. Why is Blaze inexperienced in combat but able to bring death down on the enemy with ridiculous efficiency right off the bat? Why is the intro sequence cut together almost as if the intent is to suggest the storyline will be some measure of urban fantasy when the actual context of all the dialog is far more banal? Because Blaze is the Demon of Razgriz. When the Hrimfaxi crew feel like they're "up against Razgriz itself," it's because they are. At this point in the war, Blaze/Razgriz is still raining death upon the land in the negative sense as the legend goes, as we later learn that Yuktobania isn't the real enemy.
  • Well, this troper got the impression that the entire thing was the fulfillment of that legend, and the game not so subtly hints at it. For instance, Razgriz was a demon (Hated by Yuktobania, later by their own people) Cut down by a hallowed Sabre (The pilot who "killed" them had the call-sign Swordsman, and he was a very decorated and respected, thus hallowed, ace), And returned as a great hero (who literally saved a nation from a terrifying weapon). The events of the game match the legend so well that it can only BE fulfillment. So...This WMG is a bit redundant.
    • No, the WMG is that the legend is literally true, as in, there is actually something supernatural going on. The symbolism is obvious and noted above to begin with.
  • To me, the last section of Journey Home, I take the comment about the demons taking over the pilot's bodies to be accurate, because the fight turns into a slaughter, they become hyper competent.
  • "Did the demons take them over?" Chilling. While never actually confirmed as fact it's highly implied Wardog is actually Razgriz.

The AI in AC3 Eletrosphere is based off the pattens of "Mobius-1".
Theory: The AI in AC3 Eletrosphere is based off the pattens of the single most deadly fighter pilot in the history of that world. Specifically "Mobius-1", Mobius-1 likely occupied the top slot in the Belkan war as well, so who better to pattern an AI off of then the single fighter pilot that was "As combat effective as an entire squadron." In fact it is quite possible that the highest scoring pilots in all wars up tell 2040, starting with the war in 1995 are, or likely were, the same person. (at least if you count the AI in the corporate war as a person) To place the events in order:

Ace Combat Zero: In 1995 "Cipher" appears on the battle fields for the first time, Ustio sends the pilot into area B 7 R, and new records are set for combat efficiency and aces shot down. Entire Squadrons of elite pilots are shot down by "Cipher" operating virtually alone. The final operations of the war, the fight against A world with no Boundaries was virtually carried out by Cipher and a wing mate alone. Of note is the final operation, Operation Point Blank was the final battle between the Osean-Ustian allied forces, and the terrorist group known as the World With No Boundaries. This led to the climactic battle between the original Galm Team members "Cipher" and "Pixy". During the engagement, Cipher both piloted a plane into the dam itself for a strike, and won a duel with a experimental fighter so advanced it carried a Chemical Laser. No information about this pilot is known for sure, and "Pixie" never revealed even the gender of this pilot. Following the war "Cipher" disappears completely, leaving a combat record which many felt was inaccurate and inflated. Pilot Age:16

Ace Combat 5 The Unsung War: 2005 an Osean Air Defense Force (OADF) trainee named Blaze is stated to be on a training flight when most of its pilots are downed. Oddly the records for this "Trainee" show a combat efficiency higher then that of most Aces in the OADF. In the battles to come, Blaze out preforms any other pilot in all aspects of combat. It is the skilled strikes of Blaze which disable and destroy the two carers Scinfaxi and Hrimfaxi. As the war continued to drag on, a single Osean fighter unit the "War Dog Squadron", better known by the Yuktobanians as the "Demons of Razgriz"; had become the Osean military center of moral. This is the Squadron Blaze fly s in of course. The War Dog squadron were found to be spies and attempted to escape. They had escaped from Sand Island in Training aircraft, but were pursued by the Osean 8492nd Tactical Fighter Squadron. Though contact was lost, Marcus Snow of the 3rd Osean Fleet engaged and shot them down. They all failed to eject.

Though they lost their pillar of morale, the Osean military continued their fighting. During the fighting, rumors of an unknown Aircraft unit attacking targets in Belka began to circulate. Rumors began to circulate and speculations began. These rumors came into light when ships of the third Osean Fleet attempted to head to Yuktobania with someone claiming to be the Yuktobanian Prime Minister. When the 3rd Osean fleet was attacked four unknown Black Aircraft single handedly sunk an entire Yuktobanian fleet, along with an Osean fleet also attempting to sink them. The President of Osea had re-appeared in the capital of Oured and began ordering all Osean units to stand down immediately. He called upon the Yuktobanian Prime Minister and they met in downtown Oured for a special broadcast. During this broadcast, they unveiled the existence of another country being responsible for the war; engineering it from the start. This country was Belka. Both the Osean President and the Yuktobanian Prime Minister called upon their forces to halt their fighting against one another and silence the catalysts of the war.

With the combined Osean and Yuktobanian forces, along with the "Ghosts of Razgriz", in fact the War dog Squadron who where also the Unknown Aircraft. They attacked a facility in North Osea to stop the catalysts once and for all. As the facility fell, the SOLG, a large orbital cannon was used against them. Despite this, the catalysts were defeated. The SOLG was programmed to fall onto the Osean capital city of Oured. The "Ghosts of Razgriz" engaged the falling SOLG, along with eight aircraft from Belka and destroyed the SOLG before it hit Oured. The war finally came to a close and peace had returned to the countries of Osea and Yuktobania. The pilots known as the "Ghosts of Razgriz" disappeared after the war ended; they were never seen again. One thing to remember is that in addition to being the top scoring pilot, by far, in the best unit in the war, Blaze and only 3 squadron mates struck targets and devastated them, with Blaze far and away the best among them. Pilot Age:26

Ace Combat 4: Shattered Skies: 2010 ISAF records fail to record where "Mobius-1" came from, or why this pilot was accorded first line priority for equipment. More over, this total unknown was trusted to operate without so much as a wingman. In each major operation of the war where Air Combat was expected Mobius 1 flew into battle alone, and accomplished as much, if not more, then the squadrons assigned the mission. The Decisive battles of the war, Stone Henge, Directus, The final operation against Megalith all featured prominent work by Mobius-1. By the midpoint of the war the record stood as a point of Morale warfare against ISAF's enemies "Theres a ribbon fighter above us, its the grim reaper!" Then after the war Mobius 1 vanishes into obscurity, all mail being handled by ISAF command itself. Until Operation Katina, when the ISAF intelligence branch lets out its "entire squadron" figure, and sends Mobius-1 in alone to crush the uprising. Once again, no information about who Mobius-1 actually is was ever released. Pilot Age:31

Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception: In 2020 A Large Leasath Bomber Group was launched in order to destroy one of the last Aurelian Air Bases. Aurelian Ace Gryphus One, also known as the "Southern Cross", whose records begin about a week before the first operation mentioned in this record. Was scrambled with an entire Aurelian Fighter Squadron and intercepted the bombers. After the Leasath Aircraft were shot down, the Gleipnir appeared on the battlefield and wiped out most of the Aurelian Aircraft. Gryphus One, who had destroyed the majority of the Bombers, avoided what should have been a totally unexpected attack, and attack form, with ease. The fact it was a massive mobile version of a Stone Henge Array cannon is significant On the next encounter with Gleipnir, Gryphus One engaged the Gleipnir every time it decloaked and managed to destroy its SWBM Launch Ports and heavily damage its Digital Optical Stealth system. Gryphus One alone drove off the preeminent super weapon of the time. Upon the next engagement over a repair base, Gryphus One attacked Gleipnir and managed to destroy all of its conventional defensive weaponry. As Gryphus 1 began to attack the Gleipnir's engines, the Gleipnir Captain implored his crew to use the Gleipnir's Shock Cannon (built facing straight-down and made for ground attacks) against the Southern Cross. The Shock Cannon was fired multiple times in desperation, but Gryphus One soon destroyed the Gleipnir's Shock Cannon and shot down the large aircraft, A single aircraft had driven off, then destroyed a super weapon. When Gryphus One and the Aurelian Forces reached the area of Archelon Fortress, they were attacked by the Alect Squadron, in an aircraft known as the 'Fenrir' equipped with Microwave Weaponry and Digital Optical Stealth. Gryphus One was attacked by the entire Alect Squadron at once and in an show of exemplary skill, destroyed the Alect Fenrirs. Diego Navarro then activated a reproduced version of the Shock Cannon seen on the Gleipnir and attacked the Aurelian Forces. Gryphus One destroyed the Shock Cannon, flew into the Archelon Fortress, destroying the Fenrir prototypes. Records concerning Gryphus One after the wars end note a curious set of facts. While the nations highest award for valor was handed out, it was to a call sign and not to a named individual, and the records state a date of retirement, but never an enlistment date. Gryphus One flew the most advanced aircraft of the day, equipped with a prototype COFFIN system. Pilot Age:41

- Possible AI status/probable use of advanced Computer support or Neural Interfacing Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere: In 2040 Neucom's opening offensive on General Resource was the start of war between the two Conglomerates. As the UPEO scrambled to stop their attacks, General Resource had began to work along side them. Of these many units the UPEO's SARF (Special Armed Forces) unit was dispatched. The SARF was comprised of the Ace pilots: Rena-Hirose, Erich Jaeger and Fiona Chris Fitzgerald, whose sister is the NEU Ace Cynthia Bridgitte Fitzgerald and were supported by an A.I. known as Nemo. The SARF took on the task of multiple UPEO Operations through out the conflict. Nemo has no date of enlistment either, though a date of activation is listed, stated as a Transfer of system to current plane implying it was in a plane previously. Nemo was treated as a person in all respects, but the fact is the Nemo was a autonomous AI craft. To muddy the waters further, the other SARF pilots treated Nemo with the utmost respect, even before the first combat. When the R-808 returned from orbit with information on General Resource's newest weapon, known as the Orbital Satellite Laser (OSL). The R-808 was ambushed by waiting GRDF Forces, but the attack was repelled quickly. After analyzing the R-808's information, it was discovered that the OS Ls were nearly prepared to fire upon Neucom targets across the USEA. The NEU launched the R-352 Sepia space fighter, the only one of its kind at the time, into space on a daring intercept mission The Sepia managed to destroy the OSL before they became active and returned to base safely. This flight was the first combat space flight in the planet's history. Nemo became the first pilot to fight a combat in space. The Universal Peace Enforcement Organization had dispatched their SARF, during the middle of these recent events, when an emergency situation had arisen. Neucom's Nano-Technology Research Facility in Chopinburg suddenly had its Building/Construction Nano-Bytes experience a large problem and suddenly began to multiply. The SARF was attacked by the Nano-Bytes, but quickly neutralized them with Anti-Nano-Byte Weaponry. As the UPEO did it's best to stop the General Resource aggressions following these events, a report of a large UI-4052 Airship filled with Chemical Weaponry sent by an unknown terrorist group, was sighted over Axel Bay. The SARF had quickly taken care of the situation by destroying multiple large Smoke Stacks and a bridge, in the UI-4052's flight path, allowing it to make a water landing. But the origin of this attack was not yet confirmed. However, there was no time for UPEO HQ to fully investigate the situation Neucom Inc. attempted to gather it's forces at Mega float in an attempt to launch a large scale strike. The GRDF quickly launched operation 'Hit and Run' and destroyed the Neucom Forces, with only two aircraft, one of which was piloted by Nemo. Immediately afterwards, a General Resource attack was launched on Neucom's Port Edwards Facilities. The UPEO scrambled it's pilots to stop the large Air Battle which broke out over Port Edwards. The UPEO managed to stop the battle, but the city was badly damaged. Fighter Kills by Nemo in this battle echoed the great dogfights over B 7 R, Directus, and the fight with Alect squadron. Finally, the Ouroboros, a Revolutionary group, arose from the shadows and claimed responsibility for engineering the conflict between General Resource and Neucom Inc. It was also found that the UPEO Supreme Commander, Gilbet Park, was a part of the Ouroboros and had used the UPEO's SARF Team to attack falsely marked targets to continue the aggressions between GR and Neucom. The SARF broke away from the UPEO after this and moved to destroy the Ouroboros and Commander Park. Statements given later by the pilots contain mention of Nemo speaking up in outrage, but the pilots refuse to actually elaborate on this. After multiple engagements over Port Edwards, Expo City and Mega Float the Ouroboros were finally cornered at Mega Float. During the final battle Mega Float was destroyed by the Ouroboros, though at the cost of their entire Air and Naval Fleets, and their UI-4053 flying HQ. As their UI-4053 Sphynra fell into the waters near Mega float, two aircraft did escape and flew into the Geo front The AI Nemo had engaged one of these aircraft, the X-49 Night Raven, within the Geo front After two battles it was finally destroyed, though the Geo Front was lost. The second aircraft, the UI-4054 Aurora, was engaged near the Mega float destruction site and piloted by the defected GRDF-Ace Abyssal Dision. Nemo engages Abyssal Dision and after a large one-on-one air battle. The Aurora is damaged and it is found that Abyssal is a sublimated being(AI made via download of a human mind) and activates a program which brings himself and Nemo into the Electrosphere. The final battle is carried out in the Electrosphere, a feat, which was thought to be physically impossible to achieve. The battle ended with the destruction of the UI-4054 and the deletion of Abyssal Dision. In late 2045, near the end of the conflict Eight of Neucom's new XR-900 Geopelia, modeled after the X-49; lifted off from a Neucom Air Base and begin to attack Port Edwards. The General Resource Defense Force scrambled their best AI Ace Pilot, Nemo, to combat them. An extended engagement broke out and eventually resulted in the GRDF fighter to be hacked into by the XR-900s. The AI was connected to the controls of the XR-900 which had hacked into its aircraft and used the fighter to destroy the remaining Geopelia. Following this remarkable achievement, Nemo disappears with a combat record which is matched only by the legends of old, and the first combat in space. Pilot Age:61 AI Status. Given the time between operations, it is not impossible for "Cipher", Blaze, "Mobius-1" Gryphus One and Nemo to be, in fact, the same pilot. assuming that "Cipher" was 16 in 1995, the minimum age required for Mercenary pilots to be hired at the time, this would make "Blaze 26, Mobius 31 and Gryphus One 41 years old. Thus Cipherâ, Blaze, Mobius-1 Gryphus One and Nemo are the same being. Nemo is supposedly an AI, but naturally how such a revolution in AI was achieved is shrouded in mystery, Given that the only other AI was made via Download of a human mind into a advanced computer system, it is not unreasonable to propose that the UPEO pulled out the most deadly and experienced fighter pilot in history and Downloaded their mind into the AI Nemo.
  • Wow. Just wow.
Oh and just to top off my little rant above, the theory that "Blaze is Razgriz" would explain much of the "so why did uber death pilot wait so long to get involved?" Would also make Nemo a Daemon Program.
  • Umm... slight chronology problem. First of all, 16 really is a little young for a competent fighter pilot, especially one who's hired by a mercenary. Even the most talented pilot takes a year or two of training to reach their peak. However, this is trivial, because we can just tack a few years onto all the other ages: a 43 year old fighter ace is at least plausible, especially if they have such a vast amount of combat experience.
    • No, 16 is completely impractical. A more realistic approach would be to make his age 20 in the Belkan War, given his apparent skill at the time; he must have had SOME experience by then, IMO. In our world, in order to work for a PMC you need to have prior military experience. Granted, it might be different in Strangereal, of course. And it's not entirely unfeasible for combat pilots to continue service into their fifties; it happened in the Soviet Air Force for example. And given Mobius 1's impossibly phenomenal skill at his best years, it's not too much of a stretch to say that he manages to still stay at least a damn good pilot into his fifties. But at the very least, you'd think he'd try to settle down after the Circum-Pacific War when he gets that hot piece of ass Nagase. Maybe he's a fighter-pilot equivalent to James Bond, ey?
    • Well, it didn't work for Shin Kazama, did it? Also, skill knows no age limit, (of course you need to have basic motor skills down pat first) but physical tolerance certainly does!
  • Second of all, the events of Ace Combat 5 (Blaze) take place about five years after the events of Ace Combat 4 (Mobius One). That doesn't really matter, because we can just reverse the ages.
    • Although that still raises a question. Cypher could disappear without anyone knowing where he'd gone after the war. So could Blaze. Cypher was a lone mercenary, not a member of a national military. Blaze was officially dead at the end of the war, even though he actually survived. But Mobius One might have more trouble doing that, because he was apparently not a mercenary. Also, one wonders why Blaze would have been stuck in a trainee squadron if he had a massive combat record as Mobius One and Cypher.
    • There's one huge flaw in the reasoning, at least for 04. The assault on Megalith is carried out by Moebius Squadron, each member of which was suggested to be nearly as dangerous as Moebius 1.
    • There's actually a fic that describes exactly that. Mobius 1, weary from all the fame and his rank as a two-star (Major General), crosses the ocean to join the Osean Air Defense Force as a nugget himself, hiding his true identity but having a harder time hiding his skill. (Oddly enough, Pops is somehow the only Osean protagonist to have watched a Usean documentary about Mobius One...) Eh... although the fic is more notable for telling the story of "if Ace Combat 04 and 5 adhered to fuel limits and had no Hyperspace Arsenal."
    • Maybe Blaze isn't actually a semi-pacifist like the rest of the Razgriz. Maybe he's a homicidal maniac who happens to have found a way to murder thousands of people legally while gaining access to more and more powerful weapons to rain death upon pretty much everyone. After racking up a massive combat record as M1, the Osean military, not currently at war, stick him behind a desk. He gets really bored with not killing people, so he fakes his death and becomes a mercenary. Then he racks up an even more impressive combat record as Cypher. Business declines after that war, so he retires into obscurity. But It doesn't take long before his murderous urges get the better of him, so he joins back up with the Osean Military under a fake name, and can't believe his luck when a war breaks out almost immediately. He goes on to kill hundreds of people in that war, and this time he stays in the military after it ends. Unfortunately, no major wars break out for quite some time, so Blaze gets older and older, slowly losing his piloting skills. Just when it seems that he'll never again be the terror of the skies that keeps his enemies awake at night, the Military approaches him with an offer: Have his mind uploaded into a computer made for flying combat aircraft, thus giving him super-human piloting skills and the chance to once more rain death from above. Blaze jumps at the chance, and goes on to become the AI in AC3, allowing him to kill more people than he ever dreamed of before.
    • AC Zero takes place before AC 04, so you'd have to switch Cypher and Mobius 1 up there.
  • Alternatively, Nemo is the Strangereal twin to EDI from Stealth.
  • thatGuyOverThere inputs: Here's a thought; Galm-1[Cypher]->Scarface-1->Mobius-1; Wardog/Razgriz-1 [Blaze]->Garuda-1[Talisman]->Gryphus-1[S.Cross]; Mobius-1 + Gryphus-1 = NEMO
just a quick-guess actually, but here's some rationale: Cypher is a merc, leaves Ustio to join a Usean mercenary-formed antiterrorist squadron (Scarface squadron), then formally joins Usea's ISAF force as Mobius-1, an experienced solo pilot. Blaze, totally different guy, is a noob, hence his status as a "nugget" early on, though he quickly gains experience and becomes an ace himself. he possibly moves over to Emmeria, joining their airforce as Talisman, aka Garuda-1. Talisman kicks ass, being the player character, and gains traditional ace-fame. shenanigans ensue, moving him to Aurelia, where he is now known as the Southern Cross (callsign Gryphus-1). Odds are that if S.C was Talisman, shooting down Gleipnir would be a piece of cake, moreso if Cypher, rather than blaze, became Talisman {culmulative experience in nuking flying ships: XB-0(Cypher), Archangel(Blaze), SOLG[if it counts](Blaze), Aigaion/Kottos/Gyges(Talisman), Gleipnir(S.Cross); add +1 to flying superweapon pwn-skills for each apllicable prior life}. Time taken to reach conclusion: 20 minutes

Cypher is Yellow 13
  • In Real Life, most fighter pilots start to lose their edge some time in their thirties, and get promoted to squadron and wing command slots. We know that Cypher, the viewpoint character of Ace Combat Zero, was at the top of his game in 1995 during the Belkan War. Being a mercenary with great combat experience, it's easy to imagine him being hired to train fighter pilots by an aggressive military power like Erusea. Yellow Thirteen is a bit older than the rest of his squadron members, dedicated to training as many aces as possible, and somewhat warweary. All this fits in well with the idea that he has extensive combat experience well before his current role as of 2005. He also has the kind of massive kill record that most Ace Combat pilots are utterly incapable of winning. Perhaps Yellow 13 is Cypher, perhaps a little older and with the edge of his skills blunted slightly? That would help to explain why he's so feared by ISAF command.
    • I've always wondered that myself. And imagine this: If Yellow 13 is Cypher, then maybe Mobius 1 is in fact Pixy. After all, Pixy DOES fight in the ISAF-Erusea war during that period, and during the interview scenes (I think the ending; I know it's present in one of the trailers), there's a short clip of a pigeon sitting on a flight helmet. Maybe that's Pixy's flight helmet, and he came to the front line during his down time to "think about the battlefield" like he does, no? He carries the AK to protect himself and all that. Would make an interesting tie-in plot, at least.
      • Jossed by the game Cipher first appears in. The records of enemy aces you can shoot down CLEARLY lists Yellow 13 as a former Belkan pilot.
      • "Detailed information about this pilot is unavailable" isn't "clearly". Considering an enemy ace with his paint scheme also shows up at the end of 5, I like to think it's more of an Easter Egg.
    • Loses some credibility considering Yellow 13 boasted that he never lost a wingman in combat while Cypher lost PJ in Zero.
    • Consider that it could very well the the other way around. Pixy always seemed the more merc-like of the duo, and despite the fact that he shot down PJ he still technically never lost a wingman. PJ was not his wingman. With that, Cipher became the ace with a heart, Mobius, and ruthless Pixy became an ace trainer for Erusia.
      • Though there's a bit of an issue with that too: Pixy's interview is two months after Yellow 13 got shot down. Then again, 13 actually surviving that last battle would explain how Yellow 4's handkerchief wasn't just burning ash when those kids found it.
      • Turns out that's not the case. Apparently, Aces at War: A History states that Pixy was fighting for ISAF in that war.

Zeppelins were once common on Strangereal
  • Strangereal's past century resembled Crimson Skies in look and feel, though obviously not actual politics; Zeppelins/Airships were common place, especially during Strangereal's World Wars I and II. Belkan technology themed on huge flying things like Hresvelgr and Aigaion are natural evolutions of this.
    • Well, by the time of AC3, the Ouroboros is using Airships in their terrorist acts, so...

Cipher quite literally is a (Part) Demon Lord (of the Round Table).
Thanks to The Reveal in Devil May Cry 4 that Nero has the blood of Sparda in his veins, we may assume that Sparda had other descendants along the way. Cipher is conceived from a line that was started much earlier than either the twins or Nero, thus the demon blood has been "thinned" quite a bit and his demon magic cannot give his planes Bottomless Magazines the way Dante can for his guns. However, there is still enough power in Cipher to increase the carrying capacity of his planes far beyond the Real Life limit.

Cipher and Mobius 1 are the same pilot.
There's a lot of subtle clues. First off, the timeline fits: Cipher pretty much vanishes after the end of the Belkan War and the A World With No Boundaries incident, and the events at the Avalon Dam were classified information until after the documentary blew the lid off of it with Pixy's testimony. So for roughly 9-10 years, no one saw or heard anything from Cipher(presumably living off the massive amount of money he'd accrued by war's end).

Now, Mobius 1 is described in Ace Combat 04 as being an "elite veteran," but Usea hasn't fought an actual war in ages, which is why they were so unprepared for the Erusean invasion. So, if Mobius 1 is a relatively new pilot for the Usean ISAF, how can he be an "elite veteran"? Keep in mind that the documentary about the Demon Lord doesn't hit the airwaves until 2005, one year after the events of Ace Combat 04, so if the Useans hired Cipher as a mercenary, all they'd know is that he was a qualified ace from back during the Belkan War: they wouldn't necessarily know he's the Demon Lord, as those records were classified. Further still, Pixy is IN Usea during the events of Ace Combat 04 when he's interviewed, and has apparently been looking for Cipher. As to why Cipher comes out of retirement, it could easily be explained as having run out of money, which is why he starts with such a crappy plane, compared to the cutting-edge ones he flew during the Belkan War.

There's more clues, too: for example, the standard paint scheme of Cipher's F-15 Eagle. Based on game art, the F-15 is Cipher's signature plane; in Ace Combat 04, Mobius 1's F-15 has a color scheme almost identical to that of Cipher's. Further, the loading-screen texts for Ace Combat Zero make frequent references to the nature of infinity, and the one for the final mission is an explicit reference to the concept of the Mobius strip; Mobius 1's emblem is a stylized infinity symbol designed to look like a Mobius strip. Further still, there's the callsign "Cipher," meaning "zero." In cryptography, a cipher is a code that takes the place of any decimal or number: a cipher is both everything and nothing, it's "infinite."
  • Adding to this, there's the imagery of the flying white birds (don't know what specific bird) used in Ace Combat 04. During the final cutscene in Ace Combat Zero, as Cipher's plane lands, white feathers can be seen trailing his plane.
    • Minor note: Usea has fought a war fairly recently, during the Usean Rebellion of 1998 (from the game Ace Combat 2). That doesn't mean that Mobius One couldn't really be Cipher, but it does mean that Mobius One could be a native-born Usean pilot with combat experience.
    • Maybe Mobius One was mentored by the original Usean One Man Air Force, Scarface One. Or maybe he is also Scarface One, although this would lead to the question of why he was re-designated, or why they couldn't let him keep the XFA-27 from the endgame of 2.
  • The timeline and events of 4 and Zero could explain why Mobius-1 always flies solo: he did not want to risk suffering betrayal (like with Pixy) or loss (like with PJ).
  • Although there is the (admittedly non-canon) Bonus Boss if you beat the Gauntlet fast enough in Zero. So you can't say we've never seen Cipher and Mobius One in the same place— they were shooting each other. Unless that was meant to be a hint.
  • I'd just like to note that there's more than one jet with the same paint scheme in 04 and Zero, like the F-4 (Mobius 1's starting plane) and the F-15 S/MTD (developed from the F-15C).

Alternatively, Cipher and Mobius One not only are the same person, but they are actually not from Strangereal. This guy could be for example from the TSAB, sent there to destroy the superweapons (most are powerful enough to qualify as Lost Logia) in order to avoid a single faction conquering the whole planet and, in an hunger for power, starting off a dimensional war. Considering Cipher's paint scheme on his F-15C, "his" true identity could even be Nanoha Takamachi (her barrier jacket sports a similar scheme). After all, she's such a workaholic that "civil servant" in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Vivid doesn't quite fit. A little bit of disguise magic, some magic-driven device that allows for the high ammo count, and our White Devil becomes the Demon Lord and befriends Pixy. She then goes on trying to befriend Yellow 13 and Yellow 4, but accidentally kills them, so after Operation Katina she goes back to Mild Childia to be a combat mage again.

The Hyperspace Arsenal comes from Ancient Belkan techno-magery.
In the wars that ended the Ancient Belka empire, a cache of their techno-magery was blown across the dimensional void, eventually arriving in the Ace Combat universe to land in Strangereal, where it was scattered, the parts discovered by various nations - hence why you go through protagonists of various nations but all have the high ammo counts - and reverse-engineered. In gratitude, the Belkans, who did not use to be called that, renamed themselves.

Alternatively, the Belkans in the Ace Combat universe are a defeated faction from the Nanoha Belka who chose to cut and run rather than be wiped out, and brought their technology with them. Mingling with the locals, their techno-magery contributed to the high ammo counts and various other technological advancements like the TLS. As they spread across the nations and time went by, though, their violent tendencies returned, leading to the international conflicts of Ace Combat.

Skies of Incursion will allow us to use the Morgan, Nosferatu and prototypes of the Electrosphere planes.
We already had the superplanes of 2 4 and 5, the XFA-27, Wyvern and Falken respectively, in Skies of Deception. To complete the line, Namco would need to bring in those of Zero and 6 and preferably those of 3 too.

The various player characters are actually Pretenders.
Having a mechanical body under that fleshy exterior would explain how they stay unaffected and unscathed through so many high-G maneuvers. One presumes that Cybertronian or whatever Sufficiently Advanced Aliens tech allows them to hide their true internal nature from our primitive scanners. Plus holographic technology, like how Movie!Starscream projected that fake pilot, would explain how two-seater birds can have a Guy in Back without needing to create a new character for that role. The other characters in The Squad? ... I got nothin'.

The Nanoha Belka is descended from the Ace Combat Belka.
By the 2040s, Mega Corps may have taken over the world, but for a true nationalist, Patriotic Fervor never dies. Biding their time, (ex-)Belkan men infiltrated the various corpocracies of the world and eventually retook the world. Decades and centuries down the line, what is known as the Nanoha Belka became reality. And Man Grew Proud, and forgot his/her true origins. The rest is history. You can even see a foreshadowing of Nanoha-style techno-magic in the way their weaponised laser technology is so far advanced compared to Real Life. I mean, a Wave Motion Gun-scale laser superweapon and a fighter-mountable laser in their 1995, whereas in Real Life 2010 weaponised lasers are both much bulkier and less effective?

The Ace Combat Zero assault records reveal the identity of Scarface One.
From http://acecombat.wikia.com/wiki/Belkan_War_Aces, scroll down to 043. Axel Reichert retired from service in the Belkan Air Force after the war and now works for a small nation as a mercenary who suppresses Coup D'Etat movements. Hmm, I wonder who our hero from Ace Combat 2 who suppressed the Usean rebellion could be?
  • Extra support for this can come from their planes of choice being Russian: Axel flies a MiG-31 Foxhound, and Scarface One flies an Su-35 Super Flanker. And for that matter, Scarface One having previously been in the Belkan Air Force would explain how he's able to pretty much singlehandedly end the Usean rebellion.
    • Even Mobius 1 can be there. Mobius's starting aircraft is a blue F-4. One of the named aces in Zero has an identical plane, and info says "no detailed information about this pilot is avaible". It must be either this, or Namco screwing with our minds.

Buchner and Bartlett knew all along the Belkan retaliation was coming
Just a gut feeling. It was just too convenient how a squad of rookies suddenly became the most efficient unit of the war, and then saved by the strategically placed Older and Wiser Belkan defector, who knew about the 8492nd all along and had four unarmed planes ready for quick escape. Plus, how quickly Bartlett managed to get out of the POW camp and meet up with the resistance transparently indicates that he was bailed out by Major Nastasya, who was preparing the turf for quite some time.

The Player Characters' refusal to speak is a survival instinct.
Throughout the Ace Combat series, the player characters of all the games say next to nothing. We know they give commands and acknowledge orders, and may even on occasion offer a very terse opinion if prodded by their wingmen, and yet no personal knowledge whatsoever is ever asked or offered. Even their names seem to be taboo for the their wingmen, although surely their name must be known. Meanwhile, the other members of the squadron happily chew the fat during even the most hectic battles, offering their insights on the human condition, their state of mind, and their concern for the people they cherish. Why the dissonance? The squadron leaders can talk. So why do they choose not to? So the player can ease into their skin no matter who they are? To avoid pinning a particular outlook or walk of life on the person whom the player is presumably meant to become? No. That's just a side-effect of sorts.

Look what happens to these wingmen, for a moment. In AC04, the happily gabbing Mobius Squadron is whittled down to a single silent member, and the air forces at large continue to take heavy casualties in every significant engagement. In AC 5, Chopper, known for his penchant for chatter, is the only wingman to die in combat. Nagase, a close second to Chopper thanks to her unbridled love of soapboxes, suffers a heroic BSOD and narrowly escapes both death and capture. Grimm feels content to mention his family no more than three times, and, although he never suffers any plot-based injury, he is generally regarded as the weakest link of the squadron. In AC0, PJ remains tightlipped about his significant other despite constant prodding by his colleagues, and manages to keep up with the era's greatest ace pilot. The moment he explicates his affection, he is brutally slaughtered. And in AC6, Shamrock constantly motivates himself through his hardships with talk of his adorable wife and daughter- who both end up dead, a state of affairs he will have to deal with from a wheelchair. You might be forgiven for thinking this is all coincidental, rather than a pattern.

But to recognize a pattern is to prepare oneself to avoid it, and the greatest pilots in the series must have realized this trend on some level. It's not particularly clear whether their preternatural skills helped them intuit and enforce a code of silence for their own safety, or if the reverse is true- that knowing to shut up and keep your face low would transfigure them into invulnerable heroes! But what is clear is this: Mobius 1, Blaze, Cipher and Talisman, were never shot down, never made a face-heel turn, were incomparable even within their own elite units, and led their units to determining the outcomes of four different wars- that we know of. They knew that drama and fate were real, living, and vindictive forces in the world of Strangereal, and they rode that superstition to the edge of space, and back to earth, safely.

They probably weren't doing it for themselves, either; no one alive that wanted that level of skill or renown for its own sake could ever keep their jaw shut long enough to attain it! I think it's safe to say that they had seen what became of the prolix: they become ashes. And so do their loved ones. These four aces may well have their own individual motivations for ending up in the cockpit- duty, money, prior military commitment- but at the end of the day, I'm sure they just wanted to make it home alive! And to an intact home with a living family! In fact, the very history of Strangereal would seem to confirm this: how the hell did the entire planet manage to develop such a fantastic over-reliance on air and space power and maintain such supernaturally-skilled air corps unless, after a solid century of worldwide warfare, the heroic silent aces simply began to out-breed the Choppers and Shamrocks of their respective wars? Especially if this morbid ritual has been going on since Belka first revolutionized air combat in the early 1900's?

Strangereal is an odd place. Technologies we can barely produce on any scale or in any number are all but commonplace by 2010, in a world where a nation's armies might flee in terror of the retribution of the ghosts of four demons. It is not at all difficult for me to believe that, for the soldiers and citizens of such a world, maybe a little genre savviness could be a mightier weapon than any railgun or sky fortress, a weapon made all the mightier for the world's apparent blindness to it, much to the detriment of its citizens... and to players weary of Nagase's constant moralizing.

The next "Real Life" AC game will be called Horizon <Insert Word Here>.
Joint Assault -> Assault Horizon -> Horizon ?? Easy enough.
  • It gets easier if you notice the pattern to the names currently known. "Joint Assault" is definitely a word one could use in a military setting. "Assault Horizon" makes less sense, but still works considering it's Ace Combat. Whatever the third one will be will probably be nonsensical.
    • Nope, next game is just called Ace Combat Infinity.

Namco is releasing Real Life set games in an attempt to link it with Strangereal.
I mean, getting saddled with all of Strangereal's problems may end up being an awesome moment if handled correctly.
  • Kind of Jossed. Word of God says that the move to real world was to make the series more accessible to newcomers, since the Strangereal timeline has started getting rather convoluted.
  • Maybe possible, as the new announced game, Ace Combat Infinity, incorporates many materials from Strangereal, Ace Combat 04 and 6 in particular.
  • Kind of Confirmed due to the presence of the new Ace Combat Infinity.

The airplanes are powered by Spiral Power
How else could explain no neccessity for refuel and lots and lots of missiles?

Mobius 1 is Cypher

Given the timespans, it's entirely likely that:

  • Cypher is Mobius 1 and subsequently the base for Nemo's AI, his identity was kept a secret after the war due to the cover up after the war, he was enlisted into the ISAF with a new identity and callsign, which would explain why no one seems to notice the freaking Red Baron is flying with them until he takes on a whole army by himself. Which would make it painfully ironic if Pixy was Yellow 13

All the Player aces have something in common.

A fan theory proposed by someone on Acecombatskies.com was that all the aces have encounted an entity called "The Ace." or the spirit of the fighter pilot. Whoever has this is effectly unkillable in the skies. It was a while ago so I might have forgotten a lot of the details, but that's the gist of it.
  • Alternatively, The Ace is a Time Lord, and each of the pilots is a different regeneration, explaining why no one ever notices it's the same person each time. Don't look at me like that; you knew it was coming.

Ace Combat 2 and Ace Combat Assault Horizon Legacy are in two different universes.

It's mentioned that Ulysses 1994 XF 04 was an "asteroid that was believed to be on a collision course with Earth." Therefore, it never struck, and Stonehenge and the like weren't built. While the rebellion happened (presumably in 1998, if I'm not mistaken,) it happened for different reasons in 2, presumably due to Ulysses. I wouldn't be surprised if the next game would be an alt!verse Ace Combat 4.
  • Jossed; according to the official timeline, the Usean Rebellion takes place after the asteroid's existence is a known fact, but before it actually hits.

Blaze is the son of Cypher
In Zero, there is a picture of a child and a man watching a nuclear explosion, presumably on a TV screen, considering that they're not being vaporized by the blast. The man is Cypher, which can be hinted at considering that it doesn't show his face, and the child is his biological/adopted son, who would grow up to become the Ace of Aces himself, Blaze. The timeline fits, with the boy, if assumed to be around, say, 5, being the appropriate age to be a rookie pilot 15 years later when AC 5 takes place. It can also explain how Blaze is able to dish out so much pain to his enemies within literally minutes of entering a battlefield, and, if one goes with the urban fantasy theories further up the page, how Blaze could be the Demon of Razgriz itself, since the son of a Demon Lord would most likely have to be a demon, too.

Edge does not actually end up with Blaze.
  • Throughout the game you play as Blaze, and Edge is simply obsessed with you. He's portrayed as being a male pilot, however what if the person playing is female? Aha, Edge is also obsessed with Bartlett, so she ends up with him instead.
    • Except Bartlett already has a woman he's obsessed with in turn — remember his old flame from Yuktobania, who helps him (and Razgriz Squadron foil the Belkan conspiracy)? So the true lesson to be learned here is that in Strangereal, All Love Is Unrequited.

Stonehenge was intended to be a superweapon from the start.
  • For something originally intended to shoot at a massive asteroid, Stonehenge seems to have been adapted into an uber-AA gun rather quickly. Unlike Chandelier and Megalith, it was already finished by the time the war it was used in rolled around, and so it ought to have taken immense amounts of time and resources to convert it into a weapon — unless that capability was built into it from the start. The obvious corollary is, of course, that Stonehenge was designed by exiled Belkan scientists, whose compatriots also managed to gain sway over the Erusean government much as would later happen in Osea and Yuktobania five years later.
    • Just want to point that Megalith actually was finished before the war started - it was operational by the time Ulysses arrived and shot down most of the asteroid fragments that were headed for Erusea specifically. The bit where they were rushing to get it operational to use it as a superweapon before the war ended was because it was completely abandoned immediately afterwards. And in hindsight, it seems like every anti-Ulysses defense created was ridiculously easy to turn into a superweapon - the aforementioned Megalith and Chandelier, the rebellion from 2 and Assault Horizon Legacy was apparently going to use a laser weapon taken from the Comona Islands (though this one was destroyed by the player, in the mission where you're looking for the XB-10 prototype), and the Arkbird had another set of lasers designed for destroying the remaining fragments still in geosynchronous orbit. Going by your theory, though, it could be safe to say that this was because the Belkans had a hand in all of them.

The upcoming game, Ace Combat Infinity, is connected to the Strangereal setting.
  • Project Aces has announced a new Ace Combat game, it's called Infinity, and by the looks of it, it took place in the real world, but there's an asteroid that impacted somewhere in eastern US. I'll leave you the details, but in the teaser trailer, I've seen something that looks very similar to Stonehenge, as well as the Heavy Command Cruiser Aigaion. There are two possibilities; One, the impact from the asteroid brings the real world into a new age of aerial warfare similar to those in Strangereal setting. Or the impact from the asteroid itself causing some sort of a phenomenon that linked the real world and Strangereal together, hence the name Infinity. The tagline in the teaser also said 'That day when our sky fell, the heavens split to create new skies.' I took the part 'heavens split to create new skies' as the two worlds being connected to each other, and maybe that's why there are mentions of Stonehenge and Aigaion. AND it's called Ace Combat: Infinity! So why not? Let's throw all the best things Ace Combat has to offer into one game!
    • Doesn't seem to be the case based off of the beta. Infinity is simply one huge Mythology Gag to the Strangereal universe.

Edge is a Time Lord.
  • A popular theory for numerous characters, but exactly how else do you explain her popping up all over the place? A NATO pilot, mercenary, member of the 19th Task Force and writes a blog on Ace Combat in her spare time in the space of just one or two games.

The Emmerian hat is spirituality

Viper is related to the Butterfly Master.
  • Lost Butterfly has the voice of a child, and Viper's the only character who says he has a family. He requested leave after facing the idea of having to shoot down his daughter. Perhaps he'll also take on the role of the Butterfly in a later campaign mission.

Dai Gyakuten SaibanWMG/Video GamesAchron

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