Follow TV Tropes


Context VideoGame / AceCombat3Electrosphere

Go To

1[[quoteright:350:]]²[[caption-width-right:350:''"Forget everything you've done until now, and with your own eyes, understand the truth of this world".'']]²²-->''"Becoming a pilot like I have feels enough like a dream to me. But, recently... I've been thinking—that if the body is nothing more than a container for the mind, then it doesn't actually mean anything to me. I only use my mind when I fly. My body didn't come with wings, but my mind does... and it gave me the sky. At times all I want is to be a winged mind."''²²The third game in the ''VideoGame/AceCombat'' series, released in 1999, and the last to have been developed for the original UsefulNotes/PlayStation.²²The world is Strangereal, a [[ConstructedWorld not-Earth]] from the previous games that was first [[WorldBuilding fleshed out]] in this installment. The year is [[TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture 2040]]. In the past few decades, the national governments of Strangereal have decayed beyond repair and were replaced by a global rule of [[MegaCorp Mega-Corps]], chief among whom are [[GermanicEfficiency General Resource Limited]] and [[JapanTakesOverTheWorld Neucom Incorporated]]. Naturally, the two companies' [[CorporateWarfare competition for power is far from friendly]], and the only thing standing between them and an all-out war is the [[FictionalUnitedNations Universal Peace]] [[UnitedNationsIsASuperPower Enforcement Organization]]. Further upsetting the fragile balance of power are: the GR's latest SuperPrototype fighter jet, the Night Raven, and its groomed pilot, the [[IllGirl sickly]] Rena Hirose; the Neucom scientists' questionable experiments on the recently discovered {{Cyberspace}} and BrainUploading; an overzealous military commander's schemes; and a NebulousCriminalConspiracy lurking in the background and pulling every string.²²You fly as Nemo, a nameless ([[MeaningfulName in more than just callsign]]) and [[FromNobodyToNightmare initially unknown]] UPEO pilot, and become entangled in a complex plot that borrows heavily from the {{Cyberpunk}} genre and stars a diverse cast of pilots, scientists, and politicians. With [[StoryBranching frequently branching storylines]], [[MultipleEndings five distinct endings]], and [[TwistEnding one massive wham]] in [[OmegaEnding the epilogue]], ''Electrosphere'' is a tale of loyalty, betrayal, revenge, transhumanism, scientific ethics, FamilyDrama, and social critique, fondly remembered as the definitive highpoint of the ''VideoGame/AceCombat'' series. All with top-notch animated cutscenes and interludes courtesy of Creator/ProductionIG.² ²...unless, of course, you live in the insignificantly tiny portion of the world that is not Japan, for which the story was remade into a lone pilot working for the UPEO, trying to keep the peace between General Resource and Neuwork. Creator/BandaiNamcoEntertainment currently has no plans to deliver the original ''Electrosphere'' to the outside world, but the release of [[VideoGame/AceCombatAssaultHorizonLegacy a remake]] of ''VideoGame/AceCombat2'' for [=N3DS=] gives us a faint glimmer of hope. Don't hold your breath, though. In the meantime, a fan-driven [[ Project]] [[ Nemo]] has released an [[ unofficial English translation patch]].²²Despite the game having never been officially translated into English, it was the seminal installment of the series that codified its setting and most of the associated gameplay tropes (the honor that usually goes to ''VideoGame/{{Ace Combat 04|ShatteredSkies}}'' in the West). It has been said that ever since 1999, the ''AC'' series has been slowly working its way back up to ''Electrosphere'' (all following Strangereal games were technically ''{{prequel}}s'' to it), but never quite achieving the same level of expansiveness, plot intricacy, and gameplay finesse.²²----²!! Tropes found in the game:²²* AceCustom: Both Cynthia's and Rena's planes have a customized paintjob. Justified in Rena's case, as she is an IllGirl and requires special equipment just to fly.²* TheAestheticsOfTechnology: Compared to the sleeker and generally more exotic planes made by Neucom, General Resource's air forces are comprised of futuristic variants of conventional aircraft as well as planes based on real life experimental and prototype craft.²* AIIsACrapshoot: [[spoiler:In the international version of this game, the BigBad is an AI created by Neuwork. It bypassed their security protocols, escaped, and resurfaced by giving both Neuwork and its competitor General Resource false informations, provoking the two into wars with the ultimate goal of ruling after the power vacuum caused. After both Neuwork and General Resource reconcile, the AI amassed its own force called the Ouroboros.]]²** [[spoiler: Averted with Nemo, i.e. You. You're created to destroy Dision, regardless of what faction you join or the amount of collateral damage you cause in the process.]]²* AirborneAircraftCarrier: The first in the franchise to have this, the UI-4053 Sphyrna. A futuristic ''blimp'', it is surprisingly very dangerous, with you requiring to destroy its multiple engines before moving on to the main one. While it doesn't carry many airplanes due to its size, it carries the ones that are important: The island-sinking X-49 Night Raven and Dision's personal AceCustom aircraft, the UI-4054 Aurora.²* AKA47: Justified. You're using fictional futuristic variants of real planes, which are modded and upgraded to have a BrainComputerInterface called the [[ArmoredCoffins COFFIN]] system. [[spoiler: Considering that you're actually an AI simulating all your battles, this is necessary]].²* AmazingTechnicolorBattlefield: Your FinalBoss fight against Dision - well, one of them - takes place within the Electrosphere itself. Specifically, both of you cut off visual input to the outside world and fight in a three-dimensional grid space within an infinite-length cybertunnel. There is a catch however: the real world outside the visual overload still exists and the altimeter reflects that; go to zero and you will "crash".²* ArcWords:²** "Discard your flesh and transcend your limits", referring to Sublimation, an Arc Word unto itself.²** "Night Raven".²* AllThereInTheManual: Not one, but two: Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere - Mission and World View, which did not come with the game, and the Photosphere, which did. The kicker? The Photosphere is already fully-translated into English, with a SurprisinglyGoodEnglish level of translation.²* TheAlternet: The [[TitleDrop Electrosphere]] is 2040s-era Strangereal's version of our Internet.²* AlwaysSomeoneBetter: Cynthia for Fiona, and, considering Cynthia's adoration of Dision, she views Rena as this.²* AmbiguouslyEvil: Dision. Second mission he's featured, and he's trying to get you to join his company faction. No one knows if he's aligned fully with GR, aiding UPEO's chessmaster Park, or is all about himself. In the end, [[spoiler:it's neither; he only wants revenge for his deceased girlfriend Yoko]].²* AnimalThemeNaming:²** Neucom's R-series planes are most often named after Latin genuses of aquatic creatures. Case in point are R-101/102/103 Delphinus (Dolphin), R-211 Orcinus (Orca/Killer Whale), R-201 Asterozoa (starfish), etc.²** Made even more blatant with the R-311 Remora [[ parasite fighter]] and its host aircraft, the R-531 Mobura. The Remora is famous for it being "attached" to other, larger fishes (such as sharks), but the Mobura, a misspelling of Mobula, is a genus of manta rays. The aircraft looks nearly exactly the same as the animal it is named after.²* AnyoneCanDie: [[spoiler: Despite the whole thing being a simulation, many named characters will die in all routes. Dision will always be killed in your hands regardless what route you take while Park can be killed at the end of the UPEO arc. Rena and Fiona only live to the end in the UPEO and Neucom route respectively, with Rena usually getting killed as the FinalBoss[[note]]she's briefly shown being taken out of her destroyed aircraft - alive - in the Neucom ending, but she'll likely be jailed or worse for siding with a terrorist group.[[/note]] while Fiona is offed during the transport mission along with Clarkson or killed during the Ouroboros arc. Erich and Cynthia will be shot down during the early General Resource missions, with the latter winds up being sublimated in the Neucom route while Erich goes AWOL. In the end of the General Resource arc Keith sacrifices himself to kill Dision. If you follow one of the Ouroboros routes, everyone is K.I.A. with Keith biting the dust by performing a HeroicSacrifice during the fight against Rena and Dision killed in the electrosphere. In reality the [[KilledOffForReal original Dision and Yoko were killed by General Resources]], which basically sparked the entire plot.]]²* TheAtoner: Poor, poor [[spoiler: Cynthia]]. After her sister got offed by the organization she defected to, she performs a HeelFaceTurn from Ouroboros and singlehandedly (with you, of course) reversed the entire mess she has gotten into. It's even referred to in the mission's name: Counterrevolution.²* AwesomeButImpractical: MIRV missiles. Firing two of them creates eight missiles a la MacrossMissileMassacre. However, their tracking is absolutely piss-poor and it doesn't seem to hit anything, moving or not, ground-level or otherwise.²* TheBlank: Jets that use the COFFIN system typically have no outwardly-visible cockpit. It's not as disturbing as a faceless human, for obvious reasons, but if you're used to the regular modern-day jets of the other games, noticing it for the first time here can still be pretty jarring.²* BoringButPractical: Spread Bombs in the second slot are insanely powerful against ground targets and destroy many of them when clustered together.²* BrainUploading: Sublimation is the process of uploading a human consciousness into the Electrosphere. [[spoiler:Known successes include Abyssal Dision and Cynthia Fitzgerald.]]²* TheChessmaster:²** [[spoiler:Park]]. This shouldn't come as ''too'' much of a surprise, though, considering how fishy he acts in general and the fact that [[SpoilerOpening he's playing chess of all things in the Japanese intro video]], but other than those dead giveaways, it's supposed to be revealed slowly.²** More than that is Dision himself. [[spoiler:Not only did he try engineering you to join GR, he's also the head of Ouroboros, assisting Park with his scheme to usurp control of UPEO, offing his own company's CEO, and basically grooming Rena to be the perfect {{Tykebomb}}.]]²** The grand winner is [[spoiler: Simon]], as revealed in the game's secret ending. [[spoiler:The events of the entire game were basically him trying to figure out a plan to kill Dision. He is happy to find out his victory is guaranteed, as all five possible paths end with Dision's death.]]²* CloudCuckooLander: Rena Hirose seems to go off on her own whenever she is flying with you and sends you various, increasingly-odd video messages. [[spoiler: Apparently Dision has been messing with her mind.]]²* TheComputerIsACheatingBastard: Named pilots that happen to be the enemy simply don't have targeting reticules, meaning they cannot be locked onto, let alone shot down. They can however, shoot at ''you''.²* ContinuityCameo: Before being really popular in ''VideoGame/AceCombat5TheUnsungWar'', but after appearing in ''VideoGame/AceCombat2'', Kei Nagase makes an appearance as a member of Ouroboros in a news broadcast. You need to take a particular route (specifically, Neucom/Fiona route) to view it though.²* CorporateWarfare: It's the name of the game here.²* CreatorProvincialism: Or rather, ''localization'' provincialism. Specifically, the cover art of the Japanese version of the game features the futuristic in-game equivalent Sukhoi Flanker model flying upright, as in the Cobra Maneuver pose. The US/EU version features instead the futuristic in-game equivalent of the F-22 Raptor instead. Retroactively funny since in-game, the Su-37 Super Flanker possesses much superior stats and is labeled "Advanced Fighter" while the F-22C Raptor II has more balanced but lower stats, and is labeled "Multirole" instead.²* CutscenePowerToTheMax: Night Raven destroying Megafloat solo with one shot of her laser weapon.²* CuttingOffTheBranches: Subverted, as Namco never confirmed which ending (if any) was canon. After jumping from 2040 back to 2004 in ''VideoGame/AceCombat04ShatteredSkies'' (and even to 1995 in ''VideoGame/AceCombatZeroTheBelkanWar''), the series took TheSlowPath back, slowly approaching the ''Electrosphere'' times... and then, just before running out of options and making a canon sequel to ''[=AC3=]'' (the [[VideoGame/AceCombatAdvance most (in-universe) recent Strangereal game]] was set in 2032), Namco instead relaunched the series on the real world - between ''Skies of Incursion'' in 2007 and the announcement of ''VideoGame/AceCombat7SkiesUnknown'' in late 2015, the only game set in Strangereal has been [[VideoGame/AceCombatAssaultHorizonLegacy a remake]].²* DarkerAndEdgier: Only the Japanese version. [[VideoGame/AceCombat04ShatteredSkies Everyone else had to wait for two years to experience this trope in Ace Combat.]]²** From [[AnyoneCanDie named characters getting killed]] (most of them in your hands, no less) to being manipulated into causing conflict in an already messed up world [[spoiler: and the fact you're a catalyst to the war itself]] makes this one of the most darkest games in ''VideoGame/AceCombat''.²* DeadAllAlong: [[spoiler:Abyssal Dision. Shortly before her death, Yoko Inoue copied Human!Dision's consciousness into the Electrosphere, creating the self-aware AI!Dision, the first ever human to be Sublimated. Before either of them realized it, however, they were killed by a bomb and their laboratory was destroyed along with their research.]]²* DiabolusExMachina: An odd variation. During one of the Ouroboros routes [[spoiler: Rena starts complaining that someone's inside her head, and Dision immediately blames the player character. This isn't helped when Keith suddenly appears and attacks Dision.]] It's not at all clear what's actually going on [[spoiler: although the OmegaEnding reveals that you're entire existence revolves around killing Dision.]]²* DisproportionateRetribution: [[spoiler:AI!Dision's true aim is to exact revenge on the feuding corporations over the death of Yoko Inoue, even if it means killing multitudes and dragging the survivors with him into the Electrosphere.]] According to translations of the OmegaEnding [[spoiler:Simon hates Dision for stealing Yoko from him - so much that he wants to erase Dision's AI-copy, and runs multiple simulations of a possible Corporate War just to make sure it happens.]]²* TheDogBitesBack: ²** Cynthia, having been fed up by Dision's propaganda, abject lack of respect for her and his doting on Rena, decides to do this.²** On the UPEO route, [[spoiler: Rena herself does this]]. Apparently Dision's plans did not expect this particular thing to happen.²* EverybodysDeadDave: [[spoiler: The GR route. By the time you kill Dision and destroy the Geopelias sometime after, you're the only one alive. One of the Ouroboros routes is a much more darker and nastier version.]]²* EverythingIsOnline: Complete with its own search engine, the Peek-A-Boom! system.²* EvilVsEvil: A four-way, free-for-all war between:²** UPEO: A PaperTiger "peacekeeping" organization [[spoiler: which has a MoleInCharge for one of its leaders that is corrupting the organization and turning it into part of a terrorist group.]]²** General Resource: A MegaCorp that will censor every form of media [[spoiler: and even kill their own employees]] to prevent the world of knowing more than what they want to.²** Neucom: Another MegaCorp that will do everything ForScience! no matter how dangerous or amoral that kind of science is. [[spoiler: And one of their greatest scientists is ultimately the cause of the war.]]²** Ouroboros: They are terrorists. 'Nuff said.²* FactionSpecificEndings: The game has three faction endings (UPEO, General Resource, and Neucom) plus two Ouroboros endings, which are both a mix of faction ending and a Lone Wolf ending. Of course, there's an OmegaEnding for seeing all of them.²* FalseFlagOperation: Mission 13, UPEO Route, [[MeaningfulName Pawns In The Game]]: [[spoiler: Fly advanced Neucom bomber jets to General Resource territories to provoke all-out war, under orders from your "peacekeeping" commander]].²* FantasticRankSystem: Cynthia's introduction video has her state that she is Neucom Emergency Unit's "Chief Consulting Pilot". It ''probably'' [[ItMakesSenseInContext makes sense]] considering the MegaCorp nature of the setting, but still...²* TheFederation: By 2040, much of the Usean continent is united. But the government is so ineffectual and weak that corporations have all but supplanted any semblance of authority.²* FictionalDisability: Rena Hirose suffers from the "Silverstone disease", meaning that her skins lacks any protection from UV sunlight radiation whatsoever. As a result, the only way she has to be outside during daytime is inside either the fully-enclosed cockpit of her plane or in a suit that fully encloses her to shield her from the sun. ²* FictionalUnitedNations: The UPEO, a largely ineffective relic from the pre-{{corporatocracy}} era.²* FrickingLaserBeams: Both the X-49 Night Raven and Neucom's counterparts, the XR-900 Geopelia, have this for their "Primary Weapon" slot. Oddly, the "Laser Wave" weapon that high-end Neucom fighters has behave more like a beam machinegun than a laser weapon per se.²* FunWithAcronyms: The COFFIN ([=COnnection=] For Flight [=INterface=]) system.²* GainaxEnding: The OmegaEnding of the game caused a lot of this mostly due to a lack of translation and ''a whole lot of misinformation''. See TheEndingChangesEverything for what actually happened.²* GameplayAllyImmortality: Unless your orders are specifically to defend them, your allies will not take so much as a scratch even though three superfighters are wailing at it with cannons, missiles, and what-have-you.²* GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere: The eight Geopelias that just show up out of nowhere as the FinalBoss of the General Resource route after both Dision and the Night Raven have already been defeated, seemingly with no purpose but to provide another hint at the [[spoiler:true nature of the PlayerCharacter]]. Even in-story, the ending video has a reporter wonder where these new planes came from, since neither Neucom, nor the remains of Ouroboros claimed responsibility (though they are definitely of Neucom make). Amusingly, the English version's plot actually explains they were [[DragonTheirFeet programmed to go berserk if the]] BigBad [[DragonTheirFeet was defeated]].²* GoodGunsBadGuns: This is an ZigZaggingTrope. The GreaterScopeVillain faction manufactures fighters based on American aircraft and use American-style aircraft names like the F-22C Raptor II which is obviously based on the real-world F-22 Raptor, the F-15S/MT Eagle+ which is obviously based on the real-world F-15 Eagle, and the F-16XF Gyrfalcon which is based on the real-world F-16 Fighting Falcon. These American aircraft are usually piloted by the heroes in other media, but are piloted mainly by villains in this game. Meanwhile, the [[spoiler:supposedly]] peacekeeping faction buys [=MiGs=] and Sukhoi aircraft which normally are piloted by villains in other media. To be fair, the peacekeeping faction also does get some aircraft that is manufactured by the GreaterScopeVillain faction as well and EF-2000E Typhoon [=IIs=] which are based on the real-life Eurofighter Typhoon, and the terrorist faction does use some Sukhoi aircraft. [[spoiler:However, the peacekeeping faction gets taken over by the terrorist faction in TheCoup. Further zig-zagging this trope is that if you stay within the peacekeeping faction, you and one other of its pilots start a counter-revolution to get rid of its MoleInCharge.]]²* HappyEndingOverride: Suffering from numerous wars obviously puts a strain on Strangereal's government to the point that [[MegaCorp Mega-Corps]] takes over. [[spoiler: In particular, the efforts of [[VideoGame/AceCombat7SkiesUnknown the Lighthouse War]] are AllForNothing thanks to Nemo's existence.]]²* HighAltitudeBattle:²** There's a special case where you fly an RF-12A2[[note]]futurized [[RealLife/CoolPlane A-12 Oxcart]][[/note]] into the stratosphere via rocket engine and shoot down bombers.²** In the Japanese version on one path you can play as one of the bombers you have to shoot down in that mission! It's a really unique experience compared to the above, because the planes handle completely differently. Props to the dev team on doing that for just one mission.²* IllGirl: Rena Hirose, who suffers from a disease where her skin's pigmentation does not protect her body from UV rays. She became a General Resource pilot to view the exterior.²* InterfaceScrew: The [[{{Nanomachines}} nano-bite]] virus in the mission "Bug Hunt" causes your screen to become dark and blurry.²* JustPlaneWrong: While some of Neucom's R-Series planes are plausible (R-201's double-body design has been used since UsefulNotes/WorldWarII), some planes feature some very questionable design choices, such as the R-102/103's protrusion, and the R-211's second nose as well as its forward-swept ''tailplanes''.²* KillEmAll: [[spoiler: Every pilot in the game besides you dies in one of the Ouroboros routes.]]²* KillSat:²** General Resource's satellites. In the Neucom route, you get to destroy them, and in a subroute, you need to protect a fallen one in order to capture it and prove that GR really was up to no good.²** Beat all missions with an S-Rank and ''you'' get to use it. It's a one-hit kill against everything, provided you are outdoors ([[ItMakesSenseInContext some missions take place inside undersea colonies and such]]).²* LaserGuidedTykebomb: [[spoiler: Rena]], specifically to pilot the incredibly overpowered X-49 Night Raven. While [[spoiler:Real!Dision]] did not intend to make her into one, [[spoiler:AI!Dision]] ''does''.²* LensmanArmsRace: Both General Resource and Neucom develop (or, in the case of GR, upgrade) their fleet to better fight one another. The zenith of this is in Neucom's race to copy General Resource's ace-in-the-hole: The X-49 Night Raven. [[OhCrap They succeeded in making eight of them]].²* MeaningfulName: Nemo means "Nameless". [[spoiler: Consider that in the end he's actually an AI]].²* MoreThanMindControl: Dision's ruthless memory manipulation of Rena made her absolutely willing to follow Dision through his visions of revolution. ²** After the assault on UPEO's HQ, however, [[spoiler: YOU]] start to mess with Rena's mind, causing her to FreakOut.²* MurderSimulator: [[spoiler: The OmegaEnding reveals that the game is literally one; a simulation one man makes to plot another's murder.]]²* MyRuleFuIsStrongerThanYours: Of a larger scale. Not too long after the start of the game, both UPEO and General Resource have given Neucom quite a good beating, sinking a good portion of their naval fleet from joining Megafloat. This is because Neucom violated a crucial no-fly zone restriction. Just then though, a recently-signed truce means UPEO can no longer assist General Resource against Neucom since technically, they surrendered. After which, General Resource breaks the truce and attacks Neucom's base preemptively. Since this time, General Resource is the aggressor, UPEO has to come to Neucom's aid since they are a peacekeeping organization. Yes, the whole thing is as absurd as it sounds, and characters within the game lampshade this ruthlessly.²* {{Nanomachines}}: The nano-bites in the mission "Bug Hunt."²* TheNeutralZone: Subverted. While Expo City is technically UPEO's HQ in many endings, one branch has it hosting Neucom forces. The very first mission has you shooting down Neucom flights above it, suggesting that it changes allegiances quite a lot.²* NGOSuperpower: The Universal Peace Enforcement Organization, [[MegaCorp Neucom, General Resource,]] and Ouroboros.²* NoEnding: Which of the MultipleEndings occurs for real [[spoiler:after Nemo is reset by Simon Orestes Cohen]] is never revealed. [[spoiler: But considering the [[VideoGame/AceCombat7SkiesUnknown implications]] what happens after Nemo is released into reality can't be good.]]²* NonStandardGameOver: This game has quite a few of them. Some honourable mentions include Zero Gravity, which shows your R-352 getting toasted by one of the satellite lasers if you run out of time; Guardian Angel, which shows the R-808 going down and crashing (with Cynthia's complaining included in the original version of the game); and Liquidation, which shows the UI-4053 getting blown out of the sky by a submarine cruise missile.²* OmegaEnding: You have to clear all five regular endings to watch the epilogue.²* OneNationUnderCopyright: By the time ''Electrosphere'' takes place, the most prominent and powerful corporations have become become sovereign states in all but name, with General Resource and Neucom fielding their own military forces.²* OneWorldOrder: The Ouroboros wants this. [[spoiler:Subverted when it's revealed that Dision's ''real'' plan amounts to a RoaringRampageOfRevenge over the death of his beloved Yoko.]]²* OptionalStealth: The mission "Utopian Dreams" ("Plumber" in the export version) advises you to stay under the radar net as you proceed to the enemy base. It doesn't matter if you are spotted or not, it only determines ''when'' you end up fighting more enemy planes. "Pawns in the Game" (or "ECM") is similar, where you're advised to bomb the facilities under cover of a jamming aircraft and flying up to a specific altitude when it's not doing its thing, but the only difference whether you get detected or not is whether your on-board computer says "mission ''accomplished''" or just "mission ''over''" when you're done.²* PaperTiger: UPEO itself, to the point that the mission where you're given the first opportunity to defect is actually named "Paper Tiger". It is so woefully under-equipped that it has to receive "gifts" of military hardware from both sides just to stay competent, helpfully illustrated by the suffix "U" after the jets' names (eg, F-16XFU is basically General Resource's own F-16XF with a UPEO green paintjob, ditto R-101U from Neucom). The kicker? The donated equipments are as bog-standard bottom-shelf jets as they come. A hacked video feed even lampshades this ruthlessly.²-->'''Person A:''' Are these R-Numbers? They've got UPEO markings on it.\²'''Person B:''' Well, there goes their so-called "neutrality".²* PostCyberpunk²* PosthumousCharacter: Yoko Inoue, Dision's late lover who researched the Electrosphere and [[spoiler:uploaded him into it shortly before her death]].²* PropagandaMachine:²** There are several "news" outlets. The take on these propaganda vehicles is a bit more realistic than most; the networks' bias in favor of their sponsors is apparent, but isn't over the top. GBS (General Resource's TV news network) in particular is a censored news source and makes few bones about it.²** Literally, the first ''three'' video broadcasts you tune into before your first mission is both the GBS and NVS' narrated commercials about their own company.²* {{Revenge}}: This appears to be a common theme in the game, especially if the person wanting retribution lost someone one way or another.²** In the UPEO route Nemo, Erich, and Rena turn against the corrupted UPEO (specifically Park) after being used as UnwittingPawn far too many times. [[spoiler: Rena even turns against Dision in end.]]²** The General Resource route has Keith seeking to destroy Dision after the latter betrayed him and offed GR CEO. Later missions have him discussing with Nemo that he refuses to believe that Dision is the same man he knew, [[spoiler: [[DeadAllAlong which is technically true.]]]]²** After her sister, Cynthia, is corrupted by Ouroboros, Fiona goes on a RoaringRampageOfRevenge against the organization, [[spoiler: even going as far as shooting down Cynthia since she believes her sister is too far gone.]]²** Likewise Cynthia turns against Ouroboros after learning their true intentions and [[spoiler: Fiona getting killed during an attack]]. She singlehandedly destroys the organization along with Nemo in her quest for redemption.²** [[spoiler:The whole game is this. Simon created the simulation to train Nemo as a weapon to kill Dision, blaming him for the loss of Yoko.]]²* RightForTheWrongReasons: Keith believes that the Dision he knows is not the same Dision that he flies with when he defects to Ouroboros. [[spoiler:He’s right, but only because Dision is DeadAllAlong.]]²* SadisticChoice:²** In the aptly-named mission [[MeaningfulName Scylla and Charybdis]], you are to protect Fiona and Chairman Clarkson from GR attacks. Later on, Park order you to shoot it down on charges of treason. Shooting them down means killing your heretofore loyal friend, killing your UPEO reinforcement signals treachery to your organization. Take too long though, and [[spoiler: Rena]] will do the job for you.²** A lesser example is in GR's route, where you must shoot down Neucom strato-transports carrying mini-fighters. Halfway through, Keith sends a distress signal as apparently, an enemy ace has him on the ropes. The mission that proceeds afterwards depends on whether you continue your mission as ordered or destroy the ace that plagued Keith and let a few of your targets slip through.²* SceneryPorn: One mission has you flying in a canyon while trailing a plane with absolutely no dogfighting.²* SequentialBoss: The final battles against [[spoiler: Rena and Dision in one of the endings.]]²* SpaceBattle: The only example in the entire series has you controlling Neucom's R-352 Sepia manned starfighter, killing orbital satellites. The controls of a spacecraft in zero-G feel ''entirely'' different than in atmosphere, throwing players out of the loop and forcing them to unlearn everything and adapt in three minutes or else. [[DoingItForTheArt All this for one mission]].²* SpannerInTheWorks: You. Specifically, Dision's plan to groom Rena to pilot the massively overpowered X-49 Night Raven. After repeated contacts with you, Rena becomes more determined to find her real memories. This proves crucial later on as she betrays Dision.²* TheStarscream: While Chairman Clarkson is truly committed to pacifying the two Companies, Park has...ambitions of his own.²* SuperPrototype:²** Many General Resource planes are actually born from real-life prototypes of otherwise abandoned or shelved projects. Discounting the F-15 S/MTD which appears all over the series, the RF-12A2 is not actually a variant of the SR-71, but of an earlier prototype interceptor called the [[ A-12 Oxcart]]. This is the same case with the F/A-32C Erne being the finalized product of the [[ Boeing X-32]], and the XFA-36A Game derived from the otherwise proof-of-concept plane [[ McDonnell Douglas X-36]]. Others include the F-16XF Gyrfalcon, based on the [[ F-16 AFTI]], and F-16XA Sakerfalcon, based on the [[ F-16XL Cranked Arrow]] concept.²** An ingame example is the massively overpowered X-49 Night Raven, which is the whole reason for the GR-Neucom conflict.²* TakingYouWithMe: If the player sides with Ouroboros, [[spoiler:Keith attacks you, Dision and Rena. After he takes enough damage, he gets his plane stuck between the wings of Rena's Night Raven; when you shoot him down, Rena goes down too.]]²* TheEndingChangesEverything: The OmegaEnding, revealed by completing all the routes. [[spoiler: Simon contacts you and explains that you're an AI...and that ''all the routes you played through'' were actually a [[LotusEaterMachine simulation he trapped you in]]. It turns out that he blames Dision from stealing Yoko from him, and was using you and the simulation to figure out how to erase Dision's AI-copy. Having seen every possible outcome, Simon decides that Dision's death is a ForegoneConclusion (since you do kill him on each route) and releases a fresh copy of you that has not been in the simulation into the real world to make one of the routes reality. He then deletes the simulation and you entirely.]]²* TomatoInTheMirror:²** The final ending, obtained by completing all five story paths, is this. See TheEndingChangesEverything above.²** Another character is revealed to be this as well: [[spoiler: AI!Dision]]. Bonus points of him realizing it while the real one is still alive, and him seeing everything through security cameras, since he doesn't exist in the flesh.²* TranshumanTreachery: This is the modus operandi and rallying cry for those who have "discarded their flesh", that is, the people who have Sublimated. Subverted with [[spoiler:Cynthia]], who is truly in it only for the sake of her curiosity, and she becomes devastated when her plans involve sacrificing [[spoiler:Fiona]].²* TrueCompanions: Both Erich and Keith are this to you on their respective routes. Keith even starts to salute you at the end of his video messages if you save him from troubles.²* {{Ubermensch}}: The Dision you meet is actually [[spoiler: an electronic AI copy of a flesh-and-blood Dision; this AI wants humanity to progress to an electronic form as he has, all while the Corporate War is heating up and he (it?) plays a part.]] Ultimately subverted, in that his ultimate goal is not to "advance the human race", but rather of {{Revenge}} against the companies who killed his [[spoiler: or rather, his flesh-and-blood counterpart's]] girlfriend, Yoko.²* UnitedNationsIsASuperpower: Subverted. The UPEO was established by what's left of the old national governments as a global peacekeeping force meant to police the new corporate order. In practice, it's a PaperTiger that's woefully underfunded [[spoiler:and an unwitting tool for Ouroboros.]]²* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Quite a few cases, depending on the route, with little explanation.²** Erich is a somewhat unique case. He's your one constant wingman throughout the entirety of the UPEO route. Any other route, he's essentially AWOL. The General Resource route at least allows you to explain that absence by shooting him down.²** One of the early turning points in the plot is the defection of Fiona and Chairman Clarkson from UPEO to Neucom, and a player in the UPEO route is allowed to shoot them down (or not do anything to stop Rena from doing so) to remain with UPEO, or rescue the two and defect alongside them. While Fiona plays some role in the plot, direct or otherwise, no matter how things turn out later on if you defect, Clarkson disappears from the plot entirely even ''if'' he survives.²** Conversely, Cynthia only shows up outside of the Neucom route in the General Resource route in one mission before being shot down or disappearing for the rest of the route.²* WhatTheHellHero: One mission in UPEO's route, after shooting down one of their own allies for suspicions of treason, Erich calls Rena out for it.²* WideEyedIdealist: Erich firmly believes in protecting peace with UPEO. He's quite attuned to everything though, and when he has been used as a pawn too far, he flies with you and initiates a two-plane rebellion.²* WithThisHerring: Double subverted. You start with a Eurofighter EF-2000 Typhoon II, a variant of one of the coolest planes of today... however, it's the far future, and by then the Eurofighter is ''severely'' outdated; flying it is kinda like nowadays flying a World War II fighter.²----²²--> ''"This time, the story won't be pre-determined like the others. Let's start the game."''


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: