Following is a list of characters in Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
The player's squadron. A group of trainee pilots under the hotheaded yet caring Captain Bartlett, Wardog was present in from the very beginning of the war. After Bartlett mysteriously disappears over the ocean after Taking the Bullet for Nagase, you, Blaze, become the leader of the squadron and Wardog is catapulted straight into the war due to technically being Osea's most experienced pilots. They were present for nearly every major offensive in the war, and their inhuman skills lead them to being branded "The Demons of Razgriz" by the Yuktobanians and the Four Wings of Sand Isle by your allies.
As it turns out, however, the entire war is a farce by the Belkan "Grey Men" to bring about the downfall of both nations. Since you'd end it quickly, the Belkans take pains to eliminate you. Following the demon they were named for, Wardog fakes being shot down over the ocean and becomes reborn as the Razgriz squadron, ending the war and the Belkans' plans for good.
Tropes regarding the player's squadron as a whole:
- Ace Pilot: Every single one of them. Blaze is of course universally recognized as the best.
- Appropriated Appellation: The Yuktobanians tried to paint the Hrimfaxi as the Razgriz. When Wardog sunk it, they called the squadron "The Demons of Razgriz", and the name stuck for everyone. They eventually become the "Ghosts" of Razgriz, and by the end, the "Heroes" of Razgriz.
- Badass Crew: A squadron of at least four pilots, and most likely four more RIOs considering their preference for F-14 Tomcats. This contrasts against the usual One-Man Army or Bash Brothers format of Ace Combat protagonists.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Wardog Squadron repaints their aircraft in an overall black paint scheme when they become the Ghosts of Razgriz.
- Ensign Newbie: None of the Wardogs (except Bartlett and Swordsman) has technically ever completed their flight training. The game's term for such pilots is "nuggets".
- Famed in Story: By the later stages of the war, the presence of Wardog Squadron in the skies is used to rally Osean forces and terrify Yuktobanian forces, with some units actually breaking and fleeing when the squadron shows up. It takes a while for their "Ghosts of Razgriz" paint scheme to get the same notoriety, but once it catches on, everyone is in awe of it, so much that several squadrons from both sides defect to them on-sight in the penultimate mission.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: From the Yuktobanian perspective. A squadron that hasn't even finished flight training becomes a living nightmare for the Yuktobanians.
- The Hunter Becomes the Hunted: After spending much of the first half of the game pursued by mysterious enemies, ambushed by a nigh-invincible nuclear submarine and AWACS-disrupting fighter squadrons, and betrayed by their own government, Wardog squadron manages to turn the tables and begin taking apart their tormentors after they are reborn as the Razgriz.
- Institutional Allegiance Concealment: To the public eye, the Wardog pilots betrayed Osean Federation and were killed in an attempt to escape on December 7, 2010. The fact that they survived, rescued the kidnapped leaders of both Osea and Yuktobania, and prevented two atomic bombings, one doomsday scenario, and a Colony Drop didn't reach the public until a decade later because the Osean Government consistently denied the existence of the "Ghosts of Razgriz".
- Add to this the fact that they never flew in military service again after the war, and only a single member (Kei Nagase) would fly in a civilian capacity as an astronaut.
- Fun with Acronyms: The first letters of your wingmen's callsigns spell out "ACES".
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Many people believe that the pilots are indeed Razgriz, or possessed by his spirit. With them following the legend they're named for to the letter including the death as a villain and revival as a hero and instances of inhuman flying in the game especially their Roaring Rampage of Revenge after Chopper's death, many fans believe the same.
- Mystical 108: Wardog Squadron is the Osean Air Defense Force, 108th tactical Fighter Wing Detachment. Four Wings of Sand Island devastating the enemy. Maybe Namco believes in Significant Numbers?
- The Paragon: Their reputation, nobility, and mythical status means that just by showing up late in the game Osean and Yuktobanian troops defect en masse to join their mission in ending the war.
- Rage Breaking Point: Chopper's death serves as one for the squadron, as it's about a minute between those responsible proclaiming the Wardogs aren't so invincible after all and panicking that they're suddenly completely untouchable again.
- Red Baron: Collectively, they're known as the "Four Wings of Sand Isle" to allies and the "Demons of Razgriz" to the Yuktobanians. They later officially become the "Ghosts of Razgriz" after they're designated the President's personal black ops unit.
- Technical Pacifist: Everyone on the squadron absolutely hates the war and the people that they hurt and kill. They express regret rather than anger when their enemies attack, and feel bad for both sides in the war. They never seek to punish those that they fight either, with the exception of the enemies that shoot down and kill Chopper.
- Weapon of Choice: They all start in their training F-5E Tiger IIs save Bartlett (F-4G Wild Weasel) and Swordsman (F-14A Tomcat), but later all switch to F-14As. In one mission, specifically the first mission after you're branded traitors and join the Kestrel, you're immediately given 4 Tomcats for your squadron, free of charge—which makes perfect sense in-story, too, since the Tomcats are primarily carrier-based aircraft, and you're stuck on the Kestrel. What isn't justified is that Tomcats simply cannot fly to their fullest potential without an RIO. One IS provided whenever you select the aircraft, but the game acts as if they aren't there.
- Then again, its established that Osea doesnt exactly have the manpower to double up skilled crew members in a single plane,and no weapon in the game can lock on past 4 miles, a far cry from the several dozen miles a 2 seater Tomcat could achieve at a minimum
The leader of the Wardog squadron after Bartlett goes MIA and the Player Character of the game. Starting out as just another rookie pilot stationed on Sand Island fresh out of basic, he quickly finds himself embroiled in the first shots fired in the Osean-Yuktobanian War, and ends up taking position as squadron leader when Bartlett is shot down and Nagase refuses the promotion. Under his (your) command, Wardog Squadron rises in fame from their exploits, eventually becoming a pillar of morale for the Oseans and the bane of the Yukes. When Wardog Squadron is framed for treason and reported KIA, Blaze continues to lead the newly christened "Razgriz Squadron" in clandestine missions, unraveling the Belkan conspiracy and sealing his and his teammates in history as the legendary "Ghosts of Razgriz."
- The Ace: Blaze never puts a foot wrong even if you give belligerent answers to questions (like saying no when Bartlett asks if you can hear him). He's also a complete rookie who nonetheless manages to get more kills in his first mission than the rest of the squadron combined. Wardog squadron look to him as an example of excellence, and they're the Badass Crew.
- But Now I Must Go: While it's fairly common for Ace Combat protagonists to not be mentioned after their respective games, Blaze gets some scant mention, with a short passage in the Aces at War story "Green Hills" implying he, like the other Ghosts of Razgriz, left the OADF following the war and subsequently disappeared.
- The Captain: Takes this role after the first two missions. The rank comes later (starts as a 2nd Lieutenant, promoted to 1st Lieutenant for the fifth mission, and then eventually to Captain, along with the rest of the squadron).
- Featureless Protagonist: Not completely. You can see parts of Blaze throughout a few cutscenes (not least of which as a photograph of your squadron where nothing but his face is covered), but otherwise he's a self-insert.
- The Hero: In a squadron of heroes, they all look to him for leadership.
- Heroic Mime: You can answer "Yes" or "No" to your allies throughout the game, but you never hear Blaze's actual response.
- He Who Must Not Be Seen: Almost averted. Blaze is shown in a couple of photographs - in one, his face is covered by another person, and in the other there are several unknown characters with no indication which (if any) of them is him. Some later cutscenes show the entire squadron, though if Blaze's head is even in the frame the view is too far away to actually see what he looks like. And in one of the earliest cutscenes, multiple pilots are seen talking, but the view switches to a front shot of Bartlett just before it can pan over to show one specific pilot's face. During the missions, the pilot's faces are obscured by their oxygen masks and helmet visors as well, so forget trying to catch a glimpse of him there either.
- This extends to the second man in two-seater aircraft as well - the Su-34 and A-6 in particular, which have seats aligned more like a car than a plane, doesn't allow you to look very far to the sides in cockpit view, just to prevent you from getting a close look at your co-pilot.
- There is only one picture that shows his full body, but thanks to Chopper being a showoff and flexing his arm in just the wrong position, Blaze's face is obscured. The only thing that can be told for sure about Blaze from the picture is that he's male and that he's about Chopper's height with short cropped dark hair, and white skin.
- One-Man Army: Somewhat downplayed compared to most other examples in the series, as Blaze is usually one plane in a four-man squadron. Nonetheless, he is responsible for most of the squadron's kills, and is eventually considered this trope by the rest of the unit.
- Only Known by His Callsign: Like so many player characters in the series who aren't William Bishop, Blaze doesn't have a given name or a surname. He's referred to exclusively as Blaze and Wardog 1 later Ragriz 1.
- Player Character: One of two characters ever controlled directly by the player. The other being Mobius One in the bonus "Arcade Mode".
- The Quiet One: Blaze does talk, even during missions, when you (the player) have the option of saying yes or no to certain questions or statements. The nature of the reply you get from your squad and others indicates that Blaze does say something more than just "Yes" or "No", but it's deliberately ambiguous. He's also very good friends with his wingmen and the people he meets respect him, so he's not a typical Silent Protagonist.
- Speaks Fluent Animal: At one point, Kirk manages to get on the Squadron's radio and barks into it. Comically, Blaze is given the opportunity to answer Yes or No.
The most experienced rookie of the Wardog Squadron, and the sole surviving trainee of Osea's first skirmish with Yuktobania. She initially refuses to take command after Bartlett is shot down saving her from a missile, instead taking up position as Blaze's Number Two and resolves not to lose another flight lead in battle. Outside of battle, she is a quiet, soft-spoken woman who keeps to herself most of the time, but don't let that fool you: On the battlefield, she is a fierce fighter with unstoppable determination, both in the air and on the ground. However, she does consider herself a pacifist, and wishes to see the war between Osea and Yuktobania ended peacefully.
- Badass in Distress: During the time she is shot down while looking for POW Bartlett and has to be rescued by her squadmates. It doesn't stop her from rescuing the rescue party that crashed looking for her earlier and taking hostage some Yuktobanian soldiers looking for them both.
- Bodyguard Crush: Definitely implied to be the case with Blaze. However she is not officially assigned the role of bodyguard, rather she takes it upon herself. No one gets to Blaze while shes around.
- The Cameo: She shows up in the ending of Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown as the astronaut in charge of a space exploration mission of the spaceship Pilgrim One. She thanks Trigger for saving the space elevator so that she could safely dock the ship. It's only implied in Ace Combat 7 that she's THE Kei Nagase from Wardog/Razgriz, but the Aces at War supplemental book confirms it outright, and that she was covertly recruited to go on a deep space mission to intercept an asteroid that, like Ulysses, was on-course to cause chaos across Strangereal Earth.
- Declaration of Protection: After Bartlett is shot down she becomes borderline obsessed with protecting Blaze and reminds everyone about it at least once per mission.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Of a downplayed variety. While she never is actually cold or rude to anyone who doesn't deserve it, she definitely is one of the more aloof members of the squadron and her decision to be Blaze's wingman was inspired more out of guilt and determination not to lose another flight lead rather than attraction to Blaze. After having a moment of In-Universe Catharsis as noted below, however, her feelings warm up to the point that she's pretty much Blaze's Implied Love Interest.
- Dude Magnet: Genette is seemingly smitten with her from the opening, Chopper thinks shes the prettiest pilot in the airforce, the crew of Sea Goblin are eager to meet her during her rescue, and even Harling tries flirting with her while she rescues him!
- Good Is Not Soft: Kei Nagase is a Technical Pacifist to the point many fans questioned her being a fighter pilot. Despite this, she shows a very fierce side when fighting, and isn't afraid to get violent when a situation calls for it. When she is shot down looking for Bartlett, she ends up capturing the enemy soldiers that were sent after her, was quite likely literally possessed by a demon with the rest of the squadron when Chopper is killed, has a kill count of mooks and Elite Mooks that very likely reaches into the hundreds if not thousands, and beat the hell out of The Mole offscreen.
- Implied Love Interest: Develops this with Blaze through the game. Even the Razgriz myth and whether the pilots are actually demons is more ambiguous than Nagase's feelings towards you.
- In-Universe Catharsis: Finally being shot down for real in "Ice Cage" (after Bartlett narrowly saved her from that fate in "Open War" almost two months earlier) really helps Nagase get over the guilt she feels for her CO Taking the Bullet for her.
- I Owe You My Life: Towards the missing Bartlett. Later is the same towards Blaze.
- The Lancer: In "White Noise", it appears like she has become The Chick who has to be rescued... but then you discover that she managed to fend exceptionally well for herself without any help. If you complete the mission in time, that is.
- Legacy Character: Edge has incarnations that appeared all the way from Ace Combat 2, where her callsign and rough features are the same (though more emphasis is based on her being The Stoic, and in Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere (the Japanese version), where in a very specific news broadcast that you can only view in taking a specific path, you can see a person's photograph below Dision's, clearly spelling Kei Nagase, with a very similar face as the Kei Nagase that we know. Shattered Skies has a brave airline first officer who tries to control a plane after a spy shot the pilot: Nagase, the very same one from Ace Combat 2.
- More Senior Subordinate: After Captain Bartlett is shot down, the command promotes Kei Nagase, the most senior surviving cadet in the Wardog Squadron, to its temporary leader (until another officer arrives from the mainland to take charge). Nagase, however, is plagued by Survivor Guilt and immediately defers command to Blaze, who is actually the most junior member, over even Chopper (who concurs silently). The command lets it slide because they are in the middle of battle, and later makes it permanent when Blaze delivers results.
- Number Two: To Bartlett and later, to Blaze.
- Silk Hiding Steel: Gentle and soft-spoken, often compared to a princess by her comrades, and the most idealistic character in the game. She's also the only trainee to survive the massacre at the beginning of the game. When she gets shot down, the narrating reporter Genette thinks that she did so deliberately to avoid having to kill any more enemies; after she's rescued, they find out that she captured the enemy soldiers sent to capture her, and he says he has to rethink his image of her. Judging from Bartlet's comments at the beginning of the game, she also has a very reckless flying style.
- The Smurfette Principle: Nagase is the only named female character until the introduction of Nastasya Obertas in mission 25 (out of 27).
- Sole Survivor: She's the only trainee to survive the first engagement between Bartlett's training flight and the Yuktobanian incursion squadron. It's implied that the biggest reason she survived is because she took an aggressive stance against the Yuke fighters rather than try to run.
- Undying Loyalty: Nagase is extremely devoted to Blaze.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: To some extent, the pacifistic Edge also fits this as shown by her dismay at the conversion of the Arkbird into a superweapon.
- Wingwoman: To Blaze.
The loud-mouthed "nugget" who flew with Captain Bartlett before his disappearance. Afterwards, he continues flying as Wardog 3. An avid fan of Rock-and-Roll and a bit of a motormouth to boot, he and the squadron's AWACS tend to butt heads over his chattiness. Despite his irreverent attitude towards his superiors, however, he is a boisterous, friendly guy, who always looks out for his friends. As a member of Wardog Squadron, he develops into a skilled fighter pilot, but he is killed during an air defense mission when his plane's ejection seat fails.
- Character Development: Chopper starts out just as anti-war as Edge, noting in the second mission that he's glad that your targets are unmanned aircraft. By "Journey Home", however, he seems to have let being nicknamed the "Demons of Razgriz" by the enemy get to him, as just before he gets hit with a missile he actually complains that he's lost count of how many kills he has.
- Hey, You!: As noted in the entry below, he continues to call Blaze "Kid" despite Blaze being his squadron leader. The reason he gives for this is that if Blaze wants to be called Captain, he needs to be as gruff as their previous Captain (Bartlett) was.
- Insistent Terminology: The only member of Wardog Squadron who still calls Blaze "Kid" after his promotion to flight lead, for the reason given above. Conversely, Thunderhead is the only one who calls him by his name and rank rather than his nickname.
- Military Maverick: Of all Wardogs, he has the biggest attitude.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: To AWACS Thunderhead, who generally takes his antics with ill humor.
- Stepford Smiler: In an early mission, he's clearly traumatized by the aftermath of the attack on Port St. Hewlett, including the sight of burning bodies in the water — some of which are still (briefly) alive. It's possible that he makes light of everything around him as a defense mechanism to keep from breaking down (in other words, "I laugh because if I couldn't, I'd cry"). This, combined with the stresses of combat and the additional pressure from having to defend himself against false charges of treason, might possibly have led him to deliberately fail to eject in his last mission.
- Wingman: Your second in the game.
Blaze's third wingman, who joins the team during an emergency scramble and continues flying as Wardog 4 henceforth. A shy, nervous kid, he nonetheless demonstrates his skill in his first combat sortie, and as a result, he joins the squadron permanently following the mission. Quite possibly the youngest member of the squadron, he shows remarkable intelligence, able to fly and survive a combat sortie despite only having basic flight knowledge and figuring out an enemy's deception tactic just by observation alone. He also has an older brother who is in the Osean army, who he speaks fondly of often.
- The Ace: More than anyone else on the team: while the rest of Wardog, with the exception of Bartlett and Snow, start as rookie pilots, Grimm starts as a pilot who hasn't finished flight school. He ends up stealing a jet during an enemy attack on his home base, gets in the air, and successfully shoots down at least one enemy plane in the ensuing chaos.Grimm: I'm taking off.
Chopper: The hell you are! You haven't even finished flight school yet!
- A Birthday, Not a Break: Grimm reveals that his birthday is coming up next week during a quiet break between the two final battles. Against all genre conventions, he survives the end of the game even after pointing this out.
- New Meat: Archer is fresh out of basic at the beginning of the campaign. Surprisingly, he goes on to be incredibly badass. Double rare: he keeps his status as new meat, but is the best wing on your team in game.
- Remember the New Guy?: He interrupts the fourth mission to announce that he's coming up to support you, and the game intends for this to be a shocking development considering the way everyone reacts to this. It completely fails to be a shocking development because the game forgot to actually hint that he exists before this point. Fortunately, it's early enough in the game that it's not too jarring.
- Shout-Out: Has a brother in the ground forces, making them The Brothers Grimm.
- Skilled, but Naïve: Grimm may have a golden arm, but he seeks approval from the rest of the squadron, shows his fear of certain situations more (IE the Scinfaxi and Hrimfaxi), and in general acts less mature than the others.
- The Smart Guy: Has a few moments, such as being the first to realize the presence of jamming aircraft in one mission.
- Wingman: While obeying your orders, Grimm is technically Chopper's wingman (and Snow's much later).
A Veteran Instructor on Sand Island and the original leader of the Wardog Squadron. A gruff, somewhat cynical man who is a veteran of The Belkan War, he prefers doing what needs to be done to keep his nuggets alive, rather than follow orders from HQ. This often puts him at odds with the top brass, and as such he's resigned to never rising above the rank of Captain in his military career. Still, he is an effective squadron leader, but he goes MIA early in the game after being shot down and is not heard from again until the final missions. In the interim, new nugget Blaze must step in to fill his shoes.
- The Cameo: He can appear in certain versions of "Mayhem", the tenth mission of Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War. Though released about a year after 5, Zero chronologically takes place 15 years before it, making this an Early-Bird Cameo chronologically.
- Gratuitous English: His custom callsign is actually supposed to be "The Heartbroken One", referencing his relationship with the Yuktobanian Major Nastasya Obertas during the Belkan War and their subsequent breakup.
- The Last DJ: He's been stuck at the rank of Captain since the end of the Belkan War fifteen years ago, and notes himself that he'll probably never get that promotion.Bartlett: Why do they even bother reprimanding me anymore? I know I'm going to be stuck at Captain forever.
- The Mentor: For a brief period, before he's shot down in the second mission.
- Veteran Instructor: Fought in the Belkan War prior to the events of the game, where he met Pops.
- Weapon of Choice: Two, actually. During the Belkan War, he was shown to fly an F-14D Super Tomcat. 15 years later, during his time as an instructor, he flew an F-4G Wild Weasel.
- When Harry Met Svetlana: His on-and-off romance with the Yuktobanian Recon Major Nastasya. In an inversion of the default trope, it's Bartlett ("one of us", since you fly for Osea) who goes over to the enemy side first, joining up with the loyalist Yuktobanians, while Nastasya (respectively, "one of them") technically stays loyal to Yuktobania, as she leaves the country only after discovering treason in the highest government ranks and freeing the legitimate Prime Minister.
A.k.a. Wolfgang "Huckebein" Buchner. Wardog Squadron's aging mechanic. Like Bartlett, he is a veteran of the Belkan War 15 years ago, and so he has an experienced, if cynical view of the current ongoing conflict. He is later revealed to be a former Belkan fighter ace who defected when ordered to nuke a city in his own country during the previous war. With his secret out (and used by Hamilton to help frame Wardog Squadron for treason), he flees with Wardog and fakes his death with them, becoming part of the support for the reborn Razgriz Squadron as they work to foil his former comrades' plot of revenge against Osea and Yuktobania.
- Continuity Cameo: He said he was shot down in the Belkan war, flying a MiG. In Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War, you can indeed shoot him down. Of course, unless you played 5, you wouldn't know what happens afterwards...
- Conveniently Unverifiable Cover Story: After they were shot down over the Round Table during the Belkan War, Bartlett vouched for Pops as a member of his squadron, whose headquarters had been destroyed in a bombing raid.
- Cool Old Guy: Has been flying since the Belkan War, and still shows his skill in old age. He's also one of the first people to figure out The Conspiracy.
- Defector from Decadence: As explained in his backstory.
- Fighting Fingerprint: As he and the Wardog squadron flee from Sand Island, the leader of the 8492nd squadron notices his flying style, and realizes that hes actually Huckebein the Raven.
- The Engineer: His primarly role in the unit is repairing and upgrading the fighter jets.
- Mission Control: He takes over this position from AWACS Thunderhead once you joined Kestrel and formed the Razgriz Squadron, with him giving you briefings and providing you advice and objectives during the late-game missions.
- Non-Action Guy: He never fires a shot in this game... which doesn't mean he isn't a 100% certified badass.
- Old Soldier: He's a former pilot himself, but he's content to stay on the ground and tend to the planes and let the next generation take over in the skies.
- Still Got It: He leads the betrayed Wardog Squadron through the terrain of an island surrounded by a magnetic field to throw off the pursuit of the 8492nd Squadron, and showcases impressive acrobatics in the process.
The Wardog's AWACS plane. Usually unflappable and a stickler for the rules, he becomes Chopper's personal (friendly) nemesis due to the latter's motormouth tendencies. On top of providing intelligence and tactical information for Wardog, he also is in charge of electronic warfare, often fighting to prevent the enemy from jamming Wardog's communcations.
- Actually Pretty Funny: During one mission, Chopper starts talking about Thunderhead in his usual derisive but friendly way, and when Thunderhead cuts in to tell him to knock it off, it's obvious he's smiling.
- Bothering by the Book: Has a major problem with Chopper's carefree attitude.
- Calling Your Attacks: Whenever he initiates Electronic Counter-Counter Measures to overcome enemy jamming, he shouts out "ECCM! Restore communication link!" It's not hard to imagine him hammily pressing a Big Red Button up in the AWACS plane.
- Good Colors, Evil Colors: Played with. It's a real gut punch to the player to see Thunderhead's name in red after the 8492nd squadron has successfully framed Wardog as traitors, and even if Thunderhead expresses disbelief that Wardog really have turned, his last act is falling for Snow's ruse as he "shoots down the traitors."
- Large Ham: He's much louder and more bombastic in his duties than other AWACS of the series, like 04's Sky Eye or Eagle Eye of Zero, who go for more Danger Deadpan with only short bursts of emotion.
- Last-Name Basis: Thunderhead only ever refers to Chopper as his rank and his last name. He finally calls him "Chopper" seconds before Chopper's death.
- Mission Control: Wardog's AWACS unit.
- Mission Control Is Off Its Meds: There are a couple of "uneventful" missions where it turns out Thunderhead led you straight into a trap, most notably "8492," where you're ambushed on your return flight after a relatively easy ground attack mission. It's not Thunderhead's fault, though; the whole thing turns out to be a setup by the 8492nd Squadron, to discredit and ultimately destroy you.
- OOC Is Serious Business: He only ever calls Chopper by his callsign once, as noted above. There's also one time after the squad sinks the Hrimfaxi, where he once again requests Chopper to can the chatter and is clearly thrown for a loop when Chopper responds as "Razgriz 3".
- Sour Outside, Sad Inside: Averted, despite his relationship with Chopper being comical arch-nemeses, he desperately tried to convince Chopper not to give up before he inevitably crashes. As a brief eulogy, he noted how Chopper "was a model pilot to the very end", which he promptly invited Wardog and other allied squadrons to salute him in his memory.
- Whatever Happened to the Mouse?: Never seen again after the escape from Sand Isle.
Leader of the Shorebirds Squadron based on the Kestrel at the beginning of the game. A no-nonsense pilot who doesn't hesitate and protects his carrier and subordinates with his life if he has to, he nonetheless isn't afraid to give harsh words for those he perceives to be wasting his time or keeping him from doing his job. By the climax of the game, he is the only surviving pilot stationed on the Kestrel, and as such has been rotated out of active combat and into reserve along with the rest of the Kestrel battle group.
- Good Is Not Nice: He's a bit abrasive at times, but Snow is definitely one of the good guys.
- Meaningful Name: His callsign Swordsman foreshadows him "shooting down" Wardog by way of the Razgriz poem, slaying the "demons" with a hallowed saber to give birth to the heroes.
- Old Soldier: Swordsman's bitter attitude clashes a lot with the nuggets' naive idealism.
- Sixth Ranger: Joins Wardog to replace Chopper.
- Scary Black Man: He comes in admonishing Nagase for being obsessed with protecting you, and he does have a point. You wouldn't know the "Black Man" part until he joins later on though.
- Sole Survivor: By the time he joins your team, he's the only one who's left of his squadron.
- Token Adult: Kinda. All the members of Wardog are adults, but Swordsman is Blaze's only wingman who isn't, in essence, a field-promoted trainee.
- Wingman: In the end of the game, he thanks Blaze for letting him fly as a wingman again, because after a very long time as a flight lead, he forgot how his own wingmen felt about him.
A freelance reporter who came to Sand Island to write a story on Jack Bartlett, but ends up with much more than he bargained for. Realizing that he could have found his big break, he begins chronicling the exploits of the "Four Wings of Sand Island," and soon finds himself sucked into their story as they uncover a massive conspiracy to pit two countries against each other, and witnesses firsthand Wardog's evolution into the Demons of Razgriz.
- Action Survivor: He's just a civilian reporter with apparently no military background, yet he gets tagged along with many of Wardog Squadron's adventures. The opening scene shows him in the backseat of Bartlett's F-4G while he gets into a dogfight with enemy planes. Halfway through the game, he gets branded a traitor along with the rest of Wardog members, almost got shot by Perrault and has to escape in Pops' training jet, and has to experience a bailout from the plane mid-escape as well. Later in the game, he also survived Kestrel being sunk by an enemy submarine.
- Character Narrator: Although other characters get to narrate some parts, Genette is the main one. He's also the narrator in Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception as well.
- Intrepid Reporter: He goes along with everything Wardog does, even coming with them as they leave their country because of the traitors within. Due to his strong morals, he doesn't mind a single bit. He retained this status in Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception, where he obtained classified Leasathian documents and investigate the true cause of the war, and is responsible for exposing the truth that leads to Navarro's downfall and Leasath's loss.
- Tagalong Reporter: Justified by the fact that his article on the Wardogs is pretty much the only thing he is known for. Plus, his close association with them would have probably made him a traitor in the command's eyes, too.
Chopper's dog. He becomes a bit of a mascot for Wardog, and is as every bit a member of the squadron as his human compatriots, to the point of escaping with Wardog when they are accused of treason.
Commander of the Sand Island Air Base. A hard-nosed, overweight man whose hobbies include glaring at people and occasionally giving dramatic speeches, he serves little purpose to the plot other than occasionally giving Wardog their briefings. Like everyone else, he falls for Hamilton's lies and is deceived into thinking Wardog are traitors, and is not seen or mentioned again after Wardog makes their escape from Sand Island.
- Adipose Rex: Embodies the spirit of the trope quite well, and Genette even referred to him in his narration as "the emperor of [Sand Island] base".
- Fat Bastard: As heavyset as he is, he probably should have failed a physical exam (though it's likely he had simply gone to seed since becoming an officer). He never has a kind word to say to anyone and believes whatever nasty things are said about Wardog Squadron.
- The Neidermeyer: He never has a kind word to say about Wardog or anyone else under his command, and shows a complete lack of regard for their well-being in the face of possible glory - in contrast to the commander of McNealy AFB, who only sends Blaze and his three wingmen out to defend the space center because the rest are "just kids", Perrault sends out everyone, regardless of experience, to defend Sand Island, and as a direct result gets all of them but Blaze, Edge, Chopper and Archer killed.
- Pet the Dog: He does have a soft spot for Nagase, it seems, as he dispenses with long speeches after she is shot down and just tells you to bring her back.
Vice-commander of Sand Island. Despite having a cool demeanor and rarely interacting with the airmen stationed at Sand Island, he nonetheless remains calm and friendly in his few interactions with them. At first he seems to be a Reasonable Authority Figure, putting up with Commander Perrault and even assisting Genette with getting his confiscated camera back and getting him on the Press Corps, but he turns out to be a traitor late in the game, and a flying ace in his own right.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Ultimately killed not in a dogfight, but by a mook's plane bouncing off a tunnel wall and crashing into him.
- The Mole: Is eventually revealed to be the Grey Men's inside man on Sand Island.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Appears as one, in stark contrast to his boss. It's all an act.
- Unstoppable Rage: Even if you shoot him down outside of the tunnel complex, he'll still chase you into the tunnel, ranting and raving all the way through.
Leader of the 8492nd Squadron and an agent of the Grey Men. Originally assigned to the squadron by Osea as part of a joint Osean-Belkan group of fighter aces meant to bolster Osea's military power, Ashley and the group went rogue and instead began conspiring against Osea, with the ultimate goal of inciting all-out war and devastation to both countries in revenge for Belka's defeat 15 years ago.
- Ace Pilot: Like a lot of legendary Belkan aces, Bernitz was trained by the Kellerman Institution.
- Better to Die than Be Killed: Take too long to shoot him and his squadron down in the final mission and they will self destruct.
- Big Bad: Although the Grey Men are the ones behind the war, Ashley and his wingmen act as the main antagonists throughout the game. It's his actions that drive the plot forward, with him responsible for kidnapping President Harling, attacking a Yuktobanian college town in order to escalate the war and framing the act on Wardog Squadron, convincing Captain Hamilton into becoming a traitor, ambushing Wardog Squadron over the Vladimir Mountains and tried to shoot them down later over the Ceres Ocean, and finally having two dogfights with Razgriz Squadron in the endgame.
- Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: To Yellow 13. Both of them are experienced, highly skilled pilots that serve as The Rival ace to the protagonist. In terms of differences, Thirteen was an honorable soldier who sympathized with the enemy he was fighting against, despised cowardice in battle, and disapproved of Eruseas tactic of placing anti-air emplacements on hospitals during the liberation of San Salvacion. Bernitz by contrast is a fanatic Belkan nationalist who absolutely despises Osea for defeating Belka in the previous war, uses subterfuge and other underhanded tactics in his attempts to kill Wardog/Razgriz Squadron, and is fully willing to commit war crimes such as firing on civilians in order to advance the goals of the Grey Men.
- Gender-Blender Name: He's one of those increasingly-rare male Ashleys.
- Graceful Loser: He takes his defeat stoically:"I... I never thought you would be this good..."
- Institutional Allegiance Concealment: The 8492nd doesn't exist. Officially, that is.
- Old Master: A rare pilot example, but according to his file in the prequel, Bernitz is 53 years old during the events of the game. Most pilots have either give up the mantle or get promoted away from the front lines between 35 and 40, although it wasn't untypical for Belkan aces like him to be active well into their forties, e.g. Dietrich Kellerman and Anton Kupchenko were 45 and 48 during the Belkan War.
- Villainous Breakdown: Grabacr's comes off as rather subdued compared to Ofnir's, though."You're the ones who built the SOLG to use against us! And now, you're sitting under your own dagger! Taste the irony!"
Captain of the OFS Kestrel, the largest Osean aircraft carrier. His skill as a captain keeps the Kestrel virtually unharmed until the penultimate mission, but he continually loses pilots until only Captain Snow is left, and, without a combat-capable squadron, he and his fleet are left in idle away from the frontlines. This turns out to the advantage of the now-fugitive Wardog squadron, and the Kestrel becomes their flagship from which to launch their clandestine operations against the Gray Men.
- The Captain: Of the Naval variety, as opposed to a Squadron Captain such as Blaze or Snow.
- Failure Knight: Despite the fact that the Kestrel went the entire war without taking any damage from enemy fire, Andersen instead mourned the loss of all its aircraft pilots during the war save Swordsman, and so describes himself to Genette as a man who'd seen one losing battle after another. Until the penultimate mission "Aces", where the Kestrel is torpedoed once during the mission briefing, and again as the pilots scramble to launch their aircraft. The carrier sinks, but fortunately, all the Razgriz pilots are airborne, and most of the crew including Andersen seems to have survived.
- Father Neptune: While he doesn't sport a Seadog Beard, he instead has a mustache.
- Legendary in the Sequel: His exploits in the Circum-Pacific War have become famous by the time Ace Combat 7 takes place, particularly when he scrambled the Razgriz Squadron into the air before his ship sank. This has got to the point where the Osean Navy commissioned another aircraft carrier with the name Kestrel, and another one named after the man himself, which like the original Kestrel before it, is responsible for launching the pilot that would go on to end another war.
- Life Will Kill You: Anderson eventually passes away of old age some time after the Circum-Pacific War, but by the time of the Lighthouse War, his name and exploits are known to Avril, who muses how his story parallels the present-day situation and how the OFS Admiral Andersen will end up being the carrier that sends out the planes that will end 7's war.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Is one of the few higher-ups in the game who realizes the existence of The Conspiracy and works to stop it.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: While never explicitly stated, the almost complete loss of the Kestrel's operational combat squadron made the Kestrel ineffective, so the Osean high command pretty much did this by rotating them out of front lines fighting and leaving them to idle in reserve.
President of the Osean Federation. After his plane is forced down due to an unfortunate case of friendly fire, he is presumably rescued by the 8492nd Squadron and disappears soon after, just before the war escalates. It turns out he was kidnapped by the 8492nd (actually a Belkan aggressor squadron under the command of the "Grey Men") to prevent him from holding peace talks with Yuktobania. After being rescued from captivity by Razgriz, he makes good on his promise and strikes a peace accord with the (also kidnapped and rescued) Yuktobanian Prime Minister Nikanor.
- Back for the Dead: He comes back in Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown but is alive for all of four missions before he is killed. However, his brainchild the space elevator, and his legacy regarding it is a major driving point of the game's plot.
- Big Good: Is genuinely trying to work for peace between Osea and Yuktobania and by the latter part of the game, one of the keys to it.
- Escort Mission: He's the focus of one early in the game. He's also the Macguffin for another later on.
- Our Presidents Are Different: Walks the line between President Personable and President Target. Later in the game he borders on President Action when he and a marine unit are forced to go into the capital of Osea in order to expose the Belkan plot.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Harling is an all-around pleasant man who seeks a peaceful coexistence with Yuktobania and tries his best to broker an end of hostilities between the two countries. Too bad he is kidnapped early in the game.
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: He reappears in Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown as a former-president well after his term is over, but still a Very Important Person, politically influential, warmly-regarded within in Osea, and one of the big names behind the newly-constructed Space Elevator. Unfortunately, his transport is shot down during a rescue operation to get him out from behind Erusean lines.
An Osean special operations team stationed on the Kestrel. Their first appearance is when Wardog supports them as they liberate a POW camp, they show up in the subsequent mission to rescue a shot-down Nagase. At some point after this, they were rotated out of service with the Kestrel battle group due to the Kestrel losing most of their aircraft in battle, essentially leaving them stuck in reserve. As fate would have it, however, they meet up again with Wardog when they pluck the squadron-in-exile from the seas, and join them in stopping the Belkan conspiracy.
- Back for the Dead: Much like Harling above. A Sea Goblin unit is the team dispatched to rescue Harling from the Lighthouse, but they're almost immediately wiped out upon landing. It isn't clear whether they are the same team that worked with Razgriz, or a new team entirely.
- Big Damn Heroes: Fulfills this role no less than four times in the plot, including twice for the Wardogs themselves. They're at the receiving end of one in turn in the last mission they appear in, where you have to create a Bullethole Door for their dramatic escape.
- Chivalrous Pervert: One of the members basically asks the Wardogs "Is she hot?" during Kei's rescue mission, to which Chopper replies indignantly "Why don't you rescue her and see for yourself?" In a later mission, one who's probably the same guy tries to flirt with her over the comm.
- Escort Mission: They rely on the aces to wipe out enemy fighters and AA in their way to secure the landing zone for their ground-based heroics.
- Hero of Another Story: You occasionally hear snippets of radio chatter alluding to their heroics during the missions when you're providing their top cover, but you never get to directly witness any of it since their missions involve lots of close-quarters combat indoors.
Union of Yuktobanian Republics
Prime Minister of Yuktobania.
- Embarrassing First Name: This was probably unintentional, but "Seryozha" is a diminutive form of the Russian name "Sergey". The former is to the latter approximately as "Bobby" is to "Robert" in English.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Much like Harling, he would rather Osea and Yuktobania coexist than be at war. Too bad he is kidnapped early in the game. And once he's rescued, the first group of his own military he tries to talk to immediately labels him a traitor and tries to kill him.
- Voiced by: Dave Wittenberg (English)
A cell leader of the Yuktobanian anti-war resistance.
Yuktobanian Recon Major and Bartlett's ex-"lady friend".
- Cool Shades: She is first seen in a cutscene wearing large shades, which are probably an old habit from her job as a spy and adds to her general mysteriousness.
- Casual Danger Dialog: During her escape from Yuktobania during an air raid, she seems to actually enjoy the danger.
- Old Flame: For Bartlett.
- When Harry Met Svetlana: Her on-and-off romance with Bartlett. See Bartlett's entry for details.
Leader of the Ofnir Squadron, the 8492nd's Yuktobanian counterpart. Like Grabacr, Heimeroth is an agent of the Grey Men.
- Arrogant Ace Pilot: His AWACS warns him to avoid flying into a narrow canyon with the Razgriz Squadron still lurking there. His reaction: "No obstacles to our flight observed." He is likewise dismissive of the Razgriz, boasting that he'll turn their battleground into "a demon's graveyard."
- Better to Die than Be Killed: Take too long to shoot him and his squadron down in the final mission and they will self destruct.
- Continuity Cameo: Can be encountered in the next game as an enemy ace.
- Institutional Allegiance Concealment: Like the 8492nd in Osea, the Ofnir Squadron doesn't officially exist in the Yuktobanian military.
- Villainous Breakdown: Michael and the rest of Ofnir Squadron suffer a huge one in the final mission."RISE, MY FALLEN BROTHERS, RISE UP WITH THE POWER OF YOUR HATRED!"
A Yuktobanian AWACS who appears late in the game.
- Former Regime Personnel: Formerly members of the Belkan military industrial complex, wanting to take revenge on Osea and Yuktobania and reestablish Belka again.
- Let's You and Him Fight: Their method of getting revenge on Osea and Yuktobania, achieved by conducting False Flag Operations to provoke the two superpowers into waging war against each other.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: Specifically for Belka.
- Arms Dealer: Of the decidedly amoral variety.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Mentioned only tangentially in this game. Zero made the company responsible for the ADFX-01 and ADFX-02 Morgan. Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation features an ace who used Gründer's blueprints for the XB-0 to create the P-1112 Aigaion. Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy, a remake of the second game that retcons Ace Combat 2 into the Strangereal universe, also makes it responsible for the production of the Z.O.E. and ADF-01 FALKEN. And again in Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown, where they are responsible for the AI technology that they sold to the Eruseans, heavily implied to be a new version of Z.O.E., which they then used to create an advanced UAV army and leads to the Lighthouse War. Said technology is also implied to pave the way for the rise in AI development in Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere as well. Thus, Gründer has become an indirect enemy in many entries in the franchise.
- Karma Houdini Warranty: Osea finally shuts down Gründer following the de-classification of all records related to the Circum-Pacific War.
- Meaningful Name: Gründer means founder. Considering that it's responsible for many conflicts in the franchise, this is pretty appropriate.
The mythological demon mentioned in A Blue Dove for the Princess. Speculation abounds whether or not it is actually present in some form in the game. The Wardog Squadron's members are branded "The Demons of Razgriz" after they sink the Hrimfaxi. Later in the game after they get shot down fleeing from Sand Island, they take Razgriz' name for themselves.
- Ambiguous Gender: Is only referred by "it" though appears in a feminine looking human form in "The Blue Dove And The Princess".
- All There in the Manual: "The Blue Dove And The Princess", the book Nagase has which describes Razgriz' legend, can be found in artbooks.
- But Now I Must Go: After Razgriz returns as a hero, it tends to disappear shortly after.
- Dark Is Evil: A black winged demon that brings death at first. It becomes much nicer after it revives.
- Evil Redhead: As it appears in a human form in "The Blue Dove And The Princess" and the Razgriz Squadron Emblem.
- HeelFace Turn: As the legend goes, Razgriz starts off as an evil being that spreads death and suffering before ultimately dying, only to eventually resurrect as a force of good.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Common Wild Mass Guesses by the fandom include that members of Wardog Squadron actually are possessed by Razgriz at various points (particularly after Chopper's death, when they go absolutely berserk on the Yuke planes still left in the sky), or that Blaze is Razgriz, which itself is supported by the fact that he completely disappeared after the war.note
- Our Demons Are Different: A demon that goes berserk, dies, and then becomes a hero.
- Red Herring: Early in the game, the characters discuss the prophecy in reference to the Yuktobanian superweapon Scinfaxi, especially after it's sunk... and its sister ship Hrimfaxi appears, apparently fulfilling the second half of the prophecy. Then Wardog Squadron sinks it, too, whereupon the Yuktobanians start referring to them as "the Demons of Razgriz."
- Rule of Symbolism: The story of Razgriz parallels that of Wardog Squadron during the war, which is made explicit once they adopt the name "the Ghosts of Razgriz" for themselves officially.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Maybe. "ラーズグリーズ" is exactly how you'd spell "Ráðgríðr", a valkyrie attested in the Grímnismál & Nafnaþulur, in kana syllablry. This has led to all sorts of fandom debate about whether the spelling in the released game is right, whether it was meant to be "Rathgrith" or similar (since Japanese lacks a true "th" syllable and must substitute ズ for it), and how much of a connection the player is meant to draw between the entity described in the game and the real-world myth.