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Fridge Brilliance

  • The whole Harling taking a hit to protect the space elevator thing makes sense when you realize Kei Nagase is out in space. Harling took a hit and died to help the pilot who saved his life and saved the world, especially since the Razgriz Papers were not released yet.
  • Why was Avril's Starfighter shot down in the beginning? It's not just the lack of a friendly IFF on her fighter; from a distance it's overall shape is almost identical to the Erusean MQ-99 drones the Osean fighters are chasing. When no IFF was received from her fighter and Avril banked to escape the area, the Osean Eagle assumed it was another drone that had appeared and shot it down.
  • The original map of the Erusean invasion shows that almost all of Usea has fallen under them, save North Point. It makes sense for two reasons: first, North Point has remained neutral, or at worse partially supportive of wars in the past. Since the Radical Eruseans want the public opinion to side with them and managed to do so thanks to the drones' "clean warfare", attacking a neutral territory would negate any PR boost they gained. Second, the last time they tried to invade North Point, Mobius 1 happened.
  • In Mission 4, there's a significant amount of chatter among Gargoyle Squadron and a direct line to leadership about "Babel" and waiting for orders. While the more skeptical pilot may wonder if this might indicate an ongoing conspiracy, as IUN-PKF tells them to "switch frequencies" and uses code, we're also treated directly to a cutscene of fighters attempting to shoot directly at the space elevator. It isn't until the last few missions that we learn the elevator 'directly' sends power to the Arsenal Birds, enabling them to engage their shields and repair parts. Seeing as the efforts to resurrect Stonehenge probably also involved lots of planning and covert ops, it makes sense the Oseans were also aware that destroying the elevator would give them a leg up. Their unsurprised tone when drones intercept the missiles also hints that Osea is aware that the drones would protect the elevator, confirming its importance to the AI.
    • There is another good reason for this AI behavior: EASA converted the Space Elevator's underground maintenance facility into a drone factory, and the destruction of the elevator would cause debris to rain down on everyone and everything in that factory.
      • They have every reason to, Osea built the space elevator, the Arsenal Birds, and most likely even the drone factory. Remember the factory was building MQ-101s which are used exclusively by the Arsenal Birds. So the MQ-101s are OSEAN drones.
  • The Alicorn is mentioned in a news article to have been bought from Yuktobania, and is in fact an evolution of the vaunted Scinfaxi-class submersible carrier, essentially making it a "super Scinfaxi" in both size and capabilities.
    • It is capable of launching up to 30 aircraft via CATOBAR, while the Scinfaxi was limited to fewer V/STOL aircraft, and Hrimfaxi was only capable vertically launching several UCAVs.
    • It is armed with railguns and a variety of VLS systems, allowing it to project the equivalent of a carrier strike group in force, whilst the earlier Scinfaxi and Hrimfaxi were limited in their offensive capabilities, and were vulnerable when surfaced and in engagements against enemy naval forces.
  • In Mission 20, why do Hugin and Munin stay close to the space elevator, when they can easily annihilate the Admiral Andersen, which is grounded not too far away and is a potential threat? Both AIs have likely analyzed the situation, prioritizing transmitting their data and adopt a defensive posture, as until they can transmit via the space elevator and have more drones manufactured, they are vulnerable (being the only two of their type made with the flight data gathered) and are smart enough not to risk themselves by attacking a carrier and a numerically superior force that may potentially have the means to repel, damage and destroy them. Basically their prime directives could be interpreted as this:
      It's only when Trigger and his allies arrive that Hugin and Munin move to defend the Lighthouse and ensure successful completion of their directives.
  • While one might think that having a range table is useless for Stonehenge, it does make sense to a degree for a few reasons:
    • 1. While the primary target was asteroids that fly on slow, easily predictable paths, which have to be hit dead on to kill, its use as a long-range AA weapon meant you only needed to be in the ballpark of your intended target. You don't need to be that accurate when you only need to get the shells to the area and detonate them once they arrive. The shockwaves are what do the damage after all.
    • 2. Having the ability to shoot at the distances it's capable of means that any operation within its range is going to have Stonehenge support for the Eruseans, and again, it doesn't need to hit the dozens of planes in the area directly to kill them. The fact it can shoot the distances it can means that until ISAF developed a plan to kill it, they weren't going near it, so achieving air superiority by simply scaring the other guy's planes away works just as well as killing them tactically.
    • 3. Computerized targeting is great...until it doesn't work. However, wars don't wait for repairs to be made, something Stonehenge itself would likely not be immune to. Ergo, having a backup for the computer systems should they fail only makes sense. It may be slower, and not as accurate, but just the fact that the shells are coming is gonna have enemy planes hitting the deck and lighting their burner cans towards the exit the second an AWACS calls out a Stonehenge volley coming in.
    • 4. Since Stonehenge is aiming horizontally, rather than vertically towards space (as its original design dictated), a method to account for curvature of the Earth and gravity's effects on the projectiles had to be implemented. Stonehenge's maximum range is stated to be 600 miles, beyond that gravity and curvature (Stonehenge is a combination chemical/railgun system, firing conventional projectiles assisted by electromagnetic propulsion, which limits their effective range) will result in missed shots or shots that land too early.
  • "When history witnesses a great change, Razgriz reveals itself... first, as a dark demon. As a demon, it uses its power to rain death upon the land, and then it dies. However, after a period of slumber, Razgriz returns, this time, as a great hero." Stonehenge rained death upon the land, slumbered for over a decade, and then returned to destroy the Arsenal Bird.
  • The Arsenal Bird, while serving as a design successor to the Arkbird, also incorporates defenses that seem to be a sort of "lessons learned" from the Arkbird's hijacking by the Belkans and destruction.
    • Arkbird is manned by a crew and gets hijacked? Make the Arsenal Bird autonomous, meaning unless an enemy force can capture its control center (which unfortunately does happen), there's no way of taking it over and no crew rotations are necessary; the Arsenal Bird can loiter indefinitely. It utilizing wireless power transfer from the Lighthouse enables this as well; there's no need for refueling, only resupply.
    • Arkbird's drones are too few and a last-ditch addition by the Belkans? The Arsenal Bird incorporates 80 MQ-101s, and they swarm any attackers.
    • An attacker closes in, and stands to destroy them? The Arkbird had no shields, the Arsenal Bird incorporates microwave shielding via the Active Protection System, making it impervious to almost all projectiles.
    • Needs resupplying? Since the Arsenal Bird operates at a lower altitude, existing SSTO systems can be used to resupply it, and much quicker as well given the Arsenal Bird's smaller operational area.
    • Systems damaged by attackers? The Arsenal Bird has a limited self-repairing function for its drive propellers and anti-air defenses.
  • Erusea declares war against Osea, who is a superpower and has an impressive naval force (though it is technically a Maritime Defense Force, limiting its ability to project power around the world). So how does Erusea even the odds? They ship MQ-99s in containers to ports all over Osea, and proceed to remote launch them from their containers before Osean customs inspectors can get near the containers. The drones then spread out across the country, evading Osean air defenses due to their maneuverability and small size, and precisely strike multiple naval bases, crippling Osea's naval power and ensuring that Osea can't bring its substantial naval forces to bear against Erusea, and essentially cutting off Osean forces on Usea. It's basically the Pearl Harbor attack taken up to eleven, and successful (excluding the carrier Admiral Andersen, which was left unmolested even after getting stuck on a reef). Several other carriers also survived due to being at sea, such as the Vulture and Kestrel II, but they are quickly sunk in the early days of the war.
  • Erusea relying on drones to supplement their air force makes sense; their quite substantial air force was absolutely decimated by ISAF in the last Continental War of 2003-2005, and while they were able to restore their air power somewhat, as well as their ground forces, the implied shortage of pilots means the Eruseans had to turn to drones and converted drone fighters to fill in the holes. In fact, post Battle of Farbanti, it's heavily implied that there are an equal number of Erusean manned fighters and drone pilots. By the Battle of the Lighthouse, the only manned fighters are higher-end planes like Su-57s, Su-35S and F-22As, who essentially lead lower-tier drone-retrofitted fighters (F/A-18Fs, Su-33s) in slave mode.
    • This is lampshaded in the final mission by an Erusean pilot, who wonders out loud what has happened to all of Erusea's ace pilots and implicitly blames drone development for the atrophying of Erusean piloting skills.
    Erusean pilot: "Where are all of Erusea's aces? Is this crap thanks to drone development? God damn it!"
    • Also supported by the fact that Sol Squadron, Erusea's current top air force squadron, is entirely comprised of non-Erusean natives. Mihaly is Shilage royalty, and his wingmen are from the former republic of Voslage. The numbers of ethnically Erusean pilots are so low, they have to enlist pilots from their subjugated nations just to match the eastern Usean and Osean air forces.
    • In fact, it's heavily implied that the Erusean bombers are comprised of equal parts manned and retrofitted drone bombers. While radio chatter can be heard coming from certain bombers, some remain completely silent, yet always have escort fighters nearby. It is very likely that the older Erusean Tu-95 bombers are conventionally manned (their age and older electronics likely making it more difficult to retrofit into an effective autonomous platform) whilst the newer Tu-160 bombers are converted to be autonomous, with manned aircraft escorting them in slave mode. This makes a lot of sense; bombers are not expected to perform complicated aerial maneuvers, mostly just fly straight and drop their payloads, making them extremely easy to fit with a rudimentary drone system.
    • Eruseaís ground forces also took a heavy toll in the Usean Continental war, yet they still have a large contingent of tanks. The answer is quite simple, they adapted the drone program to their ground forces. More than likely, a majority of Eruseaís tanks are AI controlled drones, with a few manned tanks to keep the rest in line.
  • Why bother to create a decoy base using fuel, supplies, and people who could have been better used at the frontlines? It is already known that Erusean drones (and the hijacked Arsenal Birds) are attacking EVERYTHING that is identified as Osean military property, even if they are not active combatants. Trying to send every good service person to the front would be futile so long as those drones still fly. Ergo, we have smuggled mothballed planes (hitherto NOT attacked by the drones during the first part of the war, as they were far from Osean harbors), "expendable" air force prisoners, and lots of rubber balloons into Zapland via civilian cargo ships in order to create the illusion that Osea's last hope of keeping any presence in Usea is in this one huge airbase crawling with allegedly combat-worthy warplanes. The Eruseans would send drones and conventional bombers after that base and attack it daily.
    • Osean interceptors and anti-air defenses not attacking Erusean bombers? Why don't the Eruseans get suspicious? One would think about it this way: The Erusean bombers were mostly converted to drones and led by a conventional plane. The drone bombers would have lots of countermeasures on board (like radar jammers, chaff, and flares). If the Osean fighters didn't shoot, the flight leader would assume that the Oseans were unable to get a good target lock, thus preventing them from shooting missiles anyway. By this point the majority of the flak guns at 444th airbase were probably silenced by smaller attack drones. Ergo, job well done, no Erusean bombers or drones lost to fighters or flak. They don't know that they're wasting bombs on dummies...
  • Tabloid suggests using Trigger as a point of reference for the 444 to group up on (after volunteering himself and soon changing his mind). It passes as another nod to how good Trigger is and his position as leader of the group, but it may also have to do with Trigger's Distinguishing Mark—the three sin lines on his tail would be an easy visual indicator for others to see and rally around.
    • In addition, of all the squadron members, Bandog only asks for Full Band's position in reference to everyone, which may be why Full Band dies not long after; Count's IFF system (while everyone else's was) wasn't updated to reflect Full Band's ally status.
  • When Trigger joins the Long Range Strategic Strike Group, the squadron embarks on a long-range mission to seize Farbanti by flying across the northeastern and northern coasts of Usea. A curious thing that occurs during these missions is that there is not a single enemy drone fought, except for Mission 12 when the LRSSG gets pulled off their mission course to defend Stonehenge and destroy an Arsenal Bird. Essentially, in Missions 11, 13, 14, and 15, you are exclusively fighting the drone-skeptical conservative faction of the Erusean military. This also ties into the fact that these missions take place far from the frontlines of the war, as the Erusean radicals are much more aggressive and are throwing as many drones as they can into the hottest battlefields (primarily in the southern regions of Usea) to gain ground and not leaving them behind to defend home territory.
    • Spare Squadron temporarily disabled most of the drone capabilities; it's stated so in the first LRSSG mission briefing. That's also why no drones were present in Farbanti. As for fighting the conservative faction, they could be anywhere mixed in with the Radicals, I doubt they have much say as to where they want to fight.
  • Mission 11's briefing tells you that Osea guessed that Erusea automatically sends drones to engage bogeys entering their airspace and that a blind spot was found only by squadrons prodding every corner of their airspace, at great risk. Since missions 06, 07 and 08 have MQ-99 drones among the Erusean forces, Spare was unknowingly among said squadrons. Why unknowingly? Because they were considered expandable and thus didn't had to be clued in about the real goal of their missions; success was just a bonus.
    • This ends up going back to Full Band's death: The intel he was boasting about in "Faceless Soldier" wasn't specifically that Osea intended to revive Stonehenge, but that they were probing the drone defense net to find a path to it. This is why one of his comments he makes likens Spare's actions to "stumbling blindly through a minefield." Spare, and possibly other expendable squadrons, were essentially fodder that Osea was using to flush out holes in the drone network. With this in mind, it suddenly becomes a lot more believable that Bandog silenced him purposely; it wasn't an act of malice or petty revenge for disobeying orders, he was literally saving Spare's ass (and his own, of course) from being eliminated as a possible intel breach. Osea already saw them as less valuable than your average soldier, after all—they likely would have no issue with ordering the execution or permanent solitary confinement of Full Band, Bandog, and any other Spare pilot on the channel that day.
  • On a meta level, long-range multi-target 4/8AGMs and their anti-air counterparts have historically always been really good in the series; some squadrons could be wiped out as they're hit by missiles before their AI is even active. This applies throughout the early stages of the game, and strongly reward players who acquire them in the mid-late game. However, as the finale approaches, you're no longer able to instantly tell friend from foe, completely ruining their fire-and-forget nature and forcing a more calculated strategy. This also plays a role whenever the Arsenal Bird's drone swarms are in play, making it hard to hit anything on the big bird itself. Various ships also have multiple target elements, absorbing missiles when just a direct hit to the hull would take them all out.
  • When the ASAT attacks occur and communication is lost, the LRSSG strangely doesn't return to Farbanti, which should logically be in friendly Osean hands after the recent battle. Due to the loss of communications with Central Command, there's no way of knowing if Farbanti hasn't suddenly been retaken by a surprise Erusean offensive in the chaos and the LRSSG could very well fly right into a trap.
  • After Anchorhead Bay, the LRSSG proposes retreating to a safer location, and the former Megalith is suggested by Count as a potential safe haven, but it is passed off in favor of Tyler Island. This makes sense: Megalith, while a heavily fortified ICBM complex and an impressive fortress, is no doubt in ruins and possibly in worse shape than its counterpart Stonehenge, and additionally what little facilities it may have to service and house aircraft will not serve the LRSSG well. There's also the possibility of it having been repurposed into a drone factory, with an absolute hornet's nest of drones awaiting any one foolish enough to head there.
  • Osea not sending any aid into the Aurelian War suddenly makes a lot more sense now, since the satellite network was taken out during the Lighthouse War by a simultaneous ASAT attack by Osea and Erusea. More than likely, they were too busy dealing with reconstruction efforts in both their own country and in Usea. And it's entirely possible that Leasath knew this, and could launch an invasion of Aurelia without retribution from Osea or the IUN.
    • Interesting to note is that Aurelia's satellites went offline until the final act. Up until AC7, it's assumed that Leasath destroyed them during the invasion. But since no explanation was given and Leasath is not known to have any capacity for space warfare, it's not unreasonable to think Aurelian satellites too were destroyed by debris from the ASAT attacks in the Lighthouse War. And again, Leasath may have taken advantage of this in invading Aurelia.
  • During the battle to defend Stonehenge, it's possible for Erusea to send a flight of stealth planes, multiple wings even, to harass you and try and get hits on Stonehenge. What is baffling is that, among the planes gunning for you to try and cover the ground forces include F-117 Nighthawks, a.k.a. the infamously angular Stealth Bombers. Why do they go after you, instead of using the distraction from the other fighters and going after Stonehenge? Nighthawks are not good against other planes. But then you consider - by the time they arrive, they already know that the Arsenal Bird is on its way, and that you (Trigger) have been absolutely handing the attack force their own asses. They're not going after you by choice, but by necessity - just like how you in an A-10 would be forced to contend with drones back in the 444 missions, they're now having to contend with you. They would probably get off a few missiles hits on Stonehenge at first, but they aren't made for saturation bombing like the TU-95s are, and by the time they get a second attack run in the dreaded Three Strikes will show up and tear them apart. So, next time you do that mission and those angular silhouettes come your way, remember that they are soiling themselves because they have to go up against you, and they know if they don't take you down, there's a very real chance the attack will fail and Stonehenge will fire.
  • Erusea's current bomber fleet is comprised primarily of two planes, the Tupolev Tu-95 Bear and the more modern Tu-160 Blackjack. Interestingly enough, these are the two same bombers that Erusea fielded in the Continental War of 2003-2005, albeit sparingly (the Tu-95s were only used in one known offensive against Newfield Island, and a second wave was destroyed before it could get off the ground, whilst the Tu-160s were only used as a last ditch scorched earth attack against ISAF at San Salvacion late in the war. The Eruseans also had a fleet of B-2 Spirits in the Continental War that they used during the Battle of Comona, which were all destroyed). It is entirely possible that the bulk of Erusea's Tu-95s and Tu-160s survived the war, and once Erusea acquired drone technology from Belka later on, set about retrofitting what bombers they could to serve as autonomous craft (both due to depleted manpower as a result of the last war and as a potential testbed for applying the technology to smaller fighters).
    • This is explicitly confirmed in Mission 17 with one line of radio chatter from an Erusean fighter escorting the bomber fleet coming to destroy the mass driver.
    Erusean Fighter: "Commence Operation No Return! These [referring to the bombers] are unguided. Stay on course."
  • In the briefing for Mission 11 "Fleet Destruction" (Operation Siren's Song), the LRSSG's commanding officer mentions that Osea had been probing Erusea's drone defense network for gaps and suffered heavy losses doing so while highlighting four locations - Roca Roja, Yinshi Valley, Artiglio Port, and Waiapolo Mountains, along with the operation names for the missions the 444th carried out there and mentioning that there were only two survivors of the mission, and there just happen to be two members of the 444th now in the LRSSG (as for numerical discrepancies, the 444th didn't formally exist and Tabloid never flew a combat mission after that, so he may have been mistaken for a non-pilot, and that many members of the 444th weren't actually members of the military). The 444th's stated missions were never their real mission - their entire mission and function was to fly headlong into the Erusean drone defense system, linger around long enough to see if they showed up, and be disposable enough that they wouldn't be missed when some were inevitably lost. The entire function of the 444th could could, in fact be described as "minesweeping while blindfolded". This also ties into possible fridge brilliance about what Full Band discovered - rather than the plot to use Stonehenge, what he may well have uncovered since he was digging into Osea's battle strategy and trying to predict what Spare Squadron would do next, was the real mission of Spare Squadron, which if Erusea caught on to, would likely result in them closing any gaps in their defenses. This is also why every Spare Squadron mission other than the very first and very last involve fighting large numbers of MQ-99 drones, which are never encountered during the LRSSG's missions until after the satellite network is destroyed.
  • At first, Tabloid's reason for being in Spare seems like a Felony Misdemeanor, throwing a rock at a building and protesting government policy aren't on the same level as murder or fraud after all. However, his anarchism goes straight into A World With No Boundaries rhetoric. During "Pipeline Destruction" he attributes wars occurring to countries existing, and the mass groans and "here he goes again" reaction from the rest of Spare demonstrates that this isn't an isolated incident. In other words he is blatantly spouting the ideology of a terrorist organization/death cult that is publicly known for attempting nuclear attacks, culminating with an attempt to launch a world-ending nuclear superweapon and completely annihilate civilization. While he likely doesn't share their violent methods, spreading such rhetoric is a far more serious offense, and is likely a punishable offense (akin to parroting the viewpoints of ISIS or Al-Qaeda in the real world).
  • After the Alicorn deserted, Osea pressured Erusea to hand over the Alicorn's design specifications to try and stop Torres...and Erusea did it. Why did Erusea try to help a nation they were at war with? They didn't. The Erusean government didn't send the specs, Édouard Labarthe, the leader of the anti-war conservatives, did. He was in contact with Osea from the start of the war and transmitted the plans to them without anyone's knowledge. And given his high rank as a lieutenant-general, getting clearance for the Alicorn specs wasn't too hard for him.
    • Not the case- a country is responsible for their military equipment, ESPECIALLY their nuclear weaponry. The fact that Torres mutinies means Erusea is A) the one who gave a nuclear weapon to a murderous lunatic, and B) actually the one most responsible for making sure he doesn't fire it. If Torres succesfully completes his plan, Erusea is the country most to blame. It's a little bit of Fridge Logic that Erusea isn't actively trying to sink the Alicorn themselves to clean up their own mess. There are many endgames for this scenario but virtually all of them are very very bad for Erusea. Either they're viewed as completely incompetent by not properly vetting their nuclear sub captain and giving him the tool to commit mass murder, or nobody believes that they had no clue and blames them for nuclear escalation, and though Strangereal has a lot less nukes than the real world it's not a far leap to assume they launch nuclear retaliation.
  • Torres' backstory is basically an inversion of the Razgriz legend. He was a hero to Erusea for his actions during the Continental War, but was driven to madness and would return over a decade later as "the devil incarnate" and try to destroy the world.
  • Mimic Squadron's use of dazzle camouflage is doubly effective because they're flying Su-47s; i.e. planes with irregular, forward-swept wings. To an unskilled eye they would look like a normal plane somehow flying backwards or sideways, which fits Mimic's theme of not showing their true allegiance as well as Rage and Scream's Ax-Crazy tendencies.
  • In "Ten Million Relief Plan" during Torres' I Surrender, Suckers moment, Count was the only notable objector to Long Caster's orders to not fire on the Alicorn, exasperated as to why everyone else was holding international law so dearly while responding to Jaeger's comment of "if we don't, we're no longer soldiers" with a statement that he'll happily quit. Count, being a former convict (not to mention convicted of one of the less serious crimes around- fraud (specifically claiming to be a member of a royal family, which he definitely wasn't)- but being sent to do possibly suicidal missions as part of a penal unit while receiving harsh treatment to the point it might as well be Disproportionate Retribution) would naturally not hold law and the military in as high a regard.
  • The number of strikes on the tail end of Spare Squadron's named members:
    • Trigger has three, the only one in the squadron with three strikes. False conviction or not, assassinating a war hero is an extremely serious crime and nobody takes anyone who commits such a deed lightly, civilian or military.
    • Champ has two. He likely got in the squadron for insubordination, which is frowned upon (especially in a military unit, doubly so during wartime) and constitutes a legitimate offense, a rather serious one in fact.
    • Tabloid, Count, High Roller and Full Band has one. Dissemination of extremist ideologies (Tabloid), fraud (Count), gambling (High Roller) and small-scale espionage (Full Band) are all common petty crimes and as a result are considered less serious than either Trigger's or Champ's transgressions, especially since Tabloid is non-violent despite his ideology and Full Band isn't in a position to actually do anything with whatever he managed to find out.
  • Ionela and Alma could be viewed as microcosm of Strangereal's Cycle of Revenge problem: a newer generation of people plagued and tormented by misdeed beyond their control from their predecessors.
  • Hugin and Munin are faced without much build-up despite being Final Boss. Fitting, since they represent perfect soldier; effective, single-minded and utterly disposable without the need of history or understanding like flesh-and-blood people.
    • Compare ragtag Spare Squadron and the 'perfect' AI drones and a certain contrast come into focus: perhaps the flaws in human soldiers is what prevent more wars from happening. Without the ability to recognize conscience, no matter how small, peace will never be realized.

Fridge Horror

  • The ISAF did not destroy the 8th Stonehenge railgun in the last war because it was already disabled by an asteroid and didn't pose a threat at that time. However, Osea was able to restore it, and this was the sole reason why they were able to shoot down an Arsenal Bird. So if ISAF decided during the last war to destroy the 8th railgun (whether to prevent reactivation by Erusea or if the asteroid didn't disable it in the first place), Osea would be screwed. Furthermore, the fact that the 8th gun could be activated shows that ISAF was potentially careless in their raid, because Erusea could have reactivated it (albeit with a lot of disapproval from the local populations) in order to harass the Osean forces, especially if they moved within the guns range or attempted to capture Farbanti.
    • Thankfully, the Erusean radicals had placed all their eggs into the Belkan drone basket, as well as the assumed invincibility of the Arsenal Birds. Why bother refurbishing a twenty-something-year-old rusting railgun whose power systems are most likely irreparable (and also the fact that the cannons were vulnerable to fast moving low-altitude fighters was a known weakness, something ISAF and any friendly forces would make known to the Oseans) when you can buy up thousands of killer drones for the same amount of money? Osea counted on Erusea doing this in order to pull off the insane plan of hijacking Stonehenge. This move would then cause the Eruseans to eventually believe that the Oseans were preparing to bombard Farbanti with Stonehenge's projectiles, thus Arsenal Bird is sent to destroy Stonehenge!
    • Of course, if the asteroid hadn't knocked out the 8th gun, it's debatable if the Continental War would've happened - the gun is aimed towards Farbanti, and the asteroid fragment hitting it stopped it from firing and shooting down the fragment that put part of the Erusean capital underwater. Erusea's only reason for starting the war was because everyone else was looking to them to do something about the wave of refugees when it seemed that Erusea was the country hit hardest by Ulysses, prompting sanctions when they did nothing and tanking the country's already battered economy. If the 8th gun wasn't hit, or managed to fire before it was hit, it's possible Erusea would've been in a better position and might not have had to take desperate actions due to economic sanctions from not taking in the refugees as a result of their capital, which was their most populated city at the time, being directly hit.
  • The simultaneous ASAT strikes by both the Oseans and Eruseans that knocked out satellite communications threw the continent of Usea into chaos. There's no telling what the loss of satellite communications did to the rest of Strangereal, either. Osea and Yuktobania should be okay, but smaller or isolated countries will almost certainly suffer severe economic hardships as their links to the rest of the world went up in spacedust. This is also probably the best possible outcome of the war. That's right. Because without a Kessler syndrome disaster knocking out satellite communications, the Hugin and Munin A.I.s could have easily hijacked any satellite communications station and broadcast themselves across the globe, thus becoming unkillable. With no satellites to hijack, Hugin and Munin were forced to try and use the ISEV, which revealed them to the Osean and Conservative Erusean forces and allowed Trigger to take them down and stop their plan.
  • Trigger, Count, Rosa, Seymour, and Schroederís attempt to stop Hugin and Munin are All for Nothing. The Omega Ending in Electrosphere, reveals that the Player Character, Nemo, is an AI, created by Simon to kill Abyssal Dision. And when Nemo gets released into the world, one cannot imagine what kind of grief the five of them will feel once they find out about the truth about Nemo. Especially Rosa and Schroeder.
    • Hold it! Simon wasn't planning to mass-produce Nemo. He planned on sending ONE unmanned fighter after another unmanned fighter, in order to destroy the "monster" created by the mental sublimation process. During the series of simulations, Nemo shows that he isn't bent on taking over the world or even remotely interested in anything other than his mission. If Nemo kills Dision and proves himself morally trustworthy to everyone, Schroeder might actually breathe a sigh of relief. That Cohen did not produce more drones with a Nemo-style AI proves he's not interested in starting a Skynet takeover!
      • Not to mention, Simon probably knew all about the Lighthouse War, and likely used it as an example of lessons learned with making A.I., namely in making Nemo a single, independent system that is limited to the plane it is flying at the time, and one that can change its objective to adapt to the situation rather being stuck in the same loop of "produce drones, destroy enemies" that happened to Hugin and Munin.
      • Averted. In the Omega Ending of Electrosphere Simon erases Nemo's memories before releasing it into reality, making it no more of a weapon than Hugin and Munin and ZOE in general. And considering that Nemo is far more destructive than its predecessors, from destroying satellites to an entire floating city, Strangereal's future may be in jeopardy.
      • Not necessarily. Presumably Cohen actually wiped Nemo's memory between each simulation, otherwise Nemo would start to question why it was repeating the same events over and over again and realize it was in a simulation. All wiping Nemo's memories did was set it back to zero. It did not remove Nemo's ability to make decisions or form emotional connections with people, as it does in almost every route. The whole purpose of the simulation was so Cohen could determine if Nemo would still be able to kill Dision regardless of who it sided with in the war. That's not to say Nemo isn't dangerous, but depending on who it chooses to side with in the following war, it could be a dangerous threat to the world, or simply another ace who ended a war.
    • The COFFIN system is another instance of humanity not learning its lessons from the Lighthouse War. If you thought the chaos from losing the satellite network was bad enough already, imagine if that happened with pilots completely dependent on computers, networks, and sensor readings, unable to navigate by plain eyesight.
  • The cutscene that plays before the final mission seems to eerily focus on Cossette before the Z.O.E.ís eye shows up. Given that Hugin and Munin nearly killed her in the previous mission, itís not unreasonable to assume that their first objective was to eliminate her, as the Radicals who programmed them no longer had any use for Cossette at that point. Of course, Cossette was lucky that the satellite network was taken out before Hugin and Munin went online, for if the network wasnít destroyed, than chances are there would have no place for Cossette to hide, as the two A.I.s would have tracked her down and terminated her with extreme prejudice.
  • The ending of the game make it seems like there's still room for various nations to recover in some capacity, until you realized that war between Strangereal nations happen way too often that by the time Electrosphere rolls around, people would rather put their faith in Mega-Corp than the system called "nation".
  • Captain Matias Torres might be hilarious with his ramblings about salvation, his tantrum comparing Trigger sabotaging his plans to him putting his dirty shoes in his bed made with "Crisp! White! Sheets!" and his bursts of Evil Laugh, but the man has issues. Aside from his plans to fire tacnukes on Oured to terrify Osea and Erusea to stop the Lighthouse War and gleefully sending his men to death, who agree with him so much that they behave more like cultists than anything, there's his past. First, after all his efforts and recommandations who net him several medals and the command of the flagship of the Erusean Aegir Fleet, he gets a front seat during Operation Rough Seas where Mobius 1 singlehandedly sinks his ship, the whole fleet and wrecks the whole harbor. While he manages to save most of his crew and gets a new job as a navy instructor, he gets so broken that he later gets arrested for "disseminating dangerous ideas" during his lectures (mostly about death and destruction), but is rehabilitated and put at the helm of the Alicorn, the new super-submarine of Erusea that dwarfs even the Scinfaxi and Hrimfaxi. Said submarine runs aground on her sea trial and stays at the bottom of the sea for two whole years before emerging... And when she comes back, 30 sailors are dead and the crew has turned into Torres' undyingly loyal cult, willing to feed false intel to the highest Osean officers, throw their lives at Trigger (a pilot even better than Mobius 1) and raze a capital city to bring "salvation" to the world. What exactly happened in the Alicorn?
  • If Torres had waited just a few weeks until after the Battle of Farbanti to launch his coup, the Alicorn would have been impossible to track due to the communications blackout. He would've had all the time in the world to nuke Oured (or anywhere else he wished) and no one would even know he was responsible.
    • Not necessarily. His ultimate motive is to show the world his marksmanship, befitting a Narcissist such as himself. Had he nuked Oured during the blackout, his victory would have rung hollow due to no one being able to pay attention amidst all the chaos caused by the communication blackout, let alone verify he was the one who fired the shot.
      • And if he did it afterwards, guess what - the LRSSG along with Sol Squadron, and their allies would take notice and set up a united front and make the nuclear attack nigh impossible to accomplish. Because of his ego and his need to prove to the world how great a shot he was, no matter what time he struck, his plan was destined to fail.
  • Vincent Harling's decision to, in 2020, declassify all data on the Belkan War as a way to educate the world about what caused the conflict and make sure it never happens again. Unfortunately, this will probably involve all data about A World With No Boundaries. And Gründer Industries and the Grey Men, shown to be still alive, kicking and willing to exact revenge on the world in Skies Unknown, might still have data about Project Pendragon superweapons such as Excalibur, Avalon and the V2 missiles. The Airborne Aircraft Carrier technology has been perfected by now (from the XB-0 to the P-1112 to the Arsenal Bird, with the UI-4053 coming next), laser weaponry is available in smaller forms (General Resource' satellites, X-49, XR-900) and Gründer Industries kept working on Zone of Endless, meaning they might have worked on upgrading the rest as well or helped the further development of the COFFIN interface (the Falken carries the first COFFIN cockpit). Skies Unknown shows that nearly all communication satellites get destroyed, weakening the governments all around the globe and causing various gone nations to declare independance. A perfect stage for violent anarchists inspired by AWWNB and revengeful nationalists to start new wars, backed by Gründer's new superweapons, weakening governments more and more until Neucom and General Resource come along to sweep everything... The final kicker? Skies Unknown is set in 2019, right before the data release. Ace Combat 7 finally closed the chapter of the Ulysses superweapons, but the Belkan War will still cause death and destruction in the future.

Fridge Logic

  • This video has proof that Full Band was summarily executed. First, Trigger's Heads-Up Display show both Count and Full Band marked as allies. Had Bandog's lie about accidentally marking Full Band as an enemy been true, everyone's HUD would have listed Full Band as an enemy. However, that contradicts Trigger's HUD marking Full Band as an ally. Therefore, Bandog intentionally configured Count's HUD and not Trigger's HUD to mark Full Band as an enemy.
    • I dunno, it could just be Gameplay and Story Segregation. Not to mention one of the Central Themes of the game is just how damned ambiguous a lot of the details of the plot are, and it wouldn't make sense to leave hints on how to resolve this particular plot point while leaving the others open-ended.
      • I do not buy that. Most of the central mysteries can be solved with good enough clue hunting, performing certain feats, or buying the more expensive console edition. There is plenty of circumstantial evidence in addition to the video that I found pointing to summary execution. Full Band provided a motive for summary execution by blabbing about intel that he has no right to have. Bandog asked for Full Band's position and nobody else's positions and Bandog letting off an audible "Heh!" after getting Full Band's position. Also, the developers left enough clues to prove that it was an Erusean drone that shot the missile that downed Mother Goose One: if the player looked backwards behind Trigger's plane, he would find a drone behind him spoofing an Osean IFF. The proof would happen if Trigger gunned down all enemies because a missile shot down Mother Goose One, yet Trigger would still have all of his missiles, proving that Trigger did not kill Harling. One mystery that requires you to buy a special edition is the Aces at War bundle for PlayStation 4 or Xbox One to solve is that AWACS Argus ordered the shootdown of Labarthe because he was fed false intel by Erusean radicals saying that Captain Karl was an Erusean spy according to which cites a book included in this special edition for its information. That was a really bad way to resolve a mystery. I will admit that there is no way to solve the Harling's Mirror mystery on why Harling flew Mother Goose One towards the space elevator. However, this shows that most of the major plot mysteries can be solved by finding clues within the game thanks to the design from the developers.
      • That's actually a fair point, to be honest. It ties closely into the Central Theme of knowing who is friend and who is foe, since it shows how truly vulnerable a world dependent on the flow of information can be, when all you need to do to turn it upside down is cut the flow and feed a few lies into the right place.
  • It's a bit confusing at first as to why clouds would hinder your missiles tracking when radar sees through clouds just fine. But then your standard missiles are generally modeled after various countries short range secondary missiles which primarily use Infrared (heat seeking) and clouds block that pretty well.
    • The same applies to why clouds complete neuter laser-based weapons. Of course a light-based weapon would be quickly refracted to harmless levels in a mass that blocks sight to the naked eye.
  • One of the most major plot points is that the drone tech used by Erusea was pushed forward by the younger members of the Erusean military, while the older Eruseans generally hated it. One could be curious as to why this would be...until you realize that many of those older Eruseans likely weren't so old when they took part in the war fifteen years ago. They watched as a single, human pilot decimated their armies, downed their finest aces, and chased them all the way back to their capital and then some. One pilot was all it took to destroy a military that challenged the continent. No drones, no fancy computers, no weapons of mass destruction, just raw human talent. Now imagine how they felt when they hear the resident Belkan is taking flight data from a similar ace, and putting it into these new drones. Imagine them remembering the destruction that "the Ribbon" brought upon them years ago, and wondering what would happen if there was a squadron, or worse, multiple squadrons of these aces flying around. No wonder they back away pretty quickly from drone tech when given the chance.
  • The mercenary Mimic Squadron is hostile to both Osean and Erusean forces, yet brandish OADF roundels. When it's revealed that Clemens hired them to assassinate Trigger, it makes a little more sense. This tells us that Strangereal has some kind of strict international law stating that mercenaries must sport the roundels of their employer, as Galm and Scarface did the same.
  • The southern Usean countries hosting Osean military forces just so happens to be the same countries who wanted a military alliance with them in the first place, much to the dismay of the northern countries (Erusea included). So it made sense for Osea and the IUN to choose countries who were previously attempting to ally with them.
    • Also hints to the fate of ISAF. Anti-Osean countries consisted of half of ISAF, and the welcoming of an Osean military presence likely caused division within the alliance, causing it to dissolve.
  • Why was Osea so willing to immediately acquiesce to Torres' offer of surrender when his main cannon was still trained on the Osean capital with a nuke loaded in the barrel? Were it not for Trigger throwing the cannon off its targeting (against direct orders, as Count points out), the entire point of stopping Torres would have been moot, on top of him having be labeled a terrorist and traitor to his own country already and therefore not being a legal combatant who would be protected by international wartime law.