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Tear Jerker / Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation

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  • Estovakia is a normal upstanding country like many others; it's just that in 1998 — i.e. three years after the disclosure of the Ulysses asteroid's impending collision with Strangereal Earth and only 1 year before its estimated date of said collision — newly acquired data revealed that rather than Usea being the only continent to suffer the brunt of the disaster, the asteroid will split in two and one half would strike the continent of Anea (where Estovakia is located). Since the continent has nothing like Stonehenge railgun network, Estovakia was forced to begin building Chandelier, but it failed to be completed in time due to constant revisions, necessitating one of the most pointless wars in Strangereal history. Cheesy? Maybe. But the game shows the end result of meteor fragments landing right on top of an Estovakian city, within the vicinity of Chandelier to further rub salt in the wound, the horror no one wanted to be on receiving end. Good thing Emmerians weren't hell bent on revenge.
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  • Pasternak's sacrifice. Either Even Evil Has Standards, or he is sending his own country into (from a point of view) years-long uncertainty it may never recover from. Think of him whether you wish. But no one should've been forced into making that kind of decision.
  • The cutscenes for the game, rather than following the Player Character, follow a woman and her daughter. The first scene in the game is the woman watching her daughter board a school bus for a field trip...and then watching the bridge her daughter's bus is supposed to be crossing be destroyed by Estovakian aircraft. From that point on, her life becomes, in her own words, "pure hell." As if to drive home her worst fears, she passes the twisted wreckage of her daughter's school bus while evacuating the city, and then, just to twist the knife even further, she encounters the wreckage of her husband's fighter. By the time she gets to the refugee camp, she's barely a shell of he former self and acting like a complete automaton. It is only when she hears her daughter's voice that she snaps out of it, and you can even see her mouthing her daughter's name when she hears her, and spurs her to return to Gracemeria.
    • Your wingman, Shamrock, makes it clear he has something—or someone—waiting for him in Gracemeria, and at every victory he makes it clear how much closer he comes to seeing them again, until revealing that it is his wife and daughter who are waiting for him in Gracemeria. After taking back Gracemeria, he was so thrilled to finally be reunited with his family...You're initially led to believe that the wife and daughter in question is the woman and daughter the game's story follows, so happy reunion, right? Nope. Turns out that Shamrock's wife and daughter were killed in the fighting. The happy reunion you thought would be happening is now ruined forever, and he blames himself for not being able to protect them.note  Shamrock's anguished cry over the radio, in the midst of the city celebrating below, just drives it in deeper:
    "Monica... and Jessica... HOW COULD I LET THIS HAPPEN?!"
  • Just like in previous entries in the series, on Hard and above difficulties, there are enemy aces that can be shot down so that the player can get their paintjobs. However, shooting them down unlocks their bios, with many of them showing that they had lost friends and family in the Estovakian Civil War, or in the case of one Estovakian Ace, his hometown was destroyed.
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    • The first ace appears in the "Invasion of Gracemeria", flying an F-22 Raptor, and his bio reveals that he had a better service record than the Strigon and Vampire squadrons in the Civil War. Despite this, his accomplishments were never recognized by the Generals, so he invaded Gracemeria to try to achieve the glory that he believed that he deserved, only to be shot down by Talisman.
    • During the mission, "City Lights", a black F/A-18 Super Hornet, can be found jamming the radar above Gracemeria. Shooting him down reveals in his bio that he got into an argument with his WSO,note  and he flew the mission without him.
    • Another ace, who was flying a Rafale M in the "Siege of Sylvat", is revealed to be a woman who was the daughter of the General who was leading the invasion against Emmeria. Said General appears in the Final Mission, "Chandelier", flying an F-4 Phantom, and shooting him down reveals that she died in her encounter with Talisman, causing the General to fall into depression.
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