Armored Core For Answer (2008) is the 13th installment of the mecha combat game series Armored Core. It is a direct sequel to Armored Core 4 developed by FromSoftware and published on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 by itself (in Japan) and Ubisoft (North America and Europe). The game utilize the old game engines, but with a new storyline and many customization options to play with.
The Lynx War has become the past. Pax Economica, the system that promised to bring peace to the world is long gone. The surviving corporations are forced to move in wake of massive Kojima Particle contamination unleashed during the ruthless era of corporate warfare. Massive floating platforms called Cradles are built, each housing 20 million civilians. They soar at 7,000 meters above the ground, where the air is still clean and safe.
Still, something is always moving on the surface. The League of Corporations has left their Lynx behind. Now answering to League-run organization Collared, they use almighty NEXTs to secure resources for Cradle. The mercenaries, alongside corporations' gigantic Arms Forts, maintain corporate grip and crush any remaining dissidents on the surface. Such is the status quo that you are the weapon arms of. Still, such a condition wouldn't last long. And all it takes is for someone to ask a right question...
For Answer uses the same features as Armored Core 4, but the game speed has been increased significantly and it also added Assault Armor, a last-resort attack that drains Kojima Particles from Primal Armor to create a massive explosion, on top of many new NEXT parts and schematics. The game has both a single-player campaign with branching paths and PvP multiplayer.
The game provides examples of:
- Affectionate Nickname: "Lapdog" for you and Old King. It's clear that he sees you as a genuine friend in the Destruction Path.
- Almighty Janitor: White Glint (Anatolia's Mercenary from AC4). He's only rank 9, but he's also pretty much the only reason Line Ark is still intact, and nobody is willing to go against him solo (both missions featuring him are either 2-on-2 or 2-on-1). Even Otsdarva (rank 1) will almost always fall to him in battle.
- Amazon Brigade: Interior Union's affiliated Lynx are all women, two are veterans of the Lynx war, and one is ranked 3rd overall.
- A-Team Firing: Arms Forts seem to have trouble hitting anything; in "Defeat Arms Fort Cabracan," an allied Giga Base Arms Fort in visual range can't land consecutive hits on the immobilized Cabracan, a vehicle the size of a city block and as tall as an aircraft carrier stood on end.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Two of the CEOs of the mega corporations are also high-ranking Lynxes. You can even hire one of them (Takafumi Arisawa) to be your wingman; apparently he doesn't mind putting his life in constant danger in exchange for being a walking advertisement for his company's products. Japanese fans have nicknamed the enormous cannon mounted on his AC the "CEO Cannon".
- The Dog Bites Back / Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: ORCA was formed by several Lynxes that were left behind on the surface. They seek to carry out the Closed Plan, defying Collared and by extension the League. However, some in The League are intentionally feeding them help before stabbing them in the back, to set an example.
- Base on Wheels: The land-based Arms Forts are either crawlers or massive walkers that easily fit the trope; Spirit of Motherwill is basically a walking aircraft carrier.
- Battleship Raid: Arms Fort missions are long, drawn out, often spectacular fights with your Core taking on fortresses the size of cities, many of which have to be destroyed in sections. Well, other than "Defeat Arms Fort Stigro.
- BFG: In the opening cinematic, a basic rifle for AC is shown to be so big it has to be transported by helicopter.
- OIGAMI, a grenade cannon from Arisawa Heavy Industries, is a fold-able weapon that occupy both back slots and requires lengthy deployment time before it can be fired.
- Beam Spam: Interior Union's parts allow for this if you load out correctly.
- Black and Gray Morality: The way the storyline diverges. You have to choose between the wholesale massacre of 100 million people as a true rebel, sacrificing the Cradle population in order to open the way to space and covering Omer's actions which led to the situation in the first place, or allowing humanity to die as the pollution on the surface spreads up to the Cradles. Then there's the third option...
- Blinded by the Light: Getting hit by the 09-FLICKER Flash Rockets or Assault Armor will produce this effect.
- Cutscene Incompetence: Amusingly with White Glint in the intro. Within seconds of landing on Motherwill, he gets heavily damaged and knocked off balance by Normals, loses one of his rifles, and then he deploys Assault Armor despite being nowhere near Motherwill.
- Colossus Climb: A couple of arms forts require you to fly up to the parts you can damage.
- Disc-One Final Boss: Chapter 2 has either White Glint, or Stasis and Fragile. They must be defeated before proceeding to Chapter 3, where the plot transitions to the ORCA-League war.
- Everyone Has Standards: Neither The League nor ORCA agree with Old King's methods. It gets to the point that League and ORCA Lynx will join forces in the Destruction Path just to stop Old King and you, Old King's lapdog.
- Fights Like a Normal: Don Colonel does this quite literally. He's a former Normal pilot (basically what Ravens were in pre-4 Armored Core games), and this is reflected in how he pilots Wonderful Body; occasionally holding off the boosters and walking to conserve energy. Unfortunately, this means he doesn't get the most out of his NEXT and is a sitting duck for newer pilots like the player.
- Fragile Speedster:
- Fragile, aptly so. It's the fastest enemy by far, but most of its armor was sacrificed for that, so it's got pitiful defenses and terrible AP.
- Stigro is built around this principle. It's incredibly fast for an Arms Fort, and if it catches you in the wake of its massive hydrofoil, it will kill you instantly. However, it has very little armor or point defense, so if you manage to board it safely, a few hits from an energy blade will do it in just as quickly.
- Guide Dang It!: Its not immediately apparent how you access the ORCA and Destruction paths. You have to play through the game once, then You have to play through the game as you would until chapter 2, where you can take the "Defend Megalis" to unlock the Line Ark/ORCA path. In chapter 3, you either make the choice to join ORCA by taking the "Destroy Arteria Ulna" mission, or wait until Chapter 4 and take "Destroy Cradle 03" to start the destruction path.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: While you are flying at it in a mostly straight line, the Spirit of Motherwill's main guns are apparently accurate enough to shoot at a VOD-assisted NEXT with a reasonable chance of hitting it.
- Legendary in the Sequel: Played straight with White Glint, the protagonist of the previous game.
- Also with the Lynx who managed to make it through the Lynx War, who call themselves "Originals".
- Macross Missile Massacre: Many Arms Forts have dozens of missile launchers on them that you have to boost around to avoid. Special mention to Spirit of Motherwill, who fires a salvo every 10 seconds.
- More Dakka: GA makes the parts that make AC builds like this possible.
- Multiple Endings:
- League Path: You helped the League in annihilating the ORCA terrorists and stopped the Closed Plan that could have lead humanity into space, saving the Cradles and maintaining a system that is doomed to eventually fail.
- ORCA Path: You, the last surviving member of ORCA, succeed in completing The Closed Plan by sacrificing the Cradle populations for the destruction of old corporations' Assault Cells that were preventing humanity from migrating to space. But there is no guarantee that this peace will last for long...
- Destruction Path: You take up Old King's invitation and kill absolutely everyone; The League, ORCA, your (former) operator, the Cradle populations... The only consolation is that those who were responsible for this mess finally got their due justice.
- Non-Standard Character Design: Unlike every other AC in the Armored Core 4 era, White Glint was designed by series veteran Shoji Kawamori.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Otsdarva as Thermidor. His AC, Unsung, uses almost the exact same weapon load-out as Stasis, Otsdarva's NEXT, including the Omer-made laser bazooka and PM missiles unique to his crafts. In the Japanese dub, he doesn't even bother to mask his voice, making his true identity quite easy to figure out.
- Secret A.I. Moves: Meet Rai-Den, God of QB-chaining. Quick-Boosting is limited in consecutiveness only by your generator output/capacity and your reflexes. Because AIs get infinite energy and don't have to worry about the pesky limitations of fast-twitch muscles...
- Sphere of Destruction: Assault Armor, a new feature that is built into some NEXT parts.
- Symbolic Wings: White Glint's overed boost exhaust gives any AC using it's Core parts the appearance of wings. And as Line Ark's guardian angel, it's extra appropriate.
- Villain Protagonist: You in the Destruction Path.
- Wake-Up Call Boss: Cube, piloting the fastest AC in the game and equipped with PA-eating machine guns. It doesn't help that he is capable of quick boosting so rapidly that just keeping him in front of you long enough to take a shot with most weapons is hard, to say nothing of actually landing a hit. You would never expect such an infuriating enemy to be ranked 18th out of 30.
- Walking Wasteland: All NEXTs are this, due to their usage of Kojima Particles.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Pretty much any Arms Fort can be destroyed in one motion by any AC that has two energy blades and a four-legged chassis.
- The Spirit of Motherwill is beaten by destroying its weapons (because the explosions cause uncontrollable internal fires, a rather glaring engineering fault for a weapons platform). Arguably, BFF probably didn't think anything would be able to get close enough to Spirit of Motherwill to destroy its weapons in the first place, considering it can precisely hit a relatively small NEXT moving at least Mach 2 (You can hit as high as 2600kmph with the Vanguard Overed Boost.)
- Stigro has absolutely no resistance to energy blades (which generally do a huge amount of damage when they land).
- Well-Intentioned Extremist:
- Line Ark is an aversion. While they were branded revolutionaries by the League, they're actually very democratic and accept people from all walks of life. This approach however has led them into a massive Motive Decay.
- ORCA is much, much closer to this trope, perfectly willing to kill millions in order to save those who remain.