The first game in the Ace Combat series. Released on Playstation in 1995 as a spiritual successor to the arcade game "Air Combat" (released in 1992) and its sequel "Air Combat 22" (released in 1995). You fly as the leader of an elite mercenary unit out to stop a terrorist threat.
Tropes found in the game
- Ace Custom: Every plane you use has the unique paint scheme shown on the boxart, white with purple highlights and red-and-purple flames on the wings. When you're looking over planes to purchase in the hangar, they have standard paint schemes, but then are replaced with the above scheme if you buy them.
- Captain Obvious: Especially grating when compared to other games in the series, but at least your wingman was the only annoying one yammering you.
- Critical Annoyance: Did your plane get struck by a pebble? Enjoy hearing "Alert, body damage! Alert, body damage! Alert, body damage! Alert, body damage! Alert, body damage! Alert, body damage! Alert, body damage! Alert, body damage! Alert, body damage! Alert, body damage! Alert, body damage! Alert, body damage!".
- Early Installment Weirdness: The game features many differences from the rest of the series.
- If you lose a plane, it's gone for good. To balance this, the shop may sells multiple units of the same plane.
- Repair cost is deducted from mission pay.
- Wingmans cost money to hire. They can be shot down and become permanently unavaillable.
- The game employs a map system with branching paths at certain junctions, allowing the player some control over the order the missions are played.
- The game has no fictional plane design with the exception of the air fortress that serve as the final boss.
- Final Death: If you crash a plane or get shot down, you lose that plane for good and, with very few exceptions, cannot buy another one. If you crash all the planes, then it's game over.
- N.G.O. Superpower: The enemy is supposedly a terrorist group, though the country you're fighting for is apparently a small one (the tiny Skully Islands to the south of Usea, according to Aces at War).
- The Revolution Will Not Be Vilified: Averted, and setting the standard for most of the rest of the series when it comes to revolutions and the like, as you're fighting for the government.
- Title Drop: One of the songs on the OST is titled "Ace Combat".