Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere: FAQ/Walkthrough

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    |e|l|e|c|t|r|o|s|p|h|e|r|e| Spoiler-free FAQ/Walkthrough by Shotgunnova
     ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯  EMAIL: shotgunnova (@) gmail (do+) com
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯| INDEX |¯
    I. CONTROLS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CNTR
   II. TIPS N' TRICKS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . TPST
  III. WALKTHROUGH (MISSIONS) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . WLKT

       01) Transport .................................................... WK01
       02) Interference ................................................. WK02
       03) Joint Maneuvers .............................................. WK03
       04) Megafloat .................................................... WK04
       05) Scramble ..................................................... WK05
       06) Target Acquisition ........................................... WK06
       07) Fragile Cargo ................................................ WK07
       08) Demilitarization ............................................. WK08
       09) Moonlight Flower ............................................. WK09
       10) Maze ......................................................... WK10
       11) Escort ....................................................... WK11
       12) Stratosphere ................................................. WK12
       13) Claustrophobia ............................................... WK13
       14) Reaching for Stars ........................................... WK14
       15) Guardian Angel ............................................... WK15
       16) Zero Gravity ................................................. WK16
       17) One-Way Ticket ............................................... WK17
       18) Bug Hunt ..................................................... WK18
       19) Blackbird .................................................... WK19
       20) Fjord ........................................................ WK20
       21) Counterterrorism ............................................. WK21
       22) ECM .......................................................... WK22
       23) Swarm ........................................................ WK23
       24) Damage Control ............................................... WK24
       25) Conspiracy ................................................... WK25
       26) Intercept .................................................... WK26
       27) Plumber ...................................................... WK27
       28) Pathfinder ................................................... WK28
       29) Ouroboros .................................................... WK29
       30) Search and Destroy ........................................... WK30
       31) Tunnel Vision ................................................ WK31
       32) Night Raven .................................................. WK32
       33) Geofront Attack .............................................. WK33
       34) Aurora ....................................................... WK34
       35) Electrosphere ................................................ WK35

   IV. APPENDICES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . APPN

       Planes ........................................................... PLNS
       Unlockables ...................................................... UNLK

    V. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FAQZ
   VI. UPDATES & CONTRIBUTIONS  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . UPDT
  VII. LEGALITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LGLT

I. CONTROLS                                                              [CNTR]
                     ____          |  |          ____
    L2 BUTTON -->   /____/\        |  |        /\____\   <-- R2 BUTTON
    L1 BUTTON -->  /____/\ \_______|  |_______/ /\____\  <-- R1 BUTTON
                  /  _    \________|__|________/    _  \
                 / _| |_                         _ /_\ _\  <-- TRIANGLE BUTTON
DIRECTIONAL --> ( |_   _|   [SELECT]   [START]  |_|   (_)) <-- CIRCLE BUTTON
    PAD         |   |_|          [ANALOG]          (X)   | <-- X BUTTON
                )            ____        ____            (
               /            /    \      /    \            \
              (            (      ) __ (      )            )
               \         /\ \____/ /  \ \____/ /\         /
                \       /  \______/    \______/  \       /
                 \_____/ LEFT ANALOG  RIGHT ANALOG\_____/
                            (L3)          (R3)

 Ace Combat 3 is compatible with all normal controllers, including NeoCon
 and digital (non-analog stick) controllers. Digital config can only be used
 if the player lacks a DualShock 2 (or other analog stick) controller, or the
 analog function is intentionally switched off. [Analog is on by default.]
  ___________ ______________________________ ________________________________
 | BUTTON    | ANALOG CONFIG                | DIGITAL CONFIG                 |
 | D-Pad     | Move camera (at direction)   | Maneuvers (chosen direction)   |
 | Start     | Un/pause game                | Un/pause game                  |
 | Analog    | Toggle Analog mode           | ------------------------------ |
 | Select    | Toggle 1st/3rd person POV    | Toggle 1st/3rd person POV      |
 | Circle    | Fire missile-slot weapon     | Fire missile-slot weapon       |
 | Square    | (Hold) display level map     | (Hold) display level map       |
 | Triangle  | Cycle thru available targets | Cycle thru available targets   |
 | X-Button  | Fire machinegun-slot weapon  | Fire machinegun-slot weapon    |
 | L1 Button | Decelerate                   | Decelerate                     |
 | L2 Button | Yaw Left                     | Yaw left                       |
 | L3 Button | ---------------------------- | ------------------------------ |
 | R1 Button | Accelerate                   | ------------------------------ |
 | R2 Button | Yaw Right                    | ------------------------------ |
 | R3 Button | Rear view (chosen direction) | ------------------------------ |
 | L. Analog | Maneuver (chosen direction)  | ------------------------------ |
 | R. Analog | Move camera (at direction)   | ------------------------------ |

II. TIPS N' TRICKS                                                       [THBS]
 Hey, greenhorns! Don't put a single hand on the missile launch button without
 first knowing the basics! [If anyone has good ones to send in, drop 'em in my
 email inbox and I'll stick 'em here.]

 • Saving! Getting A/B Rank on all normal missions in the game will unlock a
   36th final mission, so if y'screw up an assignment, redo it until it's got
   a good marking; THEN, save.

 • The most advantageous firing position is from behind the enemy while they
   are in a mid-turn and at similar altitude. They'll be slowing down, and
   the missiles have a higher chance of hitting because they're not working
   off some huge mismatch in height. Always try to achieve this positioning.

   The worst positioning, thus, would be about the exact opposite: enemy is
   heading towards you from an altitude extremely different than yours, and
   you're shooting from behind as you head straight up/down. Not only is
   this going to waste ammo 99% of the time due to outmaneuvering, but it's

 • Try to pace yourself on difficulty first off. The walkthrough is written
   in Normal Mode so that it's a balance, but go with easy if you have to.
   When you get better, try out Expert level.

 • Don't pull your hair out trying to get "A" ranks! If you settle for B's,
   the 36th mission is still unlocked. Plus, y'can right performance issues
   by going into the simulator and doing better (and with better planes as
   well, which makes some of the harder, earlier mission goals more palatable).

___________________________________________________/ III. WALKTHROUGH [WLKT] |_
01) Transport                                              [Expo City]   [WK01]
      ### This walkthrough is written for Normal (medium) difficulty! ###

 Difficulty : 2/10
 Recommended: EF2000E Typhoon II
 Unlocked --: MiG-33 Fulcrum SS

 Only the EF2000E is unlocked initially and that son of a gun's a dogfighter,
 which should help against the slower soon-to-be-destroyed transports flying
 over restricted airspace. Weapons can't be changed yet...

 HEAD'S-UP: To unlock the thirty-sixth mission, you (the player) must obtain
 A- and B-ranks in all other (35) missions! Now's a good time to start... The
 Mission Simulator is unlocked only by beating the game on Normal, however!

 Long-time veterans should have the controls down pat, especially if they've
 played later PS2 installments in the series -- they're basically the same.
 Rookie pilots should use this chance to get familiarized, however. One thing
 that differs from the newer AC games is that these planes are,
 2000+ m.p.h fast. When you're coming up behind a target, be careful not too
 zoom past and waste missiles when the lock-on appears, as it's quite easy to
 do so until y'get the hang of things. Similarly, if you brake too hard the
 craft will stall and point nose-first at the ground, rather than a slow
 plummet. If you're flying too low and y'stall, there won't be time enough to
 recover speed and the army medics will be collecting you in tiny bite-sized
 bits later on.

 As for the mission itself, the first is always the easiest and this one's no
 different. The R-501 transports are slow and lumbering, unable to fight back.
 Their escort fighters (R201s) can definitely fight back but usually cruise at
 about 1500 m.p.h. so that speed often lends itself to their missed attempts.
 If the first four targets are not defeated within a reasonable time (3:00),
 then the mission update's skipped and this run gets an automatic "D" ranking.

 With the transports deep-sixed, reinforcements will come from the south. One
 target (R-101) and a bunch of similar escorts will try to engage the player
 in some dogfighting as retribution for destroying their transports. There's
 not a lot of challenge to this part; it's more of an introduction to the many
 mission updates to follow. However, flying right into the sun is always gonna
 be annoying...

 Unlock: MiG-33 Fulcrum SS

 Defeat the first four targets in under 3:00 to get the mission update, then
 defeat the final target. During all of this, defeat five other non-target
 escorts to get "A" rank. At least five normal fighters appear in the update
 portion, so feel free to ignore the others in the 1st part to cut down on
 time. [The timer doesn't factor into the mission update part, mind you.]

 Since there's no score system like in future ACs, a lot of the extra "oomph"
 to hit a certain rank is done on a kill-based system. For instance, killing
 five-plus bogies earns an "A"; killing two would earn a "C". 

 [x04] R-501 ----- Default
 [x01] R-101 ----- Default
 [x05] R-201 ----- Default [x3 Mission Update]
 [x02] R-101 ----- Mission Update

02) Interference                                       [Waiapolo Mts.]   [WK02]
 Difficulty : 3/10
 Recommended: EF2000E Typhoon II (or MiG-33 Fulcrum SS)
 Unlocked --: F/A-18U Hornet ADV

 Once again, the Typhoon's the only plane up for this job...unless you gained
 the Fulcrum SS doing the previous mission!

 The mission goal is to destroy all the radar sites plaguing General Defense's
 surveillance, and the mountainous region ain't making it any easier. As far
 as air support goes, there's a pair of R-101s and R-201s flying around, but
 that's pretty lightweight. If you check the pre-mission map, you'll see that
 there is a 4:00 time limit -- this applies to the first eight targets. Should
 the player not destroy them in within 3:59, then the mission update is skipped
 and an inferior rank attributed. Naturally, to squeeze inside this time limit,
 one should ignore the aircraft and concentrate solely on ground targets. [It
 only takes one missile to destroy the targets, for reference.]

 A good tip is to start from the north and work south, taking it slow to the
 plane doesn't overshoot the target and waste time. Radarsites themselves have
 no offensive capabilities, which is even more reason to not worry about 

 Should the first eight (8) be defeated in an expedient fashion, then the
 go-ahead to attack the northern base is given and the time limit is factored
 out. The new set of victims includes a bridge and four base buildings. Two
 of the buildings are set in dormant volcano cones, and the rims of them will
 definitely trash missile lock-ons if the player fails to correct trajectories,
 either by going slow and aiming down just over the rim or flying high and
 doing a dive maneuver. Mission ends when all five structures are rubble.

 One must destroy at least 23 out of the 24 total enemies, which equates to
 ten normal enemies (13 are targets). All normal defenses and aircraft appear
 at once; no new ones are added in the update. However, the update is required
 to break the quota since 5 targets are added at that time.

 [x02] R-201 ----- Default
 [x02] R-101 ----- Default
 [x08] Radarsite - Default
 [x05] AA Gun ---- Default
 [x02] MSSL ------ Default
 [x04] Base ------ Mission Update
 [x01] Bridge ---- Mission Update

03) Joint Maneuvers                                       [Chopinburg]   [WK03]
 Difficulty : 3.5/10
 Recommended: MiG-33 Fulcrum SS -or- F/A-18U
 Unlocked --: none

 Based on the success in "Interference," the military has agreed to do joint
 training exercises. Having a plane with good mobility is key here, so if you
 have it, the F/A-18U is the clear winner. However, make that it isn't using
 its ground (cruise) missiles because you'll want a good air-to-air missile
 for this one. [The F/A's heavy guns have shorter range as well, so sticking
 with the Vulcan may not be a bad idea either.]

 The mission itself first requires the player to trail a friendly (Eagle+) at
 no more than a 1000-foot radius. If it gets too far away, it's game over, so
 be sure to keep "Pursue!" on the screen because that's a notification that
 things are going well. [And no, you can't shoot this guy down.] He'll pull a
 few basic and crazy diving/ascending maneuvers, but as long as he's within a
 decent range, this part shouldn't that hard. Just be careful not to overshoot
 when following him because slowing down means he may get a bigger lead -- be
 sure to check your speed at all times and adjust accordingly. [By the way,
 yawing is incredible for keeping a visual on this guy so employ that tactic.]
 The point total for the pursuing part will be the lion's share of the ranking
 for this mission -- score 3200 for an assured "A".

 After a few loop-de-loops, some training decoys will be released. They'll
 be missile-unfriendly and require one's guns, so a pilot has to stick to his
 guns, literally. Obviously it helps to go rather slow since they have no way
 of fighting back. When they're destroyed, three towers appear as missile
 practice. Take 'em down to end the mission with a bang.

 ...or at least that's how it would go on a normal day. Incidentally, there's
 a freight plane violating Neuwork airspace and dropping some cargo, which is
 guarded by a few fighters. The parachuting containers are the real targets
 but y'may have to wait for 'em to drop below 12,000ft or the plane'll stall
 due to the thinness of the air (or something).
 Score 5000 points. The decoys and towers make up 1800 points, so the player
 has to score 3200 during the follow-the-leader portion. Points accumulate
 only when there's less than 1000 feet distance between the two crafts; it'll
 stop when there's more. [No points are accumulated during the non-exercise
 airspace violation portion.] It make take a few times to do get the right
 score, so pay attention to the F-15S/MT's flightpath. Y'probably don't have
 to be reminded how easily it is for the leader to make a 1500-2000ft gap if
 y'lose sight of him.

 [x03] Decoy ----- First half of mission
 [x03] Tower ----- First half of mission
 [x05] Container - Second half of mission
 [x01] R-501 ----- Second half of mission
 [x04] R-201 ----- Second half of mission

04) Megafloat                                              [Rocky Is.]   [WK04]
 Difficulty : 3/10
 Recommended: MiG-33 Fulcrum SS -or- F/A-18U
 Unlocked --: F-16XFU Gyrfalcon

 Neuwork's sending warships to reinforce the militarization of Megafloat, a
 floating city -- and it's your mission to stop 'em dead in their tracks. The
 best plane available will be the F/A-18U. Even though most of the targets are
 ships, y'might as well stick to normal short-range missiles and whatever type
 of machine-gun's available.

 The first half of this mission, destroying the listed targets north and south
 of Rocky Island, is on a timer (3:00) which will, of course, affect possible
 updates. A good tip about defeating warships is that, when the main target's
 destroyed, all auxiliary defenses are as well, so concentrate on those to
 cut down on flyby time. 

 When the inbound carriers are defeated within 3:00, four southeast-bound
 fighters will appear as reinforcements. Although their target is the city
 itself, which has neutral targets aplenty (you're not killing them are you?)
 the foes will simply circle like vultures, so don't confuse this for a
 protection mission. If y'plan on flying over the city, taking out the coastal
 defenses isn't such a bad idea though -- there's three guns and SAMs there.
 Afterwards you can land on the carrier, but I suggest having autopilot do all
 the work.

 Defeat 23+ targets in the mission. Thirteen are mandatory (3 warships,
 6 auxiliary warship targets, 4 planes) so this requires defeating ten others.
 Non-targets are exempt from the tally, of course. The easiest way to do this
 is destroy Megafloat's 8 coastal defenses and two generic planes, but there's
 no reason y'can't mix-and-match as required.

 [x01] Carrier ---- Default
 [x01] Convoy ----- Default
 [x04] Facilities - Default [Island - Non-TGT]
 [x09] Gun -------- Default [x4 Island]
 [x05] MSSL ------- Default [x4 Island]
 [x02] Transport -- Default [Island - Non-TGT]
 [x04] R-201 ------ Default [x2 Mission Update]
 [x05] R-101 ------ Default [x2 Mission Update]
 [x01] Warship ---- Default

05) Scramble                                            [Wiapolo Mts.]   [WK05]
 Difficulty : 5.5/10
 Recommended: F/A-18 Hornet ADV -or- F-16XFU Gyrfalcon
 Unlocked --: R-101 Delphinus #1

 Although plenty were killed so far, apparently the military thinks eight
 R-201s is a huge threat, and have dispatched the player to neutralized 'em
 before they can wreak havoc. Either of the two latest planes will suffice,
 perhaps the Gyrfalcon more since its missiles are standard instead of short-
 -range types.

 Like usual, there's a time limit (3:00) for the first half of the mission.
 It's one's job to fly southeast to the runway and trash the R-201s, which is
 easiest accomplished by -- you guessed it -- ignoring all the other threats
 along the way. The runway itself is protected by a few AA guns and SAMs, but
 the R-201s are in their hangars. If y'take too long to kill 'em, they'll get
 airborne and the chance of doing everything expediently nosedives.

 Since the planes are in two lines (two pairs of four), it's best to just fly
 in a circle(ish) motion and try to take out an extra one with the guns, too.

 The mission ends if one takes out the planes within 3:00; the update only
 occurs if y'don't. So, in this case, it's a dishonorable addition to the
 mission. Basically, all the R-201s not destroyed will now be airborne and the
 mission is to destroy them, plus select base facilities (the Tower). Obtaining
 this update ends the excursion in a "D".

 Destroy 15+ targets (8 mandatory). Basically, in addition to the 8 planes one
 must destroy, take out 7 normal ones. This'll mean the easy five targets at
 the airport and two other planes, at least. To do this expediently, one would
 have to take out two planes EN ROUTE -- and that is ridiculously hard with
 the current planes, mostly because even if both missiles are fired, only one
 typically hits.

 This is the first mission in the game where it's suggested to take a lower
 rank and achieve an "A" in the mission simulator (unlocked by beating game
 on Normal difficulty), which allows one to use later planes. These ones can
 fire 4 missiles which all but ensures a plane coming head-on is goin' down.
 [This mission can be finished in under 2:30 for reference.]

 [x04] Gun ------- Default
 [x01] MSSL ------ Default
 [x02] R-102 ----- Default
 [x02] R-211 ----- Default
 [x08] R-201 ----- Default
 [x01] Tower ----- Mission Update 

06) Target Acquisition                                     [Expo City]   [WK06]
 Difficulty : 3/10
 Recommended: F-16XFU Gyrfalcon
 Unlocked --: ---

 In Expo City, there seems to be an illegal testing range that needs to be
 scooped out in case it's the foundation for a coup d'etat. For this mission,
 the Gyrfalcon's probably the best bet as it's rather even in all areas; the
 new R-101 Delphinus #1 sucks in the armor department and that'll be important

 To reconnoiter the area, the plane must get each "Facilities" within missile
 range -- firing at this time will use laser targeting to photograph the place,
 rather than turning it into a towering inferno. There's 3:00 to do this to all
 facilities, so don't dawdle. Skipping the scrubs, i.e. the normal defenses,
 helps a lot, as one can shoot 'em down afterwards. [NOTE: Photos are only
 taken if the shot is lined up in a way that, if it were a missile, it would
 hit. Taking a pic at a 15-degree angle or something won't cut it.]

 Once the targets get their photo op, the additional objective of neutralizing
 some incoming fighters takes place. This is the type of thing an acclimated
 pilot can sleepwalk through.

 Destroy 20 enemies, which means ten non-targets, such as defenses and any
 normal plane. The facilities "photographed" count as kills for some reason,
 so those _are_ factored in. There's infinite time to defeat enemies after
 going shutterbug on the facilities, so compared to the 5th mission, this is a

 [x04] Facilities - Default
 [x03] F/A-18I ---- Mission Update
 [x03] F-16XF ----- Default
 [x06] F-16XA ----- Default [x3 Mission Update]
 [x08] Gun -------- Default
 [x03] MSSL ------- Default

07) Fragile Cargo                                           [Axel Bay]   [WK07]
 Difficulty : 4/10
 Recommended: F-16XFU Gyrfalcon -or- R-101 Delphinus #1
 Unlocked --: R-201 Asterozoa

 A terrorist communique has alerted the UPEO Command that a plane carrying
 bioweapons is on a collision course over Axel Bay's industrial district. This
 is going to be an enjoyable change of pace, so pick up a top-tier plane and
 get moving.

 The briefing detailed the general gist of things: rather than defeating the
 plane, which would spread its caustic payload around the region, one has to
 destroy the obstacles in its path: buildings, chimneys, and the like. The
 enemy's dirigible-like aircraft is not a speed demon, but new targets won't
 appear unless it's within a certain range (otherwise, y'won't know which ones
 to attack). Basically, just fly in a circle until the next target appears;
 don't go seeking them out or you risk getting too far away! They next chimney
 is one locally, not far away. The final target is the bridge, which allows
 the craft to land safely.

 Once the dirigible splashes down, a hydrofoil will be launched -- this one's
 marked for destruction. It takes a few missiles to die, but is basically a
 fast-moving AA gun so don't get perforated. [You still can't shoot the first
 craft or it's a game over!]

 When the festivities end, congratulations on crippling the city economy!

 Automatically achieved by getting all (12) targets.

 [x01] UI-4052 --- Default
 [x10] Chimney --- Default
 [x01] Bridge ---- Default
 [x01] Hydrofoil - Mission Update

08) Demilitarization                                       [Rocky Is.]   [WK08]
 Difficulty : 5/10
 Recommended: F-16XFU Gyrfalcon -or- R-101 Delphinus #1
 Unlocked --: ---

 Despite repeated warnings, Neuwork's continuing to fortify Megafloat, its
 buoyant city seen in a previous mission, so now it's time to bring the hammer
 down with impunity. The Gyrfalcon or Delphinus work well for this task, but
 the new R-201 might be a fun choice because, despite its power and mobility
 problems, it gets the MIRV. It stands for "Multiple Independently Targetable
 Reentry Vehicle" but you'll can call it a splintering warhead. Basically, it's
 a single missile that "splinters" into other smaller ones, allowing one strike
 to hit multiple targets. Pretty snazzy. [NOTE: The MIRV is fun but not a good
 choice for trying for "A" rank.]

 There's not many surprises for the demilitarizing, although there's a 3:30
 time limit to do it all in. All targets are, expectedly, by Megafloat: four
 gun emplacements and a tower, plus two R-101s flying overhead. There's a lot
 of other targets around, though, including a sea full of warships and convoys.
 Don't leave the planes for last, as they're the most wily.

 This is a "dishonorable" update -- it only occurs if the primary time limit
 is not achieved. At that time, a hydrofoil is launched from the northern port
 becomes the new target. It's basically just a moving AA gun and takes a few
 missiles to blow up. If it escapes, mission fails even harder than it already
 is. [Minimum rank achieved in this case is "C", although it can go higher; I
 don't believe you can get an "A" here...]

 Achieve 24+ kills -- 7 are mandatory, 17+ are normal. For the seventeen, 8
 can come from ships, four from island MSSLs -- the other five have to come
 from planes. The easiest way to start is to kill the two convoys nearby, then
 the aircraft carrier in the south, then the target planes over Megafloat.
 Destroy all targets/MSSLs on the island but one (the Tower can't fight back
 so it makes a natural choice) and destroy five planes before killing the
 final target. Getting 19-20 kills isn't that hard about now, but this is yet
 another task better left for the mission simulator -- it's just mind-numbingly
 difficult now with the time limit. [NOTE: I don't know how the Hydrofoil comes
 in, as you can destroy all targets right on the time limit and still get it
 to launch, so it might be able to account for one of the 17.]

 This is the second mission in the game where it's suggested to take a lower
 rank and achieve an "A" in the mission simulator (unlocked by beating game
 on Normal difficulty), which allows one to use later planes. These ones can
 fire 4 missiles, ensuring its targets die more often.

 NOTE: The 2nd convoy sometimes survives if you're going too fast, so try to
       decelerate a bit and attack from an altitude; or, use the vulcan cannon
       to inflict a little more punishment.

 NOTE: You may want to do the difficult part (defeating 5 planes) first, then
       doing the easier targets.

 [x02] R-201 ----- Default
 [x06] R-101 ----- Default
 [x01] Tower ----- Default
 [x07] Gun ------- Default
 [x02] Convoy ---- Default
 [x06] MSSL ------ Default
 [x01] Carrier --- Default
 [x01] Hydrofoil - Mission Update [Only if 3:30 limit exceeded]

09) Moonlight Flower                                 [Scofields Plat.]   [WK09]
 Difficulty : 4/10
 Recommended: F-16XFU Gyrfalcon -or- R-101 Delphinus #1
 Unlocked --: ---

 One of Neuwork's power plants is supplying an illegal munitions factory, so
 it needs to be removed from the face of the earth. The microwave signals'll
 screw up missile guidance, however, so a pilot has to rely on the ole vulcan
 cannon for assistance. Because of this, it helps to have a maneuverable plane
 with a good cannon -- such as the Gyrfalcon. Do not bring the R-201! It's a
 slowpoke with poor maneuverability and its MIRVs, though fun, are unreliable,
 even in an advantageous situation (such as shooting two MIRVs at a plane's
 six at level altitude).

 The power plant complex is in the south and arranged in a "quincunx" array:
 four outer targets and the reactor in the middle. The power plants themselves
 are immune to missile targeting, but that doesn't mean they're immune to
 missiles themselves, mind you: "dumb" projectiles will still destroy them.
 The vulcan guns are generally best unless you're a deadeye (missiles tend to
 drift away from target unless they're at close range).

 When all four plants are rubble, the center conelike plant will expose its
 core. Firing blindly at level altitude won't do anything, though -- a player
 has to get some height and destroy the top of the structure.

 If the four power plants are gunned down within 5:00, the subsequent step is
 to destroy the exposed reactor core -- the center volcano-like structure. Fly
 a little above it and shoot the summit; try too low and the missiles may just
 hit the side harmlessly. Unlike previous missions, the timer is still running
 and the core must be destroyed within the 5:00 as well.

 Kill 18+ targets: 5 are mandatory, so that makes 13 others. Luckily, this is
 a bit easier if y'know what to expect. First, plan on destroying the eight
 ground targets, plus the R-701s that are riduculously slow and don't move
 around much. That leaves three normal planes to destroy in five minutes. The
 option is how best to approach this map. My order would be this:

 1) Destroy any 3 planes near northern airport [x3 KO]
 2) Destroy MSSL/R-201 at northern airport [x2 KO]
 3) At Power Plant area, destroy plants, then the guns and 2nd R-201 [x9 KO]
 4) Destroy three MSSLs on outer fringe of map [x3 KO]
 5) Race back and destroy the core before time is up.

 Since the hardest "wild card" is the 3 planes, so it's important to get them
 out of the way first -- it can be achieved in apx. 1:00 so try to aim for
 that time. Make sure to take it slower (or aim more carefully) at the plant
 site because if you miss once, y'have to fly all the way back around and get
 it again. It's important to cut down on wasted time here, since the flight
 to all three MSSL sites takes about 1:00 on its own (maybe 0:45 if you're
 already going 3000mph at all sites, which isn't likely to happen).

 Note that you can skip the MSSL part and get three more planes instead, but
 I like to go for the sure thing myself. The "A" ranks only get tougher, so...

 [x04] Gun ------- Default
 [x04] MSSL ------ Default
 [x04] Pow.Plant - Default
 [x03] R-101 ----- Default
 [x04] R-201 ----- Default
 [x02] R-701 ----- Default

10) Maze                                                 [Hatties Ra.]   [WK10]
 Difficulty : 5.5/10
 Recommended: F-16XFU Gyrfalcon -or- R-101 Delphinus #1
 Unlocked --: 

 A bit of a breather from the ninth mission, this surveillance assignment is
 on a General Resources plane flying through a ravine. If you've never played
 an Ace Combat game, y'may be unaware of how much they like making planes fly
 in tight, precipitous, or claustrophobic environments -- this is the first
 "ravine" mission. Basically, one flies upriver, navigating the canyon while
 keeping a few things in mind:

 • Flying in first-person mode makes this easier
 • Cruise relatively slow; speed + sharp turns = burrowing into cliff
 • Value a plane's mobility over everything else
 • Yaw (with shoulder buttons), rather than hard turn, whenever possible
 • Don't fly above the cliff rim or you're picked up on radar and auto-fail

 The plane in question travels unassumingly forward, so it's a sitting duck...
 but like all lucky ducks, it's marked as a non-target -- refrain from any
 potshots. If you're wondering where the difficulty is in this excursion, it
 doesn't have much. Still, some of the terrain is annoying and it's possible
 to crash in a downturn yaw because the water's surface is so reflective, it
 seems like there's more distance between the pilot and it.

 NOTE: Mission failure if the chemical weapons plant is not discovered within
       5:30! This is not stated anywhere but the penalty's definitely there.

 The R/F-117X can rise above the canyon without any repercussions, leaving the
 player to squeak by some of the narrower sections of the gorge. Also, at one
 point, the river opens up into a circular form and there's a sharp turn to
 the next area -- this one has enough flying room, however, if you're going

 About 4:00 into the pursuit -- if you were following the plane closely -- a
 chemical weapons factory will be discovered. It's plainly situated inside a
 basin's natural reservoir, which barely has enough maneuvering room, so one
 simply just shoots the 'base' to finish the mission.

 Destroy 8+ enemies overall. There's only one mandatory target ("Base") but
 plenty of helicopters to destroy on the way. The base only has five generic
 targets (3 ground, two copters) so destroy some other AH-66Bs on the way to
 pick up the slack. If you take the west path at the first bifurcation, one
 can pick up four extra kills, compared to the east path which skips all of
 'em. As y'know, there's a 5:30 time limit on following the plane, so don't
 bother exploring as there won't be any way to salvage a mission that goes
 off a sightseeing trip.

 [x01] R/F-117X -- Default
 [x19] AH-66B ---- Default
 [x01] Base ------ Mission Update
 [x02] Oil Tank -- Mission Update
 [x01] Hydrofoil - Mission Update

11) Escort                                               [Mt. Lambert]   [WK11]
 Difficulty : 
 Recommended: F-16XFU Gyrfalcon -or- R-101 Delphinus #1
 Unlocked --: RF-12A2 Blackbird

 Back to the free skies! This time, a NUN (Neo United Nations) chairman has
 been targeted by terrorists and requires a watchdog while flying over the
 Lambert Mountains. Since we haven't obtained any good planes in a long while,
 the Gyrfalcon is probably the best available.

 As the mission starts, the bogeys are along the eastern edge of the map, two
 groups, five total. Fly out to meet them (why would you endanger the ally?)
 and systematically send them crashing to the mountains below. Although some
 may try to coax the player into dogfighting, always keep an eye on any who
 go straight for the civilian plane -- not only because it's in danger, but
 because those foes are easier to shoot down, generally.

 NOTE: The 1st midair refueling takes place after this, but feel free to
       autopilot it.

 Defeat all five enemies in under 3:00. It's not that hard to burn figurative
 rubber and defeat the first two in under 1:00, so the mission doesn't seem
 that hard if y'use that as a baseline. Just try to shoot advantageously (like
 not upside-down, where missiles seem to blow at hitting things) and don't go
 too fast, or y'may overshoot. Also, it helps if you can destroy a plane when
 first encountering a group; just go slow enough and align yourself to up the
 likelihood of success.

 [x05] F/A-32C --- Default
 [x01] R-5050 ---- Default [Ally]

12) Stratosphere                                        [White Valley]   [WK12]
 Difficulty : 3/10
 Recommended: RF-12A2 Blackbird
 Unlocked --: ---

 Neuwork's sent an aerial platoon to attack White Valley airbase, and they're
 cruising at a 30,000-foot altitude. The only plane that can really get that
 high is the new Blackbird stratofighter. Since this is an aerial mission,
 bring normal missiles (MIRVs aren't needed and short-range missiles are dumb)
 and whatever gun of your choosing.

 After the awesome launch sequence, the airborne fleet is met high above the
 earth's weather patterns. The Blackbird is made for armor and to withstand
 pressure (I guess?) so it's not a speed demon and, in fact, sucks at quick
 maneuvers, making its actions seem rather sluggish. But, that'd only be a
 problem if the enemy weren't; here, they too lumber about the stratosphere
 and are pretty easy to shoot down overall. Just make sure to hit the back
 ones first and move toward the front; it wastes less time.

 There's a 5:00 failure limit for this mission. Also, afterwards, there'll be
 a (skippable) runway landing.

 Defeat eight targets (2 normal). The dumb thing about this is, the high-up
 targets eventually move pretty far ahead of the pack, so to make this goal
 feasible, y'have to take out some of the lower-flying R-311s before engaging
 the "main course." [NOTE: The stratosphere planes vanish off the map if you
 get too low, which is another reason to get the annoying part out of the way
 first.] If you do things right and maybe get a little luck, y'can finish
 this in just over 2:00 -- hilarious! 

 [x08] R-311 ----- Default
 [x06] R-531 ----- Default

13) Claustrophobia                                        [Amber Mts.]   [WK13]
 Difficulty : 5/10
 Recommended: F-16XFU Gyrfalcon -or- R-101 Delphinus #1
 Unlocked --: F-15S/MT Eagle+

 Intermediate-range ballistic missiles (IRBMs) have been confirmed at some
 mountain bases, and within the scope of their range are the cities of Expo
 City and Port Edwards. Although it's unknown whether they're Neuwork-made,
 the fact stands that they must be taken out, despite the dense fog. Like
 usual, the Gyrfalcon is probably the best pick here. [The RF-12A2 plane can't
 be selected for these normal, low-altitude missions, by the way.]

 The first half has a 6:00 time limit. The targets are the eight bases (two
 groups) plus two guns, making a total of ten targets. However, the player's
 really at battle with the canyon-ridden terrane here, where some targets are
 on the cliffs and other emplacements below the cliff rims. Trying to do a
 systematic sweep ends up being rather sucky in this case.

 This is another "dishonorable" update. Should all targets not be destroyed
 within the six-minute timeframe, one of the infamous missiles (IRBMs) will
 be launched and the player'll have to hunt it down before it leaves the map.
 Expectedly, the missile is immune to lock-ons so one'll have to exercise the
 ole trigger finger and shoot it out of the sky with manual aim.

 Score 30 kills. Ten (10) are mandatory, so that leaves the other twenty up to
 the player. Luckily, even on a "sightread" of this objective, there's so many
 ground targets that they easily boost the ranks to the high. However, to get
 30+ in a reasonable fashion, destroy the R-701s (helicopters) floating around
 the canyons. If you plan on just going for the easier ground defences, you'll
 need to defeat three. Opportunistically, if y'can't find any around the base
 areas try to defeat one of the local planes. [It's possible to get thirty
 targets with apx 4:20 so that leaves a bit of leeway to get the last few

 Also, since the base contains clustering targets, employ the machine gun and
 try to take out a target if no missiles are readied -- it saves a trip back.

 [x09] Gun ------- Default
 [x04] MSSL ------ Default
 [x08] Base ------ Default
 [x03] R-102 ----- Default
 [x02] R-201 ----- Default
 [x02] R-211 ----- Default
 [x03] R-701 ----- Default
 [x01] IRBM ------ Mission Update

14) Reaching for Stars                                    [Comona Is.]   [WK14]
 Difficulty : 4/10
 Recommended: F-16XFU Gyrfalcon -or- F-15S/MT Eagle+
 Unlocked --: F-16XA Sakerfalcon

 A platoon of Antlion tanks has been dropped near a space shuttle launching
 site, and they appear to an attempt by General Resources to commandeer the
 research facility. This is a good time to break out the new Eagle+, which has
 better average stats than the other planes thus far, plus a wider arsenal.
 Normal missiles and whatever machine-gun should suffice.

 The first half of the mission takes place as the tanks are being airdropped
 to the space shuttle facility. They're in parachuted freefall and have no
 means of attacking, and take quite awhile to hit the ground, so destroy them
 in your preferred way. It may take a few passes unless you go very slow and
 attack the nearest ones. [This part can be done in under 1:00 by this method.]

 When all Antlions are kaput, a squadron of five F/A-32Cs appears, inbound from
 the north. Not exactly a dire situation but the skies will be swarming with
 planes -- still, most enemy aircraft seem to just fly around at low altitudes
 and do nothing in particular, so keep mobile, basically.

 Destroy all targets. Fourteen (10 Antlion, 4 F/A-32C) are mandatory, so that
 leaves the generic fighters plus the C-17B. Since the time limit really means
 nothing after the update, this should be a fun-filled airborne massacre of
 easy proportions.

 [x10] Antlion --- Default
 [x01] C-17B ----- Default
 [x08] F/A-32C --- Default [x5 Mission Update]

15) Guardian Angel                                        [Comona Is.]   [WK15]
 Difficulty : 3.5/10
 Recommended: F-16XFU Gyrfalcon -or- M-15S/MT Eagle+
 Unlocked --: R-352 Sepia

 With the success of the launch in the previous mission, the shuttle is now
 on a return course. Naturally, the General Resources gang is up to their old
 tricks and have come back with a few squadrons to thwart the landing attempt.
 Unfortunately the new (?) Salkerfalcon isn't meant for aerial fighting, so
 it's back on the reliable Eagle+ to keep the good times rolling.

 There are two groups of enemies (4/3 split) to defeat within 4:00, which is a
 lot easier than y'may think -- most are less focused on extreme maneuvering
 than they are on finding and attacking the R-808. Take out the first four in
 a relatively quick time (1:30?) and be ready to hit the second wave, which is
 likely to be closing in on the shuttle. Obviously, it's mission failure if
 the civilian craft is blown to smithereens. 

 Finish in under 3:00, which is pretty easy to do in the Eagle+, although a
 little luck helps. I managed to sightread the excursion in 2:25:xx so it's
 really not too much of a pain.

 [x07] F-22C ----- Default
 [x01] R-808 ----- Default [Ally]

16) Zero Gravity                                               [Space]   [WK16]
 Difficulty : 4/10
 Recommended: R-352 Sepia
 Unlocked --: 

 Welcome to the exosphere, i.e. outer space. There are some rebel satellites
 that need to be defeated within the short amount of time the plane has going
 for it. In this case, the R-352 Sepia is mandatory, and if y'look at its
 growth chart, its armor and mobility are maxed out but it's got poor fighting
 capabilities and stability, too. Oh dear. It does the get the unique Neutron
 Beam (gun slot) and Plasma Beam (missile slot) weapons.

 After blastoff, the mission begins and the 3:00 timer begins. The satellites
 don't fight back but the zero-grav conditions make maneuverability less than
 stellar (not a pun), as acceleration is a bit harder than in the atmosphere.
 Note that if y'exceed the time limit, the satellites click on and approaching
 one will blow up your vessel.

 NOTE: I suggest getting through atmospheric reentry on autopilot.

 Defeat the four satellites in under 2:30.

 [x04] Satellite - Default

17) One-Way Ticket                                       [Sandbury D.]   [WK17]
 Difficulty : 4-7/10
 Recommended: F-16XFU Gyrfalcon -or- F-15S/MT Eagle+
 Unlocked --: F-22C Raptor II

 Some of Neuwork's researchers were abducted by unknown assailants, and they
 are currently fleeing across the Sandbury Desert. Warm-heartedly, the brass
 has ordered the player to destroy the train and save the civilians. There's
 no reason to pick anything other than the F-152/MT for this, but y'can if you
 want to.

 Although there isn't a stated mission time for this, it's actually 4:30, the
 time it takes for the train to reach the base. Hilariously, this low-lying,
 fast-moving train is quite an opponent. Not only can it not be targeted by
 missiles, but sections of the train are marked as non-targets, so the player
 has to destroy a certain section with precision gunfire (or face demerits in
 the form of a lesser rank). The targets are all cars that do not have a weird
 'x' non-lock-on symbol over them, which can be hard to match up unless you've
 got a bird's-eye view of things. [There are six in all.]

 There are only two ways to attack the plane, which, occasionally, is obscured
 by tunnels and train bridges:

 • Get to a height and dive at the train, pulling up during deceleration to
   get another shot (train moves forward, you don't, yadda yadda yadda). This
   isn't that bad of a way to do things, particularly as it allows for easier
   maneuvering where enemy planes are concerned.

 • Make a parallel flightpath with the train, but a little off to one side,
   so that the vulcan's live rounds arc down to the train. This method doesn't
   require much movement (hooray!) but may endanger the other non-target cars
   in the process, if you're a poor shot (boo/hiss!).

 Mission ends when the six 'bad' train cars are destroyed.

 Defeat four of the seven planes flying around, in addition to destroying the
 6 'bad' cars of the train. In a hilarious twist, the train part is hardest;
 defeating four scrub pilots is a cinch. Destroying even one civilian car will
 bump this down to a "C" rank, however.

 [x01] A.Train --- Default [x6 'bad' cars, x3 Non-TGT]
 [x06] F/A-32C --- Default

18) Bug Hunt                                              [Chopinburg]   [WK18]
 Difficulty : 2/10
 Recommended: F-15S/MT Eagle+ -or- F-22C Raptor II
 Unlocked --: F/A-32C Erne

 In one of the weirder missions, some nanobite creatures have been released in
 the forests near Chopinburg and must be destroyed by special means. Any of
 the recent planes should work, although the F-22C has perhaps the best stats
 of any available now. All planes will be equipped with the Anti-Nanobite Bomb
 in the missile slot, and as you'll quickly find out, it's a ground bomb with
 no homing capacity.

 The mission itself is fairly standard, although there will be a "virus alert"
 when you're at a certain radius from the nests, which darkens the screen and
 can cause crashes if you're at a declining angle. The A-N Bomb has an area of
 effect, so you'll want to aim it (with the hanging reticle) in the center of
 groups to score lots of kills with one boom. Try to avoid flying by the nests
 if y'can, as they may waste precious time.

 On the flipside, Nanobites have no means of attack so one basically just has
 to aim well and this should be over soon. Remember that you want to aim
 between targets, not the targets theselves! Also, the loop-de-loop maneuvers
 are great for this mission as they cut down on attack recovery time and set
 up the player for a bird's-eye view of the bombing zone.

 NOTE: Despite the weapon's long reload time, it helps to do a well-aimed
       long-range shot on the approach to the colony. This clears some of the
       targets and gives time to get another shot before doing another flyby.

 Finish mission in 4:30 or less.

 [x24] Nanobite -- Default

19) Blackbird                                           [White Valley]   [WK19]
 Difficulty : 6/10
 Recommended: RF-12A2 Blackbird
 Unlocked --: ---

 Four R-531s are cruising a high-altitude flightpath en route to White Valley
 airbase, so it's time to intercept using the Blackbird last seen during the
 "Stratosphere" mission. It's the only option for these types, of course.

 There four R-531s fly in line formation, so y'can gotta have a good touch to
 all this.

 After 1:30 has elapsed on the clock, 2 R-311s (per R-531) will sortie and
 become the new targets. Unlike the lumbering fool bombers that have been
 killed lately, these ones are fleet-footed speed demons and a lot harder to
 destroy, so y'want to minimize as many that as soon as possible.

 One word: DIFFICULT. If the R-531s sortie their "spawn" the mission's pretty
 much flushed down the toilet, so that leaves a 1:30 prep time to destroy all
 four planes. Since they fly in a line, the best way is to fly perpendicularly
 to them -- again, also hard, given the gravity, altitude, crappy turning, etc.

 How many times did I reset until it finally worked? Lord only knows. But,
 this is the general gist of what you wanna do:

 1) Steer toward the leftmost of the 4-plane unit, coming up behind it at a
    parallel angle.

 2) As you near closer (about within 4000 feet), arc slightly "rightwards,"
    so that as y'shoot the leftmost plane, your plane's nose is already
    heading for the next-nearest plane. DECELERATE HERE.

 3) Destroy the next-nearest (by the skin of your teeth!) as the player's
    plane enters a semi-perpendicular flightpath, heading for the third
    plane, which is probably higher than the 2nd one. Adjust altitude for

 4) Destroy Plane #3 and hard-decelerate. About 0:45 should have passed on
    the clock.

 5) There's 0:45 to defeat the final plane, which, often, is overshot and has
    to be killed in the next flyby (that's how I did it anyway). If it comes
    down to overshooting the target, accelerate and circle around, then attack
    from aft for an ensured kill.

 NOTE: This is one mission y'may want to leave for the simulator, later on.

 [x04] R-531 ----- Default
 [x04] R-311 ----- Mission Update

20) Fjord                                               [Petrol Coast]   [WK20]
 Difficulty : 4/10
 Recommended: F-15S/MT Eagle+ -or- F-22C Raptor II
 Unlocked --: ---

 In the Petrol Coast, a logistics base is serving as a refueling point for 
 Neuwork's fleet. However, the fjord (which is a craggy inlet with steep
 cliffs, if y'didn't know) terrane can make this less than a cakewalk. The
 Raptor II is still probably the best available plane, but the Eagle+ will
 suffice as well.

 There's a nine-minute (9:00) time limit to finish all this in, which should
 be more than enough. The targets are parked under (unbreakable) cement roofs,
 so the only way to destroy them is at a near-level flightpath and aiming into
 the port structure. Try to do it from above and the shot's trashed. Only the
 convoys (third-from-north inlet) are out in the open seas.

 If Neuwork's mobile fleet (convoys, submarines) are not destroyed within the
 time limit, they'll launch almost immediately after. This situation isn't
 that dire as the waterborne crafts are mighty slow, so you could fly halfway
 across the map and back without much changing.  

 Destroy 30+ enemies (12 are mandatory). Despite the enemies situated in four
 inlets, this manages to be one of the easier "A"s achieved. Case in point: I
 defeated all enemies within 11:38:xx and still got an "A". Don't worry about
 the time limit whatsoever, as long as you're racking up a huge number of
 kills. [NOTE: Auxiliary ship targets, such as Convoy guns, don't count toward
 the 18+ kill requirement.]

 [x03] Convoy ---- Default
 [x02] R-201 ----- Default
 [x10] R-211 ----- Default
 [x08] R-701 ----- Default
 [x03] Submarine - Default
 [x06] Gun ------- Default

21) Counterterrorism                                 [Gulf of St. Ark]   [WK21]
 Difficulty : 4/10
 Recommended: F-15S/MT Eagle+ -or- F-22C Raptor II
 Unlocked --: ---

 A large carrier craft has been spotted flying over Megafloat, and it seems to
 be an attempt at a coup d'etat! The player's ordered to scramble immediately
 and shoot it down, with either of the recommended planes (above) working just
 fine on that end. [A funny note is how, in Ace Combat's world, St. Ark is in
 the far north and Rocky Island, where Megafloat's listed as being, is in the
 southwest sea -- worlds apart from each other.]

 The flight starts with an interception flightpath at the UI-4053 zeppelin (!?)
 inbound from the southeast. This beast is formidable and is equipped with
 permanent AA gun and missile fixtures (can't be destroyed), and since its
 target is on the underside, the best method is to snipe at it, make distance,
 and try again -- this avoids most AA gunfire and provides wiggle room should
 any missiles lock-on. It takes x4 missiles to destroy each part, at least
 on normal difficulty, with a total of x16 shots required to defeat it. It's a
 good idea to fire missiles in a four-pack (top-tier planes can do this) while
 doing loop-de-loops behind the target, maintaining distance while avoiding
 the ever-increasing lock-ons.

 NOTE: Attack from level or slightly lower height; from above the target, the
       missiles simply hit the exterior harmlessly.

 When the carrier is significantly damaged, 4 more targets appear to escort it
 out of the hotbed you've created. A fast plane with four-missile capabilities
 should be able to get to this point in little over a minute, luck prevailing.
 The dirigible still has AA gun capabilities, by the way.

 Wow, a 2nd update. A single UI-4054 will appear to destroy. I believe this
 had some storyline significance but, as you may or not know, the NTSC version
 of this game had its plot butchered while the JP version retains the story
 and split-path storyline. Oh well. This sucker is slippery and does hairpin
 maneuvers quite easily while maintaining distance, so hopefully catch it
 off-guard and defeat it quickly (to preserve "A" rank, as it were).

 Enjoy the Hindenburgian ending.

 Defeat all targets within 4:00. A plane that can fire four missile at once
 should be able to achieve the mission update within 1:00, give or take a few
 seconds, which leaves ample time to destroy the four other planes. The blimp
 won't have any attack capabilities either, so there's no threat of missile
 lock-ons (this is mentioned since the planes arrive to escort the blimp out
 of the region).

 [x01] UI-4053 --- Default
 [x01] SU-43 ----- Mission Update 
 [x01] XFA-36A --- Mission Update
 [x01] UI-4054 --- Mission Update [II]

22) ECM                                                    [Expo City]   [WK22]
 Difficulty : 3/10
 Recommended: F-15S/MT Eagle+ -or- F-22C Raptor II
 Unlocked --: Su-37 Super Flanker

 Ouroboros is operating an illegal weapons plant in Expo City, and their radar
 will be jammed to ensure a stealth entry into the region. An agile plane with
 decent power serves a guy well here, as both will be called upon frequently,
 if y'want the best rank, that is. The Raptor II works well.

 So, about the mission's jamming periods. The game's timer here is replaced
 with a countdown clock ticking off 1:30 -- green means it's not safe to go
 below 12500ft, red means it is safe. When the jamming period is almost over,
 there'll be a notification to climb back up to a safe altitude to avoid any
 foes learning what's going on. This can be accomplished within about 0:10 if
 you aim straight upwards and gun it, so don't dawdle. After a jamming period,
 there's always a 0:15 until the next one, so this can be a long mission for
 people who aren't thorough -- or just like to destroy every little thing in
 the map.

 Success in this mission is based on how well stealth is maintained -- "A" is
 for no enemy detection whatsoever while "D" is if the enemy did notice one's
 presence (no in-betweens).

 This can happen at any point in the mission. If the player's detected by the
 enemy radar (which makes jamming a useless measure) then twelve maneuverable
 planes of three sorts appear on the map. Note these aren't "targets", but
 are generic enemies meant to add insult to injury.

 Finish mission without enemy being alerted to the player's presence. This
 (detection) happens if a player is below 12500ft when a jamming period is not
 active. Y'know you've left the jamming area because you're in the blue skies
 above the cloud cover, which, from my layman understanding, is necessary to
 bounce radar waves off of? Maybe? Yeah, that's the ticket...

 [x02] Pr.Plant -- Default
 [x07] Radarsite - Default
 [x02] AH-66B ---- Default
 [x03] F/A-32C --- Mission Update
 [x05] F-22C ----- Mission Update
 [x04] RF-12A2 --- Mission Update

23) Swarm                                               [Eusian Ocean]   [WK23]
 Difficulty : 4/10
 Recommended: F-22C Raptor II -or- Su-37 Super Flanker
 Unlocked --: R-102 Delphinus #2

 Despite repeated warnings by UPEO, the Neuwork airforce has continued to
 mobilize on Megafloat. That's the last straw -- destroy all their planes! The
 Su-37 Super Flanker has the best stats at the moment, but doesn't have that
 many weapon options -- normal Missiles are better than short-range ones, at

 In a first for the mission, there'll be an ally plane (Su-43) who'll assist
 in destroying the foes, and boy, are they out in force. There are twenty-six
 aerial targets in loose clusters, and the name derives from the enemy's
 "swarm" ability, which happens when a cluster is approached -- they all go
 for the jugular. Of course, not many are that good a pilot, so this isn't
 as hard as it is lengthy. Just remember to play opportunistically and don't
 chase one around at close range when y'can switch to a mid-range target and
 gun it down.

 When the aerial masses are finally sent to the ocean floor, Megafloat's navy
 becomes the next entry to cross off the hitlist. Megafloat itself has a few
 armaments (basically the same things seen in fourth eponymous mission) and
 other non-targets, such as helicopters and a few buildings.

 Score 34 kills (26 are mandatory). The generic targets appear on Megafloat
 during the update, so basically destroy all foreign armaments on the island
 before turning one's sights to the navy. The ally Su-43's kills are added to
 the player's, but he doesn't really do anything during the update, which is
 actually good when it comes to reaching the quota.

 [x05] R-101 ----- Default
 [x05] R-102 ----- Default
 [x06] R-103 ----- Default
 [x05] R-201 ----- Default
 [x05] R-211 ----- Default
 [x06] MSSL ------ Mission Update
 [x12] Gun ------- Mission Update
 [x04] Convoy ---- Mission Update
 [x02] Carrier --- Mission Update
 [x05] V-22B ----- Mission Update [Non-TGT]

24) Damage Control                                      [Port Edwards]   [WK24]
 Difficulty : 4/10
 Recommended: Su-37 Super Flanker -or- R-102 Delphinus #2
 Unlocked --: ---

 Because of the actions taken aboard Megafloat, General Resources has mobilized
 its own air fleet and this has caused fighting to break out over Port Edwards!
 Some civilian press choppers have also been caught in the crossfire, so it's
 time to mitigate the conflict and save our reporters! Either of the two latest
 planes should suffice, although the Delphinus #2 gets a swazzy Pulse Laser to
 replace normal machine-guns!

 As expected, it's typical dogfighting action. The planes travel in packs of
 3-5 and are spread out across the city, but when one's almost dead another
 seems to join the fray, so the fighting is often continuous. Each group has
 one or two planes marked as the real targets, though, so a lot of the others
 can be ignored for these purposes. [Also, the news choppers aren't actually
 threatened by the other planes, so this isn't a protection gig.]

 When all crucial targets are buried, four targets in Port Edwards' southeast
 district. Since time isn't a rank-based factor in this mission, and the
 friendly fliers aren't endangered, dismantle their crafts at leisure. 

 Destroy 22 of 28 enemies (10 mandatory). Time doesn't factor into this, so it
 basically turns the entire map into a free-for-all. I killed everyone but the
 friendlies within 10:20:xx and still got an "A," so...hakuna matata, man!

 [x03] R-102 ----- Default
 [x06] R-103 ----- Default [x2 Mission Update]
 [x06] F-22C ----- Default
 [x07] XFA-36A --- Default
 [x04] V-22B ----- Default [Non-TGT]
 [x02] F/A-32C --- Mission Update

25) Conspiracy                                             [Expo City]   [WK25]
 Difficulty : 3/10
 Recommended: Su-37 Super Flanker -or- R-102 Delphinus #2
 Unlocked --: Su-43 Berkut, R211 Orcinus

 As it turns out, the Neuwork/General Sources fight that's been going on has
 been instigated by an Ouroboros outpost in Expo City (a.k.a. City of Eternal
 Night!) and the clearance from the higher-ups has been given for a bombing
 run. Either of the top-ranking planes should suffice for this raid.

 The target planes are flying all around the city, but the target buildings're
 rather easy to destroy. There's not too many MSSL launchers in this map but
 there's still a few Guns here. Overall, pretty generic target requirements,
 exemplified by the time limit's uselessness (this is a kill-based mission and
 the counter is unimportant, so take as much time as y'need).

 After a cutscene, the enemy personnel's V-22B helicopter will try to take
 off from its underground hangar. The player's plane will be situated in front
 of it, so do a careful run into the hangar and blow it up, which ends the
 mission with finesse. 

 Defeat 21+ of the 24 targets (10 are mandatory). Like the previous mission,
 time is not a factor so destroy any and everything at your leisure and still
 obtain an "A" (I did it in 7:53:xx).

 [x04] Base ------ Default
 [x03] R-211 ----- Default
 [x03] Su-37 ----- Default
 [x04] Su-43 ----- Default
 [x03] MSSL ------ Default
 [x06] Gun ------- Default
 [x01] V-22B ----- Mission Update

26) Intercept                                           [Eusian Ocean]   [WK26]
 Difficulty : 4/10
 Recommended: R-102 Delphinus #2 -or- Su-43 Berkut
 Unlocked --: ---

 Neuwark's space research satellite has splashed down in the ocean and the
 hydrofoils from Megafloat are en route to collect it; however, General
 Resources is also aiming for that goal and have their own seacrafts tagging
 along. Time to scramble and make G.R. eat some dust...err, water dust. Err,
 sea dust. Okay, forget the metaphors! Two new planes were obtained recently
 and the best of the two is the Su-43 Berkut, undoubtedly.

 The object of this mission is to prevent the enemy ships from contacting the
 shuttle first -- if they do, it's a failure. So, prioritize: at the start,
 head due south and destroy the target vessels, already dangerously close to
 the capsule ignoring the airplanes. There's a 2:00 time limit for this part.

 When all enemy ships are sunk, a reinforcement fleet shows up, and this one
 has faster hydrofoils. Again, not hard to defeat inherently, but a bit tough
 to deal with when grappling with the "A" rank challenge.

 Always remember that this is a give-and-take mission: if you puppyguard the
 allies, the ships will get the satellite; if you don't destroy the ships fast
 enough, the aircraft will beat the crap out of the friendlies.

 Defeat 28 enemies (20 are mandatory ship-based enemies). Although there's not
 a lot of time to screw around in, the basic gist of doing this is to create a
 window of opportunity. In the feat, defeat all but the farthest from the
 satellite and start decimating some aircraft. Hopefully this also takes some
 heat off the allied Neuwark hydrofoils inbound to collect their shuttle. If
 another window is needed for the 2nd and final wave, defeat all the hydrofoils
 and destroy all but the farthest convoy, and commence more killing. 

 Personally, here's my strategy:

 1) En route to satellite, destroy one plane coming head-on
 2) Turn around and defeat at least 2-4 more heading for the friendly h'foils
 3) Defeat all ships in under 2:00 (mission failure is actually 1:56)
 4) During mission update, kill [8-x] amount to reach 8 kills
 5) Kill remaining ships

 Note that, as long as you realize that the oncoming planes at the start are
 going towards the hydrofoils, you can sneak up behind them...if you react
 fast enough. Other planes try to engage a player and mess up their bearings,
 but many planes go straight north -- a guy can kill about 5 here! [I would
 recommend only killing four, as it wastes too much time to get back.]

 NOTE: If the ally hydrofoil unit is destroyed, a "D" is automatically gained.
 NOTE: You must destroy all ships to get an "A". If the ally hydrofoiils reach
       the target first, y'only get a "B". [I think this happens at 4:30]

 [x01] Satellite - Default [Ally]
 [x04] Hydrofoil - Default [Ally]
 [x01] Carrier --- Default
 [x06] Convoy ---- Default [x2 Mission Update]
 [x01] MSSL ------ Default [Ship-based]
 [x08] Gun ------- Default [Ship-based]
 [x06] XFA-36A --- Default
 [x02] F-22C ----- Default
 [x02] C-17B ----- Mission Update
 [x04] Hydrofoil - Mission Update

27) Plumber                                             [White Valley]   [WK27]
 Difficulty : 2/10
 Recommended: R-102 Delphinus #2 -or- Su-43 Berkut
 Unlocked --: R-103 Delphinus #3

 General Resources' radar dishes have been intercepting state secrets with
 their powerful technology, so now it's time to "dish" out some punishment
 and burn 'em to the ground. The Berkut pulls its weight during this mission,
 and is recommended.

 As said, their radar detects incoming aircraft if they're above 1300ft, so
 it's crucial to stay below that (a "D" is received for those not cleared to
 go above it). This stealthy approach applies only to the lead-up, however --
 the terrane eventually steepens in preparation to the basin, at which time
 "cleared to engage" appears, which tells one there's no need to stick to
 radar cover any longer. The ground targets are conveniently located in a
 circle, and there will only be two planes to destroy.

 NOTE: If the enemy's radar is spiked, four F-22Cs also appear when the base
       is approached.

 Defeat 14+ targets (8 mandatory). This is ridiculously easy and can be done
 just by removing the ground targets alone.

 [x01] Carrier --- Default [Ally]
 [x02] F-15S/MT -- Default
 [x08] Radarsite - Default
 [x02] MSSL ------ Default
 [x04] Gun ------- Default
 [x04] F-22C ----- Spawns only if radar is spiked

28) Pathfinder                                             [Expo City]   [WK28]
 Difficulty : 3/10
 Recommended: Su-43 Berkut -or- R-103 Delphinus #3
 Unlocked --: ---

 Ouroboros has kidnapped the NUN chairman and UPEO has green-lighted the
 retrieval mission, which entails securing a path for the rescue crews. The
 Delphinus #3 is a good pick for this mission, as it has a good selection of
 missiles (normal, MIRV) and guns (normal, cannon, pulse).

 Like usual, Expo City is cloaked in nightfall and filled with a wide array
 of ground targets; the kicker is the inclusion of ten tanks, which take a
 bit more effort to neutralize. Once approached, there'll be a gaggle of planes
 to sift through, but other than that, business as usual. If there's one 
 annoying part to this mission, it's that the planes follow incessantly, so
 one often has to break away and try again, rather than aim for good shots in
 the middle of the pack.

 Once the chairman's rescued in the first half, the second half focuses on a
 retreat strategy, with the player at the helm, of course. There's a couple
 bases and a close-knit group of Su-43s as well, but nothing too hard. Make
 sure to destroy any targets harassing the R-201U escape vehicle, however.

 Defeat 31+ targets (26 mandatory). Very easy, considering how many measly
 ground troops there are, as well as time not factoring into the completion

 [x01] R-201U ---- Default
 [x06] Su-37 ----- Default [x2 Mission Update]
 [x14] Tank ------ Default [x4 Mission Update]
 [x02] R-101U ---- Default
 [x02] Base ------ Mission Update
 [x06] Su-43 ----- Mission Update
 [x01] R-201U ---- Mission Update [Ally]

29) Ouroboros                                           [Port Edwards]   [WK29]
 Difficulty : 
 Recommended: Su-43 Berkut -or- R-103 Delphinus #3
 Unlocked --: XFA-36A Game

 Port Edwards is under attack by Ouroboros' air force, so it's time to get
 in gear and neutralize. As y'can expect, this isn't a very inventive mission
 so just pack up the best plane y'got.

 There are six XFA-35As to deal with first, and they're split into two groups.
 We've seen their song and dance before...nothing special, right? The same
 goes for the squadron of Su-37s, on the east side of the map. If y'didn't
 enjoy the annoying free-for-all of the previous mission, too bad -- it's a
 near repeat. [Although they're not as feisty as before, seemingly.] If the
 swarm gets too thick, fly away and reassess before jumpin' back in.

 When the initial force is toast, Ouroboros' aircraft carrier will be shown
 flying in the north. The UI-4053 has four escort fighters, but they're not
 the main concern (unless you're going for "A" rank) -- the target ship is
 the same kind seen in "Counterterrorism". It has permanent missile and
 AA gun fixtures and requires 16 missiles (x4 for each target) before it'll
 give up the ghost. Any plane that can fire four missiles at once is in luck,
 as the same strategy as back then applies here. [Also remember that higher
 trajectories will not work as the targets are on the blimp's underside.]
 Defeat 18+ targets (11 mandatory). There are no ground targets here so one'll
 have to nuke 11+ of the 14 generic planes. Luckily the player isn't on the
 clock here, so destroy and dismantle in due time.

 [x06] XFA-35A --- Default
 [x10] Su-37 ----- Default
 [x01] UI-4053 --- Mission Update
 [x02] R-103 ----- Mission Update
 [x02] Su-32 ----- Mission Update

30) Search and Destroy                                  [Eusian Ocean]   [WK30]
 Difficulty : 3/10
 Recommended: R-103 Delphinus #3 -or- XFA-36A Game
 Unlocked --: ---

 Ouroboros' navy is apparently heading toward Megafloat in an attempt to take
 control, so now it's time to nip another problem in the bud. The new XFA-36A
 Game gets the best gun/missile selection and stats of any plane so far, and
 is the obvious pick for the mission.

 The mission starts over Megafloat, already awash in overhead activity and
 a maritime military presence (although no land fortifications, as they were
 destroyed earlier).

 After the awesome Megafloat cutscene, the new target will be the UI-4053 that
 flies at 10,000ft over the southwestern island in the archipelago. As we've
 seen before, this tough puppy is equipped with permanent weapon emplacements
 and takes 16 missiles (x4/per target) to destroy. Any plane that can fire
 four missiles at once, and by now that should be all of 'em, can destroy it
 without too much trouble: flyby to destroy a target, loop-de-loop a ways
 away, and repeat. Remember that y'have to shoot at level or lower altitude
 to score the hits; higher hits simply hit the "overbelly" and do no damage.
 Aim for the soft, white underbelly!

 Destroy 23+ targets (14 mandatory). Time is no factor here, and there's
 plenty of generic planes to deep-six, and they'll still be there during the
 mission update portion. Voila!

 [x08] XFA-36A --- Default
 [x03] S.Warship - Default
 [x01] Carrier --- Default
 [x08] Gun ------- Default
 [x01] MSSL ------ Default
 [x01] UI-4053 --- Mission Update
 [x06] R-103 ----- Mission Update

 NOTE: The end of this mission segues into the next without time to save!

31) Tunnel Vision                                           [Geofront]   [WK31]
 Difficulty : 5.5/10
 Recommended: Whatever was used in Mission #30 (mandatory)
 Unlocked --: ---

 As said, this mission begins right after the previous is completed. During
 the downward spiral of Ouroboros' UI-4053, two unidentified crafts managed to
 escape into Geofront, a long underground tunnel system. Whatever plane was
 used in Mission #30 has to be done here as well, as there's no time to waste
 in pursuing.

 Geofront is a tunnel network underground, so of course there's going to be
 some problems: (1) structural partitions that act as obstacles (2) simply
 being in a claustrophobic space (3) some doorways close when they're neared.
 Although some doors of the partitions shut on the highway immediately, the
 other one will close slowly -- so while it helps to go slow enough to change
 direction, y'can't go too slow or y'can't slip under the door. I suggest
 cruising at around 1800-2000MPH and about 1200ft. off the ground, which will
 allow one to casually yaw over the median strip.

 NOTE: All of the closing-door portions are randomized, including future ones.

 Past the opening/shutting door area, the road bifurcates: left is straighter
 but with a crapton of obstacles, while the right is more curvy but generally
 easier. The former is a great "shorcut" if you're trying to get "A" rank,
 but if you're not, go the latter.

 The third stretch entails doing another opening/shutting highway partition
 trap, although this time the road is a three-lane, so it gets tougher. Don't
 go as before and be prepared to enter the lane kittie-corner to the one just
 passed through, as it happens rather frequently. Also, the doors are faster
 than before, although not uncomfortably so.

 Past there, the annoying route to the end continues: instead of highways, now
 the pilot has to display some prowess in flying in even smaller spaces, such
 as the green culverts/pipes now faced. The road bifurcates here again but
 rejoins a lot more frequently. Don't go faster than 1000MPH here and remember
 to yaw as opposed to hard turning. The cavernous other chambers can be
 traversed rather easily, luckily...just watch out for weird pillars blocking
 the way for no particular reason (who hired the worst architect ever?).

 Get through in under 4:00. Although an agile player can probably sightread
 the mission, it's a good idea to play through the course until the last two
 green tunnels and retry, using that new knowledge to get through in an even
 better time. Also, at the first bifurcation, go through the left tunnel (the
 obstacle-filled one) to save time -- this allows one to reach the 1st path
 rejoin in under a 1:00.


 NOTE: The end of this mission segues into the next without time to save!

32) Night Raven                                             [Geofront]   [WK32]
 Difficulty : 4/10
 Recommended: Whatever was used previous mission (Mandatory)
 Unlocked --: ---

 One of the two planes that escaped Ouroboros' destroyed blimp has been ID'd
 as an X-49 Night Raven, and is the plane responsible for the senseless deaths
 witnessed a little while ago. Like before, the plane used in "Tunnel Vision"
 is the same one the player's using, as the pursuit's still ongoing.

 First off, a note about Geofront. As we now see, it's not just a tunnel
 system but an underground city (this may be evident in the JP version but it
 hasn't be alluded to in the NTSC version)! Because of this, don't mistake the
 eerily brown overhead sky as cloud's actually a cement ceiling and
 spells doom for any pilot who doesn't realize it soon enough!

 The X-49 is a super-agile plane capable of surprisingly sharp turns without
 deceleration, which makes it the most formidable foe yet -- although mostly
 when regards to achieving "A" rank. The city is mostly flat, but with the
 solid overhead, y'gotta remember to yaw downward (relative) when turning.

 There are two opportune moments to attack this sucker: (1) firing at its
 12 o'clock position -- when it's coming head-on -- while at level altitude
 and it's going faster than the player (2) firing at its 6 o'clock position
 while the player is going faster than it, and the missiles are fired from
 500-600ft away. Doing this drastically minimizes the chance of evasion and
 should serve one well.

 When enough missiles hit (maybe x8?), the player is told to stop firing as
 the foe is proving to be too difficult.

 Finish mission in under 3:00 (approximately). Use the two maneuvers listed
 above in order to defeat it expediently.

 [x01] X-49 ------ Default

 NOTE: The end of this mission segues into the next without time to save!

33) Geofront Attack                                         [Geofront]   [WK33]
 Difficulty : 3/10
 Recommended: Whatever was used in previous mission (mandatory)
 Unlocked --: ---

 With the X-49 being too dangerous a foe to hit normally, UPEO command has
 come up with a surprisingly vicious scorched earth policy: destroy Geofront's
 structural supports and destroy the plane in the ensuing collapse! Quite a
 mission to carry out but it's all we've got! [Same plane used in last mission
 will be used here.]

 The structural supports, obviously, are holding up the ceiling. Lock-on can't
 be achieved for missiles but as we've seen throughout the game, missiles are
 still able to destroy them without targeting. [The command suggests using
 the aircraft's machine-guns.] The enemy X-49 will still be around, even if
 it's not pestering the player, so ignore it and focus on the pillars.

 Laughably, the X-49 will fire its lasers but seems to have little skill in
 aiming -- even when right behind, they'll often be wide left/right. Haha...

 Finish mission in under 4:00 (approximately). A player'll often have to cut
 it close, but it's rather doable. Just form a flightpath that cuts down on
 backtracking -- for instance, do the east side, work inward to SW corner,
 then do the two western. [Remember that when a pillar's destroyed there'll be
 support beam still in the rubble, so don't be going to fast that y'hit it.]

 [x10] Timer ----- Default
 [x01] X-49 ------ Default

 NOTE: The end of this mission segues into the next without time to save!

34) Aurora                                              [Port Edwards]   [WK34]
 Difficulty : 7/10
 Recommended: R-103 Delphinus #3 -or- XFA-36A Game
 Unlocked --: ---

 After the Geofront debacle, the other X-49 that escaped from Ouroboros' aerial
 warship is now flying over Port Edwards, so it's time to bury the hatchet...
 in the Night Raven's back! Ahaha... Despite the change in scenery, the same
 plane that has been used since Mission #30 (Search and Destroy) is still
 being employed.

 Essentially, this mission is one big hullabaloo with the fast target being
 accompanied by some top-tier other enemies, who'll try to pester the player
 or (often annoyingly) change the lock-on. Be sure to aim from an advantageous
 position, as the X-49 will often put on afterburners -- which leave that
 sparkly stardust trail behind it -- in an effort to outmaneuver projectiles.
 Remember to break away from the pack and circle back, which should give one
 a better vantage of attack (nice rhyme, huh?). The X-49 will start smoking
 when it's heavily damaged, so use that to gauge your progress.

 Once the X-49 bites the dust, a single UI-4051 Aurora will be inbound from
 the north. Hopefully y'saved a bunch of missiles as this sucker is the most
 slippery of any enemy aircraft seen so far. This part will often take quite
 awhile and waste a lot of missiles, so don't fire four at once like before --
 90% of the time all will fail. In fact, count yourself lucky to even get one
 hit on this bad boy. [If you run out of missiles, restart the mission...there
 is pretty much no way to hit the target with guns, due to the high fluidity
 of its flightpath.]

 There are very few situations where evasion is nearly impossible, but there
 are two, both at close proximity: (1) firing missiles at an oncoming plane
 at level altitude and with enough response time to fire, meaning slower than
 the target (2) the flipside, firing at the target's six o'clock. The first
 may actually be the best as it's easier to gauge when one's about to turn;
 this is the disadvantage of the latter strategy. Regardless, firing missiles
 when the target's 1000ft. or more away is just begging for the shot to miss,

 There aren't too many excursions where a plane with 180+ missiles can run
 out entirely, but this is one of 'em.

 Defeat 6+ targets (2 mandatory). Time limit isn't a factor and the generic
 planes aren't that tough, although they may take 3+ missiles to defeat. At
 least they stay around for the mission update.

 [x01] X-49 ----------- Default
 [x02] R-103 ---------- Default
 [x02] XFA-36A -------- Default
 [x02] Su-43 ---------- Default
 [x01] UI-4051 Aurora - Mission Update

 NOTE: The end of this mission segues into the next without time to save!

35) Electrosphere                                       [Eusian Ocean]   [WK35]
 Difficulty : 7/10
 Recommended: Whatever was used in previous mission (mandatory)
 Unlocked --: ---

 The final mandatory mission in the game takes place over Megafloat's new,
 uh, islands. The UI-4054 is the same target as before and there are no normal
 enemies to face -- it's mano e mano. Whatever plane was used before is still
 being ridden here, although ammo has been replenished (how? a wizard did it).

 Okay, so the Aurora plane is the target. As told in the previous mission,
 with its highly capable maneuvering abilities, there are really only two ways
 to land hits, both of which entail no time for it to evade: (1) shoot at
 its 12 o'clock position, i.e. head-on, at a level altitude with it going
 faster than the player (2) fire at it's six o'clock position while coming up
 fast on it, which often lands at least one hit. In this case, the latter is
 the most frequent opportunity.

 The player will enter the Electrosphere after the first half, which turns
 the entire field of vision into how a machine would view 3D things: different
 planes of height, vectors, etc. Although it appears as though the player is
 within a tunnel, don't be fooled: there's plenty of room to move in. Just
 keep an eye on the altimeter as it's still possible to crash into the ground!
 This is a very disorienting part of the mission so rely on the upper-left
 minimap to get some bearings as following the "target pointer" on the screen
 is not that helpful (y'want to go perpendicular to it, oftentimes).

 Finish in under 4:00, which requires 4-5 clean hits on the enemy.

 [x01] UI-4054 Aurora - Default

          _________          _______    _______  _        ______   _ 
          \__   __/|\     /|(  ____ \  (  ____ \( (    /|(  __  \ ( )
             ) (   | )   ( || (    \/  | (    \/|  \  ( || (  \  )| |
             | |   | (___) || (__      | (__    |   \ | || |   ) || |
             | |   |  ___  ||  __)     |  __)   | (\ \) || |   | || |
             | |   | (   ) || (        | (      | | \   || |   ) |(_)
             | |   | )   ( || (____/\  | (____/\| )  \  || (__/  ) _ 
             )_(   |/     \|(_______/  (_______/|/    )_)(______/ (_)

 This ends normal gameplay. After the credits is a save prompt, which will
 overwrite the currently-used level (although this won't impact much). This
 will unlock the mission simulator, which lets one play any previous level,
 with any plane (except where certain types are required, such as during the
 space/high-altitude missions). Y'can open the simulator by going to the Load
 file select screen and finding "simulator" all the way on the right.

 NOTE: If you got all A/Bs on the previous missions, Mission #36 plays instead
       of the ending, which will then follow that one.

36) Geopelia                                            [Port Edwards]   [WK36]
 Difficulty : 3/10
 Recommended: R-103 Delphinus #3 -or- XFA-36A Game
 Unlocked --: XR-900

 NOTE: This mission is only unlocked by getting "A" rank on all missions on
       any difficulty.

 The final FINAL mission in the game is a special unlockable, as stated above.
 Neuwark's powerful unmanned fighting force, the Geopelias, are spotted over
 Port Edwards and should be shot down, while minimizing collateral damage. Any
 good plane will be helpful here.

 The entire squadron will be inbound from the southeast part of the city, and
 they all have those "stardust afterburners" that make them highly agile. Once
 any single XR-900 is killed, there'll be a cutscene where the player controls
 a hacked XR-900. Using this, defeat its comrades!

 This thing is so sly that no enemy should ever lay a finger on the player,
 and they don't even fight back -- I guess they haven't realized one of their
 own has gone haywire. This is great for back attack opportunities! Get about
 600ft behind one and go at its speed, then unleash a full salvo and hopefully
 highly damage it. These types of planes take more than a couple to be killed,
 so every moment counts if you're trying for "A" rank. Use the laser beam for
 additional damage, too.

 Finish in under 5:00. Quite easy if you prefer close-range (see above strat)
 or long-range (fire missiles from 2000ish feet away and hope most hit, which
 does happen more than the other maneuverable crafts). Y'usually finish with
 0:30 to spare or so, if you're lucky.

 [x08] XR-900 ---- Default
_____________________________________________________/ IV. APPENDICES [APND] |_
PLANES                                                                   [PLNS]
 There are twenty-one (21) planes in the game, which can be unlocked either by
 completing a mission, completing one with an "A" rank, or by some special
 means. The player selects which aircraft to use in all missions, excepting a
 few high-altitude or outer space missions which require special planes (these
 are obtained mandatorily beforehand). As for the legend...

 PLANE ---: Type of plane
 MSN -----: Mission it's obtained in (* - Requires A-Rank; SPC is Special)
 MS# -----: Missile payload
 Pw ------: Power (affects acceleration/deceleration)
 At ------: Attack (affects attack range...maybe?)
 Ar ------: Armor (affects damage dampening; the higher the better)
 St ------: Stability (affects smoothness in turning, etc.)
 Mo ------: Mobility (affects maneuverability)
 Gun Types: Types of guns plane can carry (max 4)
 Missile T: Types of missiles plane can carry (max 4)

 Other notes:

 • Gun types are Vulcan, Heavy Machine Gun, Cannon, Neutron Beam, Pulse Laser,
   Laser Cannon

 • Missile types are: Missile, Short-Range Missile, Ground Missile, M.I.R.V.,
   Plasma Beam, Spread Bomb, Anti-Nanobite Bomb, O.S.L.

 ____ __________ _____ _____ ________________ _______________ ________________
| ## | PLANE    | MSN | MS# | Pw At Ar St Mo | Gun Types     | Missile Types  |
| 01 | EF2000E  | Dft |  72 | 03 03 04 01 02 | Vul           | Msl            |
| 02 | MiG 33   | 01* |  80 | 04 04 03 02 04 | Vul           | Msl            |
| 03 | F/A-18U  | 02* |  96 | 02 03 05 05 04 | Vul, HMG      | SRM, GrM       |
| 04 | F-16XFU  | 04  |  80 | 03 03 03 04 04 | Vul, HMG      | Msl            |
| 05 | R-101    | 05* |  88 | 05 04 01 05 03 | HMG           | Msl            |
| 06 | R-201    | 07  | 104 | 01 05 08 08 01 | Can           | SRM, GrM, MIRV |
| 07 | RF-12A2  | 11  | 160 | ** 03 07 03 01 | Vul, HMG      | Msl, SRM, MIRV |
| 08 | F-15S/MT | 13  | 112 | 07 05 05 04 06 | Vul, Can      | Msl, SRM, MIRV |
| 09 | F-16XA   | 14* |  96 | 08 04 08 02 04 | Vul, HMG      | GrM            |
| 10 | R-352    | 15  | 100 | 02 02 10 05 09 | Neutron Beam  | Plasma Beam    |
| 11 | F-22C    | 17  | 104 | 05 05 05 ** 05 | Vul, HMG      | Msl            |
| 12 | F/A-32C  | 18* | 136 | 02 03 08 09 07 | Vul, Can      | SRM, GrM       |
| 13 | Su-37    | 22  | 120 | 07 07 05 06 06 | Vul, Can      | Msl            |
| 14 | R-102    | 23* | 128 | 07 08 05 05 07 | HMG, Pul      | Msl            |
| 15 | R-211    | 25  | 144 | 08 08 08 09 02 | Can, Pul      | SRM, GrM       |
| 16 | Su-43    | 25  | 152 | 07 09 08 05 ** | Vul, HMG, Can | Msl, MIRV      |
| 17 | R-103    | 27* | 168 | ** 09 05 08 07 | HMG, Can, Pul | Msl, MIRV      |
| 18 | XFA-36A  | 29  | 184 | 08 ** 08 07 07 | Vul, HMG, Can | Msl, SRM, MIRV |
| 19 | UI-4054  | Spc | 176 | ** ** 08 07 09 | Vul, HMG, Can | SRM, GrM, MIRV |
| 20 | X-49     | Spc | 184 | ** 08 ** 03 ** | Las           | SRM, GrM, MIRV |
| 21 | XR-900   | Spc | 192 | 10 09 10 03 10 | Las           | SRM, GrM, MIRV |

 NOTE: RF-12A2 and R-352 
 NOTE: All 'Spc', RF-12A2, and R-352 have "Spread Bomb" as 4th option

UNLOCKABLES                                                              [UNLK]

 NOTE: Only special unlock methods are listed; see guide for normal aircraft.
  ___________________ _______________________________________________________
 | UNLOCKABLES       | UNLOCK METHOD                                         |
 | Music Player      | Beat game on Easy (only) difficulty                   |
 | Mission Simulator | Beat game on Normal or Hard difficulty                |
 | O.S.L. Weapon     | Beat game on Hard (only) difficulty                   |
 | Japanese Intro    | Beat game on Hard (only) difficulty                   |
 | Mission #36       | Beat game with A/Bs on all missions (any difficulty)  |
 | UI-4054 Aurora    | Get "A" rank on all missions (any difficulty)         |
 | X-49 Night Raven  | Get "A" rank on all missions (Normal or Hard)         |
 | XR-900 Geopelia   | Complete Mission #36 (Geopelia) in under 5:00         |

 NOTE: For Mission #36's unlock method, you can beat the game to unlock the
       mission simulator and clear things up that way. Then, when the game's
       beaten again, Mission #36 can be played after the thirty-fifth.

 NOTE: Mission Simulator, once unlocked, can be accessed by (1) going to the
       load screen and finding the option all the way on the right (2) beating
       the game, after which it automatically can be done. The former method
       is the more helpful, of course.

 NOTE: The Japanese Intro is shown at the main title screen, by holding L1 & R1
       before hitting start.

V. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS                                            [FAQZ]
 [Q] - Hey, I heard there were anime scenes, split paths, etc.! What gives?
 [A] - Those were in the superior JP version, which kept the plot interesting
       and had gameplay to match. Unfortunately, the NTSC (and PAL?) versions
       only retain the fabulous gameplay, while the plot becomes a shadowy
       organization ordeal, much like the first two AC games. It's unfortunate
       but that's how it is...

 [Q] - How do I beat the X-49 and/or UI-4054 Aurora?
 [A] - They're quite dexterous so y'have to hedge your bets by narrowing the
       chance of them evading -- this means close-range. There are basically
       two good missile-dependant maneuvers to take: (1) fire salvo at target's
       12 o'clock at level altitude, while they're going faster than self (2)
       fire salvo at target's six while oneself is faster than target and at
       a closing distance of about 500-600ft. Try to fire missiles at these
       puppies from 1000ft+ and they'll just evade it; gotta bring it the hurt
       home old-school, up-close and personal.

 [Q] - How do I get "A" on [mission]!? Urgh! *throws chair*
 [A] - This happens to everyone -- for me, Blackbird was the most annoying
       "A" rank in the game. Once a game is beaten on Normal with all missions
       having A/B ranks, then the thirty-sixth mission (Geopelia) opens. If
       it's finished within 5:00, then the XR-900 Geopelia plane is unlocked
       for Mission Simulator use. This craft makes most missions a breeze, so
       if "Demilitarization" gave problems early on, this one decimates things
       in no time.

       Really, if you want to unlock everything but can't do it with your
       current arsenal, this is the way to go.

 [Q] - When I loaded up my save, I didn't have the mission simulator anymore!
 [A] - Go to the Load file select screen and it should be on the right-hand

 [Q] - What's the O.S.L.?
 [A] - The Orbital Satellite Laser, the most overpowered weapon in the game.
       When a lock-on is achieved and the missile button's pressed, the target
       automatically dies due to the satellite's precision attack. Nice!

 [Q] - What's those colored bars on the title screen?
 [A] - They represent the missions beaten so far, and are colorized based on
       the ranking obtained (Red means "A," orange means "B" and so on). This
       is the _TRUE_ ranking, including the mission simulator; when a save
       is loaded, that represents just the current missions. Don't be thrown
       off by that!

VI. UPDATES & CONTRIBUTORS                                               [UPDT]
 09-18-09 ----------------------------+ Started walkthrough
 10-17-09 ----------------------------+ Finished walkthrough

 • Sailor/Ceej, for puttin' up my junk
 • Dragoon of Infinity, for talkin' with me about the game
 • Stepswordsman, for telling how to access the mission simulator
 • The readers, 'cause I wuv youse guys! But keep yo' hands to yourself. ;)

VII. LEGALITY                                                            [LGLT]
This document is intended for private home use ONLY, and may not be reproduced
through electronic or commercial means without the expressed consent of the
author (P. Summers). It cannot be hosted, edited, or distributed for profit,
and may not be given away as an add-in/gift to bought items. All rights are
reserved to respective parties, even those not explicitly stated herein. Those
who find this document on sites not listed below should e-mail the author (me).
Thanks for reading this, and thanks for respectin' FAQ authors.

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