The Let's Play Archive

Ace Combat 2 & Assault Horizon Legacy

by nine-gear crow, Trizophenie

Part 1: Mission 1 – Operation Gambit, March 20th, 1998

Interception of Invasion Unit

Ace Combat 2 Intro Movie
Mission 1: Operation Gambit – March 20th, 1998

Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy Attract Mode Trailer
Mission 1: Operation Gambit (Legacy Version)

Ace Combat 2 begins with a brief information dump before throwing us into the midst of the war. The Usean continent has descended into chaos after rebels within the Federation of Central Usea’s allied military forces pulled off a massive, coordinated coup d’état against the nations of Usea. Angered by the signing of a one-sided peace treaty with a foreign nation (Osea), the Rebel Forces intend to overthrow the national governments of the continent and establish military rule over all of Usea.

In response, the remainder of the FCU Allied Forces launches a military campaign dubbed “Operation Fighter’s Honour” to liberate the occupied sectors of Usea, put down the rebellion, and end the civil war before it tears the entire continent apart. To do this, the FCU calls upon the former mercenary pilot Phoenix, the hero of the Skully Islands Incident, and his Scarface Squadron to lead the counterattack.

Overview: A flight of rebel bombers and escorts threatens to destroy an FCU military base in the Twinkle Islands in order to expand their territory. Phoenix is dispatched from an FCU aircraft carrier south of the islands to intercept the bomber fight and defend the base.

Federation of Central Usea Allied Air Force, 37th Air Force Unit, 18th Fighter Wing, 1st Special Tactical Fighter Squadron
AWACS Operator: Ulrich “Keynote” Olsen
Squadron Composition: Player Determined

The so-called “Special Tactical Fighter Squadron” dubbed Scarface was first formed in 1995 shortly after the signing of the Treaty of Lumen and the end of the Belkan War. The squadron was designed to be a fluid, rapid reaction strike team comprised entirely of mercenary pilots. The FCU sought to replicate the success of the Ustio Air Force’s foreign mercenary air division with a fully funded yet still functional independent fighting force.

Scarface’s first real test came during the Skully Islands Rebellion in the summer of 1996. When terrorists seized control over military and infrastructure facilities on an island chain off the coast of Usea, Scarface Squadron was deployed as part of the effort to route the terrorist forces and regain control over the islands. One of the more prominent pilots to distinguish themselves during the operation as a mercenary known as “Phoenix”, who would go on to become the flight lead of Scarface Team.

Real Name: Unknown
Callsign(s): Phoenix, Scarface 1, Firebird, “Birdy”
Age: Late 20’s to mid 30’s
Sex: Male
Nationality: FCU (unverified)
Signature Plane: Player choice (Su-37 in all promotional material)
Voice Actor: Uncredited (AC2), None (AHL)

Our new player character for our new Ace Combat game. Much like his processor Cipher and eventual successors, Phoenix’s background information and personality are a complete mystery. He is, however, one of only two Ace Combat protagonists to star in multiple games, as he is also the player character of the semi-canonical Air Combat, the very first game in the series. He’s also one of the few Ace Combat protagonists to speak in game, albeit very briefly.

After helping the FCU retake the Skully Islands from terrorists in 1996, Phoenix retired from the military and returned to civilian life until the Usean Rebellion of early 1998. As the continent fell into chaos, he was recalled to active duty by the FCU Air Force and placed back in command of the same Scarface Special Tactical Fighter Squadron he commanded during the Skully Islands campaign.

Now, with the full backing of the Allied Forces and a new set of wingmates at his command, Phoenix has become the tip of the spear for Operation Fighter’s Honour.

Real Name: Ulrich Olsen
Callsign(s): Keynote
Age: 53
Sex: Male
Nationality: FCU
Signature Plane: E-767
Voice Actor: Richard Epcar (AHL), Uncredited (AC2)

Flying under the TAC name “Keynote”, Ulrich Olsen is Scarface Squadron’s operational command officer, AWACS operator, and intelligence officer. A colonel in the FCU Air Force, Olsen has spent nearly all of his adult life in the military and is a both respected commander and talented tactician.

Though he may be a stern presence on the battlefield, at home Olsen is a loving and gentle husband and father. His son followed in his footsteps and serves an operational commander for a different FCUAF squadron stationed elsewhere on the continent. He has also known Scarface 2’s John Harvard, aka “Slash” since Harvard was a rookie pilot, and has come to view him as a surrogate son.

Harvard in turn views Olsen as a father figure and affectionately refers to him as “Pops”, much to Olsen’s consternation.

Due to the rebellion, the Allied Forces’ numbers have been spread thin across the continent, as such Olsen will be pulling triple duty as both our direct commanding officer, our AWACs operator, and our briefing intel officer.

Keynote as a character is unique to Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy. He fulfils the same role as the otherwise cut-and-dry briefing guy, but with the expanded role of also being our AWACS op, which was absent from 2, among other things.

So for the sake of simplicity, I’m going to be treating the briefing guy from 2 as if he basically is Keynote.

The Usean Rebel Forces, henceforth referred to as the URF or Rebels for short, are the main aggressors of the Usean Continental War. The URF is a coordinated military alliance of commanders and soldiers hailing from all across Usea currently in open rebellion against their respective national governments, and the Federation of Central Usea in particular.

The URF is currently functioning out of a provisional military headquarters in the north eastern city of St. Ark, situated across the Gulf of St. Ark from North Point. The Rebel forces possess considerable land, sea, and air power, including several ace pilots and elite squadrons from all across Usea.

The stated objective of the Rebel forces is the forcible removal of all Osean-sympathetic military and civilian leaders from power across Usea and the establishment of an anti-Osean continental state to act as an international check against what they view as the aggressive expansionism of the Osean Federation. The rebellion itself was sparked by the FCU’s signing of a one-sided peace treaty with Osea, which the rebels saw as the FCU effectively seceding Usea to the Oseans.

The objective of the Allied Forces’ Operation Fighter’s Honour is the liberation of all civilian areas from Rebel control, the dismantlement of the Rebel forces fighting power, and the arrest and public trial of all URF commanding officers and supporting political leaders.

The Twinkle Islands are a small island chain off the coast of the Federal Republic of Erusea on Usea’s west coast, situated in the Spring Sea between Usea and the Belkan subcontinental region of Osea. While functionally independent, the islands are considered Erusian territory by their national military government.

Though largely uninhabited, the picturesque island chain is home to several military bases including Twinkle Islands Air Force Base and Naval Station. Construction on a top secret Erusian military facility codenamed “Megalith” in the islands has been postponed due to the outbreak of the Continental War. FCU Intelligence believes the facility to be a part of Erusea’s defensive efforts against the oncoming Ulysses 1994XF04 asteroid, in addition to the FCU’s own Stonehenge facility, currently under construction in Delarus.


Discovered in early December of 1994, the asteroid designated 1994XF04 by the International Astronomers Union was named after a famous hero on a long journey home due to its highly elongated orbit through the solar system. Shortly after its discovery by astronomers from the Usean University of Shellsbridge, a reevaluation of its trajectory by researchers from the University of Comona discovered the asteroid was on a potential collision course with the Earth, estimating a near 90% likely impact probability on July 3rd, 1999.

Upon disclosing their findings to the FCU government, the IAU was tasked with extensively researching the asteroid to provide the best possible information in order to form a response strategy to its potential impact. Their research showed Ulysses to have a total diameter of over 1 mile, and its course would cause the fragments produced from its crossing Earth’s Roche limit to strike across the northern hemisphere of the planet with the strength of two million nuclear warheads, plunging the planet into a nuclear winter that would lead to a mass extinction event unrivaled since the asteroid impact that exterminated the dinosaurs. If Ulysses was allowed to impact the planet without some measure to weaken it, it would mean the end of human civilization.

In December of 1995, the FCU called an emergency continental congress of the nations of Usea to formulate a plan to counter the Ulysses threat. Among the defensive options approved was the construction of a large scale railgun network in the desert of central Usea codenamed “Stonehenge.” The Stonehenge Turret Network was designed to be a rapid-reaction last line of defense designed to shoot down incoming asteroid fragments to protect the Usean continent, which was forecast to receive the blunt of the Ulysses fragments along with Wellow, northern Osea, and the nations of the Anean continent in the far north; Emmeria, Nordennavic, and Estovakia.

Having already informed the other world governments of the Ulysses threat, the FCU elected not to disclose their knowledge of the asteroid until construction of Stonehenge was nearing completion in order to avoid sparking mass panic. On April 20th, 1996, FCU President Robert Sinclair publically announced the existence and potential impact risk of Ulysses at a special press conference in the FCU capital of Expo City.

Other nations around the planet are currently at work on similar asteroid defense systems to Stonehenge and are hard at work digging deep ground impact shelters. The costly reconstruction efforts from the Belkan War have left the nations of Osea, Yuktobania, and Belka unable to implement any potential asteroid defense plans of their own, however while the Osean Aeronautics and Space Agency will be unable to implement a defense plan in time for the Ulysses planetfall, it is currently formulating cleanup and international aid operations to be ready for the aftermath of the impact.

As of the start of Operation Fighter’s Honour on April 20th, 1998, 470 days remain before Ulysses impacts the Earth.

In real world astronomical terms, the catalog name of Ulysses, 1994XF04, denotes it as the 106th (F04) asteroid discovered in the first half of December (X, Dec 1-15) of 1994. The name Ulysses also implies that an analog to the Greek epics the Iliad and the Odyssey exist in Strangereal, as Ulysses, also known as Odysseus in Greek, was a prominent character in the former, and the protagonist of the later.

Ulysses is never mentioned in either Ace Combat 2 or Assault Horizon Legacy (directly, at least), and is first mentioned in Shattered Skies, coming up next in the timeline. I only mention it now because I want it to be in the back of everyone’s minds going forward, as Shattered Skies takes place several years after Ulysses has already hit the planet.

…Also kind of makes you wonder why nobody in Electrosphere ever talks about Ulysses at all. Who knows, maybe ?

From a real world perspective, the Ulysses impact disaster is another play on a well-trodden road of speculative near-future fiction; the good old “what if Earth were hit by an asteroid?” story, which experienced an upswing in the 1990s as public awareness of near-Earth objects (NEOs) and their potential threat to life on Earth increased in the late 80s and early 90s. This trend reached its apex in 1998 with the release of the movies Deep Impact and Armageddon, both of which dealt with the doomsday scenario of a massive asteroid impacting the planet. And I’d wager good money that Project Aces probably had one or both of these movies in mind when they drew up the Ulysses storyline.

If you want to an absolutely horrifying visualization of how we’re practically swimming in a sea of asteroids, watch this short video on all the asteroids discovered between 1980 and 2014 and get down on your knees and pray to Jupiter (the planet, not the god) every day that it keeps catching all the REALLY nasty shit that would otherwise kill us all in its massive gravity well.

Aircraft featured in Mission 1: Operation Gambit

A-4 Skyhawk
Manufacturer: Douglas Aircraft (later McDonnell Douglas)
Role: Light fighter / trainer
Manufactured: 1954–1979
Status: Semi-retired
Primary Operators: United States, Israel, Argentina
Quick Facts:

B-1B Lancer
Manufacturer: Rockwell International, Boeing
Role: Strategic Bomber
Manufactured: 1973–74, 1983–88
Status: In Service
Primary Operators: United States
Quick Facts:


*NOTE: Red areas denote territory currently held by the Rebel forces, blue areas denote territory maintained by the FCU-led Allied Forces.

And now, we discuss the abso-fuck-fuck-fuck-fuckling-loutely fucked up political landscape of the Usean continent, our new home for the duration of Ace Combats 2, Electrosphere, and Shattered Skies. Usea is the focus of the first 4 Ace Combats, though Air Combat was later retconned into being set on Usea. If you watched Lunethex’s Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere LP, you got something of a sneak peek at Usea of the future, now we get to see Usea in its “prime”, as it were, before things go all batshit crazy like they do in Electrosphere.

Being the first location of Strangereal designed by Project Aces before there even was a Strangereal and transplanted into PA’s expanded universe by the power of “well, sure, why not?”, Usea is a mess of conflicting information, retcons, grey areas, and fan wankery that would cause a bald man to pull what little was left of their hair out trying to make sense of it.

Here we go…

Back in the pre-Ace Combat 5 days, Usea was ostensibly a location on a fictionalized version of our real world earth. It was anywhere from a large island nation to an actual fictional continent in scale. No one really knew. The name was an acronym born of the name The United States of Euro-Asia and pronounced “Oo-zee-ah”. Though I’ve also heard it pronounced “Oo-zya” and I will probably end up switching between the two at random during the commentary.

Usea was meant to be a “what if” location, answering the question “what if there were no political boundaries between Europe and Asia and it was all one country?” That’s Ace Combat 2’s take on it. Then Electrosphere asked “what if Europe and Asia were one country, but also run by corporations now like it’s an Armored Core game?” Then Shattered Skies said “okay, that’s really fucking dumb you guys, what if it was just Eurasia… but different?”

Then Ace Combat 5 went “get in bitches, we’re a planet now!” and that’s how we got here.

Of course, it doesn’t really help that even the game meant to streamline Usea and make it fit properly into Strangereal once and for all, Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy only serves to muddy the waters further. Characters use both the acronym Usea (referring to the continent itself) and the initialism USEA (all capitals and pronounced U-S-E-A, referring to the political union that had since been retconned out of existence) interchangeably.

It’s my pet theory to rationalize the disparity that Usea indeed is the name of the continent, while USEA refers to the fledgling transcontinental pact that the FCU attempted to create in the run up to Ace Combat 2/Assault Horizon Legacy that ultimately fell apart thanks to Osea and the Continental War that this game concerns itself with. Hence why it’s never mentioned again. …Until Electrosphere, but Electrosphere is weeeeeeeeeeeeeird, man.

Full Name: The Federation of Central Usea
Capital: Expo City
Continent: Usea
Head of State: President Robert Sinclair
Government: Multinational Democratic Federation
Real World Analog: Japan, South Korea, European Union

A loose federation of independent states in the eastern and southern quadrants of Usea capitulating to a single federal government. The FCU is an organization akin to the European Union on our Earth, only with a much stronger governing authority than the EU has over its member nations.

Comprising nearly half of Usea, the FCU is a world leader in culture and scientific development. Its major universities are among the top schools on the planet for study and research, and its spaceport in the Comona Islands is among the world’s most active satellite and manned vehicle launch facilities in the developed world.

The FCU was the first nation on Earth to detect the Ulysses1994XF04 asteroid and calculate its approach vector to Earth. It was also the first nation to formulate a plan to protect itself and its neighbors from the catastrophic effects of its coming impact. It is already hard at work building underground shelters for refugees in projected impact zones and is also heavily involved in the construction of the top secret Stonehenge Turret Network (STN) in the Delarusian desert.

While not named in-game, the FCU, or what’s left of it after the coup by the Erusea-backed northern rebels, will be our protagonist nation for Ace Combat 2. The Allied Forces we will be fighting for are based in southern Usea. I say this because according to the political boundaries map glimpsed at the start of Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy and its delineation between the Rebels and the Allies, the FCU appears to tear itself clean in two on a North-South axis, with several member nations in the middle opting to remain neutral.

Prior to the outbreak of the Continental War, the FCU was instrumental in nearly brining all of Usea together in a transcontinental alliance that would have been known as the USEA or United States of Euro-Asia. The move was concocted in response to the end of the Belkan War three years prior in 1995, which saw Osea further expand its territory and influence around the world and lead to the signing of a historical peace treaty between Osea and the Union of Yuktobanian Republics one year later in 1996.

However, the fledgling continental alliance began to fall apart when the southern nations of the FCU reached out to the Osean Federation independent of the FCU federal government with their own peace accord and offer to join Osea as member states, giving the Federation a vital military and political foothold on Usea as well as access to its vast wealth of natural resources and leading technological industries.

Furious at the betrayal, the northern nations of the FCU, supported by Federal Republic of Erusea, and the independent states of North Point, Amber, and San Salvacion, rebelled against the South’s attempt to sell Usea out to Osea and staged a massive coup d’etat and simultaneous assault on the day of the treaty signing ceremony with Osea.

As the FCU dissolved into civil war, Osea unilaterally revoked the treaty agreement and temporarily cut its ties with the South, leaving Usea to fend for itself as it spiraled into a full blown continental war. Because “Osea Is Not The Good Guys™”.

…Yeah, I really don’t know what that’s supposed to say that the retcons in Assault Horizon Lecacy seem to imply that the war is actually the “good guys”’s fault here. The South kicks off the Continental War by weaseling out of the continental alliance and then running to Osea, the very nation the alliance was set up to protect against. There’s some mitigating factors involving Erusea’s role in things that complicates matters which I’ll discuss in their entry next, but I still can’t help but think I’m going to be rooting for the “bad guys” for a while until they cross some sort of line in their fight with the Allies.

Full Name: The Federal Republic of Erusea
Capital: Farbanti
Continent: Usea
Head of State: Supreme Commander
Government: Military Dictatorship
Real World Analog: China, Russia, North Korea, Nationalist Spain, Fascist Italy

The Usean continent’s resident military superpower. While the FCU has a larger political reach across the continent, Erusea (pronounced “Eruz-yaa” not “Eru-sea”) is the largest single nation on Usea, and has the continent’s single largest military force. Erusea had been, for much of recent history, a fascist military dictatorship openly hostile to the FCU and its government, yet content to remain within its borders, judging open war with the FCU to be too costly and would run the risk of potential intervention from a third party state such as Osea.

Basically, now that Belka has kneecapped itself, Erusea is going to pick up its crown as the chief global troublemaker for the next decade.

Travel bans to Erusea were enacted by the FCU, Osean, Emmerian, Aurelian, Sapish, and Belkan subcontinental national governments, as travelers from these and other nations faced harassment by Erusian officials and law enforcement agencies and in some extreme cases imprisonment on fabricated crimes. The border between Erusea and its neighboring stages of Delarus and San Salvacion was highly militarized and strictly maintained, and remained under a 24 hour watch by FCU Intelligence on the lingering fear that the Erusian military would one day launch a surprise attack and overwhelm its weaker neighbors.

One of Erusea’s few international trading partners outside of the Union of Yuktonabian Republics and other smaller Third World nations on Verusa was the Principality of Belka. However, in the wake of Belka’s collapse and the economic sanctions placed upon it by the Assembly of Nations to prohibit the redevelopment of its military infrastructure, Erusea has found itself increasingly isolated both economically and politically. An international movement has also been underfoot by Osea to pressure Yuktobania into boycotting Erusian exports in the name of spurring social policy and ultimately regime change within Erusea.

Erusea was brought in on the continental congress held in December 1995 to discuss how to deal with the looming Ulysses Crisis, over the objections of many FCU member states and independent Usean nations. Despite these objections, the Erusian delegation was instrumental in the development plans for the Stonehenge Turret Network, which was approved by the congress as the best viable option for dealing with the oncoming asteroid. Erusea would contribute construction resources, munitions, and engineering and weapons design personnel to help built the eight massive railguns in the desert of the politically neutral nation of Delarus.

Following the coup by the northern Usean Rebels in response to the South’s attempt to secede and join the Osean Federation, many Erusian commanders and military units threw their support in with the Rebels, bolstering their ranks and fighting power 100-fold. While the Erusian government vehemently denied it, FCU Intelligence intercepts indicate that the Erusian military leadership appeared to be backing the Rebels through back channel support, having finally gotten the opportunity for their long-awaited war with the FCU one way or another.

*This flag is semi-canonical.
Full Name: The Republic of North Point
Capital: North Point City
Continent: Usea
Head of State: Prime Minister (conjecture)
Government: Democratic Republic
Real World Analog: Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark

A politically neutral island nation of the north eastern coast of Usea. North Point had developed a reputation in the second half the 20th century as a peacemaker nation, having long since dismantled nearly all of its military divisions and facilities to near zero levels.

Many North Point citizens would find careers working for the Assembly of Nations’ various flagship agencies and programs such as the World Health Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency, World Food Program, or ANICEF. North Point City was also the host location of many international treaty and trade agreement discussions due its stringently neutral nature. North Point has long been admired across the planet as a deal making and peace brokering international partner in global politics.

However, while the North Point government publically supported the FCU in the Continental War of 1998, its lack of a proper military force to defend itself led to many of its decommissioned military facilities being captured by the Usean Rebels and used against the FCU-led Allies for much of the war.

For such a of a country, North Point gets namechecked a surprisingly large amount of times across the Ace Combat franchise, appearing in Electrosphere and Shattered Skies, and being referenced in The Unsung War. In regards to Ace Combat 2 though, well… we’ll be getting a decent look at North Point, let’s just say… eventually.

A NOTE ON THE FLAG: So again, because PA was playing continuity whack-a-mole when it came to designing Usea, North Point has no “canon” flag for it. The flag seen above does appear on screen in Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies, but is never identified as being North Point’s flag. It’s part of a brief shot of essentially space-filler flags designed to represent the nations that comprise ISAF, the protagonist faction of that game. Aside from the ISAF flag, two other flags are clearly visible: this flag, and a flag that we later learn is the San Salvacion flag. The flagpole shot is implied to be depicting North Point, where ISAF’s GHQ will eventually be located, so I’m working on the assumption that the host nation’s flag gets to be right beside the organization flag like it’s the fucking Olympics or whatever. Ergo, red-yellow-blue-and-off-white flag is our North Point flag. Deal with it.

When we get to Shattered Skies I will be posting the pages from the ACES AT WAR artbook that show off the various identified flags of the ISAF member states. Spoiler: they’re all mostly pallet swaps of the North Point and San Salvacion flags.

*This flag is semi-canonical. See below for details.
Full Name: The Republic of Delarus (conjecture)
Capital: Unknown
Continent: Usea
Head of State: Prime Minister (conjecture)
Government: Democratic Parliamentary Constitutional Republic
Real World Analog: Belarus, Romania, Ukraine

While we may have briefly glimpsed Delarus at the end of the Ace Combat Zero, we’re… still not gonna see all that much of it here in Ace Combat 2. Right now, it’s only claim to fame is that the FCU-supervised and operated “Spaceguard” installation known as the Stonehenge Turret Network (STN for short) is currently under construction in the Delarusian desert.

*This flag is non-canon and is only here for display purposes.
Full Name: The Independent State of Ugellas
Capital: Unknown
Continent: Usea
Head of State: Prime Minister (conjecture)
Government: Democratic Republic
Real World Analog: Unknown

An independent state on the Usean continent supposedly sharing a border with Erusea, and by supposedly I mean “not at all, according to the speculative map.”

Beyond that, Ugellas is basically Usea’s Wielvakia, a country that’s just sort of there as background flavor. It’s namedropped obliquely in the games, if memory serves, but is mostly referenced in supplementary materials.

The big piece of information on it was that it was part of the FCU’s efforts to fence in Erusea militarily along its border by playing host to a large detachment of FCU-led Allied Forces troops, but following the disclosure of the Ulysses 1994XF04 asteroid threat to the national governments of Usea, the FCU slowly withdrew its troops from Ugellas to try and foster a more peaceful state of cooperation with Erusea, whose help it would need in building the Stonehenge installation and hopefully surviving Ulysses.

Full Name: The Republic of San Salvacion
Capital: San Salvacion City
Continent: Usea
Head of State: President
Government: Democratic Republic
Real World Analog: Italy

One of the larger independent states on Usea. It’s claim to fame used to be that it was the site of the still-under construction Stonehenge Turret Network… before Assault Horizon Legacy retconned it out of its borders and invalidated all previous canonical sources claiming Stonehenge was San Salvacion’s baby. Ooops. See what I mean Usea being a massive retcon clusterfuck?

A stable and prosperous country, it has only a small military force of its own and has been praised as the “Symbol of Peace” by the international community. It is a hearty and culturally robust nation, steeled by years of existing as an unwitting bulwark between the FCU and the Federal Republic of Erusea.

San Salvacion was one of the nations that objected to the southern FCU states attempting to defect to the Osean Federation. It was also one of the northern nations to come under rebel occupation at the start of the Usean Continental War of 1998 following the rebel coup on the day of the FCU-Osea treaty signing ceremony. It is unknown if any soldiers or pilots from San Salvacion’s contingent of the Usean Allied Forces joined the coup against the FCU.

Beyond that, we will be seeing more of San Salvacion up close in Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies coming up next.

Outside of the Erusian and FCU flags, San Salvacion is the only Usean nation to have a canonically confirmed flag, as depicted in the interstitial story sequences of Ace Combat 04.

*This flag is non-canon and is only here for display purposes.
Full Name: The Republic of Amber
Capital: Unknown
Continent: Usea
Head of State: Prime Minister (conjecture)
Government: Democratic Republic, government contested (conjecture)
Real World Analog: Unknown

An ostensibly neutral nation caught in the political and military tug-of-war between Erusea and the FCU in the mid-90s. It was the scene of constant border skirmishes with Erusea through the 90s culminating in the FCU decision in 1996 to pull its support troops out of the republic in order to avoid touching off a full scale war with Erusea.

This is where the Assault Horizon Lecacy map, fan speculation, and pre-established Ace Combat lore all come together to form a gigantic swirling cauldron of “who the fuck knows, man?” The only non-Erusea, non-FCU nation whose location we can be certain of is San Salvacion, because it’s denoted by the presence of its capital San Salvacion City, which lines up with what we see in Ace Combat 04.

The reason I have Amber in yellow up there (unintended visual pun notwithstanding) is that I just flat out do not agree with the map’s placement of it where it says it is. The placement of Delarus, Ugellas, and Amber on that map are all educated guess speculation on the part of the person who crafted the map.

My personal theory to explain away Amber’s location is that it’s not actually depicted on the Usean map anymore because it’s actually inside Erusian territory now. The Amber mountains, named after the republic or vice-versa, are inside Erusea, so one would assume that Amber would have to be either where Delarus is (which conflicts with Zero), or to the west of Delarus inside what’s now claimed by Erusea. That’s the only way the map works.

We already have the backstory that the FCU basically abandoned Amber to Erusea, is it too hard to assume that Erusea went the extra step and annexed Amber to swell its territory, and the FCU still acknowledges Amber’s figurative existence as a chunk of disputed territory?

Like I said, Usea is a MASSIVE clusterfuck.

Full Name: The Osean Federation
Capital: Oured
Continent: North Osea
Head of State: President
Government: Federal presidential constitutional republic
Real World Analog: United States of America

Since scoring a batflip worthy homerun against Belka in the Belkan War three years prior, the Osean Federation has been riding high and mighty around the international community. Basically, just imagine how insufferable the Bush Administration would have been if they had won the Iraq War—that’s Osea right now. Add in all the new cultural and economic ties with their brand new ally Yuktobania after the Yukes got their glasnosts on and you basically have… well, America in the 1990s. Take note of the updated map as well, now showing the former South Belka as officially part of Osean territory now.

Since we’re going to be focusing on Usea for the next two games, Osea is about to fall out of prominence significantly (mostly because it didn’t even exist prior to Ace Combat 5), but thanks to Assault Horizon Legacy’s little retcons to Ace Combat 2’s plot, they won’t exactly be going away quietly.

We also get our “Osea Is Not The Good Guys™” out of the way early in Ace Combat 2/Assault Horizon Legacy, as one of the new retcons AHL introduces pins the outbreak of the Continental War on Osea, in a roundabout fashion.

After seeing what Osea did to Belka without even trying, and in response to the emerging Osea-Yuktobania pact, the nations of Usea come to a tentative agreement to form a transcontinental political and military union designed to act as a third-party bulwark between Osea and Yuktobania just in case things go south between the two superpowers and god-forbid a world war breaks out. The world is already facing one threat of annihilation from the recently publically disclosed Ulysses1994XF04 asteroid, it doesn’t need another one if Osea and the UYR decide “fuck peace” and throw down, with Usea caught in the middle with its pants down.

However, because Usea is a big bubbling clusterfuck of contradictions, a certain percentage of the population in several Usean nations thought it would be a good idea to cut out the middle man and just become Osean states (or territories) outright, reaching out to Osea with an overture to effectively secede from Usea and give the world’s largest superpower a MASSIVE foothold on the continent. The deal would also give Osea direct access to the southern states’ vast amounts of natural resources, manufacturing and technology centers, and give the Oseans a springboard to punch Erusea in the nose if it started to get out of hand (paging Ace Combat 7…).

When the rebellion occurred and the civil war broke out across Usea, Osea just kind of went “Oooh, shit… you guys should probably clean that up. Bye!” and very hastily nullified sublimation treaty and pretended like it never happened following a massive international outcry and embarrassment for the nation.

Beyond a passing reference here and there, Osea is going to just sit back and watch Usea burn in the fire it helped start inadvertently. Because, say it with me now…

Full Name: The Union of Yukotbanian Republics (Союз Юктобанийских Республик | Soyuz Yuktobaniyskikh Respublik)
Capital: Cinigrad
Continent: Verusa
Head of State: Prime Minister
Government: Democratic Socialist Republic
Real World Analog: Russian Federation / USSR

Much like how they were in Ace Combat Zero, Yuktobania is also just sort of there in the background for Ace Combat 2, and by that I mean Assault Horizon Legacy, because Yuktobania didn’t even exist during Ace Combat 2. Yuktobania has a passing impact on what AHL’s revamped plot brings to the table beyond, being the unwitting impetus for both the start and end of the Continental War. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here.

Basically, right now in-universe, Yuktobania is tepidly experimenting with its newfound cultural and political openness following the end of the Cold War with Osea shortly after the Belkan War wrapped up. They’re basically busy being Russia in the early 90s; building McDonalds’, unblocking Osean TV stations, enjoying a grace period where they’re no longer portrayed as the villains in Osean blockbuster movies, electing hilarious drunkards to their Prime Ministership in their now free and democratic elections, and not at all ominously refusing to dismantle their still-gigantic military, intelligence, and secret police apparatus. Thanks, Reagan !

The Yukes have, however, taken a surprising leadership role in the Assembly of Nations-led global nuclear disarmament initiative following the signing of both the Treaty of Lumen and the Osea-Yuktobania Peace Treaty. Both documents call for a radical reduction in their signatories’ arsenals of nuclear weaponry in the wake of the Seven Pillars nuclear strike by Belka against its own people on June 6th of 1995 near the end of the Belkan War.

Beyond that, Yuktobania’s time in the spotlight is still two games off.

Full Name: The Principality of Belka
Capital: Dinsmark
Continent North Osea, Belkan Subcontient
Head of State: Chancellor (conjecture)
Government: Democratic Republic
Real World Analog: East Germany

In the aftermath of the Belkan War of 1995, the once-mighty and proud Principality of Belka lies broken beyond repair and sealed in in its own private fallout-choked hell thanks to the Seven Pillars nuclear strike of three years ago. The Belkan people, now free of the tyrannical government of wartime Chancellor Waldmarr Rald and his Rald Party, now lick their grievous wounds and set about to the task of trying to rebuilt.

At present, the former superpower now stands as a tragic lesson to the world on the price of hubris and desperation. Yet, while Belka itself will never again be in a position to harm its international neighbors through war, her scattered sons and daughters on the other hand aren’t quite ready to let the world forget about Belka’s legacy.

I’m keeping the “Assault Records” section as an artifact title of sorts, even though it won’t really be relevant again until we hit Ace Combat 6 probably either sometime near the end of the year or well into 2017. Yikes.

That said, Ace Combat 2 has a sort of proto-Assault Records with its special Ace medals board, and Assault Horizon Legacy has a quasi-Assault Records section for the squadron leaders of its four boss squadrons.

Instead, for the most part we will be focusing on what the games will be calling Named Aces from now on. Named Aces will spawn in various missions under a variety of conditions and will yield a decent pay bonus for taking them out, individual medals/emblems in Ace Combat 2/points towards a single cumulative medal in Assault Horizon Legacy, and usually—but not always—a special paint scheme for the plane they’re flying.

Mission 1 of Ace Combat 2 doesn’t have a Named Ace in it, but Assault Horizon Legacy does, so I will also denote which game which unit appears in.

Once again, two different games, two different soundtracks. I will be posting both versions at the end of each update post to allow you to compare between the two. Personally, I think both soundtracks are great in their own ways, though I’m a little disappointed that AHL basically raids the Ace Combat soundtrack back-catalogue for its menu music, as you’ll see below.

On the one hand, that’s just lazy, but on the other, the tracks they reuse are still great, soooooo….


Ace Combat 2 Original Soundtrack
Composers: Kohta Takahashi, Hiroshi Okubo, Tetsukazu Nakanishi, Nobuhide Isayama and Go Shiina
Release: 2010
Discs: 2
Tracks: 31, 11 (+2 Unreleased Tracks)

Tracks featured in Mission 1 & Intro:



Ace Combat 3D: Cross Rumble Original Soundtrack
Composers: Go Shiina, Tetsukazu Nakanishi, Ryo Watanabe, Rio Hamamoto, Tetsuya Uchida, KAZ Nakamura, LindaAI-CUE, Kanako Kakino, Kohta Takahashi, Wataru Hokoyama, Hironori Oosone, Natsumi Kameoka
Release: 2012
Discs: 2
Tracks: 28, 33

Tracks featured in Mission 1 & Intro: