The Let's Play Archive

Ace Combat 2 & Assault Horizon Legacy

by nine-gear crow, Trizophenie

Part 4: Mission 4A – Operation Tin Castle, April 14th, 1998

Attack on the Front Base

Mission 4A: Operation Tin Castle – April 14th, 1998
Mission 4: Operation Tin Castle (Legacy Verison)

Overview: Scarface Squadron conducts a bombing run on a Rebel frontline supply base codenamed “the Keep” in the foothills of the Amber Mountains on the Erusea-San Salvacion border.

Gameplay Note: From here out the mission numbering scheme is going to get a little wonky as we do AC2 and Legacy in tandem. Ace Combat 2 treats these “pick one of two” missions as Mission #A and Mission #B, while Assault Horizon Legacy has them in sequential numerical order. Meaning that what would be 4A in 2 is just 4 in Legacy, and Mission 4B, coming up next is Mission 5 in Legacy.

Guest Commentators: I am joined by the reigning “most-frequent nine-gear crow LP guest commentator” champion CJacobs for the vanilla AC2 video, and by the reigning “most-frequent having nine-gear crow guest comment on Force Unleashed II” champion Trizophenie in the Legacy version video.

Missions 4/5/4A/4B introduce us to our two wingmen characters. Should we choose, they will be joining us on certain missions (for a small fee) as our number two plane and will fulfill a number of roles tailored to their unique specializations. We can only take out one at a time, but we will get to see both of them in action in due time. They are, in no particular order:

Real Name: John Harvard
Callsign(s): Slash, Scarface 2
Age: 33
Sex: Male
Nationality: FCU (Central Usea)
Signature Plane: Player choice
Voice Actor: Uncredited (AC2), Johnny Yong Bosch (AHL)

A veteran of the FCU Air Force’s mercenary division, Harvard was handpicked by Col. Olsen alongside Kei “Edge” Nagase to form the core of Scarface Squadron under Phoenix’s command following the success of Operation Anchorhead Freedom. At the time of his appointment to be Scarface’s number two, he had already flown several missions under Olsen’s command and had come to view him as a surrogate father in the armed forces, even jokingly calling him “Pops”, much to Olsen’s consternation.

His FCUAF personnel dossier describes him as having considerable skill as a pilot, but lacks the temperament to actually lead a flight group in combat, preferring to act in a supporting role instead. In his personal life, Harvard is an avid automotive enthusiast, having bought and restored a number of old cars in his spare time. He even bought a decommissioned aircraft hangar to serve as his garage.

Before joining Scarface squadron, he met and befriended Dr. Yang Tomic, one of the chief engineers of the Stonehenge Turrent Network spaceguard project currently under construction in Delarus. It’s been rumored that Tomic, impressed with Harvard’s flying skills, is headhunting him to join the airspace security squadron for Stonehenge once the Continental War reaches its conclusion.

In terms of gameplay, Slash is programmed to be an aggressive attacker wingman. He will seek out and destroy any target on the battlefield, including red primary targets, allowing you to either complete the mission faster by having double the firepower at your disposal, or allow you to go off and handle secondary objectives or run down Named Aces without worry of losing time to complete the mission.

One last continuity note: in Assault Horizon Legacy the character is named John Herbert, however, John Harvard is referenced in both Ace Combats 04 and 5, and is implied to be the same person, so I’m going with his original name, Legacy be damned in this one instance.

Real Name: Kei Nagase
Callsign(s): Edge, Scarface 3 (Scarface 2 in-game)
Age: 20
Sex: Female
Nationality: FCU (Far Eastern Usea)
Signature Plane: Player choice
Voice Actor: Uncredited (AC2), Alison Lees-Taylor (AHL)

A member of the storied Nagase family, Kei joined the FCUAF’s mercenary division shortly after the outbreak of the Continental War and was assigned to Scarface Squadron as its number 3 pilot by Col. Olsen after seeing her flying skills in action when she bested a veteran ace in a training exercise quite handily. She is fighting to put an end to the war to stop the suffering the Rebel coup has inflicted upon her homeland.

Cold and tactical by nature, she places precision and duty above all else while on the battlefield, and is ready to step and take charge over any situation to get the job done should it be required of her. As a result, she can be quite stinging at times in her interactions with others, earning the TAC name “Edge” thanks to her sharp tongue.

Beyond that, she wishes for the war to be over quickly and decisively so she can return to her civilian life and her true passion, which was upended by the coup d’état; she was training to be a commercial airline pilot before the outbreak of the war.

From a gameplay perspective, Edge is geared towards a supporting role as opposed to Slash. She will focus mainly on keeping the white air and ground optional targets busy to keep you covered while you focus on the mission objectives. She will very rarely pursue Named Aces, but I have seen her bag one on a fluke occasion.

Beyond that, “Kei Nagase” as an entity is effectively Ace Combat’s franchise mascot, alongside the F/A-22 Raptor. Ace Combat 2’s Nagase shares a name, callsign, and vauge resemblance to Ace Combat 5’s deuteragonist, Kei “Edge” Nagase, and a recurring character in Ace Combat: Infinity. The promotional blog run by Project Aces for the Japanese version of Ace Combat: Assault Horizon is also called “Project Nagase” and features yet another version of Kei Nagase as its mascot/pinup girl.

The Ridge Racer franchise, also produced by Namco, features the character of Reiko Nagase, who bears a strong resemblance to the various Kei Nagases, and has been stated (somewhere, I don’t exactly know where) to be the older sister of Ace Combat 5’s Kei Nagase (AC2’s Nagase is implied to be a distant cousin of theirs). Because the Ridge Racer franchise is semi-jokingly implied to also be set on Strangereal.

Functionally speaking, every Kei Nagase in the Ace Combat multiverse is their own separate character, not unlike the Nurse Joys and Officer Jennys of the Pokémon universe, like I jokingly say in the video. That said, AC2’s Nagase will be making a cameo appearance later in series, so keep your eyes out for her.

The fortress complex at the base of the Amber Mountains on the Erusea-San Salvacion border is one of many such old keeps that dot the Usean continent. They are a holdover from the medieval colonization of Usea by Kingdom of Sapin. The Sapish settlers constructed these castles to guard against the native Usean peoples, who tried in vain to drive them off the continent. When the Sapish Empire collapsed two centuries later, many of the castles fell into disrepair as Sapin relinquished its hold on the territories it had once laid claim to across the planet. The nation of San Salvacion was one of the last countries on Earth to formally cut its ties with the Sapish monarchy and declare its independence. To this day, much of its population is of direct Sapish descent.

Many of the old castles, including the fortress codenamed “the Keep”, have been named official historical sites by the FCU allied government and restored and retrofitted with electricity and modern heating and plumbing systems. Some such facilities have been converted into military installations, and have been occupied by the URF to act as fortress encampments along their eastern frontline.

Beyond that, this mission possibly takes its name from a location and chapter title in L. Frank Baum's The Road to Oz, the fifth book in the Oz series. The Tin Castle is the home of Nick Chopper, better known as the Tin Woodsman, or simply the Tinman in the book. That's the only real referent I can find to a "tin castle" in my research. That said, there's also a bed and breakfast house modeled in the shape of a castle and covered in tin sheet metal called Solomon's Castle located in--where the fuck else--Florida, owned, operated, and constructed by the "DaVinci of Debris", artist Howard Solomon.

Aircraft featured in Mission 4A / 5: Operation Tin Castle

F-117A Nighthawk
Manufacturer: Lockheed Corporation
Role: Stealth bomber
Manufactured: 1981–????
Status: Retired (2008)
Primary Operators: United States
Quick Facts:



Medal: Ricochet
Awarded for: Shooting down enemy Ace Ricochet in Mission 4A.
Description: N/A



Tracks featured in Mission 4A:



Tracks featured in Mission 4: