The Let's Play Archive

Ace Combat 2 & Assault Horizon Legacy

by nine-gear crow, Trizophenie

Part 25: Mission 17B – Operation Final Countdown, August 31st, 1998

Breaking Through the Enemy’s Last Defense Line

Mission 17B: Operation Final Countdown – August 30th, 1998
Mission 20: Operation Final Countdown (Legacy Version)

Overview: Operation Belissima concludes as the Allied Forces press within striking distance of Saint Ark. To ensure the success of the assault on the Rebel stronghold Scarface Squadron is dispatched to eliminate the final remnant of the URF’s naval forces in the frozen waters of Snider’s Top. In the midst of the assault, they encounter the URF’s final ace squadron as well as a new Erusian superweapon.

Guest Commentator: I am joined for both parts of this final mission of Operation Belissima by Dr. Snark.

Federal Erusian Air Force, 26th Air Force Unit, 1st Fighter Wing, 1st Tactical Fighter Squadron (Defected)
Squadron Composition: T-50 PAK FA (x1), Su-47 Berkut (x3)

Until its defection to the Usean Rebel Forces, Albireo Squadron was considered the crown jewel of the Erusian Air Force and one of the preeminent symbols of Erusea’s military might on Usea. Flying a quartet of advanced stealth planes, including a next generation T-50 PAK FA, Albireo Squadron led the URF to many military victories over the course of the Continental War, right up to its final days. Their tactical hit-and-fade strikes on Allied targets made it difficult to pin down precise location for much of the war until their final engagement over Snider’s Top in northern Usea.

Like other Usean ace squadrons, Albireo had studied and employed tactics used by Belkan aces during the Belkan War three years prior. In Albireo’s case, they utilized the tactics perfected by the Belkan GrauWespe Squadron, where the flight lead would bait the opposing plane into a chase, only to have the remainder of the squadron sweep in from behind and run them down for the kill.

Real Name: Edgar Grint
Callsign(s): Bird’s Eye, Albireo 1
Age: 49 (Deceased)
Sex: Male
Nationality: Erusea (Western Usea)
Signature Plane: T-50 PAK FA
Voice Actor: T.J. Storm

A living legend in the Erusian Air Force (and across the Usean Allied Forces as well) prior to his death at Snider’s Top. Grint was an exemplary pilot with a long and distinguished service history fighting for both his homeland of Erusea and for the unified Usean forces at one point or another during his career. His skills as a pilot landed him in command of the Erusian Air Force’s top fighter squadron, Albireo, and, though Grint himself would have denied it, helped shape Erusea’s military discipline, even years after his death.

In addition to being a combat pilot, Grint also served time as a flight instruction, fostering the next generation of Erusian aces who would take to the skies after his retirement. Of particular note was a promising young pilot who drew the number 13 slot on his training squadron.

Grint had planned to retire from the air force prior to the outbreak of the Continental War, promising his wife they would move to the countryside far away from any military bases or aircraft. But the alluring pull of air combat simply proved too much for him, like it did to many pilots, and he soon threw in with the Usean Rebels out of loyalty to many of his fellow countrymen who did the same.

He never returned home to his wife in Erusea, as his final engagement with Phoenix and Scarface Squadron over Snider’s Top proved fatal for him.

In honor of his memory, every new fighter squadron formed in the Erusian Air Force following his death has been crowned with name of a bird, the most recent one being the newly rolled out 156th Tactical Fighter Squadron “Aquila”.

Albireo (Beta Cygni) is the fifth brightest star in the constellation Cygnus, also known by the asterism of the Northern Cross. While appearing as a single star when viewed with the naked eye, Albireo is actually a double star—two stars that appear close enough together as to be viewed as a single star without the use of telescopes to resolve their proper appearance. It is unknown if Albireo A and B are a binary star system (two stars orbiting the same barycenter in the same solar system), however.

Albireo is sometimes referred to as the “beak star,” from its position forming the head of the constellation Cygnus, the swan. The name Albireo originates from several delineations of mistranslations and mistransliterations from Greek, to Arabic, to Latin. Originally the star bore the Greek name Ornis, which was transliterated in to Urnis in Arabic. Latin scholars mistakenly believed the name refered to the hedge mustard (Sisymbrium officinale), and translated it as Ireo, which itself was then treated as a mistranslation of an Arabic term and given the Arabic-sounding name of Al-bireo, which was then crushed down into Albireo.

In terms of relations to Ace Combat, this is just another in by now a routine sampling of details that further proves that the cosmology of Strangereal is pretty much a 1:1 analog to Earth’s.


An advanced heavy bomber platform developed in secret by the Federal Republic of Erusea after the end of the Belkan War. The XB-10’s design is a heavily modified variant of the old South Belka Muntions Factory’s XB-0 Hresvelgr Heavy Command Cruiser, the blueprints of which the Erusian military was able to acquire from black market sources following the SBMF’s shuttering before the signing of the Treaty of Lumen.

Scaled down to roughly a quarter the size of the original XB-0, the XB-10 was refined from full command cruiser to simple bomber. The reduced size and weight allowed the XB-10 a wider range of mobility and speed than its Belkan predecessor. It was also able to field more defensive measures such as missile launchers and machine gun emplacements, unlike the Belkan BM-335 Lindwurm bomber.

Following the international embarrassment suffered from having their prototype bomber fleet stolen and revealed to the world by the URF, the Erusian government hastily spiked the XB-10 development project. All remaining prototypes were dismantled and their production facilities have been shuttered. There have already been calls for a formal inquiry in the FCU parliament over Erusea’s procurement and development of Belkan war materials embargoed by the Treaty of Lumen, unfortunately hearings on the matter have been postponed as a matter of preparation for the oncoming planet fall of the Ulysses 1994XF04 asteroid.

Aircraft featured in Mission 20: Operation Final Countdown

Manufacturer: KnAAPO, NAPO (test), Sukhoi (actual)
Role: Multi-role Stealth Fighter
Manufactured: 2009–Present
Status: Testing
Primary Operators: Russia, India (planned)
Quick Facts:


Medal: Sawn Hunter
Awarded for: Defeating Albireo Squadron in Mission 20.
Description: Awarded to pilots who defeat Albireo Squadron.


Tracks featured in Mission 16B.2:



Tracks featured in Mission 20: