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Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere

by Lunethex

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Original Thread: "Yo Buddy, You Still Alive?" - Let's Play Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War



And now, a bonus entry into nine-gear crow's ongoing History of Ace Combat LP series.

Welcome to Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere (JP)! There are multiple factions to side with over the course of 52 missions as you take part in and ultimately shape the fate of the Usean continent during the 2040 Strangereal Corporate War between General Resource LTD and Neucom, the two largest conglomerates in the world that have grown beyond the constraints of Government as a whole, each side dominating the economy and daily life to the point that the inevitable conflict arises! As I have not (nor can I right now) play the Western version of the game, I cannot really show you the big differences. However, I know of a few and will bring them up in posts as I get my episodes ready. Suffice it to say that a critical character was entirely removed and replaced with a "haywire AI" and all the anime scenes were nowhere to be found, making it just another arcade shooter in the vein of Air Combat & AC2. The Japanese version has a full-fledged and animated storyline cut almost entirely out of the Western release.

Ace Combat 3 is the fourth game in the series and takes place at the very end of the known Strangereal timeline in the years 2030-2040. It was built off a refined version of the AC2 engine, featuring realistic physics in all environments and prettier planes & environments. Its story being at the end of the Strangereal era shows us what awaits at the end of the rabbit hole, but fortunately, its ties to the series are limited for a very specific reason and the setting is more an analogue to those 90s Japanese sci-fis you'd watch late at night. It being only the second game in Strangereal helps a bit. The story has its light and dark moments and is definitely worth a watch. The first disc has been translated by Project Nemo, which I'll use to as much effect as possible, and I'll translate the rest myself with their script with overlaid subtitles. The game menu's "Search" info tidbits I will post as soon as I can figure out the particulars on it. Until the 'Faith Park Dispute' as seen in the first four videos, UPEO had not seen any real action.

No spoilers!

Ace Combat 3 Introduction | [POST]

UPEO Route

General Resource Route

Ouroboros Route #1

Neucom Route #1

Ouroboros Route #2

Neucom Route #2 - FINAL

The Neo United Nations (NUN) is an international organization whose main purpose is designated to maintain peace, order and friendship between all nations, as well as possessing jurisdiction of international laws. It's intention is that it would intervene in various conflicts and facilitate peaceful cooperation. Not to be certain, but it is believed to be the successor of International United Nations, an organization which existed during the Usean conflict that helped to hold war against Erusea, and the Assembly of Nations, an organization mentioned in the Belkan War. As it is entering a new era of globalization, it changed its name to be Neo United Nations to prove their credibility of facing the new age. It was established within the USEA continent, their headquarters being located at Snyder’s Top on the north side of USEA.

The United Peace Enforcement Organization is a counter-measure organization aimed at maintaining peace and order, under the direct control of the new international organization, Neo United Nations. UPEO maintains the military force called the Special Armed Response Force in order to suppress various disputes currently breaking out in various areas. An organization of the NUN, UPEO was established to maintain peace on Strangereal. UPEO had no real mission or had undertaken significant actions until the 2030s. The NUN, while effective politically and diplomatically, saw that they could not fully enforce their guidelines due to their set position in the international playing field, so an armed intervention/enforcement corps - in effect, a permanent PKO - was created to handle those who continued to stand against the NUN’s directives, sanctions and orders.

UPEO were called into service by the Neo United Nations to monitor the situation between the two largest Companies on the planet, Neucom Inc. and General Resource LTD. (GR) As each conglomerate grew, tensions had begun to rise between the two very quickly. The NUN placed sanctions on each company and gave them areas in which they were allowed to operate, but neither company fully abided by these set rules. With the base of command in Snyder's Top, UPEO saw its first action during the Phase Park Dispute in the 2040s, an incident which put both Neucom and General Resource on edge. Fortunately, UPEO had grown into an organization boasting vast manpower, high-end technology, and extensive supplies behind it, making it a force to be reckoned with. Gilbert Park, the Supreme Commander of UPEO, was once an integral part of General Resource’s Head Staff and had been recommended by top GR officials to his current office at the height of UPEO. Park's extensive experience in his former corporation made him highly suitable for the position of UPEO Supreme Commander. Also in the UPEO administration, Gabriel W. Clarkson - a representative of the Usean Government - became the UPEO's official ambassadorial representative to the NUN and other political organizations.

During this conflict, many extremely talented pilots from the Usean Continent joined the UPEO’s ranks. Erich Jager and Fiona Fitzgerald, two of such pilots, had graduated at the top of their respective classes. Also, Rena Hirose, a child aviation prodigy, joined the UPEO pilot corps at the age of nine. All three pilots were assigned to UPEO’s Special Armed Response Force (SARF), which would see much action in the next few years.

General Resource Limited (GR Ltd.) is a corporate conglomerate with enormous financial capital that dominates all kinds of industries, and functions outside the framework of nations.

Globalization of financial markets progressed in line with developments in capitalistic principles, and corporate mergers and take-overs began to be frequent and common. As a result, prominent capital assets in all countries were ultimately combined and concentrated on a large scale. Within this wave of world-wide conglomeration, the General Resource Group attained enormous growth and developed into a huge multinational corporate entity. General Resource Ltd. was created as a result of a transformation within Grunder Industries, much like how Neucom Inc. had come from the Erusian Air and Space Administration. GR Ltd manages its own Defense Force known as the GRDF, featuring a two-man Ace Squadron of Abyssal Dision and Keith Bryant. The company focuses on older planes and upgrading them, while Neucom has created an entirely new generation of aviation.

General Resource in AC3 is simply a transformation of Grunder Industries, a critical player in the events earlier in the series. Suffice it to say for now, they are responsible for developing the COFFIN system seen in all aircraft in the 2040s, among other things.

Neucom Incorporated is one of the world's leading corporations during the 2040 period. Originally the EASA (Erusean Air and Space Agency or the Erusean Aeronautics and Space Administration), it was sold off some time after the Usean Continental War. Its success really took off after the acquisition of a larger Aerospace agency, which earned Neucom's Space Development division a place as "cutting edge." In their opening days, Neucom bought the Comona Islands (also known as Riass) Space Facility from the Usean Government. Neucom Inc. is comprised of 5 operational departments: Info, Space, Bio, Sphere and Publishing. The corporate name is a portmanteau of "Neuron" and "Computer".

The first product from Neucom’s sub departments was the Neucom Visual System (NVS). This was a computer program which operated on the Electrosphere which operates as a Broadcasting System and a Search engine. This becomes Neucom’s Main Broadcasting system in their own company as well as their main Software Product. As for their Aviation Field, Neucom shocks aviation experts across the globe with their new designs. Neucom’s new aircraft line is marketed as the ‘R’ series, the R standing for Radical (fitting, because of their aircraft's bio-design and advanced technologies). Their Radical Aircraft had incorporated many Configurations, Designs, Technologies and weaponry. The R-Series is also the first Neucom system to use the COFFIN System, which allows the pilots of vehicles to operate their machines during an conscious sub-conscious state, allowing them to operate their machinery much closer to its Specifications. One such prime example is the R-101 Delphinus 1. Their R-Series had become renowned for this, and many buyers had stepped forward.

In 2020, their very first aircraft designs, which they had a large part in creating were used in the Leasath-Aurelian war. These Aircraft used initial versions of the COFFIN System and preformed extremely well during their time in combat. In a sense, this was the beginning of Neucom's success in the military field.

Ouroboros is the name of an underground terrorist organization formed sometime during the 2030s, and the group behind the Usean Corporate War of 2040. They are a transhumanist group who believe that humanity can ascend to a new plane of existence by uploading their consciousness to the cyberspace known as the Electrosphere Network.

Their revolution officially begun with an amazing feat. They had somehow scrambled information within the Electrosphere and caused an information overload, causing Neucom and General Resource systems to malfunction and forcing them to suspend operations. Then, Aldair Carlos Nascimento, the Executive Director of General Resource, died when a system controlling his artificial heart had ceased to function. Ouroboros then continued to manipulate information and resources in the UPEO, General Resource and Neucom causing them confusion.

This then allowed Gilbert Park to order an attack by UPEO pilots using Neucom aircraft, on General Resource's headquarters in Expo City, leading the two megacorporations into an intense conflict even worse than the Faith Park Dispute. While UPEO tried to prevent a full-scale war between the two megacorporations, Ouroboros openly hijacked the Electrosphere (something thought to be impossible, even in theory) and made their revolutionary proclamation to the world.

Nemo is, as with all main characters in the Strangereal games, without body and voice. However, we will learn more of him as the game progresses!

Rena Hirose was born somewhere in Usea in April 27, 2021. She was born with Silverstone disease, giving her a fatal vulnerability to sunlight. She had an unnatural prowess in flying aircraft, joining General Resource at age 9. The company created a special extra-vehicular activity (EVA) suit for her, allowing her to move freely under the sun. In 2037, she was transferred to the UPEO. On the outset of conflict between General Resource and Neucom Incorporated, Rena was deployed with Erich Jaeger, Fiona, and Nemo to intercept a Neucom air unit passing near Expo City. After Gilbert Park became the commander of UPEO, she and her crewmates were transferred to the Special Armed Response Force.

When she was a child, Fiona Chris Fitzgerald received special education to become a pilot for selected children. At the age of 22, she received the Master of Arts in Aviation Engineering and Research from studying at Edwards University. Fiona joined UPEO in 2039, where she currently flies as a pilot in SARF.

Erich Rhoemer Jaeger grew up in a middle-class family and was a loved, impatient, and spoiled child. He had no confidence in himself and after successfully graduating from Oxform University with an International Political Science degree, Erich joined the Universal Peace Enforcement Organization at the suggestion of his parents. He later enrolled into SARF after its formation in 2040.

Born in Usea in 1997, Abyssal Dision was a pilot of the General Resource Defense Force, flying several successful sorties for the group in the past. He was one of the first known test subjects of General Resource's sublimation project. In 2018, Dision finished his academy in Sandbury Defense College, organized by General Resources Limited. He graduated with a degree in Aerospace Engineering. He then joined up with the GRDF on September soon after his graduation. During his time with GRDF, he was designated as Ace pilot after successfully carrying out missions he was assigned to in outstanding result, including his service of suppressing terrorist operations in 2026. Is partnered with Keith Bryan, and both form the two-man Ace team for General.

After graduating from a senior high school affiliated with Sandbury GR Defense College in 2028, Keith Bryan joined General Resource Ltd. He currently flies for GRDF alongside his buddy, Dision. Not much else is known about him.

The daughter of a wealthy Usean family, Cynthia was raised in a conservative background along with her sister Fiona, adopting an elitist and professional view of life, compared to the carefree attitude of her sibling. In 2033, she earned a master's degree in Genetic Engineering at the Chopinbrook University, then joined General Resource for the next four years. She then transferred to Neucom as a scientist, becoming Chief Consultant Pilot in the Neucom Emergency Unit and one of the leading researchers of the R-series of aircraft, operating under the TAC name "Priest."

The Special Armed Response Force (SARF) is UPEO's Armed Response Squadron. The SARF was formed in 2040 as a rapid reaction and interdiction force in armed conflicts, with Rena Hirose and Erich Jager as its first members. Their base was New Ark Airport in Expo City, home to the UPEO's headquarters. The squadron used a variety of aircraft, ranging from conventional models to export versions sold from the two main corporations. The latter, named with the "-U" suffix, led to accusations of UPEO becoming a "puppet" of both groups, in particular of General Resource Limited.

The General Resource Defense Force (GRDF) is the private military branch of General Resource Limited. It was originally established to show the public the effectiveness of General Resource products, but was later repurposed to be the company's primary military force after repeated attacks from anti-corporation groups. Staffed by the aces Dision and Keith, it is a force to be reckoned with in any engagement.

A recently formed private army utilized by Neucom Inc. True to their namesake, they were designated escort for all Neucom wings until mobilizing with newer R-numbers as a stronger fighting force. Currently, the only known Ace is Cynthia Fitzgerald, the Chief Consulting Pilot.

The EF-2000E Typhoon II is a modernized version of the EF-2000 Typhoon. It's manufacturer is unknown, but it's likely that the UPEO was responsible. As with most aircraft of it's time, it uses the Connection for Flight Interface, but it's modifications aren't as extensive as most other aircraft. Even though the original Typhoon was considered a high-end in the early 21st century, the Typhoon II isn't as capable as its predecessor when compared to other aircraft of it's time. Since it's performance is sub-par compared to newer UPEO aircraft, it was most likely retired.

The MiG-33 Fulcrum SS(Super Striker) is a fictional variant of the MiG-29A Fulcrum. It is a front-line fighter plane with high marks, an excellent starter plane for the game until more options are available. The MiG in other games takes the 29A form as well as a few others, and generally appears at the mid-points.

The F/A 18i Hornet ADV is a low-end General Resource multipurpose fighter, roughly equal to the EF-2000E Typhoon II fielded by the UPEO. An evolved model of the F/A-18E, it can be equipped with anti-air or air-to-ground missiles. However, the jet was rarely seen during the events of the Usean Corporate War, implying that it was unpopular among pilots. The UPEO model, the F/A-18U, was produced later. Similarly to the -I version, it was uncommonly deployed. It is the first plane the player has access to that fires up to 4 missiles, but lacks an adequate missile bank for long-term deployments.

The F-16XF Gyrfalcon is an upgraded F-16 Falcon. It has the standard array of modifications of other aircraft of it's era, including the installation of the Connection for Flight Interface system, enlarged flaps, installation of canards, and an engine with a higher thrust. This enhances the aircraft's mobility as well as the maximum speed, making it perfect for dogfighting.

Produced in the first half of the 21st century, the R-101 Delphinus #1 laid the foundation for Neucom's R-numeral series of aircraft. The jet was developed using Neucom's expertise in the aviation field, being built from newly developed composites and alloys. Powered by high-powered turbofan engines, it uses laminar flow control technology to dynamically manage airflow. The R-101 pioneered the AI-handled development techniques employed by Neucom by 2040. The R-101 was the main fighter aircraft of Neucom's armed forces during the Usean Corporate War, where it served on the frontlines. An export model, the R-101U, was sold to the UPEO to reinforce their own air fleet

trivia: named after Dolphins

The first dedicated attack aircraft of Neucom's R-series, the R-201 Asterozoa was developed to fulfill the ground attack role. It features a distinctive twin-fuselage design. Despite having durable armor, the Asterozoa's poor speed and mobility rendered it highly vulnerable to enemy aircraft. PSA: Never fly this thing. It's somehow worse than flying a brick. It's like flying a house.

trivia: named after Sea Stars

Based on the Su-37 Terminator, the Super Flanker is one the most advanced aircraft in the Universal Peace Enforcement Organization's arsenal. It was one of the first aircraft acquired by the group, being obtained along with other planes such as the MiG-33 Fulcrum SS and the EF-2000E Typhoon II to avoid accusations of a General Resource hardware monopoly. As with the original Su-37, it achieves superb maneuverability through aerodynamic features and three-dimensional thrust vectoring. It is a highly versatile machine in combat, being able to conduct air dominance and ground attack roles with ease thanks to its large fuselage. Over time, it underwent upgrades such as enhanced powerplants and canards, weight-reducing alloys and composite materials, the inclusion of arrestor hooks for carrier operations and an upgraded flight refueling system.

The Su-37 was one of the aircraft operated by the UPEO in the General Resource-Neucom conflict. A particular model, the Su-37R Super Flanker-R, was specially customized for SARF pilot Rena Hirose. It was mostly identical to the conventional version, the largest difference being the inclusion of the Electro-Neuron-Synapse-Interface (ENSI) system.

The second ground attack aircraft of the R-series, the R-211 Orcinus was first conceived as an evolution and upgrade to the R-201 Asterozoa. The Orcinus boasted stronger engines, greater damage resistance, stability and enhanced air combat capability. As with the R-201, the R-211 uses a combination of laser weapons and air-to-ground missiles, and uses similar wing morphing technology. It entered service with Neucom in 2040, seeing combat action in the Usean Corporate War. All in all a really good plane that could definitely hold its own in an air-to-air battle as well as dominating the ground.

Named for Killer Whales.

The Su-43 Berkut is a modified Su-47 Berkut, and is the most advanced fighter in UPEO's arsenal which saw action during the Usean Corporate War. The model has been outfitted with new avionics (which include ailerons to provide roll control along with canards/elevators providing pitch assistance and a redesigned aft cockpit area, presumably for extra fuel/electronics), the COFFIN system, and new engines that allow it to fly at speeds surpassing Mach 3, nearing Mach 4 in level flight. However, at this point the HUD will start shaking, probably an indication to slow down. Note: nothing happens if you maintain that kind of speed, and it is very possible to achieve hyper-sonic speed with this plane. Also This plane rules, looks badass, and destroys everything else with its looks alone.

The UI-4053 Sphyrna is an airship manufactured by the Universal Peace Enforcement Organization in the 2040s. A truly unique and revolutionary aircraft, it was later hijacked by the trans-humanist organization Ouroboros, becoming the group's main forward base and headquarters. It was to act as a mobile command and control center, aircraft carrier, and ECM support asset. It's defended by four miniguns and an AA missile launcher, as well as plenty of escort planes. It is named for the 'hammerhead shark,' which is a Neucom naming tendency. This may be coincidental, or suggest Neucom had a hand in developing it.

The X-49 Night Raven is an experimental demonstrator airframe developed by General Resource. It is the product of the Darkness of Enigma project, a secret General Resource undertaking that studied information on next-generation aircraft and advanced pilot-vehicle neural connection. It's equipped with Aeon Engines capable of reaching Mach-5 speeds and extremely powerful laser weaponry. The maneuverability of this craft is unparalleled.

The F-16XA Sakerfalcon, like the F-16XL and the F-16XF, features a cranked-arrow delta wing design to increase its speed and power while maintaining a moderate degree of maneuverability. It also features a lean towards ground attack whereas the F-16XF was strictly a fighter for air superiority. It fulfills its role as a fictional multirole utilized exclusively by General Resource.

The F-15S/MT Eagle+ is a modernized F-15 variant used by General Resource used in the initial stages of the corporate war, developed by General. It is said to be one of the oldest aircraft in their inventory, yet it was used by General Resource Defense Force aces, including Abyssal Dision.

An advanced derivative of the F-117A Nighthawk, the A/F-117X comes equipped with a COFFIN system and thrust vectoring nozzles with added afterburner capacity. The NAV Hawk is one of the main ground attack aircraft in General Resource's military arsenal. It is also used as a spy plane with its stealth capabilities.

The F/A-32C Erne is a multirole aircraft produced and operated by General Resource LTD. In real-world canon, the X-32 prototype lost the Joint Strike Fighter competition. In Strangereal canon, in spite of its defeat, the aircraft remained in development and was acquired by many countries as an alternative to the more expensive F-35C Lightning II. During the global transition to corporate governments in the 2030s, General Resource LTD. obtained several X-32s which subsequently underwent extensive airframe & hardware modifications, such as the inclusion of the COFFIN software. The final result was codenamed F/A-32C Erne.

As mentioned previously, the Erne underwent several airframe modifications, such as its unusual two dimensional thrust vectoring flap, steeper-angled wings and a ferri-type air intake. As well, the Erne possesses an extra engine, which combined with the air intake allows for a large increase of the aircraft's max speed towards mach 2, as opposed to the X-32's 1.6. The aircraft features a traditional passive stealth design although this does incur some penalties in terms of aerodynamic performance. As is standard on all combat aircraft during the time of the Corporate War the F/A-32C features a full COFFIN control system. Earlier production models had a more traditional hands-on cockpit followed on from the X-32.

The XFA-36A Game is capable of performing any task that a pilot can dream of. Its air frame, avionics and armament systems are extremely advanced and the aircraft employs a unique tailless system. During flight, the 3D thrust vectoring and near-vertical wingtips make up for the lack of vertical fins. As the Game breaks the sound barrier, the wingtips hinge downwards and pivot to maintain maneuverability and stability. The XFA-36A is first deployed by the General Resource Defense Force in mid-2040 just before major GR operations begin. It was the XFA-36A which took part in the famous "Operation: Hit and Run" and lead the GRDF attack on Port Edwards. Eventually, the terrorist group Ouroboros began to use these fighters. They were deployed sporadically during their operations, but were seen in full force during the attack on Megafloat. It's likely this plane was based on the McDonnell Douglas X-36, a prototype jet designed to fly without a tail.

The XR-900 Geopelia was developed by Neucom with the help of former General Resource engineers involved with the X-49 Night Raven, who abandoned the company after the Darkness of Enigma project's cancellation. Noticing the risks of the Opto-Neuron-Synapse-Interface system, it was developed as an unmanned aircraft from the beginning. Research on AI control was carried out under the "Gepetto Project". A conventional Aero Coffin cockpit was installed in early flight tests, but was removed in the final version. Although Neucom has established its naming convention for marine animals, the Geopelia is instead named for a genus of small-tailed doves. The XR-900s seen in the GR path are the only instance of this plane ever seeing combat. It's likely, but not confirmed, that Ouroboros or Dision had programmed these planes to awaken and attack if he was killed, or maybe he had even planned to use them later. Regardless, if these planes were left to their own devices, nobody would be able to put them down thanks to their unmatched specifications...

The R-311 Remora was first built as a Neucom counterpart to the General Resource-built RF-12A2 Blackbird II. The Remora's task was to escort R-531 Mobura transports at stratosphere altitudes. The Remora's low weight allowed it to be carried by Mobura (thus making the Remora a parasite aircraft). In order to stay airborne in the stratosphere, Remora have been forced to reduce maneuverability in lieu of speed.

I would also like to just say I think the Mobura is pretty cool. It's a stratospheric aircraft carrier and attack craft that nobody can reach. It's built to an imposing scale and it carries these fast moving little knife-shaped planes to defend itself.

The R-102 Delphinus #2 was an evolved model of the R-101 Delphinus #1, developed by Neucom to build on the success of the original version. It used a similar yet enlarged design, and used a single jet engine with a higher thrust-to-weight ratio as a powerplant, making it highly agile in combat. haha no. It was introduced in early 2040, being deployed during the Usean Corporate War along with the Delphinus #1. The R-102 was the first mass-production jet in existence to use energy weapons as part of its main arsenal, having a pulse laser serving the role of a conventional machine gun.

A spaceborne combat vehicle, the R-352 Sepia is the second space vehicle produced by Neucom, after the R-808 Phoca space shuttle. Using technology from the shuttle, the Sepia marks a major development in spacefaring vehicles by making use of Neucom-developed energy weapons, the first "star fighter" in history.

The Neutron Beam is the gun-weapon on the Sepia. This particular weapon is the result of Neucom research on space technology. Being an energy-based weapon, the Neutrom Beam does not suffer the problems of standard aircraft ordnance caused by space vacuum. The energy fired by this weapon is composed of superheated neutrons found in atoms-- it is the neutrons' high temperature that cause damage, instead of kinetic energy.

The Plasma Beam is the missile-type weapon used on the Sepia. Like the Neutron Beam, the Plasma Beam is a space-based weapon made by Neucom, and it is an energy weapon that consists of homing shots of plasma. It uses heat-based damage as opposed to kinetic-based damage.

The final expression of Neucom's famous R-10X aircraft line, the R-103 Delphinus 3 fuses the latest aviation technologies, such as energy weaponry and the COFFIN system, while including substantial upgrades over the previous models, such as a multi-wing airframe that greatly increases its maneuverability and state-of-the-art engines which give it an unprecedented advantage in terms of performance over other aircraft of its age. In the year 2040, the R-103 passed its test phases and mass-production was started. The plane saw action during the Usean Corporate War, and proved to be superior to other high-end aircraft of its era in some areas, like the F-22C Raptor II.

I really love the look of this plane, but its agility is still crap. What it does have going for it is acceleration and top speed, but in my opinion what wins any engagement is superior mobility.

Faith Park Dispute
In 2040, the first of many miscommunications between General Resource and Neucom had taken place. Afterwards, Neucom had said that it was a General Resource attempt to control Neucom growth and threatened General Resource. This was known as the Faith Park Dispute. The Neo-United Nations stepped in and talks were held. The conflict was settled immediately after this, with each group being assigned areas in which they are allowed to operate in, on the Usean Continent. Weeks later, Neucom Inc had began to expand it's business into General Resource territory despite their agreements. Now General Resource was asking for the Neo-United Nations (NUN) to step in. As the NUN talked to Neucom Officials General Resource dispatched it's GRDF to patrol around and over the new Neucom Facilities at all times. Tension was building and Neucom soon began to plan to form its own 'Response Team' to match the GRDF.

The NUN calls in the Universal Peace Enforcement Organization (UPEO) to reinforce all Neo-United Nations sanctions on the continent. However, as they arrive Neucom begins to vector Transport Flights directly over cities in General Resource territory escorted by Neucom's own Fighter Aircraft. Finally shots are fired. A SARF Unit is launched from Expo City Air Base and they intercept a large Neucom Transport group. The following aerial battle resulted in Expo City, the second largest city on the continent, taking much damage from aircraft which were shot down and crashed into the city or bullets and missiles which had missed their targets. The Neo-United Nations then put even harsher restrictions on each company because of this and established no fly zones around every major city on the continent. Unfortunately, this did not change anything.

The COFFIN System
The COnnection For Flight INterface system was developed by Gründer Industries after the Belkan War as a means to enhance pilot awareness in aerial engagements. The system consists of a cockpit covered with a completely sealed steel canopy, separating the pilot from the exterior. Vision is achieved through a series of CCTV cameras installed on the outer canopy that relay information to the user in real-time, projecting them in a honeycomb patterned screen. COFFIN replaces the conventional HOTAS (throttle and stick) system with biological and neural sensors that monitor the pilot's vital signs, as well as voice recognition systems. Combat systems associated to COFFIN were developed in 2020 to improve the performance of aircraft using second-generation systems, ranging from offensive hardware such as the Argus missile tracking program to autopilot technology for preventing flight accidents. Second-generation hardware has the ability of limiting the effects of spatial disorientation, further increasing a pilot's capabilities.

There are two ways the Aero-Coffins are operated, using two unique systems. The first is the most common in AC3, known as ENSI, or Electro-Neuron-Synapse-Interface, which created this connection. This method was created by Neucom, specifically by a scientist named Simon who we've yet to meet. They are called Aero-coffins because of the fact the pilot is isolated in the cockpit and is able to see in 360 degrees using the multitude of CCTVs or other monitoring devices located around the cockpit of a COFFIN plane. The ENSI system enables the pilot to control a plane through biosensors, and with mental commands, referred to as 'fly-by opto.'

In the AC3 universe, there exists an Inter-Satellite-Network, or In-Sa-Net. It is a global network created in the 2040s that allows for distant communication from anywhere in the planet, used by both military and civilian personnel. It's been theorised that the In-Sa-Net can be used to control vehicles from distance with the COFFIN system, but the potential feedback, nerve damage, response lag, and even vulnerability to hacking have made the operation unfeasible.

The other method of establishing the COFFIN connection is with ONSI, Opto-Neuron-Synapse-Interface, which uses the pilot's brain as the main COFFIN processor unit. It requires special implants on the cervical vertebrae, and the increased brain activity can lead to fatal brain damage. The only known pilot equipped with ONSI is Rena Hirose.

The D.O.E Project
Now, to mention something about the D.O.E Project, or Darkness of Enigma. It lasted from 2028 to 2033, and led to the development of the ONSI system. Rena Hirose was used as a test subject in this project, and a later interview with her revealed the project to the public. General suffered criticism over their ethics, and the project was dismantled. Most members of the DOE team left for Neucom as a result. We'll find out more in the General route!
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