The Let's Play Archive

Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere

by Lunethex

Part 5: Episode 15 - Damage Control (Post)

I recorded all levels in AC3 to better expedite my updates. Time to start cranking this shit out pronto. Also I noticed there's a slight desync in audio on the videos only just after I uploaded them. Some of the others I recorded have this, but it's not from editing. I was having problems with the ePSXe core SPU causing static in my videos and I switched to a different plugin. I'm of the belief that it's the frame rate constantly shifting between cutscenes and menus in addition to weird sound buffer issues. Hopefully you will not notice it overmuch. It does not ruin the videos by any means.

That being said I'm really sorry

Update 04 - Anarchy

-Episode 15 - Damage Control|(15:08) - PRE-MISSION AND POST-MISSION TRANSLATION
Leader of the Beginning
-Episode 16 - Broken Wings|(7:51)
Rena's Wings
-Episode 17 - Sphyrna|(7:59)
Pursuit of the Sphyrna
-Episode 18 - A Canopy of Stars|(10:27)
Beneath the Night Sky

We see the conclusion of the UPEO route in this update, and boy did it tell us a lot of something. Really the big plot point for this series of events was the reveal of Ouroboros, and the path I'm taking through the game will reveal relevant topics and revisit old ones at a better pace than just playing all over the place, which the developers did plan for by having that similar wall of text in every route. So here's a write-up of what exactly we've seen demonstrated in AC3 thus far, from the beginning to the end of UPEO. Note: some of the stuff I'm putting in this also comes from the wikia and wasn't actually evident in-game, but is truthful nonetheless. I've read that Osea and Yuktobania already have space travel and cybernetic shit down to a fucking T but I haven't found anything to corroborate that in the 2033-2040 timeline.

1) Neucom and General Resource are, as is evident in every route, duking out for the sake of economic reasons. They both want to one-up each other. General Resource, being the eventual evolution of Belka's Grunder Industries comes from the Osean mainland and Neucom, born from the EASA (Euro Asian Space Administration) had dominated the Usean market long before General had shown up, even running several smear campaigns. Despite all this, General fought back with Data Swallow and other proprietary technologies that ensured their dominance in the market. In the beginning it was just small-scale PR stunts, but it later evolved to cyber-warfare and intimidations, which caused the Neo-United Nations to step in and lay down the law. Neucom itself fought back by making advances in biotechnology, nanotechnology, and space travel.

2) Because General and Neucom have dominated the world markets, government in USEA has all but collapsed. The other countries in the world are not mentioned likely because from AC1 to AC4, the only continent we've seen is Usea, but there is no hope for a unified USEA, and so the continent relies wholly on the technologies of both companies in their daily lives, down to banking and mail. These two conglomerates hold total sway over the continent and it's clear that the NUN is barely able to contain either of them.

3) UPEO, referred to as a paper tiger, only succeeds in agitating both sides and accomplishing destruction in equal measure against General and Neucom. At two points, the character Nemo, SARF's ace, has the chance of leaving the peacekeeping force for General or Neucom, which changes the direction of the corporate war. By sticking with UPEO, we see a very limited perspective on the revolution of Ouroboros, and scattered throughout the story are only crumbs of the real issues plaguing USEA.

4) Dision eventually starts a revolution known as Ouroboros to, from what we've seen so far, force humanity to computerize themselves and become as he is, to cast aside the flesh and attain its destiny. Sublimation is the copying of one's personality and uploading it to a network, essentially becoming a sentient AI. At the end of the UPEO route, the Sphyrna is destroyed, and Dision subsequently 'erased.' Where the copy is actually stored is on the Electrosphere, but Dision has demonstrated he can still interact with the real world by being the Sphyrna's host. Thanks to Nemo and Erich, he doesn't get very far.

5) Rena is needed to pilot the Night Raven, and she talks about it often during the story. In the UPEO route, we see that she eventually launches from the Sphyrna but turns it against Dision who takes it down, but not before suffering catastrophic damage. Fortunately, Rena survives the ordeal and overcomes his manipulation. The true story between Rena and Dision will not be seen until the resolution of the General Resource route however. Her desire to find the Night Raven and Dision's requiring of her to pilot it are huge plot points.

6) The pilots we see perish in the span of the war from this perspective are Fiona and Dision. Although we haven't met them yet, Keith and Cynthia (Fiona's Sister) are likely to have died in this series of events, leaving Erich, Rena, and Nemo as the survivors.

7) Gilbert Park is the mastermind behind Gabriel W. Clarkson's assassination and conspired with Dision to form Ouroboros, with Dision being responsible for the General Resource CEO's death. Park, once part of General, sought to burn USEA to the ground for the desire of ruling it once it was reborn after Ouroboros destroyed it, however he was later killed by Nemo.

And just like that it's over and we've got to play again to find out more. What we've seen is only set in stone for the sake of the UPEO route, keep in mind, and by joining the other three factions things will certainly unfold differently, so I hope those who watch this are looking forward to it, because I'm certainly looking forward to people finding out just what the hell AC3 really is. And trust me when I say, it can only get worse from here.

A lot worse. I have to admit I get a bit teary every time I hear that credit music, especially after the next endings. I mean, here we are, 40 years after the series beginning in the Belkan War and all the traditions of the past, all the historical significances are gone. Government has been totally replaced by corporations, and cultural unity has vanished. It's just a lonely, cold sky, and it will only get lonelier as the times march on. If you know the AC series to some extent, you'll know what I'm talking about. It's a very character driven narrative and it's just somber seeing that this is the future of Strangereal. But then again, maybe it's just USEA and Osea and Yuktobania and everyone else are all having the best damn golden age of their lives

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.

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.

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.

The COFFIN System part 2
Now, to return to the COFFIN system, because we've seen a certain variant of it on Rena herself! As I've posted before, the COnnection For Flight INterface system was developed by Grunder Industries as a means to enhance pilot awareness and capability by linking them directly to the plane using electrode sensors to establish a neural connection between pilot and aircraft. 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.

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!