Part 23: Sortie 23 - Lost Field
Sortie 23 - Lost Field
Well folks, it's been a good ride, but the time has finally come to say goodbye to Another Age. It's been a good run, and maybe had some more hiccups than necessary, but we made it, and it's all smooth sailing from here. Here to see us off on the true end of our journey is nine-gear crow and GOTTA STAY FAI, two heroes who saved my ass more than once on this ride.
Today we'll be handling the Another Age postgame, and making our way towards that glorious 100% completion marker. So stay tuned for that and for still more to come as we enter Armored Core 3.
And for the final guesses in the competition, Televisio Frankus comes out with his correct and correctly formatted guess of Busou Kikoushi Granzon. Or Neo Granzon, as I tried to incorporate a little bit of each in the build, so either would be legitimate. Unfortunately the spiky armored god of game ruining can't be properly expressed via AC2's customization, but the core idea got across. Bonus points and extra shoutouts also go out to StarFyter and Stormgear for also getting it right, even if it wasn't their main guesses.
Oh man, welcome to a blast from the past. Showing up in all his extremely assholish glory, Stinger is back, and and ready to ruin your day.
Fighting Stinger is actually not too different from fighting a normal AC, and he's very similar to the Nine-Ball we fought way back in the Old Avalon arena. Rapid fire energy weapon, powerful blade, grenade launcher... But the trick he has up his sleeve that old Nine-Ball didn't have is his blade is an order of magnitude more powerful than anything Nine-Ball ever pulled out.
The key to success in this mission is very much your mobility, as if he gets the chance, Stinger will go ham on you with his blade and grenades. The laser rifle just exists to whittle you down and provide some extra incentive to keep moving. Don't be afraid to overboost away and get some breathing room if he's getting too close and launching off grenades and slashing like mad. Thankfully, ol' Stinger here isn't too keen on the whole 'mobility' angle, and when he brings out his big guns, the core-mounted energy slug gun vomit, he will hold stock still for the entirety of the animation. This is your main opportunity to pelt him with whatever big ticket damage items you have, be it grenade launchers, bazookas, whatever. If you're not PLUS and rocking bipeds, it's one of the few times you'll get a chance to kneel down and get some grenade or plasma cannon shots off, because if you're far enough away, the wide spread won't do any substantial damage to you.
Avoid his blade and dump all your ammo into his face when he stands still, and Vixen will go down easy.
Aaaand he's back already. Thankfully, he's also much easier this time around.If Vixen's major failings were focusing damage too much on one particular weapon, and a bad habit of standing still, then Phantasma doubles down on those, but also while being a significantly larger target.
When preparing for this fight, no matter what build you prefer, always remember to bring either some missile decoys or anti missile extensions, because Phantasma's large missiles are deadly, if slow, and being able to avoid or neutralize them turns a difficult fight into a cakewalk. Take those away, and all he has worth mentioning are his plasma bolts, which he fires rarely, and his Disco Rave Party Of Doom, which is painfully easy to avoid. The former can be dodged with standard FCS manipulation like boost hopping or serpentine/jerky movements, and the latter you can just strafe and they won't ever hit you.
For a loadout, long range weapons and a good long range FCS are excellent choices, as they keep you out of plasma/large missile effective range, and give you plenty of time to dodge things from afar. And of course, just like Vixen, bring along some heavy hitting weapons for when he starts shitting lasers, as he'll sit still for an eternity and his large size means things like rockets are child's play to aim. So long as you can keep the missiles away, Stinger will stay down for good.
Pilot: Hustler One
AC: Nine-Ball Seraph
Holy shit. The unmaker has arrived, and he is pissed.
Nine-Ball Seraph, the ultimate foe of Master of Arena, Another Age, and
Seraph only really has four attacks to his name. Missiles which he'll shit out all over the place during his flight mode, a puny gatling for mid-long range ground stuff, a pulse cannon which he'll use when you're in the air and he isn't to compel you to stay on the ground, and his twin MOONLIGHTs, equipped with blade beam functionality. Yet, despite his limited arsenal, he is more than capable of turning any AC into scrap in a matter of seconds.
For loadout, no matter what, you want to bring something to deal with his missiles, as he starts every battle by taking to the air and dumping at least a few on you. Decoys are optimal, as you'll burn through anti missile extension ammo like mad trying to shoot his stuff out of the sky, so luring a group into a decoy and then getting as far away from it as possible is definitely a good strategy. If you don't have that, make liberal usage of overboost to escape them and hopefully trick Seraph into getting his ass back on the ground where you can actually hit him, as the missiles have a shorter range than you might think, thankfully.
Once you drag him to the ground, depending on where he is at the time, he'll do one of three things. If he's midrange, he'll fire his gatlings and attempt to close in on you for blading. If he's in the air but not in his waverider form, he'll start slashing like mad if you're anywhere near him, and will usually do between three to five slashes while he approaches you in the air. Getting caught in this blender is certain death, and is the main reason to avoid air-to-air combat with Seraph at any range other than mid-to-long. And finally, if he lands close to you, he'll start going for the MOONLIGHT and won't give up until you're close enough to hit or he takes to the air again. And of course, when landing, his preferred spot to do so is right behind you, so quick turn extensions are highly recommended if you want to keep your eyes on him.
When Seraph gets into blading mode and you're in the air, he likes to play the patient game. He'll peck at you with his pulse cannon to get you to land while still approaching you, and when you do, either out of fear of the cannon or running out of energy, he'll take the opportunity to slash you to death. If stuck in a close range air-to-ground situation with Seraph, overboosting away or going for a feint/over his head are your only two real options that don't end in plasma sword murder.
So then, knowing his moveset, how the hell are you supposed to kill him? Well, thankfully, once you get to know his ranges, Seraph is very stringent to his rules, and baiting him into blading repeatedly will give you enough openings to drop some big damage on him, so long as you're staying at a long enough range and hopping to the right rhythm to go over his blade beams. The powerful weapon arms like missiles, grenades, or bazookas are excellent for bringing the pain, as are rockets if you're confident in your aim. It's a struggle, and incredibly risky, but playing chicken with his blades can reap massive rewards, and if your aim is true, he'll go down before you can start losing to the war of attrition.