Part 6: Project Phantasma - Chapter 6: Stinger Returns (Arena Ranks #9 - 5)Last time during the campaign we had successfully destroyed a facility believed to hold all research data on Project Phantasma, but had seemingly left out a loose end regarding the whereabouts of Stinger. This mission addresses that.
We have determined that Stinger is behind the new Phantasma weapons
system. He has been seen hiding with some remaining Doomsday
Organization officials in The North Highland.
We're not sure what the purpose of Project Phantasms is, but in the
hands of Stinger, we are all in extreme danger.
Completely destroy all aspects of the Project Phantasma operation.
Time to hunt down Stinger, this time in the snow. Hey, a completely new looking location, that's cool right?
The Barracuda drops us down into the snowy wasteland.
And then the enemies pop out to ambush us. Time to fight.
Now, this level in concept should be great as it's a different visual look than the underground bases and deserts we've been through plenty of times. But there's one problem with it.
You can barely see shit because of how white everything is.
Seriously, the contrast is so jacked on the snow that it's difficult to see the lock on reticule and other hud elements at times. Even worse is that the enemies blend in really well with the snow, so you're relying more on the sound your FCS makes when locking on then you are making visual confirmation. The area is also really huge, but since we've equipped that radar we won from the arena in the last part, we've got a very large view of the area and enemy positions. It really helps a lot here.
Anyway, this mission throws nine enemies at you, three of each type. The first type is the mammoth like Sargarmatha which we've faced off against before. The second type is the Super Scimitar, an enemy that we actually could've fought earlier if we picked a different mission at the second split in the campaign path. It's a transforming MT, interestingly enough, as it can switch between ground and air borne modes at any time by folding in its legs, and it has some pretty damaging weapons against ACs that are ill prepared to face them. But three shots from my rifle takes them down very quickly.
The third enemy type is actually an armored truck called the Dragon. It goes down in two hits with the weapon we got, but it's primary attack hits fast and hard. It has a large rocket launcher that rotates and fires 8 rockets at once in a short arc.
Once all nine enemies are dealt with, we get a warning of incoming reinforcements. Who could it be?
Well there's a familiar voice. Stinger's piloting a new craft. This right here is the Prototype Phantasma.
Prototype Phantasma is similar in design to the Papagai MTs and Battle Rigs, though is considerably less mobile due to its size. It has two main attacks, a vertical missile launcher similar to the Sargarmatha, and the other a high power machinegun that fires forward. As a result, continually moving and not staying in front of its view is key to avoid most of the damage, though I let myself lose a ton of AP due to mistakes. This map really isn't fun to fight in with the high contrast.
Huh...dude might be getting a bit delirious? Phantasma does require hooking up the pilot's brain to it, after all.
Whatever, we're done with this mission now, even if we lost half of the initial reward to repairs.
Sumika has some more information for us in light of the recent events.
I am afraid that we have been
misled. The facility that was
destroyed was just a decoy.
I have received news that a working
facility has been completed.
We will continue to investigate and
keep you informed.
Figured it wasn't over just yet. But hey, so long as I keep getting paid for all this.
Here we have our third and final set of missions to choose from in the campaign. And once again we're going with the higher paying one.
We have discovered a secret base abandoned by the Doomsday
Organization. It can be found on the east side of Amber Crown. Destroy
the base completely.
Research materials and pertaining to Project Phantasma have probably
been left behind in the base.
Destroy the base, and all evidence of Phantasma along with it.
Locate the self-destruct device in the deepest area of the base, them
set the countdown timer.
You will then have two minutes to escape.
Unlike that one mission in Armored Core we had to blow up a facility with corrosive gas eating away at our AP non stop, this one is much faster. Shouldn't be an issue.
We start outside the facility, and already our FCS is picking up enemies. Just need to find the semi transparent wall and pass through that to get inside.
And inside, the Scorpions starting firing at us immediately. Because they're spread all over the place, moving around a lot can sometimes cause them to blow up each other from friendly fire. It's a very hectic start, none the less.
Take the elevator down, and we're treated to both more Scorpions and Papagais. All the MTs on this floor infinitely respawn, so ignore them and head for the next door.
Go through the door, take another elevator, and pass through a very long hallway till we reach the core of the facility.
Activating the bomb starts the timer, and then we need to get out of here. The time limit on here actually cuts it quite close, so no stopping for anything.
At the one minute and thirty second marks Sumika will remind us of how much time is left and tell us to keep moving. The enemies on the second floor still try to attack, but continue to ignore them.
To save a little bit of time, I fly up the first elevator shaft as the platform is moving, and luckily I reach the top before my boost meter gives out.
That's it? No scene of the facility blowing up or anything? Nothing fancy, huh?
This game's translation can be fucking weird at times.
New message from Sumika, short and to the point.
The base has been completely
destroyed. There is nothing left
for Stinger to capture.
Still, don't count on it. He's the villain after all, there's always a trump card or something.
Now then, taking a break from that.
Arena Ranks #9 - 5
Only five ranks this time instead of ten, last four will be saved for right before the final mission. Regardless, the arena ACs have not let up their ruthlessness, and neither have I.
Reward: 100000 C
Tiger's main form of attack is his Bazooka, and has relatively good aim with it. He's equipped with the Moonlight blade as well, but as a PLUS he uses the ability to shoot energy waves from it. However, these attacks I found pretty easy to dodge, and the rockets didn't do much to put me at a disadvantage AP wise. Maybe because of the stage as well, but he didn't even attempt to use his back mounted missile launcher, which has multi warhead missiles so there would be more than an average anti missile system could deal with.
Reward: 120000 C
The first of Necron's disciples, Lord Slayer's a pain in the ass to hit when he's airborne. However when he's grounded he doesn't make use of his boosters there and is pretty easy to take shots at that way. He also shoots energy waves from his Moonlight blade, but he's barely accurate with it. He's at his deadliest just flying around you firing his main gun.
Reward: 180000 C
Other than having quads as part of the Scorpion team, fighting Entity is almost exactly like Tiger. He has back mounted rockets as his primary fire, and energy waves from the Moonlight blade as his secondary, and they're as accurate as you'd expect. The legs give him a speed advantage over Tiger, but continually circle strafing renders most of his attacks hard to hit you.
Reward: 240000 C
Despite this being one of the faster times I've beaten someone in the arena, it took me four tries before hand to kick this fucker's ass. For start, Shadow has the deadly combo of the Karasawa and the Moonlight. The back missile launcher may as well not be there as the arm weapons are what he primarily uses. The rifle does what you'd expect, but his accuracy with the blade and tendency to rush you to get a slice in is what makes him deadly. Even when the goal of the battle is to deal as much damage to him in as little time, it still comes down to luck with his mobility and whether he decides to rush you for melee or fire an energy wave. Either way, it fucking hurts. The fact I finished it in under 20 seconds like this I found myself extremely fortunate.
Reward: 300000 C
The last of the Panzern ACs, and went down even faster than Shadow did. Considering how aggressive I needed to be in that last fight, it transferred over to Rave and decimated him super fast. His back mounted grenade launcher barely did anything for him as he kept flying into the ceiling.
Only four left above us. The end is close, and we earned a whole lot of money out of just these five (the money rewards in the top 10 are insane). Things will be wrapped up in this mode next update, and shortly after that, the rest of the campaign.