Part 8: Project Phantasma - Chapter FINAL: The End of PhantasmaNow, before getting into the final mission for this update, we're gonna be jumping around the timeline a bit to the three other missions we skipped in favor of other high paying ones. Since we wrapped up the Arena last update, there isn't a lot of post game content to go through after the final mission, so we'll just get those three missions out of the way right now.
And what better way to go about it than using the final two unlockable weapons from the Arena and breaking this shit wide open? It's a fitting end I think, given this game's many imbalances. We'll be using the WA-Finger machine gun as our primary fire arm and replaced the ammo magazine on our right shoulder with the WM-AT missile launcher. It won't get any play until the third mission in this update, but you'll see soon enough just how OP these things can be.
We would like you to locate and destroy all of the Doomsday
Organization's research materials.
It has been discovered that these research materials are concealed in
an extensive underground maze complex.
Infiltrate the deepest section of this maze and destroy all
Search and destroy. Nothing area other than the extensiveness of this underground area.
Into the maze we go.
Our weapon for this mission and the following two is the most absurd thing ever in this game. As you could see on the ammo counter, the maximum number of shots on the Finger is 3000, which is more than enough to kill any of the enemies in this mission. Scorpions are the primary enemies you face, and all it takes is a lock on and a tap of the square button unload a spread of bullets that shred through their armor. The attack power of machine gun weapons is always counted as low because it's counting the damage done by one individual bullet. When you have multiple bullets firing at once in very rapid succession, that damage ramps up faster than even some of the most powerful weapon arms.
It's that devastating.
Eagails and ceiling turrets are the other enemies you'll fight, though they aren't as frequent. Again, they don't stand a chance against the Finger. Nothing can.
And again, this underground maze is very extensive. The first half of it is a lot of corridors and small square rooms, but halfway through much larger rooms are thrown in and multiple diverging paths for you to get lost in.
There are a few rooms in the maze that have a small raised section in the middle with pillars, and one of these holds the containers you need to destroy. This is the only location you need to destroy them in, so searching every corner of the maze is (thankfully) not necessary.
But, because we're no longer sticking to energy munitions for the remaining missions, our deductions report is gonna be much higher, and the overall reward greatly diminished. Though it's not like we were strapped for cash or anything.
In order to occupy the Amber Crown "Rectenna" facility, the Doomsday
Organization has deployed a detachment.
The purpose of this facility is to convert electric power to
microwaves to be used by their satellite system. If they occupy this
facility, we have a problem.
Defeat all opposing forces. By the way, any underground condensers
that are destroyed will be deducted from your pay.
The microwaves can be strong in certain areas above the antenna, so be
Even if this mission was higher paying than the alternative available at the time, I still would have skipped this one originally. You'll see why.
Okay, first off, why the hell is this a "destroy" mission when I'm given explicit orders to NOT let the facility get destroyed or overrun by the enemy?
Well, let's do this then.
So this first part has you fighting above ground against multiple flying enemies. However, the thing mentioned in the briefing regarding microwaves is very important, as you cannot fly above the antennas without losing tons of AP, yet some of these buggers have no problem flying over that area to lure you. And when you're aiming up at the sky to shoot at these enemies in runs into a similar problem as the Northern Highlands where the enemies blend in with the color of the environment and things get a bit tough to see.
So while we can't fly over the antennas, boosting under them is perfectly fine and we'll use it to get to the elevator that takes us to the second half of the mission.
Now for the real shitty part.
Well, besides that.
Also in the briefing we were told that any condenser destroyed during the mission will be deducted from our pay. Unfortunately, that includes shots from either us or the enemy MTs, and they like to do a thing all enemies do called "shoot in your direction regardless of whether there's something obstructing it." And since this room is of a fairly large size, there's not much that can be done if you're on one side of the room and an MT on the opposite starts firing stupidly and blows up a couple of condensers, costing you 600 C each.
The funny thing about this mission is that it's featured on the Revolution disc of Armored Core Nexus, and this particular section is much smaller and significantly easier to preserve the condensers. Who'd have thought that?
Well, first mission in this entire game where our reward went into the negative. But at this stage, who really cares?
Last mission before returning to the actual end of the game.
THIS IS AM URGENT MESSAGE. THE DOOMSDAY ORGANIZATION HAS DISCOVERED
THE LOCATION OF OUR BASE. THEY WILL BE ARRIVING QUICKLY.
YOU MUST ASSIST US. DESTROY ALL REMNANTS OF THE ORGANIZATION.
Sumika felt the urgency of this message was great enough to leave the caps lock on. No problem for us.
Time for a wave based kill all the enemies excursion!
First wave already starts inside the perimeter of the wall. Once they're done, a wave of Ogres and Fireflies move in.
Time to get some air and demonstrate the back weapon we've been holding onto for the last two missions.
Now, the missile is initially hard to see due to it not leaving a smoke trail as it flies. The missile itself actually moves fairly slowly, and still needs to be fired at the correct angle so as not to hit an unexpected snag. But when it hits.
...you've got yourself one hell of a blast radius. And it's not just the radius, but the damage. How much you ask?
9830 points in attack power. Also 20000 range for whatever reason.
For ten missiles and fairly negligible weight for a back unit, this is such a fucking killer, especially if you're going against another AC. Unless they've got good anti missile defenses. Necron pretty much almost always is able to neutralize it before it reaches him, so it would not have been particularly viable during that fight.
Now to clean up the remnants
Of course, the one major downside that can be taken from these large missiles is that the cost for each one is quite expensive.
But that's it now. Time to move back to the actual final mission. Before that Stinger had escaped with the Phantasma prototype and Sumika was working to ascertain his whereabouts. Well...
THIS IS NOT A REQUEST! I HAVE BECOME PHANTASMA! I WILL DESTROY
YOU HAVE BEEN A NUISANCE, BUT I WILL INVITE YOU TO THE PARTY. COME TO
THE BUILDING KNOW AS ABYSS.
Yep, the main villain himself told us where he is and to meet him. In that case, let's party.
I look at the lighting of this place and think scaled down a couple sizes the Abyss would've made for a decent night club.
Especially with that new move in Phantasma's arsenal.
So yes, that is the only difference between the finished Phantasma and the prototype version. A neon colored flurry of laser beams firing in all directions. There are gaps in between where they fire from but I screwed up halfway through and lost a good amount of AP. Outside of that, he still has his regular front facing machine gun and vertical missiles, and the low mobility makes him an easy target.
Just about every other ending in an Armored Core game is either super challenging because of the lead up to the final boss, or the final boss itself. This one just has the boss to defeat and even without the Finger, bringing a high power weapon like the KARASAWA is enough to bring its health down. The easiest final level of any Armored Core game ever.
And now we leave Stinger to his demise in his new machine body.
Meanwhile, back on the surface...
...awkward silence where there was possibly more dialogue in the Japanese version...
And with that, another Armored Core game comes to a close. 100% success rate on every mission, every Arena fight cleared, all hidden parts earned, and we have more than enough credits left over after buying all the remaining parts in the shop.
This Raven that has taken up the mantle of Borealis has finished his run with the ARC II...but another new pilot will soon be taking up that name in his personal mission of revenge in...
Master of Arena.
See you then.