Part 14: Master of Arena - Chapter 5: A Stern WarningStarting this update off with an Arena fight, but we only get one in right now for reasons that will be further explained afterwards. And because it's just one, I felt like it wasn't quite as necessary to make an image of the AC's icon and use that as the link to the video. So here it is.
Stunt Rider's a reverse joint AC, and as you'd expect hops and boosts around a lot, not to mention uses a handgun to stagger us with each hit. I obviously did not bring any missiles with me to test whether he's that good at reading trajectories and reacting accordingly, but I think he still put up more of a fight than the other Sub-Arena ACs we faced thus far.
We do get another bonus weapon out of that fight though, and it's the WG-HG770. It still follows the same basic rules as its other handgun brethren, though it is very accurate for having a wide range on its shots. Another one piece for the garage.
Anyway, we can't go to the next Arena fight, because we receive an important message in our inbox...
An emergency situation has arisen.
We have a request that needs your
immediate attention. Please read
the request description for more
...which then tells us to look at our missions for more details.
An emergency situation has come up. We'll be sending a mission request directly.
The PROGTECH Marine Laboratory is under attack by an unknown MT. The attacker's objective is still unclear.
We've already sent in another Raven, but he was unable to complete the mission. The best he could do was stall the enemy's invasion of the facility.
An important company official is housed within the facility. It is vital that he be rescued and brought to safety.
As is our right as your sponsor, we are temporarily revoking your license to participate in the Arena. This mission is now your top priority.
So yes, this will happen at key moments in the game where you will be prevented from continuing to participate in the Arena until you complete the story mission that it presents to you. This keeps the game's pace moving and prevents you from potentially sticking to a completely different mode that isn't pushing you forward in terms of progress, something that I appreciate. What determine when you are required to do these mandatory missions is a combination of arena battles and missions completed at a given time. Kind of like how mission progression worked in Armored Core 1, you kinda work it out by feel most of the time unless you really pay attention to how many missions and/or arena battles have to happen before the game moves forward.
Anyway, I digress. We need to do this job before we can get our Arena license back.
Also, because this mission is being given directly to us by our sponsor, Lana won't be giving us mission info as things develop.
Arriving at the platform, there are five Stinkbug MTs around the area, so there isn't much resistance to deal with. The other AC in the mission area is holed up indoors at the moment and as such isn't in danger of being destroyed.
Once all five MTs are destroyed, Fritz shows himself.
Yep, mission ain't done yet.
A new enemy type appears! The Merman.
This is definitely a unique MT compared to previous ones in the series. During the cutscene, it transforms from a high speed water craft to a regular MT, and it has quite a few weapons that deal considerable damage. It has a dual missile launcher but that can be circumvented pretty easily by staying in very close range, but then you have to deal with the machine guns and slug guns that it also has in its arsenal.
It doesn't last so long as you're quick and efficient with your hits, but it's the only MT of its kind to show up here in this game. So it's still special somewhat. Plus it looks a bit like a miniature version of the Devastator.
Also, another extra detail with this mission is the AC pilot Fritz. After the Merman shows up, he said he was getting out of the area ASAP, but it is possible for the MT to kill him before you finish him off. Saving him shows him boarding the transport along with you out of the mission zone. Otherwise, you'd be the only one leaving. And yes, because all these ACs are registered in the Arena, him dying would also remove him from the Sub-Arena and bring in another Raven.
After that urgent mission, we've received two important messages from different senders.
Sender: Elan Cubis
Hello, my name is Elan Cubis, I'm
the head of development at PROGTECH.
Thank you for your assistance the
I believe the attack was directed
at our research group. This is a
relatively common occurrence in our
business, but there was one aspect
about it that bothered me.
Specifically, the MT that appeared
from out of the water. It would be
hard, given current technology, to
build an amphibious MT. I know of
no group that has had success.
It's possible a technology lost
during "The Great Destruction" has
been rediscovered. I fear an unknown
organization, possessing advanced
technologies, may be involved.
In an earlier email we received from Lana Nielsen, we were told about PROGTECH's success being due to a particularly brilliant scientist. While there was no name given, Cubis' position as head of development would probably inform he's THAT person responsible for the company's current standing in the corporate world.
Oh yeah, speaking of Lana, we did go on a mission without her knowing before hand. Well...
Sender: Lana Nielsen
As I explained earlier, I am your
RAVENS' NEST contact and the one
who will supply you with your
orders. You will follow the orders
you're given and do as I say!
Even if approached by a sponsor,
you are not to accept any missions
without my approval. Don't let it
happen again! That is all.
Yeah. We were lucky to get off with a warning, but the tone is pretty serious in that message. But at least we got our arena license back. At least she can't take that away, that's up to the sponsor.
Well, let's just get one more mission done for the update, especially since this mission is one that I've been waiting for to show up.
A few surviving members of a successfully splintered terrorist organization are
making a last stand. They're attacking nearby facilities with a giant Tank.
Your mission is the elimination of the terrorist controlled Tank. It is in the
Battleship class and was most likely built before The Great Destruction.
Destroy all Tank defenses and render it inoperable. This will be much different
from fighting ACs or MTs...be careful.
You know what Project Phantasma was missing that the first Armored Core had? A fight with something immensely bigger than you (Phantasma itself wasn't big enough). We get to go up against a giant tank. You could probably think of this as an extremely proto version of an Arms Fort battle in For Answer.
This mission takes its time at the start panning around the tank just to show to difference in scale between it and you.
Once you get into range of the tank, it starts firing its weapons, and they are all very hard hitting. On the sides of the tank are two large missile launchers each, which fire very slow but damaging missiles. Situated at the front and back are grenade launchers that obviously cannot track you upon firing but getting caught by one is devastating. Lastly on the pack is a vertical missile launcher, and the first area of the tank that we're going to tackle.
I ended up expending all my energy meter reaching the top maneuvering around enemy fire, although incurring some splash damage from the large missiles took out the vertical missile launcher. Once at this spot, you get some breathing room.
Next target is the grenade launcher on the back, and then targeting the large missile launchers along the side, all of which are easy to shoot at while standing where the vertical missile launcher was. As cool as this mission's concept is, it's easy to trivialize most of it when you realize that standing right on top of it keeps you safe from the tank's weapons. Especially since we only need to destroy all the tank's weapons to render it unable to continue attacking.
I still challenge myself for a bit by firing at the missile launchers while flying around since it's still very cool to fly around up close and see the scale of this thing.
Lastly, I take some shots at the grenade launcher at the front and finish it with a laser blade strike for good measure.
This mission is still one of my favorites out of the original generation, even once you know what parts need to be destroyed and how simple it is as a result. Still a cool concept, and again it fills a quota that any good Armored Core game should have which is a mandatory mission where you fight something absurdly larger than a 10 meter tall mecha that you're piloting.
More missions incoming for the next main update. The Arena will get more play in due time, once PROGTECH think's we've made enough progress in either area to advance to the big leagues.