The Let's Play Archive

Armored Core: Project Phantasma and Master of Arena

by ArclightBorealis

Part 21: Master of Arena - Chapter 9: The Plot Deepens

Only six guys left in the area. We're definitely getting closer to the top, so we'll keep going until something forces us to stop.

Main Arena Ranks #6 - 4

Arena rank description is still not quite fully praising our ability, but it will get there soon.

Reward: 92000 C

This guy's machine is really good at connecting with the player but his AC, or rather his behavior, has a major flaw in that he's extremely slow to turn if you get to his side or behind. Doesn't help that he doesn't make full use of his mobility to better reposition himself, rather opting to jump up and down while slowly turning to track the player. With that in mind, as well as having a low ceiling to keep the jumping limited, Auto's not too bad.

Reward: 97000 C

Sleek is really damn fast, making use of boost hopping techniques and circling around the player. Though if you're able to lead him right into a corner or wall and have him get stuck for a few seconds you can easily deal some heavy damage. Otherwise, just make sure you're able to keep him in sight and stay on the move.

Reward: 103000 C

Another KARASAWA user, and as you'd expect he's very damn threatening. As such the battle called for energy arm cannons, and even then I was unsure I'd be able to turn this match around. That rifle seriously hurts when it hits so you gotta prepared to lead those shots and dodge them. Cover from the pillars does a good enough job providing some leeway for that, but it's always brief.

During these battles, I unlocked a new booster part for reach rank 5.

It has significant boost power which makes it great if you want to get around real fast, but for the AC build I am currently using the increased weight and charge drain makes it less favorable than the regular boosters I have equipped. On a heavier AC with higher weight limit this would be more useful, especially to compensate for heavy ACs being much slower.

And before we can start challenging the top 3, we got a new mail. Well, two actually.

Sender: Elan Cubis

How are you? It has been a while.
I've come across some tantalizing
information in regards to the
corporations involved with

It seems that all corporate sponsors
involved with Nine-Ball experience
either rapid success, or deteriorate
quickly and disappear.

Therefore, I'm lead to believe that
the recent attacks against PROGTECH
are probably intended to destroy the

Not only is he a skillful Raven, but
he also seems to harbor some secret
agenda. Who is this man?

Elan has become a lot more chatty with us as of late. Though it is nice to be receiving more info about Nine-Ball, especially as we start to approach the end game.


An emergency situation has arisen.
We have an urgent request regarding
a mission for you. Please read the
request description for more info.

And of course, we get a new mission because PROGTECH's found themselves in deep shit once again.

We've relocated our Chief Scientist, Elan Cubis, to our Corporate HQ. Unfortunately our timing couldn't have been
worse, as the building is now under attack.

The ID of the intruders is unknown and all attempts to stop their progress have failed. They're making headway towards
the building's core and Elan's location.

We have no time to waste. A top-class Raven such as yourself is needed immediately. Take out the intruders.

Unknown intruders, PROGTECH execs in danger...who's gonna take a bet Nine-Ball's gonna show up this time?

Ah, whatever, let's get going.

In we go into corporate headquarters that seems suspiciously designed to allow ease of movement for giant robots.

Well, that answers the question right there. Gonna have to make sure I don't get hurt too much before I actually face him.

This mission is very quiet and devoid of enemies for the first two floors, but once you hit the second console to summon an elevator...'s an ambush! The walls open up and reveal some Stinkbug and Heavy Bold MTs. They take about the same amount of damage to take down, either from the back cannon or the KARASAWA.

And how convenient. The elevator I summoned just arrived after mopping up the last of the MTs on this floor. But more are waiting up above.

Always fly up the elevator shafts to save time as well as make yourself less likely to take damage immediately upon reach the top. Also don't make the same mistake I do in the video by trying to melee the Heavy Bolds. Really hard to time it as they'll always push right back.

At this point, I have already expended 30% of the ammo I have for the KARASAWA, and because we got Nine-Ball at the end of this level I want to save as much as I can for that fight. So I switch to the back mounted laser cannon and blow everything to pieces.

And this tactic pretty much continues for the next few corridors and rooms until I reach an elevator that actually descends instead of ascends.

The enemies start to thin out by this point, though I have also sustained more than 50% damage to my AC. Hope it holds up till the end.

Down this short corridor is a door leading to an circular room, with our target inside.

After that brief talk of power, the fight commences.

Now, Nine-Ball's tactics in this fight are about the same as when we last encountered, although because of the smaller space of this room compared to the open factory area from before, he's more likely to rush you and go for a blade attack. Lots of boosting to stay out of his way while also avoiding his pulse rifle shots.

OF course, he still has no problems with locking you into a corner by repeatedly firing his dual missiles, which actually makes him still a very easy target to hit because his lateral movement becomes almost nonexistent.

Wait a second. He's exploding? Nine-Ball didn't retreat?

Holy shit guys, we did it!

We took down Nine-Ball and saw the bastard go up in flames. Yeah, we took a lot of damage getting to him and a lot was at risk, but now that he's done for our primary goal is basically done now. Crazy, right? I was almost expecting so major final boss encounter out of that, but at least now he should be knocked off the rankings and I should be moved up to-


WHAT!? What is this?

Elan, Lana, PROGTECH, someone, ANYONE explain to me what this bullshit is!

Sender: Elan Cubis

It appears as though you have
destroyed Nine-Ball, but why
does he still exist in the

There is still no useful data
pertaining to Hustler One, but
we have been able to identify
the group responsible for
tampering with his data.

It was the NEST. There is no
mistaking the fact that the
RAVENS' NEST was tampering
with his data.

I'm still not sure how Hustler One
is connected to the NEST, but I do
know this...the NEST isn't just a
normal Raven support organization,
but also something else.

Well, this has gotten pretty serious. Even the Nest is corrupt. Though considering the last incarnation of this organization was being controlled by an AI, somehow I'm not exactly surprised.

But enough about that. Nine-Ball's still out there supposedly and the only thing left now is to get a shot at him in the Arena.

Main Arena Ranks #3 - 2

Reward: 110000 C

The Great S. is essentially the P27 from the last fight, except with even more armor, less mobility, and on top of using the KARASAWA can fire multi missiles. All that can be said is same strategies as before apply, only way more patience and persistence is required to succeed. That armor can take quite a while to whittle down without the right tools.

Top 3, baby, nothing's stopping us now!

Hell, we even earned some new arms out of it.

This is one of two new arm parts in Master of Arena, this one being a normal arm type. It's on the heavier side of things, with the most energy defense points of all the normal arm parts, and on top of that has plenty of AP. While it doesn't have a unique function in this regard, it's also the first arm part that has built in shields on its forearms. They're just there for aesthetics. Nice design too, but not one we can fit on our AC as is without breaking the weight limit rules.

Anyway, back to the Arena.

Reward: 150000 C

Big piece of advice is to not stay too close to Pandora. His AC's got the FINGER, and while the ammo and attack power got a big nerf after Project Phantasma, it can still be devastating if you're in its line of fire for too long. Otherwise, this AC's got so little AP than the average AC the only way it could be lower is if it swapped the regular arms for weapon arms. Just keep a good distance, dodge the rockets when he starts using them, and fire until he's down. Nothing an experienced Raven can't handle.

And here we are. Rank #2. It's just me and Nine-Ball now. Nothing's gonna stop me fro-

Oh god dammit, what NOW!?

Sender: Elan Cubis

I am, as far as I can determine,
in the safest possible places.

I did some digging in the NEST
data bank and the only relevant
pilot data information I found
in regards to Nine-Ball was a
strange word; [H-1].

The impression I got was that H-1
wasn't a person's name, but the
name of some sort of part.

It's possible that a person called
Hustler One doesn't even exist in
the first place.

Interestingly, the name of your
previous NEST contact, Lana Nielsen,
also came up during my search.

There must be some connection
between Lana and Nine-Ball.
Please be careful!


Please be safe, Elan.

Sender: Lana Nielsen

It has been a while. Congratulations
on reach the second highest rung
on the Arena ladder. I never thought
you would achieve such success.

Your skills have far exceeded my
original estimation of you. You
have become too powerful!

Do you remember? I told you I'd
arrange a meeting with Nine-Ball
for you one day. Well, that day
has arrived.

Oh...oh dear.

Well, because we got kicked back out of the Arena again, I can only assume that this battle won't be following the rules of the Arena. Something bad's probably waiting for me.

Time to go make some preparations.

Extensive preparations.

See you all on ⑨ Day.