Part 25: Master of Arena - EX Chapter FINAL: The Other BonusesAs usual, here is where I'll be listing off all the extra stuff that wasn't shown off in detail during the course of the main playthrough but is still interesting enough.
The Remaining EX Arenas
As you know, by default the four EX Arenas that are immediately available when starting the game are the Leg Categories. However, after completing all four of those as well as meeting other conditions on Disc 1, an additional 4 Arenas are made available.
Completing all four Leg Categories unlocks the FROMSOFT Arena. This ladder contains nine ACs of various builds with each pilot being named after an employee at From Software. Doing a bit of research by cross referencing the credits screens of all 3 AC games up this point, these are the identities of these FROMSOFT ACs:
- Rank 1: The pilot "Jin" is a misspelling of then president of head supervisor of all From Software titles Naotoshi Zin. Of all the AC designs in this category, his has the most blatant call out to the company as he is not only equipped with the Moonlight laser blade, but his emblem is two Moonlight Great Swords from King's Field crossed together, with the name of the company labeled below it. Even the name of the AC is another call out to his position in the company during the game's development.
- Rank 2: Karasawa is of course none other than the man whose name adorns the most powerful energy rifle in the series, Yasuyoshi Karasawa. Probably the biggest piece of irony here is that he uses the WG-AR1000 instead of the actual KARASAWA.
- Rank 3: Nabeshima is named after arguably the face of the entire Armored Core series, Toshifumi Nabeshima. He was the director of the very first game, and since then has served as producer for the series all the way up to the latest game Verdict Day, not to mention several other IPs.
- Rank 4: Okamura is named after Mitsuhiro Okamura, one of the people responsible for creating the 3D models in game. His AC's a heavyweight and primarily uses a Napalm Launcher, the WG-FGI-00, which can only be obtained from competing in the Master Arena.
- Rank 5: Kawate is named after Tatsuya Kawate. His exact role in the creation of this game is unclear, being only listed under "STAFF" during the credits. I guess it was just extra hands to help in getting every aspect done in time for release.
- Rank 6: Kamimura is named after Yasuhiro Kamimura, one of the two staff members that primarily worked on the 2D artwork for the game. Based on his AC's emblem and load out, I think it's safe to assume Mr. Kamimura is a huge fan of KARASAWA (the rifle and maybe the man as well).
- Rank 7: Kani is named after Hiroyuki Kani, who's listed in the Master of Arena credits under "DESIGN WORK," so going by that he was likely one of the main game designers. Who knows. Game development titles never feel entirely consistent across studios, do they? His emblem is that of a crab, mainly in reference to his AC's design being a quad and thus "crab-like."
- Rank 8: Koho's is named after...actually, I couldn't find anything. Even without the "'s" going through the credits of all 3 games not a single "Koho" showed up anywhere that I noticed. So maybe he was busy working on a different project and someone from the AC team asked if he was interested in having his name included. Who can say?
- Rank 9: Suzuki is named after Toshiyuki Suzuki. While I was able to find this guy's name, it was in the credits for Project Phantasma and he's listed only under "STAFF." Heck, more people in that game's credits get that listing as opposed to the more detailed descriptions in MoA. So who knows, maybe another random person they asked on a whim similar to Koho's.
Though it is not quite as cool as the Champion Arena, which is unlocked after completing all campaign missions and beating every opponent in the Main and Sub Arenas. While Guest was a category for Japanese publications, Champion is a category containing ACs based on tournament players from Japan during Project Phantasma. so these are ostensibly the AC load outs they used in competitive play. I definitely enjoy it when developers make the effort to take actual player's data and use that construct AI opponents based on it. So even if you never get to meet or face them in person, you can have the satisfaction of getting destroyed by artificial copies. Kinda like VF4 EVO's Quest Mode.
Lastly, once everything on Disc 1 is 100% completed (which kinda ties back into the Guest and Champion unlock conditions), the final category is the Master Arena. The Guest and Champion categories allow you to fight opponents in any order at your leisure, but the Master Arena requires you fight all 19 opponents in order. As this is designed to be the hardest series of challenges on the second disc, every single opponent is a HUMAN PLUS with varying abilities and a good number of them launch into battle overweight. Not much else to say other than I backed down super hard against the first AC after getting utterly destroyed.
The Remaining Parts
Now going through these last four Arenas will net you some extra gear, though again at this point in the game there's rarely any use for them if you've already grown comfortable with the load out you've settled on. Completing the FROMSOFT Arena gives you the WR-RS7, a special rocket launcher that is designed to disrupt an opponent's targeting systems. Completing the Champion Arena nets you an optional part that is just an upgraded version of the SP-ABS, so that means even less recoil from firing weapons. Completing the Guest Arena will get you a floating mine dispenser, the WRR-10. The Master Arena nets you a number of items when you defeat a certain number of foes. First is the Napalm Launcher mentioned earlier, reaching rank 3 gets you the HD-12-RADAR head part, and conquering the entire ladder gets you the P77-ST. This is one is very unique compared to all the others, and here's why.
It's a "stealth" unit. While it is the heaviest, most expensive part with the highest energy drain and takes up both shoulders, this item will "give the AC stealth capability." This make's Master of Arena the first in the series to have this type of item, where it will disrupt the opponent's ability to lock on to you. While in AC3 the stealth equipment there has limited ammo use, this one here only lists the price, weight, and energy drain in its stats. Meaning wearing this thing gives you indefinite stealth and is even more cheating than even PLUS or Overweight ACs are already. The only price to pay is putting an enormous amount of weight on the AC, but that's kind of moot when you consider the option to make your AC overweight is available if you've transferred your 100% AC1 file up to this point. Literally a bonus part in every sense of the word, using it only to screw around with the rest of the game after having cleared out absolutely everything.
And One More Thing...
I know I had been promising one last special video to put an end to this LP, and I have it right here. It's short, unfortunately, as I only received 2 submissions for this custom Goon Arena. But I had some good times putting these two designs together and fighting them.
Custom Arena - AC Goons
Thanks a ton to terrenblade and Seiren for submitting the designs. Surprisingly, the former ended up being much harder for me and requiring more tries, but it was still doable. For as simple as the Ranker Logic interface is, the results are quite damn good considering how early this was implemented in the series.
Alright, LP now over. That's wrap. Have a good 2016.