The Let's Play Archive

Armored Core

by ArclightBorealis

Part 1: We Are… A Raven.

If you’re at all curious, here is the opening cinematic that plays upon booting up the game. It’s nothing particularly amazing, just something for people who feel like being reminded of how far CG pre rendered cutscenes have come since 1997.

Armored Core Opening

We now select new game on the main menu, and the game throws this at us right away.

Test Battle
Right from the get go, From Software shows us what tough bastards they are by throwing us into battle before we can begin our career as a Raven. If you somehow thought the Souls series was the start of their mean streak, you have no fucking idea of the history behind this company.

Also, the description for this battle is inaccurate as you aren’t fighting another AC, but two Muscle Tracers (MTs) called Storks. The lineage between MTs and ACs is a bit in depth, and I’ll cover that in another post.

Other than some of the late game missions, this test battle is actually one of the harder things for me to complete because of the controls. More specifically, the fact that the game doesn’t give me a chance to reconfigure them into something I find tolerable. For the record, the thing that makes these controls difficult is that the ability to look up and down is mapped to L2 and R2 respectively. It’s the one thing that trips me up every single time.

As for what we’re equipped with at the moment, we have very cheap, low quality AC parts, a laser blade, a rifle, a back mounted missile launcher, and a radar dish. Near the end of this battle I get tired of using the rifle on the enemies and instead lock onto them with the missiles. While you need to keep the aim box locked onto them before firing the missile, it’ll still track them down even when you lose track of them visually.

Anyway, we successfully defeat the two Storks, and the observer of our battle congratulates us.

Yay, a life of hard mercenary work in our (soon to be) kick ass robot is upon us!

Gentlemen, welcome to the Ravens’ Nest, our main hub that provides everything we will need as a Raven: access to the shop, email, AC customization, and of course missions from various clients.

Before doing anything, let’s check our inbox.

In addition to relaying missions, we mainly provide AC repair services, supply ammo, sell new AC parts, etc…

We also occasionally use e-mail to relay information regarding the missions that you have accepted.

The Nest never interferes with the mission requesters or with the individual Ravens.

Even if you have trouble with the mission requesters, the Nest cannot get involved.
Be aware of this.

Oh, by the way, call me “R”. I will be your contact at the Nest. Whether our association will be long or short depends entirely on your skill.

I’ll be in touch.

So yeah, the message is an overview of the services provided by the Ravens’ Nest which we had already mentioned, along with the name of our primary informant “R”. He’ll be in touch, if you couldn’t tell.

So here’s the pathetic AC build we used in order to get ourselves into the Nest. Yeah, we’re stuck with this thing for a while due to lack of funds. We can sell parts for the exact same value as when you buy them, but that’s not happening (well, except for what we’re about to do) when we’re stuck with the cheapest parts possible for the AC’s basic functionality.

Now, because we have no credits to buy any of these parts, we are expected to go right into a mission and start earning money. We are not going to do that yet. In fact, I’m going to do something that will serve as a good money saver throughout the game and is something everyone should do if it’s their first time playing Armored Core.

First step: sell all arm and back weapons.

Second step: use that money to buy an energy weapon.

Now, because our generator and boosters are shit, the added energy drain from our new weapon is gonna make managing our meter a bit more difficult. But the pay off will be worth it, trust me.

Oh, lest I forget before starting our first mission, go to System.

Save, because other than one specific instance, I plan to have a nigh perfect mission success rate and all failures will cease to exist (the penalties for failing aren’t really worth continuing anyway).
But, also I must reconfigure my controls to make controlling the AC easy for me. All it takes is remapping four buttons, it’s quite simple.

Yep, instead of using L2 and R2 to look up or down, they will now move us forward and backwards, and the D-Pad handles all of the aiming. It may still seem really weird to have the controls be like that, but I feel it better adds to the immersion of piloting a huge, complex machine. It’s kinda strange describing it, but it just works.

All right, everything is now set; let's begin our first mission as a Raven.

We have a choice of two missions. While the first mission nets us a higher monetary reward, the latter has a hidden AC part, and because we’re going for 100% completion, we may as well get it done now. Selling it will actually get us more money overall than what we could get in the Eliminate Squatters mission. So we’ll do Eliminate Strikers.

Workers in the Avalon Valley development area, demonstrating for better working conditions, have taken over the “Doan Bridge.”

They have erected a barricade on the bridge and completely halted traffic. There is no sign of their giving in to the Guards. They persist in demanding to see the HQ.

We told them that we have no time to deal with such trifling matter, but they don’t seem to understand.

Anyway, we can’t leave this as is. In a drawn-out battle, collateral damage would become a problem, so forcibly eliminate them now.

Several Worker MTs are on the bridge, but this should be no problem at all for you Ravens. Our armored division is also deployed. Should be an easy job, so go to it.

Killing labor force that’ve become uncooperative with their employers? Sounds easy enough. Expect to see quite a few missions that have us coming in to clean up a mess the corporations or city guards can’t handle.

Eliminate Strikers

We begin the mission, carrying only a semi powerful energy rifle and a new paint job, but first things first, we must find the hidden AC part. Where could it be? Behind us, actually.

Now on with the mission.

This is as simple as can be, because the mission area is just a straight bridge. Boost up into the air, aim down at the MTs behind the debris, and fire. There are only five enemies to deal with, three WR750R and two CW-283 MTs, so let’s take ‘em out as efficiently as possible with our energy weapon. It drains our meter a bunch, but it only takes three shots per MT to destroy them.

Mission completed. Now let’s get our reward.

So we get the reward as promised, however we got some deductions from our pay as we need to repair our AC.
If you noticed that there were no ammo deductions from our reward, this is what I was referring to when I got the energy weapon at the start. Even though they do have ammo and can run out, those weapons take energy from the AC’s generator instead of using solid ammunition, which costs money. If you aren't careful on these early missions, you could waste enough ammo and take enough damage to end up losing money and going into the red.

These games are no fucking joke.

Anyway, that’s it for now. First mission out of the way, along with our first hidden AC Part. Things will be picking up quite a bit from here on out, so check back soon.

Note: Yes, there were some inconsistencies between the videos and images, especially the last one with the income and expense report. Didn't get the pipeline for this right the first time, but it will be more consistent in future posts.