The Let's Play Archive

Armored Core

by ArclightBorealis

Part 2: Incompetent Guards and Shady MegaCorps

Now, continuing from where we left off, we completed our first mission and obtained the first hidden AC part in the game. First thing to do is check what the specific item is, and then sell it because it definitely does not fit with my all energy AC build.

The WR-L24 is a back mounted rocket launcher with some damn strong attack power and an insanely long range. However, rocket weapons do not lock onto enemies automatically like missiles do, and are incredibly hard to aim as a result. Never mind the fact that the cost per rocket is expensive, just firing it without a guaranteed hit isn’t worth it to me. Sell it.

Now we have quite a bit of money from selling that part and what we earned in the mission. Is there anything we can buy? Why yes, if we can find a part to sell beforehand. AC Parts are sold and bought at the exact same value, and you can leave your AC disassembled for the purpose of selling a part in exchange for a different one. Which is what we are going to do right now.

First off, sell this generator, the GPS-VVA. If we want to keep using our energy weapon, we need something that doesn’t drain as easily. Something like…

…the GBG-10000, a generator with a high energy output, and more importantly an extremely low red zone. If you paid attention to the energy meter during missions, it recharges considerably slower when the energy is in the red. We don’t want to be in that zone all the time, so reducing it from 7800 to 2980 is good.

And while we’re in the shop and have some money left over, let’s get ourselves a better core. First, sell the old one.

And let’s buy the heaviest of the three available cores, the XCH-01. This will give us a few hundred more points of armor for our AC, along with additional extension slots for future use.

With our new core and generator, performance in battle should improve, and you can expect to see much more fast paced action in the missions we’re about to undertake. Let’s get to it!

The Eliminate Squatters mission is still available along two new ones added to the list. Let’s go with Eliminate Squatters.

You are to eliminate a group of illegal squatters at an abandoned factory on the east side of the City. They profess to be radicals opposed to area redevelopment.

However, the planners have already reached an agreement with the citizens in question, so these are merely outlaws who want an excuse to run amuck.

But they are still citizens, so from the standpoint of the Guard, we cannot use force. If they are left as is, there is a risk of affecting the progress of the plan.

There is no need for restraint. We want you to firmly teach them the rules of society.

Basically if some punks are disrupting society and norms prevent you from resolving the issue with force, hire someone who doesn’t care about said norms and deny any involvement.

This mission has six enemies total: 1 CW-283, 3 WR750Rs, and 2 Bishops. Bishop are tall reverse jointed MTs produced by Chrome and this model is the closest to what the MTs were originally designed as, tall reverse jointed walking tanks. The name, just like the two previously mentioned MTs, comes from concept art on the Revolution disc of AC Nexus. With that little primer done, on with the mission!

Eliminate Squatters

Now, this area is much more open than the Doan Bridge, and without radar the enemies won’t be easily seen. Doesn’t stop me from going on the offensive and blasting every MT I come across.

Thanks to our new generator, we can shoot our laser rifle more often and make much more liberal use of our boosters to get around faster.

Although I do come dangerously close near the end to depleting my entire meter and having to sit through a recharging phase.

Mission complete! Let’s see how we did.

Nice, only 565 needed to repair the AC. Once again, investment in energy weapons is very helpful in the early game.

With more money in hand, let’s make another trip to the shop and try getting some new parts. We’ll try switching out heads for now.

The HD-2002 has a built in radar function which is handy to have and eliminates the need to attach a dish to our back at all. It’s not the best one we can get in the game, but it’s what the money will allow for at the moment.

Now let’s get back to mission select. It’s a slightly lower pay, but we’ll go with Destroy Unknown MTs.

We just now discovered several unidentified MTs in the sewers. The MTs overwhelmed the Guards going to investigate and fled. I don’t think they are ordinary citizens.

Our reputation will be ruined if we let them go. We’ll begin our search of the sewers at once, and drive them to you like cattle. You wait there and pound them.

You know, with the Zam City Guard I could understand their predicament and the need to hire a Raven to deal with the squatters. This scenario, however, screams of incompetence. Given that Chrome is established in Isaac City and has a lot of influence there, you’d think they’d have put some of their budget towards making the guards more efficient and competent at their jobs. Oh well.

Only eight enemies to deal with in this mission and all of them are Bishops. It’s also a very straightforward mission similar to Eliminate Strikers. Let’s go.

Destroy Unknown MTs.

Just run straight ahead, while strafing from side to side to avoid fire, and destroy every Bishop in sight. It’s not a straight road like the Doan Bridge, but it’s still a straight corridor none the less. No need to worry about enemies attacking your blind spots. And the goddamn city guard had trouble with these things?

Now let’s get our pay and head home.

Hmm, 773 in expenses. Not too bad.

We return to the shop, and immediately sell the head we just bought prior to the previous mission. The reason is after selling it we have enough money for the next best head part with built in radar.

The HD-REDEYE. Not only is the radar enhanced, but should we need to look at a map of the area, this head part will provide us a detailed recreation of the area. There is another head that does all this but better and includes the noise canceller and bio sensor functions, but those aren’t necessary at the moment.

Next mission on the list, let’s take a look at Reclaim Oil Facility.

We want you to attack the terrorist group “Struggle” that is occupying the oil extraction facility “Tide”.

Although this facility is now completely abandoned, we were at the point of initiating a retrofit plan.

Their purpose can be none other than to sabotage our company. We cannot let this delay construction, that would only play into their hands.

The Tide facility may have some old tanks that still contain oil. They might explode if hit, so be very careful in your operations.

So Chrome wants us to deal with a terrorist group who are occupying an oil rig. This is the first time we are given a name on any group of enemies we face in a mission, and we’ll just say that Struggle isn’t the only terrorist group causing trouble in the Armored Core world.

Seven enemies to deal with, all of which are flying. This won’t be a problem.

Reclaim Oil Facility

Gentlemen, meet the Tiger Moths and Tankette Type-Ms. There are two of the former and five of the latter. Unfortunately, the origin of their names comes from this supposed Japanese only site where a full translation is pending, but these will do for now. Both of these MTs are unmanned, so the members of Struggle are most likely keeping the oil rig captive while remaining off site. Of the two MTs, the Type-M fires missile. The M in the name stands for missile, if you couldn’t guess.

While it doesn’t happen to me here, if the battle goes on for a certain amount of time, a transmission from a Chrome operator will tell you that they will engage in support fire and launch missiles at the MTs. This happened to me in the past when I did not upgrade my generator sooner, as I found myself running out of energy frequently and having to run from enemy fire.

Another mission completed. Let’s see how we did.

Only 1019 in expenses. Also another thing that can happen in the mission but didn’t for me, Chrome are serious when they say be careful of hitting the tanks. Having a couple get blown up is fine (it’s inevitable if enemy fire comes up) but if all the tanks are destroyed, 5000 credits will be deducted from your pay.

We’re back at the Nest, and we got new mail! Haven’t received any messages in quite a while, have we?

We got two messages this time: One of them is from Chrome, thanking us for our work at the oil right, and the other is from “R”, filling us in on details about the terrorist group Struggle.

You’re pretty handy with an AC, but that alone is not enough for you to survive. Not skill alone.

Remember this well.

Yeah, messages from Chrome tend to be rather terse and sound like a bunch of hard asses. It’s a huge corporate entity though with more powerful than the actual government, what would you expect?
Let’s see what “R” has to say.

-well-armed, exceeding even “Imminent Storm.”

In other words, they must have some powerful backing behind them. The only corporation that has the power to resist Chrome is none other than Murakumo Millennium.

Murakumo must be giving some sort of organizational support to Struggle in order to whittle away at the power of Chrome: a very likely situation as you must see.

I’ll be in touch.

So far we had only taken missions from Chrome or the various city guards, but none from any of the rival corporations like Murakumo. Now that we are made aware of the existence of Chrome’s only major corporate rival, we’ll be seeing more of them, as well as the conflict between the two continuing to escalate. The details about the two megacorps will be made in a separate post later on.

Now I head to the shop to look for some new arms and legs for the AC. This is where I do a whole lot of selling and buying of the same parts to get the right amount of money so I won’t show you the process I went through.

We had been stuck with the same arms and legs since the beginning, but now we have equipped ourselves with the AN-101 and LN-1001B. Our AP has increased quite a bit more, almost up to 9000.

Let’s take a look at the next mission at hand, Stop Security MTs.

The city security system that we monitor has been destroyed and security MTs from various areas are running amuck. The true perpetrator is as yet unknown.

All of the Guards are trying to control the situation, but the scope of damage is too wide, so we cannot completely handle it.

We are asking the Ravens for help. Destroy all of the security MTs in the business district of the city. We have already evacuated the citizens. No need for restraint.

I can appreciate a client that says no need for restraint. Shows they don’t have much concern for the collateral damage and political backlash that would follow a giant fucking robot blowing shit up in your city. You can only wonder what went on through these peoples’ heads before they had to contact a Raven for help.

There’s quite a lot of MTs in the mission, but all of them are the same model. Let’s begin.

Stop Security MTs

These MTs are referred to as Dawns (again, origin of the name isn't clear). They are only equipped with dual missile and dual rocket launchers. We've dealt with enemies that shoot missiles in the last mission, but this one is a good opportunity to practice a skill any AC pilot should utilize.

In Armored Core, there are various types of missiles, both in size and more importantly firing trajectory. For the player it’s important to use a missile that fires in a way that it won’t collide with the environment easily (a vertically firing missile is better suited for open areas, for instance). For the AC on the receiving end of a missile, they need to be able to properly avoid it. Missiles in general will home in on you when fired. However, the initial trajectory is always different (some shoot in an arc, others fire vertically, etc), and dodging at the last second possible won’t give the missile enough time to redirect itself and most likely crash into the environment.

Since the enemies are just on this straight road, this is good practice to try and weave between and around missiles. I don’t pull it off 100% of the time, but I do it more often than not that I feel pretty good about it.

Anyway, we finish that mission with good results, I feel.

I always feel satisfied when I don’t have to pay more than a grand for AC repairs.

Now, with the last few missions, I’ve followed them up with visits to the shop to see if I can get some new AC parts. We’re not gonna do that right now, because of the next mission, Remove Gun Emplacement.

We want you to destroy a Chrome gun emplacement. The gun emplacement construction site is located in an ocean buffer zone just barely outside Murakuo territory.

Our repeated warnings to halt construction have been completely ignored.

Chrome offers only transparent excuses about maintaining security but their intentions are clearly a pre-emptive military attack.

We now have no choice but to use force. This time we have prepared an AC part as your pay. It is a prototype of the highest quality. We are counting on the Ravens.

First mission from Murakumo, and instead of money as reward it’s a new AC part. It probably goes without saying, but anytime a megacorp mentions another megacorp it is never in a way that sounds pleasant. These two very much don’t like each other.

Also, this is the first mission we get where destroying every enemy isn’t a requirement. Only the four guns need to be taken out, and since we aren’t getting any money out of it to cover expenses, we want to be in and out of there as quickly as possible. This is why I didn’t waste any money in the shop so I won’t go into the red. With that said, let’s begin the mission.

Remove Gun Emplacement

Here we start the mission with a cutscene of a dropship deploying our AC. These aircraft are referred to as Barracuda, and while you don’t see it in the video, the sound of something exploding is actually the Barracuda getting destroyed LITERALLY seconds after dropping us. This is a very clear reason NOT to drop your troops right on top of a battle zone, at least do it when you’re out of their firing range.

Anyway, the mission has begun, and we boost our way towards the gun turrets while ignoring the Firebrands swarming around us. There are seven of them, but you don’t get any monetary bonuses for killing them. The job is only to destroy the guns and that’s it.

Because of how long we were taking fire, we have to pay 1148 in AC repairs. It was smart to have that 16+ grand set aside.

Anyway, new mail in our inbox, let’s go check it.

Chrome’s tyrannical conduct is becoming more and more violent every day.

We would never stoop to the kind of wrongful use of force that they embrace, but we have no choice but to fight.

I hope we can count on you the next time the need arises.

Now, compared to the tone of Chrome’s message from a while back, Murakumo’s seems much more thankful for our services. But I dunno, I’m not so quick to take sides with any large corporate entity that holds enough power to exert influence over the human race. Chrome’s a bunch of hard asses, but at least they don’t try to paint their image to look like they’re in the right, which is what Murakumo’s message kinda sounds like to me.

This is why I always liked the concept of Ravens and the Ravens’ Nest. Total neutrality.

Anyway, that does it for this part. Expect more missions along with gradually upgrading our AC, as well as more background information about the Armored Core world.

I’ll be in touch.