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Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game)

 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game)
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TVTItem
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game)
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Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game)
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game)
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AceCombatZeroTheBelkanWar
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game)
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Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_1'); })In this, the seventh game in the Ace Combat series (released in 2006), a journalist from the Osean Federation named Brett Thompson films a documentary on the history of the Belkan War, which was alluded to in the previous game; In 1995, the Belkan Federation began an invasion of the newly-autonomous Republic of Ustio, hoping to reclaim the resource-rich territory that had once been theirs. 90% of Ustio's air force was destroyed in the opening days of the war and as they were overrun, Belka turned its attention towards the Osean Federation, the Union of Yuktobanian Republics and their allies. Unamused, the allied nations sided with Ustio and delivered a smackdown of national proportions and everyone lived happily ever after, right? Well...In its final days, Ustio took desperate measures and recruited a number of mercenary pilots in a last ditch effort to fend off the encroaching Belkans. One of these pilots is the true interest of Thompson, a legendary ace known as the Demon Lord of the Round Table. In his time, he was known by the callsign, Cipher, and was number one of the Galm Squadron alongside Larry "Pixy" Foulke, aka Solo Wing. As Cipher, you play through the most famous battles of the Belkan War and deal with its bloody and tragic aftermath, as Thompson interviews the various people that encountered the Demon Lord and lived to tell the tale, as he tries to find out the truth of the Belkan War.Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_2'); })In terms of the Ace Combat series, The Belkan War differs mainly in its presentation of the story. It takes the form of a retrospective using live action actors to play the parts and invests a significant amount of effort in demonstrating the extent to which the Demon Lord affected the lives of everyone who fought him. It is also the only installment that features a Karma Meter: based on whether you spare non-hostile targets or destroy them for more cash, the game identifies Cipher as either a Knight, a Soldier, or a Mercenary, which determines how other characters treat you and which bosses you face.The events that take place in this game are not to be confused with the other Belkan War that brought about the downfall of an ancient empire, though the similarities are strong and Shout Outs to this game abound.Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_3'); })Now has a character sheet. Please put all character-relevant tropes there.
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Cherry Tapping
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_10b6b5f7
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Cherry Tapping: Beating Pixy with the A-10 Thunderbolt/Warthog (close air support ground attack), F-117A Nighthawk (stealth ground attack) or EA-6B Prowler (electronic warfare, and due to how its ECMP works possibly even more useless in most missions), none of which are meant to be an air superiority fighter... or try a gunkill. On Ace. Then Serial Escalation kicks in with the Gauntlet, ending with Mobius One and his Raptor using an Ace Nighthawk Gunkill. Or take a ride in a J35J Draken and Hoist Alberto "Espada One" Lopez By His Own Starting Plane.
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Darker and Edgier
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_14beeefd
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Darker and Edgier: Especially by comparison to the previous two entries in the series. Usually, the lines between the "good guys" and the "bad guys" are pretty clear-cut. Here, however, while the Belkans are clearly the aggressors, the Allied Forces demonstrate themselves to be both willing and eager to extract their pound of flesh for no better reason than simple revenge. It's also the only game in the series that lets you deliberately target non-combatants. Not to mention that the Final Boss of the game is your own brother-in-arms.
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Does This Remind You of Anything?
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Does This Remind You of Anything?: Belka nuked themselves on June 6, 1995. Might crossover with Rule of Symbolism since this is the earliest time in the story's canon nukes being used are mentioned.
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Live-Action Cutscene
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Live-Action Cutscene: Used as a deliberate stylistic choice. The Framing Device is an Osean journalist conducting a series of interviews with Belkan War veterans to investigate the mysterious pilot going by the callsign "Cipher". Said interviews star live actors (who were still dubbed over by voice actors) and punctuate gameplay segments where their characters fight either alongside or against Cipher.
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Title Drop
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Title Drop: "We'll start over from 'zero' with this V2..." (complete with quotations in the subtitles).
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Always Someone Better
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Always Someone Better: Larry "Solo Wing Pixy" Foulke starts the game more notorious than the player character Cipher, and mentions at the end of the first mission that "he (Cipher) had potential." He goes on to have a friendly relationship with Cipher and refers to him as "Buddy" whenever possible even after turning on you and becoming the final boss.
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Mission-Pack Sequel
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Mission-Pack Sequel: Serves as a prequel to Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War, greatly expanding upon the Belkan War and having a handful of Unsung War's characters in cameos. Fittingly, the game itself looks and plays more or less exactly like 5, and even features a couple of the same areas.
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The Rival
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An optional ace on the Knight variation of mission 10 uses the paint scheme of Yellow 13, Mobius 1's rival.
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Those Two Guys
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Those Two Guys: The commander of Ruchs unit (a Belkan transport unit) and his second-in-command Johan. They never appear in person, but their radio chatter can be heard in a few missions as a sort of Running Gag. They can be heard in missions 2 (where the commander tells Johan that they're going to break through the Allied offensive to deliver their cargo), 11 (where they flee Hoffnung in trucks, carrying a wounded soldier with them) and 14 (where they supply renegade Belkan troops with ammunition).
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Would Not Shoot a Civilian
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_1f6ec528
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Would Not Shoot a Civilian: Played straight with your allies Pixy and PJ, who will only target combatants. Cipher also adheres to this if played as a Knight. Averted with the Allied Forces in Mission 11, when you're tasked with accompanying a surgical strike that quickly turns into saturation bombing.
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Law of Chromatic Superiority
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_1f7b2d59
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Law of Chromatic Superiority: Used with Pixy's colour scheme, though only on the right wing. Averted with Cipher, who is most associated with the same F-15C as Pixy, but with a blue-themed paint scheme.
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Ominous Latin Chanting
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_1fdaf8ff
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Ominous Latin Chanting: "Zero". But in truth, seeing as its a remix of "The Unsung War", it's actually heroic Latin chanting.
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Genre Blindness
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Genre Blindness: A particularly cruel example with PJ: "Now the war is finally over. I got a girlfriend back at the base. I'm gonna propose to her when I get back. I even bought flowers." Three seconds later, he's blown out of the sky.
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Karma Meter
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Karma Meter: Knight/Soldier/Mercenary. Mercenary is as much evil as the game gets, as pilots see you as a despicable bastard who's only concerned with money. Soldiers are more neutral, as you're only following orders and doing whatever it takes to turn the tide of battle, and knight is not-quite-Good but at least honorable in battle.
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Hufflepuff House
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Hufflepuff House: Ustio and Sapin are this to Osea and Yuktobania despite the fact that the player character is from (or at least working for) one of these Third-Party Countries.
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Bilingual Bonus
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Grun Squadron all fly F/A-18C Hornets. In other words, they're all Green Hornets. As an added bonus, they all actually use a green paint scheme◊.
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Lampshade Hanging
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_2a090d00
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Lampshade Hanging: In the final mission, just before the last phase of the fight, Pixy, who has become disillusioned with the nature of war, remarks that "this twisted game needs to be reset!" For bonus points, it's then followed up with the Title Drop mentioned further down in the article. While it's unlikely the character knows he's in a game, it's still a great moment, especially if you've been playing the game as a Mercenary Ace, reminding you of just how much of a bastard you've been for blowing up defenseless targets just for extra cash.
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Peace Conference
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Peace Conference: According to the Narrator in Zero, a peace conference was held in Lumen, a city on the border between Belka and Osea, to end the Belkan War. The player doesn't see it happen, but it can be overheard while fighting what's left of the Belkan military.
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Number of the Beast
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Number of the Beast: Galm Team is the Ustio 6th Air Division, 66th Squadron. Demon Lord indeed.
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Deconstructor Fleet
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_30c40e9a
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Deconstructor Fleet: This game questions A LOT about the franchise. The concept of the Featureless Protagonist. People know almost nothing about you except your skills, to the point that you're seen as a demon on the battlefield because that's all people really know. Years later, because you disappear after the events of the game, people don't even know you exist (until Brett Thompson finishes his report, anyway, and even then, he still only knows of the "Legendary Ace Cipher, called The Demon Lord of the Round Table". He has no idea who it is). The game also takes what happened to Yellow Squadron in the fourth game and ramps it up to the max, with bios for all 169 aces you can shoot down. The game also shows exactly what happened during the Great Offscreen War that was the Belkan War, as well as why the Gray Men from the last game were so angry about all of it. You thought Belka was just being petty? You have no idea. In-universe. Of the Belkan War. Those who played Ace Combat 5 first will be told that the evil Belkans invaded other countries and the heroic Allies liberated them. Well that happened, but after Ustio was liberated, Thompson says it perfectly, "The true nature of the war begins from this point forward." Not all Belkans were evil, as evidenced by the interviews. And the Allied Forces invaded Belka in the first place to secure "resource interests." Come Mission 11, Allied bombers destroy an entire Belkan city, and the Belkans rush frantically to defend it... before deciding to burn it anyway just so the Allies can't say they did. To quote Thompson again, "Everyone is a hero and a villain. And no one knows who's the victim or who's the aggressor." Pixy didn't know either. So he defected.
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Even Evil Has Standards
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Even Evil Has Standards: In Mission 12, when you learn about the bombers carrying nuclear weaponry, a large squadron of neutral Belkan aircraft show up and tell the target aircraft that if they do not immediately turn around and return to base, the neutral squadron will destroy them themselves.
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Kick the Dog
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Kick the Dog: One mission has you assisting Allied bombers destroying a Belkan munitions facility, but they make it known right from the start that they're prioritizing destruction over accuracy. The whole mission is a reference to the firebombing of Dresden during World War II, where the Allies were equally indiscriminate. It's not just a munitions facility — it's an entire city. And the Allied forces aren't the only ones kicking the dog — Belkan forces are committing arson to many buildings, some of them privately owned, on their way out. Even more disturbing, its implied that the Belkan Army is doing it to Belkan civilian homes and then retreating from the city and leaving those civilians to burn. If you slightly graze one of the factory targets with bullets, there is a chance they will tell you over the radio that they are not a weapons factory. And yet, it is still listed as a target. Ouch. The bombers' radio chatter is borderline Ax-Crazy as well: Playing a mercenary is this in a nutshell, as you rack up kills for the sole purpose of building up more dosh.
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Gratuitous German
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_35fb9016
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Gratuitous German: Subverted, all of the Belkan Air Force ace pilots are named with German words such as Schnee (Snow), Rot (Red) and Schwann (Swan), sometimes however, they do get the translations wrong (Grun for example is supposed to have an umlaut over the U, several adjectives are gendered wrong for the nouns they're attached to, and Trombe is incorrectly translated as tornado). On the other hand, Belkan may not actually be 100% identical to real life German.
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Sequential Boss
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_363e9631
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Sequential Boss: Morgan. First, it only uses its Tactical Laser System. After a few hits it follows up with its Multi-Purpose Burst Missile, and then you destroy both. Then it activates V2, and you have 5 minutes to shoot down the Morgan, by literally jousting it from the front with arrowhead attacks. Justified, as the first two phases are you stalling for time as your AWACS analyzes the Morgan for any weaknesses.
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Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism
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Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Probably the most cynical Ace Combat game to date, with it being more or less cynical based on your Ace Style.
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Kill Tally
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_3a552069
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Kill Tally: Since Cipher is a mercenary, the game keeps track of how many kills you rack up with each plane by representing marks for every 1, 10, and 100 kills. When you reach 765 kills total, the kill tally icons are replaced with Pellets, Ghosts, and Pac-Man respectively.
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Foregone Conclusion
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_3bc88a7f
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Foregone Conclusion: If you've played 5, you already know that the Belkans lose, and that they drop nukes on their own territory. But despite knowing that, the major twist is that's not the end of the game. The failure of the Belkans and AWWNB, and their goals to change the world, is all but outright stated to be the inevitable conclusion by the last text slide of the intro video.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_3bc88a7f
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Schizo Tech
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_3c5ae1a1
comment
Schizo Tech: Zero takes place in 1995 and features squadrons of both the Su-47 and F-35C, years before the only Real Life prototypes for each were ever flown.note The only plane using a period-appropriate model is the F/A-18C Hornet, rather than the Super Hornet — yet you also get an even more anachronistic electronic-warfare plane based on the Super Hornet. You can also own a fully operational and in fact has-more-options-than-a-later-version ADF-01 FALKEN at a time when its series' immediate predecessor is the most amazing plane in the world and a treasure trove of otherwise one-of-a-kind technology. In the FALKEN's case, its inclusion, along with the inclusion of the X-02 Wyvern, is most likely non-canon. Since this is an alternate world, the inclusion of the Su-47 and such fits in with this world's more advanced technology.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_3c5ae1a1
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Bittersweet Ending
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_40cc0c7e
comment
Bittersweet Ending: On various fronts. The Allied Counterattack arc of the game, spanning from missions 7 through 12, ends with Belka being decisively defeated and the war officially coming to an end. However, this only comes after the Allied Forces' bombing of Hoffnung and Belka detonating nuclear weapons on their own soil in an attempt to stave off the invasion. Worse still, the combined weight of these events causes your wingman Pixy to go rogue and attack you, not to be seen again until the final level. The final third of the game ends this way as well, arguably more bitter than the former example. Cipher's replacement wingman, PJ, is shot down and killed by the now-rogue Pixy, who proceeds to engage in seemingly a battle to the death with Cipher. Cipher successfully manages to shoot down Pixy during their battle, and thus prevent a nuclear apocalypse in the process. For reasons unknown to anyone but himself, Cipher disappears from the battlefield and from history immediately afterwards, never to be seen again.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_40cc0c7e
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In-Universe
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_469e3e2f
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In-Universe, the FALKEN is just given to you when you unlock it. It really has no mention anywhere in the storyline. This is Gameplay and Story Segregation, as the Morgan is very clearly an early version of the FALKEN, with standard jet engines, a normal cockpit and a less efficient laser weapon. The FALKEN doesn't even exist when Zero takes place (later materials mention it was built in response to the Belkan War's outcome), it's just a bonus.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_469e3e2f
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Four Is Death
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_471a505f
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Four Is Death: Crow Team is the 6th Air Division, 4th Air Force Unit. All three members end up dead by the end of the game.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_471a505f
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Scenery Gorn
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_49d18492
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Scenery Gorn: The Hresvelgr mission opens with your airbase being bombed to flaming ruins by what is basically a flying aircraft carrier/battleship. And you see it happen in first person, from the cockpit of your plane still on the ground. The entire level takes place in ground zero of the bombing, as you fly over the desolate landscapes of the mountains.
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Downer Ending
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_4e3d253b
comment
Downer Ending: Some of the pilots that you (have to) shoot down do not have happy endings, or at least must have taken quite the hit to the ego in their postwar lives: Anthony "Bedivere" Palmer works for an insurance company; Dominic "Vulture" Zubov is a fugitive war criminal; Franz Breitner (Indigo 4) was killed after the Belkan War in a crossfire with guerrillas while visiting a village on behalf of a children's charity; and Marcela "Macarena" Vasquez's beloved flight lead Alberto Lopez does not survive long after being shot down by Galm 1: in the Mercenary story path he's killed when his J35J Draken fighter is destroyed, in Soldier he eventually passed away from his injuries suffered that day, and in Knight he eventually returned to the sky only to get shot down again and die there. Possibly the most visible would be former Belkan Air Force poster boy turned history professor Detlef "Red Swallow" Fleisher who wouldn't even look directly at the camera, still unable to swallow his pride a decade later and accept his defeat by mercenaries. Named enemy pilots whose defeat is not required include: Hariman Reinhardt, who had to retire due to vision problems; Dietmar Wolf was dubiously tried as a war criminal (though the charges were dismissed); Yuri Dashkov's own wingman testified against him after their capture; and there's Daniel Bierofka the car salesman... On the other hand, the narrator later says that "They always had a slight smile on their faces" whenever they talked about the Demon Lord. Perhaps the point of the interviews is to say that the only glory in war is to live long enough to see its end. In fact, the final line in the trailer of Zero is "There is only one rule in war: Survive".
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_4e3d253b
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Book-Ends
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_5313c266
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Book-Ends: It is snowing during both the first and last missions of the game. Why note this? Because that's when Cipher and Pixy first met each other, and when they last fought each other. Pixy even makes note of it both times.
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The Empire
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_556a4e20
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The Empire: Belka.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_556a4e20
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Boss Rush
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_5a5de5ca
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Boss Rush: The bonus stage 'Gauntlet' allowed the player to face four randomly chosen enemy ace squadrons in a row.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_5a5de5ca
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Combat Commentator
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Combat Commentator: Pretty much any radio chatter that doesn't pertain to your mission objectives.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_5a6c9d5c
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Disc-One Nuke
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_5b81ca8d
comment
Disc-One Nuke: The F-5E, one of your three starting planes, is equipped with QAAMs, which can down non-ace squad enemies in one shot and don't require constant target painting like the Draken's SAAMs, and is nearly as agile as mid-range planes that unlock quite a bit later, like the F-20A and F-16C. Have a save file from the previous two games and you can unlock superfighters from both as early as mission 1. Play as a mercenary, and you'll soon rake in enough cash to afford either one, and you can basically cruise through the rest of the game easily. Even without an Old Save Bonus, if you either kill or spare every single yellow target in missions one and two, you can just barely push the ace style gauge into the mercenary or knight styles, respectively, in time for the first battle of the Round Table. Playing as a mercenary nets you the Typhoon, which is just barely inferior to endgame planes like the F-22A and Su-47, while playing as a knight nets the Gripen, which is only slightly inferior to that and easily equal or better than mid-game planes like the F-15C. And at the end of what could be considered "disc one", no matter your ace style, you unlock the Su-37 Terminator after mission six, which is fully equal to planes like the F-22A and Su-47, has some of the best SP weapon options in the game (XLAA and FAEB), and can easily carry you through the entire rest of the game once you can afford it.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_5b81ca8d
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Disney Villain Death
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_5bdcc85a
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Disney Villain Death: Darren Knowles (Sorcerer 2) died on impact when his parachute caught fire after ejecting from his plane.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_5bdcc85a
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Dashing Hispanic
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_5cfa64d0
comment
Dashing Hispanic: Espada Team is a Battle Couple made up of two. On a musical level, the Hispanic instruments in "Zero" are part of what makes it one of the most badass, if not the most badass, tune in the series.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_5cfa64d0
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You Kill It, You Bought It
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_5e2f5ad2
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You Kill It, You Bought It: A bit more literal than other examples in the series, in that most jets available to the player are unlocked by shooting down an enemy ace flying it, via the squadron boss-fights at various points determined by the Ace Style gauge; a byproduct of this is that the SP paint schemes for a lot of planes don't require any particular extra effort to get, because getting them is still tied to shooting down the aces that give you the plane in the first place. This also results in the odd situation that a Knight player will unlock the excellent Su-37 four missions before the F-4E, which is a flying brick in comparison — but won't be able to afford it for six more missions or so, especially if they bought the Gripen or Hornet they already unlocked three missions before that.
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Late-Arrival Spoiler
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_5f3bb274
comment
Late-Arrival Spoiler: The Belkans' detonation of seven nuclear weapons on their own soil is one of these, as it was given away at the start of the previous game as part of the backstory.
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Improbable Piloting Skills
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_61a35c24
comment
Improbable Piloting Skills: While superhuman piloting performance is to be expected of both the Player Character and ace opponents, it is taken to the extreme in the final battle — according to the Aces At War: A History art book, Cipher forced Pixy to override the 7 G limit on the "Zoisite" Tactical Laser System and the stress of operation under G-loads explicitly exceeding 11 G's (sustaining 9 G's is just about the upper end of G-suit augmented human limits before succumbing to G-LOC) was at least as important to destroying his TLS as actual battle damage.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_61a35c24
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Gameplay and Story Segregation
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_6320eced
comment
Gameplay and Story Segregation: According to Aces At War: A History, the TLS used on the Morgan (both ADFX-01 and ADFX-02) necessitates a G-limiter preventing the plane from exceeding 7 G's to avoid damage to the laser. Neither plane is actually restricted from performing extremely high-G maneuvers (justifiable as overriding or disabling the G-limiter) or suffers loss of use of its TLS during or after high-G maneuvers.
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New Game+
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Mission 2 has a couple AA guns hidden among a clutter of yellow targets (civilian farms and houses); Pixy, unless you're playing on the Mercenary path (at this point in the game, only possible on a New Game+), will note this and claim that he's not sure Cipher wants to go through with the mission. It takes some effort, but you can pick out those AA guns for a missile without harming the houses.
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Interface Screw
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_66f763c0
comment
Interface Screw: The briefing interface is screwed with by the Hresvelgr bombing the base. And then there's mission twelve where not only does the screen shake, everything goes all fuzzy, and your radar range is cut nearly in half and stays that way until the mission ends, due to the EMP from the Belkan nukes going off scrambling your jet's electronics.
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Meaningful Name
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_6bda9a30
comment
Also Solo Wing Pixy keeping his plane in the air after losing a wing is based on real life pilot Zivi Nidivi doing just that. F-15Cs have bodies that can stay stable that way.
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Private Military Contractors
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_6c553873
comment
Private Military Contractors: Ustio hires several mercenaries to bolster its forces. Belka also hired a squadron — Schwarze — to do their dirty work.
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Grey-and-Gray Morality
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_7335ffa9
comment
Grey-and-Gray Morality: Ace Combat Zero has this in spades, though it is possible by attaining Supreme Knight to make Cipher almost totally "white".
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_7335ffa9
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Awesomeness by Analysis
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_73733868
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Awesomeness by Analysis: The true strength of a Soldier Ace, according to Grun 1.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_73733868
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Gameplay Ally Immortality
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_742a6e78
comment
Gameplay Ally Immortality: Averted with the mission-critical carrier OFS Kestrel, and only if you choose Operation Costner for your fourth mission. Similarly Averted by various allied units who call for aid, such as allied tanks under attack by an A-10 in mission 6, or an F-20A that's being chased by four Belkan aircraft who flies into the operation airspace asking Cipher and Pixy to save his hide in mission 8C. Save them and they'll thank you, ignore them and they die, but nothing else happens. Played straight by most other allies.
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Arc Words
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_7464705c
comment
Arc Words: "Yo, Buddy, you still alive?"
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_7464705c
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Schrödinger's Gun
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comment
Schrödinger's Gun: Played straight in most ace squadron battles, but with Silber, Gelb and Espada, the surviving pilots will react accordingly depending on who you shoot down first.
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100% Completion
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_77f6cc58
comment
100% Completion: Getting an S-rank on all missions on Ace difficulty gives you a few cosmetic bonuses.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_77f6cc58
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type
Louis Cypher
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_7c58fe32
comment
Louis Cypher: Cipher... sort of.
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Video Game Caring Potential
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comment
Videogame Caring Potential: Among all the carnage in mission 11, you have the option of sparing an enemy C-130 carrying wounded soldiers. This and other missions also occasionally feature friendly ground forces who ask for your help in defeating a squad of enemy A-10s. The Knight Ace path in general encourages taking this approach to the game. Mission 2 has a couple AA guns hidden among a clutter of yellow targets (civilian farms and houses); Pixy, unless you're playing on the Mercenary path (at this point in the game, only possible on a New Game+), will note this and claim that he's not sure Cipher wants to go through with the mission. It takes some effort, but you can pick out those AA guns for a missile without harming the houses. One version of Mission 4 involves escorting the Allied Fleet, including the aircraft carrier Kestrel. The main goal is to get the Kestrel out alive, and two or three allied ships being sunk is fairly normal for a good run of the mission. But with good reaction time, memorization of where the anti-ship planes attack from, and long-range weapons, it is entirely possible to escort the entire fleet with no losses.
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Developing Doomed Characters
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_7f390ebc
comment
Developing Doomed Characters: Inverted. Almost every single one of the 169 named aces you shoot down has a unique brief biography written for them — but it is only unlocked after you defeat them, and being defeated by you is also their single purpose in the game. Whether or not they die or become better afterwards zigzags this trope.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_7f390ebc
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 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_81c72ad5
type
Vestigial Empire
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_81c72ad5
comment
Vestigial Empire: Belka has lost much of its territory due to economic troubles and past wars, leading to a radical faction siezing power and attempting to reclaim old territory by force.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_81c72ad5
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 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_82108e3d
type
Attack Its Weak Point
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_82108e3d
comment
Attack Its Weak Point: " [Morgan]'s only weak point is in the front air intake. You'll have to attack it head on."
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_82108e3d
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1.0
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 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_8560c16f
type
Fatal Family Photo
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_8560c16f
comment
Fatal Family Photo: Though Patrick "PJ" James Beckett was never considered the sharpest tool in the shed, his sense of Genre Blindness reaches a head when the last words out of his mouth are "I'm gonna ask her to marry me when I get back, I even bought flowers!" Boom.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_8560c16f
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 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_86b21114
type
Badass Boast
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_86b21114
comment
Badass Boast: "This is our turf and we'll fly how we please!" — Schnee One For a Well-Intentioned Extremist organization, A World With No Boundaries gets a pretty one.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_86b21114
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 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_875615dd
type
Truth in Television
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_875615dd
comment
Truth in Television: Though the times and planes are different, Belkan enemy pilots seem to show some signs of the code of Chivalry. In real life early World War I pilots displayed such acts. Also Solo Wing Pixy keeping his plane in the air after losing a wing is based on real life pilot Zivi Nidivi doing just that. F-15Cs have bodies that can stay stable that way.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_875615dd
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 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_87ce64a0
type
Old Save Bonus
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_87ce64a0
comment
Old Save Bonus: You can unlock the X-02 Wyvern and ADF-01 FALKEN superfighters more easily if you have save data from Shattered Skies and/or Unsung War, respectively. Players with save data from both games need only complete Mission 1 to unlock both superfighters for purchase. Affording them, on the other hand... is fair game on a mercenary route.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_87ce64a0
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type
Badass Army
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_8878f3be
comment
Badass Army: The Belkan Air Force.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_8878f3be
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 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_88792708
type
Badass Back
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_88792708
comment
Badass Back: Gelb Squadron's Su-37's can fire missiles backwards, as can Mobius One's F-22A Raptor. Truth in Television: Some of the latest AAMs, like the Python 4/5 or AA-11/R-73, have a 360-degree targeting capability.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_88792708
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 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_89897126
type
New Year Has Come
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_89897126
comment
New Year Has Come: Used symbolically. The final mission takes place on December 31. 15 years before the Final Boss of the last game... To signify the coming of a new era.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_89897126
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 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_8acf3a97
type
Spreading Disaster Map Graphic
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_8acf3a97
comment
Spreading Disaster Map Graphic: The story tells how Belka's poor economy allowed the eastern portion of the country to secede and become independent nations, including Ustio. Belka's economic problems didn't end, and their borders continued to shrink, allowing those new nations to further expand, and allowing Osea to claim some of the country's western borders. Belka went to war started expanding outwards to reclaim their lost borders and acquire more resources. They even invaded the southern country of Sapin, who wasn't involved at all.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_8acf3a97
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type
Air Jousting
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_8d219876
comment
Air Jousting: The final mission has you do the closest equivalent fighter jets can get to knightly jousting. Considering the Arthurian motifs present, it is absolutely deliberate.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_8d219876
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 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_8e20979
type
Wham Episode
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_8e20979
comment
Wham Episode: Missions 11 and 12 deliver a series of back-to-back Player Punches in very short order. The first comes when your allies indiscriminately flatten a Belkan city with bombs and cruise missiles, while the Belkans themselves start burning whatever escapes the attacks to deny the enemy anything useful before they retreat. In the very next mission, you're sent to intercept Belkan bombers carrying nuclear bombs. Except it turns out that the planes you're sent out after aren't the ones carrying the bombs after all — as you learn when one detonates nearby, nearly frying your plane's electronics. While you're still reeling from that, your wingmate, who has obviously been rattled since the bombing mission, opens fire on you and deserts.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_8e20979
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 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_8e4fc189
type
Sphere of Destruction
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_8e4fc189
comment
Sphere of Destruction: The V2 weapon at the end. Random little beamlets of light even shoot out as well. The Multi-Purpose Burst Missile the Morgan fires also results in a spherical blast.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_8e4fc189
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type
Pixel Hunt
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_8fcb1ef4
comment
Pixel Hunt: A few ace squadrons have at least one of their pilots flying electronic-warfare planes to hide their radar presence.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_8fcb1ef4
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 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_912b24c4
type
Art Shift
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_912b24c4
comment
Art Shift: In contrast to the anime-style video cutscenes of Ace Combat 3, the slide shows of Ace Combat 4 and Ace Combat X, and the CGI-based video cutscenes of Ace Combat 5 and later games, Zero features live-action video cutscenes.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_912b24c4
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 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_916c72b3
type
Rule of Symbolism
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_916c72b3
comment
Rule of Symbolism: Zero easily beats the rest of the series combined in the sheer number of symbolic allusions, ranging from The Bible, through the Norse Mythology, to the King Arthur. The game's story even follows the symbolism of the fictional legend of Razgriz featured in Ace Combat 5.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_916c72b3
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type
Accidental Pun
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_927d046a
comment
Accidental Pun: In Mission 13, PJ will comment that he should be able to fly more like Cipher, and while he praises Cipher's efficiency if he's a Knight or Soldier ace, as a Mercenary, PJ comments that "Cipher's actions are inhuman", alluding to both his incredible skill as a pilot and to the incredible extra damage Mercenary Cipher does, but the way he says it, PJ seems unaware of the wordplay and seems to have been only intending the former meaning.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_927d046a
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 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_949291d1
type
Merging the Branches
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_949291d1
comment
Merging the Branches: Cipher fights five out of eleven elite Belkan squadrons in any given playthrough (which ones depends on your Karma Meter). However, the in-game Assault Records and later lore implies that at the branching points, Cipher faced all three respective bosses at the same time.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_949291d1
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type
Evil Is Easy
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_9492d6a5
comment
Evil Is Easy: Not so much. You get better planes, yes, but you have to defeat ace squadrons flying them against you first, and you have to take time to destroy yellow targets to stay evil. It definitely pays better, though. That's not to say the ace squadrons specific to that path are much more difficult than the others, but they do tend to outnumber you more severely than other squads (Schwarze has eight planes, for instance, while Silber and Schnee have four fighters and one backup).
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_9492d6a5
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 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_993cf18f
type
Not So Different
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_993cf18f
comment
Not So Different:
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_993cf18f
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 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_9ce6492a
type
Taking the Bullet
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_9ce6492a
comment
Taking the Bullet: Seen in the penultimate level, where Galm and the Allied Forces launch a massive air raid on Avalon Dam, the headquarters of a World with No Boundaries. Since the dam is blanketed by anti-air fire, the Allied pilots fly en masse against its defenses to give Galm Team a chance to get to the dam in the chaos. Most of them are killed or at least shot down, though a handful may survive long enough to engage the enemy pilots above.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_9ce6492a
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 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_9d12bbc1
type
Foreshadowing
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_9d12bbc1
comment
Foreshadowing: Pixy's dialogue with Wizard in an early mission foreshadows their creation of A World With No Boundaries. A second dialogue he has with PJ in the same mission also foreshadows PJ's death at Pixy's hands.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_9d12bbc1
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type
My Nayme Is
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_9d3f4777
comment
My Nayme Is: It's the case with Galm, which is supposed to be Garm. Likewise, the briefing text for one of the missions in Zero refers to "Operation Broom", whereas the spoken briefing clearly calls it "Operation Bloom".
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_9d3f4777
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type
One-Man Army
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_9e943076
comment
One-Man Army: Stated as much after the destruction of Excalibur: "Head Operations has recognized you as an indispensable component in this war." To the point that for the penultimate mission (the bombing mission at Avalon Dam), the Allies' entire plan is basically "get Cipher and PJ through, then draw the enemy away from them while they save the day". And after PJ is shot down at the end of the mission, you don't even have a wingman for the last one.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_9e943076
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 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_9eb71c7c
type
Super Toughness
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_9eb71c7c
comment
Super Toughness: Pixy's Morgan can take at least six missile hits. Almost every other enemy plane goes down after two. Somewhat Justified in-universe as it being a Super Prototype (his is marked as an ADFX-02, where the model you get is an ADFX-01). Granted, that makes it a super prototype of a super prototype, but for gameplay balance reasons, it still makes sense. Wouldn't be much of a final boss fight if he went down with two relatively easy-to-make shots.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_9eb71c7c
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 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_a4c37cbe
type
Mood Whiplash
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_a4c37cbe
comment
Mood Whiplash: The triumphant victory of Cipher and Pixy ending Belka's dominance of the Round Table, resulting in Cipher being dubbed "Demon Lord of the Round Table", is immediately followed by the horrific bombing of Hoffnung.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_a4c37cbe
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 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_a814671b
type
N.G.O. Superpower
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_a814671b
comment
N.G.O. Superpower: In the second part of Zero they are a mishmash of disgruntled former soldiers, but all have some mix of Weapons Of Mass Destruction, Airborne Aircraft Carriers/supermassive bombers and entire units of conventional forces.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_a814671b
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 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_ac81e4b0
type
Dueling Player Characters
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_ac81e4b0
comment
Dueling Player Characters: In the (non-canon) Brutal Bonus Level you, as Cipher, can fight Mobius One, the protagonist of Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies, if you manage to shoot down Espada Squadron in under a minute. This has since become a staple in the Ace Combat series to include protagonists of previous games as bosses in the non-canon bonus levels.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_ac81e4b0
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type
Oh, Crap!
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_ad1db87c
comment
Oh, Crap!: Happens in the mission briefing for the Hresvelgr mission: Occasionally, when you take down the leader of an ace squad, the rest of the squad will start to panic and be easier to shoot down as a result.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_ad1db87c
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 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_af3ea0e3
type
Face–Heel Turn
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_af3ea0e3
comment
Face–Heel Turn: Pixy. Even though he's obviously reconciled with the player character by the time of his video interview, he still killed the replacement wingman PJ and nearly nuked Osean continent on terrorist's behalf.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_af3ea0e3
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 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_b1ddb121
type
Remixed Level
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_b1ddb121
comment
Remixed Level: Zero reuses a few locations from 5 because they're the same locations 15 years apart.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_b1ddb121
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 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_b3fc9d55
type
An Ass-Kicking Christmas
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_b3fc9d55
comment
An Asskicking Christmas: Mission 15 takes place on Christmas Day.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_b3fc9d55
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 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_b5ab695c
type
Fantasy Conflict Counterpart
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_b5ab695c
comment
Fantasy Conflict Counterpart: The Belkan War is an odd blending of elements of both World Wars, as well as dashes of the Balkan Wars and a few seasonings of modern day Iraq and Afghanistan.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_b5ab695c
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 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_b5ba2c2b
type
It's Raining Men
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_b5ba2c2b
comment
It's Raining Men: Mission 5 is mostly about this.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_b5ba2c2b
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type
My Country, Right or Wrong
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_b7248073
comment
My Country, Right or Wrong: Despite attempting to invade half a dozen countries at once to expand its borders and avoid an economic crisis, Belka had corps of extremely loyal pilots proud of their own nation. In an interesting game concept, there are cutscenes of interviews of the Belkan pilots the player fought, depicting them as obviously likable men ten years after the war. Mainly since Belka detonated 7 nuclear weapons on their own country late in the war. The pilots explicitly state that they hold no animosity towards their enemies, during and after the war. It was just war, and it was just what they were trained to do. In fact, many of them revere Cipher, the player character; in a decidedly odd twist, one character even states that Cipher is comparable to the old orders of Belkan Knights, an honor that he doesn't even give himself. Subverted with the Belkan remnant forces, who at first seem to be continuing to fight even after Belka has been defeated on every front. Eventually it's revealed that they're actually an N.G.O. Superpower made of defectors from Belka and the Allied Forces, united as the radically anti-nationalist World with no Boundaries.
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type
Lost in Translation
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_b7920c43
comment
Lost in Translation: In the original Japanese, the title "Demon Lord of the Round Table" is a pun on "Knights of the Round Table", since the pronunciation of "Knight" and "Demon Lord" is almost the same (kishi and kishin, respectively), even though written with different kanji.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_b7920c43
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 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_b7c53a22
type
Blood Knight
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_b7c53a22
comment
Have a save file from the previous two games and you can unlock superfighters from both as early as mission 1. Play as a mercenary, and you'll soon rake in enough cash to afford either one, and you can basically cruise through the rest of the game easily.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_b7c53a22
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 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_bc0346e2
type
Upgrade vs. Prototype Fight
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_bc0346e2
comment
Upgrade vs. Prototype Fight: Can be invoked by the player. After beating the game three times, once as a Mercenary Ace, once as a Soldier Ace, and once as a Knight, the ADFX-01 superplane is unlocked, and able to field either a Tactical Laser System, Multi-Purpose Burst Missile, or an Electronic Warfare Pod. Then they can take that plane into battle against the final boss, who flies an ADFX-02note  Despite being 02 in the series, it is the prototype to the ADFX-01 that has all the aforementioned weapon systems. However, if you're fielding the laser, he goes down in three hits when it took dozens of normal missiles to do the same. Alternatively, the player can also take the ADF-01 FALKEN, which was developed from the ADFX-02 and gets an even better version of the Tactical Laser System.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_bc0346e2
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type
Shout-Out
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_c75df49a
comment
As in The Unsung War, the default F-14 scheme is white with black tails and yellow ribbons. Many may think this is a Shout-Out to Super Dimension Fortress Macross, but with the exception of the skull and crossbones it is in fact a replica of the real life VF-84, the famous squadron Roy's Valkyrie fighter honored. And, in a shout-out to itself, the Soldier paint scheme for the F-14 in this game is the same as the Razgriz paint scheme in the previous game.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_c75df49a
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type
The Alliance
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_c8c968c3
comment
The Alliance: The Osean-led Alliance against Belka.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_c8c968c3
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type
Nothing Is Scarier
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_cdfe12c3
comment
Nothing Is Scarier: Zero masterfully uses a Type 2 situation in the Stage of Apocalypse mission.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_cdfe12c3
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type
Just Plane Wrong
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_ce1c73e2
comment
Just Plane Wrong: In real life, Galm Team would suffer a huge case of Crippling Overspecialization, as the F-15C was specifically made for air superiority - "not a pound for air-to-ground", as the F-15 Special Project Office put it. The fact that it carries bombs means it's a jury-rigged F-15J or I used by Israeli models. Many other planes have similar equipment oddities, such as the Su-27 and MiG-31 also being fitted for the UGBL despite neither being provisioned for dumb bombs or bombs over 500 kg (which would more likely be the UGB than UGBL) and the weapon in question not seeming to accurately correspond to the design of any common Russian bomb. And, as is common in Ace Combat games, there are even armed versions of experimental and test planes that were never intended to be armed, such as the F-15S/MTD and X-29, as well as the addition of guns to the F-117 and EA-18G (though the presence of an internal gun on the F-35C is more a case of Technology Marches On - at the time, it was believed that the C model would have an internal gun like the A model) and the fitting of the F-117 with any air-to-air weapons whatsoever. Its setting of 1995 also makes some of the planes anachronistic at least as far as real history goes, such as the production version of the F-22 (finalized 1997), the aforementioned EA-18G Growler (first flight in 2006; this is interesting in contrast to the use of the regular Hornet, since the Super Hornet's own first flight wasn't until the final weeks of 1995), or the Su-47 Berkut (first flight of the last version was in 1997, and wasn't officially named the Su-47 until 2002).
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_ce1c73e2
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type
Escort Mission
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_cfda0ecb
comment
The Kestrel shows up as an escort objective in the "Operation Costner" variation of Mission 4. This is in fact its trial voyage.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_cfda0ecb
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 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_cfdb9e17
type
Cerebus Syndrome
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_cfdb9e17
comment
Cerebus Syndrome: Missions 9 and 10 are the highest point in the game, with you feeling like the king of the world for destroying a humongous superweapon and conquering the Round Table. Mission 11 has your side fire-bombing civilian territory, to horrific effect. Mission 12 takes place on the day Belka detonates seven nukes, and you get to see it, just after you thought you prevented it. And it goes waaaaaaay downhill from there.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_cfdb9e17
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type
Boss-Only Level
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_d15c1086
comment
Boss-Only Level: The final mission is just one long fight against the final boss. Same with the Bonus stage, Gauntlet, a Boss Rush.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_d15c1086
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type
Bonus Stage
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_d35365c4
comment
And also the game's Secret Boss on a Bonus Stage: it's Mobius 1 himself.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_d35365c4
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type
What the Hell, Hero?
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_d39e327f
comment
What the Hell, Hero?: Both Belkan radio chatter and the interviewees' comments show disdain towards Cipher should he go the Mercenary route and destroy neutralized enemy vehicles or "innocent" buildings. Inverted however with Pixy and the ace pilots, who try to rationalize some of these. That said, he still has his limits — he's appalled by the Allies' indiscriminate bombing of Hoffnung. Unsurprisingly, especially after Belka goes even further, he defects to A World With No Boundaries in the next mission.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_d39e327f
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type
It Was a Dark and Stormy Night
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_d67aae8f
comment
It Was a Dark and Stormy Night: The opening of Zero: "It was a cold and snowy day..."
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_d67aae8f
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type
Obligatory War Crime Scene
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_d76f6f31
comment
Obligatory War Crime Scene: As you fight against Belka, your forces engage in a bombing run of the city of Hoffnung, which ends up hitting civilian areas (analogous to the bombing of Dresden, Germany in WWII). This is the turning point where Pixy realizes that the allied forces are really no better than Belka, and defects to A World Without Borders.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_d76f6f31
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type
Bait-and-Switch Boss
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_da03a529
comment
Bait-and-Switch Boss: Happens in the Gauntlet on the highest difficulty, if you manage to shoot down Espada Squadron in under one minute. The final squad is wiped out by the real boss... Mobius 1 in his signature Raptor. If you manage to shoot him down, that's 30,000 points for you. Yes: Mobius 1 is considered so badass that shooting him down is equivalent to shooting down six of Pixy's ADFX-02, or rougly twenty "normal" Aces!
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_da03a529
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type
Battle Couple
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_db39ccfd
comment
Espada Team is a Battle Couple made up of two.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_db39ccfd
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type
Continuity Cameo
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comment
Continuity Cameo: Somewhat Inverted as it is a prequel, but pilots from nearly all the other Strangereal Ace Combat games show up in one form or another (and most can be shot down). To wit: Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies: An optional ace on the Knight variation of mission 10 uses the paint scheme of Yellow 13, Mobius 1's rival. And also the game's Secret Boss on a Bonus Stage: it's Mobius 1 himself. Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War: Being a set-up to this game's events, this is inevitable. The Kestrel shows up as an escort objective in the "Operation Costner" variation of Mission 4. This is in fact its trial voyage. Mission 10 is full of AC5 characters: Captain Bartlett is one of your allies in the Knight version, the leader of Ofnir squad can be shot down in the Soldier route, and in the Mercenary version you can also meet Huckebein the Raven aka Pops and either rescue him from the leader of Grabacr squad or shoot him down. Heierlark Air Force Base, where the Wardog Squadron was trained, serves as a refueling point in Mission 13. The mission itself also takes place in the same area Missions 21 and 22 did in 5. Likewise, both Mission 12 and Mission 15 both take place in the same area Mission 20 did in 5. One of the multiplayer levels is an all-out furball between two groups lead by each player, each of which has three pilots with specific names. Player one's named wingmen are Edge, Chopper and Archer from Ace Combat 5, while player two's are named after the allied Omega, Viper and Halo squadrons from Ace Combat 04. All the multiplayer levels also use music from AC5's arcade mode.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_de70f5a4
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Protagonist Power-Up Privileges
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_e1a919e9
comment
Protagonist Power-Up Privileges: Only Cipher can purchase better planes (including superfighters) for himself, while his two wingmen are stuck with their starting planes for the entire game. This is in contrast to Ace Combat 5 and the later Ace Combat 6, where you could equip wingmen with the same planes as yourself.
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type
Red and Black and Evil All Over
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_e21e21be
comment
Red and Black and Evil All Over: In the mercenary route (the evil route), the Belkan ace squadrons faced at the Round Table are Rot Team and Schwarze Team (literally red and black, respectively), both of whom fly black and red livery and they are the most overtly hostile (and difficult) opponents of their respective sets of possible Round Table opponents.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_e21e21be
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type
One World Order
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_e34541d
comment
One World Order: Joshua Bristow and Pixy want to see this happen.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_e34541d
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type
Featureless Protagonist
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_e3f34fb4
comment
The concept of the Featureless Protagonist. People know almost nothing about you except your skills, to the point that you're seen as a demon on the battlefield because that's all people really know. Years later, because you disappear after the events of the game, people don't even know you exist (until Brett Thompson finishes his report, anyway, and even then, he still only knows of the "Legendary Ace Cipher, called The Demon Lord of the Round Table". He has no idea who it is).
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Achievement System
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_eabd22f9
comment
Achievement System: The game (on the PlayStation 2) included a number of medals that could be earned by completing story missions and beating certain challenges across multiple playthroughs; the medals can be viewed from the main menu.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_eabd22f9
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type
Episode 0: The Beginning
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_edeb02ca
comment
Episode 0: The Beginning: Zero sets up the events of Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War. It shows the Great Offscreen War with Belka 15 years before, shows the motivations behind their actions in said game, and shows why Osea and Yuktobania were allies at the beginning of the game.
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type
Bonus Boss
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_ee0327e7
comment
Bonus Boss: Mobius One, the Player Character from AC04, and his Raptor in the Gauntlet, though only on the Ace difficulty. Eliminate Espada Squadron in under a minute, and you get to fight Mobius One. Regular missions also often have optional aces you can down, but these aren't really harder than the compulsory ones.
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type
Sequel Difficulty Spike
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_f0ddc769
comment
Sequel Difficulty Spike: Zero in relation to the other PS2 games in the series. Even on "Very Easy", you're likely to be shot down once or twice. Among other things, the enemy AI is much more aggressive than in prior games, which has the side effect of making SAAMs much harder to use effectively than in Ace Combat 5 (where they were incredibly effective) without actually altering their functionality, and is no longer as vulnerable to certain A.I. Breaker techniques that worked in prior titles.
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type
Boss Remix
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_f1577797
comment
Boss Remix: "Zero".
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_f1577797
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type
War Is Hell
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_f1d6144a
comment
War Is Hell: Most evident during the bombing of Hoffnung; see Kick the Dog above. Both sides do their best to level the city — the Allies for revenge, the Belkans as part of a scorched-earth policy.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_f1d6144a
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type
You Bastard!
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_f642b1f9
comment
If you're going for Supreme Mercenary, you would try to destroy all "yellow" targets (meaning that it's a civilian target, unimportant military infrastructure that isn't directly contributing to the battle at hand, or a damaged enemy plane or ship that is limping home after being rendered combat ineffective). In most missions, there is no punishment for this, save for AI pilots occasionally calling Cipher a coward for shooting unarmed targets and slightly harder boss fights at the Round Table. However, in Mission 13 "Lying in Deceit" — Operation Stone Age, there is a yellow target in the southeast area of the map with no defenses that looks like easy points, but when you get close to it, an ambush of several AA guns and SAMs appears to punish you for your greed and willingness to target non-combat assets. To drive their point home, they yell ""Those damn mercenaries, haven't you earned enough?!" at you over the radio when they appear.
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Big-Lipped Alligator Moment
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_f6e10f3e
comment
Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: In-Universe, the FALKEN is just given to you when you unlock it. It really has no mention anywhere in the storyline. This is Gameplay and Story Segregation, as the Morgan is very clearly an early version of the FALKEN, with standard jet engines, a normal cockpit and a less efficient laser weapon. The FALKEN doesn't even exist when Zero takes place (later materials mention it was built in response to the Belkan War's outcome), it's just a bonus. The X-02 Wyvern is the same. It's a bonus given to you when you unlock it. It's description still says it's the latest in Erusian technology, even though it wouldn't be developed until the Erusian War many years later. Mostly averted with the Morgan itself, which comes out of nowhere to fight you, but its defenses are addressed when you encounter it.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_f6e10f3e
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Battle Intro
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_f6e2558f
comment
Battle Intro: Whenever an Ace squadron is introduced, their emblem and military division is flashed on the screen, complete with Boss Subtitles. Notably, this also applies to your team, Galm, when introduced at the very start of the game.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_f6e2558f
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Insult Backfire
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_f6f2ff1
comment
Insult Backfire: An amusing conversation between Pixy and PJ: Even funnier if you're playing Knight: PJ cheerfully agrees with Pixy's "order."
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_f6f2ff1
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Great Offscreen War
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_f722f635
comment
The game also shows exactly what happened during the Great Offscreen War that was the Belkan War, as well as why the Gray Men from the last game were so angry about all of it. You thought Belka was just being petty? You have no idea.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_f722f635
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Dude, Where's My Respect?
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_f818b637
comment
Dude, Where's My Respect?: As always for Ace Combat, beautifully averted. Zero is the king of all AC heroes in the respect department: some of the cutscenes between missions are full-motion video interviews with ace pilots about you, the Demon Lord of the Round Table, ten years later.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_f818b637
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Video Game Cruelty Potential
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_f87c42d4
comment
Video Game Cruelty Potential: Taking the Mercenary Ace path revolves around intentionally gunning down retreating planes, destroying civilian/unarmed ground targets, and refusing to spare enemy pilots whose weapons have been taken out of commission. On the plus side, you get more money; on the downside, you face harder enemy ace squadrons.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_f87c42d4
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Video Game Cruelty Punishment
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_fcd993bd
comment
Video Game Cruelty Punishment: As a general rule, Soldier aces face tougher enemy ace squads in the Round Table than Knight aces, and Mercenary aces face even harder enemies than Soldier aces. If you're going for Supreme Mercenary, you would try to destroy all "yellow" targets (meaning that it's a civilian target, unimportant military infrastructure that isn't directly contributing to the battle at hand, or a damaged enemy plane or ship that is limping home after being rendered combat ineffective). In most missions, there is no punishment for this, save for AI pilots occasionally calling Cipher a coward for shooting unarmed targets and slightly harder boss fights at the Round Table. However, in Mission 13 "Lying in Deceit" — Operation Stone Age, there is a yellow target in the southeast area of the map with no defenses that looks like easy points, but when you get close to it, an ambush of several AA guns and SAMs appears to punish you for your greed and willingness to target non-combat assets. To drive their point home, they yell ""Those damn mercenaries, haven't you earned enough?!" at you over the radio when they appear.
 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (Video Game) / int_fcd993bd
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WellIntentionedExtremist
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For a Well-Intentioned Extremist organization, A World With No Boundaries gets a pretty one.
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The following is a list of statements referring to the current page from other pages.

 Muv Luv DYRL (Fanfic)
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You Can't Thwart Stage One / int_a83e83d4
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Law of Chromatic Superiority / int_a83e83d4