Ace Combat 2 introduces into the series enemy ace pilots. Marked as 'DANGER!' on the mission information viewer, these pilots not only have unique paintjobs and schemes on their aircraft, but they pose a greater challenge to players. As opposed to regular enemy pilots, enemy aces are more aggressive in their pursuits, more able to evade even the surest missile lock-ons, and may take more damage to defeat. Enemy aces can come as individual pilots, pairs of two, or groups of three or four. During combat, enemy ace pilots are identified by radar with their call-signs in addition to the aircraft they fly.

Shooting down an ace pilot or squadron in Ace Combat 2 is very lucrative as they're worth far more than regular enemy pilots; in some cases, four or five times as much. Downing enemy aces also awards a unique combat decoration/medal after completion of the level. Once every decoration or medal has been obtained, the Aircraft Viewer will be available in the Options menu.

Note that the Z.O.E. aces will appear in succession, and the next Z.O.E. plane will appear only once its predecessor is shot down. For example, if you fail to shoot down the F-14A Tomcat Z.O.E. in the Sledgehammer mission, the F-14 will appear again in the Seagull mission. In order to face the ADF-01 Z.O.E. ace in the Fighter's Honor mission, the player must defeat every Z.O.E. in the first mission each one appears.


All the Ace Combat 2 medals.

List of Ace Combat 2 Enemy Aces

Mission 2: Easy Money

1 x F-4E Phantom II "Superfly"


Superfly is seen escorting the enemy's reconnaissance unit, and is positioned between the group of C-17s and the pair of E-767s. Superfly's F-4 Phantom is brightly colored yellow with orange and white stripes fanning out from where the fuselage meets the wings. The decoration for shooting down Superfly is a yellow star with orange trails.

Shoot-down Bounty: $10,000

Mission 4A: Tin Castle

1 x MiG-29A Fulcrum "Ricochet"


Ricochet is part of the enemy's front line base aerial unit. Positioned close to the commandeered castle, Ricochet's MiG-29 is adorned with green and blue serrated stripes. Shooting down Ricochet will earn a decoration of a golden eagle carrying a black missile with a green octagon backing.

Shoot-down Bounty: $12,000

Mission 4B: Opera House

2 x Su-25 Frogfoot "D. Cowboy"


The D. Cowboy pair of Su-25s is assigned to the defense of the enemy oil field and refinery. Their aircraft have a large silver stripe on the length of the fuselage, and dark blue wings that fade to white at the back edges. The decoration for defeating D. Cowboy is a gold horsehead medal on a gold star over a green ring.

Shoot-down Bounty: $12,000 x 2

Mission 6A: Midnight Assassin

2 x F-117A Nighthawk "Razorback"


Like D-Cowboy, Razorback consists of two aircraft; dark brown F-117As with light beige canopies and wingtips. Razorback assists in escorting a pair of E-767s during the enemy's retreat from the area. In addition to the radar jamming from the E-767s, Razorback can fade in and out on the radar display. A silver, wild boar medal with a blue backing is awarded for downing Razorback.

Shoot-down Bounty: $15,000 x 2

Mission 6B: Bear Tracks

2 x F-117A Nighthawk "Razorback"


In this mission, Razorback belongs to the defense unit of the enemy's resource mine network in the mountains. Like in 'Midnight Assassin', they fade in and out on radar, and grant the same bounty and medal upon being shot down.

Mission 7: Sledgehammer

1 x F-14A Tomcat "Z.O.E." (Captain)

Radar ID: Z.O.E.

The Z.O.E. Captain is the first of the Z.O.E. squadron to be encountered. In a crimson red F-14, the Z.O.E. Captain is tasked with defending the enemy's shipbuilding facilities from an attack by allied B-1B bombers and their fighter escorts. Taking down the Z.O.E. Captain results in a gold medal centered in a red cross with flared ends.

Shoot-down Bounty: $31,000

Mission 9: Swordsmith

1 x F-16C Fighting Falcon "Tallman" and 1 x F-16C Fighting Falcon "Metal Sphere"


Both Tallman and Metal Sphere fly F-16s in the aerial unit defending the enemy's main arms production factory. Tallman's aircraft is dark gray with three sets of three white stripes; two sets running vertical on the wings, the last going across the canopy. Metal Sphere's aircraft is painted the same, but with the colors swapped. Shooting them both down earns a medal with an encircled blue gem centered on a gray tri-radial.

Shoot-down Bounty: $15,000 x 2

Mission 10: Toy Box

1 x MiG-31 Foxhound "Stalker"


Stationed in the Comona Islands as part of the aerial unit defending a space center and shuttle launching complex, Stalker flies a MiG-31 with an angular dark red and black scheme over the entire airframe. Downing Stalker will result in receiving an engraved flame on an orange octagon with an eight-armed pinwheel backing.

Shoot-down Bounty: $20,000

Mission 11: Seagull

2 x Rafale M "Hangmen" Squadron / 1 x F/A-18E Super Hornet "Z.O.E." (Major)

Radar ID: HANGMEN / Z.O.E.

The Hangmen and Z.O.E. Major both are among the many units providing aerial patrol for the enemy's aircraft carrier battle group. The Hangmen fly two R-M01s with a dense camo scheme comprised of various olive and dark green splotches. The Z.O.E. Major pilots a crimson red F/A-18E. Downing the former unlocks a large metallic medal on which, "Hangmen Also Die" is engraved; defeating the latter gives a medal similar to the one earned from the Z.O.E. Captain but with a beige circular backing.

Shoot-down Bounty: (Hangmen) $15,000 x 2 / (Z.O.E. Major) $32,500

Mission 13: Power Play

1 x YF-22 Lightning II "Z.O.E." (Colonel)

Radar ID: Z.O.E.

The third of the Z.O.E. flies an F-22 in the crimson red color scheme. The Z.O.E. Colonel is within the unit tasked with preventing the allies from taking over a hydro-electric plant in the mountains, and like Razorback, can periodically evade radar. The medal for shooting down the Z.O.E. Colonel resembles the previous Z.O.E. medal but the backing is replaced by two crossed swords, and the flared ends have a yellow interior.

Shoot-down Bounty: $36,000

Mission 14A: El Dorado (Alphaville branch)

1 x Tornado F3 "Max" and 1 x Tornado F3 "Goose"


Max and Goose lead the aerial units that belong to the enemy's missile silo base located among many buttes and rocky plateaus. Max's TND-F3 is royal blue with yellow down the centerline of the fuselage and on the wingtips. Goose's TND-F3 is emerald green with identical yellow accents. Taking down Max and Goose will earn an offset, six-pointed star medal in the colors of both their aircraft.

Shoot-down Bounty: $15,000 x 2

Mission 14B: Dark Star (Bellissima branch)

3 x EF-2000 Typhoon "Death Rave 2000"

Radar ID: D.R.2000

The trio of flamboyantly marked EF-2000s comprises the group known as Death Rave 2000. The fuselages of their aircraft are painted burgundy while their wings and canards have dark purple on the leading edges, gradually brightening to orange then yellow in the appearance of flames. Death Rave 2000 leads the enemy squadron that escorts the C-5 transport unit. Taking down Death Rave 2000 unlocks a medal of a triangular gem backed by an eight-pointed red star centered on another eight-pointed purple star.

Shoot-down Bounty: $18,000 x 3

Mission 15A: St. Elmo's Fire (Alphaville branch)

1 x F-15E Strike Eagle "Xiao" / 1 x F-15E Strike Eagle "Jian" / 1 x F-15E Strike Eagle "Dao"


The triple team of Xiao, Jian, and Dao each fly F-15Es that sport their respective Hanzi symbol on the left wing of their aircraft, while the right and tail wings display small triangles within vertical stripes. Xiao's F-15E is pale yellow, Jian's is aqua blue, and Dao's is light brown. They head an enemy aerial unit tasked with stopping an allied aircraft carrier group from transiting a channel. Beating them earns a medal of three swords symmetrically pointing to the center of a brown tri-radial engraved with the pilots' Hanzi symbols.

Shoot-down Bounty: $20,000 x 3

Mission 15B: Dead End (Bellissima branch)

4 x YF-23 Black Widow II "Fox Force Four"

Radar ID: F.F.F

The most numerous ace squadron is a group called Fox Force Four who all fly YF-23As that evade radar detection like Razorback and the Z.O.E. Colonel. The colors for each individual aircraft are pastel blue/blue/white, pastel pink/pink/white, pastel peach/peach/white, and pastel mint/mint/white. The pastel colors are on the fuselage and tail while the definitive and white colors reside on the wings. Fox Force Four is stationed at a snowy enemy garrison where aircraft are rallying for an attack on allied forces. Downing Fox Force Four unlocks a square medal with pink hearts in each corner connected by an orange and teal flowered star in the center.

Shoot-down Bounty: $22,000 x 4

Mission 19: Kingpin

1 x F-15S "Z.O.E." (General)

Radar ID: Z.O.E.

Piloting a crimson red F-15S, the Z.O.E. General participates in the defense of the enemy's headquarters from the advancing allied forces. As of one the most challenging pilots encountered, shooting down the Z.O.E. General awards a new type of Z.O.E decoration with a medal centered in a red and yellow pentacross with flared ends, and gold leaves in between.

Shoot-down Bounty: $37,500

Mission 21: Fighter's Honor

1 x ADF-01 FALKEN "Z.O.E." (Commander)

Radar ID: Z.O.E.

The final crimson red aircraft is the ADF-01 of the Z.O.E. Commander. Based at the Fortress Intolerance, the Z.O.E. Commander can fire missiles and guns forward or backward. Defending the enemy fortress among squads of highly capable F-15Ss, the Z.O.E. Commander is the most difficult challenge the enemy can put forth. Downing the ADF-01 will bestow the last and most unique Z.O.E. medal centered on an ice-white and red pentacross with flared ends, plus a full green laurel wreath backing.

Shoot-down Bounty: $45,000


  • The "Max" and "Goose" squadron are likely a reference to the cult film Mad Max (1979), where Max Rockatansky and his buddy Jim "Goose" Rains serve as officers of Police Main Force Patrol.
  • The Death Rave 2000 squadron is a possible reference to the movie Death Race 2000 (1975).
  • "Tallman" and "Metal Sphere" are likely inspired by a horror film named Phantasm (1979). In the movie, main antagonist the Tall Man, a mysterious grave robber, uses metal spheres as one of his weapons.
  • "Fox Force Four" are possibly a reference to Pulp Fiction (1994), where mention is made of a failed TV pilot titled "Fox Force Five".
  • "Stalker" shares some similarities with the later (or earlier in the timeline) Belkan Schwarze Squadron, having the same aircraft and coloured in black/red camo.