Arcade Mode, also known as Ace Combat: Operation Katina, is an addition featured in Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War. It is a self-contained story with no ties to the main campaign mode.
This mode's events take place in 2006, a year after the events of Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies, and details for the rise of "Free Erusea", an organized resistance movement comprised of militant soldiers and pilots led by a group of high-ranking Erusian Air Force officers who have refused to disarm and are still willing to fight the victorious ISAF.
OverviewUpon first beginning Arcade Mode, the player is met with a redesigned main menu, now with a light blue tone. After beginning to play, they are given a mission briefing explaining the backstory and plot of Operation Katina.
Gameplay is relatively straight forward. The objective of each mission is to fill a destroyed target quota. Each stage has limited time, additional seconds can be earned by eliminating enemies. As well, the player begins with a relatively realistic payload, consisting of 20 basic missiles, four multi-lock XMAAs and unlimited machine gun ammo. Extra missiles can be acquired by destroying certain "special" targets marked with an "M" symbol.
At the end of stage 02A, the game divides into two branches, "A" and "B", which in turn branch into two "ending" routes, making for a total of sixteen stages. Each stage takes place in a location featured in Shattered Skies. Included in this mode are a number of "breather" stages consisting of simple minigames, namely landing and airborne refueling. In the final stage of each route, Mobius One must fight an squadron of unmanned X-02 Wyvern aircraft, whose number (ranging from four to six) depends on the chosen route.
Completion of Arcade Mode will yield a number of rewards. A first playthrough will unlock the F/A-22A's SP (Mobius) color. In the other hand, finishing all four available routes will allow the use of any aircraft unlocked in the campaign.