- This article is about an in-game mission. For the in-universe event, see Operation Override.
Far Eastern Front is the fifth campaign mission in Ace Combat Infinity. An all-out war has broken out between the United Nations and the newly-formed USEA Federation. Bone Arrow Squadron and Ridgeback Squadron must assist the UNF forces as they try to take back Tokyo, which was quickly captured by USEAn forces.
Goodfellow: You all here? Good. In order to block the invasion of the so called USEA army, the UN has decided to stage a large-scale campaign across multiple Eurasian defense perimeters. They'll be conducting simultaneous ops in two areas: the Persian Gulf, and the Far East. They invited Arrows to be a part of this effort. You'll be departing for Tokyo shortly. The scale of this campaign is massive, encompassing multiple land, sea and air operations on both sides. It'll be a punishing battle, but if you want to get your name out there, there's no better opportunity to do it. Make sure your aircraft is as battle-ready as you can make it. I want to see us dominate in this fight. Dismissed.
Upon entering the mission, the player will have three different zones to choose from to clear the map of enemies; the harbor immediately at the mission start, the residential district to the northwest, and a large crater to the northeast. The player must focus on destroying as many targets as possible within the time limit, mostly to defeat the Ridgeback Squadron.
During this section of the mission, the left side of the HUD will show a progress bar similar to the one shown during Online Co-Op Missions. It allows the player to see how close they are to achieving an S Rank, as well as discern which squadron is winning between Bone Arrow and Ridgeback.
Mission Update 1
After five minutes, the first mission update will take place. A QFA-44 Carmilla (shown on the HUD as a CFA-44) will take off from an Aigaion-class heavy command cruiser, guarded by four MQ-90 Quox UAVs. The player can't harm the QFA-44 because the UAVs will use their lasers to destroy any missiles that get close. The UAVs become marked as TGTs, and the player must shoot down at least one of them.
At some point, the Ridgebacks will enter the battle and shoot down the remaining MQ-90s if the player hasn't already done so. The pilot of the QFA-44 will then summon two more UAVs, one of which ends up killing Slash. The next minute or two of dialogue between Viper and Edge will not allow the player to shoot down any of the UAVs or the QFA-44. After Viper says "Clear out the UAVs first," the two MQ-90s will be marked as TGTs. The player can shoot them down, but Nagase will take both UAVs down if the player doesn't do so fast enough.
After destroying all of the UAVs, the QFA-44 will be marked as a target and can be shot down by the player. Interestingly, the plane will start to perform impossible maneuvers and dodge most of the player's attacks for the next two minutes. If the player doesn't manage to shoot down the aircraft within that two minute time span, however, a voice on the radio will call "time's up" and the aircraft will be set on autopilot. At this point, it will be easy for the player to shoot down the QFA-44 if they haven't already.
Mission Update 2
After the engagement with the QFA-44 and the MQ-90s, all remaining units are ordered to shoot down the Aigaion-class cruiser. This specific cruiser is notably the weakest of any appearances of an Aigaion-class in any Ace Combat game thus far.
The player must destroy a handful of AA guns before being able to destroy the cruiser's engines. Once the engines are destroyed, the cruiser's front cockpit will be marked as a target, and its destruction will mark the end of the mission.
As evidenced by the progress bar on the left side during the first part of the mission, an S Rank for this mission relies heavily on achieving an S Rank in the first five minutes. The best targets to destroy in this short time span are in the harbor. The naval fleet awards more points than most other targets on the map. However, the player must be careful to destroy each target on the ship before destroying the ship itself - if the ship is destroyed, all of the remaining targets will automatically disappear and won't award the player any points.
If all targets in the harbor are wiped out with some time remaining (the player will be able to hear AWACS Sky-Eye call out that enemies in the harbor are all destroyed), the player can move on to the crater district to the east. The targets here are more open than in the residential district where skyscrapers will block most missiles.
Unfortunately, on top of the points at the start of the mission, the second requirement for the S Rank is that the Mission Updates are completed as fast as possible. The player should aim to take no more than 10 minutes in shooting down the QFA-44 and the Aigaion-class cruiser; it may prove difficult since a majority of the gameplay during the QFA-44 battle is scripted.
Goodfellow: Great job, guys. That Moby Dick was a giant airborne command ship developed by a certain nation's military. Basically, in an attempt to cut down the number of aircraft they had to deploy, they decided to overengineer this gigantic flying beast of a battleship. Also, the UAV lasers we saw on the butterflies are equipped with a visual-ID function that can recognize pilots by their flight helmets and strike as necessary. It automatically activates when they get close, a merciless weapon of murder. Watch out for it. The Butterfly Master's craft is apparently a re-engineered CFA-44, but we're still investigating the details. Whew... Anyway, thanks to your hard work, the enemy force has taken serious damage. Unfortunately, so have we. The Tokyo area is nearby the enemy's Far East battle perimeter. It'll be a hot zone for a while to come, I imagine. We're all in for a long, tough slog here. Anyway, I was hoping we could have a celebration-slash-retirement party for Viper, but the UNF HQ has yet another deploy order for us. You guys just rest up for now. I'm gonna go have the top brass yell at me for a bit. Again, good job.
- Completing the mission unlocks the trophy Dawn Of The Endless War. The title of the trophy alludes to the fact that this mission is not the end of the campaign.
- During its first half, the mission bears a resemblance to the Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies mission Invincible Fleet. Both missions involve a massive aerial attack against an area highly populated by ships. Also, a remix of the Invincible Fleet OST plays during the mission.
- This is the first time Camilla is seen directly after her cameo appearance in Lost Butterfly as "an unknown fighter craft flying at high altitude over the area".
- The scene where Reaper and Bronco fly towards Moby Dick is reminiscent to PJ and Cipher, respectively, flying towards XB-0 Hresvelgr in Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
- Only two engines on each group of engines are marked as targetable on the Aigaion-class cruiser. However, all of the other engines can also be destroyed, and will each award the player points as if they were targetable. If the player leaves them alone and destroys the engine marked on the HUD, the engines surrounding that one will be automatically destroyed but won't award the player any points.
- Omega's comment on the "Butterfly Master" will change depending on when the player destroys the QFA-44:
- If the player destroys the aircraft very quickly after "120 seconds left", Omega will comment that the pilot was superhuman.
- If the player destroys the aircraft before "time's up", Omega will comment that the pilot got more maneuverable at the end of the battle.
- If the player destroys the aircraft after "time's up", Omega will comment that the pilot gave up at the end.