- "He is Aurelia's hero after all."
- ― An Aquila Squadron pilot
Gryphus One is the playable character in Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception. He is a Captain in the Aurelian Air Force and leads the Gryphus Squadron, he is stationed at Aubrey Air Force Base. He is by far the most famous pilot in Aurelia. Nothing is known about him apart from the fact that he dislikes hot weather.
Beginning of Aurelian War
Leasath forces took over ninety-five percent of Aurelia in just ten days (thanks to the Gleipnir, an advanced airborne fortress). When a B-52H Stratofortress squadron was sent in to destroy Aubrey Air Force Base, the Gryphus Squadron was sent to intercept the bombers in a desperate attempt to defend it. After the bombers were destroyed, the Gleipnir came out from its optical camouflage and fired a Shock Wave Ballistic Missile. The warning of an incoming SWBM came too late, and most of Gryphus Squadron's members were killed in the following explosion. Only Gryphus 1, a heavily damaged Gryphus 5 and Gryphus 6 survived, the latter being the only pilot that survived the explosion despite getting shot down.
The remaining Aurelian pilots headed to Puna Plains, where they attacked the bombers stationed there, two C-5 Galaxy transport planes and the base headquarters in a daring bid to capture it and use it as their own resupply base.
Gryphus One headed to Port Patterson. There, he attacked Leasath amphibious forces that were landing in the port. The amphibious fleet comprised of landing ships. After the amphibious fleet was destroyed, the port was retaken.
The Route to Santa Elva
If the player heads for Kingshill (Last Line of Defense), Gryphus One attacked the Miller Unit, an elite Leasath special forces unit, which attempted to recapture Port Patterson. There were plenty of enemy fighters was there as well. After destroying most of the unit (which consisted of M1A1 Abrams tanks, SAMs, AA guns and vehicles), the Miller Unit 3rd Artillery Division appeared. Gryphus One destroyed the division, maintained Port Patterson under friendly control.
If the player heads for either two locations (Stand Canyon/Terminus Island) without doing Last Line of Defense, the Miller Unit captures Port Patterson (Captive City). Gryphus One was sent to the port. Once there, he attacked the unit, which was hiding within the port's fuel complex to protect themselves from Southern Cross' attacks. After most of the unit was destroyed, the 3rd Artillery Division entered the city. Unlike the others, the 3rd Artillery Division was not prepared. After the unit was wiped out, Port Patterson was retaken.
If the player choose to do Captive City, a squadron of C-5 Galaxy planes flew over Kingshill (False Target). Gryphus One was to attack the transport aircraft. One of each squadron would conceal more weaponry for the Gleipnir during the battle over Santa Elva. However, there were many decoy aircraft, Gryphus One had to use his own eyes to find the real transport. It appeared that the real transports were those flying lower than the rest (the payload exceeded the Maximum Takeoff Weight), and couldn't gain altitude. The decoys got to Santa Elva, but the real planes never did because they were shot down.
For the Gleipnir, Gryphus One either destroyed the Gleiphir's SWBM launch ports at Terminus Island (The Midnight Sun) or rescued the Davis Unit while letting a fully intact Gleipnir reach Santa Elva.
At Santa Elva, Gryphus One attacked the Gleipnir to liberate the city. He destroyed all of the Gleipnir's vital functions, severely crippling the fortress. He dealt a severe blow by destroying the Shock Cannon, resulting a power outage which caused the fortress to crash into the river and explode. Gryphus One soon became the spearhead of Aurelian operations and was feared in Leasath as Nemesis.
Taking Back Griswall
Shortly after the Gleipnir's destruction, the Aurelian forces were on the move towards their capital, Griswall. However, Leasath forces on the Kalana Steppes and Sachana Air Base were still a dangerous threat to Santa Elva.
If the player goes to the Kalana Steppes first, he eliminated all enemy forces along with the Leasath fighters sent from Sachana AB. Next, he took back Sachana after the Skylla Unit, an elite anti-air special forces unit, has left the base to protect the Nevera Jammer with allied CH-47 Chinook helicopter unit while under RPG fire.
If the player decides to attack Sachana first, Gryphus One had to fly low to approach the base without being detected by an enemy radar network and patrol boats. Once he did, he destroyed all enemy forces, fighters, bombers stationed there as well as the Skylla Unit. This came at the expense of letting the Leasath Army build up its forces on the Kalana Steppes.
If Gryphus One went to the Kalana Steppes after the Sachana operation, he destroyed the entire enemy forces that were mobilizing to attack Santa Elva. In the chaos, the Hamlet Unit, a biological warfare special forces unit, was discovered and eliminated. However, if Gryphus One didn't do the Kelana Steppes mission, the Hamlet Unit will attack Santa Elva with Cynocrine, a chemical weapon. Gryphus One then flew back to Santa Elva to neutralize the chemical threat and destroyed all enemy CAS fighters.
If Gryphus One goes to Monte Breeze, he faced intense jamming from Mount Nevera, forcing him to cooperate with allied reconnaissance Seagull, Jaguar & Puma Units to destroy six XC-01 transports that were delivering MBSRs to the Meson Cannon and protect Griswall. If he destroys the Nevera Jammer first, he only had enough time to destroy four transports. Unfortunately, a group of freedom fighters called the Aurelian Liberation Corps will head to the factories, which had been rigged to blow. Despite the Liberation Corps' complaints, Gryphus One destroyed all the facilities before their train could reach any of them.
Afterwards, Gryphus One went to Mount Nevera to destroy the Nevera Jammer. However, it had a high performance air defense system that prevented him from gaining access, making Gryphus One to search and destroy the power stations before attacking the jamming facility itself. If he didn't destroy the Skylla Unit at Sachana AB, they will cause a trouble by taking out the transmission towers leading to the power stations.
Finally, the liberation of Griswall was about to commence. Leasath amassed its army with the backing of the powerful Meson Cannon to block the way. If Gryphus One prevented the MBSR delivery, Victor Regiment will approach the city, along with the allied ground forces, under attack by enemy forces outside and inside the city itself. Gryphus One defended the troops along the way and destroyed the Meson Cannon.
If the MBSRs were delivered, Gryphus One will face fully charged Meson Cannon. Nevertheless, he destroyed all the cannons and enemy fighters.
In another scenario, the Liberation Corps took back the city, but were attacked by Leasath ground forces. The freedom fighters wanted to help Gryphus One by taking the Meson Cannon offline, but also accidently opened the Atmos Ring's gates that were defending the city and Gryphus One still stopped the advancing enemy forces. After that, he has to deal with the Skylla Unit, which used their M270 MLRS rocket launchers to launch MGM-140 ATACMS missiles to destroy the capital's defense perimeter. Gryphus One stopped all the missile attacks and the Aurelians liberated Griswall.
After Leasath's defeat at Griswall, Aurelia was reunited with rejoicing. However, in the midst of the liberation, Leasath commander Diego Navarro slipped away in a C-17A Globemaster III to the Danern Straits.
Destroying Fenrir and Ending the War
Two Aurelian Air Force F-117A Nighthawks, Otus 1 and 2, were tracking Navarro to the Danern Straits, finding a secret Leasath facility on Sentry Island. Suddenly, they were shot down by the secret Leasath fighters named Fenrir.
The Aurelian Air Force mobilized to destroy the Fenrir and its facilities before Navarro could complete it. Leasath forces in the Danern Straits and Cobalt Cave stood between them and the base on Sentry Island, now called Archelon Fortress.
If Gryphus One flew to the Danern Straits, he will fight along with Falco Squadron to shoot down the Alect Squadron to keep them from reaching Archelon Fortress. The Alect members appeared with six S-32's in the middle of the fight and engage the Aurelians. Gryphus One showed his superior prowess to the Alects and destroyed all six members. If he flew to Cobalt Cave first, the Alect Squadron reached their destination. The Leasath Navy assembled in the straits to defend Archelon fortress. Gryphus One either destroyed the fleet or let it reach Archelon Fortress.
Alternately, Gryphus One flew to Cobalt Cave to sink the departing cargo ships and warehouses. A defecting Leasath scientist taken into custody by Aurelian Navy SEALs infiltrating the complex revealed the cargo was an HPM (High-Powered Microwave) weapon meant to be mounted onto Fenrir. If Gryphus One let the HPM go, he destroyed the HPM satellite guidance system on the island, weakening the microwave weapon.
Gryphus Squadron and Aquila Squadron assembled for a final battle with the Leasath Air Force (F-15S/MTD, Su-37 Terminator, Su-47 Berkut, S-32, Fenrir) at Archelon Fortress. The enemy launched the four new Fenrirs mounted with the HPM, shooting down Aquila One in the process. Despite great odds, Gryphus One used his superior piloting and wit to overpower and destroy all the Fenrirs. A Shock Cannon on top of the fortress was activated in a desperate last stand against the AAF. Aquila Three was destroyed by the cannon's first shot. Gryphus One flew his way through the shockwaves and destabilized the weapon, causing Archelon Fortress to collapse on itself.
If the Alect Squadron arrived instead of the HPM, they piloted the four functioning Fenrirs to fight two Aurelian ace squadrons. The Alects made the fight extremely difficult with their reflexes and Fenrir's optical camouflage. Fortunately, the Aurelian Navy SEALs managed to slipped pass the island's naval defenses and expose Fenrir's power transmitter for Gryphus One's missiles. The optical camouflage was taken offline, enabling Gryphus One to destroy the Alect Squadron. The SEALs then entered the fortress to open the front gate for Gryphus One, and discovered a fifth Fenrir taking off before they could stop it. Gryphus One flew into the fortress and shot down the escaping Fenrir as the fortress began to collapse from C-4 charges. Gryphus One and the SEALs escaped as Archelon was consumed in a raging inferno, taking a recovered Fenrir prototype with them.
The Aurelian victory led to the fall of Navarro's government. Navarro himself either fled Leasath or was killed by a mob of rioting Leasath citizens.
After the war, Gryphus One returns to Cape Aubrey and is probably still stationed there. It is unclear whether Albert Genette, who was in Aurelia covering the war, managed to get an interview with him.
In other games
Gryphus One's paint scheme is available for download in Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation, under the name "GRYPHUS EMBLEM". Additionally in Ace of Aces mode, Gryphus will spawn during the second phase of Heavy Command Cruiser.
In Ace Combat: Joint Assault, the special mission "Ace of Aces" features an F-22A ace named "Gryphus". He is the 30th aircraft to spawn in the level and the second Ace Combat aircraft to appear. Furthermore, his paint scheme is also available for the F-22A Raptor, as Color 1.
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon features the name "Gryphus" as a usable callsign in competitive multiplayer. The callsign requires the player to achieve the "Hero" bonus five times to unlock.
Ace Combat Infinity features a special version of the F-22A known as the F-22A -Gryphus-. Additionally, his squadron emblem, personal emblem and nicknames found in Skies of Deception are featured as well.
- Much like Mobius 1, the aircraft he flies (canonically) are the F-22A Raptor and F-4E Phantom II
- The Argentine Air Force acrobatic display team is called Cruz del Sur, Spanish for "Southern Cross."
- The name "Gryphus" mean Condor in Latin; The Andean Condor is the Symbol of the Chilean Air Force, and one of two animals that appear in the Chilean Flag Shield.
- His nickname, the Southern Cross, is also shared by Falco One.
- Southern Cross was also the name of the personal transport plane of US Navy admiral Ingram who commanded the US fleet in the South Atlantic that was based in Brazil during WWII.