- "No, Blaze is leading. I'll protect his 6 o'clock. And I'm not gonna lose another flight lead."
- ― Kei Nagase, declining her promotion to flight lead
Kei Nagase (ケイ・ナガセ), callsign "Edge" (
HistoryEditLittle is known of Nagase before she joined the Osean Air Defense Force. Kei's favorite book is A Blue Dove for the Princess, which she loved since she was a little girl. Some of the pages were missing, and Nagase was attempting to write in the missing pages from memory throughout the Circum-Pacific War.
Kei Nagase is a fighter pilot most famous for being part of the elite Razgriz TFS during the Circum-Pacific War and also for playing a pivotal part in the war's end. She was born on September 9th, 1987 in Osea, but little is known of her early years.
A relative of hers, some say her sister (or Kei herself) served on Air Ixiom, and was involved in a pivotal battle in the Continental War of 2005. This event most likely inspired Kei to join the OADF around 2008, and she advanced to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant by 2010. While on a routine training exercise in September 2010, her flight was attacked by MiG-29As of unknown origin. Only Captain Bartlett, she, and a journalist named Albert Genette survived. She was later assigned to the #2 position on Wardog Squadron, with Davenport on #3, and a man known only as "Blaze" on #4.
On another mission that the OADF has called "Shorebirds", Nagase participated in an intercept of an SR-71 that penetrated the Osean ADEZ. The SR-71 Blackbird ignored warnings and began to leave the area. Wardog Squadron caught 12 unidentified fighters on their radar, who engaged them on sight. Disobeying orders, Wardog Leader Jack "Heartbreak One" Bartlett ordered Wardog to engage the fighters. All fighters were shot down with no Osean casualties.
The next day, Nagase again went up with Wardog to intercept 3 flights of UAVs that photographed Sand Island AFB, where she was stationed. All UAVs were shot down, but unidentified fighters once again closed in. Wardog engaged and splashed all fighters. Suddenly, a boat sailing nearby launched a missile at Nagase's F-5E Tiger II. She maneuvered violently to avoid it, but was unable to evade. Heartbreak One crossed behind her and diverted the missile's direction, causing the missile to begin tracking him and finally impact his starboard wing. He bailed out over the Ceres Ocean.
Wardog was immediately scrambled to Port St. Hewlett, upon hearing Yuktobania had declared war on Osea. Although outgunned by the Yuktobanian forces, Wardog along with VFA-206 were able to get the survivors of the 3rd fleet to safety. They returned to Sand Island afterwards. Wardog 3, Alvin Davenport was happy to get relaxation and retired to his quarters, while Nagase went to hers and wrote in a book. Suddenly, the air raid sirens sounded, as a Yuktobanian bomber force had begun attacking the island.
Wardog clambered into their F-5s, but no maintenance was performed and Wardog 3's engines couldn't start. Once they got in the air, Wardog managed to shoot down all attacking aircraft. Lieutenant Colonel Ford, from the mainland, was scheduled to replace Bartlett as Wardog's flight lead, but was shot down by Yuktobanian reinforcements. A second wave of bombers approached, but were quickly taken care of. Wardog returned to base with a new squad member: Hans Grimm, call-sign "Archer".
Later, the 4 pilots were assigned an escort mission in the Eaglin Straits of Osea, to make sure 3 aircraft carriers arrived at a rendezvous point safely. Midway through the mission, the group comes under attack from Yuke Sea Harriers and F-35C Lightning IIs. Wardog managed to shoot them down without any trouble. But suddenly, a burst missile appeared on radar and destroyed the OFS Buzzard. A second burst missile later sunk the OFS Vulture.
The Kestrel was the only carrier that survived, and its only pilot left alive was Marcus Snow, callsign Swordsman. Wardog was too far away from Sand Island to return, and a tanker plane could not be called to their position, so Thunderhead ordered them to head to Heierlark AFB, in North Osea. There, they refueled, rested, and told stories to the eager cadets stationed there. The next day, Wardog took the cadets back to Sand Island, having to stop at every base on the way to refuel, as the cadets were not trained in aerial refueling yet.
The next day, she was thrown into the air again by a surprise Yuke amphibious assault on Sand Island. The rookies from Heierlark were flying along, but they were inexperienced, and some were shot down. During the battle, the Scinfaxi, a submarine aircraft carrier, launched ballistic missiles at Wardog. All of the rookies were shot down, and Nagase, along with her squadron, tried to evade the missiles. The Arkbird, a spaceship equipped with a laser cannon, fired on the Scinfaxi and destroyed its ballast tanks. The sub surfaced, and Wardog Squadron destroyed it. The battle was a success for Osea.
During an Osean POW rescue mission in the Glubina region of Yuktobania, Nagase was shot down by an enemy SAM. Due to the harsh weather, a rescue operation was not able to be carried out, and one helicopter crashed. Cpt. Nagase survived and managed to locate the crew, getting them to a shelter before the storm approached. The next day, an OADF rescue operation was mounted, but Yuktobanian patrols were in the area searching for her. She hid the crew and managed to capture a group of soldiers with her M9 sidearm. She and the crashed crew were safely airlifted out of the area.
Nagase went on to become famous and notorious in both Osea and Yuktobania respectively, as her squadron won battle after battle. Unfortunately, the thought of war sickened her, and she conveyed her disgust to her squadmates, much to their dismay. When Wardog 3, Alvin "Chopper" Davenport was shot down over November City and later killed, she was wrought with grief and sadness. This caused her hatred of war to increase.
When Wardog was betrayed and framed as Yuke spies, Wardog escaped from Sand Island. They were shot down over the Solo Islands, north of Sand Island. Reports indicate they did not survive, and the OADF Central Command has listed her as KIA.
Cpt. Nagase survived the Solo Islands Incident, as evidenced by sightings of her aboard the OFS Kestrel (CVN-30). Wardog Squadron was reformed into Razgriz Squadron, with a black paint scheme and a logo of the Demon Razgriz, with Marcus Snow as a new member. Razgriz was responsible for the rescue of President Vincent Harling, who had gone missing several months prior.The Razgriz had exposed the real instigator of the war; Belka, who were angered by their humiliating defeat in the war in 1995. Nagase and her squad shot down one of the Belkan Aggressor Squadrons, Ofnir in Payavlenie Ravine in Yuktobania and Grabacr Squadron, when they rescued Yuke Prime Minister Serozyah Nikanor and former Wardog flight leader Jack Bartlett from a Yuke prison. The previous day, Razgriz had destroyed the Belkan-controlled Arkbird, which was headed for a nuclear strike on Okchabursk. The attack was meant to further escalate the war with Yuktobania.
On December 30th, 2010, Razgriz, along with allied Yuke and Osean squadrons, assaulted the Belkan headquarters in Sudentor, where the control center for the SOLG (Strategic Orbital Linear Gun) was located. Despite heavy resistance from warmongering Yuke, Osean and Belkan forces, as well as the SOLG's attacks, Razgriz entered the control tunnel and destroyed the core.
On New Year's Eve 2010, Razgriz was scrambled for one final mission. The SOLG was descending on Oured, Osea's capital city. It still carried several nuclear warheads. If it struck Oured, millions of people would die. While Osean citizens slept peacefully and unknowingly in the early hours of December 31st, 4 planes embarked on a mission to save their lives. While en route to the SOLG's intercept point, Razgriz was met by Grabacr and Ofnir Squadron, intent on stopping them. A final climactic battle was fought and all Grabacr/Ofnir pilots were killed. The SOLG emerged in front of them, heading to its descent point. Nagase and her squadmates fired on the SOLG, but it was Blaze who delivered the fatal blow. The SOLG exploded in a bright flash over Oured, waking up the entire city. At the end of the game, it is found that she, along with her squadron members, have disappeared into history.
She was officially listed as "Missing In Action" after the conflict.
- The character of Nagase was originally developed by Kazutoki Kono, and he developed her personality and character traits.
- Edge bears an uncanny resemblance to Reiko Nagase, a prominent character from Namco's earlier Ridge Racer series.
- In a cutsene in Ace Combat 3, one of the pilots who defected to Ouroboros was named Kei Nagase. However, little suggests it was the same Kei Nagase from Ace Combat 2 or Ace Combat 5.
- In the early missions, Edge tends to keep close to Blaze's plane, regardless of the Wingman Commands the player issues (unlike his other wingmen). This probably reflects her in-story promise to "never lose another flight lead."
- The June 2011 cinematic trailer for Ace Combat: Assault Horizon features a portion at 0:58 where William Bishop and the rest of the Warwolf Squadron walk inside a hangar. In the rear of the group is a woman bearing an uncanny resemblance to Kei Nagase. She appears as a voiceless cameo in many of the game's cutscenes.
- She is, in a way, comparable to Yellow 4, Yellow 13's wingman, in that both shared a deep devotion to their flight leads and allowed no harm to come to them.