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Larry Foulke

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"You and I are opposite sides of the same coin.
When we face each other, we can finally see our true selves. There may be a resemblance, but we never face the same direction."
― Larry Foulke[2] to Cipher

Second Lieutenant Larry Foulke (ラリー・フォルク Rarī Foruku), callsign "Pixy" and nicknamed "Solo Wing", was a Belkan mercenary pilot employed by Ustio during the Belkan War. He is best known for his service as Galm Team's number two and later as a member of the paramilitary terrorist organization "A World With No Boundaries".

Foulke was an experienced pilot, whose skills were well known among his fellow mercenaries. He was deeply affected by the ravages inflicted on his country during the war; after witnessing the seven nuclear detonations on June 6, 1995, he went AWOL and defected to A World With No Boundaries.

Foulke was shot down over the Avalon Dam facility during his final encounter with his former wingman and flight leader, Cipher, on December 31, 1995. Although injured, he survived the confrontation and later returned to mercenary service on battlefields around the world.

Biography

Early life

Foulke was born in the Belkan Federation in 1967.[3] Sometime in his early adulthood, Foulke left his native Belka and became a mercenary pilot. Over the coming years, he fought in conflicts around the world; his aircraft of choice eventually became the F-15C Eagle. During one particular assignment in 1993, his Eagle's right wing was torn off by enemy fire; nevertheless, Foulke remained in control of the aircraft and safely returned to base, earning himself the nickname "Solo Wing".[4] He later painted the right wing of his aircraft—either the same Eagle or a replacement—scarlet to commemorate the incident.

Employment by Ustio

At some point in early 1995, following the outbreak of the Belkan War, Foulke and a number of other mercenaries were hired by Ustio's government in exile to bolster its devastated air forces. Foulke was subsequently assigned to the UAF 6th Air Division's 66th Air Force Unit (Galm Team), which was based out of Valais Air Base in Ustio's eastern Tyrann Mountains.[5]

Allied counterattack

"Two Ustio fighters... That Eagle with the red wing... That's..."
― Allied pilot[6]

Main articles: Offensive Campaign No. 4101, Operation Constantine

On April 2, Foulke and other pilots launched from Valais to intercept a Belkan bomber force that was bound for the airbase. During their ingress, he was paired with fellow mercenary Cipher and subsequently became Galm 2.[7] Two weeks later, on April 15, the mercenary duo was dispatched to northern Sapin to secure a supply line between the Ustian and Osean military. After their success, AWACS Eagle Eye congratulated Foulke, telling him that "luck was on [his] side again" that day.[8]

Cipher and Pixy over B7R

Pixy (top) and Cipher (bottom) over Area B7R

Five days later, Foulke and Cipher were ordered to perform a reconnaissance operation over Area B7R; Galm subsequently engaged the Belkan air forces patrolling the airspace and, despite being vastly outnumbered, eliminated all of them. When additional Belkan aircraft were detected on radar, Galm was ordered to engage, to which Foulke coolly reminded his superiors that this added effort would "cost [them] extra." After Galm emerged victorious, it was revealed that Foulke and Cipher had merely been decoys to mask the 3rd Osean Naval Fleet's mobilization.[9]

Several days later, on April 24, Foulke supported the Allied Forces' attempt to retake the Futuro Canal, where he and his red wing were identified by multiple Allied and Belkan combatants alike, including Tollwut Hund member Michael Kohr.[10] As Cipher's kill count grew, Foulke jovially announced that Cipher would be buying everyone's drinks that evening.[6]

On May 12, Foulke provided air support for an Osean paratroop-drop mission as a prelude to the liberation of Ustio's capital, Directus. The following day, Galm supported the Allies' effort to free Directus from Belkan occupation. Although the elite Gelb Team arrived and attempted to regain air superiority over the capital, Foulke and Cipher shot down the Belkan aces after a heated dogfight. As victory bells rang throughout the city, Foulke reveled in his newfound status as a hero and liberator.[11]

Invasion of Belka

"Yo Buddy, you've got everyone fired up and believing in miracles."
― Foulke[12] to Cipher

Main articles: Operation Hell Bound, Operation Judgement, Operation Cannibal

Following Ustio's liberation, the Allied Forces initiated a multi-front invasion of Belka, Foulke's homeland. Together, Foulke and Cipher quickly earned a reputation as the Allies' most skilled pilots. On May 17, the Allies attacked the fortified ruins of Glatisant under the pretense of a "nuclear arms inspection", which Foulke recognized and dismissed as a "joke." Despite intense anti-aircraft fire and his own reservations, however, Foulke carried out the mission. After completing the assignment, Foulke noticed a flash of light in the distance,[13] which was later found to have annihilated another Allied air unit operating within Belkan territory.[14]

Galm in Schayne

Foulke flying alongside Cipher

A few days later, Galm was dispatched to the Schayne Plains to help break the Belkan Army's second line of defense. As he flew towards the target areas, Foulke surveyed the landscape and observed that there is "not much difference between [the warring] countries from up here." When Belka's Excalibur laser weapon unexpectedly opened fire on the Allied aircraft, Foulke skillfully avoided the laser beams and escaped to safety.[15]

On May 23, Foulke, Cipher, and a number of other mercenary pilots were ordered to destroy Excalibur. During their approach, Excalibur opened fire, forcing Foulke and the other mercenaries to break formation. He eluded the weapon's laser-fire and supported Cipher as they disabled its defensive jamming systems. Despite encountering RTLS defenses and Belkan fighters at the target site, Foulke survived the battle and witnessed Cipher's destruction of Excalibur, which further elevated Galm Team's renown.[12]

"While you're up here 'fighting for peace,' tons of blood is being shed on the ground. Some 'peace,' kid."
― Foulke[16] to Patrick James Beckett

Five days later, on May 28, Galm was dispatched on an emergency sortie to aid the Osean Air Defense Force in a major engagement over Area B7R. By the time Foulke and Cipher arrived, 40 percent of the Osean air forces had already been lost. Within minutes of joining the furball, however, Galm turned the tide of battle in the Allies' favor. During the skirmish, Captain Joshua Bristow (leader of the OADF's Wizard Squadron) radioed Foulke, telling him that the war was unfolding "just as [Foulke had] thought", and suggested that the two men should leave their "dead-end job[s]." Foulke responded that the time was not yet right.[16]

"Learn to accept it, kid. This is war ... There's no mercy in [it]. It's a collision of powers."
― Foulke[17] to PJ

Following the fall of Excalibur and the "Round Table", the Allied Forces launched a campaign to cripple Belka's military-industrial infrastructure. On June 1, Foulke's prediction that the war would worsen was confirmed when the Allies' bombing of Hoffnung devolved into an indiscriminate attack on both military and civilian targets. This callous act led to a heated exchange between Foulke and Patrick James Beckett (Crow 3), who held beliefs regarding the "rules" and nature of warfare that Foulke thought were naïve.[17]

Defection to A World With No Boundaries

"Larry, can you read me? Your fairy godmother is here, Cinderella. ... Today is your lucky day, Larry. Like your birthday."
Joshua Bristow[18] to Foulke

Main articles: Operation Ravage, Operation Point Blank

On June 6, 1995, Galm and Crow Teams were dispatched to Sudentor to assist the Allies' impending siege of the city. While en route to their target, Foulke's aircraft lagged behind the others. When PJ radioed to ask what was wrong, Foulke responded that he was "just sad." At approximately 1450hrs, AWACS Eagle Eye informed the mercenaries that a large number of Belkan bombers armed with nuclear weapons were bound for Ustio. Foulke and the other mercenaries—aided by a small group of rogue Belkan pilots—averted the attack, but failed to prevent the detonation of seven V1 warheads along the Waldreich Mountains.[18]

The catastrophe was witnessed by Bristow, who radioed Foulke through the electromagnetic interference and enigmatically compared the tragedy to a "birthday" for Foulke. Foulke was initially appalled by Bristow's words, but he soon acquiesced. At 1458hrs, Foulke radioed Cipher and informed him that he had "found a reason to fight"—he then proceeded to open fire on his flight leader. The "Demon Lord" avoided his missile-fire and became entangled with several Belkan fighters, allowing Foulke to slip away with Bristow in the confusion. Before departing, Foulke informed Cipher that the two of them must "go our separate ways."[18] With Pixy listed as MIA, Beckett was reassigned from Crow Team to serve as Galm's number two.[19]

Foulke's whereabouts from June through December remain unknown. However, on December 25, he resurfaced aboard the XB-0 Hresvelgr, which A World With No Boundaries used to bomb the city of Lumen and Valais Air Base. When the XB-0 was shot down by Galm Team, Foulke escaped the plummeting gunship and transmitted an encrypted message ("Yo, Buddy. You still alive?") to his former flight leader.[20]

Final encounter with Galm 1

"Those who survive a long time on the battlefield start to think they're invincible. I bet you do, too, Buddy."
― Foulke[2] to Cipher

At some point prior to December 31, Foulke was given control of the prototype ADFX-02 Morgan fighter; he was also entrusted with launching the V2 warhead should the Avalon Dam's control systems fail. By the time Foulke arrived at the Avalon facility, however, the Allied Forces—led by Cipher—had already destroyed the facility's launch-control modules, haulting the V2 launch. Foulke opened fire with his Morgan's Tactical Laser System, hitting and killing Beckett. He then radioed Cipher, asking if he had "found a reason to fight yet",[21] and began to reactivate the V2 silo. The two mercenaries engaged over Avalon, with Cipher slowly stripping the Morgan of its weaponry until Foulke activated the aircraft's ECM shielding. However, Cipher landed several hits on the Morgan's forward air intakes, injuring Foulke and forcing him to eject.[2]

Later life

Although wounded, Foulke survived the battle and left Mund on foot. He eventually arrived at a town near one of the Waldreich's ground zero sites, where he was nursed back to health by the townspeople. Still plagued by questions about the existential meaning of borders, Foulke traveled to Usea, where he served as a soldier for the Independent State Allied Forces. At some point, he became stationed at a town in Delarus near a disputed border.[22]

In November 2005, Foulke was located and interviewed by reporter Brett Thompson for his documentary Warriors and the Belkan War. During the course of the interview, Foulke detailed his experiences serving alongside Cipher, as well as his thoughts on the nature of borders. At the end of his interview, Foulke asked Thompson to convey a message to Cipher, should Thompson be able to locate him: Foulke thanked his former flight leader and extended his hopes of seeing him again.[22]

Gallery

Trivia

  • The story of Foulke losing a wing, yet safely landing his aircraft is based on the real-world account of Zivi Nedivi, an Israeli Air Force pilot who lost his F-15C's right wing after a collision with an A-4 Skyhawk during a training exercise.[24]
  • Foulke's ideals are similar to those of Karl Marx, who discussed the removal of borders and authorities in his ideological treatise, The Communist Manifesto.
  • In pre-release concept artwork from Aces At War: A History, Pixy was originally envisioned wearing casual attire (specifically an ISAF hoodie and baggy pants) as opposed to his military uniform seen in-game.
  • If the player watches Pixy at the beginning of "Glacial Skies", he can be observed performing several advanced piloting maneuvers.
  • In Ace Combat Zero, Pixy's red wing—as depicted on both his F-15C and the player's "Wingman" special color scheme—is painted on its dorsal and ventral sides.
    • Later depictions of Pixy's F-15C (AC6, Assault Horizon, and Infinity) only color the right wing's dorsal side. Inspection of the game data revealed that this is an error caused by the texture's limit, which makes it impossible to paint the right wing's ventral side without painting the left wing as well.

References

  1. Hasegawa 1/72 "F-15C Eagle ACE COMBAT Galm 2 Limited Edition" (plastic model) description.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Zero, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
  3. Assault Records #168: Larry Foulke, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
  4. Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War Perfect Guide Book. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
  5. Ending cutscene, Glacial Skies, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Juggernaut, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
  7. Cutscene prior to Glacial Skies, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
  8. Annex, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
  9. The Round Table, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
  10. Confession of a Soldier. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
  11. Diapason, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Sword of Annihilation, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
  13. Bastion, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
  14. Debriefing, Bastion, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
  15. Merlon, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Mayhem, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Inferno, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 The Stage of Apocalypse, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
  19. Lying in Deceit, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
  20. Ending cutscene, The Talon of Ruin, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
  21. Ending cutscene, The Valley of Kings, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
  22. 22.0 22.1 Cutscene 17, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
  23. Briefing prior to Ancient Walls, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
  24. Plane Lands Miraculously With Wing Missing. YouTube. Published by AuroraHazel on May 27, 2007. Retrieved February 25, 2017.

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