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The Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces (スカイ・クロラ イノセン・テイセス Sukai Kurora: Inosen Teisesu) is an arcade combat flight simulator exclusive to the Nintendo Wii. Its story is set prior to the events of the 2008 anime film The Sky Crawlers, an adaptation of Hiroshi Mori's novel of the same name.

Innocent Aces was co-developed by Project Aces and Access Games, and produced by Namco Bandai Games. Its gameplay systems feature many similarities with the Ace Combat series. It was the first game Project Aces worked on to feature propeller aircraft, which would later feature in some Ace Combat games. It also introduced a new maneuver system that would be included in Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy.

Plot

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The player takes on the role of "Lynx" of the Rostock Corporation's Air Force's "Cougar Squadron" fighting a rival corporation called "Lautern". The "Earth" of the game includes wars staged by companies to make civilians feel the peace around them. An innovation by Rostock Military Corporation, the Kildren was practically a clone of a "perfect" pilot. Kildren are forever young and are equally matched against aces. He begins by helping allies clear Rudakai of enemy Jammer planes. He also helps in protecting 5 new recruits (Kildren recruits) from the enemy. Soon after though, their squad captain, Yamasaki, is shot down and Lynx is appointed squad leader. After several more missions, Lynx's wingmen rename his call sign to Cheetah. He was assigned by the Deputy Chief of Intelligence Mozume to try out their new aircraft, the Sanka (a fictional aircraft based on the real-life J7W Shinden push-prop prototype) and also destroy Lautern's new weapon, a fortified base housing 5 advanced AA guns, similar to the guns in Mt. Nevera of Ace Combat X, and a railgun. It was during this battle that he shot down his wingman and lost his other 2 wingmen. After, he helped in preventing the destruction of Rostock's super weapon, the Wolfram, a giant airborne dirigible. Mozume, acting as one of his allies, turned to Lautern's side and with him, 3 Kildren, Ukomuri, Watari and Ishitobi. The other part of Mozume's plan was to complete the Wolfram and give it to Lautern. His plan ended when both the Kildren and Wolfram were destroyed by Cheetah. One Kildren (Orishina), however, defected score Mozume's plan began. The last battle of the war was waged between the remaining air forces of Lautern and Rostock. Midway through the battle, Lautern forces began to retreat and their ace, Orishina, arrived. Soon, it became a dogfight between aces. The battle ended when Orishina's plane suffered too much damage from Cheetah's attacks.

Gameplay

By default, Innocent Aces is controlled through the Wii Remote and the Nunchuk attachment. The player holds the Wii Remote in their left hand (for throttle, deceleration, and yaw) and the Nunchuk in their right hand (for tilt, roll, and pitch). However, the player has the option to use the Classic Controller or the GameCube controller.[3]

Innocent Aces also supports two players in a unique way. The second player can connect a second Wii Remote to take control of aiming and firing the guns, while the first player uses their controls to maneuver the aircraft.[4]

Innocent Aces introduces a new gameplay mechanic called "Tactical Maneuver Command", or TMC. If the player stays within close proximity to an enemy aircraft for a certain amount of time, they can press a button that will perform a maneuver to put the player in an optimal firing position. The TMC has three levels of effectiveness depending on how long the player stays near the enemy.[3]

As with most Ace Combat games, the player will unlock new aircraft as Innocent Aces progresses. These aircraft can be customized with various skins, and parts can be equipped to the cockpit, engine, wings, and armor. There is also an "Entrust" option, where the game will automatically select certain parts for those four categories to fit a specific style the player chooses,[5] such as high attack or high speed.[6]

Legacy

Innocent Aces has had multiple impacts in the Ace Combat series. The most notable of these is the inclusion of the Tactical Maneuver Command system in Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy. Rather than three levels of effectiveness, Assault Horizon Legacy simplifies it to two. In addition, the system was expanded in that game to include defensive maneuvers against enemy missiles.

The use of propeller aircraft in Innocent Aces also influenced the inclusion of such aircraft in future titles. Ace Combat: Joint Assault and Assault Horizon Legacy both featured the A6M5 Zero and the F6F-5 Hellcat, which maneuver similar to how most aircraft maneuver in Innocent Aces. Propeller aircraft were later added to Ace Combat Infinity on September 18, 2015.

Elements of the HUD were also seen in later Ace Combat games. Bomber aircraft in Innocent Aces have a triangle targeting reticle, whereas most other aircraft have a square targeting reticle; this change was included in Assault Horizon Legacy. Separately, when propeller aircraft were added to Ace Combat Infinity, the in-game HUD changes to display propeller-based gauges that bear a striking resemblance to the gauges in the Innocent Aces HUD.

Trivia

  • Several voice actors for the English localization of Innocent Aces have also held roles in the Ace Combat series:

References

  1. Wiiで体感する青空――『スカイ・クロラ イノセン・テイセス』. Dengeki Online. Published on October 15, 2008. Retrieved on April 27, 2017.
  2. 2010: The Year of the Wii. IGN. Published on March 14, 2010. Retrieved on April 27, 2017.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Sky Crawlers Playtest. IGN. Published on October 17, 2008. Retrieved on April 28, 2017.
  4. 'The Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces' (Wii) Has Limited Multiplayer. Worthplaying. Published on December 23, 2009. Retrieved on April 28, 2017.
  5. Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces Interview On Anime To Game Transition. Siliconera. Published on December 9, 2009. Retrieved on April 28, 2017.
  6. The Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces FAQ/Walkthrough v1.7 - gorgonseye. Neoseeker. Published on May 7, 2011. Retrieved on April 28, 2017.

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