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This article is about an in-game mission. For the in-universe event, see Operation Ravage.
"A Belkan bomber squadron equipped with nuclear weapons has taken off for Ustio."
AWACS Eagle Eye

The Stage of Apocalypse is the 12th campaign mission in Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War. Galm Team and Crow Team are tasked with supporting Allied Forces ground troops during a skirmish in Sudentor. They are redirected when a squadron of bombers carrying nuclear weapons crosses their path.

This is the final mission to feature Pixy as the player's wingman. Crow Team's PJ replaces him in the next mission.

Briefing

There are still pockets of resistance holed up in the industrial city of Sudentor. Although fleeing, the Belkan army continues to fight back and are using the Waldreich Mountains as a final line of defence in an attempt to prevent our army from reaching northern Belka. For this mission, we would like you to assist the Allied ground troops by clearing the skies of enemy fighters. The South Belka Munitions Factory is located in Sudentor, which means the remaining troops, although few in number, are well outfitted. Head to the designated operations rendezvous location, at Point 203.

Objectives

Initial

The player will spawn at the southern part of the map. Their objective is to fly to the northeast to reach the designated rendezvous point in Sudentor.

Mission Update 1

After at least 44 seconds have elapsed, and after the player reaches a certain vertical point on the map, the southern mission border will shift upward. AWACS Eagle Eye will inform the player that bombers carrying nuclear weapons have taken off for Ustio. They are escorted by a squadron of F-15E Strike Eagles. The player's new objective is to shoot down the bombers.

These bombers are the same Bm-335 Lindwurms from Glacial Skies; as such, the player must be wary of their rear-mounted machine guns. After the player approaches the bombers, a neutral squadron of Belkan separatists flying MiG-31 Foxhounds will enter the airspace and join the player in attempting to shoot down the bombers.

Whether the player shoots down all of the bombers or not is, in fact, irrelevant. The mission will advance whether the player shoots them all down or they reach the southern part of the combat zone. At this point, a nuclear bomb will explode. The player's screen will fade to white, then to a blue-green tint. Their aircraft will be stuck in slow motion during this transition, then it will shift a few meters away from its original position as a loud explosion goes off. A fake missile warning will also show up during this sequence, but it shortly disappears. For the rest of the mission, the player's HUD will be corrupted, but the player's aircraft is unaffected. All remaining enemy units will change to neutral and attempt to leave the airspace.

Mission Update 2

After a few moments, Joshua Bristow will approach from the northwest of the combat zone. He is too far away for the player to shoot down. After he exchanges words with Pixy, the latter will open fire on the player. The player must avoid Pixy's fire for about a minute, after which Pixy will leave the area.

A squadron of reinforcement Su-27 Flankers will enter the airspace. The player must shoot them all down to complete the mission.

Enemy Lists

The following enemy lists are taken from the Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War Perfect Guide Book.[1]

Standard Units

Section Unit Points Count Notes
Mission Update 1 Icon-AirTGT Bm-335 1000 9
Icon-AirEnemy F-15E 600 8 [note 1]
Icon-AirNeutral MiG-31 440 4 [note 2]
Mission Update 2 Icon-AirTGT Su-27 480 2
Icon-AirTGT Su-27 360 4 Very Easy & Easy
480 1 Normal & Hard
600 3
600 4 Expert & Ace
Icon-AirEnemy UNKNOWN "Wizard 1" 1 [note 3]

Special Units

Main article: Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War/Aces

AR # Unit Points Campaign
Completed
Minimum
Difficulty
Ace Style Notes
Icon-AirEnemy 107 F-35C "Spatz" 1430 Normal Mercenary [note 4]
Icon-AirEnemy 108 Su-27 "Lynx 1" 1100 Normal Soldier [note 5]
Icon-AirEnemy 109 Su-27 "Lynx 2" 1100 Normal Soldier [note 5]
Icon-AirEnemy 110 EA-18G "Nebelbank" 1300 Normal Knight [note 6]
Icon-AirEnemy 111 Su-37 "Trombe" 1640 Ace

S Rank

Earning an S rank in this mission requires earning 16,500 points.[1] This is impossible on Very Easy and Easy difficulties if the player doesn't shoot down any MiG-31s because of the Su-27 point values. On those two difficulties, the player must shoot down all F-15Es, at least one MiG-31, and all Bm-335s in addition to the Su-27s.

On Normal or higher, if the player shoots down all Bm-335s and all F-15Es, they will earn the S rank without having to shoot down any aces or neutral MiG-31s.

In all scenarios, multi-lock missiles are highly recommended. The player must shoot down all of the F-15Es and Bm-335s (and, if aiming for them, the MiG-31s) in the first part of the mission as fast as possible. This is especially the case if the player is on a Knight Ace Style run; the F-15Es become neutral in the final part of the mission, so the player must shoot them down early to prevent that.

Debriefing

We were unable to confirm if the enemy squadron you engaged was equipped with nuclear weapons. We don't know all the details yet, but multiple nuclear detonations have been verified within the Belkan border. It is also unclear whether or not Galm 2, who disappeared during the mission, is still alive. We will continue our search efforts, but at this point there's not much hope. Our communications network is still down due to the nuclear explosions. Remain on standby until conditions improve.

Trivia

Footnotes

  1. Any F-15Es the player doesn't shoot down before Mission Update 2 will become neutral at that point.
  2. These MiG-31s will fire on the Bm-335s.
  3. The player can only see Wizard 1 on the radar. He is too far off the map to pick up on the HUD, therefore it is impossible to shoot him down or know what aircraft he is flying.
  4. Spatz spawns if the player shoots down all of the F-15Es before the second Mission Update.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Lynx Squadron spawns if the player shoots down all of the Bm-335s before they reach the southern part of the combat zone.
  6. Nebelbank spawns in the second Mission Update.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War Perfect Guide Book, pages 080-081.