- 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 ground troops during a skirmish in Sudentor, but are redirected when a squadron of bombers carrying nuclear weapons crosses their path.
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.
When the mission starts, the player is tasked with flying to the northeast to reach the designated rendezvous point.
After at least 44 seconds have elapsed and after the player reaches a certain vertical point on the radar, the southern mission boundary will shift upward and AWACS Eagle Eye will provide an alert concerning nuclear bombers approaching the airspace. The previous objective is no longer relevant, and the player is tasked with shooting down the bombers.
These bombers are the same ones featured in Glacial Skies, but they are escorted by a larger number of enemy fighters. However, at some point through the engagement, an unidentified Belkan squadron will enter the airspace. They are marked as neutral targets, so the player can shoot them down, but they are also attempting to shoot down the bombers.
Whether the player manages to shoot down all bombers or not is irrelevant. After all bombers are shot down, or after they reach the southern mission boundary, whichever occurs first, a nuclear bomb will be set off. The player's screen will fade to white and then fade to a blue-green tint, while the player's aircraft is stuck in slow motion for a few seconds. Once the slow motion effect disappears, a loud explosion can be heard. The player's aircraft will be shifted a few meters away from its original position, and a fake missile warning will occur for a few moments and then disappear. For the rest of the mission, the player's HUD will be encounter momentary bursts of static and white noise will be playing in place of background music. All enemy targets will be marked as neutral targets and attempt to leave the airspace.
At this point, Joshua Bristow will approach from the northwest tip of the radar screen, outside of the mission boundary and outside of player attack range. He and Pixy will banter, eventually ending in Pixy opening fire on the player. The player must avoid Pixy's fire for a minute or two, and then engage a squadron of Belkan reinforcements (some marked as TGT, some not) approaching from the north while Pixy retreats from the airspace.
The mission is completed once the Belkan reinforcements marked as TGT are shot down.
Obtaining an S Rank in this mission requires obtaining 16,500 points.
Five aces appear in this mission:
- F-35C Spatz appears on the Mercenary Ace Style when playing on Normal difficulty or higher. If all of the bomber escorts are shot down before the nuclear explosion, he will appear with the reinforcements to the north after the detonation.
- Su-27 Lynx 1 appears on the Soldier Ace Style when playing on Normal difficulty or higher. If all of the bombers are shot down before the nuclear explosion, he will appear with the reinforcements to the north after the detonation.
- Su-27 Lynx 2 follows the same unlock conditions as Lynx 1.
- EA-18G Nebelbank appears on the Knight Ace Style when playing on Normal difficulty or higher. If all of the bombers are shot down before the nuclear explosion, he will appear with the reinforcements to the north after the detonation.
- Su-37 Trombe always appears after the nuclear detonation when playing this mission on Ace difficulty.
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.
|Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War Missions|