I've been giving this a lot of thought. When we remake the operation articles (i.e. Operation: Crossbow) for Ace Combat Zero, we have to take into consideration the three different Ace Styles, and determine which one is really canon. What do you guys think? In the game's actual story, was Cipher a mercenary, soldier, or knight?
I say Mercenary. Why? In Mission 10, Mayhem, Bartlett, Pops and Ashley Bernitz all show up only under Mercenary (on Ace mode), and according to AC5's canon story, Bartlett and Pops were shot down by Bernitz (he says so in The Unsung War) over enemy terrain (B7R was under Belka's control at the time). If you leave them alone and go after the Schwarze Squadron only, Bernitz will shoot down Bartlett and Pops.