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- "I saw my death in my dreams, many times. A nightmare I'll never forget."
- ― William Bishop
William Bishop (ウィリアム·ビショップWiriamu Bishoppu) is the leader of the NATO Task Force 108, and one of the main characters of Ace Combat: Assault Horizon. A flight veteran with many years of experience, he is a Lieutenant Colonel of the United States Air Force, and the flight commander of the Warwolf Squadron.
Bishop was born in the United States in 1979.
He saw his first days of combat in Bosnia, and he later served as a squadron commander in Iraq and Libya. Eventually Bishop became a test pilot for new technologies.
East Africa Insurgency
In 2015, an anti-government insurgency known as the SRN mounted an offensive throughout East Africa, their sheer strength forcing the local governments to call the United Nations for help, who in turn called upon NATO. In response to the situation, NATO commissioned the formation of the 108th Task Force, a multinational special forces group led by French-born general Pierre La Pointe, whom Bishop was in good terms with. Bishop was assigned as the lead pilot of the task force. Some time that same year, Bishop and the members of the 108th boarded a US Navy aircraft carrier and sailed towards East Africa, preparing to settle down in a NATO airbase. One morning, William suffered a nightmare, wherein he and the Warwolf Squadron was defending the city of Miami from an SRN attack, led by former Russian Air Force colonel Andrei Markov, known as "the Shark". After taking down the final invading squadron, Akula hits Bishop with a missile head-on, forcing the latter to eject from his F-22A. The dream ends with Markov smashing into a helpless William, as José Gutierrez, Bishop's wingman, knocks into his room's door, waking up completely sweaty as a result of his dream.
Characteristics and personality
A veteran in the United States Air Force, William Bishop is the leader of the NATO-employed Task Force 108, and the flight leader of said unit's Warwolf Squadron. His calmness under heavy stressful situations, alongside his experience and his combat skill have earned him the respect of the 108th's other members.
- Lieutenant-Colonel Bishop is the highest-ranking player character in the Ace Combat series; all previous player characters either did not have their ranks revealed (Scarface One, Mobius One) or was no higher than Captain (Blaze, Cipher, Gryphus One, Talisman).
- Bishop was first shown with a little facial hair, but it was later removed because facial hair is against USAF regulations. The same counts for his wingman, José Gutierrez.
- According to Jim DeFelice in his official site, Bishop is partly based on an F-105 Thunderchief pilot he knew from Vietnam, whom he would often share stories with. As well, he states that he drew a "mental image" of Bishop from Bruce Willis' role as Lt. A.K. Waters in Tears of the Sun.
- Bishop is the first player character in the Ace Combat series whose face has been unambiguously revealed. All previous player characters were (if depicted at all) always shown with an object obscuring their face (e.g. Chopper's elbow concealing Blaze's face in the article The Four Wings of Sand Island).
- Bishop is the second first player character that speaks, second to Ace Combat 2's Scarface One.
- The description of The Last Ace in Amazon explains that Bishop has fought through three wars in his life. The first war described is the Bosnian War, but the other two are not mentioned. In Assault Horizon's "Nightmare", Guts' dialogue implies that Bishop also saw action in the Iraq War, confirmed by The Last Ace. The third war, discovered only by reading one small section of said book, takes place in Libya, though it might not be the Libyan uprising in the Arab Spring.
- The cutscene where Bishop and Markov make a head-on pass is most likely a reference to when Cipher and Pixy make a head-on pass in last mission of Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
- His name is most likely based off Canadian ace William "Billy" Bishop .
- It makes no sense for Bishop to fly the F-14D when compared to the real-world timeline as F-14s were retired in 2006, used only by the US Navy. In 2007, all remaining F-14Ds were shredded, leaving the only F-14s remaining as either museum pieces or in service with the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force. It is likely that in the Assault Horizon universe, a few units were selected for future service, such as the defense of Dubai.