Basically, there is no “bad guys” in a war, just enemies. In this case, enemy aces.
The very best antagonists can be just as compelling (if not more so) than the main character, which means for me it's Yellow 13. One of the most well thought out characters in the entire series. Has some of the best lines too.
"Look! Here's something worthy of praise; even among the enemy there are men like this. Not all of them are despicable bastards who rob our wings through cowardly sabotage."
"He's so close. If he manages to stay alive for just a while longer, that pilot could be a worthy opponent."
"No matter what, she can't complain. She went up with her plane in disrepair. Pilots are responsible for their planes."
To me, Yellow 13 is very similar to the Romulan commander in Balance Of Terror (TOS). Just like Yellow 13, the Romulan commander sees Kirk as his adversary and is more than willing to carry out his duty, but he clearly regrets being forced to attempt to kill such a capable and smart man such as Kirk. One particular exchange between Kirk and the commander near the end of that episode always gave a very Yellow 13 Vibe to me:
KIRK: Captain. Standing by to beam your survivors aboard our ship. Prepare to abandon your vessel.
COMMANDER [on viewscreen]: No. No, that is not our way. I regret that we meet in this way. You and I are of a kind. In a different reality, I could have called you friend.
KIRK: What purpose will it serve to die?
COMMANDER [on viewscreen]: We are creatures of duty, Captain. I have lived my life by it. Just one more duty to perform.
I could easily see that exact same exchange taking place between 13 and Mobius 1. To me, that sort of respecting the skill of your enemy enough to feel a twinge of regret when you're forced to fight with him is something you don't really see much of in media nowadays, and I think one of the best executed examples is Yellow 13.
Apologies for text wall, but I love Star Trek and I love Ace Combat and it's not often I get a chance to talk about them both in the same breath.
😎Pixy a terrorist who likes to wipe out all the borders and his buddy cipher aka The Demonlord Of The Roundtable😎
What do you think?