Ace Combat 2 was the first Ace Combat game to introduce enemy ace pilots, also known as named aircraft. These aircraft are marked as "DANGER!" on the briefing screen before each mission. The player earns unique medals for shooting them down. Obtaining all of these medals unlocks the Aircraft Viewer in the options menu, but this must be accomplished across multiple playthroughs since some aces appear in different mission paths.
Below is a full list of enemy aces the player can face in Ace Combat 2. Note that some of these aces are squadrons of aces and the player must shoot them all down to earn the medal.
List of Aces
|1×||F-4E Phantom II||Superfly||"Easy Money"|
|Superfly is escorting the enemy reconnaissance unit, positioned between the C-17As and the E-767s. Superfly is worth $10,000.|
|1×||MiG-29A Fulcrum||Ricochet||Tin Castle|
|Ricochet is positioned with the other air units close to the castle. Ricochet is worth $12,000.|
|2×||Su-25TM Frogfoot||D. Cowboy||Opera House|
|The two D. Cowboy aircraft appear over the enemy oil refinery. They are worth $12,000 each for a total of $24,000.|
|2×||F-117A Nighthawk||Razorback||Midnight Assassin|
|In "Midnight Assassin", the two Razorback aircraft appear close to the E-767s. In "Bear Tracks", they appear alongside the aerial defense unit. They are worth $15,000 each for a total of $30,000.|
|1×||F-14A Tomcat||Z.O.E. Captain||Sledgehammer|
|The Z.O.E. Captain appears near the enemy's shipbuilding facilities and is worth $31,000.|
|2×||F-16C Fighting Falcon||Tallman / Metal Sphere||Swordsmith|
|Tallman and Metal Sphere both appear in the aerial unit defending the production factory. They are worth $15,000 each for a total of $30,000.|
|1×||MiG-31 Foxhound||Stalker||Toy Box|
|Stalker appears over the island's space center complex and is worth $20,000.|
|The two Hangmen aircraft appear to the west, far behind the enemy fleet. They are worth $15,000 each for a total of $30,000.|
|1×||F/A-18E Super Hornet||Z.O.E. Major||Seagull|
|The Z.O.E. Major appears above the westernmost group of enemy ships and is worth $32,500. If the player did not shoot down the F-14A Z.O.E. Captain in "Sledgehammer", the Captain will appear here instead of the Major.|
|1×||YF-22 Lightning II||Z.O.E. Colonel||Power Play|
|The Z.O.E. Colonel appears with the aerial unit defending the hydroelectric plant and is worth $36,000. If the player did not shoot down the Z.O.E. unit in Seagull, that unit will appear here instead of the Colonel.|
|2×||Tornado F3||Max / Goose||El Dorado|
|Max and Goose appear leading the aerial units defending the missile silo base. They are worth $15,000 each for a total of $30,000.|
|The three Death Rave 2000 aircraft appear escorting the C-5 Galaxy transports. They are worth $18,000 each for a total of $54,000.|
|3×||F-15E Strike Eagle||Xiao / Jian / Dao||St. Elmo's Fire|
|Xiao, Jian, and Dao appear leading the enemy aerial unit. They are worth $20,000 each for a total of $60,000.|
|4×||YF-23 Black Widow II||F.F.F||Dead End|
|The Fox Force Four aircraft appear defending the enemy garrison. They are worth $22,000 each for a total of $88,000.|
|The Z.O.E. General appears in front of the enemy headquarters and is worth $37,500. If the player did not shoot down the Z.O.E. unit in Power Play, that unit will appear here instead of the General. Whichever Z.O.E. unit appears here must be shot down to advance to the last two missions in the game.|
|1×||ADF-01 FALKEN||Z.O.E. Commander||Fighter's Honor|
|The Z.O.E. Commander appears in front of Fortress Intolerance. The aircraft the Commander is flying can fire missiles and guns backwards in addition to normal front-facing fire. The Commander is worth $45,000. If the player shot down a Z.O.E. aircraft other than the General in Kingpin, the next-highest Z.O.E. aircraft will appear here instead of the Commander.|
All of the named aircraft in Ace Combat 2 are references to classic movies:
- Superfly is named after the 1972 film Super Fly.
- Ricochet is named after the 1991 film Ricochet.
- D.Cowboy is named after the 1941 film Dude Cowboy.
- Razorback is named after the 1984 film Razorback.
- Tallman and Metal Sphere are references to the 1979 film Phantasm. The film's main antagonist is known as the Tall Man and uses metal spheres as one of his weapons.
- Stalker is named after the 1979 film Stalker.
- Hangmen is named after the 1959 film The Hangman.
- Max and Goose are references to the 1979 film Mad Max and two of its protagonists: Max Rockatansky and Jim "Goose" Rains.
- Death Rave 2000 is named after the 1975 film Death Race 2000.
- Xiao, Jian, and Dao are named after the 1994 film The Three Swordsmen, known as Dāo Jiàn Xiào in Mandarin.
- Fox Force Four is a reference to the 1994 film Pulp Fiction which makes mention of a failed TV pilot titled "Fox Force Five".
- Z.O.E. is named after the 1994 film Killing Zoe, but Z.O.E. was later retconned into the Zone of Endless artificial intelligence.
- The player's squadron, Scarface Squadron, is named after the 1983 film Scarface.