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This article is about an in-game mission. For the in-universe event, see Liberation of Moscow.
"They hit Moscow with Trinity, it'll look like the Grand Canyon with car wrecks."
José Gutierrez

Aftermath is the thirteenth level of Ace Combat: Assault Horizon. It sees William Bishop and the Warwolf Squadron scrambling to defend Moscow from a New Russian Federation missile attack.

Plot

Starting directly after the events of Motherland, Warwolf Squadron returns to Moscow after refueling directly after a Trinity missile attack in the city's suburbs, preparing to intercept a flight of Tu-160 Blackjack bombers. Shortly after entering Moscow airspace, the bombers launch several Moskit cruise missiles towards the city. Accompanied by the Tiger Squadron, the team races to intercept the missiles before they can hit their target, successfully taking out all targets.

Following the Moskit interception, the pilots are alerted by Magic of the aforementioned Blackjack formation being en route to Moscow for a bombing run. The group pursues and eventually shoots down all of the Tu-160s, all while fighting their way through a constant enemy onslaught. Suspicious, José Gutierrez points out how bombers have been flying in formations of six the entire war, prompting Bishop ask Magic about a sixth bomber in the vicinity and to alert his allies to prevent any low flying aircraft to get into Moscow.

Shortly after this, a sixth Blackjack appears in the battlefield, carrying the second-to-last Trinity missile, escorted by a formation of MiG-29s led by none other than Andrei Markov, the ace who nearly killed Bishop in Blue On Blue. Enduring Akula's constant attack, Bishop chases after the Tu-160 and attacks it, eventually succeeding in destroying it before it can release its payload, focusing his attention on Markov afterwards. A lengthy and fierce dogfight ensues between the two, in which Markov constantly taunts Bishop on his fear of facing his nightmare.

At the end, the Shark is overwhelmed and defeated, with a tired William sighing in relief. Over the radio, Magic speaks with a Russian commander, who explains how NRF commander Ivan Stagleishov has requested for political immunity in exchange for the last remaining Trinity. The Warwolf Squadron then returns to their base at Volgograd, and the mission ends.

Trivia

  • When shot down, the Blackjack bomber escorted by Markov behaves like a normal bomber when destroyed, with no subsequent secondary explosions despite carrying a Trinity missile. It is likely unarmed at that time even if the cutscene before the last bomber engagement showed the Blackjack with its bomb bay doors open.
  • The first part of this mission is similar in nature to the Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation mission Gracemeria Patrol. In both missions, the player defends a capital city against cruise missile attacks. However, though in Aftermath a dozen or so Moskits are destroyed, whereas in Gracemeria Patrol the missiles in question make for over a hundred targets, not counting the chutes they are packed inside.
  • When the last Tu-160 and Markov's escort formation show up, if the bomber is attacked head-on, it is possible to shoot it down in one salvo with 4AAMs or 6AAMs, saving time and averting much of the harassment by Markov.
  • Sometimes the last Tu-160 has a possibly gamebreaking bug where it will constantly drop flares and move erratically to evade all missiles the player fire at it. The combination of flares, evasion, and enemy fighters that interrupt the DFM, it becomes nearly impossible to destroy the bomber. Sometimes the bug repairs itself at the very last seconds before the bomber reaches city limits.
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