Arcade Mode, also known as Ace Combat: Operation Katina, is an addition featured in Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War. It is a self-contained story with no ties to the main campaign mode.
This mode's events take place in 2006, a year after the events of Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies, and details for the rise of "Free Erusea", an organized resistance movement comprised of militant soldiers and pilots led by a group of high-ranking Federal Erusea Air Force officers who have refused to disarm and are still willing to fight the victorious ISAF.
Welcome back. Here is your current sitrep.
Thanks to the valiant efforts of the Mobius Squadron and the ISAF, Erusea accepted the terms of surrender, and the continental war came to a close. However, militant factions led primarily by high-ranking officers of the Erusean Air Force have refused the disarmament order. They're now calling themselves "Free Erusea", and the strength of their resistance increases daily. "Free Erusea" have called for steadfast resistance from the remaining forces in each area and have finally succeeded in capturing an old military factory, acquiring a large quantity of weapons.
In response, at 0330 today, the ISAF has made the decision to engage in a special subjugation operation. After analyzing the combat results of the continental war, the Tactical Intelligence Department released an astounding report indicating that the mission execution capability of Mobius 1 rivals that of an entire ISAF squadron.
You are the only one we have who can accomplish this mission.
We've confirmed that the enemy's headquarters are located on the naval island base in the northern part of White Valley Bay. You must disarm "Free Erusea". The codename for this operation will be "Katina". The fate of this mission rests in your hands.
Upon first beginning Arcade Mode, the player is met with a redesigned main menu, now with a light blue tone. After beginning to play, they are given a mission briefing explaining the backstory and plot of Operation Katina.
Gameplay is relatively straight forward. The objective of each mission is to fill a destroyed target quota. Each stage has limited time, additional seconds can be earned by eliminating enemies. As well, the player begins with a relatively realistic payload, consisting of 20 basic missiles, four special weapon ammo and unlimited machine gun ammo. Extra missiles can be acquired by destroying certain "special" targets marked with an "M" symbol, and extra special weapon ammo by destroying targets with an "S" symbol.
At the end of stage 02A, the game divides into two branches, "A" and "B", which in turn branch into two "ending" routes, making for a total of sixteen stages. Each stage takes place in a location featured in Shattered Skies. Included in this mode are a number of "breather" stages consisting of simple minigames, namely landing and airborne refueling. In the final stage of each route, Mobius One must fight an squadron of unmanned X-02 Wyvern aircraft, whose number (ranging from four to six) depends on the chosen route.
Completion of Arcade Mode will yield a number of rewards. A first playthrough will unlock the F/A-22A and its SP (Mobius) color in campaign mode. On the other hand, finishing all four available routes will allow the use of any aircraft unlocked in the campaign.
HQ has confirmed the success of Operation Katina. "Free Erusea" has been completely destroyed. This miraculous result has far exceeded our expectations. Individuals believed to be the militant faction's core members have been captured, and subsequent investigation should bring the full story out into the light of day. Erusea can now begin its path to recovery.
In addition, as a result of this operation, we were also able to obtain data on Erusea's unmanned fighter aircraft, which has long been veiled in secrecy. It will almost certainly be of benefit to the future of our country's aeronautical development.
You have our utmost gratitude for saving the skies of Usea once again. It is our sincere wish that you would choose to remain in the military after this. Of course, there is no need for you to give us an answer immediately. We hope that you will make the right decision.
Until next time, Mobius 1. That is all.