"Dark Blue" is the final campaign mission of Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown. The player must destroy the drones patrolling the International Space Elevator and chase one of them into the tunnels beneath it.
Jaeger: Trigger, everyone, listen up. The operation was a success. Erusean defense forces have been neutralized and all Arsenal Birds are down. However, those two new drones buzzing around have royally screwed up our plans. The Osean and Erusean coalition's air forces are in a sorry state thanks to them. We might not even have any viable aircraft left. According to the Scrap Queen, the drones are trying to use the space elevator's transmission capabilities... ...to send their data to drone manufacturing plants across the continent. They're trying to strengthen their numbers. What's worse, their data contains a depth of war experience. Newer aircraft will be more tactically advanced. If that's the case, this war will never end. We need to take both drones down no matter what it takes. We'll do it so we have homes to go back to. Well, the Scrap Queen's on our side. She says she can make any aircraft fly. This is our final mission. Trigger, let's go! We've got a goddamn war to end!
The player must engage and destroy two TGT ADF-11F Raven drones, named Hugin and Munin. The drones are exceptionally fast, durable, and are armed with Tactical Laser Systems. They will also vanish from the map several times during the first couple minutes of combat, preventing them from being shot down until scripted lines of dialogue have played. After receiving some damage, they will each deploy a pair of fragile non-TGT Weapon UAVs that have additional TLS units that are capable of shooting down the player's missiles.
After shooting down both drones, a cutscene will show the second drone jettisoning a smaller TGT ADF-11 drone. This drone is faster than the ADF-11Fs, but lacks a TLS and missiles, relying solely upon PLSLs. The player must destroy it to continue to the mission.
The ADF-11 from the other ADF-11F appears and flies into an undersea tunnel that leads to the International Space Elevator. The player and Count must fly into the tunnel to pursue and destroy the drone. Inside the tunnel, the drone will close shutters in an attempt to make the player crash, forcing them to change their route. The drone will also suddenly appear behind the player and fire its gun, but Count's aircraft will block the shots.
Once the player reaches the end of the tunnel, they will emerge into a sizeable chamber at the base of the International Space Elevator. They must destroy the ADF-11 and five repeaters mounted on the wall to prevent the drone from sending any data before a one-minute, 10-second timer that begins upon reaching the chamber ends. Be sure to use an aircraft nimble enough to avoid the walls. It is recommended to, upon reaching the chamber, fly counterclockwise within it into the general path of the ADF-11. Then, launch a missile salvo having gotten as close as possible in order to eliminate the drone. By doing this, you can avoid having to engage in a long dogfight, thereby risking the loss of much of your time.
With the tunnel closed behind them, the player must fly up and out through the International Space Elevator's windbreak to complete the mission.
|WEAPON UAV||500||4||[note 1]|
|Mission Update||ADF-11||2,300||1||[note 3]|
No debriefing is available for this mission, even when played during Free Mission.
Earning an S Rank on this mission requires earning a combined score and time bonus of 36,050 points or more.
The maximum time bonus available is 25,550 for completing the mission in a total of 10 minutes or less. This includes time spent retrying from the checkpoint. If the player can complete the mission in that amount of time, they only need 10,500 points from destroying targets in the mission itself to earn the S Rank. The TGTs only give 10,350 points in total, so the player needs to shoot down at least one Weapon UAV.
If the player goes past the 10-minute threshold, the time bonus decreases by 50 points every second, so the player must compensate by destroying more Weapon UAVs to hit the 36,050 combined score. If the player takes longer than 10 minutes and 37 seconds to complete the mission, the S Rank is impossible to earn since there aren't enough enemies to shoot down after that point.
- If a plane that is not carrier-based is chosen for the mission, their plane will be positioned at the back of the deck during take off. A carrier-borne aircraft will use the catapult as normal to take off.
- The first ADF-11F to be shot down will flee westward and maintain in a stable flight while trailing fire and eventually disappear without reaching the edge of the map, without detaching its ADF-11.
- Depending on the player's actions Wit can be saved by shooting down both ADF-11Fs within 15 seconds of each other before the remaining ADF-11F takes down Wit's aircraft. By saving Wit he and Seymour share a unique exchange of dialogue.
- Despite saving him, Wit won't be present in the final cutscene.
- Appears once enough damage has been dealt to an ADF-11F. Shoots down any missile that gets close to an ADF-11F with lasers.
- Appears after the second ADF-11F is shot down.
- Only able to be destroyed in the final room of the tunnel segment.
|Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown Missions|