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This article is about an in-game mission. For the in-universe event, see Battle of Payton Channel.
"Phoenix, you're surrounded on all sides. Evade them!"
Ulrich Olsen

Hunting Season is the sixth campaign mission in Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy.

Briefing

"I just got an urgent transmission. Major air force movement has been confirmed in the eastern region of the continent. Their target is more than likely this base. Seems they've lost their cool after their chain of crushing defeats. In response, we will intercept the enemy at Payton Channel and cut their invasion route short. Unlike our previous sneak attacks, we'll be greeting the enemy head-on. And they'll be ready for a fight. I've also received news that their forces include an Ace squadron. You can expect a tough fight up ahead. Be prepared."

Mission

The entire mission is purely air to air combat. Enemies will come from the east, directly ahead. Enemies consist of F-4Es, Mirage 2000Ds, AV-8s, and F-16Cs. Destroy all enemies to end the first phase.

The second phase is a battle against Beast Squadron. The squadron is made of five F/A-18E Super Hornets. Their strategy is to surround the player and attack without mercy. Keynote will direct the player to escape the containment by flying out of the marked area. When one of the Beast Squadron members breaks away to pursue, the player will be directed to destroy it. It's entirely possible to stay within the containment area and destroy the Beast Squadron in a "fair" fight. It's also possible to shoot down the Squadron Leader first to put an end to their strategy. The containment area marker will permanently disappear and the squadron members will be scattered. In this battle, the ace DR2000 will appear at high alitude. Since it's flying a stealth aircraft, it may be difficult to look for it while being attacked by the squadron. After all Beast Squadron aircraft are shot down, the mission ends.

Debriefing

"We've successfully removed the enemy threat. The western region Rebels will be hurting after losing support from the east. You can expect the enemy to pull back their frontline. Our tactical division is considering unleashing a massive follow-up attack. But I never expected they'd throw the Beast Squadron into the mix. They're the most vicious squadron in all of USEA. Great job making quick work of them. Your accomplishments are greatly appreciated."

Named Enemy

  • PAK FA D.R. 2000 : Appears with Beast Squadron at high altitude. Will escape to the east if not engaged.

Trivia

  • Keynote's advice to conserve the missiles is contadicting the condition of the mission. There aren't much enemies and the player have more than enough missiles to finish the mission. The checkpoint will also replenish the weapons. However, if reality is put into the sense, it would be correct since if Phoenix is flying an F-22A or the Su-37, both aircraft don't have much missiles, so he must not miss or there would be no missile left for the battle against the then-unknown Ace squadron.
  • This mission is one of several missions in Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy that was not based on any mission in Ace Combat 2.
  • During the battle against Beast Squadron in Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy +, a glitch will occur when one member of the squadron will fly up and beyond the maximum altitude limit, this can be game-breaking as there is a chance that it will not come back down and a restart from checkpoint will be required too pass the mission.

References

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