The Orbital Satellite Laser (shortened as OSL) is an atmospheric satellite-based laser system developed by General Resource Limited, appearing in Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere. The OSL itself takes the shape of a large satellite, being capable of striking designated attack spots with extreme accuracy.
In the early 2040s, General Resource made extensive research towards atmospheric laser technology, which eventually led to the creation of a functional prototype.
The existence of the Orbital Satellite Laser was first revealed to the world during the Intercorporate War of 2040, where a Neucom Incorporated space shuttle attacked and shot down an OSL platform. Following this incident, Neucom claimed that the satellite was clearly of military use, while General Resource replied that the satellite was never intended for warfare. This incident did not lead to the removal of OSL technology from the war: halfway through the conflict, Neucom discovered a group of active OSL platforms in the atmosphere, which led to them deploying an experimental R-352 Sepia combat shuttle from the Comona Islands in the middle of a GR siege.
Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere
The Orbital Satellite Laser is the centerpoint of NTSC-J missions "Zero Gravity" and "The Prize" and Export mission "Zero Gravity". In "Zero Gravity", the player must use the Neucom R-352 Sepia armed shuttle to intercept four General Resource OSL platforms in space (in the JP version's case, during a General Resource raid) before they enter the atmosphere. In "The Prize", the player must assist a Neucom fleet in salvaging an OSL satellite that fell into the ocean north of Megafloat before GR forces do.
As a Player Weapon
The Orbital Satellite Laser is a secret weapon available in both versions of Ace Combat 3. In the Export version, the O.S.L. is unlocked by finishing all 36 missions in Hard difficulty with an A ranking (this unlocks the X-49 Night Raven, as well). In terms of gameplay, it is Ace Combat 3's deadliest secondary weapon, boasting extreme power and maximum accuracy. It is capable of overwhelming even the most fortified targets (i.e. the UI-4053 Sphyrna) in a single shot. The O.S.L. does have setbacks, however, as it takes a long time to recharge. As well, the weapon cannot be used in certain missions (i.e. Zero Gravity, for obvious reasons.)
- It can be argued that the Orbital Satellite Laser is one of the most powerful SP weapons of the Ace Combat series, barring even the Tactical Laser System of future installments. The TLS, however, is capable of destroying multiple targets in a single discharge (while the OSL is limited to one target per shot), as well as being able to simultaneously recharge and fire, while the former cannot lock on while reloading.
- The Ace Combat 3 game files contain information about a "Homing Laser" weapon. Use of a Gameshark cheat device enables use of the Homing Laser. Upon examination, it becomes evident that the Homing Laser is a supposed prototype of the Orbital Satellite Laser, functioning in a nearly identical way. However, the Homing Laser is incomplete, lacking the laser beam model from the OSL, as well as being completely silent when firing. When fired, the target simply explodes, apparently for no reason.
- When firing the O.S.L., the beam fired from orbit is about twice as wide than an average fighter. However, when the General Resource OSLs in Zero Gravity fire, the laser is larger than the satellite itself. This size difference could be justified because high-energy lasers (like the R-352's Neutron Beam) dissipate when fired inside the atmosphere due to air, thus leading to a weakening of the laser's strength.
- When playing on the mission simulator on AC3(Export) if you hold down triangle plus the start button just after you have selected your weapons you will begin the mission with the OSL without having to unlock it (You can also get the Plasma Beam by holding X and start, or the Spread Bomb by holding O and start but only on the mission simulator and you can only use one of them for the mission.)
- The OSL seems to have two separate load times depending on the target selected. For example, if the OSL was used on an aircraft, then switched to another aircraft, it would still be reloading. Conversely, if the first example was repeated, but the target was switched to a ground target, the weapon would still be active and could be fired.