Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War's story contains a large number of references to Arthurian mythology, also known as the Matter of Britain. Below are most examples of references to King Arthur myths in the game.
In Arthurian mythology, Excalibur was the legendary sword wielded by King Arthur that served as the proof of his lineage. Two versions of the story of Excalibur exist: first is Robert de Boron's Merlin, where the sword could not be removed from its resting stone by anybody other than "the true king"; that is, the heir (biologically or divinely speaking) of king Uther Pendragon, while the other is the Post-Vulgate Cycle's Suite du Merlin, where Arthur is given Excalibur by the Lady of the Lake after his first sword was destroyed in a duel with King Pellinore.
In Ace Combat Zero, Excalibur is an anti-missile laser system engineered by the Belkan Federation. The weapon was both feared and respected by combatants from both sides, causing widespread chaos amidst the front lines. The references to the Matter of Britain are even found in NPC chatter; for example, at the end of Sword of Annihilation, a friendly pilot comments on how "Cipher pulled the sword from the stone", alluding to Merlin.
In the Matter of Britain, Glatisant, alternatively known as the Questing Beast or the Beast Glatisant was a fantastic creature that was the center-point of quests from King Pellinore and Sir Percival, amongst others. In appearance, the creature possessed the head of a serpent, the torso of a leopard, the hunches (hind legs) of a lion and the feet of a hart (a red deer stag). Its name comes from the sound made from its belly, which has been described as "the sound made by thirty couple hounds questing". The creature was born as a result of a princess who, lusting for her own brother, had sexual intercourse with a devil who in exchange promised to make the boy love her. However, the devil instead manipulated her into accusing her brother of rape. As a result, their father had the boy torn apart by dogs. Before the boy died, however, he prophesied that his sister would give birth to an abomination which would make the same sound as the pack of dogs that killed him. This story would eventually lead Glatisant to be associated with the incest, violence & chaos that would soon lead to the fall of Arthur's kingdom.
In Ace Combat Zero, Glatisant is a mountain range located in the Mt. Ivrea region at the northern Belka-Ustio border. Glatisant is also known as the Hydrian Line, which is most likely a reference to Hadrian's Wall, a massive fortification spanning the entire width of Northern England ("Hydrian" (ハードリアン) is phonetically similar to Hadrian (ハドリアヌス) in Japanese).
Glatisant itself can be linked through several facts to its namesake:
- Operation Hell Bound involved a massive number of aircrews, both in the battlefield and in airfields, alluding to the fact that Glatisant was the subject of a quest for many knights.
- Op. Hell Bound was launched under the belief that Glatisant also served as a nuclear warhead storage facility, while if no bombs were found, a great threat to the Allied forces would have been eliminated. However, no nuclear bombs were found on Glatisant; Excalibur itself was the true threat. This can be linked to the devil in in the Beast's story, who misled Morgause (the sister) into accusing Mordred (the boy she lusted after) of rape.
- The Questing Beast's belly noise was described as the sound made by "thirty couple hounds questing." This can be seen as an allusion to the massive number of Belkan units spread across the Hydrian Line.
- Lastly, the Beast Glatisant is normally seen as a symbol of the violence and chaos that would lead to the destruction of Arthur's kingdom. As well, Operation Hell Bound can be seen as the beginning of the end for the Belkan war machine, as the unstoppable Allied push towards Sudentor would soon lead to the Belkans initiating seven nuclear devices on Nord Belka in June 1995.
The Round Table
The Round Table is, in the Arthurian mythos, a circular table where King Arthur and his knights would congregate, hence why they were known as the Knights of the Round Table. All attendants were of equal trustworthiness and standing: nobody would be relegated to a lower or higher position than their kin.
In Ace Combat Zero, The Round Table is the nickname given to the Belkan Air Priority One Strategic Airspace B7R, Airspace B7R for short, a desertic mountain range located in the Ustio-Belka border. Throughout the course of the Belkan War, B7R was the site of several great battles that would go down in history, most notably Operation Battle-Axe and Operation Thunderbolt.
- See also: Annwn in Wikipedia
In Welsh mythology, Annwn (pronunciation: an-wuhn) is the "Otherworld", or realm of existence where the souls of the deceased would depart to. The inhabitants of this world lived in a permanent delight, where disease was non-existent, food was ever abundant and youth was eternal.
In the Matter of Britain, Avalon is a legendary island which was first featured in the pseudohistorical account "Historia Regum Britanniae" ("The History of the Kings of Britain".) In mythology, Avalon was the place where the sword Excalibur was forged. Later on, it would be the place where a dying King Arthur, injured by his son/enemy Mordred in the Battle of Camlann whom he had slain, would be brought by sorceress Morgan Le Fay to recover from his injuries.
In Ace Combat Zero, Avalon Dam is a missile silo located in Nord Belka, which was used to house the V-2 MIRV weapon. After the initial battle between the Allied forces and A World With No Boundaries, the skies of Avalon would become the site of the final battle between Cipher and Larry Foulke.
Morgan Le Fay
In the Arthurian mythos, Morgan Le Fay was a powerful sorceress, who is often portrayed as an ally or close relative to King Arthur. In the Post-Vulgate Cycle, she becomes an antagonist to the knights of the Round Table after her adultery with Sir Guinevereis discovered, but eventually manages to reconcile with Arthur, who is her half-brother.
In Ace Combat Zero, in the game's climax mercenary Larry Foulke uses a fictional fighter known as the ADFX-02 Morgan in his final battle with his former comrade Cipher, whom he had betrayed and attempted to kill earlier in the story. In the game's final scene, Pixy, in an interview a decade after the game's events recognizes the errors of his ways and makes peace with Cipher.
A number of characters and plot elements in the story of Zero are named or nicknamed after characters from Arthurian mythology.
- Anthony Palmer, known as "Bedivere", alluding to Sir Bedivere.
- Joshua Bristow, nicknamed "Lucan" after Sir Lucan the Butler.
- Project Pendragon, which is named after Uther Pendragon.