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This article is about an in-game mission. For the in-universe event, see Operation Lighthouse Keeper.
"Harling... is still the president in my eyes."
AWACS Sky Keeper

"Rescue" is the fourth campaign mission of Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown. The player must infiltrate the Erusean anti-air radar network to help rescue former President Vincent Harling.

Briefing

As proved by the failure of our previous strategy, the Arsenal Birds have bolstered the enemy's anti-air network. This'll be difficult to overcome. However, we still need to get swiftly to the space elevator, no matter what it takes. Someone there is counting on us. The hero of the Circum-Pacific War and the man who spearheaded the construction of the space elevator. Osea's former president, Mr. Harling. Mr. Harling was inspecting the elevator when the war broke out. He's been classified as missing since the elevator was taken over by the Erusean forces. However, according to the latest intel, a military officer accompanying Mr. Harling hid him inside the facility. Both are waiting for a chance to escape. Enemy anti-air radar network [sic] has been set up around the space elevator. ...it's likely a large squadron would be detected. We will send a single aircraft through the network, and send in a rescue team soon after. A number of anti-air radars have been set up around the space elevator. However, our reconnaissance suggests their network is weakest along the southeastern coast of Selatapura. So, we can elude the enemy's observation. There are a lot of rain clouds this time of year. Flying through the clouds will enable us to stay hidden from their radar. If you happen to be detected by their radar, we will be forced to abort the mission. The lone pilot who will head up this strategy is you, Trigger. After you bust through, secure the rescue craft's landing zone by taking out the anti-air weapons. Golem and others will arrive shortly for support. Provide escort for Mr. Harling's craft after rendezvous. Good luck out there, everyone.

Objectives

Initial

The player spawns in the northeast corner of the map over Selatapura. They must navigate through a series of circular radar coverage areas, indicated on the radar. The player may choose to attempt taking shortcuts with very little room between the radar circles, or follow the intended route to make it easier. AWACS Sky Keeper will inform the player of their progress through the net. Once the player is clear of the network and approaches the space elevator, Sky Keeper will lift radio silence and the next part of the mission will commence.

Mission Update 1

Once the player approaches the space elevator, multiple AA GUNs and SAMs will appear, all marked as TGTs. The player must destroy all of them to continue the mission. They must also be wary to prevent crashing into the space elevator itself.

Mission Update 2

After a brief cutscene, Sky Keeper will order the player to protect Sea Goblin by shooting down all MQ-99 UAVs launching from containers in Selatapura. Each container can only carry one UAV. If the container has not launched a UAV, the container will be marked as TGT. If the UAV has launched, the UAV will be marked as TGT and the container will no longer be necessary to destroy. The player must shoot down all UAVs, whether by shooting them down in the air or destroying them in the containers, to continue the mission. The UAVs must also not approach the space elevator and harm the rescue effort.

Mission Update 3

Once Mother Goose One has taken off, numerous MQ-101s will enter the airspace and threaten the transport. The player must protect Mother Goose One and shoot down all MQ-101s threatening them. The radar will ping if the UAVs manage to fire on the transport.

Halfway through this stage, a cutscene will trigger where Gargoyle Squadron will fire on the space elevator to trick a large number of UAVs into protecting the space elevator, destroying them. After the cutscene ends, the mission objective remains the same and the player must continue defending Mother Goose One.

When one minute remains in this part of the mission, the player must continue firing on the UAVs surrounding Mother Goose One. Once the player fires a weapon in Mother Goose One's direction, the mission will end with a cutscene.

Enemy Lists

Standard Units

Section Unit Points Count Notes
Mission Update 1 Icon-GroundTGT AA GUN 150 11
Icon-GroundTGT SAM 200 3
Mission Update 2 Icon-GroundTGT CONTAINER BOX 350 5 [note 1]
Icon-GroundTGT CONTAINER TRUCK 350 4 [note 1]
Icon-AirTGT MQ-99 350 0-11 [note 2]
Icon-GroundEnemy AA GUN 150 3
Mission Update 3 Icon-AirEnemy MQ-101 500 13
Icon-AirEnemy MQ-101 500 30

Special Unit

Unit Points Notes
Icon-AirEnemy F-15J "RONIN" 1,200 [note 3]

Debriefing

The operation to rescue Former President Harling has failed. Sadly, there is no hope he survived. Trigger, you are suspected of assassinating the former president. There will be an inquiry. There will most probably be a court-martial.

S Rank

Earning an S Rank on this mission requires earning a combined score and time bonus of 50,000 points or more.

The maximum time bonus available is 32,440 for completing the mission in a total of 10 minutes and 30 seconds 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 17,560 points from destroying targets in the mission itself to earn the S Rank.

If the player goes past the 10 minutes and 30 seconds threshold, the time bonus decreases by 40 points every second, so the player must compensate by destroying more targets to hit the 50,000 point threshold.

Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 If enough time passes, the CONTAINER BOXes and CONTAINER TRUCKs will launch an MQ-99. The CONTAINER that launched it will no longer be mission-important.
  2. If the player destroys a TGT CONTAINER BOX or TGT CONTAINER TRUCK before an MQ-99 is launched, there will be less than 9 total MQ-99s to shoot down.
  3. The player must have completed this mission at least once, and must be playing on Normal difficulty or higher. Fly under 200 meters (650 feet) until radio silence is lifted and you reach the space elevator. RONIN spawns in the northeast.

References