"All right. For the record, we're governed by UN Resolution 2156. Anyone in the free-fire zone is fair game. Make NATO proud."
Doug Robinson

Shockwave is the prologue mission of Ace Combat: Assault Horizon; it takes place after Nightmare and before Inferno, but it cannot be selected in Free Mission.

The player controls Guns, the resident gunner of MH-60 Black Hawk helicopter Nomad 61, as Nomad Squadron infiltrates a nearby rebel base.


The mission opens in early December 21, 2015. The helicopter squadrons Nomad and Shooter of Task Force 108 have arrived in East Africa, with the objective of subduing the SRN militia that has been ravaging the region. The helicopters first approach a number of small villages by a dirt road, which are occupied by light militia forces. Eventually, the squadron arrives at a bridge, filed with rebel vehicles. An A-10A named Dagger 3 moves in and bombs the bridge, killing all forces on it and clearing the way for Nomad and Shooter, who arrive at the main settlement.

Upon getting to their destination, the helicopters engage in combat with a large militia contingent, fighting their way through technical and RPG fire. After the local pockets of resistance are dealt with, the team moves into another section of the town. On the way there, Nomad 62 is hit by a rocket, spinning out of control and crashing into an open field below. Nomad 61's gunner staves off a small group of militia forces aiming for the downed Black Hawk, but is told by Shooter 1 to break off, who stays there to deal with the remaining enemies. 61 notices a Mi-24 Hind gunship preparing to take off nearby, and closes in to engage. Guns fires on the helicopter and manages to destroy it as it take off.

Afterward, Nomad 61 rejoins the rest of the squadron and approaches a large mansion-like complex filled with dozens of militia soldiers, flying around to reach an arms depot, which is promptly destroyed by the gunner. They resume the assault on the main building, killing several foot soldiers on the ground. Dagger 3 later makes a return and bombs the building, causing the tower on top to collapse. After all local resistance has been confirmed to have been silenced, Nomad 61 and 63 are ordered to separate in order to check the area for hostiles. As they depart, a colossal explosion ravages the center of the town, causing Guns's helicopter to spin out of control. The screen cuts to black, the game's logo is shown and the mission ends.



  • This is the first mission in the Ace Combat series where the player rides a vehicle as a passenger rather than a pilot.
    • This is also the first mission in the series where the player controls a gun not mounted to the nose of an aircraft - in this case, a minigun.
    • This is also the first mission in the series that cannot be replayed in Free Mission.
    • This is also the first mission in the series that the player cannot fail. Nomad 61, the helicopter the player is on, is invincible and cannot be shot down. In addition, friendly helicopters will take care of all enemy forces if the player chooses to do nothing.
  • When the player arrives at the large settlement with the water tower, the technical that pulls up beside it will approach the structure, do an impossibly quick sharp turn and stop.
  • When Nomad 61 and 63 break off, one can hear a male voice talking about what seems to be a loudspeaker. The language can be clearly identified as African.
  • After the Trinity detonation, the opening chorus of Release can be heard in the background. This particular part of the song is oft used during dramatic moments.
  • At the end of the mission, one can see a flock of seagulls passing by the player. This is the first time in the series since the polar bears in Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War in which animals are seen in actual gameplay.
  • This is also the first Ace Combat mission where you can't technically fail the mission since you can't be shot down.