- "A Belkan bomber squadron equipped with nuclear weapons has taken off for Ustio."
- ― AWACS Eagle Eye
The Stage of Apocalypse is the 12th campaign mission in Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War. Galm Team and Crow Team are tasked with supporting Allied Forces ground troops during a skirmish in Sudentor. They are redirected when a squadron of bombers carrying nuclear weapons crosses their path.
There are still pockets of resistance holed up in the industrial city of Sudentor. Although fleeing, the Belkan army continues to fight back and are using the Waldreich Mountains as a final line of defence in an attempt to prevent our army from reaching northern Belka. For this mission, we would like you to assist the Allied ground troops by clearing the skies of enemy fighters. The South Belka Munitions Factory is located in Sudentor, which means the remaining troops, although few in number, are well outfitted. Head to the designated operations rendezvous location, at Point 203.
The player will spawn at the southern part of the map. Their objective is to fly to the northeast to reach the designated rendezvous point in Sudentor.
Mission Update 1
After at least 44 seconds have elapsed, and after the player leaves the southwest corner of the map, the mission border will shift northward or eastward, depending on the player aircraft's position. AWACS Eagle Eye will inform the player that bombers carrying nuclear weapons have taken off for Ustio. They are escorted by a squadron of F-15E Strike Eagles. The player's new objective is to shoot down the bombers.
These bombers are the same Bm-335 Lindwurms from Glacial Skies; as such, the player must be wary of their rear-mounted machine guns. After the player approaches the bombers, a neutral squadron of Belkan separatists flying MiG-31 Foxhounds will enter the airspace and intercept the bombers, but they would not incur any damage to enemy aircraft.
Whether the player shoots down all of the bombers or not is, in fact, irrelevant. The mission will advance whether the player shoots them all down or they reach the southern part of the combat zone. At this point, a nuclear bomb will explode. The player's screen will fade to white, then to a blue-green tint. Their aircraft will be stuck in slow motion during this transition, then it will shift a few meters away from its original position as a loud explosion goes off. A fake missile warning will also show up during this sequence, but it shortly disappears. A mushroom cloud will be seen to the southwest, brighter than the sun or moon (which are also visible above the player, as it is near midday when this mission takes place). For the rest of the mission, the player's HUD will be corrupted, but the player's aircraft is unaffected. All remaining enemy units will change to neutral and attempt to leave the airspace.
Mission Update 2
After a few moments, Joshua Bristow will approach from the northwest of the combat zone. He is too far away for the player to shoot down. After he exchanges words with Pixy, the latter will open fire on the player. The player must avoid Pixy's fire for about a minute, after which Pixy will leave the area.
A squadron of reinforcement Su-27 Flankers will enter the airspace. The player must shoot them all down to complete the mission.
The following enemy lists are taken from the Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War Perfect Guide Book.
|Mission Update 1||Bm-335||1000||9||[note 1]|
|F-15E||600||2||[note 2][note 3]|
|F-15E||600||2||[note 2][note 4]|
|Mission Update 2||Su-27||480||2|
|Su-27||360||4||Very Easy & Easy|
|480||1||Normal & Hard|
|600||4||Expert & Ace|
|UNKNOWN "Wizard 1"||–||1||[note 6]|
|107||F-35C "Spatz"||1430||✔||Normal||Mercenary||[note 7]|
|108||Su-27 "Lynx 1"||1100||✔||Normal||Soldier||[note 8]|
|109||Su-27 "Lynx 2"||1100||✔||Normal||Soldier||[note 8]|
|110||EA-18G "Nebelbank"||1300||✔||Normal||Knight||[note 9]|
Earning an S rank in this mission requires earning 16,500 points. This is impossible on Very Easy and Easy difficulties if the player doesn't shoot down any MiG-31s because of the Su-27 point values. On those two difficulties, the player must shoot down all F-15Es, at least one MiG-31, and all Bm-335s in addition to the Su-27s.
On Normal or higher, if the player shoots down all Bm-335s and all F-15Es, they will earn the S rank without having to shoot down any aces or neutral MiG-31s.
In all scenarios, multi-lock missiles are highly recommended. The player must shoot down all of the F-15Es and Bm-335s (and, if aiming for them, the MiG-31s) in the first part of the mission as fast as possible. This is especially the case if the player is on a Knight Ace Style run; the F-15Es become neutral in the final part of the mission, so the player must shoot them down early to prevent that.
We were unable to confirm if the enemy squadron you engaged was equipped with nuclear weapons. We don't know all the details yet, but multiple nuclear detonations have been verified within the Belkan border. It is also unclear whether or not Galm 2, who disappeared during the mission, is still alive. We will continue our search efforts, but at this point there's not much hope. Our communications network is still down due to the nuclear explosions. Remain on standby until conditions improve.
- Mission Update 2 does not feature the "Mission Update" indicator, despite the background music and the player's objective changing. The previous mission to do this was Breaking Arrows in Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies.
- Any bombers left intact will disappear after reaching the southern border.
- Any F-15Es the player doesn't shoot down before Mission Update 2 will become neutral at that point.
- These aircraft will spawn when the player shoots down 4 of the initial group of F-15Es.
- These aircraft will spawn when the player shoots down 8 F-15Es.
- These MiG-31s will fire on the Bm-335s.
- The player can only see Wizard 1 on the radar. He is too far off the map to pick up on the HUD, therefore it is impossible to shoot him down or know what aircraft he is flying.
- Spatz spawns if the player shoots down all 12 of the F-15Es.
- Lynx Squadron spawns if the player shoots down all 9 of the Bm-335s before they reach the southern part of the combat zone.
- Nebelbank spawns in the second Mission Update.
- Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War Perfect Guide Book, pages 080-081.
|Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War Missions|