The Loop (Games)
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A staple of the Ace Combat series, a tunnel flight is a gameplay element where the player has to fly into a tunnel barely wide enough for their plane to pass through. Tunnel flights usually occur during a climax in the game's campaign.
List of tunnel flights
Ace Combat 2
- "Visiting Hours" — The last segment of the mission requires the player to fly into Turntable, the enemy's geothermal plant, to destroy its core.
- "Fighter's Honor" — The player has to fly into Fortress Intolerance to destroy the large missile within the silo.
Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere
- "Tunnel Vision" — The player pursues an AI-controlled X-49 Night Raven, and a UI-4054 Aurora manned by Abyssal Dision, through the tunnel networks of Geofront.
Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies
- "Megalith" — The player has to fly within multiple tunnels inside Megalith to destroy three power generators, followed by the central silo's tunnel to destroy the large missile.
Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War
- "Final Option" — The player must traverse two caves on the Solo Islands to escape the pursuing 8492nd Squadron.
- "ACES" — The player must fly through a tunnel that crosses between Osea and Belka to destroy the SOLG control core.
- "The Unsung War" — Optional. Using a small enough plane, the player can fly inside the SOLG's launch device to destroy the V2 from inside.
Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War
- "The Valley of Kings" — The player must fly into the Avalon Dam launch facility to destroy the V2 control devices.
Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception
- "Offline" — The player must fly into Cobalt Cave to destroy the High-Powered Microwave satellite control facility
- "End of Deception II" — At the end of the mission, the player must fly into Archelon Fortress to destroy the remaining Fenrir inside.
Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation
- "Heavy Command Cruiser" — Optional. To destroy the core of the P-1112 Aigaion, the player can fly into the Aigaion itself from behind. This is also an effective method of destroying the Strigon Team before they take off.
- "Ragno Fortress" — Optional. Operation C requires destroying facilities inside tunnels that are built into Grageo Canyon. The player can complete Operations A and B instead.
- "Chandelier" — Two separate tunnel flights near the end of the mission. The first requires the player to fly underneath the Chandelier to destroy its backup cooling system. The second requires the player to fly into the barrel of the Chandelier and destroy its core.
Ace Combat: Joint Assault
- "Sanctify" — During Phase 2 of the mission, the player must enter the nuclear launch facility, destroy the switches to break the barriers, and prevent the nuclear missiles from being launched.
Ace Combat Infinity
- "Avalon" — Similar to "The Valley of Kings" in Ace Combat Zero, the player needs to destroy the four ICBMs located inside the two tunnels in Avalon Dam, Russia.
- "Avalon Dam Invasion" — At random intervals, players will be tasked to take out the four ICBMs, similar to its campaign counterpart. Aside from the ICBMs, the AA weaponry inside must also be taken out in order to get an S-rank.
Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown
- "Long Day" — Optional. The player can fly through a tunnel to destroy Erusean military assets. This is also a prerequisite for the appearance of a named ace in the mission.
- "Fleet Destruction" — Optional. One of the ways the player can destroy a series of elevated platforms is to fly through it and shoot out the cores. This is also a prerequisite for the appearance of a named ace in the mission.
- "Last Hope" — Optional. The player can choose to fly through a tunnel in Anchorhead Bay while protetcting General Labarthe's vehicle. This way, the player can eliminate enemies on the other side of the tunnel much more quickly.
- "Dark Blue" — Two separate tunnel flights near the end of the mission. The first requires the player to fly underneath the International Space Elevator via an undersea tunnel to chase down and destroy the last ADF-11 along with the transmitters. Like ACES in Ace Combat 5, the player must also evade closing shutters inside the tunnel caused by the UAV. The second tunnel flight requires the player to climb up into the center of the Space Elevator and out from the top of its windbreak to end the mission.
- Tunnel flights are typically paired with another recurring gameplay element, canyon flights.
- Ace Combat: Assault Horizon is the only Ace Combat game on consoles to not feature a tunnel flight of any kind.
- The tunnel flights during "ACES" in Ace Combat 5, "Ragno Fortress" in Ace Combat 6, and "Dark Blue" in Ace Combat 7 are the only tunnel flights during which other units follow the player into a tunnel.
- During "ACES": the rest of Razgriz Squadron, Hamilton, as well as Bartlett, and enemy units from the other end.
- During "Ragno Fortress": the Yellow Jacket helicopter squadron from both ends.
- During "Dark Blue": Count follows the player through the first tunnel to enter the space elevator's tunnel network.
- The tunnel flights during "Visiting Hours" in Ace Combat 2 and during "Ragno Fortress" in Ace Combat 6 are the only tunnel flights that don't occur during a climax in the game's campaign.
- The tunnel flight in Ace Combat Zero is unique in that the tunnel itself is among the shortest in the Ace Combat series, but requires multiple entries to fully destroy the devices (unless large bombs such as the FAEB are used).
- During one playthrough of Ace Combat X, the player is forced through one tunnel flight, but not both. Either the player takes Mission 13A followed by 14B (tunnel flight) and 15A, or the player takes Mission 14A followed by 13B and 15B (tunnel flight).
- The tunnel flights in Assault Horizon Legacy are entirely identical to the tunnel flights in Ace Combat 2 due to Legacy being a remake of 2.
- ↑ Air Combat
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Ace Combat 2
- ↑ Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere
- ↑ Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation
- ↑ Ace Combat: Joint Assault
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Ace Combat Infinity
- ↑ Ace Combat: Assault Horizon
- ↑ Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy
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