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This article is about an in-game mission. For the in-universe event, see Operation Sighthound.
"It's a requiem. Set off as soon as we're ready!"
― Capt. Matias Torres[1]

"Unexpected Visitor" is the first DLC mission in Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown, focusing mostly on air-to-air combat. The Erusean submersible aviation cruiser Alicorn appears docked at Artiglio Port, prompting the Long Range Strategic Strike Group and an OMDF fleet to sortie and capture the submarine.

"Unexpected Visitor" released worldwide on September 25, 2019 and can be accessed within the "SP Mission" main menu option.[2] Players can purchase this mission standalone for USD$4.99, JPY¥540, or regional equivalents, or purchase the Season Pass to access this mission and other DLC packs.

Objectives

Initial

The initial stage of the mission is a large furball. The player is not allowed to attack the Alicorn; doing so ends the mission in failure. Instead, the player must shoot down as many of the enemy aircraft as possible. The score requirement depends on the player's selected difficulty:

  • Easy: 18,000
  • Normal: 22,000
  • Hard: 25,000
  • Ace: 30,000

At the same time, the player must defend the allied ships from enemy attack aircraft, which appear in waves and are marked as TGT. The player must prioritize the TGT aircraft when they appear, otherwise, the mission ends in failure. As the mission progresses, a group of six ground targets with long-range weaponry will appear marked as TGT. As with the attack aircraft, the player must destroy these as well or risk mission failure.

Three minutes after the mission begins, two friendly aircraft will arrive to provide ESM. If the player stays within the blue circles on radar, all aspects of their weapons will receive benefits such as faster reload, higher damage output, and exceptional speed and homing. After some time, the enemy will deploy three EA-18G Growlers that cause ECM interference within green circles on radar. If the player enters one of these green circles without ESM to compensate, the ECM will cause the player to have weaker lock-on and homing capabilities. Defending the ESM aircraft or destroying the ECM aircraft has no bearing on the outcome of the mission.

About halfway through this stage, Mimic Squadron will appear. They also have no bearing on the mission outcome but will cause the player grief until they retreat. The player can force them to retreat by damaging one of their planes enough, but the two Mimic aircraft are surrounded by fake targeting boxes. The player must ensure they are firing on the correct target.

Mission Update

After the timer hits zero and the mid-mission cutscene plays, the player must chase and shoot down a Rafale M from the Alicorn's air wing carrying a cruise missile. The Rafale M is marked as TGT and is protected by three other Rafale Ms, who will act as shields and block the player's missiles from hitting the Rafale with the cruise missile. The player must catch up and shoot down the TGT Rafale before it leaves the airspace. A friendly ESM aircraft will be waiting in the corner of the map to boost the player's missiles if they do not shoot down the Rafale quickly enough. If the Rafale escapes, the mission ends in failure. The player successfully completes the mission upon shooting down the Rafale.

Enemy List

Section Unit Points Count Notes
Initial Icon-AirTGT AV-8B 320 8 [note 2][note 3]
Icon-AirTGT SU-34 600 7 [note 2][note 4]
Icon-AirEnemy F-4E 220 8
Icon-AirEnemy EA-18G 400 3 [note 2][note 5]
Icon-AirEnemy F/A-18F 500 3, ∞ [note 6]
Icon-AirEnemy MiG-31B 500 2 [note 2][note 7]
Icon-AirEnemy F-15E 600 8, ∞ [note 6]
Icon-AirEnemy Typhoon 650 8, ∞ [note 6]
Icon-AirEnemy YF-23 800 2
Icon-AirEnemy F-35C 850 2, ∞ [note 6]
Icon-AirEnemy F-22A 1000 4, ∞ [note 6]
Icon-AirEnemy Su-57 1000 4
Icon-AirEnemy Su-47 "SCREAM" 1200 1 [note 2][note 8]
Icon-AirEnemy Su-47 "RAGE" 1200 1 [note 2][note 8]
Icon-GroundTGT RKTL TRUCK 120 4
Icon-GroundTGT HOWITZER 120 2
Icon-GroundEnemy AA GUN 150 12
Icon-GroundEnemy ALICORN 0 1 [note 9]
Mission Update Icon-AirTGT RAFALE M "SACS" 900 1
Icon-AirEnemy RAFALE M "SACS" 900 3 [note 10]
Icon-AirEnemy F-15E 600 3
Icon-AirEnemy F-22A 1000 2
Icon-GroundEnemy ALICORN 0 1 [note 11]

S Rank

Earning an S Rank on this mission requires earning a combined score and time bonus of 58,000 points or more.

The maximum time bonus available is 15,000 for completing the mission in a total of 17 minutes 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 43,000 points from destroying targets in the mission itself to earn the S Rank.

If the player goes past the 17 minutes threshold, the time bonus decreases by 300 points every second, so the player must compensate by destroying more targets to hit the 58,000 point threshold.

Gallery

Trivia

  • The mission's original name was "Liberated". It was initially renamed to "Unexpected Visitor" only in Hong Kong and Taiwan.[3]
  • This is the third appearance of fake targeting boxes. They were first seen in "Blind Spot" in Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War and later seen in "Kingpin" and "Fighter's Honor" in Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy.
  • Due to the initial stage having a fixed timeframe and the rapidly decreasing time bonus (300/second), getting an S Rank requires killing the TGT SACS with great haste. It may be tempting to attempt shooting down the whole formation at once with a salvo of 4AAMs or 6AAMs, but SACS will defeat this with flares. However, a well-aimed EML shot will do the job.

References

  1. SP Mission 01: "Unexpected Visitor", Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.
  2. https://twinfinite.net/2019/09/ace-combat-7-interview-future/
  3. @BarryYuen5 (30 July 2019). https://twitter.com/BarryYuen5/status/1156396869175562240. Twitter.

Footnotes

  1. It takes far less than 10 minutes for the aircraft to escape.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Appears partway through the mission; not part of the initial armada of enemies.
  3. Eight Harrier IIs make up the first wave of TGTs.
  4. Four Su-34s appear as the second wave of TGTs. Three more are a part of the third wave.
  5. ECM causes the player's lock-on and missile speed to become slower when near the EA-18G. Allied ESM is also cancelled.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 In the initial armada of enemies, there are 8 Typhoons, 3 F/A-18Fs, 8 F-15Es, 4 F-22As, 2 F-35Cs, 2 YF-23s, and 8 F-4Es. The constantly respawning waves of enemies will cycle through respawning set formations at set intervals, including F/A-18Fs, F-15Es, F-22As, and F-35Cs.
  7. One of the MiGs will engage the player, but the other flees the mission airspace. The fleeing MiG cannot be destroyed, but it will award points and become unavailable for targeting if the player damages it enough.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Uses ECM to create multiple fake targets and break lock-ons. Damaging SCREAM or RAGE enough will cause them both to withdraw.
  9. Destruction of the Alicorn will result in mission failure.
  10. The planes following the TGT Rafale M will stay behind it, blocking missiles from the rear.
  11. Cannot be destroyed. The Alicorn will dive shortly after the mission update, leaving the map.
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