June 30, 2020 was the 25th anniversary of the Ace Combat franchise! While Ace Combat has its roots in the two arcade games, Air Combat and Air Combat 22, the franchise officially began on June 30, 1995 with the Japanese release of the first Ace Combat game on the PlayStation.
A few official announcements and a big teaser took place over the past couple of days to commemorate the anniversary. Let's go through them!
June 30, 2020. We, PROJECT ACES, and all the fans were able to make the 25th anniversary of the Ace Combat series happen.
If asked "without problems?" honestly, I can only answer "No, we could've done more." Even now in this instant, there are many people who are struggling to get through each day, all around the world. For us and the fans, the 25th anniversary of Ace Combat did not become a year of just celebration. I'm sure every time we reach this date in the future, I would feel slightly disappointed and think that I would've liked to be more excited with the fans.
However, we are people who pursue a career in entertainment, and the service we can provide right now is to delight and [emotionally] move people all over the world, fans included. That is also the reason we continue to make the Ace Combat series, an unchanging series that is not influenced by the environment and just aims to strike true.
Now, I usually don't talk about the uncertain future. In reality, almost all of the things we've been planning since last year have been postponed or suspended. Of course even in the midst of this, all of the staff asked, "Is there anything we can do to make it fun for the fans?" and through trial and error, frantically set up the ACE COMBAT Channel and challenged themselves to deliver content, reworked all the title art up until now for smartphones, and put their wisdom and ingenuity to use one way or another.
To all of the fans that support Ace Combat and the hard work of our staff, those companions who celebrate with us, I pledge this day to you. For the things that have been delayed, we will make them better and deliver them to you. For the things that we were not able to do this year, we will make it happen, though it might be at a later date. And finally, above all, we will use this 25th anniversary as a milestone and promise that we will strive to work earnestly for the next anniversary, for the further expansion of the Ace Combat series, and for the fans.
June 30, 2020
Ace Combat Series Brand Director
25th Anniversary Wallpaper
The official wallpaper for the 25th anniversary is absolutely incredible and packed with details. For those who are unfamiliar, the planes in the wallpaper are organized in what's called an "elephant walk", where numerous aircraft taxi down a runway at the same time. The runway number is 2-5, to commemorate the anniversary.
Download the wallpaper in your preferred size:
Many users have picked apart the details in the wallpaper to determine what aircraft we're exactly looking at. Let's go plane-by-plane!
From top to bottom:
- ASF-X Shinden IIs with IUN markings
- This is the first time the ASF-X Shinden II has ever appeared in a Strangereal context.
- MiG-31B Foxhounds with Leasath Air Force markings
- MiG-29A Fulcrums with Estovakian Air Force markings
- The MiG-29A does not appear in Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation.
- MiG-21bis Fishbeds with Aurelian Air Force markings
- Gripen Es with Belkan Air Force markings
- Belka has never flown the Gripen E in any Ace Combat game (of course, because it was only recently introduced).
- F-2As with Republic of Emmeria Air Force markings
- Su-57s with Yuktobanian Air Force markings
- Their noses indicate that they are sporting a livery we have not been able to fly in any of the games where the Su-57 has appeared.
- Yuktobania has never flown the Su-57 in any Ace Combat game.
- Typhoons with IUN markings and the UPEO's EF2000E Typhoon II livery
From top to bottom:
- An E-767
- An F-22A Raptor with the Ace Combat livery (note the red coloring)
- Two ADF-11F Ravens
- An ADF-01 FALKEN (left) and an ADFX-01 Morgan (right)
- An XFA-27 with Phoenix's livery
- Two F-15C Eagles (Cipher in center and Pixy on right) and an F-16C Fighting Falcon on left (likely PJ)
- Four Su-33 Flanker-Ds from Strigon Team
- The CFA-44 Nosferatu used by Pasternak
- Two F-15E Strike Eagles from Garuda Team and an F/A-18F Super Hornet, likely Avalanche
- Five Su-37 Terminators from Yellow Squadron
- Two F-22A Raptors and one F-4E Phantom II from Mobius Squadron
- Four Su-30M2 Flanker-F2s from Sol Squadron
- Mihaly A. Shilage's X-02S Strike Wyvern
- Four F-15C Eagles from the Long Range Strategic Strike Group
- Trigger's F-22A Raptor
- Four shadows of F-14D Super Tomcats from the Ghosts of Razgriz
From top to bottom:
- F/A-18s with Osean Air Defense Force markings (cannot identify which type of F/A-18)
- F-117A Nighthawks (their tails are obscured, making it impossible to see markings)
- F-16C Fighting Falcons with Usean Allied Forces markings
- Mirage 2000-5s with Ustio Air Force markings
- Rafale Ms with Erusean Air Force markings
- A-10C Thunderbolt IIs with Osean Air Defense Force markings
- F-35C Lightning IIs with the AF 19th "Aces" emblem from Air Combat 22
- F/A-18F Super Hornets with Mobius Squadron markings, as featured in VR Mode
No details were provided for Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown's upcoming aircraft DLC that was announced a few months ago. However, if the anniversary wallpaper was captured in Ace Combat 7, then that leads us to believe the aircraft and skins featured in there will be coming to the game!
This list is NOT confirmed. These are only the aircraft, skins, and emblems we see in the wallpaper that are not already in the game.
- Possible Aircraft
- CFA-44 Nosferatu
- ASF-X Shinden II
- F-117A Nighthawk
- Possible Skins
- Su-57 unknown skin
- Typhoon -UPEO-
- F-22A -Ace Combat-
- F-15C -Cipher-
- F-16C -PJ-
- Su-33 -Strigon-
- F-15E -Garuda-
- F/A-18F -Avalanche-
- F-4E -Mobius1-
- Possible Emblems
- Usean Allied Forces
- AF 19th "Aces"
2 Million Sales
Ace Combat 7 has achieved the incredible milestone of selling over 2 million copies worldwide across all platforms and formats! This makes Ace Combat 7 the third best-selling game in the entire franchise, behind Ace Combat and Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies. This also pushes the franchise to a grand total of over 16 million sales! (Note that Ace Combat Infinity is not included in these figures.)
"White Note" Audio Reading
Included within Aces At War: A History 2019 are four short stories penned by Sunao Katabuchi. One of them, "White Note", goes into the early history of Yellow 13. Nobuaki Hashimoto read the short story in Japanese for the Ace Combat YouTube channel, which you can watch below:
Alpha Industries is now printing the two winning T-shirt designs from the Twitter contest! Unfortunately, at the time of writing this, they are only available in Japan and they have already sold out. You can check if they return to stock here: https://alpha-usa.jp/shop/e/eA-ACE02/
In addition, Alpha Industries will also be re-printing the Three Strikes MA-1 jacket in the future! Like the original run, though, this is also expected to be exclusive to Japan. Here's what little information we have: https://twitter.com/PROJECT_ACES/status/1277780782782672896
Is that it?
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world this year, and a lot of what Project Aces wanted to do was simply impossible, canceled, or postponed in the wake of this global crisis. Other than the LINE stickers and the AC7 update earlier in the year, this is all they could do.
Personally, I didn't expect anything at all. I expected a wallpaper and that was it, but we got a DLC tease in that wallpaper, we got an official sales number for AC7, we got an audio reading, and we got the promise of more in the future. I hope we can all come together safely in the future for whatever else Project Aces will have in store. Stay safe out there, everyone, and wear your masks!