S-Ranking Guide by CastorCat
Armored Core: For Answer on SuperCheats.com
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|Armored Core: for Answer S-Rank Guide|
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by Chris Mader (blackdog.loudcat@yahoo.com

Table of Contents:
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I. Introduction
II. What you need to know
III. Parts you need to know
IV. On to SS-Rank
V. Contact info, Thanks, Legal Junk

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I. Introduction                                          Getting to know you...
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Hi there, I'm Chris Mader (that's Chris Castor on XBL). I've attained my
SS-rank through hard work, forum-scouring and hours of experimentaion. You'll
attain yours through this guide. I'm friendly. (: Anyhow, this guide assumes
you know how to move your mech, fire your weapons and can defeat an enemy AC
without resorting to the cheater tactics outlined in this guide. It also
assumes you've beaten the game at least the requisite 4 times to unlock all the
missions in Free Play. If you haven't done these things, please turn away and
go have FUN with the game. This guide uses exploits, cheap tactics and anything
else to easily achieve an S-Rank. While few of these methods (in fact, I can
only think of one) are outright cheating, they will stop your enjoyment of this
game. Think: is an unchallenging game worth playing? Of course not. But some of
us strive for that SS-rank and can't quite achieve it through our own methods.
That's what this guide is for.

***SPOILER ALERT!!!***

Having said such, I will not flinch away from ruining plot twists (what thin
plot there is in the American translation) to describe my strategy. Again, if
you haven't played the game, go do so. It's fun. (:

This game, as all Armored Core games are, is all about customization. For that
reason, I will not be including any of my own builds. Only weapon selections
per mission and a relatively short list of parts will be given as a showing of
what I used to complete this guide. Feel free to use any AC you want, so long
as it fits effectively with my weapon selection for a particular mission.

I want to take a quick moment to tell you how I wrote this guide, in hopes that
it will give you some insight into why I chose the strategy I did. Feel free to
skip this section if you're not interested. (:
Now that those jerks are gone, let's get to it. For each mission, I gathered up
2-3 different strategies and tried each of them 3 times each. I picked the one
for the guide based on consistency, ease of use and speed (except the last
mission). I then started a cold file and used each of the selected strategies
beat their respective missions. I ended up switching a total of 4 missions
(M15, M22, M30, M42, in case you're curious) for various reasons.

Some random stats:
Guide originally written in 100-page 1-subject college-ruled notebook with
  a ZEBRA F-301
It covered 11 pages front-and-back and 1 page front-only for a total of 23
  pages
It averaged 2.5 missions per page
Test game started on alternate profile: Rasala Zel
Test game total playtime 4h 24m
Guide took 12 days to write and test
Guide typed in DOSEDIT
Guide took 5 days to type
This is my second guide to include bonus material


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II. What You Need to Know                             Don't spit into the wind.
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HOW TO USE THIS GUIDE
I'm not going to assign cute little codes to each mission. There's a number and
the full (American English) name of the mission. You have a find tool, use it!
Just look up your mission, and follow the strategy. Missions are formatted
suchly:

M00. Mission Name
N: This line will describe the mission-critical targets for Normal difficulty
        This paragraph will describe the individual strategy for S-Ranking this
        mission on Normal difficulty
H: Mission critical targets for Hard. (NEXT, NORMALS, Ships, Aircraft, etc.)
        Here's your strategy for hard difficulty.

I wrote these out in a college-ruled notebook as I was playing the game and
typed them up later. I'll probably scan a few pages to prove it. xD


ENERGY EFFICIENCY CONCEPTS
These few concepts can make your life easier, especially as a lot of my strats
have you flying around like a plane.
1. The more ENERGY OUTPUT a generator has, the better. More surplus EN means
        your ENERGY BAR restores faster, proven by the ENERGY RECOVERY stat.
2. Lighter ACs are more agile and use less ENERGY BAR. Your boosters won't have
        to work as hard when your AC isn't loaded down with crap you're not
        going to use.
3. Tuning for ENERGY OUTPUT and CAPACITY is important.


MISSILE DODGING
This is pretty basic stuff. Changing planes often (rising and falling) and
moving from side-to-side as well as forward and backward can take some
concentration at first, but it becomes second nature after awhile. Just look
at the way the test AC (schematic in the bonus section) dodges missiles and
emulate it.


REGULATIONS
Okay, in version 1.00, a lot of things were broken. We can exploit this hard.
However, a lot of things work better in later versions (1.15 gives infinite EN,
basically, 1.20 sees a lot of useless parts given dramatic upgrades, etc.). If
you're not sure how to change these, I'll explain. Go to ACSIS. Go to OPTIONS.
Go to REGULATIONS. Choose your reg version. Go to OK.
OK?


WEAPON STATS
Damage is the obvious one. It's less important than the rest, however. Weapons
with a short RANGE will peter out once they go beyond that point, for instance.
Here're two of my favorites:
1. MELEE ABILITY - This stat determines how well the weapon's internal tracking
        deals with a moving target. It's related directly to the arm part's
        MANEUVERABILITY and AIM PRECISION stats. The higher these three are,
        the happier you'll be when facing a highly mobile target.
2. BALLISTICS VELOCITY - This is how fast the bullet, grenade, laser beam, etc.
        moves once leaving the barrel of your gun. The higher it is, the better
        chance that it'll connect over range.


ABOUT WINGMEN
Wingmen are great when you're just playing for fun, but not when trying to
S-Rank a mission. All damage and ammo expenses they incur will be subtracted
from your total mission award. Not to mention that their cut comes from the
subtotal. This will always have a negative effect on your rank. On Hard, your
wingman will be annihilated pretty regularly. I hope you get the point: DON'T
USE WINGMEN. My strategies are based around that sexy lone-wolf style. Respect.


MULTIPLAYER v. SINGLE PLAYER
I know a lot of you purists are going to hate this guide. Well, shut up. This
section is for you. The tactics contained in this guide, by and large, will NOT
work in multiplayer. Those that will are cheap, dishonorable and idiotic. You
will look like a fool and will never get your MP achievements because everyone
will be ignoring you. Thankfully, most players are smart enough not to play on
Regulation 1.00 online.

GENERAL ADVICE
This is in list form for easy reading. (:
1. Damage and expenses are the two main factors of rank. Some protection
   missions will count off your rank if the target gets dead, but surprisingly
   few will.
2. Even if I say to ignore an enemy, if you're having trouble with it then kill
   it. Paying for an extra shot or two is always preferable to taking damage.
3. Energy efficiency is key in a lot of my strategies. I strive to build
   machines that are permaflight-capable and have no trouble OBing the length
   of a stage. The best thing to do is test your machine in Reg 1.00, that's
   the true test of EN-efficiency.
4. If my strategy is unclear to you, you're an idiot. Just kidding. Drop me a
   line and I'll walk you through it.
5. When I say to use SALINE05s in a mission, I always mean set your regs to
   1.00 even if I don't explicitly say that. The reason for this is that their
   tracking is REALLY good on Reg 1.00 and can wipe out a NEXT without much
   effort (or skill).
6. OK, there's only so far a good strategy will get you. You'll need a little
   skill and need to know how to avoid taking unnecessary damage.
7. Don't get frustrated if you can't S-rank each mission in turn. Some of them
   are fairly difficult. They're meant to be. The strategies I've written WORK.
   I started a cold file and went through using my own strategies and I know
   they work.


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III. Parts You Need to Know                       I've got some parts for ya...
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There are several parts that I like specifically for different situations in
single player. Here's a relatively short list to give you an idea of what I use
to S-Rank missions consistently.

BODY PARTS
^^^^^^^^^^
KIRITUMI-H - head - for lack of a better option
047AN02 - head - great camera function
C01-TELLUS - core - good heavy-midweight. good defenses
SOLUH-CORE - core - lightweight core of choice
XAM-SOBRERO - arms - quite good for certain situations
AM-JUDITH - arms - good general-use arms. above average stats for lighweight
063AN03 - arms - good for long-range fighting. very high precision
SOLUH-LEGS - legs - fair lightweight legs with good mobility
L01-TELLUS - legs - great midweight legs
047AN04 - legs - these are ugly, but excellent
063AN04 - legs - stable, heavy-midweight legs

INTERNAL PARTS
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
INBLUE - FCS - great for close-mid-range fighting. handles most weapons easily
FS-JUDITH - FCS - good general-use FCS.
047AN05 - FCS - excellent range, decent speed, great radar
ARGYROS/G - gen - cumbersome, but worthwhile for overall stats
S08-MAXWELL - gen - slightly lighter, but still solid
CB-JUDITH - main booster
LB-LAHIRE - back booster
AB-HOLOFERNES - side booster
03-AALIYAH/O - overed booster
KRB-SOBRERO - overed booster (assault)

WEAPONS
^^^^^^^
LABIATA - rifle - terrible name, incredible performance
03-MOTORCOBRA - machine gun - great for tight spaces with lots of missiles
GAN01-SS-WGP - gatling gun - can't argue with the damage, good for small spaces
GAN01-SS-WBP - bazooka - can't beat a 'zooka for taking out stationary targets
NUKABIRA - grenade - lots of arm-mounted firepower, use as alternative to OGOTO
LR01-ANTARES - laser rifle - decent firepower with low EN drain
HLR01-CANOPUS - hi-laser rifle - this is your pain-maker for small targets
07-MOONLIGHT - laser blade - it's been the best since it was LS-99-MOONLIGHT
KIKU - blade - this bruiser is saved for certain situations
SALINE05 - spread missile - only really effective on reg 1.00
OGOTO - grenade cannon - get very familiar with this guy
HLC09-ACRUX - hi-laser cannon - another bruiser for small targets
ARSENIKON - Kojima cannon - saved for certain situations
JADORE - PA molder - saved for certain situations
RDF-200 - radar - this is a good radar for certain missions
PG03-SPICA - pistol - decent back-up firearm
EB-600 - laser blade - pocket knife


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IV. On to SS-Rank                           Super-Supreme, maybe? Mmm... pizza.
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M01: Attack on Line Ark
N: MTs, NORMALs
   If you can't S-rank this, hand in your controller. Use OGOTOs blast every-
   thing to hell and try not to get hit.
H: MTs, NORMALs
   Just like normal difficulty, wipe out everything with grenades. NORMALs are
   a little tougher on hard, requiring 2 grenades to kill. After killing the
   initial groups, an additional two groups of NORMALs will appear at the end
   of the area. Kill, kill, kill.

M02: Attack on Naval Port of Mimir
N: MTs, NORMALs, ships (stationary), Arms Fort (stationary)
   Equip dual OGOTOs and dual 07-MOONLIGHTs. Use your grenades to blast every-
   thing in sight. Make certain to wipe out every target on the way. Use your
   blades to wreck the AF. If you avoid taking too much damage and destroy all
   opposition you'll guarantee an S-Rank.
H: NORMALs, ships (stationary), Arms Fort (stationary)
   Same mission, more NORMALs. Make sure to kill the NORMALs first because
   their lasers hurt.

M03: Ambush Sphere Invasion Forces
N: Planes, helicopters, NORMALs
   Equip a weapon with 90+ MELEE ABILITY and a good ammo supply (ALTAIR or
   AVOIR or PITONE are good choices). Use a backward QB to slow down your pro-
   gress as you approach each group of planes and shoot down as many as you can
   before the VOB purges. Use grenades to mop up the NORMALs on the ground
   after the purge. You should be able to get this done before the assorted
   aircraft arrive. Finish them off, but be absolutely careful not to get hit
   by the lasers that the aircraft fire. They hurt quite a bit.
H: Planes, helicopters, NORMALs, AF Land Crab
   Same setup, except put an EB-600 in the left hangar. When the VOB purges,
   purge your left gun and boost to the AF. Blade it to death. With that done,
   finish the job by eliminating the NORMALs and remaining aircraft.

M04: Attack on Richland
N: MTs, NORMALs, AF Land Crab
   This is pretty straightforward. Don't choose a wingman. OB straight to the
   AF when the mission starts and blade it. It shouldn't take more than 2 hits.
   After that, grenade everything else.
H: MTs, NORMALs, AF Land Crab x 2
   Take out the AFs quickly and mop up the remnants. The catch here is that
   sometimes the other Land Crab will fire THROUGH the one you're killing. It
   doesn't happen very often, but just be aware. Keep your AP up and you'll be
   just fine.

M05: Defeat AF Giga Base
N: AF Giga Base, Supply Vessels (bonus)
   Avoid the cannon blasts during VOB at all costs. QB to the sides, it's no
   big deal. If you manage to get hit, restart the mission. Once it purges, OB
   straight to Giga Base and blade it. Ignore the supply vessels, they don't
   count for rank.
H: AF Giga Base, Supply Vessels (bonus)
   The VOB sequence lasts about half as long as on normal due to a malfunction
   and drops you in the middle of the 8th fleet. Oh good. You'll have to OB the
   rest of the way to Giga Base. Just switch to Reg 1.15 if you don't have
   enough EN. Avoid fire from that damn cannon and watch for the sparse
   ordinance coming from the various ships and submarines that make up the 8th
   Fleet. Restart if you take a cannon hit or get the "AP down 40% message."
   Get in there and blade it. Again, ignore the support vessels.

M06: Support the Red Beret Assault
N: MTs, NORMALs, Fortress Units x 2, 3 Trucks [protect]
   Follow the main road and grenade everything that fires back. The main road
   passes in front of the mountain. Just make sure to kill everything along
   that path and don't forget about the NORMALs that occupy the ledges above
   the road. Be thorough. Once you reach the tunnel, clear out it's mouth and
   OB through it. Blade the two Fortress Units at the exit to death. Just wait
   for the transport to pass through.
H: MTs, NORMALs, Fortress Units, 3 Trucks [protect]
   The only difference between hard and normal is that there are now some
   Fortress Units along the road. Grenade everything around the Fortresses and
   then drop down and blade them.

M07: Defeat Wonderful Body
N: NEXT Wonderful Body
   Switch your Regs to 1.00 and equip dual SALINE05s. Fly in the air and fire
   the spread missiles at Wonderful Body until he dies. You shouldn't take too
   much damage if you stay in the air and stay in motion.
H: NEXT Wonderful Body
   There will be NORMALs flooding out of the city, but if you use the SALINE05s
   the NORMALs won't have a chance to fire on you.

M08: Attack on B7
N: NORMALs, MTs
   Anything from grenades to lasers will work in here. Kill everything and
   don't take too much damage. A lot of people just blade this mission, but I
   really must advise against it if you're not good with blade setups.
H: NORMALs
   A little preparation goes a long way in this mission. A long-range FCS (I
   use the 061AN05) is a must, the same goes for grenades. Equip these on a
   light frame and go. Almost as soon as you start, you'll begin taking
   constant damage from Kojima radiation (B7 is a massive Kojima plant, after
   all). Your PA will also be completely gone by the time you reach a useful
   point in the mission. Eliminate everything as quickly as possible, using the
   long lock-on distance to spot enemies before you can actually see them. Or
   could just GET good with a blade setup and do it in record time. (:

M09: Clear Former Chinese Shanghai
N: NORMALs, Ships, AF Giga Base
   Grenades will kill everything except Giga Base with one hit. With a long-
   range FCS, you can take all the small fries out from the air with little
   danger to yourself. OB to Giga Base and blade it if it starts firing at you.
H: NORMALs, Ships, AF Giga Base
   Boost straight to Giga Base and kill it. It will be using the giant long-
   range cannon this time. Other than that, there are a few extra enemies.
   Grenade them all.

M10: Take Back Cradle 21
N: NORMALs (flying and ground), Drone NEXTs
   I recommend using an energy-efficient NEXT with two HLR01-CANOPUS rifles.
   'Nades are a bad idea here, as the Cradles are pretty fragile. The only
   problem I ever had was taking fire from the ground while dealing with the
   aerial enemies. Be mindful of their ordinance and you'll do fine. Keep your
   AP up, in other words.
H: NORMALs (flying and ground)
   Kill the enemies closest to you and wait for the Drone NEXTs to show up.
   Wipe them out with Reg 1.00 SALINE05s (they take around 2 missiles each).
   After they're down, take out the rest of the NORMALs using the tactics from
   above.

M11: Defeat AF Cabracan
N: AF Cabracan, Drones
   This is an easy mission, but it's tedious. It doesn't matter what weapons
   you use, so long as they have a decent ammo suppy. A pair of LABIATIA rifles
   and a pair of gatling cannons will do the job admirably in most cases.
   Blades also work for a quick, energy-efficient frame. Whatever you choose,
   just be prepared. For instance, I've emptied 2 gatling guns and 2 gatling
   cannons and still recieved an S. Anyway, let's get to the strategy. I can't
   recommend doing anymore than strictly necessary here. Boost in, avoiding the
   mines, wait for the AF to hit a mine, boost in through the raised section of
   skirting. Kill the treads and then, if you have a blade or two, slash away a
   section of armor and leave. If not, wait for the drones to blow open the
   armor. Either way, stay calm and stay in motion. You're going to take damage
   so try to minimize it as best you can. Eliminate each drone. Too much damage
   will ruin your rank. Be careful and above all, STAY CALM. I've seen people
   get very panicky and it always leads to running out of EN midflight because
   of their erratic QB. Just drift side-to-side, rise and fall. The shotgun-
   style lasers aren't all that accurate.
H: AF Cabracan, Drones
   Same as above, except the drones are more damaging and the GA AF doesn't
   show up to >ahem< help.

M12: Defeat the Spirit of Motherwill
N: AF Motherwill (2 large clusters of 3 cannons, missile pods)
   This can be an extremely intimidating mission if you're not prepared for it.
   Equip your OGOTOs and the 051ANAM shoulder unit (whee... flares). Overboost
   straight for Motherwill and fly up to the towers on the left and right.
   Blade them quickly. By now, your radar will show missiles coming at you, so
   fire your flares and quickly take out the missile pods located on the
   rotating wing sections. You can identify these by the massive barrages of
   missiles they keep shooting. :P Try to keep airborne as the NORMALs located
   on Motherwill's wings can cause unnecessary damage to you. Use your radar to
   track missile proximity and the flares to throw them off. This mission can
   easily be S-Ranked in under 3 minutes with a little practice.

H: AF Motherwill, NEXT Killdozer
   I only include Killdozer because he is red on the radar and is therefore
   considered mission-critical. He's not. Just OB right by him and use the same
   strategy as above. He's too stupid to chase you into the air, so no worries
   there. After you finish the last missile pod, the end-stage cutscene plays
   as normal, fitfully forgetting about poor old Champion Champs.

M13: Rescue the GA Transport Unit
N: NORMALs, AF Land Crab x 2
   When the mission starts, OB forward and stop near the first group NORMALs.
   grenade them. OB to the first AF and blade it, ignoring the NORMALs in the
   area for now. OB the other AF and blade it. Mop up the remaining NORMALs
   with your grenades. Nothing in this stage is particularly adept at hitting
   an overboosting target, so you should do fine so long as your AC is EN-
   efficient.
H: NORMALs, AF Land Crab x 2, Armored Aircraft x 2
   Before starting, make sure to equip the 051ANAM flares and KIKU blades.
   Start this mission the same as on normal, but after you destroy the second
   AF go after the aircraft. These are handled the same as in AC4. That is, get
   in nice and close and blade them. When you start closing in, they'll fire a
   swarm of missiles, so use your flares. A single KIKU hit is all it takes.
   Watch for their lasers as you make your approach, though. They hurt a lot.
   Again, just be careful not to take too much damage and you'll do fine.

M14: Attack on PA-N51
N: 3 Resource Plants, NORMALs
   This strategy works for normal difficulty only. Equip dual OGOTOs, blow the
   hell out of everything. This is a really easy S if you don't take many hits.
H: 3 Resource Plants, NORMALs, Unknown NEXT
   This is a different basket of eggs altogether. The rank seems to be de-
   termined by a combination of ammo usage, damage and time. So remove your
   OGOTOs and equip JADOREs in their stead. Use the 047AN05 FCS, the O47AN02
   head, and assault-type OB (your choice) and equip your SALINE05s and
   07-MOONLIGHTs. Make sure your regs are set to 1.00. Start the mission and
   use the AA to wreck the first plant. Kill the bastard NORMALS quickly with
   your blades (assuming your AA missed 1 or 2, as it usually does). Almost
   immediately after doing this, a LYNX will announce himself and show up on
   your radar. Back up to where you started, activate the SALINE05s and await
   a target lock. The FCS and head combination should allow you to pick him up
   at a fair distance. Fire and immediately rise into the air, keeping him
   targeted. Float around him, pelting him with missiles (5-6 direct hits will
   do it) until dead. Use your AA and blades to finish the mission. So long as
   you don't use too much SALINE05 (the missiles are pretty cheap anyway) and
   were good about avoiding damage, you'll S-rank it in a couple of tries. Just
   make sure to move your ass as soon as you AA a plant. A still NEXT with no
   PA is just a NORMAL, after all.

M15: Defeat AF Stigro
N: AF Stigro
   Now, the obvious strategy is to fly forward, hover level with Stigro's nose
   and KIKU it for a one-shot. Bah, I say. Equip dual 07-MOONLIGHTs and the
   XAM-SOBRERO arms (if you read my suggested parts list, this is one of the
   situations to use these arms) and nothing else. Start the mission and wait
   for Stigro to get slowed down by the buildings in front of you. Now, simply
   hop on his back and start slashing. Stigro will die in 2-3 hits and you'll
   have a perfect S in under 15 seconds. The XAM-SOBRERO arms direct the blade
   beam downward, you see.
H: AF Stigro
   What? No NORMALs? No extra AF? No NEXT? Nah. Stigro can project his blade
   now but will still get stuck on the first few buildings.

M16: Eliminate Procyon
N: Procyon Cannon x 5
   First, I'm guessing you've played the mission before and know how to use the
   tunnels. They're no fun. There're NORMALs and MTs and blah. I like an ad-
   venturous (and might I add, faster) approach to this mission. Equip dual
   07-MOONLIGHTS and a powerful standard OB (non-assault). These cannons fire
   predictably and straight forward. Your basic strategy is OB straight toward
   each one, dodge the shots they fire with a side QB or just flying up and
   blade them. It's actually really easy once you get the hang of it. Anyway,
   the first one's right in front of you, so OB toward it, cut your OB when
   you're beside it and slash it. OB again before the MTs figure out what to
   do. There are two MTs straight ahead, fly over them and head toward the next
   two cannons. These are placed adjacent to one another and usually fire at
   the same time. Avoid their shots (they'll usually have enough time to get
   off two blasts each) and cut your OB so that you land between them. Blade
   them and continue on. The next cannon is around a slight bend in the tunnel
   and it absolutely cannot hit you if you hug the right-hand wall and fly
   against the ceiling. Once you've bladed that one, OB past some NORMALs and
   MTs in the path leading to the last cannon. If you manage to get hit by this
   one, you've done something terribly wrong; it's facing away from you. In all
   this high-speed junk, you get hit by a cannon (it happened to me a couple of
   times while developing this strategy) just restart the mission. One hit will
   almost always take away your S. On a personal note, this is the only way I
   can think of to make this mission even vaguely fun.
H: Procyon Cannon x 5
   There's some nasty stuff in the side tunnels. Those things have Kojima
   weapons, missiles and lasers. Thankfully, you can avoid all of it by doing
   the strategy listed for normal. (:

M17: Escape from Naval Port of Mimir
N: MTs, NORMALs, Ships, Friendly Ships [protect]
   Ever notice that every time you come here it's to kill everything in sight?
   Anyway, load up your OGOTOs and an FCS with decent ECM-cancelling. Well, it
   says your object is to defend the ships passing through this port. The best
   defense is a good offense, right? Right. Blast everything to hell. Be sure
   to clear each area before moving on to the next. Once all enemies are gone,
   the mission will end. Yay! The only thing that's really a threat here is the
   NORMALs. Just finish quickly and try not to get hurt (that's what she said).
H: NORMALs, Ships, Friendly Ships [protect]
   Same as above. Just be a little more damage-concious as there are more
   NORMALs this time around.

M18: Defeat Unknown NEXT + No Count
N: NEXT No Count, NEXT Big Barrel.
   You won't need a wingman. Equip the SALINE05's on Reg 1.00 to beat 'em. Use
   a light frame with good EN and the 047AN05 FCS for an easy S-rank. No Count
   should fall before you even see the other NEXT. Be sure to avoid Big Bar-
   rel's Kojima cannon.
H: NEXT No Count, NEXT Unknown x 2
   Definitely no wingman this time, (s)he'll get wiped out almost immediately.
   Equip the 051ANAM flares and start the mission. Boost forward and get a lock
   on No Count and immediately start pelting him with missiles. If he's not
   dead before the other two cross under the highway, restart the mission until
   he is. Now comes the fun. Yoroi Mogara one uses ZINC vertical Kojima
   missiles and Big Barrel still uses a Kojima cannon (ARSENIKON?). Both use
   their weapons effectively and there's going to be a crapload of missiles
   flying around. Don't hold back with the flares. Like any NEXT, pelt them
   with SALINE05s from a distance and make sure to dodge those Kojima blasts.
   If you take 40% combat damage (Serene Haze loves telling you about that),
   restart the mission. This is pretty easy once you get the hang of it. I've
   mapped my shoulder-weapon button so when I click down the right stick, it
   fires, and that helps a lot.

M19: Defeat Unknown NEXT
N: NEXT Unknown
   Use SALINE05's to kill him quickly and the 051ANAM (or any other flares for
   this particular type of missile) to counter his guided weapons. Obviously,
   don't use a wingman.
H: NEXT Unknown
   Same thing, except he has a bunch of NORMALs with him now. Their lasers
   sting a bit, but you should kill him quickly enough for it not to matter.

M20: Defeat AF Great Wall
N: AF Great Wall (power core)
   Does anyone else think this mission should have been longer? I mean, it's
   the only good AF besides Spirit of Motherwill. Ah, well. EN-efficiency is a
   very good thing here. It means more power to your OB. Equip OGOTOs and start
   the mission. OB from the start , keeping distant, but parallel with the AF.
   When you're about halfway down the length of the train, cut in toward the
   rear car. Fly over the ramp on the rear car and hide behind it so the
   missiles chasing you explode harmlessly against the train. Now come out and
   blast the MTs guarding the door. Enter the train, blading doors as neces-
   sary. Blast everything inside with 'nades quickly to avoid damage. Remember,
   ammo is cheaper than repairs. Once you reach the power core, blast it and
   escape.
H: AF Great Wall (power core), NEXT Rai-den
   Approach the AF in the same way as normal keep blasting away until you get
   to the point where the rear cars detatch. Slash through the doors at the end
   of this area and fly outside. Rai-den will be sitting in the entrance to the
   front section. Don't fire on him. Dodge his shots and eventually he'll fall
   out and hit the sand below. Continue as normal. So long as you don't take
   much damage, you're assured an "S-rank."

M21: Defend Megalis
N: Aircraft, Aerial NORMALs, AF Eclipse, Megalis [protect]
   Equip your favorite small weapon: machine gun, rifle, laser, whatever. Then
   equip a KIKU blade on the other arm and whatever reasonably accurate weapon
   you want on the back (gatling cannons are a good choice). Start out by
   eliminating the aerial NORMALs because they're annoying and their lasers
   sting. After that, just shoot everything that's flying around. After AF
   Eclipse enters the area, there should be 3-5 additional targets buzzing
   about Megalis, so kill them. Then zip right up to Eclipse and KIKU it right
   in the nose (or anywhere else). If you took care of the NORMALs first and
   were careful not to get hit by the AF's main cannon, you've S-Ranked this
   mission.
H: Aircraft, NORMALs (aerial and ground), Fortress Units, AF Eclipse, Megalis
   [protect]
   Take care of the NORMALs and the two fortress units first. The fortresses
   are directly across from each other around the base of Megalis. The ground
   NORMALs are surprisingly damaging and you'll probably be getting sniped by
   the aerial NORMALs while dealing with them, so be careful. No shame in
   launching a couple of grenades into them to deal with them quickly. Ob-
   viously KIKU the fortress units. Thankfully, the aircraft are exactly the
   same. Eclipse will fire an additional beam from its cannon, but you'd still
   have to be brain-dead to let it hit you. KIKU it.

M22: Defeat White Glint
N: NEXT White Glint
   Set your regulations to 1.00 and equip your SALINE05's and 051ANAM flares.
   When you start, skip the cutscene and OB straight in. If you hook left over
   the bridge, you'll almost always target White Glint. If you don't, track him
   down (yes, HIM) and start launching missiles until White Glint and Stasis
   fly off. Wait for him to come back and unload with your SALINE05's. White
   Glint fires back with a couple of rifles and SALINE05's of his own. That's
   what your flares are for. Eventually Glint will fall and Fiona will lament.
   Your obvious goal (besides killing White Glint) is to avoid taking damage.
   The threshold here is ridiculously small, so be very careful.
H: NEXT White Glint
   This is exactly the same fight, except White Glint gets a free ressurection
   in the middle of it. Oh good. Just use the same strategy as before and
   AVOID DAMAGE! Use your flares and keep Glint at a distance.

M23: Defend Line Ark
N: NEXT Stasis, NEXT Fragile
   Set regs to 1.00 and equip your SALINE05's. OB about halfway down the bridge
   and drop off to the right. Fly ahead a bit and you should get a lock on
   Stasis. If you don't restart until you do. It's possible to "kill" Otsdarva
   within 10 seconds of seeing him. After that, wipe out Fragile and you're
   done. It's highly unlikely that you'll take enough damage to worry about in
   this mission if you're quick and keep your distance. If you're having trou-
   ble, equip a longer-range FCS.
H: NEXT Stasis, NEXT Fragile
   For some reason, this mission always seems to go faster on hard. Anyway, use
   exactly the same strategy as on Normal.

M24: Defeat Red Rum and Starka
N: NEXT Red Rum, NEXT Starka
   Use the 047AN02 head and the 047AN05 FCS, equip your SALINE05's and set your
   regs to 1.00. Don't choose a wingman. Starka will force you to kill him
   first, but be sure to keep track of Red Rum. She won't come off the ground,
   but if she gets close, her weapons will ruin your rank. Stay in the air and
   try to stay away from Red Rum while you're dealing with Starka. Starka will
   try to blade you, but you're smarter than that, aren't you? Just be damage-
   concious. He'll go down quickly enough (not as quickly as you might think,
   though).
H: NEXT Red Rum, NEXT Starka
   This is complicated by the NORMALs that are milling about the map. Try your
   best to ignore them and focus on the NEXTs. Your radar won't be much help,
   but if you can see anything, the NEXTs will ALWAYS be moving faster than the
   NORMALs.

M25: Defeat Unidentified AF
N: AF Land Crab (Sol Dios x 4)
   Just like all my other strategies, preparation is the key. Equip ACB-0710
   "add back booster" for extra speed, the best non-AA OB you have and two KIKU
   blades. Make sure your flame is light and speedy, then start the mission.
   Immediately hit your OB and head for the AF. Supplement your OB with forward
   QBs if you have enough EN. Once you're close to the AF, blade it anywhere on
   the structure. If you did it quick enough, the Sol Dios cannons won't have a
   chance to launch and will be destroyed along with the rest of the AF. It's
   an S-rank every time.
H: AF Land Crab (Sol Dios x 6)
   Do the same as above. Still an S-rank every time.

M26: Defeat 8th Fleet
N: Ships
   Ranks are given for this mission are given largely based on how many targets
   you've killed v. Stigro. Load up your OGOTOs and blow 'em out of the water.
H: Ships, AF Stigro
   This is a lot more fun than normal because Stigro attacks you right at the
   start of the mission. Either equip KIKU blades and punch it in the nose use
   the XAM-SOBRERO and 07-MOONLIGHTs method and hop on its back and slash it to
   death. It doesn't get slowed down as easily anymore, but you can still get
   on its back when it passes or when its turning. After Stigro's dead, mop up
   the 8th fleet with your OGOTOs. Avoid taking more than 40% damage and you'll
   get an S-rank easily.

M27: Destroy B7
N: Kojima Power Plants x 3
   Equip your OGOTOs and start the mission. Blast all the NORMALs guarding the
   way in, just be careful not to damage yourself. Once you get to the bridge
   area, you should take either the left or right path after blasting the
   NORMALs in the room. When you reach the hole leading down to the plants,
   drop ALL THE WAY down. The reason for this is so that you don't waste time
   figuring your angles trying to shoot it from above. Drop all the way down
   and blast it with a grenade then quickly fly back up and move on. Do the one
   directly across from the entrance to the bridge area last. After you've shot
   all three plants, make your escape. You can largely ignore the NORMALs on
   the path out, but if they're giving you trouble, go ahead and kill them. As
   long as you're quick and avoid taking undue damage, you'll be fine.
H: Kojima Power Plants x 3
   Same thing, except your AP will be dropping constantly almost from the start
   of the mission. Rankings for this mission seem to be based mostly on time.
   I've finished with 9000/22990 AP and recieved an S. Just be quick.

M28: Defeat Silent Avalanche
N: NORMALs (Silent Avalanche Snipers)
   Equip either dual OGOTOs or the arm-weapon equivalent NUKABIRAs. You can
   mostly ignore the MTs and aircraft in this mission, unless you're taking too
   much fire from them. Blow up the Silent Avalanche NORMALs and mind their
   sniper cannons. They hurt... a lot. Take too many hits (40% damage) and
   you'll have to restart. Thankfully the sniper cannon shots are easy to
   dodge.
H: NORMALs (Silent Avalanche Snipers), NEXT Scarlet Fox, NEXT Emerald Racoon
   Set your regs down to 1.00, equip dual SALINE05s and dual NUKABIRAs. YASMIN
   flares are great here too (051ANAM flares don't fit while using 'BIRAs).
   Once you've killed all the NORMALs, the NEXTs will show up at the back of
   the area (a similar or the same area you fought Helix I and II in AC4). Use
   your SALINE05s to take out Scarlet Fox while using your flares to misdirect
   Racoon's missiles. I say this because Fox will force you to take him out
   first. Be evasive and don't forget to use your flares often. Once Fox goes
   down, use your missiles to kill Racoon, too.

M29: Destroy Megalis
N: Megalis Cyclical Power Plant
   There are two ways to do this mission: stupid and easy. Since we like
   S-ranks, let's use the easy way. You'll start out in the VOB. Dodge the
   giant blue death balls by QBing to one side for one burst and QBing to the
   other when the next volley starts. Once the VOB purges, QB forward toward
   the top of Megalis. You'll have to dodge the lasers but as long as you keep
   QBing toward Megalis, it won't be a problem. Land in the middle of the
   platform that's at the top of it. Now, use OGOTOS to blast the walls around
   you or simply use assault armor. So long as you've avoided taking too much
   damage you'll do fine.
H: Megalis Cyclical Power Plant
   Same thing, really. Your VOB will malfunction halfway through your approach
   and you'll have to avoid taking damage. Which is what we're all about anyway
   isn't it? If you somehow manage to fly through one of those giant death-
   balls, you'll explode.

M30: Destroy Arteria Ulna
N: Finger-like Energy Thingies
   This is pathetically easy. Equip OGOTOs on an energy-efficient frame and fly
   up through your favorite hole in the ceiling. Once outside, turn 180 degrees
   and keep flying straight up. On the highest cliff ledge, there will be a
   series of glowing-blue energy gizmos arranged in an "L" formation. Avoid the
   ordinance being sent at you by the NORMALs and focus on quickly destroying
   the blue things. Once they're all gone, you're done.
H: Super high-voltage Twinkies
   Same thing. Realize, please, that while the enemies are stronger, tougher
   and more numerous, that they're not any smarter. Side-to-side QBs will dodge
   everything easily. Blow up the blue things and you'll S this one with ease.

M31: Defend Arteria Carpals
N: NEXT Unknown, NEXT Asterism
   Guess what? Reg 1.00 and SALINE05s for this one. You'll deploy with Noblesse
   Oblige, who's actually a useful ally, but he's hard to like. Lecturing jerk.
   Anyway, damage will be your main concern here. There really won't be much
   trouble with this because Noblesse Oblige does an admirable job keeping the
   other one busy and will usually kill him/her before you're done with the one
   you're engaged with. Just remember to dodge here and you'll do fine.
H: NEXT Unknown, NEXT Asterism
   Same strategy here, just remember to be damage-concious. Gerald will still
   very likely kill the NEXT he's fighting, so just focus on killing your tar-
   get. The third NEXT, Gray Gloom, will enter the combat zone once you've fin-
   ished killing his friends. He's nothing to worry about, just keep your dis-
   tance because he likes to use AA and you're trying to avoid that kind of
   damage.

M32: Attack on Arteria Carpals
N: Stationary Guns, NORMALs, NEXT Noblesse Oblige
   This mission is a lot of fun if you play it the fair way. Of course, we're
   not going to do anything of the sort. What you'll want to do is equip dual
   GAN01-SS-WBP bazookas and dual ARSENIKON Kojima cannons. Take out the NOR-
   MALS as you see them, they'll cause trouble later. Kill as many guns as you
   like or just land on the bridge and get out of the cannons' range and wait
   for Noblesse Oblige to show up. It won't hurt to just float around and shoot
   stationary guns until you hear him announce himself, they don't seem to
   penalize for ammo usage. In any case, when he announce himself, just land on
   the bridge and wait for him. You'll see his OB flare. Activate and charge
   your ARSENIKONs (switch to them and tap the fire buttons). Just sit and
   wait. Wait for Noblesse to be almost touching you and unload both cannons
   into his face. If you did it correctly, he should die instantly. So long as
   you didn't take too much damage from the guns and NORMALs, instant S.
H: Stationary Guns, NORMALs, NEXT Noblesse Oblige, NEXT Transcend
   Kill the NORMALs and then kill time until Oblige announces himself and do as
   above. It's still a one-shot. Stand still, charge your cannons again and zap
   Transcend in the same way. Again, instant S.

M33: Defend Cradle 03
N: NEXT Lisa, Drone NEXT x 2
   Set your regs to 1.00, equip your SALINE05s and 051ANAM flares and 041AN05
   FCS, and then test your AC, swapping out parts until you have absolutely no
   problem staying in the air. You'll be flying for the vast majority of this
   mission. Now, before we get to my strategy, let's talk about Old King's
   strategy. Basically, he'll try to distract you by firing a volley of 15
   high accuracy missiles. While you're occupied dodging these, he'll OB in and
   try to hit you with his rifle and PA-eating shotgun. It's fairly effective
   because his craft, Lisa, is built for high-speed aerial combat. You'll
   thwart this strategy by removing the missiles from the equation. If he runs
   out of missiles, he'll stay at mid-long range and shoot at you with his
   rifle, occasionally getting close enough to hit with his shotgun. The trick
   is to kill him with your SALINE05s before he runs out of missiles. My strat-
   egy is as such: wait for him to enter the combat zone, ignore the drone
   NEXTs for now, kill him, take care of the drones. Don't worry if you lose a
   cradle or two, it doesn't seem to count against you. 
H: NEXT Lisa, Drone NEXT x 3
   Kill Old King and take out the drones. If you're having trouble, equip a
   decent radar unit to track his movements and try killing him with one
   SALINE05. Or just use it until you figure him out a little bit.

M34: Defeat ORCA's Special AF Unit
N: AF Jet x 4
   Equip dual KIKU blades and nothing else. This is pretty easy, just Kiku each
   Jet in turn and avoid the lasers they fire. With KIKU, you usually won't
   have to worry about the blades, the Jets will die too quickly. Just for
   clarification, you won't have to bother with the radiation ports, just KIKU
   them each anywhere on the body.
H: AF Jet x 4
   The blades are red this time and the AFs REALLY want to hit you with those
   lasers now, but it's still easy as sin.

M35: Attack Anti-Satellite Cannons
N: Ehrenburg Cannons x 3, NEXT Gachirin
   As always, don't use a wingman. You'll want dual SALINE05s and at least one
   07-MOONLIGHT. Don't forget to set your regs down to 1.00. When you start, OB
   straight to the first cannon, fly up and blade it in the middle of the tall
   blade-like section of the cannon. Now turn around and kill the 4 large laser
   towers and slash them with your blade. To do this, fly up and slash the
   round projection on the back of each tower (you'll get a green reticule).
   Gahirin will be on your radar by now, probably. If not, he's between the
   crater you're in and the water. Fly over and kill him with your SALINE05s.
   If you somehow manage to get hit by his assault cannon (or just get sloppy
   and take too many standard weapon hits), then restart. He'll have almost no
   PA and should go down quickly enough. After that, just OB and kill each of
   the other cannons. Make certain to dodge the big lasers fired by the towers
   around the cannons.
H: Ehrenburg Cannons x 3, NEXT Gachirin, Prototype NEXT
   Same thing as above, except the prototype NEXT comes in after Gachirin dies.
   He comes in at the far border. Take care of the other two cannons and then
   hunt him down. Keep your distance, use your missiles and dodge his fire.
   This is an extremely watered-down version of the one from AC4. Just keep
   your distance and pelt it with your SALINE05s.

M36: Defeat Main ORCA Forces
N: NEXT Opening, NEXT Gleditsia
   You'll be deployed with Reiterpallasch who, like Noblesse Oblige, is a very
   worthwhile ally. This is standard fair. Equip reg 1.00 SALINE05s and pelt
   whomever you target first with them from the air. There's nothing tough
   about this as all attacks sent your way are pretty easily dodged.
H: NEXT Opening, NEXT Gleditsia
   Same thing, really. The only difference seems to be that when you kill your
   target, the other NEXT will immediately break off from Reiterpallasch and
   engage you. She does no such thing, however. Kill, kill, kill.

M37: Defend Arteria Cranium
N: NEXT Split Moon, NEXT Unsung
   For the second time in a row, you'll be deployed with Reiterpallasch. Split
   Moon always seems to engage you first, so take care of him with your
   SALINE05s set to reg 1.00 and go. Split Moon wants to get extremely close
   and blade you. If this happens, just restart. Feel free to fly over to the
   other end of the area to get some breathing room and let Wynne D deal with
   Unsung for a second. Keep some distance between you and Split Moon and use
   your missiles effectively. He'll die pretty quickly because his frame is
   very flimsy. If you have to deal with Unsung (chances are Wynne D will have
   killed him while you're wrapped up with Shinkai), just be sure to dodge his
   laser shots. He goes down pretty quicly, as well.
H: NEXT Split Moon, NEXT Unsung
   This is pretty much the same as normal. Just don't try and go into the rear
   of the area, as there is a nasty surprise back there: an AF Jet absolutely
   bristling with neon-pink blades. This thing will ruin your day if you get
   too close to it. Kill the enemy ACs and get your S.

M38: Defend Anti-Satellite Cannons
N: AF Eclipse, NEXT Ambient, NEXT Strix Quadruped, Ehrenburg Cannons x 3
   [protect]
   You deploy with Gachirin, who makes a pretty decent ally. Equip your
   SALINE05s, KIKU blades and 051ANAM flares. You'll start out on a ridge next
   to one of the cannons. Straight ahead you can see the AF Eclipse in the dis-
   tance. Fly straight at it and KIKU it to death. One hit should do it, just
   like every other AF. Be sure to avoid its laser cannon. With that done,
   fight Ambient. Chances are, she's behind you and down at water level. She'll
   fire missiles and a red laser beam at you. The flares will take care of one,
   your side QB will take care of the laser beam. Once she's down, Strix will
   flee the battlefield (often boosting straight into the water) and the mis-
   sion will end. As long as you kept damage to a minimum, you'll S-rank this
   one.
H: AF Eclipse, NEXT Ambient, NEXT Strix Quadruped, Ehrenburg Cannons x 3
   [protect]
   Use the same tactics as above. If you're really, really extra slow in
   killing the AF, it'll deploy Silent Avalanche snipers. You don't want this.
   Kill the AF, kill Ambient and Strix still takes care of himself. Just be
   damage concious.

M39: Destroy Cradle 03
N: Cradle Power Units
   This mission is pretty ho-hum. If you can't S this, hand in your controller.
   Just blast the black power units with your grenades. There'll be some NORMAL
   fire to dodge, but that shouldn't be any problem for you. If it is, I'd re-
   commend getting better at dodging. You'll need the skill for hard.
H: Cradle Power Units
   You'll need to destroy twice as many power units to send the cradles down,
   so you'll have to crash the first three cradles with your blades and save
   OGOTOs for the last two. Avoid the NORMALs as best you can, don't waste
   ordinance on them. Use the power units for cover as the NORMALS only occupy
   every two sections of cradle between the power units. Just skip, slash, re-
   peat.

M40: Defeat AF Answerer
N: AF Answerer
   There are two ways to do this. You can alight on each wing and blade it or
   you can kill it with one hit. The one-shot kill is what we're going to use.
   You'll need 2 KIKU blades and ACB-0710 add back booster. Start the mission.
   Start flying immediately toward Answerer. Use the diagram below to determine
   where to strike:
      A\AAA/A
      AA\A/AA<- the "A" is the Kojima field that charges and releases Assault
       A|A|A    Armor.
        / \
       /   \
       |   |
       \___/<- the "___" is where you land and KIKU.
        \ /
   To clarify, below the Kojima field, Answerer bulges out. Above the
   narrowest point of this bulge is a small lip where you can land. Really, you
   don't have to land, you just have to be near it and KIKU the exposed mach-
   inery there. It might take a few tries, but it's a lot easier than messing
   with the missiles and such Answerer loves to fire. The only thing you'll
   have to worry about here are some easy-to-avoid lasers that fire from the
   tips of each wing and if you're quick and stay in OB long enough, you won't
   even have to worry about them. They track just like the Ehrenburg lasers do.

M41: Attack on Arteria Cranium
N: NEXT Reiterpallasch, NEXT My Bliss
   This one has given people some trouble as far as S-ranking goes. Lucky for
   you, I've worked out how to fudge this one. These two are pretty tough to-
   gether, so yo'll need to seperate them. You'll want your regs at 1.00 and
   dual SALINE05s, 051ANAM flares and a good OB. When you start, OB straight
   forward and fly up to the ceiling. All the way up and then start dropping as
   you reach the hump in the middle of the room. When you're halfway through
   the rear area, cut your OB and turn around. More often than not, this OB
   pattern causes Reiterpallasch to follow you and My Bliss to drop down and
   get stuck on the other side. If this doesn't happen, restart and try again.
   It almost always works though. Kill Wynne D. with your SALINE05s, making
   certain to dodge as much of her fire as you can, ESPECIALLY her hi-laser
   cannon. That thing hurts A LOT. Once she's down (her craft can take a sur-
   prising amount of punishment, so be prepared), fly over the hump and face
   Roy in My Bliss. His missiles are no match for your flares, but his other
   weapons can still hurt you, so keep an eye out. You'll be able to finish him
   off fairly quickly as long as you make good use of your mobility and your
   flares. Take more than 60% damage and you'll need to restart, otherwise this
   is another S.
H: NEXT Reiterpallasch, NEXT My Bliss, NEXT Stasis
   Use the same strategy as above to start. When you're OBing in, fly over the
   first two NEXTs as normal and proceed to the very end of the area. Cut your
   OB before you reach the narrow part and turn around. Reiterpallasch should
   be stuck on one of the higher ledges and Stasis will likely be stuck on a
   ledge closer to you. Otsdarva's craft will fall quickly enough, just be sure
   not to take too much damage as it's built for close-quarters. In the highly
   unlikely event that he uses his missiles, fire your flares and QB backward.
   He should die before Wynne D finds her way down to you. From here proceed as
   above. The damage threshold is probably higher, but due to scheduling re-
   straints I was unable to adequately test it.

M42: Occupation of Arteria Carpals
N: NEXT Stasis, NEXT Reiterpallasch, NEXT Ambient, NEXT Feedback
   First, I would like to say that I have beaten this mission legit and S-
   ranked it using dual ARSENIKONs and the ARGYROS weapon arms. That being
   said, I'm not going to be using this method because it requires some degree
   of skill. Instead we'll be using the wall glitch. I will warn you, this is
   outright bloody cheating and is likely to provide zero satisfaction. I urge
   you to try other methods first.
   Let's get to it: make a mid-heavy frame with good PA and equip the OMINA
   FCS, ARGYROS/G generator, 041AN03 arms, the best assault OB, dual JADORE
   back parts, dual CANOPUS hi-laser rifles and the P-MARROW shoulder unit.
   When you start the mission, fly forward and into the complex, straight
   across the middle and out the gap in the wall ahead and to the left. Once
   outside the wall, turn left and follow it down. Use the map to get an idea
   of where to stand.
    __________________________  Face the wall directly and wait. Your CANOPUS
   |    Fly through here      | hi-lasers will poke right through the wall.
   |           * ______       | Wait for the enemies to kill Old King. Then
   |         |         |___   | they'll head to the other side of the wall
   |         /                | you're facing. You should get a target lock on
   |        /                 | them. Even though it's green, you'll be able to
   |        \          ____   | hit them. Use your AA periodically to damage
   |Stand -->\/\  _____|      | and strip away the PA of your enemies. Don't
   | here       \             | fire your lasers until you have a good shot.
   |                          | One by one they'll drop. This method can take
   |             o Start here | anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes, but it's 100%
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^  effective and you'll take no damage whatsoever.
   Be sure to use your AA every time your PA recharges, this will make it much,
   much easier to kill each NEXT.
H: NEXT Stasis, NEXT Reiterpallasch, NEXT Ambient, NEXT Feedback, NEXT Ciliegio
   Sorry to say, the wall glitch works just fine on hard, as well.



_______________________________________________________________________________
V. Contact Info, Thanks, and Legal Junk                    Aww... over already?
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You can contact me quickly by e-mail: blackdog.loudcat@yahoo.com
Also through XBL: Chris Castor

There are a few things I'm looking for:
1. The names and AC names of any NEXTs listed as "Unknown NEXT" in this guide.
   I've managed to deduce several of them, but there are still a few I haven't
   been able to figure out. If you know the names of these NEXTs, please e-mail
   them to me, including what mission they're in and how you'd like to be
   listed in the Thanks portion of the guide.
2. Alternate strategy for M11: Defeat AF Cabracan
3. Alternate strategy for M14 Attack on PA-N51 on hard difficulty,
3. The actual name for the mission targets in M30: Destroy Arteria Ulna.
4. Confirmation that the NEXT in M35 and M38 is Gachirin
5. Confirmation that the NEXTs listed in M42 are accurate.

Constructive criticism is welcome, as are alternate strategies and requests for
clarification. Flames are not welcome. As stated, these tactics are cheap. Will
ruin your fun if you're playing for the first time, and are not meant to be
used on live opponents. Flamers will be blocked immediately.

By the way, I tend to speak and write with passable grammatical skills, so
please do the same if you intend to contact me.
IM IF ARE 2 DA MISIN U SED MOONLtE. WER CN I G1T TI> is a bad e-mail.
I'm in the mission where you said to use the MOONLIGHT, where are the enemies?
is a good e-mail. Get it?

Also, do NOT e-mail me to ask where to get a part, how to get a mission or
anything else unrelated to S-ranking. If you get the urge to do this, read this
over and over again to yourself: "I should play the game myself." To get
almost any part, beat the missions on hard and beat everyone in the Collared
and ORCA arenas. Getting all the missions takes 4 playthroughs minimum,
choosing the new missions each time. It's crappy that the 4th playthrough only
unlocks one mission, but oh hell, oh well.


Thanks to:
LUCASARTS for diverting my attention from this guide with Secret of Monkey
        Island: SE. Ahh... the nostalgia. And the 2h24m playtime. (:
FROM Software for continuing to make these fantastic games.
Ubisoft for doing the best job translating an AC game yet (though it's still
        not perfect).
My darling Nic for putting up with my game-cursing and constant gamer-chatter.
Our dogs Betty and Tank for always making me smile.
My best friend Zach for letting me bounce ideas off him every now and again.
And to you, dear Reader, for whom my efforts bear fruit.



I (Chris Mader, author of this document) am not affiliated in any way with FROM
Software, UBISOFT, Sony, or Microsoft. Nor am I affiliated with Little Debbie.

This document is, to the best of the author's knowledge, an original work.

Use of this document is assumed at the risk of the user and the author shall
bear no responsibility for any effects, positive or negative, on any hardware,
software or digital accounts belonging the user.

Unauthorized use of this document, in part or in whole, is prohibited by law.

Authorized sites:
www.gamefaqs.com

The author reserves the right to deny permission of use for any reason.

Copyright 2009 Chris Mader






BONUS JUNK!!!! WHEEEE!!!!
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
SERENE HAZE'S NEXT

Serene Haze is Kasumi Sumika from AC4. You'll face the following craft in the
AC TEST with the target set to NEXT and in Occupation of Arteria Carpals on
Hard difficulty. Sadly you never get her schematic, although you get her
emblem. So, for the sake of completion, here it is:

AC NAME: Ciliegio
Emblem: It's at the bottom, looks like a flower petal with a woman's silhoette
        in it.
Use the base Y01-TELLUS schematic. (I'm not kidding)
WEAPONS
RA: RG01-PITONE
LA: LR02-ALTAIR
RB: BM03-MEDUSA
RB: RD03-PANDORA


STABILIZERS
Core L Lower: CLS01-TELLUS-A


PAINT

BASE
Main:     244, 209, 220
Sub:      192, 184, 188
Support:  45, 33, 45
Optional: 255, 239, 243
Joint:    47, 42, 33
Device:   107, 75, 134
Eye:      107, 75, 134

BOTH ARMS (it's this way in the AC4 paint scheme, change after doing BASE)
Sub:      192, 284, 208

WEAPON
Main:     65, 65, 71
Sub:      65, 65, 71
Support:  255, 239, 243
Optional: 65, 65, 71

STABILIZER (I know there's only one, but it's this way in AC4)
Main:     244, 79, 140
Sub:      192, 184, 188
Optional: 255, 239, 243
Joint:    47, 42, 33


FRS (this isn't exact because AC4A is missing a category that was in AC4)

CAP: 50, 40, 30, 50
ATK: 0, 0, 0, 20
ACQ: 0, 0, 0, 0
PA : 5, 30, 10, 15
BST: 0, 0, 0, 0
SBT: 0, 0, 0, 0
CTR: 20, 20, 0, 30

And there you have it. Ciliegio. It's kinda girly, and rightly so. It only
works correctly for the player in Reg 1.00, kinda like Unsung (Thermidor's AC).
By the way, Serene Haze is your operator throughout the game and a ranked LYNX
in AC4, in case that wasn't clear to you.

*****************************************
The operator of White Glint is Fiona Jardenfelt. This is suspected to be in the
same respect as Serene Haze (Kasumi Sumika) is your operator. The idea is that
White Glint is the Raven (the player) from AC4. Fiona was a support character
in AC4 and Joshua O'Brien, pilot of the original White Glint, was the Raven's
friend and rival.

Why does Otsdarva show up in one of the last stages? It's a really long story,
but I'll try to sum it up. In AC4, Rayleonard originated the Closed Plan, mean-
ing to fire the Ehrenburg cannon into space and clear a path. They predicted
what ORCA eventually found out, that Kojima radiation was poisoning the Earth
and that eventually humanity would have to get into space. They were stopped by
Anatolia's mercenary (the Raven) and summarily destroyed due to a precision
strike that was launched against their HQ "Exavil." ORCA formed to execute the
Closed Plan and in one of the story arcs, recruits the player in ACFA to help.
Otsdarva shows up in the last stage of this arc, revealing that he was
Thermidor (as if the voice and similar AC's weren't a tip) all along. However,
it's also revealed (in the Japanese version) that he's working for directly for
OMER and that the path into space is the next step in their evil corporate
plan. Or something. Whee! Plot.

AMS (Allegory Manipulation System) is the method used to control NEXTs in the
game's world. It's a form of psychic control, wiring directly into the pilot's
(LYNX's) brain. When the energy flow of the AMS is reversed (sometimes due to
some sort of mechanical failure, but more often than not by severe damage to
the NEXT), it will kill the pilot (CUBE, pilot of Fragile in M23) or turn them
into mindless tools of destruction (Champion Champs, pilot of Killdozer). This
is just here to explain something the game offers no explanation for. AMS use
is encouraged only with those posessing a particular psychic trait. Many people
without this trait have tried, some succeeding and some failing.

The prototype NEXT seen as the boss in AC4 and featured in M35 in ACFA was
developed by Omer. It features experimental boosters, assault armor, primal ar-
mor, a double-barreled gatling gun and a Kojima cannon. According to FROM
Software, it's official designation is 00-ARETHA. At the end of AC4, Omer
(noticing a pattern?) deployed this NEXT with Joshua O'Brien as pilot to kill
the Raven. O'Brien agreed to this because Omer was threatening to flood his
home colony of Aspina with Kojima radiation, thus killing everyone there.

You know, the more I research the backstory of these games, the more I wonder
why the localization companies cut these games to pieces. It's been that way
since the original Armored Core, though. Well ACFA is the best so far, and we
can hope that eventually these games will be fully translated. We can hope. I'm
thinking about doing a plot analysis of AC4 and ACFA, if anyone's interested in
helping by contributing, please let me know. (:

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<o>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
MY AC (SP and MP, thank you)
Sarcasm
EKHAZAR-HEAD
EKHAZAR-CORE
AM-LAHIRE
03-AALIYAH/L
INBLUE
03-AALIYAH/G
03-AALIYAH/M
ARGYROS/B
03-AALIYAH/S
KRB-JUDITH
LABIATA
03-MOTORCOBRA
KAMAL
BM05-LAMIA
-
-
-

tuning:
CAP: 49, 50, 50, 0
ATK: 50, 0, 50, 0
ACQ: 0, 0, 0, 0
PA : 0, 0, 0, 0
BST: 50, 50, 0, 0
SBT: 43, 0, 0, 0
CTR: 0, 0, 0, 50

stabilizer:
Head L Side: EKHAZAR-HEAD-2
Core R Lower: SOLUH-CORE-1
Core L Lower: SOLUH-CORE-1
Legs Back: 063AN04001

paint
Frame
Main:	175, 0, 0	
Joint:	50, 50, 50
Eye:	255, 255, 255
Others:	0, 0, 0

Unit
Option: 175, 0, 0
Others:	0, 0, 0

Stabilizers
Main:	0, 0, 0
Support:175, 0, 0
Option:	255, 255, 255
Joint:	255, 255, 255

That's my baby.

You Know You've Played Too Much Armored Core When...
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
...you've sewn your emblem onto the left shoulder of all your shirts.
...you get annoyed when someone's AC looks even remotely like yours.
..."a mildly stressful situation" involves dodging barrage after barrage of
   WHEELING03, accurately aiming and firing your weapon and all the while 
   boosting into effective range.
...you don't understand the US government's stress over a missile defense grid
   because all you need is a MOTORCOBRA.
...you can remember the incredible stress of fighting another AC for the first
   time. Ahh... Valkyrie.
...you answer to your pilot's name.
...you name your car after your AC.
...you insist on using the same AC over and over again, even if you lose each
   time, just because it's your craft.
...you'll tear down a fully-functional, well-balanced AC if someone even sug-
   gests it looks a little like a Gundam.
...stabilizers start to piss you off for no good reason.
...you miss radiators and inside parts. Those bomblets WERE fun.
...you hate this guide and everything it stands for.
(FEEL FREE TO SEND IN YOUR OWN.)
_______________________________________________________________________________