Monday, February 20, 2012

Armored Core: For Answer

Armored Core: For Answer

Armored Core: For Answer is a 2008 3D mecha-based video game for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 developed by From Software and published by From Software in Japan and Ubisoft internationally. It is the 13th installment of From Software's Armored Core series. Armored Core: For Answer is the sequel to Armored Core 4, and takes place around ten years later. It was released in Japan on March 19, 2008, in North America on September 16, 2008 and in Europe on October 3, 2008.

AC customization has been changed from the previous Armored Core title, with a new interface and many new parts not found in Armored Core 4. Online mode returns with a new co-operative mode alongside the player versus mode. Gameplay enhancements included a power increase for both Quick Boost and Over Boost, as well as an auxiliary high speed booster known as Vanguard Over Booster (VOB). Another new feature in the game is the Assault Armor attack that becomes available by equipping certain OB parts. This attack uses up all available Primal Armor that the AC has and generates a huge blast consisting of Kojima (highly reactive particles) that destroys or damages all objects surrounding the AC. However, this also leaves the AC vulnerable because not only will the AC lose its PA, it will also not regenerate for a few seconds. Laser blades are deadlier because of the revamped laser blade attack. Once the blade has acquired a lock-on, the AC will instantly rush to the target, traveling a great distance to use the laser blade. All parts carried over from the previous game have had their parameters altered, much like the transition between previous series installments Silent Line and Nexus. The on-screen HUD can now be changed to any of 20 colors. There are now 442 FRS tuning points available to unlock, which is an increase from the 300 (PS3) and 337 (XBOX360) FRS points available in AC4. Maps are much larger and more detailed including environment damage such as collapsing buildings. The game is also the second in the series (after Last Raven) to feature multiple endings, with three different possible plot branches available depending on your actions and decisions in the game.

The North American Xbox 360 edition of For Answer was released advertising both online and off-line (local) cooperative play on the packaging, but as of early October, there has been no off-line cooperative option accessible in game, nor comment from Ubisoft or From Software.

* he League of Ruling Companies - A group of corporations that have banded together to control the world's economy, formed from the ashes of the Pax Economica. On paper, the League seeks to preserve peace and order within the corporate society, but the grim reality does not match these aims. Under their rule, the planet succumbed to rapid over development and pollution. 'The Cradle System' is a series of floating platforms developed by the League in order to house and protect millions of civilians from the nearly uninhabitable surface. Despite the appearance that the League is a united body, the corporations in fact continue to fight amongst one another, making the League little more than a shell organization. Member corporations of the League include:
o Global Armaments - After the LYNX War, GA was the dominant corporation, but lost power within the League to Omer, and have since begun to operate on their own, often allying with the rebuilt BFF. GA remains a leader in the field of heavy solid-state weapons.
o Bernard and Felix Foundation - After being rebuilt by GA following the LYNX War, BFF has frequently worked alongside its former enemy. However, its products have taken a steep decline in quality, as evidenced by their main Arms Fort.
o Rosenthal - Rosenthal has lost much of its power and prestige due to the increasing influence of its one-time subsidiary, Omer, within the League. Regardless, the company is still known for its sophisticated and balanced technology.
o Omer Science Technology - The dominant company within the League, Omer has nonetheless come under significant competition from corporations who have begun to operate independently of the organization. It has a deep rivalry with TORUS, due to each company's leadership in the field of Kojima technology.
o TORUS - A startup formed by a merger between GA Europe (after the organization broke off from GA America) and the remaining assets of Akvavit. Due to this acquisition, TORUS is a leader in the field of Kojima technology. It is on very poor terms with both GA and Omer. Supported by the Interior Union.
o Interior Union - Formed by a merger of Leonemeccanica and Melies after the LYNX War, Interior Union is known as a leader in the field of laser technology, with its products frequently surpassing even Rosenthal in terms of quality. Often at odds with GA due to Interior's possession of fossil fuels.
o ALGEBRA - Known as Eqbal during the LYNX War, ALGEBRA lost a great deal of its standing after sustaining heavy losses in that conflict. They nonetheless have persisted and rebuilt their organization, recruiting new LYNX in the process. They are currently aligned with Omer.
* Collared - Not technically a faction, this organization is under full jurisdiction of the League, responsible for management and control of the LYNX. Collared acts as an intermediary between the LYNX and the League. It has become nothing more than a watering hole for corporate agents out on assignments from their employers.

Opposing Factions

* Line Ark - The largest surface-based power, Line Ark is a maritime city-state formed by those who oppose the League and the Cradle system. They advocate democratic ideals and seem to be fighting for a just cause. Their motto of "accepting all who wish to enter" has attracted a large number of unfavorable types, resulting in the decay of their society. Few of their original ideals remain intact.

* ORCA - A mysterious rebel group that operates outside the League's rule. Their true aims are unknown, except that they oppose the League's Out of Sight, Out of Mind approach to handling the environmental damage done to the planet. They employ several top-class LYNXs and possess a military strength that can match the League's. They're led by a group of LYNX who refer to themselves as the Original Five


* The Protagonist: The unnamed protagonist of Armored Core for Answer. He does not speak. The story plays out entirely from his/her perspective.


* Unknown LYNX(aka Line Ark's Guardian): The pilot of White Glint's identity is unknown, but is hinted to be The Raven from Armored Core 4. The gender is disputed but most agree that the pilot is male. During the gameplay of Armored Core 4, The Raven is responsible for destroying the companies Rayleonard and the Bernard and Felix Foundation (BFF), although the latter returns to full size after receiving support from GA. The first White Glint appeared in AC4 piloted by Joshua O´Brien who single-handedly destroyed Akvavit.

* Maximillian Thermidor: The Leader of ORCA, he pilots the black and crimson mid-weight reverse-jointed craft, Unsung. His goal is to make Rayleonard's former vision a reality. Equal parts romanticist, visionary, and passionate demagogue. A complex, if not divided man, he is one of the Original Five.

* Malzel: A strategist and Maximillian Thermidor's right hand man & trusted friend, he formed ORCA with help from Omer Science while secretly plotting for the initiation of the Closed Plan. He pilots a black heavy NEXT, Opening. He participates in key ORCA operations, often taking his younger protege Vaoh, whose talent he discovered years ago.

* Neo Nidus: One of ORCA's top ranked LYNX. He is greatly feared for his remarkable AMS aptitude while piloting his NEXT Gachirin, a heavy Torus craft utilizing experimental Assault Armor weaponry which can cause great damage to its surroundings. He is one of the Original Five.

* Julius Emery: The only female LYNX in ORCA, often regarded to as the second coming of Joshua O'Brien. She pilots a lightweight NEXT that is tuned for long-range combat, utilizing powerful hard-hitting weaponry. She is one of the Original Five.

* Old King: He led the former armed rebel group Lilliana. Isolating himself from other ORCA to maintain his "outsider" status, his Algebra-based craft, Lisa, is reversed-legged and armed with a heavy shotgun.

* Shinkai: The only surviving Rayleonard LYNX, he now participates in the initiation of the Closed Plan. His NEXT, Split Moon, utilizes experimental parts passed down from his comrade, Anjou. He is one of the Original Five.

Corporate LYNX

* Lilium Wolcott: A female LYNX who inherited the prestigious Wolcott name. She is the new princess of Wong Shao-Lung's treasured BFF, but her graceful disposition sets her apart from the late Mary Shelley. She pilots an offensive front line craft, Ambient, and looks to Wong Shao-Lung as a senior figure. Younger sibling of Francesca and Eugene Wolcott, the pilots of Helix I and Helix II from AC4.

* Gerald Gendlin: A LYNX working for Rosenthal, his is the successor to Noblesse Oblige, Rosenthal's iconic NEXT, a symbol of the company's power utilizing powerful laser weaponry. Self righteous and dutiful, he often takes immediate action when lives are threatened.

* Otsdarva: Formerly from Rayleonard, Omer's trump card as the pilot of the AC Stasis. His home is the battlefield, where he's touted as a tactical genius and is Collared's Rank #1. Now he's turned his attention towards White Glint, and is determined to secure his spot at the top.

* Wynne D Fanchon: Interior's female LYNX, often referred to as "GA's disaster". Also known as the "Brass Maiden" by many front line soldiers. An aggressive LYNX who is famous for never failing a mission, her craft, Reiterpallasch, is lightweight but strikes hard. A proud LYNX, she despises those simply in the business for killing.

* Roadie: An experienced pilot who continues to pilot Feedback, an outdated craft armed with bazookas. He compensates his low AMS aptitude with raw battle experience. He is one of the few survivors of the LYNX War and is GA's top LYNX. He is respected and feared for his NEXT's bazooka wielding arms.

* CUBE: A cyborg test pilot for the Aspina corporation piloting an experimental craft dubbed Fragile; while he is not primarily a combat pilot, he is used by Aspina on specialized missions for data collection and often accompanies Omer's top ranked Otsdarva on missions of utmost importance to the League. Many LYNX have fallen to its inhuman piloting abilities.

* Shamir Raviravi: This LYNX is often called "Algebra's Femme-Arachnid". She pilots Red Rum, an insect-like four-legged craft equipped with a slug gun and other slug-based weaponry. Best in her element, she loves to get the drop on her enemies in adverse battle field situations.

* Takafumi Arisawa: The 43rd president of the Arisawa Heavy Industries, nicknamed "Shadow Warrior". He searches for an opponent for his beloved craft, Rai-Den, a heavy tank-type armed with grenades. His craft is the driving force behind all Arisawa technology.


* Fiona Jarnefeldt: Fiona Jarnefeldt is the operator of White Glint. She returns from Armored Core 4 to join Line Ark. As she tends to speak on behalf of the Unknown LYNX, she is frequently mistaken to be White Glint's pilot.

* Serene Haze: She is the protagonist's operator. Unlike other operators in series, she talks to protagonist in senior, or even teacher-like manner. This fact, coupled with several evidences in the game, implies her past as an experienced LYNX herself. Hinted to be Kasumi Sumika from Armored Core 4, she is voiced by Cindy Robinson in the US version.

Arms Forts

Large-scale weapons created by the Companies to replace NEXTs in military operations as well as keeping each company in The League in a state of checks and balances. They are many times larger and much more powerful than any single NEXT is, and are usually deployed in matters where a NEXT is neither available nor sufficient.

* Stigro: A marine-type Arms Fort from Interior Union, armed with massive scale laser blades and missiles, the Stigro is the fastest of all Arms Forts, but largely based in water. While an extremely well designed AF for combating enemy naval fleets it will not fair well against a NEXT. Appears in "Attack on Naval Port of Mimir", "Defeat AF Stigro" and "Defeat the 8th fleet"

* Spirit of Motherwill: A huge walking Arms Fort created by the Bernard and Felix Foundation. It is designed like a gargantuan aircraft carrier and is bristling with several homing missile launchers, long-ranged cannons, and many NORMAL units. Heavy armor made this AF indestructible from the outside. However, its design is fundamentally flawed. When the main gun batteries, missile launchers and the defensive guns in its midsection are destroyed, it causes the internal structure to catch fire. Sufficient destruction of these weapons will cause Spirit of Motherwill's reactors to overheat and explode. Appears in "Defeat The spirit of Motherwill", as well as the intro movie appearing when starting the game.

* Cabracan: A large, tower-like Algebra Transport/support AF with a shredder-like apparatus equipped to the front. All around defense made this AF totally indestructible by NEXT grade weaponry. However, its focus on defense results in it having far less firepower than many other AFs. Furthermore the steel plated 'skirt' that protects its treads must open up to adjust to the uneven surface while travelling, leaving the treads temporary vulnerable. Its top half contains its main offensive support weaponry, several hundred drones, as the launching of the drones requires the AF to detach the armor on the top half of its body, these drones will not be used unless stronger enemy forces are near or if the AF should suffer any larger damages lowering its otherwise high speed, its best way to avoid destruction. Appears in "Defeat AF Cabracan"

* Land Crab: A mass produced Arms Fort designed and used mostly GA, who seems to have sold some units to the Interior Union, GA Land Crabs are equipped with High Caliber Cannons, whereas the Interior Reequipped their units with precision laser cannons. Much like the mobile fortresses from Armored Core 4, they are easily destroyed from the underside. This AF is massively produced. Appears in "Attack on Richland", "Rescue the GA Transport Unit" and "Ambush Sphere Invasion Forces(Hard Mode)".

* Eclipse: Omer Science's Arms Fort, flight capable and equipped with a laser cannon that rotates a full 360 degrees around the craft. It relies on speed, the offensive power of its High Impact Laser cannon and vertical launch missiles (which actually fire downwards) Appear in "Defend Megalis" and "Defend Anti-Satellite Cannons"

* Answerer: A large hovering AF with the appearance of a topdown flower. It is armed with the latest in Energy based weaponry, including High Impact laser cannons, Kojima missiles, homing missiles, experimental Assault Armor and an amazingly large Kojima shield, similar to PA, that renders most long range attacks useless.

Heavy armor is used to protect its core. However to reduce its weight this AF only used standard armor for its outer shell, and its large "wings" housing the main HI Laser batteries are vulnerable to attacks . Appears in "Defeat AF Answerer"

* Sol Dios Orbit: A modified Land Crab Arms Fort created by TORUS with several Sol Dios Cannons that are capable of splitting off and operating independently from the main unit. However the Sol Dios Cannons take a while to engage, which might allow a fast moving NEXT to approach before it happens. In Normal Mode, the AF is equipped with 4 Sol Dios cannons while in Hard Mode, it has 6. Also worth noting that in Hard Mode, the Sol Dios cannons have the Assault Armor ability, which is utilized when a NEXT approaches it and gets too near. Appears in "Defeat Unidentified AF"

* Great Wall: Global Armament's primary Arms Fort, the very symbol of the company's power. It is several miles long and equipped with long range ballistics and heavy missile ordinance. Many consider it the "greatest land-based weapon" ever built. Heavily armored from the outside, the only way to defeat this AF is by traveling through the machine's rear and working one's way internally towards its power source. Great Wall can detach its individual segments as a last-ditch defensive method. The NEXT Rai-Den defends Great Wall once a segment detaches in Hard Mode. Appears in "Defeat AF Great Wall"

* Jet-Type: ORCA's special, custom-made AF, heavily armored except for a single exposed exhaust vent on its upper half. It is armed with multiple energy blades. Due to its small size design and relatively low cost this AF was massively produced. Appear in "Defeat ORCA's Special AF Unit"; miniature versions appear in "Defend Arteria Cranium (Hard Mode)"

* Giga Base: An amphibious AF, a relic from the age when developers still hadn't understood the power of the agile NEXTS. It is equipped with a very powerful long-ranged cannon and several homing missile launchers. However, its lack of defense against either fast-moving or close-range attacks make it vulnerable against the increasingly fast-moving NEXTs. Giga Base is capable of moving on land and water, as one appears in the distance to provide backup during the mission 'Defeat AF Cabracan' (backup is only provided on Normal Difficulty Mode). Also appear in "Defeat AF Giga Base" and "Clear Former Chinese Shanghai"

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