The Ace Battle mission archetype appears in Airforce Delta Storm. It involves pursuing United Forces aces on the map screen, and once they are intercepted, engaging and shooting the ace down. There are four of these ace battles in the game.
Aces generally have better skills compared to the average AI pilot. However, the big difference between aces and normal pilots is that aces can withstand much more damage than the average enemy plane, and generally dish out huge amounts of damage (Well over 1,000 HP of damage per missile, and under 100 HP of damage per vulcan bullet) as well.
After killing the aces, you unlock the planes they were using for free.
Ace battles aren't that difficult. The AI isn't that much more improved than normal pilots, and while they can dish out incredible damage, you should be trying to make an effort to avoid getting shot.
An important note is, it's possible to screw with the enemy AI; As seen in the walkthrough videos, doing a specific maneuver will screw the AI up, and make it drift a certain direction constantly. This turns ace battles from something that was already pretty easy into an absolute joke.
When it comes to actually pursuing the ace on the map, it is highly recommended to have a plane with a high range. Lower ranged planes will have trouble catching up to the ace, constantly having to stop to do Intercept missions along the way. A good strategy is to merely camp around your own territory; Generally, the ace will wander about the map, and will eventually arrive in your side of the map, letting you go straight to him to engage.
- Shoot down the ace
NOTE: This applies to all four missions; There is only one difference to the mission map dialogue for Shadows of the Unknown.
We've received word from all air-defense squadrons. They've been receiving heavy losses from United Forces fighters. It seems there's an ace just like you flying for the United Forces. We can't afford to sustain any more losses. You are to intercept the enemy fighter immediately and dispense with him. Over and out.
Delta Leader: The fighter detected belongs to the enemy's ace pilot. Give it all you've got.
[Shadows of the Unknown has Delta Leader say something slightly different.]
Delta Leader: The fighter detected is the enemy's new model. Give it all you've got.
Delta Leader: Unidentified fighter headed this way fast! Signal analysis says it's a United Forces fighter. Request permission to engage!
Control: Report confirmed. Permission to engage granted. Take it out of commission!
[camera pans to the ace you'll be battling, before it shows you and the plane flying past each other]
[pre-mission cutscene ends, no other dialogue present]
Gallery (Enemy/NPCs, all levels)
Double-Winged Condor is the first of these ace-battle missions. It involves attacking, as the title of the mission would suggest, an ace piloting a MiG-II Fishbed zwei.
The reward for this mission is 60,000 credits plus either 33,000 credits or 66,000 credits depending on how the ace here was shot down. The MiG-II Fishbed zwei is also unlocked for free.
- The music that plays in this level is the song that also plays during Oppression and Escape at Dawn.
- The terrain is rocky, and the sky is set during a bright orange sunset.
Assassin at Mach
Assassin at Mach is the second of the ace-battle missions. It involves attacking an ace, this time piloting the Lavi.
The reward for this mission is 70,000 cedits, plus either 20,000 credits or 40,000 credits depending on how the ace was shot down. The Lavi is also put in your hangar for free.
- The music that plays in this level is the song that plays during Defending the Zayno and The Quiet March.
- The terrain is rocky, and the time of day seems to be dawn.
The Elite of the Desert
The Elite of the Desert is the third and penultimate ace-battle mission. It involves hunting and eliminating an ace in a MiG-1.44 MFI.
The reward for this mission is 80,000 credits, plus either 60,000 credits or 120,000 credits, depending on how the ace was shot down. You are also rewarded the mighty MiG-1.44, which can serve you very well.
- The music that plays in this level is the same song that plays during Streets of Rust.
- The terrain is, again, rocky, and the time of day appears to be cloudy and stormy (Fitting, considering the ace's paint job).
Shadows of the Unknown
Shadows of the Unknown is the fourth and final ace-battle level. It involves attacking an ace piloting the best plane in the game, the XF-0002 Phosphorus, which is clearly based on the flagship of the popular Gradius series by Konami.
The reward for this mission is 100,000 credits, plus either 57,300 credits or 114,600 credits depending on how the ace was shot down. You also unlock the terrifying Phosphorus for yourself!
- The music that plays in this level is a unique theme song that plays whenever you use the Phosphorus for yourself.
- The terrain is rocky, and the sky is set during a bright orange sunset, partially obscured by dark clouds.
- In the Japanese version of Airforce Delta Storm, Shadows of the Unknown instead had the title of From Legend to Myth. This is a reference to the video game Gradius III, which had the subtitle of From Legend to Myth.
- In the PAL version of Airforce Delta Storm, the ace from Assassin at Mach has a different paint scheme.
- The cutscenes in the PAL version have slightly modified camera angles; for example, when the two planes fly by each other, instead of a ground-view, it shows a view from behind your plane.