- "There are never any guarantees in war. It's up to us to win, up to us to come home alive. And we have every reason to want to win."
- ―Ken in the briefing for Mother Ship.
Ken Thomas is a character in the Airforce Delta series who appears as the protagonist and one of the main playable characters in Airforce Delta Strike.
Ken is the 3rd Element 3rd position of Delta Squadron and a former space pilot who was stationed at a space station that was destroyed prior to the events of AFD Strike.
Little is known about Ken's life before the events of the game. What is known is that he was a space pilot, along with his girlfriend Ellen McNichol, stationed at a space station. He defended the station from enemies until the day the O.C.C. declared war on the E.D.A.F.. The station was destroyed and Ken and Ellen tried to escape. Ken received a scar on his nose during the escape. Ellen was said to have been sucked out into space, and was presumed dead. Ken survived and was later sent to Delta Squadron for political reasons.
Ken is portrayed as a calm, tough, serious, quiet, and vengeful man who, underneath his cool facade, is extremely emotional. He shows little hesitation towards killing his enemies and willfully flies straight at them. This leads others (such as Ruth) to believe that he has a death wish, but, as revealed in the game's manual, he is only trying to escape from his grief. He remains true to his mission of avenging his girlfriend.
Ken is a dark-haired 25 year-old man of slightly above-average height and athletic build. He has gray eyes and appears to be of Asian descent. His most notable feature is the scar on his nose.
Events of AFD Strike
Ken is the first character in the game who the player can play as. The game opens with him, Ruth, and John being launched from an airborne aircraft carrier to defend the city of Lugerde from O.C.C. bombers. Ken displays hesitation towards the mission at first. The trio arrive at the city only to find it being destroyed by the bombers. They shoot the bombers down while encountering Sergei Kinski. Sergei is possibly shot down and the 3rd Element manages to destroy all the bombers, completing the mission. Afterwards, Ruth, Ken, and Amelia Johnson go on a tour of the airbase to see the various rooms. Lilia Mihajlovna also shows them the briefing room at the start. Ken was carrying Ruth's bags.
Later, 3rd Element is called upon to destroy a fuel refinery in the Cartila Desert. They encounter Giuseppe Ferretti during the mission. Giuseppe is possibly shot down and the three manage to destroy the refinery, completing the mission. Then, commander Robert Williams arranges a meeting between the various pilots of the Delta Squadron. Jamie Jones, Rick Campbell, Alex Levine, Holst Prendre, Pedro Glankert, and Brian Douglas are introduced. When Ken introduces himself, he just says "I'm Ken Thomas." and nothing else. Robert asks him if that's all and Ken asks him what's the problem and Robert then leaves him alone.
In the next mission, Ruth, John, and Ken are called upon to deal with enemy fighters over Terranos Island. Among them are Leon Kleiser and Albert Ungar. The trio manage to defeat them and succeed in their mission. In the mission's debriefing, the pilots and Lilia talk about Albert, and Ken mentions that anyone from the O.C.C. is an enemy of him. Ruth gets mad, and so does John who tells Ken not touch his prey. Ken and John then leave.
Later, John goes missing and Ruth and Ken are ordered to patrol the Haben Ravine with Bravo Squadron pilots David Smith, Collette Le Clerc, and Constance Le Clerc. On the way, they are intercepted by fighters, though, with help from Bravo, they are able to fight them off. When they reach the ravine, David accidentally pulls up and his plane gets destroyed by the anti-aircraft net. David manages to bail out, and then Collette and Constance try to attack one of the strange steamroller-like battleships. They fail and when they try to pull up, they crash, forcing them to bail. Ruth and Ken then fly through the ravine and although they encounter more battleships, they manage to make their way to the gate. They destroy the gate units and the gate opens, allowing them to fly through it, completing their mission. After the mission, Ruth argues with Ken about the insistence on the total destruction of the enemy forces. Ken angrily states that he lost everything and there is nothing left for him but to wipe the enemy out. Ruth starts to feel sympathy and just as Ken is about to leave, David appears and tells Ken not to underestimate him. Ken says that nobody's underestimating David and David says that Ken will find out why he's the 1st Element leader of his squadron. Ken says that he couldn't care less, and then leaves, much to David's annoyance.
Later, Ken works with all the other pilots to capture the enemy's transport squadron, and to destroy the enemy airships surrounding the transports, then to guide the transports back into friendly airspace. They succeed in their mission. Afterwards, Lilia reveals that General Bolotnikov, a decorated general from the O.C.C., has defected. Ken and Jamie get angry and Ken wants to deal with Bolotnikov, believing that he is still an enemy, but others stop him. Later, Ken and the other pilots fly to the Drycharl Desert to destroy a new anti-aircraft system, tornado generators. Along the way, they encounter Donald Chan and two reinforcements. John leaves the mission zone to deal with an enemy air squadron. Despite this, the pilots manage to deal with Donald and the other enemies, and they head into the Drycharl Desert where they destroy the tornado machines and the operations base. If the player plays the Intercept mission before Twister with John, a mission called Lone Wolf, where John fights the enemy squadron, will appear in place of Twister. Towards the end of the mission, Ken and Ruth show up and after Ruth asks John what is his status, Ken tells him he caused a hell of a mess. Ruth tells Ken to orbit and backup John while she keeps the bandits in check and Ken agrees and says, "Well that's about it." After some fighting, Ruth will tell John and Ken that they are about to hit bingo fuel and orders them to disengage and leave the hot zone and these are orders and to leave the battle zone now. Ken agrees and the trio leave the battle zone. In the debriefing, after Lilia says she wonders what happened and says that the enemies were all just pray to John before he met this person, Ken will say he guesses this one sparked John's interest and he tells Robert and Lilia he should better get some rest and leaves. If the player plays the mission Lone Wolf, then completes the game as John, then starts a new game, and plays Twister with either Ruth or Ken, a mission called Far Behind will appear where Ruth and Ken meet up with John who is dealing with the enemy squadron lead by Francine Davout and Jake Emerson. If the player plays as Ruth, Ken will tell John that they just came to say hello and tells him that they don't want to lose any combat assets. He then asks Ruth for backup from above, says he will approach, and tells John to play it by ear. After some fighting, Ken says that they are approaching bingo fuel and they are sitting ducks like this. John sarcastically thanks them for 'the lame backup' and Ken tells him that he should be just about out to and they should withdraw. They then leave the combat zone. In the debriefing, when Lilia says that Francine must have really intrigued John and asks Ken what happened, he states that he doesn't really know and has never seen John like this before.
Later, Ken, along with Ruth, John, Jamie, Rick, and Alex, is called upon to defend Ballga airbase from enemy fighters. They encounter Sergei and eventually, they also encounter Albert and Ellen, who chase after Ken, and when Ellen says "Storm this is Doll!", Ken is shocked to discover that Ellen is still alive, and even more so that she is on the side of the enemy. 1st and 3rd Elements manage to deal with the enemy fighters and they succeed in defending the airbase. In the debriefing, Ken is still shocked to see Ellen again. Then Ruth appears and asks him what's wrong, then Lilia shows up and tells Ruth what Ken was before joining Delta, that Ken was a space pilot stationed at a space station and Ellen flew the 2nd plane in his Element. When the O.C.C. declared war on the E.D.A.F., they attacked the space station and Ellen was believed to had been killed, then she was captured and brainwashed b the O.C.C.. Lilia orders Ken to shoot down Ellen as she is the enemy. Ken leaves.
Later, all Elements of Delta Squadron are sent to assist ground troops in regaining control of the Chiron orbital lift in Armagest City. On their way, they are ambushed by Sergei and Giuseppe, along with two reinforcements. They manage to deal with them and they head for Armagest. There, they encounter Pierre Gallo and if the player is playing as John, Ken tells Pierre that he's not worth his time. They manage to destroy the anti-air radar system and shoot down Pierre, completing their mission.
Later, Delta Squadron is called upon to destroy the Kotor Stronghold. On their way, they encounter Francine and Jake a second time. The 1st and 3rd Elements manage to wipe out the enemy air forces while the 2nd Element deals with the ground targets. When they reach the Kotor Stronghold, they are attacked by Albert and Sergei and Albert converses with Ken, but only if Ken is not under the player's control. The Delta Squadron manages to fly through several underground bunkers and destroy the internal hatches with help from Land Walker. If Sergei is left alive after the 5th hangar has been destroyed, he must be killed. Sergei is then shot down and killed and the Delta Squadron succeeds in their mission. In the debriefing, when Jamie wants to gamble based on the number of enemies shot down, Ken tells him that he and John are in Ruth's squadron and that they wouldn't lose to an old man on a kill count. Suddenly, they see a flash where Kotor is. Ruth asks what is happening and Ken says that the war clearly isn't over yet.
Later, the Delta Squadron is called upon to clear a path for bombers that are being sent to attack the enemy's new railguns. Along the way, they encounter five enemy bombers and Pierre. They manage to deal with them and head to Marinor Glen. At the canyon, large wind turbines are activated, creating a barrier of wind above the canyon. Ken, Ruth, and John are accompanied by David, Collette, and Constance, but they get knocked out by the wind. As they fly through the canyon, they are pursued by Albert, Ellen, and two reinforcements. Albert briefly converses with Ken, but only if Ken is not being played as. Ellen also converses with Ken. Eventually, they manage to reach where the machines are located, and they destroy the machines by breaking their supports, causing them to topple over, completing the mission. In the debriefing, Ken is worried if he is unable to fight Ellen, and some of the other pilots get worried as well.
Later, all Delta units are called upon to attack the Navarone battery, home to three of the enemy's new large-bore railguns. Along the way, they encounter Francine and Jake again, and Jake is killed during the fight. They also encounter strange prototype vehicles shaped like crabs, the 2nd Element manages to destroy them. When the reach where the railguns are located, all the bombers are shot down by one of them. David, Collette, and Constance enter one of the railguns and they blow it up. Amelia tells them to leave the battle zone. The Delta Squadron manage to destroy the other two railguns, completing their mission.
Later, Delta Squadron is called upon to attack the Chiron orbital lift in Armagest City, to prevent the enemy from attempting to resupply. During the mission, they are attacked by Donald and Ellen. Donald is killed if he is shot down, although he is not required to be shot down. Ellen is not required to be shot down either. The lift eventually comes online and Delta attacks the elevator car and they manage to stop it, completing the mission. However, Pierre discovers this, and, flying a large mech, fires a powerful laser beam at the lift, causing it to explode and slowly break up.
Later, Delta Squadron is forced to deal with the fragments of the orbital lift, and prevent the large fragments from falling to Earth to avoid disaster. They encounter Albert, who converses with Ken if he is not under the player's control. They eventually manage to destroy the fragments and succeed in their mission.
Then, 1st and 3rd Elements are called upon to head over to the Uranometria base and provide cover for the last heavy-lift vehicle (HLV) known as Starlight as it takes off. They encounter Leon one last time. Leon is killed if he is shot down, though the mission does not require him to be. Delta manages to destroy the Crabs clinging to the Starlight, allowing it to speed up to prepare for launch. It eventually picks up enough speed and launches. The Starlight then flies high in the air and the Delta Squadron docks on it. The Starlight then flies into space and, along with several other HLVs, approaches the mothership Isis, completing the mission.
Later, Delta Squadron is called upon to defend the E.D.A.F. armada from enemy fighters and mechs. If Ellen is still on the enemy's side, she will appear in the mission and converse with Ken if he is not being played as. Delta eventually manages to wipe out the enemy formation, completing the mission.
Then, Delta is called upon to attack the L-2 Colony where the main O.C.C. base is believed to be located. 1st and 3rd Elements attack the fighters and mechs, while 2nd Element attacks the enemy space ships. Francine is encountered during the mission, wanting to avenge Jake's death, but she fails. Delta manages to win the battle, but then it is revealed that the L-2 Colony was not the enemy's main base. The main characters discover that the O.C.C. is being lead by an alien known as Navigator and all the highly advanced technology was created by him. Ken gets angry during the debriefing about the fact that the O.C.C. sold out the Earth. They also learn that Navigator is located on the planet Mars, and they decide to head there.
Delta is then called upon to defend four ships as they descend to Mars' surface from enemies. They encounter Francine one last time, and she is killed. Delta then manages to fight off the enemies, but three of the ships have been destroyed. Luckily, they are able to defend Isis, the last ship, as it reaches Mars' surface. There, the E.D.A.F. troops construct a base and prepare for the final battle.
The Last Duel
If the player does not unlock Ellen and plays the mission Priority and plays Rush Into the Red Star with Ruth, a mission called The Last Duel will appear where Ruth fights Ellen and kills her. In the debriefing, Ken feels sad and Ruth apologizes. Ken tells her that Ellen was the enemy and he would have done the same thing in her shoes. He then calms down and says thanks to Ruth for saving him and leaves.
In the final missions for 3rd Element, Mother Ship and Inside, Ken takes part and they manage to destroy the spheres attached to the fortress causing the core to open. They destroy the core and the fortress breaks up, revealing a large crystalline structure creating a large portal. They fly through the portal, and they find themselves inside the Mars' polar cap. They fly through narrow passageways, through doors that constantly open and close and they encounter three robots which can be destroyed. Eventually, they enter what appears to be a large cave where they encounter Pierre flying a large mech. They manage to defeat Pierre and when he tries to regroup, he crashes and gets killed. They fly through another tunnel and they find Navigator. They kill him and manage to escape just before the doors close.
If the player unlocks Ellen and plays Mother Ship and Inside with Ken, he and Ellen converse with each other about Ken leaving. Ken smiles and states that a little staff officer once said that Delta's job is to make the impossible possible, and that they should still find a place to have dates. Ellen states that she's going with Ken and that she knows a thing or two about making the impossible possible. Ken gets worried that they would get separated again, but Ellen reassures him that they always find their way back together and that they'll find their way back this time too. Ken smiles and says "Alright Ellen. Well, shall we?" and Ellen says that they should go. They head to the briefing room and Lilia and Amelia inform them about large missiles approaching Earth, and that it'll be an even bigger disaster than the time with Chiron tower. They also say that all other Delta members have gone off to intercept and that Ken and Ellen are the last two left. The two agree and Lilia tells them that they get to fly their old-regulation space fighters again. They head off to deal with the missiles and Ken enters one of them. There, he encounters Albert and fights him. He manages to shoot down Albert, killing him. Ellen then says to hurry and that they will enter Earth's atmosphere soon. Ellen's communication suddenly breaks up. A cutscene then shows Ken entering a small tunnel in the missile and he fires a missile at the door which was about to close. He then escapes the missile as it explodes. Then, a space fighter is shown landed on the sand of a beach, and footsteps and a helmet are shown. It is left for the player to interpret whoever this plane and helmet belong to as either Ken or Ellen.
To unlock Ellen as a playable character, the player must play as Ken and shoot down Ellen every time she appears. The debriefings for the missions Up Stream, Meteor Structure, and Departure will then change. In the one for Up Stream, Ken gets upset about having Ellen as an enemy, and Ruth tries to comfort him. Then Lilia appears and angrily tells Ken not to leave them and informs them that fragments of the Chiron lift are approaching Earth, and that they must stop them from falling to Earth to avoid disaster. In the debriefing for Meteor Structure, everyone celebrates their victory and then they notice a strange plane. The pilot is then revealed to be an unbrainwashed Ellen who Ken is overjoyed to see. Lilia tells him that the army is having Ellen on probation and that Ellen had a scribbled note from Albert stating that they must fight. Ken gets irritated at this. After some talk with Lilia, Ken starts feeling joy over Ellen's return. Ellen is then unlocked after Departure.
- Call sign: Viper 3
- T.A.C. name: Crow
- Plane colors: Blue with black and white lines.
Characters who can be killed by Ken
- Sergei Kinski - Killed in Tiger's Cave.
- Jake Emerson - Killed in R-Mite.
- Donald Chan - Can be killed in Up Stream.
- Leon Kleiser - Can be killed in Departure or Decision.
- Francine Davout - Killed in Rush Into the Red Star.
- Pierre Gallo - Killed in Inside.
- Navigator - Killed in Inside.
- Albert Ungar - Killed in The Confront (optional mission).
- F-5E Tiger II
- MiG-21bis "Fishbed N"
- Su-20 "Fitter C"
- MiG-29SMT "Fulcrum C"
- Su-27LL-UV (PS)
- YF-17 Cobra
- F/A-22 Raptor
- Hunter FGA9
- Su-17M "Fitter D"
- BLUE WING KNIGHTS
- operation code H4
- The "GALE"
- Team Bravo
- Force Scout
- Over the Cloud
- Encount (Twister) (Optional mission)
- Lone Wolf (Optional mission/Not playable)
- Far Behind (Optional mission)
- Doll Master
- Encount (Night Blitz) (Optional mission)
- Night Blitz
- Encount (Tiger's Cave)
- Tiger's Cave
- New Generation (Optional mission)
- Wind Valley (Optional)
- Turning Point
- Up Stream
- Meteor Structure
- Decision (Optional mission/Not playable)
- The Defender (Optional)
- The Decisive Battle (Not playable)
- Rush Into the Red Star
- The Last Duel (Optional mission/Debriefing)
- Mother Ship
- The Confront (Optional mission)
- Ken may be the most recognizable character in the game. As he appears in the game's boxart, is the first character to be played as, and has some of the most useful airplanes in the game.
- Ken is the only protagonist in the Airforce Delta series to have a known name, and the second one to have physical appearance after the Airforce Delta Storm Protagonist. The aforementioned protagonist and the Airforce Delta Protagonist were not given names and the latter did not appear physically.
- In the Japanese version of the game, Ken's name is 'Kazuya.'
- Ken is known for flying planes with a blue paint job. This leads to enemy aces (such as Albert and Pierre) to refer to him as 'Pale Blue' or 'Mr. Blue' or 'Mr. Blue Jet'.
- There is a real-life person named Ken Thomas who is the founder of the Buffalo Soldiers MC. This is likely a coincidence.
|Airforce Delta Strike Characters|
|Ken Thomas · Ruth Valentine · John Rundal · Jamie Jones · Rick Campbell · Alex Levine · Holst Prendre · Pedro Glankert · Brian Douglas · Robert Williams · Lilia Mihajlovna · Amelia Johnson · Harry Garrett · Bob Takayanagi · David Smith · Collette Le Clerc · Constance Le Clerc · Navigator · Albert Ungar · Pierre Gallo · Ellen McNichol · Sergei Kinski · Giuseppe Ferretti · Francine Davout · Leon Kleiser · Donald Chan · Jake Emerson|