Ace Combat 04 Shattered Skies/YMMV

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  • Demonic Spiders: The Yellow Squadron planes except the ones at the end, which are piloted by inferior pilots can be REALLY REALLY ANNOYING to get a bead on, while they don't have as much of a problem shoving missiles up your tailpipe. And that's assuming that you're on a mission where you can even shoot them down (note that only in "Lifeline" and "Shattered Skies" do the Yellows have invincibility; in Lifeline they don't even have collision detection, but connecting with a shot against a Yellow in Shattered Skies results in Yellow 13 mentioning it).
    • AA guns as well. They fire fast, are hard to avoid and on the higher difficulties the damage they do can't be repaired.
    • SAMs, without a doubt, which are like AA guns but instead fire missiles at you. On higher difficulties, getting hit by even one missile is an instant Game Over.
  • Game Breaker: The QAAM missile is this in spades. While it has the same range as the standard missiles available to all aircraft, the difference comes in its accuracy. Nine times out of ten, it will hit your intended aircraft. If it misses? It simply makes another round and tries again until it decides to give up. Those demonic spider Yellows? They fear this missile.
  • Goddamned Bats: SAM sites. They're everywhere, they're constantly launching missiles at you, and they're only worth thirty points.
    • Flak Guns. The third and (thankfully) least common anti-air weapon in the game. They shoot flak into the sky, too far for you to target back. They're easily avoided by flying low, but in doing so they make you vulnerable to SAMs or AA guns in the area, in addition to making you risk a crash.
  • Non Sequitur Scene: In-Universe, the Wyvern is mentioned as the latest in Erusean technology, but isn't encountered anywhere in the game. You have to fight off a whole squadron of them in Operation Katina in The Unsung War, but they're also not mentioned through the story or comm chatter (the game even speaks about UAVs in the ending instead, which the Wyverns are most decidedly not).
    • Ace Combat 04 is in fact one of only two games in the Ace Combat universe where the super-fighter of the game doesn't actually factor into the game itself other than as a player reward. Ace Combat 2 is sort of the other one: one of its two superfighters, the XFA-27, is only a player reward like the X-02 here, but the other, the ADF-01, is piloted by the True Final Boss after shooting him down every time he shows up in a conventional fighter.
  • The Woobie: The poor narrator. His family is killed when a plane crashes on his home, he's left in the care of an unemployed and negligent uncle, and the only people he's made friends with are the enemy soldiers occupying his town who are all killed by Mobius 1. Fortunately, it seems he's done well for himself after the war, and doesn't hold a grudge against Mobius 1.