|Armored Core: For Answer|
|Universe||Armored Core 4 Universe|
|Publisher(s)||JP: From Software|
NA, EU: Ubisoft
|Release date||JP: March 19, 2008|
NA: September 16, 2008
EU: October 3, 2008
AUS: November 20, 2008
Armored Core: For Answer is a video game for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. 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 about ten years later.
It follows the story of an unnamed Lynx. There are 42 missions and 42 Ordered Battles (30 Collared, 12 ORCA).
The planet is in a decrepit and decaying state. Pollution from not only Human habitation, but from the hazardous waste given off by Kojima particles has caused the surface of the earth to become virtually unlivable. In desperate need of a solution, the remaining corporations from the Pax Economica build giant airborne habitats to house a majority of the populace - safeguarding them from the contaminated surface below. Some however, are forced to live on the surface. From that, a group of Lynxes who are discontented with the current social standards form a resistance force known as ORCA, and amass a formidable arsenal to battle against the corporations. Piloting the cutting-edge Armored Cores known as NEXTs, the player is thrust into the middle of the conflict between the corporations and ORCA. Each faction now controls super weapons known as Arms Forts that the player must battle against.
More than ten years have passed since the National Dismantlement War. A League of Corporations has taken over the world. To escape the pollution that poisons the surface of the planet, the League has built massive floating platforms called Cradles. Only there, 7,000 meters above the ground, is the air clean and safe. Already, half of mankind lives in the skies. The planet's surface has become a battlefield, where armies fight to control the resource plants that feed the Cradles.
As the war came to a close, giant humanoid weapons called Armored Core NEXTs enabled the League to firmly establish their rule of the planet. Their pilots are called Lynx. Fearing the power and independence of these NEXTs, the League left them behind on the surface. The Lynx now work as mercenaries for an organization called Collared.
While the League armies derive their power from massive Arms Forts, the once-mighty NEXTs are consigned to the poisoned Earth, serving as footsoldiers in the never-ending Economic War.
- The League of Ruling Companies: A group of corporations that have banded together to control the world's economy. 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. However, many people see this as only a temporary solution, as the surface-based facilities known as Arteria which power these Cradles produce more pollution into the atmosphere. It is only a matter of time before the pollution reaches the Cradles floating 7000 metres up in the atmosphere. (See List of the corporations under the League)
- Collared: Not much to be called a faction, but an organization under full jurisdiction of the League which manages and controls the LYNX'.
- Line Ark: Largest surface-based power. Line Ark is a maritime city-state formed by those who oppose the League and their Cradle system.
- ORCA: A mysterious group that operates outside the League's rule, led by Maximillian Thermidor. Their true aims are unknown, except that they oppose the mankind's exodus from the surface. They are comprised of several top-class LYNXs and possesses a military strength that can match the League's.
- Anatolia's Mercenary (Line Ark's Guardian): The former protagonist of AC4, he now pilots White Glint; reminiscing his deceased comrade and serves as Line Ark's "greatest military asset". Depending on mission choices, the player can either support or fight him. Either way, he is defeated, and Fiona states that he is unable to continue, although it is unclear whether or not he was killed, as Fiona states that White Glint was disabled, not completely destroyed. It is a common misconception that he is regarded as female, due to those who have not played AC4 hearing the voice of Fiona and believing that she is the pilot, and because of a mistranslation in the Order match description stating he as a she.
- Maximilian Thermidor: The Leader of Orca, He pilots a black and red coloured mid-weight reverse-jointed craft, Unsung. His goal is to succeed and make Rayleonard's former vision a reality. Equal parts romanticist, visionary, and passionate demagogue, he is a complex, if not divided man. He is one of the Original five. He believes that carrying out the former Rayleonard's "Closed Plan" will open the last frontier for mankind...Outer Space. He shares some personality and AC part design with Berlioz in Armored Core 4. It is revealed during "Attack on Arteria Cranium" (on Hard Mode only) that Thermidor is actually Otsdarva, who faked his apparent death when his boosters malfunctioned during a fight with White Glint. Otsdarva then became a double agent for the League, infiltrating ORCA, and betraying the player during the aforementioned mission.
- Oldking: 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. He is portrayed in the missions in which he appears (Defend/Destroy Cradle 03) as a genocidal maniac who verbally expresses excitement and hums cheerful jigs while up to a hundred million people are killed. The player (oftenly refered to as "Lap Dog" by Oldking himself) can access a special ending paired with Old King once sufficent ORCA missions are fulfilled in which Oldking and the player embark upon killing spree murdering a hundred million innocents and then fighting against the four top ranked Lynx of Collared collectively.
- Malzel: A young strategist and Maximillian Thermidor's right hand man and trusted friend. He pilots a black heavy GA NEXT, Opening, for key ORCA operations, he suggests going to Big Box taking his younger prodigy Vaoh whose talent he discovered years ago. He is well aware that he might die but like he says - We all have to die someday.
- Wynne D Fanchon: Interior Union's top female Lynx, often referred to as "GA's disaster". Also known as the "Brass Maiden" by many front line soldiers, she pilots Reiterpallasch. An aggressive Lynx who is famous for never failing a mission, her craft is lightweight but strikes hard. Proud of her everyday work, she despises those simply in the business for killing. As the story continues, she discovers that ORCA is being supported by The League, and she will form her own cell of LYNX to help her defend the last bastion against the remaining ORCA forces. Depending on what mission path the Player takes (mainly those requiring them to crush The League's enemies) she will ask for, and require Strayed's assistance.
- Neo Nidus: One of ORCA's top ranked Lynx. He is greatly feared for his remarkable AMS aptitude whilst piloting his NEXT Gachirin and his clever tactics on the battlefield. His NEXT, a heavy Torus craft utilizes experimental Assault Armour weaponry which can often cause great damage to surrounding NEXTs when approached.
- 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, who piloted Prometheus in Armored Core 4. She pilots an offensive front line craft, Ambient. She respects Wong Shao-Lung greatly as a senior figure despite having surpassed him in rank and capability and often follows his wishes and commands selflessly.
- Gerald Gendlin: Gerald is a Lynx working for Rosenthal, and is the successor to Leonhardt as the Lynx of Noblesse Oblige. Noblesse Oblige is Rosenthal's iconic NEXT and is often considered a symbol of the company's power utilizing powerful laser weapons. Very self-righteous and proud, Gerald often takes immediate action when lives are threatened.
- Otsdarva: Formerly from Rayleonard, this is Omer's trump card as the pilot of the AC Stasis. His home is the battlefield, where he's known as a tactical genius and rank 1 in the Collared ranks. Now he's turned his attention toward the infamous White Glint, and is determined to secure his spot at the top.
- Roadie: An experienced pilot who continues to pilot an outdated craft armed with bazookas known as Feedback. He makes up for a low AMS aptitude with battle experience. He is one of the few survivors of the Lynx War and one of GA's top Lynx. Portrayed as a righteous senior figure, he is respected by most for his experienced judgements on the battlefield and often feared alike for his NEXT's bazooka wielding arms.
- CUBE: A cyborg test pilot for the Aspina corporation piloting an experimental X-SOBRERO craft by the name of Fragile. whilst 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 group. It is stated that many Lynx have fallen to its inhuman piloting abilities. The only LYNX in the game to use the X-SOBRERO NEXT.
- 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 battlefield situations taking sadistic delight in culling her victims like sheep.
- Fiona Jarnefeldt: Fiona Jarnefeldt is White Glint's operator. She and the protagonist of Armored Core 4 decided to leave Anatolia after its destruction and became members of Line Ark in the Armored Core for Answer storyline. She alongside Anatolia's mercenary are accused by Otsdarva of being responsible for "Anatolia's Downfall."
- Serene Haze: She is the protagonist's operator. Unlike other operators in the Armored Core franchise, she talks to the player character with seniority, almost like an instructor. She is actually Kasumi Sumika, an Original from Armored Core 4. She is voiced by Cindy Robinson in the English-language version.
Main Article: List of Arms Forts in Armored Core: For Answer
Armored Core: For Answer has three different endings based on which missions the player selects at certain steps in the game.
- Ending 1: After Malzel and Vaoh are taken out at BIG BOX, the League suddenly starts disengaging from the conflict, despite the fact that Thermidor is still on track to carry out the Closed Plan, which would bring down the Cradles in the process. The player is contacted by Wynne D Fanchon, who informs The Protagonist that the League is secretly complicit in ORCA's plans and is sitting on the sidelines despite the casualties that will result from the Closed Plan. Fanchon and a small group of LYNX break off from Collared, including the player, who accompanies Fanchon to Arteria Cranium to confront Thermidor and Shinkai. The two ORCA LYNX are destroyed during the battle, after which Fanchon identifies Thermidor as Otsdarva, believed to be dead. Subsequent to this battle, the League suddenly re-engages the conflict and destroys all remaining ORCA assets, leaving humanity to live safely in the clouds...Until the Kojima particle radiation on the Earth reaches further up to the Cradles, wiping out the rest of Humanity.
- Ending 2: After defending the Anti-Satellite Cannons and destroying the Arms Fort Answerer, the player receives a posthumous message from Thermidor, who informs The Protagonist that he is the only remaining ORCA LYNX and that in order to carry out the Closed Plan, Arteria Cranium must be seized. Once at Arteria Cranium, The Protagonist confronts Wynne D Fanchon and Roy Saaland (as well as Otsdarva if set to hard mode) and defeats both of them. After this, the power from Arteria Cranium is redirected to the Anti-Satellite Cannons, which cause the Cradles to come crashing down. While this causes a large number of the people inhabiting the Cradles to die from Kojima Exposure, it also allows the Cannons to blow away the Assault Cells that kept mankind from accessing outer space.
- Ending 3: Old King approaches The Protagonist with an offer to bring down the Cradles by attacking them directly. This plan begins at Cradle 03, which results in the deaths of 100 million people. The Protagonist and Old King are subsequently lured to Arteria Carpals by a fabricated mission request from the Interior Union, which was really made by the top LYNX of Collared (Fanchon, Wolcott, Roadie, and Otsdarva - In addition to Kasumi, Your previous operator if set to hard mode) to draw out and kill the LYNX who destroyed the Cradle. A battle ensues, during which Old King dies at the hands of the Collared LYNX. However, the Protagonist ends up defeating all four enemy NEXTs and subsequently goes on to destroy the remaining Cradles, becoming the greatest monster in the history of the planet.
- GA America
- Interior Union
- Omer Science Technology
- Line Ark (not a company, but possesses limited industrial capacity)
- Akvavit (destroyed, merged with GA Europe to form TORUS)
- GA Europe (destroyed, merged with Akvavit to form TORUS)
- Rayleonard (destroyed, assets seized by Omer Science)