Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Walkthrough/Strategy Guide/FAQ
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Walkthrough


Nightmare



When you gain control of the jet, the first thing you're required to do is press both LB and RB buttons, which engages Dogfight Mode. You can enter Dogfight Mode if you get behind another fighter and the green circle appears around them. While dogfighting, you don't have to worry about actually piloting. Your plane will automatically stay on the tail of your foe. All you have to worry about is shooting. Put the green reticule on the other plane and press A to fire your machine guns. You can also press B to fire your missiles, but only after you've locked on to him. He'll eventually run into a building, so there's no worries if you can't kill him here. After this, you're asked to do some basic maneuvers.

Soon, enemy jets enter the airspace, and the game informs you that pressing Y cycles between targets. A big green arrow shows up near the middle of your screen. It points to whoever you're locked on to. This happens to be the nearest fighter. Move towards it and you should quickly get a missile lock. Don't fire yet though. Wait until you see the rear of the jet, then let loose. You'll have a higher chance of scoring a hit this way. In general, you don't have to worry about running out of missiles, but the counter is in the bottom right corner just the same. There's one more plane floating around, and he's a bit harder to catch. Remember to decelerate and then use the thumbstick to perform a sharp turn. Just don't overdo it on this maneuver or you'll stall.

After that enemy is taken out, another one comes up behind you and initiates a dogfight. You need to accelerate and turn to stay out of the red circle. If he catches you in the circle, he can hit you with missiles. Just keep dodging around and one of your wingmen will deal with the enemy. An ace pilot will now enter the area. You can sit there and try to actually destroy him the old fashioned way if you want, or you can do it the fast way and enter Dogfight Mode. Get behind him and hit both bumpers when the green circle is around the enemy. Now just wait for the lock-on and pummel him with missiles. Another ace comes out after he's down. Do the same thing, but this time use your machine gun to put him down.

Another group comes in. Someone will try to dogfight you. At this point, the game tells you to decelerate until the red and green arrows line up. Doing this can put you in the assault circle of the aircraft behind you, but if you press both bumpers when the arrows are lined up, you'll somersault behind the plane that was chasing you. When you do this, all four enemy jets will gather ahead of you. Press X to switch to your special weapon, which happens to be four rockets that are launched simultaneously. Once you have a lock on all the jets, press B to wipe the whole group out in one shot. More enemies will continue to flood into the area, usually in packs of four. If you're heading towards a pack of four or five fighters, don't use your special weapon until you're behind them or you'll just waste it. After a few waves of enemies are down, a cutscene is triggered.

When you awake in your room, look around for a bit. After another cutscene, you'll be the door gunner in a helicopter. Hold the Left Trigger to zoom in and press the Right Trigger to fire. You'll quickly come across some vehicles with turrets that need to be dealt with. As the choppper moves along, you'll face more vehicles and RPG soldiers on rooftops. After this point, RPG soldiers will become the norm, so constantly spray the rooftops with bullets when you get to a town-like area. That's pretty much all there is to this mission. You'll just keep taking out enemy after enemy until you clear the area on the roof of a large central building, which is then promptly destroyed.


Inferno



When you're able to, take off from the runway. A group of enemies will come into the playing field. This time, they're able to lock-on to you and fire missiles, so watch for the missile alert icon and stay mobile. Weave back and forth if you have to. The little red thing around the perimeter of the center of your vision tells you where the missile is coming from. If you can't shake a missile, pop flares by clicking in the Left Thumbstick. You have a limited number though, so only use them when necessary. If you're in Dogfight Mode and a missile locks onto you, press Y to break off and evade it. While taking down the groups of fighters, you'll be introduced to another concept: countering counter-maneuvers. While dogfighting with an enemy, they can also somersault around behind you. If the big red arrow pops up in the middle of your screen, immediately press both bumpers to counter their counter, then lay into them with machine gun fire. Also, while dogfighting with someone, pick your moments to destroy them. They like to take you close to the ground and oil field. If you're in DFM, then the computer is handling your piloting and you don't have to worry about the ground or the falling towers. The moment the enemy is dead though, the controls fall back into your hands, and you might not be able to pull up in time.

After taking out several waves of enemies, pursue the fleeing squadron. Soon, Major Illich's plane is shot up and he has to eject. You'll now be tasked with protecting him from another wave of several fighters. He doesn't appear to ever be in any real danger, but deal with this latch batch quickly anyway to wrap the mission up.


Red Moon



You'll be piloting a helicopter for this mission. After running through the controls and getting a feel for it, head forward, towards the enemy encampment. When the green arrow pops up in your reticule, that means a missile is coming at you. Either press both bumpers to roll and avoid it, or simply shoot it out of the air. You can fire your machine guns with the Right Trigger and zoom in with the left. Zooming in (also known as obtaining a target) doesn't just allow you to see your targets better. It also snaps your reticule to the nearest target. Take it out, then release and press the Left Trigger again to snap to another target quickly. You can also fire your rockets and special weapons with the Right Bumper. Flying a helicopter feels a lot different than flying a plane, but one rule applies to both: stay mobile. If you hover around in the same spot trying to score a kill, you'll quickly get torn apart by the AA guns on the ground. Just circle the base or move back and forth along a line and pepper the ground with munitions.

After the first base is cleared, you'll be tasked with going around to other sites and wiping them out. Clear the rooftops of RPG troops first so you aren't constantly being forced to roll, then take care of the vehicles on the ground. Rockets are a good way of clearing out a group all at once, and you can move the reticule while firing rockets to disperse them where you want. When you take one site out, move to the next one, which will be a red spot on your mini-map. Once they're all down, move to the last one that pops up. Stay low and deal with the rooftop soldiers, then sweep the vehicles in front of the main building.

After that, you'll be tasked with running back and forth over the battlefield, protecting other choppers as they drop off troops. You'll also have to cover the different squads as they move towards the large target building that you cleared before. Just keep an eye on your mini-map, and when something red shows up, go towards it. When they near the building, a few enemy vehicles will come in from the perimeter. When the squads reach the target building, a ton of enemies show up on and around it. A tank will also come onto the scene. Take it out first, using rockets. The machine gun on that thing can tear you up fast. Once the squads enter the main building, you'll have to deal with more enemy vehicles coming out from the perimeter. This culminates in two Hinds coming into the area. Together they can really put the hurt on you, so try to pull one away and deal with him, then go back and deal with the other. When fighting the other helicopters, you can zoom in to lock onto them, but you'll still have to move your reticule in front of them and lead your shots. You can also just get right in their face and let loose a salvo of rockets.

After a bit, some enemies escort Major Illich towards three trucks. Destroy the trucks, then carefully obtain the men surrounding Illich and eliminate them one by one. Illich will now head towards the nearby allies. A few more foes come out around him that you'll need to deal with. After this, a convoy of vehicles pop up. Take out the lead cargo truck to create a massive explosion that ends the mission.


Spooky



You'll start off in the AC-130 for this one. The 120mm mortar provides the biggest view of the area. Use it on groups of enemies. The 40mm cannon is a great all around weapon. The 25mm Gatling is the perfect weapon for taking out infantry and preventing collateral damage or friendly fire. With this in mind, start taking out the hostiles below. They glow white thanks to the infrared camera, but sometimes they'll still be hard to spot due to structures or smoke. Switch to the 25mm when you need to get a closer look at the place. When the helicopters drop off troops, you can support them by dealing with anything that gets in their way. Switch to the 25mm to ensure you don't accidentally kill a friendly. After a while you'll be forced into wiping out everything that gets in the way of the ground squads. This will include mortar teams after a while.

When the squads approach the final base, use the 120mm and the 40mm to quickly eliminate the large number of hostiles. You'll now head over to an airfield. Use the 120mm to destroy the first plane and the rest of them should run right into the wreckage and blow themselves up. Clear the rest of the airfield and cover the squad when they come out. There will be plenty of enemies scattered around the area. After the main squad leaves, a guy gets left behind. When he comes out of the same tunnel, cover him until he can make it to safety. After taking out enemies for a while, the AC-130 circles around and gets pretty low to try and pick up the lone soldier. When this happens, the ride gets very choppy, so you'll hardly be able to aim. You miss the first time, so just keep taking enemies out until you circle around again. A ton of enemies will come out of the woodwork now, and you won't be able to shoot most of them. Just lay shots wherever you can. The mission ends when the guy is hooked onto the plane.


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Blue on Blue



Start to land, but then pull away when you get close. You'll have to go deal with some more enemies at this point. Once they're down, the friendly Russians will turn on you, and you'll have to put them down. These guys are definitely a step above the ones you've normally faced. There will be quite a few of them floating around and they love to fire missiles, so get ready to dodge those things at the last second. Initiate dogfights as often as possible and take the enemies out quickly once you do. Don't be afraid to break off, however, if you've got a lock on you. Sometimes you won't have to, since the guy in front of you will fly all over the place anyway. They love to get real close to the ground and stay there if you initiate DFM, so be ready to pull up when they're down.

After most of them are down, an ace enters the battlefield and targets your wingman Guts. You need to damage him and quick, or he'll take Guts down. He's very fast and weaves all over the place. Move away from him if you have to and come back in. If you manage to enter dogfight mode with him, accelerate and immediately lay on the weapons, because there's a good chance that he'll break off. After he takes some damage, he'll stop focusing on Guts and start focusing on you. If you can take him down, great. If you can't, it's no big deal. If he hits you with one missile, a cutscene ensues and then he flies off. You'll now have to land your aircraft. When you get close to the runway, keep the diamond on top of the crosshairs. This ends the mission.


Power Play



The first part of this mission is some basic air-to-air combat. The sky is bright this time, so you might have a hard time seeing things. Initiating dogfights takes you through the buildings in the city. The guy on the radio warns against doing this, but I'm not sure if it actually affects gameplay. After a while, a group of enemies comes in from the perimeter. There are two bombers among them. Take out the bombers first. They're big and slow, so get behind and enter DFM, then pummel them with everything you've got. Their escorts will undoubtedly try to play defense, so break off if you have to and just come back when the space is clear. After taking out another wave of enemies, three more bombers show up (with more fighters). Once you take them down, a final bomber shows up just outside of the city, so act fast to take it down and end this mission.


Lock and Load



You'll now be the door gunner for a helicopter again. When the people on the ship start shooting, deal with the RPG troops first, then the rest of them. Remember that you can easily shoot rockets out of the air with the chaingun you're using. Keep taking them down until you fly off. You'll now have to destroy small boats in the water that shoot at you. When you reach the next container ship, the choppers will drop some troops off. Protect them as they land, then start taking out enemies along the ship. Focus on the white platforms, which hold RPG soldiers. After moving over the entire thing, you'll need to take out an enemy Hind. After that, the chopper moves over water that is filled with a bunch of the smaller boats, so coat the area in bullets until you reach the next container ship, which also has enemies on it to take out. At the end, three AA guns pop up. Take out the missile guns first (they're easier to deal with anyway), then focus fire on the regular guns. Once they're out, another Hind pops up. Take it out to finish this mission.


Pipeline



Take out the first batch of enemies and then head for the target area. The game tells you about ASM now. Fly towards the first upside-down triangle (the ASM marker). If that marker is targeted by you, can press both bumpers to activate ASM. This causes you to fly low and slow. Your weapons also reload faster, so you're well-equipped to deal with the ground forces. Try to take all of them out. You can come back and clean up the rest if you miss any, but you won't be able to trigger ASM again in that particular area, so you'll lose the advantages it gives. Clear out all ground forces and the two planes floating around. After the little scene with Warwolf 2, move to the target and enter the Emergency ASM area, marked by the red upside-down triangle. You only have one pass to get through here and wipe everything out. If you don't do it, you fail the mission, so stay steady and don't hesitate to use missiles. Surface-to-air missiles will come at you while doing this. Use flares to prevent them from hitting you and throwing you off.

Once that's done, another squad of enemies enters the battlefield. You'll need to take them out quickly, before they can do too much damage to your allied ground forces. If someone is trying to get a lock on you or is following you, just let them, that way you can perform a counter-maneuver after they've initiated DFM. Once they're down, you'll need to eliminate more ground forces. The ASM for these are trickier, since the enemies are located on hills and they're more spread out. After that, a cruise missile is dropped into the area. You'll have roughly 30 seconds to shoot it down, so enter DFM as soon as possible and lay into it with missiles. Once it goes, the mission is complete.


Siege



Take out the first few enemies and some ASM targets show up. They aren't too difficult. Once all ground forces have been taken care of, another batch of planes come in. They'll target the enemy airbase, so put them down quickly, and focus on the ones that are strafing the airbase first. When they're all gone, Warwolf 2 will land and a couple of fighters will come in to dog him. They're pretty easy to deal with and you shouldn't even have to initiate DFM. After that, it's your turn to land on the runway. Once you're able to take off again, do so, and prepare to deal with more fighters that are attacking cargo planes trying to land on the runway. These guys aren't very good, so quickly get behind them and just start dropping two missiles on each one. You can take out a good chunk right there before they decide to break off. Four transports will need to land in total. When the last one comes in, however, enemy ground forces will start moving towards the airbase. Take out the fighters first and strafe any ground units that seem to be getting too close to the strip, then mop everything else to finish this mission.


Hostile Fleet



A bit after the mission begins you're ordered to sink a small boat. After that's done, you'll have to take down a carrier. ASM oppurtunities will constantly pop up, so don't worry about dealing with it on the first pass. In fact, you might have to cut your runs short if you start sustaining a large amount of damage. The carrier is equipped with a ton of AA guns, and they're hard to avoid. When attacking the carrier, switch to your special weapon and use it to quickly deal with the ship. Once it's down, another carrier pops up with some escort ships. Deal as much damage as you can on your first run through. The second ASM requires you to deal some heavy damage to the main carrier, so hit it with a special weapon. Now you can come back and pummel the carrier and escorts as much as you need to to take them down.

You must now protect the yacht while allied forces board it from the air. This means doing an ASM run and taking out a variety of small ships. The next ASM run introduces a lot more ships, including another carrier. Once it's down, a battle cruiser pops up. On your first run, the gatling guns on the ship will shoot your missiles out of the sky. You'll be forced to enter an emergency ASM to take out the guns in one shot. After this, you'll be told to hold fire, so just circle the area for a bit. When the cruiser refuses to respond to orders for surrender, you'll be given the all clear to engage it. This one can take and deal quite a bit of damage. The best course of action is to use the special weapon once and quickly pass over the ship, then swing back around and repeat. Keep this up until the cruiser is sunk to finish this mission.


Launch



You take control of a bomber for this mission. The first part requires you to dodge radar cones. At first there are only a few to get past. Stay low to the ground and use your yaw controls (the bumper buttons) to nudge your plane in the right direction. AS you progress, the radar cones grow in frequency, and some moving horizontal cones will also "scan" an area. You'll also have a timer as you progress through these areas, which resets when you reach a waypoint. Follow the river and it will take you directly through most of the area with any problem. If you stay low enough to the ground, you should be able to avoid most of the scanning cones.

After you pass all of them you'll have to do some ASM bombing runs. The first few simply require you to move the circle on the ground over the targets and press or hold B each time. After three of these, you'll need to evade some enemy fighters while your own allied fighters take them down. Use flares when necessary and try to keep weaving back and forth to prevent them from getting a lock. After that, you'll enter another ASM, except this time you'll be using Guided Penetration Bombs. You'll have to fly the plane and shoot now. Target the first group of enemies like you normally would and press B to send a laser guided bomb their way. You'll need to act fast to eliminate the ICBMs below you. Don't worry too much about units on the perimeter of the ASM run. You don't have to actually destroy everything, just the main targets in the center. You'll need to do this three times.

Once you gain control of the fighter, deal with the other squadron that comes in. Your objective is to protect the stealth bomber, but the enemies aren't too good, so the bomber's health shouldn't become an issue. After a few waves, an ICBM is launched. Quickly make your way over to it and enter DFM behind it. You will now have an extremely short amount of time to damage it as much as possible. The more you damage it, the slower it goes, until it finally starts dropping back to the earth. Accelerate to stay behind it all the way and constantly pummel it with missiles until it breaks apart completely. Ignore the enemy fighters. Once the missile is down, the mission ends.


Motherland



The mission here is pretty simple. Just fly around and blow the hell out of anything that isn't friendly. This includes two Hinds near the beginning. After a while, enemy fighter jets also enter the area. Just try to stay out of their way and let your allied fighters worry about them. Once you clear the entire area, you'll be told to maintain a low altitude and to go take care of some pockets of enemies. Just stay a little above the buildings around you and take care of business. After the second group, a Hind comes in. Take him out and start working on the third batch of enemies. Remember to stay low, as there are RPG soldiers all over the rooftops around the street. Also, work fast, since enemy jets and another Hind enter the picture. There's another small group to take out after this. One of the vehicles is hiding under a bridge, so you'll need to get pretty low to deal with it. After this, you're tasked with destroying the remaining forces. There are a bunch of small pockets on the outskirts, along with a couple of enemy choppers. Take them all down and then move to the large central force. Destroy the six big trucks in the middle to create huge explosions that will wipe most of the other vehicles out.

Aftermath



You're back in control of the jet, and you'll need to take out some cruise missiles and planes. Deal with the missiles first. There are several and you need to destroy them all before they hit the city. Take care of any planes hanging around and another group enter the battlefield. The planes with the red text next to them are bombers. Focus on them first. You'll have to deal with a lot of escort planes. Try to ignore them unless they initiate DFM, in which case you can just counter and quickly wipe them out. Once all of the bombers are gone, mop up any remaining forces. After a bit, another bomber comes in low, flanked by four escorts and the ace pilot Markov, who is pretty good and love to stay on your tail, launching missile after missile. Try your best to ignore him and head straight for the bomber. Enter DFM behind it and put everything you've got towards bringing the thing down. Once it's out of the picture, you'll have all day to deal with Markov. Get into DFM with him somehow. If he initiates you, you'll need to be real quick. He launches missile after missile, and the two arrows must be lined up perfectly in order for you to perform a counter-maneuver. If you're following him, he'll take you all over the place. Hitting him with a missile requires you to be very close, since he has a seemingly unlimited supply of flares. You'll also need to watch for his own counter-maneuver. Your best shot at damaging him will be when you counter his counter or when you perform a counter-maneuver while he's following you. Either way, bring him down to end this mission.


Home Front



This mission is fairly straightforward and plays out like the first mission of the game. You'll need to take down several squadrons of fighters. That's all there is to it. Just keep that up until the very end, when Markov enters the battlefield. You'll now have to shoot at Markov head-on to get him to bug out and shoot Guts' cockpit to get him to bail out. When shooting the cockpit, just put the reticule directly below it (since Guts flips upside down) and lay on the machine gun, then inch the reticule up. The moment it touches the cockpit, you'll free him.


Hurricane



You'll now need to chase Markov and Illich through the hurricane. Other enemies will get behind you and start dogfighting. Take them out fast and don't lose Markov. Eventually he'll get away and there's nothing you can do about it. You're now forced to take down Illich and the remaining planes. Try to focus on taking down the regular fighters first, so that they can't interrupt you while you chase down Illich. He's good, but he's not as good as Markov was in a previous mission. Just get behind him and lay into him. After he takes some damage, he'll break off from you and you'll have to re-initiate DFM. Do this a few times to take him down for good, and then mop up any other fighters in the area to complete this mission.


Akula



The beginning of this mission is straightforward. Just take out the cluster of enemies in the air over D.C. If you enter DFM behind some of the ace pilots, try to take them out quickly, because they'll eventually kamikaze into friendly ships. After a while, a bomber comes in. He has no escorts, so taking him down should be simple. Five more bombers show up after this, and the last one is moving pretty quickly. Once they're all down, Markov enters the area. You'll now be forced to dogfight with him for a while. He's incredibly fast and agile, of course. The same rules still apply though. Although it looks like it's only him on the battlefield, when you're chasing him, you'll still have to avoid missiles being shot at you. After he takes a lot of damage he'll start flying directly towards the White House. At this point you can just throw everything you've got at him. His plane will then go down, but the Trinity warhead will still be active. While chasing it you enter a slow motion sequence. Just keep the missile within your assault circle and hit it with your own missiles when you get a lock. After it goes down, there will be a cutscene. Land your plane to complete the game.



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