What do you need help on? Cancel X

BOOKMARK
Jump to:
Would you recommend this Guide? Yes No Hide
Send Skip Hide

FAQ by WGriswold

Armored Core
a humble FAQ by Walter Griswold

The Game at a Glance
       Armored Core is a new game released by From Software (or is it from 
From Software?) in which you take control of a Japanese-style mecha to serve 
you on various missions. The mech configuration is fully customisable, and 
the game provides you with over 120 parts from which to choose.
       The appeal of this game should be obvious. There are many people in 
Japan and the US, myself included, who are only too happy to take the reins 
of a giant robot and blow the living #@!! out whatever happens into our 
path. Fortunately, the game isn't all mindless, as it would get old pretty 
quickly. But there will be more on that later.
        The visuals are really quite good. The detailed light-sourcing that 
comes off of weapon discharges, explosions, and other things adds quite a 
bit to the game at mosphere.
The mechas, whether humanoid or not, look realistic and formidable. Even the 
explosions look good, with parts flying off of damaged mechs and fiery 
detonations to mark your progress.
        The sounds also work very well, creating a feeling of largeness to 
the mecha and their surroundings. Not only do the weapons sound excellent, 
but the environments also feature sounds that are well-placed and not 
overdone. Music is only present in certain missions, which gives that much 
more of a frenetic feel to the proceedings when it is there.
        Special note: As you might expect, the game is absolutely riddled 
with Japanese text, most of it in the form of adult-level Kanji. While this 
serves to identify this game as not intended for children, it doesn't help 
much when the player tries to read the mission briefings. Again, more on 
this will be said later.

Game Features
      First off, this is a Japanese game, so menu selections are made with 
the Circle button, not the X button. The X button cancels a selection.  
There is a nice intro, featuring an FMV example of what is to come in the 
game. Lots of mech destruction, Japanese-style techno music, and interesting 
and varied environments. Video will also appear on odd occasions during 
Scenario Mode (the 1 player game).
     The controls are as follows during a battle:
        D-pad: Rotates your mecha, and moves it forward and back, of course.
        Select: Pauses the game (why isn't this the Start button?)
        Start: Brings up the automap feature. This will be as detailed as 
               your current hardware allows.
        Triangle button: Selects active weapon, toggling amongst the weapons 
                         your mecha is currently carrying.
        Square button: Fires active weapon.
        Circle button: activates laserblade, if you have one. It is also  
                       used to perform non-violent actions at the 
                       appropriate times (yes, the game does feature some 
                       non-violent actions!), such as opening doors or  
                       laying explosive charges.
        X button: Jumps/activates boosters (if you have them). If you tap 
                  the X button from a standstill, your mecha will jump 
                  without the boosters (unless you have caterpillar non-
                  legs, in which case you can't jump). If you hold the  
                  button down or press it again, the boosters will activate.
                  In addition, the X button can be used to accelerate 
                  movement in any direction, something I will refer to as
                  vectored boost. Simply push X while moving, and the 
                  boosters will speed your movement. (This includes 
                  backwards.) While doing this, press X again to launch 
                  into the air. 
   Note: Four-legs type legs don't respond the same to vectored boosting
   as the other legs do.
        L1/R1: Move your mecha sideways. A must-learn feature, especially in
        pitched battle.
        L2/R2: Move the aiming reticle up and down. This is also very 
        important, since most of the game areas feature full 3d dimensions.

Scenario Mode
        This is the one-player mode, and probably where you will spend most 
of your time.  From here, you can load a saved game or start a new one. When 
you start a new game, you will be thrust into the A.C. Test mode for a brief 
skirmish to familiarise youself with the game. This is the only battle in 
which you won't have to pay for repairs or reloads.  Stay frosty. . .

Main Menu
         Welcome to the "Raven's Nest"--you'll never find a more wretched 
hive of scum and villany. Anyway, this is the screen in which you have six 
icons that can be rotated and selected. Their functions are as follows:

Garage
        This is the area where your mecha parts are stored. Entering the 
garage will bring up a sub-menu and a rotating picture of your mecha, 
suitable for framing. From here, the menu selections are as follows:
        
Assembly
        This is the most important sub-menu here, and the one you will 
probably spend the most time visiting. Here you can choose from the parts 
you have wisely purchased and alter your mecha's configuration. There are 
slots for the placement of these pa rts: Head, Core (chest), Arms, Legs, 
Generator, FCS (fire-control system), Boosters, Back Weapon L and R, and 
Hand Weapon L and R.  These will be discussed in the Shop section.
      The parts you purchase can be outfitted here, and changed as often as 
you like before a mission. Here you can see several attributes that are 
extremely import ant to your mecha's functioning:
        EP 
Short for "energy points," this shows how much energy your mecha is draining 
from the generator's total available power. As with the others, the left 
number is the drainage, and the right is the available total. NOTE: if your 
mecha exceeds any of these limits in its current configuration, you cannot 
use it in a mission.
        Legs WP
        WP is short for "weight points," and is self-explanatory. This is 
the most vexing of the three attributes depicted here, as it is very easy to 
load up your 'bot wit h too-heavy armaments and therefore render it 
immobile. 
Choose your weapons carefully.
        Core WP
      I've never had a problem with this one, but it does show how much 
weight is being put on your core (chest) section, caused by the head, arms, 
weapons, and other items you can equip. All parts except legs contribute to 
this total.
        AP
    This shows your Armour (hit) points, which is of some marginal 
importance in battle (sarcasm). There isn't too much you can do to directly 
manipulate this total, representing as it does the total of all your items' 
armour oints. Again, don' t worry too much about it, but be aware of it.   
Amour is provided by all non-weapon parts on your mecha.
        Weight
      This is built up rather quickly by piling weapons, limbs, and heads 
onto your poor, unsuspecting legs. Keep an eye on this, because too much 
will render your mecha immobile. Heavy, man.
        The other window
        The window on the left shows the currently selected part in larger 
counter-rotating view. It gives the part type, its EP (energy point drain), 
WP (weight points), and its name at the bottom. This will help you match 
parts to weight and power restrictions.

 NOTE: remember to equip a weapon or part by pressing the Circle button 
before exiting the menu. If you get a panel of Kanji across the screen, just 
hit the X button--it means that you have already equipped that item.

        The glowing Kanji over your mecha
        If you are trying to exit the garage and you see bright, glowing 
Kanji over your mecha, there is something wrong with your configuration. Go 
back and check to make sure everything is properly equipped and that you 
aren't over tolerances for weight or energy. Just remember this life lesson: 
big, glowing Kanji = bad. (That is, unless you're in Tokyo.)

        Optional parts
        Similar to the Assembly screen, this menu shows all the optional 
parts you have purchased and indicates equipped parts by filling the 
accordant square with the orange 'selection colour.' It also shows how many 
slots are open, but you probably won 't use them all. Also note that some 
optional parts take up more than one space.

        Performance
        This shows your mecha's overall abilities. I don't think I need to 
explain all these features, as they are rather self-explanatory. This menu 
does give you an easy method of rating a new configuration versus a previous 
one.

        Change Color
        This menu item allows you to be a bit self-indulgent. you start off 
by choosing from seven paint patterns, which can then be customised further 
in the Edit Col or sub-menu. This has absolutely no effect on your 'bot's 
performance, so have fun.

        Edit Emblem
        Remember Rage Racer? (I do, perhaps because I wrote a review of 
it. . .) Anyway, you can create your own emblem to paste onto your mecha, 
if you so choose. I wo n't get into detail abou this part, as it is also 
self-explanatory, but I will list the controls:
        D-Pad: moves cursor
        Select button: zoom function
        Start button: nothing
        Square button: allows you to edit current colour under RGB-style 
                       settings
        Triangle button: nothing
        Circle button: activates current drawing tool
        X button: cancels current action, and if no action is being taken, 
                  brings up the menu. From there, you can Zoom, Undo, Clear,  
                  Sample, Save, or Cancel.
        When/if you save the cute little emblem you've made, it goes on your 
        mecha's left shoulder and your memory card also.

        A.C. Name Entry
        Allows you to change your name, if you messed it up in the 
beginning, or if you chose something like "Nancy Boy" and you don't like it 
anymore.

        A.C. Test
        This fine feature allows you to shake down your new configuration, 
if you choose to do so, without costing you a dime. You are put into the 
same proving-ground mission you did first in the game, before you hit the 
main menu. This feature will be of considerable use to you, so try it out.

Ranking
        This menu shows the Top Ten mecha in the RN, and rates everyone 
based on points scored in missions. It's not terribly important, but does 
give you a sense of how good you are.

Mail
        Yes, the game comes with 10 free hours of AOL.
        No, I'm just kidding. Really, this is your repository of vital 
messages about your performance in battle, new items available, and messages 
from other mecha pilots. Too bad it's all in heavy Kanji. You may be able to 
get some idea of what is being said from the accompanying pictures, so at 
least check them out. You'll occasionally be informed of new weapons or 
parts via these messages, which makes them kind of important. When you 
finish a mission, if you have a new message you will see a window of Kanji 
pop up after the "Raven's Nest" logo has finished loading the menu area. 
Press X to make it disappear, then go to Mail to read the message.

System
        This is where you perform memory card functions, which is probably 
why the icon is a memory card. It shows various performance ratings, 
including how many miss ions you have cleared and how much money you have. 
From here, you can load and save data, load and save an emblem, and change a 
few in-game options. Most of it's pretty self- explanatory.
        One note, though. After you've chosen Save Game, and a slot to do 
this into, you choose a data number to save to. If you're saving over 
another game, a window will popup asking in Japanese if you want to 
overwrite.  Pick Yes to update your game.

Mission
        From here, you can choose a sortie to undertake for the amount of 
credit specified under 'reward.' Each mission comes with a detailed 
description of what is expected of you, and what you should be looking for. 
Unfortunately again, it's all in Japanese, but you can usually dope out what 
needs to be done from the pictures and from entering the mission.
        From here, you will reach a prompt which reads "Accept contract?" in 
Japanese.  Choose Yes to go on, and you will be asked if you are certain. 
Choose Yes to st art the mission.
        The missions are rated in no particular order, and so you do not 
have to choose them in any such order. Usually, the missions' difficulty is 
directly related to their payoff, so choose wisely. Also, you cannot play 
all missions in the game on one file. This is due to the fact that, when you 
choose a mission to play from a list of several, some missions are left 
behind, not to appear again in your campaign. I look forward to exploring 
the missions I didn't take on earlier in the future. (By the way, I have so 
far finished 34 missions, with no end in sight. I am currently ranked at 
#2.)
        The missions also take place in and on a wide variety of terrains. 
There are open-air missions in which you have little or no cover for 
protection, and there are mazelike complexes which you must infiltrate to 
seek and destroy targets. The mission objectives differ somewhat, but the 
basic idea is usually the same: destroy anything that can be targeted and 
damaged. The challenge comes in finding your way through the various
structures in the game, learning to control your mecha during battles, and 
fitting it with the right parts.


Shop
        Disclaimer: I know this section is extremely long, but I have tried 
to include everything available. It is intended for use as a reference 
section, or possibly a legal text.
        This is where the action is, in a sense. The designers have included 
a large array of different parts for your perusal and possible purchase.  
One very important feat ure of Armored Core is that, unlike many RPG-type 
games and others that allow you to purchase upgrades of various sorts, a 
player can purchase and use any item for as long a s he/she wants and sell 
it back with no loss of capital. In other words: try everything you can 
afford--it adds even more to an already great game.
        The following is a partial list of the parts available in this game. 
I haven't finished the whole game yet, and I don't know how close I am, so 
I'll just speak of the ones I have seen.
        Also, remember that you can pull up a page showing the selected part's
        specifications by pressing the Triangle key.
        Head (9 so far)
        The head of your mecha contains the onboard computer (whose function 
is still a bit foggy in my mind) and a few other features. Some units have 
built-in radar, bio sensors, and other features. Don't spend too much money 
on a head until your ot her parts are secure.
        HD-01-SRVT              26500c
        A good, serviceable head with a strong chin. It has served me well 
on many missions, and features an area-memory automapper. It even has a bio 
sensor for those exterminator missions you'll have to undertake. No radar of 
its own, though.
        HD-2002         29000c
        Another good-looking, if somewhat cyclopean, head. For a little more 
cash, you get a working radar of 6000 metre (I assume metres are the 
standard in this game) range, but a less detailed computer and no bio 
sensor.
        HD-REDEYE       41100c
        How can you go wrong with a head called "Redeye?" It's angular, and 
features its very own antenna. Its map is a bit more detailed, and has a 
bit better computer. On the other hand, it drains more power from the 
generator without offering much of a tradeoff for it.
        HD-D-9066               43200c
        This fencer's mask-turned-mecha-head adds a bit longer-range radar 
system and a, bio sensor for sniffing out those pesky varmints. It drains 
more power than the Redeye, though, and tends to look a bit silly sitting a 
top your mecha's huge, angular shoulders. Truly an eclectic choice.
        HD-GRY-NX               14700c
        What can I say? This is the head you start out with, which means 
that it's not exactly top of the line. It doesn't have any special features, 
no memory whatsoever, and weighs a bit much. However, it doesn't look too 
bad.
        HD-06-RADAR     51800c
        One of the most expensive heads available, the Radar head also looks 
pretty weird sitting on your mecha's core. It features a ho-hum computer, an 
above-average automapper, a noise canceler, and the longest-range in-head 
radar available (hence the name), 8120 metres. Just be prepared for 
opponents to ask you where the #@!! yo urmecha's head went.
        HD-08-DISH              33200c
        It's pill-shaped, not dish-shaped. It has no recognisable eyeholes. 
It's got a decent computer and detailed automap feature. But it doesn't 
have anything else.
        HD-ZERO         22500c
        No, it's not designed after the title mech in Zero Divide. Like the 
Dish, it doesn't have any discernible features except for its antenna. It 
does, however, have a nifty 6300 meter radar built right in. And that's 
about all it has.
        HD-ONE          68100c
        So named because it's "the one" to buy, this head has it all: A 
long, cigar-like shape, good computer, good automapper, noise canceler, bio 
sensor, and if you act now you will get not quite free of charge our super 
special--the second-longest in- head radar system--a cool 7980 metres! Act 
today--quantities are limited.
        Core (3 available so far)
        The core holds the all-important generator, as well as any optional 
parts you might purchase. It also supports the arms, back weapons, and head, 
in addition to providing a large chunk of your mecha's armour.
        XCA-00          61500c
        This is the core you start out with. You are not likely to notice 
much difference between this core and the other two, so make your decision 
based on weight--the most critical of the features listed. It weighs in at 
1103 (kilograms, I assume).
        XCH-01          72000c
        It's the core with the huge pods on the back. Other than that, it 
weighs 1384kg, supports more weight than the XCA-00, and has slightly better 
armour. However, it has caused interference for me when attempting to equip 
some shoulder-mounted weapons.
        XCL-01          88000c
        As the most expensive core unit, this one should be the best. It has 
the best armour, most extension slots, but has the least max weight 
capacity. However, it weighs the least--885kg to be exact. I haven't had any 
problems with max weight on the core, though.
        Arms
        There are basically two types of arms:
        Humanoid Arms: (9 types) Humanoid arms can carry hand-held weapons,
obviously. They aid in aiming the weapon, giving your mech better 
target-tracking abilities than you will get from gun arms. On the other 
hand, humanoid arms are heavier than the alternative, but many of the best 
weapons are only available in hand-held form. Beyond the weight and armour 
attributes, you're not likely to notice anything different about the various 
arms in this group except their appearance.
        AN-101          19000c
        A very straightforward pair, average in almost every respect. But 
then again, what do you expect for a mere 19000 credits?
        AN-201          15300c
        I believe this is the set you start with, and it shows. The cheapest 
arm set, these two limbs have the weakest armor plating of the whole group, 
and the second-weakest defensive attributes. If you want more armour points, 
replace these ASAP.
        AN-K1           49000c
        As the second lightest arms of their type, the AN-K1 series is a 
good choice for mecha pilots favouring speed and agility. They are also the 
most expensive humanoid arms of the lot, but make up for it with their low 
mass. They feature only nominal defensive attributes and average armour.
        AN-D-7001               23000c
        Looking vaguely Schwarzeneggarian, these bulky appendages can be 
purchased for a relative song. They feature a average weight and moderate 
defensive abilities.  Unfortunately, these arms have limited armour, but 
they are effective defence against energy weapons.
        AN-3001         39500c
    These somewhat shoulder-heavy arms are excellent for adding armour to 
your total. They are a bit high on energy drain, but this won't matter too 
much if you have a good generator. Otherwise, they're pretty average.
        ANKS-1A46J              42100c
     Not only does this arm set have the most unwieldy name of the group, 
but the shoulders are simply HUGE! They are, however, the champion at 
defense against shell attacks (insert Gamera joke here) and energy as well! 
If you are looking for more protection, these are the arms for you.
        AN-863-B                34000c
        Reasonably priced and well-armoured, this pair of arms is a good 
choice for any mecha. They feature excellent protection against both shells 
and energy, and high armour rating to boot.  They also look vaguely 
Gundamesque, which is as good as any reason to buy them.
        AN-25                   28400c
        These arms are the lightweights of the group at a mere 853kg. They 
are surprisingly well-armoured for the weight, but one look at their weak 
rating against both energy and shells will show you where the weight loss 
came from. 
They also drain the least amount of energy from you generator of the whole 
lot, so choose them if you just need light arms and don't care much about 
anything else.
      Gun arms (8 types): These arms are little more than heavy-calibre 
weapons mounted on your mecha's shoulder joints. In general, choosing gun 
arms allows your mecha to use lighter-duty legs, as these arms weigh less 
than their humanoid co-underparts. (Remember that they don't have to carry 
weapons too!) The attack power of these arms runs the gamut from low to high 
damage, and they represent some of the best weapons available--so give them 
a try. The only real deterrent is their somewhat exorbitant cost.
Also, note that all gun arm weapons feature an identical weapon on each arm, 
so you will enjoy twice the immediate firepower you may be used to. They 
also generally have a longer effective range than the equivalent hand-held 
weapon, and tend to do more damage.
        
Special note: all gun arms have absolutely no defensive abilities against 
either shells or energy weapons. They also have a necessarily lower armour 
rating than the larger humanoid arms. Be aware of this when choosing gun 
arms.
        AW-MG25/2               54500c
        Welcome to the world of long-barreled, intimidating arm weaponry. 
These machine gun arms shoot quickly over a relatively long distance, 
outperforming the hand-held machine guns. They carry 400 rounds--lots of 
ammo to be sure--but they burn the ammo quickly. "Remember--short, 
controlled bursts!"
        AW-GT2000               48600c
        The Gatling gun of the weapon arm set, the GT2000 is truly a 
pleasant weapon to use, and the cheapest of its kind to boot. With the 
shortest range of all the gun arms (7800 metres), this pair of weapons is an 
excellent choice for close to medium range engagements. Of course, I think 
that's the general idea.
        AW-RF105                77600c
        This pair of cannons features high attack power, but a reload time 
only marginally faster than the slowest of the gun arms, the AW-RF120. The 
shells travel relati vely slowly, but if they hit your target, you'll know. 
They do come with the second-longest range of the gun arms, but you'll need 
to choose your shots carefully in order to avoid wast ing ammo.
        AW-30/3         56400c
        You'll look like an amputee, but you'll get a nasty pair of missile
launchers where your arms are supposed to be. You also get 80 shots (really 
40, since each shot is double), but you can lock on to up to three targets 
and you have 9000 metres to work with. The missile lock also comes more 
quickly than it does with shoulder-mounted units, and that can be a real 
pleasure. 
Also note the fact that the missiles don't fan out sideways when they 
launch, which makes them much easier to use in close quarters.
        AW-RF120                67200c
        This is the slowest reloader of the gun arm set, but it does a 
crippling 2120 points of damage per shot. Like the other cannon, this weapon 
is obviously intended fo r slow-moving or stationary targets because of its 
sluggish shell delivery and low ammo load (50 rounds). Of course, with 
damage like this you don't need too many hits anyway.
        AW-S60-2                66600c
        Don't let the price put you off. If you can stand not having 
discernible arms, these stubby launchers aren't too shabby. They only allow 
a double lock (the AW-30/3 allows 3 locks), but you have 40 more rounds to 
play with for the price increase. Other than that, they're almost the same 
as the 30/3.
        AW-XC5500               83600c
        Why is it that, ever since Star Wars came out, laser cannons have 
fired bolts instead of beams? It would have been nice to see a laser cannon 
that instantly hit whatever it was aimed at, like lasers do in real life. 
However, I find it hard to compla in about this weapon. It does a stiff 1241 
points of damage per hit, and costs nothing to ref ill because its ammo 
comes from your energy stores! Of course, this means that you can't fire it
indiscriminately, but who's going to do that? Hmm? It has the longest range 
of the group--12000 metres to be precise, and gives you 70 tries to hit that 
far-off target you have in mind. Try it out. You'll be glad you did.
        AW-XC65         98500c
        This is it, the most insanely expensive weapon in the game (as far 
as I know). This matched pair of rich Corinthian plasma cannons only provide 
40 shots, despited raining their ammo from your energy reserves. But oh, 
what hits they make on your targe ts! This weapon isn't designed for the 
small targets--it's made for the big boys, and will break off 2322 points of 
damage per hit. There is no non-missile weapon more powerful, and it shows 
when you hit something with it. The twin beams fire like lasers, delivering 
their withering hits almost instantaneously. This is one weapon that's truly 
worth waiting for.

        Legs
        There are four categories of legs available in the game, each with 
its own advantages and disadvantages. They are discussed at the opening of 
each section.
        Humanoid legs (11 types): they're the familiar, the traditional, the 
well-rounded.  There are 11 different models to choose from, and they run 
the gamut of prices and performance characteristics. Humanoid legs in 
general are slow but tough, and can hold moderate to large amounts of 
weight. There are faster legs, and there are stronger legs.
But these look and feel the most natural on your mech.
        LN-1001         28500c
        These legs represent a slight upgrade from the 1001-PX-0 you start 
out with. They can hold a moderate 4470kg, have moderate armour, and 
unfortunately low protection against shells and energy. They do have a 
respectable speed rating of 277, which makes them almost as fast as the 
1001-PX-0. But you can do better.
        LN-SSVT         44000c
        These spindly legs may have the weakest armour rating of the lot 
(2795 points), but they're one of the fastest sets you can buy. They are of 
course lightweights in the payload department, able to hold only 3560kg of 
upper-body things. But you'll run like Carl Lewis.
        LN-3001         52200c
        A pair of heavier-duty legs, the 3001 series move slowly (153 
speed).  They can, however, carry up to 6600kg of whatever equipment you 
choose to burden them with.  Their stellar weight rating is second only to 
the 3001C, but they cost more. These legs also have high stability, good 
armour, and good protection 'gainst shells and e nergy. If you're not 
worried about speed, give them a try.
        LN-1001-PX-0    25000c
        Here they are, the unexciting, Joe average legs you start out with. 
They're not special in any way, they don't hold much weight--they just don't 
stand out for any real reason, which is good enough reason for you to not 
stand out in them for too long.
        LN-501          71800c
        Here they are--if the SSVT were Carl Lewis legs, these are the 
Flash's legs--the fastest humanoid legs your credits can buy, just edging 
out the SSVT by a few points. Of course, they can only carry 3990kg of 
weight, and offer little protection against attackers and low armour. If you 
don't mind having disproportionately large feet, enjoy the speed.
        LN-SSVR         32400c
        I tend to shy away from these legs, because I had a problem 
equipping certain hand weapons when using them. They do have a good weight 
rating (5400kg), good armour, and good anti-shell and energy defence. They 
are, however, kind of slow--sporting a speed of only 148. They are pretty 
stable, though.
        LN-1001B                45200c
        For 16700c more than the 1001, you can have these fine gams. They 
basically feature a little bit more of everything, and really are a good 
choice if you want a respectably fast walking speed combined with good 
defensive abilities. They even look good in almost any configuration.
        LN-3001C                64100c
        For a huge pair of legs, look no further than the 3001C. As one of 
the most expensive humanoid leg sets available, these thick, pillarlike 
constructs offer the largest max weight available in their class--7100kg. 
They are, however, the slowest set you can buy but feature the heaviest 
armour protection. If you want to be intimidating, these are the legs for 
you.
        LN-502          35800c
        These legs are basically a cheap alternative to the 501 series. 
They're not as fast or well-prepared to handle weight as the 501, but they 
do have marginally better a rmour characteristics. They also look much more 
feminine.
        LN-D-8000R              49000c
        Another pair of slightly effeminate legs, the D-8000R have moderate 
weight rating, slightly slow speed, average armour, and fairly good 
stability.  Nothing really stands out except their above-average defence 
against energy attacks.
        LNKS-1B46J              48000c
        For 48000c, you can have the stablest humanoid legs in the business. 
They hold lots of weight (6100kg), have excellent shell defence, and good 
armour rating. They also don't look too shabby.
        Reverse-Joint legs (also called "chicken legs," 5 types): If you 
find yourself beating on the controller in a vain attempt to get your mecha 
to move faster, you may want a set of reverse-joint legs. These legs are 
generally faster than the huma noid types, and more stable to boot. They do, 
however, fall a bit short when it comes to maximum weight, so choose your 
other armament carefully if you want to use these legs. You have five to 
choose from.
        LB-4400         17300c
        Very utilitarian in appearance, these are the cheapest of the 
reverse-joint set. They have decidedly average performance in most areas, 
but what do you expect? If you buy them, though, you won't be ripped off.
        LB-4401         31800c
        They're a little slower than the 4400 series, but they have more of 
just about everything. It is worth noting that the 4401 series are the 
best-armoured reverse-joint legs available, with 3810 armour points. Though 
they are comparatively slow, all the reverse-joint models perform well in 
the speed category.
        LB-4303         24000c
        This set of legs costs only a bit more than the budget 4400. They're 
only slightly different, and you probably won't notice much change if you 
compare the two in battle.  The 4303 does have the turned-up elf shoe look 
in the front, though.
        LB-1000-P               20500c
        Rather inexpensive, but again there isn't much difference here. What 
        more is there to say?
        LBKS-2B45A              27000c
        These are the most fleet-footed reverse-joint model available, 
coming in at a very respectable 299 (speed units, I guess). They have good 
armour plating, for a re verse-joint leg set, but they are the least stable 
of the bunch. But they're fun to use, so who cares?
        Four-Legs Type (4 varieties): These legs may not move like spiders' 
legs, but they have a mean hover. The obvious forte of the four-legs type is 
speed, and lots of it-- forward, back, and lateral. They achieve this at the 
cost of stability (which means that a hit from an enemy weapon will knock 
your mecha back further than it might otherwise do), so be aware of this 
when standing on catwalks and other narrow areas. Also, the se legs are the
most lightweight of the four types, so pack lightly if you want to move
quickly. There are only four of these.
        LF-205-SF               42600c
        The starter set of four, the 205-SF has good armour plating but can 
only carry 3450kg of weight. They do, however, have the most lightning-fast 
movement capability, with a speed rating of 483--62 points above the next 
fastest set. If it's speed you're after, look no further.
        LFH-X3          56000c
        For some more loot, you get a slightly tougher and slower version of 
the 205-SF.  The largest gains come in the max weight (3810kg) and the 
stability (710) of these legs, and you may feel a bit more confident 
hovering around on these.
        LF-DEX-1                69000c
        For a hefty 69000c, you can have an even tougher, slower set of 
four. They're still faster thn any other type of leg, but they have a max 
weight rating of 4450kg, well-balanced armour, and more stability.
        LFH-X5X         82000c
        The elite set of four legs, I am proud to use these on my personal 
mecha. Though they are the most expensive model in their category, you will 
know where the money went. These legs, despite having the best armour and 
largest weight limit(5000 kg) of the lot, still manage to come in as the 
second fastest legs available in any category. Buy them if you get a chance-
-they're primo equipment.
        Caterpillar non-legs (4 types): The most striking feature of these 
legs is their built-in boosters, but they are otherwise well-named. The 
caterpillar legs are the slowest type of lower half you can buy, but they 
feature the heaviest armour plating and largest weight limits for extremely 
heavy-calibre weaponry. On the other hand, is the extreme lack of mobility 
worth it? Try one of the four and let me know.
        LC-MOS18                16000c
        "MOS" must stand for "moment of silence," so let's have one for the 
slowest set of legs or non-legs money can buy. They come in at a snail-like 
rating of 105, but nothing, and I mean nothing, holds up more weight. The 
MOS18 can support 8000kg of whatever you want, so pile it on high. Get the 
weapons you've been coveting and strap 'em on. Just be patient, since your 
opponents will have to come to you or die of old age waiting around.
        LC-UKI60                25500c
        These treads, for a bit more money, sacrifice some of that weight 
rating for a more respectable speed rating of 138. They can still carry 
6950kg of payload, and still have good armour, so you might even be able to 
tolerate the sluggishness that is a caterpillar's
trademark.
        LC-HTP-AAA      38500c
        That's "AAA" as in "AAAH, these are a bit faster now!" (I'm truly 
sorry about the puns.) Seriously, these treads, which appear on closer 
inspection to be a hovercraft, move your upper body around at a decent clip, 
comparatively. Still, they are rather big for the rest of the mecha body 
parts and consequently look a bit silly. They can only hold 4130kg, and 
don't have terribly great defensive attributes, so perhaps you're better off 
buying conventional legs.
        LC-MOS4545      59000c
        These treads are the most stable of the entire leg catalogue, with 
5101 points in that area. This will make you the proverbial immovable object 
if you use them, but there's not much else to recommend them to you. They 
can carry 7400kg of weight, though.
        Generator (7 types so far)
        This is the powerhouse for your mecha, so choose well. Energy output 
provides for all parts' regular operation (anything that requires EP), 
maximum charge controls your energy gauge for boosting and energy weapons, 
and charge redzone is the red section of the energy bar at the bottom.
        GPS-VVA         19500c
        A simple V-four. 28000 max charge, 4728 energy output, 7800 charge 
        redzone.
        GPS-V6          32000c
        A nice V6. The same 4728 energy output, but 43000 max charge and 
        5000 redzone.
        GRD-RX5         23300c
        Looks more like a dynamo than an engine. 5300 energy output, 38000 
        max charge and 4000 redzone.
        GRD-RX6         27800c
        Bigger and better. 6000 energy output, 33000 max charge, and 4000 
        redzone.
        GRD-RX7         38700c
        The Wankel engine in all its glory. 6810 energy output, 31500 max 
        charge, and 5000 redzone. It just feels right.
        GBG-10000               43500c
        A nice workhorse. 9988 energy output, 34000 max charge, and 2980 
        redzone.  This is the highest energy output you can buy.
        GBG-XR          56000c
        You might find this one, if you're lucky. It's got 8207 energy 
        output, 48000 max charge, and 3250 redzone. The best all-around 
        engine available.
        FCS (Fire Control System, 7 types so far)
        This is of notable import, since your choice will reflect how large 
        your aiming reticles are and how quickly you get a missile lock on a 
        target. Several flavours are available.
        COMDEX-C7       11100c
        You start with this one. It can get up to four weapon locks.
        COMDEX-GO       22500c
        The extra money provides faster lock-ons than the C7. Otherwise, 
        it's identical.
        COMDEX-G8       16400c
        Six locks are simultaneously available with this FCS.
        QX-21                   20300c
        You can only get one lock-on with this unit, but your aiming reticle 
        is much larger. However, it has a shallower range.
        TRYX-BOXER      48100c
        Tryx isn't just for kids anymore. You get a taller reticle to aim 
        with, and up to three locks.
        TRYX-QUAD       63000c
        Up to six locks are available, and you get the largest overall 
        reticle area.
        QX-9009         96000c
        Your reticle will be noticeably small, but you get the longest lock-
        on range available in the game.
        Option Parts (9 types so far)
        These parts don't conform to other categories, but serve useful 
functions nevertheless. Here you can find everything from a missile jammer 
to a power amplifier, if you can afford the indulgence.
        SP-MAW          14200c
        This add-on will display enemy missiles in your radar screen.
        SP-M/AUTO               12900c
        If you're too lazy to launch your own missiles, this will do it for 
        you when you have a lock.
        SP-JAM          26000c
        This nifty item helps jam missile radar, tto make your mecha harder 
        to it.
        SP-ABS          29600c
        This optional part adds a large chunk to your stability.
        SP-CND-K                21000c
        This charge expander increases your generator's output.
        SP-S/SCR                33000c
        For added defense against shells, try this unit.
        SP-E/SCR                38500c
        The same thing as the S/SCR, only this time it's with energy.
        SP-EH                   45000c
        Equipping this unit will speed the charging of your energy gauge.
        SP-E+                   45000c
        This optional part will make all your energy-based weapons more 
        powerful. Woo hoo!

        Boosters (5 types so far)
        These little ladies will permit you to go sailing into the great 
wide open, unless you have caterpillar non-legs and consequently don't need 
them. Choose by price vs. boost power vs. charge drain.
        B-P320          10800c
        You start out with this budget model. It has only 9800 units of         
        boost power, and consumes 4360 units of your energy charge. Not the  
        most fuel-efficient thing you can buy.
        B-P350          13700c
        Added thrust is the thing here, with 12800 units on tap. The charge
        is lower too, at only 4410 units.
        B-T2                    31500c
        An even more efficient model, the T2 provides 14800 units of boost 
        and only consumes 3850 units from your energy reserves.
        B-P351          25500c
        The most boost can be found here. 21000 units are there for the 
        using, but this gas-guzzling booster drains 6980 units of power from 
        your energy banks.
        B-VR-33         48500c
        With an energy drain of only 5070 units, and a boost power of 19000, 
        this is the booster to buy--if you have the money.

        Back Weapon (32 types so far)
        Finally, we get to the weapons proper! A dazzling array of choices 
await you here, from missiles to laser cannons and everything in between. 
The shoulder-mounted weapons can make or break you, depending on how well 
you match them to your current mission.  Choose carefully and experiment. By 
the way, this category also includes shoulder-mounted radar units, which are 
necessary if your mecha's head unit doesn't have on-board radar.
        WM-S40/1                18700c
        It's cheap and useful, with a 9000 metre range and a solid 830 
points of damage per hit. It only gets one lock at a time, though--which 
explains its low price. Like the other missile packs, this unit's 
performance will depend greatly upon your Fire Control System.
You'll get 40 shots to try it out.
        WM-S40/2                23000c
        Enjoy two locks instead of one for the price hike. Otherwise, it's 
exactly the same except for its weight and energy drain.
        WM-S60/6                38100c
        60 shots of the same standard small missile come with this unit. Its 
ability to lock on to six targets simultaneously makes it a useful weapon 
indeed for unruly crowds. Just be sure you have an FCS that can handle six 
targets or you'll be wasting your money.
        WM-MVG404       31000c
        With almost twice the damage per hit, this missile pack stands above 
the three "S"-series launchers. You only get 24 shots, and the reloads are a 
lot more expensive, but it does hit harder. You get one lock to play with.
        WM-MVG802       44000c
        Same MVG missile, two locks. 32 shots this time, same 10000 metre 
range. Give it a try.
        WM-L201         46200c
        Here it is, the largest single-hit damage in the game. a full 4300 
points will be inflicted upon your opponent when he's hit by this missile. 
Of course, there are tradeoffs, and they come in the forms of increased 
costs, heavier weight, and only 12 shots to use.  But what shots they are!
        WM-X201         62250c
        A nice multi-missile, this pack has a better chance of scoring a hit 
on a moving object since its missile splits into five when its traveled a 
bit. It doesn't do too much damage, and you only get 18 shots, but it's a 
good weapon to have in your arsenal.
        WM-X10          24800c
        This is the better of the two bomb dispensers, and it drops 16 
charges instead of the 8 that the X5-AA drops. Again, you probably won't 
find a lot of use for this weapon unless the enemy mechas are getting in 
your face a lot. If they do, a quick dose of this will back them off pretty 
quickly.
        WM-P4001                43800c
        You'll probably like this one a lot. It carries a double-fisted 
punch of 830 points per hit, and has a 9000 metre range. It's a good solid 
weapon, but be sure to use it in the open--the missiles tend to fan out when 
launched and hit walls when you fire from inside closed-in spaces. You'll 
have 60 missiles to work with.
        WM-PS-2         66700c
        Got missiles? Well, if you don't, here's a triple launcher for you. 
90 rounds, fired three at a time, otherwise performing just like the P4001.
        WR-S50          15900c
        This small rocket launcher is an interesting choice. It's best 
intended for use in corridor-type areas, where your target can't dodge 
easily. Rockets don't have targeting systems, but these do 1310 points of 
damage per hit, don't cost too much, and refire relatively quickly. Just 
make sure you have good aim when you fire one, because you only have 50 to 
use.
        WR-S100         32400c
        This looks nice and intimidating on your mecha's shoulder, and it 
should. The rockets are the same as in the S50, but you have 100 to use this 
time. The refire rate is a bit slower in the S100, but otherwise everything 
is the same.
        WR-M50          27600c
        This regular-sized rocket launcher carries 50 rounds of rockets, 
each delivering a 2240-point hit. With fairly quick reloading, this shoulder 
unit can be used to hose down a whole group of opponents in no time. Just 
remember that it doesn't lock on.
        WR-M70          36500c
        For a little more cash, you can have 70 shots to play with instead 
of 50. As usual, the rest of the unit is the same.
        WC-CN35         32750c
        This unit is a chain gun, which means that it spits out heavy-
calibre shells in rapid succession. Each shell does 338 points of damage, 
and you carry 250 of them. The shells move pretty quickly and the gun tracks 
well, so the weapon has a wide range of possible applications.
        WC-ST120                56000c
        It's slower, weaker, more expensive, and carries less ammo than the 
CN35. Of course, this unit is referred to as a "slug gun," which means that 
instead of single shells, It fires a cluster of slugs. It is therefore 
similar to a shotgun or scatter gun, and should be used appropriately. It is 
easier to score a hit with this gun than it is to do so with some of
the single-shot units, notably.
        WC-LN350                41800c
        Now here's an instant classic. The Linear Gun packs 120 rounds of 
ammo, each of which hits for 690 points of damage. You get 9000 metres of 
range, a fast reload time, and a good-sized reticle in which to aim. The 
only drawback to it is that you must be on the ground to fire it. (I suppose 
this is how it got its name.) For the money, it's really hard to do better, 
and I guarantee that you'll like this weapon.
        WC-GN230                75200c
        This is a beautifully percussive grenade launcher that travels 
slowly, is extremely heavy, and carries only 15 rounds. It does, however, do 
an enormous 3520 points of damage per hit and has a 12000 metre range. Its 
large detonation range makes it an ideal crowd-control weapon.
        WC-XP4000               61000c
        This pulse cannon uses energy from your generator to power it, which 
means no reload cost. Its function is exactly like the pulse rifles you can 
buy for hand-held use, except that it does almost twice the damage that the 
heavy-duty hand version does. Expect 770 points of damage per hit, a 9000 
metre range, and 100 shots.
        WC-XC8000               78700c
        It's big, it's bad, it's powerful. The XC8000 plasma cannon fires a 
long beam that hits its target in almost no time, for a crippling 2065 
points of damage per hit and an 8500 metre range. The cannon feeds from your 
energy stores, so don't get too trigger-happy or you may find yourself out 
of ammo for a few moments. Still, you won't have to hit anyone too many 
times with this weapon.
        WC-O1QL         69500c
        This shoulder-mounted laser cannon carries 80 rounds of ammo, 
refires fairly quickly, and does 1531 points of damage per hit. It also has 
a 12000 metre range, meaning that, if you're good at aiming, you can take 
your opponents out from a safe distance. And since it's an energy weapon, 
you won't have to worry about reloads.
        RXA-O1WE                12100c
        Now we shift to shoulder-mounted radar for a moment. This is the 
cheap choice of the group, providing 8650 metres of scan distance and 
nothing special. So there.
        RZ-AO           17900c
        Providing circular radar sweeps, the RZ-AO boasts an 11500 metre 
        range and not much else.
        RXA-99          14500c
        It looks like a weapon, but it's not. You get 8800 metres of scan 
        range with this model.
        RXA-77          23000c
        This radar offers a bit shorter distance than the 99, but adds 
        missile tracking abilities.
        RZ-A1                   33000c
        Longer range for more money (15700 metres). 'Nuff said.
        RZ-BBP          40900c
        A good-quality radar with 16300 metres of range--the longest of any 
        radar set. It's also brass-coloured.
        WX-S800/2               69400c
        This huge dual missile launcher carries 60 rounds of ammo that 
inflict 1120 points of damage per hit. It's so big, it takes up both 
shoulder slots and looks suspiciously like a jet pack. The missiles travel 
in a stately straight line--none of that "fanning-out" stuff you see with 
the smaller launchers. Of course, it weighs a #@!! of a lot more too.
        XCS-9900                94500c
        As the most expensive shoulder-mounted weapon in the game, this 
multi-missile launcher fires two projectiles that split off into what looks 
like eight total missiles—which then home in unerringly on their targets. 
You only get 20 shots, but each individual missile strikes for 980 points of 
damage. It's enough to completely wipe out one of the mechas from the A.C. 
test mode with a  single full-on hit, and it's just the thing for that pesky
opponent with lots of armour.

        Arm Weapon (17 types so far)
        You'll probably spend a lot of time here, trying to shop for just 
the right thing for your next mission. Remember that the left arm can only 
carry a laserblade, and that you'll need something for the other arm too. 
There is plenty of variety here, so enjoy!
        WG-RF35         11400c
        Cheap and unexceptional, this weapon is the one you start out with 
in your mecha's trusty right hand. It has a good range but not much attack 
power, and features one of the widest aiming reticles in the game. It's easy 
to use, carries 200 rounds, and reloads fairly quickly. What more could you 
want? Wait. . .don't answer that.
        WG-MGA1         14000c
        This will probably be your first weapon upgrade, and rightfully so. 
Each of the three machine guns is a pleasure to use despite their low 
individual hit damage. Don't let this throw you off, though--nothing reloads 
faster, and nothing carries more ammo for less. This machine gun is just the 
thing for an aspiring mecha pilot who wants to shred some metal up close and 
personal.
        WG-MG500                28400c
        What can I say? For about twice the price of the MGA1, you get 
longer range, almost twice the hit damage, and a cool brass-coloured shell! 
It's more and better of the same for more money. It does repeat more slowly, 
though.
        WG-AR1000               42300c
        A truly superlative weapon, this gun gives your mecha the ability to 
devastate enemies at close range and up to 7000 metres. It targets better 
than the MG500, but does less damage per hit. You won't notice, though--
since this gun fires twice as fast and carries 1000 rounds to divy up 
amongst your friends. Save up for it, use it, and then be proud of
it. It's a real treat.
        WG-HG235                19000c
        It's priced for the merc-mecha pilot on a budget, and does a bit 
more damage than the rifle you start out with. It does sport the shortest 
field-of-fire of the hand weapons (4800 metres), but it does have an 
unusually large targeting reticle and is very lightweight.  Besides, it's 
flat, so it looks as if your mecha is holding it sideways--just like a 
gangster.
        WG-RF/5         41500c
        For those of you who want to be able to sniff out your quarry at 
extreme distances, this gun's for you. Designated as a sniper rifle, it 
lives up to the name with an impressive 20000 metre range to exploit and 
enjoy. The shells do 530 points of damage per hit, so your opponent won't be 
too happy about being hit by one. On the downside, the shells travel a bit 
slowly, and the rifle's not much good at close range due to its long 
reloading time.
        WG-RF/P         33100c
        Here's the RF/5 take two. Less cost, less range, more damage per 
hit, less ammo, less energy drain, longer reload time. Go figure.
        WG-HG512                26200c
        And here's the hand gun take two. This time, your money appears to 
be buying something substantial, as this gun features more damage per hit 
and a longer range than the HG235. It takes a bit longer to reload, but it's 
a good all-around choice if you don't know what else to buy.
        WG-B2120                59740c
        Ah, now here's a nice weapon. The bazooka fires a slow-moving but 
potent explosive shell that inflicts 1250 points of damage on whatever it 
hits. Unfortunately, it may spend that damage on the wall next to your 
opponent if you don't time your shot
properly. It features a good long range and gives you 80 tries to nab that 
pesky mech.
        WG-B2180                75900c
        The bazooka, Mark Two. Just what do you get for nearly 16000c more? 
Well, you get a whopping 1930 points of damage per hit, for starters. 
However, it is slower, heavier, and has a shorter range. The ammo costs more 
too, but you probably won't notice  if you're a good shot. This weapon is a 
mainstay, and I therefore offer two words of advice: EnJoy.
        WG-XP1000               46000c
        This lightweight pulse rifle is a good compromise between cost and 
effectiveness.  Its glowing donut-chaped blasts do 302 points of damage per 
hit, and it has a stellar range of 15000 metres. Although it doesn't refire 
as rapidly as the machine guns, it is more flexible because of its greater 
range. In addition, the XP1000 drains its ammo stores form your generator, 
so refills are free!
        WG-XP2000               61500c
        As you might expect, this is a step up from the XP1000. It does more 
damage per hit, has a greater range (18000 metres), and carries 20 more 
rounds. Of course, it is slower to fire and costs 15000c more, but it's 
worth it.
        WG-XC4          51000c
        Plasma rifles are heavy. There's no getting around it. They're huge 
and massive and they consume lots of your generator energy when they fire. 
They do, however, cause lots of damage when they hit a target, so it kind of 
evens out. This one has an 8000 metre range, does 820 points of damage per 
hit, and weighs a hefty 686kg. It's a nice weapon if
you can afford it.
        WG-1-KARASAWA   75000c
        This is the most massive hand-held weapon available, and you will 
have to be observant to find it.. It is so big that some arm assemblies 
can't handle it, and you may have to buy some new legs to carry the weight 
afterwards. But it does 1550 points of damage per hit, can fire 50 times, 
and has a 10000 metre range. Besides, once you see your mecha holding it, 
you may never want another gun.
        LS-2001         11500c
        The budget laser blade is here, and is comes standard with your 
starting  mecha. It hits for 738 points, and, like all laserblades, can be 
used without fear of depleting its reserves.
        LS-200G         29000c
        950 points instead of 738. What more is there to say?
        LS-3303         37200c
        The pinnacle of a Jedi's skills. . .no, wait. It looks different, 
does 1210 points of damage per hit, and costs a lot. Still, it's more useful 
than a Swiss Army Knife. Of course, if your opponents are this close, I'm 
willing to bet you wish you had a machine gun.

        Strategy and so forth
        You've probably heard it many times before, but I'll say it again--
only fools rush in.  It is nice that you can save your game after every 
mission, because it helps to know what you're up against. You'll need to get 
some idea of what sort of weapons will fit the mission, and here is a little 
help. (These bits of advice are my own, and I don’t intend them
to be taken as hard-and-fast rules.)
        Upon finishing a mission, you will be shown a screen with various 
numbers on it.  The numbers in the top section represent the payment for the 
mission, and any bonuses you might have earned (such as a bonus for killing 
all the vermin in one of the exterminator missions). The next section shows 
negative values or zeroes, and represents how much of your winnings are 
going to reloading and repairing your mecha, and to property damage 
compensation. This is extremely important, so keep an eye on it. The next 
section shows the bottom-line profit from your mission, minus all the 
deductions. The final number at the bottom shows your resulting total 
balance.
        Obviously, it is important to play the game properly if you wish to 
make a profit and buy all those nifty parts. There are a few rules to follow 
which may help you:
        1. Only destroy targets--don't shoot up the empty boxes or step on 
the parked cars. Everything that gets destroyed while you battle the other 
mecha will be replaced at your expense. Attempt to draw battles away from 
volatile areas whenever possible. If you can't get a lock, don't shoot it.
        2. Follow Sun Tzu's concepts. This is war you're in, not a walk in 
the park. Don't just go striding confidently out into the fray when there 
are half a dozen mechs waiting to shoot holes in your head. Use the 
landscape to your advantage. Fight on your own terms.
Retreat when outnumbered. Strike quickly and decisively. And for God's sake, 
keep your head down and follow through on the swing. . .
        3. The mission ends when all requirements have been satisfied--this 
usually happens when you destroy all enemy mecha. If the mission isn't timed 
(if it is, there will be a timer counting down in your HUD), you can spend 
as long as you want exploring the level. I know of at least three items that 
can be found by this method, and several levels feature secret passages that 
can be accessed by destroying certain walls.
        Hand weapons are generally best for close- to medium-range combat, 
and I have had the most success with machine guns. Most of the hand-held 
weapons are best used for ground-based targets, or targets generally on the 
same vertical plane.
        Stationary targets should be attacked with either slow-firing, long-
range guns (like laser cannons or rocket launchers) or missile packs. 
Missile launchers are also very useful for attacking airborne targets at 
long range. Remember to only use missiles when there is adequate clearance 
from your position to the target's position. Otherwise, you'll see those
expensive projectiles detonating on the walls or floors.
        Take shots carefully. Since ammo is limited for all weapons, 
conserve what you have and try to get a good shot before firing--
particularly in the case of the heavy-calibre weapons.
        Don't waste heavy-duty weaponry on weak opponents, like the 
spiderlike sentry droids running around in some of the internal complexes. 
Save those weapons for the larger mecha. It is also worth mentioning that 
the various enemies you will encounter appear to be more vulnerable to some 
weapons than to others. Experiment and see.
        Most missions have at least two or three types of opposition, and 
some have more than that. Therefore, your weapon selection should be as 
flexible as possible.  I usually favor carrying three weapons (not counting 
the laserblade)--something for close-range combat, a missile launcher of 
some sort for long range, and a heavy-duty weapon for larger mecha. I like 
the multi-missile for air targets, a regular or large missile for standard
targets, the linear gun for just about everything, and the arm laser cannons 
for heavy-duty jobs.
        You can usually get some idea of what to expect, even if you can't 
read Japanese, by looking at the pictures that come up in the briefing. From 
there, you can back out and go shopping for the right kind of weapon. Try 
everything you can afford at least once.  There really aren't any throwaway 
weapons here--they all have use in some situation.
        You will also find that different missions tend to favour different 
body parts.  Sometimes your mecha may need the stability that comes with 
tank treads or heavy humanoid legs, while other times you may want high 
mobility and consequently look for four-legs type or reverse joint. Remember 
to experiment with different configurations—just because a part is expensive 
doesn't mean that it will help you too much.
        Not getting hit, while somewhat difficult, plays an important part 
in survival. Don't forget to use vectored boost as a method of avoiding 
enemy fire. It helps first of all to keep moving whenever possible, since 
moving targets are harder to hit. But it helps even more to add the 
occasional vectored boost to your evasive actions, in order to
confuse the computer AI. It also helps you to avoid locked-on missiles, 
which tend to do lots of damage.

Vs Mode
        Yes, you can play head-to head in Armored Core. The gameplay is the 
same, but you are allowed to choose from several different areas in which to 
fight. Your mechas start out as the standard model, but you can load your 
mech data from the memory card.  This is what I did when playing against a 
friend, and an excellent time was had.
        Vs Mode is stable and fun. The screen is divided vertically, with 
Player 1 on the left and Player 2 on the right. The display is the same as 
it is for the regular game, only smaller. There are a few options to choose 
from, such as the aforementioned level select, time limit alteration, and 
memory card loading of mecha files. There is no restriction on what kind of 
mecha you can bring into battle, as long as you've already saved a file with
those parts available. Once both players are competent at controlling their 
mecha, this mode is very entertaining. It's yet another reason to play this 
game.

The Final Verdict
        The final verdict is that From Software has an excellent game to 
offer in Armored Core. The missions are highly varied, the mecha parts are 
many and diverse, and the gameplay in general will keep any serious player 
occupied for a while. And if that gets a bit stale, try the two-player mode! 
Highly recommended.
        Ratings:
        Gameplay:       9.5 (out of 10)
        Graphics:       9
        Sound:          9
        Control:        9.5
        Features:       9.9
        Replay Value:   9.9
      
Special thanks to Freddy Chan for running a great PSX website, and to the
mysterious Ms. Playstation for other help rendered.

-- Walter Griswold

View in: