Another Century's Episode 3: The Final
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|Another Century's Episode 3: The Final|
Another Century's Episode 3: The Final (アナザーセンチュリーズエピソード 3 THE FINAL Anazā Senchurīzu Episōdo Surī The Final?), abbreviated as "A.C.E.3", is a mecha action video game produced by Banpresto and developed by From Software. It was released for the PlayStation 2 on September 6, 2007.
Differences to predecessors
- Maps: The indoor map, which exists in both A.C.E.1 and A.C.E.2 is removed, along with the space/land-only robot limitation (the only exception being Gatchko in King Gainer, having an open-top cockpit prevents use in space). The guide map is improved, showing the complete map in real time. A close map is shown in battle and manual switching is available.
- Support Skills: Each pilot has one, or rarely two, unique support skills if you launch your support robot, they have different functions in battle, such as recovering your armor points, inflicting a great amount of damage to strong enemies, etc. Most robots need certain conditions to launch, like under a certain armor level.
- Cooperative Gameplay: Added in this installment. Some of the missions are available for cooperative play, settings differ from the single player version and sometimes requires both players to deal with the same point.
- Favorites System: The Favourites Title determines the total times a mecha is launched in operation, instead of choosing the title at the start of the game.
- Route choices: As the story advances, players may choose their routes of operation, this also affects the sequences of certain mecha obtained.
- Pilot Cut-ins: 3D Pilot cut-ins continue to be used, unlike the previous installment which mainly use the pilot's upper body. Most of them use full-scale 3D animations for pilot cut-ins. Communication screens and pilot selection uses 2D pictures as usual.
- Event clip replay: Event clips in battle can be replayed in the menu without playing the related stage again.
- Limiter Release: Limiter Release is reversible.
- The Chain time system is removed.
Another Century's Episode 3 features a total of eighteen different series, with 103 player-usable mechas, including weapons, colors and Getter's variations and A.C.E. Originals. The series first featured in A.C.E 3 are:
- Overman King Gainer
- After War Gundam X
- Mobile Suit Gundam
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED
- Eureka Seven
- Turn A Gundam
- Getter Robo Armageddon
- Macross Plus
The series featured in previous A.C.E. games are:
- Metal Armor Dragonar
- Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack
- Mobile Fighter G Gundam
- Martian Successor Nadesico: The Motion Picture – Prince of Darkness
- Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz
- Aura Battler Dunbine
- Macross: Do You Remember Love?
- Brain Powerd
- The Wings of Rean
Units created specifically for the A.C.E. series are:
- XA-00 Exblau
- Blood Ark
- Grave Ark
- Grave Ark Phantom
- Gun Ark
Excluding originals, both Overman King Gainer and Eureka Seven have never appeared in any other crossover mecha-related game series before, like Super Robot Wars (they would both appear in the following Super Robot Wars production). King Gainer and Shin Getter get their first appearance in an action-type game. The Falguen Custom, designed by Kunio Okawara at early-2007 in the Sunrise's official mecha-setting file, takes its first appearance in video media. Wings of Rean's storyline is present in A.C.E.3, as the ONA started airing when A.C.E.2 released, which made it impossible to include it in A.C.E.2's storyline at that time.
A.C.E.3 makes a departure in the A.C.E. franchise by including Shin Getter Robo and Overman King Gainer, both super robots, as past A.C.E. titles exclusively contained real robots (though the appearances from G Gundam in the prequels are questionable). The entire series was marketed as "Real Robot Action". Though King Gainer's mecha did not have a lot of change in their performance, the power of the Getter Machines is greatly reduced with its armor and speed weaker than smaller robots. Other than that, the game also first features units which can only jump (using boosters gauges), but are also unable to float on air continuously like other mechas, which all RX-78 types and Gatchko do.
Story and Plot
A.C.E.3 is set three years after the events of A.C.E.2, between the final battle between the UCE and the Zentradi in A.C.E.2 (the antagonists of Macross), known as The First Defensive War. It also mentions that the UCE forces has been reformed into the Earth Federation forces. The game's overall plot deals with the sudden appearance of a second, war-torn Earth from which new and more deadly enemies emerge. At the same time, enemies who survived the First Defensive War begin reappearing on the original Earth, further complicating matters. The game is primarily divided between two sides with "Earth Side A" (the Earth in A.C.E.2), dealing with the stories for Endless Waltz, Char's Counterattack, Macross, Macross Plus, Dragonar, Wings of Rean, and Prince of Darkness, while "Earth Side B" (the new, ruined Earth) involves the plots of Gundam X, Eureka Seven, Shin Getter Robo, and Overman King Gainer. The stories behind the remaining series (Gundam, Turn A Gundam, Gundam SEED, G Gundam, Dunbine, and Brain Powered) are not included (with the latter three's storyline get concluded in A.C.E.2), existing mainly to support the other series. Also, the storylines of Dragonar and Macross are given original treatments, as their main plots have been concluded in A.C.E.2; Endless Waltz only involves with a very brief appearance in certain route (while showing power eliminating hundreds of unit at an instant, through it cannot be seen).
The events of A.C.E.3 are mainly connected by a device called the Baldora Drive, which was originally planned as a teleportation device for outer space travel in Earth A and the invasion of the space colonies in Earth B. However, both sides abandoned the use of the Baldora Drive 18 years ago, but recently got back into service when they had the technology to repair it. Through this device, a wormhole is created in space between the two Earths, which allows the protagonists to travel between them. However, as the wormhole expands due to the effect of the Baldora Charge (which is used to power the device) obtained from various sources of energy, it would eventually make the size of a wormhole large enough to make the two earths collide with one another, due to gravitational attraction, from which its final outcome will be the destruction of mankind. In order to stop this, heroes from both sides must ally together and find a way to stop the device, before the wormhole fully expands.
The primary battleships in A.C.E.3 are the Gekko from Eureka Seven and the Nadesico B from The Prince of Darkness, with the latter eventually being replaced by the Nadesico C as per the movie's plot. Tower, the main ship from Getter Robo, is also given lots of appearance in the game. The main ship of the Londo Bell (as well as the launching ship in A.C.E.), the Ra Cailum and its captain, Bright Noa, also appears in the game, but due to the death of Hirotaka Suzuoki (the voice actor for Bright) in 2006, most of his scenes in the game are simply cut out (and his voice mainly re-uses the recorded ones in A.C.E.).
Hitomi Shimatani, who performed the opening and ending themes for the first A.C.E. game, returned to provide the themes for A.C.E.3 as well. The opening theme is named Shinku (深紅, Scarlet), and the ending theme is "Ai no Uta" (愛の詩, "Poem of Love"). The single containing both songs was released on September 5, 2007, one day before the game was released.
Prequels & sequels
- Another Century's Episode Released in Japan on January 27, 2005.
- Another Century's Episode 2 Released in Japan on March 30, 2006.
- Another Century's Episode: R Released in Japan on August 19, 2010.
- Another Century's Episode Portable Released in Japan on January 13, 2011.
- Official website (Japanese)