Silent Line: Armored Core
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|Silent Line: Armored Core|
North American PlayStation 2 cover art
|Composer(s)||Tsukasa Saioth, Kota Hoshino|
|Platform(s)||PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable|
|Genre(s)||Action, third-person shooter|
|Mode(s)||Single player, multiplayer|
Following the destruction of the machine-run society of Layered at the hands of a Raven, mankind has slowly begun the process of returning to the surface and repopulating the face of the globe. All is well with mankind, or so the corporations would lead you to believe; however, despite disbelief of their assurances in the general populace, things truly are looking up for humanity. Reconnaissance teams are sent out all over the world to search the land and determine what has changed, and to seek areas for the returning humanity to go. Everything so far seems to be explorable, or at least reachable; everything, that is, except for one area that continually eludes scouting. All attempts to investigate this region are met with complete loss of contact from the exploratory units, mostly at its border. Anything that attempts to cross the line goes silent; thus this demarcation becomes known as the 'Silent Line.'
Given that mankind returned to a subterranean state after a global nuclear war, there is no known threat in this silent area. However, everything that crosses into it never returns. What is behind the Silent Line? Why does everything that crosses it go missing? As a Raven of Global Cortex, you are sent to the Silent line to discover exactly what is behind it, and to find an answer to this enigma.
- Global Cortex - A unique organization, Global Cortex is the intermediary between corporate clients and mercenaries for hire. These mercenaries, more commonly referred to as Ravens, are pilots who operate the massive mechanized units known as Armored Cores. Though Global Cortex works closely with all the corporations, it maintains a strict level of neutrality and does not side with any of them.
- Mirage - Mirage, the largest of the three corporations, intends to strengthen its position as the world's dominant power through the immediate acquisition and redevelopment of surface territory. Mirage believes that the future lies aboveground and all of the corporation's current efforts are focused on ensuring that this vision becomes a reality. Every day that Mirage's influence in Layered wanes, their grip on the surface world grows.
- Crest - Second only to Mirage, Crest is another corporate giant which exercises great influence over the masses. While both companies are well aware of the benefits that would accompany control of the planet's surface, Crest views Mirage's plans as far too shortsighted to succeed. Crest's own strategy, while not as immediately apparent as Mirage's, is more long-term in nature. Crest intends to first fill the void left behind when the Controller was destroyed, thereby gaining control of Layered and its citizens, and then use this momentum to secure its position on the planet's surface.
- Kisaragi - Kisaragi is a mouse among lions and even though they've made some surface territory gains, these pale in comparison to those secured by Crest and Mirage. Direct confrontation with either of its rivals would result in Kisaragi's demise, and the company takes great pains to avoid any involvement in disputes between the two. By adopting a watch-and-wait attitude, Kisaragi has done all it realistically can to ensure its continued existence.
- Artificial Intelligence Office (AIO) - An organization dedicated to the redevelopment of A.I. technology after The Controller’s destruction and mankind’s return to the surface world. They have been supplying A.I. technology to all three major corporations, and have been rather helpful to them in their various endeavors. Although, all of the Corporations have found it rather curious that no one has ever made face-to-face contact with an AIO representative...
- Emma Sears - A Global Cortex liaison manager responsible for the player’s mission assignments and communications support.
- Sera Cross - An enigmatic woman working for the AIO who occasionally relays supportive information to the player; despite her helpfulness, however, her motives appear to be rather questionable, as do those of the organization she works for. Her actions leave one to wonder if she is really as helpful as she appears...
- IBIS - An A.I. construct similar to The Controller (which was called 'Dove' in the Japanese version of Armored Core 3) found within the second Layered.
During the course of the game, it is revealed that technology given to the Corporations has a suspicious quality—it resembles that of the Controller and a satellite cannon discovered in space by reconnaissance technology from Mirage. In addition, the cannon itself appears to be autonomous. When Mirage attempts to infiltrate the satellite, they accidentally set off an override mechanism; a mysterious code is sent to all of the technology given to the Corporations by the AIO, and a massive amount of their collective technology either goes haywire, detonates on them, or attacks the Corporations' forces autonomously, causing catastrophic loss in resources for all of them. This extreme blow to the Corporations causes them to launch a mass collaborative effort never before seen. The Corporations as a whole send a group of Ravens to the satellite to disable the cannon, which is now firing erratically all over the surface; its attacks, while random, seem to be avoiding the area behind the Silent Line. Once the massive weapon is disabled, the Corporations seek the source of the override code; the emanation point is behind the Silent Line. A lone Raven is sent out to probe the area, and breaks through the Line. A large AI fortress is discovered, and infiltrated by this Raven. The code transmitter is destroyed, but it becomes apparent the fortress was merely a relay station, and the Corporations backtrack to find the code's source; while doing so, they find the signal's emanation point: it from the AI of another Layered (there is a path to this Layered in the fortress). The Raven is then sent for a final investigation, and it is revealed that Sera Cross (the enigmatic employee of the AIO), the AIO itself, and all of its employees and subordinates, are all AI. The Raven discovers several unknown machines, that were seen around the surface previously by the Corporations' exploratory units, and promptly destroys them before continuing on. Deep within the bowels of this new Layered, the Raven faces off with IBIS, an AI unit with a dual voice (one male, presumably a computer, and the other is Sera Cross' voice). The Raven eliminates IBIS, freeing the surface from the grip of the Silent Line, liberates the citizens of the second Layered to return to the surface. In the game's ending, a transport plane is shown, freely flying over the surface.
Silent Line continued Armored Core 3's storyline and development and introduced several new features. As the player's AC takes damage in missions, it's AC weaponry does as well, and if certain parts take too much damage they will be unusable for the rest of the mission, to be restored afterward. "Clone" weapons are also introduced, these are copies of existing weaponry with altered colors and statistics like lessened weight or increased ammo capacity. Neither of these features were represented in the next AC game, Armored Core: Nexus. You could also transfer save data from Armored Core 3.
The PlayStation Portable version was titled Armored Core: Silent Line Portable (アーマード･コア サイレントライン ポータブル Āmādo Koa Sairento Rain Pōtaburu) and released in Japan in November 2009 and elsewhere in 2010. Features of this version include 16:9 widescreen support, improved menus, ad hoc wireless play and the ability to import save data from Armored Core 3 Portable.
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