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Skies of Deception is the first game in the Ace Combat series on the Play Station Portable and the ninth game in the series overall. Released in 2006. It focuses on the southern section of the Osean Continent where you play as a pilot in the air force of the Federal Republic of Aurelia. In 2020, they are invaded by the Democratic Republic of Leasath on the pretext of retaliation for their involvement in a civil war. In just ten days their superweapon, the Gleipnir aerial fortress, wipes out almost the entire Aurelian air force. Gryphus One is the only survivor of his squadron and must lead the counterattack into Leasath territory.

The game brought a few new gimmicks into the series. The first was its campaign structure, where missions were chosen freely from a list of around 5 and could be done in any order, or not at all in some cases. The second was equippable parts that would boost certain characteristics of the chosen plane, often at a price. Albert Genette, the reporter from The Unsung War, returns to narrate the story of Gryphus Squadron.

Tropes found in the game

  • Arms Dealer: Diego Navarro, the military leader of Leasath.
  • Boss Remix: "Alect Squadron".
  • Bonus Boss: Scarface One and the Z.O.E. Commander.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: The Fenrir.
  • Cherry Blossoms: The Zipang F-14D as a Downloadable Content.
  • Civil War: Partially what led to the events of the game.
  • Commissar Cap: Leasath commanding officer Diego Gaspar Navarro is seen wearing one.
  • Continuity Cameo: The game is narrated by Albert Genette, the same photojournalist who narrated Ace Combat 5 The Unsung War.
  • Disc One Nuke: The XFA-27 may fit this. Also, the F-5E is equipped with QAAMs. It's balanced by only carrying four, but still, that's effectively four free air kills.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Beautifully averted. Some allies outright fanboy Gryphus One in their radio conversations, and at the end it's shown that souvenir shops are selling stuff with his Southern Cross emblem.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The Leasathian bombing of a defenceless city in the first mission clearly shows that they aren't quite the My Country, Right or Wrong Punch Clock Villains of other titles.
  • Fight in The Nude: Adding parts to planes doesn't change their appearance one bit.
  • For the Evulz: Some Leasath Air Force bombers rain bombs on a defenceless city just because they can spare the ordnance.
  • Fragile Speedster: The Cariburn.
  • Hero-Tracking Failure: The Meson Cannon can't keep up with Gryphus One if he flies fast enough.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: The Time Limit mission provides us with one as the player can'y accelerate very hard at first.
  • Instant Death Radius: The Gleipnir's Shock Cannon. The mission "In Pursuit" also has an IDR with "high-performance SAMs" protecting a group of jammers from you.
  • Interface Screw: A SWBM detonating or a firing of the Shock Cannon results in the screen shaking.
  • Invisibility Cloak: The Digital Optical Stealth on the Gleipnir and Fenrir.
  • Invisibility Flicker: The Gleipnir needs to decloak to fire its Shock Cannon. Averted with stealth fighters that can remain off-radar even when firing missiles and decloak only pretty much arbitrarily.
  • Karma Houdini: Diego Navarro, the Leasath leader, escapes justice and his Batman Gambit still partially works out.
    • In one ending. In the other, he's torn apart by an angry mob.
  • Kick the Dog: You have Leasath bombing a defenceless city For the Evulz and the Hamlet unit's biochemical attack on Santa Elva, which may be a Moral Event Horizon-crossing.
  • The Law of Conservation of Detail: The game loves making use of this for its Remixed Levels.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Ninox 2 , who flies ahead of formation and gets wasted by the Meson Cannon for his trouble.
  • Level Grinding: It makes you unlock a set of colour schemes by kill farming too.
  • Mook Maker: You have carriers doing this.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The Hamlet unit's use of a biochemical agent to attack Santa Elva makes it quite difficult to sympathise with Leasath's military.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: Averted in some cases; some Leasath soldiers aren't Just Following Orders but genuinely buy into Navarro's desire to see the destruction and downfall of Aurelia. Of course, he is a good speaker.
  • My Nayme Is: We have the Cariburn with a R, whereas King Arthur's first sword is Caliburn with a L.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The game offers you various ways of breaking it by choosing or ignoring missions, and the final one is a Sadistic Choice that you can't avoid.
  • No Endor Holocaust: The Gleipnir's crashing in doesn't injure anyone, which Eugene remarks on.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Subverted as a high enough defence allows you to get away with 90+ , maybe 80+ % damage taken... not that many planes are both that survivable and still good dogfighters.
  • Pixel Hunt: Ther's two missions (depending on your mission choices) with radar jamming, forcing you to eyeball tiny targets.
  • Punch Clock Villain: At least one Leasath shipman would rather be fishing than pursuing war with Aurelia.
  • Real Men Fly Pink Raptors: Gryphus One's Southern Cross emblem comes with some cutesy cartoon bird.
  • Remixed Level: Lots of these.
  • The Republic: Aurelia.
  • Sadistic Choice: The game asks you how you want to make the final mission harder.
  • Stealthy Colossus: Gleipnir.
  • Visible Invisibility: The Gleipnir and Fenrir use Predator-style shimmer for their Digital Optic Stealth.
  • War for Fun and Profit: The leader of the aggressive nation Leasath, Diego Gaspar Navarro, attacks the country of Aurelia in order to demonstrate the Fenrir, an amazing jet he was planning to sell.
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