The clouds are thick, and threatening. The rain is hammering down. I can barely hear the rumbles of thunder or the rumble of the afterburners over the constant beeping from my cockpit. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. It never stops; not even for a moment as the missiles close in. The clouds affect the homing abilities of the missiles so I’m not worried; yet. We’ve been at this for a few minutes, my opponent and I, screaming around those threatening clouds, trying hard to get a lock on to fire our missiles only for them to miss. Around and around we go, chasing after one another in an endless loop. Pulling high-g turns, barrel rolling and trying every trick we can think of to get the upper hand in this duel of ours.
We dash in and out of the clouds as we chase each other around. They get thicker and thinner, lighter and darker; each bit of the clouds looks so different as we pass through and yet, I quickly lose all sense of where I am all the same. We switch from doing vertical loops, to horizontal ones, to S’s. Constantly turning, shifting, strategising. Only one of us can win, but our determination seems to be equal with neither of us is willing to give up. Each move one us makes is met with a counter of some sort, each of us trying to get into an advantageous position from which we were sure we’d finally hit our mark and emerge victorious.
The water builds up on my canopy, it starts to blur my vision and soon it will ice up. My visibility will be next to zero and my ability to maneuver my aircraft would be severely hampered. I need to clear it before that happens, even if it’s just a little. I head out of the clouds. This is what my view looks like…
I escape death by mountain side; barely. Milliseconds and millimetres are all I had to spare. It was close. With that crisis averted a new one comes sharply into focus. “Warning!” yells the cockpit and then the beeping starts in earnest once again. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. My opponent had circled round behind me while I was scrambling, got a lock-on me and fired. This was his chance to finally take me out. To come out as the victor from our epic dogfight. He gave it everything, 2 standard missiles and 4 more from his special weapon. Each one homing in with a vengeance. The cockpit’s beeping was at fever pitch. I had barely a second to make a move or I was done for. I had to act! “I won’t lose!” I thought to myself.
There was only one thing for it.
I plunged back into those dark, threatening grey clouds. Our duel began anew.
It’s an incredible game, Ace Combat 7, truly incredible.