I love the Arena. Almost every Armored Core game features an arena or at least a ranking system, and it's a chance to show off some of the best and most interesting pilots in the Armored Core universe. The Armored Core Arena made a return in the most recent game, and I needed to see if it had some good pilots. Oh boy, it does.
But the truth is I don't care about the best pilots. I care about the worst. The bottom-tier people who so clearly should do anything other than pilot a giant mech and get into combat. Not everyone can be as cool as the original Armored Core's Nine-Ball, but I'm not entirely certain this batch is trying.
Danger - Armored Core: Project Phantasma
The sorta-prequel sorta-expansion to the original game, Project Phantasma was the first Armored Core to feature an arena mode. It also features our first total loser. Danger is kind of pathetic. His entire history, which is only a single sentence long, basically just establishes him as a consistent loser who has never advanced out of the bottom ranking.
Just as pathetic as Danger is his Armored Core, Wasp. You see, Danger's only other personality trait is that he doesn't know how to customize his AC. As such, Wasp is just the absolute basic model AC. It's the exact same one you start the game with, zero upgrades at all.
The whole point of the game is customizing your mech, Danger, maybe you should try that sometime.
No Problem - Armored Core: Master of Arena
The second and final sorta-expansion for Armored Core was entirely focused on the Arena. There were 10 different Arenas for you to fight in. Despite this, there's still one dude who's just so bad he has to be at the bottom of all these arenas. That dude is No Problem.
Do I mean you'll have no problem beating him? Yes, because much like Danger he has never won a match. Do I mean you'll have no problem with his mech? Yes, because his mech, hilariously named Angst, is just poorly made. Do I mean his name is actually No Problem? Yes, that's also true.
Hilariously, No Problem does have one thing Danger doesn't have: legions of fans. The thing is that they just like watching him lose. Ouch.
Hustler Two - Armored Core 2
Okay, a quick bit of Armored Core Arena lore to explain this one. Hustler One, pilot of Nine-Ball, is the top-ranking pilot in Armored Core and Master of Arena. The twist is that it's actually an advanced AI, and you discover this and kill it at the end of Master of Arena.
This earns you the rank of "Ninebreaker" and the number 1 of the arena in all future games is given the rank of Ninebreaker for this reason. Got it?
Hustler Two, pilot of Eight-Ball, is the lowest-ranking pilot in Armored Core 2. He has no actual skill and his mech is just a crummy rip-off of Nine-Ball's design with cheaper parts. The only reason he's ranked is that he just tells everyone that he's Hustler One's son, a claim that already feels dubious by how bad he is, but especially so when you remember Master of Arena's twist.
Nice try my guy, but you're going on the scrap heap.
Splurge - Armored Core 2
A rule of thumb: you don't want to advertise your biggest weakness. Splurge's mech, Squanderer, is actually well built and is a heavily armored defense-focused foe you have to put some work (and heavy weapons) into cracking. It's just you may notice something about this guy's pilot and mech name.
Splurge doesn't know how to conserve ammo. Splurge has named himself and made his personality about the fact that he doesn't know how to conserve ammo. Splurge has literally named his mech after the fact that he doesn't know how to conserve ammo. Well gee, thanks for the heads up. This just seems like a bad thing to tell your opponent.
Werehound - Armored Core 2
As far as Armored Core Arenas go, Armored Core 2 had a real high concentration of loser weirdos. Werehound is another one. However, there's something off about him. He's actually a really talented pilot whose biography straight-up says he has the skill to be among the best. His mech, PK, is actually really well-built and designed to be a real pain for unprepared players. So what gives?
Werehound loves stomping noobs. Werehound loves stomping noobs so much that he actually throws matches to keep himself in the lower ranks so he can stomp noobs more. He has no interest in testing his skill. He just wants to beat up another newbie pilot and laugh about it.
He is quite literally a League of Legends smurf account. So sure, he wins, but deep down he's still a loser weirdo.
Wake Up - Armored Core 3
I get it: sometimes something throws you off your game and you have trouble recovering. Such is the fate of Wake Up, pilot of Echo Head. Originally a pro, one day Wake Up had a never defined traumatic incident, and since then he has been on a never-ending losing streak. He just keeps losing match after match after match.
But even worse, every time he swearsies for realsies that he has gotten over whatever this traumatic incident is and is back baby. It's just that, you know, clearly it hasn't happened as he's the second lowest-ranked participant in Armored Core 3. At least he's not in the bottom! Maybe it's time to call it and find a new hobby.
Twinhead-B and Twinhead-W - Armored Core 3
A double feature. Twinhead-B and Twinhead-W are a brother-sister pair that pilots the mechs Patriot and Animal respectively. They work well together, with B serving as the tank while W does the precision strikes. There's just one problem: arenas are exclusively 1v1 battles. So they can't actually rely on each other.
Separated from their sibling, their super awesome strategy of "work with each other" just straight up falls apart. Even worse: the biographies and rankings mention that B is just a notably worse pilot than W, something that's causing tension and problems between them.
So their super awesome master plan is to fail to read the rules so badly they end up ruining their family relationship. Not going to be a pleasant Thanksgiving.
Call Limit - Armored Core: Nexus
Call Limit is so pathetic his boss literally sends him to die. While he is the lowest-ranking member of Nexus' arena, you don't actually fight Call Limit in an Armored Core arena. Instead, he ambushes you in one of the early levels, not to kill you (well, he thinks he's killing you) but to try and stall you long enough so you both can get hit by a missile.
His mech, Hot Rod, is mostly focused on speed. Not very well, however, as it's prone to stalling out. Even funnier, he's so poorly armed that Call Limit running out of ammo before killing you is a genuine possibility.
Hot Rod isn't just described as the weakest AC in the arena, but actually as one of the weakest enemies in the game, period. Now you can kind of understand why he was sent to die.
Champion Champs - Armored Core: For Answer
First things first, Champion Champs is an excellent name and the exact thing I'd call myself if I was such a loser. Second, Champion Champs is the pilot of the Killdozer. It's a heavily armored modified construction mech. Yes, it's most likely a reference to exactly what you think it is. So off to a great start.
Much like Call Limit, Champion Champs actually ambushes you in the middle of a mission. However, what happens next is he starts screaming. He never stops. Champion Champs just has no ability to put words together, he screams and yells and makes all sorts of worrying noises until you put him down. So that's troubling.
"Invincible" Rummy - Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon
Once again, great name. The lowest ranked member of the most recent Armored Core arena, "Invincible" Rummy fights you in his mech Mad Stomp that is a mismatch of parts and colors. He's a drug addict who's so bad at his job, some of the people who outrank him include a guy who admits he doesn't know how to pilot an AC, a paranoid science experiment, and a literal child.
Rummy also joins the recent trend of mid-mission ambushes. When he shows up he keeps screaming his mech's name over and over. Both the AI working with you and his own boss talk about how much they hate him and how bad he is at his job.
After you kill him, his boss literally hires you as thanks, and in the next mission just talks about how much better you are at Rummy's job. He may possibly be the most pathetic person on this list.
I Love the Armored Core Arena Losers
Look, it's easy to make fun of these terrible pilots and wonder why they're even here, but I love them. Not everyone who brings a giant mech into battle is going to be any good at piloting it. From family feuds to con artists to people who just don't understand customization, these losers add a ton to Armored Core's worldbuilding through some fantastic use of Armored Core Arena.
Just little weirdos doing their best. You're not going to hate on a little weirdo, are you?