It’s hours into the occasions of Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon earlier than you are feeling a way of heat. Till the mission “Operation Wallclimber,” you might be nothing however a quantity, nothing however a employed gun on the opposite finish of barked orders.
Within the chilly metal storage that’s your house on the desolate planet of Rubicon, you might be known as “canine,” “hound,” and “merc.” Much more dehumanizing nicknames await you later. The closest identities that your character, C4-621, has previous to “Operation Wallclimber” are “Raven,” the id you’ve stolen, and “Gun 13,” a designation foisted upon you after you killed the man who would’ve used that identify.
However all the things adjustments when Rusty of the Vespers arrives and calls you “buddy.”
[Ed. note: This story contains spoilers for Armored Core 6.]
Rusty is Armored Core 6’s most crush-worthy AC pilot. He’s effortlessly cool, and he’s launched with applicable panache: On the Wall, Rusty swoops in using his Metal Haze mech, and the digicam pans up his spindly Nachtreiher AC legs to showcase his emblem, a muzzled wolf. In contrast to the remainder of the sport’s characters, Rusty treats you with respect and camaraderie in your first battle collectively — throughout which he additionally genuinely appears involved about your well-being. Afterward, he shares personal particulars about that mission as a warning concerning the firms’ intentions for you, making Rusty the primary character on Rubicon who appears reliable.
No matter spectacular feat you pull off in Armored Core 6, irrespective of what number of slo-mo exploding boss battles you stroll away from, none of it can match the earned coolness of Rusty saying “I received’t miss” earlier than he skewers your shared opponent with a railgun through the battle in opposition to the Ice Worm.
Is it any surprise, then, that gamers have fallen in love with Rusty, envisioning him as a dashing, rebellious pilot? We by no means truly see Rusty’s face in Armored Core 6, however every bit of fan artwork of the person inside Metal Haze appears, to me anyway, 100% correct.
FromSoftware’s dialogue for Rusty is crafted to make you fall in love with him. He boosts you up (“Walter is aware of find out how to decide ’em”; “Glad you’re on my facet”; “Keep cool, buddy”) and provides you one thing to aspire to.
“There’s no graver menace than energy with out goal,” Rusty tells you throughout a mission during which he’s tasked with disposing of 621 underneath the command of his company handlers at Arquebus. Whereas Handler Walter can compel the participant to carry out missions for his shoppers, and Ayre can nudge them towards doing the fitting factor, it’s Rusty who affords 621 a path towards redemption, towards that “goal,” towards one thing extra than simply one other job. Within the chilly, callous world of Armored Core 6, that’s a uniquely humanizing factor.
It’s not till a lot later within the sport, when the fact of two AC pilots working for competing pursuits involves a head, that Rusty’s true significance — and true intentions — emerge. All through Armored Core 6’s story, these intentions are telegraphed in dialogue and fight logs. Like different FromSoftware video games, Rusty’s position on this story isn’t clear at first, but it surely’s in the end revealed that he’s a undercover agent working for the Rubicon Liberation Entrance.
Close to the tip of the sport, when Rusty reappears in a brand new mech, reborn as Metal Haze Ortus, he bears a distinct emblem. The wolf is unmasked this time, and relying on sure mission selections and which playthrough gamers are on, they’ll both struggle him or struggle alongside him as soon as extra, with the power of the Rubiconian resistance behind Rusty and 621.
Rusty’s destiny on the finish of the sport is unclear, correctly for a person of his cool issue. However no matter whether or not Rusty survives the occasions of Armored Core 6, he’s the one who walks away clear. He’s the hero of this story — not only for his convictions and actions, however for remodeling the participant right into a hero, too.
Keep cool, Rusty.