Names in Armored Core: Noblesse Oblige

When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required. – Luke 12:48

Pilot: R. Leonhardt (AC4), Gerard Gendelin (Armored Core: For Answer)
First Appearance: Armored Core 4

I feel it is appropriate to do a background check on one of the more recent icons to appear in the Armored Core franchise, the Noblesse Oblige, in light of the announcement of its upcoming model kit.

The term Noblesse Oblige comes from the French language, literally meaning “Nobility Obligates”. In usage, it means that power and prestige come with responsibility, very much like the famous saying of the (late) uncle of a particular web-slinging superhero we all know.

Implied in the statement is a bigger picture of society as a whole, where those who are in a position of power and wealth are duty-bound to help those who are less fortunate, and have public responsibilities to show good behavior and exceed society’s norms for decency.

In one scenario that may illustrate the phrase’s impact, the police might show less vindiction, or even a degree of sympathy, for a homeless person that gets caught stealing bread from a bakery, whereas a person in a position of power, like an elected high ranking government official, will make headlines in national news should they commit the same crime.

A person in a position of power has a greater moral responsibility to act as a role model to society, and as one’s name is attached to a prestigious title, he or she is expected to behave according to society’s expectations.

In the context of Armored Core, little is known behind R. Leonhardt besides his arena description and his few appearances in Armored Core 4, and Noblesse Oblige’s re-appearance in Armored Core: For Answer under the LYNX Gerard Gendelin.

The Noblesse Oblige itself is unlike any other Armored Core design before it. Sporting a white-and-gold paint scheme on an elegant all-Hogire frame, and two triple-barreled laser cannons arranged in “angel wings” formation when not in use. The unit’s all Rosenthal parts is one of elegance, and despite its seemingly fragile appearance, is a rather robust machine in-game.

Noblesse Oblige was a radical departure from the traditional look of Armored Core, where even the fastest machines were traditionally portrayed as bulky, ungainly war machines. Not so with Noblesse Oblige. There is a sense of power, awe, and grandeur in the presence of this machine, its wings and halo-like vernier heat trail implying its status as a sort machine god that can either be a savior or destroyer, depending on the tides of battle.

Regardless, war rarely sees the birth of such breathtaking beauty.

The Noblesse Oblige model kit is expected to launch in October 2009.

Discuss the model kit in our forums.

UPDATE: Noblesse Oblige has been released, check your local hobby stores for availability.