A Prologue to Armored Core’s Storied PVP History

Step into the midst of the red-hot plasma jet debris and prepare to be captivated by the tales of legendary battles fought between Ravens, NEXTs, and mercenaries from a bygone era. Let me transport you back two decades, to a time when Armored Core PVP demanded the same level of anticipation as a first date—one that would forever be etched in your memory.

Yearning for True Adversaries

Cast your mind back to the late 90s, to an era when mobile devices only offered basic talk and text features, 1GB of RAM was deemed impractical, and the Sony PlayStation reigned supreme. Armored Core had just made its debut on Sony’s gaming behemoth, and as you overcame the challenges posed by Nineball and Phantasma, a craving for more exhilarating battles took hold.

Or maybe it was in the early 2000s, when you were among the fortunate few who acquired a brand-new PlayStation 2, eager to delve into the console’s hottest launch title: Armored Core 2. You vanquished Leos Klein, dominated the arena, collected all the parts, and emerged as a formidable force against the AI.

Yet, with the urge to fight burning inside you, the absence of worthy adversaries left a void. In those days, you only had two options: relying on the fortuitous presence of a family member or friend who shared your passion for Armored Core, or venturing into the uncharted territory of online matchmaking, cautiously hoping that your opponent had genuine intentions and wasn’t simply after your kidneys.

Given that Armored Core was a console-exclusive game lacking online features, finding worthy opponents online then setting up offline meetups was the only realistic path to engage in multiplayer combat. Beyond the numerous Japanese fansites, Yahoo! searches led English-speaking players to forums and websites such as Core Dump, Core Depot, Raven’s Nest of Northern California (RNNC), GameFAQs, and a host of other smaller AC-dedicated sites.

These platforms served as digital gathering grounds, where players exchanged callsigns/gamertags, revealed their locations, and shared means of communication. In this virtual network, Armored Core enthusiasts everywhere roamed in search of fierce rivals and newfound camaraderie, albeit on a more local scale.

A Retrospective Series

In a forthcoming series of articles, we’ll embark on a journey through time as I unravel captivating anecdotes from the earliest AC tournaments to their modern-day iterations. Moreover, I will make the case that Armored Core, much like the fighting game community, has transcended its grassroots origins, and is poised to captivate audiences on the same scale as renowned fighting games.

Here’s a sneak peek of what lies ahead:

By studying the past, we gain insights to shape the future.

Embracing the Competitive Spirit

Armored Core has carved its niche within both grassroots and official tournaments, boasting a high level of competitive play. We’ll dive deep into the heart of this iconic franchise, tracing its legacy while envisaging an exciting future.

Stay tuned for a trip through history that will ignite your passion for Armored Core once again.