A True and Accurate Story of the Raven Republic – Part 2

Welcome back for the second part of Raven Republic’s recounting of its past Armored Core tournaments.

PACT 4 – Let’s Go Ravens

Months after the previous tournament, Raven Republic members were itching for an excuse to gather and compete again. So, on the 7th of June 2008, the Raven Republic held its fourth PACT tournament, again graciously hosted by Sforza.

Unfinished PACT 4 Promotional by Trace-02

The rules this time were still based on PACT 3 but modified to be less restrictive.

  • Two (2) ACs with no repeating parts (except for optional parts) shall be allowed per person. The AC can use the same leg type, but not the same exact part (i.e. you can use tank legs for both of your units, but not the exact same tank leg part model) per AC, including internals and weapons.
  • A participant shall use one (1) AC against the opponent’s other AC. The second round will force players to swap their ACs with the one in reserve. The 3rd round shall allow both participants to choose which ever AC they wish to use.
  • The scoring system using the AP score format will be retained. This format computes the total amount of AP left for the three (3) bouts for each pair of participants. The participant with the higher total sum AP after the three (3) rounds shall be declared the winner.

By now, the process was familiar for everyone, from organizing in the forums, to transportation and logistics, and borrowing TVs and PlayStation 2s.

Here’s a summary of events, written more than a decade ago.

The brackets may have been lost to time, but Ethermaster and Moonlight_Raven were the ones to make it to the finals. Moonlight_Raven was Ethermaster’s Armored Core mentor prior to finding the Raven Republic. But now, there was a championship at stake. And in the end, Ethermaster came out with the win to become the new PACT champion.

PACT 4 Results (Wins/Losses/Matches/Win %):

  • Ethermaster 5/0/5 100%
  • Moonlight_Raven 4/2/6 67%
  • atdsutm 3/2/5 60%
  • Sforza 3/2/5 60%
  • Archangel (Mjting) 2/2/4 50%
  • Grim 2/1/3 67%
  • AEA1 1/2/3 33%
  • Mikeberserkr 1/2/3 33%
  • Fox 1/2/3 33%
  • Azuriel 0/2/2 0%
  • Grimweld 0/2/2 0%
  • Serene 0/2/2 0%

Championship match (Volume Warning):


And finally, as was tradition, we all went out for dinner afterwards:

After tourney dinner


PACT 5 – Grab a Friend, TOTAL (Two-On-Two-Action-League) Fun

In another experimental attempt to shake things up for an aged Armored Core title, it was decided that PACT 5 would be a two-on-two tournament.

On tournament day, August 1, 2009, the random selection of partners began at 1:00 PM, with the restriction that previous PACT placers would be seeded into the brackets, and they could not be paired with each other.

After the team-ups were determined, participants were given an hour to strategize and coordinate their ACs with their partners. During this time, each pair was allocated a maximum of 15 minutes on a PS2 to adjust their ACs. The pair then declared their ACs for use, and a marshal ensured PACT compliance using standard rules.

The other rules were the usual ones – banned maps as before, a random map selection for each round, a best-of-3 format for regular matches, and best-of-5 for the finals, with a 5-minute time limit.

The teams:

  1. Leperman and Beaskiller
  2. Nix and Goat
  3. Maitreya and Ardjin
  4. TwinSkies and Azuriel
  5. Atdsutm and Arch_Angel
  6. Clonezero and Serene
  7. Grimweld and AEA1

Once all ACs were declared, the tournament began at 2:30 PM, putting part knowledge and team coordination to the test.

PACT 5 crew

This report came from Maitreya:

PACT 5 brought a refreshing change to the congested Last Raven scene, introducing an entirely different metagame with the 2-on-2 format. Kudos to NiX and Goat for their victory and their excellent attack combo. They proved that firepower and defense weren’t the only paths to success in a 2-on-2 match.

A salute to the Ting brothers, who performed splendidly and even managed to take down a formidable opponent. Jokes aside, their teamwork was commendable.

Ardjin deserved credit for being an outstanding partner, showcasing impressive skills and the famed Jetstream attack.

Considering the stats, it seems the Tings deserved second place, as Jin and I lucked out with byes. A lighthearted observation, of course.

The results were as follows:

  1. NiX + Goat (11-1)
  2. Maitreya + Ardjin (5-6)
  3. Andrew + Mark (9-6)
  4. AEA1 + Grimweld (3-4)
  5. Leperman + Beastkiller (1-4)
  6. Twin-Skies + Azuriel (0-4)
  7. Clone + Nerese (0-4)
PACT 5 Brackets

Fortunately, PACT 5 was the first tournament to have actual match footage.

PACT 5 Match Video Playlist:


The two-on-two format highlighted the importance of synergy and teamwork rather than just individual skill. This showed in NiX and Goat’s focus-firing tactics that won them the championship.

PACT 5 worked to keep the competition alive a bit longer while being more laid back than previous tournaments. But after so many years of playing Last Raven, interest in it had naturally started waning.

(Participant ACs were posted here.)


PACT VI – The Last of Last Raven

Talk about another tournament was quickly floated right after PACT 5 without gaining much traction. But two and a half years later, with the impending release of the English version of Armored Core V, there was finally enough push for a last goodbye to competitive Last Raven.

Going back to basics, a classic 1-on-1 tournament was decided. The rules were mostly the same as PACT 1, but in a double-elimination format.

Unlike previous tournaments, this one was actually held in a public venue. And on February 11, 2012, the tournament commenced.

PACT VI Match Video Playlist:


Fifteen players registered for the tournament. Knowing that this might be the last one, some players were highly motivated to compete. Mjting, a relatively newer member at the time, was particularly fired up. He had practiced heavily during the time leading up to the tournament, and he took every opportunity to consult and play with previous PACT podium placers.

His efforts paid off. In the third round, he sent tournament-favorite Lord Leperman to the losers’ bracket. But he was sent to the losers bracket himself by NiX in the round after, where he had to claw his way through to face an equally determined Fox.

Coming out of the winners’ bracket with a twice-to-beat advantage was NiX. And with a hard-fought place out of the losers’ bracket was Mjting. In what seemed to be a recurring theme since PACT 3, teacher against protege faced off in the finals, yet again.

Learning and adapting from their earlier fourth-round encounter, Mjting and his RL midweight took the first two rounds in convincing fashion. But NiX, in his GL quad, made his own adjustments to take back momentum. NiX won the next three close rounds to finally take his first 1-on-1 tournament title.

Final match:


Philippine Armored Core Tournament VI Brackets
PACT VI brackets

(Participant design thread is here.)

With the conclusion of PACT VI, the members of Raven Republic didn’t say it out loud, but they understood that it was a farewell to Last Raven. And what a farewell it was.

In the days to follow, Raven Republic eagerly awaited Armored Core V, where there would be more adventures (and notoriety) to come. Stay tuned for our recounting of that!

A True and Accurate Story of the Raven Republic – Part 1

Welcome back to Raven Republic’s ongoing series about Armored Core’s competitive history. In this edition, the focus is on Raven Republic itself and its own Philippine Armored Core Tournament (PACT) series. But first, a little historical context:

Armored Core in the Philippines

The Armored Core games for the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 were quite easy to find in the Philippines (because of unofficial distribution that we don’t need to talk about here). Because of this, most gamers at the time would have at least heard of Armored Core. But the game was still obscure enough that only a handful of people in any given area took the game seriously, if there were any at all. Internet penetration was low, and transportation infrastructure was (and still is) limited, so finding and meeting like-minded Armored Core players was difficult.

During Armored Core 3 was when the internet was becoming more readily accessible in the Philippines. So, it was around this time when some Filipino Ravens thought to look online for others like them. But since most English-language forums and message boards for Armored Core were based in the USA, these Filipinos joined but only blended in, not knowing that they had compatriots among them. It took until 2006, around the time of Armored Core: Last Raven, for a few Filipino members of the prominent Armored Core Online forums to find each other, and for one of them to decide to create his own site for Armored Core fans, particularly those in the Philippines.

Banner from the cjb.net site

On August 13, 2006, Grim finally launched Raven Republic with the goal of serving as a hub for Filipino Ravens. V1 of the message boards was found on one of those free create-a-forum sites (InvisionFree), complete with a free domain name hosted on cjb.net. Slowly but surely, the target audience found their way to the site by searching for “Armored Core Philippines” or by word of mouth from their own contacts and small AC playgroups. Activity in the budding community kept growing, and eventually, Grim floated the idea of meeting up in person.

The First Congregation

A shitposter in the Armored Core: Last Raven board of GameFAQs turned out to be from Manila. An RR member who also posted there was incited enough to challenge this troll in person, with other RR members in tow. From there, RR’s first official meet was organized.

On September 9, 2006, in Neo One LAN Shop at Marikina Riverbanks Mall, five RR members, many hailing from other online AC communities, gathered in person for the first time to challenge JV from GameFAQs. The RR members that came were Grim (Armored Core Online), Lord_Leperman (Raven’s Haven), NiX (Armored Core Garage), AEA1 (GameFAQs), and Cabs. Few as they were, that was already more Ravens in one place than any of them had been around.

This meeting was significant, not only because it was the first, but because it was there, over pizza after the games, that the idea of organizing a local Armored Core tournament was first discussed. And over the succeeding weeks, more and more Ravens found their way to the community.


The First PACT

With excitement still high, it took around a month to conceptualize and organize the tournament.

Doom Trigger (DT), who had previously hosted a few small fighting game tournaments, generously offered his home as the venue.
The basic format was adapted from Master of California, while the list of AC parts to ban were refined from existing lists from Western forums. AC designs were to be submitted beforehand to a non-participant to check for regulation compliance. Specific rules were as follows:

Game: Armored Core: Last Raven

  • Single elimination. Random pairings on tournament day.
  • One AC entry per contestant.
  • Best of three rounds, 5 minutes per round.
  • Best of five rounds, 5 minutes per round for the finals.
  • Round loser can choose the next map.

Match Rules:

  • A ring out counts as a loss.
  • A double KO is a draw. The round will be considered null and will be repeated.
  • When both ACs are out of ammo and any other means of lowering their opponent’s AP, the AC with the higher AP automatically gets the win, whether time has run out or not.
  • Conceding rounds is allowed.

Map Pool:

  • Advanced Base
  • AC Garage
  • Crest Base
  • Military District
  • Marine Base
  • Born City

Banned Parts:

  • UA core with hangers
  • Lemur2 arms + left arm gun or shield (including hangered left guns)
  • Loris arms + left arm gun or shield (including hangered left guns)
  • TP boosters
  • Pegasus back part
  • all ECM pods
  • ROE2 ammo extensions
  • H3 handgun
  • HP handgun in the hangers
  • ROC4 pulse rifle in the hangers
  • Any GameSharked or Action Replayed files (or hacked files of any kind)

The ACs submitted by the participants can still be found in the original forum thread.

Tournament Day

On October 28, 2006, participants came from all over the metro and nearby provinces to make the trip to Quezon City. A few had to carpool or rendezvous at designated locations. Eager volunteers had already arrived early to help with preparations. And when everyone had arrived, the tournament finally began.

The event lasted the entire day, with DT even sponsoring the food for both guests and participants. And as the matches continued to be played, four semi-finalists emerged: NiX in a midweight sniper, Twin-Skies in a heavy GL quad, Lord_Leperman in a heavy biped, and Beastkiller in a heavy tank. NiX eliminated Twin-Skies in a close series, and Lord_Leperman eliminated Beastkiller. Finally, it was down to NiX and Lord_Leperman for the championship.


After the dust had settled, Lord_Leperman came out on top and was the champion of the very first PACT.

PACT 1 Brackets
PACT 1 Rankers
PACK 2 – PalPACT! You don’t need power to have fun

Before we start, a little Filipino lesson for everyone: palpak (păl′păk″) – a colloquial Filipino word meaning failure, badly done, thwarted effort. Don’t worry, it will make sense after a while.

After a few months, and a Christmas party thrown in between, members couldn’t get enough AC battles and friendship. Almost every holiday since PACT 1 was spent hanging out with RR members for a round of AC, or just to chill. Eventually another rumbling of PACT was being talked about among members.

After a long discussion and plenty of adjustments, PACT II was settled to take place on 19 May 2007, a little more than 6 months from the first tournament, and again at DT’s place.

Around 18 people signed up, and after tons of organizing, carpool planning, and equipment checks, the day finally arrived. Everyone had been practicing hard, hyped for potential runbacks. Plenty of new faces showed up too. Most notably, a crew from the Cavite province south of Manila made plans to attend and participate after hearing about the success of the first tournament.

On the day itself, everything was smooth and on schedule. TVs, chairs, and tables were set up immediately. And finally, the Playstation 2s were plugged in. Then there was a very loud pop, and DT’s house lost power. Something smelled burnt.

All the excitement disappeared. Plugging in the second PS2 not only overloaded the house’s power supply, it also caused a blackout for the whole block.

But it wasn’t a total loss. The participants instead used the time to laugh about the situation and bond over common hobbies aside from Armored Core. There was talk of making a doujin AC manga, or what if AC was set in the Philippines, and other wild tangents. People stayed until after having pizza for dinner, which was a long time considering it wasn’t spent playing video games.

If you’re interested in reading more, Fox wrote a piece about this giant misadventure before.

RR going delulu, pretending to play AC without any electricity


PACT 2.1 – The Redemption

Right after the unfortunate circumstances of the previous event, the group was highly motivated to organize another real tournament. After numerous forum posts and planning, PACT 2.1 was set for June 16, 2007 at NiX’s home.

The spot at NiX’s

Though there were fewer attendees than the previous gatherings, this allowed for a more intimate event. DT entrusted his equipment even though he couldn’t attend, and AEA1 was still dying to compete despite coming from a 36-hour shift. New participant Sforza, who was also relatively new to Armored Core, spent the month prior training with the defending PACT champion. A few others who missed the first tournament also joined.

Rules were mostly the same as the previous tournament.

PACT 2.1 Brackets

Participants’ ACs: PACT 2.1 ACs



NiX and Lord_Leperman faced off in the finals again. And again, Lord_Leperman took it all the way with his aerial lightweight AC.

And what was the prize for making it back to the mountaintop? A McChicken sandwich.

NiX presents The McPrize.


PACT 3 – Battle Arena Style

For the third PACT, the consensus was to spice things up with a new format. Taking inspiration from FromSoft’s Battle Arena 2004, the rule was to use 3 designs without repeating parts (including internals), and without repeating leg types. The hope was to force creativity in designing, and to shake up the metagame. The discussion for the tournament was largely set in this forum thread.

The tournament was set for October 27, 2007, a day removed from the anniversary of the first tournament. This time, it was held in Sforza’s house, which was to be the site of numerous RR gatherings to come.

Specific rules:

  • Each player must bring 3 unique ACs (up to 5 ACs, depending on whatever is decided upon for a particular tournament). Players who fail to present a complete garage will be DISQUALIFIED.
  • The ACs in a particular garage MUST be of varying leg types (Humanoid, RJ, Quad, Tank, Hover). Players can only have one AC per leg type (ex. Only one humanoid AC is allowed per garage). A different weight class (light, mid, heavy) does not count as a different leg type (ex. Having a light humanoid and a mid humanoid in the same garage is not allowed).
  • The ACs in your garage should have NO, as in ZERO, common parts EXCEPT for optional parts.
  • However, a particular AC may be equipped with a pair of the same weapon (ex. A KARURA for each back slot/ An R3 for each arm, etc.). BUT if one AC in a particular garage has, let’s say, a KARURA on the left back slot, other ACs in that garage can no longer equip a KARURA even for the right back slot. This still applies to hand-mounted and hangered weapons.
  • Players MUST switch to another AC after every round/match – For the first round of a match, the players may opt to use any AC in their respective garages. ACs that have already been used in a certain round of a particular match may no longer be used in the succeeding rounds of that match.
  • In the event of a fourth round in a FINALS match, the players may reuse any AC in their respective garages.
  • In the event of a fifth round in a FINALS match, the players may opt to use any AC that was NOT USED in the fourth round of that match.

Some of the tournament entries were posted here.

Participants included most of the mainstays and a few newcomers. Because of the newly implemented losers’ bracket, this tournament was more drawn out than the previous two. A second meeting on November 10, 2007 had to be held to resolve the remaining matches, forcing some players to forfeit due to logistical reasons.

The results were as follows:

PACT 3 Brackets

For the finals, it was Lord_Leperman versus Sforza in a duel between master and protege. Yet again, Lord_Leperman took the championship to complete the hat trick, cementing himself as the greatest Armored Core player in the country.

PACT 3 Rankers

But aside from Armored Core, the group also held a casual Tekken 5 tournament, some retro gaming on the SNES and PlayStation, and other shenanigans.

Retro gaming when it was retro

And now, exactly 17 years later since its founding, Raven Republic looks back fondly on these past events that had become a regular part of the members’ lives.


Editor’s note: There’s still more to this story leading up to present day and Armored Core 6, but as you can see this post has run rather long… so stay tuned for PACT IV and beyond in the next one!


Update: Part 2 covering PACT 4 until 6 is now up.

Combo Breaker! Super Street Fighter 4 Tournament

As the title implies, this post is quite the change of pace from all the mecha stuff we’ve posted these past few months. You see, Doom Trigger over at the forums just announced that he and AEA1 will be hosting a Super Street Fighter 4 tournament with actual money at stake! That’s an RR first.

More details below.

Raven Republic Armored Core Kit(ty) Bash 3

Raven Republic members held the 3rd AC kit bash event last October 10 in forum member Trace‘s residence. Kit Bash 3 is a combination AC model assembly, painting, model mash-up, and photo-op, members try to assemble model kits, paint them, and see which one fits with another, though the actual AC kit bash hasn’t occurred yet (a true mix-match of parts resulting in an original creation hasn’t materialized as of the moment). Of course, it wouldn’t be complete w/o Japanese curry, the official food during an AC kit bash meet.

Anyway, pics of the model creations after the jump.

Great Success!

Raven Republic’s triple attraction event finally pushed through, and boy was it awesome!

When Maitreya and I arrived at Leperman’s house at around noon, most of the members were already there, with some playing Blazblue and others already playing LR. In the shadows, a few enterprising individuals had already begun harvesting prawns!

Outside, stacks and stacks of burgers, buns, and condiments were spread all over just waiting to be consumed. Super Chef Hempire brought some awesome sauces and toppings and he even managed the grill for us for pretty much the whole day. What’ll we do without you, Hemp? :(


*Special thanks to Trace-02 for the awesome Sophie image :3 *

Three events rolled into 1! On August 1, 2009 we will be celebrating RR’s 3rd foundation year, our 2nd Build Your Own Burger event, and out 5th Armored Core tournament with a highly experimental tiered randomized 2-on-2 system for AC:LR which will happen in the middle of the day. For more details, please click HERE.

This is going to be held in Sforza‘s place in Makati if he’s still around by August 1. If not, its going to be in Lord Leperman‘s place, which is 3 minutes away.

Hope to see you guys there.

UPDATE – Great success!


We’ve decided to hold what will most likely be our last tournament using Armored Core: Last Raven to celebrate Raven Republic’s 3rd anniversary. BYOB part 2 will probably happen on the same day as well.

Currently, we’re still deciding on the format to use for the tournament. Help us decide by voting in the PACT 5 Format thread.

The tentative date for the event is on August 1, 2009. For other details and updates, just check up on the appropriate threads in the forums.

UPDATE: Polling has determined that PACT 5 will take a slightly different turn from our previous tournaments. We’re going to use a two-on-two format! Other rules are still being discussed though.

BYOB = Build Your Own Burger!

Last March 21, 2009, RR had experienced probably its most awesome and grandiose event ever, the Build Your Own Burger event. The idea goes like this: 3 grills, 48 patties and buns, 8 sausages and buns, and an army of hungry guys bringing varieties of toppings ranging from veggies, spices, condiments, meats, and earnestly waiting to devour food.