Armored Core VI First Boss Is Straight-Up Mean (But Not Impossible)

Imagine this. You woke up in the morning anticipating the one game you look forward to the most this year, and it’s from a franchise so long forgotten by the masses outside of you and the niche fans that kept waiting for its return.

And then you are stuck in a boss fight in the tutorial mission for a good 1-2 hours, frustrated.

That’s what I, and everyone else, had to experience when playing Armored Core VI Fires Of Rubicon for the first time. We all got our rude awakening by a massive attack helicopter.

The first mission you play in AC VI, Illegal Entry, is essentially the intro and tutorial mission where it guides you on the controls and introduces you to the world, planet Rubicon. It’s simple stuff: go down a corridor of some industrial complex, shoot a bunch of enemy MTs down, then launch yourself into a ruined city where the objective- finding a valid pilot’s licence from a dead pilot- lets you roam a bit more of the open space.

The mission, which would last a good five minutes, culminated in you finding a valid ID… only to be stopped by a patrolling helicopter from the Planetary Closure Administration, the PCA. The space cops are trying to stop anyone who continues to be present on this dead planet, and they brought the big guns.

This is a player’s first taste of the many, many boss fights to come. And it’s frustratingly difficult at first glance. Your starter AC, equipped with an assault rifle, a missile launcher and a variant of a laser blade (as per tradition) seems to do little damage to the intimidating, huge helicopter. And the helicopter has so, so many attack patterns utilising missiles that your AC is simply ill-equipped to outrun.

Not only that, but since this is the first mission, you have no access to the Assembly, which allows you to customise your AC. And this isn’t the optional FromSoft boss where you are expected to die and the game continues. No. This is the FromSoft boss used to filter out the players who really want to play this game and work around its quirky mechanics from those who aren’t willing to do so.

You need to pass the helicopter to cross the Rubicon.

This is Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty all over again. Early this year, that masocore soulslike from Team Ninja also had a skill-check boss fight right at the first level, which a good amount of players stumbled to even get past.

The problem here is that you really have to get good on your own. It took me a while to learn where the cooldowns/reload times are in the HUD (it’s right there in the lock-on reticule, the four bars at the bottom correspond to all the four weapons you can equip). And getting used to the timing of the pulse blade was hard for me, too. I struggled trying to whack a flying object using my giant robot that also can fly because there’s a whole animation windup it needs to do to swing that blade. I tried dodging the onslaught of missiles, trying to use my old AC tricks I used to do and that isn’t working with this AC build.

And you know what’s worse? Should you beat the boss, the first thing you can do when you arrive in the garage is.. do the actual tutorial. The tutorial is immensely helpful, walking you through the basics more thoroughly, showing concepts and tricks that weren’t explicitly explained in the first mission. But you probably already figured them out now that you’ve passed the skill-check gate.

Leading up to the release of AC VI, there’s definitely some tension between the hardcore Armored Core fans who are worried they are getting a soulslike game with AC VI, and the new wave of FromSoftware fans post-Souls that wants AC VI to feel a bit more like a soulslike. While the developers are hesitant to say this game is a soulslike and insisted it will play like Armored Core, I don’t think a “you must be this tall to ride” skill check boss is anything like Armored Core of years past.

New AC fans don’t need to worry about being gatekept by older fans. Rather, the one doing the gatekeeping is the game itself. Which unfortunately may even lock out AC fans who cares not for soulslike and find this boss encounter this early on being off-putting.

That’s straight-up mean.

I was fortunate enough that I did play a Wo Long to completion early this year, the first soulslike I beaten. So I have acclimatised to punishing boss fights. I did figure it out. Don’t keep away far from the helicopter as that’s when the rockets and missiles will be thrown out. Hovering just below the helicopter, then assault boost up to straight-up collide on it, and then slicing it with the blade, did the trick. And it only took me more than an hour to figure that out on my own.

This sink-or-swim tutorialisation of boss fights is not something I am a fan of. I really felt bitter once it was done. But at least it serves as a good lesson on what to expect in future boss fights. Unless they are piloting an AC like you, you can expect soulslike shenanigans with their attack patterns that can immensely punish you if it hits.

But the devs definitely try to sweeten things up after you prevail from that whole ordeal.

For AC fans, especially those who play the first three generations of games, you’ll be greeted and recognised after the helicopter fight: Welcome back, Raven.

Later on, you’ll get a redux of the helicopter fight, but now with an AC of your own and by this point of time, you should have become more versed with the demanding gameplay AC VI provides. It should be a quick fight, barely challenging. At least the devs know what they’re doing: the setup of this seemingly impervious boss fight has a payoff in the end, and you’ll feel like an absolute beast for coming on top, twice.

Now that I beaten AC VI, replaying the helicopter fight was easy. But it required so many attempts before it all clicked.

For those that felt absolutely cheated by a freaking helicopter, I feel you. It is straight-up mean to put this high of a jump without setting players up for success. I feel more for you if you’re an avid AC fan back in the day but can’t get past this fight. But check strategy guides. Once you discover the one simple trick you should be able to enjoy this new flavour of Armored Core. It’s a bit salty thanks to the new boss fights. A bit too salty for some.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept