The Aeropan heavy fighter is an enemy airship in The Lost Frontier. A part of the Aeropan Navy, it served as both a heavy fighter capable of carrying out air strikes against specific targets, as well as an escort fighter, escorting the ACS Behemoth alongside two Aeropan fighters each, and in one case, an Aeropan transport.
The Aeropan heavy fighter made its debut as an escort fighter in the final pirate radio tower side mission at Pirate's Cove, "Destroy Transport". They were accompanied by two fighters each, and did not appear in any other radio tower missions in the game.
The heavy fighter later appeared in the mission "Stop the Behemoth" as part of a shock air strike campaign against Far Drop. It was either deployed alongside two fighters, in which case it again acted as an escort fighter and patrolled the entire Cove area, or it was deployed on its own, in which case it acted as an heavy fighter; carrying out multiple airstrikes at the back of the Cove (where Far Drop resides), using a combination of machine guns and ground attack rockets to strike Far Drop. As an escort fighter, however, it used either machine guns or a lock-on missile, and only focused its attention on Jak.
They later appeared parked in Aeropa's palace during the mission "Defeat Duke Skyheed", and were sometimes used by Dark Skyheed to attack Jak and Daxter. He did not actually pilot them, and instead grabbed them with his hands and engaged the machine guns, as well as what appeared to be swarmer missiles,[a] after which he would throw the plane at Jak.
Immediately after this mission, beginning with "Pursue Skyheed", Skyheed fled away in a special heavy fighter, having a purple color scheme as opposed to the usual orange, also possessing special powers, such as instant teleportation abilities, almost invincibility, and an increased range and rate-of-fire for his machine guns (though it is unknown whether this was but a consequence of Skyheed's new dark powers rather than an attribute of the vehicle itself). Before Skyheed flew off, Jak indeed attempted to hop on to the vehicle, which dwarfed him in size, though he nearly fell off before being rescued by a tether sent from the Phantom Blade by Phoenix.
The heavy fighter lastly appeared in the final mission, "Take down the Behemoth", near the abandoned research rig, during which it purely acted as an escort fighter. It was again always accompanied by two fighters, and would be deployed one-by-one from the Behemoth's docking bay between segments, three from each side (making a total of six heavy fighters at one time).
Design and combatEdit
The heavy fighter has a very bulky profile, with a tall, wide, and long cabin area, a prominent tail, and two large wings carrying a triple machine gun load-out each as well as what appears to be a missile bay. In addition, it has four smaller gun barrels above the cockpit, as well as two larger gun barrels beneath the cabin. It has two jet thrusters behind the cabin area and three vented air intakes in front of the cabin area (one large one in the center and two smaller ones on the sides). It has an orange primary color scheme with silver accents, though Skyheed's has a purple hue to replace the orange and a very dark, grungy purple texture to replace the silver.
The heavy fighter has a slow turn rate in terms of axial tilt, though it does have strong strafing capabilities in order to squirm out of tight situations (in which it often finds itself, being very large and bulky). Despite its bulk and slow turn rate, which would normally result in slow speed if it were one of Jak's airships, it is indeed quite fast, being able to quickly zoom ahead of Jak's airships with considerable speed. Also despite its bulk, it is not very well-armored, being only as strong as the much smaller Aeropan fighter.
Its biggest challenge when fighting, aside from near-constant machine gun fire when coupled with fighters, is its extra lock-on missile capability. If no evasive maneuver is performed, it will deal heavy damage. It must be a D-pad-specific evasive maneuver, as the missile can launch from any direction or proximity. Although its ground attack rockets are indicated by a yellow triangle on the map, no action is required when it attacks Far Drop as it does no real damage gameplay-wise.
- ↑ The only difference being the missiles pierced the ground and then disappeared, whereas Jak's swarmer missiles would either fade away if unable to reach a target, or explode upon contact.