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Do you hate us that much?
~ Yellow 13

Yellow 13 is the primary antagonist of the videogame Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies. He is the leader of an ace squadron known as Yellow Squadron in the air force of a country called Erusea. Erusea seeks to control the entire fictional content of Usea, but is opposed by the Independent States Allied Forces (ISAF) which acts as a unified military force for the rest of the countries on Usea (collectively known as the Usean Federation). Yellow Squadron's primary task is to protect the Stonehenge Turret Network, a ring of eight gigantic railguns built to shoot down asteroids but repurposed as a catastrohpic air-supremacy weapon. The squadron uses specially painted SU-37 Terminator aircraft.

Yellow 13 does his duty to Erusea and fights the ISAF forces, but secretly harbors a distaste for the conflict. He finds a rival in ISAF's top ace, Mobius One (the player character). The two meet in the skies multiple times, and their final confrontation over Erusea's capital of Farbanti leads to Yellow 13's death.

Personality

Much of Yellow 13's personality is detailed in a side story to the main plot told through the eyes of the Narrator, a young unnamed child living in the capital of the Usean Federation, San Salvacion, in Erusian-occupied territory. Yellow 13 inadvertantley killed the Narrator's family when he shot down a fighter jet over their home. The Narrator at first wishes to take revenge on Yellow 13, but the fighter pilot's charm and friendly demeanor quickly change the Narrator's mind. Yellow 13 is soft on children and develops a bond with the Narrator, who finds shelter and consolation among the ranks of Yellow Squadron.

Yellow 13 has an elevated sense of honor and integrity, growing angry when his own forces mount anti-aircraft guns on top of a hospital. When one of the main characters, the daughter of a barkeep who runs the bar that Yellow Squadron frequents, sabatoges Yellow Squadron's runway, Yellow 13 gets angry, calling the perpetrator "a despicable bastard who robs our wings through cowardly sabotage." Eventually, Yellow 13 finds out that it was the Barkeep's Daughter who planted the explosives, and confrots her. The Narrator tries to defend her, believing Yellow 13 will turn her in and get her killed, calling Yellow 13 a "fascist pig", which hurts Yellow 13 so much that he winces. He then lets the two children go and does not speak to them again.

History

Yellow 13 is presumed to have been born in Erusea. He joined the Federal Erusea Air Force (FEAF), through which he met a young woman whom he befriended, trained in aerial warfare, and took in as his wingman, codename Yellow 4. Thirteen and Four would later develop a close relationship; Four loyally remained by his side and refused to let any harm befall him, whether in the air or on the ground.

After the outbreak of the Second Continental War in 2003, Yellow Squadron executed several offensive operations against the ISAF. During an engagement over the capital of San Salvacion, Thirteen shot down an ISAF aircraft, which crashed into a suburban neighborhood, killing the Side Story Narrator's parents. As the ISAF retreated farther into eastern Usea, Thirteen and his squadmates would participate in various long- and short-range missions, including their successful defense against a surprise ISAF air raid on the Stonehenge Turret Network.

13-0

Yellow 13's aircraft.

FEAF command relocated the Yellow Squadron pilots to San Salvacion to stand guard over the Stonehenge facility. However, following the ISAF's retreat from the mainland to the island of North Point, Thirteen and the rest of Yellow Squadron began experiencing periods of downtime between missions.

One evening in late 2004, Thirteen met the Narrator while visiting a bar frequented by Erusian troops. As Thirteen played guitar, the young boy began accompanying him on harmonica; the two would eventually become close and frequently played for the bar patrons. Unbeknownst to Thirteen and the other Erusians, however, the barkeep and his daughter were both active members of the San Salvacion resistance.

On November 15 of that year, after weeks of drills and maintenance checks, Yellow Squadron was deployed to intercept ISAF aircraft that had attacked an Erusian oil-drilling and refinery facility. Thirteen and his squadmates bagged several of the fleeing ISAF fighters and returned home unharmed. When the ISAF began scoring major victories in the east, and word of the player character Mobius One's accomplishments began to spread among the Erusian enlisted men, Thirteen openly praised the enemy ace, whom he regarded as a "worthy opponent".

By the time ISAF began its campaign to reclaim the Usean mainland, Yellow 13 and 4 were the only pilots to consistently remain with the squadron; other members were regularly rotated out to reinforce other FEAF squadrons.

On April 2, 2005, Yellow Squadron's runway and aircraft were sabotaged by a Resistance bomb, which also caused light injuries. Before ground crews could begin repairing the damage, air raid sirens sounded, announcing ISAF's second raid on Stonehenge. Despite her crippled aircraft, Yellow 4 scrambled with Thirteen and the rest of Yellow Squadron.

The squadron's significantly delayed reaction allowed Mobius One and the ISAF to destroy Stonehenge. Yellow 13 ordered his squadron to engage Mobius One and the other ISAF pilots. During the ensuing dogfight, Yellow 4 was shot down by Mobius One, forcing the Erusian aces into retreat. After returning to base, 13 was found by the Side Story Narrator inside his quarters, silently gazing at 4's token handkerchief. The two later discussed his memories of her at a nearby pond.

Upon reading of Mobius One's participation in the Stonehenge raid, Yellow 13 posted the headline to the wall of the bar. Despite his defeat and personal loss, Yellow 13 commended Mobius 1's actions, shouting: "Look! Here's something worthy of praise. Even among the enemy there are men like this."

The barkeep's daughter was chased by occupation soldiers one night when she was discovered planting laser transmitters for triggering explosives. She eventually reached an alley where Thirteen was waiting inside a parked car. Thirteen realized she was responsible for bombing his squadron's runway and, by extension, Yellow 4's death. The two silently stared at each other for a moment before the Side Story Narrator caught up to them, denouncing Yellow 13. Yellow 13 only gave a pained response before releasing the children. The next morning, Thirteen resumed his daily routine, making his usual requests to the squadron's crew chief.

During the ISAF liberation of San Salvacion on July 10, 2005, members of Yellow Squadron scrambled to defend the city airspace, but Yellow 13 was not deployed. Eventually, ISAF forces overtook their defensive positions, and Yellow Squadron—along with the other Erusian forces—retreated from the area.

Su-33D FEAF

Yellow 13's paint scheme in "Ace Combat Infinity"

On September 19, 2005, the ISAF laid siege to the Erusian capital, Farbanti, in hopes of ending the war. Yellow Squadron scrambled to reclaim air superiority over the capital, but arrived just as the Erusian ground forces surrendered. Ready to make one last stand for Erusea, Thirteen and his wingmen engaged Mobius One. In the ensuing dogfight, Mobius One shoots down the entirety of Yellow Squadron.

Since Thirteen's body was never recovered, he is assumed to have been killed in his aircraft. Yellow 4's handkerchief was found floating down by the Side Story Narrator and the barkeep's daughter, who buried the handkerchief in a shared unmarked "grave" for both Yellow 4 and 13.

Trivia

  • Yellow 13's name and mannerisms were inspired by Hans-Joachim Marseille, an ace of the German Luftwaffe who shot down 158 Allied aircraft over North Africa in the early years of World War II. Marseille, callsign "Yellow 14", was a remorseful man who did not find joy in his kills and went as far as delivering notes concerning downed pilots to enemy airfields. Both men were also musicians, and were not motivated to fight by their countries' causes.
    • Marseille also experienced the loss of a friend, fellow ace Günter Steinhausen, to Canadian pilot James Francis Edwards in 1942; Edwards had previously damaged Marseille in an encounter three days prior.
  • Thirteen's record of never having lost a wingman is a reference to another Luftwaffe pilot, Erich Hartmann, who achieved the highest number of fighter kills in aviation history: 352.
  • Yellow 13's unique aircraft paint scheme would become available for the player character to use in many of the subsequent Ace Combat games.