Armored Core VI’s story has a lot of elements to it and requires three full playthroughs to get the most out of it. We’ve got the entire story, all the tidbits you want to know and who the different players are in the story. Find out who ALLMIND really is, what Handler Walter is up to and what the Coral truly is.
The story is told both in cutscenes and sorties, but also in lots of data obtained from wrecks. We use everything in the game to bring you the most complete story available for AC6. You can learn more about the game on the official website for AC6.
- The Story Summarized
- Rubicon 3 & The Fires of Ibis
- Arquebus Corp & Balam Industries
- Rubicon Liberation Front
- Handler Walter
- RaD & Carla
The Story Summarized
Armored Core IV’s timeline can be summarized as follows.
- Rubicon III Research Institute: Researchers there (including Professor Nagai, Walter’s dad, Walter and Carla) research Coral. They conclude it’s dangerous, due to mutations and set off Ibis, a weapon to ignite the Coral causing the Fires of Ibis. The PCA is established and forms “the grid” a megastructure isolating the planet.
- The Branch: Nightfall (the OG Raven) and a team of mercs attack both a space laser and a station. They release a message that the PCA is hiding an expanse of Coral. They also break open a hole in the defense network.
- The Hound Arrives: Handler Walter, “assistant 1’s son” returns to destroy the Coral and recover research to locate it and set off another Fires of Ibis event. He joins with Carla, another member of the Overseers. At the same time, Ayre, a rubiconian who had died in the fires and was merged with the coral, reaches out to 621.
- Coral War: The Coral War begins with corporations fighting over who can find the Coral first. Chapters 1 and 2 deal with the war, the battle between the corporations and the PCA. The PCA is defeated and the question comes down to who wins: the Overseers, the Coral or another scenario.
- Ending: See below for more details, but either the Overseers win (those who want the Coral gone), Ayre (a Rubiconian) wins or another scenario occurs. Decisions in the game impact which ending you receive.
Rubicon 3 & The Fires of Ibis
The planet Rubicon 3 was engulfed in a firestorm when Coral was ignited by Ibis. Although Rubicon 3 was greatly damaged, with few survivors left. In the aftermath, a governmental organization known as the PCA was formed which blockaded Rubicon 3 off from the rest of the world announcing there is no more Coral available. It strictly enforced traffic to and from the remains of the planet.
What is Coral?
There’s no clear clarification of what Coral’s origins are or what the current remaining Coral on the planet is formed from. Ayre, the only representative of the Coral, informs 621 that the Coral is the Rubiconians who were caught in the Fires of Ibis and that she too was one of the native Rubiconians. There’s no significant evidence to support her theory.
The Overseers believe that the Coral is mutating and rapidly growing at an exponential rate. If it escapes Rubicon, it’s not really known what would happen but again they fear it.
The corporations see Coral as a resource for both fuel and the ability to create autonomous weapons and ACs. The ACs in Armored Core VI feature Coral augmented Humans along with Coral augmented ACs and weapons. Most of the Rubiconian corporations focused on using Coral in their weapons.
Coral is considered an AI substance.
Who set off the Fires of Ibis? What is Ibis?
Professor Nagai was researching the Coral and discovered a mutation that was causing it to replicate at exponential rates. If it wasn’t burned, it could cause the Coral Convergence and Coral would throughout the galaxy / universe. Due to the threat, Professor Nagai caused the Fires of Ibis using the C-Class weapons known as Ibis.
He had two laboratory assistants. The first was Walter’s dad who was obsessed with the Coral and “Cinder” Carla who was lab assistant 2. There were, as shown in the Carla cutscene when she’s explaining the Overseers, many others involved as well.
After the Fires of Ibis, the remaining researchers formed the Overseers to stop the Coral from emerging again should it not have been fully destroyed.
The PCA stands for Planetary Closure Administration. This is a governmental military organization designed to enforce a blockade / closure on Rubicon 3. It’s mostly run by an AI who passes verdicts (those various codes you hear) and is designed to stop anyone from settling on Rubicon 3 or visiting Rubicon 3.
They have many c-weapons (Coral weapons) available to them and in general are defeated by the corporations around Chapter 4 more or less.
The game isn’t highly specific about the details around the PCA to keep it vague and let it easily fit into the universe.
Arquebus Corp & Balam Industries
These are mega corporations in the Armored Core world. Much like Borderlands, they all make weapons and you’ll see their names as the producer of various arms. If you read the computer logs and do a lot of digging with the wrecks in the game then you can put together sort of a story of where the corporations currently sit.
- Belius Applied Weapon Systems (BAWS): Rubicon company, makes older gen gear. The closure has lagged their corporation hard.
- Balam: Large off-world corp. Ballistics, explosives and the Redguns.
- Arquebus: Large off-world corp. Lasers and the Vespers.
- Furlong, Takigawa, Meunite, etc.: Non-participants. May play a bigger role in a sequel.
The Vespers and Redguns both are sub-companies for their AC units. Coral is a big deal so they’ve brought their heavy-duty gear. The various characters within the corporations all do not have much backstory provided except Rusty. Rusty just wants the planet liberated.
There are also some details about a corporation funding a lot of BAWS and tying them to the liberation front. It makes sense in a way. The local corps probably want to do what they can for themselves.
Snail and the others are what you see. There all pretty candid about how they are more than less willing to use you for whatever.
Rubicon Liberation Front
These are colonists and settlers on the planet who survived the Fires of Ibis. They are not Rubiconions. There’s not a lot of detail in exactly what or how they’ve survived and why they fight the corporations other than to get out of the thumb of the PCA.
Interesting bit here, Thumb Dolmayan, Father of the Liberation Front, had made contact with the Coral.
Handler Walter is the son of Research Assistant 1 who went “obsessed” with his work on the coral. He was in the labs with Carla, Professor Nagoi and his dad when they developed and launched the Fires of Ibis. He’s a member of the Overseers, and wants to destroy the Coral to stop any potential threat it has.
Handle Walter is very authentic in his goals even if he doesn’t directly express to you what they are throughout the game. There’s no other deeper backstory.
Fun fact: Walter’s “friend” is professor Nagai’s research and/or Carla.
RaD & Carla
Carla stayed on Rubicon III to monitor it as an Overseer. She was always good at tinkering, so after the Fires of Ibis (see Walter’s story), she formed RaD and worked with the dosers (people who “use” Coral) to build a sort of faction of her own. That faction was a cover for the Overseers.
Do know that she knows Handler Walter and is good friends with him.
Ayre is either one of two things. Ayre is either a Rubiconian who was caught in the Fires of Ibis who wants to help 621 and the Coral thrive with Humanity. Ayre could also be a complete liar and using 621 as a tool to release the Coral. There’s no evidence to back up Ayre as a trustworthy narrator unlike other characters.
The face value answer though is Ayre was a Rubiconian who was caught in the Fires of Ibis and has made contact with 621 to help save the Coral from the corporations and Walter.
They’re just ALLMIND. Walter says they’re not in the Arena. Ergo, they’re not real. Kate is just there for ALLMIND to observe and assist you, because right after Kate shows up so does ALLMIND. ALLMIND references Kate later on as well. This one is pretty conclusive if you ask me.
There are three endings in the game based on decisions that you make. You can only obtain two during the first playthrough: Fires of Raven and Liberator of Rubicon. The Alea lacta Est comes in New Game ++.
Fires of Raven (Bad Ending?)
How: Do only Handler Walter and Carla’s missions. Avoid any missions from Ayre like Prevent Corporate Salvage, Destroy Special Forces Craft or Ambush the Vespers. Most likely the ambush mission is most of the weight in which ending you get.
The “Fires of Raven” is aptly named as the second event of the Coral igniting. Handler Walter, who is captured and sent after you, is your final boss but only against his will (Arquebus reprograms him into an augmented Human and it fails). Walter and Carla, who are Overseers, want to ignite the Coral and stop it since it could mutate and be an unstoppable force. To this end, you achieve the original mission from Handler Walter – you ignite the Coral.
621 or Raven causes a second “Fires of Ibis” event where the Coral ignites and the planet burns. The corporations and PCA leave a dead planet behind and Raven are no longer heard from.
This can be considered the “bad ending” at face value, but given the unknown status of what the Coral really is (good or bad for Humanity), you could see this as the truly Good Ending as well.
Liberator of Rubicon (Good Ending?)
How: Opposite of Fires of Raven, choose to do the missions from Ayre. Specifically Corporate Salvage, Destroy Special Forces craft and Ambush the Vespers.
The Liberator of Rubicon ending sees you liberate Rubicon and save the Coral. In this ending you help Ayre fight back against both Handler Walter and the corporations. The corporations want the Coral to use it to build new super weapons, naturally. Handler Walter wants it destroyed. Ayre, a former Rubiconian, wants to save the Coral.
You go and avoid the destruction of the Coral. To this end Ayre thanks you and seems to offer their ongoing help. They make a comment that at some point, both Coral and Humanity will thrive. There is no further closure provided.
As mentioned, Ayre is not a trustworthy narrator and provides no proof or evidence to trust them. It’s unknown if the Coral is a good thing. If the research is correct, destroying is is the only way forward.
Alea lacta Est (The Die is Cast)
How: Do ALLMIND’s missions. Requries NewGame++
This one gives you the lore of the game and one of the stranger endings. ALLMIND manipulates you to help it build its own mechs and take out everyone. It then decides it doesn’t need you either as you’re the last loose end and tries to take you on. You defeat ALLMIND and the Coral release occurs, spreading the Coral through the universe.
You and other ACs “wake up” on a watery planet and Ayre is still with you. It’s unknown if you’ve merged into the mech or what any of this really means, but at least you have Ayre with you.
There’s no answer why ALLMIND wants to do this.
Only time will tell if we get to play as Nightfall (original Raven) in a prequel or see if ALLMIND is replaced in a sequel.
What Ending is Canon in AC6?
In summary, without DLC, there’s no way to know. The New Game++ ending is too wild to even speculate on how the DLC would operate after that. It’s doubtful that Coral will be the center hallmark of every AC game from now on. It’s also unlikely for DLC or a sequel (that’s not a prequel) for the Fires of Raven ending to be canon.
That’s why the community goes for the Liberator ending at face value as canon. It’s nice, sweet if you consider Ayre good (this is FROMSoft) and wraps things up well enough. It leaves room for more which I think fans are actually craving.
Who is Raven / 621?
621 is a fourth gen augmented Human. They’re used by Handler Walter and come to either obey their master or decide a fate of their own. There’s no other backstory provided on 621’s origins or why they work for Handler Walter. In the AC universe, AC pilots have operators – Handler Walter seems to be yours.
Are there missable story elements in AC6?
There are some items you could possibly miss via decision missions, but you can acquire them on another runthrough or if you’ve unlocked the mission in the replay mission section. The entire story and all the back lore are unlocked in New Game++ thanks to a ton of new information given directly by ALLMIND (i.e. on the Overseers) and more combat logs.
You can’t miss major story beats, but the minor details like who Walter is, who Carla is, what the Coral is, etc. are all in the logs section. You can acquire a lot of these via wrecks on missions. Ayre will often call out when you’ve got one. Many aren’t optional, some are.
Who is the PCA and who runs the organization?
The PCA is a governmental body. The game hints as some political influence for them existing, but they’re more or less the remnants of the Rubicon III government and other government entities blockading access to the planet.
While survivors remained on the planet, the PCA tightly controlled what everyone was doing and where. There’s no other real description given for the PCA’s existence. It’s likely funded with donations from other corporations and whatever the planet still produces/taxes. There are still colonists on the planet and corporations running, producing gear.
PCA owns “the grid” which is the defense network around the planet. They also have control of all of the facilities of the Rubicon Research Institute and have locked them down.
What was the Fires of Ibis?
Ibis, multiple autonomous c-weapons, was used by the Rubicon III Research Institute. It destroyed all of the Coral on the planet, engulfing it in flames, to save the universe from Coral possibly mutating. The planet was sealed off afterward. The Fires of Raven is the same event, except finishing the job.
Ibis was not a stellar body and the flames only impacted Rubicon III, where Coral exists.
Why is Coral dangerous?
Outside of the Fires of Ibis and the very crazy strong technology that we see, there is no real reason given. It can show intelligence and likely can somehow store the memories of Humans (maybe?). It’s a dangerous unknown substance, hence the planet blockade and the desire by the PCA for the corporations to not mess with it.