Armored Core 6 players have exploded this poor student pilot so many times for a quick buck he's become a meme

Armored Core 6 explosion
(Image credit: FromSoftware)

It's not too difficult to farm COAM—that's Armored Core 6's currency—on Rubicon 3. While repair and ammo costs are a thing, you can replay missions at any time. Plus, if you tailor-make a mech to trash them you'll be flying through repeat runs. My cash cow of choice was Operation Wallclimber, which I chewed through wielding double shotguns —but for a lot of the game's community, the best early-game farm has involved shoving this poor guy into a locker again and again… and again.

The mission, titled "Destroy the Tester AC", shows up real early on in the game. It involves zipping to a location and obliterating a student pilot behind the wheel of a Dafeng Tester AC. You're only rewarded a measly 95,000 COAM for your butchery, but you can knock out a run in about two to three minutes. Just some quick napkin math puts that at 1,900,000 COAM an hour, which isn't too shabby if you can endure the repetition—or gunning down the poor guy.

In most stories, we'd be playing someone like the student pilot—a plucky underdog out to make a name for themselves. Our mech would be a villain jetting over the horizon, and we'd spend the whole story training to destroy it. But this isn't that kind of game. In true, brutal FromSoftware fashion, the pilot is destined to be little more than a cash pinata. The horrific consequences of 621's actions haven't stopped him from becoming a memed-upon punching bag, though.

armoredcore from r/armoredcore
Just give the kid his callsign already from r/armoredcore
He just wanted a callsign of his own from r/armoredcore

Still, in an unsettling love-hate mascot relationship with the character, there've been plenty of calls to immortalise him with his own callsign, which is something he laments every single time you blow the poor sod up. Here's one player by the name of kawazu_sakura editing a blurry jpeg of him onto a shrine in tribute, which is a very normal thing to do.

Dear Dafeng Student Pilot, I hope you got your callsign in a palleral universe from r/armoredcore

While this might seem over the top, it's actually pretty standard fare for FromSoftware. Its writers have this uncanny ability to make lovably sad guys into gaming legends, with their tragic stories sticking in the back of players' minds. I still remember sun bro Solaire's legendary status within the Dark Souls community. Good thing he's absolutely fine, and nothing bad ever happened to him, he just found his very own sun.

Besides, it's not the players' fault that this is the quickest early-game way to make a quick buck or test out new builds. After all, while you can go pilot a mech in a virtual testing chamber, snuffing out a student pilot before he gets to spread his wings gives you passive income. It's a win-win for everyone. Well, mostly everyone.

Harvey Randall
Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.