If you were asked to get up on stage and play an unreleased game in front of a whole crowd, do you think you'd be able to keep your cool? A player by the name of Fireworks certainly did, etching his name into the series' storied history.
Earlier this month, PlayStation Japan hosted a pre-release event. During which a player was selected (by raffle) to play through a never-seen-before mission from Armoured Core 6. A man from Shibuya (a special ward in Tokyo) was selected to get behind the pilot seat. Going by the name "Fireworks", he revealed during a brief interview that he was an Armored Core vet and had played every game in the series prior.
Fireworks had been given a dire mission statement—one translated and summarised by Twitter user steelballrunner. He was given only 60 seconds to build a mech with which to protect three giant missiles, for five long minutes, in a game he'd never even touched.
Like a man possessed by the spirits of mecha mavericks that came before, Fireworks immediately chose to dual-wield gatling guns, pairing them with a heavy set of bipedal legs and tanky arms to shore up his unit's armour. After fumbling over his generator and targeting system (FCS) choices, his time ran out, and it was time to deploy.
His instincts pay off at first—gatling guns are brutally effective but inaccurate, and this mission is packed with slow-moving aircraft, so the large cumbersome targets are a perfect fit for his weapon of choice. Fireworks darts around enemy units, firing missiles and boost-dodging while he gets to grips with the game's newer systems.
You can only carry so many bullets, though. While he puts up an admirable defence, when a massive airship darkens the sky with its shadow, Fireworks has less than 200 rounds in either weapon, and that ship needs to go down fast before it shreds through the missiles he's charged with protecting.
Tragically, he wastes his remaining ammunition spraying at the airship's underbelly before realising he needs to hit the ariship's command bridge to take it out of the sky. With 40 seconds remaining, and the missiles' health rapidly depleting, Firework's mech automatically purges its empty weapons.
Then he charges the ship's bridge head-on.
Without the ammo—or the time—to deal with its defences, Firework's mech simply tanks shell after shell, smashing into a bridge full of terrified staff until the whole airship goes up in flames. Two out of three of the missiles he's been tasked to protect are destroyed, but one remains standing at half health, and with the airship downed there's no-one left to finish the job. Mission complete.
This feat has earned him the title the 'Fireworks of Shibuya' from the Japanese community, which is one hell of a step up from 'Let Me Solo Her'. Mechanical concept and comic artist LAS91214 even commemorated his performance with a killer piece of art, showing his ramshackle mech streaming over the enemy airship like an angel of wrath sent by a god of steel.
火花师 / The fireworksファイアーワークス#ARMOREDCOREVI #ArmoredCore6 #アーマードコア pic.twitter.com/JQV9dd29NTAugust 18, 2023
If you want to watch the full run for yourself, you can do so below—it starts at around 1:03:00 (one hour three minutes). While it's already been proven you can beat Armoured Core 6 without weapons, keeping your cool on a live stage, playing a game that's not even released yet, and having the mental clarity to decide "Yes, I think punching the bridge of this airship to death will work" is really something else. From where I'm sat, the "Fireworks of Shibuya" can take his place among the hall of FromSoftware legends with pride.