The Easiest Way To Clear The Underground Exploration

With the first of the three depth missions in Armored Core 6, you get a pretty classic FromSoftware-level design. The classic fall down a shaft and land on the strategically placed platforms section. Classic! But wait a second, you have rockets and can fly, so how is this mission even remotely challenging?


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Related: Armored Core 6: IA-02: Ice Worm Boss GuideWell, FromSoftware is always looking for new ways to rub your face in the mud, so as you are going down, giant lasers will be coming up. And these aren’t slow lasers, either. They are blindingly fast, and they are also accompanied by volleys of homing missiles. In short, this mission can be a bit of a nightmare. But worry not, as we can see you through it.


Stage Layout

Armored Core 6, Underground Exploration Depth 1, The AC standing at the top of the shaft

This stage can be broken into four sections. Two of them will have you facing off against groups of enemies, the other two parts are the aforementioned falling sections of the stage.

  1. The first section will have you face off against a number of drones. None of them are particularly intimidating, so low-caliber weapons will do the trick.
  2. After destroying the drones, you will start your descent. You will have to deal with powerful lasers firing up from the bottom of the shaft during this section.
  3. At the midpoint, the blast doors will shut, and you will face off against four reasonably strong LCs.
  4. Finally, after clearing those LCs, you will resume the drop, but this time the lasers will be accompanied by missiles as well.

Loadout

Armored Core 6, Underground Exploration Depth 1, The heavy AC build

We are going to give you two very, very different loadouts for clearing this mission. The first is for you to go as light as possible. You do NOT want Reverse Joint legs in this mission, as you will be spending your time going down, jumping high is the last thing you’ll need. Stay light, and you will be more capable of dashing between the platforms. That nimbility is a real lifesaver when traveling from platform to platform. Of course, this does come with a pretty major downside: it will only take two or three shots to disintegrate you.

The other option is the work smarter not harder method. Pile on the heaviest parts you have. Focus on getting a high AP and high defense stat. Use the tank bottom (though you won’t want to be a giant target, so use the smaller tank bottom of the two you will have access to), as you aren’t focusing on being fast or dexterous. You just want to be able to tank hits.

As for weapons, you really don’t need anything special to take out the LCs and MTs you will be facing off against. A melee weapon is a good fit for this mission if you are using one of the lighter builds, the heavy build can equip whatever they want (within reason), as weight won’t be an issue.

The Falling Sections

Armored Core 6, Underground Exploration Depth 1, Dropping down the center of the shaft

This shaft has platforms circling the outside walls. You will want to look down, see which platform is next, and strategically fall from platform to platform. When passing over a gap to get to another platform, you will want to use your Assault Boost, not your Quick Boost. The Quick Boost can get it done with a light enough AC, but those lasers come pretty fast, and when the homing missiles come in, they add a whole other level of difficulty.

If you want to get a better look at the platforms below, you can use the photomode to glance out over the edge without having to fear about getting tagged by a laser.

However, there is another way! You can stick close to the middle platform, and hop down using the platform directly underneath to help guard you against the lasers and missiles. If you are using the heavy build, this is the best option. In general, using the heavy build with the central platform strategy is the easiest method for clearing this mission.

Reach the end of Depth 1

Armored Core 6, Underground Exploration Depth 1, The first falling section

The mission will begin with you taking out a small group of drones. These guys aren’t particularly tough and will be taken out by nearly anything you fire at them.

Right after taking them out, you will start the first of the two drop sections. As we discussed in “The Falling Sections” part of this guide, you can follow the platforms that circle spiral around the outer wall, or you can drop from the central platforms.

During this first falling section, a light AC will be able to deftly boost from platform to platform circling the outer wall. The central platform strategy is quicker but means that you need to be careful to use the platform under you to guard your AC from the lasers approaching from below. This first section isn’t too bad as long as you are careful.

Armored Core 6, Underground Exploration Depth 1, Fighting the LCs on the blast platform

Once you reach the halfway point, the blast doors will shut, and you will face off against four LCs. They are tougher than the typical MT and will try to pressure you with close-range combat. Just don’t let them crowd you, take them out one at a time, and you will be fine.

We found that a shotgun made quick work of them.

Armored Core 6, Underground Exploration Depth 1, The chest containing the EPHEMERA part

Now, you will need to find the access point to open those doors back up. You will see it above you, just fly up and interact with it. But before you leave this area, make sure to open the chest in the back. It holds the Bipedal: IA-C01L: EPHEMERA part.

Destroy NEPENTHES military platform

Armored Core 6, Underground Exploration Depth 1, The second falling section

Now, during the second falling section, there are a few things you need to know…

  • There is nothing to be found in the second half. There isn’t any data, any logs, or any treasures tucked away. You just need to get to the bottom.
  • There will be missiles accompanying the lasers now.
  • There will be a few MTs dotting the platforms around halfway through the stage. The MTs have long-range laser weapons.

Beyond that, traveling along the outer platforms gets trickier here. While there are a lot of overlapping platforms, which will help block some of the oncoming fire, there will be moments where you will need to cross over large gaps. Use the Assault Boost, and you can make it across.

However, if you are struggling to make this work, just load up an AC with heavy armor, and drop down from those central platforms. The platform below will help protect you from the oncoming fire, and every stray shot you get clipped by will be absorbed by your beefy AC.

Once you get to the bottom, NEPENTHES will be completely defenseless. Unload on it and you will have finished this mission.

Next: Armored Core 6: AC Building Guide

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