First appearing in the mission "The Womb", the 002-B is described as a prototype NEXT developed by the renowned Professor Jarnefeldt. It appears to be an earlier design preceding the 03-AALIYAH, sharing a similar appearance. Its most notable features are a pair of large triangular shoulder units with an unspecified function (Possible experimental PA rectifiers or generators), and a large Kojima blade.
Despite its fearsome capabilities, the project was eventually abandoned and all research destroyed due to serious problems with the machine. The prototype was highly unstable, killing its test pilots with psychic stress and lethally contaminating the surrounding environment with Kojima radiation. The machines then begun to operate autonomously, indiscriminately destroying anything they encountered.
The 002-B appears to have been a tangent project conducted by Rayleonard, based on the same technology that would eventually evolve into the Armored Core NEXT used during the National Dismantlement War and further after. The project was originally scrapped by Rayleonard, although was later resumed during the Lynx War in a risky attempt to gain an advantage.
Although a number of units were destroyed by Anatolia's Raven at the Levanteer Facility, the Rayleonard company was apparently able to refine several of the issues with the 002-B, later using them to defend their headquarters at Exavil.
Weapons and PerformanceEdit
The 002-B was armed with an array of distinctive experimental weaponry, further separating it from its successors. The Prototype NEXT is armed with a rapid fire laser rifle, and what appears to be either a plasma rifle or Kojima rifle, both capable of inflicting serious damage to a standard NEXT. The Prototype's most distinctive weapon by far however, is a PA rectifier mounted on its arm, creating a long blade of concentrated Kojima energy, even more intense than the 07-MOONLIGHT and displaying the unique ability to remain active indefinitely.
In terms of mobility, the 002-B lacks a Quick Boost function, although it demonstrates the ability to outrun even the 03-AALIYAH using conventional boosters. In the event that a Prototype NEXT is damaged beyond operational capability it will activate a last resort boost dash towards its enemy before exploding upon contact in an attempt to take its opponent with it.
Armored Core 4:Edit
The Prototype NEXT is seen in two missions of Armored Core 4. The first being "The Womb," where the player infiltrates the Levanteer Facility and eliminates three of the Prototypes. The second is "Bitter Obligation," where the player is sent to demolish Rayleonard's headquarters at Exavil. During this mission, several Prototype NEXTs will dart around firing at the player, and will draw their blades if the player comes close enough.
Armored Core: For AnswerEdit
The Prototype NEXT is seen in the mission "Protect Cradle 03", where four Prototype NEXTs accompany Old King in his attack on the Cradle system. They also appear in the mission "Take Back Cradle 21" on hard mode.
- Omer's TYPE-LAHIRE from AC:fa bears several similarities to the 002-B (especially the head). Since many of Rayleonard's engineers ended up working for Omer after the fall of the former company, it is entirely possible that they took their data on the 002-B with them, using it as the basis for the LAHIRE.