The 03-AALIYAH is one of the first NEXTs, appearing in the National Dismantlement War and used by many of Rayleonard's LYNX. Considered their flagship model, it was optimized with the use of the then experimental Primal Armor and performs exceptionally in high speed combat. Some of the top LYNX, such as #1 Berlioz and #3 Anjou used this NEXT with minor weapon variations. Although excelling in ground combat, the Rayleonard NEXT suffers from low AP durability, high energy consumption, and particularly low aim precision (which was thought to be of little importance as the 03's arms were intended to be used in high speed combat requesting more aim speed than accuracy). By the time of ACFA, only Shinkai and Hari would be the remaining "pure" 03-AALIYAH user.
The unveiling of Rayleonard's 03-AALIYAH generated quite a stir amongst the reigning Companies; particularly due to the fact that Rayleonard was not (publicly, at least) amongst the military-oriented Companies such as GA or Melies at the outbreak of the National Dismantlement War, instead being an emerging energy company. A partnership with Akvavit as well as having a large resource pool of their own made these possible, not the least the persistent rumors of the existence of Rayleonard's black projects, responsible for AALIYAH's predecessors: the 002-B as well as the "mutant core" 00-ARETHA.
The AALIYAH was designed as a sleek, aerodynamic fighting machine, emphasizing speed and maneuverability while maintaining top-notch offensive power. This is made possible by the AALIYAH's high-powered boosters while the arm parts feature the best mobility for a midweight as well as a 103% compatibility with energy weapons; something very remarkable as to that date, only highly specialized crafts like Leonemeccanica's Y01-TELLUS has achieved more than 100%+ rating on energy compatibility. Furthermore, the multi-eyed head part is highly resistant to flash-based interference, making it highly reliable. All of these factors means that the AALIYAH can take advantage of many Rayleonard and Akvavit weaponry, such as rapid fire machine guns, assualt rifles, powerfull plasma weapons and laser blades efficiently. Finally, to compensate for the lack of armor, AALIYAH parts consistently feature high Primal Armor Rectification to help decrease damage taken, a feature exploited by Akvavit as basis for their own LINSTANT model.
A downside to this otherwise brilliant masterpiece of a design is the sheer amount of energy required to power the machine. The core and arm parts in particular have such a massive energy demand that the famous 03-AALIYAH/G generator is developed by Rayleonard just to power the NEXT, having a very high Energy and Kojima Particle Output. The head part's multi-eye concept, while reliable, has very little focus and is therefore at a disadvantage at long-range combat, especially when pitted against BFF NEXT models (which, on the other hand, lack the close range combat capabilities that the AALIYAH is known for). This is not helped that, while being very mobile, AALIYAH arms have very little precision. Lastly however, is the matter of maintenance. While Rayleonard made plenty of spare parts and equipments available, the Company's destruction at the end of the Lynx War exacerbated the maintenance nightmare that the AALIYAH is already known for. While AALIYAH units are still in circulation prior and during the Economic War, scarce parts meant that the unit sells for extremely high price in the market.
While the matter is up for debate, and with newer models such as Omer Science Technology's TYPE-LAHIRE poised to take the niche that the AALIYAH is known for, this NEXT is considered by many to be one of the more iconic models to have ever been produced, despite its flaws. It is by no means an easy craft to pilot, let alone to master, but those who can harness its power to the fullest finds it very capable to keep up with newer generation models and as such still commands great respect amongst Lynxes, Independents or otherwise.
Armored Core 4Edit
The 03-AALIYAH is one of the first NEXTs that the player is allowed to choose in AC4. It is also one of the most common NEXTs used during the National Dismantlement War and up until the end of the Lynx War.
Armored Core: For AnswerEdit
If the player decides to go independent instead of working for a company at the beginning of the game, then they will have a basic 03-AALIYAH as their starter NEXT. It is noted that by this time, the 03-AALIYAH has been considered outdated in terms of current NEXT standards. Despite this, both Shinkai and Hari (with a few adjustments) continue to use the AALIYAH.
Armaments are included as part Armored Core 4 / For Answer NEXT starter pack. The schematic itself does not include weapons. Additionally, the default arm units switch places between AC4 to FA.
- Fans speculate that the Sega-released US version of Armored Core 4 spelled AALIYAH as ALIYA in order to avoid referencing the famous late R&B star Aaliyah. The reference is probably intentional on FROM's part, as pre-release screenshots show the generator part being named 06-RIHANNA (pictured above), another reference to an R&B singer. These musical references were replicated with Berlioz (a reference to composer Hector Berlioz) and his craft Supplice (the third part of Berlioz's "Symphony Fantastique" , titled Marche Au Supplice), all using an AALIYAH-based NEXT. The Ubisoft release of Armored Core for Answer undid Sega's transliteration.
- The 03-AALIYAH bears a close resemblance to the AC used by Stinger. Its chest unit also bears similarity to Nine-ball Seraph.