Built as a intermediary unit between the cannon fodder MT and the advanced Armored Core, the General Purpose AC is a reliable yet cost efficient mechanized unit. They share the appearance of a lightweight model AC with quasi-reverse jointed legs (similar to higher end lightweight legs) and possess similar, if slightly underpowered versions of their weapons as well. Their speed and mobility are exceptional, and are shown to be capable of boosting for extended periods of time; despite being overall superior to MTs and somewhat comparable to a normal AC, they are considerably less durable, and thus weaker. While their capabilities aren't nearly as advanced as Armored Cores, they are still dangerous targets.
Only officially named in Armored Core Nexus: Revolution, General Purpose Armored Cores look more like an MT except that they have more firepower and agility akin to a normal Armored Core; another notable difference is that all Heat Waves lack laser blades and have shield extensions, whereas in older iterations only the Commander type had this. They appear in the Original Armored Core and also in Project Phantasma.
Differences Between GP-ACs and ACsEdit
It's hard to define exactly what separates a General Purpose Model from a standard model, especially as the Kagerou and Ariake are remarkably similar to MTs. A likely theory for this is that GP-AC's are in fact direct successors to the Cored Muscle Tracer, the ancestor unit to the Armored Core. Their similarity in design and characteristics, but with lower durability and weapons capacity point to it as the first generation Armored Core, so to speak.
Another possible theory is that GP-ACs were designed to replace Armored Cores; as noted many times, it is extremely expensive to field an Armored Core, and also costly when hiring one as well. The GP-ACs creation would mean a design that is as powerful as an AC, but as inexpensive as an MT. This would explain their high agility and strong weaponry (attributed to its AC roots) but also its lack of durability and lower costs (attributes of its MT roots), thus making GP-ACs a cost efficient and effective fighting force.
GP-AC's are notable absent from Armored Core 3 to Armored Core: Last Raven, although they are seen again in the Nexus remake disc. In the AC4 universe, there exists a type of Armored Cores known as Normals, which are greatly similar in terms of design philosophy: a non-customizable, mass produced, low cost and highly mobile attack unit.
Armored Core VEdit
While not explicitly stated as such, all mechs are classified as Armored Cores, however there is a large division between these units. The first is the player's standard Armored Core and units that are mass produced versions and are referred to by their type, such as Support, Aerial and Assault among others. In game these have specific names which can be told based on the lock on. These have replaced Muscle Tracers completely.
- The GP-AC bears a striking resemblance to the the classical interpretation of a ninja, as can be seen by the head design as well as the "stick" on its back while the commander type.
- Despite its seemingly reverse joint leg designs, GP-ACs walking is more akin to a normal bipedal leg movement.
- Several Heat Wave units in Armored Core, notably in the mission Destroy Plus Escapee, have an eerily distinct whistle-like booster sound.