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This article is about an in-game mission. For the in-universe event, see Duel over Presidia.

"Me and you now. No distractions, no wingmen, no war, just me and you, whoever wins is the best pilot."
Crimson 1

"Kings" is the twenty-first and final mission of Project Wingman. After dealing heavy damage to Presidia and crippling all of Monarch's allies, Crimson 1 challenges him to a final one-on-one duel over the ruined capital.


The mission begins with a head-on pass against Crimson 1. Crimson 1 flies the PW-Mk.I and has three sequential health bars, similar to Frost in both of her previous boss fights. The boss in total has four phases, with the fourth phase having a new health bar. Note that each drained health bar will yield the player 3,000 points, totaling to the same amount as shooting down Crimson Team in your last fight with them.

  • In the first phase, Crimson 1 utilizes the BML-U to attack the player with large amounts of BML-U micromissiles. Depleting his first health bar will initiate the second phase and advance his dialogue.
  • In the second phase, Crimson 1 begins to use the PW-Mk.I's onboard railgun to attack the player while retaining the use of the BML-U. Depleting his second health bar will trigger the third phase of the battle.
  • In the third phase, Crimson 1 adds cluster bombs to his arsenal while keeping both of his previous weapons. These cluster bombs come in two varieties:
    • Area of Effect Cluster Bombs: These cluster bombs are initially gray, but after a set period of time will greatly expand and turn red. Flying within an active AoE bomb's radius will damage the player continuously over time until they exit the radius.
    • Railgun Cluster Bombs: These cluster bombs are smaller than the AoE bombs and are a distinct blue at all times. Upon detonating, they fire railgun shells in every direction, creating a deadly web of railgun trails in the sky.
  • Depleting Crimson 1's third health bar will trigger a large cordium explosion that knocks out most of the player's HUD. Crimson 1 will then enter his final phase.
  • In the final phase, the player will be healed for a certain amount of health depending on difficulty, while Crimson 1 gains a new health bar. Both the player and Crimson 1's health bars will be visible at the bottom of the screen. On lower difficulties, he loses the ability to use cluster bombs. The mission ends upon the depletion of Crimson 1's final health bar.

Difficulty differences

  • Easy: Crimson 1 will no longer use AoE and Railgun Cluster Bombs in Phase 4 and will only restore to 50% of his initial health. The player's aircraft is restored to full health.
  • Normal: Crimson 1 will no longer use AoE and Railgun Cluster Bombs in Phase 4, and will only restore the same amount of health as before. The player has 50 extra health instead of 40.
  • Hard: Crimson 1 will only restore to 75% of his original phase health in the 4th phase and will utilize cluster bombs in the fourth phase. The player does not receive any extra health.

Mercenary difficulty

Crimson 1 spawns alongside four X-PF wingmen who can fire missiles backwards (a SAM attachment). Additionally, the fourth phase's health bar visuals are removed, leaving both Crimson 1 and the player's health ambiguous, although the player can still utilize cockpit view to see their HP as well as remaining weaponry. Crimson 1 restores all of his HP and can utilize cluster bombs in the final phase. Like on Hard, the player does not receive any extra health.

Enemy List

Unit Points Count Mercenary
EnemyA-P.png X-PF "\\NO IFF DATA\\" 250 4
EnemyA-HVT.png PW-MK.I "\\IFF UNKNOWN\\" 12000 1

Behind the scenes

Most of the above conditions and variables were not present until Patch 1.0.4.

Datamining reveals an extended version of the mission splash, which would've read "PRESIDIA | CEASFIRE[sic] IN EFFECT". It also strangely reveals a 0.5 on both the ground and air unit threat densities despite the absence of ground enemies, similar to Mission 16. Even more odd is the presence of allies - the CIFS Eminent Domain and up to a dozen Cascadian Independence Force F/E-18s and seven AA guns. It also reveals the X-PFs are given the unit tag "crimson."

Kyle Quibell, AWACS Galaxy's voice actor, stated that he may have influenced the existence of the Mercenary ending in a voice call with Matthew Nguyen, noting that the implied deaths of the player's companions in the normal ending were too "unceremonious" and "abrupt" to be fulfilling to the player.

"Their deaths needed more weight than they had. The normal ending is just 'okay bye thanks for playing.' And I was like 'People are not gonna like that.' Like it was so summary that I felt unfulfilled just reading the script. I was even down for saying 'I'm down with dying if you give Galaxy some crazy ass Electronic Warfare Final Sendoff where he makes Crimson's Craft vulnerable by some fucking technomagic.' And let me tell Monarch to 'Kill that son of a bitch'. The Thanos snap is what bothered me."[1]

Moreover, Mercenary credits dialogue had a scrapped portion that only made the draft; Diplomat would have been taken into custody by soldiers (implied to be Federation) and Comic caught up in a firefight, her fate ambiguous as comms cut out. Both scenarios would apparently have had a chance to play individually in place of the final dialogue.[2]


  • Crimson 1 is initially invulnerable until he finishes his first two lines of dialogue.
  • The duel, owing to its four-phase structure, the boss progressively becoming stronger, being set after the central conflict has ended and pitting the main protagonist and antagonist (who recently intervened at the last second) against each other alone, and the fourth phase being a surprise last stand sequence, appears to be a combination of the final boss fights of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots and Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War, mainly the former.
    • To note, the duel shares the former's dour brown/orange color scheme and the opposite of the latter's snowy theme: A city on fire in the summer.
  • There is a glitch with the Double Time modifier that soft-locks the mission if you do not kill both Crimsons on the exact same frame. This is only possible with large area of effect weapons, such as the EUFB, which is not normally useable in Campaign mode.
  • This is the only mission in the game to fade to white after the loading screen, which fades into the mission, as compared to the typical fade-to-black mission start.
    • There is a glitch that doubles the number of enemies in the mission if you restart the mission on the first frames of the white screen. This glitch's effects also stacks with the Double Time modifier for a total of four Crimson 1s and sixteen X-PFs.
  • Strangely, despite the destruction of Presidia, the city is not marked with a new geothermal hotspot on the mission select map. In contrast, Prospero's location is correctly marked as such.
  • Crimson 1's fighter will be identified as "UNKNOWN" until the second phase.
  • If Prez is present, her in-game model will go limp once she says "I'm...sorry..." in the second phase, as she passes out from G-LOC due to the constant, sustained high-G maneuvering during the duel.
Prez's slumped model
  • This is the only mission aside from Faust where no mission completion notification appears in the end.
  • This is one of the four missions (the others being Bottom of the Barrel, Express Lane, and Faust) where the mission splash doesn't appear at the start of gameplay.
  • This is one of the two missions (the other being Wayback) where the player cannot choose their aircraft in Campaign mode, only in Free Mission mode, as well as where the HUD constantly flickers.