- "...I'm no longer able to make sound judgments...? Maybe I'm unstable? But that couldn't be! I threw all that "sentiment" rubbish away! Being a machine is what's kept me alive all this time! (...) But where can I go? Who can I turn to...?"
- ―Donald, in the O.C.C. debriefing of operation code T8.
Donald is the 1st Captain of Ganos Flight Army Division. He is known as "The Fighting Machine."
Little is known about Donald's life before the game's events. His character profile mentions that before Ganos surrendered to the O.C.C., he showed great courage in battle, but lost his companions in the process. He began to doubt the value of courage and has since striven to become like a machine, being precise and ruthless. If he is killed in Up Stream, he mentions that he can now follow a girl who was supposedly his romantic interest.
Donald is portrayed as intelligent, cold, ruthless, and calculating. He tries to be emotionless like a machine, believing that emotions are a liability. Sometimes, when he gets shot down, he falls into an angry state as he bails out. He seems to also have a subconscious desire to die, most likely due to the trauma he has suffered in his life. This is most clearly seen when he is shot down in Up Stream - He does not fear death (Unlike the likes of Giuseppe and Leon), nor does he merely accept death (Like Sergei and Albert) - in fact, he seemingly embraces it, finally happy that he can go and join the one he lost. He even notes that he is "Tired of it all" in one of his death quotes. All in all, Donald seems to be a broken man as a result of the wars he has fought, both for the doomed Ganos country, and now under the tyranny of the O.C.C.
Donald is a tall, muscular man with long, white hair that sticks out from beneath his helmet. If one looks closely, they will see that he wears a pair of glasses with dark-tinted lenses and he has a large, red scar on his face that goes over his left eye. His eyes appear to be light-yellow. Like most O.C.C. pilots, he is never seen without his helmet and flight gear.
Events of AFD Strike
Donald first appears in the Intercept mission Encount (Twister). He says he knew that Delta has come and orders Dragon 4 to 6 to change course and move to phase B. After John Rundal leaves the battle zone to deal with an enemy squadron, Donald says it's not quite what he predicted and tells his allies never mind and to commence attack. After some fighting, Donald is shot down and he says, "No time to think... Punching out!" and he bails out. If the mission is played with John, Donald also tells Dragon 4 to 6 to change course and move to phase B, but he also tells the remaining Dragon units to move to intercept the enemy. Donald is shot down after some fighting and he says the same thing as before.
Later, Donald appears again in the mission Hyper Speed Rick where he finds Rick Campbell in a high-speed recon plane at the Kotor Stronghold. He tells Rick that coming alone to a place like that is very inefficient, although he says, "But with those injuries, I've got to hand it to you." He is also impressed with Rick's plane and its speed. He even wonders how they got it. After Rick helps Harry Garrett measure all the hangars, he flies away and Donald tells him that might not be a bad idea and asks him if he got the information, saying that's the key to who lives and dies and tells him to tell his allies there's no way they're going down there.
In the debriefing, Donald is seen in the meeting room in the O.C.C. base and he is met by Sergei Kinski and Albert Ungar. They discuss the appearance of a single reconnaissance plane that they failed to shoot down. Sergei reassures Donald that they can make up for it with kills in the air battles but Donald states that if the recon plane escaped then their enemies know the location of the Kotor stronghold and they can anticipate an attack. Albert says they must immediately strengthen their defenses to which Donald agrees. Then Francine Davout and Jake Emerson appear and Donald is intrigued to meet her, telling her he has heard about her accomplishments and she is highly skilled. When Francine says it's amazing to see the greatest O.C.C. pilots come together all at once like this, saying it must be to get them motivated to face the enemy's main force and she's glad the O.C.C. still has a flair for style, Donald realistically states that they are soldiers that follow their orders, no more no less, and style plays no part in it. Francine tells him he'll never create a masterpiece battle with an attitude like that. After some talk between the pilots, Donald tells them he needs to head to the hangar to take care of some maintenance and he's counting on solid teamwork once the mission starts.
After the fall of the Kotor stronghold, he is encountered once again in operation code T8, defending the oil rig. After the mission, he questions how he could have failed, noting that he "threw all that "sentiment" rubbish away", and how being a machine has kept him alive. He then ponders if he is "broken", and where and how he can get "repaired".
He is last encountered in Up Stream, flying alongside Ellen McNichol. He can be shot down and killed in this level. If he is shot down before Ellen, he notes that he couldn't become a machine, questioning whether there was a flaw, or if the whole notion was just a mistake, before saying that he "...can go and join her", before dying. Ellen curses the pilot who shot him down, saying that "He was a good pilot".
If he is shot down after Ellen, his ending speech is a bit different. He questions how he could have miscalculated, before saying that he can "follow her", and that he's "tired of it all" before dying.
It is possible, however, to spare him. If the orbital elevator enters attack altitude, he will order the Troll and Orc unit to "switch to program B", and he will flee the battle zone, surviving. As a result, he is one of three O.C.C. aces who can survive the war, alongside Leon Kleiser and Albert Ungar (if Ellen is not rescued). His fate if he does survive the war is unknown, as he does not appear in the game again.
- "Hmm, as I thought. My calculations were correct. I knew you'd be here! In order to avoid future complication, I need you to die!"
- ―Donald during operation code T8.
- "My calculations were wrong?! This isn't what I predicted..."
- ―Donald, if Ellen is shot down before him in Up Stream.
- "But I'd worked it all out... (...) I couldn't become a machine... Was it some flaw... Or just a mistake? (...) Ah, now at last I can go and join her..."
- ―Donald's death quote during Up Stream, if he is killed before Ellen is shot down.
- "How could I have miscalculated...? Ah, now I can follow her... I'm... Tired... of it all..."
- ―Donald's death quote during Up Stream, if he is killed after Ellen is shot down.
- "This is Machine. Target has passed designated altitude. Commencing transition to program B. Machine to all Troll and Orc units. Make immediate switch to program B."
- ―Donald, if he is spared during Up Stream.
- Call sign: Troll 1
- T.A.C name: Machine
- Plane colors: Marine-blue with white, swirly lines, as well as some marine-like formations, like tridents on the nose and hooks on the rear-wings. His Su-37 has Ganos markings on it. Each of his three planes have different patterns to the white lines. His emblem appears to be a marine creature, seemingly a shark, alongside a trident.
- Encount (Twister) (Optional mission, pilots a Jian-Ji/HonyzhaJi-7)
- Hyper Speed Rick (Pilots a Jian-Ji/HonyzhaJi-7)
- operation code T8 (Pilots an Su-37)
- Up Stream (Pilots an FC-1 Fighter China, can be killed)
- It appears that he is meant to be a dark reflection of Ken Thomas. Both of them are very stoic pilots, rarely letting their emotions flare. They both fly blue-colored planes (Though while the lines of Ken's aircraft are straight and organized, Donald's lines are much more chaotic and wild), they both have lost a loved one (Ken losing Ellen, and Donald losing an unnamed girl), and both have a facial scar. In Donald's bio, it is noted that he believes that Ken has the potential to become "a fighting machine" himself. To add to this, in the last mission he appears in, he is accompanied by Ellen as an ally.
- This is somewhat offset by the fact that the two never directly converse and interact, however. Thus, the connection is never made.
- Discounting the Type-R2: Vamps encountered in the space missions, Donald in his Su-37 offers the highest monetary reward among all aces in normal aircraft (67 thousand credits for a missile kill, 135 thousand credits for a gun kill, and 202 thousand for a rocket kill). This is higher than even Albert Ungar in his Su-47 (66 thousand with missiles, 132 thousand with vulcans, and 198 thousand with rockets).
- Out of all of his planes, only his Su-37 has Ganos markings on it. The others simply have his standard paint scheme.
- His surname suggests that Ganos is the Airforce Delta Strike equivalent of China, since he explicitly hails from there.
- He is the only O.C.C. ace to be introduced in an Intercept mission, instead of a normal mission.
- He is also the only O.C.C. ace not to interact with any of the Delta pilots when they are not under the player's control.
- The only pilot that interacts with him outside of cutscenes is Ellen McNichol in Up Stream. She is also the only pilot that Donald will comment on the status of (I.E, when she takes intense damage, Donald may say "Doll! That fuselage is at the breaking point!").
- He seems to have some jurisdiction over other squadrons; In Twister's Encount intercept, he is seen commanding over the Dragon squadron in place of the Squadron leader (who is at the base itself, as seen in dialogue in the mission). He also gives orders to the Orc units (Leon's squadron) in Up Stream.
- Due to somewhat lazy programming, while he pilots his FC-1 Fighter China, he is still somehow able to use vulcans. This fact is true for all aces, allies, and generic enemies who pilot planes that lack vulcans.
- Out of the three O.C.C. aces who can survive the war, he is the only one to have unique dialogue if he is spared.
- He is the only enemy ace in the entire franchise who is forbidden to be attacked and shot down in a mission; see Hyper Speed Rick.
- Under his Jian-Ji/HonyzhaJi-7's emblem, there are red numbers, reading "8108". This was recycled from Rick's JH-7.
|Airforce Delta Strike Characters|
|Ken Thomas · Ruth Valentine · John Rundal · Jamie Jones · Rick Campbell · Alex Levine · Holst Prendre · Pedro Glankert · Brian Douglas · Robert Williams · Lilia Mihajlovna · Amelia Johnson · Harry Garrett · Bob Takayanagi · David Smith · Collette Le Clerc · Constance Le Clerc · Navigator · Albert Ungar · Pierre Gallo · Ellen McNichol · Sergei Kinski · Giuseppe Ferretti · Francine Davout · Leon Kleiser · Donald Chan · Jake Emerson|