A Raven is an Armored Core
pilot under the employ of a private military company
. Ravens are highly sought after by corporations
, city guards and warlords to perform tasks that would be considered too difficult or politically damaging for a normal military unit to engage in. While the name of the company that handles Raven contracts has changed over time, the function of Ravens themselves remains largely the same: conducting missions for the highest bidder.
As the company that employs these mercenaries is a neutral
organization, it places no restriction on who the pilot can work for, or what mercenary a client can choose for a mission. It is not only possible, but a frequent occurrence, that Ravens employed by opposing sides in a conflict will be forced to fight one another. Because of these situations, combined with the staggering amount of combat a Raven will see in his or her career, most are detached from one another, as building close relationships can lead to trouble later on.
In addition to carrying out missions for corporate clients, Ravens often participate in an arena
league administered by the PMC they work for. These matches are broadcast for additional revenue, and more popular, skilled Ravens can earn an easy living as arena combatants.
It should be noted that while all Ravens are Armored Core pilots, not all Armored Core pilots are Ravens. The more affluent organizations have a stable of in-house Armored Core pilots, as was the case in Armored Core 2
's Frighteners, which were a special forces unit of the Earth Government
. Depending on the PMC, bypassing the company may also lead to a Raven's expulsion, as was the case with Evangel
in Armored Core: Nexus