Front Mission 4 ~Elsa~ is a series of novels which were released on September 24, 2004. Released as part of the Front Mission Project line, the ~Elsa~ novels are expanded universe supplements to Front Mission 4. Although the novels are partial adaptations of the game, they are mostly comprised of new story content. As the subtitle implies, the novels revolve around the viewpoints of Front Mission 4 protagonist, Elsa Eliane. However, they do not exclusively focus on Elsa; the story occasionally shifts focus to other characters, such as Darril Traubel, seen in Front Mission 4.
The novels revolve around the original Front Mission 4 story, as opposed to the English localization (which was censored and toned down). There are numerous story elements, such as Elsa's mental trauma over killing others, that would appear new to those who only played the English Front Mission 4 as a result. Additionally, plot linkages to other Front Mission entries, namely Front Mission First, are more pronounced.
~Elsa~ begins one year before the events of Front Mission 4 in November 2095, and ends several months after the video game in May 2097. The story of ~Elsa~ can be split into three acts.
1. Elsa's dutifully serves the E.C. French Army until she gets transferred to an E.C. research organization known as Durandal. During her transfer, five E.C. German Army bases are simultaneously attacked by mysterious assailants.
2. An attack on an E.C. resource base in Poland ushers in the European Resource Crisis. Believing the assailants to be of Zaftran origin, the Durandal begin investigating the link between the attacks and the Republic of Zaftra.
3. After the end of the European Resource Crisis, Elsa attempts to find meaning in her life's existence and move on. Unable to cope with her personal issues, she leaves the Durandal and returns to France where she finally meets Darril in person.
- Elsa's inability to mentally handle taking the lives of other humans, giving way to a growing addiction to antidepressants to control her depression.
- Zead's frustrations with the E.C. government's bureaucracy.
- Hermes' alienation from his family and his bonding attempts with the Durandal.
- Latona's conflicted emotions over her pride for the Republic of Zaftra and anger over the Zaftran government's role in the Second Huffman Conflict.
- Dieter's strained relations with Rolf and the E.C. German Army.
- Rolf's divided loyalties between the Republic of Zaftra and E.C. Germany.
- Frederick's zealous investigations into the Zaftran Army's spy network.
- Power struggles between the political leaders of the E.C. Central Assembly.
- Economic disparity problems which affect the U.S.N. South American states.
- The collapse of the Zaftran economy with losses in foreign investments and migrations of citizens to foreign countries.
- The Republic of Zaftra's continued usage of Bioneural Device technology, despite international bans on human brain experimentation and research.
- Darril's attempts to befriend Elsa and help her deal with depression and drug addiction, eventually leading to a romantic relationship between the two.
- Niklas Glaeser is nicknamed "Frankenstein Monster" due to his scarred face.
- Rolf Wagner is nicknamed "Vampire" due to the redness of his irises.
- The Gepard wanzers are referred to as an "Igel Type Wanzer" by Elsa.
- The novels officially reveal the surname of the Durandal's lead transport pilot Robert - Robert Murray.
- The novels officially reveal the surname of the Bichu Transports salesman Chang - Chang Fei Jiang.
- The novels officially reveal the identity of the unnamed Arrow 7 pilot in the E.C. campaign epilogue of Front Mission 4 - Rudolf Kaiser from Front Mission 3. This marks the first time he appears in the Front Mission storyline chronologically.
- References to other Front Mission story elements include: Sakata Industries, the Bioneural Device, the Sakata Industries Incident, the Second Huffman Conflict, the Peace Mediation Organization, and the Canyon Crows.
- There are 10 black-and-white (B&W) illustrations and two color illustrations inside the novels, split into five B&W and one color per volume.