Air Force is the eleventh mission in Earth Defense Force 2025 and Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair.
2025: The mothership is launching flying drones. These drones are automatic weapons that appear to be targeting people. They are terrifying slaughter machines which never tire. They must be stopped before they eliminate all the citizens!
4.1: The mothership is launching flying drones that appear to be targeting people indiscriminately. They act as terrifying slaughter machines that never tire, and they must be stopped before the eliminate all the civilians!
After leaving the town where it made its first appearance, the Mothership over Japan (presumably) has moved to an urban area, while Motherships in other parts of the world have already started deploying Flying Drones to exterminate the human population. HQ begins things with a warning that "the Ravager Flying Drones are coming!" as the Mothership opens its hangar bays and the sleek sliver craft fly out and start bumping into each other threateningly.
The Aurora Situation Report reporter with the bad microphone cuts in, repeating what her colleague said before; the eight remaining Motherships (or the six that were not damaged, it is not particularly clear what happened to the other two) have dispersed across the world and launched simultaneous attacks on major cities.
One of the EDF soldiers calls out "Flying Drones are coming!" having apparently not bothered to listen to HQ's warning, and the rest of the mission is spend fighting them, with only incidental dialog.
4.1 Changes Edit
The mission is now set in City 2's main park area with the Mothership almost directly overhead and the Flying Drones dropped down vertically right on top of Storm Team and the NPC Rangers.
A fourth wave of Drones was added, like the added final wave of Ants in Reconvene which is enormous and very dangerous. This time it "only" contains ten fewer enemies than the entire original mission rather than ten more as in Reconvene. Seemingly just to show the mission means business, the Mothership now fires a shot from the Genocide Gun across the park while it is deploying the final wave, and then leaves the area as it did before.
As the final wave is being deployed, HQ will take pity on Storm Team and order the deployment of an NPC Naegling Self-Propelled Rocket Launcher at the top end of the park to help finish off the final wave, which actually results in the deployment of two. They arrive just over one minute after HQ orders the deployment, and the Tactics Officer will confirm their arrival.
3 waves of Flying Drones, 28, 22, 40
4 waves of Flying Drones, 32, 40, 52, 80 (!)
Online Limits Edit
There's no limit for Inferno difficulty.
|Difficulty||Ranger & Air Raider||Wing Diver||Fencer|
|Easy & Normal||517||513||308||306||647||641|
Weapon Level Limit
|Game||Easy & Normal||Hard||Hardest||Inferno|
Approximate Weapon Drop Rate
As in the previous mission, the Flying Drones are deployed from four hangar bays around the outside of the Mothership, which is in the distance over the "town" area of City Outskirts. They will disperse into a broad, disorganised group over almost the entire "town" side of the map, and take some time to muster any kind of large mass. They also tend to cause some fairly serious framerate issues.
Storm Team has assistance from two very powerful units of Rangers who start out at the end of the bridge directly in front of the starting location. One team are armed with MMF sniper rifles and the other with Stingray rocket launchers, both able to one-shot the Drones and both with excellent accuracy. It is a good idea to not recruit these groups and leave them where they are, since it divides the attention of the Drones even after the civilians have disappeared.
As all the enemies are fairly fragile, fast-moving targets, it is best to bring multi-lock weapons or spread weapons such as shotguns and low-accuracy automatic weapons. A Fencer with two guns in one of their weapon sets is best off alternating which one they are firing rather than using both together, so that they are always outputting fire even when one gun is reloading.
Weapon farming Edit
Notably, "do absolutely nothing" is actually a serviceable strategy in this mission since the powerful EDF NPCs will eventually beat it by themselves, even on Inferno. Moving back into the city to avoid Flying Drones that detach themselves from the main group will result in all of them engaging the rocket launcher and sniper teams down by the bridge, who will proceed to wreck them and generate a big pile of crates in their immediate vicinity.
This makes it a popular location for players wanting to quickly farm some high-level weapons for a character who still only has three-digit health. This mission's drop level on Inferno means it provides very useful weapons, with a popular Wing Diver power-levelling strategy being to get the Idunn-E Custom and then use two of them to finish Crimson on Inferno (which is difficult, but possible) for even better weapons, or even jump straight up to DLC 2 mission 16 Golden Darkness (DLC 1 mission 21 in 4.1) on Inferno (again, difficult but possible, particularly if a stop is made at Crimson first to grab an Idunn-E Custom 2) by beating the missions up to it on Easy to get weapons all the way up to level 95.
Sadly, the EDF 2025 players delved too greedily and too deep...
...and this is the Balrog that they unleashed.
Since now the Flying Drones are dropped down right on top of Storm Team and the NPC Rangers, the Drones will swarm them as soon as the civilians disappear and will kill off the NPCs in short order, if any attempt is made to hide and let them finish the level as before.
Despite having transformed from a mission that will cheerfully beat itself into a complete nightmare, most of the same tactics and weapon choices apply. Since the Mothership is now right on top of the NPCs it can be a good idea to move to a different area of the park to split the group while the Drones are busy menacing the large wave of civilians that spawns all across the park at the beginning of the mission, though care must be taken to stay out of the blast range of the Genocide Gun shot. Backing up into the buildings behind the starting location to gain some protection is also a decent idea, though it has the problem that the NPC rocket launcher team will sometimes blow up buildings that Storm Team is hiding behind while trying to hit the Drones.
|DLC 1: Special Forces||Exploration • Giant's Advance • Silver Camp • Citadel • Floating Fleet|
|DLC 2: Mutant Rampage||Advance • Mountain Assault • Enemy Camp Infiltration • Underground Advance • Giant Robots • Battle Species • Beast Mountain • Dark Arena • Gathering Around • Armored Species • Iron Wall • Mountain of Change • Whirlwind of Death • Bugged City • The Tough • Golden Darkness • True King • Final Impact • Into Destruction • Ship of Dragons|
|DLC 3: Beyond Despair||Tracking • Underground Complex • Blocked Pass • Close Formation • Dragon Ship Fleet • Heavy Artillery • Bloody River • Dangerous Goldmines • Beast Mobilization • Total Protection • Aerial Bombing • King of Armor • Cannon Defenders • Traps Behind • Four Kings of Nightmares • Resistance Against the Twilight • Shivering Nexus • Three Giants • Crimson Lotus • Starry Prison|
|DLC 1: Time of the Mutants||Air Offensive • Giants Advance • Recon • Dust Town • Defense Line • Underground Advance • War Breed • Mountain Assault • Enemy Camp Infiltration • Dark Arena • Beast Mountain • God's Army • The Gathering • Armored Species • Iron Wall • Silver Base • Shifting Mountain • Whirlwind of Death • Bugged City • Toughness • Golden Darkness • True Sovereign • Final Impact • Floating Fleet • Into Destruction • Ship of Dragons|
|DLC 2: Extreme Battle||Tracking Bogeys • Underground Complex • Blocked Pass • Close Formation • Dragon Ship Fleet • Heavy Artillery • Overflight • Dangerous Goldmines • Beast Mobilization • Total Protection • Bombs Away • King of Armor • Cannon Defenders • Bloody River • Three Giants • Traps from Behind • The Four Horsemen • Cross the Line • Facing Off • Crimson Lotus • Shivering Nexus • Last Bastion • Starry Prison|