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Air Force is the eleventh mission in Earth Defense Force 2025 and Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair.

Objective Edit

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!

Storyline Edit

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.

Enemies Edit

2025:

3 waves of Flying Drones, 28, 22, 40

Mothership (invincible).

4.1:

4 waves of Flying Drones, 32, 40, 52, 80 (!)

Mothership (invincible, Genocide Gun also invincible).

Online Limits Edit

Armor Limit

There's no limit for Inferno difficulty.

Difficulty Ranger & Air Raider Wing Diver Fencer
2025 4.1 2025 4.1 2025 4.1
Easy & Normal 517 513 308 306 647 641
Hard 1660 1706 880 903 2075 2133
Hardest 3106 3654 1603 1877 3883 4568

Weapon Level Limit

Game Easy & Normal Hard Hardest Inferno
2025 4 27 52 85
4.1 4 27 55 86

Approximate Weapon Drop Rate

Game Easy Normal Hard Hardest Inferno
2025 0-2 0-2 11-23 0-48 0-55
4.1 0-2 0-2 13-28 0-48 0-55

Strategy Edit

Air Force 2025

Look at the slowdown in this screenshot. It's so slow, it's stopped.

2025 Edit

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...

4.1 Edit

...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.

Levels: Earth Defense Force 2025
1-10 ReconveneSpreading DisasterWinged War GoddessSetting SunWind BreakUnderground CaveEruptionRetaliationBeach FearThe Return
11-20 Air ForceDay of the DemonsTakedownPreventing LandfallLand CollapseFortress SiegeValley ShadowsArtilleryBreaking ThroughShining Stronghold
21-30 Into the DepthsA TrapGiant RobotsAnchoredSilver CityCrimsonHigh-SpeedBrute ForceCharge Phase 1Charge Phase 2
31-40 Charge Phase 3ThunderInfiltrationConvergenceInfernoStarshipDenseCrossingSearchWaterside Bugs
41-50 AnnihilationNatural CalamitySteel BeastVoid ShipBlue FightersEarth DefendersMountain Pass TrapFortress FrenzyPincerRavages of War
51-60 Air MobilizationBug InvasionTransport Ship Surprise AttackBug KingCrazy SkiesThe Fleet BelowBad PremonitionCity of HorrorMountains AblazeBreaking Through (2)
61-70 Bug TowerFortress AttackMountain LiberationSniper AttackTowering BeastTeeth of the UniverseGiant ShipSpearheadTower SiegeDen of Thieves
71-80 Death QueenMachine SquadMonster PartyLabyrinth of LightCity FlawsMonster CampFallen FlagshipHeaven's ArmyEncirclingDivine
81-85 The ThreatBattle to the DeathMassive MobilizationScorchingStar Eaters

Levels: Earth Defense Force 2025 Online
1-10 ReconveneSpreading DisasterWinged War GoddessSetting SunWind BreakUnderground CaveEruptionRetaliationBeach FearThe Return
11-20 Air ForceDay of the DemonsTakedownPreventing LandfallLand CollapseFortress SiegeValley ShadowsArtilleryBreaking ThroughShining Stronghold
21-30 Into the DepthsA TrapGiant RobotsSummit ShipAnchoredSilver CityCrimsonHigh-SpeedBloody MountainBrute Force
31-40 Charge Phase 1Charge Phase 2Dark PrisonerCharge Phase 3ThunderInfiltrationConvergenceInfernoStarshipDense
41-50 CrossingSearchWaterside BugsAnnihilationNatural CalamitySteel BeastVoid ShipBlue FightersEarth DefendersFleet Attack
51-60 Mountain Pass TrapFortress FrenzyPincerRavages of WarAir MobilizationBug InvasionTransport Ship Surprise AttackBug KingCrazy SkiesThe Fleet Below
61-70 Bad PremonitionCity of HorrorMountains AblazeBreaking Through (2)Bug TowerFortress AttackMountain LiberationSniper AttackMountain GiantsTowering Beast
71-80 Teeth of the UniverseGiant ShipSpearheadTower SiegeDen of ThievesDeath QueenMachine SquadMonster PartyLabyrinth of LightCity Flaws
81-90 Monster CampFallen FlagshipHeaven's ArmyEncirclingDivineThe ThreatTroubled ValleyBattle to the DeathMassive MobilizationLegion of Monsters
91-94 ScorchingDemon ArmySurrounded!Star Eaters

Levels: Earth Defense Force 4.1
1-10 ReconveneSpreading DisasterWinged War GoddessSetting SunWind ShearUnderground CaveEruptionRetaliationBeach FearThe Return
11-20 Air ForceDay of the DemonsTakedownPreventing LandfallLand CollapseFortress SiegeValley ShadowsArtilleryBreaking ThroughShining Stronghold
21-30 Into the DepthsA TrapGiant RobotsAnchoredSilver CityCrimsonAssaultHigh-SpeedBrute ForceCharge Phase 1
31-40 Charge Phase 2Charge Phase 3ThunderInfiltrationConvergenceInfernoStarshipHigh DensityDozing BeastCrossing
41-50 SearchWaterside BugsAnnihilationNatural CalamitySteel BeastVoid ShipBlue FightersEarth DefendersMountain Pass TrapFortress Frenzy
51-60 PincerRavages of WarCrashAir MobilizationBug InvasionTransport Ship Surprise AttackBug KingCrazy SkiesThe Fleet BelowIll Omen
61-70 City of HorrorMountains AblazeBreaking Through (2)Bug TowerFortress AttackMountain LiberationBattle of GiantsSniper AttackTowering BeastTeeth of the Universe
71-80 Giant ShipSpearheadTower SiegeDen of ThievesDeath QueenMachine SquadMonster PartyLabyrinth of LightCity FlawsMonster Camp
81-89 Fallen FlagshipHeaven's ArmyEncirclingDivineThe ThreatBattle to the DeathMassive MobilizationScorchingStar Eaters

Levels: Earth Defense Force 4.1 Online
1-10 ReconveneSpreading DisasterWinged War GoddessSetting SunWind ShearUnderground CaveEruptionRetaliationBeach FearThe Return
11-20 Air ForceDay of the DemonsTakedownPreventing LandfallLand CollapseFortress SiegeValley ShadowsArtilleryBreaking ThroughShining Stronghold
21-30 Into the DepthsA TrapGiant RobotsSummit ShipAnchoredSilver CityCrimsonAssaultHigh-SpeedBloody Mountain
31-40 Brute ForceCharge Phase 1Charge Phase 2Dark PrisonerCharge Phase 3ThunderInfiltrationConvergenceInfernoStarship
41-50 High DensityDozing BeastCrossingSearchWaterside BugsAnnihilationNatural CalamitySteel BeastVoid ShipBlue Fighters
51-60 Earth DefendersFleet AttackMountain Pass TrapFortress FrenzyPincerRavages of WarCrashAir MobilizationBug InvasionTransport Ship Surprise Attack
61-70 Bug KingCrazy SkiesThe Fleet BelowIll OmenCity of HorrorMountains AblazeBreaking Through (2)Bug TowerFortress AttackMountain Liberation
71-80 Battle of GiantsSniper AttackMountain GiantsTowering BeastTeeth of the UniverseGiant ShipSpearheadTower SiegeDen of ThievesDeath Queen
81-90 Machine SquadMonster PartyLabyrinth of LightCity FlawsMonster CampFallen FlagshipHeaven's ArmyEncirclingDivineThe Threat
91-98 Troubled ValleyBattle to the DeathMassive MobilizationLegion of MonstersScorchingDemon ArmySurrounded!Star Eaters

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