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If brute force doesn't solve your problem, you're not using enough.

"Bomber to Air Raider. We saw your courageous actions. Don't get caught in the attack!"
Charon's pilot is the nicest man in the EDF

The Charon Tactical Bomber and its larger sibling Strategic Bomber Midnight are non-playable vehicles that the Air Raider can call on for artillery support in Earth Defense Force 2025 and Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair. In the English version, Charon's pilot is voiced by Dave Mallow and Midnight's by Kirk Thornton.

Description Edit

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This works out about as well as you would expect it to.

Charon is a high-speed flying-wing strike aircraft with a significant payload of disposable stores and a powerful cannon mounted on its underside for strafing runs. It is one of the most highly-used EDF Aircraft, with multiple strikes from Charon Bombers occurring during the course of the campaign, with the first in Preventing Landfall.

While highly effective in most scenarios, their bombing is ineffective in the presence of Shield Bearers, not that this stops the Air Force from trying anyway.

While Charon and Midnight are powerful aircraft, they are not fighters, and several times in the storyline they are forced to withdraw due to enemy air cover. During Brute Force a huge group of Flying Drones briefly prevents them from offering further support, while the Charon fleet is almost destroyed when they are attacked by Dragons in City of Horror, ultimately managing to regroup on the Fortress Aircraft Carrier Despina with other EDF air units following the destruction of their bases. More obviously, they cannot offer any kind of support to units that are underground.

Charon and Midnight count as allied NPCs, and enemies will attempt to target them as they fly overhead; giant insects will briefly chase after them, and enemies like Hectors will turn and try to shoot them down. They cannot actually be damaged, and offer a valuable distraction, being effectively a short-duration Decoy.

Calls for Support Edit

All calls for support from Charon and Midnight use a smoke grenade marker, which usually indicates the starting point of the attack. Uniquely, they have audio cues from three sources; their pilots, the Tactics Officer, and HQ.

In EDF 2025 none of these strikes are available if Earth Eaters are present because the bombers fly above them (at one point in Crazy Skies HQ actually has to be reminded of this), but in 4.1 the bombers' altitude is decreased so they can be called in even if Earth Eaters are present.

Bombing Plans Edit

Bombing Plans drop one or more straight lines of bombs that descend diagonally from the dropping aircraft. Because the damage is spread out along a line, they are primarily useful against groups of weaker enemies such as Ants and Spiders. Splash damage is fairly low for a support strike, so good aim is essential. The credit cost is quite high, but if a Bombing Plan hits a dense group of bugs it will often kill enough to immediately reload itself.

Strikes with multiple aircraft usually have them approach in a diagonal formation, with the rightmost or farthest aircraft dropping its payload first.

Bombing Plan A is the most basic strike, a single line straight forward from the marked position. It is a powerful strike for level 1, dealing vastly more damage than the Air Raider's default Howitzer strike, and is well worth using when focused damage is needed if starting out on a lower difficulty.

Bombing Plan B is probably the most situational of the Plans, with two bombers flying in an overlapping diagonal path, drawing an X shape longer at the top than the bottom with the marker as the overlap point. It is excellent for attacking a very large group like the Ants in Crimson, but will generally waste most of its damage if aimed at a smaller one.

Bombing Plan C is a right-to-left run by three bombers. It is good for attacking the front face of a broad group or a newly-spawned wave before it can fan out.

Bombing Plan D is a dense strike by four aircraft in rapid succession, forward from the marker. Since it has all the aircraft hit close together at almost at the same time, it can deal ridiculous amounts of damage from overlapping blast radii: in some situations it actually deals more practical damage than Bombing Plan F, and can be useful even on Inferno difficulty as a result.

Bombing Plan E is an exception to the norm: it is just one aircraft dropping very high-damage bombs in a single line, making it useful against tougher foes.

Bombing Plan F is similar to Bombing Plan D, but the aircraft are more spread out, with a greater delay between each drop. The overall damage is higher, but it does not deal the same multi-stage overlapping hits.

Level Name Damage Attack Radius (m) Shots Fired Total Damage Reload Effect
1 Bombing Plan A 420 10 10 x 1 aircraft 4200 5400 One 300m line forward from marked position
20 Bombing Plan B 900 10 10 x 2 aircraft 18000 5400 Two 300m lines intersecting in an X shape, marker is overlap point
27 Bombing Plan C 720 10 20 x 3 aircraft 43200 5400 Three 500m parallel lines right to left, marker indicates center of middle line
48 Bombing Plan D 1100 10 20 x 4 aircraft 88000 5400 Four 500m parallel lines forward from marker, marker is between the middle two lines
71 Bombing Plan E 8700 10 10 x 1 aircraft 87000 5400 One 500m line right to left, marker indicates midpoint
84 Bombing Plan F 4400 10 10 x 4 aircraft 176000 5400 Four 500m parallel lines forward from marker, marker is between the middle two lines

Wave Attack Edit

This unique attack has ten bombers attack the same area one after another, keeping fire on it for about 30 seconds. As well as constant damage, it will also repeatedly distract the targeted group as they attempt to attack the bombers. However, this comes at the price of being the second most costly strike in the game, only exceeded by Rule of God, though unlike Rule of God, the Wave Attack is available from the start of a mission.

Level Name Damage Attack Radius (m) Shots Fired Total Damage Reload Effect
52 Wave Attack 840 10 5 x 10 aircraft 42000 7200 One 100m right to left line hit ten times, marker indicates midpoint.

Strafe Plans Edit

Note that while these strikes appear to do ludicrous quantities of damage, their 1000m attack area is the entire length of most maps, so it is unlikely for them to do more than a fraction of their total possible damage in practice.

Numbers in (brackets) indicate EDF 4.1 changes.

Level Name Damage Attack Radius (m) Shots Fired Total Damage Reload Effect
9 Strafe Plan A 240 10 100 x 3 aircraft 72000 3200 (2400) Three 1000m parallel lines forward from marker, marker indicates middle line
41 Strafe Plan B 800 10 120 x 4 aircraft 96000 3200 (2200) Four 1000m lines forward that overlap and then fan out, marker indicates overlap point.
79 Strafe Plan C 1500 10 150 x 5 aircraft 1125000 3200 (1800) Five 1000m parallel lines forward, marker indicates middle line

Bomber Midnight Edit

Midnight is a massive strategic bomber variant of the Charon design, and is primarily used to deploy the EDF's penetrating Grind Buster bomb, an incredibly powerful weapon able to cripple even a Quadruped Fortress. While sadly the Air Raider cannot call in Grind Busters, there is one strike available from Midnight. Despite his one-off status, the Texan pilot has his own set of audio cues.

Cluster Hit Edit

This drops a ragged spread of submunitions with massive splash and high damage. The submunitions descend slowly, though, so some leading of the target is required if it is moving.

Level Name Damage Attack Radius (m) Shots Fired Total Damage Reload Effect
61 Cluster Hit 2160 50 50 x 1 aircraft 108000 5400 One 500m line forward from marker

Trivia Edit

  • Charon was the ferryman of the dead in Greek myth who carried the newly deceased across the underworld's great rivers, Styx and Acheron, into the realm of Hades.
  • Charon and Midnight appear to be based on the fictional P-1112 Aigaion super-aircraft from Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation.
  • Charon and Midnight originally followed the normal rules for allied NPCs, meaning that none of their strikes were capable of dealing friendly fire damage. This was changed in the major balance patch 1.03 for EDF 2025, and they now deal friendly fire damage like any other support strike.
  • In EDF 4.1, bombers called in by Air Raiders are no longer displayed as friendly blips on the radar, though those that are part of scripted events still are.
  • NPC bomber strikes deal damage based on the difficulty and level rather than which Air Raider strike they are, hence the ability of single-bomber scripted strikes to consistently destroy Hectors even on Inferno. They do not scale their damage to the online enemy health multiplier based on the number of players, however, meaning most of the targeted Hectors in Brute Force will survive the bombing runs on higher difficulties.

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