The EF31 Nereid is a vehicle that the Air Raider can call on in Earth Defense Force 2025 and Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair.
Description EditWhile the EF24 Bazelart is the "fighter" of helicopters, the Nereid is a dedicated ground attack aircraft; so dedicated, in fact, that the camera is fixed pointing diagonally down rather than forwards. It does not handle as well as the Bazelart and is less heavily armored, but only the HU04 Brute exceeds its capacity to deal death from above.
The Nereid's primary weapon is an auto-locking gun featuring one of only two laser sights in EDF 2025 (the other is the main gun of the Epsilon Armored Railgun) to show where it is currently aimed. Unless the Nereid is very low or all of its targets are in front of it this is of debatable usefulness, though since the gun does not lock on to friendly targets it will never point at something the Air Raider does not want to destroy.
The second weapon fires a volley of unguided rockets, or on one case free-falling bombs. These have splash damage and tend to overlap, dealing enormous damage over a wide area, though aiming them takes some getting uses to since even in 4.1 there is no indication of their aiming point.
Control and handling Edit
Helicopters in the two games feature extremely strange handling. Rather than having buttons to alter height up and down like most videogames, there is no button to descend, and the ascend button functions by spinning up the rotors so that they generate lift, which gradually decreases if the ascend button is left alone as if the rotors are some kind of flywheel. The helicopter will only start to descend once the rotors have slowed down enough.
It is probably better to imagine them as hot-air balloons with the ascend button the equivalent of using the burner; even if the burner is off, the balloon will not descend by itself until the air in it has cooled down.
Helicopters are the only vehicles other than the SDL1 which are damaged by contact with scenery; this includes their rotors. Small scenery objects will cause minor damage to a helicopter as the rotors spin up, while having it wedged against the side of a building can prevent the rotors from turning at all. Therefore, it is necessary to request and land helicopters in clear spaces to avoid wasted credits or needless damage.
Exiting a helicopter in mid-air is possible since there is no such thing as fall damage; while it might be expected that the helicopter would be destroyed by such silly activity, it will actually continue to hover until its rotors spin down, and then descend vertically and land, not taking any damage unless it collides with something on the way down. It is also briefly possible to get back into the helicopter after exiting it since the circle is quite large; on the Nereid this is not particularly useful unless the player wants to cut short a rocket or bomb salvo for some reason.
It should also be noted that unless the player really wants to damage their wrist, it is best to turn vibration off when using a helicopter while playing 2025. The vibration from simply applying power to a helicopter's rotors is toned down significantly in 4.1.
The Nereid excels at dealing with ground targets once the pilot is used to the odd camera angle and the behavior of its rockets. While it is no fighter, it is also quite capable of handling weaker aerial foes if it can get above them, since few have much ability to attack upwards. It is essentially impossible to attack Transport Ships, Earth Eaters or a Quadruped Fortress with a Nereid.
The Nereid is best flown at medium-low altitude where it can keep moving to avoid enemy fire while still engaging enemies with its Autocannon; it benefits from the use of a Decoy to distract enemies while it engages them. The stated ranges of the Auto-Acquisition Autocannons are something of a trick since the weapon's acquisition will not function at anything like the given figure; the actual lock-on distance (and hence the useful range) is thus also included in the variants table below.
As noted, the rockets take some getting used to; they are soft-launched and drop slightly before igniting their motors, which must be compensated for. Eight rockets are launched at a time, fired sequentially in a spread; turning while they are being fired will increase the width of the attack. A focused attack can easily destroy a Tunnel Exit or Hector if the Nereid is reasonably in-level.
The exception to the general rules is the Fire Nereid. This one-off variant is the fastest and most manoeuvrable of all Nereids, having more in common with a Bazelart, and has a short-ranged but very powerful flamethrower replacing the cannon that requires it to fly very low. Like most flame weapons, it can cause multi-staged hits that deal damage to the same enemy with the same shot several times, vastly exceeding its stated damage figure in the process.
This variant also has a different weapon in place of rockets; it instead carries extremely powerful bombs which are launched forward slightly and then drop diagonally. While it only fires four at a time instead of eight, the splash is substantial and the individual bombs are more powerful than single rockets from the Nereid Angel.
Nereids are improved in 4.1 with a one-third boost to the damage of their guns, making them even more effective at dealing with ground enemies and improving their performance against weaker aerial foes as well.
All Nereids have a crew capacity of 1 and cost 4,000 credits to drop. Numbers in (brackets) indicate changed stats in EDF 4.1.
|Level||Name||Health||Armament||Ammo||Fire rate (shots / sec)||Damage||Firing range (m)||Lock-on distance (m)|
|15||EF31 Nereid||510||Auto-Acquisition Autocannon||1500||20.0||8 (12)||480||95|
|Rocket Cannon||48||0.5 x 8||204 x 8||1200||-|
|36||EF31 Nereid 2||1350||Auto-Acquisition Autocannon||1500||20.0||21 (33)||480||120|
|Rocket Cannon||48||0.5 x 8||540 x 8||1200||-|
|56||EF31 Fire Nereid||2700||Ground Auto-Acquisition Blaze Gun||3000||30.0||36 (54)||84||84|
|Unguided Bomb||16||0.25 x 4||4500 x 4||600||-|
|70||EF31 Nereid S||4800||Auto-Acquisition Autocannon||1500||20.0||76 (120)||480||160|
|Rocket Cannon||48||0.5 x 8||1920 x 8||1200||-|
|83||EF31 Nereid Angel||7500||Auto-Acquisition Autocannon||1500||20.0||120 (187)||480||200|
|Rocket Cannon||48||0.5 x 8||3000 x 8||1200||-|
- "Nereids" were mythical sea nymphs who accompanied Poseidon in Ancient Greek myth and carried his trident.
- The Nereid is a fictional design, somewhat influenced by the Russian Mi-28 Havoc.