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Shining Stronghold is the twentieth mission in Earth Defense Force 2025 and Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair. It is the first to have Crimson Ants, though to say it introduces them is a bit of a stretch, they just kind of turn up.

Objective Edit

2025: The Ravager transport ships have dropped something in the mountains. Intel has confirmed that it is a defensive screen. We are dispatching Fencers to the location. The Storm Team will provide support.

4.1: The Ravager transport ships have dropped something in the mountains. Intel has confirmed it's a defensive screen. We are dispatching Fencers to the location. Storm Team will provide support.

Storyline Edit

Storm Team arrives to the montains where they find out that the Shield Screens are defending three Giant Insect Tunnels. They are ordered to destroy them.

Enemies Edit

Both versions:

Waves Enemies Notes
1st 2 x Shield Bearers

3 x Tunnel Exits

47 x Black Ants

The Shield Bearers are immobile.

15 Ants spawn at the left tunnel, 14 at the right and 18 at the back.

2nd 4 x Crimson Ants When two Tunnel Exits are destroyed, they spawn at the third one.

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 624 615 362 357 780 769
Hard 1805 1892 952 996 2257 2365
Hardest 3203 3794 1651 1947 4004 4742

Weapon Level Limit

Game Easy & Normal Hard Hardest Inferno
2025 7 30 55 95
4.1 6 30 57 95

As there is no weapon above level 95, there is now effectively no weapon level limit on Inferno difficulty.

Approximate Weapon Drop Rate

Game Easy Normal Hard Hardest Inferno
2025 0-4 1-5 14-26 0-51 0-60
4.1 0-4 0-5 15-30 0-51 0-60

Strategy Edit

2025Edit

20161005155352 1

A Wing Diver provides an overview of the mission. The third Tunnel Exit is (just) visible to the left of the top section of the right-hand Shield Bearer.

This is a fairly simple introduction to Tunnel Exits under Shield Bearers, though it can be tricky for a first-time player. The mission starts on a steep hillside: below, there are two Tunnel Exits protected by the Shield Bearers, and one more Exit to the rear of the right one hidden among trees but outside their coverage. The Shield Bearers in this mission do not move even if they are attacked, and are always in their "deployed" state.

Unlike Land Collapse, the Tunnel Exits are all present at the start of the mission and instantly deploy a full set of 47 Ants; they are not aggro'd, and will just mill around until they are disturbed.

This mission is similar to the previous one in terms of combat, only with multiple small enemies under the screen rather than a few tough ones. A Ranger should bring his best shotgun or assault rifle, backed up with a rocket launcher or Fusion Blaster for dealing damage to the Tunnel Exits and Shield Bearers.

20161005155023 1

Shockingly useful.

A Wing Diver can actually get some mileage out of her downward-firing Orb weapons (Psicluster, the Thunder Cluster / Thunder Orb, or the Heaven's Gate series) if the player has mastered throwing them. Deploying one above a Tunnel Exit will basically switch it off for the entire duration of the weapon's effect, and usually destroy it outright. Otherwise, a Rapier is effective here, as are the Idunn and Thunder Bow weapons.

Since there are multiple small targets, an Air Raider is best off stomping inside the Shield Screen with his best BM03 Vegalta, though flying an EF31 Nereid low enough will also allow it to open fire from under the Shield while being well-protected from return fire. Since the rear Tunnel Exit has no shield, it can be targeted with strikes from the top of the hill, though it should be noted that Shield Screens block the beam of a Guide Kit-marked strike and so a clear line of sight is required to use one.

The Fencer is once again in his element here and can have a party with his CC Strikers or CC Piercers, with the Vulcan Hammer being particularly effective against the Tunnel Exits due to its focused damage.

Two teams of scripted NPC Fencers are present, but since NPCs do not know how to dash, they will take a long time to trundle down the hill and get into a position where they can do something useful. It is generally fine to ignore them: they will draw some Ants up onto the hill, reducing the number attacking Storm Team.

Beginning the level is a matter of choosing which Exit the player wants to take out first; the one on the right has the Exit right next to the Shield Screen, while the one on the left has it further away. The right-hand one also does not seem to aggro the left-hand Tunnel's Ants nearly as often as vice versa, though attacking either will aggro the ones by the rear Exit.

Destroying the rear Tunnel Exit next is a good plan; while this does spawn the Crimson Ants under a shield, they spawn aggro'd and will immediately run out from under it, so there is not much difference, and the rear Exit spawns the most Ants of the three.

Crimson Ants are essentially just more powerful versions of the biting Black Ants already encountered, and attack in exactly the same way. They are larger, significantly tougher, and deal more damage with their bite attack.

Finishing the mission after dealing with these uncommented-on guests is just a matter of repeating what was done to start it.

4.1 Changes Edit

No changes.

4.1 Strategy Edit

No changes.

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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