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The Return is the tenth mission in Earth Defense Force 2025 and Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair. It is the first mission where the Ravager Mothership appears, and introduces Transport Ships and Flying Drones.

Objective Edit

2025: Destroy the giant creature in the city! A Ravager mothership is approaching the area and will be engaged by our Air Force. Ground troops, focus on the creature.

4.1: Destroy the giant creatures in the city! The Ravager mothership is approaching the area. Our Air Force will engage the ships. Ground troops, focus on the creatures.

Storyline Edit

The mission begins with an Independence Day-style cutscene showing the Mothership's shadow spreading over the Beach map and then some dramatic reveal shots of the Mothership itself. The Aurora Situation Report reporter with the good microphone states that it is "live footage" of the vessel's arrival, thoughtfully adding afterwards that it might be disturbing to some viewers. She declares that Motherships are already focusing their attacks on major cities (as shown by this one's dastardly beach-hovering activities) and that humanity's time on Earth may be at an end.

In the mission proper, HQ sets things in motion again, ordering EDF soldiers to commence the rather unimaginatively named "Operation: Sweep Giant Insects." He warns that a "guest" is coming from the sky, but tells the EDF that they will first finish cleaning up the Earth's surface, apparently forgetting about the whole thing with the giant nest the EDF failed to do anything about.

The Operator states that fighters have scrambled from "Kirakawa Air Base" to intercept the Mothership, while the Tactics Officer has gone for the more heavy-hitting plan of having submarines fire cruise missiles at it. Predictably, neither of these has any effect, and the Mothership, escorted by a fleet of Transport Ships, soon enters the combat area.

HQ grumbles about them being able to put up such a massive Shield Screen, while Ohara offers the wisdom that "we were preparing for another attack by the Ravagers, but they prepared more than us."

There is a moment of silence which can be imagined to represent everyone else at headquarters glaring at him, the Operator coming to her senses first and shouting "Genocide Gun!"

The Mothership opens fire, cutting a huge swathe of destruction across the town to the accompaniment of a scream over the radio, and the Tactics Officer confirms Ranger 5 was caught in the blast, HQ growling "damn it!" followed by an EDF soldier who is not very quick on the uptake shouting "look, it's the Mothership!"

Following an exchange of redundant dialog by EDF soldiers, Ohara speaks up. He ponders if the Ravagers chose to "take a break" so that the giant insects would have time to spread across the Earth. He is interrupted by the Ravager Transport Ships starting to drop Ants, but continues his ponderings, wondering if, accepting his prior assumption, they have returned a little too soon.

HQ orders the EDF forces to focus on the Ants and deal with the Transports afterwards, but the Mothership soon deploys a fleet of Flying Drones and unceremoniously leaves the area. HQ orders a retreat, but Ranger 8 is already pinned down by the Drones and cannot escape, and HQ sends Storm Team to back them up, with the mission ending as Storm Team deals with the last of the Drones.

4.1 Changes Edit

The Genocide Gun is indestructible in this version.

Enemies Edit

Both versions:

4 waves of black Ants (last wave deployed from 3 of the Transport Ships), 25, 35, 16, 45.

1 wave of Flying Drones, 36.

5 x Transport Ships (invincible).

Mothership (invincible but Genocide Gun can be destroyed in 2025).

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 506 501 303 300 632 627
Hard 1644 1686 872 893 2055 2107
Hardest 3096 3639 1598 1869 3870 4549

Weapon Level Limit

Game Easy & Normal Hard Hardest Inferno
2025 4 27 52 84
4.1 4 27 54 85

Approximate Weapon Drop Rate

Game Easy Normal Hard Hardest Inferno
2025 0-1 0-2 10-22 0-47 0-54
4.1 0-2 0-2 12-27 0-48 0-55

Strategy Edit

Both Versions Edit

This mission starts where the Wing Divers appeared in Winged War Goddess and goes along the same road in the opposite direction.

At first it is a straight shot along the road; one group of Ants directly ahead with their civilian accomplices, one among buildings to the right of the road, and then a last group further to the right around the raised grassy areas with pylons on them. The Mothership appears while fighting the third wave of Ants.

A group of NPC Rangers starts with Storm Team. They are not recruitable unless their commander dies, and will follow a path in a straight line up the road. Ranger 8 spawns later when the Flying Drones do, and can be recruited.

Shortly after appearing the Mothership will extend a cannon longer than the ship itself is tall, the Genocide Gun. With an extremely overlevelled weapon the Genocide Gun can actually be destroyed here, though this does not really do anything of note.

Assuming the player does not do this, the Genocide Gun fires along the borderline of the map opposite the one where the mission started, making it very hard to be hit by it; being in this area deals 10,000 damage per explosion, and the blast areas overlap. This amount is the same no matter the difficulty setting.

After this three transports open their underside doors and drop payloads of Ants, one to the left of the monorail station where the first group of Ants was in Winged War Goddess, one near the giant apartment block at the end of the road, and one near to where the third wave of ants spawned. While flames will come out of the Transport Ships if the circular "core" structure inside the ship is shot while the doors are open, this does nothing in this mission since the Transport Ships are invincible.

While these ants are being fought, the Mothership will open its hangar bays and drop a medium-sized group of Flying Drones, which will engage Ranger 8 near the map border where it fired the Genocide Gun earlier, then come after Storm Team if they manage to kill them; usually a few will split off from the group anyway before this. The Drones are fairly fragile; they have a line-of-sight attack that requires the erratically-moving craft to actually face their target and stop bumping into things for a moment. This fires a burst of red energy bolts from six cannons, two on each side of the Drone's fuselage; as with Ant spray, each energy bolt is a distinct projectile that does damage individually. As the difficulty increases, they will move faster, fire faster, and their shots will travel faster. They will not, however, learn to fly any better.

Lock-on or spread weapons are the name of the game for dealing with them, while a close-range weapon is needed to deal with the Ants beforehand since the second and third waves are fought among small buildings and trees which give them ample flanking opportunities.

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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