Valley Shadows is the seventeenth mission in Earth Defense Force 2025 and Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair. It is the first to take place in one of the Mountain maps.
2025: We have confirmed sighting of a flying enemy transport ship. We will deploy in the mountain region where you'll rendezvous with Ranger team. Make sure to equip long range weapons to attack the transport ships.
4.1: We have confirmed sighting of at least one flying enemy transport ship. We will sortie in the mountain region, where you'll rendezvous with a Ranger team. Make sure to equip long-range weapons to attack the transport ships!
One of the Ranger team redundantly declares "it's the Ravager Transport Ship!" as the mission begins, followed by "Scout 14" calling in to say they've found the Ravager Transport Ship. Rather than being proof that EDF Scout units are extremely lazy, this is actually foreshadowing the second set of ships. The commander of the Ranger unit then calls out for Storm Team and his men to "secure that bridge!"
As the Spiders merrily spider at Storm Team, Scout 14 decides he was being a little ambiguous and calls back in that the Ravager Transport Ship is flying at a low altitude and "at this rate we can't attack from below." He then loses his accumulated helpfulness points by adding that its course has been confirmed and it should pass through "the sky above the valley."
HQ wakes up and immediately seizes on the most confusing piece of advice given thus far, declaring that the Transport Ship will pass through the sky above the valley and that Storm Team should hide in the valley and wait for it there, ordering them to "destroy the Transport Ship with an attack from the ground!"
As the mission concludes, the Tactics Officer calls in that the armored unit mentioned in the previous mission has been deployed in the path of the huge unit of Hectors, and fire operations are about to commence. HQ declares that this force is more than thirty "Vegalta M2s," the situation now apparently so serious it warrants deploying a type of Vegalta that doesn't exist. He decides this merits a Shatner Pause as he adds that "It...will be a gruesome fight."
The Operator chimes in after a long absence to add that the Air Force is on the way and air raids are commencing.
4.1 Changes Edit
Both versions: Edit
4 groups of Spiders, initial deployment 15 from first two Transports and then 10, 14 each for the second pair of Transports.
4 x Transport Ship, two groups of two.
Online Limits Edit
There's no limit for Inferno difficulty.
|Difficulty||Ranger & Air Raider||Wing Diver||Fencer|
|Easy & Normal||658||581||144||340||736||727|
Weapon Level Limit
|Game||Easy & Normal||Hard||Hardest||Inferno|
(The Inferno level limit means that from this mission forward every weapon in the game except Rule of God is allowed)
Approximate Weapon Drop Rate
Both versions Edit
Valley Shadows is the first visit to one of the Mountain maps, in this case the Valley. This map is built around a deep gorge with a destroyable bridge crossing it and a shallow stream at the bottom, which is never deep enough to require swimming. There are ramps at both ends of the bridge, allowing exit from the gorge if a character falls down. On the left (using this map's starting point) the gorge forks around a small hill, which also has a ramp so it can be climbed.
Since this mission involves long-range combat and Spiders, a Ranger is best off bringing an assault rifle and a Stingray rocket launcher. While a Goliath launcher or Stringer sniper rifle might be more effective against the Transports, the consistent fire from the Stingray will both damage the Transport and take out Spiders dropping from it at the same time; it can even be worth bringing a Cascade since this is more effective against Spiders, though it will mean the Transport Ships take a long time to bring down.
For a Wing Diver, the obvious setup is a Plasma Launcher for the Transports and a LAZR, Idunn or Thunder Bow to deal with the Spiders. Dual Thunder Bow XDs will make short work of this mission on Inferno and are allowed even in online mode, but unless the player has power-levelled it is not possible for them to have a level 92 weapon yet. This is a good map for the Wing Diver since she can enter and exit the gorge as she pleases.
Since there is combat in the valley, an Air Raider is best off bringing a BM03 Vegalta. The "Flame" variants are particularly suited to this mission, while the Buster versions other than Heavy Cannon are worst for it since their short-ranged weapon can damage them if (or rather when) the Spiders get close. ZE-Guns and Caesar Wire or a Skytrap Wire gun are good as anti-Spider backup plans (less so in 4.1, but still reasonable), though neither can really damage the Transport Ships.
A Fencer can have a grand old time in the valley with one of his hammer weapons and his shield to deflect Spider thread attacks. Less bonkers Fencers can instead make use of one of the back-mounted rapid-fire Galleon Cannons, a Hand Gatling or a Dexter Automatic Shotgun instead. The Fencer does not really have a good direct-fire splash damage weapon for shooting up at the Transports and will have to settle for piercing shots from his Hand Cannon or Gallic Heavy Cannon to maybe take down a couple of spiders, then deal with the rest on the ground.
The start position is by a road with a non-recruitable Ranger squad right ahead. While the Ranger leader shouts to secure the bridge, this is not particularly necessary, though since the Spiders have difficulty climbing onto it, it can actually be a reasonably good plan. The Rangers will hang around to the right of the bridge, and then fight their way down the slope into the gorge if they are still alive when the second pair of Transport Ships arrive.
The first pair of Transport Ships will circle at medium altitude and drop groups of spiders, with the first drops being on the far side of the gorge. The spiders do not generally try to leap the entire width of the gorge, and so will take some time to slowly crawl up the slope before getting high enough to jump the rest of the way.
Once the first two ships are destroyed and their Spiders defeated, two more appear in the gorge. They make their way to positions either side of the bridge and start deploying their own cargo of spiders, with the one on the right dropping before the one on the left. They can only be attacked by dropping down into the gorge since they are too low to hit any other way. This is fairly dangerous since the Spiders will be deployed from both Transports at nearly the same time, and so Storm Team can end up as the filling in a Spider sandwich. Obviously, nobody wants that.
That's just gross.
The ideal location is to move slightly past one of the ships, which will mean the Spiders from both are coming from in front of Storm Team's location rather than one set coming from behind. The one on the right is better, since the valley is straight rather than forked there and this ship can be attacked first. It is best to focus on knocking out one transport ship as quickly as possible, using splash damage weapons to hit the transport and the Spiders it is dropping at the same time if possible, and then deal with the Spiders from the other.
AFK farming Edit
This mission is also known as one of the best early places for "AFK farming" for armor pickups. The DLC mission Mountain of Change / Shifting Mountain is generally thought of as the best such mission (a video of the method for that mission can be seen here), though it requires specific high-level gear.
The farming method for this mission uses split-screen mode and so requires two controllers and two suitable characters; the classic pairing is a Ranger with a flamethrower (not the initial Torch, though) and a Wing Diver with a Rapier. The mission is played in Easy mode since armor pickups are not affected by difficulty. The mission proceeds as normal until only one of the final pair of Transports remains. Rather than destroying it, though. the two are positioned underneath it; the Wing Diver under the ship's core firing her Rapier straight up, and the Ranger firing his flamethrower diagonally above her head so he hits the descending Spiders but not either her or the Transport. It is best to offset the reloads of the two characters so they are never both reloading at the same time. Then, elastic bands or similar are applied to the two controllers' triggers and the player goes away and does something else for a couple of hours. This will typically net about 400 armor pickups in 2 hours.A video of this being successfully performed can be seen here. It should be noted that the game does not allow more than 999 Armor pickups to be gained from a single mission, and so the maximum length of time this strategy is productive for is about five hours.
|DLC 1: Special Forces||Exploration • Giant's Advance • Silver Camp • Citadel • Floating Fleet|
|DLC 2: Mutant Rampage||Advance • Mountain Assault • Enemy Camp Infiltration • Underground Advance • Giant Robots • Battle Species • Beast Mountain • Dark Arena • Gathering Around • Armored Species • Iron Wall • Mountain of Change • Whirlwind of Death • Bugged City • The Tough • Golden Darkness • True King • Final Impact • Into Destruction • Ship of Dragons|
|DLC 3: Beyond Despair||Tracking • Underground Complex • Blocked Pass • Close Formation • Dragon Ship Fleet • Heavy Artillery • Bloody River • Dangerous Goldmines • Beast Mobilization • Total Protection • Aerial Bombing • King of Armor • Cannon Defenders • Traps Behind • Four Kings of Nightmares • Resistance Against the Twilight • Shivering Nexus • Three Giants • Crimson Lotus • Starry Prison|
|DLC 1: Time of the Mutants||Air Offensive • Giants Advance • Recon • Dust Town • Defense Line • Underground Advance • War Breed • Mountain Assault • Enemy Camp Infiltration • Dark Arena • Beast Mountain • God's Army • The Gathering • Armored Species • Iron Wall • Silver Base • Shifting Mountain • Whirlwind of Death • Bugged City • Toughness • Golden Darkness • True Sovereign • Final Impact • Floating Fleet • Into Destruction • Ship of Dragons|
|DLC 2: Extreme Battle||Tracking Bogeys • Underground Complex • Blocked Pass • Close Formation • Dragon Ship Fleet • Heavy Artillery • Overflight • Dangerous Goldmines • Beast Mobilization • Total Protection • Bombs Away • King of Armor • Cannon Defenders • Bloody River • Three Giants • Traps from Behind • The Four Horsemen • Cross the Line • Facing Off • Crimson Lotus • Shivering Nexus • Last Bastion • Starry Prison|