The events of the game see you assume the role of a soldier known only as Storm-1, a member of Storm Team in the eponymous Earth Defense Force, in order to fend off an invading extraterrestrial army. Said army happens to consist of giant ants, giant spiders, UFOs, gunships, several flavors of titanic robot, some Godzilla-sized monsters and a mothership powerful enough to kill you and everyone you've ever met.
The game later received an Updated Re-release on the Play Station Vita as Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable featuring online multi-player and the return of the Pale Wings. A Spiritual Successor to this title, Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon by Vicious Cycle, is also available on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Steam.
A direct sequel titled Earth Defense Force 2025 was first released in Japan on July 4th, 2013 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The game was later released in North America on February 18th, 2014 and then in Europe on February 21st.
Not to be confused with the Shoot 'Em Up game, Earth Defense Force by Jaleco or the other EDF (Extraplanetary Defense Force)
Good luck out there!
All right men! Show those Ravagers who's boss with these tropes!
- All Myths Are True: More like all Japanese B-Movies are true.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: In the later levels some of the enemies are just upscaled versions of the regular enemies, also contains Kaiju.
- Art Evolution: The enemy robots and spaceships look much more like they were from early Japanese B-Movies of the 50's and 60's, also the "Saurus" enemy went from looking like Godzilla to looking like the American Godzilla when it changed its name to "Vallak".
- Awesome, but Impractical:
- The hand-thrown grenades are basically this compared to actual grenade launchers. Their damage is enormous compared to other rockets and grenades you have, but because of the awkward aiming and the relatively low range, it's difficult to actually hit anything reliably.
- Several of the weapons classified as Special Weapons also qualify as this. The Impulse line of weapons have enormous damage if most of the shots connect... but actually getting them to hit reliably is extremely difficult. The C## bombs are easier to use thanks to their massive blast area and enormous damage, but you have to wait for enemies to cross their path.
- The sniper rifles suffer from this too; they're powerful, but each shot can only kill one enemy at a time, and the only times you'll need concentrated firepower like that are against the boss monsters, and Hectors. One exception exists in the form of the Stringer and Stringer J2: they pierce through all enemies they hit and can be useful for smashing through crowds of lined up Hectors as well as bugs. There's no variants strong enough for Inferno though, a problem that's rectified in EDF 2025/4.1.
- Beat Them at Their Own Game: As you progress, you may come across weapons made from Ravager technology, however most of them like A1 Plasma Launchers are mostly useless since they cannot be reloaded. That is until you get the Genocide Gun, the game's ultimate weapon.
- Blessed with Suck:
- One type of hand grenade, the MG13, is absurdly more powerful than previous models, and has a fantastic blast radius. The downside? It's so heavy, you can't throw it more than a few feet forward, and you're not immune to the explosions from your own weapons. There is one level where you can safely use it, though. This would be the underground area consisting of a large vertical passage with spiders milling about at the bottom. You start at the top, and from there you can safely throw down MG13's to blow the spiders to smithereens. This could count as a Disc One Nuke, because this tactic even works on Hard, and can get you some very powerful guns a little early.
- The MG13 can be thrown a reasonable enough distance. It simply requires you to run forward and jump, then at the height of the jump throw the grenade. You will land before the grenade does, so immediately rolling away will put you out of the blast radius. This moves the MG13 away from Blessed with Suck and a bit closer to Difficult, But Awesome.
- "Blind Idiot" Translation: Certain parts of the game could be considered this, especially the dialogue in Mission 14:"Come in HQ. This is Scout Four. The Mothership has moved to this location. We've also discovered a four-legged fighter robot."
"What do you mean 'four-legged weapon'?"
"This is HQ. All troops, begin your assault. Destroy the four-legged walking weapon."
- Boring, but Practical: The majority of the assault rifles, and to some extent the basic rocket launchers and grenade launchers. Although it's important to balance the two weapons you choose for each level, almost the entire game seems to want you to stick with an assault rifle and rocket or grenade launcher.
- Bottomless Magazines: Despite the fact that you have to reload most of your weapons, you never run out of magazines. There are a few weapons which have limited ammo.
- Bragging Rights Reward: The Infinity +1 Sword does a million damage, but you need to beat every stage at the hardest difficulty to get it.
- Bug War: The majority of the time you'll be pitted against titanic ants and spiders. Granted, spiders aren't insects, but in this war they've chosen to side with the insects.
- Bullet Hell: A horde of bugs, giant robots, and flying alien ships with More Dakka shooting at you at once? Yeah, it has elements of this.
- Camp: It's a budget game where you play as a little guy who runs around blasting everything from giant bugs, giant robots, flying saucers, and Kaiju-style monsters. It might as well be called B-Movie: The Game.
- Continuity Reboot: Well, to what degree the series has much of a story. It's back to 2017 and only ground infantry like the first game, while 2 took place in 2018 and had the first appearance of the series' alien-tech-using jetpack troops.
- Die, Chair, Die!: More like "Die Building, Die!".
- Easy-Mode Mockery: Zig-Zagged. You get better weapons on harder difficulties and can only earn the Genocide Gun by completing the entire game on Inferno, but it's a good idea to play one of the stages on easy to get lots of armor, as Inferno is Unwinnable otherwise.
- Elite Mook: Storm-1 starts off as this — a member of the more elite Storm teams of basic EDF infantry. It doesn't take long before he's being given tactical command of operations and directly counted on for the most dangerous assignments after his habit of coming back alive from sometimes literally impossible missions where he's frequently the sole survivor starts becoming clear.
- Everything Breaks: Not only does it all break, but you also get no penalty for blowing up buildings to get a better shot at your enemies.
- Fake Difficulty: The game has no auto-save. It's easy to forget this, which has led to a Cluster F-Bomb from many a gamer who just cleared a few tough stages on inferno as they instinctively hit the power button.
- Floating Continent: The Mother Ship.
- Flying Saucer: The Enemy drop ships sort of resemble saucers with some sort of tail assembly.
- Friendly Fireproof:
- Half used. The Redshirt Army can't hurt you with their weapons (Which is good, because then they'd be nearly as dangerous as the ravagers.) but they can send you flying through the air for a few precious seconds with an ill-timed rocket. You can easily kill them though, so watch it with that shotgun.
- Averted in Local Co-op play. It is entirely possible to blow each other away by accident or on purpose.
- Giant Spider: Oh yes. Even if you're not an arachnophobe, you have to admit they're pretty damn ugly. Oh yeah, they can jump! And on top of that, they can stun you with webs that slow you down and deal damage simultaneously, a guaranteed quick kill on higher levels.
- Heart Container: Armor pickups. You start with 100 maximum health, and each Armor item you get will increase it by 1, but only after you finish the level. It's necessary to beef up your health for each difficulty level, due to how much more damage enemies can deal to you.
- Horde of Alien Locusts: Pretty much the reason the aliens are attacking, also they use giant insects as troops.
- Humongous Mecha: Most of the series robotic enemies, especially in the third game with the "Walking Arms".
- Hyperspace Arsenal: Averted. For all the 150+ weapons you can unlock, you can only carry two at a time.
- Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: The game's five difficulty levels are Easy, Normal, Hard, Hardest, and Inferno.
- Infinity +1 Sword: There are quite a few of these, mostly unlocked on Hardest or Inferno.
- Insectoid Aliens: Its not revealed whether the aliens are this or if they just have a thing for giant bugs as shock troops.
- It's Up to You: Your allies are essentially little more than meat shields on higher difficulties. On lower ones they're a bit more useful but will likely take heavy casualties anyway.
- Jet Pack: The Pale Wings use them to fly high into places Storm-1 can't.
- Kaiju: Several of the non-robotic enemies in the games, in the first two games the "Saurus" enemies are giant fire breathing dinosaurs that even stand upright and move awkwardly like a man in a suit.
- Kill It with Fire: Flamethrowers are among the miscellaneous weapons you can unlock. Although the first model (which the game specifically notes as "a gas burner for welding") is horribly weak, there are later models which are viable for combat, especially against giant ants. They don't have much range and don't actually set enemies on fire, but the flames can deal very effective damage, and they can stun enemies which prevents them from attacking you.
- Living Legend: Storm-1 gets quite a reputation for repeatedly achieving victory in even extreme circumstances and surviving what should be certain death. By Mission 39, his mere presence on the battlefield is enough for EDF Command to consider the possibility of victory in what would otherwise be a hopeless situation.
- Macross Missile Massacre:
- Minimalism: There's really not too much more to the game than running around blowing the crap out of large alien things. Two weapons, no reload button, no characters or plot to speak of, just targets.
- Mook Maker: The giant flying dropships, the Walking Fortress, and the Mother Ship.
- More Dakka:
- Nearly every type of enemy has a projectile attack except the red ants, but the greatest example would be the Walking Arms, massive bipedal robots that can use various types of arm guns. Some have plasma bombs or energy mortars which they can use to bombard you from a distance, but others come equipped with machine guns that can fire enough bullets to make the game lag. Of course, one specific endgame weapon gives you this trope as well; the AF20-RAR, which fires 60 rounds per second, and has a magazine holding 999 rounds.
- Some of the Rocket Launchers in the game follow this. The Vocano series launchers fire off their entire ammo stock in trigger pull versus the standard one at a time approach of the other rocket launchers.
- New Game Plus: Sort of. You already have access to all of the game's difficulty levels, but you have to unlock each stage by beating the one before it, regardless of what difficulty you play on. You keep all the weapons and life-up bonuses you got, and can play each level as many times as you want.
- Nintendo Hard: Any difficulty other then Easy or Normal, especially if you have not gained armor or weapons by doing them in order.
- Not the Fall That Kills You…: No matter how far you fall, you won't even sprain an ankle. You also have a surprisingly slow terminal velocity.
- One-Man Army: Storm-1, being the only man capable of killing all the Ravagers. His/her teammates are little more than distractions.
- Painfully Slow Projectile:
- Taken to an extreme with the P89 Bound Gun, which fires bullets that move so slowly you can outrun and hit yourself with them.
- The aptly-named Tortoise Guided Missile.
- Powered Armor: The Battle Machine Vegelta, a bipedal mecha-suit.
- Random Drop: This is how the Weapon items work. For each one you get, after finishing the level the game randomly picks a weapon out of all the weapons you can unlock on that stage of that difficulty level. If it's a weapon you don't have yet, it gets added to your selection. If you already have it, it doesn't count for anything.
- Redshirt Army: Moderately useful in some situations, seeing as they can absorb the brunt of the enemy's attack. Their survival rate is still absurdly low though. And at higher difficulties... Well... They're even all wearing red. Including Storm-1.
- Sentry Gun: Some of the top tier weapons in the game, particularly in Inferno difficulty, are the deployable ZE series of turrets. They have a lengthy 20 second reload time, but if you dual-wield them it's possible to have a set of 3 firing constantly, reloading one while another is deployed. They also work as a backup weapon to provide some cover for a difficult wave if you're using a more conventional weapon in the other slot. The only thing they can't deal is sniping long distance targets such as the dropships, the four-legged mech, or the Mothership.
- Shout-Out: To many B-Movies, Them! and Godzilla are the most notable.
- Sorting Algorithm of Weapon Effectiveness: Played straight as an arrow. As you play through the game, you'll get better weapons in later levels. When you play on a higher difficulty level, you get even more powerful weapons. Each of the weapons has a minimum stage and difficulty level to be unlocked. For instance, if a weapon will only be unlocked at level 15 on Normal or later, you can unlock it on any level after and including 15 on Normal, and any level on Hard or higher. You can still get the Normal level weapons on Easy, though.
- Tank Goodness: The E551 Combat Vehicle Gigantus; in other words, a combat tank.
- There Is No Kill like Overkill: The Genocide Gun. Inflicts 1,000,000 points of damage, more than enough to one-shot bosses, and enormous explosion radius, reducing about half the buildings on a city map to rubble.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: Actively encouraged by the ridiculously stupid NPC allies. In any mode outside of Inferno, it's better that you kill your allies rather than letting them fire rockets at your back. It's especially fun since they never blame you for killing them. Obviously, it's the alien's fault when you drop a C20 in the middle of your allies and blow them into the stratosphere.
- Video Game Cruelty Punishment: ...then you realize that your allies don't deal friendly fire damage (they'll knock you into the air if they hit you with a rocket, but that's it), and every ant, spider, Walking Arms, and gunship on the map is now aiming for you, and only you.
- Unnecessary Combat Roll: Not only are you able to continue reloading your gun while rolling, but doing so repeatedly is almost twice as fast as running.
- Updated Re-release: Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable for PS Vita, which adds online multi-player and brings back the Pale Wings from Global Defense Force.
- Wave-Motion Gun:
- The walking fortress (a humongous four-legged battle machine) has an allegedly 300-foot plasma cannon which can easily destroy an entire city with just a few shots. ("A plasma cannon that size can't possibly exist!!" as the game puts it). The Ravager's mothership also has an equally devastating laser gun.
- The player can earn one after beating all the levels on Inferno.
- We Come in Peace — Shoot to Kill: It's initially all but completely taken for granted that the Ravagers will be peaceful and benevolent, and there's even initially some doubt whether the giant insects are related. Bizarrely, they're actually labeled Ravagers before it's concluded they're hostile.
- Zerg Rush: The bug enemies standard tactic, the red ants in particular seem to specialize in this.