Earth Defence Force 2017
Where are you from, Private? Okinawa!?! Holy shit! Ain’t nothing from Okinawa but steers and queers! This is the Earth Defence Force not whatever version of the Boy Scouts we have here in Japan… um. Right now you are a worthless maggot but when I’m finished with you, you will be a member of the EDF (EDF! EDF!). The elite. The only line of defence seperating us from them. The assorted alien scum that regularly tries to invade our planet. God loves the EDF because we keep heaven packed with fresh Bydo.This is 2025 and we are recruiting the best and the brightest young talent now since you’ve all been forced to stop playing videogames now that gaming is just Project Natal boy-grooming simulators and games controlled by cameras instead of joypads.
When I signed up for the EDF (EDF! EDF!) it was in 2013. Four years before the Ravagers first showed up over Tokyo. I remember the day they came. I was on patrol when all of a sudden Tricia Takinawa popped up in my headset. “I can’t believe my eyes,” she told us as she reported on the huge mothership that had just descended into Tokyo airspace, “it looks like something out of a science fiction movie!”. She went on to tell us that the intentions of these visitors was unknown but that they had already been dubbed the Ravagers. She was always a bit judgemental. Maybe that’s why they went all batshit mental at us. I don’t know. All I remember thinking was that, if they ever made a game of this I hope they don’t get Nolan North to voice act my character whilst Avenged Sevenfold do the soundtrack music.
My squad and I ran into Tokyo Central and saw them. It turned out that Tricia was right to be so untrusting. The mothership was spewing giant alien ants all over the city. Yep, these weren’t the friendly ‘phone home’ type of alien. Heck, they weren’t even the ‘pretend to be nice but really we’re reptilian bastards’ kind. Nope, the Ravagers sat firmly in the ‘we’re here to wreck your shit’ camp. For a moment I was transfixed, not sure where to look. Above me was a giant mothership, sleak and metallic, even flashier than the Apple iShip (although far less expensive as we found out later) and ahead was a gaggle of gargantuan ants, congregating and climbing over high-rises like exuberant puppies.
It was a clear day and I could see for miles. The ants were out of range for my assault rifle, so I switched to my bog-standard RPG, took aim and fired off a cursory round. It missed one of the ants and sailed back as far as the eye could see, eventually taking out a skyscraper in one hit. I’d forgotten just how powerful our weapons were. My second round hit its intended target sending bug parts flying across the residential district. For a second the gamer in me took over and I wondered how much destruction I cause. I fired off rockets in all directions, just to see what kind of heat I was packing. Yep, this would have made an excellent game. Three thousand civilian deaths later, I snapped back into focus. The rest of my squad looked at me, puzzled. “What?,” I asked them, “alien ants don’t just eliminate themselves, men. Charge!!!”
It was a short charge as these formicidic fuckwits were charging us back. I glanced at my motion tracker and in my head I heard a panicked American voice saying “man, this is a big fucking signal!”
We were splattering bug brains everywhere. Yaesu Street was now painted black and green. The residents weren’t complaining though as they were dead. I switched to the assault rifle and thinned out the swarm. Eventually they were eradicated along with ten city blocks. My motion tracker beeped. Another swarm dropped just a few hundred feet from our position. A short distance as the crow flies. So that’s how we did it, wiping out any skyscrapers that stood between A and B. Blowing up buildings was addictive. I remembered all the games that didn’t have destructible environments and hoped that a game based on the EDF wouldn’t be one of them.
In hindsight, more people may have kept their homes if I wasn’t such a big fan of Team America and an obscure video game from England called 3D Ant Attack. But anyway, we found the new swarm and took them out as well. Haduken! It’s what we say instead of hooah! Probably. This battle was over. The ants were fucked up. We were like child gods with fuck off magnifying glasses and they were like… ants. Albeit it giant ones that spit fire at you. Unfortunately, the war continued. Fifty two more battles against everything the Ravagers could throw at us. Luckily, for reasons that we could never explain, dead Ravagers drop armour and weapon power-ups. So, after each battle we’d check our inventories and tool up. Bit odd that we got all our weapons from dead ants rather than EDF HQ. Between you guys and me, I was happy when the Ravagers blew up the old HQ. Tricia survived though and continued to bleat at us for the rest of the war.
In the subsequent battles we faced off against towering robots, Hunter/Killer flying units, a sort of robot Godzilla, flying saucers and the motherships. Many of us died. Including me. Hundreds of times. Luckily, every time I died I just found myself restarting the battle. Handy. We had our choice of over 150 weapons from grenade launchers, sniper rifles, flamethrowers and even auto-turrets. Everything you need to get up in an extraterrestrial bastard’s face. Which was all well and good until the Ravagers dropped our worst fears on us… the giant spiders.
I’ll never forget fighting those arachnocunts. Big, hairy bastards. The sort of fuckers that turn up in your living room and make you move house. Only this time they were a million times bigger. They swarmed us, spewing sticky goo all over us like catholic priests. They were resistant as well, taking a few well-placed rockets to take them down. Battles with the arachnids were always the worst. Especially when they threw in the giant arachnids. These guys were larger than Grimsby Town Hall and twice as bleak.
Eventually though, we won, destroying the mothership in a final epic battle. Of course, the world was pretty much destroyed at this point but we didn’t mind. This had been a proper, old-school fight to the death. Shock, awe and giant ants. Gulf War meets a summer picnic. It reminded me of when I was young. I used to spend hours on my Sega Dreamcast playing brilliantly simple arcade games and that’s what this battle had been like. Simple, arcade-like fun. All action, no faff. If they did ever make a game based on this war, it’d be the gamer’s game. No nonsense, no online play with people calling you a prick, no DLC episodic content, no consideration of the fact that this many giant ants will reduce the console’s processor to a crawl, no plot. Nothing but action. A stand-up fight. Not another bug hunt.
Last five articles by Richie
- Super Exploding Zoo - Review
- Stunt Wheels - Review
- Ultratron - Review
- The Richie Report - The Metallic Helix Retrospective
- Toukiden: Kiwami - Review