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Civilians flee in vague indifference from the might of an Argo in battleship form.

Argo is the name given to a gigantic class of transforming Ravager warships that appear in Earth Defense Force 2025 and Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair.

Description

Argos in their default form are enormous, sleek silver spacecraft some three hundred meters (980 feet) long, with two massive cannons flanking a slender fuselage. In spite of their size, in their flying form they are surprisingly fast and agile, easily able to keep up with any attempts to move away from them and able to attack at extremely long range with their powerful cannons.

When certain conditions are met, typically a certain amount of damage inflicted, an Argo will shift from its flight mode to its ground mode, a spindly robot that towers 500 meters (1,640 feet) over the battlefield. From the start of its transformation to the point its feet touch the ground an Argo is invincible, though its health is not "gated" and if it takes sufficient damage before starting its transformation (say from a well-aimed Cannon strike or Leviathan missiles) it can be destroyed without ever transforming. An Argo's transformation is set on a per-mission basis, though, and can happen as soon as the mission begins. The three Argos fought in Floating Fleet (2025 DLC 1 mission 5, 4.1 DLC 1 mission 24) never transform from their flying state.

Unlike other large Ravager vehicles like the Quadruped Fortress, there are no specific weak points on an Argo, nor any points where it is immune to damage: the whole vehicle is the target. None of its weaponry can be destroyed independently of the vehicle itself.

Flying form

An Argo has three main methods of attack while in its airborne state. Its main cannons are fixed firing forwards and fire off volleys of powerful beams in the direction it is facing, which have a blast effect on impact and can destroy buildings. There is a short cue of energy gathering at the very tips of the gun barrels before a volley is fired. Because the Argo cannot angle these guns and its AI often fires them randomly, it will often just fire off volleys of shots into the sky, but if the Argo fires while pointing its bow at the ground the results can be devastating. With a powerful enough weapon targeted at the side of the vehicle's bow, the player can inflict a flinch effect on an Argo that knocks its bow to one side and throws off its aim (in a similar manner to the upper body flinch of a Hector), though this is more difficult in 4.1 following patch 1.02 which altered the behavior of Argos in a number of ways.

The secondary guns are mounted in the "wings" that join the main cannon to the hull. They fire off large, fairly slow blue plasma bolts, larger than the beams from its main weapons: these also have a charging up cue, with blue-white energy gathering in front of the guns for several seconds before they fire. Unlike the main guns, they can be aimed both vertically and horizontally, and an Argo will aim these roughly at whatever it is firing at and rely on the blast radius to do the rest. An Argo cannot fire shots through itself: if its hull blocks the firing angle of one of its secondary guns, it will fire that gun anyway with the firing angle mirrored from the one that is actually aimed. The size of the blast is governed by the difficulty level, increasing at harder levels.

The third method of attack perhaps deserves airquotes around "attack:" an Argo had two small machine-gun turrets at the bow which fire off volleys of pink projectiles, but the Argo does not seem to actually aim this attack and they are essentially just for show.

Walking form

"No, it's just me, Prime!"

The walking form takes the giant main guns of the flying form as hands, holding them like a pair of lances. It has a largely similar inability to aim them without pivoting its entire body. As well as retaining the ability to fire volleys of shots from them, it has two new methods of fire: in one, it can cross the barrels over to fire beams in a V shape. The other is much rarer, and only seems to happen if the Argo is surrounded at close range: it will rise into the air and then perform one complete rotation firing the guns downwards all around it before landing again.

The secondary battery is mounted at roughly the machine's elbow after transforming, and functions in more or less exactly the same way it does when an Argo is flying, with the same long charge-up time. Because the Argo is more likely to use its main guns to clear out buildings in walking mode, it can be a lot harder to take cover: indestructible terrain features such as underpasses can be effective shelter.

The guns firing pink projectiles also return, now mounted on the sides of the machine's knees, and can now actually hit player characters. Damage is minimal, with the main danger being the "pinning" effect of multiple hits that can allow an Argo to stunlock a character until it hits them with one of its more powerful attacks. Their short range means the projectiles will often disappear before actually getting to their target. They cannot hit anything which is between the Argo's feet.

A new trick for the walking Argo is to fire two giant green sphere projectiles after building up energy. These function rather like the Genocide Gun of the Mothership in Monster Attack, Global Defence Force and Earth Defense Force 5, moving slowly towards their target while bathing the entire map in an eerie green glow, and triggering a gargantuan explosion on impact.

In addition to gunfire, a walking Argo has physical attacks at close range: much like a Quadruped Fortress, there is AoE damage associated with its footfalls, and it can also raise either of its main guns and slam the barrel against the ground to produce a targeted version of the same effect. Like most large Ravager vehicles, an Argo will destroy any destructible scenery it touches, stepping through buildings without even slowing down.

In 2025 and 4.1 prior to patch 1.02 an Argo in walking mode would tend to try to keep its distance from player characters, seeming to prefer being about 1,500 meters away from whatever it was trying to attack, but in 1.02 the 4.1 Argo AI was changed to be more aggressive. This seems to have mainly been about preventing the Argo in Battle to the Death wandering off into the ocean because it starts at a range the AI would prefer not to be, and also to address a more general tendency for Argos to wander far outside of the playable area of the map.

Walking Argos do not move in a predictable way, sometimes choosing to approach while other times side-stepping while delivering their bombardment.

Strategy

Some Flight Vehicles invite the EDF to say hello to their incredibly large friend.

Argos are among the toughest enemies in the game: the most powerful is the one in Giant Ship which boasts around 305,000 health on Inferno, with the weakest, the Argo in the 4.1 exclusive DLC 1 mission 12 God's Army, still having 237,000. Notably the three encountered in Floating Fleet actually have different amounts of health: from the player's perspective, the ones that start in the middle and on the left have a 0.75 health multiplier, while the one on the right has 0.8.

Fighting an Argo is complicated by the fact that they are almost always supported by Flight Vehicles, which cannot easily be ignored and can pin characters down for the larger machine to engage. The Argo itself will generally be a long-range battle and it is best to pack high-damage sniper weapons: superweapons such as Tempest, Leviathan, Gungnir and the like are effective against it, though in the latter case the Wing Diver will need somewhere to hide while they wait out the 58-second reload as one shot will not kill any Argo on Inferno. Strafe Plans are also effective when the machine is in walking mode, as its sheer height will mean a far larger number of shots hit home than against any normal target. The ever-trustworthy Epsilon Armored Railgun is one of the better vehicles to bring against Argos, and dropping an HU04 Brute and using it as a set of fixed gun turrets is also quite workable even in singleplayer.

Dealing with incoming damage can be trickier: an Air Raider can use their shield generators to defeat explosions, and it is possible, albeit difficult, for a Fencer to deflect the Argo's shots right back at it with his Shield's Deflector function. Buildings should only be considered temporary shelter, as particularly in walking mode an Argo excels at carving gigantic holes in anything between it and its target. However, since an Argo depends primarily on splash damage to hit with fairly slow-moving projectiles, it is quite easy to avoid damage as a Wing Diver by taking flight, and the machine is generally not good at dealing with the single-seat Helicopters, particularly if they circle its torso or head at close range. As its health is far outside the reach of a suitably levelled Nova Buster, a Ranger will have to settle with the truth that he is going to take ridiculous amounts of damage and bring the best Reverse Shooter available to out-live the machine. Overall, it is important to maximize the effectiveness of health Items dropped by any accompanying enemies.

In 4.1 Walking Fortress Balam is surprisingly effective against a walking-mode Argo considering it comes up to the machine's ankle: because most of an Argo's weaponry is long-ranged and balanced for the health of player characters, it is not particularly good at dealing with an extremely tough melee attacker. The best place to give an Argo a right good thumping is Battle to the Death (offline 86, online 92), though above Hard the player will have to clear out a substantial amount of enemy forces prior to being able to flail stupidly at an angry skyscraper.

Trivia

  • Argo is the ship of the mythical ancient Greek hero Jason, and the source of his crew being referred to as Argonauts.
  • The Argo's overall look and aircraft-robot transformation is inspired by the Meganite robot Laguiole from Sandlot's 2002 game Robot Alchemic Drive.

Gallery

Enemies in the EDF Series
Monster Attack AntsCrimson AntsQueen AntSaurousDarogaUFOCarriersMothership
Global Defence Force Giant AntCrimson AntsQueen AntFlying AntBauKing SpiderEggAnthillsDragon CentipedeSaurousUFOElite SaucerShield BearerImperial GuardBomberSuper BomberDarogaDeroyGilioMothershipFloating City Adan
Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders From Planet Space Giant AntCrimson AntsQueen AntFlying AntBauKing SpiderEggAnthillsDragon CentipedeSolasUFOElite SaucerShield BearerImperial GuardBomberSuper BomberDarogaDeroyGilioMothershipFloating City Adan
Earth Defense Force 2017 Terror AntsCrimson Terror AntsQueen AntAssault SpidersKing SpiderHolesVallakGunshipHectorCarriersQuadruped FortressMothership
Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon AntsAnthillsSpidersTickersWaspsBomber SpiderGunshipHectorCarriersDaddy Long LegsRobotic Praying MantisMothership
Earth Defense Force 2025 AntsCrimson AntsQueen AntSpidersKing SpiderRetiariusHornetDeath QueenTunnel ExitDragonsGreater Wild DragonMutantsFlying DroneRed DroneFlight VehicleShield BearerTransport ShipLarge Transport ShipHectorDeroyArgoQuadruped FortressMothershipEarth EaterBrain
Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair AntsCrimson AntsQueen AntSpidersKing SpiderRetiariusHornetDeath QueenTunnel ExitDragonsGreater Wild DragonMutantsErginusFlying DroneRed DroneFlight VehicleRed Flight VehicleShield BearerTransport ShipLarge Transport ShipHectorDeroyArgoQuadruped FortressMothershipEarth EaterBrain
Earth Defense Force 5 AntsCrimson AntsQueen AntSpidersKing SpiderAraneaRollerHornetQueenHiveTadpoleColonistCosmonautErginusArchelusBattle DroneType 2 DroneLanding ShipTeleportation ShipTeleport AnchorShield BearerDeroyOutpost BaseMothershipNameless
Earth Defense Force:
Iron Rain
Storm AntsStorm Ant ScoutZombie AntsImperial AntsCrazy AntsWinged AntsQueen AntEmpress AntBomb BeetleGreen Bomb BeetleWolf SpidersBaby SpidersDeathstalkerSiderosBeizalRaznidScourgerScourger BeastAttack PodHarvesterGargantHivecraftRaidshipPillar
Earth Defense Force:
World Brothers
AntsSpidersCarriersHornetDarogaGunshipHectorErginusSiderosBeizalSaurousRobotic Praying MantisShield BearerVallakDragon CentipedeQuadruped FortressDark Tyrant
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