A Carrier, Transport Ship or Teleportation Ship is a type of enemy that has appeared in every EDF game. They are tough vessels that lack offensive weaponry, and spawn waves of enemies. They appear to be a manifestation of the teleportation technology of the Ravagers, since they can carry payloads far greater than their size would suggest possible.
Carriers in these two games are basically smaller versions of the Mothership. They have similar projections to the Mothership's Genocide Gun, though these do not do anything, and spawn enemies from the green section on their underside. Since Anthills did not appear until Global Defence Force, in Monster Attack they are the only enemy spawners in the game.
Unlike in all later games, Carriers in these games have no weak point; the entire vehicle is vulnerable to attack regardless of whether it is dropping enemies or not, meaning Carriers in these two games are not nearly as difficult to deal with as in later ones.
2017 features a redesigned carrier; while sometimes referred to as a "UFO" in briefings, it is far less like the classic "saucer" than the old design. Instead, it is a chrome-silver design that appears inspired by Federation ships from Star Trek, with a rear section mounting two large "nacelles" added to the saucer section.
The Carrier is very different in terms of mechanics; its entire body is now plated with heavy armor and is immune to all weapon fire. Only the spawner on its underside is vulnerable, and this is protected by a bay door that is usually closed except when the Carrier is dropping enemies.
Like most mechanical enemies, Carriers will trail smoke when they are damaged, with sparks also added as the damage becomes more severe.
The Carriers first appear in Chapter 1 Mission 2: Firebase Clyde, though in an invulnerable state.The appearance of the carrier looks more sinister, and looks somewhat like a woodlouse or an odd robotic face. In Insect Armageddon, the carrier plays the same role as before, but with a few differences.
Most notably, this is the only game in the series where they are armed, firing cluster munitions from their spawning ports. Carriers never target Strike Force Lightning directly, but can carpet bomb the ground as is seen in the mission On the Run.
There are two types of carrier, a smaller version with two spawning ports and a larger "advanced" version with four. The latter variant is tougher and spawns more enemies at once.
Carriers deploy enemies from the spawning ports on their sides, which are covered with iris-like armored doors when they are inactive. As before, these are their weak point; since they are smaller, there is a small degree of homing added to missile and rocket weapons fired at them, which will drop down and curve up into the ports. The brightness of the light in the spawning ports and the red circle at the rear of the carrier indicates its remaining health, growing darker as it takes damage.
The Carrier's rear "health indicator" spot also functions as a weak spot, and can be damaged / locked on to when the spawner ports are open. This is useful for dealing damage when the Carrier is dropping a large number of enemies (thus obscuring line of fire to the bays), or if missiles are not hitting the ports correctly.
Carriers in Insect Armageddon do not crash vertically, instead diving to one of several scripted locations in an area, where they will drag along the ground before being obliterated in a massive explosion when they come to a halt. The explosion will deal damage to anything nearby.
2025 / 4.1
In Earth Defense Force 2025 and Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair the standard 2017 model returns, now referred to as a Transport Ship. Some slight changes have been made; most obviously, it is no longer possible to damage the entire area inside the hatch; only the black central core structure is vulnerable.
As before their exterior is made of impenetrable armor, though in 4.1 it is shown that the EDF's powerful Grind Buster penetrating weapon can destroy a Transport Ship by hitting the top of it.
Later on they are supplemented by the new Large Transport Ship, but never fully replaced.
In 2025 a Transport Ship exploding is totally harmless, while in 4.1 it will destroy any buildings under it when it explodes, as in 2017.
Earth Defense Force 5
In Earth Defense Force 5, the Transport Ships return. Just like nearly all robotic enemies in 5, the Transport ship has been redesigned and is now named "Teleportation Ship".