Colonists (コロニスト Koronisuto) are a new enemy type introduced in Earth Defense Force 5. Filling the role of the Hectors from Earth Defense Force 2017 and 2025, Colonists are commonly encountered throughout the game and are a considerably more challenging opponent than the giant insects.
Colonists are giant bipedal
frog human-like creatures that replace Hectors in Earth Defense Force 5. Colonists appear early on in the game and become a very common enemy from that point onward. They are typically deployed into battle by the Primers' Landing Ships.
Colonists have more complex AI than Hectors, being able to coordinate with each other, use buildings as cover, and lead groups of enemies, and are also capable of climbing on top of smaller buildings, up to about their shoulder height, in order to achieve better vantage points or simply to bypass minor obstacles. In some missions they will be found patrolling with groups of insect-type enemies which they can command, and in scripted sequences they sometimes call up insects from underground or wail to summon Tadpoles to the combat area, though they cannot do this outside these sequences. On the flipside, they are capable of losing track of the player character even when aggro'd, and if this occurs they will move to the last position they saw the character in to conduct a search. If they fail to spot a player character exiting a vehicle they have previously seen, they will continue to attack it as if the character were still inside, despite the enemy AI normally disregarding empty vehicles. If they spot an EDF soldier when not alerted, they have a brief animation of calling out and pointing to the character's location.
They have a number of significant disadvantages compared to their robotic forebears, however. Firstly, a Colonist cannot destroy structures simply by touching them as Hectors did, making cover a much more viable option when facing them. Secondly, a Colonist will only ever be equipped with a single weapon, and they do not have a weapon equivalent to the Hector's Spark Launcher. Only the "Artillery" type Colonists are able to destroy buildings. They also do not possess the torso mobility or silly noodly arms of a Hector, meaning they are less capable of tracking circling targets. In addition, they respond slowly to being attacked while in their "taking cover" stances, making them vulnerable to ambushes.
Colonists can be dismembered if shot in their arms or legs. Loss of each extremity has a distinct effect: the left arm will produce a fairly long animation of the Colonist reeling in pain, but does not adversely effect their battle capabilities. Loss of the right arm will prevent them from using their weapon. Loss of the legs will drop them to the ground: after a while they will struggle into a seated positon, and if they still have their right arm they will resume firing in this position. If they have only one leg they retain the ability to push themselves around on their backs remarkably quickly: they are only completely immobilised if they lose both.
They have a regenerative ability and will regrow lost limbs if left alone for long enough, recovering their weapon as well if they lost their right arm. The start of their regeneration cycle is shown by streams of whitish, foam-like fluid coming from the stumps of any missing limbs: they will regenerate at the same speed no matter how many body parts they are re-growing. Colonists are also quite agile for their size, and can dodge and roll to evade attacks or reach cover. They do, however, share their robotic ancestors' vulnerability to hit-stun, with similarly exaggerated animations that leave them briefly helpless. It should however be noted that any time a Colonist performs a flinch animation it will "forget" how much ammunition is left in its gun and treat it as fully loaded: this is particularly dangerous with the shotguns of close-range Colonists.
In terms of game mechanics, they function in a similar manner to the later Cosmonaut enemy, in that they have a main "health pool" which must be depleted fully to kill them, and set amounts of health allocated to their various body parts. Colonists die when they take an aggregate 500 HP of damage or their head is destroyed. The head has 300 HP, the torso 500 HP, and the limbs each have an upper and lower section with 50 HP each. This is their basic HP, but the ratios are the same when their health is increased on higher difficulties. Their regenerative ability resets the health of a healed extremity, but does not heal their main health pool.
If a Colonist is killed while taking cover or otherwise near a structure, the items it drops will sometimes end up clipping inside the structure. This can be remedied by destroying the building (though on rare occasions this will drop the items through the level geometry) or through use of the increased collection radius of a Ranger with a Probe, an Air Raider's vehicles, or a dashing Wing Diver or Fencer if it is near the edge of the structure. The item will not necessarily be at ground level, as there is internal geometry in some buildings that a box can potentially come to rest on.
There are two main subtypes
The most common type of Colonists are simply called Infantry. Infantry are equipped with laser rifles called Ether Guns. As Infantry are quite common, they will often arrive in large groups and move together. Their Ether Guns fire blue energy bolts in 15-round bursts with fairly high accuracy after which they have a short "reloading" pause before being able to fire again, but they do not lead their shots so it is fairly easy to evade them by moving to the sides.
Attack Soldiers are distinguished by their red skin and their use of the Rupture Gun, essentially a gigantic double-barrel shotgun that fires a spread of 40 purple projectiles. The Rupture Gun can fire two shots fairly rapidly, after which there is a brief "reloading" pause before the Colonist can fire it again. Because the Rupture Gun has a much shorter range than other Colonist weapons, Attack Soldiers are much more aggressive that other types. Despite its short range, the Rupture Gun possesses devastating power.
Artillery Colonists carry a type of plasma gun called a Long-Range Cannon. This is a shoulder-fired launcher which is essentially identical in mechanical terms to the Plasma Cannons wielded by Hectors in previous games. The Long-Range Cannon fires a purple plasma bolt in a long arc that can easily fire right across any in-game map. These projectiles have significant splash damage, can destroy structures, and will ragdoll any EDF soldier unfortunate enough to be caught in the blast radius.
Appearing only in DLC, these are Colonists wearing an outer layer of armor in the same manner as Cosmonauts, and armed with improved variants of the standard Colonist weapons. Their armor is not as protective as that of a Cosmonaut, however, and penetrating weapons will deal damage to both the armor and the Colonist itself. In addition, their armor does not fully cover them and small chinks on the limbs and at the neck can be used to deal direct damage to their health without breaching their armor at all.
The Infantry variant carry a weapon called the Ether Gatling, which is an improved Ether Gun. It fires more powerful red projectiles, and its fire rate increases as the burst goes on.
The Attack Soldier carries a weapon called the Spark Gun. This is similar to a Wing Diver's Pulse Machine Gun in terms of the projectiles it fires, and has an interesting gimmick of spreading out its firing angle to both sides while shooting, allowing the Colonist to hit targets dodging to the sides of their initial aiming point. Jumping on the spot to avoid the shots is surprisingly effective at medium range, even as a Ranger or Air Raider: the first shot will go low and the second will be aimed at the character in the air and so will pass over them as they land. Despite the different shooting mechanics, it shares the "double barrel" quality of the regular Rupture Gun.
The Artillery variant are armed with a devastating Multi-Angle Plasma Cannon which functions like a forward-facing version of the Wing Diver's Plasmafall launchers, launching a vertical column of ten plasma bolts which land in a straight line straddling their aim point. These are extremely dangerous weapons as they are able to smash multiple buildings in a line in one shot, and when fired at point-blank range can deal an absolutely incredible amount of damage. Moving to the sides will prevent damage, but they are high-priority targets due to their superlative ability to destroy cover.
- The word "frogs" is never used in connection with them in the game: in fact, they are repeatedly stated to look "almost exactly like humans."