The Ravagers, called Foreigners (フォーリナー Fōrinā) in Japan are a mysterious alien race that act as the antagonists in the Earth Defense Force series.
The term "Ravager" is usually only applied to the aliens themselves, though in Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon both the aliens and the giant insects are called Ravagers. Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain instead has the aliens called "Aggressors" while only their robotic weapons are called Ravagers. A species which are functionally more or less the same called the "Primers" appear in Earth Defense Force 5.
The Ravagers are a technologically advanced race with radical bio-technology, anti-gravity systems, energy weapons and matter teleportation technology. Their hobbies include meddling with nature and attacking Earth because they can.
Very little is known about what a Ravager actually is or what their motives are for attacking Earth. It is implied they have eradicated at least one other advanced civilization from the description of the run-up to the 2017 invasion in EDF 2025's manual, where the transmission received by Earth in 2013 that "Earth would have visitors soon" is realised too late to be a garbled warning broadcast by their previous victims.
There is a school of thought that the Ravagers are their weapons, having transferred their consciousness into them or being some form of organism plated over with metal, but there is no real support for this theory in the games themselves. As far as is known, no actual Ravager has ever been seen.
The most commonly-seen Ravager bio-tampering is the Giant Insects (called Gigantors in Global Defence Force and Buggernauts in Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders From Planet Space). These are said to be biological constructs based on Earth organisms, and are dropped in their thousands by Ravager ships to further reproduce and infest worlds as a prelude to invasion. Presumably, their previous attacks used fauna native to the planets they destroyed since they had not yet encountered Earth's arthropods.
The Giant Insects display an incredible ability to adapt themselves, with radically different species appearing in as few as seven years with no obvious selection pressures guiding them. While this is claimed to be the result of normal evolution by the semi-competent scientist Ohara, it is distinctly more likely that he is wrong, particularly since the Ravagers apparently know what the final result of the process will be.
It is also implied that their Motherships are some type of bio-mechanical organism, since they are said to be capable of breathing and falling asleep.
Technology and weaponry
Ravagers prefer to employ remote-controlled vehicles to do their dirty work, coordinating assaults from the Motherships or later the Brain. Whether these vehicles are the top of the chain of command or simply relays is not known. Their vehicles use energy-based weapons powered by an internal plasma reactor, a technology they appear to have perfected to the point that logistical support for their creations is a non-issue.
The Ravagers have clearly mastered some type of anti-gravity technology, enabling their ships to hover effortlessly and fly despite being slightly less aerodynamic than a brick. They also have access to teleportation; their transports appear to move their cargo from some central storage area since they can carry payloads larger than their own volume, while Motherships deploy Genocide Guns that are longer than they are tall.
Even more advanced examples of this technology are seen in 2025 with the massive new Large Transport Ships which can teleport to a target area, and the ability of Earth Eaters to simply blip out of existence. The most extreme example is the routine teleportation of the entire Floating City Adan in Global Defence Force.
One of the most powerful and adaptable Ravager technologies is the Shield Screen, a type of forcefield that can be projected on a large scale or over the surface of a machine to offer it increased protection. At large scales, Shield Screens are effectively indestructible, though the surface shields only offer limited protection for smaller vehicles like Hectors.
Much of the Ravager technology salvaged from the 2017 war was used by the EDF to produce advanced weapons in case of a future invasion: in 2025 it is said the equipment of the Wing Diver, the Shield used by the Fencer and some of the Ranger's top-level weaponry incorporate the results of this research. Ravager Research appears to be a distinct field, given the character Ohara describes it as his profession.
Since the EDF timeline is confusing and has at least five separate branches (Insect Armageddon is said to be its own continuity, and 2025 does not acknowledge either it or the 2019 attack of Global Defence Force, while both Earth Defense Force 5 and Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain start their timelines from scratch) it is rather difficult to put together a consistent history of Ravager appearances.
In 2025 it is revealed that the 2017 invasion was little more than a scouting force, with the Ravagers first deploying a strike force ten times the size of the one used for the 2017 attack, and then deploying the Earth Eaters, a modular weapon system equivalent to a planet's mass.
- The English translations of Monster Attack and Global Defence Force did not use the name, with Global Defence Force only ever referring to them as "Invaders."
- In the English dialogue for Earth Defense Force 2017 the government names them "Ravagers" before they have actually done anything wrong. This is less strange in the original Japanese dialogue, as the aliens are simply referred to as "Foreigners."
- While the Ravagers are typically called Foreigners in the Japanese versions of the games, they are named "Ravagers" in the Japanese localization of Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon.