Welcome back to Gaming FOUO. As you can tell by the title, I’ve gone with a subject that lets me get lazy on the title as it covers both gaming and “real” life. Not only that, but I get to examine one of my favorite game series, Earth Defense Force, which I may love because it is weaponized “Batshit Insanity.” Let’s get to it.
The Earth Defense Force games are a series in which you play a member of the titular Earth Defense Force. They stand up to a horde of alien invaders with just more guns than Ted Nugent’s dreams and brass balls the size of small planetoids. While some character classes offer you giant powered armor, or flying anime girls in steel war bikinis, the standard Ranger class is just a dude in regular body armor and two weapons of their choice. Each game offers you dozens of missions that are playable with any character class and are nothing but outright fun as you blast down hordes of giant insects and alien invaders. But enough gushing, what’s the story say about the Earth’s last hope against aliens?
The original game states that in 2013 scientists pick up signals from space that prove intelligent extraterrestrial life exists. For once in the history of mankind, the governments of the world come together peacefully and do something intelligent. They form a defense alliance called the Earth Defense Force with the mission of protecting the earth from the scum of the universe. Honestly, imagine if the Men In Black were made public and formed a military unit. Imagine the agents swapped their black suits and Ray-bans for Kevlar, and enough firepower to put more holes into alien invaders than holes in the logic of Bernie Sanders’ economic plans. At the beginning of each game as a Ranger – read “standard infantry” every time you see that – you are given a standard set of armor, a “no trademarks infringed” version of a AR-15 rifle, a rocket launcher, and infinite ammo. Get ready to use every bullet you are given.
The EDF is formed in 2013, and just 4 years later they are made to earn their name. While the rest of the Earth believed that the aliens would not be a threat, the EDF did not waste time. They acquire the latest technology and weapons to make sure they were a threat and stood their watch. In 2017 the Ravagers, a species of aliens hellbent on taking over the Earth, appear in the skyline above Tokyo with numerous flying saucers. They start dumping gigantic ants onto the streets, murdering countless civilians in their wake. The Ravagers thought they picked a perfect spot to begin their conquest, but they made a grave error. They picked the home of Storm 1, the best team in the entire EDF, and they pissed them off mightily. The EDF took on the giant insects and mecha of the aliens, even when their air wing is devastated while attacking the UFOs. Though the EDF fought valiantly, they had to concede various cities as the onslaught proved too much. The EDF falls back into the countryside, launching guerrilla attacks against the alien invaders.
While on one of the missions, Storm 1 recieves the call from headquarters that in the ground below them was a massive underground lair with a Queen Insect who’s been able to breed the unending hordes of the insects. Scout Teams scour the lair to make sure the EDF knows exactly where to attack, and with that intelligence in hand they send Storm 1 to take out the Queen.
If you have to ask how that goes for the Queen, you’ve not been paying attention.
EDF goes full Terminix on the Queen, and the swarm of invaders starts to falter. Of course since you’re playing as their leader, Storm 1 doesn’t get to rest on their laurels. Despite being given the hardest assignment of the war, they’ve given a worse one. The EDF had attempted to board the alien mothership, but that goes pear shaped. The mothership releases dozens of giant mech spiders, because you can’t be monsters in Japan without having something that would fit in a Godzilla movie. Unfortunately for the invaders, they picked the one country who’s dealt with that kinda thing for decades, and soon Japan remains the only territory on Earth that remains unoccupied by the invasion. Seriously, if your ultimate plan involves using kaiju to dominate humanity you should REALLY think about avoiding Japan. Pro-Tip.
Seeing Tokyo unchallenged, the Ravagers send all their remaining forces as their mothership lay in wait repairing its main cannon. The EDF has only one shot at glory. They send the baddest soldiers they have, Storm 1 – again – to raid the mothership while the remaining EDF forces hold the line against the rest of the Ravagers. Since the mothership is in fact the final boss to a video game, the cannon’s weak points are found and Storm 1 takes advantage – by shooting the hell out of them. The mothership falls to the pure badassery that is Storm 1 and crashes to the Earth. The Ravagers have their morale broken as their leaders are destroyed so the EDF starts back on the offensive. Within one year the aliens are evicted from Earth as humanity comes together to cheer its heroes: “EDF! EDF!”
We’ve seen the story of the first campaign of the Earth Defense Force in games – at least the first we saw here in the States – but it’s certainly not the last story of the Earth Defense Force in the games. While we all know that giant insects haven’t attacked the Earth, is there really such a thing as the EDF? Well, if you listen to the account of one formerly pseudonymous “whistleblower” on the internet then there most certainly is. Even more interesting, this “real life” EDF has already been tested in battle, and survived.
Last year a man came forward on various UFO conspiracy sites calling himself Captain Kaye – Apparently Captain J was busy – and he had a fantastic story to tell. This is one of the most unique conspiracy theories because Kaye himself claimed that his superior officers wanted him to publicize this information. Kaye claimed to be a retired US Marine Corps officer who had spent 20 years attached to a multinational military unit called the Earth Defense Force who were mostly based upon Mars. Mars is apparently not the barren, lifeless world science knows it to be but actually possesses a somewhat breathable atmosphere, running water and – most interestingly – two native intelligent species. There is a reptoid species and an insectiod species that are both highly intelligent yet fairly peaceable. While the reptoids are more aggresive about it, both species had no desire to expand their territory and let the human colony of Aries Prime go about its business.
Mars colony? Aliens? Military units? Let’s go back a bit. Captain Kaye claimed that his start in all of this came from working in the USMC’s “secret section” of black ops. Kaye apparently caught the attention of the Mars Colony Corporation (MCC), which is a consortium of banks, technology companies, and various governments. The MCC does exactly what their name implies and runs a colony on Mars. For 17 years of his 20 year commitment Kaye lived on Aries Prime while the MCC researched Mars, until the day they decided to retrieve an alien artifact from a cave revered by the reptoids.
This was not a good plan.
The reptoids attacked, and drew a battle from the insectiods. As if that wasn’t enough, two other alien species arrived in our star system and started a war with the others. Now Mars actually sounds like classic pulp science fiction. From the Draco constellation came a race of reptilian aliens who made war upon the native Martians, and got their asses kicked. However, during the war some catastrophe occurred which wiped out the Earth colonies and killed more than 500 people. As you would expect, this event left Kaye wanting a change of scenery so he asked the Earth Defense Force for a different job and they more than delivered.
Thanks to help of the Greys, (the classic aliens of conspiracy lore) who are friendly to humanity and seek to help us advance, the EDF had a number of interstellar craft. Kaye was sent to pilot school and soon stationed on the EDF’s flagship the SS Nautilus. This is a nice bit of military-style nods to history as the Nautilus is the name of both the submarine from Jules Verne’s classic 10,000 Leagues Under the Sea, as well as the that of the first nuclear powered submarine ever launched. The interstellar craft were actually carriers for smaller craft that didn’t possess interstellar propulsion. Interestingly, the craft ran on fusion power plants, possessed gravity engineering and even had a warp drive. I discussed somewhat briefly in a previous article the difficulties involved in faster than light travel, but let’s look at what Captain Kaye claims. From what little hard evidence – snort of derision – I can gather on the warp drive, it uses some kind of metallic fluid that spins at a high speed which can apparently warp space-time to allow for FTL travel. Great, humanity has its first interstellar craft and it’s powered by dumbass technobabble. Sigh.
During his tour of duty on the ship, communications with Earth were not permitted to allow the missions to stay classified. This is actually somewhat common with things like spy submarines as any signals your side can pickup so can anyone else. Captain Kaye continued his tour of interstellar duty for a couple more years before receiving his honorable discharge. He received a party in his honor on the Moon attended by various high ranking officers and then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfield. After this party he got his memory of the events erased for “plausible deniability”, or whatever hip term is used now, until he somehow slowly regained it through hypnotherapy. A fun tale, and one that caught the attention of the UFO and conspiracy theory circles.
If only he had stopped there. The original story, although outlandish, had enough grounded elements to at least be coherent. The problem is that Kaye, eventually unmasked as a man named Randy Cramer, kept adding to the story and each addition got more fantastic. Instead of simply being a skilled Marine operator he became a supersoldier. Cramer “remembered’ that he had been inducted to service at 3 years old into the successor program to MK ULTRA. Instead of trying to create mindless, soulless killers, they instead attempted to create truly noble, heroic supersoldiers. If you’re trying to keep up with this in terms of fiction, we’ve gone from The Manchurian Candidate straight to Captain America. Kaye continued with this idea that he was born in 1970 and retired in the late 00’s, which would fit in with Rumsfield as SecDef. However, Kaye already had a plausible timeline if he enlisted at 18 and served his twenty years as this would end up at 2008, which was at the end of Rumsfeld’s tenure. Instead, he threw in the child soldier thing and then went further. He claims after his discharge he had his consciousness transferred into a younger clone body. Keeping with my fiction comparisons we’ve now entered the territory of John Scalzi’s brilliant military sci-fi novel Old Man’s War. Seriously, go read it.
As Kaye/Cramer added more to his story, it began to unravel. I don’t believe he’s outright stated but nearly all respectable commentators agree that it was a hoax, albeit a highly entertaining one at the onset. While the obvious science missteps were blatant – air on Mars, REALLY?! – but the continual addition of more and more over the top elements cemented this as obvious fiction. Instead of sticking with his mostly consistent narrative Kaye added more and more until it collapsed under its own weight. It’s like George Lucas adding midichlorians for all you Star Wars nerds.
I seriously doubt that Randy Cramer had the Earth Defense Force games in mind when he crafted his wild tale, but it’s interesting that the two not only have the same name, but parallel each other. While I don’t believe a cadre of brave men and women from Earth are fighting interstellar wars to protect humanity, it’s refreshing to read a conspiracy where the governments and other powerful groups of Earth aren’t scheming against each other but actively cooperating for the sake of all mankind. If nothing else unites the story of both Earth Defense Forces, its the idea that a united humanity can overcome any obstacle.
I haven’t done a good science fiction book recommendation in an article in a while, so I’m going to recommend my favorite book of all time. If you want to read the military science fiction book check out Robert Heinlein’s legendary Starship Troopers. No, not the movie adaptation that’s Starship Troopers In Name Only. The original book, which brought bug wars, future military and powered armor into the mainstream, and still holds up today. Until next time.