|Free Fire Zone|
Resided over by the EDF Artillery Base in the north of the sector, the FFZ acts as a buffer zone between the capital sector of Eos and the rest of Tharsis. Any unauthorised personnel that do not heed the warning signs and enter the area are immediately fired upon and destroyed by the massive gun battery. Additionally used as an artillery proving ground, the FFZ's landscape is a debris-strewn wasteland of large craters, deep canyons and piles of vehicle wreckage.
The southern border with Parker is home to a through-road, a small EDF checkpoint in the main road heading north, and various parked EDF vehicles and signs on the border of the restricted area. There is also a captured EDF base in the southwest corner where two Demolition Master activies can be found. The artillery base never fires on these areas, even if the player has an alert level.
Entering the restricted zone prior to completing The Guns Of Tharsis mission causes a three-second timer to tick down, followed by repeated artillery strikes on the player until they leave. The shells are extremely powerful, capable of destroying vehicles and killing the player in a single hit; it is essentially impossible to traverse and reach Eos, even with cheats, without progressing the campaign.
In 2125, the Artillery Base in the north was presided over by Colonel Joseph Broga as commanding officer, who managed operations including the Shelling of Dust to cover EDF withdrawl from the sector during the Battle of Dust. Later, during the liberation of the Badlands, Broga would be kidnapped, tortured and killed by the Red Faction for information on crossing the region.
After the liberation of the outer sectors, the Red Faction would mount a large-scale assault on the FFZ using a map of artillery blind spots obtained from Broga, leading guerrillas on a lethal route through the area in the hopes of breaching the defense line and disabling the gun battery. The only successful driver was Alec Mason, who single-handedly destroyed the base's power cores and disabled the weapon, opening up Eos sector for the Red Faction.
The Artillery Base was later used by the Red Faction against the EDF, using replaced power cores and uplink terminals hijacked using stolen access codes. The first of these uses was to protect the Marauder Convoy carrying the RM-8 missile, and the second, eliminating EDF forces trying to storm the accelerator cannon in the Battle of Mount Vogel.
- The Free Fire Zone is shown not to be the full extent of the Artillery Base's range, as it is seen in missions shelling targets as far away as Dust and Mount Vogel. Why it is never employed outside of these battles is unknown.
- While the intel retrieved from Colonel Broga and the events of The Guns of Tharsis suggest there is a blind-spot route through the FFZ, no such route exists in the game code - the checkpoint run during the mission is entirely scripted, and attempting it during freeroam has no effect on the cannon bombardment.
Required Sector Missions