- "They're doing terrible things to civilians, unspeakable things. I mean, I'm just a hematologist. I didn't want to be a part of it."
- — Phillip Best, a former HERC hematologist
The Last Stand: Union City
They were called in to quarantine Union City and all surrounding regions after the outbreak of the infection, as well as to investigate the said outbreak and its effects. HERC worked alongside the military to enforce the quarantine and ensure the safety of evacuations, although the military was not directly involved with HERC in the investigation. They have established an evacuation center/command post at the Stadium and also possess outposts based in Union Island and Union Park, Uptown.
In their investigation of the outbreak, they performed many controversial and unethical actions, including the conduction of involuntary experiments on survivors at their outpost in Uptown.[n 1] Among those taken to be experimented on is the player's spouse.
Strangely, infected HERC personnel are never encountered.
HERC personnel are typically equipped with:
- Doctors/Scientists: Bio Hazard Suits with Army Boots, and issued M9 Pistols or Police Batons.
- Troopers: Forest-green uniforms with body armor, black shoes, and full-face balaclava with goggles, and issued SV-SMGs, XM8s or MP5s. Some troopers (such as the four in the Union Park outpost) lack the vests, helmets, and HERC-issued masks.
The Last Stand: Dead Zone
HERC declared Union City a Dead Zone and pulled out along with the military several months before the events of the game, leaving many of their agents behind in the process. Their actions before the beginning of TLS:UC are also covered in the TLS:DZ Story Timeline that plays on the loading screens, revealing them to have fired upon and massacred civilians while attempting to contain the outbreak.[n 2]
Sealed HERC Supply Boxes have also been left behind and can be unsealed using special keycards. In addition, special Tactical Response Supply Boxes, containing custom weapons unique to HERC (HERC-1 Baton, HERC-1 Combat Knife, HERC-2 SMG, HERC-24A1, HERC-A1 Rifle, HERC-PDW, HERC-S3) can be found as well, and unsealed using the same method. Both variants contain equipment and supplies that can be extremely useful for anyone who can find and open them.
HERC begun ordering survivors still in the Dead Zone to execute certain directives, with rewards for those who comply. More recently, HERC tried to reestablish a base on Union Island, but some parts of it were overrun by the infected, providing an opening for survivors to raid their compound. Both infected and uninfected HERC personnel are seen in this area. Notably, customized bows and crossbows have been found in HERC bases, alongside conventional firearms and HERC Mines.
Infected HERC personnel are also seen for the first time:
- Infected HERC scientists can be seen in Level 6+ hordes and are identical in terms of stats to regular zombies. They are distinguished by their bright orange Hazmat suits and can be Shambling or Running zombies.
- Infected HERC troopers begin appearing in Level 18+ hordes. They are a subtype of Armored zombies and are the second-most durable zombie type, outclassed only by Riot zombies. They are distinguished by their forest-green body armor and face masks.
- Infected HERC Heavy soldiers appear in Level 51+ hordes. They are a subtype of Riot zombies. They share the same model as Riot zombies, albeit in forest-green instead of blue. Notably, unlike normal Riot zombies, at least some Infected HERC Heavy soldiers can run.
Uninfected HERC personnel are only present during the Raid on Union Island:
- Regular soldiers armed with various automatic weapons, including AK-105s, RPK-12s and MP7s.
- Shotgunners armed with HERC-S3s.
- Snipers armed with VS-121s or MSR-82s.
- Heavy soldiers with extra armor and armed with Miniguns or Chainsaw Shotguns.
- HERC bears several similarities to FEDRA (Federal Disaster Response Agency), a federal organization featured in the PS3 game The Last of Us. It executes similar directives and abandons several quarantine zones in the process, and maintaining orders to experiment with and quarantine the infection. Both appear to be based on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
- The HERC soldiers outside the Union Park Outpost never shoot at the character unlike the ones at Union Island
- HERC runs the Emergency Registry that serves as the character creation screen in The Last Stand: Union City.
- In The Last Stand: Union City, if the player saves and exits the game within the first area of the outpost in Union Park upon first entrance, the two troopers that attack the player will always respawn when resuming the game.
- The two HERC troopers outside the outpost entrance will fire upon any infected, but may die from a single hit if they are attacked. They can also be killed by the player shoving them. If one of the HERC troopers are shoved and the game is saved and quit, returning to the game will make both troopers invincible.
- HERC personnel are the first uninfected enemies in The Last Stand series.
- HERC Troopers will sometimes let out the famous Wilhelm Scream upon death.
- The HERC logo is featured in several of the posts on ConArtistGames.com pertaining to The Last Stand: Dead Zone.
- The HERC logo is one of the many possible designs for the alliance banner.
- HERC is considered an antagonistic force in both games.
- It is not known whether experiments also took place at the Union Island outpost. It is unlikely though, as said outpost appeared to have been for the express purpose of guarding the boats.
- This may be a reference to the depiction of the military in Left 4 Dead 2, as the military in L4D2 contained the outbreak by "shooting on sight," like HERC.
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