Throughout the Mercenaries series, there have been a diverse number of factions featured in each iteration, all fighting against and sometimes for each other towards a specific goal. Gameplay-wise, these factions provide the player with more ammunition, vehicles and weapons with which to engage everyone else in war, should they choose to become friends with these factions, but on the flip-side, being hostile towards these groups will obviously get you into a lot of battles with them as well.
Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction Edit
The Allied Nations is a fictional organization based on global peacekeeping groups and international coalitions such as the UN Peacekeepers. In the first game, The Allies fought against the forces of North Korea under the control of Choi Song with the intent to stop the ambitious dictator from going to war with Asia, and potentially, the rest of the world.
While the main South Korean military is part of the Allied coalition, a separate detachment called the South Korean Union was formed with the intent to establish a democratic regime in North Korea, and are secretly funded and backed by the CIA. The SKU's military equipment is pretty much the same as that of the Allies, although with a different aesthetic and a stronger emphasis on covert operations and is slowly trying to regain their spot on the army board.
The Chinese, although officially part of the Allied coalition, function independently from them as they have their own agenda regarding North Korea, desiring to turn the nation into a province of the PRC. The Chinese possess some of the strongest vehicles in the game, but are sorely lacking in terms of powerful military aircraft.
The Russian Mafia is a criminal organization who have taken advantage of the war in North Korea, performing various illegal activities in order to earn a large profit from the conflict. The Mafia is also the owner of an in-game website called the "Merchant of Menace" from which players can buy all sorts of weapons, ammo and vehicles so long as they have the money, the Mafia also owns a "chop shop" where vehicles captured from other factions are sold to the Mafia to earn a quick buck.
The North Koreans, under General Song, are the main antagonists of the game, they will always be hostile to the player wherever they are found, however, there is no penalty to engaging them in battle, and can be fired upon with impunity. They have the largest army in North Korea and have numerous military bases and bunkers located everywhere, sometimes out in the open, although usually they are hidden. Most of the cities are under the KPA's control and their soldiers can be seen patrolling the streets of every corner and usually have a helicopter hovering above, watching from the skies too.
Mercenaries 2: World in Flames Edit
Before the player is betrayed by Solano, this faction technically assisted them in rescuing General Carmona, with the player fighting against VZ soldiers loyal to the pre-Solano government. After Solano comes to power, however, the VZ, much like the North Koreans of the first game, become the main antagonists of the game, and as expected, will always be hostile towards the player.
The Universal Petroleum corporation is a Texas-based oil company which had established a total monopoly over Venezuela's oil supply, and took advantage of this up until Solano's rise to power. Now, UP is fighting a war against those who seek to evict them from Venezuela: Solano's military and the PLAV.
Abbreviated as PLAV, this army is composed of numerous left-wing radicals who seek to restore the previous government. They were formed after several skirmishes between UP and Carmona's army left the country in a state of disarray, and with encouragement from their leader, Marcela Acosta, they fight to remove the "capitalist pigs" of Universal Petroleum along with the "fascist" Solano.
Much like the Russian Mafia of the previous game, this faction is primarily a criminal organization with no real stake in the war and seek only to make a profit from it. Unlike the Russians, however, they have no in-game website from which the player may make a purchase of equipment from. Their members and vehicles are all heavily coloured and their vehicles can be easily identified by their bright yellow and green schemes.
The Allied Nations return in World in Flames, but unlike the previous incarnation of the group, who were portrayed as generally altruistic in their goals, the Allies are much more corrupt as their only goal is to take over the oil supply of Venezuela in the same fashion as Universal Petroleum, whom they secretly supported before the Allies intervened.
The Chinese return in World in Flames, with the intent to create a pro-China regime in Venezuela in order to stake their claim on the country's oil; However, they run afoul with the Allies, and as a result, the two sides engage in open war. The PLA forces have also allied themselves with the PLAV to help in their efforts.
Other Factions Edit
In the games, the player may sometimes encounter non-hostile neutral civilians wandering the game-world, these hapless innocents are generally found in populated areas and, for the most part, avoid the occasional firefight between enemies, but oftentimes, may become the victim of collateral damage. If the player were to kill any civilians (whether accidental or deliberate) they will be fined 10000 worth of collateral damage.
Abbreviated to GSRN, this is a globalized news-reporting group dedicated towards keeping the rest of the world up-to-date with the latest major conflict in the world. The only times they are seen in-game is in the first game, where players may encounter trucks bearing the logo and equipment of the GSRN, and occasionally reporters are seen observing skirmishes between enemy forces. In the second game, the GSRN are not seen much, but their news reports regarding the crisis in Venezuela are seen in cutscenes and can be heard near Fiona's computer.
Contracted into "ExOps," it is a private military company for whom the player mercenary works for. When war breaks out in North Korea, they send out one of their operatives along with a technical support (Fiona Taylor) to claim the bounty placed on Song's head.
When the player begins the hunt for Solano, s/he forms his/her own private military company based in Solano's villa, which they had captured near the beginning of the game. They are comprised of the three mercs - Mattias, Chris and Jen - along with Fiona Taylor, their technical support, Ewan Garrett/Devlin, their helicopter pilot, Eva Navarro, their mechanic, and Misha Milanich, their jet pilot.
The CIA, or Central Intelligence Agency, is the primary intelligence organization of the United States. In Mercs 1, the CIA secretly created and supported the South Korean Union in an attempt to establish a democratic pro-American government in North Korea, the only member of the CIA seen in the game is Agent Buford, who both leads the SKU and acts as the representative for the CIA. In the second game, World in Flames, the CIA have sent a new agent, Phillip Joyce, to coordinate the Allied Nations' military forces to secure Venezuela's oil.
Aside from Carmona's Military, Solano is also aided by members of various Venezuelan crime syndicates. They appear as men in white gangster-style clothing and usually wield either machine pistols or shotguns as their primary weapons.
The Circle of FiveEdit
The Circle of Five is a cadre of North Korea's best scientists and engineers, most of whom are members of the Hearts Suit. They are led by the Jack of Hearts.
Tactical Solutions is another private military group based in Texas. When Solano took aggressive steps to remove Universal Petroleum from Venezuela, UP's Venezuelan Branch Leader, Lorraine Rubin, hired the services of Tactical Solutions to act as their private army in defense of their assets in Venezuela. However as noted by Fiona their mercenaries are not as well-trained or experienced as the former ExOps operatives.
According to the developers of Mercenaries 2, there was originally going to be a "Police" faction in the game, but was left on the cutting-room floor. It is unknown what purpose the police intended to serve, although according to one developer, one of the ideas for a new playable character (before settling on the three original mercenaries from the first game) was to be a former member of the Venezuelan police force.